It has been such a busy week! I thought I would spend my spring break relaxing and getting some things done around the house but instead it was mostly spent hosting a couple dinner parties for an engagement and doing a lot of running around. Either way I enjoyed my break but now its time to get back in the swing of our regular weekly routine.
Of course after hosting 2 parties you can just imagine that my home definitely needs some TLC and some extra cleaning. To help me get in the cleaning mood I figured I’d share with all my readers one of my favorite tips to keeping my kitchen clean and sanitized by showing you how I sanitize my sponges and washcloths.
I’m sure many of you worry that your kitchen may not be as germ free as you’d like. We all try to keep our kitchen clean but lets face it, germs are way too small for us to see and its hard to clean what you cant see right?!?! One of the main culprits of germs spreading and breeding on your counters and other surfaces are your sponges and washcloths. They harbor so much bacteria sitting out on your sink and re-
using sponges spread all that bacteria that feeds off the sponge’s moist environment. Just thinking of my sponges full of bacteria that can make my family sick makes me cringe.
Luckily you don’t have to toss out those sponges like I used to all the time! The best way to sanitize your sponges and washcloths is with your microwave. Yes, you heard me right, microwave! Just stick them in the microwave WET and microwave on high for 2 min. I prefer placing them on a plate that way I don’t burn myself taking them out of the microwave, the sponges will be extremely hot!
By microwaving your sponges and washcloths you are killing 99.9% of bacteria and pathogens which makes me feel so much better knowing when I’m using my sponges.
Now that my sponges are nice and clean I’m going to move on to the rest of the kitchen happily knowing im not spreading any germs!
It’s the first week of march and Texas as usual didn’t get the memo that the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” because our rainy season has already begun, we have a week full of thunderstorms. What better way to make use of staying in than baking cookies to decorate? Ive been using this recipe for quite a few years and have tweaked it a bit to make the perfect sugar cookies. These sugar cookies are the best, they keep their shape, taste good, and are perfect for decorating. The best part? No chilling needed so you can bake them right away, I don’t know about you but waiting for cookie dough to chill so I can use it is pretty annoying to me.
This recipe yields approximately 3 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use, which is the perfect size for me but you can adjust the recipe according to how much you need. I definitely advise you to roll out your dough on parchment paper or a silicone rolling mat so that its easier to pick up the cookies and place on a baking sheet.
Id love to hear how the recipe worked for you. Happy baking!
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2-¾ cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and almond extract and continue to beat on medium until egg and extract is well incorporated into the sugar and butter mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine flour salt and baking power.
Add flour mixture to the wet batter 1 cup at a time until flour is all incorporated in the mixture.
Split dough in two separate balls
On a floured surface roll out each ball approximately 1/8 inch thick for the perfect thickness.
Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheets, I usually prefer parchment paper underneath. Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until slightly brown.
Let cook on cookie a cookie rack. When completely cool its ready to decorate!
I love to bake. I love to decorate cakes even more! It started with me wanting to make my daughters first birthday cake so I scoured the internet and you tube with how to’s on icing a cake, making fondant, decorating, etc. I was so happy with how it came out and I truly enjoyed making it. Not only did I have fun but i felt the cake had much more meaning because I made it vs. ordering a cake. From then on out I made cakes for all occasions. Friends birthdays, graduations, baby showers, even a wedding! This weekend I was honored to make a baby shower cake for someone expecting a baby boy and I was so happy with how it turned out!
It was a Sunday put to good use doing something I love doing. I used butter cream icing for the base of the cake. You can find the recipe I use here. I really feel this is the best butter cream because it tastes good and crusts well which helps it look smooth.
The fondant I made came from a recipe from eat now cry later. This has been the best fondant recipe I have ever tried and to me is so much better than marshmallow fondant which never worked for me. I was so happy with how the baby elephant turned out. I used a mix of fondant and modeling chocolate to get the smoothest look.
show me some love and leave me a comment telling me what you think!
Every so often I go through what my husband calls the “Decorating bug.” It does hit me suddenly and then all I want to do is to give my home a facelift and change things out, whether I add a few pieces to a room, change out colors, or sometimes completely redo a room (when my husband approves hahaha!) Well the time came and hubby decided it was time to get new living room furniture. FINALY! While it was nice it was just too big and took up my whole living room making it look small and it was dark. We purchased our furniture back when i was going through my “decorate everything in brown” phase and i was honestly tired of the darkness. I tried to lighten up the room but what i really needed was a complete redo. So we headed to Nebraska furniture and picked out our new couch set. I will admit I wanted to go much lighter but my husband was more practical thinking of our little ones. We needed something that wouldn’t show little greasy finger prints. 😉
I used pillows to lighten up the couches and a pretty yellow rug on our wood floors to bring everything together and I love it! It’s still a work in progress, but over all i’m pretty happy with how it turned out. bye bye dark room and hello bright and welcoming living space!
