Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Use Peg Board To Paint Screw Or Nail Heads

How was your hump day, this day? I got a lot of errands run today which was AWESOME! Here is a little painting tip for you in case you need to paint any screws or nail heads... I had to paint screws for some hinges I replaced and I used left over peg board to hold the screws so I could paint the heads. This little trick helps so you are able to paint the heads nicely. I've also been known to get a piece of cardboard and screw the screw into it a little ways so the head is sticking out to make it easier to paint. Hope you have a great night and happy painting if you are painting anything soon!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Organize Unsightly Cell Phone Chargers For $1.00

Hope you had a great weekend. I spent mine helping my brother's family move Saturday and then lounging at the pool Sunday because I was a little sore and tired! It was a great weekend though! So anything new on your end? 

This little organizing deal came to me at the end of last week. Another pet peeve of mine in our home is clutter on the counters. We have cell phones and mp3 players and junk which was taking up a lot of room on our kitchen counter and driving me nuts. I started moving things around again and worked on decluttering. I was using this Dollar Tree basket for storing lemons when I realized lemons would be better kept and have more life in the fridge. Oops! It freed up a basket so I started thinking...

This is what I came up with! My husband thinks I'm OCD (I'm not making light of OCD by any means) but he does like to tease me about how much I focus on little things like this! He thinks I'm a kinda nutty. Maybe so but I don't care! 

So all I did was poke a pencil through the bottoms of the basket at a corner of a woven "square", fed the charging cable through and plugged the electronic devices in. There is plenty of room to poke more holes in the basket and add more chargers if we have to. I tidied the cords with Velcro strips I cut (already had). 

It's a super simple and cheap way to organize our phones. :) 

Basket was $1.00 at Dollar Tree!

 See how simple it is to feed the cable through. You do have to do some poking but it will get through. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

No Need For Lots of Cleaning Products!

Happy Friday! How are you? I'm good. Got an awesome workout at the gym this morning, went grocery shopping, then came home, cooked breakfast and packed a lunch for my husband. It has been productive and it's still early!

Okay back with more cleaning advice. I will get off my cleaning soapbox and move onto some decorating soon but I have been on a cleaning spree this week.

My Car is OLD. It's 14 years old but I love my car. It doesn't normally look like it's loved in its state of cleanliness, more like filth, but we have two little boys who get everything they touch kind of very grimy!

Anyhow I cleaned my car from top to bottom the other night and it took several hours of cleaning. I wish I had taken BEFORE pictures but I didn't really think about it beforehand. Just imagine a filthy car with black grime inside, on all door handles, consoles, even the seat belts... Icky and sticky and just plain gross. I have been taking a lady from church on errands here and there and I was getting embarrassed for her to sit and see the grime! Bleh!

I am pleased to say after lots of elbow grease it is shiny and sparkly clean now. Seriously it makes me so happy. Now, I am one who has a book on using essential oils and natural products to clean but I am out of most of my essential oils and such right now. I didn't want to spend money to clean my car so I used a little mixture of hot water and a little bit of ammonia(already under the sink). I didn't measure just used more parts of hot water to the bottle. I tell you it cleaned my car so well. I swear by using a HOT water mixture when cleaning. It simply takes off what ever muck I'm cleaning!

So I used several microfiber clothes in the process. For some of the nasty dark stains on my carpet, including a red sticky lollipop stain, I boiled a pot of water and dipped a clean cloth in the water. I did the same with the headliner, using light pressure. Use gloves and be very careful NOT to scald yourself. My kids were not anywhere near me when I was doing this. I lightly scrubbed and blotted the stains away. They went away too. For some of the harder stains I sprayed on the ammonia water solution and let sit and then used the boiling hot water to wipe away the dirt. It doesn't take a lot of pressure when you are using boiling hot water either!

Check out these seat belts! YESSSS! Even those came clean. They have NEVER been cleaned before and I used the same method. I sprayed them down on both sides with the ammonia solution (the smell wasn't bad b/c it was so heavily diluted) and then using the boiling hot water I wiped the grime away. Looks awesome. At least one day when it comes time to sell, I know how to detail it!


