Hurried Homemaker

- for supermoms short on time -
May 1st, 2011

10 Minute Tidy

We have implemented something I call the “10-minute tidy” and it has been wonderful for our household (and my sanity). So, I had to share it with you!

After breakfast, and again after dinner, I set the timer for 10 minutes and let the kids know it is time for the “10-minute tidy!” Two times a day, the kids know that they have to dedicate 10 minutes to picking up around the house – their bedrooms, the living room, kitchen, etc. Once the timer goes off they are done. Amazingly, everything that is out of place gets put back where it belongs and the house is back to working order.

 

Often, in the morning, the house is already fairly tidy. In this case, I assign a task – like wiping down baseboards or dust mopping the hardwoods, sorting laundry, etc.

The kids now keep things more tidy during the day so that they don’t have as much to do during the “10-minute tidy” time. I hope this little tip helps your family, too!

September 28th, 2010

Green Your Clean: Make Your Own Laundry Soap by Jaime McKee

I had the privilege of meeting Jaime McKee IRL a few years ago at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. At the time, I was handling my husband’s PR and she was reviewing his concert. Several years later, we have reconnected via our blogs and Twitter. And although I don’t like running, or cats, I love her blog and her!

You can follow Jaime on her blog or on Twitter.

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For Christmas, I received two copies of “Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home.” (I gave one of the copies to a friend, since I missed the return deadline by a few days.) I had high hopes for this book. My mom has owned a copy for years, and has been making her own cleaning products since I was in college. I used to think she was a little weird for making her own cleaning products. I mean, it’s SO much easier to just buy stuff at the store.

Then my husband and I bought a house. I started realizing just how many chemicals were in our household products, and it made me sick. At times, I was literally sick. (Like the time I poured a bottle of bleach in our shower to try and clean it? Yeah. Had to open the windows for a few hours in the middle of winter to let that one air out. We’ve since figured out that a little bit of vinegar goes a long way – and is less harmful to our health.) My husband, in the past several years, has developed an allergy that we’ve tracked down to certain soaps. We started looking into alternatives for soaps, which led to alternatives for cleaning products.

I digress. Back to the book. I was really excited about this book, and it has different alternatives for making your own cleaning products, including laundry soap. The “recipe” for laundry detergent is:
1 part borax
1 part washing soda

That’s all there is to it. I had bought bars of washing soda in New York last summer, and I finally had the chance to use them. (Turns out, Ace Hardware sells the bars I was looking for in my town. Go figure.) I used a grater to grate the washing soda (we had it in bars, not the powder form), and then added borax to a container. I shook the container to mix it all, and I was done! To make things easier, and to reuse the measuring cup from our old bottle of detergent, I cleaned the cup and threw it into the container with the new laundry powder.

The best part about the laundry soap is that I don’t have to worry about touching it. I know what’s in there and I don’t have to stress out about it being on my hand after pouring it into the washer, or the cat getting into it (because she’s curious.) It’s natural. Our clothes are clean, and nobody has had an allergic reaction to the new soap. It also cost very little ($1 for a bar of washing soda, $4.29 for a box of borax on < a href="http://alice.com"> alice.comand we can make our own detergent when we run out. No more trips to Target on the other side of town to buy it.

We’re about three months into using our homemade laundry soap, and I am always wondering why we didn’t think of it sooner.

June 27th, 2010

Organizing Consultation Giveaway

Getting organized is important to every mom I know. Staying organized is a challenge for every mom I know. GiGi at Vision Organizing has been helping me get my house in order so that I can finally feel like things aren’t so chaotic.

I had no idea when I quit working that keeping a home, a family, a life organized would be such a challenge for me. I had always worked. The house seemed to just run itself. Only it wasn’t … we were just burying it all. I’m paying for it now. Clutter, chaos, and craziness have ruled my house long enough. I’m taking control, thanks to GiGi.

GiGi is full of great ideas for everyone -no budget to tiny budget, she is quick to provide a solution or set of solutions tailored just for your needs.

If you want to take back control, or just need a little refresher course on getting it all together, this giveaway is for you.

