Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Birdhouse: DIY Stained Concrete Floor

We purchased a home earlier this year. And we have three children. This means we will be broke untillllllllll...forever. So when we want to do projects around the house, we have to find an economical way to do them.

The main bathroom and the laundry room had old linoleum on the floors. It was not attractive, and it was lifting in some areas due to water damage. The master bathroom had CARPET in it. WHO DOES THAT? Carpet in a bathroom should seriously be illegal.

The toilet in the master bathroom leaked the week before Easter Sunday. We talked about ripping up the carpet at the time of the leak, but didn't really have a flooring solution. We waited until Easter Sunday morning. 7:30 a.m. on Easter morning is a good time to do home improvements. Right?

We did not feel capable of installing new flooring, and we cannot afford to pay someone else to install new flooring. So I did some googling (duh), and found this. What a great set of instructions! Here are the steps we took, which are somewhat modified.

Just like a recipe, PLEASE read the instructions from beginning to end, and gather all of your ingredients BEFORE you begin this process. I don't do that with my cooking. Or with this. But I think YOU should.

Various tools for floor removal (screwdriver, exact-o-knife, hammer, sander, mask, etc.)
Broom, mop, vacuum
Painter's tape
Several paint brushes and/or paint rollers of various sizes
Paint trays
Gloves (so you don't get stain on your hands)
Leftover paint, or purchase some paint. This would be a great time to buy reduced priced remnants, returns, or samples from the home improvement store.
Semi-transparent concrete stain (see note in Step Seven regarding color)
Pet hair (trust me)
Concrete sealant


Step One:
Remove all furniture from the room. Rip out carpet (or linoleum).

Step Two:
There was a second set of linoleum beneath, so we had to rip that out as well. There was glue stuck to the concrete. We chiseled it, and my husband used a sander (please wear a mask if you do this) to get down to the actual concrete slab.

In the carpeted bathroom, we had to remove the tack strips. You may need a crowbar for this.

Step Three:
Repair floors. We enjoy the industrial look of the concrete. We didn't care about little chips and cracks. So we left it the way it was.

Step Four:
Clean floors. We swept and mopped the floors.

Step Five:
Tape baseboards and around the toilet. The stain still splattered EV-ER-Y-WHERE.

Step Six:
Paint floors. We used leftover exterior paint. It was a tan-ish color. You could use gray, white, anything really! This gives the floor a uniform base color.

Step Seven:
Apply semi-transparent stain. We used a small roller brush. The blog I referred to earlier has a different method. Try a small area to make sure you like the application.

Here is a note to make when purchasing your stain. You mix it, like you would to get a paint color. I did not know this. We bought the semi-transparent stain and took it home. We opened the can and it was a murky opaque color. I thought, maybe it changes color when you put it on the concrete. We applied it to the concrete. We watched. And watched. It did not change color. We went back to the store and asked an employee. They informed us that a color must be chosen to mix with the stain.

We went back home and got the stain. I also grabbed some dog hair. Stay with me on this. At the store, we were presented with color options. I threw the dog hair on the samples, and chose the sample that hid the dog hair the best. Laziness at its finest, people.

Now that our stain color was mixed, we can actually complete Step Seven.

This is two coats. One coat would have been enough. But do you see that seam down the middle of the floor? It was much more prominent with just one coat. We were trying to cover that up with a second coat. It doesn't bother me, I like the imperfections that come along with this concrete staining process. If you don't, beware that the stain dries quickly, so uniformity may not occur.

Step Eight:
Apply sealer. Roll it on the floor just like you did the paint.

You will have to figure out drying times based on your climate, the current weather conditions, and dry times noted on the products you are using.

You are done! Put your furniture/appliances back and enjoy your beautiful new floor!!!

As you can see, this room quickly went back to use. Ah, well, I will pick it up tonight during my Daily Zone time!

The first time we did this project was in the master bathroom. The entire process took 4-5 days from start to finish. This was not a large area to complete, but we were inexperienced. We also allowed generous time for drying. We were unable to use that bathroom for the whole week. Keep this in mind before beginning your project.

The main bathroom went much faster, 2-3 days. And for the laundry room, I left for work Monday morning and the project wasn't started yet. When I came home from work on Tuesday, the project was totally complete, dry, washer and dryer working, etc. This can be a very fast, easy, and cost effective project once you get the hang of it.

This project cost less than $100 total for all three rooms. That's a steal! Eventually, I want to do the kitchen and entry way. But not being able to use my kitchen for two days is definitely not an option right now.

As a final note, I used a lot of "we" throughout this post. Really, my husband did 99% of the work. I did things like stand nearby and watch. Emotional support is important, too.

