spiffin’ up this kitchen: a dry goods bookshelf

Consider this the sequel to “Fixin’ this Kitchen: An Arctic Ice Backsplash“.

I’ve been meaning to do a specific post our now-not-so-new-at-all dry goods bookshelf for, oh like a year now. You may recognize her from other posts here and here.

The bookshelf is actually A’s brainchild. He’s always thinking of better ways to arrange or organize our home to make it more efficient. When his suggestions line up with my thoughts on decor, we hit jackpot. This is one of those moments.

Heads up, pardon the photos. They are from a few months back, hence the pine tree decor. 




We added the bookshelf in response to the lack of reachable (for me) kitchen cabinet real estate and to encourage clean eating and cooking. The jars keep our favorite dry ingredients sealed tight and front and center for regular use – ranging from cacao nibs to slivered almonds to golden raisins. Most of our guests enjoy that the pantry has xantham gum in ready stock (for gluten-free clean baking).

I’d love to be able to tell you that the trip to Ikea to procure said bookshelf was a bonding experience for A and myself but we both know that’s not realistic. I’m 100% blaming it on Ikea’s hectic screaming-children-filled aisles and general over-stimulation and barrage of options. The trip was a disaster. When it came time to decide on a shelf I had a minor complete out. More specifically, I convinced myself that ingredients and bottles and such out in the open kitchen would look messy and cluttered. Being the kind, calm, and patient man that he is, A gave me ample time to vacillate the potential outcomes, all the while steering me towards “This probably won’t look heinous. Please calm down.”

When i finally got my act together and sealed the deal, we combated my clutter anxiety by purchasing about every glass storage jar that Ikea had in stock, in every available size. And the next day when I came home from work A surprised me with a completely assembled dry goods bookshelf ready for organizing magic.


It took some time, and multiple trips back to Ikea for even MORE jars to get the arrangement and array of options right, but now that the project is complete I can’t imagine our kitchen without the bookshelf.

more later, but THIS for now!

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So much more on this later. But for now, this:

On Sunday we gave this little guy a forever home! A 1 yr old Miniature Pinscher rescue from Pet Project shelter in Marseilles, IL, his jam is playing hard, cuddling up, and lounging with a bone. Let the adventures begin!

[Name forthcoming; suggestions welcome!]

updates forthcoming.

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If there ever was a magician that specialized in the blogging disappearing act…

But with a good reason. Or two. Or to be honest, what feels like a hovering nebulous cumulonimbus cloud that could blanket the Atlantic. Dramatic? Always. But honest, since that’s what we are here.

I’ve been missing in action, but the action has not been missing me. Tomorrow: updates and thoughts and photos and some context to what this quote up top might have to do with it all.

Thanks for all your sweet, sweet comments and notes checking in since posting has gotten spotty at best. I’m so lucky to have you sharing this space with me.

See you back here soon!



After neglecting true St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans for the past few years, I made the executive call to indulge in at least one green beer at a local Irish establishment. Finn’s in East Lakeview, Chicago has been my personal favorite local pub since moving into the neighborhood 5 years ago. So, after a morning run that required more recovery than I’d like to admit publicly, I hopped over to said bar for green beers with A and BFF Carling. There aren’t photos from that because I was to busy inhaling beer and giggling and listening to all the banter.

But there is this one lone photo of the green beer I anticipated all week. Worth the wait.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Coming up later this week: A recipe for slow cooker corned beef and cabbage that I probably should have posted earlier this week but just made for the first time last night. And holy shamrocks was it delightful!