Archive | 31 Days

to do list {day 23}

i have a huge to-do list today. well, really this week. it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all.

but it hit me as i sat down to write the 100 thank you notes i have on my plate.  i can get so overwhelmed by them…or i can see them as a blessing. because really, to write that many thank you’s means i was that many times overly blessed!! and it overwhelms me how blessed we’ve been! each thank you is thanking the person but it’s really thanking God for placing that person in our lives. each thank you is a prayer for that person. amen and amen!

day 23


better get back to writing!

xoxo-kimberly renee

ps-thanks to everyone who commented on the kitchen ceiling renovation post yesterday! i really appreciate all of your love and encouragement about it!! 

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}

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a place to sit {day 22} + our first REAL renovation!

today i’m thankful for just a place to sit in our kitchen. we are really truly blessed to have this little perch as silly as that sounds! as i think about how thankful i am to be able to have a cup of tea here or sit while Husbuddy does the dishes or where he sits while eating his oatmeal in the morning or checks his laptop while i finish dinner. this little place is going to be a good place to sit for years to come.

day 22

it makes me think of the story of how we got here.  so today, i’m going to share with you the whole story of our crazy-kitchen-ceiling-adventure or in other words… our first diy renovation project!

fair warning… this post is ridiculously long!!

remember how our kitchen looked:

kitchen2this picture was taken THE day we bought the house. because that afternoon, we knew that we wanted to tear out the dropped ceilings.

we wanted to do this for multiple reasons:

  1. they seemed dusty and gross
  2. they had a musty smell
  3. i think they are ugly
  4. we knew we could get a few more inches out of the ceiling height because we’d pulled it back and saw that the cabinets went to the ceiling!

so we went for it! that very day! {can we say a little bit excited to get going?! lol} what really motivated us is that we knew we had 1 week until we were moving in. we wanted to have this messy job done with before we were trying to live in the kitchen!

the beginning

little did we know what we were in for. we saw the wall paper and thought we’d just have a few cosmetic fixes.

then we hit this little road bump:

frustration station talk about frustration station. can you see it in his body language?! he was SO deflated!

removing frame

but i encouraged him with ideas and knew that we could do it! we had already come this far, we knew that we didn’t want to admit defeat and just put the ceiling tiles back up there (besides, we’d already broken a few) …so onward ho!

don't mess with me

despite the frustration, he rocked the demo process.

here is Husbuddy removing the central fan/light that was the main light source in the kitchen… it was kind of a mess too.

removing celing fan

here was most of the view of our kitchen ceiling dilemma: can we say, huge mess?

the reason for dropped ceiling


we wondered if the reason the previous owners had put in the dropped ceiling  was just to cover up this mess because the idea of replacing the plaster seemed too big? or because the plumbers were too lazy to actually fit their pipes up inside the ceiling? eitherway… first things first: we needed to box out “the problem”.

the problem

you can see that the plumbing from our upstairs bathroom cut down into the cabinets inhibited the ceiling to be flush. we’d need to create a 2×4 box, cut out the plaster to create a clean line for the drywall, learn how to drywall, and then hope for the best. {HA. what this little architect SHOULD have done FIRST was measure everything before her super motivated Husbuddy got way ahead of her…but that’s besides the point and too late now for all the fights and tears…we’ve made it through and it looks just fine.}

here is one of our first of a million trips to Lowes. buying a saw to cut the plaster our as well as a few 2x4s …that barely fit into our car.

fitting wood in our car

we got back to the house and started working. then we wrote this endearing letter to our kitchen ceiling.

dear plaster ceiling,

we hate you. please come down quickly.

with no love, us.

ack. have you ever tried to remove plaster? biggest pain in the you know what. took FOREVER. used a hundred saw blades. at least. made the biggest mess of dust and chunks of heavy plaster falling down. needless to say we were really motivated to get this part done BEFORE we moved in.

cutting plaster

it took multiple day/evening trips to get all the plaster down. we were a little surprised that it was so hard and took so long!

but Husbuddy is a rock star and pushed through. once he has direction, he goes for it!

and here is the ceiling with nice straight lines and our little box framed  out! box build out

