Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cleaning Day


I'm so excited! My first Shaklee order arrived today!
I've been looking into making our home more 'green' by trying to reduce our waste, shopping less and smarter, and choosing all-natural when possible. I know that cleaning products are probably one of the biggest culprits in bringing chemicals and nasty stuff into our house so they have to be the first to go!
At our new house, we had a lot of cleaning to do and the only way to get through the grime was to use TSP, bleach, and bottles and bottles of Lysol. I've always been a big fan of Lysol---it works, it's relatively cheap with a coupon, and they have a new citrus orange scent that's nice. But with all the cleaning we had to do, I started to wheeze. I couldn't breathe well and had some rip-roarin' headaches.
Now that the house has been deep-cleaned, I figured that using those cleaners less often wouldn't bother me so much. But even on my regular cleaning chores, the smells were killing me! (Probably literally but I don't want to dwell on that too much. LOL) Not to mention, my kids! Who knows what long-term effects these chemicals have? (I, however, won't be giving up my hair products---I don't care what they put in it! A girl has to have her all-natural limits, ya' know?)

For cleaning though, a change was definitely in order! A few blogs that I follow, for their great organizing and decorating tips, promote healthy living through Shaklee products. I looked into it and was ho-hum about going that route because of the availability of other natural products in local stores and the $19.95 Shaklee membership fee. Unfortunately, some of the green products in the store can be pretty pricey which is hard to swallow since I'm used to my cheap Lysol. I've even considered making my own cleaners with vinegar and baking soda. But the smell of vinegar----ick! I know you can water it down or doctor it up but it's almost as bad as wheezing with bleach. Well.... with Shaklee's fabulous Earth Day deals, this seemed like the right time to go green with cleaning.

Here's a little promo:
Through Saturday, April 30, buy a bottle of Get Clean Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate (16 fl. oz.) and 3 spray bottles, get a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth for FREE! (This is the Get Clean Green Bundle which I ordered.) Doesn't it just look happy??

There's a great cost comparison on the Shaklee website for Basic H. Check it out here. I think it totally beats out the cost, hassle, and stink of making my own with vinegar.

The other reason to order now.... is that they are offering free lifetime membership with a $30 order (until May 20th)! Wow! After my Get Clean bundle, I added Scour Off (look out oven!), a dropper bottle, Basic G spray bottle (Basic G to follow in another order), and microfiber window cleaning cloth. All that bumped me up over the $30. And the gal I ordered through was offering free shipping ('til May 20th too). I've seen other folks 'before and afters' using these products. With such cute bottles and super powerful, yet totally safe cleaner, how could I resist?

The only thing they don't sell is 'extra motivation' to actually clean. (I'd buy that at full price!) At least when I finally get around to it, it won't be killing me!

Disclaimer: I don't sell Shaklee but really appreciate the demo I ordered through. She was super helpful with all my questions. If you want a link to her shop, shoot me an email.

Boy's Room Reveal!

The kids were fine with the idea of moving to a new house (Nov. 2010) but to help them have something to be really excited about we let them choose a new theme for their bedrooms. Tenor asked for a 'science' theme. There's so many ways I could have gone with that but I thought the easiest would be a travel/adventure/animal theme. With a simple bedding change, I think this theme can last well into his teen years.
Let's take a peek at where the room started. These are pics from our first walk-through....

Looking into the room from the doorway.

Gotta love me some cranberry carpet from the 1960s.

Let the adventure begin!

The color inspirations came from this bedding set I got on clearance at Wal-Mart $15. We got a full size comforter so that it would cover him better at night. The coordinating sheet set was also on clearance along with the matching curtains. The reverse side of the comforter is green camo.


A $5 curtain rod from Christmas Tree Shops in oil rubbed bronze to hang the curtains.

Getting straight stripes was not as hard I thought it would be. We gave the ceiling and walls 2 coats of Crumb Cookie by Olympic in a satin finish. Then using a laser level, we taped off one line then the next. To get crisp, clean edges, after I taped, I used a small brush and painted the edge of the tape with more Crumb Cookie. After that dried, we painted 2 coats of Stony Creek (by Olympic). The paint is brown with an olive undertone so in real life it matches really well. The stripes really make a statement, make it masculine, and yet with the white center stripe, it's not too heavy or dark. A super easy paint treatment that will last for years. (I hope!)
On his dresser are a Christmas gift globe toy, a basket from Bass's office that he didn't need anymore to hold tissues and vitamins, a lamp made by a family member with a super cute shade that I found at the Pottery Barn outlet. At $16, the shade was definitely a splurge for me but so worth it!

