Friday, 7 March 2014
3 Miracle Workers for Hard Water Stains!
One of the drawbacks to living in an old little house is that we don't have a water softener. Honestly, if it were up to me I would happily spend every cent of my tax return on one, but we rent so that's not a possibility:) When we first moved in the hard water situation didn't seem too bad, but over time it became HORRIBLE. It got to the point that running our dishwasher did more harm than help. Our dishes weren't getting clean, and they started getting a nasty white film covering them that got worse and worse with every wash.
For months we tried everything we could think of to fix the problem and get our clean, nice looking dishes back. We used just about every dishwasher detergent on the market, lemi shine rinses, vinegar, etc. The result? Nothing even came remotely close to touching the hard water stains on our dishes!
It finally got to the point where our hard water stains were so disgusting that we were embarassed to have friends over. I was starting to think that we were going to have to move in order to get our dishes back to normal again. And honestly, the situation bothered me so badly that I even entertained the thought of moving for a minute!
After doing a LOT of research online & speaking with a local dishwasher repairman, I finally found 3 products that have completely SOLVED our hard water problem! Honestly, it was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes! I am still amazed by the fact that our dishes now look as good as they did on the day we bought them!
So, if you have hard water stains on your dishes that are just unbearable, here are 3 products you need to get your hands on:
1. Dishwasher Magic
Have you heard of this stuff? It's amazing! It's a one-time use cleaner and disinfectant. You simply place it in your empty dishwasher and run a cycle. (Depending on how bad the build up is in your dishwasher you might want to use 2 of these puppies- that's what we did.) It removes lime scale, rust, iron, soap scum, grease and food stains that have built up inside your dishwasher. This gives new life to your dishwasher and drastically improves cleaning performance!
2. Citra Charge Dishwasher Scale Remover
Citra Charge packets were a total game changer for my dishes. You simply place a packet in the utensil basket of your dishwasher, load the dishwasher up with dishes, and run a cycle normally. Each Citra Charge packet lasts for 3-4 dishwasher loads.
I was pretty skeptical when I loaded my dishwasher with all of my crusty, disgusting hard water stained dishes. I honestly didn't think it was going to work. I was SHOCKED at the results. Not only did Citra Charge get rid of the film on my dishes, they looked shiny and spotless again! Below are two photos of the same pan lid. The photo on the left was taken before I used Citra Charge, and the photo on the right was taken after going through two dishwasher cycles with Citra Charge.
Before Citra Charge vs. After Citra Charge
3. Citric Acid
I was told that after using Dishwasher Magic & Citra Charge, I should wait a few months until my dishes started getting a lot of hard water build up again, and then simply repeat the process as needed. That seemed foolish to me though! Why let it build up again? Then my husband and I did a little research and found that using Citric Acid in conjunction with your normal dishwasher detergent works wonders when it comes to hard water and keeping your dishes shiny and pretty.
For the past few weeks, I've added a couple of tablespoons of Citric Acid every time I've ran my dishwasher. (1 Tbsp with the detergent in the dispenser and 1 Tbsp in the bottom of the tub.) You guys! My dishes look PERFECT! It's incredible. The end.
After using the citra charge packets & then citric acid in my dishwasher for a month!
Now, go ahead and start cleaning your dishes.
I promise you'll become a believer too!
Any other hard water treating secrets out there we should know about??
Vingear in place of a rinse aid solved our problem. Sparkly clean dishes without a fuss and spotless too (I mix in about 1 tsp of rinse aid with the vinegar). Though our white filmy dishes came from the removal of phosphates from dishwasher detergent more than our hard water.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Decorating on a budget? FREE Vintage Posters!
Artwork can be expensive. Even if you're buying simple prints from websites like etsy or ebay it can really start adding up! Recently I re-decorated my little boy's room and wanted to go with a vintage travel theme for the artwork on the walls. I found an awesome vintage travel poster online, but when I added it to my shopping cart and found that it was a whopping $550.00 I about died! No way was I going to pay that kind of money for a print that was going on my 20 month old son's wall!
