Is that anybody’s motto? That’s generally mine. I want to make whatever it is that I’m doing is worth it. For instance, if we’re going to Niagra falls then we should be sure to stay on the Canada side and catch a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Or, if we are going to make Ice cream sundaes, I make sure to pick up all the toppings including all the essentials for a banana split. My husband on the other hand… not so much. Just going to Niagra falls is enough… and just ice cream and chocolate syrup is just fine. So you can see how in life we can bump heads quite a bit, especially when deciding to splurge on an expensive mop like the Bissell CrossWave! (See this baby in action at the bottom.)
I’ll be totally honest, my husband and I are a perfect match for each other. I help him have a little bit more fun, and he reels me in a little bit. But there are perfectly good times to splurge in life… it’s just figuring out when to do so. Surprisingly, it took little to no convincing for my very budget-conscious husband to get on board with the Bissell CrossWave. The functions speak for themselves: duo vacuuming and mopping at the same time, it’s cordless for easy maneuvering, and my favorite feature: two tanks, one for cleaning solution and the other for the dirty water. At the end of the day, we are both working from home and thrive in an organized and clean environment. Our time is limited and we don’t pay for house cleaning services, so any device that is going to save us time overall is a definite win in our book.
When I asked around about the CrossWave I happened to read a few reviews that said it left dirty streaks on the floor. In my experience, I did not come to that same conclusion. The roller brush is plush and has built-in grips to clean your carpets, but it has enough girth to wipe up all the dirty stuff without leaving streaks. I will say that if the roller gets too oversaturated with water it can leave streaks, but the key is to let go of the trigger and roll over that area to pick up the excess water. Maybe the other CrossWaves don’t have the sam roller brush, but the Max roller brush is awesome! Plus my box came with a second brush for backup. It’s great to alternate the two between cleaning because they do need to be rinsed with hot water between uses.
Yes! It works amazingly on carpet! Not only does it vacuum everything up but it refreshed my carpets making them smell fantastic. It leaves your carpets slightly damp so they dry quickly. I will say, this does not replace a carpet shampooer. This isn’t deep cleaning your carpets, but it gives them a nice refresh. That doesn’t mean it isn’t cleaning it – just not DEEP cleaning. The water tank was pretty dirty after cleaning my area rugs so I know it did its job, but the main function on this mop is for hard surfaces. Refreshing carpets is just a fabulous bonus.
The Bissel CrossWave does an outstanding job picking up messes on floors. For instance, it will even pick up items as large as cereal and small legos. I mean, don’t make it a habit to pick up legos… which in my house is inevitable, but it’s good to know it can!
So this is something that I was nervous about. My house is just about 4,000 sq ft and I didn’t know how many rooms I could get done before the battery died. With a full charge, the battery should last for 30 minutes. So essentially it comes down to how fast you can work. I can get abut 2,000 sq ft done in about 30 minutes, so about half my house. I just split my upstairs and downstairs into two parts.
To make sure this vacuum functions the right way every time, cleaning it out is essential. The Cordless Max has a self-cleaning cycle to make that process so easy!! To use this feature all you have to do is make sure there is enough solution in the tank – if not fill up the tank with warm water to the self-cleaning line. Then, place the vacuum on the docking station and press the self-cleaning icon. This will run for about 40 seconds and shut off when it’s done. The dirty water tank icon will flash to remind you to empty the tank. At this point, I pop out the roller and windshield attachment to make sure everything is wiped out and cleaned before retiring my vacuum for the day. Seriously, this is my favorite feature!
You can easily hook your Bissell CrossWave up to wifi and connect on an app for maintenance, support, cleaning tips, and a usage dashboard. I don’t know how often I’ll use this, but I suppose I will at some point if I start running into error codes.
No, you definitely don’t have to only use the Bissel CorssWaves solution for your vacuum. I used the solution it came with until it ran out and then I used my castile soap solution.To add the solution to the tank all you have to do is first add warm water to the waterline and then add your solution to the solution line. So you see, any solution in its place will work just fine.
I’ll be honest, there aren’t many. This baby has saved me so much time it’s incredible! My floors have never been cleaner! Although I will say that it’s tough to get edges and baseboards. The website does say that they have improved this feature, but it’s still not ideal for those areas because there are no attachments. So If I wanted to wash down my furniture I actually have to lift up my vacuum and place it on my furniture and work it back and forth. Which is ok – but not ideal and a little awkward.
To me – The advantages outweigh the inconvenience of not having attachments to get my corners closely and my baseboards. I should say it does an ok job with corners, but not as well as it would do with a hose.
Boy does Bissell have a good product on their hands… and they know it too! This vacuum does not run cheap at just under $400! I would say this is an investment piece that is totally worth saving up your pennies for. Hands down… I would 100% recommend this vacuum and I can say without a doubt it has saved me time and that my floors have never been cleaner!
I love to try new trendy new decor in my home but sometimes that can get pricey! If there’s a way I can create that look with maybe a thrifted piece of decor or a no-fail DIY, then 9 times out of 10 I go for it. This time it’s around I decided to do a DIY version of Joss and Main’s sunbeam mirror that runs in just shy of $200. My version will total around $5!
To start I needed a small mirror. I had one in my attic that I picked up in the dollar section at Target for around $3, But I’ve linked one at the bottom of the post as well. I also needed some cardboard, glue, and sticks. The cardboard will be cut into a circle that is at least 3 inches larger than the mirror. For glue, I used a hot glue gun and for the sticks, I gathered them from outside. I know, genius idea… but I do live in the woods so it’s quite easy for me to just ventured outside. but I’m sure I could have picked them up at any craft store. I’ve also seen people use popsicle sticks too!
I cut a circle that was larger than my mirror out of cardboard. Then I glued my mirror onto the cardboard. Next, I cut all my sticks to the same size. I went with about 6 inches. After they were all cut, I started gluing each stick onto the cardboard with the end of the stick pushed all the way up to the mirror’s edge. I continued to glue until the entire cardboard circle was filled up.
I let the stick mirror dry (not long – hot glue dries pretty quickly). The mirror is very light so to hang I just used a picture frame nail and poked it through the cardboard. A command strip would work well too!
Boy, do I love a good sale. I get this thrill when I find a beautiful, quality piece of furniture or a trendy new home decor item for a fraction of its original price. But buying less expensive pieces for your home isn’t always better. Knowing when to save and when to splurge is key to creating a home that lasts. Nobody wants to be caught in the matrix furniture loop because eventually the wallet will dry up and you’re left with home items that don’t function properly.
When shopping for my home I have a basic rule of thumb: don’t overpay for a “trend” that is made with less than desirable materials. For instance, when the ladder bookshelf came out you could buy it from any major retailer. However, some were made from wood and or metal and others were made of composite boards. Depending on where you bought it, you might pay the exact same price for a lesser quality shelf.
When I splurge on an item it’s usually furniture. I look for items made from quality material and that will hopefully last my entire life. Sometimes that means heading to a furniture shop, but not always. I wholeheartedly believe they don’t make furniture like they used to. Try to find pieces made from solid wood. When I can opt for something made of real wood – I go for it! If I’m going to splurge on an item I don’t want to have to buy it again. For example, timeless pieces for me are my kitchen table, my couch, oversized armchairs, piano, dining room chair, etc.
People often ask about styles changing and being stuck with a really expensive piece of furniture that is out of style. Not necessarily. I splurge on timeless pieces. Anything with solid wood and clean-cut lines are timeless. Yes, styles change – but updating said piece of furniture can be done with a good old paintbrush and a new stain color; or updating hardware. Couch covers can even be updated if you invest in a slipcover sofa or have them reupholstered.
I never splurge on items that need to be changed out season to season or that are on “trend”. For instance, throw pillows and throw blankets. Every season I change my throw pillow covers to something more fitting for that time of year. BUT I do splurge on the actual pillow insert. I prefer a quality down throw pillow that will last. This way I’m only ever buying a pillow cover which is less expensive than swapping out the actual pillow every season. And because pillow covers get changed several times a year I always opt to save rather than splurge. Amazon and Woven Nook are two of my favorite places to buy pillow covers.
