Thursday, April 28, 2011

Caring for Yourself

It's been a while, as I've been experiencing a bit of writer's block.  There just hasn't been whole lot going on, nothing inspirational or neat resources I've found.  I think today I actually have something to share.  Please do not take this as judgement, just as thoughts I have had lately.

As I've mentioned before, I currently have a bit of an obsession with French things.  A lot of the books I have read seem to be a little bit more based in the fantasy of France, rather than reality (although, how do I know?  I've never been).  But, one thing I could take away from my reading adventures is the serious self-care French women seem to have.  How many times to we skip moisturizing because we just "don't have time" or chose to let the chipped nail polish stick around?  I am not advocating being "overdone" but I do think it's important to make sure that a woman feels she can take time for herself to get ready in the morning.

In a time when people wander around in their pajamas, it almost seems as though we have lost a sense of

dignity.  We no longer choose to care for ourselves.  I am just as guilty of this as any other.  I spent many days in my sweatpants the first few years at college, usually due to a deep, dark depression.  Lack of care for me meant that I was undergoing a crisis, so I can no longer allow myself to go back otherwise I am admitting defeat once again.  I do not mean that everyone is depressed, nor that we should all be wandering around town in our best dresses on a daily basis.  I do however believe that taking the few extra minutes to apply that moisturizer or take that chipped nail polish off is worth the time.  When we look nice, we feel nice.

What do you do for your morning ritual?  What makes you feel "presentable"?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Those Whom Have Lost Their Common Courtesy

I would like to take a moment to stress the importance of common courtesy.  Today I had the joy *insert sarcastic tone here* of experiencing a few of the many who have clearly never been instructed in any area of politeness.

Please be sure to treat those who work in fields of customer service with the decency you would expect to be treated with.  There is a difference between service and servant.  Just because we have to keep quiet due to the desire to keep a job does not mean we get to be your verbal punching bag.

If you happen to need lessons on proper public etiquette, eHow can teach you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Life--To The Apartment

Yesterday I was informed that I will be taking two classes this summer.  I have no choice.  Six weeks of Biochemistry for two hours Monday through Friday.  On the bright side, it's only six weeks, I won't have to take a 7:30am class for the Fall semester and I get to take Buddhism online.  There is always a silver lining.

I love redecorating.  It's like getting a new hair cut or new clothes, except for your entire home.  It gives you a sense of rebirth, a time to renew your place of comfort.  Currently I am considering a new look for our new apartment.  While the one I live in is full of black furniture with red, I'm thinking to change to a white and blue theme.  I need a brighter home.  And it will probably look better with the wood paneling and wood floors.


This look is a bit more vintage


But this look is so clean and modern. 

The only issue is my bedroom kind of looks the same.  Perhaps if I added red accents?  


Never would I guess that I would live in such a patriotic home.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I've suddenly found myself making more and more changes towards a frugal, green lifestyle.  I feel like I've gotten to a point where I'm "regressing" due to my current lifestyle change--doing my laundry in the bathtub.

As I mentioned recently, I made my own detergent a few days ago and I bought an indoor drying rack since it's been a very wet Spring.  When I couldn't find any quarters to do a load of laundry, I decided to take a page out of No Impact Man's book and toss the clothes in the tub.  Using 2-3 inches of cold water with a 1/4 cup of detergent I letting the clothes soak and then stomp around with my bare feet in the water to agitate the laundry.  So far I've done two loads, saving $5 already.  And by not using warm water or a dryer, I have made laundry an entirely electricity free chore (not to mention the extra exercise I get).  I'm hoping to get a hold of a washboard to help scrub out the dirt from my socks.

What are you doing to "regress"?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Wow, it's Monday again.  I know I say that every week, but it always seems so unbelievable.  I'm so looking forward to the summer when things aren't keeping  me so busy that I'm always a crazy person trying to find things to do for the week. 

Here's Meet Me on Monday from Never Growing Old!

1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?
4.  Window seat or aisle seat?
5.  Do you know your blood type?

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Those who say they never regret anything they ever did are lying.

