Deuce Cities Henhouse

Listen To It : No Cities To Love


Friends! I decided to just start a whole new post called “Listen To It” because I need you to listen to this new Sleater Kinney record if you haven’t already!! I started listening to Sleater Kinney at the tender age of 17, I was coming down from a severe pre-teen love of hardcore pop-punk and beginning to venture into the much mousier indie rock genre. Sleater Kinney fit the bill perfectly for what I needed to hear. I immediately loved the sound of this mighty all lady band, and have continued to ever since.

I preach to anyone who will listen that the S-K’s 2005 release, ‘The Woods’ as one of the greatest rock records front-to-back ever recorded! Listen to that too. Sleater Kinney is one of those bands that you hoped and hoped would reunite to make the album of the year. Then it happened! Dreams do come true. Honestly I haven’t been disappointed AT ALL. I’ve been listening to ‘No Cities to Love’ daily, loving it daily. 90′s guitar riffs with heavy, awesome, cool-lady vocals. I’m not a music critic my friends, so I’m just gonna say “Listen to it!”


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in Music

Partnering with Ace Hardware

Clark+Kensington Paint Colors
Yo, bros. I am not even lying when I tell you that one of my favorite places in the whole entire world is the neighborhood hardware store. I’ve said this out loud many times. I seriously love it there! My career ambitions after my kids both start going to school full-time are to work at the hardware store, among all of the wonderful things one might ever need or want. My local hardware store is an Ace, so when the marketing team for Ace reached out to me and asked me to be on the Ace 2015 blogger panel I couldn’t say YES fast enough. You may have noticed I don’t do a lot of sponsored posts around these parts. That’s because a lot of the sponsors I get presented with aren’t usually products that I use on the day-to-day and I’m a bad liar. But Ace, now that’s a different story. I was jealous when I saw Yellow Brick Home working with them last year. I wanted to know what I had to do to get in on that.

So what does this means for the blog? It means that Ace will sponsor a post once a month for 2015. Ace has a few pre-determined topics that I’ll involve in the posts, but really the content is all up to me. I can make it whatever I want, isn’t that great? The Ace post topic-to-do list reminds me of an art-school-college syllabus and I’m super excited about having to be creative and make the most of these posts. Plus because Ace is awesome there will be lots of cool giveaways for you guys. I’m so stoked!

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in Awesomeness

Not Killing a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Rollover the above image for the BEFORE
Hey. So, I discovered something on the internet that has really gotten to me. This may be an indication that I’m getting super old and becoming naive to new things on the internet, but I just visited getoffmyinternets.com (GOMI) for the first time. I came across the ‘Decorating Bloggers’ section and I realized that some people really expect a lot out of the old internets, and get pissed at it and the writers of it without much hesitation or regard. Thankfully, no one was yelling at me – yet, but I saw a lot of good bloggers being ripped apart. Needless to say I felt very uneasy after perusing a few threads. I’m super sensitive to peoples opinion of me, especially because I always try to do the absolute best that I can do, and I have a bad habit of letting other peoples judgements get to me. I feel for fellow bloggers who get run through the wringer on sites like GOMI.

Anyway, I was planning on writing a post about my very inexpensive Ikea Fiddle Leaf Fig and how it’s flourishing nearly two years after bringing it home (mouse over the above image to see it in its infancy). BUT, after checking out that highly-aggro site, all I could hear was the internet trolls yelling at me about my dumb hipster tree and how I suck because doing anything that’s trendy is the worst, and obviously I am a horrible person because of it. Then I blasted T.Swifts ‘Shake it off‘ on repeat, and decided the haters were just going to have to hate. I’ve always loved having plants in my home, I love my Fiddle Leaf Figs. Yes, the first time I new it existed was after seeing it on the internet, but WHATEVER, I will continue to care for them and enjoy having them in my home.

I don’t have the worlds greenest thumb – I have to replace my Maiden Hair ferns about once every six months because they are sensitive bros, and they like to commit suicide if I miss a watering by a day or two. It kind of just goes with the territory, you have to be prepared to kill a plant every once in awhile. I’ve had really good luck with both my Fiddle Leafs but it took a lot of trial and error before I got the perfect care formula figured out. I wanted to share some of my tricks with you guys, and hopefully you won’t hate me for it, right?

4 Steps to Not Kill a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Location
I almost killed both of my FLFs within the first weeks of coming to my home. They are sensitive teens who are angst-y and emotional. Both my figs turned brown and dropped half their leaves immediately. I panicked, read the internet and realized they probably needed more sunlight and less water. I live in Minnesota and sunlight is hard to come by, especially in the winter months. I have both my Figs spending the winter in the sunniest room in my house, the east facing sunroom off of our master bedroom. This room only gets a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning and then indirect light for the rest of the day. Once I moved them to this space they really began to flourish. They stopped dropping leaves immediately. FLFs make new growth beginning in spring and continuing to early fall. Don’t worry if your tree isn’t growing after you bring it home in the middle of the winter, it’s not ready to yet. Just let it chill for the winter and be amazed at the frequency of new growth in the warmer months. Keep your trees away from dry radiators or drafty areas in the winter, and likewise air conditioners in the summer.

