Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Redo -- Master Bedroom

Ok, we finally got our bedroom redo pretty much finished, just in time for our out-of-town guests to stay in last week!  As a reminder, here's how it looked before.  Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Please excuse the darkness of these pictures, but here it is now!

This is taken while standing in front of my closet.  In this picture, you can see the support bar coming down.  We still plan to enclose that in a wood pillar.  The yellow room straight ahead is our bathroom.

Here's toward the bed.  I see now that I didn't have pillows on it yet.  Whoops!

Here's in the bathroom.  Yes, we have a piano in our bathroom.  This bathroom is ridiculously huge and open to the main bedroom, so humidity isn't a problem.  I LOVE my piano!!

When we were redoing the bathroom, I wanted to get rid of the ugly light fixtures they had.  I wanted something more rustic looking.  I couldn't find anything I liked that wasn't super expensive.  Finally, on a whim, I checked the outdoor light section at Wal-Mart and found these lights.  They look like lanterns, are adorable, and were only $15 for two of them!!!

I HATE windows in a bathroom.  Our neighbor's back patio is right outside our bathroom window.  One night, while I was showering in our GLASS shower, my cat pulled down the curtains.  I was determined after that to cover the windows.  I found this great window cling pattern at Lowe's.  It goes great with the gold walls.

Here's looking back into the main room from the bathroom.  You can see my husband's desk to the left, my sewing table to the right.

It's so nice to finally be all settled in!!

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fragrant Home

I LOVE to have my home smelling good.  Now that my daughter seems to have outgrown her asthma issues and fragrance sensitivities, I've been enjoying some fragrance again.

I think I've maybe said before how much I love my candle warmer.  I'm talking about one of those ones that you lower the large jar candle down into and it melts it without having to light the wick.  However, my brother (who is a firefighter) told me last week not to use it again.  He said that he has run calls where the candle's glass has shattered and the candle warmer started a fire.

He told me instead to use the wax warmers that uses a small lightbulb.  (I'm behind the times--you all probably already have one of these, right?)  So we went to Wal-Mart that night and bought one (ours is the Better Homes and Gardens brand).  It was a mere $12 for a small one.  Isn't it pretty?

You just turn on the bulb and put a wax cube in the top.  Here is an unmelted cube.

Not long after you put it in the dish at the top, it's melted.  This one little cube is enough fragrance for the whole upstairs of my house.

The wax cubes are only $2 for a six-pack, and there are a couple of brands.  We've had good results from both of these.  The center fragrance is called "Fireside," and so far, it's my favorite!!!

When you're turning your burner off, or if you just want to change fragrances, you can simply pour the wax back into the container to use again next time.

I'm so going to get another one of these for downstairs!!  I'm loving the fall fragrances right now.  What are your favorite fragrances in your home?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our new boy

So, I told you all that we recently lost our dog, Darby.  We were going to wait a few years until we were settled in our new house to get another dog.  I guess God had other plans for us.  And who am I to argue?  

So meet our new baby, Hurley.

He's a decent-sized dog, a two-year-old boxer mix.

Who can resist this mushy face?

He's a big lover, but is already protective of the kids, which I LOVE.  Here's his favorite place to lay, though:  ON my feet.

He's a gorgeous reverse brindle and is simply a great dog.  He's a perfect fit for our family, and I'm so glad circumstances worked out to make him ours.  I'm looking forward to many, many years with our new boy!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

T-Shirt: Storm Finished (X-Men)

Ok, so I had already posted my sketch and Storm sewn together, but I haven't posted the final thing.

I played around with painting lightning bolts on the shirt, but decided to go ahead and finish the whole thing in felt.  To be honest, the idea of painting on the shirt kind of scared me.  A fact which a friend of mine found quite humorous, apparently.  But, as I told her, stitches can be ripped out.  Paint is permanent.

I'm glad I went ahead with felt, because I love how she turned out!!

What do you think?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream --Dairy-free and gluten-free

We love making ice cream in our Blendtec.  The problem is, our two-year-old daughter is severely allergic to dairy.  So she had NEVER had ice cream.  The milk in the recipe isn't the hard problem--we can easily substitute her almond milk.  But the recipe also calls for powdered milk.  I was told that any kind of powder will work, so I ordered an expensive, organic protein powder and added it to her milk one time.  She refused to drink it.  I emailed the company to learn that they use latex gloves to load the empty cannisters onto their conveyors (she's severely allergic to latex, too).

The other day, I was looking in the pantry and noticed our full box of infant rice cereal.  I thought to myself, that's a powder, too, right?

So I decided to experiment and see if it would work.  And it did!!

So, to make dairy-free ice cream in your Blendtec, add (in this order):

2/3 cup almond milk (or rice milk, or whatever.  I use vanilla almond milk)
2/3 cup infant rice cereal
2 tsp vanilla (I omit this because I use vanilla almond milk)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups ice cubes (sometimes I replace some of this with frozen berries)
2/3 cups almond milk (again, I use the vanilla)

(The extra almond milk is needed at the end, I believe, because the rice cereal absorbs so much moisture.)

Once all of this is in the Blendtec, just press the ice cream button!

Within about 1.5 minutes, you have ice cream!

I have gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate chips, and the kids love these on top.

My daughter LOVED her first ever taste of ice cream!!!

I think I may try this next time with some finely ground coconut flour.  Yum!!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade Chili Seasoning -- Gluten-Free!

We are now well into the "bers."  You know, SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER.  This is by far my favorite time of year.  I LOVE autumn, I LOVE crisp, chilly weather, I LOVE curling up on the couch with a mug of hot coffee and a fleece blanket.

This time of year always makes me crave chili--even before it's cold out.  I went to make chili today and halfway through realized that I'm out of chili seasoning.  I have a cabinet full of dried spices, so I decided to make my own.  It turned out super yummy, so I thought I'd share.


2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you like it less spicy)
1 Tbsp dried, minced onion
1 Tbsp dried, minced garlic
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

(Make sure all of your spices are gluten-free, if necessary.)

Measure everything into a small container and shake to mix.

Add seasoning to your chili to taste.

Yum!  I can feel fall coming...

My favorite way to eat chili is on a baked potato, topped with cheese.  What's yours?

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Friday, August 31, 2012

We're all a bit blue

We had to put our dog down yesterday, so things have been pretty melancholy around here today.

He wasn't old--not quite seven, actually--and he was the most perfect dog we ever could have dreamed of.

Would you believe, of all the things you may have to put a dog down for, we had to put him down because of allergies?  Not our allergies, or our kids' allergies, but his own.  You'd think I have allergies down to a fine science by now.  We tried all sorts of different allergy medications, grain-free diets, steroids shots, etc.  But nothing worked, and it got to the point where he was scratching all of his hair off and making himself bloody.  He was too good a boy and too loyal a companion for us to let him live with that suffering.

So forgive me if I'm not feeling very creative today.

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