Happy Anniversary! The Big White House is Turning 1

It’s party time. Big White House on the Hill is one years old.

I totally did not know what to expect when I began on this adventure. My mother-in-law Mary Kay had asked me to run around the house, take pictures and send them to her. The emails that went back and forth made absolutely no sense. There had to be a better way.

I few years back, I’d mentioned to a friend at an ice cream social that I wanted to get back into writing. The next time we met, she asked how it was going, and I’d had to admit I’d done nothing. Perhaps a blog would give me a creative outlet for my writing and help Mary Kay figure out what was going on around here.

The last year has brought its ups and downs. Some weeks, I’ve pouted because numbers were low, and I refused to post anything. Writers can be temperamental you know. All in all, my silly blog has kept me motivated to complete projects rather than just dream them up, it has helped us catalog all the work we’ve done around here, and I’ve been able to share some of the beauty of this place with you. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and keeping closer contact with family. I was surprised to find I have more followers I don’t know than followers I do.

Here are some facts and figures.

  • As of 2/27 at 9 pm, I’ve had 7,075 views.
  • Top posts are Things that Make You Smile with 157 views and Adding Some Softness with 140, although Bling Baby is already in the top 10 with 60 view yesterday.
  • Top day ever was 173 views on a totally normal day in August.
  • The top month is this one with 865 views with a few hours left. It just edged out May, the month I added my posts to Facebook.
  • My top commenter is Mary Kay with 115 comments–I guess the blog is more informative than random photos.
  • My college friend Lori is in second with 43. I do love to hear from Lori and from all of you. Sorry to all those friends who comment via Facebook–I don’t keep track of those numbers.
  • The most popular topics I’ve written about are the great room closely followed by dogs. It’s not that I write a lot about Bogart and Cocoa, they just seem to wander into all my photos.
  • I’ve shared 144 posts in the last 12 months.
  • 51 people have chosen to follow my blog plus the 155 who hop on over from Facebook.
  • A shout out to my sister-in-law Morene for being the first person to follow my blog and to my friend Sandy for being the second.

If you’ve missed out on the last 12 months, here are some of the highlights.

We’ve repaired.

Repair Collage

We’ve remodeled.

New Stainless Kitchen Collage

We’ve crafted.

Craft Collage

And we’ve sat back and enjoyed the ever-changing view.

View Sunrise photo 2 (49)Sunrise

I don’t know how long this adventure will last, but I’m enjoying this season of life with my family friends. Thank you Sweet Miss and Baby Girl for putting up with all my crazy requests and your willingness to be my models. Thank you MR for all the work you do around this place. While you don’t want to be in the photos, you’re always willing to lend a helping hand.

It’s been a good year. Thank you for being a part of life at the Big (Almost) White House on the Hill.

House from the Meadow

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Bling Baby

Lesson learned:  It pays to measure.

Now many of you know the story of how we got this place, but for those of you who don’t here’s the quick and dirty version. The Mr was looking at homes online and stumbled across it, the view was gorgeous, but the house looked crazy. We decided to check it out just in case. We were happy in our little neighborhood and didn’t really plan on moving. We scheduled a viewing, walked in, and WOW. The giant room, the amazing view bowled us over. We talked about it, we thought about it, we went camping and came home early to make an offer. That was mid-August. Before the end of the month, we had an inspection–this place was falling apart. We lowered our offer and waited, and waited, and waited. Fast forward to mid-December and it was all ours.

Sweet Miss chose the small room upstairs with the view. Since it didn’t have a lot of storage, and the master had two closets and a bunch of built-in drawers, I thought we were set.

We’d wandered through the house in August, my memory of exactly what we were getting was a bit fuzzy. The drawers ended up much shallower than I had expected, my jewelry boxes were too tall to fit on the counter between the drawers and open shelving.

Suddenly, the new home for my jewelry boxes was on the floor. The one my parents gave me went on one end of the closet.

My Jewelry Box

My mom’s jewelry box went on the other.

Mom's Jewels on the Floor

So for the last year, I’ve been crawling around on the floor rummaging for necklaces or just doing without. I bought an ugly short jewelry box at the thrift store this summer and planned on painting it.

Short and Squat

It smelled a little like cats, I had trouble finding pulls, and my paint job was lousy, so that project stalled. And my jewelry migrated to the counter in a jumbled mess.

A Mess

This is not how I like to live, so when I saw this on Pinterest, I was intrigued.

Drawer handle jewelry holder.

