Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday's make it menu: Homemade Ice cream.

For our first Make It Monday's we made homemade ice cream last week. I usually break this recipe out to start off our summer in the right way. It is in NO WAY diet friendly but it is "oh, so GOOD" and we are celebrating here! Isn't funny how ice cream and swimming go hand and hand? It's only when I'm trying on bathing suits that I wished I hadn't indulged in so much ice cream but hey, what are you going do?! I could eat this every morning for breakfast so it's a good thing that I have plenty of helpers here to help eat it up quickly! Make this sweet treat and have sundaes for dinner, that's a special summer favorite of ours. Enjoy!

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

1qt Heavy Cream
1 1/4 cup Milk
1 1/4 cup Sugar
10 Egg Yokes
1 TBS vanilla

Combine cream and milk in a saucepan and sprinkle in half the of the sugar. Allow the cream mixture to come to just a boil. 

You really just want to warm up the cream and milk.

Meanwhile whisk 10 egg yokes with the remaining sugar and 1 TBS of vanilla. 

When cream is heated, pour 1/3 of the cream into the egg mixture and whisk. 

Pour egg mixture into remaining hot cream and return to heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will be ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT BOIL!

It thickens up a little bit.

Pour the cream mixture 3/4 of the way in your provided ice cream makers canister. Ice cream will expand. Chill in the freezer until cold. I waited around 2 hours. 

Insert the dasher making sure it's positioned properly. Place the canister into the bucket. Put the motor driver over the ice cream cover. Mine snaps into place at groves on the top. Plug in maker. While running, add 2 inches of ice on the bottom of bucket. Sprinkle with a 1/4 cup of salt over the ice. (my boys love doing this part!) Continue layering ice and salt until the ice levels reach the top of the rotating ice cream can. Mine has a designated line for ice.  Add more salt and ice as it melts keeping the bucket filled while it's rotating. This takes anywhere from 25-50 minutes. The can will stop rotating when the ice cream is finished.

Carefully remove the lid and dasher and pack down the cream. Place ice cream in the freezer and freeze for several hours or until hard. I think we waited 5 hours or so. Top with your favorite toppings!

Before it went in the freezer to harden.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kitchen part 3: Finished Windows, Lighting and Countertops, Oh my!

The rest of the kitchen fell into place after the cabinets were painted and out of the way. J, being the pretty handy guy he is, wired the new can lighting with his dad when his parents were visiting.  His dad had recently put the same lights in his own kitchen so his experience with this project was welcomed! We rehung a new glass pendant fixture over the kitchen sink that I found at Lowes. I love this new pendant, it had the timely look that I was going for.

New recessed lights.

New glass pendant and framed window.

J framed out the windows and I made simple cafe curtains out of shower curtains that were marked down at Target. These were super simple to make as I am a very novice sewer. I trimmed the length down to fit the windows and cut the material right in half down the middle and hemmed about half a inch all the way around. I bought inexpensive tension rods for $3 a piece. To make this project even easier, I bought the curtain clip rings around $5 a pack to hang the panels.  I love all the light that comes through now. It was such a simple solution and a noninvasive way to dress the windows. When the panels are drawn open and pulled to the side, you can barely tell they are there. The total cost for all 3 windows was around $55, not too shabby!

More framed windows and new cafe curtains.

I had previously added more storage to a spare wall for organizing the kids homework and supplies. I found the idea on pinterest, of course. For displaying my favorite cookbooks, I found this simple shelf on clearance at Target and J added some molding around the bottom to fancy it up some. I'm always looking for simple ideas to add more storage. The large square basket is available from Target and is the perfect size for all my pans. I have the round one in the front foyer for shoes thanks for my friend, Jennifer for that idea. Holla, Jennifer!  We built a display shelf to fill in all the extra space over the fridge. I don't know why I never thought of that before. I stained it with stain I had in the garage and used some of the left over Pure White from my cabinets on the corbels. The accessories used, were what I collected throughout my house in various rooms. The grass rug was a online deal from World Market and makes for the perfect play place for Angel-baby while I'm cooking dinner.

Wall storage and organization for the kids homework and my cookbooks. New basket for pans.

Simple accent shelf to fill in wasted space above fridge.

World Market accent rug and new play area. 

The copper farmhouse sink, faucet and countertops were the big splurge items in the kitchen and made up most of the budget. We chose the granite in Giallo Ornamental from Home Depot. I wanted something lighter for the counters since the floor was so dark. It had a nice mix of white, cream, gray, black and garnet, all the colors that could be found in my new kitchen. I thought it went well without being to busy and was in the lower price point. J, installed the new sink, faucet and plumbing. That was a ordeal and another post entirely! I made a simple skirt to hang under the new lower sink to replace the cabinet doors that were now too large. The skirt came from a $8 canvas drop cloth hung on a cafe rod. Crisis solved. I love my new sink. It makes for a awesome baby bathtub too. 

