April 16, 2010

The One with JM. and Other Intriguing Topics.

I'm just going to warn you straight up. 
My thoughts are quite the conglomeration today. 
I said it. 

First and foremost a mini rant. 
What am I? A thirteen year old?!
I have more pimples and blackheads on my face now than I've had in the last 10 years COMBINED. 
Geeze, Louise. 
I use a blackhead prevention scrubbing cleanser. 
I use astringent (why, I don't know.)
I moisturize.
I use foundation with spf 15. 
But apparently my hormones are just proving that THEY are ultimately in charge. 
Be that way.

Kevin didn't work on Wednesday. 
But I think he may have preferred teaching a middle school resource room than what I had him doing. 
I don't plan "spring cleaning."
It just happens. 
And I hate it. 
But it just happens. 

It's actually pretty good stuff. 
Though I don't think I'll ever FULLY eliminate processed foods from my diet
or go completely organic
the three main steps to her plan are excellent. 
Remove (the crap). 
Restore (the wonderful nutrients God intended)
Rebalance (how you eat, when you eat, how you sleep and clean and exercise).
(Subtitles are mine.)

All that to say she struck a nerve with me in the cleaning products department. 
Why use a bottle of really frightening chemicals all over the house when there are a few natural items that can clean just as well and with a LOT less risk. 
White Vinegar for example.
And Baking Soda.
These ingredients are seriously miracle products. 
Immediately I remembered a set of books my Grams had bought me. 
Over 100 Uses for White Vinegar. 
And 100 more for Baking Soda. 
The next day I ran to the Dollar Tree and bottle a jug of white vinegar and a squirt bottle. 
I filled it up with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water. 
And went. to. town.
This mixture is useful for pretreating clothes. 
Washing countertops and leaving them shiny. 
Cleaning fingerprinted walls that have needed to be washed since before we moved in 18 months ago. 

And that's just what I did. 
I had been putting off that job for, well, 18 months. 
But my walls always grossed me out. 
The previous residents had young kids. 
It shows. 
So I powered through the house with a wet rag and my vinegar/water mist. 
And my gosh do my walls sparkle! 
And the doors. man! I didn't know our door that leads to the garage could be so white!
What a great feeling. 

But here's where Kevin comes in. 
Before I was finished with my mini-cleaning spree, I remembered the most dreaded job.
Cleaning the coat closet doors. The ones by the garage entrance. 
Not a big deal?
Think again. 
Whatever genius came up with the idea of making closet door with thousands of slats will rue the day he meets ME. 
Each of the 200 wooden slats was caked with dirt and grime and disgustingness. 
Every single day I walk past it (too many times to count) I think of how gross it is. 
And how I need to clean. 
But then I just close my eyes and keep walking. 
Not Wednesday! 
I sprayed down the first quarter of the slats and started scrubbing. 
Slat after slat. 
And before I knew it Kevin was helping me. 
We cleaned side by side. 
Experienced how terribly dirty the rag would get after wiping just one of these little wooden slats. 
And then it was done. 
It was clean. And sparkly. 
And I was so. happy.

(please ignore that yellow stain. who knows.)

Also on Wednesday I framed and hung the gorgeous photos of my side of the family. 
Remember the ones Emily of Smith Gallery Photography snapped for us?
I found the perfect frames at Walgreens on sale for $2.50-$4.00 and I couldn't pass it up. 
The hard parts were:
1. deciding where to hang them. 
2. deciding how to hang them. 

After I picked a place I went to work arranging them on the floor. 
Kevin came by and offered a different opinion. 
I liked his thought so I started hammering in the five nails. 
But I didn't like it. 
So I hammered some more. 
I didn't like that either. 
But third times a charm, right? 
I. LOVE. it. 
And I even got to incorporate an adorable little shelf that I wasn't sure I would ever use. 
What do you think?

 ::waiting to be hung::

 ::the newest member of the family and me::
(yes, he's been in the family almost 2 years now :D)

::how beautiful are they--my parents::

 ::5x7 of my family::

::daddy and girls::

::always sisters::

drumroll please.........

::the final product on the wall::

And I'm not done yet, people. 
Wednesday evening our friends, Britt and Nick came for dinner and a much-needed visit. 
We still had Bible quizzing, but we managed to have a great Taco buffet dinner. 
And topped it off with my very first Strawberry Shortcake.
Nick and Kevin played frisbee with our quizzers and Britt and I talked and talked. 
The boys then played some ping pong. 
And Britt and I talked and talked. 
Then they were on their way out and the four of us ended up talking and talking. 
It was lovely. 
I'm so glad they're just 30 minutes away now. 
Three cheer for friends!

Oh! and one more thing! 
I did Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown today for the first time.
It's her brand spanking new workout dvd. 
And I think I'm the first one to check it out of the library system. 
But I plan on buying it soon. 
Because I really loved it. 
I mentioned loving yoga, right? 
Well this is all the physical benefits of yoga combined with repetitive movements leading to increased heart rate and subsequent calorie burn. 
So I won't be doing this yoga workout to relax at the end of my day. 
But I will definitely be incorporating this into my workout circuit.

I'm done now. 
Love you all. 


  1. I started Jillian's "30 Day Shred" a while back and stopped after a couple of weeks - I HATE working out, but I recommend it for those that enjoy it:)

  2. You had lots to say today! First, glad you got some spring cleaning done-always a good feeling.
    I think I have that vinegar book :o) 17 years ago - when I was 17 (wow, that makes me seem old), I got on my 'natural' kick and haven't used commercial cleaners since. I've saved so much money on top of all the other good points about it.

    I'm also reading 2 books on hormones for project research and I'm fascinated by how food affect our hormones and in turn affects our entire body and how it functions!

    Good post!

  3. Wow- I love how you hung the pics! That is always one of the hardest parts for me to decide! Have you ever heard of "Sun and Earth" cleaning products? I use their all purpose cleaner and love it. Its safe for kids and pets. I used to be able to get it at the store but now I just order cases online! They even used to send free samples if you are interested! Happy Spring cleaning- how enjoy that you can sit and enjoy the clean house!

  4. Um - I do love that we can always talk and talk and NEVER run out of things to say!

  5. I'm glad to hear your feedback on the Jillian products. Also, I applaud your switch to natural cleaners. We've used the vinegar-water solution for nearly 6 months now, and I use baking soda for scrubbing, but if you find a great "natural" way to clean toilets, please, send the tips my way!

  6. I want to check out the 100 uses of vinegar book.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. If you want share directly with us, feel free to email kevin.melanie@gmail.com