Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’
I’d like to thank HomeRight for sponsoring this post.
Howdy! Today, I am talking about love. The kind of love that comes from a husband…and a steam mop.
I am sharing my favorite new HomeRight product, the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus. You will also have a chance to win one of your own at the end of this post!
The SteamMachine Plus Multi-purpose Steam Mop is an ideal tool to use on floors! It is a natural, safe, chemical-free way to clean. It kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria including e-coli, salmonella, and staph. The handle also folds down for easy storage and the steamer is handheld too. It comes with an array attachments to get the job done. It isn’t just for floors though, it has so many other features.
Before, we get into all that…let’s talk love.
Love is a man who will change out of his pajamas on a relaxing Saturday morning to stand on the front steps of your home in broad daylight with the front door wide open to take pictures of his wife mopping the floor and might I add — doesn’t even think twice about it –so you can get this shot:
Love is also realizing that a steam mop can get your floor even cleaner from the day before when you mopped it with a regular mop and cleaner…
This was just after mopping one pass! At first, I was a little upset. Not at the steam mop…(pssst! I love you steam mop!!) more at the fact that I just mopped this floor the day before.
So, I had to ponder:
a) I am not as great as a housekeeper as I have always thought.
b) That my kids are just really that dirty and track in that much grossness in a day’s time
c) That this HomeRight SteamMachine Plus ROCKS.
i totally think it’s C. Let’s talk this out.
My entry way is used a couple of times a day. We have a jute rug that covers the floor and catches all the stuff that the kids and Zoey, our puppy, bring in.
So, to give this steam mop the true test of clean, I used it on this floor that I just mopped the day before…just to see…I wasn’t even going to blog it…I was going to use it on my bathroom floor that I knew was ready for a clean.
So, here’s the bonus. You are just using steam. No chemicals or cleaners. It sanitizes and cleans. I am becoming a quick believer that steam is the only clean.
The HomeRight SteamMachine Plus is really easy to use.
one–detach and fill the water tank
two–attach the water tank, plug it in, and turn it on
three–wait 25 seconds or less for the blue light to turn on…that means it’s ready
Another feature I really love about this steam mop is that the mop attachment is angled and it swivels so you can fit in corners and along walls easily.
I was pretty amazed at how much grossness came off the floor. Once you are done, you can just pop the mop pad in the wash for future uses. It also comes with another mop pad so you are ready to go!
You can take the steam machine out and use it as a handheld steam cleaner too. It can clean all kinds of things. Grout, hard to reach areas, countertops, tile, glass, ovens, carpet– you can even steam garments and fabric. I steamed my curtains because I had wrinkles that were bothering me! Worked like a charm!
I used the smaller brush attachment to see if I could get a stain off the floor that we have not been able to get off with any cleaner. We inherited the stain with the house and we have no idea what it is. I wish it could talk and I could ask it, “What are you and where did you come from.”
Guess what? It worked! I was so happy!!
HomeRight never ceases to amaze me! I love this company and all their ingenius products!!
Now it’s your turn to enter to win a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. You can get up to 5 entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Interested in more HomeRight products? I love them! Check out my post about the HomeRight Steam Machine and the HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer.
Also, Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane is also giving away a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus on her blog too. Stop over for another chance to win!!
This is a sponsored post for HomeRight. As always, I only share things I love and all opinions are 100% mine.
Today is the day we celebrate those we love in an extra special way! We started a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner tradition with the boys a few years back. They look forward to it–especially the food! I make one of my most liked recipes, my Vodka Cream Pasta with Prosciutto. They all gobble it up like it is going to be their last supper. It is one of those recipes I am proud of because I tweaked it and made it my own.
Today, I am sharing our Valentine’s Day table with you. I think it is fun to create special occasions in your home. Those little family traditions that make your family special. I love to have my family around the dinner table and spend an evening enjoying their company… and delicious food. So, naturally, we do the fancy feast with a decked out table every year.
