Tuesday’s Tips: mosquito repelling plants and flowers

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Nothing like June: the start of summer, the longer days, the warmer nights, the outdoor eats, carnivals and festivals, etc. However with everything sometimes you have some give and other times you have some takes and one thing I can’t stand are mosquitos. They die in your cocktails when you leave them uncovered. They cause you to itch and scratch and just plain obnoxious. So here are some plants that repels mosquitos.

 
Marigolds are said to have a repulsive smelling aroma that bugs dislike. 

Lavender is not only a beautiful soothing plant with a calming scent for humans, but it’s a natural mosquito repellent. you can also pull some and place in your bedroom to help relax your body when it’s time for bed.

Geranium’s have a pretty cascading look  that repels mosquitos because of the strong fragrance.

 
Citronella grass is not only low maintenance but lemon scented ones are best for keeping mosquitoes at bay.

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Basil not only satisfies chefs but lemon basil and cinnamon basil deters insects like flies and mosquitos.

 
Garlic not only tastes good but it works for repelling.

Peppermint can double as cocktail garnishes and relief for itching if you do get bit by one (by simply rubbing the leaves on the bite). It’s a taste and smell most bugs dislike.

Rosemary is another great herb I love to cook with especially in green beans and pork chops. It attracts butterflies  and naturally repels mosquitos, cabbage moths and other bugs. They can be pruned and make for great landscaping additions as it looks like a shrub.

They also even say catnip helps and works way better than any spray you can get. Unless you have a fence, I wouldn’t advise. I don’t have a fence around my condo and I swear the neighborhood cats see my cat looking out of the patio doors and windows and they keep coming on my property hiding in my bushes as if I will let my cat out to play. Never fails, every friggin evening these cats come up, even when I’m on the porch. They will simply walk in the street and go up my neighbors driveway until I go inside. So the last thing I’m trying to do is have a buncha cracked out cats on my lawn 😂.

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Overall mint and lemon smelling flowers are the common denominator in most. Instead of spending money on spray that may not work, try a natural route that can not only be a great addition for your food prep, but ones that are also beautiful on the eyes. Happy gardening!
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And happy eating and drinking!

{Images via kitchen concoctions, confectionalism, topiaries, good housekeeping, & she wears many hats,}

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Tuesday’s Tips: save money with these produce storage tips

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Some takeaways I learned from Real Food Real Deals &;My Thirty Spot: how washing certain fruits like berries and grapes ahead of time can cause a negative affect on the skin and make them prone to bacteria so only wash when you get ready to eat them.  I also learned you should line berries in a different container lined with paper towel. How paper towels supposedly keeps lettuce fresh if placed on top and bottom and a lot of melons and fruit can actually stay at room temperature on the counter before going in the fridge. I started doing this with my strawberries as some grocery stores don’t have them in the refrigerated section so I figured they can stay out at home for a day or so before putting them in the fridge. I also try to cut and slice fruit I know I wont eat and freeze them in zip loc bags for future smoothies or Nice cream (google it if you don’t know what that is).

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They say you should keep fruit and produce separate in the fridge drawers. When buying fruit and veggies, always soak them in a 1:4 ratio of vinegar and water to help remove toxins and pesticides. That’s something I want to give a try. Do you have any tips on making food last longer?

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Tuesday’s Tips: fun ideas for toddler parties

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Here is a small round up of cute 1 year old and toddler birthday party ideas. 

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The lemon theme is so cute with wood crates and mason jars, beverage dispensers and pretty straws…

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Make sure you have activities for small children that makes sense to them. An inflatable pool filled with balls is sure to be a hit…

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Tuesday’s Tips: how to live with dated bathrooms

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There are often times budgets and circumstances doesn’t allow us to do exactly what we want. If you rent, you’re limited what you can do but there are ways to live with awful bathrooms for a little money. Using wall and cabinet paint, adding new knobs, placing a larger shower nozzle, hanging decorative mirrors or mirror trim (window casing trim) are some quick fixes.