When it comes to styling your home I always opt to save on things like wall art, artwork, home decor, nick-knacks, candlesticks and holders, vases, picture frames, etc. I try my hardest to save on these items. Or, I wait for them to go on clearance, find a similar version thrifting, or even buying at a lesser quality shop. I always ask myself: “how much traffic is this item going to get?” If it’s going to sit up on a shelf and not be handled it’s totally ok to spend less on that item!
One of my favorite places to shop for art is Etsy. You can now buy downloadable artwork for under $10 and send it off to be printed. Depending on the size of the print, I can send it to my local drug store and pick it up in an hour for only a few bucks! I love to get frames at Wallmart. They are cheap and I’ve never had issues with them falling apart.
Area rugs and light fixtures I generally leave up to the discretion of the room. Meaning, if it’s something that is a part of the long term design plan I don’t mind splurging, but if it’s a trendier scone that could potentially get traded out in the next few years I almost never splurge and always try and find a cheaper version. The same goes for area rugs. Area rugs are a great way to add a pop of color to a changing season. I love to layer rugs. On the bottom layer (which is generally more neutral) I’ll splurge and then save on the top layer which is usually smaller and “trendier”.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a dreamy fire pit area for quite some time now. Well, Like most of the projects in our home, I bought the supplies and told my husband that I had a really fun day planned for us both. Generally, he’s a good sport about it but gets a little nervous when mysterious packages start coming in the mail. He never knows what to expect. Well, I’m happy to report that this project has both of us super excited for the end result.
When my husband and I were just friends many moons ago, we used to hang out a ton over campfires. Of course, there were a lot of other friends there too. We realized we had a lot in common and really started to connect over campfires. To this day we still find time a few times a week during the campfire season to connect over one.
We bought all the tools needed to create our dream campfire area including twinkle lights, potted flowers, and of course wooden Adirondack chairs. My friends here know that this is something I have been on the hunt for a while. Throw in a few pillows and throw blankets and I’ve got the making of the dreamiest firepit area ever!
To start we laid out all the pieces to the Adirondack chairs, boards, and posts. We laid a thin layer of Early American Stain on them with a paintbrush. Dry time was quick, only about an hour. By the time all the staining was done I was able to immediately start sealing the wood with the weatherproof sealant. I allowed about 24 hours to dry because my boards were not pressure treated.
This part was way easier than I though. My husband was the one building them but said it was just very repetitive. The instructions were very informative. One chair took about 30 minutes to build. Since we bought 6, assembling took about 3 hours. It is very important to stain and seal the chairs before you put the chairs together. This is because you want that sealant to be in the joints to protect them from the weather. This way they’ll last. Every year we’ll put a new coat on our chairs to protect them from the weather.
We used four large planters around the fire pit with a concrete block inside to hold the post in place. Then we filled the pot with dirt and flowers to look nice and to act as extra support. We then added thin boards along the top of all four posts to connect and add support to the posts. To give the structure even more support we added corner joints. This way our structure will stay strong and secure.
Lastly, we used hooks on all four posts to string our patio lights around the structure. We did several loops to make it look flowy and the hooks just make sure to keep everything in place. The patio lights we used had clips next to each bulb making it easier to secure our loops stay in place. It just makes our campfire that much more dreamy!
What do you do when you fall in love with beautiful brass light fixtures but don’t want to pay an electrition to hardwire them in? You try out Nesting With Grace’s famous light trick!
I’ve been following Nesting with Grace for years and she never ceases to amaze me with all her beautiful hacks and styling. This one is just pure genius!
The mechanics behind this trick are basically to gorilla glue the back of a battery-operated puck light to a PVC part that then screws into the light fixture. You can read her post here.