Have you ever stained concrete? Share your work!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

About Me

I am a native Northern California girl, and I work outside of the house full time for the largest property management company in the world (*insert evil laugh here*).  I am addicted to coffee (gold member at Starbucks #arrived), Google, and organizing.  My dream job is to be an organizational psychologist (it’s a thing).  My hobbies include judging people on Facebook, checking my iPhone every 45 seconds, and wearing black.

I would list all of my favorite TV shows, but then you might think I don’t do anything else, so let’s just say my favorite channels are HGTV, Food Network, BRAVO, and prime time weeknight channels like NBC/ABC (think Parenthood, Chicago PD, Survivor, etc.).  You can assume I watch nearly every single show on said channels.  I would like to thank the inventor of DVR, and insomnia, for making this possible.

What I hope to offer you is inspiration, motivation, and a thirst for learning.  I’m here to share how I try to improve my home, my family, and myself.  I try to balance my happiness with biting sarcasm so you don’t hate me for being so cheerful.

Freshly Brewed

How was your weekend? Mine was beautiful. It rained on Saturday. I love the rain. It smells so good.

In the middle of the heaviest downpour, my husband and I thought it would be best to take our three children to the grocery store. It was perfect timing for the nap schedule. The nap schedule always wins, and doesn't give one hoot about the weather. We came home and dried off and then made s'mores by the fireplace.

Then Sunday was bright and sunny, but still cool. A perfect first day of Fall. I don't need a calendar to tell me it's fall. I know because, all of the sudden, I have these uncontrollable urges to purchase leaf shaped stickers and put pumpkin in everything.

Googles from the weekend:

"marble jar allowance system" (trying to motivate my ten year old to do chores)
"is Jennifer Aniston pregnant" (no)
"gluten free peanut butter cookies"
"dream interpretation"

What did you research this weekend?

I also did some party planning this weekend. This is one of my favorite things to do because it involves organizing and parties. Coming up with creative party ideas is my idea of a good time.

I love coffee, and my daughter has my coffee loving gene. I only give her small sips here and there. I'm not filling her up with espresso and then letting her fly around the house with a dewebber attached to her backside. Although, that gives me a really great idea for Shark Tank. *makes a note*

She is about to turn three. I figure this is probably the last year she will not care what kind of party she has. From here on out, I expect it to be princesses, Minnie, and pink tea parties. Which is absolutely fine with me. And I will design the heck out of those themes. But for now, I want to do something unique. Her first birthday party theme was pink golf. Her daddy is a golf lover, and I wanted to do something for him for his first baby girl's first birthday. For her second birthday, she was really into trains, so I did a vintage train theme with a feminine twist. And now, coffee.

I don't try to reinvent the wheel with party planning. If you Google "party planning checklist", you will get a bunch of results that all basically say the same thing. I should probably create a checklist and save it. Maybe for the Family Planner I have in the works. But for now, I Google. Because it feels so good.

I keep tons of lists going in various places. My organizing style is a hybrid between physically writing things down, and having electronic organization. For party planning, I do it electronically. I use Evernote and keep a list of things to do. When they have been completed, I delete them.

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, since I have less than three weeks until party day! Writing it down makes it seems doable. One step at a time. Today, I will focus on: decorations, games, crafts, and favors. Manageable!

Also going on this week are some home improvements. We have awful, old linoleum in our bathrooms and laundry room. We (meaning my husband) are ripping it out and staining the concrete. Photos to follow!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Did everyone receive the October 2013 Master Calendar? I have been having some e-mail issues. I was hacked! The issue has been resolved for now. Please comment on this post if you did not receive your free printable, and I will make sure you receive it.

And I think you should receive something for the inconvenience. Right?!? So I will be providing a November 2013 Master Calendar printable to everyone. AND I think a fun Notes printable! Keep your eyes peeled for the release of those in the next couple of weeks.

Googles for today...

"when was the constitution formed" (my son Googled that because they had Constitution Day at school)
"rupert survivor" (Survivor starts tonight!)
"grow food not lawns" (showing my husband the philosophy that our neighbors have adopted)
"itti kids" (suuuuuuuuuuper cute pajamas...WANT!)
" for couples" (this needs to be invented for couples who want to meet other couples in their area with like interests, don't you think?)

What did you research today?

Let's talk about WHY we organize. I like things in order, specifically, at a 90 degree angle whenever possible. I actually enjoy organizing and creating systems that make life more efficient. For me, organization is a good thing because it makes me feel good.

