Momma Told Me: February 2017

Blog Archive

Discover Your Color Story: Harnessing Color To Share Your Story And Change Your Life

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LiveColor #InvigoratingYellow #CollectiveBias
Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
Momma Told Me: Color moves people.

It's no secret that I'm drawn to color in the same way someone newly engaged can't take their eyes off a new ring. To me color is much more than a preference, it's a state of being, a current mood, a reflection of the person which chooses to surround themselves by it. I've been this way my whole life. In fact, my best friend from high school used to refer to it as 'barfing colors'. A crude way of saying that I was always the teenager at the bus stop with the neon backpack, and even hair. Whenever I felt restless in work, school, or my home life I'd change things up by playing with the colors of my makeup, wardrobe, or decor. I've since been inspired further by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson.
#BalancingGreen #LiveLoveColor #LiveColor (AD)
There's no doubt in my mind that color is transforming- but my color 'chakra' is kind of a mess. Ask me my favorite color from one year to the next and it's not only very specific (Cerulean Green, Orchid Purple), it's also ever changing. I always took this to mean I simply loved color.

When I recently heard about the new Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson, being released for sale at retailers such as Target and online through retailers such as Amazon on March 14, 2017, I figured the book had to be written for me. After all, I'm just the sort of person who spots a pop of color from across the home decor aisle when shopping. However, Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color is much more than a 'transformation' book intended to whirlwind your life with the mere introduction of a 'spirit' color. It's actually a practical look at the power of color introduction which helps readers identify their own personal color story and identify organic methods to incorporate these colors into everything from one's wardrobe to the office.
Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
Why would someone like me be interested in a coffee table book designed to explore the power of color when I already seem to embrace it whole-heartedly? It's simple, Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color as just about empowering those living in their color comfort zone to step outside as it is about helping those embracing color identify their primary focus, and how to harness that story to uplift, re-shape, and explore beyond the color itself. Moll Anderson, the accomplished author, television, and radio host, is known for her acute eye for design and ho she inspires design through personal exploration and inspiring contemplation. Her latest book, Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color encourages a unique color journey through journaling and introspective questions, as well as a deep break down of the emotional impact each color has on an individual and space.
Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
Of course, I was equally inspired by the many amazing ideas to incorporate these colors into my home and work space. The concept of 'pops' of color was one echoed throughout the pages, a virtual Pinterest of color-coded design ideas and inspiration. The timing couldn't be more perfect as we are still moving into our first home, and filling out a space over 4 times the square feet we had in our condo! In fact, we decided immediately upon moving in that each room would have a 'color mood', as we lie to call it, and have been spending the past few weeks building the color story of each individual room.

I've discovered, while I am drawn to pretty much any color if it is vibrant, or has a compelling depth, I do not find the presence of multiple colors in my home environment very grounding. Call it the Type A in me, but I'll wear a rainbow any day so long as I don't come home to a living room that resembles a color bomb. As I learned in reading Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color this may be due, in part, to the innate need to ground ones self through color identification, and the strong impact color has when one's eye is drawn to linger on it. Color 'coding' our rooms has not only helped me find my own design style, it also makes the 'hunt' for new decor and accents a little more exciting. Jay and I love to play a bit of a game picking out items that catch out eye based on color- it requires us to consider styles and items we never would have taken a second glance at before.
Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
Similarly, my transforming exploration of color has involved the exploration of various color associated emotions, and their origins. Moll Anderson asks some introspective questions that truly made me stop and focus on the start of my feelings towards various colors, and how I could better harness the positive impressions of various colors to better impact my life through design.

For example, I realized my dislike for pastels stems from early memories of Momma in the hospital. I remember the very sterile sights and smells were associated with a drab array of pastel decor and pale green scrubs. While the intent was to ground and calm those walking the halls and waiting in the rooms, it struck me as an absence of life and joy that has deeply resonated within me in the lifetime since.

