April 11, 2017

Tippin' Tuesday

Long time no see/talk/write!

I'll work on it (hopefully)...

I'm going to try to start a weekly post about my favorite DIY tips that have changed my craftin' life.

Today I'm talking about... storing your paint brushes and rollers in the fridge! 

Weird? I know... I was super skeptical when I saw some of my favorite DIYers doing it on Instagram, but it WORKS. I've been painting a lot of random things bright white lately, so I was really tired of either throwing rollers away or spending what felt like 40 hours cleaning them out, just so that they end up crunchy (technical term).

If you're in between painting things the same color, wrap up that roller head or paintbrush in aluminum foil, put it in a plastic baggy, and shove that in the fridge. Let your significant other make fun of you and joke about eating them. Whip them out and start painting again whenever your heart desires. Repeat.

I have found that foil works better on rollers, even with primer, and plastic wrap is better for paintbrush tips. I'm not sure why, and maybe it doesn't, but that's the method I've been working with. Paintbrushes do not last in the fridge for months at a time if you're not using them in between, found that one out the hard way. So if I'm unsure of my next paint project, I rinse the brush and store it on my powder room sink (sorry guests).

So fancayyyy

So there you go! My tip of the week :)


October 26, 2016

DIY Laundry Soap

Doing laundry is the worst. There's only two of us in the house, so you parents must have it so bad in the laundry department.

One of my least favorite things is having to buy laundry detergent. Why is it so expensive? Will I like the smell of this when it's baked into my clothes? Do I want pods, powder, or liquid? How artificial is this weird gunky stuff? Why don't they give this stuff away so we can all smell OK?

So when I saw Kim and Scott from Yellow Brick Home make THEIR OWN on Instagram stories, I had to try it. Thankfully they have a really helpful post on what they used. This post is from 2011, and I saw them making it on their story in 2016, so it's obviously worked for them!

Borax - One cup
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - One cup
Fels-Naptha - One bar, grated

Here's my DIY laundry soap adventure...

I knew that I could find and order all of the necessary ingredients on Amazon and order them together, but I wanted to try to save a little money. I thought I was going to be able to find all of the ingredients at our local grocery store, so I went there first... I found Borax, after walking down the aisle twice. They had every type of Tide detergent you could think of, but no washing soda or laundry soap. I bought the Borax for $4.99, and I walked out with that and candy I had no intention of buying.

Those Reese cups stuffed with pieces are my kryptonite right now. 
I couldn't find the washing soda or soap! So next I tried CVS... Again, just found Borax... At that point I was getting a little bit irritated. WHY WAS THIS SO HARD TO FIND??? I spent a few minutes in my car looking up Fels-Naptha and Washing Soda online and ACE Hardware said they had both in stock.

So I went to store #3! I went in and found them right away in the same aisle along with Borax. So... Now I know, ACE right away!

FINALLY!!! I was so happy to see that disfigured arm holding a hammer.
Oh hi Borax, nice to see you for the third time today!
I had to stand on my tippy toes to get those bars... I was able to reach 3, so that's how many I bought. Next time, I'm taking Andrew so I can stock up. ;)
When I got home, I made two batches, one for me and one for my Momma. I put the powder ingredients in two mason jars, and go to work on grating the bar of soap. Not the most fun thing in the world, but didn't take long!
Thanks Mom for always making me grate cheese for Taco Dip, because that made this a little less difficult.... Wish this had been cheese instead of soap now... Mmmm.. 
I used it (1 tbsp per load) on my next load of laundry and it made the house smell so good, but the clothes had NO smell after being washed and dried. I just sprinkled the powder over the clothes after loading them into the washer. I have a HE washer/dryer system. I thought maybe I was going nutty when I thought the clothes were extra soft after being washed with this DIY soap instead of Tide pods that I did the first load with, but even Andrew agreed. Last night I washed my favorite plush blanket, and I will confirm that this soap made it SO soft.

Viola! I think I shredded the soap a little thick, so I make sure to shake and stir before getting my tbsp for the laundry.
Here's how the pricing broke down...

One box Borax - $4.99 (It was $6.99 at ACE)
One box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - $4.99
One bar Fels-Naptha - $1.79

Yellow Brick Home says that each box of powder (Borax + Washing Soda) can make FIVE batches. So we're coming in much cheaper than store bought liquid or pods. I'm SO happy!

October 23, 2016

One year down...

Last year was a whirlwind of a year... We were living in a two bedroom apartment in a nice suburban area. In May, we renewed our lease for a second year. Andrew was driving about 30-60 minutes to and from work each day, and I worked from home most of the time. When I did go to the office, I had a frustrating 3 hour drive there and back. We would drive about two hours to see my parents for holidays or fun weekends, and about an hour and a half to visit with Andrew's family. We had one sweet, sassy cat, Miles, and one dog/furry sweetpea/love of my life, Sammy. Things were good, but there was something missing - the feeling of home.

For the first four years of our relationship, we were long-distance more than together. We were full-time students when we started dating, and I worked about 30 hours a week. Then after graduating, I moved away for graduate school, and Andrew worked full time. Andrew came to see me every other weekend and spent Saturdays and Sundays napping in my apartment with Miles while I wrote papers.

When we finally were able to settle, we chose our apartment. I didn't even see the place, just trusted Andrew's opinions of it and sent in the lease! I knew (hoped) it would be temporary. We loved the area, the county was well funded, schools well rated, and close to fun things without being overwhelming. But it was expensive... Cost of living was high, much higher than I was used to. I began to feel that my lifelong dream of homeownership, a much more easily attainable option back where I was from, was never going to happen. 

Then one day we drove down to Andrew's hometown for a visit with his mom. On the way back to our apartment, I asked, "what if we moved here?" His hometown is a lot like mine and I really liked the idea of being closer to work, closer to someone's family, and settled down. I spent the rest of the hour and a half ride searching on the Zillow app. I found a fixer upper that I couldn't get out of my head... I did what any reasonable 24 year old with a new full-time job, newly signed lease renewal, mountains of student loans, and an uncertain future and got over it contacted a lender. We were approved, we I fell in love with the fixer upper, and we made an offer! It was accepted, but the inspection uncovered much needed and expensive repairs that were way out of the budget.

When I finally agreed to move on from my stinky little brick fixer upper, Andrew found this beautiful home, almost identical to the fixer upper, but FIXED UP. I didn't love the price, or the lack of big projects, but loved the land and floor plan more, and it meant I could focus on fixing the fun stuff, not the furnace and windows. We closed on that house ten days after our wedding, and moved two weeks later. 

It's been a great, hectic, busy, annoying, fun, expensive, exciting, and prideful year. Stick with us to see years and years of more adventures!!

After closing on 10/15/2015 & our one year houseversary 10/15/2016