Looks Good, Smells Good

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I’m not sure where the past week has disappeared to but I certainly don’t want it back.  I’ve been handling some mini “crises” at work, preparing for a trip, dog sitting a VERY active puppy and just trying to keep the to-do list flowing so I haven’t had time to work on projects or edit photos of ones I’ve done recently.  Hopefully this weekend will provide some much needed catch-up time.  Until then here’s a quick look at some new wax warmers I got and am really loving.

Long ago the hubs and I made an agreement that I should not have burning candles because I tend to forget them, which is obviously not very safe.  So instead I have flameless candles for decorating and wax warmers for scents.  I used to have the table top style warmers but have recently moved to the smaller outlet style option because they are easier to clean and don’t take up horizontal space.  I like to have a themed warmer in the entry way and loved the simple winter look of the one seen above.  It went up before Christmas and will probably stay put until spring officially arrives in Alaska.
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This one is in the master bathroom and provides a wonderful glow.  It’s the perfect nightlight with just the right amount of light to let you see what you’re doing but not be a shock to tired eyes.  The beautiful pattern and metal tone of the finish are an added bonus.  Even the hubs commented on how nice it was!  Since we were so happy with this style in our bathroom I decided to get one for the hall bath as well.

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I originally planned to buy the same one again, but noticed this pattern from another brand on the same shelf and thought it would have a similar glow. It does and the simpler design fits well with the décor in the hall bath better. Now our guests will have plenty of light to see what they’re doing if they need to make a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It also illuminates the little basket of essentials I put out below it which is also helpful.

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The first two warmers are from the Better Homes and Garden line at Walmart, but the one in the hall bathroom is from brand called ScentSationals also from Walmart.  All three came with toppers for the wax area which give them a cleaner look than the open air ones I’ve had in the past.  I choose not to use the topper on the winter version just because the wax bowl isn’t very large so I didn’t want the topper sitting in wax if I put two cubes in, but it works just fine without it.  The warmers I had in these locations have since moved to other areas of the house or been sold so it was an efficient change as well.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a space feel homey and I think these do just that.  Do you use wax warmers?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experience with them and what your favorite scents are since I’m always testing out new ones each season! 🙂

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Little Moments

Being a photographer, I naturally have a TON of pictures of our fur babies, but it’s not as easy to get those great shots as you might think.  Such was the case when I attempted to get a few new shots of the dogs last weekend.  I had just gotten home from a portrait session and the snow was starting to fall but there was great light.  I thought, “This is a perfect opportunity to get some pictures of them with the wood pile, which will make a unique background I haven’t done before.”  Giddy with the mental image in my head of two smiling pups in front of this interesting background I call the dogs outside and we play for a few minutes as we make our way out to the wood pile.

Once there they are definitely game to investigate the stacks of logs, but forget about posing.  There’s just too much to see and sniff!  Tequila puts her paws up on one of the stacks and I wait for her to look over at me, but whatever was across the driveway was obviously more interesting and .2 seconds later she was over there checking it out.
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I figured I’d give them more time to play since they hadn’t been out for a while and then try again once they burned off some energy.  Ten minutes later I get them both in front of the wood pile, tongues out and excitement in their eyes.  I decided to try to get a shot before crouching down to their level in case this doesn’t last.  In the instant it takes to put my camera to my eye their faces change to this.  Sigh.
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So I tell them to stay, get down to their level and try to catch their interest without causing them to move from the spot they are in.  This is when they decide to play a game with mom called Look Here, Look There.  Tequila went first.
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Stoli went next.
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Then they looked in tandem, but in different directions over my shoulders.
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And then in opposite directions away…
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I said treat to get them focused and Tequila played along but Stoli had to check the other side too, just in case.  Deep breath.
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Tequila decided she’d had enough and went to explore, but Stoli hung out for a moment so I snapped a few solo shots even though he refused to look at me and threw in a snaggle lip for good measure.

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Tequila came back about then and climbed up on top of the wood pile. While not the background I envisioned, it’s still a fun shot so I get into position and bam, she has to check the woods behind her.
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Next she posed but wouldn’t look at me.
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Then gave in and did look at me, just in time for a huge snowflake to cover her eye.
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Finally I get this shot as she watches a car approach on the road, not bad but still not what I wanted.
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So I move around to where she’s looking and draw her attention up.  Yes!  This will work!  Until she wiggles the moment I press the shutter button…Really?!
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Seeing sister on the wood pile, Stoli wants in on the action and climbs up when Tequila runs off but continues their game of don’t look at mom.
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I get him to sit but still, no looking at mom.  And now we’re going to make faces.  Not the cute kind.  The frustrating kind. This is the I’m cold and I don’t want to be sitting in the snow face.
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This is the what is sister doing that I’m missing out on because I’m stuck here so I’m going to snort my displeasure face.
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This is the whatever face…
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So I say whatever myself and tell them “Go Play” to which they happily bound off into the falling snow running and growling like wild crazed animals.  Heathens I tell you, heathens!

