Our Morning Routine

Most families have a morning routine and we’re no different.  Ok, maybe we are a little different because ours involves on 80 lb Rotti coming into the bathroom for her daily blow dry and ear massage while the 60 lb Heeler incessantly nudges a ball closer and closer to your foot in hopes that you will kick it for her to chase.

Tequila Morning

This is the face I see in the mirror peeking over the counter every morning during this process.  I’ve become very adept at blow drying my hair with one hand, while massaging Tequila’s ear with the other.  I alternate between blow drying my own hair and her.   When we’re done, if my husband is home at the time I tell her to “go show Daddy how pretty she is” and she promptly heads to wherever he is to receive his praise for looking exactly the same as she did when she came into the bathroom!  It’s totally silly but it’s MY time with her every day.  It’s our connection.  I know it’s just extra petting and attention to her but, I secretly look forward to it and am a little upset if she’s not around while getting ready.

Sangria MorningMeanwhile my other child has found her favorite ball – whichever happens to be closest when she wakes up – and is standing in the bathroom door way whining.  And no matter how many times you do kick the ball she will come back expecting you to do it again, and again, and again.  And should you dare to tell her no, she will give you a look of pure disbelief.  She can seriously hold this pose for hours if she thinks you will actually kick the ball at some point.  And yes, that ball does light up, which makes for a very interesting game of ball at night!

Sangria and I also have our own ‘girl’ time each morning when she comes and peeks around the shower curtain wanting me to flick water at her so she can catch it in the air.  While I’d love to get a picture of this hysterical scene my DSLR wouldn’t do well in the shower and I’m already multi-tasking with getting squeaky clean and entertaining my youngest child.  She takes it a step further and provides a personal ‘lick dry’ for calves when you step out of the shower.  That is apparently her ‘pay it forward’ for playing ball afterwards!

I seriously love these two goof balls, regardless of how many dust bunnies or messes they create!  As any mother can understand.

Craigslist Score


I’m all about furniture that serves dual purposes, especially when that includes STORAGE!  I knew I wanted some kind of antique trunk as a side or coffee table in our family room and was constantly searching Craigslist for a good deal because there was NO way I’d pay the $200-300 the local antique stores wanted for theirs.

Then one night while at dinner with my hubby, I was waiting to order, scrolling through listings on my iPhone.  And there it was.  But at just $40 I was certain it was a typo or a scam.  Luckily, a few messages back and forth later, I was on this stranger’s doorstep the next afternoon picking up my new treasure.  Apparently he and his wife are empty-nesters and are downsizing.  Since it worked in my favor, I’m very happy for them! 🙂

Check out all her little details…

Handle Chipping 3 Metal embellishment

Not only does it pack loads of character, it holds LOTS of extra blankets we keep just in case the power ever goes out mid-winter in some freak storm since we DO live in Alaska and it DOES get VERY cold here.  Plus if my rough-n-tumble fur kiddos crash into it with their play sessions no one but me will be able to tell!


She’s Speaking My Language

Yesterday I shared my new-found love of natural DIY cleaners and then spilled apple cider on the glass top stove in our rental while it was still hot!  Talk about a mess!

So I promptly searched the Internet for “how to clean a glass top stove” since we’ve never had one before (and hopefully never will again)!  I found a good tutorial that used baking soda and tested it out once everything cooled.  It took some elbow grease, but it worked.

While browsing You Tube for ideas I stumbled across this video and was in hysterics because she sounds like the inner dialog I have while cleaning a big mess (except for her not so great idea at the end).  So I just had to share it and hope it will bring you a laugh too.

Categories DIY

DIY Natural Cleaners

Although I had already planned on switching to DIY ‘natural’ cleaning products when we moved, the massive collection of bottles that sat on my kitchen counter to be tossed as we packed reaffirmed my decision.  I’d been on Pinterest long enough to know that most household cleaners could be replaced with concoctions of vinegar, water, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, but there were so many different recipes to choose from I knew I’d have to try a few to find the ones that I liked best.


How Does She? seems to always have good tutorials so I figured that would be a good place to start.  I’d already picked up two spray bottles at Target, just because they were pretty – sad, but it’s the truth – and figured the Windex and Febreeze recipes I found here were something I’d use regularly.  I already had vinegar on hand, so all I needed was some essential oils and because I had a coupon I headed over to Michaels to pick some up.  “Lavendar” and “Tropical” in hand, I set out to play mad scientist.

Actually it was pretty simple.  I was done in a matter of minutes.  So fast I didn’t even think to take pictures of the process or the supplies I used!  I decided my blue bottle seemed “tropical” so I made that the Windex bottle and the green seemed naturally paired with “lavender” so that became the Febreeze bottle.

I’ve used both and think they work just as well as the store bought competitors, although I didn’t find that the DIY Windex prevented foggy mirrors in the bathroom like the post said it could.  But I’m ok with that.  Especially knowing that my home is clean and as chemical free as I can make it.  I’ve also done the toilet bomb recipe and think it will become the standard for our household.  I didn’t try the sink cleaner as I’ve already been using the Dawn & Vinegar solution described here, which I keep in the shower, to give the sinks a quick once over when needed.  It seems to do the trick, both in the shower and the sink.

