10 Products That Will Simplify Your Spring Cleaning

Spring is here! Spring brings many exciting holidays and warmer days, but it also brings along the notorious spring cleaning. While this may not be a chore you enjoy, it must be done. Here are a few of the products we use to make the task easier, more enjoyable, and safer for the environment.  A few years ago I came across an advertisement for Grove Collaborative. From the beginning, I was intrigued by their mission statement. They strive to create sustainable and safe alternatives to the mainstream cleaning products which are full of harmful chemicals, without compromising on efficacy. I was immediately hooked and greatly impressed by both the variety of products they offer and the quality of those products! This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support! I’ve already waited far too long to share this excellent resource with you, but with spring cleaning looming in the distance I figured now was the perfect time to do so! Use this link to receive $10 off your first order with Grove Collaborative!  (They also love to throw in free items on almost every order which feels like a surprise gift each time!) And now, without further ado, I give you my list of Grove Collaborative must-haves.  1. Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap. I never thought I would be so excited over something as mundane as dish soap! Mrs. Meyer’s comes in a wide variety of scents and with ratings as high as these, you know it’s…
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10 Easter Gifts Perfect for the Women in Your Life

Most of the time, Easter gifts are given to children. But who says they can’t be for the grownups too? Here are some of the top gifts this year for the women in your life – sisters, friends, moms, there’s something for everyone. (You might even have to get a few of them for yourself or send this to your hubby as a not so subtle hint, we won’t judge.) This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support! 1. Godiva Assorted Truffles. Who doesn’t like chocolate? This cute Easter egg box adds a festive touch. BUY HERE! 2. Tea Forte Pyramid Tea Box. The colors of this beautiful packaging just remind me of springtime. This tea would be lovely served hot or cold, perfect for the changing seasons. BUY HERE! 3. Felt Letter Board. Letter boards are a very big trend right now in home decor.  Most women wouldn’t buy this for themselves, but I’m confident most would be thrilled to have it gifted to them! BUY HERE! 5. USB Essential Oil Diffuser. This handy gadget is perfect for transforming your vehicle into an oasis. It can also be used in your home as an easily portable alternative to your larger diffuser. BUY HERE! 6. Amazon Gift Card. I’ll be the first to admit that gift cards aren’t the most personal gifts. However, I couldn’t resist this adorable Easter egg packaging. BUY HERE! 7. Ceramic Hanging Planters. Easter and springtime are synonymous with new life.  I love how simple these succulent planters are,…
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15 Christmas DIY Gift Wrap Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I love wrapping gifts. Maybe it’s my creative side. I enjoy making the packages look pretty under the tree. Here are a few DIY gift wrap ideas to make your wrapping this year a breeze.  This might be the easiest idea in this article! Grab a paper sack, a few stamps, and fresh eucalyptus and you’ll be all set. (Most grocery stores carry fresh eucalyptus in their floral departments.) The Beauty Dojo shares how to make these simple gift bags, perfect for oddly shaped presents. A few years ago, I was attempting to be as thrifty as possible over Christmas. I created these cute reusable bags as a way to wrap gifts! You won’t want to miss this super easy  over on Designers Sweet Spot. Bonus: you can use these bags again next year! If you have kids that want to get involved in the wrapping, this could be a fun project! My Sweet Things decided on a Christmas tree design, but the possibilities for this are really endless. Boxwood Avenue shares an excellent tutorial on how to make this cute Christmas light strand to dress up your packages. This is another great use for Washi tape. I love this idea from Almost Makes Perfect because it doesn’t require you to purchase anything specifically for your Christmas wrapping, but still looks festive! Check out this DIY over on 2 Bees in a Pod to see how thrifted shirts are used to create gift wrap.   Here’s another thrift store DIY. Sadie Seasongoods used what others might consider trash (and some consider treasure) to wrap…
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5 Easy Ways to Save Big Money on Your Water Bill

Saving money on water also helps conserve our natural resources. Here are 5 easy things you can do to reduce your water cost and consumption!  5 Easy Ways to Save $$$ Our water bill used to be out of hand. We had 4 little boys who were dirty, messy and regularly needed their nightly baths. But as our kids grew, so did our water bill. It seemed the bigger they got, the longer they spent in the bathroom taking showers and bathing. Things got so bad, we had to make some new rules in order to keep our bills in check. Here’s the solutions that we have adopted over the years. This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own. Top 5 $$$ Savers Install a water conserving shower head. This shower head from Waterpik uses only 2 gallons of water per shower. Even though we live in an area that has plenty of fresh water, this shower head greatly reduces our need to use more. The best part? Just unscrew the old shower head and screw on the new one. Installation is that easy! The waterfall design is lovely, and it even has massaging Power Pulse jet spray options. We don’t notice any reduction in water flow and the kids are none the wiser.  We plan to put one in each bathroom! I love this video, it explains everything you need to know about this amazing shower head. 2. Teach your family members to take “SAILOR” showers. My father was in the Navy. During his time in the…
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Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget

This bathroom renovation project has been on the back burner for a while, but it’s time to get started on it. It’s been a long time since we tackled a big project like this, anything can happen! Big Renovation, Tiny Budget We have a leaky bath. This bathroom is on our second floor and is shared between the 4 upstairs bedrooms. When we bought this old house two years ago, we knew this would eventually be on our renovation plan. We had a vision to expand it, make a walk in shower and add a double vanity someday. That day has come! Shortly after we moved in, we discovered the previous owners had cleverly concealed cracks in the shower surround by filling them with caulk. Over time, the caulk has peeled away leaving leaky cracks in it’s place. ARRRGHHH! It is unfortunate that the inspector never found the cracks, we would have made sure it was fixed before we bought the house. However, it is too late for that now. We are sure the shower is leaking into the wall behind it, just not sure how bad the damage will be when we open it up. To make matters worse, we have had a lot of problems with clogged drains lately. The plumbing is old, is not vented and needs to be replaced. How do you do all this on a tiny budget?? Bathroom Renovation Master Plan We are not strangers to renovations. We have renovated houses for years and have a lot of experience with how things can go…
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Sew Along Masterclass Poll, Help Find the Dream!

Planning this Sew Along Masterclass for next year. Now is your chance to give me your opinion on what you want to learn and  help me find the dream! 2018 Sew Along Masterclass I have been working behind the scenes for several months planning my blog content for the next year. It’s been a whirlwind battle, one that I have finally won and mastered. It hasn’t been an easy journey. At first I wasn’t even sure I would be blogging next year. Growth on the blog has been slow and I am frustrated with the way things have been going the last couple of years. The millions of followers that I expected to have when I began blogging 8 years ago just aren’t there despite the considerable time and effort that I put into this business. I even started looking for full time apparel design jobs, which I haven’t done since 1994. There were even full time job interviews. Several of them. However, in the long run I decided that I just can’t go back to working for a large corporation just yet. Finishing the Blogging Dream It’s hard to give up on a dream. This blogging dream isn’t finished yet. When I started this blog so long ago I always had the thought that I would go back to my fashion design roots at some point and become a fashion blogger. At the time I began writing in 2009, it seemed like growing my following through home decor would be the hard part, and becoming a fashion blogger at some…
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How to Make a Fleece Lounging Gown

Make a Fleece Lounging Gown to slip into after a long day at work or relax after a hectic day with the family. This gown is a great project for beginner seamstresses!  This fleece fabric caught my eye at the fabric store recently. Loved the soft color pallet!   Fleece Lounging is King Making anything with fleece is always a good idea. Fleece is inexpensive, easy to sew and comes in tons of great patterns and colors. Fleece is also stretchy and very forgiving for new sewers who aren’t exactly sure of them selves. This project is easy to whip up in a single afternoon without a lot of fuss. It’s been a while since I have sewn much for myself. However, I have stocked up on fabric and patterns for a major sewing project in the future! More to come on that soon! This pattern is Mc Calls 7061.(affiliate link) I am sure I will be making several more of these lounging gowns, perhaps even a couple of them for holiday gifts. Speaking of gifts, check out my pattern shop for more handmade gift ideas here. The robe features a hood and a “kangaroo” style pocket which I love for keeping my cell phone close by. You could also make some booties or leggings to keep your feet and legs warm (they are included in this pattern). The modesty of this piece was one of the things that attracted me to it. Love the coverage in this garment! It feels cozy enough that I could run to the grocery store…
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How I Failed To Decorate our Dining Room

