Monday, May 19, 2014


Well, hello there. Long time, no see. Well, I have had another baby. Levi Phillip and he is 2 weeks old. Emma will be 3 in August. How time flies huh?

I've had some pretty serious insomnia (like 1-3 hours of sleep total each and every night) since the beginning of the year so my doctor wrote me off of work for the last 2 months. Now I get 8 weeks of maternity leave. Needless to say, I've been home with the kids a lot. I do love it and I am considering quitting my job to be able to stay home full time. The problem is that I feel like a complete failure as a mother and wife staying home all day. I feel like nothing gets done around the house because I have a 2 year old to chase and pick up after. I feel like I don't have enough planned activities for her to do and she gets bored. That's not fair to her. Now I have a newborn who is literally attached to me all day. We're still in the blissful sleep-all-day stage but that will soon change. With him literally needing me to survive it makes my days very long. I feel like I'm doing a good job balancing out my time between the two kids so Emma doesn't feel left out, but that's about the only thing good I'm doing. Nothing gets done around the house and I have a pile of laundry the size of a small island on my bathroom floor all sorted waiting for it's turn in the machine.

I had this grand vision of what it would be like when I was able to stay home. I was planning an activity for the kids each day, one household chore a day, and just picking things up to keep the house tidy. Boy was I wrong. Although I make sure all of the dishes are done and I vacuum my living room darn near everyday, my house needs dusting, I see new cobwebs in the corners and dangling from the ceiling daily, I need to mop my tile floors, laundry is piling up and waits clean in the dryer until we're ready to wear it, our kitchen island is a drop zone for stuff that doesn't have a home, and our clutter seems to just move it's way around the house to out of sight places. It's driving me crazy. I did find several lists for stay-at-home moms online that attempt to give you a schedule to follow. I really liked these and wrote them down in my planner. I do my best to follow these lists but still haven't been able to make them a daily habit yet. I'm doing my best, but it's not quite good enough yet.

What is your biggest household challenge? What do you do when you feel like your best isn't enough?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Green & Crunchy…

Now that Emma has entered our lives, Jake and I are much more aware of the products that we use. Our eyes have been opened and it’s a little disturbing. I was told by a friend of mine about a great blog called Crunchy Betty. There are many recipes for natural face washes, shampoos, laundry detergent, etc. After looking at this site, I have started using the "honey and baking soda method to wash my face and I have to say that I really like it so far. My face seems clearer with fewer breakouts, smoother texture, smaller pores and is less oily… no joke. I’m eager to make more of the products she has listed like lotion bars, solid perfumes, and maybe some homemade makeup. Who knows?

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Well after a 14 month hiatus, I’m ready to blog again.

Since my last posting I’ve had a baby girl named Emma. She is just the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. Aren’t they all? She has helped me to see what is really important in life. I’ve always been aware of what products I use around the house, but now I’m very aware. I don’t want to use anything that could possibly harm her.

There is a website called Skin Deep that rates the safety of products from 0-10. It also informs you if the company conducts animal testing and of any potential health concerns or unsafe ingredients. It is INCREDIBLE and VERY DISAPPOINTING how many companies have potentially harmful ingredients and how many conduct animal testing. I don’t want that around my brand new baby girl. Did you know that Johnson & Johnson not only conducts animal testing but it’s products range from 0-10! Many of their products contain ingredients that have a high risk of “organ system toxicity” or “bioaccumulation.” See the report here. I would call Johnson & Johnson the leader in baby products but I don’t want these types of products on my baby, on any baby for that matter.

Oh, and FYI, I have also been told that talc in baby powder has been linked to ovarian cancer. Some ovarian tumors have been dissected and it has been discovered that some have talc inside. Plain cornstarch would be a much better bet.
California Baby

Earth Mama Angel Baby
2 brands that I use and love are California Baby and Earth Mama Angel Baby. Both are all natural and organic. Earth Mama seems to have a better Skin Deep rating (being rated a 0-1 and CA Baby is a 0-2 which is still very good). I have several of the Earth Mama products and I love them all. The CA Baby Calming (a lavander scent) does seem to help Emma to fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer. Earth Mama baby wash is an orange/vanilla scent, however, not all products have that scent. Some smell like yummy spices and seasonings you'd put on chicken or something. You don't get to pick scents. I feel great using both of these brands on Emma. Both can be bought at 

As I clean my house I am going to take a long hard look at what I’m using around my family. I’m going to find better and safer products to use on Emma to expose her to the least amount of risk out there.

By eliminating potentially harmful products, I will have one less thing to worry about and my life will be that much more simple and in control.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'mm Baack!

Well, hello there. I know, I know, it's been a really long time. I have been very busy and out of town a lot lately, but that's no excuse. Well, my goal was to have my closets organized by March 16th. That didn't happen. However, I did get my office/Mary Kay closet cleaned out, painted, and somewhat organized. We painted it a glossy white because it was so dark in there. Now the light bounces around and I can see everything! We also painted the shelves a light pink which match the pink on my Mary Kay products. Now it is officially my "Mary Kay Closet"!  By the way, it was my wonderful husband's idea to paint them pink. He even picked out the pink to match. I love him. All of my products are on shelves and organized. I have half of the closet set aside for cleaning supplies All I need to do for that closet is to organize my gift wrapping supplies. Piece of cake! So my new deadline is September 20th, one month from now to have this all done.