Looking in from the doorway.

The shelf (a $3 Goodwill find) above the mirror with all of his treasures. Anyone recognize Kipper? We love those videos!
I made some super cheap artwork to decorate for the new 'science' theme. I used these frames which I originally got at Wal-Mart for $2 each. We used them in Tenor's 'big boy' room in the last house with puppy pictures cut from an old calendar in them. Then they had wild jungle animals, farm equipment, and Americana scenes. Pretty versatile artwork for a child's ever changing interests. (I would always wait until February or March and get calendars for about $0.50 to use to fill the frames. You just have to make sure the overall pics aren't too big for your frame.) I found an atlas and a geography book for $1.00 each at a thrift store. I cut out pages from the atlas to create the backgrounds and then layered pictures from the geography book, some scrapbook embellishments from my stash, and jute twine on each. Then I used the Stamped cartridge and cut out different words for each picture with my Cricut. These hang in the white stripe on the wall to the left of the doorway.



Take Courage


The headboard was a freebie from a church give-away. We actually got 2 of the same style. One went to Tenor and the other to Soprano. Another look at his new bedding. (With all of the snuggles at the bottom of the bed!) I thought about trying to convince him to get rid of all except maybe 1 or 2 and then realized that if my almost 9-year old is still cool with having stuffed animals, I'll go with it. I'd rather he be into stuffed animals than growing up too fast. Although in the middle of the night, when his long legs push one out and it hits the floor with a loud thump and wakes me up, I tend to reconsider.

Next to his bed, we put 2 stacking bookshelves (left over from Bass's post-college apartment dwelling days). They hold a ton of books for our bookworm and most of his toy bins. We organize toys into these 2 different size bins by type or category. He has Lincoln Logs, K*nex, balls, Hot Wheels, plastic safari animals, a car race set, a train set, a shooting gun game, and 2 bins of 'assorted' toys. All of his little treasures that don't have enough for their own bin or that don't stay too long in our house (aka McDonalds toys).

Evidence of my bookworm! He has bookmarks in 6 books, just on this shelf. I'm not sure if he finishes the book and leaves the bookmark or if he just starts a new one and never finishes any. Either way, I'm glad he loves to read!

On the wall between his bookshelves and desk, we hung this print that I got on sale at Hobby Lobby. The colors pick up on the bedspread and the horses made me think of long-ago explorers or settlers who tamed the Wild West. The verse (Proverbs 3:5-6), which is my verse for the year, is a constant reminder of how Timothy can live his life. A funny story, in trying to decide where to hang it, I was having trouble figuring it out. Timothy insisted that he be able to see it from his bed so it ended up in the middle of this wall. I might add some small prints on either side down the road but it looks okay for now.

Traveling around the room, we come to his desk. (Which, yes, was cleaned off so I could take pictures. My boy is a paper pack rat. Must be a genetic mutation. LOL) We found this piece at a second-hand store and then found the chair at another re-uzit shop for only $12. This holds more books, CDs in another basket from daddy's office, notepads, bookmarks, and pencils in yet another repurposed basket, and some more boy treasures.

On top is his baseball mitt which will probably head to the garage soon. It was a Christmas gift and couldn't be utilized during our cold and wet winter. The globe was a $10 find at Christmas Tree Shops and also a Christmas gift.

On the wall next to his desk are a print I found at Goodwill for $3 and a memo board that I made using a piece of plywood, batting, fabric from my stash, some ribbon, and upholstery tacks. Filled with more paper treasures.

The last stop on the tour is the uber tiny closet. Poor boy---he's older but got the smaller extra bedroom (a cozy 13' x 9') because sissy needed the bigger closet. He hasn't complained at all!
It's small but we're able to fit everything in that needs to be there.
Lego and K*nex sets up top along with extra sheets for his room (since our linen cabinet is too tiny to house them.) Church shirts and extra jackets hanging on the right.

