Monthly Archives: February 2016

Kitchen Refresh On A Budget

Remember this kitchen disaster?  Well, we fixed it.

White Kitchen


At many one point, I didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off  – I don’t advise remodeling while 8 months pregnant, without a contractor. Scheduling was definitely a challenge, but I have to say I’m so pleased with the results! What started as a basic cabinet update turned in to a complete cosmetic overhaul – new counters, floors, backsplash, sink and fridge. Oops.

I’ve included more details and sourcing, below, but for now let’s enjoy some before and after pics, ya?

Before: had to dig into the archives from when we bought the house…

Kitchen Old

After: Still bright, but updated: 

DSC_0167White Kitchen DSC_0174 DSC_0171

and then these hams had to get in on the action

Counters: The only modification we made to the counter, was shorten the island to make more space for the walkway, and add an elevated bar. We found Vermont Danby marble from Arizona Tile here in the metroplex. Metroplex Granite helped us choose a slab, cut it based on my preferences with the pattern, and installed it seamlessly within a few weeks. We absolutely love the look, but I’ll be honest we’ve noticed some etching over time. I’m basically the counter-gustapo at all times, wiping and cleaning, wiping and cleaning. This should get interesting with a toddler…

Cabinets: We basically gutted the cabinets but kept the frames intact, and ordered new cabinet fronts and drawers from Cabinet Doors Depot. They arrived ready to drill flush hinges, which made installation a heck of a lot easier for us. We hired painters to come do a thorough sweep of all cabinets, doors, frames and fronts – I chose Simply White to keep things clean and crisp.

Floors: The floors took 4 full days of careful handiwork, but our guys did an amazing job. We ordered the porcelain tile from Home Depot, which turned out to be pretty easy to work with, and used light grey grout via this inspo pic.

Backsplash: Subway tile for the win! So easy, so economical, so clean. We extended the backsplash up behind the stove, which made the biggest difference (before we had a nasty spice rack). It made the whole room feel more cohesive.

DFW Steam Cleaning came out and sealed our counter tops and backsplash – which I highly recommend to protect your kitchen.

Happy remodeling!

Jack playing with Rudy's cup Jack and Rudy's Cup

Friday Finds // Spring Edition

2.26.16 friday five.001

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1. Free People Off The Shoulder Blouse: I’ve loved the Tibi top since last Spring, but I haven’t bit the bullet consider the price tag. When I stumbled across this Free people version last weekend I nearly jumped out of my seat. Same look for a fraction of the price? Sold. This with some fun earrings (a la #5) and shorts or jeans makes an easy, festive spring look.

2. T3 “Whirl Trio” Styling Wand: My go-to hair routine on the days that I have to wash my hair is to blow dry it as fast as possible, and then run a curling iron threw it. I brush it out and voila. To me, that’s easier and faster than a blowout, and most of the time I can rely on it holding for a few days. The only problem? I have a 4 year old curling wand from CVS that’s managed to fryyyyyyyyyy my ends like no tomorrow. I’ve done a lot of research on curling wands, and although pricey, this one seems like the best investment. Add it to my wish list.

3. Rose All Day Phone Cover: While I was pregnant, skipping out on alcohol wasn’t that bad. Until we got to spring. It was painful watching my friends sip on a crisp glass of rose while I could only participate with a measly mocktail. This phone cover perfectly conveys my enthusiasm for getting back into rose season.

4. Honest Beauty Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer: We’ve become pretty obsessed with the Honest Company products for Jack (I could write a whole review on their diapers alone. But this isn’t about diapers. It’s about makeup). When Honest came out with their Beauty line, naturally I was intrigued. I love their mission to bring quality products with natural ingredients, without a hefty price tag. I did their free trial to test out their skin care products, and was overall really impressed. The bundle system allows you to pick any 3 products for $50, and ships every 4-8 weeks (you can set your timing preference). For my second bundle, I ordered this moisturizer along with the creme blush and primer. This moisturizer comes out more like a mouse, and gives me that medium/light coverage I need for basic day-to-day wear. I’ve been wearing the color cream and it matches my skin tone perfectly.

5. J.Crew Earrings: LALALALALA BAMBA! That’s what I think of when I look at these earrings. I’m not sure what it is about spring that always makes me want to buy the biggest, most festive earrings (and I’m not a jewelry person -?), but these certainly fit the bill.



Today, as we go into the hospital for our (hopefully) LAST round of chemo, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to dust these pictures off to share.

In my desperate attempt to create normalcy for Jack’s memory, I was adamant about taking Christmas cards last year. I wasn’t willing to lose another “first” to cancer, and thankfully our resident photographer Stephanie Drenka came to my rescue.

I love these pictures for many reasons – Jack’s ginger combover, the dog’s chaos, Nick’s laugh – but most of all because even amidst a difficult time, it’s a happy memory for us to look back on some day. I hope you enjoy!


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