Wednesday, February 25, 2015

7 Ways To Brighten Your Home During The Winter

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This post is in collaboration with Cree LED Bulbs. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own. Enjoy :)
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Add white. Have you ever noticed in Scandinavian design that the rooms are mainly white? There's a good reason for that. The hours of sunlight in Scandinavian countries differ a ton compared to what we get in the West especially during the Winter. Sunlight is definitely minuscule and nights are loooong. So, it only makes sense to take their lead and add some white into a house during the longer nights of Winter for us too. This will for sure help brighten your space and take the gloom out of the dreary Winter months. Bring in white by painting walls and ceilings. Other less permanent options can be through your bedding, furniture accent pieces, pillows, rugs, throw and accessories.
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Pair down furnishings. Bulky furniture can weigh down a room, especially having too many pieces. By pairing down furniture, you'll instantly create a brighter space. Plus, it'll give your room a fresh new look.

Use bright colors. It's great having neutral furniture so you can change up your accessories with the season. Add in bright colors through accessorizing. Change out your pillows, rugs, throws and other accessories. Or be bold and change up a wall by adding a fun color or wallpaper design
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Move furniture from windows. I've noticed that in many houses, furniture is up against windows blocking the natural light from coming in. Obviously, in some cases there's no way to get around this, but re-look at your layout and see what can be moved where. You may be surprised what a new furniture arrangement will do!

Lighten up the drapes. It's easy to think of darker warmer drapes when you think of Winter. But, think about how dreary that may make your room feel during the nights. Lighten up your drapes by changing them to something a bit brighter. Think of whites and bright hues.
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Use light. Light is an obvious way to brighten your room during night, but during the longer nights of Winter you may want to bring in more sources of light. Think of adding one to your favorite reading spot or the corner of your dining room that just seems too dark. You can even add one to your kitchen counter for a fun twist, or your laundry room. Replacing your lights with brighter ones also helps. Consider using omnidirectional lights like the ones Cree LED Bulbs offer, they maximize the light shooting it in every direction. They give you the brightness you love from your current incandescent lights but last a ton longer and save on energy.  They'll also help the brighter colors you just added to "pop"!
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Add mirrors to bounce around light. A great way to add more light to your space without opening up your wall and adding windows is through a mirror. I have mirrors all throughout my house so the light bounces from one to the other. It maximizes the light that comes in through the windows and at night, from the lighting fixtures.
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months

Interested more in what Cree LED Bulbs can do? You can visit their website www.creebulb.com or buy some at your local Home Depot.
Great tips on how to add brightness and light into your home during the dark winter months
And here's a short little video about Cree LED Bulbs for your enjoyment :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How To Take Off Years Of Grease On Stove and Microwave

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 Disclosure: Some of the pictures you will see below are horrific. And yes, I let my stove and microwave get that bad. Yes, I am human. And no, I am not a clean freak...obviously :)
Clean years of stubborn grease using baking soda!
 We made the mistake of buying all black appliances when we moved into our house. I don't know why no one told us that they would show grease like crazy, but they do. And it's just horrible and half near impossible to get clean. I shared with you my method of removing grease using baby oil/mineral oil. This still works wonderfully, but I was hesitant to use it on my stove. I don't know why, just oil and fire didn't seem like a great combination for me. So, our stove has remained only touched by dish soap...the cuts grease like no one's business dish soap. Haha...yeah right :) They haven't seen my stove! Over the past years, grease has continually gunked itself onto the range top, particularly bad in one spot, as you can see from the top picture above. That's like 5 years worth of grease caked on there. We scrub and scrub and scrub and nothing would take it off....until now :) Meet my new best friend:
Clean years of stubborn grease using baking soda!
 I was doing laundry the other day and the back of the box caught my eye. It said it would clean almost anything in the kitchen. I figured, hey, why not give it a try? What harm could it do?

I can't tell you how impressed I was with this! I just grabbed a dish rag, wet it and poured some baking soda on it.
Clean years of stubborn grease using baking soda!
 I then took the rag and started rubbing. The grease was coming off like no one's business. And it doesn't scratch. It was awesome. This part of the stove hasn't looked this nice since the first time we used it. You can see on the left where all the gunk is and the right where it's nice and shiny (minus the knobs). Now, if any of you have yellow labs, you might understand the dog hair on grease deal I'm dealing with here. It's horribly disgusting. I have better pictures of it that would just make you cringe...black and yellow shedding dogs do not mix either with clothes or appliances.
Clean years of stubborn grease using baking soda!
 While scrubbing, I noticed that if it stopped working or I was scrubbing harder than before to try to get rid of a spot, I just poured on some more baking soda and started up again. The fresh baking soda does wonders for cutting through the tough grease.

Since it worked so well on my stove, I gave it a try on my microwave. Like magic!
Clean years of stubborn grease using baking soda!
The baking soda does leave a white residue, so after the grease was removed, I shined the surface back up using some window cleaner.

Check out the back of your baking soda next time you get a chance! The uses for it are amazing. It cleans sinks, fridges, counters, stainless steal, showers, toilets, tubs, tile....etc etc. And of course, it has great deodorizing properties.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

13 Bedding Sets That Won't Break The Budget

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”

Great site for cute bedding sets that won't break your budget

I love new years and new seasons. It brings great eye candy especially with bedding. Some of these are new styles and some are just ones I absolutely love and can't get over. Any of these white ones are on my list to buy once my current one gets some crazy stain :) I love my current one, but I'll take any excuse I can get to buy another one.

