Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes and Results!

Hi everyone!

Well, I feel like I should say, “I took one, or in this case, 3 for the team!” LOL

Here is what I am talking about. I have been making my own cleaners for about 15 years now. I started because of one reason….money! Cleaning products can be so expensive. And I really needed to cut my budget drastically. I have a Pinterest board with different DIY cleaner recipes and I thought it was time to test them out!

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

So, here is the latest…”Saw it….Pinned it….Tried it!!”

Before I go any further, I must tell you my dishwasher is a cheapo model. Not the very cheapest but, a far cry from an expensive one. So, I know everyone's dishwasher will be slightly different. These are MY results.

First up…The most simple recipe:

1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda

Simply mix the 2 cups together and use a tablespoon per load of dishes.

The results:

Not good at all. Dishes were filmy and still cruddy.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Second Recipe:

Same as above except you add 2-3 tablespoons of regular white vinegar to the rinse agent dispenser.

The Results:

Not much better. A little bit less filmy but, that is about it.

Third Recipe:

1 Cup of Borax, 1 Cup of Washing Soda and 5  Lemonade unsweetened Koolaid packets (for citric acid).

The Results:

This recipe cleaned okay. I would use this (since I now have it made up) in a pinch when I am out of dishwasher detergent. However, it wasn’t the miracle cleaner that folks are saying it is. It is not what I would use as my everyday dishwashing detergent.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

That was the results of the three DIY dishwashing detergent recipes I found on Pinterest. I took all three of those pins down from my board. I will not recommend any of them.

For just for this post, I thought I would try a Dollar Store Brand dishwasher detergent. This one comes from The Dollar Tree.

 DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this one worked. I really hadn’t expected it to do as good of a job as it did!

Have you tried any DIY cleaning recipes you found online? If so, what were the results?

I am going to continue trying the different recipes I find and I will post them with my honest opinions.

Here is another “Saw it….Pinned it…Tried it” I posted.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!





Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Tackle List–Free Printable

Hi everyone!

Well, there have been some changes around here this past month. Troy has gone back to work full time and I started a small side business. I know, like I don’t have enough on my plate already! LOL

Organizing my time when my businesses are home based is becoming quite a challenge. When you don’t have a mandatory time and place to be, it is so difficult to develop a regular schedule!

Let me just say, anybody that tells you that owning and running your own business is easy, do me a favor and just smack them! Seriously, you have no start and stop time. You are working on or thinking about your business 24/7. And what’s worse, you aren’t getting paid for all those hours! You are hoping that they will pay off in the future. You don’t have anyone come up to you and say, “Great job!” or better yet, “Clock out!” LOL

So, trying to keep my home running smoothly is very important. After all, my home is also my business. If I have constant chaos in my home, my businesses will suffer.

So, making and doing these monthly tackle lists help me out a lot. I can’t do these big projects in a day. Even if I physically had the perfect body of a 20 year old, I still have businesses to run here at home.

Time, money and energy are all part of being thrifty. People think of being thrifty as just a money thing. So not true!


This month for our February Tackle List we are dealing with our kitchen cabinets. Since I got this list up late, the first week (which is half gone already!) is a pretty simple assignment. Just scrub down the fronts of all your kitchen cabinets.

But, next week we delve into a bigger project. Just know that going into Spring your kitchen cabinets will be completely cleaned and you won’t have to worry about anything but wiping the fronts down for quite awhile.

I was able to make this free printable only 2 pages this month. You can tell I am new to this free printable creating! LOL I’m getting better! Just click the picture to go to the printable.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!


If you missed January’s Free printable tackle list, just click HERE!



Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Thrifty Groove Weekend Round-Up From Bloggerland

Hi everyone!

I thought it would be a nice change of pace to feature some other blogging friends. So many fun blogs out there and so little time right? And I like the idea of sharing some blog posts from bloggers you may not know or follow.

So, let’s check some out…..

scrap hearts 5

This is such a sweet idea for Valentine’s Day! My friend Jennifer from “Days of Chalk and Chocolate” shares an easy tutorial to make these Valentine’s Day Fabric Hearts.


My friend Evey from “Sweet Song Bird” is sharing her gorgeous Vintage Blue Buffet Redo. I so wish I had a basement or garage. I have several pieces of furniture to redo and Evey is inspiring me like crazy!

gift tags printable title pic

How cute are these printable Free Valentine Gift Tags! My friend Stacy at “Anastasia Vintage” has they available for anyone to print off.

2015 Ikea and DecoArt Sponsored 10

Another awesome redo from my friend Karen Marie at “Dragonflies & Lily Pads”! Check out how Karen Marie Transformed this Ikea Craft Cabinet into a one of a kind piece.

Thank you ladies for some fun inspiration!

I hope you are having a wonderful day! Thanks for stopping by!



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!