Dans le Lakehouse

Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

January 17, 2018

The Felted Wool Ball Rug We All Love

In September I shared some of my tips for keeping my house clean, even with two messy puppers.  In that post I wrote about the routine we've created, which helps contain the dirt and sticks and leaves and mud.

I will admit today that when the weather is really, really, really cold I cheat and sometimes let the dogs out through the patio doors instead of bundling everyone (namely, me) up for a trek outside through the carport.  They don't drag in any mud or muck this time of year, which is why I'm okay with being lazy about this, but they do bring in some snow so I always keep a mat by the back door to prevent them from tracking in water.

And I've been through a few mats, for various, annoying reasons.

Somebody chewed the fringe on the rag rug I had there, so that was out.  Some mats were super slippery, others looked too outdoorsy - some of them the dogs refused to let touch their bodies, so they'd leap over them and onto the hardwood.  I even tried a chic bath mat, thinking it would be absorbent.  I know, I play fast and loose with decorating rules but, in my defense, it looked less bathroomy online.  In person, everyone asked about the bath mat in the dining room. 

It's been a revolving door of door mats.

When Sukhi, a company that sells quality, handmade rugs, reached out to me, I immediately fell for the rectangle Menkhi rug and decided that this rug might just be the rug to solve our problems.

Unsurprisingly, the humans love it.  It's teal and made of felted wool balls (!!!) - you know how much I love felted wool balls - so it solves the problem of being stylish.  The size was perfect and didn't cover the vent (that's a win for hubby) and it's really absorbent which helps protect the hardwood floors from snowballs.

It's no surprise I liked it, but what surprised me was how much the puppers love it.  As soon as I unwrapped it, they dove for it but I wanted to wash the floors - and their stinky bodies - before putting it out, so I hid it under the bed.  Szuka couldn't reach it, but Hynda army crawled her way under there to snuggle it in secret.

When I finally slid it out from under the bed for photos, I barely maneuvered it a few feet when Hynda hopped on.  It's been awhile and nobody has tried to chew it.  I think they love it too much to hurt it; they each just snuggle it and chew their toys on it because the felted wool helps them grip stuff nicely.  When they come in from outside, they're content to chill here for a bit while I dry their feet off a little.  And now I only get compliments - no more questioning stares - about the back door mat.


If I had the money, I'd buy a massive one for the living room which is a huge compliment from me, because I don't love area rugs.  But this feels so plush underfoot, I can only imagine how cozy it would make the living room feel this winter.  The craftsmanship is gorgeous and each rug comes with a tag that says who made it, which is a nice personal touch.

Sukhi has an amazing selection of handmade rugs from Nepal, India, Morocco, and Turkey.  The quality is amazing, plus you can customize so many of the designs - you'll find everything from flat weave to woolen loops.  You can even customize a felt wool ball rug like this one, in different patterns and sizes.  The selection is eye-popping.  According to the company, the artisans have great pay and working conditions, and that's always something I look for when I'm shopping.

I know how labor intensive making felt balls can be...

Thanks to Sukhi for sending me this gorgeous felt wool ball rug.  Szuka, Hynda, Hubby and I love it!  None of us were otherwise compensated and all thoughts, opinions, and puppy bums are our own.

January 15, 2018

My Struggle With Dry Winter Skin + What Helped

We have had some seriously cold weather here recently.  There hasn't been much snow, but I've lost track of how many times the weather network issued us an Extreme Cold Weather warning.  Thanks, we know it's freaking cold, no need to rub it in...

With each passing year, my skin gets increasingly fed up with where I live and this year the dryness was the worst ever.  My skin peeled so much in mid-December that I couldn't even apply makeup because it just flaked off (gross).  Plus my skin felt really tight and uncomfortable.  Until Hubby and I move to Costa Rica, I knew that I had to make some changes in my routine to combat my dry, winter skin.  I hadn't really planned to share this as a blog post, but now I wish I had taken some before/after photos (below is not me) because in only a month, these simple changes made a huge difference - I no longer have scaly skin!

Here's what I did:

No More Scalding Hot Showers

I stopped drying my skin out with scalding hot water.  When it's cold, I like to linger in a hot, hot shower and although it helps my chilled bones, it was wreaking havoc on my skin so I turned down the heat a little and started washing my face with lukewarm water (below is also not me - although that's what my skin felt like).

No More Over Washing

I stopped associating dry skin with clean skin.  Years spent battling combination/oily skin with acne trained me to think that my skin is clean only when it's stripped of any oil.  I toned down on the scrubbing and also transitioned to a gentler cleanser.  I still use my favorite makeup dissolving cleanser after I remove my makeup, but for any other time I started using Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Cleanser.  My friend, Faith, is a consultant and she sent me a care package of Beautycounter goodies over the holidays and got me hooked.

