Sunday, September 30, 2007
Finding inspiration
Where do you find inspiration for decorating your home or for craft projects? I like to browse the rooms at www.bhg.com for house ideas and I like to look around MarthaStewart.com for crafts, decor, cooking, and holiday ideas. I also love browsing through the Ikea catalogue and visiting their stores whenever I can. It's so neat to see what they can fit into small spaces. Then, of course, there are so many great craft inspired blogs out there. I really have to keep my Bloglines links under control or before I know it I can be spending the whole day reading blogs!

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Busy, busy, busy!
Friday evening my parents-in-law arrived, as well as an aunt and 2 uncles from my husband's father's side of the family. The aunt and uncles are only in town for a couple of day so we had to squeeze in all that we could in that time frame. They toured around town a bit, took a tour of our house in progress, viewed a couple of the sets of rapids nearby, visited the Salt Plains in Wood Buffalo National Park and Saturday night we had a birthday party for Dwayne's aunt who turned 65. They leave us tomorrow to go on to Yellowknife for a couple of days before returning to Ontario and British Columbia. Dwayne's parents are staying on for almost another week so we will have plenty of more time to visit with them.

We are having and early Thanksgiving dinner after church as Dwayne's parents will be done by Canadian Thanksgiving and my mom will be Ontario visiting her ailing father. Hooray for turkey dinners any time of year! :)

Thankfully, Dwayne has the next 3 weeks off so we will be able to have a good visit with his parents and also have some time to work on finishing the house once they've gone home.

I better go and run the dishwasher so we'll be ready for the gang coming over breakfast in the morning before they hit the road. Then I'll run it again while we're at church so we're ready for our big turkey dinner at lunchtime. Laundry and dishes never end...

I'm afraid that I don't have anything witty or funny to report as of yet but I'm sure there will be a story or two to be told before the week is out.

I better get cracking. I also need to read a few more pages in "Lady Susan" for an online book club that I am supposed to be participating in. I am also hoping to get some sewing done once things have settled down around here in a few days.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007
Great big beetle
Last night we were out showing some out of town friends our house in progress. As we were getting ready to leave Hendrik noticed a big beetle on the ground by the light the headlights gave off. He of course wanted to touch it and hold it. I didn't know if it would bite him or not so I put aside my squeamishness and let the beetle crawl onto my hand. It didn't bite or try to run/fly away so I let Hendrik hold it. He loved it. He let it crawl on his hand and then he held it between his finger and thumb so it was less likely to fall back down onto the ground. Our friends were fairly freaked out by this and eventually the dad in the family picked up the beetle and tossed it under our boat and said, "Goodnight" to the bug on behalf of his grossed out adult daughters. Kind of funny. The things you'll do for your kids...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Works For Me Wednesday - September 26, 2007.
This week I taught my two and half year old how to use the "Page Up" and "Page Down" buttons on our laptop.

Our son has been obsessed with caterpillars this summer and now that it has gotten cold and the caterpillars have all cocooned for the winter the only way he can "see" them is on the computer. This meant a lot of me sitting beside him to scroll the page up and down so he could see the picture of the caterpillar and then the moth it turns into.

Yesterday I figured out that he was probably able to handle knowing two keys on the keyboard. I showed him once and he had it down pat. It has made my life SO much easier. I leave the caterpillar page up for him during the day and he climbs up and looks at it whenever his little heart desires. A lot less frustrating for both of us.

For anyone who is curious this is the page we've been looking at for weeks! :) I have also bookmarked the page in our browser's "Favourites" section and labelled it "CATERPILLAR" so that it is easy for my husband or any child minders to find.

It works for me!

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for other WFMF tips!

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posted at 12:01 AM  
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ikea is a happy place
One of our last stops before we left Edmonton was Ikea. I have loved going to Ikea since I was a little girl but my husband had never set foot in one until a few years ago when I insisted that he come along with me. It has become one of our regular spots to go to in the city. The furniture is great and priced reasonably and the store is very kid friendly. There is a family bathroom with chairs for waiting for other family members or for nursing little ones. They have free diapers if you've forgotten them and they also keep baby food stocked in their cafeteria along with other kid friendly meals. We often eat there as the prices are excellent and the food is yummy.

This trip we picked up a couple of dressers to store the kids' clothes, six dining room chairs, a sturdy step stool, a kitchen sink and faucet, and assorted odds and ends like napkins, candles, a fleece blanket, and yummy ginger cookies.

Here we are in the cafeteria:



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Napping, napping, and napping some more.
We've all been pretty draggy around here today. We managed to get out of the house to get groceries just before lunch and then after lunch we went to my prenatal appointment and checked the mail. Since then, it's been all about napping. I wanted to put the little guy to bed because he was really acting up, a sure sign of him being tired. At the same time our little girl was fussing for her mommy. So, I put Hendrik into our bed for his nap and made a little bed of quilts on the living room floor for Riley and I.

After a few minutes I went and checked on Hendrik. He was still awake but sleepy and very pitiful looking all alone in the big bed. I asked if he wanted to come and nap with Riley and I. He readily agreed. It turned out that Riley fell asleep, followed by me, with Hendrik not sleeping at all but playing with a bunch of his cars and trucks and me being too tired to be upset that he wasn't napping.

Then I awoke to find Riley awake and playing and Hendrik passed out by one of his toys. I nursed Riley and she fell asleep and then so did I.

I woke up to both kids still asleep. Hendrik woke up several minutes later and walked a few feet across the living room and decided to curl up beside his sister for another nap.

At least everyone is on the same page this afternoon! :)

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It's getting close to that time again...
For those of you who have been pregnant you know what I'm talking about. As soon as your pregnant belly starts to show family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike start putting their hands on your belly. I don't know about you but it's not my idea of a good time. You wouldn't normally walk up to a person and put your hands on their stomach, so why is it suddenly an acceptable thing to do to someone who is pregnant? I can understand that people are happy for you and maybe it's their way of connecting with your being pregnant but for me it's a very uncomfortable thing. There are very few people that I want touching my belly. Random people at the grocery store are not among them.

Then come the comments about the weight you've gained or not gained and whether or not your face looks rounder etc etc. Again, why is it suddenly acceptable to make comments about peoples' weight? Would you walk up to someone who wasn't pregnant and say, "You know, you really are looking big. You must have gained at least 10 pounds."?

I think I'm going to make a shirt that has a hand with a red circle around it with a red line crossed through it that is positioned over my belly for those days when pregnancy hormones are making me feel really persnickety. You know, like one of those no smoking or no parking signs. Or maybe even just the word "Stop."


P.S. toque = touch in Spanish

Wow, I'm a little more cranky than I realized. I guess I better schedule a nap for myself tomorrow...

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Sunday, September 23, 2007
Home again, home again, jiggety, jig! or We brought home everything including the kitchen sink...
Well, we are home! We had a very busy week. We left Monday morning at 2 a.m. and arrived in Edmonton later that day. Tuesday we were glad to be able to have a visit with the Hills and to meet the girls they adopted from Ethiopia. We had a wonderful time. Hendrik had his dental appointment and surgery on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Everything went off without a hitch and the dentist didn't have to do quite as much as he initially thought. Hendrik came out of the anesthetic beautifully and wasn't sick at all. We spent the rest of Wednesday at Ikea, Home Depot, and The Brick shopping for the new house. We now have everything we need except for our propane kitchen stove which we will order from Sears. Thursday we did a few more errands around the city to Fabricland, Lee Valley Tools, picked up some Argo and truck parts for friends and then headed for Athabasca in the afternoon to pick up a gravel truck for a friend. It wasn't quite ready so we stayed overnight and picked it up the next morning. (Hendrik got to ride back with Dwayne in the rig. You can imagine how exciting that was for him.) After we picked up the truck it was off to UFA to get a water tank, cinder blocks, fence posts and work gloves. We stayed overnight in High Level and then came the rest of the way home on Saturday afternoon. We are busy unpacking, assembling Ikea furniture and trying to get rid of the colds we picked up in Edmonton. The kids were amazing little travellers and shoppers. Troopers!

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Friday, September 14, 2007
Murphy's Law
Next week our little guy is supposed to be having some dental work done under anesthesia. One of the stipulations is that he can't have a cough or a cold. He woke up this morning and promptly asked for a tissue. Sigh. I am stuffing him full of fluids and am hoping for the best. The surgery isn't scheduled until Wednesday so I'm hoping it will have run its course by then. Little people seem to get over things faster than us big people. I'm hoping and praying anyway!

I wish it were this kind of cold instead... :)

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posted at 12:54 PM  
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Thursday, September 13, 2007
Meme
I snagged this from Kate at Two Little Banshees. After a bout of stomach flu last night I am feeling both low in energy and inspiration.

Q1. What were you doing 10 Years ago?
I was starting Grade 11, my first year back in the public school in our town after homeschooling for 5 of the previous 6 years.

Q2. What were you doing 1 Year ago?
Waddling around after my then 1 1/2 year old while being 7 months pregnant. :)

Q3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
Gala apples, Stoned Wheat Thins and cheese, chocolate, carrot cake, raw broccoli

Q4. What are 5 songs you know the lyrics to?
Right now all I have running through my head are Veggie Tales "Silly Songs"!

Q5. 5 things you would do if you are a Millionaire?
Get my husband to retire, travel, donate money to NGOs in third world countries, buy a Kitchen Aid mixer, go to cooking school in France a la "Sabrina".

Q6. 5 How about 3 Bad habits?
Procrastination, too much Coca-Cola, leaving dishes by the computer,...

Q7. 5 things you like to do?
Read, craft/sew, spend time with my husband and kids, eat great food, watch my favourite movies/TV shows on DVD.

Q8. 5 Favourite Toys?
Computer, sewing machine, iPod, dishwasher, my old Super Nintendo.

Q9. 5 things you would never wear?
Fluorescent clothing, slouch socks, super skinny jeans, a tam, body piercings (ears excluded). Okay, so some of these are things I will never wear AGAIN. ;)

Q10. 5 things you hate to do
Filing, staying inside for too long, sitting in meetings with illogical and/or irrational people, getting out of bed when it is cold, not getting something right the first time.

I tag anyone who wishes to play along!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
facebook
I don't know about you but I am hooked on facebook! I have found so many friends and family members that I had no way of locating before and many of which I hadn't had contact with for years. From childhood friends to former co-workers to extended family and community friends. It's great! It's nice to be able to "see" everyone in one place and to catch up on their news and latest adventures.

I discovered early on to keep my profile accessible only to my approved friends as I did have one person pretending to know myself and my sisters. We quickly called his bluff though and blocked him from contacting us further. One of the blessings of growing up in a small town - if someone says that they went to high school with you and you don't remember them and neither do your siblings or classmates, odds are they were never even in your town. When there are 30 people at most in a graduating class you don't forget names or faces easily!

I am having to really watch the amount of time I spend on facebook as it is so easy to spend a lot of time "visiting" instead of getting things done around the house. (A lot of people call it "crackbook" because it can be very addicting!)

Oh! I just thought of a few more people to look up...see what I mean???

What do you think of the facebook phenomenon?

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posted at 12:19 AM  
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Pregnancy & migraine relief
This pregnancy has been a little rougher than usual in the headache department. With each of my other full term pregnancies I had only 1 or 2 migraines throughout the duration of the pregnancy. This time around I have had 3 migraines within 2 weeks. That's not happy math for me. At all. Basically you just have to tough it out. Much easier said than done with a 2 1/2 year old running around and a 9 month old to care for. However, I have found some relief from an unexpected source - vitamin B2.

After the first migraine lasted 3 days I contacted my midwives to see if they had any suggestions. They told me that the 15-16 week window is the worst time in pregnancy for headaches. They spoke with one of the doctors who suggested a prescription dose of vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) for headache prevention and decreased intensity of headache. It works. The second headache occurred only a day or so after I started taking the vitamin B2. It lasted only 2 days and wasn't nearly as severe. The next headache didn't occur for another week or so and it only lasted 1 day. Hooray!

Here's hoping that migraine #3 was the last one!!!

Another friend and fellow migraine sufferer suggested chai tea to me the other day. She had been teaching in a 3rd world country and didn't have access to her usual migraine medications but found chai tea to be very helpful.

Does anyone else have any non-medicinal suggestions?

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posted at 11:43 PM  
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Universal remote control

Universal remote controls are a wonderful invention. It takes a little time to set them up but it is worth the 15 minutes. Instead of having a remote for the TV, VCR, DVD player, and stereo, you have ONE remote that controls them all. It's lovely! I had almost forgotten how convenient it had become when I let the batteries die this week and I had to go back to using 4 different remotes that all used AA batteries instead to the AAAs the universal remote uses. Those batteries are at the top of my list of things to pick up this week. I like keeping it simple.

Check out other WFMW tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

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posted at 10:38 PM  
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Aragorn & Arwen
I couldn't resist doing this quiz. I am most like Aragorn out of the male characters and Arwen out of the female characters.



Aragorn

83%

Legolas

80%

Frodo Baggins

77%

Arwen of Rivendell

70%

Samwise Gamgee

70%

Galadriel

70%

Gimli

67%

Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry)

67%

Gandalf the Grey

57%

Saruman the White

57%

Eowyn of Rohan

53%

Peregrin Took (Pippin)

50%

Boromir

40%

Gollum

33%

Which Lord of the Rings character are you most like?
created with QuizFarm.com

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posted at 7:10 PM  
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Power cleaning
Today, like yesterday, has been a very grey, rainy sort of day. Grizzly, drizzly, and cold. It made me feel wintery which, in turn, made me feely Christmasy. So this afternoon the kids and I are listening to Christmas music and doing some power cleaning.

I think we will start with Diana Krall's Christmas Songs and go from there. If you click on the link you can hear clips of the songs. :)

The babies really like dancing around the living room to "Jingle Bells" and "Let It Snow". There is also a really nice version of "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" which fans of "White Christmas" will remember Rosemary Clooney singing.

Off we go!

Clean rabbits' cage
Vacuum
Dust living room and dining room
Run dishwasher
Sweep/wash kitchen, bathroom, and porch floors
Wash chalkboard in dining room
Clean bathroom sink and counter
Clean kitchen sinks, counters and stove top

I'll come back later on to update our list!

(Oooo. I bought a lovely lime apple scented votive candle yesterday afternoon, I'll have to light that as well.)

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Monday, September 10, 2007
I am so excited!
I just saw a commercial on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), our one and only TV channel. They will be broadcasting The Martha Stewart Show starting next Monday. Yay!!! I love Martha, yes I do. :)

Edited to add: Happily, I made a mistake - the show is already being broadcast on the CBC. I'm watching an episode this morning! :)

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posted at 8:04 PM  
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A Commitment to Loveliness
1) Make a hair appointment for myself.

2) Mull some fall smelling spices on the stove top - orange rind, cloves, cinnamon sticks

3) Bake a special treat for our family

4) Go for a walk in the woods with my husband and little ones

5) Read some books on homemaking and family


Check out Emma's blog for more ideas!

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posted at 2:55 PM  
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An interesting read
Last night I was having trouble sleeping so I got up and read for a while in the living room. I dug out a book I've been meaning to read for the past 4 years or so, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. My aunt and cousins gave this book to Dwayne and I as a wedding present and my aunt made me promise that I would read it. She had just recently gotten divorced from my uncle and felt that if they had read this book early on in their marriage it might have made a difference.

I got almost halfway through the book last night before the baby needed me. I hope to finish the rest of the book this afternoon while the little ones are napping. I am finding it to be interesting and also enlightening. I am hoping my husband will also want to read it.

For those of you who might not have heard of this book here is an excerpt from the back cover:

"People express and receive love in different ways. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these as the five languages of love:

QUALITY TIME * WORDS OF AFFIRMATION * GIFTS * ACTS OF SERVICE * PHYSICAL TOUCH

If you express love in a way your spouse doesn't understand, he or she won't realize you've expressed your love at all. The problem is that you're speaking two different languages.

Perhaps your husband needs to hear encouraging words, but you feel cooking a nice dinner will cheer him up. When he still feels down, you're puzzled. Or, maybe your wife craves time with you - time away from the kids and the television. The flowers you gave her just don't communicate that you care.

In this new edition of The Five Love Languages, you will find a couple's guide to help you work as a team. Before you know it, you';l learn to speak and understand the unique languages of love and effectively express your love as well as feel truly loved in return."

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Saturday, September 08, 2007
Comfort food

Tonight we had one of our favourites for supper - barbequed moose meat, herb roasted baby potatoes, and green bean. Yum! Perfect for the end of summer. Dwayne takes care of the meat outside and I cook the veggies inside. Teamwork! :)

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Friday, September 07, 2007
Hendrik's favourite spot
Hendrik loves to play in our "practice cabin". We built a small 12 X 12 building a couple of summers ago to try out some building techniques. Hendrik has adopted it as his own. Right now it is quite full of tools and building supplies but he still loves to play in and around it.



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posted at 11:23 AM  
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The chinking is done too!
On Labour Day Dwayne chinked the outside of the house, filling in the small cracks between the logs.

This view shows the porch, which we will expand next summer to go halfway around the house. The window you see is the kitchen window.



This view shows the living room windows.

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posted at 11:19 AM  
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The ceilings and loft
This is a photo of the ceiling in the kitchen/dining area. You can see Hendrik investigating Dwayne's tools and my youngest sister Christen trying to stay warm. :)



The following two pictures are looking down into the living room from the loft.


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posted at 11:16 AM  
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Kitchen wall and stair wall
This first picture was taken with a flash. Again, please pardon the very dirty camera lense!



This photo was taken without flash. There is still a lot of finishing work to do trim-wise around the house and my husband is working on that as I blog this! :)



This is the little wall beside the stairs that has drywall as well. Only half of the stairs are in right now as we took out the bottom portion when we were sanding the interior log walls. The current woodstove is also temporary. My husband just put in this barrel stove he made so that while they were painting it would give the paint a better chance to dry and keep the house a little warmer while they worked. It has been near freezing almost every night and not much warmer during the day. (We will have a woodstove but not this one!)

