Tuesday, January 25


Here's my newest project - turning my scraps of fabric into a usable item instead of sitting in the closet in bins. I have a little bit done so far and already I am thinking I would rather just use squares. Ha! My attention span is so short. I also need to round up more of my scraps. I'm toying with the idea of putting together sections like this and then cutting them into uniform blocks so that it's a little more manageable, and putting a border between the blocks.

This all started with me trying to figure out how to reuse a mattress pad. The elastic sides came off and the top is still in great condition, so I cut off the stretchy parts and it's sitting in a basket just waiting for new life. I figure it will be a nice big blanket to use on a twin size bed, or to snuggle under with a book on a rainy day (in my dreams).

I'm blogging about it for accountability purposes. Ha!

Anybody ever made a crazy quilt before? Or any kind of quilt?

Tuesday, January 18

microwave love

So, I haven't mentioned anything about my new microwave that I can remember, but it's times like this, times when I spilled a full travel mug of fresh-brewed chai tea between the glass panels of my 3-month-old oven and taking it apart myself to clean it voids the warranty and the jury is still out on what it will cost us to get that done by a licensed technician, times like THAT...

Well times like that make me thankful for my microwave. Which is also a convection oven. So I can make dinner or a loaf of gluten free banana bread without blinking.

Worth the investment. And as a bonus, it gave us this awesome bump out feature in our kitchen and looks like a built in, even though it is the most massive countertop microwave I have ever owned. Custom cabinets are not overrated.

Yep, cookie houses on top of the fridge, waiting for the cookie house fairy to whisk them away in the night. Because I managed to convince the kiddos that they are only for decorations. How mean of a mom am I?

SO thankful for this bonus of a gift from God, totally unnecessary, but ever so nice.

Friday, January 7

Home Reserve postscript

Sandy from Home Reserve read my blog, and sent me these, which arrived today.

Covers for the storage lids. No more wood showing, no more splinter scares when I use the storage bins. And when I emailed to thank her that I didn't have to make an effort to get these covered, she said I could use the extra time to take a power nap. HA!

So now my gripes are very few.

And the "pro" list on the Home Reserve customer service side are growing rapidly. Talk about service!

Thanks, Home Reserve!!

Wednesday, January 5

Home Reserve (Part 3)

OK, thank you for your patience! This is the last installment!! See the little wooden box over to the left? That is an arm frame. A dense foam piece goes on top and then you have to wrestle the fabric on. It gets your blood pumping, and I do not recommend doing that part alone OR with curious, energetic children around. Definitely not with both variables.

The chair frame is pretty obvious, it's right in the center of the photo. The foam and pillows come all vacuumed into these giant plastic bags and expands as soon as you open the box. Pretty funny.

The third picture is a top-down view of the seat part of the sections, before the storage bin top is put on. It's a pretty good size storage area, would be good for a blanket or some reading material.

You can see, if you compare photos, that the fabric has come down over the top of the frame like a pillowcase. You can also see the arm piece has been connected to the seat part. That happens with bolts and wing nuts. Very easy to reconfigure.

The picture was taken right before we bolted the two sectional pieces together to make the loveseat.

The fourth picture is of Michael stuffing the fiberfill pillow for the back of the seat into the fabric case. Those were much easier than the seat pieces - fiberfill is easier to manipulate than dense foam.

Speaking of dense foam, we both like a firmer seat on our couch, so the Home Reserve dense seats are perfect for us. We love the firmness. It's not so firm you feel like you are sitting on styrofoam, but it doesn't swallow you whole like some of the couches at the furniture stores. The company website says the seats will loosen up with time, but I kinda hope not. And if it someday happens that the foam loosens too much, we can just order new seat cushions.

The final photo is the finished product - and my little thumb sucker. I like how you can see in that picture that the fabric has a variegated brown color. I really ended up liking how it looks.

We have another love seat that is the same length - 56 inches - but this one is so much more efficient with seating - 44 inches of space for sitting. I have even been able to steal little power naps on it a time or two with my head on the armrest and my knees bent.

As far as final verdict, we will definitely be getting more pieces from Home Reserve to either make a sectional or at the very least, a longer couch. The quality is as good as it gets in this price range, id not better, and while I am not against all outsourced goods, it is so nice to know that this is a US company.

And I'm confident that I can get ahold of them if something goes wrong. They have a 5 year guarantee on the frame pieces, so if anything breaks they will send us a new one. So maybe in 5 years we will be in the market for a new seating situation, who knows, really.

I do have a couple of small gripes. Very small. One is that the ottoman is a little higher than the one I am used to. It;s not that bad, but I like an ottoman to be 1-2 inches lower than the couch. it's the same height.

I also wish that the seat bottoms (storage bin covers) were actually covered with something so they weren't exposed wood stuff, but I have a sewing machine, and I know how to use it. I may rig something up to make it "prettier" when the kids take the cushions off for fort building.

