Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kitchen Re-Organization...part 2!

Well, the past two days have been spent primarily in my kitchen, emptying cabinets, reorganizing the contents, and putting everything back.  Though if I'm going to be completely honest, Monday was spent doing what I just said, Tuesday was spent wondering why I tore my kitchen apart and sitting there staring at it, lacking motivation to finish the job, and today I kicked my butt and quickly whipped things together and took pictures so I could show you some of what I've come up with!

It hasn't been the amazing transformation that I dreamed it would be, but, on a very limited budget and when working with less than ideal cabinets, I'd say that is certainly better than it was!  Some cabinets really didn't change much at all, so I'll just share with you some of the highlights : )  Enjoy!

Baking utensil drawer.  I found these great clear plastic containers at the local Bargain Shop!  They were only $2 so I bought them out.  Literally.  I'm on their "call list" for when they get more!  These originally had lids attached but the ones with separate lids were $5 and I didn't want to pay that much so I just cut the lids off!  I didn't want the lids anyway!

Spice/knife drawer.  So, this drawer isn't completely finished yet.  When I get more of those containers, the spices will go into one of those and then I'll be able to see what they are more easily.

My lazy Susan has become my baking supply cupboard.  So far Levi hasn't figured out how to get into this one, so these things are safe for a while longer...  Also, as many things as possible went into canisters.  Little items (like food colouring, etc) are grouped in bowls or containers so they're not floating around aimlessly.

This is my weird corner cupboard.  I find it far more useful now though : )  The top shelf is placemats (rarely used).  I've made use of the depth of the cupboard with those long, flat margarine containers.  They act like drawers so that I can just pull out the container to find what I want instead of digging to the back of the cabinet.  Eventually I'd like to have two more of the Bargain Shop containers, one for the middle of each shelf, and then two additional margarine containers for the other side. 

Baking central.  I moved my beaters to be with the rest of the baking stuff (they used to be top shelf in the cupboard with all the plates and bowls).  Also, I bought grippy shelf/drawer lining so that I can stand everything up.  The lining is also helpful in my one drawer that has a hole right through the bottom.  Did I mention I would love some new cabinets?!  Eventually my dream may come true...

Casserole dishes/slow cooker.  The slow cooker used to be in my "random cabinet" which had my blender, slow cooker, mixing bowls, strainer, and pitcher.  I think this placement makes a little more sense.  I also added two nails into the cabinet door to hang my oven mitts and hot pads.

The fridge hasn't been touched yet, but my freezer is getting better.  I abhor plastic bags in the freezer.  They are nuts.  When trying to find something in the freezer, I've often just gotten so frustrated that I'll just shove everything in with disgust and slam the door, only to be greeted by my overzealous ziploc bags of bread, chicken breasts, and peas the next time I open the door.  Unfortunately, bags are just the easiest way to store things in the freezer...they take up the least amount of space.  Well, remember those Bargain Shop containers that I mentioned?  Three more in here!  I've labeled them "meat," "bread," and "veggies" so that I can easily pull out the container that I need and find what I'm looking for without half the freezer landing at my feet.  Brilliant.  The freezer still has a ways to go, but I do think I'm well on my way to actually enjoying a good ol' freezer dive every now and again.

Pantry.  Top shelf - least used appliances.  Second shelf - cereals and snack foods (also corralled by boxes/containers to sort types of snacks).  Third shelf - pastas, soups, baby food, etc.  Fourth shelf - bulk spices, graters (this is a no-play zone for Levi so I don't need to worry about the graters being within reach...I just make sure the door is closed at all times), baking stone (because it's the only cupboard where it fits), Levi's bibs and wash cloths (again, in a container of their own).  Floor - bags of flour, sugar and oatmeal to re-stock the canisters, and a larger appliance.

These little containers were also $2 at Bargain Shop.  (The woman working there knew me well after 3 separate visits to buy containers in the span of just a few hours!)  It helps so much when everything has it's own place : )  I think I could be a great salesperson at The Container Store...

Cleaned this up a bit...
And voila!  That's my kitchen, on its way to being organized.  I spent a total of $25 on containers and drawer/cupboard lining.  I'd call it well worth the investment.  Now, which room should I tackle next?  Levi's bedroom, perhaps???

