Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Play Room Remodel - Paper Bag Floor

We live in a tri-level house, which means you walk into the house on the kitchen/Living room level, go up 9 stairs for the bedrooms and go down 5 stairs for the "basement". The basement is barely below grade and sits on a concrete slab. The previous owners used this as their family room/den, but we've used it as the playroom. It's a fairly large room and I can see down into it from my kitchen. So, it was the perfect place for the kids to play while I kept an eye on them. The room came with old beige carpet, which was better than the orange shag that was upstairs, but wasn't in great condition.

Took this picture the day we moved in when the 10 year old was 3.

About a month ago, I got a spurt of energy and decided it was time for the carpet to go. So I spent a few days ripping out carpet one 4 foot strip at a time, scraped up the padding glue, and chiseled up the tack strips.

Once the carpet was gone I decided that was the perfect time to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling and repaint everything!

Once the ceiling and walls were freshly painted, I went to work on the floor. In order to add some warmth and texture to the room, I decided to put down a paper bag floor. I gathered about 100 bags from friends, ripped them up into pieces, soaked them in a 50/50 solution of white glue and water then smoothed them down onto the floor. After the bags were dry I put down 4-6 coats of polyurethane to protect them (some areas have more coats than others). Some of the grocery bags had pictures I liked; so I turned those pictures face up to decorate the floor. All the rest I turned face down to make the background.


After the floor was finished, Hubby put new baseboards around the room and we were done!

The whole thing took me about 3 weeks to do from moving furniture, tearing up carpet, scraping the ceiling, painting the walls, putting down the new floor and putting on the baseboards, but I think it was time well spent!

All together I spent about $250 for the whole room makeover. That included 2 gallons of polyurethane, a gallon of glue and 70 feet of baseboards. The paint we used for the walls was mixed up leftover paint from previous projects along with one can of oops paint from home depot ($7). And the bags were all donated by friends! In one corner the kids even drew a picture, wrote their name and dated it. I guess it's a little like putting your hand prints in wet cement. :)


Monday, November 19, 2012

Chunky Apple Hot Cereal

I'm a bit lazy in the morning. If I don't have something already made, I tend to eat fruit or nuts for breakfast then eat something more substantial for an early lunch. I love hot cereal for breakfast but can't bring myself to drag out the food processor to make that happen every day. If I've made a big batch over the weekend, then that's awesome, but otherwise, I'm not motivated enough to make it on a weekday morning.

The other day, I really wanted porridge for breakfast on a weekday so I decided to try an easier preparation method to see how it worked. Rather than putting everything into the food processor, I just chopped it up a bit and threw it in to the pot. Turns out, porridge is just as yummy when it's chunky! I will probably stick with this method from here on out, and maybe use the stick blender on the whole pot when it's finished cooking if I want a smooth version. If I had to guess I'd say the whole pot took me about 20 minutes to make start to finish including the chopping. I can usually swing 20 minutes on a weekday morning!

Chunky Breakfast Porridge/Hot Cereal
1+ apples cored and coarsely chopped ( I had about 1.5 apples)
1 T coconut oil
1 C walnuts coarsely chopped
1/2 C prunes or dates coarsely chopped (I cut mine into 4ths)
1 Can full fat coconut milk
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla

In a saucepan melt coconut and saute apples until soft. Add all other ingredients and cook stirring often until everything is warmed through and starting to bubble. Serve immediately or use a stick blender to puree porridge before serving. (I like mine both ways)


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