Shelves & such

I get a lot of emails asking me about the open shelves above our stove.  It's usually some variation of: Do the shelves & acoutrements get crazy dusty/greasy/etc?  Have they warped due to steam from cooking?

As you can see, our kitchen is tiny so we have to use every inch of vertical space while we save up for a full kitchen renovation (possibly next year?).  There used to be a weird cabinet above the stove that was more an eyesore than it was functional, so we ripped that out (along w/ half the wall) & added shelves.  Now, I don't know if our shelves-above-a-stove installation are up to code but this is a temporary fix; it might be worth checking out.  This was just the most efficient & inexpensive solution for us.
I don't use our cakestand for cakes.......I use it to display my chill pills vitamins.

It's been almost 1 year now & I can honestly report that the shelves have not warped.  We (well, I) cook a lot & even though there's no range hood, we make sure there's adequate ventilation (the window right next to the stove gets cracked open, even in the dead of winter).  Plus the shelves are shallow enough & installed high enough--they're not even warm to the touch when the stove's on full blast.  As for dust, I just give everything a quick Swiffer once every other week & a damp cloth wipe-down once a month.  That's it.  The concerns about grease & grime?  It's never been a problem for us.  Perhaps it's because we usually don't make fried foods?  Bacon & such get baked in the oven & everything else is quickly sauteed or steamed w/ a lid on it.

The silliest things make me feel more in control of life these these chalkboard labels I slapped onto the jars of dried goods.  I discovered they were necessary when our family & friends were kindly cooking for us in the early hazy 'have a newborn baby' days. There were way too many salt/sugar/what is that confusions.
Have you ever used chalk ink?
I discovered these last year when I saw an employee at a cafe use one to write the daily specials--
it's awesome.
ETA: The chalk ink markers were a Michael's store purchase!

Towels are these from a pregnancy-induced West Elm shopping spree I went on back in November '11 when I was 1 week & 5 days past due.  I was huge.  I was uncomfortable.  I was grumpy.  
I couldn't turn to wine therapy so I turned to retail therapy.

I stole a sprig of forsythia from my neighbor.  She doesn't know it yet.  
Can't wait for her peonies to bloom. =]

Finally got a toaster from this decade.
 Finally found out that toasters come w/ crumb trays now.

See that paint transition above the curtains rod? 
Not my proudest decor decision but it had to be done.
Mr. FC laughed when I dumped olive oil into a maple syrup dispenser.....then  he actually used it & declared it awesome. 
I got berries.

Any kitchen goings-ons in your home lately?