The Blog
Our kitchen reno ~ before and after

White, bright and herringbone!

I’m finally sharing some photos of our kitchen remodel. It’s been complete since last summer, and still to this day, 6 months later, I wake up everyday surprised when I walk into it.  The kitchen is cheerful, bright, warm and more wonderful than I could have ever dreamed up.

We bought this house, a 1940’s Colonial, in 2010. Nolan was only two, and Lincoln was a baby! I can’t believe how quickly eight years has flown by. Anyway, when we bought it we knew there was a lot of work we wanted to do to update it and make it our own. The kitchen footprint was actually quite large, after an addition had been put on (in the 1960s, we believe), but it was also very dark and dated. Coming off our last house and the monstrous kitchen renovation we did on it, we knew we had to be patient and smart about it. We wanted to take our time; living in it and planning what changes would serve us best. We also needed time to save the money to pay for it! The expense of a kitchen remodel is no joke.

For years I gathered ideas; tear sheets from magazines, photos from Pinterest and design blogs. Once we got closer to “pulling the trigger”, I enlisted the help of my dear friend, Colleen. She is renovation junkie, has a designer’s eye, and has always not-so-secretly planned on remodeling my kitchen 🙂 She became my right hand gal for two years of kitchen planning and executing. She played bad cop with contractors, while I got to remain the happy homeowner. I am still working hard at convincing her to make this her full time job.  She is VERY good at it and I owe her my 4th born child… if I were to have one.

So last March we emptied out the cupboards, packed our suitcases, and moved into my parents house for 6 weeks (THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!!) The excitement began immediately with the delivery of a massive dumpster in our driveway. Yessssssss!  THIS IS HAPPENING!!

Before committing to the bar color, I of course had to do my own paint sampling. This one above got nixed. I ended up choosing a Benjamin Moore color called Casco Bay. The rich greenish blue shade is gorgeous, but the name may have helped make the final decision. Maine, we love you!

I went over everyday to check in on the progress, and to make any decisions that needed to made along the way. The boys were so curious too, so they would pop in after school and take a peek.


Ooh!  Check out that vintage wallpaper!  Kind of digging it.


“Um, mom?  Is it supposed to look like this??”


There’s my girl! Colleen assisting with the envisioning process and the ever important pendent light placement.

Ok, after 6 weeks at my parents house (with our two dogs, one being a crazy puppy), then about 5 more weeks after that (we hit some unexpected delays)… our kitchen was done.  Here she is!


Erin and I celebrating a hard day’s work.

It didn’t take long for the first glass of wine to be shared here 😉 I love having friends and family to my warm and inviting “heart of the home”. Come by anytime!

A very special thank you goes out to; Kevin, Colleen, Rob, Daryl, Daniel, Mom and Dad!

 

 

 

Can I get a little love?

A little love note that is 😉

We have new Valentine products in the shop and we couldn’t be more heart eyes emoji about it. These sweet notepads are designed with love, in the hopes that you will spread the love. Like everywhere. Put one in the hubby’s brief case, and tuck another one in the sun visor of his truck. Stick one inside your kids winter gloves, and under their pillow. How about placing one under your girlfriend’s windshield wiper when you see her car parked at the the elementary school (I’ve definitely done this one!) Let’s celebrate our love for one another. After all, who doesn’t want to feel a little more loved?

Little Love Notes come in notepads of 50 sheets, and with five of our watercolor “Sealed with love” stickers. I mean seriously, the stickers are too cute. Remember sticker books?  These are pretty much a collector’s item.

Wanna to know where this design even came from? Well, from a very special client. She requested a personalized notepad with hearts on it (because she is ALWAYS spreadin’ the love) and this is the design I came up with for her.

I loved it so much that I wanted to create an entire heart collection!  MORE HEARTS!  So, thank you Jamie Greenberg for the inspo, and for the support of Annie Taylor Design over the years. And friends, you too can have your own Personalized Love Notes.  Just don’t forget to add your name (or names!) in the order note at checkout.

We are NEVER too old to send valentines, and the world needs us right now! You could also use these for your kid’s classroom valentines. Just have them write a short and simple, but personalized note to each classmate and teacher. They will so impressed with the thoughtfulness.

 

Place your order now to guarantee it is ready for February 14th.

With love and affection,

Ps- the Yellow Heart Challenge is going great. We have our slip ups, but most of the time everyone is pausing before they lose it at our house. It’s been a much more loving home for the last week. And even cooler, we have inspired some friends to do it as well. Cheers to that!

The Taylor’s 21 day challenge…

I woke up this morning to one of the boys screaming downstairs. It’s so normal around here now that we hardly even flinch anymore. I don’t even think Kevin woke up and I wasn’t slightly concerned that someone may be hurt. I knew what it was and it seems like it’s the Taylor way lately: overreacting, yelling, quick tears. Ugh, I can’t take in anymore! I decided TODAY was the day we make conscious efforts to make a change. Kevin loves it when I make these declarations 😉

Almost immediately, I hopped on Pinterest for some ideas and one in particular stuck out. It was posted by Messymotherhood.com and titled “One simple tip to stop the yelling”.  You see, when the kids argue, we react and end up yelling too, even if just to be heard. That’s not good and we need a reset, asap.

The one simple tip is to post physical reminders around the house. The blogger suggests cutting out paper hearts and placing them anywhere you may need them. The bathroom mirror, the back door, on the desk, and in the car. They are reminders to breathe, not to yell, not to react. They are reminders that we LOVE each other. And they aren’t just for the kids, they are even more importantly for the parents.

Sully helped me cut out the hearts this morning, and then each family member got a few to hang wherever they wanted. We hung them all over the place!

 
Even the bathroom gets a heart because we are so often in a rush to get teeth brushed, hair combed, and faces washed before the bus comes.  So, here’s hoping a yellow heart reminder on the mirror will help keep everyone calm.

Research finds that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit.  Therefore-we are going to try this wholeheartedly for 21 days!! We are off to a great start!  I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading, friends. Wishing you a calm and love filled week

How I am treating my body this week…

Ugh, the chocolate fudge, the cheesy dips, the heavy and fatty meals, the drinking. The holidays are wonderful, but I am always ready to press reset after they are over. I want to feel good again, wake up with more energy, get my complexion back, make healthier choices, feel more balanced. This year I am taking fresh steps to help get me there.

Last fall I reached out to a small focus group of women. I asked if they would find a “wellness tracker” helpful, and if so, would they mind giving me some feedback while I create one. It was such a lovely experience. I loved hearing all their thoughts and ideas! And so, the new Back on Track notepad started to just come together.

Fast forward a few months and I feel like the end product is clear, concise, yet thoughtful and motivating. I started using mine last weekend and I have to admit, it’s already helped me feel more positive. IN FACT… I am going to do my best to make this last through out the year. Once a month I will post about my progress, and hopefully at the same time help motivate you as well. Who doesn’t love a monthly reset?!?

It’s very simple to use. Start with setting a goal for the week (for me, this week is just about making one little healthy decision at a time.) Then check off each day that you move your body, eat healthy foods and drink water, and make time for yourself. The last part is the most impactful of this notepad. Make sure you take the time to write down what you are grateful for this week. As we already know, those who take time to reflect upon the things they’re thankful for are happier, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. So do it!

Then at the end of the week, fill out the check-in prompts on the backside. They will help keep you going in the right direction for next week!

“How you treat your body this week, is how your body will feel next week.”

Cheers to a healthy fresh start, friends!

Follow my progress on Instagram!

How to win at 2018

I am not a huge “resolution” fan, but I do like to choose a word or intention for the year. In years past I have chosen words like presence, patience, community (hello, motherhood.) I am just finishing up another wonderful book by Brené Brown called “Daring Greatly”, and I am totally eating it up. The subtitle is: “How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.” It’s been out a few years now, but I’m just catching on. Does that ever happen to you? Something transforming was just sitting there, waiting for you to discover it, but you can’t even see it until you are truly ready for it.  So, thank you universe.  I love this book. I am not even done with it yet, and don’t want to sound like I am preaching, BUT I will leave you with this one quote from it…

“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make,” says Brown. “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”

My word for 2018 hasn’t been decided on yet… but I am pretty sure it will be a word I get from “Daring Greatly.” Wholeheartedness, vulnerability… are both recurring words that are resonating with me.

Another thing I am being intentional about this year is an idea that a dear friend gave me. What about a new monthly inspirational print from ATD in 2018?  I LOVE THIS IDEA! I love having a renewed focus every single month.  Something positive, colorful, fresh and inspiring. Done and done.

And so, we are starting out this new year, this new month with…

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”  Designed on the just announced Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. 

Tell me what you think, and if you have any great quotes we should try in the coming months of 2018!  I love to hear from you guys.

Happy New Year, to all of you!

 

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