Friday, July 11

Whistle While You Work & Save While You Clean

I've always liked the idea of making my own cleaning supplies. It seems to be better without the harsh chemicals and while it does take a little more work than just buying a product, it costs way less! Brand name products cost way too much and I'm really trying to keep our household spending down. I've successfully made and use regularly a homemade shower cleaner, laundry detergent and dishwasher tabs. All of my recipes are of course from Pinterest and here's my board dedicated just to Cleaning. So here's a run down of what I use and how I clean! (super exciting stuff!)

Laundry Detergent

I use the recipe found here and I love this stuff! Gets everything super clean in hot or cold water and smells great. The only "product" I buy for this is those scent crystals which I can usually find a coupon for. These could also be left out if you don't feel the need or want to spend $ on them. I also leave out the Oxy-Clean as that's not something I see a need for in our house. We don't use this on our cloth diapers or baby clothes just in case it would irritate delicate skin. We just use whatever free and clear detergent that I can find a coupon for.

Dishwasher Tabs
We've always just used the liquid stuff but I decided this was another thing I could probably make way cheaper myself. The website with the recipe, found here, says they are 3 cents a piece but I haven't done the math. We use these tabs and then just put white vinegar in as the rinse agent. Works great to keep spots off the dishes and no, it doesn't leave a vinegar smell. 

Shower Cleaner
I hated how harsh (and smelly) the store bought cleaners seemed and they really weren't cutting any soap scum. This is just sooo simple. I just squirt in maybe 1/2 cup blue Dawn dish soap and then probably 1 cup or more of vinegar. I spray down the shower, sink and around toilet. I leave it for about a half hour and then go back and scrub and wipe everything down. Sparkly clean! (vinegar doesn't smell awesome while cleaning but it is antibacterial and the smell goes away and helps deodorize everything you cleaned)

Other Stuff
For windows and tons of other surfaces, I use these Kay-Wos cloths that my husband's aunt gave me. You just get them wet and then ring out all the water. They clean EVERYTHING! I use them on windows, electronics, mirrors and even to dust if there's some really good smudges on the wood.
Finally, I don't use Windex or Pledge anymore. My mom bought me this Oxo brand microfiber duster which works awesome and is machine washable. You should be able to get it on Amazon if they're in stock.

So what are you doing to make cleaning easier, cheaper or healthier and safer for your family?! I'm always looking for ideas and would love to try something new if you've found the perfect *insert idea here*. Happy cleaning everyone!

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products mentioned. I just love using these things and wanted to share.

Tuesday, July 8

Oh Summer...

I don't know what to say about summer. It seems that I look forward to it but then it gets here and every year I'm like "nope!" I don't like you, go away now! It doesn't help that I've been pregnant for 2 out of the last 3 summers. Maybe I will change my mind again when I can enjoy a cold beer or margarita. In the meantime, we did our best to enjoy the 4th of July and long weekend.
We spent Friday and Saturday at the lake. Friday was gorgeous. It stayed semi-cloudy and never got above 85. It was nice enough to go down to the water after nap time and Kalli got to experience the lake for the first time. It even got a bit cool that night, but Saturday got HOT! The lake was packed with people and boats so I stayed at the campground while Kalli tried to nap. It was so hot that she only got an hour of down time and then we sat out in the shade & breeze for the afternoon. We filled up a shallow storage tub with water and she splashed in that. We decided to go home that evening though because the air in our camper took a crap on us. 
Kalli enjoyed the camping, swimming and being outside constantly. We ate lots of cool fruit, grilled over the camp fire and colored Minnie Mouse after breakfast. Chad and I also both caught some cat naps here and there. ;) He taught Kalli to drive the boat and I spun her around in the water, which she thought was hilarious. Mostly her experience consisted of her stomping the water and carrying sand around.
Wonderful weekend in the sun despite the heat. Sunday was just a lazy day at home catching up on laundry and looking through Pinterest at fall ideas to keep my spirits up and pretend that the humidity wasn't trying to kill me slowly. Can't wait to meet this little boy and cuddle up during the fall weather. I'm not sure what Nebraska has against the spring & fall seasons but I'm crossing my fingers that we don't switch straight to winter!

Hope you all had a great holiday and that you are surviving the heat wherever you are!

Thursday, July 3

1, 2, 3...Can't see my feet!

Okay, I haven't been able to see my feet for a while now but with only 3 months to go til baby #2 makes his arrival my view looking down has definitely changed! Here's a quick list of me and baby boy right now.

