Thursday, April 29, 2010

What does perfection look like?

Today it's this:
A lean-to in the woods with books, water and berries. One across the meadow for my sister and a cage in the back for my husband....shri.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Deal of the Century!

So I got some two great deals today:

For $.40 a box....and angels sang.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Going Green...maybe.

So yesterday I watched the documentary No Impact Man, about a family in New York that decided to make no net impact on the earth for one year. This was part of an experiment to decide what we are able to give up and still have a good quality of life.
I loved it.

Every 8-9 months I go through periods of extreme green dedication. I try to be as green as possible, my biggest complaint? Why does being green have to cost $o much? Since it's been on my mind today, I've been doing a little research about ways to save money, and save the environment.
  • Compact Florescent light bulbs.

Compact Florescent light bulbs last up to 10 times longer and consume way less electricity. some estimates say that these can save up to $80 over the life of the bulb. Of course you have to balance that with the additional cost of the bulb. Overall, an average savings of $50-70. Not bad.

  • Give away Junk (electronics). Recycling old cell phones, key boards etc. can help reduce a lot of waste, and it will help reduce clutter in your home as well. This website will suggest places close by where you can take your unwanted electronics. I generally give mine to Goodwill, but people who purchase them there are likely to just throw them away if they don't work. I'd much rather have them reused.
  • Compost. I know it sounds gross, but even if you don't garden you can compost your biodegradables and work them into flower beds... or just the dirt, anyway. This can be tricky if you live in an apartment... and honestly, not worth it (to me, anyway). It's great for the soil and reduces waste. Plus, you'll save money on fertilizer!
  • Let your grass grow.

When you mulch your grass, or put the clippings back into your lawn it adds nitrogen back into the grass, keeps weeds from growing so you'll need less fertilizer and weed killer. Also- you won't have to throw grass away, reducing overall waste.
  • Full loads of laundry. I'm guilty of this occasionally. If I spill something on my clothes I immediately run to the laundry room and strip. This is not efficient. Wait, until you have a full load- or round up clothes from around the house to fill the laundry machine. If you wash your clothes with cold water...saving even more!
  • Change your linens out with the seasons. During the winter use flannel sheets and lots of blankets (heating uses more energy than cooling), and during the summer change to lighter bed linens and a light coverlet and then maybe keep the windows open (on the shade side of the house, of course).
  • Pack a lunch. When you go out to eat you contribute to huge amounts a waste- especially lunch items that are typically to-go (Subway, McDonalds). Instead pack a lunch and reuse your plastic bag. This saves the enviornment and the money it costs to eat out ($30-50/wk, yikes!)
  • Buy Used! I love antiques so this one is kind of a perk! Anytime you buy something used your net impact on the enviornment is almost zero, the damage has already been done.
  • Toilet Paper, can't help myself. Are you a four sheet person or a ten sheet person? Girls are the worst about this! If you're a ten sheet person just think, you spend less than half of what you're spending on TP, save the environment by reducing waste and conserving trees....just sayin'
Of course buying local, biking and going organic are all good ideas, but not very practical. Sure if you're going somewhere close by, try to bike or take public transportation... but local and organic foods are just too pricey. Until they can find away to make these more affordable, Wal-mart will have to do. I would, however, be happy to buy cereal from bulk bends- if only they tasted good~

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vote: Shumway Van & Hansen!!!

The Herald is currently taking votes for their annual "Best Of"

Naturally our law firm is the best, but we need people to vote so that everyone will know it. You don't have to be from here to vote, you can vote as many times as you want and we're on the first page about three or four down (can you tell how many times I've voted?)

Come on peeps, make it part of your morning routine!!

Do it for this sweet guy right here:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our home in Provo

My grandparents keep asking me to mail them pictures of our new house...


Needless to say they haven't seen it yet. So I'm going to post this for them and maybe someone at the library can help them look it up (love you guys!!!)

Alright, this is what you see when you first walk in the front door. To the right there is a flat wall and to the left there is an office. And straight ahead is the great room.

I found those awesome door handles on ebay for $10.00! This door and frame wasn't finished when we moved in, Doug sanded and painted it to match the rest of the trim.

