Tuesday, October 30, 2012

IT'S HERE!! Our Shag rug =)

When we got home last Tuesday (from KT's birthday celebration to the Fender Custom Shop! More on that in another post), our shag rug, all rolled up, was waiting for us on our front porch.  Hooray!!  

How does it look??

It's not as shaggy as the Ikea rug shown below, which was a little disappointing.  

But it is the perfect size.  All of our furniture fits on it.  Please excuse the bold mismatched colors in here.  We're working on it.  

After a week with our new shag rug, I'm really digging it.  We even had a few unfortunate accidents but it totally cleaned right up.  No stains.  If you know what kind of accidents we had on here, then you'll definitely be impressed that there are no stains.  Trust me.    

Monday, October 29, 2012

How To Make Liquid Hand Soap from Bar Soap

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that our soap dispenser is low on soap and we're out of refill.  A light bulb went off and I thought maybe I can make liquid hand soap.  

Last week, I started googling for soap making directions.  The first few search results were how to make liquid hand soap from bar soap.  That was just perfect because KT and I love to collect bar soaps.  We especially love the handmade bar soaps that we find at local shops and farmers markets whenever we travel.  They smell so so good.  That translates to a nice stash of bar soaps I can use to make liquid hand soap.  

I read through a few website/blogs for how-to directions and my favorites are the Better MomSavvy Housekeeping, and wikiHow.  If you click through those links, you'll noticed that the ratio of ingredients are very different from site to site.  My conclusion is that it really all comes down to the type of bar soap you use.  (From reading through a lot of sites and comments - the biggest problem is making liquid soap from Dove bars.  So if you REALLY want to use Dove bars, you should probably use these directions).

STEP ONE  - Pick out a bar of soap

I decided to use a 6 oz bar from Napa Soap Company.  

Here are the ingredients on the back. 

STEP TWO - Grate the bar of soap with a grator

I got this As Seen on TV Graty for Christmas one year.  Since I don't eat cheese or grate anything else, this has been sitting in the box for a while.  I'm so glad I finally found a use for it.  I had to cut up the soap into one inch cubes so they would fit in the grater.  

STEP THREE - Add water to the grated soap and melt on the stove top

I added about 5 cups of water.  Since I really don't know how much water I need for this particular bar of soap, I decided to start out with just enough water to melt the soap shavings.  I figure I can add more water as it thickens.  

It melted in less than five minutes over medium heat. 

STEP FOUR - Add a tablespoon of glycerin

Again, I figure I can add more later if needed.  We already had this from when KT made me a snow globe last Christmas.  KT wanted to point out that liquid glycerin was quite difficult to find.  He had to go to several drug stores to find it.  

STEP FIVE - Add more water if needed

I added four more cups of water.  It hasn't thicken yet but I figured I should be safe with a minimum of ten cups of water and I'm only at nine cups. The consistency is very watery but smooth.  The melted soap, water, and glycerin are mixed very well.  

STEP SIX - Turn off the stove and let it cool and thicken overnight

It started noticeably thickening after six hours.  It looks like this picture below the next morning, after 15 hours.

STEP SEVEN - Stir the concoction real well to get a smooth consistency and test it out

KT tested it for me while I take some pictures.  

Hooray it suds and left his hand feeling squeaky clean.  He did very cleverly point out that his hands were clean to begin with.  o_O

STEP EIGHT - Bottle it up

KT just so happened to finish off a two-liter bottle coke and it perfectly holds a little less than 9 cups of liquid soap (taking into account evaporation).  

It looks like we're well on our way to needing a fill up. =)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Amazing Breakfast of the Month Club - June

Last Christmas, my sweet sweet husband gave me a one year membership to the Amazing Breakfast of the Month Club.  I am a total morning person and I love breakfast.  Unfortunately, rushing to work Monday to Friday doesn't leave much time to just hang out and cook up some hot breakfast to enjoy in the morning light.  This gift is a great reminder to slow down on a Saturday or Sunday morning to do something that really relaxes me. 

This membership basically entails a monthly shipment of gourmet breakfast items that usually have a few servings.  I've been taking pictures of each box I received every month but never got around to posting them.  August is a good month to start.  I figure when I get to the end of the year and the end of my membership, I can backtrack to this past January-July shipments.  So we're all good. 

Okay, I know I'm doing this out of order but we had people over last Saturday morning for brunch and I just had to do a box of my breakfast of the month.  Since October's box haven't arrived yet (eta this Saturday!!), I decided to do June's box.