Giallo Ornamental granite for the new countertops.

Sink, faucet and skirt.

For the walls, I chose Eddie Bauer in Cloth. It's a nice creamy off white and matches the stripes from the hall so it ties the rooms together. I plan to finish that project next. The awkward support column received some new trim to give it a more custom finish. I painted the corbels under the bar to match the bottom cabinets and gave the barstools a mini-facelift to fit in better with the new look of the room. The wall next to the fridge became the perfect spot for our framed chalkboard to jot down notes and for displaying the kids artwork. I found the frames at goodwill and painted them with paint that I had around the house. I got the idea to frame and hang the artwork from Thrifty Decor Chick! I love it.

Column with new molding.

Painted corbel supports to match the lower cabinets.

Barstools with facelift. 

Framed chalkboard wall for displaying the kids artwork.

There really wasn't much money left to do anything major in the breakfast area. I would love to change out the light fixture but that will happen later. My awesome friend (Jennifer again) sold me her old farmhouse style table for a steal and it is prefect! I added the bench for more seating from World Market. It was  $110 with my coupon because they were discontinuing it. I was in luck that my local store had one left in stock. I moved the rug from the family room under the table and found inexpensive plates and frames from Marshalls homegoods to accent the walls.   
Breakfast area. New table, bench, cafe curtains and accessories. 

I love the flow of the new rooms and feel like my house actually has a real style now. I'm happy that my design came together AND that it looks good! The new kitchen has become the center of the house again and it is nice to enjoy a room that we spend so much time in. Before the remodeled kitchen, I was thinking about moving to some place with a upgraded kitchen and a little more space. I think size wise, the house is fine for now. There is no other place that I can picture myself in for the time being. This home is where my heart is, for sure! 
All Finished!

 Cute accessories

DIY Show Off
Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/06/23/that-diy-party-diy-22/#Wr6jjKS30KAt7kUG.99

TDC Before and After

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Part 2: DIY Cabinet Transformation.

I guess I'll begin with what started the ball rolling and got this transformation going in the first place. I wanted to paint my UGLY-80's-orange-colored-oak-basic-builder-grade cabinets. They lacked any sex appeal, short and squat with zero trim anywhere. Kind of like me after babies! Ha! There was no way that we could afford to go out and order all new cabinets, so naturally painting them seem like the most cost effective solution. I was weary about taking on such a big job but I knew they couldn't look any worse then they already did (well, in my opinion anyways).  I just pushed whatever doubt I had about painting mishaps out of my head and researched my options. Besides, I'm pretty handy with a paintbrush. I just oozed confidence and played it off big time to J and assured him that "of course I knew what I was doing"!

I knew that I DID NOT want to sand, strip or stain anything. I wanted to stay away from harsh chemicals, and sandpaper. I wanted the easiest way out of this job, not a science experiment. I looked for a way to produce the quickest results with minimal effort. After much research, I decided to go with Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation Kits. I Googled the product for reviews, watched YouTube videos from other users and read through tons of DIY blogs who used this same product. I felt pretty confident that I could handle painting my cabinets with ease. Everything you need start to finish is included in the kit. I went to my local hardware store and talked over any concerns I had with the guy at the paint counter. He was quite helpful and pretty knowledgable especially since he just redid his own parents kitchen cabinets a few weeks prior with this very same kit! The best advice he gave me was to invest in a set of good paintbrushes. I choose a 3 pack of Wooster Paint brushes in various sizes and picked up 2 Cabinet Transformation Kits. One kit in Federal Gray and another kit in Pure White. Make sure you get the paint tinted in the right shade at the paint counter before you leave the store. There seemed to be a lot of questions about that online from the reviews I read. It does not come pre-mixed.

For putting the cabinet look together, I opted for 2 colors. I've always been drawn to pictures with two-toned kitchen cabinets and the drama it brings. I was hoping these colors would add some character to my room. I chose Federal Gray for the bottom cabinets and Pure White for the uppers. Gray is one of my favorite neutrals and goes well with any color. I liked the way it played up to my dark wood floor and thought it would make a crisp pairing with the white. The decorative glaze in the kits seemed to be the same color so the finish pulled both colors together nicely. We added another decorative element to the top cabinets that gave them a whole new custom look. J, built up a false top on the existing upper cabinets to add height with some plain white wood measuring around 12 feet long and 6 inches wide. He then glued and nailed crown molding onto the new higher top. He finished the look by adding decorative rope molding on the front and sides of new taller cabinet face. The new height made a huge impact and the decorative glaze really made the detail in the rope molding pop! The last thing we changed out was the hardware on the drawer fronts. I bought a 10 pack of Oiled Rubbed Bronze bin cup style drawer handle pulls from Amazon for $23. Much cheaper than the hardware store who wanted $5 a pull! The bin pulls mix well with our existing knobs and the simple switch made for a more polished and finished look overall. 

