#IHaveThisThingWith Star Wars

The other day, Joel and I were making waffles and as I watched him pour the batter into our Darth Vader waffle maker, I realized that we have a lot of Star Wars stuff in our house. Like, I don’t think there’s a single room without at least a small nod to one of our favorite science fiction franchises.

Here’s the thing, though… As soon as I moved in with Joel, we were dubbed The Star Wars Loving Couple and have been receiving gifts in the form of The Millennium Falcon ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way whatsoever complaining! I love all of our Star Wars crap and I just wanted to do a small inventory of what we’ve collected thus far..

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When you first walk into our 1940s Colonial, you are greeted by our Storm Trooper butler, Jermaine. We won him at Joel’s white elephant Christmas party a few years back and love him so much. We even used this dude at our wedding. Take a quick 360 degree look around our living room and you’ll find Darth Vader, at least two photos of me dressed as Princess Leia and Joel as Han Solo, Star Wars books, and Lego versions of X-Wings and a big ass Millennium Falcon.

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In the dining room is the giant marquee sign Joel made from scratch for our wedding. We got married 10 days after national Star Wars day, get it? Cool.

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Moving onto the kitchen… Would you like a piece of cheese from our Millennium Falcon charcuterie board to go with your previously mentioned Darth Vader Waffle? How about a beer opened with this Millennium Falcon bottle opener or a cup of coffee right out of Darth Vader’s helmet? Fancy a bowl of cereal out of an R2D2 bowl? My personal favorite is our bad ass Storm Trooper toaster. It toasts a picture of the Empire symbol right onto your toast (more like Imperial Crust, am I right?!).IMG_8015

 

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In our master bedroom, there is a giant poster of me with Leia Organa buns using a light saber to stab Joel wearing a Storm Trooper mask. We have Star Wars sheets on our bed sometimes, and 3 Carrie Fisher books on my nightstand.

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There’s a Boba & Jango Fett drawing (by me) on the gallery wall lining our stairwell, a Pop Art inspired painting of a Blaster (done by my super talented sister-in-law, Laura) hanging in another room, and Han/Leia hand towels in the bathroom. The best part is, even though I don’t think I’ve named all of the Star Wars stuff in our house, we are definitely not drowning in it. Although we, obviously, have an undying love for all things Star Wars, it’s more of an Easter Egg hunt for small things than a home decor “theme”.

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Since we might be at capacity for Star Wars, we will be happy to go back to accepting gifts of things with cats on them. KThanksBYE.

It’s Only Natural: Bathtub Cleaner

There are two types of people in the world: those who get grossed out by the thought of sitting in a tub of one’s own filth, and those who think that there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice, hot bath. I have always been, and always will be, one of the latter. I. LOVE. BATHS.

Growing up, my designated Saturday chore was to clean the bathroom. Part of which was to scour out the bathtub (that our family of 8, minus my dad who has been a strict showerer his whole life, used) with Clorox and Comet. I definitely inherited my mom’s “bleach the living shit out of everything so all the germs will die” mentality, which I have been trying to get away from for a while now. Last time I was in Texas visiting my parents, my sister and I made a deal with our mom that if we cleaned the whole house she’d pay for us to get manicures and pedicures. I volunteered to take charge of my old stomping ground, the bathroom. When it came down to cleaning supplies, instead of handing me the usual harsh, germ murdering chemicals, my mom pointed me in the direction of the kitchen to grab three things: vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.

Although I had been into finding natural replacements for products for a while at that time, I was still doubtful of how well this technique would work; especially when compared to the lethal combination of Comet and Clorox. I was shocked to see that using natural products actually works so much better than the other stuff! Bonus points for not having to open a window because the fumes are burning your eyes. Here’s how to clean your bathtub using natural ingredients:

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Supplies

  1. White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Dish Soap (optional, you could use water instead*)
  4. Scrubber Sponge
  5. Elbow Grease (but not that much)

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How To

  1. Squirt (ew “squirt” is one of my least favorite words ever) some dish soap into your bathtub and use a damp sponge to spread it all around.*
  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the soap (you really don’t have to use the dish soap, but it helps the baking soda stick to the sides of the tub)
  3. Spray vinegar onto the baking soda and watch it fizzzzzz for a couple of minutes.
  4. Using the scrubber side of your sponge, scrub your tub. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar should do most of the work for you.
  5. Rinse your tub.

Et viola! This technique has gotten rid of all sort of bathtub gunk, even purple hair dye splatter and glitter bath bomb residue!

