Sunday, February 2, 2014


Have you ever walked into a room and found your little one making a "mountain" of toys on the floor for no particular reason? Lately my son has been doing just that. Most days, the hour right after he wakes from his nap involves him playing quietly in his room watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I attempt to finish up some Thirty One business that I started while he was asleep.  The idea sounds easy enough right? Unfortunately within that small hour, my son manages to turn his room into a landfill; complete with every single piece of clothing in his dresser, all his books from his bookshelf, and most frustrating...every single puzzle he owns.  I walk into his room and for a second cannot process my thoughts because I am overwhelmed with the mess that I now have to help him clean up. Fortunately without much resistance he picks up his clothes and books and puts them away.  However the puzzles are another story altogether.

My 3 year old absolutely LOVES puzzles and we have tons of them.  When he was not even three yet, he was putting together 40-50 piece puzzles...which completely baffled everyone.  Not long after his 3rd birthday he was putting together 100+ piece puzzles. Naturally, the more puzzle pieces a puzzle has, the smaller they are.   So you can understand my frustration when he manages to dump five or more puzzles into a pile mixing them up together.  I usually spend 30 minutes at least trying to figure out what pieces go with which puzzle.  This takes up a lot of time that we could be doing something else, so I started doing something that I remember seeing when I was a child.

Although, I am sure this is nothing new and that many of you moms out there already had this idea. I just wanted to share because it has really saved me a lot of time in the afternoon.  Not only when my son manages to dump all his puzzles into one large pile, but also when he actually puts them together they end up spread out all over our floor and putting them away is much faster and easier now.  Especially when I find a stray piece laying on the floor somewhere.

This is so simple, I just assign each puzzle a number and write that number somewhere on the outer box or tin.  Then with a sharpie, I write that number on the back of each puzzle piece, so it's easy to see which piece goes with which puzzle.  Love it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


When it comes to household items, there is nothing I love more than ONE safe and inexpensive product that has a plethora of uses from cleaning to first aid.  On any given day, if you would open my closets or under the sink cabinets you will find what seems like a million bottles and containers of cleaning products. While each one of these products work great for their own use, the cost adds up as does the danger to my ever curious two year old. 

Now that my son finds entertainment in doing the complete opposite of what he knows he shouldn't,  I have resorted to moving anything that is dangerous (those "lovely" locks that we bought at Babies R Us just aren't cutting it anymore) out of his reach.  And now I'm trying to go one step further and partly eliminate some of those "thousands" of cleaning products.

While doing my research into safe and effective cleaning products, I learned that one of my favorite stain removing and wound cleansing products is capable of doing much much more! Now I have a bottle in many rooms of my house! Hydrogen Peroxide is a miracle cleaner and cleanser that is completely safe. Safe enough to use around children! And that's perfect for our house!!

If you are like I was and only think that hydrogen peroxide is good for cleaning cuts, then read on to see my list of some of the best uses for this magic product!

*Homemade toothpaste  Combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.  I still prefer using store bought toothpaste but this works just as well.

*Mouth Rinse Swish in mouth for a minute to remove bacteria and eliminate bad breath. Works better than mouthwash for getting rid of bad breath!

*Clean your Toothbrush  Remove bacteria from your toothbrush by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide in between brushings. Remember this next time you have a cold!

*Dissolve Ear Wax  Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best products to use for removing build up ear wax.  Add a few drops to ear, while head is tilted to the side.  Let sit for a few minutes (you will hear the fizzing).  Then clean ear. 

*Acne Reducer  To speed up the disappearance of pimples or reduce the appearance of acne, soak a cotton ball in some peroxide and dab affected area to help clear skin.

*Naturally Highlight Your Hair  Add peroxide to dampened hair and head out into the sunshine.  Peroxide is a natural hair lightener, so adding some to your tresses will add subtle highlights.

*Remove Blood Stains from Fabric  Whether it's a fresh blood stain or dried, pour a small amount onto the stain and let soak. Scrub lightly and then wash fabric.  I used this constantly to remove blood stains from my scrubs while working in the hospital.

*Freshen Laundry  Remove that musty odor that lingers in your towels and sheets.  Add 1 cup of peroxide and 1 cup of vinegar to a bucket and soak towels for 30 minutes.  Remove and wash as normal. Add a scented dryer sheet while drying if you prefer a scent to no scent at all.

*Brighten Whites  Add a cup or so of peroxide to the washing machine to boost the brightness of your whites load.

*Shower Cleaner  Add peroxide to a spray bottle and spray down the shower after every use.  This sanitizes the shower while preventing soap scum and mildew from forming.  And it's safe!

*Remove Stains from Baking Pans  Combine peroxide and baking soda until it forms a paste. Rub paste onto stain and let sit for an hour.  Then scrub lightly with a Brillo pad and warm water.  The stain should come off pretty easy.

*Clean and Disinfect Child Toys and Play Areas   Place peroxide in a spray bottle and spray down play areas.  Also soak a cloth in peroxide and wipe down toys to eliminate germs.   This is even safe to wipe down baby toys and rattles!

*Clean your Refrigerator and Food Preparing Surfaces   Use peroxide to wipe down areas that come in contact with food.  Perfect for cleaning the fridge or cutting boards! To clean a cutting board, apply to surface and let sit. Then wash as usual.

*Clean your sponges  Your sponges are one of the most common places for bacteria to grow.  Every so often, soak your sponges in half warm water, half peroxide.  This kills all the germs that are hiding within the sponge.

*Wash off Fruits and Veggies   Combine a little peroxide and cold water.  Wash off fruit or veggies in the mixture.  Rinse thoroughly in cold water.

There are many more uses for this magic product I'm sure. Feel free to add a comment if there is something that you love to use Hydrogen Peroxide for.  :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


With a toddler in the house, I am always at one moment or another cleaning, cooking, or picking up after my little man. And since my son was born, I have really become more in tune with a lot of products out there to help me accomplish those tasks.  Over the last few years, I have found several "can't live without" products that have really made my life easier!! So I've decided to make a new series of posts now and then about some of the products that I love and how they really do make my life a whole lot easier!  These won't just be cleaning products. Some will be foods, organizational products, health and beauty....anything really.  Eventually, you will be able to find links to the posts from my main page. :) I hope they help some of you the way they have helped me!!

Anyone who breathes should find this product a god send! I love these magic erasers so much because there are so many awesome uses for them and there is no denying that they work!!! And the best part? They aren't expensive, and one square can be cut into 4 pieces to quadruple the amount of use you get!! These little foam squares are great for most surfaces and all you need is water.  Here are some of my favorite uses for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers...and some from other bloggers and friends. :)
*Removes marks on walls: This is one of my favorite uses! I'm sure most of you out there with young children have experienced your little Van Gogh's masterpiece conveniently colored on your wall instead of on a piece of paper.  The first time my son did that I was in a panic that I would never be able to get it off my white paint.  But this took the crayon off without any problem and left my wall spotless.  It's also perfect for scuff marks, handprints, and splatters from cooking in the kitchen!
*Removes mold, mildew, and soap scum: Perfect for showers, sinks, and plastic containers!
*Clean your microwave with ease: No more scrubbing the inside of your microwave or heating up a cup of vinegar inside.  Just use a damp magic eraser to easily wipe off any splatters or grease from inside your microwave.
*Clean shoes to make them look almost new: Scuff or dirt on your shoes? Use a magic eraser to remove all the grime and scuffs from your shoes to renew their look.
*Clean your children's toys without harmful chemicals: I love this use! These are perfect for cleaning all those plastic toys that your child chews on, drools on, drops on the street or grocery store floor. :) Just make sure to rinse them off after using the eraser. But they work wonders!!
*Clean wheels and tires of your car: My husband loves this!  Get your tires and wheels/hubcaps looking brand new with just the eraser. No need for expensive wheel cleaner.
*Remove bugs from the grill or windshield of your car: There is nothing that looks worse than a bunch of bug guts all over the front of your nice clean car. Use a magic eraser to scrub them off without damaging your car.
*Clean non-skid surfaces: Since this product works great on all types of surfaces, they are great to clean items like handrails, shower floors, appliance handles, etc.
*Great for scrubbing your floors: Have a tile or ceramic floor that just doesn't look clean enough to you? Attack it with an eraser and get them super clean!
*Remove grease and buildup from kitchen appliances, especially the stove! It's also great for cleaning the inside of the microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher.
*Remove pen, pencil, marker, and crayon from virtually any surface.
*Get your stainless steel sink and faucets to sparkle!
*Get paint and nail polish out of carpet (and everything else): This one I didn't believe until I spilled a bottle of bright pink nail polish onto my beige carpet.  It took a lot of scrubbing but actually removed the nail polish completely! Is it any wonder why I love these things!
*Remove food stains from plastic containers: No more annoying spaghetti sauce stains!
*Clean patio furniture
*Clean vomit, feces, or spit up stains (people or animal) from carpet and clothing: This is awesome for moms with babies.  I hated all the spit up stains on my son's onesies!
*Remove grass stains from virtually anything!
*Clean hairspray residue off of mirrors and woodwork.
*Remove brown baked on spots on baking dishes and pans: This works amazing. I hate trying to scrub my baking dishes with an SOS pad. But with the magic eraser I don't have to :)
*Clean window screens without having to remove them! Who wouldn't love this?? Never have to take out the screens again! LOVE this!
*Clean your toilet and remove rings: Cut a piece of the eraser off and put into toilet. Let it sit for 12 hours without flushing. Removes the toilet rings and grime.
*Remove coffee stains from mugs and coffee pots.
*Clean mirrors: Perfect for removing hairspray buildup, toothpast splatters, bird poop, etc.
*Clean your grill: Makes the grates look like new
*Remove hair dye spills or splashes: Did you get hair dye on the floor or the sink when you were dying your hair?? They will get the stain out easily :)
*Remove adhesive residue from stickers or tape.
*Clean white grout or caulking

I am positive that there are many, many, many more uses for these little miracles!  I use them so often that I have multiple boxes in my kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, etc.  Got a problem...i'm sure one of these would be able to fix it. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


In an true effort to organize my house, I have decided that the best way is to break my work down into different rooms.  A house with a 2 year old is NEVER going to be completely organized, I have come to accept that. However, the OCD in me has not accepted it.  This week I've really been trying to organize my living room.  With the huge collection of toys that inevitably ends up thrown in the corner of my living room, this has proven to be a bigger challenge than I ever could have imagined.  Pre-kid times, my home was always neat and tidy. Very seldom would there be a pile of mail on the table or clutter in the corner.  However, after my son was born, my living room began to look more like a daycare and less like a home.  And while I admit that I hate the clutter, I wouldn't change my lil human tornado for anything!

One thing in my living room that is a total eyesore, is our DVD collection.  When my husband and I first got married and we combined our DVD collections, we bought a big wooden DVD storage shelf. After a while, we managed to fill the shelving unit and then some.  (When I say "and then some", I mean 600+ DVDs).  And in my opinion, nothing looks tackier than a ton of DVD cases taking up space in my living room.  So I was determined to eliminate some of the clutter by figuring out a way to condense all the movies. 

A long time ago, I saw somewhere online an idea for putting your DVDs in plastic sleeves instead of keeping them in the cases.  So after some searching on Amazon and other online sites, I came across these DVD sleeves that let you put two movies into one sleeve! I found the ones below on for about $13.99 for 25 sleeves (which fits 50 movies!) Awesome!

I bought a few packages of these sleeves and as soon as I started using them, I went online and order enough packages to fit most of our movie collection! Each sleeve holds 2 DVDs and the case art for both movies! I even put the inserts from inside the cases in there too!  In the picture below on the right, there are 56 movies in those sleeves. Now picture 56 DVD cases and how much room that would take up.

Now I can store our whole movie collection in neat little baskets on a shelf instead of all those cases!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Daily cleaning is a vital part of a well kept home, but every so often a deep cleaning is important to get rid of the things that a quick cleaning miss. One of the most commonly missed areas of the house is the kitchen sink. After almost every use I wipe down our kitchen sink to make it look clean. But about once a week I run through the following process to tackle the things that my routine cleaning misses. The best part is that I do it without using all those store bought chemical cleaners.

For daily cleaning: I combine a small amount of dish soap, baking soda, and hot water in a spray bottle (shown above). Spray on sink surface and wipe with a sponge, then rinse thoroughly.

Once a week I follow this process:

1. Wet your sink thoroughly making sure that all surfaces are wet. Then i sprinkle baking soda on the surface and scrub the entire sink with a toothbrush. Make sure to pay close attention to around the drain as well as around the faucet. These are the areas that tend to accumulate the most buildup.  Rinse the entire sink and wipe down with a damp paper towel.

2. Next, soak paper towels in white vinegar and lay them in the sink so that they cover the whole surface. Allow them to sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

3. If your sink has a garbage disposal, place several ice cubes into the drain and run the garbage disposal. This cleans the grinding mechanisms in the disposal. Follow by slicing a lemon into quarters and place them one by one in the running disposal. (This cleans the disposal while making it smell like citrus).

4. Rinse the sink again with hot water and dry with a towel. Now your sink should sparkle and smell good.

**Always rinse and wipe down your sink after every use to limit the buildup and spots.