A divided, hanging organizer on the left holds shoes, snow pants, a box of neckties, and hats. Usually he doesn't have this many shoes but I got a box on Thred-Up that had quite a few pairs of crocs and flip-flops in it. I can guarantee he'll wear them all out this summer!

Down below, a repurposed plant stand, holds some misc toys, snow boots, and a plastic bag filled with paper airplanes and origami creations. He has a serious paper thing goin' on!

A quick recap of before

And 99% done AFTER!

99% done, you ask? Well..... is a room ever really finished? We still need to replace the window, refinish the wood floors (some day in the far distant future), replace the doors and their hardware, and I'd love to make a 'meaning of your name' piece of art to frame. I wonder if that makes this room only like 87% done? I think I'll stick with 99% and hopefully finish off those projects soon! (Like before he moves out for college!)
I hope you enjoyed the tour of our boy's cute on the cheap room!

I'm linking up at these fun blogs!

and at the Show Us Your Kids Rooms party at Thrifty Decor Chick.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Power of the Cross

The Power of the Cross
Keith Getty

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making Organization Coordinate

I'm slowly tackling all of my living room to-do projects and next up was to make my music storage less 'office supply store' and more 'decor'. Being totally inspired by Tammy at Not Just Paper and Glue, I got a couple sets of Flyt magazine holders at Ikea (sets of 5 are only $1.99) to start. Before assembling them (they are packaged flat), I grabbed a paint brush and paint and gave them each 2 coats per side. To help coordinate them with our decor, I used the 3 main wall colors that we painted in our house. Blue from the master bedroom, kitchen, and laundry; Green from the dining room and hallway; and Tan from the living room and bathrooms.
I chose those 3 colors as the main color schemes through the whole house because the public rooms are semi-open and flow into each other, and they fit my airy cottage theme that I'm going for with this house.
In the magazine holders, I have 2 for childrens' beginner piano books, 1 for my music textbooks "The Dynamic Choral Director" for pleasure reading, anyone?, 1 for instrumental music, 1 for vocal worship music, 1 for worship piano, and 1 for classical piano. I debated about labeling them somehow but because this is in our living room and visible from the entry, living room, dining room, and kitchen, I wanted it to have a cleaner look. With the holders on the bottom shelf, I can look down and see which one holds which. They're so full, I have to dig a little to find any particular anyways. Maybe down the road, if I get completely inspired, I might make labels for them.
Above the magazine holders, you can see 3 binders with coordinating paper. In those I have my funeral/wedding music, random sheet music, and 1 for my church worship team music. I just used standard 'view binders' and cut scrapbook paper to fit in the front, back, and spine pockets.
I also have a basket with loose, soft-cover choral books next to my collection of hymnals.
The bookshelf holds other books, some decor bits, and one of my Chinese instruments (the Hulusi.) I've since been given a beautiful Xun, which is a dark chocolate color with a carved bamboo motif on the front that sits on the top shelf.

Of course, the instrument my hubby likes to play the most is on the very top. (Our iPod-LOL)
Keeping the music organized and trying to make it pretty!

Now for the party---check 'em out here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Pillow Covers

Moving to a new house gave me a clean slate for decorating. The couch came with matching pillows but they had a contemporary circle design in rusts and orange which do not go with my new beach cottage look. So using Kimberley's tutorial and the video from CityLine, I made covers for the 2 pillows that came with the couch with this springy fabric. It was on sale a few weeks at JoAnn's for 40% off so it came to about $7, I think.

They turned out great but needed some company. So a little bit of calico fabric (also on sale) and some larger sized pillow inserts turned into these.
These were so easy to make! It really did only take about 5 minutes (after I ironed the fabric and pressed the hems.) I plan to make covers for summer, fall, and winter too! For now, this is the spring version.