4 Steps to Not Kill a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Wipe Down Leaves
My tree always seems much more vibrant and happier after I give their leaves a good dusting. FLF leaves are huge, as you probably have noticed and because of their larger surface area, can collect a lot of dust. That dust is bad for the tree and can block a good amount of valuable light from getting to the plant. This plant needs light to live and be happy! Plus who wants a dusty old plant taking up space in their home? I wipe down the leaves about once every two months, or sooner if it needs it.

4 Steps to Not Kill a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Watering
Fiddle Leaf Figs like a chance to get a bit dry on the surface of their pots before needing to be watered. I’ve discovered that my trees like to be watered with a quart of water every Monday morning. A good rule of thumb is waiting to see their newest growth (on top) get a little wilted, then water. I like having a schedule though, because I am super anal. As you may have noticed I have never officially potted these guys, if it ain’t broke, ya know? In the summer time when the plants are growing I fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer – you should be able to easily find this at your local garden center.

So do you hate me because I have a plant in my home that other people also have? No? Good. So do you have one too? Have any tips or tricks you care to share? Maybe yours is from the land of blue and yellow like mine, how’s it doing?

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in gardening

Tulum Time!

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide
Whazzzzzzup people? I’m back as promised with some pics — okay, a lot of pics — from our recent trip to the shores of beautiful Tulum, Mexico. Tulum is located in a jungle that is on an ocean a mere two hours south of Cancun. It’s totally amazing and beautiful, the locals are wonderful and welcoming, the air is warm, the beaches are beyond compare and the food is excellent(tontitos). ‘Tontitos’ is one of those things I probably should not tell the internet about, but whatever, it’s fun to say after about every word when you’re pretending to speak Spanish. You should give it a try and bastardize another culture’s language with me!

We’ve vacationed in Cancun twice before it doesn’t even come close to comparing to Tulum. Forget the tourists and replace them with ex-pat hippies in MC Hammer pants and you’ll get the vibe. We rented a house in the heart of the city central. Hidden behind a 12′ plywood facade is a modern house called Saamal rented to us by a charming French man named Renaud. It made the perfect retreat for my budz and I. We ate out a lot but also made a few meals at home. Our days were sparsely peppered with a handful of touristy destinations but mainly anchored around the beach.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide
At the end of our first day I started to feel ill, tons of painful stomach cramps, but like a jerk I ignored them and pushed through. I swam around an underground ceneote doubled over in pain for a morning, then I made the very unwise decision to say say “eff it”, and followed up my swim by eating some delicious food and drinking a bunch of stuff. Later that night I went home and made peace with the fact that I could not drink this pain away. Me and my fever tucked ourselves into bed and stayed there for the next day and a half. Don’t drink the water, bros – even in your coffee.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide
Hey you guys like inside jokes right? I mean they are usually hilarious to other people. Here we have pictured Vaughn, Dan and Ron (respectively), the faces of the worlds most successful company, Highly Pun LLC.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide
Photo Via www.elcaminodelaloha.com

Sights to See
We were told by a bunch of taxi drivers that the Pet Cemetery Cenote was the one to see. Although I’m sure they are all pretty cool. This one did have underground caves with stalagtytes and stalagmytes you could swim around. I’m pretty sure we were being filmed for some sort of Discovery channel cave divers show.
So I didn’t make it to the ruins, this was the day I was in bed with a 102º fever, but my friends did. They said it was cool and that they wished I had been there and it wasn’t the same without me. They would like me to pass on to you to not do the guided tours unless you really want to know about the history of the ruins, instead just pay the admission fee and look around. There is a beach right next to it called Santa Fe Beach club and you can beach hop down the coast. They had a fun time, blah blah blah.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Restaurants
This place is #1 on our list. We stumbled in after spending the afternoon on the beach, and were so happily surprised with the warm hospitality, cold and delicious cocktails and amazing food we received. We stayed for hours – it was the best and you need to go here if you ever make it to Tulum.
We stopped here for a super casual meal during an afternoon of hard beaching. Did you know that all the old people, heavy-set midwestern folk and families visiting Tulum love this place? Just a heads up. My budz said the food was decent and made for a good afternoon snack, I was only eating toast because I had the appetite of a baby.
Okay, I’m all for eating fancy meals and what-not but this place was pretentious to the maximustontios. Not only was everyone around me making out, I was also being doused in wizard sage smoke the entire time. Food was good, but spendy. Not my favorite, although the ambiance was deec, I guess.
Yes, this place was super good. This was the first food I had eaten in a few days. I was so glad to be offered highly cooked starchy foods. Besides the fact that I was visiting with a tender stomach, the food at this place was highly loved by all my friends. Homemade pasta, fresh seafood and delicous cocktails. I had the drink with the gin, ginger and bitters and it did wonders for my recovering belly. Also, after dinner we took a cocktail to-go, went down to the beach and peered into the blackness where darkened ocean and deepest space meet – we were overwhelmed with a sense of Neil DeGrasse-Tyson’s spirit. We almost all gave ourselves up to the sea but decided we should probably keep on living for our kids.
This place was located right near our casa in the heart of Tulum. After arriving we were fed mojitos that were made with real sugar cane and we all agreed this was probably the most romantic setting we had ever been in. A pretty Mexican lady was serenading us drinkers, and the stars were twinkling I’m pretty sure. Go here when you visit Tulum!
Go here for shots and beers. It won’t disappoint.
We did not go to the Hartwood, but we very much wanted to though. We showed up too late to be seated and the hartwood being all fresh and fancy, only do uno (that’s ‘one’ for you monolingual people) service a night. Learn from our mistakes and get there when they open! Not dining here was my only Tulum regret. Please avenge my name, get there early and have a cocktail – do this in the remembrance of me.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Beaches
Go here if you like to hang out with trendy hippy-sters (ha, Highly Pun LLC in effect, yes.) who are way to cool for school. We pulled it off, because we are naturally cool, but it wasn’t my favorite place to hang.
Ah, the birthplace of Highly Pun LLC. The strawberry Margrs do the trick. Swimming is fun! There are boats to rent for trips out to snorkel and swimming is fun. This was our favorite beach. Thanks to our taxi driver Miguel for the tyte tip on our first day and swimming is fun.
This is the beach I didn’t go to because Montezuma hates me. It was highly pretty though as seen in the photo above. Who doesn’t like swimming amongst ruins from an extinct ancient culture?
Coral Beach is part of a chi-chi hotel. Don’t let that fool you, if it’s slow they will rent you some cabanas to siesta and bebes in. Mi Espanol es muy bueno, Si? The thing about this beach is that it has huge ginormustontios waves. Bring your boogie boards and tighten up the strings on your bikini top. This beach will rock you. It was my favorite for swimming.

