Monday, August 29, 2011

The Furniture in our Home

I was thinking the other day about some of the pieces of furniture in our home and how many of them are pieces we've received as a form of inheritance or just hand-me-downs. So I thought it might be kind of fun to go through all my furniture and explain where we got it from and such.

Round Table- was my great-grandmother's, passed to my grandmother. She gave it to me about 7 years ago after I'd told her I loved the table.

Couch- from David's old boss when he divorced and got rid of pieces that the ex had bought ie. this couch, about 8 years ago.

Brown leather chair- we bought this chair as a Christmas gift to each other about 4 years ago right after moving into this house. Bought at discount in the "as is" section of a local furniture store. Has a light dent in one of the arms (you can't really tell).
Living room end tables-I got these (2) from my grandmother after she passed away 2 years ago, I'm not sure when/where she got them. They have a leather insert on each level with a wood surround.

White leather chair- from David's parents when they were upgrading this style chair about a year ago.
Black Stool- my father-in-law made it in shop class in high school. David used it growing up and brought it to our marriage. My FIL painted it black when David was a teenager. Currently holds a plant I got when Trey was born.

Piano- from David's grandmother who received it from her late daughter (David's aunt). David plays (like his aunt did) so his grandma thought he should have it, we got it about 7 years ago.

T.V. dresser- I bought this off Craigslist about 2 years ago (when Trey was starting to get into all the DVDs that were in open storage)

Sofa Table- from my parents when they didn't have room for it, about 8 years ago. They had it when I was a young child. I stripped and re stained it several years ago. It's currently in storage.

Steamer Trunk- from my grandparents who received it from their late sister-in-law who used it as a child around the turn of the century to travel. My grandpa had it "redone" years before I received it about 8 years ago. I've painted it a few times.

Entryway Table- I bought this from Hobby Lobby about 6years ago because I loved it.

Dinning room table and chairs- received from my late grandmother about 2 years ago.
High Chair- was David's as a baby, a great wood piece. My MIL gave it to us about 7 years ago. Trey used it as well.
Secretary- from David's parents who received it from his late grandparents. We both fell in love with this piece and his parents finally gave in and handed it down about 6 years ago. We had my dad do some minor repairs to it.

My desk- birthday gift to me from David (and Goodwill)

David's desk- from our friends the "K's" when they downsized their office

White microwave table- from the "K's" when they didn't need it anymore about 7 years ago. They had it for their microwave when they first got married. I currently use it to hold/store crafty supplies.

Black chest of drawers- from David's late grandparents. Part of a set. While we were engaged I painted the set a blue (it was a dingy white) and a few years later painted it black. It's currently in our office closet holding office supplies.

My Hope Chest- from my parents as a high school graduation present. My dad built it after I picked out the wood I wanted and finish and style of chest. (all my sisters got the same gift just customized for each). It's currently in the office closet.

Changing Table- a gift from my parents while prego with Trey. I saw the plans in a magazine and my dad built it for me (my sister painted it). Love this thing!

Recliner- bought while prego with Trey. I wanted a chair in his room to rock/nurse him in.

Chest of Drawers- mine since childhood, part of a set. I refinished it a little bit before getting prego with Trey.

Toy Box- from my parents. My dad made it for my youngest sister when she was a child. After having Trey they gave it to me (and my sister didn't need it anymore or want it).

Night stands- from David's late grandparents. Part of a set.

Dresser with mirror- from David's late grandparents. Part of a set. The mirror is currently not attached and in the garage. Originally a dingy white and I painted it red (while first accidentally painting it pink)

Bed- we bought 1 1/2 years ago, it currently doesn't have a headboard (working on it!)

Vanity- mine since childhood, part of a set. I refinished this about 2 years ago.

Small table- I bought this at Goodwill for $5. Originally bought it for next to the recliner in Trey's room. When I received the occasional chair I moved it here and love it there.
Occasional Chair- from my late grandmother. It used to be in her bedroom and was an awful orangy/pink velvet with a skirt. At the last minute I decided to grab the chair because I liked the shape and size (and no one else wanted it & it was ugly). I had it recovered with some inheritance money from her, I thought it was very fitting and it reminds me of her.

