Sunday, April 22, 2012

two-year anniversary: the house now

Two years into living in the little farmhouse, a lot has changed. You can see the whole transformation here... but for those of you who have been following the transformation all along, here is an up-to-date tour of the house, top to bottom!


Dining Room

Living Room


Yellow Bedroom

Blue Bedroom

Master Bedroom



Front Porch

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

how-to: spring cleaning in minutes a day

Spring cleaning seems like something that requires entire weekends devoted to (gasp) cleaning. But, tackling small projects can make as much of a difference as big projects. If you have 5, 10 or 15 minutes to spare, try one of these:

Polish leather boots and shoes: 15 minutes (or 3 minutes per pair)
Supplies: polish (black and/or brown, depending on your shoes), buffing brick, polish brush, soft cloth, leather lotion

Clean windowsills and baseboards: 5 minutes per room
Supplies: sponge, soap, hot water

Clean those makeup brushes!: 10 minutes
Supplies: mild shampoo, warm water, clean towel

If you spend more than $1 on a makeup brush, and if it touches your face every day, then you owe it to yourself (and your pocket book) to wash them at least twice a year (I've heard that once a month is optimal). It's easy: fill your sink or a big bowl with warm water and mild shampoo or soap, and soak your brushes. Clean and rinse them individually, and lay on a clean towel to dry (flipping after a few hours). I find that eyeshadow brushes take about 30 seconds apiece, while blush and powder brushes take a few minutes each because they collect so much build-up from daily use. Although I procrastinate on this project every year, I never regret it when I'm done.

Change out your wardrobe: 5-15 minutes

Part 1: scarves!

I keep seasonal scarves within easy reach on a rack between my closet and bedroom door. And I keep more in a basket next to the chaise lounge. And ... ok ... more in the trunk at the end of my bed :) Can you tell this girl has a scarf addiction? But you can do the same, and it makes for an easy change every season:

before: fall/winter arrangement

after: spring/summer arrangement

Part 2: closet capers

I spied a neat trick on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and decided to give it a go this year in my own closet. The idea is to turn all of your hangers backward at the beginning of the season. Then, as you wear clothes, you put hangers back on the rack the normal way. At the end of the season, you'll know which clothes you haven't worn recently. Seems easy enough ... so when I unpacked a box of spring/summer clothes today, I gave it a try. We'll see what stays and what goes six months from now :)