The biggest change we made in our new kitchen.

The biggest change we made in our new kitchen.

We're currently on month seven of our six-week kitchen renovation. It's finally coming together, and it looks so good! I have photos to share today, plus a special offer to help you keep your own kitchen clean.

But this process has been s-l-o-w. (Words of wisdom from my contractor. Your project will take twice as long as you planned. It will cost twice as much money. And you are not the exception.)

Other than the fact that it's taking forever, it's not been a particularly big project (that is, as far as kitchen remodels are concerned, not compared to my typical weekend projects of, say, painting a door to make it pretty). Nor has it been expensive. But it has made a HUGE difference in how the room feels.

We took out a wall and vaulted the ceiling in week one of the project, and the room has felt delightfully airy and open ever since, even when we were in the thick of it early on.

kitchen remodel with bar stools horizontal

We also put in a big island with a white quartz countertop, which I adore.

We have a family of six and half of us tend to be slobs. (I'm one of them.) We learned very quickly that when the counter is clean and clear, the whole room feels clean and clear. And when the counter's a mess ... it's just not a nice place to be.

The upshot? We're learning to keep the counters clean, with a combination of good habits and good products.

Here's one more shot showing the as-yet-unfinished purple door:

kitchen remodel bar stools purple door

It's not been as hard as I feared and we're enjoying the results so much—on a daily basis.

The good habits part is pretty obvious: 1. Don't put crap on the counters! and 2. Nature abhors a vacuum, so we leave a few things out: fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit, and a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner. Marie Kondo would NOT approve of that last one (and she'll be happy to hear the rest of our cleaning products are safely stowed under the sink), but I live with four kids, and we're not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good here.

For over a year now, we've been getting our household goods from Grove Collaborative (the brand new name of the company we previously knew and loved as ePantry).

lilacbundle_laydown (2)

If you've never tried Grove, place your first order and receive these 4 items for free:

• Mrs Meyer's spring hand soap (in your favorite scent—we love the lilac)
• Mrs. Meyer's spring dish soap (in your favorite scent)
• Grove Collaborative glass spray bottle
• Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges

Mrs Meyer's spring cleaning kit custom

I love the products, have no qualms about my kids using them because they're safe and green, and doing business with the company has been a pleasure. They have the best customer service.

To try it for yourself: all you need to do is click here and get started, answer a few questions about your household, and the free spring cleaning kit will automatically be added to your cart. (Existing Grove customers: there's something for you too.)

Based on your answers, you’ll have recommended popular items added to your cart. You can change those up any way you'd like (and don't forget to select your favorite scents!); as long as you spend $20 you get the cleaning kit for free.

grove set basket march 2016 offer with marble

Here's an example of what you could order. I love that this list includes some of my own favorites, including products I discovered from YOU here in MMD blog comments! I'm forever grateful for your recommendations of the walnut scrubber sponges and Method antibac bathroom cleaner.

Mrs Meyers spring cleaning kit basket image

That's just a suggestion. My family uses and loves all those items, but other family favorites include the Grove candles in orange thyme and cardamom (seriously, THE best candles), Method foaming hand soap (they make the best pumps for refilling), and Dr Bronner's castile soap.

Existing customers: click here to get a free Grove glass spray bottle valued at $10.95. We have two of these: one is for concentrates, one is filled with water for misting our boxwood wreaths and hydrangeas and occasionally, hot and sweaty kids.

If you have any questions at all, use Grove's live chat feature. Their customer service is fantastic.

This offer is good through Tuesday, March 22 at 9:00 p.m. EST or while supplies last--so click here to get yours now. U.S. only; no shipping to Alaska and Hawaii right now (sorry!)



  1. Sara K says:

    I have one of those glass spray bottles, but I never thought to use one just for water! I will add that to my next order. I’ve been very happy with ePantry/Grove for the last year and look forward to my shipment every month.

    And they have phenomenal customer service in the event that something isn’t right with your order 🙂

  2. Tiffany says:

    I love Grove. We live in a smallish community and don’t always have access to different brands. Most of the products they sell are awesome, but you still have to do research on what is truly “green.” I’ve found just because a company says they are green, natural, etc. doesn’t mean they really are. I love using the EWG web site and the “Think Dirty” app to look-up products. After simple researching, I found some of my beloved “green” products really aren’t as safe as I thought. Better than the big name brands, but not at that level I was hoping. I’ve been able to find some good replacements though through Grove.

  3. Amy R says:

    Can you tell me where you purchased your counter stools? I have been searching for some for our cottage and they look great.

  4. Cheri says:

    I started shopping at Grove the last time you featured an offer. Love it! All my cleaning supplies are on auto pilot now. We never run out of dish soap and laundry detergent. Joy!
    We did a remodel – it took 3 years, sigh… During the second year I binged on 10 Louis L’Amour books. I had not read one before and I haven’t read one since, but his heroines made me feel like a tough-chicka that could survive anything – even missing countertops. Mindless reading has it’s place.
    Your counters are gorgeous, it makes me think; maybe it’s time to do a little updating around here…

  5. Renee says:

    When I click on the “Click here and get started” link, my WEBROOT security pops up and says malicious attack ahead and is listed as a Malware site? Anyone else have this issue?

  6. Erin says:

    I splurged and bought a bottle of Method cleaner. It’s so pretty that I have left it on the counter and surprisingly, I clear off and clean the counter on a regular basis now.

  7. Just wondering–did you consider marble countertops? We’re a year away from doing a kitchen mini-makeover (mainly so I can make everything white). I am obsessed with marble, but everyone tells me it’s impossible to keep nice. I know quartz is probably the safest bet, but I just love the veining in marble.

    • Anne says:

      We did because I love the look of marble. I thought they might be terribly expensive but we didn’t even get far enough with that to investigate: I hated the idea of maintaining them. Thus the quartz (which I love).

    • Anne says:

      Here’s an idea: we also looked at some granite that looked very similar to marble. But we decided to go with the crisp and clean white.

  8. Deb D says:

    I recently found your blog and have been enjoying reading past posts. I wanted to see what quartz you used in your kitchen? We are currently remodeling bathrooms to be followed with the kitchen. I’m looking at Silestone White Zeus. Look forward to reading about your new home.

    Thank you,

    • Anne says:

      I’m not sure! We have a Granite America store here; we picked out the only white quartz they had on offer. It’s plain white; no speckling or anything. (We just moved earlier this week but we LOVED it while we there.)

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