s April 2012 - The Kim Six Fix
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UFO Party! What did you finish? LINK UP NOW!

It is that time!! Time to link up to the UFO Party!

So what did you finish up this week? Did we light a fire under you to finally finish that UFO that has been hanging over your head?
I did!   Here is a little preview of my project:
I'll be linking up the entire reveal so be sure to look for it!
Now it is your turn to share your project.
A quick reminder of the rules for the party.. 
1. It should be a project that you finally got around to finishing (a UFO).   It doesn't have a to be a DIY project, but can be anything you wanted to FINISH!   
2. The party runs between May 1st and May 7th.  
3. Include the button anywhere on your blog (party page, side bar.. wherever!)
4. Have fun and celebrate the fact you finished it!
This will be a shared party (meaning if you link up on any of the sites, your link will show up on ALL FIVE parties!)  

Your hostesses for this challenge are: 
Me from themoney-pit 
Lisha from onehouseonecouple
Micki from addhousewife
JoAnne from doublewideinthesky 
Shelby from thebeansproutnotes

Southern Style Smothered Pork Chops (Baked)

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Since porkchops were on sale this week I decided to track down a new recipe I hadn't tried before and give it a try.  I knew I wanted to bake them, but I didn't want dry tough pork.

I decided to modify a recipe I found online.  It came out GREAT!  The pork was moist and the gravy was wonderful. I served it over whipped potatoes and with a side of steamed broccoli.  The kids loved it. 

So without further ado, here is the recipe:
Southern Style Smothered Baked Porkchops
6 boneless pork chops (I used sirloin chops)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or plain plus 1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning mix (I used GrillMates Garlic & Herb)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup white wine
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and assemble your ingredients:

Assemble your "coating" station.  Place the beaten eggs, flour and breadcrumbs in shallow dishes. Rinse porkchops and pat dry.
Season chops with garlic powder, salt, pepper and seasoning to taste, then dip in beaten eggs:
Dredge lightly in flour (remove excess):
And coat in breadcrumbs:
Melt butter and heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add chops:
 Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned (pork will not be cooked through). 
Transfer the chops to an oiled baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. 
When they come out of the over there will be a lot of juices in the bottom of the pan. Pour over gravy mixture**, replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.
I served the chops over potatoes and spooned over the extra gravy.   There is a lot of gravy for the number of porkchops, so it was nice to have a side dish which complimented it. 
**You may want to set aside some of the gravy and heat it separately to avoid the fat rendered out of the chops in the baking pan. 

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Linking up to CatchAsCatchCan, Debbiedoo's Newbie Party and here too!

Adding Privacy to the Master Bedroom: The Before

I couldn't host the UFO challenge and not be willing to join the fun! 
(If you are procrastinating on a project you are THIS.CLOSE to finishing check out the challenge and find the motivation to finish!)

 My unfinished DIY project is going to be installing a door (aka "endower of mommy privacy") between my master bedroom and my sewing room.
When we bought the house our master bedroom didn't actually have a door.  Well, if you consider the sewing room as an extension of bedroom, then I suppose technically you could lock someone out, but it was far from a private oasis.

These are the only photos I have of the master bedroom doorway from move in day. This is looking out from the bedroom and into the sewing room:

You can see that the other side of the "walk through" sewing room does acutally have a door, but it only blocks the noise from the stairwell and other bedrooms.
There is a 'window' in the wall that is open to the downstairs. The master bedroom doorway is on the far right:
So, even with the doors to the sewing room closed this is what you actually end up with:
 Earlier this year, I worked hard on updating the sewing room and installed the large expedit shelving unit for my fabric storage:
The room is much more usable now, but I knew adding a double door to that non-standard opening was a job best left to the pros.  (Especially considering the install charge was a mere $300.)

However, I am still considering it a DIY project, because I am only having the pre-hung doors themselves installed.  I need to trim them out, paint them and install the hardware.  

Can I get it done in time for the party?  Come back and find out! 

Linking up to these awesome parties! 

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Announcing the UFO DIY Challenge!

Why does it seem that the last 10% of any DIY project is the hardest part to finish?   You know how you are all fired up about something when you first start, but by the time you are almost finished, you are so sick and tired of looking at it (cough, cough: garage) that you run out of steam and give up.
Well, today I am throwing down the gauntlet! I am challenging you to get off your butt and finish up that never-ending project so you can brag about it at our UFO DIY CHALLENGE PARTY! 
Oh yeah, that is right.  I (along with four other fine ladies) are challenging you to complete an unfinished DIY project and share it on all five of our blogs.

Your hostesses for this challenge are: 
Moi from themoney-pit 
Lisha from onehouseonecouple
Micki from addhousewife
JoAnne from doublewideinthesky 
Shelby from thebeansproutnotes
They are all super awesome DIY bloggers and if you have never checked them out, you should definitely stop by. 

There are a few rules for the party.. 
1. It should be a project that you have started already but just haven't finished yet.  
2. Your goal is to finish the project in time to link up between May 1st and May 7th.  
3. Include the button anywhere on your blog (party page, side bar.. wherever!)
4. Have fun and celebrate the fact you finished something!

