Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Budgeting and Beautifying in the Bathroom ~ A "Shabby Chic" Frugal Farm Lifestyle ~ Entry #5


"Every wise woman buildeth her house..."
~ Proverbs 14:1a

Good morning, afternoon or evening, ladies! Thank you for joining us for the next installment of "A "Shabby Chic" Frugal Farm Lifestyle. Today we are sharing our pretty and not-so-pretty (but all very practical) ideas in the bathroom -- from beautifying your space on a budget, to bath and body care and all the little fun and frugal details in between! Why do we call this thrifty series "shabby chic"? It is because we want to share that you can take a "shabby" economy and make it quite "chic" in your home with the right set of eyes. Let's glean from the Proverbial homemaker and start "building" up in the bathroom!

I wanted to show a peak into our bathroom so that you can see it is not state-of-the-art. There is nothing new about it but it is still pleasing to our family because we keep it nice, clean and with little touches of love.


"Every room in the home serves a specific purpose, so the decor of each must be approached individually. Focusing on the particular function of the room, is an important first step in deciding how to decorate it."
~ Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic
The idea in our "shabby chic" frugal farm lifestyle is to focus on displaying the utilitarian items in a room to the best advantage for a simple but serene setting. Oftentimes we think we need mounds of money for an attractive home but in truth, it is just a few artful arrangements that make the coziest home. As I mentioned before, when we first moved into our old farmhouse, we did not remodel anything but simply began with a fresh coat of paint. That does wonders! We also removed an accordion door from a little closet area in our bathroom and allowed the pleasant contents to be seen and be more accessible (such as the piles of freshly laundered bath-towels).  The remaining undesirable toiletries such as personal products, razors and so forth were placed on the lower half of our shelves and were covered with a curtain to block the clutter. This didn't cost us anything but changed the whole look of the outdated bathroom. Perhaps there is something simple you can do to spruce up yours?


Taking our cue from Ms. Ashwell, we can see that the ordinary, needful things in each particular room make for the best decoration! This eliminates the cluttery feel while still making things pretty and "shabby chic". For instance, your cotton balls, q-tips and band-aids can be placed in these easy-to-make (and practically free) apothecary jars and can be adapted to any personal style. This allows you storage space for these items while making your bathroom attractive.


Fresh flowers and herbs from your backyard make the most loveliest (and free) accessories! We are always able to find something outside to use in a humble bouquet such as wildflowers, mint, lavender, roses or rosemary.

The only true "purchased" decoration used in our bathroom is this painting. Everything else is a useful necessity. I think the lack of clutter is beauty in itself. You can also see that our toilet is quite a relic! :) 

"Clean, simple, private, luxurious, and practical: These are the words that best describe a Shabby Chic bathroom. The basics of any bathroom should be functional fixtures that provide plenty of space for displaying toiletries, towels, and other bits and bobs."
~ Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic

Another idea is to display what Rachel Ashwell calls "bountiful piles of pretty soaps". We keep a good stock in our home as they have a long shelf life. Soap can be stored beautifully in baskets, decorative bowls, large jars or wide vases. If you have perfectly rectangular bars, they can be cut in half as there is a luxurious feel when you have a large amount displayed. When storing bulk soap for "show", I like to remove any commercial wrappers to give it a classic, clean look.


A few "chosen" bars can even be wrapped with scrapbook paper, wallpaper scraps and/or ribbons and presented in a dainty tea dish for added appeal. I love to use my vintage milk glass dishes but you can use discarded candy dishes or any other special item that you may have stored away. I also enjoy printing out vintage soap labels and wrapping excess bars with them for an antique feel. For rustic decor, you can decorate soaps in recycled brown paper-bags and add some natural twine for a final touch.   Any way you do this, you can create an attractive vignette for pennies while keeping a good supply of soap in your Proverbs 31 preparedness stash!


The same principle can be applied to other toiletries. Recycled glass containers can store mouth wash, homemade bath oils, bubble bath, toner, astringent, etc., while looking darling! Just apply pretty stickers, glue on some lovely clip art or decorate the bottles with beautiful lace. I also like to apply corks for an old-fashioned feel. These can be useful and attractive displays! Here is a gorgeous romantic printable page (shown above) which is courtesy of The Graphics Fairy. You will find a botanical inspired label page here, a French inspired page here, a dainty floral bathroom label set here and an apothecary set of spa labels here. With a few recycled bottles and jars, you have a frugal yet fancy toilette!



