I had ideas for a whole five on friday post which I haven't done in forever but decided I'd focus on our kitchen upgrade and share some of my favorites from our kitchen.
Here are a few before pics.
When I see these pictures all I see is orange! That's what I always said- everything is just so orange!
And now the after pics:
Ok to be fair- the before pics look especially terrible because the lights were on and I took the pics with my iphone and the after pics are in natural light with a camera. But still- just seeing this is so gratifying! We are thrilled with how it turned out.
What we did:
1. Replaced the original builder's grade laminate with level 1 granite. We were on a budget and didn't want to spend much since we aren't likely staying here forever! I went to the granite store and said "I want the whitest and cheapest granite you have." And that's what we got. I think it is called Dallas White.
2. We had our cabinets painted white. Our sweet painter had never painted cabinets before and I think it's safe to say he won't be doing them again. I think he under quoted us for all of the work that they needed. He spent a lot of time priming and sanding the cabinets, painting the cabinet boxes and then spraying them and doing a whole other coat once they were hung again and then touch ups.
We used Benjamin Moore White Dove and are very happy with the color.
Painting the cabinets made a huge impact but if you look closely you can see some paint chipping off around the knobs from my nails. They are not perfect and I'm sure they will need touch ups every few months, but it was definitely more economical and our cabinets were in really good shape so getting all new cabinets was never even considered.
3. Christian installed the white subway tile backsplash. I was really pushing for hiring someone but he insisted he would do it better (perfectionist- he is!) So the money we saved from that made up for the 3 full weekends that I had my kids by myself ;) We chose grey grout to pull in the grey walls and grey in the granite. I have never loved grey grout and usually preferred white (like in our old house) but I'm so happy we went with grey in this kitchen.
4. Next I painted our Pottery Barn bar cabinets black and found some accessories for the floating shelves and finally found art that I love (from Target) for above the bar cabinets.
5. Now I need your help. We still have our espresso Pottery Barn table and espresso Target chairsand we just can't decide if we should paint them- black? white? or buy new? And what color to buy? We attempted many times, unsuccessfully to strip the table and stain it to be natural like the floating shelves and no good came from that (and a very frustrated husband.) So what do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions.
And I just can't find a mirror that I love to hang on that big grey wall. I just bought this one from Target and love this one from West Elm but they seem like they're too small for the space.
And if you haven't seen our previous house kitchen renovation you can click here to see our IKEA kitchen.
In the past few months it seems everyone around me is talking about essential oils but most of them haven't tried them. Oils have been a part of our life for about 3 years and I truly love using them.
The biggest reason I love oils so much is because no matter the problem you feel like you are doing something to treat it or prevent it naturally. The worst is being a mom and seeing one of your kids hurting or sick and you feel helpless. But with oils you are armed with a bunch of ways you can support your whole family.
After talking about them to so many people and truly believing in them I decided to step out of my comfort zone (big time) and host a make & take so that some girls could try a few oils. I feared that it would seem "sales-y" so I was very clear that no one had to buy anything. One thing I really hate is feeling like you have to buy something.
So I made a little chalkboard with recipes (inpired by @jlgarvin) and set out what they needed to make 2 roller balls and a linen spray.
The girls loved it and were so excited about oils!
I decided if I am going to promote these oils I should be able to support anyone who starts using them. So I started a new IG where I will only post about how I use oils (@pagmina_oils) and I updated the tab at the top of my blog with more info about where to buy supplies and a link if you want to order oils through me.
I'm even hosting another make & take this weekend! Let me know if you are local and want to come!
I am not an oil expert, but I am so happy to share the ways I use them.
Reid earned a reward after weeks of bribing him to tell us when he needed a new diaper. One morning he woke up and told Christian right away. So off to Market we went! Of course Carter got the reward too because...donuts!!!
After Reid finished his donut he was looking out the window and admiring the fire escapes on the buildings across the alley. He was obsessed.
Carter & I are totally ready to spend another Tuesday morning at Market.
I'm working on updating my blog! I actually downloaded the template and made the changes by myself- I'm proud! I'm working on changing the name since I don't write too much about being a new momma much anymore. So Pagmina is a nickname I got in college, it's my IG, Pinterest, and facebook name so I figured that would be an easy change.
I just have to figure out the URL and changing the name everywhere.
Today is a big day for us--the start of our kitchen upgrade! It wasn't so long ago that we did a complete kitchen renovation at our old house- you can read all about that here.
But now that we're back in our townhouse we just want to upgrade and update a bit without spending too much money since we aren't planning to stay here forever (although we're still loving being back!)
Today it's the counter tops- going from builder's grade laminate to granite. And then next week our cabinets are changing from walnut to white! I'm hoping it lightens up the whole downstairs!
I've written a bunch of times about how difficult it is for me to find bathing suits and bras. And let me tell you---I'm struggling BIG time! For the first time ever I went to Nordstrom for a fitting and came home with nothing!!! She recommended a bra and was going to order it for me, but it isn't made in my size!!
So online I went---and I've been ordering them from Zappos and Amazon (because, free returns, of course!) And did you know that you can get Natori and Wacoal and a bunch of other good brands so much cheaper?
At this point I'm over spending $70 for a bra that kind of fits, so my latest bra that works ok is a hot pink Natori bra that was $15!
On a similar topic- I went to Old Navy this week and picked up a pair of grey pants for Reid that were on sale. The tag said $8.49. But when I paid they came up at $1.47!
The reason I went to ON was because I ordered these jeans online and wasn't sure I had the right size so I went to try on a smaller size. I ended up keeping the 2's. And FYI they're $26 (and 8% cash back with ebates!)
