Friday, July 20, 2012

Corners: Master Bedroom

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Posters from Flatstock and soft bright blue linens

Art from the thrift store and gnomes painted green

These are a few of my favorite things!

Sometimes I wish I had it in me to make our home look like a page out of a Pottery Barn or West Elm catalog. The truth is, both my husband and I are far too sentimental for that. I'm not saying you can't combine sentiment and designer style, but our tastes are a little more... random I guess would be a nice way of saying it. Benjamin has demanded to watch Ice Age "in the big bed" for the last couple of days. While he laughed at the movie and crunched popcorn in our bed, I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things hiding around our bedroom.

This is the top of our dresser under our TV which is mounted to the wall. The frame was a wedding gift from one of my employees and although it's not really 100% my style, it was so sweet of her. It sat on my desk until I quit my job. I have 2 fortunes taped to it- the first says, "You or a close friend will be married within a year" (I got that one shortly before Josh proposed to me!) and the other says "Family is more important than money" (I got that one right before I quit my job!). The photo is one of my favorites from our wedding day with my handsome groom sporting his fake 'stache. The little white owl on the left is one Joshy made for me during a rainy Craft-a-palooza weekend at home. The larger owl is one we scored at Target. So stinkin' cute.

Date gnomes! These also live on our dresser. We painted them on one of our dates and then took them out with us on a few adventures. They love to travel.  Josh's is the one that looks like Santa lol.

I found these rascals at the thrift store for $0.75 on half price day. Not sure why, but I love them. Perhaps because they drive Charlie crazy.

This is one of my favorite posters in the house. Benjamin points to it often and says, "That's you, Momma and that's you, Daddy. You're dancing. You love it." So cute.

This is the other side of awesome on our wall over our bed. I gave the giant frame to Josh as a gift fairly early in our relationship. It has some of my favorite pictures of our family in it. To the right of that is a sweet Iron & Wine poster (also from Flatstock). It is aqua and lime green and tan and orange and all kinds of crazy colors. I would actually really like to paint our room to match it but I think my husband might kill me. Plus, I hate to paint so that solves that!

Hands down, one of my most prized possessions. Can you tell that's a framed crossword puzzle under the clock? It's the crossword that Josh used to propose to me. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

So there they are, a couple of nooks and crannies that make me happy!

Socially Awkward

After many months of "church hopping" Joshua and I have finally found the right church for our family. For the last 3 weeks we've been attending Grace Community. It has been really nice! I was pleasantly surprised to find out on that first Sunday that there were several people there that we both already knew. That makes it a little easier. I'm not sure when it happened or if it's always been this way and I'm just now noticing it, but I have become seriously socially awkward. I get mildly nervous when meeting new people, but nervousness doesn't seem to be the problem. The problem is my mind goes totally blank. Seriously. It's awful. For example, a couple of weeks ago Josh and I took Ben to a playground that happened to be deserted at the time. Another mom rolled up with 2 kids in a stroller and I froze. After 20-ish minutes or so, we were both pushing our kids on the swings. She asked me how old Ben was. I answered and then instead of doing the logical thing, like asking how old her kids were, I blurted out, "Sorry! I'm really awkward with meeting new people!" She looked at me like I was nuts. And didn't say another word to us. I wanted to crawl into the sandbox and let Ben bury me but to my dismay, there was no sandbox. True story.

Anyway, one of the people I immediately recognized at church was the older sister of my best friend Lacey. She was so sweet and last Sunday she invited us to go to a beach day this week with other moms and kids from church. One of the most important things to Josh and I when we were looking for church was finding somewhere where we could have fellowship with other people who are in similar life situations who shared our faith. So, although I was terrified nervous, I went so Ben could meet some kids and I could meet some moms. True to form, I was awkward. Like, I broke a kid's sand shovel awkward. I was quiet and couldn't think of anything to say. I wished more than once that I was more like my social butterfly of a husband with new people. After we left I started thinking about Lacey and why I love her so much. In the course of my short lifetime, I've been called a few names. Some good and some not so nice, but I think the one that is the most common (and the most accurate) is "quirky." I think that's the secret to my awkwardness. I realized that the people I get along with best are the ones that accept appreciate me for my quirk. It's even better if they are a kindred spirit and quirky in their own way.

So I've decided to let it all hang out. To do my best to be myself with strangers, no matter how nervous I get. And this is scary. Because being myself means being loud and obnoxious and making jokes when there is a 50/50 chance that I will be the only one laughing. I should also mention that everyone at the play group was very nice. Wish me luck for next week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Something Different

While my precious husband put Ben to bed so I could take a leisurely soak in the bathtub with a book (HEAVEN), I started thinking about laundry detergent again. Seriously. And something occurred to me. This blog is mostly quick updates and pleasantries. I used to LOVE to write. I was passionate about it. I would sit and write all kinds of narratives and stories when I had free time. Then it seemed like I had less and less free time. Then it became something that wasn't okay for me to have because it was just for me. And I gave up. I just stopped. It wasn't worth the fight any more. And over the years I would think about starting to write again, but I still just didn't; even though I had an awful lot to write about that would probably make me feel a whole lot better. But, those are not the stories that you share. While I was in the tub thinking about laundry detergent it occurred to me the reason why I was writing about laundry detergent. That's exactly the moment I realized, I have something else to write about. Dude.

You'll see from my infrequent blog posts prior, we recently became a one income household when I quit my full time job to stay home with our beautiful son and take care of our home. Today is the first day I've really realized what a huge change this is for us. We didn't take the decision lightly. We talked about it for MONTHS. I started feeling more and more strongly that my kid needed a whole lot more from me than what he was getting. One of the days I was talking about the decision with a friend over Chinese food, my fortune cookie said, "Family is more important than money". I went home that night and told my husband that I had decided I wanted to stay home and quit my job. His response? "I was just waiting for you to be ready". I cannot gush enough over what an incredible man I married. He worked out our budget anticipating where we would have to cut back. Primarily, the "fun stuff" part of our existing budget. We were living comfortably. Not rolling in the money by any means, but we could afford to do all kinds of random trips. Last minute road trips. Overnight trip to Seattle just because. Concerts. Regularly eating at nice restaurants. We knew all of this would change when we lost almost half of our income. Yes. Close to HALF.

So that's what I have to write about now. This is a huge lifestyle change for us. Which brings us back to the laundry detergent. Over the last couple of years, I have been spending a lot of money on laundry detergent. I have been spending a lot of money on unnecessary things. And now that I have a household budget that I'm responsible for (Josh still does all of our bills, hallelujah! I get a chunk of money out of Josh's paychecks for grocery shopping, buying toys or clothes for Ben, etc.), I'm a lot more careful with how I spend it. It never would have occurred to me to try to make my own laundry detergent before. But now I not only have the time, but also the incentive.

I didn't say what I had to write about was all that interesting, but still, it's something to write about. Word.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All Kinds of Everything

What crazy weather we've had this week! It has been so beautiful and sunny and all the things I love about living in the Northwest. And then BAM! thunder and lightning which I love almost as much as the sunny days. The grey outside makes for a perfect day of staying inside and watching the lightning. Today was extra delightful because my big brother came over and gave me a hand with my continued preparation for the Farmer's Market. It's sorta late in the season but I'm hoping to be ready by the week after next. That means a lot more product to make and a lot of time for experimenting! Matt and I had a great time mixing up some new concoctions. He even made his own fragrance of solid perfume. I cannot begin to describe how happy it makes me to be mixing wax and listening to Brave Saint Saturn with my brother catching up on life. Here's a little sneak preview of what we did today....
 New Lip Balm Flavor (Coconut! YUM.) waiting to be labeled
Mint Julep Lip Balm tins and a few different solid perfume scents. The group in the center in the clear pots is Matt's scent. He named it Hokusai. He is a nerd. His original name was better. It was "Konichi-Wash Your Ass"... but I won't put that on a label with my business logo on it. HA! 
It still smells good. Also smelling good is the Lavender Vanilla... and my favorite, the Tuberose Moss. Holy Hannah, I love making this stuff.

