Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY Card Table Makeover!

I am so excited about this!  I am kicking myself because I didn't take before and after pictures, but the thought of putting it on my blog didn't cross my mind until I had it all taken apart.  oh well, live and learn. 

I bought this CHEAP-O card table set at Walmart about 7 years ago, so lets just say it wasn't covered with the greatest of materials.  2 years ago we used it to set things on when we had a yard sale, and it sat in the sun all day, in June.  It has never been the same.  It got a big spot on it that actually melted somehow, and it got sticky.  I could never wipe the sticky off, so I just never used it, or if I did I threw a sheet over it. 

I decided it was time to either re-cover the top or throw it away.  So I decided to be optimistic and see what I could do.  I went to Jo-Ann's and bought a heavyweight plastic to cover outside furniture for $3.99/yard and picked out a fabric to put under it.  I am a little obsessed with like zebra print, so that's what I went with for this project.  Why bother if you don't love it, right?  The fabric was $6.99 a yard.  Of course, I never pay full price for fabric.  Between my mailers, emails and smartphone app, I always have at least 40% off coupons.  So I got 1 yard of each fabric and went to town.  My card table happens to measure 32" square so a yard was all I needed. 

This is the end result!  I LOVE it

So all total, this cost me about $5, and my table is again useable.  Also it's super cute.  My husband is going to roll his eyes SO BAD when he sees the zebra.  This makes it even better me feel a little bit sorry I chose zebra, but only a little.  Hooray for up-cycling! 

I bought my son a kid-sized card table and chairs that were left outside and are looking pretty sorry.  I can already envision a little spray paint for the frame and re-covering the chairs and table top for my daughter.  But I guess I'll wait till she's at least crawling ;-)

What have you saved from the trash lately?

A Crunchy Little Update!

It's been a week.  A whole week of no soap, shampoo OR conditioner.  I have to say, I LOVE using only baking soda on my body.  I feel much cleaner and my skin feels very soft.  I think the part I love most is that it does take a little bit longer to wash, and it's very mildly exfoliating, so it feels like a little treat or getaway when I take a shower.  This is good for my sanity.  I have been using it on my face as well and I feel like my skin looks better, and when I get out of the shower I don't have that "my skin is shrinking off my face" feeling I do after using soap.  WIN! 

I'm still a little bit on the fence about the baking soda/apple cider vinegar regimen for my hair.  I was warned though, that there is a 2-4 week adjustment period so I am continuing on in my crunchy journey.  At first my hair felt like straw, but noticed that it felt less straw like when I went a day in between washes, instead of washing it everyday.  On saturday I was frustrated with my scarecrow hair and close to giving up, but I washed it that night and when I woke up Sunday morning and it was dry, it was SO SOFT!  This is giving me courage to continue on.  I thought it would be static-y but it hasn't been so that's great. 

Some things I have learned:

1. Wash every other day, not every day, so your hair has time to balance out how much oil it's making. 
2. the squirt bottle idea doesn't work as well in practice as it does in theory.  We ended up using the paste I made for our body soap on our hair as well, it works much better. 
3.  Concentrate on your scalp and roots with the baking soda, use less on the ends.  At least for my hair.  It is long, and the ends is where it feels straw like, the hair closer to my head feels amazing. 

So it's been a good experiment so far.  It's been fun having my husband do this with me.  The kids will totally freak if we make them do it I think! 

Sarah at My Merry Messy Life also has a recipe for a body butter that she uses as lotion as well as hair cream on her curly hair.  I think I'm going to make this too, and see if that may be the missing component for my ends.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Has anyone else tried this?  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A crunchy sort of experiment...

Having a blog is a big responsibility.  People read it.  Not that I assume that MANY people read this because there isn't much to read, because I don't really know what to write.  So, I have been pondering for a few weeks, what should I blog about next?  Nothing really came to me, until now.  I will warn you, parts of this might be a little TMI for some of you, so when you see *eyemuffs* consider yourself warned!

I have this handy little app on my phone called StumbleUpon and it's a lot of fun.  You sign in and it asks you what you are interested in, and then just randomly chooses pages from all over the world wide web.  Let me tell you, it is almost more fun than pinterest.  It makes me feel cool, because I can find my own cool stuff to pin on pinterest instead of only stealing everyone else's stuff. 

One day, (cue scary music) I came across this blog, My Merry Messy Life about breaking up with shampoo and washing your hair with baking soda, and using apple cider vinegar as a conditioner.  Sarah, the owner of said blog, also shared a link to this website, Sorta Crunchy, and I am LOVING reading through both of them.  This got me really thinking about my hair, what I don't like about it, and wondering "what would happen if..."  So this is the part where I start getting a little crunchy myself.  I'm going to give this a shot. 

So I went to the store yesterday.  I intended to buy a gallon of the ACV because its so cheap, but I noticed that the vinegar was "apple flavored".  Basically, it was white vinegar with apple flavoring and color added.  I don't know how much it matters, but I'm guessing it does or all the recipes would say to use regular vinegar, right?  SO if you decide to do this, double check the label and make sure the vinegar is apple based. 

