SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Coupon + Giveaway

When I woke up this morning, I realized what terrible shape my house was in.  Between my kids being out of school the entire week, me trying to finish the painting project that will never die, hosting Thanksgiving dinner and taking care of a visiting cat, it was gross – there was just no way around it.

We had a “family cleaning party” and worked on getting everything put away in its proper place.  Just having everything straightened up always makes the house look about 75% better, doesn’t it?  Well, until I looked down at the tile floors.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

Can you see the brown spots?  Yeah, those aren’t supposed to be there. Yuck!

Luckily, HomeRight recently sent me a new chenille mop pad for my SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop. Until now, I’d been using the microfiber mop pads that come with the unit (as you can see from the dirt stained areas on the microfiber pad below).

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

The microfiber mop pad has cleaned up my tile floors just fine.  It takes more work that I expected, though, because it only really picks up dirt around the edges.  And as you can see in the below image, a quick swipe of it over the floor doesn’t get up as much dirt as you might hope.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

I think it’s because of the way the SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop (affiliate link) is built.  The center of the mop head is raised.  I’m sure there is a fabulous engineering reason for this, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have to make sure you clean every bit of your floors with just the sides of the unit.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

Giving the Gift of Scent {and Win a Gift from Me!}

When I woke up this morning, I checked the Weather Channel app on my phone.  It’s always the first thing I do every morning, as it helps me see what the day is going to bring.  I am a warm weather person at heart, so this time of year (literally) sends a chill down my spine.

Today, the app announced that it was 28° with a windchill of 19°.  WHAT?!?  Okay, some of you are laughing at me right now and others of you are equally as horrified.  Not only did I have to send my kids out the door to school wearing heavy coats and scarves this morning, but I had to throw on my fleece pants and pour myself an extra large cup of coffee.  I’m glad I don’t have a ton of errands to go and run today – I live in Central Texas for a reason!

The only thing that I like about the cold weather is that it is a signal that the holidays are on their way. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is not far behind it.  Of course, the stores (and some of my neighbors) have already decorated big time for the holidays, so it’s hard to forget that we are getting ready to enter the holiday season.

I’ve always been a stickler for not decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.  I love Thanksgiving (family+food+football=greatest day ever), so I don’t want to push it out of the way so that I can enjoy Christmas decor for a few weeks longer.  Instead, I get busy trimming the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving  But just because I don’t decorate early doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy some things about the Christmas season!  One of the best way to do that is to add in some scents of the season.  Doesn’t the smell of cinnamon and gingerbread bring back such wonderful memories of holidays past?

This year, the Thymes company sent me their delicious collection of Gingerbread scented home fragrance products.  The products include two sizes of candles, a reed diffuser, an ornament sachet, hand lotion, hand wash and a home fragrance mist.  I love that the gingerbread scent is subtle enough not to be overwhelming but sophisticated enough that it doesn’t scream, “ZOMG, CHRISTMAS!”  It smells so good – I wish the Internet was scratch and sniff.

Delicious and sophisticated home fragrance scents - Thymes Holiday Gingerbread Collection

The reed diffuser and ornament sachet are my favorite products since they deliver the gingerbread scent all day long.  But, obviously, candles are always fabulous and the hand lotion, hand wash, and home fragrance mist are great ways to have a delicious scent in your home.  And how cute is the little bakers twine and house charms?  The Gingerbread Collection is new to Thymes this year, and I hope it’s one that they bring back every year.

Delicious and sophisticated home fragrance scents - Thymes Holiday Gingerbread Collection

The $30 Closet Makeover

Over the past six years (OMG, six?) years of writing this blog, it’s been no secret that I’m a a slow worker with tons of big plans.  I have a huge list of things that I want to – and need to – do around the house, but sometimes that list itself just gets overwhelming.  And when I’m overwhelmed, I tune out and ignore.

Speaking of ignoring, please meet Emma’s closet.