It came with...

French Toast Batter Mix

Heat was too high since it was just bread dipped in water and mix.  I thought it was a little too sweet.  

Blueberry Fruit Syrup

Banana Chips

and French Vanilla Coffee

After having the coffee - Diana: You guys should open a cafe! 

I actually thought the coffee wasn't bold enough but maybe if I added some whip cream on top like Diana, I might have thought it was good enough for a cafe.  Haha.

KT made is delicious blended peach bellini.  It's soo good!  The secret to a great bellini is to use real peaches. 

I decided to make pancakes with the banana chips like the newsletter suggested but since I have left over pancake/waffle mix from September, I didn't have to make my own pancake batter.

I didn't like the banana chips in the pancakes because it made it a little crunchy but Linda liked the added texture.  The blueberry fruit syrup was good over the pancakes.  

Can't wait to get October's box this weekend!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekend #20 - Bowling & Wine Tasting

The past weekend was really all fun and games.  I should have mentioned earlier that this month is really busy with birthdays and engagements.  And I can't forget Halloween!!

We had a birthday dinner for Susan on Thursday, bowling with an expiring Groupon deal on Saturday, a quick run to Ikea to return the six rolls of carpet, a "Meet the Families" dinner on Saturday night, and Wine Tasting on Sunday.

Diana wanted to get KT a cake for his upcoming birthday so we had tiramisu from Porto's at the bowling alley.   YUM YUM YUM.  Thank You Diana!

Since I didn't want KT to have a birthday cake without presents even though it was not his birthday yet, I decided to give him his first present - a dozen old fashion soda pops!

These two are his favorites. I got them all from World Market.  

At Ikea, I spotted this baby blue chair.  So pretty. Color really does make a world of difference.  Otherwise, this would be just another spare metal chair for when there are too many guests and not enough chairs.

"Meet the Families" dinner was delicious.  Thank You Philip's mom, Priscilla!  

On Sunday, we went to San Antonio Winery, right here in the heart of LA.  We took a tour and boy, I learned so much.  Did you know that there were wineries right here along the LA River before the Prohibition of 1919??  Crazy I know.  San Antonio Winery is the only one that survived.  That answers my burning question "Why is there a winery HERE?" every time we pass by it on the freeway.  

This shot is a good representation of the past and present of the fermentation process.  The huge wooden barrel on the left is the original at San Antonio with 95 years old redwood and is no longer used.  The steel vat on the right is being used today.  Not sure about that little wooden barrel in the center of the picture.

After fermentation, the wine is aged in these oak barrels.  French oak apparently creates a more fruity wine whereas American oak provides more vanilla and woody flavors/aroma. 

Finally wine is bottled and labeled here.  

We left with six bottles of wine.  =)  We're happy. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekend #19 - Let's Get "Shaggy" With It

I'm not sure why "Let's get shaggy with it" automatically popped in my mind when I was thinking about writing a post about our living room rug - other than it being a shaggy rug.  I was racking by brain trying to figure out what the reference was... let's get ...... with it.  Let's get down with it?  Let's get jiggy with it?  I'm not good with contemporary references, if you can't tell.

Moving on... we have been using this setup in our living room:

The bottom rug is actually a piece we cut out from the condo when we put in new carpet for our new tenants.  The top rug was a rug we used previously for KT's music corner at the condo.  Of course both are just temporary for the space.

We first put down the carpet cut-out in the living room because our poor babies were just slipping and sliding around the house.  It was hilarious actually.  I wish I have a video to show you.  At first they were just  slipping as they walked around the house.  I was a little concern that Monster might hurt himself because he's older now and has joint problems.  But they soon got the hang of walking on slippery floors, or rather - avoiding the floors.  They would jump from their bed, to their blankie, to their memory foam mat, to their pee pad like it's an obstacle course.  Funny funny babies.   Don't worry, they are better adjusted now.

I can talk about Monster and Sugar forever but lets get back to the rug for the living room.  KT decided that he wanted a shaggy rug for the living room.  We have been looking high and low for the right one for what seems like forever.  A good looking shag rug can be really expensive, especially one big enough for our living room.

Then a few weeks ago, KT came across a sheepskin rug online and thought it looks really good.  Rest assured, being the animal lovers that we are, we would only consider faux sheepskin.  Even faux sheepskin is more expensive than the already expensive shag rug we have in mind.  It was a dilemma so we let it brew on the back burner while we took care of other house items.

