Archives

101 Things in 1,001 Days

Hello, readers,

I came across the 101 Things in 1,001 Days challenge for the first time last week. I thought it was a really cool way to list out a lot of goals of various importance all in one place to see what you can accomplish in 2.75 years. I recently looked at my New Year’s resolutions I made at the start of 2015, and I was really surprised by just how much I’ve changed in 3.5 years. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to achieve a lot of these new goals. Since there are 101 of them, that gave me the freedom to include some more “minor” aspirations that sadly never make the more restrictive goal lists.

I’ve seen a few blogs now that separate their list into categories like “business” and “friends and family,” but I like the more disorganized lists. They seem to give more permission for spontaneous completion. I wrote my list in Google Sheets and used a random number function to sort things, so you won’t find any intentional pattern in the list below. Fair warning: a lot of the items have to do with fixing up and prettifying the house.

* * *

Start Day: August 25, 2018

End Day: May 22, 2021

  • Plain formatted items are still in progress.
  • Bolded items are completed, and I’m going to try to document as many of the items as I can. 
  • Striked items are things I decided that I don’t care about anymore.
  1. Make more sugar heart “cubes”
  2. Wear “minimal makeup” (eyeliner, blush, lip color) at least once a week
  3. Go to a pumpkin patch in the fall
  4. Bake a pie from scratch
  5. Read the Arabian Nights, one story a night
  6. Grow as many edible flowers as possible
  7. Finish a draft for a novel
  8. Make or buy a swimsuit I’ll actually wear
  9. Learn to play piano
  10. See an opera
  11. Re-texture the first floor walls
  12. Make butter
  13. Watch (for the first time) a movie that my mom got me for Christmas years ago…
  14. Attend another lolita meet
  15. Stop casually swearing
  16. Paint a portrait of my cat
  17. Send out holiday greeting cards (for Halloween or Christmas) (October 2018)
    • Six cards, Halloween 2018
  18. Make a pair of lounge/flannel bloomers
  19. Successfully germinate some coffee seeds
  20. Install better laminate flooring in the bedroom upstairs
  21. Read at least 101 books in a year
  22. Preserve/can something (water bath method)
  23. Install baseboard in all the rooms
  24. Go bowling
  25. Participate in National Novel Writing Month again
  26. Learn to crochet doilies
  27. Make ice cream by hand
  28. Get my bass guitar adjusted and fighting fit again
  29. Fill up a coloring book
  30. Make/have a vegan dinner at least once a week for a month
  31. Sew a dress for myself
  32. Visit a Renaissance Festival or other fair
  33. Play croquet
  34. Get a plot in my local community garden
  35. Make more mead
  36. Buy a better-fitting corset
  37. Wear a corset once a week on average
  38. See how well a robot vacuum works in the house (September 2018)
    • Verdict: great! I bought an iRobot Roomba 690. It might be a silly fool that bumps into things and sometimes forgets to go into all the rooms, but it picks up SO MUCH debris/hair/fur. I love it.
  39. Make rosewater
  40. Get a new driver’s license (September 2018)
  41. Send thank you notes to people in my life
  42. Hang a chandelier somewhere (October 2018)
    • Just in case I can’t manage a permanent chandelier installation, I’m going to say these Halloween string lights count.P1120627
  43. Finish the pom-pom rug I started (it’s 85% done)
  44. Reach out to a high school friend I haven’t spoken to in years
  45. Take a bath with a homemade bath bomb
  46. Collect fresh eggs from my (future) pet chickens
  47. Hang curtains back up in the main downstairs room
  48. Make the trip to Minneapolis to visit my partner’s grandmother ASAP
  49. Ask 10 friends what a favorite book of theirs is, then read them all
  50. Go to a murder mystery dinner
  51. Post another recipe to the Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice series on this blog
  52. Get a few blouses custom-made for me
  53. Find something amazing at a thrift store
  54. Harvest some produce I grew myself
  55. Remodel my bathroom
  56. Attend a roller derby
  57. Replace all the doorknobs in the house with glass ones
  58. See a ballet performance
  59. Apply to a Masters of Library and Information Science degree program
  60. Sand and prime the remaining kitchen cabinets
  61. Buy a better harness for my cat so she can have more outdoor time
  62. Get a pair of stylish, comfortable boots
  63. Attend a Play! Pokemon event
  64. Get a better pillow with neck support
  65. Find a tub (I can afford) worthy of bubble baths
  66. Re-texture the downstairs ceilings
  67. Travel somewhere with my partner
  68. Throw a theme night — dinner, games, music, and maybe a movie
  69. Hang drywall upstairs
  70. Take a couple’s cooking class
  71. Sell something on my Etsy shop to a stranger
  72. Install chair rail in the big/main room
  73. See a musical
  74. Learn to make a decent curry
  75. De-vine the hill-jungle of a backyard I have
  76. Paint the front door
  77. Update my resume (September 2018) (and my partner’s, too, while I’m at it)
    • Updated it just in time to apply to a new job! I have an interview October 9, 2018.
  78. See a play
  79. Have a picnic in a cemetery
  80. Write consistently using my typewriter (currently getting a tune-up)
  81. See the symphony
  82. Get on my partner’s health insurance (or my own) before I turn 26
  83. Buy a fancy china cup and saucer
  84. Replace the casings on the relevant doorways with matching millwork
  85. Finish at least one DIY project every month for a year
    • September 2018 – melted a solid lump-style deodorant and poured it into a cleaned out Dove deodorant stick. The new stick format is much easier to use, and it limits the deodorant’s air exposure.
    • October 2018 – made a Snorlax costume for my boyfriend, made a Mega Mawile costume for me.
  86. Attend a soccer match
  87. Complete and frame at least three 1000+ piece puzzles
    • Finished
      • Eurographics: The Lady of Shallot (October 2018)
    • Framed
  88. Make a drying rack for herbs
  89. Paint the inside of the house
  90. Try a natural deodorant (August 2018)
    • I bought Aromaco from Lush. It worked fantastically for 1.5 weeks, but then I got a rash. I don’t think it’s contact dermatitis. I’ll try the deodorant again when the rash is gone.
  91. Try taking a milk bath
  92. Make herbal blends for tea and things
  93. Dye my hair again
  94. Go ice skating
  95. Make the porch awning look less horrible
  96. Travel somewhere by myself
  97. Get rid of clothes I don’t wear or don’t fit
  98. Attend a hockey game
  99. Make a wreath
  100. Try rock climbing
  101. Paint the kitchen cabinets

