I am a sucker for silver trays… seriously, if we’re at a thrift store and there’s one – I buy it. I love the old-school look to them (the more ornate the better) and at around $2, why not? I use them for everything – to hold candles and pens on my desk (see it HERE), on our bedside table for miscellaneous stuff (see it HERE), to hold paper and pens in the kitchen for writing down messages/appts, to serve food on, to hold my husband’s jewelry on a mirrored table in our guest room, etc. I think they’re wonderful until they start to tarnish and by the time they turn almost black I start dreading having to polish them. There’s lots of ways to do so, with a silver cloth, with silver polish, with specialty cleaners, etc but let’s face it they’re all a pain. Last Friday while cleaning the house, the tray on our beside table (see it HERE) was REALLY starting to bother me. I was on a roll cleaning and didn’t want to stop to go to the store to get something to polish it so after a quick Google search I discovered the best secret EVER… toothpaste. That’s it, nothing special and any toothpaste will do (mine was an orange foaming whitening paste we’d gotten for free in a travel size with a coupon lol) and it couldn’t be easier. Seriously, you can see by the clock in the before and after pics this took me just under 10 minutes to complete and the tray looks like new. I did all the trays in the house and was so happy to have figured this out! Next time you’re at the thrift store and want to pass over a tarnished silver tray, don’t! Use this super simple tip and shine it up to it’s original beauty! Click here to get the full tutorial and see how it’s done!
As I mentioned in my Spring cleaning post (find it HERE), our welcome mat has seen better days. When we got it three years ago it was beautiful (you can buy it HERE) but since then it has been really worn by the elements. We keep it in the garage in the winter to try and save it from even more damage but when I went to pull it out this year, it was so faded I was ready to purchase a new one. Then I got to thinking, “I bet I could just repaint this one and try to salvage it” so that’s what I did! It was surprisingly easy to do (I did it in less than a half hour while I was waiting in between coats of polyurethane on our new outdoor table) and it really does look just like new. My motto is always “why spend money when you don’t have to” and it’s always nice to revamp something old and give it new life (did you see my statement necklace post HERE?) so this is a great home tip. If you don’t have a straw mat now, the dollar stores sell them so you could paint absolutely anything on one and be all ready for spring! Click here to get the tutorial and see how I did it!
Lately while trying to organize the website into more specific sections within each category I noticed that it has been a long time since I’ve done a home tip. We started spring cleaning last weekend and are continuing to do so this weekend so I thought it might be helpful to share some of what we do with all of you. I sat down during the week and compiled a checklist, as seen above, that I think will really help with all of your spring cleaning! Just click on the photo above to bring it to full size and open it in a new window. From there you can print right from your browser in whatever size and color-scale you prefer. We got a lot from this list done already, most of the rest will get done this weekend and some things (like the outdoor items) can’t be done until it warms up some more but we’re well on our way. I know most people dread spring cleaning but I absolutely love it… something about the idea of a fresh start as the weather starts to turn makes me feel really satisfied. This list is just what we do, you may have to add to it or remove some things depending on your home or how much you want to take on but it should be a great starting point! Click here to get some how-to’s and more tips from the list!
I hope that everyone had a safe and happy New Year… we enjoyed an amazing meal and had a fantastic time with friends, most of which were my husbands old teammates so it’s always great getting to catch up. One of my resolutions this year was to share more of my everyday home life and personal pictures on my Facebook and Twitter pages, so if you want an even closer look at what I’m up to be sure to follow them. Last month I learned how to cut up a whole chicken (it’s more butchering a whole chicken but when you say that to people they get a totally different idea in their heads lol) and I have to say it was seriously life-changing. Whether you had new year’s resolutions to eat healthier, be more frugal or to try something new… this home tip will help you to do all three! Learning how to do this has given us serious bang for our buck… a whole chicken costs between $3.00 and $5.00 depending on the size at our grocery store and from that we get thighs, drumsticks, wings, breasts and tenderloins. Not only does this give you endless options of recipes (I’ll link to my favorites at the end) because you can tailor the pieces of meat towards what you want (skin on, skin off, bone in, bone out, whole legs or thighs separated, etc.) but it saves you SO much money. Our grocery store sells the breasts alone for $4.79 a pound so for the same price as 1lb of breasts you can get everything shown above (not including the stock, learn how to make that here)! Since we learned how to do it, we buy a couple of whole chickens at a time, cut them up and keep them in the freezer so we always have whatever we need on hand. The first time you do one it will take what seems like forever because you want to follow the steps exactly but once you get the hang out it, it literally takes just minutes! Things get a little graphic at parts, so keep that in mind as you follow the jump to see the step-by-step pictures! Click here to see exactly how it’s done!
