Friday, November 28, 2014

Let there be light! - Kitchen Reno

The pot lights are in! Here's a picture with the main set turned on.  There is another pot light on a separate circuit over the sink that isn't turned on in the picture. We also have a light in the over-the-range microwave - I like to use a light over the stove when I'm cooking.

I can't believe how modern the pot lights make the space look, and how clean the lines are without pendants or fixtures. We decided against pendant(s) over the island because we're all so tall and I figured they would just become annoying while hanging in our line-of-sight or in our peripheral vision.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Always Available

I recently removed my work related apps from my personal cell phone in an attempt to find a little more work/life balance. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job. But I found that having those banner messages and badges pop-up on my home screen, regardless of the day or hour, was seriously affecting my family life.

I work 20 hours a week from home.  By home, I mean when I'm not at a meeting or stopping by the office for some reason. But in the last couple of months my work has exploded and it has gotten nearly impossible to stay within that 20 hour/week time constraint.  I thought that the convenience of having work messages come to my personal cell phone was the greatest thing when dealing with nearly constant emails and messages, until I realized that the line between my work and my personal life was blurring to the extent that I was responding on Sunday afternoons and the middle of the night (I've been a chronic insomniac since having influenza a couple of years ago, don't ask me how it correlates, but that's when it started).

Part of the beauty of working from home (besides wearing sweatpants) is that sometimes your schedule works in such a way that once the kids are in bed, you head back to the computer to put in a couple of hours, because you spent the day volunteering at the school or having a long lunch with your mom - there is wonderful flexibility.

The blurred lines of my schedule would probably not be a problem if I didn't also have two elementary aged children, a husband who works long hours, if I didn't sit on a couple of  boards (okay, 3 actually), or hope to maintain some paltry form of relationship with friends and family.

I was thinking back to the olden days (yes, I'm that old) when you had a landline at home, and a landline at work and that was it.  Maybe you had an answering machine at one or both.  If people wanted to get in contact with you they called one or the other and if they couldn't reach you, they called back later.  Can you imagine that now?

Technology has made it so that almost everyone is available all the time.  You can call, text, email, or direct message on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. It's hard to imagine not being able to get ahold of someone at almost any moment that you want or need to.  But with that convenience comes an overwhelming wave of technological contact and the increasing belief that instantaneous response is critical in all situations, no matter how mundane.

So, after having my 6 year old ask me recently why I worked so much, I decided to turn off my phone and shut my laptop on the weekends and focus on finding some balance.

I challenge you to do it too, whatever your "weekends" are, turn away from your screen and towards your loved ones as you spend time with them!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 2 - Kitchen Reno

This is how it's looking at our place right now. I can't stress enough what a massive change it's made in the flow & light on the main level with a wall removed.

The new window was installed yesterday and most of the cabinet boxes are in place & attached.

The giant construction garbage bin was taken away today and the countertop guys are coming to template the countertops.

I don't think it's too optimistic to say that the kitchen might be done in 2 weeks, other than some painting & trim that we are doing ourselves (and by "we" I mean Mike.)

One thing that many people don't know is that new cabinets have different dimensions than the old ones. They are deeper, taller and have more clearance between the countertops and upper cabinets.

Also, brown will soon be banished from all but one room of the house! Yay!!!




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 2 - Kitchen Reno

I am not coping well with this renovation. I'm like an 80 yr. old completely set in my ways who cannot tolerate change in any way.

I'm always expecting the worst.

Also, because we had to empty the entire kitchen as well as the attic access areas, my small house is so full of stuff that you can barely walk in it. I simultaneously don't want to be here, but am scared to not be here in case something bad happens or is discovered (ie. foot through the ceiling, mold, electrical issues, fires, floods, etc.) Not that I could do anything about it.

And actually, mold was discovered behind the sink but we were kind of expecting that. Thankfully it hadn't permeated beyond the drywall.

As you can see from the picture below, we now have a space where a wall used to be.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 1 - Kitchen Reno

My kidlets are staying overnight at the farm and my kitchen is totally torn up. I'm feeling very out-of-sorts.