Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Sorry to frighten you with that picture! But I could have put up a worse one, believe me!! Dust and dirt are very icky things. So take some time to read this and maybe it will give you the kick in the pants you need today to get up and go clean!!!

Why you need a regular cleaning schedule:

  • You will keep up your cleaning so you won’t be overwhelmed with too many tasks.
  • Your house will be a healthier environment.
  • You will have extra time available for larger jobs.
  • You will not be so worried about a specific problem – like dust on your shelves – when you know it will be taken care of at a later specific time.
  • Most cleaning is much easier when done regularly, rather than waiting for it to get really dirty.
  • Almost all items or surfaces will last longer and look better when lightly cleaned regularly rather than harshly scrubbed infrequently.
  • Regular cleaning of many items – carpets, furniture and wood - will delay or eliminate the need for expensive, professional cleaning or restoration.

Some interesting facts to keep you motivated:

Fact: The U.S. EPA ranked indoor air pollution among the top 5 environmental dangers to the public and concluded that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than the worst outside air
Fact: The average 6 room home in the U.S. collects 40 pounds of dust each year.
Fact: Homes with open windows and screen doors can contain roughly 70% as much pollen as the outdoor environment.
Fact: House dust is a mixture of materials that can include textile fibers, decomposing insect parts, pet dander, human and animal hair, food leftovers, pollen grains, skin flakes, insulation, sand and other organic materials.
Fact: A typical used mattress can have from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites and 10% of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.
Fact: An estimated 6 million Americans are allergic to cats and approximately one third of them have cats in their home.
Fact: Nearly 100,000 dust mites can live in one square yard of carpet

Did You Know?
• Many people suffer from perennial allergies, which result in symptoms throughout the year.
Perennial allergies are triggered by indoor allergens, including house dust mite waste, animal dander, cockroach waste and indoor molds.
• Dust mites are the number one cause of indoor allergies.
• The common dust mite can be carried in or on your clothing or body and can be found all throughout the home.
• The life cycle of a dust mite is 2-3 months and they are found in areas where skin is shed. One gram of dust can house up to 500 dust mites.
• Common symptoms of dust mite allergies include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and wheezing.
• If you are allergic to dust mite waste, it is important that you use a quality vacuum with a good filtration system.
• Vacuuming alone removes up to 20% of dust mites found in carpet. The higher quality vacuum the more the percentage will rise.
So who wants to go clean now?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


With the price of groceries and the price of gas all sharply increasing its time for the Housewife to step up her game. Its part of our jobs as the managers of our homes to control the spending and keep to our budgets.
This week I want us all to try menu planning.
On Sunday, look at the weekly flier from you grocery store. Check out what meats are on sale, and what meals you can make.
Be sure to write down all the ingredients you will need for each meal, and then check your pantry and cupboards to see if you have those things. This is going to save you the guessing game in the store and save you money because you will not be buying something you already have.
Write a list out and most importantly, stick to that list.

Don’t forget the coupons, but don’t use just because you have them. If there is a cheaper brand, go for it. Some of the generic brands are just as good as the pricey name brand stuff.
Try to use your imagination on what meals you can make from leftovers, to stretch that dollar ever further.
Always try and wash your produce before you even put it away. Another good time saving idea is to prep some food for the week. You can chop some onions, pre cook some of your veggies, etc. On busy days you'll be thankful you did it ahead of time!

The first thing you need to do is clean your refrigerator out!
I clean mine every Monday. This is also my shopping day.
Who wants to bring home fresh produce and put it into a icky fridge with things that you can't actually identify? Yes it may have been food once, but now its the beginnings of penicillin or the beginnings for the need of penicillin.
Get in there and clean it out before you go grocery shopping!
Take it all out, wipe down all the shelves and walls and grooves and draws..get it clean!! If its really bad you may have to remove your shelves and wash them in the sink. After you have all the sticky icky cleaned up, you can begin to put things back in. You really should have some order to how your fridge is stocked!
Try and keep like items together.
Dairy on one shelf, cheese and coldcuts in the meat drawer, etc.
One trick I do is to set paper towels inside the drawers. If anything leaks, or is wet it will soak it up. Its easier also the next time you clean the fridge. Just remove the paper toweling and most of the "ick" will be on there and not in the drawer!

Wipe down all the jars and lids before putting them back in. Be sure to also check all the expiration dates.

Your pantry also should be kept clean and organized.

