Monday, February 20, 2012

"Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor." - Samuel Johnson

So one of my new goals is to be more frugal. You know, more than just eating Mac & Cheese for dinner 5 days a week. So I thought I would post on a couple of things that I've done to decorate on a small budget. 

The first small project I did to clear space off a table I had, was to put all my family pictures on the wall in my hallway. All the frames were from the dollar store. The letters spelling family were from AC Moore. All these items cost me about $25. The fabric that the letters are being hung with came from old material I had that use to be my grandmothers. Believe me, it was the most "normal" looking material in that box! This is how it turned out...

Not too shabby, huh?!

My latest project was for my friend who recently moved. Another mom, making it out on her own for the first time as a single mom! You go girl! Anyway, she is renting a place that has NO drawers in the kitchen. Can you believe that? We didn't understand how that was even possible! So I told her I was on a mission to solve this problem. I was determined to find something and Pinterest the shit out of it! Here's what I found at Good Will for $12.97...

The hardware was old and not attached. So, we went out at got black paint, new hardware, and material to make a curtain. I filled in two holes in the top drawer (as well as some knicks and scratches), removed the bottom two drawers completely, and sanded the whole thing. Then painted everything black, put in a spring rod under the top drawer, and made the curtain. All of it came together for under $35 and this is it below.

Really love this piece. I can't wait to do more things like this. I've wanted to for a long time. I am getting a crib this week that I plan to make into a desk for myself. We will see how that goes. I just wanted to show you, that you can have beautiful things, without bustin' your budget! :)

Don't forget to post comments. Or even request a furniture do over! ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"House work can kill you if done right." - Erma Bombeck

Welcome to my blog. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm hoping my life as a single mother will entertain you and give you something to relate to.

This is my first post and it's about CLEANING! Who out there adores cleaning? Seriously, if you know someone, please send them my way, I could use the help! I'm not the most organized person, and now that my daughter is of an age where she is involved in a lot more, I had to come up with a plan. Our house was a hot mess most of the time.

After some research on Pinterest, I found what seems to work best for me is giving the ILLUSION that my house is clean. I LOVE magic! There are so many blogs out there on organizing and cleaning, and I love them all. However, at first I thought these people were crazy. Every blog told me I needed to clean each night. At first I was like, "Are you kidding me? I'm a single mom, work all day, run around to my daughter's activities, make dinner, do some more work at home, take care of the dog, and now you want me to clean too?!" Typically, by the time I get home and through all of that, I'm lucky my dishes get done. All I want to do is plop my big butt on the couch and watch mindless TV so I don't have to think anymore for the day. Anyone relate to that??

However, if you are anything like me, your weekends are usually just as busy as your week days! How does that happen?  So my "big" plans to clean everything on the weekend would never come about. The biggest thing I've done to help with the mess is PURGE!! That got rid of a lot of things that were just taking up space but really had no use. I will get into my purging in another blog at some point, but it was my first step. Next though was cleaning...

I actually made a schedule to clean. I find that if I do the one or two things a night BEFORE I sit my big butt down, things are much easier to manage. The cleaning schedule that works for me is looks something like this:

Morning Routine:  I have about 20 minutes while my daughter dresses herself and brushes her teeth. She's a slow mover in the morning.
  • make the bed 
  • start a load of laundry
  • empty the dishwasher after I have made our lunches

Afternoon Routine: This varies day to day because of our schedules. Should take about 25 minutes with the exception of making dinner.
  •  make dinner
  • organize a drawer while dinner cooks
  • switch over laundry
Evening Routine (before bed): This usually takes about 20 minutes.
  • Clean kitchen counter & sink
  • wipe down table surfaces & mirrors in main living areas
  • put away laundry
  • spot mop floor ( I love my Swifter)
  • wipe down bathroom
  • run dishwasher
 Not too bad, right? I literally broke it down into time periods at first until I really got into a routine. I love time management, so that was something that helped me. Then, on the weekends, I do a little deeper cleaning but nothing that takes me hours to do like it used to. Plus, my daughter helps out now. When she wakes up she has a list of chores that she has to do before she can watch cartoons. It's so nice to have a little help!

Weekend Routine:
  • vacuum house very well
  • dust house
  • empty garbage
  • clean out fridge
  • scrub bathroom and tub
  • wash floors
  • organize an area (depending on time a drawer or a closet!)
Well there you have it... The house gets a good cleaning, but "looks" that clean throughout the week! That way I'm not embarrassed when people just stop by, like they do often, and it keeps me a little more sane! Happy cleaning! :)