Kitchen Update: The Floor

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great beginning of 2015! We sure did even though we had a green Christmas but a white 2015 with below 0 temperatures…that is OK. We read books, played games, watched movies and had some yummy hot cocoa, so it was not that bad.
Today I am sharing with you our new floor in the kitchen and living room. We actually wanted to change the floor for quite some time, but thought that we were going to wait some more. Thanks to black friday deals, we could not pass this opportunity by because the floor we wanted was 50% off! So we jumped right into it and yes, my adorable husband spent more than 14 hours putting in the floor (and had to visit his chiropractor couple of days after…) The name of the floor is Alameda Hickory by Traffic Master  and we love the color even better than the Brazilian Cherry we have downstairs…wish this one was available at Home Depot when we started changing the floor….

First, the tedious job of ripping carpet…satisfying at the same time!

This carpet was so old and really dirty. My oldest has allergies to dust mites so this had GOT to go!

The worst part is taking off the darn staples from the carpet pad underneath…

The kiddos had a blast ripping off the old laminate. They love to help out with projects!

Dinning area with old laminate…

 Kitchen…

 Sorry for the horrible pics, the lighting was really bad…

Yes, it was a really big mess but worth it!

Installing the underlayment for the floor…
Always start with a corner, and then stagger the planks.

Looking better already

What a difference! We also changed the trim as well.  Here is is, with the room decorated for Christmas…

We did all this for less than $300 for the whole kitchen and living room. This floor is really easy to maintain. We love it!

Sharing at: The Party Bunch A Bowl Full of Lemons The DIY Dreamer

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas + Little Kitchen Tour

It has been crazy around here. We have been sick plus sick some more but very blessed as well. We had a great Thanksgiving and we enjoyed our time off with family and good friends. After a GLORIOUS meal my BFF Emiley and I went shopping a little (we do it more for fun than we do it for shopping itself, just some girl night out time!) My husband and I usually go in the morning as our older boys sleep over at grandma’s with the cousins.
We have been getting ready for Christmas and the kids could not wait one more second to decorate the house. However, we found a GREAT deal on the floors we wanted for our kitchen while we were at Home Depot…49 cents a square foot! Whaaaaat? so half the price. We went ahead and started working on tearing off carpet and old laminate and replacing the kitchen and  living room with new floors. To the kids disappointment, we all had to wait to put the Christmas tree until our floor was done. I will show you pictures of the before and after of that in another post. To top it off, our fridge started leaking like crazy as my husband was putting the new floor and we had to end up getting a new fridge (I know, darn it, right?). But it was pretty old and was not worth it to invest in fixing it.
I love decorating for Christmas since it is my favorite Holiday. I like simple things, and I did not want to spend money in the decorations. Homemade decorations, free printables, some stuff we already had and getting something new for this year was my goal.
Prepare for TONS of pictures…

The smaller pillows are placemats from Target that I opened up and stuffed up with batting… 3.99 each!

I found this garland in the dollar section at Target and I use it to display cards:
My beautiful friend Patricia

This deer was on sale for $8 I think…

I printed “Silent Night” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” from HERE and used frames that I already had.

Homemade ornaments, and some ornaments the kids have made during the years are so precious…

Dollar Tree ornament…

 Our first Christmas together…2003! Look how young we were!

We love to do our advent every night and read from the story of Luke in the Bible about the birth of our Savior. We enjoy hot cocoa and marshmallows by the tree since we do not have a fireplace.

My daughter loves her felt Christmas tree I made two years ago using my Silhouette Portrait machine for the ornaments plus some cheap snowflakes from the dollar store.

 We have a hot cocoa buffet with marshmallows and candy canes.

Hello there!

We have a collection of our favorite Christmas books. I will share them with you soon.

