Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kitchen Update + Giveaway winners

Random title for a random post.

I'm back from our big adventure to Costa Rica (yes, I'm still alive!) and it was everything I ever dreamed of...

From playing with monkeys to ziplining to tubing to mud baths & hot springs to rock climbing and horseback riding and even a 6.6 earthquake... this trip was one for the recordbooks.

I wanted to bring a piece of it home with me to remember, and I didn't have to look farther than the beach. Their beaches are amazing. Filled with miles of driftwood, pristine seashells and large chunks of coral.

I've been wanting my own piece of driftwood forever now, and had given up on finding any at our local beaches (they are scooped up the second they appear), so I hit the jackpot on this trip.

It was small enough to fit in my suitcase, and just the perfect size for the console table.
I love the black volcanic ash twisted into the wood.

And of course, I couldn't leave without a stash of shells and coral...

Aren't they neat? The sand is just littered with them.

After soaking them in bleach (to get rid of any lingering saltwater nasties) and letting them dry, I had to find a place to display them.

I had this old candle jar that I thought would work on the same console table underneath the driftwood:

A quick google search instructed me to freeze it for a couple hours and the wax will pop right out.

After removing it from the freezer, I tried to pry it out with a knife, and then this happeend...

Whoops, time for a plan B.

I didn't have any more candles in that size, but I did have a smaller one, so I figured I'd give this experiment another try:

This time it fell right out on its own.

I gave it a quick scrub and rinse, and I had a fresh empty jar:

Perfect size for a shell display.

I placed it here for now but it will inevitably relocate in the future.

Now, moving on.

It has been 9 months since we put the finishing touches on our kitchen. So in the time it takes to grow a baby, our cabinets have gone from perfect shiny white:

To slightly less pristine:

Caulk has a bad habit of shrinking/disappearing over time, and it was becoming evident by the cracks in the seams. Not only that, but I felt like the paint was wearing down a bit in some places, like here:

And here:

Even though we completely followed the rules, step by step, and even made sure to be a little generous on the paint coverage so this wouldn't happen.

Regardless, it started bothering me enough to the point where I needed to break out the 
caulk & paint for touchups.

Caulk first:

After a thorough cleaning, I generously lined all of the cabinet seams and let it dry.

So much better already.

Yesterday I came back in with a paintbrush to cover up any areas where the paint was worn down or the grain was peeking through.

And now they are back to normal!


Let's hope this lasts.

And now... it's time to announce the five winners of my customized iPhone 4 template giveaway!

Here are the randomly chosen names, in no particular order:

Lizzie @ PrettyCityThings  Awesomesauce. I'd pick a London cityscape. I've already got a clear case just waiting to be filled! Have a great trip! :)
gk This is awesome! I've been on the hunt for a giraffe iphone 4 case but haven't found anything I like. I would pick the giraffe!! Have fun in Costa Rica :)
J and J Washburn  I'd love to have the Seattle cityscape so I can rep my hometown!
Derek and Britt  I would love the California State Silhouette! Have an awesome trip!
Melissa R How fun! I would love a country silhouette of Japan, blue chevron, with a little heart on Tokyo to remind me of when I used to live there :)
Winners: please email jennasuedesignco [at] with your selections and I'll get working on them right away. Congrats to you guys, and thank you all for your comments!
And finally... it has been over a month since I've really done anything D&R related, so I'm anxious to jump back in with a kitchen project.
This one should be...... fun?
Operation Pantry Remodel has begun!
Yes, it was important enough to make a graphic for.
This will be done in a few stages, because I plan on being thorough and meticulous. All these weeks of no house projects has built up a reserve of creativity and ideas, and they are about to unfold. I'm going big with this one. (well—as big as you can go in a small crowded pantry).
Get ready!


  1. My mom had whitewashed cabinets and when they needed touchups, the cabinet shop that created the whitewash for us suggested that we top it off with a satin clearcoat. Maybe that would help with wear?

    1. Hmm... I would be nevous doing that because I'd have to sand it back off if I ever needed to reapply the paint for touchups in the future! The BM Advance paint is supposed to be made for cabinets/doors without needing a topcoat and it seems like other bloggers have had success with it. We'll see what happens in the future!

  2. Hi... I am planning my honeymoon in Costa Rica for next year... would you consider posting tips and activities you did in your trip?


    1. Hi! I'm not sure if enough people would be interested in my experience as a blog post, but I'm happy to share my experience with you.

      I did a lot of research online and on Trip Advisor prior to our trip and went with the most recommended tour guide group:

      It was an excellent decision. Diego is an amazing tour guide and made an effort to show and teach us everything he could about his country. It was also nice being chauferred in a private air conditioned van rather than trying to navigate the country ourselves (like we had originally planned).

      I posted a review a few days ago about our experience:

      Aside from our activities with Diego, I would highly recommend visiting the Congo Canopy if you are in the area. It was right near our hotel (Riu) in guanacaste. For $5pp you can go play with monkeys. It was the highlight of my time there.

      Aside from that, Guachipelin was amazing and highly recommended if you are the adventurous type. The volcanic mud bath and hot springs are a must!

      Hope this helps :)

    2. Thank you so much! Our plan is also to stay in the region of Guanacaste. We are reading everything we can so we plan a great trip. I will be sure to check out the links you provided. Thank you!

  3. Everything looks beautiful! Can you tell me the technique you used and the color paint on your console table in the living room? The light blue one with the beachy decor?

    1. Thanks! The post for that project is here:

  4. If your ever looking for a beach with plenty of driftwood in the Jacksonville area again you need to check our Big Talbot. It's an amazing beach filled with upturned trees and worth the trip!

  5. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


  6. Jenna - the pantry looks good so far. I am loving the round labels that you made up, nice touch. I know what you mean about the wire shelves. We are in the same boat - urgh!