Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Cherry House Second Floor Tour

What a crazy week it has been at the Cherry House! We completed three DIY projects over the weekend, and have been busy as can be! I can't wait to share all our fun with you but first I must to introduce you to the second floor of our home. There are not as many pictures of the upstairs as the downstairs from when we moved in.  I think I was too excited to pause and take pictures. I did not know at the time I would start a blog, or have a want for 'before' pictures *sigh* but I still wanted to give you an idea of the layout of our home. As we take our journey, making the Cherry House OUR home, you will get a much better view of different areas of the home. For now, these pictures will have to do :)

We have a very wide hallways in the center of our home. They are about 4 foot wide which is awesome when moving furniture around :) The original stairs are even more beautiful in person. Shall we venture upstairs? Lets go!

At the top of the stairs is a lovely window that looks out into our back yard. The area is big enough to add a desk or reading nook. The opposite end of the hallway features a sizable area too. It is nice to be able to give your hallway more function than just a walkway.

                   Once again, sorry for the bad pictures, they will improve, I promise :)

I did not take a picture of the upstairs guest room when we moved in for some reason, but here is a image of the space. It has a large walkin closet not pictured and three windows.

This is the only picture I have of the master bedroom before we moved everything in. It is a HUGE room, we were worried we could not fill it! lol  The hardwood floors just gleam! There are his and her closets which I must say, has been a marriage :)

The master bathroom has rich dark wood floors, and a wonderful claw foot tub and stand up shower. This is one of the rooms we updated first because Hubby did not like the cherubs on the wallpaper. He said he couldn't shower with naked babies looking at

Here is our laundry/ guest bathroom upstairs. Not much to look at right now, but good things are to come! I love our washer and dryer set that came with the house. Our kitty has taken to the room and claimed it as her

It is very convenient to have a master bedroom on each floor. We feel we can still have privacy even when guest are here. It's nice to 'retreat' upstairs after a long day and forget about the dishes. bills. etc.

Well, here you have it folks, a quick tour of our home. Now we can start on the good stuff! Lets roll up our sleeves, break out some tools and make this house a home!! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Cherry House First Floor Tour :)

Hello Cherry Blossom's, I hope your week as been a little less hectic than The weather and a few life events have prevented us from finishing our front porch for our first big blog reveal so I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce you to the Cherry House instead.

Our home was built in 1893 by a family who still resides in our town. It is a 2550 sq.ft. two story Victorian home with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths situated on 2.5 acres, the back acre being wooded, offering lots of privacy. The home features a sun room, mudd room and two master suites, one on each floor. A 2.5 car garage and storage shed are also featured. A small, one stop light town and friendly neighborhood take you back in time to days when life was a bit more simple.  There is a great sense of history, family pride and down home values that embrace you from the moment you enter town. These are just a few things that make living here so charming. We took a few pictures the day we moved into the Cherry House that I would like to share with you.

 The very first picture we took of the Cherry house was this one. Isn't she a beauty!

As you can see there is some beautiful handcrafted details that welcome you with open arms onto the front porch. The name the Cherry House comes from these details and a family by the last name of Cherry who lived here and loved the home enough to add this beautiful art work to the exterior.

Come on inside!
 The Downstairs Hallway

The original floors and staircase are a wonderful welcome into our home along with the vintage pendant light. Customized french doors and lots of light accent the stairway and make up the center of our home. Our living room and a downstairs master suite are on the right as you enter. Our kitchen with pantry, dining area, half bath and sun room are on the left. Upstairs there is another master suite with full bath, an additional bedroom, and a laundry room/ bath room. Today I will introduce you to the downstairs area. :)

Lets start with our Living Room and its beautiful bay windows.

 Original wood floors are featured in the living room and throughout the home. There is a large medallion in the center of the living room ceiling (unpictured). Had I known I was going to start a blog, I would of took better pictures, but, this is what we have for now. As we take on more projects, you will be able to see all the beautiful details the Cherry House has to offer.

The Downstairs Master  
Lots of blue and lots of potential The small bath actually has an original stained glass window (not pictured) which I replicated for our front door and will show you in a later blog post. :)
On the left front side of the stairs is the Sun Room, which was once an outdoor porch.

