Putting my home on a diet…

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This house is going on a diet!

I know.  I know.  I’m not supposed to say diet.  I’m supposed to say lifestyle change, but who am I kidding.  I’ll be really good for a few weeks, and then, BAM! I walk into Target, pull a pile of catalogs out of my mailbox or pick up some great stuff at an auction that always comes with boxes of other stuff I think I may or may not be able to use.  I usually have plenty of regret later when I have piles of stuff everywhere or realize I bought this exact same turquoise cardigan the year before.

Yeah, these are basically the same sweater.  One is more greenish, but it's not noticeable enough to own them both.  We live an hour from Target so I kinda had to keep it.

Yeah, these are basically the same sweater. One is more greenish, but it’s not noticeable enough to own them both. We live an hour from Target so I kinda had to keep it.

However, I stumbled across this little challenge the other day while I was wasting time on  reading FB.  I wrote this last year about wanting to get rid of a bunch of weight, and I did, but not enough.  I clicked over to the blog White House Black Shutters (appropriate don’t you think?), and this getting rid of a bag of stuff each and every day for 40 days sounded pretty darn good.  *Best part is it doesn’t have to be 40 huge trash bags like in the photo.    It’s more of an idea.  You can throw out grocery bagfuls or multiple lawn and leaf bags, you choose.*  I plan to have a garage sale in June anyway so this will help me stay on track with it.

So 40 Bags in 40 Days it is.

The blogger, Anne Marie has it all set out for you.  She has a chart you can print out.  Here’s mine.

My 40 Bags in 40 Days Progerss Chart

My 40 Bags in 40 Days Progerss Chart

I know it looks like I just rushed over and filled it all out a few minutes ago. I did.  That is, I re-wrote it because it was partially written in marker which I, let alone anyone else, could hardly read so I reprinted this and started fresh just for you.  I decided to start this on the day she has printed on the chart, March 5th.  She also has one another chart with the date spaces blanked that way you can start whenever you want or do it longer than 40 days.  If you can do that, you may be a hoarder.  Just saying.

She also has suggestions for different places to look, “non-stuff” to declutter like your phone’s photos, Pinterest boards and e-mail in-box and different places for you to dispose of your stuff if you don’t feel right just trashing it.  I don’t, hence the garage sale.  Some of it is still good stuff.  I still like it.  I might need to keep…just kidding.  I’m trying to save stuff I might want to put in the garage sale until later in the challenge because then I won’t have to store it so long.  By the end I’m hoping I’ll feel this desperate need to finish filling in that chart that it will spur me on to get rid of any stuff I’m hedging on.

There is even a support group page on FB and a group on Instagram.  That’s not my thing today, but never say never.  Who knows how behind I’ll be in a week or 2 making me feel guilty and in need of some inspiring words.

Have you ever thought about doing something like this? Let me know if you decide to do this one, and maybe we can commiserate.

Have a great day-

April Signature

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How to get dishes that really sparkle…

This is going to be a short and sweet post.

I have been asked a ton how I get my glassware so sparkly.

The Peppered Peony

The Peppered Peony

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The Peppered Peony – How to Get Sparkly Dishes

Here’s the secret…

Ready…

The Magic Combo

The Magic Combo

Yep.  That’s it.  Great Value Dishwasher Powder and Vinegar.

I used to use the little dishwasher packs.  I tried them all, and nothing very spectacular happened.  Then one day  I  ran out of those little suckers.  The people who loaded and ran the dishwasher every night hadn’t bothered to tell me we were running low on them, and I was in a bit of a hurry, you know, like usual, so I couldn’t run to the store.

The lightbulb moment – I remembered we had this powder under the sink from when I decided to use it in a window washing recipe I found on Pinterest.  Didn’t I have tons left over because it didn’t take much and after using it once I remembered I hate washing windows?  Didn’t I just read a review of dishwasher detergents and this one came out #1?  Aren’t I trying to use up the stuff we already own to save money and clear out some clutter?

Even if I hated this stuff trying it could kill 4 birds with one stone…Saving time, saving  money, de-cluttering and most importantly getting the dishes washed without me having to stop what I was in the middle of to run to the store.

I have used vinegar in my rinse aid compartment for a long time.  We have fairly hard water, and even though we have a water softener I knew using vinegar would help with any left over mineral deposits.  Besides, it’s cheap, and I always have a ton of it.

After the first load of dishes I was shocked.  Then I ran through a load of those grimy mason jars I pick up at auctions.  Same result.  I’m completely sold on this now so I’ll be going old school with the powder and vinegar from now on.  By the way, did you notice the top of the box was pulled up?  That’s because my son didn’t know to pull out the spout on the side the first time he used it.  Talk about generation gap.

The Peppered Peony

The Peppered Peony

My other secret is putting Christmas lights under them, but that wouldn’t work so well if they weren’t this sparkly to begin with.

*Now keep in mind if I get a glass or jar with really heavy build up on it I usually soak it in CLR or LimeAway for a few minutes first, but for everyday cleaning you can’t beat this combo.

Have a great day-

April Signature

 

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How to decorate (for the DIY’er) series…

I was going to post a recipe today, but I’m actually really excited about this Pin from Home Stories A to Z.  I added to my Advice Column Board on Pinterest.

It’s been out a while, but still has some really good tips in a series from a lot of great DIY/Decorating/Organizing/Re-Purpousing blogs like House of Smiths, Tatertots and Jello and Beneath My Heart.  I’ve actually done quite a few DIY’s from Centsational Girl and  Southern Hospitality.  Miss Mustard Seed is my favorite right now though because I’m working on slipcovers, one of her specialties.  I use the word meaning I’m sewing piping, and my friend, Kim from K.Mae Designs, is sewing the slipcovers.

**The Nester has a special place in my heart because is the first decorating blog I ever looked at with any interest.  That took me to Jones Design Company, which is where I took the blog class, which is how The Peppered Peony came to be.**

Anyway, I like that this entire series is all in one place right here so I can find it when I have an extra minute or two while I’m waiting to pick someone up from piano or for a band concert to start or for dinner to finish up.

Wow!  That was short and sweet for a change!  Have a great day!

April Signature

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