Just a Girl Blog http://www.justagirlblog.com Interior design ideas on a DIY budget Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:10:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 When You Take a Break from Blogging http://www.justagirlblog.com/when-you-take-a-break-from-blogging/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/when-you-take-a-break-from-blogging/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:10:23 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9720 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Oh man.  Where do I begin? I am somehow going to condense a 10-post narrative into one post. Right now you’re thinking, “Well I’m clicking the heck outta here, that’s for sure!”

Maybe stay with me for two seconds. I’ve taken a bit of a blogging hiatus recently, and I thought I should address it before I jump back into the regularly scheduled program.

In January of 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer. It was horrific. I was deathly sick, I had a half dozen surgeries within a matter of months, and life as I knew it was over. By November of that year, I was considered cancer free. Yay!! “So what’s the problem?”, you’re asking. (I like to tell you what you’re thinking, if you haven’t noticed by now.)

The problem is that in April of 2014 my best friend was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died on December 1st at 43 years old.

I’ve been stopped after that sentence for five months now.

david sun

What do I say? “I stopped blogging because I was pissed at the world, and I didn’t want to talk about *#@^!* paint colors anymore?” Yes, I guess that’s what I say.

In a couple of years, my entire world was turned upside down. I no longer worried about gallery walls, and I certainly didn’t give a rat’s behind if you were showing me how to hang one! My best friend was gone, and I couldn’t come out from underneath the hurt.

chris david

As bloggers, we revel in before and afters. My unfortunate before and after was that of my diagnosis and the subsequent death of my best friend. Carrying the burden of my grief in my personal life was difficult enough, but the thought of stifling it while blogging was overwhelming. So…I stepped away.

Two things happened recently that helped me come to terms with it again.

First, David’s birthday was on August 8, and I flew down to Florida after Haven to spend it with his brother (David and I were inseparable first cousins) and David’s partner of nearly 20 years. We laughed, we cried, we cried some more, and I could feel some of the grief alleviating. I was spending time with people who reminded me of him and who loved him as much as I did.

{David’s entry in his house. Clearly, we had decorating in common as well!}neutral entry

And then…John and Sherry happened. I feel kind of awkward even saying this because it sounds so dramatic. But it’s true nonetheless. The couple from Young House Love were our closing speakers at Haven this year. We thought it was fitting that they were our keynotes our first year, and our closing on our fifth. More importantly, they stepped away from blogging (blaspheme!), and we wanted them to address what life was like “after the blog”. For me? Game changer.

Young House Love at Haven

~~~~~Take Breaks~~~~~

Young House Love at Haven

~~~~~Pausing is Okay~~~~~

John and Sherry tapped into an insecurity that I believe most, if not all, of us have. If we stop blogging, will “it” go away? Will we be completely lost if we start up again? Their answer was much more eloquent, but essentially…no. While the blogging world does not stop for you, it most certainly does not abandon you.

I think I just needed reassurance from someone. I needed reassurance from another blogger.

Their words rang true. I work full time, I run a national blog conference, and I have a small gig on the side called a family. Pausing is okay. Taking breaks is okay. I literally sat in the front row looking like a bobblehead. I nearly stood up and shouted a good ol’ AMEN!…but I refrained.

So what now? Goin’ back to basics, my friends. Another John and Sherry point is to remember why I started. I just wanted to show people how to do things. I wanted to provide some inspiration for them. So…that’s where I’ll begin. Hopefully, over time I can get back to a more regular schedule. Until then, I’m working my way back.

Thank you for your patience, your support, and your concern over these past several months. I’ve missed you!

And for what it’s worth, this quote has really rung true for me since David passed. Perhaps it’ll help you too.
grief quote

“Where there is deep grief, there was great love.”

Amen.

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Medicine Cabinet Organization http://www.justagirlblog.com/medicine-cabinet-organization/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 01:02:24 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9667 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Hi all! Sorry about the absenteeism recently. I guess I could give you a list of things that have kept me away for so long, but let’s just say it’s been busy around here! I have a LOT of posts to write, but no time or energy to write them. School’s almost out, and that means back to our regularly scheduled program.

I worked on some organization recently and thought you’d like a tip! The tip? Label stuff. Sooo there’s that.

Organized medicine cabinet-2

I purchased a couple of little drawer organizers for our cabinet and just separated everything as best as possible.

Organized medicine cabinet

Oh man, did that make a difference. It took weeks–and I’m not exaggerating here–for my husband to refrain from asking “Where are the band-aids?”

Organized medicine cabinet-3

Of course, this post wouldn’t be possible (well, maybe it would be) without my handy dandy labeler.

