Thursday, May 31, 2012

Clutter Free: Kitchen Cabinets

Do you ever have those moments where you just can't take anymore? You know something has to be done. Right. That. Minute. That's how I felt this weekend and it was due to my train wreck kitchen cabinets. Somehow over the 20 months of living in our home they became a complete mess. Actually, to be honest, ever since day one they have been a mess. I've made it work. Moved things around. Moved things around again. And again. Until I gave up - until this weekend!

My biggest problem? I have to much storage. I know what you're thinking, you can NEVER have to much storage!! Coming from apartment living where we usually only had three to four kitchen cabinets, my current kitchen is a huge change. In total, I have 12 upper cabinets, 11 lower cabinets (including the island) and 8 drawers (including the island). And I'm constantly trying to figure out the best place to put all of my kitchen items like dishes, coffee cups, vases, pots & pans, etc.

I have a long wish list of items I want in my kitchen, mostly accessories as I have all of the main appliances and tools I need. But, one of the most important items on my wish list: DISHES! Somehow, in the almost 7 years that the hubs and I have been married we have lost/broken more than half of our dishes. I blame this on the 7 moves :). We went from a set that served 8 to 5 plates in total (and that's only after you combine dinner and dessert plates!). Add on the fact that neither one of us liked our dishes anymore, we were ready for a change. Our goal: find classic white dishes that we will never outgrow. The budget: find a serving of 8 under $100 (including plates, bowls, coffee mugs).

While walking around Walmart I decided to check out there options 100% thinking I wouldn't find what I wanted. Low and behold I found the perfect set of classic white dishes for us. Price tag for a service of four was only $25 - SCORE! So, I threw slowly positioned two boxes in my cart and headed straight to the check out. When the cashier rang them up they were on clearance for $15 - DOUBLE SCORE! So, I ran back and picked up another serving of 4. For $48.00 I left with a service for 12, which is awesome since Brian has a HUGE family and we host a lot of gatherings.

As soon as I got home I couldn't wait one more minute. I had to wash all the dishes and clean/organize our cabinets. I only tackled a few cabinets this weekend, but I am thrilled with the results and I can't wait to show you! Now onto the good stuff:

This cabinet held our mismatch set of glasses and our sad amount of dishes. Yes, that is only three bowls.

I took out all of the green dishes and replaced them with my new lovely white dishes. The second to the bottom shelf holds one matching set of coke glasses (which will be replaced when we find glasses we like) and beer glasses we bought when we first got married.  I moved our wine glasses to the top shelf and Brian's grandmother's tea pot next to them.

Here is our coffee/tea station - but you wouldn't know that by looking at it. Complete mess. Our top cabinets are really long, which you can't really tell; however, I also stored all of my vases in this cabinet for easy access.

I took our all the mismatch coffee mugs, they made me cringe. Except I have one I bought while we visited Hershey Park and Brian was given a Semper Fi mug a few years back that had to stay. The bottom shelf holds all of our coffe mugs. The second shelf stores all of our to-go cups, coffee filters and tea bags in a container I already had on hand. The top sheld holds all of my vases.

I couldn't stop there, so I moved on to my baking/spice cabinet. It was semi organized. But still made me cringe.

The bottom shelf still has my spices and colanders. The second shelf has my supply of powder sugar, brown sugar, regular sugar and flour. The top shelf has all of my baking decorations and misc items.

The clear containers I already had on hand and I made labels by using a scrapbook punch and cardstock I also already had. Free labels! I love using the clear containers because I can see how much I have left.

I used extra cardboard from the new dishes to make a tiered spice system. I don't expect it to hold up forever, but until I decide how to store my spices it will work. It was free so I can't complain.

This baking box holds all of my coco powder, baking powder, baking soda, cupcake liners, etc. It's an old shoe box I covered in scrapbook paper and added a cut out label. Again free!

And I still had enough energy to do one more. This cabinet was so full of my tupperware containers that they jumped out at you when you opened the doors. This had to be changed ASAP as the Mr. was getting tired of picking them up off the floor.

