Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All about that tile

MFD and I are considering getting our bathroom done in the current months and there's a big wide world of tile out there that I don't know much about. This is a sponsored post by Jesse Hughes on a topic of recent interest to me - tile.
What is the difference between a wall tile and a floor tile?
You may be thinking that a tile is a tile, right? Actually that’s not quite true, there are tiles that are suitable for use on a bathroom floor, and tiles that are suitable for use on bathroom walls.
We’re going to take a look at what separates a wall tile from a floor tile; information that you need to consider when you’re researching bathroom tiling ideas.

The difference in the finish
Whereas bathroom wall tiles can often be slick and shiny, this isn’t the case with bathroom floor tiles. If floor tiles had a shiny surface they would be dangerous to walk on, especially when wet. In fact, many bathroom floor tiles are specifically designed with a non-slip surface. Wall tiles with a textured surface are often used to fit with an overall design theme, whereas textured tiles are not suitable for use on the floor, as they are uneven underfoot.

The difference in thickness
Tiles used on a bathroom wall can be relatively thin, since they don’t need to withstand much wear and tear. Floor tiles need to be thicker and tougher, since they see a lot of foot traffic. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are all given a PEI rating which is an indication of their hardness and durability.

Wall tiles generally have a PEI rating between 1 and 3, which means they have limited to moderate hardness and durability. Floor tiles have a PEI rating of between 3 and 5, which means they have moderate to extra hardness and durability.

The difference in size
Smaller and more delicate tiles can be used on a wall to create an intricate pattern. The tendency is to use larger tiles for bathroom floors, as they help to create a sturdier and more even surface.
It’s possible to manufacture a wall tile, with much softer clay than is used in a floor tile, since no one will be walking on it. If you are looking to purchase ceramic or porcelain tiles for your bathroom, you should pay attention to the PEI rating in order to ensure you get tiles that will last for the longest time possible.

If your bathroom gets a lot of use then it’s a good idea to opt for the highest PEI level in your floor tiles. You also need to think carefully about the PEI rating of your bathroom wall tiles. These tiles can be used on window ledges, and in storage areas, as well as on the walls.

Depending on how much wear and tear these areas are going to encounter you may need to think about investing in tiles with a higher PEI rating, in order to ensure that when your bathroom is re-tiled, the result is long lasting. 

What about you - have you re-done your bathroom and been lost in the world of tile? Have you ever done tiling work yourself? Tell me your secrets. 

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

TWTW - the one where vacation started

Salutations from vacation, mon frers. Vacation started Friday when we left our house before 5 a.m., picked up DD and Stephen and Aubrey, and headed south. Stephen drove the whole way so nine hours seemed to fly for me. I forgot how freaking hot the south is in the summer. Like a freaking blanket of heat. Yes, we did take some roadside photos in tobacco fields.
We made great time, and met my parents at the house before official check-in. Stephen and I did an insane Supermarket Sweep type grocery and booze run then we ordered pizza, ate, and hit the beach.
We got some nice sun time before the storms - I love a great time on the beach but there's nothing like watching the ocean get angry and a storm come in. Lightening was branching across the sky. Nature is a bad ass bitch.
We all thought it was going to rain Saturday but we ended up with an awesome beach day. Sunday too.
Vacation scenes...
Sunday night magic hour was made even better by knowing that we don't leave until Saturday. I'm so happy we could check in a day early.
Is this where I talk about food? I think I usually talk about food during TWTW. Hotdogs/hamburgers/mac salad/corn on the cob & watermelon on Saturday, Italian and a strawberry trifle Sunday. We're all pitching in cooking breakfast, dinner, and dessert.
What else? Oh yes...how you know you're on vacation with MFD - he is a quirky labeler (that Sugar Ray contains no Mark McGrath but does contain actual sugar), leaves halved lemons he uses in his hair all over (there's one in one of the bathrooms on the soap dish, I forgot to photograph it), and he sets up an office because as long as he has internet access, he's working. Even when his office set up makes him look like Doctor Evil from behind. How you know you're on vacation with me: I'm a compulsive picker upper and organize like with like. Carol is calling the table in front of the TV Stephanie's Garage Sale. Everything is a dollar.
If you need me this week, I'll be here. You can't argue with being able to sit up in bed and see the ocean. I finished a book on the way down, read one Saturday and one Sunday, and started another on Sunday. My book nerd ass is on fire.