 Next up is our formal Dining Room, centered on the left side of the stairs.

Dining rooms were often the biggest and most used room back in the 'old days' as families often gathered there to eat home cooked meals and reminisce about their day before modern amenities like TV and video games came around. Family was most important, our goal is to enjoy many dinners in this room and get back to the basics as well. :)

Here is a good picture, taken from our kitchen doorway, showing how the hallway leads you to the other side of the stairway. The door on the far wall of the dining room leads out to the sun room. To the right, in this picture, is a half bath for dinner guest. 'Behind' us is the Kitchen and  the back door (Mudd Room) entrance to the home.

And now, a bad picture of the Half

One of my favorite rooms is our kitchen. The Cherry House kitchen has a lovely country feel. It needs some updating but has lots of potential and I just love the checker board flooring, don't you!

The doorway leads to the mudd room. I couldn't find a good picture of the pantry, but picture a closet with lots of The pantry is located behind us in these pictures.
Lastly, here is a picture of our Mudd Room.

Mudd Room's may not look like much but the are a  brilliant idea! I do not know how we ever lived without a mudd room, it definitely serves it purpose and helps keep the house clean! :) Through the door is a wonderfully spacious deck with a fenced in area for our puppy. We have a big back yard which is great for gardening, bonfires and lots of outside fun!

Whew, that's a lot of space!!  I am so excited to share our DIY adventures and our story of making The Cherry House a home with you! Today that completes the tour of the downstairs section of our home. I will post the upstairs and outside pictures for you in my next blog post.

Thanks for joining me today, I enjoyed being your tour guide :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Homemade Enzyme Cleaner

Hello Cherry Blossom's! First, I want to say sorry for the lack of pictures for this post but my camera is not being friendly today. I will be sure to have it fixed and ready to go for next weeks post! I hope you found this weeks series on homemade cleaning products useful in your home. Many good things are yet to come here at The Cherry House Life. Thank you for your support and I look forward to sharing my 1st big DIY reveal with you next week! ~ Michelle

This is by far one of the most effective and frugal-rific recipes EVER! Not only is it completely natural and environmentally friendly, but it tackles any mess big or small from counters, to floors, to ovens and you will never have to scrub a stuck on greasy mess again! Yes, my Cherry Blossom's, this is a true miracle cleaner. There are many different versions out on the internet, I have tried many and for me, this mixture seems to work best and has a pleasant smell. Enjoy!

Rind of one whole Pineapple ( eat the yummy fruit part, I also save the top of the pineapple and plant it to grow more pineapple plants)
2 Orange peels ( make OJ or eat the orange slices)
1 lemon peel ( save the juice for recipes that call for lemon)

Side note: You can use apple, or any other fruit but the citric ones above seem to do the best job for me. You can use many vegetable peels too but it does effect the smell of the mixture. Basically any scraps can be used but the more citric the peels, the better.

1 package yeast. ( you can skip the yeast but it will  increase the fermentation time to 2 months instead of 2 weeks)

1 cup brown sugar
1 empty milk jug or other plastic container
1 rubber band
1 balloon ( or a plastic sandwich bag will do)

Simply cut up your fruit rinds small enough to fit in the container. Eat the yummy parts, or make a fresh fruit salad for your family to enjoy. :) After adding the rinds to the container, add the brown sugar and the yeast package (if using yeast). Funnel in water slowly until it is half full. Put the cap on and shake vigorously. Next, remove the cap and fill the container the rest the way with water. The mixture is now complete but will need to ferment. If you have ever made homemade wine, you basically follow the same fermentation process. To complete fermentation and prevent the mixture from building up too much gas and exploding, cover the opening of your plastic container with a balloon. Using a sewing needle simply poke a small hole in the balloon to allow gas to escape. I tie a rubber band around the balloon for extra security. Date your container two weeks from this time.

