Monday, March 19, 2012

My Week in Photos

My week in photos.  It's missing Thing 2's first TBall practice.  I spent the entire time chasing him around and bringing him back to our plane of existence most of the time. There wasn't room for picture taking.

Thing 1 Being useful as always.  Mom are you going to blog this?

In Target ( Tar jay) they don't have laundry bins, they have LAMPERS!

Sorting out clothes that don't fit.

Beauty of Spring

Willow in bloom

Dinner was kid fun
Banana Pie anyone?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Laundry...Plain and Simple

     I had grand ideas for The Unexpected Life this week.  I thought hard all week over what I wanted to talk about;   a tutorial for my rainbow cake, what we do for family time in our house, some sort of making this place look decent deal, instead  I ended up spending half of yesterday buying shoes for the kids.  Well, I spent half the afternoon fighting over a pair of shoes for my 12 year old (so glad they told us we could return them if they didn't fit right).  My 4 year old wanted the prettiest red sparkly TOM  shoes, but his dreams were dashed when I informed him he needed sneakers.  It took him all of 5 minutes to decided on the ones that looked like lizards.  Today I am just tired.   I think springing forward has stolen what little mental capacity I have left. I sit here in the middle of my kitchen I start to thinking about laundry.

    Laundry seems to be one of those dilemmas we all have to fight at some point in our lives, some of us on a daily basis.  When I stayed at home with the kids, I didn't seem to have as much of a problem.  I washed laundry daily, and for a year I even had to hang everything to dry because our dryer was broken.  I'm even one of those crazies that like to do the laundry when I have the time.  The problem is.......I don't seem to have any time.  Where I once washed a daily, I now try to tackle everything on one day of the week.  Compounding this problem we only had two laundry baskets.  We used to have more, but they always ended up storing things in closets.  I'm pretty sure I have at least 3 in my bedroom full of clothes I don't wear anymore.  None of us have dressers (mine won't fit in the door, Thing 1's has been claimed by another family member, Thing 2's broke 3 years ago), and nothing ever gets hung up in the closet.  So throughout the whole week our mountains of laundry overtake our kitchen and kitchen table.  Nothing ever seems to find it's way to it's home.  We are pretty lucky if out clothes even get folded.  I need a solution and I need one fast.

Family closet from

I REALLY like the concept of the family closet.  I have been contemplating this particular idea for probably 2 years.  The more I think about it though, the less I think it would work for us.  We just don't have the space for one.  Our closets are our storage units.  They are full of exercise equipment, Christmas decorations, and craft supplies.  My oldest son has a large room, but I don't want to fill it with everyone's clothing.  He's getting to be "that age", and likes to have his own space ( and I like him to go to that space and stay there on occasion haha).  I even thought, well maybe we could set up some tall shelves in the kitchen and store things in hampers or bins.  This idea only seemed good for a millisecond, then I knew I didn't want to look at any sort of storage in my kitchen. So, if this isn't going to work for us, I'm not sure what we really need to do.  I do know that I'm not just going to sit around and wait for an epiphany.

I decided to make a preliminary game plan to climb to the summit of Mt. Laundry.  It all begins with purging.  I am going to go through everyone's clothing and if it doesn't's going to be donated.  I'm not going hog wild with this purging, but as I wash I will pull out those items of clothing.  Next, I am going to make sure those bags of clothes actually leave my house.  I currently have three bags that have been sitting by the door for 2 months.  I may have to employ the services of a family member to take care of this.  The Salvation Army is open when I am at work, and there are no drop of locations here.  Third, I am going to separate the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  I purchased 2 new laundry bins yesterday.  There is going to be a laundry basket for myself, one for Thing 1, and 1 for Thing 2.  There is also going to be a smaller bin for socks.  Luckily we all have vastly different size feet and fashion sense.  We won't have to separate them.   Fourth, I am keeping one large hamper for our clothes to go in.  It will be located in the hall by the bathroom and two of the bedrooms.  This will hopefully make it more likely the clothes will be in one contained space, and will eliminate the pile in my kitchen.  If we need to we can add another hamper in the hall.  Last, I will keep thinking about a larger solution to  our problem.

I would love to take some before  pics, but I think the laundry on my kitchen table might have eaten my camera.  Once I find it I will try to remember to post progress pics of our laundry issue.  That is if I don't die under an avalanche of clothes. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Better Than Elevator Music

Instead of playing elevator music over and over in your head while waiting for another mind blowing post ( just laugh it's ok), I thought I would share with you some of the creations I've recently made in my kitchen.  I don't claim to be a master pastry chef, cake decorator, or even Chuck Norris, but I really like to bake.  I started helping my grandmother bake the minute I went to live with her at the age of 5.  By 8 years old I could bake cakes and cookies completely on my own, and by 12 I was baking cakes for others.  Then I got busy with life and I have just picked up this wonderful hobby again.  I love to see the faces of my children and family when they see my sweet creations...even if they're ghetto :)  Hope you enjoy my pics, and happy creating!