Seems like a pretty straight forward DIY… I’m going to give it a go. My first stop was the Home Depot to pick up the 3/4″ diameter PVC adapter and the gorilla glue (everything will be linked at the bottom). Fortunately, I already have a pack of Puck lights from a project I did a while back on my daughter’s closet so I didn’t need to pick any of those up. But they are reasonably inexpensive from Amazon if you need to buy them. Oh and don’t forget the batteries! I like to use rechargeable batteries, but they can be pricey. If not, regular batteries it is. By the way, Home Depot will recycle dead batteries if you bring them in.
The good thing about puck lights is that the back detaches from the actual light so you’re only gluing the PVC adapter to the back itself. This will make it easy to change the batteries when needed! To start, I glued a small ring around the PVC adapter and attached it to the back of the puck light. The drying time was only 20 minutes! But keep in mind, full cure time is 24 hours.
After the glue has dried, reassemble the puck light by attaching the front and back together. Then twist the PVC part of the contraption into your light fixture where the light bulb would go. Then, simply push down on the puck light and watch the magic happen! Let there be light! My puck light pack came with a remote so I don’t even have to manually turn them on and off while I’m laying in bed!
All in all, I would say this project was a huge success! What a genius solution to hardwiring issues. I Would 100% do this project again.
I get asked a lot where I shop for home decor accessories. And the truth is, Everywhere! I try and shop affordably which includes second-hand items. I’m also not afraid to shop at Walmart either. I definitely shop at Target and I’m sure I’m not alone there. I do enjoy Hobby Lobby and Home Goods as well. There are some great online retailers like Overstock and Houzz that have some fun options. But to be totally honest with you, my absolute favorite place to shop for home decor accessories is Amazon.
Now I know that sounds funny, but you would be surprised at the various items that they sell. Really no matter your style, most likely you can find it on Amazon! Time and time again I find myself coming back to Amazon to get the same things. Plus with two-day shipping for Prime members, there’s hardly any wait time which is so important to me!
There are a lot of people out there who will argue me on this one. There are throw pillows and covers that will cost you well into the hundreds! But the truth is – Styles change too quickly to spend that much on throw pillows! Now I’m sure the quality is amazing… But I need my pillows and covers to run in at around $30 max. The good news is, once you own the pillow you can change the covers out regularly to get a new look without hurting your wallet. My favorite pillow shop is woven nook. They know what they’re doing over there and always seem to have the newest trends to make it easy to upgrade for the coming season! And they sell on Amazon!
I love getting my picture frames at Amazon. They have so many sizes and colors I know they’ll always have exactly what I need! Then I fill them with downloadable prints from Esty (they’re so cheap)… but that’s a blog post for another occasion. Amazon has their own line called Amazon Essentials. One of the products they make and sell under this line are picture frames. And guys, they are affordable!
So this one might be a little unpredicted but I’m a huge fan of diffusers. I love having diffusers running in all of the main spaces in my home. I like to set my diffusers to ON mode so they go ALL day and with a few drops of essential oil, I know each of my rooms will smell amazing without the risk of candles being left unattended. Amazon’s diffusers are very affordable and so is the essential oil they sell. You can get 100% therapeutic grade for the cheapest on the market! My favorite to diffuse is jasmine! Plus some of their diffusers double as humidifiers so I actually keep them in all the bedrooms too! We will run those babies all night long in the Winter!
Throw blankets like throw pillows, are a decor staple. I change out throw blankets just as often, if not more then I change out my throw pillows. They are a great way to add more texture to a room. And a great way to signify what season it is! Amazon has such a beautiful selection and for such great prices that I find myself coming back to Amazon to find my next one.
Now if you’re like me you’ve got enough storage baskets to fill up a room! But to me, a well-placed basket adds so much texture to a room AND adds storage too which is a big plus! I store blankets, pillows, and even magazines in mine. I have one basket by my large cozy chair that has all my work notebooks and journals in it. I throw a cozy throw on top to conceal them but they’re still readily available to me whenever I need them. The downsides to loving baskets?! They’re sooo pricey! But guess what?! Not on Amazon! They are super cute and very affordable!
To sum things up, with my job I am constantly creating content and need things not only delivered to my house in a quick time frame but also because I don’t always have time to go to the store! I love the convenience of online shopping with Amazon! Plus they seem to sell everything under the sun so there’s that too!