This looks totally doable. I clicked on the link and ended up at newenglandprepster.tumblr.com. I found nothing in any way, shape, or form that resembled this jewelry display. Perhaps I could wing it? I do have some peg board leftover from the footstool remake. I bought some drawer pulls while they were on sale last month, and then the project stalled once more. Are you noticing a pattern?

I wanted the perfect fabric for the background. I could use a navy print or maybe gray silk. I was in a quandary. Should I frame it? Should I buy a frame? Should I try to cut a frame down to the proper size? Should I forget the peg board and drill holes myself? There are times I can’t make a decision to save my life. Finally, I got fed up and said Kim, just do it.

Maybe I need to listen to the people at Nike more.

I had some leftover fabric from curtains I made for our old master bedroom. These curtains were so sweet–fully-lined with goblet pleats across the top and hand embroidery. I really loved them. As I was saying, I had fabric leftover, fabric that held good memories. As favor would have it, this fabric is a close cousin color-wise to the sign Sweet Miss gave me that is already hanging in our closet. It was meant to be.

Morning Cheer

I love you too, Sweet Miss.

So after all that procrastination, I finally did it. And it was so, so easy. I don’t know why I worry so much.

First, I covered the peg board with a layer of batting and a layer of fabric. I still don’t know whether I’ll add a frame, so I made the batting the same size as the board in order to reduce bulk. I cut the fabric to size, flipped it over and staple-gunned everything in place.

Cover the Peg Board

I prefer my dad’s electric staple gun since it’s easier for people like me with little, wimpy hands to use, but all we have is a manual one. That means some of the staples didn’t go in cleanly, so I used a hammer to flatten them.

Then I flipped it over and started playing around with different layouts.

Lay Out 2

I liked this version with a variety of pulls off to the side but thought maybe the design needed a little more breathing room across the top. So I tried again with the large pulls spaced out across the top. Using peg board keeps each hole parallel, but it also puts constraints on exactly where those pulls can go.

I used some sharp embroidery snips to make a hole in the fabric.

Pointy Scissors

Then it was simply a matter of screwing the pulls onto the board. Since cabinets are much thicker than pegboard, I bought shorter screws at the hardware store. These screws were too short for some of the knobs, so I used the longer screws with washers to give them a tight fit. After a few minutes of twisting and turning, I ended up with this.

Final Design

I knew my errant staples might end up scratching the wall, so I glue-gunned ribbon along the back to cover the staples and add a little cushion.

Glue Gun Ribbon

For a hangar, I just wrapped some wire around the two screws with the washers.

Then I started hanging up necklaces, rings, bracelets, and all sorts of good stuff. I soon realized I have way too many rings. My mom loved rings and had quite a selection that I inherited. It was time to go back to the hardware store and pick up some more hooks and pulls. With  a little poking, twisting, turning, and hanging, I ended up with this.

All Finished

While I do have some nice pieces, most are simply sentimental costume jewelry. But I’m much more likely to wear my bits and baubles now that they’re out in the open rather than residing on the floor.

Bling & Plaque

I was surprised at how heavy this little board gets with drawer pulls and jewelry. I tried hanging it with a 3M hook, but it’s fallen off twice, so the MR is going to help me out with a molly bolt. Sorry the lighting is off. Closets aren’t always bright and cheery. Here’s a look in better light.

On Display

Let’s get up close and personal.

Close Up

It’s a little whimsical and jumbled, but it’s a step up from a pile of earrings on the counter and jewelry boxes on the floor.

Where do you store your jewels? Do you love the bling or just wear your wedding band or another treasured piece?

I’ve added this post to the Pinterest Challenge link-up party at Young House Love.. Hop on over to their site to check out all the fun.

A Penny for Your Thoughts

I’ve been obsessed with pennies lately. Friends, family, store clerks, and bank tellers have been feeding that obsession, and the end is in sight.

Let’s rewind a month and start at the beginning. The MR went off to Iceland, London, and Paris for two weeks at the end of January and early February. I wanted to have all sorts of fabulous surprises for him when he got home. Unfortunately, my skills lend more to crafty than craftsman-y, so the options were limited.

But at Christmas time, I’d bought some festive wrapping paper to line the counters outside our room. I got busy; it didn’t happen; there’s always next year; no biggie. This is February, holiday cheer is totally out of place, but who can say no to a nice dose of color? We have this long expanse of counter in need of something.

