Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saving the best for last

The master bathroom.

It's scary...mostly because we ripped everything out of it and it's a complete disaster area (story of our lives). I'm not gonna lie, sometimes when we start demo-ing I have a mini-panic attack inside and think to myself "OMG!!! How are we ever going to make this come back together!? Is it ever going to look okay!?" It is way, way to easy to demo, too bad it takes 100 times longer to put it all back together. I made 3 large truck load trips to the dumpster last Saturday, in the rain, to get rid of everything Frank pulled out of that bathroom. Oh, the joys of renovating....

This is the current state of the master bath.

The door from the "dressing area" into the bathroom is straight ahead, and you can see the opening to the small shower immediately to the left (upon walking in).

View from a few feet inside the bathroom.

We have big plans. So far we're waiting on quotes to come in from a few contractors and weighing our options. We plan on doing the cosmetic stuff ourselves (paint, lighting, electrical, vanities, toilet, trim, etc.). But we'll need someone to come in and help us with the tile, carpentry work and plumbing.

One of the plans is to move the tiny, claustrophobic shower from it's original spot, to the very back of the room. Which would make it a H-U-G-E walk-in, with dual shower heads and a built in bench. In my mind, it will look something like this:

But without the window, sinks...and cat.

Of course- it will probably never look like this. But until I see it in real life, this is what I will picture in my head :)

We're trying to prepare ourselves for leaving the house. Now that it's almost finished, we are feeling more at home here...and it's going to be a little sad to leave our first "home". But it's the best decision for us for right now. I've been looking at apartments, and we will more than likely move in early May (our renters are starting their lease in mid-late May). So anywho- that's what we'll be doing in a few more months. We have several projects to finish before then! Landscaping is another big one.

I'm not really sure what life will be like when we don't have a house to work on 24-7, but we will soon find out!

Kind of off topic- but I booked a flight to Key West for a 4-day weekend next month! I've never been, and I'm super excited! Frank is working there for a few weeks so I'm heading out there for a few days. Frank will also be in Romania for a little while in August, so I'm thinking I may try and make it there as well, since I haven't been to Europe before.

Hope everyone has a blessed Ash Wednesday. I love the Lenten season, it is so necessary is so many ways. I feel like this year, it couldn't have come at a better time. We're sort of at a small crossroads, not really sure what to do with our life as far as jobs, living, etc., so hopefully we'll all grow a little closer to God in the coming weeks and get some guidance, and a sense of peace. Things have been so crazy busy lately, it's easy to get side tracked and lose focus on what we should always be focused on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lotion Making Experiment

Last night I attempted to make my own lotion/body butter. This was brought on by a couple of reasons, but mostly because
A. I’ve always had dry skin issues, and with my diet changes, it’s gotten considerably better…but still on the tad bit dry side, nonetheless.
B. The “good” lotions are expensive! 
C. I put on lotion from head to toe, every single day.
D. After doing some research I’ve decided that if I’m using lotion every day, I want to make sure it’s natural and that I can pronounce everything in it since skin is the largest organ on our bodies. I’m not really comfortable with the idea of putting something on it every day that might not be good for me.

So after reading some blogs on natural living (dang, I sound like I’m turning into a hippy!)…I sort of bought a whole bunch of lotion making supplies on an impulse from Mountain Rose Herbs.

The lotion recipe I used came from here: Wellness Mama Lotion Recipe, but I tweaked it a bit. Since I had several different oils/butters I decided I’d just use them all in this recipe and see how it turns out. For the carrier oils I used mostly Coconut Oil, a couple of wafers of Cocoa butter, a few teaspoons of Kukui Nut oil (LOVE that stuff), and some Vit. E oil. Then I used a little beeswax for the emulsifying effects and some water to thin it a little, and some Lemongrass essential oil to give it a scent. 

I actually took photos of the whole process, so enjoy!

The ingredients (minus the coconut oil)

Make-shift double boiler

Love coconut oil- I cook with it almost every day

When I opened this it was IN YOUR FACE chocolate smell! I was a little worried about covering up the smell, but you can't smell it at all in the lotion. I may or may not have licked one to see if they tasted like chocolate too...

It's the bees knees.

Here I have the cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax melting in the double broiler. I added a few tablespoons of kukui nut oil at the last minute.

...and it's melted.
After my concoction melted I added warm water to the food processor and started blending in the melted oil (with the essential oil and Vit. E that I added after everything else melted)

At the beginning it looked pretty gross. The oil wasn't really combining with the water very well, and it seemed like there was a lot more water than what I needed. But I kept pulsing and stirring, and pulsing and stirring, for about 10 minutes,and finally the consistency turned into what I wanted.

Finished product - the consistency is sort of like a whipped body butter

There would be some things I would change for my second batch. I used toooo much of the essential oil, so I'm walking around smelling like a big ol' field of lemongrass! As the day has gone on the smell seems like it's not nearly as strong as it was this morning...I'm not sure if I'm just getting used to it, or it is just fading. My co-workers haven't mentioned anything, so hopefully the smell just faded :). And the second thing I would change is the amount of oils/butters I used. I would definitely cut back just a little, as this is a little more greasy than what I'm used to. It's only greasy when you first put it on though, it actually soaks in pretty nice and my skin is suuuuper soft today. Yipee! So I'm going to keep experimenting until I get it exactly how I want, maybe try different types of butters and oils, maybe shea butter, jojoba, etc...and I want to start blending some essential oils to come up with my own scents!

One thing I can say, is that I used this on my face today and it worked wonders! I normally use Aveeno Face Moisturizer (Ultra-Calming). I've been using it for years and often find myself having to apply it twice because it soaks in so fast leaving my face feeling dry and tight. The homemade lotion I used today worked really well and my face feels awesome, and it was a really good base before applying makeup. Anywho- that's all for now! Maybe I'll try making some beeswax lip balm next :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hallway bathroom

It's done! Dunzo. Dunski. But more importantly, for the first time in over a year we can shower in a clean, nice bathroom! :)

This week Frank is in Florida for work, so I've been working on cleaning up the hallway (our previous paint job wasn't that great). I think we have our house rented in May, so the pressure is on to get it done! We'll probably move into an apartment in early May, until we figure things, living I've also been working on setting up an LLC for our 2 rental houses. Hopefully I'll be able to talk to an attorney sometime in the next few weeks, after doing some research I have a whole bunch of questions.

Anywho- that's it for now. On sort of an impulse a few weeks ago, I bought a bunch of stuff from Mountain Rose Herbs and I may attempt to make my own lotion/body butter tonight, which could be interesting. The things I do to keep myself entertained when Frank is away...ha. If I'm not around tomorrow, I may have blown up the house. See ya :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

IF we were to finish the attic...

I would love, love, love, love to build a room in our attic. For one, our attic is gi-normous and has tons of open space, which means we would have a lot of options. Unfortunately, those types of additions/renovations are very pricey and not within our renovation budget for an investment property. So, here’s what I would want to do if we were planning on staying here for a while, or maybe for a house in the future (?)…Pretty sure Frank's idea of a finished attic is pretty different than mine, but if I were to have it my way...

Yes, please!!
Awesome kids room
Guest suite?
Private getaway - love it
Awesome kids room #2
Craft room - for those very rare occasions that I have enough time to be crafty
I could definitely see myself spending a lot of time here :)
Reading nook - love the built in bookshelf