Browsing Category: domisticity

The Last Time We Rent

Our last rental before we buy a home.

In the five years that Justin and I have been married, we have lived in five places…all rented apartments (with the exception of my parent’s basement). Each move came with a reason, and none too lightly.

Our first apartment was a tiny, tiny married student apartment near BYU. It was perfect for us as college-aged newlyweds. When I got pregnant with Rhys and hired at a charter school 40 minutes away, we knew we had to leave our one-bedroom apartment.

Our second place was a very nice, cozy, large townhome in Sandy. True, it was a bit outside our budget, so when I quit teaching, we struggled to make ends meet on just Justin’s low salary. But, we loved it. And it is still my favorite place we have lived thus far.

Our third place was my parent’s basement. We lived there for 5 minutes, trying to build up our savings. It was comforting to live with my parents and have all the luxuries of a well-established household. Plus, no rent. But then Justin and his entire department was let go. Thus, began our search.

Our fourth place was in Texas. I spent hours on end looking at apartments online, pouring over reviews, and calling for availability. We finally found a place good enough for our needs and moved in within two weeks. It was great for never seeing it before we moved in. It was great quality and definitely one of the best apartments of the complex. It was close to everything, especially Justin’s work. However, it was only about 750 square feet. And, with Evelyn growing and becoming mobile…and the fact that both kids will continue to do so, made us realize we needed a bigger place.

So, here we are. Our fifth place in the five years of our marriage. It is almost as big as the townhome we had in Sandy. It is beautiful. It is at the very top end of our budget, but we have the means to continue to live in it for a long while. And, that is our plan. We plan on living here until we can own a home. Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Fun DIY Projects with All-New Tai Pei Single Serving Frozen Dinners

Tai Pei's all new infused flavors and new packaging not only make dinner a delicious snap, but also is perfect for DIY projects!

**This post was sponsored by Tai Pei and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.**

For as much as Justin and I love to cook, there are many days that it just doesn’t happen. I have a down day physically and mentally, Justin gets home from work, kids are ornery, we have plans to go out quickly, the house is a mess and there aren’t any clean cookware or dishes, we are out of groceries, or we just plain don’t feel like cooking. One those days, we typically have frozen pizzas, waffles, or cereal…or….we spend money on take-out. BLECH. It gets real old real fast. But, we don’t like a lot of frozen dinners. We think they are gross and way overpriced. Enter…Tai Pei single serving Asian-inspired frozen dinners!

I grew up with Tai Pei frozen single serving dinners. My dad loves them and takes them to work with him all the time. In college, I’d get them all the time. I remember my first year married to Justin, they were always on sell for $2 or less. So, we’d grab them for work lunches too. It was so nice to have Chinese rather than a boring sandwich or hummus and veggies. They were also in iconic Chinese take-out boxes. But, now they’ve done some major upgrades.

Wow! @TaiPeiAsianFood has all-new pure, flavor infused single serving dinner bowls! #ad Click To Tweet

Tai Pei's all new infused flavors and new packaging not only make dinner a delicious snap, but also is perfect for DIY projects! Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Decorating Your Dressing Table | Guest Post

You know I love Wales. So, I was surprised in the best way when I was randomly emailed by a girl named Llinos who said she had found my blog. She was a native Welshwoman! Welsh was her first language! She loved British history (especially the Tudor Dynasty), and was a bibliophile like me. We became two peas in a pod. Llinos also has a very cozy, comfy lifestyle. So, today, she is talking about one of her favorite areas in her house.


Welcome to my dressing table! I can’t wait to show you around. I’ve had it for four years, since we moved into our house, and I really love the wood.

My dressing table is very much my space, and I like that it’s a bit kitcsh with lots of variety! On the very left you can see my perfume, and the tin where I keep my makeup so it’s easily accessible. The spotty box is usually where I keep gift cards or cash which I’ve received as presents.

