Guest Picks: Sweet Supplies for a Milk and Cookies Party

I do a lot of baking and impromptu little gatherings during summer time, and that which goes down better than a freshly baked warm cookies with icy-cold glasses of milk on a winter afternoon? I have gathered all of my favorite things together so you can be completely prepared for a milk and cookies party whenever the occasion calls for you. — Sasha from Lemonade Makin’ Mama

Bake It Pretty

Little Glass Milk Bottles – $49.50

I love these replicas of milk bottles. I use my set all the time for after-school snacks or birthday parties, and they even grow to be the occasional bud vases. They are the ideal glassware for servings of milk.

Sweet Lulu

BioPak Takeout Boxes – $7

These boxes are perfect for packaging up take-home gifts following the party or jazzy additional goodies in fashion.

Cost Plus World Market

‘Made With Love’ Cookie Stamp – $3.99

I love the idea of a cookie stamp. It’s easy, sweet and to the point.

Sweet Lulu

Melamine Tableware – $7

My favorite thing about small gatherings is having the ability to pull fun dishes and serving items out of the cabinets and make a festive atmosphere. These sweet and colorful dishes will provide you an immediate party and the ideal service for milk and cookies.


Fred and Friends LetterPressed Type-Style Cookie Cutter/Stamps – $18

I love these little cookie bites. Stamp your name or key messages on the cookies, and they will be a big hit.

Sweet Lulu

Striped Paper Straws Gray – $4

Every cookies and milk party needs a few striped straws for milk sipping (especially if you’re using those adorable glass milk bottles). They instantly set a enjoyable tone — even for grown-ups.

Cost Plus World Market

Let Them Eat Cookies Canister – $14.99

I really do believe this may be the perfect cookie jar. I really like the scalloped lid, pink enamel and lighthearted quote.

Sweet Lulu

Melamine Sundae Spoons, Garden Party – $12

Every now and then you would like to serve cookies alongside a little scoop of ice cream. These long, brightly colored spoons are great for getting to the corners of the bowl and scooping out every last fall.

Williams-Sonoma Home

KitchenAid(R) Artisan Stand Mixer, Ice Blue | Williams Sonoma – $349.95

You can not bake cookies without the appropriate gear, and this KitchenAid mixer in ice blue leaves the job enjoyable.


Le Parfait French Wide-Mouth Glass Canning Jar With Gasket and Lid, 35-Ounce – $19.99

These glass jars mimic antique French canning jars, and they are lovely containers for items such as sugar, bread, and other necessary cookie-baking ingredients. Additionally, they are cute enough to show.


Only Dots Tea Towel, Raspberry – $24

Something about polka dots makes me think of sugar cookies, sprinkles, pink icing, chocolate-smeared smiles and happy moments. I’d love to believe this towel ignites all of those things.


Nordic Ware Detailed Decorating Pen – $14.95

I believe it’s wonderful how the appropriate tools may make light of a job, and this piping bag is no exception. Having an easy-squeeze handle, this may even be used by youngsters.


Goldtouch Nonstick 3-Piece Cookie Bakeware Set – $39.96

These lovely covered baking sheets (and also the cooling rack) are all you need for equally baked goodness.

West Elm

Fox Cookie Jar – $39

This foxy small cookie jar has been stuffed up. I love the way the tail curls around the front.


Kiddot Apron, Mineral – $36

Do not forget about small aprons for miniature helpers! I really like the contrasting colors and dotty design with this one.


Dipped Glaze Mixing Bowl – $39.95

I love the two-toned colors of the mixing bowl. It’s both useful and trendy. Every one comes stamped with a pottery number too.


Martha Stewart Collection Baking Silpat – $13.99

This is actually the unbeatable nonstick surface for all baked products.

Alder & Co..

French Taper Rolling Pin – $40

I have a profound affection for classic rolling pins, although fresh, this tapered rolling pin looks like an aged product. It would make for a pretty display from the kitchen.

Alder & Co..

Handmade Measuring Spoons – $35

I like the different tones of wood used for these carved measuring spoons.


Asplund Cookie Tray – $175

This is a superb way to exhibit a couple of distinct kinds of cookies.