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kitchen Re-Organization...part 1

So...pinterest*.  Who's with me?  How many home renos and redecorating stories can be blamed on pinterest, really?  TONS, I'm sure.  Having just bought a house and being in the "making it our own" stage, I have been stalking pinterest faithfully, looking for ideas for each room of the house.  Last night it was kitchen pictures that were catching my eye.  Now, I would LOVE to have a brand new kitchen with custom cabinets and... ... ... drool.  But that said, I am positive that I can make these cabinets last for a few years yet and even be happy with them.  All it'll take is some re-organization and beautifying.  As I combed through the pictures, a picture of a fridge stuck out to me.  My first thought was, "why would someone pin a picture of a fridge?"  And then I looked closer.  And then I went to the website behind the picture.  And before I knew it, I had explored the kitchen of a perfect stranger.  And right then and there, I was inspired to revamp my poor kitchen into a thing a beauty.  A work of art, per se.  Ok, maybe not that far, but indeed, it could be much more functional and organized than it is right now.  Everything has merely been brought out of boxes and thrown into the nearest available cupboard.  Time for an organizational overhaul!  And since I was inspired online by someone doing this very thing, I thought I would share what I hope will be a transformational moment right here on my blog.  So today is part 1.  BEFORE pictures!  I am slightly embarrassed, but as with every messy spot in my home right now, I just push the embarrassment aside and explain to myself and others that a month ago we weren't even living here yet.  So there.  Messes aside, this is what my kitchen looks like now:

"back" of kitchen, opposite sink

right side of u-shaped kitchen

left side of u-shaped kitchen


fridge (yes, I hope to organize this as well!)

below microwave

below microwave, right side

below microwave, left side

above microwave

above fridge
oop!  Levi!  How did you get in here?
above stove

double door cabinet on left side of kitchen

corner cabinet - pretty useless design if you ask me...tiny opening but great depths of cabinet space beyond!  Any suggestions???

single door cabinet on right side of kitchen

drawer on right side of kitchen, right side of dishwasher

drawer on right side of kitchen, left side of dishwasher

drawer on left side of kitchen, beside stove

left side of kitchen, beside stove

lazy susan on left side of kitchen sink

under sink

right side of kitchen, right side of dishwasher

right side of kitchen, left side of dishwasher
There.  Now that I've posted these pictures, I'd better get to work!  I hope to have some "after" pictures for you all by the end of the week.  Is it terrible that the thought of this makes me giddy??  Wish me luck!

*Pinterest is a vision board-styled social photo sharing website where users can create and manage theme-based image collections. - Wikipedia

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life has kinda been a blur the past month or two.  It has been wonderful.  It has been crazy.  It has been overwhelming.  It has been perfect.  It has been tiring.  It has been stressful.  It has been reassuring.  It has been encouraging.  It has been...interesting.

I'm sitting here, in front of my laptop, thinking that I want to blog.  I want to let you all know how I'm doing, but I'm really not sure.  I've had so many people say that they've been blessed by the honesty and openness on my blog and I really long to be open like that, but lately it seems like it's just easier to give surface updates and keep what's inside buried deep down.  Out of sight.  Tucked away safely where no one can comment or judge. tonight the night to bare all and share?

I think maybe it's not.  At least not here. 

I believe that sometimes God nudges us to share; to be open, not knowing who is reading or how he's going to use you.  Perhaps me sitting in front of my laptop tonight is a result of that nudging.  I don't know.  But I do know that I don't think I'm ready.  I don't think I have words to fully explain what I'm feeling.  What I'm feeling about the move.  About being a pastor's wife again.  About being a mother.  About where I've come from and where I'm going.  About LIFE.

But I do know this: as I think through things, mulling them over and tossing them around in my mind, I know that God is good.  I know that it's not always obvious.  I know that it doesn't always feel like God has any idea what is going on, or it doesn't feel like he cares what is happening to us, but I do know that he's good.  And he can be trusted.  And that is what we just need to hold onto sometimes. 

God is good.  He can be trusted.

God is good.  He can be trusted.

God is good.  He can be trusted.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


*So, I wrote this post DAYS ago and noticed yesterday that it was nowhere to be seen on my blog!  Agh!  Fortunately it was saved as a draft so all I needed to do was post it.  Weird...  Anyway, keep in mind that this was written LAST week and Nathan is now mostly done his first week of work, I've gone through the closets by now. : )

Life is good.  New job.  New community.  New church.  New home.  While change can sometimes be overwhelming, I feel like we are adjusting well.