Shower curtains are also a wonderful way to dress up and remodel a bathroom on a budget. Perhaps your shower area is undesirable to look at? Simply place a curtain rod across and hide the whole thing! Even though you have shower doors and so forth, there is still no reason why you can't cover the whole operation with a pretty piece of fabric! Whenever I see an inexpensive and pretty shower curtain, I scoop it up and am able to change my decor according to the seasons.  I use the pastel prints for spring and summer and the darker patterns for fall and winter.



I have also re-purposed twin flat sheets (these are found in abundance and very inexpensive at thrift shops) into beautiful shower curtains with a simple hem and some button holes. Curtain panels can be reworked to obtain the same goal. With clean walls, a fresh piece of lovely fabric and attractive displays of your toiletries, you have yourself a pleasant organized room for pennies! 


Now, moving along to the nitty-gritty! Let's start with the towels. In our home, we have a rack behind the door and a few hooks hung around the bathroom. Everyone in the family has a designated hook to keep their bath-towel and knows to use it for a few days. The concept is that you are technically "clean" when you come out of the shower. This means less laundry for the household, less detergent used, less on the electric bill and less water consumed from constant wash loads. Bathroom towels can really add up! It may gross out some of you but I assure you, you can get used to it if you really want to shed expenses and your workload -- not too "shabby" if you ask me! :)


"The biggest mistake that people make with their locks is over-washing them. There are plenty of good hair-care products available these days. But even the best shampoo, if used too often, will tend to dry your hair and wash away important natural oils, no matter how much conditioner you apply afterward."
~ Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

Another way we stretch money which is also healthier for your hair is to shampoo and condition less. Yes, less ladies! Shampoo (and conditioner) do add up and e$pecially with all the long hair in our household! (I cringe to put all this personal information out there but if it helps someone to free up their finances via micro-managing, then I will take my chances.) In the summer when it is stickier and greasier due to heat, I wash my hair twice a week. In the autumn, winter and spring, it is generally once a week. As Rosemary Gladstar further explains, "at first this will feel uncomfortable. But the "squeaky clean" feeling we have been taught to achieve is, in essence, hair that has been stripped of its natural protective oils." So you see, by being frugal, you are also being very beauty savvy and "chic"!  I know there are also methods to keep clean hair with baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. These are thrifty options you may want to consider. I am keeping these ideas in my back pocket and may try it one day.


Besides shampoo and conditioner, we don't buy any fancy body products but keep a simple bar of soap in the shower. While body wash is nice, it is not necessary and does add up. When you squeeze the contents out of the container, you are using up mounds! A bar of soap-in-hand is less waste. Even legs can be shaved with a simple bar of soap and lather.


Other bath and body items can easily be made yourself! I used to buy so many products until I was forced to clip the budget. It was amazing how "fine" I lived without them all! Your face can be washed gently with ground oatmeal (just mix a bit with water or milk each time you wash to form a paste and gently rub into your skin -- for extra luxury you can mix in dried rose petals, calendula, chamomile or honey). Follow this with a simple astringent/toner (i.e. inexpensive witch-hazel) and finish off your beauty routine with a dab of coconut oil (and if you are able -- a few carefully chosen essential oils based on your skin type).


We also make our own room sprays, body scrub, bath salts, lip balms, deodorant and so forth. Though I only use hairspray on Sundays, you can easily make up your own for pennies if you wanted to (visit Our Simple Homestead for the recipe)! We share all of our bath and body tutorials here if you are interested and there are many frugal recipes in our Ebook too. These products all add up and you will be amazed at how much you are able to save if you choose to simplify your beauty routine. This often means using more natural products which is an overall blessing to your health and quite chic these days! 


Regarding the rest of the expenses, the toilet paper, q-tips and cotton balls are purchased in bulk for the price discount. The bathroom cleaning products are all made frugally (you can find a variety of our recipes here) and instead of purchasing tissues, we use handkerchiefs (there is a stack sitting in a basket in our bathroom at all times). I know that many of you have excellent ideas to save money in the bathroom and I would love for you to share them! And I hope I haven't frightened you all away with all the gory details! It is just that I promised to be real descriptive in this series because in my experience, the $avings are all in those little things called detail$! Happy homemaking!

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). Rose label clip art is courtesy of the Lilac and Lavender blog.

52 comments:

  1. You always teach something important to us, darling Jes, and today I'm coming back to 'My little old world' after learning that simplicity is such a Virtue in everything, the more simple one thing it is, the more valuable it is ... and so are people !

    With utmost gratitude,
    I'm sending blessings on your coming days,
    may they be filled with love and joy

    XO Dany

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    1. Thank you for the sweet and kind visit here today! :)

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  2. Thank you for this post - I enjoyed reading it as we are currently trying to fix up our bathroom. How impressive that you have such an old toilet and it still works! I agree that the cost of shampoo really adds up...unfortunately for some people it is really not possible to wash hair once or twice a week. My hair is naturally quite oily, and as I age it has also gotten very thin...if I only went two days without washing my hair would be quite disgusting. You must have beautiful thick hair to be able to only wash it once a week. Well, if that is you in the picture than you do have beautiful hair! What a blessing that must be.

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    1. Hi Laura, Nice hearing from you again! Yes, that is my hair in the picture and I thank you for the kind words :) As far as the toilet goes... it works but can be quite problematic sometimes (I'll leave that to your imagination)! But we work through it... I am sure all our homes have those areas that need upgrading. But making do in the meantime is what we sometimes must do. Have a lovely week and enjoy fluffing up the bathroom! :)

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  3. Thank you for the great post. I've always taken special care with my bathrooms (especially the *public* one in the hallway) because, let's face it, that's the place where many people sit and look around!! I know I always do! I love seeing what clever ideas people use to corral things, hang towels, & decorate with.

    I remember my mom and my grandma only washing their hair once a week. That was on Friday when they went to the beauty shop and got all gussied up for the weekend. I recall mine being done on Sat. night. I think that when I started doing sports, exercising, etc., I got into the habit of doing it every day. Now, I only wash it on the days I swim, which is 3 days per week. Otherwise, I'd look like one of those round hay bales. In the summer, if I get sweaty, I just rinse it with cold water.

    Thanks also for the link to the labels! I love the green botanicals. :) I already use your pantry labels in my kitchen and they make everything lovely.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing what works for you! And I am glad you like the botanical labels. I thought they were all so lovely and it was so hard to decide! Also, I had a smile over the round hay bales... I am surrounded by those and the visual is perfect :)

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  4. Jess - is the shelving beside the tub/shower... in the picture it looks like it and if so... this would save some space, if so please share a little of how it sets.

    I love reading your posts, they encourage me so much... to keep "keeping" a house - a home.

    Thank you,
    Andi

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    1. Hi Andi, thanks so much for taking the time to comment! The shelves (and the ONLY ones in the house) are actually built in next to the shower. It came with an accordion door but we removed it. I am sure something like that would be easy to make if you or your husband is handy. My hubby managed something similar in the kitchen with scrap wood. Have a lovely week! :)

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  5. Hello JES- your bathroom is gorgeous and so shabby chic in the true sense!! I especially like your pink shower curtain and I too have a variety of them (purchased used on eBay and thrift shops super cheap) this really does change the "look". I love the apothecary jars as well! So creative and very french. Your bathroom is uncluttered and appears super-clean and tidy!! Some really good ideas in this post. Thank you for the inspiration 🙂🌸

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    1. Thank you for the kind visit and comment! Have a lovely week! :)

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  6. JES,

    My hair length is at my knees and I, too, wash it once/week in the cooler months and twice/week in the warmer months. (We live on the island of Guam.) My favorite shampoo of choice is Men's Head 'n Shoulders "Full & Thick." I never condition the ends because that would defeat the purpose of washing with "full & thick." Conditioner makes my thinning hair (I'm 56) flat and lifeless. One bottle of my shampoo lasts a loooooong time, and I love how it really helps my hair.

    On the days I wash my hair in the shower, I also exfoliate my face with a mixture of baking soda/coconut oil that I keep in a tiny jar in the shower. I NEVER use soap on my face. When I'm not exfoliating it in the shower, I only use water. If there is a trouble spot on there that needs to dry up, I'll use a soapy fingertip to "apply" the soap there and then rinse. My daughter taught me this and her complexion is dreamy. For dry skin, my moisturizer of choice is coconut oil. A teensy dab 'll do ya!

