Making The Big Move – Cleaning Your New Home Before You Move In (Free Printable)

This post is sponsored by Acorn Influence in partnership with Proctor & Gamble.  The thoughts, opinions and experiences shared below are my own.  We hope you enjoy our move in cleaning tips.

Realistic Move In CleaniI don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but I feel like I’ve become a bit of an expert on moving.  I’ve moved four times in the last two years.  I’ve done whole family moves, divorce moves, moving in together moves, across town moves, and across several states moves.  I’ve learned through trial and error how to make sure the move into your new place goes as smooth as possible.

Moving in starts with moving out.  If you can manage some over lap between your moves, that is ideal. It give you a chance to thoroughly clean you new house before moving every thing in. Of course, you won’t always have that luxury, so be prepared to do a quick, but thorough  cleaning of the most  important parts before you start moving furniture into your new home.

Next, as you start packing up your old place, be aware of the things you will need first in your new home.  Make sure those items are packed together and are easily accessible.  See the printable below for a list of my “can’t miss” items. (To print, simply click on the image to open the full size version, then right click on the image and select “print”.)

Move In Cleaning ChecklistIf you’re in the position to do a top to bottom deep clean before you move, great!  If you’re not, you’re like most of us.  Instead of starting in one room and trying to clean everything, I suggest hitting a few key items through the whole house and save the items you can easily handle later for later!  The deciding factor for me in what I clean and what I come back to is “How easy will this task be to do once all of my furniture is in the house?”.

Let’s start at the top!  It makes sense to start at the top and work down, otherwise you’re just knocking dirt and dust down onto areas you may have already cleaned.

Wash Your Drapes and CurtainsThe previous owners of our new home left us these wonderful window treatments.  They also left us 10 years of dust piled up on top of them and in the folds of the valance.  Gross!  Taking down and thoroughly washing all of the draperies/curtains in the house is step 1 for me.  Tide® PODS® Laundry Detergent has is 3-in- 1 laundry solution — detergent, stain remover and brightener.  They also contain 90% cleaning ingredients, versus the 15% cleaning ingredients of the leading bargain detergent, making them an excellent choice for heavily soiled items.  And no matter what type of washing machine your new home has, Tide® PODS dissolve in any temperature and can be used in all types of washing machines.

Cleaning Your WindowsWhile you have the curtains down, you have the perfect opportunity to clean your windows and window sills.  I use a simple all purpose cleaning solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% distilled water and Bounty® Select-A-Size paper towels.  You can add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance, but I prefer the straight mixture myself.  I love these paper towels because they are absorbent and I can use more or less as I need.  They are great for cleaning pretty much any hard surface.

You can use Bounty® and the cleaning solution for your next task too, cleaning the baseboards.  Let’s be honest…if you move your furniture into the house and your baseboards get covered by a couch here and a table there, you’re going to forget about them or put off cleaning them because you don’t want to move furniture.

Cleaning Baseboards

Don’t forget the TP!  Most people don’t think about their toilet paper holders until they realize they don’t have what they need at a certain moment… So, while you’re cleaning, swing through your bathrooms and wipe down your toilet paper holders and pop on a new roll.  Charmin® Ultra Strong Double Rolls are perfect for that task.  They come in a 24 pack, giving you 48 rolls worth of that precious paper, and it’s 4x more absorbent than the leading bargain brands.  More absorbent toilet paper means you use less, and using less means you save money!

After you’ve tackled curtains, windows, window sills, and baseboards, you can move on to your floors.  You will want to thoroughly vacuum or sweep your floors to pick up any large debris (and trust me, after taking down the curtains, there will be dust bunnies/tumbleweeds).  After you’ve done that, grab your Swiffer® WetJet Mop and give your hard surface floors a good cleaning.  The tile floor in our finished basement was ridiculously dirty, but my Swiffer® WetJet made quick work of cleaning them up.  As you clean, you can see the dirt getting trapped inside the pad – not pushed around – and not having to run back and forth to wet and rinse a traditional mop makes the job go so much quicker.

Basement Wet BarOnce you’ve hit these major spots, take a deep breath.  Your house smells cleaner, right?  But, does it smell amazingly fresh?  No?  A quick spray of Unstopables™ Air Refresher will fix that.  The Fresh Scent has a crisp, bright smell that will make your home feel like home!  It reminds me of a fresh load of laundry and really makes home feel homey.  The scent lasts for up to 6 hours, so you can enjoy the refreshing scents all afternoon long.

