what I’ve learned while being a homeowner
[alternatively titled the things I needed to know that I didn’t learn in kindergarten]
Sometimes you just have to jump off the scary high-dive and try things. Like the tiling I managed to master this weekend. Who would have thought I actually knew what to do with mortar and a trawl? But only a few hours later and something I will be proud of for years to come (see below). It’s kind of along the lines of tasting sushi for the first time; you aren’t sure exactly what you’re going to end up with.
If you complain about your dishwasher long enough, your husband will eventually cave and let you start browsing for a new one. Either he’s given in and finally agrees that a new, polished, stainless steel appliance would be a nice addition- or he’s sick and tired of hearing about my plots to break our current 80’s monstrosity.
When wandering the isles of Home Depot at 8 am on a Sunday morning, I will always look out of place. Always. Even in paint covered sweats and my hair slicked back into a pony. Something about me must scream rookie.
We need to invest in a wet saw. And a new insert for our crock-pot. #dammit.
Pottery Barn makes the worst [WORST!] Euro shams. Seriously- why wouldn’t you put ties or tabs on those things? They never stay shut. I give up on you, PB Euros.
And that’s about what our weekend consisted of. Laying tiles, installing beadboard, ironing new pillowcases, plenty of basketball watching, and a few celebratory cocktails last night to congratulate each other on a job [& weekend] well done.
And this morning, as I was walking out the front door, I dropped my iPhone on our brick stairs and cracked the screen. 6 years; I’ve gone 6 years with no iPhone incidents to date. And that all changed this morning. It’s almost as if my house was thumbing his nose at me [us] saying “there’s only so much you can DIY with me, friend!”. Just you wait, steps… I’m coming for you next!
[ps- clearly we aren’t finished with the backsplash — as evident in the lack of a wet saw and the gaping spaces where we need to make precise cuts to the subway tiles]
time # 53,721 I let the Internet make decisions for me
So a few weeks ago, I blogged about how I wanted to try using olive oil as a face wash. Well, being that I’m lazy and the process involved more steps than just actually rubbing the olive oil on my face (what do you mean you want me to concoct my own beauty product? yeah right.) I never got around to making that happen. What can I say; I’m a purest that believes beauty should be as easy as smearing some gook on my face, adding water, and rinsing clean.
I did- however- heed your advice to try raw honey as a face wash. At first I was all “you want me put this sticky shit on my face? is this going to come off? what if it gets in my hair?” but I quickly shut up the little internal voices and just did as the Internet told me.
[wise decision, EPH]
A few important points. First- make sure you’re using raw honey (I got my jar from Trader Joe’s for much cheaper than my everyday face wash). Second- make sure you have your hair pulled back and completely off your face. As I mentioned earlier, honey is sticky (for those that haven’t noticed) and you don’t want gobs of it in your hairs. And finally- I have started washing my face with raw honey in the morning as it doesn’t really work in removing makeup and grime your face accumulates throughout the day. I’m still using my typical face wash in the evening.
So here are my completely un-scientific directions to wash yo face with raw honey-
- take a quarter sized amount of honey and spread onto your face in circular motions. you people are all adults- I don’t think I need to go into great detail here. I work in sections (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin) and usually end up using more than a quarter sized amount.
- let the honey sit on your face for a minute or two
- take a washcloth, soak with warm water, and rinse off your face
There you have it- that simple. Even a caveman could do it.
I could go on here and tell you all about how honey is a natural moisturizer or how honey can help brighten your skin tone but I won’t. Just try for yourself.
Ps- you can also use raw honey as an mask. Follow simple directions above- only leave on your skin for 10-15 minutes as an exfoliating treatment. I hear you can also mix with sugar and lemon juice but I haven’t tried that quite yet (again- I’m lazy and it requires too many steps).
One of my favorite re-purposed items from 2012 was this former K. Hall “Milk” candle that I turned into a makeup brush holder. It would have been a shame to waste a perfectly good glass container [and the subsequent half dozen I’ve scraped clean since last Spring] and I quite like the vintage-y look it gives my tray.
Here’s how I did it:
- Once you’re finished with the candle, stick the jar inside the freezer and let it sit for at least an hour.
- The cold temps will cause any leftover wax to shrink. When you take the jar out of the freezer, scrape any excess wax out with a [dull] knife.
- If there’s a label on the candle- you can remove. Or if you quite like the sticker left on the jar [as I did] leave it right where it is.
- Use a paper towel to wipe off any smudges, bits of wax, or soot that’s been left behind. If you have a hard time cleaning the jar, a dab of baby oil will clean everything off quite nicely.
- Rinse with soap and water then dry.
- Voila! You have a fancy, re-purposed glass container!
I foresee a Holiday themed DIY in the very near future. Can’t you visualize it- a little glitter paint, Styrofoam balls, & gold toothpicks?
yes. yes, indeed.
Absolutely am enamored by the ombre art! How did you get the varying colors? Did you buy 4 close tones or lighten the darkest? I've been unsuccessful in finding a piece for the new apt so making it myself may be the answer. Thanks! — thebluehour
It’s easy as pie- I swear! Well, other than the fact that I’m clearly no engineer and can’t paint symmetrical stripes centered correctly on a canvas. But really- who cares about the measuring part? The piece is whimsical so off-center is fitting, really.
I stood in Jo Anne Fabrics for the better part of an hour picking up, putting down, rearranging, and lining up colors for my ombre painting. I ended up picking 6 acrylic paint colors (to total 11 stripes; it’s all about odd numbers in decorating) varying slightly from one shade to another.
Ombre How To: pick a canvas based on the space you plan to hang it (mine was 30 in x 40 in). Measure the canvas, and staring in the center, paint one stripe in your lightest paint. From there, paint one stripe at a time (on both the left and right of the previous stripe) working your way out going from lightest to darkest in color gradiance. Blend any overlap with a dry brush and/or a combo of the two colors (what I ended up doing). I used an actual paintbrush (like you would use to paint trim) vs. something artsy-fartsy (ie- more expensive). The total cost of the project was about $35.
a weekend DIY @ the H house:
As Blake finishes up demolishing & re-landscaping our front yard this weekend, I will be donning my overalls [FYI- not really] and paint brush to create this ombre masterpiece. I’ve been in search of a few new, original pieces of art for the H homestead- and I’m really digging this hot pink number. I’m thinking of also doing one in yellow & green.