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How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee

14 Sep

I’m not really a crafty person.

But doesn’t pinterest make you feel like you can create anything? I’m embarrassed to say this, but most of the projects I find, Nic ends up doing most of the time. That’s so bad! But he’s so handy and good at creating things that it just ends up that way. I wouldn’t use the word “crafty” to describe Nic. More like a hands on-perfectionist-likes to get projects done, kind of guy. Love him.

So. I finally did a project on my own. I created a height chart for Lyla. She is growing so fast and is so tall (95 percentile – holla!) that I really wanted to start tracking her height. I saw some super cute wooden height charts on pinterest, mostly linking to I thought, c’mon, I can do this. I bought all the supplies – the board, paint, brush, and we already had the color stain I wanted to use. And then, six months went by.

Here is the thing with me and crafty projects: I hate starting something that I can’t finish RIGHT AWAY! Mom of a two year old + working + running a household= No time. That’s why I procrastinate on these things. But last weekend I started and finished Lyla’s height chart!

Not to toot my own horn (but I’m going to): I really liked how it turned out! Should I start selling these babies on etsy, or what?!

Height Chart |

(When we hang this on the wall, it will be mounted 6 inches from the floor. We just haven’t chosen a place for it yet.)

So, I finished this one and then thought it would have really been cool to stain it with a more natural option. I attempted creating my next height chart with a coffee stain.

How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee |

In my eyes (which really, really, really love dark wood stain), I wasn’t totally in love with the final product, even after four coats of the coffee stain. I want to be honest here and let you know that I did end up re-staining the board to get the dark color I desired.

Before & After Coffee Stain |

I still thought it was important to share this technique because:

  • There is a noticeable difference in the wood color (which I wish the before and after pictures better depicted), so if you are looking to stain wood and aren’t hoping for a very dark color, this might be a great option for you.
  • The staining process was much more enjoyable with the coffee vs. conventional oil based stain which is stinky and can really do damage if it accidently gets on a surface you didn’t want it to.
  • If you are pregnant, very sensitive to fumes, or need to stain something in an area that is not well ventilated, coffee stain may be the way to go.

Have you ever tried staining wood with anything other than a conventional stain? How did it turn out?

Wyoming Bound

2 Sep

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little MIA lately on our blog! All with good reason though…Ryan and I have moved to Jackson, Wyoming! I know, crazy right?! It has been a whirlwind and to be honest, I don’t believe it yet myself! I’ve accepted a new certified nurse midwife position here in Jackson and literally moved this past Friday. Ryan is excited to further pursue video and photography in the Teton and Yellowstone area. He is pumped to have these landscapes in his backyard.

Wyoming Bound |

 Ryan came out to Jackson a couple weeks ago to get all of our bigger house items unloaded and organized. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Meg, and her soon-to-be husband, Paul, (T-4 days until their wedding!) they were able to help Ryan out with all of the heavy moving. Don’t worry – they got to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery too!

These love birds are getting married 9.6.13 <3

These love birds are getting married 9.6.13 <3

I came Friday and have been a busy bee getting our house organized and all of our bins unpacked and put away. Since Ryan moved all of our house belongings a couple weeks ago, we’ve been basically “camping” since then. It was rough at first, but then I got used to it. I must say though, having a working kitchen and my own real bed to sleep on has been divine! You forget how nice it is to have a functioning kitchen and house.

Our new house is in a great location and we were lucky to find a place that would allow for our two dogs to come, too. We are nestled near the base of the Snow King Mountain. I am in walking distance to a great yoga studio that I went to on Saturday morning and am a couple blocks from the square downtown. After my yoga class, I browsed the farmers market, which was so great – awesome vendors!

I am really excited to check out local farmers in this area along with all of the fun outdoor activities that are available. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on all of my sweet finds.

Wyoming Bound |

That being said, Laura and I will still blog as usual, so there will really be no change in our activity besides half of it being broadcasted from Wyoming. Ha! Lets just say that Laura and I have lots of face-time dates planned as well too! We are sad to not be neighbors right now, but hope that being in Wyoming helps to give our blog a little more diversity and more fun topics of discussion.

Tomorrow is my first day at my new job…wish me luck!

If anyone knows of cool places or farms for us to check out near Jackson, be sure to send a message! We’d love to hear from you.




DIY: How To Wash Your Washing Machine

3 Aug

I know…It seems silly, right?! By washing clothes you’d think you are in turn washing your washer, but in truth, even the machine that gets the job done needs a nice washing and a little TLC. Think of how many cycles of washing it has done and all of the fabrics it has rinsed clean. It makes sense that it would need a good soaking session by itself every once in a while to get any residue or build-up washed away.

DIY: How To Wash Your Washing Machine | WholeGreenLove

I had heard about cleaning your washing machine a while back and to be honest, I thought it was a good idea but didn’t see any urgency in trying it out. With how busy life can be you need to pick and choose your battles. We have an older non-HE washer and dryer set. I noticed with the past few loads of laundry that as I was pulling my freshly washed goods out to either hang up to dry or transfer over to the dryer and I could smell a musty smell. I have a really sensitive sniffer, so I thought I was just being over critical of my freshly washed clothes and that it was just a wet fabric smell. Nope. After a couple loads I realized my nose wasn’t lying. Gross. It was definitely time to wash my washer. Luckily, it’s super easy…I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this periodically to freshen it up. Oh well, now I know.

