Sunday, March 10, 2019

Working Supermom Secret... My Nightly Cleaning Routine

My house isn't always spotless, in reality whose is? However I do my best to keep it clean and tidy and I've found my new nightly routine is helping wonders. 

After my daughter is off in bed (8:30 PM) I begin my "Power Hour" rather than hitting the couch. This also helps me get in my steps each day, because working a desk job, doing college work and blogging, I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt.

With my routine I have found that I clean minimally on the weekends which means more time to enjoy my family. I only do what I can get done in 1 hour, and now that I've been doing this consistently it barely takes me 30 minutes to complete it all. 

M/W/F - 1st floor
T/R - 2nd floor
F - Basement
Every night - Dishes & vacuum hard floors.

My first floor consists of 5 rooms:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Living room
  3. Dining room
  4. Bonus room (and hallway)
  5. Half bathroom
My second floor has 7 rooms
  1. Master Bedroom
  2. Master Bathroom/Closet
  3. Adam's Office
  4. Gwen's Playroom
  5. Gwen's Bedroom
  6. Gwen's Bathroom
  7. Laundry room/closet
My basement has 5 rooms
  1. Living room
  2. My craft room/office
  3. Bathroom
  4. Bulk Storage
  5. Holiday Storage
M/W/F Plan - #1, 2 & 14 are done every night
  1. Load the dishwasher (should have been unloaded in your Morning Routine)
  2. Wash by hand anything that doesn't fit in the dishwasher and set aside to dry while you finish the rest of your routine
  3. Wipe down the stove, including the bottom of the inside if you baked anything tonight
  4. Wipe down all counters
  5. Wipe down the outside of the refrigerator and dishwasher
  6. Do a quick scan of the cabinets and wipe down any visible mess
  7. Go through the living room and pick up any dishes/clothes/things that don't belong
  8. If it goes upstairs drop it in the transportation basket on your stairs (if you don't have one you need one, check out my post on it here)
  9. Clean off & wipe down the dining room table putting everything back where it goes (this is quick for me because we don't eat in our dining room)
  10. Bonus room is just yard sale storage right now so I just ignore it
  11. Check the half bath for any needs (i.e. toilet paper) and do a quick wipe down of the toilet, sink and mirror. 
  12. Off to grab my Ryobi cordless vacuum, this thing is amazing and so much better than a Dyson or Shark (in my opinion) because we have all Ryobi cordless tools so there is always a battery fully charged waiting for me (we have 8 total batteries)
  13. Also grab the small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth... you'll see why in a minute
  14. Vacuum the entire downstairs which is all hardwood floors. 
  15. I'll usually do a quick sweep of the couch as well for any crumbs
  16. Use the rubbing alcohol and microfiber cloth to clean any spots on the couch, just spray it on and scrub softly with the cloth and your couch is like new (test in a small inconspicuous spot before doing in an obvious location to ensure you have true microfiber)
  17. Using my wonderful O-Cedar Spin Mop I add super hot water and just a small cap full of Spic & Span and quickly mop my entire first floor. With the spin mop the mop becomes just barely damp so I don't have to worry about it ruining my hardwood floors. 
T/R Plan - this routine is done half while my daughter takes a bath and half after she's in bed, and during my Morning Routine I start laundry on a delay so it's ready to go in the dryer as soon as I get home from work so that it's ready to put away during my Power Hour.
  1. Quickly go around picking everything up off the floors that would be in the way of vacuuming, since I do this regularly there is very little to pick up. 
  2. Vacuum the entire upstairs (which is all carpet)
  3. Gwen is responsible for keeping her room & playroom clean but I still do a quick walk thru just to ensure that things are picked up and nothing is in there that she forgot about. After she is in bed I will continue on with step 4.
  4. Wipe down her tub, counters and toilet
  5. Use my Ryobi cordless vacuum on her floors (it's so quiet it can't be heard in her bedroom)
  6. In the master bathroom wipe down the tub, counters and toilet. I clean the inside of the shower every other time I shower with a handled scrub sponge filled with half vinegar and half blue dawn, keeps the soap scum at bay.
  7. Vacuum the master bath floors. 
  8. Quick pick-up in the master closet and put away any of my make-up or other items I've left out on my make-up table
  9. Put away any laundry that needs put away
F Plan
  1. Clean the living room, gathering dishes, folding blankets, fluffing pillows. 
  2. Check the mini-fridge to see what needs restocked or what has gone bad
  3. Check the snack drawer for what needs restocked
  4. Clean off my desk including scanning in all papers that need processed from the week
  5. Vacuum the living room & craft room floors
  6. Wipe down the bathroom sink & toilet
  7. Vacuum bathroom floors
  8. The shower only gets cleaned once a month, no one uses it, but cleaning it keeps the spiders out
  9. Vacuum the storage room
  10. Take inventory of what needs to be purchased on my next shopping trip
  11. Put back anything that wasn't properly put away throughout the week
  12. Vacuum the holiday storage room
  13. Some weeks I'll also prep for the next holiday decor change out by pulling out the proper totes and setting them aside. 
I hope this helps you get a quick simple nightly routine down to help keep your house as clean as can be. 