More Moisturizing at Night

I started moisturizing at night!  I was moisturizing every morning but I didn't like to moisturize at night because I've always had this weird idea that my skin needs to breath.  Now I use the Beautycounter Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream when my skin is really tight, but I prefer the Countermatch Intensive Moisture Serum because it sinks in quickly and feels like there's nothing on my skin.  I just needed to find the right product for overnight moisturizing, because now I feel like my skin can still breathe, but I wake up to more hydrated skin.

More Time Between Moisturizing and Makeup

I started applying my moisturizer earlier in the morning.  My morning routine used to consist of washing my face, taking the dogs out, washing my hair, eating breakfast, drying and straightening my hair, then moisturizing before checking the time, realizing I'm running late, hurriedly slapping on some makeup and running out the door.

 One night I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos and stumbled across someone who does makeup tutorials for dry skin and picked up this gem: you should really let moisturizer sink in for at least five minutes before applying makeup.  I was giving my moisturizing 5 seconds to absorb so I switched up my routine a little and started moisturizing before I bare my face to the frigid cold when I go out with the dogs.  That helped me SO much.  Plus I started using the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion during the day, which adjusts hydration levels throughout the day - keeping my skin balanced.  It keeps the flakiness at bay, while still feeling light under my makeup. 

More Moisture During the Day

I started moisturizing when I get home from work.  When I get home from work, I remove my makeup and wash my face with the cream cleanser and then I apply a fresh layer of moisturizer - usually the serum (love it!) because it feels weightless.  I used to just scrub my face until it felt squeaky clean, but now I care for it a bit more and it seems to appreciate that.

More Water!

I've been drinking more water.  In the summer, I definitely drink 10+ glasses a day (go me) but in the winter, I turn to tea and my morning coffee and that caffeine really dehydrates me.  Someone introduced me to warm water with fresh ginger and lemon and I love that so much more than plain lemon water.

In reality, none of these tips are earth shattering, but they really help me a lot.  The key has been finding products I like and want to use - especially something that's light enough for me to wear overnight. 

I have skipped around to different moisturizers over the years and my bathroom drawer has quite a few that I abandoned for whatever reason (led to breakouts, stung on super dry skin, didn't absorb quickly, made my skin even drier, etc).  The Beautycounter packaging drew me in and made me want to try everything, but now I keep using it because of how it makes my skin feel.  Plus, Beautycounter prohibits 1500 chemicals thought to be harmful or questionable.  I've never been one to panic over "chemicals" (because life is chemicals), but I don't like the idea of coating my skin with anything that is thought to be harmful - even if it's a possibility.  I just don't want to play around.  I'll risk it for a doughnut, but not skin cream - especially when the skincare market now has great brands that are better for you, but perform just as well.

This post wasn't sponsored - I'm just super grateful that Faith introduced me to Beautycounter so I wanted to share my experience and some of my other (free) tips, since it seems like so many of us are battling super cold temps recently. If you're curious about the products, or overwhelmed by what's available, drop Faith a line.  I've peppered her with questions about what certain products are like in person (like a certain makeup palette I really want) and she's very knowledgeable.  Plus she shares makeup-free photos of her skin on social media, so you can see the products work their magic.  Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more info.
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January 5, 2018

This Waterfront View Could be Yours! Enter for Your Chance to Win the HGTV® Dream Home 2018

This post is sponsored by HGTV® Dream Home 2018, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.  

If you follow me on Pinterest you might have noticed me filling up my boards with photos from the HGTV® Dream Home 2018.  This year's HGTV Dream Home Giveaway® 2018 is unbelievable: you can enter for a chance to win a beautifully furnished home located in Gig Harbor, Washington (overlooking the Puget Sound), plus an all new Honda Accord and $250,000 from national mortgage lender Quicken Loans®. 

I hope you all enter for a chance to win but even though only one person can win this stunning waterfront home, we can all pick up a few design ideas.  I'm aching with envy but I'm also so inspired by the modern architecture and the subtly coastal vibe.  The airy design boasts a lot of white, but it's kept interesting with layered textures, pretty pastels, and a collection of quirky accessories and art.  I'm sharing a few of my favorite photos (taken by Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography) below, but you can catch the whole tour here.

The kitchen might be my favorite room because it has really classic and timeless, all white cabinetry that's accessorized with pretty turquoise pieces.  I continually waffle between walnut cabinets and classic white cabinets in my own kitchen renovation planning, and this kitchen has me seriously leaning toward an all white design again.

