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: 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!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Swagness with Swagbucks! Earn More FREE Gift Cards!

Do you have Swagbucks? If the answer is no, then you need to! We have had a FREE account for about 2 years and LOVE IT! One of the main ways we earn swagbucks is by using their search engine. On average, I earn a $5 gift card to Amazon each month for FREE! Now they have come up with an even faster way to earn swagbucks. It is called March Swagness!

It is all about you earning bonus Swag Bucks while doing all of the things you’re already doing on Swagbucks. Every day they’ll give you an earning goal, which you’ll find on their homepage. As you earn Swag Bucks throughout the day, that meter will fill up and when it’s full, you’ll have earned your bonus for the day. The bonus will always be 10% of that day’s goal. 

Be sure to check in everyday, as the earning goal for any given day could be higher or lower than the day before. Your total bonus amount will continue to accumulate each day, and your bonus amount will be applied at by April 5th – this special promotion runs through April 2nd. If you hit the earning goal every single day of March Swagness, your bonus amount will be doubled!

EVERYTHING you earn on Swagbucks counts towards March Swagness – including (but limited to) Search,SurveysTasks, Swag Codes, Special OffersReferral Bucks, Winning TTPTP, Hashtag and Comment hookups – if you earn it from us, it counts towards the day it was earned!

 Get your March Swagness on starting tomorrow, when the goal will be 50 Swag Bucks!!
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Homemade Cream Chese Wontons

We are trying to eat more plant based at our house. I know cream cheese is not at all plant based but we had not yet made wontons so we wanted to try a fairly simple recipe first. The verdict? We LOVE them!

Step 1: Buy your ingredients:

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 small package of green onions (green parts chopped)
1 package wonton wrappers
1 small bowl of water
2 cups of oil (we used 1/2 veg and 1/2 olive)
1 small pot to fry

Step 1: combine cream cheese and green onions.

Step 2: lay out wontons and fill each with 1/2 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture.

Step 3: Fold wontons into halves. We experimented with the envelope shape but I didn't like how they fried so we stuck with just folding them in half.

Step 4: Fry in the heated oil for about 30 seconds on each side and drain on a paper towel.

Step 5: EAT!


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