Upcycling – How To Use and Repurpose Sundry Household Items

It usually fills slowly, over time, but you’re steadily adding to it every month. It’s that box – the one that is the catch-all for the miscellaneous items around the house that don’t get used anymore. There’s a good chance that you even still like some of them, but after a couple of years of no use, it seems silly to keep them around. Your goal is to drop off the box at the local donation center once it is full, but that’s an errand that too easily put off. Perhaps that a good thing, because we’ve got some suggestions for how to put those things to good use by giving them a new purpose!

Dessert and cakes stands: Set on your vanity, bathroom counter, or craft table. Desert stands make for a beautiful display of jewelry, accessories, perfume. Cakes stands are a nifty way toassemble a collection of bottled art supplies, such as acrylic paints.

Shot glasses: The tall skinny ones are super for organizing and displaying those expensive makeup brushes you invested in. They are also ideal for specialty pens and markers that you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle of the common stuff. Short shot glasses work well for painting too, but in this case you can dispense various paint colors in them and not run the risk of accidently mixing the colors as might happen on a palette or tray.

Old metal funnels: Flip them over and insert taper candles. The wide base will ensure that the candle doesn’t fall over, and if the wax drips on them it’s highly likely that they’ll look even better.

Silver, gold, or brass candle sticks: If you’re a modern gal you may have switched over to battery run faux flames to add ambience. But it’s a shame to let go of something solid and traditional, like heirloom candle sticks that might even have sentimental value. So, use them to hold and display bracelets and watches!

Hard sided sunglass cases: Avoid the ‘cord drama’ caused when you toss chargers and earphones in your handbag. Simply wind them up and store them in a sunglass case, and they’ll emerge from your bag without tangles.

Why We Love Laminate Flooring For The Kitchen

Laminate flooring is small slice of genius when it comes to kitchen flooring. Its best attributes are all ideal for a kitchen that is a busy central hub in the home. It is the space where adults, kids, guests, and pets all converge and inevitably make some kind of mess. Children pour milk into the cereal bowl too fast and splash it all over the floor. Pets dance around excitedly hoping for a treat and add a lot of wear to the floor in the process. Dinner party guests accidentally tip their appetizer plate and the sauce creeps underfoot.  If this sounds like your kitchen and you’re getting ready to remodel we recommend you take a serious look at a laminate flooring option. Why?

To begin with, modern laminate flooring is designed to resemble real wood or tile and the effect is convincing. Using laminate doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and good taste. Next, a huge benefit of laminate is that it is very easy to clean. To care for it just be sure to quickly clean up any spills, sweep it regularly, and use a damp mop to maintain the luster of the surface. If you do this consistently, upkeep of the floor over time will be a piece of cake because laminate flooring is resistant to stains and scratches.

It happens to be exceptionally durable because of the way it is constructed. It is comprised of four layers that achieve both strength and aesthetics. They are: a melamine wear layer, a high-resolution photo, a dense core board, and a melamine backing layer. There is one detrimental substance that compromises the integrity of the flooring and that is dirt/sand. It is very abrasive and if it is on the floor for extended lengths of time it will scratch it.

Another benefit of laminate flooring is the ease with which it can be installed! It’s amazingly simple.  Both glue-free and glue options are available. These are applied over the subfloor and an underlayment (sometimes two underlayment layers). 

The last reason we’ll share, although there are certainly more, is the fact that there are so many options. Once you start exploring the details of this type of flooring you’ll find that it’s available in a wide variety of colors, textures, shapes, and finishes. All things considered, it’s an excellent choice for a household where function is the number one priority in the kitchen!

If you would like to read more about this material, visit How Laminate Is Made.  Make sure to visit us online or in person if you have any questions about the process or how to get started with this amazing option for your home!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

During the fall months, meals become heartier for most families.  But with busy schedules, not everyone has time to make complex meals.  This recipe for Chicken and Dumplings is a filling and warm but requires very little time and is ready for you when you walk in the door! Imagine the stress of your day rolling off your shoulders as you finish your busy day and walk into your home to the smell of a meal. 

