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DH got a raise this pay period (the first one of the new year). Hooray! He deserves it, he's really good at his job. So with that raise, 401k contribution went up. With the remainder I think we'll try to build sinking funds quickly over the first few months with our snowball, and then the remainder of the year snowball will go to the mortgage. We just emptied the property tax fund, so that is really the only one to fund right now.


One of my new year goals was to try a new recipe each week. I am loving it! I'm wanting to expand my repertoire and cook more ethnic foods. So far I'm feeling pretty confident with Indian flavors and now Lebanese. Some friends and I have decided to have a once per month dinner club. The rules are that we try cuisines from around the world and we do themes. First month is Thailand. I'm bringing spring rolls and dipping sauce. For my month, I'm pretty sure I want to do Lebanese or something in that flavor region. (That's why I've been practicing those recipes.)


The other focus I have is making our home nicer. Paint, countertops, and new sofa pillows! I'm making the sofa pillows, using what I already have on hand. I am NOT looking forward to having to paint. I still haven't gotten estimates on countertops, but January is too tight any way... and too cold to drag the baby all over town looking at showrooms. Giving myself leeway on that one.


I am still loving my life, the slow gentle pace, the homemaking, and the child raising. I feel like we're doing really well as a family, very little stress.


Edit, let's see if this works. These are the floor tile countertops that I want to replace.



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Paint, countertops, and new sofa pillows!


This line reads much differently on a phone that makes commas easy to miss.

Congrats on the raise! And putting it to good use.

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awesome! I can totally see why you're not digging the floor-countertops, hahahah ;) I love your kitchen though! It's gorgeous and roomy looking!


Kinda jealous of the living so stress-free part, though!

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Yeha, my new house has tile countertops in the kitchen (not big floor ones like that, more like granite-like bathroom ones) They're a brown color like yours, with white grout. It's pretty, but OMG the grout!! In a kitchen!!! I can see it's only going to be a matter of time until I replace them with regular countertops...I am not OCD enough to keep up on scrubbing countertop grout but OCD enough that it will make me crazy.

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I like the back splash but the tile counter top, well more the grout lines, would drive me crazy. Love the overall kitchen though!!


Congrats to DH on his raise!


Those little touches like new sofa pillows can go a long way to freshen up a rooms look, especialy in the gloomy winter months.

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any backsplash is a good one, we have none (just drywall/paint) and I hate it.


My (burnt orangey-red ombre-ish) backsplash may disagree with you on that one. ;)

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The crown molding on the cabinets are gorgeous.  Stress-free living...sigh....maybe next year for us.  I love the dinner club idea!  Personally, the tile and floor looks nice.  I'm not sure if functionally it's problematic.  But it looks real nice to me.  :) Congrats on the raise and contribution to 401K increase.

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My (burnt orangey-red ombre-ish) backsplash may disagree with you on that one. ;)

I see your burnt orange and raise you lime green plastic tiles.  We ended up painting them a deep blue color.  The wall was pink and we painted it bright yellow.  Ugly colors can be mitigated!

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Since it was plastic we used this process:  


Cleaned it thoroughly to get off the inevitable coat of kitchen grease.

Put on one coat of high adhesive primer.

Painted with a high gloss latex in the color we liked.


That's it, it's held up pretty well over the past several years.  The paint does chip or gouge if you run into it with something sharp or hard, so we have a few specks of primer showing through in places.


The backsplash is the same tile as is in this pic.


Let's see, I think I can find a before/after of one part of the kitchen.



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Wow Zaga, what a transformation! A tip for someone else wanting to do like Zaga is to maybe have the primer tinted to the paint color, so if it does chip it's the same color underneath.



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