A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen

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Today’s the big reveal. The moment of truth. An invitation to leave behind the blog and walk into my real life kitchen.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive via email is, “What does your kitchen and the inside of your fridge really look like?” Let’s take a tour. Really, take off your shoes, grab a cup of joe or kombucha at the front door, and follow me into the humble 1960’s kitchen I call “home.” This is where the magic happens. Or I should say–This is where all the magic happened over the past five years. This is where Live Simply was born.

Wait! I’m getting ahead of myself.

Psst…you need to watch the video (below), now.

Before we chat about my exciting news (you watched the video, right?!), let’s talk about my “old” kitchen and fridge.

I like to keep my fridge organized. I’ve found the best way to do this is by keeping specific bins on shelves for grouped items: greens (lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.), dips and cheeses, fruit, and herbs. By keeping the fridge organized with the grouping method and labeling bins/shelves, I’m able to easily locate items, even when the fridge is stuffed full of food. I use multiple glass storage jars and bags to keep our food fresh and accessible. Here are a few of my favorite storage containers (as shown in the video):

Weck Jars From the video: chicken salad and berries. I purchase Weck Jars from Amazon.

SnapWare From the video: cantaloupe, fajita leftovers, dipping veggies. I purchased my SnapWare collection from Costco.

Mason Jars From the video: yogurt cups. I purchase Mason jars (mainly the pint and quart size) from Publix or online (Amazon).

Miscellaneous Organization- Baskets from Target (greens, herbs, cucumbers).

If you’d like to learn more about the specific food items I keep in the fridge, visit my real food fridge post.

The kitchen shown in the video was my kitchen, up until two weeks ago. That’s right–it’s gone. Demolished. Before I share some of the progress photos, let me share a heart-to-heart kitchen talk.

A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen

I’ve always felt a sense of pride in my little kitchen. Sure, I’ve joked about the gorgeously distressed countertops and peeling cabinets, but I’ve been proud to call this space “home.”

My small kitchen has worked hard over the past five years, playing a vital role in the nourishment of my family, writing recipes for companies, and creating endless DIYs and goodies for Live Simply. I truly believe it’s possible to enjoy a real food lifestyle no matter what the size or shape of a kitchen.  In fact, as I write this post, my temporary kitchen in the garage consists of a workspace totaling three-feet. While I can’t wait to work in a bigger space with new countertops, which will expand our abilities to use my kitchen for the blog and freelance company work, I’m confident that no matter what kitchen I work in, real food is always possible.

A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen

Dustin and I have been planning a new kitchen for a long time, dreaming about our “perfect” space. This summer we’re putting those dreams into a real life kitchen remodel.  I don’t want to give away too many details for the big reveal, but I can share a few of the new features going in over the next few weeks: a white farm sink, bead-board cabinets, an “island” with a cooktop and oven (for more cooking and DIY videos!!), subway tile, and open shelving.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share updates here on the blog. You can also follow me on Instagram where I’ve been posting updates each week using the hashtag #livesimplykitchenremodel. I feel so Instagram savvy–our very own hashtag!

Until the next update, here are a few photos of the progress.

A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen
A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen
A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen
A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen
A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen
A Peek Inside My Real Food Kitchen

My Kitchen Remodel Final Reveal

Read the final reveal post, here.

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  1. Thanks for all the details! It helps to hear that you are pulling it off with one trip / week for produce. Is your extra milk for the week in the fridge in the garage, too? We’re in Canada and buy our milk in bags, but the first week we came home with milk to drink, milk to make yogurt, and yogurt in case our yogurt didn’t turn out… I had to wait a week to make the yogurt because otherwise there was no way I was going to fit that crockpot in! We stock very few condiments, and are switching to making most of them week by week, and one thing I’m thinking is that I need to figure out a way to make better use of the shelves on the inside of the fridge drawer.
    Anyway, all to say, hearing/seeing what you are doing is helping me strategize. Thanks so much again!

    1. I’m so glad it’s helping, Summer! This week was also a bit different for milk. I had to pick up milk from the health store since my milk co-op wasn’t until Wednesday (we shot this on Sunday). The small milk jar is usually a gallon-size. My co-op only sells milk every two weeks, so I purchase two gallons and store one in the outside fridge. If I make yogurt, I’ll place the crock-pot outside and then transfer the yogurt into Mason or Weck jars. I mostly purchase yogurt these days, but I still love to make it when possible. I completely forgot to show the side of the fridge (we realized while editing).

      1. Again, all so helpful. Sounds like we need to talk a second fridge if we want to stick to once/week groceries. Or, maybe we can just convince the kids to eat less. 😉

  2. This is the most amazing post. Thank you so much for the huge investment of time to make it. It’s so helpful!

      1. I will look forward to those very much!

        A question about the food-levels in the fridge: how shortly after grocery shopping did you film the video? How often are you shopping for produce? We’ve been working hard towards shopping just once a week (two stops), because we find it has a big impact on our budget (makes us make due every once in a while, vs. “and while you’re out, can you also get ____?”). But, the first couple of days after our main grocery stop, it’s hard to squeeze all the produce in the fridge. We have three young kids, and one on the way, and I’m looking ahead to the teenage years and thinking, “Will I need a second fridge?!” So, I’m just curious if there’s some secret out there that can help me with that.

        Thanks for taking so much time to respond to your readers!

      2. Hey Summer, This video was shot the day after we returned from our family vacation. I had just visited the grocery store the morning of the video. Usually, I’ll have an overflow of food from the previous week. I’ve found the organization or grouping of food to be particularly helpful when my fridge is packed. I think an extra fridge can come in handy with a larger family–and hungry kids. We have an extra fridge in the garage, and I use it often for larger containers–leftovers, a watermelon, etc. My inside side-by-side fridge doesn’t hold a ton of food. I shop for personal food once a week based on my weekly meal plan and what I already own, mainly produce and miscellaneous items–jarred tomatoes, pasta, beans, crackers, etc. The family pretty much knows if they don’t tell me what they want by Friday morning, they must wait a week for another store trip. It also helps to build my meals from the Family Favorite Meals list we’ve developed together so at least they’re pretty much eating meals they enjoy. I only purchase meat two times a year from a farm, which is stored in the freezer (inside and out), except something like hot dogs. I often run to the store a second time during the week for fresh produce, not for personal use, usually for a commercial photo shoot I’m working on, or a blog project.

  3. Love those cabinets. And wow, your fridge is amazingly well organized. Right now mine’s stacked rather precariously after a big grocery run…maybe I should try some bins and baskets in there. I like the snack bin, too–I get tired of hearing “what can we eat?!” after the tenth time or so, so it’d be nice to have a bin to direct them to!

    1. Thank you, Helena! I’m so excited about the cabinets. My fridge is usually packed (this was kind of an odd week since we just returned from vacation), but even when it’s overflowing with food, the bins really help keep everything organized. Before using the bins I would spend a lot of time trying to find ingredients to make a salad, etc. Grouping items has really helped cut down on waste and preparation time.

  4. Congratulations on your kitchen remodel, Kristin and Dustin! Looks like you have already made great progress. Looking forward to seeing the results of all the hard work. Cheers, Ardith