***I've even trained my husband although he still struggles with the no free returns policy.
Let's start with the ways we save $.
When it comes to groceries, home essentials etc I always compare prices and buy the least expensive (except PB- Christian is Peter Pan loyal!) Since I stay at home I have the luxury of time so I know where to get the best deals for most of what we buy so I don't shop exclusively at one store- we frequently go to multiple stores each week (Target, Walmart, Costco, BJs, and our local grocery stores) Not only does it save us money but also gives us activities to fill the hours!
We live 2 minutes from an outlet mall with J.Crew, Gap, Banana Factory so it's so quick and easy to run there. And I get e-mails all the time with extra coupons. So although I've been wanting the UGG slippers that were everywhere around Christmas instead I just got a new pair of Gap Factory slippers on sale, with an extra 50% and then a 30% off coupon so I paid $3.86. Also this week I got a black puffer vest, regularly $64.99 for $10.38. Deals like that just make my day!
As much as I'd love a pair of Rag & Bone jeans, I just can't justify spending that much right now so instead I found$59 jeans at Nordstrom that are so comfy and I actually really love them.
Most of my other shopping is online so Ebates is my best friend. I can't recommend it enough. I have the cash back button in my tool bar so as soon as I go to a website it pops up reminding me to sign in with ebates then I click it and that's all I do! You get a percentage off of your purchases back in cash. Free money! Why wouldn't you do it?! I'd love if you'duse my link if you want to sign up. I get some cash for referring you and you get $10.
And now for the splurges:
I go by the "cost per wear" equation! I got a new pair of quilted UGGs this year and they were on sale, but still $191. But knowing my current day-to-day lifestyle I knew I would wear them a ton and I just prefer UGGs over some other less expensive boots.
And my Hunters- totally worth it! I know I could've gotten much less expensive rain boots- but I look forward to putting them on whenever it rains. (And...mine are from Costco a few years ago- and were less than $100!) It's been so rainy lately that I'm thinking I may need to add a pair of red Hunters for variety!
A piece of clothing that I really love or a classic staple. White lacy blouses are my thing. I can't have enough and if I see one that I love- I buy it. This year I also got a leather jacket at the Nordstrom sale- totally a splurge but since it's a closet staple I talked myself into keeping it.
Jackets and some clothes for my kids- especially now that Carter's are handed down to Reid- I'll buy him North Face or good quality coats since they'll last for years. I also splurge and get them a few cute Boden tops or more expensive tops so that they'll have a few cute outfits for pictures and holidays. Otherwise their play clothes are not expensive.
I'm a few months late but I don't want to forget these things about Reid at 2.
Reid turned 2 on November 22nd.
He talks a lot! Here are some of his most repeated phrases!
"I so sleepy."
But he isn't necessarily tired, he says it when he doesn't want to do something or isn't getting his way.
Over and over as he's putting cars down a slide or putting out a fire with his fire engine.
He points to everything and asks what it is even when he totally knows what it is!
His manners are pretty good and he usually automatically says thank you when you give him something.
"Show you something."
He grabs your hand and leads you around to explore somewhere. He says this if we're at a familiar place or a brand new place. He's ready to explore.
"Take it off."
He's very particular and if I'm wearing something he doesn't like (a robe, a jacket etc) he'll tell me to take it off.
He hates when my hair is up and demands that I put it down. He will throw a huge tantrum until it's down. Then when I put it down he immediately laughs and smiles.
"Mommy comes back."
Thank you Daniel Tiger, He says this to reassure himself whenever I go anywhere or he goes to school.
"Mommy loves you"
He says repeatedly if I go somewhere or if I go to a different room for 2 seconds he'll be on the hunt for me.
When he wants to be held. If I'm cooking or baking he needs to see what I'm doing.
He never says yes.
He will repeat what you asked him for instead? "Reid do you want a banana?" Instead of yes he'll say, "Banana."
"I love you" or "I love you too."
Randomly throughout the day. He includes the too even when I don't say it!
He went through a phase when if he wasn't getting his way he would run to the stairs and climb up them, knowing he'd get my attention.
He would lay on the stairs when he wasn't getting what he wanted.
He naps about 1 hour, but wakes up a beast most days. He sleeps from about 7:30-7 but goes through phases when he's up closer to 6 and days when he would happily stay in his crib until 8.
He takes things from Carter and runs away smiling and laughing and that makes Carter furious. Reid's had time outs and apologizes but you can tell he just thinks he's funny. He also sometimes hits Carter if he's mad. Oh brothers!
He doesn't eat much. He loves Life cereal and scrambled eggs and can eat an entire slice of pizza but otherwise we wonder how he's still a little chubby because he hardly eats lunch and dinner. He does love milk so he drinks a lot of it.
He's into fire engines and dresses up as a fire fighter most days and stands by our fire place holding a bullhorn and pointing a fire extinguisher at it to put it out. He also loves fixing things and often is carrying around tools.
He's still obsessed with his lovey, bunny.
Loves the show Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder.
He does well at school and doesn't cry anymore. At his thanksgiving program he sat in his chair and didn't make a motion or say one word when they were singing songs. He just sat nicely and watched his teacher. I thought it was super cute.
We had a small family party for him. But the night before the party we were at Urgent Care for 2 hours and my anxiety was so high that we ended up just having my sister's family come the next day and then Christian's family another day.
He told me he wanted a blue birthday party so that's what he got!
Hi! I'm Paige! I spend my days with my sons, Carter & Reid. Dido radio is on constantly in my kitchen and I hide out at Starbucks with an iced coffee whenever I get a chance to blog. I share about things I love and motherhood- the celebrations & struggles.