Washing my Produce

I talk a lot about washing my produce and avoiding toxins in my produce, but I never shared how to do it – or why.

I admit, at first, I bought a fruit wash on a whim, and since I had it, I used it. Before that, I rinsed my fruit, but didn’t do much more.

Why you should wash your fruits and vegetables

I’m sure there’s at least one person wondering why I’m so glad I upgraded from just rinsing my produce off. In fact, I KNOW there’s at least one person, because he lives in my house. When it comes to health concerns, I’m the health nut and Ranger’s the junk food junkie. (he says at least he’s enjoying his time dying slowly). We’ll see what he says if he ever suddenly becomes allergic to everything, too.

Even though I grow most of my produce (except this year), I still live in an agricultural community. I cannot guarantee that my neighbors don’t spray their fields for pesticides. I also cant guarantee that their fertilizer isn’t full of yucky stuff I don’t want in my food. I read a soil conservation survey that found over 40 pesticides, nine heavy metals, and tons of other yucky stuff like bacteria and synthetic compounds in the fertilizer. the thing about dirt is that it’s not going to stay in one place. Your soil will mix with your neighbor’s. It’s not enough just to eat organic or grow organic. In my personal opinion, organic doesn’t exist any more. I’m sure there are quite a few people who will argue with me on that, but I did give the disclaimer on personal opinion, so let them argue. I cant guarantee that my “organic” fruit did not come in contact with some non-organic compound.  But that is why I feel it is so important to wash my produce! Especially because I like to use as much of my fruits and vegetables as I can, including peels/skins.

And what if you do buy or grow organic produce? If you grow produce, you know who touched it, and you’re a little more confident that they’ve washed their hands (a little more confident. I’ve had a toddler. And even though she was the type to hate “gick” on her hands, I still wouldn’t want to eat out of them most of the time!). But what about the stranger in California or Mexico harvesting your produce? Do you know that they washed their hands? That’s regulated, right? But what about the person who packaged the produce, loaded the truck, unloaded the truck, and put it on the produce display? I’d like to trust them. It’s their job not to spread contaminants. But that’s still not all the people who have touched your produce. There’s the other customers in the store! I have actually met a mother who brought her child to the store with hand foot and mouth disease! Yeah, we all washed our hands after finding out THAT tidbit came out.  And our produce. And anything that touched any part of the store (The cashier actually halted after she left and wiped everything down before checking me out. Thank heavens).

After I bought my fruit wash (oh a whim, remember?) and started using it, it just became a habit and one of those things you just … do. Like brushing your teeth or washing your hands. It seems wrong to not use something now. I wasn’t really stuck on the product until making apple juice with my in-laws. They added bleach to the wash water. I had mini nightmares. I’ve known the harm of bleach for a while. I know some people demand bleach, but if the idea of washing the fruit is to remove toxins, I don’t want to use a TOXIN to remove other toxins. That doesn’t make sense.  You can’t tell me your food doesn’t absorb it. So I did a little digging, and I’m glad I did. I’ve learned so much!

So, here are 4 alternatives to bleach:

1) Environne Fruit and Vegetable wash

There are many pre-made washes on the market, but the only pre-made wash I’ve ever used has been Environne Foaming Fruit & Vegetable Wash, but I don’t have any proof that they’re as good as they say they are. However, the ingredient list looks promising.

(photo from Amazon.com, along with affiliate link)

The only ingredient here that worries me is the Polysorbate 20; but in the bigger bottles, it isn’t included. I think it must be related to the foam? According to the Environne website, it shouldn’t be an issue, because it can be derived from safe and natural ingredients, and they claim that they use the safe stuff, but I advise you to take info from a product’s website with a little grain of salt.

To use, squirt one to three pumps into my sink as it’s filling with water. Then I just drop my fruit in, pick it up, and wipe the fruit off to get any remaining residue. I wouldn’t let it soak, like I do with DoTerra, because soaking fruit too long will replace some of the good fruit liquid  This is a good time to use that Norwex veggie cloth.There are other products similar to this on the market, but I’ve never tried any of them.

The best time to use this product is right before you intend to use the produce you are washing, as it also strips away the waxes that help to keep some produce fresher longer.

