Aug 27, 2010

beautiful lights.

i'm a huge fan of cute lighting. & well distributed light.
we like lamps a lot in this house.

but i found this…i can't remember where…but it's just what i want for the overhead light in our kitchen.

i'll have to figure out how to re-create it.

& this is the kitchen we have decided on.
Light blue cabinets (exact color is to be decided) with 'Panda White' walls. Its a Sherwin Williams color, but of course we are having Lowe's color match it :P
& pine counters. Maybe just a pinch less orange than this.

Oh, & we closed yesterday on our home, too! It was a completely unreal feeling.
We signed our names a few times & handed over a check.
Its one of those weird 'really? that was it?' kind of feelings.
It felt like that after we got married, too.
All the preparing for our wedding & all of the preparing to buy this house & it happens & you're just like 'oh, okay, that was way easier than i thought.'

Anyways. We are excited.

Tomorrow AM we leave for the beach with the Coleman clan :)
We'll be back late next week!

Aug 24, 2010

elkin i love you.

saturday was a odell/ross/coleman family day.
we drove up to my grandpa's old stomping grounds. in elkin. & thurman. & other places close by. my uncle has been in town this past week, so it was a fun family trip.

i also decided, that while i really truly love charlotte…i love the beaches & mountains of north carolina even more. it was so relaxing. & there were flea markets & antique shops EVERYWHERE.
we didn't stop at any of them.
this time.
but i really would love to go again soon & explore all of the fun little places.
i'm shooting a wedding for a friend there in october. it made me even more excited for it knowing how beautiful everything is.
here is dad, aunt (who gave us a beautiful antique mirror for our bathroom. yay!), grandma & mom.

our ice cream. butter pecan & blueberry cream pie.

for all of the pictures i take…this is the first one of daniel & i together in over…3 months? 

can't wait to be in the mountains again so soon. we will be at the beach starting this weekend, & that will be wonderful.

followed by oklahoma the next weekend - very quickly, for my grandparents 50th anniversary. which i also adore & miss. 

then that next weekend we will be moving.

september will be so much fun :)

diy packaging.

the past several months i've been selling lots on ebay.
& amazon.

you all probably could guess already that i hate clutter. which is kind of ironic a lot of the times. especially when it comes to the massive stack of ebay-ables behind our couch.

sometimes i sell things of ours.
sometimes i buy things & resell them.
a lot of them have been daniel's piles of schoolbooks & calculators & school gadgets.

we also shop at trader joe's a good bit.

so here is trader joe's + ebay

their bags are surprisingly sturdy.
i've never had an issue with them. i just buy bubblewrap for the books & more fragile items as an in between layer. or tissue paper for clothes.

& they look nicer than boxes & yellow envelopes to me.

just something to think about ;)

Aug 23, 2010

homemade dishwasher detergent.

okay… here is the first of many homemade cleaners. a few people have asked me why i want to do things this way…to save money, to be green etc…

& honestly…it's kind of just become a hobby for me. & i really like the idea of knowing what all is going into my clothes, dishes, counters, etc…all the chemical names on packages really creep me out. & i'm a de-clutter bug. so seeing cleaners in different shapes & colored packages really goes against every anal, perfectionistic bone in my body…thats probably why i love ball jars so much. conformity makes me so happy :)

so this is my new dishwashing detergent.
i've used this twice now.
& have scrutinized all of my glasses & dishes & i'm pleased to say…
i think this works just as well as my cascade did.

you will need:

1/2 cup of borax
1/2 cup of washing soda
1/4 cup of citric acid (that is the only ingredient i don't have shown. you can also substitute 5 packets of unsweetened lemon kool-aid in a pinch
1/4 cup of kosher salt

the borax & washing soda was actually difficult for me to track down. FYI. Walmart, Target & Rite Aid do not have the Washing Soda…although Target did have the Borax for $3.99. & the rest I found at Harris Teeter. So grocery stores are probably going to be your best bet for these. Save yourself the time I didn't, please.
These two ingredients are used in almost EVERY homemade cleaner, by the way. They are definitely worth getting.

Citric acid…I have heard you can go to a local bar or pub & ask for this…i have not done that yet. I think I'm going to order a good bit of it on Amazon, so if you want to buy some off of me…let me know. Or I can order some for you when I do another amazon order etc...

the white vinegar is for your little jet dry hole. what is that…a rinse aid compartment? yes.

this isn't rocket science. or any science at all really. pour all ingredients into a jar & shake.
then put it in a ball jar.
or you could use any leftover container…whatever you have.

This is about how much it makes. It is PACKED down. The citric acid has something to do with that…so you may need to fluff it with a spoon every once in awhile.