Win a 1-hour phone/email organization consultation with Vision Organizing!

how to enter

giveaway is from june 28, 2010 to july 29, 2010 (10pm) – winner will be chosen randomly

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Leave a comment telling what you need help managing and why.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (leave a comment for each):

  • Show us a picture of your space that needs help (leave a link in the comment)
  • Follow me on Google FriendConnect
  • Subscribe to the Hurried Homemaker blog via email or reader
  • Click on the “Top Mommy Blog” icon on the sidebar to vote for HH
  • “Like” Hurried Homemaker on Facebook
  • “Like” Vision Organizing on Facebook
  • Refer a friend – have them include your name in parentheses with their 1st entry
  • Follow @hurriedhomemakr and @organizer on Twitter and tweet I entered to win an organizing consultation with @organizer on @hurriedhomemakr – http://wp.me/pzsyA-se

Hurried Homemaker was not compensated for this post. We were provided with an organizing session to provide a review, but this in no way affects our opinion of this service.

June 23rd, 2010

Designer on a Budget

If you are anything like me, you love designer duds for yourself, hubs, and kiddos. And if you’re anything like me you can’t afford them full-price, or even the so-called “sale” price. I have collected a list of sites that are top-notch for buying designer on a budget. All these sites feature sales of a particular brand or product for a set period of time. The popular products or sizes go fast, so signing up for the email list is essential to getting to the deals fast.

Without further ado:

FOR THE KIDDOS

FOR MOM & CHILD

FOR EVERYONE

Hurried Homemaker was not compensated for this post. This is a collection of sites that we use in real life and wanted to share our knowledge with our readers.
June 7th, 2010

Art for Home: Modern Bird

I said I would recommend my finds to you for the Home Fashion Guide, and today I am recommending art. You may remember a while back I was interviewed by the fine folks at Modern Bird for their weekly blogger interview.  (They’re real nice folks over there.) Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE what they do over there, so you should know about them, too!

From their website:

The concept behind Modern Bird Studios was born about three years ago as an experiment he had bouncing around in his head. Gregg [Deal] has always liked to push the boundaries within his art, whether playing with space or combining traditional and non-traditional mediums. He decided to create a piece that utilized technology and painting. Gregg combines his original urban-style with photography, graphic design and traditional painting to create handmade, original art pieces.

Gregg and his wife Megan know that most modern art available is enormously expensive or mass produced and impersonal. Consequently, they have decided to expand this new style of art to those who have the same appreciation for hip, modern style and who desire to have something more personal to them to enrich their homes.

Some examples of their work (ah-ma-zing!):

As you can see their art is nothing short of fantastic! And well, you all know how I LOVE a family-owned, -runned, and -operated business. These guys are the real-”Deal”. Megan handles the Tweeting and other socializing, while Gregg handles the art. They’re (as they would say) “awesomesauce”.

A little more awesomeness: Through June 20, 2010 get 20% off your order with the code FATHERSDAY

Hurried Homemaker was in no way compensated for this post.

June 1st, 2010

Home Fashion Guide: Organic Echo

There are a few sites that provide organic home products that I love browsing and shopping regularly. My newest favorite is Organic Echo. This awesome online shop doesn’t just sell home products – they have some of my favorite things for baby, kids, mom, and dad! And I am not just saying that …

I mentioned the other day that I would be sharing my finds with you for a Home Fashion Guide, I thought I would share with you some items from Organic Echo that I think are a must-have:

Organic Cotton Sateen Sheets

If you have ever slept on organic cotton sheets, you know how incredible they are. We use them, so should the baby, too? I am big on natural and white for sheets, towels, etc. I’m not sure why, but there is just something clean and, well – natural, about those colors. So these organic cotton sateen sheets in natural are perfection to me! Soft, smooth, light and comfortable. They cost an arm and a leg most places, but Organic Echo has them at the best prices I’ve seen. Every bedroom should have a set.

Bolga Basket

The Bolga Basket from Organic Echo is one of my favorite things ever! I love throwing in a unique piece or a splash of color in unexpected ways. This piece is both. This gorgeous basket could serve so many purposes: a decorative basket on a shelf, magazine holder, a fun bread basket, and so much more. This basket is gorgeous, ethnic, colorful, and fun! It is both useful and decorative. It is a great piece for any home.

Organic Cotton Wash Cloth

I knitted up a few of these for Christmas gifts, but these are WAY better and far less expensive! You should be using organic fabrics anyway, but especially on the cloth washing your face and body. At only $4 each, there is no excuse not to buy at least one for every member of your family. Organic cotton is so soft and it is not harsh on sensitive skin. Organic Echo carries several items just for the bath.

