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.


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.


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.


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.


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!!



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.


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!


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?

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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?

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

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

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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!

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Refreshment · refreshment at home

Maybe It’s Time for Change

living room 1b

If you’re a regular reader of Refreshher, you’re noticing a big change in the way my blog looks today!  I felt it was looking tired and needed to be refreshed.  So, with a bit of a nervous stomach (would I lose everything on my blog?!), I set out to change its appearance.  I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, and I finally took the plunge.

I have to admit that I had help! Whitney, my daughter from Come Home for Comfort was here visiting and helped walk me through the process.  She made it much easier to click the tabs that would bring about the change!

This blog is committed to helping others refresh their hearts, homes and lives..  With a brand new year before us, maybe it’s time to stop and look carefully around you and see what needs to be refreshed in your life. I’m not just talking about updating a blog’s appearance, but at the things that are at the very core of your life – your surroundings, your routines, the presentation of your home, for starters.

I remember that even the simple task of reorganizing tools in a drawer in my kitchen last year made baking so much easier! Sometimes just a small change can turn even the most simple things into pleasures! How could change in these three areas specifically help you in this new year?

  • Heart – Was last year as spiritually deep as you wanted it to be?  Did you find yourself more spiritually mature because of the steps you took to walk closely to God?  Or does your heart need to be more engaged with the things of God’s Word, prayer and spiritual growth?  If so, I encourage you to find a “Whitney” to help you.  Get a godly friend/leader at church/mentor to be your accountability partner to gently and lovingly prod you to move forward and to help you make the changes you need to make to allow this year to be spiritually fruitful.
  • Home – Is there an area in your house that you don’t love?  Is there a space that isn’t being used adequately?  A mess that needs attention?  Ask a decorating savvy friend to come over and give a hand in rearranging the furniture, organizing a messy closet or redecorating a space that’s drab!  Not only will they give you some inspiration, you’ll also have fun doing it with a friend!
  • Life – Are there relationships that need work?  Is your schedule so busy that you’re missing out on the simple joys God gives every day like cooking a meal for your family, enjoying a quiet evening at home, or reading a book just for the pleasure of reading?  Do you have goals that you can’t seem to reach?  Talk to a friend that manages their time well.  See if they can help you get some balance in your world.I remember last year talking to two people about desiring to carve out time to write.  I talked to both my husband and a close friend.  They both gave some great input.  I put their counsel into practice, and was able to accomplish so much!

Ask the Lord to bring godly, wise people into your path, and then glean from their wisdom so you can bring the changes that are necessary in 2018!

I get excited now when I open up my blog home page and see the new, fresh look!  What changes are you ready to make?

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P.S. Thanks for your help Whitney!!  You always inspire me!

Christian love · home · Home making · memories · refreshment at home

Happy Imperfections

imperfections a.jpg

I’ll never forget the day we moved into our country home where we are now.  It had just been finished being built! We were moving into our very first brand new house!

It was surreal.

I wasn’t moving into someone else’s mess or used home that needed work – this one was new and perfect!

We had many strong men helping us on move-in day lifting, carrying and lugging all our possessions into our new abode.  One kind man set down a box in my kitchen and I began to slide it closer to the place where it would be unpacked.  His response echoes in my ears even today:

These hardwood floors will scratch up even by a box being slid across them; you better lift that instead.

I followed his wise advice, fearful of causing some imperfection to come to my new and perfect home.

Those words guided the careful application of pads to every chair, table, foot stool, and anything else that was going to be rubbing across the hardwood.  I couldn’t stand the thought of a scratch ruining the looks of my perfect kitchen, hallway or living room.

But alas and alack, over the four years that we have been here, it has happened.  What would that man say if he could see where a can of green beans fell in my pantry and dented the floor there on a day when I was preparing a meal?  Or the heels that have walked across the planks causing scratches, or the other little nicks and bumps that have happened just because people live here, visit here, eat here, spill here, and do life here?

imperfections b.jpg

Perfection isn’t a word that would describe my home, but I’m good with that now.  I’ve come to see those scratches as reminders that people are more important than my perfect standard.  If we lived here alone there would be far less imperfections, but oh, the blessings of belly laughs, happy shedding of tears, playful frolic, nurturing visits, prayerful conversations and loving of souls that we would have missed!

Thank you, sir, for your good advice.  I’m grateful you shared that with me – I really am.  I’ll keep the pads in place and care for my home as a gift from the Lord, but when the marks are added to the hardwood, fingerprints to the glass, or smudges on the walls, I can smile instead of grimace at the happy remembrance of the people that have helped make memories – not imperfections.

Last week when I mopped the floor, I saw a scuff on the floor and started to sigh, but then was reminded of the truths that God has been teaching me about living more for people than perfection.  Instead of sighing, with every stroke of that Swiffer, I thanked God – by name – for the different people who had been in our home.  It made my heart so happy – happy for my perfectly wonderful memories made in my imperfect home.

