How To Freshen Old Grout Between Tiles in 3 Easy Steps

If you didn’t already know, it should really come as no surprise to anyone that I am slightly OCD.

Yup, I’m the one who needs all the pictures perfectly straight, the furniture dusted, and my floors ARE clean enough to eat off of…for reals.

Our house is kinda old, built in the late sixties or very early seventies, and we haven’t done a major overhaul on the kitchen, so I still have the old porcelain tile with white grout, which poses difficulties keeping spotless and sanitary even for someone like me whose middle name is “Bleach”.

Every so often, I step out of my Louboutins, throw down my Chanel, and get my hands dirty for a purpose — to freshen and reseal the grout.

Until we remodel and tear out the countertops, this is an excellent method of keeping everything looking clean and fresh.

And it’s SO easy!

This is what I use; it’s bright white ‘cos that’s my grout color. I purchased it at Home Depot — it’s pre-mixed and EASY to use.
grouttutorial1STEP ONE:

I use my finger because I’ve tried a lot of other tools and nothing works better. I don’t even wear gloves, but you really should.

Just scoop up a mess of grout and push it into the space between the tiles, dragging your finger down along each square ’til it’s filled and even.

Make sure you really wash that stuff off your hands; it’s very drying and probably toxic!
grouttutorial3 STEP TWO:

Take a rag or a sponge (or both) and carefully wipe away the excess grout. Let it dry overnight and then wipe off the tiles again.

grouttutorial4 grouttutorialsealer

 

 

STEP THREE:
See the little brush? Turn the grout sealer upside down and squeeze just until enough sealer coats the brush; continue to squeeze, and paint all the grout with the sealer, let dry for about an hour and add a second coat.

When it’s dry, wipe the tile with a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess grout.

 

 

 

 

Voilà!

Beautiful grout again…sparkly clean and shiny, easy as 1-2-3!
grouttutorial2

Surfing Safari with Princess Rosebud

Or not.

I had high hopes of a RAD surf vid starring ME — hanging ten, claiming a gnarly barrel — something more exciting than always being my tugboat man’s Surf Bunny sitting on the beach taking pix and video of HIM.

I’m not sure why I thought that my third-time-only on a surfboard would miraculously “Matrix”-me the ability to stand up on a moving board of fiberglass — I guess it’s ‘cos my tugboat man, my son, and my DIL all make it seem so easy, so effortless.

You paddle out, you turn the board around, jump up, and ride the wild surf.

Easy, right? Wrong. Not easy.

I was a naive sixteen-year-old the first time I thought I could channel Gidget. My high school boyfriend handed me his board and said, “Go for it!”

Bikini-clad (string bikini), I walked the surfboard out from the shore. I was up to my knees in foamy white water when the first wave hit my board, causing it to fly up and hit me in the mouth, splitting open my lip. I turned around, walked out of the water, threw the board down, and spent the rest of the day icing my fat lip. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

Fast forward thirty-plus years…my second try at surfing wasn’t much of a success, either. My tugboat man took me out in the water and stood right next to me holding down his 9’6″ Bear longboard so the tip wouldn’t fly up and cause a repeat injury.

As a fresh wave was forming, he turned me around, promised NOT to let go, but guess what?  The force of the wave pushed me away from him too fast and he couldn’t hold on.

HE LET GO. Oops.

The last thing I remember was hearing, “Don’t let go and damage my board!”

The nose of the board pearled, which means the tip of the board went underwater, I went underwater, the board rolled over, I rolled over, the board was on top of me, I hit the ocean floor with the force of one thousand Gidgets and was dragged for a time over big rocks and small rocks.

Thump, thump, thump. NOT a graceful sight.

I finally resurfaced on the shore like a beached whale, still gripping that stupid Buick-sized longboard. With bits of seaweed clinging to my hair and my bathing suit bottom mostly OFF, with sand in my mouth, my ears, my nose — everywhere that COULD be filled with sand WAS filled with sand.

I stood up, shook the water out of my eyes and looked around for that damn tugboat man. He was still in the water behind me, running to me as fast as he could — in slow motion —  his mouth agape, trying to not laugh, and then he said, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?”

I squinted at him, spit out a mouthful of ocean, and marched my microdermabraded body back to our towels, studiously avoiding eye contact with dozens of spectators lining the shore.

As he recovered his precious and undamaged board and took it out for a successful surf sesh, I was occupied by watching the blooming of bruises from my hips to my ankles. I was a mass of purple and black and blue. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

You would think that I’d never want to recreate that humiliating scene again, and you’d be right. Well, sort of. For ten years, I refused to enter the ocean at ALL, but a couple days ago, I decided to face my fear AGAIN and give it a try.

