I Love a good floral centerpiece!! Flowers are gorgeous and the perfect pop of color to help achieve any look for really any season! And since we are officially in September it’s fun to start incorporating fun Fall decor to our tables without spending a fortune. That’s the great part about faux florals… they’ll last the whole season!
All we’ll need is a styrofoam pumpkin, a box cutter or knife, faux florals, and of course some floral sheers. I love using a styrofoam pumpkin because there’s no need to shove a floral foam brick on the inside. The stems will poke right into the styrofoam and stay securely in place.
I once read in a magazine that every floral arrangement needs fillers, spillers, and thrillers. So basically, shorter flowers that will work to fill up the arrangement. It also needs spillers. Spillers are the flowers that spill over the edge of the container making it look more dramatic. And lastly, the arrangement needs thrillers. You know, those flowers that are so eye-catching it draws everyone’s eye.
Every time I arrange any kind of floral piece I try and incorporate these three key points. It seems to be a no-fail way of arranging beautiful floral centerpieces, bouquets, and even flower boxes.
This year I wanted to get in the DIY spirit by making my own Fall inspired welcome mat instead of buying one new. I love the idea of being able to customize it to say whatever I wanted! I had most of the supplies on hand so this DIY cost next to nothing! Those are my favorite kind!
I gathered my supplies together (I have mine linked at the bottom). I needed a mat, black paint, a stencil of my choosing, tape, and a paintbrush.
To start, I tape the stencil in place on my mat. After it was secured I added the paint to my dish. I found it easier to blot on the paint with my brush onto the stencil. This made sure to get in between all the nooks and crannies. When finished, I allowed the paint to dry before removing the stencil. And that’s it my friends… it’s that easy! It’s such a great way to make a custom welcome mat say whatever you want it to!
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!
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!
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!
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.
When Comfort Works emailed me about a potential collab I jumped all over it! I love my slipcover Ikea Ektorp sectional sofa. It’s the perfect size for my large family. Everything is washable which is amazing, but let’s be honest; after so many years of washing those covers, the age was starting to show. There were stains that never came out, the fabric was starting to tear in places that were noticeable. As seasons change, so do styles – and I was ready for something lighter and brighter! (Especially now that I was out of the toddler stage with my kiddos).
for our favorite sofas like Ikea, Pottery Barn, and Muji. They also make custom covers. They have so many beautiful fabric choices. Honestly, that was the hardest part for me. They have heavy-duty fabric in so many colors, pure linens, everyday tweed, claw-proof Velvet in the most vibrant color choices, mixed blends, linen blends, velvet blends, bycast & synthetic leathers, pure cottons, and English stripes. At the end of the day, I went with pure linens. After getting the swatch in the mail I fell in love with the natural linen. It was incredibly soft and I loved the natural texture of the soft beige/tan. It was light and creamy.. without being too light. It was the exact color I wanted to incorporate into our family room to help tie in the color of my exposed beams. Plus, it feels very Scandinavian-farmhouse house which is totally a vibe that I dig!
from start to finish with Comfort Works. The fabric samples came in such a timely manner (they even threw in some extra ones too). The ordering process was so easy and the customer service was spot on – answering any and all of my questions. My slipcovers even came earlier than when they said they would!
When my covers came in the mail, I immediately pulled everything out of the box. Each cover was labeled to make putting them on super easy. Each cover fits like a dream! They have a little bit of wiggle room which I’m glad for. The linen is so super soft and luxurious! After seeing it for the first time I knew I made the right choice. Like most linen material, it came wrinkled. I wasn’t worried though because after a few days of setting it all up most of the wrinkles had already fallen out.
It is absolutely incredible what updating your slipcover will do for your space! Honestly, If you’re like me and Love your sofa but want a whole new look – I’d give Comfort Works a go! You’ll get a completely new sofa look, but with the old sofa comfort. And I would totally recommend Comfort Works. They are an awesome company to work with and their products are of the highest quality! I seriously feel like I have a high-end sofa! I’m so happy With Comfort Works – and I’ll definitely be working with them again in the future! I have other Ikea chairs that could use new covers🤔. The only hard part is figuring out what fabric to choose 🤦🏻♀️
Lately, I’ve been pulling more natural warmer tones into my home. Our house is large and feels kind of stark and cold. More natural linens and warm tans/beiges really help to add that cozy feeling. I’ve been in love with large clay pots I’ve seen at Pottery Barn that would complete the vibe I’ve been transitioning into. But at this time in my life, I just can’t drop that kind of cash on decor pieces. Then I saw my friend Bre from @brepurposed on the gram transform her lamp with just a few easy steps into this gorgeous clay-looking Pottery Barn /Restoration Hardware creation! I decided to give it a go – and I’m so glad I did! I’m so in love and can’t believe I actually made this! Below I’ll show you each step so you too can create gorgeous vases/ pitches/lamps.. really whatever your heart desires… for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay for brand new! I’ll also have a video of my project from start to finish at the bottom.
To start, pick out your piece! This is where you can have fun… Really anything will work. Don’t worry if it’s too shiny and smooth. We’ll be adding texture to help give it that clay look! I chose two large jars/vases and a pitcher. I’ve had these jars for many years… Remember when Chevron pattern was all the rage? Well, I jumped on that bandwaggon and displayed these beauties proudly. They’ve since been stored in my attic just waiting to be used for the right DIY.
Thankfully, I had all of these supplies on hand. Plaster of Paris is what you use when you’re mixing up your own chalk paint recipe – and lord knows I mix up a lot of chalk paint so I had plenty of that on hand.
With your small brush, lightly spackle over your vase. It’s ok if it goes on thicker in some areas – after everything is dry, we’ll give it a good sand to get rid of anything loose. Keep going until your entire vase is covered and then let dry. Make sure to rinse your brush well because you’ll be using this size again in another step.
When your vase is dry – give it a light sand to get rid of all of the loose pieces of spackle. It’s ok if some spots of your vase are bare again.. it’ll only add texture and dimension if some areas are more raised than others.
Mix 1/2 cup of plaster of Paris and about 1/4 cup water together. It’s ok if it’s a little watery. Plaster of Paris thickens over time so you may have to add a little more water as you go or even start with a fresh batch to continue to have the right consistency. With your small brush, paint your vase with the plaster of Paris mixture until you have your desired texture and until it’s fully covered. Remember to work quickly or be prepared to make a new mixture because your plaster will harden in your dish. Let dry completely.
Choose a paint color. I used Glidden Off-White. It has a subtle beige that really adds a lot of warmth. Use your medium-sized brush and paint over your entire vase and let dry.
Mix dirt and water to create a thick mud mixture (not watery) and completely coat your vase. It’s ok to put it on thick. After it dries, take a paper towel and brush off any loose mud from your vase.
Lastly, grab a paper towel and dip back into your paint and sponge it on in small areas on your vase. This is so you can get your desired color and also to help capture a more multidimensional look.
That’s it guys! How cool was that?!
I’m so excited to finally announce that I am a guest participant in the One Room Challenge for the Spring 2020 season. When I signed up to participate in this fun decor challenge, I knew exactly what room was begging to be renovated. Our home office! First off – with everyone at home now, having a quiet place to work is a must! Secondly – It is currently being used as a storage spot that is desperately in need of a good cleaning. And third of all – It’s such an eyesore with a sheet draped over the doorway (so no one can peep inside)! I just can’t take it anymore.
When we bought this old farmhouse we knew that home projects would be a big part of our lives for many years to come. We bought a 4,000 sq ft saltbox home that was built in the 1700s. Thankfully the last owners brought it up to the 20th century but stopped updating somewhere in the 1970s. Because we have been doing the renovation work in our free time, (we are self-employed) it takes us quite a while to finish a home decor project. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to get in on the One Room Challenge. I knew it would be the encouragement we needed to get the office reno done and in a timely fashion.
You can’t see it in this picture, but two of the walls are covered with dark wooden boards. The scary wallpaper you see here will come down and the wall color will change. The ceilings are very low and in need of a little TLC. There is a closet, but I’m not sure we are going to keep it. You see, it pops out over our staircase, cutting into the stairway space. I think I would rather have ceiling height over my staircase and have a beautiful chandelier than have a closet in my office.
I’m going for warm, sophisticated, and library-esque. Something visually appealing. The first thing we have to do is something about the ceiling. We’ll see if It can be painted and patched – but if that doesn’t work we might have to tear it down and slap up a new one. Next, we’ll have to paint the walls to lighten and brighten up the space. I’m going for a warm off-white. Not quite tan or beige… just a really creamy off-white. I’ll also add an accent wall with a beautiful wallpaper from Roommatesdecor . Then, we’ll finally put a real door on this baby. I’m thinking a farmhouse sliding barn door. We have some old hardware we found in our barn that we’re going to use to install the door. It’s so cool and very authentic. And lastly, all the furniture and decor. We are trying to use a lot of what we have… but we’ll definitely be ordering a few things to help complete our space.
Alright – That’s it! I’ll be back next week with week two’s progress! Head over to check out the other amazing participants and to see their design plans!