My Old House

I love old homes; the character, the thick wood molding, and the giant windows are some features that made me fall in love with our current house. While the house leaves something to be desired (the kitchen is scary) it is everything I wanted in a house. We are currently finishing the dining room up. Below is a picture of the wallpaper currently decorating the walls, and the “chandelier” that hangs proudly in the center of the room. In this post I’ll touch briefly on antique finds, polishing turds, and even a couple ghost stories. 

The chandelier is definitely going. The wallpaper though is a love-hate.  I love the charm, but it is a lot. I guess you could say I love it, just not in my house. I have some people come over and exclaim how beautiful it is, others comment on how heinous it is.  I stand in the middle, which is why I’m going to try and leave an accent wall of it.  According to the inter-webs, this is trendy, so I’m going to go with it.  I have an odd affinity for old wallpaper and just old things in general.  I get so excited when I come across 1950’s kitchen wallpaper.  The first picture below is my first charming wallpaper find. There is a certain charm about it that can not be replicated.  Where this particular piece was, a kitchen cabinet was going, so incorporating into the design wasn’t possible. I asked my Facebook friends if they had any vintage wallpaper finds they would be willing to share with me. A few of them had a couple of hidden gems. You can also buy rolls of vintage wallpaper from online retailers. I’ll keep this in mind when we renovate our kitchen.

Wallpaper discovered in our first kitchen renovation.

Vintage Tin Cans

Among some other awesome vintage finds are old tin cans.  I know the garbage dump is probably full of these, but to me these are treasures! A quick browse through eBay and you can find listings for “vintage cans” with starting bids as low as $3 all the way up to $200.  In this lot, the Renne’s Magic Oil rings in the most value at $50.  I can still remember when band-aids came in tin boxes, and Vaseline in glass jars.  I suppose being a product junkie might have more to do with my affinity for packaging than the actual product.  Besides old tins and wallpaper, we have also found vintage tin toys, old book collections, and old furniture in our various properties.

Antique Furniture

Check out these amazing antique school benches that were found in the basement of one of our Reno Properties.  I plan to polish up the wood and clean up the cast iron base. Refinished school benches like this can fetch up to $89 off of eBay. Another awesome way to refinish cast iron bases is to place cut of polished granite on top. This Singer Sewing Machine table is my all-time favorite piece of refurbished antique furniture.   A refinished piece like this can go for $150, and if found untouched and in great shape, they can go for over $400!

DIY Chalk Painting

Not every piece of furniture you find is going to be great quality or a true antique. These pieces are the kind I DIY chalk paint.  While you can’t turn a turd into gold, you CAN polish it.  Here are a couple pieces of furniture that I DIY chalk painted while making my own chalk paint. I got these pieces of furniture for five dollars or less and gave them all a couple coats of DIY chalk paint and a wax.  To make chalk paint I mixed 1 cup of the desired color paint, 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris, and 1/3 cup water.  I painted the furniture, waited a day, distressed it a little bit, and then waxed it.  It was easy and I love the way each piece turned out.

Historic Layouts

Older houses come with other challenges besides aging sewer lines and drafty windows.  The simple layout can be hard to work with.  Many older homes need smaller furniture and don’t often have space for large console tables or TV stands.  I know that some people think the TV over the mantle is passed, but I’m a function over form kinda gal so up above the mantle the TV went. Everyone can see it and the windows are not blocked off by the TV and Console nor is it stuffed in a corner. Another issue with our fireplace in our current house is the flue for the furnace was routed through it from the basement, leaving an ugly pipe going right through our now unusable fireplace.  Since safety is always a priority we wanted to make sure whatever was covering it up was fire resistant.  We decided to go with concrete board and painted it black.  This covered up the flue pipe and still left enough room for a decorative candle holder.  This one was purchased off Amazon along with the fake candles currently sitting on it. The garlands draping either side of the DVD player were found at hobby lobby along with the candle holders.  I love the way it came out and am happy I can keep the character of the room, but also enjoy an updated aesthetic.

Keeping Chestnut Molding

I know that bright and white is all the rage right now, but I have fallen in love with our dark wood molding.  It feels so grand and historic.  In fact, I am so obsessed with it I refuse to put curtains up.  Much to my mother’s dismay, I have completely given up on curtains.  I let the big beautiful molding take the spot light.  The staircase is also another feature I adore about this house.  It is grand and has such an easy slope to it. However after 100 years, some balusters broke, and paint started to chip. In order to preserve the integrity of the house, we replaced every spindle with a custom turned replica of the original spindles.  My husband hand measured each baluster and carefully fit them into place.  It took over a year to finish but the results are amazing, and now historically accurate.

Ghosts and More

No old home would be complete without a resident Ghost. Now I don’t have any sweet pictures to show, but I do have a few freaky stories.  Our ghost is not benevolent, but he is a jack ass.  He’ll turn on the TV at 4 am, and not just the TV he’ll cast Youtube off the tablet. Which means I get to fumble around finding the tablet, and turn it off, then turn off the TV all while trying to shake that creepy feeling.  He also likes to kick the poor dog.  Benny will be calmly sitting in the room and then jump as though he’s been kicked.  Lastly, the creepy way my daughter tells me about the guy just looking at her in the night. All of this could be chalked up to an electrical impulse, a flea biting the dog and a three-year-olds imagination, but what fun is that.  

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Initial Deva Curl Review

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I have been following the Curly Girl Method for several months now; I even went out and got the special Deva Cut. Deva Curl Products were used during this cut, and I was less than impressed. In fact, I was pretty disappointed by the entire experience.  The stylist told me over and over that, I would most likely be better off styling my own hair with the products.  I pretty much wrote off the Deva Curl line. That was until I was walking around Ulta, and I got the itch.  The uncontrollable “I am a product junkie and must have a fix.” itch. I picked up the travel size Deva Curl Line and went for it.

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I followed my normal Curly Girl Method routine; squish to condish, applying massive amounts of styling cream, gel, and plopping. I was happy with my wash day results, but it was my second-day curls and beyond that have impressed me the most so far.   20181122_093019_0001 Since I still have a lot of product to use up I will not give a definitive Splurge or Pass to the Deva Curl line. I will say I have gotten the best subsequent day hair that I’ve ever had after my initial Deva Curl wash day. I mean check out this second-day curl!

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How I refreshed my curls:

I  slept with my hair in a pineapple; a super high ponytail or bun using a scrunchie.  When I was ready to do my hair I fluffed the roots, then used a spray bottle to spray my hair down. (I have the best spray bottle from Home Depot!) I heard somewhere that if your hair is getting frizzy add more water.  SO I added lots of water and then added a healthy amount of styling cream and a bit of gel. It was so wet I needed to defuse it, but it did dry faster than if I had washed it. The last step is scrunching out the crunch and rubbing the roots for volume.  I was so pleased with how my hair turned out! I was pleasantly surprised and even had some super curly clumps.

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In this short and sweet video, you can see all three days of refreshed curl results following my wash day. I will continue to use up all the Deva Curl Products and will give my final verdict as to whether or not the Deva Curl line is worth the splurge. If you would like to see my Curly Girl Method in action check out some of my other videos.

I tried Magnetic Eyelash Stips

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While on my Wish App shopping spree last year I bought 12 for 1 dollar magnetic lashes. When they arrived I could not help but laugh. They were large strips of plastic without any magnets and a very odd fringe for lashes. 20171116_221308.jpg

After receiving these I was pretty turned off of the magnetic lash trend. However being a product junky it was not long before I was walking around RiteAid itching for something new to try.  I saw the Ardell Magnetic Lash Strips and even at 12 dollars a pop I took the plunge and purchased the Ardell Magnetic Accent Lashes. I wish I could say it was love at first wear, but it did take some practice to get the strips on right.