Now I was on a personal mission to prove to myself that I could redecorate a space on a very tight budget and it could still be cute!
I started looking around and found this amazing website I had to share! It's called Free Vintage Posters. The name is self-explanatory--- there are hundreds and hundreds of vintage posters- all available to download for FREE! And they've got all kinds: travel, animals, design, food/drink, western, circus, sports, war, advertisements & movies! I ended up downloading a bunch of travel posters, and paying about $4.00 total to get them printed out as 5x7's at a local print shop! Then I popped them in some old wooden picture frames I painted in funky, bright colors and hung them on the wall. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself. It looks so cute and you'd never guess I only spent about 10 bucks on the project!
I'll spend $10.00 over $550.00 + any day. Wouldn't you? Check it out! Here are some of my favorites....
These posters are all so colorful!
Now I'm dying to see a picture of your son's redecorated room! Thanks for the cute idea and the website.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
6 Tips to Help You Create the Perfect Coffee Table Display
In my opinion, one of the most problematic pieces of furniture is the coffee table. It appears to be so minimal and unobtrusive, but talk about a design dilemma! You don't want to go overboard with decor, but you also don't want a boring, bare table either!
So, how much is too much? What kinds of items make good coffee table toppers? Here are 6 tips to help you create the perfect coffee table design......
1. High, Higher, Highest
The first rule of thumb when it comes to decorating coffee tables is to make sure the items you have on display aren't all the same size or height. You want to have a good variety to help create visual interest! Use candlesticks, vases, stacks of books, etc. to create varying heights. Just remember, simple is good. Don't get too carried away that your coffee table becomes a shrine that you can't see over!
2. Read Me
As far as I'm concerned, books are a staple when it comes to coffee table decor. One of the first things a guest in your home notices and flips through are the books on the coffee table. Decorate with books that express who you are and what your family loves. Displaying personal photo books on the coffee table is a great idea too- that way you might actually read them more than once a year!
3. Showcase the Strange!
Use at least one fun, random object in your coffee table display that doesn't traditionally belong there. Not only does this keep things interesting, but it also tends to lead to great conversation with curious guests. The more random and strange, the better! Can you find the quirky objects in the photos below?
4. Keep it Alive
Fresh flowers or plants on your coffee table are a must! Have at least one living, breathing plant in your display to add a good dose of color & to keep things fresh and happy!
5. Break it Up!
A great way to break up the surface and add another layer to your coffee table is to incorporate a pretty tray! They are incredibly functional and can help keep things nice and organized! Trays make great storage compartments for things like remote controls, magazines, candles, etc.
6. Look to Nature
You don't have to look much further than your front door to get a little coffee table inspiration! Use seasonal elements such as pinecones, sea shells, sand, wheat, etc. to create a beautiful display that will coincide with what's happening outside!
Just remember what designer Barbara Barry said. "Artfully arranged, anything can become a thing of beauty."
What's on your coffee table??
Friday, 21 February 2014
The Secret to Making Amazing Cookies
I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. I thoroughly enjoy eating them of course, but I really like making them too! I'm always on the hunt for the very BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe and constantly trying to tweak and perfect my cookie making skills.
In all my years of baking, I've never bought into the idea that you need a Kitchen Aid or a Bosch Mixer to create a delicious cookie. It just seemed kind of ridiculous to me! After all, I've always depended on my trusty little hand mixer to do the job, and not to brag or anything, but I make some pretty awesome cookies!
You guys. This is me swallowing my pride and admitting that for almost TWENTY years my opinions on cookie mixing have been completely and utterly wrong. To all of you who think it doesn't get better than a hand mixer, I promise there is a better way!
I got a Bosch Mixer for Christmas because it's the king of all machines when it comes to bread making. Included with all of the nifty tools that came with my Bosch were cookie paddles. I was skeptical at first, but I was having so much fun playing with my new toy that I decided to give them a try. I didn't expect to see a difference in my cookies, but I was literally BLOWN AWAY at the results. I used the same exact cookie recipe as always, but they were honestly SO MUCH BETTER when I used the cookie paddles to mix the dough! I'm not sure if it has to do with the amount of mixing that goes on, the thickness of the paddle, or what--- anybody have any idea?
