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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Operation: Keep Our Feet Warm

Today is a pretty sad day for me. My Grandma passed away 3 years ago on this day. I know she’s with my Grandpa now and no longer suffering, but it’s still hard to have her no longer with us. (I got most of my crafty genes from that amazing lady!)

I decided the best thing I could do to take my mind off of her being gone, was to nag Nic into yet another project. This time, it’s operation “Keep Zoe’s (and everyone else’s) Feet & the RV Warm This Winter”. That’s a mouthful, but seriously, we needed to do something about our cold floors. Never mind the fact that our feet are cold…obviously they make slippers for that. However, with no carpet as a buffer between the linoleum and the room, the cold air radiates off the floor like no other. You can seriously feel the cold floor through thick, rubber-soled shoes. And you can feel the cold air hovering over the top of the floor. It’s no joke.

I considered funky rugs (which would’ve rocked in all their boho glory), but they were all too expensive, and they wouldn’t have covered our floors in entirety. In the end, I remembered that you can get “select-a-size” carpeting from Home Depot…so that’s where we jetted off to.

I stood in the middle of the aisle like a complete weirdo for a good 20 minutes (at least), caressing all the different carpet samples and agonizing over which color to get. My Husband was wise enough to just patiently stand there and wait for me to make up my mind. In the end, I went with a dark tan with more black specks than white.

As they were cutting my carpet, I found a 3’x5’ rug that would perfectly fit at the end of our bed in the space up to the doorway. It was nearly an identical match to the carpet I picked out…what are the odds of that happening? It was a dark tan with slightly more WHITE specks than black, but you really can’t tell unless you’re 3” from it and nitpicking. We picked out some plain wooden transitions to go in our bedroom/hallway, bathroom/hallway and entryway/kitchen areas. Nic would later cut and stain them black to match our decor better.

After I laid my rug down, Nic lifted the furniture so I could slip it underneath. We had to cut a couple slits in it so it could lie flat in the entryway.

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I feel it should also be noted here, that I absolutely ABHOR carpet, but I hate a cold home in the Winter even more. Our carpet was only about $45, with the transitions being pretty much the same price. The idea is that if come Spring, I’m done with the carpet, the transitions can be unscrewed from the floor, stowed away, and carpet tossed until the following Winter arrives. If I can get myself a decent vacuum to keep the carpet in good shape, perhaps we’ll stow the carpet too. Who knows. I just don’t want to have to worry about muddy footprints (and paw prints) during the rainy season. It’s a lot easier mopping them off linoleum, than scrubbing them out of cheap carpet.

Because of this, we are not going to the trouble of buying carpet padding and tack strips, or tucking it. (My Husband has experience in laying carpet…but really, you don’t need much to do it this easy way.) You just measure, buy what you need…and a smidge more, lie it down, cutting as you go along and use the transitions to hold it in place. A brand new blade on a box cutter is pretty invaluable here as well.

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So is another set of hands to hold it up and out of the way as you go cutting along your way.

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Everyone was already pretty excited about the new flooring!

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After it was cut to the proper dimensions, he headed outside to cut the transitions, stain them and seal them with water-based polyurethane.

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I’m not gonna lie, he does amazing things to our home all the time, but making these 5 cuts perfectly without a table saw was pretty outstanding!

Side note: We seriously need to do something about that door frame, lol.

This is the transition between our bedroom and the hallway. It pins the rug and the carpet down securely.

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Here is the entryway/kitchen transition. We opted to leave linoleum here for obvious reasons…messy kids, messy Husband, messy dog, lol!

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Finally, the bathroom/hallway transition. We left the bathroom linoleum because my girls are splash masters when taking their baths.

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And after much deliberation and research, I finally decided upon getting a Dyson DC44 Animal Stick vacuum. It was pretty pricey, but I’m all for paying more for great quality stuff and it lasting an eternity. I have a Kirby back home in storage, but it’s too heavy and bulky for RV life. Since buying the Dyson, I literally vacuum every day because I WANT to and because I LOVE to! I am not even exaggerating in the slightest bit. Maybe that’s pathetic? I don’t really care. It’s a great vacuum and I’m really pleased with the purchase. People might say “It’s just a vacuum.” No. It’s like the difference between having a super commercial badass automatic dishwasher and washing your dishes in filthy, soap-less water…and scrubbing said dishes with your feet using 1-ply toilet paper. That is how awesome this vacuum is.

It handles dirt, dry spills, animal fur (even the super stuck and ground into the carpet kind) and everything else in between like a boss. I only have to vacuum over stuff once. I don’t have to repeatedly go over the same spot 1000 times…and then give up and bend over and pick it up by hand. It’s a time saver and THAT ESPECIALLY is worth every penny. When you’ve got a zillion other things to do that are more important, the last thing you want to do is waste away that precious time vacuuming. OH, and it’s cordless and wall-mounted. Ok. I’m done.

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Thanks for reading about our new carpet and thanks even more for listening to me babble on about my new tool.