Full sized wood bed frame- mine since childhood. currently in storage and I have not refinished it yet. it will be Trey's bed someday.

Child sized desk- from my mom, I think it was hers as a child but I'm not positive. Currently in storage.

2 Wood chairs- I bought both of these early in our marriage at thrift stores. They don't match, one is an old dinning room chair that I recovered, the other has a damaged cane seat. Both are in storage.

Crib- bought while prego with Trey. It's currently on extended loan.

Well I think that's all of it! I love furniture and that's why I have some pieces in storage. Someday when I have a bigger house I'll have it all out.

Ok, here's some fun facts:
Pieces my Dad built- 3
Pieces from David's family-9 (includes pieces brought to marriage)
Pieces from my family-14 (includes built pieces & pieces brought to marriage)
Pieces hand-me-down from non-family-3
Pieces bought-10 (includes used and new)

My favorite pieces are:
round side table- because my grandma saw how much I loved this table and gave it to me herself.
Secretary- it's just a beautiful wood piece
Hope Chest- because my dad made it for ME
Occasional Chair- because it was my grandma's and I made it my own by recovering it.

David's favorite pieces are:
Occasional Chair- because it reminds him of my grandma (they had a special relationship).
Secretary- because it's always been in his house growing up and playing with it & it's a great piece
Piano- because it was his aunt's and he loves to play it.

I love that most pieces in our home haven't been bought, that they are special to us and each has a story. There is character in these pieces and they certainly aren't perfect.

I love that the pieces we have bought are mostly used items so they too have character. Only 4 pieces have been bought brand new and one was our bed/mattresses.

I love that the furniture doesn't "match" which adds character as well to my decor and the feel to our home. I love our furniture and how we've acquired it.

So, is most of your furniture bought or hand-me-downs? Do you love your furniture? Do you have any special/sentimental pieces? Please share!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vitamin C

I'm doing a series on vitamins and minerals and have posted on Vitamin A and B Vitamins already. I'm researching them for my own benefit and want to share what I find out about them here.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and the body does not make it on its own. So it's important to make sure you are getting Vitamin C through your diet and supplementation.

It is needed to heal wounds and form scar tissue; it repairs and maintains teeth, cartilage and bones; it's an antioxidant. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties; it helps prevent cataracts and helps lower cholesterol. And it's a natural antihistamine.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.
  • Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
  • The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process.
  • Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.

Vitamin C works wonders at the onset of a cold or flu when taken to bowel tolerance.(high doeses can cause diarrhea) High doses of Vitamin C is effective as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of cancer.

How much do we need?

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) adult male  90 mg per day
RDA adult female                                                         75 mg per day
Tolerable upper intake level adults                               2,000 mg per day

  • 1 - 3 years: 15 mg/day
  • 4 - 8 years: 25 mg/day
  • 9 - 13 years: 45 mg/day

Where do we get Vitamin C?

Citrus fruits
Green & Red peppers
Brussel Sprouts
Tomatoes & Tomato juice
Turnip Greens
Green leafy veggies
Sweet Potatoes
White Potatoes
Winter Squash
Chili peppers
Rose Hips


Too little Vitamin C can cause the following symptoms.
Rough and Dry skin
Bleeding gums
Decreased ability to fight infections
Dry and splitting hair
Slowed wound healing
Easing Bruising
Swollen and painful joints
Weakened tooth enamel
Possible weight gain due to slowed metabolism

Side Affects

Because Vitamin C is water-soluble the toxicity risk is extremely low and the side affects are mild. They include: nausea, vomiting, headaches, flushed face, diarrhea, fatigue, disturbed sleep.

There is a non-proven theory that too much (not noted what too much is) can help contribute to miscarriages. This is obviously hard to prove, but they noted that in women who had a history of miscarrying in the first trimester may have an excess of Vitamin C. This is speculation, but I thought it worth noting.  source


This is just an overview of the vitamin and by no means is a comprehensive study with all information. Please consult your health care provider if you have concerns and do your own research.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Living room right now & a painting

I guess you can consider this post like an "after" of my living room even though I really never showed a "before". I think this is the first time ever that I'm very happy with the way my living room looks and feels. There are only 2 things that I want to still change: a drum shade for my glass lamp and a new couch. But other than that I love how my living room looks.