My Mom came over too so I took the opportunity to do a test run set up of my booth for the Farmer's Market. Matt offered to help me set up for the first week so I can get used to setting up the canopy alone but I figured if I knew how I wanted to display things ahead of time, it will be easier. I still have more to do with the table- I'm not totally happy with it but I love that I'm using one of my Nana's lace tablecloths. Seeing her things makes me remember how beautiful she was and what her laugh sounded like. It's nice to be reminded of good memories when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Charlie of course had to check out what was going on since I put my table so close to his Lazyboy. No joke, that is pretty much Charlie's chair, lol.

Since we put Benjer to bed I've been working on getting a ton of lotion bars labeled. I still have a few more to do but it was good progress!

Another reason I love having my brother around is the inevitable "Do you remember that time..." conversations. Earlier this week, we had quite of few of those when we were both at my parent's house for dinner and I found an epic photo album ranging from when we were infant/toddler age to the 90's. There were some serious gems. One of the more random ones I found that got a giggle was this poster child for teen angst...
 The walkman is an especially nice touch. It makes me wish I could remember why I had that look on my face, it's a doozy (and it was Christmas! ...I think). My favorites were the ones of my cousins and Matt and I. So many good memories. 

And lastly, I will say that we did manage to take advantage of the nice weather earlier this week. Ben and I have gotten into a routine of going to the park. I chase him. He chases me. We go on the swings. We play The Princess Bride (sword fighting. Guess who always wants to be the 6-fingered man?)  and he "climbs" the same tree...
We're having a blast. This week we also got to spend some time in the pool he bought with his piggy money forever ago. The weather was nice enough that I could take him in it multiple times a day. He's been hilarious in it and the nice part is between his pool and running at the park, he has been getting to bed on time and sleeping better than usual. The summer is off to a fantastic start!

Monday, July 9, 2012

DIY Laundry Soap... Take II

Last week I was talking to my aunt about this laundry detergent and she asked if I added any fragrance to it. I hadn't because it smelled pretty nice on its own and I figured adding fragrance oil would make it clump up. Joshua had the brilliant idea of adding the oil to some salt (like we do for our 5th and Glen Co.  bath salts) and mixing that into the detergent. So I pulled out my stuff and decided to give it a whirl... AND I remembered to take pictures this time :)

So here's all the ingredients from the original post

And here's the fun part... blowing up the soap in the microwave. This time I cut the soap into eight pieces instead of quarters

I put each half of the bar of soap in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes (instead of the whole bar for 3 minutes). Here's what happens...

While my soap blob was cooling I mixed up my fragrance. I used about 8ml of fragrance oil (one of our favorites, the gender neutral fresh bamboo) with 1/2 cup of regular old epsom salt. Since I wasn't sure how it would turn out, I didn't want to waste too much of either of those ingredients because we use them for our business. I should also mention, if you go this route, be careful! Depending on the fragrance oil, it may discolor your salt and if it discolors your salt, I wouldn't risk washing clothes with it.  Here's my salt...

I had a very special helper mixing up my salt with all the other ingredients (except for the soap!)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Oxy Clean

My soap was all cooled off so I dumped it into a separate bowl and Ben and I got to smashing it up with forks

Unfortunately, my tiny, while enthusiastic about helping had a really hard time keeping the soap in the bowl so I decided to try using the blender to grind it up. One thing I will say is you can't put all the soap in at once. This is what I initially put into the blender...

It was WAY too much. I ended up splitting it into thirds and it worked much better.

Then we mixed it all together.

Last time I used mason jars to store my soap. It ended up using a ton of jars so I decided to use a leftover container I held on to from our camping trip.
I soaked the label off and with some scrap paper and mod podge my laundry soap has a new home

Even though I liked the way it smelled on its own, I much prefer the bamboo scented version. I think we'll stick with it for a while.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Best Things In Life...

Today is our anniversary! This year has gone by so quickly. It's hard to believe it's only AND already been a year since we said our I Do's at the Space Needle (fake mustaches and all). What a great year it's been!

I was interested to find out what Joshua was planning for today. He is very romantic, very creative and very thoughtful; however, usually he comes up with some insane grand gesture. Hot stone massages, surprise overnights in beautiful suites with a private hot tub, scavenger hunt shopping extravaganzas (yes, I realize just how spoiled I am)... and with going down to one income, our budget can't really handle that kind of awesomeness.

