Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Nutcracker, A Mom's Review

My girls participated in a local production of The Nutcracker and I must say, this year included the cutest (redheaded) Chinese Dancer and Baby Mouse that has ever before been onstage.  Not that I'm biased, or anything......

My cute Lolly girls was a Chinese Dancer and loved it.  Well, she didn't love all the practices, but this girl loves to be on stage.  I made one or two (or ten) jokes about her being a redheaded Chinese dancer.  I found them quite amusing but she thought I was just being weird.  One day she'll get it and then we'll laugh about it.  Or maybe she'll still think I'm weird. 

And then there's my little Baby Mouse.  She is the official Baby Mouse....the first to come on stage and call her baby mice friends, the first to hide and the first to come out of hiding.  She's also the poor little baby mouse that gets shot by a soldier.  I don't love that part.  But my Baby Mouse takes her job very seriously and does a great job!

 The last few months our life has been greatly influenced/dominated by these Nutcracker practices, fundraiser and costume purchases.  But it's so fun to see what all their hard work has lead to.  And I'm almost knitting (I do that during practice) so there is hope!



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Cards with Minted

We had our family photos taken about six weeks ago with the specific purpose of having some cute photos to choose from for our yearly Christmas card.  My sister in law humored me and took many pictures to choose from....over 200.  And then I took a few as well, just of my girls.  We have just a few pictures to choose from...ahem

Now comes the hard part.....not just picking out the best pictures for our card but also picking out the actual card.  In comes Minted.  They contacted me to see if I would be interested in sharing some highlights from their new holiday card collection.  Um...YES!  They have such a beautiful array of cards to choose from and I picked a few of my favorites to share with you.

I love the look of traditional cards and was especially drawn to this one since it encompasses it all.....Happy Everything!
 And I just love the colorful ornaments and four picture option on the Joyful Ornament card.
I have a love of all things (most things) retro so when I saw this Retro Whimsical card I just fell in love with it.  I just love the pink, black and yellow! 
 Since I have a hard time narrowing it down to just one picture to use, I looked at some card options that allowed more than one picture.  I loved all three of these cards and couldn't pick a favorite....




I personally love getting letters to go along with the Christmas cards we receive in the mail.  I like hearing about what's been going on with our friends and family and how their year has gone.  But let's be honest....that takes a lot of time and we don't always have that time every year. 

I like the Year in My Life card because no words are necessary....you can get the whole story from the pictures.  This is especially perfect for candid shots and not worrying about having more formal pictures taken. 
Which brings me to the Family Year in Review.  A cute photo card that also includes the basic family statistics for the year all in one pretty little package. 
This is sounding perfect for my little family this year because between school, dance, Nutcracker practice, homework, play work and all the other fun things going on, I just don't know if I have enough energy and a long enough attention span to write my usual thrilling update letter. 

And this last little gem also caught my attention.  Since we had our pictures taken in the fall, I want to make sure that whatever card we pick compliments the natural colors in our pictures.  The beautiful gold script wouldn't clash and the card itself has such a classic holiday feel to it.  Joyful Season is right!
 



Amazing Chaos Family Photo Shoot Coming Soon!!!




**Disclosure:  I have been compensated for my review but all opinions and holiday card indecision are my own.**

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Santa Paws

This picture needs no introduction. 
But everyone needs this picture for their holiday season.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfulness

This is the season for thankfulness and craziness with all the holiday celebrations, shopping lists and hectic schedules.  Its often easy to focus on the big things to be thankful for and we forget about the little things.  So in honor of Thanksgiving, we are making a list of all the little things we can think of that we are grateful for.  And when I say "we", I mean all of us.  A full family list of thankfulness.  This should be good.....
  • family and friends
  • books
  • history
  • books about history
  • fancy soap
  • apple spice cake
  • Christmas
  • essential oils
  • holidays
  • library books
  • food and water
  • shelter
  • glasses
  • Harry Potter quilt
  • headphones
  • imagination
  • Legos
  • movies
  • TV shows
  • car heater
  • cute socks
  • electricity
  • new bedroom blinds
  • shoes
  • clothes
  • purses
  • Holiday Barbie
  • fancy dresses
  • Christmas lights
  • fireplace app on the iPad
  • the iPad
  • earrings
  • toys
  • grandma and grandpa
  • our names
  • nail polish
  • Christmas trees
  • pajamas
  • birthdays
  • fantasy
  • snuggles
  • hair
  • magazines
  • recess at school
  • candy
  • school
  • good health
  • air popped popcorn
  • chocolate
  • airplanes
  • Harry Potter Land! 
  • cars
  • snow
  • the garden
  • homemade grape juice
  •  art supplies
  • Monster High
  • sleep
  • homemade pizza 
  • pillows 
  • blankets
  • Dexter  (best dog in the whole wide world)
  • flashlights
  • ornaments
  • watches
  • angels
  • furniture
  • animals
  • jewelry
  • Chloe  (the girls....not me)
  • hair dryer
  • flat iron that actually flattens my hair
  • warm/hot water
  • grass
  • herb garden
  • winter
  • SUMMER!
  • snow
  • peace
  • justice
  • indoor plumbing
  • restaurants
  • trampoline
  • money
  • Santa Claus
  • telephones
  • music
  • fingernail clippers
  • playgrounds
  • trees
  • pumpkins
  • hot chocolate
  • light bulbs
  • the computer
  • pencils and paper
  • Lalaloopsies
  • plants
  • flowers
  • reindeer
  • dancing
  • Santa Claus' sleigh
  • eggnog
  • family movie night
  • birthday dinners
  • "baby earring" game
  • games
  • chess
  • chess club
  • first grade
  • third grade
  • having the only male teacher at the school
  • someone else doing the dishes
  • senses 
  • eyes, nose & mouth
  • love 
  • braids
  • birds
  • treasure boxes
  • organized closets
  • a working washer (appreciated even more when your washer is broken)
  • autumn
  • spring
  • scrambled eggs with fresh basil and tomatoes
  • superman jammies
  • baptism
  • lotion
  • the ocean
  • Salt Lake City
  • America
  • Pandora Radio
  • Puzzles
  • beds
  • paid time off
  • fire trucks
  • police men/women
  • sticker chores
  • princesses
  • crowns
  • queens
  • tiaras
  • glitter
  • stove/oven
  • kitchen aid mixer
And so many more things.  We are blessed.  Feel free to add if you feel so inclined.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elase Laser Hair Removal Update PLUS a Giveaway!

When I first talked about laser hair removal last May, several people said they wanted to hear details of how the laser hair treatment worked for me long term.  And I'm happy to oblige you with those fun details.

Since May I have had five laser hair removal treatments.  There has been a noticeable difference since I started my treatment.  The hair growth has been noticeably reduced, but after five treatments the hair is not completely gone.  That's why Elase Medical Spas has their laser hair removal membership that lasts 12-18 months.  The lasers are able to remove hair during every growth cycle which is necessary for complete hair removal.

So....would I do it again?  You betcha!  Even though they had to turn the lasers up after the second treatment, it still wasn't that bad.  And not having to shave anymore? Totally worth it.

Now that we've got my armpit update out of the way, it's time to get to the good stuff.  THE GIVEAWAY!!

This giveaway is awesome! Elase Medical Spa is giving away a chemical peel and cute tote bag.  Now I have never had a chemical peel myself, but I have heard wonderful things about the results.  If you want to know what it's really like, check out the posts from these ladies about their experiences...

Glycolic Chemical Peel from Kim Orlandini
So You're Thinking of Having A Chemical Peel by Vocal Sokol 

Just enter below and keep your fingers crossed!  The contest closes on Friday, November 22 at midnight.  A winner will be randomly chosen and have fabulous skin for the holidays!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


**Disclaimer...I'm a brand ambassador for Elase Medical Spa.  Although I am compensated for my time, all opinions, experiences and permanent hair loss are my own.** 

Friday, November 15, 2013

And Then POOF It Was Halloween

Time is flying by so quickly, I can't even begin to keep up with life, let alone my poor, neglected blog.  But, Halloween pictures must be shared because we love Halloween around here. 

This year we didn't get to do a family theme costume (sob) and I feel like I handled it like an adult.  Maybe next year we can do a theme again.  Or maybe I'll do a theme costume for our neighborhood party and then any other costume for the rest of Halloween.  But let's be honest....its a lot of work to make Halloween costumes.  I have some doubts that I'll do double costumes next year.  Oh well.  Whatever I tell myself to get me to act like a grown up is a good thing. 

First of all....the costumes!  I had an adorable vegetarian vampire and an Abbey Bominable (from Monster High) to call my own this year.  They were so excited about their costumes and Lolly pretty much took charge of her own costume.  The only thing I did was buy her a black long sleeve shirt.  Babs isn't quite old enough to manage a costume plan on her own so I still got to help. 


The day also included some festive foods (I don't have pictures of all of it) and some spider web eyelids.  And that is as close as I ever want to come to having spider webs on my eye lids.

And the Halloween aftermath.  I was so happy we didn't have school the next day.  We just hung out at home all day, sorting candy and relaxing.  And possibly making charts and graphs of our candy.  We're nerdy like that. 
And that giant dog you see sitting in the middle of all that candy...he did not eat one single piece of candy.  He just wanted to hang out with the family.  Dexter really is the best dog in the world. 



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Spooky Science at The Leaonardo

We were lucky enough to get to experience all the spooky science the Leonardo had to offer us.  My cute Lolly girl is not a fan of spooky things, but after some coaxing to get her in the door, she really did enjoy it. 
We started out at the creepy, red velour lined coffin photo op.  The family that poses together stays together.

But I think that the highlight of the exhibit was BY FAR the shadow play area.  I just couldn't resist catching the shadow of me and my girls. 
 And of course, the ultimate "monster getting the little girl" picture.  It's really too bad you can't hear what was going on during this picture.  It was hilarious. 
I should really invent something that can take pictures and do audio recordings at the same time.  I shall call it video.  Until then.....my awesome photo abilities. 

And we can't deny the electric connection my children have.  And these two smarties discovered that the plasma balls would enable you to shock those of us without rubber soled shoes, but would not shock those wearing rubber soled shoes.  Smart girls!
We must have spent an hour just in the one exhibit and we had so much fun!  The girls got to make some flubbery goo and hang out with glow in the dark fish.  Needless to say the girls were not huge fans of the tarantula, scorpions or hissing cockroaches.  But we all know plenty of kids who LOVE those things.  And the thing to love most.....they were behind glass walls.  The best place for those things, really.

And since we were there, we decided it might be worth our time to venture to the rest of the Leonardo.  It was a good decision because we love the Leonardo.  Really love it.

And because I have now invented video, here is a live action video that CG took while I was drawing this lovely self portrait.  I had no idea how strong jawed I was.  Good to know.  My favorite part is Lolly asking about my earrings.  The girl is all about accessorizing.
video

The Spooky Science exhibit is PERFECT if you're looking for a some Halloween fun that doesn't involve costumed teenagers jumping out at you.  Plus, you'll probably learn a thing or two that you didn't know before. 

This year for Christmas we are changing things up a bit and spending money on experiences instead of more toys that will not get played with but will still need to be stored and organized.  I think I'm seeing a family membership under our tree some time in the future.  Until then, we will make the most of it when we do go.  On this particular night we "may" have stayed four hours.  Maybe.  And if we didn't desperately need to eat dinner we may have stayed even longer.


Disclosure: My family was given passes to attend the Spooky Science exhibit at the Leonardo.  All opinions, pictures, video and self portraits are my own. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Skin Lightening With Elase Medical Spas

You may remember me talking about sun damage back in June.  And if you don't.... go here to get all caught up on the epic sun damage on my poor, frequently sunscreened face.  I'll wait.....

I was very surprised to see I had so much skin damage.  And I'm not gonna lie.....I was a little terrified to have the lightening treatment done.  I've heard the stories from my older friends/family about having skin cancer spots burned off.  It didn't sound pleasant.  But let's be honest....does anyone think that having lasers shot at your face is going to be a pleasant, relaxing experience?! 

I opted to have a full skin lightening done, with special attention to a few darker spots that had appeared in the last year or so.  From what I understand from the lovely technicians at Elase, you can opt for spot treatments and it's not nearly as painful.  Either way, I highly recommend using Dr. Numb.  Not only does it help with pain management but, if you're like me, it will make your lips go numb which you will find absolutely hilarious in your pre-appointment nervousness.
The actual treatment probably lasted less than ten minutes.  The technicians at Elase are very professional and move through the treatment very efficiently, while still allowing you to get your bearings if the pain gets to be a bit too much in a specific area. Right after the treatment they had me apply aloe vera gel and it really helped soothe the skin. 

The day I had the skin lightening done, my face felt like I had a bad sunburn but as soon as I would put aloe vera on I would feel immediate relief.  By the next day I didn't really feel any discomfort at all. 

Over all I have to say that the most painful part of the process was having to take pictures of myself every day.  I took a "before" picture and then another picture each day to show the progress.  I took many pictures of myself people!  For you!  And I'm just not a big fan of taking selfies.  I would have to really psych myself up to take those blasted pictures.  Sometimes I would even go the extra mile and put on lipstick.  Just to take the picture.  But I did it so that we could all see the difference that it made. 

So now I present to you my adventure in awkward self photos.

Before! 

 During/After

 





See what I mean?  That was painful.  Posting them was worse than taking them.  But I thought you would want to see what the entire process is really like.  

When all was said and done, the darker spots by my left eye are completely gone and even quite a few of my lighter spots are gone as well.  Although the actual treatment wasn't painless, the recovery pretty much was painless.  I usually forgot about it and then would be surprised to see black splotches on my face.  But they were pretty much gone in a week so even that wasn't much of an inconvenience.  There was one time when I went out in the sun without sunscreen (you're not supposed to do that) and I started freaking out like a vampire caught in the sunlight.  Other than that, smooth sailing......


**I'm a brand ambassador for Elase Medical Spa.  Although I am compensated for my time, all opinions, experiences and awkward pictures are my own.**

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book of the Week! The Thirteen Hours of Halloween by Dian Curtis Regan

Picking up where we left off and pretending I haven't blogged for a while.....ahem....

Since Halloween season is just right around the corner (one of my favorite holidays!) we decided to pick up a few festive Halloween books at the library.  We found quite a few but this one....this one is my favorite.


This book follows the rhythm of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and you can even sing this book to that tune.  And I know that for sure because that's exactly what we did at story time last night.  As a matter of fact, I think singing this book makes it even better.

 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hello? Is anyone there?!

***crickets chirping***

Cricket 1:  Dude.  Has it really been over two months since anything has been posted on this lame blog?!

Cricket 2:  Yes.  Maybe she fell off the treadmill and hit her head and has amnesia and can't remember the password.  We should probably send flowers.

Cricket 1:  Rrrrriiiiiggggghhhtttt. 

Cricket 2:  Do you miss her?

Cricket 1:  Eh....not really.   

***crickets go back to chirping***




Monday, July 22, 2013

Laser Hair Removal Giveaway with Elase Medical Spa!

Back in May I went in for my very first laser hair removal treatment at Elase Medical Spas.  As we can all recall, I was extremely nervous and extremely surprised about how not scary it was.  Since then I have had another laser treatment (and another treatment coming up this week!) and not only have they been easy and painless, but they have been very effective.

And today is your lucky day, my friends. For today begins a wonderful giveaway.  Thanks to Elase Medical Spas, I get to give away one full underarm laser hair removal membership!!  That's a $630 value so you totally want to do everything you can to enter.  The  contest begins July 22, 2013 and ends July 28, 2013.  I will post the winner on the blog and also email the winner. 

Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below and you're all set.  There is even an option of tweeting about the giveaway each day to give you extra entries.

Best of luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Disclaimer 1: Laser hair removal does not work on blond, red or gray hair.  (Sorry)  And this giveaway is open only to new clients of Elase Medical Spa.* 

**Disclaimer 2: I'm a brand ambassador for Elase Medical Spa.  Although I am compensated for my time, all opinions, experiences and permanent hair loss are my own.**

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book of The Week! A is for Abigail by Lynne Cheney

As we were wandering the library a couple of weeks ago, I saw this book and just had to get it.  It's an Almanac of Amazing American Women and I have two very good reasons why I thought this would be a great book for my girls to read.  Those two reasons being Lolly and Babs.




The book is written is a simple form and follows the alphabet to share lots of information about some amazing women.  It's written in a fun way with wonderful illustrations that keep you staring at the pages long after you've finished reading.  The book includes information on a variety of women from Abigail Adams to Laura Ingalls to Anne Hutchinson.  You'll learn about Rosie the Riveter, quilt makers, performers, scientists, writers, artists and more.  We have LOVED this book!    

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Quiche!

After looking at a variety of quiche recipes, I've come up with this cobbled together version that is yummy and easy.  The best part about it is that you can use whatever veggies, meats, cheeses and fresh herbs you want to use which makes it super flexible.

Quiche
Ingredients
Pie Crust in 9 inch pie pan (store bought or homemade)
1-2 cups shredded cheese of your choice
4 teaspoons flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Vegetables, meats and herbs per your preference

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In the pie crust spread the shredded cheese and sprinkle the flour over the top.
Add vegetable, meats, herbs, etc. on top of the cheese.  The quiche in this picture has one tomato, diced, and fresh basil.  You could also do ham, broccoli and parsley.  Or tomato, avocado and cilantro.  Or tomato, sausage and oregano.  There are so many options and it's perfect for using up vegetables from your garden.
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, ground mustard and garlic.  And any other seasonings you want to add.
Pour egg mixture over everything else in your pie dish.  
Bake for 40-45 minutes.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Beauty In The Eye of The Beholder

Raising girls is a tricky thing.  Teaching them that their value does not lie in their appearance while also teaching them that it's okay to want to do things to make you feel pretty.  It's a delicate balance.

My girls are of the girly girl variety and as they are getting older I find them watching me more and more.  And quietly mourning my lack of enthusiasm for wearing sparkly, floor length dresses everyday.  But they persevere in spite of me.

Although my girls have never said anything negative about what I do wear, I have always wondered if they wished I dressed differently.  Other than the sparkly dresses.  I'm totally willing to wear sparkly shoes.

Take your child to work day at CG's work just happened to be on the same day as Babs birthday this year so after I picked up Lolly (who got to go to work with Daddy) we decided to use our early afternoon for getting a little make over. 


I took them to Macy's to get their make up done.  Mercedes did my girls make up and was so cute with them.  (She's at the Cottonwood Macy's)  And not only was she very sweet with my girls when she did their make up, she even recognized them and remembered their names when we went back for the friends and family sale! 

My girls and I had a great time at the Macy's Friends and Family Sale.  CG humored us.  And carried the bags.  As we all know, I'm a bargain shopper through and through.  I had my reservations about shopping at Macy's.  I've always just assumed that it was super expensive.  But their clearance racks did not let me down!  I found some cute, cute clothes that were totally in my budget.  And they all rang up for less at the cash register.  And then they took another 25% off my total.  I'm now a devoted fan.  And so are my girls.

The prices were so good that I was actually brave enough to try a fun new trend.  Colorful skinny jeans.  I now present you with one of my trendsetting ways and the two cutest girls to ever pick out my outfit to volunteer in their class.
It was fun to see how excited they were to help pick out my outfit (I maintain full veto power during outfit selection for me.  They can use their creativity on their own outfit selection.)  They were extra happy that day and asked me several times how I was liking my new clothes. 

