three tips for loving your kitchen.

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hi everyone! for today’s post, i’m in the kitchen and proudly showing off one of my favorite things to bake, homemade chocolate chip pumpkin cookies! i’ve shared the recipe in the past, but it’s something that gets me excited for the fall season and also excited about being in the kitchen.

wolf, who makes great cooking appliances and kitchen tools, recently did a survey for its reclaim the kitchen program and found that about one in every five adults only use their oven on occasion or for holidays. they also found that about 60% of 18-34 year olds eat snack or junk food for dinner and that if it takes longer than 30 minutes to cook a meal, 25% will just order takeout instead. i admit that i have a love/hate relationship with being in the kitchen, and these stats sounded all too familiar to me, mainly because the kitchen can sometimes feel overwhelming. that being said, with some goals i’ve made this past year, i’ve spent more time in our kitchen this year compared to others and have been enjoying it (for the most part).

wolf asked me to share my three suggestions for “reclaiming the kitchen,” and below are the three i get most excited about, that have definitely helped me feel more at home and comfortable in my kitchen space.

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ONE: make it a place you love, somewhere you want to be in! for me, that means a bright white kitchen, that has pops of color and things i love.  keeping it clean and tidy has also helped me want to go into the kitchen more, which is never a bad thing. ;) we try our best to keep the sink empty of dishes, and such a simple thing tends to go a long way to making the space feel more inviting. it’s not always this way!!! but it’s something we’ve noticed does make a big difference when it does happen. also, you all know how much i love fresh flowers, and keeping some in our kitchen space always makes me happy.

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TWO:  make the food you love, and keep it simple! often we feel overwhelmed by tons of pressure to make the perfect meal (whatever that is!). i think one of the best ways to eliminate stress here is to start off easy and simple. this year, i’ve realized how many foods there are that i can prepare in one step (like roasting, sautéing, boiling, or even assembling raw) and plenty of one pot dishes and meals. but most importantly, just make the things you love! think about the food you liked growing up, the recipes you grew up with at home. we have a few of our staple recipes (many of which were my favorite dishes my mom made me growing up) and made the recipes into magnets on the side or right on top of our fridge so they are always easy to see and access.

also, i actually get most excited about baking, over cooking! and i’m proud of how much i love to bake. especially since josh enjoys cooking so much, it makes it feel a little bit more even. haha! so don’t sell yourself short if you’re in the kitchen more to bake than cook, it counts for something! you’re doing it!

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and THREE: cook with other people! share the kitchen with the ones you love! make it social, if you’d like.  food has always been something that brings people together, and that doesn’t just have to start once you’re eating, it can start before you even sit down at the table, in the kitchen! josh and i have loved involving our kids in the kitchen with us. i’ve talked about this a lot before, but it’s something that i think is really important, and it’s amazing how some of our favorite family memories have taken place while helping make food together in our kitchen.  i know that sometimes it’s messier, and takes much longer when we include the kids in the cooking process, but i believe in it so much, and it’s done a lot for our family.

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i’d love to hear any of your own tips for creating a welcoming space and reclaiming your kitchen! thank you to wolf for sponsoring this blog post. you can head over to reclaimthekitchen.com to see more tips and tricks. and also thank you to our trusty tripod for helping josh and me get into a couple of photos together! maybe that should be another tip? to put the camera on a tripod in the kitchen?! we’ve never laughed so hard the way we did trying to get these last few photos. i don’t know, but i might be onto something with that last one. you’ll have to let me know if you try it. ;)

  1. I am completely fan of the owl, where does it come from?

  2. Me too i have a love/hate relationship with being in the kitchen,
    the 3rd tip is perfect…my husband loves cook

    I like this post. Thank you Naomi and as usual your photos are great even in the kitchen!!

    Kisses from France

    http://www.mapetitetribu.com

  3. Liz

    I’ve been reading since forever – LOVE your family!! Curious is getting the better of me (and this is completely unrelated to this post!): how are the spray painted cabinets doing?! Have they held up, or did they get scratched? In pictures, they look great!! xo

  4. Corina

    Always looking forward to a new post in this little space of yours. It brings me so much joy to read the stories and admire the photos. You and Josh are such a lovely couple. And then Conrad’s cheeky smile haha

  5. Marcy

    These are great tips! I love your kitchen window and ledge. I haven’t had a kitchen window since 2007 and I didn’t appreciate it enough when I had it. Something about the natural light and being able to look outside while you are working is really therapeutic.

