Kitchen Addition: New Breakfast Nook, Part 2 – Bench Seats

The new breakfast nook (shared about here) is on its way! I crossed my fingers, gulped twice and ordered those above-the-fridge cabinets that match the rest of our kitchen cabinetry and are perfectly sized as future bench seats for a breakfast nook. (For reference, they’re cherry wood shaker-style KraftMaid cabinets from Lowe’s in a honey spice finish.)

And then they arrived! And are just as perfect as had hoped. I opted for drawers rather than doors so that as I move my bench pieces around the kitchen (I’d like these guys to serve double-duty as all sorts of seating options) the contents won’t come spilling out. The drawers provide a nice little stash place for tablecloths and runners and such, too.

The drawers came assembled straight out of the box, but rather than add a toe kick to the bottom of the cabinets so that they aren’t directly on the ground, I thought that legs might look a bit nicer and will add a little industrial detail.

Ikea came through with two varieties that I thought would work well – one a solid metal ‘skinny’ leg with a round foot, the other a pewter-painted ‘fatter’ leg with a rubber foot. The skinnier guys won based solely on ease of installation (I could drill the legs directly to the base of the cabinet without the screws interfering with drawer functionality).

You can see that the fatter legs actually require a decently sized pre-drilled hole and something to screw the current exposed screw into (which is probably customary on the Ikea cabinets you’re supposed to buy them for). See how the legs would sit into the underside of the cabinet above and not flush with the bottom (as I had imagined them showing up)? That plan was a no-go.

My skinnier legs are attached to a cabinet by securing each with four small screws, a perfect solution when a drawer must function on a track that is in the way of potential screws. The small screws were about 1/2″ long and didn’t interfere with any sliding motion when drilled through the base.

I totally dig my Ikea industrial legs. They don’t look very Ikea-ish at all and are perfect for the kitchen!

Don’t mind the dusty floors.

Now it’s on to pretty cushions to top these rather uncomfortable drawer cabinets with, and then a table and maybe a few cool chairs. The breakfast nook is coming together!

All kitchen posts can be found right here (we built this space from scratch, at one point in its past life it was actually a den).

What’s Your Morning Routine?

A bit of an off-topic post today, but in lieu of a wardrobe style board I thought I would share a little sneak peek into my morning face routine (mmm, there has to be a better way to say that?) – and essentially my very favoritist make-up bag contents. In the cosmetic world it’s kind of sparse (I think?? at least compared to my sister’s!) – but it’s basically my prep for the day be it at home or when traveling. Except that I take the mini little plastic jars with me for luggage purposes when on the go.

I always find that the best products to try are those from personal recommendations, no? If you have a love in your life feel free to share it as well!

1. Time Balm concealer in Medium: for the eyes, nose, you know…

2. BareMinerals in Medium Beige: still very much a fan of this product – perfect as an allover (light) coverup for everyday use.

3. Stila One Step in Pop of Pink: this stuff is fantastic! Maybe my favorite item in the bag. Perfect for travel (brought it all over Europe) as it’s a great primer/shadow for the eyelids, lovely cream blush and adds a little color to the lips.

4. Mac Eyeshadow in Sable: if I must choose an all around perfect eye shadow, this is it. I imagine it goes beautifully on any skin color and can be dressed up or down depending on quantity applied and eye liner.

5. Benefit, Big Beautiful Eyes: bought this for traveling and have found it’s perfect for everyday. A little color for the eyes and a darker liner or eyebrow filler for fancy occasions.

6. Blinc Mascara: I have a relationship 8 years strong with this magical mascara. I really hate make up remover… and this particular brand comes off in cone shapes (basically the covering of each individual eye lash) without any assistance except for your face wash. NO red eyes, NO rubbing off of black paste – it’s seriously perfect.

7. Cover FX Skin Prep Serum: this primer is on the pricey end but I use the smallest dab in the mornings to prep my eyes for concealer and the tube lasts me a life time. It’s my favorite primer – and if you’ve never applied concealer or eye shadow with a primer, you are in for a treat.

8. I love Sephora’s generic line of brushes (the ones with the silver handles? Couldn’t find a link online) and I ended up making my own set of brush covers so that I could toss the brushes in my bag on the go (and switch them from briefcase to diaper bag to drawer cleanly). Hmmm… maybe I should market them.

9. Garnier, Skin Renew Daily Moisture Lotion & Sunscreen: I’ve tried a variety of brands but I keep coming back to the affordable, light weight sunscreen that is this guy. Love it.

10. Murad Clarifying Cleanser: Best face wash ever for my very problematic skin. Nuff said.

What do you think? Any favorites that you love and want to share? Could you survive with just a few eye shadows (I have a bigger stash in my drawer that I need to part with…) or are you a lip gloss-only girl anyhow?

Happy weekend!!

PS Apparently ‘Rice Krispy’ is actually spelled ‘Rice Krispie’ – oops! Previous post corrected :).

Good Eats: Rice Krispie Treat Pops

This past weekend we were incredibly blessed to witness the baptism our dear friends’ son, Gabriel, as his Godparents. It was a very special afternoon, a very joyous occasion!

After a special Mass in his name, we celebrated picnic-style with sandwiches and dessert on a big lawn outside of the chapel. My contribution was an attempt at a ‘non-meltable, child-friendly’ dessert that did in fact begin to melt (chocolate, even as a garnish, is still chocolate. oops). But the kids (and adults) seemed to approve!

Rice krispie treats are one of those no-bake wonders that require a bit of prep work, are a lot of fun to create, and fall into the monster clean-up category (hardened marshmallow 5-quart pans, anyone?). Oh but it’s all worth it.

To assemble pops, I made a usual batch of rice krispie treats just as the directions off of the box suggested. Butter + marshmallow + cereal = finished.

I smooshed my rice krispie goodness into a baking pan coated in butter and pressed the cereal into the pan throughly so that these pops would be a bit more condensed (and sturdier) over your average bar.

Once the pan had cooled, I cut the treats into rectangular shapes and added a lollipop stick to each (found at your local craft store, I picked mine up at Michael’s).

Using a double boiler (a sauce pan filled with a couple of inches of boiling water + a glass bowl that fits snuggly on top), I melted my Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips (mmmmmmmmm) until they were a smooth and satiny consistency. No need for butter or water or any other additive.

 In go the pops until the first inch or two is thoroughly coated!

A new cookie sheet lined with wax paper (also with a coat of butter) awaited the dripping chocolate treats. I kept the pops here to cool for a bit before adding sprinkles (or it can become a messy, melty task).

After a little experimenting (including dunking the pops into a coffee mug full of sprinkles), I found the best way to coat the pops was to use a plate and my (or Liv’s) fingers to manually sprinkle those sprinkles on.

Such a great helper.

Some pops received a lighter ‘glazing’ of chocolate via a 1 quart ziplock bag with the tip cut off and warm, gooey chocolate inside.

Let sit until chocolate hardens! Oh, and do keep out of the sun or store in an icebox until almost ready to serve. Lesson learned. Although I was grateful to find a cooler when arriving at the baptism so my semi-melted creation could recover a bit ;).

Ready for a few shots of mister handsome Gabriel being baptized? Here we are just before and after the priest surprised him with water.

Woah, what was that?

And the adorable sign that Gabriel’s mom made for the special day.

 More yummy Good Eats recipes filed away right here. Mmmmm enjoy!

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