DIY Shoe & Purse Maintenance

I don't know about you but after a Chicago winter, we find our shoes and purses in desperate need of a little extra TLC. In need of some serious moisture - a lot like our skin! - and a bit scuffed around the edges from the daily trudge to and from work, an afternoon of some quick and easy DIY tips and tricks will have your accessories back in tip-top shape. Check out a few helpful hints below!

Image via  @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

Ditch the Clutter

Whether you have one statement bag or you swap through various purses and backpacks during the week, you are sure to have some clutter and miscellaneous junk ready for the trash. The best way to take care of a purse is to ditch the clutter as often as possible. The more stuff you cram into a tote, the more the fabric stretches, strains and stresses. And really, who needs to be carrying all that extra weight around anyway? Empty your bag and seriously consider what needs to be tossed and what stays.

For Dehydrated Leather, Try Milk

Image via  NY Daily News

Image via NY Daily News

While the jury is still out on whether milk actually does the body right, it is a secret technique used by most cobblers and leather workers to hydrate dry, damaged leather. My late grandmother left me quite the collection of vintage Coach bags and after a few failed attempts to get them restored, one cobbler suggested I rub the bags with a soft towel damp with milk, not a bath, but soft, light dabs. He said this would help soothe the cracked fabric and was better than any treatment he could do. My grandmother's bags have never looked better and all I needed was a half gallon of milk and a washcloth...psst, this works on leather shoes too!

(Always do a spot test before trying this technique. Though I was assured this was safe, I would hate to have any ruined leather on my conscience! And never use this trick for suede, just saying.)

Whiten Those Sneaks

Image via  NBL

Image via NBL

Though Chicago was spoiled this winter in terms of very light snowfall, there was still enough sludge and ice, salt and rain, to wreak havoc on your sneakers. To get shoes back to their shining glory, try this handy tip from Nicole of NBL. Just combine baking soda with laundry detergent, pre-scrub, toss in the washer in a mesh bag, rinse, repeat and let air dry. Sooner than you know it, those sneakers will be right as rain and looking brand new in no time.

Renew Suede Shoes

Image via  Apartment Therapy

Oh Suede, you fickle, fickle fabric. What is not to love about the luxurious fabric suede other than its persnickety demeanor and fragile exterior? Whether a purse or shoes - even a jacket - this material can go from slinky and chic to worn out and distressed in no time. Apartment Therapy broke down some ways to revamp your suede with just a brush, eraser and emory board. A combination of all three seems to works best and never wet this fabric unless you really want it to go to the dogs.

Blue Jean Baby

Image via  Hello Hydrangea

Image via Hello Hydrangea

For those who rock the dye-rich denim - whether black, navy or deep indigo - then this tip is most certainly for you. A simple swipe over the hearty fabric with an alcohol-free face wipe like these from Simple will take the denim hue right off.

Crumber Magic

Image via  Real Simple

Image via Real Simple

No one can deny the magic of a lint roller and if you are like me - with an oversized tote stuffed to the gills with loose change, snacks, paper scrids and pen tops - then this hack is sure to make life a touch easier. Just simply take a lint roller to your "empty" bag and see what you retrieve from the beneath the lining and at the bottom of your sack.

Stinky Feet Powder

Image via  Bren Did

Image via Bren Did

After a long winter of wool socks, tights, wet feet and puddle jumps, needless to say, your toes and footwear may be in need of a little odor prevention. This awesome at-home recipe utilizes a few of our favorite natural items i.e. essential oils - Tea Tree, Peppermint and Eucalyptus - to rid your shoes and toes of any residual funk. Any excuse to purchase a few extra oils is always good in our book...

And now a pic from Spring because, well, I just can't wait!

Image via  @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

'Til next time!


Home Decor Remedies for Winter Blues

With the glitz and charm of holiday cheer now just a distant memory from 2015, coupled by freezing temps and light snow flurries, it is only natural to have the January blues creep in. While a trip to warmer climes may be the best remedy for Chicago winter doldrums, revamping your home decor is another fun way to feel inspired and shake off any residual seasonal grumpiness. Check out a few ideas below to help reinvent your mental state with home design this season.

Get Organized

Along the same lines as last week's post on Closet Cleanup, sometimes a quick refresh of home decor can make all the difference. If you find yourself frustrated, scatterbrained, forever in search of your keys, or all three! A quick cleanse will not only get your house looking spiffy and fresh but also help declutter your headspace. Toss the unnecessary and straighten what is left.

Lemon Pop

Image via  Yellow Bliss Road

A pop of color, especially vibrant lemon, will not only brighten a dull room but is sure to lift your spirits too. While subdued and minimal hues have their place on the Pantone color wheel, yellow is sure to be the quick and snappy pick-me-up your mood is in need of! Try tulips or lemons to get your home decor ripe and ready.

Aromatize Your Life

After your sense of sight has been addressed, do not forget the all important sense of smell either. To give your nose an optimistic boost try a bit of aromatherapy. We love these tin candles from Paddywax with their duo scents and tin container, reusable long after the wick has burned down. There is no way to avoid feeling spring's excitement with these floral and herbaceous scents. Check out our online store here for more candle options too!

Get Creative

Image via  @kathrinsmirke

Image via @kathrinsmirke

Another way to get your head in the right frame of mind is - for us creative types at least - to get a little crafty. Whether it is finally putting paint to canvas or paper to pen, get working on that craft or project you set aside during the holiday crunch. There is no better feeling than accomplishment and tapping into your inspired side, especially when it comes to home decor projects. Stuck inside over the weekend with chilly temperatures and freezing rain? No problem when there is a task - albeit, a fun one we hope! - in need of completion.

Make a Plan

Image via  @marissaaross

Image via @marissaaross

Similar to step one, an organized desk and planner will get you ready for the year ahead. A desk calendar or even one mapped on your fridge will not only keep you steering towards your 2016 goals and resolutions but can also add a utilitarian feel to your household. Awe guests with your full schedule or take pride in never missing an appointment. Either way, with a glass of wine to help get your ducks in a row, all at-home offices need an organized calendar at their helm!

Embrace It

Image via  @prettylittlefawn

And if worse comes to worse, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a knee and letting your cold weather grumpiness run full force. No better a time to wrap up in a wool sweater, grab some tea or coffee and get under the covers. Seriously, no shame in sleeping in, watching a Netflix or two and being a bit grouchy. It is nature's cycle after all!

Stay warm and 'til next time!