I moved stuff around, downsized our tupperware stockpile and organized to make this cabinet more functional.

And this was the result - an island full of Goodwill goodies. They were donated later that same day so I couldn't talk myself into keeping anything. All of that from only 7 cabinets - I still have many to go. All of the organizing was done for free with stuff I already had on hand - can't beat that!

With my cabinets being so organized now it makes it so much easier to cook dinner, bake and pack lunches. I can't wait to tackle the other cabinets!

Do you rearrange your kitchen cabinets often or do you have them perfectly organized to fit your needs? Have you purchased any new kitchen gadgets, accessories, dishes? I would love to hear all about it!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Catch Up

Memorial Day weekend is over already? I don't know where the time the going, but I can't believe it is almost June!!! Last week our computer crashed which caused me to have a mini meltdown. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully awesome brother-in-law that loves to be our own personal Geek Squad. So, he had our computer since last week up until last night. I will had to admit, without internet, I was a lot more productive :)

Our Memorial Day went by crazy fast - it didn't help that Brian had to work Friday - Sunday from 4am to 9pm. The Indianapolis 500 was this weekend and he had to pull long days since he works for the Indiana State Police. So needless to say, when Monday rolled around he didn't want to do much of anything. However, I was thankful I was able to spend Memorial Day with the best Marine I know - my husband! We took sometime to remember close friends and loved ones who served in the military, some we lost in war, some we lost in old age but all remain close to our hearts.

While he was working Saturday and Sunday I had a cook out to go to, a girls luncheon to attend and some major house cleaning/organizing. So I have a few projects to share this week.

Did you do anything for Memorial Weekend? If you have young children, did you explain the importance of Memorial Day?

I'll be back soon with some projects - hope you stick around!


Monday, May 21, 2012

When Life Gives You Bananas...

You make bread!! :)

This past weekend the Mr had to work all weekend, which is not normal for us. But, it was kinda nice to have the house to myself for one day, by Sunday I was ready to have him back :). I was cleaning the kitchen when I noticed these two lonely and extremely ripe bananas staring at me. I instantly thought of my moms banana bread recipe. Growing up to the smell of something baking in the oven was a staple in my childhood home. We had banana bread atleast once a month in my house because my family loved it. So I did what any lonely woman would do...started baking! This is an extremely easy recipe.

Momma's Banana Bread Recipe

You will need the following:

1/2 stick soften butter
2 large eggs
2 or 3 ripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour (I use all purpose)
A dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon so I add 1 teaspoon)
OPTIONAL: Nuts, chocolate chips, etc...the possibilities are endless

Preheat your oven to 350 while you mix the following ingredients.

In one bowl, I smashed the bananas with a fork and whisk.

Next I combined the sugar, butter and eggs to the smashed bananas. It's Ok to have some chunks of bananas but you want to smash as much as you can.

In a second bowl, I mixed the shifted flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

Next I combined the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mixed until all ingredients were blended together. At this point you could add nuts or chocolate chips. I usually put chocolate chips in mine but I was all out. This recipe will make on regular loaf or two small loaves, I used one regular loaf pan sprayed with non-stick baking spray.

Threw it in the oven for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted came out clean. Depending on your oven you should cook it between 35 and 50 minutes.

I love my banana bread warm, so I literally waiting three minutes before I put it in my cake stand and sliced away. This may or may not have happened at 11:00pm at night on Saturday. I may or may not have enjoyed three slices slathered with butter. It was delicious! If you don't have a go-to banana bread recipe this is a must try.

Do you have a recipe that reminds you of your childhood? Or a recipe that you always cook when you're feeling a little down? I would love to try it so either post it below of if you blog post a link to your recipe if you shared it!


I'm Still Here..

It's been a little over a week since I've posted anything and I just wanted to pop in and say I'm still here. I have a few post I am trying to finish up, I hope to get back to posting several times a week.

