Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Filofax Malden A5 in Grey! My New Friend

I have been trying to do things electronically for years and not loving it. My iPhone deletes my old appointments after a few months so I cannot remember when I went to the dentist last etc. Of course, if the battery dies you are out of luck anyway. I used to have a planner back in college and it worked wonders for keeping all my dates and agendas, to dos and such together in one place and I just threw it in my backpack and went off.

I have been wanting to get back to those days for some time now and ran into a lovely group on Facebook that does paper planning. When I found the Filofax website (they are like me, British... my dad is from the Cayman Islands and I was born their too, and my mom is from MD) I was thrilled with the site. I, however, in my crazy internet search fell in love with the grey color which is discontinued. So like any good planner, I stalked every website known to man until I found it. Finally, the elusive planner was mine on Ebay for just slightly more than you would pay for a new A5 from the Filofax site so I deemed it a success. I tracked that package like a mad woman! It was coming from Austria mind you so it had a few places to stop before it came to me. The expected date came and no Filo. :( Then, it arrived, two days late. I was SO SO SO excited I may have petted it.

Now, I am the owner of 1 A5 Malden, waiting on the delivery of a pocket Malden and a personal Malden. I also have a few Daytimer Malibus in various colors. This planner thing is truly addicting!

Here he is in all of his grey glory. Yes the pictures look more black but he is a dark shade of grey to begin with.

 The Malden is a super floppy planner with pockets galore. It has a large pocket (which you can see a white paper folded in half peeking out), 4 credit card sized slots, a second 1/2 size large pocket (where you can see my post its peeking out) and a zippered pocket. All of these pockets are on the left with a pen loop. I have a nice mechanical pencil in that loop right now.

 In the very front is what we call the dashboard. I used scrapbook paper and traced the plastic dashboard that came with the Filofax. I then punched it using a Rapesco punch (from Amazon) but you could use a single punch as well.
Rapesco Adjustable Diary Punch 66-P

 I used month tabs from Girl at Work (from the container store, also found on Amazon). These are stickers that can be removed and used a second time. I originally used the diary that came from Filofax but decided to create my own pages so I took the dividers tabs off and put them on these pages.

Girl Of All Work LLC Peel and Stick Tabs (GWO713a)

I used the original Filofax dividers to trace and create my own dividers. Here I used Bazill cardstock I purchased from Michaels. I then laminated them and used a label maker with black ink on clear tape to make my dividers. I chose a rainbow effect for these dividers.

 I like to decorate my weekly pages. I have found that the week on two pages works well for me. This past week was fruit week. I found these adorable fruit stickers at Michaels the other week and only ended up using a little bit. My washi tape (the paper tape at the top and bottom) is from an etsy seller.
https://www.etsy.com/transaction/157620967?ref=fb2_tnx_title (the shop is called Mind the Wrap)

I really haven't stuffed him too full yet as I haven't printed out my monthly diaries past March and I have not yet put in a cleaning schedule or other cute printables I am saving to my computer.

I did get a cute charm at Hobby Lobby when they had their 50% off sale two weeks ago and added it to my planner using a cell phone lanyard (also purchased at Hobby Lobby).

I will say that using a paper planner has been great but lugging around an A5 (which is 5.5. x 8.5) has been rough. When my personal and pocket come in the mail I will try and see if those will work as portable planners and then this A5 will become my go to planner at home. I have heard you can really stuff these babies full but I don't like clutter so we'll see how full he gets.

Vinyl Stick Kitchen Floor Update

It has been basically a year and a half since the crazy upheaval of our kitchen floor. Thank goodness it is over! I wanted to come back with some updates on how the floor has held up. The vinyl planks themselves show no wear at all and we are rough on our floors. There are spots (just a few) where I am SURE it was installed tightly but have now shifted slightly because of use and have left small gaps in the floor. This is my only problem with it. I have spilled countless things on the floor, dropped dishes and silverware and the rest of the floor is fine. 

