Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the process - Part 3

Earlier this week I promised you more discussion on porcelain tiles.  I'm sorry, but our contractor has decided that hardwood floors will be best.  He says the tile will crack as the house settles.  So, there will be no more searching for tile flooring.  (Although, there are some really cool porcelain tiles out there that look like hardwood.  And vinyl tiles that looks like hardwood.  If the kitchen floor wasn't going right next to real hardwoods, I would consider either of those options.)

This kitchen design has been a loooong process, and I'm still trying to learn how to enjoy the process.  According to Tom Rath's Strengths Finder book, I'm an "achiever".  Everyday I "start at zero" and must achieve something to feel good about myself that day.  That is totally how I think.  And that is why I am so uncomfortable ending the day in the middle of the process.  But now that I know that about myself, I can tell myself that it is "OK!"

So, in an effort to find beauty in the middle of the process, I am going to totally switch gears.  I am going to end this day with some fashion inspiration.  I love how the coat is perfectly fitted in the shoulders but flowy around the lapel. And I really like the scarf.  This outfit is neutral but very interesting in its mix of texture and pattern  -

I hope you are seeing some beauty in the midst of your process.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Floor tile

Today, I am focusing on floor tile for my kitchen/dining room.  My two favorites from Floor and Decor are similar in look but are totally different materials.  The first is porcelain tile (fake stone) -

The second is travertine (real stone) -

It's not as evident in the picture, but the real stone looks more...real.  But with that "realness" comes little ridges that might bother one's feet and little cracks where crumbs might get stuck.  Also, the porcelain is a little cheaper and doesn't have to be sealed.  Does anyone have an opinion regarding real versus porcelain?  Later this week, I will investigate other types of porcelain tile.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jump roping in the morning

My girls have been begging me for jump ropes.  I thought it would be a 5 minute fad, but they have been jump roping every minute since I bought them yesterday.  First thing after breakfast, they wanted to go outside to jump rope.  I had no idea it was so much fun.

Today, I'm thankful that they have fun doing activities that are good for them.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The design process never ends...

Well, I had made two firm decisions about our kitchen - the wallpaper and the light fixture.  Now, we have determined that our ceiling is too low for the light fixture.  My husband and I have had several fights discussions over the fate of the light fixture.  The contractor suggested that we raise the ceiling.  My husband determined that we are now designing the kitchen around the light fixture.  And I responded that I was doing that all along.  But to allow my marriage this project to survive, I am giving this light fixture over to God.

I have to say that I have enormous guilt over splurging on a light fixture that doesn't even fit in our house (and can't be returned).  However, today I ran into some friends who recently had a stomach virus, and as I was slowly backing away from them, I was thinking to myself that the light fixture has not afflicted me in any physical way.  I would rather have to sell 10 light fixtures on Craig's list than have a stomach virus.  And to further put it all in perspective, this is the verse that I read this morning -

"Blessed are they whose trangressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

It doesn't say, "Blessed is he whose kitchen is really cool because of that amazing light fixture."  So, it feels a little like a death to give up my "art piece" (but not as bad as a stomach virus).  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful that all I can complain about is that it seems like we will never get this kitchen constructed.  I am very blessed that my family is healthy and happy and especially that my sins are covered (because they are many).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cheap thrills

I needed to clear my brain a little last week, so I took an inspirational trip to Ikea.  I like looking at all of the stuff I could buy so cheaply.  Even their kitchens are amazingly cheap.  You could buy this whole kitchen (including appliances) for $3,640!  I have always liked the look of high gloss white cabinets, and if I lived in a more modern house, that is what I would get.

I like the dark gray tile and the dark gray quartz (which I think is Caesarstone in concrete).

I also like their space saving wine racks -

  The one item I intended to buy on this trip was this acrylic chair -

I have been eyeing acrylic chairs for years, and then I found out that Ikea has them for $79.  So, I wrote down my item number and decided to head for the check out.  A trip to Ikea always starts out full of possibilities.  It always ends in - "How do I get out of this place?!"  When I finally found the "bin" for this item there were none left.  My purchase of the acrylic chair was not to be.  I guess I'll try again next year when I have another few hours to navigate the maze.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have almost finished selecting everything for my kitchen and dining room, but I am still undecided about the tile back splash (and a few other small details like flooring).   I have narrowed the tile down to some good options.  I love the look of marble and originally toyed with the idea of installing marble counter tops.  However, after much research I decided I would be too nervous about staining or etching it (and it's expensive).  The Granite Gurus website was extremely helpful in making my decision.

Then, I stumbled upon this kitchen with navy cabinets and large marble tile.  A tile guy once told me that the bigger the tile, the bigger the space will look.  I found some beautiful 8 x16 Eastern white marble tile at Ann Saks -

But it's expensive, too.  So, I came up with a backup plan from Floor & Decor.  I have been to that store several times in the past and have been slightly annoyed that there was nobody around that could answer my questions.  This week, there were many people available, so I had a better experience.  I found several tile options.

 Carrara White -

Bianco Carrara -

They carry it in 2x4, 3x6, 6x6, and 6x12.  I like that you can actually see what's in the boxes -

They also have some beautiful "venetian art" that would make a big impact in a kitchen or bathroom -

I'll let you know what ends up fitting into my budget...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Too many options

November 1.  I have officially gone 9 months without buying clothes (including shoes and accessories).  Even though I am now living without a watch (it broke) and have a little back pain from exercising in my thinly soled tennis shoes, my life is more simple now.  I can get dressed much more quickly with less options.  And I am determined to further reduce my options by giving away more of my clothes.  I want to live with less.  I am happier with less.

I probably wouldn't enjoy this so much if I wasn't able to make clothes.  It is nice to have something new every once in a while, but the feeling of making something is so different from buying it.  The process is much slower and longer and builds up my brain and my spirit rather than weighing it down with stress and guilt.

I can see my issues with clothing being repeated in the process of designing my kitchen.  There are a thousand options out there and none of them are what I picture in my head.  It is exactly why I started sewing (but I have no desire to learn how to make cabinets).  I think I am trying to make the "perfect" decisions.  I need to accept what is good and be content.  

I am actually sad that I only have 3 months left of this clothing experiment.  I am scared that I will go back to the way I was before.  I have "seen the light", but do I have the self-discipline to hold onto that vision?  I need to develop a plan.  One plan that keeps coming to mind was developed by Jesus -

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor."

That sounds pretty crazy.  But as I plan all the details of my new kitchen, that verse keeps coming back to me over and over.  He gave that as advice on how to stop worrying, and I'm starting to think he was right.  I'm going to go find some more stuff to give away...

"Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." - Jesus