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.
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!
Coming up with kids’ bedroom storage is probably a universal problem everywhere, am I right? It really doesn’t matter the size of the room, if kids don’t have a spot to put things they’ll end up scattered all over the floor.
In my boy’s room particularly, we had a very serious book storage issue. There were books everywhere and just not enough storage space on their bookshelf to store them all. We did have quite a large wall to display them all. So we decided to get some industrial brackets and some 2-inch boards (which we had in our barn) to create rustic shelves that were large enough for all of their books.
We started with measuring, cutting, and planing our boards. Once they were ready, we took them upstairs and held them up on the wall to get an idea on how to space them. Since we had 4 boards, we measured the distance between the top board and the bottom board and then cut that distance in half twice to get 4 evenly spaced shelves. We had 3 brackets for each shelf to make sure they were adequately supported.
Once the brackets were on the wall, we placed the boards on top and I used a light coat of Early American stain to give the shelves a more rustic vibe. I ended up only giving them one coat because the stain did a great job covering the boards. I didn’t want the shelves too dark because I wanted to match the boy’s furniture. Here’s a quick video of the process.
Styling the boy’s shelves was fairly simple because the objective was to get all the books off the floor. After that was accomplished I was able to work in a few fun decor pieces. Instead of standing all the books up on end, I decided to stack them and stand them up to add a little more visual interest. This way all the titles are still showing and the really tall books don’t stick out like a sore thumb compared to the smaller chapter books.
Now that the project is done my boys absolutely love their new space and want to take care of it. I find them reading more up in their room and carefully putting things back. That right there makes the project completely worth it!
One of my favorite foods to make is homemade hummus. It’s super easy and literally takes less than 5 minutes in total. You barely need any ingredients on hand besides chickpeas and tahini and you can spice to your heart’s content.
That’s the benefit of making it yourself – you can choose how spicy, salty, etc you like it! We try to keep salt and oil content pretty low around here so I prefer to make homemade hummus. That way I can control how much salt and oil are in it. Plus, I can make a big batch on a weekly basis to have on hand all week.
My kids love it as a dip for their veggies, topping for their quesadillas, and a chip dip. I love it because it adds extra fiber and protein to their meals and snacks. Plus there are dozens of other nutritional benefits to eating legumes daily. Check them out here at one of my favorite sites for nutritional information – Nutiritionfacts.org. One of my good friends Sandi has a yummy hummus recipe that is super yummy too! Definitely worth checking out.
All you’ll need on hand are a couple of jars of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, water, a splash of lemon or lime, and your favorite spices (mine are garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne). That’s literally it! Oh, and of course you’ll need a high powered blender or food processor too.
To start – add water and tahini to the blender or food processor to make a paste. Blend for a few minutes. Next, add in both cans of chickpeas, spices, oil, and lemon or lime juice. Blend high for a few minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the chickpea clumps down off of the side of the blender and push down into the hummus mixture.
Lastly, check the consistency of your hummus. If it’s too thick add in a tablespoon of water at a time blending in between until you have your preferred texture. I like mine stiff and not too watery.
In week 4 of the One Room Challenge I installed peel and stick wallpaper from RoomMates. I love RoomMates because they have such a beautiful variety of peel and stick wallpaper and wall decals. They even have stick tiles if you’re looking to add instant eye candy in your kitchen as a backsplash! I decided to go with a creamy neutral botanical wallpaper that would fit right in with my neutral palette and help to add in a little more texture to the room.
I put wallpaper on only one wall, and am using it as an accent wall instead of wallpapering the whole room. I feel like it adds a little bit of interest to the space without feeling too overwhelming.
I love peel-and-stick wallpaper because it’s literally as easy as peeling off the backing and applying it to your wall. No need for pastes or paintbrushes. Although, you do need a few tools to make the process a little bit easier.
1~A box cutter to cut excess paper
2~A putty knife to tuck paper behind a heater or around window trim
3~A damp cloth to smooth out all the wrinkles
Wallpaper source: https://roommatesdecor.comLight
Light fixture source: wooden light fixture