Cut and Color

As COVID 19 continues and we are staying home, social distancing, and in general avoid all humans. Our hair is continuing to grow. I am one to go either a year, 6 months, or two months between getting my hair cut. I for some reason can not get on a schedule and get regular haircuts done. But, back in November I decided that I wanted a change! Not in my cut, but color! I have like many people my age dyed their hair in a sink at home or in college. I have had the standard colors: blonde, black, and red. This time I am thinking PURPLE! I described the way I wanted my hair was “If purple was a natural human hair color that’s what I wanted it to look like.” meaning it would have lowlights and highlights ranging in different shades and tints of purple.

As this was my first time having it professional done, everything bleach, rinse, dye, and cut! I am in love with it. I have been told by a few people that purple seems to be my ‘meant’ to be hair color like why was I ever a mousey brown? Naturally, with time my color began to fade and my layers grew out. So week 5 out of quarantine I ordered hair dye and watched one too many videos on the right way to cut and color my hair.

*DISCLAIMER* Do not try this at home without parent approval if you are a minor.

This wasn’t my first time doing this but for some reason the purple really made me nervous. Like many, I of course went to college and decided to dye my hair every year, which of course led to dying my friends hairs. Being a college student 1. haircuts weren’t really high on my list of things to get and 2. Money. So guess who grabbed scissor many times and gave themselves a haircut, this girl!

Here we go! I started with my bangs by pulling all of my hair back into a low ponytail, using a wet comb I pulled them forward and cut. I did quite a bit of cutting straight across and scissor pointing which is when you cut directly up into the hair. I am pretty satisfied with my bangs! There is a good chance I might go back in and cut them shorter, closer to my cheekbone.

With that boost of confidence, I wanted to take this haircut a step further! Adding layers to frame my face. Couldn’t be that hard right? It isn’t. I created this lovely hairstyle and angled my scissor down to the floor and cut through the hair. Again using a wet comb to make sure everything was straight. After the first cut, I went back in with some scissor pointing to add some feathering. I straightened my hair after to really see what I had done and correct or change anything I felt like I needed to.

With that I of course had to get ready and take a narcissistic photo montage!

Step one: CHECK

Step two: COLOR

I went with Artic Fox and based on the online reviews and my personal experience thus far with the brand, it has been great. It has a berry smell, semi-permanent hair color, vegan, and part of their sales goes to wildlife fundraisers. I knew only the first two of the four before purchasing. My goals with this hair coloring job range between one of these three. Goals, easily obtainable, and if I sucked at it. Either of the three would look good.

After watching probably about two hours worth of youtube videos, I went for it! I set up an extra mirror in my bathroom so I could get closer to see my roots and head for detail painting. The hair dye itself did not come with a brush or gloves. So I found some cheap paint brushes and I *attempted a cling wrap glove, but that didn’t work so I went glovesless. I don’t have sensitive skin so the dye didn’t irritate my hands and all of the dye washed off within three days of dying my hair. I also don’t have any old baggy shirts, old gross towels, so we went with trash bag cape!

Before I applied any dye to my hair, I sectioned it off into four section. Parting my hair down the middle then from the highest point my head down behind the ear. Each section was held by a clip that I would let a ‘layer’ of hair down and dye before moving on to the next ‘layer’.

As you can see from my hands that I have sorta cropped out of the picture, they are stained with dye. So with all the hair dye in, it took me from one side to the other about 1 hour to complete my whole head. The bottles recommend about 30 minutes with your head wrapped for best result. While reading through the comments and reviews on the product a lot of people left it in for an hour to four hours for vibrance and longevity. As of right now I won’t know if the extra time added or did anything for my hair until later. Since we can’t go to salons and I don’t have a heater at my disposal and without wanting to pull a Sylvia Plath I went for the ‘aliens can read my thoughts’ aluminum hat. Now is this safe, no clue. Did it work, no clue. Did I think it did a good job at retaining my natural body heat to warm my hair. Yes.

