Monday, May 6, 2013

DIY - Basement laundry room gets a floor!

Hello everyone!  Thanks for stopping by to see our progress on the basement laundry room.  I can say that it is coming along nicely and I am getting excited about getting it finished.

The first portion of the room that we tackled was the floor.  I had read about a peel and stick floor from one of my favorite blogs, Thistlewood Farms in her Butler's Pantry and I loved the look.  We purchased the tiles from Lowe's Home Improvement.

Here is the first tile going down.  The most challenging part of this process was just making sure that we were starting dead center.  You can see that hubby drew "chalk" lines to ensure that he was not going to have to pull out his luscious hair (that most men his age are envious of... HA!) once he reached the side of the room.  He did a great job and there was no need to pull any hair.

We decided to go with Karianne's same look from her Butler's Pantry.  The alternating tiles amp up the look of quality in the room.   I really like it.

The areas that needed less than a full tile were easy to conquer as well.  He just took an x-acto knife and scored the tile where he needed it cut.  Very simple indeed!

Harley Dent was checking the new floor out.  There she is in the lower right hand corner... She's always where her "Mom" is... 

The door on the left goes to my studio, the door on the right is to our daughter's bedroom/guest bedroom.  The stairs are behind the wall on the left and the bathroom door is not seen but is located on the left next to the wall.  This picture was taken before hubby made the cuts to the odd piece there by the wall.  

What do you think of our floor?  If you have the need for a new floor, this is an inexpensive and simple alternative.  And I feel the results take the floor up a notch.

 Stay tuned for more updates as the room is coming along.  



"Others have seen what is and asked why.  I have seen what could be and asked why not."  Pablo Picasso

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Recipes Rebooted - Chicken Fajita Tacos

Have you ever experienced the phenomenon where you plan something to cook knowing feeling confident that you have all the ingredients?... Only to discover that you are missing a KEY ingredient as your food is on the stove cooking?

That is what happened to me the other day when I decided to use my pretty bell peppers to create fajitas.  Only... I had NO flour tortillas.  NONE.  Completely out...

My food was bubbling happily in the skillet and I had no flour shells.  So, I improvised.  I yelled "We are having Chicken Fajita TACOS for dinner!"  My family was intrigued about the change and eagerly waited while their taste buds were jumping in anticipation.  Okay, maybe that was a stretch.

Make no mistake, there is usually no taco that this family does not enjoy.  We are a taco loving bunch.  So, it seemed like a good idea.  And this was no exception.  It was really delicious!  

Take a look....

 Take your boneless/skinless chicken breasts and season them with THIS amazing seasoning. OR, if you must have Mexican food at least 4 - 5 times a week like me, you can buy it in BULK here.   It is SO yummy I highly recommend you getting the "big boy".  I had to actually purchased my current batch while visiting my Aunt in Texas.  Our stores had quit stocking it because us southerners apparently prefer grits and fried green tomatoes instead of Tex-Mex. 


Season it liberally.  No real science here.

While your chicken is "marinating", you can cut up your bell peppers and onions.  Again, there does not really need to be a recipe on this one.  Just cut up as much as your family likes to eat.  It's really simple... I promise....

And place them in a pan with a little butter to start the sauteing.  

Cook over medium heat until they are soft.

Remove the vegetables and set aside.  Now, cut your chicken into strips and place in the same pan.  All that delicious flavor will transfer onto the chicken along with the fajita seasoning.  Yummy!

You will want to cook the chicken about 4 minutes on each side.

When 8 minutes are up, place the vegetables back in the pan with the chicken and give it a stir.  

I make my corn shells from scratch instead of buying the hard, crunchy kind.  I just prefer them.   They are easy to cook.  You just need corn tortilla shells, a small pan, and a small amount of vegetable oil in the bottom of the pan.  You will need to heat the oil until it is hot.  

Do you know a quick way to determine if the grease is hot enough?  Once the oil is heated for a few minutes, take the handle of a wooden spool and place it in the oil.  If you see bubbles around the handle, the oil is ready for frying!

When cooking the shells, I usually lay them in flat and one at the time.  I cook one side for about 20 seconds and flip it over to the other side for another 20 seconds.  Once the shell begins to firm up, I fold the shell in half and let it fry for a few more seconds to set the "fold". 

Top your "TACOS" with whatever topping you prefer.  Here, I have tomatoes, cheese dip and cheese.   (Don't show this post to my doctor who is treating me for high cholesterol....)  Sometimes I add sliced black olives, or avocados, or salsa...  It really is up to you.

Have you cooked anything yummy lately?  Leave a comment and tell us all about it!



“The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”
Arthur Koestler

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY - Laundry Room Move

As I have stated here, when hubby and I moved into our current home, we downsized quite a bit.  Our children were grown and we only had one left at home.  And she was on her way out anyway as she was headed off to college.  

It was time to for us to think about our future without children living with us.  So we went with a smaller house where the main living is on one floor.  However, this house has the potential of actually being bigger than our previous home because it has an unfinished basement.  SCORE!  

Since we have moved in, we have created a bathroom and a bedroom in the space.  Click on the links to see those posts.  

We still have quite a bit more to do, but as you know, home improving takes time and money.  And hubby and I love doing it ourselves, so the basement was a WIN/WIN for us.

One of the areas that we sacrificed when we moved was a laundry room.  Our new home has a laundry "closet".  Boy, has THAT been a challenge!   This room is so small that we have to angle our dryer in this closet because we cannot get the dryer door open otherwise. 

We had installed some stock cabinets that we had purchased from Lowe's over the washer and dryer.  That helped somewhat with organizing our laundry supplies.  As you can see from this picture, the dryer is slightly skewed in order to have access to the inside.  Oy' vey! 

The dryer also acts as a "storage of junk" space.  Do you have that space in your home too?  

It's those things that just seem to not have "a home at the moment" and it totally frustrates me!  (Breathe, Tracy, Breathe...)

So hubby came up with a good idea.  Why not move this laundry room to the basement in the area between the bathroom and the bedroom?  We can make it a beautiful space with lots of room!  And this existing laundry closet will become a large pantry right outside of our kitchen.
I JUMPED on the idea!  As an avid blog reader, I had just seen THIS blog post from Thistlewood Farms.   (I LOVE her blog!  You need to check her out.)   Oh the glorious beauty of that floor...  And that ROOM!  The wheels were spinning in my head. 

This is Karianne's room from her blog.

The floor is simple!  AND cheap!!!  AND perfect for a basement floor that still seems to find ways to spew water (we think we have solved all issues at this point.) 

Here is the room before.  The floor was initially painted, but we have had 4 different issues with water in this space and that's why it is peeling.  The door here goes into our guest bedroom that we built ourselves.

Same wall, just moved down a tad with my camera.

Here is the back wall.  The wall on the left of this picture is the bedroom wall and the wall on the right side is the bathroom wall.  The stairs are to the right of the photographer (me!).  The oven that you see there will be placed into my kitchen upstairs as soon as we get the parts to fix it.


Can't you just picture a washer and dryer there in front and to the left a folding counter with lots of cabinets?  I can!

 What a mess.  I will be so glad to give this space an identity!

So keep coming back for our transformation.  Our floor is already in and hubby is working on the walls to lay the sheet rock.  I'll post an update soon!

Thanks for visiting!



"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."  Pablo Picasso

 I'm linking up with Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday