Friday, April 19, 2013

I Heart Pinterest

It is no understatement to proclaim my love for Pinterest. My husband is jealous, my kid is probably neglected. Well, not REALLY.

Not only do I love the ideas I come across on there, but I find some incredible blogs. My two latest Pinterest creations are a DIY sign for our entryway and a DIY Mason Jar soap dispenser that I'm using for hand sanitizer. I have a toddler...we go through A LOT of Purell.

You can find the tutorial for the DIY sign on Homespun Happenings HERE. Super easy and I already had everything needed to complete the project. I love the way it turned out!

Thank you to 4 Growing Boys for the tutorial on the DIY Mason Jar soap dispenser. Love it! You can find that information on her blog HERE.

Happy Pinteresting!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Love Your Laundry Room: Maintaining Your Clothes Dryer

Your clothes dryer should be cleaned on a regular basis to keep your dryer efficient and safe. When clothes and other items are dried, lint is left behind, which "should" be removed from your dryer's screen after every use. I say "should", because my husband would beg to differ if he were left in charge of the laundry. Lint buildup can reduce your dryer's airflow, causing dry time to lag on (and on, and on), thus causing the temperature to increase and potentially leading to the motor burning out and in the most extreme scenario... a fire.

So follow these simple steps to a happy dryer...

-ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS empty your lint trap after each load.

-Remove and wash the lint trap seasonally. Use a mild detergent with a soft-bristled brush to clean and unclog the holes in the lint trap and then set it aside and allow it to dry completely before you insert it back into your dryer.

-Vacuum the inside of the lint trap section using your smallest attachment to remove stray lint or clumps of lint. Hint: If you don't have an attachment that will fit into your lint trap, a collapsed paper towel holder on the end of your vacuum hose will do the trick nicely.

-Vacuum or use a moist rag on the wall and floor behind your dryer to clean any stray lint and dust.


-Locate your outside dryer vent and remove any existing lint or other debris from it. If a vent plate is attached to your outside vent, you may need to use a screwdriver to remove the plate before you can clean. If your outside vent contains hinges or flaps like mine, clean around the hinges and make sure they work freely to allow airflow and ventilation.

Follow these steps regularly and you'll cut your dry time in half...your utility bill and dryer will thank you : )

For how to maintain your front load washer, see my post HERE.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Cleaning Guide

Ahhh, spring is in the air...and that gets me in the mood to do a little spring cleaning. Yes, I know I'm crazy like that. Honestly, I can't wait to get outside to clean my windows. Yes, you read correctly. Clean my windows. Again, I know I'm crazy like that.

I've put together my annual Spring Cleaning Guide. I hope it inspires (and guides) you : ) 

Happy cleaning!

All Over Tasks...
  • Dust baseboards
  • Dust ceiling corners (ya know, where all those spider webs like to hide)
  • Vacuum and/or rinse lamp shades and fixture globes
  • Dust ceiling fan blades
  • Touch up any scuffed paint (or Magic Eraser!)
  • Vacuum window treatments and wash blinds
  • Clean windowsills
  • Clean interior windows
  • Clean window screens
  • Scrub (yes, hands and knees) your linoleum with a vinegar/water mix
  • Clean the grout in your tile (I hate to say it, but a toothbrush works best)
  • Shampoo carpet (you can rent a carpet cleaner at most home improvement stores)
  • Vacuum outside of air vent grates
  • Replace furnace filter (this should really be done every six months if you run central air)
  • Clean garbage cans 

Kitchen Specific Tasks...
  • Clean oven (I hope you have self clean)
  • Clean hood vent by soaking in a pot of boiling water with 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Wipe down cabinet doors and shelves

Bathroom Specific Tasks...
  • Clean or replace shower curtain liner and wash fabric curtain
  • Re-caulk and seal where needed
  • Clean shower caddy
  • Draino drains
  • Wipe out and declutter cabinets and drawers
  • Clean shower head by soaking in a plastic bag with vinegar wrapped around the shower head

Laundry Room Specific Tasks...
  • Clean dryer vents
  • Clean washing machine (I know that sounds redundant)... for front-loaders, see my post HERE

Bedroom Specific Task...
  • Flip, vacuum and rotate your mattress

Outdoor Checklist for Hubby...