2) Norwex Fruit and Veggie Cloth

To get us started, Norwex has a fruit and veggie cloth. It is great for something quick and simple. Google before and after pictures. You’ll be impressed. It’s a great cloth for getting anything off the surface. But, it’s not a liquid. Norwex used to sell a wash, but they’ve discontinued it. I wish they hadn’t. I love Norwex products! I didn’t link to anything here, so if you want info on Norwex products, contact me. Or check out Norwex.biz. I could write a whole post about why I love Norwex, but that is another day’s fodder. Specifically why I love the Fruit and Veggie cloth: it removes the wax and bacteria, but it doesn’t scratch the fruit. 307010-Veggie-and-Fruit-Scrub-Cloth

3) Vinegar

Vinegar has been tested and retested as a cleaning agent. Most of the tests come back as toting Vinegar as a good cleaner. It also makes a good produce wash. I’ve found the best information from Kitchen Stewardship, and honestly can’t think of anything to add, so I suggest checking out her link and I won’t copy her word for word. Blog publishers don’t like that. ;c).

4) DoTerra’s Citrus oils

I saved the best for last! Mostly, because with DoTerra’s Citrus oils you will know exactly what is in the water; but also because it has other health benefits, as well. We’re not just removing bad, but adding good. Can’t complain, there. I’ve heard the best things about the grapefruit, lemon, or orange oils, but my DoTerra consultant says any of the DoTerra citrus oils removes toxins. To use, fill the sink about half way and then add 3-4 drops of lemon or other citrus oil. I’m betting it varies by sink size, but 3-4 is a good rule. Add your fruits or vegetables and let them soak for 10-30 minutes. Rinse off, and pat dry.Make sure to never use a plastic dish to add the oil into! Because the citrus oils remove toxins, they will break down the plastic. Glass is fine, however. I still prefer the sink, though, because I feel the oils help clean the sink, as well.

Image from DoTerra’s website.

My DoTerra consultant says she’s been wowed the most by when she washes her potatoes with DoTerra’s lemon oil. She also loves how it helps preserve her produce because she can wash it all as she gets home and put it in the fridge and then her kids can just open the fridge and pop the fruit right into their mouths. Bonus info: She also says, “with apples you can cut up and add on guard in water and let the apples soak….it gives you all the healing benefits of OnGuard and makes the apples taste like cinnamon! It’s so yummy! You can add as many drops depending on how strong you want the flavor.” From what I know of OnGuard, you’d also get the sickness-fighting benefits added to your healthful snack!

 With using DoTerra on produce as you get it, I’d be very gentle when you pat your produce dry. As an example, when you wash carrots, they go bad faster. Carrots have a fine protective layer that keeps the freshness of a carrot locked inside. I studied carrot harvest last year (when I was up to my ears in carrots) and learned that professional carrot gardeners rub their carrots in the dirt if one gets cut when it shouldn’t have been. The dirt protects the carrot like that thin layer does, and the carrot builds a new one. Soaking the carrot in lemon juice may or may not remove that layer, I’m not sure, but lemon oil helps with preserving freshness anyway. Most kitchen experts would agree to that. However, patting dry may disturb it irreparably. Get to know your produce and see how it handles being dried.

What I suggest:

I suggest a little of all of them! Anything is better than nothing. But personally, I like using a balanced combo of the last 3 options. I would use vinegar as a quick rinse, DoTerra as a good soak (if the flavor absorbs into anything, I wouldn’t want it to be vinegar flavored!), and use the Norwex fruit/veggie cloth where appropriate to dry. Sometimes you need options! Some will work for one fruit/vegetable. Some will work better for another. My favorite would be DoTerra, mostly because you gain health from the oil. It’s like a sneak-attack back-up army for your immune system.

