Spring Cleaning – What’s on The Icky List?

This post, Spring Cleaning – What’s on The Icky List? is sponsored by The Libman Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Got filthy neglected nooks and crannies? It’s time for Spring Cleaning! Wonder®Mop works great on all surfaces.#ad #SpringCleaning #EmbraceLifesMesses

 

Spring Cleaning – What’s on The Icky List?

Have you got filthy, neglected nooks and crannies?

 


It’s time for Spring Cleaning! And today, I’m going share with you how to make that job easy-peasy. It’s simple.


Hire someone to do it for you! Hmm… don’t want to fork over the big bucks to have somebody come into your home and crawl up into all of your filthy, neglected nooks and crannies? Me either and thanks to The Libman Company you can get all the tools and supplies you need to make YOUR SPRING CLEANING JOB EASY.


And here’s a list of some of those aforementioned neglected nooks and crannies. Be sure to get these clean!

The Icky List for Spring Cleaning


  1. Garbage Disposal – Unplug before cleaning! Clean the inside and the rubber baffle.

  2. Toilet Brush Caddy

  3. Window Tracks and Sliding Door Tracks

  4. Vent Covers, Registers, and Grilles – Don’t forget the fan vents for your bathrooms.

  5. Shower Head

  6. Dryer Ducting

  7. Fan Blades


I’m spilling my secrets on a great way to clean behind hutches, buffets, or bookcases–use a dry Wonder® Mop or Microfiber Wet & Dry Mop. The long handle and Microfiber GRIPSTRIPS help you reach behind and capture all the dust, spiderwebs, or whatever else is lurking in the dark. In our case, it’s cat fur. Watch for our family horror story coming soon, Fur, It’s Everywhere!

 

Got filthy neglected nooks and crannies? It's time for Spring Cleaning! Wonder®Mop works great on all surfaces. Check it out here --> https://ooh.li/b2b342a @LibmanCompany #ad #SpringCleaning #EmbraceLifesMesses #TheLibmanCompany Click To Tweet


Guess what? A dry Wonder® Mop works great for snagging cobwebs from the ceiling too. It is also fantastic for cleaning your floors. The Microfiber GRIPSTRIPS lift up to 20% more dirt leaving your floors cleaner.  The power wringer removes more water allowing your floors to dry faster. And a super duper big BONUS–the removable head can be machine washed up to 50 times!!!


The Libman Company is a family-owned business makings quality and innovation a priority when it comes to cleaning tools! Find at a LOCAL RETAILER near you!

 


Check out our Hacks for Cleaning Kids’ Rooms

 

 

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How To Create A Kids’ Playhouse

Summer and kids go hand-in-hand, and your kids are going to love these ideas from regular contributor, Megan Wild. Build a Playhouse in your Backyard!

 

How to Create a Kids’ Playhouse

Building Memories Your Family Will Cherish

 

As the weather warms, dreams of kids playing outside until dusk, chasing lightning bugs and feeling the grass between your toes begin to dance in your head.

There is perhaps no outdoor activity more quintessentially youthful than playing in a backyard playhouse. Thanks to kids’ imagination and ingenuity, the outdoor abode doesn’t have to resemble the Swiss Family Robinson’s intricate, multi-room treehouse. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be in a tree.

At the moment, however, you are staring at a bare backyard. So how can you win parent of the year and take your backyard from boring to the neighborhood kids’ favorite hangout? Creating your child’s dream playhouse is within reach, even if you don’t have the acumen for complicated DIY projects. Here are four easy steps to creating the perfect playhouse for your children.

 

Check Local Ordinances

Start by checking with your local municipality to ensure you are following any existing regulations. Some communities have rules about how large these structures can be, how close to the property line they should sit, and whether they need to be built on the ground. Some municipalities may ban treehouses altogether, and only allow playhouses in the yard.

This is also the time to check with your homeowners insurance. Some insurance carriers do have regulations about structures like playhouses, and you’ll want to be sure you’re covered before moving forward.

 

 

Select a Design

Now that the paperwork is out of the way, you can get started with the fun stuff, like picking a design. Be honest with yourself about your do-it-yourself abilities. Sure, an insulated playhouse with lighting and Wi-Fi might be your child’s dream, but is it within your budget and ability? Thankfully, there are a variety of designs and options available online that can be matched with your time commitment and level of ability.

