Monday, September 15, 2014

Casual Monday

I once had a job where the bigwigs met on Fridays. Instead of Casual Fridays we got to wear jeans on Mondays. Which, when you think about it, is a brilliant solution. Fridays are already pretty much awesome, even without jeans. Whereas Monday? Eh. 

In that same way, my favorite links for the week (typically presented as the High Five Friday). Because today is meant to be anything but "eh."

1. Retro-Fitting

via Style by Emily Henderson
From the first moment I laid my cable-viewing eyes on her room designs, I have loved Emily Henderson. So I was pretty excited about her kitchen remodel since we are in the midst of our own. Bonus! She re-used her existing cabinets and called it "retrofitting."

2. Little Pink Komendas

Little Green Notebook via Domino
The day is finally here! Domino magazine with Jenny Komenda's house inside. All of her rooms are my favorite but I especially like this fun, colorful playroom (and she's got a special announcement on her Facebook page).

3. Twinsies

via NYTimes
I'll have to pick up a copy of Domino for some airport reading. My husband and I are headed to one of the most romantic places on this list later this week. Sadly, not Hawaii.

4. Perspectacles

All this reading means that I've been needing to wear my eyeglasses more. Warby Parker's Fall Collection is now online and I see lots of clear frames like the ones I wear. 

5. Birthday Girl

My baby turns eight today!!!! We celebrated all weekend with a family party and this tie-dye birthday cake. Her favorite color is Rainbow.

Hope your week is off to an amazing start!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fireside Reading

Brrrrr!!! The weather in Michigan just turned cold and now all of a sudden it's fall here. Weather like this makes me want to curl up and read all day. Maybe in front of a roaring fire??
Elle Decor

I have been reading a great series by Daniel Silva about an Israeli spy / art restorer named Gabriel Allon. Oh, the places he goes! It is so fun to read about Zurich and Munich, Vienna and Venice, all from the comfort of my cozy couch. I'm on book 4 and there are 14 in the series.
via Fieldstone Hill
I'm also really looking forward to a bunch of new books including a re-telling of Jane Austen's Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, who is the author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (another favorite series). 

via Home Adore
I want to binge-read all of Sophie Kinsella's books. Her new book Shopaholic to the Stars comes out next month and I'm headed to northern Michigan for an evening with the author (and my mom!) event.

That list of books should keep me busy ... at least until the One Room Challenge starts! Are you participating? Have you read any good books lately?  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Since almost everything had been taken out of the kitchen cabinets for our remodel, this past weekend was a good time to get organized!
Clockwise from top left: cooking pantry / coffee bar / snack cabinet / dish storage

Having lived in this house now for nine months, I have a better idea of how we use the space. We don't have one big pantry in this house like we did in our last one. And things had gotten somewhat randomly put away in different areas. I decided that the cabinets where we have been storing food should serve as different zones. So we now have a cooking pantry, snack cabinet, baking cupboard, and "extras" area--since we like to buy ahead at the grocery store when items go on sale. 

My two takeaway tips? 1. Sort like items together. I used a combination of rattan baskets, plastic bins, and wooden fruit crates to corral all sorts of stuff. 2. Decant. I consolidated as much as I could and took things out of their original packaging when it made sense, like fruit cups for lunches and cracker sleeves. 

I thought long and hard about what we had and where it could possibly go, and even researched(!) the best practices of real cooks (since they obviously are using their kitchens). Edie posted today about setting up a baking center and has some cool tips. Hurry to read it before 2 p.m. Eastern time in order to get her 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality for free!
And how about an update on our progress?
Clockwise from top left: husband preparing to take out stovetop cabinet / new range / empty oven cabinet
We removed the wall oven, stovetop, and stove cabinet over Labor Day weekend. The new range was delivered that week and installed (I've made taquitos, a pink cake, and brownies so far). Tonight we choose countertops. We are keeping the existing cabinets to $$$ave. 

So as not to lose any of our cabinet space, we re-purposed the cabinets we removed in new areas. The base and upper cabinets from our peninsula are in the dining area. And the stovetop cabinet has been turned into a rolling cart with the addition of casters from Home Depot. 

Follow along on Instagram for more updates.  

Mai Autumn on Etsy

At the end of the day, THIS is what my kitchen is really all about! ;) Currently 25% off!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kitchen Detail Inspiration

Three ideas that may not happen in our kitchen remodel but I like enough to share with you anyway.

1. Built-in (microwave) oven
Our microwave lived on the peninsula that we ripped out so we could move the refrigerator so we could install the brand-new dishwasher. Do you feel like Mouse could use a cookie?? Anyway, the microwave could use a new home and one idea is to add it to the open hole where the built-in oven once was. 

2. Champagne service
Our new range went into the space where the stovetop had been. Since the drawers in the cabinet below the stovetop held all of our spatulas, stirrers, and other kitchen tools, we need to think about a new way of storing and/or displaying these items. I really love the look of a vintage champagne bucket. 

3. A little bit of open shelving

Eliminating all of the upper cabinets in our kitchen would not be a good solution for us, but one or two shelves near the new dishwasher for our everyday white dishes and glassware? That could be chic and make unloading the dishwasher less of a chore. Win-win!!

And, one last idea that totally won't work in our kitchen but I love anyway...  
This pot nook under an arch makes my heart sing.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these three ideas in your home?

All images via Pinterest.


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