My Updated Cleaning Routine

Image source: Canva

Having a child has made my time and resources all the more important. All of my cleaning sessions have had to be condensed and scheduled in advance, because I love a good and reliable schedule. Plus, that helps to keep things simple and manageable. My current schedule is as follows:

Sunday: Meal prep
Monday: Vacuum and mop
Tuesday: Bathrooms and wipe down kitchen counters
Wednesday: Dusting
Thursday: Swiffer
Friday: Catch All Day (tidy up as needed, get to any tasks I was unable to do earlier)

Laundry is done as needed throughout the week, ironing is done whenever Clint gets a long nap in or is playing nicely across the room. Saturday is usually all about family activities and the occasional nap. Here are some tips to make your cleaning tasks a little more manageable, they’ve helped me!

Do your research – The internet can be your friend. Reviews should absolutely be your friend. Find a reliable site, Amazon, department stores, or reviews.com and look up your desired item. Perfect example, I purchased our vacuum cleaner when we moved into our house three years ago. It’s fine, we have a Dyson, but it’s a base model and it has annoying issues that fail to make it user friendly. A site such as reviews.com offers categorized break downs of each product. So next time you’re looking for a new vacuum (me in a few years), you can check out their must haves here.

Gather the appropriate tools – I have made a very conscious effort to make more sustainable, natural, and eco friendly choices. My cleaning supplies are from all natural companies (think Method and Mrs. Meyers), with the rare exception of the necessary harsh chemical. Instead of Clorox wipes, I use rags and homemade cleaning solution. I use microfiber cloths instead of Swiffer cloths, and bar mops to wipe down Clint after each meal instead of the previous, very wasteful, paper towel method. I wash rags and microfiber cloths weekly they have lasted for well over a year. You always have your supplies on hand and it’s saving money and the environment.

Never skip something twice – Say you’re pressed for time, or utterly exhausted from a sleep regressing toddler. There’s just no way everything is getting completed that week. Make sure you check that item off your list the following week (or month, or quarter). For me, I don’t get around to deep cleaning our base boards and crown molding every month like I would like to, but I do make sure I’m accomplishing that task the following month.

Maintain – As a relatively new homeowner, we’ll be in our house three years in January, nothing stresses me out quite like the thought of having things not working properly. Or maybe a guest comes over, goes to use an appliance/toilet/electronic and you have to explain juuuuuust how to hold this or do that to get the object to work to the desired effect. Essentially, keep your manuals and maintain as often as possible. Last year, Clint threw a cup holder out of his car seat and we lost it in the depths of some parking lot. I was able to contact the company, order the missing piece, and replace it in a timely manner. If you are replacing an electronic, I highly recommend looking into recycling it responsibly. Anyone installing an appliance should haul it and dispose of the item, but please don’t just toss old printers or tv’s. Many electronics stores, Best Buy included, offer free recycling programs for these needs. We just replaced our printer and dropped our old one in Best Buy’s recycling area, it’s such an awesome service. Look into those services offered around you!

Happy cleaning!

Need more cleaning, mom life, and organizing inspiration? Check out my Instagram!

This post was inspired by reviews.com.

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Monthly Favorites – July 2018

Happy July! We’ve been spending our summer days playing with water, toy boats, and buckets. So far, only three pair of shoes have been ruined. Thankfully, we now have some fantastic water shoes for Clint to avoid, or at least minimize, further destruction.

Podcast

Getting Curious

Getting Curious with Jonathon Van Ness – If you have not been watching the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, shame on you. It is inspiring, emotional, and gives me hope for an ever improving future. My new favorite podcast is hosted by the grooming expert, Jonathon Van Ness. Jonathon is smart, genuinely interested in his guests, and curious about an always growing number of topics which inspire his weekly podcasts. He has had fellow Queer Eye hosts Antoni, Kamaro, and Tan on as guests, and I am of course hoping he will have Bobby on in the not so distant future as well. One of my favorites from his archives is the episode about the traffic situation in L.A. Why is it so bad? Why hasn’t it changed? The episodes also clock in around thirty minutes each, so cranking out a few each week is a breeze.

App

MinimaList App

MinimaList To Do Lists – I love lists. I’ve mentioned this a number of times. I will always be loyal to my pen, paper, and planner system, but it’s becoming very crucial for me to have something concise and organized on my phone as well. I don’t like an app that feels chaotic and difficult to manage.  MinimaList is awesome because it keeps things very simple visually. You can create a number of lists and set alarms, reminders, and timers as you see fit. While Evernote is easily a second favorite of mine, you cannot beat the simplicity and function of this one.

