Kitchen Pantry Tour

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My pantry is a corner closet in my kitchen.  It holds all my cooking items, so that would mean ~

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  • Canned Goods
  • Baking ingredients
  • Dry Goods
    • Pastas
    • Rice
    • Flours
    • Grits
    • Oatmeal
    • Sugars
    • Dried Fruits
    • Nuts
  • Teas
  • Pudding/Jell-O
  • Cereal
  • Jams, Jellies, Honey

It also holds some paper products

  • Paper plates
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic silverware
  • Straws
  • Holiday napkins and plates
  • Holiday bags
  • Extra Ziploc Bags

Some seldom used items are stored there.

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Pasta Pot
  • Thermos
  • Small Insulated cooler

So, as you can see, that pantry has lots in it AND I go in and out of there all day long. I tell you all that so you’ll understand why this “Before” picture looks so messy!  It had just gotten out of hand, even though I had a “system” I thought was working.

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I took a day and half last week and got it under control!

Let me give you a tour of the “After.”  It still has LOTS in it, but it’s labeled better and spread out in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me when I walk inside.

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I’ll show you each shelf:

Up above ~

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I added a little decor inside the pantry.  I hung my “Denise’s Kitchen” sign and my Rooster picture above the shelves.

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I hung my two dust pans on a wall in here.  The small one is only for sweeping crumbs off the tablecloth.  The large one is for the floor.  I was constantly going to the coat closet down the hall to sweep around the trash can and counters.  This makes life easier!

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All the holiday paper napkins are in Ziploc bags and labeled.

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A little vignette on the floor!

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While my pantry might not be the most beautiful with glass jars and empty shelves, it works for me and I enjoy stepping inside now.  My items are accessible and it makes me smile to open the door!  Mission accomplished!

If you didn’t see this post, you can see how I used vinyl chalkboard to cover the door of my pantry!

Do you have an area in your house that makes you grimace?  I hope this inspires you to do something to that space so you’ll smile instead!

Refresh those spaces!

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Creating Vignettes in Your Home

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Last weekend when my daughter was here visiting, she took a picture of a vignette in my kitchen and posted it on Instagram.  As I looked at that photo, I realized that those little areas are really some of my favorite places in my home. Vignettes are  cozy little groupings that help tell my story, as I mentioned here.

Today I thought I’d walk you through my home and share some of those vignettes with you and then tell you how I go about creating those “visual stories.”

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Using an odd number of items in a grouping is suggested by the experts (of which I am NOT!).  I just play with it until I like the way it looks.  Often that means doing and re-doing it!  You should also use items that are similar.  In this grouping, they are all items that are kitchen related – apples, tea pot, platter.

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Different textures should be present – shiny candle holder, rough wood, silk leaves.

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Pictures of family are part of my story that I like to include in my groupings.  When you look at the vignette above, you realize that without the fabric inside the tray, it would be all the same texture.  The cloth napkin softens it, as does the greenery.

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Each part of my mantle has little vignettes that all work together.  They should be the same “theme” so they flow.

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This is a shelf over the guest bed.  The setting for a grouping doesn’t just have to be a tabletop.  The top of the fridge, a bookshelf, or even a window ledge are all places where you can create a grouping.  Vary the height of the objects you use, as well as the depth.  Lining up everything in a row on that shelf wouldn’t have the same affect.

I love to change those vignettes all year long, but I try to keep in mind those key elements:

  • Use an odd number
  • Carry the theme
  • Vary texture
  • Vary Height and depth
  • Tell my story

I hope that inspires you to create some little areas in your home that create  homeyness and tell your story!

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Creating Meaningful, Inexpensive Wall Decor

IAMaI had the fun recently of attending a decorating class focused on home accessories.  The designer said,

Your home should tell your story.

That really got me to thinking.  I asked myself, “What is my story? It’s the Gospel!  That is the whole purpose of my life! How can my home share that by the decor?”  Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to have Bible verses plastered everywhere, but beautiful art that shares the Scriptures is indeed one great way to tell the story of my Savior.

I had a space on a wall in my living room that needed a picture and I had searched everywhere looking for the right size and design, all to no avail.  Then one day when I was working on a Bible study book I’m doing I noticed these “I Am” cards in the back of the book.  They were beautifully done and there were five of them.  It was then that the idea popped into my head that I could frame those and make a grouping for that needy living room wall.  Not only would the help tell our story, it would be an inexpensive way to fill that space perfectly.  So I had the picture part, now for frames…

Instead of going to the store to buy a frame, I went to a stash that I purchased at the Goodwill store last year.  There was a stack of frames – all sizes and styles marked down – way down!  I got all of them for less than $5 and I had a huge pile!!  The one below was .52 and it was perfect for holding three of my five cards.

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I didn’t like the dark frame, so I painted it white.  Here it is, on its side while the paint dries…

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My encouragement to anyone needing a picture or two on their wall is, don’t limit yourself to just purchased art, which can be really expensive.  Look for smaller things you can frame, like cards that are themed and would help tell your story.  They could be note cards, cards you receive in the mail, postcards, etc.

Then look for frames at yard sales and Goodwill.  They may be scratched or the wrong color, but a little paint will cover that!

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The John 14:6 sign was purchased several years ago, but I didn’t have it hanging up anywhere. I realized it would be perfect to add to this grouping.  I still need one more something to hang on the right side so it will be balanced with the other side of the fireplace.  I’ll show you the finished look when that part gets completed.

In the meantime, I hope this inspires you to seek to tell your story, then be creative with how you do it.  Decorating can be done frugally with a little creativity!

If someone asked you, what would you say is the story you would want your home to convey?

