Thursday, April 25, 2013

10 DIY Wreaths for All Occasions

What is your first impression of a home when you see a wreath hanging on the front door?  Do you get a warm and fuzzy feeling of welcome?  Does it feel as if it beckons you to celebrate?

I have this thing about homes with wreaths.  This is part of the voyeuristic side of me coming out.  When I'm out driving around or walking, I will often stop and take a picture of the door.  Do you do that?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who takes pictures of other people's doors or lawns.  Okay, that sentence sounded a little creepy.

Enough about me. . .

On with the Wreaths!

10 DIY Wreaths


Trisha of The Sweet Survival starts us off with a whimsical Easter wreath.  Imagine this colorful wreath on your front door, in pastels such as this one or in colors that match your decor.

Egg Yarn Wreath by The Sweet Survival
Easter Egg Yarn Wreath



Have you seen the fantastic scenes Designer Eddie Ross creates?  I'm not talking tantrums but beautiful tablescapes and wreaths.  Breathtaking.

Pastel Ornament Wreath by Eddie Ross
Eddie Ross



Amber has created a super sweet wreath that would be perfect hanging above the headboard in the guest room.  Isn't the contrast between the sweetness of the wreath and the weathered window pane great?  Can you picture this wreath at a party or wedding reception that is held outdoors in a rustic setting?

Super Easy Spring Wreath by Classicly Amber
Super Easy Spring Wreath


Are you forever trying to figure out what to do with all your scraps of fabric?  Do you have some fabric that you absolutely love but don't know what to do with?  Or how about an old dress that is made from pretty fabric but can no longer be worn for whatever reason?  Little Birdie Secrets has the perfect solution.

Heart Wreath by Little Birdie Secrets
Heart Wreath


The next two wreaths came from a walk around my old neighborhood.  They are so different and yet both have some natural aspects mixed in.  What do you think of these?  Which would you try to make first?

Natural Heart Wreath

Scrap Fabric Wreath with Flowers



Have you seen these parasol wreaths floating around on Pinterest or other social media sites?  This one brought to us by Oriental Trading is a little smaller than the door wreaths but just as adorable.

This parasol umbrella wreath is perfect for a summer, luau, or beach themed party...

Parasol Wreath by Oriental Trading
Parasol Wreath


When I look at this beautiful wreath it reminds me of Downton Abbey.  Do you remember the hunt episode?  Pink Dogwood Blossom paired the perfect backdrop by using a black door for this natural wreath.

Holiday Wreath by Pink Dogwood Blossom
Pink Dogwood Blossom Wreath



Jenny of Days of Chalk and Chocolate has some of the most creative ideas.  If you haven't checked out her website yet, you might want to hop on over there.  Maybe not this split second because there is one more wreath you need to see.

Halloween Glam Wreath by Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Halloween Glam Wreath



Meaghan from 2 Sisters 2 Cities came up with this beautiful Hanukkah wreath tutorial over at Juggling Act Mama.  Although this wreath wears the colors of Hanukkah, it is so pretty that it could be used as a Holiday wreath in general.  Picture this wreath hanging on the wall over the drink table for New Years's Eve.

DIY Holiday Wreath by 2 Sisters 2 Cities on Juggling Act Mama
Holiday Wreath

How do you welcome guests to your home?  Do you hang wreaths throughout the year or only during the holidays?  Is the wreath on your door the icing to your front door entryscape?

Please share your opinions, front porch decorations, and of course your wreaths with us.  You may link to your post in the comments section.


Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homemade Shower Cleaner

The Makings of Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
The Makings of Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner

I've been using my homemade laundry detergent for about a year now and absolutely love how my clothes come out nice and clean.  I also use vinegar to clean my windows, stainless steel appliances, and use it to eliminate any funky odors like paint around the house.  Another secret use for vinegar is to place it in shallow bowls around a room if there are smokers.  Fortunately we don't have smokers in our home so we don't need to eliminate that odoriferous scent.

I also use vinegar to clean my coffee maker and the inside of the microwave.  To clean the microwave, put a little vinegar in a microwavable safe bowl and allow it to steam for about 30 seconds or so.  Then simply wipe down the inside with a damp cloth or sponge.

