DIY: The Kitchen Project

This post is way over-due. My kitchen has been "finished" for over a year already. I think its definitely time I document it. 

Let's get started, shall we?

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com

I met Herm the weekend he came up to New York to have closing on his house. I think it was probably a good thing that he had already purchased the property before we were married, because honestly I don't think I would have seen the potential that he saw. The stench of smoke, the yellowed walls, and the cigarette burns in the carpet would have kept me from noticing the gorgeous lake view. The mounds of garbage littering the yard and the overgrown flowerbeds would have distracted me from the stream with several waterfalls running through the woods.

 When Herm was on the market for a house friends had mentioned this place to him. He said he looked at the ad and knew he would never buy it, but came to check it out anyhow. When he pulled into the drive a herd of deer were in the front yard and Keuka Lake was sparkling in the distance. I'm not even sure if he noticed the many imperfections after that. This place was a hunters paradise and he knew it was the one

Thanksgiving of 2011 the entire Esh family came up to help Herm get the house cleaned up so that he could move in. They spent hours scrubbing and wiping and painting. Bless them!

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
This is before they cleaned. The place was trashed.

About nine months later we were married. 

The house was very livable by the time I moved in, but it was a man-cave through and through, so I went to work and started adding my touch to the place. There are still days when all I see is the cigarette burned carpets and wonder how much longer it'll be until we can remodel... but when I look over these pictures and see just how far it has come I am amazed. I love this house and I love the man who saw potential and knew this was were he wanted to start a family. <3

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
This was after I moved in, but before I painted

I didn't want to spend a lot of money redoing our kitchen, because our long-term goal is the remodel the entire house, but the cabinets and counter tops drove me crazy! They were a cheap yellowy-beige Formica that screamed early 90's. In general I don't enjoy working in the kitchen, but I do spend a lot of time there, so I was determined to figure out a way to change the cabinets and counter-tops that was affordable. I was shooting for less than $100.

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
Prep work is so time consuming. This stage was pretty intense.

I love the look of concrete, but I do realize that it's pretty time consuming, and from what I've heard, its tricky to perfect as well. Pinterest was my go-to research tool. I found tons of tutorials and blogs and ideas on there. One of the blogs I found showed a beautiful kitchen makeover - including painted counter tops that looked like concrete! I decided to give it a try. Check out this blog post if you want to see what kind of paint I used. Just be warned: It's NASTY stuff. Herm and I painted the counter tops one evening and then promptly left for the weekend. When we returned the house still smelled horrible.

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
Look at the difference! Much, much better.

Another thing I wanted in my kitchen was a subway tile back splash. I priced tile out at Lowes and knew it would be too expensive. My sister, Kate, is super talented; she paints, she draws, she sews, she does carpentry, she's a photographer, and she's single ;-). That said, I started bugging her about painting tile for me. She was willing to help out. I painted the entire back splash area white, then she put extremely thin painters tape on the walls in a tile pattern and started blending shades of grey and green over top. After she was finished, we pulled off the painters tape and... tada! We had tile with grout. Kate's brilliant. 

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
Nobody is willing to take my word on the tile being paint.
They always need to touch it first.  

And finally, I wanted a coffee/wine bar. Our kitchen is really tiny with limited counter top work space. There was an awkward spot by the fridge where there could have been more work space, but all it boasted was a trash can. So, again I went to someone super talented with another idea... I asked Herm to build a cabinet for me where I could have the coffee grinder and coffee pot, along with my espresso machine on top, and where the microwave could be stored out of sight, because we really don't use it often and it was taking up so much room on the counter. 

Don't you love when you have an idea of what the project will look like and after it's all finished it looks so much better than what you even imaged? Me too!   

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com
The wood was reclaimed from an old barn. We first used it
to make a table for our bridal party to use at our wedding,
and then Herm used it again to make this. He also put
a piece of glass on top of the wood for easy clean up.

The shelf above the coffee bar was made out of old metal handrails that were attached to our garage and an old piece of lumber.

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com

Oh, one more thing... The island area of our kitchen boarders the living and dining room. (it's an open floor plan.) Whenever we host people, we always end up hanging out around the kitchen, so we decided that instead of just having a wall area to lean on, we should make a bar area to sit at. Herm is an artist through and through. He went to work and made a butchers block counter top for the bar. It was all reclaimed lumber that he stripped down into thin sections and glued together. It added the final touch our little kitchen needed to be cozy and enjoyable. 

