Nursery Project – Part 2

Nursery Project - Part 2 CO_Feb_07bI’ve always loved the nostalgic look of paint-by-numbers. Despite it being a some-what retro art style, it has a modern quality to it, don’t you think? I’m so pleased how the squirrel mobile I made matches these paintings! I guess I see a “forest” theme happening?

I want to make it clear that these designs are not my own. I found images of a tapestry (the deer) and an old paint by numbers painting (the cabin) on Google that I liked the look of, I traced them onto art boards and then numbered the colors myself. These took me forever to finish, seeing as I used cheap acrylic paint. This meant painting 3 layers of each color to get it to look nice and solid without any streaks! I would’ve like to do a couple more but, you know, time.

We won’t really be using the nursery that much until our baby is a bit older, since we intend to have the baby sleep in our room. So I think I’ll have a few more nursery projects to share as time goes by.

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Essential Oils – Health and Beauty

Essential Oils - Health and BeautyWhen I use essential oils in my health and beauty products I feel like I’m pampering myself at a fancy spa or something. Even if it’s just using a really awesome smelling hand soap! The aroma from the oils are so uplifting and the added health benefits of using essential oils make me feel like I’m doing something right. Here are some of the ways I’ve utilized essential oils in homemade health and beauty products.Essential Oils - Health and BeautyIf you missed my last post, I mentioned that I use DoTerra oils. The “On Guard” oil I use in the hand soap is one of their oil blends. It makes your hand soap smell like truly fancy pants stuff! Let me know how you get on if you try any of these out? I’d love to hear how you’re using essential oils!

Essential Oils – House Cleaning

Essential-Oils I’m close to the end of my pregnancy now and you could say I’ve begun “nesting”. My urge to clean and tidy the house in an attempt to prepare for our little one’s arrival is in full throttle! I thought it’d be fun to create an illustration to show you how I’ve been ultilizing essential oils, though I prefer to call them “magic potions” (they really do work like magic!) in my house cleaning.

Essential-Oils_2I must admit, the vinegar smell is a bit strong at first but it soon disappears and what you’re left with is the scent of fresh lemon or whichever essential oil you chose to use. I prefer using natural cleaning ingredients since harsh chemicals in many cleaning products tend to give me a headache, and a headache is the last thing I want to add to the dizzy spells that come with all the bending over and the getting up and down of house cleaning!

If you were wondering what Citrus Bliss and On Guard are, they’re essential oil blends from Doterra. Here’s what they’re made up of:

Citrus Bliss:
Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, Clementine, and Vanilla Bean Extract. This stuff smells like happiness!

On Guard:
Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary. I used this to make a handwash, but details on that will be in my next essential oils post.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with hopefully not too much house cleaning!

Hippy Mama

Nov_11-01Nov_12There’s been a bit of a hippy vibe going on at our house lately (minus the flowing armpit hair that is). Ever since these pregnancy hormones have upped the ante on my blood hound sense of smell, any kind of synthetic perfume/scent has felt too intense, bringing on headaches and nausea. This reaction made me start to question what synthetic chemicals in beauty products or cleaning supplies can do to our bodies. Surely they can’t be great if just the smell alone was making me feel sick right? So I was thinking, if I’m super careful about what I put INTO my body e.g. no cold cuts, alcohol, caffeine…etc, then shouldn’t I be conscious of what I’m putting ON my body? Our skin is our largest organ, it absorbs whatever the heck we smear or lather onto it and that makes me fear that some of those chemicals that get absorbed into my body could be harmful to my baby. Maybe I’m being a tad over dramatic but it has startled me enough to make some natural product choices when it comes to the beauty and cleaning supplies we use at home.

My midwife gave me a handful of Doterra essential oil samples and I mentioned in my last pregnancy update that I believe the blended oils truly work for mood enhancement. I’ve been using the single oils quite a lot as well, for cleaning, adding to drinks, and massages – to mention a few uses. I’m discovering so many handy ways to utilize them, so I went ahead and bought bigger bottles of lavender, lemon and peppermint (as seen in the first picture). I’m on such a hype with these oils! I can’t wait to share the ways I’ve been using them and what I plan to do with them too!

Another natural product I’ve been crazy about is coconut oil. It’s great for your body, inside and out! I’ve been substituting it for butter in baking, using it to moisturize this big ol’ preggo bump, and using it as makeup remover! I have a lot to say about this amazing stuff and so I really need to dedicate a future post to it as well.

Stay tuned for future posts on Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Coconut oil! 🙂

Miniatures

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CO_Aug_023I finally got around to putting these miniatures up in the perfect spot, on the wall above our dining table. This collection of miniatures belonged to my mother and were the one piece of precious cargo that followed me all the way from New Zealand. We may have sold 90% of the things we owned in NZ which was liberating, and we may have been living out of our suitcases for the past few months which you’re probably tired of hearing about. But, starting from scratch really has been a challenge and learning curve for us. We’re learning that living simply with good quality essentials and a few personal things that you truly hold dear and find beautiful are all you need.

And just a side note: Those 5 bunnies are from my 5th birthday cake. After all these years, I’m surprised none of them got lost along the way.

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!

