September 23, 2014

HOW TO REUSE YOUR CANDLE JARS


I'm not a big candle person, even though the leaves have started to fall off the trees and people are dawning sweaters and chunky knit scarfs, it's not really my thing. Every once in a while it can be fun. Maybe I just haven't experimented enough (quite possible) but then with an 8-year-old in the house, the candle would be lit and blown out approximately 30 times a day. Fire is fun. Neither of these is very good reasons though, I know. We'll see what this fall weather brings out this time around...it might be candles. 


Even better though, is when your sister loves candles, has cleaned out the jars, and has so many that she's giving them away! Yes, please. I had the perfect place for these simple pretties. 

September 4, 2014

IKEA HEMNES HACK: TV UNIT MAKEOVER


School has started people. This is exciting. I'm looking forward to getting some projects finished (or started). Right now I'm hanging around the house all day with my 3-year-old we're partying.  

It was an amazing summer, capped by a trip to Mexico with just my husband. It was the first ever trip we've taken without the kids; we'd never even left them for the weekend. Happy 10 years to an amazing man! (and I'm ready to go back)

Really though, let's move on to the current project. 

Toddlers, dvd's, and electronic equipment do not mix. Can I get an AMEN to that!? When we first moved into our house and made the trek to IKEA, we came home with the Hemnes TV Unit. One problem, all the openings on the thing would expose the buttons, gaming systems, etc to sneaky little fingers. The drawers were easy to open and I just knew the dvd's would be spread throughout the house. I was not going to be okay with this. 


Enter these amazing hinges. (Thank you home depot for another good thing - no this is not sponsored, but they should with how much money we spend there!). 

I have no idea what these were called, but they did the job perfectly. 

We cut boards to fit the top three openings of the unit, attached these hinges, removed the knobs from the lower drawers, and we were baby-proofed. 


The hinges "snap" gently closed. When a toddler hand did get smashed, there were never any tears. With the tightness of the hinges, they take a little pulling to open. These are perfect to deter small kids.

You'll notice that the top 3 boards we added did not go to the side edges. It was a perfect mistake. Without any hardware on the fronts, you can slip your fingers in the sides and pull the face down to access.

For the drawers, you can reach under and push out the bottom front edge of the drawer, being able to open it for those dexterous enough to pull off the move.

You'll also notice the small pieces of wood with halved chair pads on them. They look totally cool, I know. When we put the fronts on, the hinges were so awesome that they made the front covers actually tilt inward. We wanted them to stay straight. Adding the wood gave us that and the pads made for a quiet close.



This is the before picture. The all-wood unit came in a white washed color. You could still see the wood grain under it if you were close. Ever since I added the fronts though, it's been two-toned. I've waited 3 years to give it an all-over paint job and new hardware. It was worth the wait because I totally avoided the dvd floor party with a toddler. This was a quick project and I'm glad I was able to rig it to be done right in the living room.

August 8, 2014

BOY BEDROOM SNEAK-PEAK


Ooooh boy. I'm excited. 

There has been quite the lack of our upstairs rooms here on Pretty Dubs, but that's about to change. The kid bedrooms have been "in transition" (meaning I really wasn't sure and didn't have a plan) for a while now. But as you see here, we've been moving forward with "project organize" this summer. On the list were both kid bedrooms. 

Stay tuned for the real reveal. In the meantime, enjoy your room...whether it's in transition or not, I hope you find comfort and peace in your space. 

July 30, 2014

GARAGE SALE SCAVENGER HUNT


Ok guys, this is a fun one! Have you heard of a garage sale scavenger hunt? This is the perfect activity for kids and adults to do together. It's fun to plan the groups so people get to be with a mix of different people. We've only done this as a family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) but it would be a ton of fun to do with friends as well. This year marked the 2nd time we'd done this and there were definitely some trip highlight moments this time (ah-umm...a chicken).

There is plenty of summer garage sale-ing left, so hurry and plan this one!

(framed artwork find)

The Date: pick a Saturday morning. You'll meet in one location, receive your team assignments, and depart. We set a 2 hour time: meet at 8am, get back by 10:30am. (Pick someone or a group of people to assign the teams beforehand). We made sure to keep the kid to adult ration as equal as possible. 

The Tools: you can hand out printed newspapers, scour craigslist (ahead of time and write down places), use your phone and gps, or drive neighborhoods looking for garage sale signs

July 20, 2014

POTTERY SHOWCASE


My Mom has talent.

She's a giver, a learner, and always pushes herself to do and know more. I talked about her in my 80/20 home cleaning rules and in my facial hair removal strategy.

My Mom engrained in my siblings and me the importance of education and as of the end of this year, all of us and spouses will have at least our Bachelor's degree. And currently, my mom has gone back to school and is working towards that herself!

One of the things my Mom loves to do is pottery and painting. She's really talented and when she has time between school and work, she does some beautiful work.

Today I'm showcasing her stuff.

When I visited Montana on our summer vacation a week ago I took the opportunity to photograph some of her pottery and a picture she's painted. I think it's so cool that I have bowls that my mom made - food and dishwasher safe too! You'll have to watch on Carrot Bowl for their appearance.

I'm going to let her pieces speak for themselves.






July 3, 2014

WHAT I'M READING


In between cooking and cleaning, taking care of the house, and spending quality time with the family, I sometimes squeeze in some reading.

When I'm in the grocery line, I can't help but grab the latest Women's Health magazine. Thanks to my sister, she got me hooked with a subscription last year. I like reading the workout ideas, interesting stats, and articles that both inspire and make me think.

"The Windup Girl" is one that I'm still in the beginning of, but being a Hugo and Nebula award novel, I'm probably not going wrong. It's been really interesting so far.

"Without" is a collection of poems by the author Donald Hall. Recently Tyler and I went to a show in Portland hosted by Ira Glass from OPB's This American Life. It was awesome. It was a totally different type of show where he told stories and had two women dancers who helped portray the meaning and drama of the stories. I loved it. I came away feeling like I learned something. During the show he talked about this poet and some of the poems in this book.

The book is the chronological story of him and his wife as his wife is dying of cancer. It's intense, personal, and made me love my husband more. I 100% recommend it. As soon as it came in the mail I read it. I didn't expect that I wouldn't be able to put it down. The poems' structure add as much to the story as the words.

With this smash up of books, I'm just reminded that we have a pretty awesome opportunity to be alive and share our lives with the other people around us.

Have you read something that made you feel smarter recently?

June 27, 2014

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME COMPANY READY


I'm going to share a secret with you. It's a cleaning secret and talking about cleaning might not sound exciting. However, this has saved me lots of stress and given me balance in my home. When things are a mess, I find it hard to relax and accomplish some real brain tasks. This is the solution to attack a frumpy home.

First, I do love clean. I like the way it smells, looks, and invites. I like the way my kids are more creative when a space is clean for them to dirty up. I like the way it entices me to make another creative mess in the kitchen. I like the way clean feels good and breathes peace to my soul and gives me comfort in welcoming others into our space.

I didn't always know how to clean well. Really my mom and sister are the master cleaners. They are going to polish and clean every nitty-gritty detail of  e v e r y t h i n g  and it's going to shine after. I attempt to be like them. My childhood bedroom was a disaster: clothes everywhere, desk piled high, knickknacks tucked into corners, and books stacked precariously. I'd like to take some credit for my sister's cleanliness because she had to share a room with me. Maybe, just maybe, my anti-clean is what has inspired her own skills. Love you, sis.

Here's what I do:

I keep my house 80% clean all the time.
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