I thought it would be different this time but I was clearly not thinking straight.

surfergirlhawaiian

 

This vintage poster adorns our bedroom — maybe it’s been subliminally infiltrating my subconscious —  embuing me with a foolish and misguided perception of my surfing ability. The truth? I possess NO water skills. I’m not a very good swimmer — I don’t like to put my head in the water.

 

 

What. Ever. Here I am at our Carlsbad beach. It’s a lovely, lovely day.

mebeach

I should have quit while I was ahead, that’s all I can say.

Notice the pretty aqua board to my right? A 9’6″ Ernie Higgins.

mebeachhair

Time to surf! I took off my earrings, changed into another bikini top, and pulled on hub’s extra spring suit. The water temp’s about 72-ish, but way too cold for me.

What a vision, huh?

surfmeAnd that’s my very last smile.

It was a rerun of my previous venture to emulate the life of a wahine.

Hub stands next to me holding the board. Hub says, “Do you want to take this wave?” and pushes me forward. I fall off the board IMMEDIATELY and exfoliate all exposed body parts as I’m dragged back to shore.

Once again, I spit out a gallon or two of sandy seawater and hobble back to our towels. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

I give up, I took out my beach read and my camera to snap pics of hub heading out to show me how it should be done.

Yes, he wears a surf hat. Don’t laugh.

surftugmanHunting for rocks and seashells is safe.
surfrocks

Not every attempt is a success, but it wasn’t exactly a failure either, because I overcame my fears and gave it a try. Will I do it again?

Maybe. ‘Cos you miss all the waves you don’t try, right?

Perhaps this is what I need. Hee hee. Chanel surfboards

 

 

Kidnapped! – Julia’s Story

Originally posted on Honk If You're Vegan:

stop-child-abuse-1

Julia Styles was kidnapped as a toddler. Although her basic needs were met, her life was lonely and sad. She was kept locked in a tiny room and wasn’t allowed to do the normal things kids do like make friends, play outside or go to school.

Once Julia reached puberty, her life got worse. She was raped and got pregnant. When she had her baby, she felt immeasurable love for him. For two days she cared for her baby, but then her captors took him away from her. Despite her plea’s, Julia never saw her son again.

Not long after this, Julia was raped again. She had a second child who was also taken from her. Then within months, she was raped yet again. This happened many more times causing immense physical and emotional strain on Julia.

By the time she was 28, Julia looked like an old woman. The physical trauma of her poor…

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On The Fourth of July – My Message to the Angry Mob in Murrieta, California

To the protesters…

You should all be ashamed of yourselves; you horrible, horrible people.

These are children. These are human beings.

There is too much hatred and abuse in this world – to animals in slaughterhouses, to our pets who trust us to love and care for them with compassion, to children who don’t deserve to be locked up in cages or left in cars to die in misery.

Think about THIS poem today on the 4th of July as you celebrate our country that offers you the freedom to scream at children who deserve food and shelter and running water.

What if this was YOUR family? Hmmm?

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

 Author: Emma Lazarus

 

ME ME ME ME ME…MY FAVORITE SUBJECT

selfieleaning

Old school camera snap selfie!

A Self Indulgent “Happy Anniversary to ME!”

About two years ago, I started Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for one reason — because my DIL told me I was kinda funny and I should start a blog.

So I did.

My son went through the process of setting up my WordPress account; I had no excuse — I had to start writing, right?

So…in my own chaotic way, I’ve forged a meandering path around the infobahn sprinkling sparkly snarky thoughts and convo and opinion as I tap tap tap on my MacAir about a myriad of subjects: never growing up, my obsessive love for Chanel, traveling, hiking, shopping, being married to a tugboat captain, my OCD love of cleaning, organizing, and collecting; cooking and baking veg-style —  oh, and seashells of course!

Did you know that I’m a midlife empty nester? I don’t like to label myself, because it seems so limiting and I am without limits, but those do apply. HowEVER, I don’t ACT like I’m old and decrepit; I resist the stereotypes.

I’m *cough* sixty going on thirteen. For realisies.

Blogging helped me reveal my own unique voice as a writer — now I have one  — or two  — or three personas, depending on the day of the week and which way the wind blows…

Sometimes I’m totes breezy and totes adorbs and srsly snark-tastic. Sometimes I’m full of  self deprecating humor, and sometimes I’m SERIOUSLY a mom (really the only job I’ve ever wanted), TTTT or I’m SERIOUSLY an animal defender. These voices ALL comprise the real ME — ahem, I mean Princess Rosebud.