All of these sets are priced for queens unless otherwise stated. Prices do change quite often, so these prices are the current ones as of today when I hit 'publish' :) Plus, remember, with Target, you get an extra 5% off and free shipping when you use your RedCard! Most of these comforters also come in different colors.


Under $75
Gwen Floral 8-piece Comforter Set Queen Ivory $60
Great sites for cute, cheap bedding


Under $100
Lush Decor Venetian 4-Piece Comforter Set, Queen, White $89
Great sites for cute, cheap bedding

Under $125
Chezmoi Collection 7-Piece Chic Ruched Comforter Set, Queen, White $110

Great sites for cute, cheap bedding

Under $150
Lush Decor Avon 3-Piece Comforter Set, King, White $136
Great sites for cute, cheap bedding

Great sites for cute, cheap bedding

Under $175
Lush Decor Serena 3-Piece Comforter Set, Queen, White $160
Great sites for cute, cheap bedding

You can see last year's bedding picks here!


 Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, February 6, 2015

Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook

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It's amazing how fast kids grow! It was just last year that I made this cute little teepee for our daughter.
Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 Well, it didn't take long for her to grow out of it. In fact, it's probably set unused for the better part of the past 6 months. She's recently wanted to start playing in it again, but she's just too big. So, I decided to upgrade it into a cute little whimsical canopy tent or reading nook.
 Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 I bought this awesome  little curved curtain rod off of Amazon for about $15 It's perfect since it can be pretty small compared to most curved rods you'll find in the department stores. It can be as small as 28 inches, which is perfect for corners.  As you can see, I started putting this rod a little bit lower, but ultimately decided to hang it right under the ceiling.

Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 I used 3 pairs of the LILL lace curtains from Ikea. They are $4 per pair.
Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 For the tie backs, I just used some screw in hooks. I wanted to use some cute little ribbon for the tie backs, but I used what I had on hand. And goodness knows, I have a ton of jute lying around :)
Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 I was imagining a cute little chandelier hanging from the ceiling, but opted for something I already had on hand -these cute little tissue pom poms.
Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 Here's the look from inside the little nook.
Whimsical Canopy Tent or Reading Nook made from curved curtain rod and $4 ikea curtains
 I love how this turned out. It's so whimsical and princess looking :) This rod is adjustable up to 48 inches, so it'll be easy to make this larger as she grows.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bathroom Board and Batten Tutorial

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It's been a crazy week around here and to top it off, our pup got sprayed by a skunk last night. Not fun. I had no idea that fresh skunk didn't smell like skunk at all. My house smells like old greasy chemicals. It's disgusting. Luckily, I think it's going away. It's really not the best smell to fall asleep to though. As for Max, he at least got his much needed bath that he hasn't had in awhile lol. I guess there's an upside to everything :)

I shared with you a few months ago my updated guest bathroom and how I did the top half. Now today, I'll show you how I did the bottom half.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 It's the weirdest thing going into this bathroom now. It used to have such a cramped feeling, but now with the paint and molding, I swear it's grown extra square footage. It's amazing what a few updates can do to do a room.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 I shared with you this tip before. Most base molding pieces don't have a good ledge for the mdf to sit on when you're doing board and batten. So, instead of replacing my base molding...which would be a pain...I just grabbed a piece of decorative molding and placed it on top of my current base molding with the widest edge up. Then when I sit the mdf for the board and batten down, it doesn't hang over :)
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 So, after nailing down the new molding to the base molding, I then put up the vertical molding first. I found where I wanted the two tier look to start and end and measured out from there. When putting up the vertical molding, I made sure it was straight with my level and nailed it in where I could into studs. Of course, that's optimal but not always a choice, so on the ones that I couldn't, I used liquid nails to secure into place.

I then topped off the vertical pieces with the horizontal pieces. Nailing each piece into a stud.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 For the top tier, in order to find the length I needed for the shorter vertical pieces, I place the first piece of horizontal molding up. I then found the length of the vertical pieces and cut all the pieces I needed at this length.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 I placed the smaller vertical pieces up next, making sure they were in line with the longer ones.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 I then topped off the vertical pieces with the other horizontal pieces.

For the ledge, which I think makes something good look great, I used a smaller width mdf (1x2). I laid the pieces down on top of the horizontal pieces already attached to the wall making a ledge.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 Instead of putting the 2" side against the wall, it was placed against the mdf as you can see below:
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
To finish it off even more, I used some decorative corner molding right under the 1x2. 
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 Next I filled in all the gaps, joints, and nail holes with some puddy and sanded them down.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
 I ended up painting this bottom portion Pebble White by Glidden. It's not a stark white; it has just enough warmth to it.

After painting, I filled in the seams with some white caulk to give it a more finished look.
Board and batten tutorial for bathrooms
I can't get over the finished product. I love this bathroom so much. I'd much rather use this one over my master bath any day :) TMI? lol I guess maybe it's about time to do something with my master bathroom then, huh? :)
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