Posted by Andie on September 22, 2018
With school in session now, our mudroom is getting a lot more use than it had in the previous summer months. I'm on a mission to simplify things- I feel like if my mudroom is organized well, it will make life much smoother. Between backpacks, school papers, jackets, dance uniforms, shoes, and gym & music bags it's a packed space! How is your mudroom working for you? Is it helping you to feel organized, or is it making you feel like a crazy person? Here are some beautiful mudrooms to get some inspiration as you make adjustments to your own....
via laurel & wolf
Posted by Andie on September 21, 2018
I love the craziness of summer, but I'm always happy to fall into a routine once fall rolls around the corner. There is something about the start of a new school year that makes me start craving and yearning for more organization and structure in my life. What better place to start incorporating organization than in your home? Here are 7 simple things you can do around your home to help you feel more organized and put together on the regular...
1. Have a place to hang your keys
I would be LOST if I didn't have a hook for my keys. My keys were always floating around between my purse, the kitchen counter, my jacket, the sofa, etc. I can't even tell you how many minutes (maybe hours) of my life I started saving once we got a dedicated key hook by the door.
2. Get a bin/basket to hold your mail
Mail is one of the biggest culprits at my house for creating CLUTTER. It always ends up on the kitchen counter, the floor, the sofa (maybe mail and keys are more alike than I thought?), or on the mudroom bench. If it's the same for your family, get a dedicated mail bin to keep the mess at bay.
3. Get storage for your bathroom toiletries
It's amazing how beautiful ordinary things like cotton balls, q tips, soap, and dental floss can look if it's tucked away nicely in pretty storage containers. It will also help you keep your bathroom clean!
4. Place baskets around your house that hold diapers/wipes
If you aren't in the diapers/wipes phase of life (parents or grandparents with littles around) you can go ahead and skip this tip. If you do have little ones, you know how frustrating it can be to have to walk up a long staircase in search of a diaper (I know, first world problems for sure). Solution? Make sure you have a well stocked diaper storage basket on every floor of the house so that you're prepared to clean up when accidents strike in no time!
5. Get baskets/bins to hold shoes by the door
Shoes are one of my worst nightmares when it comes to keeping a clean home. They are everywhere! All the time! If you don't have a dedicated home for them near the doorway, GAME OVER. In our family, each child has their own shoe basket, and it's made a world of a difference.
6. Find a large basket to hold blankets in the tv room
We are a family that loves to snuggle. When we have family movie nights, we have no less than about 12 blankets out! I love it, but it can be exhausting trying to keep our tv room from looking like a bomb went off. Solution? I have a HUGE basket that I literally throw all the blankets in (no folding required). Out of sight, out of mind!
7. Get containers to keep snacks organized in the pantry
Between making lunches to send to school, and hungry children and neighbors who are always looking for a snack, I've got a lot of food in my pantry. It's amazing how much better my pantry feels when everything is put away in pretty, clear containers- it makes it easy to see what I've got on the shelf at any given moment!
What little organization tips to do you have??
Posted by Andie on September 20, 2018
Lighting- both natural & artificial, is everything when it comes to interior design! First and foremost, for the obvious reason of allowing us to see and appreciate color, patterns and discerning elements of design. In addition, lighting can also play a huge role in creating a certian ambiance or mood for a space. It's definitely not a factor you want to ignore!
Natural light, or light from the sun, is pretty self explanatory. But when it comes to artificial light, things get a tad more complicated. Nowdays, there are so many different kinds & types of light bulbs, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. It can be confusing to remember all of it! Below are several awesome lighting guides to help you keep it all straight. You'll learn about lumens vs. watts, color temperature, and light bulb types. I actually couldn't believe how much I learned from these, and hope you will too!
