Monday, May 18, 2020

White Subway Tile and Black Grout

Y'all! Is there not something about white and black that just screams clean! I can't help it, I love love white, black and gray.  I know these colors are and have been so popular for forever but I haven't been able to get around to posting any of my other pictures.  I have had a lot
of family and friends to come to the house and ask questions or the main thing they ask is, "Do you like your white subway tile and black grout?"  Well, I have to say Yes!
There is always gonna be pros and cons to everything.  But I must admit that out of all the different color tiles and grouts that I have tried over the years, (and I don't think there isn't a color I haven't had at some point) this has to be my favorite.  

In our house currently, I have a light gray grout in a half bath, and black in all the other areas that I have placed tile.  Let me just tell you. I will never go back to using white, or a light gray again.  Especially as long as I have children or pets.  We are on well water.  When you have well water no matter where you live you will have different types of stone or minerals based on where you live to be in that water.  Unless you are going to install a very expensive filter, some of those minerals will come through your water and stain things.  Here on this farm, my grandmother would deal with a hard water issue.  So sometimes the water has a red dark color to it.  This can stain your grout, especially on the shower floors.  I wanted to have subway tile in our master and in the kids showers, but I didn't want them to look identical. Silly me. So I used gray grout in the kid's bathroom.  Big mistake.  First of all, they are little pigs and not always the cleanest.  So, of course, they are gonna leave soap or shampoo that oozes out of the container all over the soapbox that we had installed in the wall.  This will cause you to have to scrub nonstop to keep it out.  And believe me, because the old spice body wash my boys lather in is bright teal! Y'all I ain't kidding either.  
The water has this reddish tint so can you imagine what that did to light gray grout?  It looked like someone had used the shower as a toilet and just never cleaned it.  It drove me INSANE! I have gone through my pictures a dozen times, I don't know why I can't find it cause I knew once I covered it I wanted to do a review. But I was a least able to find this picture where I had started regrouting and you can see the gray at the top of the picture. 

Please excuse the mess in their bathroom but regrouting is no joke! Also one helpful hint! For the walls adding the black grout over the grey worked just fine.  But on the floor after about two months the water started washing some of the black off.  So I had to take a tool from Lowes and go back and remove some of the grout and then re-grout again.  This time since I went deeper into the existing grout the new grout had something to adhere to.  So now their floor looks great.  Taking the old grout out took hours to do because the grout lines were small and I couldn't use a large tool. (whew)

You can see how light the grey is if you look at the top of the picture.  The black gives it much more defined lines, (which I Love!)

This is the kid's bathroom floor once it was finished. 
No More Ugly stained grout!

The white and black are very forgiving with stains and dirt, but now for the one only Con to having the Black grout... Its the soap and shampoo residue.  If you have a soapbox built into the wall of the shower or a seat like we have, then there is a chance that other people (of course not ourselves) will not wash all the soap or shampoo out of the shower once it suds up.  This will cause the soap to sit in those black grout lines and it will form a white dried area.  See below

Now, looking at these little pictures it doesn't look all that bad.  But when you have it all the way down the wall of the shower it doesn't look the hottest.  So I purchased this cleaner called Lime Away and it works pretty dandy to get the soap scum out.  I will say that I tried to take a picture to show you how it looked but because the white and black lines hide it so well it wouldn't show up on the camera without zooming in really really close.  This is the ONLY complaint I have about the black grout.  I have been living here for 3 years now and I still feel the same way.  I also used black in the floor of my bathroom with long gray tile planks. 
  This was taken before the bathroom was finished.  

So I hope this gives a little insight to using different color grouts and hopefully help if you are looking to use black grout in the future! 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Less Steps Pulley Clothesline

I have always had a clothesline.  Whether growing up at home or since I have been on my own.  There is nothing like fresh, wind-blown sheets! Growing up, my mom and my grandmother's used a clothesline. Most people either love them or hate them. 

As a little girl, in the winter, Mama would be using the dryer and I would get out of the tub or the shower and she would wrap me in a warm one, and there was nothing like it! But in the summer, the towels Wouldn't feel like those soft blankets of warmth.  It was like a little thin sheet of sandpaper concrete. Lol  Never in a million years would I want to have that in my home I would say.  To this day I can hear myself saying those words. Especially when I hear my children say them to me on a regular basis.  And yes, it's more work.  It takes longer to work them up than to just throw them into the dryer.  But now I understand.  I understand all the little things that people say about how we put mother's love into the little things we do.  I hope that one day my children will want to have a clothesline in their yards.  
I wanted it to be a little different than most clotheslines, since I have 4 children I have to do a lot of laundry.  I looked around on Pinterest and found how some people are using the old Amish or old style of clotheslines with pulleys.   So, after doing some research this is what we came up with.  Some of our stuff came from Lowes and some came from Amazon.  I will have to say the pulleys are super nice that came from Amazon because the ones from Lowes were plastic.  So now instead of picking up my pins and basket a million times to hang clothes I stand in one spot and hang them all!  

I did purchase two separators to put into the line of clothes so that it wouldn't allow the bottom string to get too low when I have heavy blankets, jeans, or a lot of towels.  One thing I want to note is that all clothesline string gets saggy after a while.  When you use the kind that has metal or wire inside of the plastic line you are always having to unwind it and pull as tight as you can to tighten it back up cause over time it starts to sag.  This will do the same thing! But with the string tightener, all you do is just pull the string and it tightens it right back up! You will also want to install the tighter on the top strand because that way you will be able to hang more clothes before the tighter taps the pully.  It has been a little adjusting since I have always used the other kind, but I don't have to take nearly half the steps I took before, and taking them off the line is sooo much faster. 
This is the separator.  

As you are adding clothes to the line, you can slide the separator on and it keeps the lines close to regular height.  They will roll as you roll the clothes back to you and I just keep them in my basket with my pins.  I will say setting up this line is a little more costly because of purchasing the pulleys and the separators, but in the end, the money you save not running your dryer and not working yourself to death with the basket and clothes is well worth the little extra to me.  I also only purchased two separators, one for each line, which totally works.  But I hope after a little time I can purchase two more to have two for each line.  I will include a list of the items I purchased at the bottom.  What do you think?  Do you like the line or dryer!  Have a great one!

Click on any of the items below and it will open to the page they are located.

You can purchase all of the items on Amazon or most of all of them at Lowes Hardware, but I liked how my pulleys were metal from Amazon, where the wheel on the pulleys from Lowes was plastic.  I also purchased my line at Lowes, but couldn't find the exact link for that so I included a link to Amazon for the exact thing I used.  

One other thing!  If you purchase the pulleys from Amazon, make sure to wash them BEFORE you install them with the cotton line.  There will be metal dust that is on them that will put a black or silver metal look on your line.  I read this in a few amazon reviews and it was very true.  I had to wash mine a few times to get all the residue off them! 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Farmhouse Mantels and Signs

Hey Y'all!
Hoping everyone out there is enjoying this beautiful day and sunshine that the Lord has blessed us with today.  I love the sunshine, it makes your skin feel warm and it so boosts my spirits! Today I just wanted to share about Mantels.  I love the fireplace.  Mine never looks the same very long.  
I love to change out the decor and have a different look, especially during the different seasons.  
I love love eucalyptus!  This wreath was so cheap and easy to make.  
Hobby Lobby will put its dried eucalyptus on one of their many sales and I purchased two bags and weaved it into this vine wreath I already had at home.  And the big plus is it smells soo good!  My Mema had
a bush here and she always kept it sitting out in rooms to make the house smell welcoming.  I plan to plant another one here this year because you really can use it for so many things.  
A lot of my decor comes from Hobby Lobby, but most of the wooden items you see were cooking things that my Mema used to make many meals for all us "heathens". So I have placed them up to remind me of her.  But the biggest shout out goes to the maker of my cute Agape sign.  If you need a custom sign I urge you to check out her mom's facebook page at Leah's Signs!
She does an amazing job AND I placed the order and had it in less than a week!  I love the word Agape. It means so much about the Amazing love that God has for us, which was in another blog post you can read about Here
I hope you have enjoyed this little post on mantels and please give Leah your support!