Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Lesson

The things I did today...

Well, to begin with, I woke up and send the kids to school, drank my tea and went to my workplace to pick up some 'open house' signs.

Then because I was feeling Low, I went shopping :D

Then my friend called and asked if I could meet for lunch. Well, when you are low and your friends ask you to join, what do you do? You say ' Heck yea!'

Then after lunch I picked up the kids and painted my kitchen cabinets. They were looking Ugly and Dirty. So I painted them white, my favorite color in whole wide world.

Then I fixed a hole in the wall my hubby darling made when he fell from the stairs few days back [ouch].

Both the kitchen cabinets and the wall are in the process of drying as I write this post.

So... it was pretty fun.

Then my hubby darling showed my this video.

That is when I realized, how blessed I am. Al hamdulillah.

I had a good day today.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Get the slow cooker, pull apart meat in half the time

Yeap, I did it and you can too. Slow cookers apart from being 'working women friendly' is also knows for cooking mouthwatering, pull apart, melt in your mouth meat.

BUT, it's just too much for me to add another gadget to my 'kitchen gadget collection'. So I was googling [;)] how to achieve the same result another way & I found nothing, absolutely nothing.

Then I thought to myself, what makes the meat so juicy, so tender, so .... Yummy? 

I thought and I thought and I thought.....until I figured it out and went running to my kitchen literally screaming "EUREKA", in my head and in full cloths if course.

Took my cast iron Dutch oven [oh!cant even describe how much I live this baby].

Heat to medium high and seared the meat.  Added all the ingredients as you would in the recipe you choose. Make sure there is some liquids, cover the super heavy lively lid. And put the heat down to simmer. I cooked my chicken for 1 hour in simmer and it was just amazing. Totally amazing. I believe I'll take about 90 to 120 minutes to cook beef depending on the type if meat. 

So now, off you go go go and get cooking.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Basement Haul - The Big Reveal

Remember how my basement looked? For a quick refresh check my previous post on the 'before' pictures.
So after the contractor finished the wall and ceiling [with spot lights :D], me and my hubby darling got to work. For the flooring, after considering all the options available in the market, we went for 12mm Laminate with pre-attached pad. Because we don't have any pets we didn't have to worry about getting it scratched. But with two 'Jungle' kids in the house, we needed something sturdy, thus the 12mm.

For the color and finish, we choose the 'weathered' look matching our wall color.
And.... we installed the flooring ourselves, in two days. [still patting my back for that :D]

Then we wanted to do the built-in, inspired by "just a girl".

So, we headed to ikea to get four Billy bookcases, just to find out the total width is 2" wider that our space! I'll write all about that another day.

Finally, we managed to finish the built-in and installed baseboard all around it to complete the look.

Did all the trims [still need to do the caulking and painting, lazy busy me!].

Got my ikea karlstad in sivik gray [need to do something about those hideous legs.grrr.]

And here how it is now.

The built-in, still filling in
Got French door for my office. Happy me!
No more 'door-less' closets and rooms.
I'll finish the 'in-progress' tripod lamp, someday, soon...
I promise

There is a lot more to do in there, But for the time being, I think it'll do.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dining Room Chandelier Update

When we bought our place, it had lots that needed to be updated.
The Dining room chandelier for example.
I believe it was there ever since the house was built almost 40 years ago. 
Never updated. Never changed. 


After moving in, I searched through different websites and shops but as usual, the ones in my budget are not what I like and those I like were not in my budget. Sigh.

So I planned a DIY. Yeay!

I bought a drum shade slightly larger than the glass shade that was on there.
And I simply removed the chandelier from the ceiling, disassembled, and replaced the glass shade with my drum shade. 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Heavenly Delicious Caramel PopCorn

You know those caramel popcorn you get at the movies? Imagine that flavor, just WAAAAY Better!

All you need is this

3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Corn Syrup
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
8 cups of Plain Popcorn [about 3/4 cups kernels]

and 1/3 cups Butter of course! What would be some caramel popcorn without butter!!

Before you start anything else, get the corns all popped

Then melt Butter, Brown sugar, salt and Corn syrup in a non-stick pan over high heat. 

After it starts to boil, turn the heat off and add vanilla and baking soda

It'll start to get all bubbly and foamy 
Pour the mixture all over the popcorn. CAUTION: DO NOT TOUCH THE CARAMEL!!! It'll burn your skin in seconds.

Layer the popcorn in a baking sheet
and bake in 325F for 10 minutes

Remove from oven and ENJOY the heavenly deliciousness :D

My Beautiful Mirror Broke :(

I got this beautiful mirror from ikea :) I was happy and gay until ...

the mirror fell and broke.
I sobbed, I cried and then I wiped my tears and got to work.