A spiel about wiping off your fruit

In my research, I’ve learned it is not simply enough just to rinse a product. For the same reason that sanitizer and paper towel usage are not enough, it’s not enough to simply soak and rinse your fruit. Although that’s better than nothing.
Do you remember back in elementary school when they talked about health and why we wash our hands? The world likes to leave off the end part, where they tell us that it is just as important to DRY our hands. And it’s not just because germs like moisture, though that is a big part of it (one statistic said 85% of micro-organizms are transmitted by wet hands, but only .06% were transmitted by dry hands, although I already know that most statistics are tweaked to say whatever the argumentator wants them to say.
The wiping itself is important!  Wiping off surfaces removes more gunk than most soaps! When my daughter was on a field trip tour of our local hospital, they did a black-light demonstration of germs on your hand. First, the nurse has a student rub their hands with the “germs” (I don’t know what they used as germs, but google has some clever ideas), and then she shows how they look under black light. Then she has the student wash their hands and switches the black light back on. Most of the “germs” are removed. We’ll say about 80%. But there is still quite a bit that shows up under black light. After the student dries their hands thoroughly with a paper towel, that left over 20% is almost non-existent. It wasn’t that the hands were dry, its that some times, water and our hands are not enough to get the remaining bacteria. It is the same with our food.
 I know that I’ve picked some good products, but why should I miss a step? It is one extra checkpoint to get all the gunk off of my food! The less gunk on my food, the less gunk in my body! And some gunk is stubborn. Wiping is best done with an antibacterial cloth like Norwex, since it won’t spread the germs you just wiped off right back onto the next fruit you scrub, and it has a better durability than paper towels, as long as a surface that grabs germs instead of pushing them around.

Oz Cupcakes

I am pretty stoked about how these cupcakes turned out! I made all the toppers with Satin Ice Rolled Fondant Icing, that I always have on hand. Okay, I didn’t make the hearts. I had these sprinkles in my sprinkle stash (everyone has a sprinkle stash, right? Right? Just me? Oh).

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Pretty easy place to start. For the Scarecrow cupcakes, I used a simple yellow paper, frosted the cupcake with a thin layer of yellow icing (if you do the yellow icing before you do the “straw,” you see less  cupcake peeking out, and it looks much cleaner. Even thought the “straw” is meant to be messy anyway), and then took the Wilton Grass Tip (#233) and used long strands to coat the cupcake in more yellow buttercream. As I said before, the topper is made from satin ice (seriously, way way better than Wilton fondant). It is representative of the Scarecrow’s fabric patches.  I already had orange and blue from previous purchases, and I had a smidge of green that I tinted myself from a previous project. Any time I don’t have to mix color into fondant, I’m a happy camper.  To make the plaid look, I just rolled the fondant into snake-like strands and made a grid on the cut-out square. I tried to round the edges, but I didn’t do it so evenly. Or so well.

The Tin Man cupcake is my favorite. It’s simple and elegant.

The Tin Man is encased in a red wrapper (my wilton wrappers aren’t cut evenly. I’m pretty disappointed, but they work well enough for a bunch of nine-year-olds. Just be warned for your own purchases. I tinted up the buttercream with black cake  coloring, and liked the depth I got by not mixing it in all the way. I don’t know, maybe it’s tacky, But with a simple Wilton large round tip (#2A) swirl, it needed some kind of depth. To decorate it, I dug out the red hearts from my set of  Valentine Sprinkles.

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Then I just added a few to each cupcake. By using the round tip, starting at the outside, and building a little spike in the center, you get the feeling of the Tin Man’s hat.

I think the Cowardly Lion is my least favorite cupcake this time. If I ever have to make lion cupcakes again, I think I might build a little tower of frosting in the middle to give it some depth. It just seems so flat.

I used the same yellow wrappers and  frosting for the foundation of this cupcake that I used for the scarecrow. Then I tinted some of the yellow buttercream with a bit of copper and a bit of brown cake coloring. I used the same grass tip (washed, of course)  and went around the outside of the cupcake, making messy long strands, again. I tried a few with short precise strands, and it just didn’t look as … lion-y. The courage badge was satin ice with a little bit of grey cake coloring (that made the finished product blue. Way to go Wilton…) and coated it with white Pearl Dust. I rolled it flat, lightly set the end of the roll from my fondant ribbon cutter set onto the Satin Ice to get some depth to the badges, then I used fondant ribbon cutter set to actually cut the circle. Clearly, use what you have.

The Dorothy cupcakes were my girly’s favorite. I wish that more blue had shown up in the frosting. I just made a buttercream cupcake rose with my Open Star Tip (#1M), and decorated it with satin ice that I colored red (the HARDEST color to achieve), shaped the shoes(mine are flats. every time I tried for heels it looked funny), and then coated with a layer of eggplant petal dust and a layer of  Wilton Ruby Red Pearl Dust (I hope that’s the right one. Wilton doesn’t label their dust once you take it out of the package. I have 2 pink colors from them. This is the darker pink, but it’s not really red. More of a dark salmon.

