With three kids and a busy schedule, it’s hard to follow a daily or weekly routine. Keeping a planner and writing out our schedule has helped out a lot. When I [Audrey] used to work in a corporate office, I was in charge of scheduling many projects and maintenance. I thought to myself, why not for our own home.
We created a cleaning schedule to help us maintain our home and live comfortably. We are trying our best to keep our cleaning schedule consistent, and for the most part we have been doing very well. Below, we are sharing our free printable cleaning schedule template. This is a guideline to help you get started. Don’t think of it as a must do. Also, have other household members help you check things off on the list 🙂
Are you ready for some spring cleaning? Spring cleaning is not only about deep cleaning the bathrooms or vacuuming those hidden areas. Decluttering and organizing is another important thing to do once in awhile. If you can start on getting a system together, we promise it would help a lot. We know it’s a lot of work, not a fun activity (for some), and can be hard to maintain. However, we are here to give you some tips and ideas on organizing your home.
HOW TO BEGIN.
PLAN IT OUT — Take out your calendar or your planner and dedicate a day or weekend to work on a specific organizing project. You don’t have to do it all at once. Work on each space little by little, so that you’re not too overwhelmed. If you can knock it out in one weekend, AWESOME! If not, YOU’RE OKAY!!! Write down the room or space you plan on organizing and any notes you may need for yourself.
Below is a free calendar printable if you need one.
PLANNING + RESEARCH — Okay, you’re probably wondering … research? Research what? We know you’ve gone on Pinterest and pinned all your pantry goals, office goals, closet goals, and so on. This is a great start to know exactly how you want your space to look and what products you would like to organize your space. Now that you have scheduled your “organizing day,” plan and research a couple of things ahead of time.
Plan out what you already know. Here are some examples.
The Kitchen — You know you want organize your pantry, or under your kitchen sink, and maybe even that “junk drawer” full of random items like birthday candles, chopsticks/plastic utensils from restaurants, pens, coins, etc.
The Office — You know you need a filing system or a dedicated space for all your office supplies.
The Closet — You’re wondering how you can organize your clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.
The Garage — You’re probably wondering when you can use this space to park your car, use as a home gym, or make it into an area to work with tools. However, this is one area we all (or most of us) use for some kind of storage. That’s okay, but your goal is to organize and maximize the space.
Research a couple of organizing products you may want to purchase. You’re looking for the style and design. Gather some options and save them to your wishlist or favorites. Compare prices, reviews, etc. Take any measurements if needed. Keep in mind things may change after you are done decluttering and sorting out, but at least you have a couple of options saved ahead of time. You’ll come back to your list and see what products will work and/or not work.
If you are ready to purchase your organizing bins/storage/etc. … Feel free to do so. It would be nice start putting things where they belong on organizing day. Just make sure to take proper measurements.
ORGANIZING DAY — Whether you’re organizing the kitchen or office, start in one area and move your way around. Do not jump from one room/side to the other. Stick to that area until you’re done. Make sure to have trash bags or empty boxes available. You will use to sort out things you want to throw away, recycle or keep.
While going through each space, create piles to categorize. For example:
Pens, Pencils, Markers, Etc.
Binder Clips, Paper Clips, Staples, Etc.
These are some examples to help you get started. All our homes are different, so whatever you feel you need to create a category for … go for it. Once you are done throwing things away and sorting everything out, look at each pile and categorize with a post-it. If you already have all your organizing supplies, start placing these items where they belong and organize in an area thats convenient for you.
If you do not have any of your organizing products yet, go back to your wishlist and see what organizing system you need. You now have a better idea on what size and quantity you need. Once you have everything, start placing and organizing items where they belong.
HOME ORGANIZING PRODUCTS + IDEAS.
Below we are sharing some of our favorite products and inspo to help keep your space organized. Whether it’s a big project or just a simple space improvement, we hope these ideas will help achieve your organization goals.