This playhouse design, created by a loving grandfather, has something for everyone, including a mini climbing wall, slide and plenty of roofed-in play space. It’s grandkid approved, no surprise there!

A rustic fort design is perfect for families who want something other than a traditional-looking playhouse.

Some of you might balk at the idea of building your own playhouse from scratch, or you might be anxious about the amount of time and skill it takes to get this project right. If so, look for inspiration from parents who took the ubiquitous Little Tykes plastic playhouse and gave it a remodel you have to see to believe. This is also a great option for families on a tight budget, since these playhouses can often be found at yard sales or resale websites.

 

 

Tools, Supplies and Building

Now that you’ve got a design selected, it’s time to get your hands dirty! Building a playhouse is a great opportunity to teach basic handyman skills to older kids, like hammering a nail and sanding wood. You may want to do the more dangerous sawing and cutting at a time when the kids aren’t underfoot.

For a project this size, logistics are important. For example, once you purchase the lumber at your local hardware store, there’s the matter of transportation. All the lumber and additional supplies are heavy, and since this is a temporary project, you may want to consider renting equipment to help you move it. Or stock up on aspirin or ibuprofen and invite several friends to help with loading and unloading.

As for the building, follow the old adage to measure twice, cut once and follow basic safety guidelines while the backyard is a mini-construction site. This should be a fun project, not a stressful one. Finally, remember to finish the wood in a way that will protect it from the elements and is also safe for kids.

 

 

Finishing Touches

You’ll be looking out your back window at this house every day, so finish strong with a few final touches. If you want to be able to see your kids, leave the doors and windows off, but older kids might get a kick out of being able to have a more private place to call their own.

A coat of paint on the door, a flower planter or pot, or some LED lights strung across the roof could turn the playhouse into a mini-home. Pinterest is a good place to look for ideas to give your basic tree house some curb appeal.

 

Pee-Wee Herman shouldn’t be the only person who gets to have an awesome playhouse.  Creating a playhouse for your children or grandchildren is a large project, but the rewards are even bigger. Sure, there are the moments of peace and quiet you’ll gain while the kids are out playing. More importantly, you’ll give your family countless memories of a happy childhood spent in the perfect backyard playhouse.
~Megan

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!

 

Have you you built a playhouse?

What creative ideas for a playhouse do you have?

 

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12 Tips On Choosing The Right Paint Colors

12 Tips On Choosing The Right Paint Colors

What should you take into consideration?

You may have read previously that we are turning a room in Luke’s house into a Guest Room / Rory Room. You can read about some of our Bedding Ideas, here. A major part of re-doing any room is painting, but what color do you choose? Choosing the right Paint Colors is always one of the most difficult decisions to make.

Painting a house or just a room is a large investment — in time, hard work, and money. Add to this the absolute plethora of color choices, and a decision is not easy. So, how do you choose just the right paint colors for your wants, wishes, and needs?  Luckily, I have a dozen tips to aid you in making this decision, and lead you to a color that you will love.

 

Sample Chips, get your Tips here…

  1. What mood do you want to create and inspire?
    Different rooms in your home are used for different types of living. Think about how you live in the room you are planning to paint, and what feeling you want the room to express. Our guest room for example, we want to bright and cheery, yet cozy and relaxing.
  1. Look for color scheme inspiration.
    Find color inspiration from your other home decor, fabrics, magazines, Pinterest Pins, Color Scheme swatches, or Open Houses. The Design Seeds website is an awesome resource for color inspiration.
  1. Gather paint brochures.
    Not only will paint brochures give you ideas for color schemes, but you can see the actual paint colors that are available from the brands of paint you are interested in using.
  1. Consider the furniture style and color.
    Think about your furniture style. If you have shabby chic furniture, you are probably not going to want something ultra modern and cold.

