Sunday, August 24, 2014

How I Painted my Linoleum Floors

I love my kitchen. It's my favorite room in the house. Over the years, I've slowly transformed it. Step by step, my kitchen has really shaped up nicely. 


Behold the before picture. Ceiling fan in the kitchen? Four different finishes of wood...old countertops and ugly linoleum floors. We began by painting the cabinets, island, window frames, and shelves white, and the walls a soft yellow. Later we replaced the sink with a large farmsink and the counters with a beautiful quartz. You can see my other kitchen renovation posts HERE.

One thing we just don't have in the budget right now is replacing the floors. But I really wanted to do something with it in the meantime. Paint can fix just about anything, so naturally, I decided to paint my linoleum floors. Here's how we did it.

First, I chose the colors. I browsed pictures of floors on the internet and found a color palette I liked. A cream and light brown. But before I could paint, I had to prime. I used a latex Kilz and painted one coat over the whole floor. Cutting in around cabinets with a brush and rolling the rest.




 Next was two coats of the cream color. I used a latex porch/patio paint. Again, cutting in around the cabinets with a brush and rolling the rest.



It was already looking WAY better than before.

So then the hard part...and I'm going to try and explain this part as best as I can, its a bit tricky.

I knew I wanted to paint a checkerboard design on the diagonal since my kitchen is so big, I thought painting them straight across would make it look too long. I also knew 12 inch squares were too small for my kitchen and 24 inch squares were too big. I went between the two sizes and decided 18 inch squares would be perfect. I also wanted to center the first square right under my sink and go out from there. Once I got those things in order, I was able to begin taping off squares.

You'll notice in the pictures that I alternated the tape from the inside to the outside every 18 inches. This was because I was essentially bordering out the squares I intended to paint AND protecting the edges of the squares I wanted to keep white simultaneously. I'll be elaborating on this at a later date.





Once the squares were taped off, the fun part began! I cut in each brown square first, then rolled each one. I did two coats of the latex porch/patio paint. 




After the second coat dried, I got to pull up all the tape. So. Much. Tape.








After the paint cures for a few days, I'll be putting down a few coats of water-based Polyurethane  made specifically for flooring. I'll update this post when I do. 

In the meantime, please enjoy a picture of me with all the pulled up painters tape on my head. 



Next week, I'll be putting up my tile backsplash, tune in for that post!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Pot Shrimp and Basil Pasta


I'm pretty sure I could eat pasta everyday. Oh, and shrimp. I also hate doing dishes. So, this is my kind of recipe! Pasta and shrimp in one pot, so only one pot to wash!

One-Pot Shrimp and Basil Pasta

Ingredients

12 ounces dry spaghetti
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced 
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tsp salt
1 Tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (6oz) package baby spinach (I didn't have any on hand)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined


Step 1 



Combine first 10 ingredients in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for another 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until pasta is al dente.


Step 2



Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and shrimp. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir before serving, top with parmesan cheese.





Monday, July 28, 2014

The Chore Store

I posted the other day on my Facebook page that my children were fighting over who got to sweep the kitchen. I received lots of comments asking how I made my kids love chores so much. Well, here's my secret. 


The Chore Store

Every few months, I hit the Dollar Tree and stock up on toys, puzzles, snacks, and stationary. I fill a pretty basket with the goodies and display it on the homeschool shelf.




My girls are 5 and almost 4 years old. They don't have the longest attention span when it comes to saving up chore points for a toy. So, the turn around rate is pretty short. They get a new toy every 4 days on average. 15 chores fills their chore card with stickers and gets them one prize from the basket.

Their chores include:

Brushing their hair.
Making their bed first thing in the morning.
Bringing their dishes to the sink after every meal.
Doing their homeschool lesson.
Cleaning the living room and their bedroom at the end of the day.
I sometimes grant an extra chore credit (like I did the day June offered to sweep the kitchen).

It only counts when they offer or do the chore without a reminder from me, so sometimes they don't get credit. I want them to learn to do their chores without constant nagging from me. Waiting until I have to remind them doesn't happen very much anymore with this rule in place.