After the long wait Josh took me outside using the garden hose and rinsed my hair out with cold water per the instructions. I think Josh enjoyed this process, spraying with cold water hearing me scream. I can only imagine what are neighbors think! As to why I went with this method; pure and simple; not to stain my tub. With a good rinse until the water ran clear it was time for natural air dry time and cold hair dryer. Just like before here comes my narcissistic photo montage!

You can see in the photos natural and artificial light and how the colors look. It very much looks like the second photo that I was going for. I did attempt to add some purple back down at the bottom of the hair, but clearly not enough to make an impact. I didn’t bleach my roots so they look almost black in certain lightings. As a whole this was so much fun to do! I love having color in my hair and I think as this begins to fade I will order a more bubble gum pink dye to add to the mix! As my bleach begins to grow out the future with be a ombre look but as long as I can cover my roots with a dark color the dye is the limit!

*do not cut or dye your own hair if you don’t have parent approval, supervision, or the supplies to do it safely and properly. My post is not a tutorial to follow on how to do your hair. This is personal experience.*

Puff Pastry

Baking as a whole has been something I have not only grown up with but have grown to love if not develop a passion for. Baking and this can go for cooking as well brings me joy and excitement. When I try something new or being able to bring a smile to a friends face when I present them with baked goods. My love for cooking really hit full swing in my junior year of college and boy did my roommates love that! We had weekly dinners and breakfasts together. I honestly have an either album on Facebook dedicated to our roommate fun and it ended up just being all the food I made.

Life moves on and so does my love for baking. Now, if you don’t know me you wouldn’t know that I am slightly obsessed with English literature, words, places, the whole thing and with that comes the Great British Bake Off. I have watched MANY cooking shows in America: Ace of Cakes, Cupcake Wars, Cake Wars, Top Chef, and the list could go on. Yet, this show, the people, judges, challenges was everything I could possibly want from a ‘reality’ competition show.

If I have lost you on my way across the pond let me give you a brief summary: Twelve amateur bakers are on a quest to be named the Great Britain’s best baker. Over the course of ten weeks, the contestants will be judged on their skills at making cakes, breads, pastries and desserts of all kinds. The whole set up of the show is much more relaxed than in America. Mary Berry one of the original judges is known for loving a strong drink, Paul Hollywood has the most intense blue eyed stare that you only ever want a handshake of approval from him. The hosts are two comedians that push the limit with some PG 13 comedy. Go check it out on Netflix- it is a great show to binge watch on a rainy day with the door open and an endless cup of coffee.

Bake to the brief: puff pastry. Everyone has seen it used in restaurants and in the frozen section of the grocery story where you can pick up two sheets in a box. It seems to be a known fact that puff pastry is hard to make or its a figment of my imagination and I have put it on a pedestal out of my reach. I mean who hasn’t done that with something in their life? So with the quarantine situation going on I am challenging myself to do more off my baking bucket list. Where to begin? A cookbook.

This cookbook is very important to me I found it walking through one of the knick-knack stores that sells everything from plates, chairs, to bath soap. I picked it up and didn’t want to leave without it but I couldn’t justify the price of the cookbook. So Josh being Josh ordered it for me online and it arrive to our apartment a week later without me knowing. Now if you watch Gourmet Makes on Youtube then you will know the chef Claire Saffitz. If not I would highly recommend anyone who loves cooking and not just baking to go check out their youtube page. The magazine, Bon Appetit, has really created a content hub of great videos that are entertaining as well. Yet, again I am ramblin’ on not about puff pastry. What I am try to get to is this cookbook was written by the French cooking and pastry school she attended.

I was standing at my island cart about to begin this recipe and I can tell you for a fact that I was nervous. I just wanted it to be perfect even though I had never attempted it in my life! So here goes nothing, baking is one of those things you can follow the recipe to a T, but the moment it is in the oven it is out of your hands. As I read over the instruction for maybe the fifth or sixth, honestly 20th time sounds right. One of the things I am learning is you got to get yourself a scale for measuring out everything!

