Katie Elizabeth

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks


Ahhh, spring cleaning.  Do you love it or hate it?  I go back and forth - I kind of hate doing it, but once it's done, there is no better feeling.  Until you let your dog back in the house with muddy paws, but that's how it always goes... ;)  Today's post is a comprehensive guide to all things cleaning.  A few tips to make the process easier (dare I even say more fun?!), a round up of great tricks to clean those challenging areas of your home, and a few of my favorite products to use.  Let's get right to it!

TIPS
1. Make a master list (or find one on Pinterest, this is an awesome one) of everything you want to accomplish before you begin.

2. Assemble your cleaning caddy - it is so much more efficient to carry one of these with you instead of running back to your cleaning closet for more supplies.  See my favorite products below to fill it with.

3. Open the windows if it's a nice day out, fresh air always helps!  Turn up the music or put on an audio book to listen to while you work.  And PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.  That thing is just full of distractions ;)

4. Set a timer if you work better under pressure (me).  Remember this post?  The Pomodoro Technique also works perfectly when it comes to cleaning.

5. Take it one room at a time.  I find this makes things much more manageable and if I can't complete the whole house in one day, it's a great place to leave off knowing you only have x amount of rooms to go.

6. After you finish a room, light a fresh smelling candle in it.  And have rewards on hand.  Whether you treat yourself after each room or when you're completely done cleaning, a reward is always great motivation.  I like to go get ice cream!

TRICKS
Cleaning your baseboards
Removing pet hair (THIS IS LIFE CHANGING.  We do it all over our house and cars.)
The best way to dust your ceiling fans
How to clean and dry your pillows
Stain removal on a microfiber couch
Refreshing your kitchen sink and garbage disposal
Cleaning the dishwasher (just did this and it worked wonders!)
Clean your microwave in minutes without scrubbing
Removing the grime build up off your baking pans
Refreshing your front loading washer machine
Clean blinds, the easy way
Make your stovetop sparkle

PRODUCTS
Let me just start by saying that stock up on Magic Erasers because they are about to become your new BFFs!  Those little guys do anything and everything.  I also like to have plenty of paper towels, microfiber clothes, vinegar, lemons, and baking soda on hand.  Sometimes the old school methods just work the best.


Cleaning Caddy // Magic Erasers // Method All Purpose Cleaner // Windex // Bar Keepers Friend
(works awesome in the shower) // Dust Pan // Swiffer Sweepers // Rubber Gloves

What's your best spring cleaning tip and or trick? 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Outfit Perfection {On A Budget}

Earrings // Purse // Espadrilles // Off The Shoulder Top // White Denim

Each new season brings new trends and you can go broke trying to keep up with them.  I'm all about finding a good deal, especially when it comes to pieces that may be out of style by next year.  This spring outfit encompasses all of the most popular trends right now (off the shoulder! tassels! blush!), but does so on a budget.  Every piece is under $55 and are all pretty versatile so you could mix and match them with the rest of your wardrobe.  

Every girl needs a pair of gold hoops in her closet and for $8, you can't go wrong with these by BP.  Bonus that they're from Nordstrom which means free shipping, too!

Can you believe this blush pink bag is from Old Navy?!  It has rave reviews - pretty sure it's going to go super fast so grab it while you can.

So these Target dv espadrilles are already in my cart.  I love them so much and they are $29.99.  Insane.

Stripes + off the shoulder = two of my favorite things right now.  I'm sadly going to have to hold off on ordering this one, but you shouldn't!  It's a great price and Topshop stuff is always excellent quality.

White jeans for $54 with almost all 5 star reviews?  Doesn't get much better than that.  These will be a workhorse in your closet.

What's the best deal you've scored this spring?
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Life Lately via the Camera Roll

Good morning!  Hope your week is off to a nice start.  It's supposed to be 75 and rainy here - could be worse, could be better ;)  Thankfully the weather was gorgeous all weekend again, we've really lucked out lately.  We had quite the productive last couple of days (all related to baby things of course) and it feels so good to get lot of to do's checked off.  The low of the weekend?  Dropping my practically full face cream on the floor and having it get aaaallll over our rug, the walls, in the vent... so that was fun.  Definitely an expensive oops, haha.  

I'll let my camera roll do the rest of the talking!


{All of the trees are blooming here in town right now and they're so pretty.  We grabbed panini's for lunch downtown this weekend and enjoyed them outside in the sun.}

{Told you I've been all about the avocado toast lately!}


{Speaking of things I'm loving lately, this NARS eyeshadow primer is easily the best purchase I made during the recent Sephora sale.  I've been a long time devotee of this eyeshadow primer, but the NARS one truly blows it out of the water.  It's so much more long lasting and I love how easy the wand is to use.}

{We learned an insane amount of baby things in our 8 hour Baby Basics class on Saturday.  How to change a diaper (on a non-moving doll anyway ;)), bathe babies, feeding discussions and how to do infant CPR.  Also learned that baby powder is never to be used (what?!) and that the rock-n-play we were planning on having her sleep in at night isn't the best solution since they're supposed to be on their backs.  So now this thing is on it's way to us and I'm not that mad about it because it looks pretty awesome!}

{Despite his camera/poker face, this guy has been loving the warmer weather.  He's been outside as much as possible since he's much more trustworthy this year (not swallowing rocks anymore.. ahem).}

{I finally got a basket for our new fiddle leaf fig so I had to share with you guys!  I feel like it doesn't photograph as nice as it is in person, but we love it.  Definitely worth the money and adds that perfect pop of green to our living room.  And I can't kill it so that's a major bonus.}

Enjoy your Mondays!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Fri-YAY!

