Sunday, June 26, 2011

Let's talk a bit about Cleaning and Organizing!

Since I started posting on the Nest, I started doing a lot of lurking and quite a bit of posting on the Cleaning and Organizing board. I've seen numerous posts about asking how people keep their homes clean and organized so I thought I would dedicate a post to how we keep our household clean and organized.

First of all, I'll preface by saying that I do most of the cleaning and cooking around here. It just works for us. Jon works an hour away from home. I work 3 miles away-so ten minutes on a bad day. When I get home, I have time to start dinner, do my daily cleaning (which I'll explain in a minute) and take care of our pup before Jon even walks through the door. I would rather get stuff done around here and that way when Jon gets home we can eat dinner and spend the rest of the evening together. This schedule just works for us, not saying that it works for everyone. It also works for us now. When our family grows, it will more than likely be altered a bit.

The first thing I'll touch on is the cleaning schedule.

Sunday-Laundry day! Every other week, I wash our bed sheets. Other than that, it's pretty basic. Sundays are usually dedicated to laundry just because we're usually home on Sundays, but we can still do things while the laundry is getting done.

Monday-Dusting and vacuuming. I used to term this "Living Room & Hallway", but I found that it's easier to just dust and vacuum everywhere. I also make sure to take out all the trash so Jon can take it to the curb when he gets home.

Tuesday-Kitchen. I mop the floor, clean the counters w/all purpose cleaner and cabinet fronts. I wipe down the fridge, inside and out.

Wednesday-Bathroom. Mop and sweep, wipe down the counter, clean the mirrors, clean the shower, and clean the toilet.

Thursday-Recap Day. One more sweep of the whole house-vacuuming and dusting. Take care of anything that needs organized-i.e. our office mail slots.

Sunday-Reggie Day. Clean out his crate, give him medicine (once a month), brush his teeth, clip his nails, and brush his coat.

Daily-Do the dishes and sweep the kitchen after dinner. I also do one total sweep of the house before bed every night-take any dishes to the kitchen, pick up Reggie's toys, etc. I use a daily shower spray every morning, too.


Next up is the organizing aspect of the household.

-We keep several binders in the office. One for our home-copies of our home inspection, remodels we've done, warranty information, etc. One for our financial documents-past statements, tax information, etc. One for our personal uses-our doctor visits, Reggie's papers, etc. We also have a lock box with our important documents-marriage license copy, house papers, titles for our cars, etc.

-On our desktop, I keep a list of things that need done for the house every week, month, quarterly, and annually.

-Our cabinets in the kitchen are organized, as well. I keep liked items together, of course. I have one cabinet for baking needs-spices, cake mixes, flour, sugar, etc. One cabinet for food-pasta, canned foods, boxed foods, and our basket of snacks. We have a cabinet for our dishes, pots and pans. We have a cabinet for our glasses. We have a cabinet for our small appliances, Foreman grill, and our tupperware. Our last cabinet has our random things-season items and serving dishes for example.

-We only have 3 drawers in our kitchen. One has our silverware separated with a Rubbermaid separator. One drawer has another drawer separator that houses our random utensils, corn cob holders, knives, etc. Our last drawer is our junk drawer. It still has an organizer in it. It houses our batteries, a flash light, a lighter, etc.

-Our pantry is relatively small because our water heater is in there. We still have four small shelves and one long shelf. Our small shelves have a our tool boxes (soon-there will just be a small tool box in there-our big one will be in our new shed!) and a dust pan on one shelf. Another shelf has refills for paper towels. Another shelf has all of our cleaning supplies with the exception of our bathroom supplies. The top shelf has light bulbs and our air freshner refills. The floor of the pantry has our brooms and mops.

-Our bathroom vanity has a canvas bin that holds my hair dryer, straightener, and like items. I also have my make up bag down there. I also store the daily shower cleaner in there as well.

-We have a small linen closet in the bathroom which has 3 shelves. One shelf has miscellaneous items-such as beach towels, sun screen, Kleenex, etc. The middle shelf has all of our towels and wash clothes. The top shelf has 3 canvas bins. One that has all of our laundry things in it-detergent, dryer sheets, wrinkle releaser, stain remover, and lingerie bag. One has our cleaning supplies in it-toilet bowl cleaner, bathroom cleaner, Magic Eraser, sponge, and some spare Chlorox wipes. The last one holds more random items-ponchos, Reggie items (tooth brush/tooth paste, etc), and other miscellaneous items I can't think of right now.

That gives you the basics of our organizing!

Now our final thing I want to talk about is our meals and our meal planning!

I don't usually have a set day that we go grocery shopping-but we try to go together.

Throughout the week, I'll write down our staple food and non-food items that I see we're running low on, such as milk, butter, paper towels, etc. Then when we decide to go to the store-I take a dry erase board that hangs on our fridge and our shopping list magnet pad and go into the office. On the desktop, I keep a spread sheet of things we know we like to eat and also recipes we have flagged to try. We try to have one new recipe every week. Most of the time they're delicious-but sometimes they are a bust (i.e. Pizza Sloppy Joes-GROSS.).

