Day 2- Painting the Master Bedroom

Painting a room. Seems easy. But I can make it even easier for you.

Materials:

  • Paint
  • Aluminum foil- large size from the Dollar store
  • Paint trays-small and large-Dollar store
  • Roller brush on a stick-Home Depot $15 stick and roller sold separately
  • Taping knife-$7 Lowe’s
  • Brushes
  • rags or old t-shirts

Seemingly the fun part of transforming our new house would be to the painting right? Wrong! That’s because a lot of trimming was involved. I’ll get to that in a minute. The first thing you want to do is line your painting tray with aluminum foil. This will make it easier to clean once you are finished.

Line your painting tray with aluminum foil for easy clean up!

Line your painting tray with aluminum foil for easy clean up!

First paint your ceiling with the extension roller. I didn’t have any particular method but I did make sure to use ceiling specific paint. When you are finished painting the ceiling, fold up the aluminum foil and toss in the trash. Rinse roller and place in the sun to dry.

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Seems silly, but the last time we painted a room the taping of trim was my nemesis and I said I would never do it again! This time I used the coolest of all tools. For painting that is. A taping knife.

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Use a taping knife to paint trim! No more stupid taping!

I’ll post a video of how to use a taping knife. There is a method. PS. Why am I just discovering this?! Anyway, I was able to trim an entire room without using painter’s tape and it works better and cheaper overall. Win. Win. Win. You will need the corner foam brush and small paint tray while doing your trim. It is very important to not apply too much paint to the brush. Once you are ready to paint you’ll line up the taping knife to the edge firmly, place foam brush on top and move the knife NOT the brush. Once you have reached the end scrape up to avoid any runs.

Watch the how-to video COMING SOON!

Next, reline the large paint tray and pour about a 1/4 to 1/3 of a gallon of paint into the tray. You do not want to do anymore because you never know if you’ll get distracted. Paint the room in it’s entirety. Once you have reached the end, take a break and apply coat # 2. Clean up any “out of the lines” along the way with a rag or old t-shirt.

Lastly, step back and enjoy being able to see a noticeable difference! Oh yeah. I see one sexy master bedroom in our future! 🙂

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BEFORE-Master Bedroom (Scary!)

DURING-Master bedroom

DURING-Master bedroom

BEFORE-Master Bedroom

BEFORE-Master Bedroom

DURING-Master Bedroom

DURING-Master Bedroom

Day 1 of home makeover…

Clean and Prep-Master Bedroom and Nursery Edition

Materials needed:

  • Mop with sponge head
  • Mop bucket
  • Degreaser Dish soap
  • Spackle
  • Scraper
  • 120 sand paper
  • Drop Cloths
  • Flat head screw driver
  • Painters tape
  • EYE PROTECTION
  • DUST MASK
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge
  • plastic covers for any furniture left in the room

We’ve already purchase our materials and have a plan of attack for our first home purchase. My intentions for blogging about our house makeover is to not only share with my friends and family the progress we are making but to help others with their DIY projects. I will share boat loads of time-saving tips for any home project.  If you are a DIYer, please make your self at home here. The condition of our fixer-upper is what some might consider GRODY! The house was built in 1972 and that’s probably the last time the walls were clean and painted. YIKES! Luckily otherwise in good shape. Here’s where we started…

  1. Please wear eye protection! I didn’t think I needed it until I went to remove the blinds and plastic flew into my eye 5 mins in!
  2. Remove as much as you can from the room, walls and windows.
  3. Cover any furniture left in the room with plastic.
  4. Remove cover plates and tape over outlets.
  5. Line the floors with drop cloths.
  6. (If you have clean walls and ceiling skip to step 6) I pray you don’t have popcorn ceiling for this…Use the mop and bucket you got from the dollar store to wash your ceiling and walls. Only use a couple TEASPOONS of dish soap and HOT water. Make sure your water is not sudsy.
GROSS ceiling! Scrub a dub dub- dish soap and HOT water in a tub. Add sponge mop and elbow grease.

GROSS ceiling! Scrub a dub dub- dish soap and HOT water in a tub. Add sponge mop and elbow grease.

READ: Wear eye protection and dust mask.

READ: Wear eye protection and dust mask. (I’ll get to how we easily removed wall paper in a bit…keep reading!)