This was always meant to be a temporary (few years) floor until we decided to put down hardwood throughout the main living space.  With the way things are falling apart around here, that is down on the list so it may be a few more years in the making before we replace all floors.

Will this continue to work for a few years? Yes. Is it starting to have a few gaps? Just by the back door and near where we stand (sink/ dishwasher).  It isn't horrible and it isn't noticeable so we will live with it for a few more years. Yes, I would still recommend this tile. We bought these at Lowes in the vinyl flooring section. We purchased by the box and any additional pieces were 88 cents more.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Forever and a Day

It seems like it has been FOREVER! and it has.... well a year and a half. Lots has happened. We have been busy with pre-k, my husband switching to teaching special education, beginning a masters program, and my oldest doing math field day, violin and social studies and science fair. She is a busy little bee.

I have also been working on using a paper planner. I have a *few planners. ahem..... but my favorite is my Filofax Malden A5 in grey. An A5 is a half size sheet of paper for most people. I purchase my paper from Staples or Office Max in 28 lb weight and cut it in half and then load it into my printer and print my own inserts.

I will be filling everyone in on things that have happened in the last year and a half and show off some household developments. :)  Hang in there. I'm back!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Finally the Kitchen Floor!!!! A Vinyl Plank Floor

As you may have remembered from HERE back in October, we had finished our kitchen cabinets and painted our backsplash. We still had our stained island and our hideous racing stripe floor! We recently put bead board on our island and painted it gray but the floors still remained. Then came this!

The horrible linoleum commercial tiles were glued with industrial glue that you use to attach to concrete. The previous homeowners screwed a 1/4 inch thick sub floor on top of the vinyl kitchen floor and then glued the linoleum so we were tasked with ripping all of it up. It put up a crazy fight!!! Every 2-4 inches was a screw into the sub floor under the linoleum. We even rented one of these bad boys.

 $60 later, it took up the majority of the linoleum but left us with the sub floor to finish taking up. We were left with very beat up vinyl roll flooring when it was all said and done. We took a box cutter and cut around the ripped up spots but that also left the floor uneven in spots. If this was our forever floor we would have done a better job, but after 3 weeks of just serious demo, we were finished!
We purchased vinyl plank tiles from Lowes for $0.89 cents a square foot for now until we can afford to hardwood floor our entire living, dining, kitchen and hallways! That is almost 1,000 square feet and will be very expensive!
It took about 3 days of off/on again work to finish putting down the floor and quarter round.
The children were so excited to finally get to walk back into the kitchen that they did "floor angels".
Here we are without the quarter round or the finished island. Doesn't this floor look 1,000 times better? I can't believe we lived in this house for almost 6 years without changing that floor! What were we thinking?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Working on a Bead Board Kitchen Island Update

Last we left off with out wonderful kitchen island it looked pretty sad and pathetic against our newly painted kitchen. You can see HERE how we spoke of refinishing our dear island and our color choices and why.

Since this week was spring break and we thanked the dear Lord for letting us finally make it to another one, we worked our tails off. First off, we worked on the yard, more on that later, and then we began more work in the laundry room, also more on that one later. We cleaned out part of the garage, still in progress, and we began work on a second garden bed, and painting the island. First up, the color I chose, which was the darkest on my paint chip was too light. The top color is comet dust which is our kitchen cabinets, the walls are notre dame which is the second color and so we chose the third, granite dust. Once opened, I realized it was way too light. So... I did what every cheap DIYer would do, I tinted it myself!

I had a quart of some shade of black in my garage and decided to mix it in with the granite dust so this color is a deep gray with a hint of blue and I have nothing to color compare it too! Sorry.

I also did something that I should have never done: I tried to prepare the cabinets using steel wool and my sheer good looks. Well, that didn't work too well and even though the front of the cabinets were painted and beautiful, they peeled off like a college co-ed at spring break!

