Wedding Keepsakes <3

We had a very small wedding as I’ve mentioned before in other posts. I think we had a total of around 20 people. Most in couples so that left us with about 10 wedding cards. I wasn’t sure if there was any sort of tradition with saving them. I mean most people save cards from holidays or birthdays. Knowing we were moving full time into our tiny house directly after the wedding I thought I’d hang on to the cards to use as wall decor. Maybe I could think of something crafty to do with them.

I decided I wanted to put them up in our room since there’s a lot of wall space available there. The challenge is that it’s all sloped wall. Total A-frame roof in the bedroom and there isn’t much in standing room. Practically nothing really.

Laying down looking out into our room...

Laying down looking out into our room…

So the tallest point in the room is where I can stand and my head just about hit’s the peak there. Sean can’t even stand at all in the room. He has to duck down a bit if he does. Anything I put up there would have to be tacked or drilled in to hang I think.

One morning a while back as I woke up staring at our ceiling I wondered why the previous owners installed the cork board that that did. Maybe they had a small desk by the window? (we have another window on the wall by our heads). But why not put the cards there? I mean the cork board is already installed. All I’d need are some thumb tacks and I could wake up in the morning to the beautiful cards we had received <3

CELEBRATION BOARD

CELEBRATION BOARD

So the view I have now when I open my eyes in the morning (looking up). I figure I’ll incorporate more decorative stuff to fill up the board and maybe move the cards a round a bit but for now they’re up and not taking up storage real estate :)

Close up of the card….

Close up

Close up

KLOUT PERKS – Savoring the flavors

I had recently decided to rejoin Klout Perks and I’ve been enjoying their new layout which brings me into contact with new people places and products. I was alerted by Klout that I had a perk waiting for for me if I was interested so I checked it out. Perks are an interesting thing. Depending on your interests you’re offered samples of things to try usually based off of what you talk about on your social media.

In this case a variety of Fair Trade items were being offered by various companies to try for free. REALLY? OK! So I sent off for the sample pack that had a little bit of everything. This is what I was sent:

I felt like angelic music was playing when I opened the box. HA HA.

I felt like angelic music was playing when I opened the box. HA HA.

It was the mother lode of goodness and what excited me most is that I had not tried any of these brands before. NICE!

We are serious coffee drinkers in this house so the first thing I did was grind up each bag for our pour over. I was basking in the rich aromas that filled our tiny house.

TONY'S and DILLANOS so different from each other and so delicious.

TONY’S and DILLANOS so different from each other and so delicious.

Dillanos LA FAMILIA GUZMAN ORGANIC blend is what I tried first. It’s a part of DILLANOS One Harvest Project and keeping it short and sweet, they work directly with the Guzman family/ADISA cooperative in Peru and this means cutting out a lot of middle men and more support going directly to the farmers that grow the coffee. It’s a definite win/win. Gotta love FAIR TRADE.

The first thing I noticed in opening the bag is the sweet and roasty scent. In our daily drinking we pick coffee up from the store and our store coffee seriously paled in comparison. Fresh roasted, it reminded me of waking up as a kid to my dad brewing his coffee in the early a.m.

I started the pour over and was delighted as the roasted coffee scent deepened.  Our house is only roughly 250 square feet (we live in a tiny home) and was now enveloped in coffee heaven. Who needs scented candles?

After pouring myself a cup I sat down and smiled at my first sip. I’m not into bitter tasting coffee. Usually I need to add in milk to tame it a bit and this was not the case with Dillanos Guzman blend. This coffee is smooth and didn’t need any sweetener (which I also usually add to my coffee).  It’s rare for me to find I coffee I would drink black without sugar. Out of curiosity I added in some coconut milk and sweetener. This turned it into a light sweet treat for me.  Delicious.

My husband has been drinking it and though this coffee is listed as a medium he felt it was more of a light coffee. It’s a mild flavored coffee and not too sharp so if you like your coffee friendly on the palate then this one is for you. I really enjoyed it.

