Thursday, June 22, 2017

Munch's Fifth Grade Graduation


Throwback Thursday (TBT) to the time my kid graduated from Kindergarten.  Do you remember that post(click here to read)?  It was when I had the nerve to think she was a kid... I mean, look at her.  She CLEARLY was still a baby.  How do I know?!  What do you mean?  Look at her cheeks! Little baby teeth.  She is totally a baby.

Here's a not-so-long-ago TBT fo' yo' mind:


It happened.  She kept growing.  And growing.  Until last Thursday, when she graduated from elementary school as in she. is. going. to. middle. school.  MIDDLE SCHOOL?!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the day as it progressed in my story.


Seriously, if you're looking for a constant Island fix, check it out.  I try to post something on the Instagram Story everyday.  To that end, I may post everyday but the behind-the-scenes deets are found only here on the island!

I spent weeks preparing for graduation.  We had the outfit planned, I picked up a few gifts, I invited those close to us... we were ready.  Right?!


We scheduled her hair appointment and she started to FEEL like she was ready with her fresh blowout and cut.


Graduation day was finally here.  We arrived to her school and we (even my juicy new nephew) were seated.




The ceremony started and Munch walked out with her escort.


She didn't know her dad was able to make it.  Islanders, if you could've seen her face light up when she saw how many people came out to support (especially Daddy), it really was a sweet moment; she couldn't hold her excitement.  With Pomp and Circumstance playing, I could barely hold back my tears; it got real for a moment. No tears.  No tears, Tabitha.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kitchen Updates: Tips for Everything Else

Hi, friends!
First, thanks for so many positive comments and feedback; it's greatly appreciated.  There were a few other tips I wanted to offer for anyone looking to have a beautiful and functioning kitchen.

1.  Update the lighting.

Every kitchen I've owned had flourescent lighting and we've always had a decorative cover.  In the case of the townhouse flip, there was a flourescent light with an outdated cover.  With everything else in the getting a face lift in the space, the light fixture started to take some of my focus.  We took a trip to Lowe's to shop for an affordable light fixture and found a simple one for about $30.  It included bulbs and was a cinch to install.


In the photo above, you can't see it but when the flourescent light was removed, an ugly portion of the ceiling was exposed.  Thankfully, with the light on, you couldn't tell.  I had to get creative because I didn't have time to paint the entire main living level ceilings before the showings would start.  I came up with an idea to use trim to create a 'frame' around the light fixture and to use some of the extra paint to create a focal point. 


The accent paint on the ceiling gave the illusion the light fixture was more of a statement piece while having the paint on the ceiling ensured it didn't take away from the design of the space.  I loved how it turned out so much that I've recommended it to everyone who loathes their bulky flourescent light.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kitchen Appliances Within Your Budget

Happy Monday, Islanders!

New appliancesNew backsplash | Updated countertop Updated cabinets

We've been talking about the townhouse flip kitchen and, if you can't tell, we did a lot within our budget.  Of all the eye sores in the kitchen, the ones that cost me the most would have to be the appliances, particularly the refrigerator.

Refrigerators need to keep food chilled at a certain temperature and, as they age, they work harder to do so.  I noticed the refrigerator in the townhouse flip ran often.  Loudly.  I then became numb to it... until I noticed it ran constantly.  As we neared the time to list, I started to price out replacement appliances.  Most people would say go for the stainless steel - they're shiny and new and all the rage right now.  I, however, have owned stainless steel and they're impossible to keep clean.  fingerprints and streaks, dulling and scratches... it's all a pain when you want things to appear as shiny and new as possible.  They're also much more than the standard colors.  For the townhouse flip, I decided to price out black appliances.  I've compiled a list of 3 ways to save money on your appliances!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kitchen Backsplash: Floor and Decor to the Rescue!

New appliances | New backsplashUpdated countertop Updated cabinets


When I met Melina, I found a new home improvement store and I fell in love.  She took me to Floor & Decor and, I kid you not, it was overwhelming and awesome and -- just **exhales adoringly** love.


Floor & Decor offers affordable solutions for all of your tile and flooring needs.  

In the case of the townhouse kitchen, Melina found boxes of marble tiles on clearance.  Each tile was selling for .20 each.  They were normally $2.00 each; that's a 90% savings!!  The tiles were shades of gray, green, taupe and brown and they blended perfectly with the rustic wood-look vinyl floors. Plus, each tile was unique with its own variation of the aforementioned colors.  SOLD!  Now, I loved the marble tile (look and price) but I knew we were going to buy new black appliances and I felt we needed something to tie the earth tones of the tile with the bold black of the new appliances.  To make it work, we decided to buy a few sheets of these glass tiles:


Islander Tip: to create the insert, we cut the tile sheets down to smaller sections that were two rows wide.  Doing so saved money and effort.  Individual tiles are EXPENSIVE and the labor to adhere each one can take a lot of time.

With the glass tiles purchased, we applied them to the wall along the center portion of the backsplash.  I know what you're thinking and it looks a lot harder than it is.  I would've normally outsourced a project of this nature but, when I received a quote for a job similar in size, I was looking to spend $500!

We installed the backsplash for WAY less than HALF of that price by purchasing supplies only!  Plus, I learned how to install tile from Melina and, if you're willing to invest some sweat equity, it's much easier than you think.  Check out Youtube for some tutorials and tips.


The purpose of a backsplash is to provide visual interest and a wipe-able surface behind the appliances and kitchen workspace.  I love how we also used the backsplash to brighten the space and unify the main living level decor!

Stay tuned for more ideas and tips to affordably update your kitchen space!  We're on a roll!


Munch's Fifth Grade Graduation

Throwback Thursday (TBT) to the time my kid graduated from Kindergarten.  Do you remember that post( click here to read )?  It was when I...

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