Drink

Harney and Sons.jpg

Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Black Tea – I came across this delicious blend about eight years ago when I was teaching preschool across from a Barnes and Noble. I would sneak away into their cafe and skim a borrowed from the shelf book while having some much needed caffeine. I forgot all about it until coming across a handful of Harney and Sons teas in Target recently. The flavor on the hot cinnamon sunset tea is unbelievable. Plus, I love to treat myself to a cup while Clint is down for his nap. It gives me a little bit of caffeine and helps keep me from eating all the Trader Joe’s chocolate I keep stashed in our candy drawer.

Hulu Binge

Marple

Agatha Christie’s Marple – While I have long been enamored with the Poirot series, I didn’t check out Marple until a few months ago. The stories are each based on a book by Agatha Christie, which some crossovers of Tommy & Tuppence and some other much loved characters. I find this series to be a little more quirky, but it still possesses a lot of that English charm that I so love. Much like the Poirot episodes, it is fun to see how many now famous people you can spot in each show. This series is easily available through Hulu or Britbox.

Currently reading: Dumb Witnessby Agatha Christie

Monthly Favorites – April 2018

Happy April/second winter. I cannot wait to spend the days playing outside and visiting the park with Clint, but these are the things getting us through this bleak time period.

Podcast

The Minimalists

The Minimalists – I don’t recall exactly how I came across Joshua and Ryan, but my familiarity with them increased watching their Netflix documentary. Not too long after, I began listening to their podcast. The episodes are on the longer side, but they are very motivating and informative about all things minimalism. I am all about prioritizing and simplifying your home. This is a great place to start if you’re interested in the same.

App

Overdrive – If you’re a fan of Audible, audiobooks, or ebooks, checkout Overdrive. Link your library card (I know you all have library cards right? Get one!), and you will be provided with access to a whole plethora of ebooks and audiobooks. You have 14 days to read or list to your checked out item and it is automatically returned. No chance of late fees. Another positive.

Beauty Product

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – This is just a very fancy way to say eye serum. It contains caffeine and green tea leaf extracts to reduce puffiness and dark circles in the eye area. I’ve always had under eye circles. The best way to camouflage this and prevent the area from looking worse over time is to keep the area hydrated and properly maintain your skin. This stuff is affordable and will last months.

Wine

Angeline Pinot Noir – This find is from Trader Joe’s. It’s only $9.99 a bottle, and really good! Pinot used to be my go to wine and it is once again topping my list. I am so looking forward to opening a bottle of this once Clint is down for the night!

Happy drinking! xx

Monthly Favorites – March 2018

March means my birthday. This birthday means my thirties. Everyone says your thirties are the new twenties, so I’ll take it. Here’s what I am loving as I embark upon a new decade.

Podcast

Wine & Crime – I came across this podcast while aimlessly scrolling through the internet one day. The title, obviously, caught my attention immediately and I have been listening to a few episodes a week ever since. It is hosted by three friends from Minnesota who drink and discuss different crime stories each week. I also end up laughing ridiculously at least once, it’s well worth a listen.

Read

The Champagne Diet – Full disclosure, there is nothing revolutionary in this book. AND THAT’S WHY I ENJOY IT. The author isn’t trying to sell you on a quick fix or convince you of some previously unknown secret of food combining. It’s purely inspirational. Eat well, have a diet and exercise regimen that makes you feel good, live well and do it all because you deserve it. We all could use a little more of that mentality in our lives.

Way to Relax

Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager – I hold a terrible amount of tension in my neck and this has been a life saver. Most days, as soon a Clint goes down for a nap, I pop this on and it helps release some of the huge knots I have built up. Not only does it have heat, you can adjust it up and down your back as well. Grab a cup of tea and settle in.

Drink

Americano (with light cream and cinnamon on top) – While my favorite drink will always be a grande cold brew with two pumps of mocha and coconut milk, I love to switch it up periodically. A tall Americano with light cream and cinnamon powder has been my go to when it’s too cold or I just want to switch it up from a regular cup of coffee.

