Home Makeover – Kitchen

The husband and I were lucky enough to buy our first home last year and, in the time since, have been rotating through rooms, updating out biggest pet-peeves in the house. The biggest targets thus far have been the kitchen and the basement. Since Thanksgiving is definitely a Kitchen-centric holiday, I figured I would let you all know what we have been up to there!

The kitchen was always a great sized galley-style kitchen with a TON of cabinets and new-ish appliances. Buying a home with a gas stove was very high on our list of priorities, but to say that lime green walls, gray trim, and yellow cabinets with yellow walls was not our style would be an… understatement. 

Before Pictures

Out with the Green!

Apparently, we lasted all of 3 weeks in the house before we decided to paint the kitchen. We went with Storm Cloud by Sherwin Williams and repainted the trim and doors white. Overall, I really do love this color and I think it created some great contrast with the cabinets. 

And then the Yellow!

It took us nearly another year to get back to the kitchen to make any other changes. First, we just changed the light fixture. Switching out the single, stainless steel pendant for a brown pendant light with 3 lights.

Then in October, my dad came to visit and helped the husband pull up the old floors and install some crown molding. The most hilarious part of this process? The old floors under the floating vinyl floors was basically the exact same shade of yellow…  (The blue is the pad below the “wood” floor)

In with the Gray!

Originally, we were going to wait to do the floors until my in-laws came the week before Thanksgiving to help. However, both the husband and I could no longer stand the ugly, slippery floor we had been stuck with. So, when the husband told me that he really wanted to just start on laying the new tile in the kitchen. I replied with a “ok, let’s do it.” And then proceeded to spend the next 3 weekends covered head to toe in mortar, dust, and grout… just in time for Thanksgiving. 

The Current Status

I am not sure this kitchen will ever be something we declare “finished” while we live in this house, as there are still some big ticket items we would like to change. Namely – I would like the cabinets to be white, and he would like to change out the counter tops. However, I think we have reached a massive improvement over what we started with, and I cannot wait to see the next project. (aka our laundry room)

Are you more of the DIY or hire an expert type? Do you binge HGTV in hopes of getting to implement a few ideas while balancing a horse budget? Or would you rather I shut up about the house stuff and stick to ponies?

Also – who else HATES this new WP editor? It does not flow between the desktop and mobile version, so makes about a dozen more steps to adding pictures for me. 


Cheap, DIY Boot Hole Repair

Now, I always have the best of intentions for all my tall boots. I plan to wipe them down every ride, polish them as necessary, and avoid water/mud/etc at all costs. However, life doesn’t always work that way. I forget my spare boots at home, and have to trudge through the mud in my tall boots; I get talking with a friend and end up in the wash stall without changing; or I am so exhausted after a show or XC school that my boots end up in the back of my car, covered in sweat, for at least a couple of days.

As a result, my poor, everyday Ariat tall boots developed a pretty sizeable hole. Now, I have a gorgeous pair of tall boots that I got for showing, but they are stiff and tight and just… not what I want to wear to the barn everyday. I want to wear my broken in boots. The one whose toe is so worn, I can’t even polish them properly anymore. The pair I could walk a mile in, and not have my back hurt. The pair that is so broken in that they have that little extra grip on XC. However, this was definitely an issue:

I debated just getting a new pair of boots. The current pair are being discontinued (Ariat Heritage Contours), so they are on a steep discount. However, they are still more than $150, and I hadn’t been able to find the exact size I was looking for. The new version, while I am sure it is lovely, is about $300. At this point, I figured I would take matters into my own hands. I would fix my boots myself. Enter, Shoe Goo.

Shoe Goo

This stuff was black and at my door for less than $7 with Amazon Prime. It promised a waterproof seal on leather. Why. Not. The instructions were pretty straight forward: apply to clean dry surface, let dry for 24 hours, and do not let it touch anything you don’t want it to get on or you can’t throw away. So I decided to fix my boot in the middle of our kitchen island, while drinking a strawberry daiquiri. The result?

No. It is not beautiful, but it is fully sealed. It is also nearly impossible to see when I am in the saddle, and I figure with a bit more abuse and dirt (and maybe even some polish for the rest of the boot), it will be even less noticeable. The finish is more rubbery than plasticy, so the boot maintained its flexibility. Could I have done a cleaner job with some disposable sponges or something? Sure… but I really just wanted a functional boot back and to seal off the damage so it didn’t spread. I think that was achieved.

I ended up riding in the boots on Sunday and doing a total of 25 minutes of trot sets. The seal held, and I didn’t notice any uncomfortable stiffness or rubbing near the ball of my foot, where I had made the repair. So was the $7 worth it? Totally. I am calling it a (small) step up from duct tape!