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Archive for the ‘homemaking’ Category

I finally got around to taking some pictures of our place. We don’t have everything set up yet, not even close. But most of the boxes are unpacked aside from the guest room.

office-copy IMG_3847_0048-copyThis is the formal living/dining area that we are using as a playroom and office combo. I figured it would be better to have my computer out where the kids are playing so I can get some work done with them nearby, and if I need to get away when my husband’s home I can always take my laptop into the craft/guest room.

I took these pictures before Christmas and had my decorations up at the time.

I got the rug from Target, and the desk from Ikea. My chair is from Ross, as is the chest under my desk that I keep my microphone and other office supplies in.

Lil’ J also has a play kitchen in this room now that Santa brought her for Christmas, I’ll hafta update these photos once I have more things on the walls and show that off.

I plan to sew long bench seat pillows for the lower Ikea shelves and the windowsill and that will become the main seating for the room. I like having the open space to play though.

I’ve been organizing *eBay collections with more of my ideas for our playroom. I’m keeping my eye on wooden puzzels, and play food, as well as picture frames and artwork for and other rooms in my house. That’s one tough thing I’m finding about having a new place. I can’t stop shopping to try and fill it! I’m starting to realize that this is something that doesn’t happen overnight, and it’ll take years to get it the way I want it, and even then, I’ll probably want to start over. For now I’m trying to find good deals where I can, and many of them are online. You can follow me to see what deals I’m finding for my mom cave and play room (many of them under $20).

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I love my kitchen. Which is really funny considering I’m not much of a fan of being in it. But all the stainless steel, the cabinets, and countertops welcome me. I plan to spend a lot of time in here next year.

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The family room walls are a huge work-in progress, as are the curtains and accent pillows I’m hunting for. I bought a portable fireplace with a mantel to spice up the space, and fill it in since the area is so large.

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I redid Big-T’s room similar to his last, but this time he doesn’t share it with my sewing stuff. I want to make letters and put his name above his crib.

IMG_3890_0077-copyIMG_3876_0067-copy

nursery-3-copyLil’ J’s room is one of the only painted rooms in the house, but I haven’t hung anything on her walls yet, I’m still indecisive.

Christmas-day-2013_0049-copy Christmas-day-2013_0048-copyThe guest/sewing room was full of boxes a few days ago but my mother-in-law’s visit finally forced me to unpack them.

guest-room-boxes-copy

Nothin’ much to our guest bathroom but it’s got a cute purple theme.

guest-bathroom-copy

The laundry room isn’t large, but it’s the largest one we’ve ever had. I got bins to store everything so detergent and whatnot is tucked away neatly. laundryroom-copy

Our room fits our king bed, dresser and has a room for a lot more. Eventually I’d like to get nice bookshelves, and maybe a loveseat to go in here since there’s so much extra space. I’m still torn about whether or not we should mount our TV since it’s so small compared to our big wall.

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Arguably my favorite upgrade is our jetted tub, which none of us can get enough of.

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So that’s a little peek at our new abode. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and keep it clean. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Feel free to share your decorating wisdom for the unwise!

*My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.

She Says: “It would be cool if I was a homemaker and *baked and cooked and *decorated, and did fun stuff with our kids all day.”

He says: “Overrated. It’s more fun making money.”

What say you?

*By baking, I mean spreading things with Nutella–which I just discovered yesterday.

*By decorating, I mean decorating my kids with cute clothes.

In all of the places we’ve lived and move over 7 years together, I’ve never been very good at decorating. Go figure.

Currently, I have a total of four deorations hanging in my living room, making it look bare. I really want to start fresh at the new place and maybe do a photo-wall or something. I have tens of thousands of photos of Lil, J but no recent ones printed and none hanging at all.

I know, it’s a disgrace.

This is one I’m thinking of blowing up and making a sequence of three similar black/white photos of her.

I need to get family photos done so I have some of those to choose from, but I’m waiting for my photographer to stop being pregnant.

Then, I need to go through my photos, and print my favorites to hang.

I was thinking of getting a bunch of thrifted frames and spray painting them all a similar color scheme. I don’t have a livingroom color scheme now ap I’m planning to start fresh.

In fact, is it a good idea to donate the few random decorations I have so I 1. Don’t have to move them and 2. Don’t feel obligated to use them in my new place?

I’m not exactly a hoarder but I do get a slight anxiety about getting rid of something. I worry I’ll end up needing it tomorrow. The thing that helps is knowing its going to someone who needs it.

Pinterest is a good resource but I don’t really know where to start.

