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make everyday earth day

April 17, 2014
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Although, the “official” celebration of Earth Day is on April 22, there are still lots of small things that we can do throughout the year to practice a little “green living”.  The whole idea behind many of these tips is that the items you need to use for them are things that you probably already have at home.green living tips

In the long run, this translates as less waste and fewer chemicals that can have a negative effect on our good green Earth. Here are a few nifty ideas to get you started…

Check out Alea’s tips for going green in the bathroom~ you’ll everything from homemade cleansers to recommended products on her blog, Premeditated Leftovers.

Learn all about the wonders of vinegar on Simply Rebekah.  Guest poster Stacy Karen names off the top ten ways you can use this non-toxic and inexpensive ingredient to sanitize, clean, and deodorize your home.

Just in time for the Easter Bunny…Carissa from Creative Green Living shares her secret on how to make this festive Easter Egg Candles. What a unique addition to your holiday dinner table!

We can’t wait for things to start turning green again, but that also means wonderful weeds will start coming to the party too.  DIY Natural shares some tips to keep them at bay the natural way.

Save your pennies while helping save the Earth. These Eco-Friendly Piggy Banks are made from empty salt and baking powder containers. We found this pretty project on the Family Sponge Blog.

You’ll be picking up a whole bag of lemons at your next grocery stop after hearing 30 different ways you can use these colorful citrus fruits from Go Green America.

green2

Whether you are a bride-to-be or helping someone plan the wedding of their dreams, you’ll find tons of tips for an Earth-friendly wedding on The Wedding Party Blog.  These Wishing Stones are a great alternative to the traditional guest book and the couple can permanently display them in their new home as a sentimental wedding keepsake.

Never spend another cent on dryer sheets. Make your own Wool Dryer Balls using the easy instructions over on Healthy Living How To. Not only are they re-usable, they are a non-toxic and chemical-free solution that’s easy to incorporate into a common household chore.

We all know that coffee grounds are great for composting but did you know all the other things you can do with them before they make it to their final destination?  The Earthy Mama shares her ten top picks.

Garden season will be here before you know it… and so will the bugs who like to nibble on your precious plants.  Scare them away the natural way with this solution from Weed ‘em and Reap that won’t harm your plants or the people eating them.

Like discovering helpful tips on the world wide web?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our brightest finds.

my office makeover

April 15, 2014
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Steve and I will have lived in our 1950′s cape cod for a total of 10 years this summer.  We have done some remodeling and moving things around a bit over that span of time but one room was always ignored… our office.  It had an old love seat (aka our basset hound’s bed), extra coffee table, Ikea saw horse desk and a small file cabinet.  It worked but it was over crowed and not so pretty.

home office ideas

I think it was a combination of our office organization blog post, a way too long winter and our Rochester store facelift that inspired me to change it up finally.

office makeoverFirst… the inspiration.  When I remodeled the shops recently I always began with a blank sheet of graph paper so I can see the space with fresh eyes.  Even though this is a much smaller project, this helped me figure out what my options were for desk & furniture placement.

I’ve had this funny Kathleen Taylor canvas in our office for a while and have always loved the color story.  It’s what made me paint the walls aqua and the desk top orange.

I like to collect other complimentary paint sample cards for accent color ideas.

And then there is my chair fabric.  I know traditional office chairs are probably far better for body posture but I opted for the cuteness factor instead with this sweet slipper chair from target online.  My friend chose something similar for her home office and after seeing it I knew I needed to say goodbye to my old office depot roller.

office color storyThe colors I went with were from Miss Martha and were called Feldspar and Butterscotch.  We wanted a double desk so we ended up buying two hollow doors and three filing cabinets to lay them on top of.  I also rolled  thin coat of poly acrylic over on the desk so it will wear a little better over time.

office makeoverI originally planned on spray painting the used file cabinets an olive green, however the place I found on craiglists actually had three matching Steelcase ones that were already a muted teal green so they worked.  (Please ignore the dirty window.  Storms are coming off  as soon as it stops snowing in April!  arghhhh)

diy tie up curtainSpeaking of windows… since the desk was flush against the one window I improvised by creating a my own ‘tie-up’ curtain.  I’ve found Cost Plus World Market to have the cutest curtain collection.  These were light weight so I  folded them in half & safety pinned the bottom to the top.

