Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Painting an Upholstered Chair





 So I had a little free time, kids are both keeping busy. I decide to do some web browsing...

Thinking I can work on my blog but instead I find myself on Facebook and e-mail. Some time goes by and my BUTT is starting to hurt as well as my back. I am sitting on a bar stool in lieu of a computer chair. So I browse some websites, balk at the prices for the UGLIEST chairs.

Then I think hmmm...
Craigslist... !!!

So on I go...

And I find a beautiful chair! GRAY! Just like my office. I get super excited!!
Cause you know... what else is there to be excited about? Other than my kid deciding to poop in the toilet.

Then I look at the location... 30 miles away!
I almost always set my settings for my local area but nooo.
During my search, I am on the phone with the husband, Greg.
Hoping for a miracle I ask him where he is.
Guess what? He is in the SAME city as THE CHAIR!!! IS that NOT a sign?! 
I very sweetly ask him if it WAS possible he could pick this BEAUTIFUL chair up!??!?!

   He agrees! :)


Paoli Computer Chair
   Above is a picture of the chair on the ad. Gray right? It is a Paoli Chair and the price is $125 (the poster had more chairs available, later on I saw them posted for $75 each. DARN IT! But I couldn't risk missing out!)


It has a beautiful tufted design! 








 And nope! 
NOT gray. It's beige.

 The material appears to be microsuede, velour? Its pretty soft! It is also ridiculously HEAVY. Signs of a good chair, made with good materials! My spine rests perfectly on this dream of a chair. Except it had a certain smell... Like a very sweaty dude had been sitting on this chair for awhile. YUCK! Definitely needed to be cleaned. But the color? Could I live with this neutral color? Especially since my dream chair has always been the World Market Nina chair in fuchsia. Pictured below.

Fuchsia Nina Chair




So i edit the photo to try to choose the right color!




Look at all those pretty colors!!!

Blue was out. Green was so tempting! 

Pink and Yellow... hmm...

 I am sure Greg wouldn't appreciate a pink chair so I decided pink was out and YELLOW it is! MUSTARD YELLOW!  I figured if I even redo my walk-in closet I will one day splurge on that Nina Chair... the master closet is last on my list, so If i ever get that far... gosh darn it! I deserve it!


So off to Joann's I went. Kids in tow.  I was that committed that I actually hauled the little monsters with me in 90 degree weather no less.  I deserve a medal right?!




Materials Needed:

  1. Fabric Medium
  2. Chalk Paint (I chose the color Vintage Mustard)
  3. Brush
  4. Sandpaper (Fine Grit)
  5. Painters Tape
  6. Small Bowl
  7. Spray Bottle with water



I start by mixing equal parts fabric medium and Chalk paint, mixing it up with a brush.






It's best to tape up the sides for an easy clean up. Then completely soak the chair with water, be very generous!!


And on the color goes... What a huge difference!



Its like I am adding magic to this chair!




I decide a better course of action is to paint all the buttons and creases first, then applying the color to the rest of the chair.




DONE! YAY!




I decided to speed up the process and relocate it outside in the 90 degree weather.
I leave it out for maybe 2 hours.


When the chair is dry, it will feel a little rough. Definitely not the suede soft texture it had before.

This is where the sandpaper comes in handy!


You want to just completely sand the entire chair. Immediately after, you will feel the difference. Not as soft as before but not rough at all.



And there you have it!!! 




 Overall I am VERY pleased with the way it turned out. I am glad I chose this color. The Vintage Mustard color really brings out the color in the wood. Making it very 'neutral'!





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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home Renovation: When Things Go Wrong.

Seriously, when I went into doing all these renovations I thought I'd do everything myself. I thought, how hard could it be? Plus, I wasn't making huge changes. And with how easy it looked on shows like HGTV and the DIY Network, I thought, whoa?! I can do that! I started out small. Painting walls, a dining table and chairs. Then I thought, this carpet.. it has to go.

I was very pregnant with my first when we decided to remove the carpet. I was in my nesting stage and the thought of white carpet that had been there since 1997 haunted me. There is no way I can bring a baby into this world with disgusting old white carpet, did I mention we had 3 cats? Oh and a cat room... which was going to be turned into a nursery. Greg said all we had to do is use a carpet cleaner. Easy. Yeah, no. Nesting isn't the kind of stage in pregnancy where you want to clean a little here and there... You actually want to disinfect and throw EVERYTHING away, start new! I was building my nest and all this white carpeting had to go. So after nagging Greg for what seemed to be forever, he agreed.

