Thursday, 17 April 2014

Grandma's Potato Salad

I love so many things about Easter.  One of which is our traditional Easter menu we seem to have every year-- honeybaked ham, homemade rolls, fruit, and best of all- my grandma's potato salad.  I've tried many potato salads in my day, and this is hands down the best.  It could have something to do with the fact that I've loved it ever since I was a little girl- but it really is delicious.  Just a word of caution: Even if you follow the recipe, it's always better when my grandma makes it!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Grandma's Potato Salad

In large bowl, dice:
8 white cooked potatoes
8 hard boiled eggs
Green onions to taste
 
Mix together and add to potatoes:
 
3/4 bottle of Miracle Whip
canned milk to thin
2 T. Sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. mustard
1/2 t. celery salt, or celery seed
pepper to taste
 
Tips:  Cook potatoes early and let them cool slowly.  Everything can be cut up early, but I like to wait and mix the sauce not too long before served.  
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Andie at 1:49 PM 0 Comments

Monday, 14 April 2014

HELP! Kids Sharing Rooms: Do's and Don'ts?

Since we live in a tiny house, our two babies (my 22 month old son and our newborn baby girl) are going to be sharing a room.  I always get mixed reactions when I tell people this.  They either say, "You are totally CRAZY" or "Oh, we did that with our kids and it worked out great!"  I'm hoping that it turns out to be a postive experience and we all get on a regular sleep pattern eventually:)

As far as kids sharing rooms go, I personally think it's a great idea.   I shared a bedroom with my little sister until I was 12.  As most kids do, we drew an imaginary line down the center of the room at times and complained about sharing, but when I finally got my own room I actually missed her.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of us talking while lying in our bunk beds at night.  

When I found out we were adding a little girl to the mix, I decided I wanted to re-do the nursery and make it more gender neutral.  I didn't want it looking too boyish, or too girlish.   Here are some of my favorite photos that inspired me as I planned out my new nursery design..... they are amazing!

By the way, any advice from you seasoned parents on how to successfully have two babies in one room would be greatly appreciated!! What are the do's and don'ts that you've learned?

  

via pinterest

 

  

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via pinterest

 

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via pinterest

  

 

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via pinterest

 

 

 

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Posted by Andie at 2:49 PM 2 Comments
Hannah(4 days ago)

Our kids have always shared. When we had just two, a boy and girl, like you. They shared until they were 4 and 2 years old. Then we moved and Samuel, the oldest got his own room and the girls shared (3 and 0). The girls still share and Samuel sleeps in the room next to them and there is not a door that divides them because of the funky layout of the basement, it's just a doorframe. So they actually stay up and talk across the wall or sometimes Jocelyn will go into Sam's room on his bed and chat before they sleep.

The biggest challenge was when Samuel was 2.5 and Jocelyn was about 8 months and we sleep trained in the middle of the night. Samuel was in a "come out of the bedroom" phase so we actually locked his door for a time. Then when Jocelyn would cry in the night and we had her "cry it out" it actually didn't bother Samuel, in fact, he's the best sleeper now probably because he's used to noise. Some nights it did wake him up and was a challenge. But they didn't share until she was about 8 months old because we lived with parents, etc before that. She slept in a closet, I think, when we all shared a room in my in-laws basement. It all works out. Some night will definitely get hard....like when the toddler climbs into the crib to be with the baby and wakes her. We had Samuel on a twin mattress right on the floor and Jocelyn in the crib until she learned to climb out at about 18 months then we turned it into a toddler bed. They still like to camp out together and be close, at age 9 and 7, because they were so close for so many years before.

Hannah(4 days ago)

Our kids have always shared. When we had just two, a boy and girl, like you. They shared until they were 4 and 2 years old. Then we moved and Samuel, the oldest got his own room and the girls shared (3 and 0). The girls still share and Samuel sleeps in the room next to them and there is not a door that divides them because of the funky layout of the basement, it's just a doorframe. So they actually stay up and talk across the wall or sometimes Jocelyn will go into Sam's room on his bed and chat before they sleep.

