I wasn’t planning on a full renovation to the first floor of our home. Did I want to do a full renovation?? Absolutely! Was it in the cards? Not really, not until we had a flood in the kitchen which set the wheels in motion for the year ahead. I have learned so much about insurance and contractors and renovations, folks.Waaaaaaay more than I’ve ever wanted to know! Here’s the story- Because there was damage to the flooring and cabinetry, which led to countertop damage and backsplash damage, our flood renovation turned into a much bigger project than we had anticipated. Insurance paid for basically everything. Nuts, right?! They replaced ALL of the flooring even though only 10 square ft. were damaged so it would match correctly, and because the island cabinet was damaged they replaced ALL the cabinets as well (so it all matched). Then because one piece of granite broke while removing the countertops they then replaced all of the countertops AND backsplash! And so on…I was very surprised! So, I am happy to report that our insurance company took very good care of us. This small project that started with me wanting to paint our dark cabinets white, turned into a whole bottom floor renovation. I was so happy the flood drama ended up turning into something positive. Somwthing I had been wanting to do for quite some time. Interesting how that happens sometimes…
Since we were basically having to start from scratch, I began to browse Instagram for kitchen inspiration. Because, that’s where you go when you want to do research, amiright?! So it’s 1am, I’m scrolling from page to page looking at a zillion beautiful kitchens when I randomly came across Cynthia Soda’s page- if you have you ever fallen into the rabbit hole of instagram, you know exactly what I’m talking about… Connecting with our interior designer, Cynthia of Soda Pop Design was somewhat of a fluke…or was it??? I’ll save those thoughts for another time!! Her page was stunning and caught my eye instantly. As I scoured her Insta I fell more and more in love with her aesthetic. I kept thinking, “Yep, this is sooooo beautiful and definitely something I would love see in our home.” I made a comment, Cyn sent me a DM and the rest is history…
Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that working with contractors can be challenging, to say the least. It was not smooth sailing like it was with Cynthia. That was until our original contractor quit (ya, great guy) and we found John Politano from Surface Design. John worked alongside Cynthia seamlessly and I now know that we have found our contractor and interior designer for any homes we may have in our future. John and his team went above and beyond in every possible way and together with Cynthia, this was a complete dream team.
Now updating the first floor powder room was a bonus. It just happened to work seamlessly into the plan once the kitchen reno was complete. Cynthia’s design created so much cabinet space where before we literally had none! We had a pedestal sink, mirror and a toilet- that’s it, so this updated bathroom was a game changer. Now I can hide extra toilet paper, soap, hand towels etc. under the sink- the sink I’m obsessed with and got from Wayfair for under $300! No more corner shelf unit that held all the necessities but looked so cluttered. Here’s the deets for the finishing touches! The round gold mirror is from World Market (my fave) and the fabulous wall sconce we got from Amazon for under $100! And light bulbs were included and are led. Cyn and I picked out the minted artwork which to me, is feminine and masculine at the same time. Perfect for a guest powder room. Now, my favorite part of the powder room is the shiplap wall from Metrie who also did our baseboards. Their lines are very clean and contemporary. I love how Cynthia designed the shiplap to basically encase the cabinetry and counter top. It’s something I haven’t seen before. John, our contractor completed the puzzle with his custom made quartz counter top from Surface Design and by installing ALL the finishing touches. I don’t think there’s much John can’t do!
I owe so many thank you’s to all the lovely people who made our remodel pretty damn seamless. Cynthia, John, Gerry…y’all have my heart. Thank you!
This post was sponsored by the American Cancer Society; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It was the summer of my 9th birthday. I could sense something wasn’t right, I could see that my parents were struggling with something, but I had no clue what we were facing would forever impact all of our lives…
My parents sat my brother and I down and explained that my mom had cancer on her face. They called it basal cell cancer. I learned that it was first discovered when I was about two years old, removed (but not completely we came to find out), which caused it to metastasize over the next seven years. It presented itself as a scab on my mom’s nose which at times she thought might be a blemish. As it kept returning, she realized something wasn’t right. It was dark in color which she thought was very strange and so she of course went to see her doctor who confirmed that the cancer had not only returned, but it had spread. My parents were told with basal cell cancer that if you don’t get clean margins it spreads rapidly- they say it “grows fingers.” That’s always been vivid visual for me… My mom’s tumor ended up being the size of a golf ball and needed to be removed immediately. She would then spend the next few months recovering in Rochester, Minnesota with my dad at the Mayo Clinic. This was just the beginning…
My mom, aka Tuni, LOVES to tell stories, so this one I’ve heard a million times… I remember it just like yesterday- my dad picked me up from my friend’s house and took me home to see my mom for the first time since their return from all of her surgeries. I remember him trying to comfort me knowing how nervous I was to see her. He told me that mom looked different, but she was still mom. It had been months since I laid my eyes on her, (there was no FaceTime or Skype when I was 9) and the face I was about to see was not at all the face I once knew. Swollen, black and blue, something out of a movie. I remember putting on a brave face as I looked at this woman, this superwoman, my hero. Cancer had attacked my mom in such a brutal way, leaving her with remnants of a face she once knew. Not only was she going thru the most challenging experience of her life, but she was ALSO putting on a brave face for my brother and I, while simultaneously allowing us to feel our emotions and digest the changes we were about to face at 9 and 10 years old. I was too young to think about what my mom was going thru as a woman, mother, wife, and daughter, but I am pretty proud of my 9-year-old self for how she handled this life altering situation. She was incredibly supportive and way too wise beyond her years. I guess she had to be… We all grew from this terrifying and life-changing experience, and I know Tuni would not change a single day of her path. She believes it is her duty to speak up about cancer and educate whomever may want to learn about this brutal disease. She’s always wanted to write a book about her experiences. I wish she would…