Easy, Healthy Snacks

Four Easy Snack Ideas

I love to snack. You know how there are “diet experts” out there who brag about their meals holding you over for hours? I don’t want that. I’m all about small frequent meals, because once ten a.m. rolls around, I’m going to want to nosh on something whether I’m all that hungry or not. Know thyself.

There is a 95% chance that I will have to share my snack with a curious little toddler, so it needs to be fast, easy, and relatively healthy. Though we will split the occasional chocolate croissant at Starbucks.

Yogurt with granola – PLAIN yogurt, I love Fage or Trader Joes brand nonfat or 2%, with as natural a granola (or granola bar) as possible. Don’t put something loaded with sugar on something loaded with sugar.

Protein smoothie – notice I say smoothie, not shake. You will never catch me drinking powder and water unless I’m in a very deprived state. I like all of my meals to feel like a treat, snacks included. I have tried a variety of protein powders in the past few years, and the market is evolving daily. Some have been great, and some have been undrinkable. My two favorites are Tera’s Whey chocolate and Tone It Up vanilla, this one is sold at Target and half the cost of their Perfect Fit sold through their website. Speaking of Target, you can often subscribe and save to almost any item. Meaning, it will auto ship to you every four, six, eight, or whatever weeks and you’ll get free shipping and save at least five percent. Win. My two go to smoothie recipes are below, flexibility is key. Modify the milk, fruit, or protein powder to fit your dietary needs. Also, if you haven’t had a lot of greens that day, throw in an extra handful of spinach! You won’t taste it, I swear.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 (heaping) teaspoon peanut butter
1 scoop chocolate Tera’s Whey
1/2 frozen banana
handful spinach
blend on medium for a minute
top with Redi Whip for an extra treat

Mixed Berry Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Tone It Up vanilla
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 T ground flax seeds
handful spinach
blend on medium for a minute

You can prep these the evening before, put them in the freezer for a while, just make sure to place your smoothie in the fridge overnight to thaw!

Luna bars – Though any granola bar works as an on the go snack, I specifically like Luna bars for their protein and reasonable amount of sugar. Larabars are also great ingredient wise, but I don’t feel like they keep me full for very long. My favorite Luna bar flavor are Lemon Zest and Chocolate Peppermint.

An Americano with nuts – or nonfat latte, or soy latte, or coffee. Customize it for you. I love a tall Americano with light cream and cinnamon on top. This idea is good for when you’re out and forgot to eat, plus you can just roll through the drive through and pick it up. Starbucks sells a variety of nut packages, just stick to half a packet especially if they are covered in sugar! Their flavored ones are extra delicious for a reason!

Happy snacking!

February Favorites

February Favorites

Welcome to my favorites this month! Remember this time last year when winter was already over? I am ready for winter to end any day now, here is what’s getting me through in the mean time.

Podcast

Unladylike – This is a new podcasts run by the former Stuff Mom Never Told You hosts. The SMNTY pod switched hosts maybe a year or so ago, and while I still enjoy it, I was very excited to see Unladylike while scrolling through the podcast list on iTunes. Though only a few episodes are available, I am excited to see where this goes!

Music Vibe

Spotify Classical Music Radio – One of my resolutions is to listen to more music. I heard somewhere that playing classical music in the background helps children focus on a task for a longer period of time. I am uncertain if it is true or not, but it does make laying on the floor and playing trains feel a little more elegant.

Beauty Product

Sheet Mask

Sheet masks – Specifically this one is my favorite at the moment. I am admittedly a little late to the sheet mask love fest, as I never saw the appeal. After getting a couple of them for Christmas, my opinion has changed! Sheet masks are absolutely saturated with good for your skin ingredients and feel amazing. When using a new brand or set of active ingredients, leave the mask on no longer than the recommended time to avoid possible irritation.

 

Tip

Workout first thing in the morning. – Though there are many benefits to an early morning workout, I’ve only started following this long heard advice since the beginning of the year. Clint is down to one nap a day, which means my schedule and free time have been seriously thrown off course. I used to have the chance to workout, shower, and get myself ready during his morning nap, but now if that doesn’t happen first thing, it doesn’t happen. Some days I get a full 30+ minute workout in, some days it’s 15 or 20. Either way, it’s been effective enough to keep me in shape (increased metabolism!) and I honestly don’t feel tired from the earlier wake up call either.

August Favorites

Happy August! I am very excited to share what I am loving for this month. I have come across some real gems for your education and entertainment. Let’s get right to it.

