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January 23, 2012

Hello Friends!

I decided it was time to grab my own domain name – so come see me at simplyaddcoffee.com  !  All the old posts and comments are there, so nothing should be lost (SHOULD be the operative word there…)

I’m so excited to be branching out, but it will probably be a little rough and I figure out this whole Self-Hosted world.  So stick with me, it will get better!

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Cleaning the Kitchen Sink

January 17, 2012

I’ve talked about finding your “Kitchen Sink”, or that one thing in your house that you need to keep clean for your sanity (and encouragement that you cleaned something).  And since my “Kitchen Sink” is really my literal kitchen sink, I wanted to tell you how I keep it clean.

Well ok,

sometimes I don’t.

But I feel l better when I do.

(wouldn’t it be great if right here I had a picture of my kitchen sink all nice and clean? Yes, I think so too….)

My system is pretty simple and do-able for a work and home wife, or just somebody who doesn’t want to spend a long time doing dishes and scrubbing a sink.

I am pretty much an all or nothing person, especially when it comes to cleaning.  So if the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I don’t want to empty is right then, the dishes go in the sink, and once there is a single plate in the there, then ALL the dishes pile up until I can’t stand it anymore.

I use two steps for keeping the dishes under control, without having them pile up AND without scrubbing a lot of dishes.

First I try to run the dishwasher each night and empty it in the morning before I leave for work.  This gives us the freedom to put dishes in the dishwasher as we use them (and plus, after dinner, if there are clean dishes in the dishwasher it is SO much harder to empty it and then load it, I just don’t want to!). So after dinner I just put everything in the dishwasher, and then take a quick look around the house to see if there are any stray dishes.

And next, if we used a large dish for cooking (or even small dishes for that matter) that have cooked on food, or anything sticky that might require scrubbing (which I don’t like) I do one thing.  Fill it with hot, soapy water and leave it for a while.

That’s it.  Pretty simple.  When I come back after letting it soak all of the sticky, caked on food slides right out (well most of the time anyway), then I just stick it in the dishwasher.  (Or if it is too large, or the dishwasher is too full,  I grab a rag with some extra soap and hot water, give it a quick wash and rinse and I’m done).

If you don’t have enough dishes to run it each night (and sometimes we don’t) we just leave it and continue adding dishes until it is full, and then we run it like normal.

Sometimes I still have to wash up a few of the larger dishes that won’t fit, but I just do it quickly and get it over with.

Then comes the cleaning the sink part.  I put the stopper in one side of the sink, turn on HOT HOT water, add a little cleaner (I like to use Pinesol, cause it smells so good), and let the sink fill with water.  Walk away.

After a little while, come back and drain the sink.  Take a rag, or dry towel (or paper towel, whatever) and wipe out the sink.

That’s it.  No scrubbing, no elbow grease.  Yay!

Do the dishes overwhelm you at times?  Do you have a solution that works for you, or do you think you could implement the system above?

Let me know your thoughts!

My (accidental) No-Sew Curtains

January 16, 2012

Want to see what we did Sunday afternoon?

We hung curtains!

This window used to look like this:

ICK! So empty looking.

But now, so lovely.

Last Saturday, we went to Hancock Fabrics and picked out the fabric (for 50% off!), then stopped by Home Depot for the curtain rod and hanger clips.

Then yesterday afternoon, we launched into action!  And if you don’t think you can make anything, check out my Lazy way of making curtains…trust me, anyone can do this!

First I explained to Harrison how I wanted to hang the curtain rod.  I wanted to cheat them a little to the left (ha! “A Little to the Left”…Gilmore Girls anybody??) to make the window look a little wider than it really is (thank you, Young House Love).

Harrison was excited to have the chance to use his tools:

I moved on to the fabric.  I know I have a sewing tape measure somewhere, but remember this is the quick and lazy way, so I just grabbed the tape measure after Harrison used it.

I wanted them to just touch the floor, so I measure from the curtain rod to the floor for the length (we were going to use hanging clips to hang them, which added about 2 inches, so I just used the length and didn’t add for the hem, since the clips evened it out).

The total distance of the curtain rod was 36 inches, so I just divided by two for the width and added two inches to each for the hem.

The most difficult part of the entire project was dragging the sewing machine out of the closet! (Yes, it’s been in there for a while.)  Now I know you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, you said ‘No-Sew Curtains’ ????” Yes, I did, but I’ll get to that.

After cutting the panels, I did the one non-lazy step.  I actually ironed down the edges to do the hem. That’s probably the first time I’ve used the iron since we got it as a wedding present :-/

Back to the sewing machine.  Like I said, it’s been a while.  So after a little confusion on how to thread the bobbin,(yep, I called my mom for instructions) I was ready to rock.

But as I said “Here goes nothing” and sat down at the machine with the fabric, I noticed something looked funny.

There was no foot.

NO FOOT?!?

….grrrrrrrreat…..

But we had Community Group at our house that night….and the curtain rod was already up….and I couldn’t just leave it!

So what did I do?

Pinned the edges down and hung ’em up.

And I even got compliments on my handiwork at group that night!

Don’t worry, I have every intention of buying a replacement foot and sewing these up, but until then, we will enjoy the (accidental) No-Sew Curtains.

Heirloom Foyer Table

January 13, 2012

Somewhere along the way of the “How to Decorate??” Conversation, my husband said:

“We need a table in the walkway”.

I said: “In the foyer??” clearly surprised at this idea.