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Unfortunately, a magnet fell one of the Ardell Magnetic Accent Lash Strips. Since I hate throwing stuff out I decided I would try and trim down the Ardell Magnetic Lash Accent Strip to see if I could still use them.  In the graphic below you can see the trimmed Accent strip vs the full Accent strip. I also trimmed off some of the long lashes. I do like how they both give my eyes extra definition, but ultimately like the Accent Lashes as they come.

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After the small learning curve with the Ardell Magnetic Accent Lash Strips, I decided to try the full strips. Unfortunately, one of the lash strips broke while I was trying to remove it from the packaging. This coupled with the magnet falling off my Accent pair makes me think these lashes are not very durable; which defeats the purpose of them being reusable. I made a video comparing the Ardell Magnetic Accent Lashes and the Ardell Magnetic Lashes.

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Looking at the above picture I can see how the full strip opens my eye and lifts my face. What the picture does not show is how the Ardell Magnetic Lash Strip was falling off in the corner or how heavy it felt on my eyes.  I also felt like they maybe looked like spider legs, there are a lot of lashes there! I could trim down the full lashes and see if they lay better, but due to cost and how infrequently I would wear them, I will return them. That said I do love the look of the full lashes, but lash glue makes my eyes water. I will settle and keep the Ardell Magnetic Accent Lashes, and wear them next time I am getting fancy!  For people who are sensitive to lash glue I would recommend Ardell Magnetic Lash Accents, but caution the user to be super careful when removing from the package and when applying and removing lash strips. If you are like me and sensitive to lash glue I would recommend these as a good alternative.

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23″ Synthetic Curly Extensions, and thick side braids!

20181030_103834_0001.pngOver a year ago I purchased 23″ Synthetic Curly Extensions off the WISH App. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I wanted something cheap because I did not know if I would ever use them.  The extensions I purchased were twenty dollars.  I thought when I bought them they were human hair, however, once they arrived I realized I made a mistake and got synthetic ones.  Unfortionaly, they just went into the I should return but I am not good at adulting pile and forgotten about.  They remained in the closet until I wrote my last post and I decided to dig them out and give them another try.

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When the extensions were originally purchased my hair was five inches shorter.  At that time the 23″ extensions just looked super ridiculous, however, since my hair has grown a lot they look as natural as synthetic extensions can.

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Having all the extensions in made me feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid; all I needed was some music and I would have been singing Part Of Your World. I loved having all that hair, but the clips were super uncomfortable on my scalp.  I’m an extension virgin so I don’t know if that is just the way it is or if higher quality extensions have better clips as well.  Overall the synthetic hair reminded me of the American Girl Doll I had that “looked” like me. It was impossible to run my fingers through the synthetic extensions, and they got pretty frizzy as I braided them.  Even with all these negatives, I would still wear them for a short period or if I was dressing up needed some extra hair for a costume. Here are pictures of me with a fishtail braid and three strand braid using all the extensions. I love the way it looks, but hate the clips in my head.

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Overall I would not recommend Synthetic Clip In Hair Extensions.  I am trying to find a way to use them to just braid into my hair to get that large bohemian braid look. In these pictures, you can see the various ways I tried to achieve a thick braid with minimal scalp pain. Going clockwise from the left; I attempted to use a four clip strip folded up and then braided into my hair. It did not feel secure or look all that great. The picture on the right is my braid with no extensions. Bottom left I have five total clips on two strips clipped into the back of my head. This was probably the most successful try but even though I only had two clip strips in, my scalp still hurt.

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Check out my youtube video on these extensions, and attempt at getting an epic Elsa style braid. All in all, I loved how the 23″ synthetic curly hair extensions looked from a distance, but up close they looked pretty bad. I love the thick braid hairstyle I was able to achieve with the hair extensions.

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