Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

beauty how to: brows

I'm so excited to be sharing this with you guys! I am friends with a real, professional make up artist who has graciously allowed me to post her first tutorial video to share with all of you!

Alycia Wicks is super talented and has done a guest post on my blog before. I was eager to work with her so I asked if she would be interested again and she said yes. I am not up to speed on the current make up and beauty trends (are red lips still in?!) but Alycia is and said she would be talking about eyebrows for her video.  I was intrigued because I remember when skinny brows were in fashion, followed by bushy ones so I'm curious to see what the pro says.

Before you watch the tutorial, here are some examples of Alycia's work (she did my wedding makeup!) to show how how awesome she is.

See? Awesome work!  The first picture is actually of my bridesmaids at my wedding:)

And now...for the video!

I'm seriously impressed with all the knowledge Alycia has...I'm so inept when it comes to makeup, but almost everything I know I learned when I had my make up trials with Alycia before my wedding.  She is partly responsible for me NOT looking like a clown everyday!

What do you guys think of the current brows trend?  Would you try it, if you aren't already?  Did you have those super skinny or wild and crazy eyebrows of years past? I actually did both...oh the shame!

In my defense...my eyebrows were terrible in middle school so I had them professionally waxed and then I plucked them to maintain the shape.  So the over tweezed look is what I was given!  After a few years of that I decided to let my brows grow in naturally and that is what we see in the second picture.  They had no shape!!  Now I think they are a happy combo of shaped but natural:)

Let me know if you want to see more videos by Alycia! We'll see if we can convince her to share her expertise again:)


Monday, September 29, 2014

two years

As of Sunday it has been 2 years since David and I became home owners.  Here we are on September 28, 2012.

We have changed in 2 years, but so has our house!  A lot of projects have taken place in that time, and we aren't done yet!  Below are some examples of what we have changed.

the bathroom when we first looked at the house; the bathroom now

the dining room when we first moved in; the dining room now.  obviously, the big change is paint colour!

living room before; living room now.  the "before" picture is actually from last year but we rearranged the furniture to accommodate a new wood stove which isn't pictured. the after picture is how the room looks today.

basement stairs when we moved in; stairs now.  the stair tutorial is one of my popular posts.

exterior before; exterior after.  we actually didn't change much but somehow the siding always looks brighter and more reddish now.  the main differences now are: redone garden, trees planted in yard, pool taken out (located on the right of the top picture), wood stove pipe added.

front garden before; front garden after.  apologies for the downspout pipe...we just laid new sod where it usually rests and didn't want to damage it with the pipe!  the main difference here is...everything! I removed every plant and shrub to put in my own flowers and I think it looks so much better!

this image shows how we filled the yard with saplings.  our mini orchard is located in the south side of our front yard. 

after having an ugly, metal screen door that opened the wrong way we decided to get this type of door instead.  
There are many other changes we made to the house, some by choice (like paint colours) others by necessity such as new plumbing or flooring where the basement flooded.  We have also learned a lot about being homeowners and how difficult it can be sometimes.

Sometimes I still can't believe this is our house.  It's not the nicest, biggest or newest house but it's ours. To have become homeowners at ages 22 and 24 is amazing and I'm so proud of us! We bought this house with the intent of being here for the long haul and I can see us growing old together here.

We have so many more big plans for the house and yard! That includes building a patio, planting more trees, expanding the veggie garden, building a fence...And inside we hope to replace the flooring upstairs, take out some awkward closets, update the kitchen, redo the basement bathroom.

If we have accomplished this much in a couple years, imagine how our house will look in 5 or 10 years! Hopefully I'll still be blogging then and can look back to this post with fondness and pride :)

PS-see more house photos under the "house" heading at the top of the blog!


weekend recap: September 26-28

Good morning everyone, how was your weekend?  Mine was pretty eventful!  To start, I worked on Friday (my first early morning shift...must be a good sign!) and then came home to wait for the plumbers to install our new hot water tank.  Last Monday I wrote about how we did not have any hot water since our tank failed and it was definitely a challenge to go without hot water for several days.  The old tank was inefficient and inaccessible because the previous home owners had installed a new furnace and built a new wall, which boxed in the heater.  David had to, unfortunately, cut  half the wall out to access the tank :(  But it was fairly easy so he will be able to put the drywall back up with no problem.

On Saturday I worked at the library and finished up a new book display that I'm really excited about.  I found this idea on Pinterest, so I can't take all the credit but the head librarian LOVED it!
library displays

It says "LEAF through a good book" and has books on display that haven't been checked out in a while.  I've been withdrawing books that haven't been checked out in 7+ years so I'm hoping I can save some by doing displays like this.

Also on Saturday David went duck hunting with some friends, but had no luck with bringing home  a bird or two.  Oh well, there is still plenty of time left this season!

Sunday morning was spent at work while David did some work at home.  He filled some holes in the siding to ensure no critters come into the house this winter.  We've recently had a problem with mice so, in addition to trapping them inside, we have to make sure they can't get into the house again.  In the evening I did some family and engagement photos for a fun young family.

Corey and Natalie are getting married next September and want me to shoot their wedding, so we did a mix of family pictures and engagement ones yesterday.

That's pretty much it for my weekend.  I've been doing these recap posts since summer, so I'd like to know if you guys actually enjoy reading them.  Or do you not care how I spend my time on weekends?  Please let me know (you can do so anonymously) in the comments below.

Oh, and if you haven't already, feel free to Like, Follow and Repin me!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

birthday/fall shopping haul!

At the beginning of September I did some birthday shopping with money I was given.  I had about $110 to spend so I was determined to stretch it out and buy as much as possible.  Yesterday I spent the last of it and had planned to make a video showing what I bought but my throat is sore today and I need to rest it so I can talk at work this afternoon.

I've taken pictures of my goodies and included the price so you can see exactly where I spent my money.  Under each picture will be the name of the store/brand of clothing for reference.  Oh, and I should state now that everything I bought (except the lipstain and purse) were on sale.  I've included the original price if I remembered it.

each necklace was regularly $11.50 but were on sale for $15 for 2 at Ardene.

Lipstain in "Crush" can be bought at any drugstore.

$8 from Talize
white business casual dress
white dress with grey pattern from Ricki's

retro print dress
retro printed dress originally from H&M, bought at Talize

light brown dress originally from BCBG Max Aria, bought at Talize

teal maxi dress from Old Navy
pink and white blouse from Ruche

jersey maxi skirt
pink and grey maxi skirt from Ruche

patterned sweater with lace cutouts from Ruche

same sweater as above, but taken in front of a window to show lace cutouts
embellished cropped sweater
embellished cropped sweater from H&M

rust coloured maxi dress from H&M
Before I went shopping I knew what I was looking for: long skirts or dresses, clothes I can wear to work (dresses, blouses, etc) and some accessories.  Going shopping at the start of September can be great for sales because stores are trying to move their summer stock and may even be having an early fall clothing sale.  My white dress, blue maxi and the items from Ruche were all summer stock that was deeply discounted; the cropped sweater and rust dress from H&M were bought in a "mid season" clearance sale.  I had actually been eyeing the dress for a while but didn't love it enough to spend $20 (yes, I am cheap thrifty) but seeing on sale was enough to convince me!  The cropped sweater will be great for layering over maxi dresses or blouses so I'm looking forward to wearing it.

Overall I think I did pretty well with this shopping trip and am happy with my purchases.  I wish I could have scored some brown boots with a heel, but I need good quality/expensive shoes so that was not really in my budget this time.

Do you typically go shopping at the start of Fall?  What did you buy this year and what have you been eyeing?


Thankful Thursday 4

Good morning everyone!  How has your week been? Mine has been busy, but good. I usually enjoy being busy because business tends to equate to productivity,  There are some days I have no motivation to clean or bake or garden, so I read or watch Netflix.  Before I know it David is texting me to say he is on his way home from work and I'm like "wow, I did nothing today!"

Pointless story aside, this week has been busy and gone by fast! As I mentioned in the weekend recap post our hot water tank has stopped working (due to a calcium build up) so we are still bathing "camping style" as my brother calls it.  We warm a pot of water on the stove and use that, which means it't hard to really feel clean after.  I've resorted to washing my hair over the tub with the cold water so thankfully my hair is short and only needs washing every few days

Enough babbling, let's get to the list!  This week I'm thankful:
  1. For our neighbors on the South side of our yard.  They are always friendly without being creepy, they have offered us their lawn mower when we didn't have one, they used their farm tractor/snow plow on our driveway last winter after a huge storm and more recently, they offered us FREE firewood!  They own several acres behind us and are cutting down all the trees on the property line; since they know we use  a wood stove they said we can have as much as we want for free.  That's a huge blessing since heating costs can be very expensive.
  2. That the raccoon we thought might be making a nest in our yard/house actually lives in an abandoned barn elsewhere.
  3. For my friend, Lisa at work.  I've only been working with her for a few months and now she is moving on to a better job, which makes me a little sad.  She is always so cheerful and funny and I love working with her.
  4. That my mom has a job she finally likes.  She used to work in administration for a department store but was recently promoted to the optical center there. Now she is working almost full time and really enjoying it.  

