Category Archives: Projects

Cait Without Coffee

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I love being busy. I love having twelve things on the go, walking quickly, talking faster and doing this all with a 20 ounce cup of coffee in my hand.

Since I started my job as a barista two years ago, I’ve developed a serious “enthusiasm” for coffee and caffeine.  It’s only recently that I’ve ever begun to think about how much coffee and caffeine I’m consuming daily.

A quick estimate placed me at approximately 750mg of caffeine daily. Side effects of this much coffee consumption include

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

When I begin to think about what I feel like on a day to day basis, most of these side effects apply to me and suddenly everything starts to make more sense.

With this new information comes the obvious question

“Well, what are you going to do about it?”

So I’ve come up with a plan. Starting at lunch today I gave up coffee for one week. No lattes, no brewed drip, not even a quick espresso shot. (My god, that was hard to write).

This goal luckily prompted a quick Teavana run. I picked out a selection of caffeinated and decaf teas all of which are super yummy!

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Have you ever tried to quit coffee or reduce your caffeine intake? What helped you?

 

Let’s Make A Thing Really Quickly – Oven Mitt Heating Pad

As fall continues to march on the temperature keeps dropping, and I turn into a shivery Victorian Orphan. Wheatley seems to be similar to her mum in that respect so the other day I whipped up these microwaveable heating pads.

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These are cute, incredibly simple to make and can be used to soothe cramps, heat up beds or warm extremities in a snap!

You Will Need

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One 900g bag of rice

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An Oven Mitt

STEP ONE

Fill the mitt with rice up to an inch below the opening at the wrist, finish off by stitching it closed. I used a catch stitch to close mine up.

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To use your heating pad, throw it in the microwave in one minute “bursts” until you figure out how long it takes for it to heat up.

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These projects are great, within minutes you have a physical, functional “thing” and a great sense of accomplishment.

Enjoy the toasty warmness!

Three Super Simple Hairstyles

I learned how to blow dry my own hair about a month ago.

I don’t know why, but somehow I convinced myself that I could not style my own hair and therefore made no attempts to actually learn. During my hot roller phase in high school I had my mum putting my hair up for me.

But I’ve decided to be a grown up, and I think I’m getting better. In fact it’s provided a pretty good lesson about mental blocks, and the idea that if you just believe you can do something then everything can change.

Life Lesson aside, I’m going to share three simple hairstyles that a total novice like myself can do.

Enjoy!

Romantic Curls

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Twisty Buns

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Crown Braid

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Are you a braid wizard or follicularly challenged? Either way, what’s your go to hairstyle?

The Bike Project

There’s something that I just love about a good old fashioned restoration.

Taking something old and discovering what is new and beautiful underneath is incredibly satisfying.
This weekend I was working on an old 1970s Raleigh, It was my bike for years but six inches later it is officially too small for me. So I decided to clean her up and try to find her a new home.

Today I want to teach you how to restore a bike using inexpensive and green methods!

When I started the bike, it looked like this.

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A bit of elbow grease, some tin foil and no harsh chemicals later we had this bike,

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When I started how to investigate how to restore the bike I found page after page of people suggesting toxic chemicals. From paint thinners, to commercial rust removers I was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of using such strong products. So I began to search out some more natural ways of removing heavy rust from chrome and unpainted metal.

I eventually decided to us plain old white vinegar.

The vinegar removes rust because it contains acetic acid which reacts with rust to create a water soluble reside which can just be washed off.

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I applied this vinegar first with a very fine grade of steel wool, then a ball of tinfoil and finally with a toothbrush to finish it up. This process goes much quicker than you might expect.

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After I finished removing the rust, I used an all natural class cleaner to remove the residue and finished off with a chrome polish. Finally, I applied a healthy amount of amourall to the tires and seat, degreased the chain and admired my handiwork!

I’ve placed a gallery at the bottom of the post, for some more before/after shots. Have you ever restored anything? Also, what is your position on natural cleaners? I have to say after this experiment I am an absolute convert.