Fun Fluff

Get your own dinosaurs, read some great books that take place in North Carolina, redo your kitchen in bold colours, and plan a productive backyard get-together. I’ve got so many ideas for you. You’re welcome.

Hello!

There was exciting neighborhood drama near the Mulberry House, so it’s a good thing a neighbour told me to be “vigilant and armed.”

I can have dinosaurs in my backyard!

I finally read Where the Crawdads Sing and absolutely loved it. And then I read A Good Neighborhood which I also absolutely loved and cannot recommend enough. It provides a scary accurate depiction of life in suburban North Carolina.

Last week we took a day trip to Salisbury, North Carolina, which I’ll tell you more about another time, but I couldn’t not tell you about the ice cream truck we stumbled upon.

I love this yellow kitchen trend. I’m not bold enough to go all yellow, but I’m putting in a little yellow surprise in the Mulberry House kitchen.

Speaking of bold colours in the kitchen, I love these to pieces.

I love this idea for a backyard get-together.

Make it a great weekend,

Diana

Fun Fluff

I’ve got a great condiment recipe to share (not my recipe), some safe vacation ideas, a good cause, and a rant. Enjoy.

Hello!

I got a job as a census worker way back when the census was supposed to happen. I thought this would be a good way to mix things up and bring in a little extra income. But just as with many jobs these days, I have no idea what to expect. When is it gonna actually start? What kinds of modifications will they have made for the pandemic? I got a few days notice that I was supposed to go in for two hours of in-person training on Wednesday, but then that got cancelled Tuesday night. And then today I was informed that it was rescheduled for this Saturday, which I can’t make. So now I’m on a reschedule list, waiting to hear back.

But this looks pretty awesome.

And also this recipe is awesome and I’m sharing it because it took us forever to find it again. The trick is that it’s not the featured recipe on this page, it’s the one that’s waaaaaay at the bottom with the picture in the little blue pot.

Leave it to IKEA to solve our vacation woes.

I love that the City of Raleigh set this up.

Have a lovely weekend,

Diana

A Custom Coffee Table

We finally have a beautiful custom copper coffee table for our Downtown Luxury Slum.

Meanwhile, back at the Downtown Luxury Slum, we finally have a coffee table that fits the space.

Here’s what we’ve been living with for the past 2 years:

Ikea Lack Tables

That’s right. We’ve had two non-matching Ikea Lack tables. Aren’t they beautiful? Sometimes I cover them with wrapping paper so they look fun and match.

But I’ve been wanting a nice big central table that is big enough for the entire room to share and that seems to be too big of an ask if I don’t want to drop $5000 on it (and I don’t). After putting more thought into it, I do appreciate having two separate tables because it allows a little more flexibility with being able to move them for whatever reason. So I decided to try to make something.

Ugly coffee table

That’s not what I made. That’s what I paid too much for two of at the Habitat Restore because I was out shopping during the pandemic, wearing my mask, and not getting enough oxygen to my brain.

Coffee Table from Habitat Restore

But anyway, it’s clearly way too tall but the top of it is more in proportion with the room and couches. So I ripped off the legs and used the top for my new creation.

New table legs

First I got some new black powder coated steel legs from Etsy and attached them. Then my instinct went straight to making a wood table top, but since it’ll be so close to the wood floors, I wanted to do something different. I like the idea of glass or clear acrylic because they wouldn’t obscure the view of Gary, our cow rug. But both seem like they’d be a pain to keep clean, glass seems like I’d be too likely to break it, and acrylic just seems too futuristic for this house. Eventually I wound up deciding on copper!

DIY custom copper table

I ordered a roll of 10 mil copper sheeting from Basic Copper and used it to wrap the table top. This is my ugliest corner that I’ve chosen to photograph and show you. For context, 10 mil copper is much thicker than aluminum foil so it’s fairly rigid, but it is still pliable and and can be cut with scissors. I chose this thickness because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to seal the copper with some sort of protective sealant to protect it from oxidizing or if I wanted to allow it to take on a patina over time. With thinner copper sheets, a sealant would have been a requirement. However, I’m starting to think I want to lightly hammer it for more texture and then seal it. Then I’ll probably get a thinner copper sheet for the second table, which I’ll build to be slightly higher than the first so that one can partially slide under the other when we want to get it out of the way.

Custom DIY Copper Coffee Table

PS. Don’t mind that the furniture all appears to be covered in protective plastic – it’s double sided tape to prevent Spritz! from clawing it, so instead she just licks it because she apparently loves the taste of the adhesive.