I thought it would be fun to show you guys how I save money doing this every year. You might think that creating a beautiful table could cost a lot, but I am going to show you how I keep the cost down every year.
Splurge v. Save
Splurge. First things first, you got to know what to splurge on. When I say splurge, translate that into what it means for you. I choose to splurge on the basics that can be reused dinner after dinner. White china is a great investment and transitions to so many occasions. We actually use this white china for our every day set too and it has held up going on 12 years now. It is just the classic white china from Pier 1. Not expensive, but if your wallet is a little tighter you can find basic white china at the dollar store. I would shoot for dinner plates. You can always add in a new look with a patterned appetizer plate or napkin.
I also think a basic white tablecloth that washes up nicely is another item to splurge on. You can change runners, placemats, and center pieces over a white tablecloth. Mine was not expensive at all and I found it at Target. It has held up just fine over the years.
One more table item I think is worth the splurge is a fresh floral bouquet. It’s great when the weather is nice and you can just go out in the yard and clip greens and flowers. In the dead of winter,a quick trip to the grocery store for flowers is cost-effective. This bouquet was only $15 and it will keep for at least a week with proper care. Flowers on a table just make a table feel more expensive and beautiful.
Save. Now that you have the basics the rest you can get really creative with. You don’t have to buy a table runner. You can make one. I love to use uncommon things for runners. I’ve used full length mirrors, art paper, scarves, and all kinds of things. I like to shop my house first. This year I had enough of this gold striped wrapping paper left over. It makes a fun runner.
Reuse items. Now I like to layer my table, so I took an old Halloween runner and flipped it over and added the greek key ribbon left over from a DIY project. I save clippings of fabric and ribbons from projects just for occasions like these.
Shop thrift stores and clearance sales. I found our Italian crystal bar glasses at a flea market new in the box. The whole set was $7. I had just seen the same set at TJ Maxx for a lot more and know it retails a lot higher. Our chargers are from Goodwill. 50 cents each. The appetizer plates were an after Christmas Target clearance item. Only $5 something for all 4. If you are looking to save and have a little patience, you can find the best things if you are willing to shop thrift stores and wait for clearance sales.
Make your own decorations.Sure you can buy seasonal decor, but I really like to make my own and it’s free! Scrapbook paper is my go-to for crafts. I made these DIY heart arrows a couple of weeks back using stuff from around the house. Kebabs and paper, that’s all it is. My heart paper punch got a work out this holiday and I used the left over hearts on the table like confetti. The calligraphy phrases were a free printable and I just printed and glued them to paper.
I can’t wait to enjoy this table setting with my favorite people tonight! I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I recently had the opportunity to take the family to see the new Opening of the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago. Living in northern Illinois, I have the pleasure of being able to hop in my car and in just a couple of hours be in the 3rd largest city in the United States. I enjoy memories of the museums and Chicago attractions from my childhood and I love that I can share that with my kids now.
Chicago is a city rich in history, tradition, and fabulous architecture. I love a weekend trip to the Windy City. For this trip, we enjoyed a day at The Field Museum and got to try out a new interactive app. You can now download the free Field Museum Tours Mobile app to your iPhone or Android. I downloaded it the night before and used it for our museum visit.
Download The Field Museum Free Mobile App Here
I connected my mobile device to “FieldMuseumWiFi” for the best app performance. It was really easy to use and it was a fun way to interact with the artifacts in the exhibit. I tested it out on the totem poles before we entered the World’s Fair Exhibit. I scanned the QR code on the display and was given a fun little history lesson of how the totem poles came to be at the museum.
We clicked on the tours tab and then the World’s Fair Tour and got to interact with the exhibit in a whole new way.