I cut two 5 foot ribbons and looped them over the top.

make your own tie curtainI accordion folded the curtain from the bottom a few times, clipped it in place then tied the ribbons to the desired length.  I slipped a 1/2 inch dowel through to give it a little weight and voila ~ a cheap and easy tie shade with no sewing involved.

office makeoverIt was fun mixing up the patterns with complimenting colors.  It just makes the office feel happy.  The turquoise dresser was a flea market find and came naturally distressed painted that fabulous color.  The rug and dog pad came from Home Goods.  Steve’s office chair came from my mom’s basement (which could double for a flea market/antique shop)

diy home office decorI couldn’t say goodbye to my old (Martha inspired) ribbon bulletin board I made in college so I snuck it in behind the door that is usually open all the time.  I did add three colorful clipboards I got at our shop to display some quotes that currently speak to me.  I like how easy they are to change out and update from time to time.

Gus has finally adjusted to being downgraded to a dog bed since he lost his couch.  (He’s quite comfortable with his masculinity so he’s ok that with his pad being a little girly)

diy window frame

Since we removed all the old windows from our Rochester store during the facelift, I took some of them home to create large frames.  This one was perfect for showcasing our four shops.  The sculpted ceramic heart in the middle reads, catching fireflies and was made by my talented friend, Karen Fincannon.

diy window frameAll I did was put a couple picture hanging hooks on the back of the window.  I sized & printed photos to fit the panes and taped them to the backside of the window with scotch tape.  For aesthetics I covered the scotch tape by adhering washi tape on the front of the window so it appears that it’s holding the photo in place… even though the image is really behind the glass.

office decorI’m sorta on a Ikea photo ledge kick lately.  I like stacking a variety of frames, art and objects together in an organized, yet artful way.  Steve commissioned this lovely painting of our two shops in Berkley by Kandy Myny of Bit O Whimsey for me a few years ago.  It fits perfectly in our new office paired with with some vintage and new a.i. paper design wares.

This low cost makeover did take some energy and effort, but it has completely changed the feeling of the room.  I spend quite a bit of time in this space and don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.  You should love where you spend your time.  Sometimes all it takes is a gallon of paint, a few thrift store finds and a trip to Ikea to give your nest a new look…. well that and maybe a few fun treasures at catching fireflies too. ;-)

Like to see where I spend my time away from catching fireflies?  Then sign up to receive blog posts like these in your email inbox HERE

easter basket bounty

April 12, 2014
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The bunny rabbit will be stopping by next week.  Are you ready?  Here’s a peek at some goodies in his treasure chest of treats.

easter basket gifts1.  This magical sand trumps anything you’ll find at the beach or in a sandbox.  It feels so amazing, we even can’t stop playing with it.   $24.95                         

2. Tis’ the season for spending time outside so put down the ipad and have some fun with these classic sidewalk games  $8.95

3.  Fold your way into creating festive suncatchers with this clever kit  $9.95

4.  Rainy days don’t have to be gray with these great gel crayons.  Color up your windows and mirrors with sunny sayings and drawings  $13.95

5.  Add a little flair to your ride with some sweet spoke decorations $9.95

6.  Mix up your manicure with these cute zoo decals $5.95

7.  Transform into a beautiful butterfly with these mavelous masks $11.99

8.  Or better yet, slip on a pair of these whimsical fairy wings  $18.95

9.  Join in nature’s song with this classic bird warbler $1.25

10.  Find a way to fit in this classic fruit stripe gum among all the eggs and jellybeans  $1.95

11.  This zipper bracelet looks pretty on your wrist and is also fun to play with  $3.95

12.  Overdosed on bunnies, chicks and lambs?  How about this super cute guinea pig instead? $12.95

13.  If you can imagine it, you can build it with this clever Danish building toy  $10.95 – $36.95

14.  Create puppets just using your fingers with some help from these silly googly eyes  $1.95

Shop for even more EASTER BASKET FINDS

Do you like finding goodies that will bring big grins? We’re happy to share some of our sweet gift ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty.  Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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