13 October 2009

Every Room Cleaning & Ickies Kit

Every Room Cleaning~

Just in case I didn't say it in the others.. these are things I do in every room during my Fall cleaning.

~Washing the walls.. Vinegar and water mix works great
~Vacuum Baseboards and if that doesn't make em look clean, I use vinegar/water and a rag.
~Vacuum the light fixtures and wipe clean if needed.
~Heater Vents.. Vacuum them out
~Curtains.. Wash them if they are machine washable!
~The Window Tracks.. I vacuum them first so I don't just make mud when I get the vinegar/water mix out.. and I use q tips to get all the stuff out! Hoping to get this done before the rain comes.. Mud is MUCH harder to clean!

Ickies Kit..

Stocking up on cold/flu supplies now will help if you or a family member gets the ickies, no one wants to drag a sick kid to the store.. so stock up now on..

~pain reliever, infant, children's or adult.. whatever you need for your family, Kleenex, cough drops or lozenges, Tea, Ginger Ale & Chicken soup fixins.

I will also be grabbing a couple new coloring books or activity books at Dollar Tree.. My little guy gets pretty disappointed if he misses school, having a new book or activity usually chippers him up!
Also check and make sure your heating pads and humidifiers are all working!

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10 October 2009

Last of the Halloween Decorations

Old Fashioned Candy sticks, a new fave to use, and Candy corn. Black Candlestick from Target this year.

This tree was one of my favorite finds last year.. I don't add anything to it just some little fake bones and candles underneath. Speaking of candles..I am loving Vanilla Pumpkin candles from Yankee right now!

The Mantle has two Feather Boa's on it.. I REALLY like the look they add.. Dark but still a little whimsical, unexpected and not a straight line! The MAGIC nick knack is glass glitter and is already changing colors from last summer.. not much just a little but I love that about it.. it looks antique even though I am positive it is not.. It was all silver and now the edges are starting to look a little more coppery. Everything else up there is from Michael's on Clearance a couple years ago!

Haunted House candle holder, skull filled apothecary jar, barn star ceiling tin and a silver alarm clock.

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Halloween Outside

I think this little cutie will probably be my last Halloween purchase for the year.. couldn't resist she is too cute!

I can't keep anything alive in these window boxes, they don't get any sun.. I covered the dirt with some Dollar Tree Moss and lined up the little pumpkins, I will add some gourds once Halloween is over for a more fall look.

The finished nap time project from a while back, but added a bird.

Got this little metal truck a couple years ago and haven't done a thing with it until now, it was this color of green but dingy, I just spray painted it and now I am thinking I need to do it red so it stands out a little more.

You can barely see the branches under all the spider web.. we had "help" with that project!
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07 October 2009

More Halloween Goodies!

I promise I am really almost done uploading Halloween pictures.. only a couple other things!

If you haven't been to REAL DEALS.. Check out their website.. Realdeals.net and GO! Such great deals and amazing little touches.. My new favorite place. SO glad they are finally putting one in a closer city.. Used to be a couple hours drive! The cake plate.. SO cheap.. I bought it in both colors, black and off white! The crows are ceramic and were less then 3 bucks a piece! I use the big fake crystals SO much that I cant keep them in one seasonal bin.. I feel like I use them almost every other season!

I am a sucker for "little" things.. This tiny plant is called a pin cushion.. it's a indoor plant and I kill one or 2 every year, I can't help it, I still spend the money on one knowing I will be lucky if it lasts until Thanksgiving.. but I just love them and how they look like teeny little pumpkin patches!

I Have the front of our house just about done, as soon as it's all the way done I will pot some pictures!

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06 October 2009

Halloween Chandelier with Skulls

This might be one of my favorite projects for Halloween.. it was a one time thing and I keep them every year.. I got the foam skulls at Michaels (on sale of course) and had hubby drill holes in them (I think ours is 1") but just measure the candle stick part of your chandelier.. then I just have to remove the light bulbs and drop them on, replace the bulbs and shades! If this wasn't right above our kitchen table I would consider covering them in glitter. I got the star and berry garland from Terry's Village on clearance.. They often have good deals on holiday things in their clearance section!
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Fall Cleaning.. Bedrooms

With the weather getting cooler I know I am usually likely to be spending more time in the bedroom, hopefully sleeping more soon, baby still has his nights and days totally mixed up. Bedrooms seem like the coziest places with warm blankets and few distractions. I think a nice deep cleaning makes it even more cozy! This is what I do for the bedrooms.

