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

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 58 Comments

Makely’s Fall Quiz

Can you believe that Fall has already arrived? It seems like just yesterday we were splashing around in the pool and eating popsicles in the back yard. Now, my days are filled with homework, football and slow cooker recipes.

Even though you may be ready for Fall, your home may not be.  In order to test your home’s readiness, I put together a little Fall quiz for you.

Makely’s Fall Quiz

Fall has arrived! What’s the first thing you do:
A. Break out the pumpkin scented candles, bake pumpkin baked goods, and drink pumpkin spice lattes. All pumpkin, all the time.
B. Check to make sure that your kids’ have enough pairs of jeans so that you only have to do laundry once a week.
C. Pull up a fall maintenance home checklist on your computer so that you can prepare for the cooler months.

You hear that fall is the time to stock up on “winter gear.” To you, that means:
A. Christmas decor is on sale!
B. Your kids will love the new jackets and snow boots you bought for them.
C. It’s time to grab sidewalk salt and good shovels – you never know when the season’s first snowfall will arrive.

When the clocks “fall back” in the fall, you:
A. Celebrate having an extra hour to snuggle under your cozy down comforter.
B. Remark that it will take months for your kids to adjust to the change of the clocks.
C. Know that you need to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change their batteries.

Ragweed is on it’s way. You:
A. Wonder if you can make an awesome wreath out of it for your front door.
B. Stock up on tissue and allergy medication for your family.
C. Replace your HVAC filter with a Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1500) to help capture allergen particles in your home.


It’s getting a little too chilly to sit on your back porch. You:
A. Start knitting blankets to match your porch furniture. Cold weather just means another project!
B. Put gloves and scarves on your kids – they NEED to be outside to burn off some energy.
C. Store your outdoor furniture and cushions on the garage so that they don’t get damaged in the elements.

The temperatures have dropped enough that it’s time to turn on the heating system. What happens in your house?
A. You move your plants away from the heating vents so that the warm air doesn’t dry them out.
B. You wonder what that burning smell is and check to see that the kids haven’t set something on fire.
C. Call your local HVAC company and have the furnace inspected or serviced.

Filed Under: Giveaways & Product Reviews 3 Comments

How to Clean Curtains + a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Giveaway

Alright, let me see a show of hands.  Who is long overdue on cleaning their curtain panels?

Yep, I was, too.  In fact, I’m going to go ahead and admit that I haven’t cleaned any of them since they had been hung…and for some of them, that has been years.  Gross!

But, when the magazine came to photograph my house a few weeks ago, one of the things that they wanted to do was switch out my master bedroom curtains for some that would be lighter in the images.  As I was taking them down, I couldn’t believe how dusty and gross the top of the curtain panels had gotten.  And we sleep in there, y’all!

There are a few different ways to clean curtain panels, so I thought I’d share them with you in case you are like me.  Ahem.

How to Clean Curtains

1.  Shake It Off – Like Taylor Swift says, “Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.”  But seriously, if it hasn’t been too terribly long since you hung your curtains, take them off the rod and head outside.  Give them a good shake so that the dust and dander flies off.

2.  Sticky Roll – No, it’s not a new sushi roll (mmmm….sushi).  You can use a sticky roller (or a thick dishwashing glove) to remove any lint or pet hair that’s stuck to your curtains.  My big, sheddy, white dog loves to sleep up against our dark gray curtains, so we use this method a lot.  It works pretty well for a quick fix.

How to Clean Curtain Panels

Yep, he looks like trouble next to dark fabric, doesn’t he?

3.  Suck It Up – If you have a vacuum with good detail attachments, you can use it to clean the curtains.  Pay particular attention to the tops of the panels near your rod, as that is where dust seems to collect the most.  I’m about as good with vacuum cleaner  attachments as I am with hair styling tools (read: not at all), so I generally avoid this method myself.

