Thursday, October 23, 2014

Living Room Built Ins

We have finally finished the living room built-ins. 

This space in the living room was unused or always a little awkward. In addition, the fireplace in my living room stands out like a big brick sore thumb. So built in living room shelves would provide much needed storage plus, it would make the fireplace a more cohesive part of the room. When I made the little TV room part of the kitchen, we had to have a place to gather upstairs and watch TV. So the formal living room became the place to live in. It does make me happy that we use all the rooms in this house.

Remove all the baseboards and crown molding. We installed three unfinished base cabinets from Lowe’s  measured to fill the space. I waited until they were on sale. 


Next step was to add a wood top that my son joined together. I chose wood boards that could be stained, although I knew that it would be painted.

Next I chose to use these melamine side boards and shelves. Since I was painting it white anyway but this made life so much easier. We could have used wood shelves but these shelves were the exact depth I wanted. My son is a genius. He drilled peg holes on the bottom of the measured four boards and built the top. Glued and nailed it together.

We added bead board to the wall. With this piece so built in, it was easier to build it around the beadboard. Attaching the side boards to the wall. Caulking each section by the wall. Originally, my son built it all in the living room as one piece but it was impossible to lift the piece and install it. So we took it apart and he built it in one board at a time on top of the kitchen cabinets.

Because we used kitchen cabinets, my son built small wooden boxes that would bring the toe kick flush to the bottom of the cabinet. The baseboard was attached to the bottom of the cabinet and made it look more built-in. He added a top board and attached the crown back to the top. 

We also added trim to the front of the cabinet to make it look more custom and to diminish the melamine shelves. I painted the entire piece and he drilled holes to hide the cords. And installed the handles.


Beautiful and so useful. Kids toys, games, remotes are all hidden. So much better than the before mess.

Total Cost: $747.00

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chicken Cheese Broccoli Soup

We love soups here and fall brings a bevy of soups to my menu… lunches and dinners. Homemade soups are easy to make and always taste better than their canned versions.

I cheated with this soup and used processed cheese… I know. I should have stood in the kitchen and grated the finest cheddar cheese but hey, I have a three year old toddler grandson and he loves the other stuff. It also melts better.

Saute a chopped onion in butter until softened.  Add broccoli and chicken stock. Simmer until broccoli is cooked, about 10 minutes. I used frozen broccoli.

Reduce the heat and add one lb of cubed Velveeta and milk. I used whole milk but you could use 2 percent. Mix cornstarch and water, add to the soup and stir frequently until thickened

Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Now once heated, I blended a little with a stick blender. I did not make it smooth but you could.

At this point, I added cubed cooked chicken breasts and heated it thoroughly on low. 

 Absolutely delicious and takes about 30 to 40 minutes to make. Your family will love it.

Chicken Cheese Broccoli Soup

¼ c butter
1 onion, chopped
16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
32 oz chicken stock, unsalted
1 lb cubed Velveeta cheese
2 c. whole milk
2/3 c cornstarch
1 c. water
1 T. garlic powder
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste