Saturday, August 20, 2011

Frenching in the kitchen...

This past week's project was finally switching out the kitchen pantry door. It's something we wanted to do from day one...but never quite knew how to tackle the project. To be honest when we started to work on it last weekend we still didn't know quite how to tackle the project...but we finally said f-it and just went for it! And like most projects we do around here, we grossly underestimated the amount of time, money, and energy we would need. But now that it's all finished up, I'm so happy we did it.

The Project: Change out our standard kitchen pantry door for a french door - and paint it to match our cabinets, changing out the brass knob passage hardware set for an antique glass fixed knob and ball latch, and then finally changing out the painted door hinges for anodized aluminum hinges.

Project Cost: French door (Lowes) $100, Glass door knob (Anthropologie) $40, Hinges 3 (Lowes) $9.00 total, quart Olympic low voc Paint in Dunn Edwards Blustery Wind & Olympic white untreated wood primer (Lowes) $21 total, Painting supplies (Lowes) $15, Hand wood planer (Lowes) $10, Ball latch hardware (Lowes) $3, Hing guide (Lowes) $7, Drill bit for ball latch $8

Project Time: One weekend to size & install door and hardware and 2 week nights to paint and distress

Project Highlights:

Steve hand planing the door...probably taking 1/4" to 1/2" off the door
And yes, he had to ice his hands that evening!

The dry fit when we finally knew that the door fit in the warped frame, the hinges were lined up right, the door was level and plum, and this project wasn't going to be a big mistake!

Painting the door to match our cabinets and island (aka the kitch)
And then smooth sanding and distressing the paint to make it look like it had been in this house forever

Putting on the hardware
This cut glass knob was the first thing I bought for our house...and now it's finally being used!

And last but not least; The finished product

Next project on the slate:
Finish the dining chairs - I'm refinishing them in a high gloss version of our signature blue paint
You will be able to see them through the arched pass through next to the pantry...
The goal is to repeat this blue color in each room downstairs to create a cohesiveness to the floor
Making the whole space feel and flow like one big room

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dinner is served!

Steve made one amazing dinner tonight. It was a recommendation I got from a friend at work...and tonight was the first night we tried it. We both loved it and want to pass it on to everyone else to try. It's a simple 4 ingredients, 1 pan recipe. And here it is...

First you brown Italian sausages (we got a package of 5) in a frying pan over medium heat. Don't break the sausage casings until they are almost completely cooked (about 15 minuets). Then cut the sausage into smaller pieces in the pan allowing the sausage to release all of its juices into the pan.

When the sausage is finished cooking all the way through, remove it from the pan and set aside. Next, cook 4 cups of green grapes (in the same pan) in the sausage drippings over medium-high heat until the grapes start to break up. (The grapes will get soft and also release juice into the pan)

Next, remove the pan from the heat and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the grapes and sausage drippings. Lastly, serve the sausage and grapes (including drippings) over mashed potatoes. We used instant potatoes to help keep this meal quick...but I imagine that real mashed potatoes would be even better.

And that's it! Simple, easy, and amazing!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Man vs. Machine

So after a super long week of over time and stressful deadlines, I rewarded myself with a weekend of hard cleaning! (Yeah that's kind of a joke....kind of not). We have a bonus room (aka the wood room) that is right off our family room. I have some grand plans for this room but for the time being it's more or less our "dog room". It houses the dog's crates, toys, food, and also doubles as a dog run when it too hot outside to play fetch. In fact I play fetch with them in this room for 20 minutes every morning.

When we first moved in the house my mom spent hours hand scrubbing the wood floor until it looked (and felt) brand new. And while we vacuum the room constantly and spot clean any major had gone the last 2 years without another hand scrubbing. Wow, that was hard to admit! I swear we're not gross people...we're just very busy and barley get the time to vacuum let along clear out an entire room to scrub it. But that brings us to last Sunday....

After dog sitting Henry (a not quite house broken puppy) the whole house was feeling a bit dirty. So I finally bit the bullet and did a deep cleaning, including hitting the bonus room floor. I borrowed a tile cleaning from a friend in hopes this could be a quick and easy task (or at least not a back breaking task). Turns out the floor was so bad that the machine just wasn't cutting it. wasn't cutting through the dried on dirt and grime. So I got out the bucket, warm water, distilled white vinegar, and scrubbing rag....and did it just like mom taught me.

                                               Before                                                 After

And "the line in the sand"

I scrubbed and scrubbed every inch of that floor on my hands and knees. It wasn't easy and I went through several buckets of water and vinegar before I finished....Or at least I thought I was finished. Unfortunately, once I stepped back to admire my hard work I realized that I could still see rag streaks (a sign of me not cleaning out my water enough). Then it dawned on me...the machine! The hard work was done so it was a breeze to use the tile cleaner to do a final wash. The beauty of the tile cleaner is that it uses clean water and scrubbers to wash the floor and then suction to pull up all the dirty water and dry the floor to a streakless shine. Which leads me to believe that if I actually keep up on cleaning the floor weekly with the tile cleaner it might not ever get bad enough to have to hand scrub it again (a girl can dream right)

                          The settings                      Clean water/cleaner              The dirty used water 

So I's more Man plus Machine....than Man vs. Machine. I might have a sore back, arms, and knees but I love, love, love my floor. I had forgotten that the floor was reflective, smooth, and soft...and warm golden yellow in color not "rustic gray" (that last part is actually at bit depressing). And I have decided that our dogs will either have to stop playing and become super fat...or that I need to go buy a tile cleaning and some serious knee pads! 

Ta-da! The finished product!