Have you seen all the posts lately about using the blue Dawn liquid dish detergent and vinegar?  Well, I didn't have any blue Dawn on hand and like usual was too impatient (lazy) to run up to the store and get some.  So....

I used what was on hand.  That being white vinegar and my environmentally friendly liquid dish soap by Kirkland Signature (Costco).  NOTE: I am not being paid nor did I gratuitously receive these products from Heinz or Costco.  This is strictly my opinion.

Substance of Living Shower Cleaner

  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly Liquid Dish Soap (for washing dishes by hand)
Heat the vinegar and soap together in the microwave for about a minute or less then pour into a spray bottle. 

You want the mixture warm but not boiling hot.  Shake lightly before use. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture before but hopefully you can see the difference between the side that was sprayed and the side that hasn't been cleaned yet.

This first picture shows a before and after from the outside.  The left side was cleaned but not the right.

Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
After (left) and Before (right) View from Outside Shower


This is a before shot of the glass looking from inside the shower.  I've started spraying the cleaner which is the wet stuff you might be able to see on the top of the picture.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner in a Before View from Inside Shower

Here is a better look at the cleaner sticking to the glass.  It was incredible how it pretty much stayed in place with a little run.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner

The cleaning solution stayed in place over night.

This is the left side of the shower from the inside and hasn't been cleaned but is wet.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
Before from Inside Shower

This is the right side of the shower glass after it has been cleaned.  Again looking out from inside the shower.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
After from Inside Shower

Here is a nice before and after shot from outside the shower.  Neither side has been wiped down with a squeegee.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
After (left) and Before (right) from Outside Shower

Before and after from inside the shower.  The left side has not been cleaned and the right side was.
Substance of Living Homemade Shower Cleaner
Before (left) and After (right) from Inside Shower

Findings:

  • I will definitely continue to use this solution.  It had a pleasant smell.  Not a strong vinegar scent at all.
  • A lot of shower cleaner can certainly be made with a bottle of vinegar and liquid soap for a whole lot less than buying one bottle of shower cleaner.
  • This worked sooooo much better than any shower/bath cleaner I've found.
  • I don't know how the blue Dawn works, but this certainly did the trick.  There wasn't any soap or harsh water residue after a simple wiping and rinsing.
  • The solution was on the glass for about 12 hours or maybe a little less.
Have you tried using a homemade solution to clean your shower?  How did it work?


Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living

Monday, April 15, 2013

10 Things I'd Like to See Today

  1. Lower gas prices
  2. FREE quality education for all
  3. Food for everyone
  4. Shelter and healthcare for the homeless
  5. Safe homes for everyone
  6. No more homeless animals - all would be adopted into loving homes
  7. All the service men and women safely back home with their loved ones
  8. Employment for ALL
  9. Fiscally responsible governments
  10. YOUR smile
What would you like to see today?  Please tell us in the comments below and allow others to help make it happen.




Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated! 
Don't miss out on future articles. Have Substance of Living delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living

Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 Folded Napkins (Napkin Oragami)

The next time you set the table, whether eating take out or entertaining, try dressing up your table with one of these folded napkins.

Jessica Jones, a graphic and textile designer, has a super easy tutorial over at How About Orange to add a special touch for the man in your life or how about paying homage to Dad this Father's Day.  If you use bright floral napkins, this shirt could also be great for a luau or beach party.
Napkin Shirt for Father's Day by How About Orange
Napkin Shirt



Nancy of Nancy Creative shows us how to create this beautiful napkin bow.  Can you see this on your table for a special evening?
Napkin Bow Fold by Nancy Creative
The Bow Fold


Nancy, but this time from Nancy's Daily Dish sets a beach table and uses a simple knot for her napkin fold.  So easy and very elegant.
Knot Napkin Fold by Nancy's Daily Dish
Knot Napkin Fold


Mrs. Brown (Patti to her friends) and Abbie from Blossom and Posies show us how to create a pocket to hold our utensils.  Some other uses for the pocket might be to hold a photo of each person so they know where to sit (in place of name cards) or slip the menu in the pocket.  Another use might be to use the pocket to hold a gift.