Not long after, we were at Pottery Barn and saw that they layered one rug on top of another for their living room display.  We totally dropped the ball on the picture from Pottery Barn.  KT took a picture on his phone and for some reason, it has disappeared .  So I went online to Pottery Barn to see if I can find a picture for you.

We found this picture which is similar to what we saw in the store:

Then I saw this picture, which is really similar to what we have in mind.

We went home after our visit to Pottery Barn and tried the same thing to see how it would look.  We put the Music Corner Rug under the coffee table and on top of the Cut-Out Carpet.  The set up looks like the right scale from the big rug, to the smaller rug, to the coffee table.  If we can find a faux sheepskin like the size of the Music Corner Rug, then it would be more affordable.  We can throw that on top of the bigger rug that would better define the space.  Problem solved.

As KT continued on his search for a rug, he found a ten dollar two by three feet faux sheepskin rug from Ikea online.  We figured if we throw two or three of that underneath the coffee table, then it should work.  We also spotted a five by seven feet grayish beige shag rug at Ikea on our last trip there.  We headed over there last Sunday to try to figure out if we can make it work with those two rugs.

Here's a picture of the shag rug we have in mind from Ikea:

As much as KT wanted a big shag rug and a sheepskin rug, those two together would just be too shaggy.  The faux sheepskin will just blend in with the shag rug.  There just wasn't enough contrast.  To keep the sheepskin rug, we would have to throw that on top of a low pile rug or a tightly weaved rug.  But in the end, we decided on the shag rug for the living room and will used the sheepskin in another area.

We were going to take off with the two hundred dollars five by seven feet rug but on the way out, we saw a three by three feet shag area rug on sale for twenty dollars.  We stared at it for a while and decided that we can throw six of these together to make a six by nine area rug for only $120.  The high pile fibers will also hide the seam so it shouldn't be too noticeable that our rug came in six pieces.  So we swapped out the rugs and went home.

I was celebrating our new rug solution (while KT attended to his day job) when Susan coincidentally sent me a link to a shag rug sale on Groupon!  So what do you know... after all that hard work, we bought the rug off of Groupon.  o_O

It is eight by ten feet (we just keep going larger and larger) for two hundred dollars (free shipping!).  We went with white.  Can't wait until it is delivered.

Now, we just have to return these six rolls of rug.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Dam Mud Run - 5K+

I've been wanting to do a mud run for a while now.  KT, my sister Lauren, a friend Nina, and I ran one this past Saturday.  It was totally awesome.  I'm so glad we did it.  =)  Pictures courtesy of Nina.  

The morning of the run, I made sure to eat breakfast.  I had a bowl of multi-grain cheerios with soy milk at 7AM.  Then a red bean steamed bun at 8AM.  And I packed a granola bar for each of us, just in case.  The runners were grouped into waves and our wave didn't start until close to 11AM.  We checked in our bags and waited for our start time.  As we were standing by the starting line, we started getting REALLY hungry. A vendor was grilling up drool inducing bacon wrapped hotdogs.  Looks sooo good.  Smells even better.  

I was starting to get the shakes (happens when I get really hungry).  I remembered my granola bars in my checked bag and I sooo wanted to dart off to retrieve them.  But unfortunately, KT said no, our start time is approaching.  So I stood there with my shoulders slouched over, arms dangling in front of me like a meat deprived zombie.  = ( 

Speaking of zombies, there was a team there dressed up/painted like zombies.  

Oh, and talking about zombies again - KT showed me a link to a zombie mud run called Run For Your Lives that's happening this coming weekend.  I watched a promo video totally expecting zombies running up to the runners and taking a bite out of their arms (I guess too much Walking Dead - hehe) but alas, the zombies only pull flags from the runners.  KT wants to do this next year, but it might be too frightful for me.  Looks fun, but totally heart attack scary for me.  Anyone else watching Walking Dead? 

Okay, back to our mud run.  There are 24 obstacles.  Here are a few:

Jump Wall. hehe... looks like I did a one arm hurdle over this.  I really just pulled one leg after the other over the wall in very slow mo. The first mile was the hardest because I couldn't shake how famished I was.  

10 Foot Wall

Water Tubes

Water Net

River Bed

Mud Pits... and more mud pits

Where shoes get lost


Ice Water Plunge. I was desperate to get out of this one.  DESPERATE.  

Guess how long it took us to do this?  

One HOUR two minutes and some seconds.  

Here's a picture of our shoes before the run: 

Here's the after picture:

We really should have taken the picture before they dunk us in ice water. 

Here's to a sore few days.