It's amazing the power that clothes can have.  When I feel like I look good, the whole day just seems to go better.  Every one's definition of looking good is different, but the feeling is the same.  And the most important thing that I can teach my girls is that confidence and kindness are the most attractive things a woman can ever wear. 

And an awesome pair of skinny jeans can't hurt either.


***I am a member of the Macy's Advisory Board and am compensated for my time.  All opinions, experiences and sparkly purses are my own.  ***

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book of the Week! Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

I was first told about Nurture Shock by Babs kindergarten teacher this past spring.  It sounded interesting and so I reserved it at the library.  I did get the book after a couple of weeks and really enjoyed it.



For those of you who have read Freakonomics, it's like the Freakonomics of parenting.  It takes a look at some of the popular parenting styles of today and then compares them to scientific research that has been done specifically regarding those techniques.

I found it fascinating!  It talks about everything from the problems of excess praise to the importance of adequate sleep, from sibling rivalry to self control.  I have been constantly talking about this book to almost anyone who would listen.  And to several who didn't listen.  It's definitely a book that really makes you think about your approach to parenting.  It has changed the way I approach some things and I can see a difference.  But like all parenting strategies, I won't really know where I messed up for another twenty years. 
 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I have sun damage?! No way!

During my first visit to Elase Medical Spa I was asking about a machine they have in the waiting area.  Turns out it's one of those magical machines that can show you if you have any sun damage on your face.  It can also show other details like how dry your skin is and how your wrinkles rate in comparison to "the ideal" for your age.

First you have to understand that when I was growing up, I wore sunscreen more than anyone else I know.  With the exception of my sister.  My mother is a redhead and made sure we had sunscreen on for all the major events including field day, outdoor swimming, water parks and days at the lake.  All things involving water since burns during watery events are always worse.  But I didn't necessarily wear sunscreen everyday.  No one did really.  And considering how often I wore sunscreen and how I never went tanning or used baby oil in the sun to get tan (oh my goodness, I would have burned so badly I would have never recovered) I honestly thought that my sun damage would be minimal.

I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.

I'll let the pictures do the talking.....

Here I am, getting my face scanned....
This is the color version of the scan.  All the spots show sun damage and the green spots show where the damage is more severe.
But the black and white version is the one that really drives the point home.

Ouch.

There was one highlight though.  It compares your state of wrinkles to the "ideal" state of wrinkles of other women your age.
From my understanding of the process, around 50% in each category would be considered average.  That 13% percent you see there?  My one redeeming facial quality.  I'll take good news wherever I can get it.

Thank you sunscreen for protecting me from more wrinkles. 

After seeing this, I decided to do the skin lightening procedure which helps to undo the sun damage.  I'm nervous.  This year has been the unintended year of expanding my comfort zone.  And boy, will this expand my comfort zone.  In a big way.  But at least we're all in this together.


**I'm a brand ambassador for Elase Medical Spa.  Although I am compensated for my time, all opinions, experiences and sun damage are my own.**


Friday, June 28, 2013

Couch to 5K Fail

You may (or may not) remember about a year ago when I started the Couch to 5K running program.  I was dedicated.  I was determined.  And I was derailed.  Over and over again.  Usually at week five.

The first time around I was doing my week five runs and it was intense.  The first run is 5 minute intervals, the second was 10 minutes and the third was 20 minutes.  All in one week.  I found this so intimidating to be jumping from a five minute run to a 20 minute run in one week.  I thought for sure that I couldn't possibly do it.  So of course I couldn't.  I just kept doing the first run of the week over and over again.

And then I had shoulder surgery.  Talk about getting derailed.

Fast forward a few months to January.  I was officially cleared to start running again but seeing as it was January in Utah, the air was too toxic and crunchy to actually run in.  Or leave the house safely.  Enter the treadmill.  CG and I decided to invest in a treadmill.  Now I know for a lot of people exercise equipment quickly becomes a new and expensive form of alternative storage for clothes, files, etc.  I'm happy to announce that our treadmill doesn't store anything except the occasional selection of plastic picnic food brought over by the girls.

So I started the Couch to 5K program.  Again.  And I got to week five.  Again.  Clearly I had a mental block with week five. 

After a lot of thought and even discussing it with my doctor, I just decided to jump on the treadmill and run as long as I can.  And then just keep adding to my time as I could without worrying about sticking to a specific program.

That first run I ran a mile.  The second run was only a half mile, but that's okay.  I was running.  And without the stress.  Running programs work really well for some people and the Couch to 5K program really helped me get started but when something isn't working for you anymore it's time to find something new.

Now I run three days a week and do strength training exercises two days a week.  I finally invested (this week!) in a good pair of Asics running shoes and it's made a big difference.  And they are pink.  That's always a bonus.  My girls made me a running chart and every time I run they put another sticker on my chart.  Seriously, I don't think they can get any cuter!  They always ask how far I ran and fight over who gets to put the sticker on the chart.

And today, when I finished my run and finally reached my goal of running two miles, they cheered.  My babies cheered for me.  Even though I look funny when I run and for some inexplicable reason I keep kicking myself on the inside of my ankles (it hurts and leave sores) they were so happy.  And so was I.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tip Tuesday--I love Borax & Cleaning the Microwave

I don't think my latest favoritest cleaning product has gotten enough attention lately.  I've talked about it before and how it can magically clean your acrylic bathtub with the greatest of ease.  Today's tip takes us into the kitchen.

Our microwave is above our stove top and because of the steam, it gets a dusty build up on the front that is really hard to get off.  The same thing has probably happened to your stove hood if you have that over your stove instead.  It's annoying and difficult to get off.  You can clean it, but it doesn't actually go anywhere.  It's just cleaner build up that it was before.

I read recently somewhere (Facebook? Pinterest? Random tip?  I don't really know...) that suggested making a paste out of Borax and water and use that to clean the stove hood.  But making a paste just seemed like a little too much effort.  So instead I just sprayed some homemade cleaner (Have I told you about that?  I probably should...) on the front of my microwave and sprinkled a little Borax directly on to a wet sponge and scrubbed.  A little bit.  And POOF!  It came right off, easy as can be.  I love Borax.  Really.

And because I'm feeling generous, I'm sharing my latest cleaning short cut.  I'm sure we've all heard the tip about putting a bowl of water with lemon juice in your microwave and running it for two minutes to make it easier to clean out.  It definitely works, but sometimes I just don't want to find a microwave safe bowl, fill it with water, cook it for two minutes and then have to clean it after I'm done.  So I sprayed my homemade cleaner in my microwave and ran it for 30 seconds.  My microwave wiped clean even easier this way and I was done in the two minutes it would have taken to cook the bowl of water.  Yay!

**Disclaimer: I've only done this with my homemade cleaner and did not have any problems with it.  I'm not sure how safe it would be with a commercial/chemical cleaner.  I would think just spraying water in would work as well.  

And now for my favorite homemade cleaner recipe.  I use a glass bottle (I actually re-use an old probiotic bottle) that is about 16 ounces.  I put about a teaspoon of baking soda in the bottom and ssslllloooowwwwllly fill the bottle with vinegar until it's about half full.  Then I fill the rest of the way with water.  I add a citrus essential oil (right now it's tangerine) and shake before each use.  I use it everywhere!  Counter tops, microwave, stove top, cupboards, appliances, seriously everywhere.  Not only do I not have to worry about chemicals getting into our food but it's completely safe for my kids to use.  Which means they can clean more.  Bonus.  I have another bottle of cleaner I use in the bathroom.  It smells like grapefruit. 

You may not be able to look in any room of my house because it's so messy, but you're totally welcome to come view my microwave.  It sparkles. For now.

**Another Disclaimer: Please don't just show up at my house to see my microwave.  I'll have an anxiety attack.  And that would be awkward. 

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