It’s finally Week Two with kids storage solutions, and today we’re attacking the toy issues in my daughter’s room. Her room is not that big, so we need to come up with a few tricks to utilize the space we have. She also has a lot of toys, so finding appropriate storage is a big must to help her stay organized.
The girl has a lot of doll accessories, so I’m afraid of bringing in too many things to organize because I don’t want to overcrowd her room and leave the room feeling cramped. I want her to have room to play in addition to convenient storage. I’ll use a few large baskets for starters, and then some bins that go under her bed to store dolls and their accessories.
I think sometimes I forget that the point of her room is to keep all of the things organized AND for her to play! It’s easy to get caught up in the design without looking at things through a practical lense. I want her to be able to easily access her belongings while happily playing in her space.
My biggest goal whenever trying to organize an area for my children is that I want them to be set up for future success. Their belongings should be easy to find when they need them, but more importantly, I want to teach them how important it is to take care of the stuff that they have. Learning to care for your room as a child is so important because you’re basically learning to strengthen that “responsibility” habit muscle. The more you do it the more of a habit it becomes. And not only does it translate into them learning to tidy up but teaches them to do the things that they don’t want to do… Like, writing that term paper when they’re older, studying for a big test, or completing a work project on time. Any Charles Duhigg fans? Love his book The Power of Habit: Why we do What we do in Life and in Business. Seriously, a life changing read!
To start this project I gave her room a thorough cleaning… with her help of course! We cleaned under the bed (which seems to be a universal hiding spot by the way) and in her closet. We packed up everything on her shelf and in her closet so we could give everything a fresh coat of paint and separate her belongings into more organized piles. This way we could get rid of the things she has either grown out of or no longer plays with.
After we had everything cleaned out, we gave the furniture that needed it a fresh coat of paint and let everything dry before putting all her belongings back.
Total side note… We absolutely love her Beddys bedding! It’s the simplest concept of bedding where you essentially just zip it up every morning to a perfectly made bed! It’s amazing! I have a blog post about it here. Plus if you use THEFARMHOUSELIFE15 at check out you can get 15% off!
Does anyone else love a good Bed and breakfast? I love the antique furniture, the beautiful linens, and the ambiance of a cozy fireplace that most B&Bs have. It’s all so inviting that it makes you want to come and stay and never leave! I want the guests in my home to feel the same way.
I’ve picked up a few things from my stays at a bed and breakfast that I’ve incorporated in my own guest room. One thing I do to make my space feel more welcoming is appeal to all the senses. I try and use them as a guide when preparing my guest room for company.
Sight is the most obvious of the senses that we want to use to invite our guests in and make them feel welcome. I believe that a beautifully styled room has the ability to bring about a feeling. In this case, I want my guests to feel cozy and relaxed. So for furniture, I went more on the warmer side with wood tones but added contrast with fluffy white bedding. I also have a Scandinavian printed wallpaper that gives a nod to history and adds to the antique vibe.
You want the smells in your guest room to pull people in and be relaxing. I like to diffuse lavender, which has a calming effect. Candles are a great option too. I like to leave a small tray with matches and a candle so if my guests feel like lighting a candle they can while they’re here. Sometimes I line dry the sheets and bedding so even their bedding smells as fresh as the outdoors. My only caution is that some guests are sensitive to smells so I don’t go overboard with perfume type sprays. A clean room will go along way, and opening windows always helps too!
Touch is an important part of making your guest room more welcoming! Make sure the bedding is freshly laundered and soft to the touch. Adding cozy throw blankets and pillows is another way to add in more texture to your space. Hanging bathrobes in the corner and fresh towels folded nearby is another way to use touch to engage your guests’ sense of touch.
I know adding taste to your guest room sounds funny, but it’s a nice touch to have yummy snacks on hand for your guests. You can have a basket in the corner with some packaged goodies or tuck in a nightstand just in case they get hungry at night. This gesture doesn’t go unseen. I never had anyone complain about a fresh plate of chocolate chips cookies to snack on when they arrive! Water bottles are another great item to tuck in your snack basket too.