I also discovered, contrary to my own belief that hot pink was my favorite color, yellow is my most associated and comforting hue. Moll Anderson cites that the color yellow is invigorating, uplifting, refreshing, and happy. Pretty much everything I find myself reaching for during the trials of life. But, of course, there are many shades of yellow and each end of the spectrum can hold different intent.
Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
In my life, through the past several years, I've come a long way to cast out the ambiguity of my own life and really focus on that which is good. While I still strive towards large goals, I rejoice in small triumphs, as well as find a new appreciation for life's smaller things. The color yellow is reflective- both of literal light on surfaces and emotionally. Creamier shades function as practical neutrals, while deeper shades help add a timeless warmth and elegance to any space. In general, my color helps release cheerful, positive energy that is infectious and hard to turn away from.
#InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)
With this in mind, I decided to embrace my newfound color and take on a dramatic wall art project that will truly help to occupy the vast white walls of my new home, while providing a welcoming image of warmth and cheer to all who enter. I'll admit, choosing a shade of yellow for such a large focal point project seemed a bit intimidating at first. I wanted to go bright, but I also wanted a richness that conveyed a maturity and understanding of the color's power. Which of the hues above do you think you could embrace most?
Every color has a story- Explore the meaning of color within your life and learn how to harness your color story to empower what moves you with Moll Anderson's new book- Change Your Home, Change Your Life, A Color Story. #InvigoratingYellow #LiveColor (AD)

Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson has truly helped me mature in my appreciation and understanding of color. The more I understand how I allow color to impact me, the more empowered I feel to introduce it into all aspects of my life. I may even give color mixing a shot- and that's saying a lot to a girl who doesn't like her colors migrating from one room to the next! Want to learn more about discovering your own Color Story? Follow Moll Anderson on Pinterest and Twitter, and check back HERE on the blog later this month to see the unveiling of my one-of-a-kind color project! Now, take a moment to think and tell me about the color you first associate with a memory, and a little about that memory!

What Daughter Says: Your color story is more than your favorite color- it's a serious of emotions you choose to surround yourself with, stemming from a singular, or collective, experience which continues on throughout your life.


How To Restore Your Headlights (In About An Hour)

How to restore your headlights for about $20 in about an hour!
Momma Told Me: Sometimes you have to take ownership and invest to feel pride in something.

Many of you know now that I was rear ended, at a complete stop, on the freeway this past St. Patrick's Day and was forced to say goodbye to my purple PT Cruise (aka my 'rolling sanctuary'.) After over a month of searching for a replacement car I came across a cream colored PT Cruiser convertible with an exceptionally low odometer reading for it's age. Those who know me well know I dislike white/off white cars, and convertibles- I was simply feeling beat down and decided I needed a familiar car with reliability more than 'the car of my dreams.' Besides, the car was in mint condition, except the headlights which looked as though they had been transplanted from a vehicle 10 years older.
How to restore your headlights for about $20 in about an hour!How to restore your headlights for about $20 in about an hour!
Life being as it is, things don't always turn out as expected, so, upon purchasing this vehicle, I decided I would make it my own so that I could one day take as much pride in it as I did my precious purple PT. The first step was to give it a little extra TLC- to invest a bit of myself into it.

The headlights had to go. Well, they had to at least look like new, as the rest of the car so brilliantly did.

I wasn't the only one who thought so either, both Jay and my father took one look at the car and pointed out the glaring (erm, dull) elephant in the room- the headlights were UV damaged and covered in layers of grime and stains. Weren't there commercials for some miracle product to fix this? Hadn't I seen, on TV, somewhere a woman wiping off her crusty old headlight to reveal a sparkling new one?  Well, for about $20 you can own one of these magical products- but it's a kit- not some miracle single shot treatment.
My headlights most likely weren't near as bad as those belonging to the average person considering this project. I don't live on the East Coast, where my car would be subjected to extreme humidity, salty air, and harsh Winters (though we do live near the beach)- and the car was primarily garaged for the second half of it's life before I purchased it. But the passenger's side headlight was covered in strange splotchy patches of buildup and the driver's side was considerably fogged over. It was clear at one point in it's life the car had received primarily direct sun to the driver's side.
Well, remember that kit I said we invested in? Well it's a bit more involved than just wiping away the years from your headlights- But it does include everything you need (no extra tools required) and will take the average DIYer about an hour to complete both headlights. Keep in mind that, while anyone can do this project, your results will vary depending on how strictly you follow the instructions and if you have an previous experience with restoration or wet sanding. Yes, I said sanding.

