Remodel: The Beginning

My house is a disaster.  It was built in the late 1930’s and when my fiance purchased it several years ago it was clearly sold as a “fixer-upper”.  In addition the the degraded outdoor appearance we are also incredibly lazy and don’t mow our lawn as often as we should, which adds to the overall “abandoned haunted house” look that we currently have going on.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the house. It has a lot of charm and it is full of potential. We have more than enough space for the two of us (seven, if you count our furry friends) and room to spare if our family grows. However, there is only so much green shag carpet, scuffed wood flooring, paper walls, aged siding and drafty single-pane windows that a person can handle after awhile. Add to that the fact that over the past three years this house has had a half-dozen or so roommates come and go and you begin to see why things look the way they do. It’s hard to look at the house and see everything it could be, but I have a pretty good imagination.

Well, after spending most of the spring and summer working with banks and loan officers, filling out endless paperwork, meeting with contractors and lamenting over the fact that we aren’t millionaires, Josh and I finally get to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Construction will officially start NEXT WEEK!

Although I am not looking forward to long hours of work we will be putting in after we get home from our regular work days, I am infinitely excited to see our plans finally come to fruition. We still have a lot ahead of us and there will always be another project that needs to be done, but we are taking a HUGE step in the right direction.

Realization: I Suck At Blogging

I suck at blogging. Seriously. In part I would like to blame it on the fact that I don’t really have a working computer and my iPad isn’t the most WordPress-friendly. But really it’s because I’m busy. “Real” busy. Fake busy. Also, lazy. Blogging gets pushed pretty far down on my daily to-to list, somewhere after all of these things (which are in no particular order):

  • Work
  • Housework
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Wedding Planning
  • Netflix
  • Browsing Reddit
  • Food
  • Naps
  • Animal Cuddles
  • Gardening
  • Video Games
  •  

It’s not that I don’t like blogging, because I do like sharing pointless details about my life with the few people that actually read my blog. It’s the same reason I don’t scrapbook as much as I should, even though I really enjoy it. Prioritizing is not one of my strong points. Procrastinating? Now THAT is a skill that I excel in…

Does anyone have tips/tricks on how to better prioritize my life? 

Our Newest Addition

ImageMeet our newest addition to the household. She’s currently 10 weeks old and going by the name of Gypsy, but that is subject to change. She and Kingsley (our two year old Boston Terrier) are getting along fantastically.

Having a new puppy around the house is a little hectic. She still needs to be put in her crate when we leave for work, which makes her sad and yelpy. We’re also still working on the potty training, which means keeping a close eye on her, and frequent visits to the backyard (not bad unless its raining or in the middle of the night). It means taking her up to my bedroom if I want to work on things up there and no one else is home. And it means in a few months we’ll have to go through dog training class.

But it also means puppy kisses, snuggles and an extra warm body under the blankets (even though she snores). I think we’re done with new animals for awhile — this brings us up to 5, and things are starting to get a little crowded 🙂

No ‘Poo: 2 Weeks In

Today marks the two week mark for my “No ‘Poo” experiment. I brought my BS and ACV on the airplane (in my checked bag), and although I wasn’t worried about the vinegar, I thought a mason jar with some white powder in the bottom might seem a little suspicious. It doesn’t look like my bag was searched though, which is convenient, because I wouldn’t have wanted them tearing my bag apart.

 
Some comments:
  • My head feels a little itchy, though not much.
  • My hair feels sort of heavy, but not too bad. 
  • My hair had been more staticky this week – although this may possibly be related to switching to a boar bristle brush (which was recommended by several of the sites I read)
 
So far I am not really noticing much of a difference. My hair still feels greasy in between the BS/ACV “washes”, and I still feel like I need to wash every other day or so.  It also takes me a little longer in the shower – I need to mix up the baking soda, and I am not used to conditioning my hair. The lack of foam/bubbles throws me off a little as I massage the BS into my scalp, and I’m still not sure how long I am supposed to massage it for. It’s also hard to tell if I’ve gotten all of my head, although so far I haven’t noticed any missed spots.
 
Anyway, I’m still giving it at least one more week to get to the recommended three and see if things change. One good point is that this is giving me a chance to try out more hairstyles that involve putting my hair up and trying some of the headbands that I own!
 
 

I Can Do This. Maybe.

Well, I signed up for my first ever 10k. Considering how “well” my last5k went, I don’t know what I’m thinking. In my defense though, that was several years ago, and I feel like I’m in better shape now. Plus I have 8 weeks to train, which is convenient because I’ve found several 10k training plans, most of which take 8-10 weeks.  Regardless of the outcome, I’m signed up for the Rum Rum 10k on Memorial Day weekend! I tried to get the boy to sign up with me, but I think I might have to just be content with him cheering me on at the finish line.

 
It’s unfortunate that I am traveling this week, which means my runs/workouts will all have to be indoors (I don’t trust unfamiliar areas/neighborhoods very much, plus I don’t want to get lost!).  However, running on the treadmill this first week should allow me to time/track my distance and keep and even pace, which will give me a good baseline for the coming weeks.

