Friday, February 28, 2014

DIY Lighted Glass Gift Box

If you are on Pinterest, you might have noticed all the cute projects a girl can do with glass blocks. (If not check out my DIY board for examples.) My husband and I recently tackled such a project this week.


  • Glass cube (We purchased ours at AC Moore for 5.00 on sale.)
  • Lights (We used snowflake ones, about 2.00 after Christmas clearance, Wal-Mart)
  • Ribbon (2.50 Christmas clearance, Hobby Lobby)
  • Ornament (optional, 25 cents, Wal-Mart Christmas clearance)
  • Place lights inside cube. You may have to do a little bit of maneuvering to get them looking the way you want.
  • Wrap your ribbon around it like you would a gift
  • Tie a bow or add an ornament or accessory

I wish you could see how ours turned out in person! Sometimes a picture just doesn't cut it. We chose "wintry" colors so it could stay out all season.

Have you done any DIY projects lately? What do you think of decorating with glass cubes? Share your comments below!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Stop Being a Clean Freak

Image courtesy

If you've been following my series, Confessions of a Clean Freak, then you already know my first two secrets:

- I am a clean freak (go figure).
- My house is not as clean as you think.

Here's my third, and final, confession:

I hate being a clean freak.

It's time consuming. Stressful. 

When I first got married, I couldn't leave the house with dirty dishes in my sink. Now, every once in awhile, I let them go until morning. I used to dust almost every day! Now, it's more like twice a month. Although I don't think I will ever be completely rid of the clean freak within me, at least I am making progress.

Do you want to stop being such a perfectionist when it comes to your home? Here's some advice I need to take myself!

  1. Compare yourself to others- Yes, you read that right. Start looking at the homes of your friends and family. There are dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and clutter. Most people with normal lives live this way. And they are happy. They are okay. Try being normal, whatever that may be!
  2. Don't compare yourself with others Remember, I have no kids. Less clutter, less crumbs. Some people work all the time. They are never home to make a mess. 
  3. Remember no one is judging. The most important people in your life are not looking at your dust. Even us clean freaks! I don't care if there's clutter on the counter, just as long as I don't have to be afraid to use your restroom! I compliment dinner, not complain about dirty dishes. Get jealous of the cute decor. Covet the furniture. 
  4. Don't forget what matters. At the end of your life, do you want to be remembered as a basket case and perfectionist? Be the mom who plays with her kids, not the mom who constantly yells for the toys to be picked up. The mom who loves having her daughter bake with her, and doesn't worry about the mess. The wife who doesn't nag about a towel on the floor. 
Are you a clean freak? Have you been trying to work on that area? Comment below!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the posts in my series, Confessions of a Clean Freak!

The Power of 15 Minutes

Clearing the Clutter

Developing a Routine

How to Keep Your Car Clean

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Keep Your Car Clean: 6 Tips

You vacuum your house weekly. Go on a "disinfect everything" craze when someone is sick. The trash gets taken out weekly.

But what about your car? When was the last time you vacuumed it out? Disinfected the interior? We eat, cough, and sneeze in our cars, not just our houses. 

If you have trouble keeping your car cleaned out, here are 6 tips to help!
    Image courtesy
  1. Lysol Wipes- keep a container in your car and use to wipe down interior while you wait  for something or someone.
  2. Trash pick up- clean out any trash while you are at the gas station
  3. CD's- get a regular CD case or one for your visor, so you don't have to keep CD cases in the car
  4. Items that don't belong- take them out of the car as soon as you get home- work papers, trash, books, etc.
  5. Don't let the little things add up- Just as our homes become messy by letting little things add up, our cars are the same way. You're going in the house anyways- take your purchases, or whatever it is that doesn't belong, with you. The garbage can is right there at the gas station for your soda bottles and gum wrappers.
  6. Make it a priority- Schedule a day in the month (if needed) to vacuum out your car. Mark it on your calendar. Set the time and place, and stick with it. 
Do you have any  tips for keeping the interior of your car clean? Place a comment below!

 Do you do a great job at keeping your car  clean, but maybe not your  house? Check out    the rest of my series!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: Developing a Routine

If you think people who have clean homes spend hours working on it, you are wrong.

They don't spend hours working on a clean home, but may have spent hours developing the habit of a morning or evening routine. 

Here is my morning routine
  1. Put all dirty laundry in the laundry area
  2. Make bed
  3. Wipe down bathroom counters if needed
  4. Take out bathroom trash if needed
  5. Clean toilets if needed
  6. Clean bathroom mirror if needed
Evening routine
  1. Take out trash as needed
  2. Do dishes as needed
  3. Sweep kitchen/vacuum as needed
  4. Take items from living room and kitchen that don't belong
My morning routine probably takes less then ten minutes. The evening routine is longer, depending on the amount of dishes, and if the "as needed" things are actually needed. 

Am I consistent with my routine? No way! Life happens. I get tired. Other things are more important. But even doing this routine half of the time keeps my house from becoming chaotic. 

If you don't have a routine, write down three tasks for the morning. You may have to get up earlier to do these things, or take time away from something like social networking. Once your morning routine is a habit, try an evening routine or adding items to your list. Don't try to do too much at once! This is when you become overwhelmed. 