Countertop

Thus began the hunt for fabulous wrapping paper. This area is currently a sitting/conversation zone, but I’m really hoping it morphs into the den/office area. So I started looking for paper with a punch of color and a bit of pattern. I wandered around World Market, Target, Hallmark, and Michael’s dragging Baby Girl from store to store. While I really liked the individual crinkly, gray sheets at World Market, they were going to add up way too fast.

World Market

And with separate sheets, I’d have to try and match up patterns or folds. It was getting tricky and expensive, so I turned to the internet. I pinned these finds from Luxe Paperie and Whimsy Press.

Wrapping Paper Collage

I only needed a 131-inch long piece in one direction, and the same amount in the other. Wow, that paper was going to cost me an arm and a leg. And let’s be really honest, the MR wasn’t going to like it–it was too much pattern and color.

Maybe I could use fabric instead. I could get away with only 3-2/3 yards, so we’d be spending $30-70. Then came all the questions. Would I leave the edges simply cut? Would they fray? Should I iron the edges under giving it a clean finish? Would it look wonky and I’d be unhappy? How long before the fabric faded in the sun?

That was the problem with almost any choice. We’d have to go with something low-key rather than vibrant to appeal to the MR, and then my wrapping paper or fabric would fade. I didn’t want it to look cheap; I wanted it to look fun, interesting, and exciting. And I didn’t want to have to replace it every couple years, because it was horribly faded and tacky like our carpet.

After brainstorming options, searching for “cool” shelf paper (an oxymoron at best), amazing and reasonably priced wall paper or wrapping paper, I had this total “A-ha” moment. The answer came to me–pennies, glorious, shimmery, lowly pennies. They won’t fade, they’re easy to find, they’d add a subtle, but cool metallic finish to the counter without being too in your face, and they’d add more copper to the space. I raided the MR’s stash of coins and Baby Girl’s piggy bank. It only went a little ways, but wow I really loved it.

Baby Girl came home from a sleepover, and I dragged her over to see my new project. She was enthralled, and that was when my obsession with pennies began. At first I decided to just fill in the whole space, and then I realized it was going to take a lot of pennies, so I opted for a pattern. I liked this triangle, zig-zag, but the glass gave the white counter a sickly greenish tint.

Patterns

I knew the white areas would show dirt after awhile, and it was a major pain to try and keep all the pennies in place as I covered them with glass. Solid it would have to be.

Solid Shimmer

I started making phone calls. Dad do you have any pennies? Hey Kristi, do you have any pennies? Friends and family only had so many to contribute, so I turned to other sources. Bank of America went to the vault to retrieve $25 worth of pennies for me, but I needed more.

After hitting up one bank in town, I thought I’d try the other. They were friendly and helpful in the morning and gladly exchanged a twenty for $20 worth of pennies. That afternoon when I came back, things went totally downhill. I told them I needed pennies, and the teller asked if I had an account. No, I did not. Well, that was a service they really only provided for their customers, but if I opened a free checking account, they’d be glad to help me. I don’t like to be strong-armed into anything. I said a tight “no thank you” and left–I won’t be back. I think that teller needs to learn the power of good will.

So now, I was a little gun shy. If I went back to Bank of America would they turn on me, too? I stopped by my bank, but Boeing Employees Credit Union doesn’t have any money at its neighborhood outlets; it’s all in the cash machines. I’ve never seen a cash machine dispense pennies.

President’s Day weekend brought a three-day volleyball tournament for Baby Girl. On the first morning as I was leaving the bleachers, I found a penny and picked it up. Someone made a comment about good luck, and I told them of my project. Suddenly, it became a group effort. Papa Willy, and Uncle Kraig brought pennies, and the volleyball parents emptied their wallets of pennies. People brought bags of pennies to the tournament. As I was driving around later that week, I got a text that a friend had pennies on her porch for me.

In actuality, the teller, who was just doing her job but still pushed my buttons, did me a huge favor. When I look at my counter of pennies, I’m reminded of all the friends and family who came to my aid. It did still take another trip to Bank of America, Safeway, and Family Grocer before I came within a foot of finishing. I just kept underestimating how many I would need.

Baby Girl spent the night with Sweet Miss up at Western Washington University on Friday, so as me and the MR were driving north to pick up BG and take the girls to lunch, I texted Sweet Miss asking her to find out if any of her friends had pennies.

