My #1 Cleaning Discovery


Well it only took me about a year, but I finally figured out a system for keeping my house clean without the luxury of a maid (minus my 2 weeks of book fair that don’t count). I kept trying to focus on a room a day. By the time I got done with all 15 rooms and got back to the room I started with it was a complete mess. So then I tried doing one thing a day…dusting, floors, windows, etc… That was even worse.

So I finally figured it out. Although I still have 3 rooms to get through… I figured out that things were getting dusty really quickly. So completely clean one room from top to bottom each day (or almost every day), then the next day I quickly dust and vacuum that room and move on to the next room. So now each day I very quickly run a cloth over everything using Pledge Multi Surface, my new favorite product! (and no they didn’t pay me for this) Next I vacuum each room and then deep clean my one room for the day. To dust and vacuum everything only takes me about 30-45 minutes for a 3800 sq ft house. The difference is amazing! No more dust build up or dirty wood floors. Now I know why things got so dusty, this was from one day of vacuuming….


I have 2 Maltese that don’t shed at all, so I have no idea where all of that comes from!

Today’s Leopard Print Find: 2B Love Struck Leo Dress by Bebe

Refrigerator Mats


Earlier this week as I was making my cleaning rounds, I realized that my refrigerator desperately needed to be cleaned. I saw this idea on Pinterest. You use vinyl placemats on the shelves. That way if you need to wipe something off all you have to do is take the mat out and wash it off. Much easier than removing the entire shelf or spraying cleaner in the refrigerator. They don’t fit perfectly and I couldn’t put one on the top shelf unless I cut it, so I just went with 4. I sure wish I would have known to do this when it was a brand new refrigerator. They had leopard ones on Amazon, but they were $19 and I didn’t want to wait. So I ran to Target and got some. They didn’t have a lot of choices, but this one looked a little food like so I went with it. They were only $1.99 each, so it’s a cheap fix. But it’s just not the same, so these will have to move to the laundry room refrigerator when the leopard ones get here.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Jaguar Animal Print Washable Plastic Vinyl Reversible Placemats Set of Four

Did You Know You’re Supposed to Clean Your Washer Filter??


I was so excited about getting a front loading washer when I got mine 6 years ago. Then we moved into a corporate apartment many states away and left it behind for 5 months. That’s when I discovered that you really want to let it dry completely before you shut the door. It took me weeks to get rid of the smell.

Next, I discovered all of the problems with the detergent drawer. I had no idea you needed to remove it and clean all around it.

A few days ago my sister added a new discovery. Her maid pointed out that her filter was dirty. Like me, she didn’t even know she had a filter. I’m sure that it was probably somewhere in the instruction manual (the instruction manual that I didn’t read), but I somehow missed that. Apparently you are supposed to clean it every month or so. So when I opened the filter, 6 years worth of nasty smelling water came pouring out all over my floor. So before you attempt this, make sure you have a towel handy. I also found a hair clip and a couple of other things that used to be something.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Animal Print Wall Vinyl Circle Stickers Rings Decals (I think I need these to decorate the washer and dryer!)

Craft Room Makeover and Desk

I’ve had a scrapbook/craft room for years but the desk wasn’t big enough to accommodate my two little crafters. So we needed a huge desk. I found 2 ClosetMaid Cube Organizers and a 36″ door and ta da! The girls  let me take the side facing the tv because they said it would only be on HGTV anyway. The back of the organizers were unfinished so I bought a small can of white paint to finish those off. They also came with 4 cardboard backs but I left those off. The door was only $33 and the paint was about $5. So the whole desk cost about $135. I found padded barstools on clearance at Kroger’s of all places. They were $69.99. One was a floor model so I asked for a discount on that one and got $10 off (I didn’t tell him that I would have actually paid more for that one since it was assembled). The chairs had a cherry wood back so I bought black paint for about $5. Total for the chairs $205. I found metal baskets that fit in the cubes perfectly. I didn’t want the ones that go with these organizers because I wanted to actually be able to see what was in there. I’m still looking for the perfect lamp shade for the eiffel tower, but in the meantime I used my silk flower spray paint again and changed this from hot pink to black.
Lily and Princess love their new bed. This happened to be during play time.
Megan got the first turn on the chalkboard. She did a great job. I stole that out of their playroom because they don’t use it anymore.
I already had all of the Paris themed stuff. I just had to switch it all from pink to blue.
I had to work in some of the pink to match my Cricut….
I repainted this table and spray painted the lamp shade.
It has been awesome! Minus the alien incident…
My niece was over the other day and was terrified of the girls inflatable alien, so I told them to hide him. I about wet my pants when I went into the scrapbook room and opened the closet and there stood Bob. Bob has now moved down the street to live with my nephew.
And just so you don’t think I’ve totally flipped by doing zebra instead of leopard….
Today’s Leopard Find: Juicy Couture Wild Things Leopard Velour Satchel

Rhinestone Picture Hanger & Hidden Cove

We went to the lake yesterday. I had no idea this place was even there and it was just right up the road from us. It was at Hidden Cove on Lake Lewisville. Like a whole 4 1/2 minutes from my house! For $40 you can rent a “cabin” and for $25 they will even through in an air conditioner. It’s July in Texas, so I’m thinking they could charge pretty much whatever they want for A/C. There are bathrooms with showers across the street. Three cop cars pulled up to deal with the neighbors so that was exciting. It was only about 109 outside and after the storm came through it felt like a giant outdoor sauna. It was almost like being back in Houston. The girls discovered jet skis. They would have stayed on it all day if they could have. One of the cabins and Rusty’s fire on the grill. They got it under control and nothing burned down. S’more time! So with all of that going on, it didn’t give me time to finish my room, but I did come up with a nifty trick…. All of the picture hangers that I could find for this were too big. So I used a nail and not glued a rhinestone to it. Way cheaper than a picture hanger too! Today’s Leopard Find: Rough Justice Italian Shoes …

How to Recover Your Chair Cushions

After 12 years and 2 busy girls, my breakfast chairs were in desperate need of new cushions. I really wanted a new table but that idea was vetoed, so I recovered them instead. What you need:1/2 yard of fabric for each chairStaple gunStaple removerScrewdriver What mine looked like before. Flip the chair over and unscrew the screws underneath. Remove staples and old fabric. I chose to leave mine on because the manufacturer was apparently drunk and staple happy when they did mine. Staples were everywhere. Pull each corner tightly and staple. Trim off excess fabric and staple around entire cushion. Place cushion back on chair and reattach the cushion bottom with the screws.Pretty simple and an expensive way to update a room. Today’s Leopard Find: Accent Chair …

Organizing Your Pantry and Our First Day of Free Field Trips for Summer

I started to try to organize my pantry several weeks ago and found bags of flour. I got sidetracked and finally finished…5 bags of flour, 6 bottles of ketchup, 7 bottles of barbecue sauce, 3 jars of mayonnaise, 3 boxes of graham crackers, 12 cans of Megan’s Pringles…. So my learning for the day….you’d probably spend less at the grocery store and waste less food if you actually know what’s in your pantry. So the next few weeks we will be having barbecue chicken pizza, meatloaf, s’mores bars, chicken salad sandwiches and finding a recipe for Sour Cream Ranch Pringles. The 3 most important things you need to organize your pantry…. An expandable shelf organizer, OXO Containers and a grocery bad holder Today we went on our first free Field Trip of the summer. First we went to Petco. (It would have been free if I didn’t need dog food). The girls could stay in there forever. Megan held a ferret. (she loves those things, she’s not getting one) My nephew held a lizard. (he loves those things, he’s not getting one) And sweet Taylor was afraid to bother the employee too much so she said she’d wait until the next time. Next we went to the library. This was a really big deal to Taylor. I swear she’s a speed reader. She finished a Harry Potter book in about 3 hours once. She has her very own library card now, complete with signature. From the look of the pile of books you’d think she thought we’d never be able to come back again. Megan went with a theme…she got Ferrets for Dummies, Senior Dogs for Dummies and Kittens for Dummies. We don’t have ferrets, senior dogs or kittens….. Today’s Leopard Find: Journal Notebook …

Lamp Shade Makeover


One of the projects I’ve been working on is my dining room. The first step in this project was the lamp shades on my light fixture. Years ago I had a bead obsession and put beads on anything that was sitting still. One of my victims was the lamp shades on my dining room light fixture. I decided it was time for them to go. When I took them down I realized that the painters had gotten paint splatters all over them. I checked into ordering them and it was going to be almost $100 for the ones I wanted. So to save money I decided to recycle the ones I had. I had some leftover spray paint that was for silk flowers. I figured if it was gentle enough for silk flowers it would be okay for my lamp shades. It worked great and only took 2 coats to cover them. Below is the before and after…


All you need is 1 can of Design Master Colortool in whatever shade you desire. Now off to finish my dining room table project (that so far has left my house covered in sawdust and my floor, hands, feet, shoes and back covered with stain. Don’t ask how it ended up on my back..

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Livex S203 Chandelier Shade Leopard Print Silk Shade with Amber Beads