Organization is human nature. We organize people; men, women, adults, babies, teenagers, friends, family. We organize parts of our day; home, work, school, sleep, meals. We organize things; colors, shapes, sizes, textures. We are creatures of habit and organization assists in forming those habits.

^Skittles. Organized.

There is even organized chaos. Do you know those people who have a really messy office or bedroom, but yet they know the exact location of the item you have requested? Their brains have mapped out their space even in what one might view as chaos.

The purpose of organization at my house, other than enjoyment for myself, is for efficiency and support for my family.

My son is beginning his tween years and has hormones going crazy in his body. He is starting to care about his hair and his clothes. He is learning how to deal with friends when they aren't being good friends. He is learning how to be a good friend himself. He is receiving an enormous amount of knowledge every day in class, as well as exerting himself physically during his after school activities. He needs to be focusing on his education and developing character. Having some order/rules/chores/organization provides support for him. He knows he will find his coat on the hook in the laundry room. He knows he will find his cereal bowl in a certain cupboard. When he prepares his lunch the night before a school day, he goes to bed with a sense of calm (along with his other bedtime routines), and awakens with a sense of accomplishment. He has the proper amount of time to get ready for his day and leaves the house peacefully, instead of scrambling around and possibly forgetting something important.

My husband and I both work outside of the home. When we get home from work, we have three children to feed and bathe. Except for the ten year old. He sort of bathes on his own. Except for behind the ears. Why always behind the ears?!? Anyway, if we get home and the house is a disaster, we do not feel calm. I find it difficult to enjoy my children when I am constantly thinking about what needs to be cleaned up. Keeping an organized house allows me to sit down and focus on my kids. Except when they are being whiny. In which case, I have three kids to give away for free. Any takers? ANYBODY?!?

I also enjoy spending time with that guy I married. If I spend all of my energy searching for lost items or trying to figure out where an item would go if it did not have a designated spot, then I have no energy left at the end of the day to sit on the couch next to him and stare at our respective phone screens all evening. I'm kidding! We watch DVR and drink heavily...WATER! Right now we love to watch Cutthroat Kitchen.

These are the reasons I find organization to be useful and essential in my life. I am also a helper by nature. Do you struggle with organization? I would love to help you. Start a conversation with me on Etsy, and let's see what we can do for you.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Zones

Happy Saturday! I have been Googling today. Here is a peek into my Googles for the day:

"zone five garden calendar"
"family of five vacation packing checklist" (<---wish this one was for me!)
"a bowl full of lemons" (love this blog!)
"einstein quotes"
"passover kitchen"
"how to clean a dog's ears"

What did you research today?

Do you ever look at your entire house, decide everything is completely out of control and disorganized, feel panicked and overwhelmed, give up, and wish you could hide under the covers and never leave?!? I do! But I have something that helps me get past that.

The Daily Zone, which is listed on my October 2013 printable (you can find it here) helps me, and hopefully it will help you, too.

Each zone is one area or room in your house. Mine are as follows:

Front yard
Guest bedroom
Living room
Master bedroom
Master bathroom
Bedrooms (two)
Laundry room
Back yard

Write down all of the rooms in your house. These are your zones. Divide them between the 7 days...I'll wait while you get a calculator...are you back? My calculations show I need to attempt to address 1-2 zones per day.

The next step is to look at your schedule. Write down everything you do on a regular basis each week. Don't include things that may be on your calendar at this moment that are not recurring, weekly events, such as a dentist appointment. Unless you do go to the dentist every week, in which case, bummer dude.

Sunday - free
Monday - work, karate
Tuesday - work, karate
Wednesday - work, youth group
Thursday - work, karate
Friday - work
Saturday - am karate

Can you tell we do karate at our house?

The laundry room is small, and the guest bedroom doesn't get used very often. I will couple those zones together, and put them on my calendar on a day that my schedule is very busy, since I won't have as much time on those days. I work outside of the home, and usually have more time at home to do things around the house on the weekends. So I will couple two large zones for the weekend. My Daily Zone schedule looks like this:

Sunday - Master bathroom
Monday - Entryway, laundry room
Tuesday - Kitchen, living room
Wednesday - Playroom, guest bedroom
Thursday - Master bedroom
Friday - Bedrooms, bathroom
Saturday - Backyard, garage

Each day, I dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes to the zone listed on the calendar. Here is what I do during that time:

Dust baseboards and window sills
Dust furniture
Clean floors
Empty trash
Declutter cabinets, drawers
Put away stray items

Set a timer (your phone, microwave, egg timer, have your 10 year old count out 900 seconds). Turn off the TV, crank up the music, or enjoy the silence. Don't do anything for the next 15 minutes but focus on your zones. When you are done, stand back and admire your work!

