Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Cleaning!

Hey!! I can hardly believe we are in the home stretch of February!!  Each year just seems to go by even faster than the last!  Even though we haven't really had much of a "winter" here this year, I'm definitely ready for Spring!!  Every year around this time, I start getting the urge to clean my house from top to bottom.  I think I've told you before that I am a messy, but organized person by nature.  I LOVE having things clean, but I struggle to keep up with it day to day!  I actually really ENJOY cleaning, and I really love to wake up in the morning to a clean house!!  I have switched over to pretty much only SHAKLEE cleaners, and I LOVE them!!  I just got a new kit in the mail, and I've been putting it to good use!!  It is SO cheap when you break down how many bottles of cleaner you get out of each concentrated bottle!  If you aren't familiar with Shaklee, it's an all natural, non toxic company that makes all kinds of cleaners, weight loss products, nutritional supplements, skin care, etc.  You pay a little more up front, but I PROMISE it works out cheaper!!  The Basic H cleaner is what I use for just about everything.

I got the cute spray bottles that Shaklee makes, so I have an all purpose cleaner, one for windows and mirrors, and a degreaser.  Each bottle has the mixing directions on the bottle so you don't have to keep up with a piece of paper telling you how to mix.  The windows and mirrors cleaner is 16oz of water with merely 2 drops of Basic H.  Seriously.  2 drops.  It lasts forever and cleans just as well or better than any windex or glass cleaner.  Windex is a few dollars for a bottle, this works out to be pennies.  I'll take it!

I love using my microfiber cloths!! The blue one is Shaklee's super absorbent microfiber cloth for windows and mirrors, and the other ones are some cute cloths from Publix!

Here is the Scour Off paste I use to scrub all the stuff that really needs a good scrubbin!  This stuff is tough and gets the job done!! The best part is that it's safe to use with your kiddos in the room because it smells like cherries!!

Last year, I typed up a Spring Cleaning list and went room by room, listing all the things I wanted to clean.  It's a 5 page list, but I'm excited to get it done!! Today I focused just on the den, and started by dusting it from the ceiling to the floor.  I have a long duster I use to reach way up high.  I got all the light fixtures and the door and window trim too.

Start at the top and work your way down so you don't get dust on something you've already cleaned!  Have you ever used a swiffer on your walls??

 It's amazing the amount of dust just hanging out on the walls!!  My mom showed me hers and it made me HAVE to dust all my walls.  Don't try to do the whole house at once, just do a room a day.  I promise you'll be disgusted! Haha!  I just started today, so I'm getting a head start on "spring" cleaning this year.  I really want to knock it out and then be able to enjoy my summer knowing my house is clean and clutter free!  I am going to have my first yard sale this spring as well, so I'm working on purging every single room, drawer, cabinet, and closet in my house!  It's quite an undertaking!!  Who will be joining me in spring cleaning?!

For the last couple weeks, I've been telling you that BIG and exciting things may be coming!!  I am VERY excited to say that Ben and I have decided to go ahead and get a new roof!  We need one BADLY!  This wouldn't be a huge deal, except for the fact that with this house, we have learned a project will never be simple or quick.  In our case, getting a new roof also means we need to address the situation at the top of our staircase.  Right now, Ben cannot stand up straight when he gets to the top of the stairs because the ceiling is so low.  There is a large landing about 4 feet deep right now, and we need to add a dormer so we have enough room for people to stand and move around safely!  We don't want to reroof the entire house and then go back later and rip off a bunch of the new roof to put the dormer in.  It makes much more sense to do it all at once.  So, we've been in the process of getting some quotes and talking to my dad about how to go about getting these things done, without breaking the bank so that we end up living on the streets.  :)  I hope you'll stick around in the next few weeks!  It's getting ready to get fun!  By the way, Shaklee did not pay me to say I love their products!  (Although I really wish they would...)  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crafty Fun!

I've been in a crafty mood lately!  I made a couple fun little things to add to our kitchen and wanted to share them with you! I first saw these family rules canvas' over at The Pleated Poppy. I fell in love with the idea of having a set of rules or values that we can all share as a family.  Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I think rules are good things! :)  Ours are more like things we are trying to teach our children, and it's helpful for us to have them displayed so Ben and I are reminded daily to teach them by example!  Here is what I came up with!