A quick close-up of the unpainted new tops.

The painting didn't take as long as I thought it would. It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming. The main part was allowing enough drying time between the coats. The kit itself had easy to follow directions and the paint was wonderful to work with. I have no reservation whatsoever about the paint and process that I chose. It has been a few months and they have held up wonderfully. There isn't one scratch or knick so far BUT I know that it is bound to happen sooner or later. I would definitely recommend these kits to anyone looking to change their cabinets, easily. For a couple hundred dollars we totally updated and change the whole look of our kitchen. I LOVE the combination with the gray and white and I'm so glad I decided to go with both. Such a dramatic change. It's definitely not boring anymore!

Here's the simple steps to DIY painted cabinets.
Remove and label the backs of your doors and drawers. The kit also recommends drawing a diagram of your kitchen and number the pieces on as you take them off on your diagram. This was helpful. I labeled them in the spot where J took the hinges off so I wouldn't paint over the numbers. I knew the hinge would cover the writing after it was put back on the door. We took the actual drawer fronts off the drawers since they clipped on and wrote on the backs since they were going to clip back on to the drawers. 

Give everything a good wash with hot-soapy water. Use a putty knife to scrape off anything sticky. (e.g. those little pads on the back of the doors to keep them from slamming closed or old ice cream that may have dripped down the front.) Dry throughly.

The kit comes with a deglosser and 2 scrubby pads to use with it. I think they should have included at least 4 pads, since the pads get really worn out towards the end. Fold the pads in half and soak the pad with deglosser. There is plenty of deglosser so don't be afraid to saturate the pads. I still have a lot left over. Go to town on the fronts and backs of the doors and the frame of the cabinets.  Rewash everything when your done and dry with a lint free cloth. I was afraid at first that I didn't scrub enough because they didn't look that different afterwards but it was fine. They should look freshly scrubbed and slightly dull, nothing more.

The kit says to paint the frames first. Go with the grain in up and down strokes, followed by the cross pieces. Allow 2 hrs to dry between coats. While the frame is drying you can start on the doors. They suggest doing the backs of the doors first to get a hang of the painting. We also screwed 4 wood screws into 2 pieces of old  2x4's to use as a stand to paint the doors on. Start with the sides of the doors and finish with the middle. Allow 2 hours to dry before starting the second coat. The next day I flip the doors over and painted the door fronts following the same pattern of painting. In between coats, I worked on the drawer fronts. No point in wasting time. *The white cabinets took 4 coats in between drying time to get it the right shade of white that I wanted. This paint is made to be slightly opaque but works well with oak since its a open grain. The open grain works really well with the provided decorative glaze in the kits and make for a professional finish. 

After 2 coats.

If you're happy with 2 coats of paint and want to skip the glazing step, its completely optional. You don't have to apply the glaze, you can move on to applying the protective coat. Some people from the reviews I saw didn't use the glaze. You can start the decorative glaze after your second coat of paint is throughly dried. I let the second coat of whatever I was working on dry over night. Mix the glaze well. Working in sections, apply the glaze with a paintbrush and let it set for up to 15 minutes depending on how dark you like it. Rub off the glaze going with the grain of the wood, using the provided cheesecloth. I went for a really distressed finish because I wanted a vintage vibe on my cabinets for my farmhouse look. I paid extra attention to the corner and around the knobs where you would normally see wear. When your satisfied with the glaze, let everything dry another 2 hrs before applying the protective coat.  

Apply the protective coat going with the grain of the wood. Don't apply the sealant too heavy or it can bubble. If that happens then you will have to let it dry and then lightly sand the bubbles out and reapply the clear coat. I didn't have any problems with bubbles. The directions say it dries to touch in a hour and you can rehang everything in 8 hrs. It takes a few days for the protective coat to totally cure and harden. I think I waited 3 days before reinstalling the hardware and rehanging the doors. I wanted them to have a chance to fully cured before we rehung them to prevent any damage to the paint. The total time I spent on the cabinets was around 6 hrs a day for 5 days. Not the weekend project like the kit claims but I guess it all depends on how many cabinets you have to do and how much help you have. It would go faster with 2 people working on this project minus distractions from kids.  I have 4 kids and did this by myself so I was pleased to have manage it all in under a week. I'm thrilled with the finished results. I was afraid that by painting them myself they would look cheaply done but I think they came out looking like a custom job. I've gotten many compliments and a few friends have enlisted my help on their own cabinets!  

(Laundry day) but finished bottoms with replaced toe-kick and new drawer bin pulls.

Up close look at finished painted uppers with new higher tops and decorative molding.