a fresh, clean kitchen

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last week i cleared off my kitchen countertops and started fresh.  i’m sure i was avoiding some other responsibility, i just can’t remember which one it was right now!

sometimes when my mind is running a million miles an hour, i need something visual to slow me down, like clear surfaces.  if my mind rests on the piles of piles then i just can’t seem to get a break.  i just need one area of my life to be clear sometimes, whether its my mind or my countertops ;)

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my island arrangement has been modified slightly over the years, but in general has stayed the same.  and my other kitchen counters have remained virtually untouched for almost 8 years.  it was time for a fresh look.  and by fresh, i mean it literally.  my black thumb with houseplants has magically started to turn green this year, so i pulled some of my new leafy friends into the kitchen and i am loving the result!

this galvanized tub was a garage sale find that has been used as a magazine holder, soil holder, garden catch-all, drink cooler… you name it!  now it sits on my counter filled with a couple plants and a colander of fruit!  we always have fruit out on our counters and this time of year we have at least one, if not 2 bowls of cherry/grape/pear tomatoes – super good for little snacky hands.

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no sooner did i fill this gum ball machine with pistachios then i heard a funny crack and pop.  oops – i tightened the top too tight and busted the glass.  thankfully it was a clean break and i happened to have some “kragle” on hand (crazy glue, for those of you who haven’t seen the lego movie).

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i find that whenever i redecorate an area of my home i am more prone to keep it clean.  and when i also have less tchotchkes on my counters i’m more likely to keep them clear.

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i have also been editing the way our kitchen functions.  i have always been big on putting items in the drawers and cabinets in a location that is logical: knives at the island, pots and pans next to the stove…  but now that i’m not the only cook in the kitchen (thank you lily may), i wanted to make sure things work well for her.  one of those small changes is that small stool you see above in the bottom right hand corner.  it folds up nicely into a lower cabinet, but it was kind of annoying to get out and put away all day long, so we found a corner out of the way that she could just leave it.

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the kids use the toaster regularly, so it needed to stay out for easy access for them, but i love the freshness that the plant adds here!

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in another effort to make things easier on everyone, i switched up our baking area and coffee station, which shared a space before.  our coffee maker tucks into the little door in the back corner under the cabinets, and our coffee cups are on the lowest shelf in the cabinet above.  then the baking supplies were on the next shelf up.  even with a stool, it was hard for my 8-year old baker to grab the supplies she needed, other than the sugar and flour that were on the counter previously.

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i exchanged our previous canisters for a simple mason jar filled with coffee that i used in our rv this summer.  and rather than digging in a drawer every day for a coffee filter, i just put it out in the open.  i do wish this tray was a little shallower, but i still love the simplicity of the enamelware.

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and now we have a new baking station!  we’re still working on making it more practical and functional, but for now we moved all of the baking pantry supplies to the first shelf in the cabinet above – so much easier to reach, and more space, too.  both of the drawers below are junk drawers, which is just ridiculous, so my plan is to clear one out and have the other necessary items in there, like measuring cups & spoons, spatulas, and a whisk.

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our beast of a kitchenaid has lived under a counter for its whole life, but its so heavy to lift up and out, so for now it will live here.

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a couple huge jars i had originally bought for our table top terrariums are now simple containers for our sugar and flour.  the prettiest anthro measuring cups are just the pop of color i need.
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and this is one of my favorite houseplants ever:  string of pearls.  i have killed many in my lifetime, but this one is actually showing signs of new growth, so there’s hope yet!

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our kitchen has looked like this now for about 2 weeks and it has actually inspired me to do the dishes!  now what will i do to motivate myself to keep the floors clean…?

 

 

 

 

 

summer bbq

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with the summer nearing the end (today is our first day of school!), we decided to host a bbq with a few other families from our neighborhood.  we are blessed with awesome neighbors!  having something on the calendar is always good motivation for me to clean the house, and this time the backyard, too!  silas was my little workhorse this day.  he asked me to pay him $15 an hour.  we negotiated down to $3.

i went simple and summery with my decor:  a rainbow of bandanas for napkins, white plates, hydrangeas in mason jars, all on top of layered white table cloths.

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we pulled a few pillows from our porch couch to soften up the fireplace since we were going to have a fire once the evening cooled down.

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i set up a little drink station on our potting bench to make serving yourself easy.

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and i’m still kicking myself for not taking any pictures during the gathering!  we had a great night, good food, and lots of fun!