Friday, March 30, 2012

Ta- DA! Finished Green Room

So if you also follow our family blog, this is kind of a repeat-except from my perspective.  Since most of you don't - enjoy!  You'll remember the "before shots" from a few weeks back as this project was in progress.

Here are the "after shots".  I still need to get some things up on the walls -  photos and such, but small details in scheme of the project!  De-junking was by far the largest part of this project for me and there are still a couple boxes stashed in corners that I have to finish going through.  HandyMan did a fabulous job on the flooring and it is such an improvement over the previous floor covering: industrial carpet that was glued to the slab that is the foundation of our house!

 So the freezer has a new corner and we added shelving above it for large kitchen items, canning jars, and extra pantry space.  The DVD player and Roku will eventually go on a small shelf under the TV.  The table also doubles as work space for kid crafts, my sewing or just setting up a laptop.

The quick-project pockets and the utility shelves are now on the wall where the freezer was and organized so that toys and supplies can be easily found.  A coat of paint to the mounted shelves leave a more finished look than what I started with before.  

Comfy place to watch TV from and my cabinet of sewing stuff in the corner, finish out the room.

Short of the flooring which was budgeted as part of a larger home improvement project, I cleaned this room up for about $75 and used a lot of things we already had on hand.  Here's a rough breakdown:
$10 - Toy Baskets (more about these later!)
$30 - Gallon of paint for the walls
$15 - Shelving brackets
$7 - 3M Command Strips and hooks to hang stuff
$13 - Curtains (there's another story here too that I may get to later)

Items we had on hand that I used included white and dark green paint used for shelves,  polycrylic that I used on the shelves and white utility shelves.

I'm so excited to have this project actually finished (for the most part) and to have (another) comfortable place to hang out in our house.  We like to have multi-purpose space in the house and while this will mostly serve as a play room and tv room, it will also convert easily into guest space in the event of large gatherings.  We simply break down the table and pull out the air mattress.  While we had done that in this room before, it is now a much prettier guest space!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Sunshine: Independent Play & Finsihed Projects

Practicing contentment by remembering the graces of the week and practicing gratitude through giving. 

The weekend got away from me and now it's Monday.  It was filled with visiting with friends, cooking for lots of hungry teenagers, and a Sunday afternoon nap.

We also finished the Catch-All-Room, now known as the Green Room.  I can't wait to post the "finished" photos!

G-Girl has moved towards more independent play time in the mornings which gives me a little bit of extra work time and "wake-up" time.

Last week was fully spring: warm weather, flowers blooming and gorgeous days.  While today is a lot colder and we've got temperatures back down where they really are supposed to be for March, all the reminders that fairer weather is coming are still out in the yard: daffodils, crocuses and buds on the trees.

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.” (James 1:16 -The Message) May the light of the Father brighten your week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

KitchenAid Shredded Chicken

I have had my KitchenAid mixer for 5 and a half years.  It never ceases to amaze me the things that this puppy can do.  If you are contemplating the investment and you like to cook: it's worth every penny!

So in flying by comments on a blog-post somewhere in my recent memory, I saw someone mention that you could use your KitchenAid to shred cooked chicken.  No WAY!  I filed it somewhere in my brain and the thought surfaced again today.

Sometimes I buy a full 40 pound case of boneless/skinless chicken breasts when a local restaurant supply has it on sale.  A friend of mine called and investigated their "regular" price this week and found out it wasn't that much more than when it's on sale.  I had just used the last of my chicken, so I asked if she was willing to split a case. She was game so I gave her some money and promptly forgot about it.

This morning we were in the middle of Domino Projects since Fridays are HandyMan's day off.  The dog goes nuts and up to the door walks my friend with 20 pounds of chicken.  Oh yeah.  So I quickly package about 12 pounds of it up for the freezer and I remembered the shredded chicken trick I had read.  I threw the remaining chicken in my crock pot to cook it:

Five hours later, I chopped each breast into three or four pieces and threw it in my mixer bowl:

Mixer on low, three minutes later, shredded chicken:

Oh yeah!  It was that easy.  I ended up with 8- 2.5 cup containers of shredded chicken in the freezer for tacos, chicken salad, or whatever random meal I need it for in the coming months.  I'm so glad that my mommy-brain held on to this little tid-bit of information!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Domino Projects: The Catch All Room Deconstruction

So the Domino Projects are under way.  They are all centered around areas in our home that we have identified as areas that need work and are mostly centered around our Catch-All room.  While I didn't get any "true" before photos.  These photos were taken after a 2 trash bags of garbage and recycling had been removed from the room as well as a pile of broken down cardboard.  I love how it's turning out now that the work is underway and I know that I will have some awesome after photos pretty soon.

