Kitchen Reno Inspiration

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

One of the bigger projects we'll be tackling with our new house is renovating the kitchen...on a tight budget. We feel like based on the neighborhood comparables, we got a great deal on the house we bought and we have set a budget for updates that we feel will still leave us some room when we move out of this house in a few years to hopefully recoup our investment and make a little bit as well. Anyway, I narrowed down our countertop material to three options as seen below for Juston to choose his favorite. I love all of them, so I'm good regardless of what he chooses. 

We are definitely doing a white shaker cabinet. I feel like that style is timeless and appeals to almost anyone. I'm partial to things that I feel like aren't trendy even though they may be in style and popular right now if that makes any sense. Like white subway tile for example. I know it's everywhere right now and super on trend, but it's also in homes built a hundred years ago and true to that period as well, so I feel like it has staying power. 

I have some before pictures of the kitchen, as well as the plans our contractors have developed that I'll share soon as well, but this post is for sharing some of the kitchens I've pinned on Pinterest for inspiration. So, without further ado....

 Y'all, in a perfect world, these gorgeous soapstone countertops would fit neatly into the budget we set for the kitchen space...but alas, it doesn't fit. But I'm okay with it since I know this isn't our forever home. A girl can still dream though. I explored the idea of doing honed black granite as a substitute for the soapstone, but the granite man I spoke with really discouraged it citing a ridiculous amount of upkeep which could prove challenging with all the cooking we do plus two kids. So I scratched that idea, but ultimately, I love really dark countertops, or really light. I'm not a fan of the in between and I'm not a fan of things in the tan/brown family personally. I've shared the dark countertop inspo, so below is the light countertop inspiration. 

Exterior Progress

Friday, May 26, 2017

I thought I'd share a small update we've finished on the exterior of our new house, the shutters. Everything about this house we bought, both inside and outside was SO brown...beige...tan. I don't mind those shades in small doses, but it was literally everything. Take the exterior for example; the brick, the roof, the shutters, the sconces and a lot of the landscape even vary in their brown tone. Well, we're knocking the brown out one step at a time. 

Here's  the picture we took shortly after purchasing. 

And below is the exterior as it currently is. Still a long list to tackle, but wow, just changing the shutter color has made such a big difference already. Juston and I can't agree on painting the brick (I'll let you guess who falls on which side of this discussions;)) so we're going to start with painting the siding around the dormers and where the roof pitch changes. It's sort of a primer gray shade right now and we're going to paint it a creamy white. Has anyone ever painted siding before? I'm doing it either way, but am curious how it's held up for anyone who has done it. 

Here are a couple of other "Before's" that I believe were from the listing. Juston is going to build some window boxes that I'll paint to match the shutters and I feel like that will add some much needed depth and dimension to the front of the house. We played with the idea of adding a portico, but ultimately decided we're rather put that money towards doing some bathroom updates instead. 

And another "In Progress After". We've really thinned out the landscaping as well, but most of that has taken place out back. The back yard was a like a jungle...or a mosquito heaven. Either way, we needed to get a lot more sunlight back there so that we could get a spot for our garden we'll be planting, hopefully soon. You can see the two trees on the right side of the house that we removed out front. 

I'll share some photos of the back changes once it shapes up a bit more. I feel like the house is slowly waking up again and it's a fun process to watch. I'm having commitment issues with the front door color. I know I want to do something fun and bold and I thought I'd narrowed it down to two choices, but now that I'm seeing the shutters up, I'm opening up to some other options as well. I want to add in some color with the window box flowers and adding in some more colorful foliage in the front landscaping. We'll be adding black iron railings on either side of the front porch steps as well. I'm going to hold off on painting the front steps until close to the end of our exterior update. I've also considered painting the downspouts the same color as the shutters as well, but haven't committed to that yet either. I think we're going to do one step at a time where paint is concerned before committing to the next step. 

