Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kitchen Redo - Before and After

After 2 years of living in our house, I finally decided to do away with the boring white kitchen. I had to keep myself busy while Nathan was studying for his board exams, so I decided it was time to re-do the Kitchen. I enlisted my good friend, Ashley, and we got straight to work.

We had a budget of $100 for the kitchen, and I am proud to say that we were right within our budget. We have also budgeted an extra $100 for a new kitchen table and chair set, but we haven't found the perfect one yet. So, hopefully that will come sometime soon. For now, enjoy!

* Before *

This is the dining room. I had previously made this curtain for our old house, which had a smaller, and shorter window. As you can see, it looked pretty silly on this larger window. We also needed to add something more to the space. This other picture is the blank wall above Natalie's play kitchen. It had to go, because it just screamed of unfinished whiteness!

The actual kitchen. See - not much to look at. It was just a plain ol' white kitchen, and I seriously didn't have anything on my walls. It was quite depressing, so obviously, a makeover was necessary!

* During *

We knew we needed to add paint to the entire space, so we prepped with painter's tape.

Working all day in the kitchen left little play time with the girls. So, we kept them entertained with some paint projects of their own!

This is my friend Ashley, hard at work!

We took ordinary things that I had around the house, and re-purposed them to fill up the space. Luckily, we had some spray paint, some round stickers, and a vinyl cutter for plates.

Ashely and I got pretty ambitious, and decided to add some chair railing to the dining room. We had quite a fun trip to Home Depot, where the guys thought we didn't know how to use a saw. But, we showed them what girls are all about, and came home to paint our railing.

* After *

This is our new dining room. We added paint, chair railing, and a ruffle to the curtain. I am still going to add some candle sconces to the sides of that picture on the back wall. Then, I plan to redo the high chair cover to modernize it (and put away my sewing stuff that's hiding underneath it). And, lastly, I hope to get a new table and chair set . . . if I can find one!

Next, we took some poster board, quilt batting, fabric, and ribbons to make this awesome picture holder. It really fills up that boring white space without too much clutter, and the fabric matches the dining room curtain to tie everything together a little more.

And finally - our Completed Kitchen! It looks so much better with some paint and decorations on top of the cabinets. I still have to add some finishing touches (like a picture in that frame), and a few other things I have. I am also going to add a clock above the kitchen sink and some vinyl lettering. But, even without all that - it still looks so much better, and all for under $100!

Maejae turns 1

Happy 1st Birthday Maejae!

July 4th Baking

When Natalie turned 2 years old, I decided it was time to teach her how to run a kitchen. I know - it's a little young, but we love cooking together. This summer we haven't had a lot of baking time because it's too hot to keep the oven on. So, when July 4th came around, I decided it was time to bake a yummy treat for our get-together. Natalie was so excited, and made both of us wear our aprons! Here we are, making our festive 4th of July apple pie . . .

First, we made the dough from scratch, and then divided it up into 3 sections. Natalie added some food coloring to 2 of the sections to make our Red and Blue. She thought it was pretty cool watching the colors mix, and got her hands nice and dirty.

Next, we rolled out the bottom pie crust, and added our cut up apples, butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Natalie did a very good job (I didn't put anything in the pie, she did the entire pie filling herself).

And last, we put the top on our pie. We made an American Flag Apple Pie!
Natalie was very proud of her festive treat.

And this, my dear friends, is what happens when you leave your child to pick up the mess. She made a mountain, and buried all the colored scraps of pie crust. Then, decided to sprinkle it on her toes. She even managed to get some on her cute little face!

Baking with Natalie . . . one of my Favorite things to do!

Father's Day

I almost forgot to post our Father's Day wake-up treat for Nathan. Here's Natalie showing her Father's Day surprise to her Daddy.

And here's Maejae giving her Daddy some loves!

Girls Night Out

Ashley, Jenn, Pam, Kristen, Jillian

I have some awesome friends, whose husbands are all in medical school with Nathan. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, we like to have a girls night out. And, because it was Ashley's birthday, we had the perfect excuse to go bowling!

This is Pam after her first strike (possibly in her entire life). Then, she got another strike. She was so excited she had to text her hubby and tell him. Pam thought she was gonna win, but as you can see, I creeped my way in and stole the lead! We all got a good laugh at that.

Seriously - I am so blessed to have these girls in my life. Medical school would be tough without a strong support group, and we are always there for each other. We are each other's "Arizona Family"!

Sister Lynn's Farm

Natalie has a lot of friends at church, and one of those friends is Sister Lynn (one of her nursery leaders). So, a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to the Lynn's farm for a family BBQ.

Brother Lynn is an amazing working man! He built a separate bunny barn for Sister Lynn to raise her bunnies in. And, he built every single cage in that barn! It has a swamp cooler to keep the bunnies nice and cool during the summer, and has enough room to take visitors on a tour. When we were there, a lot of the bunnies had babies, and some of them were so small, they didn't even have fur yet. The Lynn's have about 200 bunnies in that barn, including some incredibly large bunnies that look like small dogs! They also have some chincillas (who, by the way, have the softest fur I have ever felt), and I loved cuddling with them the best. Natalie and Maejae were a little shy at first, but they soon warmed up and started giggling. It was so fun!

This is the biggest bunny she had while we were there. Pretty impressive, huh?!?


Next up was the turtles. They had about 15 large turtles, and a bunch of baby ones.

Maejae loved the turtles, and even got to sit on one. They are incredibly large for backyard turtles, but they are so fun. I tried to get Natalie to take a ride on one of the larger turtles, but she just wanted to touch them. As you can see, they are very friendly, and love the attention. (And that's Jessica, Sister's Lynn's daughter, and one of our babysitters).

* A list of animals at the Lynn Farm:
- About 200 bunnies
- Somewhere around 50-100 chinchillas
- 15 large turtles, and 20+ baby ones
- 8 dogs, and about 10 puppies
- 10 Chickens


After we took our our of the farm, and played with all the animals, we had a lovely BBQ prepared by Sister Lynn. Then we spent time on the trampoline, swing set, and playing in the pool. It was such a fun time, and we're so excited for our next visit!

I love this picture of Natalie!

We all took a turn off the slide - except for Natalie, who was being a chicken that night :)

A special thanks to Sister Lynn and her family for having us over!