Posted by: Meagan | October 26, 2014

Weekly Cleaning Tip: Dirt Rings

I am so so sorry for the unexpected two week break in my weekly cleaning tips, I haven’t been feeling well and thus, have gotten behind. But without further adieu, I share with you, how to clean Dirt Rings.

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Dirt rings are so, so gross. And honestly, I can say that I never saw one in a bathroom sink until we moved into this rental! But whether the ring is in your tub or sink, you CAN get rid of them! I wont lie though, it takes elbow grease and…….

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I LOVE Bar Keepers Friend, it is cheaper than Comet and I think it works just as well if not better. It is also mostly odorless and doesn’t leave that chemically smell you can get from Comet and other similar cleaners. You also need a STIFF handled (my preference) scrub brush.

First you are going to put on your rubber gloves and get the sink damp, just run the water and splash it around the sink, primarily on the ringed area. Then you will shake Bar Keepers (or equivalent) on the ringed area and around the drain. And now you can prepare yourself because it is time to scrub the dickens out of that nasty, dirty ring.

In this picture I have scrubbed a little more than half the dirt ring and only for a minute or so. Serious improvement no?

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Then you will repeat on the other side of the dirt ring.

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And WOW! Cleanliness is restored!

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You may want to take this time to scrub out around the overflow drain as well. Those can get filthy because they are often neglected. (They ARE hard to see, and thus easy to forget.)

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Other Weekly Cleaning Tips:

Rubber Gloves

Toilet Bowl Rings

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A little about me:

I have decided to do a weekly series of cleaning tips! We recently moved into a new rental that I have been slowly deep cleaning and I thought, why am I not sharing these cleaning tips and information with others? Cleaning can be a daunting task, but once you have some knowledge and tools tasks can be much more manageable! Just for some background, I am currently a stay at home mom with three little boys, I am professionally trained in cleaning homes and have cleaned a fair share of other people’s homes and businesses and I hope I can share some of my cleaning knowledge with you!

If you have any questions or requests of what you need help cleaning please leave a comment and I will be sure to get back to you quickly!

Posted by: Meagan | October 8, 2014

Cleaning Tip of the Week: Toilet Bowl Ring

Having a ring in your toilet isn’t terrible, but… it looks pretty gross. So here is a fast and easy way to get rid of that ring in 2 minutes or less.

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The scouring stick is actually the length of the box, I generally break them in half to use them. I find the full length a little too long to comfortably handle. You can find these at any Wal Mart or grocery store. They can be a bit pricy for a piece of stone, like $5, but it is worth the money!

First you are going to want to put on your handy dandy rubber gloves and then give your toilet a good scrub.

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Then flush the toilet and get scrubbing.

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And scrubbing. (The grey grit in the picture is what you scrub off the pumice stone, it will flush away no problem.)

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The pumice stone will sound like it is grinding against your porcelain throne, but never fear, it wont damage your toilet at all, just scrub all the yuck off. Then flush the toilet and reinspect to see if you missed any spots.

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And give it another once-over if needed.

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And WHAM! A beautiful, clean toilet you can be proud of in just minutes.

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And just an FYI, I always keep a Clorox toilet tablet in the tank to keep those yucky rings from reappearing. Which definitely makes for easier cleaning in the future.

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Other Weekly Cleaning Tips:

Rubber Gloves

_________________________

A little about me:

I have decided to do a weekly series of cleaning tips! We recently moved into a new rental that I have been slowly deep cleaning and I thought, why am I not sharing these cleaning tips and information with others? Cleaning can be a daunting task, but once you have some knowledge and tools tasks can be much more manageable! Just for some background, I am currently a stay at home mom with three little boys, I am professionally trained in cleaning homes and have cleaned a fair share of other people’s homes and businesses and I hope I can share some of my cleaning knowledge with you!

If you have any questions or requests of what you need help cleaning please leave a comment and I will be sure to get back to you quickly!

Posted by: Meagan | September 30, 2014

Cleaning Tip of the Week: Gloves

I have decided to do a weekly series of cleaning tips! We recently moved into a new rental that I have been slowly deep cleaning and I thought, why am I not sharing these cleaning tips and information with others? Cleaning can be a daunting task, but once you have some knowledge and tools tasks can be much more manageable! Just for some background, I am currently a stay at home mom with three little boys, I am professionally trained in cleaning homes and have cleaned a fair share of other people’s homes and businesses and I hope I can share some of my cleaning knowledge with you!

 

Tip #1: Rubber Gloves!

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This isn’t something I thought was necessary at all until I was professionally trained to clean. You are much more likely to get in there and get hard to reach places and gross places nice and clean if you have a glove barrier. I buy cheap rubber gloves, they are just $1 or $2, and I buy several packs at a time, this way I don’t get upset when my gloves get a hole in them. I just toss them out and grab a new pair.

If you have long fingers, buy the Large sized gloves, the scale says I need Medium, but I have long fingers so the Large fit me best. If you don’t have long fingers, can check the back of packages for sizing scales.

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So there you go! Cleaning Tip #1: Rubber Gloves, it will make a big difference I promise!

 

Posted by: Meagan | August 20, 2014

Heart Attack

I have three sons, they are great and I love them, but one…

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This one…

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Is going to give me a heart attack. I am fairly certain of it. He isn’t afraid of heights and climbs anything he can including his big brother’s bunk bed,

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he jumps off the couch,

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he has on several occasions tried playing with electrical outlets while sitting in water,

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he eats rocks, he takes his shoes off to walk on sharp objects, he likes to hide in the dryer,

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he drinks out of puddles and has fallen into a pool, he thinks he’s a ninja,

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he is charming and even talks his great grandma into giving him HER birthday cake…

 

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AND he isn’t even two yet. Help!

Posted by: Meagan | January 29, 2014

Controlling TV Time!

Since my oldest has started school it has been difficult to control the  amount of TV time my 3 year old was watching. I would falter and give in and let him watch too many shows. It can be easy to let him watch educational shows and documentaries, yes, my 3 year old does like documentaries, mostly of the dinosaur variety. I stumbled across this free printable on Pinterest and I thought it would be perfect for us and… I was right.

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I put it up, right by the TV, and explained that he could only watch as many shows as were on our new little TV. He was fine with that and really he just wanted me to start a show already. After he watched his shows for the first day, he really wanted to watch more, but I reminded him that watching 5 shows is plenty for one day, and he said okay, rather mopey, but he left and found something else to play with. He quickly became very good and would remind me to move one over if I had forgotten. The first time the boys didn’t use up all of their allotted shows, as they were getting in bed they insisted they should stay up and watch 2 more shows since they hadn’t earlier. Ha! They quickly came to realize that 5 was the maximum and that they don’t HAVE to watch that many in a day.

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One thing I like about the printable is all the options, you can have as many as 9 shows and 2 movies and there are 2 extras you can use at your leisure. Obviously that is a lot of TV, but if you have multiple children having that many helps you to divide it up between them. Especially if one has school part of the day, etc. I have a laminator and so I laminated the printable and then cut them out. I stuck tape on the back and to keep track I just move one circle from one side of the TV to the opposite at the beginning of each show.

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I’m excited to get my kids down to even less TV and I know this nifty chart will be there to help me out! I hope you enjoy this chart as much as we have.

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Posted by: Meagan | November 5, 2013

Blanching & Freezing Carrots

Blanching is such a scary word, an intimidating word, but really when it comes to carrots it just means boiling. Whew! Boiling is much less intimidating than blanching, who doesn’t know how to boil water? I think anyone over the age of 10 can handle it. You may be thinking, Why must I blanch? Can’t I just chop up carrots and throw them in the freezer? Well no, not really, all fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that over time break down the destroy nutrients, change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. In order to destroy those enzymes and bacteria we have to blanch ‘em dead! If you have diced carrots you only need to boil them for 2-3 minutes, easy peasy! So lets get to the step by step directions of how to blanch and freeze carrots.

1. Acquire carrots. You can use store-bought carrots if you realize you aren’t going to get them used before they go limp or dry. Homegrown carrots or farmers market carrots, are generally much sweeter and have more flavor than store-bought carrots. I got my carrots from my cousin’s garden. Thanks for the free carrots Shaun and Hattie! Once you have your carrots wash them in lukewarm water.

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*For personal reference root vegetables like carrots and potatoes stay good much longer if they still have their original dirt on them. So if you get homegrown potatoes for someone don’t wash them until you are going to eat them and keep them in a brown paper bag. The paper bag is breathable so moisture doesn’t get stuck in the bag and mold the potatoes and keeping them in the dark keeps them from turning green and sprouting. Store bought root vegetables are pre-washed and this is why they generally don’t stay good for very long.

2. Peel your carrots and cut the ends off. I then like to do a quick rinse.

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3. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.

4. Dice up those carrots!

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5. Once they are diced get a large bowl fill it with cold water and some ice cubes. You want the water to be really cold to stop the cooking process.

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6. Once the pot of water on the stove is boiling pour carrots in and boil for about 3 minutes.

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7. After boiling for 2-3 minutes drain water off carrots and immediately put carrots in ice water. (Boil longer if you are wanting to freeze strips of carrots.)

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8. A general rule of thumb is that you keep the carrots in the ice water for the same amount of time you boil them.

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9. After time is up drain carrots again.

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10. Use freezer bags to store carrots and don’t forget to write the contents and the date. This way you can keep track of what you already have and how old it is. Freezer bags are better than regular bags because they are thicker and help protect your food from freezer burn. Pour as many carrots in a bag as you would usually use in a meal or soup, etc.

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11. Put bags in the freezer! I like to keep my freezer food flattened in their freezer bags, this cuts down thawing time dramatically! To thaw put bag in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes or so, or you can even throw them right into your casserole/stew/etc. frozen if they will be cooked for a while.

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Where did I learn to blanch carrots? By talking to friends and family who have done it, also from this blog post, and doing it myself. Enjoy!

Posted by: Meagan | November 1, 2013

November is Winter Clothes Re-Make Month!

I am not a sweatshirt/sweater person because I think they look frumps, HOWEVER I have seen some awesomely-cute remade sweatshirts/sweaters and isn’t a well-done sweater or sweatshirt better than looking at the same few winter coats and jackets?

There are some pretty cheap sweat shirts/long sleeve shirts around so if you look around a bit you can find a cheap one to play around with. You can also raid the closet, clean it out and see what treasures you can find and remake for hardly any cost at all! I want to see what you make, and I’ll show you what I’m making because I’m feeling creative.

Some ideas that might get the juices flowing, and I have quite a few pins on my Sa-weet Sweatshirts Pinterest board for even more inspiration.

WovenS

braidedback heartelbowsweater

Posted by: Meagan | October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Cake Walk

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I have volunteered for FAR too many things at my son’s school this year. Room Mom, Box Tops, Read-a-thon, Halloween Carnival, Room Helper… it never ends people. I am so busy I wake up and go go and when I get to bed I know I haven’t accomplished nearly what I need to. I am kicking myself and now I can consider this year my trial by error year and next year, no Room Mom, no Halloween Carnival. Call it the fault of an overzealous parent of a kindergartener. I’ll stick to a parent volunteer for 2-3 things but no more than that. Okay, this being said, I was put in charge of the cake walk at the school’s first Halloween Carnival. I made Cake Walk Number Cards, and Cake Walk Call Cards and Cake Walk Sign, feel free to use them to your liking!

Pumpkin Cake Walk Numbers (1-10)

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Pumpkin Cake Walk Call Cards

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Pumpkin Cake Walk Sign

The sheets are black and white. If you want to color them, or let your kids have at ‘em. You can also just print them off on orange paper and call it good. I have a laminator and so I laminated my pages to stand up to the wear and tear of being walked on by elementary school children for an hour and a half. Laminating also makes them reusable since you’ll be able to pull the tape off of them, they looked perfect even after 200+ children walked all over them! Which is what I was going for. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. I’ll be using them again for sure!

By the way this is where I found the pumpkin clip art!

Posted by: Meagan | September 25, 2013

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial

I started this post last year but with the birth of boy #3 I didn’t get it posted. I am happy to announce that once again, Halloween is a-comin’! Last August my boys and I were in the fabric store buying fabric for the Christmas and birthday gifts I was frantically trying to get done before the baby arrived and they spied the Halloween fabric. They begged me to buy fabric so I decided to skip the plastic trick or treat pumpkins and make trick-or-treat bags for my boys, only I finished just one bag in time for the big day. Oh well, you can’t win them all can you?

Materials:

1/2 yard of fabric per bag

Matching Thread

Sewing Machine

Directions:

-Wash, dry and iron the fabric

-My fabric is already cut to a half yard, I then folded it in half and cut 4 1/2 inches off each end for the handles.

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-Sew the handles: Fold fabric hotdog style (remember that from elementary school?!) so the design is on the inside, and the fabric is long. Sew, I did a large seam allowance of 1/2 in. Turn right-side out and iron. I decided I wanted the seam on the underside of the handle, that is personal preference you can put the seam wherever you want when you iron it down.

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-To keep the handles from getting to floppy, and I think it looks a lot nicer, I sew the edges on each side about 1/4 in. in.

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-Repeat steps for second handle.

-Time to sew the bag. Fold down each end of the large piece of material. I folded each side down about an inch, iron and then rolled it down another inch, ironed and sewed across.

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(Note: Some may want to sew handles on BEFORE sewing up the sides of the bag, I did it last so I could better eye the placement of the handles, but do whatever you prefer!)

-Take your piece of material and fold it in half with right sides together, sew each side. I double stitched the seam for extra protection and keep it from fraying. Using pinking shears on the exposed edges can also help keep the fraying down to a minimum.

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-Next attach the handles to the bag, sewing a rectangle with an X through it helps secure handles really well.

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-After handles are attached you are done! This bag held up great to a little boy’s night of trick and treats, I’m really happy how it turned out and his big brother is super excited to get his very own trick or treat bag this year.

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Posted by: Meagan | August 29, 2013

How-to: Make a Yo-Yo

Making yo-yos is fun and once you make a few it becomes a super fast project you can do while watching your favorite show or chatting with friends. These would also be a great sewing project to teach children, once you make a few yourself that is!

First you will need your equipment. I purchased and suggest you do too, a Quick Yo-Yo Maker. I know it’s possible to make them without one but using one makes the process much faster. I bought my large yo-yo maker for less than $7 at my local craft store.

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It separates into two pieces.

IMG_2738Put your fabric in the bottom part of the maker (pale yellow part) right side down. Then you will put the top part of the maker (darker yellow) on the the top.

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Make sure you have holes to push your needle through and snap the top down to secure it.

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Then trim excess fabric from around the maker. You are ready to sew!

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Personally I like to fold the edge over so the center of the yo-yo looks more finished, you don’t need to do this but I think it looks much tidier. Knot the end of your thread and start your needle from the bottom of the maker towards the top.

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Continue sewing around your yo-yo maker being sure not to sew over the top of the bottom (pale yellow).

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Sew all the way around back to your knot.

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This is what the top of your yo-yo should look like after you finish sewing.

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Pop the bottom from the top.

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Pull on your thread.

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Pull tightly until your yo-yo looks like this.

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Knot you thread and cut the excess thread and tidy the edges of your yo-yos and boom you’re done!

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Soon you’ll have quite a few ready for your projects!

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