I loved being able to take the family to this particular exhibit because it explained the history of The Field Museum and such a huge event in US history. The 1893 World’s Fair featured the Columbian Exposition. We got to journey back into 1893 and see the artifacts and specimens that visitors delighted in at the World’s Fair in Chicago over 120 years ago. The exhibit holds fair memorabilia, over 200 interesting artifacts and specimens from the fair, and large screens featuring the fair grounds. You also can interact with the collections through new digital technology. My kids loved it and were amazed by the animal skeletons and the Peruvian mummies. Those had to be their favorites.
Out of respect for the other visitors, I didn’t take a lot of photos of the exhibit as we were going through it. It was the day after Thanksgiving and this was by far the busiest exhibit we toured that day. I did happen to snap the photo above of my little Sam in awe of everything he saw. I really enjoyed the historical artifacts and the screen projections–it felt like you were watching a movie of the fair as you were walking through the exhibit.
The Field Museum is a legacy of the 1893 World’s Fair. It was founded to commemorate the fair and is an architectural gem. The original collections are from the fair and research is still ongoing today on its ever-growing collections. The Field Museum houses the largest collection of artifacts from the World’s Fair.
When you visit The Field Museum you are stepping into an important part of history. The design lover in me loves to see the architecture almost just as much as the exhibits. I couldn’t leave without taking a few photos of this dazzling structure. I put together a little slideshow of some of my favorite details.
After we toured the World’s Fair Exhibit, we enjoyed all the other delights of The Field Museum. We spent most of our day watching our kids get excited to see dinosaurs and animals from around the world. They loved walking through the Egyptian tomb and we ended our day with a bite to eat at the Museum’s Bistro.
Of course, no visit to The Field Museum is complete without a photo by Sue.
The Field Museum is a Chicago treasure and always a joy to experience, especially when you are taking little people for the first time! We so enjoyed our visit and even got a membership for many more visits to come.
If you are planning a visit to The Field Museum be sure to download The Field Museum Free Mobile App for a whole new museum experience.
I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I thought I’d share with you some our latest thrifty finds and what we’ve been up to this weekend.
We started our fireplace makeover which I am so stoked about! We finalized our mantel plans and started the task of making a level surface on the stone. Here’s the thing about DIY projects…they teach you patience! I am always reminding my kids to be patient. I think pretty much daily around here. I consider myself a somewhat patient person, but I am so anxious to start tiling! The thing is– we can’t rush the prep part. It’s the foundation of our entire project. We have to build a completely flat and level surface before we can start the tiling and it’s taking time. We started Saturday morning with high hopes we’d be tiling by Sunday. Well, that hasn’t happened. We finally are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and should be able to start tomorrow, but it was quite a process to get the surface ready!
So in-between wait times on the fireplace, I finally made some design decisions. Do you remember our hallway I had started? Well, the doors are painted, the trim and baseboards are installed, but it’s not done. I was having some lighting issues. The first fixture I ordered I ended up returning. I was hoping to find something fab around the local thrifting scene, but haven’t had any luck. So, I decided yesterday to order another fixture. Fingers-crossed this one is a winner! I also tried to find a mirror for my fireplace, but I decided I am going to DIY one so I drew up plans for that too.
We had a couple of trips up to Wisconsin in October and got to check out some shops. Here’s a few of our latest finds that have made their way inside our home.
I found this new little deer buddy at TJ Maxx for $5.99. I think he will make a perfect key hook in our entry way.
While at the cabin, I snagged a bundle of birch logs for $3. I love them. Growing up, my Grandma always had some by her fireplace.
I also added to my plaid stadium blanket collection with this one for $13. Never seen it before, it’s going to be my go-to outdoor blanket for bonfire nights.
Switching gears to holiday time, I found these awesome appetizer plates at Target the other day as I was doing my grocery shopping of course! I’m glad I needed batteries on the other side of the store and saw these on my way. The set is priced at $19.99 which is pretty darn good.
This pair of vintage brass deer were only $6 at an antique store. I think we’re on a mission to see how many gold animals we can fit on our bookcases. If you think they are just decorative they are not, I assure you! Sam on a daily basis plays with them. So, you see, they are pretty and serve a purpose. That’s how I justify adding to the gold animal menagerie.