 

And, as you saw earlier, inside we did rainbow colored cupcakes. I cheated and used a box this year, and I could sure taste a difference. But kids don’t care. I’ve just got refined tastes. ;c) . To me, box mixes (especially cake boss’s box mixes) taste and smell like a combination of playdough and plastic.

But at least they look cool.

[warning]disclaimer: I used a lot of Amazon affiliate links in this post. I linked to products that I have and that I use. I could be paid for linking, if you were to purchase a product from Amazon, but I linked more for convenience than for expectant purchases.

Also, most of my links are to Wilton products. If I had to start all over, knowing what I know now, there are many other brands and some of their products are superior to Wilton, but when I started collecting cake supplies, Wilton was the only product locally available. Shop around. Read reviews.  [/warning]

Oz Party Food

All the best parties have food. Of course. And I worked really hard at figuring out the food for this party. I just didn’t get to frosting the cupcakes before pictures. Story of my life.

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We went with pink and green utensils because the little miss wanted these plates, but Pinterest led us astray. They don’t exist anywhere anymore.  She had her heart set on representing the witched with her plates, so all that I could think of was to match up pink and green. Not as cool-mom-award, but at least it worked for her.

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Here’s where I apologize profusely for my camera skills again. I am so frustrated with myself that  these pics are blurry. I think I need a new phone case. My pics are getting worse and worse.

But, with that apology noted, here’s our rainbow licorice.

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And “lions and tigers and bears.”

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The emerald city. I wish I had thought about it before, but I had crystal-fill beads downstairs. At the time, rice was all I could think of. Tacky, I know. But with everything still in  boxes, who knows if I could have found the crystal fill.

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And then we have a yellow brick road.

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and bananas for the monkeys and apples from the haunted apple trees (had to have SOMETHING healthful).

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And Tin Man hats

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and, of course, lollypops from the lollypop guild. FYI, check your dollar store before you spend tons of money at a party store or online. I’m sure they’re still bad for you, and the color is “painted” on, but we’re talking kids. They don’t care. And they were way cheaper.

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Next up, straw for the scarecrow. I had apple straws and veggie sticks. Believe it or not, I approve of both sets of ingredients, and it was the biggest hit. Health-Nut-Mom-approved, and the kids devoured it. Go team!

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I know it’s also tacky, but cake pans and my cool vintage funnel made a nice Tin Man cupcake display. And it was easy peasy. Sorry again that I didn’t get a pic of the finished cupcakes on the stand… But, I have a pic. That’s better than nothing.

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And to drink we had glinda punch. I have to admit, just a taste of this sent me into corn-syrup trauma, but I searched and searched for a good pink lemonade and couldn’t find one. And you can forget about finding a corn syrup-free sherbet. I did find a pink lemonade, but it was expensive, so I drank it, and the kids had this cheap toxin-laden punch. See how nice I am?

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And of course, Glinda’s wand tops off the drink perfectly! I know that Glinda is a gold more than a silver, but first of all, the kids don’t care. And secondly, have you ever tried to find a food-safe gold wand? Good luck. we talked about painting them, but didn’t know if it would leach out.

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Anyway, when I got the cupcakes frosted (confession: after the party…), they were pretty cute. Check out my next post to see how awesome they looked.

Oz Party Games

We had lots of cool games at our Oz party. And none of them took too much time on my part, which is also a plus.

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First we played toss the heart in the Tin Man. I kind of just let the girls toss it as much as they wanted, and they kept going and going, so I didn’t really stick to any rules.

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I got the hearts and the pails at the local craft stores. Easy peasy.

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Then I totally cheated and pulled out our Halloween game of pin the nose on the witch, drawn by yours truly last October. The Girls wanted to play it a few times, too. And I let them. Why not? It’s their party?

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Then it was time to move to the table, where we had a bunch of “teacups” set out. We got what we could find at the local thrift store. Don’t get me started… See previous post, about the shoes). They don’t all match, but what do the girls care? They’re all going to their own houses, anyway. I had them take them home to bake, so I sure hope they worked. We sent home a little note that said to place them in the oven and then pre-heat it to 400 degrees.Leave them in for 40 minutes, and then turn off the oven and let them cool inside. I’d google it before attempting. It seems like a hit-or-miss project. My girly hasn’t baked hers yet, she just keeps her pens in it. Works for me.

