Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Week 4: Tame it Tuesday's, a summer series on taming the mess

week 1
week 2
week 3

Welcome to week 4 of of my Tame it Tuesday series, a summer series on taming the mess. Wow we are half way already. Oh please Summer-- slow down! lol! So as I stated in last week's post our home has been suffering from what I call "drop and runs" Which makes it unorganized and messy. Areas of my kitchen have not escaped this either. Lets tackle the worst part first shall we?
Yep that's right, this is the first counter top when you enter the kitchen. I really don't know how it happens... I clean it off but it ends up becoming the catch all of the whole house it seems. A lot of it is mail and paperwork that I need to deal with immediately instead of letting it pile. The rest of it is stuff that needs to be put away back where it belongs. The rectangle cupboard right above is "Dear Hubbies" so some of his stuff I put there for him to put away when he is done using it (like his drill and charger). I do not have to clean that cupboard. It is his alone and he does get to it several times a year. Once all the stuff is put back where it belongs I start in on the paperwork.
Once I start it really doesn't take long. I make several piles as I go through it. My piles are shred, garbage, current bills and to file piles. I have an area already at our desk to deal with all the paper it is just old habits coming back into play. I need to remember when I come in with mail to deal with it right away. It only takes a few minutes and really saves on the mess building up again.
Within less than 10 minutes all is well in this space again!
Next up are these two spaces. Inside they hold a lot of our supplies for homeschool and some kitchen items I don't use as often. Those will be reorganized in another post. For now I want to deal with the top of them.
We were given the hotdog buns and I just needed to use some up and then freeze the rest. The inside of our microwave is actually clean. We do use a cover to heat and I am in the habit of wiping things up as soon as the mess happens. The 2 crockpots I have out a lot because I have been using them so much lately for freezer meals. Then there is garbage to be thrown away and the top of the microwave just needs dusted and cups in the sink. I forgot to take an after picture, but it looks good again too!
This cupboard is on the other side of our table in the kitchen. This counter is only supposed to hold cookbooks and my bread machine. It was overflowing with some borrowed cookbooks, coloring/drawing stuff, counting blocks, and some antique appliances that I was given this year that I just hadn't made a home for yet. So first, above our laundry area "Dear Hubby" made a shelf when he enclosed it in so I would have a place for some of my decor. I dusted everything and made room for the new appliances (iron and waffle iron) up on this shelf.
Then I gathered the borrowed cookbooks and placed them in my car to return to my friend. Next I needed to put away the school/art stuff. I quickly realized that I was going to have to tackle one part of the cupboard after all. This drawer holds coloring, drawing, painting books and Highlights magazines that "Sunshine" owns. I cleaned out all the Christmas books and stored them away with Christmas stuff. Then Sunshine herself went through the remaining books and magazines. She was willing to throw out the ones she had completed.

Much better! The last part of the post today is my food prep area of the kitchen. The dishes for the most part have stayed caught up. But in the middle of this busy schedule I have made time to get extra food in our freezer. Which is why this area looks like this:
 You cant even see some of it. I have bottles of seasonings left out from a freezer meal workshop I attended along with wax paper and freezer bags for all the flash freezing of cherries and berries I have been doing.
So again I just needed to put everything away that I was finished with. I also pulled every appliance out and washed behind it. Then washed all appliances off. Last I put everything back in nice and neat order. And I hope to keep it this way!
Thank you for stopping by! Next week I hope to organize the pots/pan cupboard and the spice/can cupboard. Do you have specific things you do to help keep order in the kitchen? Please share in the comments.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Week 3:Tame it Tuesday, a summer series on taming the mess

week 1
week 2
Welcome to week 3 in my summer series on taming the mess. Where I am attempting to claim back some of the areas of our home that have been overrun with what I like to call "drop and run" sessions. The busier we seem to be the more unorganized and disarrayed our home seems to get. I say "attempting" because this will not be easy for me. I had 5 orders go out this last week!

So Saturday afternoon after another busy week, I was wondering what I can organize and clean for Tuesdays post? I was also wondering when I was going to find time to post my 4th of July DIY that I had been wanting to do (I even already had the supplies for it). So I decided to combine the post. I hope you don't mind, doing it this way saved me some sanity and I got to go to bed at a normal time. lol!
First up I needed to straighten the back porch. I forgot to take a picture of the before. It wasn't in horrible shape, I just needed to finally put away all the stuff that had accumulated there. You know things like the fall decor bins to the garage, some tools back in the garage, take the broken metal bed frame to the garbage. Dust and sweep up the remaining leaves, dirt and cobwebs, etc.
Now we can sit out here again in the cool of the evening and I can have morning devotions out here too.
 This is also where I wanted my DIY 4th of July decor to go. I have been wanting one of these ever since I saw on Pinterest. After a trip to the dollar store and getting a clearance box of lights from my friend Heather. I am ready to make it!
Here is what you need: a hula hoop, lights, garland, twist ties, cup hooks, ribbon and extension cord.
I want this to be able to change out with the seasons so I am attaching it with twist ties (I save these when they come in a box of bags).
I wrapped the lights first then followed up with festive garland and wire star garland attaching them all with the twist ties. To hang the light I put cup hooks in 3 different positions in the roof of the porch. Then tied a loop of ribbon at each spot on the hoop where it would hang from each hook.
This hangs just over the table and chairs. It is a small back porch so one is enough. Eventually I want to add some rope lights under the railing. But we love this! We are even doing bedtime stories out here! This was so easy to make the hardest part was getting the cup hooks in the wood.

Here is another super fast and easy DIY 4th of July decor from my friend Heather.
Supplies to make: some super adorable July flowers from Walmart, foam ball, ribbon, 1 straight pin and a glue gun. Take the flowers off of there stems, hot glue them into the foam ball (arranging them in a pattern). Then pin and glue the ribbon to the top of the ball. Then hang and enjoy!

Have a wonderful, safe and blessed 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week 2: Tame it Tuesday, a summer series on taming the mess

Welcome to week 2 of Tame it Tuesday; a 10 week summer series on taming the mess. To catch up with week one go here. This week I am tackling my laundry area which is located in my kitchen. This one was a have too because I needed to make more laundry soap. I will post my recipe at the end of this post for you! For starters I needed to clean my washer machine. It is pretty grimy! Yuck! 
To start it soaking I sprayed water on the tough areas and then scrubbed with a brush and some Bar Keepers Friend. I decided I needed more than a spray bottle so I filled the washer machine half way with warm water and got to scrubbing. 
When the hard scrubbing was done, I rinsed the machine then filled it completely with hot water and poured about 3 cups of vinegar into the machine. I turned it on to let is swoosh the vinegar water through the machine for about 10 minutes of the wash cycle. Then turned it off and let it soak for a few hours. I ran errands, so I just let it soak during the time I was out. 
Once it was finished soaking I used by scrub brush all over the inside of the machine again.Then turned it to the rinse cycle to finish washing out the machine. For a washer machine I got 17 years ago- it doesn't shine like it used too, but is smells clean and looks much better!
Now for the rest of our laundry area. As you can see it still has some unfinished drywall. But Dear Hubby added the shelves for me so I can still use this area until he finishes up the walls. I love the extra shelving that he added. I can use it to hang the clothes that come out of the dryer, so I don't have to iron a whole lot! 
All I really needed to do here was to dust and put everything back into it's place. Then dust off the top of the appliances. Even though it was quick and easy it still felt good to have something looking nice. 
Now on to the real reason I tamed the laundry area--laundry soap! I don't have any other reason as to why I make my own soap other than it is very inexpensive to make and it gives me one less thing to have to coupon/sale shop. It's a bargain, it will always be a bargain and it works great.
Homemade Laundry Soap:
1 box Borax, 1 box Super Washing Soda, 1 bar Zote (or 3 bars Fels Naptha) 1 small container of "oxy" and 1/3 bottle of Purex Crystals (optional for a yummy scent).
1 bar of Zote is only 97 cents at Walmart and equals about 3 bars of the Fels Naptha, so if it is in stock I will buy it. On a side note- I think Zote has an old fashioned soap smell, my darling funny daughter says it smells like a "warthog taking a bath", not sure how she knows how a warthog should smell.. but I digress. I have a small grater from the dollar store I keep in my laundry area. It takes about 15 minutes to grate the bar. 

Then I add all of the Borax, Super Washing Soda, 16 oz of "oxy" and 1/3 of the bottle of Purex crystals. I mix all together and store in containers (they ain't pretty, but they are budget friendly). To use I start the water and only add 2 Tbs of my soap, then add my clothes.
I wanted to share another way I save money with our laundry. I cut our dryer sheets in half. 
I discovered this when I started washing our daughter's clothes. Works just as well at getting rid of the static. Here is my laundry area all organized and clean.
Now on to my next project...