Begin by taping off the liner and paint immediately surrounding your headlight with a durable painter's tape. The kit claims that the materials used will not harm paint- but the instructions suggest taping- and I certainly would for 2 reasons: 1.) We noticed the first solution we used took the color off our shop rags, so it seemed to have some sort of acid or bleach in it, 2.) You will eventually be sanding right up against your car's paint- not point in risking anything there. You will also want to start with a clean car.
Next, treat the headlight surface with the Step 1 Activator, generously spraying, and allow it to sit about 30 seconds before washing away. Here's what we noticed about this process- 1.) The spray is very aromatic in a chemical sense- you will need to step back for air, and you should always be working in an open, well aerated, shady area. I highly suggest wearing a simple paper face mask to help diffuse fumes, and that you keep your face as far back from the solution/mist as possible. 2.) You will be using this bottle a total of 4 times, 2 treatments each headlight, so you should expect to use about 1/4 of the bottle each time. 3.) Given the nature of the product and spray we suggest you wear gloves and wipe the solution off with a wet rag to clean the lens before continuing- rather than use a hose which may send the solution flying onto your car and other surfaces.

Once the Activator solution has been cleaned off the lens, and the lens has been dried, it will quickly begin to cloud. This is normal and you will see this after every step from here until the final UV coat.
Now you're ready to begin sanding- the kit includes 3 sheets, 1 each of 2000, 1000, and 400 grit wet sanding paper. You should tear them in half and make note of which is which with a written indicator on the back since you will be using half a sheet for each lens.

My father and I had some disagreement as to whether a mask should be worn through the sanding process- since this is a wet sanding procedure. I am going to suggest you do since we did see quite a bit of kickback debris on clothing and even in his ear after the sanding process.

To wet sand you will want a small bowl of clean water nearby, and a clean cloth (to wipe up any drips that may make their way onto your car's paint. Wet the lens with the wet cloth, and submerge the sanding paper into the water. Begin sanding (you'll start with the 400 grit for the first step) in circular motions from the top corner of the headlight inward. You should expect to continue sanding for approximately 5 minutes- though cars with less build up may require less time. You will be able to tell you are done when the headlight has reached a uniform, smooth, texture, and there are no clear sections visible.
Rinse your headlight and continue with the repeating the above process of sanding, using the 1000 grit sandpaper. Sand in circular motions with a wet lens and sandpaper for approximately 5 minutes, clean, then repeat with the 2000 grit. When you are done sanding you should have a clean, dry, foggy lens.
Next you will apply the Clarifying Compound, which we closely attribute to a sort of buffing wax. Wet your lens with a clean wet rag and apply half of the compound to the provided white towel. Starting at the lower corner of the headlight, in sweeping circular motions, buff the clarifying compound into the lens for approximately 5 minutes.

We were worried this compound would dry out during a 5 minute buff, but it actually seemed to break down and glide even more the longer we worked it into the lens. Once you are done clean and dry the lens. You will begin to notice the lens will maintain a glossy 'wet' look as though it is holding water along the surface.

Cats VS Dogs: Mischief + D.I.Y Doggy Stairs Tutorial

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewPetNoStains #CollectiveBias
Which causes more mischief? We weigh in! #NewPetNoStains AD
Momma Told Me: Like cats and dogs.

Growing up we had musical pets.

I've touched on the stories before, but it basically boiled down to Momma's need to bring home any wayward animal, often those with serious terminal illness. It taught me compassion for animals, regardless of their stage of life- but it definitely was tough as a child to constantly see pets come and go.

