let there be light

In my opinion, it's a sin to visit a city and leave without going to IKEA. For those of us not blessed with IKEA in our hometown, ahem, it's of paramount importance to choose vacation destinations using the IKEA Store Locater map. Do I sound like a believer? Well, I am. I realize that the store is it's own worst enemy. With everything on display to touch and feel and take a nap on, wear and tear is evident. You see the broken edges in the fake wood furniture and the jammed drawer slides and the cracked picture frames. But whateves. It's affordable. It's vast. It's current. And I'm a fan. 

So while in Denver, I hit it up with my dad, Ryan and Danielle with her twin boys. The boys spent the trip zooming around the showroom in shopping baskets. It was scary awesome. Near the end - that store is huge - both boys were scrunched up, each sitting in their own shopping cart, chauffeured by my dad and Ryan. 

I tried to contain myself, and I rather succeeded. I walked in with an agenda and walked out with exactly what I needed. A knife block for INSIDE the drawer. Yes, that's right. Annie gets her kicks pulling our knife block whenever she's in reach. So in an effort to curb her sharp object enthusiasm, we've opted for this:

Here's to my daughter keeping all ten fingers and toes safely attached to her hands and feet for at least another ten years.

I also snagged a few more Ribba frames. I've never met a frame I like better. Scratch that. I've never met a frame under $100 that I like as well.  Here are a few shots of Ribba frames hanging in our old houses.
New Orleans nursery
Branson Townhouse
Of these, I bought three more....

And most excitedly, I finally found a light for the kitchen that I could be content with. Really, it was a price that I was content with. Here's a little light history for ya. When I bought the condo this random single pendant light hung off center from the soffit. (Read more about the kitchen renovation here)

That light went pretty quick and because it was off center and hung over the floor - no table, I never replaced it. Then when the piece was being built I hung this light from the Home Depot:

But it cast a terrible shadow and didn't give any light to the top shelf. So it was a goner within the day.

Finally, against my will I hung a cheap track light that originally  hung in the other end of the apartment when I first bought it. Surprisingly, though we hated the fixture, we loved the amount of light it gave to not only the shelves, but the countertop. Still, it wasn't enough to make me keep it, and we sold it a few weeks later on Craigslist.

Ever since, I've had my eyes out for a great light. I wanted something with character. Well character comes at a high cost. And with the soffit there making the ceiling hang so long, my options were narrow. It couldn't hang more than 4 or 5 inches without making the top shelf unusable. I had nearly given up, content to let wires remain exposed forever...

..when I saw this track light at IKEA with a very attractive price tag. I'm not a lover of track lighting. But I am a lover of light. And this was going to bring a lot of it. And so in the heat of the moment, when everyone was pressuring me to hurry up, I bit the bullet and bought it. 

I need to take a better picture, but I've misplaced my camera cord, so you're getting an iPhone rendition. The fixture is not a far cry from the old track light, I admit, but just better enough to make me deal with it. I DO LOVE THE LIGHT it sheds on our new kitchen addition. Each bulb moves forwards and backwards as well as rotates. So my sweet Annie has a spotlight now. 

There you have it. Thanks to IKEA we're one step closer to the end. And, no, for those of you wondering. I still haven't finished painting the kitchen. It's embarrassing and I have no excuse. Tell me how pathetic that is and maybe I'll get motivated. And would you believe this? I actually painted my friend's fireplace last week and STILL haven't gone back for the second coat. Lord, help me. Why do I never finish strong? 

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