    To shave twice per week, I still only use soap to "lather up." I inherit all my husband's nice razors that he upgrades from time to time and each blade lasts many weeks/several months. I moisturize my legs after a shave with coconut oil. Again, a dab goes a looooong way!

    Love your delightful bath, JES. When you walk in, I think people would just want to say, "Aaaahhhhh." It's very special and functional, indeed!

    *hugs*
    Kelley~

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    1. Hi Kelley, Thank you for sharing all your wonderful tips! It sounds like much of our "regime" is the same if not similar :) Have a wonderful week!

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  7. What a lovely post, Jes. There is so much good info there about prettying up the area without spending a mint. It is an area I need to really work on once all the heatwaves are over. Thanks for the motivation.

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    1. Hi Nanna Chel! Those heatwaves can sure zap the energy levels! There is nothing like autumn to cheer up the homemaker to tackle some projects -- hope it comes soon for you! :)

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  8. I love your decorating style! I too, appreciate simplicity and milk glass! Thank you for the ideas. I also agree with your advice on shampoo. Have a wonderful rest of your week!
    Melody

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    1. Thanks Melody for taking the time to share here today! Isn't milk glass lovely? I still love that you can still find the pieces inexpensively too! :)

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  9. Thank you Jes, for this great tips! Your bathroom looks beautiful!
    I like the labels. I wash my hair once a week, but I've not thick hair :-(
    Love,
    Carolien

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    1. Hi Carolien, thanks for the kind words and I am glad you like the labels! Perhaps there is a project in your horizon? Have a lovely week! :)

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  10. What a beautiful and practical post. Love all of your wonderful touches and ideas.

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    1. Thank you Lynn! Nice hearing from you! :)

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    2. I have had a little hiatus from blogging. Trust you are doing well!

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    3. Sounds like fun! And thank you, I am doing fine :)

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  11. Jes, I appreciate your post this morning. The bathroom is a place that "when you need it, you need it NOW!" And I have been guilty of mislaying my husband's tools for finding and getting rid of splinters, cutting a hangnail, etc. I love the quotes you used. My job is to make the bathroom a place that is organized and useful for all! Also, in regard to the many scented soaps and body washes and creams that so many spend great amounts of money on...for those of us with very sensitive skin and/or eczema, simple or none is the best advice! I have learned to use very little, if any, soap, and minimal shampoo. My skin thanks me for that! I appreciate your site greatly!

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    1. Thank you for sharing Lorraine. It is amazing at how much products we think we need and how many chemicals are inside of those "special" products (are are being applied to the largest organ of our body-- the skin)... Like you eluded to, sometimes less is more!

      Have a wonderful week! :)

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  12. Wow, your bathroom is so fresh and airy looking with those white towels. Love it. I never wash my hair more than once a week, either, as my skin and hair are very dry so that's all it needs. Love this post.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! And so nice to know I am not the only one who doesn't wash hair daily! It's funny how that "topic" is what has been addressed mostly from this article... I am wondering if anyone uses their towels for a few days too?

      Have a wonderful week!

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    2. Yes we always reuse towels. Absolutely. Multiple times!

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    3. Ah, thank you for sharing that! I am always curious how other people do things... and if we are the only "weird" ones ;)

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    4. We use our towels multiple times and we also have our own over the door hook for them.
      Melody

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    5. Thanks for sharing that Melody! I learned this from my grandmother and wasn't sure how many practiced it...

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  13. Hello JES- I too wash my hair once a week. I've got super long hair and it works for me 😊 and it's a must to reuse our towels in this household. I love the clip in your hair. Would it work in my thick hair? 🙂 🌸

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing! It makes this much funner! :) YES, those clips will work in thick hair. They are amazing! My daughter's hair is very fine and very thick and these are the only things that will contain it! :)