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out!  It's not perfect, but I've yet to find a perfect family or a perfect house, so it fits in just fine around here!  I love that it brings in a few different colors!  If you want to make one of these for your family, all you need is a canvas, some scrapbook paper, and mod podge.  Be careful when choosing your papers that you don't get anything too dark.  It's hard to say no to some of those gorgeous papers out there, but keep in mind what color your words will be so they will show up.  I cut the papers into strips using my "fancy scissors." (the kind with decorative blades.) Brush some mod podge on the canvas and smooth the strip on, working out the air bubbles as you go.  Once you've covered the whole canvas, it's time to add your rules!  I googled fonts and just tried to copy them the best I could.  Once you are done, put a couple layers of mod podge on top of the paper to seal the whole thing and make it nice and shiny!  Here are our rules in case you can't read them.  I stole a few from a favorite song, took a few I liked from other canvas' I've seen, and came up with some on my own.  Whatever you feel fits your family!

*Tell the truth at all times
*Be quick to forgive and overuse "I love you"
*Never let your praying knees get lazy
*Chase your dreams
*Bless your food-thank God for this life, this family, this home
*Work hard, do your best, it's ok if you mess up
*Don't outsmart your common sense
*Husbands-hug your wife daily.  Wives-always be his biggest fan
*Support your siblings, share in their joy
*Love the Lord your God

While I had the mod podge out, I covered these letters to display in my new hutch.

We also did a fun little Valentine's Day craft yesterday!  Have you ever made salt dough ornaments?  They are really easy to make, and you will most likely have everything you need right in your pantry!  There are lots of recipes, but the one I use is 1 cup of flour, mixed well with 1/2 cup of salt.  After mixing, stir in 1/2 cup of warm water.

After mixing, play with your dough and make a mess all over the floor and barstools.  Get dough up to your elbows and dust your face with flour.  Oh wait, maybe that's just how Audrey likes to do things.

Make your shapes with cookie cutters, or just form them yourselves.  Lay them out on a cookie sheet.

I cut little pieces of picture wire to stick a little loop in the top so you can hang them.  Do this before you bake them of course!

Bake at 325 for an hour or two.  DON'T get on the treadmill while they are in there and forget about them.  They'll burn.  :)  After they cool, paint them and decorate as you please!  Then find a cute place to hang them!  We chose the light over our table so our valentine's dinner would be "fancy."  :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My baby is 3!

Just dropping in to share some pictures from the big party! We love birthday parties around here! :)  Miss Audrey loves art, so we chose to have an art party!  It was SO much fun!!! TONS of color! I had a great time planning this party!  Hope you enjoy!

Mixing the batter for her rainbow cake!

Before it was iced!

Yummy fruit kabobs!

Love these crayon candles!! They were perfect!

Each child had a little easel with their place card and a canvas to do their handprints! The "table cloth" was just a roll of colorful wrapping paper in the center, with easel paper on both sides for the little ones to doodle on.

Because I've been doing so much reminiscing this week, here is a little look back at my girl's 1st birthday!! 

My precious girl on her 2nd birthday!

Back to the present-I can't believe she's 3!!

All the kiddos with their handprint masterpieces!  I took about 25 pictures of this moment, and this was the best shot! haha!

We had a wonderful time celebrating our sweet girl!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

1 Year!

Sorry I've been MIA lately!!  We are busy with birthday preparations and clearing out our study for my new adventure that I haven't yet told you about! I will soon though!  I just wanted to drop in tonight to thank you all for following me and keeping up with us for the last year! :)  Crazy it's been a whole year!  I am looking forward to sharing many more projects with you and still have several rooms in our home to share!  Please don't think I have run out of projects or that we are "done" with our renovations.  We have openly admitted that we will probably never be "done" with this house!  One day, when funds allow, we will start back up with the big stuff!  Lately we have been talking about our need for a new big project, and there are many to choose from!  We still need new windows and doors, a new roof, 3 dormers added upstairs, the 2 upstairs bedrooms done, the upstairs bathroom done, a garage built, and much more!! We also still have trim to paint, cabinets and shelves to build, doorknobs and locks to install, and we would love to plant a vegetable garden!  Basically....it's just beginning folks!!  I sincerely hope you'll stick around! It should be fun!