Nathan officially starts work on Monday, though he has spent a day or two at the office already just moving in and getting settled.  I think he's just really excited to have a job and office of his own again!  He keeps saying that he's not exactly sure what his days will look like and what exactly he'll be doing, but I'm sure it'll be a good fit.  It's obvious in so many ways that we are meant to be here and what we know of the job seems like a great fit for Nathan, so it'll be fun to find out more about what Nathan will be doing!

I still have a few closets to go through and organize in the house, but otherwise we're basically unpacked.  I'm really enjoying all the space we have (the house is about 1000 square feet with a fully finished basement and a 100-150 square foot screened deck that acts as another room on the house).  As I was unpacking the first couple days, I kept running out of space to put things and started wondering if we'd bought too small a house.  Then I realized that my basement and closets were still mostly empty!  The house we were renting last had an unusable basement and next to no closet space so apparently I'd forgotten that we had all that storage space available to us now!  I mentioned a couple posts ago that I was finding I'd forgotten how to settle.  Well, I think I'm remembering.  This house is really beginning to feel like home and, after a few instances of, "that's right, I CAN unpack this box even if I won't use this stuff for 6 months," it's been hitting home that we're here to stay.  I like it. : )

Levi has adjusted to the new surroundings quite smoothly.  We tried to keep his schedule as normal as possible and he didn't even really seem to flinch.  He just carried on with life, exploring and playing and sleeping and eating.  He's a pretty laid-back kid so it didn't really surprise me that he adjusted so well.  He spends his days exploring the house, playing with his toys, discovering the joy of banging on playing the piano, and pretty much just being the happiest baby I know.  That said, I think he may have a few more teeth coming, cause there have certainly been a few days when ON Mommy is better than close to Mommy.  How can I mind that, though.  There are few things as sweet as having your 10 month old crawl into your lap and press his face against your neck.  Oh the things I'll never take for granted...

As a family, we have been busy exploring our new town.  We have gone for countless walks (Lennox loves that, though he rarely gets to be off-lease these days, except in our yard)...we've walked down almost every street in town now.  We've gone garage-sale-ing (more of that as soon as Levi wakes up from his morning nap!).  We've gone for a picnic in the park.  We've gone to the beach and played in the sand.  We have been enjoying lots of family time while we have it because, before long, the pace of life is going to pick up and we'll have to wait for time off work to be able to have lazy days like this again!

We have gotten lots of fun pictures and video lately (having an iPhone is really handy!).  Here are a few... (let me know if you can't watch the videos, k?)

Playing on the deck

Super-cute buckle pants, just like Auntie Alicia's!

Kinda unsure about the feel of being covered in sand

Sitting in the stream with Daddy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

House pictures!

I finally took some pictures of our new house today!  I guarantee there will be times when it is cleaner and more "put together" and I could definitely have taken better pictures, but I was tired of waiting and I know at least some of you are dying to see where we're living these days so these will have to do!  Keep in mind that we only moved in 10 days ago and are not completely unpacked and settled so you WILL notice random boxes and things that just look out of place.  That said, if you would like a better look, come visit!  That is my formal invitation to you.  We are a perfect stop if you're on your way to anywhere and need a meal or a bed.  We are also a 3 minute drive from a beach...have I convinced you that you need to come visit yet?

Dining Room


Living Room

Main Bathroom (tub/shower behind door)

Master Bedroom

Upstairs Hallway (door on left is Levi's room, first door on right is a closet, then master bedroom, door on the end goes to the deck)

Basement - play space, tv space, craft space

Basement bathroom

Basement bedroom (guest bedroom)

Storage room/Nathan's work out space

Under the stairs storage space (there is another section jutting out to the left that's about the size of this space again)

Laundry area on main floor (excuse the mess, it's laundry day around here)

Screened on the bottom, screen on can see the garden and garden shed out the back and our yard goes to the far green fence that's on the other side of some light coloured rocks back there.

There are a few things that I'd like to do to this place to make it home, so how about I post "prettier" pictures as I finish each room, yes?  Hope you all enjoyed the tour!  This is where we are!