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Category Archives: Domesticity

Lolling Reno: Bathroom Complete!

Remember back in October when I announced that we were embarking on a bathroom remodel? I’m not surprised, I sort of forgot too. Well, we’re done. Finally. Nearly 3 months after starting the project.

The major bulk of it was completed in two weeks. We went a week and a half without being able to use our shower. Hygene was questionable at best. But we made it through that rough patch.

Bryan and I hired an acquaintance to do the heavy lifting. He demoed and tiled and put up bead board and crown molding. We decided to paint everything ourselves. We spent about a month painting the trim finishing up just before Thanksgiving. Then we got burnt out and busy. I requested that Bryan hire someone to finish painting the walls for me as a birthday or Christmas present. He had already thought of it and emailed our contractor friend. He was busy until last week when he came and finished up the painting.

Ready to see it?

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Here’s a general look. We added the new light fixture, bead board around the room, crown molding around the room, painted the walls a dark blue, and brought in a free standing towel rack.

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Here’s a closer look at the shower. We did white subway tile for the shower and added the white marble details. I’m in love with the insert. No more bumping our heads or knocking things off the old poorly – placed towel rack! We wanted to add marble to the top of the tub to make it look more built in. Our genius of a contractor repurposed marble thresholds to put on top of the tub and along the edges to tie it together with the marble in the nook. This was a great way to save a whole lotta money.

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He also added the wood work to the front of the tub, completing the built in look.

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There were a million little decisions that went into this project. But I loved the process and am so pleased with the way it turned out. We’ve always loved this house, but now it feels just a little bit more like it’s ours.

What do you think?

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Domesticity: DIY Laundry Detergent

Josh and I have slowly been weeding crazy chemicals out of our daily lives as much as possible. I’ve even switched to a super hippy deodorant (and it actually works. Who knew), all in an effort to be as healthy as we can be. One of the areas we had yet to switch was our laundry routine.

I’ve been buying the more “natural” scented detergents for a few years now, but they still contained a whole lot of crazy things. Same goes for dryer sheets, which contain an astonishing amount of unpronounceable and mysterious ingredients. We ran out of our normal type a couple of months ago and grabbed a different type of both detergent and dryer sheets at the grocery store. Within a few weeks though, Josh had a slightly itchy rash on his neck that now, a month later, is still going strong. It took me a while to figure out that, odds are, it’s a reaction to our new laundry products.

While we could have easily switched back to our original brand, I really wanted to take this as an opportunity to cleanse our routine a little more so… I made my own detergent!

Rachel has been doing this for a little while and has loved the results, so any concerns I had over effectiveness were calmed. I took the basic recipe that she used and tweaked it a little to help my sensitive skinned husband. The great thing about this is that you can choose any bar soap you like to customize it to your preference. People used everything from Dove to Irish Spring and have loved the results. I chose to go with Kirk’s Original Coco Castille Soap.

It’s non-scented, hypoallergenic, all natural, and biodegradable. Basically, it’s super gentle and contains none of the ingredients I was worried about.

We washed a load of towels first, and not only were they super soft (partially thanks to a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar I poured in the wash), they also smelled, well, clean. Not scented, just clean. We have become so used to clean=floral smelling, but now we’re falling in love with the smell of true clean.

Here’s the recipe so you can make your own! It’s seriously so easy.

Hopefully Josh will start feeling the results soon.

Note: I had the best luck finding these ingredients at Wal-Mart, a place I hate. Oh well. The soap was on the soap aisle, and everything else was on the laundry aisle.

Laundry Detergent (original recipe  here)

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Super Washing Soda
  • 1 bar of soap

Grate the bar of soap into a bowl. Add one cup of Borax and one cup of washing soda. Stir for a few minutes until the soap breaks down and it’s the texture of typical detergent.

That’s it. Could it be any easier?!

I put mine in a plastic container with a lid. For every load of laundry, I dissolve 1/4 cup of detergent into the washing machine. I also add about 2 tbsp of white vinegar to every load. This helps with any odor issues and also helps reduce static, eliminating the need for dryer sheets.

The results: cleaner, softer, healthier laundry!

Domesticity: Cleaning the microwave

This is probably the most boring blog post in the history of blogging, but here goes…

I’m not really the best house cleaner. As this blog proves, lolling about is my primary hobby. Cleaning really gets in the way of my lolling about time. So I try to the do the basic stuff (vacuuming, laundry, dusting) once a week or so. Deeper cleaning stuff like microwaves, fans, etc just don’t happen that often. Maybe once every 3 years. I know, I’m terrible.

A few weeks ago I saw a tip on Pinterest for cleaning your microwave. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with some water and a tablespoon or so (why measure?!) of vanilla. Put the lovely smelling liquid in the microwave and turn on for two minutes. Let it sit for a minute or so and then wipe the inside of the microwave down. The water creates steam and the vanilla makes it not smell like three years worth of microwave splatter. Worked like a charm.

Although I admit, I did re-microwave a couple of times. Once to make sure I got everything and another time just because I liked the smell.

Now who has any good tips on cleaning an oven?