• Return of Three Questions Thursday & Another Home Improvement Project

    July 26, 2012

    Another home improvement project? Ooh, yes! Listen to what happened this morning:

    [over breakfast]

    T: We should probably decide on a vanity and toilet today, so we’re all set to go this weekend.

    M: Yea, I agree. We’ll go pick them out after we eat breakfast.

    T: Hey, actually, what am I supposed to do for the bathroom? It seems like you and Rob have it under control.

    M: Yea, I don’t think we’ll really need your help… you could paint the kitchen.

    T: Say what?

    M: Yea, since we don’t really need your help, you can paint the kitchen while we work in the bathroom.

    So, yea, that happened this morning. I really couldn’t say no since Mal will be working his butt off redoing our bathroom all weekend, but, man, it’s going to be a lot of work. I need to get psyched up for it.

    We also need to pick a paint color ASAP! Any suggestions? I’m kind of leaning toward a light blue-gray.


    I had some leftover Sweet Potato Wedges in the refrigerator, so I used them to make My Favorite Breakfast Pancake. I just substituted the banana for 1/2 cup of Sweet Potato Wedges. The pancake fell apart a little bit (banana definitely works better), but it still tasted delicious.

    IMG_9024 (750x563)


    A few hours later, I whipped up some scrambled eggs with chopped kale, fresh basil, bacon, and a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese.

    IMG_9030 (750x563)


    Mid-afternoon, I made one of the most delicious smoothies ever: Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie. Please make it. You will not be disappointed!

    In the mix:


    Three Questions Thursday

    Remember Three Questions Thursday where I responded to three questions that I received from readers? Well, it’s back!

    How do you make the tables that you insert into your blog that have your workout posted? The blog you posted the other day has a travel WOD (which I do love) and it is in a blue table. I would like to share some of my workouts, but keep the blog looking clean…not all jumbled up. I just wasn’t sure the best way to go about that.

    I create my workout tables using two programs: Excel + Jing. First, I make a nice little table in Excel, format the text, add the colors, etc. and then I use Jing (here’s more info about it) to “cut out” a screenshot of it, which I then upload to my blog.

    My husband and I want to redo our fireplace like you and Mal did. You guys did a great job! Right now, ours looks similar to your first one although ours is stone. We would love to paint it white. Do you have any recommendations? Did you have to prime it first? Just thought I would ask you since yours turned out so well.

    Thanks! The white paint definitely brightened up our living room. Mal used a white paint + primer from Valspar (the paint and primer come in one can), so he didn’t need to do a separate coat of primer. Although, he did use two coats of paint + primer to make sure he covered all the nooks and crannies of the fireplace.

    I had a question regarding some of your smoothie recipes. Quite a few of them use frozen chopped kale. Do you buy the frozen kale somewhere or buy fresh kale and freeze it yourself?

    I buy bagged chopped frozen kale from Stop & Shop (Whole Foods also sells it) and just add a bunch when I make smoothies. I’ve never tried using fresh, but I think it would work the same way—just chop, bag, and freeze!

    I’m eating a handful of almonds on my way to CrossFit! Enjoy the evening, friends!

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    { 52 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jenny July 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I just painted our kitchen in True Earth (Behr brand at Home Depot). Love it! It’s kind of a grey-tan depending on the light source and looks awesome with stainless appliances and granite. But – a blue-grey would be very nice too. Good luck – hope it all goes well!


    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio July 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I love brighter kitchens. Yellows or greens look amazing. I feel like I plays off of fresh produce.


    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because July 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I love brighter kitchens, too. I feel like most every morning (weekdays and weekends) at least partially start in the kitchen, so it’s nice to have bright walls.


    Allison July 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I love the color that you have there now! I think it looks great with the counter tops. I say leave it, and kick your feet up or have some pug time!


    Katie July 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I also like your current color! I think it matches the cabinets and the countertops.


    mary @ minutespermile July 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    whoa, painting is a workout. good thing you’ve been making your arms strong with all the crossfitting. good luck!


    BroccoliHut July 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    My parents recently did a small renovation in their kitchen–they painted the cabinets white (they were about the color of your current ones) and painted the walls a blue-ish gray. Either way, your kitchen now is still pretty :)


    Angie @ Pint of Goals July 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I have the perfect gray-blue color: Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams. Our kitchen and family room are this color and we love it. After a flooding accident in our house, the woman who owned the flooring company we used recommended it and said she never has gotten sick of it, and I completely agree.
    Good luck painting! Too bad you couldn’t get Murphy to help.


