Showing posts with label House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House. Show all posts

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Getting Junk Done

I have had a couple things change my life lately.  For real.  And by "lately" I mean within the past couple of weeks.  

So I'm going to share with you, because maybe they will change your life too.  Or not.  Whatever.  

The first is an app that my Genius-Friend-Heather told me about over iced coffees.  Good things come over iced coffees.  It's called 

Chore Monster.

So I linked to the website, but I actually got it in the app store (free) and use it from my phone.  The kids use it from their kindle/ipad/etc.  It's super easy to set up, and seriously...the 10 year old and even the 12 year old are ASKING TO DO MORE CHORES.  I'm not even kidding.  

You can set up rewards, short term and/or long term.  When they do a chore, it sends you a message and you can approve the chore if they actually did it.  The amazing thing is, it has taken out all the nagging that was previously involved in our chore life.  I don't know if it's because it's easy to use, or fun, or motivating because they can see the numbers, but dude.  It works.  Also, our house is clean.  And the van is clean.  And the yard and garage are pretty decent too because my kids are apparently highly motivated by sugary treats and REWARDS.  

Lucy is 5, and I help her navigate it on my phone.  I made one of her chores "Staying in Bed when you are tucked in so that Mommy doesn't lose her mind."  And this week:  stayed in bed.  *hallelujah*   

This little app has made us all like each other better.  And things are clean.  Happily Ever After.

The other thing that has changed my life is Clean Mama.  

I first found her on Instagram as cleanmama.  She has chores broken down into the simplest of routines.  And on Instagram she puts a cute little reminder out each day about what she's doing.  I followed her all winter and spring, without ever actually joining in on her process.  Because sometimes (mostly all the time) I like the idea of being really organized, while actually just being a procrastinator.   

But a month or so ago I printed off one of her free lists, and then after staring at it for a couple weeks, I actually started it.  

It's the best thing ever for me.  

I'm kind of a cleaner.  Junk all over makes me feel claustrophobic and so I'm constantly picking up.  But my brain is squirrel-ish and I get distracted easily, so no one task ever felt completely done, even though I was working on stuff allll the live long day.  Clean Mama's simple system and easy list keeps me on track and my squirrel-brain has decided it's totally do-able.  

Here's a simple breakdown, but check out her website because she explains it better and in more detail.  And it works, I swear.

Mondays- bathrooms (but not floors, because that's on Thursdays)
Tuesday - Dust
Wednesday - vacuum all floors, top to bottom
Thursday - Wash hard floors
Friday- Catch up on stuff
Saturday - Towels and Sheets 

It's kept me on task, and helped me do some of the stuff that I usually put off for so long that when I do have to do it, it's super disgusting and makes me want to scream.  (the boys bathroom, for instance)  This week when I did the bathroom, it wasn't so bad.  I mean still gross...but whatever.

With the kids doing chores, and Clean Mama's system, I feel like things are manageable.  Not perfect, but good enough.  And that helps. A ton.

And for the record, I don't work outside the home.  Kudos to the Mom's who do.  You're amazing.  And deserve a cleaning lady.  So my recommendation for you, is Chore Monster and a cleaning lady.  Because that's what I would do. ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

White Slip Covers

Day 25and 26 of 31 Days of Happy

White Slip Cover Happy

I like white.  It's not practical, but sometimes...practical is over-rated, or in the very least not cute.

I blame Pinterest for pushing me over the edge into white-slip-cover heaven.

We are terribly hard on furniture.  I have proof...

I came across this blog, and was elated to find out she had a messy family like myself, and STILL loved her white slip covers.  She makes her own covers.  I debated about whether or not I thought I could make my own.  I ended up  deciding that my patience and skill level was not quite adequate to tackle a sofa cover (yet), but I thought I could probably pull off a chair/ottoman one.

After some internet searching I came across the website Ugly Sofa.  They sell high-end slip covers for a deeply discounted price.  Perfect. 

And when the covers came, guess what the tags said?  Pottery Barn.  I may have skipped around my living room for several minutes just from sheer elation.  
They even sent me this little monogrammed (Pottery Barn) makeup bag thingy as a surprise free gift.  Bonus!  



This is right out of the package...I am NOT ironing a couch.  For Realz.
Loose-fit cover

I ended up making my own ottoman cover *pat on back* 

And for the wing back chair, I ordered a loose cover, and am planning on making a fitted cover out of that.  But first I'm gonna have to practice with old bedsheets or something.  

The couch cover has been on for a week.  I thought I'd give it some time before I  blogged about I could let you know how it's really going.  It  stayed cleaner than I thought it would.  I did learn that I need to put a blanket over the seat on the weekends though, because the boys go in and out of the house and then sit on it and it was looking a little grubby.

I washed it yesterday for the first time.  Easy peasy to wash, bleach, dry,  and get back on.  It makes me kind of grossed out to think of whats on my couch and never been washed off.  *shudder*  I really do love it.  It's casual, yet clean looking and it just makes me happy.  

I need to get crackin' on the chair slipcover, because the loose fitting one is driving me a little crazy.  I only paid $30 for it, and it is enough material for me to make the fitted cover.  It was far cheaper to go this route than it was to purchase the material at the fabric store.  ( all covers are 100% White Cotton Duck)

I also made some envelope pillow slip covers as well.  Because as you know...makeovers just keep spreading from one thing to the next.  Like the common cold.

I've made some other stuff too...I'm a sewing fool.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Before & After

So, after I posted that pic of Jake on the table the other day, I noticed how shabby the material on my chairs looked.  It's been three years or so since I last covered them.

They started like this (3 years ago):  Boring and stained from my kids.

And then they looked like this:  Now faded, but great pattern and colors for hiding stains.

Yesterday I decided to hit the fabric store, and found some cute new stuff to fit better with my latest color scheme (while still hiding stains.)  Meet the new stuff:

Jake informed me he hates the new ones.  This, from the kid who made a hat this morning and then hung out outside while I staple-gunned my heart out inside.

I think Lucy loves the new look, no?

Happy Friday Friends!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sneak Peek

I have three days left until our family goes from 5 to 6. I'm busy doing important making room in the bathroom cabinets for her stuff...told you it was important.

I don't have much time, BUT I knew you'd need a sneak peek of her room all ready for her.

So it's probably not the most comfy desk chair...but it's so shabby chic and adorable I put it there. :) (Don't worry there's a ugly more comfy one she can replace it with ;)

The hangers are ready...

And so am I :)

Now let's just hope she doesn't hate it...

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's a Love/Hate Thing...

It is finally nice outside here. Really nice. Finally! I'm actually able to remember why on earth I choose to live in this part of the country. It is days like today :)

The niceness outside has brought the sandbox back into my life. I have a love/hate relationship with the sandbox.

We have a big one out back. Ben's dad built it and each year he comes and dumps another truckload of sand in it, because *surprise* half the sand manages to disappear.

Guess where it disappears to...


I love the sandbox, I really do. It occupies the boys for hours. And what is cuter than three little brothers screaming at each other over who just wrecked whose bridge?!? The problem is, the sand is never really dry. Which is exactly the way my boys prefer it. Apparently it needs a little water to make it fun. I've lost count of the times I've gone outside to see the hose sticking out of the sandbox...water filled to the brim.

Dry sand would be easy. Brushes right off. Wet sand...not so much.

WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO?!?! TELL ME! Because my mud room looks like THIS:

Don't ya just love the bike INSIDE. Nice.

Today I bought this at our local CVS in the "As see on TV" section. It better work. It better work like a miracle.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Ones For Julie...

I'm a nester. Not kidding. With each of my boys I think I had the nursery done by the time I was 5 months pregnant. I can't help myself, something inside of me needs it to be ready.

Apparently, I do not need to actually birth a child for this to happen. Remember the post about waiting to find out if Julie would actually get to be the one? Truth be told, I'd already been dreaming of what her room would look like.

Once it was a go, I couldn't wait to ask her what colors she liked (I do, after all, need her input :) She pretty much gave me free reign...I'm sure she'll learn to reign me in once she gets here ;)

Julie's room is actually the room we kicked moved Jake out of. He's now in with his brothers. It seems to be working just fine. By August they should all be totally adjusted ;)

I have some before and after pictures for you. Because I know ya'll like to see some home improvement pics.

The pictorial tour of the new room is for Julie. Turns out, that sending numerous pics as attachments in emails to Norway is S-l-o-w from my computer. So she gets to see her room at the same time you all the commentary is for her, because I'm pretty sure ya'll aren't gonna care about the size of the closet...but a girl's got to know this sort of thing, am I right? Of course I am.

Let's begin.
Jake's room before: Please note the carpet. Yeah. And the broken blinds. And the remains of several jars of miscellaneous goo that he's smeared on the walls in the three years we've lived here. Lovely.
The Process begins...

And after: The carpet was installed THIS morning :) Ben is home with Strep throat...he still managed to assemble the bed for me. Good man.

The bed and new wood blinds. The carpet is looks like a funky color in this picture, but it is not. I promise. I ordered the pillowcases from Potter Barn Teen...I couldn't resist. They inspired the green for the bed and desk.

Julie, this is the view (from the bed) of the other half of the room. There will be a desk there that will be the same green as the bed frame. The mirror (from my mom :) will be hung up too along with a shelf thingy for you to put stuff in. The picture makes the walls look splotchy, but they're not :)

The closet is near the headboard of the bed. This is the left side view of it. There won't be little boys clothes hanging in it when you arrive ;)

Middle section of closet:

Right side view.

Alright, that's all I'm showing you...the completely finished product will have to be a surprise for when you FINALLY get here!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bring On the Comments...

It's been about a month since I began my cleaning/organizational tangent.

That little tangent began after picking up this cute little book at the local Christian bookstore.

A month later I can still say that I really love the principals this book lays out. It has motivated me and helped me to tweak areas of my home and areas of my own thinking in order to make things run more smoothly.

I'm not talking perfection, here. After all, the book is not called The House That Cleans Itself and Stays Perfect Without You Doing Anything Ever Again...although I would have totally bought it if that were indeed the title.

Organization requires maintenance. Dang it, but it's true. I have to make a point to put stuff back in it's newly labeled place. I have to remind my boys, pretty much every day, to hang up their coats. But at least we all know where the stuff now belongs, and that is huge!

Is everything perfect? No way. Perfection is not my goal. My kids would hate me if I required perfection...I would hate me too.

The key to an organized house is not that it looks super clean all the time...the key is that when you pick up, it goes QUICKLY, because

  1. There's not a ton of extra junk around that you just don't know what to do with (because you've sorted, pitched, and donated)

  2. Everything has a place...basically.

I love this book. I have picked it up dozens of times to re-read certain sections. There is still many ideas that I haven't implemented steps.

I'm telling you, no matter how neat and organized you think you already are, this book has more ideas. For real. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, this book has ideas. Really good ideas.

The author Mindy Starns Clark sent me three autographed copies...all her idea, I didn't ask her to do it, she's just generous like that :)

Leave me a comment, about anything you'd like and you'll be entered! I'll pick THREE random winners tomorrow! Leave me different comments and enter yourself as many times as you like...why not?!?

Happy Organizing and Thanks Mindy! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


A little story.

There once was a young lad in Kindergarten. And while at kindergarten, in his class of twenty some six year olds, he made a small can that held grass magic seed he'd planted and watered and watched grow.

His mom forgot to take a picture of it.

Which is sad...because the little magic seed container never stood a chance after being brought to the Kindergartner's home...where the three year old little brother resides.