I'd like to say that we were smart and shopped around but we didn't. We went to ONE place, picked out three hardwood samples to take home and then made the decision, within one week, we ordered the hardwood and it was being installed. We chose an engineered hardwood, handscraped Acacia Walnut. I wanted a medium color but Greg wanted dark. We didn't have kids yet and what we didn't realize is that dark showed EVERYTHING. Its beautiful hardwood but man are you going to be sweeping and mopping all the time.

Here are problems I have encountered while renovating my house:

1)During the installation process of our hardwood floors we encountered an array of problems. No, not with the product or house but the workers... For some reason, all three workers had NO idea how to open a sliding door that was locked in the bottom. I imagine that they tried and tried to open it and thought that maybe it was stuck? So they tried to pull the metal from from the glass... And they succeeded. Did I mention that they did not ask us or let us know they broke our door... Awesome right?

2) Now, since I was going through my nursing stage I redecorated everything, it was my way of tidying up and making sure my little humble abode was ready for my tiny little newborn. And of course I for sure needed to clean and redecorate the bathroom... since obviously a baby is going to spend all the time in there...haha. Anyway, they not only peed ALL over my toilet seat, but left the door open while using the saw, and sawdust went ALL over my newly decorated, painted and cleaned bathroom.  I couldn't even get the sawdust out of my shower curtain. It was a Target shower curtain that didn't do so well after washing.

3) I can't grow or keep plants alive. Its like I am cursed. However, I had a beautiful potted Orchid in a vibrant glazed vase that held up so wonderfully. This plant resided in my kitchen window sill. Well when they were done, I made my way to the kitchen to the horrible scene of my plant on the floor broken in half, with a broken vase! Just set aside like it was nothing. Mind you, they were not working on the kitchen AT ALL.

4) During the second installation of our hardwood two years after the first, same company. (Yeah I know.. but it was all convenience...) When the workers were done they left my entire patio where they cut pieces, COMPLETELY covered in sawdust. Also the front door was constantly left open, so when they were done we now shared a home with 20-30 house flies. Yuck!

5) You see those ads in Home Depot and Lowe's offering to install your countertops? You think Wow! I'd like to do that! They give you the price estimate and its not until after you realize that the granite company they contract out to does pretty much nothing to aid in preparation for the installation. Seriously. Demolishing is about $600 extra depending on your square footage. But have unlevel cabinets, no plywood or a top mount sink not installed? Call us when you get all that figured out! And maybe thats how it always is but you would think that removal of old material, leveling of cabinets, would all be included. This one is probably my fault, I should know better. Now I do.

6) Hiring your Mom's Ex-Boyfriend's Tenant as your handyman. Hey I was desperate! I needed some drywall to be replaced and he was available right away! About half an hour into the project I noticed that he wasn't replacing the drywall. Hmm... Upon further inspection I realized he was just slapping on some mortar to the wall! Yes I was going to tile but really?? Not what I agreed on. Not only that but he asked ME if I had any drywall... Oh Em Gee. Oh and instead of setting his tools down on, oh I don't know... the plywood on the cabinets, he decided he would set them on my BRAND NEW kitchen island... scratching it!

7) We have installed the same hardwood throughout our house over the last 4 years. We have never had an issue. We did it little by little due to financing.... can you say tax refund?! Well this last time turns out that they don't even make the same size hardwood! And... time to freak out! They tried to discuss options with me, like adding more padding and shaving the sides... And I thought why?!?! Why couldn't they just have the same one. I wanted a written agreement that they were doing this to my floors in case anything went wrong and they didn't want to provide me with one, assuring me that it would all come out perfect. Well I was hesitant. Well, guess what they found the same kind!! Yay! Problem solved.

So far, these are all the issues we have had during this whole process. There are things I probably missed but I not only have remnants of pregnancy brain but also tired mom and exhausted home owner. :p

Nancy Howe

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

What No One Tells You About Breastfeeding

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed here are all opinions and not necessarily facts.

1. Breastfeeding Hurts

I don’t care what anyone says!! Good latch or not, in the beginning it does hurt! 

When I first started breastfeeding Christian, it was hard, he didn’t want to nurse at all! When he finally latched it was wonderful!! Then a few days in I started getting pain. Horrible fist clenching, lip biting pain!! IT HURT! Yet LC’s would say that breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt and the pain that I was feeling was due to a bad latch. Boy, did I want to quit. No matter how he latched nothing seemed to subside the pain I felt. I dreaded feeding my newborn, knowing that soon I would feel utter pain. I even cried! It was really that bad! But I didn’t quit! I pushed through it! After 3 weeks, the pain lessened until there was none at all! I convinced myself that I must have gotten used to his bad latch. We went on to breastfeed for 19 months! Woo-hoo!