The past week and half has been a difficult time for me personally. Mother's Day seems to always put me in a very down/mad/sad/crazy person mood. For several reasons, but the biggest reason is the fact that my mother passed away in 2008. Even though its been several years, I'm still not 100% to the point where I can talk about it without rambling and turning into a puddle of makeup. Maybe one day. Maybe never. We shall see.

So, needless say last the past two weeks has been pretty boring in my world. The Mr tries his best to keep me busy during these days so I don't just stay in bed. But, I have a few post planned for this week so I hope you check back later to check them out!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Hey y'all! Happy Monday Wednesday! This post is a little late but I've been busy doing nothing. Literally. And it's felt ahh-mazing :) Monday I took a personal day off from work since I had off Tuesday for Election Day {one perk of being a State employee - the random state "holidays"}. Monday I had lunch with a close friend and did nothing the rest of the day, it was pure bliss. Tuesday the hubby and I both had off, since we're both state employees, and we spent the day window shopping. Love days like that!

So needless to say, the menu plan is a little late! I did a quick trip to the grocery store today after work and I forgot my coupons so I was fully planning on blowing my self imposed $60 budget, but I am glad to say I came out only spending $56.28 {after saving $12.10 with my Kroger card}. So, this is what we have planned for this week!

Dawn: Sour dough english muffins with banana's and peanut butter
Brian: Banana and OJ

Dawn: Oven roasted turkey sandwhiches, graham crackers, goldfish crackers and grapes
Brian: Ham sandwhiches, chilli cheese ruffles, grapes, fruit snacks, and cheese on cheese crackers

Monday: We had grilled cheese and soup
Tuesday: We used as our date night since mother's day is this upcoming weekend
Wednesday: Spagetti and garlic bread
Thursday: Grilled bratwurst with grilled peppers and onions & grilled asparagus
Friday: Cheddar stuffed meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
Saturday: Grilled pork chops, mac-n-cheese and grilled corn
Sunday: Out celebrating my mother in law

Have you been sticking with your meal plans? Have you started using coupons? Are you trying a new recipe this week?


Monday, May 7, 2012

Living Room Reveal

Last time we discussed the living room it looked like this. Before I started Twenty63 we completed a few changes so I am finally adding some updated picture of our downstairs living room and kitchen area. Disclaimer: I am not a photographer. At all. I am using a camera B bought me five years ago and it's nothing fancy. But, it does what I need it to do right now so it keeps me happy. It would probably help if I read the manual and found out everything it actually did but that doesn't interest me I don't have time for that.

We knew we wanted this room to be cozy and since the room gets so much natural light we didn't want to do a really light or bright color. We wanted it to be warm and lived in. Like I've said before and will probably repeat a million times, we are very neutral people. Well, let me say B is a very neutral person. I would love to play with color and textures, but we like for both of us to agree on big changes and purchases. It keeps a happy home :)

 Let's get to the good part.....
 We picked Martha Stewart's Fawn color for the main walls in the living room and the kitchen. The fireplace is a lighter brownish color by Pittsburg Paints called Happy Trails We added bronze curtain rods and a light brownish/tan curtain with a very simple design. I would love to hang some DIY curtains made of a fun fabric down the road but this is what we agreed on as of now. The TV stand we bought from walmart, which was a great upgrade from the glass open shelf stand we had before. I like that you can't see all the cords and boxes we have hooked up to the TV. We also took down the boob light old light and added a ceiling fan which also gives us a lot more light when needed.
This is probably the truest picture of the two colors. The sun pouring in from the windows makes the picture look a little fuzzy to me. The collage added above the fireplace was a clerance find at Bed Bath & Beyond, along with a famous 20% off coupon made it impossible for me to pass up. The frames are in a bronze/espresso finish. I have been looking for some additional accessories to add on the mantel but I haven't found anything I like yet.
In the kitchen we have painted and updated the blinds above the sink. The doors leading out to the patio haven't been updated yet because they are a speciality size. I am trying to determine how we will change it without spending over $100. I am still on the look out for some pillows or pillow covers to add some color into the living room.
 I can't wait to change out the gold handles on the cabinets and pantry door. I am thinking of trying to spray paint them to save some money, as soon as I decide I will be sure to update y'all! Please ingnore the black space above the microwave, the cover fell off and we are looking for a replacement since it cracked in half -- awesome.
 This is what I call compromise. I'm not a huge fish tank person. B loves them. This was a free fish tank and we already owned the stand that its sitting on and it fits perfectly in this space. Do I LOVE it - no. Is my husband happy - yes! Sometimes, that is all that matters. The hallway is the same color as the fireplace as well. You can kinda see our half bath in the left corner (which has also been updated so I will post about that soon!).
 This is the other side of the hallway and it is the door to the garage - next to it is the shoe closet. As you can see my dogs love photo time.
 Moby kept sitting infront of me and I swear he was saying "Please, please take my picture". At only a year old he is the newest addition to our family.
And Nevaeh, who I lovingly call Fatty, ran to her normal spot as soon as I moved into the kitchen. She is the old lady of the house being the ripe age of eight :)