 

  1. Think about transition and flow.
    This is important. You want your home to feel cohesive and inviting, and not just a bunch of chopped up rooms stuck together. Pay attention to what you see of the room you are painting from the other rooms and hallways on your house, as well as what of the rest of the house you see from the room you are painting.
  1. Choose a basic 5-color palette for the house.
    Color adds warmth, and depth, and provides a pop. It touches the soul and makes you feel. So, in conjunction with the previous item, transition and flow, decide on a color scheme for the entire house. Now, this does not mean precise colors, but rather just a basic scheme. Pick three to five colors — 1. A White; 2. A Neutral; 3. An Accent Color; 4. A Coordinating Color; and 5. Another Coordinating Color.
  1. Get sample paint cards or strips, and place them on the wall you will be painting.
    You are re-paingintg anyway, so go ahead and tape those sample cards right to the wall. Tape from the back so you leave the color fully showing. Leave them up for days, a week, or more.
  1. Make note of lighting (both natural and electric), and understand undertones.
    Light plays on colors in different ways, and differing light can bring out or mute the undertones in the paint colors. What are the undertones in the colors you like versus the colors you are not liking? Yellow, Red, Blue, Green? The easiest way to determine undertone is by holding the paint chip next to a white piece of paper. It is easier to find a color you like once you know what color group you favor.

 

  1. Narrow your choices to 2 – 5 colors, and buy sample jars of paint.
    You can purchase small sample jars of paint. They are not that expensive, and it is by far the best way to help you truly decide on a color. Sample cans cost a lot less than a gallon or two of the wrong color.
  1. Paint samples onto Poster Board to make large color swatches and hang on the wall.
    This is one of my favorite tips. Hang poster boards on the wall and paint them with your selected paint colors. You have just made a large paint swatch. This gives you a much better idea of what the true paint color is, and how it will look on your wall.
  1. Check paint swatches at varying times of day and lighting.
    Look at your painted swatches at all times of the day and night, and with various lighting, so you know how your color will look under every circumstance.
  1. DO NOT RUSH into a decision.
    This is probably the most important of all the tips. Paint is something you live with day in and day out for years on end. In the long run, waiting a few weeks or a month to choose the right paint colors is really no time at all.

 

I hope you find these tips helpful in choosing the right paint colors for your project. If you have any other tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Do you have any painting projects planned?

Where do you like to find your inspiration?

 

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Courtyard Project – DIY Makeover Begins!

The DIY Courtyard Project Begins

This summer we undertook the courtyard project: cleaning-up and revitalizing the courtyard at my house. The planters were disgusting, overgrown in areas, dirt in others, Lantana running amok, plants that attacked you as you walked through the front gate. It was awful.

Now, let me just preface these pictures with this little fact: We have a GARDENER! The same gardening crew has been working here every week for about 35-years! Knowing this will make you shutter all the more when you see these photos.

Here are a couple of pictures to show you sort of how bad it was.


This is actually an older picture from an earlier post–you can read more about Rory’s Locks Of Love. The picture doesn’t really show how bad the plants had gotten, but you can get some kind of an idea. The Bamboo and Jasmine had grown way out over the walkway making you feel like you were entering a dangerous jungle of spiderwebs and who knows what.


You can see just how overgrown things were. The debris pile is a picture from one of my posts about our indoor flood… Bathroom Bliss – A Few Cleaning Tips, check it out.


A better view of the Gardenia bushes and mini Rose tree. Isn’t this a lovely planter! Cough, cough, choke…

How we began the Courtyard Project…

We started by cutting off the Heavenly Bamboo (the first week left us with sticks poking up out of the ground about waist-high). Then, we took electric clippers to the Night Blooming Jasmine hedge and ripped it out, and finished pulling out the stumps from the Heavenly Bamboo, before tackling the Lantana!

Lantana is an incredibly invasive plant. It takes over everything. We were above knee deep in Lantana trying to get rid of it all. Then we pulled out some kind of Trumpet plant that had blown in from my neighbor’s yard and took root.

After the Jasmine was gone, we amended the soil in the narrow planter alongside my entry walkway and planted Clivia. These Clivia plants came from Luke’s childhood home, and they get the most gorgeous vibrant orange blooms on them. They bloom somewhere during the Fall / Winter / early Spring.


Won’t this planter be beautiful when in full bloom? You can see on the right side of the picture a hole in my stucco. The gardeners would blow all the leaves and debris under and behind my bushes, so they didn’t have to clean it up. The leaves were piled so thickly behind the Jasmine vine that it weakened my stucco, and there was actually a root growing into my house.


