Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pigging Out

A few months back we had dinner at a neighbor's house. You guys. YOU GUYS. Their house was so cozy. It was rich, warm and filled with antiques. Candles were lit all over. This was a house that really said, "Come on in."

I was totally jealous.

While I won't be able to mimic the overall look of the house, I did latch on to one clever idea right away. They had used old cutting boards to make rustic end tables. We needed an end table, we like yeah...I was in.

I found a cheap cutting board at Ollie's. Paula Dean's loss is my gain, ya'll. But then spent about six months trying to find legs for the darn thing. Crates? Wood? Spindles? Candle sticks? Lamp bases?

Then we were at the TROSA Thrift Store and I found the cutest rickety step stool. It was totally gross, completely unsafe and only $2. Score!

I brought it home at cleaned it in the bathtub with Murphy's Oil Soap. B tightened everything up and screwed the cutting board on.

It's super weird but I love it. 

My Favorite Things Spring 15

I love when the blogs I read do a "Favorite Things" post so I'm going to try my hand at one. You guys know I'm not sponsored by anyone so these are my own opinions. (And you also know that my real favorite things are covered with fur.)

I generally have a pony tail holder on my wrist ready for emergencies but sometimes they can look a little dingy. I have these in gold and it looks just like a bracelet! Since they spend more time on my wrist than in my hair this is a perfect solution.

Iced coffee is my favorite thing ever and I make it at home every day. This glass cold cup from Starbucks is sturdy and beautiful. (And environmentally friendly.)

I fell in love with this perfume when I read the description on the Internet. I bought a roller ball of it before my best friend's wedding and wear it almost every day. My previous favorite was:

I wore that for about four years. It takes me a while to go through perfume. Honorable mention goes to Tokyo Milk French Kiss 15:

I bought this on a whim at a sample sale for about $4. It's my special occasion perfume.

Now that we're gearing up to garden season I'll be wearing my daily summer uniform of my linen pinafore and galoshes:

This is not me, obviously, I wear mine over a sundress like every single day when I'm feral in the summer.

Shout out to Miss. Baby A for introducing me to my favorite yogurt:

A middle aged white lady has a favorite yogurt? No surprise there....except that I hate yogurt. I'm not one of those, "If I'm good I can have a tiny yogurt as a little treat"-people. This yogurt doesn't taste like yogurt. It's awesome. I made my mom eat some and she was skeptical but she liked it too. I mix it with Cracklin' Oat Bran...aka the best cereal ever. It has coconut in it.

I can't get enough of the "Chef" soundtrack. It was an adorable movie that we really enjoyed but the music was incredible. We downloaded it as soon as the movie was over. 

and one more because this one kills me:

I've also been listening to Run the Jewels 2 and the LMFAO Station on Pandora almost constantly. I'm not ashamed. 

Oh and one more smelly thing that I like:

This is the Dragon's Blood Goat's Milk Soap by Zum Bar. It smells so good. I bought it for B because he didn't like the hand soap at his work. He kept coming home smelling like a Kirkland's. Now he smells like the dirty hippy he is. 

For reading material can I recommend:

As long as your mom is not my mom this is the perfect thing to get her for Mother's Day. This magazine is so good. It has dense articles about local treasures, historical goodies, secret recipes and is even educational! It's a far cry from the two dimensional prattle you see in other magazines.

My last favorite thing is getting library books for free on my Kindle. It is the BEST. Free books without leaving the house. A bunch of my holds just came in and I'm so excited to gobble the up this weekend. 

Other things I'm currently all over? Anything garden related, this weather, thrift-ed skirts, baby chicks and ducks and black eyed peas.

Oh...and cat hats. Very in this year.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wooden't you like to take off your coat and stay a while?

The post titles get punnier and punnier. Sorry...*

Remember when I was taking trash out of the yard and making things out of it?

Well, as Britney would say, "I'm a genie in a bottle, baby."

While I was stumbling around the back yard I found THE PERFECT board. It was the kind of gray Pottery Barn would kill for. The gray that launched a thousand Pinterest sludges where steel wool was left too long in Mason Jars.