About 20 years later my dad and stepmom would sit my fiancé and me down to tell us that he too, had been diagnosed with cancer. Stage four prostate cancer. Just thinking about hearing the news makes me cry to this day. You know when someone tells you something horrible or tragic and in that instant, your life is changed forever? That helpless feeling that completely takes your breath away like you’ve been punched in the gut? Yes, that one… Well, being that I was 29 and not 9 years old, this news impacted me in a completely different way. I knew more about life than that 9-year-old girl. I understood what was at stake and what could be taken away. Ironically, in that moment, I felt 9 years old again. Helpless and so incredibly scared…
It was such a confusing time for me. In one world, Kacy and I were six months away from getting married and it was so exciting, but in another world my dad was undergoing massive cancer treatments and there was nothing I could do to help him. I guess all I could do was stay positive, but honestly, that was so hard for me. At times, my fear simply got the best of me and it was very hard to focus on those exciting moments… My brain was on overdrive- would my dad beat this disease? Would my “someday children” meet their grandfather? Would my dad be able to walk me down the aisle? Would we have our first dance? Worries flooded my mind, some selfish and some realistic. Then I remembered to breathe.
This Superman I get to call dad not only has been in remission for almost 10 years, but he is referred to by his doctors as a medical marvel. A phenomenon. My dad is a worry wart by nature, he and I are both Virgos (worrywarts) but I have to tell you that I have never seen someone tackle each day with such a positive attitude like my dad does. I truly believe that he has fought cancer in such a badass way because of his point of view about living each day to the fullest. And yes, dad, you ARE a badass!
I am so incredibly proud to be the daughter of TWO CANCER SURVIVORS. I am so incredibly proud to have two superheroes as parents. I will forever be grateful to the American Cancer Society and all of the medical advances that come out of endless research and the fight to cure this horrific disease. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who have been touched in some way by cancer. May we come together and fight!
The American Cancer Society, also known as ACS, is a non-profit that is dedicated to eliminating this disease that affects way too many. ACS not only makes it their mission to save lives, but they are dedicated to truly attacking cancer in every way possible through treatments, cancer fundraising and providing worldwide services to all of those affected AND their families. Being that cancer has affected my family directly, I will be the first person to admit that I crawled into a hole and felt like the world was ending upon hearing the news. I didn’t realize at the time that I could have turned my fear into something positive. So when I heard about the American Cancer Society’s fundraising platform Raise Your Way, I knew instantly that I wanted to be involved. With Raise Your Way, you can turn your passion into purpose with a fundraiser and raise money, which started my brainstorming of ideas… I want to host a yoga class, do a bake sale at Lennox’s school, organize a run/hike, a kickboxing class and I’d LOVE for you to be inspired to create your own fundraisers, too. In fact, I hope you walk away from reading this blog post knowing that YOU can help make a difference. What are your passions? When you think about it, the fundraising ideas are endless. We can create something amazing and beneficial for the ACS while doing the activities we already incorporate into our lives. I’m inspired and I’m excited! Thank you for reading this blog post.
I love World Market. I’ve been shopping at their stores since I was a kid, (so like a few years ago) and when it was time to add finishing touches to our home it’s one of the first stores I thought of. The aesthetic of World Market is completely my taste, from the beautiful wood and marble cutting board and cheese board that compliments it, to this Moroccan shag rug that I love on the kitchen floor. Side note- thank goodness we got rid of the kitchen island, it seriously changed everything! Now we can sit on the floor in the middle of the kitchen, which we do ALL the time. It makes me so happy because it brings Lennox into the kitchen to play while I’m cooking or cleaning up.
My favorite piece from World Market is a necessity in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be super cute, too! This cactus dish towel is a towel, but it makes my kitchen mine (cacti/succulent obsessed Arizona girl here) and my dear friend and designer thought of it and knew it would make me smile. Cynthia Soda has thought of everything to make our home beautiful, functional and personal. Thank you, friend.
Where were we… I bought our classic white dishes at World Market about a year ago and keep adding to the collection like these adorable pink accent dishes and bowls and the terrazzo trivet. LVE. And can we talk about gold cutlery for a sec? Do you love it? Because I’m obsessed! Now one would think that the cute white canisters that you see might be filled with flour, coffee, maybe sugar? Nope. Not in our house! All three canisters are filled with Sophie’s dog treats, vitamins and bones. Is she spoiled? Yes! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! The large canister is holding all of my cooking utensils, but it does have a lid if you choose to fill it up with your doggie treats!! Last but certainly not least are my brass planter pots. You know I must love these babies because they are the home to my green babies and I have them scattered around our house!
