The family was tired of the cramped kitchen.

The summer is winding down here.  School starts back a week from today in fact.

All summer, we've been cooking together and baking and of course cleaning.  And I swear everyone puts off doing chores til it's time to start dinner.  It was impossible to cook, and prep dinner stuff while someone was unloading the dishwasher since you can't open the fridge and dishwasher at the same time, plus there was really just no useable counterspace.  No one used the freezer top for anything other than putting stuff they didn't know where it goes.

Now this is how it looked when I first put up the new shelves over the freezer, which I posted about recently:

This is what it looked like yesterday:
I didn't pretty anything up before I took these photos, so these are real *Before* shots.
 Sorry this one is blurry. I didn't realize it at the time or I'd have taken another.  All I'd done at this point was take the bowls and stuff off the shelves.
 My poor sideboard seems to be a catch all for things, but it's been worse, so things are getting better.  People tend to put things away for the most part.  But anyway, you can see where the pantry is here, way on the other side of the kitchen past the kitchen table.

Faelyn's helping to make dinner while I snap some pics for the blog. Blurry again. I think it's because it's daylight.  I don't know how to take pics in daylight LOL.

Another "before" pic I'd like to show is this one: 

Another bad pic.  I need a decent camera. Anyway, it's one of 3 old yucky frames I had lying around. The girls' school pics used to be in them, but I upgraded to nice wooden frames in the hallway. I knew I could do something with these, so I kept them.  I found a pad of "Things to do" lists and thought that would be a great way to give the kids their chores and me not have to write out new ones each night on the dry erase boards on the fridge. But I wanted them posted in a way that wasn't ugly to look at. So I took the idea to Rhiannon, my artistic 16 yr old.

This is what I got out of it... she's awesome!

 Pardon my yucky walls. I can't wait to paint!

The frames are the girls' favorite colors.  They're easy to change out if I want to add a chore or just redo them. They're working so far too.  And they can mark off chores on the actual glass with a dry erase marker. Then when all chores are done, I can wipe them clean.  I love it.

So, now here's some pics of the "new" kitchen.  It's still a mess. I need to scrub the floors so bad, and garbage piled up in one corner because C's not had a chance to haul it off.  I'm doubting I've got the only kitchen with a couple trash bags and a dirty floor right now heh.

This was actually taken during the middle of moving stuff around, but I wanted to show how much more light we get in the kitchen now that the pantry isn't blocking the back door window. Love it!

Here's that side now. Yep dark outside, which is why I showed the "during" pic. See, I moved the smaller while shelf above the freezer here.
I wanted to keep my wexford canisters out where I can see them, but I'd gotten rid of the old brown wooden shelf and it didn't fit on any other wall.  So this was the only real place to do it.  Since I loved the light coming in the windows, I decided to keep everything clear glass on this shelf.  So I finally got stuff out of the china cabinet to put on display. It does look nicer in the daylight. And would look even better with a yellow wall behind it.

Yeah I know, it's not exactly Rate My Space approved or anything, but it works for us for now. Like I said, the walls will be painted a fresh yellow and the cabinets white, and that pantry will be painted something fun.  I'm leaning toward aqua or red. The larger white shelf replaced the old wooden country shelf.  Thankfully I had two studs to put it on so it's good and sturdy. So, it holds some small appliances and the rest are on top of the pantry.  The coffee pot actually belongs on the pantry, but Rhiannon had it down making coffee today while she was being creative. I keep an extension cord right there so any of the appliances can be brought down and used right at the kitchen table which is basically just one big counterspace.
Under the shelf is a chalkboard that Rhiannon made for me by cutting up a piece of the leftover drywall from Zoe's room re-do and painting it with chalkboard paint I didn't even know she had. It was my birthday present.  I still haven't washed off the Happy Birth Day! yet heh.

The kitchen is still a mess, and I think it will be until I get the energy to just really tackle it.  The floor needs a serious scrubbing, as do the counters, stove, microwave, sink, all of it.

Finances are holding steady. If all goes well, and things don't go down the drain, maybe I'll be able to get some money for a couple gallons of paint and some bead board. Can't wait!