The $30 Closet Makeover #YourBigFinish

The $30 Closet Makeover #YourBigFinish

I will admit that most of this closet situation is my fault.  It’s hard to tell from the above images, but she only has one little side of her closet to put her clothes and toys.  And…that’s because the other side is filled with my crap that has been there since long before she was born.

The $30 Closet Makeover #YourBigFinish
Yep, yep, yep.

So, I really have been meaning to makeover Emma’s closet.  The older she gets, the more space that she needs.  The builder’s grade closet only has one shelf and one hanging bar, leaving tons of poorly used space.  I have been planning on doing either a Container Store style closet or some sort of built in, but time and my own budget hasn’t allowed that to happen.  Closet, consider yourself ignored.

Why I’m “Nuts” for my DIY Melted Crayon Teal Pumpkin

Growing up with a severe peanut allergy was nuts.  I developed the allergy before I was two years old, and my parents didn’t know anyone else who had the same allergy.  There wasn’t a huge food allergy movement back in the 1980s, so other parents didn’t believe that I could possibly be *that* allergic to peanuts (thanks to that one mom for the anaphylactic shock!).  Halloween and Christmas were always scary times with nut riddled candy and homemade baked goods.

My own children tested negative for a peanut allergy when they were infants.  But, because you can become allergic to anything at any time AND because they have the genetic predisposition for a peanut allergy, they live by the same peanut-free rules that I do.  Whomp, whomp.  No Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for us.

When I saw that the national non-profit group FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) was pushing for a new Halloween tradition, I immediately got on board.  The group is encouraging families to put a teal pumpkin on their front porch as a sign to Trick-or-Treaters that the home has non-food treats available.  Their Teal Pumpkin Project has gotten a lot of interest in the media, and I’m hoping that a lot of homes will be participating.  As a family, we have always offered nut-free candy, but now we are also going to have non-food treats, too.

Of course, a teal pumpkin was an excellent excuse for me to put together a crafty Halloween project. Since I’ve been eyeing the crayon drip pumpkins for years, I decided that this was my chance!

DIY melted crayon pumpkin for Teal Pumpkin Project

I started by grabbing a live white pumpkin to decorate.  I really wanted a fake craft pumpkin, but those have apparently been sold out for over a week at my local Michael’s.  A WEEK!  People have moved on to Christmas.  Poor guy at Michael’s had to hear my “But it’s not even Halloween yet!” rant.  Bless his heart

Five Things to Do When You Hate Your Living Room

I have a confession.  I hate my living room.  Now, I know that hate is a strong word, but I really do mean it in this case.

In its current state, my living room is a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture – and not ‘mismatched’ in a good way.  The “media center” is too small, the coffee table is too large, and the top of the room doesn’t coordinate with the bottom of the room in any shape, form or fashion.

What to do When You Hate Your Living Room

I can’t believe I just revealed this to you.  This is honestly what my living room looks like on a good day.  I’ve lived with it like this for about six years, and I will probably live with it like this for a few more.

If you have a room in your house that you hate (or strongly dislike), here’s how to live with it.


What to do When You Hate Your Living Room

1.  Make Peace – One of the best things you can do about a room that you hate is to make peace with it.  Sometimes I feel silly writing each week about decorating, because it’s not one of the “big” things in life.  It may feel big when you have a room that you hate, but it obviously pales in comparison to what a lot of other people are dealing with.

What to do When You Hate Your Living Room

In the past few years, my kids have managed to destroy this chair that I rescued, meaning that there is old, exposed hot glue on its sides and wash faded throw pillows on its back.  That’s okay.  I know that I won’t have this chair in my home forever (or at least this chair in its current state), and if I do, I at least know that it’s comfy and well-loved.

Make peace with your room (or rooms) in their current state, and remember that they won’t always look like they do today.

Anatomy of a Simple Fall Tablescape

Fall Table Styling

I absolutely love fall entertaining.  And better than that, I love SIMPLE fall entertaining.

You can create a beautiful table in just a few simple steps.