Thursday, May 30, 2013

A party and pool fun

Since I am scheduled to have baby #3 ( yes, she still has no name) on June 4th and my big boy's birthday is on June 14th we thought It'd be easier to have his party before the delivery.

We had a Sonic the Hedgehog themed party since Maz really likes him. With all the chaos of the day I forgot to get my camera to get pictures but I took a couple with my phone. They are a bit blurry though.

With the craziness and unpredictable Ohio weather we got to enjoy some mid 80 degree weather a few days later. It was good to be with the kids and have some fun before this baby comes and life gets a little more busy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Laundry Tips and Tricks

Lately I have developed a passion rather an obsession for perfecting my laundry skills. I am still obsessed with the smell of my Gain which makes doing laundry all the more enjoyable.

I have discovered though that my laundering abilities are lacking quite a bit. I went digging and found some awesome tips that have helped me a lot and made my laundry smell great, look brighter and cleaner. So I thought I would share my findings. :)

 My clothes and towels have in the past had a funky smell to them regardless of the amazing smelling detergents and softeners. One major culprit of the funk I have found was that I use to occasionally let my laundry sit in the washer for an hour or so after the cycle ended. Bad idea. This creates excess moisture and that creates mold and the nasty funk smell. Sometimes I just can't help it even though I know that the laundry will smell funky. Sometimes I have to leave the house in a hurry or something unexpected comes up and I can't get to the laundry right away. Most of you may know if you've ever left your clean wet laundry sit and get the stink that re-washing doesn't really get the smell out. However, I have good news!

How to get rid of stinky smelly laundry:
One to two cups of white vinegar( depending on load size) and 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda.
Re-wash laundry in only the vinegar. (This strips away the mold)
Then add baking soda in the rinse cycle. (This deodorizes and takes the stink away)
You can also pop in a few scent booster crystals like Downy, Gain Fireworks, or Purex for a fragrance.

This really works! I had a blue towel that had gotten wet and I tossed it down stairs in the dirty hamper and forgot to clean it right away. Before I could get around to dealing with it the stink had taken it over. It was pretty bad. I was very surprised that this trick worked amazing at stripping away the funky smell and mold.

Since using this trick I learned that there is a ton of uses for baking soda. One that I plan on trying here very soon is a foot soak. Get a basin with warm to hot water and throw in some baking soda and it softens your rough dry skin plus it sounds quite relaxing. It is especially good for laundry. It helps boost the power of your detergent, its a natural softener so if you have hard water its great to add to every wash, its a great deodorizer ( you can even toss some into a smelly trash pail and it helps neutralize odors, and its fairly cheap too! I have since stocked up on my baking soda here. :)

My laundry room stock has grown extensively lately. I have my Gain detergent and softener, Gain and Downy dryer sheets, OxyClean powder, OxyClean spot spray and gel stick, Borax, Brite White, Purex Crystals in both scents, Baking Soda, White Vinegar, Shout stain sticks, and bleach. I know I sound crazy but I love doing my laundry now! I just dislike putting my laundry away afterward. :)

Another great tip is to wash your washer and dryer! I haven't yet cleaned my dryer but I have cleaned my washer twice now. Its best to clean it every 3-4 months. Detergent and softener leave buildup over time and can leave stains on your laundry during a cycle so its important to have a clean washer to clean your clothes.

How to clean your washing machine:
One quart of white vinegar
One gallon of bleach

Fill washer all the way up to the top with super hot water- as hot as you can get. Pour in the vinegar and let it soak for an hour. While its soaking get a scratch pad or sponge and start cleaning the walls and the agitator. Clean the softener cup out well and remove the cup to expose the inside of the agitator. ( this is the way to clean top loader washers) You may need a baby bottle brush to get all the left over softener gunk out of it. Its important to clean all of this out so it doesn't get redistributed on your clothing. I found that I was getting mystery grayish stain on my laundry and this was the very reason so cleaning this out is essential. Once you get the gray stains they are difficult to remove. Once that is done, run a cycle with the vinegar. Once that cycle is over, fill the washer again with very hot water and this time add the bleach. Get your sponge and do the same thing scrubbing the agitator and walls. Don't forget to clean the inside of the agitator under the softener cup with the bleach water as well. You will notice in all this scrubbing how dirty and clumpy the water will get. That means its working. Its pretty gross but a great reminder to keep up on the cleaning every 3-4 months. Once again run a cycle with the bleach. Once you are all finished leave the washer lid open. In fact, you should leave it open after every wash so that moisture doesn't get trapped inside and create mold or smell.

My other handy laundry tip I have found is for towels. I recently decided to switch our towels to white ones that are super soft and still absorbent. I did my homework and saw how crazy expensive great quality and soft towels really are. There was no way I was going to spend $30 on one towel! Ridiculous! I really wanted to get the bath sheets which are the really long towels but this time I didn't get those. I will say that Walmart has great Home and Garden towels that are really soft, absorbent and bath sheets for only $6.88. I will be getting a bunch of those in the future for sure. However, this time I found some great towels at Target. Their Room Essentials brand were only $3 on sale! I couldn't pass that up. They are super soft, bright white, and fast drying. I used them today for the first time without washing them and they were amazing! No pilling or lint and very absorbent. I felt like I was at a spa coming out of the shower, it was great!

So now that I have these towels the trick is to keep them white. I thought I'd experiment on a dingy grayish old white towel I had in my old towel rotation. Its a different brand and not very soft but its white so it will stay in my new rotation.

The old dingy gray towel is in the middle sandwiched by two of my new towels. You can see its quite gray. I decided to try a nice hot bleach soak.

Since my washer in energy star it doesn't get super hot to save money and energy so I filled a tub with piping hot water along with bleach and a little bit of baking soda and some detergent. I let it soak for about 2 hours. I agitated it with a wooden stick every so often as well. I may try to re-soak this again with more bleach and for a longer time and dry it outside in the sunshine but for now its ok.

The towel I bleached is on the top and one of the new towels I bought is on the bottom. You can still see a slight difference in shade but it definitely looks better than before.

Hope some of my laundry tips help you as much as they have helped me! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sunshine fun

Finally the weather here in Ohio is warming up!! Woo hoo! Its been a chilly Spring for the most part but lately it has been heating up. Which the kids are loving! 

I have been in major Spring cleaning mode around  here. It doesn't help that it seems every pregnancy I experience a strong adoration to the smell of many household cleaners. I have my favorites that have been permeating through our house a lot lately. I absolutely LOVE the smell of Gain laundry detergent and softener! I can not even fully put into words what the smell does to me. Its just simply amazing. I actually get excited to do laundry so much that I walk around our house seeking out something to wash for the purpose of smelling it. My favorite moment is right when the item is being dried and is at its dries but still hot from the dryer. I could bury my nose in that forever. Yes,  my hubby thinks I am crazy as I try pushing the clean hot laundry  into his face and asking him to smell the freshness too. :) My laundry room is the best smelling room in the house to me but every room smells quite amazing and clean. Just ask my hubby. :) 

My other scent obsession is the smell of Glade Clean Linen. I have just about everything Glade has made in the Clean Linen scent. All the rooms get an occasional spray down of the air freshener, the carpet gets the powder scent treatment, I have the solid air fresheners in just about every room, and even my van has the Clean Linen aroma. I have a can of spray and several of the car fresheners in the scent in the van at all times. 

Just when you thought I couldn't be any nuttier, I actually love cleaning in general right now. Using bleach to clean the bathrooms and windows etc is fun to me. I like the smell but not as much as my Gain and Clean Linen. I just plain love the smell of clean. At least my house is clean and smelling quite lovely. I know its probably a nesting thing but oh well. I enjoy it right now, though my body doesn't. Ugh, so much aches and pains but its all worth it. 

We're loving that after about 3 years of Scott's treatment our lawn is looking pretty great this year. Minimal weeds, pretty green and really thick and full feeling on your toes. Almost therapeutic walking on it. At least I think so. Arleigh seems to enjoy walking on the grass barefoot too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hubby's Graduation!

Very proud of my hubby for graduating and getting his bachelor's in Organizational Management!! He worked so hard for this day! Just so excited to see where the Lord leads him and our family in the future with this new degree added to his list of knowledge and qualities. 

I am 32 weeks almost 33 weeks in this this picture taken after his ceremony. My mom was gracious enough to watch our wild kiddos while we were at his ceremony. Feeling quite miserable with back pain and aches of all sorts but thankful. Not much longer now. In fact, only 4 weeks to be exact. I have my csection on June 4th!! Can't wait to meet and welcome this new little lady into our family! :)