July Fillable Cleaning Calendar

Fillable July Cleaning Calendar

Is it really already July!!? Time is flying and we are busy having fun, evidenced by my lack of posts the last month! I promise to be back with some great tips in the coming days though! For now, here is a fillable cleaning calendar for the month of July. Stay on top of housework by assigning a specific day for cleaning tasks and before you know it, cleaning will be habit!

July Cleaning Calendar

June Fillable Cleaning Calendar

June Fillable Cleaning CalendarSet up your cleaning schedule for next month with this free June fillable cleaning calendar! Open it here, click on any blue area and type! Use mine below if you need ideas. Save and print it if you’d like!

June Customizable Cleaning Calendar

A few weeks ago I reaped the sweet satisfaction of a clean house when a friend called me at 8:30 in the morning, wondering if I could watch her little boy at 8:45. I happened to have followed my cleaning schedule the few days before (I slip out of routine more often than not during the month!), so there was no rushing around to pick up before she arrived. I was able to say, “Sure, bring him on over!”, and not stress about getting things nice and clean! It felt great!

While that’s not always the case, in fact most of the time it’s not, I am still a big fan of having a cleaning schedule. I do what I can and try not to worry about it when I can’t get to everything. Having 2 small kids is a perfectly justifiable excuse for a dirty house!

My Go-To Dinner for Crazy Days

Baby Bed Head This cute little mess maker with his bedhead, is sleeping well again after his first molars finally broke through. It took well over a week and boy were those long days! They happened to come, one right after another, while Mr. C was out of town for a week. Talk about timing! Did I mention those were long days? Granted, we traveled to my parents’ house for a few of those days which provided me with some relief, but my respect for single parents sure grew during that time period. Parenting solo is quite the undertaking!

When we got back from Grandma and Grandpa’s we quickly settled back into our daily routine of eating, playing, and sleeping. Of course it’s really not that simple. There’s the laundry and diaper changing and the whining and crying. Meal time seemed to come around quicker than ever and by dinner time I did not have the energy to prepare a nice homemade meal. So we relied on left overs, cereal, and freezer meals! However, our frozen lasagna night was just as great as a nice homemade meal, except a whole lot easier! After preheating the oven, I threw in a delicious Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce and we headed outside to soak up the afternoon sun!
 
DSC_2061 webWe put Cal in his Tonka and Jayna took him for a little spin. His little tushy fit just perfectly! The kids played and I relaxed.
DSC_2105 webIt was just what we needed after a long day of being cooped up.
Coupons for Stouffer's LasagnaWhen we came in, the house smelled so yummy. We washed up and had dinner on the table in 5 minutes! It was quite effortless on my part and the kids (and I) ate it right up. Stouffer’s frozen meals are a favorite of ours. We want to try their Meat Lovers Lasagna next. It’s got Italian sausage, ground beef, pepperoni and just like the Lasagna with Meat Sauce, it has freshly made pasta laid by hand and vine ripened tomatoes picked at the peak of freshness. Not to mention, they tested 35 different variations to get the recipe perfect! Want to try it too? Here’s a coupon for $1.50 off Stouffer’s Family Size Meat Lover’s Lasagna and in case you want to stick with traditional, a coupon for $1.50 off Stouffer’s Family Size Lasagna with Meat and Sauce.

What’s your go-to dinner for crazy days? Leave a comment for a chance to win one $100.00 Visa gift card. 

 

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The Swing Swaddle | A Review and Giveaway!!

Swing Swaddle for when all the bucket seats are taken at the park!I’ve got a cool new baby product to show you all today! It’s called the Swing Swaddle. And I love it. If you have little ones, you know bucket swings are highly sought after at the park. Watch them like a hawk or you’ll miss your opportunity, right?! Or worse, there are no bucket swings and you’re stuck swinging with your baby or toddler on your lap, because undoubtedly they want to swing! This is where the Swing Swaddle comes into play.

The Swing Swaddle - For all those times the bucket seats are taken at the park!The Swing Swaddle is an adjustable safety harness that clips right onto a normal swing, making it possible for your small child to swing safely! It is easily and quickly set up by clipping the hooks at equal heights on one side, pulling the swaddle underneath the swing seat, and clipping the remaining hooks on the other side.

The Swing SwaddleThe strap that goes underneath the swing seat is made of elastic, so it stretches to accommodate children of different sizes.

The Swing SwaddleAdditionally, there are waist clips on both sides that are also adjustable. As you can see, my little Cal is snug as a bug. I feel completely at ease about his safety while he’s in the Swing Swaddle.

The Swing SwaddleAnd he quite enjoys it! We’ve used this multiple times at both the park as well as on the swings outside our condo (especially convenient because there are no bucket swings!) and I have found that the Swing Swaddle fits differently on different swings. The park swings are wider than the condo ones and the fit seems to be a bit better for my little guy. On the condo swings, the swaddle hits him a little closer to his chin which seems a bit too high. If the hooks were just a little bit bigger, I would be able to clip them on the larger chain link, making it a perfect fit! So, that’s my only qualm with this product-the size of the hooks.