Funny, my husband has been telling me to take my car and have it detailed but I have been trying to convince him I could get it cleaner than any detailer would. I think it's pretty darn clean! A clean car makes me so happy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Super Clean Oven Racks!

If you saw this you know how NASTY my oven was and that it actually came clean pretty easily! I told you I'd let you know how my oven racks turned out after sitting overnight in ammonia. I have to say, it worked great!

Put your oven racks in a bag (I double wrapped mine) with 1/2 cup of ammonia. Let it sit overnight. I would advise laying the bag down flat so the racks can soak up the ammonia.

Below is a before picture.

Here is the flip side of this one rack but every bit of food and grime came right off. Wearing gloves, I sprayed them down with a water hose and scrubbed with a coarse sponge. It worked very well! I highly recommend this method of cleaning your oven racks!

So yesterday was a "fort" kind of day for the kids and me, full of playing card games, making loom bracelets and playing Monopoly. Today we are getting out of the house. What are you doing today? Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Internet Saved My Oven With AWESOME CLeaning Tips!

Last night I found a simple way to clean your oven using ammonia and a boiling pot of water. I have
tried numerous other ways to clean my oven but wanted to try something else. This set of instructions read CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER! 
Is it too good to be true? I gave it a shot last night following all the instructions carefully. You use a boiling pot of water and ammonia... So far, very good! I was so excited once I got to wiping it out this morning that I wanted to share my results. I am not finished yet but will be very soon. I am following the instructions of pulling the grates out and putting them in a garbage bag with ammonia overnight too so I will let you know how that trick goes too. Yay for Internet help!
Find the instructions here! CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY No Sew Boy's Grommeted Valance

Monday Monday! Hope yours is good. It's a little gloomy here with thunderstorms. Uggh I had caffeine last night and it kept me up waaay too late. GRR! I should have known. I rarely have caffeine anymore and it affects me too much when I do now.
SO I wanted to share my son's bedroom valance. It is a very simple one and I made it. His room has gone through a recent redesign and the old curtain had to go.
For this simple window covering I used white duck cloth a friend gave me. :)

Below I cut the duck cloth to the desired size. I made it a little longer than the window to have room for folds with the grommets attached. I took a wooden car I had and measured out several cars. The cars below are facing the opposite direction from my finished curtain because this was my first go at it and the only process picture I had of hand drawing the cars.

I used toll paints. I had a blue and gray color I mixed to get a navy blue.

I used our playroom curtain to measure the location of the grommets.

I drew the circles and cut two slits before cutting out the circles.

The grommets snap in place very easily, adding a simple and clean touch! I bought them at Hobby Lobby years ago and they are brown if you can't tell from the pictures.

I had to cut a little off the bottom of the cars because I had an accident and got a spot of paint on the white area below one of the cars. Boo! I think it turned out okay though!

So there you have it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Organizing Food

Can you believe it is Thursday? This week has flown by. Really the whole summer is scooting on pretty fast. I would love it if summer would just slow down some though, it's my favorite time of year!
So here is a little organizational tip from our pantry to yours. You might think I was a little nutty by numbering cereal boxes but one of my pet peeves is people in our house opening two of the same thing before one thing is completely gone. It just bugs me.  
For example, someone opens a box of cereal of Rice Krispies. They eat one bowl and next thing you know, a second box is open too. I used to store alternate boxes of items up high so we would know not to do that. With the numbering system, it's just unnecessary! We do this with Milk in the fridge too. I usually buy 3-4 gallons at a time. I buy in bulk but we don't want all of them open at once so numbering has nixed that problem all together. The family has been on board for quite some time with this. 
So I number them 1 to 2 or 3 or 4 and we know what order to use something until it's gone, then go to the next. Try it! You might like it!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Staining A Staircase Railing

Half the week is over and I hope you're having a good week. Mine has been good but I'm feeling zapped from the sun at the moment. Well here is yet another project I did while the kiddos were away... I had been wanting to do this one for years and was finally able to "get her done"!
Staining the railing to our stairs has made a huge impact on the feel of our house.
I simply taped it up, sanded lightly with a hand sander and painted on the stain.
I used a small chip brush and a can of Miniwax Poly Shades stain in Bombay Mahogany. 
It took two days to do! Not too shabby!
WARNING! This post contains LOTS of pictures!
This is a BEFORE and AFTER of the staircase railings.
The before was an orange wood but we wanted to match the dark hardwood floors. 
I used lots of tape to mask out the areas I didn't want painted.