I also have been thinking about holiday time, so I brought the sequins pillow back out. It’s not new, but has been in storage since last Christmas. I can’t help myself, but it’s going to be a gold, silver, and black Christmas again! I love to change things up, but I haven’t tired of this combo yet for holiday time.
I may even do a holiday craft today if I get the time!
I just finished a project that I need to write-up, so I thought today I’d share a few of the moments from our magical birthday weekend in the cabin. It was just the perfect setting to really relax and enjoy spending time together. There was no need to get all dolled up. We all had messy hair and wore sweaters and jammies most of the time. It was fantastic! We ate really good food and didn’t worry about it being healthy-which is totally allowed on your birthday. We hiked the trails, had a bonfire, and played games. We told ghost stories at night and enjoyed our mornings sipping coffee in our beautiful surroundings.
Here’s a few of my favorite shots from our weekend:
One of the bedrooms had this line from a poem by Lewis Carroll painted on the walls. In the morning the sun made it glow and it was a sweet moment seeing Sam fast asleep underneath it.
Through this window you can see the porch that we enjoyed in the morning.
On our hike there were still some beautiful colors to see…
I love this shot of Dave and Sam in the woods…
Here’s the birthday boy…so handsome and photogenic!
Here’s a photo the now 10-year-old took of us.
I just love the way the sun was shining through the trees in this window shot…
Here’s the cozy spot we spent our Sunday morning talking and having coffee…
It was definitely a weekend that we will all treasure. We have already been talking about when we will make it back there again.
Just a reminder that you can still enter to win a MINI Templeton from White Faux Taxidermy as seen in our fall bedroom refresh below:
Today I have a fun and easy Halloween project to share and a great giveaway for a $200 Target gift card!! One of my hands-down favorite things to do on the blog is offer you guys a giveaway and this is a good one!! I also got to team up with some of my favorite bloggers. We were each asked to create a DIY Halloween craft that could be repurposed in our homes.
When it comes to seasonal decor, I like to keep it pretty simple. I am more about creature comforts and mixing in more texture when fall rolls around. That’s all fine and dandy, but I also have 2 little boys who just happen to love Halloween. So, I like to opt for Halloween decor that I can reuse or transition into other crafts throughout the year. As you can see this project was a really great fit for us and how we live. I also don’t like to spend a lot of money on things like this and that is where Coupons.com comes in. Have you used Coupons.com before? It is pretty great for online shopping.
I chose to do a Halloween Candy Table and make DIY Chalkboard Labels. We like to have friends over when we trick or treat and have some snacks out for the night. As you can see, we like to get our sinful candy eating ways done in one night. This will get us through until next year.
I purchased my project materials on target.com and used codes from the coupons.com website to save at target.com. The codes I used are no longer on the website but they offer new codes all the time. By using these codes I saved 30% on the home decor items I selected, got free shipping, and an extra 5% off using my Target Red Card. It added up to some pretty big savings!
For this project, I used home items that I could reuse later on. Glass jars, an apothecary jar, and white bowls all served as candy and food containers for my Halloween Candy Table. Choosing basic items like this for my foundation is great because I can reuse them for other things in my home after the holiday is over. I am already re-using the glass jars for Zoey’s dog food and the bowls are great for growing boys who like to eat cereal in large quanities.
I made the DIY Chalkboard Labels using these items:
• Paper Straws (also from Target)
• Craft store wood plaques
• Chalkboard spray paint
• Hot glue & hot glue gun
I chose hot glue since that would be easy to disassemble and I can reuse the chalkboard labels for other projects like place cards and food labels for other events.
Coupons.com has some great savings going on right now! Check out these Target coupon codes and Halloween coupon codes to save on your upcoming shopping.
I did mention a giveaway, didn’t I?!