Podcast

Up First

Up First by NPR – Now more than ever, it is important for us to stay current on what is happening in our nation and around the world. If you’re like me, you find the news cycle exhausting and often bias. However, NPR is notorious for providing great content and their new week day podcast, Up First, tells you everything you need to know in under fifteen minutes.

App

Elevate

Elevate – Elevate uses games to increase your knowledge and skills in writing, reading, listening, math, and speaking. I never got into computer games or game apps, but I have been searching for one that is fun and educational. Elevate tracks your progress and allows you to “level up” from beginner to advanced to expert. As you progress, you are able to unlock new games. For someone who has been out of college for seven years, it’s great to strengthen lesser used skills while developing new ones along the way.

Netflix Binge

The Standups

The Standups – At the end of a crazy day, I love to relax with a glass of wine and a good laugh. However, one can only rewatch The Office and Parks and Recreation so many times. Netflix recently released a series of stand up specials with six comedians. I am not exaggerating when I say I had to spit out an ill timed mouthful of water (thankfully it wasn’t wine!). Each special is about half an hour, so it packs a lot of entertainment in a small amount of time.

Book

The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge – After months of seeing this book all across social media, I finally picked up a copy for myself while on a Target run. As I have previously mentioned, I have a love for European culture and their relaxed ways of living, so this book was right up my alley. Hygge (pronounced Hooga) is all about cozy living. The Danish culture really embraces comfort, good food, and good friends. It is believed their strong social connections and attraction to candles and all things cozy helps to contribute to their consistently high overall happiness as a country. As fall and winter approach, I recommend you check out the book. or at least give this podcast episode by Shannon Ables a quick listen.

 

Small Acts of Relaxation

Acts of Relaxation

Back in December, I did a “Small Acts” series. I covered the ever important topics of education, sustainability, and organization. However, let’s say you’ve already organized your entire house using repurposed items, all while listening to your favorite educational podcast. Well I have the perfect topic for you.

Learning to relax. Not just sit on the couch with cheetos and Netflix “relax”. Actual, intentional, relaxation.

Busyness is all the rage. We glamorize it. We love how important it makes us sound. Yet, we cannot deny the dangerous burnout it causes to ourselves and our society at the end of the day. If you aren’t giving yourself a chance to recharge, you’re missing out on your full potential. Ultimately, this cuts yourself and your loved ones short. What we need is balance.

I am admittedly entranced with the European lifestyle (in fact, the above picture is from our honeymoon in Lucerne, Switzerland). Between, the weeks of vacation, embracing a good siesta, good food and drink without over exercising to compensate, European culture is all about enjoyment. When they’re at work, they work hard. They are also able to get home in time to hit up the market and have dinner with the family. Relaxation. Balance.

How do we implement this in a beneficial manner?

Identify what relaxation means to you. 

For me, that’s a morning workout four to five days a week, followed by a daily routine of completing my cleaning and household to-dos, and ending with a hot cup of tea while reading an Agatha Christie novel. This doesn’t happen everyday, but it helps to have a clear picture of how my ultimate peaceful day looks.

Schedule time to relax.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love an old-fashioned pen and paper planning system. Maybe you prefer electronic scheduling such as Google Calendar or your Apple Calendar. Regardless of your method, choose at least one pleasurable item each day. Whether it’s ten minutes of yoga before bed or reading your favorite magazine with a good playlist going in the background, write it down!

In fact, get in the habit of scheduling all important tasks.

Speaking of writing relaxing tasks down, write everything down. It’s like a brain purge. Every once in a while, particularly whenever I’m feeling frazzled, I write out whatever to-dos come to my mind. Most of them I can plan to complete during the week, like lingering cleaning lists or finding a place for those rouge items in nearly every room. Periodically, they are long-term items I can’t complete for a month or a year, such as a home project. Either way, I have that list on hand for when I’m perusing a store or magazine or I have a spare hour at the end of the day. Then, you have time for some guilt free binging of The Great British Baking Show!

Begin to look to unconventional methods for relaxation.

A good deep cleaning session leaves me feeling rejuvenated. It’s not an uncommon way to unwind, though most people see this as a cumbersome activity instead of a release. Next time you’re feeling particularly worked up, try something new. Like sudoku, adult coloring books, gardening, or a bed of needles (I am a huge fan of this acupressure mat).

Find relaxation in every day moments.