The Swing Swaddle - Convenient enough to pack everywhere!It is well made, cute, and functional! It conveniently folds up and fits right inside my big ‘ol diaper bag, leaving lots of room for other essentials. In fact, that’s where I store it! That way we have it for any impromptu park stops!

You can purchase the Swing Swaddle online for $45.00. It may seem a bit steep, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it! Ours gets used several times a week! There are currently 6 different designs available, with more on the way.

So who wants one??! Someone’s gonna get one for FREE and it might as well be you! Enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May Customizable Cleaning Calendar

May Customizable Cleaning CalendarYay for May! A new month and a fresh start to keeping house. Here is your Customizable Cleaning Calendar for the next month. Simply click on any blue area to begin typing. Use my calendar below as a reference if you need to.May Customizable Cleaning Calendar

Since the beginning of the year, keeping a cleaning schedule has helped me to get a handle on keeping house. While I don’t always accomplish everything on my calendar, it has most definitely helped! The following is a list of a few things I’ve realized since setting up a cleaning routine.

3 Reasons to Keep a Cleaning Schedule

1) It Will Save You Time. While it may seem like more work to sort mail (or dust, or wash windows, etc) every single day, week, or month, it’s actually less work and will save you time. By regularly cleaning, things don’t get as dirty and you don’t have to spend as much time scrubbing when you do clean!

2) You’ll Get More Done. I’m pretty sure it’s been proven that if you write your goals down, you are more likely to accomplish them, right?! Well, a cleaning calendar is your monthly set of housekeeping goals. Schedule your tasks and you’ll be more apt to get them done, I promise!

3) It Will Make You Feel Good! Keeping a schedule will help your house get and stay clean. And when your house is clean, it just feels good. And you’ll feel good too!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your Customizable Cleaning Calendar and make a plan! I’m hoping to get some more spring cleaning done in the next few weeks! What are you going to tackle?

Simple Things Sunday | Running Water

Sink Bath

I’m feeling really grateful for running water and electricity. Aaron returned Wednesday from a week long trip to Liberia, one of the poorest countries in the world, where the majority of people don’t get to enjoy these conveniences in their homes. I’ve been thinking about this every time I go to fill up a glass of water or use the restroom and I am content with and thankful for all that I have right now.

Sink BathLinking up to Simple Things Sunday.

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors

The Trick to Removing Soap Scum!Unless you are dedicated to squeegeeing your glass shower doors every time you shower, it won’t take long for them to start looking like this:

Magic Eraser to Clean Glass Shower DoorsCloudy and dirty. You can almost see through them. And maybe you’re okay with that?! I actually kind of prefer not being able to see myself naked in the mirror opposite my glass shower doors! Here’s a closer look at the filth.

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors the Easy Way

Lots of water spots and although you can’t see it, there’s also built up soap scum. So, the secret to restoring transparency to your shower doors?

Magic Eraser to Clean Glass Shower DoorsBehold, the Magic Eraser. Simply get it wet, start scrubbing, and let it do it’s magic! While this is a normal Magic Eraser, there are specialized Magic Erasers that are textured which I can only assume make it even easier on you. Can anyone confirm this? With the regular Magic Eraser, the soap scum and water spots lifted off with moderate scrubbing action and my shower doors were see through in no time. After scrubbing, I ran a wet washcloth over the doors and squeegeed them.

Clean Glass Shower DoorsAh, so refreshing to have clean glass shower doors!

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors

The Organically Clean Home

Great Reference Guide to All-Natural CleaningIf you enjoy using natural products to clean your home, you are going to love Clean Mama’s new book, The Organically Clean Home! Hot off the press and just released today, it is chock full of easy cleaning recipes-150 to be exact! I’ve got several bookmarked that I want to try out, including Kids’ Cleaning Wipes and Disinfecting Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

But recipes for DIY cleaning solutions isn’t all this book has! From the why behind organic cleaning products to the how of setting up a cleaning schedule with complimentary cleaning checklists, The Organically Clean Home makes for a perfect household reference guide! And it’s already saved me money by cluing me in on where to buy microfiber cleaning cloths. Following Becky’s tip, I found a big pack of microfiber cleaning cloths in the automotive section at Walmart for only $5! Huge fan of microfiber, right here! And huge fan of this new book!

Go check it out and have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Spring Cleaning Kid’s Stuff

Spring Cleaning Kid's StuffWelcome to Day 9 of The Spring Cleaning Challenge! Today, I’m going to walk you through spring cleaning kid’s stuff: all types of toys, furniture, and electronics. I’m even going to tell you how to wash booger murals. Yep, I have a wall wiper. Don’t worry, there won’t be pictures of that! I’ll also touch on sorting through and storing kid’s clothing by sharing my method for containing this madness! Are you ready!?

