Tag Archives: home

Menu for the Week February 11 – February 15

Here is what is cooking at my Haus this week:

Monday: Crockpot Chicken and Rice, roasted cauliflower (cauliflower from my garden) The recipe for this chicken and rice was not very good.  The rice as mushy and everything was a bit dry.  I will not post the recipe but you can find it at Crockin Girls.com

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Crockpot Chili

Thursday: Valentine’s Day – Pizza with heart shaped Pepperoni, green salad

Friday: Beef Stroganoff, egg noodles, cucumber salad

I will post the recipes as I make them this week.  Happy Cooking!!!!

How To Clean A Granite Composite Sink

I live in an area where the water is hard and calcium builds up and causes white rings/stains on my sink.  Since my sink is a dark grey granite composite these marks are very noticeable.  Here is what my sink looked like before the cleaning.

008I had tried everything even vinegar but that left a film.  I researched on the internet and when I found out the “secret” I was amazed that it could be that simple and inexpensive, not to mention without harsh chemicals.

Here is what I use to clean my sink.  Can you tell what the “secret” item is?

009It is not the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, all though this is an amazing device, it is the baby oil!

So here is how I clean the sink:

Step 1 – clean the sink with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Make sure to get all of the stuck food items, etc. off and rinse the sink well.

011Step 2 – spray Windex on your faucet fixtures and whip them down with a clean cloth.  I use old washcloths as they are very absorbent and don’t leave fuzzes.  Once the fixtures are clean, use the same cloth to dry out the sinks.  Make sure they are very dry.

013Now you may think you are done, however, once the sink sits for a while those nasty white marks appear again.  So here is where the magic happens.

Step 3 – Pour a little baby oil on a clean dry cloth – about the size of a quarter.  Use a clean cloth – not the same one you used to dry your sink as water and oil don’t mix and you won’t get the same effect.  Rub the sink down with the baby oil rag.  Don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease here.  I typically will wipe down the divider of the sink, then the sides of the left sink.  I then apply another quarter size of baby oil and wipe the sink bottom and the sides and sink bottom of the right sink.  That is all you need as you don’t want it to be to oily.  Here is the finished product:

015

 

My sink will usually stay this way for about 2 – 3 months.  Then I will go through this process again.  In between treatments, I will usually give my sink a wipe down with my dishtowel after the evening dishes have been cleaned up and put in the dishwasher.  This way my sink is dry and clean and I put out fresh dishtowels for the next day.

I hope you have found this information useful.  To clean my granite counter-tops I found this product at Target. I works wonders and it often on sale for a good price.

017

A Clean Slate and New Bedroom Furniture

My husband and I will have been married 15 years this year.  During this time we have never had our “own” bedroom set.  I has always been some of his and some of mine thrown in together.  It was such a mix of textures and wood colors that I have not felt inspired to dress it up much.

We purchased a new mattress (California King Size) a few years ago.  It is one of those temprapedic mattresses.  It is very comfortable but there were a few problems. Our previous bed was a queen – this mattress does not fit on the frame.  (don’t worry we didn’t have a bedroom set remember – it was just a metal frame)  Since we wanted to be sure we liked the mattress before buying a bedroom set, my husband just amended the frame (stretched it to capacity) and put plywood on top.  We put plastic on top of the plywood to protect the new mattress of course.  Are you feeling my pain yet – a decorating nightmare!  So my saving grace was that I had to buy new sheets to fit the beast.  I purchased nice, crisp white sheets since I was unsure of comforter color choice, etc.  So that is the story on the mattress.  Fast forward two years later……

Still sleeping on the plywood because we could not decide on a bedroom set we both would like.  In the meantime, we decided to refinish our wood floors.  Our bedroom had carpet and was an addition to the house, so we actually had to lay the wood floor in this room.  The rest of the house had dark stain wood floors or wood floors with carpet over it.  The decision was made to refinish the floors and get rid of the carpet. We chose a light more natural stain color and it really brightened the house up. It made no sense to buy heavy furniture that we would need to move during this process – so the bedroom had to wait.

As anyone who owns a home knows….. one project soon brings on another.  Hey, since we have all of the furniture out of the rooms – lets have them painted…. hmmmm a little crown molding in the master bedroom would look nice.  We hire a painter even though we could have done this ourselves.  Our thought was to get the furniture back into the rooms as quickly as possible so hiring someone who could come in and knock the project out quickly was key.  So where are we now – hardwood floors in (check), rooms painted (check), bedroom furniture purchased (check) – hey wait a minute – this was my son’s bedroom furniture.  What about me……”We just spent so much money on floors, paint, furniture for the boy – we should wait and make sure we find something we like.”

Sigh!

So the day has come – it is finally here- we found something we like!!!!!! At Costco of all places!!!!!!! We purchased my son’s furniture there as well and it is really good quality.  The bedroom furniture will be delivered today.  I am beyond excited.  For the first time in 15 years my hubby and I will have a bedroom set that we picked out together and can enjoy together.  It has things for her – mirrored dresser with lots of drawer space. And for him – storage drawers under the bed. Matching night stands! Why is it the little things excite us so much?  After my room is all set up I will be on the look out for a comforter set.  We had the room painted a light yellow color as the sun really shines in here during the day and it looks so bright and welcoming.  If anyone has any ideas – I welcome them.  I have been looking on pinterest and in magazines as well for ideas.

So here is the clean slate:

005

You can see the mattress up against the wall here.

004

003

Monday Musings (on Wednesday) – Housecleaning Part 3

Monday I was so busy with my knitting marathon that I did not have time to post about my housecleaning progress.  Tuesday I had Oma (Grandma) duty and was spending the morning with my dear, sweet granddaughter.  Now it is already Wednesday, where does the time go????

The fact that life gets in the way of the best laid plans is something that will never change, it is how we respond to the things that get in our way that determines how we live our life.  I try to “roll” with the punches and make the best of each day.  To do this, I find that organization is key and that is why I am developing my Housecleaning binder so that I can stay on top of what needs to be done.

So far my binder contains:

My Weekly Cleaning list

My daily cleaning list

Cleaning tasks that need to be done once a month

Cleaning tasks that need to be done twice a year

I am now moving on to breaking  the rooms of my house into separate areas and listing what I would like to deep clean in each one.  I will focus on one room a month and by the end of the year I will have deep cleaned each room in my home, as well as, keeping my weekly cleaning down to 1 hour per week.  No one wants to spend the precious weekend time we have cleaning all day.

I do realize that some of you work in an office and can not dedicate a day to clean during the week. If this is true for you, I would recommend breaking the weekly tasks up and doing one or two each day during the week.  This way your house still gets cleaned and you are not a slave to the process. You can add your monthly cleaning chores onto the ones you do each day, or add them to the time you spend cleaning on the weekend.  I usually add them onto my weekend cleaning day.  this usually only adds an additional 15 minutes to my cleaning time. I usually clean 15 minutes on Saturday and 15 minutes on Sunday.

For January I am focusing on my Kitchen.  Here is what my chore list for the kitchen looks like:

KITCHEN:

Wipe down cabinets

Wipe off top of refrigerator

Wipe off Knick-Knacks and declutter countertops

Scrub floor

Clean crumbs out of drawers and straighten

I don’t have many items on this list and each task takes 15 minutes or less.  Since each month has a minimum 4 weeks I should not have a problem getting these done within my scheduled, allotted time frame.

So far I have wiped down the top of the refrigerator and scrubbed the floor.  I took last weekend off to participate in the knitting Marathon so I will tackle the following tasks on Saturday: Wipe down cabinets, wipe off/declutter my countertops, and clean the crumbs out of my drawers.  These chores will most likely take me 30 minutes and then I am free to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Stay tuned for next week when I post my progress and show you the Family Room detailed list.

 

 

 

 

Best Website for Crock Pot Cooking

I came across this website Crockin’ Girls as I was surfing the net in an attempt to find more Crock Pot Recipes.  I wanted to make something besides soup and stews in my crock pot.  I found an amazing Lasagna Recipe, a wonderfully easy Pizza Recipe and many others. I broke down and purchased the non-stick crock pot that they reference on their site and made a cake.  Now I have 2 crock pots!!!!!! Oh the possibilities are endless.  You can look up recipes by category and they even have videos in which they show you how to prepare some of their recipes.  If you subscribe to their website they will send you a shopping list for a new recipe they will be featuring in one of their upcoming videos.    I do hope you will enjoy this site as much as I do and can take your crock pot cooking to the next level.