Detergents and softeners, especially ones with dyes or added perfumes, can leave extra grime in your washing machine, along with build up from dirty fabric. Another culprit for mold and mildew is damp laundry left overnight in the washer. All of that moister creates the perfect environment for stinky smells to thrive.

 DIY: How To Wash Your Washing Machine | WholeGreenLove

What can you do to keep your washer smelling fresh and clean?

  1. Once a month, run a cleaning cycle on your washing machine, or as needed.
  2. Don’t let wet clothes sit in your washer too long.
  3. Use only a small amount of natural detergent without dyes and synthetic perfumes. It’s better for you, the environment, and the washer.
  4. Leave the washer door open after cycles so it can dry out properly.
  5. Wipe out any visible residue as needed with a clean and reusable cloth to keep your washer in tip-top shape.

If you haven’t washed your washer before, no worries! I hadn’t either! This simple wash recipe and washer tips will have both your washer and clothing smelling fresh and clean. You can feel good about the ingredients you are using too, knowing that they are both effective cleaners and safe for you and the environment. I used eucalyptus for its nice clean scent, but also because of its anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree or lavender oil would be other essential oils that would work well for this too.

Do you routinely do a cleaning cycle with your washing machine?

June Link Love

10 Jun

It’s that time again to share some blog love! Nothing like a one stop shop to be able to look through some cool blog posts. We hope you like the ones we picked too!

We usually try to share some fun pictures on our Link Love posts and I think the recent ones Ryan took while in Yellowstone National Park were too cute to pass up! Enjoy!

June Link Love | WholeGreenLove

This Orange Avocado Dressing looks amazing! Not to mention the salad recipe to go with it. I’m planning on making it this week for sure!

It is easy to get lazy or even forgetful with lunches packed at home. I love nothing more then getting to work and knowing I have an awesome lunch and snacks packed for the day. Here are 10 Essential Lunch Box Packing Tips that might help you out!

A Cheeseburger Frittata?! With Ryan’s love for cheeseburgers, I think this will have to be on our menu soon!

Baby animals are the best…so stinkin’ cute! Check out this baby lamb…aww!

It never hurts to be prepared and to have any “tips” ready for traveling successfully with children. Here are 6 Simple Tips for Traveling With Kids.

I don’t know about you, but opening a young coconut can be quite the challenge! Here is a great how to, that I’ve used before & it works great.

We’ve been trying to eat more fermented foods…here are 8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods!

Lavender Mint Soothing Herbal Body Butter…sign me up.

June Link Love | WholeGreenLove

I hope you all have had a good weekend and have been able to get out and enjoy this nice weather we’ve been having! Maybe you’ll be inspired to make or implement something from these lovely blogs in your life this week!

Easy Stain Removing Soak

6 Jun

Last week, this world lost a really great lady. My grandma passed away, peacefully and at home. Just how she would have wanted. She was smart, generous, sweet (a little sassy), and she was always humming. My grandma took great pride in our great big, loud, fun family. I see everyday that her loving and faithful relationship with my grandpa is exactly how my dad learned to treat my mom so well. And because of that, I knew just how to find my own husband who showers me everyday with the upmost love, respect, and kindness.

I’m not actually sure how to transition the start of this post into something you’d usually expect to see on our blog. But…

Last Friday, the morning of my grandma’s funeral, was really rushed. I was feeling flustered and sad and anxious about the day ahead, and we were just trying to get out the door. We packed up the car for what we knew would be a whole day away from home, so for Lyla we needed snacks, toys, baby Stella, her pack and play for naptime, and everything else that comes with a toddler. Lyla sucked down her usual favorite smoothie and we hopped in the car.

** Proceed with caution: This story involves a toddler throwing up. **

About a half hour later, we arrived at church. I grabbed Lyla out of the car and we went inside. I had just walked in when Lyla threw up (bright blue/red smoothie) all over herself. She was wearing a little white cardigan over a white and yellow dress. Stain city. We ran to the bathroom and she threw up again. All over. I don’t think I’ve seen that girl throw up since her baby spit up days. Poor thing.

Lyla was just fine. Just a little bit of carsickness I guess, because she was her normal funny and sweet self almost immediately, and for the rest of the day.

But do you know what wasn’t fine? Her cute little dress that she was wearing for the first time. Because I was in a rush to join our family and we had no other good option, I balled up her dress and we threw it into the back of the car. It was nice and warm that day, so the smoothie puke I wasn’t able to clean off literally baked into the dress.

I so exhausted when we got home that I didn’t even think to deal with the dress until about 10pm.

So, I soaked the dress and cardigan with a ½ cup of baking soda in a gallon of cold water overnight.

To my surprise, the next day, the stain was almost already gone! I didn’t even have to scrub it! I rung out the water/baking soda from the clothes and applied a stain spray on the areas where I could still see a stain. I let that soak in for about a half hour and then washed them as normal (with this homemade bleach poured into the machine like I usually do with our whites load).

When they came out there were no stains left. None. Which is totally amazing because that smoothie had blueberries, raspberries, coconut oil, green plant juice, and other ingredients that could have left a mark.

I don’t think my grandma would mind that this blog post started out as a remembrance of her, and then transitioned to a pukey toddler, and finally to a stain remover. She raised six sons (who I’m sure got messy sometimes) and she was one of the best homemakers I’ve ever known.  No one on this earth can fold a king sized fitted sheet the way this woman could. No one.

We will miss her very much.