Nov 27, 2011

Chalkboard inside the kitchen cabinets!

So many of you have inspired me by adding chalkboards to your kitchens, that I had to do something in my own kitchen. Well, I thought about it and thought about it. Where could I put a chalkboard in my kitchen... Then I came up with it--INSIDE the upper cabinet doors!!  

Don't look at my messy cabinets!!!  Look at the doors!!!!


I thought about getting the chalkboard paint, but I wasn't sure how well it would work or how messy it would be. So I decided to go with the chalkboard contact paper instead, and let me tell you--that stuff is great!  When you get it, it looks like it's just regular black contact paper. I was certain it wasn't going to work, and I'll admit I was a little disappointed. But I read on a couple of reviews that the paper needed to be "seasoned"  by rubbing chalk all over it, and once I did that, it worked just like a chalkboard. (It even makes that horrible screeching noise sometime when you write on it with the chalk.)


We're using the chalkboards to keep track of our grocery list. Every time we think of something we need, we just add it to the list on the inside of the cupboard door. Then, when it's time to go shopping, the list gets copied to a grocery list. Before, we always said we would keep a list, but it never happened, because we never really bothered to start one. Now the list is very convenient, and there's no chance of losing the list and having to try to remember what was on it before we go shopping.

Now there was one issue that needed to be solved. And that was where to put the chalk. Of course, I had to find a pretty solution for storing it. It couldn't just stay in the box, because then we'd never use it, and that would have defeated the purpose. The chalk had to be where it was easy to get to at all times without having to look for it. I guess I could have just laid a stick of chalk in each cupboard, but that didn't seem very practical. It seemed like it would probably get lost and dirty. I really wanted it to be convenient, but at the same time out of the way, and it had to look pretty.


After scrounging around for something to put the chalk in, I finally decided on using a crystal Partylite candle holder. It's the perfect size to hold a box of chalk, plus it's pretty and keeps the chalk dry. I still haven't bought an eraser, but the terrycloth covered sponge I'm using seems to work great, and as an added benefit, I can just throw it in the washer or wring it out in the sink if it gets too chalky.

I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I had just enough contact paper to line the inside of all the upper cabinet doors. Not only are they practical, but they also look good too! 


Oh! and there's also the added benefit of sometimes finding unexpected love notes!



Sep 11, 2011

Before & After: Our Kitchen

I think you've all heard the story about how I have been wanting the refrigerator, microwave cart and china cabinet flip-flopped. I, unfortunately, was becoming a bit of a nag about it, because I knew it would make the kitchen feel bigger and make it more efficient. Well, Jim didn't see that. I think all he saw was the trouble it was going to take to hook up water on the other side of the kitchen for the water dispenser and ice maker.

How the kitchen was.
Last week, I calmly asked him why he didn't want to move the refrigerator, and he explained he didn't see how it would gain us any space. So I finally found a way to explain it that made sense. I explained that the refrigerator encroached almost three feet into the room from one side, and the wall also encroached almost three feet from the other side of the room. That was six feet of encroachment total. If the refrigerator was moved beside the wall, there would only be three feet of encroachment. Now that he understood, and suddenly he was on board with changing it.

Now, I didn't let that rest too long... Two days later, we got the parts he needed to hook up the water. Then yesterday, it happened!!! Jim moved everything around, and I couldn't be happier!!!

How it looks now!
Once it was finished, Jim looked around and was happy too. Of course, he then had to take credit for the idea and asked me why I insisted the kitchen be the other way for so long!  And you know what? I don't even care, because I so much happier with my kitchen!!

Here are some more before and afters!

Before
See how cramped it was. I couldn't even use that space or really get into those cupboards. I felt closed in, because the refrigerator and the microwave stuck out into the middle of the room taking up all the floor space. It was awful!

After
Now you can see all the space I have. I can get into the cupboards and the drawers. Jim and I can actually work in the kitchen together.  The pegboard that is leaning against the wall is going to be hung up in that location, so I can hang up my pots and pans. That's what I used for them at my apartment and I loved it!

Before
Do you see how the wall stuck out into the space? That's the wall I told Jim encroached into the room. It made walking around the table difficult. Plus with the table where it was, it was hard to get into the china cabinet.

After
Now you can see that the wall and the refrigerator take up the same space. It's given us so much room. I can now get into the drawer on the microwave cart more easily. As an added plus, we now have a place to store the leaf for our table! We never had that before!

Another view of my new kitchen!
We noticed this morning that the room was much brighter over by the china cabinet. I think it's because the refrigerator, which has black sides, isn't blocking the light from the window. 

After
Do you see all the room there is to walk around the table?  I'm loving it.  Jim and I are no longer bumping into each other. Not that bumping into him wasn't pleasant, because I do enjoy being close to him, it's just it was hard to get anything done!  Now it's easy to move around.

Now my next project in the kitchen is to paint those cabinets white! I think that will make a huge difference in making our kitchen look bright and friendly!

So what do you think?  Better, huh?

Toodles!

May 16, 2011

Trip to Detroit

Sailboat as seen from our room.
Last September, Jim did his final work related trip for the Census Bureau, and I got to go along! It was the first time he had been able to take me with him when they sent him on trips, so that was pretty cool.

Anyway, while Jim was in his meetings, I was able to wander around Detroit (well, as far away from the hotel as I felt safe to go, which wasn't far), and I had my camera with me.

Another view from our room.
While I was out and about, I made friends with a local. He didn't talk very much, but I think his name was Harvey.

Harvey
I think he was getting bored with my conversation at this point.
We stayed at the Renaissance Center, which is the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. (Just thought you'd be interested in that little piece of trivia.) 


 Inside the Renaissance Center

Another view of the atrium. 
When we were on our way home, I snapped a picture of this church too. I love old churches.

Sorry, I don't know the name of this church... 
So that was our trip... I know it was a while ago, but I thought you'd like the pictures.

Please leave a comment!  I love having conversations with all of you!