How to Get Rid of that Icky Grime Line on your Boat!


How to Get Rid of that Icky Grime Line on your Boat!

Last summer my husband and I decided to upgrade our boat for something a little more kid friendly, so we ended up purchasing a really deep boat with a cuddy… Perfect for the kids, as well as fishing in those bigger waves that can sometimes pop up out of no where on the great lakes!

The boat that we purchased was not brand new, but totally new to us! In fact, this boat is actually a 1998… But it still looks pretty darn good, right?! When we launched our boat for the very first time, at a local boat launch, someone actually came up to us and said “Wow, that’s a really nice boat… It’s brand new, right?!” Continue reading

Magic Tile and Grout Cleaner!


Magic Tile and Grout Cleaner!

Where we live, we are on well water, and let me tell you, our water is very, very rich in iron! It’s supposed to be pretty healthy for us to drink, so that’s good, but when it comes to cleaning, it’s just ridiculous!
Our sinks, tubs, toilets and showers are always turning orange on us. Even when it comes to laundry, our whites will sometimes actually come out with orange spots on them, especially our white towels!
All though I have pretty much given up on keeping our white laundry white, I have found some pretty good hacks for when it comes to cleaning up the orange left on everything else! Continue reading

How to load your Dishwasher for Maximum Efficiency!


Did you know that there is actually a right way to load your dishwasher, versus a wrong way? Is this really something that anyone actually even thinks about?!

Continue reading

15 things to get rid of RIGHT NOW! (clean, organize, de-clutter)

For the last little while, I have really been trying to crack down on annoying, stuffy clutter. Every day when I’m going about my daily tasks around my home, I’m always looking for and thinking about different things that I can toss out. I always say, it doesn’t matter how big your house or your garage is, you will always fill it! (So true in my case!)

My parents always referred to me as a “pack-rat” (yep – that happened!), when I was little because I collected literally everything!

If you are anything like me, you have a little bit of a hard time getting rid of things that have sentimental value, and if you toss something out, you feel a little bit of that pesky guilt or anxiety start to kick in…

To help ease the aches and pains of decluttering, I’ve devised this list of some items that I have easily been able to dispose of without any guilt or anxiety!

Just remembering that you always have the option of donating items instead of throwing them away, really, really helps as well!

So here we go!

1 – Candles

I always come across candles that have been used up, but not thrown out because I like the container. I used to think that it would be great to clean out the wax and use the container for something else. However, I never actually do it, and therefore, I can completely justify throwing them away.

2 – Magazines & Newspapers

Here’s a little tid-bit… When you get a new magazine or newspaper, read it… Then dispose of it — right away! Otherwise you end up with a giant stack or an over-flowing magazine rack, taking up space in some random corner, that you’ll probably never read again!

3 – Novels

I love to read suspense novels, when I have time. After I read them, they pile up on my book shelf, and well it’s not a very giant bookshelf, and I easily run out of room. When it gets full, instead of throwing away the novels, I give them away to my friends who also like to read, or I end up donating them! And voila! More room for new novels to read, minus any guilt!

4 – Expired Pills and Medication

Cleaning out the medicine cabinet is sometimes overlooked, but it is actually a very important place to declutter! Just about all medications or pill bottles will have an expiration date, so make sure that they are tossed when it’s time.

5 – Mismatched Socks or Socks with Holes

Oh laundry… My fav! Not! Lately I’ve gotten into this really bad habit called a “sock basket”. I just throw all of the socks into one basket and think, “Oh, I’ll just sort those later.” And well, it just never happens because there are way too many! So lately, I’ve been trying to get into a better habit… Any socks with holes or that don’t have a match, I toss them – right away!

6 – Old Nail Polish

If you are anything like me, you have a TON of this! Some so old that it just goes all chunky. You can always add a little rubbing alcohol to the polish to fix it back up, but ask yourself – Will you actually do this?!

7 – Old/Expired Makeup

When it comes to makeup, I used to be somewhat of a hoarder… Not anymore though! I cleaned out my out-of-control stash, and I’ve never had more drawer space!

8 – Tupperware Containers

Oh boy – Not the dreadful Tupperware container cupboard! Every time I opened it, everything would come crashing out! I recently went through and sorted out any containers without lids, or lids without containers… That alone made a HUGE difference!

9 – Purses and Wallets

When I cleaned out all of my purses and wallets that I no longer used, it felt great for two major reasons… 1. Closet space! So. Much. More Closet. Space! 2. All of my favorite bags that I have been hanging on to for so long, were donated instead of being thrown out. Now I have the satisfaction of knowing that someone else will get to enjoy them too!

10 – Mittens and Hats

My nephew was doing a winter hat and mitten drive a few weeks ago, so this inspired me to go through ALL of my winter bins. I got rid of anything that we had more than three of per person, (which was a lot!), and while I was sorting, if I found any mismatched or worn out items, they were immediately tossed!

11 – Shoes

Ok, confession time! I actually had different closets all over the house, just filled with shoes, shoes, and more shoes! So many shoes! I love shoes, so it was really tough to get rid of them, but now that I’ve done it, it feels great! Again, so much more closet space!

12 – Old Electronics

So I may be the makeup and shoe hoarder, but my husband is a major electronics hoarder! Sometimes when he isn’t home I secretly go in and donate/dispose of things like VCRs, DVD players, random remotes and cables, etc. Shh! Don’t tell!

13 – Old Hair Ties and Clips

Eeek! It’s amazing how hair accessories can pile up without you even noticing! If you actually take a moment and take a look, I bet you’ll be surprised… I had lots stored in different baskets and junk drawers all over the house. Let’s face it – less hair accessories just equals less clutter – everywhere!

14 – Junk Mail, Old Bills and Receipts

Oh the office… One of the most cluttered areas in the house! I used to declutter my kitchen by placing the day’s mail into the office to “sort out later”… Now I sort the mail before I even put it down into a bill pile, junk/dispose of pile, and that’s it! So much less paper clutter floating around the house!

15 – Kitchen Utensils

Kitchen utensils are just one of those things that I don’t like to get rid of, in case I might need it… However, I’ve now accepted that I do not need five of every kitchen utensil, or even three. I limit myself to two, which I totally know is still pushing it, but just in case! 😉

Remember, small steps are better than no steps!

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How to Clean & Organize (When you really don’t want to!)


10This room is soooo messy and embarrassing, you aren’t even getting one tiney-tiny little shot of the disaster zone! My daughter went through this little phase where she would open all of the cupboards and drawers and pull EVEREYTHING out…. And after numerous attempts of piecing the room back together, I just finally gave up! This room is actually my “Zebra Dressing/Craft Room”…. Meaning it’s full of tiny little things, like make-up, nail polish, jewelry, paint, glue, beads, ribbon, etc…. all of the stuff that gets super messy, tangled up, and super unorganized! (Hey – that sounds a lot like my life, just in general! Lol)
Ok, so….. Where to start? Where to start?! Well after just standing there staring for awhile, I decided the best place to start was to clear off the countertop. I started by organizing everything into separate piles for general categories: Hair Stuff, Make-Up & Lotions, Nail Polish, Craft Stuff, Home Décor & of course, a miscellaneous/to-be-sorted-later pile. I also created a donation pile and of course, a garbage pile! Anything that I no longer use was put into either of these piles…. One major thing to remember is that all creams, lotions and even makeup have expiration dates! This helps a lot when deciding whether to keep or pitch something!1 Looking pretty good, right?! NOT! Still a super-long ways to go!!!!
Ok, so…. Next? Next, I wiped down all of the counter space, just to make it look like I was making a little more progress!

2Now, see these drawers and cupboards?! I am going to take full advantage of them! I am going to go through each one, one at a time, and sort all of the contents into the piles that I mentioned above, and then each pile will be transferred into one of the cupboards or drawers.

3Ok, so here they are! All emptied and wiped down! Looking good – for real this time!

4And my cupboards…. Empty and clean!

5By emptying and cleaning everything, I’ve sort of accomplished the feeling of starting with a clean slate! So now, it’s time to put everything back together…. Before just throwing everything all jumbled back into the cupboards and drawers, I made a plan of what is going to go where.

6As you can see in the photo above, I still decided to keep a miscellaneous or better known as a “junk drawer” – because let’s face it, you are always going to end up with some things that don’t fit into a dedicated category, or that you just don’t have the heart to throw out!
By following my above drawer layout plan, I was able to neatly put everything back into my drawers and cupboards! Also, if you feel that you are going to have a little bit of trouble keeping everything neat and organized, check out some of these great Drawer Organizer from Amazon.com!
I then gave the room a little vacuum, fussed a little with the décor, and voila! All finished!

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Home Office & Command Center Organization (tricks from the dollar store!)

Since my latest and most exciting career change of becoming a college instructor, I must admit…. our home office has become a little — actually, a LOT, out of control! My poor husband…. I pretty much took over his desk, his computer, and his home office has now been re-titled as “our” home office.3

As you can clearly see, I had to do something…. especially before the next semester started. It was a little difficult to figure out where to start with this home office project, so of course I decided to start it with a little bit of shopping! My budget for this project was extremely low…. (like $20 low!)

So I headed to one of my favorite stores ever, The Dollar Store! Instead of starting in the more traditional “office supply” aisle, I started out in the “kitchen” aisle, and boy, did I hit the jackpot!

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See that super cute fruit basket?! Well guess what… now it’s an office supply basket! It was just so pretty, I had to have it!

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See this super chic napkin holder?! Well now it’s a letter/mail holder! A little bit brilliant, if I do say so, myself…. 😉

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My new pen/pencil holder is actually a kitchen utensil holder…. I chose it over a typical stationary holder because it is much larger, and it hides everything…. so much prettier!

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See this cute little cube wire rack organizer? Dollar Store! And the same with these cute little floral print baskets…. perfect for hiding those messy file folders and great for extra storage too!9

This cute little 3 drawer organizer also came from The Dollar Store! Its perfect for hiding my paper clips, USB sticks, and any other super tiny “office-junk”.

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I also found this 5 hook hanger at….. The Dollar Store! And its chrome — it totally matches the rest of my new organizational items!11

This giant calendar is definitely an organizational must-have! Although, I did accidentally by the French version (oops!)…. I guess it never hurts to learn something new! 🙂

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So here is my cozy command center/home office that I was able to carve out of a corner of “our” home office…. Not too shabby! Even though I had to wheel out the kegerator and wine chiller, I’m sure my husband will be so happy to have his desk back! 😉

 

How To: Naturally Destroy Nasty Weeds & Pesky Bugs!

Who loves weeds??? I’ll tell ya’ who…. NOBODY!!!! Especially when they are in your sand box! This can be no fun at all, for you or your little ones. 🙁

But don’t fret!!! With just two simple ingredients you can easily prevent weeds from coming back, keep pesky critters out, and… your sand box will smell amazing too!!!
Sand Box Cleanup

So what are these two special ingredients, I’ll bet you are wondering…. Salt & Cinnamon!!! Ta-da!!! Yes, it’s that simple! A very wise friend once told me, that salt will dehydrate and exterminate your weeds, and that cinnamon will keep the bugs out!

Scoops

My little one’s sand box is about 36 square feet, so I used 5 scoops of salt and 2 scoops of cinnamon! (And yes, my scoops are sand shovels!!) 😀

All Clean!

Mix the sand, salt and cinnamon altogether and viola — All Clean!! 🙂