 

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Next, we moved on to the snacks. Seriously, I know what they say about teenage boys (and I’ve witnessed that it’s true), but 9-year-old girls can still eat their weight! (I took the cup pictures while they were eating, hence why there’s wrappers and 1/2 eaten suckers in all of them.

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When we were all done, the placemats became the next activity and the party favor bag. Two birds, one stone. The girls really enjoyed it, and it made me feel better about the fact that I was going to have these made up and just didn’t find the time. So, on the fly, I created this craft! If I had been the one to make it I would have cut off the little brand-name strip and probably would have glued instead of taped, but tape sounded like the best bet for a bunch of girlies. Quick, easy, and mess free.

Started by folding our paper into fourths. Then cut off 1/4 of the page. Turn the paper around, and fold the other direction, but this time, fold in from the sides and skip the middle fold. Then, on each corner, fold diagonally by taking each folded corner and having them meet up. The girls needed shown what I meant, but they all figured it out (The one that struggled with the craft had my sister and the “birthday” girl help her the whole time, and everyone else cruised along). When all the corners were taped (My sister and I debated about which end was better to fold the triangles at, and never really decided. I think it mostly depended on how the girls folded), we moved on to the lid. Measure the lid against the box, and cut (it’s 1/2 of the paper, in case you were curious), then take the lid and fold in half plus an inch (meaning find half, then scoot it over a little bit so there’s a spot to tape it to the box), on both sides, so the basket has 2 openings. Then cut the other strip in half and either use one strip for a stronger handle, or use both halves taped together for a longer handle (some of the girls picked one option, some picked the other. Personally, I’d pick stronger, but it doesn’t really make too much difference. No one had too weak of baskets, or had any break before they made it home, so it worked out well.

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Then pass out the favors (ours included bubbles, an apple, and a lollipop from the snack table. I would have loved to include a glittery red nail polish, but I can’t find Bon Bons anymore and I’m not paying 6$ per kid just to include polish! So we used it as an activity, bought 1 bottle of nail polish, and painted everyone’s nails in turns between “Yellow Brick Hopscotch,”  (Hopscotch drawn with yellow chalk).

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Oz party success with incredibly easy games. I say that’s a win.

Oz Party Decorations

Dun dun dun Duh! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! I’m finally sharing our Oz party… 2 months later! Sorry it’s been so hectic! Canning really takes a lot of time. Especially when you’ve filled 5 moving boxes full of apples from your newly-claimed trees.

This little miss (who is not so little anymore. Seriously, no one told me that nine might as well be 16!) has a thing for the tin man. It has sparked a love for all things Oz. It started with Pentatonix’ Wizard of Ahh’s song. which sparked burning coals of fandom for all things wizard of Oz. And then I introduced her to the Tin Man miniseries. If you combine those inspirational muses with the new Oz the Great and Powerful movie and the the classic the Wizard of Oz, and there is plenty of fodder for the fire and sources for inspiration. And then you add Wicked (some day I’m gonna see the play and not just rock out to the CD. They were here in July, but it was finals week), because no Oz party is complete without just a little bit of Glinda vs Elphaba. At least for me.

Anyway… Since we were moving all summer, and since moving made it so the friend pool was rather small, we decided to wait until school was in session in order to help make friends, and we’d call it a back-to-school party.

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Of course, if we’re going to create Oz, we’ve got to squish a witch with our new house, right?

So, a story about the witch legs: first of all, aren’t the socks perfect? Secondly, the shoes… Oh, the shoes. I wanted to glitter a pair of shoes and add some flair to my personal shoe collection (bonus). I have no closed-toed shoes, at all. I had things to do, so I sent Ranger into town. Our favorite thrift store was closed for training, go figure. So Ranger ran across town to the other thrift store. Yeeeeah, never send a man to pick out shoes in a strange store. And when you do, make sure there are at least some good options (he showed me pics afterward. There WERE no good options), and that he has seen the Wizard of Oz in this decade, and that you’ve pointed out subtle nuances in shoe detail that the male brain is not programmed to notice. I ended up with two pairs of shoes that would have done the nineties proud. And by that, I mean big platformed clodhoppers with no feminine shape and big heels and square toes, instead of anything slightly fitting. I tried to find a good pic but even the internet is embarrassed by this footwear choice. There are no good representations online (why were those so popular, again?).

