Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Ta DAAAAAAA……..

So tell me, what does your dream kitchen look like? I bet it has nothing to do with peeling/chipping paint, boring colors or outdated and ugly hardware, does it? Guess what! My dream kitchen didn’t include any of those either, but that was what I had.  And after much hinting, whining, and overall complaining about the state of  my kitchen, hubby finally caved!

It started at a home show….

Notice the worn paint and ugly hardware?

We found a company that refinishes cabinets for much less than it would cost to do what I wanted to do.  To be honest, I wanted to rip out the cabinets and start all over, but, well, since we are not movie star rich, we had them refinished and repaired. Then installed new hardware, whaddaya think?

Looks brand new!

 

Now the really BIG part. The countertops were a really boring, cream colored laminate. Everything in the kitchen sort of just blended together and was, yawn, dull.

My lovely, long counter. We have fantastic parties here!

And the drumroll please………

TOTALLY different!

It looks like a completely different place now! And that lonely door I showed you before, w/the peeling paint and bad hardware….

IDK if it comes thru but the colors of the backsplash and hardware are in the granite.

So….that was my Christmas present! Lucky I love cooking! I am a happy girl to spend my whole day in there cooking away! And now since it’s crazy cold and snowing outside, I suppose it’s time to get busy!

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I’m (no longer) dreaming, of a new kitchen…..

Wish I could do music notes on here and I would’ve put them in the title! I am so excited! My kitchen is finally done and when I get it cleaned up tonight, I’ll take some pics and share them with you. Right now it’s quite a mess, I’m expressing my inner Betty Crocker today and baking some pumpkin bread and then my husband’s requested cookies, and then, well, it’ll be dinner time.  Have I told you my thinking when it comes to baking? Just in case you missed it, or I forgot to tell, if you haven’t made a mess of the kitchen, you’re not doing it right! Needless to say, I would much rather share photos of my Christmas gift when it’s all clean and shiny!  So check back later tonight or tomorrow and you’ll see what it was and what it is now! Yay!

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Fire extinguisher, anyone?

Whew! That is, me, I’ll be needing the fire extinguisher now! Sorry I’ve been MIA, once again. Life has been crazy busy. I’ve done two big volunteering projects at my children’s school.  And between soccer, being ill for a couple of weeks, and the every approaching holidays, I feel like I’m that proverbial duck. You know what I mean. You see it sitting calmly on the water, just gliding about, not getting anywhere very quickly. While under the water, those little feet are paddling like mad! that has been me. The house went straight to weed and it’s difficult to catch up. But I am nearly there! Thankfully, since next week is Thanksgiving, and we’re having it here! No worries though. It’s all family and they know I’m not the world’s best housekeeper!

I will say that I’ve got several recipes lined up in the queue to get posted. No time now, today is parents/grandparents day at school and I”m having lunch with my most precious son.

Oh, one more bit of exciting news. We are getting our kitchen done by the end of the month and I can’t wait! I wanted it finished before thanksgiving, but it didn’t work out. That’s fine, I’ll have it all finished by Christmas! And new windows, but that’s not nearly as glamorous as a kitchen reno. It will just keep us warmer, since the ones we have now are extremely drafty. BRRR

I promise I’ll get the recipes up this weekend! And most of them have pictures!

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Excuses, excuses…..I’m up to my cabinets in excuses

If there is one thing in this life that I do not do well it is excuses. When I ask my children why they have not done what they’ve been asked to do, they tell me, ‘oh, i didn’t clean my room because blah blah blah.’ My normal response to that is, ‘I don’t want excuses, I want action. Don’t tell me why you haven’t done it, just go do it!” And usually it’s because they got distracted by something shiny, cleaning their rooms is not high on their priority list. Unless of course they are getting something out of it, like allowance or a play date or something they want. I try to keep that way in our house, they get something they want, I get something I want, as in a clean house. Well, not perfectly clean, we do live here after all. It’s never completely clean all at once, unless Grandma and Grandpa are coming for a visit, and even then it’s a struggle to keep it that way. You know, some days, it seems like they are following right behind me making messes as I’m cleaning. Someone please tell me I’m not alone in that!