Pair this with a crusty loaf of bread and a side salad for a wonderful home-cooked meal tonight!

Ingredients:

  1. 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  2. 1 can of Chicken Broth 14.5 oz.
  3. 2-10 oz. cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
  4. 1 can Creamed Corn
  5. 1 can of Biscuits 16.3 oz.
  6. 1/2 White Onion chopped
  7. 1/8  tsp. Garlic Powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. Salt
  9. 1/4 tsp. Pepper

 

Instructions:

Place the chicken breast in the crock pot. Cover chicken with broth, soup, creamed corn and chopped onion. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, salt and pepper then place the lid onto the crock pot.

Cook on high for three hours. After three hours, spoon the chicken out of the pot and shred it, using two forks. After the chicken is shredded place it back into the crock pot.

Cut the biscuit dough into bite size pieces. Place biscuit pieces in the pot and cook on high for an hour.

Now you are ready to serve this delicious comfort food!

Ways To Update Your Space

Is your interior tired looking? If so there are some easy ways you can spruce it up! You do not necessarily need to redecorate the entire space.

Rearrange shelves, china cabinets and book cases. Simply rearrange the items. If you like you can add or remove items to give your space a more updated look. Play around with various mixtures of items while rearranging.  This will ensure that the end result is your favorite.

Re-evaluate your color palette. You may need to streamline your colors by using white or another monochromatic color with only one or two pops of color. Use patterns with care. If you are using a bold pattern, keep other patterns and textures more subdued.

Emphasize vertical lines. This will elongate your ceiling height and make your space feel larger. One way to achieve this is to hang mirrors vertically. Install drapery that hangs down to the floor. This will give the appearance of a higher ceiling and a polished look. Once hung, you can let the drapery hang naturally or use interesting tiebacks. This method can also be used for shower curtains to produce a new look in the bathroom.

Organize your stuff. If you have items sitting out, find a particular place for them. For example, keep smaller items in decorative baskets or boxes or use a tray to keep television remotes together. Once you have organized clutter, your space will look updated and clean.

Switch around your accents. For example move smaller tables from one room to another and see how they look. Swap out accent pillows and throws from one room to another. Move rugs around within the room. Play around with your furniture layout. This is a great way to achieve a fresh look!

Hang new artwork or switch out artwork from one room to another. The end result of these exercises is to breathe new life into a tired space. It is much easier to do than one would imagine. Have fun and think outside the box, then enjoy your new interior!

Kid Friendly Home Accesories

Children in the home bring joy, laughter and fun.  However, they can also be tough on smaller items throughout the home.  Just because you have children, doesn’t mean that you can’t have interesting accessories around your home. Find out what accents are great for children!

A globe is an attractive accessory and a great learning tool for kids. Teach your child about geography and far off places. They will have a great time examining the globe and imagining trips or adventures. Maps are also attractive as art work when framed. These are also great for starting conversations with kids!

Cute stepping stools are perfect to help children with chores. Find a fun stool that your child can stand on and help wash dishes or do laundry. They can also use it to stand on to help with the dusting. Foot stools are available for all décor styles, so have fun shopping around!

Textured rugs are great for providing a soft area for children to play on the floor. Kids love to be stimulated by tactile objects. Look for a shaggy area rug that your child can lay on while watching a movie or playing with toys. Faux hair rugs offer a unique touch to your room while inviting children to experience the softness.

Tea sets are always a fascination. Real and pretend tea parties are a source of endless hours of fun and entertainment. Set up an accent table with an attractive tea set and let your children have tea parties as often as they like. If they desire a real tea party, set out tasty treats and serve with the tea – complete the setup with milk and sugar. Let them have fun setting the table and arranging the treats themselves.  Don’t forget the chance to practice good table manners!