Here's what I did:
Several months ago I knew I didn't like the way the living room looked and wanted to change it. However the furniture would all have to remain, so basically I'd really be changing decor pieces, art/pictures and pillows. The room was so dark and cave like feeling.
Here's some before pics. Oh, I cringe to look back at these and it was only about 6 months ago!
With only one window and it faces the neighbors house, dark furniture and dark fireplace it was too dark.

So, like I said a few months ago I decided to make some changes. So I started with emptying the room of any extras. Only furniture, curtains (I liked those), lamps and our family pics remained. I put everything up in a closet and left the room like that for about a month. At first it really bothered me that it was blank, but after a while I got used to it and I started getting ideas of how I wanted it to look and feel long term. I needed a brighter lighter space.

Right away I knew the fireplace "rock" wall surround had to be painted.  I also knew that the tv dresser and the steamer trunk had to be repainted to lighter colors. So after painting those items I had a better feel for how the room was going to look.

I went back to my decor closet and picked out only those items I loved and really wanted back in the space. Then I went back and picked out a few more pieces that would fill the gaps that I really liked. It was FINALLY starting to feel good and fresh and light. I also picked up a few pieces at Goodwill and TJ Maxx. I also took pics as I added stuff to see what things looked like in a photo. It was easy to see dark spots this way, and unbalanced areas.

Then I had my dad fix and I painted my mirror.  I made some cute little art project, and last but certainly not least I got some new art.
My extremely talented friend Chelsea paints and she very generously painted this for me. I LOVE it!!! It adds such color and character to the room, and it almost makes it feel likes there's another window in the room!
Ok, so here's some pics.
 I spray painted the piano lamp silver, it used to be brass. Candle sticks and frame I already had but have been spray painted. Turquoise canning jar I bought, small blue thing (official name) bought.
 I already had the pillow, blue glass vase (from my parents when they were in Germany), and blue plate (Homegoods)

 I love the colors when I look at the fireplace bookshelves and mantle, they make me happy! The bottles are old wine and liquor bottles. Already had the green platter (Homegoods), turquoise platter (Ross), Pottery Barn phone (Goodwill).
 Everything was already owned except the green vase (Goodwill), and the wood bowl (Target).
 The pillows are from Pier 1, that I got years ago and they used to sit on my bed but once I changed things they seemed appropriate in here and I wanted them to match. I also used to have more pillows on the couch but anytime someone sat down they'd move the pillows on the floor, so 2 is enough. And my MIL bought me that awesome lamp for my birthday (Hancocks). The wire basket is from TJ Maxx on clearance, the green basket is from Goodwill that I've spray painted a couple of times.
 Isn't it gorgeous?! The pillow is already owned (Homegoods), which I love so much I kind of decorated around it. The green bowl is a Goodwill find.

I LOVE how it turned out and I didn't spend that much money. I think most of my money went to paint: fireplace, dresser, steamer trunk. I bought a few accessories on the cheap, spray painted ones I already had with paint I already had, used pillows I already had and bought the canvas for the painting.
I love that I really got a totally new look by using a lot of what I already had! I would ideally like to have a new couch that is the dark brown leather of the chair and something not so fluffy looking, a bit more straight lined. But it's not in the budget right now and it's in great shape and it's so darn comfy!

So what do you think? Is it a lot more pulled together, please say yes! What about that painting?! It's totally awesome right? Do you love your living room/family room?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

B Vitamins

I've started a series on vitamins and minerals, what they are, where you get them and what they are good for. I've posted on Vitamin A and will be moving on to the B vitamins next.

The B Vitamins

What is it? The B vitamins are water-soluble and play a key role in cell metabolism. There are 8 distinct variations of the B vitamin: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 & B12.

Why do we need it? They support healthy hair, skin and muscle tone; enhance immune and nervous system, they break down carbs into glucose (energy) and support and increase the rate of metabolism. It is also believed but not proven to help with the symptoms of ADHD.

