P & B (No Jelly)

image (42) I am going to be quite honest… I am still stumped as to how to make this kitchen look decent (you can see me slowly improving it here, here, and here).  But in the meantime, I’ve decided to make it at least look like OURS.  So when I found some cardboard letters for 30% off at Hobby Lobby ($1.73 each), I decided to take the letters for a kitchen test spin.  In the above picture, you can see how great they look above the sink.  And in the below picture, you can see how great they look on their own! photo (11) Wanna know how I did it?  Follow along as I work on the ampersand! image (43) Step 1: Gather your materials.  For this project, you will need some cardboard letters, scrapbook paper, scissors, Mod Podge glue, and a brush for application.  I poured my glue into a bowl (I know, I know… not exactly eco-friendly, but it made clean-up so easy!).

Step 2 (OPTIONAL): Make sure you have a little dog on your lap to help with the project. image (45)Step 3: Apply a thin coat of glue to the largest flat surface on the cardboard letter.  Place the sheet of scrapbook paper on top and smooth in place. image (44) Step 4: This is the hard part.  And also the most slow-going.  You need to cut the paper in order to fold it down over the sides.  This is much easier if you’re working on a shape with straight edges, like L or E.  But with rounded edges, you just have to go slowly and make sure you smooth the sides out as carefully as possible.  With the ampersand, I found it easiest to cut the paper in about 1 inch increments, lay down some glue, and fold it over into place.  You’ll need to do the same with any holes (in letters such as P or B), and this may even involve adding separate scraps of paper.  For this reason, I was happy I chose a pattern that doesn’t really need to match up perfectly (this would be much more difficult with patterns like polka dots or stripes). image (39) Step 5: Once you’ve covered up the front, sides, and any holes with scrapbook paper, it’s your decision whether or not you want to completely Mod Podge over the whole she-bang (for instance, if you want it to be glossy).  I decided to skip this step, and simply left the letters out for 2 hours to dry. Step 6: Turn the dry letters over and put 3M velcro strips on the back. image (40) You can see in the above picture that I overlapped the scrapbook paper around to the back in order to leave the edges looking clean and smooth.

Step 7: Hang them in place, and you’re all set! image (41)But why did I chose ‘P’ and ‘B’?  They’re the initials of both mine and Mike’s last names.

And why did I decide to put something above the sink?  First of all, the wide-open strip is practically begging for some kind of decoration.  But more practically, SOMETHING had to go there, since there was a random 2-prong outlet embedded awkwardly right above the sink. image (38) The landlords had placed an ugly, awkward, non-working clock to cover up the outlet.  Even though its redness matched our tomato of a kitchen, the clock wasn’t working for me.  Take a look for yourself at how dingy and blah it is:

photo (14)

Needless to say, it had to go.  And I am so much happier with the space above the sink now!  What do you think?

image (42)

Xo, Laura

Greening Up the Joint: Dish Soap

New digs = new resolutions.

In the interest of being healthier and more eco-friendly in our new house, we’ve resolved to switch out all of our household and beauty products with those made with all-natural ingredients.  In the interest of saving money and making it a total lifestyle change, we are introducing each new product slowly, as individual items get used up.  First up, the dish soap.  While we loved the Dawn with Olay Beauty Hand Renewal, we were concerned with the amount of unknown ingredients lurking in the soap.  I mean, what the heck is PPG-26??  (ML note: It looks like PPG-26 can be a moderately hazardous ingredient, causing skin irritation and harming internal organs.  Yikes.  Read more here.)

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After very little searching on my part (I’ll admit that this find was all thanks to Mike!), we chose to go with Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Liquid in Lavender Floral & Mint because it is a USDA Certified Biobased Product (95%), hypoallergenic, and even non-toxic, just in case the dogs happen to get into it.  Not only that, but the bottle is made from 100% recycled material.  And it’s even deliciously scented, to boot.  Winner winner, chicken dinner.

We’ll thoroughly evaluate its cleaning power once we get to the new house, but we can already tell that it’s going to be a match made in botanical heaven.  Have any of you found love with eco-friendly dish soap?