kitchen remodel: stovetop

We were hoping to find a cooktop on Craigslist to save ourselves a little bit of cash. After weeks of scouring Craigslist, we finally found one. It was exactly what we were looking for. I would say it retails about about $700-800 and we paid $240 for it. The only reason the previous owner was selling it was because he preferred to cook with gas, and this stovetop is electric. Score for us!

We quickly removed our vintage pink cooktop and installed our new shiny black one. It is such an improvement, even with our ugly green countertops.

After purchasing this cooktop I’ve realized we’ve gotten some really great items from Craigslist (our washer and dryer, Isla’s dresser and my beloved pink velvet chair) and they’ve turned out to be just what we were looking for.

My quick tips on buying via Craigslist:

  • Be specific in what you’re looking for. In this instance we were looking for a 30″ electric cooktop.
  • Search CL every day. If you live in a smaller town you might consider checking the CL sites of nearby cities. If the price is right, it might just make sense to drive out of your way to pick up your items.
  • E-mail the seller immediately. You cannot wait and “think about it” when you’re working with CL. Believe me, I’ve lost out on some great items because I didn’t jump on it.
  • Don’t purchase an item  unless it’s in awesome condition. If it is an item to be reupholstered, painted, etc. make sure the structure is good. Don’t plan on replacing broken drawers, or springs, etc. You know you’ll never do it and it’s (most likely) not worth it.
  • Ask the seller if he/she is flexible on the price when you make your initial inquiry. This will give you some bargaining room when you meet the seller. We got a small $10 discount on this cooktop just for asking if it was OK to bring $20’s and make it an even $240.
  • Never go to the seller’s home alone- especially if you are female.
  • Plan on paying for the item using cash. If you’re pretty sure you want the item I would bring the cash with you, otherwise the seller will want to sell the item to the first person willing to pay for it and cart it away.
Has anyone else had great luck with Craigslist purchases? Do you have any tips for success?
We’re slowly but surely working on final decisions for our remodel. I’ll share our inspiration board when it’s complete and let you know our timeline as we have a few more things nailed down.




DIY: fabric coasters

My friend Jessica pinned these adorable coasters a few months ago. I had kept them in mind as a cute stocking stuffer or hostess gift for the holidays. As I was packing, finishing Christmas present purchases and generally running around like a mad woman, crafting these coasters got cut from my To Do list.

I finally got myself together last weekend and made a set of them for a friend as a little thank you gift. They don’t take too long to make, especially if you have a rotary cutter and mat. (One of my favorite craft purchases ever.)


  • fabric and matching thread- I used a scrap piece of cotton, how many coasters you make will depend on how much fabric you need. You will need 2-5″ squares for each coaster.
  • alphabet stencil
  • rotary cutter and mat (not necessary but definitely helpful)
  • ruler and/or straight edge
  • fabric paint
  • small paintbrush
  • marking pencil or disappearing ink marker
  • sewing machine
Step 1: Measure and cut 2-5″ squares per coaster.

Step 2: Take one of your squares and measure where you will put your text. The letters on my stencil were 1″ in height but varied in diameter. I placed my letters 2″ from the bottom and 1″ from the right and left sides. Mark where you will put your letters. If you use pencil make sure you trace your lines lightly, it is not easy to get pencil off of fabric.

Step 3: Place your stencil on your fabric using the guide lines you just drew. Using the small paintbrush, paint in the lines of the stencil being careful not to move your stencil. If you happen to  make a mistake it is easy to fix with your brush. Make sure you give each of the letters time to dry before painting the next one. Side note: please don’t paint on your mat, I was just using this as a background for my pictures.

Step 4: Once the paint has dried, take both pieces of fabric (one will have SIP on it and will be blank) and pin them right sides together. Sew around the edge of the fabric using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 1-1/2″ opening on one side of the fabric so you are able to turn the coaster right sides out.

Step 5: Turn the coaster right sides out. Use a scissor or other pointy object to make sure the corners are turned out fully. If needed, trim the corners to they lay better. Iron flat. At this point, you can erase any marks remaining from your guidelines.

Step 6: Top stitch around all sides of the coaster. I lined my presser foot with the edge of the coaster and sewed around the edges, turning at every corner.

Step 7: Repeat for each coaster. Package up and send to a friend. 🙂

I could see doing these little coasters in all different variations- mix and match fabrics, different words and/or phrases, etc. This project is really versatile. As always, let me know if you have any questions or if one of the steps isn’t clear.

Steppin’ Out Saturday: Birthday Drinks

So…I’m not too great at Steppin’ Out Saturday. I’m always cutting it so close to get out the door that I don’t have time to take a picture of my outfit, which is mostly the point of Mandy’s SOS, but I’m going to share my weekend happenings with you guys anyway and I’ll link up with Mandy when appropriate.

This weekend was awesome because I was lucky enough to go out baby-free on both Friday and Saturday, (yay for me!) a happy hour date with my hubby on Friday night and a date with the girls on Saturday night. Saturday night we went out for drinks and dessert celebrating my friend Hannah’s birthday. It was so fun to get together with the ladies and celebrate. We were talking about how times have changed since out of the 7 of us 2 of us are moms, 2 of us are currently pregnant and we were all tired by 10:30 pm. It could be worse, I suppose. 🙂

If you’re ever in this neck of the woods and want a good place to go for drinks I highly recommend Daphne’s, their drink menu is speak-easy style cocktails and it’s one of the few places in the ‘Ham that actually has some atmosphere. After Daphne’s we headed over to Pure Bliss for the best desserts in Bellingham (where else). I highly recommend the Chocolate Irish Cream Stout Cake. So delicious! Thanks for the fun night out ladies, and thanks to the husband for watching our babe.

What did you do this weekend?

drink up

While browsing for inspiration for our new home I kept finding myself attracted to these really cool in-home bar set-ups.  Since we don’t have any kids we thought it would be fun to have one in our own house.  We finally got everything together just in time for BJ’s sister Jodi’s visit.  Hopefully this set-up will bring endless amounts of entertainment.



Jodi and Nate were the first to enjoy drinks at our bar. Here are the siblings before we headed out to dinner. 


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The Myers and Ryans invited us up to Bliss Landing on the Sunshine Coast for a little summertime fun. We had tons of sunshine to lay in the sun every day.  The boys hunted and gathered crabs, oysters and clams for us (and one prawn), we played pickle ball, took some boat rides, had dinner at the Laughing Oyster, played games and read books. We had a great time! Here are a few photos of our trip…







If I could order myself one of these…I might just do it…in a year or two! 🙂 Here’s our littlest vacationer, Fischer. 


I also thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce my favorite drink of 2009.  I don’t have a good name for it yet, but here it is anyway…

Fill a glass full with ice. Squeeze 2 or 3 slices of lime in the cup. (I like a lot of lime) Add 1 shot (or so) of Gin. Fill the glass so it is about 2/3 of the way full with Tonic Water.  Add a splash of 100% Grapefruit Juice. Give it a swirl with my favorite mixing utensil- a knife. And enjoy.  

Allison and I drank these almost every day in Bliss.  Yummy!

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