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Take a bath, wash yo-self. Take a bath. Show me whatcha scrubbin’ with….

 

Let Them Eat Cake!

If you live in Pittsburgh, you’re in for a real treat! My very talented sister, Annie, is now taking orders for custom cakes. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might be familiar with her work. Annie made a pink and blue cake for our friends’ gender reveal party last year. She also made the rainbow sprinkled beauty for my Super Sweet 16 (+ 10) party.

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Although she has her Master’s Degree in Library Science and not in The Science of Dessert, Annie has always shown serious talent for all sorts of cooking; with a specialty in baked goods. She worked at a gluten free bakery here in The ‘Burgh before accepting a position with another bakery, where she is now the head honcho of all those pretty pastries.

What started as a hobby, or favor for friends, is beginning to turn into a monetized side gig and I could not be more proud of her! Annie’s talent and creativity know no bounds! I took these photos of the gorgeous pink baby shower cake she was making for her future sister-in-law this past weekend. The pink drips! The gold leaf detailing! All the heart eyes, am I right?!

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Annie does cakes for all occasions (weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc). To place an order, simply send a message via Instagram.

Be sure to be on the lookout for a 6″ cake giveaway, too!

*giveaway open to locals only as the cake will need to be picked up.

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How To Fight The Winter Blues

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Last spring, when the flowers started blooming and we, in the Northeast portion of the U.S, started to see Mr. Golden Sun a little more often, I realized just how bad my seasonal depression was. Like a switch had flipped, I suddenly had much more energy, was less lethargic/sluggish/depressed, and my general outlook on life had returned to positive as soon as winter was over. Not to be dramatic, but spring made me feel like I had reason to live again…

Since this winter, that pretty much just started, is supposed to be worse than last, I thought I’d try some ways to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because, who wants to be S.A.D?! Not me!

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Tips For Combating Seasonal Depression

  • Sunshine– Even though it’s rare to see the sun from December-April in Pittsburgh, anytime it shines, I make it a point to go outside and stand in it. 15 minutes of sunlight will give you a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Even if the temperatures drop to single digits, bundle up, go outside, and let those sunny rays of delight do their thang.
  • Vitamin D3 supplements– since the sun can be an elusive sonofabitch, I started taking these in November and they seriously make a huge difference. You can get vitamin D3 from food, but it’s so much easier to take a little supplement than it is to eat a can of sardines if ya ask me.
  • Exercise– A BIG FAT DUH. There’s no way around the fact that you should be exercising. I was loving our routine of me running/walking in intervals + weight training while Joel rode his bike at the park by our house, but then stupid winter happened. We ponied up and got a gym membership because we can motivate each other to go.
  • Cute Winter Clothes– when I moved to Pittsburgh, my aunt bought me a really nice wool peacoat and it was pretty much the only thing I had to keep myself warm. Fast forward 4 years, and I am now the proud owner of too many sweaters, a few faux fur coats, and an array of colorful leather jackets. These items of clothing are just enough to brighten the dullest day and remind me that I usually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.
  • Make A Grateful List– it’s so freaking cold and you’re probably feeling cranky and annoyed about it, but try to remember all of the good things in your life! I am so grateful for the roof over my head, gas heating, and for all 3 of my almost identical gray faux fur blankets. I am feeling especially thankful for the cow that made my one authentic leather jacket. If he/she hadn’t sacrificed his/herself, I’d probably have pneumonia by now. Thank you, cow.
  • Plan A Trip– I may have had a stomach bug and had to miss my twin sister’s wedding at the beginning of January, but we’re booked to go to Texas for my brother’s wedding at the end of this month. Little weekend trips to get away from snow and ice? I’ll take them! We’ve also been flirting with the idea of a springtime road trip, which gives us something to look forward to.
  • Fresh Flowers- IDK what it is about having fresh flowers in our home, but it’s a small thing that makes me so happy. If you’re a monster and see fresh flowers as a waste of money, try potted plants instead.

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I have to say, I have implemented these few things into everyday life and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did last year. It’s kind of crazy that tweaking my routine a little and making a ritual out of taking vitamins and working out has completely changed my life. I can feel myself (slowly, but surely) becoming the best version of myself and all it took was a quick seasonal ass kicking.

You may have won the battle last year, winter… But I’m gonna win the war. 46 days until the first day of Spring!

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Dress/SheIn, Faux Leather Jacket/Amazon, Shoes/Sold Out (similar),Floral Stickers/A Design Kit