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Speaking of reading, the next Show Us Your Books linkup is Tuesday, July 14. 

Toodleoo, mofos. Stay tuned on Instagram & Facebook for more vacation scenes.

p.s. Fuck yeah, SCOTUS. As you can imagine, my equality loving bleeding liberal heart is full of glee right now. To all the judgey judgers, may I advise you to leave that to God when the time comes? I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't want self righteous people crapping all over the choices of others in his name when he left the Earth. Just an educated guess giving his very loving and accepting personality. And can everyone now just call it marriage? Okay, thanks.

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, June 26, 2015

Project 52 - Q2

Back in the beginning of January, I talked about doing a Project 52 - one photo a week. You can see that post here and you can see Project 52 - First Quarter photos here.

Instead of choosing an overall theme for the year, I just picked photos taken on Thursday. Every Thursday for the 52 weeks of the year, I set aside a photo I've taken in a folder. Aside from the first one, no other photos have been shared anywhere. Here are my pictures from Thursdays throughout the first quarter.

April 2 - LOVE Park fountain before it was filled for the season / April 9 - Walking back to my car after getting off the train / April 16 - Cool white bark trees on my way to the library / April 23 - With my hairstylist and good friend who takes weird squatting photos with me without batting an eye / April 30 - Big old bust of Ben Franklin in Girard Fountain Park in Old City

M A Y  
May 7 - Pay phone near my office / May 14 - Exterior of the Academy of Natural Sciences / May 21 - The Book Corner / May 28 - I think this is the corner of 17th & Locust. I like the chandelier and the reflection in the window.

J U N E 
June 4 - Loved the hashtag / June 11 - Logan Square / June 18 - Windows at Alma de Cuba / June 25 - Geege letting me know it's time to eat

Peace out, cub scout. Enjoy your weekend. It is the last one in June, after all.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Thoughts - Vacation Eve version

1. Me today. Just hanging on until 5.

2. The Confederate flag. I don't care if people choose to fly it over their homes, wear it on a shirt, wallpaper their bathrooms or wipe their asses with it. I also don't care if retailers sell it. I do care if government buildings fly it on their flag poles. That's what's great about this country - you have the freedom to do all of those things if that flag is a symbol of history and heritage to you. Do you know that the swastika is a symbol of auspiciousness in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism? Probably not. You probably know it as the symbol of a Nazi regime that systematically murdered 6 million Jewish people and 5 million non-Jewish people during the Holocaust. So what was initially a symbol meaning success and favored by fortune hundreds of years later came to symbolize evil in the hearts of men and genocide. So, you know, no one wanted to fly it anymore. The Confederate Flag was designed to indicate that the South wanted out of the Union. Sure, it's only a flag and absolutely people can look away if they don't like it flying on your lawn. To some it represents history and heritage, but to many it's a symbol entrenched in racism and slavery. In 1860, 3.9 million of the 4.4 million black people in America were slaves. Owned by others. Sold when it suited their owners. Forced to live and work like animals. But we are pissed off that people are offended by everything these days so we don't want to hear about people being offended about this! Right? Wrong. If you think anyone is wrong to be offended by the Confederate flag flying over government buildings, you do not understand the distinction of the personal choice and freedom granted to all of us by the laws of this land to fly that flag versus the states of the union who are bound by law to represent all people flying that flag. We talk a lot about the softening of America, being too politically correct, and everyone being offended by everything and in a lot of instances, I agree with the things we've gone soft on. But this isn't one of them. We should absolutely lay down the things that hold down minorities, including women. Leave them in the past where they belong. Level the playing field and really make everyone equal. Or are we too afraid to?  Just because things have always been some way doesn't mean they should continue to be that way.
Image via The Atlantic
3. Now that that's out of the way...I'm looking forward to recharging next week. If you blog and you post something awesome, please email me a link at lifeaccordingtosteph@gmail.com so I can check it out. Otherwise, it'll be marked as read. And don't be afraid, ever, of telling someone something you wrote is worth reading. That goes for bloggers and non.

