How To Freshen Old Grout Between Tiles in 3 Easy Steps

If you didn’t already know, it should really come as no surprise to anyone that I am slightly OCD.

Yup, I’m the one who needs all the pictures perfectly straight, the furniture dusted, and my floors ARE clean enough to eat off of…for reals.

Our house is kinda old, built in the late sixties or very early seventies, and we haven’t done a major overhaul on the kitchen, so I still have the old porcelain tile with white grout, which poses difficulties keeping spotless and sanitary even for someone like me whose middle name is “Bleach”.

Every so often, I step out of my Louboutins, throw down my Chanel, and get my hands dirty for a purpose — to freshen and reseal the grout.

Until we remodel and tear out the countertops, this is an excellent method of keeping everything looking clean and fresh.

And it’s SO easy!

This is what I use; it’s bright white ‘cos that’s my grout color. I purchased it at Home Depot — it’s pre-mixed and EASY to use.
grouttutorial1STEP ONE:

I use my finger because I’ve tried a lot of other tools and nothing works better. I don’t even wear gloves, but you really should.

Just scoop up a mess of grout and push it into the space between the tiles, dragging your finger down along each square ’til it’s filled and even.

Make sure you really wash that stuff off your hands; it’s very drying and probably toxic!
grouttutorial3 STEP TWO:

Take a rag or a sponge (or both) and carefully wipe away the excess grout. Let it dry overnight and then wipe off the tiles again.

grouttutorial4 grouttutorialsealer

 

 

STEP THREE:
See the little brush? Turn the grout sealer upside down and squeeze just until enough sealer coats the brush; continue to squeeze, and paint all the grout with the sealer, let dry for about an hour and add a second coat.

When it’s dry, wipe the tile with a clean, damp cloth to remove any excess grout.

 

 

 

 

Voilà!

Beautiful grout again…sparkly clean and shiny, easy as 1-2-3!
grouttutorial2

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

A Fashionista Rejuvenation

Try this simple embellishment for any new or old sweater.

This is the easiest-in-the-world DIY project. Trust me.

I bought a plain white sweater at Target but I needed to jazz it up a bit Princess Rosebud-style ‘cos it was just a tad too dull and ordinary for a Princess, ya know?

I stripped off (and saved) the plain buttons
AND just noticed the uneven ribbing on the bottom.
Ya get what ya pay for, right?

sewing button

…and replaced them with inexpensive sparkly rhinestone ones.
I added a special bead button at the bottom for a little extra texture and shine.

sewing button1

Some of the button holes were a bit larger than the new buttons;
all it took was a few stitches to make it fit nice and snug.
sewing button2

The finished product, although not a very good pic.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph white?
Quite the challenge for a non-pro to capture the sparkle, too…

sweaterbuttons

 

sweaterbuttons2Now I have a sweater worthy of fashionista royalty.
I hope you can find a tired old sweater in your closet and bring it back to life, too!

DIY Part Two: Outdoor Swing Canopy Sewing Project

closeupcushionDo-it-yourself…This is the second part of the project — I recovered the torn cushion — click HERE for that DIY post.

After that refurbishment, it was clear that I needed to find a way to create a matching canopy. There was no way I could be satisfied with two different patterns and color schemes.

There are tons of online tutorials, but I decided to freestyle it — I took a bunch of measurements and went back to JoAnn‘s Fabrics.

For the top of the canopy, my tugboat man suggested a solid color — lime green — that would coordinate with the stripes, which I thought was a surprisingly good idea because, well, because he’s a man and is marginally color blind, or at least color apathetic.

First I cut and pinned the striped material to the top; then I hemmed all the raw edges; repinned, and sewed it all together. It was sooo difficult to work with that much canvas material, especially the way it bunched up on the sewing machine, but I persevered because I’m stubborn that way.

It feels good to try new things, but I’ll definitely NOT take on this project again!

The corners were tricky…but from far away it looks fine!
swingcanopycloseup

Under the shade of a non-fruiting mulberry tree…with an orange orchid photobombing the picture.

swing canopy

It looks great if you don’t get too close…matching up the stripes is always a challenge; one side’s perfect — the other not so much. Oh well…

swingcanopy2

What do you think? Have you ever tackled a job or a project even though it’s incredibly difficult? Were you proud of yourself for meeting the challenge or did you give up before it was completed?

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, line up! Yoo hoo, Pinterest, I’m calling you!

I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family. S

o, Cousin Fur and Aunt Cheeky and Second Cousin Far Removed Tracy F for Fantastic, this one’s especially for you guys.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. {Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!} 

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I luckily don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts on it is a close second.

Carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in. Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical decorated elliptical