Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My DIY Kitchen Island

After finishing up my back splash project, I decided to attempt to do a DIY kitchen island. I looked into getting a slab to match the laminate that is on our counter tops...but after getting the quote back for around $400 for it... I decided I'd go with the butcher block look. 

First step was purchasing a cabinet base from Home Depot. It cost $139 but since the one we got had a little knick...they took off $20. Here is how the cabinet base looked when we first bought it:

Next, I stained the cabinet base Colonial Maple which was the closest color I could find to our current cabinets. The backside of the cabinet base is unfinished, so I purchased a piece of wood and nailed it to the back of cabinet base.  See pic below:

Since I wanted to add a little pizazz to the island, I decided to add tiles to the back side. So I used the same process as I did for the back splash for the back side of the island base. 

After that was done, it was time to move on to the actual countertop.  I purchased a 4X8 piece of pine for the countertop and got it cut in two equal sized pieces (to stack on top of each other).  But I made a big mistake by getting pine because the cabinet base is oak.  So after I stained the pine countertop, I quickly realized I should have gotten oak for the countertop because the stain takes differently on different types of wood.  So since I had already purchased the pine and didn't want to completely waste the wood, I decided to keep it and just buy a thin piece of oak to put on top of the two pieces of pine. Also, we added the handles and knobs to the drawers and doors.  See pic below:

We attached all the boards together with a few nails and screws and then it was time to do the edging.  I purchased iron on veneer siding from Lowes. It was $5.46 per roll and I ended up using two rolls.  My island counter top dimensions are 35X48. 

This stuff is pretty cool because you just use an iron to adhere it.  I also purchased the Band It cutter which helps you cut off any excess.  Def make sure you purchase this. Here is how the edging looked after I affixed it to the edges:
After applying, I stained the edging and then did 3 coats of polyurethane and walah... all done! :)
Not bad for about $200 or so!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NOMINATE a Phenomenal Woman WINNER!!!

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Anna Aisha Manns for being selected as our Phenomenal Woman Winner!

Her best friend, Beth, submitted her for the contest.  It was a tough decision but this entry received the most votes out of them all. Check out Beth's submission about this phenomenal woman!

Not many people can be truly beautiful inside and out, but my best friend, Dr. Anna Aisha Manns, is because of her amazing heart, strength, and her drive.
Her amazing heart: In May 2011 I traveled for work, because I have been taking care of my mother I asked Aisha to help watch my mom by giving meds, cooking, etc. On the day of my return my mom passed way, Aisha was the one that found her. My flight returning home was already in the air and by the time I landed she had the coroner come, had the death certificate signed, and a list of funeral homes ready with the recommendation of which one is best based on cost and customer service. She picked me up from the airport and broke the news to me, can you imagine how hard it was to tell your best friend of more than a decade something like that? Needless to say the days following when I couldn’t get out of bed, she crawled in with me.
Her strength: Her courage got me through the hardest time in my life, which reminded me that throughout everything, good or bad, she has always been there. She became my rock and I can never repay her for that.
Her drive: My BFF has lupus; I have seen her sick, pale, and even struggling. But she still pushed herself through college and became a Doctor, and I have watched her achieve certifications in which only few in the USA have!
She’s honorable, kind, amazing… a superwoman. And I’m glad to have her as a sister.

Friday, April 6, 2012

DC Trunk Show - May 5!!! Save the Date!

My DIY Backsplash

Ive been soooo busy lately, that I haven't had much time at all to do any projects at really. And I've truly been missing it. So two weekends ago while my hubby was out of town, I decided to tackle doing backsplash in our kitchen!

Ive been wanting to try it for quite awhile now but never had the motivation. Its definitely time consuming but the outcome is well worth it. I used less expensive tiles because my rule is to never spend too too much on a DIY project I'm trying for the first time. No need to lose unnecessary money if it doesn't come out well! But thank God, we LOVE the way it turned out!

All in all, it cost under $200 to do it.

I will have to scan the full before picture but here is a pic of one of the walls before the backsplash.

I got all my materials together...the backsplash tiles, thin set mortar, trowel, grout, rubber grout float, sponges, buckets, and gloves. 

A quick tip I learned is that you should never use pre-mixed grout.  Of course, I bought that first but luckily I researched it before opening so I took it back and got a bag of powdered grout that has to be mixed with water. Its an extra step but apparently it holds up better. Here is the bag of grout I got ... it was about $14 from Home Depot. 
 Next you pretty much follow the instructions on bag for mixing the grout... they don't really tell you how much water to mix kinda just have to figure it out. As long as you get the consistency of peanut butter you are good. The goal is to mix it up thick enough where it wont be runny.  Start off with a little bit of water and powder and add each as needed to get to desired consistency. Here is how my grout look as I started mixing it.

After I applied the adhesive/thin set mortar to the wall and affixed the tiles, you let it set for 24-48 hrs. Make sure you clean up any adhesive that is oozing through the tiles.   I let it sit for about 24 hours then applied grout. Here is how the grout looked when I applied it on the tiles. The key when applying grout is to make sure you get it in all the cracks.  

 After I applied grout, I let it sit for about 10-15 min, then wiped it down with a sponge and clean water. Make sure you wring out the sponge really well. After that, let it sit for awhile then take a soft cloth and go back over tiles to get the glaze off.  Here is how it looked after it was wiped down:

 Here is how it looked after!
Next project is a DIY kitchen island...will post ya on how it turns out! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Check me out on!

So I did an event in Philly at the Greek & Life Boutique and my picture ended up on Im not in love with my thought I'd share it! :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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