Understandably, as soon as I became a responsible adult with a home of my own I was determined to find fur-ever pets of my own and to provide them with a fur-ever home. Not only was I accustomed to having animals around, but I understood the extreme responsibilities of being a pet owner under many circumstances. What I was not prepared for were the challenges of bringing a puppy or kitten home- essentially a child. Nearly all of the pets of my childhood were senior, definitely adult, animals which required no patience in obedience or house-training.
When I first brought Truffles home she was a tiny kitten, covered in fleas, which fit in the palm of my hand. She had to be bottle fed, as her mother had been unable to feed and ween her, and she slept on my bosom close to the sound of my beating heart for the first several months of her life. It was instant love.

The above photo, which has remained my phone wallpaper for 6 years (through 5 phones), captures Truffles at about 1 year of age, curled up and sleeping peacefully. It remains my all time favorite photo of her, which is saying a lot for a cat photographed every day, despite the somewhat comical circumstances of her scene. One lesson I'd never learned growing up- cat's in 'heat' and how completely delightful they can be on the ears. When I took this snapshot I was quite literally making an appointment for her to be spayed, and thankful for the 5 minutes of peace and quiet!
When I brought Nora home she weighed less than Truffles had, but was twice the size thanks to a thick coat of 'fluff' I have a hard time calling fur. We drove 4 hours, each way, to bring her home and it was clear from that first car ride Nora was not your typical dog. Through her first years of life we thought we'd never see her potty trained (it wasn't easy going living in a second story condo with a dog) and that we'd likely never get any sleep. Nora wanted to play all the time!
#NewPetNoStains AD
Of course, much like with human kids, any good pet parent knows the secret to staying sane through the 'toddler' years is patience, and a few top secret weapons. In our case we kept plenty of sanitizing wipes, baby wipes, and carpet cleaner on hand to promote deep breathing and serenity during Nora's first year. Ideally we would have had STAINMASTER® Carpet installed to help keep our pad pet friendly, but, as renters we couldn't so easily tear up the flooring just to welcome our new pet. Thankfully STAINMASTER® has a brand new product line designed to help new pet owners (really ANY pet owners) keep their sanity through the bundles of messes that come with bringing home a new furry friend.
Pick up Stainmaster Carpet Pet Stain Remover from a Target near you, or buy online today, for fuss free removal of pretty much any stain your pet throws at you. #NewPetNoStains AD
Naturally pet accidents are one of the lest fun aspects of being a pet parent, and tend to happen most with puppies or kittens, during that 'potty training' phase. However, you might find yourself needing STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover on hand if you have recently moved (territory issues), have an elderly or ill pet (UTIs are quite common with house cats) or introduce a new family member into the home. STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover is designed to not only quickly clean on contact, but to also help repel future stains and odors thanks to powerful ODOR REMOVE™ technology. And, while it works great with a variety of pet related stains, it's also powerful against coffee, ketchup, and pretty much any other typical household carpet stain while leaving no sticky residue.

I was able to pick up new powerful STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover at my local Target in Ventura, California but STAINMASTER® Carpet is currently only available at select Target locations nationwide. CLICK HERE to find STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover at a Target near you, or to order it online and have it shipped free to your local Target store. Click the button below to save 25% on STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover with Cartwheel at Target now through March 4, 2017. This is especially useful for anyone hoping to adopt a new pet in the coming months!
As both a cat and dog mother I'm often asked which animal I feel is 'easier' to care for. I think this is a rather silly question, really, because every animal (much like humans) has their own unique individual personality. How a pet is raised definitely contributes to it's behaviors, but there's also a large element of the animal's own personality that will always remain their own. Because our cat out weighs our dog by half a pound, I think she has the upper edge on mischief-

BUT, cats are also generally unrestricted in their territory. They can jump, climb, and crawl into pretty much any corner, height, or crevice. This allows a lot more freedom than the average house-bound dog has. For instance, while Nora might investigate and try to eat a house plant if she was given the opportunity, we keep our plants up in alcoves she could never reach. So the job of plant tipping, and eating, is left all to the cat.

