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.




our weekend: cabin fever cure

BJ knew I was sick of being stuck at home all week because of the snow but I don’t think he realized the magnitude of my cabin fever until I started rearranging all of the furniture in our bedroom on Saturday morning. So we got out of the house.

I ran Downtown and he and Little I took a walk in the stroller down there and met me. We looked in a few of the shops, tried on some shoes (gross, I know, since I was just on a run), and had lunch. His goal was to stay out so long that I would be excited to go back home in the afternoon. I would say he was successful, but I did finish rearranging the furniture and cleaning underneath our bed once we made it home.

Split pea soup and grilled paninis for dinner and then we watched Super 8. Have you guys seen that yet? It’s actually pretty good. It’s mostly family friendly, aside from a scary-ish alien.

We’ve spent today watching football. (Who’s looking forward to the football break next week? This girl.) Now we’re headed to watch the second game with the in-laws.

Oh, and also, I’ve spent all weekend having to eat these cinnamon rolls that I made in my snowed-in state. Bummer, right?

Happy weekend!


kitchen remodel comments

Thanks for all the feedback and ideas on the first edition of our Mini Kitchen Remodel post. Just to answer a few of your ideas and thoughts…

We wouldn’t take out all of the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving, just the ones starting at the sink and ending at the refrigerator. These cabinets hold our glassware, plates and bowls, so we don’t have to worry about finding a new place for our ugly kitchen stuff like spices, baking items, etc. I’m most concerned about keeping the shelves clean and not dusty. Here’s a little visual for you guys (sorry, it looks a little blurry to me).

We would take out the dinky little shelves near the window and above the sink and the next two cabinets over. We would probably extend the open shelving to over the refrigerator.

For the countertops we’re going to go with a laminate, purely for cost saving purposes. I happen to love the most expensive and unpractical countertop materials like marble, so we’re going to save some money here and maybe upgrade for our next home.

The tile will be for the flooring. We’re planning on installing the countertops and tile ourselves- thank goodness I have a handy husband. I think we’re making some progress on our upgrades. I’m so excited, it’s going to look SO different in here!

Thanks for all of the feedback on our plans, I love to collaborate on design ideas. Stay tuned for an inspiration board soon!

mini kitchen remodel: part 1

We’ve been talking about doing something to update our kitchen since we moved into our house 2 1/2 years ago. At first we had grand plans of redoing the floor plan, new cabinets, counters, floors- the works. We’ve decided we’d rather save the money and spend it on our next home, but we do need to do some updating in our 1961 built kitchen.

The plan for our mini remodel is: new counters, tile (most likely) flooring, new stove top (ours is straight up from 1961), paint the current cabinets, paint the aqua wall that never turned out to be what I was hoping for. We’re also toying with the idea of tearing out a few of our upper cabinets and replacing them with open shelving. If anyone has any thoughts on the open shelving, I’d love to hear them.

I’m planning on putting together and inspiration board once we have our specific plan finished, but for now I’ll share a few photos that are serving as inspiration.

hi and mini bathroom upgrade

Hi all! How are you guys? I thought August was going to be our busy month, but somehow September turned out to be just as crazy. So, here we are, already in October, feeling Fall in full force, and enjoying every minute of our little life.

We just got back from a lovely trip to my homeland, Minnesota, to see two of my high school friends get hitched. Isla experienced her first plane ride and met so many people she easily tripled her amount of friends in just 6 days. I’ll post more about our trip soon.

I realize I’m behind posting Isla’s 5 month photo, which is ridiculous since she’s almost 6 months! Yeesh, how did that happen. You guys, she’s so hilarious these days I can’t even imagine where she’s going to be in another 6 months or even a year! I need to explore a good way to post videos over here because she is full of cuteness I’d love to share with you all.

I also hosted two showers for dear friends this month, so stay tuned for details on those, but for now I had to share a mini bathroom makeover that my mom and I took on when she visited at the beginning of August.

Our bathroom was the only room in our house that I hadn’t touched at all. It had this terrible green paint on every surface- the walls, ceiling, trim, everything! It also had the original 1961 pink toilet, which we replaced earlier this year (see happy new toilet photo below) and pink sink in the vanity, which we still have yet to replace.

I had a hard time with this space because I wasn’t in love with the tile in the shower area which was relatively new. It is a grey-ish, brown with some small clay red and glass tile detail. I couldn’t figure out what color to put with the current tile that would fit with the rest of our house.

Here’s what we were working with…

I thought I would probably be able to do yellow in some capacity in there, so we set out for paint and a shower curtain. We found some great graphic fabric for a shower curtain at a local fabric store and then moved on to pick paint colors. This deemed to be more of a challenge than anticipated. Four paint samples later and an equal amount of trips to our paint store, we settled on Benjamin Moore’s Wilmington Tan for the walls. The trim was painted Benjamin Moore’s Super White to match the rest of the trim in our house. We replaced the old medicine cabinet with a mirror from Martha Stewart’s line for Home Depot. This small detail made the bathroom feel so much larger. We picked up a new golden rug and chocolate brown towels to freshen up our linens. I still need to work on some small details, like possible artwork and some bathroom accessories, but I’m waiting to run into the perfect finishing touches.

Here are a few photos of our mini reno. Thanks, Mom for all of your help, it would have taken me weeks to do this much work without you!

I’m still battling with the vanity in here. Not sure if we should replace the whole thing, the counter and sink only, or if this mini update is “good enough.” If anyone has ideas of a low cost but good looking solution I’d love to hear it.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of the little one, just because…

I hope to be posting more in October as my workload has slowed dramatically. Can’t wait to share more of our happenings. Happy October!

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