So I sawed it in half, put some fancy knobs in it and made a coat rack.


This one is my favorite because it has a fleur de lis.

No, this one is my favorite because it's pink.

Oh but this one has pearls, so it's my favorite.

But this botantical one is so shabby chic.

I don't like this one. Haha. I really don't. It looks like an echinoderm. 

This one I love though, it's pretty useless for holding things. It's just for looks. You can put like...a Barbie purse on it.

Ooh but this one is super cool because it looks like an antique eyeball. How steampunk.

This one is some Anthro inspired bidness.

I mostly made this myself and to be frank, it was a pain in the ass.

It was worth it because:

A. I learned how to use the jigsaw...thus making me unstoppable.

B. I love it.

*...that I made you think I'm sorry but I'm not.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Working for Peanuts

This is going to be one of those posts where I should probably take 500 pictures and make a 50 step post about how to do this craft but instead you're going to get:
1. Put peanuts in a slinky.

Lemme back up. You can make a slinky peanut feeder for the birds. THEY LOVE IT. You can get some of the big birds that don't come to the feeder as much.

You need:
A slinky
Unsalted peanuts in the shell. You don't want to be a bird killer.

1. Cut your string about a foot long. Put it in your slinky and tie it so that you have a slinky circle with a string in the middle. This is so the slinky won't be able to stretch all the way when something pulls on it. That'll just fling peanuts everywhere and if you wanted to do that you wouldn't need to buy a slinky to do it. I thought I'd need the bread tie thingy but the yarn worked just fine.

2. Hang it outside.

3. Put peanuts in it. (Learn from my fail and don't do step 3 before step 2 or else you'll be leaving a trail of peanuts in your wake. You don't want to start the band, "And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Peanuts."

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reader Question: What's the plan?

My Internet Twin Writes:
"I am amazed, like ahhhhh....MAZED!!!! at how much cool DIY stuff you guys do. It's AWESOME ALREADY. So, do you feel like you have a complete "vision" in your head of how you want things to end up? Or do you adjust your vision a lot as you go along?"

If you'll recall our last Reader Question was basically, "How do you keep from crying all the time?" so I think this is a significant improvement. Big round of applause for the Green Mountain Cottage Team.

We have a vision.
It is frequently reality checked.

Our vision is for a cottage style home that looks cute but lives how we live. Things need to be pretty but durable. We want the house to be energy efficient. The best way to tell what we're up to is to see what I'm pinning on the Green Mountain Cottage Pinterest Board.

Sometimes the thing that we want the most for our house is not the thing that works the best for us so we have to adjust. Like how we started out with this rug:

It was delicious, soft, wool....and impossible to vacuum. 

So then I bought this rug:

Cream, wool carpet with three pets in a construction zone? OK that wasn't the best idea.

Now we have a busy carpet made out of recycled plastic. Moments before I took this picture Sugar threw up on it three times (#realtalk) and as you can see it cleans up really well.

Bonus: It is SO SO soft. It's the Campania Pewter area rug from The Home Depot. 

Things don't always go as planned even when we think we have a clear plan. Let's take the kitchen for example....the kitchen plan has evolved so much. When we purchased the house we thought all the back wall needed was a new sheet of siding. Oops. Nope. It needed a whole new everything...from the window to the wall.

Even as we start simple projects what looks like, "We're going to paint this wall," turns into, "Oooohhhhh nooooo they painted over wallpaper."

Our most recent swerve in the plan came from the bathroom remodel. This time it might be a good swerve.

We started out with:

And then that devolved into this:

And further to this. Luxurious. 

The other day I was lamenting to my mom that this was going to be another six month project. We were planning on re-tiling the whole thing with slate, installing a pedestal sink which would mean replacing the dry wall, sawing out the tub and putting in a clawfoot tub and replacing the entire subfloor because it's rotten. You don't want the floor under the toilet to be rotten.

The first time we flushed the toilet in the house we realized why the subfloor was rotten. The toilet was like a fountain. It dumped water out of all sides. "Water." Yeah, let's go with water.

