The Evolution of Smoothies

When Seth and I started dating… In 2006? Can that be right? Yowza. Anyway- he bought a Vitamix. I thought he was the craziest person on the earth to spend that kind of money on a blender when you could get one for $20! 6 years later… We are still using it. And we use it 4-5 days/week. At least. And we are still in love with it! We have been on the morning smoothie train since we got the Vitamix and those smoothies have evolved with the times. We started with all fruit (you can throw half an apple in that baby and it doesn’t blink!) and then jumped on the organic train using yogurt with healthy cultures. Then we started using flax seed. And changed it up to Greek yogurt for protein. I started adding spinach after reading The Beauty Detox Solution (thanks Megs!) & have since then switched to kale (its yummier to me and has the same nutrients). So, these days my smoothie consists of: frozen fruit (Target has a great mix of mangos and berries), a banana, a scoop of plain Greek yogurt, some ground flax seed, almond milk, kale, and a tiiiiiiny bit of honey. Its not the prettiest thing, but it really is delicious! J goes nuts for them. So there you have it. My morning smoothie.

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The Wallpaper Post

I’ve been posting a lot about the diapers part of my life… and finally have some wallpaper news!   We’ve had a very unwelcome bedroom guest since we’ve lived here and I’m thrilled to say that the wallpaper is now GONE. We have been gone SO much in the past two months (holiday parties, trips to Arizona, Mexico, Minneapolis, and Texas, etc etc) so this project took a while.  I think it was between Minneapolis and Texas that Seth and I just hunkered down and worked on it during every nap time and after J went to bed until it was done.    We also de-tassled the stairway while we had the supplies out.

Before I show updates to the two areas, I want to show how we’ve conquered taking down wallpaper.  I know there are a lot of techniques out there, and we have tried them all.  Vinegar water, some blue goopy stuff, scoring and peeling, etc- none of them work as well as our magical steamer method.  Believe me on this one.  We’ve removed a LOT of wallpaper since we’ve lived in this house.

Supplied needed for this method: A good steamer (an iron might work…but a nice stand-up steamer is really perfect), a plastic drywall tool, and a straight knife.

First, you cut away the wallpaper from the woodwork to ensure you get a nice clean line and don’t end up with little pieces of wallpaper sticking out everywhere:

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Then you give the top layer a good steaming (you’ll hear the glue crackle and can see the vinyl layer kind of separate) (Why is this text blue? No idea):

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And peel it off!  It’s such an awesome feeling when you can peel off a huge chunk all at once instead of just chipping away an inch at a time (like the other methods seem to do). And don’t get all excited about taking both layers off at once- believe me, it’s tempting but this is the way it has to be:

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After the vinyl is gone, you’re left with the paper/glue layer.  You give that a good steam (it will look soaked) and then peel that off as well:

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Then you pass the steamer to the husband and lay down for a minute because it’s a lot of work being alive right now (do NOT miss that awesome wallpaper cutout decal on the pull-down shades):

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And voila!  You have a beautiful, naked wall. In our case, it’s a multi-toned wall. Because why not?

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Sometimes.  And sometimes you’re left with a little residue.  If there is gluey residue left, don’t just let it be- you will need to use a sponge or wash cloth and scrub the wall clean or you’ll be able to see it through the paint.  Speakin’ from experience here.  This isn’t always a necessary step- it totally depends on how well the glue comes off.  In our case this time, the bedroom was fine but the stairway had to be scrubbed.  It probably has a lot to do with the quality of the border/wallpaper and what’s beneath it (glossy paint, drywall, etc). Also, I just realized there aren’t any pictures of using the drywall tool.  It’s perfect for when the pieces don’t come off in one glorious swoop.  It’s a good size, easy to use, and most importantly doesn’t damage the wall. You need to be really careful of that…. you can do some real damage that will need to be professionally fixed if you get too chip happy with something more than the plastic.

So there you have it.  Soon enough I’ll have to change the name of the blog because we’ll have all the wallpaper gone (no time soon… there’s still the playroom and the entire basement)! It is a pain to take it down, but once you find your wallpaper removal groove it will be a much smoother process!

More stats

We had J’s 18 mo appointment this morning. He weighed in at 30# and was 34 3/4″ long. That’s about 91% weight and 100% height. Like the doctor always says… He’s got some good Growing Genes. He also got 2 shots and his first ever sucker. Turns out candy does make everything better.

You know me so well.

Today has been one of those days where Pandora is just rockin’ it.  The last few songs have been by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (I could STILL listen to them all day), MGMT, The Strokes, Regina Spektor, and currently Ben Folds. I think we’re finally at that place in the relationship where she doesn’t need constant reassurance that she’s playing good songs, or punishment (in the form of a “thumbs down”) that she played crap. The current station is “Percussion Gun Radio” but another favorite is my Paul Simon station.  One of my tougher choices each morning is deciding which to start with. Its actually been a while since I’ve gone to Pandora. I had a nice little schedule of NPR, The Big Show, then KXNO (waiting for Murph & Andy). But today I was feeling like some beats, and Pandora is clearly happy to have me back.

547 Days

Jackson is knocking on the door of 18 months- that’s a whole year and a HALF (547 days… give or take. No math checkers please!) that he’s been in our lives.  I will admit there were days in there that I thought were never-ending, but looking back I can’t believe how fast its gone.  I’ve mentioned this before, but we did monthly photos of him on different fabric backgrounds (idea from Young House Love of course) (plus I happen to have a pretty great fabric selection at my fingertips from my mom’s quilt shop in Adel). For the first year I painted the number on his onesie, but since he turned 1 I’ve gotten all tech-savvy (not) and super-imposed the number on a white onesie.  Below are the first 12 (er, 11. I’m not sure where month 4 went but you get the picture) (Ha)

You can see that by month 12 it was just downright unbearable for him to lay on the ground for the pics, even with help from S dancing and dangling shiny and loud objects above my head.  Oh yeah, take a second and picture that. So starting with month 13 we changed it up and let him stand in front of the fabric draped against a wall.  He’s much happier standing/in motion so as long as I can snap one in focus before he runs off it’s been going much better.  It’s still a 2-person job, but it’s do-able.  Here are the next 5 months below (I haven’t gotten around to putting the numbers on some…. but again- you get the picture):

I think for the first 12 months we used just a yard of fabric comfortably. With the new set-up, we’re using a yard and a half and that barely covers it.  I was planning on just going for one year, but wasn’t quite ready to stop. I think after 2 for sure we’ll be done with the project and will go to some kind of yearly photo shoot.  We’ll see what YHL, I mean my own creative brain, comes up with.

Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to do with all this fabric!  I will probably repeat the pics for the twins since there is definitely enough to make three of decided things when all is said and done.  I have a romantic idea that I’ll make a quilt for each of them and finally make my mother proud of me (kidding mom, I know you think I’m a rock star, especially compared to the other siblings) (kidding! Geesh.), but for the sake of being realistic I should just pass it all on to her and let her make something that the kids will actually recognize as a quilt.  Maybe someday I’ll post what happened when I tried to knit… it ain’t pretty.

Randomness #1: Dad came up last night and measured for the window seat and is working like a happy little elf at home building away.  Or that’s how I choose to picture it.

Randomness #2: We had the Osmundsons over for the Super Bowl Sunday night and in usual Ozzer-Hill fashion, tons of food and fun.  At one point Seth yelled at us ladies to stop being geeks talking about recent reads (I think he heard me say “I’m happy he found his happiness” so I can’t really blame him) and something else HUGE happened.  Head over to Jamie at http://www.blogmundson.wordpress.com to see.