Here you can see where I actually cleaned out the bottom. It didn't get wiped out until much later but most of our junk is gone! Know where it went? On top of the island! HA HA HA. It is all gone now too thank goodness!
 I took the doors outside the first time but the wind was blowing so hard we got pieces of leaves and yard stuff on them so I am kind of glad they peeled so I could do them nicely. I then deglossed them using the left over deglosser from our kitchen make over last summer. I scrubbed and scrubbed and then used 150 grit sandpaper from the garage to rough it up a little just in case the deglosser didn't work as well as I wanted. I was grumpy doing it all a second time but I would NOT do it a third time.
After two nights of repainting and letting the front dry, I rehung the doors and drawers and put on some pretty hardware. This was hardware that I had when we decided to redo the kitchen. I purchased 9 but needed 13 so I have these beautiful knobs to use on different projects until I find what I am looking for to use on our actual kitchen cabinets.
My brother had dropped off a bunch of bead board when he moved because I guess my garage looked like a storage facility but I don't mind because I had all the pieces I needed except 1 small pieces so my purchases for the island were one $9.37 pieces of bead board and two $8.00 pieces of trim. I already had all the paint, knobs and other bead board pieces so this whole project so far is under $30.00.

Oh, and our hideous counter top? That stays until I can figure out how to get a huge IKEA butcher block counter top home or we drive there and have it delivered. The island actually featured a place for bar stools but it was a separate piece of counter top screwed into the island and didn't look really nice.
You can see the counter I ripped off on the floor behind the island in the picture above. Oh and don't worry about the bottom of the island, that is where the trim goes. The piece below is not attached, I just leaned it against the island for effect. He He.

I plan on replacing the entire piece with one counter so it has a seamless look. I am in love with this island at Thrifty Decor Chick so I may end up with a routed edge to ours as well.

I am still in the middle of finishing up the trim parts but the entire island is covered in bead board. I am not sure I love the gray but I did find this gem on Pinterest where it is a very dark island with a gray/white kitchen so it may end up repainted again?

Source: bhg.com via Melissa on Pinterest

I totally loved this yellow island but hubby shot me down! Boo! This would have totally rocked out against our gray kitchen. I still may turn our barstools this color so we get a touch of this greatness.

For right now this is how our island looks. I hope to finish the trim/moldings tomorrow and then the top will come sometime next month. At least I know it is better than before.

No the molding on the back is not nailed in place, I sat it there to ensure I had made the correct cut and don't you know it is about 1/2 inch too short but nothing a sliver cut off of another piece and some great paintable wood filler can't cure.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Reconstructing a Raised Garden Bed

Okay so I painted the garden bed and was all excited to get planting our new higher garden bed. We had previously told you HERE all about how we had built our raised garden bed and had filled it with the remainder of our dirt mixture from last year's beds.

Since then, we purchased 10 bags of hummus/manure to mix in with 1 more large bag of Peat and 1 bag of Vermiculite. We got the vermiculite and peat into the box and were able to get 7 bags of hummus into the bed before I realized/thought about it and decided that the double 12 inch boxes (24 inches total height) was just too high. So.... we worked on it a little.

After unscrewing the 4 large boards I grabbed a saw and took the studs by the horns and cut them in half.

Then we screwed the pieces back together to create a 2nd garden bed. That bed isn't filled or ready yet but now I have two, one on either side of the deck and it didn't cost me any more money. Of course, I will need to purchase more manure/hummus, vermiculite and peat for the 2nd bed but whose really counting? Not me right now.
More on the rain barrel soon. For now, we are weeding, killing some grass along the fence line and around the deck/rain barrel and then filling and getting our second garden bed ready. We can't wait to have a lush, beautiful garden!