The next coffee I tried a little later in the week is TONY’S PERU CEPICAFE. CEPICAFE is the co-op in Northern Peru that Tony’s works with. Organic and Fair Trade focused this is also a partnership that benefits the farmers and gives them more for the care and quality that they put into growing their coffee beans.

This coffee made me chuckle. Upon opening the bag I was greeted with a soft loamy coffee scent. Definite cocoa notes and a little sweet to my nose. Having just woke up, in retrospect this was the perfect coffee to try this morning.

TONY’S describes this coffee as “Cocoa, Vanilla, Malty Body” and even though that’s plain enough I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from “Malty” not with a coffee. So with eyes half mast I sat and took my first sip. My eyes popped open. Oh. MALTY. *laughs* for me (in connection with Tony’s Coffee) malty means BOUNCY. The coffee hit my tongue and proceeded to bounce all over my mouth. It was like the coffee wanted to make sure every part of me tasted it. Very bright very eye opening. It took the cocoa and smoothed out any bitterness with the vanilla notes. I normally go for mellow coffees and I’ll tell you I would SO love to have this on a camping trip. It brewed up into a very awesome cup. In after thought I added some almond milk and sweetener and that took it from a bright light to a soft glow.

The chocolate. The first chocolate I tried is the UNREAL chocolate peanut butter cups:

NOM NOM NOM

NOM NOM NOM

I shared this with my husband and immediately wanted more.  Unreal who uses non-GMO, organic ingredients has totally got me hooked. I am now seeking out their chocolatey goodness ALWAYS. The milk chocolate is lightly sweet. I love this. Some milk chocolates are so sugar filled that you lose any sense of the chocolate flavor only tasting sweet. I’d also like to high five them for the balance of chocolate and peanut butter. The peanut butter did not over power the chocolate and vice versa. Both flavors melted and blended and the one candy cup just wasn’t enough. Try them but buy two, because YUM.

The next chocolate was also from UNREAL and it was their Milk Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cup:

Single chocolate cup of yum!

Single chocolate cup of yum!

A crunchy peanut butter cup? Ok. There was only one of these, but I still shared it.  I need more *laughs*. Light sweet milk chocolate smooth and delicious. The peanut butter is super creamy and then there’s a crunch. The quinoa adds a pleasant little crunch and honestly I can’t decide which peanut butter cup I like better. Both have the same delicious flavor – but if you like a little crunch in your candy I’d choose this one.

The last candy I tried is ALTER ECO Dark Salted Burnt Caramel Organic Chocolate:

BURNT1

I love reading about the products I get and this chocolate didn’t disappoint:

BURNT2

I thought it was just a small blurb on info on the chocolate but it was more than that:

BURNT3

BURNT4

As I enjoyed my chocolate I also got to learn a bit about ALTER ECO what they do and why they do it. Not just consuming but learning about where the product comes from and how the Acropagro Co-Op helps restore their ecosystems with their agriculture practices. It’s an eye opener and an amazingly delicious chocolate.

This chocolate came at me in waves. At first taste it was smooth and I could taste the dark chocolate but without any of the expected bitterness. This was surprising but I happily enjoyed it. After the swell of earthy dark chocolate came a sweet caramel swirled with a sharp salty flavor. POW! A pow that left me satisfied. The sweet and salty mingles with the 70% cocoa and fades out…until I take another bite.

I would have finished the whole bar but luckily my husband helped me out with that. The smile on his face let me know we had found a dark chocolate winner.

The last two items I was gifted was the FAIR TRADE lip balm and the KLEAN KANTEEN 16 oz. tumbler.

CHAPSTICK

I love this lip balm! It smells minty and has a light tingle going on. It’s not greasy and absorbs nicely into my skin. Fair Trade USA – THANK YOU. This contains Fair Trade Certified cocoa butter with organic ingredients (like beeswax, coconut oils etc). A very well made lip balm.

The Klean Kanteen tumber is AWESOME. It’s stainless steel, vacuum insulated and great for hot or cold drinks.