And nobody puts Princess Rosebud in a corner.

I am a diamond of many facets.

 ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
As of today’s date, Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife has reached 100,742 views with a staggering 10,756 comments.
 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

THANK YOU!
I’m super happy to have befriended, interacted, discussed, and shared points of view and life lessons with all of you across the universe.

I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in a few weeks at BlogHer 2014 in San Jose.

In the spirit of celebrating ME —  I’d like to invite you to join me on my other avenues of social media (unless you already do, of course)

Twitter  https://twitter.com/EnchantedCshel
Facebook  Princess Rosebud.

https://www.facebook.com/PrincessRosebudEnchantedSeashells

Facebook  Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.        https://www.facebook.com/EnchantedSeashells
Pinterest  http://www.pinterest.com/enchantedcshels/
G+ https://plus.google.com/u/3/
RSS Feed: http://en.enchantedseashells.wordpress.com/feed/

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

 

Endurance and Survival

Life lessons from the garden.

We dug up a stand of cactus a few weeks ago, intending to immediately replant them in a different location, but life happened in the form of my son’s emergency surgery and my torn retina  —  and the cactus patiently waits for its journey to a new home.

Surviving and thriving.

cactusflower2

Anticipating its release from a hostile environment.

Blossoming in spite of life in a barren, derelict wheelbarrow.

Hopeful.

wheelbarrow

 

How To Make Infused Vodkas

Perfect for the Fourth of July…or any day of the week.

infusedvodka1

Our neighbors are hosting a party for the 4th (is it next week already?) and requested my famous array of infused vodkas.

The last time I made them, we all stayed up ’til way past midnight playing ping pong and darts in our garage and running back and forth between our two houses like we were back in college.

It was awesome fun!

It’s so friggin’ easy, but you need to start NOW, because the ingredients need a chance to infuse and marry and develop flavor in the vodka.

Plus, it’s impossible to NOT indulge in a little tasting every so often LOL.

Here’s all you need to be successful:

A HUGE bottle of good vodka. I got Stoli ‘cos it was on sale.
Jalapeños
Garlic
Black peppercorns
Lavender (from our garden)
Basil (bought it, our garden’s a bit late this year)
Ginger
Rosemary (from garden)
I think any herbs would be great to experiment with. All you need is more vodka!
Clean glass jars.

infused vodkaI pour a decent amount of vodka into the jars, and start adding things. My tugboat man really loves Jalapeño Garlic Pepper Infused Vodka, and I make that especially for him, as I’m not too fond of garlic, but I LOVE spicy hot jalapeños…my Jalapeno Infused Vodka. 

On their own, the Jalapeno/Jalapeno Garlic infusions are delicious for sipping; however the addition of low-sodium tomato juice makes a PHENOMENAL Bloody Mary. Just add celery.

Our next favorite is Ginger-Basil Infusion. Mouth waveringly delish.

Lavender Infused Vodka is flowery and herby at the same time, and AMAZING with dessert.

I’ve never tried Rosemary Infused Vodka, but it can’t be bad, ya know?

Now YOU try it!

Be creative — try lemon balm or lemongrass with basil or other herbs. I’ve used fruit too; apples and peaches and cherries are awesome.

If you’re anywhere near Casa de Enchanted Seashells on the 4th, stop by for a tasting!fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Day of the Seafarer

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Today is International Maritime Organization’s Day of The Seafarer

“Think of something you own and which came by sea. Whether it’s the car you drive, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the gadgets you use or the furniture you sit on, write it down and post it, adding the hash tag “#thankyouseafarer.” If you can also post a photo or video, even better,” said IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu.

Who doesn’t love bananas? Did you know that your daily dose of potassium was brought to you by a mariner? My own tugboat captain has docked hundreds of Dole banana boats over the years.

How about cars and trucks, marine construction equipment, coal, grain, oil, chemicals, trash, recyclable materials, sand, gravel, and timber?

All brought to you by ships and barges — and tugboats.

Right now my own tugboat man is pulling into a dock. It’s not nearly as easy as parallel parking a car…

His 150 ft. tugboat has a 1000 feet of tow wire pulling a 700 foot barge. Sorta like this, but this is NOT hub’s tug; I just wanted you to have a visual.

What has a the sea brought me?
She brings my tugboat man home safely.

I’m so excited!! It’s been a long six weeks.

Yes, even after twenty years, my heart beats a little quicker, the sun is a little shinier, my heart sings a happier tune — when my tugboat man is home, exactly like the lyrics of my favorite Christina Perri song, “A Thousand Years”

“I have died everyday waiting for you, darling don’t be afraid. I have loved you for a thousand years. I will love you for a thousand years more..”