Glitter Branches

In keeping with my winter theme in my home right now, I thought these branches I read about on Pinterest would make a nice addition. Here is what I used:

Modge podge

Paintbrush

Silver glitter

Branches I purchased from Marshall’s for $7.99

006I layed out a drop cloth to catch the excess glitter as I worked.  I started by painting the modge podge on the branches with the paintbrush. Do this a little at a time so that glue does not dry before you have a chance to add the glitter.

007Sprinkle the glitter on the branches as you go along.  A little glue, a little glitter, etc.

008To coat the branches I sprinkled the glitter from the container, picked up the excess glitter off my drop cloth and sprinkled it on the branches, and even at times rolled the branches in the glitter that had been caught in the drop cloth.  Remember this does not have to be perfect – some clumps look nice and make an even nicer “icy” affect.  I did not coat every branch as this also made the branches look more natural.  When they were to my liking I laid them on the drop cloth to dry.

009

011Let them dry for 30 – 45 minutes.  When dry, gently shake off the excess glitter.  I put them in a vase I had purchased some time ago on clearance.  I think I achieve the look I was after.

013

 

 

 

Monday Musings – Housecleaning Part 2: Monthly cleaning list and twice a year cleaning list

So in an attempt to stay organized, I purchased this 3 ring binder from Target.  I love the Owl pattern (I am very much obsessed with owls lately).  006Into the binder I put my weekly cleaning list (vacuum rugs is crossed off as I had the remainder of my carpeting taken out and now all I have is hardwood floors) and my daily cleaning list.  I have them in sheet protectors so I can use a dry erase marker to mark off the items as I go.  This is what my lists look like – you will need to customize yours to your home. The weekly cleaning list takes me about one hour to do – I do these on Friday mornings.

007The next page in my binder will be my Monthly Cleaning List.  Here is what I put on mine:

Scrub tubs and shower stall walls

Wipe down all baseboards

clean window sills

clean shudders

wash throw rugs

wipe out microwave and toaster ovens

wipe out oven

wipe out refrigerator – throw out old items

wipe down ceiling fans and light fixtures

 

Also on this page is my “to be done twice a year” list.  My list looks like this:

remove all window screens and wash windows

wash items in china cabinet

clean oven 008

 

My goal is to choose one or two of the items on my monthly chore list to do each weekend. Breaking the cleaning down into manageable time increments makes it easier to stay on top of things rather than always trying to play catch up and then spending the whole weekend cleaning.

Next Monday I will start to break the rest of my house into sections – focusing on deep cleaning one room a month.  Stay tuned…….

 

 

 

Throw Pillows

021A quick way to “redecorate” or update a room decor is with fabric.  I had made some pillow covers for my couch throw pillows that remind me to much of Fall. I like to redecorate my mantel for the seasons/holidays.  Now that Christmas is over I have gone with a simple white and aqua blue which reminds me of frost and clean crisp air.  So when I came across this fabric in my stash 

010I knew I had to make some updated throw covers.  The fabric has small white and blue stars on an aqua back ground.  Perfect for the current color theme in my living-room.

I wanted to be able to change out the covers so I made them overlapping in the back so that the pillow can just slip in and I did not have to use zippers or buttons for closure.

I started by measuring my pillow which was 14 inches x 14 inches.  I cut the front panel of the pillow 15 inches x 15 inches. Then I cut two panels for the back – each one was 15 inches x 9 inches.

011Smaller back panels: Turn over 1/2 inch on one of the 15 inch sides, press, and fold over again.  Sew this seam.  Do this again on the other small panel.   You will only need to do this on one of the sides as the other will be sewn to the front panel in the seam.

012

013

Once these seams have been sewn, pin one of the short back panels to the front panel with right sides together and raw edges even.

014Then repeat with the second short panel – again right sides together and raw edges even.

015

Now sew around all the edges.  Tip: Do not start at a corner.

016Once you have sewn all the edges together.  Trim the corners on a diagonal.  This will make the corner nicer when you turn the pillow case right side out.

018019

Flip the covers right side out and make sure to work the corners so that they are square.  Insert your pillow.

021022