Monthly Archives: February 2014

Plans for the House (updated)

So… it seems I have some grandiose plans for the house.  Some of them are probably just pipe dreams but here’s an updated list of what I want to do with the place:

* Built in window seat/bookcase in my bedroom – then paint the bookcase I inherited with the house and relocate it to the laundry room or garage
* Add shelving above my bedroom door
* Add a banquet in the sunroom for more seating and storage.  Not sure where I’ll put Grandsam’s sofa and coffee table.  I don’t really want to part with those.  EDIT:  The sofa will definitely go in Allison’s old room and maybe the coffee table too.  I probably won’t do this until the banquet is built.
* Wall of frames in the living room – I have gotten it started but I will probably end up painting some of the frames so they’re all white.  Except for my pretty purple one of course. EDIT: I’ve got art and have figured out what I want it to look like, now I just have to hang them all!
* Paint the dresser I inherited from my brothers.  Something cool like the reverse stencil or painting it white with the detailing a different color and move it to the man-couch room
* Paint the dresser I inherited from Grandsam white and either decoupage the drawer faces with fun fabric, paint them fun colors, OR add new fun hardware EDIT: I don’t think I’ll do this after all
* Make a bean bag for the other corner of my room EDIT: Probably won’t do this either.
* Buy another nightstand to match mine (after the dressers have been painted and relocated)
* Add more artwork to my bedroom walls and make what I already have more balanced EDIT: Working on this one!
* Make the laundry room more unified/clean EDIT: I’ve more or less figured out what I want to do… see below!
* Remove & sell Elfa shelves and make floating shelves (or a more inconspicuous laundry shelf) EDIT: Forgot about this one, may still do it!
* Sell the man-couch and the futon – SOLD BOTH!
* Not sure what I want to do with the laundry room yet.  Originally it was going to be a guest room or office but now I think I’m going to make the 3rd bedroom that instead. EDIT: Not this, see below.
* Paint the middle bedroom 
* Get a new frame and mattress for my room and move my current one into the middle bedroom (along with the dresser and my old nightstand) EDIT: DONE!
* Add artwork EDIT: Working on it!
* Decoupage all the light fixture covers something fun
* Add beadboard somewhere.  Maybe the entryway? 
* Clean out the hall closets EDIT: DONE!
* Turn linen closet into “library” – love this idea, may or may not be practical
* Organize kitchen & pantries EDIT: DONE!
* Plant trees, herbs, and veggies in backyard EDIT: Planned, now just need to execute 
* Build new dining table and benches
* New fan in sun room
* Enlarge back patio
* Build roofing over it
* Remove corner planter on front porch, replace with swing
* Paint porch
* Level walkway up to the house, add stairs
* Remove bushes from front & trees from side and transplant them to act as privacy bushes on the side yards
* Add lamp in front yard
* Replace porch light
* Update mailbox/add numbers
* Remove mailbox by door
* Replace numbers
* Repaint house exterior

New stuffs:

* Wet bar in the sun room – cabinets, sink, wine cooler, etc.  On the wall where the “bar” currently is, then I would move that to be under the windows or on the opposite wall.
* Build a cover type thing for the washer dryer, as well as install cabinets on the wall and a small pull out shelf next to the W/D.  
* Get a freezer and put in the back room
* Get a cleaning cabinet to store all my cleaning supplies
* Make a “Ziva space” so ZtD can play and relax in there (safely) when she has to stay inside.
* Take the bifold doors off Ziva’s closet/pantry
* Clean up Z’s space to make it more cozy
* Take the paint off the concrete floors and redo them with either stained concrete or maybe at some point down the road, tile.



Avoiding sickness

Every year, like clockwork, it seems like I get sick in February and October.  Normally I have to miss a few days of work because I feel terrible – stuffy, coughing (and the deep chesty gunky cough that sounds like I’m dislodging something deep within my body), headaches, etc.  I rarely have a fever, but definitely feel like poo.  From start to finish it almost always lasts about 6 weeks.  I have a lingering cough for what feels like forever.


This last October I really only “suffered” from a runny nose and a meek but persistent cough.  The cough was about as strong as a mild throat clearing, but it was happening ALL THE TIME.  Enough where I didn’t sleep for almost five days.  This was during Young Frankenstein and that weekend my voice took a vacation.  I used my oils – the few that I had – and it definitely helped, although I did take off two days to sleep and did end up getting a cough suppressant prescription from the doctor.  However, it all lasted a WEEK.  A WEEK!  What?!  Not that I was complaining, but I was shocked.  I do think that using the oils along with attempting to be more healthy helped a great deal.  By the following weekend I was all better.

Now, it’s February and guess what – yep, I can feel myself catching something.  I’m using an oil called OnGuard on my throat every morning (it’s a good immune booster) and another one called Breathe on my nose.  By the time I get to work, my nose is no longer runny and my throat doesn’t hurt.  

During the last half of the day the left side of my face felt funny.  There was pressure on my cheek bone and down into my cheek, and kind of around my jawline and up around my ear.  I’m a little afraid I may have caught the flu from Kacey (fingers crossed that’s not it) and used some of the oils I let her use.  Basil around the hear for that pain, OnGuard & Breathe, and peppermint for the achyness.  While I feel much better now, I decided to just do it – make my own pill.  

I bought veggie caps (empty pill capsules that are vegetarian friendly) with my last oil order and am starting to use the zpak protocol.  OnGuard, oregano, and frankincense in a capsule.  They’re a bit bigger than I’m used to.  I’m awful at swallowing pills and was afraid these might take some getting used to, but I had no problem taking it, surprisingly.

I await to see how it all turns out.  It’s been about 15 mins and I can feel my sinuses drying up and just this feeling of wellness.  It’s really strange.  As I mentioned before (I think) I was totally skeptical about all of this, but I totally believe in it.  I hope this oil ‘zpak’ works.  Stay tuned!

