Thursday, September 19, 2013

Caulk The Bathroom Tub!

When we moved into our house three years ago one of the first things we did was resurface the tub. It was really bad.

The problem with the resurface job was that the guy took off all the caulk and did not replace it. Don't get me wrong, he was a really nice guy, he just couldn't caulk until the tub dried for three days. I was not about to pay him to come back, and he assured me it was easy to do.

I caulked the tub and was done.  Problem was, this was my first time caulking and I did not let the tub dry fully. I just wanted to get it done.

Ok, before I describe my caulking experience I have to say this.  I can't say caulk without giggling a little. Hubby and I are always making crude caulk jokes.  I'm sure you can imagine.  I will save you from our childish banter.

Eventually the caulk cracked.  I left it for way too long, the caulk and wall got moldy.  I continued to leave it.

Every day I would look at the cracked, moldy caulk and think "I should do something about that!" But I left it.

Then I got pregnant, and my mom was scheduled to come over from Australia.  Mom has a severe allergy to mold.  I also hated the idea of my baby being exposed to all that mold, even in utero.  So I finally decided to re-caulk the tub.

This time I decided to do it right.

I scraped off the old caulk. I used a handy little tool that was designed just for this purpose, and it worked great. Some of the new enamel did come up, but I don't think it was too bad.  The gunk that came out of those cracks was not pretty.

I then sprayed a solution  of water and bleach onto the cracks.  I left it to do its work for a while.  After about twenty minutes I then wiped off the bleach and water.

Not wanting to make the same mistake, and apply the caulk to soon after it was wet, I went out and visited a friend for a couple of hours.  Waiting at home for the tub to dry was not going to work. Three hours later I was refreshed from a visit and some good Italian food, and I could caulk.

Caulking is not that hard.  The resurface-tub-guy was right.  Once the tub was dry I had much better success with my caulk.  The main idea is to put the caulk in the crack and the smooth it over.

I found that using my slightly moistened finger to smooth over the caulk was the best option.

I then used a wet paper towel to clean up the edges. I have seen that some people use painters tape to get perfect edges on their caulk, but that was just too much work for me. I also used my finger to spread the caulk over some exposed edges of the new ceramic layer that had peeled. The problem with the resurface job is that if it cracks it just starts to peel off.  We have an area around the drain that is peeling. One of these days we will have to resurface it again. I might do it myself next time. I don't think it is that hard.

The worst part of the whole caulking job is the waiting.  Waiting for the tub to dry, and now, waiting for the caulk to dry. We went away early the next day, so this was not too bad. One tip I have to remember for next time is that caulk tends to shrink a bit as it dries, so leave more caulk than you think you need.

Two months later, the caulk is holding strong.

I'm very happy. The caulk is holding well.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Individual Seven Layer Dip

For my husband's birthday this year I made Individual Seven Layer Dips by The Girl Who Ate Everything.

I found the recipe on Pinterest and have been quite keen to try it.  They look amazing and I have always been bothered by the fact that when you try to eat a seven layer dip from a big bowl it makes a big mess and is just not that good.  All-in-all this looked like the perfect solution.

I was very happy with the results.  I followed Christy's recipe almost completely.  I didn't have time to make my own guacamole so I went to a local store that sold fresh guacamole.  I am really not a fan of that stuff you buy in the grocery stores that come in a vacuum bag and is florescent green.

I also put a little less of the taco seasoning because I only had hot and did not want it to be too hot for the guests.

Overall, this was a easy recipe.  The most time consuming part is just assembling them.  I put all the cups out and just did each layer in a assembly line fashion.

The dip was a big hit with the guests.  The combination of flavors is really quite good.  I, myself, ate the leftover dip for about three days.  They made a great snack.

I found that the dip kept very well.  The layers seal each other in quite well and even the guacamole does not get discolored.  In the future, I will prepare the recipe the day before.  Just keep in mind that the tortilla chips get soggy when placed in the dip, so save that until the day of.

In the end, this is a great appetizer to make for any party.  I might try making more little layers of food, maybe strawberries and pound cake or chocolate pudding and other yummy stuff.  I'll have to think about it.

Go, make this recipe, and know that it is supper yummy.
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