So We Are Remodeling Our Kitchen, Which Turned Into Remodeling Our First Floor….

Well, you know the old saying. If you give your husband a kitchen to remodel, he will end up gutting the entire first floor of your home. I’m living the grown up version of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”

We bought our house five years ago before the housing market started to rebound, so we got it at a great price. We faced what many people eventually face, though, which is a family that has outgrown their space. The house itself is large enough but the kitchen was small and not very user friendly. Everything was built in place – including the appliances – and the refrigerator we are currently stuck with is a small, apartment sized model woefully too small for our crazy hungry family of five. We couldn’t make the kitchen into what we needed without a complete gut job, because if you changed one thing about the layout, you had to change everything. Everything about the space was custom built to accommodate things as they were precisely, down to the very inconvenient baseboard heat. Continue reading “So We Are Remodeling Our Kitchen, Which Turned Into Remodeling Our First Floor….”

My Skincare Routine

Talking about my skincare routine today, aka “how I wash my face.” Riveting, no?

Still, I don’t do your typical face wash routine so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I use, how I use it, and why! Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a blogpost full of curve balls, thrilling emotions, and suspense!

Just kidding. It’s not going to be any of those things. But it should be fun! Here goes.


I wash my face using the oil cleansing method. I should stop right here and mention a little history about my face.

I’ve never had acne. Please don’t hate me, I have plenty of other annoying-horrible physical struggles, acne just isn’t’ one of them. I am, however, incredibly greasy. My pores are huge. And I’m prone it dark circles under my eyes and redness on my cheeks. I also tend to not wear makeup. There really isn’t a great reason for this, other than the fact that I just feel like I look WEIRD in makeup. I love lipstick and will wear that fairly regularly. I wear mascara every day. Other than that, I don’t really wear much. Because I have fairly even skin I can get away without too much makeup. But because I have oily skin, it doesn’t really matter if I wear makeup or not — it still looks oily. Such is life, people.

I’ve used all kinds of skincare products in the past. Probably many of the same ones you’ve used or are currently using. Many would work ok enough, but they would often leave my cheeks way too dry and would do little to shrink the crater-sized holes that are my gaping pores.

I learned about the oil cleansing method a few years back when I was trying to get rid of as many store bought products as possible and switch to more natural, homemade, and simple products. Although it sounds crazy to use oil on your face, in fact, it’s MAGIC! Just kidding. It’s not magic. It is science, though! Or more specifically, chemistry.

Oil cleanses oil because as we may or may not remember from chemistry class (I remember nothing other than our tie-dye project), like dissolves like.


The key ingredient to the oil cleansing method is castor oil. Castor oil is what does the heavy lifting for your skincare. Many people say that castor oil will leave your skin in better condition than it finds it, and I tend to agree. It’s incredible. Continue reading “My Skincare Routine”

A Quick Kitchen Refresh Project

Many of you know my love-hate relationship with my kitchen. I love to cook. I love to have my family and friends gathered together in the kitchen, cooking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. But my kitchen. You guys. It drives me CRAZY.

Everything in it is custom fit/made, so you can’t just change one thing without necessitating a total overhaul. Our fridge is way too small for a family of five, but we are limited to the custom spot that the previous owners designated for the fridge. My tile floor is freezing cold and the cabinets, oh…the cabinets. I shudder at just the thought. They are SO UGLY. They have this horrible yellow-orange hue that makes me crazy, crazy I tell you!

Last week I had just put the two little kids down for a nap and I went to the kitchen to get something and I don’t know how to describe it other than to say something just, uhh, snapped. I had a mental and emotional break and suddenly, I HAD TO GET RID OF THOSE UGLY CUPBOARD DOORS.

I looked at them. I realized they were attached with just a few screws. I thought, “I can handle that.” So I went to the garage where Mike keeps his screwdrivers, found one I thought would work, and went after it.

