Tag Archives: cleaning

Making Your Own Cleaning Supplies.

So, I went ahead and did something that I swore I would not do.

I made some of my own homemade cleaning supplies.

In talking to other people and moms/parents, I’ve discovered that people do this for three main reasons. It’s cheaper, safer, and better for the environment. These are three pretty good reasons, I guess.

Most of the people I’ve personally asked about it do it’s for the “safety.” They all want to keep chemicals out of their houses and away from their children.

I’m not really sure that that’s my reason, though. Hey, I’m being honest — right? It’s not that I don’t want a safe environment for my baby. Because I do. And all of my cleaning supplies are in one locked cabinet that he has no access to. I don’t use bleach on his toys and then tell him to put them in his mouth. I use the harsher products on things that he more often than not doesn’t come in contact with.

But that’s besides the fact.

I was bored. We’re short on money. And I was curious. Those are my reasons.

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Mama’s Helper (Something Every Mama Needs!)

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I just had someone to play with/watch the baby for even 30 minutes, I could get ______ done.”

Or, have you ever just really wanted a 30 minute bubble bath by candlelight (maybe with a glass of wine), while you read a book, and then maybe give yourself a pedicure?

If you’re like me, then you’ve thought about how much you would LIKE to do these things, but you don’t want to pay a babysitter or use a daycare or anything like those options.

But what if you could have a “helper?” Someone who comes over and helps around the house. Maybe she watches and plays with the baby while you cook dinner and tidy up the kitchen. Or maybe she helps you fold 3 baskets of laundry and keep an eye on the baby at the same time. Maybe she just sits outside with you on a blanket in the sun with the baby and chats. She offers after dinner to bathe and/or dress the baby for bed while you do a few things for yourself.

I’m not talking about a nanny — or anyone who’s going to do everything for you, including raising your child. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m just talking about a little help. Someone who pushes the carriage through the grocery store while you concentrate on getting everything on your list, and you don’t have to worry about turning your back to the baby because there’s someone watching him while you step a few feet away from your carriage to grab a few things.

This is what I’ve managed to find for myself and it’s made a HUGE difference. My house is cleaner now because I can either 1) have someone do a few things for me, or 2) I can do a few things quickly without having to step back and forth to the baby who wants attention while I try to throw dinner in the oven — thus making these small chores and things around the house take a LOT less time and then I can go back to being with my baby! I still do most of the things for my baby — I don’t just sit here while my help takes care of him. But, if I need a few minutes or need to do a few things like make phone calls, write out bills, or TAKE A SHOWER, I know that he’s in good hands and being played with and happy.

I call her my “mama’s helper.” She hangs out at my house, usually has lunch and/or dinner with us, I let her use my computer for stuff like school work or other things, and she helps me out. It’s made ALL of the difference ..

Especially since we have ANOTHER baby on the way! (I told you big news was coming!)


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Christmas Prep.

I’ve been a little MIA lately. I apologize.

With it being the week before Christmas, we’ve got a lot going on. My goal is to do a little cleaning each day, and then by the end of the week, just a quick touch up vacuum/dust and by Christmas Eve morning we’ll be ready to set up the table and decorations and be having dinner by 2pm.

Oh yeah, I didn’t tell you? We’re hosting Christmas Eve dinner at our house.

Thanks to everyone pitching in, it shouldn’t be too hard.

On the menu: 

Appetizers: Crackers & cheese platter.

Dinner: Spiral cut ham, green bean casserole, green beans (plain, for anyone who doesn’t want/can’t eat the casserole), stuffed zucchini/mushrooms, homemade mashed potatoes, olives,  bread.

Dessert: brownies, christmas cookies, coffee.

And with all the help, the only thing I’m responsible for buying are the potatoes and the fixings for them (sour cream, butter), and the cream of mushroom soup/onions that will go on the beans. Everything else is being bought by someone else! But i’ll be doing most of the cooking — they’re just buying the stuff and dropping it off here. Easy enough!

So Christmas Eve will be spent here in my house. We’ll set up a table for 10, play Christmas music, eat dinner and dessert, and I’m thinking there will be lots of gifts for the baby. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really afford gifts for anyone BUT the baby, but we ARE handing out Christmas pictures of him to everyone.

Christmas Day will be a busy one, too. Wake up, just Hubby, the baby and I, and open presents. I’ll be making something for breakfast — so we’ll sit and enjoy some coffee/eggnog and breakfast before heading up to Hubby’s Dad’s house to open gifts with them. Then we’ll rush back home, get on our Christmas clothes, and head off to MY Dad’s house for dinner at 1pm. There will be minimal gifts there, just for the baby — but i’m sure we’ll have eggnog and cookies and chit chat.

I hope to spend the very end of the day at home, cuddled up with my 2 guys — in front of the Christmas tree, drinking just a LITTLE bit more eggnog.

Can you tell I like eggnog!?

But back to today. I’m hoping to continue on with my holiday traditions, and do some Christmas cookie baking today. I have a few recipes that I would like to try for the first time. If all goes well, pictures and a follow up entry will be coming soon.


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Multitasking Super Mama.

Before I had a baby, people told me, “Don’t stress so much over a clean house. Once you have a baby, your house will NEVER be clean again.”

You bet my eyes popped out of my head and my mind instantly began to race. NEVER CLEAN AGAIN!? That just can’t be true!

So I made it my goal (and to this day, still make it my daily goal) to keep a clean house. I’ve read lots of moms say that they’d rather spend time playing with their babies, because babies grow — and there will be time to clean the mess later. That may be true, and I love playing with my baby — but that doesn’t mean we can’t play in a clean house!

I’m VERY motivated to keep my house clean. I start every day by getting up somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m. The first thing I do is start the coffee (lately, I’ve even been good enough to set the timer the night before, so when I get up the coffee is ALREADY brewing!). I make my husband’s lunch for work — either sandwiches, or reheating and filling a thermos with leftovers. I include snacks. Sometimes I fix him cereal before he leaves the house, sometimes I pack up a nice hot breakfast sandwich for him to have once he gets to work. After I finish, I’ll do the dishes.

Yes, I like to do dishes at 4 a.m.

For the next few hours, I watch a little of the morning news while I change/feed/do whatever else with the baby. Normally around 7, he nurses to sleep in my lap, and I can relax for a bit. When he wakes, we have breakfast together.

After breakfast I let him play by himself, whether in our living room or in his bedroom. He’s safe and I’m only down a short hall, where I can check on him every few minutes. (You get used to constantly hopping down the hall to sneak a peak and make sure he’s ok.)

While he plays, I get started on whatever’s on the list for the day. Oh — the list. Don’t you have one, too?

I have a chore chart that I usually print out once a month. It hangs in my laundry room, and I can check off chores as I get them done. There are daily chores — like dishes and vacuuming. There are weekly chores, like cleaning the bathroom, and laundry. Keeping a chart and knowing that there’s a certain day for each chore REALLY helps. I only do laundry on Fridays. I clean the bathroom on Wednesdays. I sweep on Tuesday and Thursdays.

I try to get everything done for the day by noon. If I have some extra time I’ll do things like blog posts, photo editing, or some crafting. At noon we have lunch, and in the afternoon — we do whatever WE WANT. Play on the floor. Dance to music. Take a shower. TAKE A NAP. That’s the time I spend with my baby. And whatever we’re doing — it doesn’t even matter, because we’re doing it together.

Around 3:3o or 4 I start dinner. Dinner is as easy as can be — just check the meal plan chart on the fridge and GO! (What — you don’t have a meal planning chart, either?? You REALLY need one!) Sometime early that morning I probably took out whatever meat needed to defrost, and by the time 4 comes I just throw it wherever — in the oven, on the stove, or if I’m lucky, the crockpot is already going. We cook and have dinner at the dinner table EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT together.

After dinner, we start our “loosely” schedule (more on scheduling another time … or lack thereof in our case) bedtime routine. It usually consists of a bath, some pajamas, a book or some playtime.

That’s my day. It’s a full day. Sure, getting up at 4 a.m. isn’t for everyone. But I honestly enjoy it. I make time in my day for everything. I keep a clean house. I cook meals for my family. I spend time with my family.

Now, if there was only enough time in the day for me to have a little “me” time… But that’s for another day, I guess!

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