Raiding the Piggy Banks

After she and BG discussed how cray-cray their mother is and that I’d been raiding their piggy banks in search of pennies, she hit the jackpot. Her friend Leah was a chef at a local restaurant last year. That’s who I should have turned to in the first place–someone with tip money.

Leah’s bag of pennies got me to within a roll, so BG and I stopped by Safeway after church to pick up the last few coins we needed. I really like the way it turned out. It is much more tactile before you cover it with a half-inch thick piece of glass–just a lot less practical.

Naked Pennies

The MR’s dad–Papa Larry–bought us some professional, heavy-duty suction cups that making removing the glass for cleaning or penny laying a breeze. And here we have the finished product.

All Finished

I like how it’s subdued, but still makes an impact.

I did run into a few challenges along the way. First I had to decide which side was up or if it mattered. The heads side has a better reflective quality and is also good luck, so all the pennies are heads up–at least they’re supposed to be. It was also hard to decide which side to make straight. I chose the outer edge so we’d end up with a long clean line. I did brainstorm how I could cut the pennies in half and make them fit into the edge better, but when you cut pennies in half they curl–this is my Cutco sales experience talking. I made a corkscrew out of a penny for my in-laws the first time I met them. When I was explaining this to a friend, she said you’re really into pennies, and I realized I’d crossed a line.

I decided cutting and hammering pennies into shape was taking it all a little too far, and another friend mentioned it was defacing government currency, so I went with the wavy edge.

Penny Edge

Then I had to decide how to work the corner. At first I tried a diagonal line, but it just wasn’t working. So while the glass meets at a diagonal, the pennies meet flush.

The Seam

I was surprised in my quest for pennies how many people had seen some sort of penny project. Apparently, my older brother and his wife have a bookshelf at their coffee shop (The White Peacock in Lindsborg, Kansas) covered in pennies. And the teller who refused to give me pennies had seen projects on Pinterest. I was a little disappointed to think someone else came up with my idea first. It doesn’t matter, because I’m totally in love with it.

Look at how the hurricane and white shell balls (a souvenir from a vacation to Hawaii) show up against the copper.

Shell Balls

One of my friends wanted to know if I only wanted shiny pennies, the answer was a resounding no. I love the variety of color and texture in these counters. I have wheat pennies and new pennies, Canadian pennies and things I’m not sure are even pennies. It all just works. One of the brilliant things about this idea is that when and if we get tired of it, we get all our money back, minus inflation.

How are you putting your money to work these days? Penny for your thoughts?

Sprinkle It Around

I told a friend we were thinking about painting the kitchen yellow. The first thing out of her mouth was that we’d have to add yellow in other places around the room. My response was huh? I wasn’t really excited about yellow in other places–maybe that was a sign.

Well, my buddy is a color expert who has wonderful ideas. She came out when we first moved in and has been giving us advice on color options ever since. She was the one who encouraged us to add more navy in the master suite so it looked intentional rather than a tan bedroom with a navy shower. That worked out fabulously, so when she talks, I listen.

She also said we should add more copper. We have a giant wall hanging that the MR’s dad made for us. It hangs in place of pride over the fireplace. I bought a perforated copper vase awhile back that adorned the mantel this fall. But I’m thinking a small piece and a large piece within a few feet of each other aren’t really what she was talking about.

Fireplace

So when I saw a copper garden stool for sale at Joss and Main, I decided it was just what we needed. For those of you who don’t know, Joss and Main is an online purveyor of fabulous things for the home. Every day, they send me an email filled with all sorts of collections, and sometimes I look at it and sometimes it goes straight to the trash. With the MR out of town, I had lots of time to look through those silly emails and found tons of treasures. Since he was in Europe, I didn’t want to bother him by asking whether he liked this or that, so I just bought all sorts of things.

Let’s get back to the important stuff–garden stools. I am a total fan of small tables, stools, and ottomans. They mix, they match, they can be used in many different areas and combinations. And a two-foot tall hunk of copper definitely adds a little more metal to this space. I’m just following advice and sprinkling it around.

photo 5 (14)

I know you’re just dying to see it. Well, here’s the before.

Old Square Table

The square side table sticks out into the walkway, and the puppy likes to grab the magazines and rip them up. It was time for a change.

Copper Stool and Loveseat

The copper stool won’t poke you as you walk by, it’s still large enough to hold a glass, and it can double as a seat in a pinch. It’s quite hard to keep the pillows in perfect order, since someone has taken to jumping from the footstool to the loveseat, chewing on a toy, and knocking the pillows to the floor.

