Friday, May 20, 2016

How To Clean Your Oven Naturally In Just A Few Minutes!

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How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home

I feel like I divulge a ton of secrets on my blog that I normally would be mortified to do so to my friends. So, to keep on trend, here's another. I have never cleaned my oven. Nope. Lived in my house for 7 years now and have yet to clean it. Well, that was until last week. The reason? There are a few. First off, I never felt comfortable using harsh chemicals in a place that I cook food. Second, I remember my mom cleaning the oven with the built in method where it gets like 500 degrees for hours on end and just burns it off. I hated how hot it made the house, and truthfully, I never even really remembered to do it this way until my mom suggested it a few months back. And the real and finally reason...out of sight, out of mind. I use the oven once a day or so, maybe, but the only time I remember that I need to clean it was when I opened it. Then I would shut it, and totally forget. And I guess, that probably meant the real reason was that I didn't care that much lol.

Anyway, I did realize one thing this past week though...when you have guests coming to visit for an extended amount of time, you start to realize how dirty your house really is. So, this became an obvious issue that I needed to address :)
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
All I used was a stainless steel ball, baking soda and some water!


How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
 I didn't realize how easy this could be or else I would have done it years ago, and kept doing it. I haven't been able to see inside my oven for goodness knows how long, so I first started with cleaning the glass. I squirted some water out of a rag onto the glass, then poured a layer of baking soda.
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
I then took the stainless steel ball and started to scrub. I didn't have to scrub hard at all. It was coming off so easily, it was crazy! I had tried to clean this glass a few months ago with just a rag and didn't get no where. It didn't clean off anything. So, I definitely know that the stainless steel ball makes all the difference!
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
Here's just one minute of scrubbing can do to the glass. Amazing!
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
 And here's that dirty side cleaned :)
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
 After I cleaned this glass and the door, I was like "This makes me so happy!" and my little 3 year old says "No mommy, not happy" points inside the oven "dirty". haha.
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
 Yes...it was very dirty. I was content with the window being cleaned! But, I decided to see how easy it would be to scrub this clean.
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
 It did take a few minutes, but it came clean with the same method. It was just a little awkward getting into the corners and crevices. But, it came clean with a little effort.
How to clean your oven naturally in just a few minutes using things you probably already have at home
So, this was just using baking soda and hot water with the stainless steel ball. I have read that if you put a baking soda and vinegar mix onto the oven, and let it sit, that it may come up easier. But, I didn't want to wait for it to sit and I was out of vinegar. So, I would say this method works wonderfully just as is :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

DIY Mason Jar and Wood Vase Centerpiece

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DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 My mom is probably like most moms and loves handmade items, especially for Mother's Day. I love handmade items too, but I also love sleeping in and having the house cleaned. If I get those three things for Mother's Day, my day is golden :) So, for this Mother's Day, I decided to combine the obvious gift of flowers, with a little handmade present also. Tulips are my favorite flower, mason jars are my favorite too, and well, building something is up there also.

To make this cute little mason jar and wood vase, I just used some mason jars I had lying around and some scrap wood pieces. 

I first made the box. To fit 5 regular size mason jars, I cut the bottom and top pieces at 16 inches, and the side pieces at 6 3/4 inches. I then secured them together with wood glue and nails.
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 I then measured 5 circles equidistant. Drew a line right down the middle of the wood, and then drew 5 lines through the middle of the circles. The intersection of the two lines is where you'll place the drill bit on the next step. If you need, place the mason jars upside down on the wood and trace them to get an idea of where to put the circles/openings.
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 I used a hole saw drill bit to cut out the circles. The bit I used was just a little smaller in diameter than the circles themselves. This isn't a pleasant step to do. I suggest also maybe doing this step before the box is put together. You may or may not break the box in this process :) It's easy to glue and piece back together if it does happen though, as long as you didn't split the wood.
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 After the holes are drilled, use a sander to get rid of the rough edges.

Then paint the box. I used a white-wash method with DecoArt's Pewter. I then drilled two holes into both sides and threaded some jute across the length of the box. I did this to hold the mason jars in line, and well, to make it look cuter :)
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!

DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 I love how this turned out. How amazing would this be with hydrangeas? Such a simple project with a big impact.
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!
 And can we talk about this fence?! I didn't realize this little gem was hanging out in my mom's backyard. I told her, if she ever needed to take down her fence, to be sure to give ALL the wood to me :)
DIY Mason jar and wood vase centerpiece. Perfect for spring decor and wedding decor!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How I Furnished My House For Under $3000


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I have always been cheap. Umm, lets rephrase that...I have always been thrifty :) Ever since I was young, I learned to save up money for what I wanted and learned very quickly how far money didn't go. My mom used to give me an allowance. Every week, I would get my age in money if I did my chores. It was a great deal, but it quickly went to clothes because my mom also had a thing that I had to buy my own clothes or wear the ones she buys and chooses. I love my mom, but she had the absolute worst taste in clothing for me. Horrible. So, I learned that I needed to save my money and spend my money very wisely. I realized quickly to never pay retail for anything. Fast forward to my teens, and I started working at Dillards. This really made me realize the huge markup on everything. Like  thousands of percentages markup. Serious. I would wait for something to go to the lowest clearance possible, wait for an extra discount day, and then buy it with my employee discount. I would get something that retails for $400 for about $50. If I wasn't ruined already from never buying anything retail, this did it. It also gave me a threshold for the amount I would pay for certain things.

Nothing has changed now that I'm older. I probably have more refined tastes, but I still search for the deal. My clothes never come from a department store, in fact, I never step foot in malls anymore. They make me cringe :) That's not to say you can't find good deals there, I just can't stand them. I have learned a ton through the years when buying furnishings for my house also. Where to shop and to wait. You can't curate a whole home worth of furniture overnight, if you do, it might cost a little more than if you waited to buy the perfect pieces as time allowed.
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000

You can make a house beautiful without spending a ton of money, and here's how I did it.

#1. Find the stores that fit your aesthetic, and shop their clearance. Target is my favorite, and their clearance is just amazing. You have to shop the end caps weekly, but can usually find a worthwhile deal. Especially online.

#2. Shop sales and promo codes. Wait for the promotions to come on the item you most want. Target online is once again awesome for this. I also saved about $300 on my sectional waiting for a weekend sale from a local furniture store.

#3. Shop furniture warehouses and clearance centers for large pieces of furniture. I got my couch for $90 at a clearance center!

#4. Shop discount retailers such as Home Goods, Ross, and Gordmans.

#5. Keep an open mind to free things from family and friends. Most of my stuff is from family or friends just giving things away.

#6. Ask for big items for Christmas/birthdays. My family is awesome at going in together on stuff that I want for my house. I make sure the items that I don't really want to spend money on by myself go on my Christmas and birthday lists :)

#7. Shop thrift stores and yard sales. I actually don't do this often, hardly at all, but you can get some great deals sometimes! My mother-in-law bought a nice fire pit with 4 chairs for $5 at a yard sale!! Serious!

#8. If you can build it or make it, do it. This will save you so much money!

#9. I'm lucky enough to have great sponsors and get some of my stuff for free! 

Okay, now that you know my shopping secrets, here's the breakdown on my house furnishings. And to be clear, this does not include any of the decor, just furniture. I do have a little break down for the decor pieces at the end though.

My house is 3500 square feet with about 2000 square feet of livable space. It's 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a front room, a living room and dining room.

Entry way:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Bench: $99, Home Goods
Stool: $25, Clearance, Home Goods
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Side table: $25 Clearance, Hobby Lobby

Living Room:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Card Catalog: $100, Hobby Lobby
TV console: $100, Walmart
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Sectional: $650, Sale
Ottoman: $30, Online sale
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Sofa table: Free from friend, refurbished
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Chair: $140, Sale Target online
Table: $25, Clearance Hobby Lobby

Dining Room:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Table: Free from family
5 Chairs: 2 as a gift, 3 for $70. $210 from Ikea
Bench: $99 Ross

Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Buffet: Christmas gift, free (did pay $48 on the pulls though)
Corner cabinet, not pictured: free

Front living room:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Couch: $90, Warehouse sale
 Accent cabinet: $118, Sale Target online
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Tree stump coffee table: $12 (handmade)
2 side chairs: $10 (yard sale finds, refinished)
Console table: $20ish (handmade) 
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Armoire: Free from office

Master Bedroom:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
 Headboard: $40, handmade
Nightstands: $53 for one, free for the other
Storage table: $15ish, Handmade
Bench: $100 Sale Target
Dresser (not pictured): Free from family

Bedroom:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Bed frame and mattress: Free from sponsor
Nightstand: Free from family
Chair: Free, Mother's Day Gift
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Small Dresser: Free from neighbor
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Dresser: Free, my old dresser growing up
Table: $20 Ikea
Chairs: Free from sponsors

Nursery:
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Crib: $100, used from old nursery
Side tables: $40 ($20 each from Ikea)
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Dresser: $145 Sale Target online
Chair: $125 Sale Target online
Shopping secrets on how to furnish your house for cheap! How I Furnished My House For Under $3000
Storage table: Free, from friend

Grande Total: Just under $2500

Decor pieces
Rugs
Living room: $200, Rugs USA
Front room: free gift (from Amazon)
Master bedroom: $200, Home Depot
Dining Room: Free, gift (Ikea)
Girls Bedroom: $50 Sale Target
Nursery: Gift

Lamps
Bedroom: $60
Living room: $75
Entry: $30
Front room: $30
Nursery: $80
Girls room: $30

Curtains
 Favorite place for curtains is Ikea. All my curtains are from Ikea, they come in 106 inches which is what I use. I found most of mine for $20 a pair years ago. I think they are a little more expensive now.

Frames
From Ikea also. Large frames are about $7 and small frames are about $3/4.

Wall Decor
Most from Target and Home Goods.

Pillows
I find most of my inserts from Ikea, and sew my own covers. All the rest are either on sale from Target or from Home Goods


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, April 29, 2016

DIY Square Board and Batten Wall Treatment -Hallway Before and After

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Disclosure: I was provided product by BEHR and compensated to write about this project but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
 
You may have noticed in the past home tour that I've done something a little special to my entryway hallway. Before, this hallway lacked any character. Well, at least the wall did.
 DIY square board and batten wall treatment. Great way to add character to hallways and big boring walls!
 I actually loved the staircase. But, the wall itself was so boring and builder beige. I tried to make it look cute with putting a bench there, but it never felt 'perfect'.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Small Space Storage Solutions Especially For When You Don't Have Any Closets

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 The below post may contain affiliate links. 
 
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 I wouldn't normally consider my house a small space, but when you look at the actual footprint, and it being only about 1900 square feet of livable space, it's not that big :) It feels larger than it is thanks to our tall ceilings. But, I could deal with living in 1900 square feet easily, it's the no closet space that kills me. We have the closets in our bedrooms and that's it. We have one small 1 foot wide teensy linen closet in our guest bathroom. But, besides that, we have nothing. No coat closet. No pantry. No storage closets of any sort. It's hard, but I've become a pro (or so I would like to think) at storage. I have had to find ways to make our house work best for us. So, here's the way I keep our house of 4, plus a dog, organized with storage solutions.

I decided that the best way to go through this is room by room. So, let's start with the living room.

LIVING ROOM STORAGE
1. The best way to maximize storage is to use dual purpose furniture, like storage ottomans. You can put pillows, blankets, magazines, toys, DVDs...whatever you wish in these things.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 2. Baskets are my saving grace. You'll see them all over my house. In this instance, this basket and blanket are hiding a small stash of toys.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 3. We had these alcoves in our house that were just a big waste of space if you ask me, but I decided to convert one side into some shelves. This was a great place to put pictures and books.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
4. At the bottom of the shelves, I have these big boxes that store more pictures. I love these things. I got them at Ikea a few years ago for a steal :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
5. And since we are in the living room, let's talk about DVD storage. I have a few baskets that we store ours in, and then slide them into our TV stand. When they are in the stand, you can't even tell there are DVDs in there.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
6. Another good use of furniture is using tables that have ample storage like this apothecary cabinet/card catalog. It is a great place for mail, craft supplies, pens, pencils, etc. This one I got from Hobby Lobby.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 7. I also have these wonderful storage foot stools that I use for book storage for my kids.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

FRONT ROOM
8. This is pretty much a living room and can be considered as much when talking about storage :) Once again, my baskets are the best storage thing ever. This one just has a whole bunch of blankets.

9. And this storage cabinet from Target is one of the best storage solutions also. I have all my papers in the top and books in the bottom.