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  14. Dear JES,
    I really enjoy your "Shabby Chic" posts. Your bathroom looks lovely, clean, and pretty.
    One place I love shopping is World Market, and I always look through the bathroom section. It seems I am drawn to apothecary jars and fancy soaps. But I know better than to buy anything! In accordance with your advice, I have learned it is just a matter of packaging really. Jars can be saved or thrifted, and regular boxed soaps can be wrapped in pretty papers.
    As for the bathroom routine, we also use our towels multiple times and as I have long, thick hair, I also only wash it a couple times a week. I only wash the scalp and let the rinse take care of the rest of my hair. I would go through tons of shampoo otherwise!
    I have been thinking lately that I would like to make toilet bombs and before-you-go spray. We don't like the commercial air fresheners, so we keep a candle in the bathroom instead. I really hope that's not too much information, but it is a bathroom after all!
    I hope you are doing well, JES! I am off to check out your bath and beauty recipes!
    Love, Kelsey

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    1. Hi Kelsey, Nice hearing from you! I too love to devour World Market for IDEAS :) Those are free! Thanks so much for taking the time to share here. It makes it fun to hear how other people do things and it is interesting how much I have in common with many of the woman. In my "real" life, I seem to be rather peculiar! Have a lovely week! :)

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    2. I hear you on being peculiar in real life, haha! I think that is one of the reasons like-minded fellowship is so precious :)
      Love, Kelsey

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  15. What wonderful tips! We would love to have you at our To Grandma's house we go link party that opened this Wednesday morning and lasts all week! Its at grandmashousediy.com :)

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  16. Dear Jes, Your hair is beautiful. I assumed that picture was a model from the hair clip ad until I read the comments!
    Our bathroom is my next project. I love the idea that I can use a curtain even if there is a glass door!
    We have a big old spa bath that is quite broken and needs yo come out. Thats the hard bit. But then I could fit in a regular tub and shelves. The rest is fixable.
    I have fine hair and find I need to wash a lot but I can use way less shampoo than I once did and this is my economy there. We also use and reuse bath towels, they are hung up agterr each use to dry and sometimes in the sun. We also figure we are clean when they are used and use for several days. They always smel clean and fresh anyway.
    I really loved this post but I always think that when reading what you have written! With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel, first off-- thank you for the kind compliment! :) Each hair type does deserve different treatment and it seems you found a happy-medium for yours too! I can't wait to see what you do with your bathroom as you always have the loveliest ideas! We too have a glass door but now with a curtain there, I don't need to keep it sparkling ;) -- Happy homemaking! Love, JES

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  17. Excellent post Jes! I'm inspired. I'm thinking about painting my tan walls a light color, maybe even white.

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    1. Sounds like an excellent idea! I am personally partial to white but hubby likes the light tan so we have had both in our lifetime :)

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  18. I like using a Shabby Chic look in areas like this... it is so fresh and clean looking.... we went w/ more of a muted pastel w/ white trim last time... not as light as before, but we are enjoying it. Yours is beautiful. :)

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    1. The light colors are so peaceful and calming, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  19. Your bathroom looks beautiful Jes. Isn't it funny how few products we actually "need?" None of your suggestions "grossed me out" :) and in fact I ran across multiple similarities. Using bath towels more than once is a huge savings of time/labor and money as you said. Also, I really need to add some little pulls to the jar lids. That is so brilliant and adds such a unique look.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! And yes, the pulls add so much to the jars! These were cast off pieces that didn't cost a penny. I am hoping to one day get a bunch of the same kind and make a set of apothecary style jars for all my herbs... Imagine them all lined up! :)

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    2. Ooooh. That would be beautiful.

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  20. Love that you use handkerchiefs and don't buy tissues!! I am just discovering handkerchiefs (well I mean I have always known they existed but to have them and incorporate them into my lifestyle) & LOVE them!! I am buying them as gifts for girlfriends for special occasions too. Thanks so much for this series. It has been very enlightening!! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing Michelle! Handkerchiefs are simple to make also. If you have any basic embroidery skills, you can create some pretty ones for gifts too! We also use them for our ferment covers on our jars. Have a lovely week! :)

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  21. The labels are so pretty..
    Love all the pictures...


    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

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  22. Your bathroom is absolutely gorgeous! I love how you consider the function of the room when decorating as well!

    Blessings,
    Patty

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  23. Love your beautiful shabby chic bathroom Jes and all your fabulous tips too! I've pinned this post to my party board. Thank you for sharing at 'Create, Bake, Grow & Gather' this week. I appreciate your support of my new party.

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