  6. Karen

    Wow! Those stats are really something else. They resonate well with me, too – and the saddest part is that I love to cook! I think one of the hardest things (for me, especially due to my weird work hours) is getting to the grocery store to have all the ingredients you need each and every time – if I buy them in advance for the week or more, they go bad since it’s just me, living alone (with my furry mutt). Keeping it clean is one of the big ones for sure though… no one feels motivated to go cook if there’s a pile of dishes needing to be cleaned and put away first. I definitely clean as I go.

    Best, Karen from Life in its Natural State

  7. Laura

    I love the jade cake stand. Where is it from?

  8. Lian

    As somebody who is getting ready to re-do their kitchen, this gives me hope! I hate cooking in there right now but can’t wait for a refresh to give me some inspiration!

    Can you tell me where you got your apron from? I’ve been looking for something for my sister’s birthday and love that apron!

  9. Elishia

    I love this post BUT it makes me miss my beautiful kitchen that I left back in the UK… Now, my kitchen is in NYC and the size of a closet. Let’s just say it’s a big adjustment ? I have been getting into the swing of things and I’m beginning to love it’s little quirks!

    I think your tripod pics are lovely and it’s great to see you both!

    http://www.englisgirlinnewyork.org

  10. Cooking with your family is definitely the best! And I love all your tips! Keeping it simple makes it less overwhelming to cook. I made simple dishes on weekdays and leave the more complicated/time consuming dishes on weekends.

    And keeping your kitchen tidy also helps!

    -Christine
    http://www.christinelovestotravel.com

  11. Paige

    I agree! The more people their are in the kitchen helping me cook (ie, my husband and kids), the more willing I am to be in there and get a good meal on the table.

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  12. Chesson High

    I love seeing posts like this that include your whole fam (which is most of them) lol. However you and Josh should do another vlog! love seeing you guys interact and hearing what you have to say!

  13. Regine

    I’ve never encountered pumpkin chocolate chip cookies before but they sound divine!! Can you refer me to a recipe??

  14. Haha my friend’s mom would never let her in the kitchen because her mom didn’t believe that she wouldn’t make a mess :P // I’m definitely more of a fan of baking than cooking! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  15. Shannon

    I may have a slight obsession with cooking apron’s… send help! ;) However, I must ask, what brand are these apron’s and where do I get one?

  16. Kip

    Hi there – those cookies look delicious! Would love to try them out but can’t find the recipe on your site – can you share again? :)

  17. Courtney

    I totally agree with all of your suggestions- and I use all of them too. Especially cleaning up quickly after each meal- it has to be done at some point anyway, might as well do it immediately and leave your kitchen looking nice! I’d also say, as far as simplicity goes, crock pot meals are amazing! We have many staples and it saves us- especially on days where the hours leading up to dinner are busy. I love being able to make something during a calmer time of the day. My biggest motivating factor though in cooking for my family is I know the return on investment is huge. I know my homemade meals are much healthier for us. Also, my husband appreciates a home cooked meal so much. And I want my children to grow up having family dinners around our kitchen table, and to learn to try and eat a variety of foods. So the WHY of cooking motivates me even when I don’t want to do it (like currently- with pregnancy induced nausea that usually is the worst around dinner time!)

  18. Veronica

    Hi Naomi!
    Sembra tutto così bello ma anche un pò surreale…
    Quanto tempo impieghi a ripulire la cucina dopo aver preparato le ricetta con i bambini?
    Come fai a tenere tutto così in ordine e pulito?
    Thank you

  19. Jenna

    LOVE the idea of putting recipes onto magnets! Brilliant idea! I’d love to know where you had that done. Also, what is the paint color on your bottom cabinets? Such a great idea to not put white everywhere, I’m thinking my son will DESTROY white cabinets. Haha.

  20. Try putting on some classical music! Get lost in the beautiful sounds of instruments as you chop vegetables or mix a cookie dough, the experience is so relaxing and peaceful it is sure to make you come back for more!
    :)

    Kelly

  21. Kathryn

    Can you please share the source of your wall mounted paper towel holder and the small print of baking/cooking tools behind your sink? Thank you!

  22. Carly

    Where can I find your pumpkin cookie recipe???

  23. Erin

    Please post your staple meal ideas! Even if you don’t consider yourself a master chef, or consider this a cooking blog at all, please share! I’m always on the hunt for good, simple staple recipes, and bonus if they are from non-cookbook authors who are just trying to fix a good meal for their family… like myself! :) thanks!