Passion

I saw this quote today and decided to make it into a doodle. It really resonated with me, especially now. I think it’s so easy to just go through the motions of every day living….at work, at home, at school. It’s easy for the ordinary stuff we do day-in and day-out feel dull. When I read this, I thought about how even the teeniest, most minuscule tasks should be done with passion and purpose. I think, if I have that attitude, things won’t seem boring, average, or sometimes discouraging.  I really think this quote could be applied to all areas of life….so I’m gonna try it!

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Kitchen Part II and Reveal!

I know I spaced these posts out a little farther than I wanted to, but I have a good reason! Online college classes are about four bajillion times more work than just sitting my a** in a class and having to listen to lectures and dumb people’s questions. SO basically, classes have been, and probably will be, the majority of my life and time until Christmas break. Womp, womp. Anyway, about the kitchen….

Phase two of our renovation occurred after we finally finished painting all the cabinets, installing hardware onto the cabinet doors and drawers, and Josey finished building, staining, and poly-ing (is that a word?) the wood countertops. The next steps were painting the walls, installing the board and batten, installing the lights, installing the counters, and tiling the backsplash. Ugh, lots of crap to do. Which took several weeks. See below for painting/installing trim and stuff.

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Here’s Josey installing the trim pieces. Each piece he spaced two feet apart. Notice he is wearing his safety glasses. He installed the pieces using a nail gun. Safety first, guys.

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These photos are of the destroyed kitchen. Destroyed yes, but also freshly painted 🙂
After the paint was finished and all the trim was installed, we decided to install the gorgeous new allen + roth light fixtures we bought from Lowe’s. See below!

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Let me tell you about these fixtures. These photos don’t do them justice. They are really beautiful in person and add SO much to the kitchen. HOWEVER THEY WERE THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE YOU KNOW WHAT TO INSTALL, OMG. When we opened the box, we discovered that the cords to each pendant were about six feet long. SIX FEET LONG. WTF. Our ceilings are only like, nine feet high! Why the hell would ANYONE buying lights at Lowe’s need six foot pendant lights for their kitchen?!? If we installed them that long, they would have been like, three feet from the floor. That’s dumb. But, hey, it’s okay! The box says the cords are “adjustable!” Perfect!

NO. WRONG. You know where all that extra cord has to go once you’ve adjusted it to the correct length? Up inside this thin, tiny,  little base that gets screwed to the ceiling. There was no way that we were going to fit all the extra cord lengths into that base, it was waaaaaay too small. So, poor Josey had to go back and rewire every one. I’m so glad he knows what he’s doing with that stuff, because I sure as hell don’t. Honestly, he did pretty much the entire kitchen, I painted and handed him stuff he needed. It was best that I stayed out of the way. 🙂

P.S. I also broke one of the glass shades for one of the pendants and one of them was broken in the box. But you can’t just go to Lowe’s and get replacements. Noooooo, that’d be too easy. You have to call this customer service line an explain why you needs new shades and then they have to ship them to you. So if you decide to purchase this light fixture for your own kitchen or dining room, now you know not to break any of the shades. 😀
Now that all that was over, we could install our lovely counters handmade by Josey himself!
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He did such a good job with them, and he worked so hard on them! I think they’re beautiful and they really make the kitchen look so great. The following are photos of the counter install.

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Here’s Josey unscrewing the counter from the cabinets after he took the sink out. See how nasty the old counter was? Bleh! Some of those spots would just not come off, no matter how hard I scrubbed. Now I never have to look at them again! 😀

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Here’s Josey installing the new counter. We carried in each piece and installed them separately. There were four pieces total, two long pieces and two small pieces that were installed on either side of the stove. The only part I got to help with on this was helping carry the pieces inside from the garage. Like that part in Dirty Dancing where she’s all, “I carried a watermelon” only, “I carried a counter.”

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He fits in small spaces! I don’t know how he got in there, but he fit!

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I was REALLY nervous about cutting that hole for the sink. You can’t really mess that up, otherwise, the counter is ruined and the sink won’t fit. But of course, Josey knew what he was doing, and I learned that I should keep my trap shut and trust him when he says he knows what he’s doing.

After the counters were installed and the sink was put back, the tiling was next. I know it sounds like we did all this in like a day, but we did NOT. All of this was over the course of two and a half weeks. Tiling is a very messy, terrible thing. And it takes FOREVER. But, it’s worth it a million times over. Photos of tiling:

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Instead of using mortar, we used this adhesive paper stuff that this guy at Lowe’s says “everyone is using.” Bull. That adhesive stuff is SO sticky, once the tile is stuck on it, there’s no getting it off. Which means that there is no room for error because you can’t really go back and adjust the position of the tile if you need too. We learned that the hard way. Ha. Tiling the backsplash took a good three days total, just because we had to cut around all the outlets and we have a lot of those. Once all the tile was finally laid, we could grout.

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SO MESSY. We let the grout dry for 15 minutes then washed it off, then let it sit for another hour and washed the tile again. We did this at like midnight. I don’t know why we did that. I think we were just so tired of the project we just wanted to get it done and if that meant tiling at midnight then we didn’t care.

BEHOLD, THE NEW KITCHEN…

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The crockpot is cooking our dinner. It’s not usually just sitting out like that 🙂

Isn’t it so much better than before?! I think so. Josey thinks so too. Here’s a before and after:

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Here’s the dining area which you pretty much already saw when I was talking about the light fixtures, but whatev.

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Ha, don’t mind the dying plant in the corner, I just saw that. That thing died like a week later. Like, turned-to-ash died. Oops.

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There’s some stuff that I probably should have cropped out for “having better photos” sake in some of these (like my dogs and that cooler and vacuum) but I didn’t feel like taking the time to do that. I was too tired from renovating the kitchen. Ha, just kidding, I’m just too lazy.

This project was the biggest DIY we’ve tried so far. While it was a ton of work and we got in a TON of arguments about dumb stuff through the project, it was well worth it. Our budget was $1,000. Not bad for a thousand bucks, right? We learned a lot too, not just about tiling, and counters, and stuff, but we learned a lot about each other. In a good way!

We are glad to have it finished. And now we can cook dinner and not have to step over paint cans and screwdrivers!