Remove cover plates and cover outlets with painters tape.

Remove cover plates and cover outlets with painters tape.

Lay the drop cloths to cover as much of the floor as possible. May get slippery (if you have tile) so I'd use a clothe type. If you have carpet, use  plastic. We also used an old blanket ;)

Lay the drop cloths to cover as much of the floor as possible. May get slippery (if you have tile) so I’d use a clothe type. If you have carpet, use plastic. We also used an old blanket 😉

While this room dries from washing the ceiling and walls, let’s get to our little angel’s room-to-be. The first thing we wanted to tackle was the much DREADED wallpaper. I can’t tell you how much I feared the wallpaper in this house just chipping off in one inch chips. I read so many nightmare stories online and how-tos. Again, we can only assume this wallpaper has been on the walls for ump-teen years. Well, I have the magic recipe to remove wallpaper. And it’s simple.house18

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Remember when wallpaper border was cool? Me either! Well, except I did eminence with my husband about this one time when I was a teen and had leopard print border in my bedroom! Did I just say that? Haha. Back to removing the wallpaper…

For this project you’ll need:

  • scraper
  • spray bottle
  • vinegar
  • HOT water
  • step stool or ladder
  • patience

To remove wallpaper:

  1. Mix 1/4 vinegar with 3/4 HOT water in your spray bottle.
  2. Only spray about 12-24 inches out at a time. It takes a few moments to scrape the wallpaper and dries rather quickly.
  3. Make sure to spray heavily and that the paper is completely saturated and soaked through for at least a minute before scraping.
  4. Find a corner to start with and slowly peel up the wallpaper pulling the paper with one hand and scraping underneath with the other. I kept the spray bottle in my “pulling paper” hand and would just spray as I went.

On my project the paper came up without a problem but the adhesive lingered behind. It was very easy to scrape off and after a few minutes I had it down. I would say it probably took about a 30-45 minutes to complete. (That’s just border of a very small room.)

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

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BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Next you will need:

  • Spackle
  • Scraper
  • Sand paper
  • Sponge

Once the walls are dry fill in any nail holes and imperfections with the spackle and scraper. We wanted to make sure ours was perfect so we had about a bazillion patches. Try to only use as much spackle as the little holes need with no excess. Just because it will be less sanding and less dust in the end.

Once the spackle dries, sand all the spots until even with the wall. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ON YOUR DUST MASK AND EYE PROTECTION.

The last step is to wipe down any dust on the walls and around the windows where you intend on painting.

Fill in any nail holes with spackle and sand.

Fill in any nail holes with spackle and sand.

The last thing I would suggest is to test your paint on the wall with a few strokes of the color you chose before pouring it into the pan and making a day of it. When I did this I found out real quick we needed a darker color in the nursery. The paint we chose looked white!

Testing the paint color. Suppose to be a light pink but looks white! Right?

Testing the paint color. Suppose to be a light pink but looks white! Right?

Testing paint color in the master bedroom.That's my hubby removing the hardware :)

Testing paint color in the master bedroom. That’s my hubby removing the hardware 🙂

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Master Bedroom is ready for paint!

Nursery is ready for paint!

Nursery is ready for paint!

Negative Calories: Fact or Fake?

Yes and yes. That helps, right?!

Simply put, the term “negative calories” refers to food that burns more calories to consume it than it contains to begin with.

Well the fact is, there is no scientific evidence to show that any foods have a negative calorific impact.

negative-calorie-foods

Amongst the list of regarded fruits and veggies are celery, lemon, lime, apple, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, watermelon, cucumbers, spinach, chicory, green beans, sprouts, mushrooms and onions.

Each of the foods I’ve mentioned contain an average of 50 calories per chopped cup.

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Important things to note about negative calories:

  • All foods contain calories.
  • The term “negative calories” (in my world) refers to the net calories after prepared, eaten, digested and expelled from the body.

A good example: A cup of celery has about 19 calories. After you have prepared, eaten, digested and eliminated that celery you have burned FAR more than 19 calories! Fact.

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Interesting. But the process is more than just digestion. The rest…ditto!

While I’m all for eating CLEAN and healthy, I don’t think its a good idea to over indulge in anything. I wouldn’t replace meals or only eat “negative calorie” foods as a part of a crazy type of diet. The fact is, a lot of these foods don’t have much of a nutritional base to do so.