Game tables are a wonderful addition because they have multiple uses. They can entertain children and double as an accent table. Many game tables are available that can transform from a game table to an accent table. Bumper pool tables are a blast for kids and adults and chess and checkers tables are good for teaching concentration!

What is your favorite way to incorporate fun accessories into your home décor?

Kid Friendly Home Accessories

Children in the home bring joy, laughter and fun.  However, they can also be tough on smaller items throughout the home.  Just because you have children, doesn’t mean that you can’t have interesting accessories around your home. Find out what accents are great for children!

A globe is an attractive accessory and a great learning tool for kids. Teach your child about geography and far off places. They will have a great time examining the globe and imagining trips or adventures. Maps are also attractive as art work when framed. These are also great for starting conversations with kids!

Cute stepping stools are perfect to help children with chores. Find a fun stool that your child can stand on and help wash dishes or do laundry. They can also use it to stand on to help with the dusting. Foot stools are available for all décor styles, so have fun shopping around!

Textured rugs are great for providing a soft area for children to play on the floor. Kids love to be stimulated by tactile objects. Look for a shaggy area rug that your child can lay on while watching a movie or playing with toys. Faux hair rugs offer a unique touch to your room while inviting children to experience the softness.

Tea sets are always a fascination. Real and pretend tea parties are a source of endless hours of fun and entertainment. Set up an accent table with an attractive tea set and let your children have tea parties as often as they like. If they desire a real tea party, set out tasty treats and serve with the tea – complete the setup with milk and sugar. Let them have fun setting the table and arranging the treats themselves.  Don’t forget the chance to practice good table manners!

Game tables are a wonderful addition because they have multiple uses. They can entertain children and double as an accent table. Many game tables are available that can transform from a game table to an accent table. Bumper pool tables are a blast for kids and adults and chess and checkers tables are good for teaching concentration!

What is your favorite way to incorporate fun accessories into your home décor?

Amazingly Useful and Versatile Beauty Tricks We Love

Ready to transform yourself from plain to pretty? If so, you will love this list. Every point of advice relies on things you likely already have lying around the house. Even if you don’t, all of the remedy ingredients are very inexpensive. Enjoy!

Vaseline

  • Eye makeup remover
  • Eyelash conditioner
  • Lipgloss
  • Tame split ends
  • Mix with lipstick to create a quick cream blush
  • Lightly gloss onto to teeth to prevent lipstick from sticking to them
  • Rub on pulse points, underneath perfume to make it last longer
  • Soften knees and elbows

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Run it through hair once a month to get rid of product build up
  • Use as a facial toner after cleansing
  • Hair detangler, especially for coarse hair
  • Removes warts and skin tags, use with a band aid for a week
  • Lighten dark spots, sun spots, and age spots

Coconut Oil

  • A super silky leg shaving aid
  • Body deodorizer, it has antibacterial properties
  • Strengthen and soften cuticles and fingernails
  • Lip gloss

Double duty premium makeup – using the good stuff in multiple ways

  • Mascara
    • as eyeliner, just use a fine tipped brush
    • to cover grey roots if you have dark hair and can’t get in to the salon
  • Blush
    • use it as eye shadow as well
    • Light color, shimmery eye shadow as a lip highlighter on top of your lipstick

Lemons and acidic fruits

  • Rub lemon on dark, hyper-pigmented elbows
  • Use as a facial toner after cleansing
  • Lighten dark spots, sun spots, and age spots
  • Subtly highlight hair by combining lemon juice with water in a spray bottle and misting
  • Slice of pineapple as loofah in the shower
  • Slice an apple and gently rub on face, the pectin helps to prevent acne
  • Create a mixture of strawberries and baking soda and use it to whiten your teeth

Eggs

  • Separate the whites and dab under eyes, let dry to reduce puffiness
  • Combat excessive oil with an egg white mask
  • A couple of whole eggs as a reparative hair mask

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet – Part 3

Part 3 – Functionality, Appropriateness

In this final installment we are discussing whether or not your clothes are functional and if they are appropriate to the current demands on your life.

