Living with Pets

If you’re like me and obsess over maintaining a clean home, living with pets can be challenging. The only way we manage to maintain a clean home is with the help of the products below. Please note these are just my personal recommendations based on my own experience. Great products can make your life much simpler. Most people don’t even realize we have a bunch of furry friends. I’m pretty proud of that!

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Dyson Animal Vacuum 

Before we bought a Dyson, we went through a vacuum a year. We can’t live without our Dyson! My favorite features include: suction, the ability to vacuum both hardwoods and carpet, it’s easy to clean, and includes a variety of helpful attachments. I vacuum our rugs, drapes, baseboards, furniture, and more.

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Neater Feeder

Tired of your pet making a mess with their food and water? Well I’ve got the perfect product for you, the Neater Feeder. If any water is spilled, the water goes to the bottom as illustrated in the picture. Food crumbs typically gather around the bowls unless you pet takes a bite and walks off. Our cats like leave trails of crumbs, but this product has helped tremendously.

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Scotchguard  Carpet & Fabric Protector

In addition to fabric, we have several rugs around the house. Pets have accidents just like children. The best way to protect your items is by spraying them with Scotchguard. It really works. I spray everything that could possibly be ruined by a hairball. I typically only have to spray 2-3 times per year. Once you spray the item, you let it dry before vacuuming the excess. It’s really that easy.

Iris Pet Food Containers

Iris Pet Food Containers 

These are great containers. I like that they roll and can easily be hidden. I have one in the closet and another under some cabinetry.

Here are some tips to help you keep your home clean and your furry friends happy.

  • Purchase and use a purifier on a regular basis. It helps eliminate odors and cleans the air. That’s better for both you and your pets.
  • Use essential oils in a diffuser to help with any odors. Candles are simply toxic.
  • Keep a variety of lint rollers in a drawer. No matter the vacuum, it’s not going to get every hair. I have travel size rollers for smaller areas and x-large rollers for bigger pieces.
  • Get into the habit of tidying up regularly. The longer you wait to clean up a mess, the worse it will be for you.
  • If you pet is scratching trim or furniture, try rubbing an orange scented oil or spray on the trim. It doesn’t always work, but it can deter them. You’ll have to do it regularly for it to be effective.
  • Brush your pets as often as possible. I know it’s recommend to brush them daily, but it just doesn’t always happen.

Do you have a favorite product or tip? Share yours in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t seen the Cat Room, click here. Our cats are spoiled.

Happy 5th Birthday to the one and only Annabelle. She is a pure joy and life wouldn’t be the same without her.




Hawaii: Tips & Tricks

Aloha! As promised, I have put together tips and tricks to consider when planning a trip to the islands. Let’s dive right in!

  • Common Sense & Realistic Expectations

Practice common sense when booking a trip to the islands. Let me give you some examples. You don’t need a passport to visit Hawaii, because it’s part of the United States. They have cars, internet, and everything else we have here on the mainland. It’s an island, not a cave. Set realistic expectations regarding the weather, scenery, beaches, and costs. The island are formed from volcanoes, so many of the beaches are rocky. Some items (gas) are more expensive and others (fruit) are less expensive than the mainland. When in doubt, look it up.


  • Determine Island Based on Likes

Each island offers its own vibe and activities. If your looking to enjoy nature, Kauai is a great choice. If shopping is your bliss, I recommend Oahu. If seclusion and beauty are your thing, Lanai is fantastic. Maui is the perfect combination of country and everyday conveniences. The Big Island is perfect for adventure seekers, whether you want to hike the volcano or snorkel with manta rays. Neither of us has had the opportunity to visit Molokai yet, so I can’t tell you much about that beautiful island.


  • Pace Yourself

I don’t recommend trying to see more than two islands at a time. You really need a full week on each island to fully experience everything that the island has to offer. Ryan and I now only pick one or two activities per day to prevent exhaustion. Always consider drive time! While the islands may be small, roads can be narrow, curvy, one-lane, and unpaved on the more rural roads.


  • Dine at Local Spots

We always try to eat at places we cannot enjoy at home. While it is okay to have the occasional Starbucks fix, try to experience more of what the islands have to offer. Hawaii is known for excellent seafood. You’ve also got to try Loco Moco (rice, eggs, burger, & gravy). Another favorite is Hawaiian Shave Ice, which is the perfect afternoon treat. I have found that Hawaii offers some of the best breakfast items I’ve ever had. We recommend looking up some restaurants ahead of up time, that way you have a few options you know you’ll enjoy.

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  • Weather

Another important factor in determining when you’ll go, where you’ll stay and the activities you’ll choose to do is the weather. Hawaii isn’t called The Rainbow State for nothing. You should expect that it will rain for a short period of time each day. Also, knowing the rainy spots and dry spots of an island are helpful as every island has a windward and leeward side. The windward side generally receives more rainfall than the leeward side. In addition, while Hawaii is known for warm weather, as you climb in altitude to the top of a mountain the temperature will drop and you will need to have a jacket handy.


  • Book Early

If you want to save money, book everything earlier. We typically start planning 7-12 months prior to our trip. Rooms and airfare are much cheaper this way in general. If you’re on a budget, avoid holidays. Hawaiian Airlines is fantastic, and we highly recommend flying with them (especially if it’s your first time).


  • Support Local

When looking for souvenirs and trinkets, shop local. There are so many talented artisans on the islands. Whether you’re looking for a piece of pottery or an extra tee, you’ll find just about everything. There are general stores for everyday items too, like toothpaste & stuff. The same ideas applies to restaurants too! Oh my goodness, they’ve got some wonderful bakeries.


  • Activities 

I can’t stress it enough, planning makes everything easier. Some activities require reservations weeks or months in advance. Hours may also change seasonally. There are so many different types of activities: horseback riding, spa treatments, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, stargazing, museums, crafts, luaus, and more.

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  • Be Respectful 

Be respectful of the land and animals. Don’t try to touch wildlife, especially sea turtles. Be aware of sacred land and historical sites. Remember what I said about researching and planning? One of my favorite things about Hawaii is how much slower the pace is. It’s amazing! Don’t be in a rush! If you can’t unplug, please don’t go to Hawaii. Why spend the money if you’re going to check work emails the entire time? Enjoy paradise. I also recommend speaking with locals and asking questions. I really enjoy hearing their stories and learning about Hawaiian culture.


Ryan and I could literally write for days on the topic of Hawaii. I hope the information above helps you plan your trip. Hawaii doesn’t have to be expensive, but you’ll have to plan. Honestly, if you can go to Disney…you can go to Hawaii. It’s honestly the most beautiful place I’ve visited.

Have you visited Hawaii? Share your tips in the comments below. Mahalo.





Spring Inside & Out

Spring is in the air…at least for those of us in the South. It was a beautiful weekend for planting. Although we don’t know if the warmer temperatures are here to stay, many of our plants are growing. Ryan and I recently discussed doing some major outside projects for the spring, and we decided to start this weekend.

First up was a shady bed on the side of our home that features a beautiful Japanese maple. We removed all of the fallen leaves, relocated a couple of overgrown azaleas, and mulched the entire bed. Once that was complete, we moved onto a more exciting project. I have been wanting to add a bed at the bottom of our driveway for quite some time. My in-laws have always had the best landscaping as long as I’ve known them, and I’ve been admiring the bed at the end of their drive. So with shovels in hand, we added our very own. At the center of our bed is a red crape myrtle, and we surrounded it with five yellow daylilies ( I hope their yellow…we relocated plants we already had). We will later add a path between this new bed and an existing one. The path will make it easier to get to the backdoor and yard.


These aren’t the best photos since I snapped them with my phone before cleaning everything up. You get the idea though. Once everything starts blooming, I’ll share an updated photo. I think this bed makes a big difference.

Before we started working outside yesterday, I did some cleaning around the house. It’s time for spring cleaning! We good cleaned several rooms, and I’ll knock out the rest over the next two weeks. I’m pacing myself this year. I added a bit of Easter decor around the house, including this new item I bought a couple of weekends ago.


I don’t really do much for Easter in the decorating department. I add a couple of fun touches and really focus on spring. I’m trying to decide how I want to refresh the dining room table. In particular, I’m trying to figure out the centerpiece. Here are a few ideas I found while scrolling on Pinterest.

Love this as a centerpiece. Wood box with handle.

DIY Rustic Wood Box Centerpiece - See how to make this lovely rustic wood box centerpiece with rope handles. Great for a centerpiece & so much more. Versatile & can be filled with so many things.
From Liz Marie Blog

I guess I need to make a trip to the craft store. Which of those options do you prefer? I’ll keep you posted regarding my decision. Be sure to check my Instagram page for updates and more photos! Until next time, have a fantastic week!


DIY Shelf

My grandmother and I were very close. She was one my earliest and favorite teachers. We actually lived behind her for a short duration of my childhood. Not only was she an excellent gardener and lover of animals, she was also very creative. I like to think that’s where I got my creativity. The summer before my freshmen year in high school, my grandmother passed away. She lost a very difficult fight with cancer at 54. Before she passed, she gifted me her collection of Demdaco Willow Angels and asked me to continue the collection. I think she’d be quite impressed with our collection.


I have received many of my angels as gifts over the years, and I occasionally buy one for myself when it feels right. Each of these angels represents a piece of my life or someone I love. They are very dear to my heart.

As the collection grows, I have to continue to find ways to display them all. I thought the floating shelves would take awhile to fill, but I was wrong. I realized I needed to figure something out after the holiday season, because I had several new angels without a home. I prefer to keep the angels in one space. The collection simply looks better that way. So I’ve been working on a project to solve my dilemma for a few weeks now. I decided to add a shelf to an existing piece of furniture in my craft room. By adding a shelf to an existing piece, I have additional display space at an affordable price. It’s also perfect for displaying some my seasonal pieces. The good news is that I can keep it up year round (no additional holiday storage boxes) and keep it hidden when I see fit.


Once Ryan and I discussed the idea, we took one of the doors to Benjamin Moore to find a similar color. They recommended a paint that I had never used before, and I was really excited to give it a try. The paint, part of the ADVANCE Interior line, is perfect for furniture applications and can be tinted to meet your needs. We chose poplar wood, because it’s affordable and easy to paint. After Ryan cut everything, I sanded it all to be sure it was ready for paint. The ADVANCE paint went on really well. I simply followed the instructions and practiced patience. They recommend waiting 24 hours between each coat…yuck! Honestly, that was the only negative. I lightly sanded between each coat and applied three coats total. The finish is really smooth. This paint is also supposed to be more durable, and painted surfaces can be cleaned with water. I’ll be interested to see how it holds up.


Once everything was painted, we installed the new shelf. It was the perfect solution, because I now have space to grow into. I might add lights above the shelf later down the road. So, what do you think?