I’m excited to share that in addition to our kitchen remodel, we are almost complete with the powder room. I can’t wait to show you what pieces I chose from World Market to complete this beautiful new room, too. Soon! I will share it soon!
I was so afraid of you. I told my doctor I would do everything possible to avoid you, and God knows I did. For 11 hours. Turns out, you saved Lennox‘s life and you saved my life. Sometimes the things we are most afraid of end up saving us, literally.
I’ve never shared my birth story and I don’t know if I ever planned on doing so, but I was so inspired by a girlfriend’s post the other day that it really got me thinking. Her honesty, eloquence and support of Cesarian births made me want to step up and continue the conversation. Help even just one mother who is struggling with the outcome of her child’s birth and let her know she is not alone…
After nine months of telling my OB/GYN that I did not want a Cesarian birth, at 10 AM on March 1, 2016, after 11 hours of labor and trying my damnedest to have a natural birth, that is exactly what I was facing. I remember my doctor said he had a surgery upstairs and would be back in a couple of hours and if the baby seemed to be in distress, we would have to start thinking about having a Cesarian. Every time I had a contraction Lennox’s heart rate would drop. The magical nurses (and I say magical because these women were sent from above) helped me experiment with at least a dozen positions that might help support Lennox as he entered the birth canal. It didn’t work. Nothing worked. I tried. I tried so hard, but he was not supposed to be birthed naturally, he was supposed to come into the world via C-section. We came to find out that his umbilical cord was very short. Every time I had a contraction and Lennox made his way down the birth canal, the umbilical cord would pull on him, causing him to lose oxygen and dropping his heart rate. Now if I had forced the issue and not listened to my doctor we may have had a very different outcome. The biggest danger I learned is now so obvious to me. If I had pushed and pushed for Lennox to have a natural birth there was a very high chance the umbilical cord would have torn and The outcome would have been devastating. I don’t even want to think about it. I am so grateful for medical advances. For doctors that support what is best for the baby AND mother and in return save lives. Every woman who has a C-section whether it is a choice or not, deserves the support and love she would receive if she were able to have a natural birth.
Thank you, God for bringing my beautiful baby boy into this world the safest way possible. Thank you for showing me that my birth story is just as real as the mother who gave a vaginal birth. Thank you for Cesarion‘s and all the lives that are saved by performing them. It’s not to say that I didn’t mourn not having a natural birth. I did. But when I look at the bigger picture, when I look at Lennox and know he is here with us because of doctors who wanted what’s best for us, I am 100% complete with my story. “Our” story…
This post is in partnership with Bosch home appliances, but all thoughts are my own.
It’s been a couple months now since our home had a facelift, and I do have to say I am really enjoying the results! When you live in your house for many years, it’s easy to accept the small annoyances like having to lock the dishwasher door because if you don’t it falls right open. Or when you open the dishwasher and expect clean dishes but instead you find the majority of them stuck with gunk and the others still wet. And, it was so loud!! Just a few examples of our lovely, old dishwasher.
Well, as all of our appliances started breaking down, we began to realize that if we didn’t do something soon, we would be without a functioning kitchen. And… let’s be honest, during the renovation we were without a working kitchen, LOL! But waiting for us on the other end of that renovation, was the most beautiful kitchen suite from Bosch home appliances and I’m THRILLED!
Because our previous dishwasher sounded like water was invading our home, a quiet dishwasher was something I’d hoped we find, and I’m happy to report that we did.The Bosch 100 series dishwasher has this amazing sound-reduction technology so you hardly hear ANYTHING! If my husband starts the wash when I’m in the other room I have to look at the InfoLight that shines on our floor to see if it’s running! The light is there because the dishwasher is actually that quiet. Hubby runs the dishwasher almost every day now. I think it’s fair to say that he loves it.
So, I used to wash the dishes before the dishwasher WASHED the dishes! Mainly because they didn’t come out clean if I didn’t… Anyone else guilty of the extra and annoying step?! Well Bosch says you don’t need to do that, and you don’t! They created PrecisionWash which is a five-point cleaning system so once you start the dishwasher, you can go about your business and know the job will actually get done with no extra work. I mean, who has time for extra steps these days?! Ammiright?!
In a previous post about our new Bosch oven, I mentioned stumbling across Heart of the Home, where Bosch provides all sorts of helpful information, ie: tips on how to load a dishwasher properly! My husband has been making fun of me for years for the way I load our dishwasher. I just put the dishes wherever they will fit and there’s never any organization. (Side note- I am working on all kinds of organization lately and it feels great!) So you better believe I watched the Bosch video on how to load a dishwasher properly and gave the hubby a little tutorial, too. Yep! You’ll see in my photos that there’s a method to my “loading the dishwasher properly,” madness! Hint- face the dishes toward the center of the dishwasher for the best clean, AND you don’t have to prewash! Just scrape off the majority of the food.
Now, please pay close attention to my PERFECTLY ORGANIZED DISHWASHER! I admit, it may never happen again!