Next: 5 Anytime Parties to Rev Up Your House All Year

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Guest Picks: A Tidy Roundup of Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning does not always have to look so dirty. I’m fond of keeping things clean (and green) at the most attractive way possible. This ideabook is a group of the funniest approaches to assist in keeping the spaces around you neat and tidy. — Jennifer from I Art U

West Elm

Goodbye Detergent Cleaning Scrubs – $6.95

I love these cleaning scrubs for many reasons: They are made from sustainable materials (think peach pits and corn cores), are attractive and do not smell after time. Additionally, they work well, and I can say this from experience.


Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener – $9.95

I really like Nellie’s vintage-like packaging, and who does not need oxygen brighteners for your wash? Better yet, it is all natural!

West Elm

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, Single – $39

I have always been attracted to wood and linen hampers, and this is no exception. It is beautifully designed and won’t stick out like a sore thumb in the restroom.

West Elm

Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap – $6

This soap smells like it seems. I have been seeing it at a lot of shops recently, and I think it would be great for a guest toilet.

West Elm

Bamboo Ironing Board – $79.95

I really like the wooden legs on this ironing board and would not mind watching this out and about in the house.

West Elm

Brendan Ravenhill Dustbin – $149

This is genius! Never lose your broom again. The magnetic birch wood brush hangs firmly on its own beautiful bin, and also the top detaches to be a pan for sweeping dust up. It is like art.

Urban Outfitters

Clean/Dirty Bath Mat – $24

Which are you? Hopefully clean once you come out of the shower. This fun and chic mat could make anybody (stepping into a bath) grin.


Barr-Co. Actual Vegetable Hand Soap – $24

Pretty hand soap is perfect for a guest toilet.

West Elm

Dust Pan, Big – $34

This simple and gorgeous dustpan would look good in almost any cleaning cupboard (or placing around your home). Need I say more?

Contemporary Kitchen Trash Cans – $99.99

This is the right shape of a garbage can for conserving space in the kitchen. Simplehuman trash cans are my favorites because of their design.

Pot + Pantry

Common Good Dish Soap, Bergamot – $4.99

Simple and well-designed cleaning goods always produce the kitchen more glowing. Do yourself a favor and try this one out. You won’t regret it.

Pot + Pantry

Common Great 25-Hour Candle, Lavender – $14

Candles are my own weakness. I love all Common Good’s goods, and their candles are some of my favorites. They are small in size but incredibly blossom with all-natural essential oils. I’d keep one of these in every room of my house if I could.

West Elm

Dustpan + Broom Set – $129

I’d really like to see this gorgeous dustpan and broom set hanging out on screen. A major plus is that you don’t have to strain your spine while sweeping.


Dyson DC24 Multi Floor Vacuum – $449.99

A Dyson was on my wish list because forever. I’d really like to have one, as I’ve heard nothing but good things about these. They are high quality and have good design. Someday.


Woven Green and White Laundry Basket – $39.95

Do your laundry in style. Practical and pretty, this hamper is my favorite.

West Elm

Common Good Linen Water Spray – $18.95

This Common Good sage leaf linen water was made in collaboration with West Elm’s fresh sector. It is made from essential oils and plant-based materials and can be biodegradable. The scent might even ease stress for a good night’s rest.


Nellie’s Dryerballs – $19.95

Reduce your impact on the environment by shifting out your dryer sheets for drier balls. Again, Nellie’s had me in their packaging.


All Purpose 12 oz. Lemon & Mint from Haven Clean – $8.95

Handmade mint and lemon all-purpose cleaner is excellent for all areas, particularly the kitchen and bathroom. I love using all-natural cleaning goods in the house: They smell good and so are better for your environment.

Ten Thousand Villages

Stash It Storage Basket – $49

This could be perfect for loose items which are are constantly out but could be hidden when not in need: toys, dirty clothes, cleaning supplies, etc..

Bed Bath & Beyond

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Aromatherapeutic Geranium Laundry Cleaning Products – $7.99

Mrs. Meyer’s products are definite go-tos in my household. Sweet smelling and environmentally friendly, they’re a must in my book.

Next: 15 Ways to Design a Easy-Clean Home

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The Way to Stop Rattan Furniture From Squeaking

Rattan is the name for a selection of palm species used in artwork, that is created in a weaving style called wicker. As a pure material rather than artificial, the fibers sometimes dry out and crackle or squeak when subjected consistently to indoor heat or direct outside sunlight. Maintaining your rattan clean and conditioned prevents squeaking and deterioration.

Keep It Moist

To alleviate the annoying noise of creaking and crackling when sitting on your rattan chairs or sofas, prevent the fibers from drying out. Wipe down the rattan one time a week if possible, with a clean, damp cloth and a mild household cleaning product. Light spritzing is acceptable, but excess water can cause warping or weakening of these fibers and a buildup of mold from the cracks and crevices of the woven rattan.

Cover and Protect

Most rattan furniture is treated with a protective coating after the manufacturing process, but the layers can wear off with time. This exposes the fibers to dryness and heat and can lead to squeaking. Use a pure lubricant like lemon oil or boiled linseed oil periodically to recondition your own hair, and periodically apply a new coat of varnish, shellac or a comparable sealant.

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Woodworking Tips for Staining Pine

With most forests, a fast coat of oil-based blot is sufficient to provide superior coloring and end to your job. With pine, this isn’t the case. A fast use of stain will present you with two noticeable flaws: big blotches of dark colour and a change in the colour of the grain. These flaws are caused by varying densities in the board’s surface, which allow for uneven stain absorption. It does not have to be this way, nevertheless. With a little bit of additional work you may stain a pine board with a beautiful, even end every time.

Prep that the Wood

If your work piece has some loose knots, then you can fix them by dripping clear glue around the knot. Cover another side of the knot with a piece of tape to keep the epoxy from dripping through. When you’ve mended all of the knots, then sand the face of your board level using a hand sander with 100-grit sandpaper or an oscillating tool with a sanding attachment. Once happy, eschew the power tool to get a sanding block with 220-grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain to smooth out any tooling marks left from the power sander. Brush the surface of the wood with a damp sponge after finishing your secondary sanding to raise the grain and then sand after again with 400-grit paper. Wipe off your job to remove dust and get ready to stain.


Apply a coat of water-based wood conditioner to your pine board. Once you’ve covered the piece thoroughly, then wipe off the excess conditioner with a clean rag. Check the can for recommended drying time between coats. Following your first coat has dried sufficiently, use and wipe another coat. This conditioner is going to be consumed by the hungry pores of the pine board, which will limit the absorption of the dye you’ll use in the next step. This allows for a uniform end with no blotching or grain reversal.

Stain and Seal

Dyeing is the procedure which will actually blot, or add colour, to your board. You can buy premixed, water-based dyes or powdered dyes. If you go with a powdered dye, dissolve it in warm water, then as per your product’s directions, and permit it to cool to room temperature before use. Brush the dye evenly on into the face of your work piece and permit it to float for a few minutes. After done, wipe it off with a clean rag. Following this first coat dries, use a second to deepen the shade. Apply two coats of 2-lb. Cut, dewaxed shellac to seal and safeguard your stained surface. Sand lightly between coats with 400-grit sandpaper. If you are delighted with the colour, it is possible to stop here; if you want a darker finish, use a coat of glaze.


Brush on a thin layer of glaze and wipe it off with a clean rag. You can find a darker end by leaving a little glaze behind once you wipe, or you’ll be able to keep it lighter by wiping it off thoroughly. When you are happy with your end, wait 24 hours for the glaze to cure and seal it with a transparent topcoat. Your pine board is going to have a beautiful end with rich coloring and no blotches or flaws.

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Care and Maintenance of Wood Paneling

To maintain wood paneling looking as if were installed yesterday, place a regular care and maintenance program into practice. Unless the wood is bare and unfinished, cleaning and maintenance refer to the end that protects the wood. Indoor climate also affects how well the wood holds up with time, because heated homes may dry wood paneling if it’s not often maintained.

Regular Dusting or Vacuuming

Dust, debris and dirt like to hide in the nooks and crannies of real wood paneling. While it’s possible to dust the timber to remove surface grime, to wash wood paneling efficiently, you must vacuum it often. Add the soft brush attachment to the wand of the vacuum and then work methodically through the wall, starting at the top and running. Vacuum wood plank walls once every 2 months or so, but conduct a dust wand around them at least weekly, based on the quantity of accumulated dust.

