Maci

I grew up in the Midwest but have lived on the wet coast since I was thirteen. I really don't see myself as rustic, even though I have had the whole barn experience.

Yet, I love to be sides, love my dogs, camping, and knitting. All of these things tend to get lumped up together under the rustic country category. And people tend to tell me how much of a country girl I am even though they know that that is only a small portion of who I am.

But then I bring it on myself.

For example I knitted my wedding dress on the train commute to work every day for about five months. And I think knitted gowns are to die for. They aren't just for country, but they do make a bigger appearance their. In general I think knitting is perfect for a wedding. And a knitted wedding dress is just so unique.

Mine was modest, simple, flattering- everything I love about wedding dresses.

These days it almost makes sense to knit your dress - it's a good way to get out of having to buy a disposable dress like you're going to get pressured to, and engagements tend to be quite long, so there might well be time. However I still think that all the horror stories out there about people trying to make their own dress and being too tired/stressed about it should be taken as a note of caution.

It more comes down to what your expectations for wedding dresses and knitting projects are. How offended is your family going to be?

My family was super supportive, and I only got positive reinforcement. They knew I could do it and I saved a lot in so doing.

How much? Well, had I bought a dress that was similar then I would have spent about $1700, while my dress cost me (minus the time, which would have been spent reading instead) just short of $40.

No you didn't mis read. That is a savings of $1660.

Stupidly, I documented almost nothing. For each of the six panels of the skirt, my brother helped me painstakingly calculated how many stitches I would need to increase and at what rate to make the shape indicated by the sewing pattern. I have some of our scratch paper from that process but I didn't keep track of what math belonged to what panels, and what worked and what didn't.

It was very much a flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants project. For example I had to completely redo two pieces because when I went to block them they were not even close to the right shape. I still can't believe it worked.

Suffice it to say, I was very happy with the results.

I used Queensland Bamboo Cotton, but I wouldn't recommend it for two reasons: It's not being made anymore, at least in white, and it stretched like crazy after I blocked it. I finished the dress, laid it flat for two months, and then when I put it on for the wedding it was four inches longer. This was fine, but only because the rest of the fit was thankfully the way I had intended it to be.

The hem did change colors as it got repeatedly trampled during the reception.

If it would have been warmer I probably would have done a wedding dress that was a little more modern. One that didn't trail behind me. As that was my biggest complaint with it.

Maci

Our dog always threw up on the carpet, never on the floor. Obviously, this way it's way harder to clean up the mess.

We always thought it was a traction thing.

When you throw up, it takes a lot out of you/your body to do so and to keep somewhat still. With dogs, they don't have a ton of grip on smooth floors and they'd probably slip in the middle of throwing up.

We've mostly trained him to vomit over where the carpet changes to tile. He still gets traction from the carpet but we get easy clean up.

When he was a puppy, we would hear him doing his little hurk he did before he threw up so we would rush to find him, pick him up and set him on the tile. He always moved his feet back on the carpet and sometimes we had to point his head the right direction but he picked up on what we wanted pretty quickly. Now when he throws up he tries really hard to get his head over the tile floor if he can make it.

Occasionally we'll find some on the carpet if he couldn't make it but that's usually an indicator that he's not feeling well.

Maci

I've humanized my Roomba to the point that I put googly eyes on it and gave it a name. If there was a robot equivalent of the ASPCA I would totally report you.

Yet, I always thought it was kinda funny when I put him roomba on the black rug in my foyer. He keeps backing away trying to get off it. I never really appreciated it was because of the cliff sensors, and that he's actually deathly afraid of it. I guess I feel sorta bad now.

I guess another workaround would be to sprinkle glitter all over your dark rug. That way you don't compromise its ability to detect stairs or cliffs. That way you can still put your roomba on top of a stool and watch and laugh as it tries to find a way off it.

Since I get asked this fairly frequently Roombas are very light weight vacuums that are best for smaller areas and in places where you don't have lots of debris or knick knacks to deal with, think, child or pet toys or the corresponding debris that both tend to introduce. Roombas require a little TLC.

ideally you need to clean them (empty the dust bin, clean the brush and beater, wipe off fine dust) after every use so they aren't truly fire and forget.

About every year I need to break mine down completely in order to clean debris and cat hair out of various gears and interior corners where it will eventually clog and prevent the device from functioning.

We all worry about the well being of robots. At least our roomba

I was kind of annoyed when I was told I needed to pay for a new cleaning head. I think I got a small discount on it, but it works so much better. I hardly ever get the "clean roomba's brushes" error any more.

By the way, if you haven't seen them yet you should check out the new upgrades that are available for those of us who have old Roombas.

The new "Enhanced" cleaning head and "AeroVac" bin are quite nice. I just got both of them for mine since the cleaning head was wearing out anyway, and the new one and AeroVac are nice improvements.