Do you already have a good routine? Are you challenged to start one? Comment below! I love hearing from my readers!

Image courtesy

Monday, February 24, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: Clearing the Clutter

If you read this post, then you heard my first confession: I'm a clean freak. Here is my second confession:

My house is not as clean as you think it is.

There are crumbs on my floor, dust on the shelves, and my shower always seems to need a good scrubbing. Thankfully, nobody seems to notice these things (at least I hope). 

My house looks clean because I know how to clear the clutter. Here are some things that have worked for me that you may want to try.

  1. Clear the counters. If you have cluttered counters, then there is no space for the eye to rest. Do you use that small appliance all the time? If not, tuck it away. Remove toothbrushes and bottles from bathroom counters. 
  2. Use Baskets. I keep one in my living room for books I'm currently reading, store ads, and a few other items. I clean my basket out periodically so it's not overflowing. This keep things off of the floor, tables, and other random spots. 
  3. Take care of the mail. It takes seconds to go through mail. Throw away junk, and have a designated spot (not on your kitchen counter or table) for the rest.
  4. Limit items in your entryway. Only the shoes that fit on the boot tray stay. If there is no room for it on the coat rack, it goes in the closet. I go up the stairs multiple times a day, so it's not a big deal to grab these items and take them with me.
  5. Don't let things add up. Do dishes before they overflow to the counter. Don't let laundry, clean or dirty, sit out. These things don't take a lot of time to do. Taking care of little things keeps your home from adding up to a state of overwhelming chaos. 
  6. Continually purge and stop buying. All of those items have to go somewhere. 
Clearing the clutter really makes a difference. Here are examples from my home.
The top pictures are what my kitchen normally looks like (unless I'm in the middle of cooking). I don't like to have more than one or two items in each section. In the bottom pictures I set out items most people have out: appliances, food, mail. Most kitchens I see usually have every available spot covered. 

Our bathrooms are tiny.  Having clutter only makes them feel smaller. 

By the way, please don't feel bad if your house doesn't look like mine! For one, I don't have kids. You may even be okay with having lots of items out. That is okay, too! It is your home. My definition of clutter may be different from yours, and I promise I won't judge you for it!

Here's your challenge: look at your kitchen and bathroom counters. Does it make you feel overwhelmed? Is there any dead space? If not, then remove a few items. Comment below and let me know how things look!


Image courtesy

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: The Power of 15 Minutes

"How do you keep your house so clean all the time?"

"Your house is always so clean!"

These are some of the comments I get when someone pops over for a visit. Here is my answer:

I am a clean freak.

A common misconception of clean freaks is that we clean all the time because we LOVE to clean. This is not true. Over the next couple of days I'm going to show you how you can keep your house guest ready at all times without cleaning for hours a day.

My first post in the series "Confessions of a Clean Freak" has to do with the power of 15 minutes.

You may have already heard of this. Set your timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can get done.  I've never put this in practice before, but decided to give it a try today. Here's what I was able to accomplish:

  1. Removed bathroom trash
  2. Wiped down shoe tray
  3. Switch a load from the washer to dryer
  4. Cleared clutter in spare bedroom

These were all things that needed done. Picking up the spare bedroom had been on my to do list for two weeks. I was able to have the satisfaction of finally crossing this, plus two other items, off my list.

Here's your challenge: set a timer for 15 minutes and then tackle some small tasks that need done around your house (here's a list of ideas). If you have kids, involve them. Make it a fun game or contest, complete with a reward at the end. Then leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about it!

15 Things in 15 Minutes

15 minutes does not sound like a lot of time, especially when you think about all that may need done around your house. You can't do everything in 15 minutes, but you may be able to do more than what you think! Here's a list of some things you can try to do. 
  1. Empty trash cans
  2. Wipe down bathroom counters
  3. Switch a load of laundry
  4. Put a new load of laundry in
  5. Wipe down kitchen counters
  6. Remove items that don't belong from a room
  7. Sweep the porch
  8. Sweep your kitchen
  9. Vacuum high traffic areas
  10. Spot mop the kitchen or foyer
  11. Disinfect light switches, knobs, or handles
  12. Make your bed
  13. Choose a room or two to dust
  14. Remove bad items from refrigerator
  15. Tackle the mail or other pile of papers
When you set your timer, make sure to focus on small tasks. Just remove your bathroom trash, wipe down the counter, and move to the next thing. Don't get distracted by everything else that might need done in the bathroom. If you clean the closet, only pick up stray shoes or clothing. Don't get caught up in purging. 

Do you have any other small tasks that can be accomplished in a short time? Let me know!

 If you would like to find some more tips on keeping your house clean, don't forget to check out my series "Confessions of a Clean Freak."

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Face Wash

Are you tired of spending money on beauty products that don't work? Have you ever tried making your own? If not, here is a recipe for homemade face wash that I love. 

  •  baking soda
  •  water

  • Mix baking soda and water together. Some websites recommend equal parts of each, others say 1 tsp of water to 2 tsp of baking soda. I just eyeball it. Find out what works for you.
  • Wash your face
Things to Remember:
  • Just because this works for me does not mean it will work for you. Baking soda makes some people's face break out or irritates their skin.
  • Do your research when making any homemade cleaner. Some people do not recommend baking soda for your face because of the pH scale. 
  • If you find that it does irritate your skin you may have to play around with how much baking soda you are using. 
Does it work?
  • For me, yes. I have been doing it for about a year, only get a few pimples, and never major breakouts. 
  • In the beginning my face was a little irritated. I adjusted the amount of baking soda I was using, and began following up with lotion for dry skin. Now I have no trouble.
Does the thought of making your own face wash seem strange or intriguing? Have you tried this recipe or have another one that works? Let me know below!

Image courtesy Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 23 Dollar Electric Bill

We are a three person household living in 1200 square feet. In our four years of marriage our highest electric bill was around 70.00. That was during one record breaking cold winter, when we were running electric heaters. Our average bill is about 35.00

But one summer month we only spent 23.00. 

Yes, you read that right.


Here's how we did it.

  1. Unplug Even if something is turned off, it is using electricity. I don't know how much, but those little things add up. I even unplug my wash machine and dryer.
  2. Only do full loads of laundry It takes the same amount of energy to do a small load as a large one. 
  3. Hang things to dry I really notice the difference in our bill between the cold and warmer months, when I use our clothes line. 
  4. Don't overload the dryer If there is no room for the heat to circulate, the clothes will take longer to dry.
  5. Use natural light Get decent and throw open the curtains. During the day we rarely turn on the lights. I crack the blinds in the bathroom enough to have light but still keep the privacy. Break the habit of turning on lights as soon as you enter a room. 
  6. Energy Saving Bulbs If you are not already using these I'm not sure where you have been.
That's it! Doing these six simple things saves a ton of money. What does your electric bill look like? Is it out of control, or do you have some additional tips to share? Let me know below! 

Image courtesy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

7 Tips to Stay on Top of Laundry

Doing laundry. It is a never ending task. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you out.

  1. Sort as you go. When there is enough for a full load of laundry all you have to do is throw it in. Sorting will be one less thing to do.
  2. Collect dirty laundry daily. I usually do this in the morning, and then again sometimes at night. Train you children not to throw dirty clothes in corners, closets, or anywhere else where you may not see it. Or have them put it in your laundry area themselves. 
  3. Take care of it right away. When I see enough for a full load I take care of it, usually first thing in the morning. Don't wait until you have no clean clothes, or there is a mountain of laundry to do. This is when you will start to feel overwhelmed. 
  4. Recruit others to help you. My husband sometimes does laundry on his day off, when I am at work. Have your children help out. I know one lady with nine kids. All of them help fold. 
  5. Have extra detergent on hand. I stock up when I find great deals or make my own. You need to do laundry. You finally have the time. And then you realize you don't have the right tools for the job.
  6. Have a less amount of dirty laundry. If you only had an item on for a few hours, does it really need washed? You can get away with wearing denim multiple times before washing it (unless stained). More washing's equals faster wear. Wear pajamas multiple times as well.
  7. Make it fun. Not just for the kids, but for you. Listen to music, a podcast, or even watch a favorite show while you fold.  
Do you do a great job on keeping up with your laundry? Let me know what works for you below! 

Image courtesy

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 FREE Things You Can Do For Your Husband

  1. Send him an e-card. There are several websites where you can get them for free.
  2. Make him a card. 
  3. Write him a love letter.
  4. Write something on a sticky note and place it in his car for him to discover in the morning.
  5. Send a text message, e-mail, or publicly acknowledge him on Facebook.
  6. Leave a message of love on his voice mail.
  7. Bake a favorite desert, wrap it up, and give it to him as a gift.
  8. Surprise him at work (make sure you are all dressed up!) with lunch or something else.
  9. Write him a silly song, poem, or list of reasons why you love him.
  10. If there is a task he really hates doing, do it for him. If you have been putting something off that he wants done, do it!
There are multitudes of other ideas all over the Internet. A great resource is Pinterest- just as long as you don't get stuck pinning and not doing! I am guilty of this.

What are some other ideas that you have? Let me know below!

Image courtesy

Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Ruffle Pillow

Confession: I used to be intimidated by sewing ruffles. I wanted to add this super cute and girly item to my home and clothing, but, as a novice seamstress, I never got around to doing it.

Until this week.

Finally, after watching this video several times and writing down the steps, I gave ruffles a try. 

I was pleased to find that my project was not as difficult as I imagined. It wasn't super easy, and was a little time consuming, but I love the results. Give me grace if you look up close at the finished project, though! There's a black dot on the pillow from a Sharpie, and my lines aren't exactly straight, but, remember- I'm still learning!

The video does such a great job of showing how to do ruffles that, for now, I'm not going to do a tutorial. I just wanted to encourage you to attempt a project you've been procrastinating on because it seems difficult. 

What is something you have been wanting to do but have been putting off because it seems to hard? It could be a sewing project, exercising, or trying to save money. Comment and let me know, and then have the courage to start!