Organized medicine cabinet-4

I dare you to buy one and not label everything in site. :)

 

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Duck® Shelf Liners http://www.justagirlblog.com/duck-shelf-liners/ Mon, 16 May 2016 18:26:18 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9640 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Duck Brand for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have worked with Duck® for quite some time, and I’ve always loved their products. I’ve talked about something helpful, something that saved me for Valentine’s Day, and something creative. They now have shelf liners that are right up my ally! Score.

All Things Momma

I love me some good organization, but it’s even better when I know it can be pretty, fresh, and clean-looking. My kids’ bathroom can get pretty disgusting. They have no concept of drying off their toothbrushes before putting them away. And don’t even ask them to put the cap back on something. The horror! The “exhibit” below shows you the paint wearing off from me trying to scrub it clean so often. Eww.

Enter stage right: Easy Liner® with Clorox®

Woah! Not only was it easy to install, but it grips beautifully aaaand has antimicrobial additives in it (I sound smart) that will last as long as its in use! It’s a win/win.

I always use dollar store baskets as dividers in my drawers, and now the shelf liner keeps everything in its place. If something gets horribly messy–and it probably will–I can just remove the baskets and wipe down the liner.

Of course, I’ve been adding the liner to any drawer and shelf I can find now. Their bathroom has no window and gets little air flow. You can imagine how that goes over with two teenagers. My inner mom and inner organizer are thrilled!

Feel free to follow The Duck® brand on their social media platforms!

Twitter: @theduckbrand

Instagram @theduckbrand

Facebook: The Duck Brand

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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The Found Cottage http://www.justagirlblog.com/the-found-cottage/ Mon, 09 May 2016 15:51:17 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9624 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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4 inches. That’s the only thing that kept me from buying the framed map below. Literally 4. UGH! Who goes to a store and nearly buys the first thing they see–before they even go into it?! Yeah, that’s me. I did a little shopping at The Found Cottage this weekend, and it was so much fun. My blog friend Liz Marie owns it. She has done such an incredible job making this place absolutely stunning. I dare you to shop and leave empty-handed.

Found Cottage

flag display

My other blog friend Allison from The Golden Sycamore kept popping up all over the store! How fun to see people you know, right?

cotton wreath
I felt pretty cool about myself. Here she is. I know her!

Golden Sycamore

IMG_4700

metal letters

Hey look! My friend Marian aka Miss Mustard Seed! I’m so proud of her and her paint line. Stay tuned ’cause I’m working on a project right now with her paint, and I’m smitten. Take note: She’ll be our keynote at Haven! Woo to the hoo!

Miss Mustard Seed Paint

One of my favorite displays.

penant pillows

Oh wait. One of my other favorite displays.

vintage store

Idiot moment? I specifically went there in search of the tea canister below (I have the coffee one), and I left without it. I blame the store. It distracted me.

vintage shop

The Found Cottage

It was a beautiful, sunny day; I was shopping by myself; there was a Browned Butter Crepes truck outside the store.

crepes

How could I deny it? Chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallows, and graham crackers. I’ve been to Paris multiple times (wee wee), and this crepe was pretty much the real deal. Yummy!

crepe

If you’re in West Michigan, I highly recommend stopping in! There were so many other beauties that I didn’t photograph. Guess that means I’ll have to go back. Poor me.

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Teacher Gift Ideas from a Teacher http://www.justagirlblog.com/teacher-gift-ideas-from-a-teacher/ Wed, 04 May 2016 18:00:54 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9618 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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I’m a high school teacher!! I shout it from the rooftops that I think it’s the greatest job on the planet, and I believe I was meant for this job. That being said….it’s not exactly the most respected job in the history of the world.

So when Teacher Appreciation Day (week) comes around, we appreciate the attention. You wanna know a truth? We don’t need Pinterest projects. Framed crayon initials, gift baskets of candy, and monogrammed coffee mugs? Nope. It’s much easier than that.

I get it. I’m a teacher, and I’m guilty of trying to perfect the teacher gift.

teacher appreciation gifts

Teacher appreciation beach pales, Teacher gift coasters, Masculine teacher gift, Movie teacher gift, Teacher santitizers

Enter stage right–the but. BUT what teachers really love are things they can use, things that will function in their classroom, and–truth be told–something that treats them. So how about some ideas of the best gifts for teachers?