& here is the part thats weird to me…you only have to use 1 tablespoon per load.
i do a heaping tablespoon, because it makes me feel a like i'm adding a little extra cleanness to my dishes :)


Aug 19, 2010

a new kind of makeup remover...

okay. i will soon have a whole series of posts that may weird you out.
this is a good starter one. because its not that strange. at least i don't think so…

so, basically, i ran out of makeup remover the other day. & didn't feel like buying more right now. & i didn't want to get what i have again. it makes my eyes kind of bleary at night - does that happen to anyone else? so i started googling homemade or natural makeup removers…

& found a youtube video for olive oil that was interesting. 
the fact that the girl making it had a pet rabbit named mr. bun buns hopping all around in the background probably helped to.

i think i want to potty train a bunny now. instead of a dog. it was preeeecious.

so i'd heard before that extra virgin olive oil can be used to remove makeup, as a moisturizer for your face - & really your entire body. but i kind of dismissed it, thinking it would be really, well…oily.

but last night as i found my self at the very end of my makeup remover…i decided to try it - on one eye. & my normal remover on the other.

the olive oil totally won. for several reasons.
1. my eyes weren't blurry & the eye i used my cold cream on was. & it was also a little red & tender feeling. i guess thats how its always been - i just never noticed until i tried something else? 
2. it makes your skin feel soooo soft & nice in the morning.
3. my video tells me that it is non-comedogenic. & i believe most things i learn on youtube ;)
4. it also works better than baby oil - which i have also tried, which will clog your pores if you dont wash it all off, & it seems like my cotton balls absorb all of the oil & there is none left for my eyes. so none of that anymore either.

helloooo new beauty product :)

i'm going to put whats left in this bottle in a tiny ball jar.

so i think other people should try this too & tell me how it works out for you.
i've also heard that it should be extra virgin - not regular olive oil. i can't vouch for that. but there it is, for whatever its worth.

have fun, ladies.

Aug 17, 2010

How we eat.

I kind of let the whole 'raw food' topic dissipate on my blog.

So today I'm bringing it back up again.

I'm so sorry…its long.

We are still eating really 'healthy' I suppose. I want to do a lot of things I'm not still. But a few things I have learned for absolutely sure:

no. 1
I'm absolutely sure that I wake up MUCH more quickly in the morning when I drank enough water the day before.

I can go all day without drinking anything. Other than my tea in the morning. So I'm reaaally dehydrated most of the time. & its SO hard for me to wake up -- when I'm drinking more water - its 100x easier. No kidding. You should try it.

Another thing I've learned recently about water - its not the best for you to guzzle a TON of water while you're eating. Your body can process food better when your gut isn't full of water. Also: drinking a glass of water when you first wake up in the morning is another great way to get rid of the sleepys. & keeps you from becoming dehydrated once you start downing coffee. fyi.

no. 2
Veggies make my tum tum sing :)
Okay, well no. But they make me feel good. Doctors have always given me a clean bill of heath, but for whatever reason, I've always struggled with having little-to-no energy. Another reason why eating good foods is so important for me. Veggies for lunch - like broccoli & carrots w/ my homemade ranch dressing make me feel good all afternoon.

no. 3
Chia seeds are a good morning pick me up. They are loaded with B12. We mix about a teaspoon in our granola & oatmeal in the morning. I think it does the trick ;)

no. 4
Yoga - even just 3 times a week has made me more flexible, made my posture better (better. im still a major sloucher) & made me - dare i say….TALLER?

Daniel & I are perfect for each other. We both have way messed up backs. He has scoliosis & i was told on several occasions I have crunched discs & could potentially have a granny hunch at a NOT granny age. We used to go to the chiropractor every month….I haven't been in over 3 months. Normally after three weeks or so my lower back starts throbbing, I fidget around whenever I have to sit still in one place & I am SO ready by the next month to get my back popped. Since I've been doing yoga I haven't needed it! & on the taller bit - my mom & I have always been the same height & when I went over the other day, I was definitely an inch taller…take that however you will.

no. 5
Planning our food each week not only saves me time every day - when I would wander over to the fridge & wonder what I could possibly make with a head of wilty lettuce & almond milk…but it lets me plan for a somewhat balanced week with our food.

So, in my handy little notebook, I have a mealplanning chart I can look back to:
For dinner we have fish 1x a week, salad 1x a week, red meat 1x a week, vegetarian (other than salads) 1x a week chicken 1x every two weeks (until I can find a good place to get happy chickens) Then we normally eat with our parents or go out 1-2 nights. It makes things easy for me, at least. & that way we don't eat meat & potatoes 3 of 5 days.
We do the same for lunches. & breakfast.

