Fancy a cup o’ tea?

The adventures in organizing continue!

Growing up, tea was an important part of the day. It was common for my mom, my sister, and I to enjoy a cup of English tea and chat about our day. Fond memories…

Later on in life, I also developed a love of coffee. And all of the accessories that go along with making it.

Erich is also a tea drinker, and, with family now living in China, we have a fine assortment of Chinese teas as well. This is all well and good, but it does NOT make for an organized tea cupboard.

Until now.

Here’s the before:


I then completely emptied the cupboard, and gave it a good scrub.


Then I turned and looked at the table where I had put all of the stuff that had been in the cupboard. I briefly considered the possibility that I have a problem, and maybe I should seek counseling. But I shook it off and forged ahead. I promise I did get rid of some stuff.

I only made one purchase to organize my tea. A long narrow box that perfectly holds our tea bags.


But what about those tea companies that stubbornly refuse to individually wrap their tea bags? (I’m talking to YOU, Celestial Seasonings!) I cut the lid off of the box, and wrapped it around the inside of a mason jar. Then we store the tea bags in the mason jar. They stay nice and fresh, and we can quickly see what tea is stored inside.



Then I put everything back in an organized manner, coffee stuff on the bottom shelf, tea stuff in the middle, and less used tea pots and things on the top shelf. Here’s the finished product:


And these are the casualties of my clear-out, never again to clutter my kitchen!



Miss Scarlet in the Library…

So continuing the organizing campaign, we move out of the kitchen into the hallway. To the hall closet. Our hall closet never really served any particular purpose, so it naturally evolved into a dumping ground for all of the odds and ends that we didn’t really know what to do with.

Ugh. Well, I pulled everything out and gave it a good cleaning.

We had decided to turn it into a library. All of our books seemed to be scattered throughout the house. Novels upstairs in the attic, our Bible-study aids in the office or the living room, and our DVDs were stacked very inconveniently in a little cabinet in the living room. (If the DVD you wanted to watch happened to be in the back, you had to pull all of them out get to it, then put them all back.)
So here’s our new library!


Everything AND the Kitchen Sink!

So I’ve been on this organizing kick lately, getting things cleaned up a little bit. The first thing that really needed help was the kitchen sink. It was a mess. A big mess. Here:

Oh my! SO embarrassing! I’m sorry you have to see this Mom!
But don’t worry! I cleaned it! One of the things we have been wanting to do is make the switch to more natural cleaning products, so I simplified our products down to just a natural all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, and an abrasive scrub for our sink and pots and pans. We also have fruit and veggie cleaner, furniture polish, and vinegar. I got some nice bins to organize it all:

Ah….that’s better…

Behind Door #1…

We FINALLY replaced our old front door! We found a nice, solid wood door on Craigslist that I was able to strip and repaint a warm, brick red color. I then spray painted the old brass hardware an oil rubbed bronze finish. Here’s a before photo of the old front door from the inside. Sorry I forgot to get a shot of the exterior before.

And here is an after shot of the interior:

And here is the new exterior:

We’re really happy with how it turned out, especially the hardware. I gave the hardware a light sanding with a high-grit sandpaper, and I used a spray paint with a built-in primer. It’s held up pretty well so far! There are few scratches on the dead-bolt where we put the key in, but not too bad, especially considering I already had the spray paint, so it was a free makeover!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Not our wedding anniversary (that was in June). November marked one year living in our house. We thought it would be fun to post some before and after pictures. I’ve also updated the House Tour section of the blog to reflect the recent changes we’ve made.






Front entry:



So those are just a few of the many changes we’ve made since we moved in over a year ago.

More Kitchen Stuff…

We’ve just been busy little beavers in the kitchen lately, but I’m happy to say, it’s just about finished.

We got a new stove! (New to us.) Our old one was fine, but some friends of ours were getting rid of theirs, and it was a nice upgrade, so we snatched it up! (Thank you Redwing Family!)

Here’s our old one:


And the new one:


We love the glass top and its nice that all of our appliances match now!

In other news, the curtains are up in the kitchen. Remember our frilly, lacy ones?


Here are the new ones!


I was planning on buying fabric and just making the panels, but I saw the idea to use dishcloths and hang them with clips, so I thought, “why not?” I found 4-packs of dishcloths at Target for about $3.50, and the hardware is from Bed Bath and Beyond. Less than $50 for the whole project!

Kitchen! Painted!

FINALLY painted the kitchen! I’m still learning to like the colour. It’s growing on me. Here’s some before and after shots.






Also, the glass cabinet that holds our dishes was looking pretty sad as well. Here’s the before (after I pulled everything out):


I freshened up the shelves with white paint and painted the interior a medium teal. This colour I love! It makes the white dishes really stand out.
I also picked up a new rug, and a pretty teal fruit bowl and the kitchen is almost complete! We still have some artwork to hang and make new curtains and stuff, so there will be more updates. Stay tuned!