cleaning vinyl siding

Last week, I was mowing the grass and got to looking at the siding on our house. On the sides and back, it was pretty clean, but for some reason, the front was filthy and had mildew on it. It's been like this for a long time, actually, I just wasn't really sure how to go about cleaning it. I tend to over-complicate things and was convinced only a pressure washer would do the trick, but I don't own one and never took the time or money to rent one. 

Gross, right?
As I get older, I have been appreciating my stuff more and taking extra care of it. Not because it's important, but I want to be a good steward of what God gives us the ability to have. I have a lot more than many people, so I need to treat it well and not be careless. This can be applied to any area of life, am I right?

Anyways, we bought a pressure washer last year so I decided to put it to good use. It only took a couple of hours to do the whole house and both porches, but the result was amazing! 

Maybe you've seen the pins on Pinterest about using Dawn dish soap (the plain blue) mixed with vinegar to clean pretty much anything? A lot of people use it for their showers. It's awesome for hard water stains. I use it all the time, so I knew I had a bottle on hand. I grabbed that and sprayed a small section down. After letting it sit for a few minutes, I set my hose sprayer on "jet" and sprayed it off. It removed a lot, but not all of it. I knew I needed a sponge or brush if I was really going to get it clean. 

I found a big sponge in the trunk of my car and went to town on the siding. It came right off without much effort! I was pumped. I kept up the soap & vinegar/rinse/wipe/rinse again routine up until I had the whole front of the house looking like new. It made such a huge difference! 

 I didn't take a picture of the porch area because it really needs some sprucing up before it makes a blog debut. So the siding isn't perfect, but it is an old house. But at least now, it's not an eyesore to look at like it was before. I'm thrilled with not only how it turned out, but also how easy it was! Definitely one of those projects that I'm kicking myself for not doing sooner.

Here's a side by side for comparison:

the evolution of our living room

We have lived in our farm house off and on for the last ten years (well, my husband for 11 years. He's fifth generation to the place). Our living room has evolved quite a bit in that time, not so much in major ways, like a renovation or paint colors, but in furniture and accessories. Here's a little picture timeline to best show what I mean...

Newly married in 2009 to around 2013. We started off with a tan leather love seat and ottoman (a set my husband got from a friend) and soon moved onto a more complete look with a simple couch and armchair from IKEA. 

2013 saw a lighter and brighter look with the ever so popular slipcover Ektorp from IKEA and a matching armchair. (are you sensing an IKEA theme? It doesn't stop here) I remember thinking our living room was SO cozy and pretty this way. And looking at this picture, there are definitely elements I still like about it. But what was going on with my mantle? That spot has always been a weak area, decor wise. 

The living room pretty much stayed like that above, give or take a few rearrangements in pictures and  accessories, until we moved away in 2016. When we moved back in 2017, we brought with us a leather sectional from, you guessed it, IKEA.

While we were living away, we found that sectional for a steal in the As-Is section. I'm talking marked down to $450 from $1400 kind of steal. We couldn't pass it up. It was up in the air if it would fit in our small living room, but we hauled it back across the country with us and breathed a huge sigh of relief when it fit... perfectly. 

Our living room is the coziest it's ever been. I got smart and moved our TV to this room, above the mantle, which makes so much more sense than having it in our bedroom. Now I don't have to worry about decorating a mantle (seriously, such a struggle, haha) and it's functional! 

Pictures don't totally capture the space. It looks smaller and more crowded than it is in real life. I'm hoping to lighten the walls in the coming months, I'm ready for a new color and something that brightens the room up a little more. But for now, I'm enjoying where it's at and how far it's come. 

an introduction

Welcome! I hope you enjoy looking around and visiting my blog. I'm more active on Instagram, but I do hope to use this space to share more in depth thoughts on all things home.

We live in a 1920's farmhouse that is old (obviously) and full of quirks. I try to be very intentional with what I bring into our home; space is limited, so what comes in must serve a purpose while also being functional. I don't have room to store decor items for a rainy day, so you will likely see my home maintain much of the same look... I have to really love something to switch it out, haha.

When I think of the word home, I think of comfort. Peace. Joy. A place to find rest and to welcome others in for the same. It is my prayer that anyone that comes through my door would feel those things and know they are somewhere safe. 

 You won't find many of the latest trends in decorating in my home, so if you're looking for someone to follow who will share all the newest stuff at popular retailers, I'm probably not your girl. ;) I just buy what I love and share that. If it happens to be "on trend", then so be it.

Find me on Instagram, @mynorthcarolinafarmhouse. I'm currently participating in the Nester's fall home challenge for the month of October. Hope to see you there!