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews

How to Remove Old Vinyl Lettering

The morning that my kids went back to school, I started working on my list of all the things I wanted to get done over the summer.  Y’all, I had such high hopes of all of the stuff we would get done around the house when it was too hot to play outside.  Ha ha.  Post-summer Lindsay is having a good chuckle at pre-summer Lindsay.

One of the things that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time is to remove the vinyl lettering on Zack’s bedroom door.  When I applied it 5 years ago, it said Zack’s Room and had cute little cars on either side.  Over the years, he peeled off the car detail and started picking at the letters.  It ended up looking like this.

how to easily remove old, brittle vinyl lettering

Pretty, right?

I tried to remove the rest of the letters with just my fingernails, but the vinyl had aged and become brittle.  Instead of it peeling up easily as new vinyl does, the old vinyl was coming off in tiny, chippy pieces.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Giveaways & Product Reviews 3 Comments

How to Refresh Your Dining Room Decor on a Budget {and a Tuesday Morning Giveaway}

As I’ve gone through the process of transforming my home from my previous, more neutral style to my current bright and fun style, my dining room has always been sort of a problem.  I have other rooms that need more attention, so I’ve just sort of left it alone, piecing together things here or there to give it some personality. It’s become more or less an after thought.   Since I’ve not dedicated my time to fully redoing this room, I’ve never wanted to spend much money in there.  Like most people, I’m on a budget.

Since I am on a budget, one of my go-to stores for discount decor has always been Tuesday Morning (remember when I talked about my bedroom?).  I think they have really great products for the home at lower prices than I find elsewhere.  Today, I’m partnering with them to give you some strategies for refreshing your dining room decor on a budget.  And guess what?  There is no DIY involved.

Before we get started with the strategies, I thought I’d share before and after shots with you.  I think that will make it easier to understand my thought processes.  Here is the before:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

It looks nice, but it doesn’t coordinate very well.  The rug, which was previously in my living room, is too large for the space.  The books in the china cabinet was a fun idea that I’ve grown tired of.  I also think that the centerpiece on the table is overwhelming.

Now, here are the after shots with all of my budget-wise changes:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

I’m so much happier with this look!  I think it coordinates better with the rest of my home.

So, how can you do an easy, budget-friendly dining room refresh like this in your own home?  Follow along for some simple strategies.

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 11 Comments

Techorate your Space

When Tom and I got married, we entered our union with some decorating baggage.  I came into the relationship with a 1990s-style overstuffed beige sofa and love seat (Yes!  Beige.  Me!) that my cat had loved a little too much.  Tom came in with black leather and chrome recliners and a stereo system that had no less than 10 components.  Hello, Bachelor Pad!

I knew that it would be easy to get rid of his chairs and my sofas once we had enough money to replace them.  But, the stereo system was another story.  Until we met, it was his baby, so I knew it was going nowhere.  He set it up in his light wood and chrome media stand (another pre-Lindsay purchase), and I just lived with looking at it for several years.

Then, Baby Zack came along.

Within days of Zack learning to walk, he moseyed over to the speakers and ripped the covers off of them.  Tom realized that having his big stereo system out where our dear baby could destroy it was a bad idea.  So, we went out and bought a nice wooden media cabinet with a glass door.  I think it may have been the first piece of furniture that we bought together.

That media cabinet ended up being my first foray into a type of decorating now referred to as #Techoration.  Basically, #Techoration is the idea that we can design and decorate around our items like televisions, speakers, and gaming systems instead of just living with looking at them all the time.

Since we bought that media cabinet, my thoughts on techorating have evolved past adding furniture pieces directly intended to house media components.  You may have seen shots of my kids’ playroom, which was the first spot that I started actively decorating around our technology.  I wanted to make this space a place that served more function than just a playroom, so a TV was a necessary evil.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology

I really don’t mind the look of a black, flat screen TV.  I know a lot of people like to frame them or hide them behind cabinet doors, and those are definitely valid things to do in a room.  Instead, I prefer to have a good looking piece of technology that blends into my furnishings.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 3 Comments