The biggest challenge was when Samuel was 2.5 and Jocelyn was about 8 months and we sleep trained in the middle of the night. Samuel was in a "come out of the bedroom" phase so we actually locked his door for a time. Then when Jocelyn would cry in the night and we had her "cry it out" it actually didn't bother Samuel, in fact, he's the best sleeper now probably because he's used to noise. Some nights it did wake him up and was a challenge. But they didn't share until she was about 8 months old because we lived with parents, etc before that. She slept in a closet, I think, when we all shared a room in my in-laws basement. It all works out. Some night will definitely get hard....like when the toddler climbs into the crib to be with the baby and wakes her. We had Samuel on a twin mattress right on the floor and Jocelyn in the crib until she learned to climb out at about 18 months then we turned it into a toddler bed. They still like to camp out together and be close, at age 9 and 7, because they were so close for so many years before.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Just One Piece of Furniture

Today's guest Post is by Laurie Waite.  Laurie is one of the craftiest women I know.  Whether she's designing her own jewelry, sewing halloween costumes for her nieces and nephews, or decorating her house- she's always got a project, and you can bet that it'll turn out fabulous.  She also is the expert when it comes to new product at RC Willey because she works in our buying department.  Thanks Laurie!

 

I recently embarked on an update for my living room.  My furniture budget wasn’t as much as I would have liked, but I was determined that just one new piece of furniture and a few minor changes would be worth it.  I repainted the living room and decided my one purchase would be a NEW SOFA.

This is the one.  Isn’t it so great?

 

 

I had it delivered and it couldn’t possibly be more perfect!  The RCWilley delivery drivers were friendly, professional and had my sofa unwrapped and in the right spot in no time!!  I am thrilled with my one new piece of furniture.  It has transformed my living room!

If you are looking to update your living room, I invite you to check out our new upholstery catalog.  I think any of these sofas would be the one perfect item to inject your living room with new life!!

 


CIA Oatfield 3948160

 

 

 

 
JLS Diana 3918327

 


HMR Crysall 3931749

 

 


HMR Churchill 3944956

 


JLS Cassi 3917673

 

 

 


JLS Wesley 3918432

 

 


JLS Clarice 3917835

 

 

 

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Posted by Andie at 11:26 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What's Your Design Pet Peeve?

Everyone's got design pet peeves.  It doesn't matter if you're a design professional or not!  We all have those little things that make us cringe when we walk into a room.  After picking the brains of a bunch of friends and family members, I've compiled a list of thirteen common design pet peeves.  In no particular order, here are some things that seem to bug a lot of people...

1. Overly Formal Rooms.  They feel sterile and you don't feel like you can sit down anywhere, let alone breathe!

via houzz

 2. Sofas that have too many pillows.  Where are you supposed to sit?

via pinterest

 

3. Rooms that are decorated with too much "stuff".  Clutter is not relaxing- it's nerve wracking!  You can get a headache just trying to take everything in!

 

via design sponge

 

4. Rooms that are too modern.  They feel sterile instead of homey.

 

via pinterest

 

5. Empty picture frames hung on the wall.  What exactly is the point?  

 

via pinterest

 

6. Vinyl lettering sayings all over the wall.  

 

via houzz

 

7. Decorating with too much animal fur.

 

via pinterest

 

8. Too many dark colors together in a room.  It just looks gaudy.

 

via pinterest

 

9. Desks covered with too much "stuff".  Where are you supposed to get your work done?



via pinterest

 

10. Enough with the fake taxidermy and animal heads!

 

via pinterest

 

11. Those really expensive clear plastic ghost chairs.  Why buy furniture if you can barely even see it??

 

via pinterest

 

12. When the TV is hung too high to watch comfortably.  I'd rather not get neck problems, thanks.

 

via houzz

13. Too many ugly fake plants.  Yuck.

 

via pinterest

 

Do you agree with any of these?

What are your design pet peeves?  I'd love to hear!!

 

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Posted by Andie at 11:50 AM 2 Comments
Sharon(1 week ago)

Pictures hung way too high with empty space below them. Double whammy when they are crooked also.

Ellen(2 weeks ago)

Really, my pet peeve is with sofas & chairs. They are mostly built so low that any occupant cannot easily stand up without extensive torso-leaning. Considering that many people have different legs - some shorter - some longer - why can't buyers have a choice of seat-level-height when buying a sofa or a chair? Really !!!! One should be able to stand straight up from the front edge of any seat, just by using their thigh/calf muscles, and a slight forward tilt of the head or shoulder, without having to exert major bodyweight-thrust just to get up from a seat.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thank Heaven for Little Girls!!

From a design perspective, it doesn't get much sweeter than nurseries for baby girls.
Aren't they just precious?
I mean seriously.  I can't even handle the cuteness! 

Well, since we are talking babies...
The party is about to get a little crazier at our house in the next week or so:)
I am over the moon to announce that we're expecting a little baby girl!  Any day now!
We. Can't. Wait.

 Between getting the nursery ready (more on that to come), shopping for baby girl clothes (nobody told me how dangerous it is!), and helping my 22 month old son get ready to be a big brother--- let's just say it's been a crazy few months.  Thanks for being so patient with me you guys! 

And now, let's all just take a moment to drool over these gorgeous baby girl nurseries......

 

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via pinterest

 
 

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Posted by Andie at 2:49 PM 4 Comments
Sharlene(3 weeks ago)

You life will be so full of joy, girls or boys. But girls rooms are more fun. I'm very happy for you.

Thia(3 weeks ago)

Congrats I know you'll enjoy her

Rachna(3 weeks ago)

Heartiest Congratulations ! These nurseries are adorable.

Kathy(3 weeks ago)

Congratulations to you and your family!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

DIY: Paint Swatch Art

Does anyone else think little paint swatches are as cute as I do?  I am absolutely fascinated by them.  Even if I'm not planning on painting anything, I often find myself in the paint isle of stores just oohing and aahing over all of the beautiful vibrant colors.

While paint swatches are considered useless garbage to most people, I'm always trying to come up with ways to use them creatively around my house!  A few weeks ago, I got a hankering to make a piece of colorful art for our nursery--- I picked up a bunch of paint swatches, pulled out my scissors and got to work.  An hour later, I was pretty happy with the results!  If you're looking for a fun, inexpensive art project (kids would especially love this), look no further! 

Here's what you'll need:

paint swatches- the more colors the better!
poster board or canvas
scissors
triangle template (or any other shape for that matter)
double sided foam adhesive stickers (or a glue stick)
matted picture frame

Directions:

1. Round up a variety of paint swatches.  I used different shades and tints of the same color, but the sky is the limit as far as colors go!
2. Cut out a triangle template, and then use it to cut out a bunch of colorful trianges from the paint swatches.
3. Arrange the triangles on a poster board or canvas however you'd like.  I did 7 rows with 8 triangles per row.  
4. Once the triangles are exactly where you want them, back them with the double sided foam stickers and stick them to the poster board or canvas (this will give the triangles a 3-D effect).  You can get technical and use a ruler to be extremely precise, or you can just eyeball it like I did.  I didn't want mine to look too perfect, so I went with a more "thrown together" look.  
5. That's it!  Pop the poster board into a matted frame and hang it up on your wall!  

  

 

 

 

 

What kinds of projects have you done with paint swatches?

 

 

 

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Posted by Andie at 4:39 PM 0 Comments

Monday, 17 March 2014

Green with Envy

In honor of St. Patty's day we're focusing on the color green!  In design, green often symbolizes balance, stability, renewal, growth, nature and wealth.  Green is fascinating because it can be warm or cool, depending on the amount of blue & yellow in the hue.

Green has some pretty interesting genetics.  Blue and yellow couldn't be much more different if they tried.  Blue typically represents authority, efficiency, productivity, complex thinking, and tends to have a calming, soothing effect.  Yellow represents happiness, cheerfulness, energy and vigor!  Obviously, green is a complex color with a lot of emotional possibilities! 