With that being said, I love you and miss you so much Grandma. Thank you for being such a positive role model and human being in my life.

Your spirit and memory lives on forever.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Destination: Bloomfield, NM Riverwalk

So we’re pretty fond of the Riverwalks around here…Farmington, Aztec… So I thought I would share with you, our little trip to the one in Bloomfield. Bloomfield is a small town about 25 minutes from Farmington to the Southeast. It has a lovely track you can walk/run and a spot to do pull-ups and what not. The circular track breaks off at one point to follow the San Juan River. It is a lovely walk that ends under Highway 550.

We had a really fun time playing on the pull-up bars and goofin’ off. Daddy was the only one that could do a pull-up though. I know, I know…all that Yoga and I still can’t do a pull-up to save my life, lol! (My arm strength has always been less than stellar.) I, on the other hand, am completely comfortable with being upside-down…something that the other 3 are not so keen on…but not for a lack of trying!

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Look Mom, no hands!

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MHG is still petrified of being upside-down, but I’m proud of her for at least trying!

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Nic even gave it a good effort…“tried”. Tee hee. Maybe we should give him bonus points for doing it while Vaping?

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Cinderella got “inverted” also…HER cute little version, lol! Love my goofy girls!

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After that, we learned a few lessons along the way…

I learned that running in sandals…sucks, and that it is better left to the wee ones with closed-toe shoes.

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I also learned that Daddy, apparently, enjoys photobombing…

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…and that Rivers make good backdrops.

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We learned that toddlers shouldn’t run on brickwork…

the poor dear tripped, smashed her face and had a bloody nose that we got stopped in a couple short minutes.

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Lastly, we learned that Riverwalks sure tire kids out! Haha!

And little girls with smashed faces are real troopers!

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I also learned that my dreadlocks look really cool in a fishtail braid, and they turn into cute curly dreads when I take said braid out.

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We had a wonderful time playing on the Riverwalk and learning a few things along the way.

We are definitely looking forward to visiting there again, and in sensible shoes next time, lol.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Girls’ Boho Chic Bedding

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So as most of you know, I am a somewhat crafty (and handy) person. If I can find a way to save money by doing something myself (or asking my handy Hubby to do it) then I’m all for it. The nights are growing colder, but we’re still trying to conserve propane by leaving the furnace off. Our electricity is included here, so we have a couple electric heaters that run intermittently throughout the evening hours. On top of that, it has been brought to my attention (via my eldest daughter), that their current lightweight quilts are no longer warm enough. You can read about how I “made” their quilts HERE.

So it’s Super Mom to the rescue!!!

We headed to Target in search of the perfect comforter. My plan was to purchase a twin size comforter (preferably one on sale), cut it in half, and re-sew the new seams back up. This would turn the 1 blanket into 2. I should mention here, that the only reason this plan would work is because the dimensions of their bunks are quite small in comparison to a twin size bed, or even a standard RV-sized bunk. They are 4 1/2 feet by about 20”. If you recall, my Husband custom-built their bunks back in March. If you missed that post, you can read about it HERE.

We found the perfect comforter to match their current orange/teal/red/green theme in their bedroom! AND, it was reversible! AND, AND, AND it was on sale for just $30! $30 For two new comforters? Yes, please! It was orange with a white dotted chevron pattern on the one side, and white with an orange dotted chevron pattern on the other. It even came with a reversible pillowcase that I had plans for as well.

After measuring the blanket, I determined that it would better fit their beds if I cut it through the middle horizontally, instead of vertically. This meant that the blanket would essentially look like it was on sideways once their beds were made, but I didn’t care…and neither did they.

I immediately set to work, cutting the blanket in half and pinning the new seams. I had both of the blankets sewn up good as new in under and hour.

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In regards to the pillowcase that came in the comforter set, I decided to rip the seams of it open, turning it into 2 separate pieces of fabric. I did the same to one of their teal pillowcases as well. I sewed 1 teal piece to the orange with white chevrons, and another piece of teal to the white with orange chevrons, thereby making each girl their own coordinating pillowcase. In the pics below, you can also see the damask pillows I made a while back when I made their summer bedding. It also matches their theme…and both are reversible.

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The girls love their new bedding and how everything turned out…which makes me very, very happy and pleased.

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On September 26th, we picked up some cute teal with white polka dots fabric (that is pretty thick) and I sewed the girls some curtains to match.

I sewed the Eclipse room darkening/energy saving curtains to the back to help keep out the cold as well.

I also have plans to purchase some Reflectix for their windows that I will custom-cut to fit perfectly.

Numerous RVers swear by that stuff.

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The chandeliers were purchased on sale for $9 each from Wal-Mart during back-to-school time.

They’re chandeliers for lockers at school, but they work great in their room!

And they’re sensor activated!

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BEFORE and AFTER

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You can check out the other renovations and redecorating projects we’ve tackled by clicking on the “Renovations” tab at the top of our blog.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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