Our remaining front exterior to-do list looks something like this, in order of completion:

Paint Front Door and change hardware
Add stair railing
Add Window Boxes
Paint Siding
Add lantern lights on either side of the door (and a flag)

Mother's Day

Monday, May 22, 2017

I'm a little late with this, but always like to document the holidays here. We had a great Mother's Day weekend! I got a few hours to myself to workout, which is usually the first thing I'll do if I ever get some time to myself. Then Sunday, Caroline helped her daddy make breakfast which we ate outside since it was such a perfect morning. 

Before we headed to church, I got a pretty cool present as you can see. There's a lake really close to the new house we bought, and I've wanted a paddleboard for awhile now, so this should be fun when I get to take it out. I think we're going to take it on vacation to the beach, too. 

We all got gussied up and headed to church where Caroline made me a sweet little flower pot in children's church. 

After lunch, we all headed to lunch at deSha's, had some great food and conversation and just enjoyed a laid back day. 

Just the mama's and all the kids. We get this picture every year after lunch and I can't get over how much all the kids have grown when I look back on year's past. So there you have it...nothing over the top or exciting, but still a great Mother's Day with all the people I love so much. 


It's been over a week since I posted here so I just wanted to pop in and say I'm hoping to get back to posting regularly soon. I just haven't been feeling it here lately. 'Overwhelmed' seems like an appropriate word to describe all current situations in my life at the moment and I'm just trying to get caught up on lots of things before I get back to a schedule on my blog.

 I'm hoping to do a little facelift on my site here before too long as well as a name change. I haven't figured out what I want to change it to just yet, but I started this blog when I was pregnant with Caroline and now there two sweet Pate babies, neither of which are exactly babies, so I feel like a name change is in order. 

Anyway, I hope everyone's Mother's Day was incredible and that all you ladies felt loved and appreciated like you should! Happy Wednesday!

Exterior House Update Plans

Friday, May 5, 2017

If you've been reading here very long, you probably know that we've bought a house in the town we'll be moving to eventually. Juston has been there since January working but he still comes home on the weekends. It took us awhile to find a house, and when we finally did, it's a nice, sound house, but there are a lot of little cosmetic things that we are in the process of fixing before we'll officially move our furniture and ourselves in. It was built in 1990 and not much has been done to it since then aside from adding some granite to the original cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. 

 Juston has been renting a place there up until last week when he finally moved into the house. He's been busy as a bee scraping the textured ceilings off of every. single. inch of the house. Literally, that stuff was even in the closets. `Once the texture was off, the ceilings had to be sanded and then painted. He's in the process of those steps now, then we're painting every single room. Once that is done, we'll move everything from our home in Maysville out there. It's a few hours from home, but still in Kentucky. The kids and I will split our time between Maysville and the new house so that I can continue working with my real estate office here. It's crazy, but we're making it work. 

I thought I'd share the plans for the exterior of the house since those are in process as well right now. Here is the exterior of the house as it looked last week when the kids and I went out for a few days to visit. 

Since this photo, we've removed the shutters and I've almost finished painting them all Historic Charleston Green by Sherwin Williams. The already look SO much better. I also ordered some shutter hardware to add. I'll be the first to say that I hate faux shutters, but we're not going to sink a huge amount of money into functioning shutters on a house that we know we don't want to be in long term. Here's the hardware I ordered. 

I'm also planning on adding window boxes to the four windows around the front door. I'll paint those the same color as the shutters. I'm also changing out the front door hardware and the lights on the front of the house to what's pictured below. 

These will replace the lights that are currently on either side of the front door. 

And this will be the new front door hardware. I'm sort of obsessed with it. I'm not 100% that I'll do another pineapple knocker. I just love the one I have now, but part of me wanting to do something different this time, like maybe this bee door knocker. 

Then there's the matter of the color of the front door to contend with. I've narrowed it down to two colors that I'm really loving, but which color will likely depend on what we do with the rest of the exterior...I'll get to that in a minute, but here are the two door colors I'm loving. 

Both colors are by Benjamin Moore; the first is Coral Spice and the second is Wythe Blue. I think the choice will ultimately come down to whether or not we paint the whole house. I have this vision in my head of how amazing the house could look painted a rich, creamy white, something like what's pictured below.

