midcentury modern kitchen remodel... and simple little me

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 Roses from the garden

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 And the Green!  Can you believe that GREEN?

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Amidst the holiday merry-making of December, my husband gave me the gift of a kitchen remodel. As I made my colorful choices he kept coming back to me and asking, "Now you're sure you want these green countertops?  And the backsplash?  You want it to go all the way up the wall? This is really what you want?"

Yes!  Absolutely!  And thank you very much.

My kitchen is a small space, right in the heart of the home, and as I decorated her with simple lines and bold accents I realized I was expressing exactly who I am... simple, with bold accents.  

The way I set a table, and the way I make a salad.

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 It's who I am: Simple, with bold accents... right smack dab in the middle of our home.

Mixed Green Salad - with persimmons, pears, goat cheese, and candied pecans

To make this scrumptious simple salad, buy or candy your own pecans.  I use 1 cup of pecans halves, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 TBS. olive oil, 1 TBS balsamic vinegar.  Simply heat the oil, vinegar and sugar together until bubbly, then toss in the pecans.  Keep them moving over the heat for approximately 7 minutes, then turn them out onto a piece of parchment to dry.  Though tempting, wait for them to cool completely before tasting.

For the salad, place fresh mixed greens into the bottom of your serving bowl, then layer in your candied nuts, pears, goat cheese and persimmons (fresh mango pieces work just as well when persimmons are not in season).  Gently drizzle maple syrup over the fruit and splash a bit of red wine vinaigrette on the surrounding leaves, but not much.

Place the salad on the dinner table without tossing. Once grace has been said, give your simple salad a gentle mix before passing it around the table.




It surprises me how I've found my own unique style over the past year, in the most surprising ways.  It all began with that orange couch and our Family rug from CB2.  Then came the creative process of building this blog with graphic designer Alle McCloskey, at Finding Eden Media.  Alle led me through exercises that were paramount in recognizing the color schemes, patterns and themes that inspired me most.  Then last April, when I turned forty, I found myself embracing this unique new colorful me all the more.  Now here I am in this new kitchen, enjoying my green tea kettle, the $3 salt and pepper shakers I found at home goods, and those napkins, just waiting for me on the clearance table at Crate and Barrel.  And so, what's left to say but this... I'm quite pleased with simple little me.  Simple, though learning to embrace the delightfully bold aspects of who I am.

All I want for Christmas... is a Kitchen Remodel



When I asked my husband for a kitchen remodel this Christmas, I never intended him to do it in time for Christmas.  What with homeschooling, Christmas planning, guests descending, present buying, sanity desiring...  But today, exactly two weeks before Christmas morning, five days before my oldest child turns eleven, seven days before his party, and eight days until our Christmas guests come for the holidays, a team of men is here in my home, demolishing every square inch of my kitchen.  Right now.  As I type this out.


Joy to the wold


Christmas carols on the radio are doing their best to cover the sounds of splintering wood, plastic and plaster, and the banging of forty year old appliances being ripped from their home.  My home.


Silent Night


Silent night is playing now and I'm laughing.  It's just too soft and tender to cover the sledge-hammers hammering.  Noise is rising high and chaotic from the kitchen space that once held my kitchen, and I can hear it all.  So I turn off my radio in time to hear the singing.  One construction worker is singing it now...


Feliz Navidad


... from the bottom of his heart.  And it blesses mine.  Because while I could be a stressful-grump, bah-humbugging my way through these dusty loud days, I'm choosing to join my husband in the gift.  Not exactly how I wanted it delivered in these last days before Christmas, but focusing instead on the giver.  My sweet man.  With all his impulsive purchasing and celebrating and decorating, I can choose to hermit myself up and cover his little bit of crazy and his whole lot of love, here in my room.  Or I can join in with him in the chaos and sing at his side...




I'm choosing to sing.  And in the singing I'm seeing the blessings.  Not just enjoying my husband's generous heart and enthusiasm, but finding joy in not cooking this week.  For exactly one intense week of new cabinets, countertops, and appliances, I will not be planning, cooking, cleaning.  Sure there will be laundry, and the incessant dusting one does during a kitchen remodel, but I'm not cooking for seven whole days!


This weary mom rejoices!


Instead I will use my time and creativity to finish the cards and the wrapping, and to sit on the couch each evening to watch Christmas movies and read Christmas stories with my family.  And as the men lay my green countertops and hook up brand new appliances, I'll be planning my menus, my recipes, my grocery list for the cooking and baking and eating and merry-making to come.


It's the most wonderful time of the year!


So here's what I'm thinking and planning and dreaming... here are the ingredients I'll be shopping for when the cabinets are in and the countertops are ready for dough to be rolled out thin and white with sugar.  I'm thinking a beef roast this year, with carmelized sweet potatoes and buttered green beans.  There will be a turkey breast too and dressing, apple sauce and cranberries.  And deserts.  Cut out cookies for decorating with the children, and a chocolate pecan pie, and ice cream and coffee and tea with too much cream and sugar.


I'll be home for Christmas


If the kitchen remodel comes together, I'll be here at home this Christmas, loving on my family and teaching them over and over again about our generous God who sent us Jesus.  And if this remodel falls apart and we're eating cold cereal beside a hot fire... I'll be loving on my family and teaching them over and over again about our generous God who sent us Jesus.  And our friends... the ones who are joining us from halfway around the world this Christmas, they may be passing the granola and drinking out of juice boxes around the fireplace too.  But however this goes, I'm choosing to celebrate Jesus with my loved ones each dusty day!


Remodel updates forthcoming!

(Stay tuned)