Simple Cleaner

By nature, I’m not a cleaner.  A tidier and an organizer-yes.  But cleaning…. I have to be in the mood.  In order to simplify my cleaning routine, I’ve found that water and a little bit of soap goes quite a long way.  This simple cleaner has really changed the way I do cleaning.  Instead of grabbing 15 bottles of cleaner and pondering whether or not I want to have a headache for the rest of the day, this cleaner is my go to, cleaning all the surfaces of my home safely and gently.  DSC_0581

Simple Cleaner

I got these wonderful spray bottles at IKEA for 99 cents.  I loved the color and shape, and they spray very smoothly- it’s the little things.  My favorite dish soap is Palmolive’s Pure and Clear.  It has a pleasant mild scent, and still gets my dishes exceptionally clean.  So I knew it would do the same in the cleaner.  My two favorite essential oils are tea tree oil and lemon.  They both leave such a wonderful clean smell behind, and they both have amazing disinfectant properties!

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These cleaners have become the workhorses for cleaning my house.  And they couldn’t be simpler or easier to make.

$8 Outdoor Christmas Wreaths

Well, hello everyone! Long time no see.  For reals.  It’s been forever.  But jumping back here on the blog just in time for the holidays.  Since the last post, I’ve had a baby, the kids have started at school, and I’m finally getting some breathing time to jump back on the bandwagon. #winning

I’m excited to share with you a super cheap and simple way to dress up your windows for Christmas.  I have a thing for colonial homes, and I’m so grateful to own one!  And one of my favorite things about colonials is the way you can wreath every single window for Christmas.  Here’s some Colonial Christmas pin-spiration for you…

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So beautifully simple.  But add up the cost of wreaths times the number of windows you have and… sheesh.  Money blown.  I’m excited to see the Dollar Tree step up its game in recent years.  And I was excited to see these medium faux wreaths there.

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Add some sparkly bows (that also came from there– in a 2 pack no less!) and I spent a mere $8.  Big spender.  I know.

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The hardest part was removing the screens from the windows (which I had been wanting to do anyways… aren’t screens so 90s? Does anyone even use screens anymore?) It’s not like the screens would stop anything from going out or coming in since most of them were broken anyways, but I digress.  Screen removal.  Check.

Then I measured and cut jute string to hang them.

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Luckily, most of the windows already had a nail (probably for the very reason of hanging something).  But the ones that didn’t, I put a white finishing nail in the top.

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Our windows probably need replacing, but I just LOOOOOVE our old fashioned wooden paned windows.  Do they even make them anymore?!

Then, I tied the jute string around the wreath in a knot so it wouldn’t slip around.

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Tie up the ends and hang around the nail and close the window.  And there ya go.

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The whole process took me less than 30 minutes, and it was totally worth it! I loved how it turned out.  And no one will ever know that I bought $1 wreaths 😉

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So for $8, I was able to supply all my windows and my door with a simple holiday wreath!  *excited face*  Now to add some Christmas lights and garland around the door and electric candles in the windows and our house will be decked out for Christmas! Now to turn on some Nat King Cole.

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DIY: Nursery Art from an Old Calendar

make your own nursery art from an old calendar... so cool... why didn't I think of that... why didn't I think of that

I owe this post to my amazing, talented sister who basically has a house that would basically show up anyone on Pinterest.  She has a knack for home decorating and was born with “the eye.”  I just love what her and her talented hubby have done to their 1900’s brick ranch home! I’m so excited to share with you her awesome idea of taking an old calendar of National Parks and turning it into some really awesome wall decor for a nursery (or really any room!).

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First, you’ll need a calendar.  Here is the one she used of National Parks.  But, the sky is the limit!  Just about any calendar you love will work!  I just bought this awesome chalkboard art calendar in hopes of turning it into my own wall art!

Then, you’ll need some 1×4 boards, painted or stained to your liking and cut to your desired length.  My sister painted hers white and distressed them a bit.  Cut out your desired pictures and glue them onto some cardboard backing, then glue them to the 1x4s in your desired pattern.  I like how she split the words and the picture!  Then screw them into the studs in the wall.  And voila!  Custom wall art!

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Little M. just has the coolest little nursery!

