Entries in House (6)


Scouring Cleansers

I think that a good scouring cleanser is a great addition to a household. I have been known to take a lemon with baking soda to clean a tub or sink but sometimes you need more power. Stainless steel skillets and grubby tubs sometimes need more power. Along with that I want to be good to our world and our family so products with safer ingredients are important to me. 

I like a dry cleanser. They usually come in paper casnisters which can be recycled. There is something therapuedic about scrubbing with a dry cleanser and seeing the shiny results of your labor. When I was a child it was Comet and I loved the smell and the process. Now I am glad to see some better options available. 

I picked these three cleansers to review based on what I know about the company that makes them as well as the reputation the product has. 

Bar Keepers Friend - Bar Keepers Friend has been around since 1882. They are chlorine free. Formulated from an active ingredient in rhubarb and formulated into a baby powder smooth powder. This cleanser can be used on some of the more delicae surfaces like acrylic, chrome and porcelin. It retails for under $3.00 for a 12oz container. 

Mrs. Meyers Surface Scrub - This non-scratching powder is made with a naturally safe ash and oxygen bleach for use on household surfaces. It's chlorine and phosphate free. It comes in several scents. I opted for lavendar. It retails for about $5.00 for 11oz. 

Bon Ami - This product has been around since the 1880's. This formula starts with vegan, plant-based cleaning agents made from coconut and corn oils, then adds feldspar and a softer abrasive, limestone. They also added a little bit of soda ash and a touch of baking soda. The result is a natural, effective cleaner for modern surfaces. Bon Ami is  biodegradable, nontoxic and hypoallergenic. All of their packaging is recyclable. Bon Ami retails for about $1.50 a can.

To challenge these cleansers I cleaned my filthy porcelain tub with them. I used a natural sponge with no abrasive surface to that their cleaning power could stand on its own. 

On first impressions I liked the smell of the Mrs. Meyers - fresh lavandar. The others had no noticable scent and I liked that as well. They all had a nice texture, more powdery than gritty. It seems that they would work well on more delicate surfaces.

Overall the three of them did a good job on my tub. I took them downstairs to use on my stainless steel sink and had equally good results. I think if I had to choose one I would go with the Mrs. Meyers. I don't have a lot of delicate items to cleanse and the scent has me hooked. Only bummer is that it is the most expensive. 

If you have not tried any of these I urge you to give up your cleanser and give one of these a whirl. You can feel good knowing you have a clean tub and have not added any chemicals to your home or the world. 


No More Junipers!

No more Junipers - I feel like a scene out of Mommy Dearest. I detest Juniper trees - they make me crazy. They are lazy landscape options that smell bad and are a great home for nests of spiders. 

We moved in to a beautiful newly remodeled home with a badly neglected yard. This yard may have not had any attention for several years. The first thing I needed to ask Mr. Ramon to take care of was the front walkway Junipers. Six of them lining the walkway and cutting the yard in half. They had to go!

He really is a great guy - he took this project on one afternoon that soon became night with chainsaw and shovel. The down side is we have big dirt holes now that the dogs love playing in. We will fill them with sod in the spring to solve that problem. 

Now we have a huge pile of limbs to discard. But project number one is done!!


Hanging Stuff

Now that we have been in the house a few weeks I decided to get started on some window treatments. I am a big fan of minimal window treatments and don't like to put them up just because there is a window. So what ever I put up will be if I think we need privacy in an area or the window and room really need the help. 

I started with the 2 windows that look onto our stairs. The lower window is right off our porch and anyone could look right into the house through it. I have found some really great fabrics at Ikea. I love Scandinavian design and modern botanical prints. I found two that I loved. I also started hanging some of our art. The design poster nest to the window was a gift from a friend and I love its bright color next to the curtains. 

The other print is my absolute favorite right now. I needed to add something a bit tougher or darker to the kitchen to temper the blue walls. This botanical fit the bill and makes me smile every time I see it. I am also using it to recover a bench and my vanity seat in the master bedroom. 

One other thing I hung was this adorable squirrel dog leash holder our dear friend Brian got us for our wedding. I am obsessed with squirrels. These Creatures makes a large variety of pet and home items - bowl stands, leash holders, shelves, book ends etc. So adorable - and a local Seattle company. 

Piece by piece it is coming together. 


New Kitchen

We are now pretty settled in the house. I made fast work of unpacking and organizing all our stuff. My favorite project was putting together the kitchen. I have spent the last 10 years in cramped apartment kitchens. I will say I am amazed at the food and baking I have been able to do in those kitchens so I am really excited to see what kind of magic can come out of this bigger better space.

The owner of the house put in an entire new kitchen from appliances and lighting to floor and cabinets. The walls are blue - something I thought I could not handle but I think it is growing on me. The cabinets are amazing - lots of space, twirly corner cabinets for pot and pans and the self closing drawers. I feel like a grownup. She even put in full granite counters. They are going to be so awesome for rolling dough out on. 

One thing that really got me excited was the refrigerator. I pretty much made out with it when we moved in. Shiny and bright with a water dispenser and a bottom freezer. Yum! The blue taped off area on the door next to the refrigerator is going to be a chalk board. 

We have plenty of light in here - great for my food photos. Two windows in the kitchen. The mess on the floor and hole in the ceiling is from when they had to cut open the pipes. 

I always found it really hard to find space in my tiny kitchens for all my dishware and food. In this new kitchen I have this glorious pantry. All these cabinets to put all my food and pantry items in. Even enough room for a dedicated pickle/preserve area!

Looking forward to putting this kitchen space to the test!!


Moving Day

This last month has been a blur as we packed and purged 6 years of closets. I have not been so excited in such a long time. This really felt like a fun, fresh new beginning for us!

We moved in last weekend and I took the time to document some of the house and move. There will be more to come as I unpack and set up our home!

I can't say thank you enough to all our friends who helped us move that day. We really are blessed to have such friends!

Mr. Ramon was very involved in making sure we had internet access immediately in the house. Thanks babe!

These built in shelves seperate the lliving and dining room.

This is the dining room before it filled up with boxes. 

The stairwell up to the bedrooms and full bath. I love all the original molding details. 

The kitchen - I will have a full post on my favorite room in the house soon. The old pipes had a clog so bad that there had to be a hole cut in the ceiling the day we moved in to fix it. Old houses - charming!

It starts to fill up!

Everything moved in pretty easily - except our bed platform. Mr. Ramon and I had treated ourselves to a new Sleep Number mattress at the beginning of the year. With the we also invested in a platform for our mattress. It is huge - queen sized and with really attached feet. I am pretty sure that in 1911 when the house was built furniture of this size never went upstairs. It was pretty amazing we made it up. Only a couple of minor scratches to touch up. And when we move - it may not come out in one piece. Pretty sure. 

Overall a pretty smooth day. Now the not so fun part starts - cleaning the old place.