 
Here is what my training plan looks like for Week 1.  I have modified a basic 10k training plan I found online to match my schedule and resources. Next week I start another round of “boot camp” at the local gym, so that will affect weeks 2 through 8.
Monday – off
Tuesday – run 2m
Wednesday – strength 
Thursday – run 2.5m
Friday – cardio
Saturday – off
Sunday – run 2.5m
 
Running friends out there… What was your first 10k experience like? Do you have any tips/recommendations as I begin my training? I enjoy running, but up until the point my “running habit” has consisted mostly of jogging randomly whenever I get the urge, rather than anything consistent.

No ‘Poo: Day 8

Yes, I am still pooping, don’t get alarmed!

Have you heard of the No ‘Poo movement/lifestyle/whatever you want to call it? Basically, you are abandoning conventional shampoo and hair products in lieu of a more natural system. Reasons for going no ‘poo vary – for me? Cutting down on the amount of chemicals I introduce into my body is a big one – between all of the bath and body products, the foods we eat, the air we breath, things we drink… it can’t hurt to try to eliminate some. It will also cut down on my environmental impact, hopefully save me some cash, and save me time in the shower!

No ‘poo is something I’ve read about in the past, thought about doing a year or so ago, made lots of excuse for (I need to look nice at work, my hair is too oily and it won’t work for me, I don’t want to smell…), but I finally took the plunge. Last Friday (the 22nd) was the last time I used “conventional” shampoo.

My morning bed-head on day 8 of no 'poo :)
My morning bed-head on day 8 of no ‘poo 🙂

If you Google “no ‘poo” you’ll find a lot of information about what it is and how many different ways there are to do it — I don’t need to explain everything. For me, I started out with the formula I found over here at Crunchy Betty. I have washed my hair with the baking soda/water mix (BS) three times so far, apple cider vinegar rinse (ACV) each time. For context, I was shampooing my hair every other day or so before this — I used to be a hard core wash-my-hair-every-day-or-it-would-become-a-grease-trap type person, but I’ve been trying to ween myself off shampoo a little.  As you can see from the picture (sorry for the morning bed head, by that way), my hair looks rather non-greasy. I was washed with BS/ACV yesterday, so it’s at about the 24 hour mark at the time the picture was taken.

The first time I did it, I followed Crunchy Betty’s recipe for the BS, mixed in an extra spray bottle, and sprayed it onto my head. The next time I tried a heavier amount of baking soda with less water, and just mixed it in my hand and plopped it on my head. It was a little harder to rinse out, but my head felt “cleaner” afterwards. The third time I met somewhere in the middle. I put about a tablespoon and a half of baking soda in my bottle, added roughly 3/4 cup of water (I was doing it in the shower so I could really measure), then mixed it well and just dumped it on my head instead of spraying it. So far, that has been my favorite method. As far as the ACV — I keep a red solo cup in the shower, pour a little ACV in the bottom, and fill the rest with water. I have long-ish hair, so I pull it into a sort-of ponytail and dunk the end into the cup, then pour the rest over the back of my head. I let it sit for a few minutes while I finish other shower duties, then rinse it well. On days that I shower but don’t use BS/ACV, I just rinse it with water.

IMG_2671
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar — my new “shampoo and conditioner”

Comments/complaints so far:

  1. The boy says he can occasionally catch a whiff of the vinegar smell from my head.
  2. The boy also thinks my hair seems to hang a little “heavier” than normal, probably from the additional oils.
  3. Don’t pre-mix your baking soda/water and just keep it in the shower. Unless you like dumping cold water on your head. I have found that using the hot shower water dissolves the baking soda quicker, plus it’s a lot less “shocking” for my scalp!
  4. I have not had the excessively dry ends the Crunchy Betty and some of the commenters on her blog seem to have. My roots have also not been much greasier than they normally get after a day or two of not washing. Perhaps I’m just lucky?

Most places I’ve read seem to suggest trying for 3-4 weeks before deciding if no ‘poo is for you. This coming week will be a good test — I’m leaving tomorrow evening for a business trip, so we’ll see how I manage the no ‘poo in a hotel with the grimey feeling I always get when I spend the whole day in an airport/traveling. I’m planning on bringing my bottle of ACV with me, as well as a plastic bag of baking soda (in my check luggage, of course — don’t want to alarm anyone!).

Anyway, you’re probably sick of reading this, so I’m signing off — I will provide an update closer to the two week mark as we see how things are progressing.

Welcome!

Oh, hey. I see you’re checking out my blog. As of today there’s not much here, but I hope that changes over the coming weeks and months. This blog will be the outlet for all of my crazy (and not so crazy) adventures in life. Cool things I try, failed experiments, craft projects, pinterest-fueled decorating sprees, landscaping, beer brewing (I hope!), and whatever else I do. I have no idea if I’ll keep up with this like I should, or if anyone will even bother reading it, but hey, why not try? That’s what living enthusiastically is all about, right?

anyway, maybe you want to know something about me. I’m Brit, a 20-something living life on the central Oregon coast. I’m a self proclaimed crazy cat lady, though I only have two of my own. I live with my boyfriend and two room human roommates, plus 2 other 4 legged roommates in addition to my two cats.

Interests and hobbies include, but are not limited to: cats, scrap booking, beer, board games, video games, wall art, thrift stores, garage sales, good food, running, chocolate and naps.

If you’ve managed to somehow stumble here…. Introduce yourself!