{note: this is where this little architect should have drawn up the plans to realize we needed to account for the drywall thicknesses…oh how could i have been so stupid? it’s my fault for not thinking clearly and rushing blindly ahead… live and learn, right?!}

then we went to the store and bought drywall.

we need a truck

then we tried to fit it in our little subaru impreza. we ended up buying a utility knife {that Husbuddy swears is the best thing he bought and we NEEDED anyway…lol} so that we could cut each of these 8×4 boards into 2×4 pieces.

fitting drywall in our car

but we conquered that parking lot dilemma y’all.  boom! ha. we got it to fit in our tiny car.

and Husbuddy got working straight away to screwing drywall on the ceiling. can we just mention…drywall is heavy?! and kinda hard to hold in place? especially if you’re holding the screw driver in one hand? and also if you’re trying to “help” while being pregnant? haha. oh boy was that fun. *sarcasm sign*

showing off skills

but Husbuddy totally rocks and was able to install all the drywall with minimal holding up from me. {don’t worry, he only screwed into the floor joists above, not into the lathe that we left for spacing}

the man

meanwhile, i conquered the wall paper crown that made its way around most of the room: do you think we should have left this classy detail? lol

wall paper

things that posed the most difficulty was aligning the drywall to the plaster. the plaster was sagging and doing weird things from one side to the other.

dry wall going on

but we just went with it and then started plastering. another super messy step, but this was kind of fun so i helped as much as i could. you like the white dust all over my face? lol. {you can see though behind me where we should have aligned the plaster and drywall better… plaster was NOT filling in the gap…learning experience, folks!}

even kim spakled

we didn’t count on how long it took to dry and how many coats of plaster we really needed… we were getting preciously close to our move-in date!  but we thought if we could just get the plastering done(because sanding that was super messy) before move in we’d be good. so early mornings and late nights defined that week because Husbuddy was still working full time.

what really bummed Husbudy out was when a contractor (who was working on some other inspection related items) noticed the problem with alignment that i mentioned above… he promptly got out his knife and cut out all the plaster that Husbuddy had so generously put in…and then screwed the plaster up to make things more even…should have done that from the beginning…but now we were set back days of plastering on that section! whew…learning experience folks… again.

but i’m so proud of my rock-star of a Husbuddy. he powered through and completed the job!

almost done spakling

and we ended up moving in before we painted the ceiling. oh well. painting actually didn’t make that big of a mess anyway. we took turns using the roller or cutting in on the edges. can i just say, ceilings are exhausting?  we painted it a bright white because of having only the 1 window in the space, we want to make everything as bright as possible.


the next piece that was “needed” was a light fixture for the center of the kitchen. we could have waited but we had to use table lamps all over the kitchen when we cooked and it just seemed that the sooner we got that done, the better. we debated whether we should put in the old ceiling fan light to save money for now, but we figured we’d put so much work into the ceiling already, we might as well get something “fun” up to complete the ceiling. so we went for it.

i wanted a industrial looking light fixture because of our more historic house,  like in this inspiration picture.

Northside Residence

i fell in love with these and these from Barn light Electric because they were really historic looking and because i couldn’t get separate pendants since we only had 1 electrical box. i wanted the light to be silver though because even though i like oil rubbed bronze look, i don’t think it’s right for this house and i’m afraid it’s more of a trend. then i found a lowes version that was the right finish and looked like the Barn Light Electric ones! whoop!

so here is our industrial light fixture installed by Husbuddy himself! {sorry for the slightly blurry photo, but i took this with my phone at night and i just couldn’t help it but put in the picture of Husbuddy super proud of his light-installation skills.} the only thing is that we need a dimmer and probably a lower wattage light bulb. we’re working on that.

ceiling light

the next “problem” we ran into was that -you can’t tell in the picture above- but the pendant hung low enough {like it should over an island} that Husbuddy kept hitting his head walking around the kitchen. we always knew we wanted an island in the kitchen because there is plenty of room and not that much counter space. we just didn’t think we’d get it right away. i had dreams of a rustic Amish weathered wood island… alas. every time we looked at those they were thousands of dollars.

then we found this island from ikea. oh ikea…


it’s just about perfect. except for the rustic part. ha. but i can live with that. i love the wood counter and the extra shelves {even though we don’t fill up all the space in the kitchen now as it is!} and of course, as mentioned at the beginning of this ridiculously long post, i love that we have a place to sit in the kitchen now.