…AND queue in Alice. I thought to myself, heck yea it’s going to be EASY this second time around! I got this!!! She latched right away, super eager to eat. I was IN LOVE!! I was elated! All seemed to be going perfect. Then again… a few days in… the pain! It seriously felt worst the second time around! I was no pro! Those 19 months of breastfeeding Christian meant nothing! Was it my breasts preventing a good latch?! LC’s said the same: Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, its a bad latch. DAMN IT kids! Why can’t you latch right?!? So I waited and guess what? The pain subsided. Did I get used to it again? Yes and No. Seriously, my kids have an awesome latch, the problem is that your nipples will be sore when you first start breastfeeding. Some more than others! I hated hearing that its not supposed to hurt, it seriously made me want to quit because I felt like a failure at breastfeeding! 

Do a search on “sore nipples while breastfeeding” or “breastfeeding hurts”. I can guarantee you that many other women experience the same thing. Every women is different, no advice is going to be a one size fits all! And yes, some pain will be due to a bad latch but I believe it is common for women to initially feel the pain of sore nipples when they first breastfeed. ADMIT IT LCs!!! 

2. Breastfeeding Makes Some Nauseous and Depressed

You know… breastfeeding.. yeah well it makes me sick! At first I thought I had Postpartum Depression. It was a feeling of extreme nausea and depression that would just come down on me like a very heavy wave-like sensation. I felt like throwing up. I felt ANGRY! I felt anxiety! I felt depressed! I just hated the world. Did I get help? NOPE! I am one of those people that refuse to get help, thinking I can do it on my own. And then one day after feeling like this many times I realized what was happening. Every single time I had a let down I had this feeling. So what is a person to do? Call the doctor? Nah… I got my google degree… I googled! Come to find out I had this condition called D-MER. (Oh, yes! I self diagnosed myself!) D-MER stands for Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It is believed to happen because of the sudden decrease of dopamine. Yup! Nobody really tells you that! It does subside fairly fast as soon as you feel a let-down, so thats a good thing!

3. CRAP!! I’m having a let-down!

Sometimes let-downs hurt!!! It is not a pleasant experience! You’re happily strolling around feeling happy and then all of a sudden D-MER happens… as if thats not bad enough you all of a sudden get a strong sensation of heaviness and a pins and needle feeling in your breasts! You know that feeling when your leg falls asleep? Well this is similar. That’s not cool man, thats not cool! Luckily it only lasts a few seconds just like D-MER. Phew!

4. Nursing Strikes

Oh they happen! You didn’t eat anything wrong, your baby “UNIONIZED” with your breasts and they are HAVING A STRIKE!! I kid, I kid. :) But really, babies go through a few nursing strikes. It’s normal! Lots of things cause this, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. Instead trick that baby into nursing! With my son I used colic calm… put a few drops in his mouth and when he starts to suckle, pop in the boob! It works! DISTRACTION! If there is a toy your baby really likes, show him/her the toy and sneak the boob! They will latch! MOVEMENT! For some reason when you are patting them, they seems to want to latch. Fine with me! 

5. Cow Milk Protein Sensitivity 

It happens! More so for us. My husband couldn’t handle regular formula as a baby and had to be put on soy formula. I was breastfed as a baby but have a lactose intolerance. Its really not that bad with me, well except when someone at the coffee shop forgets to give me soy… yeah its not pretty! Well, when I had my son he cried and cried and cried AND CRIED and did I mention CRY!? Actually it was more like screaming. I had no idea what was going on, I thought newborns just cried a lot? But this was just different. I was really bad about my diet when I had him. I usually do soy or almond milk but with having a newborn and no time to cook I was eating whatever I could find. You know what that was? My husbands Cap’n Crunch!!!! All that with regular milk… It didn’t take long for me to notice that when I gave in to these foods Christian was a lot more colicky than usual. I googled that shit…”eating dairy while breastfeeding”, cause remember I got my Google Degree a while back. They said to stop dairy and wait at least 2 weeks to see a difference. Well 2 days short of 2 weeks its like I got a new baby! 

6. Nursing Covers

I’m sorry but do these even work?!?! Unless you are some kind of yoga-posing-buddha-loving person how can you actually keep that on without that baby snatching it off! I do a better job at nursing without a cover with no one knowing what I am doing. But with a cover? Its like I just whipped out my huge “breastfeeding flag” and shot off a flare gun! Get a comfy loose sports bra with a tank and a t-shirt on top, it covers everything and no one knows what you are doing! Unless of course they’re one of those nosey people coming around being all up in my business!! Back off homey! 

7. Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding burns 200-500 calories a day. You need to burn about 3,000/cal per day to lose 1 pound. A lot of people say that breastfeeding is like running 5 miles a day, so that baby weight is going to melt off. I call bullshit. You know why? Cause your body is going to demand you feed it extra calories in order to have an ample milk supply and don’t feel like an angry mess. Talk to any nursing mom, ask them how their diet is going. Screw diets while nursing. Your body thinks you need to keep all those fat reserves until your baby is in college.

8. Losing Freedom

If you nurse a baby, that is all you will do until they are weaned. You get no breaks. You will schedule everything around nursing your little one. Oh and if you forget? Your body will remind you… You will hear babies cry and run the other way. You will feel guilty for being away and think your baby is going to starve! Not only that but sometimes your baby decides they want to be a snacker. They don’t want to nurse for more than 5 minutes at a time. What does that mean for you? Well you’re gonna be nursing ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT… ever single day. Of course you can always pump but then you’re also going to lose time pumping and cleaning out the pump parts every single day. 

9. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOBS

I don’t see how some people would love to have fuller breasts… milk juggs don’t defy gravity people! They don’t look like those perky DDDs some women are rocking. IF they do… well then I hate you. All that heaviness isn't just suspended in midair by some sort of magic, it weights down. Forever pointing down. 

10. Its a love/hate relationship.


If you stick through it you will love it. If you don’t for any reason its ok! There is no rule book! There is nowhere that states that you are FORCED to do anything with your body. Breast milk is best for babies but that doesn’t mean that formula is bad. Both nurture your baby. Both will help your baby grow. You do whatever feels right for you. If you aren’t happy, NO ONE WILL BE HAPPY! You don’t cross a mother with a newborn, you just don’t. They are dangerous and you don’t want to suffer the consequences. No one should have input in your child’s life, unless of course the child is in danger. Then its my business. But also no one should just stare and watch when they have the opportunity to guide someone in the right direction. 
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Friday, January 16, 2015

365 Days of Low Carb: Breastfeeding While on a Low Carb Diet

DAY 16

    New Year equals... OMG I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!

    Why is it that the start of things push people to make life changes??
Does this sound familiar to you?

    "I'll start Monday..."

    A lot of us want to start in the New Year because thats the excuse we give when we are pigging out  on all the holiday goodies!


*oink oink*

*inhales WHIP CREAM with a side of pumpkin pie...hey... it has Vitamin A!*
    "I'll quit all this... in the New Year, don't judge me!"

    So here I am 16 days into my low carb diet. I waited until Alice was 5 months to do it, so it wouldn't affect my milk supply. When I did low carb diets in the past, I would lose about 10lbs in the first 2 weeks. Its been 2 weeks and the scale has yet to move! Seriously, its like I never went on this diet. When people tell you that breastfeeding holds on to all that junk in the trunk they are NOT lying!

    But today at Day 16 I stepped on the scale this morning and it said 126. After weighting myself EVERY DAY and weighing consistently 131-133! MAGIC! Though it might be because I haven't been drinking my gallon of water a day for the past 2 days AND because TMI I was constipated due to too much fiber and I finally uhhh.. went. Either way I am glad it finally changed because I was starting to think that it would be impossible to lose weight.

    I should note that I am doing low carb but still include veggies and I do splurge on sweet potatoes! I am nursing my little one and don't want to jump into it too fast and lose my milk supply or drop large numbers of ketones. I probably do a minimum of 30g of carbs and max about 75.

NO SUGAR!

NO STARCH!

NO GRAINS!

and hey... NO PORTION CONTROL!!! (cause I SUCK at that!)

   But let's talk about the portion control. You will notice that after being on a low carb diet for awhile your appetite will decrease and cravings will subside. This is most likely due to your blood sugar regulating, so there are no drops! Not to mention the protein keeps you full.

    So far so good. I've been pretty low carb for about 5 years now with occasional splurges... or holidays. But when I want to lose weight thats when I go ultra low carb. LCHF(low carb high fat) is really a lifestyle change not a fad diet. So if you want to lose weight fast and are thinking of doing this temporarily... DON'T. You will most likely fail.

    As for breastfeeding, nothing has changed. Alice is still nursing regularly and has a lot of wet diapers. There has been no change. My supply is better than ever. Just gotta make sure to drink plenty of H2O.
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