Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: June 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

what I wore for a job interview

I had an interview for the position of Summer Programming Coordinator this week (and I got the job!).  My top and shoes are from Walmart and my skirt is from RW&Co.  

I took the picture in front of a mirror in my closet room...you can see the weirdly placed attic door in the reflection.


Friday, June 7, 2013

If I could design my home just for me...

Sometimes I'll see a picture on Pinterest and think "Oh, I'd love to paint the front door hot pink!!" but I know my husband would not ever go for that.  This post features décor ideas I love and would implement in my home if I lived alone.  Get ready for some awesomeness!

look at those gardens!

pretty sure guys die a little inside when a woman says she wants to paint wood...can't imagine what they would say if wallpapering wood was mentioned!

I like all the pink

look at that shower curtain :D

such pretty wallpaper

oooh, painted ceiling! 

I am a sucker for claw foot tubs

white kitchens...oh yes

By the way, feel free to follow me on Pinterest!


better-for-me beauty products

When I started college in 2008, that was (in my opinion) the peak of the trendy environmentally conscious movement. I went to a fairly small college that was highly regarded for their environmental programs.  While I was obtaining my Environmental Technician diploma,  I volunteered in the campus gardens, composted EVERYTHING I could at home, took advantage of the Free Market the school offered (basically you can drop off your used home goods and pick up some for free).  This was the year I also stopped wearing antiperspirant...is that too much information?    I switched from chemical-laden sticks to a more health conscious variety.  Did you know that antiperspirants contain aluminum, which has been linked to causing Alzheimer's? Plus, sweating is natural and good for the body...society has conditioned us to believe that sweating (especially on women) is gross and needs to be covered up. But I'll save that rant for another day:)

I wanted to switch my other beauty products to some better options but didn't know where to start.   I eventually found the brand Nature's Gate (pictured) and loved the shampoo.  It cleaned and rinsed well and eliminated my need for conditioner.  I slowly switched my sunblock, body lotion, body soap and hand soap to a better-for-me alternative. 

A lot of beauty products contain Parabens, which act as a preservative.  Studies have shown that they can stay in a women's system and get passed to her baby through breast milk.  Scary!  They can also cause skin irritations, may cause cancer and may be harmful to the male reproductive system.  However, other studies concluded that there are no harmful effects of parabens...But I chose to avoid them just in case.   The products I use are also free from artificial fragrance and dyes because I have very sensitive skin. 

I've found that my new products clean just as well, if not better than the nasty alternatives.  Plus, I know I'm not adding extra stress to my body by exposing it to harsh chemicals.  

The picture in this post shows my shampoo, hand soap, lotion, sunblock, body soap and deodorant.  They were all reasonably priced and available at a local health food store and a bulk food store chain. 

that little white egg shaped thing is a deodorant crystal
 I hope I didn't come across as preachy and a know-it-all in this post.  If I did, I'm sorry.  As I mentioned earlier, studies have been done to both prove and disprove the harmful effects of chemicals like parabens.  But if there is even a small chance something I use daily is harming my body, I'm not going to use it. 

My little challenge to you is to take a look at the items you use and see if they have anything like phosphates, parabens, artificial fragrance, phthalates...If you see those or anything else on the ingredients list that you are unsure of, take a few minutes to search them online.  You might be surprised to learn what they do to our bodies. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

BBQ sauce cupcakes

You read the title right...BBQ sauce cupcakes. 

There's a grocery store chain in my area that offers a free cooking magazine at their stores.  Most of the recipes are using specific ingredients found at their stores (store brand products) but they have good ideas.  The issue I got the other day had a feature on recipes using their new BBQ sauce.  Some of them were okay, like pizza sauce or pasta salad...but they cupcake recipe caught my eye.  I don't actually like store bought BBQ sauce but I really wanted to test this idea out. So I bought the specific brand of sauce recommended and baked up a batch of these goodies yesterday afternoon.

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup Sensations by Compliments No Limits Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 cup room temp butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce (same brand as above)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Blend all the cupcake ingredients in a large bowl using an electric mixer (blend for 2 minutes on medium speed)
  2. Divide batter into 24 lined muffin cups and bake on middle rack of oven for 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then move to rack and cool completely. 
  3. Using an electric mixer, blend butter until smooth.  Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix for 1 minute. 
  4. Ice the cooled cupcakes

My verdict
The recipe says the cupcakes are "Sweet, with a hint of smoke and spice". 

The cakes themselves were okay.  The BBQ sauce added a little somethin' somethin' in terms of flavour.  I felt like the icing was too strong and tasted weird.  I was also really grossed because I was eating CAKE with BBQ SAUCE!  Eeeeew....it's a really weird combination! 
But, my husband liked them!
I probably won't be making this exact recipe again.  I would likely make the cupcakes exactly the same but would use a different frosting that is sauce-free. 

If you decide to make these for someone, don't tell them there is BBQ sauce.  They might get weirded our like I did.