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My News

December 15, 2014 - Author: Amy

Hey there. Been a while.

You guys good? That’s good.

Wanted to pop in and tell you what I’ve been up to. Although I haven’t been writing many blog posts, I have still been writing.

Altered

An entire book, in fact, and it’s published and available for purchase right here:

Amy’s book

That feels CRAZY for me to say!

Writing a book has been a lifelong dream/goal of mine and it feels weird to actually be here.

It went down like this: D went back to school full time. When we’d put the kid down to sleep at night, D would go to his office to do homework and I’d be sitting there twiddling my thumbs. I’d been threatening to write for a while and one day D bought me a new laptop, handed it to me and said “Stop talking about doing it and do it.”

So I did, and now it’s real.

I would be so honored if you would take the time to check it out. If it’s something you’re interested in, GREAT! If it’s not, I wonder if you know anyone who might be that you’d be willing to share the link with?

I would be so appreciative.

Hugs and love to all of you today!

15 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Artwork T-Shirt

August 26, 2014 - Author: Amy

The other day, I admitted my total failings as a mother, and how bad I am about documenting Junior’s life.

I’m trying to do better.

He’s been bringing home copious, copious amounts of artwork from school. I try to share these with grandparents, and several make them up to the fridge. (What is that, a school bus or a pelican?) But finally had to start a file folder to start stashing this stuff in, though a part of me hates just hiding it away.

But then, as per the usual with me, genius struck.

And all it took was a t-shirt, a printer, some fabric transfer paper and a Picasso.

The Picasso:

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Copy and print it onto your fabric transfer sheet, which you can buy at any crafty store. (I didn’t bother transposing it. Trains totally go to the left sometimes too.) And iron it on. Let it cool, then peel.

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Voila! A wearable work of art that your little person will feel really proud of.

shirt2(Hey, Michael’s, how about some toddler sized shirts, eh?!)

13 Comments - Categories: Junior

Post by Megan Sullivan

August 25, 2014 - Author: Amy

Hi all! Today I’ve got a great post brought to you by Megan Sullivan. Hard water is something I know all too much about, so I hope you’ll find this information as helpful as I did!

3 Viable Methods To Soften Hard Water

Hard water causes problems for millions of households across the globe. This form of water has mineral content in high density such as limestone, calcium, magnesium and chalk.

Although the normal water supply includes chorine and other dissolved minerals, the presence of limescale or hard scale often results in loss of efficiency, damage to equipment, and water that is not pleasant for bathing, cleaning, washing and drinking.

The minerals also lead to problems in the sides of pipe lines. Over a period of time, deposits and build up results in clogging, which breaks down the free flow of water, and pipes become too small to enable the fast passage of water. The holes keep getting smaller, causing increased pressure on the pipes, which results in high risk of pipe burst and line deterioration.

When left untreated, hard water deposits will also cause damage to equipment like central heating systems, taps, sinks, kettles and showers. And if the hard scale problem is of high magnitude, the damage to these equipment may not be reversible, raising the need to invest in new appliances, or even replace the whole system.

So, if you’re a homeowner looking to avoid all such problems, it is a good idea to resort to water softening. Softened water through viable methods still contains natural minerals that you need. The following are some of the methods that can be used to soften hard water:

Water filter pitcher

Water filter pitches are one of the best choices to purify water at home, which is the requirement of most homeowners. Most water filters are able to remove cryptosporidium and phthalate contamination from drinking water but those with pitches can remove a wider range of contaminants and a higher level of chlorine, metals, viruses and bacteria.

You might have to go through a two-stage filter process while using a water filter pitcher, where water has to pass through the outlet filter while pouring. Tipping the pitcher will help in flowing the water through the filler, and the locking lid and gasket will keep the system securely sealed while pouring. You may also find that steeply tipping the pitcher makes the process more convenient.

Water softener

Water softeners remove the mineral hardness from hard water. Most water softeners rely on a process labelled as ion exchange to perform the softening process. In other words, within a softener tank, hardness (calcium and magnesium) in water are replaced with soft water ions (sodium). When the system is no longer able to make the exchange, it starts cleansing (regenerating itself) so that it can again start the exchange process.

Homeowners can also use water softener alternatives that utilize the latest technology and require zero maintenance. Some of the more modern offerings from LifeSource Water systems use zero salt and adds no extra chemicals or minerals, resulting in clean as well as great testing water for the entire home.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

This is an active water softening solution that works at a low temperature and its consumption of energy is quite economic, so homeowners use it with different applications, such as cleansing of water pollution, desalination of minerals’ reclamation and water filtration.

The dirty water in this processes through one or a combination of retention volume, neutralizer, sand bad, microfilter, and deionizer. It depends on the quality of water required after filtration. 

 Thanks for reading!

Amy

No Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

My Quotable Kid

August 22, 2014 - Author: Amy

Junior is three and a half years old now, and I keep telling myself that I will get around to starting his baby book one of these days…

Yeah.

You know what else I don’t have? More than three or four pictures of him actually printed.

Isn’t that terrible?

So believe me when I say that when UncommonGoods contacted me about what they could offer by way of personalized gifts (and they have a LOT to choose from), I jumped all over it. Did I mention they have a lot to choose from?! I knew I wanted something specifically for my little guy, but you can literally find anything for anyone on this site.

I also want to mention what a cool company they are – Half of what you will find on their site is made by hand, most of their products are made here in the good ol US of A, and one-third of their collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials. In addition to that, they donate $1 of every purchase you make to a non-profit of your choice! Since they began that program, called “Better to Give”, twelve years ago, they have donated over $700,000 to charities around the world.

I just love that you can get really cool items, and feel good about where your money is going at the same time.

I chose a personalized book called My Quotable Kid.

uncommongoods1

Aaaaand now you know Junior’s real name. ;)

I got to personalize it with his name, but also his birthday and first words.

uncommongoods2

I have had so much fun with this thing! While I don’t take the time to glue pictures or hair in baby books, I have just made a habit of keeping this one handy to write down all the things he says that I never want to forget.

The very first one was perfect, because it is so his personality.

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And each bubble comes with an area to add his age, when, and where he said it.

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Most of them are funny.

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Many have been just downright sweet.

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And a few have broken my heart right in half.

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I just love the glimpses of how his little mind works, and am so glad to have such a fun way to make all these memories of him.

Because who would want to forget gems like this?

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Great, big, giant thanks to Uncommongoods for such a unique gift that is literally memories in the making!

13 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Some Americana For Ya

July 28, 2014 - Author: Amy

For some reason, summertime always feels like the time to be extra patriotic. I suppose it’s the Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day trifecta that puts me in the mood for all things red, white, and blue.

4th

What a spectacular fireworks show!

Anyway, I had a couple of things I wanted to share with you this summer. The first, is my extra patriotic Houzz Ideabook that is live. It’s full of summery Americana goodness and I hope you’ll find one or two things you love.

The second is a company I’d like to introduce you to called Gettysburg Flag Works.

We keep Ol Glory hung pretty much year round, but I was lucky enough to receive a Kansas flag from this wonderful company recently, and I was so impressed with their options, friendly and responsive staff, and quality flag that I wanted to tell you about them.

(This is not a sponsored post. I just really liked this guy.)

If you’d like to find a flag of your own, be it American or your own state, like I did, hit this link. I think you will find their website very easy to navigate and be just as surprised by all their inventory as I was!

Shipping was extremely fast and came professionally packed, so no chance of damage before it reaches you.

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And really, I was so stoked about having a Kansas flag!

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You know me, and you know I geek out about this kind of stuff. I recently acquired a bracelet made from the copper of our newly renovated capitol’s dome that is stamped with “ad astra per aspera” (To the stars through difficulty) and I just loved that I now have a matching flag.

Plus, I’m a sucker for sunflowers. ;)

Anyway – I hope you’ll check out some of these links and feel extra American with me this week!

6 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

A New Friend

July 7, 2014 - Author: Amy

After we lost sweet Bill, the plan was to do nothing for a while. Just let the dust settle, as it were.

Junior changed that plan when he began dragging his yo-yo around by its “leash” and calling it his puppy. He would also take his bike for walks and pet it and tell it it was a good boy.

And that was sad.

So we began to keep our eye out for what might be a good buddy for him. Someone smaller this time, who we could take everywhere. Someone young, so they could grow up together.

And we found this little guy.

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He came from a farmhouse in Middle-Of-Nowhere-Kansas. When we pulled in, a whole herd of these little guys came running to greet us, and right behind them came a whole herd of little blond children. Having all those friends from day one ensured that this fella was used to being handled and very gentle.

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Junior chose the one he wanted to take home, and he named him JoJo.

(After that creepy clown on that kid’s show, JoJo’s Circus. ~shiver~)

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They were best buddies right from the start.

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And I know they’ve got lots of fun times ahead. :)

18 Comments - Categories: Critters

A Memory Came Today

June 3, 2014 - Author: Amy

“There may be a package for you in the mail today.”