  • Gift cards (all day long–we love them)
  • Money (a class collection is not only SO easy for parents, but it also allows the teacher to do whatever he/she wants with some extra spending money for their classrooms or themselves)
    • Elementary teachers: books for their classroom
    • High school teachers: supplies for their classroom

~~~That’s it.~~~

While I love Pinterest, I think the post-Pinterest world has put a lot of pressure on parents. You don’t need to get your child’s teacher a gift. I repeat–you don’t need to. BUT, if you’re going to keep up with the Jones’s, make it easy on yourself! A Starbucks gift card is golden to a teacher! Of if you’re me…one to HomeGoods. Just sayin’.

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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The Art of the Toilet Paper Roll http://www.justagirlblog.com/toilet-paper-art/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/toilet-paper-art/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:00:00 +0000 http://gator685.hostgator.com/~jagirl/?p=2219 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Ahhhh….the master bedroom. It has eluded me for years, and I’m still trying to tackle it. It all comes down to one final element—art above our bed. I didn’t want to spend any much money; I was dealing with some difficult dimensions, and I wanted it to be VERY simple. How’s that for easy?

Here was my plan of attack–toilet paper or paper towel rolls. I tried using some wrapping paper rolls, but they were a little too thick to cut through easily, and they didn’t measure the same in width as the t.p. That stands for toilet paper—we’re tight like that.

toilet paper rolls

I measured out the rolls by about 1 1/2” marks and cut them into their little strips. Once they’re all cut out, I glued the joints of them together. I used hot glue because I knew I’d be painting them. Plus, it’s waaaaay faster.

paper towel rolls

I’ve seen them attached and arranged in a variety of ways, but I was very careful not to make mine too flowery. I didn’t really want flowers, but I did want a soft pattern. (The canvas was from Michaels for $15—it remains unpainted.)

paper roll art

I took the rolls/now shapes to the basement and spray painted away. I would highly recommend using primer for this. Obviously, these suckers soaked up the paint. I followed up with some glossy white paint.

just a girl paper roll art

So here it is. Toilet paper wall art. For $15.00.

paper roll art

Because my bedding and curtains have gray in them, I liked that the insides of the shapes throw off a bit of a gray tint. If you’re looking for a more solid color, I would look into painting them a little more carefully inside—perhaps with a paint brush?

just a girl toilet roll art

I’ll probably still play around with the shape of it. They’re easy to move around since I just attached with a little dollop (I like that word) of hot glue. When I get tired of it, I can throw out the rolls and reuse the canvas.

just a girl toilet paper art

toilet paper art

There’s some pretty good t.p. art out there. Googling it will provide you with a number of pictures, and you can just go from there.

*This is an “oldie, but goodie” project from 2011. I love that it’s still useful and decorative even years later!

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Pinterest Recipe Review http://www.justagirlblog.com/pinterest-recipe-review/ Mon, 18 Apr 2016 02:02:43 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9594 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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How many recipe pins would you say you’ve saved on Pinterest? 10, 20…dozen? Does this sound familiar? “Ooh that looks good! And so easy! Even I could make that! I mean, I won’t…but I could.Pinterest e cardI don’t know what’s gotten into me, exactly, but I’ve been putting some recipes to task lately. I thought I’d do a little “consumer report” if you will. Basically, it’s my way of validating my recipe obsession. It’s solely to make myself feel better.

I should clarify that I have a slight love affair with rice. That being said, I know it’s not the best thing I should eat 24-hours a day. I’ve started making this cauliflower rice. I’ll say this–it’s not rice. But I can see why it’s so popular. *Side note: try not to mind the smell.

how-to-make-cauliflower-rice-735x591

Something I don’t like? Asparagus. My husband keeps thinking I’ll like it and asks me to try it every time he gets it. That’s a no. Still can’t stand it. I’m including this sauteed asparagus recipe, however, because it was a hit with my asparagus-loving husband! I made it for Easter, and it went over very well. Two thumbs up for being easy, having a pretty presentation, and an easy cleanup!

butter_sauteed_asparagus

Okay. Going back to my passion for rice….I made this honey soy chicken, and it was divine! I served it over rice, and poured some of the marinade/sauce over for more flavor. It was an easy hit for the family. Highly recommend.

honey soy chicken

This recipe for ham and cheese sliders is quite popular on Pinterest, so I imagine the variations are pretty similar. I made this recipe for a party, and they vanished. Everyone was asking for the recipe, so I think that means they tasted really good.

ham-cheese-sliders

And finally, these slow cooker pork chops have become a weeknight staple for us. They are incredibly easy, filling, and fall-apart-tender. SO good.

Slow-Cooker-Pork-Chops-on-SixSistersStuff-700x1050

The Pinterest madness doesn’t stop there, folks! I also have a list of desserts that I’ve tried (duh), so I’ll be back with those reviews as well. Hopefully, you’ll try some of these and enjoy them as much as I did!

Want some more recipe recommendations? Try these!

Watermelon Salad

Fourth-of-July-fruit-salad

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

no-bake-cookie-recipe