Here’s what’s on the far right of the table. The decanter is a birthday gift from my mum. Then I have my little pink teddy from Harrods, my purple nosed bear and a My Little Pony. I used to love them as a child and I would collect them if I had the space, but for now I’m happy with just this one.

On the left I have my shoe fund money box, and some cute bunnies which my mum has given me. Then in the front, it’s my rubber collection. I love the colourful koalas! Then there’s a black and white penguin and the pink penguin is a polymer clay ornament which I picked up at a craft fair. The little dogs at the front are magazine toys.

There’s a dish I’ve had for years in the middle of the dressing table where I keep my brush and comb, and lipbalms and concealers. They’re quick to hand that way. And that’s my dressing table!

Tell me about your dressing table?


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Llinos Thomas is a lifestyle blogger from Cardiff, Wales, UK.  She loves to write about her trips around the UK, her creative projects and her love of books, reading and history.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

DIY Winter Pine Ornament

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

I love creating my own ornaments. Thank you so much to my Mother-in-law who got me into making them every year for her annual DIY Christmas ornament exchange. This year, I decided I wanted a minimalist ornament and something that reminded me of Utah. Since we wont have any snow here in Texas, nor pines in a close proximity, I decided to make a winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Supplies:

24 plastic (or glass) clear ornaments

5-7 picks of frosted pine– similar to THIS product

1 bag of fake snow

3 spools of ribbon

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions:

  1. Cut off all the sprigs of frosted pine branch picks.
  2. Stuff the sprig into the top of the ornament.
  3. Funnel in some fake snow and then place the lid back on.
  4. Tie on some ribbon to make a cute bow.

See. It’s super easy! It seriously took me maybe thirty minutes to complete all two dozen!

Here are my previous ornament DIYs.

2015 “A Savior is Born” ornament

2014 Santa’s Lost Sleigh Bell ornament

2013 Christmas Song Lyrics ornament

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Directions to making your very own minimalist DIY winter pine ornament.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

How I Make My Apartment Look & Smell Clean

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

Moving to an apartment complex can have its setbacks, especially after living in your parents’ basement for half a year and a town home for almost two years before that. We do love our little apartment: it’s one of the nicer ones in the complex, it’s right by the office, pool, and parking lot. The inside is gorgeous and I love the off-white (grayish kahki) wall color and the fake wood floor. It’s the absolute perfect fit. And, the 750 square feet makes it a lot easier to keep clean! Hallelujah! Because, with a toddler and an infant on the way, it’s just going to be harder and harder to keep up work. However, I have some little routines that I do just about every day to help keep our apartment looking and smelling clean. (Now, don’t get me wrong–it’s not perfect and there are definitely days it looks like a hurricane swept through it! But, these tips still help keep those hurricane days to a minimum!)

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

3 Minute Rule

I was heavily inspired by Gretchin Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, when I read it years ago. One of the biggest take aways from that book was her 3 minute rule–if something takes 3 minutes or less, just do it. Thus, instead of throwing clothes on the floor, I put them in the hamper. Rather than leave dirty dishes on the table, I at least get them to the sink. If I run out of toilet paper, I change the roll. Really, the only 3 minute or less chore I constantly forgo is making my bed. 1) I’ve never done a good job with that chore (neither has my husband) and 2) Rhys and I nap in my bed, so…..

Clean as You Cook

The kitchen has always been one of the biggest messes in our married life. But, I try to make an effort to clean as I cook. After dinner, we also make sure to clean off the table, sweep around the table, do the dishes, and wipe off the counters. It is amazing how much this helps the next morning: by cleaning right after dinner, you don’t have the terrible urge to put off dishes till the morning when you go to bed.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

No Shoes in the House

Justin and I personally don’t like wearing shoes when we don’t have to. So, we keep a shoe basket by the front door. We kick off our shoes right when we get home, and throw them in the basket. This way, we keep the shoes in one spot, and we also keep the furniture and floors clean from mud and dirt on our shoes.

Use Scentsy

I am a huge fan of Scentsy. No, I don’t sell it, no I don’t exclusively buy Scentsy brand (not when I can get the same amount of wax cubes at Wal-Mart for $1!!!). But, I love using them. We have a normal candle in both the bathroom and Rhys’s room–the two stinkiest rooms in the apartment–to help burn away bad scents. And, we have a Scentsy burner in our room and the main living area. We turn on the scentsies almost every day to allow the scents to fill our house. We change out the wax at least once a week for ultimate scent power.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

Clean Toddler’s Room Before Bed

Rhys’s room is typically the messiest room of all–it’s small and he loves to dump out all his toys, all the time! It makes me cringe sometimes. I’ve tried cleaning as we play and cleaning a few times a day, but it never works. So, I don’t try to clean his room until the end of the night. Before we put him to bed, we have Rhys help us clean up his room. He is very good about putting toys away where they go and he’s gotten into singing “Clean Up Clean Up” as we do it.

Use a Diaper Genie

I know some people don’t believe they work, but we think they do. When we lived in Utah, we had a regular trashcan with a lid in Rhys’s room. His room always stank like teenage boy and he wasn’t even two yet! And the closet where we kept his trashcan was almost unbearable! So, we decided when we moved here, especially knowing we’d have another little baby making poopy diapers all the time soon, that we needed one specific place to seal up the smell. We bought a diaper genie, and we believe it works! Diapers only go in the diaper genie in Rhys’s room–and that will stay the same when Evelyn is born, even though she will be living in my room. It really has helped the smell!

Open the Windows and Use the Fans

At least once a week, I’ll open the windows and turn on the fans to get fresh air circulated in the house. When you don’t keep your windows open, your inside air can actually become stale and start to smell weird. When it’s super hot (as it’s been a lot here in Texas), I’ll typically do this when we are taking a nap, or at night.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

Make Cleaning Part of Your Morning Routine

Our morning routine looks like this: Rhys wakes up and comes in my bed while I read scriptures. Then, we turn on the TV while I workout. Then, we have breakfast. Then, we clean up the house before getting ready for the day. Also, I make sure to sweep every day. Since our main living area has fake wood flooring and we have a toddler, it gets messy quickly with crumbs and spilled drinks. I make a point to sweep it every day and spot clean it (I only swiffer once a week). Because I do it every day, it really only takes me about 5 minutes or less.

Use TV to Keep Your House Clean

Especially when I’m expecting guests, I don’t want Rhys undoing all that I’ve done to clean–including his room since it’s literally right next to the front door. So, when I want to make sure the house is clean and stays clean, I let Rhys watch TV or Youtube.

Use Febreze Air Purifier

Since moving in our apartment in mid-July, having some water damage done because of the upstairs neighbors, and having a super sniffer from my pregnancy, sometimes I smell a stale/moist smell. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s definitely there, especially when we walk into the apartment from outside. I’m really the only one who can smell it. Justin can every now and then. But, it really bugs me. So, I was glad to receive the Febreze Air Purifier tower courtesy of Influenster.com.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

It is a HEPA-Type Air Purifier and is “the only air purifier that circulates fresh Febreze scent.” It removes up to 99% of air pollutants, including garbage odors, gym gear odors, cooking and pet odors, and smoke and household dust odors. Dirty, stale, odor-filled air is drawn into the air purifier by a strong fan. The filters trap the odors and larger airborne particles. The scents that are included in the tower then are added tot he filtered air before it is released back into the room.

We placed this in the middle of our living area and I’ve been able to tell a difference, albeit subtle. I really like how small and slick the tower is. You can choose and change out the scent cartridges. I also really like how you can choose the level of scent and the cleaning level. It also helps to cool down the room just a bit. It’s not a fan, but it does act like a fan, and it’s nice to sit right in front of it.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

* I received this product free of charge in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

How do you keep your house looking and smelling clean?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.