Pepé Le Pew

CO_Aug_003-01The other night, a heady stench came wafting through our bedroom window. I turned to Danny with a look of horror and asked, “whaaat is that smell!?”. He returned the look of horror and said it was a skunk! We quickly closed the window and turned on the ceiling fan. But that didn’t help at all. It was terrible trying to get to sleep that night and ever since then I’ve noticed the same smell coming in from our living room window in the mornings. I have to say, I despise skunks. I saw one scamper across the road last night, and although they’re cute, oh my, what a stink they can leave in their wake. We’re sleeping with the bedroom window closed now but I’ve been thinking about nice smelling things to put in the house to mask any skunk stinkers in the morning. I have a very sensitive nose and I can’t handle those artificially scented candles like ‘cotton candy’, ‘cinnamon donut’ etc etc. They smell chemically to me and I find them nauseating. I’ve always preferred natural scents, but the nicer the scent, the more expensive it is unfortunately.

The Ecoya candle, pictured above is pricey (in my opinion) but I used to have the exact kind in New Zealand and the scent is heavenly! I would splurge on this just to smell that gorgeous French Pear scent again. It is divine, and I don’t use that word lightly.

I’ve been curious about these Balsam Fir incense sticks since I saw them on the Izola website. Incense is something I have to be careful with because they can smell so musky and over powering at times. But I think these ones might be quite lovely. How nice it would be to have a house that smells like a green forest.

And lastly, I’ve been thinking about making my own natural home fragrance oils since I am so picky with scents. There are lots of tutorials online like this one that I might try out. I discovered these adorable reed diffusers from Danny Seo that would be the perfect vessel for my homemade fragrance oils.

Our House

Co_July_008Hello hello! It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything on here! We’ve been so busy with moving into our new house that I haven’t had a moment to be in front of the computer. Oh yeah, so, exciting news! We got the house that we were hoping for and I may have done a happy dance around the room when I received the email that we were selected as tenants. It’s a cute little old house in a pretty neighborhood where the houses resemble dolls houses and the streets are wide and lined with enormous trees. We really couldn’t have had better luck with our house search. It feels like we’re finally making a home for ourselves. Two months in your parent in-law’s basement will give you some real pent up, antsy energy to get your motivation levels sky-rocketing. We’ve been working on furniture to fill our new house with, weeding the garden and tilling up the old lawn, polishing the wooden floors, you name it!

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This is the table that we sanded and repainted. It used to be covered in a super dark varnish that was too dreary for our tastes, so we brightened it up! The house is still very empty and needs artwork on the walls and flowers in the vase, all those good things that make a house feel like a home.

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We acquired a few chairs that we intend to re-upholster, this rocking chair included.

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This is the wooden framed couch has been our biggest project this month. It was about to be thrown in the dumpster but we saw potential in this beauty. We dismantled it, sanded it, stained it, and varnished it. It sounds a lot easier when I say it like that, but this was in really bad shape when we found it. We even replaced the warped underwire and spring support with new slats. The next step is to re-upholster the old cushions. This step has kind of been put off for a while since we investigated upholstery prices and they’re not as economical as we’d hoped. We’re both not sewers so we might just have to fork out the cash to get some nice cushion covers made that’ll last us many years instead of risking an amateur job done that will just be an embarrassment to look at.

Well, that’s just a little bit about what we’ve been up to.
Home making is so much fun, but so exhausting.

Settling In

CO_May_1 ^^^ Sausage, otherwise known as  Saus, Sausy-mama or Sa-ma ^^^

CO_May_2 ^^^ Turtle, otherwise known as Turts, Tortuah, or Turtle-bear ^^^

CO_May_3 ^^^ Farm fresh eggs. You know they’re fresh if they still have feathers stuck on them! ^^^

CO_May_4 ^^^ Danny’s homemade pineapple cream pie ^^^

CO_May_5 ^^^ Homemade pork and green onion dumplings!! ^^^

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CO_May_7 ^^^ Bacon mustache? ^^^
CO_May_8 CO_May_9 ^^^ The carne asada taco was amazing! The fish taco? Not so much. ^^^

CO_May_10 CO_May_11 CO_May_12It’s been a little over a week since we landed in Colorado and I’ve been settling in nicely into my new environment. The first thing I wanted to do once we got to the house was to cuddle my cats. I missed those furballs so much!! We’re living in Danny’s parents’ basement while we look for a house. So, in the meanwhile, we’ve been working this week to make the basement a bit more homely and less like a basement? That involved, Danny and his dad hanging some drywall and plastering, and Danny and I painting our room.  Other than our D.I.Y projects, we’ve been cooking some pretty delicious food here. We had Danny’s uncle, aunt and cousins over for dinner and we tried making dumplings for the first time. The entire meal of curry, Chinese eggplant, stir-fried bok choy, and pork dumplings was devoured. So, that was probably a sign that everyone thought our food was pretty delicious! Since then, we’ve made dumplings another time with beef and onion. But, I can’t decide which I prefer because both kinds were so good! We’ve also been busy baking in the kitchen! Well, Danny is the expert baker and I’m the expert helper. We made a chocolate chiffon cake with sea-foam frosting. And I have to say if you were like me and hadn’t heard of sea-foam frosting, you must try it! It’s like having a super light and sticky layer of marshmallow on your cake. Just amazing. We also made a pineapple cream pie the other night, which I must get a slice of once I finish writing this.  We’ve been baking these egg based desserts  because a family friend gives us dozens of their farm fresh eggs each week that we can’t keep up with consuming! Just one of the great things I’ve found about living here so far! I’ve also been getting acquainted with the local cuisine. Danny’s taken me to their family’s favorite diner for breakfast and we discovered Monica’s Taco Shop, together (which could give Chipotle and Taco Bell a run for their money!). You can get two big burritos with rice and beans for $6.40!! Now that’s my kind of eating out! It made such a good impression that we were back again today, this time we took the whole family with us. It’s a new family favorite I think!

There is just so much to see and do here and I can’t wait to show you some of the things I’ve come across on the family farm!