Monday, April 30, 2012

Tulips and Bubbles

Since this is probably? maybe? our last year in the Pacific Northwest, my husband's parents (I hate saying "in-laws," it just kind of has that icky connotation, ya know?) flew in for the weekend to catch the month-long Tulip Festival in our little town. I had visions of getting the perfect Christmas-Card-ready photo of our family, but the toddler had other ideas. We did get some good ones that I was able to edit in Picasa, though.

Don't get me wrong, the tulips are just as lovely without the edits. We just like things a little surreal in our house. Here's the world's cutest couple- 40 something years together!

We also got in some bubble wand time with the toddler:

So much fun, back to reality today...we're hoping to have the house on the market in the next 2 months. Wish us luck! Or even drop by to help- we pay in beer :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Painted Hardwood Floors

We are facing a small dilemma with our hardwoods. In the area we live in, most of the original hardwood flooring in older houses like ours is actually fir...which is a softwood. Which means it doesn't really perform like one would expect. We're going to polyurethane over what we've got and see what happens. A full scale sand/refinish just isn't in the cards right now, for a multitude of reasons. But here's the thing: I really love painted hardwoods. It's a pretty common sight in Texas, so I grew up with it. And it's cheap and easy. The results last, it's easy care and it really keeps the wood from deteriorating. If we weren't ultimately planning to sell, I'd slap the glossiest white marine paint on those suckers I could find. However, I know that not everyone feels the same about painted hardwoods as I do. We posed the question to several family members, " Would you rather buy a house with perfect, painted hardwoods, or hardwoods that were really going to need a rehab?" And they rained on my marine paint parade. But I guess that's okay, there's always the next house, right? Here's some of my lovely inspiration:

I think the hardwoods really help transition an older style home into a more updated, eclectic space:

                                                                          Source: via Sharon on Pinterest

Love how airy these rooms look:

                                                                                       Source: via Jane on Pinterest

                                                                               Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest

My fave...old house, modern furnishings:

                                                                                      Source: via Grace on Pinterest

So what do you think? If you looked at a house with painted hardwoods, would it immediately be off your list? I'll share before and afters of our poly coat adventures, too. Hopefully, it will be a quick fix for a floor that could use a little love.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From Decorating to Juicing

This is a bit of a departure, but since it has to do with our home, I figured I'd just put it out there. Our Juicer arrived today! We got  the Champion Commercial and after one use, I love it. We settled on Champion for two reasons: first, they are American made by a family owned company and second, the motors are warranted for 10 years. We figured if they'd stand behind their workmanship for a decade, it had to be a pretty good product. We ordered it from Harvest Essentials. I should note that I am not in any way being compensated for this post by Champion, Harvest Essentials, or anyone else. Harvest Essentials simply had the juicer we wanted for the lowest price we could find. There are prettier juicers out there, but here it is:

Not sure why, but the promo shots always look brown, even though it is definitely black!

A little background: my husband has a chronic condition that he sustained during military service. A large part of managing his condition is nutrition. He's a very private person, so I'll leave it at that. Let's just say that the old adage "you are what you eat" really applies in our household. Though we probably eat better than average, we were still really deficient in the fruits/veggies area. We thought long and hard before we made the purchase, but I'm so happy we did. For our first batch of juice, we used 3 oranges, 2 small apples, a lime, and a half pineapple. The resulting 4 cups of juice was thick and almost creamy. We thinned it down with water, half and half, to get the thickness more in line with what we know as "juice," essentially producing 4 servings. The taste was incredible and nowhere near the level of acid found in commercial juice. For me, the best part is that with one single glass of juice,  I'd successfully gotten my husband to consume almost a full days' worth of fresh produce. We plan to experiment with a different attachment tomorrow...we'll make smoothies as a meal replacer. Incidentally, our toddler loved the juice, too. I must say that I feel really good about offering her fresh, homemade juice instead of just poking a plastic straw into a juice box.

Our next purchase is going to be a food dehydrator. Our on-the-go type snacks could be better and we plan to start making banana chips and fruit leathers for the kids to munch in the car or on busy afternoons. I've also begun keeping a small notebook with with entries detailing our progress and the husband's condition. I was inspired to do this by Kristi and Matt of Deflate the Mate. Their story is truly inspiring and they also have recipe ideas, etc. Check them out! If you have any questions about our juicer, just drop me a comment and I'll be happy to answer :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Burlap Wreath

And....we're back! It's been forever, a camera malfunction, and a trip to Texas (literally and pics to come) since I've posted. Things at home have been hectic- what with my husband getting out of the military in 6 months and all of us getting sick, we've logged 11 doctor's appointments in the last 15 days. Anyway, onto my latest door wreath. I whipped this up while watching a movie with the husband. It was so cheap and simple. It came out a little more "fall" than I was hoping for, but I still love it.

First I took an old grapevine form I happened to have laying around. Even if I had to buy one, I've seen them on sale as cheap as 3 bucks at Michael's.

This past Christmas, we'd gotten a section of burlap to serve as our tree skirt, but it wasn't as full as I wanted, so I just cut it up into strips about 3 inches wide along the length of the material.

Then, I just started wrapping away, securing the ends of each strip with a hot glue gun.

Once I got it halfway wrapped, I went ahead and placed the zebra striped flower where I wanted it, then continued with the burlap. The flower came from a floral stem at Michaels's...I used the husband's tin snips to cut the stem and that was all. I really love the zebra print. I wouldn't say I went wild over it or anything, though. Haha, oh I crack myself up.

After I'd finished with the burlap, I took a chocolate satin ribbon and placed bands over the burlap, first working diagonally right to left, then placing them left to right. Does that make sense?

I realized I needed away to hang the sucker, so I cut another strip, folded it in a triangular fashion, and liberally hot glued it to the back. Voila. It's been hanging for a couple of months now, even holding up through a small wind storm, so it's definitely sturdier than I thought it would be.

And TaaDaa! Love it. My mom-in-law saw it and asked me to make her one :) Big smile there- the lady is ultra artistic and creative. Then, she said, "No make me two; I have more than one door." I think we're actually going to make these for everyone's Christmas presents...the plan is to swap out the chocolate for everyone's favorite color. So simple and inexpensive. If you make yourself one, do send me some pictures!