My cute friend Heather had this posted on her blog. It seems like we are going through a similar phase in our lives that I so affectionately call, trying to keep my head above water. I am in a simplification stage where I am just trying to get my life back down to the basics and get my home to be peaceful, clean and organzied. I am on my way there but I love to hear other people’s hints and secrets. We all have them and I think that Heather is right on the money is trying to harvest all of these ideas and learn from others.
I was hesitant to put this up on the blog because I, as a housekeeper, am very far from perfect, but I am very curious about how people stay on top of life. Heather hasn’t put up her suggestions on her blog yet, but I am going to grit my teeth (very tightly) and post mine. Please give your ideas as a comment, a tag or email me.
1. What is a smell that reminds you of home? I love fragrance oils. I mix Vanilla Spice and Pumpkin Nectarine from the Body Shop. Kyra recently told me that she loves it when I have it going and it makes her think of home.
2. How do you keep socks organized? I have the family put them in a separate laundry basket and wash them in a lingerie bag.
3. How do you keep your whites bright? I use a mix of Oxyclean and Borax.
4. What is your favorite boredom buster? My kids love crafts, we do them a lot. Also, we take drives, and play games. Also, my kids love showers and baths. If I have had it, I throw them in the tub for a while. They love it, get clean and I get a few minutes of peace.
5. What hints would you give a young mother for sacrament reverence? When we make it (embarrasing answer) coloring books, snacks and quiet books. We are far from mastery at this one.
6. What tips do you have for painting? House painting- Color Color Color. We love color and aren’t afraid to change. It is the cheapest way to change a look. My kids all have soothing blues and greens. The rest of the house is painted a tan color called Macadamia Nut. I love it. I am planning on doing accent walls and faux finishes. We did a lot of those in our last house and it looked really nice. We have put a lot of paint in our house (about 60 gallons over the past 4 years.) It is still one of my favorite things to do.
7. How do you remove hard water and rust stains from sinks? CLR and KaBoom. I also bought a Sonic Scrubber and I LOVE it. My friend who cleans home uses a straight edge razor blade.
8. What’s the best way to kill weeds in a flower bed? No clue. I manage to kill house plants and my weeds thrive.
9. What is the best parenting advice you have been given? Don’t stress out about the way that your house looks. When your kids are small, there is no way to keep it clean. Also, they will never remember how clean your house was but they will remember the times that you spent with them. This is still a really hard one for me to follow.
10. What is the most fun date you have been on in the last year? We don’t have any babysitters. We need to work on finding some. We do however enjoy getting take out, putting the kids to bed and watching a movie. Now that I am writing this, I am realizing that we really need to get out more. Anyone want to trade tend?
11. How do you keep a car uncluttered and clean? I am not good at this. However, this is my new strategy and it seems to be working ok. No toys in the car. No food in the car. I keep a small box in the car and it is where we keep our McDonald’s toys and a couple of books. I also have a grocery bag as a garbage bag and it gets taken out every day.
12. What is you favorite cleaning product? KaBoom, Bam, Fabuloso, 409
13. Favorite two or three step recipe…easy but good? All Crock Pot Recipes:
Cream Cheese Chicken: Chicken Breasts cut up, 1 brick of cream cheese, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 packet of dry Italian Dressing Mix. Leave it to cook and it is yummy over rice.
BBQ Chicken: Chicken Breasts, 1 Bottle BBQ sauce, 1 can Coke: let it cook in crock put and shred it up. Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.
Chicken Tacos: Chicken Breasts, 1 Bottle Salsa: Cook in crock pot, shred it, serve with tortillas and all of your favorite toppings.
I have a ton. Sloppy Joes, Cafe Rio Pork, Pizza dough, Cheese Enchiladas. Oooh, now I am hungry and it is too late to eat.
14. What is the most helpful cook book you own? Actually, my favorite is a recipe box that I got from a friend for my wedding. She took her favorite recipes, laminated them and put them in. I have continued to collect my favorite recipes and put them in that box. I love that I can go to that box and pull out something that my family really likes. I love the idea and want to start doing it if we ever get invited to another wedding.
15. Any food storage tips? My only tip is to buy stuff that your family will eat. I bought a bunch of stuff at a case lot sale and my kids hated it. Now, I only have stuff that my kids eat. We rotate it all of the time and I love that I always have our favorites (peanut butter, canned corn, tomatoes, black beans, rice, etc) on hand. For water, we rinse out our plastic milk container and fill them with purified water (we have reverse osmosis) and label them with the date. It is easy and we have all of the water that we need.
16. What is the favorite thing hanging on your walls? Pictures of my kids and iron works.
17. What do you use for Family Home Evening lessons? We are working on basic life skills: stranger danger, safety, fire drills, hygiene, etc. We read the scriptures for kids for story time on family night and over breakfast.
18. Grocery shopping hints to save money? Make a menu and a grocery list. I always eat before I go or I buy the entire Hostess aisle. If it is on a really good deal and we eat it regularly, I buy more of it. The other thing we are doing now is using the envelope system. If I pay cash, I am much more careful with what I choose. I don’t run around and comparison shop. I have done it before and I end up spending more money. If I have to run to the store for milk in the middle of the week, I don’t take my wallet, I grab $5 and that is it. That way I am not tempted to buy a magazine or a snicker bar.
19. What is something you admire about your parent’s relationship?
20. Do you have a family motto or mission statement? Simplify. That is it.
21. How often do you do laundry? I need to organize this better. I always feel like I have mountains of laundry. I do laundry at least 2 times a week.
22. What is your favorite family tradition or vacation? We have two culture in our home so, we have a lot of family traditions. We go to the Arts Festival and Fair every year. We do an anonymous service project at Christmas, we have tomato soup and grilled cheese after church on Sunday, pumpkin soup bowls and soups on Halloween with the family, Noche Buena, everyone picks an ornament every Christmas, Autumn leaves pictures, white paper bags with sand and candles lining our front yard on Christmas Eve. Oh, I could go on and on. Our favorite vacations are: San Diego, Disney and small nearby road trips. We really enjoy seeing the little rest places along the way.
23. If you had only ten minutes to tidy what would you do? The kitchen. I think that it gets the most abuse and people see it from the front door.
24. How do help motivate children to do chores? We have a sticker chart. The kids get a sticker for each job. When they fill up a row of stickers (different for each kiddo) they get to spin the “spinner of prizes” what the spinner lands on, they get. Examples of stuff on the spinner are: Soda, Dollar Store treat, late night with mom and dad, make a special treat, play a game, etc. It works for Kaeson which surprised me.
25. What is your most read children’s book? Take Me Out of the Bathtub (Cute poems that go to popular songs) My kids LOVE IT! Others, “Go Dog Go”, “Pirate Pete”, and anything from the Disney Fairy Series.
I’m sure you all have the answers since you are awesome homemakers. And even if we have never met we’d love to hear your advice 😉 Thanks!