November 22, 2014

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November 20, 2014

Simple DIY: Temporary Kitchen Floors


To say I'm fired up about the end result of my new, temporary kitchen floors would be an understatement. Remember this awful brown tile floor?...

Well, I can happily say it's "buh-bye" and I'm all "hellooooo"...

Now, you may be wondering why I'm calling this a temporary floor - so let's start there. This little kitchen isn't going to be here forever. We're in saving mode to gear up for that major improvement project, especially because it may also go hand-in-hand with a front entry update...and maybe even a 2nd story on the left side of the house. Still waiting on an architect meeting for all that craziness. In the meantime, these floors needed an update. Not only because of aesthetics, but also due to water damage from the dishwasher earlier this year.

For those that have been reading along for a while, remember when I had to hack away at the counter to remove the dishwasher...



I know, I'm a barrel of laughs. #not

Well, it turns out it wasn't only the counter that needed to be hacked away at. The tile floor was put down AFTER the dishwasher was put in. Don't ask me why...these are the situations I scratch my head about all the time in this house. Bottom line, the tile floor in front of the dishwasher had to be cut away in order to get the dishwasher out for repair...

Since the repair back in March, I've done my best to temporarily cover the open spot in the tile...

My best being a long runner from Target. Ha! But that wasn't going to last long because over time I noticed the tiles surrounding the opening were buckling and the wood beneath appeared to show signs of water damage. You know what that means - a perfect environment for mold!

I wanted to pull up the floor and put in a temporary until the eventual kitchen remodel...and the perfect solution was something I already worked with here at the house - Flor tile squares. If you recall, I installed these in the screened-in patio last Spring...

We've had the best experience with these tiles. The patio is a high-traffic area and the kids frequently eat meals on this table...

While it's not usual to have carpet in a kitchen, I figured this would be the best temporary solution for us. It would allow for the old, ugly tile to go away...we could clean up the subfloor to make sure we didn't have mold...and it's easy to maintain / clean carpet tiles. We know this because we have had a great experience with them on the patio. Oh, and their recent 25% off sale helped seal the deal too. ;-)

I'm not going to lie, this job took 3 days but that's because it took almost one full day to remove the old floor, which had adhered itself to the house. He wasn't leaving without putting up a good fight. And the kids were here all weekend so there were many interruptions. That said, this job was easy and if I can do it - you can too!

The tile demo started out easy because I was working with an existing opening...


I started digging away at the already loose tiles. However, the further away I got from the opening - where it had been moist - it got a bit harder and needed to update the tool to a larger tile scraping pole. Very technical terms here...so I hope you can follow along. ;-)

For the next several hours there was a lot of scraping and hacking and back bending...

Sure, maybe even a little swearing and stomping of feet...


Until finally it was all gone...

Not only was the old tile an issue, but the plywood over the sub floor was totally disintegrating. It splintered everywhere. Make sure if you do this job, you are wearing safety glasses and a mask. The splinters, dust and odor were no joke.

Once the floor was up, the holes and water damage were revealed...

Thankfully the water damage wasn't too serious. I sprayed some bleach / water onto the now dried wet spot, let it air out overnight, and the next day started laying the new floor.

To begin I added a layer of roofing paper. This creates a moisture barrier, much like it would on a roof...


All I did was roll it out and cut pieces to fit the angles...


To keep the paper in place I hammered it down with tacks...

Done...

Next was a new layer of plywood. I went with 1/4" and used my jigsaw to fill in the floor like a big puzzle...


With the plywood in place, I used my brad nail air gun to secure them to the subfloor...

That was it for day 2. I thought it was particularly adorable when my 4 year old saw this finished plywood floor and exclaimed with a big sigh of happiness, "I love it!!!". Ha! If only.

On day 3, the floor was ready for the new carpet tiles. On the patio I chose to keep the tiles in the same direction, therefore making it look like a regular wall-to-wall carpet. This time, the carpet tiles I chose had a pattern. I was inspired by the product image on the Flor website when choosing the flooring...

(For those wondering, it's called Straight and Narrow in gray. Not getting paid to talk about Flor here, by the way.)

I started with one long strip down the middle of the kitchen floor...

And worked out from the middle to each side...

Cutting the tiles is easy. I used a box cutter to score the back. Once it was scored, I snapped the backing and then cut through the carpeting side. Pretty easy, but time consuming. This was the one point I was happy to have a small kitchen. ;-)


Done!...

Once the tiles were cut and in place, I adhered them together with the Flor dots and added a new threshold on either side of the kitchen. You can see the line where the old threshold had been. I wanted to update and give it a finished look on either end of the carpeting...

Finally...totally done!...


I love the end result. I'll probably add some kind of comfort mat in front of the kitchen sink because it's not the softest flooring, and when I do I'll be sure to update with more pictures. For now, I'm a very happy girl....


How's this for a before and after?...

While I was at it, I updated the kitchen faucet too. What was once an old standard faucet...

Is now a nice pull-out...

I may have used the saws-all while removing the old faucet, but I can clean my sink so much easier now!...

It was something I had always wanted to do. While I was at the hardware store grabbing materials for the floor, I grabbed this Moen faucet...

One more small improvement here at the house. If you have found yourself in a similar situation in your kitchen or need to cover up a bad floor while you're renting, this is a great solution. And easy too!

Go DIY something and have a great day!