The kitchen
I have had a lot of you ask me when I was going to post pictures of our kitchen. I guess now is the time. We are actually pretty much done with the kitchen. We started back in February when our faucet broke. We got this one from Amazon and it has been great!. We then proceeded to change the sink that was all scratched and painted the countertops using Giani Granite Paint.
Then the hardest part of the whole makeover: painting the cabinets. You can click on the link for the tutorial. The hardware is from HERE and HERE.
Here are some more pictures of the kitchen decorated for Christmas…
These canisters are from Walmart, the chalkboard labels are from Hobby Lobby

This little Christmas tree is from the Goodwill, 2.99!

 My antique scale is from Etsy, the cheese thingy is from the Goodwill. The “rosemary” box is from TJMaxx.

Sorry about the crock pot, but dinner was in the making…chicken tacos!

More details…the “peace, love and joy” plates are from the Goodwill, the kitchen towel is from H&M Home. Have you checked their home stuff ? it is AWESOME!
It is all about family. 
Sneak Peaks from the boy’s room:
Little Princess:
And some Christmas decor in our bedroom:
             
Hope you got enough pictures. We are having a great time this Christmastime remembering the birth of our Savior and creating memories. Have a Merry Christmas!
Sharing at:

Kitchen Table Makeover

I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, and I FINALLY got to do it. I thought maybe we should get a new dining set, but then I thought that ours was still in good shape structurally, it was just in bad shape cosmetically. I would save us big bucks if I refinished the one we have. Our set is hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, which she used for quite some years. We moved to our house back in 2004 and this dining set is still in use, after many, many kids mistreated it! The table had so many scratches that I had to sand it so well I thought I removed like 1/4 inch of surface. I used a 60 grit sandpaper for that! The chairs were really stained and super dirty and there was grease all over the place. The table specifically had a very thick coat of varnish that took me forever to remove.

This is how my beloved table looked like:

It was really a disaster especially on the top. Plus I am not a fan of oak either. My son even had fun once poking the top with a pencil all over the surface. Yikes. But one thing I ADORE about this table are the pedestal legs…so pretty. I did not want to stain the bottom part but I wanted the table to be two-toned, the bottom white and the top dark walnut. For the chairs, I stripped the varnish, sanded them, painted them with Krylon paint + primer in black and then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss. They look so much better compared to what they were!
For the table, I cleaned it well using soap and water, then I applied Citistrip stripping gel (you can see it on the picture) pretty much you paint it on the surface and wait a minimum of 30 minutes. I actually let it work for several hours. When the paint looked like bubbles and I scraped off the finish easily. Some of the finish remained but instead of doing this again I decided to sand it. I used a 60 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander first, and then I finished it with a 220 grit for smoothness.

Here it is after the good sanding. This step is tedious but if you want a good result it is needed. Make sure you ALWAYS sand and stain following the grain of the wood.

 All the varnish is gone!

 I used these products. Once you try Minwax, you do not want to try ANYTHING else! I applied the wood conditioner before staining. It prevents the stain from blotching all over.

Using a stain brush, I started staining following the grain. I applied a good amount of stain (this product is thick) and then after 3 to 5 minutes I removed the excess with a clean towel. 

First coat. I let it dry completely, 8 to 10 hours minimum. And yes, I was tempted to do a second coat after a couple of hours, but I resisted…I worked on the pedestal instead!

After the second coat and drying…

We had fun eating on the living room table for a couple of days!

 Here is a close-up of the finish:

I then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss but to be honest, I would like to apply something glossier than that.
                                     
For the bottom, I primed it with Zinsser primer and gave it two coats of Behr Ultra White in satin.

Now we are enjoying our “new” dining set makeover for less than $50 that I spent on materials.
Much better!