No one likes to say that they have failed. Today I give you permission to completely FAIL in your home decor. I completely failed in this renovation project, but all is not lost! The One Room Challenge Dining Room Update This week is the final reveal for the One Room Challenge. I have been avoiding writing this post, because it’s hard for me to admit that I have failed this challenge. I haven’t finished our dining room. I was really excited in the beginning, the painting was easy. It took me an entire weekend to paint the built-in dining hutch. The white is so much lighter, I really do like it. I am glad I took the plunge to paint all that dark woodwork. The next project  was the ceiling. This painted ceiling medallion gives the room something special. Our kitty loves to stare at the ceiling, she must find it interesting. I bought some great fabric at a fabulous price and whipped up a pair of curtains. I was on a roll! And that’s where the story ends. Actually, it came to a grinding halt. The END of the Dining Room ORC Story The table improvements are holding me back. I need to paint the table, but I don’t have the vision right now as to which colors to use. White, black? Grey, Chocolate? Can’t decide. Am having second thoughts about the curtains that  I made. I never have second thoughts. NEVER. Usually, I am an all in kind of girl. But, something in this room just doesn’t feel right. Our…
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Top 30 Fabulous Gifts for Women Over 50

Looking for a great gift? Try one of these fabulous ideas for women over 50! I am in the 50 club now, so I can write this post!  Top 30 Fab Gifts for Women Over 50 I recently became a member of the over 50 club. Let me tell you girls, it’s very freeing. Suddenly you have a new outlook on life. These gifts are selected from the viewpoint of a woman who has a new lease on life. Suddenly, I am concerned about wrinkles, aging, beauty marks and greying roots. I am pricing compression hose, anticipating hot flashes and wearing colors that I never have before. It’s a whole new world! If you know someone who fits this description, these gifts are for her! Or for you, because suddenly it’s okay to take better care of ourselves! Here we go! This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support! Gifts for Midlife Women Cute compression socks. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was pricing these out. Did you know they make compression socks in adorable prints??? That way the rest of the world will never know what they really are, or how fabulous they make your legs feel. Check out this fabulous selection here. Fine home decor diffuser set. Face it, women love things that smell good. We also love things for our home. This combination is perfect with both a diffuser and candle in a fabulous Birchwood Pine Scent. What…
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How to Make Budget Curtains for Any Room

Budget curtains can be hard to find if you pay retail price. Here are my best tips for making them yourself in just a few simple steps.  Here we are back again for week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week our dining room renovation includes Window Treatments! Here’s what we have covered so far: Week 1: Design Plan Week 2: Paint Week 3: Ceiling Medallion Click on the links above to see the progress!  Curtains That Only Look Expensive New curtains have been on my to do list for this room for a while. I dread a large project like this because it’s expensive and time consuming. However, this one turned out to be less expensive than I anticipated. Here’s my story: Since I had my fabric picked out since week one, it was going to be easy to go and buy it at the store. Problem was they were sold out when I got there. Not good! The Fabric Deal After browsing the clearance rack of decor fabrics, I came up with two options. One was a lovely teal priced at $4.00 a yard. What a great deal! Option two was a lovely Waverly fabric floral print priced at $13.00 per yard. Not so cheap, but I really liked it. I took both bolts to the counter and asked the clerk why one was so much more than the other. Turns out the Waverly floral was incorrectly priced. It should have been marked 80% OFF!!! Calmly, I explained that I wanted to buy the entire bolt, before…
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