The bathroom plus one other room

Remember the big mess on my hutch?


Well, I moved it to the office. I had a lot of free time the other night and thought I would be able to sort everything and get it decluttered and/ or filed. It didn’t happen. It is just sitting on the floor of the office waiting for a newly turned 2 year old to have a hay day. 🙂

This week I’ll do the usual deep clean of the two bathrooms and my “other” room will again be the office. Goal of the week: Declutter/sort/file all school materials from last school year. It’s a big task but the new school year is fast approaching! It’s got to be done!!

What are your plans for the week?

Thankful for Flylady!

Don’t you hate it when you manage to keep your house clean for weeks and the day after you let things fall apart you get unexpected company? I used to feel like that ALWAYS happened to me. Yesterday evening we had a chance to meet with a friend from college for dinner. We had planned to go out to dinner but circumstances made it easier for him to come to our home instead. Normally I would have panicked. We had about an hour’s notice and I hadn’t cooked dinner yet.

Since I’ve been back on the flylady bandwagon, things were OK. They weren’t perfect and the kids and I did run around picking up random toys and doing a quick swish and swipe of the bathrooms. But overall, it came together very quickly. The kids were proud, too. And we had a wonderful, relaxing evening with an old friend.


To be honest, I didn’t feel I had that much to do in the kitchen this month. It was already completely de-cluttered. But I managed to find plenty to do once I got started.

Monday I decided to clean out the fridge. It definitely needed a de-cluttering!


It only took a few minutes to take everything out, wipe down the shelves, and put things back neatly.


Tuesday was a crazy day and I couldn’t even squeeze in the 15 minutes. Shameful, I know. But on Wednesday I was able to clean the windows, wipe off the top of the refrigerator and clean the inside of the microwave — all in 15 minutes! I also swept and mopped half the floor. I only did half because it was close to lunch time and I didn’t want anyone to slip getting lunch.

Yesterday was errand day, dr. appointment day plus company for dinner. So the 15 minutes again eluded me. Today is baby boy’s birthday so I’m not sure anything else will happen. Hopefully I can at least mop the rest of the floor!

How was your kitchen week? Do you get frustrated when you can’t seem to squeeze in even 15 minutes?

Let’s talk about that little table

Remember this table?


Some of you asked me the story behind it when I mentioned that I’d like to refinish it. We actually bought it at our church’s yard sale when Abe was two years old. We hadn’t been in Montgomery very long and I bought it to use as a school table as I was planning to do at least pre-school at home with Abe. It had $40 on it but it didn’t sell. At the end of the yard sale they let me take it home for $20. The couple that donated it were members of our church. The husband passed away a few years later. He and Kenny were close and so the table became very special to us as it reminded us of dear friends. It is one of very few pieces of furniture we decided to load on to the moving van to New York. I was tempted to get rid of it due to it’s condition. I never really took care of it. It was used as a kid table for ten years and that fact was painfully obvious. But Kenny couldn’t bear to part with it. I thought maybe one day if we had the money we could take it somewhere and have it re-done. In the mean time I just put a big doilie on it. Doilie’s cover many sins. 🙂

As you may have guessed, I got on a major DIY kick when I got to New York. I’m not sure what did it. Maybe painting my bedroom back in Alabama right before we moved. Or maybe that I started watching as many HGTV shows online that I had time to watch!

I decided I could do something to make our sad table feel a little better. It couldn’t be that hard as I really only needed to refinish the top. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect but anything would be better than the way it was.


I ran into problems at the very beginning of the project. In my lifetime, I’ve sanded one thing — the little yellow dresser. It was so easy to sand. Just swish swish swish and I was pretty much done. It was all raw wood after all. I thought the table couldn’t be much harder as obviously the existing finish was worn away.

I was wrong.

I sanded and sanded with my sandpaper. I used 220 grit because that’s what I had. I sanded until the sandpaper became hot and nearly burned my hand. The table didn’t look much different. I voiced my frustration to my better half who took over for me for a while. He sanded my more efficiently than I did but to no avail. The little table still clung to it’s finish and none of the ugly circles or stray pen marks sanded away.

Clearly I needed to invest in some power tools.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I had bought the How to Paint Furniture Guide from Altard Furniture and had read it several times. I had even looked at the power sander they recommended at Home Depot on several occasions. But to spend $30 on a power sander I might only use on one project? That didn’t seem very Davy Ramsey.