I have been seeing a lot of white kitchen renovations lately and I LOVE them! I’ve been so into the farmhouse – shabby chic look lately. while I’m dying for a beautiful white kitchen like these, i don’t see that happening in the near future so I guess I’ll just have to live vicariously through these photos of beautiful white kitchens…. 😉
This Kitchen from hooked on houses is so bright, I love all the windows that let in all the natural light into the room. This kitchen gives off such a clean crisp vibe, I absolutely love it!
This kitchen from Better Homes and Gardens is beautiful. Im in love with the stove and Farmhouse sink. Theres even an extra sink on the kitchen island! I would definitely spend my entire days cooking yummy food in this kitchen.
I love the floor plan of this kitchen from the lovely Kelly Nan. plenty of counter space and cabinets. I love how the kitchen feels open to other areas of the house but, the bar area closes it off just a little and separates it from the other rooms
This is a more rustic looking kitchen. I love the character it has with the farmhouse sink and the glass door refrigerator.
This lovely woman at The Happy Housie has an amazing blog and her white kitchen renovation is spectacular. my next counters will definitely be quartz like hers
Maison Depax shows you can definitely make a big impact on renovating your kitchen on a tight budget. I’ts sleek, elegant and clean looking. Hop on over to her blog and you can see how she accomplished this look.
I love the huge island in this kitchen which gives ample counter space. the sleek stainless light fixtures totally complete the kitchens look. Im loving the french doors leading out to the yard as well.
If you loved my list of beautiful white kitchens please leave me a comment! I love hearing from everyone.
So, your standing there looking at your home and wondering how you let it get that bad. Between kids, work, and just life in general, you let your home go. It’s a never ending cycle for you and you struggle to try to get things under control but you can’t seem to get on top of things. There are many reasons that your home isn’t in tip top shape and knowing these reasons and how to conquer them will get your house in tip top shape in no time!
You (and your family) don’t put things back where they belong
This one always gets the best of us. Your in a rush and tell yourself I’ll put it away when I have more time, or when I finish this or that. Your setting your self up for failure when you do this! I know I used to do it all the time. I guarantee you this does not work and if your reading this article it apparently isn’t working for you.
HOW TO FIX IT: you must get in the habit of putting everything back where it belongs when your finished with it. The same goes for teaching your children the same. Putting things back when your done is less time consuming that tackling it all at once when it gets overwhelming.
you have piles of laundry and no energy to fold them
I hate laundry. I mean common who loves folding laundry? However, its got to get done and putting it off until you have a mountain of clothes will take more of your time and gets annoying. Soon you just dump piles of clean clothes on the floor and go through it daily to get what you want to wear and your clothes are all wrinkled and things are well, messy.
HOW TO FIX IT: take the time to do a load of laundry each day. Make sure to fold and put away that load and then you wont have laundry piling up everywhere and that means less stressing over piles of clothes all at once.
You don’t have a cleaning schedule
Random cleaning leads to a messy home. Think about it. When you don’t have a schedule going for cleaning you often can remember when the last time is that you cleaned this or that. This means you often skip chores and this leads to messier surroundings.
HOW TO FIX IT: Start a weekly cleaning schedule. Write down all the areas that need cleaning each week and schedule what chore to do which day. This way you can keep your self accountable and make sure you don’t miss important chores.
Your attempting to do all the work yourself
We know, moms wear many hats, but you will run yourself dry if you try to accomplish everything on your own and you wont be able to stay on top of things which will just stress you out even more.
HOW TO FIX IT: Make a chore chart. Give everyone a specific chore to do each day to help keep the home in order. Make sure they follow through with each chore. This will help keep the home in order with minimal stress to you.
The saying goes “A clean home is a happy home” that is a saying that definitely holds true. Being able to stay on top of your home will make your home a happy place to be. Forming habits to maintaining your home is key to living a less stressful life and I guarantee making small changes in the way you take care of your home will definitely make a difference.
Today is a beautiful day in Texas. It’s a warm sunny 73 degrees in the middle of February! This is one reason I love Texas, the weather may change constantly but we always get surprised with spurts of super nice weather while pretty much everywhere else has super cold weather this winter. Days like this give me so much energy and I just want to tackle everything on my to do list.
I decided that today I would try to go through some problem areas of my home and get rid of things that we no longer need and reorganize what id like to keep. I go through these purges often because I absolutely cant stand clutter, yet it always seems to find its way back into my home so I have to stay on top of things to keep the clutter from taking over our home. Over the past years of being married and having children I have come up with a system to de-clutter our home and make sure that extra junk stays out of our home as much as possible (with 2 kids its kind of hard to get rid of all the clutter…. Maybe some day!) my system has helped make de-cluttering my home not seem like such a burden and is such a easy way to get rid of things you don’t use. Before we get started I want to say that you need to de-clutter with purpose, as you go through items in your home think to your self, “when was the last time I used this?” if its been more than a year it should be donated or tossed because most likely you wont use it in the near future if you haven’t used it within the past year. Remember your goal is a clutter free home and hanging on to things because you “think” you may use it will just keep the clutter in your home. Start with day one and go through each days individual task and do only that task! You don’t want to get burnt out and loose motivation. De-cluttering one area a day will make it much easier to accomplish an overall clutter free home. Aim to get rid of at least 10 items from each area.
Now lets get started!
Kitchen pantry- Empty out the entire pantry- COMPLETELY! This way nothing will be missed. Wipe down shelves and put down new shelf paper if necessary. Now, go through all the food and toss any expired foods. Any foods that you know you wont eat don’t put back in the pantry. Set them aside and donate them to a local women’s shelter or food drive. They will make good use of it and you have a cleaner pantry. Double plus.
Kitchen cabinets and drawers- Again same as with the pantry. Take out everything. Wipe out all the cabinets and drawers and go through every item and decide if you still need it. Got a waffle maker or ice-cream maker you haven’t used since who knows when? It doesn’t need to be taking space in your cabinets then. Believe me you will thank me when you have so much more space in your cabinets and you can see everything clearly without having to dig to find what you need.
Coat closet- Take everything out and remove any coats you no longer use. If your like me much more than coats get stored in the coat closet so go through all that as well and get rid of what you don’t need.
Bathrooms- Go through any expired products and toss. Any make up older than one year is most likely expired and should be tossed as well . use bins to organize under the sink cabinets to make everything more visible.
Laundry room- Have any cabinets in your laundry room? Empty them out and wipe them down. Get rid of any extras you never use, old towels, detergents, and cleaners.
Medicine cabinet- Get rid of any expired medications. I use small stacking bins and label them according to type of medication (children’s, cold and allergy, prescriptions, and vitamins, etc.) this makes it easier to look for a certain medications. Any medications that we use daily is kept on a lazy Susan on the bottom shelf of the cabinet for easy access.
Papers and receipts- I have a rule in my house and that is not leaving loose papers around the house. I have a file case for all necessary papers and receipts and mail is sorted through each day and anything that is not needed is tossed and shredded.
Gather all the loose papers around the house and toss/shred anything that is not important and file important documents in either a filing cabinet or case.
Bedroom closets- I’ve assigned this project two day because most likely you have more than one closet to organize and in order to make this less overwhelming 2 days is better to split up the work. Take every single item out of the closet. Don’t leave anything behind. In order to truly de-clutter your closets its best to go through each individual item and decide if you truly need it before putting it back in your closet. Remember my rule when doing this: if you haven’t worn it or used it in a year it should be donated or trashed. Anything else that you feel you might not use or don’t want any longer should be put in the same pile. For your kids rooms make sure clothes and shoes still fit before returning into closet.
Bedrooms- Again, two days are assigned to this task to make it less overwhelming.
Go through dressers and nightstands and get rid of any clothing you don’t wear or any items that you no longer use. Go through any bookshelves or other storage you have in the bedroom as well.
-For kid’s rooms- do the same and go through toys and toss any broken toys, toys with missing parts, or recalled toys.
BONUS* Have your kids get involved and choose 5-10 toys they no longer want to donate to a women’s shelter for less fortunate children. This is a perfect opportunity to teach your kids responsibility and to have a sense of humility and gratefulness.
I personally do this challenge 2-3 times a year with lite organizing in between and I feel like my home has so much more space and everything in my home has a purpose.
Have you completed my challenge? Leave me a comment below on how it went and anything you did differently. Id love to hear from you!
We’ve all been guilty of having our house in disarray. I myself am guilty of this. Between having two young children who always seem to find something to make a mess with, to having a job and simply not having all the time in the world to dedicate to my house, my house used to suffer and I was always stressed out. Although I feel like I should be super woman and be able to have everything in perfect order, life happens, and I’m not super woman. (Unfortunately… it would be great though!) I’ve realized that when my home is in disarray I feel drained all the time and have no motivation at all to try to tackle anything but, when my home is tidy and organized I feel like I have so much energy and I want to accomplish so much more. I came to the realization that so many of my habits led to my home not being as tidy as it should and I decided I would change it once and for all. I didn’t want to stress over a messy house any more! I wanted my home to always feel inviting and clutter free and I was determined to make that happen. In order to keep my house in order and keep my sanity I came up with a plan to always keep my home tidy and it has been working pretty good for me so far!
Put everything back once your finished with it.
I know that sounds like common sense, I mean come on , common knowledge is that if you pick up after your self the moment your done with whatever it is your doing then there will be no mess, right? Well, its easier said than done and when your rushing through the day trying to get things done with a baby on your hip you tend to let those things slip. I know I did and my husband (who is a clean freak!) always had to remind me to put things back or to close cabinet doors after myself. Haha, I know your thinking “Your husband reminds you?!?!?!” Yup, I don’t have the organizing and cleaning genes that he has but its definitely a plus that I have a husband that helps clean without me nagging!
I made it a point to make sure I put everything back the moment I finished with it and try to teach my kids the same philosophy although its easier said than done. For that reason I keep an empty small Rubbermaid bin in my coat closet and at the end of the day I go through the first floor of my house and pick up anything on the floor, tables, etc. and place them in the bin. This gives my home the immediate feel of being tidy in less than 10-15 min and then I take the bin with me and pull things out putting them in their place until the bin is empty. This helps save me a lot of time instead of going back and forth picking up and putting away and makes it feel so much easier as well. I usually do this once in the morning and once in the evening to keep up with everything
Keeping up with the kitchen
The kitchen is the focal point of my home and we spend a lot of time there as a family so its important to me that my kitchen is always tidy. To accomplish this without spending a lot of time in the kitchen I always make sure my dishes are washed and put away the moment I finished so there is never a dish lying in the sink. Having my sink at all times makes me feel like my home is less chaotic.
I keep my counters as clear as possible. I don’t like clutter especially in the kitchen. When your counters are clear your kitchen immediately looks tidy. I only have a few things out on my counters, my coffee maker, Kitchen aid, spice rack, and a set of pretty ceramic jars to hold sugar, coffee, and tea. That’s it. Other than that my counters are all clear.
Keeping Upstairs Tidy
Before I even think about going downstairs in the morning I have one main rule. All beds must be made. I wake up in the morning and make my bed first thing. Once my bed is made the room immediately feels tidy and it only takes 5 min tops. I also go through my son and daughters room as well and make sure beds have been made and straighten them up if they need it. They are still young so their bed making skill still need some work, but having them make their beds everyday has been a good part of teaching them responsibility.
I have Lysol wipes in each bathroom and go wipe out the sink and counters for both bathrooms after everyone is done washing up, that way they bathroom sink is always clean. I don’t think this entire process takes more than 15 min every morning but it definitely has an impact on my day when I know that my home is tidy.
We have a lot of traffic come through our house each day and I don’t think we could go a day with out sweeping. After having our carpets ripped out and stalling new wood and tile downstairs I decided to invest in a lightweight cordless vacuum that I could use easily and quickly to clean the floors with daily. I personally have a Hoover Linx Cordless vac and I’m very happy with it. It has a battery that separates and charges on a dock and the battery lasts longer than it takes me to vacuum my entire downstairs, and the suction is amazing so it does an good job cleaning. I use it every evening after dinner to make sure my floors stay clean.
I hope these tips help you get on the road to a tidy home. It can get overwhelming at first but getting in a routine like mine will make life much less stressful.
I’d also love to hear any tips my readers have that have worked for them to keep their home tidy.
Welcome to my blog! I am a woman with many passions and I love the chance to share all my ideas, tips, and recipes with all my readers. this has been a long 5 year decision to start my blog and after having 2 wonderful children, finishing college, and becoming a teacher, I finally made the decision to make my dreams a reality and start this blog and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I hope my readers have as much fun reading my blog as I’m having writing!