How much do we need?
There doesn't seem to be much info on how much is needed. Most sites referred to just eating a healthy diet and you could take a supplement as well. While some said if you are eating a healthy diet there was no need for supplementation. Since I didn't find anything about ideal amounts and this is a water soluble vitamin, my stance will be if I notice that I might be deficient then I'll take a supplement or eat more of where I can get it.
Due to it being water-soluble the risk of toxicity is unlikely .

Where do we get it?
whole grain products
leafy greens
sweet corn
brown rice
yeast (& no you don't get B by drinking beer as alcohol inhibits absorption of B)
organ meats
red meat

The symptoms range: aggression, insomnia, weakness, depression, high blood pressure, water retention & birth defects (folic acid=B9) as well as many others.
And those who drink alcohol frequently might want to increase their intake.

My sources
I was a bit disappointed in the info available on the B vitamins, so this is just a small amount of info.

This is just an overview of the vitamin and by no means is a comprehensive study with all information. Please consult your health care provider if you have concerns.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Outside Lights

I'm a little slow in posting about this but it's not as exciting so it got pushed back. We did this back in May when it was WAY cooler!

I'd noticed that the lights on either side of our garage doors were looking very grey and weathered. They are in good shape but just needed to be freshened up a bit. They also needed a good cleaning. I just picked up a can of black gloss spray paint.

The before without the glass or bulbs.

I had to wait till evening to work on them because of the heat and the wind. Both would be calmer by then. So I started dismanteling them and thanks to my favorite helper David made the job easier. He actually took all the glass out of the lights so I could wash them.

After that, I started taping off the brick and siding so I wouldn't get shiny black paint all over them! This part took the longest. I hate prep work....

Anyway, after prepping I got to paint! My favorite part! They instantly looked SOOOO much better!
By the time the paint dried (didn't take long it was still hot out) and the clean glass went back in and new bulbs were installed those babies shined! At least I think they did because when we were done it was dark!

But I looked at them the next day and they shined and the black paint popped nicely against the grey/blue brick. Our realtor told us when we moved in that black accents would look great on this house. I agree!
I love the way they turned out!

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Friday, August 12, 2011

My New Old Mirrors

If you remember back in January I replaced my dinning room mirror for one that wasn't a death trap waiting to happen. Ok so that's a bit extreme but it was a danger.
Dangerous one

Anyway, when I started thinking about how I wanted to change up the dinning room to make it lighter and brighter, changing the mirror made the list. I really liked the mirror at least I loved it's size and the chunky frame, the only thing I didn't like was the color of the frame.
the one I bought

Ok, so I also have a mirror in the living room (yes I like mirrors, think brighter!) but I didn't like anything about it. I'd bought it at a garage sale from a friend (David's not mine). It was large (not as large as the dinning room but close) but it had a skinny frame and it was in an oak color. Not my wood color of choice, I prefer a walnut color. And the frame was just too skinny for the size mirror.
Original Frame

After a bad paint job

So, I had this idea (try to keep up). Take the large wood frame from the original mirror from the dinning room (we broke and trashed the mirror but saved the frame) and have my dad cut it down to re frame the living room mirror (without the skinny frame).

I figured that since I had all the supplies I could do this project on the very cheap. So, I lugged the mirror and new frame over to my dad, while he tried to convince me to buy new moulding and then I explained I didn't want to spend any money on this since I already have everything I needed. He just needed to cut the frame down for me (I really should learn how to do this kind of thing...). Which he did.

OK, so I have 2 mirrors/frames that are all the wrong color. I bought 2 cans of Rustoleum paint and painted those babies. The dinning room mirror I had to tape off the glass which took for-ev-er (felt like it anyway) but the living room mirror I asked my dad to not install the glass until after I'd painted it so it wouldn't involve any taping off.

Here they are in their new spaces.

dinning room mirror
                                                                      living room mirror

Don't they look SO much better?! They have really lightened up both rooms, which I love! I'm very pleased with how they turned out! Oh and total cost to get 2 "new" mirrors $12 for 2 cans of spray paint! LOVE it!

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