Thursday, March 29, 2012


If you are a mom, and don't know about Zulily you are missing out.  It is a fantastic website.  Allow me to apologize for causing you to spend money ahead of time, but it is so worth it!  It is free to sign up for, and you can purchase things for mom's, kid's, baby's and home for typically 50-90% off of retail.  That's right.  I just ordered a bunch of super cute things for my baby girl and spent far less than I would have had I headed over to the store to buy them.  You can get anything from maternity clothes, to kids books, to shoes, to organizers, to jewelry (for mom and girls), to toys!

I'm not going to lie, I get referral credit (if you sign up following my link and make a purchase I get some Zulily credit) but I am addicted and want to buy more amazing things for my baby girl and sweet boy.  So please CLICK HERE and sign up.  You will not be disappointed, though your wallet may be.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I have been deep into spring cleaning around here.  Combine spring cleaning with nesting a = me being a crazy cleaning lady.  My list keeps growing, but things just keep getting done.  With a toddler to wrangle, and battling swollen feet due to the pregnancy things have been going a bit slower than I'd like but there is progress!  This week I...

Cleaned all the doors, baseboards, and closet doors in our home, they now shine, and don't have grubby toddler hand prints!
We aslo striped and washed the couch covers.  It is amazing that we didn't notice how dirty they were until we put them back on clean.  The couch looked ridiculous with out the covers on though, seriously have you guys looked at your couches without covers?

I aslo scrubbed the floors and moved furniture to do it.

I also cleaned up Max's room to try and make more space for his sister's stuff.  it was not as successful as I would have hoped, but I think with a bit more re-aranging I can make it work (I hope).

I also washed the "extras" you know that laundry that NEVER gets done.  Such as the highchair cover, carseat cover etc.  So nice to have these things look like new again!

Next up this week...
Spotting the carpets (assuming this new awesome product I ordered shows up on time)
Cleaning out and scrubbing the fridge
Wiping down the appliances
Windows and blinds

What is on your spring cleaning list?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nicotine stains

We have been living in our rented condo for nearly a year now.  When we moved in, the landlord had completely re-floored, re-painted and replaced all the appliances.  It has felt so new, that we nearly forgot there had been previous tenants.  Until my we turned on a humidifier in my sons room.  We ran it for nearly a week strait, and the back of his door looked like this:

So this is what happens when your landlord doesn't actually repaint and only wipes glossy surfaces that contain nicotine stains.  The nicotine hides in the wall, un-noticed until you use a humidifier, and they magically appear.  It is gross and sticky and made his whole room smell like smoke.   His room NEVER SMELLED before, it seriously was hiding in the walls.  In order to clean it off and deodorize I turned to vinegar.  The power this stuff has is AMAZING, it cleans and deodorizes and is like $2 a gallon!

I just pored the vinegar directly on a mico-fiber cleaning rag, misted the door with a spray bottle of water and wiped.  The door is so clean, shiny and most importantly no longer smells of smoke!

Our lease is up at the end of next month, and we will need to move sooner than later to make more room for our new special little addition who will be appearing at the end of May.  Not sure where or when, but as much as I love this place, it's things like this that make me hate renting.  Thankfully there are easy solutions such as vinegar for cleaning and getting rid of the smoke smell!



PS I love to PARTY!  Blog link party that is, check out where I party by clicking here and join the fun.  Also, if you know of another great party, please share it with me so I can join the fun there too!

Monday, March 26, 2012


My husband and I started reading at night again.  We used to do this when we were engaged and 1st married.  Read together that is, we read the whole Harry Potter series out loud together.  A good book is so much more challenging to say no to than a TV show for me.  I get lost in a good story, and I have to finish it.  So needless to say, my husband and I read this entire series over the last 10 or so days.

The story is great, we went on a date night and saw the movie this last weekend.  It was nice to pull away from reality for awhile with my hubby.  We enjoyed the books (and the movie) but now that we have finished I need to get my head back into the game, and hopefully I will not find another book series to get lost in the near future.  Well I hope I do, but that I will balance it better and not let my poor blog and housework suffer.

Have you read any good books lately?



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Perfectly imperfect

I had a huge "Ahha" moment the other day and since it is homemaking related, I would like to share it with you. I am a perfectionist. When I say this, I do not say it lightly. It is a serious problem, it has prevented me from doing so many things and tasks around the house, simply because I don't have time to do them right or "perfect". It has taken me awhile to realize this, but even if something isn't perfect (according to my standards), but it is completed, it still blesses my family and makes a difference.

For example, if I cook dinner, it has to be perfect. The table has to be set just right, the dishes need to be cleaned, there needs to be more than just a meal. I let all of this get in the way of me cooking for my family more often. I love cooking, I hate all of the "extras" I place on it to make it "perfect".

Another example, I never thought we could get our bedroom under control. I knew that even if we did, it would not be decorated the way I wanted, we would still have mismatching furniture and it wouldn't be the bedroom of perfection that I saw in my head. However, now that it is clean, even in its imperfections, it is amazing at the difference it has made. We feel better getting up in the morning and not seeing huge piles of crap. We can actually relax on a Saturday morning without our clutter staring us in the face.

 I came up with a paper solution, that is functional and structured. It is working, and while I would love to add some more personal touches, I know that right now, I don't have time. It is still working and blessing our family, even in its imperfection (again, according to me).

My encouragement to you is this, figure out what you are not doing because you can't do it "perfectly" and just create a temporary fix that will work for now. You will be surprised at how perfect your imperfect solution really is. I want to bless my family with a home that is clean and functional, they don't care if it is perfect. They just want to be able to sit and eat, find clothing easily, have a home etc.

 Don't let your perfectionism rob your family of a functional home!

I'm still working on this, but knowing you have a problem is half the battle. Hopefully it will be better as I continue working on it.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Cleaning your shower head

The other day I was taking a shower, and I noticed how absolutely disgusting the head of our shower was.

 I knew I just needed few simple things, and some time, and it would take me practically no effort to clean.

I just took vinegar in a plastic baggie and clipped it onto our shower head and let is soak a few hours.  If you look closely at the following pictures, you can actually start to see the bubbles and the crud coming off of the shower head.

When I took it off a few hours later, it looked like this...

A quick and easy way to get the crud out of your shower head with practically no elbow grease from you.  I'm all about working smarter, not harder.  Hope this helps you in your home :)


PS I love to PARTY!  Blog link party that is, check out where I party by clicking here and join the fun.  Also, if you know of another great party, please share it with me so I can join the fun there too!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paper Problems

I have been using a file system for the last year or so, it has not been successful in the least.  The problem with my old system was, there was only things to do with the paper AFTER I dealt with it.  Here is how the old system would work, my hubby typically brings in the mail/newspaper.  He would place catalogues and coupons for me in the red bin and after I paid the bills or had some paper we needed to keep and file in the white side.   As you can see, not only did it look horrible, but it didn't work.

I could never get to the papers on time, and they would just pile up on the desk creating the "where is the electric bill?' problem.  I was fed up with a non functional system looking horrible.  I also ALWAYS stalled on filing all the papers I needed to keep and it would take me forever to sort out everything and file them in our file box.  It drove me crazy, but no more I came up with a new system, and after a week, it has already made a HUGE difference, and I think it is going to work out fantastic!

I relocated a smaller file box I purchased over a year ago, that I was not as functional as I wanted it to be.  I decided that there were several problems I wanted to fix/change from the old system.

  1. No matter who got the mail, I wanted to be able to find the bills, letters from friends or other things I needed to see with out them piling up on a counter space.
  2. I didn't want a huge amount of filing to deal with every month, because lets face it, it wont get done.
  3. It needed to actually be functional, as it work for every one.
  4. It wanted it to look decent, it is right in our main living space after all.
Here is the box system I figured out that works for us.

Here are the categories, in the file box, and what they are for.

  • Ashley - mail to me, or things that I should see or deal with.
  • Matt - mail to the hubby or things that he should see or deal with (ie he is in charge of paying his loan bill, so those would go directly to him.)
  • Bills to pay- All bills (minus hubby's student loans) get opened, and placed in the "to pay file".  When I pay them, they move into the proper month folder.
  • Coupons/Catalogs - Pretty self-explanatory
  • Paystubs DA - for Hubby
  • Paystubs DS - for me
  • January - December.  - All monthly bills after they have been paid, auto payment bills, receipts papers, etc get filled into the proper month.  
  • To file - There are always going to be random things you need to keep on file that don't fall in a specific month.  While 95% of papers go into the specific month it is important to have a space for at last 5%
  • Medical - Unfortunately medical bills NEVER come in the month that service was received.  Plus at the end of the year, you have to have all the medical paper work/receipts separate for tax purposes.  It makes it easier to just have a separate file for that

I am happy to say that this system has been in use for a week, and it is working!  My desk no longer looks like this:

It is so nice to have a system that works, that my hubby actually uses!  I am so excited to keep this going because I have finally found a system my hubby is on board with.  Now the the box looks like this, it is so much nicer!

 It also happens to be RIGHT next to the door, so there is NO EXCUSE for hubby not to IMMEDIATELY file all the paper, right?

How do you maintain all the paper madness in your house?


PS I love to PARTY!  Blog link party that is, check out where I party by clicking here and join the fun.  Also, if you know of another great party, please share it with me so I can join the fun there too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

What a weekend...