I took down all the doors on one section of my cabinets where we store our dishes and a few pantry items. It instantly made the kitchen feel lighter, fresher, and more modern. I was happy to be able to display our pretty dishes, many of which are hand made by my super talented sister in law who is a potter. And I felt proud to yet again be making our living space more fun and functional – not by buying something – but by finding creative solutions to the things that bother me.  Continue reading “A Quick Kitchen Refresh Project”

DIY Coffee Body Scrub

Today I wanted to share with you a quick, easy, and inexpensive recipe for a DIY coffee body scrub. In fact, if you are a coffee drinker, I bet you already have most of these ingredients in your pantry!

This recipe comes together in a snap, smells unbelievable, and does a fantastic job of smoothing out those rough patches on your face and body, all while leaving it nicely moisturized. And let me tell you, if you use this in the shower, it basically makes your whole bathroom smell like Starbucks. Talk about a lovely way to start your day! Continue reading “DIY Coffee Body Scrub”

Thursday Things I Love: Vintage Clothes, Handmade Gifts, and New Coffee Shops

It’s been a good week around here. The weather is gloriously hot, Mike and I have been busy working on fun projects, and we’ve settled into a good little groove after being away for the weekend. The kids are completely out of control but hey, I got both my bathrooms cleaned this week so I’ll call that a victory. (You take what you can get, right mommas?) Here are some things I’ve loved this week: Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: Vintage Clothes, Handmade Gifts, and New Coffee Shops”

Easy and Inexpensive DIY Bath, Body, & Baby Products

Last week, I made a bunch of all natural, DIY bath, body, and beauty products. I did quite a bit of research to find recipes that had ingredients that were simple, inexpensive, and could be used interchangeably. I had so much fun with this project. I love the idea that they are simple, good for our bodies, and that I can make them myself! Today, I’ll be sharing the recipes for:

I love soaking in the tub and take a bath about once a week. In the past, I’ve always soaked in a combination of epsom salts, oils, and an all natural bath bomb or clay mix. But there’s one thing those don’t offer: bubbles. It is really difficult to purchase an all natural bubble bath. In fact, I’m yet to find one that doesn’t have a fragrance, a synthetic color, or some life-preserving chemical in it. There might have been a time where I would have sacrificed natural ingredients for a good bubble bath, but now, I’ve got a new tub buddy and it’s just too important to me that I give her body natural goodness whenever I can.  Continue reading “Easy and Inexpensive DIY Bath, Body, & Baby Products”

Two DIY Face Masks & Hair Tutorials

I love homemade, natural face masks. I love the idea of taking everyday items and turning them into something nourishing for my skin. I think it’s so cool that you can take everyday items from your pantry and make a snack…or whip up a fun skin mask! Life is funny like that. I’ve been using two new face mask recipes lately that have evened out and brightened my skin. Each recipe only calls for three ingredients. Simple, inexpensive, and effective. Check them out! Continue reading “Two DIY Face Masks & Hair Tutorials”

Thursday Things I Love: Puppies, Dates, and Baby Slippers

This Quote:

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

This Puppy

My brother and SIL bought a puppy! Josh invited me and the kids over to meet Bowie and I had so much fun watching Theo love on that little doggy. Theo loves dogs. He has this weird sixth sense about them, too. When Mike took Theo trick-or-treating this fall, Theo asked one lady (at a house he’d never been to) where her dog was. Mike said something along the lines of, “Why do you think she has a…?” before he could finish he was cut off by the appearance of – you guessed it – a dog. So weird.

Oliver does NOT like dogs. He screams. SCREAMS. So that is why he is pictured above on the couch. With a blanket. Whimpering. And, ironically, holding a doggy stuffed animal. (Kids. Sheesh.)

In the bottom left photo, Josh let Theo have the leash to take Bowie out before we left. Theo and Bowie started running and before long, the two of them were tangled together. There was lots of laughing and licking. I’m not sure who was more puppy-like: Theo or the actual puppy.  Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: Puppies, Dates, and Baby Slippers”

Kitchen Face Lift Phase 2: A DIY Breakfast Nook Bench

We’ve been wanting to give our kitchen a face lift ever since we moved in three years ago, but due to time limits and budget constraints, we knew we’d have to do it in phases. Phase one was to paint the walls and add a family message and art center. We completed that about a month ago. Phase two was to create a breakfast nook.

Continue reading “Kitchen Face Lift Phase 2: A DIY Breakfast Nook Bench”