Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Dining Room

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It's been awhile since I shared my dining room with you. It's gone through a few changes since a few years ago :) Mainly the chairs have been switched out and a new bench added. The old chairs were just too big...seriously. They fit two bums each :) And they were tall and just took up too much visual space. These new chairs are from Ikea. Yes, they are white and in a dining room with two kids seems like a disaster, but the slipcovers are easy to take off and wash. I've gotten almost every stain out of them so far :) Plus, if I need to, a new slipcover is only $10. I love Ikea :)
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
 Now for the bench. The old bench that was here was becoming a danger zone my little climbing 2 year old. For some reason, she loved to stand on it and has fallen off it two times too many. So, I opted to change it out for something a little wider and sturdier. Plus, the extra storage is always a plus! I got this bench at Ross for $99. Seriously. You can find some gems there sometimes :) I was concerned that the khaki color wouldn't match, but I really like the difference between it and the color of the chairs.
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
 I kept it simple on the centerpiece for Spring. The runner is once again just cedar planks painted white. Those lanterns were found at Home Depot last year for like $8 each at the end of the summer. I'm so happy that I bought four of these. Seriously, for such a great price, how can you not?
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
 For the buffet table I used another larger lantern and placed it with this cute candle stick I got from Target. On that note, I would like state that I have a Target addiction and should probably delete the app from my phone. I spend waaaay to much money there, in store and online. I should have never gotten the RedCard because everything ships for free and I can be lazy and not ever leave my house...plus when you get free shipping, for someone reason, it feels like the stuff is free too. I don't know why lol. Anyways...:) You'd probably only understand if you too have a Target addiction.
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
 The hutch in the back used to be in the corner of our new little 'kid area' in the living room. I thought it went perfect in here and probably should have moved it a long time ago. Plus, I love the addition of the lamp to the space, makes it more cozy. Lamp shade and base - another Target steal :) ..oh, and so are those pillows. lol
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
 Decorating with yellow is a semi new thing to me, and I can't believe how much I love it! Especially in here. It just makes me happy and adds the perfect amount of color.

Now, as for that table, I think it's growing on me. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you'd know how much I wanted to get rid of it. My husband loves it though. I've tried lots of things to work around it, but I think changing out these chairs helped a ton. I now don't just see a big brown blob, I see the character and it's beauty. I really do love it. The only problem? That darn veneer is peeling up like mad on the two ends. Ugh. I have no idea how to stop it, it just keeps getting worse. Any ideas?
Farmhouse dining room decorating ideas
I love seeing before and afters, so here's the before of this dining room when we first moved in. See how big those chairs are? Yep. And the big brown blob? lol :) It's amazing what a little time and elbow grease can get ya.
Happy Spring ya'll!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hidden Play Area In Plain Sight


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The below post may contain affiliate links from products or services I used.

So, I can't complain. We've been blessed to have a great house that I love and hate to even think about moving out of...ever. But, it does lack a lot of things. One thing I always complain about is storage and closet space. The other thing? Kid space on the main floor. Now, that might just be because I don't want to give up my front room and make it a kid zone...but still. It would be nice to have a bonus room or another bedroom on our main floor. These are things you never think of when buying a house without having any children yet :) Now that our little one is our big one and she's getting more and more toys, I had to find a solution for all the clutter.
The Before: Hidden play area in plain site
Luckily, our living room is a decent size that I'm able to hide all the stuff behind the sectional, out of view, for the most part. But it looks horrible otherwise and implodes on itself like 5 times daily. Plus, you can see it pretty bad from the dining room, and when people are over, they always sit on that part of the sectional. So, obviously, they're able to see my hideous secret :)

So, I decided to organize that mess and make the area look presentable. Even when cleaned up, the before was still a mess ...and definitely not presentable. So, this is a step up. And super cute :)
Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
The best thing is, it's still hidden. Even though it's cute and it doesn't have to be. It's like I gained an extra little 50 square feet and created a different room. See, you can't see it, huh? Barely ;)

Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
 Yep, there it is. And even from this angle, it looks good. Of course, I know...believe me I know...this won't stay like this. In fact, I think it's looked this nice 2 times since I've finished it. Usually it's a complete mess. But, luckily, it's super easy to cram every thing into a bin and put it away...and quick :)
Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
 That big black "toy chest" was a bargain I found last year for like $30. I knew it would be hidden so I didn't care about the color and that it completely clashed with my house. It's awesome for toy storage and doubles as a pretend eating area for our little one. But, now she has this huge long area to pretend to eat on all she wants :)
Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
 I missed having my cabinet in the corner, it looked so bare and different. But it needed to go. So, in its place I put a corner shelf. A lot less surface area, but it made the space look complete. And now that mirror doesn't look like it's out of place either like it did without the shelf.
Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
As for the shelves themselves, I really wanted to reuse an old Billy bookcase I had from Ikea. But, it was 8 inches too long and covered the air register. So, I had to figure something else out. Which was too bad, since I didn't want to spend much money on this. Instead, I spent $30 each on the cube shelves. There are two, each one holding 3 cubes. I got them online from Target (click here). I also got the cute bins from Target. They were on sale for $6.99 each (click here). So, all together this area cost just around $100. I think for my sanity sake, it was worth the money :)
Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.
 And this doubles as a cute little window seat. Can't beat that! Any other toy hiding secrets you may have? I'm all ears!

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Hide a cute play area in your living room without it looking like a mess! Place it behind a sofa out of site.

Monday, March 9, 2015

DIY large textured wall art for under $15

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Ever had one of those projects that looks beautiful in your head, and then you started it and definitely didn't live up to how you thought it would turn out? Yep, that's this project here. I've been holding on to this project for a few weeks now. The idea was wonderful, but then I decided I didn't like how it was turning out, so I let it be for awhile. It was about to go into the scrap wood pile but then I decided to give it a go and finish it. Luckily I did; it ended up turning out so cute! :)
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
 I'm in the process of decorating a room at my mom's house for her grandkids. One of the walls was just calling for a big piece of wall art. So instead of spending a ton of money on some, I came up with this solution.

I took a plywood board from Home Depot that was 4'x2' and about $10 and stained it. I then grabbed a stencil, some spackling compound, and a puddy knife.
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
 I used the spackle to give the art a little more texture and dimension. I placed the stencil down on the wood, grabbed the puddy knife and went to town with the spackle.
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
With the stencil, I did have to rinse it off every once in awhile to get some of the dry spackle off. No matter how fast I worked or what I did, the spackle tended to stick more and more on the stencil and ruined the design. But luckily, since this was a more organic look anyway, it didn't matter.
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
 After weeks of trying to figure out what to do next. Like cutting it into thirds, hanging stuff from it, painting a portion with a pop of color, I ultimately chose to do just a cute little bird in the corner. Since it's going into a little girls bedroom, I think it's the perfect touch.
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.

DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
 I love how this turned out. Once I got it up on the wall I was super happy with the results. You can see from this angle the texture. Love it :)
DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.
 I can't wait to share the finished room with you! Now, if I can only find time to finish it :) Kudos to all you moms out there. Having two kids (or more) is not a breeze! lol It's definitely taking some time to get used to it :)

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DIY large textured wall art for under $15! Using spackling compound and plywood.

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.

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.
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