What is your favorite cleaning tip that has ever been shared with you or that you figured out on your own? 

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Time to plan for ... April Fool's Day

My daughter loves pulling pranks and she's now old enough to understand and enjoy April Fool's Day so this year I have a few fun pranks planned out for her. 

  1. Toilet Paper in her shoes, and since I'm not sure which ones she will wear I'll have to stuff them all. 
  2. Frozen cereal, the night before I'm going to pour a bowl of cereal and freeze it with the spoon in it to serve it to her for breakfast the next morning. 
  3. A little food coloring on her faucet spout so when she turns on the water it will come out bright purple.
  4. Taping a plastic spider (from Halloween, remember the multi-purpose items we talked about) to the toilet paper roll in her bathroom.
  5. I also picked up a couple old fashioned funny prank items from Five Below for use throughout the day, i.e. whoopie cushion and fake poop
I tried to plan for harmless pranks that in no way could cause her injury as she is a bit clumsy as is (she has SPD) so the slightest chance she could get hurt makes it an almost certainty. 

I will add pics to this post once April Fool's has come and gone. 

Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Time to plan for... Mardi Gras with a Super Easy King Cake

For today's Tasty Tuesday in honor of Mardi Gras, I'm sharing a super easy "King Cake" recipe. This isn't a traditional King Cake, but it's quick, easy and yummy and has a nod to the Mardi Gras classic, without the little plastic baby, unless you really want to toss it in. 

These would also be super fun in mini bundt pans like these for individual king cakes.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a bundt or tube pan with non-stick cooking spray, you could also do mini bundt pans which is what I did.
  2. Pop open the cinnamon roll tubes and remove the icing.  
  3. Line the bottom with the rolls. If doing mini bundts, cut the cinnamon rolls into 6 pieces to allow for better distribution of the cinnamon sugar. 
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (for a large bundt) or 8-10 minutes (for a individual ones), just until the cinnamon rolls are no longer gooey. 
  5. Turn out onto a cooling rack 
  6. Mix the two icing packets with 2 ounces of softened cream cheese
  7. Allow cake to cool most of the way and spread the icing over the top and decorate with alternating sugar colors or nonpareils or candy chips
  8. You can even get all fun and decorate the plate.

*for safety since children would be eating these I didn't bake the baby in, I just hid it in the center of one*

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Working Supermom Secret... My Morning Routine

If you're anything like I was, mornings feel insane, no matter how much I planned or how early I tried to get up, I felt like I never had enough time in the mornings, or at least I didn't until I put together a solid morning routine. 

Hopefully seeing mine will help you to plan your morning and make your day a productive one.

