Sunday, February 15, 2009

Met Monday You won't believe what we did here.Yes,really,it's the same place!

Thanks again to Susan for hosting this wonderful Metamorphois Monday. Be sure to visit her to see all the wonderful posts.

Yes,this is what we started out with here,it was pretty bad.It was a very, old mobile home,14x74 ft with a small addition which made it around 950 sq.ft.My husband had vision,I didn't.It took us a few years but it is almost done now.It is now over 1800 sq.ft. and completely different,thank God.I don't have many before pictures,my husband took these.He did all the work,he has been in the construction trade for many years but it was still quite the undertaking even with his knowledge.

He added a new peaked roof over the whole place,new windows,new,well,to be honest,everything is new.We paid for it all as we went and we don't owe a cent and it feels great.I love my home now and wouldn't want to be anywhere else,it's perfect for the two of us and our fur family.For today I will just show you the kitchen and dining room and in time I will proudly show you every room he made.The new part has the high ceilings,the original part,the lower ones.

someday the plan is to have all stainless steel appliances,I can wait
the pantry by the fridge has rollout shelves

I love my tumbled marble and the undercabinet lights and I was so happy to find just what I wanted for hardware at Rona.The cabinets,they are alder, are from Euro-rite(canadian company) and my husband custom made the crown molding.

A closeup of some of the details

I chose to have one big sink here and a smaller prep sink is located on peninsula with dishwasher next to it.I love my bridge taps too.

looking into the dining room ,I love the arches my son made for me.

the soaring ceiling in the dining room

had to show you my chandy,bought from costco,it was bronze,I wanted it black so sprayed it

the dining room

This door will lead to a new deck(hopefully it will be built this summer) in our back yard.Just around the corner past the arch to the right of the dining room,I even managed to get a bonus walk in pantry.

I still almost can't believe it's the same place!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the dogs in my world

I guess I should do a little introduction here.I guess most of you know Roxy and Cloud are our dogs,they both came from our local humane society.They are both great dogs but as any dogs can they have had health issues.Cloud is a bleeder(I don't know the technical term)We found out when we had him neutered,if he ever needs surgery again he may need blood transfusions,his blood doesn't clot very well.Roxy was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a year ago,so she takes a pill everyday and has weight issues(like her mom..meaning me) The long haired blonde dog was my sister's,(also adopted from a shelter)sadly she is no longer alive.Last summer she was diagnosed with megaesophagus,a horrible condition.She was vomitting over and over,my sister did everything she could but finally decided about amonth ago that it was just not fair to make Gracie live that way.The dog in the picture with Gracie belongs to her best friend,Keena is a champion show dog.She is a nova scotia water retriever...I think that is what she is.The weiner dog(Bailey) is my mom's,he's bossy ,spoiled,a great guard dog and my mom's best friend.The little black one belongs to my youngest son.Her name is Dulce,she is min.dachshound,min.poodle cross.She loves her cousins roxy and cloud and thinks she's a big dog.The shitzu is my aunt's.I do have lots of pics of my cat shady and someday I will show him off too.I can't imagine life without dogs,I love them all.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

House Cleaning with Essential Oils,warning,long,probably way too long post

I think that we would all agree that even the most humble home looks nicer clean. I know that most of us who have connected here in blog land and also at the decorating sites share the same passion in decorating our homes and seeing what others have done,exchanging ideas and so on. I'm sure we've all seen the seriously bad rooms on rms too,you know the ones where you just don't even know what to say,so you shake your head and move on.Many of those rooms would look a lot better if they would only clean the place up a little.Cleaning is a necessary task and I try to make the experience as pleasurable as possible.I do this by adding essential oils,smells so good and I am constantly experimenting with them to keep it interesting. I have also been trying hard to use more natural products for cleaning.It's safer,healthier and cheaper.I mentioned this to my friend Kathysue at Micasa and she was curious so I thought I would share a little of what goes on before the picture taking part happens here.ha ha
I have been using essential oils for years for cleaning,relaxing and for physical health.I am going to start with how I use them in cleaning and one of these days will move on to the other areas.I am not an expert and there are many sites online with loads of information on the oils.Also,I recommend anyone who hasn't used them before to do a little research first.I buy my oils,all 100% pure,at a local health food store called old fashion food.I have noticed that the same brand I buy which is called NOW is available online in the US for less than half price of what I pay.They vary in price from just a few dollars to over 20.I started out just buying a few and slowly adding to my collection as I read various recipes that I wanted to try.Shelf life varies,grapefruit has the shortest life and some improve with age like fine wine.Store in a dark,cool place to help them keep longer.If they get cloudy or start to smell rancid,toss them out.You may store in fridge but they must be at room temp. for at least an hour before use.

The most important oil in this room is eucalyptus oil,it kills dust mites.I add about 20 drops to the hottest water possible when washing my bedding.Apparently,this oil is the only thing that kills them from the study I saw.

For general laundry I take a washcloth and shake on a few drops of lavender and throw it in the dryer.(essential oils are very concentrated, a little goes a Long way)

I add a couple of drops to the inside of the bag and it scents the whole place.If you own the type that uses water,just add the drops to the water.For any of you with the bagless types,you are on your own,I have never used one so I don't know if you could try this one out. You can use any oil you want,my favorite is jasmine so I use it often.
For freshening carpets mix a few drops of oil in baking soda,sprinkle on,leave for awhile then vacuum

Room Sprays
These are fun,the possibilities are endless too.These can be simple,one oil or complicated,usually 3,sometimes more .
room spray recipe
1 cup distilled water
2 tsp. rubbing alcohol(some use vodka but I prefer to drink mine rather than spray it in my room he he)
I add between 10 to 20 drops of essential oil to this depending on the oils I'm using.Start with less(maybe your nose works better than mine and half might be what you want)
let sit for a few hours and shake well before using.Since this is about cleaning,here is a deodorizing blend I use frequently.
10 drops orange or lemon
5 drops lavender
5 drops tea tree oil
5 spearmint
7 drops eucalyptus
Spray about 5 squirts for average sized room,I spray it on my furnace filter as well and it carries the clean scent throughout the house for me.Good for your garbage can too.
A blend of lavender and either neroli,jasmine or ylang ylang is a favorite of mine to spritz on the sheets,like I said before,use your nose for guidance and your intuition.

I just use a plastic bottle that has fine mist setting on it.It would be better to use glass because the oils will sometimes absorb into the plastic.If you are planning on using the same recipe again than it isn't an issue.I like to have a few different ones around for different reasons.Some blends I make are for deodorizing,others are purely for enjoyment.

I am trying to go green in my cleaning.I no longer buy bleach..ever or many of the tons of products I used to have under my sink.I either am buying green products or I'm making my own using mostly vinegar,baking soda,lemons,borax,washing soda,water and my oils.When you buy products,buy unscented ones and add your own with pure oils.Some days I add lavender in my dish soap,some days lemon,whatever I feel like smelling.In the spray cleaners the oils I use are the same ones I listed in my room spray recipe as well as cinnamon,clove and the powerhouse oil...oregeno.Wild oregano oil has the following properties anti-viral,fungal,parasitic,bacterial and! I use a spray cleaner on the counter and then I take a clean,wet cloth and just put a couple drops of oregano on it and wipe the counters down.I really like the citrus oils in the kitchen and use lemon and orange often.*****VERY IMPORTANT I have laminate counter tops and if you have granite,don't take my advice,I don't know what you should use.I do have granite in the bathroom and find that the diluted tea tree I use in there does not hurt my granite.If anyone has info on oils and granite,I would love to hear it.After looking around at all the great recipes that are already online for natural cleaners I feel that it is pointless for me to share these.

I just said I wouldn't bother you with my recipes but I have to say that I didn't think that a homemade cleaner would work so well in the toilet but it really works. 1 cup vinegar to 1/4 cup baking soda(really bubbles,so mix in about a 4 cup container at least)Leave on for about 15 minutes and scrub away.The baking soda and water clean tile too.I use this vinegar and baking soda mix to clean the sink and tub too,gets the rings off from my essential oils I use in there just great,I mix in a few drops of tea tree oil too.
I have travertine,slate,ceramic tile,laminate and linoleum and I clean them all with my H2O steam mop.I add about 5 drops of lemon oil to the water and the floors all look great,couldn't be easier.I feel good about not using all the crap I used to clean them with especially for my pets paws and my little grand daughter who will soon be crawling on them.

The one book on oils I have is called AROMATHERAPY FOR EVERYONE by PJ Pierson and Mary Shipley. This book is a good general guideline for a variety of oils,the most popular ones.It lists the warnings,uses,benefits of the oils and also suggests oils that blend well. If you are knew to oils it does help to have a reference book but the Internet is good but there is some crazy advice on some sites so,be careful who you listen too.

This was probably too long of a post,yes that's me, nothing or way too much.If you have questions,just ask and if you have great recipes,please share.