What are you thankful for this week? Let me know below!  If you have a blog feel free to make your own Thankful Thursday post and share the link in the comments section here.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Today I'm showing you the outfit I wore to work at the library yesterday.  I have a feeling this week will be full of fashion posts, so I hope you like reading them (if not, tell me so!).  I'm planning a post on my Irish clan sweater and my birthday shopping haul from earlier this month.

The library I work at is a very small, rural library located in the old town hall and it is the only non residential building in the whole town.  When I'm working I'm the only librarian but I have a student assistant.  There isn't really a dress code; since it is a small town library in a farming town jeans and sweaters are acceptable.  But anyone who knows me well would tell you that I prefer to wear dressier clothes whenever I can.  This is probably because I LIVED in jeans as a teenager and am now sick of them.

Anyways, I put together this outfit yesterday and I loved wearing it.  I felt classy but comfortable at the same time.

fall dresses

fall dresses
Grey shirt: Walmart
Houndstooth Dress: H&M
Tights: Walmart
Booties: Denver Hayes
Bag: Talize Thirft Store
Earrings and Bracelet: Pandora
Brooch on Dress: Michael's

I am so into this bag right now!!  I have seen similar styles in magazines for years but they were always so expensive.  This one was bought at a recently opened thrift store in town; I got it for $7.00 :)  I was drawn to the colour of the bag first, then the style but the price is what really got me!  I've been using this bag exclusively for a few weeks now and I'm glad I bought it. 

green briefcase purse

The brooch I'm wearing is actually one my mom bought me years ago when I was making my wedding bouquet but I decided to keep it as a sweater brooch.  I've worn it often and it worked perfectly with this outfit,

sweater brooch

There's a saying I've heard that I quite like:  You can never be overdressed or over educated.   I like to repeat the first part to myself when I'm picking out my clothes for the day because I often feel like I'm too dressed up for certain occasions.  It's usually  easier to throw on my worn jeans and a hoodie when I go out but it's more fun to wear an outfit like this.


Monday, September 22, 2014

weekend recap: September 19-21

Happy Monday, everyone.  Did you have a good weekend? We had some summery weather, which was nice but also confusing since last week was so cold!

On Friday afternoon I modeled a little for an up and coming photographer in the area (pictures are a secret for now but I'll share them soon!).  Afterwards David and I met up to look for a new jacket for him to wear while duck hunting. Since we were out a little later than expected we bought a couple pizzas for dinner and watched some Netflix when we got home.

On Saturday I worked at the library (as I will every Saturday for the next several months) and started making a fall book display.  I have a student intern who is really artistic so she is an invaluable resource for someone like me with the art skills of a kindergartner.  After the library I was off to shoot a wedding.

If you wanted to see more  from the wedding click here.  Saturday was also David's family Thanksgiving at his grandma's house.  Yes, it is early, even for Canadians!  But she wanted to make sure everyone could attend so she planned it early.  I, however, was absent since I had booked this wedding months in advance.  David said the food was all very good and came back with gifts from his grandma's trip to Ireland. We got a neat little coaster and a dish to rest tea bags on.  Guess what else David got?

Those are 2 Irish potatoes. He wants to try growing them so we can have Irish potatoes in abundance for many years.  I think his grandma was a little surprised at his request for them, but it is a neat idea.

On Sunday we just rested.  Eventually we left the house for our monthly grocery shopping trip (we did September's shopping at the end of August so now we did the trip for October).  We did a bit of cleaning up once we got home and then just relaxed until bed.  I've been so tired lately!

Today I'm getting my hair cut and doing some house work.  Every time I tell my mom I'm getting my hair cut she says I have nothing to cut because it's already so short.  I usually see my hairdresser every 5-6 weeks but I'd prefer to see her every 3 weeks so I can maintain my hair length instead of letting it grow a few inches before getting a trim.  I really notice the few inches of growth since having shorter hair!

This week we are hopefully getting a new hot water tank since ours has officially stopped working properly (something about calcium from the hard water here building up on the sensors in the tank).  We are also planning to finish up some projects around the house and critter proof the exterior since I saw a raccoon in our yard last week. We certainly don't want her deciding our attic is a nice place to live over winter!

What are your plans for the week?  If you have a couple minutes to spare could you please fill out my survey about Our Wood Home?  The responses I get will help me understand what you guys like reading here and help me improve my blog in general.  Thanks!