Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Clean and Disinfect Kid’s Toys (without toxic bleach)

Safely Clean and Disinfect Kid's Toys 9-2
So I’ve totally been on a spring cleaning kick lately. The end of last week I spent shampooing my carpets (I’m in heaven!) and I’ve had the hankering to do all the odds and edds. Like clean the crumbs out of my kitchen drawers, cleaning behind the fridge, and cleaning window tracks!
Well I wanted to clean all the kids toys and wanted to do it pretty quickly. Bleach/lysol are not allowed in my house anymore. They are just too toxic…

So here’s what I did. I started running the bathtub and poured in some Basic G, probably a couple teaspoons.
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Then I dumped in all the water safe toys. You know the plastic Duplos, kitchen play toys, matchbox cars, and even the wood stuff. But they only went in and out quickly. Don’t put anything in there with batteries or holes that water can get in and possibly never get back out again.
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Then just pulled them out and dry them off. Andrew was a good helper with the drying.
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The rest of the toys got sprayed and wiped down. This was also a great chance to go through the toys, I threw away anything broken or cheap, pulled out things to donate, and returned the rest to their proper place.
It felt so good to have clean toys and a clean toy room. And then this happened a couple days ago…
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Oh well, at least the toys and carpets are clean.
I’ve got a bunch more organizing and cleaning I want to do so stay tuned!Interested in learning more about my non-toxic cleaners...check out my website HERE , email me if you have any questions!
What’s on your spring cleaning list?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quick and Easy Meatloaf Muffins

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Wow, so life sure does get busy sometimes, right? I’m sure you didn’t notice my absence, it’s not like you sit staring at the computer longing for a new post from me, so I’m sure you didn’t. haha. Last week I spent a couple days hanging out with my mom and vacuuming and shampooing my entire house. It was glorious!

My mom just got a new carpet cleaner and agreed to bring it with to let me use it. I am sooo glad she did, they were getting pretty dirty. My husband was teasing me, he said he thought I would be pretty disappointed if the water wasn’t nasty. No – I would be ecstatic if the water came up clean! Clean carpets and floors are my thing especially now that I have a crawler, well army crawler.

Exhibit A…crawling out of her pants! Smile

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Alright, on with the recipe…

I’m sure everyone has a recipe for a meatloaf, this is mine. I love this recipe, it’s such an easy go-to and when you cook it in muffin tins, it cooks in a fraction of the time meatloaf does. Genius, right? I learned that from my sister-in-law, she’s a very smart woman! (except for that whole, marrying my brother thing ;-)
Meatloaf Muffins

Served with a side of my very favorite Pasta Spinach Salad
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Basic Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef (I use ground turkey)

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 C crushed saltines

1/2 C milk

2 eggs

1/4 C onion, chopped

1 TBSP Italian Seasoning (or 1/4 tsp each basil, marjorom, rosemary, sage, and savory)


Mix all ingredients together until combined. Scoop into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or put in a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Best Ever Chocolate Banana Bread

 Chocolate Banana Bread29
This chocolate banana bread is the bombdotcom! My wonderful friend and next door neighbor, Katie,  has treated me to this wonderful bread a couple times, most recently as a treat for my birthday and it was the perfect snack on my road trip to SLC. I begged her for the recipe and made it for myself. I looooove it and since it has bananas in it, I can totally have it for breakfast, right?
I hope you love it as much as I do! It is the perfect combination of creamy smooth bananas and a punch of chocolate chips. yum!

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/4 cup banana (about 3)

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan.
Combine sugar, eggs, oil, banana, and vanilla and mix (I used my hand mixer – this got the banana nice and smooth). Add the rest of the ingredients until and mix together until just combined.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 60 – 70 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and continue to cool on rack.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cleaning House–How to Get Ahead

Cleaning house getting ahead on the housework
So you’re gearing up for a big event, a vacation, the birth of a baby, or a house full of guests. You know that cleaning isn’t going to happen, but you want to prepare yourself beforehand, how do you do it?

Well I’m going to share some tips and tricks I’ve come up with from recent experience. About 7 months ago, we welcomed our 3rd beautiful and happy baby to our family. I knew the routine of little sleep, lots of feedings, and two other kids to continue to feed and take care of wouldn’t allow for a whole lot of housework. I did a bunch of deep cleaning ahead of time and even made some freezer meals. It all saved my sanity!

So here are some tips to help you get ahead and prepare for your big event!

Pick what matters most: What are the most important things for you to have cleaned up before this event? Whenever I am preparing to have a baby, dusting and carpets are my things. If I can get the whole house dusted, vacuumed, and the carpets shampooed I am a happy camper. I know it’s a lot but having clean air and floors are important to me. Seems like that’s what will impact the baby the most.

Anyway, pick what your thing is. Do you want clean dishes and counters for lots of guests? Do you need to get laundry done before a long vacation to make sure you’re coming home to at least a few clean outfits? :) Figure out what you want done the most and get it done!
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Keep Up with the Day to Day: Don’t forget to do you’re regular chores in addition to getting ahead. Here’s my regular schedule. When I try to get ahead, I’ll do my regular chores and add in an item of deep cleaning or get ahead.
cleaning schedule
Set a time frame: When do you want the cleaning done by? Figure out how long you have to get your list done and plan it out day by day.