Linking up for all these fun parties.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crazy, crazy, crazy week

Sometimes things just all happen at the same time, ya know? My week is going to be totally crazy. I already know it just by how much is scribbled on the calendar. I'm totally afraid I'm going to forget to be somewhere or forget to do something important. I guess this is where my OCD list making will come in handy! Hopefully I'll remember everything if I write it down. Backing up to last Wednesday, here's what's going on:
4/6 - worship team rehearsal
4/7 - work from 3:30-8
4/8 - pick up school auction donations for gift baskets; take monetary donations and go shopping for containers/baskets and additional items; have a playdate for Tenor
4/9 - work from 7-3; Bass helps a friend cut down a tree and works on the yard; kids go to a friends house for the day; worship team rehearsal
4/10 - church; choir rehearsal; work 3-8; grocery shopping
4/11 - send birthday cards to brother-in-law and nephew; make birthday cake; figure out something for dinner; place yard sale ad in newspaper; laundry; run to Lowe's to look at the azaleas on sale (last day of sale is today); pick up last minute auction donations at school; put 6 baskets together; supervise homework; Bass goes to friend's house to pick up wood for fireplace and to borrow rototiller; worship team rehearsal
4/12 - Bass's birthday! get card and present ready; do school chapel with worship team; put together remaining 7 auction baskets; supervise homework; make dinner; help Bass pack for Orlando
4/13 - Bass leaves for business trip; make lunches and get kids to school; finish any remaining basket stuff for the auction; supervise homework; worship team rehearsal
4/14 - get kids to school; prep for yard sale (pricing and last minute additions); supervise homework; rehearse choir music with friend
4/15 - get kids to school (Tenor has field trip); drive to Delaware to judge ACSI handbell competition; get back in time to pick kids up; finish yard sale pricing and making larger signs; take kids to school auction for dinner and to see basket auction; Bass returns from Orlando
4/16 - yard sale day! get kids to egg hunt at church; sell EVERYTHING in the yard sale pile (LOL); clean up
4/17 - worship team rehearsal; church; choir rehearsal;
4/18 - COLLAPSE!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Decorating

Easter is one of my favorite holidays not for the bunny, baskets, eggs, candy thing (although I do like to get one original Cadbury cream egg every year. The smooth milk chocolate-y shell, the creamy yolk-y candy-whatever-it-is inside... mmmmm...) Sorry! I got lost reminiscing about last year's Cadbury, back to the post....
I love Easter because it's more than a holiday, it's a reminder that Jesus Christ did what He came to do. He went to the cross, conquered death, and rose again and because of what He did, I have an eternal future with Him! It's humbling, exciting, and amazing all at once! To remind of us of what a special time of year it is, the house has to have a bit of decor here and there.

Our front door (Yes, still with the horrendous crack in it. I like to think that it offers ventilation.) gets a grapevine cross with some lilies. We used the cross with hydrangeas on it at our wedding to dress up the front of the head table.

The mantel got a few additions. Some fuzzy sheep that I made years ago. A vintage Easter postcard. A cross scene that my late father-in-law made along with a wooden egg that a friend of my mother's painted for me years ago.
In place of my spring rag garland, I made a paper banner that says 'He Is Risen.' It was super easy with my handy-dandy Cricut and free since I have sooo much scrapbook paper on hand. (See, deah, I do use my stash!)
I used the 'Straight From the Nest' cartridge (on loan from a friend---thanks, Julie!!) and cut 12 pennants at 5 1/2"; 6 from patterned paper and 6 from cardstock. Then I cut the pennant toppers, also at 5 1/2", and glued them on to the pennant base.

Then I used my Storybook cartridge and cut out the letters at 2". I cut a brown shadow for each and then cut each letter from cream cardstock. I glued the letters on to their shadows and then to the center of the pennants. (I did eyeball measure, using my plaid tabletop, to try to line up the letters on each pennant.)

Breaking out my Crop-o-Dile and seriously large stash of eyelets, I put 2 eyelets in each pennant top where the Cricut had pre-cut holes. Then I ran twine through the eyelets and tied off a loop at each end so it could hang on my 'invisible' Command hooks.

A few Prima flowers with mini brads for centers dress up the pennant between "is" and "risen".

The dining room got a few pretties too. Another vintage postcard on the table. (This has the Legend of the Dogwood on it.)

On the bay window,
(We get a lot of light in the dining room and my camera and photography skills are not enough to take better pics in here. Sorry the pics are so washed out and shadowy. Maybe I should just make this a disclaimer at the top of my blog?) ;)

vintage postcards in a card holder with little chicks

and some contributions from my little ones.

What it's really all about:
"O wondrous cross, my Savior's cross
cruel sign of death and shame
O wondrous cross, my Savior's cross
symbol of God's love proclaimed
the cross of life, O praise His name"
by Lloyd Larsen

Happy Easter! Come celebrate at all of these great blogs!
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