Monday, March 28, 2016

porch {mini} makeover reveal

I hope everyone had a fabulous, family filled Easter. Mine was a success, I believe... hosting my first Easter. :P

It felt like I was in a race to get this porch ready in time for Easter!

but it's here, my mini porch makeover!

oh, but wait, here's the before...

And after...

Like I said, a mini...

rug {overstock}
galvanized planter {joann fabrics}
chalkboard {joann fabrics}
cushion {diy project}

Saturday, March 26, 2016

wicker side table {take 2}

I'm on take 2 of my wicker side table refurbish. To refresh your memory {from monday} - it started off white, and here's what take 1 did for it.

After my original thought of a soft blue failing, I decided to go a bit more neutral with my next take. 
I kind of wanted black, but was afraid it would turn out too overwhelming. 
I went with a black top and beige bottom. 
I selected my colors at Lowes, and used Valspar's indoor/outdoor spray paint.

I'm happy with it for now. Now, I need to finish this porch makeover!

Friday, March 25, 2016

friday favorites

favorite "after" kitchen {love grows wild}

favorite nifty idea {julie blanner}

favorite furniture {lia griffith}

favorite spring coat {m loves m}

favorite wallpaper {briar hill}

favorite planter {58 water street}

favorite window refurbish {remodelando la casa}

favorite thing I'd love to learn to do {maison de pax}

Thursday, March 24, 2016

wicker side table {take 1}

I promise, I'm still working on my porch makeover... I started with my wicker love seat's cushion. Now it's time to move on that side table you see there.

I love white! A white wicker love seat is what I searched for. This one I snagged for a great deal on craigslist and came with a side table. So I took it as well, of course. However, the whites are not the same - and it bugged me. 

I decided instead of giving it a new coat, trying to match the whites, to give it another color altogether. In my head I visualized a pop of color. My eye kept gravitating to blues and greens when I went to pinterest for inspiration. So I went with a soft, robins egg blue. I used Lowe's Valspar spray paint.

Let's just say, I like it on the other tables I saw better :0

So there's my take 1!. Take 2, to follow, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

sneak peak: porch makeover {diy cushion cover}

I've been itching to give my front porch a makeover. It sat completely blank for months until I found this wicker set on craigslist. The cushion that came with the love seat was not salvable - seriously - at all! It was really hard to find a cushion that would fit this seat, at the end of summer, in Ohio. However, I did come across this burgundy one that I decided to live with until something better could be found.

{this is going to be my before porch makeover picture}

Well with warm weather coming back in action, it was time to replace this "never loved" cushion. However, I didn't let this $30 cushion go to waste. 
I tore it apart to use as a pattern for my new cushion & I reused the stuffing in it ;)

... and so here it is. I picked out the outdoor fabric at JoAnn fabrics. 
It only took about 45 minutes to cut, sew, stuff, and sew up the final hole.

So there's my first step to my porch makeover. 
I'm happy with it so far... however, 
I'll admit I'm struggling a bit on what else to do to give this porch some life. 
Any suggestions?

Monday, March 21, 2016

pantry makeover {& organization}

Behind closed doors we can easily let organization get out of control. This was especially true for me regarding my pantry. The issue had gotten out of hand, and it was time to get it under control.

I would like to insert a bit of realistic rant right here though.

I have seen over my days images of perfect looking pantries. Everything in separate containers, and everything labeled. Don't get me wrong, these pantries look great. However, there are three things I see when looking into these perfect pantries. 

1. money. filling your pantry with baskets and containers from wall to wall... well that would add up, real quick. 

2. upkeep. keeping those pasta and cereal containers filled seems like work. You'll have to clean them out between fills, and then taking the time to fill them every grocery trip... too much work for me!

3. functional. they appear functional, however, what about those miscellaneous items? I'm sure they are all tossed in "one" of those containers. so then you have to go digging for it. and do you remember where you categorized it?