KANTEEN1

KANTEEN2

This is the perfect size tumbler for me and has worked great with my pour over coffee. I had been looking around for an insulated tumbler since I got rid of all my old ones in our move last year. We used to have an electric coffee pot but having downsized we opted for a pour over set up which takes less space and doesn’t require a plug in. So while I can brew fresh coffee I usually only get the first cup as a hot cup. Now? Problem solved. Kleen Kanteen: Well made and well loved!

Again I’d like to thank Klout for the opportunity to get to know such wonderfully conscious made products. I will definitely be spreading the word!

You can find these awesome companies on Twitter:

@ALTERECOSF @TONYSCOFFEES @DILLANOS @GETUNREAL @FAIRTRADEUSA @KLEANKANTEEN

 

Clearing out

I was able to gather one bin full of stuff to donate to the local thrift store. Getting rid of a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. The cool winter jacket I scored last year at the Value Village I decided to give up. I tried wearing it during the FREEZING winter cold this past year and while it fits and keeps me warm, I don’t like the length. I move around a lot and it was just too short and I ended up getting really wet from the waist down. I’m thinking I need to just layer up and keep an eye out for a longer coat.

I got rid of some clothing (stuff I was going to use for the material) and after looking at a bunch of patterns got rid of all the ones that aren’t in my size (I think I ended up keeping ONE pattern for skirts).  What I’m wanting to do is work on our bedroom space and set up a sewing station. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out/look yet. I’m gathering ideas and I’m having to really think and look at the height of the ceiling. The challenge is the A-frame roof. The standing space is located in the center of the room and the wall height is really not that high. Sitting is alright – which is good but I’m trying to figure out where the best place for a sitting work spot.

I’m kinda considering installing a folding table on our closet door as this will:

  • put me near the center of the room
  • I’d be facing our ladder going downstairs
  • I could tuck the sewing machine around the corner when not in active use
  • the table would fold flat against the closet door
  • a fold up chair could also be placed around the the corner tucked away

I’m taking a look at my crafts and projects and I’m just short of out of control *laughing*. I talked with Sean about it as he was dealing with the same thing when we lived in the condo. I’m taking a long look at everything and deciding what I truly have an active (KEY WORD ACTIVE) interest in vs. things that “look neat and I’d like to try that.” The knitting is staying and I’m picking up crochet and that doesn’t impact space so I’m OK there. I really want to cut back on what I’m dealing with. I find I’ve been doing more jewelry repair to wear stuff I like than I’ve been doing actual jewelry making (from start to finish).

I’ve been liquidating the beads and I think I’m going to work on getting rid of most of them. I’m still going to work with jewelry making but not beaded stuff. It’s just too much stuff. Well that’s about it. I’m going to take a ride to drop off some of this stuff I’ve gathered up. I also need to get stuff together for my niece and nephew <3

Ok I’m out.

 

Cooking, prepping & Fat Fancy

Yesterday was grocery shopping and instead of multiple trips to the store during the week I decided to think about what I wanted to make for the week as opposed to just winging it nightly. Meal planning. Just thinking about it makes me want to fall sleep but I got it together and even did some planning so that one thing can go into making several dinners. Before going to bed I popped a whole chicken into the crock pot and it was cooked and ready to cool down by 8 a.m. NICE. I knew we’d be out most of the morning so I felt a little productive having the chicken cooling for me while I was out.

Today was a stop into Portland to run an errand and after we wrapped that up Sean suggested we walk over to http://www.fatfancyfashions.com/ and it was AWESOME! I’ve been dying to check them out for a while now. We’re in Portland all the time but finding a free parking space (we aren’t big on parking garages – THE FEES if you don’t get validated) or just an available one on the streets near Fat Fancy hadn’t happened for us yet. Today because our business trip included 3 hr validated parking we took advantage of that and strolled on over.