I would also recommend looking at both sites before you get started.  For the shampoo, you can do it a couple of ways.  You can either dilute some baking soda in water and pour the mixture over your hair and scalp, or make a paste.  I'm dragging my dear husband down this rabbit trail with me, so I let him choose, and he picked the liquid, and requested a spray bottle so he doesn't have to pour it on his head at 5 am when he wakes up for a shower.  I won't argue, I will be asleep nice and cozy in bed. 

I decided this morning was the day, the day I'm going to give up shampoo, (at least for 2 weeks) and see what happens.  I mixed 4 cups of water and 8 tablespoons of baking soda.  I would say if you want to be able to spray it to only use 5 or 6 tablespoons.  The amount doesn't really matter, the problem I ran into was that more than 5 or 6 tablespoons won't dissolve in the water anymore and I have some baking soda that settled at the bottom.  Next time I think I will make a paste before my shower.  Sorta Crunchy recommends 2 tbsp each of water and baking soda.  For now, I'll just shake it up before I shower. 

Also I read how much better washing your body is with baking soda, so I DID make a paste for that and added some citrus essential oil for scent. 


I was going to try peppermint because my husband wanted something a little more manly smelling, but I planned on using it on ALL my bits and was leery of peppermint oil "down there"  So lemon is as manly as we're going to be around here. 

I'm sure I'm headed deep into TMI territory but after my daughter was born, I feel like I smell different.  And after a good workout, it's not a good different.  So I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, using the baking soda "soap" will help.  I have also read, I can't seem to find the link now, that drinking a little bit of ACV each day can help balance out your body's PH level. 

ok, you can take your eyemuffs off now.

so I am going to give this 2 weeks.  I plan to wash my hair every other day, but use NO shampoo, conditioner or traditional soap.  And I plan to drink a small amount of ACV every day.  I'll keep you posted!

xo, Steph

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the tummy hill way

There is a road in Paradise that I can never remember the name of, but it is Owen's favorite road to take when going to my Aunt Ruthie's house.  Owen calls it "the tummy hill way" because when you drive up it, there is a dip that makes your stomach turn in a "I think I might puke but that was really, really fun" kind of way.  Owen and I lived with my Aunt Ruthie for about 3 weeks when we first moved back to Chico in 2009, and during our short stay there, my aunt taught me the perfect way to approach said hill to maximize the "I think I might puke but that was really, really fun" feeling.  As we approached the hill, I followed my aunt's instructions and we were successful!  Lots of laughing and screaming ensued.  My aunt looked and Owen and asked "was that fun?!" to which Owen replied "Like I said, AAAAHHHHHH!"  Which of course, made us all laugh even harder.  There may or may not have been snorting involved. 

Last year, I met an amazing man, and we got married in November.  He has a 16 year old son, and we welcomed a baby girl in January.  If you asked me a year ago where I thought I would be in a year, married with 3 kids would not have even been on my radar, but it has been the best year of my life!  Unbelievable, really, and I cannot believe how blessed I am.  I also have the amazing opportunity now to be a stay at home mom.  Wow.  I have learned a lot about myself this year.  I also love making lists.  In fact, lets make one now...

Things I have learned about myself this year:
  1. Being a stay at home mom is harder than my "real" job was, but it's way more awesome.
  2. Reality TV has nothing to do with actual reality.  Seriously people.
  3. Some of my neighbors are weird.  And not the ones you might think....
  4. this list is digressing, these aren't things I've learned about myself....lets try again....
  5. I am craftier than I realized, and it is more fun than I thought it would be.
  6. I have a little  MAJOR addiction to the DIY section of Pinterest...
  7. who am I kidding...
SO....I'm not so great at lists.  I DID learn that about myself.  Also, I learned that I probably have ADD.  So how does this all come together?  Let me see if I can bring it home...

Until now, I haven't had the opportunity to be home with Owen since he was just a few months old.  Long, sad, and getting kinda boring story.  Now, thanks to this amazingly huge blessing of an opportunity I get to do that with my 3 fantastic kids.  They are seriously fun, and I know for a fact that I do not appreciate that enough.  This being said, school is out....TOMORROW! and I have to say, I'm a little nervous about summer as a stay at home mom of 3 kids (ages 16, 8 and 4 months).  What am I going to do with them all summer?  and how can I work this out so it is not only a great summer, but we are all happier and more harmonious at the end of it than when we started?  That is the point of this blog, I guess.  uh-oh...I feel another list coming on....

My goals this summer are:
  1. To give my kids opportunities to have fun, and learn something
  2. To somehow help them become better humans.
  3. For us to not only not kill eachother, but get along even better than we already do.
  4. To give them happy memories.
oh, and
    5.  Learn how to make my own bread.  I really really really want to be one of "those" moms.  really.

sorry, had to throw that in there.  maybe I'm not so bad at lists after all. 

As I look forward to the summer, I feel like I'm about to go up "the tummy hill way" again.  I'm excited, and nervous, and I am pretty sure by the end of the summer I'm going to have that "I think I might puke but that was really, really fun" feeling in my stomach again.  So, here we go folks.  A new adventure, a new blog and a bright future.  Cheers!

P.S.  leave comments and share your ideas about how to make any of the above-mentioned goals a reality.  seriously.  do it.  please and thank you. amen.