Here I have set up my scale to grams, premeasured out ingredients of the dough minus the butter to distribute, and the flattened butter slab. Trying to figure out how to:

  1. Flatten a stick and half of butter into a rectangle shape without melting it.
  2. Not getting it stuck to the surface of the island
  3. Not letting it get to hard or soft while I worked the rest of my dough.

It is important for the butter to be the same elasticity as the dough when folding it in. There are three ways you can make a puff pastry dough.

  1. Classic Puff Pastry: which I do. Meaning you wrap a piece of butter in dough and the proceed to roll and fold it out multiple times.
  2. Quick Puff or Rough Puff: where you well out the flour and put the chunks of butter in and roll it out that way.
  3. Inverse Puff Pastry: more similar to the classic except it is a large flour butter dough and then a small ‘bread’ dough. You will fold the butter around the dough instead of the other way around.

At this point in the process the dough is made and the butter is chilling. You must have cool butter or else it’ll squidge out and that’ll ruin the layers you are trying to develop with each turn. So as the instructions says: form into ball and cut crisscross pattern into it.

After a little rest for the dough to build up gluten, it is time for me to get rolling and folding! The most important and slightly daunting step. You will see that I am using a marble rolling pin that has been chilled in the fridge for some time. Before I had this I would chill an empty olive oil or wine bottle for rolling out dough. Like I stated previously the dough does better cold. A good number of chefs and restaurants have a marble table for this type of pastry work to keep everything chilled while working. You can also chill a plastic cutting board in your freezer and use that as your surface for rolling. I tried that off camera and it worked really well!

The process goes: roll out dough until it is roughly 24 inches long, trying to keep the dough edges as rectangular as possible. Place butter in and then fold dough down over like you are tucking it in for bed. From this step you will roll it out again to 24 inches. You will fold the dough in a tri fold similar to a brochure. Left ⅓ of the way in and the right ⅓ of the way in covering the previous fold. Roll out to 24″ and fold again. You should, even after the first roll and fold see butter scattered throughout the dough.

You will repeat this process in sets of two and then cling wrap it and pop it in the fridge for about 40 minutes. You can chill it in a freezer for half the amount of time if you are in a pinch for time.

With each turn: rolling out to 24″ then folding like a brochure and repeat. You are creating layers of butter in between dough. That butter with help cause air pockets and rise for your dough when it is being cooked. You should do on average 5 turns for a standard puff pastry. The more or less turns will determine a lot of how to dough reacts with heat and if you add anything to the recipe.

Here is my dough, 5 turns, and ready to be used. If you are making this in advance, which is what I was doing, you can store it tightly wrapped for up to four days. This can also be frozen and stored for about two weeks. The whole process was fun and enjoyable and not nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be. For sure a recipe I am going to memorize and be able to whip out at a moments notice. Especially if those unexpected guest show up for a weekend brunch you can pop this out and make something look extravagant! I would highly recommend in your time at home trying something like this: what you thought you didn’t have the time for or that would be a big challenge and see how it goes. I haven’t felt this good on quarantine as I am right now making pastry. It is the small things that bring us joy and happiness, so go find yours.

Meow Wolf

The title of this looks like I have written a typo, but that is the name of one of the coolest art exhibits I have ever been to. On our travels cross the country we made a stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico specifically for Meow Wolf. There are only three in the country, all on the west coast.

Do I have any right to talk to you about art? Well, no because art is an opinion and regardless of what I think is good or bad art, as long as it makes you think and converse, art is doing its job, but I do have a degree in art education if that matters at all.

This isn’t your typical art museum that you are thinking of. You can’t even compare this to a modern art or contemporary because it is on a different level. If you aren’t into the world immersing, psychedelic, Alice in Wonderland experience than this isn’t the place for you.

When you first pull up to the museum it looks like any other strip mall BUT not every strip mall has giant metal sculptures chilling in the parking lot. There was a giant spider, robot, and a wolf made from recycled tank parts.