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Botanical Prints {Thrifty Under Fifty} http://www.justagirlblog.com/botanical-prints-thrifty-under-fifty/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:04:42 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9576 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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April 12th, 2008. My very first post. Happy Blogiversary to me, eh? It’s really only fitting that my dear friend Beth is having a “back to basics” Thrifty Under $50 blog hop this week. If you’re visiting from Refresh Restyle, welcome! Have a piece of birthday cake and join me!

If you’ve been blogging as long as we have, then you know that it all started with thrifting, repurposing, and refinishing. The general trend among blogging was how to save money and decorate for less. So a bunch of us are showing you examples of that this week!

Thrifty Under $50 hop button

The goal was to show a thrifty tutorial that totaled under $50, and I took the under on that one. Like, way under. I started out with a $27 desk I found, but then I found these botanical prints the other day. It was exactly the type of project I wanted to use as an example. 80% of thrifting is being able to see something beautiful underneath the unattractive. I don’t know what the other 20% is.

botanical framed

Each print was $3.99 (total of $7.98, and I used a calculator to make sure). I loved the prints, but the frames made them seem dated and worn.

botanical prints-2

Once I removed the prints, I glued small wood trim pieces to the top and bottom of each. I had my husband cut the pieces ’cause it was too cold for me to go outside. He’s good to me. I just eyeballed how long I wanted each one to be.

how to frame botanical prints

I hotglued some string to the back of each one and hung them on the wall with a gold thumb tack. Let’s say–for argument’s sake–that I spent money on the trim pieces (which I already had). Sooo total cost is probably $10. High fives all around.

botanical prints

Doesn’t everything just look cooler on a chalkboard wall? That wall is actually a sneak peek into a big ol’ project I’ve been working on. But let’s stay focused on the task at hand.

botanical art

DIY botanical art

Now hop on over to Laura at Finding Home Farms. Her style is impeccable, and she has one of those homes that I could move right into without changing a thing! Throughout the week, you can see all the other thrifty transformations! Click around for tons of inspiration!

MONDAY
TUESDAY

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Bluedoor Antiques http://www.justagirlblog.com/blue-door-antiques/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 01:39:57 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9558 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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And just like that, spring break is over. Back to work it is. Of course, having some extra time on my hands this past week meant I was able to do some antiquing in my town. One of my absolute favorites is Bluedoor Antiques. It is chuck. full. of gorgeous items. So much so, that words don’t do it justice. Well, these pictures don’t either really.

How ’bout you come shopping with me?

Blue Door{source}

The spring display was breathtaking. It felt like I was in a mini garden, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. Lots of beauty to look at.

spring display

spring store display

spring vignette

The basement is my favorite. You head down into an area you feel you shouldn’t be in, but it’s the meat and potatoes of the store. Vintage everywhere!

vintage pulls

silver platter display

vintage corbels

I spent 20 minutes just going through the windows and shutters.

vintage doors and windows
Back upstairs is the eye candy. I walked out with a bunch of ideas and the desire to build two more rooms onto my house to decorate.

antique shop

antique store

vintage knobs

antiquesI love when bloggers take me shopping with them, so I hope you enjoyed the eye candy today! If you’re ever in town, visit Bluedoor Antiques!

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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Shopping for Faucets http://www.justagirlblog.com/shopping-for-faucets/ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 15:25:17 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=9555 Author information
Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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It’s no secret that I shop at Lowe’s as much as others go to the grocery store. Whether I have a pending project or not, I simply wander the aisles to see what new products they’re carrying. Anyone else walk through the kitchen displays and dream? Yeah. Me too.

Kohler has a couple of faucets released recently that would fit beautifully into that kitchen you’ve been dreaming of. The Cardale Kitchen Faucet is gorgeous, right? It has temperature memory, touch control, and a spray that will get all that gross food off your dishes. That’s imperative for someone who can’t stand food residue. Blech. Let’s not talk about it anymore. {Gag reflex initiated.}

Of course, the Elliston Kitchen Faucet  is none too shabby comparatively. It offers a high temperature stop so you can preset a maximum temperature to eliminate scalding. Parents of the world, can I get an Amen?

Sleek, modern, and functional? Who doesn’t want that in a beautiful kitchen faucet? It certainly helps that it’s a Kohler brand. I’m a fan.

Let’s be honest. Kitchen renovation can be as large as all new cabinets and appliances, or as simple as a new faucet. If it’s done right, that new faucet can be just the change/update you need! You certainly can’t go wrong with a Lowe’s and Kohler combination.

The next time your shopping, dreaming, or planning. Perhaps these faucets are worth a stroll down the faucet isle. Have fun!

This post brought to you by Kohler. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Just a Girl.

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Chris

Well, hello. Ahem. Allow myself to introduce..my..self. My name is Chris! And I’m a blogger! I got into blogging after spending months reading all the inspiration that is found in blogland. I thought to myself, “Self, I can do this. I might have something to offer too!” And so it began...

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