So, remember how my washing machine broke on New Years’ and a few weeks later I got a great deal on a “new” (to me) pair of high efficiency machines? And then the new washer didn’t work? Well then we waited like a month for the part to come in, then another week to get it installed, only to learn that we didn’t even need that part but the good news is that WE NOW HAVE A WORKING WASHER! After two full months of living a washer-less existence the simple luxury of an appliance that washes clothes in my own home is not lost on me.

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We definitely had a lot of help getting through this little bump in the road. Our friends Emily and Gina both helped us get a great deal on the machines and get the washer repaired at very little cost to us. This would have been an absolute nightmare if we’d bought these same machines on craigslist, but since Emily got them through her job we were able to get discounted parts and service. And our friends Cassie and Nic let us do laundry at their house for the past two months. Seriously, Cassie gave me permission to come wash clothes anytime. Their washer and dryer are on their enclosed back porch so I’d often stop by to toss a load in the washer while they were at work or still sleeping on weekends without them even knowing I was there. It was such a generous gesture that was so immensely helpful. So anyway, I wanted to do something to thank both families for helping us out while we were washer-less (did I mention that it was two months? That’s a long time to go without an appliance you’ve become accustomed to!).

laundry thank you gift

I gathered together a framed print I already had (from this artist), some lavender dryer bags and hand soap, some pretty kitchen towels, and a mesh laundry bag to wrap it all up in. Total cost: about $15 each. I piled everything neatly in the bag and then tied it up with some twine.

laundry themed gift bag

 

I am not that great with gifts and don’t do things like this nearly as often as I should but these friends went out of their way to do us huge favors and I really wanted to thank them. I’m actually kind of wishing I’d bought a third set of everything for myself! I love lavender and those towels would look so cute in my kitchen.

Oh, and happy Mardi Gras! We are staying close to home today but rest assured that the carnival spirit is alive in my heart.

When I first started talking about updating my kitchen one of the things I mentioned was that the two drawers next to the stove, especially the one on the left where we keep our silverware, had seen better days. If this set of cabinets is not original to the house they’re at least really, really old and this drawer in particular left a smattering of sawdust in the cabinet underneath every time it was opened or closed. You can see it circled in this old photo.

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I figured that I’d need to replace the drawers altogether, but a reader commented on that post suggesting some sort of nylon tape that solved a similar problem in her kitchen. A few weeks later I got around to looking and found a similar product on Amazon** (I have a Prime membership so I try to stick to items that are eligible for free two day shipping and the one she linked to wasn’t). It arrived with absolutely no instructions, but we figured it out through deductive reasoning and common sense.

Polyethylene drawer tape

We just emptied and removed each drawer, then peeled the paper backing from the tape and applied it to the underside of the drawer where it made contact with the slides. The tape is clear but if you look closely you can see it in the photo below.

make old drawers slide smoothly

And over a week later: no sawdust!

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I’m so glad I was able to solve this problem without having to replace the drawers! Thank you so much, Mary, for suggesting it as I’d never heard of such a product. The only catch is that I had to buy 18 yards of it and I only used maybe two and a half. What should I do with the other 15 yards? Preemptively tape every drawer in the house? If you’ve got some drawers that could use a little rehab contact me and I’ll send you some. I’m 100% serious–you just pay shipping. I don’t want to throw the stuff out but I really don’t want to hang onto it for years hoping I’ll use it someday either.

**Amazon affiliate link. If you click on that link and make a purchase I will receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you.

Three years ago today I started this little blog. The older I get the faster time goes by and I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging here for longer than I was in grad school, for longer than I was with my college boyfriend, and for more than twice as long as it would take me to walk around the Earth (if I could walk on water). To say that writing here has been a positive experience for me would be an understatement. I dare say it’s been lifechanging. My blog serves as a creative outlet, as a means of connecting with others, and as something I can rely on even when other things in my life are chaotic. It gave a purpose to my free time during a very stressful time in my career and has continued to be a haven of peace and positivity. I really feel like the words to describe my gratitude escape me, so allow me to quote a cultural treasure:

Thank you for being a friend

To thank you all for being such a positive force in my life I’d like to offer the only thing I really have to give: stuff from my shop. Enter the giveaway below to win any single item of your choosing, and even if you don’t win you can use the code THANKYOU to get 40% off. Both the code and the giveaway close at midnight on Monday March 3rd so don’t dawdle! Thanks again, my friends. You’re the best.

To enter, either like my page on facebook or leave a comment telling me something you do that brings you joy every day, then complete your entry using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have never, never loved the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls in our kitchen. When I finally decided to replace them I was overwhelmed by all the options out there, but it didn’t take long for me to narrow it down. I posted earlier this week about a couple of the options I considered.

Affordable Cabinet Hardware

So which did I pick? The polished nickel!

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It looks so much better and is so much more “me” than the old hardware, seen below.

DIY Wood & Metal Kitchen Shelves Part 2

They arrived Tuesday evening and I got right to installing them that night, then took these photos yesterday afternoon.

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Since I ordered them online one thing that surprised me when they arrived was that the knobs were smaller than I thought they’d be. But once I had them all installed I decided that although they were smaller than our old knobs I didn’t they they were so small that they looked wrong or out of place.

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One thing that was more apparent with the smaller knobs, however, is just how crooked this cabinet door under our sink really is.

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I took a look under there and saw that there were actually already holes drilled into the frame to hang it a bit higher, so I moved it up a smidge and all was right with the world. I’m not sure why somebody drilled two sets of holes and then installed it at the wrong height, but it was such an easy fix that I wish I’d taken the time to investigate sooner. Of course then the childproof latch was at the wrong height to keep ‘ol Jack out of the drain cleaner, so I had to adjust it but the whole endeavor still took fewer than ten minutes.

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Since I’m not in the habit of sitting on the kitchen floor I’d never noticed that unpainted piece of wood above the dishwasher, either. I think I might be tackling it next time I’ve got my white paint out. But back to the hardware: I’m not sure what led me to pick the polished nickel, especially since I was originally envisioning black to match the shelf brackets and appliances. Those shiny Martha Stewart bin pulls just called to me! I needed five drawer pulls and thirteen cabinet knobs (including two for the pantry doors that I’m still working on) so the total with free shipping was about $67. It’s not pocket change, but it’s not a massive expense either. And since I was careful to be sure the new drawer pulls would line up with the existing holes it was easy for me to switch them out with nothing but a screwdriver and a bit of patience. Now once I get my new doors on the pantry the aesthetic aspect of this kitchen project will be nearly complete!