Here we are a little more up close and personal.

Stool Up Close

Someday, we will replace all that furniture that the former owners left behind, and this little garden stool will find a nice corner to land. Copper, versatile, and cheap all make me happy.

What have you bought for your home lately? Do wild dogs follow you about edging their way into photos?

I’m totally excited about a copper project I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. You’re going to love it, but you have to wait till next week to hear all about it. Here’s a hint:  Penny for your thoughts.

Warming It Up

The other day, I asked the MR what our colors for the great room should be. He didn’t have a clue, and in all honesty, I’m not much better.

While I like vibrant color, the MR leans more toward neutrals. I like lots of pattern and he gravitates toward plain and clean lines. Have you heard the old adage that opposites attract? We’ve agreed that a neutral palette would probably work best with the view. That way the walls recede and mountains and valley become the focal point.

God paints a sunrise more beautiful than any color we could choose.

Sunrise

That being said, we’re still trying to figure out the whole color scheme, but that doesn’t mean we have to have a total plan before we buy anything. That’s the place I get caught up in. I want the whole plan before I start, so I can stay on track and not make mistakes, but that’s just not how life works.

So when Joss & Main had a screaming deal on area rugs, I decided to go for it. A beige-tone rug would add some warmth and softness to the dining room without forcing us in a particular color direction. If the MR truly hated it, I could always move it to the sewing room, or the guest room, or even sell it on Craig’s List. Mistakes can be remedied; I need to get over the quest for perfection.

For $104 and some change, I picked up a 6’7″ x 9’6″ rug. It arrived in less than a week and even came with free shipping.

On the Porch

The silly dogs heard the delivery man but totally missed what he brought.

Since it’s an indoor/outdoor rug, It’s meant for heavy use, and all that sunshine shouldn’t fade it too quickly. We have dogs, we have kids, and we eat in our dining room. I didn’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a rug and worry every time we sat down for a meal. Life’s too short to freak out about spills.

So now, we no longer simply have dogs and beach towels decorating the floor of our dining room.

Dining Room Floor

We’ve added pattern, texture, and a little warmth to the space with our new rug. It even matches my green eyes without being too wildly patterned for the MR.

New Rug

The cans lasted a few hours until they’d tripped people and dogs tried to carry them off. It’s starting too lay in place nicely, but it’s too dark this morning to retake the photos.

Eventually, the rug will lay flat and we’ll remove the cans. Since the sun was going down, here are a few more views with better color.

Rug and Table

It’s nice to have different hues in this sea of white. The floors are heated, so we don’t really need a rug for warmth, but it breaks up this huge expanse of tile and gives the dining room a more finished look.

Dining and Kitchen

You may be noticing a pattern. If you go to Europe for two weeks, your wife may get bored and go shopping–a lot. Don’t worry, my purchases still cost less than the fancy shoes your co-workers picked up in Paris.

Of course, the dining room is far from done. We still need a larger table. It’s funny how the table that filled the space at our last house looks so tiny here. I’d also like to add some color to the back of the china cabinets. I think it would set off the decorative items and add interest.

Until then, I’m liking the new rug and hoping the puppy only wants to lay on it.

How have you added color and life to your dining room? 

Picture Perfect

For the last year, we’ve been making do.

At first, we had a queen-sized mattress on our king-size built-in bed. It’s always good to measure.

A queen that thinks she's a king

Then we had our old comforter on our new bigger mattress. It was a little skimpy, but we were making do.

All Prettied Up

Bit by but, we’ve been finding our way. We’ve added a king-size coverlet, new pillow shams, and even a king-size blanket. It got pretty chilly with the MR off in Iceland. The last piece of the puzzle was the artwork over our bed. While the florals looked great with the golden walls and dusty blue bedding of our last bedroom, they looked off with the navy, gray, and white of our new room.

A Softer Look 1

I thought a black-and-white print would look stylish and sophisticated. But should I choose a floral for me our something more architectural for the MR?

I saw this blue and white print months ago.

Allium

It seemed like the perfect blue and white color scheme, but was it too matchy-matchy? Was the color slightly off? Would it show up well against the navy wall? I think it’s quite dangerous to rely too heavily on the color you see on a monitor.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a Saturday to myself and stopped by World Market. I had seen a white garden stool in their ad. It had bas-relief clouds and cutouts; I was in love and had a 15-percent off coupon.