Lots of pop and color and great vintage wear as well as modern stuff! I loved it and I really want to take my mom there as well. Everything felt fun and even though I didn’t pick up anything today I am SO going back when my wallet refills (LOL). Affordable prices and they have a clearance section as well as $2 bin. Though some of the $2 stuff was stained I had a lot of ideas for using the material in other projects. GREAT retro fabrics in that bin <3

I think the most best part was not only is their store clean with open spaces (I hate going into places and feeling closed in) the cashier was super sweet and made sure she was available while not hovering over us. I don’t mind chatting it up if I’m in the mood but usually when I first go into a place I like to look around get a feel for the place and I get kinda focused with investigating everything. Her customer service was really well balanced and I seriously appreciate that.

Sean was with me and mentioned that he found a few french cuff shirts in his size (they carry women AND men’s clothing!) which is RARE for him to find in thrift stores. We go to one store out in Tacoma for his dress shirts and slacks (new off the rack) and the rest is online. He doesn’t need more french cuff shirts right now but when the time comes we know where to look!

It was a short and super sweet trip <3

I love you Fat Fancy and I WILL be back :)

Our first venturing out in the new year: Village Merchants in PDX

Today there was stuff to do. We had some garbage to run out as well as the old split hose that needed to be taken to the transfer station. I also had stuff to send out that sold at the store https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiverHomeGoods and some surprise envelopes for my nephew and niece. On the way to do all that I also inserted a trip to the bank and figured that would be our day.

I totally misunderstood Sean and after doing the trash and bank run we picked up some coffee and we started zooming into Portland <3 WOO HOO!

We were on the hunt for a birthday present for my Mom in law which I won’t talk about more in case she reads this ;)

Our first stop was Village Merchants  http://www.villagemerchants.net/  and it’s a resale store that consigns, buys or trades. They carry thrift as well as vintage: housewares, house decor, movies, Cd’s, crafting stuff, shoes, clothing, furniture, purses, packs and luggage. Pretty much a little bit of everything and some areas look like vendor sections but I’m not sure if that’s the case. It’s sprawled in a very orderly way and felt well put together – not chaotic. It’s a very nicely set up store.

Once Sean reminded me that we were looking for his mom, I started my looking from the front of the store (again) and went through every space. I headed upstairs to inspect their second level. I didn’t find anything that said “MOM” but just before heading back down stairs I found something for me.

I found a travel case that normally sells for $18-25.00 and though it wasn’t my favorite color the inside was in such wonderful condition I couldn’t pass it up for $6.00. Most times these cases being vintage smell blech, are significantly stained or torn up inside and this one wasn’t. For all the pros I can deal with the con of it being slightly faded.

Faded and Lovely

Faded and Lovely

The inside plastic covering was in excellent condition as well as the material underneath. NOT STINKY! <3

Fantastic silver inside

Fantastic silver inside

It’s vintage and the mirror (though rusty looking from age) is intact and not broken or missing. Since I’m not using the mirror it’s not a take away and if I wanted I could have it replaced no problem.

Mirrored top

Mirrored top

The outside is a dull color and slightly faded so I’m going to look into seeing what kind of paint I can use to paint it. It’s a summer project for the outside to be sure. Aside from the fading the outside of the case is in real solid condition.

In the meantime I have a “completed, listed, ready to sell” bin for my Etsy store, I have a bead bin that is filled to over flowing and a sewing basket that has project stuff to do. I need my sewing basket back for my sewing stuff. So I’m thinking use the new travel case for the beads and use the old bead bin for projects to work on. I’m geeking out on the organization that’s going to happen. *laughs*

I’m DEFINITELY going back to Village Merchants. If you’re in Portland and you enjoy thrift/vintage stores you should check them out.

Frozen – lols

I tried turning on the kitchen faucet this morning discovering that we had no water. I figured with the cold weather setting in the water pipes must have froze. Our water pipe is actually a water hose. When I went outside to inspect all the hoses connecting our floating house to the water and sewer lines  I really didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew one of them had to be the water line. I found the one that had a thick chunk of ice encircling it and on closer inspection it looked like a tear in the hose underneath all the ice. I couldn’t be sure as it was a little visually distorted to look at, but I figured I had found what I was looking for.