Alarm goes off at 5:15 AM
  1. Review my to-do list - before even getting out of bed, I review my to-do list for the day, Google Keep for the win, just to get in the mindset of productivity. After that I feel as though I have a good handle on what the day ahead holds.
  2. Make the bed - I get out of bed and make it, including all my pretty pillows. My room just feel so clean having the bed made. 
  3. Get dressed - clothes are always picked out for the week on Sunday's so it's quick. No matter how productive you think you can be in your PJ's, I can guarantee you're more productive in clothes. Even if it's yoga pants and a t-shirt, changing clothes will get your blood flowing and wake you up. If you don't wear outside shoes in your house, get yourself a pair of inside only sneakers, feeling like you're going somewhere will keep you going. 
  4. Aesthetics - If you like to do your make-up and hair, go for it, personally I don't wear make-up except a little mascara (blonde lashes get me) and my hair is perpetually in a messy bun. 
  5. Start laundry (on a delay) - I delay it for 7 hours, because then it finishes up about 20 minutes before I get home from work. Then, I will switch as soon as I get home and put away before bed. (We'll go over that more in my night time cleaning routine) 
  6. Wake up the tiny human - if she's not already up and then she's off to get ready on her own. Her clothes are also set out for the week on Sunday's and she has her checklist of morning tasks to complete. 
  7. Drink some water - I will grab my water bottle from the refrigerator and drink about half of it, I prefer very cold water and these bottles keep things VERY cold. I've had ice still solid after 2 days. And for only $9.99 they're a steal.
  8. Make her lunch - she takes a hot lunch nearly every day, if I'm sending a cold one I will make it the night before and store it in her lunch box in the refrigerator, but that is rare. For hot lunches I love these insulated bowls because they keep things hot and are comfortable to eat out of and are leak proof. Her favorite lunchbox was a Target find, it's an Outerspace insulated one. One of our favorite things about the Cheeky® Kids brand is that for every Cheeky® Kids item you buy, a child in need will get a meal right here in the U.S. with No Kid Hungry. 
  9. Make breakfast - I prefer she eat a hot breakfast and have many things prepped, but some days she wants mac-n-cheese or spaghetti and if that's what I'm making for her lunch I'm fine with that, because really, how is mac-n-cheese any less healthy than pancakes covered in syrup? 
  10. Empty the dishwasher
  11. Practice this weeks spelling words - while I'm emptying the dishwasher we'll practice the spelling words on her list this week, I keep them on the white board on our command station and pull them down while we're practicing
  12. Reload any breakfast dishes - as soon as it's emptied I'll add any breakfast dishes, or lunch making dishes, or midnight snack dishes that are in the sink
  13. Double check backpacks - I pre-pack all backpacks the night before but I will go thru both again just to double check. In her backpack I look to make sure her homework is done, all papers are signed and her lunchbox is in it. I'll also look thru mine quickly to ensure my laptop, work phone and any other items I need are in it.
  14. Hugs & Kisses - Always hug & kiss your family good-bye every morning, no matter what, even if they're sleeping give them a little kiss, be a minute late if it means still getting those hugs & kisses, but with a good morning routine you'll be 20 minutes early with zero stress
And I'm off to work by 6:25 AM. 

Now, surprisingly, even if it's a weekend my morning routine varies very little. 

On the weekends:
  1. Dressed to the shoes - most weekends it's just blue jeans & a t-shirt
  2. Aesthetics - for me it's no different than a weekday, a little mascara and a messy bun and I'm off
  3. Laundry - this time no delay
  4. Breakfast - I make a hot breakfast every Saturday, and make double the amount of pancakes, waffles or french toast to freeze, if there's still a lot left over from the previous weekend I'll make eggs & toast or cinnamon rolls instead
  5. Dishwasher emptied & refilled
  6. Send a message - send a message to someone you haven't talked to in awhile. Just a quick "Hey! Was thinking about you and hoping all is well." It will mean a lot to the person and takes less than 30 seconds of your time. 
Then I begin my Google Keep to-do list for the weekend. If you don't use Google Keep you're missing out. Check out my post all about this "secret" weapon offered by Google.

What does your morning look like? Is there some part of it that stresses you out? Anything you could pre-plan? 

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Time to plan for… St. Patrick’s Day

Top O' the Mornin' to Ya!

St Patrick's Day is right around the corner. Firstly make sure you decorate, even if it's just subtle additions throughout your home, it will feel big. Outside Halloween & Christmas our decorations are very minimal. This is our set-up this year, as we decorate for St Patrick's Day on February 15th. 

The mantle decorations are as:
1. Foam shamrocks from Dollar Tree
2. Glass candle holders from Dollar Tree (on top of my wooden candle holders I got from Walmart)
3. White short pillar candles from Dollar Tree
5. Scrap 2x4 decoration I made last year with my Silhouette Cameo

The canvas decoration was made by Gwen when she was 3 as one of our St. Patrick's Day projects that year, I want to make another one next year and every 5 years after to make a mini gallery wall of them. 

The Welcome sign was from Dollar Tree as well. 

The Luck of the Irish wreath was gifted to me by a good friend many years ago and I hang it every year. 

Bathroom decor all Dollar Tree, the towels, rock, vase, green sand, burlap and hat topper were all purchased of Dollar tree either this year or last. 

For a yummy treat, last year we made rainbow cupcakes.