One of my favorite things about this shop? It is a mom-business. I LOVE supporting family- and mom-owned businesses, and the customer service from Organic Echo is exactly why! I can’t say enough wonderful things about this company.

FROM THEIR SITE:

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle and consuming organically made products is the best decision one can make, especially for kids. But living ‘Green’ need not be boring and simplistic. Nature is full of vibrant colors and intricate patterns. But most people find it difficult to buy natural products which are stylish, colorful and unique. We at Organic Echo are dedicated to bring vibrant, fashionable and stylish products for your natural lifestyle choices.

Hurried Homemaker was not compensated for this post. We were provided with some items to review (which does not include all of the items mentioned above), but this in no way affects our opinion of these products/this company.

May 25th, 2010

Home Fashion Guide

One of the most fun parts of being a homemaker is the making of the home. It is more than just decorating though, isn’t it? It is choosing the dishes to serve a homemade meal upon, the table at which your family will eat, the chairs upon which they’ll sit, the rug you’ll have to clean after baby spills, the highchair baby will spill from, and well … you get what I’m saying.

I am very choosy when it comes to my family, aren’t you? But we can’t all afford the most high-end, expensive items out there. I certainly can’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have beautiful and quality goods for our homes. As I discover home essentials and home fashion items, I’ll be sharing them with you. A great deal will certainly make HH Home Fashion news, too. Be sure to share your favorite home items, too. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or email them to me.

April 24th, 2010

Fashionable Organic Nursery Bedding Guide by Esther of BuyModernBaby

I ran across this site on Twitter not too long ago and instantly fell in love. It was a combination of everything I desire in baby gear – modern, unique, cool, many eco-friendly options. It was like Esther (founder of BuyModernBaby.com) was inside my mind, putting up every last baby item that makes me go “ooooooh!” Her blog is full of fabulous picks and so I asked her to put something together for y’all. Enjoy!

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I had the hardest time finding the perfect crib bedding set when I was first expecting. My modern aesthetic was scarcely represented in the marketplace and I went to store after store trying to describe the type of thing I was looking for to salespeople who looked at me as if I were coming from another planet. No ruffles at all? It can’t be pink or blue? No vehicles or characters whatsoever? Thankfully I found what I was looking for online and was able to complete the vision for my nursery without compromise.

As is the case with many new mothers, once I saw my perfect, pure and precious little boy, I became increasingly committed to green, organic and eco-friendly choices. I want to protect him from harmful chemicals and additives to help keep him, and the world he lives in, healthy and safe. With this perspective, if I had to do things all over again, I would have looked for an organic mattress and organic crib bedding as well. You can imagine how much harder that might have been… to find something that looked great AND was organic!

Well, the choices for modern and organic bedding have multiplied over the past few years. If you’re looking for great looking bedding that you can feel good about, here’s what I recommend:

1) Amenity Home

Amenity Home has a beautiful line of nursery linens. Get the crib package, which includes sheet, bumper insert and cover and a large blanket with your choice of design for $356. Extra sheets are $40 and the crib skirt is $60.

2) Argington

Argington has three sets of organic crib bedding available. Choose the Dinosaur Set, Fish and Pebbles Set or Hearts and Flowers Set. These retail for $185 and include a comforter, bumper, sheet and crib skirt.

3) Serena and Lily

Serena and Lily currently have three organic collections– Hazel, Maggie and Rye. The sets include a sheet, bumper and skirt for $389.

4) Cotton Monkey

Cotton Monkey have nine collections of organic cotton bedding so make sure to check their website to see them all. They sell all the pieces separately, which is perfect for those who do not want to use a bumper. Sheets are $49, blankets are $72, crib skirts retail for $194 and the bumpers with a cover are $299.

5) Q Collection Junior

Q Collection Junior’s Crib sets are called Celestial Parade and retail for $395. The set is available in Roxy (pink) or Sky (blue) and includes a reversible bumper, reversible crib skirt, and two solid sheets. They also sell coordinating patterned sheets.

6) Dwell Studios

Dwell Studios has two sets of organic crib bedding in a natural color. My favorite is Poppy Blossom and the other is Circles. Both retail for $450.

7) Egg by Susan Lazar

There are four bedding sets from Egg by Susan Lazar. These sets include sheet, bumper, comforter and crib skirt and retail for $395. Choose Chick (also available in pink), Abstract, or Animal Parade.

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