In this first picture, the wall that's clear, has been cleared of two shelves and a pile worth of stuff.  You can also see the beginning of the new paint color for the room:

Here you see my "quick grab keep G-Girl busy project pockets", more [unfinished] shelves of stuff that needs to be sorted, the black blinds who's days are numbered and just piles of junk!  Oh, and if you look close, you can see the industrial quality carpet that is glued directly to the slab of our house.  It's really warm in February, let me tell you!  (Keeping it real, folks.)

More piles.  The cabinets were once the center of operations for my candles but that has since moved to a smaller corner of the house and these cabinets will be removed and re-purposed in our bathrooms.

So there it is, in all it's messiness.  The Catch-All, Junk Room will soon be an inviting family space.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Sunshine: Summer Toes

Practicing contentment by remembering the graces of the week and practicing gratitude through giving. 

So, my last Sunday Sunshine was definitely the case of trying to find the good in a rather difficult week.  Let's be honest here, we all have them.  But that's why I love my Sunday Sunshine practice: it forces me to focus on the good going on and not get caught up and dwell on all the things that are driving me nuts!  This is the Stuff by Francesca Battistelli  has been a fun-  rolling around in my head-top of the Pandora list-theme song for the last few weeks and while everyone's "stuff" is different it's been a good reminder.

It's been easier to find the good in the last couple of weeks.  Highlights have included moms' night out (aka book club), a great MOPs morning.  It was the "pamper yourself" day.  I left with pretty toes for summer with the help of a friend when getting to my left foot proved a bit more challenging than I had planned on thanks to Itty Bitty positioned just right on a nerve in my hip.

Itty Bitty (aka- baby due in June) continues to grow and develop healthily and I am so thankful to have a doctor who I actually enjoy going in to see.  

To go with the pretty summer toes we have also had great spring weather to bust out the sandals, enjoyable play time outside, walks on the field,  laundry dried on the clothes line.   This is by far my most favorite time of year.

I'm thankful that the Domino Projects are moving along nicely and that I have had some time to write to go along with all the work we've done.  I love the finished products as they come about and am enjoying our home even more.

The sun is out, the sky is blue.  What's not to like?

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.” (James 1:16 -The Message) May the light of the Father brighten your week!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Domino Projects: Identifying the Problem Areas

The Domino Projects started by identifying an area we wanted to improve in our home: a larger eat-in kitchen area.  Once that was resolved and the flooring was installed in the kitchen it was time to finish the flooring project.  We purchased enough flooring to install it in a bedroom off the kitchen that has been a catch all area for the last 5 years.  It was time to look at the Catch All Room.

In order to put the flooring into the Catch-All Room, everything needs to come out. It was really a blessing in disguise that everything has to come out.  It has forced me to re-think the space, under the influence of pregnancy nesting hormones, and I really thought about what I wanted to go back into the space and how we want to use the space in the coming months and years.  I thought about other problem areas in the house and how they may be resolved.  And the dominoes started falling.

Here's the list of 10 areas that we came up with. Some solutions will be big projects, and some small but all lined up in the Domino Projects list, in no particular order:

  1.  Need to put flooring in the Catch-All room.
  2.  My candle stuff taking up more space in the house and less time being devoted to the business.
  3. Toy chaos in the living room.
  4. The clothing hampers lived behind the bathroom door and you couldn't open the door the whole way.  This really bothered GTot!
  5. Makeshift storage in the downstairs bathroom, looks makeshift, not finished, and is not well utilized.  (and needs to be cleaned out!)
  6. Large kitchen items and canning jars and supplies that don't have good storage spaces.  
  7. A Catch-All room that has been catching all kinds of junk for five years and needs some serious reorganization and de-junking!   
  8. After I spent some time in the Catch-All Room working on #6, I realized that the walls looked awful - dingy and dirty and like they may never have been painted, just primed.  Or maybe just flat white 17 years ago.  Blech!
  9. Current guest room space needs to be converted over to kid's room space.
  10. New guest room space needs to be re-established so that we can easily host grandparents, family and friends!