Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Reuse and Color Epsom Salts for Valentine Decor

Hi everyone!

I love to use Epsom slat for that whole snowy look during Christmas and winter decorating. They are pretty cheap and they can be reused. A simple DIY idea for Valentine’s Day is to reuse some Epsom Salts and turn them pink and glittery for candle jars.

How to reuse and color Epsom Salts for Valentine Decor

This is one of those easy and thrifty little DIY projects.

resuing epson salts for decor

During Christmas I used a bunch of various jars with Epsom Salts and candles in them. As you can see, I really do use my candles.

cleaning the epson salts up to reuse

There is no reason to throw out the Epsom salts. You can reuse them and change up the color to reflect a different holiday. So, just empty all the jars into a bowl.

sift through the epson salts to clean them

Pick out all the large chunks of candle and then sift the rest to get the smaller pieces out.

add food coloring to epsom salts for decor

Now add drops of red food coloring. You can always add more until you get the right shade of pink.

whisk the color in

Grab an old whisk and mix. At this point you can also add some pretty sparkly glitter.

Reusing Epson salt and coloring it for valentine candle

See, super easy and no out of packet expense! Find a jar and pour in some of the Epsom salt and add a tealight or a candle. I used an old jar candle and just glued a scrap piece of white lace around it.

How to make pretty pink epsom salts for Valentines Day

So easy and chea…thrifty!

Are you ready to add a little Valentine Day charm to your home? Just simple little additions here and there is really all you need and it will make you smile!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me. Have a wonderful day!



Sunday, January 25, 2015

How To Make A Grapevine Snowman!

Hi everyone!

I was trying to think of something for my door during the month of January and decided a snowman would represent the month nicely.

finished thrifty easy grapevine snowman for the front door.

You all know I shop thrift stores/yard sales/flea markets for crafting items. I look at the different wreaths out there and don’t even see the décor that is on them. I just look at the wreath base. I buy them knowing I am going to rip the little dusty flowers or what nots off and just use the wreath base. I hate paying retail craft store prices for these kinds of things!

Back in the summer I found a double wreath (a larger one and then a smaller one glued to each other) with some little tshirt rosettes glued to them. I had my 50% off coupon and the price marked was $1.21 so, for the two grapevine wreaths I paid 60 cents! Can’t beat that with a stick!

Thrift strore grapevine wreath with rosettes -before DIY

I ripped off all the rosettes and the two wreaths apart. I decided they were the perfect size for the large and medium wreaths for Frosty. I had a small dollar store wreath that was just the right size for the head.

Thrifty Grapevine Wreaths lined up to be spray painted for Snowman

I grabbed a can of cheap white spray paint from my paint stash and headed outside to paint the wreaths.

Thrifted grapevine wreaths spray painted white for snowman

thrifted grapevine weath after white spray paint

I didn’t worry about getting them completely white. I wanted a dusty snowy look.

Once all of that was dried I assembled him with craft wire. I wired from the back so you wouldn’t see the wire.

How to make a thrifty and easy grapevine snowman door decoration

I tied a scarf around the “neck” and that was all it needed. I did try it with a hat as well and just didn’t like the way it looked.

I didn’t have to go out and buy anything in order to make this snowman. Everything was in my stash already.

What do you have on your door during January?

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!!





Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January Home Décor ~ Embracing the Wintery Month

Hi everyone!

As I have taken down the Christmas decorations around the house, I have been adding January wintery décor in it’s place. And for January I have always pulled out white and silver. I just feels wintery and icy to me but, also a clean fresh feel after all the fun colors and sparkle of Christmas. Using these colors, I almost feel like adding January home decorating changes gives me a fresh start for the new year.

simple winter decor at

I have a brick wall in the dining room so, I always like to use white or light colors on this shelf.


A few evergreen boughs tucked in here and there. One of my white Ironstone pitchers with a snowflake.


Another white pitcher and snowflake. The mercury glass candle holders were from the Dollar Tree. They are larger than the votive size ones.


The white coffee server is a;so Ironstone and I have a complete 6 piece cup and saucer set that goes with it. The platter in the back was a gift from Troy and few years ago.


On the shelf in the living room I did basically the same thing. Snowflakes and mercury glass décor.


All very simple.

simple winter decor @

I really like to keep January home décor simple. In February I’ll be adding pink and white Valentine décor throughout the house.

Do you have a “look” you like to create during January in your home?



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keep Dust Out Of The Inside Of Your Teapot

Hi everyone!

As most of you know, I love teacups, teapots and pretty much anything tea related. And I like to use different teacups and teapots. They aren’t just for show.

Things get dusty when they sit on shelves. That is just reality for everyone. And cleaning the outside of a teapot is easy. It just gets dusted regularly like everything else. But, I don’t like the dust to get inside the teapot! I want is ready when I want to use it.

This is my little tip for you today that I shared a couple of years ago. I started doing this when I collected more teapots and like using different ones.

Dust-free teapot @ TTG

Are you ready? You are going to love this!

teapot with paper @TTG

Just tear off a small piece of paper towel and plug the spout with it. Keeps the dust out. Pull the paper towel out when you are ready to use it and then put another piece in when you are ready for it to go back on the shelf.

So simple and easy. Love that!

Thank you for dropping by! Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January “Tackle List” ` Free Printable

Hi everyone!

I told you that I set Goals this year instead of resolutions. Those goals then break down into small goals. Let’s face it, the only way to achieve those big goals are by finishing small baby step goals.


By now you all should know I am not one of those people that love to clean. I don’t clean when I stress. I’m more like a stress eater. Oh how I would love to change that to a stress cleaner but, if it hasn’t happened by now, I really doubt it will.

2015 is all about achieving goals. And cleaning is part of that. One of my big goals for the year is to turn my house back into a warm and inviting home. Over the last couple of years, our house turned into more of a storage facility than a home. Everywhere I looked I saw stacks or piles of this and that. That must change!

What I discovered was that chaos in my home created chaos in my head. My home represented where I was mentally and vice versa. It is a vicious cycle. Ever feel this way?

When your home is messy, dirty, cluttered and unorganized it can increase depression. When you are suffering with depression or even teetering on the edge of depression your home reflects that. And what’s worse, is it just keeps getting more overwhelming every day.

And that chaos turns into not inviting people over. Not answering the door when someone knocks. You even find yourself not opening the curtains or blinds. It just keeps getting worse.

Pretty soon you find you aren’t getting dressed or brushing your hair. All those simple things become too much. And mentally you are saying, “What’s the point? Why bother?” Been there! Have the 6 days in a row wearing t-shirt to prove it!

What really sucks is that no one can change this for you. You have to do it yourself. And that is such a difficult thing to do.


So where am I starting? Besides doing the very basic cleaning upkeep for the day, I’m starting at the top and working my way down. And since these are bigger cleaning projects, they get a week to be done.

I created a printable link (You can click the graphic above to go to the printable)  for you. It’s free from me to you. You can download and just keep it on your computer or download and print it off and hang it on the fridge or a mirror. Somewhere you will see it daily.

This printable has four larger cleaning projects that take more than one day to do. So, I think you should pace yourself and take the week for each of them and finish it.

We can do this together! Baby steps all the way. I will post a monthly tackle list that will break down those large cleaning projects weekly at the beginning of each month. (sorry this one is late. I had to learn the whole how to make a printable. LOL).

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Keeping Clutter Under Control By Using Small Hidden Spaces

Hi everyone!
Since January is a big month for organizing I thought I would share this simple way to utilize space that may be over looked. I shared this last year around this time and thought it is relevant for a repost. 
I see so many big gorgeous homes throughout blogland. And I totally confess the little green-eyed monster has a tendency to rear it’s ugly head from time to time. But, then I come back to reality which is a small 2 bedroom townhouse. LOL
So taking advantage of “hidden spaces” is important to me. Today I am not talking about “treasures” such as where to store all my beautiful dishes or beloved ironstone pieces. I’m referring to those blah, but needed everyday things that can clutter up or just get shoved here or there.
So just between you and me (nobody else is listening right?), here are a few of the hidden spaces I utilize.

I love thrifted pitchers. I use them all the time. And also use them for hidden spaces. Let’s take a peek…..

I keep empty bread bags and empty cereal bags in this pitcher.
Now the other pitcher which BTW is my favorite Ironstone pitcher! Just love it!
Yup, that's where I store all those fast food condiments you get extra of.

Since I love and collect different pitchers, I like to have them handy. I really do use them. But, I have said it before here at TTG, I need some things that I use for décor to do double duty. And that is what my pitchers do. Well, actually triple duty….I use them, I decorate with them and they are hidden storage for those little things.

And a little side bonus, when the pitchers are sitting on a shelf, just looking pretty they will get quite dusty inside. When you have them as mini storage places, it keeps the dust out of them. When you want to use them,  just empty the contents (I usually grab a grocery sack to dump them in until they are ready to go back on the shelf), rinse and swipe the inside and they are ready for use. No scrubbing away nasty dust.

This is a great way to keep things neat and organized. That way all these little everyday things don’t take up cabinet room, drawer room or countertop space.
Now you know when I show a shelf redo with a pitcher on it, you are going to wonder “what’s inside that pitcher?” LOL

What about you? Do you use these little mini hidden storage places?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Let’s Talk About 2015

Hi everyone and Happy 2015!
I know that a lot of bloggers are doing their “Best of…….2014” posts right now, not me! I’m ready to move forward and grab 2015 by the horns!
RESOLUTIONS…. I gave them up years ago. It always seemed that I would set myself up to fail. I don’t know why that is but, it happened all the time. Not to mention, I felt this pressure and guilt over these resolutions. What a sad way to bring in a new year! I have plenty of pressure without adding to it. So NO RESOLUTIONS for me!
I prefer the word GOALS. Why? After all, the two words almost mean the same thing.
For me, the word resolution gained a bad rap in my mind. It represented pressure….failure….guilt. Not words or feelings I wished to add to my daily life. It’s kind of like the word Diet. It no longer means what daily nutrients your body needs instead it means negative thoughts. I think most of you know what I am talking about.
So, I have been working on a 2015 Goal list.
I have a lot of things I want and need to do this coming year. So many things have slid by me over the last couple of years. My life was a bit of a rollercoaster ride and quite frankly, I want off that ride!
Many of you long time readers of TTG know that I have dealt with and gone through some rather life-changing events over the past few years. I thought last year I was ready to deal with some issues, I did deal with changes in some areas but, I let a lot of “me” remain deeply buried. However, I think maybe I needed that extra time. I am ready to take back my life in all areas and move ahead.
I feel incredibly blessed by all of you that have stuck with me here at TTG. This past year my poor blog went semi-dormant. It really had to. Our little business took on a life of itself and I needed to dedicate a huge part of me to that. Of course, DTL Herbs has a lot more big changes coming but, mentally I think I have more to give. Does that make sense?
No more of those humongous outrageous demands on ourselves. One day at a time. Small steps in the right direction are part of my goals. Let each step become a positive change.
I know I am not the only one out there that feels overwhelmed and wants to gain some control back in their lives. Am I?
3 things
About a year or so ago, I started “Share 3 Things You Accomplished Today” on my Facebook page. I did this because some days it took everything I had simply to do the dishes or do a load of laundry. And even when I did this who knew? Who cared? It’s not like when you have a job outside the house and your boss tells you “good job”. You get no credit or praise for dealing with all these minor things that keeps a home running. And we all need that sense of accomplishment. I post this every evening at 7:00 pm (EST time). Please feel free to add your daily accomplishments! Sometimes many of us just say, “Got dressed, read my book and took a nap”. And that is totally fine because we all have days like that.
Okay, we will talk more later! Thank you for taking the time to drop by. I hope you have a wonderful new year!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Downton Abbey Tonight ~ Are You Ready For A party?

Hi everyone!

Are you ready for tonight’s premier of Downton Abbey? I am and I thought I would have a little fun Downton Abbey party tonight on The Thrifty Groove Facebook page

At 10:00am (est) I will post about getting ready for the premier and talk about what we are looking forward to.

At 10:00pm (est) We will discuss the show.

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I would love to have you join in and add pictures to either of the posts today on the The Thrifty Groove Facebook posts. What kind of pictures? Lets see your Downton Abbey Tea. Or just your teacup. Share with us what little tea treats you may be having during the show.


Now we all know that Mr. Carson will be working in the silver room polishing away for tonight’s party.

So, if you need to get your silver sparkling, fear not! I have the perfect How-to polish your silver with no toxins!


It won’t take but a few minutes to polish those Downton Abbey-esque silver pieces! Just head over to see how to quickly polish your silver!

Of course setting a grand proper tea would be a lovely way to celebrate with friends and family!

victorian tea party 027

A complete high tea served with sweets and savory finger sandwiches. You can see the whole table and goodies at this post: Let’s Enjoy a High Tea Party!


pink tea 001

Maybe you have beautiful weather where you are and an outdoor tea is more your style! To see the post: Outdoor Pink Tea Party


Or perhaps you plan to snuggle into bed to watch the show and want a pretty pink tea on a tray. If so, here is that post: Soft and Pretty Pink Tea

yellow teacup 008

Another tea tray to relax and enjoy the show. A Little Yellow Teacup

snowman tea and parade 2011 010_thumb[3]

Maybe you would rather enjoy some hot cocoa instead of tea. Snowman Hot Chocolate.


Or serve up some espresso!

Lot’s of options for tonight! Now, don’t forget to stop by the party! Take a picture of your “tea” to share with us!

Downton Abbey Party at The Thrifty Groove!

Looking forward to talking about tonight’s episode!



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Make a Checklist for Next Christmas Now!

Hi everyone!

Before the memories of this Christmas slowly fade into Christmas past, make a checklist for yourself now.

What am I talking about? No, I’m not talking about buying new Christmas décor items now that are on sale. You are going to do that anyway. And I am not talking about gathering all your Christmas gift wrapping stuff and buying what you think you will need for next year.

I’m talking about the things you did this year that you wish you would have done earlier or planned for. If you don’t write it down somewhere easy to find now, you will go through it all over again next year.

I know a lot of this is probably second nature to many of you. It used to be second nature to me but, at some point I really dropped the ball this year!

Christmas2015 (1)

Here is part of my list:

Free up the week of Christmas regarding meals.

I should have made meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer. the week before Christmas is always hectic. No matter how much you plan ahead, things come up. and you still always need to have dinner.  Save yourself a lot of stress and cleanup by having meals all ready to pop in the oven.

Have all baking done by the 20th.

Once again, this frees up your time for all the things that pop up during those few days before Christmas. Not to mention, it helps keep your kitchen clean.

Don’t pack away Christmas Cards.

Keep them in a simple box somewhere you can get to easily. Bring them out at Thanksgiving time and get them addressed and stamped. Obviously if you make your cards you need to start much earlier than Thanksgiving.

Decide what Christmas crafts you want to make and start them no later than October 1st.

Now this one is mainly for bloggers. But, if your are a crafter, you want to start earlier than December 1st because the days fly by too quickly.

Shop for your Christmas Eve/Christmas day menu before the 20th.

Common sense I know, but on Christmas Eve day I was sending the hubby to the grocery store to pick up things I forgot. This just added mental stress to me.

Clean out the fridge as much as possible several days before Christmas.

You need to have room for all those dishes you are making for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Normally I can count on it being cold enough to store food in the grill outside or even the truck. Not so this year.

Make sure the kitchen stays clean and dishes done.

Keeping on top of dirty dishes and freeing your countertops is essential to keep me calm and stress free.

When planning your meals the week of, also plan what you will have the few days after Christmas.

Some years we have lots of leftovers but, this year we didn’t. I had no desire to cook let alone go to a grocery store. I’m mentally tapped out the day after Christmas. So, next year I want to plan my meals for the few days after Christmas as well as the week of.

These are all simple things to do. I just seem to need a list these days to remind of them. Isn’t getting older just lovely….NOT! LOL

I have a much longer list on my computer. You would not believe the things I forgot this year!

Do you need to make yourself a reminder list or did you manage to do a good job this year and stayed totally organized?





Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years Eve Tablescape

Hi everyone!
Today I thought I would share one of our past New Years Eve table. We had a very quiet evening. And the late dinner was mainly little appetizers and treats. But, I did set a table for Troy and I.
I started with a white thrifted tablecloth (bought years ago at a flea market). It has small silver threads running through it. And some thrifted black and white placemats.
I used simple stainless steel chargers that I bought last year from a vendor at the flea market. They had the original price tags from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $5.99 each. I paid $1.00 for both.
IMG_0031I then used black octagon plates that I bought at a yard sale this past summer. I saw the black plates under a stack of odds and ends plates on the table and asked the woman how much for the black plates. She said $1.00. I started taking out the black plates and she said, “No, take ALL of those dishes for $1.00”. So, I walked out with 15 dinner plates and 4 saucers for $1.00. Most of the other plates I really didn’t want so, I donated them.
IMG_0032 I then used these cute thrifted “toasting” salad plates. I just thought they were perfect for a New Years Eve table.
IMG_0033-tileI added my silver thrifted dessert plates (yup, I had to get the silver cleaner out and polish them up for this table. Geez, you can really see the scrapes).
IMG_0037I used my thrifted everyday Johnson Bros white Ironstone saucers and the glass and silver mugs (also thrifted).
IMG_0041Everyday silverware and simple white napkins with silver beaded napkin rings. This set was bought at TJ Maxx last year after Christmas. It was way after Christmas when I bought these. I think someone might have returned them so, they were clearanced very low and I got lucky!
IMG_0049I bought a set of 8 of these vintage clear and silver glasses  at a thrift store last summer.
IMG_0046Wow, before I go any further, let me just apologize for not ironing this tablecloth! I forget how pictures show every flaw!
IMG_0053 I love the black and silver bulb card holders (bought clearanced at Michaels).
IMG_0056 IMG_0057Aren’t these the cutest little silver bird candles! I picked them up after Christmas at the Home Good Store for 50% off (set of 4). 
 IMG_0054 I pulled accessories from around my home to decorate the table.
IMG_0050IMG_0060  IMG_0069
Some of my centerpiece things:
Mercury glass apothecary jar~clearanced a few years ago at the Home Goods store. 2 crystal candlesticks~TJ Maxx free from sponsor gift card. Black and white ceramic orbs~free with Pier 1 coupon. 2 round mercury glass candleholders~The Christmas Tree Shops clearanced at .50 cents each. Larger mercury glass pillar holder~clearanced at Home Goods store. Thrifted coffee carafe. Glass chunks~Dollar Tree (years ago). Piece of silver mesh scarf ribbon~thrift store (years ago).
IMG_0070IMG_0074 IMG_0081IMG_0082IMG_0084IMG_0086IMG_0088
IMG_0090 IMG_0095 I did a quick mental count of the cost of everything on this table and it came out to be (my out of pocket cost) about $19.00.
I hope you enjoyed it!