Thursday, March 5, 2015

DIY Hair Clip Holder

One of the joys of having a baby girl is thinking about all the hair clips, bows, and headbands you can put in their hair (or lack there of). My sister is letting me borrow all of the headbands and hair clips that she used for her 4 daughters, and boy do I love the selection to choose from already! As I laid them all out on her dresser, I was wondering what the best way to store all them would be?

I remember thinking that my sister had an adorable hair clip holder and I remembered seeing ideas on Pinterest, on how to make one. The one thing I do not like about following a "pattern" is that it is easy to get stuck on how someone else did it. I wanted to just try and create my own. It ended up being a MUCH easier process and project than I ever imagined. Granted I suppose it doesn't look complicated, but for me, often when I start a project, it never goes as planned. 

If you are wanting to have some fun and customize a hair clip holder for someone as a gift or even for your own daughter, here are a few SIMPLE ideas (project took me 20-30 minutes) on how to create one on your own.

I purchased this $4.00 frame from Wal-Mart. You can buy as big or small of a frame as you need.

 I had some extra fabric from a project I did years ago, so I decided to use up what I have. It helps that this fabric matches perfectly with the colors we have in our baby girl's room - navy, pink, and light blue! I cut a piece of fabric to fit the size frame I bought. I then hot glued the edges to the back of the insert for the frame.

Make sure it's tight!

I then dug through my old scraps of fabric and I found a light blue and pink polka dot, which I decided to use as the strips for the hair clips to clip onto.

Hot glue the edges, leaving a little slack so that you can still attach the hair clips

Put back into the frame and voila! 

With using a frame, you can either set it on a dresser or hang it on a wall, for another decorative piece!

Again, you can use whatever size frame you want and also attach as many strips for hair clips as you see fit. Just keep in mind the size of the clips so that they do not overlap too much. This was such a fun project and I could customize it to how I wanted it to look. If you have an extra 20-30 minutes, give this DIY project a try!

Don't forget to sign-up for the HomeRight SteamMachine GIVEAWAY!

Ends Sunday, March 8, 2015
Open to U.S. Residents ONLY
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How I Clean With A SteamMachine

I don't know how often you clean with steam, but I have to admit, it isn't something that I think of "cleaning" with very often. I am always looking for more efficient ways to clean an area and I have learned, steam is one of the most productive ways to clean hard to reach, stuck-on, and helpless spots. What areas in your home are hard to reach and seem impossible to clean?

I have had the HomeRight SteamMachine for over a year now, and I can still say, it has helped me tackle some of the most difficult tasks in our home; especially cleaning our textured linoleum in our bathroom and taking down old wallpaper. HomeRight's goal is "for our products is to make DIY (do-it-yourself) tasks easier, faster and neater." I had these grand ideas to get our floor clean, as you could see the dirt and grim stuck in the linoleum, but without steam, it wouldn't have happened. Same for taking down the wallpaper in our kitchen and dining room. If it wasn't for the SteamMachine, it would've taken me DAYS to get it down! In fact, it worked so well that I had a friend ask to borrow it since it did such a great job!

The SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer is versatile in the sense that it has MANY attachments, while making numerous household chores easier. No cleaning products or harmful chemicals needed - the steam kills 99% of germs and uses pure water to clean. What is even more beneficial, is that the small attachments can be stored in the front of the machine - so there is no excuse for losing parts!

The process is simple:
Unscrew the safety cap
Fill tank with water using funnel
Screw safety cap back on
Attach needed accessory to gun nozzle
Plug in machine and hit power
Allow to warm up (about 8 minutes)
Once orange light turns off, you are ready to start cleaning away!

Here is how the HomeRight SteamMachine did once put to the test:
Our grout has seen better days in our bathroom. Unfortunately, some of it will never get fully "new" again, but look at all of the cleaning grime that came off? As much as I think my cleaning products are cleaning the tile, I think because of the soap scum, it actually clings TO the tile walls! It was rather disgusting to see how much gross grime came off!

THAT...was on our walls? Seriously?

Then I decided to clean our linoleum floor. We are currently renting our home and since it is old linoleum, I am not sure how you would clean this floor completely WITHOUT a SteamMachine! Unless I wanted to sit there with a bucket of water and toothbrush (no thanks!) I couldn't believe the results!


Here is a glimpse at our wallpaper removal and painting project:

 Not sure what I would do without the SteamMachine!