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Chalkboard Pantry Door

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Maybe I love chalkboards so much because I taught school, I don’t know, but I do love them in every shape and fashion!  I have them in several places in my home, but I recently saw a place for a chalkboard that made my jaw drop…it was painted on the pantry door!  “How cute is that?” I thought. I decided then and there that I’d use my leftover chalkboard paint to create that in my kitchen.

But when I got to thinking about putting paint on that vinyl door, it made me wonder what I’d do when the chalkboard love had waned in my heart?  What would I do about that paint?  Another creative thought jumped in and I remembered seeing chalkboard vinyl that could easily be added or removed from a door!!!  This was my answer!

After much searching, I found just what I needed at Hobby Lobby (where else? I should have started there!).  So let me show you the simple process:

The before and after shots:

The vinyl has a grid on the back, making it super easy to cut a straight line, thank the Lord!  Try as I might, my lines wiggle all over the place without those patterns to guide me!  So I measured the width and the length and cut it accordingly.

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Then I took the vinyl with the backing still on it, and starting from the top, I placed the sticky part down,then slowly pulled the backing away, smoothing as I went.  This product went on super well.  It was easy to pull it off and straighten it, or push out any air bubbles,

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Here’s the finished project without any writing on it – all ready for my chalk!!  Woohoo!  It took me 15 minutes to do this!  It doesn’t get any easier.   It’s sticking really well and hasn’t pulled away, but when I am tired of it, it pulls right off. I tested it to be sure!

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I wrote our Easter Menu on the board for the weekend, but…

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it already has a new look on it!  I anticipate changing it out weekly!  Why?  Because I love chalkboards!!

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But wait, here’s another fun use for the vinyl!  Have you ever used the last of your cinnamon and forgotten to add that to your grocery list? Then the next time you go to make cookies you remember you’re out of  it?  Me too!  So I also added a small piece of the vinyl inside my spice cupboard so I could remember the ones I needed to purchase and also which ones were stored away in the pantry.

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Not only was this project fast, it was also very inexpensive!  I used my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and purchased this for less than $5.  I didn’t even use the whole roll, which means two things:

  1. It cost me around $3 to do this fun project!
  2. I have more chalkboard vinyl to add to other places in my house!!!  Hurries off to find a place to use that leftover vinyl…

Do you have chalkboards in your house?  How do you use them?

Refresh your home with a cute chalkboard!

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Adding Spring Touches Around Home

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Today’s post will be mostly a picture album of some changes I’ve made at home to turn things from winter to spring!!  I love how bright and cheery it makes the house!  Ready?

The mantle…

 

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Coffee Table (and mantle in the background)…

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Living room bookshelves…

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I added lighting to the top, and middle shelves.  It doesn’t matter how pretty something is decorated, if it’s in the dark, no one can see it!  I used little battery operated lights on the shelves – see them beside the two bottom arrows below. I also put battery operated votives in the candle holders for light on the bottom shelf (above).

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The Dining room…

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The entryway…

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My kitchen window… The cafe curtain is just two cloth napkins on the rod.  I change them out seasonally to lighten up the window!

Spring curtains

My craft room also got some spring cleaning, straightening and redecorating…

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Adding softness to the table with the placemat really helped!  The quilt over the chair is another way I added texture.  It’s amazing how little changes can make a big difference!

Take a step back and see what winter decor needs to be removed from your home and then let the sunshine in!  Show your love for home by adding spring touches.

Which area above is your favorite?

With love from my spring-y country home,

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Refresh Your Porches for Spring

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It’s springtime!! Woo hoo!! It’s time to clean off the porches so they’re ready to greet your family and friends.  After a long winter, they need some good overhaul to be fresh and inviting!  Here’s what I do:

  1. Sweep off the whole area – porch, steps, and driveway.
  2. Dust the corners, and wipe down any furniture on the porch.
  3. Clean the glass door with glass cleaner. Do it when the sun isn’t shining on it – that will help prevent streaks.
  4. Look at your door mat.  If it looks weary, tired and dirty, replace it with a fresh, spring-y rug.
  5. Add a spring wreath.
  6. Add a little touch of something green.
  7. Add a garden flag or stepping stone

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One thing I love to do in spring and summer is walk through the garden area at Lowe’s!  I get so excited about adding flowers, herbs and all things green to my yard when it turns warm!  Though it is the time to get the front porch in shape, NOW is NOT the time to add annuals because we’re still dealing with dipping temperatures.

Remember that even if you don’t come in your front door, that’s what your guests will see first, so let it give them a grand welcome!

What will you do to make your porch inviting?

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Refreshing Your Home with Simple, Inexpensive Touches

It’s often helpful at home to look at your house through the Eyes of a visitor. We see the limp, faded dishcloth, the worn-out dish towels and potholders every day and get used to them. We need to step back and look at the things we use everyday to see if they need to be replaced and refreshed.  Let’s face it, they get weary looking after a while!

I wash our dish drying mat often to keep it looking its best, but recently noticed that it had gotten old looking and pilled.  The next time I was at T.J.Maxx, I looked for a replacement. I couldn’t believe the difference a simple little change like that made in the kitchen!

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Another easy change that I made was taking out the dark red shower curtain and replacing it with a bright, springy Paisley printed one. I love the brightness it brought to that room!

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Of course a kitty cat will make any room beautiful!

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She was bird watching!
Take a hard look at the things you use everyday and see if they need to be refreshed! You’ll be amazed at how little money it takes,  and how simple the project can be! Consider:

  • Bath towels (but 1 or 2 at a time)
  • Wash cloths
  • Kitchen linens
    • Towels
    • Dish cloth
    • Pot holders
    • Aprons
  • Entry rug
  • Curtains

Refresh the things you use every day – it will perk things up without breaking the bank!

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