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posted at 11:08 AM  
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Red!
Here is a picture I took last night inside our tiny new bathroom. Because it's the only fully enclosed room in the house I thought it would be a good place to induldge my love of bold, bright colours. Unfortunately I had to use the flash on this photo because it was evening and the room is too small to take in enough natural light to get a non-grainy picture. It also made me realise how dirty my camera lense is - probably a result of my allowing our 2 year old to pack around the camera. :

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Thursday, September 06, 2007
Sew Darn Cute
Jenny over at "Sew Darn Cute" is closing her online shop. Visit her store for some adorable goodies that are both beautiful and practical. Jenny is offering free shipping until she closes the store on September 14th (US & Canada). Check out her blog for more inspiration.
I picked up one of her "Layer Cake" pouches and a little hand mirror I'd been eyeing up for ages.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The painting is done!!
This morning I hurriedly picked out paint colours for our house. Dwayne had the priming done yesterday and was anxious to get the paint on the walls. I decided on a rich, creamy white for the ceilings/loft area, a soft gray-green for the kitchen wall and beside/under the stairs, and a deep, bright red for the bathroom. I placed the paint order this morning, Dwayne picked up about half an hour later, and 8 hours after that, with some help from our brother in law Andrew, the whole place was painted. We all took a drive out to our property tonight to have a look. I am really pleased with how it turned out. Painting is one of those things that is always a little risky. The colour rarely turns out to be quite what you thought it would be despite the paint chips. However, this turned out exactly as I had hoped. I am SO happy with it! I will try to take some photos tomorrow so I can post our most recent progress. Tomorrow Dwayne is going to start building the bathroom door and the shower stall. After that, it's time to frame in kitchen cabinets! :)

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posted at 11:47 PM  
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
House Update!
Due to my camera battery being dead I don't have any really recent photos of the house to post today which is too bad because so much has happened in the last week. The logs are sanded and stained on the exterior of the building and the chinking has been applied as well. (For those of you who are wondering, chinking is applied to the small cracks in between the logs on log buildings. It is often white or the same colour as the logs themselves.) The inside walls have also been sanded and are ready for the clear stain when it arrives in town. The parts of the house that are drywalled are ready for priming and painting. My husband bought primer this morning and is off painting as I type. I have to pick out colours for the walls now. I don't really want to do pure white as that can look really stark so I'm considering lighter colours or even tinted whites. I have to choose paint for the ceiling in the loft, the ceiling in the kitchen/dining room area, a small wall in the bathroom, and one large wall in the kitchen area.

I'm thinking of using some of the colours from my curtain fabric for the paint. Here's what the fabric looks like.



Here are the areas we will be painting. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Ceiling over the loft, open over the living room.



Kitchen wall and ceiling.



This little wall follows around from the kitchen wall.



This is the little wall in the bathroom. My washer and dryer unit will be going here. I may do something bolder here as it won't be visible from the rest of the house.

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posted at 11:17 AM  
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Henna before and after...FINALLY.
This was my before picture ---> ---> ---> --->

So a week and a half after my initial strand test I finally got around to henna-ing my whole head of hair. It was a warm, fairly messy process but not so bad that I wouldn't try it again. I loved that I didn't have to breathe in harsh chemical smells. I left the henna on for about 2 hours and then rinsed it out. I didn't wrap my head with plastic wrap as I wanted a browner tone to my hair. I am quite pleased with the result and I think next time I will try a darker shade with more brown in it.

When I was about halfway through the application process Hendrik decided that he didn't want to be napping anymore and got out of bed to come and find me. You should have seen the look on his face! He was stunned and puzzled and perhaps a little afraid... He said, "Dirty hair Mommy, dirty hair!". I had to explain that it was hair dye not dirt and that I would wash it out later on. I convinced him to go back to bed but he had to peek out a couple more times before he went back to sleep. I wish I could have caught that look on camera!

Here are the after pictures. I took one with the flash and one without so you can see the difference in colour with different lighting. Pardon the stunned, half-asleep look. I took this not long after I woke up and have no make-up on and have not done a thing with my hair. However, I had to take the pictures ASAP as both my camera batteries are pretty much dead and my camera charger is nowhere to be found. (One of my missions for today!)



(Link to first henna post)

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About Me



Name: Jenny
I blog lately at www.chickadeemanor.com
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