Lastly, we cannot forget to chill out and enjoy the every day. There is a lot to be said about choosing to be happy in each moment and mind over matter, I consider both to be much easier said than done. You don’t have to be joyous every second of every day, in fact such a cheerful disposition would get down right annoying. You can, however, use that traffic jam and time to listen to your favorite podcast. You can use plush linens as you shower and get ready for the possibly chaotic day ahead. You can take a deep breath and ask yourself what you can do to make that moment better. You can focus on whatever task is at hand and do it well. We so often forget to take pride in what we do each day. I believe focus is what leads to the enjoyment of each activity, regardless of what that activity may be. Plus, some Golden Girls and candles going in the background doesn’t hurt either.

Go get a cup of tea, or mug of beer, and prop your feet up. Time to relax.

July Favorites

Funny story. When I began typing out this post, I called it June Favorites. I officially have no concept of time. Babies will do that to you! Though I do suppose I no longer have a baby, but a budding toddler. Clint turned one last month and is so full of personality and spunk. Thus, this is the first time I’ve sat down at my actual computer, not my iPad or iPhone, in about a month. That being said, I have founds some new addictions in the mean times.

Podcast

Unhappy Hour

Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai – You may recall Matt Bellassai from his Wine About It fame. His Buzzfeed series featured him downing some cheap wine and discussing the things, and people, we all know we hate. Brilliantly, Matt has transformed this art into a very enjoyable podcast. Yes, he is only on week two, but I did some embarrassingly loud laughing while out walking the dog and babe.

Music

Despacito

Despacito ft Daddy Yankee – Louis Fonsi – I don’t listen to the radio very often, I love to relax with my podcasts while out running errands, so I am possibly the last person in my age group to be aware of this hit. It’s the perfect summer pick me up. Listen to it on repeat for some added sexiness to your day.

Netflix Binge

The Great British Baking Show

The Great British Baking Show – Think of this like Chopped, only far more charming. Bakers face off against one another in three challenges each week before one is eliminated. It’s so addicting, peaceful, educational, and so full of British wit it will make you want to pick up and move across the pond.

Book

Taken at the Flood

Taken at the Flood – Though I failed to hit my goal of one book per month during the month of June, I was able to finish this Hercule Poirot classic this month. Though my favorite character was not introduced until nearly halfway through the book, Hercule was able to make up for lost time. Not a full blown classic, but enjoyable and very interesting at the final moments!

Happy reading! xx

 

 

April Favorites

Happy, technically still, April! Clint has started to crawl this month. While this is fantastic and exciting, it also means I’ve sat down for about five minutes each day. Ahh, the joys of motherhood. Nevertheless, here is what I am loving at the moment!

Podcast 

Pod Save America

Pod Save America – The current political landscape is very exhausting. Pod Save America from Crooked Media offers insight and opinions from people who have been there. My favorite at the moment is the Katie Couric interview. Their episodes come out weekly. Another interesting podcast is Pod Save the World, I highly recommend their Syrian Civil War episode.

 

Show

The Mick

The Mick – Any and all fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will recognize the lead in this show as the wonderful Kaitlin Olson. Kaitlin plays a woman who is thrust into raising her, very wealthy,  estranged sisters’ three children. It’s equal parts hilarious, progressive, and heart warming.

Drink

Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato

Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato – I can’t do a lot of dairy in my diet. Plus, I’m a bit of the mindset that excess milk isn’t meant for human consumption. I make all my smoothies with almond milk and was thinking Starbucks would likely never get on the almond milk bandwagon due to the rise in nut allergies. Luckily, they proved me wrong. I am a huge fan of the Carmel Macchiato and this version tastes like a warm cinnamon cookie. I have yet to have it iced, though I am sure it would be delicious as well.

Read

The Monogram Murders

The Monogram Murders – I am obsessed with Agatha Christie, particularly, her Hercule Poirot series. I am making my way through all of those books from the beginning, but I came across The Monogram Murders at the library one day and decided to skip ahead. This was released a couple of years ago and is authored by Sophie Hannah in the spirit of Agatha Christie. It takes a little longer to get into, but the story is good and I am all for extending Poirot as long as possible.

Wine

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon – As the last cold days of winter/spring fade away, I will be transitioning away from my red wines to whites and the occasional rosé. That said. Bogle has really great wines for the under ten dollar price point. You can pick up a bottle at Trader Joe’s or most grocery stores!

Drink up! xx