 After it was all said it done, it looked like a whole new room!

Some commonly used attachments are:
Steam plate - used for removing wallpaper
Squeegee - shower doors and walls, fireplace doors, windows, also for killing dust mites in mattresses
Jet nozzle - used around fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens
Nylon brush - spot clean grooved floors, around sink and bathroom faucets
Brass brush - removes grease and residue on ovens and grills
Large cleaning brush - countertops, tile, vinyl, and linoleum floors (extension wands included)
Cleaning cloth - attach to cleaning brush for a mop-type clean

HomeRight has once again offered the opportunity to do a GIVEAWAY for a SteamMachine! 

Starting TODAY and going through 
Sunday, March 8, 2015!
Open to U.S. Residents Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 2, 2015

52 Places In 52 Weeks: Magazines

How many magazines do you have lying around your home?

Too many too count? Do you even wonder where they all are or even why you have a subscription to a certain magazine?


I would hear of those $2.00 deals on a magazine subscription and think "how could I ever pass that up?" To get House Beautiful, Country Living, etc. for $2.00 a YEAR? Yes, please!

Were we avid magazine subscribers? Not really. I maybe had 3 (Midwest Living, Country Living, and then HGTV) and my husband 2. Not that we were overwhelmed with them, but I realized that when they came in the mail, I would toss them in our magazine rack to be read later, but often I would get behind and not read them before the next issue came. I started to wonder why I even subscribed to that magazine in the first place, if I didn't have time to sit down and read it in the first place! So, I decided to unsubscribe from some of them.

You may be thinking "they are JUST magazines, Kristin!" You are exactly right - JUST magazines. But something that I have no reason to clutter my home with, if I do not take the time to sit down and read them. To be honest, sometimes sitting down and reading a book or looking at Pinterest sounds more interesting. I find that there are only a few articles in some magazines that I really enjoy, so why spend time looking through a whole magazine for just those few? My solution is to go to the library when we are going on a trip and find the subscriptions that I would normally subscribe to, and choose a few from each to take with me. I then have the time to read the maybe not-so-important articles, but enjoy reading them while relaxing. Really, the library is such a grand place to go if you do not want to buy another book or subscribe to yet another magazine. Can I just say FREE?!?

Magazines are such a minor thing when it comes to organizing a home, but think about how many you have lying all over your home, unread and unopened? What if you started to declutter your magazine subscriptions/commitments? What difference would it make in your home?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why I Create A Daily To-Do List

Pulled in every direction. 
Wondering if you will ever get everything done. 
Wishing that you had a day to just accomplish everything on the agenda. 
Wanting a vacation from the craziness of life. 

Do these scenarios sound familiar to you? Do you have a never-ending to-do list that just seems to be getting longer and longer? 

I am a do-er, but I am also forgetful (believe it or not). Many might say I am not, but it is because I live off of to-do lists. If a task or grocery item is not on a to-do or to-buylist, it's just not going to happen; that is why I find so much value in lists. So if you are wanting to become less forgetful, become more intentional, and start accomplishing the things that you really want to accomplish, consider starting a to-do list!

Here is how I manage our home and my life with lists:
1. Start by grabbing a pen and paper - make the paper fun so that it is something delightful to look at and also something you will not lose.

2. Each week, I start off by writing down the things that I would like to get done. I do not put dates or times next to them because I want to allow room for flexibility. If I have such a strict structure on my to-do list and I can't accomplish it all, I want to be okay with that! 

3. Think through your week. Think about every aspect of your life. 
  • Meals - what do you want to make? Is there an event you have to make something for?
  • Work - do you have to go in or leave early one day? What phone calls do you need to make on your lunch break? Do you have some lunch ideas?
  • Family - are all of the events on your calendar? Do you need to figure out rides for anyone?
  • Home - do you have any projects you want to finish or places you want to declutter or clean?
  • Miscellaneous - do you have any loose ends you need to tie up? Any gifts to buy or cards to send? Change the oil in your car?

These are just some ideas to get you thinking. You might think that after answering some of these questions, that your to-do list is going to be a mile long. Honestly, it may be long at first just because you have a lot of little things to do. Though, as you work through your list, you will realize that some weeks there may not be any pressing things to-do! 