The other thing I do before I start making a meal plan is to look and see what we may have left over that we don't normally buy. For example, we don't usually keep ricotta cheese, but if we had lasagna one night the past week, I'll try to make another dish using ricotta over the next few weeks to ensure we don't waste it.

From there, I make a menu plan. I allow for one night of going out because that's usually how it works-and it's usually Friday nights. I then use our meal plan to come up with our grocery list. I then do a sweep of the food cabinet, pantry (for cleaning supplies) and bathroom (toilet paper, toiletries, cleaning supplies). We usually go to Wal-Mart. But one week a month we'll go to Marsh, a local store, and stock up on meat-we've found that Marsh has better quality and much better prices when it comes to the meat department.


So there's the long winded version! Geez, sorry! Hope it helps someone though!! :)

Menu and Update

Sunday-Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread
Monday-Steaks, twice baked potatoes
Tuesday-Pizza and breadsticks
Wednesday-Chicken sandwiches, fries
Thursday-Taco casserole (new recipe!)
Friday-out to dinner!


In other news, we signed a contract for our roof and siding replacement! Pictures to come when it's finished!

We also went to the Kenny concert Friday night! It was AMAZING!!

"And in the morning I'm leavin makin my way back to Cleveland so tonight I hope that I will do just fine. And I don't see how you could ever be anything but mine."

"I've been gopherin, chaufferin company chairmen, coffee maker, copy repairman. Anymore there ain't nothin I swear man, that I don't do. I've been jugglin, strugglin, closin big deals, dancing backwards in high heels. And just when I feel like I can't make it through-it sure feels nice to just be the woman with you."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekly Menu

Sunday-stuffed chicken bundles, mashed potatoes
Monday-Parmesan bow tie skillet, garlic bread
Tuesday-Hamburgers, french fries
Wednesday-Chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese
Thursday-I'm on my own.
Friday-KENNY CONCERT!!

Sorry for the lack of updates again-life has been crazy busy these days!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Update

Sorry for the lack of updating. Life has been crazy around here!

We have one estimate for the siding and roof for the house with two more left to go. I can see us going with the first company. We loved how thorough they were and they gave us plenty of options to choose from and gave us, what we feel to be, honest answers on everything. We seemed to have ran into a couple snags with the insurance company that I'll need to hash out tomorrow. The adjuster had quoted us for 3 tab shingles when we actually have dimensional shingles. He also quoted us for 3" standard shutters when we have 5" shutters with guards on it. (I can't remember the technical name.) Two more estimates to go. Then we can get this show on the road.

Other than that, Jon and I have both been busy at work. Given the nature of my work (flooring), you can imagine how busy we've been since the storm. Jon's company has been just as busy (finance). We can't complain on that! We've been very lucky and blessed!

Hope everyone else is doing well! xoxo

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Menu

a little back dated...

Saturday-Home made pizza, breadsticks
Sunday-Sausage and potato casserole, garlic cheesy biscuits
Monday-Lasagna Roll Ups, Garlic Bread
Tuesday-Pigs in a blanket, Mac and Cheese
Wednesday-Taco Bake
Thursday-Pizza Sloppy Joes, FF
Friday-Out to eat


I'm starting to mentally get in my mind what we'll be having next week. I know we'll have pizza pasta to use up our pepperonis from this week's pizza and sloppy joes. We'll see what next week holds for us.

The good thing is-this week makes for a lot of left overs. Which means we won't spend money going to lunch every day..which we've cut back on A LOT!

Damage Update

Our insurance adjuster just left.

Damages:
-New Roof (no leaks, just hail damage, thankfully!)
-New siding on one side
-New Roof & Windows for shed (We're totally replacing it though-the adjuster approved this.)
-1 New Window
-Random other things, such as power washing, combing the AC, replacing vents, replacing screens, etc.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Carolina's Trip: Reviews

LODGING:

Sandcastle Ocean Front Resort at the Pavillion

The location of the hotel was WONDERFUL! Easy to find, easy to get to everything we wanted to do, and in the heart of plenty of things to do! Literally, we walked out onto the beach in 10 seconds! The parking was convenient too. There was a lot right in front of our tower. (There were 2 towers and a middle section.) It seemed to us though, that if you stayed in the middle tower, there was no parking and you would either have to park at one of the towers or across the street.

The room, itself, was small, but it wasn't BAD. The only thing we didn't like was the size of the balcony. The cheap plastic chairs that they gave us to sit outside barely fit. It would have been nice to have a bigger balcony. The thing we loved the most was the fact there was a small fridge in the room. We brought a good amount of food and drinks with us. It was nice to be able to keep those cold all the time.

The one thing that I hated about this hotel was the hot water issue. Twice in the 4 nights we stayed there, we had to call the front desk and complain because we didn't have any hot weather. It was barely warm. Neither time when this happen did they even offer an apology. Instead they told us to give us thirty minutes, then try. Which leads me to think that this happens all the time to them. I would think that a hotel should be able to accommodate people in the hotel.

