Wow, its been exactly two months since my last blog post! Where does the time go? Here’s a small list of what I-We have been up to over the last few months:

  • Christmas was a blast and we had a great time
  • My daughter Shoshie came home to visit for the holiday season
  • We had an awesome Christmas breakfast and dinner
  • Everyone enjoyed their gifts and spending time together
  • My dad and my daughter Gina moved out here in January
  • My dad got food poisoning during the road trip to New Mexico
  • Gina is settling in here at the house
  • My dad found a nice apartment in Albuquerque and moved in recently
  • Dom got really sick and brought home a really nasty bug
  • Simmi got really sick with said bug and developed RSV
  • I started getting Simmi’s bug
  • I develop pneumonia and I was hospitalized for a week
  • I now contend with high blood pressure as a result of having pneumonia
  • I’m on the mend and we are currently planning out our kitchen project! LOL

Whew! That’s a lot of drama over the last two months huh? The new current drama is deciding what we want as far as remodeling our kitchen.

I had a really great idea of what I wanted last year, but as things go with me, my ideas tend to morph and blossom into other ideas and plans.

I try to always keep an open mind (and heart) to new ideas and thoughts and I try to not just stick to some rigid idea I have in my head.

I knew I wanted soapstone countertops, but came to fall in love with something altogether different!

Yesterday, I was looking at black jade river stones and I thought to myself, “Geez, I love the pebble look” and then we were on the lookout for flat river pebbles to do the counter tops with!

It has totally changed the whole look of what I wanted for the kitchen. We have changed our ideas on everything so far, except the cabinets.

One thing that is very important to keep in mind when designing your kitchen, is to make sure it isn’t too personal of a style.

We are totally going against that very important fact. The personal styles don’t always make the best decisions in the end when it comes to resale value of a home, but we are in this for the long run and if we were considering flipping the house after living here for a few years, I would go with a more traditional or transitional look.

Our kitchen will be extremely personal, reflecting our own personalities.

Here are some examples of the elements we’d like to use in the kitchen design, although it could all change again in the next day or so!

I know its not very easy to see all the beauty in these pebbles, but the zoomed in picture shows off how gorgeous each of these pebbles are.

I just fell in love with this look, and now I think we are going to be using this particular pebble design for all our countertops. We originally really liked the black flat pebbles, but after I saw the one pictured on the left, I thought it was a keeper.

I think the pebble design will bring a chic and elegant yet earthy and rustic feel to the kitchen. Is that even possible?

I love chic, elegant, rustic and earthy, but to combine them all in a way works is a real magic trick, don’t you think? We won’t know for sure whether we’ll use the pebbles until we actually order some samples and see how they will all look.

Next up is what we’ll use for the back splash and behind the stove. The photo to the left is of the marble I’d like to use for the back splash. The marble comes in 12×12″ tiles, and I think it will look amazing as a complement to the pebble.

Marble is one of my favorite stones, and unfortunately it is not very kitchen friendly! However, darker marbles tend to be more stain resistant, and since this is a polished Verde Amazonia marble and it will not be on the floor or counter, I think it will add an amazing amount of durability and depth to the walls in the kitchen.

Until we have a few samples of each element we won’t know for sure whether we’ll go with the marble or lean towards a glass tile for the back splash, but the picture I have in my mind’s eye is an amazingly unique design that I would have never pictured in a million years.

We discussed everything at length, and then changed our plans over and over again, and each time we do that, we also have to change what we’ll do with the floor!

The floor is a challenge because of the open floor plan between the kitchen and living/family room.

We were going to do a gorgeous dark colored bamboo, then it morphed into maybe carpet in half the room and bamboo in the other half, then to cork floor and now with the new kitchen design we are leaning towards slate for the full open design.

I love all the colors in this particular slate, and it seems to complement both the marble and pebble colors.

The color of our cabinets as well as only having base cabinets are the only things that have not changed since last year. I don’t want to jinx myself with that one, but so far, we are still sticking with white Ikea base cabinets. I do want stainless steel shelves instead of upper cabinets, but with the new stone elements, it might be good to bring in some light colored wood shelving instead of industrial shelves.

The base cabinets will look something like the photo to the left, except they won’t be the super shiny ones. The super shiny ones are far too expensive and for a few hundred bucks less per base cabinet we can do the stock white finish and save a bundle.

We’ve also been trying to figure out whether to go with a commercial stove with six burners or just keep the cooktop we have and get a new double oven.

There are so many little things to make decisions on and the cooking department is really not such a little decision.

I love to cook and so does Dom, but the other part of the decision is whether we want to actually convert the stove over to methane, propane or natural gas! If we were to create a methane digester, we could have our own free gas in a few years.

If we use the electric cooktop we would need to figure out how to convert the amount of energy needed to run the electric cooktop and electric ovens. That is no easy task! It will be no easy task to figure out how to get our air conditioner converted over to solar or wind either! Anyway (I’m digressing), I’ll have to make some trips to a few restaurant equipment stores to see if we can get our hands on a commercial dual fuel stove. The new ones we priced out are WAY too expensive.

Along with the can of worms of having a larger stove, comes the issue of what kind of exhaust hood to put over such a large stove?

Again, there isn’t an unlimited budget, and exhaust hoods that are four to five feet in length can be very very pricy. In the final analysis, I think we’ll most likely go with a homemade built in exhaust system. Here are a few different designs, and we still need to come up with our own design from these inspirational photos:

We won’t be ready to actually work on the kitchen for a few months because there are other things in the two rooms that need to be done first.

We can start collecting all the components for the kitchen, but gutting the kitchen and actually moving forward with it will take time, a lot of planning and finesse! We could be without a working kitchen for a week or two, and that makes me extremely nervous.

I know we’ll come up with a plan that works during the remodel, I just know that things never go as smoothly as we’d like.

Other projects currently underway are:

  • Completing the new wall and door in long ass hallway
  • We gathered manure from some of our neighbor’s cows so we could make compost
  • Simone’s play yard has been cleared of all grass in preparation of new plantings this spring
  • The tree in Simone’s play yard has been cut down
  • Plans have been drawn up for our courtyard design
  • Walls in the living room have been mud and taped
  • New wall  has been been erected down stairs, to separate the theater room from guest room
  • Simone’s sleeping nook is currently under construction, and she will soon be sleeping in her new space in her bedroom.

Lots of projects and never a dull moment!