Then I had this crafty idea that men like to get power tools for Father’s Day. he he he I almost did it. Almost. But Kenny would have been about as excited about getting a power sander for Father’s Day as I would be to get a toaster for Mother’s Day. So I waited a bit longer. Finally Kenny said he wouldn’t mind owning one and it would get occasional use even if I never used it again. He even went and picked it up for me. I was so excited! I got everything ready to start and discovered that he’d picked up a battery operated model and the rechargeable battery was not included. Argh! I would’ve done that same thing. I didn’t realize there were two options!

So I waited some more until errand day came around and I could exchange it. Then I got nervous and I put the project off. I’d never used a power tool before. What if I sanded off my thumb or something? What if chunks of wood flew off into somebody’s eye?

Finally we had a free Saturday and Kenny agreed to help me out. He’d never used a power sander, either, but he’d taught himself how to use other power tools when he needed them and doesn’t have the girl phobias I have. I’m so blessed to have him around! He’s a great handyman when he wants to be. I-m-in-love

Finally we got it sanded. Sanding was fun.

I then coated it with wood conditioner so it would take the stain evenly. Oh. And before all the sanding began, I repaired a small gouge in the wood on the edge of the table. Remind me next time to get wood putty tinted the color of my stain. 😉 I bought stainable filler but it didn’t stain very well. Luckily, it’s a very small spot and not noticeable.


You see the two tone color on the table top? I was really worried about that. I did a lot of online research but was still nervous about the outcome. I tried the frog tape all the DIY blogs were talking about and carefully taped off two sections.


Then I was ready to stain! I chose Minwax clear tint base in Harvest and Latte.


When I finished it looked absolutely TERRIBLE!!!


I was so disappointed. The Latte stain wasn’t even like stain. It didn’t work at all. I loved the Harvest color, though, so I decided to sand it all down again and start over using the Harvest on the whole tabletop. Hey. At least I got to play with the power sander again.

I tried using a plastic guide to help me stay color in the lines but it didn’t help much. The stain still bled across. I’m thinking it was because it was stain and not paint.


It didn’t matter too much this time, though, since I was using the same stain color on the whole piece. I stained twice and then put three coats of polyurethane. The last step was to buff it with the buffing tool that came with the sander. It seemed to take me forever!! I waited at least a day between steps and sometimes several days depending on my schedule. I also lightly sanded between coats of poly.

It’s interested to use stain. It goes on like paint…


But then you wait a few minutes and wipe most of it off.


Here is the finished product. You can still see the two tone color although it isn’t nearly as obvious as it appears in this picture.


I polished the legs so the whole table would look good as new.


It isn’t perfect. It was really hard to get the poly just right dealing with a tabletop in four sections. I can see brush marks if I look closely. But I achieved my goal. It looks WAY better than it did before.

Here’s how it looks in the great room (although, since I took these pictures Abe and I have completely rearranged the great room again!):



Whew! That was a long post. I guess it’s fitting as it was a very involved job! Next up on the DIY front I’ll talk about Abe’s foot stool project. That one has been a bit involved as well! Stay tuned.

*The link to Altar’d furniture in this post is an affiliate link. Although I am not paid to promote them I will receive a percentage of the profit if you purchase one of their e-books.

This post is linked up to:

TDC Before and After

and Not Just a Housewife’s Show Me What Ya Got party.

Kitchen week again

See how cool Flylady is? We’re already back to the kitchen. I decluttered everything I needed to declutter in the kitchen last month but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do in there! I’m getting into some detail cleaning this month. The pantry could use a little straitening and the refrigerator needs to be cleaned out and wiped down. I think I’ll also spend extra time mopping the floor and maybe even wash the windows. What are your plans for your kitchen this week?

I’ll also be doing the home blessing hour today. I’m looking forward to it! I was out of town three days last week and a bit of chaos crept in in my absence. 🙂 Laundry will also be a big priority today.

Life has been very full lately and blogging had to take the back burner again. I’ve got at least two furniture posts I’m anxious to put up. My goal is to post at least one of them this week.

I also may start talking about homeschooling soon as that is what is on my mind! Individual home instruction plans (IHIPS) are due in two weeks!! Yikes!!

Have a blessed Monday, my friends. I promise to post with pictures next time. I know posts with no pictures are boring. 🙂


I got ZERO done in the living room. It looks exactly the same as it did on Monday. And you know what? I’m not going to worry about it! Grandma is in town and we’re enjoying her company. 🙂

Today through August 4th we’re on the Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room. I hope to at least get the hutch cleaned off. Remember the hutch that I left piled up with school papers that need to be sorted and filed? Yeah. It looks exactly the same or worse.

