Saving Money on Natural Products

Hi there! Thanks for dropping in for a visit! Today I am out to save you (and give you) some money. Oh yeaaaaaah! Glad you came, huh? 😉

Have you ever heard of Vitacost.com? It’s where I buy all my natural health and beauty products at great discounts. Especially my beloved Burt’s Bees. If you use their products, you know you practically never find them on sale anywhere!I also buy Giovanni hair products, Toms of Maine, Alvera, ZUM, Aubrey, Alba…you name it, they carry it! They also have natural food products and teas, and (as you could guess by their name) all kinds of vitamins and supplements.Vitacost’s usual flat shipping rate is $5, but if you order over $50, then shipping is FREE. – So when I don’t need to place a very big order for myself, I might call a friend or two and go in together to get the free shipping.

Now here is the best part: Vitacost just started a referral program – so every person who sets up an account from my referral link HERE, will receive $10 off their first order, AND because they are kind to their referrers, I’ll get $10 too! High fives all ’round! Then you can be a referrer and tell your friends, and you’ll both get $10 more dollars! It’s the gift that keeps on giving I tell ya…So whacha waiting for? Get CLICKING, and check them out right away. It will save you a ton of money on your natural and organic health and beauty budget! I know it has for me :-).

Any questions? Feel free to ask…

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House Renovation Update: The Music Wall

Time for more sneak-peeks into our evolving abode! Ya ready?!

Much of our new style was inspired by Restoration Hardware, and one idea I saw in their recent catalog was a wall covered in music. – Since music is a very special part of my life, and I was looking for a dramatic end-wall idea for our new den, this was the perfect solution! Best part? It was FREE (since I already had everything I needed)!

First I laid out a tape measure on the floor that showed the size of the wall I was trying to fill:

Next, I went around collecting all the picture frames I could find throughout the house, and chose the ones I wanted to use. I tried them in several different patterns, until I was pleased with the scale and balance (while Caroline supervised):

After that, I transferred them to the wall — measuring as I went:

Once I had them up in the final arrangement, I took them back down, took all the glass out, and sprayed most of them with (what else) Oil Rubbed Bronze by Rustoleum. I did leave a few their original color, just so we didn’t get excessively matchy-matchy :-).

While they were drying, I rummaged around in my music stash and tore out some sheet music to songs that were special to me, or to us as a couple. I mounted them all onto the same card stock background color (Sahara Sand by Stampin’ Up!), and placed them in their frames.

There were a few “left over” frames once I had chosen my special songs, so some just have random classical pieces in them. May go back and add a 3-D element to the outside of those frames eventually…maybe…

Anyway, here is how it turned out! Post picture, we centered the TV on the wall, and I still have a wooden letter “D” to paint and put in the blank spot above the right black plaque.

We’re also trying to decide how tall we want our big chunk of wood in the corner. Any votes? Keep it the current height, cut it lower? SO. MANY. DECISIONS!

Well, it’s back to work for me today. Thanks so much for stopping by!

As Autumn Waves Goodbye…

Hello friends! Does anybody still swing by this lil blog o’ mine anymore? It seems like ages since I’ve actually taken the time to sit down and type up several posts to share with you in the coming week, and boy, it feels good! I think I’ve been experiencing some blogging withdraws…

So as we’ve been inside busy as beavers working on our house, outside Mother Nature has been staging her glorious exit before she heads to her winter slumbering grounds. I’m always sad when fall comes to an end, although the anticipation of the first snowfall, my birthday, and Christmas are some kind of comforting distraction!

I took a reno break recently, and went out in search of a few last glimpses of stunning fall color. Below is a sampling of what I found – I hope you enjoy!

A ground cover variety of Sedum...such beautiful shades!

Creeping Mexican Chrysanthemums

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Beauty Berry - bit by the first frost!

What stage of fall is outside your door? Have you had snow yet? Are all your leaves gone?

****Stay tuned for more before and afters tomorrow!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday being thankful for all that you’ve been blessed with! And as my friend Jenni said: let everything else unimportant fall away. See you on the other side of the holidays friends! ~Kristin

Bathroom Update

This past weekend, we turned our attention from our main living area, to the Master Bath. The most labor-intensive thing we are doing in there, is laying the floating vinyl plank flooring…whose box touted the saying “easiest floor you will ever lay”. Bunch. Of. Bologna. I won’t tell you just how long it took my hubby and I to get it down, as we’re not speaking about it at the moment… But it is almost done, and we’re excited about the transformation!

We started out with a "threshold" piece.

Getting closer!

And before I sign off for today, here’s a little teaser about another project that’s underway in the bathroom. Any guesses???

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

Hello Dears! Taking a break between distressing cabinets and laying more flooring to share a recipe with you. I tell ya, my crockpot has been my savior through these renovations! Love this vegetarian version (no ham hock required) of the classically cozy and filling split pea soup. I enjoy mine served with Feta cheese and some olive bread.Split Pea Soup in the Crockpot

2 cups green split peas, sorted and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
3 cups water
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (or 2 t garlic powder)
2 t stone ground mustard
1 t cumin
1 t ground thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours until peas are soft. You can eat it chunky, or puree it as shown with an immersion blender (or a regular blender working in batches). I like my split pea soup thick and smooth :-). Hope you enjoy!

Pooch Tales – A Fall Vacation

Hi to all Ma’s readers out there! It’s Chester, the alpha pooch here at Windy Poplars, and I’m pinch hitting for Ma today because she’s all busy painting and stuff (boooorrrrriiiinnnggggg…).

She said I could write about whatever I wanted, so I thought I’d tell you about a vacation we took together earlier this fall that she never wrote about because of that 31 Days of Fall thing that she was doing at the time. Ready? Ahem…

One upon a time, we (my sister Caroline and I) took a long car trip to a cabin in the woods with Ma and Pa, our Aunt Amy and Cousin Monte, Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie Em and our new Uncle JonBoy.

Once we finally arrived, we were greeted by a little fawn right in front of our cabin. I knew then, that this was gonna be a fun trip…lots of things to sniff and chase!

Can you see the deer? Look real closely, it’s kind of camouflage!

We settled in and had a grand old time. Here is a picture of Chairel (what we call Caroline sometimes), Monte, and I creating a “fracas” as Ma calls it:

Then we were enjoying the rocking chair on the porch post-fracas, and Ma wanted to take our picture.

I know how to look at the camera, but Chairel is busy looking at Monte. She kind of thinks he’s the greatest!

In fact, here she is pretending to be Monte. She’s laying in his bed, chewing on his bone!

Oh brother! Such a poser.

Monte is allowed to have people food (but we aren’t), so when he was given the empty ice cream container, we were very curious:


…and of course Chairel had to try it (because she’s a poser, remember?)

Time for some family photos:

Yeah. This was the best of the bunch. I had gotten tired by this point, and was about to fall off Ma’s lap asleep!

Then it was time to pack up and head home. How sad. I did help supervise the packing though! Vacations are so fun! Thanks for taking us Ma…we really had a good time. Beats staying home with a sitter any day.

Do you take your pets with you on vacation?