What I do know is that I've become completely obsessed. I think I've found an excuse to whip up chocolate chip cookies almost once a week for the past month and I can't envision myself stopping any time soon! So if you want to make yummier cookies- go get yourself some cookie paddles! They're worth every penny.
What do you think? Do I sound like a crazy person, or do you think cookie paddles are miracle workers too?
Linda! I am totally going to try baking my cookies on my stone---- I have one but for some reason I never remember to use it! Can't wait to see the difference! Thanks for the tip!!
You are spot on! I couldn't believe the difference when I first got my cookie paddles. Now I have bought them (Bosch and paddles!) for all four of my daughters so they can enjoy the Bosch bliss! I hope you are baking your cookies on a stone as well because it takes the level up even one more step! Happy mixing!
I too have an AMAZING chocolate chip cookie recipe that is a huge crowd pleaser....I have an artisan kitchen aide (not a great size for bread making) and I love making cookies with it. My recipe makes about 7 dozen cookies and my kitchen aide handles it like a pro! I would like the 6 quart kitchen aide though so that I can make my large bread recipe in it....just can't justify the expense.
I've attempted my chocolate chip cookies with a handmixer. They taste ok, but I can only get one or two batches made before the hand mixer dies. I've gone through at least 10 in my adult life.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
How do you Journal?
One of the things I've learned in 28 years of living, is that sometimes (a lot of the time actually) my memory fails me. There have been moments in my life that were so poignant that I was sure I would never forget a single detail of the experience. As much as I thought it could never happen, many of those experiences have simply become distant and hazy memories. Don't you hate that? It makes my heart hurt!
During the first few months of each new year, I like to take the time to make a photo book documenting all of the meaningful things that happened to my family during the previous year. I'm not good at writing in a journal super regularly, but I do take a lot of pictures, and so this has become the best way for me to keep some sort of tangible personal history.
How do you document the important and memorable moments of your life?
Do you write by hand in an actual journal? Type your history on the computer? Scrapbook? Put together digital photo books?
What works for you? Also, any tips for procrastinators like me on how to stay up to date and journal regularly?
Also, share your favorite online photo book sources!
I'm with Nicole. Not good at scrapbooking at all and not a journal person. My planner and wall calendars, if I didn't have them, I'd be totally lost even on a day to day basis. I have to write it down. My entries serve as a reminder of fun events and some not so fun, like a trip to the dentist for a fill. That's what works best for me.
I am not good at scrapbooking or anything like that. Not a journal person either. I have my planner and my wall calendar that I put everything on, and I keep those. I wish I were better at it!
Friday, 14 February 2014
Decorating with Hearts: Yay or Nay?
Happy Valentine's Day!! I have a confession to make. Heart jewelry of any kind has always kind of scared me. In fact, once a guy gave me a heart necklace and although the notion was very sweet, I seriously considered breaking up with him because it seemed like an easier alternative than actually wearing the necklace around. (Come on you guys- I was in high school. Don't judge.)
It's not that I don't think heart jewelry can be sophisticated and classy- because it definitely can! No, it's mainly because I look like an 8 year old if I try to wear it. If you are one of those people that can pull it off though, power to ya!
Anyway. While heart jewelry isn't really my cup of tea, I actually love the idea of decorating with hearts in the home (and not just in kid's bedrooms)! Whether it's a piece of artwork on the wall, a throw pillow, or upholstery on a chair-- it's fun, unexpected & totally quirky. What do you think? Too juvenile, or kind of cool?? Here's some design inspiration to get you thinking.....
via design sponge
Architectual Digest via the dwelling gawker
in the fun lane via pinterest
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Cute & Free V-day Printables Around The Web
When I was a kid, preparing valentines for everyone in your class at school meant going to the grocery store the night before the big V-day party and buying one of those ready-to-go boxes of princess, dinosour, superhero, or ninja turtles valentines. All you had to do was address them, pop a piece of candy in every envelope, and BAM- you were good to go!
