Monday, July 30, 2012

I am a Rationer


My name is Lauren and I am a Rationer. 

Is that even a word? Rationer? Rationeer? Ration-er? Rationalist? 

I am whatever the correct word is. 

I first expressed my rationing-ness to you in this post about my Sugar Scrub usage. Really folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

On a daily basis, I ration things like water, food, paper, and office supplies. My family has dubbed me a "Water Rationer". On a weekly/monthly basis, I ration goods and activities such as reading my magazines, using greeting cards, using face wash and other expensive beauty supplies, CRAFT SUPPLIES, etc.

Some people might call it 'hoarding' instead of 'rationing', but I am of the firm belief that there is a serious distinction between the two. By my definition, rationing is using up a precious resource very slooooooowly, at a snails pace even, as to prolong the benefit of the good/activity over as long a life as possible. I am a true savor-er. Seriously, anyone that has ever been around me eating food, particularly creme brulee, can attest to this fact. I will contemplate every morsel of my creme brulee, it literally takes me 20 minutes to eat about 6 ounces of it. 

As I sit here and think back to the things I have rationed so lovingly, they really are the things or activities that have brought me more joy than anything. I cannot stress this enough. I have stacks and stacks that I scour for little tidbits of inspirations. I read and reread these gems 3 or 4 times just in case I missed something. Then, I store all of the good ones in the basement and read them again at the gym a year or two later). A lot of people have called this hoarding, but its not, I just love the magazines and I USE them!

Now that I've aired my dirty-rationing-laundry, I can explain how this relates to you all. 

You see, I am crafting all of the time. I am taking pictures of these crafts all of the time. I actually craft WAY MORE than I blog. (Blogger and I have not been getting along lately and I am getting a little irritated with exerting the great effort to post something, and then having my entire post not save or disappear). 

So, in my rationing ways, I save up all of these projects and photos for times when I am running a little dry in the crafting department, and then I will post a project I did a little while back so that the blog doesn't go dormant. 

Well. My sister accidentally dumped a beer on my laptop and I lost everything. EVERYTHING. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Of course, not everything before the last time I backed-up (around Christmas). 

I did lose about 6 months worth of un-documented projects. I felt like Carrie from Sex and the City when she never backed up any of her writings. You know, this picture:


Anyway. These pictures included finished projects such as, my Chive Blossom Vinegar,  this Embroidered Pillow, and other various projects. I would re-take pictures of these things and make up a post about them and yadda yadda, but I also STRONGLY DISLIKE repeating myself. 

Anyway. I apologize for my absence, as I try to keep the blog peppered with posts and fun, but I have been battling my dead computer for about 2 months now and I am finally calling it. Time of Death 7/30/2012 at 10:00 PM. Time to move on with my life. 


Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am a list maker


My name is Lauren and I am a list maker. 

I make lists for everything. 
  • Food. 
  • Cleaning. 
  • Organizing. 
  • Shopping.
  • Work. 
  • Crafting.
And apparently I make lists of my lists. 

As you friends out there know, we bought our first home exactly 1 year ago today! Very exciting!

Since we moved in, we have done a few things with our completely blank slate of a house.

We've stripped wallpaper. 
We re-did our closet. 
We made some cushions for our outdoor furniture.
We got outdoor furniture. 

For some unknown reason, in all of my list-making haste, I never ever made a list of all things home-makeover related. 

My work schedule has been crazyyyyyyyyyyy lately. With my limited free time, I only have enough to spare for 1 or 2 small projects a week. But I get so overwhelmed when I come home, because there are 1,000,000,000000000 things to do, that I can't see past the big stuff and actually make headway with the smaller things that are easier to accomplish. 

So I had to do something to organize my home-makeover related life.

Naturally, I made a list. 

I decided that I would open up excel, add a tab for each room in the house, and just type my little heart out. I tried to list out every little item that I could possibly think of, almost to the point of annoyance. 