Although the white on white design combined with stainless steel appliances and turquoises accessories (yes!) is a very cool palette, the touches of wood add a lot of warmth.  People sometimes encourage me to break up my turquoise, blue, and white decor with contrasting colors like orange or red, but I am just too committed to blues and greens.  I have a little orange and pink, here and there, but I consider warm wood tones to be enough of a contrast with cool colors.

These photos are my proof; I rest my case.

Just look at that stunning view!  

In the living room, the decor is very soft, which lets the incredible view steal the show.  I am so envious of that stunning wall of windows!  The placement of the fireplace is really unusual but it solves the classic waterfront dilemma when a fireplace is placed anywhere else: do I face the windows and enjoy the view, or face the fire and enjoy the warmth?  The fire or the view?  The view or the fire?  Problem solved!

I like how the decor incorporates subtle coastal touches.  There's nary a red + navy, nautical print to be found in the open concept kitchen/living/dining but many of the textures lend a beachy vibe to the space, like the beautiful rug in the living room and the baskets hung on the wall for clever storage.  The driftwood end table and soft blue hues play up the coastal location a little more, but the overall look is still soft and modern.

In the dining room, those pink chairs complement the blues and white so nicely.  I love the massive scale of the artwork and the unique way it incorporates a classic nautical motif: fish!

You can get a better sense of the open floor plan from these photos.

I'm 100% behind the trend forecast of modern pastels!  I am (already) done with winter, done with seeing moody hues, done with anything that feels dark and heavy.  I am so ready for uplifting, spring-inspired colors and lighter decor that feels more minimal and spacious.  Seeing these photos makes me realize that it might be time for me to de-clutter my lakehouse a little and infuse some more pastels and whites so my own decor feels airier and beachier...

I won't lie: this decor makes me want to tear down and start from scratch and this is just a small sampling of photos, there are so many other gorgeous spaces to tour - be sure to take a look.  I just want to share one more area:  the exterior, along with the stunning view (that could be yours!):

What's your favorite space or design idea from the HGTV® Dream Home 2018?

Good luck everyone!  If one of you wins, I'm going to have to insist that you let me visit.  I promise I won't steal that turquoise stand mixer from you...

No purchase necessary.  Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older.  Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts at 9 a.m. ET on 12/27/17 and ends at 5 p.m. ET on 2/16/18.  Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.  For full official rules, visit HGTV.com/HGTVDreamHome or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway” RR, P.O. Box 53013, Knoxville, TN 37950.  Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a Home & Garden Television.

HGTV, HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC. Used with permission; all rights reserved.
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January 2, 2018

2017: The Highlight Reel

Happy New Year!!!

2017 was a wild ride!  Early in the year, I got a new job working in remote First Nations communities and traveled a lot for work before leaving the job in August for a more subdued research position (details soon, I promise).  Hubby and I said "yes" to a lot of new adventures: we joined the fire department, secretly bought a sports car (!!!), learned how to stand up paddle board, and went to Punta Cana with friends.

We also got Szuka a buddy (Hynda), which ended up being a HUGE disaster (they really don't get along), but this little puppy has certainly brought more excitement to our days...

Because we're now a two-pup household, I shared my tips and tricks for keeping the house clean.

Hynda has definitely upended our lives more than any other change, so I also shared some of the purchases that made dealing with Hynda's crazy energy a little easier!  That post has some adorable photos of the two puppers, if you're needing some cuteness today. 

I blogged a little less because of my new job(s) but I still shared some fun projects and I wanted to share my favorite posts from 2017.

The DIY Walnut Bed with Welded Legs

My favorite project of the year - and possibly all time - is the walnut bed with welded legs we made.  The new bed prompted me to switch up our tired bedding and then we got a new mattress too, so this little project really made the whole room feel really refreshed and dreamy.

P.S. Can you believe this is plywood???  After completing this project, I rounded up 15 chic plywood projects for inspiration.    

The DIY Wood Step with Welded Base

We actually got a lot of use out of my welder (huge thanks to my Grandpa, who gifted it to me).  In addition to the bed, we also made a new step.  If you missed the embarrassing progression of that, click here to read the post.  All of my fellow project-procrastinators will get a laugh out of it!

The Welded Bench (Experiment)

Seriously, we were really into welding last year!  We also whipped up this handy bench - let's see how it weathers.  So far, it looks exactly the same, even after getting pelted with rain, sun, snow and ice...

The DIY Walnut Plant Dolly

On the other end of the difficulty spectrum: here's a project that took two minutes but looks so chic!  This DIY walnut plant dolly was so easy and it functions beautifully. 

