Happy Holidays

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HappySnaps 11

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Hello. Where have I been?? I’ve been, busy. I know, I hate that excuse too. But it’s true! And when you’re busy, sometimes fun things like blogs can start to seem like a chore. And once this feels like a chore, I won’t want to do it anymore, so I took some time off.  I promise I will try to keep updating as much as I can, but with holidays and birthdays looming, I can’t promise how much.

Here’s a quick HappySnaps for a peek into what we’ve been up to!

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As usual, we’ve been moving around furniture. And Robin has been enjoying all of the new spots to hang.

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And sleep. Lot’s of sleeping. Jolene joins in too.

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This ^^^^, is sort of big news! This is my beloved car. We have been working on it for almost two years (in December)! Sadly, it has been sitting at a mechanic’s shop for almost a year while he “worked” on it. This car has basically been a really big lesson for us, but it’s home now and so so so close to being done. I’ll post a whole blog on the story of this car, what exactly we are doing to it, and why it’s taking so long.

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Some more news, we have gone Paleo! Seeing this new craze all over the internet, I started to wonder what the whoop was about. So when we got home from our anniversary road trip, we took the plunge and went full Paleo for a month. Well, we have loved it so much we have decided to keep going with it. The effects this way of eating has had on our bodies is incredible! I no longer get hungry every two hours, or have major blood sugar crashes or digestive issues. We feel more energetic ad have been sleeping better. Over all, it has been a huge improvement in our daily lives. And the best part is, it really wasn’t even that hard to adjust. I am always up for a challenge in the kitchen, but most of the meals I have made have been super quick, easy, and low on dishes! With the holidays coming up, we know it is not realistic to be 100% strict with this lifestyle, especially while dining at friend’s houses (no one likes a picky guest right?). But doing this has also helped us to automatically make healthier choices, when the healthiest and most ideal choice isn’t available.

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In other news, we have been soaking up as much of the lasting warm summer weather that we can, knowing it is going to cool down very soon. We are both excited for fall and winter, but that still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take advantage of the unseasonably hot days right?

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And finally, look at that. A tiny bell pepper. In our own garden. That we grew. I can’t wait for it to be full grown and ready to eat! We’ve already had our first Meyer lemon from our little tree! It was delicious!

What has been going on in your world?

quick house update

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It’s almost been four months since Tyler and I moved into this house! Wow! Time goes by too fast. Anyway, four months later, I’m finally feeling like our house is to a point of being “done”. Okay, not done. Not even “done”. But “done” enough to share. Our home will never ever be done, and I love that. We are always moving stuff, rearranging things, swapping stuff out, and building new furniture for our home (yes, Tyler has built most of the furniture you will see here). One of my favorite past times is redecorating. It’s so fun to move things around and see how everything looks in a different spot. It also keeps things fresh without spending any money on new stuff.  So now, I want to take you on a tour of what our home currently looks like, though, it has already changed a bit since taking these photos.

First, our living room/dining area.

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Now, on to the kitchen.

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(Yes, that is the GE Fridge we restored… I’ll post about that soon!)

And our bedroom..

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And finally, the bathroom…

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I definitely plan to post another tour with more detailed photos in the future. I want to wait until we have finished our “to-do/to-build” list!

steps to clean an old porcelain sink

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When Tyler and I moved into our 1940’s home, one of my favorite aspects was this beautiful porcelain sink. After a couple weeks of living here, I started to notice how awful our sink was looking. Then I started to worry… What if I ruined this old sink?? Was I really so rough on it? I’ve always dreamed of having a white (preferably farmhouse style) sink, but, was it really worth it? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are we going to lose our deposit because of this? Help!

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Ugh. Look at that. After a few minutes of panic, I decided to (duh) Google it. Someone else has to have an old dingy sink right? Surely someone figured this out? I’m usually the type to just go for it, but I didn’t want to maybe cause any (more) damage to the sink. Here is what my Googleing found, and what worked best for me!

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First, spray the sink with Tilex. (The website said to put paper towels down on the wet surface to hold it to the porcelain. Well, we don’t buy paper towels. It’s so much more cost efficient and environmentally friendly to keep rags under the sink. The first time I did this I just left it open and did not cover the Tilex, but I really had to watch our cats like a hawk to make sure they didn’t play in the sink. I did want to try the paper towel method though, for comparison. And, FYI, I didn’t notice any difference in the outcome.) I let it sit for about an hour, and then rinsed it away.

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WHOA! Right?? Where’d the nasty yellow go?? It’s so white!! Really, only an hour of patience and it already looks so much better. (If the stains are really bad, you can let it sit overnight, though the Tilex bottle warns against prolonged use on porcelain. It’s up to your discretion.)