If you have one of these fabulously organized pantries... a major kudos to you! 
Seriously! Especially after you see my pantry :0

I understand if your face immediately turns in disgust. But, this is it!
here's what I had let my pantry become...

I like an organized space as much as the next person. However, let's face it, it's a pantry. Most the time, it's behind a closed door. I want my organization to be more about function than looks. I want to be able to go in, grab what I need, and get out. I need my organizational skills to be manageable on a day to day basis.

I decided to get a few things to help my pantry organization along.

First. I got clear canisters to hold my flour, sugar, etc. Half the time I grabbed the wrong canister, and it was driving me nuts. This way, there's no guessing. It's there in my face, no forgetting which is which. If I grab the wrong one, well it's on me now.

Second. I got a bread box. I've always wanted a bread box. I loved the idea of it. I used to keep my bread up against the side, but I moved it down the shelf to use the bread box as a divider. Although I will admit, this one isn't super functional. There is an extra step to grabbing out your bread from behind the baguette for tomorrow's dinner. 

Third. I got a few wire baskets. I picked up five rectangular baskets that had a spot for a label and varied in size. I needed something to help keep things from piling over. The biggest disorganized spot in my pantry was all my baking supplies. So having these wire baskets to keep from pouring into each other really helped make the space look more organized, but more than anything - now I can actually find what I'm looking for without having to throw things around. That's always a plus ;)

That's all I bought for my pantry to help give it a little boost of organization. I spent around $100 on my organization makeover. It wasn't a night and day difference, however, I was definitely pleased with my results. I feel like the changes made are manageable and functional, which is what organization is really all about.

The main thing to get organization to take place in my disaster of a pantry...
 some conquer and dividing. I categorized areas the best I could, and that's pretty much it!

here are some before & afters for you...

... and yes, that's a microwave. 
We put electric in our pantry to run our microwave, toaster, 
and to keep a hand held vacuum charging in there as well.

bread box {amazon}
glass canisters {home goods}
wire baskets {home goods}

Sunday, March 20, 2016

spring cleaning {including cleaning tips}

Happy first day of spring!!! Daffodils are blooming, birds are chirping {we even have a brand new nest being built next to our front door}. Another thing quickly associated with the word spring, is spring cleaning. So I am going to share my spring cleaning with you.

I can't really give you my spring cleaning list without including with my bi-yearly cleaning, my quarterly cleaning, and my monthly {yes, monthly} cleaning lists. I'll spare you my daily, weekly, and bi-weekly cleaning for now.

Notable - this list does not include outside spring cleaning. Cause, darn it, there's things to be attended to out there as well!

I know this list is long, and to be honest - it's really never ending! However, most of these things are relatively quick chores, especially if you keep up on them.

Monthly cleaning:
 {I usually schedule these for the first monday of the month, and I've got them listed in the order I do them - it usually takes just over one hour to complete my list}

1. wash all bath mats {and toilet covers, if you have them}.
2. mop bathroom tiles. I use lysol and hot water.
3. wipe and sanitize all door knobs/ handles
4. wipe scuffs and hand prints from walls {this one could be done daily in my house!}
5. wipe down all outside kitchen cabinets. {this more of a spot wipe for me}
6. a good wipe down on the outside of your fridge. I use stainless steel wipes}
7. wipe down inside your microwave. I put in a small bowl of half water, half vinegar and squeeze in a lemon - then microwave for 2 minutes. Take the bowl out, and wipe it all down
8. the washer - I wipe out the silicone guard of my front loader with a lysol wipe. Then I run one of the Tide washer cleaning packets as directed.
9. coffee maker. run half water, half vinegar through your coffee maker.

vinegar + lemon = natural cleaning duo {as noted with my microwave cleaning}
I would also like to mention that vinegar can be used on several cleaning jobs,
but it's favorite use for me is on carpet stains

Quarterly cleaning:
{a couple of these are longer chores, so I typically schedule them all but the mopping on my normal cleaning day every 16 weeks, but I save the mopping for the next day}

1. scan all linen closets for expired medicines, anything that's not being used or empty - and trash them.
2. dust {and wipe down if needed} vent covers. Wall vent covers will get the dustiest.
3. windex light fixtures.
4. wipe down all doors {especially bathroom doors, and door going out to garage}
5. throughly vacuum sofa cushions, and spot clean as needed.
6. mop hardwood. I spot mop on a regular basis, but I wall to wall mop at least every 3 months. I use a spin mop bucket of hot water, with half a cup of Murphy's oil soap.