 After the two week mark, (or 2 months if not using yeast) use a strainer to remove the chunky fruit rinds and your enzyme cleaner is now in its concentrated form, ready to use.
Your homemade enzyme cleaner can be diluted for general cleaning. I typically use an old spray bottle and fill it half with water and half with enzyme cleaner and it cleans remarkably well. For tough messes (picture a messy baked-on greasy meatloaf pan) simply use full strength and let it sit for 10 minutes (or over night it you wish) and wipe off, no tough scrubbing needed.

I use this cleaner and the homemade kitchen and bathroom cleaner (posted earlier this week) in our home. Yes, we do keep bleach on hand and I do have a Swiffer mop for when I feel extremely all in all these do these two cleaners are my favorite.  These homemade cleaners keep my home sparkly clean and save us a whole lot of money!

I hope you find these frugal recipes as useful in your home as I do in mine :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homemade Bleach

We've all been there, we need bleach and either can't or don't have time to run to the store. So what can you do? Here is a simple homemade recipe for when you are in a pinch and need the strength of bleach to do a household chore or laundry.
Use the mixture within one months time for best results. As the peroxide looses its fizzle, it will become less effective. This will bleach out colored items just like store bought bleach so be careful not to spill in on anything :)

1 CUP HYDROGEN PEROXIDE ( Dollar store brand was used)

Use an empty bleach container and funnel into it 1 cup hydrogen peroxide ( half a bottle). Next add 2 TBS of Lemon Juice. Lastly fill up the container the rest of the way with water (approx 15 cups). There ya go! You made a gallon of bleach for about 55cents ( 50 cents worth of peroxide and 5 cents worth of Lemon Juice)!

Keep clean ya'll!

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

1 BAR OF SOAP (Use your favorite, any will do. I used Ivory)
1 TBS LIQUID GYLCERIN ( found at Walmart in 1st aid section $2.98 for the bottle. The glycerin keeps the soap from separating)

You can double the recipe if you like, I like to make two batches at once so it is sure to last all year and then some :)

DIRECTIONS: Grate 1 bar soap of choice into large bowl (I used a cheese grater from the dollar store). Heat 10 cups water, 1 bar of grated soap and 1 tablespoon liquid glycerin on medium heat until the soap is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.When cool, use a funnel to pour mixture into your storage containers. Note:The mixture will thicken as it cools.
I re-purposed 2 liter soda bottles. This recipe will yield 2 2-liter bottles. Fill each bottle with half of the mixture and top off with water and shake. You now have 4 liters of homemade liquid soap for the cost of a bar of soap and about 40cents worth of liquid glycerin!
You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil  or fresh cut herbs into the mixture for a refreshing scent! :) Reuse old soap pumps and refill as needed.

That's a lot of soap and a lot of savings!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade kitchen and bathroom solution

You don't need separate cleaning products to clean your kitchen and bathroom.   You can clean it all using this recipe and you will love the results. Save yourself a lot of money by making this homemade kitchen and bathroom bathroom cleaner :)

I use this and one other homemade cleaning solution to clean our whole home, I will post the 2nd recipe later this week. Stay tuned :)

10 ounces white vinegar ( don't worry, the smell goes away when dry)
10 ounces liquid , blue Dawn dish detergent
1 empty spray bottle (I re-purpose an empty one)

Heat vinegar in microwave or on stove top until warm, but not boiling. Pour hot vinegar into an empty spray bottle.
Add the Dawn soap. Put the lid on shake until mixed well. TA-DA! You now have a powerful cleaning mixture that will take care of soap scum and shower buildup, and any kitchen counter grime! Just spray it on, scrub,and rinse clean. Haven't cleaned your shower lately?? No worries, just spray the mixture on and leave it overnight to break down really tough problem areas, then just scrub and rinse clean in the morning.

This recipe fills one empty commercial cleaning spray bottle ( most are 22oz. )

STAY CLEAN TIP: If you have glass shower doors, keep them soap scum free by simply spraying them with WD-40 (apply to an old rag and lightly cover) after cleaning with your homemade cleaner. WD-40 will coat the glass and keep bath products from sticking to the surface.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

Each recipe will make approximately one year worth of laundry soap You may cut the recipes in half (or fourths) if you like. I have made each of these recipes and each seem to clean equally as well, but I wanted to give you options, Decide whether you prefer liquid, powder or gel detergent and try it, you will be happy you did (and so will your pocket book)!