Do you ever get caught up in wanting your home to look perfect, and feel frustrated that it isn’t? People are more important.  Look at the people, instead of the imperfections, and you’ll have the freedom to use your home to glorify God!

Refresh your heart about your home.

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Fall · home · Home decor · refreshment at home · seasonal decor

Kitchen Table Centerpiece Ideas

As a follow-up from my recent video on setting the table, I thought I’d share a few photos of simple centerpieces for your kitchen or dining room table!

Are you ever stumped at what you could put on your kitchen table as a centerpiece?  It doesn’t have to be an FTB bouquet to be pretty!  Sometimes we just need a few photos to inspire us to pull out what we already own and make a pretty embellishment.  Here are a few examples…

fall centerpiece 5
The only thing purchased for this grouping was the fruit!  Included in my silver holder is a blue Mason jar with a battery operated candle, a glass gourd, copper strainer to hold the fruit, a glass acorn dish with a lid and some fall leaves.  Add a variety of heights for a good visual effect.


fall centerpiece 6
These flowers were part of a $5.99 bouquet that I made into three separate bouquets!  A short, square glass  holder with a glass frog to keep the stems in place is holding the bouquet.  A charger under the bouquet adds another dimension to the centerpiece,


fall centerpiece 2
Another part of the $5.99 centerpiece was placed into a mirrored holder, giving it a dressier and taller look.  I put a fabric runner under the arrangement to add softness to the table.
fall centerpiece 1
A tiered stand makes a great centerpiece.  I layered different textured pumpkins, some fruit and silk fall leaves, then placed the stand on a fall fabric runner.


fall centerpiece collage
This rustic bouquet was all gathered on my morning walk and put in a mason jar glass with a burlap ribbon tied at the top.  It’s perfect for the patio table.  When I edited the picture, I added some mini pumpkins to show what else you could add to make it even cuter!

Look around your house for items to use for the table.  Consider:

  • Taper candles
  • A basket
  • Cloth napkins or a charger for under the centerpiece
  • Trays – Wooden, silver, black
  • Fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Stems of  tree branches
  • Silk leaves
  • Fabric pumpkins or real ones that are miniature
  • Tea pots, pretty jars or pitcher to hold the flowers or stems

I hope this inspires you to gather some of the things you already own and refresh your kitchen table!  Even if it takes days for your family to notice, you’ll see it and it just might bring a smile to your face!

Refresh your heart by being in a Gospel preaching church this Sunday.  Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it!  Ephesians 5:25  Since He loves it that much, we should, too!

Which centerpiece was your favorite?


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Christian Life · Family life · home · refreshment at home

The Healer of the Family

family a.jpg

This coming Wednesday in Pioneer Club I get the joy of teaching a Bible lesson I’m not sure I’ve ever taught. As I’ve pondered this Bible passage, I’ve realized how important this little two-verse story is!  It’s the story of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law being sick with a fever.

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

.And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Mark 1:30-31

So why would this be in the Scriptures?  Why should we tell the children this story? Why do you and I need to read it? I believe it’s because it speaks volumes about the care we should have for our family.  Just as this family looked after the needs of this mother who was sick, we need to put the same kind of efforts into our family relationships.

  1. They loved her.
  2. They wanted to do the best thing for her.
  3. They got the best care for her needs.
  4. She showed her gratitude by serving.

It’s so simple, yet so powerful a message of family life as God intended it.

Loving, caring, giving, gratitude – all attributes every Christian family should have.

But so many homes today are filled with fighting and bickering, bitterness and grudges.  The thermostat in the home is set at the high temperature of STRIFE.  Heated discussions., sassy children, and hot words of anger fill the rooms instead of love, forgiveness and kind deeds.

James  3:16 says,

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.


Every evil work.

Is that what we want inside our home?  If we allow strife, that’s what we  will get.

I have a sad memory  from years ago of a grieving family who were at the casket of their mother.  She was now in heaven, and the family knew there were bitter feelings they had never reconciled.  This family had “solved” problems with shouting matches, that of course did no good.  Now their mother was deceased, and their hearts were hurting, filled with regret, and sorry they hadn’t taken care of it before she closed her eyes in death.

Standing at the grave of a loved one is not the time to make peace. It’s today.  Don’t let strife and confusion and every evil work typify your family.  Instead, allow your relations to  enjoy the forgiveness you received at the cross.  Life is too short and family is too precious.

Let’s be like Simon Peter and lovingly go get the best help we can for our family – let’s run and find Jesus!  We must bring Him in on each situation and problem.  We must care for the needs of our parents, siblings, and children, forgetting our own.

Does your family have a need?  It can be met in Jesus.

(Tomorrow will be continuation of this post.)

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