~First I move all the summer clothes in the closet to the back and the cooler weather stuff up front, making sure it's all in good shape before I move it to the back, spots or repairs are easier to take care of if it's not sitting in the back of the closet for 6 months.

~Piled up are usually a dozen books or so that have been read, if I am not keeping them I try to list them on this free book swapping site, www.paperbackswap.com or take them to donate at the library.. books collect SO much dust! Dealing with all of our piles, not just the books, makes the room have less distractions and easier to fall asleep in. Nightstand drawers are the worst clutter catcher at our house.. Seems like every weekend trip or vacation lands us with a small stack of random papers that get pulled out of the luggage and dropped right into the nightstand..I try to weed a little out each week but if they aren't just about empty I dump the drawers and go through it all.

~Walls and the ceiling.. I use the vacuum and brush attachment to do the ceiling corners, ceiling fan and baseboards.

~Mattress and bedding.. I vacuum both the mattress and box springs before and after I turn/flip the mattress. Wash all the bedding and get the electric bed warmers out! How do you all keep your sheet sets together? I fold the entire set other than 1 pillowcase and put the folded set in that pillowcase so everything stays together and is easy to grab without digging around for all the pieces. I also replace the pillows if they need replacing.

~Kids rooms.. Are a whole other story. I do the above PLUS we go through the toys and let them help us decide what they are done playing with. Christmas is just around the corner and that usually means some more toys get added to the mix. If we make some room and an effort to keep the toys organized it makes play time and clean up much easier! My kids LOVE to help clean, really they do! I try to make sure they have their age appropriate jobs, both of them know that they will get to dust (using a swiffer) if the flat surfaces are cleaned off.. I think if it seems like a little fun even, they are more likely to help and those swiffers and big and fluffy and kind of silly looking to a 4 or 2 year old!

I also spot treat the carpet (since we are a no shoes inside house, for the most part anyway, our carpets don't usually need more than vacuuming) I use vinegar and baking soda for spots. Update some pictures if they need it, and replace any candles that are close to done.

It's sunny and cool here today so I don't think we will be working inside much.. Hoping to get some of the outside stuff done!

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04 October 2009

Couple More Halloween Decorations

I am slowly but surely getting pictures of everything.. it's hard to take pictures of decorations when there are 3 sweet faced kids here to take pictures of! I am really loving all the black and white Halloween stuff available and even more so the stuff that looks vintage but isn't at a vintage price.. and glitter, I have a hard time passing up something sparkly AND Halloweenish!

I use this pedestal for EVERYTHING, been looking for another and have yet to find a wooden one! The Black glittered skull.. a Dollar Tree score! I saw some at some pricier shops and the glitter was way thicker and falling off.. I was really pleased with this one! The pictures in the frames were taken by one of my very favorite photographers, Michelle at www.Casualcameraphotography.com she really is amazing! The pictures are a couple years old but I just can't change them out!

Just a Footed vase with some fake bones in it and a glittered spider.. Not what I had planned at first but the bones were too big for the apothecary jar I had planned.. I did plan on filling this vase with color coordinated Old Fashioned Candy sticks.. they are kind of a new favorite of mine! The Witch boot Candle holders are a favorite and I struggled this year where they should go.. with 2 Toddlers and a new Table Runner that doesn't need anything on top I didn't think our kitchen table would be a good place this year.

More to come..
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03 October 2009

Fall Cleaning..Family Room

Fall Cleaning ~ The Family Room

Besides the kitchen, the family room or living room is probably the place everyone gathers the most, I LOVE a clean house but not at the expense of it being sterile feeling... I would feel horrible if someone didn't feel comfortable at our house. Getting a good cleaning in is a great start to adding all those cozy things that Fall offers! Cleaning is the chore, decorating is the reward!
I like to start at the top and work my way down.. all that dust goes to the floor.
~Ceiling Fan and lighting.. I just vacuum mine.. I dust it weekly but after the summer of it being on ALL the time, a good cleaning really helps!

~Picture Frames.. I rarely do anything but dust and swap pictures out, but having the windows open all summer, the glass, I am sure could use a good cleaning. My favorite glass cleaner ( one of the only chemical ones I use ) is Sprayway brand glass cleaner. If the same pictures have been in those frames a while swap em out for some up to date ones!

~Blinds or Curtains.. If you have blinds.. good luck, I don't have a good method for cleaning those other than a vacuum! If you have curtains give them a good cleaning (if they are machine washable). While they are off clean your windows. In case you haven't heard this little trick.. Clean your windows horizontally inside and vertically outside that way if there is a streak you won't have to guess or clean more than necessary to get it taken care of!

~Fireplace.. For us it's just turning the pilot light back on but before that I clean the inside and outside glass a day or so before so there are no fumes when the pilot is lit, and vacuum the control section underneath.

~ Electronics.. Even though I dust ours regularly the backs (which I am too short to reach) still get so dusty! I just get some help in vacuuming the backs!

~Upholstery..I spot treat ours and drag all the cushions off and vacuum the couches and under side of cushions before I put them back on. I also use a home-made fabric refresher under the cushions.

~Floor vents..Most vents have a removable grate.. I like to take it off and get Hubby to vacuum IN the vents.. I think in our eat in kitchen area there is a box or more of cheerios in the vents! Vacuum the grates off and replace!

~Rugs/carpets.. We don't have much soft floor coverings, just 1 area rug downstairs.. I haven't used anything but baking soda and a vacuum to clean it, but I have never had a major spill.. and it looks good as new! I just sprinkle the baking soda on and let it sit while I do something else, then vacuum it up!

~Hard floors.. We have hardwood and I don't do anything extra for our floors, just the usual, but I will brag about the Shark Steam mop every chance I get! It works amazingly well and has no chemicals! If there is a mark from a toy (I don't know how these toys mark on the floor but I see rainbow colors once in a while) I just use a magic eraser and it comes right up!

~Baseboards.. If you haven't done them in a while now is a great time.. I just vacuum ours.

~Walls and doors.. The best thing I have found for toddler prints (which are ALL over) is just vinegar/water mix and a clean rag or towel. I spray the prints and rub gently. If you have some noticeable spots that need touching up, paint them on a rainy day when you don't want to go outside anyway.. This little thing looks like such a useful tool if you have a lot of the walls the same color.. I would just keep it in our junk drawer... I am always finding little spots here and there that need a touch up! It's the Rubbermaid Paint Buddy. It holds a small amount of paint and has a built in mini roller!

~Clutter.. If you have some clutter in your family room (and who doesn't?) take care of it now before we start to get all the catalogs, cards and extra paperwork that sometimes ends up in the Family Room.. My problem is magazines.. I LOVE them and am quite the magazine hoarder.. But lately I have been better at going through them once and marking the pages I want to read or keep.. Packing the magazine in my purse and reading the articles while I wait for preschool pickup or if the kids fall asleep in the car.

~Candles.. This is kind of decorating and not cleaning, but some of us have those HUGE candles that are not seasonal or go with everything and they get a little dusty.. Dust them off with a pair of nylons that were headed for the trash, since the nylons don't have a lot of texture they pick up the dust without ruining the outside of the candle.

~The little things.. There are a few things that need cleaning attention but seem more like decorations to me.. Throw pillows and Blankets.. Make sure those blankets are clean (we don't keep ours out during the summer, they have been packed and need a freshening up!) Throw pillows can usually be tossed in the dryer to be fluffed up. The other little things that make the room cozy to me are those air fresheners I am addicted to from Bath and Body Works, Wallflowers, I love the fall scents but none more than Creamy Caramel (I think it was replaced this year with pumpkin patch.. I didn't see it in the store, but they could have been out) It smells amazing and warm.
Have fun if you are doing some Fall cleaning!
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02 October 2009

Fall Cleaning.. The Kitchen

Fall is here already! Normally I would have this started a few weeks ago to try and be done within the first couple weeks of Fall... but having a baby sure changed my schedule! I think it is just as important to do a Fall cleaning as it is Spring. ALL those fun family holidays will be here before we know it and I know for me, I don't want to stress about getting the kitchen cleaned (all the little things that add up to a huge thing) done in a rush just before the family gets here! So doing them now makes cleaning maintenance MUCH easier and leaves more time to do the fun stuff like making cookies with my kiddo's!

I am a list lover.. This is my Fall Kitchen Cleaning list.. Obviously not all of these will work for every one's kitchen and since I don't have many small appliances they aren't on here... but don't forget your toaster or toaster oven!

~The Fridge.. since it will be full of all kinds of ingredients and leftovers soon, I empty it and the freezer and wipe it out and make sure nothing is taking up valuable freezer space that I'm not going to use. I wipe down our fridge every Monday but don't take everything out and don't
do the freezer every week. For this job I use a vinegar/water mix and a magic eraser. In the meat drawer I use a very very diluted bleach spray! I give the outside ( including the top ) a good cleaning.. and vacuum the coils.. it saves money on energy costs when the coils are clean, and its a fire hazard if they are covered in dust!

~Cupboards..Dishes get chipped and broken and sometimes we end up with not enough plates for everyone.. now is one of the times of year I try to go through all the dishes and weed out the chipped ones (I bought a extra box on clearance so I replace them from that box) and make sure we have all the utensils we need for all those big meals.. even if we aren't doing dinner at our house! I wipe out the cupboards before I put everything back in.

~Oven..I think I bake more in the next few months than the rest of the entire year.. No one wants to bake in a dirty oven right? I think I finally learned my lesson and the messy things that can bubble over I usually remember to put on a big cookie sheet to avoid those spills and avoid the oven cleaning.. But there are of course still spots that need cleaning. For this job I use magic eraser and Easy Off (I really really dislike using chemicals but the oven is 1 thing I have yet to find a alternative for) They also make these mats for the bottom of the oven to catch spills they are called silpat sheets.. I have yet to squeeze 1 into my budget but they are still a neat product and have other uses as well.

~Pantry..Like the fridge our pantries will be getting extra full of holiday ingredients.. to make things easier come cooking time I make sure and get everything about to expire out of the way and try to use it up! Organize my shelves ( I have a section for baking, canned stuff, breakfast items and snacks ( which BOTH my big kids can reach now.. yikes ) Finally I make a list of the items I know for sure I will need, by doing this now it gives me a few extra weeks to watch the ads and coupons for the best deal on them! Don't forget to check your stock on zip style baggies, foil, and cling wrap!

~The little things..if you are planning on using vases, clean them now when you aren't trying to multi task. Same goes for silverware and your holiday linens!

I will try and post some more rooms when baby allows of course! Make it fun..and reward yourselves with a yummy cofee treat.. Chai Latte's are my fave.. but Starbucks Pumpkin Spice is a close 2nd!

*picture is from goodhousekeeping.com and isn't it cute!
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Halloween Spiders

I really don't like spiders at all, but for Halloween will make a exception to decorate with them. I thought since I was covering them with glitter, they wouldn't be as creepy! The entire project was pretty quick and super cheap!

Got a bag of Halloween Rings at Michaels, Glitter and Glue, and some Glue Dots.

First I glittered the spiders.. used a paint brush and covered em in glue, then dipped them in the black glitter ( I use Martha Stewart brand ). After they dried I cut the ring part off so the spiders were mostly flat. Attach the glue dots to the back and stuck on the wall. Below is what I did with em when they were all done! They wrapped around the wall and a few pictures.. and yes they are just a little creepy!

I also did a few of the little skulls with silver glitter.. havent decided what to do with em yet though!
I am hoping to get the rest of my Halloween pictures loaded soon! ( in between baby naps! )

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