I do regret.  I have made so many mistakes, walked away from so many opportunities, ruined so many relationships.  It pains me to watch those whom I have affected continue on, even though I have been walking by for years.  So many hurts I wish I could take away.

What do we do?  How do we repair the injuries, the mistakes we've made in years past?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

Happy Friday!  So far it's been a good one, despite the chilly rainy weather.  I'm looking forward to the weekend but still trying to enjoy today.
Here is the Follow Friday Fill-In from Feeling Beachie
This week’s statements

1. Despite the fact that I should know better, I still always _______________

2. I _____ when I am worried

3. I always forget__________

4. ___________________is the best!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Decoupage it all!

As I mentioned yesterday, school is becoming rather hectic.  But not so busy that I won't include some decoupage into my day!  I decided to add pretty vintage labels from The Graphics Fairy to every single body and face care product I have on my bathroom counter--including the Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes!

It's probably the girliest looking bathroom I have ever had, but I adore it.

On top of that, I made a whole bunch of headbands!  The one below is my absolute favorite.  You can see the rest on my Etsy shop

And last, but not least, laundry detergent!  We've been running out of our current laundry soap so I decided it was time to make a batch myself instead of purchasing some from the co-op.  In comparison to the $10-$15 I spend on pre-made detergent, I spent roughly $1-$2 on 4 gallons which should last us several months.  I remember my family making it a lot when I was growing up, and funny enough it's the same recipe the Duggar Family uses.  Here is the recipe!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm and Hammer Washing Soda

½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and allow to cool.
I suggest you add 15-20 drops of essential oil to your detergent if you want a fragrance other than the Fels Naptha bar.
-If you want a heavy duty detergent, use the soap as it is.  If you want to spread it out over a longer period of time and it works for you, dilute it using half the detergent to half water.
-Use 1/4 cup per load.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Moving on

With the realization that school will be over in less than a month comes the other realization that there isn't much time to bump up the grades.  There is also little time to study for the many tests and projects I have due within the next three weeks, before all my finals.  How in the world have I managed to skate through this semester?  It seems impossible that I'm actually passing my classes with pretty darn good grades.

And now for the exciting news--I am moving next month!  Out of my little hobbit hole and into a beautiful apartment right next door to my own.  This way I will actually get a dining room table and a real bedroom with a door.  I cannot contain my excitement!  I am already thinking of new decorating I could do with my house. Perhaps I will finally get a slipcover for my couch so it actually matches the rest of the decor.  I wish I could paint...

I've spent a great deal of time watching "Brothers & Sisters" the last few weeks.  I love it for the many reasons I enjoy other dysfunctional-but-loving-family shows.  It reminds me of my own.  We gossip, can't keep a secret and don't get along sometimes.  But that has never stopped us from loving one another (sorry to throw the cheesy sap in).  It's also nice to see how much worse it could be ;-P.  Even Olivia agrees, there are definite similarities between the family on the show and our own family.  The only difference is not even half of us are "grown ups" yet.  It should be interesting to see where we are when we actually do get that old.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

Even though I haven't gone to bed yet, it's definitely Monday.  Busy week ahead, that's for sure.  Here is the weekly Meet Me on Monday from Never Growing Old!

1.  Who would be your dream celebrity date?
2.  Do you have any food restrictions?
3.  How much time do you take to get ready in the morning?
4.  Sausage or bacon?
5.  Do you Google, Bing or Yahoo?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Busy weekends=Lots of projects

As I said yesterday, I figured out how to make some underwear, only they didn't fit too well.  I tried again today and I could actually get them on!  I'm incredibly proud.  I promise not to post anymore pictures of my undergarments, but love sharing with you that I was actually able to get something to work.  Elastic is such a pain.  I figured out that not putting it on the leg holes is a good idea to save money, since it isn't incredibly necessary.  Just finish the edges and it's fine!

I've been working on many projects over the last few days.  One is an apron I really wanted to make out of some used pillowcases I picked up from Goodwill.  I cut them open, doubled the pattern and stitched it up over.  I eyeballed the pattern, which made the strap around the neck a little too long, but that's okay--it still works!  The photo is a little blurry, so just so you know, it's an ivy patterned fabric.

