Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can cleaning be fun?

How can you make cleaning fun?

I will admit that I do not enjoy cleaning. I do it in a mad dash with my hubby when company is coming over or when things start to look bad. I try to not stress over the clean house b/c having a newborn and toddler, means there is constant stuff sitting around, and I don't want to constantly harp on my 3yo to clean when I could be baking, playing outside, or snuggling with her and a book. So we intentionally have friends over sometimes just to make us clean up together. By decluttering and getting rid of lots of things it has saved time cleaning and doing laundry. I like the post below. I hope it gives you some good tips as well. I do like having the music.

A post from LifeasMOM Contributor, Prerna Malik

I love to clean. Really. Okay, maybe I’m not a big fan of dusting but boy, we do get a lot of dust in this part of the world. But, do you know why I enjoy cleaning so much?

I try to make it easy and fun for me and for everyone around me with a simple cleaning kit. Here’s how you, too, can put together a basic cleaning kit to keep your home clean and your heart happy:

A Cleaning Kit Checklist for the Home

A no-fuss, high-impact cleaning kit works best for a home with plenty of action through the day. Here’s what my basic cleaning kit has:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Spray bottle filled with my homemade vinegar-water cleaning solution
  • A small bottle filled with dishwashing liquid
  • A small jar of baking soda
  • Cloth dusters
  • Squeegee
  • Dustpan
  • Broom
  • Mop

I have a caddy that I tote from room-to-room for my everyday cleaning, stocked with these essentials. Since outsourcing my sweeping and mopping to a cleaning lady, I no longer need to tote the last three items, but before that, it helped to have these stored along with my cleaning caddy.

A Cleaning Kit Checklist for the Soul

What’s that? It’s a simple way to make cleaning fun and interesting. Here’s what you need:

Good music.

I find foot-tapping music an instant mood booster but you may want to drown yourself in Mozart. Choose anything that lifts your spirits and cheers you up as you go about scrubbing and wiping.


Since my husband is unwell and can’t really help me out with the physical part of cleaning, I use cleaning time to talk and converse. Being a talker, I enjoy sharing tidbits of my day or reminiscing over the past while cleaning the windows or washing the doors.

Games and Activities.

Every now and then, the act of cleaning does become mundane and boring. When I find this happening, I either challenge myself and set a timer to see how fast can I clean a room or I rope in my toddler and we try and out-clean each other.

We got her a toy cleaning kit for Christmas, quite like my own, complete with a broom, mop and small bucket. I’ve since added a small spray bottle with plain water, a small cloth duster and a clean sponge to the toy kit. ***smiling*** She has a ball trying to clean faster than me and I enjoy her company. Win-win!

There you are. A cleaning checklist that wouldn’t just leave your house looking nice but also, energize and refresh you.

How do YOU make cleaning fun?

– Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her simple tips and easy-to-do ideas at The Mom Writes or follow her on Twitter.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kmart Deals

  • Here are some great deals that Kmart has going on right now. This includes furniture, mattresses, and storage stuff. Lots of stuff for home. Get to Spring Cleaning and Loving how your home looks.
  • Online Only Save EXTRA 15% off Bed & Bath orders over $70 with code BEDANDBATH15 1/30-2/26
    Click Here
  • Online Only Save EXTRA 10% off Furniture orders over $125 with code FURNITURE10 1/30-2/26
    Click Here!
  • Online Only Save EXTRA 10% off Storage & Organization orders over $65 with code STORAGE10 1/30-2/26
    Kmart Storage
  • Online Only Save EXTRA 15% off Window Fashion orders over $60 with code WINDOW15 1/30-2/26
    Window Fashion Sale

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Prep Your Home for the Weekend

There are several blogs I like to follow that lead me to other Blogs I love. My interests change and flow based on what point of life I am in. Right now, juggling more than 1 child, having a small baby, cleaning, cooking, and being frugal rank up at the top lol. I like blogs about saving money, paying off debt, deals, etc. I also like blogs and reading material that helps me plan for my week, and in this case weekend, so that I can enjoy myself more. One of the benefits of having a newborn is that no one expects you to run out to events, and you are easily forgiven for missing things and being forgetful. I take full advantage of being able to relax more, not feel pressured to clean, etc because after all I have a newborn, and those days are gone way to fast. Add to that, my returning to work this week and I have a very full plate. I have to now pack me and the 2 kids for the next day before bed, so relaxing on the weekend will be very nice!

