Archive - February 2015

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Goodbye 1980s Bathroom
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Double Love: Valentine’s Day Give Back Guide

Goodbye 1980s Bathroom

This post has been a long time coming! We actually finished the bathroom months ago and I’m just now sitting down to share with you. The bathroom has really become one of my favorite rooms. It’s simple, clean and its design prohibits clutter. Hallelujah!

Here are the before shots of the bathroom. Not terrible, but it did have carpet on the floor and avocado colored tile, soooo. Yes. It was time for an upgrade. It’s hard to convey the sink situation in pictures. The counter top was some kind of almond colored wonder that absorbed the color of EVERYTHING you allowed to sit on it. Blue bracelet, blue counter. Yellow soap dispenser, yellow counter. You get the picture. The sink itself matched the avocado shower and was recessed. This caused water to hit the bowl with force and splash out the sides, get on the carpet, smell bad… you see where this is going.

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We knew there were certain aspects of the remodel we could not do ourselves, plumbing, electrical etc. But we found if we were willing to do a little demo, paint, trim and tile treatment we could accomplish the renovation and stay within a VERY budget price. I designed the layout, selected the toilet (Calvin replaced the toilet with help from a friend!), sinks, paint, trim and tile. I chose clean, well priced fixtures and used barn lighting to tie the entire thing together. We chose to install medicine cabinets to hold our items rather than having a cluttered counter top.

First, everything was pulled out of the bathroom. This lovely wallpaper was hanging out under the paint. Then the drywall was smoothed and bead board was installed.

First, everything was pulled out of the bathroom. This lovely wallpaper was hanging out under the paint. Then the drywall was smoothed and bead board was installed.

Then the hexagon tile flooring was installed and twin pedestal sinks, light fixtures and medicine cabinets entered the picture.

Then the hexagon tile flooring was installed and twin pedestal sinks, light fixtures and medicine cabinets entered the picture.

The tile in the shower was transformed next! Love it!

The tile in the shower was transformed next! Love it!

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And finally, everything came together and it’s so peaceful, and calm and old school and NOT cluttered.

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Double Love: Valentine’s Day Give Back Guide

This week has turned out very differently than I planned. An umbilical hernia that needed surgical repair and made me feel super sick landed me in an operating room yesterday. And if paper gowns, nudity and pee cups don’t make things awkward enough… after admitting that I had been doing a cross-fit style workout the older nurses there, fascinated by the idea of cross-fit in general, insisted that I meet a certain doctor there who, oh my goodness, also does cross-fit.  I practically begged them to leave cross-fit doctor alone, but oh no, they pulled her off another case to meet me, the hernia suffering cross-fit super star. So we met, and talked about working out for a few minutes and the nurses kept saying we just knew you two would love to meet. It just got weird and I finally released her to go… you know, do her job. That has nothing to do with Valentines, or giving back, I just thought some of you might enjoy my weird, socially awkward interaction. Gotta love sweet nurses.

On to Valentine’s day, and giving double. Valentine’s is sweet, and although some say the pressure and commercialism is out of control, I still kinda like it. It’s fun. We rarely go out to eat or do a Valentine’s date but Calvin usually makes an effort to get me a little something. Gifts are also my love language so I suppose he doesn’t really have a choice. In an effort to continue a theme we love, giving double, here are a few suggestions that make great gifts but also give back to someone in need.

Sseko

Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand based in Uganda. In addition to handbags and accessories, they make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways.

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.

The everday essentials package: on sale!

The everday essentials package: on sale!

Ribbon Sandals

Ribbon Sandals


Light Gives Heat

LGH is a social entrepreneur that provides aid in an abundance of ways. Click here to read their full and inspiring story.

They are currently having a warehouse sale on several of their gorgeous hand-made accessories and t-shirts. Check them out for a frugal and give-back purchase. The beaded lanyard ($5!) would be a sweet gift if your honey is a teacher.

Beaded headband

Beaded headband

Parker Clay

For starters, we love Parker Clay because we are connected to the founders. We adopted our sweet Ethiopian babes from the same orphanage. And that truly connects you for life. Here is their story: Back in 2008 Parker Clay founders, Ian and Brittany Bentley, were moved by the number of orphans living in the world. Some statistics place the numbers at 163 million orphans worldwide. While those statistics are alarming, Ian and Brittany looked at these numbers and said, “What if that was Parker or Clayton” their two biological children. From that moment, the journey to Ethiopia started and in 2011 the Bentley’s brought home their newest addition, Selah who was 5 months old at the time. While in Ethiopia the Bentley’s spent time with a number of organizations looking for ways to address some of the root causes to poverty and the disruption of family. It was soon after this that the Bentley’s packed up their lives and moved to Ethiopia to help with development work centered around job creation and capacity development with vulnerable women.

They are now producing a line of gorgeous handbags that are high quality and have really made a huge impact on the sweet ladies who make them by hand.

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Punjammies

The name is so fun, and the “punjammies” truly reflect that with their comfortable shapes and bright colors. International Princess™ Project’s mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity. To read more about their mission click here.

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