I am trying to be really good about things for the house and only work on one or two rooms at a time. Given that, right now I am trying to get the Master Bedroom finished. Here is my List for the Master Bedroom...don't judge. 

I will try and get you guys some progress pics soon! Everytime I go to take photos, my battery is dead and then I put the camera down and forget to charge the battery until the next time I go to use it. It is a sick cycle. 

No. Project/Task Status Need? Est. Cost
1 Pick a wall color and paint the walls. Dark olive-y green Done-zo 2 gallons Filoliol Yew from Valspar Paint Primer in one $75.00
2 Find bedroom furniture. Ladies Dresser, highboy, and nightstands. Done-zo Furniture $250.00
3 Paint the ceiling Done-zo 1 gallon ceiling paint $15.00
4 Paint the moulding antique white... the eternal debate! Antique white vs bright white. Done-zo Glidden Trim & Door $40.00
5 Pick out a BED! Done-zo Ethan Allen Bed $1,500.00
6 Lamps for our nightstands. Preferable antique brass bases to match hardware Done-zo Lamps! $150.00
7 Lamp for our ladies dresser Done-zo Lamp! $100.00
8 Need pillow shams for the bed. Queen Size or King Size? Not sure. Need to pick out fabric too. Maybe fabric that matches the chair/bench Not Started Fabric, and maybe piping $100.00
9 Touch up wall paint near top moulding, especially near the doorways Not Started Paintbrush $3.00
10 Get the Ethan Allen sticker off the floor Not Started Nothing Free
11 Get a box/block or something that can elevate the TV up a few inches so that I can see over my boobs when laying down and so that the plant doesn't block the signal Not Started Box/Block $10.00?
12 Make/Find bookends for the Shakespeare collected on the highboy. Potentially use the porcelain balls from Xmas Tree Shops. Maybe use two pieces of moulding mitered together and the ball in between? Not Started 1) Moulding 2) e6000 glue (have this somewhere? 3) Stain for moulding & foam brush $15.00
13 Buy and cut a rug pad for the bedroom rug Not Started Rug Pad $30.00 ?
14 Fix nightstand lamps so that the shades are level Not Started Nothing Free
15 Buy a TV for our bedroom Done-zo TV! $300.00
16 Decorate the dresser and highboy with things already around the house. Vanity items, jewelry boxes, other pretty things. Done-zo Stuffff around the house. Free
17 Get a plant!

18 Order and replace the missing/broken Drexel hardware for our highboy and dresser Not Started Hardware $100.00
19 Make a decision on frigging curtain rods/hardware. I have 2 sets of double rods, but they are brushed pewter. Am I spray painting these brass? Or just using them as is? Test out various brass spray paints and do it. Not Started Spray Paint $8.00
20 Steam the curtains that I already bought. Get wrinkles out. Possibly wash and dry these because they are about 2 inches too long. Wash and dry? Or just deal with the length? Not Started Nothing Free
21 Purchase the leaded glass window dangly thing for our bedroom window, or possibly each bathroom window? Not Started Leaded glass art $100.00
22 Find a bench for underneath the window. Something on craigslist maybe? Needs to be wide and narrow. Not Started 1) Bench 2) Fabric to recover bench $300.00
23 Get a wing chair for the corner of the bedroom. Craigslist maybe? Needs to be taller than the dresser. Not Started 1) Chair 2) Fabric to recover in $400.00
24 Need a new lampshade for the blue lamp on the dresser. Needs to be a little wider and taller. 12 height x 15 wide. Not Started Lampshade $30.00 ?
25 Pick a wedding picture for our portrait and hang in our bedroom Not Started Picture and frame $250.00
26 Get artwork for above the highboy... some type of collection of a few photos or something Not Started Artwork $50.00

What do you home owners do to stay organized/not overwhelmed in your new home? I would GREATLY appreciate any tips/tricks/best practices!!


Friday, July 6, 2012


Hiiii! We have been thoroughly enjoying our garden. Hubbs is out there for probably 3 hours a day, minimum. I think that if he could, he would sit out there all day and just watch the plants grow. I don't have a full blown garden update, but I can show you the last of the lettuce that we harvested, and some carrots. 