Does it need repairs? For how long has this been the case? If it’s gone unrepaired for more than three months it isn’t likely that you’re going to bother. Or, if you love it, then get it repaired right away so you can put it back in rotation. Just don’t leave it hanging and waiting. This includes tailoring, buttons, hole repair, seam tightening, professional stain removal, re-heeling shoes, and polishing shoes.

Is it worn or tattered looking? No matter how much you like the style, it’s not a keeper if it looks old and dingy. This includes snags in silk or sweaters, pilling, holes, unraveled threads, stains, loose seams, over stretching, and dull color.

Is it appropriate to your lifestyle? By this we are referring to life changes that aren’t likely to be reversed. One example is transitioning from being young and single to caring for children and running a household. In this case a closet full of nightclub dresses isn’t likely serving you very well. Another example is transitioning from raising a family to reentering the workplace. In this case the comfort clothes such as yoga pants and sweatshirts need to give way to suits, slacks, and blouses.

Would you buy it today if you didn’t already own it and you saw it for sale at the store? In most cases all of the aforementioned advice will be enough to make a judgment call. But if you encounter a garment that still perplexes you (meaning you’ve had it hanging in front of your face for more than five minutes,) use this test. If you wouldn’t buy it, then that means you don’t really like enough to keep it.

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet – Part 2

Part 2 – Style

Ok now that we know if your clothes are relevant to your life, let’s talk about personal style and functionality. These additional tips will be immensely helpful with your closet purging project!

Is it my style at this point in my life? This one is especially important. Dressing is a way of making a huge statement about who you are. No matter how well something fits or how expensive it was, if it doesn’t feel like “you,” let it go. The only thing worse than it not showing the world who you are, is when it actually detracts to the point that you don’t feel like yourself at all while wearing it. 

Along those same lines, ask yourself – Do you feel good when you wear it? Clothing has a massive impact on the way we convey outward confidence. If it makes you feel average at best, toss it. Even if it’s you still consider it “your style.” Buy new stuff that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Is it a classic that will always be in fashion? If so, and it’s your size, and you love it, keep it. Timeless style looks chic and effortless and should always be a staple part of your wardrobe.

Has it gone out of style? If so, is it a style that will likely be en vogue again in the future? Keep in mind that nearly all styles resurface at some point. Except for uber trendy period pieces. So if you think it’s a safe bet to hang on to it, just make sure it passes the size test we mentioned above.

Next read Part 3 – Functionality and Appropriateness

Simple Guide to Cleaning Out Your Closet

Part 1 – Is it currently relevant to your life

Women are notorious for closets that are bursting with apparel, but in most cases they are only wearing about half of it on a regular basis. We’re all guilty of saying, “I don’t have anything to wear,” while staring at a closet chalk full of clothing. The problem lies, in part, with not knowing what needs to replaced or filled in.

If you were to get rid of all of the garments you don’t actually wear you’d have a much better of idea of what you need to buy on your next shopping trip. Here’s a handy list of questions to help you clean out your closet fast, so you can create an immediate excuse for saying, “I simply must go shopping! I don’t have a thing to wear!” What woman doesn’t want to be able to say THAT good conscience?

Does it fit? If it’s within one size either direction you can keep it because our weight fluctuates all of time. For example, if you’re a size 8, and you have things you like and will wear when a size 6 or 10, go ahead and keep them. But get rid of anything that’s off size more than that.

Have you worn it within the last 12-18 months? A lot of organization experts recommend making this judgment based on just the past year. However, there are events and occasions that happen less frequently and they often require a specialty garment. So give yourself and 18 month window, but then be strict with getting rid everything you haven’t worn for longer than that.

Does it have sentimental value? If so, but you don’t actually wear it you can still keep it. However, it now belongs in a box with your other keepsakes. Not clogging up your closet and brain when you’re trying to get dressed for the day.

Now read Part 2 – Style and practicality