Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

For the very first time ever, I am joining in on the Ultimate Blog Party excitement! So, here we go!

I am Deanne, a mother to four children, who I affectionately named NattyNu (age 10), JoNo (age 7), PunkyPie (age 4), and Boo (age 3) for the internet. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Hubby, for 10 1/2 years now and am incredibly grateful for everything he does for our family.

I am a busy lady. I work as a housecleaner Monday-Friday and have a very "flexible" (read: unstable) ending time each day. Some days I am home by 2pm, other days, I'm not home until after 6pm. It's hard on me and I cannot imagine how hard it is on the family to never know when to expect me home.

I am also a CNA and wanting to get back to doing that as soon as I possibly can. Not that I don't love my job, but okay...so I really don't love my job. lol I also want to go back to school and finish my degree in Business Administration with an Accounting focus, but first I have to make sure that I am doing my part to make ends meet at home.

I also work out of my home as a crafter (I have an Etsy shop with a few items in stock - more as soon as I get around to taking photographs and listing the items!) and I also sell Tupperware and am looking to possibly start selling Shaklee as well in the near future.

I am a kind of crunchy mama. I believe in being as green as possible, we use cloth diapers at least part-time (Hubby and MIL prefer sposies and that's okay too - we do what works best for all of us - and this is how it has been for the last, oh, six years or so in the diapering department). I also try to use safe, homemade cleaners as often as possible. I want to be able to have any of my children help with the cleaning without worrying about the chemicals that they may end up having on their skin. (That is kind of part of a big reason behind wanting to become a Shaklee distributor.)

I have recently been working to lose weight by making better food choices (not dieting because dieting is temporary and I want this to be a lifestyle change that will be forever) and getting more exercise. So far, I am down 30 pounds over the last two months and I am very excited about that! I still have about another 60 to go, but already I am feeling better and overall, healthier.

My blog here is a cross between a mommy blog and a niche blog for cleaning/organizing and crafting. I tried doing multiple blogs before and you can see them if you click on my picture and go to my profile, but I tend to just be more of a one-blog kind of girl, with the exception of one blog that I am a contributor to.

Hmmm, I am trying to think of what else there is to tell you all, but I can't really think of anything, so if you have questions, feel free to ask! I'm pretty much an open book. Glad to have you visit! And if you'd like, follow me via Google Friend Connect and like my blog on Facebook. I will start hosting giveaways when I hit 25 followers on here. And considering that I am a crafter (a knitter and scrapbooker to be exact) AND sell Tupperware AND plan to sell Shaklee AND will be reviewing products from time to time as well (not too often because I don't want this blog to become all about reviews - they can get kind of old when that's all you see in feed reader), there are a LOT of possibilities for giveaways! So, come on in, sit down with a cup of tea (instant with artificial sweetener is my current choice) and have a nice read. Leave some comment love here and there so that I can check your blog out as well!

Until next time...

Tackle It Tuesday

This week for Tackle It Tuesday I tackled my lower level bathroom. I don't have a before picture, but let me describe it this way - I live with four males and one of them is potty training. And it seems that none of them can actually hit the target. Just sayin'.

So, I started with my shower. I sprayed some straight vinegar on my shower door to help tackle the hard water and soap scum build up and let it sit. Then I moved on to the mirror and used the same straight vinegar there and wiped it dry with a microfiber cloth.

Then, I moved down to the sink and sprayed an all-purpose cleaner into it and scrubbed it down really well. I used an old toothbrush to get between the faucet and the sink itself and really scrubbed it out well. Then I wiped it all out with a second microfiber cloth. After doing that, I used my first microfiber from the mirror and shined up the faucet and the knobs and the drain stopper thingie. Because that is what it is called, right? A drain stopper thingie? The vinegar and the microfiber together really makes it all shiny and nice.

Then I cleared off the toilet and picked everything up off of the floor. I think it was something like 6 bottles of shampoo and conditioner and other things, plus a large container of laundry detergent. Doesn't everyone keep a large bottle of laundry detergent in their bathroom? And then I cleared off the little shelf we have hanging above the toilet and straightened it up and made it look nice and neat.

Then it was time to tackle the toilet. I'm sure you all know how to clean a toilet, but bear with me. I sprayed the entire toilet down with the all-purpose spray, tank lid, tank sides, top of toilet lid, underside of toilet lid, top of toilet seat, underside of toilet seat, toilet rim, inside of the bowl (and then a little bit of powder in the bowl), then sprayed the outside of the toilet base, being sure to get the area by the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Then I started wiping it off with a large terry cloth towel. I like to use barmop towels personally because of their large size, but you could use a standard 12x12 terry cloth cleaning towel as well. But anyhow, I used my barmop towel and began wiping in the same order as I did the spraying, down to the toilet rim part, then I used my toilet brush and cleaned the inside really well. Then I finished up with the toilet rim and the outside of the bowl, all the way down to the floor.