Moving can be a stressful time, trust me – I know, but quality brands like Bounty® , Swiffer® , Tide® , Unstopables™and Charmin® make your move clean and simple.  You can pick up all of the products mentioned above as well as other great products offered by these brands at your local Walmart.

 

Posted in For the Home | 7 Comments

The Henry Ford Museum – Dearborn, Michigan (Detroit)

Douglas DC 3 Henry Ford Museum

Like most people, when I think of Henry Ford, my mind immediately goes to cars.  My dad is a mechanic.  I grew up around cars, drag racing and have always had a health appreciation for cars of all types.  My other half works for one of the major brands (he builds racing engines), and he owns a drag car, which we race through the summer.  When we discovered that there was The Henry Ford museum near Detroit, of course we decided to go check it out.

So, if it’s The Henry Ford, why is there a picture of a Douglas DC3 up there?  Well, much to our surprise, The Henry Ford is about WAY more than cars.  It’s about transportation in general and things that have shaped our lives as we know them.  There is also a really cool village adjoining the museum, Greenfield Village, showing what life was like in Henry’s time and some of the history that led up to the invention of the car.  I’ll share more on the village in another post.

Wright Brothers Plane at The Henry Ford

Planes, trains, automobiles and more would be a great tagline for The Henry Ford.  The place is HUGE and there is SO MUCH to explore.  In my opinion, it would be impossible to do the museum justice in one day.  We saw that pretty quickly and immediately circled back to turn our one-day tickets into a family season pass.  After taking care of that, we started our visit in the aviation area.  The big DC3 at the beginning of the post leads the way.  You can view the plane from below as well as an area above.  It was incredibly neat to read all of the specs on the plane, how many miles it traveled, how much fuel it burned, etc.  I would love to know how the numbers compare to our modern planes.

Being originally from North Carolina, being First in Flight was a big deal to us.  In reality, the Wright Brothers were from Ohio… the NC coast just happened to be the perfect place to test their experiments. We spent a ton of time learning about the Wright Brothers and the first flight in school.  It was incredibly neat to see a replica of the original plane (and we got to walk through the Wright Brother’s bike shop in Greenfield Village – Henry Ford had it moved here from Ohio).  Feeling the material that covered the wings, seeing the detail and fragility of the pieces, it was all truly amazing.

Trains at The Henry Ford

There was much, much more in the aviation area, but if it’s impossible to share it all in one post.  Next, we moved on to the Locomotives section.  I have been to a train museum before, so I have seen what early train cars were like and how the engines operated, but it is always interesting to look at more.  The detail that went into the interiors has always fascinated me.  There were some incredibly detailed models, huge (and I mean massively huge) engines – one of which had wheels that stood taller than my shoulders.  I could actually stand under the wheel well without hitting my head.  Crazy!  There is also a great kids area in this section.  The kids weren’t with us at this point, but if they had been, I would’ve needed the break!

Bugatti The Henry Ford

That beautiful specimen of a car is a Bugatti.  It was one of many, many amazing cars in the automobile section of the museum.  Each car has an information plaque telling you the details of the make/model, the specifics history of the actual car (if known) and some detailed info on costs and what the average household income was at the time the car was produced.  It was quite interesting to see how car prices compared to incomes and then use those ratios to look at current car prices vs incomes.  We didn’t get to spend near as much time in this section as we would’ve liked (we stayed until the museum closed) but we have our season passes, so we definitely plan to head back in a few weeks.

Iconic Signs At The Henry Ford

In addition to the transportation exhibits, there are also other exhibits on things that are considered iconic, such as The Beatles.  The Henry Ford also boasts a huge IMAX screen and a variety of areas both inside and outside for you to explore.  I can see this being one of my son’s favorite places this summer.  I hope to share Greenfield Village with you in a post soon, but needless to say the entire Henry Ford property is well worth the visit.

 

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What Makes You Feel Accomplished?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by OxiClean™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about OxiClean™ all opinions are my own.

OxiClean HDWhen you talk about accomplishments, you’ll quickly learn that people view what qualifies as an accomplishment differently.  Some people equate accomplishment with professional success, some equate accomplishment with their personal lives and some have a healthy mix of both.  I like to think of myself as the latter.  I don’t have a fancy job, I never finished college, but I feel quite accomplished in my life.

When I talk about my accomplishments, my kids will always be my biggest.  Birthing them wasn’t my accomplishment, but raising them is.  Every time I teach one of them something new or watch one of them have an “ah -ha” moment, that’s my accomplishment.  My daughter has a thirst for knowledge beyond what she’s supplied (example – we have to take notes when we visit museums or zoos so that she can remember what she wants to research when we get home).

Kids at Detroit ZooPhotography is another thing that gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  I’m not trying to capture photos for anyone other than myself, but when I catch something amazing – be it with my DSLR or with my iPhone – I feel like I’ve done something special.  Nature is my favorite thing to photograph.  It’s always changing, always evolving and capturing a photo is capturing a second in time.

Nature PhotographyKeeping up with daily life at home is a major accomplishment for me as well.  Working 5 days a week, with an hour commute each way, and managing to keep my family fed and in clean clothes is a big deal to me.  Laundry isn’t something most people would classify as rewarding, but for me, it’s an accomplishment to see my kids wearing something that two weeks earlier may have looked like it was on it’s last leg.  Sending my kids out in white clothes that are actually white and clothes don’t don’t look worn out or dingy means a big deal to me.  With summer on the horizon, my kids will be sending more time outside and that means more dirt and more stains for my laundry detergent to battle.

That’s why I gave OxiClean™ HD™ Laundry Detergent a try.  OxiClean™ is about being powerful, yet safe, and that balance is important to ensure that not only will you get the stain fighting power you need, but that it won’t damage your family’s clothes in the process.  I was very impressed with how much power is in one cap full.  I admit that I was worried about my favorite bright pink shirt (it had a run in with a burrito), but OxiClean™ HD™ Laundry Detergent powered through with no problems.  All of our clothes came out of the wash looking great, no lingering stains or residue, and the fresh scent was wonderful.   My shirt is safe and sound and my closet smells amazing!

OxiClean HD WhitesDoes laundry leave you feeling accomplished too?  Now that I’ve shared a few of the things that make me feel accomplished, what makes YOU feel accomplished in your daily life?  Is it your job, your kids, a hobby?  Share with us on Facebook or here in the comments.

 

Posted in For the Home, Life in General | 4 Comments

Blackberry Pie, a Kitchen Decor Project and Cleaning Up Sticky Messes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubCloth  #CollectiveBias

Dish Cloth Drying StationYou’ve heard of a two-for?  Well, today is your lucky day!  Not only do I have a recipe for you, but I also have a fun, inexpensive kitchen decor project that is as useful as it is cute.  Today’s post is a long on, so stick with me and remember to share the recipe and project with your friends on Pinterest.

Blackberry pie is one of my boyfriend’s very favorite things.  We were very excited to find wild blackberries growing along the property line at our new house and equally disappointed when we realized the vines were tangled with poison ivy and would probably end up being killed off as we tried to eradicate it.  Thankfully, blackberries are easy enough to find at Walmart, so I was still able to make him his favorite pie this weekend.  Get the full recipe near the bottom of the post.

Blackberry Pie IngredientsWhen I cook, it’s not uncommon for my kitchen to look like a war zone.  There are dishes everywhere, splashes and splatters on the counters and stove.  The sink ends up piled full of dishes, some of which might sit and dry a bit before I get around to cleaning them up.  The last thing I want to do when I finish cooking is to have to fight my way through a war zone of stuck on mess, but washing as I go isn’t realistic either.  When I make blackberry pie, the stuck on mess is unbelievable!  Everything ends up covered in thick, sticky pie filling and it is a bear to clean up.

When I’m cleaning up a mess in the kitchen, I don’t want to have to use my fingernail (or even a knife) to scrape off a stuck on mess.  A dish cloth with scrubbing power makes cleaning easier and quicker too!  Scotch-Brite®, a brand we’ve trusted for years, has brought us a “supercharged” dish cloth.  Meet the NEW Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth.