The other gripe is that the furniture slides super easily on our flooring, which would not be as much of an issue with carpet or if I didn't have crazy children.

See? I told you. Very small gripes. My only other wish is that I had another section so I could stretch out a little better when I get the urge to take a 10 minute nap when the kids are sleeping! We are very happy with our purchase! Now we just have to wait and see how it lasts, and I will keep you posted on that. Oh, by the way, this is the Laney Style in La Paz Coffee, and it is a right sectional arm piece hooked to a left sectional arm piece (for future flexibility) and a (stand alone) modular ottoman.

One more thing, in case you were wondering. I was not paid to write this review.

**Note** as of August 2016, we still have this loveseat and ottoman. The loveseat is now seeing considerably less traffic in our daughter's room and holding up quite well. We love the storage! 

Home Reserve (Part 2)

We had ordered some fabric swatches from Home Reserve - my stipulation was that it either had to be machine washable, or wipeable. Lucky for me they have both options. We are nice boring people when it comes to furniture colors so our swatches were all solid brown. But you certainly don't have to be boring, and you can change your mind in the first 30 days, so we decided to go with LaPaz coffee, which is a bonded leather, and hope for the best.

The boxes arrived in good time, (the company is based in Ft. Wayne, IN) and were so well organized, with easy-to-follow instructions and cool expandy foam and pillows. The wood parts were very clearly marked - the numbers are actually routered into the piece itself. There is very little chance of getting confused.

Michael was home on vacation, so when the Fed Ex truck pulled up we were both almost giddy with anticipation.

Yes, we are total nerds.

See those little T-shaped things? Those are the key to the whole design - without them, says Michael, the boards wouldn't hold the screws.

The instructions say you only need a screwdriver to put the furniture together, but we both agreed it would take years. A drill is a good idea.

We started with the ottoman, and even with children underfoot, it went pretty quickly. The fabric is a VERY tight fit, so when we went to put the board under the foam part of the top, we had to adjust it and remove it and try again. but then, when we were all done, we had a very nice ottoman. With storage inside.

In fact, ALL the furniture has storage inside, so along with being a smaller furniture piece, it is a multi-tasker. BONUS! None of the storage bins are hinged, so it is not as easy as it could be to use the storage, in fact, ours is empty now, but I'm sure as the years go by we will find the perfect use.

So here is Michael working hard, and the next post will be after pictures and my review. I promise. I am having difficulty adding them to this post for some reason.

Monday, January 3

Home Reserve (Part 1)

We have a slightly smallish living room, and up to this point we'd furnished it with a long green couch and a short brown loveseat with a rocker off to the side, plus a self-crafted ottoman that will never win any prizes for beauty. We would switch up the layout here and there but something is always a little off.

We had shopped for couches and sectionals at furniture stores in the area, but the stuff that was available made us cringe. The quality in our price range was pretty bad, the comfort level was bad, and the look? EW. I have a thing against microfiber. Even if we went up a couple notches in the "how much money to pay for a couch without cringing" scale, it wasn't much better. We just wanted a sleek, shortish, non-overstuffed and easy-clean couch in a neutral color. And we didn't want to have to save for 35 years to get it.

"Craigslist!" is what you are all shouting, right? Well, let me tell you about Craigslist around here. Selling, we have great success. Buying, not so much. People want hundreds of dollars for a "Real Nice Couch" which turns out to be an orange and olive floral beauty with "pet stains". Thrift stores are not much better for furniture around here. I'm not sure where all the good used furniture goes.

So awhile back, I asked if any of you had any experience with Home Reserve and no one really had. So Michael and I were still doing the routine of adding a bunch of pieces to our shopping cart, agonizing over the whole thing, and canceling out of the shopping page. We're indecisive like that.

Then we put our big couch on Craigslist, deciding that if it sold, we'd put that money toward the purchase of some pieces from Home Reserve. Guess what? It sold, immediately. So after much speculation, Michael came up with the great plan to purchase a left arm sectional piece, a right arm sectional piece and an ottoman. That way we'd have a loveseat and ottoman now, and if we liked it, we could fill in the middle sections (a corner and two armless chairs) to make a sectional later. Michael is brilliant, I tell you.

And I have already written too long. More later!

Saturday, January 1

Long Silence

Sometimes it is good to stop blogging. I have needed a little break, and obviously, have not been taking the time to blog lately, but hopefully this month I will be able to change the trend. I have some great posts percolating. So to speak.

1. We did end up buying a few pieces from Home Reserve and I want to share my thoughts and some photos!

2. My brother and his wife and daughter came for a week long visit and we had a great time and some fun adventures.

3. I have some projects to share!

4. We have a second vehicle again and Michael is thrilled that it is a Jeep!

I know it sounds cliche, but I am overwhelmed looking back at all the blessings God has heaped on our family this year. Can't wait to blog some of them! Happy New Year!