Monday, February 25, 2013

Reorganizing Under the Kitchen Sink

Oh boy - all of my project plans went out the door this weekend.  I've been fighting a cold, so didn't end up getting much on my list done.  I did manage to get a small project done - I reorganized under my kitchen sink, which was spurred on by my idea to "reorganize" my trash & recycle bins.

For the last few years, my trash & recycle bins have been living right here in the kitchen, next to the archway that goes into the dining room.  This was the only real "free" spot for them in the kitchen and while the trash can is nice, the recycle bin isn't.  They weren't in the way too much since the archway was big enough, but sometimes they managed to get in the way.

Then, I discovered this.
Via Bed, Bath & Beyond
It's exactly what I was looking for, but with a $179.99 price tag (even with a 20% off coupon, it would still come out to be just over $145!), there was no way I could justify shelling out that much money for it - there's just way too many other things that I could buy with that!  So, I started thinking of alternative ways of placing my trash & recycle bins.  I had previously thought of putting the recycle bin under the sink, but for whatever reason, I didn't.  It's possible one of the reasons is my ant problem.  I considered  this again and decided that in all the time I have had the bin out in the open, I've never seen ants in the trash (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!).  I'm always really good about rinsing any soda cans out and most other things that go in there are cardboard or paper or bottles with lids.  So, I decided to give it a try.

But, first things first - if I was going to put it under the kitchen sink, that meant reorganizing under there.  This is what it looked like "before".

Not too bad, but definitely no room for my little recycle bin.  So, I took everything out and wiped the bottom of the cabinet clean.

Since I already kept it pretty organized under there, I didn't need to do much purging.  However, the black watering can & red hummingbird feeder got the boot.  They will be moved to the garage with the other garden stuff (that will get reorganized once I put together the metal shelving unit I bought - that was supposed to be my other project this weekend, but I didn't get to it).  I first put the recycle bin in the only spot that would fit - the only spot without pipes.  Then, I put everything else back.
I bought that big lazy susan at the Container Store years ago for the sole purpose of using it under the sink and it's worked out perfectly.  You can see that there's a piece of black wood in the middle (between the doors) and the lazy susan is perfect for the spot behind it because all I have to do is turn it to easily reach what I need.  That bottle of bleach will mostly like get moved to garage once I rearrange my laundry area in the garage.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

Also, I've had the recycle bin under the sink for a couple of days now and so far so good - no ants (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!).  I'll continue to rinse out any cans and keep as much non-food & non-drink residue out of there.  That's the last thing I want to do is clean up a bunch of ants under the sink where it's hard to get under.  Ugh.

Once I moved the recycle bin, the trash can was all by it's lonesome.  I decided to move it next to the dishwasher.  Yes, it's blocking that little bottom cabinet, but I don't get in there that much.  I do use 2 appliances in there sometimes, but when the pantry gets reorganized (baby steps, remember?) at least one of those appliances, if not both, will get moved to the pantry.  I do use that little drawer often and it still opens without hitting the trash can.  Also, I can open the dishwasher without hitting it either.  Score!

So, here's a before & after (let's face it, these aren't the prettiest pictures, but it'll show you the difference a quick rearrangement will do):






I think this post took me longer to write than to actually do it.  Seriously.  And it's an awfully long post about moving trash cans and stuff under a sink.  But, it's nice to have those out of the way now - gives the kitchen a cleaner look.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Originally posted by: Adventures in DIY

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smells Like Disneyland in My House!

Life is starting to get back to normal - I had house guests for most of the last 2 weeks, so I decided to halt all projects until after they left.  I will be starting up with some small projects soon and am a bit anxious to get those started.  Sometimes I just want to be done with all projects, but if there aren't any projects for too long, I get the itch to get things going again.  :)

Today, I wanted to share this with you.  My brother got me an awesome popcorn machine for my birthday last year.  I didn't want to deal with the clean-up, so I didn't use it right away and next thing I know almost a year has gone by.  Yikes.  My awesome bloggy friend, Brenda at Chatting Over Chocolate inspired me to use my machine with her super cute Popcorn & Pixie Dust post and I thought that it would be the perfect time to try it out while my guests were here.

