April 2015 | Live Pretty on a Penny

Hmmm... Anyone up for a 30-Day Cleaning Challenge???

Happy Wednesday!!  So if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me mention having a chance to go on the Inman Park Festival tour of homes. I didn't get to snap any pictures because the memory full on my phone, plus I was managing a toddler. That's enough work in itself. But to give you a little background, its a total of 10 homes on the tour, along with a church and old barn. We only made it through seven of the homes before we were worn out! The tour is spread out, so pretty much none of the homes sat within the same street, although a couple did. The tour takes place in the historic Inman Park neighborhood in Atlanta, during the 2-day Inman Park Festival. Inman Park is Atlanta’s first planned community and one of the nation’s first garden suburbs. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just from that information I am sure you can imagine its beauty!

On the tour, besides the homes being decorated so beautifully, they were super clean and some just smelled so fresh. Not just surface cleaned, but had a deep cleaned feel. I am pretty sure it was deep cleaned because they were gonna be on the tour, but nevertheless, it got me thinking. My house surely needs a deep deep cleaning. So I wanted to challenge myself to do little by little over the month of May, focusing on areas that I normally don't do. I came across the 30-Day cleaning challenge from Pop Sugar.com

The daily tasks seemed very manageable, even for someone like myself who works full time. Based on what the article said, each task should take about 20 minutes to an hour a day. Totally doable for me! So I want to challenge myself, and anybody else who wants to participate. The tasks are below. If  you click on the links in blue, they offer you tips on how to do so!

Day 1: Clean microwave and oven.
Day 2: Clean dishwasher and appliances. Here's how to clean your toaster.
Day 3: Wipe down pantry.
Day 4: Scrub down fridge.
Day 5: Organize and toss expired foods.
Day 6: Clean kitchen sink and under the sink.
Day 7: Wipe down walls, and wash garbage can.
Day 8: Clean stove top, kitchen surface areas, and floor.


Day 9: Clean medicine cabinet and storage.
Day 10: Trash expired items, and declutter.
Day 11: Clean shower, tub, shower curtains, and walls.
Day 12: Clean toilet, bathroom surface areas, mirror, and floor.


Day 13: Clean mirrors, windows, blinds, and curtains.
Day 14: Organize closet and drawers, and declutter.
Day 15: Deep-clean mattress, and wash pillows, linens, and comforter.
Day 16: Vacuum, mop, or sweep floor; clean under furniture.
Day 17: Clean furniture, walls, and fixtures.

Living Room

Day 18: Wash cushions, seat, and sofa covers.
Day 19: Clean throws, rugs, chairs, and tables.
Day 20: Clean TV and electronics.
Day 21: Declutter, and toss unwanted items.
Day 22: Vacuum, mop, or sweep floor; clean under furniture.
Day 23: Clean walls and fixtures.
Day 24: Clean windows, blinds, and curtains.


Day 25: Clean desk, chair, and walls, and declutter.
Day 26: Wipe down bookshelves, and toss unwanted books.


Day 27: Clean washing machine and dryer.
Day 28: Clean patio and outdoor equipment.
Day 29: Clean car and car seat.
Day 30: Clean vacuum and cleaning supplies.


I am preparing, and will actually probably get started today! Who is with me? If you participate, let's share via social media with the #30daycleaningchallenge and tag my IG @liveprettyonapenny.

Until next time:)


Panel Wall Reveal #livingroommakeover

If you follow me on Instagram, then you are very familiar with my hashtag #livingroommakeover. Under that hashtag, there are so many living room updates documented. Today, I want to show you one of the first impactful updates that I made after painting the living room. I am so excited with the direction of this makeover and I am  looking forward to sharing more.

A few months ago, we updated a focal wall in the room with what I call grid molding, however, I think it is called board and batten.

You may remember this wall before after I painted, but before the board and batten.

Which we turned into this in total of weekend and about $75.

I will compile all of the details and give a tutorial, but in the meantime, I am just enjoying the change! FYI, the wall color in the top picture is more true to the actual room color. Not sure why it looks so muddy/gray in the second photo!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Until, next time.

DIY Deck Staining

Upon accepting the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge, we knew staining the deck was first on our list. When we thought about the process of staining our own deck, we became a bit overwhelmed, as it seemed like a lot of work. Way to much work for two working full time people...with a toddler.

However, after we examined it more, we realized that there really wasn't that much work to do, since one of the hardest parts is removing past stain and ours had never been stained before!

It had already been pressure washed so what we figured it needed was a good sanding.

Using the Ryobi Belt Sander, we sanded the deck to rough up the surface.

After sanding and sweeping away the dust, we began staining the deck in the direction of the wood grain. We stained using a roller brush and long attachment. For the rails, we just used a short handle paint brush.

 After we applied several coats of stain, allowing it to dry for an hour in between, we let it sit and cure for several days before placing any furniture on it. For the stain to properly cure, I would suggest several days of temperatures above 60 degrees and definitely no rain!

Here is what the deck looked like when we finished:)

I took lots of pictures, but some were washed out because it was so sunny. So this one shows  the color the best.

We stained using Thompson's Water Seal in Solid Acorn Brown, which worked very well. To see how the deck looks after the Patio Style Challenge reveal, click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Until next time!

Home Depot Patio Style Challenge 2015 Reveal

You may remember earlier this year when I listed out some goals that I had for 2015. Well working with brands that aligned with the mission behind this blog was definitely on the list. And would you know it, not even a week after publishing that post, I was contacted by Home Depot to participate in their 2015 Patio Style Challenge!! What?? Me?? I don't have a million followers and don't consider myself a pro. My husband said I was crazy for questioning myself so of course I was totally all in.

Fast forward a month or so after I agreed to participate, I was sent the Hampton Bay Pembrey 7-piece Patio Dining Set. This set is beautiful, yall. I must admit that I was stumped as to my design approach because I never thought about designing an outdoor space, and definitely never considered a dining set. Mainly, I was stumped because if you remember, this was the space I had to work with.

I put together a mock designed space based on the elements I felt was important.

A few posts back, I talked to you guys about the elements I wanted to incorporate. Any who, without further ado, here is our new patio space.

I hope you guys enjoyed taking a look at the space. Now, if it will stop raining in Atlanta,  I can actually enjoy it. You can check out my post and tutorials on the cooler and succulent shelf on the Home Depot Apron Blog. Check it out here! I will be back soon to show you how we went about staining our deck on our own.

Until next time!