Three's a charm

If you have visited my instagram feed recently (inthefunlane is my username), I apologize again for the large number of lilac obsessed posts. 
I just can't help it guys!!

{Sitting on an old tarnished tray on a sunny day they almost look like they're glowing}
 

 I did manage to break through my lilac induced coma long enough to tackle a project that I had brewing at the back of my mind for some time. I knew this wall felt like it was lacking something. Needed something.

But I have a confession guys... I was scared! Scared to mess it up somehow, scared to commit, scared to over clutter the room. I find that I have no troubles at all getting a room 95% there. By then it really starts to look good and I can't. quite. finish. it. I am scared to take that 95% of the work and screw it all up with making a bad choice at the end. I don't want to be the lady you see walking around with every piece of jewelery on, plus a few she borrowed from a friend. But in the decorating sense, of course. 

So I usually chicken out and leave well enough alone. 

But recently those 3M removable adhesive hooks became my best friend, and now I am trying to tackle the fear yall!

{waiting patiently for something more}
 

This wall kind of needs something too, but the weight of the lamp and tray table are enough for me. For the time being...
 

See? Nothing to be scared of! I can't believe I was such a baby all these years.
I didn't want anything too overwhelming or statement-y (yeah, I like making up decorating words), just some character!

{triple threat}
 

The best part was it cost all of zero dollars thanks to finding an old box in the basement. I had 4 of these Michael's frames that I matted and mounted scrap book paper too from my office at our last house (holla if you are a nestie and remember when people had bios, not blogs!). So I took 2 and got to mounting some family prints I had around the house.

I also had this 3 laying around that I've had for years but that recently hasn't seen a lot of love. Problem was it wasn't adhesive hook friendly! But I came up with a fast and easy solution to easy hang items or art like this.

First I knotted some twine so that the knot was bigger than the top of the hole but smaller than the bottom at a length I liked.

Then I cut it right below the knot.

and slipped it into the opening, pulling up. Snug as a bug in a rug!

I liked the texture the twine gives, but didn't really love the visual of the adhesive hook so I simply mounted the hook under another frame.

Because white on white can be a little... um bright? I decided to mount the pictures over some of the board and batten to allow natural light and shadows to give a hint of contrast so they don't just fade into the wall.

{my all time favorite picture of Wren. Soooooo her!}
 

What do you think, should I add one or two over the folding table??

{ is it weird that I love how plump lilacs are? }

{ the bigger picture }

I have had a lot of emails in the past year about how we are liking/adjusting to not having an eat in kitchen and whether it was a good or bad move. I think it deserves it's own blog post in the near future where I can elaborate on it all. But the short answer is: 

{ NO regrets }

Burning up that Energy Bill

Sean here with some tips on how to beat the cold,
or at least not having to pay (as much) to be warm.

It’s no joke that it is freezing outside! Today and all week around here will be into the -25*c (-10*f) mark. Our furnace will be putting in some heavy OT hours! Granted it is original and over 20 years old, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be getting some help!

So what are a couple simple things that can be done to combat the cold? – take a look.

1. Regularly replace that filter! You can see below the difference between one of our used ones and a new one. Ours was really dirty because of all the renovations we are doing that kick up the dust. You do want to make sure you replace it the same way you take it out. Usually there is a little arrow indicating the air flow direction.

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Photobucket GROSS!

2. You can check for solid connections to the vents. From the top it looks good right? And it feels like the hot air is coming out, but…………………….

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As you can see from underneath it probably could be a little more snug! Sometimes it’s not only at the vent connections where it’s loose, but even at elbow or other galvanized tube connections. We are lucky, (well kind of, I would rather have a finished basement - which is on the list) for us our basement is unfinished so inspecting these connections is pretty easy. If you have a hanging ceiling, you would have to do a little more work and pop up some tiles. If you had a dry walled ceiling you might face some bigger challenges. Inspecting underneath may not be available, so you could take off the vent cover and inspect from the top.

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Either way, once you have tightened all the connections you should be running smoother!

Also you could check for poor design/build quality. (Sometimes I wonder who passes these things on final inspection)

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AGGGHHHH!!! Clearly not the same size tube, talk about being in-efficient


Take that cold!!!

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Now if only we could do something for the snow, which is falling in record numbers here. I was thinking maybe a heated driveway???? I would even agree to paint it white and add some distressing….JK


Depending on your certain furnace make & model you can do other maintenance like replacing belts or topping up lubricants, but that sometimes requires shutting the whole thing off.
Another good point would be to completely replace the old furnace(like ours – which we will eventually be doing) with a new high efficiency one. They cost a-lot up front and can be a pain to have to deal with the install but they do pay for themselves in the long run.

Now you can rest easier and warmer knowing you will not be wasting money on energy.
Take Care-

Sean &

Cheap and Easy Plant Keeper

We absolutely love having greenery throughout the house, even though we have black thumb tendancies.
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And it wasn't until the evening before we left for Palm Springs that it hit us: we forgot to make arrangements to have someone water the plants! If it was just a few little blooms I wouldn't have panicked but when I mentally tallied how many plants I would have to replace if we came home to crunchy brown leaves it was quite staggering. It would have been about $200-$300 worth of plants to replace, definitely money I would rather put towards a kitchen sink or new faucet...
Of course I should have thought about it sooner or even popped out to grab some of those water globes but at 10:30 pm I didn't have many options so I had to get creative.
If you are like us then you probably have a container full of recycle-able bottles and cans waiting to go to the bottle depot. Sean had taken ours all out the day before but completely forgot one tupperware container (everything happens for a reason, right?). Using the same principle as the water globes of inverting a water source into the soil I set about washing and cleaning everything from wine bottles to olive oil containters (like the one below). I even used a 2L pop bottle for the biggest plants.

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It was a bit tricky to quickly flip the containers and shove them in the soil without spilling too much, but after 2 I had the hang of it. It was still a gamble to leave, not knowing whether they would last the whole 15 days or if they would just drowned the plants the first day or two. But upon returning all our plants are healthy and happy and the soil was remarkably still damp, even though the containers were emptied.
So if you need a cheap plant sitter definitely consider recycling a few bottles before your next trip! Of course, we would still recommend giving them a test run before leaving so you know how much or little water your plants will need. But I may just resort to using them all the time so I don't forget to water them (or over-water them which is my usual crime against botany).