The Lake Superior Inspired Soap

My DIY gemstone soap proved to be really popular so I started experimenting with other soap designs.  After some ho-hum MCM-inspired ones that I never shared (plus my gold crystal version), I stumbled across a method for creating swirling bars of soap that look like the ocean - or lake.  Even though it's pretty quick and easy, I just haven't had time to make soap lately but seeing this Lake Superior inspired soap makes me want to start experimenting again!  

The DIY Zippered Tote with Pom Pom Trim

I LOVE this DIY zippered tote with pom pom trim.  I always enjoy sewing with my Mom and it's even better when we can make something practical and useful.  Plus I was so, so excited about my first trip to Punta Cana and every time I see this tote bag in my closet I smile, thinking about the fun memories we made.  I really wish I had a beach vacation planned for this brutal winter.

This bunny stool hack was such a ridiculous idea but I couldn't shake it - and when I found an old, discarded stool at the landfill, I knew it was The Universe telling me to go for it.  Sometimes I want to make something, just because, but I talk myself out of it because of the money/time/whatever.  But I honestly laughed so much while Hubby and I made this, that it was totally worth all of that.

The Turquoise Smoothie Bowl

Year after year, I demonstrate my devotion to turquoise and this year I figured out how to make aqua smoothies and smoothie bowls

I also shared my trick for making layered smoothies and experiment with blue a little more by whipping up this blue and orange, pumpkin-flavored smoothie bowl:

The Beachy Addition to Our Walls

After returning home from Punta Cana, I was inspired to make our decor beachier.  That's still my mission but you know I work slowly...  One change with a pretty big impact was the addition of this gorgeous watercolor print to the office

The Marbled Pumpkins

This year, I embraced my love of all things marbled - it makes me think of the water.  Behind the scenes, I created more ice dyed linen, and I also tried marble pumpkins for Halloween.

The DIY "Watercolor" Stained Plywood Floor

This was kind of like marbling on a larger scale!  In the fall, we knocked out what might be one of my wackiest DIY ideas of all-time: a DIY plywood floor with a blue watercolor-inspired stain.  This was a labor of love and I am so thrilled with how the Fish Room makeover turned out.  I'll be sharing the FULL reveal soon...

The DIY Utility Sink Skirt

The sink skirt we made for the laundry room was a simple and cute project but it normally wouldn't top my year end, best-of list - except for the fact that this post showed a pretty big peek into the finished Fish Room space and even I can't believe the transformation, especially since I kept the cost SO low. 

The DIY Holiday Towel

This year I was so busy with my day job that I actually turned down a couple of large holiday-themed decorating contracts because I just didn't have the time - or energy - to fully decorate my home.  Instead, I made a couple of small wintry crafts on the weekends to help unwind.  I love simple little projects, like this easy linen tea towel.

The Mini Potted Plant Ornament

This DIY mini potted plant ornament was such a hit - and it was crazy because the same idea popped up on other blogs too (like A Beautiful Mess).  I actually like when a DIY idea makes the rounds because everyone puts their own stamp on it.

In 2017, I decided to return a little to my blogging roots: writing about random house stuff.  Blogging has become so overly styled and so formulaic, I miss the messy posts people used to share: the projects that bombed, the ambitious plans, the experiments - the thrift store scores!  So I wove a little more of that randomness back in, like when I shared my bleached and over-dyed embroidery experiments - and these random gems:

The Epic Driftwood Plans

I talked about my epic plans for the growing driftwood heap (put on hold until spring, now that the bay has frozen - although I was still dipping my hands into the icy water when there were little icebergs floating by).  

The Treasure Hunting Report

In the spirit of random fun, I also shared a long over due Treasure Hunting Report, with some of my best vintage finds.  I don't thrift as much any more and I buy less and less with each passing year, so these posts are so few and far between.

The Incredible Mattress Gift

I capped off the year with a feel good post: I was able to gift my Mummu a brand new mattress!  She was sleeping on an ancient mattress that negatively impacted her sleep and health, so I felt so good about being able to replace it for her.  Plus you got a peek into her petite bedroom with pristine MCM furniture - she has the cutest 1960s bungalow. 

I definitely opened up a bit more this year, sharing a peek into life on the lake, but I've still been keeping a lot of secrets - the sports car is just the beginning!  This year I'll be adding even more real life content, interspersed with the variety of DIY projects - big and small - that I like to write about.  

I think 2018 is going to be a very interesting year...

I hope this year brings you all nothing but good health and happiness (and maybe a little crafting)!

P.S. You can see my other annual round up here: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 (DIY) 2012 (Misc) | 2011
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