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

Tulum Travel Tips
All the beaches are public
The beaches are public, the chairs are not. Don’t be afraid to rent a beach bed, umbrella or chair at a hotel if it’s not busy – most require a small fee or a minimum drink amount.
Don’t let your taxi driver make you buy gas
One morning, us ladies hailed a taxi and took off to the cenotes. The taxi driver stopped halfway there and told us to pay for gas. There are some men that think that women can be taken advantage of, especially when said womens are traveling in foreign countries. Unfortunately for us, we were well aware of the scaminess of our situation, but were also out in the middle of a jungle. When possible, travel with a dude and don’t let your cab driver jerk you around.
Take a Car Service from the Airport
Arrange a car service in advance to pick you up from the airport, this will work in your favor especially if you are traveling with a larger group. PS, they stop at the 7-11 outside the airport so you can pick up a six pack of cervezas for your 2 hour ride.
Use ATM’s
We realized after a few days that we would’ve all saved a bunch of money and probably been a bit more thrifty if we had gone to the cash machine instead of exchanging a lump sum at the airpuerto. There was a rumor floating around our group that there were only two ATM’s in all of a Tulum. That my friends, was a lie.
Don’t let anyone carry your bags at the airport
Just don’t do it, you’ll thank me later, I promise.
Hot water is hard to come by
This is for real. Water in Tulum is collected in rain tanks that sit on top of homes, hotels and restaurants. Some of the larger hotels may have gas to heat said water, but most of them will not. Our place did have gas, but there was not enough of it to heat an entire tank of water let alone keep a lit burner on the stove. Just be prepared for cold showers.
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in Travel

Basement Hang Space Inspiration

Nordic Inspiration for a Basement Renovation

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Hola Pals! We’re back from our vacay in Tulum, Mexico. It was pretty great, except for that 48 hours I spent in bed puking my guts out, but whatever. I’ll share a recap of the funner side of the trip in a coming post because the other 60 hours in Mexico were pretty amazing.

Even though it wasn’t the vacation I was dreaming of, I did come back feeling really refreshed and focused. I’m excited to get to work on our biggest project yet! We’ll be gutting our old dingy basement and making it awesome. It will change the way we use our house and I can’t wait! I’ve got a few other smaller projects in the works too – if only I had enough time for it all ;)

As it is with almost any project I take on around the house, it starts with inspiration. I can’t do it all willy–nilly like. A goal and vision are what help get me through a project, and keep me focused. I’m excited to share potential floor plans in an upcoming post – I can’t wait to share my ideas. Our hope is to transform the basement from 600 feet of unusable space into a fully functioning family hang zone with a living space, game area, storage, second bathroom and a laundry area.

I really hope when it’s all said and done it will be reminiscent of some of these interiors that I’m inspired by. We want a bright white space with floors to match, a grey sectional, tons of black and white accents, pillows and throws. The winter months aren’t my favorite time of year, but I do have a soft spot for that muted grey winter light thats only achievable during a Minnesota winter. I think that very specific soft light is a big reason behind my love of Scandinavian interiors. I really, really love them, and I think the basement would be the perfect place to let my ScandiLove rip.

Nordic Inspiration for a Basement Renovation

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Nordic Inspiration for a Basement Renovation

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We’re going to be setting up meetings with contractors and design/build places in the coming weeks. If you live in the Twin Cities area and have any recommendations on basement pros please let me know about it! Thanks in advance bros!

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