The floor area in our bathroom is very small so it is more trouble than it is worth to try to use a mop in there, plus our toilet is not placed squarely in there either, so it's a very tight space between the side of the toilet and the wall anyhow. So, I just used my all-purpose spray and sprayed the floor on that side of the toilet and hand-wiped it while I was hanging over the toilet to get the area by the bolts cleaned on that side. I then worked my way from the wall behind the toilet to the wall in front of the toilet and then worked my way around the toilet. I used a thin line grout brush to get the area around the bottom of the toilet and let me assure you, it was DIS-GUST-ING. Blech! Then I continued hand wiping the remainder of the floor area. Oh - and in case it wasn't clear, I used the same rag for the toilet and the floor. Because honestly, the floor is much worse than the toilet 'round these parts. You could use a separate rag if you wanted to though.

For the finishing touches in the bathroom, I also shined up the handle of the toilet with my mirror microfiber cloth as well as the toilet paper holder and the switch plate. Then put things back into the bathroom neatly. The only thing left to do was to finish the shower.

Normally, I would have done the shower completely in one shot, but because of the hard water and soap scum, I wanted to give the vinegar some time to cut through it and break it all down. One warning though - when I opened the shower door to clean it, the vinegar smell assaulted my nostrils. It was a little bit overwhelming at first. It won't hurt you, but it is powerful.

I used a steel wool scratchy on my shower door - I don't think my shower door is glass, but it might be. But I used that scratchy on my shower door until it looked pretty decent. It always looks clearer when it is wet than it does when it is dry though. I then wiped the door with the mirror cloth. Then I sprayed down the inside of the shower itself and scrubbed it all really well and then dried it off with the same cloth I used for the sink, and then finished by shining the metal in the shower - the shower head, the shower knob, the shower door handle and the piece that holds the shower door on. Not sure what to call that piece though.

The one thing I realized that I missed when I was done was the window and blinds. I should have used a dry microfiber to dust the blinds before starting the toilet and then cleaned the window with the straight vinegar and mirror cloth and then dusted the window ledge with the dry cloth as well. But oh well, it's definitely in much better shape now than it was before I did it.

And that my friends, is how I clean our tiny bathroom.

Using this method, it took me all of maybe 15 minutes to clean the bathroom. Do you have 15 minutes available to kick your bathroom into tip top clean shape? I bet you do!

Also, I will be linking this up to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

Tossed It Tuesday - April 4

I don't have much to report about things tossed out this week. There's a few items and I will list them, but what I want to talk about is something else that I came across yesterday as well.

Okay, so my list first:
  • Punky's old plastic play kitchen
  • Three boxes worth of paper recycling
  • One box worth of cardboard recycling
  • One bag worth of glass recycling
And for the other part - the thing that I wanted to share? I stopped in at a newer consignment shop here in our city yesterday to find out about their consignment program.  Turns out, it has some really awesome things going on and two minor not so good things going on. I'll start with the no so good things. The first part is that it costs $12 to consign for 120 days. Not horrible, but not great either. But probably cheaper than listing things on ebay and still something that I'm willing to do.

Second thing is the consignment ratio payout. The shop gets 60% while the consignor gets 40%. Not the greatest payout, but when I take into consideration the fact that they do all of the work (and their overhead costs and the fact that it gets the stuff out of my house super easily, well, it's worthwhile to me, I think.)

Now for the good parts - all I have to do is wash it (which I would do regardless), toss it into a box (therefore, no need to go back to pick up my container) and drop it off. They do EVERYTHING else. They will sort though the stuff, keep what will work and either have me come pick up the items that won't work or they will donate it to the homeless mission here and they also take care of the tagging and pricing and marketing of the items. If there are certain items that I want to have back, then they will make sure I get them back if they either choose not to sell the item or if the item does not sell within 120 days. It's a very cool deal. Right now, they are taking clothes for spring/summer and in three months, they will be taking fall/winter clothes as well. And if I take clothes in as late as day 119 from the first date of consignment, then I will have 120 days from day 119 to have the items sell as well for no extra charge. I hope that makes sense. LOL!

And the best part, it gets it out my house super quick and easy. And doing this supports a local business, which is something that I feel strongly about. And if the items don't sell, then they will go to a charity that I think is worthwhile as well. So, in my opinion, it's a win-situation all around.

So very soon I will be getting more and more items out of here and it will be well worth it!