Thursday, March 28, 2013

bunny cupcakes & homekeeping series-Thursdays

Hi there. Hope your week has been going good. I spent the last couple days doing assembly line bunny cupcake creating for the Easter party at school today. They turned out pretty cute, but something seems off to me…but I get an ‘A’ for effort. Have you ever had something be way cuter in your head than what it turned out as? Well, that was the case with these. Especially when I spent so much time on them. I made two different cookies (one allergy free, one regular sugar cookie), two different cupcakes (one allergy free, one regular vanilla cupcake), icing for cookies and icing for the cupcakes and then all the decorating and creating the grass ‘cups’ with fluffy cottontail.

edited bunny cupckes

So, needless to say it’s been that type of week where the homekeeping schedule has been brushed aside a bit to get these done.

However, I am here to share with you my homekeeping Thursdays.

homekeeping thursdays

Grocery Shop-
After I drop Reed off at school, I get all the grocery shopping done and put away with just Luc. Soooo much easier than with two kids in tow. :)
Every week I clean the counters, mirrors and the toilets and then alternate cleaning the tubs & shower with washing the floors.  I also give the towel bar & TP holders a wipe for any dust. Do you do that?  Maybe I am just weird like that???
I use Shaklee’s Basic G (germicide) concentrate on the counters and toilet and the Basic H Window & Mirror concentrate on the mirror, obviously… I like to add a few drops of essential oil to the germicide to give it a pretty scent (I have been using lavender but am really liking the rose hip lately). When I do the tubs & shower, I use Shaklee’s scour off scrub and it cleans everything beautifully! I still use my Haan floor steamer/sanitizer to wash the floors. I love knowing the floors are really clean and it dries almost instantly.
Again, all my cleaners are non-toxic & effective because I do like to make quick work of cleaning. Life is too short to spend forever cleaning your house. :)
Every other week I wash the bathroom rugs, too.
My laundry-
I get all my laundry done on Thursdays. I do one load of white/lights and one of dark. Since I do it every week, I really don’t have too much so I often grab some of Jeff’s to make a full load. Have I mentioned he normally takes care of his own laundry? He’s such a great hubby!!!
I air dry most of my clothes because I want to keep them looking good for as long as I can and because it’s an eco thing to do. :) We have two large drying racks and clothes are often hanging to dry in the hall bath, too. :) This is one of the reasons I chose Thursday and not Friday to do my laundry. It gives everything plenty of time to dry so I can put it away before Jeff does his laundry on Sundays and needs the drying racks for his clothes.

So, there you have what I do on Thursdays…next Friday is the last homekeeping day of the week!

Wishing you a Happy Easter weekend! What are your plans?

Sharing at:

Jennifer Rizzo Fabulously Creative Link Party

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

homekeeping series – Wednesdays

Wednesdays are my favorite days lately. No school or activities to have to get to so the boys and I have a little bit of a leisurely morning. The older I get, the more slower paced life I crave!
I am fortunate to have found a wonderful sitter that comes every Wednesday morning. I use this “free time” to schedule appointments, have some ‘me’ time, spend time with Reed just the two of us or work on getting an extra project done while she is here for the 4 hours. It has been working out great!
Later in the day, after the boys are down for their naps, I use the hour and a half to do an extra homekeeping task. These are tasks that aren’t needed to be done as often as regular cleaning, but do need to fit into a rotation whether it be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.  I don’t know about you, but with two small children, I just don’t have a large window of extra time to do a full-fledged spring cleaning blitz so it’s easier for me to break it up throughout the year. This week it’s vacuum the upholstery and underneath the cushions. This is a more time consuming job but when I have some quicker tasks, I schedule two or three on the same day. I created a gmail calendar strictly for ‘homekeeping’ to schedule all my regular & extra tasks and have these added in as recurring at the appropriate schedule.  It’s hard to forget about something when your calendar reminds you…and I feel like I need all the reminding I can get lately. Do you feel that way too? 
While I am doing the extras, I throw in the bath towel laundry.
I also do meal planning on Wednesday nights after the boys are in bed so I can stop at the grocery store Thursday morning after I drop Reed off at school. I used to grocery shop to stock up for the weekend after sports class on Fridays, but it was becoming too hectic…I couldn’t concentrate as much with watching Reed while he tagged along while I pushed the cart, by the time we got home, both boys were starving for lunch, I had to put at least the cold groceries away and I was exhausted and cranky by this point…there had to be a better way. :) It works sooooo much better now! I encourage you to look at what works and what doesn’t with your schedule and see if you can’t find a solution to make it better.
I have been really happy with how this schedule is working out for me so far. As times change, I am sure it will change too, but the same foundation of having certain tasks on certain days will always remain.
Have you tried making your homekeeping schedule?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

