Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Powder Room

So as long as I'm resealing the tile I may as well redecorate the entire room right?  This room has only been four different colors in six years so it is screaming for a refresh.

I'm finally getting my grasscloth wallpaper.  Kind of.  Faux.  The room couldn't be any smaller than it currently is and half the wall is covered in bead board so it will not require much paper.  I've chosen this dark teal grasscloth from spoonflower.  A bit of a gamble ordering paper online that I've never seen in person but life's short right?

The bead board, sink, lights and fixtures are already in the room so it is really a wall paper and accessories refresh.  Here we go again!

powder room

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Tile Refresh

We installed the floor tile in our powder room while we were renovating the kitchen.  Because we had knocked a wall down it meant that we had to patch the hardwood where the wall used to be...and as long as we were patching the floors we may as well extend the hardwood out into the hall...and as long as we were extending the hardwood into the hall we may has well do the powder room too.  Because that's how we do.

I don't think either of us like the tile we chose.  We were overtired and stressed and got into an argument on the way to Home Depot.  We rarely fight so this one was a doozy.  I can't even remember what it was about now but I blame the fact that we were DIY renovating most of our first floor, in the dead of winter with no heat, a very colicky 16 week old and two full time jobs.  Oh and the IRS was throwing me some audit fun as well.  We were the very definition of stretched too thin.  If all we were hit with after all that was mediocre tile and no divorce papers I'd say it was a success.  Anyhoo the moral of this story is to never choose tile angry.

Fast forward 6 years and our light colored tile and grout powder room has seen a lot of foot traffic and 3 potty trained boys still perfecting on their aim.  I've scrubbed this floor repeatedly and it never looks any better than this.  You can see what the original grout looked like in the back, center seam and what it looks like today in the front center seam that sees all the traffic.  The ring around the toilet is disgusting.

The tile and grout is clean (believe it or not) but badly stained.  To attempt a remedy that didn't include ripping out the tile and starting over I decided to give this $13 bottle from Home Depot a shot.  It is an all-in-one colorant and sealer that promises the grout will look like new.  I figured it sounded too good to be true but it couldn't look worse.  I chose a darker gray color than we currently had so that it would hopefully hide dirt/other things better the next time around.

The directions say to use a toothbrush to apply and then quickly wipe off excess before it dries.  We have pretty small grout lines so I used a fine craft brush.  In this picture below you can see where I started applying around the base of the toilet (on the right) and the old, grimy joints that I started with.  Such a huge difference.

Look how much better it looks!  

 A quick before and after.  The pictures don't really do it justice but in person it is a HUGE improvement!  I give it 3 days before it is trashed again but it will be an awesome 3 days.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Popcorn Crack

I mentioned this ridiculously amazing popcorn recipe in my post on cookie decorating.  You're welcome and I'm sorry.

Yield: 3 gallon sized freezer bags full

3 bags microwave popcorn
24oz white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons of peanut butter
3 cups of Rice Krispy cereal
2 cups of peanuts 

  • Pop the microwave popcorn.
  • Microwave half of the white chocolate chips and half of the peanut butter until melted (stopping periodically to mix).  Then repeat the melting for the remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter.
  • Mix Rice Krispy's and peanuts into a large bowl (the biggest container you can find...a 5 gallon bucket isn't too big!).
  • Add one bag of popped popcorn (you may want to take out any seeds prior to combining.
  • Pour in about 1/3 melted chip/peanut butter mixture over the popcorn mixture.  Mix with spatula.
  • Continue adding popcorn and melted chips/peanut butter mixture until gone.
  • Dump contents of the bowl onto wax paper--spreading in clumps.L
  • Let mixture harden before putting it into a container
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cookie Decorating Party

Yesterday we invited some neighborhood families over for some cookie decorating in advance of Santa's arrival.  

We kept the afternoon party menu simple with popcorn (I'll share an amazing recipe in a future post), cheese & crackers, carrots & hummus and hot cocoa & marshmallows. 

I baked a few dozen cookies in advance, stuck them in the freezer and then thawed them the day before.  I made frosting using confectioner sugar, butter and almond extract and then filled condiment bottles with frosting (affiliate link).  I put the sprinkles, sugar and candies in cupcake wrappers so that there were no lines waiting for the sprinkles.  

I wrote each kid's name on a paper plate so we could keep track of each creation.  Ultimately it ended up being sprinkles and sugar with a little bit of cookie.  Some of the cookies were very 3D with the amount of sugar piled on them!

As long as we were loading it up with sugar why not shoot the moon and add whipped cream?

Probably the smartest thing I did was to snag a dozen bakery boxes from the grocery story to send the kids home with their creations.

With 15 kids under the age of 10 and a mountain of sprinkles I'm pretty sure I'll be finding Christmas sprinkles at Easter.  All in all the party was a blast.  Good friends and good treats - what more can you ask for this time of year?

Happy Holidays!

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 

  • Combine milk, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and vanilla extract in crock pot and quickly stir. 
  • Add chocolate chips to crock pot and mix
  • Cover and heat on low setting for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.  After chocolate is fully melted, reduce to 'warm' setting.
  • Serve and top with marshmallows.

Let the sugar high begin...

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Saturday, December 20, 2014


Now that the barrel ceiling is nearing the finish line (still need to add the finishing trim, caulk and paint) it was time to add the jewlery - a pendant light!  We initially went with this classic black pendant.  It is OK.  That's it, OK.  Ok is fine, it would have worked, but we worked so hard on this porch that I felt we earned awesome.  

Remember how I was coveting this copper and iron light?  Well we ended up using my spray painted, cheapo version for the sconces since we really don't use them.  Sean reminded me of this light, from the same collection, that I have been in love with for a while.  I reminded him that it was twice the price but he said to go ahead and get it (who IS he?!).  Thanks to a 20% off coupon I ended up getting it for not much more than the builders grade light we currently had.  This one is beautiful, constructed of copper and iron.  Art.

My hesitation was the scale.  It is huge.  10" taller than the existing pendant.

Thankfully, it is perfect!  The barrel is massive so it really fills the space beautifully.  Here it is during the day...

...and at night.

Love, love, love this light.  The never ending project is slooooowly getting finished.  The last steps are the column wraps, caulk and paint.  Unfortunately each of those things requires a series of 50 degree days which I'm not sure we'll get until spring.  In the meantime you'll find me ogling my new light. 

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