The evidence of destruction:

The dumping

The feeble attempt at cleaning up the evidence

All that remains

The culprit...and the punishment


There's a given fact around our home...curiosity kills anything the three year old touches.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Love Me Some Yellow...

It's done.
And I love love love it. Makes me smile.

Kitchen before:

Kitchen After:

It didn't take long at all, which is the benefit of a small kitchen ;)

I also picked up a couple of real plants the other day...Ben couldn't believe it, he asked me twice if they were really real. He's given them a week to live before the boys destroy them or they just wither up and die from living with us. He's probably right...I won't get too attached. But they're sure cute in the mean time.

And the last of the winter home makeover is these cute green pillows that I got at WalMart for $5 a piece. (Ignore the dog, he wouldn't move)

Now, I've got some packing to do...more on that tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Progress & Giveaway

I really am on a tangent here.

It consumes my thoughts and conversations and has completely taken over my blog.

The House That Cleans Itself. Good book. Very good book. Gonna give-away a copy for anyone interested ;)

But first, I must force you to look at pictures of my progress. Because my friends...I have earned it.'s hard work. HARD.

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The big fat mess that comes when you start going through stuff has pretty much disappeared...except for the attic storage room, which I don't want to talk about now...I'm pretending it doesn't exist for at least a few weeks. A girl can only take so much, ya know?!?

Pictures. I promised them.

I'm trying to use the principals that I talked about here.

Let's start in my mud room. I LOVE my mud room. Before the book, I had thought that it was fairly organized, yet I was ALWAYS frustrated with the boys coats and shoes left all over the place. After all, there were hooks! After taking a different view of the room, I realized that the hooks were actually too high for the boys to reach, so they didn't bother. Easy fix. We moved the top hooks higher and then placed 3 hooks at little boy level. Each boy has their own hook and boots go underneath their hook.

Next was the kitchen rug. It was a cute red one that looked adorable...only RIGHT after being vacuumed, otherwise it always looked dirty. Drove me nuts. I figured that I needed a rug that cleaned itself, so to speak. So I got this little number.It's woven bamboo and it hides all the junk. Looks clean even when it's not. Perfection.

The next project is painting the kitchen. I love the current shade of green, but I think I'll love a deep bright yellow even more!

Plus, the kitchen is the easiest room in my house to paint. It wins.

On to the bedrooms. Yikes. I have currently hauled 6 garbage bags of stuff to Goodwill. After cleaning out my closet to just the stuff I actually like, I also have two containers to go to consignment (which I've never done before)

Oh yeah, I labeled them. Little trick I like to use: Clear packing tape over the label, helps it stay better. Genius, I know. *cough*

Noah and Eli share a room. It normally looks like this:

Now, it looks like this:I know...miraculous. They actually gasped and jumped up and down when they saw it...mostly because they could actually get in the room now. In the far back corner you'll see the plastic drawers (with labels) that became their entertainment/Lego center. These had been in Jake's room, but he didn't really need them. Now they actually KNOW where stuff should go. I thought they did before...but really, how could they?!? I was expecting too much.

Simplified. That's all. These hooks are behind their bedroom door. It used to be stuffed full of sweatshirts that neither one knew whose was whose (thanks to hand-me-downs) I hung up the ones they didn't like as well and then gave them each 2 hooks.

My closet. Yesterday I mentioned my excessive amount of clothes mixed with my lack of closet space. Something had to give. The clothes I don't really love had to go. And it feels GREAT! I forgot to take before pictures, but here's the after:

The best thing is...I can actually see what I've got now, and it makes it a lot easier to put outfits together.


Now, if you're like me and you want some PRACTICAL help with organizing...leave me a comment and let me know and you'll be registered in The House That Cleans Itself giveaway (and an email to reach you if you're not a blogger.)  It's only the book. I can't come help you. I've got my own mess.

Oh, and even if you don't want/need the book, you can still totally leave me a comment, just let me know :)

Happy organizing friends...A winner will be randomly generated tomorrow!

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