Browsing Category "Household"
15 Feb
2012
Posted in: Food, Household
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Magic Onions

I’m sure many of you have seen the pin on Pinterest about the magic regrowing onions. You know, this one:

 

I’ve seen a lot of pins that end up being too good to be true so I wanted to test this one and see how good it was. So after I used up the entire tops of some green onions making a meal for the Chinese New Year, I popped the bulbs into a glass and added a cup of water. I wasn’t a believer but they were just going to end up in the trash so why not try?

I woke up the next morning and gave it a look. WOW! That was just 12 hours and my onions were already shooting up. It took about 7 days but they were right back to the old height.

Some Tips

  • Change the water daily. It will start to stink fast.
  • After 14 days if you still haven’t used the onions then place them in a plastic bag in your fridge so they don’t get out of control.
  • You can reuse the bulbs multiple times. The bulbs do get fatter so just cut a bulb in half if it gets too big.

Onions don’t cost a ton but I save the most on time, I don’t find myself needing to run to the store for a single ingredient when I can grow it in my Missouri kitchen in the middle of winter.

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14 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
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Inspired by Provence

I’ve been looking at photos of Provence, France lately and I’ve fallen in love with the beautiful fields of lavender. How could you not fall in love with a countryside that looks like this?

Provence Lavender

A Lavender Sunset

abbey of senanque

So to bring the inspiration back home, I bring you this inspiration board.

provence design

Lavender Swoop Arm Tufted Chair Target $303.99

French Herb Wreath Viva Terra $69

Mikasa Lavender Lane 4-piece Place Setting Amazon $77.99

Lavender Field Print Etsy Artist GWENSART $12

Puckering Duvet Set Target $69.99

What other countries would you like to see some travel-inspired design for?

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8 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
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7 New Ways To Use Pinterest

With Facebook and Pinterest connecting even more these days, there have been a ton of new Pinterest users coming online and wondering what the heck is Pinterest. In a way I’m glad I joined over a year ago so I could figure out all the fun ways to use it without anyone I knew watching me. (BTW- you can find me on Pinterest here) Now it seems like everyone is online using it so if you’re clueless we all get to see it. Here’s some tips to help the Pinterest newbies and even some tricks that experienced users might want to try.

1. Stop Sharing It All on Facebook

Pinterest being linked to Facebook makes it easy to find friends but how annoying is it when you see 12 updates on your Facebook feed because someone just discovered cute puppy photos? Don’t be that friend, the one who doesn’t realize they’re annoying everyone on Facebook when all you need to do is uncheck some buttons.

Log into Pinterest and go to your Settings page. Feel free to link your Pinterest page to your Facebook page but by toggling off “Add Pinterest to Facebook timeline” you’re one step closer to making your Facebook friends happier.

Now get ready to repin something. Anything. When you see the popup, make sure neither the facebook or twitter boxes are checked. Then you’re good to go!

2. Edit Your Profile

First up, I hear so many people complaining when they get new friends because then they get lots of emails every time their pins get repinned. You probably already spend time on pinterest and can view which pins of yours get repinned by viewing your pins page – http://www.pinterest.com/YOURUSERNAME/pins (so mine is http://pinterest.com/julieannie0729/pins/ or you can see the page here) so turn those pinterest emails off!

If you linked up Facebook and Pinterest then your first and last name are right on your Pinterest page. That might be fine with you now but if you want some anonymity then you can change your first or last name right from your settings page. Change any other info you want on this page, including your photo. You can add your website, a bio, a location, link your twitter page, or even your facebook page. They all end up displayed on your main pinterest page like so. My website is represented with a globe and my twitter and facebook pages are linked as well.

3. Pin It!

When I helped my mom sign up for Pinterest, I noticed she was clicking “Add” and then “Add a Pin” every time she found something new on the web. Go to the Pinterest Goodies page and just drag that Pin It button right up to your toolbar. There’s some additional info needed for Chrome so check out the page for instructions.