We are going to get new (to us) couches and I’ll make curtains. Other than that I haven’t a clue how to get the home decorating bug and how to do it right.

Start fresh, or bring what I have to start (which isn’t much).

I’d love to hear your ideas!

Also, I have a cool nook area in the livingroom that I’d love to make pretty. What would you put there?

I hope to document my progress and with your help, pull something off that looks somewhat cute.

**Added** We are renting, so I’d prefer not to paint and have to re-paint back to white.**

He Says: “Aren’t you embarrassed by our mess?”
She Says: “No one has to come over.”

We have a baby. I think this is my excuse for having a messy house for at least another two years.
What say you?

I’ve always dreamed about how nice it would be if we had a maid. Granted, at times it seems as though my husband fits the description really well (I’m lucky I know) sometimes I’d like to give him a break.

I wanted a deep cleaning of our townhome before Lil’ J is born, so we could sit back and relax, knowing all the little nooks and crannys were cleaned and taken care of. I was worried my urge to nest may never kick in… It’s just not me, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some help.

BidMyCleaning.com contacted me a while ago about doing a review. And boy have I been excited to give it! I had never hired a cleaners before… Heck, I was a custodian for a little bit in college, so having someone else (besides my husband) clean for me was surely a treat!
If you’ve ever tried to hire a maid before you’d know it can be a pain. You have to call around and get quotes from people as many companies don’t put their prices on the web. Personally, I’d just like to know up front how much I’m paying and not have to call a million different people and give them my information over and over again to find out that it’s way out of my price range in the end.

BidMyCleaning
makes it SUPER easy to check everyone’s prices at one time, and choose the best cleaning lady (or dude or group of people) for you.

I just went on the site, browsed around and decided which type of cleaning I wanted. I decided to go with the most thorough and get the “one time annual cleaning” which gets everything from between the sofas, inside the fridge, cleaning all the windows, you name it.
Then, I plugged in all of my information and opted to use “eco-friendly” cleaners. I figure with a baby coming it doesn’t hurt to try to use less-toxic materials in our home.
On the next page BidMyCleaning.com broke it down and showed me different maid services in my area. It compared their prices, services, and ratings. All things that would take me hours to individually find out by looking up, researching and calling each one.
I chose the one which I liked best based on reviews and price… The Picky Maid. I set up the date and time I wanted them to come over all on the same site, there was no switching around to different websites to get this all set up.I completed my transaction, which was a piece of cake, and BidMyCleaning set up the service for us. Sweet! One stop shopping! I got confirmation emails and calls and sure enough they showed up when I was 38 weeks pregnant, ready to make my day!

And they did a great job! The maid service didn’t charge me until the job was done, and they guarantee their services 100%, which that satisfaction guarantee made me feel a lot better about choosing them.

I went out that day to get my hair and nails done so I was pleasantly surprised when I came home and everything looked amazing. I just wish I could hire a maid every month (and maybe that I had had them come over closer to my due date)! Everything smelled so good, like lemons, and I wasn’t inhaling bleach-smell like I probably would had my husband cleaned the shower.

If you are in the market for a cleaners, you can actually search on their site for routine cleanings too, there are different, lower prices for that, and on other cleanings depending on how deep of a cleaning you want. It’s easy to just hit the back button and change things around to get the quote you’re looking for.

BidMyCleaning.com is free, so that’s also a plus!

Be sure to check out the site! Also you can follow @bidmycleaning on twitter and Like BidMyCleaning on Facebook. They also have a BidMyCleaning blog.

In fact, BidMyCleaning is letting me give away a $100 certificate to their site to use for a cleaning service! My deep cleaning (I chose the most expensive service) was just $150 so we got A LOT for the money!

In order to enter just check out their site and use their search feature to let me know a maid service that’s in your area! You can just tell me in the comments. That’s all!

You can get an extra entry if you are a blog follower of mine, and/or if you follow BidMyCleaning on Twitter or Facebook AND let them know you heard about them from my blog!

I’ll use Random.org to choose a winner July 17th (extended) at 11:59pm
(wow, I’ll have a baby then!)
Good luck!

*Thanks to BidMyCleaning for letting me try out the service at a discounted rate, and for sponsoring the giveaway. As always, opinions expressed are mine alone.

I’ve been debating this for a little while so I decided to write about it for my Parenting.com Project Pregnancy Blog and apparently it’s a hot topic!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Go ahead; call me a crazy lady, gross, or a bad mom. Everyone differs in opinions on every little parenting choice and I know pre-washing is just one of many things I’ll encounter.