While I’m baking and cleaning and perfuming and figuring out what to wear for the long drive to the airport, I’ll listen to my favorite songs by Christina Perri:

1. Don’t Count The Miles, Count The I Love Yous”

http://youtu.be/vl-2OHvBYX0

2.  “A Thousand Years”

http://youtu.be/q9ayN39xmsI

 

 

#dayoftheseafarer

Trends in Toenail Fashion

Just saying “toenail” and “fashion” in the same sentence makes me feel all oooky and squeamish BUT I’m doing this for YOU —  my readers — as a public service to bring you the pertinent details and relevant information — especially since it’s officially summer and our feet are exposed in sandals and flip-flops.

Hold on, I need a sip of  yummy Stonecrop screw-top chardonnay before I continue…you might also want to prepare yourself with an adult beverage — I can wait.

This is where it all started. I saw this pic on Facebook, gagged a bit, threw up in my mouth a bit, shared it, and received TONS of commentary, more than is normally generated by a photo-share — and it fueled my determination to delve into the subject of extremely long toenails — I truly believe it’s reached the status of being POST-worthy.

Here ya go, what do YOU think?

feet

100% of the comments on my Facebook page were like this: “Eww”, “Disgusting”, “Yikes”, “OMG, those look like pterodactyl claws!”, “Chain saw!”, and “YUCK”.

Although, I’m not totally hating on the shoes. Who doesn’t love sparkle?

Could this be the NEXT BIG THING?

I’ve done a bit of armchair research. Apparently, having LONG toenails is a “THING”; a certain segment of society thinks it’s SEXY.

Check out this FB page if you don’t believe me and here’s a tip: MUTE the sound if you click on it…http://www.yevettenails.com/home.html

In many cultures, long toenails are as appreciated as long and manicured fingernails. Many women take great pride in their toenails, treating them with the same attention and concern as their fingernails.http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Long_Beautiful_Toenails

You gotta check out this Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/authormaxinep/freaky-long-toenails/

No way, it’s not for me!!!

Personally, I can think of a zillion reasons why that wouldn’t work for my lifestyle…I go to the gym and work out, can’t have those claws getting in the way of my jumping jacks or at kickboxing, right?

We hike; no way those monstrosities will fit in hiking shoes-or any shoes for that matter. It doesn’t seem possible to be an active, athletic person with those gnarly hooks.

Oh, and HYGIENE. That’s a big one.

Most importantly, I have no doubt that my tugboat man would NEVER again want to get all cuddly and romantic if he had to go to bed fearing a midnight slashing.

What do you think? 

Are YOU going to join this fashion trend?*************************************************************************************

Animals do it right.

 Bear claws and an adorable sloth.

 

 

 

 

Yellowstone Treasures

Our trip to Yellowstone was life changing.

I often dreamed of seeing the wolves of  Lamar Valley.

My wonderful tugboat man surprised me totally out of the blue one day while we were watching a documentary about wolves…

“How would you like to pack up right now and drive to Yellowstone?”

“Right NOW?”

“Yup, we’re not gonna talk about it any more. We’re just going to DO it. What do you say?”

I wasn’t even in the room anymore; I had already started packing before he looked at the local surf report and changed his mind.

I’ve never written about our magical journey to Yellowstone because it’s more than a few posts; it’s book-worthy, and that’s what it’s going to be.

I kept a journal of those enchanted 3000 miles —  we were lucky enough to see wolves and foxes and bears and moose and all the animals I love so much and want to help protect and defend against senseless killing.

I will never forget the first moment I spotted a wolf.

I can honestly say that it was a seminal event in my life.

It was so special words cannot do it justice –to glimpse a brief moment in the life of this majestic, breathtakingly beautiful and wrongly vilified animal.

If I close my eyes, I can still see the beauty of another wolf, a black wolf, nonchalantly chewing on the end of a huge log—an AMAZING sight.

It was an overwhelming experience of transcendent joy.

We will return to Yellowstone and I will hopefully fulfill another one of my life’s dreams, to hear the song of the wolf.

Unfortunately,  the camera I had at that time didn’t have a powerful enough lens to capture a photo of the wolves we saw, but we came away with a couple of other treasures, an osprey feather and a backbone, possibly of a bison, washed up from Slough Creek to our campsite.

Wonderful memories of a dream come true.

Osprey feather

ospreyBison vertebrae (at least I think it’s bison) 

bisonboneUPDATE: Just found this on Facebook, just HAD to edit post to share:

bisonjoke