Category Archives: Home Sweet Home

Do it yourself tricks and tips. Living and decorating on a budget.

Home Sweet Home: DIY Fabreeze

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If you’re like me, you love your linen, carpets, cushions, and even curtains smelling fresh and clean. A quick way to freshen up your place is to spray Fabreeze but it’s also the costly way to freshen up your place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fabreeze and Lysol fabric fresheners. But the bottle doesn’t last long and can really take a toll on your wallet.

So, I made my own fabric fresheners. They’re cheap and smell great! I use 1/2 cup Fleecy fabric softener and 3-4 cups water. In a bottle add fabric softener of your choice and water and mix well and there you have it, homemade fabric refreshening spray!
Alternatively, you can use scented oils. I’d just be worried if the oil would stain certain fabrics or surfaces, so I stick with fabric softener.

Try it out and let me know how fresh your home smells!

Home Sweet Home: 5 Decorating Ideas Under $100

A couple of months ago, I posted about my cleaning schedule and being on top of “seasonal cleaning”. If you’ve kept to a schedule, then seasonal cleaning should be easy. The fun part of seasonal cleaning is that post-cleaning decorating.

After the home is all nice and clean, it’s time to reorganize your accessories and switch out the previous season and refresh the home with a new seasonal theme. Switch out the curtains, the picture frames, the cushions, candles, mats and mini accessories.

For under $100 I’m going to walk you through redecorating the season. In this case, Fall and Winter. We’re hitting up the dollar store, Walmart, Target and some local stores here in Toronto for cheap finds and gorgeous accessories. Dare to take this challenge with me? Lets go! (Sorry, I didn’t get time to take photos, will include them over the weekend)

  1. Change up those picture frames  and switch the photos in them, or get really creative and redo a wall by adding a bunch of different size pictures and frames to make a massive piece of family photo art on your entrance wall. You can find cool frames in all sorts of colors and shapes at the dollar store for under $3 each and Walmart also has an amazing collection of sizes, shapes and colors. My entrance way has a nice console table, but the wall is bare. So, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve hunted through a couple of different dollar stores for per-framed art/photos, different sized frames and have put them up to make a massive collage of my family and friends.
  2. Summer is over (sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s true), so switch up your curtains with some beautiful warm colored ones to give your home a nice cozy feel. Walmart and Target have a great selection of gorgeous colors for a great price. Because I have a little munchkin who loves to put her dirty hands on anything light-colored, I opted for dark purple ones that contrast amazingly with my blue carpet. I’ve also redone my curtain rode by moving it up very close to the ceiling – lots of interior designers say that by moving the rods higher to the ceiling, you give the illusion of taller walls. It definitely worked!
  3. Painting an entire room isn’t always feasible (especially with little munchkins). But an accent wall is a cheap, easy and quick way to make a huge impact. Pick a color that compliments the rest of your accessories and opt for one shade brighter. Unfortunately, I have decided not to paint because we might be moving within the next 6-months or so and D just doesn’t want me “wasting” money right now, when I’ll probably want to paint the new apartment anyway. If painting is not an option for you either for whatever reason, you can wallpaper your wall or as I read on Pinterest recently, use fabric to decorate. Here’s the pin for more details.
  4. Update mats, curtains and towels in your kitchen and bathroom. You can find great stuff at Walmart and Target. But if you’re really looking to budget yourself, then try driving around and look for those one-off home accessories stores. You’ll find great mats and curtains at a reasonably cheap price compared to the big brand stores. I chose dark purple mats for my bathroom and contrasting purple and beige ones for my kitchen. They look fantastic and really give the place a cozy feel.
  5. Adding accessories. Accessories can be ex-pen-sive! But if you’re smart about it,  you can find some really great stuff at the dollar store to craft or at the local Value Village (GoodWill) shop. I opted to purchase some mini-plant holders from the dollar store. I added some fake mini flowers to the pot and stuck a big candle in the middle and place 3 of them on my dining table.

My total seasonal re-decorating cost me $97.60, leaving me enough for a coffee! That’s a hundred dollars well-spent, especially when you have friends or family over and they’re amazed when you tell them about your cheap finds and how you put on the creative hat and wow-ed up your place on tight budget.

Home Sweet Home: Keeping Your Home Fresh & Clean

Spring is here or so it’s supposed to be and it’s that time of year to clean, clean and deep clean your home.

I hate spring cleaning. I hate having to do a deep cleaning once/twice a year that is going to take me 6-8 hours to complete. So, I’ve worked out a schedule for myself; daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally to make sure my house always looks fresh and clean. My schedule makes the whole “spring cleaning” seem like a breeze. Matter-of-fact, I really on change the bathroom, living room and bedroom accessories to give my home a new/fresh look and the seasonal stuff isn’t hard to do, because everything else constantly gets gone.

Here’s my schedule and what I do during each instance:

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Share your tips and secrets for maintaining your home and keeping it looking amazing with me and maybe I’ll feature you in one of my posts!

Life-Hack: Swiffer WetJet

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How to get the cap off the Swiffer WetJet bottle has been a mystery for me, until now! I’ve been wasting so much money over the past six months on the refill bottles even though I don’t like the liquid cleaner inside them. All because I didn’t know you could get the cap off.

Silly me! I should’ve known better, there’s a Pin for that! Of course there is. There’s a Pin for anything and everything you could possibly think of on Pinterest. I mean with all those stay-at-home moms and dads (all the power to them) finding frugal ways to clean their home and organize, how could there not be? And I found it! Woohoo me! Oh and just so you know, it’s not rocket-science either. Come on, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

So here goes:

Remove the bottle from your Swiffer and flip it over so the cap is pointing downward. Boil a cup of water and put the bottle cap-down in the pot. Hold in place for about a minute.

Remove from water and with a clothe or towel, twist that sucker off as hard as you can. Good-job! You didn’t get it off. Lol. Don’t worry neither did I using that method. All the hot water did was soften the plastic a bit. So, I covered the cap with a clean towel and twisted it of with my mouth (I know, how un-motherly of me) but D wasn’t around so I used my mouth. If you don’t want to use your teeth, then get a wrench and grasp it with that and twist it off. It’ll be easier!

The next part in the Pin worked like a charm. Inside the cap there are itty-bitty flaps or ridges, whatever you want to call them. Get a nail-cutter and clip those off. Those are the little suckers that cause the cap to snap on to the bottle and make it so difficult to get off. Once you cut them off, you can refill your bottle with your choice of cleaner, I used Apple cider vinegar and water and twist the cap back on, pop the bottle back into your Swiffer and you’re ready to go.

Enjoy your now ever-so-awesome Swiffer WetJet without breaking the bank on those horrible refill bottles! Xoxo