Quieter, easier to clean, and apparently picks up more dust.

I dunno how it'd work on thick carpet. I have just a thin kinda area rug and it works surprisingly well on it after disabling the cliff sensors. I linked to a pretty thorough review in another comment, I'm pretty sure it's pretty good on carpets, but I'm not sure because that wasn't something I was taking into consideration when I first read it.

No matter what you'll have to manually vacuum a little at least once a month. It won't get into corners fully.

And another funny thing that kinda hurts how well it performs is that there is a rear exhaust, and I watched it push bundles of cat hair away from the exhaust, like tumbleweeds, into an area where it had just cleaned.

I have the Roomba clean that room each morning and walking into a pristine, super clean room just makes the work day start better.

It's perfect for something like that but if you find yourself having to do a clean up before running the Roomba every time you may as well just vacuum a standup vacuum has much better suction anyway.

Maci

I have a rescue dog and he does the very same thing. He came from a house with 16 other dogs, and I think he was just trying to eat without having to fight for food.

Rescue I dogs do it regularly, and he refuses to eat in the kitchen on the tile - if I put her food bowl there at dinner time he'll take it mouthful by mouthful to the carpet to eat. I think that he never got used to the hard floors and is more comfortable eating on carpet I guess.

I'm pretty sure that they hate our smooth floors.

When I gave him his kibble, he'd carry the bowl to where I was sitting in the living room and dump it on the carpet, take his bowl back, then come back and eat his kibble. We never taught him to do that. It's really adorable though.

Later he would take mouthfuls and walk over to me and chew, sometimes dropping it on the carpet.

My assumption is he's not so much interested in the carpet, but for wolves, when they eat their prey, they'll usually take their food away from the carcass to eat, which could be something your dog is mimicking on the carpet.

Dogs (and my cat) also prefer to vomit on rugs for the same reason.

The last bit isn't so arodable.

Maci

I'm certainly no expert, but I'd think slipping is mainly what you have to worry about. Especially when they get excited and try to take off somewhere.

Dogs "launch" with their back legs and if those slip out from under them, they can easily pull a muscle or worse, break something. The old saying "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" definitely applies in this case.

If it really concerns you, put down some area rugs to minimize the danger. If you're going for rugs, you may want to Velcro them down.

Pergo is not an engineered wood.

It's laminate (pressed fiber with a layer of wood looking stuff on the top. Engineered wood is more like plywood. It's basically wood throughout, but only the top layer of wood is of any quality.

Personal experience, I installed wood-looking vinyl. It has held up well to all of our animals. A friend did the same and he has a golden retriever and was happy with the results. People think it's wood until they step try tapping on it.

My brother-in-law installed mid-grade pergo 10 years ago in a house with two 50lb high energy dogs, which are now senior citizens but still going strong.

The floor still looks great, with no claw marks or damage.

I haven't used bamboo myself, but have heard good things. Woven strand bamboo is very strong. Strand bamboo is different than regular bamboo, also a bit more expensive but not as expensive as true hardwood.

It is also 3x harder than oak.

They take the bamboo and turn it into a pulp, then reform it under massive amounts of heat and pressure creating a very dense and strong material.

Many different installation options, select the one you think would be easiest to do.

I would avoid laminates and get at the minimum engineered hardwood like prego. These come in different thicknesses, so typically thicker=more durable and you can pick based on budget. Hardwood is the best, most durable, but is generally much more labor intensive to put down. If you are looking for a weekend project, I generally point people towards the engineered flooring because I find that the product is easier to use.

If you have more time/tools and want a floor that will take a beating, and also be able to sand it down over and over for refinishing, bite the bullet and get hardwood.

Maci

We have a sectional and coffee table in place, however I need some suggestions when it comes to area rugs to make the room a bit cozier.

The plan is to mount the TV on the large wall opposite the couch, so moving the TV to the corner is likely out of the question. I purchased a euro style TV console (70") to act as an accent table and fill in the empty space on that wall. The current stand is temporary until I take delivery of a bigger table.

I will try pulling the first rug out a bit and see how that will look. In terms of color, any suggestions or recommendations here?

In regards to getting a bigger rug, the dimensions of the living room is roughly 14'4" x 12'3", a rug this size shouldn't be too big. I feel like not being able to put another chair to the right of the coffee table make the entire setup a little weird. It could be bigger and with more pattern and colors. Try adding some other accessories to your space.

To make the room look cozier, the rug should be almost as big as that end of the room-the sectional should be sitting on the rug. I would start with this to give the room and visual barrier and see how that looks.

Create an accent within the area.

If you like a smaller size maybe a rug with higher pile like a faux fur shag rug type deal. I have done this before where the room just didn't work otherwise. It creates a nice extra illusion of space.