Archives For Window Shopping

I’ve never been crazy about the hardware on my kitchen cabinets, but what’s really crazy is that I’ve put up with it for nearly four years. There’s no reason not to address something that’s so easy and relatively inexpensive to change. I bought some black cup pulls at Lowe’s on a whim at least a year ago but when I got home I realized they were not the right size for the holes already in my drawer fronts. Instead of just returning them I perseverated on how to make them work and–surprise–they’re still sitting in a pile as of today. Last week I finally decided to start shopping for some new hardware and found it totally overwhelming. So if you’re in the market for some new cabinet hardware maybe I can save you some time if you like any of the options below:

Affordable Cabinet Hardware

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Which one do you think that I chose??? They’re supposed to arrive tomorrow and I’m super excited, especially since none of the projects I started this weekend have actually come to fruition just yet. Hopefully switching the hardware will be so simple I can knock it out one night after dinner! I really need a quick and easy project after spending the last several weeks working on some more complicated stuff, like the beadboard backsplash and wood and metal shelves.

Thanks for reading, my friends. I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

As I slowly but surely work on beautifying our kitchen I feel like the smallest details are taunting me. Namely, the dish soap.

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Call it nitpicky, but I’m on the hunt for a pretty soap pump. Here are my favorites:

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1.TwoDiggingDivas | Hand Dug Upcycled Vintage Bottle Liquor Clear Glass Soap Dispenser | $15.50

2. Urban Outfitters | Mercury Glass Soap Pump | sold out

3. Anthropologie | Recycled Glass Soap Dispenser | $32.00

4. Sears.com | Cannon Brighton Clear Lotion Pump | $6.39

5. Amazon.com | OXO Good Grips Big Button Dish Soap Dispenser | $24.99 (also available here)

6. Crate & Barrel | Glass Soap Pump | $10.36

7. Amazon.com | Tablecraft Olive Oil Dispenser 16 Oz. | $8.95

8. TNCraftCompany | Soap Dispenser-12 ounce Mason Jelly Jar | $16.00

Which one do you like best? That Anthropologie pump is gorgeous but the only review suggests that it doesn’t work very well (I’m learning that a lot of soap pumps are poorly made–pretty much every one from Target has horrible reviews). I’m actually kind of loving the idea of a simple glass cruet. Not only would it hold more than a smaller pump that’s meant for hand soap but it would also be easy to drizzle soap directly onto dirty pots and pans. I have this irrational fear that I would drop it with wet, soapy hands though. Decisions, decisions!

I took down the cafe curtains in my kitchen for a few days while I painted and despite the privacy concerns (we live in an historic neighborhood where the houses are really close together), I kind of dug the added light.

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I decided to keep the cafe curtains but maybe hang them a few inches lower, which would require hemming the fabric panels and, you know, I have just never been in love with those curtains. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to change out the fabric. But before I did anything drastic I decided to try hanging up some cloth napkins with curtain clips as a stand-in.

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I decided I definitely wanted my new curtains to reach all the way to the windowsill, but the lowered height was perfect and the pop of color was fun too. So fun, in fact, that I decided to scrap my original plan to whip up some plain white curtains from fabric I already had on hand and shop around for some more colorful fabric instead. This is only a few feet away from the large-scale floral fabric in the laundry room, so I think that something geometric or small-scale would play nicely. I’m also really digging the idea of navy blue. Here are a few choices I rounded up, all under $12/yard:

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Here’s a tip when shopping online: pin things you’re interested in to Pinterest (you can use a secret board if you don’t want anyone to see) and Pinterest will suggest other boards that the item has been pinned to. This can help you discover new possibilities through pinners who have similar tastes. I found a couple of these picks that way, and another was through the “you may also like” sidebar on fabric.com. How do you wade through the thousands of fabric options out there to find what you’re looking for (at a price you can afford)? And which fabric do you think I should choose? I have a favorite, but I’m not totally sold.

 

Shopping for little ones can be confusing. They’re not old enough to ask for what they want (which is both a blessing and a curse) and because play is the work of childhood you want their toys to help, or at least not hinder, their healthy development. Often the toys that we think are great end up cast aside in favor of various household items (see this post for a hilarious take on a baby’s Christmas list). I’m still a relative newcomer to this thing called parenting, but after 18 months I’ve gained a few ideas on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to entertaining a tiny human. Without further adieu:

The Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers

  • Electronic toys are hugely entertaining, but can be annoying and batteries are a giant pain so I avoid them whenever possible. This is not to say that we don’t have any battery operated toys, but in the name of my own sanity I choose not to buy them and when the batteries finally run out on his most annoying toys I probably won’t replace them.
  • Musical instruments–always a winner. From the classic xylophone to baby maracas, the noise factor is nothing compared to what VTech puts out.
  • Cups, bowls, and blocks. Great for stacking, sorting, and pretend play. Also: balls. Jack is really into balls lately.
  • Activity cube. These things are great for a wide range of ages.
  • Baby doll and accoutrements–yes, even for boys! It’s fun for toddlers to reenact daily activities like feeding, bathing, and dressing.
  • Books–here’s a list of board books that are actually good for developing early literacy.
  • Play silks–these can be used for peekaboo, pretend play, and the ever popular toddler game of “put stuff into a container and take it back out again”
  • Push or ride-on toys that help develop gross motor skills–walkers and jumpers are actually not so great for this purpose according to physical therapists. Jack is getting this and this for Christmas from various relatives.
  • Play kitchen and/or pots, pans, play food, etc. for pretend play, not to mention noisemaking potential.
  • Wood puzzles.

For more ideas you can check out Baby Cheapskate’s lists of Toys that Get Played With: 6-12 Months and 13-24 Months. You can also see all the great stuff that I put on Jack’s wish list here–you can even view purchased items to see what kinds of things he received when he was younger. My favorite brands for toys are Lamaze, Sassy, Hape, and B. Toys. Another option is to shop on Etsy, especially for natural wooden or cloth toys that are pleasing to eyes of all ages (just search Waldorf or Montessori if you’re not sure where to start). Good luck choosing toys for the tiny people in your life this holiday season and beyond!