The first creation was for Thing 1's 4th Birthday. He requested a rainbow, tie dye, Hello Kitty, rock star cake.

Hello Kitty knows how to rock out.

Our rainbow Tie dye cake.  It was so yummy!

 My second Creation was for my 12 year old.  He insisted on an Anrgy Birds Cookie Cake.  It was very simple to make.

It was never quite finished, because even 12 year olds like to sneak bit of the cookie when no one is looking.

 I made these for my grandmother's Birthday.  They are a "funfetti"white cake, with strawberry frosting.

My grandmother likes the color pink.

Rosette style frosting.

Sugar crystals, A girly cupcakes BFF.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Hen and the Caulk

     This past week I've been dealing with the plague.  I'm pretty sure I got it from my office mate at work.  She went down at the same time I did, and with nearly the same symptoms. So... I spent  days of my life in bed in agonizing pain, and was so tired I had to work to breathe, BUT BUT BUT I managed to accomplish a few things last weekend before it obliterated my immune system.

     I've been so incredibly busy lately, that I was very excited to get some things done in the house.  The room that has been the most neglected was my bathroom.  It had come to the point that I didn't even want to go in it anymore.  My poor tiny little bathroom was super cluttered, and well...hadn't had a really good deep down cleaning in a while.  Compounding that situation was the fact we have been ( like a lot of Americans) a little cash poor, and while I love my job it doesn't pay enough.   Everything in my bathroom is old, classic, vintage whatever you want to call it.  I have had the same multicolored stripe Martha Stewart shower curtain since my oldest was 4 (he's now 12).  The metal grommets were rusting, and we don't want to even talk about the condition of the liner.  So as a motivator to work on the bathroom,  I purchased a cute almost eggplant purple shower curtain and a new liner.  The rules were that I couldn't put it up until all tasks were complete; all the tile was wiped down ( it covers my bathroom), grout cleaned, rugs washed, everything scrubbed, floors mopped,  knickknacks dusted, the counter decluttered, and MOST OF ALL.....I had to replace the caulk in my tub.  I rent, so not one of the not so handy men had ever properly re-caulked the tub.  In one corner a "professional" had actually just made a big pile and smeared it around.  After living here for several years it was just plain ol' disgusting. It was time to get to work. 

      In the past I have used caulk to seal up some insect super secret escape hatches.  It came out great and was super simple. This time I thought, "Well, I've done this before this will be a piece of cake"!  It ended up being a bit of a big mess.  I prepped it all the night before.  I pulled out 3 layers of caulk between my tub and the tile.  It was really difficult to get it out.  When I pulled it out was was horrified to see the grout was broken into little pieces, and in one spot there was a 3/4" gap between the tub and tile.  I thought nothing I can't deal with. I made sure to clean the new open space as to get rid of dirt and decomposed grout.  This is a really important step to ensure the new caulk has fresh start and a clean surface to adhere to.  A girl doesn't want to spend all this time just to have it peel up and mildew.  The next day, I went to the store and purchased caulk.  I decided against using the regular caulk and gun and went with the type in the tube you can squeeze out yourself.  The first portion I caulked was easy, then the more I moved along the harder it became.  It was hard to get in an adequate amount of caulk in the areas where the gap was large and very deep. This is where my cake decorating skills came into play. These areas were also a trouble spot when smoothing out the calk.  In previous small jobs I just used my finger to smooth everything out, or once even used one of those tools you can buy.  The problem with this jo,b was the irregularity in the gap between the tub and tile.  I ended up using my fingers in the end, but it didn't come out as aesthetically pleasing as I would have liked.  I did accomplish the goal of making sure the areas that needed to be filled in were, and that there was no space between the caulk and tile where water could seep in.  I think next time I might change how I do things, but hopefully there won't be a next time in this apartment.  At the end of the day I completed all my mini goals in the bathroom, and with the smell of original Pine-Sol wafting in the breeze, I put up my new shower curtain.  Mission Accomplished (but not in the George W Bush sort of way haha).  It's funny how less than $20 can make a room look brand new!

Tools used for the Tub Project
Utility knife
Scrub Brush
GE Kitchen & Bath Caulk-It
Lots of Paper Towels
Elbow Grease
      As for my blog self challenge/ to do list thingamabobber, I haven't decided how I am going to graphically show what I've done or what I need to do.  I'm also not sure where to place it on my blog.  These are all sorts of things I should be thinking about while I drive to work instead of singing to LMFAO songs. :) 

New shower rings ( to go with my vintage pink tile)

New shower curtain (it's much darker in RL)