Here is our Big Boston lettuce and some carrots! The carrots were pretty small, smaller than we anticipated. Chris (Husband) said that our soil was soooooo sooooo hard that the carrots might not have been able to get through. Same thing happened to our beets and radishes, that didn't even make their way to the blog because they were nothing. 

Our Big Boston was amazing. I am not sure if it was supposed to form a tighter head, but either way there was plenty of lettuce for a salad. 

The other lettuces we had growing in the garden were Flame and Tango. They were both leaf lettuces, rather than head like the Big Boston. This was the final time we harvested those two lettuces, we have probably had 5 salads total from the leaf lettuce. Here is the last of it, and man does it look amazing!! It really did so well. 



There is our most recent harvest. We have also harvested bush peas, not sure of the variety, but we ate them raw in salads and they were deliciously sweet.

Hope you enjoyed!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Andddddd I have a closet!

The very first room we are tackling in our new house is definitely our Master Suite. In that room we have a bedroom, walk-in closet, and full bath. We've lived here for almost a year now and are making a big push to get things organized and in place, and figure out what furniture and other things we need to purchase. Of course, getting things organized starts with getting our closet organized!!! Duhhhh. Should have been the first thing we did, but, ya know. 

We have lived in our first house for almost a year now (July 28th to be exact). Although you cannot tell from the picture below, this closet was very bizarrely laid out. It is a very small closet to begin with, so we had to change the layout entirely to really capitalize on the space. 

I tried to draw you up a little sketch in Paint with the layout BEFORE we ripped everything off the walls. As you can see, layout doesn't make any sense at all. Maybe it is because I really don't hang clothes. WAY to lazy for that. WAYYYY too lazy to hang everything.

Luckily, my Husband is super handy and we planned out the closet so it would suit both of our needs.  Here is the layout that we planned.

After a good 2 coats of a pretty mustardy-yellow, repainting the moulding, and adding several shelves, this closet finally suits our needs. It is sooooooooo much better! Not to gloat, but don't our hardwood floors look awesome with the wall color??!! I just love how they pop.

In case you need some motivation to re-do your closet, JUST DO IT. It will change your life :). 

I won't count this as an item off of The Bucket List until the entire Master Bedroom has been rehabbed. Only then will I officially call it complete. Hope you enjoyed! 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Success, Sourdough Pretzels!

Heyyyy There! 

I have been super busy. This summer is CRAZY! Anyway... given my newly acquired sourdough starter, I have been making this bread about once a week. It is soooooo good!

I thought that I would expand my horizons a little bit and make Sourdough Pretzels. 

Using some random sourdough pretzel recipe online, I made a great batch of sourdough pretzel dough in my bread machine. 

I've made pretzels before, and haven't yet mastered the perfect pretzel shape. I thought that  I would try a few different pretzel shapes out. 

I'm naming this shape the "Single On Top", which refers to the fact that it was a single twist, and the ends of the twist were on the top of the pretzel.

I'm naming this shape the "Single On Bottom", which refers to the fact that it was a single twist, and the ends of the twist were underneath the pretzel, on the bottom.

I'm naming this shape the "Double On Bottom", which refers to the fact that it was a double twist, and the ends of the twist were underneath the pretzel, on the bottom.

 I'm naming this shape the "Double Knot", which refers to the fact that it was a single twist, and it was kind of a big knotty looking thing.

I chose the method of only baking the pretzels. Some pretzel recipes call for boiling the pretzels, and I like the feeling/taste/look/texture of only baked pretzels. I brushed an egg wash on each pretzel and then topped with coarse sea salt.

 (Couldn't resist staring at them)

Ok. Then you brush them with a ton of butter. 

How picture perfect? My very favorite pretzel, at the end of the day, was the Double on Bottom. 

Wooohoo! That's another item off of My Bucket List. You can find this item on My Finished Projects page. Also, check out my Flickr page!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I am!