Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bathroom "Re-vamp"

Well, I can't really call this a remodel, because there wasn't a whole lot of remodeling going on.  It is, however a revamp.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves :)

Here is our upstairs bathroom.  One thing to note is that all four of us use this bathroom, so keeping it organized and uncluttered is my main goal.  This bathroom also hosts the only shower in our house, so that means our guests use it as well.  Definitely something to consider while planning the revamp.
Besides being the obvious eyesore, these doors are
quite noisy. 
The shower doors are a mildew, bacterial nightmare,
and my ultimate goal is to rid the premises of them.  

Ahh, 80's walpaper.  At least the colors are
 soothing...Definitely coming down.

I have special "plans" for this area, just behind the door

Okay, my biggest peeve about the bathroom's current state is the wall paper and paint peeling over the shower.
Not a pleasant sight.  There will need to be some serious attention paid to this spot in particular.

I do love this cabinet.  It is solid oak, the drawers slide very easily and it is in very good condition.
One of our biggest problem spots is the sink area.  There just isn't enough counter space for all our "stuff".
I have been thinking for a while about a solution to this problem and I think I have solved it.


Lots of scraping involved here.  I used a mixture of watered down fabric softener to help 
unglue the wallpaper paste.  Not all of the paste gets scraped off, however and the most physically demanding part of this whole revamp was washing the walls.  I used TSP, water, and good old fashioned 
elbow grease to get'er done.  

So one of my favorite things to do to make something old look new and up to date is to spray paint them a new, fresh color.  My choice for the hardware finish in this bathroom is oil rubbed bronze.  I took off all the knobs from the vanity and medicine cabinet, along with the switchplates, outlet covers and toilet paper dispenser.  I also painted the towel rods, but somehow neglected to get pictures of it.  

 First, I cleaned and degreased everything with a sander/deglosser... except the plastic switchcovers.  Then I gave two coats of paint to everything.

 There was a lot of wall damage that had been covered up with wall paper, so I spent a bit of time spackling and sanding before I could paint.  The area above the shower needed quite a bit of attention, but really turned out nicely.
I do all my own stunts. ;)


 YEAH! It's all done!
 The shower curtain I got on Amazon and no, we haven't removed the old glass doors yet.  I think we will wait for Grandpa Sam to help with that.  But it is still nice to have the added privacy of the shower curtain.

The rug I got on the clearance aisle at Walmart.  It was exactly what I was looking for. Don't you love it when that happens?  It works with the linoleum pattern and not against it.  
 This is the area above the shower.  It had peeling wallpaper, cracked and chipped paint and mildew spots all along the edge.  Not pretty.  Now, it is repaired and freshly caulked and painted.  The paint I chose was from Glidden- "Water Chestnut".

 Okay, so here is the part that I am most excited about.  ORGANIZATION!!  Yea!  Now we have no reason to have the counter space taken up with hair products, styling utensils or toothbrushes.  Each of us has our own basket.  I got the baskets at Michaels several months ago when they were 50% off.  Unfortunately, they only had three, so I am still scouring different Michael's stores in search of one more.  I used shower curtain hooks shoved through the wicker in the back of the baskets to hang onto two 30inch towel rods.  I did have to get the rods online at Amazon because I couldn't find 30" rods locally.

Another one of my Amazon purchases was this styling tool organizer.  It hangs over the towel rod (which was cleaned, painted and reused).  It was just a bonus that all our tools were red. :)

The vanity knobs came out perfect!  I love the way they update the oak.  The trash can and soap dispenser were clearance items at Target.  I spend a lot of time searching for items before I ever attack a project.  I never want to pay full price!

Here are a couple more pictures of revamped items.  Switchplate covers are extremely easy to paint.  The towel rods came out like new, and I added a couple of robe hooks from Wal-mart so that guests could hang  their clothes on them.

 Well, I can say that I have successfully rid the house of wall paper... unless you count the basement...which I don't. ;)  Now, onto my next project...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Iced Coffee

I start each day with a big ol' cup of iced coffee.  In the winter, I switch to hot coffee from my french press, but lately, even on a chilly day, I am all about the iced coffee.
What I used to do was make freshly ground coffee in my french press and save the leftovers in a container in the fridge.  Then, I'd use that to make iced coffee.  I admit that I make my coffee VERY strong... one night I brewed decaff after dinner for a friend of ours, but because I make it so strong and decaff isn't 100% de-caffeinated... it still kept him up that night.  oopsie.   Anyway, my point is this: in order to make good iced coffee, you need to start with very strong coffee.

Following a "recipe" from Ree, the pioneer woman, I decided to make a large batch of iced coffee from some grounds that were given to me.  The coffee was an 8oz. bag of a ground Sumatra variety.

I used my stock pot and emptied the bag of grounds into it.  Then I poured 16 cups (one gallon) of water over the grounds, stirring them until all were wet.  I put the lid on the pot and let it seep for 12 hours, stirring whenever I thought about it.

I used a flour sack towel as my strainer.  I lined a big bowl with the towel and  poured the brew onto the towel.

 When the towel was full, I drew up the corners and squeezed out the coffee leaving the grounds in the towel.  I emptied the used grounds into a trash bag that I plan to take out to the garden 

(coffee grounds are great for your garden).

I funneled the coffee into a gallon sized drink container I had washed out and set aside earlier.  I repeated the straining until all the coffee was strained from the grounds.

 That's it.  Put it in the fridge until it's nice and cold.  It should last you a while.

How I like to drink my iced coffee:

I have a special insulated plastic cup with a straw that I use for my iced coffee.  I love this cup.  I got it for $5 at Walmart.

I fill it half full of ice then pour my coffee in leaving enough room for creamer.  I love  sugar free french vanilla creamer... yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's horrible for me.  I'll take my chances, that's how much I love the stuff.  Okay, I put in about 1/4 cup or more of creamer and then squeeze in a tablespoon of lite chocolate Hershey's syrup. Stir with the straw and drink.

Ahhhh, Heaven.

Weight watcher peeps, this comes to 3 or 4 points plus, depending on how much creamer and chocolate you use.  Well worth it, in my book.