Once you walk into the building it gives off this arcade meets miniature golf vibe until you walk in. Now this is reach! If you have ever seen Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family you might know what I am talking about. In the “Doll House” or final season there are full scale replicas of parts of the Liars lives, thats what it is like. You walk down a narrow hallway and it takes you to an indoor stage with a house.

Going into the house with no knowledge of what it was about allowed us to truly explore the house like one giant maze and value the pieces as individuals when in reality the exhibit has a story. You can look up the story on their website to learn more, but for my experience it was completely my one, whatever meaning I wished to give something is what it became. https://meowwolf.com/explore/origin-story

I think two of the coolest parts of the whole ‘house’ is the multiple entrances into other parts of the place. The washing machine was a slide into series of modern futuristic rooms that eventually led you back to inside.

Yet, the fridge takes you somewhere completely different. It reminds you of being a kid at Chuck E. Cheese or really at Discovery Zone. Imagine opening a I- spy book falling in and looking for all the clues to lead you one way or another. I can not express to you the creative stimulus this experience provided for me. Personally, really good art is when it drives me to create. I am so full of inspiration and passion that I have to make my own art.

There were so many rooms connecting and twisting into other places that you quickly had to create an internal map or else you will be lost the whole time. There is a central zone (I am not going to give it away because this is place you have to see with your own eyes) where you and your party can regroup every now and then, but next time I get to go I plan on spending hours in there getting the full experience. Taking one space at a time, bring my sketchbook so I can draw and pull from inspiration.

As you can see from the many selfies I took that this place is SUPER photo friendly and you can really create some interesting backgrounds and scenarios while inside. One of the things we witness while we were there was that a DJ was setting up for a set later that night. This hopefully gives you an idea of how large this places is. Easily the size of four to five story hotel, but full of multi layered art rooms that each tell a story but collectively tell a different one.

Some of the spaces were really weird like this fur room. It was so tactile that it made you want to touch all the surfaces. Other rooms might give you to creeps if certain imagery or tactiles bother you. For example there was a small dome that could comfortably fit about 12 people inside. You laid on your back and inside was playing a variety of nature sounds and on the dome ceiling were eyes. Now, not googly eyes but live video of different animal or human eyes opening and shutting in random order.

Going to a place like this might be right up your alley or something you wouldn’t do in 100 years, but to all I would recommend trying it. The phrase, it doesn’t hurt to try it? That is true about art, you don’t have to like it or even be able to do it, to be able to experience it. Seeing things that take you out of your normal make your brain think differently is half the fun in life. Meow Wolf is one of the most interesting and mind blowing art experiences I have ever been too.

Schmear it!

Bagels, a staple in my household growing up, well not really, that was buckwheat pancakes. BUT, on vacations with the family and friends we would have tons of bagels on hand. Always the gummy ones in the blue or green plastic bags that you left in the fridge. The only time my dad and I would go out for a nice bagel was to Einstein Bagels.

To go back in time – I have always been an odd duck- with odd goals in life. Some of those would be: hike the Great Wall of China, learn Italian, write a book, make pasta, and boil a bagel! In my brand new home that became an actual doable idea. Now, I am not sure why I didn’t try any of the many years I had a kitchen at my disposal. I think the main reason was because my bread making skills didn’t come in until I was in my early twenties. My father is a really good baker and in an odd way I believe that genetically those bread making skills finally hit puberty and I became a better baker.

The benchmark is and only ever was the New York bagel. High stacks for someone who has never made a bagel in their life and the only connect to New York I have is my family came through Ellis Island at one point. So, no claims to fame over here. I did tons of research on the right flour, how long to rise, the proper method of making the iconic hole. I begin this ‘hole’ adventure 24 hours before I can even eat them.

The recipe I used and have used time and time again because I find the instruction and photos are perfect for my needs is by Baking Sense. I have to give credit where credit is deserved! To prepare the dough you have to go through two rises before shaping them into the shape we all know and love.

The two hole methods. 1: poke and spin OR 2: coil and loop.

