Category Archives: Coffee Station

Chalkboard Plaque {Don’t believe me, ask the dishes!}

Plaque Turtorial

I’m pretty sure you can buy these sorts of plaques at any craft store or if you aren’t as crafty but you are a bit thrifty, I found mine at Goodwillys.

I was immediately drawn to it because it looked a lot like a disney character. Do you see it, too? Without hesitation, I bought the plaque and then quickly put it in my craft box until I was ready for it. I ended up ‘being ready’ for it 8 months later. It just so happened that I needed a chalk board. I put 2 and 2 together and decided to craft myself a chalkboard plaque.

I finished the project within 2 hours including drying time between layers of chalk paint. Here’s how I did it.

Using a Clorox bleach wipe, I wiped the entire plaque to reveal its glory.

Plaque Before

The sun was out in Seattle, so Archer and I took advantage of this by completing our entire project outside in the yard.

Plaque Archer

Are you awarding me with that? It’s not gold.

Using my orbital sander, I began sanding the top of the plaque to remove the veneer. I didn’t sand the edge of the plaque as I thought it gave it a Made Men look. They wouldn’t use chalk, I know, but they would like that I was using something that designates achievement.

Plaque Sanding

I was able to completely remove the veneer by sanding. After doing so, I used another Clorox wipe and washed off all of the sanding debris.

Plaque Sanding Finished

Are you beginning to see which Disney character this looks like? Hint: “This is yet another example of the late neoclassic Baroque period. And, as I always say, “If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!”

I used painters tape to tape around the top surface. This was a bit tricky, as the face, er, the plaque surface had angled edges. It took a lot of tape maneuvering and tearing.

Plaque Taped for Painting

Using an old bottle of chalkboard spray paint, I did as I’ve been told to do by every can of spray paint, ever.

Light, even strokes and let it dry in between coats.

Chalkboard Spraypaint

After the first coat:
Plaque Chalkdboard Paint Layers

And after the 5th coat I peeled away the painters tape to reveal my perfect chalkboard plaque.

Plaque Finshed

I hung it in the kitchen where we tend to do most of our documenting: shopping lists, to-do lists, recipes, menus, etc.

Plaque Finished Close - up

Have you guessed which Disney character I am referring to, yet?

If you are like me and immediately saw Cogsworth from The Beauty and The Beast, then you, too, are amazing!

Naturally, G1 and I took turns drawing on our best Cogsworth face. I went first….

Plaque Candice

Cogsworth according to G2
“[singing] Well, perhaps there’s something there that wasn’t there before.”

And G2 took it to the next level. He can do no wrong to Cogsworth.

Plaque Patrick

Cogsworth according to G1:
“Well, there’s the usual things: flowers… chocolates… promises you don’t intend to keep… “

We love having Gaston in our kitchen, servicing us like the true Beauty and the Beast that we are.


…A tale as old as time….

Tagged , , ,

Organizing A Dump Zone After Moving

MovingInDumpZoneThe boxes that once held our home have been slashed and broken down to flat, lifeless, 2D objects yet the items they once held are still making a big impact in our life. Our goal was to unload all the boxes – no problem (except the two boxes that still sit in the office; those are a problem). All the  boxes are empty and the bonus? everything is piling up in the kitchen on a shelf that came with the house. I’m pretty sure that all of it is piled up here because it’s on it’s way downstairs, but someone didn’t have the enthusiasm to actually take it downstairs.

For some reason, and I blame it on living in tiny apartments until now, we will avoid any task that involves up going upstairs or downstairs. The laundry is downstairs and our bedroom is upstairs. We may have bought a few more laundry baskets to try and do laundry less and our room may be the only place in the house where we haven’t done any actual moving-in.

I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin  where she made a ‘rule’ to do anything that doesn’t take more than a minute to do. For us, that means taking the laundry downstairs, putting our shoes in the closet, hanging our jackets instead of throwing them over the couch, and filling up the Brita pitcher with water before we put it back in the fridge. All these little things, when left undone, can create a bit of chaos so we started using the one minute roll as well. Everywhere except the shelf in the kitchen! Time for a new goal : Organize the kitchen dump zone, where everything that doesn’t have a designated home (or belongs in the basement) lands.

MessyClutterBothThe shelf in the kitchen came from the basement and belongs to the home’s owner and since we were desperate for counter space we brought it up to tie us over.  It had collected the fruit bowl, dinner plates that don’t fit in the cupboard, a box of lightbulbs, a tool box and drill, and a lovely hydrangea that is waiting to be planted.

First thing I did was take the dreaded descent into the basement. I gathered all the tools and lightbulbs and general ‘garage stuff’and took it downstairs where it belongs. I then vowed to implement the ‘one minute rule’ to make sure that this tool pile-up didn’t happen again.

And just like that, I had my shelf back.

ShelfStage1It was a breath of fresh air. And then it was a very long exhale as I realized that the shelf seemed unwarranted, and that I needed to make it useful. I had been wanting to move the coffee machine and accessories off of our counter to make more space, so I decided to make a coffee station on the shelf.


Now we’re talking. I liked that I was able to bring all of the coffee supplies together and free up some space on the kitchen counters. Was I in love with it? No, but it was much better than where it started  so I decided to move onto the built-in hutch.


At least the hutch wasn’t full of tools. There were a few things that gathered that didn’t belong: two spice racks from Ikea, vases, a flashlight, and doggy-doo-doo bags. So as I did with the shelf, I took everything away that didn’t belong.


The plates that used to be on the shelf fit nicely on the hutch but looked a little out of place, so I added the rest of our collection. I added the vintage radio for a splash of color and my ‘deer’ friend for a bit of decor. The jar on the bottom is the most important as it is home to a variety of dog treats and we all know that a happy dog is a happy home.

HutchDetailI bought the cracker jars at Wal-mart and found the labels at World Market. The style of labels on the right were pre-printed  and the jar on the left is a chalkboard label. Did I mention that World Market is quickly becoming my favorite store?




I was happy with my progress thus far. I had a nice organized hutch and a coffee station shelf. Buuuuuuuuuut, I didn’t really love the shelf.

So, I brought in it’s replacement:

HutchandShelfFinalThe Ikea shoe cabinet. This cabinet is amazing! The drawers pull towards you and you can slide in your shoes. We haven’t really found a great place for it in our house where we can actually use it as a shoe cabinet, so I was happy to bring it in and replace the shelf. It seemed to fit perfectly; both the white color and the size.


My sister-in-law came over and came up with the brilliant idea to put wine bottles in the cabinets.


Now that I was content with that corner of the kitchen, I only had one corner left: the butcher block.


I quickly tidied up the butcher block corner of the kitchen by hanging the knife magnet and adding a picture.


The cook books found a home on the bottom shelf of the kitchen cart.



And Archer found a home right in front of my camera.



The entire dump-zone organization wasn’t as awful as I imagined it to be. It really consisted of taking everything that didn’t belong in the kitchen away and then re-situating what did belong until I liked what I saw.


There is a list accumulating with projects that I want to complete in the kitchen including paint and add curtains.

I’ll keep you posted on any other updates!