We're going to start with seeing the shutters back up with the new paint on them before deciding whether to paint or not, but as it stands, I'm leaning strongly that way. I have a lot of work to do in the landscaping as well to get it shaped up. I'm planning on taking a LOT of what's currently there completely out and adding flowering perennials like hydrangeas (my favorite) azeleas, etc. 

I'm also strongly considering painting the front steps since I feel like they would look great that way. I just saw so much potential in this house when we looked at it and I'm excited to put some love into to and bring it back to life. Everything about the house inside and out when we bought it was very brown/tan. I'm so excited to transform it and hopefully make it pretty. It's nice the way it is now, but I see so much more for it and I'm excited to share the transformation here with anyone who happens to read her (Hi mom!). 

Oh and one other small change we're doing with the exterior is making the house symmetrical. We'll be adding a porch on the right side (as you're looking at it) to balance out the big garage on the left side. 

So what do you think? Do we paint the brick or leave it alone? Paint the steps or leave the bland concrete? The only thing that causes me hesitance at all is the fact that you can't un-paint it. Once that paint is on there, you're stuck with it, but I honestly think it will look incredible and just awaken the entire place. Keep checking back here for more updates to the place and to see where the great paint debate ends up! Happy Derby Weekend, y'all!

Whatever Wednesday

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Happy Hump Day, y'all! We're on the downhill slide rolling on into Derby weekend! We don't really have anything special planned for Derby weekend aside from making my traditional meal of hot browns, bourbon meatballs and Derby Pie. and of course there will be mint juleps all served while we watch the race. I think one of my favorites parts of race day is seeing the backstory of all the ponies and the trainers or jockeys. That's usually when I make my pick. I also like to watch the coverage of that one lady riding the horse while doing interviews just to see if she'll fall off again. Did anyone else see that a few years ago? Am I a bad person for finding that funny? I mean, she didn't get hurt. 

Anyway, time for another Whatever Wednesday post, which is just basically a random mix of what's running through my brain at the moment.

What I'm Listening To//

Delta Rae's Long and Happy Life is just one of those songs that puts me in a great mood when I listen to it. 

What I'm Watching (and LOVING)//

Home Town on HGTV had my heart from the pilot episode that aired over a year ago. Restoring these old home to their former glory just warms my heart and inspires me so much. The designs that Erin comes up with and the craftsmanship Ben puts into the pieces he builds are right up my alley. Check out some of the pictures below. Have y'all watched? What are your thoughts?

Can you even handle to coral front door?! I love the whole color scheme executed on the exterior of the house above. 

The fact that they maintained some of the original wallpaper on the fireplace above makes me happy. Most people would just rip it all off and slap some gray or white on the walls, but I love that they preserved just a bit of the history in the dining room for the next generation. It may not be everyone's taste, but I love it. 

I love that Erin incorporates color in her designs and makes every place so unique to the new owners. In an Instagram world where all the white and light gray rules, these bright colors are giving me life!

Who wouldn't want to sit for a spell on that porch? Okay, I could post pictures of their designs all day ant not get tired, so I'll stop, but if you haven't caught the show, it comes on HGTV every Tuesday at 10 and was just renewed for a second season of Southern charm. 

What I'm Wanting//

For the first time in my married life, I will have a proper dining room in which to entertain guests once we move into the new house, so I've chosen the dining room table pictured below tentatively. I'd really, really love to happen across a great antique table instead, but I do still love this one if we end up buying new. It's from the Paula Deen furniture line. 

Well, that's it for today. Everyone have a great Wednesday!

5 Spring Wardrobe Must Haves

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

With a move in the near future for us, I've been looking to clear out and de-clutter as much as possible in every area of our home. One of the first places I set out to tackle was my closet and in doing so, the importance of investing more in timeless staples and less in trendy pieces just really stood out to me. In a time where bloggers are constantly affiliate linking to all sorts of trendy things that will be out of style by this time next year, I definitely went through a phase where I just jumped on things without really thinking the purchase through...a lot of those blogger recommendations were among the things I've cleared out (bubble necklaces, anyone).