4. Pin the Post (Not a Blog)

I often see a really neat pin, click it to view the webpage and discover that the original pinner pinned it from their RSS feed or the front page of the website. That means a lot of searching to find that really awesome DIY project I wanted to try. Always click the title of the post you’re on to make sure you’re pinning the right part of the website. If you see something like “http://www.thehyperhouse.com/” You haven’t gone deep enough. Make sure there’s more after the slash, like this one is “http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/02/7-new-ways-to-use-pinterest/” which means you can pin this page and anyone who clicks on it will be brought right to this post.


5. Keep a 5:1 ratio

It’s really fun to discover new projects on Pinterest, right? But I’m sure you have had times when you’re browsing and you see the same dang smoothie recipe for the 100th time. I think anyone on Pinterest last fall remembers the super simple pumpkin cupcake recipe that wouldn’t die. If you’re just clicking repin on pinterest, you’re missing out on half the fun. You should try making your own creations or finding ideas from your favorite websites and pinning that new idea. Try to pin 1 new idea for every 5 repins to help keep Pinterest fresh.

6. Clear out your Bookmarks

Do you have tons of items bookmarked in your browser but never go to them? As you can see, it used to be impossible for me to find any recipes. I’m a visual person so seeing all my ideas in a Pinterest board means I’m more likely to cook the recipes instead of just meaning to. I just load my bookmarked page, pin it to a board, and then delete the bookmark. Spend 5-10 minutes a day clearing out your bookmarks and you’ll have a head start on your 5:1 ratio too.

7. Clear Out Your Folders

Let’s be honest, Pinterest appeals to most of us because we’re the type of people who had inspiration folders all over our computers. I had some leftover from my wedding, ideas for home renovation, even just funny photos making fun of the first Twilight movie. It was bad. I also had no idea where most of those photos came from and I don’t want to upload ideas to Pinterest without giving credit to the original creator.

Enter Google Images. You can drag and drop images from your computer right into the search field and it hunts down the original source for you. The results are amazingly accurate.

It not only knew from my photo that the images were plates but it also knew they were 12 days of Christmas plates, made by Rosanna, where they were online to buy, and other images cropped from the same image I had uploaded. When you use it for pinterest, just drag and drop your inspiration photo and look for the original source or a page that gives credit to the original source. Giving credit on Pinterest is always a good idea.

Like this Pinterest Post? Check out even more great Pinterest tips! Or Discuss the New Pinterest Profile.

Do you have any Pinterest secrets? Share your Pinterest account in the comments and I’ll follow you!

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7 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
By    5 Comments

Color Palettes Showdown

2 weeks ago I compared two ways to generate color palettes: DeGraeve and MyColortopia. I compared both methods to my own attempts at creating a color palette using Photoshop. Well, now a new competitor has entered the showdown: Chip It by Sherwin Williams.

chip it by sherwin williams

Like the other sites, you can use a website to extract a color palette from your inspiration photo. What’s really nice about it is that like MyColortopia it generates paint colors based on the photo’s colors. Chip It allows you to either directly type the URL on their main page or they have this nifty toolbar button that lets you see colors right on the webpage you are viewing. See it in action:

chip it by sherwin williams

So here’s the final Sherwin Willims Chip It palette for me.

chip it by sherwin williams

I really like that it pulled colors directly from my image and assigned a paint color to them. I had also liked the blue and green look in the original image and though Chip It pulled more of a gold shade out, I have to admit the palette looks really good with it. As a reminder, here were the original palettes I generated.

compare color generators

While clearly Photoshop produced the most precise color matching, it didn’t give me a paint color and it relies on the idea of using an image with a good color palette already. Chip It seems to win in my eyes because not only does it provide a paint color match but it also makes a complete color palette. Add on the bonus Chip It toolbar method and I’m sold. Chip It is my new favorite color palette generator. If you try it, I bet you’ll be sold too.

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6 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
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Valentine’s Centerpiece

Now that I have a table and a complete dining room, I find myself wanting a monthly centerpiece. I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my dining room so consider my centerpiece the equivalent of me taking my dining room out for dinner and a movie.

