Page Links

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cleaning a' la Pinterest

 Hey Sis! Did you miss us?! I missed blogging and after Rachelle was here a few weeks ago, I decided that it was time to get back on here... so here I am!

 Now that Christmas and New Years have passed, my house it a hot mess and needed a serious deep cleaning! All the kids (now 19,17, 14, 14, 12 and 9) have been home for a few weeks and my bathrooms especially were out of control. Like most of my friends, I am obsessed with Pinterest and I am constantly pinning new cleaning methods with less chemicals. I feel better with my 19 month old niece and my puppy running around eating off of surfaces and licking who knows what at any given moment, using less chemicals wherever possible. This past weekend, I rolled up my proverbial sleeves, pulled up a few Pins and got down and dirty with my bathrooms. Here are a few things that I tried... I LOVED most of them and can't wait to hear what you all think after you have tried them. Pretty please comment after you have tried these things and let me know what you think!

 The first pin that I tried was this pin about cleaning with used dryer sheets. Life changer kids! I will NEVER, EVER throw another dryer sheet away without using it to clean something else first. I wiped my toilet seats with one, wiped all the silver fixtures (toilet paper roll holder, hand towel holder, faucet etc) and they sparkled like they were brand new! I also ran one across my baseboards. Not only did it remove all the dust and lint, rumor has it that is should also repel dust and lint a little longer than normal dusting would. I tried it on the mirrors in my kid's bathroom and was not super impressed. I cleaned the mirrors with my favorite window cleaner and then ran a dry dryer sheet over them again and it grabbed all of the lint and cooties that the first cleaning left behind so I would for sure recommend at least wiping your mirrors when they are not crazy filthy, I was quite pleased. All this being said, my favorite way to use it BY FAR was for the sink. I got the dryer sheet damp and used it to wash out the sink. All the left over tooth paste and soap scum came right up! Yep, I'm hooked!!! I keep them in the bathroom cabinet  so they are ready to go whenever the bathroom needs a quick touch up. Extra added bonus??? The bathroom smells like clean laundry! Yes please!!!

 After I had everything sparkly clean, I tried this pin telling me to use a cup of baking soda in my toilet bow to absorb odor and clean ugly marks on the inside of my toilet. Honestly, not my most favorite. I don't know if I didn't use quite enough baking soda or if I didn't let it set long enough, but I was not impressed. I will give it another try however and follow the instructions a little better and see if that helps.

 This next pin changed this mom of four boy's life. Seriously. I am not any sort of exaggerating. I found this pin promising me that with just three ingredients I could get rid of the boy pee smell in my bathroom. Ladies (and gentlemen)... IT WORKS!!! All you need is baking soda (I used about a half of a cup) and lemon juice (enough to make the mixture the consistency of pancake batter) and vinegar in a squirt bottle. The first thing you will do is make your paste mixture. In one of my bathrooms I made it a bit thin but poured it on the areas I needed to be dealt with (the base of the toilet where it meets the floor and also where the seat connects to the actual toilet) and it worked just fine so not to worry if you get a little excited with the lemon juice. Now you will want to pour it where the stink is coming from (see my last sentence to note where I put my mixture) and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then squirt it with straight white vinegar. It fizzles and bubbles and that apparently is where the magic happens! After it is done fizzing, just wipe it up and viloa! All better!!! I was shocked at how well this worked you guys. It is amazing and so easy! The lemon juice leaves a fabulous scent behind. I can not say enough good things about this idea...

 The last pin I tried was one for cleaning the floors. I will never mop with anything else! The recipe is 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia (or lemon juice) and 1/4 cup vinegar. I happen to have a giant bottle of lemon juice in my fridge and no ammonia so I opted for lemon juice. Again, the lemon juice left a fabulous scent. I would recommend using hot water so the baking soda will dissolve fully. I used it in my bathrooms and also my kitchen/dining room and holy moly does this mixture ever cut through dirt and ick! I do want to try getting on my hands and knees and going crazy with a scrub brush because 'they' say it does amazing things for your grout.

 I do have a few more pins that I want to try for my shower area, but I decided to wait until the plumber comes to clean out my drains to do that part. I will definitely let you know how well those pins worked also. Overall I was amazed at how clean and fresh my bathrooms turned out and how little effort I had to put into getting them that way. I hope you are all as happy with these ideas as I am!

 Happy Cleaning! Alisa

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm a sucker for a ruffle!!!

And a ruffle pillow??? Count me in! GroopDeals has the sweetest pillows up today, and you can even enter to win a pair! Go check it out!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Tilly!

As Rachelle was celebrating the first birthday of the precious Sophia, our home at the opposite end of the West Coast was welcoming a new member to our family... meet Tilly!

