Month: November 2022

Adding Outdoor Storage To Our Kitchen Porch

I’ll start this post with a confession: I resented our kitchen porch when we finished it last fall. Resent is a strong and, admittedly, strange word to use for a porch. But I’ll explain it later on in this post. The good news is that I no longer harbor any ill will toward it. In fact, it has become one of the spaces I’m most grateful to have in our smaller home. Especially after some functional additions that we’ve made to it over the last year since you saw it.

I love this space so much, that I’m actually writing this post from it right now. Call it Method Blogging. I’m fully immersed in my character.

A Kitchen Porch Renovation Recap

You can read a full post of this porch’s previous updates, but the quick version is: this used to be a porch off of our bedroom, which had 8 glass doors leading outside (yes, eight whole doors in one room). We closed off two of the doors that led to this porch, which you see in the photo below (which also created a wall for our bed). Then we swapped that black window for a door that connects this porch to our kitchen.


Before photo of kitchen porch area with brown siding



Taking this from “unused bedroom porch to “heavily used kitchen porch” has been a complete game changer. We love that this update created a quick path from our driveway to the kitchen, which makes bringing in groceries a whole lot easier.

You can see below how we park our car just outside the gate beyond this porch. There are still parking spots for guests in the front yard (they get to walk up our pretty front porch and enter into the sitting area, which feels nice for people visiting), but this

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Holiday Gift Ideas For The Whole Family!

Did Christmas come early this year? Nope! But our annual gift guides did (by a smidge, at least). So, without further ado… let’s dive into the 3 categories that we cover every year, which are all here in just one post:

  1. Gift Ideas for Grown-Ups
  2. Gift Ideas for Kids
  3. Gift Ideas Under $12.99

2022 Holiday Gift Guide Main Image Collage



It’s probably helpful to mention that nothing was sponsored/gifted in order to get into this guide. If something’s in here, we just genuinely love it (and in many cases, already own it and can vouch for it). Each list also includes some things that we plan to give a friend or family member this year, and a few things we’d love to receive (wink, wink – please consult this post, John).

Quick note: There aren’t just gifts that are under $12.99 on the last gift guide. For example, there are 4 gifts that are under $12.99 on the kids list as well (prices are based on whatever they were at the time of writing this).

Gift Ideas For Grown Ups

Here’s what we’re loving this year, either because it’s something we have already bought and loved, or something we’re getting this year for friends & family (or hoping to find under the tree ourselves 😉


2022 Holiday Gift Guide For Grown Ups Collage



1. Peas In A Pod Necklace ($33+)

You can customize the color, count, and metal finish of these cute pendants, which would be great for a mom or grandmother!

2. Cloud Mug ($22)

The shape and color of this fun modern mug would be a nice anchor to a coffee, tea, or hot cocoa themed gift. Heck, you can also just fill it with candy or cheese.


Holiday Gift Ideas For Grown Ups Items 1 Through 3



3. Chunky Heel Boots ($43)

I bought these boots in khaki recently & love them! They’re SO

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Is Buying A Robot Vacuums Worth It?

We owned a Roomba robot vacuum almost a decade ago because it sounded so good in theory. Something that does the vacuuming for you while you sit on the couch? Sign me up. But in reality, we had SO MANY ISSUES with it. It was extremely loud, frequently got stuck, and didn’t cover many areas before the battery died. Did I mention it always got stuck? It felt like babysitting someone who was poorly vacuuming to the point that our time was better spent actually doing the vacuuming. We finally ended up selling it on Craigslist.

So imagine our surprise to now be declaring that we actually LOVE having a robot vacuum and the technology has come SO FAR. It feels lightyears ahead of the one we owned before – and it was much less expensive! In fact, we’ve owned our new robot vacuum for 8 glorious months, and it’s probably our favorite purchase of the year.

NOTE: We’re saying this as two people who bought it with our own money and love it. This isn’t a sponsored post & Eufy doesn’t know us from Adam.


Eufy RoboVac 11S Robotic Vacuum On Traditional Runner





So today we’re breaking down a ton of information for you, like:

  • What exact robot vacuum do we own?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How it works & what features we love most
  • Helpful tips for getting the most out of it
  • What other people love about it

What Is Our Favorite Robot Vacuum?

Earlier this year we purchased a Eufy RoboVac 11S after Sherry’s best friend waxed poetic about hers. We said “no we hate robot vacuums.” But she was unrelenting in how much better her experience with her newer robot vacuum has been, and, well, she wore us down. So we decided to click “order” because it was on sale

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Get a Sparkling Stove with the Best Stovetop Cleaners of 2022

This article was updated in November 2022 to ensure all top-rated and previously vetted picks from the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab were in stock. We also added a new best wipes for stovetops from Weiman.


You don’t have to do much cooking to know how quickly a stovetop goes from clean to caked-on. Fry a little bacon or simmer a pot of tomato sauce, and you’ll be scrubbing greasy splatters and burned-on bits shortly thereafter. And the longer these messes sit, the more they bake on and the harder they are to remove. What’s more, any buildup or residue can impact the performance of your appliance — particularly if you have a flat electric or induction stovetop. It may seem like a daunting task (especially if it’s been a while), but with the right stovetop cleaner, it can be done in no time. From our years of extensive testing, we’ve found that using a moist towel or pad to gently work the product into the stovetop messes is the most effective method, plus doing daily cleanups after cooking dinner.

We test hundreds of products in the Cleaning Lab every year, including kitchen cleaners, the best oven cleaners, stainless steel cleaners for all your kitchen appliances and so much more. When we test stovetop cleaners in the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, we dirty our gas, electric and induction cooktops just the way you would at home. We fry bacon and hamburgers to make grease splatters, spill and bake on pasta sauce, and let pots bubble over. We also have the benefit of testing cleaning products in the GH Institute Test Kitchen and Labs where recipes are developed and appliances are evaluated daily. We assess how well the products clean, how neat or messy they are to

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These 6 Countertops Are the Best Ones for Your Kitchen, According to Renovation Experts

Countertops might be the most important element of kitchen design. Hear us out: Not only do you interact with them every day, but they’re one of the first things a person notices when they walk into the space, making them a key focal point. “The countertop is also one of the few continuous materials in the kitchen, so it goes a long way toward tying the room together,” says Carrie Schulz, head of design at Block Renovation, a service that streamlines the planning, designing and building process for homeowners.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we’ve been testing countertops for a long, long time. In fact, way back in 1908, based on experiences in the Experiment Station (a precursor to the Good Housekeeping Institute), our early experts persuaded a builder to install its kitchen counters at a comfortable height of 36 inches, establishing a standard still used today.

For this report, our experts pulled together a list of the six best countertops available now, based on our latest tests, as well as insights from designers, installers and other pros in the field. There are many other options to choose from — glass, concrete and stainless steel, to name a few — but the process is daunting enough without these niche materials causing more second guessing.

Besides being integral to kitchen design, countertops aren’t the kinds of things you swap out frequently. Choose wisely, and they’ll serve you well for as long as you live in in your home.


Quartz

a general interior view of a modern metallic green fitted kitchen with white quartz worktop with undermount sink within a home

Light, bright quartz countertops can make a kitchen feel more expansive.

John Keeble

A favorite of our experts, this engineered stone is named after its principal ingredient, quartz, which is held together by polymer resins. The result is an exceptionally durable, low-maintenance material that’s available in a

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