Everyday Things

Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips are AMAZING!

I stumbled on these unique clips at the Puyallup Fair last year. I am so thankful that Don kept me from walking right on by the booth. In my opinion, Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips are the next generation of up-do clips. They are far superior to that ugly old claw clip we’ve all been using for years. I don’t know about you, but those claws put dents in my head that give me headaches! I’ve been using flexi-clips almost every day for the last four months and I’ve never had a single day that I got a headache or an uncomfortable dent. And they are so much prettier! 🙂

The clips come in various sizes. I have three – an extra-small, medium, and large. We bought the extra-small and the medium at the fair.

three clips

The small one is good for half-up hair days.

small clip

The medium one is good for the half french twist, flip up and over, ponytail sort of look. The downside is you don’t see the clip but OMG it’s so comfortable and easy to do.

medium clip

I managed to also use the medium for a full bun, sort of smooshed and crammed into the clip. I made it work but it’s wasn’t easy and I didn’t wear it that way often. For Christmas, my SIL gave me a large clip and BOOM, now I’m all set for full bun action, or messy full body days that just need a bigger clip.

Large Clip

I would say I’m all set and don’t need any more clips, but really…what girl couldn’t use more styles? I have a feeling the clips are going to be like scarves for me…I can never have too many.

There is a bit of a learning curve to using the clips, but there are lots of youtube tutorials and, I’m betting that a lot of ladies out there are even more coordinated than me and would get the hang of it pretty quickly. 🙂

So, ladies…I’m here to tell you…go check out the flexi-clip at Lilla Rose! It’s worth every penny and I promise you that you will fall in love.

The hair is the richest ornament of women.
~ Martin Luther

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Full Bloom

What a difference a few months can make!

I was looking through my phone to show a co-worker some pictures of our yard, knowing that I took some when we toured the property in April before purchasing. It was like looking at a different property! I had no idea it had bloomed so much and looked so different. (It gives me an advance look at how quiet it will look in the winter.) 😉

Take a look at a few before (April) and after (today) shots:

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Here’s our veggie garden a couple of weeks in…

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And here’s today! I know it’s a different angle but I think you get the idea. 😉

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We have hydrangeas, grape vines, beautiful ground cover I don’t know the names of, and stargazer lilies (my absolute favorite!).

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Some plants are early bloomers (so I’ve been told by greenthumb friends). Our predecessors at the house sure put a lot of thought into the choices. We are certainly enjoying it all.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~ Luther Burbank

Whirlwind of Change

It’s just been a whirlwind few weeks as we wrapped up our lives in Lake Charles, LA and moved cross-country (literally driving 2500 miles in 4 days) back to our home state of Washington.

In the last few weeks we successfully bought our first house. The view, is spectacular.

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I interviewed for a job the day after we arrived and about an hour after we finished unloading the U-Haul.

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As luck would have it, I got the job! I start July 1st. I am over-the-moon excited to be welcomed to a well-established, close-knit team of people, in an unfamiliar industry, in a position that is not entry-level. It will be challenging and I’ve already set a high bar for myself through recommendations from previous supervisors and my own. But I am eager to start and looking forward to the opportunity.

Neighbors. Oh the neighbors! Everyone has been so welcoming to us. Every day we’ve met someone new. Our road is a single-car wide private road that serves as the only way in and out for many folks. Everyone waves but many have taken the time to stop, or even walk over, and introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood. I’ve never known so many neighbors in all my life. 🙂 Our few closest neighbors also have chickens and gardens which they have already shared with us as well. We hope to have our own garden growing eventually and look forward to the opportunity to give back to them in exchange.

On top of everything else, I’ve been dreadfully sick for the past six days. 😦 I’ve run the gamut from fever and chills, to the most wicked-terrible sore throat which has made eating a chore, to the deep coughing of what’s probably bronchitis which I haven’t experienced in, easily, over 15 years, to discharge from my eyes even! Which, Don tells me is normal but it’s new to me! Dare I say it that this morning, I feel loads better for the first time in days? Sure, I woke up at 5 am to wracking coughs that stirred up all the gunk that settled in my chest overnight, but my throat is much improved which is a blessing. I’m still not 100% but I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I’ll finally be able to hang up the contents of my closet today. It would be a nice improvement over the pile on the floor. 😉

While I was sick, Don unpacked the kitchen (bless him), made some headway organizing his garage space, even if he hasn’t unpacked it all entirely yet, and he spent a day in the yard mowing and trimming some of the overgrown landscaping. There is still so much to do in that regard. We’ll get there.

Before I got sick we found a new couch for our living room which sets off the space nicely and which has been duly kitty-approved.

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The boys have settled in nicely. ;-P

We also traded our small utility truck for a full size truck and bought a new car.

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Oh, and upgraded Don to a new, more rugged dual-sport dirt bike. (We’ll sell his other one; just one more detail to handle.)

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Talk about changes! It’s hard to keep up. I have so many receipts, new bills, etc. to sort out and my routine and methods for doing so are completely out of whack. Not to mention the fact that my office space is not unpacked or set up yet either. Yikes. Although, we did, FINALLY, get our cable and internet set up this morning after a few hiccups. Thank heavens.

As we wade through the many boxes and continue to try to settle in, I do hope to slowly build back to a regular routine and regular posting schedule. I have plenty of content planned; the trick will be finding the time.

Cheers! 🙂

Still Loving Our Safety Razors

It’s been almost a year since we switched from conventional, disposable razors to the old school shaving method with safety razors. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’ve saved a ton of waste in the form of disposable blades and shavers over the past year and I’m certain we’ve saved money through the entire venture too.

