Countertops!

Happy 2nd House Anniversary to us! What did we get ourselves for this special occasion? Granite counter tops.

We bought our house in August of 2012, and we’ve probably spent the most amount of our time working on the kitchen. That’s not to say that we’re done with the kitchen, its just that there has been so much to do. To get you back up to speed, we refinished our cabinets, installed new floors, installed an island, built a coffee bar, and added a dishwasher. Now we can add granite countertops to that list.

We went to a granite company and picked out a slab from their warehouse a few weeks ago. We chose something called “Steel Gray”.

Steel Gray Countertop

We’ve already got white cabinets and light wood floors, so we figured this would be a nice compliment, without being totally black or too dark. Here’s a before and after shot.

Laminate to Granite

We’ve been living for 2 years with awful, stained and burned laminate counters. They had an ugly metal trim around them that did nothing but catch crumbs. We’re both big fans of clean lines and under mount sinks, so this upgrade was a no-brainer. The guys dropped the granite in and were done within an hour. I waited 24 hours and hooked up the plumbing. We needed a new, shorter drain so that no cuts needed to be made to our relatively new PVC plumbing under the sink.

Steel Gray Granite CounterWe love that little lamp, and it really looks a lot better with the granite than it did with the old laminate.

It took us 2 years, but here’s a pretty wild before and after shot. The before is from the day we moved in. And, yes, we did live in the house with the kitchen like that for a little while.

Kitchen Before and AfterNot only have we cleaned up our act with this kitchen, but we’ve really created a functional and comfortable place to cook, eat and hang out. Whenever we have people over, they tend to gravitate towards the kitchen, so why not provide a cool space to gravitate towards?! We’ve got more to do, to really finish this kitchen up, so keep reading and be sure to follow us on Facebook.


When you pin, you win.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest by now, you’ve been living under a rock (at least one that doesn’t have wireless internet access). I started pinning a few months back and since then, Pinterest has seemingly exploded onto the social media scene. I, for one, LOVE it! It’s my new addiction. I’m trying new things, making new recipes, crafting – all because of this amazing inspiration tool.

We’ve been eating some great new meals, snacks and treats lately like Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Quinoa Cakes, Banana Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus to name a few. All found on Pinterest. I just can’t get enough.

Now I’ve stumbled upon several kitchen menu boards in my Pinterest travels. We’re always looking for ways to get more organized in the kitchen and plan out our meals. I came across one DIY menu board idea in particular that really struck my fancy. A. because it looked easy and B. because I like the idea of using chalkboard markers (like on the menus at Starbucks). I Pinned this from A Content Housewife: Menu Board Tutorial, and now I own one.

We headed to Michael’s, picked out a nice big picture frame, some scrapbook paper for the background and some chalkboard markers.

We cut the scrapbook paper using a blade and straight edge.

Cutting card stock

We used black card stock and this plastic, clear and black print to go with.

Black card stock

We inserted the scrapbook papers, replaced the frame backing and voila! A menu board was born.

DIY menu board

Now for the fun part: writing with the chalkboard markers.

Chalkboard markers

We found these at Michael’s too. I wrote the days of the week down the left side of the board and began filling in the meals next to the corresponding day of the week. In the tutorial I found, they used letter stickers to permanently apply the days of the week, but we couldn’t find any stickers we liked, so we just stuck with writing everything in.

DIY menu board

I think we’re going to end up going for a lighter background, as this one doesn’t work as perfectly with the colored markers. We could also opt for white chalkboard markers, but I quite like the colorful ones. All we have to do is swap out the dark scrapbook paper in the frame for some lighter maybe beige or white paper that will allow the writing to show better.

This is a fun way to organize your meals and it will spice up your kitchen decor. I recommend this DIY menu board idea and Pinterest to everyone!

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest! See what I’m pinning and check out our Fresh Nest pin board for photos straight from the blog! Be sure to take a look at my Food Board as well for great new recipes!