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Sometimes it’s simply about accessories and styling and faking the funk to to take the eye away from eyesores. If you style a bathroom right, people will notice the things you styled it with, the décor, the details like the packaging of pretty hand soaps or the smells of decorative soaps.

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Treat yourself to higher end quality products instead of the  usual because it will make you feel like you’re in a spa setting. I really like the assortment of soaps and bath products that places like homegoods, Tjmaxx, & Marshalls sell. I am a sucker for packaging and they have the nicest smelling items and prettiest labels to go with any color scheme.
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You can also shy away from colors and go with a basic set of soap/lotion sets that looks like something you would get at a high end hotel. Speaking of, think about how hotel products look. They are all so nicely packaged and setting them on pretty trays really makes a world of difference.

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You can also re-glaze outdated colors like blush pink and pea green for the tub and sinks if they are in good condition..
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Painting tile is another easy way to go. Swapping out hardware and adding decorative knobs are things you can take with you when you move but the add so much personality to doors.
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Taking the time to replace blown light bulbs can a world of a difference. There are many times I see fixtures in people’s homes be it the bathroom or kitchen or ceiling fans and they look so unattractive when there are missing or blown out light bulbs. Taking  the time to stock up ensures you can replace right away and you will see the difference it makes, especially the bathroom.
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Another thing you can benefit from is displaying only towels that complement the look of the bathroom. Far too often you see people’s bathroom selfies and they have the most raggedy towels hanging up. Most are just thrown to dry any sort of way and it’s so tacky and just looks…..nasty. Even if you aren’t, mismatched towels with threads tearing off is not attractive at all. You owe it to yourself to buy and keep nice towels.
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You don’t have to spend a lot, but moving old towels to the rag stash will make a difference. For guest, keep white towels within reach and rolled up nicely like hotels so they don’t have to ask. Keep more wash towels on hand too as most people use a different one for the face than the body. If you can squeeze it, also have a small laundry basket for towels so they don’t have to have a cluttered pile on the floor. If white towels aren’t your thing, just make sure the ones on display match the bathroom. I always noticed how my cousin always had their whole family (husband and 5 kids) towels on different racks and they all matched. It was such a nice cohesive look.
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I cannot stress more than to have enough paper towels on hand for guest. Nothing irks my soul than to use the rest room in someone’s house and they only have their bath towels hanging up. I’m not  using your bath towels that you wiped your @$$ with to dry my hands!!!!! So do your friends and family a favor and keep a roll of paper towels there. You shouldn’t even WANT your guest to wipe their hands on your towels. Some people don’t wash their hands properly as it is………………but that’s another story lol.
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Also while we’re at it….you may want to toss that idea of having toilet lid carpet and toilet rugs to the side. It’s really not sanitary at all when you think about it. A bathroom rug by the sink and tub is really the only rugs you need. Jazz up the rug too, you don’t have to use the basic old school carpet rug.
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😂 So many style options are available in fluffy piles, shags, and designs. You can even use a runner if you like (esp in an apartment styled bathroom where it’s typically long and narrow).

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If the floor is leveled and decent you can top it with stickable vinyl tile. They offer some that are made to look like slate and stone and others made to look like wood and this could be a really easy cost effective fix for a bathroom you don’t want to spend lots of money on. Personally I love high end updates to bathrooms because the area is small and you can really get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to the floor. However everyone can’t hire contractors or want to do it themselves and deal with grout so peelable vinyl is an alternative. Keep in mind that if you have kids or bad pipes or just plain clumsy and prone to getting a ton of water on the floor, this option may not be for you.

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If all fails, simply embrace what you have. if you’re renting, you won’t always live there but you want to at least enjoy the space you have for the time you’re there and if you’re really on a budget and funds are tight, you can still do small things to make you at ease in your own space. My very first apartment had mosaic tile on the floor in an odd green color. I hated it. I hated that entire bathroom but it was my first spot. I made do with what I could. I had a fish theme and got the boldest aquatic shower curtain I could find, the prettiest turquoise glass soap dish accessories from Pier 1 and a metal fish candle holder from pier 1. I bought a pretty woven laundry basket that had blues on the outside as well as the liner and filled the space with candles and shell stuff. I simply used the color of the tile and decorated with it versus against it. In the end, the way I decorated it made me like the bathroom. The tile no longer became an eyesore to me, instead it matched. So try your best to find a color scheme that compliments the dated colors or use classic black and white. That will make almost anything look fly. Happy Decorating!

