Category Archives: Housekeeping

Brightest Recessed lighting for Kitchen

I don’t know if it’s something that I notice because I work in the kitchen the most or if it’s just something that women in general notice more than men…. but in my house I tend to notice how bright a room is a little bit more than my husband. The yellow cast of light in our kitchen was annoying to me. I’m sure when these recessed lights were installed the electrician just put in cheapest light bulbs that were available. So I went on a little bit of research and ended up finding a really good deal on some LCD recessed lighting from Amazon. This light bulb had really good reviews and it was priced very well in comparison to the big home improvement stores. I decided to take a leap of faith and test out some for our kitchen.

brightest recessed lighting for kitchen @cleverlyinspired (8)

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

How to Unclog a Toilet (video)

Hey yall! I am in the middle of a little site update….wanted to change the look up a bit. Things may look a little wonky for a few days while I reconfigure. Let me know what you think….trying to make it a bit clearer and easier to navigate. Would love to hear your thoughts….

This is a conversation that is really fairly dirty. If you don’t have toilet clogging issues….you may just want to move on and enjoy your day….otherwise…stick around because I’m about to save you millions in plumbing cost (ok, close…) And to be quite honest I’m really not even sure it fits with the mission of my blog. It is really not clever nor is it inspiring….but like I said…. it has saved me oodles and oodles and oodles of money in plumber cost so I wanted to share it with you….how to unclog a toilet @cleverlyinspired

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

12 inch memory foam bed from Wal-Mart: One Unbiased Review

Friday!!! I hope you have been enjoying a little taste of spring…we have loved having the doors and windows opened a few times this week. Hoping it is here to stay! Today…I wanted to share with you a completely unsponsored-just-tellin-you-cause-I-feel-the-need-to post about the time we bought a mattress at Wal-Mart. If you would have told me that I ever would have even considered buying a mattress online from Wal-Mart I would have thought you might have been a little crazy. After extensive research and many conversations with my BFF who had just done a lot of research on buying her mattress… we quickly came to the assumption that there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in buying mattresses…..and you don’t need to overpay for comfort…

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We had a pillow top mattress since we were married in 1996. It was a noisy mattress that was probably great for the first 8 or 10 years but it has been pretty awful in recent years. And you know how you really don’t know how bad off something is until you replace it with something that’s amazing?? You think to yourself “good grief…why oh why did I put up with that crappy mattress for soooooo long!!” So what we came to find out is memory foam (which is basically what the tempurpedic and bed in a box mattresses are) is what we were going to buy. After several reviews and discussions that seemed to be the best choice for Bill and I. I really cannot explain to you how incredible this mattress is….

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We no longer wake up with back aches. We were both waking up several times in the middle of the night….and had a horrible time getting back to sleep….this hasn’t happened since we started sleeping on this bed. We bought the 12 inch memory foam king bed…along with the appropriate frame. It is quiet…is it supportive…it is not hot (which was one of our concerns), it is a dream to sleep on. At nearly half the price of the other memory foam mattresses out there…it is a steal. How long will it last? I don’t know…..but I know this…I would rather buy a new mattress at this price every 5 years than ever sleep on anything else. I NEVER leave reviews for things I buy online….and I left one for this mattress.

It comes in a box about the size of coffee table…..you open the box….slide the mattress out of the casing and immediately place zipper side down on top of the frame (no box spring required.) The mattress starts to expand right away….

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You can sleep on it that evening….but it will take 48 hours to fully come to it’s complete shape (insert your own joke here…. ba da bum.) We noticed it took about 3 nights to “firm” up a bit. The mattress will feel “firm but sinkable” if that makes any sense. Your body heat will allow it to soften just enough in the right spots. When your partner rolls over or gets out of bed….you will feel nothing. It is remarkable. I love this bed. I cannot say it enough. This is not a sponsored post….just need to share my mattress love with you all!

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Since we saved sooooo much on our bed (total bed cost for frame and mattress was just $460 for a KING bed!! Sidenote: ours was on sale when we purchased. Free shipping too. )….I went out searching for the softest sheets in the nation. I found these on Amazon…. (Click on picture below to go to shop:)

These sheets are not cheap….but I promise you…they are like butter soft. They are the nicest sheets we have ever owned….and I will replace them immediately whenever they wear out. Treat yourself…I promise they are so worth it!!!! We had to get new pillows too since we went from a queen to a king. I researched the pillows that received high reviews (which by the way is the same pillow at most high end hotels) The down pillow made by Pacific Coast…..perfect for side,back and tummy sleeping….you can find them on this link below. I found ours at Homegood’s.

We have been fixing up our master a bit…our bed has inspired us! Lots to share soon!! Can I go back to bed now? ;)

cleverlyinspired

 

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Have a great weekend friends!

xo

 

(affiliate link on Amazon for linens)

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

10 no-fail Entertaining Tips (Holiday Entertaining Ideas)

Hi all! Hope you had a restful and filling Thanksgiving weekend and start to your holiday season. I enjoyed a nice break from the blog and most technology….only plugging in a couple times a day. Nice to have a break! I am certainly NOT Martha when it comes to entertaining….I take a pretty casual approach to things. But I have been having friends and family over for the better part of 20 years….so I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way that may make it easier for you—if you are looking at hosting your first holiday shin-dig…If you have any tips and tricks to add…we would love to hear them…be sure to comment below:)

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And these are in no particular order….

1. Music: I think that music can make or break a get together. When you are having friends over who may not all know each other…the common thread of music gets the party started. It is an ice breaker…a conversation point…and a mood changer. I normally log into my Spotify account and create a playlist based on the mood of the party. Many of you like my Thanksgiving playlist…and I am going to be sharing a Christmas playlist too later this week. Set up a Bluetooth speaker so that friends can pair up their music too. Always a hit! (I know…don’t you love my ipad stand….:)

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2. Fresh flowers…..they are hard to beat. Something as simple as a “managers special” at your local grocery store…along with some babies breath. Not a lot of expense for a huge payoff:)10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (6)

3. Menu card. Friends who have allergies….picky family members….nosy party goers….the menu card keeps the question out of “what are we eating?” It also starts conversations. Always a good thing.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (3)

4. Drink station. This cuts down on traffic flow issues. If your space is tight…and you want to be sure people move around the space….place the bar on a cart in a separate spot. I used a corner of my kitchen that was away from the fridge. Getting out all the clean glasses, ice bucket, ice, bottle openers, and napkins encourages folks to help themselves.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (8)

5. Repurpose some of your favorite pieces for serving ware. I like to pull out some of my favorite things and put it to work. This silver picture with some tissue paper is perfect for holding plastic forks and knives. Nice drinking glasses can double as votive candle holders. Collecting a bunch of candlesticks in various sizes grouped together is a perfect centerpiece for a serving area or a table. No need to go out and buy something new just make what you have fit the festivities. Holiday ribbon goes really far by just tying it on to some of your favorite things. Those pieces immediately fit together!

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6. Let people help. There’s no sense in doing all the work yourself if your friends and family are offering to help. It helps to share the load. You’re the one getting the house all clean…so getting help with some of the food or beverages is a great way to lighten your load.

7. Place post-it notes or note cards into special serving trays to let you know what is going where. The more work that you can do ahead of time the less frazzled you will feel on the day of your party.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (7)

 

8. One signature cocktail is really all you need to make the party feel just a little bit more festive. For Christmas you can freeze some fresh cranberries or red grapes. Plop one into a champagne flute and top with a favorite cocktail recipes. It looks so festive and it took you no time at all.

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9. A favor or parting gift does not have to be anything very elaborate or expensive. I have done several in the past that I can make several weeks ahead of time and just have them ready to go. I think it’s nice to send a friend off with a little something to remember the night by. (Here is a bunch I have done in the past…easy!)entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (1)

10. Lastly and yet most importantly make this be your mantra… People will not remember what you are wearing or how your house looks or if you had brand new wine glasses or the perfectly pressed napkins but they will remember how you made them feel in your home. Make them feel relaxed…make them feel warm…make them feel welcome…because that is what it is all about!:)

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Easy way to polish silver

Happy Halloween!!! It is supposed to be a rainy cold evening here…kind of glad my kiddos don’t trick or treat this year:) I will be tucked under a blankie with a glass of something…sitting by a fire. Sounds about perfect to me:)

This week I hosted my friends to my annual say no to the dress party. It was last night and a complete blast! I highly recommend you gathering up some of your closest friends telling them to go shop at a thrift shop to find something that is completely awful and have everybody over for a few cocktails. It is a guaranteed "almost-pee-your-pants kind of a night! We even give out a trophy and prizes. I did a post about it last year here. I searched out some of my tabletop items…and these candlesticks were in badly need of a polish….so I thought with the holidays quickly approaching…. Sidenote: ..can you believe that November 1st is Saturday????  what say what!!! I thought it would be the perfect time to share this HUGE time saver! easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (9)

I have posted briefly about this silver polish in the past but I wanted to revisit it for holiday time. Sometimes you find something at Goodwill or garage sale and it’s very badly tarnished. This is such an easy way to make it look like new again! All it takes is some household ingredients and a few minutes of time and you can take something that looks so old and beat up and make it sparkle again!easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (6)

 

All you’re going to need is either a foil pan or some foil inside of a pan some baking soda in boiling water enough to cover what you are trying to polish. In this case I had some pretty tall candlesticks so I used a large foil pan and I bent it so that my candlestick could lay down a little bit easier. easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (8)

 

Next you’re going to want to sprinkle generously some baking soda over the piece then pour on a lot of boiling water. In this case I boiled a large pot of water and poured enough to cover the candlestick. Since my candle stick stuck out of the foil pan I used some tongs to turn it until all of the tarnished was off. easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (2)

 

I really am not sure how this exactly works but I know that it’s some sort of chemical reaction. You will smell a slight scent of sulfur as you see the tarnished literally just come off. After it’s mostly polished up you can let it dry on a towel. Take a polishing cloth —I love this one that Norwex makes it….polished it up perfect and it will buff out anything that you might have not been able to get to with the boiling water and baking soda.easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (4)

 

 

I have only tried this on silver and silver plated items so I have no idea if it works on brass or any other metal. I guess you would just have to test it out gently before you submerge the whole piece. easy way to polish silver @cleverlyinspired (5)

 

It really does make it so much easier to get your things sparkly again! Plus it’s kind of a little science project for the kids have them figure out why it works hahaha!

Have a great weekend friends

.XO

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.
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