4. Tomorrow, we road trip. Me, MFD, my brother and Aubrey in a car for nine hours. Road trips are fun and funny and annoying. I'm sure especially annoying for MFD and Aub when Stephen and I do that sibling back and forth disagreeing banter...which is also funny, to us, but probably is annoying to others. Anyway, I can't wait! Thanks as always to our awesome dog sitter and her fiancee for camping out at our house and taking good care of our dogs and house while we're away.

5. Speaking of dogs, we refer to Mae as Honey Badger because, you guessed it...she just doesn't give a shit.

6. I should probably show you some dog photos since you won't see any next week...I mean, I'm sure I don't post nearly enough of them. If you'd like to see Gus and Mae in an empty vet waiting room, click here to watch the video. Imagine this times a thousand when people came in 10 minutes later.
7. Right before vacation, the commute becomes unbearable. Monday night I stood the whole way home and had to tell a grown ass man to mind his manners. Tuesday morning this guy was sprawled out like he was in his living room. I said excuse me, but he couldn't hear me over his loud ass headphones. The lady next to me said you just have to kick him. So I did. Is this adult life? Before doing anything on public transportation I wish people would ask themselves, "Is this something better suited for the privacy of my own living room?" Usually, the answer is YES and that means it should not be done on public transport. Go ahead and catch some ZZzs if that's your thing, but do not act like you're laying on your couch. Rude.
8. You are not ready to go on vacation until your nails and toes are ready to go on vacation. Am I right ladies? Toes are Essie Sunday Funday. Nails are gel, which I only do twice a year for vacations. I like to not have to worry about it!
9. True Detective. Who's watching? I'm in.
10. Ecard of the week

Blogging will continue as normal when I'm away, but I might be a little slow on the replies. Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Facebook to see what we're up to on vacation. Update Instagram eleventy billion times a day? Don't mind if I do. 

Tomorrow: second quarter Project 52 photos. 

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Recommendations

Hello hello friends! You know the drill. Skimmers, recommendations are in bold (and typically clickable). Two of my favorite June babies, my mom and Michelle, are joining me for recommendations this month. 

Follow my mom on Twitter      

It's summertime!
1. Baby Powder. Any kind will do. Keep some in your car. Instant sand removal.  Great to combat sweating and make us comfortable. For those of us who do not have thigh gaps, it brings welcome relief.  
2. Natural Instincts hair color. What a money saver! Thank Goddess my hair loves it. It has natural stuff. It is extremely inexpensive via coupons and sales- under $5 a box or less. And easy: 15 minutes on the roots, 10 more minutes on the rest of my head, then rinse. And a conditioning rinse to be used 2-3 times in between.  Every 5-6 weeks I get my hair trimmed and colored.  When I go to a different salon to get an updo, the stylists and clients all remark how they love my hair color. Also, I am probably completely gray and I never have any roots. I will use this until I go to the other side.
3. Epsom salts, any kind. You can buy plain and add your own essential oils. I soak in a tub once a week for about 20 minutes.  Also use when I soak my tootsies along with white vinegar. I think it is a detox.  There are always differences of opinions, but it works for me, so that's what I care about. It's a mind and body detox. Deep breathing and soaking. 
4. Sparkly body sprays. This is from Ulta, but I have also used Bath and Body sparkly sprays.It is lightly scented, feels good when applied, and gives you hints of sparkle.  Looks lovely in the sun or in the evening under the stars. Sparkle and shine all the time. 
5.  Always pack a cooler. Even if it is just you. A nice, ice cold drink is always welcome and a protein bar, fruit, or some kind of snack.  With kids, its essential! And husbands, too, LOL! We have had 50 million road trips over the past 20 plus years and have always watched our spending. This is a big money saver and convenience and you know what you are getting. Drinks and food from home are a fraction of the cost and you do not have to stop.  Many times there was no place around to buy anything, or you needed something quick. I always have a cold drink in my car with plenty of ice, even if I am going to the grocery store.Stay hydrated!!