Light Washing

Light washing of a wood-paneled wall requires 2 1-gallon buckets and 2 cellulose sponges. Mix 2 teaspoons of mild dishwashing detergent in a gallon bucket of warm water. Add warm warm water into the second bucket as a rinsing agent. Begin at the bottom of the wall and work up, cleaning a small section of paneling at one time, and move laterally through the wall as you finish a section. Apply the cleaning agent, then rinse with clean water. Buff dry with a clean rag or cloth. Don’t permit water or detergents to sit or air-dry on the finished wood paneling, as the end could turn a milky white.

Removing Grease or Crayon

Don’t permit heavy-duty solvents or alkali-based cleaning options to sit down finished wood paneling, as these can harm the finish. But if dirt or crayon dirties the timber paneling, mineral spirits may cut these efficiently — if used in small doses. Dab a fresh cloth with mineral spirits and use into the stained area. Rub vigorously to eliminate. Wipe excess mineral spirits to avoid damaging the finish. When working with mineral spirits, open up windows for ventilation. Mineral spirits will also be highly flammable. Don’t use mineral spirits on timber paneling surfaced with paper or thin lashes.

Lemon Oil End

Lemon oil or your favorite furniture oil or polish gives wood paneling a nice sheen. Additionally, it restores unfinished wood paneling that has dried out. Apply the chosen item to a clean cloth and wipe the paneling from the direction of the grain. Blot up any excess oil to avoid overly soaked locations. Apply oil or polish product semiannually or quarterly depending upon the inside climate of your home. Add the oil products into the timber after a thorough cleaning, as the last step.

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The Way to Receive a High Gloss Finish on a Vinyl Floor

Though it’s possible to pick a high-gloss vinyl floor covering, with time, the floor loses its moist appearance. Or, possibly the vinyl flooring in your home came with a matte or low-gloss finish you wish to punch up. Some vinyl floor manufacturers recommend particular products to clean and keep your floor’s end, but product labels can tell you if a specific solution works for your type of floor covering. With only a little bit of time and work, it is possible to restore a plastic floor’s end to make it seem new again and shield it from harm.

Product Choices

Before applying any item to your vinyl floor, verify it can be used on vinyl. To create a high-gloss sheen, then pick an acrylic product that contains polyurethane or the kind of industrial product that’s used in hospitals, stores or office buildings. Commercial products provide greater protection and last more compared to a great deal of retail products, but most of them cost more and arrive in larger containers compared to retail products.

Clean Up It

With thoroughly cleansing the floor, the first step to obtaining that high-gloss sheen begins. The floor requires a comprehensive cleaning before applying the high-gloss coat; otherwise, debris and dirt can embed in the end. A dust mop, broom and dust pan or a vacuum cleaner removes the debris and dust. Run a light wet mop over the outside to eliminate stains and clogs; for ground-in dirt, then use a soft-bristle brush. Abrasives or products that can scrape the vinyl’s surface.

Eliminate Old Finish

After cleaning the ground, remove the old finish, using a stripping product designed especially for your floor. Check the flooring manufacturer strippers. A silk mop is the easiest way to use the stripper throughout the vinyl floor in an even, but thin coat. Let the stripper sit. For tough finishes, wash the floor with a rotary scrubber fitted with wiping pads. Eliminate the sludge material that results in the emulsification, then rinse with water. Allow the floor to dry.

Apply New Finish

When the old end is gone, use the new end working with a sponge mop. Work from 1 side of this room to another, applying it in light, but strokes. Keep the room at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 48 hours to guarantee the item dries and cures. Apply another coat, if desired, following the floor is dry to your touch, after about one hour. Following coats take as much as 2 hours or longer. Do not wash the ground for as much as five days to permit the end product to bond and cure.

Special Considerations

Some vinyl manufacturers advise you not to use mop-and-shine products, since they may leave a filmy residue on the surface of the ground. Avoid abrasives or products that can scratch the surface of the vinyl. A woven carpet with no dyes or a vinyl-backed rug strategically placed near the entrance to the room can help keep dirt from getting tracked onto your chosen vinyl floor.

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Making Sure Mice Are Gone From a House

Mice are smart creatures that multiply rapidly, making them hard to get rid of when they invade your property and breed. After trapping or using rodenticides to take care of an infestation of these pests, there are signs you can search for to determine whether they living in your house.

A Mouse in the House?