Using my drill I pulled this hardware out and painted it silver from the brass it was before.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keeping Pool Towels Handy!

Before I get to my little organizational post, I have to share what I witnessed on my way home from the gym this morning! It put a huge smile on my face and made my morning!
On my way home as I was cutting through a neighborhood, I got behind a cute little car with a dog hanging its head out the window behind the driver's seat. That was funny to see but the best part was pulling up beside the car at a stop sign. I pulled up next to the car when the driver was turning right and I was making a left. As I was waiting for traffic, I looked over at the car and I noticed the dog was a beagle and was wearing goggle sunglasses! I swear the dog was smiling too. It was the cutest thing ever. I started laughing and the woman and I waved to each other smiling. I wonder how many people they make smile!
Anyway I haven't seen something so cute that caught my attention in a loooong time. Too funny!
So now shifting gears and onto my post... Last night I took my kids to the neighborhood pool for a quick dip and it occurred to me that it's a pain gathering all our pool stuff. It takes the three of us FOREVER to get out the door!
I keep a "pool bag on wheels" holding all kinds of toys in the laundry room(next to our garage) so it's easy to throw in the back of the car when we go to the pool. I started thinking that for the summer why not store the towels in the laundry room too. Huh? Why don't I think of these things sooner? These are the little things that seem so silly but when you think about it, why not?!?! It makes perfect sense to keep them downstairs. I have the room to do it!
1. I wash and dry the towels more during the summer.
2. I'll avoid running up and down the stairs for towels.
3. It makes it faster to get ready for the pool.
4. Less chaos keeps everyone happier!
It's a win win to have the towels ready downstairs.
Upstairs Linen Closet Where "Pool" Towels Are Normally Kept 

Laundry Room Where "Pool" Towels Are NOW Kept During  The Summer!

It just makes more sense! Are there things like this that you find make life easier for YOU? What kinds of things have you changed up or done??? Hope you have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Painting Speaker Covers For A Living Room

Oh my gosh I feel like I've been THE worst procrastinator on this job and why? I do not know why. I guess I dreaded the prep work. Well I do have a couple of reasons.

Okay so it started with us getting speakers installed in the living room walls to watch TV and ordering speaker covers. many years ago. We wanted them to match the color of the walls. I painted them using an aerosol mixing can (needed to thin the paint to spray) bought at a hardware store. You add a little water to a jar, attach it to an aerosol can and paint. It worked okay for two speakers but the third came out blotchy. The can clogged and the speaker cover was COVERED and the holes were clogged so I used a tooth to pick paint out of the holes when it dried. Plus it was dented on the corners where it was forced in the wall. It looked terrible. It has been a major eye sore! Anyone could see it when they watched the TV.


Finally my hubs ordered a new speaker cover. After two tries with new aerosol cans, and failure, I decided to use my electric spray gun. Awesomeness! The set up took a while. I poured paint in the canister and added warm water until the paint was thinned well enough to spray a test sheet of card board smoothly. After a few tries, it worked great! It took all of two minutes to spray the speaker cover! It looks so nice compared to the first attempt which was on the wall for so many years.

