Cork Flooring Bedroom Project

cork flooring bedroom project

Each summer, I like to do a different home improvement project.  This summer was no different.  I decided to do a cork flooring bedroom project.  I decided to removed the carpet in the smallest room in our house.  It’s our daughter’s room.

Benefits of doing cork flooring in the bedroom (the reasons why we went with cork):

  • Softer on the feet than hardwood.
  • If you get the floating floor interlocking boards, you can easily install it.
  • Floating floor can easily be removed in the future if a new buyer wants carpeting.
  • Don’t have to worry too much if the wall is not straight.

Here is the before picture of the room.

before bedroom 2

As you can see, the carpet was getting shabby as it should be, since it was 20 years old.

My son and I cleared out the room and started removing the carpet.  Cut and rolled up the carpet in three feet strips and taped it together with duck tape worked great and was easy to carry.

before bedroom 3

Then, we moved on to cleaning the floor and inspecting it.  Was it level?  Where there areas of the baseboard we needed to repair?  Was the plywood loose?  Did it need more screws?

bellawood product

We used this underlayment from Lumber Liquidators. It is supposed to reduce noise.  You see, our daughter is a dancer, and she dances in her room.  With the carpet, it sounded like an earthquake was happening right above our heads in the kitchen. And, after we did this project, we asked her to dance around while we were cooking dinner and we heard very little. We are really pleased.

installation of underlayment

installed underlayment in the closet

This is what the underlayment looked like.  It was easy to use and we were able to go around door opens easily.

letting the boards acclimate to the room for 3 days

After we picked up the flooring, we had to wait three days for the wood to acclimate to the room.  This helps with reducing expansion of the wood.  At this point, we decided to paint the walls to a grey taupe color.  It looks really nice with the flooring.

after bedroom floor before quarterroundHere is a picture of the flooring before the quarter round was installed and painted.

Drum roll please!  Here is the file product.  After 2 weeks of work, we were able to finish the project.

after bedroom

desk wall after

Here is the video of the transformation.  I hope you enjoy it.

My daughter and I used removable stickers to make a headboard for her bed and to decorate her desk area for now.  Please share if you liked it. Leave a comment below on what you liked about the project.  Did you do something similar?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza

We recently went to a party and the host made chicken and we went home with leftovers.  I love creating new dishes from cooked leftovers.  It’s easy and it doesn’t take much time.  So, this is my version of Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza. Note: this is a recipe for 2 people.

Buffalo chicken flatbread pizza ingredients

2 flatbread (I used whole wheat flatbread)
1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
1/3 cup of plum tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of cooked smoked chicken thigh and leg (pulled apart and shredded)
1 cup of 1/2 mozzarella and 1/2 Mexican mix shredded cheese
1 tsp of parsley
1 tbsp of hot sauce
1/2 tsp of granulated garlic

Preheat 400 degree.

Mix the hot sauce and the smoked chicken thigh and leg shredded.

mix the chicken with the hot sauce

Then, start to assemble. First start with shredded cheese. Put half of the cheese on each flatbread. then add the onion, then add the tomatoes (half on each flatbread). Then sprinkle the garlic and parsley on top.

Put on a heated stone in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until melted like this.

That’s it. Doesn’t it look delicious?

buffalo chicken flatbread pizzas

Here is a recipe if you wish to print it out.

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza

How Many Served 2

Serving Size 1 flatbread

Ingredients

  • 2 flatbread (I used whole wheat flatbread)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup of plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cooked smoked chicken thigh and leg (pulled apart and shredded)
  • 1 cup of 1/2 mozzarella and 1/2 Mexican mix shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp of parsley
  • 1 tbsp of hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat 400 degree.
  2. Mix the hot sauce and the smoked chicken thigh and leg shredded.
  3. Then, start to assemble. First start with shredded cheese. Put half of the cheese on each flatbread. then add the onion, then add the tomatoes (half on each flatbread). Then sprinkle the garlic and parsley on top.
  4. Put on a heated stone in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until melted like this.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Change Your Mindset

Change your mindset

Did you ever wonder if you can change your mindset?  While doing research,  I found this book, Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. She talks about the difference between fixed and growth mindset.  Here is the difference between fixed and growth mindset.