An important rule of meal planning is to know what you have on hand!
Don't just wing it at the grocery store, and assume you have something, or that you don't have something.
That is where we waste our valuable money, or time.
It will set you up to fail at meal planning.
If you think your at the store and think you have everything to make stew, then find out later that week that you in fact don't have everything, chances are you'll either order pizza or just open a can of soup. All because you didn't plan!!

  • Clean Your refrigerator
  • Check to see whats on sale
  • Make a meal plan
  • Get your recipes out and check to see that you have everything on hand!!!
  • Make your grocery list
  • Bring your coupons
  • Wash your produce as soon as you get home
  • Chop up or prep anything you can ahead of time for the week.
  • Stick to your meal plan, but be flexible enough to switch days menus if needed.
  • Always have one day that is an "easy day". That day can be used in case of an emergency or an extra busy day!! It could be simply soup and sandwich night.
  • Have breakfast for dinner!! Kids love this. Especially if they only eat cereal for breakfast most of the time. Have pancakes, eggs, french toast..Personally I could eat breakfast for three meals a day!
Give it a try this week and report back how much you saved by being prepared for the grocery store!! One last tip: NEVER GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY!!!

For some great and easy meal plans check out Whats Cookin'

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Clean Your Car!

Start the spring out with a detailed car! You do not have to spend $100 to get that detailed finish interior. Here are some simple tips to get it fresh off the lot clean! Time to get the 3 month old cheerios, old coffee cups, mail, clothes, toys and whatever else you have been accumulating, out of the car! There is nothing like getting into a fresh smelling, clean car that you can actually see out of the windows!

Cleaning the Inside of the Car

Put on some good music, a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt and lets get to work!

Begin by getting the car emptied out. Get in there with two bags. One for garbage and one for stuff your keeping. That bag can be sorted through later.

Regular maintenance on car seats, the dashboard and carpet will protect the value of your car.

There are many products on the market for cleaning leather seats. A moisturizing soap will keep leather looking new. Just take a wet soft cloth, rub the bar on it, and lather it up real good on your leather. You do not need to rinse this off, just buff it up with a soft cloth. The moisturizer in the soap keeps the leather soft and supple.

If you have ink stains on the leather, you can remove it with cuticle remover — not nail polish remover! Just put some on the stain and let it set in anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight and then wipe it off.

If you have fabric upholstery, vacuum it well and then spray it with a fabric protector. This will keep spots from forming and makes cleanup easier. Febreeze fabric freshener will make it smell wonderful. Even the old stand by of baking soda will help to absorb and remove the stale and unidentifiable odors! Remove your floor mats and vacuum well and treat any stains.

For detail cleaning on the dashboard, the best thing to use is a soft paintbrush. It gets into all the grooves.

Another handy item to use in cleaning the dashboard is a damp Q-tip. You can work it into all the grooves to remove the accumulated dirt that has built up. Plain old alcohol works great. As does vinegar and water.

The best thing to use to clean the dashboard is a wet microfiber cloth. There is no need to rinse, it does a perfect job. Keep a micro-fiber cloth in the car at all times for those little accidents.

Clean the windows with white vinegar and water solution and newspaper. If you smoke or have had a smoker in the car, this may take a few tries to get the windows streak free and really clean. Be sure to do each window and also all the mirrors.

The last thing you need to remember is your carpet. You want to treat it just like the carpet in your house. Use your favorite carpet cleaner.

Salt residue is a problem for cars in colder parts of the country. Here a recipe to remove the salt.
Removing Salt Residue

Ingredients and Materials:

One part water
One part white vinegar
Spray bottle

Mix a 50/50 solution of the water and vinegar. Spray it onto the salt and really saturate it. Take your cloth and blot until all the salt is removed. You may have to do this a couple of times. You may want to take your carpet spotter and go over it one last time.

Club soda is great to use on stains. The salts in the club soda prevent a stain from setting. Do not be afraid to pour it on the carpet or the upholstery to get any kind of spot out of it.

Shaving cream is another great spot remover. Put some on the spot, massage it in real well with a soft cloth, and then blot it all up. It works well because it is nothing more than whipped soap and works great as a little spotter.

There are two items you never want to be without.. The first is a hand sanitizer — it is a wonderful cleaner because it is loaded with alcohol and alcohol is a great spot and stain remover. The second item is baby wipes — you can use them to wipe up any spot or spill. The oil in the wipe will not harm leather upholstery.

Last but not least, get the outside of the car washed and waxed. It can take a lot of work to do a good job yourself, or take it to a carwash that offers detailing on the outside of the car. If you have a build up of salt on your car, you want to get it off, it can be very damaging to the exterior of your auto. Protect your investment!