How far along: 26 weeks
Weight Gain: 23 lbs
Maternity Clothes: yes
Stretch Marks: no more than before
Belly Button in or out: out-ish
Sleep: better, still waking up a few times, can’t sleep in
Best moment this week: the weather cooled down & got some gardening done
Worst moment this weekhormonal mood swings
Miss anythingsleeping on my back
Movement: lots of kicking, now having Braxton Hicks too
Cravings: none
Queasy or sick: no
Looking forward to: camping on the 4th of July
Here's Kalli's festive little toes before she smeared them! Hope everyone has a blessed 4th with lots of family/friends, fireworks and fun! We're off to the lake early tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 27

Baby Boy Room

I am so excited to decorate our baby boy's room! Kalli's room was fun but also difficult because I don't like to do the pinky pink stuff. For this little man, I'm going rustic & modern with a lot of DIY projects. My colors will focus around lots of red, grey, white, cream and browns. Here are some inspiration images that I have pinned. (each picture links to that website/pin) And here's a link to my Pinterest board just in case you want to see even more if my ideas!
Love the numbered baskets and HAVE to find a star light like that!
Or make a star light like this!
Baskets on the wall...who would have thought?!
Really love the modern touch of the chevron.
Again, another modern touch.
Rustic alphabet, swoon! (And this would be a free project since we have lots of old barn wood.
Too cute, rustic, modern and again free to make.
Love the large letter and again combining the rustic modern thing.

Hope you enjoyed a preview of what's going on in my head for this little guy's room. I've started on a few projects and will definitely be sharing soon. Anyone interested in Kalli's room/projects? Maybe I will have to post about some of the girly stuff I made for her room!

Tuesday, June 17

Baby Boy's Dresser

I bought something! A dresser! I know, not really that exciting huh? But, I think it's one of the easiest pieces of furniture to refinish and dressers are a dime a dozen. Here's the two I just bought!
Not real pretty right now but I have some big ideas. I refinished an old dresser for Kalli too and put some pretty knobs on it from Hobby Lobby. This time for baby boy, I'm branching out. Maybe I'll do some stripes or mix the paint and wood look but I'm definitely going bold. Here are some examples of what I'm thinking! (all photos are linked to their pinterest pins where I found them)
Love the wood top and the stripe.
Perfect color!
The wood front drawers are really fun and unique. And the knobs on these last two are definitely what I'm thinking.
I'll be back to show you my finished dresser. It will definitely take some time so I don't know when, but I will be back!

Thursday, June 5

4 to Go!!!

4 more months that is, until we get to meet our little boy! I can not even believe that I am typing that. I know that every baby is a blessing but we are so happy to round out our family with a little baby boy. I also can not believe that I still have 4 more months to go. This second pregnancy has been really slow and long. I’ll be 22 weeks tomorrow so I thought that I would share how I’ve been documenting this pregnancy. With Kalli, I took pictures every week and really fell behind on the words and details. This time, the words and details are easier and the pictures just didn’t happen. So here’s a glance at me and the babes at 22 weeks.

How far along: 22 weeks

Gender: BOY!

Weight Gain: 13 lbs +

Maternity Clothes: yes

Stretch Marks: no more than before

Belly Button in or out: out-ish

Sleep: okay, except for sciatic nerve pain

Best moment this week: seeing my cousin Brandon before he leaves for Ohio        

Worst moment this week: started getting backaches & sciatic nerve pain

Miss anything: a cold beer in the summer evening

Movement: first kicks Friday the 6th!

Cravings: not really, I get really thirsty for a pop sometimes, mainly Coke

Queasy or sick: no, got dizzy a few times

Looking forward to: October due date!!! Can not wait for so many reasons!

Tuesday, June 3

Growing up too fast!

AKA...our little girl is in a big girl bed. I have so many mixed feelings about this but mostly I'm excited and really proud. That first night though, I felt mostly nervous. Is she ready for this or is she too young? Are we going to be able to handle the stress? What if it's a giant disaster? And then...Is she really asleep? What if she wakes up scared? Lots of what ifs and doubts. But I guess that's what parenthood is about a lot of the time.
So here's how we made the big switch and our results.
1) We started moving all of her toys, books and clothes to her new room. We did this because our 3rd bedroom has a huge closet and I always said that our daughter would get the big closet if our next baby was a boy.
2) We talked to her a lot about her "big girl room" and the baby room. She played in there and we got her excited about it.
3) We started talking about a big girl bed and then took her shopping when we picked up the mattress. 
4) Here's a big one...everyone that tells you to let them pick out something for their bed, is right!!! We let Kalli pick out her sheets and a new blanket. Cutest thing ever!!! I thought she would go for Minnie but we ended up with Elsa & Anna from Frozen. She gets so happy and points to them all the time!
5) Finally, we sat on her bed with her and talked to her about being a big girl and staying in her bed. We told her that it was only for night night and not for playing.

Night one, we followed the regular schedule for bedtime (bath, snack, book and bed) and then she spent 45 minutes making noise, rolling around and playing with her puppy & kitty. I had to go in a few times but she never got out of her bed. I was thoroughly impressed and super proud of her!
Night two, I went in to check on her less and she fell asleep in a half hour, even though we had storms all evening.
It seems to be going well so far. We are so excited that she has conquered this so quickly. We do expect some rough nights in the future but so far she is a major champ!

Way to go Kalli!!! Mommy & Daddy are so proud of you!