Budget-Friendly Ways to Decorate for Fall

You might be tempted to hit the home decor store as soon as that first leaf falls from the tree, but why not try your hand at some DIY projects? If you want to get in the fall spirit without draining your bank account, use these budget-friendly tips to make your home an autumn wonderland.

Fall Pumpkin Tableau [southernliving.com]
Welcome your guests into your home with a fantastic fall vignette right in the foyer. This once uses a few seasonal gourds and miniature pie pumpkins, which only cost a few dollars at the grocery store. The rest you can get for free by simply using your own clear vases or bowls and some leafy branches from the trees outside.

Gourd and Pumpkin Lights [bhg.com]
Light up the night either inside or out by creating a stylish, chic version of the classic jack-o'-lantern. Instead of carving a face into a pumpkin, simply hollow out a few in varying sizes and place tea lights inside their openings.

Pinecone Lamp Finial [marthastewart.com]
Incorporate fall decor into even the tiniest touches in your home, such as the small piece that screws into the top of a lamp. Simply glue pinecones to the tops of all of your finials for a festive look, or even spray paint them gold or silver for a bit more glamour!

How to Keep Your Bathroom Clean and Clutter-Free

It’s not uncommon to accumulate a whole lot of clutter in your bathroom. If you want to finally clean out your bathroom and make it a bit more functional, however, all it takes are a few simple tips to show you how. Here are some great ways to keep your bathroom clean and clutter-free.

  1. Clean out the cabinets. Whether your bathroom has a standard medicine cabinet, an under-sink cabinet or both, it’s always smart to toss out your unused products and make room for the essentials. Clear everything out, wipe down the shelves and add storage bins where you need them.
  2. Update your towel storage. You may feel stuck with the one towel rack that you have, but you can always add a hanging towel rack over the door to create more hanging storage.
  3. Add a shower caddy. If your soaps and shampoos are taking over the shower ledges, keep them corralled with a shower caddy. Invest in one that hangs over the showerhead, or use a portable one that you can tote back and forth between showers.
  4. Add shelving. If all else fails, add your own shelving anywhere that you need it in the bathroom. Store products in baskets or bins to help keep the shelves neat and tidy.

Quick Tips for Organizing Bathrooms [HGTV]
10 Tips to organize your bathroom [She Knows]
Store More in Your Bath [Better Homes & Gardens]

How to Clean Using Baking Soda

From the refrigerator to the shower, it seems like there’s nothing that baking soda can’t freshen up. Here are just three great ways to incorporate baking soda into your cleaning routine.

  1. Freshen the fridge. This is by far the easiest way to clean with baking soda, as it really doesn’t involve any cleaning at all. Simply place an opened container of baking soda in the refrigerator, and it will naturally absorb odors and help keep your fridge smelling fresh.
  2. Unclog a drain. Measure 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar, then pour each down the drain separately. They will immediately create a bubbling effect and help clear up a clogged drain.
  3. Remove spots on your walls click to read more. If you have scratches and marks on your light-colored walls, mix baking soda and water to create a solution that will remove them with ease. Simply soak up the solution with a soft cloth and get to scrubbing.

21 Cleaning Problems You Can Solve With Baking Soda [Good Housekeeping]
Clean Your Whole House with Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon [Earth 911]
Top 10 Cleaning Uses for Baking Soda! [Clean My Space]

DIY Storage Solutions for Mail, Memos and Other Common Paper Clutter

If you’re constantly combating paper clutter, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few simple solutions that will help stop that mess once and for all. All it takes is a bit of smart organizing and some DIY ingenuity to create a designated space for all of your memos, mail, magazines, and everything in between. Here are three projects to help you get started!

Vertical Paper Holders [scrapendipity.blogspot.com]
Office supplies can be quite costly if you purchase them new, so instead of investing in vertical paper holders for all of your work or school documents, create your own using only recycled cardboard boxes and a bit of paint. This simple tutorial shows you how to cut and fold leftover cardboard into a professional-looking paper holder.

Shanty Memo Frame [shanty-2-chic.com]
While the standard cork board is undeniably handy, it’s not exactly the most attractive type of wall art. If you want to create something that’s just as functional but a bit more stylish, this fun and easy tutorial will show you how to create a memo frame out of an old frame, sturdy twine, and whatever embellishments strike your fancy.

Decorative Burlap Memo Board [beneathmyheart.net]
Make the most of that unused space behind your desk by crafting this DIY burlap memo board. Just measure the space beforehand to create a custom-sized board.

How to Make Your Own Spring Floral Arrangement

These fast and easy tips will help you to create a florist-quality spring floral arrangement that you’ll be really proud to display in your home.

  1. Begin with the color palette. If you want to mix and match flowers to create your own bouquet, it’s best to have a color palette in mind. Stick with muted tones, a blend of bold primary hues, or variations of one color to create a cohesive look.
  2. Create a space for each flower. Cheat by creating a sort of grid guideline inside of the vase. Place a piece of chicken wire flat inside of the opening, or even create a crosshatch of durable florist tape across the surface of the vase. The goal is to have a series of 1-inch squares where you can place each type of flower.
  3. Start with the largest flower. Create a base by adding the largest flower (or branch or fern) in the center.
  4. Add the thickest flowers. Arrange thick, heavy flowers around the tallest one in the middle.
  5. Finally, add accent flowers. Add tulips, daffodils, roses or other eye-catching accents last.

DIY Spring Flower Arrangement by Ashley Woodson Bailey [Design Sponge]
How to Make a Cool Flower Arrangement: 8 DIY Ideas for Spring [Stylecaster]
Simple Spring Centerpieces [Better Homes and Gardens]

Happy Monday!

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is around the corner! Here are few important reminders.

What Are Your Favorite Spring Recipes? Here Are a Few to Try This Season!

As the days get longer and springtime (finally!) rolls around, you likely start to crave lighter meals made with bright, fresh ingredients. Retire your usual favorite spring recipes in favor of something new and exciting with these delicious dishes from around the web.

Grilled Artichokes [oprah.com]
Create a tasty side dish for chicken, steak, or fish with Oprah’s recipe for flavorful grilled artichokes. Grilling these layered veggies on a stovetop grill gives them a bit of a blackened taste, and the homemade dipping sauce that goes with them adds even more flavor.

Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns [localfoods.about.com]
Fiddlehead ferns come into season during the spring, which makes this dish very fresh and delicious. This recipe also takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook, so it makes quite a quick last-minute side dish on busy weeknights.

Risotto With Prosciutto and Peas [realsimple.com]
If you’re looking for something heartier and more filling, this rich, creamy risotto recipe is the perfect choice come spring. Thin prosciutto adds a salty taste, while the sweet spring peas make it perfect for warmer weather. Cook the risotto in white wine and chicken broth to add a deep, complex flavor throughout, then serve it with your favorite grilled meats or as an entree with a fresh salad.

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