A small tip: If you currently use a commercial laundry soap and love the smell, buy one small bottle and add it into your homemade batch, you will still save money but keep the scent our family likes. :)
If you have questions, just ask. I have tried several recipes over the years and feel these work the best for our family.


1 Box 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Bar Fels Naphtha Soap, grated (or other soap such as Zote or Ivory )
1 Large plastic container with lid (or a few gallon sized Ziploc bags will do)
Grate one bar soap as fine as you can with a cheese grater or food processor. The soap should be the texture of grated parmesan cheese. Combine the GRATED soap, the ENTIRE box of Borax and the ENTIRE box of Washing Soda into a large container and mix well. Keep covered and away from damp so it does not clump up.
Use 2 tablespoons per load, it should last you all year at a load per day.

4 Cups hot water
1 Zote or Feltz Naphtha soap bar (OR 2 regular Ivory bars.)
1 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
½ Cup Borax
5 gallon bucket
Empty Laundry Soap Dispenser's (or any plastic container you like, I use empty 2 liter soda bottles)
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. The next day,stir the mixture and fill each container half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. The mixture will separate some as it sits, shake well before each use.
This recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 1/2 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

4 Cups hot water
1 Zote or Feltz Naphtha soap bar (OR 2 regular Ivory bars.)
1 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
½ Cup Borax
4 TB Liquid Glycerin
TWO 5 gallon buckets
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.Fill BOTH 5 gallon buckets half full of hot tap water. Add 2 TBS Liquid Glycerin to each bucket. Add HALF of the melted soap, washing soda and Borax to each bucket. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill buckets to top with more hot water and stir well. The mixture will gel overnight.
The advantage of gel detergent is it will not separate so there is no need for shaking the container before use. Since it is thinker and harder to pour, I suggest keeping the mixture in the 5 gallon containers and simply scooping it out of the buckets instead of transferring it into smaller containers.
This recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 1/2 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

This week at The Cherry House: Homemade Cleaning Products

  I am very blessed that I am able to stay at home while my husband serves his country in the United States Navy. Though the military is notorious for low pay, it is a steady income we can depend on and we make it work. It is all about living within your means. I believe in thrift stores, coupons and stretching the dollar to its fullest extent. Cutting corners in the current economy is becoming a necessity for most of us. Whether you are naturally cheap  frugal or just trying to save a few bucks, making your own cleaning products at home is a very cost effective.

  Each day this week I will post a  post a tried and true, homemade, cleaning product that we actually use in our home. I find making homemade cleaning products drastically reduces our out of pocket expenses. I feel a sense of pride knowing I am doing what I can to save us bunches of money while providing quality products for our family, and you can to!
 Your 1st look into our home is coming next week! I figure the best way to introduce you to The Cherry House is by welcoming you onto our newly revamped front porch. I hope you enjoy these money saving recipes in the mean time. :)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to the Cherry House Life

Hello my dear Cherry Blossom's,

  When we were looking to move I didn't really have any desires, just somewhere functional and safe to live. On a whim, we decided to drive out to the country to look at a house. I didn't expect much, I wasn't looking for anything spectacular but as we came around the bend and saw The Cherry House, I knew it was meant to be. It was like I had found a long lost friend. I've never felt this kind of pull from an object before. I couldn't imagine ever leaving. It was official, it was love at first site.

  This above is the first picture I ever saw of our home (The Cherry House) which was built in 1893. I have literally poured my blood, sweat and tears into this home trying to put my own personal touch into it without disturbing its history. It has rekindled the artist in me and has lent itself quite nicely to my creative ambitions. Here at The Cherry House Life, I will ask you to join me in my DIY adventures. I love to tackle a good project idea and am on a mission to do it as cheaply thrifty as possible. Long story short, I've found my dream house and am decorating it on a very tiny budget. I'm a thrift store lover and a lets-do-it-for-free diva!  This is my journey and I hope you will join me! Lets explore the positive, lets get our hands dirty, do a few DIY projects, and see if we can save a little money in the process.
 ~ Michelle :)