Long Time, No See

Well hello there.

If there is even anyone who still pops into this old blog, I guess I should explain my year long hiatus. You see, life the past year got pretty busy when I started working at our church in a 9 month internship type position in September and then got pregnant in November. Yes, that’s correct. I have had a little bundle of big joy named Peyton since the last time I posted.

So now that I’ve briefly summarized my reasons for falling off the face of the blogosphere, I’m happy to say Blonde to Boot is going to be revived. Probably not as frequently as I used to post (remember way back, circa 2014, when I posted like 3 times a week?), but I’m going to give it the old college try. I’ll admit logging into my blog for the first time in roughly a year is a little intimidating. It will probably take a little while to really get back in the saddle, especially with a three week old, but I was horrified when I randomly logged into my WordPress app last night only to see that my domain name had expired and was up for grabs. Pardon moi? There is only one Blonde to Boot and I’m laying claim to it. With Mark’s encouragement, I decided I’m just not ready to part ways with BTB. Plus, it’s a great way to update my family of things going on in our lives, if nothing else. Although, let’s be real, they really only care about what’s going on with Sweet Peyton these days..and I’m A-okay with that!

So with that said, I’m so excited to get to share snippets of my life with all of you again. DIY projects, home decor, recipes, and now parenting…it’s gonna be fun, y’all!!

DIY Floating Pipe Shelves

So it has officially been almost forever since I have written a post. Mark and I have been really busy lately and I haven’t had time to write a post, but the good news is that a good bit of what we have been doing is “fun” projects around the house. The thing about me is that as soon as I get a project idea in my head, I act on it. This is probably a good thing because I actually follow through with what I envision, but I also devote all my free time to that project (and Mark’s free time) until it gets done.

The latest project we tackled was making some DIY floating pipe shelves. I wrote a post a while back on the makeover of our downstairs bathroom. Well, one of the walls (the wall you face when you sit on the toilet, with the door) was really bare but I wasn’t sure what to put on it. I considered a picture or shelves, but it wasn’t until my sister came the other weekend and said, “you could put some shelves there,” that I decided I should probably put some shelves there. And so our projecting began.

IMG_0712_EDIT2

I looked up some floating shelf ideas and fell in love with the industrial look of pipes holding up the shelves. We headed to Home Depot to pick up the few supplies we needed. I was really expecting it to be pretty cheap, but the pipe ended up being more expensive than I was hoping for. Still much cheaper than if we had bought the shelves/piping from Etsy or somewhere like that.

IMG_0701

IMG_0702_EDIT

I wanted two shelves so we needed a total of 4 floor flanges, 4 five inch pipe, and 4 caps for the pipe pieces. You could leave the pieces as is because the look of galvanized pipe is cool left alone, but I wanted to spray paint them black, so I picked up some Rustoluem Black Paint & Primer spray paint. I saw that Rustoleum had a “hammered” effect spray paint and bought that because I thought that would look neat over the black spray paint but when I sprayed it over top of the black you couldn’t tell a difference so I ended up returning it.

Just a tip: Before I spray painted the pipe pieces, I screwed all three pieces together (flange, pipe, cap) and spray painted them that way. It was much easier having them stand up and be four big pieces as opposed to 12 individual pieces.

IMG_0703

For the wood shelf, we had a piece of 2″x 4″x 8′ oak board cut into three pieces (although we only needed two of the pieces). I bought the 8 oz. container of Miniwax wood stain in “Early American” and used a cheap $2 brush to paint one coat on the wood. I also used a paper towel and wiped the stain as soon as I put it on the board because I didn’t want it to be too dark.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, it took three trips to Home Depot, all within one hour, to find the right stain color. I tried “Special Walnut” first (too dark), then “Weathered Oak” (too gray), then finally ended up on “Early American” (just right). Sounds like a real Goldy Locks story, huh? That third piece of wood came in handy when testing out all these wood stains :) I swear the door greeter at Home Depot thought I was insane for how many times I came into the store that day.

FullSizeRender

Minwax 1 gal. Early American Wood Finish 250 VOC Oil-Based Interior Stain (2-Pack)

IMG_0705

Mark had the hard part of actually hanging the pipe pieces while I stained the wood (and went to Home Depot a million times for the perfect stain color). He used the blue anchors from this anchor pack to hang the pipe pieces. I had spray painted the tops of the screws black that way they matched the rest of pipe once they were screwed into the floor flange. Obviously, your measurements will be different than ours for the wall you hang your shelves on, but as a reference, I will tell you that our pipe pieces are 14″ apart from the middle of the floor flange (top shelf) to middle of the floor flange (bottom shelf).

IMG_0707

Once the pipe was hung, we just laid the wood board on top and voila! Floating shelves.

The fun part was scrounging around our house to find random decor that could go on the shelves before I go out and buy what I actually want on them. Hence the tacky toilet paper castle.

The total cost of this project was about $80-$90 and we had to purchase all the supplies. It may be a little cheaper if you already have some of the supplies (paint brush, wood stain, spray paint, etc.). The pipe was definitely what made this as pricey as it is, but I’m still really pleased with how affordable they are compared to the $150+ I saw them being sold for online. I’ve even contemplated adding a third shelf since we have the extra piece of wood, we would just need the extra pipe pieces.