Another project was dressing up a dress that I purchased from Urban Outfitters a few weeks ago on clearance.  It's a beautiful dress, but it needed something extra.  I plan to add a tie around the waist, but for now I just added some flowers.


And finally, a new headband (of which I absolutely love).  I made the flowers from an organza wrap I found at Goodwill and the band is one I've had for a while.

Work was a joy *sarcasm*.  There are so many people in town for various University events and work was incredibly busy.  Sewing was my escape for the day (as you can see).  An interesting note, I was asked to be the interviewee for the staff employee section of the co-op newsletter for next month.  I'm not sure how I feel about it, but at maybe I can get the word out about my Etsy shop this way!  Have a fantastic rest of your weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Four Fill-In

I can't believe I'm already posting the Friday Four Fill-In!  I'm really trying to stop wishing the days away and soak up the time I have because it just flies by so fast.  But I must say, I'm pleased that it's Friday.  It means that I only have three weeks of classes to complete before finals and that is incredibly exciting.

From Feelin' Beachie
This week’s statements:
1. My favorite kitchen secret is___________
2. _____is my favorite flavor of ice cream
3. My favorite pair of ______ finally wore out.
4. If I could just have one more ______. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting into drawers

Well, it's time for another round of detox and rejuvenation.  Out of boredom, I tend to drink a little too much, and then I eat a little too much.  And my time ends  up spent on sitting around instead of doing a round of yoga or other fitness.  I need a break.  So, until the end of the semester alcoholic beverages are off limits.  I'm hoping this will help with my lack of physical fitness and bump up the healthy foods.

Last night I tried my hand at making my own underwear.  That's right, underwear.  I've never had to do elastic before, so that was a little difficult and they're too small but they still look cool!  I'm going to try again and see how it goes next time.  I need to work on installing elastic and making them big enough so I'll keep practicing.  If I can get it down, this will save me a bundle of money and I can make them fit perfectly.  I found a few websites that offered tutorials on making them, so I'll share them with you in case someone else wants to try this out!

Belle and Burger Panty Tutorial
Super Naturale T-shirt Underwear
Hanty Panty Tutorial

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Natural smells--Keeping Odors Away

While I don't want to brag, I'm told whenever I have guests over that my house smells nice.  I'm quite obsessed with making sure that everything smells pleasant, since I remember growing up with cat smell.  But, most of the time anything that helps improve the smell of a room or home tends to add harmful chemicals to the environment.  Here are some ideas I've found to make your home smell extra pleasant.

1.  Flowers.  Not even living flowers are necessary.  I have a bouquet of dried lavender hanging on my bathroom wall, which not only adds decor and color, but a delightful smell.  The steam releases the oil from the flowers each time you shower, so the scent is constantly renewed.

2.  Essential Oils.  Take a bath.  Add sweet basil, eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary essential oils to your tub.  Not only will you make your skin smell incredibly delicious, but the whole house will smell amazing.

3.  Candles.  Remember that lighting a match trick?  It works.  Find some soy candles that contain essential oils and place them strategically around you home.  Or beeswax candles.  They have a fairly neutral smell, but do contain a very light honey scent.

4.  Baking soda.  Absorb the smelly things in your home.  Put some in a pretty bowl and find an inconspicuous home for it.  This way, not only are you trying to add pleasant smells but you're taking the yucky ones away.

Sister Bonding

Yesterday I receive a text from my dad that asks about my 14 year old sister, Olivia visiting for the week.  It's currently her spring break and she decided she wanted to spend it with me!  Aw :).  So they drove up last night and now we're finding fun girly things to do.  Right now, that includes taking clothes to the consignment store and getting a haircut, among other various errands I had to run today.

While on the topic of consignment stores, I'd like to recommend to people who don't really want to sell their old clothes through Ebay due to not enough time or energy, take it into a consignment store before the Goodwill.  For those who are trying to keep their finances in check, this is a great option for getting rid of the cluttered clothes.  Those clothes cost you quite a bit of money initially, so just tossing them isn't such a great plan.  While donating is an excellent option (and believe me, the consignment store will not take everything.  They only took a few of my items), you can still make a few bucks and donate at the same time.  Just donate the rest that they won't take!