I find that negative calories foods are actual ONLY if eaten raw and plain and after you consider all the calories burned during the prep, eating, and releasing it from your body.

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LIQUIDS

Water is the only beverage that could be called a “negative calorie” beverage. Cold water will expend a greater number of calories because the body has to warm the liquid to body temperature, although a single glass of ice water at 0°C would only burn 8.8kcal. Drinking one such glass a day, would take a person over a year to lose a single pound of weight.

Note: Water has zero calories. So drink a f* ton everyday! Drinking a glass of water before each meal has been a proven way to consume less at meal times. It is important to your overall health to drink a minimum of 8- 8oz glasses a day. Research shows it depends on the amount of activity you engage yourself in, your body weight, diet and climate in which you live on how much you should actually consume on a daily basis. Some say as much 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.

There are those out there to claim they cannot and will not drink water because they simply can’t stand the taste. I’ve always thought this to be quite funny because I really never thought it to have a taste. Well now I am a water snob and can tell the difference in tap, spring and just filtered waters but that’s not what I was referring to. 😉 Two of the people I love the most needed convincing that water can be tolerable. My husband and my sister. Both adults. Both refuse to drink water. I will tell you in a (not so distant) future post all the water recipes they love and how I got them to love the H2O. Stay tuned…

BTdubs…COFFEE COUNTS! Yes ma’am (or sir). Coffee counts towards your water consumption. At least that’s what my doctor told me. Now I wouldn’t recommend getting all your cups in that way but just as a guide to help you to keep track if needed. Others count too. If you drink those (nasty!) powdered drinks(Crystal Light) and I believe even (capital NASTY!) soda counts because the main content is water. I DEFINITLY do not encourage anyone to drink soda. Soda is at the top of my food naughty list.

SOUND OFF…thoughts?

XoXo, Jessi

Resources:  http://caloriecount.about.com/negative-calories-myth-explained-b349703

What the *&%$# are GMOs? And why the fuss?

gmo-tomatoWhat is a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

What foods are GM?
Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).
What are other sources of GMOs?
Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others.  Also:
  • meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed (and the majority of the GM corn and soy is used for feed);
  • dairy products from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone);
  • food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
  • honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.
  • non-food items that may contain GM ingredients include cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo and bubble bath. Pharmaceutical companies use Aspartame in some laxatives, supplements and children’s vitamins.