So you don't have to go to the previous post, lets do some before and afters:



This room isn't done, it will be ever changing, but I like where we are at right now. You may also notice we changed the furniture layout too. I desperately need to get some art up - maybe if I stop pinning and start doing then this room would start moving faster :)

TDC Before and After
I'm linking up to one of my favorite blogs for the first time!!

Have you painted anything recently or updated a room big or small? Are you planning any rooms changes? I would love to hear all about it :)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bathroom Update

This weekend has been a busy one in our household. B hurt his neck somehow on Friday so he has been moving a little slow. I hate to see him in pain, I would much rather be the one sick, in pain, sad, etc than to see him go through it. Are you like that with your husband or boyfriend?

In between the million errands we made a stop at my sister in law's to deliver her bathroom art. I managed to take a few pictures just for you! This is a small bathroom so its hard to take a decent picture plus I was using the good old phone camera :)

She loved them in person and had B hang them within the first 5 minutes! The biggest win was hearing my 11 year old nephew say "That's cool"!! At 27 I'm still doing "cool" stuff which made me smile.  :)

Did you have a busy weekend or did you do any quick room updates?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Living Room Progress - Part 1

When we first walked through our home we fell in love with the open layout downstairs. We loved how the kitchen and downstairs living room were open to each other.

Kitchen as of August 2010 (Realtor Picture)

Living Room as of August 2010 (Realtor Picture)
We weren't a fan of the yellow color on the wall when we walked through. We weren't a fan of the honeycomb blinds which were a cream color. But, we knew we could make it work. We moved our stuff in and lived with it for a few weeks.

This is a picture taken while standing at our kitchen island. The garage door is to give you an idea of where we enter the house, right into the kitchen/living room area. We knew right away we wanted to paint, change the blinds, add curtain hardware and curtains. We knew right away we were going to replace the light - it was just to small for this space.

I like the corner fireplace, even though I've learned its hard to decorate around. We originally thought about hanging our TV over the fireplace but since our cable is in the corner across from the fireplace we couldn't do that right now.  I knew I wanted to hang a mirror or collage of some sort above the fireplace. I was also hoping to find a new TV stand.

Now, this is a view from our living room into our kitchen (the door in the hallway is our half bath). Not much changing in the first update round of the kitchen, mostly just paint. We would love to update the appliances, install hardwood floors, and paint the cabinets but its not in the budget right now. That and we want to live in our spaces for a while and figure out how we use it.

Before we purchased our house I thought it would be easy to pick paint colors. NOT! Not, for us anyways. We are very neutral people so I knew the walls wouldn't be anything crazy - not in a large room like this. So, I wanted to find a tan or brownish color. After eight paint samples we finally picked the ones to throw up on these walls. Since this update was completed before the blog was created I don't have pictures showing all the paint samples but if you check back tomorrow I will be revealing the current living room set up!

Do you find it difficult or easy to pick paint colors? Are you a more neutral person with big spaces or do you like to take a chance on fun color?