home accessories · Home decor · refreshment at home

Creating a Home You Love

A home that’s filled with light, color and beauty is just…inviting.  It shouldn’t be our goal to have a beautiful home so it can be a show-piece, but so we can have a place to demonstrate the love of Christ to others, to open our doors and invite the lost to share a meal, hear the Gospel and know that we love them too.
It’s with that goal in mind that I share some things I’ve learned in recent years about decorating, so keep this goal in your thoughts as you read on. When I got married over 30 years ago and set up housekeeping, my design style was mish-mash.  I wasn’t sure where I was headed or what kind of style I liked or wanted, and it was very evident!  At one time, I had deep mauve in the living room, yellow in the den, and purple in the master bedroom!  Ahhhhhh!  What was I thinking?  It was like walking through a Fun House at the carnival!  I don’t claim to have it all together now, but I think I’m finally learning what colors I love (red, yellow and light blue ) and the styles I favor (Shabby Chic/French Country).  At least I have a goal for which to strive!

Continue reading “Creating a Home You Love”

Dinner · home · Home making · Lightened Up Recipe · Meal planning · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance

We all have to eat.  But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge  difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day.  I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting.  Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.

Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible!  One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair.  That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”

Craft Room · Guest Room · Home decor · refreshment at home

Redecorating the Craft Room

Craft room 1a

Ever since we moved into our home I have loved having a room designated for my sewing and crafting.  This room also houses as day bed, so it has also served as a guest room on occasions.

But the room just didn’t feel right to me and I have been looking for a chance to rearrange the furniture and see if I could make it function better and feel a bit more Continue reading “Redecorating the Craft Room”

Home decor · laundry · refreshment at home

Spiffing Up the Laundry Room

laundry room

Probably most of us spend lots of time in the laundry room, so it only makes sense to make it a pretty place that we can enjoy!  Here are a few things that I’ve done to love hanging out (pun intended!) in there.

My laundry room is bright with a window that has a lovely view of the mountains and the countryside, so I didn’t want a curtain that would cover it.  Instead, I hung a valance at the top so I could always see out.

befd80ed-f0a4-4ba7-a9a1-f058008a4c7b-8616-000004f779520303_file

I also like to have a small lamp glowing on top of the dryer; it just adds a warmth to the room.  To keep it from sliding around while the dryer is operating, I put a fabric placemat on top.  A jar of clothespins , a fragrance warmer and a pretty calendar make the vignette complete.

7da36ad7-c52f-4e8d-a35f-e6bafee6a9c7-8616-000004f78e25b8cf_file

Fun artwork is a great detail and doesn’t have to be expensive.  I found several things recently for under $5 that I love!  Target had this “Fresh and clean” sign in the dollar spot.  It was $3!  My laundry room doubles as Liza’s space where her food and litter box are.  The command hook holds a small basket with baggies that I use for Liza’s canned food.

3bc9c2c1-0c68-46ca-ba8f-231c9a788fb7-8616-000004f20d0df79e_file

To keep the litter box hidden, I use a hinged window shutter.  I have a wooden step that holds all the “stuff” – laundry soap, litter scoop, paper towels, etc. Baskets keep it all neat.

1cb0cca1-8114-4704-af3f-cc3825e01167-8616-000004f8d3a95c96_file

I found I was using the doorknob to hang clothes that needed to be line dried.  When I was at Dollar General this week I found a cute Button hook to use instead.  It was only $2.50!!

94096823-5eef-4ce5-86c3-835bf8b11439-8616-000004f08bb19194_file

3d6f6787-c31c-43ab-a5fe-2390cb3aa077-8616-000004f1971a3860_file

I love plants with blooms that last.  This little guy was a gift to me by a sweet guest.  I’m not sure what it is, though it reminds me of a Mimosa. (Does anyone know what it is?) It needs very little attention, but keeps those yellow blooms ALL the time!  It really perks up this corner.  The stool it’s sitting on is where I store Liza’s cat food.

bd13ed56-fe58-46bf-9d3f-a8f10ff524ee-8616-000004f1bc0089d4_file

I added a throw rug on the floor and some baskets on the shelf over the appliances for extra storage.  I love this space.  Maybe that’s why I don’t mind doing a load of laundry every single day!

c1f313ee-3f5d-4f46-af16-0e9fd6ba3222-8616-000004fb1778ce6a_file

The only other thing I’d add if I could would be a small chandelier, but because we have the pot lighting in the ceiling, it might be a little too difficult to make that happen.  Even if it doesn’t, I’m totally loving my laundry room.  It just makes me smile!