Image via

I'm so happy today is Friday!  It's been a long week and I'm looking forward to hanging out at home for a couple of days and getting some things checked off the to do list.  Getting caught up on blogging is one of those.  I've been lacking in the motivation department this week because I've been so busy and it already has me a little worried for what blogging is going to look like after the baby is here.  I'm thinking about going down to a M/W/F posting schedule for the summer, but we will see.  I hate to slow down, but can be a serious time commitment. 

Speaking of baby, we had a good doctors appointment this week and she's already head down which is so crazy to me.  Really not that much longer now and therefore I've been "nesting" like crazy.  I mean, I even swept out the GARAGE the other day.  So weird, but it made me feel so much better to have it cleaned out!  We've been busy putting all of our goodies from the shower together and this weekend we'll do our baby 101 class.  Things are getting real, you guys.  What do you have planned for the weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope it's fun!  

+ An amazingly comprehensive post on cooking with fresh herbs from Jaclyn.  I can't wait to put some of her tips into play - I think using herbs correctly always brings a dish up a few notches.

+ I didn't know I wanted to go to Oregon until I saw everyone's pictures of the tulip fields.  My hometown, Holland Michigan, is actually famous for our Tulip Time in May, but is nothing compared to this gorgeousness.
Although, we do have junk food wagons (CORN DOGS) so there's that ;)

+ My favorite robe from this post is 40% off right now!  Speaking of robes, the baby definitely needs this one.
So so cute.

+ I have been obsessed with avocado toast for lunch this week.  I've been doing toasted sourdough, mashed avocado, chopped cherry tomatoes and a little salt & pepper.  I plan on hitting up the grocery store this weekend to try these 12 different variations from Camille Styles.

+ This mirror is everything (under $50 and on sale!).  I've been planning on ordering this one for above our fireplace, but then I stumbled upon this bad boy and it's pretty much an exact dupe.  Target does it again!

+ I've been hearing about the Tula skincare line all over the place and only great things.  This Discovery Kit looks like a great way to try their most popular pieces for a discounted price.  Love that their products all contain probiotics and are free of that scary stuff found in most cosmetics.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Favorite Cookbooks


One of my favorite things to do is cook.  I'll be honest and say that I don't always love it on busy weeknights, but when I have the chance to slow down and take my time and prepare a delicious meal - bonus if it's for friends + family joining us - I really enjoy myself.  

While Pinterest is always an amazing source of inspiration and I've found some of my favorite recipes there, I still love a good old school cookbook.  I've raved about this one before (as you can see in this post!), but I wanted to share a few additional favorites.  These can all be found living in my kitchen, full of stains from cooking and tons of drool worthy recipes.


Two In The Kitchen | Starting with the fanciest :) This was a wedding gift a couple of years ago and it's perfect for that because it's a beautiful hard cover book.  While most of these aren't weeknight recipes, it's for more of a stay-home-and-cook date night.  The pictures are gorgeous and I love that the book includes lots of entertaining tips - everything from how to stock a bar to how to gain confidence in the kitchen.  

Martha Stewart's Appetizers | I picked this up because I feel like I'm always looking for new appetizers to bring to get-togethers and this cookbook hasn't disappointed.  There are 200 delicious finger food recipes and 30 drink recipes included and they're all decently easy.  Just do yourself a favor and buy this book if only to make the caramelized onion and bacon dip - SO GOOD. 

The Skinnytaste Cookbook | I think we're all familiar with Gina's amazing blog, but I feel that the book is worth the purchase, too.  There are 125 recipes that are exclusive to the book and 25 all time favorites from the blog.  My favorite part is that they're all low calorie... that don't taste low calorie at all - win win.   I will say some recipes do require more prep than others, but it's worth it.  I haven't made a bad meal from this book yet! 

100 Pizzas From 1 Easy Recipe | Because who doesn't love pizza?!  I picked this up on a whim from World Market one night because we have naan bread pizza's about once a week and I was bored of the same old toppings.  While I don't use the dough recipe (I really do need to try that), I get a lot of inspiration from the different topping combinations.  Like I never would have thought to do an Asian shrimp pizza before, but it's a new favorite.  It's on major sale right now, so why not grab it and step up your pizza game :)

What are your favorite cookbooks?  I've got this one and this one sitting in my cart right now - can't wait to get them and dig in, I've heard such good things!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Three Pieces From Forever 21 I'm Crushing On

Forever 21 is so hit or miss for me... but right now it's 100% hit. It all started with this dress after I saw Lauren wearing it and then I kind of fell into a black hole of online shopping.  But I don't feel too bad about it because #1 the prices are dirt cheap (I mean under $6 for a pair of cat eye sunglasses?!) and #2 there is even a sale going on right now!  Take up to 20% off your purchase through Wednesday.  So all of this stuff is basically free.  That's how girl math works, right? ;)


Anything pink and I'm sold.  Add ruffles and it's already in my cart on the way to me.  Love this pretty maxi dress for the summer - I mean they just make getting dressed so easy.  Dress it up or down, but I'd probably wear it with a pair of simple sandals (love these in white) and my go to denim jacket.

Striped Espadrilles
Everyone just go ahead and order these now because they are UNDER $16 and therefore will go super fast.  So cute, right?!  They have great reviews, too - most do say to order a half size up though.  They are total knock offs for these Soludos, but at a fraction of the price.  (Also come in a couple other colors).

Tasseled Faux Leather Crossbody
Tassels, tassels everywhere and I love it.  This is the perfect little crossbody for summer.  The color is just the right neutral to go with everything and it looks really well made in person.  It also comes in a fun mustard color if you're looking for that 70's vibe that's also super popular right now.

Happy shopping!

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© Katie Elizabeth

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