This will be a shared party (meaning if you link up on any of the sites, your link will show up on ALL FIVE parties!)  
Often it just takes a little motivation to finish off that project that has been hanging over your head.  Consider this your motivation!  
Lisa, Micki, JoAnn, Shelby and I will also feature our own UFOs and will be challenged with completing them in time for the party.  If we can do it, you can do it!

image source
We look forward to seeing your projects!

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Updating Cabinets with Door Hardware

The MoneyPit 2.0 was built in 1992 and this is what the kitchen originally looked like:
Awesome fluorescent light, white tile countertops and creamy appliances.. not to mention oak for as far as the eye can see.  Totally Radical!  

The previous owner went ahead and replaced the white tile and fridge and so when we saw it for the first time on the MLS it looked like this :
Better but not exactly up to date.

On the day we moved it, this is what we saw:
The first thing I did was update the appliances and rip out the lighting.   You can read about that here.  What we ended up with was:
We are slowly getting there.  I still need to upgrade the trash compactor and do something.. anything.. with those awful oak cabinets.

I knew that HARDWARE was the answer.  I decided to mix and match lowers and uppers because the top cabinets were huge (36 inch) cabinets while the bottom ones were standard height. 
I settled on cup pulls and knobs for the lowers, and regular handles for the uppers.

Choosing where to install the cup pulls was easy (dead center of the drawers) and the knobs were easy too, but determining where I wanted to put the upper pulls was tougher.  Nothign a little double sided tape can't remedy:
I had to decide between hanging them higher on the vertical trim or lower, in line with the horizontal trim.  I settled on the former.
I tried to use a store bought door hardware template, but it wasn't big enough to accommodate the handles I choose for the uppers so I had to add a piece of cardboard with additional holes on it. 
I also had the problem that the screws provided with the hardware weren't long enough to go through the thick cabinet doors, so I had two options.  1) Buy longer screws or 2) countersink the screw heads.
I decided to countersink them.  I didn't have a countersink drill bit, so I drilled a shallow hole slightly wider than the screw head with a large bit and then went back and drilled a second smaller hole all the way through the door.
Here is the result:
 It definitely makes the cabinets look better.  It still isn't perfect, and I have a large scale painting/staining project in my future, but for now I at least feel like I have left 1992. 
And when you consider THIS transformation, I would say we are well on our way:

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Linking up here!

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

I am definitely the primary DIY'r in the family.  My hubs would rather call someone than try to fix anything himself.  And that is fine.   But there are two other people in the house that also love to get their hands dirty:

My little helpers! 
If you have kids and you haven't heard of Home Depot's Kids Workshops you should definitely check it out.  It is the first weekend of every month, and it is completely FREE.  Each month the kids get a little kit to make something usually using a hammer, nails and glue.  They also give the kids their own kid-sized apron, a pin for every project and a coloring sheet and certificate of completion.  

At Christmas time the girls made these snowmen napkin holders:
Based on the paint job, you can probably tell which one was made by the 5 year old and which one is the handywork of a 2 year old. 

My kids ADORE IT!  Lowe's also has a similar program, but they require reservations and we have never been able to register without it being full.  Home Depot's program is "first come first served" until the kits run out. 
 This month's project was window bird feeders that the girls are proudly displaying:
It is a great mommy-daughter bonding time every month, and I love watching the girls gain confidence with their abilities to build stuff with their own two hands.  I have already seen their ability to hold and hammer a nail and properly use a screwdriver improve.

I am thrilled with anything that makes it easier to inspire the next generation of do-it-HERselfers!

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Adding House Numbers to a Steel Door

I decided I needed to take a break from my giant, headache-inducing, all consuming, often satisfying, sometimes delightful, yet never ending garage makeover in order to tackle a small project that has been on the back burner for a while now:  Installing address numbers on my front door.

We do have numbers both on the mailbox as well as on the front side of the house, but our front door is located on the side of the house (Can it really be called a front door then?) It does get confusing, on more than one occasion visitors were relieved when the right person answered the door since they were not positive they were at the right place. 
I settled on the silver reflective plastic numbers since 1) they were cheap (99 cents each) and 2) they were grey, which matches the paint and stone around the front door.  I could have painted numbers on the front door, but that would have required HOA approval.  Because I only nailed these up they are not considered "permanent" and I could forge ahead without a whole lot of nonsensical paperwork.

To get started, I taped the numbers up exactly where I wanted them to go.  Since I have a love for wreaths (for all seasons) I decided to keep them low so they would remain visible if anything was hung on the door.
If this had been a wooden door, at this point I could have just nailed them up and called it a day, but instead I have a steel exterior door which required a few more steps.  The first thing I did was use a nail and hammer to gently tap marks into the door where the nails were supposed to go:
I then took the numbers down and was left with four indentations indicating the proper nail placement 
 BRING ON THE POWER TOOLS!  I used my smallest drill bit to puncture the steel coating of the door.  (Don't drill too far, since you do actually want to drive the nail in, you just are making a hole in the steel.)
Hold up the numbers and drive the nails into the door:
Beautiful!  And now no more confusion! 
Without a doubt you know you have found THE MONEY PIT!
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Linking to all these great parties! 
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