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Mantel Makeover 2.0

  If you didn’t figure it out from the picture, we recently updated our fireplace and mantle. I could not be happier with how it turned out. I had no idea how much this update would change the look and feel of our entire room. And yes, you guessed it,

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A carbon monoxide scare that hit a little too close to home.

A Carbon Monoxide Scare that Hit Close to Home

A Rude Awakening It was Friday morning around 6am that my sister and her husband woke up to a strange alarm going off in their home. Both were a little foggy and disoriented by the early-morning wakeup call coming from their basement but realized that the situation needed to be dealt

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An Easy Way to Update a Sliding Door Blind

Here is an easy update I made on our home that has made a HUGE difference. In the big downstairs room, we have sliding doors that walk out to our back yard. While I love this about our home I did NOT love the plastic panel blinds that dated the

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How to Refinish an Old Lamp

How to Refurbish an Old Lamp

It’s high time I introduce you to my dad. Although a former U.S. Marshal, I’ve always known him to be an artist and innovator at heart. From photographer to writer to architect/builder of our childhood playhouse, my dad is the most creative (and perfectionist) person I’ve ever met. He seriously

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Five Ways to Make Your House Less Desirable to Thieves

Guest posting for us today is my good friend, Ashley. As you will read in her post, she has learned some tough life lessons that she wanted to pass on. As a small town (and slightly naive) girl myself, I have found this information to be super helpful! A few

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Life Hack: How to Hang Perfectly Level Decor on Walls

Since all of our big projects are pretty much done in our new house, I’ve gotten to work on some decorating. I wish SO MUCH that I had known about this little life hack on hanging pictures a long time ago. It would have saved me from much frustration, time

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Budget Breakdown of the Kitchen Flip

As you’ve probably gathered by now, we have done some major work on our kitchen. As I’ve been talking to friends about it, some have bravely asked how much we spent. Something in me gets a little squirmy when I start sharing numbers. Not sure why because I’m always itching

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Before and Afters of my New Home

I love taking before and after shots. As we’ve been plowing through the house projects at our new home, I’ve managed to keep my camera handy and snap some shots of the progress. Here is a rundown of some of the things we’ve been up to! Entry Way: Put in

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Painting Oak Cabinets

One of the biggest changes you can make in your kitchen that will give you bang for your buck is updating oak cabinets. It’s a lot of work but totally worth it. As you can see in the before pictures of our new home, there was a whole lot of

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Life is Getting CRAAAAAZY

Life is Getting CRAAAAAZY

A few weeks back I announced that we were selling our house and buying a new one. Friends, God has been so gracious to us through this whole process. I can’t believe how smoothly it has gone. Seriously. The sellers of the house that we wanted took our FIRST offer.

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Where Has Polly Been?

Where Has Polly Been?

Because I schedule my posts a few days or even weeks ahead of time, you probably haven’t noticed that I haven’t been around the blog for the past week or so. Why is this, you may ask? Let me send you on a little photo guessing game and see if

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Pumpkin Coffee Facial Mask

Pumpkin Coffee Facial Mask: An At-Home Fall Spa Experience!

By Jessica Ellingsworth from Mavyn, Contributing Author Autumn is definitely in the air (even here in sunny Texas, thank goodness!), and I am here to take seasonal foods to a whole new level by incorporating them into the skincare routine. Jessica here, and I was recently perusing a high-end spa

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Jaw-Dropping, DIY Nursery Decor

My dear sister is due to have their first baby ANY day now. Poor gal has been instructed to say at home and simply wait. Talk about a long couple of days! She’s had a great attitude through her entire pregnancy and has been a great example to me about

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Wood Pallet Makeover

When I saw this wood pallet makeover that my friend Jessi (and her husband) did I immediately asked her to share how she did it with us. Check it out! I asked Jessi to share how they did this transformation. Take it away, Jessi! Ever since my church used pallets

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Free Printable: Weekly Menu Planner

Free Printable: Weekly Menu Planner

Here it is. Thriving Home’s very first original printable: A Weekly Meal Planner! It’s fitting that our first printable would be a weekly meal planner since it’s pretty obvious we love menu planning for the week around here. For a few years now I have found that meal planning helps

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It Works! How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb with a Potato

It Works! How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb with a Potato

We are all about using natural, whole foods around here at Thriving Home. Even when it comes to home maintenance. OK, not really. But this was the case with a broken lightbulb that we couldn’t remove from our ceiling fan.  A few weeks ago, my husband used a bit too much

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How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

This spring, I received a very special gift from my parents who were moving–FIVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES from their backyard! These bushes are about three years old, so they are already producing quite a few blueberries each year but still have some growing to do. After doing some major research about

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Unexpected and Cheap Toys That Have Stood the Test of Time

Unexpected and Cheap Toys That Have Stood the Test of Time

When I’m at a friend’s house, I often like to know what toys their kids have enjoyed for the longest.  It’s almost without fail that the simplest ones are the favorites. The big, expensive ones with lights and sounds get old (or break) quickly. The same is true around here.

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One Baby Step to Make a Difference in the Environment

One Baby Step to Make a Difference in the Environment

In the past few years we’ve attempted to take baby steps towards being a little more kind to the environment. We try to use reusable grocery bags, and snack bags,  cloth diaper our little one, use pyrex or tupperware instead of Ziplocks, recycle, and buy in bulk. By no means are we perfect

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10 Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

10 Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

I don’t know if I should admit this but I associate spring time with garage sales. As the snow (finally) melts away, I have begun to see more and more sale signs popping up on Fridays and Saturdays. This morning I saw one on the corner of a popular intersection.

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DIY Nursery Decor: Trains!

With a baby boy on the way in about a month, I have been working hard to get his nursery prepped and ready. Since it was previously decorated for a girl, part of this includes making changes to the room to prepare it for a boy. I’m honestly not sure

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Cabinet to Bookshelf Transformation: Before and After

Ever since we found out we will be having another baby in April, I’ve been making small changes to our guest room with the intentions of turning it into a “big girl room” for my 1.5 year old. This past weekend, I finally got to work on a little cabinet

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Yep- We Are Those People

Yep- We Are Those People

Ever seen these “Pet Peek” things on an infomercial or in a magazine? I remember laughing at the idea when I saw it in a SkyMall magazine. I remember thinking that my dogs would love that but I’d never be willing to pay for one. Well, that’s what grandparents are

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Shower Cleaning Made Easy!

If you are a Pinterest guru, you are probably flooded with all the home and cleaning tricks that are supposed to make your life easier. I have quite a few pinned on my Pinterest boards. While most of the things I pin end up just staying on my pin board

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Pinterest Fail: Using Caulk as a Rug Gripper

Pinterest Fail: Using Caulk as a Rug Gripper

One of my Pinterest Boards is titled: Why Didn’t I Think of That?! It consists of a variety of ideas that I wish I would have thought of first. I have found quite a few to be helpful around my house. However, today was a different story. Once upon a

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A Happy Bucket: A Spray Paint Makeover

A Happy Bucket: A Spray Paint Makeover

It’s amazing what a little spray paint can do, isn’t it? This darling little bucket has been at my parent’s house for years. My mom included it in a box to be sold at a garage sale but I managed to snatch it away before someone else saw the glorious

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A Dog-Gone Cute Kid Room Decoration: A Silhouette Project

A Dog-Gone Cute Kid Room Decoration: A Silhouette Project

When thinking about some thrifty decorating ideas for my little lady’s bedroom, I thought it’d be fun to do something with her favorite animal (and the only one she can actually say at this point). Using my Silhouette machine and a picture frame I had in our closet, I came

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Creative Storage Idea: Repurpose Old Diaper Boxes!

Creative Storage Idea: Repurpose Old Diaper Boxes!

With a little one around, it seems like we cannot have enough boxes and bins around for all her stuff. That is why I love finding creative ways to create storage around our house. At our most recent Sam’s Club trip, I picked up some diapers that come in this

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A Great Use for Leftover Coffee!

A Great Use for Leftover Coffee!

I’m a coffee lover. I make it almost every morning. My mini coffee pot even made it into my list of favorite kitchen items. What’s ironic about my love affair with coffee is that I often end up not drinking most of it. Moms, you understand: The baby has a

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Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

I’ve often been told that I have “the gift of hospitality.” Whether this is true or not, almost anything I learned about hosting groups most likely came from my mother. She is the queen when it comes to hosting groups of people. Growing up, it was not uncommon for there

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Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

I love to change our home decor up and move things around. In the early days of living in our house, I cut corners when hanging things on our walls and didn’t used the plastic anchors that hold the screws in securely.  I learned the hard way that this was

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10 Tips for Throwing a Great Garage Sale

10 Tips for Throwing a Great Garage Sale

Tis the season for garage sales! In fact, instead of going out and hunting for great treasures for my home, this past weekend, I threw a garage sale of my own. Rachel jumped on board and put some of her stuff in it as well. Here is us in all

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Mailbox Makeover

Mailbox Makeover

I love spray painting things. LOVE IT. It is easy, fast, cheap and gives big results. This is a project I’ve been itching to get to for a while. Our mailbox was beginning to show rust and was in much need of some TLC. Here’s what one hour of work

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Chair Changes

What is it with numbering things? Everywhere I turn, it seems like someone is numbering a household item and making it look cool. I’m not quite sure I get it. What’s funny though is that I’ve jumped on the bandwagon without even knowing if I like numbering things. I wanted

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In the Kitchen: Polly’s Faves

In the Kitchen: Polly’s Faves

My mother is the kitchen gadget queen. I think we had a tool or contraption for EVERY need in the kitchen. I’m not to that point yet, but I do have a few favorite things that I’d recommend. Below are six of my favorite kitchen tools. Check back tomorrow for

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Jazz Up Your Storage Space

Jazz Up Your Storage Space

I’m a sucker for storage and organization units. I love finding creative ways to store junk. What started as an innocent stroll down the organization aisle at Target, resulted in me coming home with this. (The gift card was burning a hole in my pocket!) The unit didn’t stay that

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Quick Fix for Peeling Paint

Quick Fix for Peeling Paint

I had a problem. This was happening to the shelves in our playroom. Last time I checked, peeling paint chips weren’t too baby friendly. There were two solutions I could think of to remedy this situation: 1) scrape all the paint off and paint a fresh new coat or 2)

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Carpet Remnant = Money Saver!

Carpet Remnant = Money Saver!

This room in our house is currently the multipurpose room. It primarily serves as an office but will soon be transformed into a playroom. However, a playroom with hardwood floors is not very fun for babies learning to crawl and walk. I looked into getting a rug around 10×12 feet

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How to Make Your Own Window Cornice

How to Make Your Own Window Cornice

I really like the simple look of window cornices. They are clean, fresh, and from what I discovered, easy to make! I was also pleasantly surprised at how cheap the supplies for this turned out to be. AND it doesn’t involve any sewing. Do I have your attention?? Here’s how

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DIY Carpet Deodorizer

 Have a smelly rug? I do. Our living room rug is the gathering place for all creatures large and small. A few days ago when I was down on it playing with my little gal, I was totally grossed out by the scent of dog and feet. After the close

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Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we’ve  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is my homemade disinfectant recipe, which I found here.  I use this on my kitchen

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Simple Learning Activity: Sorting in an Egg Carton

Simple Learning Activity: Sorting in an Egg Carton

I’m a teacher by training, a former children’s ministry director, and a current mom of three.  Like many of you, I understand the importance of and enjoy the teaching of my 2 and 4-year-olds. Am I alone in saying, though, that I disdain complicated activities that require a lot of

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