Those were long before the days of the internet, blogs & pinterest--- and I have to say, the pressure is on now folks! Home-made valentines have gotten so much cuter than ever before! Not creative? No worries! The great news is that there are so many darling FREE valentine printables available on the web! So whether you're helping your kids make valentines to take to school, putting together V-day treats for your grandkids, or you just want to impress your co-workers--- you really have no excuse to not pass out fabulous valentines this year! Here is a roundup of some of my favorite FREE printables.....
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
High Point Market Trends Part 3
Here are just a few more noteworthy trends from High Point Market a few months ago that you should know about...
1. Lots of splashes of color
2. Lighter finishes (not as light as maple, but not as dark as merlo)
3. Contemporary furniture, wallpaper, light fixtures & art
via the decorating diva
4. Natural raw wood
5. Mixing colored chairs with tables
6. Upholstered headboards and beds
the decorating diva via pinterest
7. Nail heads on tables, chairs, beds, etc.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Fruit Dip for the Big Game
It doesn’t matter whether you’re cheering for the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks this weekend-- either way, you’re going to want this delicious fruit dip gracing your Super Bowl food table! Let’s be honest- in a few months a lot of us won’t even remember what two teams played in the Super Bowl- but I promise you won’t be able to forget the amazingness of this fruit dip!
If you’re like me and are still feeling a little sick of rich, fatty appetizers from the holidays, you’ve got to try this stuff! I mean, it’s not actually health food, but you eat fruit with it, so that has to count for something right? It only calls for 3 ingredients and it will literally take you 60 seconds to whip up.
Here's what you need:
1 8oz. package cream cheese (I use fat free)
1 7oz. bottle marshmallow creme
3 Tbsp orange juice + a little bit of grated orange rind (I just squeeze an orange, but you can use canned orange juice too)
Simply whip the cream cheese & marshmallow cream together, then add the orange juice & rind, and BAM. You're done!
Plop it in a pretty bowl and cut up some fruit and Voila!
I love this dip! I've made the same kind but not with orange juice. Sound even yummier.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
6 Tips to Help you Clean Out Your Closet
January means 3 things to me:
1. It's freezing! When will it be spring?
2. I Hope I don't fail my New Year's Resolutions.
3. Time to deep clean and de-junk my home.
I don't know if it's the whole idea of starting over in a brand new year, or if after putting away all of my Christmas decorations I'm simply ready to simplify my life- but either way, January tends to be the month that I go through every closet, nook and cranny and get rid of the stuff we've accumulated over the past year that we don't want/need taking up space. As much as I dislike the month of January (no offense anyone), it is actually pretty refreshing to get things organized!
houzz via pinterest
If you're like me, going through your closet is the hardest part. It's completely overwhelming, especially when you have attachment issues like I do to clothing & shoes! So, here are 6 tips to help make going through your closet a successful project--
1. Get a friend or family member to act as a "voice of reason"- this person can't have emotional attachments to anything in your closet or it will backfire!
2. If you haven't worn it in more than a year, toss it. (Unless it's your wedding dress)
3. If it doesn't fit, toss it. Don't hold on to clothes that are too big (duh)- and if you have to hang on to a pair of "skinny" jeans to help you with your weight loss goals for the year, just keep one or two pairs. No use in wasting space holding onto something you can't even wear.
4. If you wouldn't buy it at the store right now, toss it.
5. If it's out of style, toss it.
6. Get rid of something in your closet every time you buy something new! That way it your closet will never get overpacked.
Hey there! I'm Andrea, and I love art, travel, trying new restaurants, and being a mama to my baby boy. My degree is in Advertising/Marketing, but writing, furniture, design, and making things beautiful are what I enjoy dabbling in most! Here at Room to Talk you'll find current design trends, DIY home decor projects, design tips, recipes, and awesome RC Willey giveaways. Thanks for reading! xoxo
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