20 April 2015

Mila Jane's 1st Birthday Party


I'll admit I slacked on the monthly photo posts (although I did make sure to keep taking the monthly photos so still a win!). This past weekend we celebrated Mila's 1st Birthday with family and friends at our house. We lucked out with amazing weather (78 degrees and sunny all day) and it was just a really fun day overall. The birthday girl did great and even let herself be passed around (she tends to be a mommy's girl). No tears during 'Happy Birthday', unlike her big sister. Her actual birthday is on Wednesday so we will be doing something low-key as a family to celebrate the real day. 



I planned a Garden Party themed birthday party and let pinks and greens be the color scheme. I DIY'd most of the decor thanks to a faux floral sale at Michaels and tons of pink balloons and tissue paper from Target. I scored some paper goods on clearance from Target in different shades of pink and even used some pink Goldfish crackers as decor. I didn't have a full plan when I started, I sort of just let myself create things as I came pu with them. In the end I LOVED the decor of the party and it was exactly how I had imagined a perfect little first birthday garden party would look like. 




As usual, I was too distracted to take many pictures during the actual party (I'm hoping to get some from my parents and in-laws), but wanted to share some photos of the decor and our sweet girls. 



Thank you to all our family and friends who came out to celebrate with us!

02 March 2015

Kitchen Tour


If you follow me in Instagram (@jessicademaio) or if you 'Like' A Simple Kind of Life on Facebook, you saw that I picked up a few new things from Homegoods over the weekend. Three out of four of the items ended up in our kitchen. It was motivation enough for me to clean the space up and take some photos to give you all a real tour.

I like our kitchen a lot. It's a big space and very open, which both Jordan and I like. Is it my dream kitchen? No. Could it be? With some tweaking, it could come close. Before the house was renovated, the kitchen was split into a kitchen and a dining room with a wall between. I can't imagine how cramped both spaces would feel if that wall was still here (we also probably wouldn't have loved the house as much). With the exception of two bar stools at the counter, we didn't have an eat-in kitchen in our townhouse. We also learned from having one and never using it, that we really don't have a need for a formal dining room, so this setup was a perfect solution for our family. 


One of the first things we did in this space was swap out all the lights: the pendant above the sink, the two flush mounts, and the light above the kitchen table. The lighter, brighter ones we chose were such a fresh change.


Past the lights, new paint and our fauxdenza, we haven't done a ton of work in the kitchen. We haven't needed to. One of the biggest things that sold me on this house and the kitchen was the white subway tile. While the cabinets aren't my taste and granite is great, just not the color I would choose, the TILE choice could make or break my kitchen feelings. 


I like clean, simple tile and subway tile is my favorite. Either all one color (grey, black, white) or close to it. I apologize in advance to all of you who have this, but my biggest tile pet peeve is when people insert rows of teeny tiny multicolored tile in between their multicolored backsplash. It's too crazy and busy for me, especially when paired with a busy granite countertop. I just need simple and classic. 


For me, not having to replace tile is huge. What I do want to change? The cabinet color. Yup. Brand new, barely a year old cabinets and I dislike them.


I dream of a tuxedo kitchen. (See examples here, here, and of course here.) Crisp white cabinets up top, dark charcoal grey on bottom. And fresh, modern hardware to replace the current knobs and pulls. I would love an all white kitchen too, but because of the dark tones in the granite I think a charcoal colored cabinet on the bottom would look best.


My favorite part of the kitchen? The french doors that open to our deck. When we were still looking at the house Jordan recommended swapping them out for a sliding glass door, but I put my foot down. French doors are such a dream to me. In the summer I love opening both doors and letting the light and warmth pour into our kitchen. I hope to do some work to them this summer. The plastic dividers are yellowed and cracking and the outside of the door is a half-painted red. I hope to repaint both sides of the doors and remove the dividers for maximum light (picture like this).  



I painted that little sliver of wall on the far left with chalkboard paint. If I was a proper blogger/DIYer I would have had some elaborate calligraphy quote drawn for these photos. But I am a mom, and I'm tired, and I gave my toddler a bowl of Cheez-its and my iPad so I could snap these impromptu photos while the baby napped. 


Had to sneak a shot of these grocery store blooms that we've had for over two weeks without a single dead flower. Sorry for some glaringly bright light in some of these photos. Trying to get good shots in natural light while the outside is covered in bright white snow makes for interesting photos. Maybe I should have adjusted the exposure and taken fresh photos, but like I said. I am a mom and I'm tired... and I finished the Cheez-its last night. Besides then the next batch of photos will make the kitchen look reallllly good, even if I haven't changed anything.


Here's the part of the kitchen I don't know what to do with. There's a built in desk on the small wall between the kitchen and living room. If I was designing this kitchen I would either have done a full counter with glass cabinets above for tons of storage, OR I would scrap anything on this wall in favor or putting an island in the middle of the kitchen. Since I'm not designing this kitchen, I'm stuck with this built in. Bleh.


We are using it for what it is - a desk. More a dumping ground for mail and Lucy's school papers. However, I have a desk upstairs and our house is small enough that we really don't need two office spaces, although I do use it sometimes to do work during the day when the kids are home. I'd like to use this space as something else, however with the uneven counter and the opening for a seat, it's difficult to make it look like anything but a desk. I do think once we paint the cabinets I might like the look of this space a little better.


And for perspective, how the kitchen looks out into the living room. 

End. Of. Tour.


A quickie source list:

Kitchen table, chairs and stools: Target
Placemats: TJ Maxx
Light over table: West Elm
Fauxdenza: DIY (Part IPart II)
Art above fauxdenza: DIY 
'D' Plaque: Anthropologie
Glasses: Anthropologie
Striped towel: West Elm
Indigo Moon print: Honey Lake Studio
Fiddle Leaf plant: Home Depot
Planter: Christmas Tree Shoppes
Shelf with hooks: Target
Pinapple print: Society6
Bulldog bottle opener: Pottery Barn
Cutting board w/handle: Christmas Tree Shoppes
Knife set: West Elm
Red striped towels: Homegoods
Runner: West Elm
Canisters: Amazon
Round cutting board: Crate and Barrel
Pendant above sink: Pottery barn
Flush mount lights: Home Depot
Message board: DIY
Print on desk: Grandmother's recipe, framed
Wood wine holder: Target
Upholstered chair: Target