I did option number two. Of all the reading I did, which I do not know to necessarily be true or authentic, said that the coil and loop is more NY than the poke and spin. Can you guess which I did?

This photo is after the overnight cool rise. Of course, there are plenty of recipes out there where you can find a one day, one hour rise for bagels, but what I find with baking is the longer it takes the better the bake is. They have become very puffy over the course of the night in the fridge and are ready to boil! One of the coolest things to me is that a type of popular bread needs to be boiled before you can eat. It goes against every known idea of baking bread. To put a raw piece of dough in a pot of water? What?

Our water is a mixture of molasses and salt, some people will say sugar or malt syrup but you can decide what you want and what you have on hand. Finding malt syrup was a wasted day of driving to every grocery store in town, mind you we have TWELVE different companies. Once satisfied with my options, Josh and I got to work. He was in charge of keeping the time and flipping the bagels. After they have been fully boiled that is when you seasons the dough right before it goes into the oven.

This recipes yields two dozen bagels. I am of the rational that you should go big or go home. What was I going to do with that many bagels? Well, I naturally thought, variety. We had Everything which is by far the best bagel you can get. For those who haven’t developed taste buds yet, you have the plain bagel. To all the sweethearts out there, cinnamon sugar. You have a thing for the spice for life? Jalapeno red pepper bagels.

Bagels, a fun weekend of new experiences that ultimately brought people together. With these bagels warm and ready to enjoy we invited our families over to enjoy a brunch on our deck. The final step to any bagel eating fun is to lather it up in your favorite schmear, now as one of those who doesn’t like cream cheese I have plenty of alternative schmears. Yes, yes I can hear you all groan, frown, and feigned shook. So for all those people out there, don’t be ashamed! Join me on that toasted butter, peanut butter, jelly, jam, cheese and yes, avocado.

To all of those enjoying your bagel morning, noon, or night; schmear it!

Coast to Coast

Everyone at some point in their lives have thought about driving coast to coast, wherever you may live, that might seem like a fun idea. Yet, most of us never will. Now I didn’t think I would drive coast to coast until I was much older, yet here I am a twenty something year old driving across the country with a group of lifelong friends. Let’s call them Cassie, Maressa, and Eliss for the sake of giving them privacy. The reasons for driving across the country wasn’t just your average girls trip. No, it was because my friend, Cassie, was moving across the country to be with her Navy husband in southern California.

Maybe with a little twisting and pleading her and I convinced our two friends to jump in the moving truck and make the trip worth the miles! Now here was the real twist to the trip, we had to do it in four nights and five days. How did you do that and still get to see the countryside? Well it was a challenge for sure, early mornings, cruise control, and a plan when we got into our destination for the evening.

Since Cassie’s hands were tied up in getting everything prepared for the move and coordinating with her husband in California that left me with polling the group on what we should do and making it happen! I am the fairy godmother of travel. Bippity Boppity BOO! With our route set, I started to put together things to do in each city.

Stop number 1: Nashville, Tennessee.

One of the coolest things I thought about this trip was riding on a golf cart through alleys, parking lots, and pretty much going wherever we pleased with the helpful driver. Not sure if this is a year round thing, but if you get the chance it is a fun way of seeing the city with a local guide sitting in the front seat. My only words of advice, HOLD ON TIGHT!

We spend the evening walking up and down Broadway seeing some of the most iconic sights. This was my first time in Nashville, not being a country music fan, it had never been on my list of must see places. On the other hand Ellis has been more time and it is probably her favorite place in the United States. She knew all the places we should go. We spent a great time at Jason Aldean’s bar and restaurant enjoying the beautiful summer night with great company. We had started out cross country trip right! If we hadn’t had to leave bright and early the next morning we would have probably spent the night bar hopping but with better judgement we went to bed.

This next leg of the journey was probably some of the most painful part of the whole trip. No offense to anyone who lives in Arkansas, but man what a boring state to drive through! As well as, the roads! I thought roads in my home town were bad because the potholes are literally TERRIBLE! People make memes about it. In the last two years our hometown has repaired 32,455 potholes! While driving through Arkansas we were constantly hitting a new hole. Now it has been some time since I last drove through, but hopefully your roads are better.