Playing music is another great way to welcome your guests. Having an Alexa with prime music is great to have tucked in the corner. You can ask Alexa to play relaxing music and she’s all over it!
It’s also important to make sure that your room meets your guest’s needs from a practical perspective. For instance, nightstands are important so your guests have a place to put their books/phones/glasses on at night. I like to put the wifi passcode on a notecard in the nightstand drawer too. A small organizer with a nail clipper, band-aids, q tips, and a small bottle of ibuprofen is nice. A cellphone charger is also a great idea. A dim bedside lamp is very practical too. We have an armoire with a small tv hidden inside so our guests can watch tv in the evening if they prefer. Have a place to put their luggage on (like a bench) so their luggage isn’t on the floor.
Pesto is one of my all-time favorite foods! It seriously makes EVERYTHING taste better! Now, I know what you’re thinking… how can you make pesto without animal products? Well, It can be done, and done well! My kids love it! They said – Mom, this sauce is delicious.. but maybe not put it over couscous next time lol. Couscous isn’t their favorite… My husband and I fully enjoyed it though.
A good pesto sauce can be used in hundreds of meals. I made a grain salad last night with sauteed veggies with a creamy pesto on top…. and it was delish! some of my favorite ways to eat pesto are on pasta salad, zoodles, as a pizza sauce, a yummy dip for bread, baked into bread, as a salad dressing, on a veggie sandwich, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Plus, there are some amazing health benefits to eating pesto! Basil is good for digestion, it’s anti-inflammatory, it fights free-radical activity, it supports liver function and helps detoxify the body, fights depression, and supports a healthy gut! Those are some big claims! So not only does pesto make everything taste better – it’s so good for you!
Now you might be wondering how to make pesto without parmesan cheese, because usually, it is an essential ingredient… well, the answer is nutritional yeast, my friend! I love nutritional yeast! It has the most wonderful savory cheesy flavor and added to your pesto recipe works to replace the parmesan cheese.
Another odd substitute… Pinenuts can be hard to find at the moment, so instead, I used walnuts! Did you know you can substitute walnuts in place of pinenuts? And it’s sooo delicious! Plus walnuts are very heart-healthy!
I’m so ready to start our entryway project! Entryways are so important because they give the first impression of your home. Right now my home is definitely giving off a first impression, just not a great one!
From the green trim to the outdated tile- Our entryway is screaming for an update. The vibe in our home is a very modern-farmhouse meets bohemian. I love the boho-farmhouse style! But for this project, I wanted to stay more towards the classic farmhouse vibe. When we start our kitchen reno it will be more on the modern side so I want our entryway to stay neutral that way it will help everything mesh better.
Wunderwall reached out and wanted to send me some vinyl wallpaper. Which was a great coincidence because I knew I wanted a beautiful wallpaper to put above the shiplap we have planned. I chose the black and white leaves pattern because I love the farmhouse statement it makes but also feels very neutral to me.
For the rug, I had to go with Ruggable because I love that it can be easily thrown in the wash. Here on the farm, anything from dirty or muddy shoes and clothing will come in so a washable rug is really important to me.
Currently, when you walk in our doorway you’re walking into a narrow dark hall. So to brighten things up, we’ll add a new door that will allow more light to come through. There is also a stairway wall that closes the room off even more. The plan is to open everything up by taking out this wall and adding a metal open stair rail. We’ll also take down the cased opening around the doorway.
We’ll do some classic shiplap on the walls and up the staircase. We’ll also open up the cased in beams to bring about a more rustic vibe. We also have to raise the ceiling above the stairs by taking out the closet in our office and add a farmhouse light fixture to tie it all together.
To start the project we’ll demo the area first. Tear out the wall where the staircase is and move the electrical to the other wall. Then we’ll tear out the closet above the staircase and remove the cases around the beams. Then, we’ll add the new door and add a screen.
We’ll install the new railing, shiplap, and tile. Lastly, it’s just the finishing touches. First the light fixtures and then the wallpaper and decor.
Be sure to follow along on our reno process!