At the beginning of summer, we arrived home from vacation to a busted pipe.   After dealing with the plumbing portion of the problem, and replacing the plumbing in our entire house,  we then had to deal with the aftermath of water damage.  The pipe burst on the second floor in my office closet so the flooring (carpet) in 50% of the second floor was affected.   We originally had Berber carpet in two bedrooms (office and guest room) and the hallway.  The guest bathroom had ceramic tile and our master bedroom had laminate flooring.

We had to remove the carpet in the office and hallway immediately and so we decided to replace all of the flooring on the entire level.   With our awareness heightened, we wanted to choose flooring that was resistant to any water damage in the future, but we also have and like real wood flooring on the first floor.    We chose Aquaguard flooring (in Coco) from Floor & Decor.  Aquaguard is water resistant and really does have a great look of hardwood.   The finish is durable and promises a lifetime warranty.  The product is thick, it seems to be double the thickness of regular laminate.  It would be a good choice for laundry rooms and bathrooms too.

Laminate flooring is a bit easier to install than real wood as it is a floating floor and the pieces click together over a noise reducing underlayment.   Although we have done flooring installs in our house ourselves in the past, this time we chose to hire someone to install it.   It took about five days to install in three rooms (including closets) and the hallway, about 700 square feet.

We really like the way it turned out!  Take a look.

Master bedroom before and after:

board and batten wall
aquaguard flooring
We had thresholds at the closet doorways before and I am loving how the new flooring runs seamlessly into the closet, and really the hallway and other rooms too.

elfa closet

Office before and after

Office built in shelves
Home office
Guest bedroom before and after:

Pink curtains
Guest room
I decided to go with marble tile in the guest bathroom and love how it looks where it meets up against the dark mocha flooring.

marble floor threshold
Over a span of six weeks, we also had our red oak floors downstairs sanded and stained and the guest bathroom completely remodeled.    Lots of activity over a few months, all due to one little broken pipe!


I scream, you scream.  We all scream for ice cream!   I just had to.

Butter pecan ice cream
This summer, I’ve started making ice cream at home and documented my first two batches!  What I love about this is how customizable it is. For instance, if you want to limit your sugar intake, make your ice cream with agave, honey, stevia, or maple syrup instead!

Ice cream maker
I made a batch of butter pecan and a batch of green tea ice cream by tweaking a basic custard recipe.

green tea ice cream
Here’s what you need and what to do to make the basic ice cream base.

Ice cream base

  • 2.5 cups half & half
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tsp Stevia (in the raw)  (or use your favorite sweetener)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  1. Combine half & half and vanilla in a medium sized pot. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.

  2. Whisk together eggs, stevia, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in half of milk mixture. Pour egg-milk mixture back into pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Pour custard through a fine sieve into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water; . Let cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until cold; Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions.   I used a Cuisinart machine and churned mixture for 25 minutes.

*For the butter pecan, I added in roasted pecans (roasted in butter and brown sugar) in the last 5 min of churning.   For the green tea ice cream I added organic matcha green tea powder to the custard mixture while cooking.



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