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Paring Down the Laundry

We are paring down our energy bills around my house.

As we slip inexorably toward the heat and humidity of Houston summertime, we have kept our windows open...

Image Credit: Petrusia1 

Our fans on...

Image Credit: Dennis Wong 

And our bedding light.

 Image Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography
Since we can't turn off the fridge, we decided to go after another energy hog - the dryer.

Image Credit: Lindsay Loo Brush 

I told Sid and the kids that we would be machine washing our clothes with fabric softener in the rinse - LOVE the Downy ball...

Then we would be drying our clothes in the fresh air and sunshine.

The boys were on board.  Sid was in on it.  I was ready.  Devonne - our almost 15-year-old - said that was "hobo."

She took two weeks to get on board.  We have her dry her clothes outside on the line and then fluff them in the dryer for 10 minutes.

Image Credit: Toby and Tai Shan 
The rest of us are fine without fluffing.

Since we have taught the kids how to do their own laundry from age 9 on, many hands make light work.

Image Credit: Zanastardust 
I'll keep you posted on our less is more a/c plan when it hits the over 90 mark. 


My New Bike!

I got a new bike early for Mother's Day!

She's a Huffy cruiser, so means she has high handlebars, which is awesome because my hands don't go numb when I ride her.

She's a classic, so she has pedal brakes and no gears.  Remember when we were kids?

She's gorgeous - different tones of brown and some cute blue accents.

I got a cute blue helmet to match.

She's got some nice extras - a small wire basket...

A cup holder...

A rear rack...

Her name is Coco.

For my birthday in July I think she'll be upgrading to an even bigger wicker basket for my front handlebars...YAY! 

Do you like to ride?  What kind of bike do you have?  Where do you ride?  Let me know!  I'd love to hear from you!



Crate and Barrel Vase: My FIRST GIVEAWAY!

In celebration of reaching 50 followers, today I am offering my very first giveaway.

I picked up three of these pretties at Crate and Barrel this fall.

I love the color, the simple shape, and the leaf pattern - SO cute!

If you would like to enter to win, please leave me a comment about where you would use this vase.

For additional entries you can:
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect & leave a comment telling me that you did.
  • Follow me on Twitter & leave a comment telling me that you did.
  • Tweet about this giveaway & leave a comment telling me that you did.
  • Blog about this giveaway or put it in your sidebar & leave a comment telling me that you did.
  • Grab my button & ... (you know the rest.)
The giveaway ends Friday, April 30. Good luck!


Thanks to The Vintage Pearl via Just Something I Made

A few weeks ago I won my first giveaway - a necklace from The Vintage Pearl.

Erin makes the cutest jewelry!
I was SO EXCITED to win the giveaway from a wonderful blogger - Cathe - at Just Something I Made.

I love Cathe's blog, and her graphic work is to die for.  Check out her studio on Flickr!!!

She lives in Petaluma, California.  It's not too far north of San Francisco - an adorable town, AND the set for George Lucas' classic film American Grafitti

I knew what I wanted on my necklace as soon as I won:


Now I want to wear scoop and v-necks every day so I can show it off! 


Master Bath Paint Take One

I LOVE corals and cinnamons and oranges!  Isn't my robe yummy?

This downstairs color is my FAVORITE.  It's Behr's Warm Terracotta.  It's not too orange, and it's not too red.  Gorgeous! 

I scoured paint chips from Walmart to Lowes to Home Depot to Sherwin Williams to Benjamin Moore.  I found two colors whose chips I LOVE.  I decided to jump out on a limb and paint the ceiling Dutch Boy's Elegant Peach and started cutting in Dutch Boy's Orange Sherbet on the walls.

Of course, Tabitha helped me at every moment.  Here she is resting in the window.


This photo shows the peach ceiling and the orange walls in progress.

Then I stopped.  I wasn't feeling it.
I went to Home Depot on a mission and found my favorite glorious new color within 30 minutes.  It's Behr's Dry Sea Grass.  It's a gorgeous muddy golden green.

Here's how it looks in one of the rooms completed by Kristan Cunningham on Design on a Dime

I'll show you how great it looks as soon as I finish the touch ups.


Master Bath Reno

The last untouched room in our eighties-built home is the master bath.  I shouldn't say totally untouched; when Sid became a single dad, he carpeted the floor (!) and painted over the wallpaper with off-white paint.  That's it.

Off we go with a little master bath love.

Time for the befores:
This is the only room in my house that faces east, so I get super light in here for a great part of the day.

Most of my project photos have been taken in here on top of my card table, which I carry upstairs and my kitty helper Tabitha helps me with.

Sid's closet is to the right of the shower.

Now for the window that lets in so much light:

Here's the explanation.  When I moved in, Sid had covered this window with a maroon (!) vinyl shower curtain that he cut off to fit in the window.  It was REALLY dark.  First I removed the curtain, then we tried a piece of frosted window film, then we sprayed Rustoleum frosting on the window (NOT a very well-ventilated space.)  After a couple of years, the frosting started flaking, so we have been scrubbing it off.  This is mid-scrub.  

There's a funny story about this window.  We don't have a separate shower, so this is where the magic happens.  Apparently the original owners of the home decided to make some shower "magic" together one Saturday morning.  The window is so transparent that our neighbors, who were having breakfast, saw the entire scene unfold!!!  

I am super aware of and concerned about that window!!!

Next is my closet to the left of the shower and the door to the water closet:

If you check out the color of my bathrobe, you'll understand my paint first color choices as I begin the bathroom update.  I love coral!!!!

Here's the water closet.  It's small and has zero storage along with a terrible light fixture:

Another gorgeous soffit in here, although this at least has recessed can lights:

Next up is our vanity, which is in desperate need of a paint job, hardware, new faucets, and a new counter top.  I forgot to take this before I started piling things up to paint, so the surface is usually a little neater than this.

Here you can see several things: Sid covered the brown carpet with pieces of cardboard because he mudded over "textured" the walls, which still had painted over wallpaper on them.  The trash is full of paper towels that he cleaned up with.  You can see the paint trays and bucket of mud on the floor as well.

Check out the white tiled counters (so hard to keep clean) and the lovely GOLD faucets!!! GOLD FAUCETS!!!  We also have eighties jets in our tub; the fixture on the wall in the back of the photo is the timer for the jets.  Not my favorite - I would LOVE to replace the tub.

A great shot showing why I am going to paint the vanities and my favorite - the brass faucets.  GORGEOUS, no?!!  I can't wait to replace these babies!

Tomorrow I'll show you the plan to update this room on a shoestring budget.

Is anyone else trying to update an older home that's not old enough to have charm - it's just dated - on a shoestring budget?