Simple Tips for a Spring Clean Home

I came across this article during my daily Pinterest peruse and I found it extremely helpful. The author broke down nine simple steps people with clean houses do on a daily basis. As simple as this sounds, we've been struggling at finding some order at our house, so these seemingly basic tips are a big help. Take a look for yourself...

Make the Bed
"Before you leave the house in the morning (or better yet, before you leave the bedroom), make your bed. If you're in a rush, pull the comforter up to the pillows, and smooth it out to create the semblance of a made bed. This simple act creates a sense of order in your bedroom and sets your day off on a productive note that's likely to carry through."
Empty the Dishwasher rack from the night before
"Get the dishwasher emptied and ready to go for the day. Doing this in the morning lays the groundwork for an easy dinner cleanup at night and keeps dishes from stacking up in the sink throughout the day."
Do a Load of Laundry Every Day
"Washing clothes on a regular schedule keeps the dirty pile from becoming overwhelming (not to mention, ensures that you'll never run out of clean underpants). Those with big families prefer doing it every morning, but if you live alone, doing laundry a couple of predetermined days a week should suffice."
Use Baskets to Organize Things
"When there's a place for everything to go, it's easier to keep everything in its place. Scatter cute baskets throughout the house to corral your things, and add shelves to hold the big pieces."
Don't Procrastinate
"When a box is delivered, unpack the goodies inside, and discard the packaging immediately. The same goes for dealing with spills or messes. The longer you wait, the harder they become to deal with."
Put Away Clothes From the Day
"As tempting as it is to drop your clothes on the floor after a long day's work before slipping into your sweats, tidy people take the time to fold, hang, or place them in the hamper, as necessary. Do this, and your clothes and floor will both look better for it."
Clean as You Go
"You can dramatically minimize your mess by cleaning as you go. If you rinse the cutting board while the pasta is boiling or start loading the dishwasher while the chicken is baking, the bulk of the work will be done by the time you serve dinner."
Never Go to Bed With a Dirty Kitchen
"Resist the urge to climb directly into bed after a big meal. Take care of any and all kitchen cleanup that night — clean pots and pans, wipe down counters, etc. Not only will the mess harden and be smellier the next day (read: more challenging to clean), but waiting means that you'll have to spend your morning backtracking to make up for what you neglected the night before, instead of getting a head start on the day ahead."
Plan Ahead
"Whether it's picking out your outfit the night before or reviewing what cleaning products you need to restock before tackling the bathrooms that weekend, you can give yourself a jump on the day by planning ahead."


Garden Tour

Since October I've been working on converting our dead sod lawn into a little garden retreat. After spending way too much time on Pinterest, I decided I wanted my own little country vegetable patch, so I set out to try and create just that. It's still a work in progress, but here is a look at my outdoor efforts over the last few months...


Christmas Mimosa Bar

Here's a little glimpse at our mimosa bar from our Christmas morning. I decided to use the SOMA water carafe as a converted OJ pitcher, and it worked out pretty great.

Christmas Eve is usually spent with Robert's family, so we had my parents over the next day to open presents and drink mimosas; even though apparently, I'm the only alcoholic in the family nowadays.


Christmas at the Casita

Christmas is in full swing over here and I couldn't be more excited. Every year is a bit of mixed emotions as the holiday season comes around, but this year I've been trying to channel my energy towards the good.

We went out to Lowe's Friday to pick out a tree, and spent the rest of the afternoon setting it up and getting things decorated.

I asked the lot attendant to save us some of the branch trimmings, and I've been crafting "peace wreaths" and garlands for all over the house all weekend. I have the worst sense of smell, but I'd like to imagine our place smells festive.

Have any of you started decorating for the holidays?
Link up - I'd love to take a peek!! 


Life Lately

We started the long process of installing the wood laminate last weekend and PHEW!! What a task!! I really give my hat to contractors and manual laborers, because after two whole days of being on my toes busting my tush - I was ready for a foot massage to last a lifetime. The downer is we only got through the living room, so unfortunately we'll be back at it again the weekend before Christmas to get the kitchen ready for the holidays with family. My parents' house is also balls deep in construction so we'll most likely be putting together a little shin dig with Robert and my parents again this year at our place.

What have you guys been up to lately??


Beyond Beef: Italian Meatballs

I've been vegetarian now for about 2 months and have started branching out in the arena of plant-based protein alternatives. Last night we decided on a last minute trip to the store to make spaghetti, and I remembered seeing these Beyond Meat meatballs last time we were there so I thought why not and grabbed a bag.

The Italian Meatballs are made of non-GMO peas, and recommended prepared over hot olive oil. In comparison with other meat alternatives, this was actually not too shabby.

Next time I think it would be much better prepared in some sort of sauce or seasoning (maybe a pesto marinade) but overall I'd recommend trying over any pasta dish.
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