The next project is going to be the library closet and guest room closet so guests can actually hang clothes up and put their suitcases in there. I have boxes full of linens and towels so my plan is to make our coat closet a linen closet by adding shelves. That shouldn't be a huge project, just a one day deal.

I'm excited to get these done finally. We don't have plans to go out of town any time soon, so maybe I'll get some stuff done around here. Here's hoping.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

“Green, But Not Crunchy”

On the 3 Boys and a Dog blog, I found this wonderful post which I just had to share with you. It is written by a woman named Cathy. She has a website called Here is how she cleans with natural, safe products. Here is a Non-Toxic Cleaning Solutions – Plus Recipes!' target=_blank>link to the posting directly but I have cut and pasted it here also. Enjoy.
Green Cleaning
I have to say I don’t really like the term “green cleaning.” Technically, I have considered myself green for about two years, but I prefer to call my cleaning non-toxic because I am a bit selfish. I clean without chemicals for the health of my family, but the environment happens to benefit as well.
You do not need chemicals to clean effectively and I hope I can offer you some ideas to accomplish this without breaking the bank. I often hear from people that they would be more eco-conscious, but it is just too expensive. This is simply not the case. I actually spend very little on cleaning products for my home so let’s get started with some of my favorite cleaning methods. I will break it down on a room-by-room basis.
Kitchen Cleaning
Whether you wash dishes in the sink or in the dishwasher, or both, you want to avoid things such as bleach, phosphates, or anything artificial. If there is fragrance make sure it comes from essential oils and not something that is manmade. A brand I love for both my sink washing and my dishwasher is Seventh Generation. Their products don’t leave my hands dry(come on, admit it, after a long date with the kitchen sink and chemical laden detergents, your hands are probably pretty dry, aren’t they? As an interesting note, I will share something that may surprise you. It is actually more eco-friendly to use a dishwasher than to wash the dishes in the sink. This is because the water goes in and is used the entire cycle, whereas often times when sink washing, we let gallons and gallons of water flush down the drain (a lot of which is hot water, too – yikes!).
One of the biggest money savers for me is the fact that I make my homemade spray cleaner for everything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom fixtures.
  1. 24oz. spray bottle
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  4. 1 teaspoon castile soap
  5. 20 drops tea tree oil
  6. 20 drops favorite essential oil for scent. I love orange!
Added tip that has helped immensely: I took a permanent marker and wrote these ingredients on the side of the bottle so no need to try and keep track of a piece of paper that will probably just get lost.
My absolute favorite way to “dust” or polish wooden surfaces is with a simple mixture of olive oil and a few drop of essential oil. Orange, again, is one I just love for this. A little of this mixture goes a long way.
Bathroom Cleaning
I know, fun right? Not really. Well, first I use the spray cleaner for the mirrors and basically all surfaces including my sink. For the toilet, the commercial products out there are some of the most toxic for you to be using. All you need is either baking soda or Borax. Dump some in the bowl, leave it for about 15 minutes(I do it first then come back at the end of my bathroom cleaning) and scrub with toilet brush and flush. Done.
The tub…oh, the fun of cleaning the tub. I have the BEST recipe for that too, and you will actually enjoy breathing it in and won’t require any ventilation or open windows to avoid a headache while cleaning. That may have sounded like a joke, but think about it. Most of the products you clean with have those types of warnings on them. What does that tell you? They simply aren’t safe. Okay, back to the tub and my fabulous recipe. Here it is:
  1. ½ cup baking soda
  2. 3 tablespoons castile soap
  3. 22 drops lavender essential oil
  4. 10 drops tea tree oil
Mix the first two ingredients, then add the rest, and stir. It should form into a nice smooth paste (almost like frosting).
I hope all the information I have shared is at least a place to start for you. Even if you pick one room and start slowly, that’s great! Unless you are able to just get rid of all the bad stuff, I would finish what you already have and then start buying the better non-toxic stuff (or the ingredients for my homemade recipes).
Cathy loves to blog, eat a vegetarian diet, and keep her home as non-toxic as possible for her children and their well-being. She loves to be social on Twitter and would call herself green, but not crunchy! If you would like more green tips or to read her blog, please visit  She would love to hear from you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

‘Real Simple’ Daily Quick Cleaning Checklist

I was searching the Real Simple website last night and came across this wonderful checklist. It provides a list of things to do each day to keep your house looking neat between your weekly cleanings. This entire list should take less than 30 minutes! I’m going to give it a try. Check it out! Click here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On My Way

Jake and I had our carpets cleaned last week by a great company called, "Free Carpet Care." No, the cleaning wasn't free but their last name is. Catchy huh? Anyway, they did a phenomenal job. They went into our office closet and saw a pile of broken down boxes on the floor. Sheri said she has a friend who is moving and needed boxes and asked if I would be willing to give them up. YES! Please take them! So, my office closet not only has a floor, but a clean one at that!

It's amazing how large it looks without the clutter on the floor. I'm on my way to having that closet cleaned out. My goal for our coming weekend (Tues and Wed) is to empty the closet completely, wipe down all of the shelves, and maybe finish painting in there so it flows with the rest of the room. I would also like to make our hall coat closet a linen closet instead by taking out the bar and adding more shelves.

Jake and I also had a friend of ours come over and analyze our bedroom. Jules is an interior designer and does decorative painting. She had some great ideas on where to put our furniture and some ideas for the walls to make things more interesting. I moved the furniture the other day and I'm very happy with it. We still have a lot more to do but I'm looking forward to making our bedroom a relaxing and beautiful place to be.