...just keep'in it real!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tame it Tuesday- a summer series on taming the mess

I am a person who likes to create. It feeds my soul and makes my heart sing. I also crave some sort of order and neatness. And when things are not neat and orderly it kills any creativity I want to have. With this new party planning/designing business I need to create, which means I need some neat and orderly.
Over the past few months my home has become disorganized. Homeschooling, 3 part time jobs, starting my own party business, church ministries and this blog have taken over so much that my home has not had the regular organized cleaning it needs. So today I want to kick off a 10 week summer series on taming the mess. Each week I will show what needs done and what steps I am taking with each project. My goal is to also use what I have on hand to organize or clean each project. Want to join me? I would love it!
First up is my kitchen shelf with all my plastic storage. I am on the short side (5'2") so reaching up to put something away is always a challenge. When I am in a hurry I will usually resort to sticking an item where it will fit and deal with it later. Well "later" has come and gone. Plastics are always a challenge aren't they? I mean I never have this problem with bowls or plates. They always seem to stack so nicely. Not with the plastics. They are usually a "heap o mess". What I have on hand to help tame it: small wire rack from thrift store, large round shallow bucket, and rectangle tubs that do stack inside each other.



 I used the purple shallow bucket for most of the small round and rectangle pieces. The large rectangular dishes to hold all the small lids and then the small wire shelf to hold the large lids. It is not the best or prettiest but it fits in our budget and it works for now. I would love to find something like this for the inside door for the lids... I will be keeping a look out during back to school sales. The ice cream bucket and snowman bowl I put in another cupboard that is for less used items (will show that one when I get to it).
I am curious what to you use for all your plastics. Please share your ideas!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Antique Technique DIY

Wow has our summer not slowed down yet. With working outside the home, a slew of local and etsy store orders, a home school conference and VBS this week I just simply have had no time to write. I have a list of what I want to write about, but with a packed schedule something had to go. It is hard to believe it has been almost two weeks since my last post. But I am back and have lots to share with you this summer. So thank you for stopping by again!
In my last post I shared about my great deal on curtains. Today I will share how I coordinate the hardware in our dining room with a DIY on antique technique. As a kid and even young adult I spent a lot of time in my grandma Lois' ceramic shop. It started with little Christmas ornaments I would paint as 5 years old--I grew up with it. I even made all the bridal shower favors, wedding thank you gifts and candle centerpieces for my wedding from my grandma's shop. It was a fun way to spend time with her, be creative, and learn a great deal about technique. One of them is how to antique something. Which now carry's over into our home decorating.

DIY antique; it is easy. I promise! The first thing is to start with something that has a base coat. The curtain rod ends already were a finished wood. The ceiling medallion (I will show at the end) was white and I painted it brown.

The ones in the picture I started back when I first got my ruined curtains and never finished them. Probably because it was close to Thanksgiving and I ran out of time to finish. But on this project I have 3 colors to antique so I will be able to show you how with the next 2 coats. What you see is the original wood rod ends that have the first color (black) antiqued on them.

Once you have an established base coat you will then decide on your antique colors. For this project I have three because I want it to match the other hardware in our dining room.I used a simple acrilic paint that any craft store will have.You need a paint brush, rag, and small recycled dish or cup.

Take your paint and add a few squirts into the container. Then add a little water at a time and mix it together. This is called thinning your paint.
Then brush your thinned paint all over your piece.

Then immediately and gently wipe off the excess paint with your clean rag. If you wipe off too much just paint it again. If you need more to come off, then dampen your rag and keep working at it.Once you have finished, let it dry. I used a foam block so these could dry upright.
Now if you only have one coat then once it is dry, coat with clear coat spray paint and you are done.
But if you have a 2nd or 3rd coat, like this project then I will repeat the process again.
My third and final coat will be gold. Same steps as before. Thin down my paint with water. Brush gold over entire piece, and gently wipe away the excess (but leaving a bit more in the cracks and crevices). Then let it dry before spraying a little clear coat on it.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks really nice in real life.

Here is the project that I did that inspired me to the the curtain rods ends. Sorry that I don't have pictures of the process (this was before the blog). My husband found this white medallion at Home Depot. He then, knowing my painting abilities ask if I could make it match the light we were putting up. Challenge excepted! I painted the entire thing brown and then antiqued it black, gold and silver. Then sprayed some clear coat on it.

What do you think? Want to try it? It really is easy!