Try and follow the rule "Never Leave the Car Empty Handed"..that includes you and your kids. If everyone grabs something, you'll have less junk piling up inside the car!

Now grab the kids and go for a drive, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

conquer the morning madness

The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button three times. By the time you fly out of bed, your kids have exactly 20 minutes to get ready before the bus gets there. You throw open their doors screaming to them to hurry up or they are going to be late. As if this is their fault. You go to the kitchen and find that there’s no milk for cereal. But that’s ok, there isn’t any cereal either. Kids will have to make do with a breakfast bar.

It says it’s full of nutrition, and hey, they won’t starve, they’ll eat again at lunch, in about 5 hours. Uh oh, lunch. Well there’s no time for you to make lunch, the kids will have to buy their lunches…again. Mystery meat Mondays never killed anyone right? Your oldest is yelling because she can’t find a pair of clean matching socks, your youngest just remembered that she is supposed to bring in 50 blank index cards. Index cards? Why didn’t you know about this? She says the paper telling about it was in her folder, which you forgot to look through last night. Great. Do you think the teacher would accept blank envelopes instead?

By the time you usher them out the door and into the car, you are a jumble of nerves. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the rear view mirror and see a crazy lady with hair sticking out and raccoon eyes staring back at you. This is not the way to start your day. It is also not a good example for your children or a good way for them to start their day. Get a schedule in order. A morning routine can make all the difference in your day and your kids day. Here is an example of my morning routine during the school year.

  • 6:00-wake up, get a cup of coffee. I set the coffee pot up the night before so it is ready when I walk into the kitchen. If you need your coffee before you can uncross your eyes, get a maker with a timer on it!
  • 6:15-throw a load of laundry into the wash
  • 6:25-start breakfast for the boys. I like to send them out with a hot meal. It is a long time before they eat again and they are growing boys. So I usually make some eggs, toast, put some fruit on the table, juice, and of course their vitamins. If you are efficient, you will set the table the night before.
  • 6:30-wake the boys up. They will get dressed before coming downstairs to eat. When they were younger, clothes were picked out the night before and set out on the dresser.
  • 6:40-They come into the kitchen to eat. While they are eating, I will unload the dishwasher. When they are finished, I put their dishes into the dishwasher.
  • 7:00- Boys go upstairs to brush teeth, comb hair, wash face, and make their beds. I put clothes into dryer
  • 7:20-we leave the house for the bus stop.
  • 7:35-I get home and start breakfast for my husband.
  • 7:45-Husband comes down to eat. I sit with him and have a cup of coffee. Load up the dishwasher when he’s done, and wipe up the counters and stove, and sweep the floor quick.
  • 8:00-Hubby goes up to brush teeth, I grab clothes out of dryer and fold. (if they are done)
  • 8:15-Hubbty leaves the house. I go upstairs and make our bed, and wipe down the bathrooms.
    That is it. After that, my regular routine kicks in. However, if you look at the schedule, no one is rushed. Everyone has time to do what is needed. You have to figure out how long your children take for each task, and start your schedule there.

Some tips.

  1. Make lunches the night before. I seriously do not think the bread gets soggy. Its fine. Its not like its not sitting in a lunch box for 5 hours anyways. It will not be any soggier if you make it the night before, I promise.
  2. Set the breakfast table the night before.
  3. Get up before the kids. This will give you time to wake up, get their breakfast started and greet them with a proper good morning, not a frantic yell.
  4. Make sure all papers are signed the night before. Or designate a time of day after school that you will go through all the papers. Take care of things right away, do not put it off or you may forget about it.
  5. Make sure backpacks are packed and ready to go.
  6. Have laundry done, folded and put away each day.
  7. If your child needs something for school, and it’s not on a paper that they bring home, and they forget to tell you, don’t save them. You can give them a break maybe once, as everyone forgets sometimes. However, don’t continually try to save them. They will never learn to be responsible if you have to always run to the store at the last minute or make a special trip to school because they forgot. Let them except the consequences, and teach them a lesson. If the consequence is an F, than so be it. That is what they earned. You running to the store did not help them, it just enables them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Garage Sale Buying & Selling Guide!

Some quick tips for buying and selling:


1.Never pay full price! Be prepared to haggle the price. Experienced garage sale shoppers know that the sticker price is not the real price!

2. Break down the item! Check out the pictures for sale. While you may not like the picture, the frame could be a great find!

3.Be Prepared! Don’t go to sales with large bills. Much easier to haggle the price when you have smaller bills!

