I haven't forgotten about y'all. Promise... xo
Quick! Grey or walnut? The kitchen will have a wall of white cabinets, but we want to make the island a different color to create some interest and to help marry it to the dining + living spaces. The grey is airy + bright + serene, but painted cabinets are naturally a bit less durable. The walnut is rich + modern + warm and is better able to withstand a drive-by Tonka trucking, but might look heavy in the middle of our bright room... What do you think? The cabinet maker is waiting. No pressure... xo
I love juxtaposition, especially in design. I love texture and the combination of old + new, formal + informal, rustic + modern. One of my very favorite blends is that of organic and raw materials + really bright pops of color. Something about it speaks [no, screams!] to me every time and somehow sort of defines my aesthetic.
Lucky for me, there are tons of creative people out there right now turning out really inspired combinations of materials in all sorts of unique ways. One of my favorites locally is David Rasmussen, a very talented furniture maker and designer in Carbondale, CO, who I first discovered at the early Firefly Handmade Markets here in Boulder. In addition to the really interesting furniture pieces he's crafting, he also does a line of housewares that epitomize my love for this style. He starts with gorgeous wood, lets it speak for itself and then spikes it with pops of perfectly blended color. I confess to having amassed one of nearly every piece he's made and I'm always looking to add to my collection.
Props for the goods:
[Side note...We are incredibly lucky here in Boulder to have a vibrant creative community. Several of the items in this roundup are crafted by locals whose work I LOVE, namely Ash & Ore and by elke, who is currently featured on terrain.com. Much more on these extremely talented gals in the near future...]
: beautiful twig dipped pencils / Garza Marfa round stool / I'm so making a hand painted antler
: cleverly painted tree stump / fun painted bowl + plate / handmade Roxy rocker
: dipped mini bowls / sunny wrapped twigs / by elke hand stitched leather bracelet
: David Rasmussen large WUD plate / Ash & Ore leather clutch / Pantone dipped pencils
I used to be pretty organized + punctual. I was reasonably articulate + sometimes even interesting. The sleep deprivation and intensity of early motherhood robbed me of both latter virtues (+ personal hygiene, but that's for another day...). This reno project has all but obliterated the former of those traits. I have been in fight or flight mode since January 1, with my hair perpetually on fire. I'm exactly 20 minutes late to pick up my boys from school every time and come racing in disheveled, with whatever lunch I was lucky enough to cram down in the car all over my pants. I try to eloquently explain my tardiness, but end up mumbling something weird + unintelligible while wiping a stray black bean from my hair. Fortunately, the boys' sweet teachers just smile and say "no worries," but they must think I've lost my marbles. I'm late to meet the contractor. I'm late with dinner. I'm super late with my blog posts. I feel a little crazy.
I know there's an end in sight for the project, which is reassuring, but I also know that life will just get that much busier as the boys get older. With that in mind, we've very deliberately designed the new spaces, especially the kitchen, with efficiency in mind. I'm hopeful that the easier it is for me to complete my daily tasks, the more time I'll have to spend with my boys outside + doing the things we love to do. The kitchen will be the center of the house, both literally in placement and figuratively in function. It will be bright + open and will have enough storage so that I don't have to waste precious time trying to figure out where to put the salad bowl I somehow wrestled out of the cabinet, but can't seem to fit back in.
Here is a bit of my inspiration (check out my Pinterest kitchen board for more). I love the simplicity of white, combined with the richness of wood or the coolness of grey. I love pops of color. I love unique, but subtle details. I cannot wait to show you the finished product, because it'll be really fun + it should mean that my hair is no longer on fire. xo
B and I love to bake together. It's rare, sweet time we spend together, just the two of us, while R is napping. He sits on the counter so we can be eye to eye + cheek to cheek. We most often make muffins or "donuts" (Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious Doughnuts have been a hit with both boys and their friends since their debut at B's first birthday party. Did you know that all you really need to be a super cool toddler mom is a mini donut pan?!).
Lately we've been experimenting with granola bars. We've tried a few recipes now, but the best by far have been from one of my favorite food bloggers, Kelley Epstein at Mountain Mama Cooks (I made a modified version of her Puff Pastry Wrapped Turkey Burger Sliders the other night...OMG. That's all I'm saying for now). We've made her Chewy Granola Bars a few times now and they're always delish + easily modified to suit just about everyone's taste. This time we tried the Chewy Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars. I went to 5 stores looking for the cinnamon chips called for in the recipe to no avail, so I had to carry on without them. Next time I think I'll have to just order some because I have a feeling they're the hidden gem in this recipe + B would love them.
1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (her recipe calls for oat flour, which we'll try next time)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs melted butter
3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs almond butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, raisins, almonds + cinnamon chips
In a small bowl, combine vanilla, honey, olive oil, melted butter, brown sugar + almond butter
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until evenly combined
Press mixture into a 9x9 baking pan that has been greased + lined with parchment paper
Bake for 20 minutes or so
Let cool completely before cutting into squares or rocket ships or whatever shape you want
Store in an airtight container or wrap individually + freeze
Nuzzle your baking partner + share the yummy granola love