Fun Fluff

Feeling at home at the Mulberry House with a fancy new shower curtain. Fancy appliances, really big kitchen wares, and bad TV.

Hello!

I packed a suitcase and moved into the Mulberry House for the next few days. It feels like fancy, air conditioned camping. And I bought this shower curtain since I’m allowed to have cute things. According to my niece, everything at Target is “so cute!”

I love these DIY fake antique appliances.

I found some inspiration for more North Carolina day trips. The oldest big coffee pot in the United States is definitely destination worthy!

And when I’m feeling a little lazier, there’s a new season of Shameless for me to watch on Netflix.

Have a lovely weekend,

Diana

Fun Fluff

An inspiring staircase, a historic tavern for sale, tips for managing mosquitoes, things riding things on t-shirts, and a video interesting enough to keep my attention.

Hello!

This leaves me confident and inspired to do some painting in the kitchen and bathroom of the Mulberry House.

I love this staircase. And the flooring. And wow.

Andrew tells me I don’t want this. But it’s just such a steal! Someone else should buy it and I’ll come visit.

Lots of tips for managing mosquitoes. I’m curious about the traps and definitely plan to give the incense a try.

I bought this t-shirt for Andrew to add to his collection of “things riding things” clothing.

This video was captivating enough to hold my attention for over 11 minutes.

Have a lovely weekend,

Diana

Fun Fluff 23

Why you should explore, an impressive DIY kitchen, home during the pandemic, and butts.

Hello!

Get out and explore, even if you can’t go far. It’ll make you feel better.

I can totally renovate a kitchen as awesomely as this guy…

I’ve come across several stories about people deciding to move (or to stay put) during the pandemic and I definitely encourage everyone to do what’s best for them, but I’m so happy that our Downtown Luxury Slum is best for us.

Here’s some good silliness to round out your week.

Have a lovely weekend,

Diana

Let’s Do Coffee

I figured we could take a minute to catch up on what’s been going on for the last few months. What do you say?

If you and I were to sit down to coffee today, it’d be over Google Hangouts or Zoom again. I’m super bored of social distancing and would love to meet in person, but unfortunately, I’m still really struggling with breathing while wearing a mask so, if we met in person, it would have to be 10 minutes max and I’d probably be preoccupied with breathing.

I’d tell you that the recent protests have given us reason to leave the house, which is super exciting. Andrew participated in a few of them but I couldn’t because of my mask wearing issues. I did often observe from afar – I was a block away when protesters managed to remove a couple confederate statues from the capital grounds and hang them from a nearby light post. But we’ve also done almost daily walks to see what kind of new damage and repairs have been done everyday.

And then I’d apologize that I haven’t even asked how you’ve been. Are you still completely isolating at home? It’s hard to even imagine how everything is impacting people with different circumstances than me. Like trying to work a full time job at home while also keeping multiple little people alive and ideally thriving. Or like being a person of colour in a world that seems to have just realized that’s a thing. Or being a downtown bar owner that had their business shut down since March and now has a pile of broken boarded up windows and no clue if or when they’re ever going to be able to reopen. Or being an older person living in a nursing home just waiting for a covid outbreak to take over their facility. Meanwhile I’m just irritated I found $377 flights to Tokyo that I can’t buy because I don’t know when it’s going to be adequately safe to travel.

You’d try to reassure me that I’m allowed to be upset and that my complaints aren’t any less valid than anyone else’s.

I’ll groan and say yeah, sure. And in an attempt to change the subject, I’ll suggest we pause to grab some coffee. This is a coffee date after all! I’ll mix some cream of coconut and chocolate powder with some cold brew and a little oat milk to make an oh-so-refreshing and creamy iced coffee.

I ask you if you remember me telling you about my plan to train as a real estate appraiser? And the real estate broker pre-licensing class I was taking? Well, I finished the class online, and passed with flying colours. I was hoping to take the licensing exam to become provisionally licensed, which would allow me to take some post-licensing classes, hopefully also online. But unfortunately, my pathetic breathing skills have kept me from attempting the licensing exam which would have to be taken at a testing center.

I’d ask you how things have been with your work? Are you still happy with what you’re doing? A (huge) part of me is now regretting quitting my job, but I am just so much happier having done it, despite feeling like I currently have no purpose in life.

You’re such a good listener so you’d ask how things are going with our house. And I’d tell you that the yard is looking pretty great, the garden is productive, and we’ve been loving spending time outside, despite the increasing summer heat. I finally submitted my COA application to install a front walkway and shed in the backyard and am hoping to hear back by next week. We’re also waiting for a quote for a new metal roof. Other than that, not much is going on but we’re still loving the house. I did come up with some DIY table ideas (dining room and coffee) that I’ll tell you more about after I get them done.

