Happy Friday + Links 1/5/18

Happy Friday and happy 2018! To start the year off right, here’s one of my favorite kitchens from 2017 by the fabulous Jean Stoffer:

Jean Stoffer Kitchen 2

Jean Stoffer / via @jeanstofferdesign

Did you make a New Years resolution?  I never seem to be decisive enough for New Years resolutions, but I do take a little time to reflect on the past year and make goals for the year to come. For 2018 quite a few of those goals revolve around the Grit and Polish. I’ve been struggling with the direction of this blog for awhile now. I certainly enjoy writing posts and love sharing our renovations, but there is so much content on the web already, and are people even reading blogs anymore (with the rise of Instagram and our shrinking 8-second attention spans and all)? I want to make sure the Grit and Polish is useful and contributing meaningfully. So as we roll into 2018, Garrett’s and my goal for the Grit and Polish is to be a resource for DIY-ers, first time home buyers, anyone wanting to put sweat equity into their home, and in general, a place that values financially-sound, design-forward renovation. For content, that will mean more hands-on DIYs, more resource posts, and more Instagram. At least that’s the plan. If you have anything else you’d like to see, we’d love to hear it!

On a different note, we baked our first loaf of sourdough bread this week from a starter made with our own Farmhouse grapes. For those of you who don’t recall, Santa brought Garrett and I this book and this scale to aid us in our goal of baking a perfect loaf of sourdough in 2018. (We also read a lot about sourdough baking from our well-loved and well-used Macrina cookbook).  You know what I just realized?  Setting a goal to start/perfect something during a specific calendar year is basically the definition of a resolution.  Hmmmm…maybe I’m more decisive than I give myself credit for.  Anywho, the bread turned out great and loaf #2 is in the oven!

Well it’s Friday again meaning I’ve scrounged up lots of great links from around the web.  Grab a cup of coffee and dig in!

The best $1000 and under kitchen renovations of 2017.

What to do when you’re in a design rut (and don’t want to spend a fortune on renovations/decor).

Obsessed with these new sconces at Target. Where oh where could I put them?!

Loved reading Sarah’s renovation, blog, and personal goals for 2018.  The camaraderie I’ve felt and friendships I’ve made through blogging and Instagram is truly a highlight of my 2017 and I’m craving more of that for next year.  Also: 2018 paint colors.

One of the best guides I’ve seen for “winning at Instagram”.

Currently listening to: Big Magic from the library. I’m not very far in yet, but so far it’s great!

My brother-in-law kind of blew my mind over Christmas by making the New York Times chocolate chip cookies. Have you had them yet? Apparently they’ve been a THING for a looong time, but I’m just discovering them now.  The cookies were delicious of course, but what really blew my mind was the realization that I haven’t been making the best chocolate chip cookies. It lead me down a rabbit hole searching for a new favorite recipe. I’m planning to try Cooks Illustrated recipe and this Met Market “the cookie” imitation as well as the NYT version. If you guys have any recipes you swear by, send them my way! Oh and if you’re in Seattle and don’t know what the Met Market cookie is, I recommend you run down to the nearest Met Market asap!

I’m excited for 2018 and so very glad you’re here to share it with us!



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  1. Looking forward to all your 2018 posts! Love your content and eye for style. And the Met Market cookies are LITERALLY the BEST cookies ever. Mind blowing!

  2. Please keep on with the Friday posts! Love them! They are part of my Friday morning routine! XO!

  3. I love all of this, and think it makes a lot of sense to focus on specific resources with all the content out there! But- given your unique talent and aesthetic would still love to see lots of your renos too 🙂

    Especially resonate with a blog that “values financially-sound, design-forward renovation”

    Looking forward to your 2018 posts!

  4. I have about 30 blogs I still read regularly, so for me they’re not going away! I actually prefer them to Instagram. Of that group I have a handful that are my favorites, and yours is definitely one of them. I never miss a post and look forward to a new year following the progress in your farmhouse!

    • Wow that’s awesome you read 30 blogs! I think my lifestyle change over the last 18 months has really slowed my blog reading, but I’m glad to hear that other’s are still reading lots!