The shower upstairs is ugly. The tile is fuzzy and atrocious. The tub has a dent in it. I don't know how you get a dent in your tub and I don't know what possesses someone to pick out fuzzy tile but either way it's going.

But the downstairs shower is pristine white tile and a perfect tub. (Due largely in part to the fact that it doesn't work at just dribbles water ineffectually down the side.) It seems a pity to rip all that out....

SO the new plan....until something derails to leave the shower, fix the subfloor, tile, replace the toilet, steal the vanity from upstairs and paint. That might have a chance of getting done by Easter! 

Later on we can put the slate and clawfoot upstairs...since that bathroom needs an overhaul too.

Yeah.....that's gonna be some work.

When you don't have a huge budget and you are DIYing you have to have a flexible plan or else you're going to give up. We've learned to roll with the punches....and yeah, sometimes they feel like punches...but some days when the light is right and I've had enough coffee I can walk through and see what it'll be like when it's done. I'll know that I had a hand in every piece of the house. 

And then we'll probably move.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Self Watering Seed Starters

Gardening. AHHHHH! This time of year I am losing my mind of seeds and garden stuff. I can not be left in a garden center alone without bringing home something.

I love to garden but I am terrible at starting seeds. This year I decided to try something new since I have a sunny window under a VERY warm vent in my office.

You know I'm all about reusing things. Last year I started seeds in K Cups (directly in the coffee grounds, it worked great) and I did the milk jug greenhouse technique. This year I wanted to try something different.

I cut water bottles in half, used an awl to poke a hole in the cap, filled it with soil and planted seeds. I only used a few seeds because I was worried it wouldn't work. I have a fear of seed wasting...I mean, they only give you like 200 of them. What if I waste 4 seeds and then I can't have 200 pepper plants? I MIGHT HAVE TO BUY MORE SEEDS.

After a little over two weeks EVERYTHING is sprouting even the dumb, old Rosemary seeds I planted on a whim. EVEN MY PEANUTS. OMG SO EXCITED TO GROW PEANUTS. It never occurred to me that I could grow them at home.

When the roots get going these will be self watering but in the meantime I am misting them when I go to check them 50 times a day. It's rewarding to check them so frequently because you can really tell the difference. (Yes. I'm excited to watch the grass grow.)

I finally sat down with all my pins and books and seed packets and made a garden plot plan for the summer. It was good to draw everything out. Then B said he was going to make me a new raised bed this weekend so I had to start over. OH NO. 

Hopefully I'll have more of a garden update for you soon but I wanted to let you know about this experiment in case you'd like to try it yourself. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Raking in the Jewels

You might remember the day I went careening around the back yard with my drill looking for wood and stealing gates.

I found the materials for three projects that day in the woods behind our house. One was the aforementioned gate-turned-fireplace screen. Another I am revealing today!

While I was stomping around I found the head to a rake. Most people would be like, "Eh. I guess I'll throw this out," but I was more like, "Score! Imma do something Pinteresty with this." I spent a while, like a year, thinking about the best use for it (JK LOL I forgot I had it for a year) until one day last month where I was trying to untangle my mound of necklaces.

Being the classy gal that I am...I keep my necklaces in a purple ceramic bowl in a big wad. When I want to wear one it takes a substantial investment of time to drag it out of the clutches of its brethren. I accidentally stole a necklace from the craft store a few weeks ago. It's a long, dangly, clacky and delicious Downton Abbey-y number and that I THOUGHT was a double strand.....alas it was two very aggressive necklaces. So on the plus side...BONUS but on the negative I have a necklace that wants to eat all of my other necklaces.

So....I hatched a plan and grabbed my drill.

If I was a good blogger, which we've established I'm not, I'd have a 30 photo tutorial on how to do this. Instead, I'll just say, grab a rake and screw it to the wall. Ta da!

I toyed with the idea of painting the rake but I liked it's rakish good looks. HAHA See what I did there? But seriously, I like the contrast of the chipped paint, rust and the fancy necklaces.