Once your closet is cleaned out DO NOT BRING OTHER CLUTTER IN!  It's tempting to see all the room and decide to fill it up again.  But unless it's something that looks incredible on you, don't buy it.  You don't want more clothes that you only half like.  Find clothes that make you feel and look amazing.

And that's my little piece of advice on closet cleaning, since I've been going at it for the last week.  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

It's time for another Monday.  I am exhausted and not ready for another week, but here it is.  Thank goodness I only have four weeks left of classes.  Only four Mondays left to wake up early for school before I have an entire summer to enjoy.  Here is the Meet Me on Monday blog hop from Never Growing Old

1.  If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
2.  Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?
3.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
4.  What is your favorite candle scent?
5.  Coffee or tea?

A Beautiful Week

I have given up on marathon training.  Running so much has killed my body (knees and back in particular) so I've decided this isn't something that I can keep doing.  But, with the return of Spring, and my awesome "new" bike, I will get outside and ride around town.  It doesn't appreciate hills, but that will just tone things a little better ;-)

Now I'll have more time to get into a regular yoga practice again, since running was taking up most of my extra time.  I'm really looking forward to school being done soon (only four weeks of actual classes left!) so I can get into a nice routine that doesn't revolve around school schedules.

This is my current read right now.  I'm continuing to try downsizing my life, reducing all the excess clutter and spending more responsibly, which this book emphasizes.  So far I've made it through sorting through my closet and currently have three bags full of clothes that I no longer wear or just don't feel good about wearing.  I don't know why I insist on keeping things around that I don't look good in (or don't feel good in).  I love the "wear 80% of your wardrobe" philosophy presented in the book.  The average woman wears 20% of her wardrobe.  That's so silly!  I have a specific set of clothes that I love to wear and I wear all the time, but there's this entire chunk of clothes that I just don't like at all.  So I'm taking the bags to the local consignment shop and seeing if they want them.   At least I could make a little money from them.  After that, to Goodwill they go!  I do recommend this book to those who need a little more help reducing clutter, organizing their home and ultimately managing their money better.  It isn't your typical boring personal finance book.  It's a good read.

And now, for the most exciting news!  I am a winner this week--TWICE!  I know I've mentioned The Bright Side Project before.  They give away daily prizes from contributors and designers who offer up their products.  To enter, you answer a fun question related to whatever the prize is and the contributor chooses the answer they like best.  And I was actually a chosen one!  This beautiful belt is by Veronica Vartic, an independent Belgian designer who creates unique accessories.

The second most exciting win was this incredible Spanish Steps dress by Shabby Apple. Freckled Laundry, one of my favorite blogs I follow, was doing a giveaway and I was randomly chosen!  I was so excited last night, I was literally dancing around my living room and I kept telling Erik about it all night long.  It made for a very exciting end to my week, that's for sure.  I cannot wait to receive this dress!  I will probably have it forever (as long as I fit into it forever).  This is exactly the style I've looked at whenever I've thought about my wedding (not engaged,  just one of those girls).  So pretty.

And that's my week.  I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Four Fill-In

It's finally Friday!!  And as I'm skipping my Organic Chemistry class today (I missed my alarm and Statistics was cancelled), I'm now spending my time filling out the Friday Four Fun Fill-In from FeelinBeachie

1. If I don’t drink water in the morning, my day feels off.  If I forget to get a drink of water first thing before I leave the house, sometimes I'll forget any other water until early afternoon if I didn't bring my water bottle to school or work.  It's really terrible, so this is one thing I really try to remember.

2. When someone walks into my house for the first time, they usually comment on how cute it is. For those of you who don't know, I live in a hobbit hole.  It was built the year before Idaho became a state, so everything is pretty short and while the real estate agents list it as a one bedroom, it really is a studio as the bedroom has no door.  So "cute" is the only way to describe my home. 

3. Every time I see the movie, ______, I cry.  There is no movie that I will repetitiously cry to.  Grey's Anatomy, however, was one TV show I would always cry through.

4. My feet feel best when they are doing absolutely nothing.  On the couch resting is usually the best.