OTHER ORGANIZING STORAGE PRODUCTS/IDEAS
Keeping your newly organized spaced looking beautiful will take effort. It won’t be perfect the first or second time, but it will definitely be a solid start. You’ve gone through all the hard work of purging and modifying your space. The most important thing here is to stay committed in maintaining your space. Create a daily or weekly system to help keep things in good working order.
If you feel like you need more tips and inspiration, we are sharing some of our favorite links and accounts to help you on your organizing journey!
It’s almost Spring and this is the time we usually start thinking about our backyard. What are we going to do next? Should we get new furniture? There are so many options out there and we have a few on our wishlist. If you are planning to give your backyard a new look for this Spring/Summer and are not sure which direction to go, we have put together an outdoor furniture guide to help you choose the best style and the right material for you.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, you’re probably going to look for similar characteristics as you would when looking for indoor furniture — durability, style and comfort. You should also set a budget for yourself. One thing about outdoor furniture is that it needs to tolerate exposure to the weather outside. Although there isn’t 100% weatherproof outdoor furniture, there are differences based on the materials used.
There are some factors to consider when choosing the right material for your outdoor furniture. We are here to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of different material options.
OUTDOOR MATERIALS | FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Outdoor furniture needs to maintain its structural design and appearance throughout the different seasons and weather conditions.
RAIN + MOISTURE
If you live in an area with high humidity or frequent rain, you should keep in mind that mold/mildew, corrosion, and warping may occur. You would want to make sure your furniture is resistant to damage from different water-based issues. Mold and mildew may not damage material, but can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. However, rot can lead to decomposition of the material.
Rust and corrosion may occur to outdoor furniture made out of metal. Rusting is common in coastal areas due to salt in the air and water. Metals that contain iron or steel are vulnerable to corrosion, which causes metals to weaken and rust. Materials that allow water penetration can dry unevenly and result in warping. This causes distortion, misalignment, etc.
SUN + TEMPERATURE
Fading, cracking and heat retention may occur in areas that are constantly sunny or where there are dramatic climate shifts. You should look for material that can tolerate harsh UV rays and extreme weather changes.
Constant exposure to the sun can cause material to fade, uneven spotting, color change, etc. Outdoor furniture in the sun can also heat up, making it uncomfortable/unsafe to touch. Drastic temperature changes can cause cracking, and dry air can also cause furniture to bend and crack.
In extreme windy areas, you want to make sure your outdoor furniture is heavy enough. The last thing you want is your furniture to tip over or blow away 🙂
COST + DURABILITY + CARE
It’s important to stay within your budget and know your priorities. It’s also important to understand how expensive materials are in the long run. You may want to ask yourself the following questions — How often will I be using? Would I need to replace frequently? Does it take a lot of time and effort to maintain?
Some outdoor furniture may last for years and some may need to be replaced more often due to weather conditions. Another thing to think about is how often you will be using your outdoor furniture. The more frequent the use, the more durable the materials should be.
Caring for your outdoor furniture … Aesthetic and functional durability is also affected by how well you take care of your outdoor furniture. Some may require more attention than others. If your time is at a premium, you may want to opt for lower maintenance materials.
In the end, choose the right material that fits your lifestyle. These are some key factors to consider when evaluating your material options for outdoor furniture.
MATERIALS FOR OUTDOOR FURNITURE
We are giving you the pros and cons of different materials such as wood, metal, resin, plastic, concrete, etc.
Teak (Tectona Grandis) is a tropical hardwood tree, from the plant family Lamiaceae. Teak is the most popular wood choice for outdoor furniture. It is incredibly strong, repels most water, and has high natural oil content, which makes it resistant to damage from rot and decay. It is said that teak could last up to 75 years.
THE PROS – Durable, strong, resistant to weather, insect resistant, no cracking, no warping, and easy to care for.
THE CONS – High-Priced
Acacia wood is native to tropical and subtropical regions, particularly Australia and Africa. It is durable with proper care and an affordable alternative to teak.
THE PROS – Affordable, durable, and sustainable.
THE CONS – Sensitive to heat and requires more maintenance.
Eucalyptus wood shares similar characteristics as teak and at a much lower cost. It is less durable than teak, but its oil acts as a natural insecticide and contain water repelling properties. It is recommended to lightly sand once a year to smooth out the surface, and to apply a sealant to maintain the wood’s health for a longer life span. Eucalyptus wood could last up to 25 years.
THE PROS – Durable, cost effective, insect/rot resistant, and eco-friendly.
THE CONS – Cracking may occur if untreated with sealant.
Aluminum is the most popular metal for outdoor furniture and is relatively inexpensive. It is lightweight, strong, and requires low maintenance. Even though it is highly weather resistant, a polyester powder coating is recommended to help maintain its color. Aluminum also heats up like most metals, so it is best to have seat cushions.
CONS – Retains heat and lightweight for very windy conditions.
Stainless steel is the most expensive choice for metal outdoor furniture. It is extremely strong and endures extreme temperatures better than most metals, so they are less likely to rust and experience corrosion. If you are living in an area with salt air and water, it is recommended to powder coat for extra care.
PROS – Strong, durable, easy to clean, and resists rust.
CONS – Expensive and retains heat.
Wrought iron is the heaviest metal, and it has been used for many things throughout history. Wrought iron outdoor furniture can be difficult to move because of its weight, but a great option for those living in windy areas. Wrought iron requires more maintenance and can be an uncomfortably piece of furniture without seat cushions.
PROS – Solid, durable and a great option for windy environments.
CONS – Rusts easily, requires more maintenance, retains heat and cold, and difficult to move.
RESIN + PLASTIC
ALL WEATHER WICKER
Most outdoor wicker furniture is made from synthetic polyethylene resin. Natural wicker is made from a variety of organic sources such as rattan, seagrass, and bamboo. These plant-based wicker is sensitive to rainy weather, moisture and humidity, so it may not be the best option for outdoor furniture.
There are high-quality resin that are resistant to weather damage and are eco-friendly. High-quality resin is also very dense. High-density polyethylene does not release any chemicals, is very strong, and can be exposed to UV rays for decades. Lower quality synthetic wickers are made from polyvinyl chloride, which makes the material brittle and will crack over time. A lot of outdoor wicker furniture is constructed of an aluminum frame, which helps with the weight.
When you are purchasing wicker furniture, make sure they are well crafted. You don’t want any loose areas where it can eventually damage the furniture.
PROS – Weather resistant, durable, and easy to clean.
CONS – Can be uncomfortable and may run into issues if wicker is not crafted well.
Outdoor furniture made out of recycled plastic are eco-friendly and is a great option for stylish outdoor furniture. They are extremely strong, durable, and moisture/mildew/insect resistant. It is very easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance.
There are other types of plastics such as, Polyethylene and Polypropylene.
Polyethylene – is the most common form of plastic used and is cost-effective. It is durable and weather resistant.
Polypropylene – is lighter weight and resistant to heat.
PROS – Strong, low maintenance, does not crack or peel, and is weather and fade resistant.
CONS – May be light for windy environments.
Concrete furniture is very popular in minimalist modern environments. It is sturdy, strong, can resist harsh weather for years, and can be formed in many shapes.
PROS – Long-lasting
CONS – Too Heavy
Acrylic fabric is the most popular fabric used for outdoor furniture. They are strong, weather resistant, and mold/mildew resistant. Acrylic fiber is more breathable, which allows it to stay cooler in hot weather. It is very easy to clean with just mold soap and water. It is the best all-purpose textile.
PROS – Strong, durable, easy to clean, doesn’t fade, weather and moisture resistant.
Sunbrella is the most popular choice for outdoor fabric. Their fabrics are durable and easy to clean. They have been around since the 1960s and have only improved their fabrics for a longer lifespan.
Polyester fabric is synthetic and is usually coated with acrylic or vinyl to protect it from weather conditions. Polyester fabric is strong, resists water damage and staining. Non treated polyester fabric fade faster than other synthetic textiles.
Acrylic coated polyester works well for accents and pillows. Vinyl coated polyester is best for self-supporting sling seating like poolside loungers, paring dining chairs and bar stools.
PROS – Strong, dries fast, comes in bold colors and patterns, resists tearing and water damage.
CONS – Fades faster than other fabrics.
Textilene mesh is made of tightly woven polyester. Each strand of polyester is coated with poly-vinyl chloride and heat set. It is extremely durable.
Batyline mesh is an extremely durable and high quality material. It consists of polyester fiber covered by a coating of PVC.
Olefin is another solution-dyed synthetic fabric. It is durable, fade resistant and quick drying. It is mold and moisture resistant. It is less expensive than acrylic fabric. Olefin is not as soft as other textiles, but is lightweight and easy to clean.
We hope this post helped you understand the different types of material and fabric there are for outdoor furniture, and will guide you to purchase the right outdoor furniture for your home.
Finally! We are sharing our DIY textured faux concrete wall. We know we promised you a long time ago and we apologize. Running a small business and still having to do so much around the house got a little overwhelming. However, we are here doing our best and learning to adjust with all the new exciting things going on 🙂
During the holidays, we started a small home reno project. Our original plan was to build an addition to our master bedroom, which would have been a his and her walk in closet and office. Due to certain things, we had to change plans. We knew we needed more space after starting our small business and our kids didn’t need a playroom anymore. So, we turned the playroom into our new master bedroom and moved the kids into our old master bedroom. We were able to build a walk through closet and get the closet space we need, and the kids still get a good amount of space to play in their new room. The kids old room .. Of course turned into our new office/craft room. We are glad it worked out and we were able to save a lot of money by doing this.
We built a wall to separate the closet space and where our bed would be. We were going to just paint everything white, but wanted an accent wall with texture. We looked into many options from Venetian Plaster to Lime Wash Paint to Roman Clay and so on. We knew we wanted that concrete textured look. After many hours of researching, we decided to go with a faux concrete look using joint compound. It’s cost effective, easy, and it turned out amazing. This is definitely a weekender project and we are happy to share with you on how you can also create a textured faux concrete wall.
Tint + Mix three different shades with liquid cement color — Dark, medium and light.
Starting with the darkest color, trowel a thick layer onto wall.
Then, layer medium and light colors over the dark base coat. You do not need full coverage.
With putty knife, add texture by overlapping random strokes.
Let it dry for 24 hours.
Optional – Use sandpaper to gently remove any rough spots.
Below is a 43 second YouTube video from Lowes Home Improvement on how to create a faux concrete wall. We used this quick tutorial to help us get an idea on how to start this project.
If this option does not wow you, we have put together a couple of other ideas and inspo where you can create a textured wall in other ways.
Lime Wash Paint
What is lime wash paint? Lime wash is a natural mineral based paint that creates movement and a subtle shade of texture. It is breathable and environmentally friendly. Below are some links to help you learn more about lime wash paint and where you can get them.
According to Portola Paints, Roman Clay “is an eco-friendly plaster finish ideal for smooth interior walls. Roman clay is smooth to the touch with a modeling marble-like effect, comparable to Venetian plasters but with a more subtle, organic appeal.” What’s great is that they also come in custom colors. Below are some links and inspo we found very helpful.
Venetian plaster is a term that refers to putty made from fired limestone combined with water. It is also more pricey and requires more work. Check out the links below to learn more about Venetian Plaster.
MORE TO READ – MODERN TEXTURED WALLS
We learned so much about all the different applications and methods to create a textured wall or faux concrete wall. We never knew there were so many ideas out there! We hope you found this blog post helpful and hope you’re inspired to create your own textured wall. If you are interested in learning more, we are sharing a couple of links below.
We enjoy celebrating every holiday (when it’s possible) — small or big. It could be a simple decor piece on the mantel, baking something in the oven, DIY crafts, or a beautiful tablescape with family and friends. We found some great ideas to share with you that could be fun!
Courtney from Pizzazzerie put together three tablescape ideas for Valentine’s Day. They’re all simple, but they all still create an elegant and fun vibe. Check out her ideas below!