The reason for this post is the painter guy who’s been in my house for 4 days now working on my kitchen cabinets.  he seems nice enough and all, but I”m making a major investment in my home and paying them a good amount  of money to refinish my cabinets and make them look nice and new. Well, as new as 11 year old cabinets can look. I’ll admit, this is a bigger job than they initially thought it was. I kind of compare it to the closet clean out scenario. You get feisty one day and decide it’s time to clean out your closet and start pulling stuff out. And you keep pulling stuff out and there’s more and more and more. Until the closet is empty, but the room is a complete wreck and you’re looking at this pile of stuff thinking, ‘where in the world did all of this junk come from anyway?’.  Needless to say, it takes way longer than you thought it would to sort, toss, organize the stuff that was in there. Heck, you may even get to the point you’re sick of dealing with all that crap and just chuck it back in thinking you’ll deal with it later. (I’ve done that before!)

On about day 2 of Mr painter guy’s stay at my house, I would look at what they were doing and ask questions, point things out, etc. I understand they have a process they go through to complete this kind of job. He would look at it and say, ‘we’ll get there.’ Ok, well, on day 3, when I would ask a question, or point out something that I saw, he started giving me excuses. ‘Well, we can’t restore the cabinets to factory new.’ Or ‘over time you’re going to have some wear here.’ Or ‘The other guys were working on that yesterday.’  And my response to all of that is, I don’t want your excuses. I want you to say, ‘oh, ok, I’ll take care of it.’ That is all I need to hear. I”m not pointing a finger of blame at anyone, I am simply pointing out something that I see. I know how I am after looking at the same thing for long periods of time, my eyes get used to what I”m seeing and don’t notice any flaws, or I can’t quite get to the answer of the question. It’s natural, and it’s normal. I wasnt’ telling him his work sucked. I wasn’t telling him he was a crappy painter. I was merely pointing out things that I saw that needed to be addressed before he left.

Today is day 4. I wrote down all of the spots that I saw needed a little more paint. Particularly in high traffic areas. I told him I really wasn’t trying to be nitpicky, and I”m not. I don’t want him to have to come back any more than he does! But the other part of that is, I”m paying them alot of money and I expect it to be done right the first time around. I”m not paying them to do a half-ass job. that’s not what we were sold.

Ok, off my soap box now, I am starting to get a fear of heights! Hopefully he’ll be done soon and I”ll post some before and after pix! Thanks for playing!

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Home Improvement, Part 1 (continued)

So we had the guys here ALL day yesterday, they spent most of the day cleaning the 11 years worth of grease and dirt off the cabinets, blech, and voila! they were actually white! They did some of the painting, but didn’t have time to paint everything, so lucky me, I have another day of being tied to the house to look forward to. Oh joy. But if it means I get something really amazing done in my kitchen, I’ll deal.

I will say, though, that I”m not totally there yet. I kept asking questions and the answer was ‘whatever we don’t do today, we’ll do Monday.’ Ok, well then, they’d better be ready on Monday, because I’m not paying for anything til I’m totally happy!

I did take before pictures and when it’s all done, I’ll share the results, and I really hope it looks wonderful!

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Recipe substitutions

Well, I have learned the hard way that sometimes, one thing cannot be substituted for another when cooking. I was really surprised and thought it would not make that much difference, but in the end it really did.  I was making a chicken and wild rice soup in the crock pot.  It’s  a really delicious recipe i got from one of my sister-in-laws.  I’ve had it before and enjoyed it, so thought hey, it’s cold outside, definitely soup weather, let’s try something different.

It calls for heavy whipping cream. Guess what, I have no heavy cream, but what I do have is 1/2 & half, it’s half cream, it should work, right? Well, in a word, wrong. The soup was ok, but it was very runny, and I don’t believe it’s supposed to be quite as watery as mine was.  It tasted fine, but I have learned my lesson.

There are somethings I’ve learned that I can sub for another item and things are just fine, as in green bell pepper instead of red.  The red peppers sometimes around here are $1.50 each, which is pretty steep for a single pepper.  Oddly enough, the green peppers are usually less than half that.  Ok, it still works.  When I’m baking cookies, I use butter flavored Crisco sticks.  My mother in law gave me the tip.  She said it makes the cookies a bit moister and they don’t scorch.  Hmm, ok, I’ll give it a try. It works wonderfully.

I have happy accidents in the kitchen regularly, unfortunately, this was not one of them. I was underwhelmed by the result. Oh well, live and learn right?

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