You Need a Wet Brush!

Happy Monday! Last year, on my birthday I shared this post, where I share some of my favorite things. Those things remain my favorite things, this year, and probably forever. But, I’m dying to add a new item to the list….You know how when you try a new idea, or product that literally changes your life and you think, “why didn’t I know about this sooner?” , or “how have we been living without this?”  Like sliced bread right?! My new favorite thing is one of those things. This summer, I found The Wet Brush. Halleluia!

I’m not sure the science behind this brush, but it is far better than any brush I’ve ever used. Magic…science…whatever. I’m a believer. During the summer, we usually adopt the motto, “Summer Hair, Don’t Care.” for Carolynn’s long locks.

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Carolynn has long, curly hair and brushing out her hair after a swim, shower or bath has always involved tears. It would get so tangly after swimming, we would have to pull it up in a top knot (which she hates), or leave a limp pool pony tail until her next shower. Now, I keep a Wet Brush in our pool bag and brush her hair out with ease after each swim.

With The Wet Brush, she hasn’t shed a single tear, and hardly even a wince. It is actual, real life magic for less than $10.

You can buy one of your own original detangling brush, or you can buy one for use with blow drying (this is a pretty ombre version), or this one made for thick hair.

You may just want to go ahead and get the two pack of detangling brushes so you can have one for your bathroom and one for the pool/beach bag. I also keep this leave in conditioner by Aussie in our pool bag.

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Go get yourself one (or more!) of these brushes and you can thank me later. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Steph

*I have not been paid for this review. It is my own humble, and honest opinion. I have attached the links to these products should you wish to purchase them. If you do decide to use my link to purchase one of these amazing brushes, I will receive a small portion of your sale. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you!!

 

How to love your ugly light fixtures for less than $30!

I’ve mentioned before that we never wanted to build a house. It was not on either of our bucket lists, and the decision to build was only made because honestly, there wasn’t another reasonable choice. (You can read about the house already on property where we lived/camped during the building process here) We wanted to live on this ranch, to be good stewards of this property, and we wanted to be able to do that everyday. (Read my favorite post, How We Got Here for the full backstory)

When we realized that being here on this blessed property meant *gulp* we would have to build our house, we dreaded making all the choices that go along with a new build. Of course, it was mostly pleasant and like we always knew, it’s not really about the house and all it’s bells and whistles anyway.

Throughout the whole process, the only choices we made with true reluctance were our light fixtures. We just didn’t like any of them. Oh sure, you can have any light fixture in their whole showroom…..for thousands extra. Looking to keep a reasonable mortgage? You silly, you can only choose from the, “bug bowl collection”. Ahhh yes, crispy bugs in all my light fixtures totally fits my style. One in every room please!

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It’s especially appetizing to look up at all the crispy gnats, communally entombed above the place you eat. Mmmm. As a solution to this (complete first world) problem, for my dining room, I purchased 5 of these small lamp shades from Wal-Mart.

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Quick side note, Wal-Mart has really upped their game in the home decor department. If you’re looking for something for your home, looking at Wal-Mart is not as bottom of the barrel as your high school former self might believe. They even offer 2-day shipping, or ship to store if you order online. We ordered a full sized mattress and box spring from Walmart.com and it showed up at our front gate in 2 days. The world we live in!

I purchased my shades in store, and I believe I paid $4.88 each for them. If you order online, they’re only $3.29! If you have five lights like me, that’s less than $20 to change the whole look of that light.  Buy some here.

These are actual lamp shades, so they look like this inside.

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This worked with my light fixture since it matched up well with our lightbulbs. If you’re using chandelier/candelabra bulbs (they are pointed on top and look like a flame) then you may have a smaller spot to screw in your bulb. (don’t worry, there’s a solution for that!)

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That’s it! I think it makes a huge difference, and I like it so much better now. Plus, the added bonus of it being inexpensive and pretty darn easy.

If you’re looking to complete this project but have a smaller spot to screw in your bulbs (is there an actual term for that “spot”?) , you may need actual Chandelier Shades. The inside of those shades uses a piece that clips onto the light bulb. Here’s some linen, and burlap shades I like from Amazon. (click on photo for link)

                       

 

I also LOVE these from ShadesofLight.com. They come in 9 different colors, and are a little bit of a splurge at $19 each.

