Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deep Cleaning 101

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its off to work I go!!

Work? Really?  Well, how about cleaning the house kinda of work :-)

Lately, there have been more and more posts on how to clean your house in a week, or how to clean it once a month.  All great ideas, right?  Only if you do them!!! 

Well, sometimes, I feel more like this lovely lady:
Yep, Cinderella . .. but without the mice (thank goodness!!!) 

I thought maybe I could share a little of what I'm doing and jump into the mix!  I still fully believe that the Flylady system is truly a great system.  It helps you stay on top of the little things and helps you declutter so you can clean (no one likes to clean clutter) but, I still struggle with deep cleaning.  I tend to get bored with it if I spread it out over several days.  Sure, cleaning for 15 minutes 3-4 days a week is great but not if you don't do it ha!!

After realizing this about myself plus realizing that the reality of trying to deep clean with three boys 2 and under in the house all day really doesn't equal much cleaning, I had to come up with a different plan.  The whole point of my deep cleaning is so that the rest of the time, I can just "vacuum the middles" and "Dust the fronts" and be done with it.  Isn't that the best part of keeping up with cleaning? Not really having to clean? :-)

This is what is working for me!
I still follow the basic zone idea that Flylady taught me years ago so over the next few weeks I'll share my deep cleaning plan for each of those basic zones.  Pictures (hopefully), ideas (what few I have), my cleaning lists, and what things I only do certain times of the year! 

I bet you cannot WAIT for these posts to begin, can you?  Go ahead, admit it, you really want to clean!!  Well, I plan on posting these on Mondays beginning June 6th and will be starting with Zone 5 and Zone 1 (there is a reason why there are two!!) - the Living Room (#5) and the Dining Room/Front Entrance (#1). 

The good thing for me?  By the end of June, my house will be deep cleaned and, hopefully, I will have this system down and be using it much better than I am right now!

Too Cute Not Too Toot!!

Lets start out with another great idea for kicking the summer "I'm bored" words right out the window.  Create a Emergency Summer Fun Basket as shown by the Happy Home Fairy.

When I saw this recipe I HAD to put it here because they are so original - Chocolate Dipped Potato Chip Cookies.  Seriously???  I WILL be trying these!  Get the full recipe over at Shugary Sweets.

Keeping with the food theme, these Roasted Marshmallow Milkshakes from Val So Cal look so yummy.  I used my blender a lot in the summer and I think I'll be trying these soon.  I think I will substitute frozen yogurt though, my latest favorite treat!

The summer brings up lots of Patriotic events - here is a really easy and adorable project from CraftoManiac that would make a great addition to any entrance!

MooMoo's and Tutos shares many links for some great recipes - she posted them for Memorial Day but they would also be great for any family picnic or 4th of July.  Here's a picture of just one of the many delicious ideas she gives.

The school year is coming to an end - here is a really adorable end of the year gift idea for your child's teacher.  This one comes form Build It, Sew It, Love It. 

I really love this idea from Eighteen 25 for another Teacher gift.  As a former teacher, I can tell you I would have loved this!!  Especially the fun stuff on the inside.  Yes, teachers do love fun paperclips, binder clips, push pins, and more.  Plus, the chocolate stash is a great idea!  Teachers enjoy mints too - all that talking makes a mouth very tired and minds perk it right up :-) 
This teacher idea from Clumsy Crafter is really wonderful because it is something useful, not something that takes up space.  What is it?  The gift of "Thyme" .. or and "Mint" :-)
I really love "I Spy" things and still have an "I spy" quilt to put together from a quilt swap I did a few months back.  When I saw this idea for an "I spy" rainbow book over at Delia creates, I had to share it with all of you!  The pictures are amazing for one, but the whole idea is just so amazing and something that could be changed based on the child.  My mind is already putting together ideas on what toys I could put together to take pictures of sometime soon. 
Next up is another example for doing a wall ruler for measuring your child's growth.  This is on my to do list this summer, sooner rather than later, and I love this easy tutorial from Six Sisters Stuff.  I love that she gives an "easy" solution for making the lines - I had wondered how I was going to do that and get it all straight.  Well, besides having my husband do it because I am no good at math HA! (I think I just heard my dad say "Amen!")

Too end this week, I'm going to include links to both Oopsey Daisy and Sassy Sites.  They both give tons of ideas related to food that is red, white and blue. Even though these were also posted for Memorial Day - they are just plain festive and could be used anytime during the summer!  Here are just two pictures (one from each site) to get your mouth watering :-)

 Have a wonderful Tuesday !

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Long Holiday Weekend

I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a very wonderfully fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend! 

In light of this being a holiday weekend - I'm taking a few days off from the cyber world (ok just from being committed to anything cyber world related - I'm sure I'll check Facebook ha!) so, enjoy your family this weekend and I'll my normal "Too Cute Not Too Toot" post ready to go on Tuesday Morning.  I know, you can't wait, can you? :-)

We have several things planned this weekend - visiting family for an open house, visiting family at a local campground, maybe taking the kids to the splash pad if it really hits 90 this weekend plus our goal is to get our kitchen cabinets completely painted (there are only a few left!) so that we can get that room painted in the next few weeks.  So, with all of those things plus LOTS of family time right here in our own back yard - it should be a fabulous time!

So, with that said - Have a great weekend!!! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Baby Mama" Breakfast Casserole

Well, one thing you may or may not know about me is that I really, really really, like breakfast casseroles.  Thankfully, so does my family!!!  Quite awhile ago, I came across this particular recipe through a few blogs I follow - it was served at a baby shower and received HUGE reviews.  It was completely different than the other 4 or 5 that I we already have (and love dearly!). 

As is usual, we tasted it before I got the perfect after picture!
"Baby Mama" Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Lilly & Reid's Life
Printable Version

 Stretch out crescent dough and place in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, pushing it up the sides slightly.

 Lay down a good layer of cheese (doubling up as needed)

 Add bacon (or meat of your choice)

Dump the egg mixture on top of everything and cook!!

  • 1 tube crescent rolls
  • 6-8 slices of thickly sliced or grated pepper jack cheese or cheese of your choice
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion or minced green onion
  • 6 slices bacon (fried and crumbled)
  • salt and pepper
Separate and press dough in sprayed 9X13 pan. Press into bottom and 1 inch up the side of pan, sealing seams. Place cheese slices over the dough, sprinkle with bacon. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, pour over cheese slices. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

**Pillsbury has sheet crescent dough which is perfect for this recipe. 
**Cheese - I used pepper jack sliced cheese on 3/4 of the dish; doing a double layer since it was thin sliced.  I used sliced American cheese on 1/4 of it for the kids because I did not want it to be too spicy for them.  You could experiment with any cheese. (The Pepper Jack cheese was really not spicy at all)
**Meat - I ended up using quite a bit more bacon than the recipe called for because we like our breakfast casserole's meaty.  You could use sausage or a combination; or you could experiment with veggies but I think you would want to pre-cook them some to take away the "rawness" since the recipe doesn't cook a long time. 

As a side note - I made the name of this recipe up - it had no name and, the original post said something about the "Baby Mama requesting the recipe" LOL

Enjoy :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mommy Time (AKA Tot School)

Tot School

As I've slowly morphed our Learning Time into Mommy Time into Tot School, there has been one site that I keep going back to over and over again for ideas and that is 1+1+1=1.  I love the simplicity of her ideas as well as the fact that she gives the full package - book ideas, play ideas, plus worksheets and more.  I've also learned so much from her organizational ideas too.  

This is what we are working on and using this week:

We are going to finish with the letter "A" this week.  I've dragged this on long enough ha!  One thing that we work on every day is our Memory Verse for the week.
I've found the best time for us to do this is at lunch.  I make up hand symbols for some of the words and our goal is to get the boys to say key words.  If they say "me" "apple" and "eye" with me - that is great :-)  Nate is a little confused - when we say "eye" - he puts his finger up his nose hahaha

Nate is beginning to learn how to color right now (17 months).  He has colored before but, due to eating all crayons, I've held off for awhile.  He still tasted the crayon but did not eat it ;-)

Along with using worksheets from 1+1+1=1, we are also using the following activities during our Focused Playtime:
 I picked up this Alphabet Photo Puzzle at Barnes and Noble several months ago.  My kids both enjoy puzzles and this goes right along with learning our letters.
 I'm started really looking at our toys as possible learning tools and am trying to pick out at least one each week that we can play with together and use to learn something new.  The boys like this little Cookie Jar Shape counter so, I've pulled it aside and we are going to use it to work on shapes (which also coincides with one of our matching games this week), colors and numbers.
 The boys got this set of Doug and Melissa stacking blocks for Easter and they both love them.  For the most part we are just using them to stack with but, eventually we will also be able to build the alphabet with them as well.  I use these a lot with Nate to teach him "in" and "out".

Above are more books that we are using this week.  The book How Do Apples Grow is a little over my 2 1/2 year olds head but he really enjoys the pictures so we talk about what we see on the page instead of reading the book.  My 17 month old loves the little books like Itsy Bitsy Spider shown above.  We have a set of 4 and he will dig through the book basket until he finds them all, bring them to me and say "boo" "boo" and than he wiggles his fingers above his head LOL 

So, that is what we've worked on.  I had hoped to get more pictures but since I am an active participate in all learning times, the camera doesn't always get used.  Next week we hope to focus on getting some things planted (if the rain stops!) before moving on to the letter "B" - plus none of my "B" books are in as of yet either!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm Loving . . .  that we have a nice, long, three day weekend to look forward too!  We'll be spending on day in Indianapolis with my brother Jeff and his family for my nephew, Brandon's, open house! 

I'm loving . . ..  that today is my Mom's birthday :-)  Happy Birthday Mom!!!!  My mom is wonderful - she bends over backwards for her kids (I would be one of them hahaha) and she adores her grand children!! 

I'm loving . . . Frozen Yogurt.  We have always been Ice Cream eaters so, a few weeks ago, I picked up a container of Frozen Yogurt.  We were both a little skeptical but, now, we love it plus it is about half of the fat/calories of Ice Cream.  We don't feel nearly as bad for eating our treat!

I'm loving . . . . that I'm getting more and more caught up on scrapbooking.  I'm to the point that I'm proof reading digital pages I had done through 2010.  I plan on having that  done by this weekend so I can start doing the rest of 2010. The hardest part is that I can't print all of the pages from 2009-2010 I have  done all at once!  I'll print little by little until I get them all done :-)

I'm loving . .. the treadm . .i . . l . . l  ok, that's a lie LOLOLOL

I'm loving . . . that 5 friends had their babies in the last week equally 1 boy and 5 girls.  (Yes, one set of twin girls is included!!)

I'm loving . . . . that we have been able to enjoy the outside a little (but I am not enjoying getting eaten alive by mosquito's!!)

What are you loving this week?

What I'm Reading

 The three books above, The Power of a Positive Mom, Reshaping it All, and  Ministry of Motherhood are all books I'm using along with my daily Bible Reading.  I read the assigned chapter from Ministry of Motherhood on Monday's and Tuesday.  You can print the reading schedule from the Good Morning Girls website.  It includes daily Bible reading using the S.O.A.P method as well as reading from this Ministry of Motherhood.  Than, on Wednesday and Thursday, I read from The Power of a Positive Mom.  This allows me the time to actually look up all of the scripture mentioned at the end of each chapter and focus for a whole week on the "challenge" that is given as well.  Finally, on Friday and Saturday I read from Reshaping it All which for me, helps me focus on some areas of discipline.  I'm enjoying all three of these books very much.
 I just started reading this book on Sunday.  So far I like how she includes a "rest stop" at the end of each chapter with lots and lots of practical ideas, suggestions, and recommendations.  She encourages you to pray for specific things to pop out to you as you read so that you find the nuggets that really fit your own life - you don't have to do it all, just find the ideas that really fit your life.  I'm looking forward to reading further in this book.
I finished this book this week and am 100% impressed with it.  When I picked it up, I thought the focus would be on figuring out what my husband is really thinking but, the author pulls a fast one - she really taught me how to understand how I react, interact, and impact the men in my life.  This book is not totally focused  on marriage but talks about any relationships you may have with men - your father, brothers, friends, or even your boss - because if you can understand just a little how they are different than women, you will have much more success in your everyday dealings with them.  The author gave a two week challenge to try and tell your husband (or other important male in your life) daily the things you see as strengths; don't point out the nit-picky things that bother you but really focus on those things that made you love him in the first place.  This is not an easy challenge - one, I've found it hard to not sound totally cheesy (i.e. I think your arms are really muscley. hahaha) and two, to actually dot his on a daily basis.  Try it - it will not only make your man feel loved and respected, it will change your view of him when you are always trying to think of good, positive things to say!   The book does include a little study guide at the back - I did not use that at this time but it would be something good to do if you don't currently have a study going on.  This is a book I will be keeping on my shelf to re-read some time down the road! 

So, what are you reading right now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Too Cute Not Too Toot

I've been digging for some more Father's Day Ideas and found this one that is up first from Nothing But Country that is just fantastic. It is an adorable frame that would look great in an office or in a special place on any wall.  Plus they have given the printable to make this even an easier gift!

This is a very cute wreath idea from Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line for a Father's Day Wreath.  She used a golf theme for her example but you could chose any hobby to make the wreath much more personable.

This would make a great gift for dad and would also be a fun game for the family from over at Sweet Bee Buzzings - it is a marble solitaire game and really is so creative.  I want to make one for my boys to learn how to play.

Pressed Down, Shaken Together gives a tutorial for Fingerprint art that is really great.  This would make a great gift for dad or for the grandparents too!  I've seen fingerprint art down on some of the HGTV shows but this one is totally different and includes the whole family.

Another thing we are all thinking about (or at least in my head everyone is ha!) is summer activities.  I have penciled in all kinds of Festivals and activities on our summer just so we can see our options but, I also love this idea from Sassy Sites on creating a framed list of 60 activities to do for the summer.  I am ear marking this one to use down the road a few years when the boys are old enough to help pick out their 60 ideas!

If you need help coming up with those 60 ideas, check out this list from over at Crystal and Co.  - lots of very creative ideas to add to your list or just to go to when your kids say "I'm bored" !!  And Sassy Sites also posted her list as well and you can see that here.

Here is another great Father's Day idea from Homespun with Love  that is based on a Movie Night - what a great all around idea!
I think I might have missed a few linky parties because I didn't find as many ideas as I usually do!  I'll have to pay a little closer attention next week :-)

Crafty Crafty - Adorable Hats! (The Dainty Daisy!)

I'm sharing this over at Kelly's Korner for show us your life Friday!  This is not my own shop but belongs to a friend of mine!  She does awesome work :-)

Check out these little hats I got recently for a friend who had twins!
Are those not the two most adorable little things ever!!!!  You want some, don't you?  Well, let me tell you about the most talented person who creates these!  A friend of ours, Betsy, is also known as "The Dainty Daisy" and she really creates amazing work - I so wish that she would have been in "business" when my boys were born so that I could have picked up several of the items to have at the hospital and for those wonderful newborn photos.  She also has items for older children and will make items upon request too.

Check out some of these items that you can find in her Etsy Shop

Can you guess which one we would have used?  The guitar of course!! :-)  You can also check out The Dainty Daisy Blog as well and see other things she is working on as well. 

I truly wish that I had her talent but, since I don't, I'm going to promote her talent!!!  Do you know someone who is expecting?  This is the perfect gift!!  How creative to give one of these has a shower gift - there is nothing better than something homemade!  (Betsy is so popular - you need to get your orders in early - plus she is expecting her own little bundle this fall and will need to fill orders early!)