Cleaning Dried Blackberry FillingThe NEW Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth is super stylish and gives you all the scrubbing power you need to clean up your tough kitchen messes.  It powered right through the pie filling stuck to my spatula and make quick work of the pot I made the filling in too.  The washable, reusable and sturdy premium, textured fiber dish cloths feature scrubbing dots on one side, giving you the non-scratch scrubbing power of Scotch-Brite’s stay clean sponges, and the wiping and drying power of a dish cloth.  These dish cloths scrub, but don’t scratch!

How to Dry Dish ClothsLike I said before, these are washable, reusable dish clothes.  For me, that means I want to keep one around all the time for quick counter wipe downs and such.  I tend to use mine, rinse it out and hang it to dry.  I really dislike hanging dish cloths over the edge of the counter or the sink, so I made a little dish cloth drying station that hangs right on the side of my cabinets by the sink.  It keeps my dish cloth up and out of the way and allows it to dry completely between uses.  This was a super simple project that you can make too.

Dish Cloth DryerI picked up everything I needed at Walmart.  You’ll need a base of some sort.  I chose a slatted, pallet type looking wood piece from the craft section.  You could also use a solid rectangle or other shaped piece of wood.  You will also need wooden clothes pins, a hot glue gun and paint in your choice of colors.  I went with brown and cream, as those colors match my kitchen.  I also originally picked up stencils to add lettering, but I liked the plain look well enough that I decided to skip the lettering.

First, paint your backer.  You could do a solid color or a base color and a dry brush over top like I did.  If you chose a solid base color, apply two coats.  If you want the look I did, apply one coat of your darker color as a base and once dry, dry brush a coat of the lighter color over the top.  Dry brushing is a technique of putting very little paint on your brush, dabbing it off, and basically only putting “left-over” paint onto the surface.

Next, take apart your clothes pins and paint those in a contrasting color.  I went with the brown I used for my base coat.  If you’re using paint that is water soluble (cleans up with water), I would suggest painting over any areas of the clothes pins likely to touch wet cloth with clear nail polish or a sealer to keep the paint from coming off before you reassemble your clothes pins.  Once everything is dry, put them back together.

This step is one of personal preference.  You can use stencils (or even freehand, if you dare) to add some wording to your sign.  I decided to leave mine as is for now, until I have some more decor pieces for my kitchen, and I’ll add something later that fits with whatever theme I end up going with.

Last, just hot glue your clothes pins to your board and you’re ready to hang and use your drying station.  Easy!!

Where to find Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish ClothsScotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths are available at Walmart in the cleaning aisle and are available in 2-packs in tan, coral and navy for only $4.98.  Plus, if you shop now, there is a $1 off instant redeemable coupon available!  Just pick up a package with the coupon stuck right on the front and redeem it at checkout.  You can get your dish cloths and everything you need to make a drying station and a blackberry pie at your local Walmart and save money doing it.  What are you waiting for?

Looking for more great recipes and tutorials?  Check out the Scotch-Brite social hub!

Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie

Ingredients

  • Refridgerated Pie Crust (2)
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • Egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Lay out your pie crusts and allow them to come to room temperature.
  3. In a saucepan, combine blackberries, butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Heat over medium until butter melts and the blackberries begin releasing their juices.
  5. Stir in flour.
  6. Mix well and remove from the heat.
  7. Line a Deep Dish pie pan with one of the crusts.
  8. Pour in the filling.
  9. Top with the remaining crust.
  10. Seal the edges and poke the crust or cut small slits for ventilation.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.
  12. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
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In and Around Detroit Michigan

Comerica Park Detroit TigersExploring a new city is always exciting.  There is a bit of a difference in exploring a place you’re visiting and exploring a place that you now call home.  You look at things differently and you explore with less haste.  Instead of just figuring out how to get from point A to point B, you’re trying to actually learn.  You don’t rush through museums and attractions because you know you can always come back and visit again. At least this is my experience with it.

One of my favorite experiences so far has been visiting Comerica Park for my first Major League Baseball game.  The park is beautiful, the weather has been great and a baseball is the great American game.  I’ve been to many minor league games, but Charlotte didn’t have a major league team so this was a major league first for me.

IMG_8183After taking in a game, we walked down to the GM Renaissance Center river front.  You can stand in the US and look across the water to Canada.  At the time, I didn’t have a passport, so I couldn’t take a trip across the bridge to visit.  Well, to be accurate, I could’ve entered Canada just fine but getting back into the US would’ve been a problem.  My passport just arrived this week, so I am now free to travel and I can’t wait to go visit and see how things are different in Canada.