 

When my husband got up I told him about it and though it’s our responsibility for these types of repairs the dock manager and our neighbor came over to help check stuff and give advice – SUPER HELPFUL. This is the part where I share how thankful I am that we live among a really great group of people :)

Luckily it’s a simple repair and it was confirmed that we just need to replace the hose. What the previous owners used was a regular water hose which isn’t suggested for drinking and so when we got to ACE hardware we talked a bit with one of the guys there and though we could have gone with a marina approved (for water drinking) hose all ready to go, we opted to get our own tubing cut and Sean installed the end bits himself.

New marina approved water tube!

New marina approved water tube!

I thought it might be more complicated to put together, but it wasn’t. The faucet connectors inserted into the end of the tubes and we even decided to forgo the additional clamps that some people choose to put on. We bought them and once home Sean discovered they were a smidge too small and if we went up a size he felt the clamps would have been a little too big. The faucet connecters are really snug and secure though so it’ll be ok.

Once Sean unhooked the old tubing he installed the first end to the main water line then strung it along the front of the house between our front porch and the dock.

Laying in the tubing!

Laying in the tubing!

I geeked out and took a few pictures as he finished up this fix it project. As soon as he connected the other end of the tubing to our house lines he had me turn on the water.

tubing2

Water runs great and all is well.  WOO HOO!

NEW POST UP AT RANDOM AND CURIOUS

Click the link to my post on the collaborative blog RANDOM AND CURIOUS that I contribute to monthly <3

http://randomandcurious.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/getting-in-harmony-with-my-kitchen/

 

 

It’s time to make space!

I live in a small l space but it’s amazing how much stuff I can still accumulate. Right now I’m in the midst of multiple crafty projects and really wanting to add in active sewing into the mix. I need to find a chair to go with the small table I have for it. I have so much going on with the other crafts that for right now I’m putting sewing on the back burner. So many different ideas are popping up to go on the Sewing List so that’s motivating me to go through everything of mine (again) and donate stuff to the local thrift stores. Once I have that space then it’s (another) total reorganization of my craft stuff and finished projects.

It’s strange to consider myself a newlywed. My Mom pointed it out in conversation during our last conversation. I’ve been with my husband for about 5 years, though we just got married back in October. I didn’t think there would be much of a whirl wind that I’ve read about a lot of married couples having after just getting married but now that I’m into mid December I feel like things are starting to calm down…and I didn’t even feel like things weren’t calm. *laughs*

I’ve started an etsy store as a side hobby. I love collecting vintage jewelry and I love knitting and crafty stuff in general so I figure since our space is so little why not make/craft/procure the things I enjoy then sell the bulk of them to good homes? It’s a way for me to stay active and productive with what I like to do and hopefully make me enough money to put back into it so I can do more/make more.

I’ve always been a dork about process. I love the start of a thing the process and the completion of it. I guess that’s why going into administrative work fit me so well.  Speaking of work, I’m thinking about checking out job stuff after the new year. Right now I really want to get my hobbies in order and have a flow with them. Then work in work. I haven’t done as nearly as much as I’ve wanted to craft wise over the years due to work. I put so much of me on hold due to work. I’m done with that mentality.

I’m enjoying this transition, my life with Sean and I’m not in a mad rush. Everything that I bring into my life is with purpose and in support of living a healthy and balanced life. Making the changes I have in the last six months has been a little WOAH for me and I feel stronger as a person.

This is my update. Doing well and trying to keep my feet warm LOL.

 

NEW POST UP AT THE RANDOM AND CURIOUS!

Here is my latest post with the group blog RANDOM AND CURIOUS:

http://wp.me/p5bo9r-v

New post at RANDOM and CURIOUS

I’ve joined a blog posting collective called Random and Curious <3

This is the link to my latest post over there:

http://wp.me/p5bo9r-n

Check us out <3