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I’d go for a pale green as well, with those cabinets and counters! I can see why you want to change it, I’m not a big fan of red though!


    Andrea July 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    If you are looking for a a blue gray -Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore is just the perfect combo of a gray/blue especially if you are looking for a lighter more subtle colour(I use colorcharts.org to get colour matches if there is no Benjamin Moore close to you) I have used and always love Nickel by Pratt and Lambert but it is a bit more light blue with a gray undertone, nice though. Good Luck!


    Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles July 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Home improvement projects are so much work, but so worth it in the end!


    Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness July 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The meals look great as always! Thanks for answering the question about tables too! I have so much trouble figuring out all the little blog details and that is one I always wondered how everyone did! Thanks for the tip!


    Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident July 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Have you ever considered a light peach color for your kitchen?

    Thanks for the tip about Jing, I’ll be checking that out!!


    Bethany @The OC Fit Girl July 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I have never tried sweet potato pancakes, so thanks for the suggestion! I might even make some for dinner…


    Ellen July 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I’m obsessed with this kitchen: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7crMvLBKzH0/UAswEfnkApI/AAAAAAAAsSY/AaHlNbHxOlU/s424/green-kitchen-drew-barrymore-domino.jpeg

    The green is the perfect jewel tone while still being casual and cozy. It’s Valspar “Alpine Top”.


    Miriam Valkenburg July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The color of your kitchen looks great now! More of a warmer color. Keep in mind that light blue/grey would look ‘colder’. Just in case you would listen to a complete stranger online. 😉 I can see why you guys want to change. It’s amazing what a new coat of paint can do. Follow your gut!


    Debbie July 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I love getting inspiration from design blogs and pinterest. House Tweaking just did a new kitchen and chose Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige. It’s a great inbetween gray/brown color. Neutral that you could add bright pops of color (yellow, orange, teal!!!) for fun. I have decided that all my rooms are going to be neutral in color so that I can have fun with spray paint and accessories going forward.
    A before and After Picture.
    Paint Color Post:


    Kelly July 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I’m always a big fan of getting a lot of color swatches and putting them up on the walls to see what you like best. I’m actually amazed you stuck with it as long as you did. God willing I’ll be closing on a condo next month and it’s hard for me to resist the urge to paint every single room. I’ve convinced myself to leave a couple that I am not sure what to do with yet (as well as to paint one simply white since I cannot stand the color but don’t have a plan) and that’s a big step.


    Cait's Plate July 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Love the blue/gray idea! I think that would look awesome. Though I know nothing about paint and how hard that would be to cover a red with :)


    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise July 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I think gray would look fantastic in your kitchen! You could always buy a quart of paint and try painting a wall or small section if you’re not completely sure what you want. I do think that burgundy color seems dark for that kitchen. A gray-green could look nice, too.

    I have also found that frozen kale works great for smoothies, and it’s often cheaper than buying fresh kale!


    CampingGirl July 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I totally thought a light blue before I read your choice. It will be so bright. You could use your placemat for inspiration.


    Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom July 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Oh, thank you so much for letting us know you get the workout tables from excel onto your blog!!! I was so frustrated two night ago trying to figure it out. After about 2 hours and a lot of cursing I just gave up and moved on!!


    Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy July 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I haven’t tried frozen kale but at the rate I have been eating the stuff, I might as well! I thought it might be more expensive but I guess I am misled! :) Thanks for the idea!


    Michelle @ Running with Attitude July 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I just painted my kitchen & family room last December – used Bennington Gray by Benjamin Moore – it’s kinda sagey some times and beigey other times depending on the light – it’s a great neutral! Good luck with your painting!


    Rachel July 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Mmmm that smoothie sounds delicious!


    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I love blue/grey shades! When my husband & I start painting our house, I will definitely be using a color in that “family.”


    Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Good luck with your painting project!! I’ve never been a huge fan of painting, but it makes such a difference when you’re finally done!


    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    blue grey would look nice!


    Hilary July 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Mmm…I’m loving kale and egg whites these days…I add some cheese on top, a side of turkey bacon and some toasted whole-grain bread, plus tomatoes, fruit and an iced coffee and I’ve got a super-delicious, filling breakfast. I think robin’s egg blue would be nice for your kitchen, but I also like yellow, and I LOVE a bright red kitchen.


    Lauren July 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Pale Green or Pale Yellow!