so here is our kitchen for now.

i don’t want to say “after” because i have big dreams for this place. i want to paint the cabinets white to brighten everything up. the “box” that we built needs a crown at where it meets the cabinets above the refrigerator. that big empty space next to the refrigerator would be a really cool chalkboard, don’t you think?  the backsplash and counter top need attention and love… so there are a lot of “things” still to do in this kitchen… but it’s SO nice right now! we have so much space and the ceilings are the right height {which was the whole goal to begin with} and now painted a beautiful white instead of ugly dropped/smelly/tiles.


i’m SO thankful that we were able to do this all before baby comes. we love hanging out and cooking in the kitchen now! and i see lots of good times in this room ahead.

so there ya go, full disclosure on our first renovation project. good job for those of you who made it all the way through this huge post!  ha! so, what do you guys think?!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}








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a little can of paint {day 21}

lots of people keep asking if everything is all ready for baby to arrive in the nursery. i just answer, well, i’ve painted the dresser!

i have a LOT more to do to get ready and to organize but today’s picture comes from my view of  while waxing the dresser today. it’s amazing what a little can of paint can do.

here is the sad state of the dresser to start with: {along with random memorabilia from both of our childhoods- i guess i should have CLEANED off the dresser before taking this photo…ack}  before dresser

this dresser came with our bedroom set from when we got married. we got a “cheap” bedroom set when we thought we were getting a good deal on a “nice” bedroom set. ever happen to you?! so frustrating! pieces started falling apart immediately and the finish was horrible.  and it’s too bad you buy so much of your furniture when you’re too young to know what you like…too soon i realized that i didn’t really like the orange-tone of the fake veneer wood {who knew i wouldn’t like the orange?!} or the vanity mirror that went with this dresser. the bed frame fell apart after our 3rd move. so, needless to say, i was just fine with giving up this dresser for baby as long as we could make it look nice enough.

thankfully, my in-laws were in town to help! JT’s dad fixed all the drawers that were wonky and secured the frame to make it more sturdy. he’s such a thoughtful handyman and he really made it SO much better!!  And Pam helped me paint! i had wanted to try using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because i’ve heard and read such rave reviews.

painting drawers with pam

it goes on SO easy. no sanding, no priming. no VOC. water based. wow! we were both amazed. if the color of the wood behind the paint had been better we probably would have only needed 1 coat and we would have rubbed the edges to give it more of a distressed look. but neither of us liked the orange showing through the gray so we actually did 2 coats.

painting drawers


it’s amazing what a couple of coats of paint will do. it transformed the piece from one i semi-hated to one that i’m in love with. baby girl’s clothes and diapers area going to look so good in this little beauty!

here is a view of the dresser at the moment. i’ve done 1 coat of wax and will probably add another just to make sure it’s completely covered. i begged Husbuddy spray paint the drawer pulls pink. i wanted to get new pretty glass pulls but that would have added too much to the cost. so i just went with what we had and spray painted them!

day 21

once i get the room painted a little more organized, i’ll show an “after” picture. for now, here’s my little tease. hee hee.

sometimes change- just a little change- like the amount of change a can of paint can bring- is GOOD. has anyone else had the revelation? or is that just me? has anyone else tried Chalk Paint(note: it’s not chalkboard paint!!)? what were your thoughts?

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}


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The Word heals {day 20}

day 20


“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction”

Psalm 107:20

only God’s word has the power to REALLY heal us…through and through…even from ourselves. i pray that we all can think about that and meditate on that thought today.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}

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10 weeks and counting {day 19 + baby bump!}

this is my reading list at the moment:

day 19

actually i forgot to include a huge pile of baby books. but let’s be honest, i’ve been a little overwhelmed with the baby stuff so i’ve been avoiding the books like the plague… doh. anyhoo…

you see my favorite study bible and journal. there’s also a book that Husbuddy and i started reading together this week. we like to do that every once in a while. pick up a book(it’s not always about marriage!!) and then each read a chapter or two (separately! we’re not good at doing it together) and then 1 day a week we go out for coffee (or make fancy hot chocolate at home) and talk about the chapter we just read. (whew, longest sentence ever with all the parenthesis! lol) since we only just started reading it, i can’t give too much of a review, but feel free to ask in a couple weeks! we are big fans of Driscoll though and we are always checking out new marriage books because we believe it’s SO important to keep working on our relationship. it’s been 7 years of doing this little ritual and i pray that we’ll still be doing it in 50 years!