Bi-yearly cleaning:
{this is my long list! The last five are the most time consuming. I try to get most on them in one day, but the last five I schedule across the months of October/November and April/May}

1. wash shower curtain, and shower liner {I use a washable one}.
2. wash base boards as needed. Don't confuse this with dusting... I do that bi-weekly.
3. windex picture frame glass.
4. wash comforter {or duvet}, and pillow shams.
5. pull out all in house trash cans and give them a good wipe down.
6. dust lamp shapes using a lint roller.
7. pull out your long extension and vacuum behind, between, and as far under your washer and dryer as you can.
8. pull everything out of the fridge to wipe down all shelving and drawers. Double check for anything expired before putting it back in.
9. clean the inside of your oven. Make sure to follow the directions on your oven's manual. Some don't recommend using harsh oven cleaners they sell.
10. remove all toys, books, etc from play spaces {even closets}. Wipe down shelving. Donate/sell unwanted toys. Throw away anything broken. Reorganize back on shelves.
11. go through all clothing closets. This one really needs it's own post! So I'll just say for now - clean out anything you haven't worn in the last year {with the exception of dresses and special occasion pieces}. Same goes for anything is dressers or drawers.
12. wash & windex inside windows. Don't forget to open up windows, and wipe down the wells too. Washing windows is one of the two least favorite chores of mine. I hate it!

I'm not a huge Windex fan... right now this is my glass cleaner of choice.
I use it on my light fixtures, picture frame glass, mirrors, and window.

lint rollers made quick and easy clean for lampshades. 
I also do the same the bottom of drapes that accumulate dust quicker.

Spring cleaning:
{my once a year cleaning list. This list I get help from my husband - specifically numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7. I spread these during the months of March, April, and May - usually being small weekend projects}

1. spackle and paint any knicks on the walls.
2. move any heavy furniture to vacuum and wash down baseboards.
3. open up cabinets, and pull everything out. Wipe down shelving. I don't recommend moving a lot of your things around... because you will get your brain out of wack when going to look for something. My husband always thinks he can organize better than me {hah!}, but I tell him "hands off!" I have everything organized according to the way I use my kitchen, not as to what will fit where best.
4. then do the same for your kitchen drawers. I don't recommend doing cabinets and drawers at the same time. Talk about an overwhelming situation.
5. get down and wipe down as far back as you can reach under your fridge and dishwasher {and oven if it's on the ground}. I only pull out of my appliances, if I feel like it's needed.
6. remove lint from dryer's exhaust vent
7. remove and wash down exhaust fan covers {found in your bathrooms}
8. clean your mattress. step 1 - vacuum. step 2 - spring baking soda lightly over your mattress, and let sit for about an hour. step 3 - vacuum thoroughly.
9. launder all curtains. iron. and put back up. {this is my least favorite thing to do in the world}

baking soda is a great deodorizer. 
perfect for cloth surfaces that are not easily washable, like mattresses

I know, it's exhausting just looking at these lists. Yours will probably vary depending on your space and how you utilize it... hopefully my list gives you a good place to start. I'm a huge list person, and I always place my chore lists on my calendar to help motivate me to actually complete them.

Happy spring cleaning!

Friday, March 18, 2016

friday favorites {diy easter}

favorite wreath {simplicity in the south}

favorite printable {on sutton place}

favorite plant {country girl home}

favorite monogram {design dining + diapers}

favorite treat box {ella claire}

favorite bunting {living well spending less}

favorite eggs {stone gable}

favorite cake {recipe natural}
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