February Centerpiece for Valentine's

As you can see my centerpiece has some romance for Valentine’s Day. I’ve got candles, flowers, chocolates, and plenty of shiny things.

February Centerpiece

I managed to keep this centerpiece very affordable. I used some dessert dishes that the original homeowner had left in the house, a vase from a Valentine’s Day years ago, heart shaped dishes I got in Target’s Dollar spot a few years back, candle holders I made myself, a $5 bouquet of baby’s breath, and chocolates I would have bought anyway. Plus, I’ve convinced my husband that I don’t need flowers for Valentine’s Day since I bought these and that’s a savings in itself. My favorite part (other than the chocolate) is how nice it looks at night.

February Centerpiece

That’s worth the full $5 I spent right there and definitely cheaper than taking my dining room to dinner and a movie.

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2 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
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Six Signs of Spring

Happy Groundhog Day! I’m not really one to think a groundhog can predict when spring is coming but I am a little more willing to trust all my favorite stores. They can’t sell spring items unless people think spring is coming, right? Thankfully it looks like spring is coming…in 6 ways from my favorite stores.

6 new items for your home this spring

1. A pretty spring pillow from Pottery Barn includes florals and artwork.

2. I’m not sure that I need egg cups but these chicken egg cups from West Elm are adorable.

3. These egg candles from Pottery Barn feature some of my favorite spring colors, pink, green, and blue. I can’t wait to see spring colors everywhere.

4. This house from World Market can be used in a million ways. Keep it full of candles for the rest of winter but the minute spring arrives use it as a terrarium. You could even use it now as a greenhouse to start your seedlings for spring.

5. This egg stand from Wisteria would make a gorgeous centerpiece or feature on a dessert table. Swap eggs for cupcakes and you can use it year-round.

6. The beehive trend is really taking over in 2012. This beehive cake stand from West Elm is the cutest beehive I’ve seen.

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1 Feb
2012
Posted in: Household
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Lazy Susan Makeover

Hello and welcome to my lazy susan.

Sure it looks safe from the outside but inside it was a wild and dangerous place.

Let’s take a look at the offenses.

Poorly labeled containers with a dirty stand? Check. Giant duplicate containers? Check. Even more poorly labeled containers that could lead to a baking powder and baking soda mixup? Check. A hodge podge of spices and poorly bagged sugar? Check. A giant mess that makes it hard to find things? Check.

It was rough in there. Confession: I had never emptied it since I piled stuff in there after its installation in 2008. I empty out my pantry regularly but this area was out of control and hidden so I just never addressed it.

So I followed my simple organizing plan. I removed everything and cleaned it up. Then I consolidated any duplicates and threw out all the junk and expired goods. I started cleaning out all the containers and bought new ones to put all the bagged and boxed goods into.

I buy spices in bulk (if you’re a St. Louis local you won’t believe the deals for spices at Old Town Spice Shoppe in St. Charles, $2-$4 is how much I pay for most spice blends) so sometimes I just plop them in my lazy susan rather than putting them away (because I’m lazy). I finally put them all in the right place and refilled old containers that needed it.

making cricut labels

Then it was time to put everything back. I made labels using my Cricut and some chalkboard contact paper (if you don’t want to go that route try these Martha Stewart chalkboard labels from Staples). I put the items back so I spin one way to reach all my baking items and another way to reach all my cooking items. The results speak for themselves.

organized lazy susan with chalkboard labels

It took some work but it’s so much easier to spin that lazy susan now. It’s also very empty in there so I might be able to fill it up more or jest embrace a nice, accessible cabinet. The real key to this project was having plenty of jars and plenty of labels and now I don’t dread looking at 4 years of mess that had accumulated.

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30 Jan
2012
Posted in: Household
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February Tasks

It’s time once again for the monthly chore chart. Most of these are taken from the amazing Get Organized Now. Every month they create a checklist of the household tasks that often slip our minds. They even offer a printable version that allows you to check back on past months in case you need to play catch up (here’s January’s list if you need it).