This picture is from the great room looking back to the main entry way. From this view the office is on the right by the front door, there are several bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs and our bedroom is to the left.

This is from the great room looking towards the kitchen. You can see my dining table project there in the breakfast area. This house doesn't have a formal dining room. This kitchen-dining-living combo is very popular here in Utah.

Just another view of the kitchen a little closer up. I still need to get barstools- they're on my list of bargains to find.

This is the same picture as in the post below, but it just shows a view from the kitchen looking towards the living area.

Sorry G's I'm not going to take pictures of my bedroom it's a mess- but maybe later.

Not quite Spring project 2:

By now I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about my dining room dilemma. I really struggled with this whole thing. Especially given the size of my budget (as close to zero as possible).

Initially I looked for tables that were my dream table but the pricing scared me! This whole style that I'm into right now is relatively new to me and what if I change my mind? It's risky business, so I decided to go the cheap (er) route and buy something with potential and make it my own.

I found this clawfoot table on listed for $700. I thought that was a great price given the detail and the fact that it came with six chairs that also had a lot of detail. I went and looked at the furniture and could tell that it had been painted.

Obviously not the top, but the legs and chairs had all been recently painted, meaning that the wood underneath had some potential.

Black really isn't my thing, and the seat covers were horrible (sad because the girl I bought the set from told me she recently recovered them and painted the table legs black, the chairs were already black). I know I could have found the same set at a fraction of the price and not had to strip her black paint off, but I've been looking for a while and hadn't found anything.

I offered her $550, sold.

Five days and 90 hours (x2) later:

The paint was gone but what to do about the seat covers? I tried this:

But decided on linen instead:

I haven't put the final finish on yet. There are multiple coats of glaze and I'm deciding between wax and polyurethane. I brought it in from the garage to live with it for a little while before making a final decision.

The finish in these pictures is just raw wood that has been glazed (Ralph Lauren,Tea Stain) and rubbed, glazed, burnished, rubbed, glazed and so on...ask for more details.

So far,

I like it quite well.

My mom actually came into town to help me do this over spring break, and I couldn't have done it with out her. She is amazing at stuff like this. She made a template for slip covers for the chairs and took the linen home to make them.

She told me that my grandma taught her how to refinish furniture when she and my dad just got married- it's neat. I am liking the way the table it turning out.

To check out other thrifty finds check out: Southern Hospitality


So, it's technically spring in these parts. However, you can tell my the jackets in these pictures it's not Spring at all...practically speaking.

So here is the first issue we tried to tackle:


Very dead grass. The previous family that lived in this house didn't exactly have an eye for detail (to put it VERY nicely). After lots of research and talking to the lady that knows lots about grass (and smokes some too, I think), we learned that we do indeed need to fertilize, but not before cutting the grass very very short. Short? It's already short- we must go shorter.

In Draper, our HOA took care of all the lawn care so we didn't have any lawn tools. Being the thifty type, I scoured 13 count 'em THIRTEEN garage sells looking for yard tools and a lawn mower, I only found two items. Neither a lawn mower so the husband and I went to Sears and bought one.

After our recent trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy mirrors (the lovely family before us took all the mirrors with them when they up and left this joint), we learned that Doug's back seat doesn't lay down. That makes my car (the MINI Cooper) our vehicle with the highest hauling capacity, score.

So after we picked out our lawn mower (this wasn't too hard because they only had one option for us to choose from) loaded it up, just like this:


And made our way back to the palace, we commenced to do our yard work. Three hours later:

and no grass shorter. Doug moved on to a new project, the garden. Our lawn mower never worked. Never. It would start but it wouldn't stay started. You will notice the gas can in this picture. That is a fruit of my garage sale going. Aaand, it leaks. Awesome.

The other garage sell find was this little beauty. ( I still can't believe I went to THIRTEEN garage sales and two DI's and only found two items)

a rake.

This came in handy when the lawn mower wouldn't work and Doug had to start tilling the garden. (Gma and Gpa, this is our garden, or it will be soon.)

Don't feel sorry that he's tilling this with only a garden rake, he refuses to spend money on other yard tools- he's waiting to find them at sales.

Wicket enjoyed himself very much- he was a big helper while Doug was tilling, Wicket just dug right along beside him.