November 19, 2014

Appreciation & Success Journal: Be Kind To Yourself


During this time of year we spend time gathering with and enjoying our family and friends. We reflect on the happenings of the year (before it's soon over). We are mindful of our countless blessings...and we certainly have a lot to be grateful for. But also during this time of year (and the rest of the year) are we taking the time to appreciate ourselves? Maybe that sounds like a selfish idea, and I really hope this post doesn't come across that way. Hear me out for a minute...

I'm chatting about this today because I think we need to be more kind to ourselves. I believe we are especially hard on ourselves as the year comes to a close and we realize we accomplished absolutely nothing on our 2014 New Year's resolution list.

By the way, don't even get me started on the whole resolution idea. I don't believe in them and think you can choose to go after a goal at any point during the year. 

I could go on and on about how we push the idea of positive self-esteem in our children and young adults. And I know there's a feeling out there in the World that we tend to be self-absorbed. But personally, in general I believe many of us spend very little time focusing on how we feel about ourselves. How we can maximize our potential. How we can improve the way we feel about our inner self. How we can shift that negative thinking and self-talk we play on repeat. And I may even put myself out there a little further to say I think many of us have a warped version of who we truly are.

Anyone nodding yes in agreement?

In the hectic day to day, especially during this time of year as we're pulled in a billion directions, it's important to stop and appreciate yourself. Yes, you. Am I saying to go out there and blow your budget buying the new hot handbag? No. Splurge on the new "it" car and have it delivered to your driveway wrapped in a big red bow? Nope.

What I'm suggesting is something small and inexpensive - I'm suggesting you consider keeping an appreciation / success journal. Here's mine...


$2.17 at my local office supply store.

When people hear me talk about a journal like this they tend to think it's about writing down what they're grateful for. There's nothing wrong with that and if you want a gratitude journal, that's an awesome idea! Instead, what I'm suggesting you try is keeping a journal to write down positive things about yourself, positive things people say to you, something you were proud of accomplishing - no matter how big or small, or positive self-talk quotes that motivate you.

I've kept a journal like this before, but lost touch with it in the day to day. What motivated me to start up again is that I've been kinda going through some "ehhh" stuff lately. When you're challenged and stressed and struggling and feeling stretched, it's so easy to get caught up in the "ehhh" and easily forget everything that is so "yes!" about yourself. Having this little journal on those low days can be a huge self-boost.

You may be wondering, what do I write down in my journal?...

I write down the little successes I have in my business and on the blog. I print comments from readers and followers, cut them out and stick them to a page with washi tape. And I write down quotes that have touched me personally or help snap me back to reality when I'm all negative and ewww with myself.

Some of you have been my biggest inspirations to keep going with the blog...a blog is hard work y'all. A whole lot of work with not a whole lot of appreciation or income. Your comments mean so much to me and I will never take them for granted. Knowing I have helped you in a small way - means everything! Makes it all worth it.



I keep my journal tucked away right here under the computer in my home office...

Some of my quietest moments are captured (and savored) sitting here at my desk...because when I'm sitting here I'm usually home alone. It makes sense to keep mine here. Keep your journal somewhere you know you'll be able to take a moment to note down something positive about yourself.

This quote is one of my favorites...

Because it's true. What really matters is relationships and experiences. Not the "stuff".

I hope you'll consider starting an appreciation journal and be a little more kind to you. You are worth it!

November 13, 2014

Storytag Holiday Letters and Cards + A Giveaway!


Bet you're hearing this statement repeatedly these days..."I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving!". Right? You know what that means - the holidays are right around the corner. That time of year when fun, heartwarming, exciting and magical collide with their naughty list cousins hustle, bustle and hectic. If you aren't prepared or organized for the holidays, adding holiday cards and letters to your to-do list may quite possibly throw you over the edge.

Don't let what should be a fun tradition cause you stress this holiday season!

I have the perfect product / company for you...and it's a professional friend of mine. Love!

Remember when I shared a little about my experience at NAPO SF? During the conference I had the opportunity to meet my fellow professionals in the organization world, as well as amazing organization companies that make our life simpler and happier. Meet my new friend, Nikki McKenna of Storytag...



How stunning is this woman?!

She's not only a pretty face, she's a game-changer my friends. Nikki is the owner and founder of Storytag, a company dedicated to helping you share your story, one chapter at a time. At Storytag they know how busy you are - whether during the holidays or not - and they're here to help take your images AND stories to create something you will cherish forever. They create unique and special Storybook's all year long...



But this season they are launching a new line of holiday cards and letters. What better time of year to share your images and stories than during the holidays! Let Storytag help you in 3 easy steps!...

1. Create an account
2. E-mail, upload or send a Dropbox link to the images you want to use
3. Purchase your holiday letters - or a Storybook

How does it work?

After you set up your account, Storytag will contact you to schedule an interview to chat about your year. From there, they design and write the letter for you! After incorporating any edits you may have, they print the letters and ship them right to your door. Aren't these adorable? You'll make all those mom's wonder how you did it all this holiday...





If you're ready to order a Storybook now, they'll also include the writing, designing and printing of 50 holiday letters. Not ready to get going on your end of the year book? No problem! Just purchase the holiday letters now and the purchase price will go toward your next Storybook purchase. Easy!

Nikki has partnered up with Simply Organized to launch her holiday cards and letters...and she has generously offered ONE reader 50 free holiday letters ($125 value) - with no additional purchase necessary!

You guys know I keep giveaway entry simple, so feel free to enter as many ways as you wish! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway