The Secret to Cleaning Grout

I love our master bath shower.  It has beautiful floor-to-ceiling white/gray marble tile.  And, we have a seat, but the water just sits on the seat area so the grout had gotten so gross that I am almost embarrassed to write this post.  I am a super clean person, some may even call it OCD, but I could not keep our shower looking clean.  I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which I really like for tackling so many other cleaning projects, then I tried using vinegar and baking soda and all of these other crazy methods I found on my beloved Pinterest, but nothing seemed to work .  Then I stumbled on a blog post via Pinterest where someone used the Clorox Bleach Gel Pen to tackle this exact problem.  I know people say you can just use liquid bleach for a lot cheaper, but with it being a gel, it can be spread in the exact spot you want to clean and  left to sit so it really penetrates the dirt and grime.

Step 1:  Apply the Clorox Bleach Gel to the grout.

Step 2:  Let it sit for an hour.  You may need to reapply again if it is really bad.  I had a few spots that needed a little extra care.

Step 3:  Using a scrubbing pad, scrub the bleach off of the grout and rinse thoroughly with water.  When the gel washed away it seemed like a miracle…the grout was finally sparkly clean and white!  I will definitely keep this on hand.

Step 4:  Seal the grout using a basic grout sealer that you can find at your local hardware store to help prevent the dirt and grime from returning in the future.  Follow the instructions on the grout sealer.  I used this one.  They also have spray versions if you want to seal the tile as well.

Again, I’m embarrassed to share these pictures, but the after pictures make it so worth it.


Now we squeegee religiously after each shower!

Update:  I did this about 6 months ago and there are a few spots coming back (the difficult ones to remove) that are resurfacing.  But, other than that the tile and grout has stayed much cleaner for the most part.



Guest Bedroom Update

It didn’t take long for me to pick up a paint brush again once the cooler weather came.  We recently gave our guest bedroom a little update just in time for holiday guests. It started out as an interesting color combination.  Above the chair rail was a tan, below was a teal and the trim was an off-white.

LiveDineParty - Guest Bedroom

I decided to go with yellow and white trim because (a) I really like yellow and I knew I didn’t want to use it in any other room in the house and (b) I knew it would really brighten up the room and go good with the bedding.  If you have ever painted a room yellow, you know yellow is not an easy color to pick out.  Every paint color changes based on the lighting in the room, but yellow is really dependent on the lighting so I was shocked that it only took me two paint samples to find the right yellow.  The top color is Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow (HC-4) and the bottom color is Benjamin Moore Weston Flax (HC-5).

LiveDineParty - Guest BedroomAlthough I loved pictures I saw online of the Hawthorne Yellow, it was just a little too bright and yellow in the room so we decided to go with the Weston Flax, which is a little softer.

Here are some before and after pictures.


LiveDineParty - Guest Bedroom

Lots of spackle was needed in this room too.



In Progress – Walls painted, but not the trim


The updated guest room. I will be sharing a DIY update to the chair you see in the corner soon! And, sorry but that amazing painting you see is a one of kind, painted by me 🙂


The updated guest bedroom.

It still needs a few small decorating touches, but it is a great improvement.  This leaves us with only an empty bedroom, an office, and a den left to paint.  It seems like a lot, but compared to where we started I feel like we are so close to having the whole house repainted.

Christmas Tablescape

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I always love a perfectly decorated table for the holidays and I always have a lot of fun coming up with the design.  As you know, this was our first official Christmas in our new house and we had a house full of family.  I didn’t want to post the tablescape prior to Christmas day just so it could be a surprise to our guests and afterwards I was too busy enjoying the holidays to get around to posting.  So, here it is…I’m finally sharing my tablescape for Christmas dinner this year.

The design started with the plaid tablecloth.  I originally saw a William Sonoma Tartan tablecloth online that sparked my idea, but it cost around $100 and there was no way I was spending that much on a tablecloth.   I found this one at Home Goods for just $14.99.  From there, I decided I wanted to do a rustic country Christmas tablescape and it turned out perfect!

Christmas - LiveDineParty

Christmas - LiveDineParty

Christmas - LiveDineParty Christmas - LiveDinePartyThe mini Christmas trees wrapped in burlap are from Michaels.  I just updated the ribbon to match the ribbon I used on the boxes. And no dinner table is complete without some candles :).

At each place setting, I placed a box filled three different flavors of homemade bark (White Chocolate with Oreo, Milk Chocolate with Oreo, and Peppermint) for everyone to take home with them.  I even broke out our fine China for the first time!

Christmas - LiveDineParty