4.Think outside the box! Don’t overlook things that can be used differently than its intended purpose. That old beat-up tin bucket can make a really cute flower planter.
5.Test it out! Always ask to test anything electric or that takes batteries. If you’re selling, have batteries on hand and an outlet. If you don’t have an outlet in your garage, run an extension cord from the house.

6. If you don’t need it don’t buy it. Don’t buy something just because it’s cute and you might use it one day. Unless you have an exact plan for the item, it will end up in your garage sale next spring.
Also, with spring right around the corner, now is the time to start gathering up unwanted items and prepare for a garage sale!

Garage sales are not only a great way to make some extra cash, but to also purge our homes of unwanted and unnecessary items and get organized. Remember that your trash is someone else’s treasure!


  1. Plan ahead! Decide on the date you would like to have your sale. Be sure not to pick a holiday weekend. Setting a date now will give you the motivation you need to start purging. You’ll have something to look forward to and a deadline to meet.
  2. Go through the house with two boxes. One box to sell, one box to toss out. When the sell box is full tag it. Don’t wait till you have everything you want to sell to start pricing. This takes up more time than you would think, so its best to get it done in smaller groups.
  3. Get the kids involved. Give them boxes to put toys into that they don’t want or play with anymore. Be sure to let them know that they can keep the profits from whatever they sell.
  4. Advertise!! Your local paper, neon signs, and the internet are great ways to draw buyers to your sale.
  5. Be Prepared! On the big day be sure to have plenty of change, and bags.
  6. Atmosphere!Also set a tone to your sale. Keep things organized and displayed just like you would see in a store. Don’t just pile things on a table. Get creative. Do you have old plates to sell? Set a table with them. Candle holders? Put some candles in them. Do you have vases for sale? Fresh cut flowers from your garden will catch the eye of a buyer. Think about putting some soft background music on. People will respond to a friendly, comfortable and clean setting instead of a messy, disorganized chaotic mess!
  7. Barter!! Always be prepared to haggle in a friendly way. We want to get rid of the junk, and every penny counts!
  8. If you’re selling a lot of one kind of item like vases, offer an individual price and a group price.
  9. Involve the kids! Make the garage sale fun for the kids too. Set up a lemonade stand for them. Shopping is thirsty work and they can make some money too!
  10. Be friendly and smile. Have fun with it. If you make the experience fun, and have a good time, it will show in your profits!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pick Up After Yourself-A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place!

Picking up after ourselves!

I want all of us to do this, and to get our families on board too! It is so simple an idea, yet people tend to leave things out of their place, and next thing you know our homes are a mess! If you started your spring cleaning and have been decluttering your home, than this is the next step! You want your home to stay clean! We didn't do all that work for nothing right??

Here is the challenge:
For seven consecutive days, be vigilant with yourself and your family on putting things away when they are done using them. Here is a simple list of examples that you can go by.

  • Laundry…when it is folded, immediately put it away. Either do it yourself, or have each family member put their own away. In the drawers, hung up, not on the bed, dresser, or floor!
  • Dirty clothes…put in hamper as soon as they are taken off. Now I know that some of us with teenagers, they tend to try on six outfits for school and leave the rest on the floor. Make sure they hang them back up before they leave the room. Otherwise, they will throw clean clothes into the hamper and make more laundry for us.
  • Dishes…when the dishwasher is full, run it, when it stops unload it. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink; they go into the dishwasher immediately.
  • Mail…Do not just throw it on the counter or table when it comes into the house. Go through it. Throw out the junk and file the rest where it belongs. Use the "touch it once" rule!
  • School papers… I know I receive a ton of handouts from school. Then there are the papers the children bring home to show us, and the artwork. It never ends. Sort through it, keep what you want and toss the rest.
  • Shoes, jackets, book bags, and hats…into the closet they go! Do not let your children come home from school and just toss the stuff where they want. Designate a place for them to put it and follow through on enforcing that they put it away immediately upon arriving home.
  • Toys…keep the toys to a minimum and in one area. Be sure your child knows that whatever they take out they are going to have to pick up at the end of the day. And follow through. Children of all ages can either help to put away toys or do it themselves, there should be no reason you are picking them up alone! Teach your children young to pick up after themselves to save your sanity later on!

The most important part of this challenge is to have a place for everything. People will know where to put something if you ask them to put it away. You’ll sound like a broken record for a couple of days, saying “please put this away”, “don’t leave that there”, “pick that up”…but sooner or later they and you will just do it automatically. You will have to check up on kids with their rooms, and with their stuff. You will have to go into the rooms and check. Are there clothes on the floor? Call them in and make them put them away. Once your family knows what you expect, you will be surprised at how they will clean up after themselves.

State the rules.