10. You can also see on this table that I use boxes for decor everywhere. These aren't just for looks, they have actually have stuff in them too :)

11. And to talk about dual function furniture, this couch is actually a bed and has a ton of storage in it too! Check out this post to see more about it :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
12.  I talked about toy storage in a past post, and this is still one of my favorite little places to stash toys away.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

 This houses all the kitchen toys and food. This little piece of furniture works hard! ..and it's pretty :) I got this bench from Target.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
13.  And in the very corner of this room is my "coat closet". I got this armoire for free and decided to retrofit it into my closet since I don't have one :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 The top has some linens and pillows, and the bottom has a rack for coats and baskets for cold weather gear.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
14. Next is toy storage, for any room. I love cube storage for this! I just created a window seat out of them behind my couch. When you don't have a designated toy room, this is what you can do instead :) Once again, you can see more of my toy storage solutions in this post here.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 DINING ROOM
My dining room is big. I'm so thankful for that! And since it is big, it has plenty of space to work hard in the storage area also.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
15.  So, if you don't know, I hoard pillows and pillow covers. I actually use this bench to contain all the covers. Benches in dining rooms actually work great to hold linens too :) And they are comfy seating!
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

16.  I got rid of my old buffet that had absolutely no storage, and made this from a couple of Ikea dressers. They work hard too!
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 They store my linens, paper towels, craft supplies, cups...a ton of stuff :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
17. Another little treasure in my dining room is this old record cabinet. I got it for free from a friends old cabin. I decided to clean it out really good and use it to hold files and magazines.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
KITCHEN:
18. As I mentioned before, my kitchen has no pantry. Well, it has a single cabinet that isn't even a foot wide that acts as a 'pantry'. It's pathetic. So, I decided a few years ago to use this cute little cabinet and create a pseudo pantry. 
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 ENTRY WAY
19. For our entry, I made sure to find a table that fit into our little nook. It's a great place for keys and the dog's leashes.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
20. As for shoe storage? Sure we can put them in our closets, but when you only have closets in bedrooms, they are used for other things besides clothes too :) So, there's really no room. Instead, the kids shoes are in this little bench in the entryway.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

21. And me and my husbands shoes, the ones that are used often, are found in this other little corner of our entry in cube storage. Top's mine, the bottom is his.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 BEDROOM:
22. Functional nightstands are a must when you have limited storage space in our house. I use our nightstand drawers for everything! This is also an Ikea dresser that I hacked into this apothecary style nightstand.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 23. As for bedroom linens, I use this bench at the end of our bed. It also currently houses diapers and more craft supplies :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
24. Besides the obvious dresser, I use this little skirted console table for additional storage. This is also for diapers, tissues, magazines, books....lots of stuff.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
25. Talking about dressers for a minute, I've been folding our shirts like this for like 10 years now and it's the ultimate best way to keep your sanity! Especially when you have a husband that HAS to get the shirt at the bottom of the pile and messes everything else up lol. This also seems to take up less room so you can store more :)
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 26. For bathroom storage, I, of course, love our storage under the sinks, but I also use little stands like these for towels.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
OFFICE/GUEST ROOM
27. Before our nursery came around, it used to be my office and a guest room. I found the best way to store all my office supplies and craft items were to do it on shelves behind these curtains. I love this room back then! Plus, I made a window seat using a shelf and laying it on it's side. Those cubbies were used to store extra towels and what not for guests.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!
 LAUNDRY ROOM
28. My laundry room is just a pass through room into our garage, so it is very tight. To take up less space on the floor, I got these hanging baskets from Amazon and hung them up for dirty clothes.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great small space storage solutions. Great article especially if you are short on closet space!

 29. And of course, the other side of the laundry room has shelves that I use for household tools, laundry stuff, light bulbs, and other random stuff too. I put most of these in labeled boxes.
29 tips on how to maximize your small space and get the most out of storage! Great article especially if you don't have any closets!
 Well, I'm sure there's a ton of other things I have missed! Like the obvious, hiding everything under beds and couches lol. That's a bonus one, #30! Seriously though, I have shoes and out of season clothes in little bins under our beds. And I do have a ton of random games under our couches :)

I hope something on this lists helps you if you have a need to maximize your storage space!


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."
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