plants, plants, plants.

IMG_0869I Love plants!  I have greenery in every room in my house.  Every plant I keep is super easy to maintain.  No fake plants allowed.

For me, bringing the outdoors in boosts my mood, keeps the air clean, and adds great aesthetics to my decor.  I have bought a few of my potted plants, but most of my indoor foliage comes from my own yard, or has been split from other plants for no cost at all.  Here are some of my favorites….plants

Boston Fern, Aloe, Aridang Orchid, Mother’s Tongue, Monstera.

Many plants can be cut and kept in just water for months, even years.  Here is an example of some of my plants that have been propagated just by taking a cutting and putting it in water.

Philodendron

You can clearly see the root growth.  This was pruned off of an overgrown hanging vine in my son’s room about two weeks ago.IMG_0903

Song of India

I absolutely love these plants.  We had them in our back yard at our old house, so they are a little sentimental. I also took cuttings from a hybrid plumeria tree and a red ti that I have planted in our new yard.  For some plants, its that easy.  IMG_0887IMG_0889

Spider Plant

Here is an example of a Spider Plant that I just brought in. Easy as 1, 2, 3.spiderplant1. Cut a baby off of the main plant.

You can see the yellow stem, where I cut it off.  I like to leave a little of the stem on because it helps balance the plant in the container, before its roots grow.

2. Place in any container with water.

Any container will do.  Its fun to get creative with this part.

Make sure just the bottom of the plant is in the water.  You can already see where the baby root buds are coming out.

3. Put in a well lit area.

Watch your plant grow and add a lively element to your living space.

 

If I’m ever feeling like I need to add more vegetation to my home, without having to actually plant anything, I take a walk outside with my clippers.  I look for pretty flora, put it in a vase, and whalah!  Instant gratification.

Tissue Paper Two

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You guys, I can hardly believe that my littlest love child is already two years old and my number one son is starting kindergarten!!  Lately, I have been working on savoring every sweet moment.  This has been altogether challenging and rewarding.

We just celebrated my baby girl’s birthday.  It was a mellow beach day with close family and friends. I wasn’t going to do any decorations, but at the last minute, I recalled a cute thing I had seen online about a year ago.  I remember thinking it looked simple, so I thought I would give it a go.

Here is how i did it:

I cut out my number with reclaimed 😉 cardboard.  As you can see, I just eyeballed the shape with my Sharpie before I cut it out.  It’s 2′ tall.

Then, I hand tore a colorful assortment of pre-loved wrapping tissue paper in to little squares about 3″ each.

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I glopped some glue on the extra cardboard gathered the center and dipped each tissue into the glue…20140811-160548-57948351.jpg

randomly pasting as I went along.20140811-160549-57949563.jpg

Thankfully the colors I had went nicely together.20140811-160550-57950762.jpg

In the end there were still tiny areas where you could see the princess box in the background.  As a quick fix I pressed my hands down on to the tissue poofs and it covered anything I didn’t want to see.

This was such a fun, easy project to do in a pinch.  Anyone can do it with items  you already have around the house.  It would be really fun to do big letters and spell something out for a party.

And this is what happens when you leave your newly finished, fancy arts and crafts in the reach of a two year old.

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Lucky for me, Elmer’s dries clear!

Whitewashed

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My decorating style is ever changing. One thing that have always liked is the use of natural elements and textures. Lately I have really been liking the look of white decor with color splashes here and there. It’s so clean looking, and I sure like that! Too bad Maui’s dirt sticks to everything.

When we first moved into our house about 6 years ago, I had the idea to buy a picnic table at Home Depot, and use it as our dinning room table.

A) It was cheap. A little over $100.

B) It could snugly fit at least 8 people around it.

When I originally purchased the table, I had always planned on painting it. I thought it would be fun to do a lacquered red, bright and shiny.  Boy, am I thankful for not going that route!

Luckily, one bright Saturday morning, while my husband was at work, one of my besties offered to come over and watch the kiddos for me.  She also lent a hand in pre-sanding(my least favorite part).  My palm sander is M.I.A.  😦

You can see the before and after photos below.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

Here is how i did it.

I(we) sanded the whole thing down.  The old juice and oil stains left it with a little more character.  Heehee.  I also left some of the original stamping to give it more of an original feel.

After sanding, I used a semi-gloss white paint.  I knew I would need a bit of gloss for the high traffic this puppy would be getting.  Easy on, easy off.

I made a mixture of equal parts paint and water, an then I went to town.

I worked my way over the table in smaller sections an wiped off the paint as I went.  I just used an old cloth diaper for the wiping part.

When I first began the wiping process, I waited a bit longer that I should have.  I wouldn’t wait more that 2-3 minutes if you want a true whitewash and not an antiqued paint look.  But again, its all about the character of each individual piece, and the sections that I waited around 5 minutes to wipe off still look fab.

Lastly, I sprayed on a semi-gloss protective coat to finish it off. I let the white paint dry for a couple of hours before applying the finish.

Here are the products I used.

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I love our new table! It makes a great background for blog posts.

I even had some left over mixture to white wash a couple of my planters outside.

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DIY Bamboo Floor Cleaner

For some reason I always get into super cleaning mode on Saturdays. So, today I thought I would share my bamboo floor cleaning solution. It’s so easy and smells great too. It makes cleaning a little more fun for me.

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Here are the ingredients:
1/2 cup of white vinegar
3 cups hot water
6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

I chose eucalyptus oil today because the kids had runny noses.
You can find out more about the benefits of eucalyptus EO here.
Other EOs that are great for cleaning are lemon, peppermint, tea tree, lavender and rosemary.

I used a Swiffer sweeper and a microfiber towel, but I think they actually sell micro fiber mops now.
On a side note: make sure not to use any kind of fabric softener or dryer sheet with your microfiber towels. It will take away from their absorbency.

Just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to ring out the towel really well after soaking it in the cleaning solution. Attach it to your Swiffer stick and clean away!

Enjoy your freshly cleaned bamboo floors.