  • Leave the room the way you find it.
  • When you are done using something put it away where it belongs.
  • Remember the biggest rule of all… A place for everything and everything in its place.
  • Follow that simple rule and your home will always be picked up, and will be so much easier to clean.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Clean Your Lawn and Deck Furniture

I can not wait to sit on my deck and sip a vodka and tonic and feel the sun shine on my face..if the damn snow would stay away!!!! In the meantime, I can plan my deck. I have a lot to do!! This year we have to stain the railings. Then powerwash the floor of the deck. I can start looking for some pots to plant my tomatoes and other veggies in too! This year I may get some new pretty outdoor pillows to brighten up the area as well. I just love spending time on the deck in the summer, and view as an extension of my home. And just like my home, all needs a good spring cleaning!!! So heres some tips on getting your lawn furniture in tip top shape for your next cook out!! Trust me, you don't want to invite your neighbor over, have her show up in white pants, and leave with a dirty behind!! Not very neighborly..so get those chairs cleaned!

Lawn furniture requires care while in use and before seasonal storage. It receives a lot of abuse from the elements. There are different ways to protect your furniture depending on what kind you have.

Aluminum Although it does not rust, aluminum can become dull and pitted when left outdoors. To clean, restore the shine, and smooth the surface of unpainted aluminum chairs, scrub the frames with a plastic scrubber soaked in detergent or with a soap-impregnated steel wool pad; rinse and towel dry.
Use a sponge soaked in detergent and water to wash tubular aluminum with baked-enamel finishes; rinse and dry. To maintain the luster of any aluminum surface and to make cleaning easier, wax the pieces from time to time with automobile paste wax.

Canvas Soiled canvas seats and seat backs are usually machine washable; be sure to put them back on the furniture while they are still dam so they retain their shape. You can scrub large canvas pieces like awnings and umbrellas with a firm bristled brush and a solution of water and an all-purpose cleaner. Rinse well with a hose and air dry.

Plastic Wash plastic furniture with an all-purpose cleaner and water solution and the rinse with the hose and dry.

Wood Scrub stubborn soil with a brush and a solution of water and an all purpose cleaner; rinse well and towel dry. Wood furniture may need to be stained or to have a wood preservative applied periodically for protection.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Cleaning The Bedrooms!!

This is one spring cleaning job that even I never look forward to! Its time consuming to say the least! But its also one of the spring cleaning jobs that will show the most! I promise you will sleep better when its all done! If you have older children, be sure to have them help out with their own rooms. There is plenty for them to do!!

Here is a list of tasks that should be completed for each bedroom in your home.

  • First before you even begin to clean anything. Get rid of the clutter. Go in with a garbage bag for the junk and a box for donations. You can’t properly clean a room if it’s a cluttered mess!
  • Strip the beds and vacuum the mattress. Remove the mattress and vacuum the boxspring. While the mattress is off, dust and clean the slats that the mattress rests on. Return the mattress back to the bed, only flip and turn it from its original position. Vacuum the new top. If you can get behind the bed, vacuum and dust well there. Move all the dressers away from the walls and vacuum and dust good behind them.(helps if you have teenage boys or a hubby available!)
  • Dust and clean all the baseboards in the bedroom. Don’t forget the tops of the closet doors and the tops of the door frames too. It gets pretty dusty up there if you don't do it regularly!
  • Remove the heating vents and cold air return vents in the room. Get your vacuum down as far as possible and clean them out. Wash the vents in hot soapy water and clean well. Replace them making sure that they are on tightly.
  • Wash all the walls,doors and door jams, and light switches of finger prints and smudges and marks.
  • Clean all the windows, inside and out. If you have removable storm windows, remove them , and clean and install your screens now. Clean out the tracks in the windows of all the dust and grime.
  • Now is the time to get out the spring and summer clothes if you have them stored away. Go through the winter clothes from this year. If you didn’t wear it, get rid of it. Pack up the rest for storage. Leave out a few outfits for the remaining cool weather we may sitll have. Prepare three baskets, one for dry-cleaning, one for donating, and one for mending. Get those clothes set for storage ASAP.
  • Dry clean and store your heavy winter comforter and get out a lighter spring/summer bedspread. If you didn't dry clean it before you stored it, do so now before you put it on your bed.