the top book  on the pile is also new this week.  i picked up the Beth Moore book, Whispers of Hope,  it’s a 10 week study/practice of prayer.  it kind of stuck out to me at Barnes and Noble as i was searching for my sister’s Christmas present. 10 weeks of devotional prayer? that would be good for me! then i realized why “10 weeks” stuck out to me… i have 10 weeks until baby girl arrives! ah!

10 weeks of prayer.

70 days of practicing prayer before life gets turned upside down.

it’d be SO good for me. so i went with it. so far i’ve been convicted that i really DO desire a deeper prayer life and i know that baby girl won’t make it any easier. i’m hoping that these 70 days will be full of practicing prayer to 1. hold me over in the new phase of life, 2. help prepare my heart for being a mama, and 3. help me to keep praying when life looks different.

speaking of 10 weeks left… i owe you guys a baby bump update! it seems like we skip taking photos every couple of weeks for whatever random reason but here are the latest 3 photos!


i feel HUGE. some days i look down and wonder how much bigger i could really get in the next 10 weeks. oh boy oh boy!

10 weeks will go by fast, right? i mean, could i really get THAT much bigger?

and really, i can’t take too much longer of Husbuddy calling me “humpty-dumpty”!! ha.

{ps, i am going to need a maternity winter a jacket because i can’t get any of my jackets to zip over the belly any more…anyone have an old one i can have?! or anyone want to donate to the cause of keeping the belly warm? hee hee. here’s to hoping the warm weather lasts a little longer! }

{pss: Husbuddy only calls me that when i’m in a really good mood and avoids calling me that when my emotions are out of control…which is like- all the time. so, don’t worry, i know he’s joking and he really has only called me that a couple times… no need to go yelling at him or anything. lol.}

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}





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light reflections {day 18}

i love seeing light reflections on random things. it’s beautiful to think that light coming from someplace else, is reflected on an object that can’t -by-itself- make light. it makes me think about how WE are called to be lights to the world. and yet, WE ourselves can’t conjure up the light ourselves. we can only reflect.

day 18

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105

our light reflections have to come from God and His word. can i get an amen?!

along with this post i wanted to show you how i personalized these lamps for our new house. we started out with a couple of *free* {yay!} lamps that were given to us from the church yard sale. we are still in desparate need of lighting around our place so it was awesome to score a couple of free ones!

lamps original

as you can see they needed some love. the brass had discolored unevenly and had turned rather ugly…  lamps1

so i got out the spray paint. first i used a primer for metal. i almost hesitated here because i fell in love with the white! but i was on a mission for a bright color. i can always spray them white some day when i get sick of the blue.lamps2note to self: spray paint on a level surface…not on the grass! doh. took a few tries to get the bottom cleaned up.

but i think they turned out nicely, don’t you? lamps4

and they go with our blue chevron rug. it’s nice to bring in the color since we don’t really have the time or resources to paint the room right now! Husbuddy thinks the shades could use a little decoration. right now i’m loving them just plain white. we could always add a ribbon or something in the future. what do you think?lamps3

xoxo- kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}


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the start of something {day 17}

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

day 17

isn’t is so exciting to start a new project? last night i started priming the nursery. it felt exciting to see the start of something new and fun!

in NO WAY am i comparing the start of my silly little paint project to the start of God’s masterpiece in Genesis 1. i was just struck today that God is creative too. He created EVERYTHING. and EVERYONE. and no one is exactly the same. how creative is that? He created out of nothing. absolutely nothing. that is crazy to really sit and think about.

God is SO very creative and i’m SO thankful that my creativity is something that i inherited(so to speak) from Him. He made us all to be creative!

{check out this blog  doing 31 days of living art to study more about this idea that our attribute of individuality and creativity comes from our creative God!…she talks about how we all have art “to make” in her new book that i’m dying to read} 

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{this is part of a 31 day series about “Seeing Creatively” through the camera. to see the other 31 posts, click HERE}

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