Shudder.

So, plan B: shoes from my wedding. They’re open-toed, but at least they’re red.
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It was pretty easy to create. I simply rolled up pillowcases and pulled the socks up around them. I only used 2 pillowcases, Next time I’ll use at least three each. My witch looked a little thin.

Later, I went to the party supply store again, and found these. Fistpalm. Seriously?

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You can use these socks but I got mine at my local party store.

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And a few rolls of streamers made quick, easy, and affordable decorations.

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“over the rainbow”

Otherwise, our decorations were quite simple. I just pulled out our paper lanterns from my wedding (Did I mention I’m a party hoarder? I could throw entire receptions with the stuff I’ve got in storage. In fact, I used to).

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[disclaim]there are multiple Amazon Affiliate links in this post. Amazon could pay me for the links because I’m promoting them, but honestly, I’ve never made anything from Amazon. I’m linking to these particular products because they fit with my post. I’ve been incredibly selective on what I link to, and it is more for reader content than sales pitch. And believe me, it wasn’t easy to find a non-rauchy pic of black and white striped socks![/disclaim]

Carpet!

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UntitledDo you know how happy this makes me? Carpet is the last thing we have to get done before we can move in.

We stuck with neutrals that aren’t  quite grey and they aren’t quite brown. Only one guy showed up to put the carpet in. It’s a big job to be done all by himself, but what do I know about carpeting. I just let him do his thing. He laid all of the pad down in a day (a whole, long day), and all of the carpet down the next day.

We paid for the upgraded pad. I’m not so sure we got it, but don’t know how to check. I wish I had gotten the floor gesso for the few spots where the subfloor has been gouged out, but I didn’t get that far. Every once in a while as I walk on the carpet, I can find a spot that dips in or bumps out. Se la vie I guess.

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It’s just so nice to have it in!

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We went with a plusher carpet in the master bedroom, because I really like plush stuff with lots of shag and Ranger likes the short stumpy stuff. He says it’s better to lay on. Our compromise was that he could have his stuff everywhere else if I could have it in the master suite. We know they could have put some sort of wedge in to make the carpet even (we’ve had plenty of time to research) but they swore they couldn’t when they got here. whatever. When it’s broken in, it wont looks so drastic. I hope. Also, the master stuff is much browner than it was supposed to be. I guess that’s what happens when you pick it out months before it arrives. I’ve got proof that it’s not just my eye, though. Here’s the sample piece.

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it matches the other carpet and my grey wall better. I wish I could have gotten what I wanted, but at least I’ve got carpet in my house instead of at the store.

squished

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This is what happens when you unload the car, bring everything inside, and set the mailbox down so that you can install it later, only to be resigned to returning to the other house after dark. I ran over my brand new mailbox. Sad day. I ran and got another one, but I’m still not happy with the set-up. I’m not smart enough to figure out how to get the pieces together. The post is different than the mailbox, and they don’t go together well. Maybe I’ll get my husband to look at it SOMEtime in his busy schedule. I’m sure the mailman would appreciate not always having to deal with the entire mailbox falling in his lap every time he opens it.

Paint

I confess, I’m pretty stoked with how this house is turning out. Even without power in the master bath. I’ve never been in a house I could totally make my own before! Never. And I’m loving the chance. Plus, who knew that I was so good at painting walls and ceilings and floors?

We painted the floors the other day, so they’d have time to dry. I don’t think they helped as much as I wish they had. To me, this house still smells “vacant.” Stale. Maybe it’s because there’s no stuff in it. I don’t know.

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Believe it or not, it was the floors that ended up being the messiest. I’ve officially decided that oil-based paint is NOT the way to go, unless, like us, you’re trying to trap in odors. And if, like us, you have to use it, I highly recommend throwing everything away afterwards. I swear it took a whole day just to clean out the paint roller. And there’s no saving my shoes. or my pants.

But painting floors white is boring. Lets get to my awesome bragging, shall we?

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Don’t mind the mess on the counter. It was the ONLY surface to set stuff down on.

