Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah) are both right around the corner, and although I’m not actually hosting in our tiny apartment, that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming up the perfect tablescape to combine the two.  Using a mix of rustic fall-influenced linens, coppers, and gorgeous deep blues, some of the products below would lend themselves beautifully to this one-in-a-lifetime meal!
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Get the look:
Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to the holiday season, xo!

Clean Living

As I’ve gotten older, creating and maintaining a clean and organized space around me has become one of my top priorities, both for my sanity and happiness.  I’m pretty sure my mother would have never suspected I could keep a home clean, judging solely by the state of my highschool bedroom and her sheer frustration at asking me to pick up my clothing day after day.  Well, it seems I’m the “Mom” now, as I explain to Josh things like how it’s necessary to wipe down the kitchen counters every night after cooking, and that just because the dog will inevitably shed more tomorrow, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sweep today!  I actually find that the little amount of time I spend on daily cleaning and tidying provides me with a bit of zen each day.

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While I have no problem tackling the day to day, every now and then I take to the internet to find some good at home remedies for the “tough” stains, spots, and grime.  Here are a few of my favorite tried and true cleaning tips:

  1. Cleaning Your Stove Burners: Take each burner and place it in a large (gallon size should do it) plastic bag.  Add about 1/4 cup of ammonia.  Seal and let sit overnight.  No scrubbing needed! It is the ammonia fumes, not the ammonia, that dissolve away all burned on grime and grease. (Source)
  2. Keeping your Shower Tiles Fresh: Fill a dish wand (the ones with the clear handles you can put soap in 😉 ) with half Dawn dish soap and half vinegar.  Wipe down walls of shower with it before showering, and rinse off during shower. (Source)
  3. For Sparkling Sink Fixtures: Mix Borax with enough lemon juice to create a stiff paste (can be stored in a small container when needed).  Rub it on, then rinse away thoroughly. (Source)
  4. To Remove Food Stains from a Microwave: Fill a microwaveable bowl with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add one toothpick to float on the top of the liquid. Microwave for 5 minutes, let the steam sit with the door closed for another 2 minutes. Remove turntable and wash down in the sink; wipe down sides of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel. (Source)
  5. Tile Floor Grout Cleaner: Add together 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia (or lemon juice) and 1/4 cup vinegar. Spray on grout, leave for about 1 hour, then scrub vigorously with a scrub brush. (Source)
  6. Carpet Stains: Mix equal parts ammonia and hot water.  Pour mixture over stain and cover with a clean white towel. Iron towel on top of the stain and the stain will lift right off the rug! (Source)
  7. Wrinkle Release Spray: Mix equal parts white vinegar, fabric softener, and water in a spray bottle.  Spray on fabric and pull slightly – wrinkles fall right out. (Source)
  8. Remove Rust Stains from Knives: Soak your knives in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes then scrub with rough side of the sponge. (Source)
  9. Clogged Drains: Pour about 1/2 cup of Baking Soda down the drain. Pour 2 cups Vinegar down the drain and let sit 10-15 minutes. Next, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.  If clog is still not completely broken up, run warm water and use a plunger over the drain a few times. (Source)
  10. Cleaning a Wooden Cutting Board: Combine 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 cup of water and wipe down cutting board using dishtowel dipped in solution.  Slice a lemon in half, dip pulp side in coarse sea salt, and use as a scrubber over board. Wipe down the board with water, pat dry, and finish with a little board or mineral oil. (Source)

Do you have any fantastic cleaning tips you use? I’d love to hear them!

Wishing you a fabulous hump-day.  xo

On the Move

imageOver the weekend, Josh and I began the painful process of moving. We found a newly renovated one-bedroom in Jackson Heights, Queens, that in just over a week we will be calling home.  Saturday was spent packing boxes, Sunday was spent “U”-hauling the goods to the new apartment.  My amazing in-laws met us there to help us unload and clean – we really couldn’t have made it through the day without them!

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We loved LOVED Brooklyn, and even though we were reluctant at first and only thought of it as temporary, we grew to love living on Long Island in the suburbs as well.  Dimona [dog] certainly loved the suburbs the most!

Our new chapter in Queens I’m sure will only bring amazing things.  I could see us settling in for a while, and as someone who has only lived in the same place a maximum of two years for the past ten years (7 different moves in that time) this is quite a relaxing and comforting thought!  I’m excited to make a new home for my husband and our dog, and hope to be able to share some decorating adventures here soon. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself!

Queens MapSource

We still need to move most of our clothing, our art, and electronics, but very soon we’ll be all set up.  Next time I see you all, I’ll be blogging from my new boro! xoxo

Pinspiration: Holiday Crafting and Baking

Welcome, December! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The holiday season always brings out an excessive need in me to craft and bake, as evidenced by a few of last year’s posts: DIY holiday wreath, cookie-in-a-jar gift, christmas cupcakes with eggnog frosting,…

Here are a few fabulous decorating and baking ideas that I am dying to try out for this Christmas:

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I love this rustic Holiday Wreath by Two Junk Chix

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The earthy look of this organic fireplace and mantle decor from Midwest Living is so appealing

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These salted caramel pears from Inspired Design make the perfect edible centerpiece

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This hat pattern from Ravelry is an inspiration to step up my knitting game this season – handmade gifts are the best kind!

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This “gingerbread men turned reindeer” cookie recipe from Martha Stewart might be the perfect activity for when my nieces come to visit!

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I’m in love with the simplicity and clean look of this tablescape from Lemonade Makin’ Mama – just white candles and loose jingle bells!

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Another fantastic edible gift (or party) idea – Eggnog Fudge from Recipe Girl

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This would be a lovely idea for a crafting party – make your own ornaments with instructions from Downtime. Upcycle.

Are you as pin-spired as I am?  Of course, I’ll be lucky if I actually get to 2-3 of these fabulous ideas!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite craft ideas and recipes for the holiday season. Have a lovely weekend, xo!

A Little Birdy Told Me

Good morning everyone and happy Tuesday!  It’s been chilly here in NY, but spring is in the air nonetheless!  I saw some little purple crocuses popping up from the hard, brown ground yesterday while walking the dog, and our bird feeder has been a flurry of activity this week.  Bring on the new season!

One of my favorite trends for this spring is bird print – I see bird themed wardrobe and decor everywhere, and I’m in love! Here are some adorable aviary accessories to keep your eye on:

Print / Earrings / Pillow / Ballet Flats / Bedding / Dress / Clutch / Wall Hooks

I purchased the dress at H & M a month ago and have paired it with black tights, Frye boots, and a cardigan, but can’t wait to ditch the tights and transition it into my spring wardrobe! How about you – are you crushing on bird print too?

Have a lovely day! xo