Things I want to get better at:

no. 1
Eating still more veggies - less breads.
BTW, Clyde is very well, thank you. I need to feed him about now. He's hungry on my counter at the moment...

no. 2
Drinking more water. Old habits die hard…

no. 3
Not gorging on desserts every time we go out…or stay in. I always end up with bellyaches. We still have desserts here, too. So its not like we're deprived or anything. So maybe just two brownies…instead of three.

no. 4
Start taking the expensive multi-vitamins I bought at EarthFare several months ago. They would be so good for me if I could only take the minute to swallow that horse pill every morning…

no. 5
Transition over to all-natural house cleaners, detergents etc…Oh. No more paper towels for us, either.

For several reasons:
*We're taking up less space if I only need to make 3 cleaners to do everything that the 8-9 I have now can.
*No chemicals. Especially when we have babies crawling around someday.
*Less plastic containers to throw out.
*& I honestly just like the feeling of knowing that 'yeah, I made that detergent that makes your shirts smell so good, dear.' maybe i'm crazy…

So basically, I'm using all of what I have left, & I have a document saved with all of the dishwashing & laundry detergents & want to make. Multi-purpose cleaners, etc…I will post them as I make them :)

& we have officially run out of paper towels. I may keep one roll on hand for emergencies - especially while we're moving. But we've been using rags & microfiber cloths the last month or so & it hasn't been a hassle at all…Thats just a little less we have to throw away, too :)

You have been sufficiently rambled-to.

Hopefully just a little of that was helpful?

Aug 13, 2010

ranch dressing.

this ranch dressing is super yummy.
we don't use ranch here much. i tried making it once before with a different recipe & it was good, although a bit watery. so wednesday night i made cobb salad & realized we didn't have any. & found this recipe. which is better. & thicker.

& it literally took me 2 minutes to whip up. so you should try it...

1 cup of mayo (please no miracle whip. please. i can tell you its probably not gonna taste much like ranch dressing if you're pulling those kinds of things…)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of parsley
1 very small garlic clove. minced. or none. if you really hate garlic breath.

mix together.

thats all.

this makes about half a pint of dressing. i wouldn't keep it for more than two weeks tops because of all of the perishable ingredients. maybe less. ours hasn't been around that long yet. but its so quick to make - its worth it, i think :)

Aug 12, 2010

today was housie day.

i can't believe its the 12th. 
we were supposed to close on our little home today.

wow. just wow.

what has happened to this year, guys?!

so maybe you picked up on the 'supposed' bit. no worries. things just got pushed back a bit. as they always do when dealing with lenders & lawyers & old houses. i was actually a little concerned when things were going SO well. its just not…normal.

so patience for me. & for daniel. maybe next week? i am just itching to get in & start sweeping. it needs a good sweeping.

in the meantime. lots of baking for me.
i tried making yogurt again. after two horribly failed attempts awhile back (do NOT try my yogurt recipe, guys. i mean, it wasn't awful. but i should probably delete it. the one i have now is better)
i was scared to try again for awhile. but this time i got a recipe from a friend & just did one jar so we didn't have two massive ball jars of icky yogurt…just in case. but it turned out!

& clyde is…not really showing any signs of life. but i'm giving him a little more time.
(fyi…clyde is my sourdough starter. i'm using this recipe - the guy in the video kiiilllls me) & i'll start posting sourdough recipes once i get him going. promise :)

oh oh oh. & i made my ball jar soap dispenser yesterday with cait. thats one more little project off my list :)
thanks to my dad. he is perfect for whenever i want to do these silly projects. he's our tool man.
i know i know…they're not QUITE as beautiful as the old fashioned jars, but still hundreds of times better than keeping a plastic bottle of dawn on my sink all the time :)

maybe i'll show you all how to make them?
but then that means i can't really gift them to people then, sooo…we'll see.

i also found the very first picture of myself from kats wedding today on facebook!!! this is like a new game with myself i've been playing the last week - trying to find just one picture i'm in from the wedding day. i think i was just really busy running around during the reception trying to get their car decorated & who knows what else - that i kid you not…there is not a single picture of me and kat or even me trying to stuff my face with cupcakes in the background of someone elses pictures.... nada.
even during the ceremony we were staggered so i'm hidden behind other bridesmaids in those. it is really, truly, honestly funny to me. i have the dress. that is proof that i was a bridesmaid at least. & this one picture with ivy that i look kind of puffy in. but its not like i have a ton of options…

i'm off now to finally really finish that chevron rug. really.
be back tomorrow with a recipe maybe?