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

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10 DIY Classy Paper Valentine’s Day Decorations

10 DIY Classy Paper Valentine's Decorations
Images from: TheHouseThatLarsBuilt.com, JustSimpleDesigns.wordpress.com, HGTV.com, ThePerfectDIY.com, Blog.vickybarone.com, and CreativelyChristy.blogspot.com

This year, I’m trying to plan ahead a little more than in the past (read: throwing something together the night before…or day after) to make the holidays special for the whole family. I have fond memories of waking up on Valentine’s Day morning to a cute breakfast table set with decorations, a little treat for us at each table setting and pink biscuits baking in the oven. My Mom took the time to plan ahead to make even us kids feel special on Valentine’s Day. As part of my planning ahead, I’ve decided to put together some simple and cheap decorations for the month of February so of course, to Pinterest I went. So many cute ideas! I went ahead and ordered some pink, white and red construction paper via Amazon to save myself a trip to the store. Here are 10 of my favorite classy paper Valentine’s decorations.

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Photo from HGTV.com
  1. Sewn Heart Garland – How adorable is this? Sewing through paper is really easy and I love the airy look having these hang with thread provides.

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    Photo from Blog.VickyBarone.com
  2. Valentine’s Day Bunting/Garland – This one would require a trip to the craft store, but you could probably achieve the same idea with some glue instead of these cute little clothespins…you know, if you must.

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    Photo from TheHouseThatLarsBuilt.com
  3. Valentine’s Day Tree – It’s no secret that I have a penchant for bringing branches inside and decorating with all things tree related, so of course I kind of swooned over this perfectly executed Valentine’s Day tree.

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    Picture from InspiredToShare.com
  4. Paper Heart Chandelier – Forget using this just as a Valentine’s Day decoration, I’m thinking this would be pretty adorable in my girls’ room above the crib.

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    Picture from CreativelyChristy.blogspot.com
  5. Framed Hearts – This little piece of DIY artwork would make a nice gift. Those perfectly lined up teeny hearts are so sweet!

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    Photo from HowAboutOrange.blogspot.nl
  6. Wall of Paper Hearts – Have an empty wall? This would dress it up nicely…this also would be a fun surprise in an office. Cue college prank memories…

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    Photo from sStrumpetsCrumpets.blogspot.be
  7. Paper Heart Chain – I’m thinking I’ll make a curtain of these for at least one of our doorways to surprise the kids on Valentine’s Day Morning.

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    Photo from HoosierHomemade.com
  8. Paper Strip Hearts – Even fancier paper hearts!

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    Photo from JustSimpleDesigns.wordpress.com
  9. Coffee Filter Roses  – This post is full of ALL KINDS of gorgeous coffee filter flowers. I really hope I have time to give these a try!
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    Photo from ThePerfectdiy.com
  11. Folded Heart Garland – Such a lovely way to do a heart garland! I think this is the one we’ll make for our mantel.

So there you have it! I’m so excited to give some of these a try and hopefully include the kids on a few. What do you like to do to make Valentine’s Day special for your family?

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12 Items to Buy Second Hand

Here are 12 items that you can buy second hand to save you money and add more character to your home and wardrobe

Life can get expensive.  Filling your home and your wardrobe with pieces you love on a budget can be quite a challenge!  I have been thrifting and garage saleing my whole life…before it was cool. When my Mom had 4 little ones under 5 on my Dad’s teacher salary, she learned how to shop, thrift and garage sale like a pro!  And I’m very grateful for all the tips I’ve learned from her.  When it came to decorating and organizing my home and buying clothes for myself and my family, thrift stores are my go-to.  If you’re looking for some great thrifting tips, my sister has some great ones here.  In this article, I’ll be recommending some items to be on the look out for when you hit thrift stores, antique stores, and garage sales.

1.  Solid Wood Furniture and Shelves

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2.  Genuine Leather

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3.  Unique/ Old Items

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4.  Baskets

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5.  Vintage Glassware

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6.  Name Brand Clothing- Especially with tags on them!

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7.  Linen napkins

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8.  Books

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9.  Throw pillows

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10.  Wall Art/ Mirrors

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11.  Lamps

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Used to be gold, navy and burgandy and I spray painted it white for a totally different look.  Added a $10 burlap shade for a total of $13.

12.  Organization Items

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These are the items I always look for when thrifting.  Always look for high quality, genuine leather, solid wood.  Don’t settle just because you’re at a thrift store! Happy thrifting!

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