First, on to proper attire for painting ceilings. It’s totally tacky, but did you know that baby shirts make great hair turbans? I wasn’t about to be pulling paint globs out of my hair, and this baby shirt was laying in my scrap fabric pile, so I ran with it. Worked great, actually. Just don’t go out in public with a baby shirt on your head. It’s weird.

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Started with the girly’s room. I wanted to start with the most urgent, just in case it took longer than expected (since EVERYTHING else has), so we went with her ceiling, our ceiling, her wall, and our wall. There are other rooms I want to paint, but they can wait until after the big move. Taped her walls off, and started painting!

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I wish the color had a bit more blue, but the kiddo loves it, and it’s not bad. I just wish it were a bit less green.

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I don’t know why ALL of these pictures are in portrait. Sorry. I try to take landscape!

Anyway, I put her clouds up, and then went back to add detail (if I ever have to paint clouds again, I will focus on one whole cloud, details and all. going back and adding texture was not as smooth a process as I thought it would be in my head). I only added it to one, and it was a lot of work, so I decided to wait and ask the “commissioner” what she wanted before I put in all the work and she liked it better with the cartoony clouds.

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the beginnings of texture.

I’m glad I waited. She liked the plain look better. That saved me a lot of extra work. So I just painted over the one I added detail to, and we moved on to my ceiling.

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Ahh, a landscape one!

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I wish I could capture the color better. It’s soooo pretty! Dusky greyish purple, called Diplomat on the little sample card I had. I taped off a chunk of my ceiling 15″ from the wall, and cut the corners at 45º angles, except for the wall with the door, there I followed the angle of the door. I’m going to come back in after we get settled and  add trim around the paint, so I wasn’t worried about little spillovers. It looks so fancy! You have got to understand that most of my life, houses have been functional, but rarely pretty. I feel like I’m joining the big world, now!

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Can we say VERY purple? I think it’s way way too purple, but she loves it. And I don’t have to see it that often, since its the same wall as the door (I planned it that way on purpose. With such a bold color, you need it not to jump out at you until you’ve gone into her room).

She had been begging me for zebra stripes on her wall, along with purple and teal and red and green. I was woried it’d all be too busy, so I agreed to a color-on-color satin-on-matte zebra print. Crazy, but she’s still got all of her teenage years to enjoy the crazy, so I think it’ll be okay. And she’s stuck with purple zebra stripes her entire teen years, because it’s gonna be a pain to paint over.

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I’m pretty proud of this wall. I’ve gotta go in and touch up where the ceiling meets the wall, but that can happen when we’re less harried trying to get everything ready to move in.

Oh, and FYI, the color reading machine at Lowe’s is way better than the human eye. We went in with two fabric samples that match what we picked out for her room. I handed the first sample to him, he made the color, and we were fine. Then he lost the code before he got to the satin, so I handed him the other sample, not thinking about it. To my eye, they were the same color. But the paint reader picked up a difference. So instead of color-on-color, the stripes are slightly, ever so slightly, more red. And a little lighter. It still looks good, though. And it looks like it is on purpose, so we’ll go with it.

I also painted my wall grey, but I didn’t get a picture of it. And I’m not taking a picture now. You’ll just have to see it when I brag about being all moved in.

But the Pièce de résistance, at least according to this zebra-fanatic kiddo, is a light switch cover. You wouldn’t believe the hug I got along with the jumping for joy and the “I love it, I love it, ILOVEIT!” that came from her room.

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The silly thing is, it’s just decorative tape on the old light cover. I’ve had it for a while, and hand’t found the right project to make my foray into this whole “decorative tape” movement, so I actually did it on a whim. With that response, I might do it again.

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Anyway, We’re getting the beginnings of carpet in right now, so the house is coming together nicely. I’m soooo ready to move in! I’m loving this house. Even with it’s setbacks (still no light in the master bath. Seriously, why didn’t our inspector say something?).

Windows are in!

See that big ol’ piece of glass? No, not all the bugs and yuck (seriously, living in the country means a million more bugs!), that big chunk of glass in the middle there…

Well it should be right here…

But it’s not. So that means new windows! Yay! Lucky for us, they’re included in our loan. The contractors came out and installed them.


Now all we need is the carpet and we can move in! I’ve got some painting to do before they lay the carpet, though. I’d rather touch up a few scratches from the carpet than to spill paint on new floors!