Kitchen Ketchup

I would say forgive me for that pun in the title, but let’s be honest, I love puns. Even bad ones.

It’s safe to say the biggest project we’ve tackled in the house so far – and the most we’ve blogged about – is the kitchen. I realized that there were a few things in the kitchen that changed during the time I dropped the ball on blogging, so I figured I would play a little ketchup (alright, last one) and share the progress.

If you remember, the kitchen looked like this when we moved in:






We lived with the kitchen this way until we were able to rip everything out and start from scratch. You can read more about that here, here, here, here, here, and here. (I told you we basically only blogged about the kitchen…)

And so we were left with this beautiful – albeit empty – kitchen:

from screen porch

And are you ready to see where we’re at today?






There are a few areas where we’ve added some new stuff – quite a few new counter-top appliances – and there are still a few more things we need to take care of, but it has definitely come a long way!

First, Matt and his brother added some white subway tile. We toyed around with the idea of adding some color in the tile, but ultimately I was afraid anything like that would become dated sooner, and really I just love the look of a clean, white kitchen (when it manages to stay clean that is…). We choose gray grout for a little contrast.


The tile helps add a finished look to the kitchen – where before we just had white walls – and it’s much easier to keep clean than the plain walls were.

The other most noticeable step we’ve taken in the kitchen is to add the pegboard. We tossed a few ideas around for the blank wall, including open shelving, artwork, or painting it some color, but we settled on hanging up some pegboard to serve as both functional storage and an interesting visual.


I chose a soft, buttery yellow color for the pegboard because I thought it went nicely with the blue on the other wall, was subtle enough to not completely overshadow the room, light enough to help keep the room bright and airy feeling, and sort of goes along with the vintage look I’d like to incorporate more of into the room. For now, we’ve added our most colorful or interesting looking items to the pegboard (Except for the pots and pans up top, that was pure function) and we’ve even added our spice rack. We were really excited about that since we wouldn’t have to drill more holes in the wall to mount it again. (We took it down when the tile went up and really didn’t want to drill through the tile to hang it up in the same place where it used to be.)

Finally, one smaller project I added to the kitchen was a DIY paint chip calendar. I’m pretty certain saw this on Pinterest (where else?). I got the paint chips from Home Depot and picked up a cheap frame from Michaels. This was actually a mistake – the frame came with a flimsy plastic insert instead of real glass, so dry-erase marker was really difficult to erase at the end of the month. Eventually I got a replacement piece of glass, also from Michaels, to swap out and it has since been much easier to write on and erase.


I choose yellows, greens and greenish-blues for the colors I would use. I cut the paint chips into small squares, about 2″ x 2″, I believe, and then simply mounted them on the back of the paper that came in the frame using scotch tape. You could probably use some poster board or something else to mount the chips on, but it didn’t seem necessary. I left myself a little more room at the top than on the side and bottom so I would have room to write the month.


Overall it was a pretty simple project that has proven to be really functional and beneficial.

So, that’s about where we are with the kitchen. We still have a blank spot above the calendar we’d like to fill, we need to choose a pendant light to hang above the sink and the door to the screen room will have to be repainted eventually, but we’re pretty happy with the way things are looking these days!

I also promise that we have made some other changes and upgrades outside of the kitchen – stay tuned.


Memory Jar, 2012 Edition

Happy New Year, readers! This year instead of coming up with any resolutions and looking forward, Matt and I took a little time on New Year’s Eve to look back. We did this with the help of a little DIY project I started over a year ago – a simple memory jar. I originally took this idea from YoungHouseLove, where I believe they do this during the month of November to keep track of what they are thankful for, but I modified the project a little and lengthened the time period to a full year.

The jar we used was a large mason jar that I spray painted white. It’s not perfect, and I had intended to paint some words on there, maybe with some chalkboard paint, but of course I never got around to it. In the end, the jar served it’s purpose anyway.


So, for the past year Matt and I have been saving little mementos – ticket stubs, receipts, a score card from mini golf – or just jotting down random memories on scraps of paper and leaving them in the jar, which we placed out on our console table by the front door so it would always be within our view. Then, on New Year’s Eve came the best part – it was time to empty the jar and read through the last year.


It doesn’t look like a lot here, but there was a good amount to read through.

Sifting through the memory jar was more fun than we both expected it to be. There were plenty of things we remembered clearly, and would have remembered without the memory jar, like watching our friend Irene run her first half marathon:


Or the time we visited our friend Dustin for a weekend:

20121231_201726 (1)

But there were also some smaller things we may have forgotten if we hadn’t written them down and left them in the jar:


Part of the fun was that each time we sifted through another item, we wanted to text someone and remind them of the memory too, as evidenced below.



We’ve already decided to keep the jar out again this year and fill it with all the great things we’re hoping 2013 will bring, but as far saving this year’s items we decided to scrapbook them. I picked up a Smash Journal from Michael’s for half off and as soon as we choose some pictures from the past year, we’ll get those printed out and add them to the items from the jar. So far the memory jar has to be one of the easiest, cheapest, and still rewarding, projects we’ve done, and will hopefully continue to do.

What about you guys – any New Year’s traditions out there that go beyond the typical resolutions? Or are you super serious about resolutions and are among the few people who are able to work on them and keep them all year? (Although after looking through that memory jar I’m starting to think maybe I should make a resolution to improve my handwriting…)