Enter to win a $200 Target gift card courtesy of Coupons.com using the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out all of the DIY Halloween Crafts that can be repurposed here:
This is a sponsored post for Coupons.com and Nesting Place. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Lean Cuisine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HonestlyGood #ad http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.
Today I am going to give you a peek into one of my mornings around here. Are you excited?!? Well, this glamorous lifestyle I lead doesn’t happen without effort.
Are you laughing yet??
OK, maybe the lifestyle of a DIY blogger and mom isn’t that glamorous, but it is time-consuming. I am busy, like most of us always are. I take my health seriously and try to stick to a healthy diet even with all the go-go-go. So today, I get to share with you a quick and healthy alternative that takes just a couple of minutes to make and it can be found in the freezer aisle.
But first, here’s a glimpse of a typical morning around here. This is the short version and I left out the really boring stuff like laundry and dishes.
I am the early riser of our home. I get up around 5:30 or 6:00 every morning. I get things going, do the obvious things like brush my teeth, and if it’s a run day and nice out I hit the pavement. Sometimes I end up at the gym after school drop off, but on this particular day it was perfect outdoor running weather. When I get back, I take care of our dog, Zoey, since she is the next one to get up.
Then my little guy, Sam, cuddles with me on the couch while I answer emails and respond to comments on the blog. If I have some time I read my favorite blogs.
While the boys have breakfast, I jump in the shower and freshen up. Then, I blend a smoothie and a to-go coffee and we head out the door for school drop off. Our school is about 20 minutes away so we have a little extra drive time.
When Sam and I get home, we play or read together. I grab my second cup of coffee and respond to comments and anything pressing. Then, I like to take the hours of 10am-11:00am to work on projects or run errands. Today was grocery day so I made a Target run. By the time I get home, it is lunch time and I only have about 20 minutes to make and eat our lunches before I have to get back in the car and take Sam to preschool.
Speaking of lunch…
I tried out the new Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals all last week.
Lean Cuisine now offers a new line of healthy and all natural meals. I have been very careful to make sure I’m not eating foods with lots of additives and preservatives. Most the freezer meals that are offered are full of those guys. Not a fan. For lunch, I usually eat a salad with fruit, low-fat cheese, a lean protein, and oil and vinegar on top. I usually don’t veer from that too often because I need something fast and I know that it is really good for me. I admit, I get tired of it sometimes, so you can imagine my excitement to try these Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals out!
I took the time to try each one of the 6 Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals. I love that they are fresh and have unique blends of flavors. My favorites are the Lemongrass Salmon and the Honey Citrus Chicken.
These meals only take about 5 mins. to make which is perfect for me. Everything tastes fresh and the meats aren’t your typical freezer meal meats. They are tender and tasty. You get a full cut of chicken, fish, or beef. I am so glad that these are available now because they are a nice alternative to my everyday salad.
Today, I had the Honey Citrus Chicken again. I think it just might be my favorite.
Yum! That was good! I love that they are fresh and all natural with a good blend of wholesome ingredients. Now I feel ready to tackle the rest of the day!
You can pick up Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals at Target. There are 6 meals to choose from, I suggest you try a new each day and find your favorites. You can try Honey Citrus Chicken, Lemongrass Salmon, Pineapple Black Pepper Beef, Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish, Pomegranate Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper Chicken.
Here’s another thing to love about these meals. Not only are you eating clean and healthy, but Lean Cuisine together with their farmers are donating a portion of the vegetables grown for LEAN CUISINE HONESTLY GOOD meals to local communities. By purchasing an Honestly Good meal you are helping others eat healthy too!
I am back from our trip and catching up on everything. I also came home to two sick little boys which makes me sad. I guess it’s that time of year when we are going to be passing the sick germs around!
Here’s a little moment from our trip. We had a big porch on the house we stayed at that was set up on a hillside. It was the perfect place to sit in the morning and have coffee and take in the scenery. The colors have started to change in that part of the country and it was pretty perfect. Our first morning there it was lightly raining and there was a mist that wove itself in and out of the trees and fields.
