Friday, July 25, 2014

No Need For Lots of Cleaning Products!

Happy Friday! How are you? I'm good. Got an awesome workout at the gym this morning, went grocery shopping, then came home, cooked breakfast and packed a lunch for my husband. It has been productive and it's still early!

Okay back with more cleaning advice. I will get off my cleaning soapbox and move onto some decorating soon but I have been on a cleaning spree this week.

My Car is OLD. It's 14 years old but I love my car. It doesn't normally look like it's loved in its state of cleanliness, more like filth, but we have two little boys who get everything they touch kind of very grimy!

Anyhow I cleaned my car from top to bottom the other night and it took several hours of cleaning. I wish I had taken BEFORE pictures but I didn't really think about it beforehand. Just imagine a filthy car with black grime inside, on all door handles, consoles, even the seat belts... Icky and sticky and just plain gross. I have been taking a lady from church on errands here and there and I was getting embarrassed for her to sit and see the grime! Bleh!

I am pleased to say after lots of elbow grease it is shiny and sparkly clean now. Seriously it makes me so happy. Now, I am one who has a book on using essential oils and natural products to clean but I am out of most of my essential oils and such right now. I didn't want to spend money to clean my car so I used a little mixture of hot water and a little bit of ammonia(already under the sink). I didn't measure just used more parts of hot water to the bottle. I tell you it cleaned my car so well. I swear by using a HOT water mixture when cleaning. It simply takes off what ever muck I'm cleaning!

So I used several microfiber clothes in the process. For some of the nasty dark stains on my carpet, including a red sticky lollipop stain, I boiled a pot of water and dipped a clean cloth in the water. I did the same with the headliner, using light pressure. Use gloves and be very careful NOT to scald yourself. My kids were not anywhere near me when I was doing this. I lightly scrubbed and blotted the stains away. They went away too. For some of the harder stains I sprayed on the ammonia water solution and let sit and then used the boiling hot water to wipe away the dirt. It doesn't take a lot of pressure when you are using boiling hot water either!

Check out these seat belts! YESSSS! Even those came clean. They have NEVER been cleaned before and I used the same method. I sprayed them down on both sides with the ammonia solution (the smell wasn't bad b/c it was so heavily diluted) and then using the boiling hot water I wiped the grime away. Looks awesome. At least one day when it comes time to sell, I know how to detail it!


Funny, my husband has been telling me to take my car and have it detailed but I have been trying to convince him I could get it cleaner than any detailer would. I think it's pretty darn clean! A clean car makes me so happy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Super Clean Oven Racks!

If you saw this you know how NASTY my oven was and that it actually came clean pretty easily! I told you I'd let you know how my oven racks turned out after sitting overnight in ammonia. I have to say, it worked great!

Put your oven racks in a bag (I double wrapped mine) with 1/2 cup of ammonia. Let it sit overnight. I would advise laying the bag down flat so the racks can soak up the ammonia.

Below is a before picture.

Here is the flip side of this one rack but every bit of food and grime came right off. Wearing gloves, I sprayed them down with a water hose and scrubbed with a coarse sponge. It worked very well! I highly recommend this method of cleaning your oven racks!

So yesterday was a "fort" kind of day for the kids and me, full of playing card games, making loom bracelets and playing Monopoly. Today we are getting out of the house. What are you doing today? Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Internet Saved My Oven With AWESOME CLeaning Tips!

Last night I found a simple way to clean your oven using ammonia and a boiling pot of water. I have
tried numerous other ways to clean my oven but wanted to try something else. This set of instructions read CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER! 
Is it too good to be true? I gave it a shot last night following all the instructions carefully. You use a boiling pot of water and ammonia... So far, very good! I was so excited once I got to wiping it out this morning that I wanted to share my results. I am not finished yet but will be very soon. I am following the instructions of pulling the grates out and putting them in a garbage bag with ammonia overnight too so I will let you know how that trick goes too. Yay for Internet help!
Find the instructions here! CLEANING YOUR OVEN - The easiest way EVER!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY No Sew Boy's Grommeted Valance

Monday Monday! Hope yours is good. It's a little gloomy here with thunderstorms. Uggh I had caffeine last night and it kept me up waaay too late. GRR! I should have known. I rarely have caffeine anymore and it affects me too much when I do now.
SO I wanted to share my son's bedroom valance. It is a very simple one and I made it. His room has gone through a recent redesign and the old curtain had to go.
For this simple window covering I used white duck cloth a friend gave me. :)

Below I cut the duck cloth to the desired size. I made it a little longer than the window to have room for folds with the grommets attached. I took a wooden car I had and measured out several cars. The cars below are facing the opposite direction from my finished curtain because this was my first go at it and the only process picture I had of hand drawing the cars.

I used toll paints. I had a blue and gray color I mixed to get a navy blue.

I used our playroom curtain to measure the location of the grommets.

I drew the circles and cut two slits before cutting out the circles.

The grommets snap in place very easily, adding a simple and clean touch! I bought them at Hobby Lobby years ago and they are brown if you can't tell from the pictures.

I had to cut a little off the bottom of the cars because I had an accident and got a spot of paint on the white area below one of the cars. Boo! I think it turned out okay though!

So there you have it!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hope You Are Having A Good Weekend!

