smashy, smashy | renovations + cherry bourbon smashes

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I won’t even begin to count how many days we have been renovating our hallway, kitchen, living room, and dining room areas.  If you have ever owned an old home, you know that once you start repairing a portion of your home, another dilemma arises.  You can choose to ignore the problem and cover it up, or you can take the extra time, money, and loss of sanity to fix it.  We chose the latter.  Washing dishes in the bathroom sink, drying dishes in the living room on boxes, sorting herbs on a cluttered and dirty back porch, finding stray forks in the laundry basket, and brushing debris off every exposed surface are just a few of our daily chores and challenges.   We have carved out actual pathways around the dusty stacks of our personal belongings.  From the looks of our house, I think I can officially declare myself a likely candidate for the show, “Hoarders.”  All of this stress and commotion calls for a cocktail…

An impromptu Bing cherry purchase facilitated this cocktail’s creation.  Cherries are looking and tasting absolutely amazing right now.  This fact alone, combined with the lack of a kitchen and the oppressively hot weather, not only suggests, but demands a cherry smash cocktail.  Drop your projects, grab some glasses, and go smash some fruit!

Ingredients for the Bourbon Cherry Smash:

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 or 5 ripe cherries
  • 2 sprigs of fresh, torn sage or mint leaves {I used sage here}
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • dash bitters
  • splash soda

Steps for making the Bourbon Cherry Smash:

  1. In a mixing tin, muddle the cherries, sugar, sage leaves, and lemon juice.
  2. Add ice, bourbon, and bitters.
  3. Give it a few shakes to integrate.
  4. Pour into a glass and top with a splash of soda water.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of sage.

Our neighbors must be completely annoyed from the cacophony of sledgehammers, mallets, hammers, drills, table saws, and the occasional expletive.  Combined with the music we are blasting, the sound must resemble a bad dub-step track.  All joking aside, a remodel can really bring out the worst in yourself, if you choose to let it.  On the other hand, it can also show you your weaknesses, so that you can see what needs to be strengthened.  It can bond you to your significant other or bring you closer to yourself, so that you feel more connected and aware.  It can be an opportunity to become more self-sufficient or well-versed in a skill.  For me, the most important quality that I am developing {well, struggling with} is a stronger sense of gratitude.  I am always battling the urge to feel happy, only once the current project is finished.  I am surrendering to finding a sense of peace and thankfulness, in the midst of the chaos and madness.

I will close this post with a few photos of our kitchen’s progress.  I find it difficult to show them.  It is almost like photographing yourself, before you make a daunting fitness goal:  you are committed to the change and eventual transformation!  Looking forward to the completion, but trying my hardest to enjoy this ride along the way…

We extended one of the walls in our kitchen, so that we would have more counter space. You can also see the newly added outlets that now conform to code. The former outlet that powered the dishwasher was flush against the floor and did not have an emergency cut-off sensor, in case it came in contact with water – sketchy!

The exposed area will be the back-splash behind the stove. We have installed insulated, double-paned windows.

Our sweet neighbor, Alexa, came over and lovingly “drew” a smiley face in the dust on my piano. This was a great reminder to find the happiness in the clutter…

Here is our former living room; it is now filled with boxes of cabinets. Only when we finish the backer-board and tiling can we install them. For now, we deal with a maze, when trying to find our kitchen things.

I saved the worst photo for last… Here is our make-shift kitchen and dining area. I will let this photo describe it all for you. Words are not necessary!

  1. Edie says:

    Holy smashing hammers of Thor!! You guys are working hard, can’t wait to see your reveal!!! Great cocktail!!

    • jayme marie says:

      Thanks, Edie, for the encouragement! It is a thorough work in progress that is coming to a close, thankfully. I am already thinking of a celebratory cocktail to make, once the renovation is complete! Love you!

  2. Gail Henderson says:

    Horrors!! This needs to come to a conclusion!


  3. jayantadeepa says:

    Absolutely loved the “a remodel can really bring out the worst in yourself, if you choose to let it. On the other hand, it can also show you your weaknesses, so that you can see what needs to be strengthened.” True!!! Am currently going through a not-so-nice patch and what you wrote simply reinforces what many or my friends and loved ones have been saying. 🙂
    Your garden looked beautiful. And the cherries so yumm. Hope the transition is soon over. For you and for me. 🙂

    • jayme marie says:

      Deepa, I have to say that your words helped me the other night. In fact, I couldn’t write you back that night because my current “woes” were troubling me so. I am glad that you were touched, as well. I really hope that your transition only brings you closer to yourself and that you grow stronger. I am glad that you enjoyed the garden shots; the garden is truly my respite away from the world…and my nasty kitchen! It is actually almost complete. We finished tiling today and are awaiting the cabinet installation. All the best on your transition!

  4. Yum that cocktail looks so refreshing and tasty! Perfect after a hard day of renovations! How exciting I love renovating 🙂

    • jayme marie says:

      I love renovating, too, mrspotandmrlid, and I hate it at the same time. It is a daily duel. Thanks! The cocktail was refreshing. Any fruit like peaches or blackberries or blueberries work very well in a “smash” cocktail.

  5. John Steese says:

    What a huge project you two have jumped into. I know I am a long away but if you need electric advice give me a call.

    • jayme marie says:

      John, thanks for the hello and support! I really wish that you did live closer because we could have used your advice. It would have been great to see you, too. I really want the family reunion to work this Christmas! Love to the family…

  6. stevesteese says:

    Wow! It is truly astounding looking back on these photos now, the house has surely come a long way!

  7. […] cherries on hand? No worries. Just use the fresh cherries you have and make this adaptation. I made another version of bourbon smashes last summer, when we were remodeling our kitchen. Whenever I make this cocktail, I am reminded of that crazy […]

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