Do you love your laundry room/space?  What could you add to give it a more inviting appeal?

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Cleaning · refreshment at home

Simple Techniques to Keep Your Oven Clean

 
oven 3

Cleaning the oven is probably at the bottom of most of our most-loved chores!  But I have a greater disgust for a dirty oven than I do the chore itself, so I have tried to learn simple techniques to get my oven clean and keep it that way.  My food is going in there, so I want it to be clean and as sparkling as possible.

Here are the tools I use:

Oven 1

That’s right – I don’t use chemicals or sprays.  I simply use a Brillo pad, a razor and rubber gloves.  I might add paper towels to that list, just to be technical.

Here’s the process:

  • I remove the racks to make it easier to clean the inside of the oven.
  • I wet the Brillo pad a little to get it soapy.  I use it to scrub the inside of the door, the sides, the floor and top of the oven wall.s
  • I use a damp paper towel to wipe out the soap.  I can then to assess and see if there’s any dirty residue that needs more scrubbing.
    • If there’s anything baked on the floor of the oven or the door, I use the razor blade to scrap it, then I use the Brillo pad and paper towel to wipe and check.
  • Once the inside is clean, I put the racks back into the oven to clean them.  I don’t have a sink big enough for them to fit into, so this is much easier!
    • I pull one rack at a time out as far as it will go and still stay secure in the oven.  Then I use the Brillo pad to scrub each rung of the rack.  I wipe it with a paper towel.
    • Repeat with other rack(s).
  • Give the whole oven another wipe down with a damp paper towel.
  • Use window cleaner on the front glass, the top of the oven door and the drawer beneath.
  • Hang a clean towel over the door.
  • Stand back and admire!

The real key to a clean oven is taking care of a mess as quickly as possible.  Don’t let several days of splatters and spills accumulate, or you’ll never want to attack it. However, if you’ve neglected it, just do it.  Turn on a good podcast and listen while you scrub away.

Then vow to keep it shining!

oven 3

There are other methods you can try, too, if the oven is a huge mess.

What is your most dreaded household chore?

Denise Signature 150 px

Family life · home · refreshment at home · Winter · Work

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

Snowy day a.jpg

Tennessee finally got a snow day!  I’ve been waiting for this since Christmas time!  In honor of all restful Snow Days, I’m going to wait to post a video today, but will get one out next week.

Let’s just do a fun post today about ways to make leisure days restful, but still productive. We all know how to rest, but how can we take a rare day at home both productive and restful? Is it possible?  Yes!  Here are a few ideas:

Let’s start with what we need to get rid of in order to rest:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Computer “stuff”
  • Texting

Let’s lift our face out of a screen and up around us at the people and place where we are!

Leisure activities:

  • Pick up a magazine and get inspiration for decorating your home.
  • Go through cookbooks and mark new recipes you want to try.
  • Read through an old journal and be blessed at the memories you recorded.
  • Read a book – one you’ve started and not finished or one you’ve wanted to get into.
  • Take a nap – Of course!

Things to do with others:

  • Play board games
  • Read aloud
  • Go outside
    • On snowy days – walk in the snow, build a snowman, shovel someone else’s sidewalk.
    • On warmer days, clean up the yard.  Take a walk.  Sit on the porch swing or rocking chairs.  Read out there!
  • Bake together

Around the House:

  • Work on a project you’ve neglected – hemming jeans, sewing buttons on, crafts like stamping, calligraphy or memory books.
  • Rearrange the furniture – a favorite of mine!!
  • Redo the decor on a mantle or bookshelf.
  • Straighten out drawers.
  • Oraganize something that is messy – a closet, a pile on the counter or floor.
  • Freshen up the kitchen by decluttering the countertops.

Don’t let snow days or leisure days be wasted by just hanging on the couch all day.  A little rest is good, but leisure days can be productive rest!

Have you had snow this week?  What fun things did you do while you were home?

Happy snow days to you, my friends!

Denise Signature 150 px