kitchen reno!

Hello everyone and happy Sunday 😊 I have a really exciting post for you tonight as I’m sharing the results of a HUGE project that I’ve been working on over the last few weeks.

The kitchen in my townhouse has always been a place that I wanted to tackle a larger project and over Thanksgiving weekend I decided to officially get started. I am thankful that I have had a lot of help along the way to make the whole project possible. So big shoutout to Brittany, Shyanne, and my dad!!!!

Prior to the project my kitchen had light oak cabinets, silver pulls, and cabinets that hung overhead above the sink and island blocking my view to/from the living room. In summary, it was definitely not a kitchen to write home about….

The first step in this big project was to tackle the painting of the cabinets. I opted to use chalk paint from Country Chic that I purchased at Picks. I chose a dark gray “Cobblestone” and was so happy with how it turned out. I have had experience with chalk paint before and I knew that when doing my cabinets that was the only way to go since the prep work with chalk paint is extremely minimal. First step was to get the cabinets washed down with wood soap and ensure they were dry and ready to go. My friend Brittany and I removed all of the hardware and the doors and then got to work!

Since the base of light oak was easy to cover the island and the trim around the doors really only took one nice coat. We did touch up in some places but other than that the coverage was excellent. Then we painted all of the doors and I let dry over night. Those all required a second coat but looked great after that application.

The final step with chalk paint is the waxing which I did about 36 hours after the doors were dry and all hung back up. The wax helps to seal in the color and help the paint from damaging easily. You can reapply wax as often as needed if the cabinets begin to wear. It also helps to add a nice matte looking finish to the color overall.
IMG_2704

After the painting was complete I had 2 more main tasks ahead of me. One was taking down the overhead cabinets that were blocking my view from the kitchen to the living room. The removal process was quite the adventure to say the least and I’m so thankful my friend and neighbor Shyanne came over to help me. After we got them down it was amazing how much of a difference it made. It truly felt like a brand new kitchen and even a brand new house with how much it opened up my whole first floor.

IMG_2703

The other “final touch” to make the facelift complete was to choose new hardware for the cabinets. I found these great pulls with the brushed bronze and twine in an arrow shape at Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find something really similar in the correct size I needed for my drawers but I found a great knob at Menards that fit my budget and also had the same brushed bronze/gold finish. I added those to the drawers instead of one long pull as the size I needed was hard to come by.

 

My finishing touches to the project were to repaint the walls and ceiling that were affected from the cabinet removal and then add some new decor to the bare walls that came from taking down the corner cabinet near the sink. I was able to rework a lot of my cabinets and their organization since I take down 4 cabinets from over and near the sink. I had my superhero dad help me hang up the removed cabinets in my garage and moved a lot of my larger and less frequently used kitchen items out there! That way I didn’t really “lose” the space but I get to have a kitchen with a better layout for my house.

The new corner became home to 2 floating shelves that I bought and painted with the same chalk paint as the cupboards. I filled them with my spices as it’s a fun way to display them and they were located in a cupboard that I needed to rework. I also found this fun gold mail holder at Target that I screwed into the wall so that I can have a place to collect my mail and those items that need attention so I don’t forget. I also bought the white and gold hanging decor piece from Target and will use it as a jar to drop my keys in since it’s right at the entrance to my garage.

Lastly, I bought a 2nd letterboard because I’ve been having so much fun with the one at my office 🙂 This is the opposite of the one at my office as it has a white background and black letters. I hit pinterest up for some kitchen quote ideas and was certainly not disappointed when I found this one hahah. It matches my feelings towards bacon very well and I think it’s a good laugh for guests who will visit.

I am SO excited because this upcoming Friday I am hosting a big group of girlfriends for a Christmas party and I can’t wait to have them all in the brand new kitchen and have us standing around the newly opened island and living room and having an easy time seeing and talking to everyone!! I hope that you all are having a successful time preparing for Christmas next week (holy smokes….) and that you enjoy a wonderful holiday filled with family, food, a joyful heart, and lots of love.

I’ll be back with more soon! #sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

must-have Christmas music

Hello, everyone! I hope that you all have started to feel the magic of this season of the year. At the beginning of this week a blizzard rolled into town and gave us back our hope of a White Christmas 🙂 I know many of you may be sad about the snow but I’m excited that it’s back!