If you haven't had the privilege of visiting this site yet, please be sure to stop by and see all the activities a mother and daughter can do together.
Pocket Napkin Fold by Blossom and Posies
Pocket Napkin Fold


This next napkin, the fabulous crown fold by First for Women Extra might be perfect for an afternoon tea or to denote the birthday girl or boy or to honor someone at the table.
Fabulous Crown Fold Napkin by First for Women
Fabulous Crown Fold Napkin


Julie from The Family CEO shows us how to fold a napkin that is perfect for any day or occasion.
Easy Napkin Fold by The Family CEO
Easy Everyday Napkin Fold


This last napkin is actually paper but is easily created with a cloth napkin.  Chinet has a really easy tutorial showing exactly how to create this poinsetta.  I think this would be pretty with any type of flower in the middle depending on the time of year.
Poinsetta Napkin Fold by Chinet
Poinsetta Napkin Fold

I'm so excited to try each of these folds that tonight will be the first.  I think the napkin by Julie will be the start.  How do you fold your napkins when setting the table?  Which will be your first napkin fold to try?

Do you use cloth napkins?  If so, why and how much money do you think you save each year?


Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living

Thursday, April 4, 2013

English is One Funny Language!

One of my neighbors, who was a school teacher, dropped the following off for me last week.  Not really sure where she found this but it does substantiate our earlier conversation of how difficult the English language really is.

Think about this:  There are three different ways to spell a word and yet they have the same pronunciation: For, Four, Fore.  Then there is one spelling and two different pronunciations and another spelling (yet pronounced the same as the present tense but means something completely different): Read, Read, Red.

Reasons Why English is Hard to Learn!

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full it had to refuse some refuse.
  • He could lead if he'd get the lead out.
  • Since there was no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • My bow took a bow after his final performance.
  • So, if only we could sow a garden as quickly as we can sew a button.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer,
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • The officer had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • To help with planting the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • Upon seeing a tear in her favorite dress, she shed a tear.
  • They're going over there to get their dessert in the desert.
  • We can hear the music all the way over here.
  • The artist's stationery is now located in a stationary location.
  • Be careful not to trip when you take your next trip.

How about Choose and Chose?  Bet you've seen those words misused.

We won't even get in to the different phrases like, "That is way cool!"  or "That car is hot (good looking)."  Wait a minute, speaking of hot, how about this one, "We don't handle hot (stolen) merchandise in this store." or "The pan is hot (temperature), so be careful."

Whoa!  Can we make it any more difficult?  Bet we can!  United States of America speaks English but each area of the country has different dialects and phrases.  Then listen to people from Britain or Canada and their English is completely different yet.

P.S.,  What tricks do you use to remember the proper pronunciation or usage of a particular word?

Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013 #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I am so excited about this party!  Susan and Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom  are hosting their SEVENTH annual virtual party specifically for mom bloggers to network and connect.

Standing up to introduce myself:
"Hi!  My name is Marie and I'm the voice behind Substance of Living.  Thank you so much for taking the time to visit during the Ultimate Blog Party 2013."

You have so many things on your mind today so I will make my introduction short and sweet in case you're not familiar with Substance of Living.  We are actually celebrating our very FIRST Blogiversary today (April 1, 2013).  We like to think of this site as a part of our lives.  We explore life and all that it has to offer, so that's what we are striving to attain here.

We haven't been around very long but are humbled by our visitors and followers.  We don't have a "favorite" post and it doesn't seem that our readers do either since the weekly favorites change constantly.

Please feel free to look around and leave a comment (WE LOVE comments!).  Your comment will be answered either through the comments section or email if you prefer a private response.  Also, if you leave a comment, I will personally make sure one is left on your site in return.

I am going to do my best to visit as many blogs as I can this week.

Be sure to start receiving Substance of Living through your email, folllow us through Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and friend us on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me/us a little better.  I can't wait to meet you and become friends.






Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living