    • Ditto on preferring blogs to instagram. I follow people (instagram or blogs) for their taste and their stories, and I don’t like missing out because instagram’s algorithm decides not to show me one of your posts. I’d rather come to where I know you will be posting, and read everything! Your blog is one of my top few, and I check it almost every day. Can’t wait for 2018.

  5. I like the financially sound direction. So many blogs are/seem to be out of reach for people living on normal salaries. I know we all enjoy the escapism of the internet but learning from real people has immense value for me.
    Happy New Year.

  6. I’m really looking forward to your posts for the new year! Yours is one of my favorite blogs to check in with- my husband and I are also DIY’ers who love old houses, and it makes me happy to find people who appreciate old houses. We’ve also been toying with getting into rental properties so I particularly appreciated your posts about your experiences this year.

    As for cookies- may I suggest the salted chocolate chunk cookies from Smitten Kitchen? I don’t think I’ve made another recipe since she published that one almost three years ago!

    • Those cookies are officially on the docket for tomorrow now (LOVE smitten kitchen!) and thanks for the sweet words. Glad to hear folks are interested in the investment property side of things!

  7. As a (hopefully future) first time homebuyer who loves the idea of renovation but is scared about the cost & feasibility, your vision really resonated with me too! There really is so much design advice out there that feels totally out of reach & sets impossible standards. I think that is a niche you could really usefully help fill. I’m a new follower (heard about you through Chris Loves Julia) & I’ve mainly been following on Instagram so far, but I love reading blogs and I really look forward to reading future posts along those lines!

    • Thanks for being here Liz and I appreciate the feedback! And I really agree with you about there being too much ‘out of reach’ and ‘impossible’ content out there.

  8. The cooks illustrated chocolate chip cookies are the best!! I really want to try the new chocolate chunk shortbread cookies that everyone has been talking about (https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/salted-butter-and-chocolate-chunk-shortbread?intcid=inline_amp)

  9. Patricia Mason says:

    I subscribe by email to many blogs, probably at least 25 (including yous) and look forward to receiving them in my in box with great anticipation. I appreciate all the time the bloggers put into writing and preparing the content and I hope they don’t go away ! I have learned so much from reading blogs ! Thank you for a great blog !

  10. I like your direction for 2018. We’re first time homebuyers and newlyweds, and I wish more blogs did more detailed how to posts. I also second the comment about Instagram- love Instagram, but I hate the algorithm and I like knowing the days of the week to check up on my favorite blogs. I only read about 6ish on the regular and it’s because they have regular purposeful content.

    My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe will always be the Neiman Marcus chocolate chipcookie recipe. I don’t have a food processor, so I don’t have them much, but the ground oats are . https://www.cookingclassy.com/neiman-marcus-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/

  11. I love your goals for 2018. I think true DIY blogs are going to the wayside for “I bought this and you can buy it too with this link” interior blogs, so I hope you bring it back. More tutorials? I am a hands on girl with appreciate for some sweat equity. Though I also have a real estate investor, minimalist slant.

    Met Market cookies are the very best, I think the ground oats are key!

    Big Magic changed my thinking and the best nugget I got from the book was that you’ve got to do your craft because you love doing it for yourself. Nothing else, and for no one else.

    I love that paint guide, all the colors are money!

    I love blogs because it gets more in depth and it’s a focused read instead of a wandering scroll. But I find myself commenting more on the gram, than the blog (except now, obvi). What have you noticed about comments? I find Instagram to be more dialog heavy since everyone is logging in more frequently to catch up on likes and comment replies.

    Happy 2018, I’m excited to see what you have in store!

  12. Don’t get me wrong, I super love instagram for a mindless aspirational scroll but most of the value I get (learning) still comes from blogs. For example, we are getting ductless in the ceiling of our kitchen after seeing it in your porch house reno. I had no idea it was even an option before. I love the financially sound bit too, it really spoke to something I care about. How can I be a good steward of our limited resources AND have a home I love? And don’t even get me started about that Met cookie. It caused me to buy a very stinky house just because it was in walking distance from “the cookie”. Happy New Year!

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