  • Get into the closets and empty the floors. Remove everything and dust and vacuum your closet well. Get into the corners and the shelves and wipe down all the walls. You don’t want moths, beetles or spiders invading your clothes.
  • Clean out the insides of your drawers also. Remove all the clothes, vacuum and wipe down all the drawers. Replace clothing neatly and place summer clothes in appropriate baskets or directly into storage.
  • Do all these steps in each bedroom this week. It will take a little more time than usual but you will feel fabulous when its all done.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


yes, its that time!! I know some of you may still have snow on the ground or in the forcast, but you can at least start planning your spring cleaning. This week, starting tomorrow, I will post your room by room cleaning list. Are you ready???? I am soo ready. We'll hit every room in your home, from kitchen to bedroom! So get ready to clean this week ladies, or at least print it out and get yourselves motivated to start your spring cleaning plan!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Company Clean

Company’s coming!

Are you hiding inside your house, trying to keep the kids quiet and ignore the ringing doorbell? Are you scared to answer the door, because your house is not nearly company clean?

There are ways to keep your home always ready for company. Company clean may not be spotless, and immaculate, but it’s not going to be shameful to let the neighbors in for a cup of coffee either!

Follow these tips and you’ll always be ready for that knock on the door or the surprise visit from your mother in law!!

In the kitchen:

  • Always clean up spills and drips as soon as they happen.
  • Take ten minutes after each meal to load the dishwasher and wipe the counters, stove, microwave and sink. Never leave dishes in your sink. Would you rather spend ten minutes cleaning the kitchen after a meal, or thirty minutes or more after three meals? Do a quick sweep up after each meal too.
  • Unload the dishwasher before bed or first thing in the morning. That way you won’t have to stack the breakfast dishes, or unload it before dinner.
  • If the dishwasher isn’t completely full, add the microwave tray, a centerpiece bowl, or anything that is dishwasher safe and needs cleaning. Also toss in your sponge to sanitize it.
  • Store your small appliances you don’t use everyday so they don’t get dirty, and it will be easier to clean your counters. It also looks cleaner when it’s less cluttered.
  • Purge the fridge before you shop. Wipe down shelves and bins before you fill it up again.

The Living Areas:

  • Baskets are perfect to keep things tidy and organized. Keep your mail in a basket till you sort through it.
  • Your keys, cell phone, and loose change can go on a small pretty tray or in a bowl near the door.
  • Keep a shoe rack near the door to keep from tripping over strewn shoes, and your entry way from looking like shoe city!
  • Once a week shake out the mats and entryway rugs to keep dirt from being tracked into the house. Make your house a shoe free zone!
  • Keep microfiber cloths handy and swipe away dust the second you see it. It’s easier to remove if you don’t let it build up.
  • Always do a nightly walk through of the house. Put away items that were left out, fold the throws and fluff the pillows, and straighten the magazines and books on the coffee table.
  • At the end of the day have the kids put their toys or other stuff away. Toss the dogs toys into a basket too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do You Live In A House or Home??

How do you make your house feel like a home? Heres a few ideas to get you started!
  1. Start with decluttering and cleaning - Get rid of the junk.
  2. Display your photographs - Nothing says warmth like family photographs!
  3. Use hand me down recipes - Teach your children about your roots!
  4. Hang your history - Display your grandmother’s china
  5. Use your words! Put some stencils or quotes on your walls!
  6. Love your home

  1. Get rid of the junk: One of the first steps of making a house a home is a clean space. Get rid of the junk. If you don’t LOVE it, than it’s just taking up space and collecting dust. If its chipped, broken, missing a piece, or just plain ugly throw it out! Now you have less clutter and you feel free and light and ready to put your name on it. Don't feel guilty about getting rid of the vase Aunt Sally gave you, really, just get rid of it!
  2. Display your photographs - Be creative!
    Nothing shows the love you have for your family more than displaying photographs. At kodakgallery.com you will find a wide array of creative ways to display pictures. You can even take your favorites and blow them up into poster size!! Frame it and there you have it, instant art that is personal and will last a lifetime. A great conversational piece for people when they visit. They will be amazed at your photographic skills!
  3. Use hand me down recipes - Teach your children about your roots!
    Do you have recipes that have been handed down from y our Mother or Grandmother?? These recipes, especially if they are handwritten look wonderful framed and hung in the kitchen. Don’t worry about the grease marks or smudges; this is what adds that certain charm. My whole back splash is framed recipes from my Grandmother, mother, and even some aunts. With coordinating frames, you will create something that has meaning and sentimental value to your home!

