Friday, July 29, 2011

Anniversary

*I am a My Memories Suite Affiliate. All thoughts, opinions, and creations are my own*

Mark and I have been married for 6 years today. Here is a little tribute I made for the occasion.


I made this using the My Memories Suite v2 (reviewed here) digital scrapbooking program. If you haven't checked them out, you should. Plus I have a special coupon code for you my readers!

Use code STMMMS37783 to get $10 off your purchase of the My Memories Suite download and start saving your memories today!

*This post contains an affiliate link. All thoughts, opinions and creations are my own. Thank you for supporting Home Maid Simple*

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cleaning the Laundry Cup #TuesdayTips

Tuesday Tips!
Do you use liquid laundry soap? How about those clever containers that have a spout and cup?  It's what I use. I love the easy convenience of pressing a button to get the soap. I do not like how horribly messy and sticky the cup gets, and the waste of soap left in the cup.

A couple weeks ago my mother in law was visiting. I told her about my problem with the cup, and she said "Just toss it in the wash". Really? I had thought of this before, but I was sure it would melt the cup, or break it into tiny pieces. Plastic just does not go in the washing machine. Well, with everything, I took her advice under consideration, and tossed it into the wash.
It worked. The clothes get the extra soap from the cup, thereby not wasting it, and the cup gets clean.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas In July Giveaway Hop

Giveaway CLOSED

Welcome to the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop hosted by Just Married With Coupons, Matter of Cents, and Money Saving Michelle.
Thank you so much for stopping here at Home Maid Simple where we blog about turning our House into A Home. I'm going to make this short and easy for you. First off the prizes you can win! One winner will receive all 3 prizes provided by my sponsors.

From Cha Cha's Treasure on Etsy a Memory Verse Pillow of your choice(valued up to $35): And for a limited time she is offering my readers a 30% discount on everything in her shop! Just use coupon code: IMPRESS
Bible Memory Verse Pillow Cover,Vintage Turquoise and Green with Turquoise Pom Pom Trim

From PureAyre, a 14oz and 4oz bottle of Pure Ayre for Home(valued at $9.95)! Pure Ayre was featured on ABC's Shark Tank the beginning of April. This product is truly amazing, and I use it all over my home. 



 
(note, you will only be receiving the 14oz and 4oz, not the gallon!)

And from Diana Fletcher, Life Coach, a copy of her book Happy on Purpose: Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy for Women (valued at $14.95).  I have loved reading this book! 

That's a total value of up to $60!! So now that you know what you can win, enter using the following methods below. Leave one comment per entry - 

- Follow this blog via GFC (left sidebar)
- Follow HomeMaidSimple on twitter
- Like Home Maid Simple on facebook
 - Comment on any other  non-Christmas In July blog post.
- Subscribe to email newsletters (top right sidebar)
- Subscribe to the RSS feed (top right side bar)

What? Not enough entries for you? You can earn up to 12 more entries! Visit my sponsor posts and follow the directions for the extra entries there!
Cha Cha's Treasure
Pure Ayre
Diana Fletcher

Good luck and Happy Hopping!! Giveawy ends July 31 at 11:59pm est.  Open to US only!
*disclaimer: I was provided with products from the sponsors. All opinions shared in the sponsor  posts, and here, are my own.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yard Sale Finds

I love yard sales! Last Saturday I was not planning on going out though, since my father in law and mother in law were in town, and we had a lot planned. Friday morning, Mark got home from work and told us there was a yard sale with massages just down the road a bit. Well my mother in law and I both decided we were going! Besides a wonderful massage they had a lot of great stuff as well!
What do you do with your mail? If you're like me, you take it inside, open it up, and set it on a counter or table somewhere. No more for me! Isn't this mail holder darling? It holds a whole lot too! 
And then there was this cute globe. I've been looking for one at every yard sale, and was really excited for this one. It is in great shape, and easily spins in every direction! We'll be using this a lot in our home preschool.
I'm kind of kicking myself now too. They had a beautiful dining room table and chairs for only $10. The chairs needed a lot of TLC, but the table was perfect and had an extra leaf. We passed it up, and we shouldn't have. We both thought we would love our breakfast nook table, but the kids like to lay down and they play more than they eat during meals now. We easily could have kept the table and got rid of the chairs, but we didn't think it fully through before passing it by. Awe well, I'm sure we'll find another one of these days.