Just in time for fall and Halloween decorating!
Sharing at:

Affordable Makeover for Kitchen Counters

My family and I have been updating our home in the past couple of years. We like to DIY as much as we can. The list is endless but at the same time is fun to do things together. I love doing projects myself and learn in the process. We updated our oak kitchen cabinets this past March and we loved them! I posted a tutorial in how we painted them…still looking fab! I know I owe you the full reveal. There are some people that have written me asking me for the reveal…well, it is not done for the full reveal yet (especially since we are just coming our of summer…we do not do many home improvements in summer!) However, today I will show you what we did to improve our kitchen counters.
We had the basic, laminate counters and did not want to replace them just yet. We wanted to keep the budget as little as possible since we have bigger projects for the house to finish (like finishing the basement…). They were also VERY stained and they looked really bad!
I know some of you are familiar with this product, it is called Giani Granite.

Giani Granite Home
Sample image
No, this is NOT a sponsored post.
They sell painting kits for countertops and cabinets. Let me tell you, this product is AM-A-ZING!!!
This is how my countertops looked like:
Here are the steps:
First, you have to clean them up really well using Brillo cleaner, wipe and let dry.
Second, you have to apply the primer. It is very thick. They even give you the roller to use. Let dry…to me the “drying” part is the most difficult of the steps! LOL!

Then, using the sponge that comes with the kit, put the base paint on a paper plate and tap the sponge into the paint and then into the counter. Keep tapping and tapping to form a pattern. Let dry. You do the same with each color, usually the kit comes with three. 
The key is first playing a little bit on a piece of paper (that comes with the kit as well) so you know what pattern you like. Granite has asymmetrical patterns so really you cannot mess it up. Also, if you do not like a pattern you can let it dry and keep applying different colors, always in a tapping motion and always do it in sections.
After it is all dry, you apply the topcoat which is what really makes this over the top (no pun intended!) It gives the countertops an awesome shine just like granite. And it makes it super durable. You have to let it cure for 24 hours after that and it cures completely in 14 days. It only cost me $80 to update the countertops and I added extra life to them so they can wait for replacement!

My kit was the “Sicilian Sand.”

Let’s do a “before and after,” shall we?
Night and day difference you guys! And they are super easy to clean as well! All for less then $100! Can’t beat that!
Sharing at:

New Life to an Old Chair

Hello and good morning! I hope you guys had a great weekend. I have been working on a lot of projects lately, and this chair was waiting for a looooong overdue makeover. It is a hand-me-down from my in-laws, and the kids even got artistic with it and used their fabulous markers all over the fabric. I had pictured it in my mind how I wanted it to look like, I also wanted some french shabby chic fabric with some sort of writing on it. I went to Hobby Lobby and I found what I was looking for.
Here it is, before:

 Yikes!

Here I took the chair apart and took the fabric off (excuse the mess…but my house is messy most of the time…)

I used my wonderful stapler…

 I upholstered the chair using the fabric like wrapping paper.

Then I spray painted the frame of the chair using Blossom White Rustoleum in satin. I distressed the edges to give it a rustic look. I screwed back the bottom of the chair to the frame and I was all done.

Much better!

Sharing the fun at:
Becoming Martha  Wait Till Your Father Gets Home  Create.Craft.Love  Chase The Star

From Hand-me-Down to Hang-me-up

This is the story of a not-really-cute 70’s mirror. It used to be my mother in law’s, who then gave it to my sister in law, who then gave it to us (everything in our house is hand-me-downs or from thrift stores). When my sister in law changed the furniture in her room, she gave it to us. We never liked it and I was not that into refinishing furniture. Can you believe that I was going to throw this puppy away? but my thrifty sixth sense told me no way! I could actually picture it in our living room.
Here is the before:

Here is the after:

I used Rustoleum primer. I let it cure for a day or so, and them I spray painted it with black spray paint. I wanted it to look distessed, so after that I took fine sandpaper and roughed up the edges. I then applied a coat of Polyurethane for protection. So there you go, I actually loved it. My mother in law did not even recognized the mirror, since it used to be attached to a dresser. The dresser is actually in out family room now and its makeover will be revealed soon!