Use your senses to determine whether mice are currently living in your property. You’ll probably hear any remaining mice scurrying and squeaking inside the walls of your home or within your ceiling, especially during the night. Look for gnaw marks or fresh mouse droppings across the bottom of your walls. Check your attic, basement, garage or closets for mouse nests made of paper, cloth or other soft substances. Use an ultraviolet light the mice remain in your property, if the urine is pungent and damp.

Final Notice Before Eviction

Pour talcum powder or flour across the base of your walls. Leave the powder for a few days and should you find any mouse tracks, you will know the little pests are still in your house. Assess your house during the night and day to find out whether you place any mice. Place traps around your house to catch any mice that are remaining. Speak to a professional exterminator, if you find any mice in your house. When there are no more signs of mice, use a solution of one part bleach to eight parts water to sanitize your property.

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Taking Corrosion off Pavers

Unsightly corrosion on pavers are able to make your patio or path seem unattractive. A timeless cause of the stains is metallic furniture left from the rain that then rusted and left stains. You can remove the stains and then restore your pavers for their rust-free state.

Chemical Removal

Fresh lemon juice and white vinegar can either eliminate rust stains. For either vinegar or lemon juice, pour or squeeze it straight over the area and let it sit for approximately five minutes. Before the fluid dries, scrub the area with a nylon bristled brush and then rinse with water. Oxalic acid, however poisonous, is another option for removing rust stains from concrete. Whichever you pick, test it on a small region of a paver to be sure it doesn’t bend the pavers.

Mechanical Removal

To skip the chemicals, try taking away the rust using old-fashioned scrubbing. Use a wire brush and dishwashing soap and water to vigorously clean and remove any stains. Rinse with water after you are finished.

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Do You Seal Raw Stone Before Grouting?

Natural stone tiles make an attractive and durable finish material for flooring and walls. After laying the stone tile, you need to grout the joints to keep water and dirt out and to enhance the attractiveness of your new tiled surface. Grouting can be cluttered, but appropriate preparation of the tile are able to keep mess to a minimum.

Seal Before Grouting

Seal your raw stone shingles before grouting. If you do not apply sealer first, grout will adhere tenaciously to the tile surface, and it will be extremely difficult to get off. Grout can also discolor the unsealed tile. Clean any mortar or debris away from the tile surface. Spread the stone sealer evenly across the whole surface of the stone tile using a clean, soft rag or wax. Apply only as much sealer as the stone may absorb. Allow the sealer to dry, which typically takes about one hour. Some porous stone types may need two or three sealing coats before grouting.

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The Best Way to Remove Paint By Lap Board Siding

Stripping old paint off lap board siding takes substantial effort. But it’s an unavoidable evil if the paint is peeling or splitting, and you want new paint to stick. You can strip siding with grinders and scrapers, or you could use chemicals to dissolve the paint, but the quickest and simplest way to remove the paint would be to work with an infrared heat paint stripper. This tool heats up the paint quickly to loosen its bonding to the wood and doesn’t provide enough heat to present a fire risk. It is the safest way to get rid of lead-based paint.

Establish scaffolding at least 12 inches away from the side of the house you’re stripping. You need that much clearance to hold the infrared paint stripper against the wood.

Protect the siding from end with a tarpaulin. Wind dissipates heat from the infrared stripper and lengthens the time you need to keep it in position before scraping.

Spray a light mist of water to the siding prior to using an infrared paint stripper. This will break the bond between the paint and the wood, and even though the risk of overheating the wood is minimum, it produces operation of this stripper safer.

Grasp the heat removal tool by the handle and carry it with its heat coils flush against the siding and the handle parallel to the management of the wood. Hold it against the siding for 20 to 30 seconds, until the paint begin to bubble and soften.

Remove the instrument and scrape off the paint with a pull scraper. Avoid touching the paint together with your hands — it’s hot enough to burn your fingers. If you can not easily scrape all the paint, then do not over-scrape, or you might damage the wood. You may use the tool, but it will work better if you take care of the wood first.

Mix a solution of 80 percent boiled linseed oil and 20 percent mineral spirits, and paint it to the siding with a paintbrush. Allow it to sit overnight, then heat the wood with the infrared removal tool and then scrape. Rub off whatever paint stays with moderate steel wool.

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