And there are happy times…

I’ve been in such a funk lately, but don’t judge me too harshly. I’m living in the Louisiana Summer right now. The afternoons went from pleasantly breezy to horribly disgusting. It’s to the point where my car air conditioner JUST balances out the searing heat, but I never feel cold in my car anymore.

Most of the time, I can’t help to think of all the negatives that summer brings. It takes a good awakening to realize that things are, in fact, amazing.

Millie 5/12/2010

Millie had a 3 inch long coat of fur a week ago (she’s been groomed since). It’s the border collie in the Heinz 57 that she is. She decided to look up at me and just smile in the middle of the summer heat. Sure, she’s probably hot as hell, but she’s still amazingly happy. I love her for that. I need to think like her.

So, I thought of the positives of summer. LSU is out, so traffic is substantially less. The tomatoes are ripening and peppers are finally growing. Snowball stands are open (even though I’m on diet, I will occasionally splurge on my wedding cake snowball). And also, summer parties.

I’m very excited to be having my family over next weekend. We’re throwing a huge party, and I’m going all Hostess with the Mostess with party colors/theme. I know it won’t be as pretty as her parties, but I’m hoping it will impress. :)

I even found inspiration at Hobby Lobby today. It’s not quite the 4th of July yet, but I can’t help but do some red and (aqua) blue.

Yes, I’m sure you’ve been seeing that color combination everywhere lately. Go ahead, call me a copycat, because I’m going with that color palette. :)

Fabric for Bunting

I love hosting parties with the hubs, and seeing everyone have a great time. Parties also make me super excited about my food blog. I enjoy it when I have quite a few fun recipes to blog about. :)

So, it’s time for me to get out of this funk. I need to remember that there are some positives to think about and enjoy in this hot, gloomy Summer. However, if I ever forget, I know I’ll have this face to help me remember. :)

Millie Smiles

What are some positives that your summer is bringing?

Less than a week?!?

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! The hubs and I are so very excited to have our families spend their holiday in our little house. We’re having 11 people over! It’s unbelievable.

At first, I was really trying to plan how to make all of the food, but over the past week, our parents have really insisted on bringing more and more food. It’s to the point to where we are only making about 1/2 of the food that we originally planned on making. To me, that’s fabulous, because I have more time to make the house pretty!

This weekend, I plan on putting up our tree. I know it’s early, but really, my family never has seen our house in full-on holiday glory, so I’m giving that to them (and me…I love Christmas!).

I’m excited about all of the little last minute preparations that we’ll be doing, including:

  1. washing/ironing cloth napkins (which we’ve never used before!)
  2. setting table up with the cute decorations I have planned
  3. buying cheap dollar store food containers so we can push tons of food away to family
  4. the grocery shopping
  5. making a plan for how the food will be laid out
  6. decorating the inside of the house for Christmas (don’t judge)

Are you excited about Thanksgiving?

Cleaning for Guests

A little over a month ago, I made a vow to our house. I’d spend 15 minutes a day cleaning and tidying things up. Turns out, after a month, it’s become a great habit! Most of my tasks have been boring to share, but I can say that the house is getting cleaner and it’s ALMOST ready for our guests to come on Thanksgiving.

Since I never really did Spring Cleaning, though, I will be doing some tasks other than the usual wipe-downs and decluttering to get the house in tip-top shape!

Here we go, room by room:

Kitchen

  • wipe down cabinet fronts with a wood friendly cleanser
  • steam clean floors
  • dust/clean area above cabinet and where wall meets ceiling
  • organize the cabinets to where the serving plates are easier to access

Bathrooms

  • steam clean floors
  • deep clean bathtub
  • wipe down cabinet fronts
  • organize whatever is in the cabinets
  • make them guest friendly
  • dust area where wall and ceiling meet

Living Room

  • dust area where wall and ceiling meet as well as wall meets molding
  • dust/clean ceiling fan (A tip for this? Buy a cheap pillowcase at Goodwill, put the pillowcase around the fan blade and pull dust off…no mess!)
  • vacuum rug and steam clean floors
  • dust furniture

Bedrooms

  • dust areas where wall and ceiling meet as well as where wall meets molding
  • wash comforters
  • steam clean floors
  • dust furniture
  • dust/clean ceiling fans

If you aren’t in the mood to deep clean, Real Simple has a list to help you out. Here’s how to make your house LOOK clean! A timesaver, for sure!

If you are hosting a holiday get-together, have you put together a cleaning list? Also, if you channeling your inner Danny Tanner like me, is there a task I’m leaving out?

15 Minutes a Day

Last week, I made a vow to our house. I promised everyday to do a cleaning task for 15 minutes so I won’t be spending so much time in the house on weekends cleaning. I really didn’t care that much before, but now that we will be hosting Thanksgiving in the house, my husband and I have made a goal to have our home spic and span for the holiday season! Hopefully, we can make this happen and hopefully, we can keep up with it afterwards.

Next weekend, we are holding a 3 family garage sale with his family. I was SO excited to bring over 4 boxes of clutter and be able to clean even more! I feel like Danny Tanner right now. Haha!