As Christmas approaches I figured it would be more than appropriate to write about one of my favorite Christmas topics: Christmas music. My close friends and family know about my deep personal love for Christmas music and all are ashamed when I break out my CDs and my pandora stations and playlists the day after Halloween….I can’t help my excitement. I love Thanksgiving as much as the next person but since there isn’t any “Thanksgiving music” that I’m aware of I hop right on the Christmas music train.

Over the years I have collected lots of “favorites” when it comes to my Christmas music and I love that my car has a 6-CD changer. It allows me to load in 6 CDs from my collection and keep them playing on random throughout the season. Admittedly I have more than 6 CDs for Christmas so I switch them out every couple of weeks but leave my favorites in as much as possible! I even created a big Apple Music playlist this year of all of my favorite and I listen it in my office during the day on my bluetooth speaker.

For those of you who love Christmas music as much as me (or enjoy it in a more reasonable amount…haha) I wanted to share a handful of my favorite Christmas albums for you to check out. MANY artists have ventured into the Christmas album realm over the years. Some are awful….but some are excellent. Here are some of my favorites and I hope you enjoy checking them out!

1800x1800sr

Chris Tomlin – Adore

This Chris Tomlin songs of worship for Christmas album came out in 2015 but I didn’t end up purchasing it until last year around this time. I was blown away by the CD on my first listen through and the music is truly beautiful. My first time listening to “Noel” from this album I was in my car driving to work last December. I was so overcome with emotion while listening to it that I was brought to tears. This is a great Christmas album for someone who appreciates worship music in general. Come and see what God has done….

If you only listen to one track: Noel – Chris Tomlin and Lauren Daigle 

michael-buble-christmas-album-cover

Michael Buble Christmas

This album really doesn’t need much explanation. It’s been a consistent listen for me since it came out in 2011 and Buble’s voice reminds me of those classic voices of my grandparent’s era of music. It’s velvet and effortless and this is one example of a Christmas album gone TOTALLY right for an artist 🙂 Ave Maria is one of my favorite Christmas songs and his version is simply stunning.

If you only listen to one track: Ave Maria 

she_and_him_christmas_album_a_l

She & Him Christmas

I will preface this summary with one question: What can’t Zooey Deschanel do?? This lady makes me laugh harder than anyone in New Girl and I’ve always appreciated her individual spirit and eccentric style. Zooey teamed up with Matt Ward to form She & Him as a musical duo. Their short and sweet Christmas album is simple and raw. I appreciate the minimal nature of it and it’s something unique to listen to. Zooey’s voice is untouched and free which makes it all the better.

If you only listen to one track: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

la_cvr_final

Lady Antebellum – On This Winter’s Night

This album is the one farthest removed from my normal taste in music but it has been a pleasant surprise. I had a couple of roommates in college who really enjoyed and appreciated country music which has never been an interest or liking of mine. I heard some Lady Antebellum through them and I believe that is where I first heard this CD as well. I really like the male and female combination dynamics in this trio and the music on this album is feel good listening for this season of the year!

If you only listen to one track: This Christmas

4050538244328_p0_v2_s550x406 (1)

Leslie Odom Jr. – Simply Christmas

Ahhh Leslie Odom Jr. can simply do no wrong. This man’s voice is something to be in awe of and I am SO HAPPY that he has a Christmas album. No one is quite like him stylistically and it’s just so impressive to listen to him and how he uses his voice as a beautiful instrument. The song I’m choosing below for you to listen to to check out the album has always been perplexing to me as far as why it’s considered a Christmas song…but just go with me on this one. His version is unreal…as a piano player I especially appreciate the piano solo during his version of the song.

If you only listen to one track: My Favorite Things

602537507498-1

Frank Sinatra – Christmas

Ending my suggestions with a suggestion that is as classic as it can get. When I was looking to add more music to my Christmas playlist on my phone through Apple Music this came up as a suggestion and it couldn’t be more perfect. Mr. Sinatra is someone who doesn’t need any explanation. He’s as good as it gets and this album has all of the Christmas classics.

If you only listen to one track: The Christmas Song

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I hope this list of suggestions provided some new Christmas music ideas for all of you. As always, thanks so much for reading. I look forward to sharing more Christmas related things with you over the next couple of weeks. ❤

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen