Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lost time

When I first decided to give up my career and stay at home with my son I lost the ability to judge time. When I was in school and at work I knew what day of the week it was, what the date was, and how much time had passed without looking at a clock. I ate, slept and socialized on a schedule. The people I knew and hung out with kept the same schedules as me. I watched regularly scheduled TV shows and never skipped an episode. Even when we added DVR, my life left time to watch the show live. But now, my natural ability to keep up with time has completely left me.

Allow me to stray off course to get to my point (a quirk of us southerners).  My son loves to watch Disney Junior and Sprout. I'm a semi-strict momma and limit him to a couple episodes of Mickey Mouse and Super Why first thing in the morning. This fact appalls some people that I allow my toddler to watch TV but it doesn't bother me at all. I love that he will sit still through an entire episode of Mickey Mouse. This gives me time to get woken up and most importantly...down a few cups of coffee to help me function throughout the day. It also gives me a few moments to get things done that I can't while he is free to roam; like cleaning with certain chemicals, take a quick shower, or you know...go potty in peace.  This past week while he was watching his shows, a kiddy commercial came on and it asked "Do you know what day it is?" A short pause followed and then came the answer. "That’s right. It's Tuesday!"

I stood there floored. Tuesday?! I thought it was Monday. Scratch that; I was positive it was Monday. I have a calendar that is located on our fridge. It is the keeper of the days. It is the teller of time. It is my crutch that I lean on to make me do what needs to be done. The command center! All our activities and schedules are there. Nicely organized and color coordinated. (A little bit of OCD paradise if you will) All the days are crossed off up until Monday.  It can't be Tuesday because I have stuff to do. A Tuesday appointment had been moved to Thursday thankfully. But I had regular stuff that if I fall a day behind on I will never catch back up (laundry especially).  I check the TV. We have DVR and have a few of my sons shows recorded. No such luck. It's live TV.
It seems I had lost a whole day in a matter of minutes. I had that little bit of dread of knowing I was now tasked with trying to catch up with the time I "lost." My first task, of course, was crossing off Monday on the calendar. I don’t need to “lose” any more days. It really should come as no surprise that this happens quite often now that I am at home 24/7. If a task doesn't make it to the to-do list, it will most likely be forgotten. My day's routines are all dependent on my son right now. I don't sleep until he does. I rarely wake before him. My DVR is full of shows I have yet to make it to. I know the passage of time only by meal schedules and dryer buzzes. "Eat!" my son will say. Is it really lunch time already? Buzz!!! Wow those clothes dried fast. The new mother forgetfulness has yet to subside,
Don't get me wrong, I love staying at home! I never have cases of the "Mondays" and I love the added perk of taking a lazy day and just hanging out with my kiddo. But these little slips of lost time are now so important. My son is growing up so fast. And losing a day means losing precious moments I could spend with him that are instead spent in catch up mode. I am sure I will soon gain back my ability to keep better track of time. My home decor will eventually stop being littered with little post it notes scribbled with reminders. But, until then, I have mountains of laundry to catch up on and a sweet little boy making a mess of his toys.

God Bless!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Duct tape: the next generation

You will rarely hear a southerner say "duct tape can't fix that." From auto repair to plumbing, from construction work to general house hold repairs, duct tape fixes it all. Leaky hose pipe? Put some duct tape on it. Your broom handle broke? Put it back together with duct tape. I myself have used duct tape to “hem” a pair of pants when I didn’t have a sewing machine (or my mom) readily available. I’ve even used it on my luggage to help me identify it out of the hundreds of other suitcases at baggage claim (if only I had known a hundred other people on the same flight had the same idea).  And I have seriously considered reinforcing my son’s diapers with it to keep him from ripping it off to go running naked through the house! Whatever your favorite use was of the good old gray tape, just know that duct tape has gone to great new levels of uses and "fashion". Now it has done away with one color of gray and is available in every pattern imaginable! You can even show your school spirit and get a roll sporting the logo of your college of choice. And it seems this outlook on the southern way of fixing things is becoming widely popular in the crafting world. Crafting and DIY sites are full of ways to creatively use the new patterned and colored duct tape.  Being easily amused and born crafty I thought I would dedicate a blog post to duct tape and the new ways it has "fixed" things. I know duct tape crafts aren’t really new.  But the things people have done with them will never cease to amaze me.

As I previously stated in my first ever blog post, I am a big fan of Pinterest. So to cite my sources, these are mostly ideas from Pinterest. Now I am going to have to try a few of these out myself.

 When I “fixed’ the hem on that pair of pants, I tried to hide the fact that the duct tape was there. I didn’t want people to see my redneck way of fixing them. Little did I know that years later you can now do it on purpose. In fact, people make whole outfits using the duct tape. (I seriously doubt I will be doing that one though, may just stick to the hem...) If you google "duct tape outfits" you will come up with a whole mess of really neat and even extremely dumb, in my opinion, outfits that people have made. There were too many to choose, but here is one that stuck out on the screen the most. I can only imagine the work that went into making the outfits and how much money was spent on the tape....

The same goes with shoes. It used to be that if you saw someone with a pair of shoes held together by duct tape you would think “Gee they need to spring for a new pair of shoes.” Now, even before the shoe has a hole or the sole has come unglued, people put duct tape on them to make a fashion statement.

Got an old clipboard lying around? Well, a few strips of patterned duct tape and its brand new. You could even give it as a gift and no one would be the wiser. 

Use it to fancy up your party refreshments. It’s not like the tape will get water logged sitting in an ice bucket. And it gives your bottles a nice uniform look.  

Got an old, worn out dresser? If it is like mine, you probably already have a piece of duct tape holding some part of it together. Why not just cover the entire thing instead?

I remember my mom would bring new life to an old object using contact paper. She moved on to using pretty patterned paper and modge podge as the years went on. Well, the new generations say duct tape is now the way to go. The first picture shows cardboard boxes redecorated. Great idea, honestly. And since duct tape doesn't require wet glue, the box will hold up a little longer. This person even covered a tissue box with the tape. Forget buying the expensive and fancy hard shelled tissue box covers at the store. I have always wanted one, but couldn't see paying that much for something that I would probably grow tired of in a few months. Now you can change it up with each new box of tissues.

I have covered several Starbucks containers with paper. This one shows that duct tape is just as nice. 

This last one is probably my most favorite. I have gotten as gifts several of the Bath and Body works soap containers. I will use all the soap up and then refill it with my own soap of choice. It is quite obvious that I have done so because the label is still there but what’s inside sure doesn’t smell like “Kitchen Lemon” And it’s not like you can cover a soap container with paper. Even a good coat of modge podge will wear down as the soap drips and water splashes on it. Who would have thought to use patterned duct tape?? It will hold up to drippy soap and splashing water. And you can refill the container with any soap refill and no one will think twice about what scent it should be.

I think I may be making a few of these projects for Christmas gift baskets and little thinking of you gifts over the next few years. And I definatley don't feel quite so stereotyped as a southerner saying "duct tape won't fix that" or "just put a little duct tape on it." I am sure if I say it now anywhere I go, it will bring about someone saying "I saw the coolest thing on Pinterest using duct tape..."

God Bless!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

A rhythm to cleaning

I worked as a maid after graduating college for a little over a year before getting a job in my degree field. If it wasn't for my maid days I would have never learned tips and tricks when cleaning my own house.

What works for one may not work for another and everyone’s level of "clean" varies. So if you want to clean like a professional here are some tips I learned along the way.

Get a rhythm:
Johnny Cash had it right. “Get a rhythm when you get the blues” The cleaning blues that is. Having a steady rhythm to cleaning makes it easier to clean and allows you to move faster throughout the house.

Left to right, top to bottom. Dry work first, wet work last.Dust fans, blinds, lamp shades, and ceilings first. Then move on to the next room while the dust settles back down to the furniture and floor. If you can,after dusting blinds pull them up so dust doesn't settle back onto them. This also helps remind you to dust the sills and ledges of the window. Come back after a few minutes, dust the furniture and nick-knacks then move on to the next room. Keeping to the rhythm of left to right top to bottom. Then after all the dusting is done vacuum/sweep your rooms. While you are dusting your rooms don't forget your baseboards. Run the duster over them really quick. I take my broom and hit the baseboards really quick when I sweep a room that didn't require using a duster.Then when I mop, I run the mop over them to give them a quick clean. Always work from the furthest corner to your entry/exit point if you can.