So, here was my Monday. Our kitchen island has been a mess of mail and other stuff. I decided to take some time to clean this up! I’m being bold and posting befores. Don’t judge me. :

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About 10-15 short minutes later, using a mail organizer for our mail, I cleared up the clutter! Excuse my husband’s tools…we are still doing fix-up things around the house! So, they have to stay for now.

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Tuesday, it was pretty boring. I ended up changing the sheets in our bedroom. No need for before/afters, since it’s just pale green vs. pale yellow sheets! Nothing exciting.

Wednesday, I decided to tackle the guest/craft room. This room was housing garage sale stuff, and  my sister was going to sleep over this weekend, so I had to clean it. (She ended up changing her mind, but oh well, we have a clean room now!) This was more of a 30 minute task, but it’s done! Again, don’t judge my mess. :)

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Here’s the after. There are still some garage sale items in the front of the room, but it’s MUCH better.

My poor sewing machine. I haven’t used it yet, because I need to learn to sew! Maybe I should make that a little goal of mine too!

Just to note, the bedsheets were in the washer at the time of the picture. :)

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Oh gosh, this is the worst. I do my make-up and hair in the guest bedroom so my husband and I have separate bathrooms in the morning since we go to work at the same time. Our sink is full of make-up that dropped or powder remnants…I’m messy in the morning!  Blech, I’ll say it again, don’t judge me! I ended up spending 15 minutes last night tackling the counter and sink!

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Thanks to the magic of Comet, the sink is squeaky clean. That make-up was a pain to remove! I placed everything else in the cabinets below the counter.

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I’m making my list for next week on what to tackle. I will be doing a little bit of cleaning this weekend, but not as much as I would have had to since I did these tasks during the week! Did anyone else tackle some small areas of the house this week?

My Vow to Cleaning

I’m sure many people can relate to me when I say that cleaning the house is very difficult to upkeep and just plain tedious. I mean, I’ll spend a good half day of my weekend to make sure the house is spotless, only to find myself doing the same thing all over again the next weekend! I want my weekends back!

After reading this article about housekeeping, it seems that people CAN keep their homes clean when they work on it a little everyday, consciously preventing the mess from happening all over again. This isn’t a deep cleaning, but more of a way to keep things organized in your home and prevent clutter. Deep cleaning still would need to happen, but it won’t take up 1/2 of my day!

So, here is my vow to my home until the end of the year. I will spend 15 minutes everyday cleaning you, other than doing the daily things like dishes and laundry. I will also share with you every week what I did!

15 minutes is nothing. It’s a quarter of an hour, in a day when I come home from work and have 7 hours to spend on doing other things. Now that I type that..7 hours….wow, I feel lazy! Where does that time go?

So, it’s time to put on the iPod, jam to 4-5 songs and spend that time CLEANING! It’ll be over before you know it!

15 minutes cleaning ideas

  • Steam clean the kitchen floor with the Shark Mop.   I can’t tell you how much my kitchen floor gets grimy from my messing cooking and baking. It gets on my dang nerves!
  • Throw away junk mail and organize bills.   I usually do this once a month and it proves to be a pretty daunting task. Once a week would be MUCH easier and would allow me to have our kitchen island back!
  • Clean out the pantry and organize food to giveaway to a food bank.   This is especially great since the holidays are coming up, and I know we won’t be needing all of that Chef Boyardee since no hurricanes hit this year! Whew!
  • Clean the bathroom countertop.   Blech…all that make-up residue and hair around the sink? Clean it up with a Clorox wipe and put everything back in their drawers!
  • Weed the garden.   If I did this once/week, I know would only take me fifteen minutes. Pesky weeds!
  • Clean the bedroom floor.  I can’t tell you how much stuff I just throw on the side of my bed. Magazines, dirty socks, coupons…ugh!
  • Switch out the bed sheets!   I think I’m supposed to do this once/week or something like that. I don’t want to imagine the dust mite colony that we sleep in. I only change the sheets every 2-3 weeks!

Does anyone want to take this cleaning vow with me? C’mon, you know you hate it when your weekend is taken up by Clorox and the broom!

 

Making a routine…

I didn’t think it would be this difficult to get back into the swing of things. Before we got married, I’d work-out 4 days a week at the local Y, go home, get/make dinner, watch TV and call it a night. Now that we’re married and all, it feels different. It shouldn’t, but it does.

I feel obligated to clean the house more, like my mom used to do. A happy house is a clean house, I guess you can say. The problem is, it’s truly overwhelming and sometimes, I don’t know where to start exactly.

I feel obligated to cook every night. I used to not care, but now that DH and I are on a diet, I feel like I’m primarily responsible for the menu planning and cooking. That’s pretty overwhelming as well, because I’m always trying to find the best bang for the buck to meet our food budget, which I set at $250 a month. It’s feasible, but will take some work.

Weirdly enough, I don’t feel obligated to work-out anymore. I fit in my beautiful dress, so why lose the weight? Why put the energy forth? I know it’s worth it, but cooking and cleaning feel like my first priority when my HEALTH should be my first priority.

Somehow it seems like DH is in his own routine, back to the norm. He’s still doing yardwork, helping me clean after cooking and fixing random things around the house. How does he do it?

It’s so weird getting back into the swing of things. If you’re married, how did you get a routine going that didn’t feel so awkward?