Now the question is WHEN to accomplish everything on the list? Since I have started a weekly to-do list, whenever I have 5 minutes, I look at the list. Can I quick send a card? Can I make a grocery list? Can I file some papers? Can I clean out the refrigerator? You would be surprised at what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. In the end, you will see your to-do list dwindling and you will find yourself having more freedom to do the things you want to do.

Do not let a to-do list overwhelm you. Think about the things that you can accomplish, how freeing it will feel when you DO get things things done, and how organized your life will be! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

52 Place In 52 Weeks: Food Storage Containers

What do your cupboards look like?

If yours are anything like mine have been, you have to shift things in the cupboard in order for the doors to shut. You have WAY more food storage containers than you will ever need or have food for. And maybe you keep every single one - even those that have stains all over them. Trust me, I've been there! Then I decided that it was a waste of space and it was time to get a new system!

So why do we own so many?

Do we keep them because they are cheap? Free? A nice butter container? Because we MIGHT use them someday?

Today is the LAST day you will dread opening up that drawer or cupboard with all of your food storage containers because TODAY, they will be organized!

1. FIND all of your storage containers - even your glass ones.

2. Find the cover for each one
    - if you cannot find the cover, recycle that container right away.

3. Check for stains are on the container - if you would be embarrassed showing someone else the container, get rid of it!

4. Set aside containers you use on a weekly basis.

5. Decide how many containers you actually NEED. This is a personal decision - whatever you don't think you will use, donate or recycle them

6. Consider switching over to all glass containers. Since I have switched over, I feel I actually WAY fewer food containers AND, they do not get destroyed every time I try to microwave something.

What will it take for your cupboard doors to shut? To be able to only keep what you need instead of what you think you need? Start organizing those containers and your food will be all the more organized and your home as well!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

I struggle to find easy-to-eat, but also easy-to-make appetizers. Give me a main dish or dessert any day, but when it comes to appetizers, I often find myself trying to find the "right" item to take. This recipe, though it may take about 1 hour to cook, is honestly very easy to make, but is SUCH a crowd pleaser!

Whoever thought of putting bacon and water chestnuts together was a genius. That is another area where I struggle - pairing unlikely foods together. I am too simple. Give me a recipe and I can follow it, but when it comes to creating my own version of something, it's a lost cause. This recipe combines 2 of my favorite foods into one bite-size piece of goodness! Next time you have to take an app to a special event or to just even surprise your family, the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are must-try!

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

2 cans whole water chestnuts
Bacon strips, cut into thirds
1 c. ketchup
2/3 c. brown sugar

1. Wrap bacon around each water chestnut and insert a toothpick to hold.
2. Put in 9x13 pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
4. Mix ketchup and brown sugar; our over chestnuts
5. Bake for another 30 minutes.

Monday, February 16, 2015

52 Places In 52 Weeks: Closet

Are mornings one of the most stressful parts of your day? You may ask why, but do you ever stand in front of your closet, wondering what to wear?

Do you ever wonder if you have too many options? Maybe you don't even know what your options are? What if your closet was so organized that you knew what you had, what to put together, and even what to wear?

Well, having an organized closet can be a reality. Here are a few tips to organize YOUR closet (no matter what the condition of it may be!)

1. Figure out how much space you want to take up for clothes. If your drawers are overflowing, 

2. Decide:
  • Does it fit?
  • Do you wear it?
  • Do you like or enjoy wearing it?
  • Does it need fixing?
  • For example..
    • Long-sleeve shirts: Too small? Stretched out?
    • Jeans: Are you saving some for when you lose weight, but haven't? Do they fit?
    • Dresses: Too tight? What occasion would you wear it for? Is it a multi-purpose dress?
    • Shoes: Worn out? Dirty? Do they squeak? 
  • Whatever is beyond repair and does not fit, time to get rid of it.
3. Clean each area by wiping down the drawers and shelves.

4. Organize your drawers by keeping the items worn most towards the front. Whatever you do not wear, will fall to the back. After a few months, you can eventually get rid of those item you rarely wear. Decluttering and purging the unused, is THE most important thing you can do

5. Donate/Sell/Toss/Fix items that need to be taken care of. Consider donating your unused item to a friend in need.

Now you may be on your way to a more organized closet and a less stressful morning! Whatever you decide to get ride of or donate, do it as soon as you can, so that you can just get rid of all of the excess in your life - even when it comes to your clothes!

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