Monday, February 25, 2013

$40 Bathroom Update

We bought our first house in July 2012. It is in great shape, with no problems, which is a blessing since we looked for over 6 months at disaster after disaster. However, it's boring. The previous owners never updated anything after having it built in 1996. Oak laminate, brass, and green formica abound; also, the entire interior was painted contractor yellow-beige in a flat finish. We have a toddler, and everytime he touches the wall, it leavesa mark. Everytime I try to wipe off said mark, the paint wipes right off. We painted our kitchen about a month after moving in because wiping the walls was causing the ugly avocado and brown paint that is under the beige to show through.

So, in the second bathroom.

Flat Beige Walls:            X
Laminate Oak Cabinets: X
Builder grade mirror:      X
Brass everthing:              X

My husband had a Home Depot gift card, so we decided to use it to give the bathroom an inexpensive face lift.

We bought a gallon of KILZ brand paint in an eggshell finish and had it tinted to Navajo Sand, which is a Behr color. I wasn't sure about the KILZ brand, since it was less expensive than the Behr, but I LOVED it. It went on so much easier and with better coverage than the much more expensive Valspar we used in our kitchen.

He took down the brass fixtures and knobs, sanded them and spray painted them with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. That stuff is a miracle product. We used it about 5 months ago on the knobs and fixtures in the master bathroom, and everything we sanded first has held up beautifully with no chips. We have painted almost all of the brass light fixtures in the house with it. That alone saved so much money! The fixtures in our house were all nice, I just didn't like the brass. The cheapest replacements at HD (that I didn't like as much) were between $20-$30. We've used maybe 1.5 cans of the spray paint to do all of these. So $10 worth of paint and a few hours of time vs. 10 new light fixtures. We saved at least $250- $300.

This next part is what I am so excited about. He framed the mirror for less than $4 because he already had the sandpaper and stain. He just bought a 14 ft piece of 1x4 pine board and had them cut it since it wouldn't fit in my car without being cut. He brought it home, did a little distressing (banged it up with tools, he had quite a bit of fun with that part),  sanded the edges, and applied 4 coats of MinWax Mission Oak and 1 coat of Rustoleum Kona stains. If you ever do any mirror project, make sure you paint/stain about an inch on the top of the backside so the reflection isn't plain wood.  When it was dry, he mounted it on the mirror with 3M foam tape.

I seriously love how this came out. I didn't get pictures of all the brass fixtures or yellowy paint, I guess I was just too anxious to update them. We are still going to replace that usly bar light fixture, but it doesn't look as bad in ORB as it did in brass.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creamy White Chicken Lasagna

is a white lasagna I came up with to use up some ricotta, broccoli, and chicken I had in the fridge. It is a very simple recipe. This is a smaller recipe than I would normally make, I only used an 8x8 pan, but It could easily be adapted to a larger pan.


1.5 - 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken. I used the meat from 3 thighs.
1 package frozen broccoli, cooked
8 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 lb ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped or grated on a zester
salt and pepper
1 T Italian herbs
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cup chicken broth
2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup flour
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper

After cooking the chicken, lasagna, and broccoli. Combine the chicken, broccoli, rocotta, herbs, and a few pinches of salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk together broth, milk, flour, nutmeg,and a few pinches of salt and pepper ina sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until thickened, mix half of white sauce in with chicken and broccoli. Place a layer of noodles in and 8x8 pan, cover with half of the filling mixture, add a layer of noodles, cover with remaining filling. Top with remaining noodles and the rest of the white sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella. I also sprinkled some sliced olives on top, but that is optional. Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes.