Games, movies, and wrapping up baseball

This weekend we played some board games:

Board GamesWere totally tired out from swim team:

Swim teamA played his second to last baseball game of the season:

Baseball J tried root beer for the first time (and loved it!):

Root beerAnd A stuck to his usual (Sprite when he can’t have Dr. Pepper):

SpriteAnd we took a few family pics at dinner after watching the new Angry Birds Movie:

PieologyDinnerWe wrapped our weekend with A having his last practice of the season and receiving his trophy. He has improved so much this season! I base much of that on his terrific coaches, lots of practices, and B working with him nightly to improve his hitting and catching:

Practice

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Conquering the closet rack

Seriously, I’m not sure why I am sharing this, but:

Closet rackI installed that extra pants/skirts/purses rack in the picture myself the other day. Honestly for the amount of headache it took me I think I should have spent more than 11 dollars and gone for a fancy wood shelf or something.

Anyway, I share because I care. Maybe you too will decide to install a wire closet rack on your own. So here is what I learned:

You can not put these in studs, they are made to use an anchor (NOWHERE on the directions does it state that).

Look at the pictures. Make sure what you do, looks like the picture. Hold your hands like they show you in the picture. Trust me.

You need a big level AND a small level (they don’t tell you that. Perhaps you, too, have a small toy level lying around. That works).

They sell hole repair kits that are super useful if you say…get a pin stuck in the wall with the anchor and it refuses to come out and when one finally gets it out it leaves a great big hole in the dry wall. Not that that happened to me. Just in case it happens to someone else. πŸ™‚

Anyway, despite the extra time it took I was so pleased that I did it on my own and I feel super organized now! Look my purses are lined up! My pants and skirts are in line! And that’s all. Happy Wednesday!

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Window cleaning tutorial

When I was in graduate school, I cleaned my apartment a lot. I am pretty sure that I left it about 500 times cleaner than when I moved in. One day I got especially motivated (and by motivated I mean I was procrastinating on writing a paper) and decided to clean my windows. I vacuumed, scrubbed, and wiped them down until they were super shiny (as shiny as you can get for old apartment windows). Then I decided to go out back and clean the outside of the windows. My apartment backed up to a heavily wooded area (and right down the street from a noisy frat house; yeah for me!), and so when I was rinsing down the windows I found a very (VERY) large spider had been hanging out right above my head as I had been leaning out the window cleaning earlier. Needless to say when he (or she, I’m not sure, I didn’t ask) dropped down I ran screaming around the building, and didn’t bother to clean my windows again.

Now that I’m all grown up and such, I spring clean our windows once a year, in order to avoid the build up of lovely spiders searching for a habitat. I have been doing this for awhile, but on a whim decided to share my “ahem” crazy cleaning habits for windows.

So on first glance at any window in my house it probably looks decent:DIY Window Cleaning TutorialHowever, closer inspection reveals: DIRT, COBWEBS, SPIDERS! AHH!

IMG_2356 IMG_2355See, gross.

You really don’t need a lot to clean a window well. I use a vacuum, up and up cleaning wipes, windex, and paper towels. Make sure your cleaning wipes and windex can be used together (I don’t want to hear that you are passed out on the floor from combining bleach and ammonia…because I am sure you would call, right?) Continuing on…

IMG_2357Effectively clean. Effectively cheap.

IMG_2361And then find a big bunch of paper towels….the ones that have been stolen by your one year old will work well.

Here are my steps:

Step 1: Vacuum

IMG_2366I vacuum the exterior of the window, any blinds, and if you have machine washable curtains throw them in to wash. Then you want to open up your window and vacuum out as much of that dirt I showed before as you can. Don’t forget to vacuum the underside of the window. Then you want to remove the storm screen (if you have those):

IMG_2364And vacuum the screen and use a wipe along the edges (shown here). I have also gotten really ambitious some years and will put all the screens on the driveway at the same time, then I hose them off, clean them with cleaner, hose them off again and let them sit in the sun until they are dry.

So once you remove the screen, I then spray the bottom tray of the window with windex and shut it to let it soak for a few minutes will I clean the screen. Set the screen aside (you won’t put it back in the window until you are all done!) then continue on.

2. Wipe the frame and all plastic parts of the window with several up and up wipes. This helps remove the dust from the window that will be left after you vacuum.

3. Windex spray the window (while it’s closed) then wipe it down.

4. Then if you have fold in windows, I open the window and clean those:

IMG_2367This is what I’m talking about.

5. Then set that back in place and focus on cleaning the window tray. I use quite a bit of windex for this part and I usually use some cups of water to flush out the rest of the dirt. Then I shut the window and go outside to clean the exterior.

6. Clean the exterior window. So you can hose it down first (make sure your window is closed!), which helps get off the exterior dirt. Then you just clean as you usually would, making sure to get the edges and sides of the window are wiped down as well.

7. Then go back inside and check your work. Once I am satisfied there is no dirt or streaks, I put the storm screen back in place and lock the window back up. Put the curtains back up and tada, you’re done!

DIY Window CleaningIt doesn’t look much different, does it? But it will make a huge difference to you, and it helps cut down on the dust and dirt in your house.

Some tips:

1. Make sure you clean the windows at times when the sun is not right on the window, it will be hot and nearly impossible to do it without being blinded by the sun if you try to clean a window that the sun is shining right on.

2. I usually do a room every few days over the course of two-three weeks. I try to get it done before it gets to hot, but I NEVER do it right when there is a bunch of pollen in the air. That’s just asking for an allergy attack in our house, HA!

Disclaimer: All tips and steps are my own for my vinyl, double hung, windows. You need to check the type of window you have before you use any particular cleaning products on them…and I am not endorsed by Target, or Windex, or paper towel stealing babies.

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Pantry refresh

So about two years ago we added in the shoe organizer to the door of our pantry. However recently our pantry had gotten a bit out of control:

Pantry Refresh

Some of the major issues were that J could grab the foil containers (with the sharp edges), the boys couldn’t easily find their snacks, and it was unorganized.

I spent about 35 dollars at Target and purchased two red plastic bins, two soda can holders (I sprang for the lucite ones), and my biggest expenditure was an OXO snap top container for that huge container of goldfish you see in the picture. It was 17 dollars, but totally worth it.

So here is the after:

Pantry Refresh/Cupcakes and commentary

The other plastic containers and second drawer container were ones I found around our house. I also streamlined my husband’s lunch making process by putting his snacks and such together. I am going to buy one more soda can roller for tomato sauces. My favorite thing about organizing is grouping items together in bins so I can easily take them out and put them away and I don’t have to necessarily stack them in a certain order for them to stand upright. Is it strange that looking at the pantry now makes me really happy? HA!

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Re-organizing a linen closet in an hour

So if you remember about a year ago I re-organized the boys linen closet in their bathroom. I have successfully managed to keep it organized. I have been staring out our linen closet in our bathroom for a few weeks trying to manage how I was going to straighten it out. Here is the before:

re-organizing a linen closet/cupcakes and commentary I had some basic organization with a few plastic drawer containers, but it basically had just gotten out of control.

When I organize there are three basic things that I have found that lead to messiness (and a lot of this is based on my favorite Bernstein Bears book “The Messy Room”…I am such a weirdo, I know!):

1. Lack of storage. When there is no baskets or buckets to put things they just get thrown anywhere.

2. Hording. I had broken clips, thrown into a basket, that were twenty years old. Seriously.

3. Lack of an understood system. If there is no collective understanding of where things are supposed to go, then anybody putting them away puts them anywhere.

And that is how I turn organization obsessiveness into a helpful set of notes for you. HA!

Okay so here is how I re-organized. I will show you the after:

IMG_1699Ta da! Major change.

Here is what I did:

1. I first pulled everything out of the closet. I vacuumed the floor and wiped the racks with a Clorox wipe. I also wiped down the door and baseboards. Don’t forget to use the hose of your vacuum to clean any cobwebs from the ceiling area.

2. I took a big garbage bag and threw away all old containers, yucky hair items, etc. I gathered up all old pill bottles in a big ziploc and put it up in our laundry room in our safe disposal container (it has batteries and lightbulbs…okay bear with me) to be safely disposed of. Make sure you remove any identifying labels of prescription bottles.

3. Bottom row. Towels, hand towels, basket for washcloths.

4. Next row up: My make-up tray (which I had previously cleaned out. I just straightened it up a bit). A drawer container that I first threw away any random items, and cleaned up. On top of the drawer container I had two old aqua containers (that are an office supply item that I got a long time ago from Target for a dollar) that I used one to put taller medicine bottles in that wouldn’t fit in the drawer and the one behind it had the over 30 brand new razors I found. I guess they were running a special at sometime?? And then next to the drawer is our spare set of sheets.

4. Next row up. So there is the large drawer container in the middle that holds all of our medicine items. On top of that I have what I call the “allergy/injury bin”. It is a bin that has benadryl, band-aids, and other items that if needed quickly I could find fast. To the left of that I made use of an old nintendo holder that my husband had stuck out in the garage (okay I hid it out there). It was an awesome find because it has dividers and looks pretty sleek…I know you can’t see it well in the picture, but the first divider has bar soap, the second has rubbing alcohol and a bag of cotton balls and the third is for the q-tip box. Okay to the right of that is a large basket, containing:

Travel ItemsTravel items. Remember in my travel post I stated about having ready to go travel items. While I collected them all and put them in this basket for easy transfer to a bag for travel. I found FOUR travel toothpastes under my husband’s sink. Just saying.

5. So top row. I found these two rectangle baskets in the garage. For full disclosure, I have asthma and have a nebulizer that I have to keep on hand. So the brown basket has that with all of my supplies in it, so I can reach it quickly but the cords aren’t falling all over the place as you may have seen them in the before picture. The orange basket I lined the bottom with a plastic garbage bag and put all of our bathroom cleaning supplies in it.

6. And of course the very bottom of the closet has a pop up hamper and a small trash bin. This hamper is for towels and linens only. I told you I was crazy organized right? I have a specific hamper in each linen closet for towels and linens. In our closet-closet I have our clothes laundry hamper and then in the boys linen closet they have a small hamper by the towel hamper for A’s clothes. J has a separate hamper in his room for his clothes because he gets changed more frequently and it’s easier to toss things in there. If that doesn’t tell you about my love of organization I don’t know what does!

7. Oh and that paper on the door? That’s our cleaning schedule. Told you I was Danny Tanner. πŸ™‚

*Two side notes: First, I didn’t spend any money doing this (in fact I found a dollar in change), I found all the bins from ones we were not using in other places of the house. Second, it took me exactly an hour…the time of J’s nap that day in the morning.

Happy organizing! πŸ™‚

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Hitting the Half-Way Point

So…one of the things I usually always forget to do is take pictures of myself pregnant. I use the term “forget” loosely. HA. However, since I reached the half-way point here is a little update on me and Baby Ferb.

As you can see I took this myself in the bathroom, so just ignore the bathroom stuff and figure this is the best you will get of me actually being willing to post some sort of picture.

A few interesting stats:

I hit week 20 last Tuesday, but didn’t get around to posting until this Tuesday so I’m now at week 21…or the downward slide as my husband calls it.

I was sick until the middle of week 17, but thankfully have gotten much better, I have had just a few relapses of not feeling well, but overall have been feeling pretty good!

I remember last time having more energy, but then I wasn’t running a marathon chasing a two year old, working, and having a few other commitments of my time. I tend to over-schedule myself, something I’m trying to work on.

Baby Ferb is super active and has already decided that A’s nap time is a good time to be awake. Excellent!

The baby room is painted and the crib is here, but I probably won’t start decorating to oh, say January.

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