A Toothpaste Resolution

(love having a chance to use my Martha Stewart labels)

Part of my New Year's resolution will be to make more everyday household items (cleaners, shampoo, ect.). So, last night I started on the journey and made my own toothpaste from the Big Ass Book of Crafts (thanks Jaz for the book!).

The toothpaste combines lime zest, baking soda and peppermint oil. It stays as a powder and you just dip your toothbrush in to the jar.

The results- so far, so good! I've used it just two times and my teeth still feel minty fresh.

Anyone else want to join me in making household stuff? Maybe each month a different item? What do you think?


An Ikea Lunch

Here's my strategy to fit a trip to Ikea during your lunch hour (many of my time saving rules were broken today).


Bring a child or two other co-workers to qualify for family parking.

Park near the exit not entrance if you think people will give you the stink-eye by parking in family lot.


Research what item(s) you need before the trip. Go with a mission.

Decide on who will play bad cop (i.e. “Focus!” “Stay on target!”)

Store plan (Acknowledge that you can not walk around the whole store. Either choose the room vignette space or choose touring the marketplace, but not both. Also, take advantage of the short cuts.)


(don't judge my food choices)

Stick to easy eating meals and ones that do not need extra preparation from kitchen staff (stay away from the cheese steaks).

Normally it's not advertised but there is a $1.99 pasta meal

Seating location. (Depends on store. You may want sit near the place to put trays away or near the exit.)

The secret of the elevator. The South Philadelphia store has two elevators - one goes to the market place, one goes to the entrance. If you are just there to eat and leave, find the elevator that goes to the entrance.

No shiny objects

Designated bad cop reminds you to stay focus

No impulse buys. You don't need weird Swedish candy, even if it is on sale.

Check out Time

Items prior to check out – Ignore

As is section – Glance in

As I learned today, only go to the Self Check out lanes. Even if the regular cash register lane looks empty, you will have someone in front of you buying a "glorpglorp" with no price tag.

Time for ice cream!

Also, beware of wacky school holidays and going back to college season.


Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday week! We just got back from a very exhausting travel schedule visiting with family and friends.

Now that we are home, I can show off one of my favorite Christmas gifts from the dude...

Amy Ruppel!!

I also received a Kitchen Aid mixer from my parents. I think my life is now complete.


Christmas crafting continued

Felt House Ornament
Pattern: Walk in the Woods, by Alicia Paulson
Knit hat
yarn: Lion Brand Woolease Chunky
Knit hat with brim.
Actually is a really cool hat, just not flat.
A bunch more projects are still left but are not "due" until after Christmas. Thank goodness!!


The Lodge

The Lodge- Overview

The Lodge- Bedroom with view

The Lodge- Bedroom 2

The Lodge - master bathroom

The Lodge - Lounge

The Lodge - Bunk house

The Lodge - Indoor pool

The Lodge - sitting area

The Lodge - outdoor
The Lodge, Sir Richard Branson's Mountain Retreat Hotel, located in Verbier, Switzerland. Looks like a lovely place to be on a snowy day.


Cleaning painted hardware

I'm sure most of you that live in a "vintage" house have dealt with painted over hardware. Over the snowy weekend, I tackled a portion of our hardware collection.

I decided to use the slow-cooker/laundry detergent method to remove the paint and used the directions found on this Apartment Therapy post by Anna of Door Sixteen.

Here's how it went down...

small crockpot box

Purchased cheap-o crock pot at Aldi during snow storm of the century.

crock pot

Gathered offensive hardware.

painted hardware

hardware in crockpot
Let the hardware cook overnight. Um...yum?cooked hardware

Removed the hardware from the crock pot and peeled the softened paint off by the old chopstick and rag method.

hardware out of crockpot with paint

Ta da!

Cleaned up hardware

Labeled crock pot for good not evil purposes.
labeled crock pot

The door hardware still isn't perfectly clean. Dear readers, is there a way to shine them up a little more? Or do I put them in for another round in the crock pot?


More Christmas Crafting

I promise to have some house updates next week! I have some projects up my sleeve for this weekend.

On the crafting front, this week I've finished...

An army of earrings

pattern found at Happy Together

A winter "dad" hat

Knit with Lion Brand Woolease Chunky. Cast on 84 stitches, knit 2 purl 2 on size 10 circular needles until the hat is 9 1/2 inches long. Knit 2tog for 3 rows and sew ends. I love this pattern because the hat knits up super fast.

A green "mom" scarf

Still a lot more to go!


The Cranebow winner is...

Matt of Just Two Squares pulled Jackie's name! Thanks to everyone that entered the 100th post giveaway. Congrats Jackie!! (Jackie, shoot me an email)


Wrapped in fabric

I've had this diagram for how to use Furoshiki in my files for quite some time. I love the idea of wrapping gifts in fabric! I think this diagram will come in handy for wrapping two bottles of wine together.

Click here to read more about Furoshiki and here to see the diagram larger.

P.S.- Don't forget about leaving a comment on this post for a chance to win some lovely "to and from" labels for your gift giving! The giveaway ends tonight.


Wrapping things up

For the past few years, I've counted on Ikea for holiday wrapping paper. Last year, I went with a chartreuse, turquoise, black and white wrapping paper theme. This year, my gift paper seems to mimic a dirndl I wore as a child!

Here's what I picked up the other day:
(click on item to go to Ikea's site)
I might have to go back to the store to also pick up these:

And gnomes!!

Do you wrap your holiday gifts in a color theme or with whatever is laying around?

Don't forget to comment on this post for your chance to spice up your "to and from" labels with some Cranebows. The giveaway ends tomorrow night!


Cabin: Delta Shelter

This lovely cabin was built in Mazama, WA and dreamed up by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects. Check out what the architects have to say about this gem:

This 1,000 square-foot weekend cabin, basically a steel box on stilts, can be completely shuttered when the owner is away. Situated near a river in a floodplain, the 20’ x 20’ square footprint rises three stories and is topped by the living room/kitchen. Large, 10’ x 18’ steel shutters can be closed simultaneously using a hand crank.
Interiors by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Delta Shelter Delta Shelter - Living room interior Delta Shelter- Bedroom interior Delta Shelter- closing shutters Delta Shelter- looking out Delta Shelter 2


Kitchen Inspiration: More white kitchens

Kitchen inspiration: Mirrored glass 12/9/09

Kitchen Inspiration: All-White Kitchen 12/9/09

Kitchen Inspiration - Simple Farmhouse Kitchen12/9/09

Kitchen Inspiration: Understated Electric 12/9/09

Kitchen Inspiration: Pop of Color 12/9/09

Kitchen Inspiration: Modern Mix 12/9/09

1. Designer: Jonathan Berger, July 2009 House Beautiful. 2. Designer: James Radin, October 2007 House Beautiful. 3. Designer: Susan Tully, November 2007 House Beautiful. 4. Designer: Joan Schindler, May 2007 House Beautiful. 5. August 2007 House Beautiful. 6. Designer and homeowner: Kim Fiscus, June 2008 House Beautiful.

All pictures from House Beautiful magazine