Whether you prefer soothing or vibrant, you're sure to find a green that fits the bill!  From kelly to olive, to emerald to lime, you can make just about any green look fantastic in your home!  Here are some rooms that are sure to make you green with envy....

 

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 via houzz 

 

 

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via pinterest

 

 


via houzz

 

 


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via houzz

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Posted by Andie at 1:48 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World

Remember when I posted about cookie paddles and I said that I'm always on the hunt for the best chocolate chip recipe in the entire world?  I AM CONFIDENT THAT I HAVE FOUND IT!!  I got the recipe from a friend- and let me tell you, they are to die for.  No, really though.  I've probably made hundreds of different chocolate chip cookie recipes ever since I started making cookies when I was 8 years old.  Over the years I've had favorites, but I've never actually been able to say that I had found the very best homemade chocolate chip cookie in the world.
 
Until now.  BAM.  This is it.  These cookies are amazing.  They are wonderful right out of the oven, and they are still soft 6 days later (they hardly ever make it that long without getting eaten though).  Seriously, you just have to make these and see for yourself!  I don't think I'll ever use another chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I live!
 
Here's what you'll need:
 
 
 
 
 
Kellee's Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 sticks crisco (If you don't have the sticks, 2 cups normal crisco is fine)
4 eggs
Blend together.  
Then add and mix:
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
 
In separate bowl, mix:
2 tsp. baking soda
6 tsp. hot water
Once combined, add to bowl with everything else
 
Then add:
5.5 cups flour (one at a time)
1 package milk chocolate chips
 
*Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes  (I prefer my cookies to come out looking a little golden, so I think 11-12 minutes is the perfect amount of baking time.  Just do whatever you like!)
 
 
*It is very important that you follow the directions precisely!  
 
Here's a visual for you:
 
 
Step 1: Blend crisco, brown sugar, sugar and eggs together.  
 
 
 
Step 2: Add salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  
Step 3: In separate bowl, mix baking soda and water together.  I've been told that the hot water helps activate the baking soda. Once combined, add it to everything else.
 
 
 
Step 4: Add flour (one cup at a time), followed by chocolate chips.
Step 5: Eat cookie dough until you are sick! 
 
 
Step 6: Roll generous balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
Step 7: Put half of the dough mixture in a ziploc bag to put in the freezer so that you can A) Snack on cookie dough whenever you want, or B) Throw cookie dough in the oven at a moment's notice when you're in a bind and need to produce a home-baked treat STAT for some event you forgot about:)
Step 8: Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes ( Or 11-12 if you're like me!)
 
 
 
 
Step 9: ENJOY!!!  There is no way you'll be able to stop at just one.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
*MY NOTES:
- I've recently become a major believer in the power of cookie paddles (used on a Kitchen Aid or Bosch Mixer), so if you have those use them! If not, don't stress.  They are still good when mixed with a hand mixer.
- The recipe calls to cook them for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven, but personally I like to cook them for 11-12 minutes and take them out once they've browned just a tiny bit.  Just watch them close and go with your preference!

 

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Posted by Andie at 7:48 AM 3 Comments
Janice(3 weeks ago)

You should not eat raw cookie dough. I know we have since childhood, but there are many warnings about that now. If you intend to eat some raw, use pasteurized eggs instead of fresh

TOM(1 month ago)

You're right, these are awesome chocolate chip cookies! I had to try out my new GE gas range that I purchased from RC Willey and thought this would be a great opportunity. I followed your recipe and my cookies turned out exactly like yours. Thanks, This was very easy to do, even for someone like me that turns on the oven about twice a year.

Kathy(1 month ago)

I'm going to try these tonight! They sound yummy!!!

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!

Perfection!!

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??

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Posted by Andie at 4:29 PM 2 Comments
tina(2 weeks ago)

Where do you buy citric acid? I have this problem on the bottom of my fridge ice dispenser.

Lela(1 month ago)

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....

 

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Posted by Andie at 12:23 PM 2 Comments
Gerald(1 month ago)

These posters are all so colorful!

Angela(1 month ago)

Now I'm dying to see a picture of your son's redecorated room! Thanks for the cute idea and the website.

Welcome!

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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