It got me to thinking about working my spring wardrobe around some key pieces, and which pieces would those be, which leads me to the purpose of this blog post. In an effort to focus more on the wardrobe staples, I thought I'd share my five spring wardrobe essentials; those pieces that you can build lots of looks around. Not that I don't want any trendy pieces anymore, those things are always fun to incorporate, but these are the staples that serve as the anchor so to speak for those trends.

There is so much you can do with a classic shirt like this one. White jeans, blue jeans, shorts, add a cardigan, dress it up, dress it down, the options are just endless and the blue and white combo has my heart. This one is from Tuckernuck and there are lots of other options for color like pink gingham, solid white, etc. 

I wish I had a dollar for every time I wore my white jeans between Easter and Labor Day. I could have bought lots more pairs of white jeans. I will say, the distressed look makes these more trendy, but the cut of these fits my body type better than some skinny jeans. I have thick thighs and calves, so this straight leg balances out better on me.  

So I know the cork makes these wedges a bit trendy, but the idea of them is classic and chic. A nude wedge can carry you through so many occassions over the warm months. I have a pair of laser cut nude Tory Burch wedges that I wear the heck out of, so find the style that appeals to you and go for it. 

Finding a dress that is a neutral color or subtle pattern with a silhouette that flatters your figure, whatever that may be, is a wardrobe must. A shift style similar to the one above is flattering a a lot of body types.  

It's hard to beat a great bag. I've got a couple of Spartina bags and I just love them. Mine are all patterned, but I love this cognac color as well for a great neutral option that you can carry with anything and everything. I have a couple of really big tote style bags that I carry sometimes, but I just hate how big and bulky those are to carry around. I much prefer the smaller crossbody styles like this one. Anytime I don't need to carry diapers, wipes, paperwork, wallet, snacks, drinks and a million other things required for myself and two kids to leave the house, I opt for these smaller bags. It's much more liberating than carrying around the kitchen sink.

This list could really go on, but those were the first five things that came to my mind when sitting down to write this post. And we'll see how my goal of simplifying to mainly classic, chic staples in my wardrobe goes as we begin the packing and moving process over the next few weeks. Any classic must-haves y'all would add to the list?

Carter's First Birthday: Peter Rabbit

Monday, May 1, 2017

Our little Carter man turned one last week, so we celebrated with a party Saturday afternoon. It was a busy weekend with my nephew heading to prom, Carter having a double ear infection. Juston having to move from the townhouse he's been in into the house we bought in our new town and party prepping as well a few other things. We didn't invite a ton of people. mostly just family and a few close friends, but it was a sweet little party for our sweet little man, complete with a Peter Rabbit theme.

How perfect is the cake that my aunt made for the party? I just gave her a general idea of what I wanted and it turned out cuter than I could have imagined. 

She made these little petit fours with carrots on top as well and they fit in so perfectly with the theme. I made a few appetizers and finger foods. It ended up being the perfect amount of food for the amount of people which I very rarely manage to accomplish. I always have TONS of food leftover. 

Turns out prom weekend isn't the best time to drop in the Kroger floral department trying to find some pretty flowers for a centerpiece. There was slim pickings, but I did manage to find some pretty bundles that matched my colors and combined them for the flowers above. The cute plates, napkins and cups came from Beaux Coup's website. They shipping everything SO fast and it was all adorable. I ended up stacking the utensils, wrapping in the napkins and tying twine around them, then sticking them all in a pot. 

My sweet babies. Carter still wasn't feeling his usual happy self at the party. He had no interest in opening gifts or visiting with anyone besides me and his uncle Kursten. Caroline struggled, too and spend half the party in her room crying because she wanted to swing instead of help Carter open his gifts or sing Happy Birthday. It was sort of a shit show, but such is life I suppose. 

We did at least get a decent family picture, so there's that. It was still a good afternoon to get to spend it with family and friends. Once everyone cleared out, the kids ended up having a blast playing with all of Carter's new birthday toys and especially loved the water table I'd picked out. Happy birthday to our sweet boy!