Friday, August 22, 2014

Elise is 11 Months Old!

Oh goose, you are 11 months old... The last month before your first birthday!  You don't know what that does to your mommy's heart!  Where did the time go?  I'm so glad that I have these monthly updates so that I can look back at them because this time has flown by and I have no clue where it went.

What have we been up to this month? Lots!  You have 3 teeth and are working on your 4th and maybe your 5th. You love brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed (hope this lasts).

You are crawling all over the place!  I have to race you to the dog bowls before you splash and dump water all over the place... Your favorite activity! You follow me wherever I go.  You also love chasing your pups around at times, though you have gotten a bit irritated by playing tug-o-war with Gracie because she always wins. You have also just started to love being chased by daddy and I... you have this adorable look when looking at us over your shoulder, like, "come getttttt me..." I can't get enough of it.  

I cannot believe how adamant you are about what you want. I always knew (since your breechment) that you would be stubborn, but oh my goodness... I had no idea how strong willed you would be!  You have your ways of doing things and ways of being held and you definitely know what you want. And what you want lately is me.  You whine when I'm not holding you or sitting right beside you. Granted, you did have your first fever this last week but you have been out of control clingy for the last few weeks. I will miss this someday.

You absolutely hate being told "No", you absolutely know what it means and you either ignore me or you sit your bum down and start crying.

getting in trouble...
You love making everyone laugh and imitate laughter when we laugh. It is pretty dang adorable!  You also babble all the time.  I think you are trying to say, "dog" but I'm not quite sure. I'm sure you will explode with words in the coming months. You are very expressive! You started making funny faces at us... especially at the grocery store while you are in the cart.  And then I lean in and you give me the biggest hug... melts my heart every time.  

Sleeping is another battle we are battling and I'm really not sure what to do about it. You're on my chest, sleeping as I'm typing this on my phone!

You are not very excited about eating anymore. I have a hard time getting you to eat protein. You still love green things, fruit of all kinda, and sweets (just like Mom and Dad).

We are getting so excited for your birthday!  We have a big surprise for you in the making!  There's so many people that can't wait to watch you dig into your cake and sing you "happy birthday" (I know I'm one of them)!

We love you so much, Goose! I never knew I could feel this kind of love for anyone... you are my everything and I will always, always love you more than you know!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mid Century Dresser turned TV Console

I have been ogling Mid Century dressers for quite some time.  I wanted one to replace our small TV console so that Elise couldn’t pull the TV off.  I also loved the design (which is probably the real reason we replaced our old piece)!  

So the search for a dresser began.  I always had my eyes open at garage and estate sales.  Most of the dressers that I loved were never for sale or already sold.  So one day we decided to go to the Denver Flea Market and low and behold we found a Dixie dresser just the right size and style!

The process of turning the dresser into something that would match our current style was tedious.  We decided to re-stain the wood instead of painting it.  This probably the first and last time I will re-stain anything! 

First we picked up our supplies.  Here is what we needed:

~Lots and Lots of Sand papers (Coarse and Medium grade)
~Electric sander (makes things a lot easier)
~New handles

Mike also built a box to hold our receiver box and DVD player.  Here are the materials for that:

~1/4” thickness 2’ x 4’ wood board
~6’ decorative boarder
~Finishing nails

First, we sanded, sanded, and sanded some more.  This was the most tedious part of the project.  We tried doing this by hand at first but then brought out the big guns (Electric Sander) because we were fatiguing fast!

While I was doing the sanding, Mike built the box.  You just have to measure perfectly to get everything to fit together.  Mike did a great job and made it look like it was always supposed to be there. 

After the old stain was completely sanded off we put Minwaxpre-stain wood conditioner on.  This just helps the wood accept stain easier.

We then applied Rust-Oleum stain in weathered gray.  Which was a lot easier than painting anything. I actually really loved how easy and fast it was!

After the stain was dry we applied Rust-Oleum polyurethane and top coat in Satin.  We applied 3 coats.

We had to wait for the sealer to seal for one week.  After that we brought our new piece of furniture upstairs and painted a line in a crevice for some extra oomph and added new hardware.

Project done!