Pretty powerful words, right?  Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail – especially a surprise something.

Well, the package was in the mail today, and it was memories made tangible.

Sometimes bad things happen.  And sometimes bad things happen to dogs.

The worst part has been when Junior asks “Why?”

We don’t know why, buddy, and we don’t know how to make it better either.

We don’t know why bad things happen, but we never think to ask why good things happen, do we?

Good things, like friends.

Especially a pair of particular friends who so thoughtfully took the time to make us a memory book of our sweet soul, Bill.

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They used my own words to memorialize our all-too-short time with our friend, and I am so touched.

Ann and Nikki, thank you.

It means so much.

It is so heartbreaking to say good-bye, but this book is a wonderful reminder of how much he will always mean to us.

19 Comments - Categories: Bill

You Want to Talk About Easy?

April 25, 2014 - Author: Amy

Not referring to myself.

You know what I am exceptionally good at?

Exceptionally easy crafts.

My front door has been bare ever since I took down the Christmas wreath last week.

(Kidding.)

So while we were at Hobby Lobby crying over the price of custom frames, I grabbed a grape vine wreath and can of white spray paint because I can afford those.

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Oh my gosssshhhhhh, Amy, you are such a homemaking prodigy.

I am less adept at horticulture.  I didn’t feel like finding anything to spray paint this on top of, so I just did it in the grass in the front yard on a super windy day and now D is mad at me for the giant white spot and is pretty sure I poisoned and killed all the grass in the surrounding counties.

Psh.

But really, I do like the white against the navy.  Should serve well enough throughout the seasons.

Who else has an easy project they’d like to let me rip off?  Does anyone need any front door wreath consultations?  I’m really good at them!

18 Comments - Categories: DIY

Hard Fails

April 14, 2014 - Author: Amy

Let’s get the first thing out of the way.

Do you guys read Rachel’s blog, Maybe Matilda?  If you don’t, I wish you would.  Great blog by a great writer with great style and a sense of humor to match all that greatness.

Sometimes she writes about beauty tips, and one in particular had caught my attention a couple of times.  She puts Monistat chafing relief powder on before her make-up.  Apparently it makes your face all smooth and the make-up goes on better.  I was curious, but hadn’t tried it yet.  Then Michelle at Décor and the Dog left a comment that she does the same thing and that it’s awesome.  And she’s a pharmacist, soooo.

I went to Target on, of all days, re-stocking day.  I tried to blend into the boxes as I lurked in the most embarrassing aisle of the store.  I found the space where the Monistat should have been, but it was empty.  Of course.

The little restocking fella noticed me then and asked if he could help me find anything.

Admit it, or run away quickly?

I admitted it.  And he had no idea what I was talking about.  Called his friend over.  Friend had no idea what I was talking about.  I walked away in shame and mortification.

Went to Walgreens.  Found it.  Success!  And no witnesses!

I was super excited to try it out, and for the first several days of use went around asking people if I looked especially beautiful that day so that I could share my new beauty secret with them and feel like I belonged in the upper echelons of style gurus.  (Even though I kind of didn’t think it made much of a difference, if I were being honest.)

A few days later, Rachel sent me a pic of her new box of anti-chafing Monistat and rubbed in my Target snafu some more.

Hardy har har.

But her box looked different than mine did… so I ran upstairs to investigate.

And sure enough.

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You guys.  I’d been putting anti-itch cream on my face the entire time.

Hard fail.

If I ever get around to finding the actual anti-chafing stuff, I will be sure to give you a full report.  In the meantime, feel free to admire Rachel and Michelle’s smooth faces.

And now for another fail at buying things!

There is an art gallery going out of business with some wicked good prices on, specifically, some buffalo prints by Nancy Glazier.  (My fave.)

D and my MIL surprised me with a couple of really nice ones, then me and D went back in to scavenge some more.

We found these four:

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For a really great price.  They’re a bit oddly shaped, so when he offered to frame them at 25% off, I said sure!

$600 later, I had total buyers remorse and called and cancelled the frame order.  (And made D go look the poor, retiring owner in the eye and retrieve the prints we practically stole from him.)

eeehhhh….

So now I need your help.  Is there somewhere to order slightly oddly shaped mats and frames?  Do I DIY it, and if so, how?  Any genius idea besides framing??

Help!

28 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday

March 26, 2014 - Author: Amy

birthdayboy

You have your daddy’s eyes, your mommy’s smile;

And our whole hearts for your whole life.

Happy birthday, buddy.

13 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized