Friday, January 18, 2013

A vacuum for Christmas???


I will admit it. When +John-Isaac Clark bought me a Roomba for Christmas, I was...umm...disappointed. Yay. Since I love cleaning so much, I should get cleaning gear for Christmas. haha

You know those kids that open gifts and then cry or throw it because they don't like it? Then you see their parents tell their kid to say "Thank you." Even though you have had the talk with your kid before people come over on how to be polite. NO MATTER WHAT YOU GET-ACT LIKE YOU LIKE IT. EVEN IF YOU DON'T! Well, I felt like that kid.

I guess I just didn't quite get it or believe that it would help me in any way.

But let me tell you...this thing kicks ass. I have been using this bad boy since Christmas and it is incredible. Saves me so much time in this 4300 sq ft house.

I literally do not have to sweep anymore! It is awesome.

I pick up the toys, turn on Roomba, and then mop when it is done.

So thanks husband. You did good. :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Using sippy cups as TO-GO coffee cups

I don't recommend it!

But sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do.

I can tell you how much money I spent on 'insulated to-go' coffee cups this year... right around $150.

I can also tell you how many of those cups I have in my cabinet right now without even looking. 0

They disappear. No matter what. John takes them to work and I never see them again. LOL I rarely leave the house early enough to have to take a to-go cup but in those rare cases... I lose them too.

I will go for a walk around the neighborhood, stick it in the stroller, and return home without a coffee cup. AND I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE IT WAS GONE.

Anyways, on to the sippy cups.

Reasons why I don't recommend them...

1. They are not insulated. A car trip of 15 minutes and my once piping hot coffee is ice cold.

2. You have to take the lid off to drink out of it. I do not drink out of the actual lid of my kids cups. It's just weird. Yes I have done it once or twice but it is really odd. haha So when you take the lid off, you are most likely going to spill it all over yourself. This has happened a lot! No matter how hard I try to not get a drip on me...

3. People look at you like you are NUTS. Stealing your kids juice or something. You don't believe me? Try it.  Fill a kids cup with your drink, take it out in public like to the mall or grocery store. Open it up and take a sip. The looks on people's faces are hysterical.

If you are going to use a sippy cup as your personal to-go coffee cup, I recommend using these...

I personally like to mix-match the lids and cups. My favorite combo is the zebra print with the turquoise lid.


Thanks for stopping by!


I love doing laundry!

Did you think I was serious?

The thing is... I can throw anything into the washing machine and even into the dryer and call it clean.

The problem is... by the time I get around to actually folding it, the clothes are dirty again. haha So I am in the never-ending cycle with laundry.

I swear I just washed this shirt I say to myself. Then why the hell does it have dog hair and peaches on the sleeve I answer...

I will tell you why...

Because once the clothes come out of the dryer, I throw them on our bed and hope I get to them by the time we go to sleep.

This is what it usually looks like by the end of the day...

But by the end of the day, when the kids are asleep, I DONT WANNA do laundry. I want to sit on the couch and watch tv with a glass of red wine (maybe 2) right beside me and do NOTHING.

So when we head to bed, we throw everything on our dresser. LOL I am serious. Ask John. I know he hates it but I have never seen him fold his own socks much less my socks, his socks, Jensen's socks, and Hayden's as well... 

He once said, "Why don't you just start with the socks and underwear so I don't have to spend 15 minutes trying to find them in the morning...every morning. That would mean a lot." He was totally nice about it but still...

So now what do I do when I know I am not doing laundry tonight... I find one pair of matching socks and a pair of underwear for him so he doesn't have to sort through stuff in the morning. Great idea right?

Anyways, what lead me to write this post is obviously because there is a pile of laundry sitting on our bed right now and I am sitting here drinking wine. :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Ever heard of Bumble Bee Cleaning?

I swear my house gets cleaner in 15 min than it does in 1 week when I know someone is coming over!

In our house, we like to call it 'Bumble Bee Cleaning' because everyone including our 2 year old is picking up or cleaning something!

Super Fast!

In my parents home, my brother and I grew up with this phrase as well. Even though my mom is an avid cleaner. (Does her cleaning on Thursday nights and always has since I can remember) There are always those unexpected visits from people when you just aren't prepared (Say Wednesday nights in my moms case..LOL)

She has this story she tells me about when I was 3 or 4 years old, they had friends coming over unexpectedly, so we did the bumble cleaning routine, and she threw all this stuff in my room. Newspapers, toys, any clutter hanging out in main site. So when people came over, the house looks awesome, clean, etc. But her little 3 year old asks "Do you want to see my room?!"

HAHA My mom said she about died!

If you think it takes forever to clean the main level of your home...invite some people over and see how much you get done from the time you hang up the phone to the time they arrive!

So WHAT ACTUALLY matters when people visit your home.

1. Kitchen- Dishes, quick clean of counters, and DO NOT FORGET THE FLOOR! Nobody wants to come over for a drink, head to your kitchen to grab one, and decide against it because they see those early morning spills still on your floor.

2. Bathroom- Quick clean the sink. Get all of your husbands whiskers out and any loose hairs you see. The TOILET is a must! Don't turn your house into a public restroom, where people have a thought that maybe they should just wait to go to the bathroom until they get home. Forget the shower! WHO is going to shower? Close that curtain and forget about it until later.

3. Clutter- Throw it in a closet that won't be opened.

4. Floors- Just do a quick sweep and swiffer if you have time.

Thats about all that is SUPER important if you invite someone over.

All of this can be done in 15 minutes or less if you really want it too. haha TRUST ME

Have extra time? Great! Throw on some deodorant. Change your shirt. Spray a little perfume.

Nobody will even know you just spent 15 minutes sweating because you were cleaning your house so damn fast. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


OHHHHH You NEED that do you?

So while my step kids were here for Thanksgiving, I had them fill out their Christmas lists.

BUT this year I wanted to try something new. If your kids are like mine, when it comes to Christmas, they don't hold back. IPODS/LAPTOPS/ETC is what they want.

So anyways. I found this cute little wish list template on Pinterest. (as I am sure 1 million other moms have also found)

haha. so cute right!?

And the caption along with it was:

A Fun way to show kids not to be over indulgent during Christmas, one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, a book, and a little something extra.

I thought to myself! This is excellent! They will write down 5 things and hopefully I can afford all of them. 
So let's see...


From the oldest kiddo (14 3/4):

Want: Monitor
Need:USB Flash Drive
Wear: Steelers Hoodie
Read: Something scary

Hmm... well, he wants a monitor because he broke his brand new laptop we bought him maybe a year ago for his birthday. The screen broke somehow but has no idea how...So he can still use his laptop if it is hooked to a monitor. 

Not sure why he needs USB flash drive? Maybe school. Which I can appreciate.
He just got s Steelers hoodie last year and it still fits.
Books I can research and find something good...Any suggestions??
And What the hell is a Sonar Node?

From the middle child (13):
Want: phone cover and screen protector

Need: socks and diamond earrings
Wear: sweats
Read:magazines or mystery books

The phone cover and screen protector are a done deal! If she wants to protect the phone that we are paying for...awesome. Socks. I can do. Diamond and me both sister. Not sure she NEEDS those. Sweats and magazines. Okay. UGGS. She just got UGGs for her birthday and last Christmas....

From the youngest child (11 3/4):

Want: HD Video Camera
Need: Mechanical Pencils
Wear: Elite socks (nike)
Read: Diary of Wimpy Kid

I have to say he had the most reasonable list. I think I can manage the mechanical pencils and socks :) And he has taken great care of anything we have bought him. His iPOD is still in tip-top shape. No scratches/cracks/ nothing. So the video camera isn't out... The Nike iD shoes however....cost $165 If he was done growing, I might give them more thought but knowing that his size 6 feet will soon be size 7...Whats the point?

So if you were in my position...what would you buy? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Who says a Mom can't hang the Christmas lights?

So growing up, my mom and dad would always do Christmas lights shortly after Thanksgiving. The CANDY CANE POLES were my FAVORITE! I loved them. Even though they were just PVC pipe cut with red electrical tape wrapped around them, they were fun! Something my brother always looked forward to doing every single year. There was always a hilarious occurrence that went with it too. Like hammering the poles down with the caps on it. HAHA It is nearly impossible to get the caps off to put the lights on the pole.(even for our dad) Or having your brother hold the pole while your hammering and then accidentally hammering his hand. Yeah. There was always something.

Anyways! So I wanted to do these poles for Christmas this year! It was a lot more work than I remembered! First you have to go buy the pipe (and hope it fits in your car) WHICH IT DIDN'T. Thank GOD I live less than a mile from Home Depot. So there I was with my 10 ft PVC pipes hanging out of the land rover with the top door in the back bungeed to the tailgate door and the kids sitting in their carseats with the PVC pipes in between them. Like I said, glad I only live .75 miles away from Home Depot.

I had to wait until Hayden went down for her nap because there was no way I could watch 2 kids and work on Christmas lights!


You have to cut the pipes. Since my husband was out of town that meant I had to cut them. I was very reluctant to use anything electric. So I cut them with the good ole' hand saw! With only 2 minor nicks and 1 major one on my left hand, the Job was done! haha


Now to cut the slits on the top where the lights will sit in. That was hard. The pipes are only 1 inch in diameter so to make to slits on the top that you can then pull the cut pieces out with pliers is tricky without cutting your thumb off.


NOW I have to wrap them with the electrical tape. EASY PEASY Done in 15 minutes. The trick to wrapping them evenly is to let the pipe do the work. Simply hold the tape at an angle and twist the pole.


Getting them in the ground in December. In Virginia. HAHA

Eventually I got them all in the ground. Strung the lights on them. Put the caps on top. Took a pic.
(don't mind the bad quality of the photos, my digital camera was broken while we were at the petting zoo at the Texas State Fair. lol therefore, I have been using my phone camera until I get a new one.)

and Hayden is now awake...

Next, I HAD to get up the lights on the roof. Like I said, John was out of town, so I opted to climb up and down a ladder 100x instead of getting on the roof. My luck, Jensen would have pushed the ladder over and I would be S.O.L. with a 2 year old running around the yard and a 1 year old stuck in her highchair....FOR HOURS.

All in All, it came out pretty well.

Besides the small section of burnt out lights right on the front of the house! haha I swear I checked all of the strands before I hung them up, so somewhere in between that one section got messed up.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving went as smooth as a baby's bottom.

So after planning for about 4 weeks for Thanksgiving 2012 with my husbands side of the family at our went better than I imagined a huge Thanksgiving could have gone!

My husband has 8 siblings, so anytime there is a family get together, it is a big deal! LITERALLY

We also had the older kids for Thanksgiving this year instead of Christmas (my step kids), so that added 3 more hungry mouths to feed and 3 more additional bodies to make room for in the casa.

It started 4 weeks ago when I drafted out the Thanksgiving list of what we would be making/cooking/providing. I went to the store at 10pm on a Sunday because thats the only time I could go while John was home to watch the kids.

If your a parent, you know that taking a 1 year old and 2 year old to the grocery store is a very bad option. Almost bad enough, where you will eat crackers and cheese for dinner instead of making a 'quick' run to the store for meat and vegetables. NOTHING is quick when you have the kids with you. Not only do you have to make sure they have fresh diapers, a couple of toys, some snacks, and a drink....By the time, you actually get to the store, you are already exhausted from getting them ready and then when you get in the store.....YOU HAVE NO ROOM IN YOUR CART TO PUT ANYTHING! (because you know you aren't going to let your two year old walk...haha we would have been there all night)

So I made my first trip for the non-perishables and hard to find items that wouldn't spoil. In and out in 45 min with half my list done.

A week before Thanksgiving I wanted to make the house look Thanksgiving-y lol So I bought some pine cones and made buffet table label holders and they turned out awesome!

I then found this other crafty idea online and it was fun for the kids to write what they are grateful for during Thanksgiving Day.

It was our 'Grateful for... Tree" I went in the woods in the back of our house and found some branches i could use. I filled a vase up with holiday pieces (pinecones, leaves, berries) and stuck the branches I found in the vase. Then I found a leaf template online and printed out 30 leaves and put a hole punch in all them. They were scattered around the vase with a marker, so everyone at Thanksgiving could write on them.

Everyone thought it was a cute idea and the kids enjoyed it. It was fun for me to read what they wrote. (Thankful for life. Thankful for money. Thankful for food.) 

Thanksgiving Menu

Napa Cabbage Salad
Cucumber, Tomato, Onion

Sausage balls
Tortilla Treats
Baked Olives
Taco Soup
Banana Bread

Cajun Fried Turkey
Baked Turkey
Smoked Ham

Baked Mac n Cheese
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake (w/cream cheese icing)
Big Chewy Cookie
Whip Cream Dessert

It was a pretty hefty menu but so happy I  made everything on it! 

Besides, the oldest kid breaking a glass and it shattering in the cornbread, LOL(which I threw out) everything turned out Awesome!

So we were on our last final cleanup in the kitchen and by 'we' I mean me and the older kids. And I tell them 'OKAY GUYS! LAST CLEANUP!!!! Then we can relax!' Well, the oldest one tends to speak before he thinks... :) and says to me "You mean like...we won't have to clean anymore today. We can actually talk to people and eat without cleaning. That is all we have been doing." 
REALLY DUDE? I have been cooking for 2 days straight and you are complaining about being tired of cleaning the kitchen (All of 3 times) in 2 days!?!??!? I HAD TO WALK AWAY! haha But when I had walked back in the kitchen was spotless and they were drying the floors. Thank you.

People arrived and I had the 'starters' out on the bar for everyone to snack on until the Fried Turkey was done. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS WHEN HOSTING A LARGE CROWD! 

Everyone was satiated just long enough for us to finish the Turkey and carve it. Nobody was hanging around the kitchen and the kids weren't asking "Is it almost ready???" every 10 minutes. 

John did an awesome job with his NEW Infrared Turkey Fryer! The turkey turned out delicious with it sitting in the fryer for about 3 1/2 hours with little supervision! It was awesome! The best part about it was when the fried turkey was ready, there was no mess afterwards! Where as, with oil fryers, you have to take care of the oil, etc.

Everyone was extremely full and tired, so we went into our new room that we had just finished at 3am Thanksgiving morning LOL (checkout for house updates) and watched the COWBOYS LOSE....

Thanks for stopping by!