Taking on an entire house all at once when you only have 30 minutes (or less) to spare is truly impossible. Attacking one or two rooms each day is much more manageable. Put the Xanax back in the medicine cabinet and try this. Let me know how it works for you. Ready? Set? GO!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

15 Minute Sneak

We love football at our house! I hate missing the game, so I pick up and organize during halftime. Between that and getting snacks/meals for the kids, I have about fifteen minutes to get stuff done. Today, I attacked under the bathroom sinks and the top of our dresser. I also cleaned and organized the kitchen junk drawer, but I'm so ninja fast, I didn't get to take pictures of the before! Check out the before and after photos below.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Grab a trash can.
2. Empty everything from the cupboard/drawer/top of dresser.
3. As you go, throw away garbage and things that are broken.
4. Make a separate pile for things that do not belong in this location.
5. Clean the emptied vessel.
6. Put the items that belong back in a neat and tidy order. Place items you use often in front for easy access. Store "like items" together.

I have random storage containers from various purchases over the years that I make work. It is not the uniformed look that I would like to have ultimately, but it is better than the mess I had previously. Don't let your lack of cute storage containers stop you from getting your cupboards organized! Once you have things put away in an organized manner, you will have a better idea what type of storage containers will work for you.

Whoops! Sidetracked! Back to the to do list...

7. Empty the trash can and place back where it belongs.
8. Put away the stray items that didn't belong.
9. Do your touchdown dance! YOU'RE DONE!!!
10. Enjoy your new clean space!
11. Go watch the end of the game.

Show me what you can do!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One Step

I wanted to start blogging again for quite some time.  Writing is a great creative outlet for me.  Deciding what to focus on has been a challenge. My family recently purchased a home, and we have been doing many DIY projects.  I want to share those projects.  Additionally, I work outside the home full time, have three children, a husband, a dog, and a household to run!  Luckily for me, I love organizing and creating organizational procedures (can you say, hello spreadsheets?!), which makes my life easier.  I am so excited to share this passion with you, and I hope to help you be passionate about organizing as well! I chose the blog title (well, one of my best girlfriends suggested it) "Googling Goddess" because I Google EVERYTHING. I'm not kidding. When people say, "How would your friends describe you?", my response is, "Someone who Googles." I have a curious mind, and I love learning new things. But beware - not everything you find online is true! Or so I hear. Speaking of which, have you seen this commercial? HILARIOUS. And so me. (P.S. I googled to get the link to that video...)

I had a baby in June of 2012. My third, last, final baby (no really, I'm fine *sniff sniff*). She has been a challenge in the sleep department. At 15 months old, she is better at sleeping, but still not great. Enough, though, that I have just enough energy to spare to make coffee and start organizing my life almost like I did prior to having children.

Life can be hectic! Being organized helps ever so much to keep my sanity. Do you know what I do NOT have control over? Grape juice (okay, red wine) spills on the carpet in the playroom, my chocolate lab puppy barreling through the screen door, or my almost three year old having an absolute "someone is murdering me" screaming meltdown because her older brother LOOKED AT HER (GASP!). What I DO have control over is what I write in my planner, checking things off my To Do list, and placing Post-Its at a perfect 90 degree angle. And it feels good to have some control.

Where does one start when it comes to organization? With one step. I am hoping you can watch me take one step at a time and follow along, sharing your own success stories. My first step was to come up with a Master Calendar. I know this sounds more like a 5k instead of one step. But I wanted one place that I could go take that one step each day. Each page is one month. Each month lists the following:

1. What is in season to plant in my garden (specific to the Zone I live in - Zone 9)
2. Produce in season to purchase (which is priced less than out of season produce)
3. Items in season to purchase (did you know that some months are better than others to buy a boat?)
4. Daily Zone cleaning (more on this later)
5. Monthly items (i.e., car and home maintenance, etc.)
6. Seasonal (related to upcoming holidays)
7. 15 minute daily projects

I want to go through this Master Calendar together with you this year, getting you the tools you need and tweaking them to work for you. The first tool is the Master Calendar.

The entire calendar for 2014 is being offered in my Etsy shop for just three dollars! That's less than my favorite order at Starbucks for all twelve months! And because I know everyone is in different stages of life with different interests and needs, I would absolutely LOVE to talk to you about making a customized Master Calendar to fit your EXACT needs. Send me a convo on Etsy, message me on Facebook, or e-mail me at googlinggoddess {at} yahoo {dot} com. I cannot wait to hear from you!