In fact, one might think our dog's life is quite dull-

As a toy breed she is primped and pampered, grooming wise, often, and she has an over abundance of items your ordinary dog would be too 'dog' to own. Her wardrobe is bigger than Jay's and she has a trough of toys we bought solely because they would 'look cute' next to her, that she'll probably never really get to. And then there are the constant 'naps' on her favorite couch, with her favorite human. Truth be told, if one of them is down for the count and out of mischief, than the other is attached at the hip behaving them-self, too. I especially love those moments.
Meanwhile, Truffles, the cat, is busy scaling every household surface, opening cabinets, and attempting to claw on any surface she hasn't directly been told not to scratch, yet. As of lately I'll usually catch Jay and the dog napping on the couch while the cat proceeds to fit herself into every nook and cranny of Jay's work desk. The truly hilarious part? That cream thing on the left side of the photo above is a rather expensive cat tree. Nobody tells a cat where they'll loaf, I guess!
Just because the cat's always getting into something she probably shouldn't, don't think that she gets to have ALL the fun. After all, the dog is the one who gets to leave the house. In the past year alone Nora has been on 2 plane trips (cross country) and 3 road trips (up North), and she rides along to pretty much any event we attend where we're not explicitly told animals aren't allowed. And, of course, there's also the beach- if I don't bathe her immediately upon re-ntry into the house I'll find my carpets have been transformed into a sandy oasis for weeks.
At the end of the day, though, the house is a playground for the cat and the dog's relatively grounded. In the spirit of making her world a little more accessible I decided to make some simple dog stairs for our living room couch. Dog stairs might sound absurd if you have a larger breed animal, such as a Labrador, but many ages (and breeds) of dogs can benefit from having home access assistance at one point in their life or another. For example, older dogs often suffer from joint pain, while dachshunds simply weren't built to make large leaps. And other dogs, such as Nora, aren't keen about the sudden drop when coming off of the couch.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
There are many materials one could use to make dog stairs, and some dogs may even require a ramp. In planning my dog stairs I spent hours searching online for inspiration. In the end, I wasn't really able to find anything I could easily assemble with my limited woodworking ('shop') skills and tools. The end result was some creative visualization. In fact, I actually found the base for my structure in the children's bedding department of Target. Simple wooden storage bins just happened to provide the perfect building blocks for my steps.
After an hour or so of rearranging 3 wooden storage bins in every configuration I could imagine I settled on a simple 2 bin composition. Using wood glue I attached the two bins, then added some side brackets for extra stability. In this case I used a pair of hinges leftover from another project. They didn't serve a purpose, hinge wise, but I rather liked the aesthetic of the design.
Next I gave my stairs a quick coat of white paint and allowed it to dry for 6 hours. Because I knew I wanted the stairs to look worn as part of their final design I then put on gloves, eye protection, and a face mask and grabbed a few sheets of varying grit sand paper. Focusing on the edges, and anywhere wear would naturally accumulate I roughly sanded to remove some of that fresh coat of paint. Make sure, once you're happy with your finish, that you wipe down any residue and give your stairs a nice clear top coat and seal.

If you'd like to add more depth to your aging you can even add a light layer of color atop your white base and 'wet sand' over that once the paint has halfway dried.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
I have to say, considering this project didn't require any wood work, I'm quite pleased with how my stairs turned out. They're the perfect height for Nora, and really subtle against the couch in our main living room. The stairs themselves lean against the couch for extra stability, and are very lightweight and easy to move from room to room. I just might make a set for Nora's bed!
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
I have to say, the stairs seem to be just another piece of furniture our pets immediately claimed as their own. It took a while for Nora to figure out she was 'allowed' on them, but after the initial hesitation we've caught her sitting on them. She's even been spotted trying to find a way to lay down across them.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
In our household the cat definitely gets into more shenanigans than the dog- but I wouldn't say she has all the fun. These two have even been known to play with one another from time to time. Heaven help me if they ever decide to team up on their mischief- I may have to invest in STAINMASTER® stock! One thing's for sure- whether you're bringing home a new puppy, or tossing a ball of yarn to your senior cat, pets rule our homes, not the messes they make! Now, tell me a little bit about a time when your pet caused a little mischief of their own.

What Daughter Says: It's not easy raising productive pets of society- cat or dog, big personalities can result in even bigger messes. Lucky for them, we wouldn't have it any other way.