Since the summer when we remodeled our Family Room (which I’m just realizing now I never did a post on lol) I have been eagerly waiting December so that I could do this. We got a second entertainment system that’s the perfect height to decorate like a fireplace mantle, which is great because we don’t have a fireplace. I always love how my parents decorate theirs and I missed being able to do that once my husband I are got our house. I haven’t done a home tip in quite some time, so in an effort to be better about it this will combine a little bit of crafting with a home tip. Decorating a mantle or the top of an entertainment stand can make such a big impact in any room and there are so many different options that you can really tailor it to your taste. Click here to see how I did it and the tutorial for
Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. Since people are still talking about the dinner I planned for our first anniversary, I thought I’d dedicate all the posts this week to different aspects of that. Since it was our first, I didn’t want to go out somewhere because I wanted it to just be the two of us so I planned this crazy extravagant french themed evening. After weeks of planning, cooking, decorating, ordering and designing we had an incredible evening that included a seven course authentic french meal. It was so much work, but our anniversary couldn’t have been more perfect so it was definitely worth it. Today’s post will be on the decor and tablescapes and the rest of the week will be dedicated to the recipes for each course of the meal! Click here to see all of of the decor!
If you have been following me for a while, you might remember my post last year on coupon organization. Since then, so much has changed where couponing is concerned and I’ve been making a real effort to take advantage of all the new technology. You know from all my posts that if I can help it, I never pay full price for anything because I know somewhere out there I can find a coupon to lessen the cost. My main issue was having to spend so much time looking through our newspaper, clipping coupons or printing them online and then remembering to carry them with me. I started downloading apps to my favorite stores onto my iPhone and saving emails with codes but both of those options brought about new problems. I found myself yelling at my phone when the apps wouldn’t load up as I was trying to cash out at stores and being extremely frustrated when I couldn’t find that one email with a free shipping code that I knew was there. I have tried so many different websites, but I have found one that is now my favorite tool in my couponing arsenal…. Coupon Chief! Click here to learn more about Coupon Chief and start saving money!
I have just started the LONG process of turning half of our basement into a workroom for myself. I have a lot of problems to solve along the way so I thought I would share these projects with you as I go. Organizing our embarrassing 700+ DVD collection was the first of these and one I’ve been wanting to tackle for quite a while. We’ve tried organizing them in the past, which left us with 4 shelves tucked in a corner of the basement as seen in the “before” picture, which was still a mess. My goal for the basement is to get rid of anything that we don’t absolutely need… and we certainly don’t need 700+ DVD boxes. I managed (with lots of help from my husband) to shrink our entire movie collection into a ridiculously organized 6 boxes which stacked as shown in the “after pic” measures just 16″ by 16″! Click Here to get the Step-by-Step Tutorial
I know I haven’t done a home tip in a while, but this is a really good one. Creating a menu board for your kitchen is a really helpful way to solve a lot of common problems. I always plan out our meals for the week but it seems like by the end of that week, a lot of the ingredients have gone bad which forces us to completely change the menu or have to buy the ingredients twice. This board is incredibly easy to make and since it’s dry erase, I can play around with different meals organizing them in a way that makes the most sense. I make it so the meals that have the most fresh herbs/easily perishable ingredients go earlier in the week and the things that can be frozen/have a longer shelf life go later in the week. I like this board for a lot of different reason as well… it allows my husband to check every morning and see what we’re having for dinner which is nice to include him, it allows me to only buy groceries that we need instead of buying a bunch with no set plan, and it’s so easily customizable that it can fit anyones decor. Click here to get the step-by-step tutorial!
I just started sewing back in October and since diving into that side of crafting I’ve come to one conclusion: it takes over your house! I quickly figured out that with all the little things you need for different projects, your home can quickly turn into a disaster area and I set out to do my best to organize everything. The picture above is a sewing table from Joann’s that was my first step in tackling the mess. It’s small enough that I set it up behind my couch in our living room so that I can sew while being in full view of the tv and still be able to spend time with my husband in the same room. The leaf that the sewing machine is on folds down when not in use, making it a rolling cart. Click here to see more pics and see more tips!