4" Horizontal Ticking Stripe Chandelier Shade navy

Now, I’m coming for this crispy bug filled, weird boob-looking entry light next:

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I just love using the ladder to scoop…err, wipe…out the bugs. (How can you clean those things?!) Who are we kidding, I never get out the ladder and this chore never gets completed. Welcome home, bugs!

I can’t wait to show you what we have planned for this light! We are still working on the logistics, but it involves a piece of a washing machine. Sounds crazy, but I think it just might work…..

I hope you can use this idea in your home to make the most of what you have! Please let me know if you try it out, I would love to see it!

Find your adventure,

Steph

 

Pesto is the Best-o!

How, oh how can it already be July? We have been having a fun, and busy summer so far! I overcame a fear of mine, and took the kids to Schlitterbahn, the so called, “hottest coolest time in Texas.” Although Brian and I had both been many times, I wasn’t looking forward to taking the kids. Lots of people, lots of water rushing around….Anyway, we had a really great time and it wasn’t at all what my overactive mom brain said it would be (drowning, kidnapping, loss of limbs, other assorted unthinkable tragedies)! We visitied my grandparents, spent a week at the lake, and got a new puppy!

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I always have some conflicting feelings about July. It’s summer, so I can’t be mad at it. It’s also my birthday month BUT, this is also the month where the ads on TV start telling you it’s time to shop for back to school. Why so soon? Let me enjoy my summer TV ad people. So rude.

One of the summer herbs we’re enjoying, and I’ve still got growing like crazy right now is basil, (We also have tomatoes and zucchinis and okra! Read about our garden in this post) and I really want to share with you a pesto recipe I’ve been making with all that basil. Want to feel like a real life farmer? Grow basil.

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See? You will be ready to quit your day job, put on some overalls and milk your own cows. Too much?? Well, at the very least, your gardening self esteem will be boosted,  big time. Anyone can grow this stuff and it’s so yummy on, and with, so many things. (Caprese ensalada anyone? Margherita pizza? YUMMM)

A great way to use basil, especially when you have lots, is to make pesto. Pesto goes great on chicken, in pastas, spread on warm slices of french bread, and my favorite way–on pizza. Forgo the sauce, spread the pesto on your crust and top with shredded chicken, or just veggies and cheese. This is my new favorite pizza for our Friday family night tradition: homemade pizza and movie nights. (A post on family pizza night coming soon!)

To make pesto, pick 2 packed cups of basil.

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Add 1/3 c pine nuts to basil and pulse. Then add 1/2 c parmesean cheese, and 2 tsp garlic (more or less, according to your taste).

(How do you like my “vintage” food processor?)

I get this bag of pine nuts from Costco:

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And yes, it is $19. Nine. Teen. American dollars. So, if you would rather not buy all this, I’ve seen recipes that substitute cashews or walnuts for the pine nuts. I haven’t tried it, so let me know if you do, I’de love to know how it turns out! It could save me hundreds.

Once you’ve combined your basil, garlic and nuts, put the lid on and slowly add 1/2 c of olive oil as your processor runs. Stop a few times to wipe down the sides with a spatula. Once it’s combined, taste and add seasoning as desired. I always add salt and pepper of course, but we also like to add jalapeno slices, pickled jalapeno juice, and/or red pepper flakes to make it spicy. Give it a few pulses if you add anything at the end.

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The pesto will keep well in the fridge for a week. Make sure to place a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the pesto before putting the lid on your jar or container. This will keep the air out and maintain freshness.

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I am a huge proponent of freezing things, so of course I also have some frozen. You can use ice cube trays to freeze smaller portions, or use a freezer safe jar or container.

We’ve had it on pizza, on pork chops, with veggies, on pasta, with chicken and as the sauce on a zucchini lasagna with sausage.

Here are a few other ideas I’de like to try, and for you to try at home:

Pesto hummus 

Pesto Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Pesto Egg-in-a-hole with Bacon

As always, I love to hear from you, so let me know if you try the pesto recipe! Thanks so much for stopping by!

_Steph