Friday, July 29, 2011

Victorian Family Heirlooms

So, I grew up with a Secretary in our house. It was so confusing when I applied for a job as a Secretary and found out it involved more than just standing in a corner, holding stationary and office supplies while displaying antique glass pieces. I had never seen our Secretary answer phones and make coffee!!!

Ok, ok. I eventually figured out that the Secretary in our house growing up wasn't the same as the Secretaries I met in business offices. And yes, I now know the politically correct term is "Administrative Assistant." Had that term been around as a child, I could have avoided a lot of confusion!

So, back to the Secretary in my parent's home. Apparently our Secretary has been part of our family way before I came into the picture. In fact, our family Secretary served my grandparents and their grandparents. I will refer to the Secretary as a she as men were most likely not Secretaries during the time she began her occupation.

As far as I can figure, this elegant lady was born sometime in the early 1900's. Her birthplace is unknown, but she served someone by the name of "Grandma Wright" until...

"Grandma Wright" passed her on to her son Nelson in 1936.

From there, she served Nelson until passed on to his son, Orville.

Orville then sent her on to live with his daughter, Opal (my grandma).

After Opal's passing, she went to live with my dad, Keith in 1973...a short time before I was born.

It's all recorded right here on her passport (last names blurred for security purposes):

Where will she go next you ask? Well, I think she might go to stay with my sister. Somehow she has staked a claim on her. Which is ok. Neither one of us get too bent out of shape over material things.

But for now, look at how she so diligently serves my parents.



Pieces she displays include:

1. Hand-Painted plate owned in 1913 by an ancestor on my mom's side.
2. Glass pieces from my Great-Grandma
3. Bowl from another Great-Grandma
4. Blue bottle, spoon, and ink well were found on the property of my parent's Victorian Home.
5. Other gifted collectible items including Cranberry Glass (some Fenton) and Hull Pottery.



Doesn't she serve their home well?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Church House Renovations BEFORE

Read HERE about our quaint little story about how we came to be owners of this crazy project last November. We began our journey with ambition...planning, gutting, planning, gutting. THEN horribly cold temperatures hit, the propane burned quickly (even with keeping the building at 50 degrees), jobs changed, family moved in, and then SUMMER hit.

Okay, lots of excuses as to WHY this project is moving along slowly. BUT, the important thing is, it is moving. Did I mention, slowly?

Keep in mind the little saying that "things get worse before they get better." We are in the midst of that truth right now. Hard to believe that less than only 2 years ago, this was a functioning church 3 days out of the week.

Here's how it looks NOW.

MAIN Level (where church services took place):


Now on to the Basement where we plan to turn into a fully functional living space with 3 bedrooms.


Looking into the basement from the stairway (plans in yellow):





As you can see, there's lots of work to be done. This week we're just working on getting it cleaned up inside and out, finish gutting, and keeping the humidity out. We'll finish painting the exterior when the weather cools down.

Wish I had more to report!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mooncup Diva Cup Review & FAQs

TMI (Too Much Information) ALERT! Male readers take caution.....female topic straight ahead!!!

I have been sooooo excited to get this product review out to all my seestah's out there that have not yet hit menopause. For the ladies who have already crossed over into throws of hot flashes and mood swings, you might find this informative to pass along to all the young gals in your read on!

Today, my friends, I bring you the "Mooncup" aka "Diva Cup"(another brand) aka "Shot Glass for your Vagina" (my friends description...sorry about that).  Oh, there's also the Lunette and the Keeper.

Ok, ok, maybe I'm behind the times and you've all been there, done that...regardless, this product deserves a review.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Yes, this little SILICONE object is my new best friend about once a month for about 5 days. Yes, this is what you think it is: A nice little cup that is inserted in your you-know-what and left to catch you-know-what. Or as Glad Rags puts it, they are "reusable internal devices that catch menstrual blood, rather than absorbing, as a tampon does."  So you see, it fits snugly against your cervix and stays put until you pull it out, empty, rinse, and re-insert.

Ok, let me just say, I was COMPLETELY freaked out about the concept at first, but began to warm up to the idea when I thought of all the pro's:
  • No more buying pads(Sanitary Napkins) or tampons
  • No worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome
  • Less time messing around in the bathroom changing pads/tampons
  • No garbage for my dog to get into and string around the house
  • No leakage worries (no stained sheets, undies, pants)
  • Another move in the right direction to "Go Green."

Low and behold, the Mooncup was on sale through our Food Coop and I ordered my cup from Glad Rags for $21.00. I read a few reviews on the Mooncup vs. the Diva Cup and it seemed there were more women satisfied with the Mooncup so I went for it. There are 2 different sizes available and there's a Chart, FAQ's and further explanation available HERE. It's pretty simple.

According to the chart, I am a size A. In all of the testimonials I've read, I've never come across anyone who had a wrong fit so I think the sizing is pretty accurate.

So I got the alien-like object (and yes it comes with it's own little cotton drawstring bag)with my coop order along with the recommended Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil Liquid Castile Soap for cleaning and I oddly waited in anticipation for my monthly visitor to arrive.

The day came, and it was time to try out my new little friend. I had read all of the instructions, watched all the videos, and like I had purchased a new camera and was about to take my first picture, I headed to the bathroom to put my knowledge to the test.

No worries, I'm not going to describe step-by-step how I did it, that's what the video below (from Mooncup)is for. Instead, I will continue the review with a question and answer interview with myself using questions I've gotten from friends when I tell them the news and questions I desperately wanted answered before committing to this journey. Another WARNING: I want to answer the best I can for you to understand, so the topics may seem a little icky or weird...sorry.

Here it goes....NEVER BEFORE answers to your questions....

Can you feel it?
Yes and no. If you do not insert it far enough up, I will feel it similar to a tampon. When inserted properly, I barely feel it and sometimes forget it is there. There must be something about laying down because after having it in overnight, it is most comfortable and I cannot feel it at all.
Sidenote: There is a stem to help with insertion and retrieval, this can be cut to a length that is comfortable as it is mainly the cause of any discomfort. I trimmed mine the first month and second month and by the third, cut it completely off. Now it's a perfect fit.

So you have to use your fingers to put it up there?
Yes, similar to an O.B. tampon, there is no applicator. As you will see from the video, you fold the cup and insert using your forefinger and thumb. It's really not that bad.

Can it get put in wrong?
Well, you definitely want the opening facing up! But, yes if the cup unfolds before I have it inserted in far enough, it feels like it is in sideways a bit so I try to hold the fold in place until it almost up as far as feels right and then release. If it still feels too low, I give it a push upward.

Any other tips for getting a good fit?
I have found a good squatting position works best versus just sitting on the toilet. Also my sister-in-law and I have found that general movement with legs and squatting helps at first to get it just right.

Do you still have to wear a pad?
Nope. Not at all. I have never had a leak. Now, my sister-in-law had a VERY heavy day and she overflowed after 6 hours, but she was able to feel it immediately and get to the bathroom without consequence.

How long can you keep it in?*
The company recommends up to 8 hours, I have gone as long as 10 with no problem.

What will happen if you leave it in too long?*
The cups are not harmful in any way. The only concern with leaving the cup in too long is the possibility of overflowing.

What about TSS?*
That is what I LOVE about the Mooncup! A classmate of mine died from TSS caused by tampon usage. There has NEVER been a report of TSS associated with the use of the Mooncup or Diva Cup. Now that is something to get excited about! I even thought of starting a campaign in my classmate's honor to spread the word about the Mooncup alternative to tampons. RIP Christie Senski.

How do you get it out?
Since there is no string attached (haha), you have to make contact. Now, this is where the learning curve occurred. It was a little disturbing to yank on the stem until the seal release, causing a suction sound and a very small amount of pain somewhere up in there. My sis-in-law came up with a technique that worked for both of us. First, push like you are delivering a baby, then squeeze the bottom of the bulb (versus the stem) and pull. Voila'! No pain, no weird noise. Easy release. Works everytime. Relaxation is key.

So it's out, now what?
Gently turn it over into the toilet to empty. Now here's where it gets tricky. You see, in my little bathroom I can reach the sink while sitting on the toilet, so I throw it in the sink and finish my business (wiping and all that) and then I wash the cup thoroughly with hot water and Tea Tree Soap, shake the water off and re-insert.

What if I'm not at home?
For public restrooms, I have taken it out, wrapped in toilet paper, taken it to sink and very discreetly cleaned it, hid it in my hand, and returned to the stall to insert. I have only had to do this once, as for the most part I have a private restroom available every 6-8 hours. What's the worst that could happen? You might just have to inform someone about such a wonderful alternative!

Do you just use it on heavy days?
No. I start using it as soon as my visitor arrives and continue until she leaves. My friend always waits until Day 2 for some reason. I have read of others that only use it overnight.

What about swimming and sports?
This is the absolute BEST thing for active women! It will not fall out, it is comfortable, it is discreet. It frees me up to do whatever I want to do without worry!