This was a fairly quick project and only took us about 4 hours, including my three trips to Home Depot. So, if you are looking for relatively inexpensive, cute floating pipe shelves, I suggest this project. You can totally make it your own, painting the pipe and wood whatever colors you want and you can do it in one day!

IMG_0712

Also, just a heads up, I made some banana bread the other week and plan to make a post with the recipe in the next week or so. We are also working on another project in the house, but that will probably be a few more weeks since it is a little more involved than our typical projects.

Essential Oils: Eden’s Garden

Holy cannoli, it has been forever since I have written a blog post. I’ve missed you guys! If I can be completely honest with you guys, and I’m sure I can be, I really just haven’t had a lot to say or share lately. Life has become pretty routine and I have a pretty busy schedule so I just haven’t had the time, much less the content, to make a post.

About two months ago I bought some essential oils from Amazon by Eden’s Garden but wanted to try them out before I gave an honest review on here. If you don’t live under a rock, then you are probably aware of the craze that is essential oils. Young Living and Doterra are the most popular and also the most expensive. I’m not “natural” enough that I can justify spending upwards of $25 for a small bottle of oil so I researched more affordable essential oil options that would have the same effect and came up with Eden’s Garden. 12 Synergy Blends SetAll of the Eden’s Garden oils are 100% pure therapeutic grade oils made without bases, fillers or additives. Because I do not ingest the oils, this brand was perfect for what I was looking for. I planned to distill the oils and maybe make a few concoctions to on the body for different things.

I searched around and decided to try their 12 Synergy Blend set which cost about $50 – a huge difference in cost compared to name brand oils (you can order on their website here, but I got mine from Amazon here). The synergy blends are simply different single oils mixed together to create a new blend. They have a ton of single oils to offer and I have made separate orders for Ylang Ylang and Peppermint.

The 12 blends you receive in the set are:

ANXIETY EASE: Lemongrass, Sweet Orange and Ylang Ylang

Anxiety Ease

BREATHE EASIER: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint and Rosemary

Breathe Easier

CLEANING: Lavender, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Tea Tree

Cleaning Blend

FIGHTING FIVE: Clove, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Lemon and Eucalyptus  

Fighting Five (previously known as Four Thieves)

GOOD NIGHT: Chamomile, Clary Sage, Copaiba, Lavender, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood, Sweet Marjoram and Ylang Ylang

Good Night

HOPE: Cassia, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Sweet Orange and Tangerine

Hope

MEDITATION: Clary Sage, Frankincense, Patchouli, Sweet Orange, Thyme and Ylang Ylang

Meditation

PURIFY: Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass and Lime

Purify

RELAXATION: Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram and Patchouli

Relaxation

STRESS RELIEF: Bergamot, Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang

Stress Relief

SUNSHINE SPICE: Balsam, Camphor, Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus and Sweet Orange

Sunshine Spice

UPLIFT: Bergamot, Lemon, Melissa, Orange, Peppermint, Tangerine and Ylang Ylang

Uplift

A pamphlet of the oils comes with the package and lists all of the oils, what is in them, and a ton of different ways to use them.

Obviously, the names kind of give away the oil’s purpose but they can be used so many different ways. I have made my own counter cleaner with the Cleaning oil – 1 cup vinegar, 1 cups purified water, 20-30 drops of Cleaning oil. I just shake it up into the bottle I bought from Amazon and it’s good to go. I have two diffusers from Bed Bath and Beyond and keep one upstairs in our bedroom and one in our living room. I use Good Night a lot in our bedroom and have used Purify a few times downstairs when one of the dogs got sick on our rug (yuck!).

I have also cheated the system a little and have put a few drops of the Fighting Five oil (which kills airborne bacteria and germs) in our wax melt plug-in in our downstairs bathroom. I don’t know about you but the wax always loses its scent after a few uses, so I decided to just leave it in there and change out the oils I drop in and it’s like buying a new wax!

I also purchased a set of roller balls from Amazon and some fractionated coconut oil so I could rub the oils on me for different effects. I made one roller ball with Anxiety Ease and have rubbed it on the bottom of my feet and even my wrists when I start to feel anxious. I also made one with Good Night to rub on the bottoms of my feet before bed. My next roller ball will be Peppermint to rub on my temples for headaches. Would I say essential oils work 100%? No. But they do help and it’s a first step for me before popping medication. If they don’t work, I’ve got no problem popping some pills if need be.

Another fun way to use them is to drop some in our shower. I was a little stuffy one night and someone had told me to put some Breathe Easier drops in the bottom of our shower while it steamed up and it totally worked! It smells a little like Vick’s Vapor Rub which I love so it was fun to shower with the smell all around.

All in all, I love all of these oils. The only one I don’t care too much for is Hope, but considering the price I can’t complain that I don’t like one smell out of twelve.

I can definitely see how people become obsessed with oils and I’m really glad I found this company that doesn’t overprice their oil. I feel good knowing I have made our home a little more “natural” and it’s fun to play around with the oils. Plus, our house smells like an oasis!