With this I would also say to think about when you can do the items on your list. Laundry, dusting, dishes, and more can be done at night while the kids are sleeping, if that’s your situation. But other things like vacuuming can’t be done at night so you’ll want to prioritize those to the day.

Set a timer: If you’re pressed for time, try this trick. Give yourself a specific amount of time, 15 minutes or more, and literally set a timer. Accomplish as much as you can in that time period, don’t get distracted by the phone, facebook, or other things. Then get back to the kids or other pressing matters. If I don’t have any distractions I can usually get 2 bathrooms cleaned or a couple rooms vacuumed.

Put away non-essentials: Grab an extra box or bin and put away any extra toys, papers, clutter, or other mess. Go through these things. If it’s truly non-essential donate or sell it. If it has a proper place, put it away. If it’s something extra you’d like to hold on to like toys, pack it up to prevent future mess during your down time. I picked up a ton of toys and put them away before having our baby. I knew I wouldn’t have the energy or time to pick up toys. Putting away the non-essentials and stream lining your living space can really help reduce stress with visitors over or prevent mess while you’re down with a baby.

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Go over the game plan: If you’re the one who takes care of the majority of the housework, go over the game plan with your spouse. This is especially important if you’re having a baby or going on vacation without them. Make sure they know where things are like cleaning supplies or where things belong like dishes or pots and pans. This way you won’t fall behind or get stuck wondering where something was put away.

Also if you have any detailed cleaning routines, be sure to go over those. For example, we cloth diaper and while I use a detergent that doubles for regular laundry and is cloth diaper safe, if too much is used it could still cause stink. So I made sure to go over the cloth diaper routine with my husband so he could help when he noticed the bin getting too full.

Be Realistic and get help: My last tip is to be realistic. If you’re 39 weeks pregnant, don’t expect to clean the entire house top to bottom, clean the gutters, and touch up the nursery paint with other kids running around. It’s not worth the stress, no matter the reason you want to prepare. Also ask for help with the crucial aspects of your preparation. Ask your spouse to do difficult tasks or ask friends to watch your kids or help (or put the kids to work :) )

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(my friend’s little girl, helping clean the church after an activity)

I had an experience once when I saw a pregnant friend in need. I went to her house, without being asked, ready to clean for her so she could take a nap or just relax. Well, she turned me away, wouldn’t let me help and it hurt, a lot!  Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there is most likely someone who is more than willing to help, but maybe they are afraid to offer or have been turned down before like I was.

Bonus: If you have a delay start option on your washing machine, take advantage of that. I recently started doing that and it helps a ton on laundry days. I’ll put a load of laundry in on Monday night as I’m heading to bed, set the timer to start early Tuesday morning and the load finishes by the time I’m usually downstairs feeding the boys so I can transfer to the dryer or start hanging it up. Try it out, let me know what how it goes! 
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What other tips help you prepare for those big events or times you know you won’t be able to keep up with the housework?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Puffy Felt Flower Headband

Blooming Flower Headband
I can’t believe my little girl has been around for 7 months already and I haven’t done much crafting for her. I noticed she didn’t have any purple headbands in her collection so I whipped one up to go with this cute dress. I first saw this method for making fabric flowers several years ago at Blue Cricket Design, I love it and it’s the only thing I’ve ever used these cookie cutters for…haha!

I picked out these three sizes, the second smallest and the next two up.

Cut out 4 of each size

Then take the flowers and fold them in half, I didn’t line up the edges.

Then fold in half again and put a dot of glue inside to hold it closed.

Glue them down to another piece of felt.

Fold the next sizes the same way, glue on top, and lay it over the fold of the previous layer.

Continue with the third layer.

Attach to some elastic and glue some felt underneath.

I think she likes it Smile - what she doesn't like is getting teeth. They just hit her this week and my sweet little girl is not a happy camper.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Almond Butter and Strawberry Banana Waffle Sandwich

Almond Butter Honey Strawberry Banana Waffle Sandwich3

So breakfast. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a breakfast person. I like to eat. But I don’t like to make food first thing in the morning. It’s so important that I get protein to start my day off right and get the calories I need to breastfeed. A lot of times I grab a Shaklee 180 smoothee to sip while I make the kids breakfast, but for my body needs even more to produce milk. Eggs get boring day after day so when I came across a pin for this waffle sandwich it looked sooo good. Not your average sweet breakfast, fruit, and protein.

Mine is inspired by Mom on Timeout’s Grilled Peanut Butter Honey Banana Waffle Sandwich. Unfortunately, my son has a peanut allergy (such a bummer fom this PB lover!) so I had to change it up a bit. It was really tasty and filling.

Almond Butter Honey Strawberry Banana Waffle Sandwich4

Almond Butter Waffle Sandwich:

- toaster waffles (or homemade)

-almond butter




Toast the waffle like normal. Slather with almond butter and honey. Slice the strawberries and banana and layer on the almond butter/honey.

Enjoy! It’s totally easy, yummy, and fast!

What is your go-to breakfast?
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