We put together a couple of links where you can grab some of these pieces (or similar) to decorate your upcoming Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day get together.
HOME DECOR + HOMEWARE.
Valentine’s Day home decor doesn’t have to be all about the typical red and pink hearts and love signs. Adding some light color to set the mood is all you really need. Our favorite colors this time around is terra cotta pink, rose / blush pink, taupe, and of course gold. Below are some home decor and homeware we think could be fun this Valentine’s Day.
If you’re feeling a little crafty, try one of these amazing DIY projects. We gathered a couple of links to share and hope they inspire you to get creative.
We love Studio McGee and we are thrilled with their new spring collection at Target – Threshold Designed w/ Studio McGee. We just grabbed a couple of items from their new spring collection and wishing we could grab more! Today, we are sharing our favorite picks and how/where you can style them at home. If you haven’t yet, hurry and check out their new items before they’re sold out!
It has been quite difficult to go back to our normal schedule after the holidays. The kids are back to distance learning and the first week of January was pretty rough. However, it is a new week and we are ready for a fresh new start.
Even though we didn’t put much Christmas decorations up last year due to the home renovation, whatever we had is finally put away and we are ready to transition back. Maybe even with some new home decor 🙂
If you feel the need to add new pieces to your home or just need to refresh, we are sharing some new finds and ideas from our favorite places.
Stovetop potpourri is an easy and natural way to make your home smell amazing in minutes, and your home more cozier. They’re also great last minute gifts you can put together quickly.
Below are some of our favorite recipes this holiday season. They will definitely set the mood and make your home smell like Christmas.
HOW TO MAKE.
Fill pot with 3 – 4 cups of water.
Simmer over low heat.
Add more water when needed.
TIPS FOR MAKING POTPOURRI.
Simmer on stove for an hour or so.
To reuse — Allow to cool, then refrigerate with lid between use and add water when ready to warm on stove again.
You may reuse for 2-3 days, as long as ingredients are still fresh.
Experiment different scents by using other fruits and spices.
Fall Blends: Apples, Pears, Cinnamon, and Cloves.
Christmas Blends: Cranberries, Oranges, Cinnamon, and Rosemary.
HOW TO GIFT POTPOURRI.
Package ingredients in a jar, basket or cellophane bag. Make sure ingredients are whole and not sliced. Add a tag or notecard with instructions.
If you would like to gift ready to make potpourri, you may dry your ingredients. Note: This process will add more time. We are sharing this link on how to dry fruit for potpourri — How to Dry Fruit for Potpourri.
MORE TO SHARE.
Below are links to other stovetop potpourri recipes we think you would enjoy. Check them out!
During the summer, we hired a general contractor, architect and engineer. We made plans to build an extension to our original master bedroom. Note — We have two master suites. We wanted a walk in closet and personal office space. However, things changed and we decided to turn the playroom (the second master suite) into our new master bedroom.
This was our chance to learn and build on our own. So, we decided to DIY!
Since we started a small business, we needed more space for an office and craft room. That is why decided to give up the playroom and have the kids move into our old master bedroom. We then take their old bedroom and turn it into our office / craft room. They can still have the same amount of space to play and store their toys.
A before photo of the kids playroom with and without toys. Our demo to do list:
We ran into a problem after we removed the carpet. The floor wasn’t leveled. So, we had to self level. We used Mapei Self-Leveler Plus and it can be purchased at Lowe’s or Floor & Decor.
Once ready, we began building the wall for the closet and re-painted the room white.
We decided to purchase the PAX CLOSET SYSTEM from IKEA. It was affordable and easy to install. You can also design your closet on their website using their free Pax Planner.
We are happy we decided to go this route. We learned a lot during the process and still got the closet space we needed, as well as the design. Even if you’re not building a walk-in/walk-through closet, you can still give your existing closet space a make over. Stay tuned as we work on new content on closet inspo and ways to give your closet a make over.
Also, we will reveal our faux concrete wall soon and a complete master bedroom reveal.