It’s not that I’m all out against the process, or that I think people who do it are strange; I just never really thought anything of it. But I want you to understand my point of view… This is coming from a girl who wasn’t even pre-rinsing her fruit until a few years ago.

I was at my mother-in-law’s house and I had pulled a bag of grapes from the fridge and started munching. “Did you rinse those off honey?” She asked me. No… I thought.

I mean, I knew I was SUPPOSED to rinse them off but I just never thought much of it. I never got sick before, and they taste the same.
I mean really, am I suppose to run this bag of grapes under the running faucet for a few seconds and all of the oh so dangerous chemicals and pesticides would magically seep right out through every grape, drip down out of the bag, and disappear down the drain. I guess I just don’t get all of the hype.

I’ve never really considered washing my new clothes before I wear them. Do people do that? Ok, some do, I’ve heard. Other people can try on the clothes before me, or return them and who knows, there could be something like stranger sweat on it. My goodness. Or worse… The chemicals used to preserve the clothes and keep them looking nice on the rack.

I’m not trying to mock the situation here, I do understand for some people it’s comforting knowing your clothes are REALLY clean before wearing them, but I guess I kinda like the “brand new” look and smell of clothes before they lose their new clothes virginity in my washing machine.

When it comes to baby clothes, I guess the issue is some babies have allergic reactions or skin irritation from wearing new clothes. My theory is I won’t know until I try. If I put one of her adorable, still-creased Gerber onesies on her and she breaks out in a rash, ok, sure, I’ll wash the rest of them before the first wear. But if she does just fine, is it so bad for her to wear something brand new ONCE?”

That’s not all… I go on, so you can read the rest of my pre-washing debate here. A penny for your thoughts!?

Oh, and a side note that I didn’t write in the post but I notice in a lot of people tell me: They pre-wash the FIRST baby’s clothes but then don’t with the rest. What’s up with that? … And we wonder why kids suffer from “middle child syndrome.”

Another someone mentioned a friend pre-washing EVERYTHING then her baby was a different sex than expected *dies*.

I know it’s SO LAME but I come close to tears when I talk about putting Spawnie’s nursery together. Decorating a nursery for a little girl is quite honestly something I’ve dreamed of doing for SO LONG.I’ve never had a set sketch or layout decided but I’ve always known I’d want lots of PINK… And some other colors. Well, finding the swatches of the bedding I love, and adding that with other items in the room to match has been one of the most fun experiences of my life.

I was just telling a friend that I have NEVER decorated an entire room… Never had something on every wall, or enough curtains for all of the windows. I’m just not a very good decorator and my rooms have always been very plain. Even now my living room has basically four things hung up but there’s SO MUCH blank space on the walls, I don’t have any decorative pillows, I’m missing a curtain panel, and nothing really coordinates.

I’ve tried to make my living room look trendy but since we’ve moved so much it’s been hard to keep up with.

With my Spawnie’s nursery I’ve tried to turn over a new leaf. I already have something on almost all of the walls and I’m not stopping! It’s also the first time I’ve had curtains AND valances, and guess what?… I MADE THEM MYSELF! Operation Nursery Makeover Part 5 (click that link to read 1-4)!And since my sewing machine is out of commission right now I did it WITHOUT sewing. I used this wonderful stuff right here! Iron-on adhesive. I got the extra-strength Heat n Bond and it works GREAT!

So for you ladies who don’t have, or are intimidated by sewing machines this is a fast and cheap way to do it! Honestly the HARDEST part of this whole ordeal was picking fabric and getting it cut the right size. I brought fabric swatches to match with my bedding coming from Artistic Sensations and ended up ordering some of the same fabric online for the valance, but getting a pink at the store to match.I was LITERALLY in the fabric store walking round and round doing math in my head and near tears, ok I lied… IN tears trying to figure out how much I needed and why I kept calculating “6 yards.”

Turns out I was converting inches to FEET and THINKING yards and got way thrown off…. Stupid Preggo Brain. My best advice is to ASK FOR HELP from the nice lady cutting your fabric. I told the lady at Hancock Fabrics I was making curtains and she asked me “want them to bunch?” then when I said “yea” she helped me cut the right length! I asked her to cut each one in half too so the sizes were pretty much set for each panel.

She also told me to pre-wash the fabric cause it can (and did) shrink. So I used our washer and dryer for the first time in about a year… I didn’t even need my husband’s help to do it! And I pre-shrunk the fabric!After that I ironed out all of the fabric and got to sewing… I mean, more ironing.