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Cold and disappointed I round them up and tell them to head inside.  A few hours later I download the images just to see what I might be able to salvage and find these two little gems hidden between all the faces above.
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Still not the shot I envisioned, but both make my momma’s heart smile.  And that’s why I always overshoot, because it’s those little in-between moments that turn out the best. But that’s how life is, it’s the little fleeting moments that you forget as quickly as they happen that make it all worth while. 🙂

A Family Heirloom Revamped

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During my recent 2015 recap I realized I never shared the refinish of my hope chest we had a local painter do, so that’s what I’m sharing today!  It’s a large cedar chest that’s been handed down from my great grandmother and is my one true family heirloom so I was too nervous to refinish it myself.  Luckily I connected with Anne-Tiques a husband and wife team who revamp and upcycle furniture and décor.  Their style was very similar to mine and they immediately understood what my vision was so I knew they’d do a good job.  Here’s a before shot of what they started with.

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It was in good shape and study, but it was too dark for my style and needed a little touchup.  I picked out a cream base and a light grey top coat so they could distress it a bit and let both colors show.  Here’s how it looks now!

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The new color makes it modern and rustic all at the same time, which is a perfect fit for our home.  I love how the colors blend together for a soft finish and how they compliment the other colors in the guest room. Apparently others like this look too because I recently saw another blogger’s post about refinishing a similar Lane cedar chest with the same color combo.  I think she’s got some great taste! 😉

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It also got a little tune up while they were prepping for paint.  They repaired the front molding where there was a small crack and tightened up the legs so now it’s ready for another couple of generations.  And it looks oh so lovely from the doorway of the guest room, where it holds a wealth of extra linens at the ready in case anyone needs an extra blanket during our cold Alaskan winters.

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It’s no longer the dated clunky piece in the house, now you can see all it’s pretty details and it feels fresh and new.  I couldn’t be happier!  Have you refinished an heirloom antique?  I’d love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment or link below to share!

A Cluck Club Update

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Happy New Year!  I hope you had a fun and safe celebration.  Here at the DB&DT house we welcomed two new members to the cluck club on New Year’s day.  Although we started with 4 chickens we lost one when some of them decided to jump the fence of the expanded yard off their run back in the fall.  We’re not sure exactly what happened, but believe the younger dogs saw them out and attempted to ‘play’ with them which led to one chicken having a heart attack as there were no obvious wounds or blood when she was discovered.

Since then the three remaining hens have been kept in their contained run and have been doing well, even with the below 0* temps we had for a stint.   Since there was room for a few more we decided to add two.  Luckily the same friend we got the original group from was still downsizing his flock so we didn’t have to worry about bringing in hens from a different batch.

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The new ladies are settling in and learning the routine of our roost pretty quickly. We give them scraps to scratch and peck through every evening so the original group come running when we open the door, but the newer hens weren’t too sure about coming down the ramp with us and the dogs around.

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Eventually they figured it out and joined in the exploring for special treats.  We’ve named them Chicken Patty and Chicken Dumpling, continuing our “chicken foods” theme.

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Patty is the black hen looking up in the center of the picture above and dumpling is the mostly white hen also looking over her flock mate’s fluffy rear.  Everyone seems to get along, but I’m sure there was some adjustment in the pecking order when we weren’t looking.

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Since our original group started laying we’ve been getting eggs about every other day.  Some are white and some are brown, but they’ve all been tasty.  One day I discovered this massive egg in the nest box!  It was twice the size of the eggs we had been getting and had a wavy shell.

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It was so big that we couldn’t even close the egg carton!  The two eggs in the foreground are store bought, the slightly smaller one on the right in the background is the egg that is seen next to the giant above.  Although both the hubs and I have raised chickens before, neither of us had ever seen anything like it before.

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Eventually we did crack it open just to see what the heck was going on with this monster egg.  Inside we found a second egg, shell and all!  We asked our vet about it and she explained that this can happen when an egg forms but the hen doesn’t lay the egg and a second egg forms around the first egg!

Egg3Apparently our hens are super fertile because in addition to this unique egg, most of theirs have also been double yokes.  We don’t plan to increase the flock via hatching (hence no rooster), so as long as that fertility means they continue to produce eggs regularly we’re happy.  But I’m curious if any other backyard flock owners have had similar discoveries.  I’d love to hear about them if you have!