Winter 2010 Photo Contest!



2010 Winter Winner!


Photo Contest Participants

1. Jen E @ mommablogsalot
2. Patty Reiser
3. Sarah Bell
4. Windowasher
5. Cheryl
6. Emily
7. Carolsue
8. Kat Robinson
9. Jodi Cleghorn
10. Kim@The Misplaced Midwesterner
11. Thea @ I’m a Drama Mama
12. Annie
13. Dear Peeps
14. Zee @ Photos from the North
15. Eloise Whritenour
16. Sheila @ Ladybugs and Tonka Trucks

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PLEASE VOTE HERE (This poll is set up to recognize cookies, so you should only be able to vote once – please choose wisely!)



Mark your calendars! The spring photo contest will be April 9, 2010!

Photo Contest Mailing List:
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with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

Kitchen Saga

Kitchen Saga – Planning Complete

I feel like one of those moles in the “Whack-a-Mole” game.

The one who got clobbered in the head and who now lays dead, on it’s side with X’s over it’s eyes to indicate that it can’t BE any more dead.


Yesterday was … busy. Since the kids started back to school after a four-day weekend, the schools had a ton of updates for me, which kept me very busy in between folding laundry and mopping my floors. After school, Dude and I went driving (because that kid has GOT to get his driver’s license before March 25th – when his permit expires – oh sure, we could renew it, but seriously, it’s time) and though that wasn’t exactly stressful, let’s just say there were stressful moments.

Then, the Lowe’s guy called to say that he was done with our kitchen redesign, so after dinner, Kevin and I went up there to iron out some details.

It only took THREE HOURS.


However, since this is our kitchen, and a room we will be using every day and a design we will have to live with for the next twenty years, we wanted to make sure it had everything we wanted, and then some. And that’s fine, and would have been fine, if my head didn’t feel like it was going to explode.

Whenever the weather changes, my sinuses get cranky. As in, make one wrong move b*tch, and I will blow the top of your head off cranky. We just endured massively cold temperatures, as in twenty below zero wind chills and now that our weather as oscillated to the other side of the spectrum and is now running in the mild 50’s and 60’s? Yeah, my sinuses have pulled a Soprano on me.

But whatever. Life goes on, right? So, I just sort of ignored the full brain assault and focused on trying to make our kitchen the best it can be … without giving me a heart attack, price wise.

We sat down with Bill again (who was just the nicest guy, by the way. He is an older gentlemen and reminded me a lot of my dad). He pulled up our design and we started going over it with a fine-tooth comb. Everything looked great, except for the bookcase we want to build into the end of our bar. I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that I would care so much about what happened to these things:

Well-Used Cookbooks

I mean, we ALL know I don’t cook. That I LOATHE to cook, but we have to eat and let’s face it, macaroni and cheese and sandwiches can get really old after a while (well, not to ME, but my guys need something with a little more substance), so, there you go. I am forced to think about cooking.

Our cookbooks are currently stored in our cabinet, as pictured above. Though out of the way (and out of sight, which suits me just fine), they aren’t exactly convenient to pull out at a moment’s notice (and I’m already cranky because I have to cook to begin with, I DON’T relish the thought of fighting with the stupid thing just to pull it free, sort of adds to the crankiness level). So, we thought it would be cool to have them out on a nice little bookcase.

(And as an aside? Our cookbooks are, erhm, well used. I’m not about to put these dingy things on our brand new bookcase so that means we’ll have to have some “show” cookbooks which really doesn’t solve our problem because A. we’ll still have to store our useable cookbooks somewhere and B. we’ll have to spend more money on duplicate copies and …. ugh, I’m making my head hurt. Suffice it to say, it’s a pain in the butt, okay?)

We must have reconfigured that bookcase about ten times before we finally got what we wanted. And we’re still unsure how that counter top is going to look and now think we need to curve it a bit otherwise it’s going to be this sharp pointy edge that someone is sure to skewer a spleen on so … we’re close, but not quite there yet.

But it’s going to look cool. And I’m pretty sure will be my favorite thing in the entire kitchen. We ended up putting built in columns on either side of the book case (which cost an INSANE amount of money, but is going to really add a little oomph to our kitchen), but wow, it took forever to pick the style that we liked and then to get the measurements just so.

In addition, we changed our minds about the cabinets – we’re now going with a honey/spice maple cathedral arched color/door. We also changed our counter top – we’re now going with this instead. It’s called “Monet” (and listed in the top row at that link) and is a more brown color than the other color we choose, which had a lot of yellow in it. It’s funny, but Kevin and I looked at the Monet sample probably a 100 times but it was only after we switched the color of the cabinets that a giant light bulb went off over our heads and we suddenly KNEW that’s what we wanted.

Since we have added two glass doors and those bookcase columns into the equation, our total price went up a few thousand dollars. Still within our budget but *GAG*, spending this much money just goes against every fiber of my being. But it’s like Kevin said,

“I’d rather spend it on something that we can use and reuse for years to come as opposed to blowing it on a vacation that only lasts one week. Besides, this is our kitchen. We’ll be using it every single day – it’s worth the investment.”

And I know he’s right but …. *GAG* I actually felt physically sick when it came time to pay for this thing. Which DID NOT help my raging headache so that by the time we got home? I popped an Aleve and pretty much collapsed into a pain-induced stupor.

So, the ball is rolling on this project. Here’s the time line on this: In about four weeks, the delivery guys will deliver our cabinets in about twenty boxes. Our cabinet guy will come over, inspect them, make sure they are the right color, everything is intact and in good shape and then he’ll start demolishing our kitchen, getting rid of our old cabinets to make room for our new cabinets. We expect to be majorly inconvenienced for about a week.

Once the new cabinets and appliances have been installed (and we still need to buy our appliances – ugh, this remodeling thing is NOT for the cheap skate, let me tell you), then the counter top guys will come out, measure the template and that is expected to arrive about two weeks later.

In the meantime, our cabinet guy is going to salvage the counter tops that we have now (Kevin built them so they should come out intact) so that we can use our kitchen while we’re waiting for our counter tops to arrive.

Did I mention that the counter top company threw in a complimentary sink? Well, they did. And it’s going to be NICE. It’ll be one of those under the counter type of sinks so we’ll be able to just wipe food and crumbs down into the sink as opposed to that stuff getting caught under the lip of the sink. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I’m pretty jazzed about that and the best part? We didn’t have to pay for it! WooHoo!

So … yeah. This stuff is probably pretty boring to you guys, but it’s all I can think about right now so … sorry about that. But it’s interesting to see how our simple little kitchen upgrade has morphed into a completely new and modern kitchen project.

I just pray it’s worth the money and turns out the way we want.