Chic, sleek, and totally functional.  That’s what you’re going to find in today’s post.

Dinette table

I’ve tried to tell this story in a logical order.  It just won’t do.  We’ll get to Gail’s kitchen…eventually.  Above is a picture to tide you over.

Okay, Gail, a fellow Spirit, and I go way back.  I mean way way waaaay back.  We had 9th-grade science together with Mr. Murph, our teacher, and yes, we called him Mr. Murph.  Everyone did.  I think.  Anyway, we had 9th-grade science together and sat in rows.  Gail sat behind me, which came in handy because we didn’t have cell phones back then to text during class (which if we had, of course, we wouldn’t because that would have been rude and distracting).  Anyway, we didn’t know what cell phones were so we did the old-fashioned handwritten-note thing.  But there was always the risk the teacher would swipe the note and read it aloud for the class.

So Gail, in her infinite wisdom, shoved the notes in my bra strap.  And then I’d toss my notes back on her desk like I was swatting at a fly.  Psht, don’t look at us that way.  We were in stealth mode. Mr. Murph probably saw this happening, and God love him, he rarely called us out on our behavior and never swiped our notes.  He was dumb as a fox and probably didn’t want to know what we were writing.  He tolerated our uncontrollable giggling like a pro.  And since he was a wrestling coach, I guess he was intimidating enough that we really did try to be good in his class.

We both liked Mr. Murph as a teacher, and probably learned a lot, although I couldn’t tell you what.  And if he had taught more than 9th-grade science, I would have signed up for more science classes with him.  Because his wife was expecting (a second daughter – explains a lot) he also carried a pager, and we thought that made him even cooler.

But like a lot of relationships, things changed.  Mr. Murph left teaching to go into the world of finance.  And Gail and I lost touch after graduation.  Sad face, I know.

So, it was a fluke and rather fortuitous that we would run into each other at Target earlier this year when we were each VERY with child.  She was 41 weeks along and delivered the NEXT DAY.  I was 31 weeks along with Twinkleberry, and willing to deliver in the middle of the cosmetics aisle if it meant my cankles would go away.

We were there in the aisle with her husband, Alex, who was, coincidentally, a fellow high school classmate of ours (and college classmate of mine – although I later learned they didn’t start dating until after college – are you getting all of this?), and we were swapping eggo-preggo stories as we both sweated to death under the air conditioning.  And it was like old times.

So after we each delivered our children, we got together.  Happiness, I know!  We ponder life’s quandaries; like whether salmonella bacteria can jump off the pound of hamburger thawing in the fridge, over other items on the shelf, and land on bottles of breastmilk, and then proceed to find their way into these bottles and contaminate our little ones’ food sources.  Or the fact that little ones seem to be perpetually sick.  Like, maybe it’s an ear infection.  Or, maybe it’s bubonic plague.  And of course we just Google these symptoms only to find out our children have Avian bird flu.  These are serious issues, people.  You no longer need trained medical professionals now that you have Gail and I to solve all these mysteries for you.  I mean, if Gail and I don’t think about these issues, pray tell, who will?  Gail is so much fun, it’s no wonder Toodlebug loves her.

So, you may be wondering what her husband is like.  Well, Alex is a lot like K-Hubs.  He’s the calm one, too. Alex is also one creative dude.  I remember standing in line with him at the university bookstore in college as we bought our semester supplies, betting on who was going to have the larger bill.  I was a history major so my bill was only $25439340.  He was a design student, so his bill was in the neighborhood of $45303819.  Alex for the win!

I also remember that Alex and I went to student services in high school with mommy notes getting us out of 8th-period study hall.  I don’t remember his excuse, but mine was that Dad had sent me a birthday present and the UPS guy, or whoever it was, gave us the “final warning” note that said we’d have to drive downtown to get my package if he missed us again.  Mom thought that was a good enough reason to skip 8th-period study hall and actually wrote on my slip, “She has a package to pick up”.  Good enough for me.

Back to Alex’s college experience.   All that moolah paid off because this guy knows how to design a kitchen that is actually lived in.  And let’s remember he has a seven-month-old, so it needs to be functional, too.  Well done, Alex and Gail, well done.

This kitchen is totally fun!  And as I pointed out to Gail, it looks professionally done but is still a place where you can cook.  And burn a few creme brûlées or casseroles or whatever you fancy.  And talk about sick kids.  And drink a glass of wine.

Gail's Kitchen 2

The picture below hardly does justice to the skylights in the kitchen. Another way to add warmth when you use cool colors.  The picture below also depicts what is to the left of the picture above.

And the oversized spoon!  I love it.


And an oversized fork!  Naturally, if you have an oversized spoon, then you definitely need a fork of the same size or larger.

Gail's Kitchen

Stainless steel appliances are all the rage now, and I admit I like the stainless look too.  But the black appliances contrast so nicely with the gray-black counters and lighter gray subway tile backsplash.  LOVE!

Subway tile and burgundy flowers

Bright accessories offset the gray.

In addition to stainless steel, also popular is chalkboard paint.  What a clever idea to add it to standard white jars.  It’s a nice alternative if you aren’t ready to commit to an entire door or wall.

I think these jars would make great gifts this holiday season.

Flour Sugar

This festive setup below is to the right of the sink.  Simple, fun, effective.

Halloween Countertop

Speaking of sinks, here’s a picture of hers.

Be Smarter than the Faucet

No, there’s nothing magical about it, except I couldn’t figure out how to turn the faucet on.  Jeez!  I was trying to wet a paper towel to rescue Gail’s shirt from baby spit-up and couldn’t figure out the nozzle.  Turns out, you just pull on the side handle to get water.  I was moving it up and down and then pulled the nozzle out while Gail’s daughter spit up all over her.  We laughed like 9th graders.

And the dinette, to the right of what you see above, is simple, elegant, and inviting.

Larger Dinette Updated

Gail has an equally elegant formal dining room that screams awesome. I’ll be featuring that in a future post.  For now, you can imagine yourself in her kitchen talking about snow, Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving, or if you’re like Gail and me, whether humidifiers or fans are better in your child’s room, only to decide that, since you can’t decide, you’ll just do both.