Like that action photo?   :)  In addition to getting me the machine, he also got me popcorn bags and packets of popcorn kernels & oil (yep - he's an awesome big brother!).  Now, my favorite popcorn of all time is Disneyland's popcorn.  I love me tons of butter on my popcorn at the movie theater, but Disneyland's doesn't use the extra butter poured on and it is still somehow the best. One of my best friends works at Disneyland and she found out that they use coconut oil when they make it, so we figured that's what made it special.

So, I noticed on the kernel packets, it says the oil is coconut oil!  Oh. my. word.  This was the best popcorn I have ever made at home.  It tasted just like Disneyland popcorn!!  In fact, I had gone outside for a second and when I went back inside the house I said "it smells just like Disneyland in here!".  Sooooooo yummy!  I would suggest you try that brand of popcorn if you get a chance.  You don't have to have one of these machines to make it, although using it is very fun!

And in case you're wondering, the metal kernel popper inside the machine is a bit of a pain to clean, but not too bad.  It takes a bit of work, but you can get it clean - just follow the directions.  :)

Originally posted by: Adventures in DIY

Friday, February 15, 2013

French Doors

It's been been far too long since I last posted - I've very busy with "life stuff" over the past couple of weeks all the while trying to finish up painting the french doors.  I did finish them and am just now getting around to posting about it.  I'll tell you what - it's been a BIG improvement to have them painted, even if it's just in plain 'ole white.

About 1 1/2 years ago, I made the first transformation with the french doors - the hardware.  Most of the hardware (hinges, knobs) were brassy gold & the others were silver/nickel.  I don't care for brass or gold at all, so I spray painted them.  To see how I transformed the hinges, click here.
To see how I transformed the sidelite knobs, click here.
Taping off the windows and hardware was an adventure - with 2 sidelites & 2 doors, that's a total of 30 little windows, people!  I finally got a system down for taping off the windows, but the hinges & some of the hardware were not so easy.  The hinges had these little tabs on them, so there was no way for me to tape them off without going crazy.  I did tape off the main part of the hinges, but had to hand paint with a little artist's brush around them.

And the locking mechanism for the sidelites are pretty small, so it wasn't worth taping them off either.  I did the same thing and hand painted around them.

Once I got to painting, it was smooth sailing.  Until, this happened.
Yep - the paint peeled off the muntins (the window pane trim) once I took the tape off.  So frustrating!   I only had problems with the paint peeling off the muntins & right around the deadbolt & doorknob (it was minimal around the hardware though).  It just happened that while I was working on painting my doors, so was Bon Temps Beignet and she was having the exact same problems.  So, I scraped it all off, sanded the muntins (I used Bon Temps Beignet's suggestion of roughing up that trim), and painted again.  It didn't peel so bad this time, but it still peeled.  I came to the conclusion that it was the cheap plastic muntins - the paint peeled on the doors and not on the sidelites and I noticed that the sidelites had a different type of plastic muntin.

A quick note:  after I painted my doors, Censational Girl did this post about painting her french doors.  First of all, after seeing her doors, I immediately wanted to re-paint mine in the exact color she used - so lovely!!  (but I didn't - maybe later on down the road!)  Second of all, I wish she had posted before I started painting my doors - it would have saved me tons of time from taping off all those windows!  ;)

You can see what a difference the white paint makes in the picture below.  The left doors are painted and the right doors aren't.  Already looking much better!

After the doors were painted (I ended up doing 3 coats and used a small roller), I could really notice that now the casing around the doors really needed to be painted again.  Against the freshly painted doors, they looked kind of yellowy.
So, I painted the casing pretty quickly.  Just one coat did the trick.

I also touched up where the paint peeled around the door knob and dead bolt - I just used a small artist brush and hand painted and then used a sponge brush to dab and even out the paint.  Then, I cleaned up any paint that got on the hardware and windows and I am all good to go now!  Here's a few pictures of the doors all freshly painted and cleaned up.

I'm so glad the doors are finally done.  It really does brighten up the living room.  Even though it took me over the course of a few months to finish, it really can be done in a weekend or even in one day if you start early enough in the day.  The holidays came and I did a lot of starting and stopping on this project which is why it dragged out.  Sometimes that's just how I roll.  :)

Originally posted by Adventures in DIY
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