Wish me luck,

Raven

Advertisements

Clawfoot Tub Dreams

Hello, readers,

I have always wanted to have a clawfoot tub. Something about how such a heavy tub can be perched on such dainty feet has always inspired me, and I’ve imagined that taking a bath in one would feel like floating. Of course, the really spacious surroundings most freestanding tubs get in pictures certainly doesn’t hurt that idea.

Since my bathroom is atrocious and needs to be completely remodeled (as in torn-back-to-the-studs-and-subfloor remodeled), I thought it would be the perfect time to try and get the clawfoot tub of my dreams.

My house was built in 1951 America, so it does not really have many of the thoughtful details and flourishes that marked 19th and 18th century home architecture. Those embellishments really make my heart sing, but it’s been challenging to try and add them to my house without overwhelming its petite size/proportions. Stylistically, a clawfoot tub would not make much sense in the house, but I wanted one anyway.

My bathroom is far too horrible to post any real pictures, so here’s a floor plan.

5 ft x 6.75 ft

There are a few challenges of putting in a clawfoot tub into this space.

  1. The room is very small, and most clawfoot tubs are not designed for saving space. I need the tub to fit in the space of the old alcove tub.
  2. The tub MUST double as a shower. This is the house’s only bathroom, and we need a shower for daily life.
  3. The tub — a luxury item — needs to be budget-friendly. In practical terms, this means that the tub we buy would need to be made of acrylic, which I don’t find to be the most inspiring material.

An option that some people might have to stay budget-friendly is to find a salvage clawfoot tub. For a few reasons (like relying on pretty inefficient public transportation), I decided that this was not a viable option for me. Plus, most antique tubs are longer than the five feet of space I have.

The pros of having a clawfoot tub are obvious to me: aesthetics, Victorian charm, and a sense of easy/relaxing luxury. These three things are really important to me, but a tub needs to be practical, too.

Here are some frustrations people reported having with using clawfoot tubs. I’ve seen these sorts of comments in various threads around the internet, so they’re generalizations, not quotes.

See the strange shower curtain situation? [Public Domain — Historic American Buildings Survey]

  • The shower curtains need to completely surround the tub, which makes people feel like they’re being suffocated and encroached on by the curtains.
  • It’s tricky for some people to get the curtains to close completely and overlap one another, so shower water still gets everywhere outside the tub.
  • People have to reach out of the shower curtains to get to their toiletries. (The viability of a shower caddy seems to depend a lot on the individual plumbing/piping of the shower head.)
  • Cleaning around and under the tub is apparently difficult and awful. I think this would be especially awful in my bathroom since I would be dealing with a tub in an alcove and wouldn’t be able to approach from the sides.
  • If you don’t clean thoroughly around and under the tub, mold situations can develop in hard-to-see areas.
  • Lots of people feel very unstable when they step out of the shower/tub. Some people report that their shower curtains have been ripped down/off more than once when people grab them in a panic. Lots of people also showed concern at the thought of an older person getting in and out of their shower/tub.