I love pouring our love into furniture because you value it that much more.  Plus, it's a great conversation piece! 

Thank you, Mike, for making me go to the Flea Market!

Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

I have been slowly making our home greener which means less waste, no harsh chemicals, and less energy use.  This in turns makes a healthier and happier home.  The one thing that has been lacking in the green department is our laundry.  I’ve been using Tide and Downy (softener and dryer sheets) for as long as I can remember.  This just wasn’t cutting it anymore for our lifestyle. 

Browsing around the Internet, I found the concept of Wool Dryer Balls.  They are not a new idea but to me they were.  Wool dryer balls replace those chemical ridden dryer sheets that I have been using for so long.  I pinned a couple of reasons to use them on Pinterest (follow me for more green ideas), and I made a mental note to look around for some.  I found out that these sell for a ridiculous amount on Etsy and the ones that you find at stores are still made with lots of chemicals, synthetic perfumes, and some are even made with plastics that emit toxic chemicals when heated up!  So what was I supposed to do? Make my own of course!

Why use wool dryer balls?

~They reduce drying time by up to 25% - They help circulate the warm air in the dryer and the wool also absorbs moisture (double bang)!

~Commercial fabric softeners and sheets are costly! Wool dryer balls can last for years!

~Commercial softeners emit those toxic chemicals and fumes I talked about above. They coat your clothing in chemicals which eventually end up on your skin… because face it; your clothes are in contact with your skin all day!

~Dryer balls are made with a renewable resource (so green!)

~They soften your clothes naturally and even reduce static and increase fluffiness as they tumble away in the dryer.

~They are great for those mamas that use cloth diapering since commercial softeners cannot be used on cloth diapers.  They help keep them soft and fresh!

How do they work?

It is simple!  The dryer balls basically bounce around your dryer separating your clothes, which allows more heat to circulate.  As they tumble, the wools balls soften, reduce wrinkles, and fluff your clothing basically by pummeling your garments.  Plus, they do so much more than dryer sheets; they pull moisture out of your laundry reducing the amount of time your laundry needs to dry.

Enough reasons? Lets get to it!

Wool Dryer Ball Tutorial

Choosing your yarn:

You must use 100% wool yarn.  It also must not say, “super wash” or “machine washable” because these will not felt.  This is the yarn I used.  You can buy it at any fabric store or online.  Heck, you could even unravel an old wool sweater if you really wanted to be thrifty!

What you’ll need:

1. Wool Yarn
2. Scissors
3. Blunt tip crochet hook
4. Pantyhose
5. Cotton or acrylic yarn to secure in pantyhose

Step by Step

1. Begin wrapping yarn around two or three of your fingers about 10 times.

2. Pinch the middle of your bundle and start wrapping the yarn around the middle.

3. Continue wrapping around the entire bundle until a small ball forms

4. Continue wrapping TIGHTLY until you have your desired wool ball size (I made mine tennis ball sized but you can make them as large as a softball)

5. Use crochet hook to secure the end of the yarn under several layers of yarn and cut the end.

6. Repeat steps to obtain 4-6 balls (I made 4 tennis sized balls out of 2 bundles of wool yarn).

7. Put your wool balls in the nylon stocking or pantyhose.

8. Tying tightly between each one with your cotton or acrylic yarn (don’t use wool yarn or it will felt your pantyhose).  Tie of the end and you should have a wool ball caterpillar. 

9. Throw the entire “caterpillar” in with a load of towels on the hottest water cycle and coldest rinse cycle.  Then dry them with the towels on the highest heat drying cycle.

10. Remove balls and check for felting.  You may need to repeat the last step 3-4 times to obtain the right amount of felting.  (Felting just makes sure the yarn ball won’t unravel in your dryer).

Storing your dryer balls:

You can just leave your dryer balls in your dryer between laundry days or store them in a basket.  Your kids can even play with them (though they may not last as long).

Scenting your dryer balls:

You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each of your dryer balls before each drying cycles.  My favorite is lavender (especially for sheets)!

Tell me what you think!  Do you already use dryer balls or is this a new concept to you?

I am also happy to make you some! You can contact me here.

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