This weekend our little family was supposed to head up to Monterey, CA and join the rest of hubby's family to celebrate my MIL's 50th birthday.  However, I ended up with bronchitis, so I sent hubby and the baby boy so I could stay home and rest.  Being 28 weeks prego, with bronchitis and being unable to take any form of decongestant means the side of my couch looks like this...

Gross, but true.  My fever finally broke this afternoon, so I'm hoping that tomorrow I will be feeling well enough to maybe actually get stuff done and clean up.  Until then I'm going to stay on the couch and catch up on some TV and movies.

Hope that you are having a good weekend.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The sickness

The sickness has once again hit our house.  On Saturday and Sunday my poor hubby had a fever and a nasty stomach bug.  On Monday I came down with it, and it is still hanging on.  Yesterday, our sweet boy came home with a fever.  Hopefully we will all be up and running soon.  It must be the season around here, hope that your families are happy and healthy!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

My coupon book

In an effort to help save our family money, I clip coupons.  I am not an extreme couponer by any means, I just spend 10-20 min a week clipping or printing coupons that I know our family will use to save us some money.  Part of the trick, is actually USING the coupons and making sure they don't expire, or that you buy the right amount/brand/combination of items.  This is the best way for me to keep them organized, I hope that it will help you too.

I sort my coupons into these categories
Food - Fridge
Food - Frozen
Food - Pantry/other
Home Goods

These are the categories that work the best for me, after I cut and sort them, I put them in my book.

My book is a 1/4 inch 3 ring binder with dividers and trading card holders.

This works great because I can reference it when I'm making my shopping list, and check it while I'm at the store.  It is also nice to be able to easily see expiration dates and how many products I need to by at a glance.

How do you organize your coupons?



PS I love to PARTY!  Blog link party that is, check out where I party by clicking here and join the fun.  Also, if you know of another great party, please share it with me so I can join the fun there too!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Why you should clean out your room...

So for a recent challenge, I cleaned out my master bedroom.  You would not believe what I found!  One of my biggest finds was unused gift cards.  You see, when I got gift cards, I would put the ones that I knew I needed right away in my wallet, and the others I would just place in my night stand to grab when I needed them.  Well after a few years this meant that i had a ton of cards in my drawer and no clue how much money was on ANY of them.  So I used the internet and my phone to try and find the balances.

First I set them all on the couch and sorted them by type...

 Then I started looking up/calling to find the balances.  When I did, I wrote the balance on a post-it and wrapped it around the card.

Here were my highest and lowest balances remaining:

My total of UNUSED gift card money, some of which was over 3 years old was $464.30

Look at all the money we can use at these stores without dipping into our budget!  So excited (why didn't I do this before?)

Ralphs - $10
Mobil - $25
Starbucks - $45.80
Barnes and noble - $20
Walmart - $25
Target – $15.05
Visa - $10
AmEx - $75.51
Coldstone - $10.84
McDonalds - $10
Sees Candy - $5
Olive Garden $ .82
Crate and Barrel - $50
Babies R Us - $14.51
Costco – $11.66
Macy’s $126.95
Best Buy $8.16

Do you have any unused gift cards laying around?  Check them out, you may discover you have more buying power than you thought!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Goals

I would like to say that I can't believe that the month of February is already gone and March is here!  It went by SOOOO fast!    In February I shared some simple goals with you all that I was going to try and succeed in this last month, lets see how I did my goals were:
...  Cook 6 meals from scratch for my family, 2 of which will be new recipes. (spaghetti doesn't count)
... Complete one creative project
... Re-organize/de-cluter one space in my home (see this challenge)

Well I am going to be VERY honest, this month got away from me, and only one of the goals was completely successful.  I was able to completely de-clutter our master bedroom.  This was a HUGE project and I am so glad that I was successful in it!  A HUGE thanks to the Organizing Junkie for putting out a challenged that helped keep me motivated and accountable!  While none of the following are excuses, I don't want you to think that I'm a TOTAL flake for only doing one of my goals this month, so here are the things that happened.

My 15 month old got pneumonia.  We had an insane week trying to keep him out of the hospital, going to the doctor everyday, working crazy hours and trying to find child care since he had to stay out of daycare the entire week.

My extended family was in town.  We ate at my parents house at least 8-10 meals (usually it is 1-2 per month)

My husband did't work the last 2.5 weeks of the month.  We have a rule, if you aren't working, you get to cook your pregnant wife who did work all day dinner.

Most of them ended up affecting my first goal.  But this is a new month and a new start with new (or repeated) goals!

Here are my NEW(ish) goals for March!

Cook 6 meals from scratch for my family
Complete one creative project
Blog at least 18 times this month

So here is to a new month, a fresh start and new goals!