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*The American Academy of Environmental Medicine was founded in 1965, and is an international association of physicians and other professionals interested in the clinical aspects of humans and their environment. AAEM provides research and education in the recognition, treatment and prevention of illnesses induced by exposures to biological and chemical agents encountered in air, food and water.
**The AAEM paper further states, ‘several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.
Who is MONSANTO? I keep hearing that name!
The Monsanto Company is a U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup”. Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it sells 90% of the US’s GE seeds. (wiki) Seminis is also listed on this page often, they were bought out by Monsanto and cannot be considered a safe, no-GMO, company.
GMOs are everywhere inside so many things!
Makes you think twice about being loyal to that produce stand you frequent every weekend, huh? They say “fresh” but what exactly is their definition anyway? I think it’s high time we take control of what we put on our plates and in our children’s sippy cups. The time has come to get cracka lackin’ on that home garden you said you always wanted. I’m starting my own soon and will give you all the help you need to start your own.
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TWO SEEDS IN A POD
If you want to ensure your garden is so fresh and so clean make sure to get NON-GMO SEEDS! I discovered Two Seeds in a Pod, a local business here in Tampa, while doing my research for this entry. They are a new company, who take pride in the Safe Seed Pledge and are 100% organic. To get your own non-gmo seeds, check them out here.
If you aren’t from Tampa and perhaps want to visit/support a local company in your area check out the complete list  of businesses who have also taken the Safe Seed Pledge, here.
Genetically modified (GM) foods-are they safe or harmful?
While regulatory authorities have approved GM food that is on the market, some people are concerned that there is risk of harm. Most foods we eat may contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If you live in Europe, avoiding GM foods is easier since laws require labeling. In the US and Canada, however, food manufacturers are not required to label if their food is genetically modified or not. Here are some guidelines for steering clear of GM foods in your diet, if that is your choice.
Become familiar with the most common applications of genetic modification.
These are the products (and their derivatives) that are most likely to be genetically modified:
  • Soybeans – Gene taken from bacteria (Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4) and inserted into soybeans to make them more resistant to herbicides.[1] See How to Live With a Soy Allergy for more information on avoiding soy products
  • Corn – There are two main varieties of GE corn. One has a Gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis inserted to produce the Bt toxin, which poisons Lepidoteran (moths and butterflies) pests.[2] There are also several events which are resistant to various herbicide. Present in high fructose corn syrup and glucose/fructose which is prevalent in a wide variety of foods in America.
  • Rapeseed/Canola – Gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to herbicide.
  • Sugar beets – Gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
  • Cotton – engineered to produce Bt toxin. The seeds are pressed into cottonseed oil, which is a common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine.
  • Dairy – Cows injected with GE hormone rBGH/rBST; possibly fed GM grains and hay.
  • Sugar. In 2012 the FDA approved GMO Beet Sugars to be allowed to be sold on the market under the name…. “SUGAR” So now, when we go to buy “All Natural” Breyer’s Ice Cream, we can’t even know for sure that we are actually eating regular natural cane sugar. If you see “CANE SUGAR” there’s a good chance it’s not GMO. This is one of the biggest frustrations with labelling, as sugar is in so many things, and we might be avoiding food that POSSIBLY has GMO sugar, but really does not.
  • Papayas.
  • Zucchini.
  • Corn sold directly to the consumer at Roadside stands / markets. Buy organic corn, popcorn, corn chips only.
  • Baked goods: Often has one or more of the common GM ingredients in them. Why do we need corn or soy in our bread, snacks or desserts? It’s hard to find mixes to use as well. Some brands avoid GMs, find one you like and try to stick with it. Organic is one option, learning how to cook brownies, etc, from scratch with your own organic oils is another.
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Why the hell is organic so expensive?! -Trash Talkin’ Jessi

Buy food labeled 100% organic.

The US and Canadian governments do not allow manufacturers to label something 100% organic if that food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed. You may find that organic food is more expensive and different in appearance from conventional products.

Also, just because something says “organic” on it does not mean that it does not contain GMs. In fact, it can still contain up to 30% GMs, so be sure the labels say 100% organic.

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Purchase beef that is 100% grass-fed.

Most cattle in the U.S. are grass-fed, but spend the last portion of their lives in feedlots where they may be given GM corn, the purpose of which is to increase intramuscular fat and marbling. If you’re looking to stay away from GM0s, make sure the cattle were 100% grass-fed or pasture-fed (sometimes referred to as grass-finished or pasture-finished).

Favor foods that you can cook and prepare yourself, rather than foods that are processed (my all time best eating habit tip!)

or prepared (e.g. anything that comes in a box or a bag, including fast food). What you lose in convenience, you may recover in money saved and satisfaction gained, as well as increased peace of mind. You will notice a difference in your pant size and energy level as well.

Ask!

If you are eating out or purchasing produce (or any other unlabeled foods) just ask if they contain GMOs. If they don’t know and this is important to you just take a pass. The ones who take pride in making sure their products are not genetically enhanced KNOW what they have and will be more than happy to tell you all about it. Like that friend that ran that one 5 or 10k. Right? Not afraid to tell you every damn detail, slap the sticker on their car, get a tattoo and then write a book about it.

I digress. 🙂

Resource: http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Genetically-Modified-Foods

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SO ALL IN ALL WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT GMOs? And are they safe?

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) doesn’t think so. The Academy reported that “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.

Resource:http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

What companies have GMOs in their products?  GMOs in the news…

Here is a list of companies alleged “hiding” GMOs and some of those paying MILLIONS of dollars to fight against the labeling of GMOs in our foods in the United States.  Kellogg’s for example, is being slammed pretty hard from what I’ve seen myself just on social media.

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Labeling bills were introduced to congress on 4/24/13

To label our food stating if it has GMOs or not allow it is the debate.

Interesting tid bits from a recent Huffington Post article:

“Obama promised to require labeling for genetically modified food on the campaign trail back in 2007, but since taking office, he’s done little to advance that cause. A few weeks ago, he signed into law a proviso known as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” which makes it legal to sell genetically modified crops before they’re proven 100 percent safe.”

“Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans — over 90 percent — supports mandatory labeling of foods with GE ingredients. Sixty-four other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia and China, already require such labels. And dozens of advocacy groups and food corporations have signalled their support of the new bill.”

“Whole Foods recently announced that it would require the manufacturers of any GE foods sold in its stores to mark them as such.”

See the complete article here. (<-Resource)

march_against_monsantoI’m not so sure why I find this “march” so intriguing but I do. It’s just empowering, I think, to know that so many people will gather for something they feel so passionate about. And all on the same day. At the same exact time. All over the country.  How could the government possibly ignore such a spectacle? And that guys, is the point. The people will get what they want because it’s not too much to ask for. I’ve seen no good reason to not label our food. We as Americans, deserve this right. The right to know. What. The. Hell. Is. In. Our. Food. No amount of Monsanto (or other company’s ) $$ should be able to take that away from us. march_against_monsanto2

I think a lot is going to change during this year regarding all the GMO hoopla. I’m doing my best to provide clean and healthy food for my family regardless, as I have been. Once, my garden is up and running, it will be a lot easier. I will say though, I’m not a crazy person over the GMOs. I’m not paranoid if I eat a fruit that has been genetically enhanced that I think I could get cancer or something like that. I am for having the free right to know and I find it shady mcshiesty to hide anything that could be in my food or other household products.

It’s your chance again to sound off…

You be the judge and feel free to leave your comments!  —XoXo, Jessi

Stained concrete floors

A growing trend in the flooring industry is to stain residential concrete floors. I admit the pictures I’ve seen look pretty damn good. In the home we are buying, what carpet is in there, is coming out ASAP. It’s grody! But with all the moving expenses and what it takes to actually purchase a home we are on a tight budget. We considered just ripping up the carpet and staining the floors. Take a look and judge for yourself. It’s not for everyone. 🙂

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You can purchase the kit to stain your own floors starting at around $100 @ The Home Depot.

The stain comes in a variety of colors from a variety companies. Here are just a few swatches.

polish-colors EC-acid-stain-chart1 Concrete-acid-stain-colours

Some like to do a design in an entry way or center of the living room.

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If doing this inside I still a little too industrial and just not cozy enough for you, how about in the garage? Personally, I kind of dig it!

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The OCD in me is going crazy about the stain on the wall. Definitely, tape off the walls first and for a more finished look add baseboard along the walls.

How to stain concrete! A YouTube series.

Alternatively, you could hire a professional but what’s the fun in that?! XoXo, Jessi

Color your kitchen Rad!

bigchillfridge

These Big Chill refrigerators start off at a cost of $3,000! Cute though, right? I’ll take the “Pink Lemonade”. 🙂

 What’s really exciting about this post is I’m going to show you how to make a HUGE impact on the design and “un-blah”ing your kitchen for next to nothing!

I’ve been inspired lately by the color block trend. Why stop at the kitchen? Recently my toaster died and when searching for a new one we realized how far they’ve come along! I took notice that appliances can really make a statement to your kitchen. If you have a boring kitchen or just want an inexpensive update here’s a few simple ways to make your kitchen “wow” your guests every time they enter. I’m so excited to apply a few of these funky fresh ideas to my own kitchen. (Stay tuned for tutorials from my kitchen!)

These adorable modern "50's like" SMEG refrigerators start at $2000!

These adorable modern “50’s inspired” SMEG refrigerators start at $2000!

I know that we don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a refrigerator but if we did, I’d love to own a SMEG or a Big Chill. Aren’t they awesome?! Back to reality…Check out these inexpensive ways to update your refrigerator and other large appliances in your kitchen. Introducing my first “did ya know?”

DID YA KNOW…You can paint your appliances? RustOleum makes a paint for just about everything and I use it often. Even an appliance epoxy spray paint. Sadly, I couldn’t find any funky cool colors for the sake of this post. I did find a can version of the same epoxy and I’m wondering if we can mix it with the color of our choice. How awesome would that be? I’ll get back to you on that!

Here are some other options by some amazing DIYers on Pinterest:

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I know these aren’t in your kitchen but had to include! “$10 makeover” Any color.

 For this idea I would suggest the High Heat spray paint from RustOleum. Or stove paint from StovePaint.com.