Grade: C

Hampton Inn-Wilmington

The hotel room was very nice. The bed was comfortable! The bathroom was very up to date and nice! We never ventured out to the pool, so I have no comment on that.

The location of the hotel was decent. If you went about 5 miles on either way, you were in sketchy neighborhoods and sometimes it wasn't easy to get around. That wasn't the hotel's fault. It was North Carolina-period. As Jon says,"U-Turns are like the 11th Commandment in North Carolina!" He was right.

The thing we loved about this hotel was the breakfast in the morning! It was so so so so so so soooo good! They had waffles, fresh fruit (read: FRESH!), plenty of fresh squeezed OJ, and lots of bagels and donuts to choose from.

Grade: A

Hampton Inn-Charlotte

Same thing as the Hampton Inn-Wilmington essentially. Only the location wasn't as convenient. Once again-not the hotel's fault. It was just confusing to us because every road had exits. It's not like that in Indiana. You know what streets have exits? INTERSTATES. That's it.

Grade: B+

Hampton Inn-Asheville

Breakfast was okay. Of course, we just basically inhaled the food because 1) We wanted to get home. and 2) We didn't want to run into the half dressed man in the first room we were assigned to.

See the Part 3 of our vacation recap to see what I'm talking about.

Grade: D, at best.


FOOD


Margaritaville-Myrtle Beach: Looooooved this!!!! It was our first night so we were very tired and wore out, but man we had a blast! We both opted for burgers and drinks. Both of our meals were very good, our service was amazing! Grade: A

Amici's-Myrtle Beach:
This restaurant is in Broadway at the Beach. We went here for lunch our first full day. The pizza was AMAZING! The breadsticks were so good! We actually used this for our lunch the next day too. Grade: A

Senor Frogs-Myrtle Beach: The food was great, but it was SO loud in there! I know that's the atmosphere they were wanting to give off, but it was a little much for us. Grade: C

Planet Hollywood-Myrtle Beach: The food was delicious! We had a coupon for a free chicken crunch appetizer that was delicious! Both of our drinks were amazing! Plus, the atmosphere and the memorabilia was just incredible! Grade: A

KISS! Coffeehouse-Myrtle Beach:
Also at Broadway at the Beach. We stopped here after our Planet Hollywood dinner for a dessert drink. Jon got a Peanut Butter Cup drink and I got the S'mores. Both were so good! Grade: A

In Wilmington we ate at Chic-fil-A and CiCi's Pizza. No real reviews needed.

Friday night in Charlotte we ate at TGI Friday's. Food was great and I got the Cotton Candy martini which was amazing! Grade: B

There you have it!! If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!!

Vacation Part Three: Charlotte

Charlotte composed Friday and Saturday of our trip.

Friday, we drove up and went to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Then, Jon wanted to tour the Hendrick museum and garages.


My handsome husband in front of his favorite driver's display



We're a divided household I'm telling you. Point me to Stewart-Haus Racing and I'll love you for life.


Saturday we got up early (tooooo early!) and drove out to the track.



Isn't the track awesome?? We walked around and looked at all the booths (which no joke, took every bit of 3 hours). Then we walked back to the car and turned on the AC for about 20 minutes (It was every bit of 92* out at this point...circa noon.). We then walked to the track-put our stuff at the seats and headed down to watch Dierks Bentley play! Such a good little concert-but the acoustics weren't all that great. But oh well. It was a free concert!

We looked around a little more around the inside of the track, then we went back to our seats and hung out, talked, etc. Then, we went and picked up some dinner and settled in for the race to start.


Enjoying the sunny NC weather! (Hellooooo, Mr. Sunburn!)

After the race we sat in traffic for two solid hours without moving. Something we aren't used to at all. Indy is known for getting people out of the track and on their way homes in an hour-flat. FLAT!

We had decided early on in the trip to stop in Asheville on the way home since we figured it would be late by the time we got there. We were thinking like midnight-late. Not 2:30 late. I digress.

We finally pull into Asheville and we find our hotel. We get the key-go up to the room. Jon turns on the light and I walk in....TO SOMEONE SLEEPING IN THE BED!!!!!! Yeah. We went back to the front desk and got a different room. Needless to say, we opened the bathroom door so it was up against the front door. And put an ottoman against the door as well. We're not taking any chances. At least we're smart enough to dead bolt the freaking hotel room door every time we stay somewhere.

So that's where our vacation ended! We had a wonderful drive home-talking, laughing, and reminiscing about vacation! We finally got home, put the house back in order, and returned the rental car.

This vacation was amazing!! It felt so great to get away for a week, relax, and just do our own thing!!

I'll work on getting a hotel/food reviews post up. I'll also take pictures of the office! We're still waiting to do a few things-well, okay, one thing. We're going to refinish the doors! I may wait to post pictures when we're totally finished, but we'll see.