None of that is very compatible with my hyper-romantic ideas of having a lovely bathtub, but I thought I could persevere.

* * *

The way I see things, most of these difficulties come from trying to shower while standing up in a clawfoot tub. I was so pleased to find that some clawfoot tub manufacturers are trying to solve the issue in a way that still shows off the old-fashioned vibes of a clawfoot tub.

Oasis 65′ – 65″ Vintage Extra Wide Clawfoot Tub with Tempered Glass Shower Enclosure Package — Image from Baths of Distinction

Because of all the chrome fittings, this tub gives me more Art Deco vibes than the Victorian ones I love so much, but I think it would do a good job of keeping shower water contained. The tub and shower enclosure above does come in a five-foot length that would fit my space, but the price is still close to 4000 USD. That’s simply not possible for me.

I got really excited when I saw this style of tub, however.

Burlington Hampton Traditional Shower Bath — image from UK Bathrooms

Appleby 1700 RH Roll Top Shower Bath with Screen + Chrome Leg Set — image from Victorian Plumbing UK

Do you see how this tub could solve so many of the problems of putting a freestanding tub into an alcove tub’s space? The “faucet wall” side and one of the long sides of this bathtub are designed to meet the wall in the corner. Not only does the “faucet wall” side of the tub provide a small ledge for things like razors or other small items, but I could caulk the gap along the two corner walls and not worry about moisture sneaking down there. Success! Also, providing a glass screen might eliminate the need for a shower curtain altogether if we managed to place our shower head vertically as in the images above. The bathroom’s only window is in the tub alcove, and getting one of these tubs without a shower curtain would let in all the natural light from the window in the alcove into the rest of the bathroom. Neither of these two tubs have pre-drilled for the tap/faucet, which is great since our plumbing comes out of the wall in the alcove and does not need to come out of the tub. Both models come in right-hand and left-hand configurations, so we wouldn’t need to move our plumbing. All in all, I really felt for a little bit like I’d found my perfect solution.

Then I noticed the complications.

The Appleby 1700 is 1700 mm long, which is about 6 inches too long for my space. Even though I like the curved glass screen and its cheaper price more, it simply won’t fit in my bathroom. That leaves the Burlington Hampton, which comes in 1700 and 1500 mm lengths (1500 mm is just a little bit smaller than the maximum tub length I can accommodate at 59 inches). For the 1500 mm Burlington Hampton, getting it with a glass screen will cost me around 1000 USD with today’s exchange rate. (There’s a 100 GBP difference between getting the regular glass screen and getting the screen with access panel.) That does not include shipping from the UK, where the only two corner tubs with glass screens (that I’ve found) are sold. While certainly more attainable than a 4000 USD solution, it still feels like an irresponsible amount of money, especially since I would need to request a shipping quote for US shipping. I cannot imagine it will be cheap, since these tubs are a trifecta of shipping complications: large, heavy, and with delicate parts.

Plus, the tub is acrylic. I could not find out how much weight the Burlington Hampton tub supports, so I am going to assume it’s the same as the figure I saw for a different acrylic clawfoot tub: 370 lbs. Truthfully, that’s just not enough. If that’s the weight limit, then my partner and I would not be able to be in the shower at the same time. I cannot spend over 1000 USD to have a tub that’s less functional than our current alcove tub. Plus, I wouldn’t buy acrylic if I was shopping for alcove tubs, and I worry that settling for cheaper materials would leave a sour taste in my mouth and ruin the fun of the bathtub.

* * *

Since I won’t really be able to get a new clawfoot tub in this house, I’ve got to look at trying to get a better bath experience out of a normal alcove tub.

The first step in doing that is to get a deep tub. I’ve always been so annoyed when the water in a tub doesn’t cover me, and I won’t have that in my new tub if I can help it. Looking at the prices around me, a metal tub covered in porcelain will cost me around 600-700 USD with a deep-soaking drain.

The second thing is that the tub needs to be comfortable to lie down in. I plan on taking many baths in it, and I want to be able to recline. I’ve never found a normal tub to be very relaxing to lie down in, but I think that might be because I can’t lay my head back if the tub’s alcove is exactly as long as the tub.

Sally Schneider on Improvised Life solved this problem for herself by cutting out a niche for her head where the tub and wall meet.

