Nick and I were on FIRE this weekend! Well, last weekend, too I guess. It was a two-weekend effort.
Nick went out first thing on Saturday and used his new leaf blower toy to pile up our leaves. I should have taken a picture of it. He did such a good job. We don’t have many trees out front, but the back is ALL trees. We had an ocean of leaves to pick up (Ed. Note: not an exaggeration. I’ve never seen so many leaves in my life). Nick is pretty wonderful and he did all the leaf blowing because I’m preggers (Ed. Note: ugh. Again with this terrible word) and those things stink of gasoline. And the vibrating would have irritated me. And, well, we got the sexier more expensive leaf blower because Nick would be using it (Ed. Note: 25 lbs of leafblowing mayhem!). I did help transfer the leaves to the blankets, so Nick could bring them into the woods. I’m just so helpful that way. We figured it would be too heavy for me to carry out into the woods and my stomach was super crampy, so Nick the Amazing Husband did all the heavy work.
Now, it’s not like I didn’t do anything while Nick was busy leaf blowing. It was actually a pretty productive day for me, especially considering the past 9 weeks I’ve been pretty out of commission from the baby (I’m finally feeling better–excluding a pretty terrible case of meatball-sub-induced heartburn). So while Nick was working on the leaves, I was working on dismantling the garden. I’m not really sure if I’m supposed to do this or not, and maybe I should have asked my gardener friends for some advice, but I just ripped everything out of the vegetable garden. We planted way too many tomatoes and cucumbers, which took over the garden, so I pulled all those up. And then everything else came up, too. We’ve already decided that we’ll plant some other things there next year, and maybe even put in another bed (Ed. Note: The use of the term “we” is used very loosely in the Botto house when it comes to decision making).
We had one yellow tomato plant in the front garden. The tomatoes were delicious, but I hated that it was in the front yard, so that was pulled out, too. I cut some of the flowers down a bit, too (not sure if I was supposed to; maybe I just ruined them all). Either way, we’re all ready for next year!
If we posted more regularly, you would know that we’ve been in the midst of another home improvement project. This time, we decided to tackle the kitchen. (For other projects, be sure to check out our fan-installing adventure, and the never-ending saga that was our small bathroom) This is our “before” picture. I should note that we’ve since bought a new stove after this lovely white one cracked at our new years party (Ed. Note: I may have been responsible for the crack. Red wine vinegar bottles should never be placed above a glass top stove. Note taken. Lesson learned.). This room has a glass door and two windows, but it’s still a very dark room.
Last weekend our beautiful in-laws, Brad and Celia, helped us get started with a much-needed kitchen refresh. Nick and I decided that we’d paint the cabinets and counter top as an update until we can afford to do an addition to the house which, with a baby on the way, probably won’t be for another 50 or so years. We went to Lowe’s and picked up some counter paint and some cabinet paint (Ed. Note: It’s important to note that our original mission at Lowe’s was to pick up a wheelbarrow and mums for the front yard. We currently have neither) (writer’s note: Way to notice the beautiful mums I put by the front door. Seriously, why do I even bother?).
Nick and Brad painted the counters. We were SUPER lucky because last weekend was beautiful and we could turn off the heat and open the windows and not freeze. What’s up with that November? Not that I’m complaining. The counter paint was very, very pungent due to the fact it had built in epoxy, and the people at Lowe’s suggested that we not only paint with masks on but also wear gloves. I told them my husband was going to do all the painting because I’m with child, and they suggested that I stay out of the house while it was being painted (Ed. Note: very convenient). They also warned us that the color of the counters would look different than it did on the can. We chose a color called “Wheat” because it sounded nice and light and it looked pretty light on the can. We originally chose a darker brown color but when they mixed it for us (they were really good about letting us know how different the colors would be) it was actually grey.
The paint went on great and covered everything. Our counter tops were original to the house, which was built in 1987, and had never been updated. It was time. It took 2 coats and we let it sit without anything on it for about 4 days to be sure it was ready. This was a great idea. We are both super happy with how much better the counters look!
Meanwhile, as the boys were in the house painting the counters, Celia and I were in the garage painting the cabinet doors. Celia sanded and I painted. Here’s what we used:
It worked beautifully. I wish that we had waited a bit longer between coats (I did the second coat the next day) because now I have some touch ups to do on places that scratched. The color is so much better than the old gross, dark “wood” that we had before. I almost wish that we chose a color that was a little lighter, but I’ll wait to make my final decision until the walls are painted.
Here is our “After” kitchen:
Here is a before and after to help you see the transformation a little better:
Notice the new stove? We’ve also decluttered quite a bit. Does the floor look brighter to you? That’s because Nick painted the grout a while back. We might have even done a post on it, who knows. We originally planned on changing all the hardware out to something a little less dated. However, the cabinets are so old that there was no hardware that matched the dimensions we needed. We ended up saving probably about $100 just spray painting the existing pieces. I’m glad we kept them because they are strange looking handles, which is pretty cool. We changed the drawer pulls because I just hated the old ones too much.
All in all, I definitely like the kitchen way better than I did before, but I can’t really say I love it (Ed. Note: I love it). I’m holding out on final judgement until we finish all the other projects in the room. For instance, we plan on taking down the hideous wallpaper and painting the walls white. Also, when the ceiling and the weird ceiling box that goes around the top of the cabinets are painted I think the room will look lighter, too. Either way, there is still plenty of painting to do!
Shoot. I just realized we forgot to go tag the Christmas tree today. Ugh. I guess there’s always next week.