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!