EBLT and Boho FriesOn our walk through downtown Detroit, we stopped at a little place called Broderick Grill for lunch.  It was delicious and the prices were really reasonable.  I had a wicked good EBLT sandwich with Boho Fries.  The sandwich had a spicy avocado spread and perfectly cooked bacon and eggs.  The fries were crispy, citrusy and had a garlic kick.  You’ll likely see both recreated here in the near future.

Frankenmuth BridgeOne of our favorite places we’ve visited outside of Detroit so far has been Frankenmuth.  We’ve actually been twice now, and a third visit is imminent (it’s the cheese -that will make sense in a minute, I promise).  Frankenmuth, Michigan was a Baravian settlement and now it is a bustling little city where you can have your own German town experience.  There are several restaurants, a brewery, tons of shops for both food and goods – and that’s where the cheese comes in – The Frankenmuth Cheese Haus.  Take me to cheesy Heaven.  We have fallen in love with a jalapeno cheese spread they carry in this huge store full of cheese!  Did I mention how beautiful Frankenmuth is as well?  The image above is the covered bridge across the river in town.  You can walk it or drive it.  You can also take a boat tour.

A few other places we’ve visited include the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (more to come on those another day), the Milan Dragway and Motorcity Casino.  We still have several places we want to visit as too – Saginaw Bay, Belle Isle, and Mackinac Island are just a few.  If the weather holds out, we’re hoping to head up to Saginaw Bay this weekend.

For those of you familiar with the Michigan area, what places would you suggest we add to our list of “must-see”s?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Life in General, Travel | 10 Comments

Homestyle Spaghetti Bolognese


Homestyle Spaghetti Bolognese

We have finally, finally moved into our new house!  I am so excited to have a kitchen to call my own again.  So much of my life has revolved around a kitchen, especially my younger years.  I can remember standing at the counter, watching my grandmother make homemade buttermilk biscuits, begging for balls of the dough.  Yes, I ate raw biscuit dough and I loved it.  I can also remember her making huge batches of spaghetti and meat sauce, something I never got tired of eating.  She would make so much sauce that we froze some in empty butter tubs.

You won’t find me standing in the kitchen for hours on end, at least not on a daily basis, but I do try to get that #homestyle feeling in my own dishes when I can.  It’s comfort food, memory evoking food.  I’m still always looking for a shortcut.  My grandmother’s meat sauce wasn’t something that happened at a rapid pace, mine however is.

Spaghetti Bolognese Ingredients

By using a quality packaged sauce like Ragu Homestyle, you can significantly cut down on the time it takes to make homestyle, comfort evoking food.  My Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the dishes for me.  It’s super simple, doesn’t use any fancy ingredients and is flavor packed!  If you are following me on Snapchat (yes, it’s not just for teenagers – find me @theblendedco), you’ve already seen how quickly this comes together.

Give it a try, let me know what you think, and don’t forget to check out Ragu’s new Homestyle Pasta Sauces – there are 5 flavors!

Homestyle Spaghetti Bolognese

Homestyle Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

  • Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauce
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cups Carrots, Chopped
  • 16 oz Sliced Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 16 oz Spaghetti

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and carrots, cook until tender.
  3. Add the pork. Cook through, stirring to break up the meat.
  4. Add the garlic salt, ground pepper, mushrooms and pasta sauce.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer covered.
  7. Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
  8. Toss cooked pasta with sauce and serve immediately.
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Fun Ways to Make Learning Math Easy for Your Kid

Most kids today think of math as hard work. No matter how much they dislike it they will have to use it in school and everyday life. The studies have shown that kids who start learning math at an early age will later become better at problem solving. They are also more likely to choose a career in the fields of technology or finances. But making them practice math can be quite a trouble. That is why you should do your best to make math learning fun and interesting for them. Here are some ways to do so.

Mathematics ChalkboardUse math for fun activities

One of the best ways to get your children to practice math is to have them use it while doing something they like. Think of some fun activities they enjoy doing and try to make them implement math in them. Cooking is one of the things children enjoy helping you with and can also practice math while doing so. Let them do all the counting and measuring. This way they will feel proud because they are helping and won’t even think of counting and measuring as a form of math. Another place you can have them practice math is your car. Every time they ask you “are we there yet?” you can tell them how far your destination is and how fast you are going and have them do the counting by themselves.

Understanding the concept of math

In order for your child to become aware of what he or she is doing subconsciously, they will need to understand the concept of math. Although at this point it might sound too raw, there are ways to do it through play as well. The traditional Montessori approach to learning has developed and applied great techniques for learning math. It has been divided into levels, according to child abilities at each age. The main thing to know is that it doesn’t push or forces your child towards improvement, but rather the child himself progresses at its own pace. What is also important is that your child is playing and learning at the same time but without feeling oppressed.

AbacusHave them use it in everyday activities

Your children are surrounded by the things that require some math skills. Counting money or time and measuring things are all interesting options for your children to practice math. One of the ways to make them use math is to take your children shopping with you. Ask them to tell you the prices of the products on the bottom shelves and have your children compare them. You can also ask them to calculate how much you will pay at the counter and get them a prize if they get it right. Make this a game and do it every time you go shopping. You can also find some other interesting shopping games to play with your children. Boys also like playing with tools. Give them a tape measure and ask them how long something is.

Have them use math while playing

The best way for children to solve math problems is while playing games. There are many ways you can help them do this. There are many trading card games today that children simply adore. Look for these online and buy them cards. Explain them the rules and play the game with them. Most of these include a lot of counting and comparing numbers. They also have amazing artwork which makes it very interesting for children. You can also use your PC to have children practice math. There are many cool math games online that your children can play. Help them in the beginning and let them play on their own later. All of the games like this will improve their math and problem solving skills.

The most important thing to do is to make math look interesting for children. Once you manage to make math a part of the activities and games your children like you will have no trouble making them practice it. Just get involved and try to help them implement math in their daily lives, one day at a time.

 

***Contributor Bio***

Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson

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Hot Deals Online At Walmart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias

penzoil1Who doesn’t love a deal?  I know I’m always looking for a great sale, an amazing coupon or rebate deal to get the most of my money.  In today’s busy world, there is little time to make a trip to the store. Why fight the crowds to score big deals when you can get the same amazing deals online?

Save time and money by fulfilling your DIY oil needs on Walmart.com. Their amazing selection of items, including exclusive specialty automotive items, can be found just a click away.  You can get everything you need without ever leaving the house.  Not having to drag the kids out to the store, getting everything I want, and saving money all at the same time?  That’s a total win!

On Walmart.com you can find many Pennzoil Platinum products currently on rollback (for a limited time), including Pennzoil Full Synthetic and Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage. Based on your car’s needs and the number of miles, one of these two oils is right for you.

  • Platinum Synthetic: With Pennzoil’s PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. (Use if < than 75,000 miles)
  • High Mileage: Perfect for the vehicle with over 75,000 miles as it helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in a well-used car.

Save yourself a trip to the store and get your oil on rollback at Walmart.com today!

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Spring into Sewing with These Five Kid-friendly Crafts

Sewing is seen as something of a lost art in the world of crafting. For many kids of this generation, sewing is something their parents or grandparents might do to mend a garment, rather than a way to have fun!

Grabbing a needle and some brightly colored thread is actually a fantastic way to spend a few hours with your children, especially if the weather is one of those rainy spring days. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out these five kid-friendly craft ideas that your young ones are sure to love!

Handmade paper bunting(Photo Credit: Charlotte@flickr.com )

Age Group: 3-5
If you’re going to try out sewing with your toddler, there are a few things you should bear in mind. Make sure the needle is large enough for their little hands – and not too sharp! If you’re using mesh, you should also ensure it has holes big enough to make sewing relatively simple.

Bunting is a great idea for a simple sewing project that younger children can enjoy. You can use up any leftover scraps of fabric you have around the house, or even use colored card! Cut your chosen material into a triangle shape and help your little one to thread a piece of string through two corners of the triangle. Voila! Your very own strip of bunting – hang it proudly in their bedroom to give them a real sense of achievement.

Potpourri Bag(Photo Credit: iris@flickr.com )

Age Group: 6-8
For children aged between 6 and 8 years old, why not help them create a selection of DIY potpourri sachets, for your drawers and containers at home? All you’ll need for this craft is a selection of patterned fabrics, your chosen potpourri, and of course your needle and thread.

First cut your fabric into small rectangles (around 3 inches x 2 inches should be fine). Place your potpourri in the center of one of these rectangles, being careful not to use too much – you don’t want your fragrant parcel to explode in a drawer! Then place the other rectangle over the top, and help your little one to seal the pouch by sewing neatly around the edges.

Age Group: 8-11
If you’ve been crafting with your little ones regularly, they should be ready for a more complex project by now – so why not try cross-stitching? If you can find a pattern that your kids love, it can keep them entertained for hours. All you need to do is ensure that they have the right colored threads available – and, of course, that they understand the basic premise of cross-stitching!

If you need some pattern inspiration, head over to Pinterest. You’ll find conventional patterns like flowers and Celtic symbols, but you’ll also find cross-stitch patterns for Batman, Hello Kitty, Minions and all of your kids’ favorite characters.

Age Group: 12-14
With your little ones heading off to middle school, all of their clothes, school equipment and sports kits will need to be labeled, to ensure they don’t get mixed up or lost. This doesn’t have to be a chore for Mom or Dad – turn it into a crafting activity with your tween!

First off, you’ll need your own set of printed or sewed labels. Make sure these include all the relevant information – your child’s name, their class or grade, and some info that would help someone to return the item if it became lost, such as a locker number or contact details.

Simply gather up all of the clothing and equipment your child needs for school and set them to work sewing these simple labels on the inside of the garment, where they could easily be seen by someone looking for a tag. For shirts, inside the collar is best, and for trousers or skirts, somewhere inside the waistband is ideal.

Handmade Earbud Case(Photo Credit: carolina@flickr.com )

Age Group: 15-18
As children grow into young adults, many parents struggle to come up with craft ideas that will keep them engaged – especially when the lure of the mall or the movies is so strong! The trick is to create craft items that they’ll actually use.

If your teen has electronics, cell phones, tablets and all the accessories that go with them there are a variety of projects that they can make which not only inspire their creativity but protect their valuables at the same time. Cell phone or tablet holders, or ear bud organizers are great projects to start motivating a teen to create with sewing!

Spring is a time of freshening up our lives, making things light and colorful and trying new things. And if sewing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of wonderful art crafts to try! No matter what your child’s age there is a project out there for them to inspire new and fun sewing creations!

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On Summer Camp, Buying a House and Life Up North

Life has been super busy and I’ve been more than absent around here lately. The good news is, I don’t expect things to change in June. Will I have less on my plate?  Nope, but I will finally have some new things to share with you guys.  For now, you’ll have to settle with a little update on life.

Kids on the sand

Summer Camp

Being new to the area, I know nothing about our summer camp options. I’ve been doing tons of research, reaching out to other bloggers I know in the area for direction, and more or less choking on the cost of summer camp. Mind you, I’m not talking about sending my kids to some super awesome sleep over camp or something like that. No, I just need daytime childcare so I can go to work. I’m looking at a minimum of $200/wk FOR EACH KID.  Um, what?  Needless to say, childcare is more expensive here than what I (and my paycheck) am used to.

If you pay for summer childcare so you can work, what are rates like in your area?

New House Burton Michigan

The House

We finally have a house!!  We aren’t living in it yet, but we do own it. The concept of “occupancy after closing” is new to me, and I find it super annoying that we own a house that someone else is living in while we’re STILL in a hotel, but we get to take possession over Memorial Day weekend and finally leave the hotel life behind.

I cannot wait to have a kitchen to create recipes in again!

Baby Geese

Life Up North

Spring has finally shown up!  There are budding trees, rain showers and baby geese!  Oh, the baby geese. I’ve been watching them out my office window everyday.  It’s not nearly as warm here as what I’m used to this time of year.  It’s not bad, trust me – I don’t miss the humidity and heat – but it’s different.  Outside of going to and coming home from work, we still don’t have much of a routine down.  Living in a hotel will do that to you.  We’re on day 76 and I was over it about 75 days ago.  I miss planting things in my garden and cooking with all my fresh herbs and veggies.  Getting some plants in the ground is top priority as soon as we get moved.

What’s going on in your lives?  Anything fun, exciting or just another day in paradise?

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