Natural Healing

So about seven months ago I was introduced to doTerra essential oils.  Extremely hesitant at first, I signed up.  I didn’t expect things to really work.  Yet each month I paid the minimum amount for an order of oils.  And guess what?  I’ve not only begun to use them regularly, but I’m slowly phasing out my medicine cabinet of pills and other pharmaceuticals.  

I firmly believe in this and the benefits they can provide for my body.  I only have a bottle of Advil for the really bad headaches that are persistent little buggers.  I’ve almost bought all the oils, so now I can focus on just getting replacements.  

I didn’t believe at first how oils could help.  I’d read about it and did think that there were remedies out there that didn’t involve drugs, but I didn’t REALLY think about how they’d work.  Or that the really would work.  So I was pretty shocked when my headaches would disappear in nearly 10-15 minutes after applying peppermint oil.  Or how my nose would dry up almost instantly using Breathe or eucalyptus.  Or how my throat would almost immediately stop hurting using OnGuard, or how using it in various ways would quickly clear up any impending cold.  Or that lavender would stop my insane mosquito bites from itching.  Or that cypress oil would help with my circulation in my feet.

I’m a total convert.  I’m even being nutty enough, or “granola” as Aly would say, to start making my own cleansing products.  Bath, kitchen, laundry… you name it.  If I can replace it with natural remedies instead of the chemical laden products I currently have under my sink, than I want to do it.

It’s not something I thought about a whole lot growing up, or even much until recently, and really, not until I started reading the Young House Love blog regularly.  There are so many chemicals in every day products, many of which are dangerous to our health.  I just wonder how much better I would feel if I could eliminate that from my life, or at least from my house – whatever I can have control over.  I’ve started with just the oils and I can already tell a difference.  I haven’t been sick in months, aside from a brief stint in October.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this can continue to transform my life!

“Systems” for 2014

I’m going to try out this blogging thing again, see if I can stick with it.  I will probably be cross posting between here and my LJ ( just so I can keep up both.

So this year I have some lofty goals for myself. I think I can reach them. I wanted them to be a challenge, but still attainable. I took a page from Maryclaire and posted a screenshot of my goals on Facebook. I’m hoping it will hold me accountable.

1. Pay off my car by Dec 31st, 2014 – this is a $9,454 goal. If I’m extremely careful about how much I spend, spend my money wisely, and try to put away $10 a day to savings, I think I can do this.
2. Save $5,000 to go toward a piano – I didn’t save $5,000 in less than a month, but that sure would have been nice! The aformentioned Maryclaire was trying to get rid of a piano at her studio and I was the first to comment to say I wanted it. For FREE. It’s an old former player piano that, if it hadn’t been messed with in the 60s, could be worth 16,000! Damn hippies. It’s in pretty good condition, made in 1918 (almost 100 years old!), a Modello Baldwin, and the tuning strings are made of steel instead of copper because of WWI. It’s pretty neat to have something so historical, even if it is not worth much in terms of money. It sounds pretty good. And hey… it was FREE! Now I can put the $5,000 savings toward something else!
3. Find ways to be creative – build, paint, organize, plant, etc. – This year I really do want to plant a garden and some fruit trees. I want to build a new dining table and a loooooooong bench in the sunroom for storage and additional seating. I want to be more crafty, either with cards, art, or just finally knocking out things I’ve pinned on pinterest. 
4. Keep the house clean – I’ve been doing a pretty good job with this so far. As soon as the futon gets picked up, I’m going to clean out the back room and make it more functional. I went through a MASSIVE cleaning spree and cleaned out ALL the closets in the house. I donated about 6 bags full of clothes, am trying to sell/get rid of a bunch of things, and organized all the closets and the kitchen cabinets. Well, almost all of them. I’ve also decided to “try” to not have my housekeeper come for awhile and see how well I do just keeping the house up by myself.
5. Take more pictures – I used to take pictures ALL the time. I really want to document my life more.
6. Eat more healthy foods – I’m hoping just buying food for myself will help me make healthier eating choices. And if I buy healthy food I’m more likely to try to eat it all instead of letting it go to waste.
7. Take better care of myself – emotionally, physically, etc. I’ve realized I’m down on myself a lot more often than I appreciate myself. Focus on the positive. Keep active. Be healthy.
8. Focus on the positive and eliminate negativity – there are people and things in my life that are just not kind or positive. Always negative, always complaining, always derogatory, etc. I need to clean that from my life. I want to feel lighter in spirit and not be dragged down by negativity. After awhile that sort of behavior can eat at you and make you feel like you are unworthy or undeserving.
9. Put my phone away in social settings – it has been a peeve of mine for YEARS that people are always on their phones/ipads/devices rather than being the people who are right there. Someone shared a photo of a basket of phones with a note saying “be with the people who are here!” And I wish more people felt that way. I’m tired of people who can’t put their phones away for a car ride and/or a 45 minute lunch. It makes me feel like my company is not important enough. So why would I want to do that and possibly make other people feel that way? So, my phone will stay in my purse. Exceptions: taking or showing pictures, or if it lends itself to the conversation: “did you see what X posted? Let me look it up so I don’t mess it up.” or “What was that person’s name in that movie?”
10. Hang out with my friends in person (instead of text messaging) and write letters via snail mail (instead of emails or texts)
11. Be a better champion & supporter of my friends and family – text/email/write on facebook when friends have shows opening. Congratulate them publicly on new job offers, career changes, graduation, etc.

I’m also including a link my friend Rainya left on my Facebook post. I really like the message of this, and it really does speak to my goals as life-long commitments versus meet it and then forget it. (With the exception of the two money goals, which I plan to continue in some capacity each year.)