quite possibly the most important book{s} you can read…

health books 005

“what you eat the first quarter of life has a close link to adult cancers and other diseases”

when I read that quote, it really emphasized that giving our kids great nutrition is imperative…and then I realized oh boy, I might be in trouble {my diet up until 37 yrs old, was terrible…} but at least I can get the boys off to a healthy start and for myself & Jeff,  continue to eat healthier going forward.
I have spoken about how we strive to eat a healthy, unprocessed diet but I know that we can still do better…I am looking to this book for more information to safeguarding our boys’ health as much as possible

and ‘Eat to Live’' and ‘Super Immunity’ for all of our health.

health books 010 .
I will admit when I am sleep deprived and worn down, I just don’t make as good of choices as I should. I have really been craving baked goods, so these books are the pep-talk boost I need right now to get myself back on track. I know I will feel so much better.

Here’s to a weekend full of healthy food!

spring decorating

daffodils {plant daffodils in a woven basket}

Don’t you love spring? It's such an anticipated season, isn’t it? No matter where most of us live, we still crave the promise of warmer, sunnier days and all the emerging buds that spring brings.

Last week I was over the wintery weather we had been having and decided to at least make it more spring-like inside.

Here are some touches of spring I have added around the house.

spring planters 009{just planted pansies by the front door}

paper wreath{paper flower wreath in foyer}

flowering branches {flowering branches in living room}

wire cloche{wire bird cloche in dining room}

daffodils {daffodils on the kitchen table}

easter bunny

egg topiary  {Easter in the family room}

flowers in basket2{flowering branches in upper hall outside our bedroom. I love this huge wall basket-I found it at an antique shop near Reed’s preschool, way too convenient…}

dried lavender {dried lavender by the tub, so relaxing when taking a bubble bath}

So, have you started decorating for spring?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

homekeeping series - Tuesdays

homekeeping series-tuesdays

Hi, hope you had a nice weekend. Signs of spring are finally around here, I think. Thank goodness! I have added some touches of spring around the house that I will share with you later this week. But today is homekeeping Tuesday!

It was chilly this morning, but has warmed up so I can open some windows, get some fresh air with the sun shining and the birds chirping…makes it so much more enjoyable to keep house, don’t you think?

I hope last week’s Monday post gave you some inspiration. :)

Now, here’s my Tuesday homekeeping schedule:

Dust & Vacuum

I alternate between weeks for cleaning the upstairs and downstairs. In a life full of extra time, I would love to be able to dust and vacuum the whole house every week, but this seems to work fine for now. I just do the stairs every week…they seem to really need it.
dusting{Shaklee’s Basic H all-purpose & the swiffer duster make quick work of dusting and of course are non-toxic!!!}

vacuum {a really good, powerful vacuum makes all the difference in cleaning. We’ve had ours for almost 8 years and it’s still going strong. Totally worth the investment!}

Boys' laundry

I assign a type of laundry to each day and on Tuesdays I do the boy’s laundry. I am able to combine both their clothes. {Luc has more light clothes and Reed has more dark so I can do one load of each and get everything done.} Both boys have sensitive skin so I use Shaklee’s fragrance free laundry detergent on everything and they have no skin irritation from it.

folded clothes

{with both boys, I fold their undergarments, jammies, pants/shorts and hang all their tops. I have found it to be so much easier to see what they have to wear and to mix and match tops and bottoms}.

hang shirts

So, there you have what I do on Tuesdays!

Well, I hope spring is beginning in your area too or at least right around the corner. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

ironing embroidered monograms

how to iron embroidery

Do you love monograms, too?

It must be the southern girl at heart in me, but I just love embroidered monograms. I recently had some linen guest towels embroidered with our family’s initial for our powder room. Before I ironed them to display them, I wanted to make sure I was ironing them properly and not ruin the embroidery by flattening it.
I thought I would share the proper way I found to do this.

Supplies needed:
iron, sizing or starch, towel & embroidered item
{use a towel and put your embroidered item face down and iron it from the backside first using sizing for crisp, wrinkle free linens}
iron face down
{after you iron the back, you can iron the front with more sizing, just avoid the embroidery itself}
freshly ironed
{finished & hung}



Monday, March 4, 2013

homekeeping series-Mondays

Monday Homekeeping
Hope you had a great weekend!

The subject of homemaking has always been a great interest of mine. I have several books on the best ways to take care of a home that I refer to often. I take my job as a homemaker very seriously and always strive to be more efficient and create a lovelier home. Whether you work outside the home or not, you are still a homemaker and have chores to attend to to keep your home clean, running smoothly and have fresh clothes to wear. When you create a schedule, you never have to worry about something getting done or a mad dash to do the laundry because you have nothing to wear tomorrow. When you have accomplished the day’s tasks…you may can relax without guilt because you know the rest will be done another day.

So my thoughts in creating this little Homekeeping Series is to share what works for me to stay on top of the “to-do’s" and not let things pile up to where it can feel overwhelming. Maybe it will even inspire you with some ideas. I am certainly no expert on homekeeping, but I do enjoy keeping a nice home and I love learning about other’s schedules to inspire ways on how to improve mine, so I hope you do too. And if you have great tips that have been successful for you, please share, we can all learn from one another. Way back before I had kids, I was reading through Martha’s monthly calendar in one of the Living issues. Each day she had something spelled out that needed to be done to keep her home running smooth & looking great. A light-bulb went off for me and I have used that idea to inspire my own monthly calendar. These days, I don’t have much time for extras…but at least I can stay on top of the necessary things a little better. Believe me…I have not perfected this yet, some days things are just crazy, I’m exhausted or we have other pressing things come up but at least it’s a good foundation for most weeks.  If find if I start a day knowing what needs to be done, I am far more successful in getting my to-do’s done and ironically far less stressed about all that needs to be done because I know that all will be addressed during the week.

So, to start this little homekeeping series…
My Mondays are about easing back into the routine and I only have kitchen laundry & paperwork/phone calls on my calendar.

My kitchen laundry consists of cloth napkins, kitchen towels, washcloths that we use to wipe Reed’s face & hands after eating, cleaning rags and pot holders, if necessary. By using cloth napkins, it only adds one more load of laundry a week and saves on so much waste and money! One of the best green practices I have ever made. :)
laundry1sh {I keep a large basket in laundry room to toss the kitchen laundry in after use}

Laundry3sh2 {my laundry arsenal of products, very effective yet completely non-toxic}

stain rescue{I fill my little dropper bottle with straight Basic H to spot treat potentially stubborn stains}

While the laundry is going, I tackle all the paperwork that has accumulated on the desk for the week.
I’ve always wanted a desk in the kitchen. In our previous home I created a “office in a drawer” in our kitchen so I could keep everything downstairs and convenient when we turned our office into a playroom}
I am a self-confessed piler but try to at least corral all of the pile into a basket that I go through once a week.
I sort, toss and file, pay any bills not auto-deducted, and make any necessary phone calls in peace and quiet since the boys are napping.

Messy desk {sad that the pile gets this big after one week}

folders{file folders, one for monthly statements and another for other misc ppk}

Paperwork{ahhh, so much better to start the week off}

For me, the ultimate goal of this schedule is to get all the necessary to-do’s done Monday thru Friday so I can have the “weekend off” and spend more quality family time and do more enjoyable projects!

Now, today I had to add one more thing to the list…make donuts for Reed to bring to school tomorrow for ‘Donuts for Dad’.

Next week I will share homekeeping series-Tuesdays.