Kitchen Mini Makeover

So while we’ve been staying at my bachelor brother’s house, I’ve been trying to do some minor updates to his home. One of the areas I really wanted to tackle was the kitchen, but on a budget.

Our goal was three things: backsplash, faucet with pull out spout, and a microwave above the stove to create more countertop space. Here’s the before…

kitchen mini makeover before

And here’s what it looks like with the mini makeover…

mini kitchen makeoverI have to say, it’s amazing what a backsplash can do for a space!

Now in our last home we installed a ceramic white subway tile backsplash in our kitchen, but in my brother’s house we decided to go with a temporary version… a peel and stick option from Smart Tiles. We did this for a couple reasons, mostly because he might be switching from laminate to a hard surface countertop plus we wanted to stick to a budget.

smart tiles backsplash tutorialSupplies you’ll need for the backsplash:

  • Smart Tiles or any self adhesive wall tile
  • Utility knife
  • Metal ruler or straight edge
  • Level
  • Cutting mat

You’ll want to start with an inside corner and work your way out from both sides. Cut the first tile straight so you have an flush starting point in the corner. Use the level to make sure everything is even.

smart tiles kitchen backsplashThen continue on overlapping the grout lines, trimming out areas for outlets with the utility knife or scissors. Hold up the tiles in place first to make sure it will fit properly before taking off the backing. Once you take off the backing, press firmly into place (I used the back side of a spoon to help).

smart tiles backsplash kitchenThen you’ll start on the second row above your first. This second row will require a lot more trimming of each piece than the first row since you’ll want it to perfectly fit underneath your cabinets. Also make sure you take your time around windows and light switches (measure twice, cut once).

And pretty soon your kitchen will look like this…

mini kitchen makeoverWe were actually quite impressed with the look and feel of this self adhesive tile, not to mention the ease of installation. I completely installed this in one evening all by myself (took me about 4 hours total).

kitchen mini makeover ideas

kitchen makeover on a budget

smart tiles backsplash

mini kitchen makeoverAs you can see, the other big additions to the kitchen were the above-the-stove microwave and the new pull out spout kitchen faucet. You can get more details on how to install a faucet here.

kitchen makeover smart tiles

mini kitchen makeover smart tiles microwave + faucet + backsplash = 1 awesome mini makeover

Overall I’m super happy with the before and after mini kitchen makeover. It’s simply amazing what some simple updates can do!

kitchen mini makeover before and afterThe Smart Tiles were purchased from Joss and Main, but I think you can get them online from other sources. Check Wayfair as well, they often have sales on this product plus tons of other color options.


10th Anniversary + IVF Results

Today Ben and I are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary. Crazy, right? I seriously cannot believe how fast time flies. I mean just look at us on our wedding day… we were just babies that fell in love our senior year of high school and married 6 years later.

wedding photoCan you tell this was before digital photos?
I just barely missed out on that amazing turn of technology. Woof.

wedding trolleySo Ben and I have been together for 16 years (6 dating, 10 married).
That’s almost half my life. Crazy.

Seriously love this man and am so thankful our relationship grows stronger every year. I mean, what other guy would let me draw with permanent marker on his face? And then post it on the internet?

benOr what guy would give up almost every weekend to help his wife with her next big DIY idea? Ben is always willing to lend a hand and follow my crazy dreams. The only thing we still need to work on is his eagerness to shop at thrift stores. That man is a major germaphobe.

kitchen backsplash tutorialBut he’s all mine, ladies. All mine.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.34 AMI have to admit the majority of our photos together as of recent are from our condo balcony in Panama City Beach from each summer vacation. We always have plenty of photos from this exact spot…

Most of them are with Ben making silly faces though. Typical Ben.
And always making really corny dad jokes. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.50 AM

But I tend to forgive him because he’s easy on the eyes.
He might kill me for posting this pic too ;)

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.57.36 AMBen is also an amazing dad. Always up for a bike ride or hiking with Ellie, helping coach her soccer team, or endlessly discussing Harry Potter with her (love my little nerds).

ellie-and-ben 1And this guy is sweet, sensitive, loving, always by my side through the ups and downs, especially during our long battle with infertility.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.48.35 AMSo if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that our first beta test after the IVF transfer was a disappointing 8.5 (anything over a 5 is considered positive though). We were hoping the first beta test would be around 50. Yeah, not the news we were hoping to hear. We held on for hope but it appeared I was having a chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage).

My doctor’s office decided to schedule me for another blood test, this time 4 days later. They say your numbers are supposed to double every 48-72 hours so after a long 4 day weekend we were hoping for above a 34… my results showed 44.6.  Yep, still positive and climbing. I was shocked. Completely shocked. We were hoping the first result was so low because it just implanted late.

But my doctor wanted to keep a close eye on my numbers so we scheduled a third beta test for yesterday morning. We were hoping for above an 89… my results showed 143.7. Yep, still pregnant and growing strong.

This coming Monday I’ll go in for a 4th blood test, then upon those results we would schedule the first ultrasound. I have to admit though, I’m still sitting here on pins and needles. I miscarried before at 7 weeks so I’m trying to be hopeful yet cautious. We’ve been actively trying to conceive since April 2010 (yes, over five years). 9 failed IUI’s and 1 IVF. But here is our second miracle baby, hoping to arrive a little over 8 years after our first miracle baby turned our world upside down.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.49.17 AMThroughout this process I’ve had a very supportive, loving husband who stands by my side through thick and thin. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years brings us. Love you babe!

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.
I hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July!