5 Tips: Shortcuts to Clean, Clutter Free Living

By Kim Vargo /

For almost 6 years, Scott and I lived in a less than 700 square foot condo. Last summer, we doubled our square footage when we moved into a house down the street, and to say that our cleaning routine has shifted would be an understatement! (Not to mention, we’ve been renovating room-by-room ever since, causing quite the dust storm on the daily.) During this transition, our little family grew from a three pet household to four, and between juggling full time jobs and every day life, we’re often asked how we’re able to keep things looking clutter free and feeling fresh while keeping pet fur at bay. Here are five tips and shortcuts that work for us, allowing us to live our lives and not be a slave to the chore list.

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4 Tips for your Digital Detox

By Kristin Appenbrink /

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I get a little fed up with the Internet. Yes, I marvel at how the answer to every question under the sun is always at my fingertips. And I would literally be lost without my iPhone as I check for directions every time I’m going somewhere new. But every so often, I just want to shut it all off and go incognito. I’ve tried doing a “digital detox” a couple of different times with mixed success. Hurricane Sandy interrupted my first attempt. I was visiting my sister on the West coast and broke my no-phone rule to check on friends and attempt to reschedule my flight home. My second attempt was a weeklong break from social media this past winter, which was harder than I thought.

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10 Tips for How to Take Photos of your Home

By Rachel Castro /

There are a few things I’ve learned about shooting interiors since I started blogging. It’s different than photographing people. In a way, I think photographing interiors is easier…you can take your sweet time setting up the shot and don’t have to rush to try to capture a certain look or moment before it’s gone. But interiors can be hard too! So I wanted to share my top 10 tips for photographing interiors. Feel free to chime in with your own tips.

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5 Tips: Have a Fun, Successful Flea Market Adventure

By Kim Vargo /

With summer in full swing, it can only mean one thing – the flea market season is upon us! Those that know us well, know that Scott and I live for this time of year. When we’re not DIYing our way around our big, old house on the weekends, we’re mapping out and plotting our next early morning date with fellow hidden treasure lovers. Over the years, we’ve learned what makes for the most successful and satisfying flea adventure, and we’d be amiss not to share those tips with you. Whether you’re on the hunt for home furnishings, a vintage clutch or quirky memorabilia, there are a few steadfast rules we stick to; are you ready?

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What to Include on your Birth Announcement

By Rachel Castro /

Even though many of your friends will have seen digital photos of your baby within hours after the birth, there’s something special about being able to send your friends a photo of your baby that they will hang up on the fridge and see every day. To make it quick and easy to create your birth announcement, we’ve gathered our best tips for what to include on your birth announcements.

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Wedding Photo Etiquette 101

By Kristin Appenbrink /

Gone are the days of wedding-themed disposable cameras being fixtures of the reception table place setting. Now that nearly everyone carries a far better camera in their pocket at all times, the number of photos taken at weddings has grown exponentially. From the wedding procession, to the ceremony, to the first kiss, there are likely to be guests capturing every moment, along with the professional photographer, of course. But should you really be pulling out your phone during the ceremony? Probably not.

© Fat Orange Cat Studio

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5 Steps: Give Tired Furniture a Pick-Me-Up

By Kim Vargo /

Over the years, Scott and I have rescued a lot of furniture from flea markets, thrift stores and, yes, even back alleys. Because vintage and antique furniture were traditionally crafted with solid wood (sometimes with a veneer), we’ll first try to repair the condition of the wood. This doesn’t mean that we need to break out the power sander and spend hours going over every surface of our piece until we’re down to the raw wood; rather, we continue to use a simple 5 step “wood refresh” method that will revive our tired furniture and make it look new again. Spruce up what you already have, and fall in love with your antiques again!Most recently, we purchased four gorgeous Mid-century dining chairs at a flea market. We placed them around our dining table, which is part of an open concept floor plan in our main living space.

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Father’s Day Dinner: The Perfect Steak

By Bree Hester /

Dad deserves a special dinner to celebrate Father’s Day, don’t you think? The dad in our house loves a good steak dinner. I don’t make a lot of steaks so it is a treat for everyone. I think that I didn’t make a lot of steaks because I was terrible at making them. I either bought the wrong cut of beef, over-cooked it, or under-cooked it. After much experimentation, this is my foolproof method for a perfectly cooked, juicy, delicious steak.

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