What I got today was a whole new level of awesome. In true Farnworth Fashion, my gift was a scavenger hunt. We are big into scavenger hunts- but I have to say, this one was probably the most special one ever. After we got home from church, Josh suggested we get on our bikes. There was a clue on my bike which led us to the restaurant where we had our first date. There was another clue at the restaurant. This guy is a genius. He got a ton of those magnetic hide-a-key containers and filled them with clues strewn all over town. From the restaurant the clues led to K-Mart (Klassy!), the park, our favorite frozen yogurt place, another park and back to our house where we got into the car and I found yet another clue which led us to Deception Pass. There was yet another clue off of the hiking trail. Genius, I tell you. That clue took us back to the beach where we had our first kiss. Every stop that we made was associated with a memory of a great time we had together. Our first date, our first kiss, our second date, getting crazy in the snow this last winter (thus the K-Mart), the park where we take our son to play.... It was magical.

An especially nice touch were the two cards that I could use for help. I notoriously lose things. Always. My car keys. My cell phone. The TV remote. You name it, I probably have lost it at one time or another if not daily. AND I am terrible at finding things. The joke in our house is "Have Daddy find it, he can find anything!" I seriously say that at LEAST once a day. It comes as no surprise, I used my help cards. It was hilarious.

Speaking of losing things... yesterday I found (!)  a disposable camera from our wedding day that was only half used up. We took it with us and took pictures at each of our stops to use up the rest of the film. I can't wait to see what else is on there!

I am so appreciative of this incredible man. He is a wonderful husband, a wonderful father and I am still daily amazed at how much fun we have together. It is ridiculous. It is wonderful. It's comforting to know that even though we've headed into a significant lifestyle change financially, we can still have these crazy adventures together. Bikes, hikes and kisses. It was a great day. I'm looking forward to another 50+ years with this dude.

Love you, handsome!

Since I'm feeling sentimental, I'll end this post with a reading from our wedding day.

"Red Right Ankle" The Decemberists

This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle bone and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed
And how it whispered,
"Oh, adhere to me for we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb"
This is the story of your red right ankle

Monday, July 2, 2012

DIY Laundry Soap

Laundry is probably my favorite chore- good thing it is never ending! I have always used Gain. It's what my mom always used and I love the smell- it reminds me of my mom's house; but dang is it expensive! I did some research online and decided to try making my own. I took a little advice from several different recipes and tweaked a few to make my own. Here's what I used and how much I spent... All of the ingredients came from Walmart- everything is in the laundry aisle except for the soap.

Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda- $3.24 (3 lb 7 oz box)
20 Mule Team Borax All Natural Laundry Booster- $3.38 (4 lb box)
Oxy Clean- $3.86 (Small 1.3 Lb container)
Ivory Bar Soap- $4.27 (12 pack)

This part is the most fun (I wish I would've taken pictures!) Cut one bar of Ivory soap into quarters. Put it on a paper plate and stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes. It will puff up like cotton candy! Take it out and let it cool completely. While it's cooling, mix one cup of Washing Soda, one cup of Borax and one cup of Oxy Clean in a big bowl. The soap should be cool by now. Dump it into a separate bowl and smash it with a fork until it's a powdery consistency. Towards the end I ended up pulling my shirt over my nose and mouth 'cause it's not so fun to breathe! Once the soap is nice and powdery (I've read you can also use a food processor or blender, but I did just fine with a fork and my muscles), mix everything together.

SHAZAM~ DONE! The best part is you only need to use 1-2 tablespoons per load of wash! This recipe filled 2-1/2 mason jars and barely put a dent into the ingredients I bought. So for less than $16, I now have enough supplies for laundry soap to last me through the end of this year (at least!). Another bonus is the scoop that comes in the small container of Oxy Clean is exactly 2 tablespoons so it's come in handy.

You can use whatever scent of Ivory you like best. Ben chose the aloe scent and it smells great. The first load of wash I tried it on was a nasty one- gross towels that I stuck in the washer and forgot about. Ew. They were super rank and after one wash with this detergent they smelled delightful! Our clothes look great too. I was concerned about it fading colors but it hasn't. It also has worked well with the bleach loads.