What I like to do is map out all the tasks that apply to me from the list and plot them on my calendar. Then I fill in the empty spots on my calendar with other tasks I have to do, like going to the eye doctor of chapel duty.

Source: etsy.com via Julie on Pinterest

 

Some of my top tasks for February from the checklist include:

  • February 3: Start ordering seed and landscaping catalogs. I’m a huge fan of White Flower Farm and Burpee. My husband has been gleefully drawing up plans for our outdoors. Keep that in mind when you see what I’ll be blogging about this spring/summer.
  • February 7: Call an accountant or make sure you’re organizing all those tax documents. There’s some changes to the tax code so if you plan on filling out forms yourself make sure your supplier has the latest versions.
  • February 13: It’s National Clean Out Your Computer Day. I’m not sure you can tell your work you can’t come in because of this holiday but take this as a time to delete all those files you don’t need, print all those photos you do need, and make sure your machine is up-to-date on antivirus software.
  • February 19: Time to start planning those summer vacations! Check out my travel site TravelHyper for ideas. I have $500 and $1000 trips so you don’t break the bank. With tax time you should look at your budget and see what you can afford.
  • February 21: Make a big feast for Fat Tuesday.
  • February 26: Need some home repairs? Hire a handyman to come out and fix things up before they get busy in the spring.

What’s your must-do task for February?

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24 Jan
2012
Posted in: Household
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Color Palettes

I’ve been seeing several bloggers out there talking about Colortopia so I decided to check it out for myself. I was impressed by the bloggers they hired to write the My Colortopia blog. What really impressed me was the color tool. I’ve been using a site, De Graeve to come up with color palettes based on pretty photos. When I discovered I could use the color tool on Colortopia to come up with color palettes and their matching Glidden paint colors, I was intrigued. Would it work as well as my usual color palette generator?

I compared both generators by using the same photo, a color sample from Emily Taylor’s Verona in Teal.

Tip: If you find an image you like on oh, say Pinterest, right click and choose “Copy Image Location” in Firefox or “Copy Image URL” in chrome and paste it into the De Graeve “URL of image” field. I did this and De Graeve popped out two color palettes, one dull and one vibrant.

I think De Graeve a good job finding the colors used in my inspiration photo but it only gives me the hex color codes. That makes it helpful for webdesign but it’s hard to translate into a room. It also didn’t find that shade of gray that I really loved in the photo.

So I tried the Colortopia color tool. Instead of trying to find all the colors in the image, it extracts the top colors, like so:

Then you can choose the color you want to base your palette around. I chose “Softest Juniper” and it gave me a palette using it, “Softest White” and “Cornflower Bouquet”.

The colors don’t match exactly but they do give you a paint color name which I find very helpful. It generates a palette based on one color inside the inspiration photo, which is nice if you only like one color but it limits you if you like the photo as a whole.

Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses. I still tend to favor De Graeve simply for the number of color matches it is able to find. If you use a more complex image, you might find Colortopia extracts the individual shades better. Here would be my ideal palette that I made by pulling the photo colors out in photoshop.

That would take more time and still doesn’t generate paint colors but it’s also more precise. Do you have a speedy or smart way to create color palettes or choose paint colors? I’d love to hear them.

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23 Jan
2012
Posted in: Household
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Favorite Floral Rugs

A little while ago I showed off my top 5 favorite patterned rugs. If you’re more of a floral lover, you’ll love today’s top 5 floral rugs. Some are more traditional while others have a more contemporary flair.

Sources

  1. Bird Floral Rug, Pottery Barn. 8×10, $599. Other sizes available.
  2. The Flourish III Area Rug in grey, Home Decorators Collection. 7’8″×10’10”, $749. Other sizes and colors available.
  3. Hand-Hooked Oasis Wool Rug in light blue, Overstock. 7’9″×9’9″, $335.99. Other sizes and colors available.
  4. Hand-tufted Alexa Pino Collection Floral Rug in slate, Overstock. 7’6″x9’6″, $273.99. Other sizes and colors available.
  5. Floral Sunset Tufted Rug, Pier 1. 5×7, $199.98.
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