What else would you like to say?
I had to endure a learning curve, please STICK WITH IT. I read somewhere to give it 2 cycles before giving up. I definitely agree with that! The first cycle was hard adjusting, but I was determined to save money and boast of a healthy alternative. I am sooooo glad I gave it a 2nd cycle. By the end of the second month, I was a believer. I've completed a 3rd cycle and I've never been more excited about something that has to do with hormone imbalance, blood, and cramps. I can honestly say, I don't dread menstruating like I did before. No joke!

End Interview.
*Please read more on these questions on the website.

Those are the questions not quite covered in the FAQ's page on the Glad Rags WEBSITE. I highly encourage you to visit their website and read through EVERYthing.

I would LOVE to hear your comments. Have you heard of the Mooncup/Diva Cup before? Are you a believer? Are you brave enough to give it a try?

I would also LOVE to answer any questions you may have about it. I will do my best to answer with my experienced usage!

If you are a believer or become one, spread the word through great products (postcards, sticker, coupons)...I'm ordering mine right now!

**I'm not being compensated for this review in anyway (but I should be, huh?).

MCUK Menstrual Cup

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DIY Super EASY Lightweight Cropped Top PONCHO

I've been seeing the cutest cropped knit ponchos or drapey shirts in the stores lately AND I just so happened to find some fabric (not knit, but lightweight) at a yard sale a few weeks back that I KNEW without a doubt I would figure out SOMETHING to make with it. Soooooo, the two ideas came together in this "so-me" cropped, lightweight poncho.



Inpsired by a shirt style like this (from Forever21):


Here's how I did it and you can too!

First you will make a pattern:



NOW, using brown packing paper, wrapping paper, butcher paper or some type of wide and long sturdy paper to create your pattern with the above measurement:

For the neck, measure down 2 inches on the Torso measurement and sketch a curve connecting that point with the shoulder point. From the shoulder point, slightly angle the sleeve length 2 inches (point will be even with neck measurement).


To make the half circle shape of the pattern. Attach chalk to a piece of string the length of your torso measurement. Hold the string at the top of the torso measurement point and holding string tuat, draw your line until even with the neck.


You will need about 2 yards of fabric (I didn't measure this).



Now let's get to sewing!


Now for the tricky part, (it's not that tricky). Turn it inside out and try it on. Decide how big of an armhole opening you would like and pin it on one side.
With poncho WRONG Sides together, stitch both sides together at pinned area about 3 inch long stitch. Fold the poncho over to mark other side and repeat.


THAT'S IT! Super Easy!
I don't know what this look is about...modeling isn't quite my thing, but I heard people like to see the person behind the here I am!


Linking up at all these great places:
Meet Virginia Design


Monday, July 25, 2011

And the Winner is...

Oh boy, I've tried and tried to figure out how to post my Random Number Generator, but you'll just have to trust me on this one. I put in numbers 1 - 8 for all of the comments, and the generator picked......#4!

Congratulations Sydney from the blog Logan and Sydney

Logan and Sydney said...

I made one too after deciding that I didn't need to shell out $ for something so simple:) Great minds think alike:) -Sydney

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and welcome new followers!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Future Thrifter of America {Thrift & Rummage Finds}

I guess my 9 year old has caught the bug! She wanted to model her recent thrift store and rummage sale finds. Isn't she adorable? And look how versatile the Rosette Hair Accessory, tutorial HERE.

Thrifted Feature: Robot Shirt!!
Thrifted, $1.00
Target, bought as a matching set with another shirt

Hobby Lobby, $1.00
Hair Accessory, Handmade from scrap fabric from THIS project.


Thrifted Feature: White Knit Jacket
Rummage Sale, $2.00
Black Shirt (actually a skirt) with Satin trim and buckle
Thrifted, $1.00
Knit Stretch shorts with lace trim
These have been part of her wardrobe for awhile
Hand-me-down from Grandma
There's that Hair Accessory again!


Thrifted Feature: That Skirt (formally known as a shirt)
Thrifted, $1.00
Black Shirt
Thrifted, $1.00
Thrifted, $1.00


At this point, Kabs was really getting into the modeling and wanted to bring you her Farmgirl Outfit.

Thrifted Feature: Plaid Shirt
Thrifted, $1.00
Target (last year)
Cowgirl Boots
Christmas Gift from Grandparents
Homemade from T-Shirt Scraps


Do you mind that I don't have brand information? I just am out of the habit of worrying about brands and hoping my kids don't take notice anytime soon that brand names might mean anything. I do recognize certain brands hold an element of quality that other brands do not. I try to base purchases more on quality meshed with affordability more than a familiar brand. Hoping to pass that on!

Check out other great Thrift Store finds Here:

Meet Virginia Design

ThriftyThurs Thrifty Thursday Week 33

Thrift | Everybody, Everywear