Went to Dollar store to get one of those wooden sign things, painted it with blackboard paint and rearranged the hanging chain so that it hangs vertically rather than horizontally.

And hung it in the middle of the frame. 


Now I am happy again :D

Friday, January 10, 2014

Basement Makeover Haul

When we got our place, the basement looked sad, depressing and unfinished.
Well, it had no floors, partially done ceiling which had stains and was falling apart in places.
Here is a glimpse of what it looked like before

During Home Inspection

The 'Listing' Photo

There was a good size recreation room, an office room [with no door what so ever], a laundry room [ no door again] , a huge storage space under the stairs [clever but with no door :P] and a regular size closet [guess what was missing? DOOR!]
The walls were UP but not finished, Half the floor had some kind of vinyl sticker thingy on and the rest was bare concrete [tell you what, not ideal for a country where temperatures go below -30]. 

Well that ain't gonna stop us :D

The second thing we did after the purchase was hire a contractor to do the ceiling, install the office room and laundry room doors, two closet doors and finish the walls. What was first thing we did? 
We changed the 40 year old furnace with a high efficiency one of course :D

I'll post you another update on the basement soon. till then, stay good :D

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY Paper Pompom on a Fallen Tree Branch

Last week we had this terrible terrible storm in Ontario. Many trees fell. Sad really sad.
But I jumped [a little] with joy as I was looking for a good looking tree branch for quite a few time now. So once the power was restored [yeap, we didn't have power for more than 6 hourse] and everything was under control, I went outside around 1AM in the morning in freezing cold and wind chill to grab one of those gorgeous babies :D

Why you ask? 

Well for crafting of course!

Here is what I did with the fallen branch

Boy Oh Boy

Well, how did I make the paper pompoms you ask?
Well I took inspiration from here and below is a step by step illustration of the 'do how'.
I used papers came along wrapped around our house warming gifts :P
You can use any kind of paper as long as it's not too heavy.

Paper pompom DIY

Lets make a Bar Table!

I got so inspired by Ana White I just assumed I can make anything just like her :D
But deep inside I knew, I wasn't nearly as good as her :(

So when we needed a bar table of definite length and height and type and color and way out of our budget, I thought to myself "hey girl! you can do this ;)"

So I came up with this super easy plan.

I went to HomeDepot and got the followings:

1 pc 1x10x12' [for the top]
1 pc 1x8x20' [for legs]
1 pc 1x1x10' [for support and joints]

I asked an associate to cut them to sizes:
A.  2 X 1x10x6'
B. 4 X 1x8x4'
C. 2X 1x1x1'
and D. 1X 1x1x5.5'

C & D

First I aligned and joined two "B" with a "C" with 2.5" wood screws for the legs.
Then I aligned the two "A" together and attached the legs with wood 2.5" wood screws. 
I left around 1.5" space from the ends of the top for the legs.
Then I screwed in the support bar "D".

flipped it over, sanded the whole thing, filled in small gaps and holes with wood filler, let it dry, sanded again, wiped it off with a wet cloth, stained the top with This Minwax Dark Walnut stain and painted the legs and the support with white paint I had in hand.

Next day, when the stain dried, I coated the top with this stuff called Plyurethane :/ which actually smelled Terrible and the smell stayed almost for three days :/

Well, that was it though. After the Polyurethane dried, completely, I had my own Bar Table just the way I like it.

And last but not the least, thanks to my friend Samiya for the suggestion on the finishing :D
Love you for that.

So there you [I mean I, ha ha ha] have it folks, the easiest DIY furniture on the whole wide world!

Pantry door makeover

We recently bought a house! I am so excited!!!
our own little place where I can do any design experiment I want!
Is that not exciting? [and horrifying for hubby darling at the same time :D]

Well to start with, I picked a small area, the pantry door. Which despite being small is visible from my living room and by everyone who'll come visit.

That's just PERFECT :D

So I just painted the whole boring off-white door with black chalkboard paint and decided to write down few things I want my kids to learn and grow up with. Which I prefer to call the LIFE RULES!

Here is the After

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Powder Room Stencilled Wall

When we got our place, it was cute but lacked any character. For instance, our powder room looked like ... blah!


One afternoon I was bored and free so I decided to give my powder room wall a makeover inspired by Jones Design Company.

So I cut out the stencil provided by Emily and drew the pattern on the wall with a pencil.
Then just painted over the drawn lines with paint I had in hand. I used a 1/4" brush as that is how thick I wanted my lines to be.

I also replaced the 'tiny' mirror with a bigger one [which I am still not very happy with]

And here is the final result.