Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring Goodies and Raspberry Cookie Bars

Happy Friday, friends!   I don’t know about some of you, but I’m tired of all of this snow that we’ve been getting!!  A couple of weeks ago, our local weatherman pointed out that, as of that day, we had only 34” inches of snow fall compared to last year’s total of 70”.  Well . . . I think we more than made up for the deficit!  I don’t know what the exact total is, but I’m sure we went well over the mark with all of this snow we’ve been getting.  The only good thing about this kind of weather is that my hubby is home a lot.  He has his own concrete business and so this is a slow time in the year for him, which is also the time of year when most of our inside projects get done.

For a long time, we’ve wanted to replace our kitchen cupboards.  I have a very small galley kitchen with minimal storage space so we figured we could gain more space by replacing the standard 30” high wall cupboards with 42” to-the-ceiling cupboards.  We went to Home Depot and Lowes and got prices ranging between $5,000-$6,000!!   What?!!!  Cupboards are that much for my tiny little kitchen?!!!   We were kind of figuring $2,000-$3,000 and I wasn’t even really happy with any of the styles that they had.  I wanted inset doors without any overlay, but all of the styles had an overlay.  We then went to a local independent cabinet company.  Chuck figured that they would have better prices since there wasn’t any “middle man” to go through.  By then I had already decided that I wanted to paint the cupboards a charcoal grayish color – picking out one of the colors from my slate floor tile (which isn’t as brightly colored as shown in the pic- it’s much more subdued).  They had a couple of styles like what I was looking for, so we got prices for unfinished and finished cupboards.  Okay are you ready for this?!!  Unfinished were a little over $7,000 and finished were over $8,000!!  Whoa!!!  A little too much for me!  So we decided to make them ourselves.  And let me tell you, it’s been a very long, time consuming process!!



After Chuck cut and sanded all of the pieces for the base of the wall cabinets, I had the fun of staining each of the inside pieces and then applied 2 coats of polyurethane with sanding in between coats before he assembled them.  I figured it would be a lot easier doing them that way than trying to get in the corners after they were put together.  My Rec room was wall-to-wall with cupboard pieces!

I chose a color by Ralph Lauren called “Cottage Hill” (which Home Depot has since discontinued).  It’s kind of hard to describe. . .depending on the lighting sometimes it looks gray, sometimes an olive green, and sometimes a brownish color.  I haven’t had a chance to take a picture of it yet, but I’ll try to post one later. I don’t know if you’ll be able to get the true color or not.

I had made many sample boards before I finally came up with a finish that I liked.  I’ve decided to just lightly sand around the edges.  I don’t want them “too prim”, just simple. . . no stain, no heavy sanding, just simple.  So far, I’ve given everything two coats of paint and today I’m going to apply a sealer which will reduce the amount of scratching to the paint when I lightly sand the edges.  The final step will be to apply plain paste wax and then they should be ready to install.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen until after we remove all of the brick on the one side of the kitchen and replace the drywall, which Chuck is starting on that today.  I love the look of the brick, but the color doesn’t match my color scheme.  Eventually, we’ll install new brick.  But, for now, it’s just going to be primed and painted.  The kitchen will get painted the same color as the Living room and Dining room that I had painted right before Thanksgiving.


It’ll be a long, slow process to finish the kitchen.  Our countertops are concrete, which are also going to be replaced.  They’ll still be concrete, which I absolutely love, but our base cabinets are about 3” longer than the wall cabinets near the refrigerator.  We’ll eventually replace all of the appliances with stainless steel and want to get a side-by-side refrigerator.  The one we have now is only 23 cubic feet due to the base cabinets being too long.  We need to have the sides finished in stainless steel since that is what you see most of when you look into the kitchen.  Our options for a fridge in that size with those requirements are much slimmer than those for a 25 cubic foot one, so we’re reconfiguring the cabinets from the dishwasher down to the refrigerator to accommodate for a larger fridge.

As you can tell from the pictures, the lighting is horrible, so we’re installing under-the-cabinet lighting.  Yayyy!!  We’re also replacing the recessed light over the sink with this new tin-punched one that was just delivered Wednesday.  It’s kind of funny…I  found this light online from a place called “Rustic Log Lighting”.  It was only $87.00 with shipping included.  The company is based in Montana and when I called to place the order, the gentleman said that the light would be shipped from a company in Pennsylvania.  When it came, the return address was “Irvin’s Country Tinware”.   I was so excited!  I love Irvin’s, but some of their things are a little pricey.   I’m thinking, “Great!  I could have just ordered from them in the first place and saved a couple of bucks”.  But, I looked up the light in their catalog and they were asking $79.99 and an additional $13.99 for shipping and handling.  That totals $93.98.  I only paid $87.00, so I saved $6.98!!  Can’t beat that!!


This kitchen remodel is snowballing into another project.  The cabinets that we are taking out are going to be installed down stairs in the kitchenette area of our Rec room.   After Chuck is done removing the brick and replacing the drywall in the kitchen today, he’s going to tear out the downstairs cupboards and the drywall there, which also needs to be replaced.  He figures if he’s mudding walls, he may as well do them both at the same time.  Needless to say, I’m going to have a huge mess in my home for the next couple of days!!

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In between waiting for stain and varnish to dry, I was able to get a couple of spring craft projects done this past week.  I actually had sewn these bunnies last year, but never did anything more with them.  I just stuffed and tea-dyed them and stitched their eyes and noses.


I made this guy  by adapting a pattern that I had bought from Pattermart for a snowman that I absolutely love!  I just made a new head pattern and added ears.  Click here if you’d like to purchase the snowman pattern.  I also made the carrot and stuffed it with Sweet Annie.


I’m also working on a horse from a pattern by T.F.C.  Folkart.   All I have left to do is apply the flax for his mane and tail, which just came in the mail yesterday, but I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet.

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A couple of weeks ago, Chuck and I stopped in at Goodwill. . . I don’t know why - I never find anything great like a lot of you do. . .but every once in a while, I figure “what the heck” and stop in.  Chuck found this dresser and wants me to “work my magic” on it.  lol  He wants to replace the one in our room that he uses for his clothes with this larger one.  (I claimed all of the stepback cupboard for myself!)  I haven’t started on it yet. . .it’s still sitting in my Rec room waiting to be made over.  Someday . . . .


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In participating in Colleen’s (And Baby Makes Five) Kitchen Weekly Recipe swap, I wanted to share this awesome recipe for Raspberry Cookie Bars.  I found this recipe on the back of the box of the graham cracker crumbs when I made the disappointing Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake.   At least one good thing came from that fiasco!  lol   I made these for my family for Valentines and were a huge hit!  They are so easy to make!!


Magic Raspberry Cookie Bars

2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. margarine or butter, melted

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 1/4 c. seedless red raspberry preserves

1 1/3 c. flaked coconut

1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

In a small bowl, combine crumbs and sugar.  Add margarine or butter.  Toss until combined.  Press into bottom of 13x9 inch baking pan.

Evenly drizzle sweetened condense milk over crumbs.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Spoon preserves over top.

Sprinkle with coconut and nuts.  Bake a 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown.

Cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Store, loosely covered, at room temperature.

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If you would like to participate or see who else is participating in Colleen’s Kitchen Weekly Recipe Swap click on the picture below to take you to her blog.


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I meant to share this picture with you in my last post but somehow it got left out.  I took this a day before we got hammered with mountains of snow!   Spring  IS around the corner!!  These are some of my daffodils popping up!  Yayyy!!!


Until Next Time . . . .Kris 



  1. Hi Kris,
    Kitchens are without a doubt the most expensive room to make over. You are lucky that you and your hubby are so incredibly talented and can do it yourself. I am sure it will be stunning! I can't wait to see it! Your new light is fantastic! I love Irvins too!
    Your bunnies are so cute! I especially love the standing one!
    The raspberry bars look delicious. That's Rays favorite fruit preserves so he will love them!
    Oh Kris it's so good to see life in the garden again! I'll have to go check and see if anything of mine is growing yet! Only 29 more days 'till spring!!!! Yipee! Enjoy your day! Hugs, Loretta

  2. Now that's quite an undertaking, Kris! I can't wait to see how all of your hard work and planning turn out. It's such a blessing to be handy, isn't it?!

    Your GW dresser is quite a find, the bunnies are sweet, and those raspberry bars look fantastic. And I'm really excited about those daffodil sprouts! Spring just has to get itself here. It's time...

    As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Our kitchen is still on the list. Right now we're in the middle of a little bathroom fix-up. There's always something to keep us hopping...

    Happy Weekend!

  3. Wow Kris, your kitchen remodel is going to be wonderful! Love that new light too. Looking forward to your after pics! Have a great day!

  4. Its crazy how much a kitchen makeover can cost. They say its the best in home investment if done in good taste. Someday I hope to get started on ours. I love all your ideas and colors. Can't wait to see it all complete.
    Nice job on the bunnies. Wish I could sew if even just a little bit. I hope all the snow didn't kill off your Daffodils. I just can't believe how much we got. And they say more is to come next week!!
    Enjoy your weekend,

  5. WOW! Your remodle will be beautiful I'm the
    thinking! My mom just got new cupboards for her kitchen....well, top ones. She bought the bottom ones last year. She will have spent almost $8,000.00 for the total, and we have put them in ourselves! So ya, way costly. Can't wait to see your new kitchen. Love the dresser! your bunnies are cute!
    Enjoy your day.

  6. Hi Kris, You and your Husband are so clever and handy with wood, I think that you will make an awesome job with your kitchen. Is so funny, we had the same idea with the Standing snowman, I bought it to make the same. Love your new lamp. awesome price.

  7. Great kitchen so far Kris! We have been working on our kitchen remodel ourselves for about 2 years. We get the bulk of it done but never finish the details! All that's left is the pantry doors!

    We did the same thing with the tim light. I bought it off ebay (new in the box) for a great price. It's the same one you bought but mine is the star in a circle. Checked the Irvin's website and sure enough, the ebay price was less. Go figure!

  8. Hi Kris!....I really have no idea why kitchen cabinets cost so much! must be the "value added" thing because they know how much it raises the value of a home to have new sounds like your's are going to be fantastic! can't wait to see!....I wish I could get my hubs to do stuff around here, he always just tells me that it's fine the way it is ::::sigh:::: at least he'll make the small wood pieces for me from time to time.

    I thought the bunny heads you made looked cute then I saw the standing bunny, whoa! he's awesome! never cease to amaze!


  9. Hi Kris......can't wait to see the pics of the finished kitchen, I know it will be great!
    I love raspberries and this recipe looks so easy, will be making this. I have to add, I made your last recipe of chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies. good! Definitely a keeper.
    Great job on the bunnies too.

  10. Your kitchen is going to be beautiful! Cabinets are a lot of work! I am sure you did a great job. I like your light. I bought a couple recently from a gal outside of ebay but they messed up on the amount of chain. Still waiting for the rest, but her's come from Irwins too. Your bunny is soooo cute! I have that snowman pattern! Now I just need you to sell me your head pattern and I will be set to make one! LOL! Your bowl fillers are cute too.
    You have been busy! Thanks for sharing.

  11. what a lovely kitchen!!

    and, those bars are bookmarked -- can't wait to try them (although I'll have to omit the nuts due to allergies).

  12. Kris, must be tired!! All that work!! Everything, Im sure is going to look perfect. You both are so talented. Love the concrete counters...wanna do mine???lol Have a great weekend!!

  13. I love your kitchen now, I know it will look amazing when you guys are done! I am so wanting new cupboards myself! And look at u crafting while doing a remodel project, LOL
    You are such a smart lady, Kris!

  14. Wow, what an undertaking....huge!
    But it's going to be gorgeous. The colors sound wonderful.

    And look at those little buds peeking up from the earth...Spring is near girls!

    And what adorable bunnies....both kinds.


  15. Awesome! I've been waiting to see your kitchen transformation. I know it's gonna be amazing when you're done.

    I checked the 10 day forecast today and it said 80% chance of snow next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Let's hope they're wrong!

    Have a great weekend. BTW, how's your dad doing?

  16. Can't wait to see your new kitchen cabinets. I am sure they will be beautiful. You are a genius when it comes to all of that stuff. The color sounds very pretty and sometimes "simple" is best. As for that thrift store find....uh, yeah I am SUPER jealous!! Can't wait to see that re-finished with your beautiful handiwork. It will be amazing and once again.... I will be jealous (lol).

    Did you hear about the possible snow storm Sunday into Monday? Could be either rain or snow. I am pretty sure I want rain, but then you have to think about all of the flooding (Ughhh). I guess we both will have to wait and see.

    Enjoy your weekend!!


  17. Kris, I can relate to the long and hard work of re-doing kitchen cupboards yourselves - but it is sure worth the time when you are done! I wouldn't change mine for anything. We did ours when the kids were little - DD might have been 8, and the boys 5 and 2! Whew, what were we thinking? ~Ann

  18. Wow Kris you sure have been a busy beaver ! Love the standing bunny. It's spectacular ! It's crazy what they want for kitchen cabinets. Cannot wait to see your's all finshed up.
    Hope your having a wonderful weekend.
    Prim Huggs n Blessins

  19. your kitchen is amazing...I love the colors, so warm and cozy, your cabinets, the brick, the green piece....LOVE IT!

  20. Everything is always so nice on your blog - the kitchen, the bunnies, even the dresser! The whole blog just inspires me. Where do you find the time?!!

  21. We are redoing our kitchen right now too!! I am sooooo ready for everything to be back in order.....and the dust!! UGH!!! I LOVE your countertops!! YUMMY!!! we are going w/ oak.

    Can't wait to see more pix!! Have fun in the dust!!

  22. Kris,

    Your never ending talent is amazing!!! You are such an inspiration to me. Where do you find all that energy??!!, I want some. Can't wait to see the finished kitchen. I just know it will be great, everything you do is just wonderful. Your bunnies are soo cute. Prim perfect!! Thanks for sharing, your blog is one of my favorites, I look forward to every update.

  23. Kris, I thought your kitchen was beautiful away, can't wait to see it finished.I love the bunny heads that are in the wooden bowl.I just LOVE your blog. It is so interesting and I have learned alot.
    Thanks a bunch!!

    Hillcrest Home Prims

  24. Im soooo happy I found your blog, its simply wonderful!!!!!! LOVE all of it!!!!

  25. I wish I could get my husband to go "goodwilling" with me. The dresser you found is great and I can't wait to see before and after pics!


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