Posted by Andie on September 19, 2018
Posted by Andie on September 18, 2018
Some people are morning people, but I am not one of those people. I've come to accept that fact, but the struggle is still definitely real when it comes to getting up to get a workout in, overseeing children getting ready and feeding them breakfast, packing lunches, and then sending them out the door on time for school! If you would have told me a few months ago that I'd somehow manage to feed my children homemade blueberry pancakes (their favorite) every morning before school this year I wouldn't have believed you for a second. But it's true! Here's the best hot breakfast hack I've ever found....
USE YOUR FREEZER!!!
This idea might not sound revolutionary to you, but it was to me when it came to breakfast! My son loves pancakes, but who has time to make homemade pancakes every morning? Not me! So I started making them ahead of time, and it was a total game changer.
Simply make a double or triple batch of your favorite pancakes, or waffles.
Then, take the time to wrap them individually (you don't want them to get freezer burn) with tin foil.
Place those babies in a couple gallon size ziplock bags, and throw them in your freezer.
Every morning when you grab a pancake or two out of the freezer, you can pat yourself on the back for being such an awesome person and providing a hot breakfast for your kids, your spouse, or just yourself!
To heat up, take off the tin foil, place on a microwave-safe plate, and DEFROST for about 2-3 minutes, followed by about 20 seconds normal cooking in the microwave. And there you have it..... a hot breakfast every morning with about ZERO effort. The end.
Posted by Andie on September 17, 2018
Is there anything better to kids than playdough? I submit to you that there is not. As a parent, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I don't make it available all the time for my kids to play with, but when I pull it out all of the squeals of excitement make the mess totally worth it. While playdough is super inexpensive to buy, I think it's even more fun to involve your children and make it! It's a great, interactive way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, and then the bonus is they get to play with what they created for months and months!
Here is a great homemade playdough recipe...
Homemade Playdough via I heart Naptime
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 4 teaspoons cream of tarter
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
- Food coloring, optional
- Quart sized bags
Stir together the flour, salt and cream of tarter in a large pot. Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, add in the the color now as well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon sized bag or onto wax paper. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands. Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to PLAY.
Store the play dough inside the bags once done to keep soft. Keeps for up to 3 months.
Posted by Andie on September 16, 2018
Beautiful, quality furniture is a great investment that can often times be handed down from generation to generation. When you spend a good amount of money on, or are given valuable furniture pieces, you want to make sure that you are taking care of them properly, so that they last for years to come. How are you doing when it comes to caring for your furniture?
Today, we are tackling the topic of dusting. Not only do you want to dust your furniture on the regular to keep it in great shape, but it's actually also good for your health! Studies have shown that it can even reduce allergies! As most of you know, keeping your house dust free is easier said than done sometimes. Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to dusting your home.....
1. Start at the top, and move to the bottom
In order to actually get rid of the dust in a room, you've got to start at the top. First, dust ceiling fans, crown molding, etc, and work your way down to dusting the furniture. The dust you're removing will settle in the lower areas of the room as you clean. Make sure to vacuum very last so that you get everything!
2. Use a good furniture cleaner, and a microfiber cloth
Using the right kind of cloth will make all the difference. While it might be more convenient to use an old towel, pick yourself up a microfiber electrostatic cloth. They are so much more effective than other towels because they pick up dust particles and actually remove them from most surfaces instead of simply spreading the dust around. Spray the cleaner onto the furniture, and rub in circular motions with a clean, slightly damp microfiber cloth. You can then wipe down with a dry cloth afterwards.
3. Use an ostrich feather duster
For difficult to reach places like ceilings and high corners, chandeliers, high window sills, etc. use an ostrich feather duster. They develop a static charge and hold onto dust rather than spreading it around like traditional feather dusters.
4. Wipe Things Down
Take the time to wipe down walls, paintings, blinds, light fixtures and other frequently used items. They aren't always the obvious culprit when it comes to collecting dust, but wiping them down regularly will make a big difference in the overall dust situation in your home.