Sally Schneider – Improvised Life

She goes over the process in her post “How To Make A 5-Foot Alcove Tub FEEL Like A Vintage One.” It’s a really helpful post, and I know I’ll be referring to it again once all the walls in the bathroom are removed.

It’s a shame that I won’t have a darling clawfoot tub in my house, but it’s probably for the best. A clawfoot tub would look really anachronistic in my house, and I think I can come to accept that the vibe would be too different from the rest of the space. I’m still disappointed, but I’ll get over it as long as I can have nice baths in a new tub eventually.

My next task is to find a 5-foot alcove tub that’s deep and has a good reclining angle. And also is not acrylic. Wish me luck.

Stay relaxing,

Raven

Trying Garnier Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask [Ugly Pictures Inside]

Hello, readers,

For the sake of my vanity when people are scrolling through my blog, I’ve hidden this entire post behind this “read more” link. The post has some very unflattering pictures of me, like you might expect from a “beauty mask” sort of thing. The specific mask I try out is the “Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb The Super Hydrating Mask Soothing” one.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Super Hydrating Sheet Mask – Soothing

Click the link if you want to read about my experience. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Continue reading

My 10 Un-Gothic Lolita Confessions

Hello readers,

One of my favorite series of tag videos on Youtube is “My 10 Un-Goth Confessions.” I’ve included videos from some of my favorite goth Youtubers below so you can see what I’m talking about if you’ve never run across this tag before.

I felt inspired to share some un-gothic lolita confessions with you all as I refocus my priorities and really try to live a heavy-on-the-gothic lolita lifestyle.

  1. I love beautiful clothes and being fancy (or overdressed, depending on your point of view), but I will spend all day, every day in my pajamas unless I absolutely have to leave the house.
  2. I’ve never been to a convention, and I’m more likely to go to a board game con than an anime/lolita one.
  3. I’m terrible at accessorizing. Most of the time, I just don’t wear any accessories or jewelry because I forget or don’t think they’re necessary. I guess that’s better than wearing something awful.
  4. Despite wanting to look like a doll, I’ve never taken the plunge and worn circle lenses or false eyelashes. At least, not yet…
  5. I don’t own a single lolita (or even loliable) purse, bag, or wallet. Somehow, there just always seems to be more exciting things to spend my money on.
  6. I’m quite bad at keeping up with trends in lolita. Are underskirts still a thing???
  7. I won’t buy clothes with religious symbols (crosses, pentacles, etc.) unless it’s in a very specific context like a cross on a cathedral print. I just don’t feel comfortable wearing out-of-context religious/occult symbols at all, so I miss out on so many pretty things.
  8. I’ve never been into visual-kei music, and I’ve never really liked Mana-sama. (Maybe this isn’t actually a big deal, but I always feel unworthy to call myself a gothic lolita when I admit that.)
  9. I drink my tea out of mugs, not cups.
  10. Even though I have a fairly active local lolita community, I hardly ever do anything with them. Part of me wants to go to meets more often, but I just prefer smaller get-togethers with friends over larger meets with acquaintances/strangers. I’ve also never been to a goth night at a club, so I guess I’m just meh at socializing in general.

One of the things I hear the most in ungoth confession videos is how hard it is to come up with things that are “ungoth” when you think about it. Individuals make the subculture, and not the other way around, and you should never give up something you enjoy because it doesn’t fit a stereotype (or *gasp* a norm). All that aside, I still think it’s really fun to bask and revel in clichés.

For me, trying to think of things that were both “ungoth” and also “not lolita” was tricky. I kept thinking of something perfect and totally-not-lolita and then realize it was kind of gothy (or the other way around)… Oh, well.

Anyway, here are some videos because I think these sorts of things are much more fun in a video than a text post!

It’s Black Friday – October 1, 2014

I’ve been following Black Friday’s channel for such a long time. This video is back from when she lived in New Zealand, and it’s probably my favorite ungoth confessions video ever because the effort she goes through to set up an ambience and rack up some extra goth points before she gets started.

Macabre Goddess – September 9, 2016

I only found Blaze recently, but I thought her ungoth confessions were very funny and honest. (Spoilers(?): As you can tell from the thumbnail, her favorite pony from My Little Pony is Rarity, who’s my favorite as well.) It’s very much worth it to hang around and watch them to the end, because I laughed ridiculously hard at her final confession.

Toxic Tears – December 5, 2014

The thing I love most about Toxic Tears is how over-the-top excited she gets about things that make her happy. You wouldn’t necessarily get that from this video, but sometimes she just bubbles over with joy about the simplest things (like cute birds). Plus, there’s a bit about J-fashion in this video!

Readers, do you have any un-goth or un-lolita confessions you want to share? Comment below and link to your post or video!

Stay honest,

Raven