AWESOME FRIDGE MAKEOVER FROM THE COZYCROOKEDCOTTAGE!

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Words do not describe how I feel about this make over. I just love it and if I didn’t have brand spankin’ new stainless steel appliances in the house we are buying bought, I’d do this to any old rickety fridge before buying a new one 😉

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE SUBTLE? Try these suggestions out for size.

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Don’t forget about the dishwasher!

Possibly the most simplistic of an update to your kitchen. You can replace your “snooze-able” knobs with bright and colorful knobs like these easily

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How cool are these retro-esque knobs and pulls?!

knobsColorful knobs are a super easy way to update your kitchen easily and makes a big statement.

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knobs1Or for a more cost effective update, just remove your current knobs and paint them!

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Spray paint your old knobs for a fresh new look.

colorfulfaucetThe faucet! Whoda thunk? What a great way to add that unexpected pop of color! These used to go for almost $800!

This DIYer knows what’s up!

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“Benjamin Moore’s Razzle Dazzle “

Powder coat your faucet in any color! Again. Just can’t get over it. 🙂

Another fun and unexpected place to add the pazazz you’re looking for could be on the inside.

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Paint the inside of your cabinets!

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Paint the inside of the drawers a fun color.

And last but certainly not least…the accessories. These items are more interchangeable than the projects listed before.

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Have a bar in your kitchen? Colorful bar stools are the way to go.

Complete your new kitchen with new bright rugs.

Complete your new kitchen with new bright rugs.

Oh the classic Kitchenaid mixer. You’ve seen these before. I dig the pink. We saw this one at Target for $350.

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The small appliances are my fav. I guess everything is really!  (ALSO available @Target)kmix-main-imagecoloredappliances

While these appliances are cute and cuddly some of them can be uber costly. (Kitchenaid Mixer, anyone?)

How great is it that people have actually tried painting everything and we can turn anything from drab to fab?! Like your toaster and stove knobs. Lovin’ it.

Spray paint your toaster.

Spray paint your toaster.

Spray paint our stove knobs!

Spray paint our stove knobs!

I hope you’re inspired and share your updates with me 🙂

XoXo, Jessi

Why the hell is “organic” so expensive?

organic-food

I’ve always tried to eat what I thought was healthy. Fruits and veggies are a staple in my family’s diet. I would love for us to eat nothing but organic foods but the produce and is so damned expensive. I’ve often wondered (never researched until now) why? My husband and I have had this conversation in passing multiple times. Asking ourselves, wouldn’t you think since the farms, in theory, do not use pesticides or other chemicals such as growth hormones (what is the deal with GMOs?), fertilizers, etc. the fruits and vegetables would cost less to grow and cultivate? As I put that on paper (my screen) I think to myself is the reason because of the natural growth and “not being messed with” environment, does that mean the likeliness of having a less amount flourish? I’ve set to find out and squash this wonder we’ve wondered for so long.

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I can’t be the only one who asked myself this, so I hope this next section will answer all your questions about “Why the hell “organic” is so expensive?” And now we can all sleep at night. 😉

1. No chemicals = more labor

Conventional farmers use all of those chemicals and synthetic pesticides  because they end up reducing the cost of production by getting the job done  faster and more efficiently. Without them, organic farmers have to hire more  workers for tasks like hand-weeding, cleanup of polluted water, and the  remediation of pesticide contamination.

The Organic  Farming Research Foundation explained it well: “The organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of  growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the  health and environmental costs of which are borne by society.”

2. Demand overwhelms supply

Retail sales of organic food rose from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $21.1 billion  in 2008, according to the USDA, and 58 percent of Americans claim they prefer to  eat organic over non-organic food. However, organic farmland only accounts for  0.9 percent of total worldwide farmland, and organic farms tend to produce less  than conventional farms. Conventional farms have the farmland and the supply to  keep costs down since manufacturers are able to reduce costs when producing a  product in larger quantities.

3. Higher cost of fertilizer for organic crops

Sewage sludge and chemical fertilizers might not be something you want in  your food, but conventional farmers use them because they don’t cost much and  are cheap to transport. Organic farmers eschew these inexpensive solutions in  order to keep their crops natural and instead use compost and animal manure,  which is more expensive to ship.