5. Wash your bedding and pillow cases
I am a firm believer in washing all of the bedding in my home WEEKLY in HOT water on the sanitation cycle (this kills dust mites) with a good, heavy detergent. Not only does it feel nice to sleep in clean sheets, but it also keeps your bed relatively dust-free.
6. Clean your air ducts and change your furnace and air filters regularly
Dust and debris collect in a home's air system, and then they are blown right back back into your house when you turn on the air conditioning or heat. Cleaning your air ducts every year or so will help! Also, don't forget about those furnace and air filters! I can actually tell a huge difference when my air filters are changed out regularly (preferably every few months)- it's amazing how much better I can breathe! Pick one that has a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating.
7. Try to Keep a Clean House-
This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more 'stuff' you have lying around, the more dust you'll accumulate! Make sure everything has a place, and try to keep items put away in their homes as much as possible.
Posted by Andie on September 15, 2018
We are getting ready to welcome a baby girl to our family next month! I'm due in October, and I realized yesterday that I need to get things going with our nursery situation ASAP. When I had my last baby we were living in a tiny apartment in Washington D.C., and our baby got less than a closet to call his own (3 kids in a 1,000 square foot apartment was challenging, at best!) Now, we actually have a dedicated nursery and I can't wait to get decorating! I'm planning out paint, wallpaper, furniture, etc, and here are some of the beautiful baby girl nurseries I'm using as inspiration....
If you're in the baby market as well, check out R.C. Willey's great selection of nursery furniture!
Posted by Andie on September 14, 2018
Can I let you in on a little secret?? Everybody knows that RC Willey carries furniture, electronics, and appliances...but did you know they carry awesome accessories like throw pillows too? I bet you didn't! Truthfully, I almost forgot my own self. I've been scouring the internet for throw pillows and having no luck, and then it's like a light bulb went on and I thought to check RC Willey (duh! I write blogs for them! How come I didn't think to look there sooner?) The thing is, they aren't just kind of okay either---- they are really, really gorgeous! And even better- they are available online!
Fall is quickly approaching, and I'm looking forward to throwing a bunch of cozy, neutral throw pillows on my sectional- and RC Willey has so many that fit the bill! I'm loving so many of them, that I'm having a hard time making decisions! Check out some of my personal favorites.....
Check out all of RC Willey's throw pillows to find your own favorites for a cozy fall!
Posted by Andie on September 13, 2018
I don't care how organized and put together you are; everybody has a junk drawer! Am I right? Your junk drawer may look a lot better than mine, but we've all got 'em. And the truth of the matter is, most of our junk drawers could probably use a little tender love & care, or maybe even a total refresh. If it looks like a bomb exploded every time you open your junk drawer, this post is for you! Here are some simple steps that will help you create an organized, beautiful looking multi-use drawer in 20 minutes or less....
1. Empty everything out
The only way to properly clean out your junk drawer is to dump all of the contents out. Every last thing. Once everything is has been unloaded stop for a moment and admire your drawer's emptiness.
2. Dust or vacuum the drawer
Before you start loading items back in, make sure you are starting with a clean slate. Grab a dust cloth, or a vacuum and clean that puppy out.
3. Throw half of the drawer's contents away
This might be a bit of an exageration, but I'm being pretty serious. There's a good chance there are lots of loose papers, take-out menus, junk mail, etc that can go straight to the garbage. Also, if you have items in there that you haven't looked at or used in a year, throw them away immediately- you don't need them!
4. Sort the leftover items into similar groupings
Start making little piles. Put all of the post-it notes together, all of the pens together, glue sticks, markers, keys, etc.
5. Invest in some organizers
This is CRUCIAL. Every single time I've ever tried to organize a drawer without organizing bins or aids of some sort, the project has completely failed after a week tops. They don't have to be fancy or expensive, but they DO have to be functional. Organizers will be a game changer when it comes to keeping your junk drawer from getting junky!
6. Put it all Together
It might be a junk drawer, but that doesn't mean it can't look pretty! Here are some examples...