Kitchen Renovation – Part 1 AND Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway


Well, friends, yesterday (Sunday) I told you that our kitchen remodel was going to start Tuesday, but it turns out that the start date has moved up a day, so they are starting today (Monday)!!!  Yay!!

Although my house will be covered in a fine mist of dust – okay, or more like a deep layer of dust, waa!! – I am eager and excited to see the final product.  I’ve dreamed of a kitchen like the one we designed since we saw a house in the neighborhood that had the exact same layout as ours, except, it had been converted to an open concept layout.  Since then, hubby and I have dreamed of converting our kitchen/dining room/living room into that same layout.  We have been in a semi-functional kitchen since July when hubby tried to surprise me with a kitchen remodel, but our contractor bailed and left us with a semi-destroyed kitchen, with about 10% of the completed job behind.  Sigh.

We met with several contractors, but finally chose JC TOP Services, LLC.  You can find them on Facebook and Instagram!  Juan Carlos Perez is the sweetest, most patient man you’ll find in the business.  He is punctual, honest, and incredibly accommodating.  He often arrives at appointments with his daughter Stephanny, who takes notes, and makes sure everything that is discussed is detailed on the contract.  Because of the magnitude of the project, I asked if they would be willing to make drawings of what they discussed and they did!  Together they make an amazing team!  I can’t say enough great things about them!  And no, I’m not getting a discount to say this, haha!  Btw, I found them on Thumbtack.  My neighbor told me about it.  It’s an a service app.  You tell it what you need and they’ll deliver up to five custom quotes from local pros ready to help.  All professionals who want to be listed on Thumbtack have to pass a background check and in brief, be legit.  That gave me even greater confidence to hire them.  Make sure to follow then on Facebook and Instagram so that you can support a local, great business.

To help my planning while I’m waiting on the construction, I’ve pinned several sources of inspiration on Pinterest.  I’m also looking at the items below for decor and such once the kitchen is built!  Check them out below.  I think the “feel” of the room will be a combination of “transitional” and “farmhouse”.  Is that a thing?!?!  Who knows.  But that’s what I’m imagining. 🙂


Sentiment Mugs // Metal Orb Chandelier // Artificial Pencil Succulent // Cecilia Dining Chair // Keurig Coffee Maker (White) // Hydrangea (Set of 4) Flower Arrangement // Lettered Coffee Mugs

So, here we are.  About to start the remodel!!!!  I will be posting updates on Instagram and Instagram Stories.  I’m not sure how many parts there will be to this series, but hopefully not too many, haha!  I know I’ll not be getting too much sleep – because I’m basically waiting for the best Christmas present ever – so, I’m gonna need lots of coffee.  Since Starbucks is my coffee of choice and because it’s rude not to share, I am giving a lucky winner a $25 Starbucks gift card!!


To enter, leave a comment below with your drink of choice at Starbucks.  

That’s it!  Winner will be announced Saturday, December 10, 2016 in time for your morning cup o’ jo!

What’s more?  I have several other friends who have giveaways going on.  Check them out here!

20161205_001204.jpgBut, before you leave, make sure to leave a comment below to enter to win your Starbucks giveaway!!!  Also, make sure to follow by email to get notifications when my next blog renovation update is live. And because you love me and want to support my blog. 🙂 #kthnxbye

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!






A Free Dozen Cookies from Insomnia Cookies!!


**I partnered with Birmingham Bloggers and Insomnia Cookies for this post, but all opinions are my own.**


Yup, you read that right!! In honor of National Cookie Day (Friday, December 4, 2015), one lucky Chic in Academia reader will get a chance to win a $15 gift card to use at Insomnia Cookies in Birmingham, AL!  Based on the catering menu for the Birmingham (Five Points location), the $15 gift card can get you a free dozen cookies, specifically the ‘Sugar Rush’ dozen!

03.16_.15_sugarrush_200x200_This includes a combination of any of the following:

Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Mint, M&M, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter Chip, Snickerdoodle, Sugar, White Chocolate Macadamia, Orange Cranberry Oatmeal.  NOM!