The bathroom is the same way. Get all your dusting out of the way and then sweep/vacuum the floor. But wait to mop until you have scrubbed it down.

How to clean the bathroom with one scrubby sponge and one rag:
Get your dry work out of the way. Spray the sink, toilet, shower/tub with your cleaners of choice. Skip the mirrors and all glass fornow. Scrub the sink and counters first then the shower. Rinse your cleaners but don't dry anything yet.

If you don't have a squeegee I suggest investing in one. Use it to move water droplets to the drain in the shower/tub.
Now onto cleaning the toilet. If you are the squeamish type use a toilet brush (I am brave anduse the sponge to clean the inside of the bowl) although you are going to have to go hands on for the top rim, seat, and base of the bowl. Use the clean water after flushing the cleaners to rinse your sponge and excess cleaner off. Don't dry it yet. Now, take a cloth towel (I use cloth mechanics rags found in the auto dept) and get all the glass/mirrored stuff with your cleaner of choice.Then dry the sink and counters followed by the tub/shower with that same towel (I dry my tub but you don't have to) if you squeegeed it out then your rag shouldn’t get soaked. Now dry the toilet with the same towel. Every place you used it on by now is clean by now so you aren't transferring dirt.  Work from the top to the bottom when drying the toilet. While you are down there at the base of the toilet, get the dust and dirt off the floor and baseboards where the mop can’t reach. Now you can mop it out. And voila! One sponge and one rag and the bathroom is done!

Streak free bathroom mirrors:
Turn off the lights above the mirror and turn on a hairdryer with a cool button. Go across the mirror a few times then you can turn the light back on and immediately spray your cleaner and start wiping it down.Left to right, top to bottom. If you don't have a hair dryer with a cool button just leave the lights off for a little longer before tackling the mirror.

If you have glass shower doors: on one side use only vertical cleaning motions and on the other side use only horizontal motions. If you have streaks you will know which side they are on based on the direction they go! This works well for all double sided glass doors throughout the house.

I know from experience that cleaning with kids around is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing. And cleaning a whole house in one swoop can be a huge challenge. So if you have to do one room in its entirety before moving onto the next that's fine. You can still apply the rhythm technique to the one room and start fresh on the next.

There are tons more techniques that I plan on posting but for now this shall do. I think I am going to have a day where I post cleaning tips and how to’s. Today is Monday so next Monday there will be another cleaning entry.

God Bless!
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The first post

My First Blog Post

So, about me. I grew up in the south. I was raised on butter and bacon fat and home gown vegetables; here you go to church on Sundays and always use yes mam/sir and no mam/sir.  I was made to play outside and didn’t complain once about it. Our TV had three channels and never came in clear through the antenna.  I live on a “farm” and we “grow” black walnut trees.  We don’t sell them or the nuts.They are there as an investment so if we ever decide to sell our harvest, we can. I am no stranger to hard labor and got my rear popped if I acted up.  I say y’all and fixing to, and have a sweet southern drawl.  I am happily married to the sexiest man alive and have the best little boy in the whole wide world.  I was a career gal and decided to stay at home with my son and it was the BEST thing I have ever done.  I love to scrapbook, do crafts, and cook. I love a clean house but don’t mind leaving a mess to spend time with my family.I am a Girl Scout and my hubby is a Boy Scout and our children will follow suit. We love all things outdoors and our dream home would be a cabin in the woods where you would need a 4x4 and a compass to get to us. We love the house and town we live in and until we strike it rich it is where we will remain.  

Well, I guess that is enough about me so on to something else.

Today  I watched  The Santa Clause 2 on TV. It was on one of our movie channels and I couldn’t help but watch it even though it is July and 90 degrees out.  It of course got me thinking about Christmas and decorating. So where do I go for inspiration all year round..Pinterest.  I found some of the cutest Christmas crafts on there and it seems I am going to need more friends to pass out presents to if I want to make all the crafts I have pinned!  My favorite one (so far) is a hot chocolate gift made out of recycled baby food jars. Since I have a passion for crafts, I kept all of my son’s baby food jars. And now they have a purpose.
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I will most likely use crushed peppermint instead of whole ones. I also want to paint the lids to make them a bit less industrial looking.

Well, I am sure I could type a ton more, but for my first post this will do just fine.

God Bless!

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