In case you are wondering, we currently have 2 Big Boy tomato plants, 1 Steak Tomato plant, 24 Georgia Sweet Onions, 2 Romaine Lettuce plants, and 9 Bib Lettuce plants. We will be getting other things to plant this week. We also have two strawberry plants in a pot as well as Raspberry bushes we need to move from the front of the house to transplant somewhere in the back. They kind of took over where we had them last year.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Constructing a Raised Garden Bed (A Tutorial)

We purchased raised garden bed kits from Home Depot about 3-4 years ago. They were 4 feet by 4 feet and quite expensive at $30 a piece. We spent about $150-200 purchasing all of our dirt supplies (compost, vermiculite, and peat).  Mix those three together and you get a really healthy soil where most plants will flourish.

Fast forward three years where we have not added compost and we want a more cohesive look to the backyard and taller beds to keep out the dogs who have no idea and trample over the garden beds.

We also have a weed filled mess since the garden beds were not too far from a tree and weed paper isn't the greatest barrier apparently. Our oldest graciously offered to assist in the weeding since we wanted to reuse the old soil mixture and add more when completed.

After the first bed was weeded, we unscrewed the lattice on top of the bed and got to work building our new bed which we would pick up and place in the spot of the first garden bed we had just weeded.

For tools we used:
Deck Screws (because it was an outdoor use and we already had them)
My new BABY drill, our Rockwell! I have the Sonicrafter and LOVE it! So far we are also in love with the drill as well.
We also purchased 6 pieces of 8 ft by 12 inch lumber (not treated) from Lowes. We used a coupon and a birthday gift card so we paid about $40 for all of them once it was over.

Two studs were also cut apart into 8  22 inch pieces to use as supports. These we already had that I had purchased for a closet project and had changed my mind on the design and still had them sitting in the garage.

We cut the two of the 8 ft pieces into 4 ft so we could stack them on top of one another.

We had to flip the board and cut from the other side as our saw isn't wide enough and I do not have enough control over our skill saw to use that for this type of work.
We began by cutting some studs into 22 inch pieces (the boards were not really 12 inches. More like 11 1/4 if we were lucky so 22 inch pieces went from top to bottom of two boards together.
We screwed four deck screws into each stud (2 screws into each pieces of wood) through the stud. We also screwed two studs spaced evenly in between the ends so we could make sure it was sturdy. Once we had two sides screwed together in this manner, we too the 4 foot cut pieces and screwed them into the ends of the long boards.
Here is the 3 pieces together. We finished it up and moved out our old garden bed and placed the dirt in our wheel barrow. This allowed us to get the garden bed in place without trying to work around the soil we wanted to keep.
We had three garden beds that were 4 x 4 and had left 4 feet of space in between each one so our total original space was 24 feet and some change (near the propane tank we didn't count).  So when we removed garden bed #1 we ended up with a 12 foot empty space in which to work. Our 8 foot bed fit in nicely.
Pardon my daughter's fashion choices. Once we are home for the evening she gets to pick whatever she wants to wear. Today's outfit was an apple pajama pant, a sunshine pajama top, magenta tights and church shoes. They are old church shoes so I didn't mind.
 We leveled the garden bed with some slate outdoor tiles we had to ensure that when watered the garden it would not all drain to one side. We also laid the old black weed paper in the bottom as we put the dirt back in.
Here is the bed once all three garden bed's were deconstructed and the dirt added to the new garden bed. And yes, the child added a red tutu by this point to complete her look.

You can see here how the garden bed is situated in comparison to where the old beds were. It sits on top of the first bed. See how much room we opened up by condensing into one large 8 by 4 foot bed instead of 3 4x4 beds? The last bed by the propane tank never did well anyway because it was overshadowed by the propane tank and cover. So we really only utilized 2 of the 4x4 beds anyway.
Here is what the garden bed looked like inside before we added the dirt. We raked up some of the pea gravel to help the bed drain and then dumped the soil into the bed.
This is what the old soil from the last 3 years combined looked like before we added any of the new mixture.

Next up, painting the garden bed and refilling with new mixed soil!


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