Thursday, February 28, 2013

Painting trim

So we ended up sort of taking over our kitchen remodel. Things were moving along WAY too slowly and we figured we could do the easy stuff like painting the trim in our kitchen, eat-in-kitchen, dining room, and hallway ourselves.  In fact we could have done most everything ourselves, but since we had a flood, insurance covered all of it.  Let me just say, painting trim is tedious, and very awkward. See exhibit A. 

My hips hurt, my rib cage, my elbows. It was painful, but worth doing it myself.

Even though it hurt and it was tedious, I was still in good spirits. Saving money makes me feel good.

The paint in my hair is a given. I pretty much get it everywhere.  For the low down on how to paint trim, here are the steps:
1) Caulk any gaps between the quarter round and the trim. Use white latex caulk and your finger to run a line down the seams and to fill the nail holes that happen from the nail gun.
2) Allow time for the caulk to dry and sand any flaws.
3)  Apply two coats of high gloss or semi-gloss paint with an angled brush.  Taping off the flooring is a smart idea, but I skip this part because I'd rather not deal with tape.

It's looking pretty good and I'm almost done. Just have the hallway left and we're done!

This weekend we're going to tackle the back splash tile so stay tuned!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Picture magnets

Here's a fun craft you can make on a rainy day with your kids. Family picture magnets! Your kids will love seeing their faces behind pretty stones.

For fun picture magnets, you'll need the following. All of these things can be purchased at your local craft store.

1) Super Tacky Craft glue
2) Clear glass stones
3) Round Magnets
4) Your favorite pictures
5) scissors 
6) pencil

The first step is to find pictures of your kids that you like and place a stone over the area that you want to cut out. Next trace around the stone with your pencil and then cut out the picture just inside the traced line.

Next place the tiniest drop of the craft glue on the bottom side of the stone and place your picture there.

Next place a tiny drop of glue on the magnet and press it down on the back of the picture.

They need to dry for at least two days like this so they are nice and attached.

That's it! Super easy and super cute on the fridge. These would make great gifts too.

Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New kitchen counters

Our new kitchen counters arrived this week.  It's no surprise I ordered the exact same ones I had before since it took so long to pick them out the first time.  Did I mention the old counters were damaged when they were left on the front porch and then it rained? Even though they were covered up with a tarp, the counters sucked up the humidity in the air and they swelled up.  

So we waited two weeks to get our new counters and they were installed on Wednesday. The installer did a great job lining up the seams and caulking around the edges.

Funny story about our kitchen sink though.  When the plumber came to hook it back up he noticed it was bent on one side and it didn't sit flush with the counters. So now we're getting a new kitchen sink too.  I wonder just how many mistakes workers can make and insurance will pay for? It's mind boggling to me.  There have been careless mistakes, like yanking our oven out too hard and breaking the handle.   Sometimes I think people would be more gentle if it were their own house.  Oh well.  We're getting a new sink, hopefully today. I'll keep you posted!  

We can't get to the back splash until early in March (due to some work things that have come up for hubby) so Total after shots won't happen until then. But we can't wait for it all to be finished.

In case you're wondering these counters are by Formica in Flint Crystal Etchings with rounded edges.

A close up of the pattern.

Isn't this shot cute? Just in time for Valentine's Day, a heart reflection.  ♥

So glad to have our kitchen back in working order for now.  All that's left is caulking the nail holes on the quarter round, painting the quarter round and trim, tiling the back splash, and getting a new sink.  

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine cookies and more

Well kids, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Are you ready? Have you made your Valentine a card? Gotten ready for all those school Valentine's? I love this day of celebrating love. It's a reminder to show appreciation for the ones you care about the most.   Over the weekend I got ready by making 100, yes I said 100, sugar cookies for my children's classmates. There are 14 kids in my oldest son's class (thank goodness it's so small) and 17 kids in my middle child's preschool class. So I made 31 bags of 3 cookies per bag and 1 left over.  It took me a good 4-5 hours on Saturday to bake so here we go!  First off, let me just say baking in my oven with this pretty Valentine's towel from Target made me smile. It came in a set of two and the other towel is pink with raised hearts. So cute.