I wandered the shop in search of the stool, and it was nowhere to be found. But as luck would have it, I stumbled upon the sale art display and saw a large, horizontal landscape. It had blues, and whites, and greens, and yellows–maybe this was just what we needed.

I brought it home, hung it in place, and waited for the MR. Since he was in London at the time, it took a while to get his feedback, but I think it’s important for both of us to agree. This is our room, not just mine, so we both need to be happy with how it looks. I don’t want him to come to bed every night grouching about the ugly painting over our bed. This is supposed to be a relaxing, fun space not crazy uptight.

When he got home on Monday, he gave the painting a thumbs up; it’s a keeper.

Full View

Sorry that the lights add some crazy bounced light. We’ve been up at 5 am all weekend long for Baby Girl’s volleyball tournament, and I missed natural daylight. I’ll get a better photo for the monthly roundup.

I don’t know if it’s truly the perfect picture for our space, but I like how it’s abstract enough to draw me in. I’ve added a few green touches in the walk-through closet, so the green in the painting helps it all make sense. The lighter blue carpet and tiles in the shower are all working better in the space, too.

Art

And as a bonus, I’ve marked one more thing off my to-do list. I’m no longer in search for art for the bedroom. Sometimes, my list looms long, and I just get tired of looking.

Have you added new artwork? Do you ever get tired of shopping?

Cooktop Conundrums

Me and my cooktop, we have this love-hate relationship.

This is the first time ever, I’ve had the joys of cooking with gas. I remember that first pot of water for spaghetti. I was shocked at how quickly it came to a boil. I may have chortled words like “screaming hot” to my family’s confusion. I was in love.

And then there was the first pot of baked potato soup. It’s rich, creamy, full of bacon and chunks of potato, and scorched. Oops, maybe I wasn’t paying attention, maybe the back burner will be better, maybe the middle burner has a true simmer. Nope, all the burners are screaming hot. This marked the beginning of relationship tension.

The burners run hot, and when I turn them to low, they snap at me. The pop up fan is more about noise than ventilation, and have I mentioned the color? This cooktop is white with light gray burners and more nooks and crannies than the Grand Canyon.

After just one use, the burners look messy; and after a week of use, they look disgusting. I can’t believe I actually show the world these things.

Dirty Burner

Our last stove had a smooth glass cooktop. It was white, so it showed everything, but it was still so much simpler to keep clean. All I needed was a little cooktop cleanser and a razor blade. These burners are trying my patience.

At first I read that a little ammonia will loosen the dirt. You just put the burner in a bag, add a touch of ammonia, seal it, and wait overnight. It does work really well, but am I willing to expose myself to toxic fumes in the pursuit of clean?

I was quite happy when I stumbled upon a non-toxic oven cleaner on Pinterest. This woman has a bird, and apparently the fumes from the automatic oven cleaner are toxic to birds. Who knew? So she came up with this blue goo you paint all over your oven to get rid of the grime.

I figured if it worked on her oven, it would probably work on my stove, and it wouldn’t be as bad for me as the ammonia.

Now, I’ve learned to take everything I read with a grain of salt. I talked Baby Girl into spraying her hair with sugar water in an attempt to straighten it. She has such pretty hair, and I hate to see her damaging it by using the straightener so much. This way she could have the style she wanted without the heat. The next morning, her hair felt disgusting (kind of like extensions) and wasn’t straight. I guess that idea was a fail.

But this idea was fairly simple, and I even had all the supplies on hand. Just mix together 1 1/2 cups baking soda and 1/4 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid. Add enough water to make a thick paste, and paint it on. I let it sit overnight, and gave the burners a good rinse in the morning. The burnt on crud doesn’t just fall off, but it is easily removed with a scrubber or in hard places an SOS pad.

You can learn all about Lisa at Lewisville Love and her method for oven cleaning here. She’s much better with the step-by-step details.

Now aren’t you just anxious to see my lovely clean burners?

Clean Burner

I love that shiny white. And here’s a view of the whole cooktop.

Clean Cooktop 2

I love it when it looks like this. Of course, then my family gets hungry, they want some food, I have to use the stove, and the whole process starts over again.

Someday, we’re going to get one of those new cooktops where all the black burners form one flat surface with a true simmer so I won’t scorch my creamy soup. Until then, I’m armed with my blue goo to keep those burners shiny and bright. They do look good. I’m getting my swagger on over a shiny cooktop–I am such a mom.

Clean Cooktop

Do you have a hated kitchen chore? Any tried and true tips for those hard to clean jobs?