You’d tell me you’re already looking forward to Canadian Thanksgiving at the new dinning room table. Hopefully we’re able to get together safely by then!

I tell you I sure hope so because, while I appreciate the option of doing virtual birthday parties, dance recitals, and beer tastings, and have enjoyed our day trips to Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Durham, I’m definitely missing the bigger world. I miss getting to hug you.

Then I’d glance at the time on my computer and notice that I have spent way too much time talking about myself—yet again. I’m the worst. Can we make a date to get back together when things are a little more normal? Maybe we could have a campfire. I promise to talk less about myself. Love you!

Fun Fluff 22

Garden ideas, diy skills, cute food, and how to safely use a public bathroom.

Hello!

I finally submitted our Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application to build a shed and front walkway! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I just stumbled on this list of easy perennials which may come in handy for choosing plantings to line the new, eventual walkway.

The interior of the Downtown Luxury Slum was a hot mess when we bought it so it didn’t seem worth trying to preserve any of the plaster walls. But I’m hopeful to one day own a house that needs some plaster repair and this tutorial makes it look doable.

I’m loving this exterior reveal. It looks like it fits perfectly in the neighborhood now.

This project feels like a level of artistic that I might be capable of and dang proud of if if turned out.

Should you use public bathrooms during the pandemic?

tldr:

  • no
  • Toilet plume leaves potentially infectious particles in the air for about a minute after each flush, and then on surfaces until they are cleaned and sanitized.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Choose larger bathrooms with better air circulation.
  • Wait at least 1 minutes before entering a stall after someone else.
  • Do not pee on the toilet seat. (Aim for the target in the middle of the circle; it’s easiest to hit if you sit.)
  • Put the lid down BEFORE flushing if there is one. This contains the toilet plume.
  • Run away from automatic flushes.
  • Touch as few surfaces as possible with your hands; use toilet paper or paper towels to touch things.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Sanitize your hands if you touch something after washing.

And finally, I’ve been sorting through articles and blog posts that I’ve saved to read later. And I have things saved to “read later” from 2010. So it’s been pretty entertaining. I found the press release saying Starbucks would be getting free wifi in all their stores. I can barely remember a time when that wasn’t the reality. Anyway, here’s some fun pictures from a blog that no longer exists, but used to be awesome.

That’s it for this week,

Diana

Fun Fluff 21

Basic thoughts on the state of downtown Raleigh, moving to Belize, feeling safe at home, paper animal lanterns, cooling magic, a documentary and some podcast recommendations.

Hello!

In the last issue of Fun Fluff, I shared some pictures of downtown, all boarded up. At that point, some people had started to turn the plywood into canvases for art but now downtown is so colourful with all the temporary murals. Even though most places are still boarded up and we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, downtown actually feels kinda full of life. Like there was even a busker out the other day. I’m hoping some of the art and colour gets to stay. Black Lives Matter marches continued through last weekend but seem to have tapered off this week, presumably due to the rain. That said, I expect there to be more this weekend, especially with Donald Trump promoting the importance of Juneteenth.

I’m tired of having a leaky roof but don’t want to pay to replace it because what a boring way to spend way too much money. Also, my phone fell out of my pocket and into loose insulation fluff when I was in the attic the other day. Finding it was a fun adventure.

I’m trying to convince Andrew we should move to Belize. Not a 2 million dollar island, but a modest oceanfront condo. Is that asking too much?

To be fair, feeling safe at home (except for the two days the riots were happening here) is probably something I should be a little more thankful for.

Sorry, more happy things!

I want to try making these sometime soon. I think they will come in handy.

If you’ve got some time to kill, this is a documentary about Shaw University, the HBCU that is right beside the Downtown Luxury Slum. I found it pretty interesting but that’s partly because it’s my neighbourhood.

Anyway, here are some more recent pictures of downtown Raleigh.

Stay safe and sane,

Wait! I also wanted to recommend a podcast because when I was listening to the most recent episode, one of the hosts mentioned that they were currently on the top of the charts and it made her feel like the gym in January, but for racism. And that made me lol. So listen to Code Switch and also Colour Code (the Canadian equivalent that is no longer in production but the old episodes still apply, sadly). Both should be available wherever you listen to podcasts, and if you don’t listen to podcasts, I recommend trying with the Pocket Casts app.

K bye,

Diana