Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bucket of dishsoap and a sponge....?

I can be somewhat of a freak.  When I see something that bothers me I have to get to work.  For example, last week I had to go to the front porch to retrieve a package that arrived.  (textbooks).  We rarely use our front porch as we usually come through the garage.  When I looked up while getting the package I looked up to see this:

The under part of our covered porch was so dirty and there were spiderwebs in the corners.  Yuck!  So this past Tuesday, I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed a ladder, broom, hose and a bucket of warm water with dish soap and a sponge and got scrubbing.  It was a messy job and I was soaked at the end of it but it was so worth it!  Look at the end result! 

Don't mind the beads of was in the process of drip drying.
Looks brand new.

So me being me...I couldn't stop myself.  I started washing the entire front of the house with a sponge.  I know that people driving by must have thought I was crazy.  I know many people who I could've borrowed a power washer from....but I felt so good about the porch that I couldn't help myself. Then, I got the leaf blower out and blew the walkway and porch.

How wonderful!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inspiration Monday!

I found a lot of things to share this week.  I cannot believe all the great ideas (especially for Halloween) out there!  The creativity that exists in this world is incredible.  I will start this week off with this Martha Stewart inspired Mouse Motel Faux Pumpkin tutorial over at Under the Table and Dreaming.  I love the spin on the traditional carved pumpkin.  Jude would be so amused by this!  I think that I will make one with a regular pumpkin---although if I did a faux I could store it and use it again next year.

Yesterday I visited my mother in law at her greenhouse and she was displaying all her little pumpkin varieties and small gourds in the entry.  I have always wanted to display them in a way that was more unique that just setting them in a basket with indian corn or on a ledge in a grouping.  Well....over at Be Different Act Normal they shared this idea from Kendra over at My Insanity.  I think that this is what I will do.  But instead of saying "Welcome" I may go with our last name or even our address and put it on the porch.  I think that it would be too cute to do this and set them on candle holders of different heights in the window sill.  I wonder if I could cut the tops out and put tealights in them....?  We'll see. 

Here are two other ideas that Be Different Act Normal showcased.  I love these felt garlands!  They look super simple to do and you can really make it your own with any pattern.  I was thinking that this could be cute in Jude's room.  Not the hearts...but maybe do a sports theme one with footballs, baseballs and basketballs or even dinosaurs since he loves them.  I also like the idea of doing holiday themed ones.  The hearts would be great for Valentine's day, eggs for Easter, bats for get the idea. 

The other idea featured over at Be Different Act Normal is this.  How cute for so cheap?  It only cost Katydid and kid $3 to make! Here is the link to the tutorial.  I love the goth feel of it (which surprises me) but even more...I love the crow.  I actually just saw some for a buck at Dollar Tree.  Now I must get one and construct this!  It will look beautiful on our front door!

Another great dollar store fall wreath tutorial was featured at Thifty Decore Chick.  I think that if I made this one, I would actually hang it inside out home rather than outside due to the materials that are used.  Since the wreath above will be occupying the door underneath our front (covered) porch protected from inclement weather...these are better off inside.  I could just hang them on the nails that are already in the wall for pictures taht are currently up.  This way there are no additional holes.  Another idea is that these can be displayed by hanging them on the inside of the doors.  I think two would be wonderful on each of the french doors leading to the backyard.

I also found this on my reading list this week from All Things Thrifty.  I am sure that I could gather up enough fallen sticks in our backyard alone to complete this project.  This would look great on either side of the picture window on our front porch.  I think that I would add a few of the crows i mentioned above at the Dollar Tree and perch them on a few of these branches!

Last but not least, since we are a football family I must buy these!  I am so glad that Poca Cosas feautured them so I knew that they existed.  Last year I know that they had football ones...but there were just the shape of a football printed on the front rather than having an actual football shape.  Clint would love to dunk them in some milk, Jude would go to town and eat them as fast as he could after screaming "foot.....ball" (he always pauses between the two words) and pointing at them over and over again.  As for myself, I would split the two cookies and scrape out the inside and eat the cookies...without dunking.  I hate to dunk my cookies and Clint loves it.  I just hate all the floaties afterwards. 

Well there you have this weeks installment of Inspiration Monday.  I hope to blog more this week than last...but with classes that have started and trying to get things done around the house, it's been hectic.  Don't fret though, before and afters will be featured soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Inspiration Monday!

I thought that I should begin my Inspiration Monday with something I found for Jude.  It's still a bit early to implement, but cannot wait to use it when the time comes.  I found this featured over at Be Different...Act Normal.  (which is a great blog I follow).  Camille from The Mother Lode (which is saved to my favorites) was the one who masterminded this particular idea.  It is a game called The Alphabet Rocks, a game that teaches kids to match lower case and upper case letters.  How great is this?  I think that it would be great to have a magnetic version as well.  Simply glueing magnets to the backs so that they can be used on the fridge would be a fun distraction for Jude while I get dinner ready.  Camille was even kind enough to share this link to the template.  Be Different...Act Normal always links some great ideas and The Mother Lode is full of inspiration, so I suggest you add them to your reading list.

Next, I saw this over at Greenbean's Crafterole awhile back and I have been meaning to share it.  I thought that this would be an excellent idea for party favors or a shower.  It is soap in the shape of a popscicle--stick and all!  It has a great step-by-step tutorial and even tells you where to get the items used in the tutorial, go planet earth.  I love the way they used a scallopped cutter to make t look like a bite had been taken out of it!  Seriously, the next shower I help with or summer party I host....I think that I have to make these! 

I saw this over at Frugal Life Project which is another great blog that I follow.  This is an idea for Jude as well...and has to wait til later when he can understand the concept of chores and responsibilies.  I figure in about another year, this can be used.  It is a sort of job application for kids to take on additional house responsibilities for an increase in allowance for the agreed upon time.  The idea was actually on Living Locurto (which is amazing) and Amy was even kind enough to share a printable version of the application with everyone.  You can find it here.  There are really great names for the positions.  For example, there is a Zoo Keeper position for taking care of the animals, President of Environmental Protection is the person who ensures that lights are turned off that are not being used, takes care of the recycling, etc.  How neat is that?  I think kids---like adults, love titles so this is wonderful!  I highly suggest taking a look at these two blogs as well.  Although, I must warn you that they can be highly addictive.  You think you're just going over there to take a peek...and next thing you know you are hours in!  Frugal Life Project features some great promos that are going on EVERYWHERE as well as feautures great projects like the one mentioned above.  Living Locurto is wonderful with all their free printables and party ideas!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Big boy bed?

I have decided to begin the process of moving Jude to a "big boy" bed.  Today I started sanding a twin headboard and footboard that I got for free.  I plan on painted it and putting his initials on the headboard.  It may be a few more months until he moves to a twin bed because we will first convert his crib to a day bed (which may happen tomorrow) and see how that goes.  It will be interesting to see how many times he gets out of bed.  We will be putting up a gate to ensure he doesn't wander around the house in the middle of the night.  His bedroom is well baby-proofed, so no worries there.  Also, he plays in there all the time by himself and we have never had any issues.  I will post pics from the headboard/footboard makeover soon!

At what age do most parents move there child to a daybed/big boy bed?  I am apprehensive about whether I am doing it too soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Inspired by my BFF across the country.

I am constantly inspired by influential women, including my best friend Kristen who lives across the country in Washington.  She recently posted on her blog, LoveK about organization.  She is actually featuring her entire week on organizing different areas of her home and life.  (Check it out)!  Her post about her laundry area really struck a cord with me as mine was a COMPLETE disaster!  It has been too convenient to just throw things in the door and shut it really quick since we try and keep the door closed as Jude has an obsession with opening the dryer and crawling in.  In addition, it was kinda dangerous in there for a 1 year old actually.  There was loose change around collected from pockets (choking hazard), golf tees (a poking hazard), things he could trip over (brooms, mops, etc), chemicals and it was was simply just a mess.  So after seeing Kristen post, I knew I had to take action. 

Luckily, Jude takes really great naps so yesterday when he was napping, I got to work.  He napped for just over three hours, so I had plenty of time to get things done! 

Take a look at the before--

Here are the trip hazards.  There were out of season coats, large amount of plastic shopping bags, reuseable shopping bags, etc.
Cleaning supplies, old dog treats, q-tips (Jude was carrying them around and brought them to me while I was in there-random).
A crate below that was empty, a laundry basket of miscellaneous things waiting to be washed (rugs, placemats, reds, cushions).
My steam mop, a tote full of things needing to just be put in their proper place and Jude's diaper pail.  We leave it in the laundry room because we use cloth diapers and its most convenient to put them in the laundry room since they will need to be washed.
Stuff stacked on the dryer.  My bento, laundry products, trash for lint and things found in pockets, a basket full of random things collected from the washer and dryer.

Now for the after:
I removed all of the things that were hanging in there and placed them in its owners closet.  I swept and mopped it and put all of the handled cleaning irems inside neatly.
I hung the plastic bags on a hanger so that I can put them into the recycling bin the next time I go to the grocery store.
I placed all my cleaning supplies from the shelf, the top of the washer and dryer and from random places in the house into this basket. 

I placed this jar on the shelf for loose change we find in the laundry.
Here is the shelf--all organized!
I removed the basket that was just collecting random things that needed to be washed and put the diaper pail in its place.  I washed the things that were in the basket and put them away.  I repurposed the bin that was under the basket and am using it for dinosaur storage in Jude's room.
I placed a bright placemat on the dryer and set the trash on top.  I also washed the canister that held dog treats and placed my reuseable grocery bags inside so I knew exactly where they were.
Since Jude's nap was so long, I even had time to hang the brackets and paint the wood for a new shelf.  I had plans to add an additional shelf for quite some time so I had the wood cut already.  I wanted one on top to house small appliances I don't often use.  My large rice cooker, crock pots, bento and heart shaped picnic basket now have a permanant home.

I am so happy with the end result.  When my husband came home, I told him to look at the laundry room and how nice it looked.  He said...."did we get new tile?"  I didn't quite understand but then he followed it with---"it's just that I haven't seen the floor in so long"....(because it's been so messy).  He's a funny cat! 

Just wanted to send a message of thanks to Kristen for getting my butt in gear!  Love you!