Friday, January 21, 2011

Just clean it!

That is my motto for cleaning the new house.  No time for perfect methods, or even proper methods.  I have actually been looking for a blog that offers cleaning advice, especially for larger spaces.  Our kitchen really gets to me since I spend so much time cleaning it, yet it is rarely clean.

(can't keep those kids out of the shot sometimes!)  I forget the measurements, but it's something close to 700 sq feet, so that is a lot of mopping and a lot of counters to clean.  I'm not going to complain about having the space, because it is a blessing, but I am going to say that it is HARD to keep up with!
So, my best method is to just jump in and do it.  I don't wait to find a home for all the paperwork on the counters, or even all the toys on the floor.  Sometimes it is best to just push them into a pile and clean what you can.  It's better than nothing.  For the actual cleaning,  I have to recommend Swiffer.  I have 4 (2 plain, 1 sweeper vac, 1 wet jet) and it really does speed up the process.  The plain are for other areas of the house, and the sweeper vac (gets all the crumbs that would otherwise be pushed into the grout lines of the tile) and the wet jet are for the kitchen.  The counters are tackled cafeteria lady style- with a bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge.  In between cleaning 'sessions' i usually use a green cleaner spray on them.  Oh, and I always dry them with a rag as i go so that they don't get water spots on them.

Since i have the pictures up, let's mention that there is still quite a bit of design work left to do on the kitchen.  We are waiting on crown molding (maybe my Valentine's Day present!??) that backsplash I have mentioned, lots of lighting (over/under cabinets) and I would LOVE to wrap painted beadboard around the bar counters.  Hope to have updates to show....someday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

First Birthday!

We celebrated Baby's 1st birthday over the weekend!  I made a yummy chocolate cake because I wanted to try a new recipe, but it had coffee in it, so I thought I should probably not serve sugar + caffeine to the 12 month old.  Or any of the other kids for that matter.  So I made cupcakes too, and they turned out great, if I do say so myself. 

I think I have finally figured out a method....seems like I have the best results with the Pillsbury mixes.  And a trick to make them not so crumbly is to use 2 eggs not 3 like they call for.  For the icing, I used this recipe-
Vanilla Icing
   5 T melty-ish butter
   3 c pwd sugar
   2 T milk
   1/2 t vanilla
   pinch of salt

Anybody here yet?  Eventually.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Backsplash Design

It's too bad that no one is reading this yet, because I could really use some opinions on the backsplash contenders.  Our kitchen has dark maple cabinets with a black-flecked counter, so in an attempt to lighten it up a bit, we are going with chiaro tumbled marble.  The hold-up is choosing a pattern.

I mentioned I am not the best photographer.  I'll work on it.  The mosaic is an option for a border and/or accent over the stove.  The top option would be easy to install, but I can't let go of the subway tiles!  Love, love subway tiles....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giving it a try

This is not a real post, but let's see what I can figure out here.... I don't talk quite as much as many bloggers, mine might be a bit concise compared to some.  They really like to type.  I also don't take great photos, that's another key to a blog that I am going to have to work on.  Here is a starting point.
For real a starting point, because we have come much farther than that photo.  That took forever to upload, btw.  I wonder how to speed that up for dealing with a lot of photos.....