1. Eucaplytus mint. Anything and everything. From hand soap to shampoo to candles. The scent will open your senses and calm you.

2. Embrace your inner vulgarity. Take that however you feel the need but no one likes a perfect person and newsflash, everyone sees thru your perfection. Everyone 💩 so it is ok to talk about it. Other vulgar fun topics, if you need a starting point: Sex (without sex and all the flavors of dirty deeds that people do, none of us would be here. Period.), riding the Crimson tide, that nasty creepy pimple, farts, SHARTS, cursing, peeing outside...I think you got the point. Just stop being so uptight!
3. Friends. Maybe a weird recommendation, but find some real ones. And yes it is ok to clean house once in awhile. But whether it is a few or many, find them and cherish them and hold them dear. And know a true friend accepts you, all of you: the good, the bad, and the vulgar.

4. Travel. See the world even if the world is only the town or city next to you. Open your eyes to how others live. It will make you appreciate your home more or give you a chance to find the home you were always looking for.

5. Work hard, play harder. Work hard and be the best you can be but don't forget to let loose. Indulge, pamper yourself, DO YOU, have some F-U-N...you have one life to live so live it!


1. Nip + Fab body products. I got these at Target. I love the smells and they're relaxing and feel good. 

2. Pampered Chef Brownie Pan. I use this every week for my egg muffins. I've never sprayed it with non-stick spray and my eggs have not once stuck. I would pay $100 for this pan but alas they only charge $20. I purchase through Betsy from Musings of a Museum Fanatic. You can access her Pampered Chef website by clicking here
3. Maybelline Lash Sensational. Nine bucks for a full fanning lovely mascara that doesn't run? Sold. Thanks to Kerry for the recommendation!
4. Organizing your socks in a hanging organizer. I used this one. Freaking genius. Why did it take me so long to get on this?

Thanks to my mother & Michelle for throwing out some recommendations this month.Let us hear yours! What are you recommending this month?

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 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pack it up pack it in, let me begin

I typically use excel spreadsheets for packing and try everything on before I put it in a bag which is very Type A tight assed of me, I know. I have spreadsheets for cruises, long weekend trips (air), long weekend trips (driving), lake trips, beach trips, week at the beach trips, week long vacation trips (air) etc. etc. What can I say? I love a list.

Since this upcoming trip is a laid back casual clothes situation with a washer and dryer available, I simply laid out soft stuff on the bed in the spare room, let the piles sit there for a week, picked some things out of the piles and added some new stuff, and boom, done. Note: The description of this trip should prepare you for the photos you will see on social media of me wearing the same clothes with no makeup and hair that resembles a planet due to salt air. 
We're driving so I wanted to pack in a bag that could be squished, hence the duffle. I have a Stella & Dot bag Lori gave me and an old Vera Bradley. I'm not a big Vera fan but you cannot beat the duffle for hauling a lot of crap. I packed everything in the expandable Stella & Dot first and then repacked it in the Vera. The Vera zipped even after I added a pair of sneakers and a big ass bag of sunblock.
Busting the seams of this duffle: two sweatshirts, a long sleeve T, pajamas - long pants/capris/shorts/2 tanks, four non pajama tanks, three t-shirts, two pairs of shorts, capris, a dress for a family photo, three bathing suits, a cover up, long sleeve for the beach, under garments, all of my health & beauty aids, a pair of sneakers, a pair of flip flops, and a big bag of sunblock. I'll end up not wearing half of it. Trust.

The only thing I have left to pack are books (I'll take at least eight), mags, and electronics. The small electronics go in these smaller bags and everything will packed in the larger Stella & Dot I didn't use for clothes.
Curious about my beach essentials? You can read about them here.

Gotta run. MFD (who packs a half hour before we leave for a trip) is reading articles like Avoiding Shark Attacks aloud. I need to take refuge upstairs with a book. Ahhh, vacation in the summer of the shark. TTFN.

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