Dinner Is A Crock: The Kitchen Renovation

stove updateThank you for following my kitchen renovation, week by week! If you started following from the beginning, you might remember my boring almond and oak colored kitchen.  Actually, you probably don’t. I hid most of it from pictures and only showed you the edges of my Pfaltzgraff dishes.  So we gutted it. Like, down to the subfloor. And now we’ve spent the last three months rebuilding it into this beautiful, functional, spacious kitchen. Don’t be fooled… it’s the same square footage it was before, but the landscape is so much more welcoming and the storage is accessible and workable.

In WEEK ONE, we did demolition. It was like free therapy, we took our aggressions out on every wall. While it was intimidating to start, it was actually pretty easily and required a minimal amount of tools.

In WEEK TWO, we celebrated Thanksgiving by installing our hardwood floors. This was a fun challenge that required a little booze, a lot of manpower, and no guests for the holiday! And yes… I crock potted our Thanksgiving dinner.

Fridge areaWEEKS THREE AND FOUR were exciting because our cabinets arrived early. I was naive enough to think that meant that the kitchen would be done three weeks early. NOPE. That’s not how it really works.

I was also reminded how thankful I am that my boys are good eaters. This whole process included meticulous meal planning and a balance between crock pot cooking, fresh produce, and easy microwave foods. Not everything was healthy, but not every decision is life-changing… sometimes a meal just has to be filling and easy. Ramen noodles are still food, just ask any college student!

I would be happy to forget about WEEK FIVE. I shared with you my meals each night in hopes that we could all forget about that horrible incident with that undesirable creature.  Pretty sure I’m going to have nightmares again now, thanks to myself.

Bay windowA lot of progress happened quickly in WEEKS SIX THROUGH EIGHT, but then it came to a halt.  Cabinets were installed, electric was run, plumbing was prepped and then countertops were measured. And then because the quartz needed cut, we had to update and wait.

I tried to be patient, I really did. But caffeine sometimes prevents that virtue from shining! I was anxiously waiting for the install, and every day of waiting seemed like a thorn, but ultimately it really wasn’t an extended time at all.

WEEK NINE was the culmination of everything. Except for one day of snow that slowed our progress, this week was crazy! Electric. Plumbing. Tile. Countertops. HVAC. Paint. Amazon Prime delivery! Oh my! My dream kitchen became a reality. Like, legit reality. I can cook and clean and start creating again– new recipes, new posts, new video, and even new cooking classes (locally only, but please reach out if you are interested in having me as a guest speaker!).

Crock Pot CookingThanks so much for your support in this new adventure! Let me help you save time and cook slower.



Renovation, Weeks 6-8: Update and Wait

When I walk into the kitchen, I hear crickets. Ok, not real crickets, just the metaphorical ones. Which is good, considering that in Week Five we had issues with really undesirable creatures in the house. But I hear the crickets like the humor in movies when it’s so quiet and nothing is moving that the moon is staring at you so brightly that you have to look away.

Freaking crickets.

The cabinets are in-- but still TOPLESS!

The cabinets are in– but TOPLESS!

I should back up and cheer before I complain. In Week Six, the cabinets were installed. Can I get a “hell yeah” from the crowd?! (hell. yeah.) Thanks. Finally, real progress. They are beautiful and clean and I am amazed how easy it looks but how many excrutiating, intricate details are necessary to make it all look just right. (LUCAS- IF YOU READ THIS, YOU ARE AMAZING.)

Cabinetry is like wizardry, but without the cool hat.

Shortly after the cabinets were hung by the sink with care (yes, St. Nicholas had recently been there), Carolina Custom Surfaces came to take the measurements for my countertops. They used some of the coolest technology and gadgets that I’ve ever seen– again, wizardry! Freaking laser beams to measure the space, the angles, the cuts. I don’t mean to overestimate here, but I am anticipating sheer perfection from this process.

We expanded the small pantry space and added drawers and doors. I love the easy access now!

We expanded the small pantry space and added drawers and doors. I love the easy access now!

And then the crickets. Oh, the pain in waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. And waiting. I know that the countertop template process has me believing in perfection, so I should wait patiently. This is not an unusual or even unanticipated wait time (especially considering these three weeks include the New Year holiday), but patience is not a virtue I possess.  What do I possess– a cell phone. And yes, I’ve called to check on the progress, my scheduled appointment time, called back to see if materials arrived, and reconfirmed the appointment time. (Thank you, calm, caring staff at Carolina Custom Surfaces, for handling my crazy. Because it’s out in rare form right now and you are on the receiving end of the line.)

So I quiet the crickets by playing really loud music in the kitchen and share my cooking adventures with you instead. (Are you following me on Facebook and Instagram?!) I’ve made two batches of Crock Pot French Onion Soup. I’ve shared my passion for Korean cooking by making kim bap rolls (very much like sushi but so much better!).  We’ve had sandwiches and cereal and easy-peasy mac and cheesy and all those other go to foods that don’t require any prep.

Three weeks of updates, all wrapped into one post. I hope you are enjoying my adventure and my crazy.  Be sure to check back next week and see what the final week of install brings!

#nokitchennoproblem Right?!