For those new to my blog, this is what safety razors look like:

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We bought both shavers, the stand, bowl, brush, 3 soaps, and extra blades, all for $160 last May. Don has barely scratched the surface of his soap supply (see below), even though he shaves every day, and we have TONS of extra blades left (top of photo below.)

shavesoaps

Soaps and brush from Seattle Sundries – http://seattlesundries.com/

$160 might seem like a lot of money towards shaving but look at the average prices for just a couple of conventional razors and the blades:

$9 Schick Hydro 5 razor for men (this is one of the few that has less expensive blades than some)
$27 for 12 blade refills (not recyclable BTW)
$2.50-$3 per can of shave gel/cream (also full of chemicals and synthetic compounds) [double that if you’re buying women’s shave cream as well]
$9 Schick Intuition for women
$42 for 12 blade refills (also not recyclable)

These numbers can add up fairly quickly. Depending on how quickly you go through your blades and shave cream(s), you might be upwards of $100/yr for the disposable method. We often found ourselves replacing the shaver itself after a year or so too for one reason or another – and all of that stuff goes right in the landfill. 😦

Our stainless steel safety razors are longer lasting and the blades are recyclable (check your local rules). The soaps from Seattle Sundries are all natural and Don highly recommends them for shaving for men. I use natural-made soaps as well: Grandma’s Lye Soap, all natural soaps by Kreationzbyme on Etsy, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Liquid Soaps, to name a few that have worked for me.

Yes, it took us both a little bit of time to adjust to the new razors. We both had to re-learn how to shave, just a little bit. But now that it’s commonplace for us both, we whip through our shaving routine just as quickly as we did before and our safety razors give us a much closer shave than any other. As a women, I’m able to shave all the necessary areas without any problems. I’ve had a couple of nicks but that’s no different from when I used disposables. Truly, I recommend it to everyone out there.

Check out my original post for more links on how to shave old school and I’ve included a few new links below. There are also tons of how-tos on YouTube as well. Just search ‘safety razor’ or ‘safety razor shaving’ to get started. 😉

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
~ John Porter

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In Case You Were Wondering…

This is me lately…

overthinking

I am prone to a bit of overthinking on any given day but lately, it’s escalated to a ridiculous degree.

With our upcoming move in late May/early June, we have a swarm of details to coordinate. I say ‘we’ lightly. I do a lot of the coordinating. Don does the heavy lifting when it comes to physically moving things, loading the truck, doing the driving, etc. Oh, yeah, we are planning to do it all ourselves. All 2,678 miles, give or take some miles depending on route.

In addition to the move, we are attempting to buy our first house. 2,678 miles away from our current location. We have a trip planned to visit and tour houses in person soon, hoping beyond hope that we will find ‘the one’ and be able to make an offer that is accepted, and that we’ll close in time with our physical trip with the moving truck approximately 45 days later. Talk about hoping the stars align and miracles happen.

We’ve also recently decided to bring the cats with us when we fly up to look at houses. This should help alleviate a lot of headache while packing, loading, and driving later. No having to find pet friendly hotels along the way, no worries about cats breaking out of vehicles or strange hotel rooms in strange places, or busting out on us while packing up and cleaning the old apartment. But it’s adding a lot of other worries and details to flying the cats – which we’ve never done before. New territory all around! Yippee. (Please let it go smoothly, please let it go smoothly.)

Olli in carrier

Here’s Olli making himself at home in his new in-flight travel carrier. It’s really encouraging to see him so accepting of it!

Milo-Carrier

Milo on the other hand, plays outside his, but he’s smart. He KNOWS what it’s for and isn’t going in there unless he has to.

So, amongst all these fast approaching activities, my thoughts look something like this:

  • Will we have issues with airport security? Will they make us take the cats out of the carriers?
  • Remember to make a list of all the things to bring (and buy) to help ease the stress: a piece of well-worn clothing that smells like us, some toys, their (small) beds, Rescue Remedy, Comfort Zone pheromone spray, extra sedatives, wee wee pads for accidents…is this all going to fit in our suitcases/carry-ons/in the carrier?!! (And list done. Check.)
  • What if we find a house and the financing doesn’t work out? I’m super nervous about the loan panning out.
  • How are we going to eat all the food (frozen meat = DEER) in the freezer before we move? I suppose we’ll give away what we don’t… Mental note: don’t buy new meat. Eat what we have!
  • Make another appointment to get the cats checked for their health certificates shortly before the trip.
  • Remember to get a VA certification letter. Figure out how to get a VA certification letter.
  • Remember to be checking job listings! (Anyone need someone with fantastic, and varied, administrative, financial, and editorial skills in Kitsap County, Washington? Check me out on LinkedIn. Seriously, if anyone knows of any opportunities they could refer to me, I’d be ever so grateful.)
  • Should I be packing tonight? What else can I pack this early? What else do we not need or use regularly? What can I pack and not make our home seem completely dull and minimalist? Does that even matter? LOL More boxes packed now means less later.
  • What should I be doing?! Am I wasting time today being unproductive?
  • What about all the things that need to get accomplished at work? Will I be able to finish it all? Will I be leaving them in a bind on anything? How will I fit it all in??!!
  • I am going to miss so many people…how do I spend meaningful time with them with such little time left?
  • We still need to pick a rental truck company…an auto shipping company…
  • How do I keep up the blog? Do I even try or just take a break?
  • Stop fretting about things you can’t control!!! Just make lists and take things one at a time.

themomentI’m trying. Really. I am.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole France

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