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!
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Tale of a Little Side Table

Good morning friends! Sorry I have been absent from the blogging world, but we have been SICK! And ya know, when one kid gets sick all the others do as well, including parents. I am still recovering but apparently it is a slow process. I got one bug after another non stop and it has been a rough couple of weeks for our family. Since I have been indoors and taking things easy (and made a few exceptions for going to work at the Dental Office) I have been working on  some of my projects that have been abandoned in my dusty to-do-list.
I have been changing some things in my daughter’s room (she loves when I move furniture around, but the thing is that her room is so tiny that I do not have many options though!) Her room is white, pink and gold and I have been wanting to incorporate some mint colors as well. She loves it. One of the walls has gray and white stripes and I am planning on replacing those with gold vinyl polka dots.

FYI: that pink rug from Homegoods was a Goodwill find of only $7. I actually WASHED it in my washer machine (yes, you read it right) and dried it outside, then I fluffed it with a comb. My daughter LOVES it because it is so comfy for reading!
I  am not the biggest fan of pink but my daughter sure is, and I let her have her room her way, after all this is her place. Some time ago I found a cute little table at the Goodwill for $9 that looked like this:
It had marker writings on the top and looked pretty beaten up, so I cleaned it, sanded it a little bit and painted it all white.
It looked like this for the longest time but I thought it was too blah…plus this also happened:
Artistic hands took a hold of it!
While in Michaels, I came across this:
chalk paint + color I was looking for + only 8 bucks + 40% coupon= HEAVEN! 
This meant NO PREP for painting!!! YAY!  I started painting, and I had in my mind how I wanted it to be: mint, white and gold!

 (my daughter loves this birdie)

Much better! Now it is not so boring!
After the paint was dry I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and painted the edges of the drawer with gold metallic acrylic paint and a small brush. I also spray painted the hardware with Rusteoleum Gold Metallic Spray paint…(BTW, this paint is the BOMB!)
All three stages:
Stay tuned for her bedroom transformation. If you know us, you know it will be cottage-y, girly with tons of thrifty finds and homemade accents…

Italian Wedding Soup

This is by far my favorite kind of soup! I made my own lighter and healthier version by adding more vegetables and homemade turkey meatballs. I always use reduced sodium broth so I can control the amount of salt in a dish. For this recipe, I used the “Fit and Active” brand from Aldi’s. I also love this dish because it is simple and it can be cooked in one pot! My family of 5 ate for one night (my husband and I had seconds) and we still have left over for lunches!
Ingredients:
For the meatballs
  • 1 container of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs (if the meatballs still are hard to mold you can always use more breadcrumbs)
  • 2 TBSP grated parmesan
  • splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil for sauteing
Combine all ingredients, do not overmix. Using a teaspoon of meat mixture, shape into a ball. Sautee in EVOO but do not cook through . This makes them super tasty!
For the Soup:
  • 3 containers of reduced sodium, no MSG chicken broth (I use the ones that have a lid so if there are any that is left I keep in the fridge)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 onion, cut
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, cut
  • 1 can of rinsed cannellini beans
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of italian seasoning
  • 1 cup pf baby spinach
  • 1 cup of acini di pepe pasta
In the same pot that you cooked the meatballs, set them aside in paper towels. Add a little bit more of EVOO and add all the veggies. Cook until onions become translucent. Add the broth and get to a boil. Reduce heat and add pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes and add the meatballs and beans to finish cooking. Add salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Add the spinach until it wilts. Serve with crusty bread and you got a yummy, healthy meal!

This is the only reason I like cold weather!

Sharing at: The Party Bunch

4 Year-Old Frozen Party

My little princess turned 4, and of course she wanted a Frozen party. Last year she had a Rapunzel party, so I wonder what princess will come next 😉 I am ok with that, having two older boys I am quite enjoying this stage in my daughter’s life where we can do all these things together.
I researched for about two months in all the things for the party. My daughter picked the cake and most of the decorations. I really enjoyed when I was setting up the decor for the party, her face lit up and she felt so excited. It was worth it…all the work and time spent in making her day special.
I wanted something simple, and we also wanted it to be in the early afternoon since where we live October can be quite cold at times. And yes, it turned out to be a cold day!
The decorations
The food buffet:
I took advantage of some Christmas ornaments I had and some lights. The snowflakes are from the Dollar Tree! 

 The boys and dad made a streamer garland so it would be easier the hang the snowflakes. I got them on amazon and hang them with Christmas ornaments hooks.

For the table, It had a simple Dollar Tree tablecloth and some fabric I got from Walmart leftover from my daughter’s Elsa dress that I am making for her…(coming up soon….)
The plates and the napkins are from Party City, and the straws are from Hobby Lobby. The foam cups from the Dollar Tree

 I created a garland of balloons by inserting thread with a sewing needle. Pretty easy. The balloons are from Target, clearance section!

 Of course you cannot have a Frozen party without Olaf…The favors were simply a ziploc bag with three big marshmallows, a candy corn, two stick pretzels, three chocolate chips and two mini chips for Olaf’s eyes. I printed the “Do you want to build a snowman” from HERE

We had a welcome sign at the entrance, and yes, I misspelled it…LOL!

 For the dining room decor, I made a tassel tissue garland and the paper rosettes. The “Keep Calm and Let it Go” was printed from HERE

 The number “4” can be printed from HERE

 On this table we had crowns for the girls and antlers for the boys to decorate. I got some foam board from Walmart and I made the crowns and antlers using THIS template.

They had tattoos and  gems to decorate them.

More decorations from Party City.
The Food
 We did a hot chocolate buffet, so the kids could play outside and then warm up with a yummy cup of hot chocolate. We also had punch for those that do not like hot drinks. I found this cheeseballs at Walmart and they were perfect!

We also had rice krispies, white cheddar cheese crackers, pretzels, chex mix, cookies, powder sugar little doughnuts, and toppings for the hot chocolate which included whipped cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows and Yorks.

I decided to make an individual cake for her, and put an ornament snowflake on top. The kids got to decorate their own cupcakes with blue frosting and sprinkles.

The punch was made from 4 packets of Kool Aid plus a bottle of 7 Up
It is all in the details…
The games
We had snowball toss, pin the nose on Olaf, bubbles, and snowman bowling. At the end we had a pinata.

 For the pinata we always use a simple gift bag…we had the experience before that the kids could not break the pinata because the cardboard was so hard to break! So for the little ones this is perfect!

She had a great time even though she got five stitches in her forehead two days before her party!
For her hair I did a messy side braid and hot glued snowflake buttons on hairpins..
She had lots of fun! The clean up wasn’t very fun but to see my daughter’s happiness made everything worth it! 
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