  4. Hang your history - Display your grandmother’s china
    Do you have a few pieces of Grandmas good china?? What better way to display it than to hang them on the wall in your dining room?? A little piece of family history to admire throughout the years to come. You don't need a whole set, just one or two, or even four hung in an interesting way on your wall will add so much to the room. You'll get texture, color, and interest from something that has been in your family for so long.
  5. Use your words! Put some stencils or quotes on your walls!
    One of my new favorite sites is Wall Words This site has stencils, letters, and one time use quotes, words that you put onto your wall!! I’m so in love with this site and can’t stop shopping there!! What a fabulous way to personalize the kid’s rooms, or welcome guests into your home.
  6. Love your home
    Last but not least, love your home. Bond with it. Be proud of it. Keep it clean and fresh and an oasis that your family wants to come home to. Make it comfortable and cozy. No one says that your house has to be decorated all at once and overnight. I’ve been in my home for over two years and I’m not even close to getting it to where I want it. It takes time to make it perfect! I only buy things I absolutely love! I don’t settle for second best. If it’s not the right color or I’m not in love with it, than I don’t buy it. I would rather have a bare wall than something ugly hanging up that I have to look at everyday. Keeping it bare inspires me to continue to hunt for that perfect piece!


Take a look around you.. do you achieve the life that you want for yourself and your family? Or are you always frantic, procrastinating, and have periods of useless activity, always tired, or just depressed? Well than its time to rethink your time management. Before you can organize your home you must learn how to use your time more efficiently and to the best of your advantage. Lets take some positive steps towards living the life you really want.
The first thing we need to do each and every morning is to prepare your to do list. You can also do this right before you go to sleep at night. Sometimes this helps to put our mind at ease, knowing what our day will entail. When our minds are clear, we'll fall asleep easier and have a more restful night, and wake up refreshed and ready to start the list.

Put 10 things on your list. Only 10 things!! One of the biggest mistakes we make is having a list that is impossible to finish and therefore making us feel like we failed. Or making it so long that it just looks so daunting we don’t even start it. So we will only list 10 items and no more.

Number the items by importance in completing. #1 being high priority and #10 being a bonus if you get to it, but it’s not crucial. Don’t be too general with an item. Don’t list #1 as “clean the basement”. You’ll never finish it or anything else on the list. Instead be specific. #1. Clean the holiday storage area of the basement. Cross each item off the list as you do it, and transfer the unfinished items to the next day’s list.

Another great trick for getting things done is to set aside each day one hour to play chore roulette!

Here’s what you do. Write out chores on small slips of paper that you’re constantly putting off. Like organize the desk. Now also add some fun things such as read a book for an hour. Or go surf the web for some virtual window shopping for an hour.

Put all the slips into a bowl or can. Be sure to only put ONE fun thing in for every THREE regular chores. Everyday, pull a slip. Do whatever it says. Some days will be more fun than others, but if you pull the “reorganize the linen closet” slip, remember that tomorrow is another day and next time you may pull the “go take a hot bubble bath” ticket!

One more great tip, is to double up your time! Hey were moms and housewives, we know how to multi task right?
  • Exercise while watching TV
  • Dust while talking on the phone
  • Unload the dishwasher while waiting for the water to boil
Here are a few chores that you can do that only take up 5 minutes of your time!! Sometimes we think things will take much longer than they really do! So go ahead and give it a shot...I know you have 5 minutes!!!
  • Make an appointment
  • Water the plants
  • Make the bed
  • Clean a mirror
  • Wipe out the bathroom sink
  • Throw out the trash

I can go on and on, but you get the idea. You have to start thinking smaller. Don’t think about how long it’s going to take you to clean a whole room. Think about how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes. Remember you don't eat an elephant in one bite!! Use your time wisely, and reward yourself when you finish a job. Make time for your family by saving time for them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I love doing the laundry!! Yes I really do, call me crazy. But really,the machines do all the hard work; all we have to do is throw it in! That fresh smell of clean laundry is just so addicting to me!!! I think one of the reasons a lot of people hate doing laundry is because they let it pile up till they are buried in it and are overwhelmed!! That is when it becomes a real chore.

Folding and putting away a small load of laundry is easy. But when you have load after load after load, it’s daunting, and exhausting. So this week, I want you all to follow these tips and remember that its not hard. See how much easier it is to open the closet and find your daughters dance leotard, rather than running all over the house tearing through baskets of laundry and hampers and piles of clothes, only to find that it’s been sitting in the washing machine for two days and now needs to be washed again! Let’s get washing ladies!! Follow these simple tips to making laundry an enjoyable and easy task rather than a hated and daunting chore!!!