Happy Saturday night. I hope this finds you having a nice night. Today was quiet but I did do a little craft shopping for some ideas around the house. Did you do anything craft related today? Until next post enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Organizing Food

Can you believe it is Thursday? This week has flown by. Really the whole summer is scooting on pretty fast. I would love it if summer would just slow down some though, it's my favorite time of year!
So here is a little organizational tip from our pantry to yours. You might think I was a little nutty by numbering cereal boxes but one of my pet peeves is people in our house opening two of the same thing before one thing is completely gone. It just bugs me.  
For example, someone opens a box of cereal of Rice Krispies. They eat one bowl and next thing you know, a second box is open too. I used to store alternate boxes of items up high so we would know not to do that. With the numbering system, it's just unnecessary! We do this with Milk in the fridge too. I usually buy 3-4 gallons at a time. I buy in bulk but we don't want all of them open at once so numbering has nixed that problem all together. The family has been on board for quite some time with this. 
So I number them 1 to 2 or 3 or 4 and we know what order to use something until it's gone, then go to the next. Try it! You might like it!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Staining A Staircase Railing

Half the week is over and I hope you're having a good week. Mine has been good but I'm feeling zapped from the sun at the moment. Well here is yet another project I did while the kiddos were away... I had been wanting to do this one for years and was finally able to "get her done"!
Staining the railing to our stairs has made a huge impact on the feel of our house.
I simply taped it up, sanded lightly with a hand sander and painted on the stain.
I used a small chip brush and a can of Miniwax Poly Shades stain in Bombay Mahogany. 
It took two days to do! Not too shabby!
WARNING! This post contains LOTS of pictures!
This is a BEFORE and AFTER of the staircase railings.
The before was an orange wood but we wanted to match the dark hardwood floors. 
I used lots of tape to mask out the areas I didn't want painted.

Using my drill I pulled this hardware out and painted it silver from the brass it was before.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keeping Pool Towels Handy!

Before I get to my little organizational post, I have to share what I witnessed on my way home from the gym this morning! It put a huge smile on my face and made my morning!
On my way home as I was cutting through a neighborhood, I got behind a cute little car with a dog hanging its head out the window behind the driver's seat. That was funny to see but the best part was pulling up beside the car at a stop sign. I pulled up next to the car when the driver was turning right and I was making a left. As I was waiting for traffic, I looked over at the car and I noticed the dog was a beagle and was wearing goggle sunglasses! I swear the dog was smiling too. It was the cutest thing ever. I started laughing and the woman and I waved to each other smiling. I wonder how many people they make smile!
Anyway I haven't seen something so cute that caught my attention in a loooong time. Too funny!
So now shifting gears and onto my post... Last night I took my kids to the neighborhood pool for a quick dip and it occurred to me that it's a pain gathering all our pool stuff. It takes the three of us FOREVER to get out the door!
I keep a "pool bag on wheels" holding all kinds of toys in the laundry room(next to our garage) so it's easy to throw in the back of the car when we go to the pool. I started thinking that for the summer why not store the towels in the laundry room too. Huh? Why don't I think of these things sooner? These are the little things that seem so silly but when you think about it, why not?!?! It makes perfect sense to keep them downstairs. I have the room to do it!
1. I wash and dry the towels more during the summer.
2. I'll avoid running up and down the stairs for towels.
3. It makes it faster to get ready for the pool.
4. Less chaos keeps everyone happier!
It's a win win to have the towels ready downstairs.
Upstairs Linen Closet Where "Pool" Towels Are Normally Kept 

Laundry Room Where "Pool" Towels Are NOW Kept During  The Summer!

It just makes more sense! Are there things like this that you find make life easier for YOU? What kinds of things have you changed up or done??? Hope you have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Painting Speaker Covers For A Living Room

Oh my gosh I feel like I've been THE worst procrastinator on this job and why? I do not know why. I guess I dreaded the prep work. Well I do have a couple of reasons.

Okay so it started with us getting speakers installed in the living room walls to watch TV and ordering speaker covers. many years ago. We wanted them to match the color of the walls. I painted them using an aerosol mixing can (needed to thin the paint to spray) bought at a hardware store. You add a little water to a jar, attach it to an aerosol can and paint. It worked okay for two speakers but the third came out blotchy. The can clogged and the speaker cover was COVERED and the holes were clogged so I used a tooth to pick paint out of the holes when it dried. Plus it was dented on the corners where it was forced in the wall. It looked terrible. It has been a major eye sore! Anyone could see it when they watched the TV.


Finally my hubs ordered a new speaker cover. After two tries with new aerosol cans, and failure, I decided to use my electric spray gun. Awesomeness! The set up took a while. I poured paint in the canister and added warm water until the paint was thinned well enough to spray a test sheet of card board smoothly. After a few tries, it worked great! It took all of two minutes to spray the speaker cover! It looks so nice compared to the first attempt which was on the wall for so many years.

Take a look. Basically I wished I wouldn't have waited so long to do this little project. It has made a big difference in how we look at the speaker wall now. :)


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Squeezed Lemon to Neutrailze Odors!

Half the week is over and I hope yours is going well! Just wanted to give you a little tip for neutralizing odors, or like we have in our laundry room, stenches!
I keep lemons to add to salad dressings or flavor my water and I found another awesome use for them, thank goodness. We have a family cat who we love dearly but not his litter box so much! Seems like it has gotten way worse lately and it stays scooped. :) 
I've used lemon squeezed into baking soda before but I didn't have baking soda in the cabinet. I got one of my old handmade ceramic mugs and squeezed half a lemon in it. It WORKS. I can attest!
The laundry room where the litter box is has seriously never smelled better! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!