4. Crop rotation

Instead of using chemical weed-killers, organic farmers conduct sophisticated  crop rotations to keep their soil healthy and prevent weed growth. After  harvesting a crop, an organic farmer may use that area to grow “cover crops,”  which add nitrogen to the soil to benefit succeeding crops.

Conventional farmers, on the other hand, can use every acre to grow the most  profitable crops. Because crop rotation reduces the frequency in which organic  farmers can grow profitable crops, they’re unable to produce the larger  quantities that are most cost-effective for conventional farmers.

5. Post-harvest handling cost

In order to avoid cross-contamination, organic produce must be separated from  conventional produce after being harvested. Conventional crops are shipped in  larger quantities since conventional farms are able to produce more. Organic  crops, however, are handled and shipped in smaller quantities since organic  farms tend to produce less, and this results in higher costs. Additionally,  organic farms are usually located farther from major cities, increasing the  shipping cost.

6. Organic certification

Acquiring USDA organic certification is no easy — or cheap — task. In  addition to the usual farming operations, farm facilities and production methods  must comply with certain standards, which may require the modification of  facilities. Employees must be hired to maintain strict daily record-keeping that  must be available for inspection at any time. And organic farms must pay an  annual inspection/certification fee, which starts at $400 to $2,000 a year,  depending on the agency and the size of the operation.

7. Cost of covering higher loss

Conventional farmers use certain chemicals to reduce their loss of crops. For  example, synthetic pesticides repel insects and antibiotics maintain the health  of the livestock. Since organic farmers don’t use these, their losses are  higher, which costs the farmer more and increases the cost to the consumer.  Additionally, without all the chemical preservatives added to conventional  foods, organic foods face a shorter storage time and shelf life.

8. Better living conditions for livestock

Higher standards for animal welfare also means more costs for organic farms.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United  Nations, organic feed for cattle and other livestock can cost twice as much  as conventional feed.

9. Organic food grows more slowly

Time is money. Not only are organic farms typically smaller than conventional  ones, but they also, on average, take more time to produce crops because they  refrain from using the chemicals and growth hormones used by conventional  farmers.

10. Subsidies

Production-oriented government subsidies reduce the overall cost of crops. In  2008, mandatory spending on farm subsidies was $7.5 billion while programs for  organic and local foods only received $15 million, according to the House  Appropriations Committee.

Money-saving tips

Until then, try to get most of your organic food from farmers markets. You’ll  be supporting local farmers and purchasing the food at a reduced price since  you’re cutting out the middle-man retailer. Check out LocalHarvest.org. You can  plug in your city or zip code and get a list of all of the farmers markets in  your area.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need to buy all foods organic. The  Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides has a “Clean 15” list of  the 15 types of produce lowest in pesticides. Save your money for the other  organic produce and buy the conventional versions of these:

1.Onions

2.Sweet corn

3.Pineapples

4.Avocado

5.Asparagus

6.Sweet peas

7.Mangoes 8.Eggplant

9.Cantaloupe — domestic

10.Kiwi

11.Cabbage

12.Watermelon

13.Sweet potatoes

14.Grapefruit

15.Mushrooms

The preceding post was derived from www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/03/11/10-reasons-organic-food-is-so-expensive/ without whom I’d still be “Googling”

While I feel better in knowing that the prices are justified if you can afford it, I still want to have my own garden. I will post plans on how to arrange an awesome garden in your own yard. No matter the size. In “Jessi” fashion I will give you the complete details from the plans, to the costs, to the tutorial! Check back for that. Problem solved. No need to concern ourselves with how the hell expensive “organic” is anymore. We’ve got our own organic”ness”. Eat that, overpriced produce! Hehe. I’m getting ahead of myself but I’m super excited about it.

organic-food1

Here’s a interesting read from Wikipedia about Organic Certification.

Here’s a list of all 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue data in order from least to most…

Let me just say, I don’t know of anyone who’s gotten sick or died from eating non-organic produce (Im not touching the meat topic…not today…LOL) not to say it hasn’t happened but I’m happy as a pig in shit ANY time I see a kid choosing fruits and vegetables over some other garbage like Goldfish or the like. I say choose but really YOU decide what your kid’s eat so A+++ for those who are teaching your children a healthy lifestyle  at a young age. (A whole other post can be written about that too!)