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Okay, now how about those black and silver scuffs. These freak me out. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they look like veins. I don’t know. Anyway…

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I was shocked (!) when I read to use glass cook top cleaner on the scuffs. Really? It just seems so… wrong! Well it isn’t. It’s all sorts of right. Luckily we had some from our last house that had a glass top stove. Squirt some on the scuffs, and scrub away. I use a scrubby rag from Target.

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Look at that. Dang. I barely even had to use any effort to get the scuffs off. They basically just wiped off. So cool!

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Once your sink is nice and clean, dry it thoroughly and marvel at how pretty your sink looks. After it is completely dry, you can buff it with car wax for a longer life in between stains and scuffs. It preserved the niceness of our sink for a little while, but not enough for me to really do it each time.

What are your best methods for cleaning??

HappySnaps 10

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Happy Thursday! Thursday means it’s almost Friday! Friday is my second favorite day of the week.

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Last week we found this little nest of eggs hidden behind the shed. We thought one of our girls had stopped laying and were kind of worried. Turns out she had found a new little spot for them! 8 eggs! Phew!

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We’ve really been settling in and getting everything decorated in the house. It feels more lived in now and more like home every day. I’ll post some updated photos of all the rooms soon!

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This is another room that has changed a ton in our home. It’s amazing what some rearranging and purging can do for a room! This room went from cringe worthy to one of my favorite spots in the house!

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A couple weekends ago we went wine tasting with my sister and her husband! So fun! Tyler and I have never been wine tasting, so this was a fun new experience.

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I bought a new cookbook and have been making so many delicious recipes from it! This recipe is for spinach tortellini with mushroom cream sauce. I paired it with my homemade bread, broiled with herb and garlic butter on top. The book is called One Pan Two Plates. It’s my new favorite! We have yet to be disappointed by a recipe! And, afterward, there’s hardly any dishes to do! Score!

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We also got to babysit this little guy last week! He is so much fun! Such a treat to be around him.

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And finally Robin. Oh, Robin. This girl and her boxes. This box has been her home for three days now. I can’t bring myself to throw it away. She loves it so much!

five tips for road trips!

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Our anniversary is coming up next month, and to celebrate we decided to go on a road trip to Santa Cruz!  Tyler and I have been on a few mini road trips together, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips to make the most out of your trip!

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1. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

This is so important! This will set you up for a great trip, I promise. Most likely, you’re leaving early. Take the time to make breakfast, don’t grab a bite on the way. Even if it’s some quick eggs, or even cereal, it will make a difference on your trip. No one wants to start off the trip hangry, right?

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2. Music Everyone Agrees On

This one might seem obvious, but have you ever been on a road trip (hello family vacations) and someone puts on music that just makes your skin crawl? Or, your companion plays the same CD for 5 hours straight (guilty). It’s smart (and fun!) to plan some music ahead of time. Make a playlist that’s a nice mix of everyone’s favorite bands. Or make sure your iPod has a big variety of genres. Music sets the mood and tone and you don’t want someone, including yourself, to feel anxious or annoyed.

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3. (Healthy) Snacks!

I know, it might seem tempting to grab that bag of chips at the gas station. Or that candy bar. Or soda. But having something healthy to snack on will keep your mood and blood sugar levels up! This means less bickering and stops along the way! Sugars and dyes in processed foods do a number on our systems and our moods. Don’t let that affect the road ahead! Healthy snacks will keep you fuller longer, so no need to pull over for another bag of chips (yikes)! And, trust me, there will be lots of opportunities to to indulge on delicious food once you get to your destination.

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4. Games + Activities

There are plenty of games that you can play with everyone, another passenger, or even yourself! Do some research online and find what sounds most fun to you! It will keep those long stretches of “nothing” from seeming so… long. We like to bring MadLibs and cards for handheld Solitare. There are also some fun verbal games that don’t require any “tools” to play!

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5. Map Out Sights

It’s no secret that I love lists and being organized. Without lists, I find myself feeling overwhelmed and worried about forgetting something. Even if you’re not like me, I really recommend this list. It’s always smart to plan ahead and make sure you get to see what you want to see. Plan out where you’re going, what you have time for, and what you want to make time for. I hate the feeling of getting home and realizing we forgot to stop somewhere along the way. Or passing something, and thinking Oops, I’ll catch it on the way back! And then, not. Also, doesn’t it feel good to cross stuff off lists?? No? Just me? Okay.

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We are so excited to hit the road next month!

What are some of your Road Trip Tips??