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A Window To…Our Living Room!

Our house has a very open floor plan downstairs.  I’ve never really loved it – it made for a very difficult time arranging furniture!  Our living room in particular gave us quite a challenge in how to best position our furniture – two of the walls aren’t really walls at all, they are entry ways to the kitchen and the hallway.

OLD pic of our living room - like when we first moved in together over 3 years ago!

OLD pic of our living room - like when we first moved in together over 3 years ago! That space between the living room and kitchen nook was awkward!

One fateful morning, we were out shopping and stopped by Rooster Tails in downtown Franklin, TN.  Rooster Tails has all sorts of wonderful handmade furniture and antique pieces.  While wandering around, I took notice of an incredibly large window pane.  Each pane was approximately 12″x12″ and the entire window 4 panes high by 7 panes wide.  I immediately fell in love with it, but had absolutely no idea what I’d do with it, though I was bound and determined that I’d find a use for it!  When we went to inquire about purchasing it, we were told it had already been sold.  Over a year ago.  To a woman who came back to pick it up in a Honda Civic (the window is bigger than the car!).  She left, and never came back to get it.  After a little bit of pleading, they graciously sold it to us.

When we got the window home, it was quickly apparent that it just so happened to fit perfectly between our kitchen nook and our living room.  Jake added some anchored hooks to the window and to the doorway, attached some heavy gauge chain to the hooks in the ceiling, then suspended the window from the chain.  Voila, instant room divider!

Same view as the photo above - big change!

The large window created a physical divider that would allow us to place furniture up against it without it looking out of place, but the glass panes allow for light to come through and still makes the space feel open.  Win win!

View from the living room into the kitchen

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A Step Ahead

It is kind of ironic when you think about it -  what inspired me to write about product footprints.  I guess you could say it started with a boot and what footprint is left by that boot.  A literal footprint is similar to a product footprint in the sense that a mark has been left behind where you have tread.  Timberland has taken the initiative to reduce their footprint.  I found out about this by a little sticker on the bottom of one of their boots.

This sticker indicates the impact on the climate, chemicals used and resources consumed in order to create this boot.  I liked the boot for it’s style (Meredith wasn’t as big a fan) but I love it for it’s eco-consciousness.

What is a product footprint?  It is a term helpful in determining the amount of resources used along with considering factors such as whether those resources are renewable and harmful to you or the environment. Although we are not there yet across the board, you can find a wide array of businesses in various industries taking the initiative to make a conscious effort to reduce waste and implement more responsible manufacturing practices.  Walmart announced that they are going to put an eco rating on their products. When will it be available?  Who knows, but the fact that they are pressuring their suppliers to disclose information on what goes into their products is a huge step towards the future.  What it does is suggest that manufacturers need to get with the program if they havent already, because Walmart will publicize their eco irresponsibility.  Way to go Walmart!

An app for my phone called Good Guide is another way for consumers to distinguish the good fruit from the bad.  Most of these initiatives are evolving as we speak, and in some cases it may even seem as if we are taking a step back although we are actually taking a step forward.  Chipotle for example, is getting the ingredients for their food from local farmers who are staying away from the most modern industrial food production practices.  Here is a great video that paints that picture better than my words ever could.

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Apple Cider Vinegar – It’s Not Just For Salads!

I’m always on the look out for great natural remedies for anything health related.  This week I learned all sorts of amazing uses for Apple Cider Vinegar.  I’ve known about it’s weight loss properties for a long time and have taken it as a supplement since I was in college.  I never realized how many amazing other uses there are for it!

While visiting Jake’s grandparents the other day, I happened to catch a segment of Dr. Oz’s show where he was discussing natural remedies for some embarrassing health problems (bloating, stained teeth, body odor).  One woman was brave enough to tell the world that she has really bad body odor (more power to her!) and was looking for a way to help reign those stinky pits in.  This caught my attention (not because I have overpoweringly bad BO) because I will only use natural deodorant (no anti-perspirant for this girl) and unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as well as I’d like it to.  According to Dr. Oz, sweat on it’s own doesn’t stink, it’s once it hits the air and gets exposed to bacteria that it begins to break down and get a bit funky smelling.  Apparently if you splash some Apple Cider Vinegar under your arms when you get out of the shower, it helps to neutralize the pH level of the skin to where bacteria can’t thrive and therefore your sweat won’t stink.

I was pretty skeptical and not so sure I wanted to smell like a salad all day, but I’m willing to try anything once.  The first time I had tried it I had just shaved and it stung quite a bit (I have super sensitive skin).  After a few minutes of flapping my arms about like a chicken to try and get the stinging to stop I was fine and the vinegary smell subsided.  After a full day of running around, getting in a good workout and being on heat at the chiropractor, I did the sniff test (picture that old commercial – Sure? Unsure.) and was amazed to find that I was not nearly as stinky after a long day as I usually was.

For that reason, the bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar has earned it’s spot on my bathroom shelf.  BUT I found another reason to keep it there.

As I’m rapidly approaching the big 3-0 I’ve noticed that my skin is changing, and not for the better.  All of a sudden I feel like my pores are HUGE.  When did that happen?!  I started researching different creams and serums to help shrink those suckers back into submission.  Of course they all have their pros and cons, one person loves the product another hates it.  On a whim, I Googled natural remedies for shrinking pores.  One of the first  to pop up – you guessed it!  Apple Cider Vinegar. 

It can be used as a natural toner – just swipe a cotton ball dipped in it across your skin before bed.  It has natural anti-septic and anti-fungal properties that help to prevent breakouts (bonus!).  If you want to take it a step further, keep the Apple Cider Vinegar in the fridge – the cold helps to reduce pore size too!

Do you have any other great uses for Apple Cider Vinegar?  Or success with the ones above?

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