“Yeah,” he said.

And then it began.  My parents always had a “Foyer Table”, and only because of that did I even know the “walkway” in the front of the house was called the Foyer .  I was responsible for dusting of the “LR/DR/F”  (Living room, dining room, foyer – that’s how my Mom wrote it on the chore list), and it always sticks out in my mind because I usually managed to miss the foyer part.  “Did you dust the foyer table?” my mom would ask and I would say “Nope, I forgot,” as I got the “dusting stuff” back out.

So I thought we probably did need a foyer table.  It would give me a spot to decorate that people would see when they walked in the front door, and that would make the house look welcoming and….well, decorated!

I searched Craigslist daily for something that would fit in the specific location I had in mind, and wouldn’t cost too much.

Nothing.

So I started trying to think if my Mom had something she could give me (ha! Yes, that sounds funny, but they have been trying to clean out their house, so I would be helping them…right?).  And I thought of that foyer table – which they now actually refer to as “The Mail Table”.

I mentioned once or twice several times how well that table would fit in our house…and then one day my Mom called and asked if I wanted it – and then I felt guilty that I asked for it, but she said she really wanted us to have it.

So now it has found a new home in our foyer, and only when they brought it did I find out that it actually belonged to my grandparents.  They actually used it as a table in their bedroom.  And of course, it is a familiar piece of furniture from my childhood, so we’ve very happy to have a little piece of the past to welcome people into our future!


 

Secret to Clean

January 12, 2012

I have a secret.

It helps me keep my house clean.

OK, maybe it’s not a secret, and I know for sure I’m not the only one that does it.  But I have a simple solution that really helps me keep my house clean by tackling one mess at a time.

Ya know those Clorox Wipes?  They come in that nice, neat container with wipes that are ready to go at a moments notice, AND not only do they clean up a mess super quick with their “little scrubber thingies”, they also kill germs, AND smell really good.

So I keep them in every room in the house!

(and I buy them at Costco….where they come in a giant-sized 4 pack…)

 

There’s one in my kitchen (which I’m not afraid to display in full sight…and next to my cutesy cow creamer dish)

There’s one in my hall bathroom

 

And one in our master bathroom

 

 

Now, I don’t do a lot of scrubbing of bathrooms or kitchen counters, but these little things help me do a quick wipe of the counter (bathtub, toilet, sink) and feel like it’s neat and clean.

Do you have a secret to clean at your house?

2012 Home Goals

January 11, 2012

Last week, I wrote about some of our goals for 2012.

Today, I’m linking up at the Nester’s 2012 Home Goals Linky Party and including some pictures of areas in our home that we hope to work on this year.

We have been here a year now, and we have a lot of work to do in the decorating sense!

(Disclaimer: I wrote this post before actually looking at the pictures…they are kind of embarrassing! I said we have a lot of work to do, but seriously….)

The main thing we have done since moving here is purchase living room furniture. (So imagine the above, except with these couches:)

 

I hope to decorate this room by adding curtains and art work over the fire place.  I’m also hoping we will be able to paint (because of the high ceilings this is not a job we are willing/able to do ourselves, so it is a matter of funding).  Oh yeah, and bookshelves!

We have put up a few pictures on the wall here, but I am in the process of creating a gallery wall.  After initially putting stuff on the wall I’m sure it will take some tweaking, so I hope to find an arrangement I like.

I have some ideas for this room, but not ready to make a commitment yet. But I definitely want to do SOMETHING….that’s a goal right?

LOTS! Paint, wall art, new bedding, and I’d really like to try a new arrangement of the furniture in here.

 

Can’t wait to get to work around here!

 

If you’re here from The Nester’s linky party, please leave a comment and let me know you came by! I would love to see your Home Goals too!

Workout in Pajamas

January 10, 2012


I like working out.

Really I do.

I grew up as a gymnast, and I like being strong and fit, and I like being challenged.

But it’s hard to find time, and let’s be honest, once I’m home from work and done with dinner, I want to veg out on the couch and watch whatever show I am currently addicted to (right now it’s “White Collar” in case you were wondering.).

So the only option is getting up early….

Y.U.C.K.

I don’t like early.

At. All.

But I have tried, really I have.  But consider the fact that I have to:

  • Get up.
  • Get dressed.
  • Put my shoes on.
  • Pull my hair back into a ponytail that doesn’t look like a four-year-old did it.
  • Find my gym card.
  • Drive 10 minutes to the gym.
  • THEN work out.
  • AND drive 10 minutes back home.

PHEW – that alone makes me want to stay in bed.

So I came up with a new plan.  Working out at home. That saves at least 20 minutes (just the driving).  And guess what.

You can work out in your pajamas.

It’s true! There are no “Work out clothing police”.

Now I can sleep in until the last possible second and:

  • Drag myself out of bed
  • Pull my hair back into a ponytail that possibly looks like a four-year-old did it.
  • Put on my shoes.
  • Push play on the DVD player.
  • Work out.

SO MUCH more manageable.  And there are ALL kinds of workout videos you can choose from.  Right now I’m doing Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred”, and despite the fact that I thought it would be too easy (ha! I had not met Jillian yet!) it is truly a challenge for this out-of-shape-not-a-gymnast-anymore body of mine.  And if videos aren’t your thing (although, have you tried them? seriously.), there are a lot of exercising you can do with just some floor space.

Do you have a video or home workout routine that you love? And, be honest, have you ever worked out in your pajamas?