Many years ago I made Gwen a dress for St Patrick's Day, now I stick with t-shirts because she likes to run and play at recess so much. 

Fun Traditions
  1. Turning our foods green. I like to have some green cups, plates & bowls on hand and the night before I put a drop of food coloring in the bottom of one of the green cups and let it coat the bottom and dry overnight, then when you pour a glass of milk in the morning it will turn green. Same with a bowl if you're having cereal for breakfast. I've also done green eggs & green or rainbow pancakes/waffles. 
  2. Leprechaun footprints is a fun thing to have going up to a prank. I've added them to a toilet seat and putting some green food coloring in the bowl. 
  3. I've also add Leprechaun footprints to the counter leading up to a pot of gold* for Gwen. *This is where double duty comes in great for items, small black cauldrons (which you can get on clearance after Halloween) can be used as pots for gold on St Patrick's day. I also keep a large one on hand in case I do some larger fun (a box of Lucky Charms for example). 
  4. Building a Leprechaun trap, there are some super easy ideas on Pinterest using tissue boxes, or you can get really creative with Legos.
  5. St Patrick's day Scavenger Hunt. I have a pack of 6 4-leaf clover cutouts that I hide around the house and attached to each (I attached a small baggie to the back with glue) is a $1 gold coin. She loves hunting them down for the prizes. 

Class Treat/Gift

There are a number of directions you can go with a class gift. 

  1. One of my favorites is a water color paint set with a couple gold chocolate coins
  2. You can also get the gold chocolate coins and print out some of these cute cards. You can head over to my Facebook Group for an easy download. Once printed, slice a small slit in the pot of gold, put in a coin and tape it on the back. 

Do you have any fun traditions you like to do for St Patrick's day? Share them in the comments below.

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Time to plan for... Johnny Appleseed Day

It's no secret that we LOVE apples in our house, and getting to 'celebrate' one of our favorite fruits twice every year is super exciting. We do huge things in the fall when we go apple picking, but we also have lots of fun on March 11th for Johnny Appleseed day. 

Every year we read the story of Johnny Appleseed and how he brought apple trees to areas of our country which otherwise wouldn't have had them. This is a great kids book and as they get older they can read it to you. 

I also found this super fun activity pack over on Teaching with Children's Books, that I think you will all love. 

Every year I make apple pancakes for breakfast, just use your favorite pancake mix and as soon as you pour the batter on the griddle add a very very thin slices of granny smith apples, they're super yummy. Here is my favorite pancake recipe. For pancakes, use 2 cups of the above mix and add 1 cup of milk and 2 eggs, they're delicious and quick to make. 

In her lunch every year I send apples and caramel sauce or apples and peanut butter, depending on the apples we have on hand. I pre-slice them in the morning and soak for 5 minutes in water with a tablespoon of lemon juice, it doesn't take on any of the lemon flavor, but keeps them from browning, you can also use citric acid if you have some on hand. 

For dessert I usually make my apple bread with cinnamon butter which makes for a great breakfast the next morning too. Last year I made apple cookies with cinnamon cream cheese icing. 

A fun tradition is at dinner, wear a pot on your head like Johnny Appleseed. The kids will love it. 

For Gwen's class I usually make "apple" cupcakes as a treat. 

What is your favorite apple recipe? Share in the comments below.

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Working Supermom Secret ... Stair Basket

If you have a two story home,  you know how often things find their way from the 2nd floor to the 1st and no one wants to make a hundred trips up and down the stairs, and it cab become a hazard just leaving it on the stairs and hoping someone will take it up when they're headed that way. 

I got this cute basket from Target and keep it on the stairs to keep everything corralled and to make it easier to carry it all up when I go up, because let's face it, who else is going to carry it up since it's all invisible. It's 8"x10" so it doesn't hold a lot, but it's perfect for the socks, Lego's, hair brushes, hair ties, etc. that make their wait to the living room. 

Amazon does have some great options as well, but they were a little pricier than I wanted to pay, and a little bigger than I wanted for the stairs. This basket is specifically made for stair storage and was the cheapest I found. With the below one, I was also concerned with how much more would I allow to pile up before taking it up, because even I have my lazy moments. 

If you have a two story home, what is your normal handling of things that need to go up? Do you run things up every time you find them? Stack on the stairs without a bin? Some other method? Share in the comments below, I'd love to hear your ideas. 

Just remember, with planning and organization, you CAN do it all.