Aug 11, 2010

homemade hamburger buns.

i know. i've been an awful blogger.
this probably doesn't bother anyone too much. other than me.
but it has been awfully busy around here lately.
with weddings & houses & things.

so, this is an overdue recipe. homemade hamburger buns. they are SOOOO good, guys. you have no idea. & incredibly easy. like, you will never buy those awful 8 packs again that no one ever ends up finishing. at least we never did. we always fed the last 1-2 to the ducks.

lately i've been making lots of things like this: whole wheat tortillas, pizza dough, hamburger & hotdog buns, pita pockets etc…

they make large batches & they freeze amazingly well. so you have no reason to not make them.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 
you will need:

5 cups  (+) whole wheat flour (i used about a 3 whole; 2 white)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 pkgs regular or active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
2 T. honey
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 T. butter or coconut oil
2 t. sea salt
I made this recipe so you can soak the whole wheat. If you are using all white, there is obviously no reason to do that. But if you use whole wheat, you should try it. If you don't have a lot of time to set aside and cook, this actually helps too, because it breaks down your baking time into two parts.
no. 1.
mix 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups of warm water & 2 tablespoons of your acidic medium (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) & mix together. you can also add your 2 tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil. I used powdered buttermilk in place of milk, so I added that at this point as well. Supposedly you can add all liquids - including milk when you are soaking your flour - but i'm not brave enough to try it yet…
no. 2
Cover with a damp cloth & set aside for 18-24 hours
no. 3
Now that you're back to baking, mix together 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and honey.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes to activate yeast.
no. 4
Add your yeast mixture + salt to your flour. You will also want to add your remaining 2 cups of white flour at this point
no. 5
This is when i realize how much i love my kitchen aid mixer. & my grandma for giving it to me. thanks, grandma. If you're reading this :) You will need to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. They say it should begin to look 'shiny' but i dont know what that means. I basically knead it until the sides of the bowl begin to scrape clean & everything looks well mixed together.
no. 6
Let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size
no. 7
Now roll your dough out onto a nice, clean countertop. You can use some of the homemade cleaners I haven't told you about yet to do this : /
yeah. guess i should get on that…
Aaanyways. Roll out your dough until its about 1/2 inch thick. These make quite fluffy buns, so if you want them thinner, you could roll even a bit more than that.
no. 8
begin to cut circles from the dough with a primitive tool, if you are like me. Like a large drinking glass. Or a wide mouthed jar. You SHOULD know, though. These buns (ha). Sorry. Well they rise up & not out a whole lot at all. So keep that in mind when you're picking out sometime to cut circles with…especially if you have men that like very large hamburgers.
place in a buttered baking dish about an inch apart & let them rise for 30 minutes. At this point you can preheat your oven to 350. Bake in the over for about 2o minutes. Makes 18 buns. 
You can make hotdog buns with this recipe, too. They'll freeze perfectly well for at least 3 months.

Alt. Directions for non-soaking people are here

Aug 3, 2010

monday update.

this is my sweet niece. she left to go back home to ohio with her brother and mommy on saturday.
i kind of miss them already. its nice having lots of family in town :)

well this weekend something new is happening! i'm going to be a bridesmaid for the very first time as my dear friend katherine is getting married to dave - her british man. quite a few of their friends have come in town & were helping us set up for the wedding. it was so fun listening to the lovely accents. i wish i could get away with talking the way they do. i think i would get such strange looks from people though, if i started calling everything 'lush' it just doesn't sound natural coming from my lips. but i i wish it was :)

so lots of wedding festivities this week. closing on our little home next week.
one more reason i am excited about our home: it is within 5 minutes walking distance from Cafe 100, which was formerly 'toast'. And more than half of charlotte knows that toast was the best of breakfast places. cafe 100 is alas, still not quite toast, but is run by their former manager, & feels & tastes quite similar. the only thing missing from their menu is their potatoes. mmmmmm. i miss them. but they do have a tasty looking lunch menu, so maybe that will make up for it all. we went down the street this past friday & ate at cafe 100. we had breakfast for lunch & had such a nice time. i am looking forward to many more walks there for breakfast at all hours of the day.

this post will be quite short, because i want to take a few minutes & read this
before daniel gets home. i wasn't entirely sure i would like this series. but its really quite amusing to me so far. i love the way anne thinks. i've found myself wishing to be more imaginative as i've read the first several books. i know that sounds silly, doesn't it? but it really does make me want to enjoy sunsets & clouds & beautiful days more as she does. daniel is a huge fan of these things, too. some of you know. you've probably seen him run outside & just stare at the beautiful colors & he's probably insisted that you join him & enjoy it too. i want to be more like them both.

hope to post again soon. i have some food for you :)
maybe it will be later this week.
cross your fingers.