For three sides I folded over the edges by about 1/2 inch for a hem. Then at the fourth side (which would be placed at the top, that the curtain rod would go in) I folded over a hem, then folded again about an inch so there was room for the rod.I ironed each side down first to make a crease, then cut the iron stitch stuff to the same length of each side, placed it under the folded-over part, and ironed it shut!!

Repeat for each panel, place on the inner curtain rod and TADAA!!The valances were easier cause there was less fabric. I only bought 2 yards and I have lots left over that I’ll use for a pillow. Same story, just different lengths… Mine are about 23 inches long.Put those on the outer curtain rod and TADAA!!So, what do you think?! And you are lucky cause I was gonna save these pics for a part of the nursery reveal but what the heck, I’m so excited I wanted to show it off!! The crib wasn’t up in this picture though, and the room was a mess so seeing everything together will still be a surprise.

What did you make? Link up and share! I’m loving visiting your sites and getting more fun ideas! I’m visiting them all! Be sure to link back to “What I’m Makin(g) Monday” here to help spread the word!

Woohoo! It’s my 2nd “What I’m Makin’ Monday” I’m keeping the streak alive so far, and I have another fun giveaway this week too.

Before I was even TRYING to get pregnant I was obsessed with cute little baby hair bows. Specifically the humongous flower ones with the netting headbands. I was obsessed. But I couldn’t believe the prices for some of these things… $7, $10 some even $20! There must be a way to make them for less!!

I discovered these Petaloo flowers at Hobby Lobby for $5.99. They were PERFECT for my new craft. The large box contained 20 assorted flowers in varying sizes. I also bought a couple of big tubs of silk flowers from Lakeside Collection for less than $5 a tub for 400 flowers.It was an easy way to mix and match the flowers to make adorable headbands. But recently, my friend and soon-to-be maternity, birth, and full-time personal photographer Tara showed me a trick with flowers from the dollar store… yes the dollartree!! Which is nice because sometimes the other bundles are lacking these larger flowers.I bought a couple boquets there for well… a dollar, and decided to give it a try this week. I had A LOT I mean, like over 100 of bows to finish for people who donated to March of Dimes during my fundraiser and I finally finished them! I still have to take out a loan to be able to mail them all but anyway… Here’s how I did it:

Besides the flowers you’ll need:

-Some grosgrain ribbon

-A hot glue gun
-Metal brads
-Double prong metal hair clips
-Headbands (optional)

1. Take the petals out of the boxes/tubs/ pull them off the silk flowers from the dollar store. They come completely apart, and you can sort them by color and decide how you want to match up the flowers in layers.

2. Organize the flowers by placing them how you’d like to see them when they’re done. I usually made mine with 3-4 layers, obviously with the bigger ones in the back, but sometimes I’d get creative.

3. Stick the brad through to hold the flowers together.

4. Take your ribbon and glue it around the double prong metal hair clip. I burned the edges of the ribbon after I glued it with a lighter so it wouldn’t fray.

5. Stick the brad through the middle of the ribbon and between the two metal prongs of the hair clippy, open the brad accross the other side to keep it in place.

TADA!!

If you want you can add the clippy to a crocheted headband. I use to make them but when I realized I had to make like 100 of these things I ordered some on eBay for a great deal! I prefer to pay less than $0.50/ headband, and there’s a shop I buy them from for about $0.41 each with free shipping!

You can also make a headband if you have extra pantie hose around, just cut it off at the right length and sew the two ends together. Stick the clippy flower where it’s stitched together and TADA!!!

Check out my models:

(Zoila)

(Bubby)

I probably spent about $45 to make about 60 flower headbands (more than that in clippes) and I still have lots of leftover flowers, but that’s because I bought some of the more expensive Petaloo flowers at first, and didn’t buy as many from the dollar store. That’s about $0.75/ headband! Granted, buying the supplies in bulk helps.

Sadly Spawnie won’t have all 60 to herself, she actually has about 2, but I’m hoping once these are all mailed off I’ll get to making more just for her… I’m thinking, one for every day/outfit and who knows, maybe one day I’ll sell these.

I ended up having a few extra flower hair clippies and I’ll give two of them to of you!

**To enter**

Be(come) a follower of my blog or link up to my “What I’m Makin(g) Monday” with a post of your own! Just add your link to the Mr. Linky below but make sure your post has a link back to this post. Eventually I’ll have a cute button you can share but for now… Just boring old text links.

If you are a follower AND link up, leave two comments, you double your entries! I’m loving visiting your sites and seeing what you’re making, whether it’s food or a craft, it’s inspiring me to try more things!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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