How To

Make your own cleaners



With so much on Pinterest about homemade cleaners I had to find out for myself. Homemade cleaners are cheaper than buying name brand from the store and safe for you. The smell of lemon and lavender is much nicer than bleach.


Here is what I am using right now:


Carpet Cleaner for Tough Stains and Smells: because I was grossed out at the smell of dog and baby spit-up, well it’s true.


What you will need:
2 cups of Borax Washing Powder

3 cups of water

15 drops of essential oil- I like lavender and Tea Tree. Tea Tree has disinfecting properties.

Big bowl or bucket

Big scrub brush


1)Pour all ingredients into a big mixing bowl or bucket. Borax will settle to the bottom. Use brush to stir up and start scrubbing. 


I like to do this at night before going to bed. I let it sit on the carpet all night and vacuum in the morning. Your house will smell good and carpet will look new. 




Carpet Freshener:

What you will need:

2 cups Borax Washing Powder

20 drops of essential oil- I like lavender

Sprinkling container- mason jar with holes poked in the metal lid, recycled carpet powder container, plastic bowl with secure lid and holes poked in the top.


1) Put the powder in the container, drop oils on top, shake, then sprinkle on carpet.

2) Allow to sit for 15 minutes then vacuum for wonderful freshness.


Counter Top Disinfectant Spray


I’m glad I was using this one day when I was spraying the floor and cleaning up around the dog’s bowl. I turned my back and my baby had the nozzle in her mouth. Nothing in this will be harmful with one squirt in the mouth. 


What you will need:

  • ¾ cup filtered water 
  • ¾ cup white distilled vinegar 
  • ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil 
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • spray bottle


1) Pour all together, shake, spray, wipe.





How to: Organize Your Closet by Morgan McKnight

How To: Organize Your Closet
Morgan McKnight

“I like my money hanging right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.” –Carrie Bradshaw

On a serious note, Americans in general spend quite a bit on clothing, shoes, and jewelry. That being said, why do we allow our closets to look like a tornado-zone when that’s where a lot of our money is technically “located”? The obvious answer–because its a pain in the rear to put it back on the hanger like we found it. Duh.

No worries, I’m guilty of pitching a shirt onto the floor when it doesn’t work with my outfit, or tossing my nice shoes into the closet after a long day on my feet. It’s normal! However, if your closet is literally busting at the seams and you have mountains of clothes on your floor, it might be time to rethink your organization strategy.

I have many friends with crazy closets. Mine, on the other hand, is organized by color and type. It’s not perfect, but its always easy to find exactly what I’m looking for. In high school, I used to organize a couple of my friends’ closets for them for extra cash now and then. Here are a few of my tips for closets, and hopefully they will help your closet, too.

All it takes is a minute (or two)
I read a Life Hack on Twitter a couple of months ago that has helped me so much with any type of cleaning, but it is especially relevant for closets. The hack states that if there is something you see that can be done in 2 minutes or less, you should take care of that task right when you see it. What’s the reasoning there? Well, if you do little 2 minute tasks as you see them, the 2 minute tasks never build up to a 1 hour task. I know, it sounds ridiculous. Try it for one day and see how productive you are, I dare you.

Will I really wear this again?
Now for the age-old dilemma: I’ve had these jeans since freshman year of college, and I haven’t worn them in years, but they were super expensive and I might be able to fit back into them…eventually. The real question to look at here is how many years have you said that about those jeans? The truth of the matter is if you haven’t worn an item of clothing in a full year, you probably won’t miss it if you drop it at the consignment shop. If you’re still having difficulties cutting ties, try it on! If you like the way it looks, keep it. If you don’t feel comfortable going in public in it, ditch it!

Color Coordination
Once you’ve gotten your closet clean and gotten rid of some old pieces you no longer need, get it organized! As I mentioned earlier, I like the color-coordination approach. I have a section for shirts/dresses, tanks, pants and t-shirts. All are arranged by color as they go down the rack. Not only is it extremely easy to find exactly what you need, but it’s pretty to look at, too.
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain!
After the closet is organized, you have a lovely finished product! But the work is not done yet, as weekly maintenance is required. Remember, if you can pick up a little bit in your closet each day, it will not turn into a monstrous task. Part of maintenance is finding out what works for you. If the color-coordinating is not you’re thing, swap it around and figure out what is.

Stuff that makes my life easier (and your’s too!)
I also highly recommend a shoe organizer of some sort. It gets the shoes off the floor and keeps them in decent condition. If you are a jewelry hoarder like me, a jewelry organizer is also a life-saver. I recently put push pins in an empty wall of my closet to hang my big necklaces. They do not get knotted and I can grab them quickly to coordinate with outfits in the mornings. I am anxious to try a new tip I saw on Pinterest. You can use these new boot hangers with clips to hang boots right on the rack. It keeps them upright so they do not droop while not being worn. Nifty!



Sparkle like Lana Del Rey

Feeling a little inspired from the debut of Lana Del Rey’s new album, Ultraviolence, this week, and being an super fan of her music and style, I wanted to find ways at Branch Out for everybody to incorporate some of her fabulous-ness into their looks, and what better way to sparkle like Lana than jewelry?


Hand made by Dennis & Charles of Rush Jewelry this necklace is a focal point of attention for any outfit it is paired with {$128}
Rings on rings on rings. Trendily, Lana Del Rey has been stacking rings on several different fingers. Kitsch makes sets of rings made for stacking and they are only {$25} and vary in colors from silver, gold and rose gold. Pairing Kitsch rings with a statement ring, your hands will have the full bling effect.
Even on a casual day, Lana accessorizes. Top Shelf handmakes personalized necklaces perfect dressing up a simple outfit or stacking. {$44}
Another handmade piece by Dennis & Charles of Rush, these earrings can be worn alone and make your whole ensemble shine. {$58}
Another piece of Kitsch jewelry and one of my personal favorites, the Y shaped necklace, {$28} is a sweet and simple and perfect for pairing with a v neck top or dress.


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