Fixed mindsets can stop you from seeing the beauty of the process and seeing what you have accomplished.  Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. says, “In a fixed mindset, it is not enough just to succeed. It is not enough just to look smart and talented. You have to be pretty much flawless. And you have to be flawless right away… After all, if you have it you have it, and if you don’t you don’t…” from mindsetonline.com.

A growth mindset allows you to learn and change that mindset easier. The definition of a growth mindset from mindsetworks.com is “the understanding of intelligence and abilities as qualities we can develop, has been shown over and over to have powerful ramifications on student motivation and learning, and school success. ”  By the way, this site offers services to help students be more growth minded.

While pondering these definitions, I came up with some starter questions to help determine my mindset.  Feel free to use it to help you determine your mindset.

  • Where am I now in my perception of where I want to be? Am I fulfilled but not happy?
  • Am I looking at my future optimistically? Or do I foresee the same things happening over and over?
  • Am I making my decisions from past actions?  Do I feel I am not intelligent enough to make a change in my life?
  • Am I willing to clear those thoughts? Or do I think those thoughts are set in stone and can’t be changed?
  • If I could change those thoughts, what thoughts would I put in their place?

I hope these questions help you start determining how fixed you are with your mindset.  I know it helped me. I also found this test you can do too to even further help you.  Take this test to see.  My results were that I have a growth mindset.

Listening to your mindset and replacing those thoughts with growth mindset ones will help get you to where you want to be in your life.

If you took the test, what were the results? What did you learn about yourself after reading the questions above?  Please leave a comment below.

Note: I did not get commission for this post.  I just love to share great finds.  I hope you enjoyed it and it helped you be a better you. 

Sabrina Quairoli

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How Clutter Affects You Experiment

clutter affects you

If you ever wanted to see how much clutter affects you, do what I did recently.  Let me start from the beginning.

While my daughter was away at music camp, we embarked on a home improvement project to remove her old carpet and replace it to cork flooring so she would not be displaced for too long.  I also didn’t want to injury myself by rushing so we took our time throughout the process. Note: before she left, we went through her room and removed several bags of stuff she didn’t want or need anymore. She did a great job!

The first day, my son and I removed the furniture from this small 12′ X 10′ room.  You would think it wouldn’t take too long, well, it took us 3 hours.  You see, to maximize the space in her small room, we had one medium tall IKEA cabinet and 2 narrow tall cabinets, a bed, desk, and a bookshelf with doors.  Lucky for us, this was not my first rodeo.  I had my handy carpet gliders to help us. (Here is one from Amazon if you want them: Waxman 4704095N 9 1/2 inch by 5 3/4 inch Reusable Oval Super Sliders. 4 pieces. BeigeLove those things! We loaded every piece from her bedroom into our bedroom (a 14′ x 16′ size room).  The wall cabinets were standing up and we used every surface we had for her stuff.  Piles and piles of stuff left around the room for days on end.  You can just imagine how much stuff that was around us.

So, that night, I went to bed and had a horrible night’s sleep.  I tossed and turned.  I keep feeling that the tall IKEA cabinets were going to fall on me. Or the twin bed that was on its side would topple over and make a large sound in the middle of the night.

It took me about 7 days to get comfortable with the clutter in my room. I asked my husband how he did with this experiment, and he didn’t seem to mind.  My older chihuahua mix dog, Missey, was another story. She wouldn’t sleep in our room. For the first few nights, she would only stay in the basement and wouldn’t come up at all.  I think she was having issues seeing all the extra furniture at night. We were having this issue too. So, to help her and us, we left a nightlight on in the hallway.  It help with walking around, but I still couldn’t sleep with the night light.

This is our tenth day of sleeping in a room with clutter and I have to say,  I don’t like it one bit. Hopefully, only one more day of this and we can put the stuff back where it belongs.

In conclusion, clutter does affect us even if we can’t determine how.  Though if the clutter hangs around for more than a week, we start to feel comfortable with it being in the space.  The clutter becomes a fixture that unless we bring our attention to it again, we won’t take care of it.  Remember: We are creatures of habit.  My advice to you is to clear the clutter as quickly as you can so it doesn’t get ignored and forgotten and you need to remember it again to take care of it.