  • Power wash siding
  • Clean and stain deck if needed (you should stain your deck every 2-3 years depending on exposure)
  • Touch up any paint needed
  • Clean out garage
  • Check and clean gutters
  • Clean grill
  • Wash and/or polish outdoor light fixtures and mailbox
  • Trim trees and shrubbery
  • Wash exterior windows
  • Clean patio furniture
  • Mulch
  • Wash and wax car exteriors, vacuum and wipe down interiors

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elegant DIY Statement Monogram

Add a personalized touch to any room using your monogram. Here, I simply purchased a 20" x 24" frame from Michaels, added our custom monogram from MonogramArt, and hung it over our bed leaving the back off to expose the paint color on the wall through the frame. Simple and elegant.

MonogramArt offers a wide variety of styles, sizes and artwork to choose from at very affordable prices. They ship super fast too! I ordered on a Monday and it was on my doorstep Thursday. Use coupon code 15OFF to save 15% off your next order from MonogramArt HERE.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Magnetic Play Board

Logan received a great set of Melissa & Doug magnetic alphabet letters for his birthday last October. They have unfortunately remained tucked away in our toy closet ever since....that is, until today! My husband is anti-magnet on our stainless steel refrigerator for fear of scratching it. Since I am OCD like that too, I have to agree. YES, I know I have a toddler!

Anyways...enter the super cheap, super easy, DIY magnetic play board. I picked up this large auto drip pan in the automotive section at Walmart for only $11, attached some wide, double-sided mounting tape in horizontal strips to the back, placed it on the wall, and voila..let the play begin!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Boy's Pottery Barn Nautical Themed Bedroom on a Budget

Nautical themed bedrooms are all the rage for little boys right now. Have you seen the latest Pottery Barn Kids catalog?

For me, it all started with this cute little sailboat nightlight I found at Pottery Barn Kids over two years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I fell in love with Pottery Barn Kids design and wanted that Pottery Barn nautical look for his room, without spending the mega bucks.

A mom on a mission, I needed some help. I can't sew to save my life. So I enlisted my own mother's sewing capabilities and had her make Logan's toddler quilt after the Madras toddler quilt in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog that sells for $89. Great job mom!

Next, I'd been eying an old oil lantern in my parent's basement...and my dad loves to make lamps. So after my suggestion, he made it into a night light for Logan's room. He already had all the lamp parts ...and even the red spray paint... to make it, so it cost nothing, just his time. Similar ones sell at Pottery Barn kids currently for $44!

OK, now onto some DIY accessories I can handle. You can pick up fishing net at just about any craft store. I hung it over the bed and added a few starfish we already had to bring some visual interest to the empty corner. Last summer I found two cute little buoys in a gift shop while on vacation and added the red one to the fishing net and hung the blue one from the lamp on his nightstand.

I bought these oars unfinished at Michaels and masked off the design I wanted with painters tape and spray painted them. Once they were dry, I "roughed" them up a little with sandpaper to give them that antique feel. Pottery Barn Kids sells them for $39. I made these for about $6 each.

I'm accessory obsessed. Just a little. OK, well maybe a lot. My favorite place to pick up accessories is at Hobby Lobby. They have a bunch of great nautical accessories and at great prices. I almost always find something 50% off and if I don't, I use one of their 40% off coupons that you can find HERE.

Ahoy mateys : )

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Basement Playroom Organization

One of my favorite blogs is Thrifty Decor Chick. Sarah has got some of the best ideas for chic decorating on a budget.

Recently, she did a post about organizing her basement toy room using these super cute DIY labels for her toy bins. You can check out her post HERE.

After reading it, I had a "duh" moment. As in, duh... why didn't I think of that?!

Following Sarah's instructions, I decided to try making my own labels. Because I have fabric bins, I had to come up with a different way to attach the labels, but I think they came out pretty good!

Thanks for the inspiration Sarah!
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