Oh, before we begin! One important tip: Have your kids help you! It is after all, their stuff. They wiped the boogers, make them wash them off. Check out iDream of Clean’s Chore List for Kids if you need ideas about what to delegate to your children. And have fun! Who says cleaning always has to be boring and hard?

Toys

Let’s break this down into types of toys based on material. Then let’s start with the easiest of toys to clean.

Plastic and Metal Toys
Washing toys with kids

Because these can likely be fully submersed in water, the easiest method for cleaning them is to do it in a tub or container of soapy water. You can use a squeeze or two of dish soap or a couple tablespoons of laundry detergent. Give your child a cloth and let them wash away!

All-Natural disinfectant rinse for toys

For an all-natural disinfect rinse, place the toys in a solution of water, tea tree oil, and lavender essential oil (4 drops each per gallon of water). These oils have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, making them a great all-natural disinfectant!

Alternatively, you can use Hydrogen Peroxide. Ask Anna shows you how here.

Stuffed Animals

How to Wash Stuffed AnimalsChances are, these can just be tossed into the washing machine. Read the care label of each and if it instructs to hand wash, examine it for delicate clothing as well as glued on parts. If it has neither of these and it has plastic pellets inside, you are probably okay to wash it on a delicate cycle in warm or cold water. It may also be a good idea to place the stuffed animals in a mesh bag before placing in the washing machine. Hang to dry.

Stain Removal 101 has a great article on washing stuffed animals which includes instructions for hand washing and spot cleaning them.

Wooden Toys

Take a rag dampened with soapy water to them. Dry well.

Dolls and Barbies

Strip them of their clothes if dirty and place in a mesh bag. Wash them in the washing machine in cool water. Wipe bodies down with a disinfectant wipe if they are plastic. Many fabric dolls can be washed in the washing machine on delicate cycle. Use your best judgement and ere on the side of caution! Spot clean if needed. Soak tangled hair in diluted fabric softener, then rinse and comb out for shiny, tangle free locks!

Kid’s Furniture

While I regularly dust the furniture in various areas of our house, I often overlook the furniture in our children’s rooms. Take a few minutes while you’re spring cleaning this season to wipe down and/or dust all the kid furniture. I know my baby’s crib is particularly dusty! And that easel pictured above got wiped down from top to bottom moments before I took it’s picture. I was pleasantly surprised to get dry erase marker off the wood portion! It’s amazing how a little cleaning can bring new life to stuff!

Booger Walls

This is right up there with diaper blowouts, as far as disgusting goes. Seriously. Have your child help out with this one as much as they are able! In order to get the dried boogers off the wall without chipping paint, you are going to need to rehydrate them. Grab a warm wet washcloth and hold it to the booger wall for several minutes. You may consider taping the washcloth to the wall and taking a nap while they soften. Once they are no longer hard, they should come off with a little rubbing of the wash cloth. Carefully use your fingernail to scrape if needed and if you can handle it. Good luck!

Electronics

Spring Clean Kids StuffTablets, game systems and remotes, iPods-they all need wiped down! The easiest thing for me is to use a disinfectant wipe. I then rub a microfiber cloth across screens to remove smudges.

Clothing

drawer stickers to organize

Now is also a great time to sort through kid’s dresser drawers and closets! Toss it, donate it, or keep it. With two young kids that are outgrowing clothes about as fast as I can buy them, having a system in place has been vital! Ours is simple. We always have a tote on hand, one for each kid. As they outgrow something we place it in the tote. When the tote is full, I label it by size of clothes inside and store it out of the way.

Once you’ve gone through the clothes, you’ll want to organize them! We’ve been using i-know-where-it-goes drawer stickers to keep things tidy. They have worked wonders! 5 sets are up for grabs in our giveaway, so be sure to enter below!

And continue to let the kids help as you clean on a daily basis with Clean Mama’s free printable Chore Lists!

We Challenge You To:

1) Spring Clean your kid’s stuff and involve them in the process! Do as much or as little as you have time for. The important thing here is that you make progress!

2) Take pictures along the way and share them with the Spring Cleaning Challenge Co-Hosts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use #SpringClean2014 so we can find them and celebrate with you! You can find us here:

A Real-Life Housewife  :  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+

Ask Anna  :::::::::::::::::::::  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+  ::  Instagram  ::  Twitter

Clean + Scentsible ::::::::  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+  ::  Instagram  ::  Twitter

Clean Mama  ::::::::::::::::  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+  ::  Instagram  ::  Twitter

I Dream of Clean  :::::::::  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+  ::  Instagram  ::  Twitter

Stain Removal 101  ::::::  Pinterest  ::  Facebook  ::  G+  ::  Instagram  ::  Twitter

3) Enter to win one of these awesome prizes: an EasyClosets Organizing Solution (worth up to $1000!), a copy of The Organically Clean Home, or a set of i-know-where-it-goes drawer stickers.