Monday, July 28, 2014

~FREE PRINTABLE~ Summer Planner

Oh, I don't know why, but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot... 

Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle but put me in summer and I'll be a ... happy snowman!!

If you are a mom of young kids, you just said that above in Olaf's voice. And now that song is stuck in your head. You're welcome.

Just like with my Winter, Spring, and Fall Planners, you can use this planner to keep track of everything you want to do or make in the summer.

Get it HERE!

You can check out my Pinterest boards to get ideas for Independence Day/summer activities.

Our summer is actually kind of crazy this year. Having two kids' birthdays back to back and kindy starting this fall, I am in DO ALL THE THINGS!!!!! mode and this has been a great way for me to stay on top of everything. And thanks to global warming, the weather has been abnormally cool, so we can do things instead of just stay in the house watching movies all day.

How is your summer going?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Good Daughter Turns 5

So The Good Daughter turned 5 last month. 5!

It's trippy to me that she is now the age that I can actually remember being and its weird to think of what little snippets will actually stick to her grey matter.

This year she wanted an ALL THE FUCKING PRINCESSES!!! GILTTER!! PINK!!!1!1!!ZOMG!!!! party. Not being a fan of the mass produced disney stuff, I bought a party pack from Etsy, gillter-bombed everything and went typically nuts in the way I do for birthday parties.

Pink and purple were the dominate colors.

I made some turrets out of cardboard so if you squint, you could image you were walking into a castle gate.

A glitter sign welcomed everyone to the Royal Celebration.

Treat Bags greet guests on the way in so they don't forget to take them home with them. The bags were filled with princess candy, mini paint Tangled palettes, stickers, pencils, a notepad and bubbles.

I made centerpieces with all of the princesses. And I will say that finding something with all of them - Jasmine and Tiana, included - was kinda hard. TGD specifically asked for those two and I can't blame her. I Tiana is my second favorite princess (best dressed princess overall) so I'm not shocked TGD loves her too.

Ariel and Cinderella, all glittered up. Glitter, AKA the herpes of the crafting world, was a huge mistake. I am still finding glitter in the dining room a month later. I ended up with glitter in my hair, people.

Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, AKA the boring ones. The glitter did look cute.

Belle and Rapunzel, AKA the best princesses. Rapunzel got extra glitter.

Jasmine and Tiana, AKA TGD's requested girls. Tiana got some extra glitter. Two colors, too, natch.

More princesses and a pink castle cake.

I also made some construction paper turrets and pink chocolate stars.

Castle cake using one 9x13, one 8 inch round and 5 cupcakes with 3 sugar cones covered in pink chocolate.

I really need to work on my frosting skills.

The obligatory food photo. I wanted to keep the menu finger foods/tea party. Stuff that was light and you could pick up easily and not too messy. This year we had (starting from the window and working forward) cocktail weenies and meatballs, Cowboy Sushi dip with crackers, chips and french onion dip, chips and guacamole, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, tea sandwiches of ham, smoked cheddar and mayo, cucumber and cream cheese, and turkey, brie and pear, and BLT tomatoes.

Instead of making Cowboy Sushi, my most popular dish, I decided to make a dip out of it and save myself a ton of work. I threw all the ingredients (subbing dill relish, drained very well, instead of whole pickles) into a bowl, added a packet of green onion flavored powdered ranch dressing mix, and blended it until combined. I lined a mold with plastic wrap, spread the dip into the mold and refrigerated overnight. Easy.

Outside I decorated our official birthday party tent with more pink and purple princesses. The centerpieces were also out here.

And we got a princess castle bounce house.

Which The Good Son loved more than anyone. Even me, who jumped in that thing with him for an hour.

We also had some wading pools for the kids, since both kids have a summer birthday and they can get seriously hot outside. But look at that cutie!!

TGD had an amazing time too. This is how you can tell anal retentive tendencies run in my family. That is a present from my mother, a present of princess (Rapunzel and Belle) dress up clothes, in princess paper WITH Jasmine and Tiana. WIN!

Overall, TGD had an amazing time and ate entirely too much cake.

I love you, my fierce one. Here is to another great year!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All Natural DIY Kool-Aid

Two things motivated me to create this super delicious drink: 1.) Summer feels like it is almost here and there is nothing more summery to me than eating some watermelon; and 2.) My kids turn into raging assholes when they consume red dye. Think of the Hulk after a 3 day coke/PCP bender. That shit ain't pretty.

So I limit their intake of the liquid red devil but damn it if the kids didn't score some off the neighbors like some cheap crack and they have begged me for it ever since.

Lucky for my little beasts, fresh, local watermelon hit the market the last few weeks and I have been turning it into this DIY All Natural Kool-Aid alternative. And the kids can't get enough. I can't say that I blame them. 

There is nothing better for a kid than drinking some sugary sweet drink outside before running through the sprinkler. The only thing better, they will learn in 13 years, is the sweet taste of that sugary drink with some vodka. Yum!

This is super easy to make too. Just throw everything in a blender and let it liquify. Then strain and serve with some ice (and booze for the adults). So easy I make this while I am cleaning the cutting board after chopping up all that damn watermelon.

I want to try strawberry next. We shall see how that goes.

4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
2 tablespoons organic sugar or preferred sweetener to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice

~Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until liquid. Strain through a sieve, discarding pulp. NOTE: You can also save the pulp, mix it with water or yogurt and freeze in pop molds.

~Serve over ice. Add booze if you are feelin' frisky. 

recipe by: The Good Wife

Thursday, May 22, 2014

~FREE PRINTABLE~ Spring Planner

A lovely reader was kind enough to remind me that I hadn't posted my Spring Planner yet. She was very kind when really she she had every right to call my out as the lazy, forgetful bitch that I am. 

That said, here is the Spring Planner. Spring is a wonderful time for me. The weather gets warm, activities start up around town and we can get out of the house. And my anniversary is in May.

So it helps me to keep track of all the nice, spring things I want to do. Recipes I want to try, things I want to do and make. Everything is right here to help me enjoy the season to the fullest.

You can download your very own Spring Planner for free

You can also check out my Fall Planner and Winter Planner

Get some spring ideas on my Pinterest board and also get ideas for Earth Day, Mari Gras, St. Patrick's Day and more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Visual Spring Cleaning Guide - The Kitchen

By far the most labor intensive part of Spring Cleaning is the damn kitchen. There is in here.

It can be overwhelming. But remember, you don't have to do it all at once. You can break up tasks over the course of a week. It also helps to have a clean kitchen as a baseline. That's why weekly cleaning maintenance is important. This task would seem Herculean without a good baseline.

Let's do this, shall we?! 

1. Dust ceiling and corners of walls
2. Dust and clean the light fixtures
3. Wipe down walls, minding spots behind the stove and counter top appliances
4. Remove and clean all art and photographs from wall.
5. Remove all draperies, curtains, and blinds and wash or have cleaned
6. Wash all windows
7. Dust and clean the tops of the cabinets
8. Clean the inside of the oven  
~TIP: Use a natural cleaner like the one I have here.~
9. Remove knobs, burners, and burner covers and wash
10. Clean the fridge 
11. Wipe down and clean the small appliances 
12. Wipe off the shelves inside the cabinets
13. Dust and polish the outside of the cabinets
14. Wipe down and clean out any drawers
15. Clean the switch plates and outlet covers
16. Dust and polish the outside of the drawers
17. Clean the dishwasher by running an empty cycle
18. Wash the counter tops in your kitchen
19. Wash the sink
20. Clean the microwave
21. Dust and wash the baseboards
22. Sweep and mop the floors
23. Empty and wash out the trash can

Now don't you feel all better?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Visual Spring Cleaning Guide - The Dining Room

1. Dust the ceiling and corners
2. Dust the vents and fans
3. Wipe down walls
4. Remove and clean all art and photographs from wall
5. Take down draperies, curtains, blinds, etc, to wash or have cleaned

6. Wash all windows
7. Dust and clean all lamps and knickknacks

8. Dust down all furniture
9. Remove and clean all china and serving pieces, looking for chips and cracks that need repair
~TIP: With Easter and Passover right around the corner, now is a great time to wash and care for your silver and china. Remember to store china carefully, wrapped in paper or bubble wrap. You can also use felt rounds between each plate. Never stack more than 5 plates together and take care when storing glasses. 
To clean light tarnish from silver, fill an aluminum pan (or one lined with aluminum foil) with hot water, add salt and baking soda, and stir to dissolve. Add the silver and a chemical reaction should remove the tarnish. Please note, the good tarnish (a desirable patina and the dark crevices in a pattern) may be removed as well, and pitting may result.~
10. Clean any mirrors
11. Clean the switchplates
12. Clean the outlet covers
13. Dust and wash the baseboards

14. Clean flooring 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Visual Spring Cleaning Guide - The Bedroom

Now that we have cleaned the living room, let's move on to the bedroom! Let's take a look where the magic hasn't happened in about seven months.

Since The Good Son is in his own room now, along with taking out his co-sleeper, we thought it would be a good thing to deep clean in here as well. What we did:
1. Dust the ceiling and corners
2. Dust the vents and fans
3. Wipe down walls
4. Remove and clean all art and photographs from wall
5. Take down draperies, curtains, blinds, etc, to wash or have cleaned

~TIP: Keep blinds clean by dusting often, with a dry cloth or a vacuum attachment. To clean wooden and faux wood, use a gentle wood cleaner on a nearly dry rag and wipe gently. To clean metal, rinse with water either outside or in a bathtub. Allow to air dry before hanging.~
6. Wash all windows
7. Wash all bedding, comforters, mattress pads, pillows, etc.
8. Vacuum and flip your mattress
9. Clean under your bed
10. Dust and clean all lamps and knickknacks (Don't forget to dust the light bulbs!)

~When cleaning a kid's room, now is a great time to check all toys and books and games to make sure everything has working parts and batteries.~
11. Dust down all furniture
12. Clean any mirrors
13. Clean the switchplates
14. Clean the outlet covers
15. Dust and wash the baseboards
16. Clean flooring
17. Sort through your closet using the Keep, Toss, Donate or Store method

I have found that kid's rooms are actually the easiest to clean. Since they play in them every day, nothing tends to gather that much dust. And the little shits outgrow clothes so fast, I don't find any shirts that should have seen the donation bin awhile ago.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Visual Spring Cleaning Guide - The Living Room

It's Spring! And you know what that means? We get to fucking clean shit!


I know everyone is excited as can be. But really this is once a year, so let's all bitch together about how much it sucks, pull our big girl panties on and snort a whole bunch of meth* to be the most productive spring cleaners ever. 

*actual meth use optional

Let's take a look at what we will be cleaning in the living room, shall we?

The Good Husband and I spent one Saturday morning cleaning a rearranging the living room. We were able to dust every fucking surface and reorganize in a way that made the living room look awesome.

If you recall the TV and entertainment center were on the wall to the right of this photo. And it was horrible for flow. All the traffic had to walk in front of the TV to get to the dining room and kitchen or the bedrooms and bathroom. When we moved in, we actually had the TV on the wall where the couch is now and that was a stupid idea. With the TV on the wall on the left of this photo, it helps to create a space for viewing the TV and for the kids to play on the floor and the wall where the TV once was will become a sitting area with a bookcase, chair, lamp and small table and chairs for the kids (once we finish our debt snowball and have money sometime next year.)

So rearranging the living room was a great excuse to clean everything from top to bottom. Here is what we did:

1. Dust the ceiling and corners
2. Dust the vents and fans
3. Wipe down walls
4. Remove and clean all art and photographs from wall
5. Take down draperies, curtains, blinds, etc, to wash or have cleaned 

~TIP: Prolong the life of your curtains by spot cleaning immediately when dirty. Vacuum weekly with a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or shake outside for delicate fabrics. Follow the instructions on the tag for machine washing or dry cleaning.~
6. Wash all windows
7. Dust and clean all lamps and knickknacks (Don't forget to dust the light bulbs!)

8. Dust down and clean all furniture
~TIP: Consider having your upholstery dry cleaned. The couch was the first thing TGH and I bought when we moved in together 12 years ago. It is holding up really well for what we paid for it. We have never had it dry cleaned but this year was the year. Having dirty, sticky little fingers all over it and a dog that sleeps on it all day justified the professional cleaning. They even repaired a small rip in one of the cushions. It was well worth the money spent and will be able to go a few more years until we need to do it again. If you cannot remove your covers, spot clean immediately when dirty, vacuum weekly and consider buying or using fabric protectors like scotchgard.~
9. Remove and dust all books from bookshelves
10. Remove and dust all movies and cds ~See how I organize mine here~
11. Clean any mirrors (N/A)
12. Clean the switchplates
13. Clean the outlet covers
14. Dust and wash the baseboards

15. Clean flooring
~TIP: In addition to vacuuming daily and spot cleaning when needed, spring is the time I like to shampoo the carpets. Just don't do this more than once a year with a professional cleaner or you run the risk of ruining your carpet.~

That wasn't so bad, right? 

Bask in your hard earned clean living room and remember that you are fucking awesome!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Cleaning Sale in my Etsy Shop

~~Spring Cleaning Sale! Save $3 on all orders of The Cleaning Pack. Enter code SPRINGCLEAN. Offer valid through May 1, 2014~~