She is 3 weeks old today and she came home with us last week. She is a mini Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig. About 2 pounds, 5"tall and 7" long and quite possibly the cutest critter on the planet! The last week have been full of bottle feeding and potty training her, so I have had no time to be on my computer. But life is settling down now and we have a rhythm  going so I'M BACK!!!!

**I think she has my eyes... what do you think?!**

Crafty Kids: Apple Edition

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the crispness in the air, crunchy leaves underfoot, hot coffee, cozy sweaters... and apples! There are so many things that you can do with apples {besides eat them of course}. I scoured the web and found some of my favorite kids crafts that are inspired by the almighty apple!

Apple365 shows off some adorable apple stamps.. such a cute idea!

Family Fun took the same apple stamp and put it onto a cute tote

Craftberry Bush used the apple stamp to make a darling wreath

Kindergarten Hoppenings has tons of apple book, poems, printables, and art ideas!

Kiboomu shows you how to make a Johnny Appleseed handprint apple tree

Totally Tot's makes a "a is for apple" 

Preschool Daze has some fun apple activities perfect for preschoolers

No Time for Flashcards made a cardboard apple with a fruit loop worm!!!!!

What are your favorite apple activities to do with your kids? I would love to hear em'!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday Party: Zebra {with a touch of poodle}

 Sophia's party was so much fun and we were so fortunate to be able to celebrate her special day with our amazing family and friends. We are so blessed to have each and everyone of them in our lives. Our daughter does not lack in the love department... she has so many people who love her so much!
Remember those coffee filter pom-poms? Well they made an appearance at her party in the form or table decorations!
 I threw around the idea of putting her canvas on the front door, but decided instead to use it to decorate the gift table. I used a easel to stand it up and tossed a few pom-pom balls around it for good measure.
 I took the wire grate off of an old gate that was on our side yard and used it above the outdoor fireplace at my parent's house to hang all of Sophia's weekly pictures (not going to lie... so glad that little project is done and over with).
 Less than a week before her party I still had no idea what I was going to do for a smash cake. I wanted something to match her party, but I was not finding anything I liked. So I enlisted the help of my mother-in-law who enjoys cake decorating and she made this for her. Isn't it so cute?!?!
I did a sweets table outside also. I hung all the ruffled streamers and put up a zebra stripped "sweets" sign. On the sweets table I put out zebra cupcake liners that had ice cream scooped inside, chocolate dipped pretzel rods, as well as some cupcakes in {baby food} jars. Next to this table I had a decorating station where people could pop the lid off of their cupcake and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles!

I created lots of printables that matched her theme. I created cards for the food tables, stickers that I used on the cupcake jars, and note cards that said remember when for our guests to write their favorite Sophia memory. Of course there was also LOTS of pictures all over the place of her first year. 

We decided to wait to let her have any cake till her party. So her little mouth had never tasted the goodness that is frosting! It was so fun to watch her reaction and to see her dig in for the first time. As you can see by the bottom picture on the left she was not too happy when cake time was over!

Lastly, her birthday outfit is the one thing that I did not create myself (well, and the smash cake). I actually got the entire outfit custom made (the tu-tu, embroidered onesie and bows) on etsy from a shop called tutu2cute. She did an amazing job, got it to me quickly and customized perfectly everything I asked for. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letting the dust settle...

This weekend was a whirlwind of birthday mayhem... and I am still recovering... let me catch my breath!

I have so many cute details that I can't wait to share with you, but I haven't even looked through the pictures of the party yet (and as those who know me personally can attest that is CRAZY because I am almost as obsessed with looking at pictures of the party as I am with throwing the party).  I will be back on Wednesday to share lots of the crafty birthday details with you all (side note: the cupcakes in a jar turned out A-MA-ZING!)

So, be sure to check back on Wednesday to see how we celebrated our little peanut's first year!

Pssstttt... check out the video the hubs put together that we showed at her party on Saturday (I totally had to avert my attention to something else when we showed this to keep myself from folding up in the fetal position and full on doing the ugly cry) 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A year ago...

A year ago today... I was scared... anxious... excited... 

Today, those emotions about wrap up what I am still feeling.
I am scared that I will let these little moments that I have with my daughter pass, because she will never be this age again. 
I am anxious that I won't do the right thing, say the right thing, raise her the right way.
I am excited to see who she grows into, what she does next. 

One year ago today, I was praying that everything would turn out alright. That she would be healthy, happy, full of life and that I would have the strength to make it through the day. And today my prayer is still the same!

Most days I fill with snuggles and love, playdates and crafting.... but today I will just focus on the snuggles and love part, because she deserves it! Today is her day! Today we celebrate her! Happy 1st Birthday Soph! I love you...