Take a look. Basically I wished I wouldn't have waited so long to do this little project. It has made a big difference in how we look at the speaker wall now. :)


Monday, July 7, 2014

Chalk Painted Child's Table

Happy Monday! Hope you have a happy Monday!
I got a good, early start on this Monday so things are looking UP!
Yet another project BEFORE and AFTER
Have you ever made or used CHALK PAINT? It is AWESOME! I know you can buy it in a can but I mixed up some myself and it was superb! This was my first go at it but I really, really liked it and it was so simple to concoct! I did have some trial and error with this project but the final result was a positive one. YAY!
Chalk Paint Recipe
Latex paint of your choice
Warm water to mix
Plaster of Paris - I purchased a dry bag at Michaels. It can be found in craft stores or hardware stores!
I used a paint cup from Dollar Tree.
I drew three measurement lines on the outside of the cup about an inch apart (try and guage how much paint you'll need to make you marks).
I poured Plaster of Paris to the bottom line. I added a tablespoon of warm water to the Plaster of Paris mixing and adding warm water until it was a nice smooth thick pasty consistency. I then added paint to the third and top line, mixing until the paint was blended with the Plaster of Paris.
Here is the kid-sized table my mother-in-law gave us for our kids. Her children used it when they were little so I think it's special in itself. I won't go and date us but it is pretty old and I thought it could use a nice, simple update to modernize it somewhat. It was in great condition.

The sanding in the garage began!

I sanded all parts to the table and chairs with my hand sander.

My first go at painting didn't go as well as I planned. I simply didn't get the Plaster of Paris mixed well with the paint so as I painted I kept finding white particles on the brush and on the furniture. I tried to capture it in the picture but not sure it's clear. Oh yeah, I used leftover paint from painting our front door too! I'm all about using leftover to conserve and save money. :)

Fun times, so BELOW I took everything back outside and made another batch of chalk paint and started over. I re-sanded everything and repainted!

For the legs, I wanted to go with a "dipped leg" paint look so I measured up about four inches and taped the legs. I liked how the tape looked and wondered if I should have actually painted the areas where the tape was to have two stripes and not the dipped look.

I used a light blue paint leftover from our bedroom walls. I think if turned out just fine.
Oops - the green painters tape in the background "photo bombed" my table shot!
A simple paint job made a big difference with this little table! Chalk paint gave the table a great textured, chalky kind of look and feel! I will definitely try chalk paint again! Let me know if you try chalk paint yourself! I would love to hear about your experience!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rescreening Windows

So in a little while I'm hitting the highway for a road trip to get our kids who have had a fun last week visiting their grandparents. During the week this mama has been knocking off tasks from my To Do list. I've done multiple projects and I'll eventually share them all with you.

Here is one minor project that took about fifteen minutes, it was simply making the time and putting forth a little effort.

It is so simple to change out window screens. My mother-in-law taught me how easy it was a few years ago. I would have thought you'd have to fork out money to buy the entire framed screen or something but maybe that was just me and never putting much thought into it!

Supplies you need
Screen - it comes in a roll and is found at the hardware store - I used Clear Advantage and I got it from Lowe's or Home Depot.
Screen spline - I bought 140" Diameter and 25' long (for multiple screens)
Box cutter
Screen roller tool - found in screening supplies at hardware store


First you gently slide the screen out of the window.They are typically very easy to get out, just use common sense about how to pull it. It took me a few tries at first to figure out how to get one out of the window. HA! ;) Yes a few years ago, I replaced every screen on all the windows. I'm telling you it is an easy job and you can do it watching tv!

Okay, so next you slowly pull out the screen spline and the old screen will come out of the frame with a little force.

So once you are ready to install the new screen, cut a piece of screen and be sure to leave about an inch to an inch and a half extra overlapping the frame. I used this piece because this is what I had left from one roll but it worked. It wasn't quite an inch extra all the way around as you can see.

Lay the screen over the frame. Next cut your spline. I measure it out and wrap it all the way around the frame using only one piece. It's not necessary to make cuts and use four pieces for each side of the frame. The spline will curl around the corners with no trouble.

Once you have your screen laid out and your spline cut, start rolling the spline, keeping the screen taut as you go. It takes moderate pressure to get the spline in the slit.

After the spline has been inserted all the way around the frame, take your box cutters ( I couldn't find mine so scissors worked too) and watch those fingers cutting the excess screen!
There you have it! It's super simple and helps keep the bugs out when you open your windows. OR if you're like me and like uniformity and the "not so dry rotted" look, you might want to give this a shot!

I’m linking up to the Something to Talk About Link Party today.  Go on over and see all the fabulous diy, crafts, furniture makeovers and more.