Monday, July 18, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: PureAyre Odor Eliminator

Have you heard of Pure Ayre? I love this product! It's like febreeze, but better! Pure Ayre is your green solution to clean air. No more chemicals in your air, masking the smells. Pure Ayre was designed to break down odors and eliminate them. Who better to tell you all about though, then James Mitchell, creator of Pure Ayre Odor Eliminator. Here is a clip of James Mitchell just before going into the Shark Tank (ABC Channel)

Isn't that amazing? Still not sure Pure Ayre works? Well, I've tried it, and I'm here to tell you I really love this stuff. We recently had a flood in our basement. Unfortunately, no one was able to come take a look at damage until a couple days had passed. What happens when wet carpet sits? It stinks! I mean mildew smell was permeating every corner of our basement. We turned on the fans, we lit a candle, and we turned on our rainmate with some essential oils in it. Then you know what I did? I grabbed my small bottle of Pure Ayre for Home and started spraying the basement. We gave it a bit of time, and then we were actually able to breathe while we ripped out that carpet. 
Now yes, I did use other items with the Pure Ayre, but we wanted to be sure to get that smell. The candle worked, as long as it was lit. The rainmate helped, but it was more of a mask. Pure Ayre, I'm positive took out the smell for good.  I'm not stopping there though! Just last night, my 3year old, Princess C, threw up all over the floor. She then proceeded to find a different spot, and go right back to sleep without alerting anyone to this stinky fact. 4 hours after the fact and she had climbed in bed with me. I got up to take her back to bed, and that's when I caught wind of the stench. It was not good. This time I grabbed my bottle of Pure Ayre for Baby, and sprayed that whole room. I actually started with the carpet, and sprayed at the source of the smell. Then I gave the room a once over. Pure Ayre isn't just for the air though! Oh no, Pure Ayre works on stains too! Don't believe it? Just go check out this post, where I put it to the test!
Convinced yet? Great! Pure Ayre is sponsoring Home Maid Simple in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop

Giveaway Closed!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Downside of Being a Homeowner

I love being a homeowner! The mere fact that this house is OURS, just rocks! There are times though, that I do actually miss renting.  Times like this last week particularly.
I would like to apologize to you, my wonderful readers. I have not been on here lately.  Life decided it was time for our first Homeowners curve-ball. You may recall my letter to my oven.  It had died on us, and I was very sad.  Before leaving on our Yellowstone Vacation, we bought a new one, and had it scheduled to be delivered and installed the Monday after we got back (this last Monday).  So Monday rolls around, and we start getting ready for the men to deliver our oven. First though we had to run a gas line to our kitchen. See, Mark and I, we like gas ovens. The beauty of them, is you can still cook on them if you're power goes out. Not that I foresee that happening a lot, but I like to be prepared.  So we bought a gas oven at Lowe's.  While the plumber was here  running the gas line, he informed us that the insulation from our Cold Storage Room, probably had asbestos in it. He obviously didn't test for it, but he strongly suggested getting it out sooner than later. Great, I thought! I went into research mode on the insulation, and scared myself a bit. Then the oven arrived!
Isn't it beautiful? 5 ranges! Count them...5!!
While this beauty was being installed, we took the Princess' outside to wash the cars and play in the wading pool.  We had not used our front hose faucet until Monday. The water pressure was really weak through the hose, so we ran it longer than we normally would have.  Once we had the oven installed, and the cars washed, I asked Mark if he would get started on cleaning up the vermiculite. A few minutes later he was back upstairs telling me I needed to come look.  The floor was flooded. We thought it was just a backed up drain. We were wrong. The basement was flooded from the hose faucet.
It started in the master closet
and seeped into the cold storage.  
We tried to save the carpet in the closet, and master room, but we couldn't. We couldn't get anyone from our insurance to look at it until Thursday. At that point, the smell told us it wasn't worth saving. So for the past couple days we've ripped out all the carpet, and have been sleeping on our pullout couch.
 We carpet pad
Turns out vinyl was laid under the carpet in the master room.
See how wet that is?! 
Pulling out the carpet pads
The master closet without carpet. 
Our current bed, in it's couch form. And since we aren't sleeping downstairs at the moment, I didn't want Princess R down there all alone. So we put her in the pack n play in Princess C's room, and I turned Princess R's room into the laundry room.

Sit Relax and Read
Make sure to join me at Sentimental Sundays over on Sit Relax and Read.
This week I'm feeling sentimental about renting. Although owning a home is our dream come true, there were some obvious benefits to renting. I will always look back fondly on the repairmen we didn't have to pay, or the heartache of dying appliances.  Welcome to home ownership!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giveaway Corner is featuring me

Have you all visited Giveaway Corner yet? It's the place to go for daily Giveaways!  Monday through Friday Anne is giving away prizes daily!  Today she is featuring Home Maid Simple! I'm offering up an Apron Set I made
(modeled by myself and Princess V)

So make sure you visit Giveaway Corner today for you chance to win these extremely cute Aprons!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Tasks in 10 Days Finale

I'm a little late posting this, but we were out in Yellowstone last week.  So here is my list with the final pictures of what I got done.  Thank you Cha Cha (Sit Relax and Read) for hosting such a fun and productive meme!

1. Organize Kids Rooms and toys
2. Price and change out old light switches.
3. Fix curtains. I've started this one, but I still need to fix the epic fail.
4. Set up Craft and Sewing table so it can be used 
5. Organize around Computer Desk
6. Paint Accent Wall in Master Bedroom
7. Organize laundry Area
8. Find and hang large mirror
9. Finish Christmas Stocking. I didn't finish but I worked on it much more than I had in a long time!
10. Help Princess R paint a picture and hang family art. 
11. Plant Okra see the little mounds? That's them

12. Hang Mark's hats
13. Create a better place for the magazines 
14. Start Cloth Diapering 
15. Wash Windows
16. Organize and decorate counter between dining and family room.
Now doesn't that just look better? We took our blue comforter camping, but once it gets washed it's going on the bed to help tie the wall to the rest of the room.  

So I got exactly 10 things completely finished, and a lot more started from my list.  This was so much fun, and very motivating for me!


Happy On Purpose #BookReview


Happy on Purpose: Daily Messages of empowerment and joy for Women

Author: Diana Fletcher

About the Book and Author: Diana Fletcher is a Life Coach specializing in Stress Reducing Strategies. In her book Happy on Purpose each page is dedicated to a thought followed by a Happy Action.  You can learn more about Diana and her book by visiting her website.

My Thoughts: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Happy on Purpose.  I am generally a happy person, but I do have my off days.  By reading one though and Happy Action each day it has really been able to put some things in my life in perspective.  I decided to really put this book to the test. Each day I read a little, I tried to write down my own personal thoughts in a journal. Things I felt I should change, do better, or just ways to be more happy.  I feel I've been a happier person just through reading Happy on Purpose and putting some of the Happy Actions into play.

Book excerpt: 
"March 7th - Just Because you can, doesn't mean you should.  Happy Action - Don't do everything you can, just because you can. Some things are just NOT good for you. Take control and make the best choice for your future happiness and good health"  

My thoughts on the above - just because I can afford the stuff at a yard sale, doesn't mean I should buy it. The clutter in my home, does not need more added to it and will only detract from my happiness.




Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Memories Suite Winner

Winner Winner Winner
Congrats to shoppermom2!
She's won a My Memories Suite 2 Digital Scrapbooking Software.
Winner was chosen using Random.org 

If you didn't win, you can still get a great discount

$10 off My Memories Suite with this coupon code  

STMMMS37783

*This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting Home Maid Simple*

Sentimental Sunday - Nature

Sorry if you all missed me last week. I was out in the wilds of Yellowstone enjoying some camping, hiking, and no technology interruptions. We didn't even get cell service, it was bliss!  But I'm back, and excited to share some awesome photos of our trip with you!


This guy walked right past my open car window, inches from my face. I was a little too chicken to snap a picture with him so close, in case he decided to charge.


We took a hike down some metal staircase to this beautiful waterfall with a rainbow. I had a hard time with the height of the stairs and the fact I could see straight through them and to the cliffs below me. I will fully admit that I have an irrational fear of heights

Of course we had to stop by Old Faithful. It was pretty cool!




 In the Norris Geyser Basin we saw some wolf tracks. 

 Roaring Mountain sounded cooler than it looked. It's supposed to be a bunch of geysers up the mountain side, but when we stopped by only one was giving off any steam.

The elk were all over Mammoth Hot Springs. We were going to hike up to the Springs after lunch here, but wind and rain blew in, and I didn't want to risk it with the Princesses.

Pondering back on this amazing trip, I feel so blessed to have seen so much of God's work untouched by human hands. It was quite the experience to drive by so close to the Bison and elk. We saw some deer from a distance, and of course those wolf tracks. Thankfully we didn't come across any of the bears that live in Yellowstone. Unfortunately while we were there a man was mauled by a Grizzly when he and his wife were hiking. Unfortunately he didn't make it, but his wife did. The park rangers were frequently coming by the campsite to remind us of the safety measures to stay safe.  
If you ever get the chance to visit Yellowstone, I would strongly encourage you to find some time to sit and ponder on the "beauty of the earth."
Sit Relax and Read

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight Cha Cha's Treasures


A month ago Cha Cha sent me a Marriage Pillow to Review. I wrote about it HERE, and said I'd be reviewing it more this month.  So here I am, it's been a month of having this beautiful pillow in my home, and I love it.
Cha Cha creates beautiful pillow covers with the intention of using them as you study scriptures.  I loved her commitment to Bible  Study, and since I have the same commitment in my life, it really fit well in my home.  

The first couple weeks in June I had the pillow on our couch in the front room. It's colors matched perfectly with the decor in there.  The Princess' absolutely loved cuddling up with the pillow as we had story time and Family Scripture Study each night before bed.  There is a really cute flower pinned to the pillow we received, and the Princess' loved playing with it.  I was really concerned that they were going to rip it off, but they haven't.  Even with all the pulling, and twisting that flower is on, and still looks nice.  This is a QUALITY made pillow case!  
The pillow has a well "hidden" pocket in the front that you can use to leave notes, bible verses that meant something to you, etc. After the few weeks on the couch, I hadn't really used the pocket at all. So I decided to move it to our master bedroom.
It really added a nice touch of elegance to our room. It does make me want a new bedspread now though.  Anyways, so now that's it's been on our bed for awhile, I started using the pocket.  It's much easier to leave Mark little love notes in the pillow, and know that he will get them.  The first night I put it here, Mark actually searched it for a note. I hadn't thought that far in advance however, so it was empty. He was sad.  No worries though, I've made up for it, and he's started receiving notes. It's been a lot of fun for our marriage, to have a "secret" place to send love notes.

* I received a pillow for review purposes. All opinion are my own.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sentimental Sunday - letter to my oven

Do you love to cook? I love to cook. Even in the hottest days of summer, I still love to turn the oven on and cook up something yummy.  Earlier this week, I got the Princess' help in baking some banana bread. 5 hours after putting it in the oven, it still wasn't cooked through. I couldn't understand it. Why wasn't my yummy bread baking?! Everyone said it must be the oven. I denied it, no way could my oven die on me. I checked, it was on. I even felt some heat from it. Probably not enough heat though. 
I decided today to give it another chance. I mean I really want to eat some baked golden potatoes with butter and salt and pepper with our dinner tonight. 
About 30 minutes ago I started preheating the oven. It's still preheating. Good thing we have a grill, so I can just grill these potatoes up.  In fact it's a good thing we have a lot of things to cook with
-3 of 4 burners get hot enough to boil water
- we have a grill
- a slow cooker
- a bread machine (mmm, fresh bread that doesn't need the oven!)

Goodbye Oven. I don't think we'll be using again. Perhaps we'll find a replacement part, but it looks like we'll have to give you up. You were good to us these last 3 months. Thank you for the yummy meals!

Sit Relax and Read

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yard Sale Find and halfway in 10 tasks in 10 days challenge


We spent a little time yard saleing today.  We found one that was advertising some free items, and good prices.  So off we went.  We got some really great deals.  Today we found
  • Half a can of purple interior paint - FREE
  • Summer Dresses for myself - $4 for 3
  • 4 movies - $1
  • a brand new computer mouse (ours went on the fritz this week) - $2
  • some tools (Mark picked these up, not really sure what they are for) - FREE
  • a sleeping bag - $1 
  • a basket - .25
Total spent was $8.25 

The sleeping bag will be perfect for our Princess R next week while we're in Yellowstone. I know I can find something to do with the purple paint for the other Princess'. I think if there is enough I'll paint over the blue squares in Princess C's room.  The basket however, was my most exciting find today! Sounds weird probably, but it was the perfect size for what I needed for my magazines!
So now instead of sitting under the table in a large box, they are neatly organized and easy to get to.  Cross this off my 10 tasks in 10 days challenge.
Yesterday was the halfway mark for this challenge hosted by Cha Cha at Sit Relax and Read.  On Wednesday I posted some pictures of what I had already accomplished, but let's just take a look back at that list HERE, and see just how much has been crossed off.
1. Organize Kids Rooms and toys
2. Price and change out old light switches. Mark had already priced them apparently, and we'll have to put this little project on hold until we get back from our trip.
3. Fix curtains. I've started this one, but I still need to fix the epic fail.
4. Set up Craft and Sewing table so it can be used YAY. I've even started using it to put a puzzle together. Something I've sorely missed doing, but am finding it a tad frustrating with little hands wanting to "help"
5. Organize around Computer Desk
6. Paint Accent Wall in Master Bedroom
7. Organize laundry Area
I can actually use this area for the laundry now, and we can get in and out of the renovating cold storage room much easier.
8. Find and hang large mirror
9. Finish Christmas Stocking - I plan on taking it to Yellowstone next week, since I won't be able to get anything else done while there.
10. Help Princess R paint a picture and hang family art
11. Plant Okra
12. Hang Mark's hats
Mark made this coat rack, and we decided it would look great for hanging his hats. And it does. Although the yellow one is mine, we will get the rest of his hats up there (there's a good amount).
13. Create a better place for the magazines - see above!
14. Start Cloth Diapering - we did it and we stopped it. Unfortunately Princess R got a bad rash from them, and they just didn't fit properly. It would've saved us tons of money though if it had worked.
15. Wash Windows
16. Organize and decorate counter between dining and family room.

I must say I am pleasantly surprised that I already have 8 things done.  I don't feel like I got that much done, but I did! A lot of the other items on the list are halfway done, so I'm almost there.  Good thing too, since I won't be home for the last few days of this challenge.  


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