Of course, they offer a variety of other combinations, in addition they sell brownies, ice cream, and beverages (yes, they sell milk!).


Sample Insomnia Cookies Menu

I stopped by for a dozen, and had to use all of my willpower to not eat every single one while driving home with them!



They were SOOOOOO delicious!!!  My favorite is the Orange Cranberry Oatmeal.  The perfect blend of tart and sweet flavors…mmm-mmm good! So, besides the availability of super amazingly tasty cookies, what’s so great about Insomnia Cookies??!


Yup, you read that RIGHT.  ‘Til 3am!  Now, the one limitation is that they only deliver to a relatively local area to the store (at least here in Birmingham), but still, they deliver.  So if you live in or near downtown, you are in luck (in Birmingham).  But, you can stop by the store and order during store hours, which run from 11am-3am.  Not too shabby!

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Current Insomnia Cookie Locations

SO, I’m sure all you have read thus far is “Blah, blah, blah, blah” and now want to know, “HOW DO I GET FREE COOKIES?!” Am I right?!  lol.  Well, to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below with your favorite cookie flavor.  That’s it!  Easy peasy!  I will select a winner and announce in the comments section and at the top of this post on Friday morning (December 4, 2015).  So check back to see if you won!

Finally, in the meantime, be sure to check out the deal Insomnia Cookies is offering for National Cookie Day below:

National Cookie Day (2)

This deal is valid at all participating Insomnia Cookie locations. Get you some cookies to celebrate National Cookie Day!!

Stop by the Five Points/Birmingham location if you are in the area!

1919 11th Ave South, Suite 200
Birmingham, AL 35205

Until next time! Stay ‘Chic’!

From the Insomnia Cookies ‘About Us’ page:

Insomnia Cookies is a rapidly expanding late-night bakery concept with offices in both New York and Philadelphia. Founded in a college dorm room in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania, by then student, Seth Berkowitz, Insomnia Cookies  has been feeding the insatiable hunger of our fans ever since. We specialize in delivering warm, delicious cookies right to the doors of individuals and companies alike. 

Today we have more than seventy locations and are still growing! Whether you’re feeding a craving or a crowd, our offerings of cookies, brownies, cookie cakes and even cold milk, has you covered. We also serve and deliver ice cream at most of our locations. 

No matter what your cookie needs – – from late night study breaks, sending gifts to college kids far from home, anniversary or birthday gifts or group orders for your next event or meeting. Insomnia Cookies are available when you need them most. 

$100 Pants Store Giveaway


Just in time for some Christmas shopping!! I have partnered with The Pants Store to give one lucky Chic in Academia fan a $100 gift card to use at The Pants Store in Crestline Village.  Worry not, if you are not local to the store, you can call the store to order via phone.  They have an amazing variety of clothing, game day gear (including Yeti products), and shoes!  I spotted a covetable selection of Hunter Boots last time I was there.  I’m personally obsessed with a few items I got from the store recently:

The Anorak Jacket – It comes in a variety of colors (i.e., Navy, Olive green, Tan, and Black) and can be worn with 3/4 sleeves or long sleeves.  It also has a hood hidden in the collar, which coincidentally helps make the collar pop while worn.  It’s a fantastic jacket!!

Anorak Jacket,

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Articles of Society Jeans – Such comfy, yet flattering jeans!  They have just enough stretch to make them comfortable to wear, but not so much stretch that they sag 1-hour into wearing.  The wash on most of the jeans – except for the super dark wash jeans – is also super slimming.  Check out the gray pair I got:

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If you are in the store anytime soon, be sure to check out these two items and the other wish-list must-have’s!  To enter this contest,

Leave a comment below with your Pants Store must-have item.

Winner will be announced Thursday, November 26, 2015!

Be sure to follow The Pants Store

on Facebook, here.

on Instagram, here.

on Twitter, here.

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!