As the drive continued we finally crossed the ten hour stretch and made it into Texas!

As we droe across the line to Texas all of a sudden these large white structures that started to pop out of the landscape. SO MANY WINDMILLS! If you have never seen a windmill, they’re power generating machines as all over Texas. That might not seem like the grandest thing on the planet, but it was so cool to see them in person. They are huge! I kid you not I took close to twenty photos of windmills. These guys were so fun to watch as we drove through the state, getting closer to our destination: Dallas.

We were about two hours away from Dallas and I wish I had the time to take a picture, but the craziest most Texas thing happened! While we are driving down the interstate a MAN ON HORSEBACK is riding down the center median! I mean it was straight out of the wild wild west or something. Full gallop, dust flying behind him, and I think if I rolled down the window I would have heard a Yee-Haw! The whole car went silent as we watched the man traveling straight towards us in a full on ranchman getup!

Driving through downtown Dallas, Texas it was a beautiful cityline for sure. Once we arrived and had our things settled in our hotel we decided to go out and explore. Our uber picked us up to take us to our dinner location. Now I don’t know if any of you have ever been with an uber on their very first ride, but let me tell you it was an adventure. I was in the front seat and Eliss, Cassie, and Maressa were in the back.

As he drove us around, he gave us a little tour, and told us we were his first uber. Now trying to get to restaurant was a whole different problem, he couldn’t find it, even with the uber instructions! So he was looping around yet again, now picking up the speed because he was clearly uncomfortable because he couldn’t find the place. As we are coming up on to a four way stop, he doesn’t see the stop sign. We literally all at once say, “Stop sign!” he FLOORS IT and screams “WELCOME TO TEXAS!” and blizzes through the four way stop! That evening we enjoyed some hole in the wall food and drinks and retired for our next leg of the journey.

Dallas to Santa Fe! I had been there once before as a child and had probably some of the best chocolate mousse of my life! I can’t tell you where, but it was heavenly. On our way to Sante Fe two very exciting things happened, one being while I was driving the moving truck the gas began to become very very low and I can tell you driving through the middle of nowhere with little gas is a whole new level of stress! But the coolest thing ever was while driving through some of the dryer parts of New Mexico, I saw a dirt devil, dust devil, or as Josh calls them a whirling dervish! No, not a vacuum but a small dirt tornado! I know that sounds absolutely strange as to why I would be excited by such a thing, but it was. I have always had a thing for storms and storm chasing.

Traveling through these open sandy states you will see rather interesting signs at their rest stops that are not inviting at all!

We stayed in the less built up side of Santa Fe and that was for one reason, Meow Wolf. If you haven’t heard of this I don’t blame you because it is a one of a kind place, well not really, there are three. Meow Wolf is like an Americana neighborhood replica inside a warehouse that became a bomb shelter, an escape room, and a club.

In the parking lot there’s a giant spider sculpture and I am ABSOLUTELY terrified of spider so this was the closest I ever will get to a spider willingly, but once you walk inside it is a completely different world. I don’t have enough photos to even explain the whole experience, but here are a few.

Discovering the washing machine was actually a L.E.D. slide that took me to a new part of the art amusement park. I also discovered along one of the path a bioluminescent “underwater” grotto.

Once leaving the acid surreal americana art museum we had wild dreams until moving on in our travels to Phoenix or really the GRAND canyon. This was also my second time seeing the Grand Canyon, but first time as an adult. I was wondering the whole drive there if it was going to be the same amazing and grand natural landscape and boy was it! I think my favorite part of the whole time spent at the Grand Canyon was when I went a little adventurous, now I do NOT approve of walking on land that is being protected for animals or from erosion. Also do not go out into a dangerous situation without confidence, mental preparedness, and in general don’t take a risk if you don’t have to.

I am not an expert hiker, but I am an avid hiker with a fair bit of experience. So naturally when the chance arose I took it.