For my sugar cookies, my recipe is as follows: 

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

For the frosting, I used:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, 4 teaspoons light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and red food coloring. I mixed everything in the mixer until it was smooth. I also used various sprinkles and added them before the icing had a chance to dry.

The great thing about this recipe is that it makes a ton of cookies. The bad thing about it is, sugar cookies take forever. After you make the dough it has to chill for an hour. Then there's rolling it all out and cutting your cookies. Baking them. Frosting them. But look at how cute they turn out. It feels worth it to me.

I printed up labels using Microsoft Word and included the words "With love from Charlie (or Maddock) and below I wrote that the cookies contain milk and eggs for those kids with such allergies.

And here's all 31 bags. Can't wait to help my kids pass these out tomorrow. Oh and just so you know these can be put in the freezer until you need them. I placed mine in the freezer so they'd be fresh on Valentine's Day.

Elsewhere in the house I put up my felt Valentine Wreath I made last year.  I forgot to mention I frosted my back door glass windows for privacy.  That was a fun little project and super easy.

I also hung my scrap book paper hearts over our empty china cabinet. And my daughter painted the little wooden heart that I picked up at Michaels last year on clearance. She had fun making it.

So here's hoping you and yours have a wonderful Valentine's Day tomorrow. Love you all!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

File organization

It's tax time and I know everyone is starting to organize their files for the upcoming season. Here at our house this prompted a whole file organization party.  I was kinda tired of seeing this basket with papers stuffed in it in our living room. It sits right out in the open on the bottom shelf of our built-ins so all eyes can see it. 

So I found these cute file folders that are ecologically friendly at Target for around $5.99 for 12.

They came with labels and instructions for downloading a template to use with them. It was super easy to download and get right to labeling.

Ah, so much better! Now I can find all of my paperwork. Each family member has a file for random things, there's one for housing info, old college stuff, retirement stuff, benefits info, etc.  Before I couldn't find what I was looking for and now everything is so easy. And I love the cute modern girly vines.

Here's how the basket looks from up high.

An overall view of my "filing system."

Originally I was planning on using Nate Berkus's line of file folders in Navy blue and Gold, but I'm glad I decided to add a little happy color to my basket.

My built-in's are looking so organized these days. And that makes me happy.


p.s. anybody doing anything special for Mardi Gras tonight?  I'm stuck watching the kids, but I'll be pigging out with them that's for sure!

Friday, February 8, 2013

New flooring!!

Our flooring was FINALLY installed yesterday after a month of being home from our Christmas vacation.   I guess it was worth the wait because are very happy with the new flooring.   The company who installed it is located right here in Durham called Carpet One. The owner Greg is a very nice man who will make sure you are well taken care of. And if you feel like you could get a better price somewhere else, they are willing to work with you to match that price. The installers were great and finished up in one day!  They did 455 square feet all in the first day. This flooring is by Kronotex and is called the Wilmington Collection Jasper Oak. Now the only thing left is for someone to come out and caulk the nail holes and paint the trim.  Then the floors will be officially finished. But we wanted to share some pics with you.  

This is the view looking in to the craft room from the living room:

This is the kitchen floor:

This is the view into our formal dining room from our kitchen:

This view is at our front entrance:

Down the hallway:

Here is a reminder of our floor used to look like:

I think it's such a wonderful difference and more our style. The old floors looked too orangey and cheap. The news ones look textured and rich. And we love the new color.  And yesterday ended up being a fun day while we stayed out of the house.  We all got to pick up Daddy and have a fun pizza dinner and come home to a finished floor. It was like Christmas morning!  I'm really praying the counter tops get here today and the trim is finished up so we can show you some complete After photos of the kitchen. And then next up on our to-do list is install a tile backsplash and lay flooring in the rest of the house.   

Have a great weekend!

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