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Monday, March 27, 2017

My Ancestry DNA Ethnicity Results

NERD ALERT! :)

I'm really into learning about my family's ancestry and tracing our roots and heritage. I've got a pretty complete family tree dating back to the 1500s in Switzerland on my paternal side and to the 1600s in England and the 1700s in Ireland on my maternal side. My paternal family has been located in South Carolina since 1736.

I started my interest in my ancestry/heritage by creating an account and a family tree on Ancestry.com. I actually found a lot of information there to begin with and blogged a bit about some of the interesting findings here.

However,  I was really interested in what my actual DNA composition was made up of since I have a variety of leads from each side of the family. Well, the results were not THAT surprising...except for what I'm calling the wildcard...more on that later.

First up, my percentage breakdown for the expected (aka non-surprising) part of the results.



Okay, I figured GB and Europe. Here's a map breakdown which explains it a bit better. 


Great Britain also includes Scotland, so that makes sense. My mom's maiden name is a Scottish name and we'd always been told that her side of the family is Scot-Irish. So "Great Britain" accounts for the Scottish side. Europe West accounts for France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. so that also makes sense because I've traced my paternal lineage to Switzerland and Germany. Then there's the fairly self-explanatory Irish and Scandinavian heritage. 

The cool thing about these results is that Ancestry.com gives you a ton of historical data and background to help figure out why you could be showing DNA from a particular area. For me, I easily figured out the Scandinavian portion since I didn't knowingly have any lineage in that area. The Vikings and other tribal types from Scandinavia conquered and settled in parts of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales,  so many of my ancestors might have been descendants from those people. That also can help explain the Finland/NW Russia and Iberian Peninsula trace regions.  People from these native portions could have immigrated to other parts of the world and intermarried but the DNA still remains. For example, many Germanic tribes like the Visigoths pushed into the Iberian peninsula areas and conquered kingdoms to the north into Scandinavia. 

Are you ready for the wildcard? You may have noticed that I'm 98% of European descent but there's another 2% that's missing. Well, it's actually Asian. South Asia to be specific. Here's the full breakdown. 


And the map that shows the general area. This includes countries like India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 



Okay, so obviously I do not LOOK South Asian AT ALL. But I find it very interesting that there are still markers in my DNA from this area. The best I can figure is it must come from the Great Britain portion since India use to be a British territory. Perhaps there was some intermarrying? It's just so fascinating! Who would have thought?!

I was slightly disappointed that some of my Jewish and Native American ancestry didn't come through nor was any portion of my DNA African. Given that many of my paternal ancestors were slave owners I figured that there might have been some. BUT, that's not to say it isn't a part of my heritage, it just didn't manifest into my own unique DNA. So how will I know? Well, I plan to purchase this test as a gift for my sister, father and mother. (Surprise! If you're reading this, family!)  I'd like to see how my results compare to theirs and what theirs might show that mine didn't. Stay tuned! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bathroom Update: Painting the Vanity



One of the projects M and I both wanted to tackle was painting our bathroom vanities. It was something we desperately wanted but we were unsure how time consuming of a project it might be...so we kept putting it off.

Well, we bit the bullet and started in the master bathroom this weekend. I'll be honest, I had to work half a day on Friday so M actually ended up doing most of the work with this project. But that is a good indication of how easy it really was!

The entire project took less than a day and we are thrilled with the results!

Our first step was to sand the 11 year old builder-grade oak cabinets. M did the larger parts with a electric palm sander but chose to use regular old sandpaper for the cabinet faces and drawers. Because of the molding on these it was easier for him to use sandpaper. He sanded them all enough to knock the sheen off and rough up the surface a bit for painting. I'd say it took him about 2 hours total to sand everything. He removed the drawers and doors and sanded them all outside because, well, it's kind of messy.

After the sanding was done we headed to Lowe's and picked out our paint. I knew I wanted a blue-tinged dark gray. I like the look of dark vanities with white tops so we figured a darker gray would contrast nicely with the white top and hide any stains well. We ended up going with Valspar Reserve paint in Muskeg Gray. We purchased a couple of chip brushes and some small high-density foam paint rollers specifically for cabinetry and went to town. I started by painting in the door molding and the edges with the brushes and then finished with rolling the wide, flat parts. Overall we did two coats  of paint on everything and it looks great! We ended up painting inside the house in the kitchen area because it was really windy and getting chilly out.

I've never painted anything in the house before and the house not smell like paint. Actually unless you saw the painting stuff in the house, you wouldn't even know it. I smelled NOTHING. No paint fumes, no paint smell. Honestly, I loved that. I didn't pick this paint because of the low odor and no VOCs, but I would definitely pick it again because I loved walking into a house that didn't smelled like paint!

We opted for a semi-gloss since it's a bathroom and this is the most chip and stain resistant. I love it. The final product is a bit more of a babyish gray than I thought but I don't mind it at all. We purchased a gallon of this paint and plan to use it to paint the guest bathroom vanity as well. I'm so happy we chose to do this and it feels like I'm walking into a different bathroom!

Slowly but surely, my house is becoming void of color and much more neutral...i.e. gray and white. And I don't hate it one bit! Here are the before and afters! (Also I know my grays don't all match. I need to get a different rug...maybe a pop of color to tie it all in.)

BEFORE


AFTER




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We Need Suggestions! Warm Weather Vacation Destinations

Our honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Calling all travelers!

M and I are starting to look at locations for our vacation next year (2018) and this time we want to opt for a warm weather locale. Our last big trip was in August and we did a cooler weather place (Banff) so this time we're switching it up.

I'm not opposed to the Caribbean or an international place but I'm also okay with something tropicalish in the states. Our requirements are that it's not a super-long flight from our area (Charlotte, NC)...meaning...less than 3 hours...and it's somewhat affordable. We definitely don't need to be in the center of a town full of nightlife as we prefer a more relaxed environment.

So, now, travel friends, where are some warm weather destinations you've enjoyed? Any recommendations?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Spring To-Do List


It's starting to feel like spring in the Carolinas and that means there a springy to-do list on my radar. Below are the things I'd like to accomplish between now and the end of May. (But really, who am I fooling... it has felt like spring here since mid-February and will probably feel like summer in mid-May.)

  • Plan and plant my garden. I will probably do my starters this weekend. So far I've planned for parsley, cilantro, snap beans, summer squash and maybe tomatoes. I'm still not sure about tomatoes because they are intimidating to me! 
  • Plant flowers in the front flower beds. Last year I bought a few tiny impatiens and they took off! I loved them so much that I want to buy more and line the entire front flowerbed with them. They grow quickly and love the afternoon sun on that side of the house. 
  • Repaint the kitchen cabinets. We painted them white a little over a year ago, but we used the wrong paint. So now, we want to go back over the cabinets with another white paint and reseal them. This is more in preparation for selling our house next year than because it looks bad. 
  • Replace the sliding glass door. This thing is the bane of my existence. It sticks all the time and I have to pull with all of my strength to open or close it. I've broken way too many nails on this dang door and I can't wait to be done with it! 
  • Put out my anniversary wreath. More on that here.
  • Plan a fun anniversary outing. Our 3 year anniversary is April 12 so I want to plan something fun for us to do. 
  • Declutter. I'm looking at you, linen closet and kitchen junk drawer. So far this "spring" I've already decluttered the kitchen pantry and my closets. :) 

What about you? Do you have a to-do list or goals for this spring?

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