    Rebecca July 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams and Camouflage by Benjamin Moore are my go to colors. Camouflage changes throughout the day, so sometimes it appears more green and then greige at other times. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers July 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I talked to my Hubby about painting out kitchen blue gray but he said it wouldn’t match the counters very good. We painted out kitchen 5 time sin one weekend. I tried orange, and several different shades of red, but we went back to the original color which is Behr paint Corn Chowder. It’s a perfect yellow that brightens our kitchen. You should so do the blue gray color. It would look nice against your counters!


    Kerry July 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Manor blue by Ben Moore, a great gray blue. Don’t use behr, it is like skim milk compared to whole milk (Ben Moore). We have painted our whole house- using both and good paint is worth the splurge!


    Gina July 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    This has nothing to do with your post from today, but I know you love Jesse Pinkman just as much as I do, so enjoy :)


    Tina July 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Love. This.


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I’m totally loving shades of gray right now. I’m hoping to be moving (to BOSTON) in a few months and planning to pick a gray for at least 1 room…


    sarah @ Sedwick Studio July 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve read that blue is a bad color for kitchens/dining rooms because it makes food look less appetizing. My kitchen is olive green (paramount sage, from Behr @ Home Depot), and I get tons of compliments. My cabinets are a little darker/redder than yours, but we have similar appliances.


    Amy July 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    love greys that have a hint of blue!


    Ryan July 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    That strawberry shortcake smoothie looks incredible. I will definitely be making one of those this weekend!


    susan July 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    okay…..i love home decor and am so excited to see these decor posts on your blog!
    I have used manhattan mist via behr home depot in my master bedroom and i would certainly recommend it if you are looking for a blue/gray color. i would suggest painting your cabinets white if you choose a blue/gray color for your walls.

    if you aren’t painting your cabinets, then white or a dark brown would be good options for the walls.

    window treatments and cabinet hardware will complete the look!

    i can’t wait to see the transformation!


    Liz July 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I think some shade of grey would look great with your countertops (plus I love grey 😉 )!


    silver price July 27, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Add color and texture to a kitchen by choosing interesting flooring. Here, the most eye-catching element is the plank floor that was painted to create a checkerboard pattern.


    Khushboo Thadani July 27, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I love that smoothie combo- it’s one of my usual go-tos although I use soy milk instead of almond milk :)!


    Jessie July 27, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Love the blue-greyish color. I think it really does look so elegant in a kitchen. Oh and thank you so much for sharing that yummy Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie recipe.


    Kristy Doyle July 27, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I think Robin’s egg blue or a nice sage green.


    Kristen July 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I just bought a condo and painted the entire thing myself. It sucked, but I was thrilled with the outcome. In my kitchen I did the walls white and the backsplash a peach/orange color. I was a little nervous on how the orange would look but I absolutely love it. Good luck!



    Julia H. @ Going Gulia July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Sounds like you guys have been bitten by the home improvement bug! Whenever I hear (or read) about people doing home improvement projects, I actually get weirdly jealous–it makes me wish I was living in my own apartment and that I could do all sorts of home improvement projects to it! I’m still in college, though, so I live in campus housing during the school year & my parents’ house the rest of the time. Soon, though!


    Brielle July 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Picking paint colors for the kitchen gives me such a brain cramp. I get psychological about it because they’ve done all kinds of studies on color affecting your mood. Reds=you’re hungry (think of a lot of fast food places), yellow is considered “unwelcoming,” and green is supposed to make you want to eat healthy.
    I agree about Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams- I used that color in my bedroom and it lightens things up. I bet it will make your cabinets look warmer and the room feel bigger. Stonington Grey by B. Moore is a classic too.
    My kitchen is a blue-grey color and it is a Behr’s Shale by Martha Stewart in a matte finish. I love it. My cabinets are a similar color to yours and they look great with it.
    Another contender is always Winter Solstice by B. Moore. I’ve used it a lot in client’s rooms and they have loved it.
    Sorry for the long comment. I’m passionate about color. Can’t wait to see what you pick!


    kristle July 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    do you find that frozen kale breaks down easy in your blender? i first tried kale in my smoothie frozen, but now use fresh leaves. i dunno if its my blender, but i can never seem to get all the green flecks to dissolve totally, even after running it for a while.


    Tina July 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Mine gets broken down pretty well. I buy chopped frozen kale, so I’m not sure if that helps? What type of blender do you have?


    kristle July 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

    @Tina: just got a ninja. i actually blanched and chopped my big bag of kale and put it in the freezer this morning after drinking my smoothie. its crazy how so much fresh kale boils down to such a small amount.


    Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Haha I love seeing all your home improvements! :)


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