{Images via (in no order) design sponge, my fabuless life, mimosas in the morning, inspiration for moms, domaine home, remodelista, young house love, a graceful life, & see this painted faucet tutorial transformation.


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Tuesday’s Tips: closet lighting ideas

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You ever try to find something in your closet and end up using your phone’s backlight or the flashlight app? Well here are a couple ideas for you. You can use L.E.D. shelves or Ikea strip lights…

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{Images via Popsugar with image by Timothy Bell, TollgardMerry Pad}


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Tuesday’s Tips: curtain panels for bathroom showers

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I am moving in a little over a month and will have three bathrooms to decorate so I’m trying to find inspiring ideas. I have always loved the modern take on the old school curtain look for the shower. Nowadays people are using grommet curtain panels, raising the rod near the ceiling and having panels puddle to the floor. I really love this idea but I think I want to use clips to hold the fabric instead of grommets. For fact, I will have two panels….just need to zero down on fabric.

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Something very enveloping and comforting happens when there are two panels. Simply use a tension rod to hang the liner and move it to one side so you don’t see it. A fabric that blends in with the tile is very chic…

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Tuesday’s Tips: make your home feel larger

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I was reading an article on Elle Decor yesterday that had some cool tips to make your space feel larger. It was funny because the post also had more images of the home I posted in this post. You can also see that living room below. So I’m categorizing this in both my Tuesday’s Tips and Remember When tabs. Above they combined panels to form one large massive canvas of DIY art which is genius and critical when hanging art in a home with high ceilings. I’m moving into a condo that has high vaulted ceilings in the living/dining area so I know buying art and wall decor has to be sizeable and to scale. Otherwise it will look silly.

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Another trick is taping rugs together to make one large area rug. That too is a great idea and will possibly save you money as large scale rugs are typically expensive. You can also lay them close together on rug grip pads to prevent them from moving apart or the rugs sliding around. Speaking of rugs….I purchased two for only 96 bucks because Rugs USA had a 75% off with free shipping sale that I couldn’t pass up. One is a white furry shag rug is 5×3 ft and one with a cobalt blue design that’s 5×8. I can’t wait till they arrive. This is not a sponsored post, I am just too happy about that deal and the selection. I will definitely use them for clients.

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Tuesday’s Tips: Sleep Better By…

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We all can benefit from having a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips you may not have thought of.

Wash Pillows to keep them germ free and fluffy and donate old worn out pillows to animal shelters…

Buy a good mattress or mattress pad…

Hang up black-out curtains to create a dark room where the light from the streets and sun doesn’t bother you…
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Clean and tidy up before bed as the less clutter you see, the more relaxed you’ll feel…

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Get clothes and lunches ready the night before work which will give you more time to sleep in the morning and less time to get ready. You’ll also benefit from not forgetting things and eliminate the stress of not having something to wear. Doing this can also keep you punctual.

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The more sleep you get, the less time you spend awake which means you’ll eat less calories through out the day.

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Tuesday’s Tips: Don’t throw it out…just add gold!

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There are so many craigslist postings filled with crap or things collecting dust in your garage that can easily be revamped with gold. Whether you spray paint or gold leaf, adding the metallic hue can give new life to lots of things. Here are some of my favs from my Pinterest DIY board. Above is a gold leaf Ikea hack via The Hunted Interior.

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I see these stools all of the time online and after seeing this, I may just scoop some up…

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Dream a Little Bigger really changed the look of this dated chair…

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Iron on letters and quotes can change any plain pillow as seen on The Shabby Creek Cottage

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I love lamp shades with color inside and this diy project via Cohesive Randomness turned out fab.

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This is by far my favorite. I love this diy gold leaf painted globe. If they painted the stand gold too it really would have set this off. See the deets on Love and Renovations.