That tiny pink and red dot is me. The one far out towards the edge of the canyon. This is not apart of the traditional and more travelled part of the trails for visitors, but is an options.

After giving everyone in my party a heart attack I returned to the main watching and trail area. This was our last stop before we reach California and it was worth every detour on our map.

Driving into California, can you guess what the first stop was?

In-N-Out. As a person from the east coast, we don’t have this and it was a MUST do on our trip out there! If I had to compare it to anything, it would be Cookout back home, but still not really the same. It was a cool experience and very good. As we made the final stretch to Cassie’s new place, we started planning all the exciting things we would do! That would included: the zoo, urban wine tour, the beach, and so much fun!

WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE. As a group of friends in their twenties getting to do something so out there was truly a memory that will be shared for years to come. If you have the chance to travel from coast to coast, do it! Since returning, Josh and I have started talking and planning out our cross country trip. Thanks for reading and partaking in an adventure that means so much to me and hopefully will inspire you to do the same thing.

Kitchen Cart

Almost a year ago this April my husband and I bought what is in my mind the most perfect kitchen ever! As a couple that loves to cook and myself who is always trying a new recipe whether it is for a dinner or dessert, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

When Josh went to the county permit office and presented the woman with our floor plan since we are doing other renovations at the time the woman sat there for a moment looking at our house. She then looked him dead in the eye and said “Did you know you bought a house where you kitchen is 30% of your house.” Now that doesn’t sound like that much but in a relatively small house, it takes up a good chunk of that square footage!

In our previous apartments, most of them had a bar or L shaped counter that was perfect for extra working space or entertaining guests. So after living, cooking, and evening dancing in our large kitchen we decided we wanted a kitchen chart. So this is how we did it.

I started off the process for mocking up the design based on measurements we took of the kitchen. We made sure that with the oven door open and the fridge door open we still had room to at least shimmy past the kitchen cart. During this time is when we also agreed it needed wheels, which has been handy when entertaining and cleaning.

So here is my mock up. Based on our measurements of the space available and the overall size of the top I went from there. I am not one to pick up a saw unless in a pinch so I wanted these instructions to be foolproof for Josh when I handed them over. in the image above you can see that we started with a 40 inch by 24 inch maple wood butcher block top that Josh made prior to the construction. (That will be a future post) From there I wanted a drawer and and open bottom, but we don’t always get what we want. He gave me more! When you see the finished version, you will notice shelves that were added underneath.

SO to lay it out plain and simple my design template goes:

  • Counter top
  • Counter trim/support with gap for drawer placement
  • posts to support the whole cart
  • drawers measurements
  • drawer slider measurements

After this was said and done I sent him off to the store and waited for the construction to begin! Josh went to the store and purchased: pine 4 by 4’s for the columns, 2 by 4 are common studs, and the shelves are plywood.

Assembling the frame he used 3 inch wood screws with pocket holes.

The shelves and bottom are attached with 3/4 inch wood screws.

The top is attached with L brackets and 1.5 inch wood screws.

Any holes that were visible to the eye were then covered with wood putty.

All done and ready for me to make it look fabulous! To match our kitchen we went with a matching high shine, water, stain resistant white paint. We also got a matching drawer handle to our cabinets.

It VERY much need two if not three coats of white paint to give it that clean polished look. Here you can see the multi tiered shelves he added to the bottom to add more storage. Josh, my loving husband, took my picture while I was painting. It wouldn’t be a “husband took my picture” photo if I wasn’t squinting from the sun, at a bad angle, or remotely looking like I am actually working!

Here you can see the storage really being put to use which has been turned into a space for dry ingredients, fruit, and one large pot that doesn’t really fit into any other cabinet.

Plus I can’t resist! A cute picture of one of our cats, Fitz trying to use the Kitchen cart as his personal playground. Thanks for reading our rambles and if you like what you see come back for my DIY home improvements because we can’t leave our home alone! If you have any questions about this project send us and email and we will try and answer your questions the best we can!