1. Everyday do at least one load of laundry!! This is the most important tip. Do not let the laundry pile up.
2. Keep a hamper in each bedroom. Or you can keep one in each bathroom. I like to keep one in the boys’ bathroom and one in our bathroom.
3. Do not let your children, your husband or yourself, throw clothes on the floor. You will end up doing more laundry than needed because you won’t know what’s clean and what’s dirty. If you try something on and change your mind, hang it back up. Get into the habit, and enforce the rule with your children too. I know my boys have thrown clean clothes into the hamper because they were too lazy to hang it back up, or to refold it!! Nip it in the bud before it becomes a habit!!
4. Have a strategy. Find what works for you. Some people like to do all the towels on one day and all the jeans on another day. Some people like to do all of one child’s clothes one day, and husband’s clothes the next. I like to empty the hampers into the laundry basket, take it to the laundry room and sort, and then decide what I’m going to wash.
5. Don’t wait for a full load. There are dials on the machine for a reason. If you wait for a full load of jeans, you will use more water to wash them, and they will take up more time in the dryer. I like to do small loads. They are easier to fold and put away, and they don’t take as long to wash and dry. I rarely use the full button on the washing machine. I like the low and medium loads.
6. When the washer and dryer buzzes, go switch the load. Do not put it off. If you leave the clothes in the wash, they are going to smell and need rewashing. If you leave them in the dryer they are going to wrinkle and cause you to do more ironing. Or your children will just look like a sloppy mess when they go to school!
7. When you take the clothes out of the dryer, fold them immediately. And then put them away. Don’t just leave them in the basket till later, they will wrinkle. And don’t just fold them and stick the basket in the bedroom. The kids will just filter through the basket to get what they want and make a mess out of the rest of the neatly folded clothes.
8. Hang a line in your laundry room. Keep hangers on hand in there. I like to take things that need to be hung like pants, and hang them as soon as they are out of the dryer. This way you’re only touching the pants once. You’re not taking them from the dryer, into the basket, folding them, and then taking them to the room and hanging them. This will also help with items that need ironing not to get too wrinkled, such as dress shirts. It’s good to take them out and hang them while they are still slightly damp, you’ll have less wrinkles, which means easier ironing! It’s also good to have a line to hang things that can’t go into the dryer. Of course now with the warm weather here, be sure to use that great outdoor air to dry your clothes!
9. Here is something you may want to think about. I know a lot of women have no problems doing the laundry, just putting it away. Did you ever wonder why? Maybe its time for a reorganization of the drawers and closets. Its a bit of a chore to stuff the folded clothes into a messy drawer that won't even close. Or clean out the closet. Maybe there is a need for more or newer hangers. So check out the system you use and figure out where its failing and why. When you can answer those questions you will have solved your problem and your hate for doing laundry!! So lets iron out the wrinkles ladies!!
based on article written by me and published on the Happy Housewives Club

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Housewife Blues

You know what it is. You lack energy. Your tired all the time. You feel like you can sleep for a week straight. Why? Why do you feel like this. Well I've been there. And I can tell you that one of the problems is we are in the house all day long. How easy is it to just stay in our jammies all comfy and warm? Well that is your first big mistake. You have to get up and get dressed in the morning. When you stay in your jammies, your telling your brain that its down time, rest time. Of course you can't wake up.

Another big mistake is not opening your blinds up during the day. It should be the first thing you do. Get that sunlight into your house. Getting the sun into your home is a natural way of telling your body its time to wake up. If you live in an area where the sun is lacking get yourself some vitamin D!! It will make a huge difference in how you feel, believe me. I've been taking Vitamin D for years now and feel much better and more energized because of it!! You should be exposed to sunlight at least 15 minutes a day, three times a week. If I am stuck in the house I'll even sit in front of a sunny window and it really feels great, even in the middle of February!!
Vitamins. Hmmm..do you take them? Get yourself on at least a daily multi vitamin. You should also watch what your eating. Fat is going to slow you down and make you tired. As will sugar and carbs. While you might get a quick rush from them, you will ultimately just crash. So be sure to get a balanced diet.

Exercise!!! Yes, turn off that computer and if nothing else, go for a walk around the block. Get the blood moving and flowing through your veins. Energy begets energy!!!!

Music!! I have music on all day long. Turn off the talk shows and talk radio. All it does it zap your energy, make you feel depressed or call you to the couch to sit down and watch. Who needs it? Turn on some music that gets you moving. I love to clean to Louie Prima!!
Nothing gets me dancing more than Louie!! The Bee Gees are another fun one, as is any music from the 70's or 80's that gets me dancing or singing. Yes you can picture me dancing with the broom or singing into the toilet brush!! But when I'm cooking dinner its always Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin!!
So what is your secret to being energetic and getting through your day?? What gets your blood flowing and gets you off the couch?