Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and she's ready to show you her kitchen! (I'm popping in a day early because Missy is feeling under the weather. Praying for a quick recovery, Missy!)
Anyway, my tour is some scary stuff, so hold on to your hats. This tour made me face some hard facts about my kitchen. Number one: I've always thought those bright white kitchens with pale cabinets were pretty... but when I get a chance, I go for the COLOR. I will never have a white or cream or even tan kitchen. It's not in me.
First of all... some pretty flowers. Try to keep this in mind on the journey. It will relieve the psychological stress.
When we first moved to this house in the year 2001, for some reason there was a blue outdoor carpet in the kitchen. Don't ask me why. I have no idea. The cabinets were also dark green. The kitchen was small. Maybe (I'm too lazy to get up and find a measuring tape) 16X12. So, imagine stained weird carpet, dark green cabinets. Long winter. But, I was a (relative) newlywed and life was grand so it only depressed me a little! This is Jacob, born in 2003. I thought I had ripped out that carpet right away, but apparently having three kids under 3 made this not a very high priority! (Oh, this is also my dear friend Eleanor's cat. Pumpkin had been ordered on a diet and she couldn't figure out why he wasn't shedding the weight. Uh huh. I caught Jacob sharing his snacks with Pumpkin.)
OK, next shot that I could find: Sammy just learning to walk, clutching the cabinets for dear life. Sammy was born in 2005, so I know that the new floor was in. One summer day, I ripped out the carpet, bought some industrial tile at a yard sale, painted half of it bright red, and laid a checkerboard floor. Don't ask me why. I had four kids under five and it had to be better than blue carpet. In the background is a drop-in stove my dad gave us when they did a custom remodel on their kitchen. The cabinet Sammy is clutching is also a donation from their house. We only had one counter before, at this point we had three. Heaven!
Oh, side note. When we built on, our kitchen ceiling fell in and had to be replaced. (They took off the roofing and then it rained for three days and soaked the insulation and... BAM. Fun times.)
I found this random piece of a picture and zoomed in... the rack has doodads and pictures and things on it now. Oh, the picture behind the photos of friends... Our honeymoon site. Let me find a better picture.
This was my last deadline and I was standing at the kitchen counter because I couldn't SIT IN THAT CHAIR ONE MORE MINUTE. I felt very Mrs. Gaskell-ish, writing at the kitchen counter while kids rampaged through my workspace.
Oh, right. The map in the background. I saw on Pinterest where you take a map of a special place and cut out a heart. I love this little picture because we honeymooned on the coast so our map looks like a broken heart! This is so us. We can't ever do anything the normal way and it shows.
Oh, I found an old picture of the sink. I did the blue tile in the background. This was before I knew the kitchen would be red. So, then I had a red, white, and blue kitchen. My Mexican husband was not amused. Haha! It's a little less noticeable when I went to teal for the walls and cabinets, but you still feel rather patriotic in that space. I love the old farmhouse sink. There was another in the laundry room when we moved in but we took out it for pantry space.
I tried to find a picture to show how long the opposite counter/cabinet is. Close to six feet, which is great for our fruit bowls. We eat a lot of fruit. This is the winter edition, but in the summer this is all home grown peaches, plums, grapes and cherries. Soon, it will be fall and we'll have boxes of apples!
And our grapes are ripe! Our friend Noe the cellar rat turned vintner says they're Himrod variety.
I love my kitchen because when I look around I see how very blessed we are. So much fresh food, healthy and ready to eat. Some of our blueberries this year, washed and drying, ready to be frozen for wintertime treats.
Favorite spot: I like to stand near my coffee cup, which is usually set next to the stove. I think I stand here because there's an odd little cut out area that leads to the living room and I've had 14 years of trying to keep an eye on littles while drinking coffee.
Favorite thing about my kitchen: the people in it!
Favorite kitchen tip: I don't know what to offer as kitchen advice... Maybe use your kitchen to cook. Don't let it hold your junk. Don't make it the mailbox, the library, or the entertainment center. I have to fight to keep mail from creeping into the kitchen. Bring in friends, family, make food, create memories. Also, don't be afraid to make bold decorating choices (unless you're moving and then the next tenants may not enjoy your mural of Paris at night time).
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my kitchen and are inspired to go make some memories!