As I add to my homemade cleaning stock I’ll probably create pretty labels for each bottle, but for now a simple “F” and “W” written with a paint pen will suffice in case I ever forget which is which.  Although simply adding a spray nozzle to bottles of club soda and hydrogen peroxide (another How Does She? idea) won’t require labels.  🙂

I have plans to try out this wood cleaner recipe (since the store bought multi-surface leaves a film on our dining table) and this makeup brush cleaner as well.  I’m still not sure about the laundry detergent recipes I’ve seen as none confirm they are HE compatible and I’m not about to ruin clothing or an expensive appliance to test it out.

Do you use natural or DIY cleaners?  If so, which are your favorites?

Categories DIY

A Little Green For My Cube

PurplePlantNow that I have a little green established at home I decided that the empty spot on my desk at work was the perfect place for a plant.  But it couldn’t just be ANY plant.  It had to be purple.  Not only is purple my favorite color, it is also one of the colors of my new employer’s logo.

I originally planned to get an African violet, but I knew they can be a little fussy and high-maintenance.  Not a good combo with my busy schedule.  Plus the ones at the store already looked in need of a little TLC.

So I browsed the other options they had, pausing to consider bromeliads, peace lilies and more.  Then I thought a coleus might be a good option because they have nice color and seem fairly hardy, but there were none to be found.  I was about to give up when I spotted this purple tinged leaf out of the corner of my eye and decided to take a closer look.  All the tag said was “tropical plant,” while suggesting indirect sun and watering when dry.  I could handle that.  And I remembered seeing a pretty purple pot at another store on sale that it would look FABULOUS in!  So I picked out the one with the most stems and almost pranced to the register.  I picked up the adorable purple pot the next day, added some left over rocks from my hanging terrariums to give it a polished look and viola!  A custom purple plant for my cube for around $10.

Mini Floating Terrariums

weI know floating terrariums aren’t a new idea, but when I first saw them about 2 years ago they were pretty pricey to create.  I had seen them in catalogs and even on a wedding TV show and thought they were just adorable.  I remember finding these hanging glass containers on westelm.com for $9-34 each and thinking “maybe someday.”

Apparently that day has come because I found the very same concept at Michaels!  I was wandering through looking for supplies for another project when I spotted two sizes of glass bubbles with a spot to hang them from on an end cap and stopped in my tracks.  After I snapped to and realized I should grab as many as possible as quickly as possible I took a gander at the price tags.  Only $6.99 for the large and $4.99 for the small?!  Umm.. what is there to think about here.  It also didn’t hurt that I had a coupon and my Michaels rewards card handy too.


I knew immediately that I wanted to use them for the cacti clippings my mother-in-law had sent me home with from her own garden in San Diego.  I had a good little variety that fit the different sizes so I laid them out and decided which to plant in each container.


I washed each bubble before planting my cacti and as I prepared each I took the stickers off the sides.  That’s when I stopped to read what they said.  And then rolled my eyes.  Really?  Who knew glass was fragile?!  It’s like the revelation that coffee is hot!  Sadly my friends observation many years ago is all too true, ‘common sense ain’t so common any more.’


One by one I filled each container with cacti potting soil, sprinkled in a little plant food and rooted each clipping into it’s new home.  They didn’t look too bad with just dirt, but I felt like they needed something a little more.


So I got some decorative river rocks to cover the dirt.  Not only did the rocks help hold the clippings upright and in place, I think they help retain moisture when I water them so it’s more similar to their natural environment.  And I was kinda digging the look of the layers through the sides of the glass.


6I originally planned to hang them from little suction cup hooks on the windows, but soon realized that the ones I had were probably too small to support these weight of these little glass bubbles now that they were filled with dirt and rocks.  Plus they probably wouldn’t stick out far enough from the window to allow the bubble to sit flat against the window, causing things to shift and slide out of the opening.

FinishedSo my wonderful husband hung them with fishing line from brackets the landlords had left in the window frame of the large window in our family room.  I’m sure those little cacti are just lovin’ the full sun they get in a southern window!  Never mind the fact that the world within their view is still covered in snow.

And because they are cacti they don’t require daily watering.  If I get busy and forget about them for a few weeks days they manage just fine on their reserves.

Whats even better is the fact that they hang so high the dogs will never be able to reach them, so I never have to worry about them suffering the same fate as the one I left on the window sill while I was at work.  Needless to say that bubble was replaced after another trip to Michaels although that tough little clipping survived to be replanted.  Hardy and pretty.  The perfect fit for me and my crazy little household!

Home Goods Bowl Takes On Pottery Barn Rival

PB I spotted this adorable ceramic basket on PotteryBarn.com way back when and pinned it to my Wish List.  I didn’t really have a purpose I intended to use it for I just thought it was pretty and would be functional decor, but at $50 I just couldn’t justify the splurge.  I considered watching to see if it went on clearance closer to Easter, but like most of the PB items I adore it sold out and was no longer available long before it would have hit the clearance tab (sorry that means no link).  So I kept an eye out whenever browsing stores to see if I ever found something similar.

BowlWhile visiting my mother-in-law I made the obligatory visit to Home Goods and it’s a good thing I did because I spotted this for just $12!  Granted it’s a little different but overall it’s a pretty good stand-in.  It was available in white but I liked the green better and I’m glad I picked it because it goes well with the rest of my kitchen decor where I decided it shall become our fruit bowl, which sadly doesn’t see much fruit on a regular occurrence!  Not to worry.  It will make a fine addition to my St. Patty’s and spring decor vignettes next year!