You can see behind Luke that the Heavenly Bamboo is gone. The tall sticks of a bush is my sickly Snowball Bush that my dad brought from Mississippi years and years ago. During this courtyard project, we discovered that the Snowball Bush had termites! Luke chopped out the termite damaged areas, and it seems to be coming back nicely. I would sure hate to lose the bush, it is so pretty when it blooms.


The Lantana is gone! We found a few mounds of Society Garlic that managed to survive beneath the heap. Amazing! With a little sunlight and some water, the Society Garlic is thriving.

You may be wondering what the trench is in this picture. That is a post for another time and has to do with my birthday present from Luke and Rory. So, be sure to check back!

Needless to say, the so-called gardeners have hence been fired! I just didn’t care what pops would say anymore after finding all the damage done.

Watch for more installments and progress on the Courtyard Project coming soon to Life With Lorelai.

What big projects have you tackled?

Do you have any projects planned for the future?

UPDATE: Check out Part Two of the Courtyard Project – Lamppost… HERE

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Featured Link at the Home Matters Linky Party #7!

More fun and exciting stuff… I have a Featured Link at Home Matters Linky Party! It’s the second time I’ve been featured at a link party. Check out the featured post, Autumn Chalkboards, and be sure to stop by the Home Matters Linky Party.

Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!

~Lorelai

 

 

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The Side Yard Project Begins…

Last year Luke and I laid paving stones in his side yard. We did the half from the backyard. this year we are laying the stones in the rest of the side yard leading to the front yard. We finally got rid of the huge pile of clean fill dirt, thanks to Craigslist, and are able to get started with the project. Here is a picture of the stone walk we laid last year. You can see the area at the end of the walkway where we are working now.

Luke got the trench dug for a cement curbing along the house. The foundation is really rough and certainly not straight, so we thought pouring a little cement to give us a straight line would be the best bet.

And here’s Luke, my he-man, after he finished digging the trench. Hahaha!

Well, folks…this was just a little piece of what we did over the weekend. Hope you had a wonderful weekend too.

What did you do this weekend?

Coming this Wednesday, August 21st…
X-ray of a Blog pt. 3

If you missed any of this Blogging Tips Series, check it out from the BEGINNING here.

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~Lorelai

 

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Lorelai Gets Lucky With Locky Luke and Bert!

Lorelai, Luke, and Bert the Toolbox – Gilmore Girls

I am one blessed girl to have Luke in my life. He always says, “If the girls can’t find you handsome, let them find you handy!” Lucky me, Luke is both.

Luke came over this weekend with Bert the Toolbox, and changed all of the locks at my house–4 locking doorknobs and 3 deadbolts. Thank goodness this is finally done. This is a project I have been waiting for since the end of March.

March is when all of the contractors finished up in my house, and the lock-box on the front door (so the workers could get in and out) was taken off. March 31st was the day Christopher was supposed to move out. So, now the workers and Christopher are gone, and I have shiny new locks on my doors thanks to Luke and Bert.

It’s such a great feeling!

Do you have any home projects that you have been waiting to get accomplished? I have a whole slue of others since we are still recovering from the Christmas flood, but one day at a time.
 

 

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We’re FLYing!

“You can do anything for 15-minutes!”

Well, with Christopher moved out, and Kirk living and working on campus this summer, it is time for Rory and I to get this house CLEAN!!! I am so excited to be able to clean and not find more mess in mere minutes.

Five days before Christmas last year, we had a major flood in our house. The upstairs bathroom had 4-inches of water standing in it, water seeped into the bedroom, a closet, and the linen closet, and worst of all… We had a waterfall in our living room! Five and a half hours after we turned off the main water to the house, we still had water pouring from our living room ceiling. The Christmas Tree did not look happy and neither did I.

Finally, all of the reconstruction is finished, but my house is not yet put back together. To help us get the house into tip top shape, Rory and I are FLYing with the FlyLady! If you need to get organized, motivated, or energized to clean and de-clutter your house, check it out.

So far, so good for Rory and me. Do you FLY or have any great tips?

I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT.

 

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