A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Friday, August 23, 2013

Curb Appeal // Frame Your Porch With Easy Care Perennial Beds

Summertime, and the living is...work!  Our front yard is slowly coming together.  It's the only side of the house that is completely painted.  Well, I guess that's not exactly true...we still have to finish the trim.  A least the deck is stained and the columns are finished.  That's something, right?

Well this pregnant lady wasn't quite ready to call it good just yet - aside from new paint and a stained porchbeefed up columns and some pretty little container gardens, what this side of the house - the first impression side - needed was some more life.  During the summer no one in our town waters their grass (our water bill would be outrageous!) so everything goes brown until the fall, winter and spring rains begin.  Just about this time I am itching to get some colorful plants into the ground - and this year was no exception.  I was fully prepared (and equally poor) after a trip to our local nursery, Brimm's Farm & Garden, Home Depot and Fred Meyer.

I dug up each side - keeping as much of our soil as possible.  Before I plant anything in the ground, I always test out placement - moving them here and there until I'm happy with the arrangement.  And I always have it in the back of my head that nothing is permanent.  As plants mature and grow to full-size, like the hydrangeas, many plants will need to be moved so I try to plant a full bed knowing that things will change in the future.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Curb Appeal // Hanging Baskets & Container Gardens

Nothing says, "Hey, I'm a cute little cottage" like a few plants, right?  That being the impression I want this house to give, I needed to get my ever-expanding butt in gear.  With some nice weather on the forecast (AKA not raining) I set out to put my greenthumb to the test by adding some container plants to the front porch.  Hanging baskets and container gardens are an inexpensive way to boost your home's curb appeal while adding a pop of color.  All it takes are a few containers, plants, soil and water - so simple, the hardest part is remembering to water.

I'm not too scientific when I choose plants for my containers - I do look for plants that will perform well in similar conditions, are hardy and look good together. But nothing is ever set in stone - with the changing of the seasons I'll take a second look and transplant anything that isn't quite working or didn't make it.

For both the hanging & pot containers, I typically like to combine different heights with an overflowing element.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Houzz // Baking Soda: The Amazing All-Natural Cleanser You Already Own

Fluffy pastries and scrumptious cookies might be the first things that come to mind when you think of baking soda, but this ingredient is far more than a baking staple. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a powerful cleanser that should be a mainstay in your kitchen pantry and cleaning arsenal. This inexpensive, all-natural ingredient is neck and neck with vinegar as one of the most nontoxic and versatile household cleaning agents.  

Check out my latest Houzz Ideabook for lots of helpful advice on cleaning with baking soda and share your tips in the comments section.

My favorite?  
  •  Freshen babies' burp cloths and clothes by sprinkling on baking soda, rubbing it in and washing as usual.
It is SOOO hard to get that nasty spit-up/vomit smell out with just laundry detergent - I'm so glad baking soda can tackle this tough job.

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Disclaimer:  As a Contributor for Houzz, I have been compensated for any Ideabooks featured on Houzz, although I am not compensated for sharing Houzz Ideabooks on Revamp Homegoods.  All opinions expressed here are that of the writer and are in no way influenced by Houzz.

This post was sponsored by Moen.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kid n' Play // DIY Lego Puzzle Book {Downloadable}

Let's be honest - working on DIY projects with kids around is nearly impossible.  They either want to "help" or they have other plans for how they want you to spend your afternoon.  For those times when I need to get something done busy projects are a life saver and they sure beat sticking an iPhone in my little one's hands.

Legos have been around for decades and are a favorite among both kids and parents.  A Lego Puzzle Book, which I first spied over at KidsActivitiesBlog, is a perfect project to engage kids in an activity that they highly enjoy which means plenty of uninterrupted project time for Mama, too.  It may require a little help at first but once they get the hang of it it's a perfect independent play project that develops important math and problem solving skills.

A few months back I laid out a few of Luke's Lego creations on white copy paper and snapped a few photos.  I finally got around to creating the puzzle book which was as simple as printing off the photos onto cardstock and stapling the book together.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baby on Board // Baby #2 Wish List

We always planned to have another baby.  (Actually, we planned to have four...and then after we had Luke I quickly widdled that number down to two.)  Since we planned to add one more little tike to our crew I kept nearly everything which might have something to do with why our attic is overflowing.  Luckily, we're having another boy so I don't really need much but there are a few things that I'm dying to have this go-around.


Monday, August 5, 2013

A Girl Can Dream // Attic Inspiration

If you caught the post about our attic then you know how far we have to go before it is a liveable space.  And while I'm putting off clearing out the space I'm in my happy place dreaming of all it could be.  Here are a few of my favorite inspiration photos - full of built-ins, exposed beams, and lots of light - all things we are currently lacking.

Landing/Sitting Area:


Thursday, August 1, 2013

So....Who Wants To Clean My Attic?!

Did it help that I said that in a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" game show host voice?  No?  Too bad because what's behind door number 2 is a dream!

A hoarder's or professional organizer's dream, that is!  The mess starts at the stairs where things have just been dropped because we're just too lazy to carry them upstairs.

And upstairs?  Holy mess-of-all-time!  Our upstairs needs work.  Lots of work.  Oh how I wish I could go back in time and set it up from the beginning rather than making it our storage/dumping ground for all the things we don't have room for.  I also wish the hubs was home so I could put him to work removing everything!
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