DIY: The Kitchen Project || sarahesh.blogspot.com

Do you have any DIY tricks of your own? I would love to hear them!




Sabrina || sarahesh.blogspot.com

I was filing for her adoption, wading through mountains of paperwork, due dates, deadlines. We were back on that tiny island in the West Indies that I use to call home.

At the orphanage, she was still bound to the same broken-down toddler stroller that she using when I lived there over three years ago. Bed sheets tied about her ankles and waist held her captive. Her seven year old gangly legs where much too long for the stroller; she was in need of an upgrade, she was in need of a child's wheel chair.

We searched the island, but to no avail. There simply wasn't a chair suitable for her. I recruited prayer warriors, asking them to plead our case to the Father. He knew this child needed love, He knew this child needed a place to called home. With us she could live a better life, one where she would be loved. One where her days could be spent in a wheel chair fitted to her frame and where at night she could sleep without being tied to the baluster of the infant crib prison she currently lived in. 

I was on my way to a meeting with CDA. We were going to find out if Sabrina would be coming to live with us, to be our precious daughter... 

That's when I woke up. It was all a dream.

The dream didn't effect my usual morning routine. I fed Carson, started the laundry, emptied the dishwasher, and laced up my running shoes... during my run, flashbacks of the dream kept coming to me. All I could think of was precious Sabrina and all of the other Sabrina-children out there. The physically and mentally handicap children who are living a life that's pure hell. 

I don't know what sparked this dream so vivid. Was it from the Facebook status's of friends of mine who are currently in the midst of an adoption in Jamaica? Was it because I recently read a quote by a disabled man who said that being disabled in the States is equivalent to living in a third world country? Was it from my conversation with a local artist, who happens to be handicap, earlier this week? Whatever the reason for the dream, I know that it shook me. 

It made me aware again.

It made me desire change. Change in my life and in the way I treat people. It made me want to be more than just kind and courteous to everyone. I want to be a difference maker.

I have mulled over that dream all week long, which makes me realize it was more than coincidence. 

It was God speaking, reminding me...  Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. || Matthew 25:40

PLEASE NOTE: Sabrina lived in a children's home with a lot of other children between the ages of newborn and eight. All of the children there were cared for and loved on by an amazing team of ladies and men on staff and volunteers as well. While her situation was less than ideal, she was bound to her stroller or crib for her own personal safety, as she often had spills and head bumps onto the tile floor and elsewhere. One on one attention would have been amazing for her, but as it was, the staff was stretched thin among the very active toddlers and school aged children. Please know that I am not in any way discrediting the work of the children's home through this post. I just feel my dream about Sabrina was to awaken me to the situations around me no matter where I am, whether its here in the States or oversees.  


Little Man

Little Man || sarahesh.blogspot.com

Little Man, seven months old already? And what a joy-filled seven months it has been!

I haven't done the most amazing job at documenting your little milestones. Although I attempted, the journal has only an entry or two and that list of "firsts" that I keep on my iPhone is outdated by a few months. I won't give up though... I am trying again.

At seven months you are very mobile, but crawling is too babyish for you and often you insist on grabbing on to my hands so that you can walk around. You have started to pull yourself up and you are really good at sitting up alone. Ice cream is your food of choice and you aren't very fond of the sweet potatoes I cooked for you; obviously you are your fathers child. 

I am almost certain your first word is 'Mama', although you haven't used it in context yet. (Stop saying it when you're looking at Rambo. Just stop.) You'll get there.

You are very high energy and can be headstrong. I hope you keep both of those traits throughout your childhood and into your adult life. I know that probably means a lot of extra work and prayer on the part of your dad and I, but when cultivated, those traits make for strong leaders and people of influence.

You are a happy little man. Except when you are teething. I am really hoping that tooth you are currently working on pops through soon - for your sake and mine.

You are the best little side-kick ever, always tagging along whether I am running or biking, gardening or cleaning, grocery shopping or cooking supper or just relaxing. You are teaching me more about God and His love for His children. Through guiding and teaching you I am learning... 

Like I said earlier, you have filled our lives with joy-overflowing. We treasure you.