It was pretty magical. Sitting out with our friends in our jams sipping coffee and talking.
I need to get back on my healthy diet after all that naughty indulging so tomorrow I’ll be sharing one of my new favorite meals to keep on track. But speaking of coffee and perfect mornings, grab your cup and come check out the first week of the Modern +Fresh Fall Home Tours.
Kristen from Kristen F. Davis Designs
Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co.
Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs
Gabbi from Retro Ranch Reno
Brittany from Brittany Makes
Jesse from Scout & Nimble
Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design
Carolyn from Sweet Chaos Home
Enjoy the fall home tours! There’s some awesome fall inspiration going on!!
This October is getting busy! We have quite a few great things to share in the upcoming weeks. One of them being the Modern + Fresh Fall Home Tour. I’ve been adding some cozy touches in our home between all the other projects we have going on around here. Without giving too much away, here’s a little glimpse at the cozy times going on.
With all the hustle and bustle of the season, I always like to find a break. I am so looking forward to our trip this week. Every fall, we get a group of friends together to visit the American Players Theatre (or APT) in Springreen, Wisconsin.
It’s a great weekend trip because it’s only a couple of hours away. We stay in the quaint surrounding accommodations. This year it’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s boyhood home so that will be interesting. We cook together, drink wine, enjoy the beauty of the season, and take in some fine acting at APT. It’s a weekend of food, fun, and friends and a joy every year. It’s also one of the few times during the year that we get together with everyone and we are all kid free.
If you want to catch up on what’s been going on around here you can see our trip to The Tile Shop or join us for a Pumpkin Parade Link Party.
I’m ducking out early this week, but will be back Monday sharing some more on the blog. Have a fantastic weekend and get out there and enjoy fall!!!
Howdy! So, you saw our October preview yesterday which I’m sure most of those projects will roll into November. A big part of that will involve what we were up to this past weekend. On Saturday, we took a little road trip up to The Tile Shop for a day of learning and fun. Let me just say, The Tile Shop rocks!! It is tile heaven. I was blown away by the selection and knowledge of the staff.
You cross those doors and you are in a world of beautifully tiled spaces. We walked the perimeter and kept oohing and aahing at the show rooms. And our kids thought it was a good time to take a fake shower.
We were greeted at the door by the friendly staff. Lisa, the store manager, was delightful and gave us a tour.
Aren’t those some gorgeous bathrooms? I just love the whole look. I also insisted that Dave should work a beautiful tub like this into our next bathroom remodel.
After our tour, we met with Bob, one of their tile experts, and it was time to start learning. The Tile Shop locations all offer free tiling classes every Saturday at 9:30am. In fact, every staff member is a tile expert.
This is a must take class if you are going to try your hand at a tiling project in your home. We learned what products to use for different tiles and surfaces. This is also a hands-on course. You get to try each step in the tiling process. Dave and I both tried everything. Things like using a wet saw, placing your tile and using spacers, grouting, and so much more. It was pretty amazing.
Bob was a great teacher and even took the time to give us specifics for the tile projects we are doing. We gained some great knowledge and tips that I know we wouldn’t normally get trying to figure it out on our own.
After our class, we met back up with Lisa and started making our selections for our upcoming projects. She was full of great ideas. I went in having a pretty good idea of the look and materials I wanted to use. Here’s a glimpse at what we are going with for our projects. I’m so excited to get started!
That’s just a little peek. We have some great plans in the works! I can’t wait to share more with you and start making some beautiful happen.
Dave and I would like to thank the staff at The Tile Shop Madison, Wisconsin store for their warm welcome and expertise. It was a great experience and we appreciate it so much!!
Today is the day! The Fall Tour has begun. Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co. and Kristen from KFD Designs are our hosts and are kicking things off. Their spaces are amazing!!!! You must check them out!