I may just use this as a checklist. Feel free to click the link to the blog here. But here is the meat of it. Enjoy! And share some comments when you can.

When I have time on Fridays, I like to take about thirty minutes getting my home put back together after a full week, so that we’ll enjoy spending time here on the weekend. Or if we’re going out of town, it makes it a nice place to come home to.

We’re not really cleaning this time, just sprucing it up visually.

• Make the bed.

• Throw dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

• Wipe spots off the bathroom mirror and faucets.

• Run the dishwasher so there will be a place for dirty dishes.

• Take out the trash.

• Pick up a few things.

• If you have guests staying with you, you need clean sheets and towels.

• Snacks – never underestimate the importance of snacks.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Couponing for dummies

I Love following the home decor projects this family does regularly. It is a must see blog for me! Sherry has decided to learn about Coupons and shares some good tips she learned. Be sure to check it out and follow them regularly. There are some great coupon sites she links to in the post as well!

Snip, Snip.

Such a beautiful project!

These beautiful projects she does on her page are a Large part of why I want to learn to knit and crochet. Someone MUST teach me please. I would try to teach myself but just don't see that happening with 2 little munchkins at home now. :-)

Posie gets Cozy

Posie Gets Cozy

Another Great Recipe: can you tell I am getting hungry and its almost lunchtime? :-)

Posie Gets Cozy

Roasted Root Soup
(A modified version of Joy the Baker's Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup)

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1" rings (wash them well)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 cloves of garlic, in skins
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 tablespoon fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half

Preheat oven to 375 degres F. Spread squash, leeks, sweet potato, and garlic out on a half-sheet pan or large baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands to make sure it is all coated with oil. Roast in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes until squash is soft when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Let cool a bit. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin onto the other vegetables (and discard garlic skins).

Scoop everything into a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add 3 cups of chicken stock and puree vegetables with a hand blender. (You can transfer everything into a regular blender in batches, too, but a hand blender is perfect for this.) Once it's almost at the consistency you like (I like it thick), add the last cup of stock and sage. Simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Add cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with garlic bread — here's my super-quick method: Toast thick slices of bread in regular toaster until just barely golden. Slice one (peeled) clove of garlic lengthwise and rub cut side of garlic all over one side of the hot toast. Drizzle with a little olive oil or spread a bit of butter. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pop it all under the broiler for about a minute (watch it — it sizzles quickly). Serve hot!

Posie Gets Cozy

 Yum I love reading this section about the curried chicken soup recipe, really thinking that this one will be added to our rotation soon if Hubby likes how it tastes. Me, hmmm I pretty much am guaranteed to like anything with curry in it. Also check out the no- knead bread recipe she links too, also very yummy and easy. I have made it myself several times.

Posie Gets Cozy

Every few weeks I've been roasting four bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (like Ina taught me). I shred the meat and freeze it in separate portions, then make stock from the bones to freeze, as well. I have become someone who has homemade stock in the freezer now. And shredded chicken, ready to go. This has been a really welcome addition to the pantry (the frozen pantry) on nights when I couldn't be less inspired to cook. It's also kind of nice when you when you're somewhere in between: craving something, but feeling lazy. The original recipe for the Silver Palate curried cream of chicken soup has you cooking a whole chicken, waiting for it to cool, etc. This is my version of that, which relies on freezer-pantry stock and shredded chicken. It gave me time to bake another loaf of the no-knead bread.
Curried Cream of Chicken Soup
4 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
5 cups chicken stock
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
1 cup (or so) of shredded chicken
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup half-and-half
Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and curry powder and cook over low heat, covered, until vegetables are tender. Add the stock, parsley, and rice. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and cover; simmer until rice is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. Pour the soup through a strainer and be sure to save the stock. Put the solids back into the soup pot, add 1 cup of the stock, and puree everything together with a hand-blender. (If you don't have one you can run it all through the food processor in batches.) Add the remaining stock to the puree along with the shredded chicken and peas and heat everything through. Add half-and-half, heat through again, and season with salt and pepper.

Amazon Mom Coupon Codes

A Great Diaper deal for Amazon Moms!!


(clicking links helps fund this blog)