I hope this helped you to see that clutter does affect us.  Let’s continue the conversation. Did you ever experience a large amount of clutter in your bedroom?  Did it affect your sleep?  Your mood? How did you clear the clutter? Please leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Oyster Mushrooms Swiss Chard and Spaghetti

Spaghetti recipe

For my birthday, my sister-in-law and brother bought me this Mushroom mini farm.  This is the box I received.  “Cool!  I never made mushrooms before. So let’s give it a try. ” I thought to myself. I went home and the very next day, I started.  I had to cut a cross in the plastic bag and soak the mushrooms packet upside down for 8 hours.  I ended up soaking it for 10 hours, oops. Then each day for 10 days I needed to add a teaspoon of water into the opening area and then I waited.  And, waited.

mushroom mini farm

It takes 10 days to get your mushrooms. 

Here is the 7 day image:

day7 oyster mushrooms

Here is the 10 day image:

day10 oyster mushrooms

Wow, it really grew.  It grew so large in three days.  If you do make these, be sure to cook them right away on the 10th day.  They seem to go downhill fast after they matures. If you want to buy this mushroom’s farm, I added a link to Amazon: Organic Mushroom Mini Farm (USDA Certified Organic Oyster Mushrooms) It’s a great gift for the gardener in your life.

I harvested my Swiss chard and my grape tomatoes from my garden and thought it would be great with these oyster mushrooms. Here is how I made my Oyster Mushrooms, Swiss Chard with Spaghetti recipe.  I hope you try it and share the recipe with others. 

Ingredients:

1 package Spaghetti – I used gluten-free
1 cup Grape or cherry tomatoes halved
2 cups Swiss Chard remove vain and slice into strips
1.5 cups of Oyster mushrooms cut in half any larger pieces
1 cup Onion (yellow) – chopped
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp dairy free butter spread or butter
1 tsp of aged Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese for topping

Instructions:

First add olive oil and butter or butter spread, and garlic into a warm skillet for 3 minutes.
Then add onions and red pepper flakes to skill, cook until onions are cooked about 3 minutes.
Start water for spaghetti.
Add the oyster mushroom and cook about 4 minutes or until cooked.

add mushrooms to skillet

after cooked mushrooms

Don’t they look delicious!

Add tomatoes and cook about 3 minutes or until cooked.

add tomatoes and cook
Add Swiss Chard to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste.

add swiss chard to skillet
Drain the Spaghetti and add to skillet and toss. Then add a drizzle of aged Balsamic Vinegar and toss again. If it is a little dry, add more olive or and or butter.
Add Parmesan cheese if you wish.

I hope you try it, please let me know how it was.  I and the visitors would love to hear about your experience. 

Also, I added a printable if you wish to print the recipe for later.  

Oyster Mushrooms, Swiss Chard and Spaghetti

Total Time 25 minutes

How Many Served 6-8

Serving Size 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 package Spaghetti - I used gluten-free
  • 1 cup Grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups Swiss Chard -removed vain and slice into strips
  • 1.5 cups of Oyster mushrooms- cut in half any larger pieces
  • 1 cup Onion (yellow) - chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic - minced
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp dairy free butter spread or butter
  • 1 tsp of aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. First add olive oil and butter or butter spread, and garlic into a warm skillet for 3 minutes.
  2. Then add onions and red pepper flakes to skill, cook until onions are cooked about 3 minutes.
  3. Start water for spaghetti.
  4. Add the oyster mushroom and cook about 4 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook about 3 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Add Swiss Chard to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Drain the Spaghetti and add to skillet and toss. Then add a drizzle of aged Balsamic Vinegar and toss again. If it is a little dry, add more olive or and or butter.
  8. Add Parmesan cheese if you wish.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Going Digital with Recipes

going digital with recipes

I remember handwriting my first recipe while watching my mom cook one of her easy and delicious meals one evening before going back to college for my senior year. Handwritten recipes, recipes torn from magazines, and recipes from friends and family, all recipes stored in three 3-inch binders that took up lots of space.  Over the last 20 years, I collected many recipes.

Recently, I decided that having these binders of recipes were OK but were taking up too much room.  SO, I started scanning and eliminating the paper copies and making them digital.  Note: They are only for personal use and I do not share any recipe I found.

This is how I went digital with recipes:

First I used an app called “TinyScan Pro” (it costs $4.99 on iTunes) and took a picture of it. I adjusted the image so I only saw the text.  This app turns the image into a PDF.

Then, I renamed the file to describe the recipe.  If the title was not descriptive, I modified the title so I could search it easier. For example, I would use the title: broccoli-cheese-chicken.pdf.

I uploaded them to my online backup account, like Dropbox.  And, then I downloaded them to my server at home.  So, I have two places for the files.

With my online account and my server, I am able to search any recipe.  For example, if I type in “Salad”, all the salad recipes appeared.

sorting salad

I hope this shows you going digital with recipes is not a difficult process.  It will take some time if you have lots of recipes. But, it is so worth it when you can just pull up your recipes digitally instead of looking through countless binders.

There are also many online recipe accounts you can join to create a digital collection of recipes.  Here are some I found:

Pinterest.com
Foodie.com
WholeFoods.com

Not all of these sites will allow you to upload the .pdf recipes though.

Note: I do not sell or share these recipes. They are only for personal use.  I do not receive referral commission for TinyScan Pro to do this post though I would love too.  =)

Sabrina Quairoli

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Organizing A Boys Room Tips

organizing a boys room tips

Over the years, I have written a lot about organizing kids rooms.  Recently, I worked with a client and we were organizing a boy’s room.  So, I figured I would write a post about how we organized it. Remember, this is an organizing session that only took us two hours.

Here are the before photos:


Before kids room 2

before kids room

As you can see, the toy area was a mess.   He had a birthday party and the kids pulled out EVERYTHING.  The boy was so overwhelmed that he didn’t know where to start. So, we started from one side of the room and worked our way around to the other side.  It keep us focused doing it this way.

Here are the after pictures:

after kids room 2

after bedroom

Wow!  Right?  Clear floors!  Woo hoo! We were so amazed at how much we got done in just two hours.  We got rid of 5 bags filled with trash and items to donate. This boy is typical of lots of other boy’s. They have lots of toys but no way near as much as girls so the project didn’t take long to do. The dresser is where he placed his clothing. And the closet was were he had dresser clothing and shoes. It was quite simple and easy for him to remember. That’s the way should be.

After investigating, the space, I realized that the closet wasn’t being used at all.  So, we organized the items into cubby bins like this one. Click on the image and buy from Amazon.

We sorted the Legos into two of these bins but didn’t sort by color since her son didn’t care about that now. Though I told her that the organization for the Legos may change when he gets older.  We placed the games and “rainy day projects”  in bins on the shelf in the closet so her younger son wouldn’t get to them. There was a stuffed animal bin too.

We then labeled all the bins. And, that was it. Two productive hours. I hope this gave you inspiration to organize your son’s room.

Since I wrote many posts about kid room organization, I decided to add the posts here.  Feel free to click-through to the posts that apply to your situation. 

Organizing LEGO Pieces
Creating Zones in an Organized Child Playroom
Kids Craft Room Organization
Organize Your Kids Playroom Tips
10 Toy Organizer Ideas
Explaining Needing and Wanting to Kids
5 Games to Help Kids Understand How to Organize
Organized My Kids Closets
Six Steps to Organize Kids Closets
Organized Kids in Training

Feel free and share this post with others. Let’s continue the conversation. What is your favorite boys room organization tip? Please leave a comment below.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches

The other day the kids and I wanted to make ice cream sandwiches. But, we didn’t want to spend a lot of time making cookies from scratch so we made it this way.  Here is how we made it.

Ingredients

12 3 inch sugar cookies (We used store-bought cookies.)
Party Cake Ice Cream (We used Turkey Hill Premium Ice Cream.)
Rainbow Sprinkles

Tools to Use

Larger ice cream scooper
Plate to hold sprinkles
Cookie Sheet
Wax Paper

I was watching The Food Network: The Kitchen recently, and by chance they were talking about ice cream statistics.  Here are some statistics about ice cream you can share:

  • What percentage of American have ice cream in their freezer at any given time ? 87 percent
  • How many pints of ice cream do Americans eat in a year? 48 pints

Instructions

Add wax paper to cookie sheet. Make room in the freezer to hold the cookie sheet.
Add sprinkles to the plate.
Leave the ice cream out for about 5 minutes.
Take the cookie and turn it over.
Add 1 scoop of ice cream on the back of the cookie.

ice cream scoop
Then add another face up cookie on top. Lay on a flat surface and press gently so not to break the cookie.

ice cream sandwiches
The roll the sides of the ice cream on the plate with sprinkles so it sticks to the ice cream.
Then place it on the wax paper.
Continue to make the next 5 cookies in the same way.

ice cream sandwiches
Place in the freezer till firm.  One to two hours.

ice cream sandwiches

Here is the recipe to print.

Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time 15 minutes

Total Time 2 hours, 15 minutes

How Many Served 6

Serving Size 1 cookie size

Ingredients

  • 12 3 inch sugar cookies (We used store bought cookies.)
  • Party Cake Ice Cream (We used Turkey Hill Premium Ice Cream.)
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Larger ice cream scooper
  • Plate to hold sprinkles
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Wax Paper

Instructions

  1. Add wax paper to cookie sheet. Make room in the freezer to hold the cookie sheet.
  2. Add sprinkles to the plate.
  3. Leave the ice cream out for about 5 minutes.
  4. Take the cookie and turn it over.
  5. Add 1 scoop of ice cream on the back of the cookie.
  6. Then add another face up cookie on top. Lay on a flat surface and press gently so not to break the cookie.
  7. The roll the sides of the ice cream on the plate with sprinkles so it sticks to the ice cream.
  8. Then place it on the wax paper.
  9. Continue to make the next 5 cookies in the same way.
  10. Place in the freezer till firm. One to two hours.

Sabrina Quairoli

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The Art of Making Choices

art of making choices

Making choices have been on my mind lately. We are making choices day in and day out from what to wear (the easier decisions) to what direction should we take our career (the more difficult questions that aren’t as easy to answer). Some choices we wish others would make for us. Some choices we wish to make ourselves.

While watching TED Talk, I came across these three wonderful videos that really hit home on the art of making choices. There is so much great stuff that it is better to listen to them yourself to really get the information first hand.

Note: These videos are not short. They range from 10 to 20 minutes long. You can listen to some or all the videos or view them on YouTube and save them for later or come back when you have time to watch them.

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar

This talk is so empowering. Sheena talks about how we make choices and how we feel about the choices we make. She talks about unimportant choices and more life altering choices and she shares her research about choosing and how different countries have different viewpoints on choosing.

 

How To Make Hard Choices by Ruth Chang

The big choices in your life are harder to make than those every day decisions. This video discusses how we make these decisions and how the decisions influence our lives.

 

Sometimes It’s Good To Give Up The Driver’s Seat by Baba Shiv

This talk was about how sometimes decisions made for you help you get through trauma. Is it better to have decisions done for you or is it better for you to make all the decisions?  It’s a great question to ponder. Watch the video and see for yourself.

I hope these videos helped you have a clearer picture of the art of making choices.  I really loved them and I hope you did too.  Let’s continue the conversation.  What resonated with you when you watch these videos?  Leave a comment below.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

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Best Times To Clear Clutter

best times to clear clutter

Recently, we decided to replace our daughter’s carpet with cork flooring while she was away at orchestra camp. To prepare for this renovation, her and I began clearing the unwanted clutter in her room. Usually, it would be a torturous event where she would argue with me that she wanted to keep it all and I would explain with no success that not every item can be kept and she would need room for the new items she would need for this coming school year. But this time was different. She was willing to get rid of a lot of stuff. We even went through her markers and checked every single one to make sure they worked.  We went through cabinet after cabinet and drawer after drawer and recycled scraps of paper, old drawings, small figurines, and many stuffed animals. I was so proud of her. We got rid of 2 full bags of trash, 1 large bag of recycled paper.  She even wanted to sell her American Girl doll and clothes.  I was having a hard time letting go of that one.  Here is a photo of the trash and recycling paper.

trash and recycling

She also donated 2 bags of small toys to Goodwill.

Reflecting on the project later that evening, I came to the conclusion that there are times in life we are more willing to get rid of items. Here is a list of the best times to clear clutter.  These times helped not only me, but my family and clients as well, let go of items quickly and easily. Let me know what you think.

  • Before a child is born
  • Before children start a new school.
  • Before kindergarten
  • Before middle school
  • Before high school
  • Before college
  • Before getting married
  • Before moving into a new home
  • Before retiring
  • Before or after a remodel
  • After a death in the family

When we are more excited about a change or have a clearer goal in my for a space, it is easier to get rid of items we don’t want or will not be using in the new space. There is little or no anxiety or stress doing so. It’s all about the going through the items, making decisions, and getting it done.

Do you agree? Are there other life changing events that I missed? When do you like to organize your home? What stops you from getting organized? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Sabrina Quairoli

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