However, today I’m going on an all day date with the love of my life, tomorrow we’re going swimming and Friday and Saturday I’m going on a homeschool retreat. You know what I think? I think I’m just going to be in maintenance mode this week! If I get an extra 15 minutes, I’ll work on that pile, but if I don’t… there’s always next week! The pile can be part of the 5 minute room rescue that is in addition to the normal zone work.

Have you all noticed the Flylady Declutter Games? I didn’t notice until yesterday as I don’t get Flylady’s e-mails any longer. Sounds fun, though! Maybe I’ll check it out… next week!!

Only 2 days in the living room…

There is a lot I could do in my living room but this month we only get 2 days. Today and tomorrow in the living room and Wednesday we’re back to the dining room. Here’s my living room right now:




I hope to straighten the bookshelves…

PhotobucketEspecially this one!!

and get the room fairly straight but that’s about it. I need to go through the big white cabinet and the desk but they will have to wait. Wesley is coming home tonight and I want the whole house to be generally cleaner than it is right now. 🙂 I’m not going to do a Crisis Clean but I’m going to try to spend about 15-30 minutes in each room. The only other thing I have to do today (besides the normal taking care of people stuff) is take Clarabelle to the vet.

Hope we all have a productive day!

The bathroom and the office are looking nice!

The main problem last week was that Kenny and Wesley were out of town all. week. long. (Wesley’s STILL gone. *sniff)


Their absence shouldn’t have been a problem for blogging except that Kenny had to take his computer with him. I have two computers that I lay claim to but they are both dinosaurs. One can no longer access the internet at all and the other can only access through Safari (I like Firefox) and the flash player cannot be updated. Without flash I can only upload one picture at a time. Long story short, I didn’t want to mess with it and waited until I could blog on Kenny’s computer again. 🙂

The kids and I were very busy having fun last week. I’ll post separately about some of our adventures but it left little time for cleaning. I truly did ONLY the 15 minutes a day in each room. I may have spent a little extra time in the office on the last day so it would look extra nice when Kenny got back home.

In the bathroom I really just cleaned it. The first day I did the sink, mirror and toilet. Tuesday I cleaned the bathtub and did a swish and swipe on the sink and toilet again. Wednesday I mopped. Thursday I straitened out the cabinet and Friday I just did a swish and swipe and took pictures. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. It does desperately need some color, though. Yesterday I let the kids paint pictures of flowers for me. I’m going to matte them in a bright color and hang them with a multi-colored shower curtain (if I ever get out of no spend month!). That will do a lot to brighten up all the gray. For now, clean is good.


There isn’t much else to see in this bathroom. I straightened the area above the toilet and straightened the towels under the sink.


The office wasn’t really that bad, either. It had just become a dumping ground and we didn’t have enough shelving. Kenny picked up a Craig’s list bookshelf for me a few days before he left on his trip. It matches the other three almost perfectly and since I had designated money for household for the month I went ahead and did it. Technically I could have lived without it so it broke the rules of no spend month. It was $15 so that means I’ve spent $21 this month that I didn’t need to spend. (Remember I spent $6 on drawer dividers in the kitchen.) That’s not too bad.

Each day in the office I just straightened and put books away. I cleaned out the closet, too. There is plenty more I’d like to do in there but 15 minutes a day made a huge improvement.






I could have done more “finishing” but everything I wanted to do involved me buying something. I need nails to hang some decorative shelving, a shelf for the closet, a frame for an Escher print, etc. I’m looking forward to working on this room again next month. 🙂

Are you working on your master bedroom this week? I haven’t done much. I’m going to listen to flylady and just jump in where I am. That means the master bedroom won’t have much of an improvement but that’s OK. It isn’t bad anyway. I just have stacks and stacks of reading materials next to my bed and some out of place items. I wonder how much I can get done in 15 minutes today? Since it’s already Friday I’m not going to post pictures of the zone this week. I’ll look ahead to next week when we’ll be in the living room.

Technical difficulties

I’ve been having LOTS of trouble with my computer lately. Hopefully I can figure it all out soon.

In the mean time, I’m happy with this week’s progress in the bathroom and office. How did you all do?

I’ll post pics of last week’s progress as soon as I can plus pictures of next week’s challenge. Next week I’ll be tackling the master bedroom. For the most part I keep it looking fairly decent. But don’t look in the closet or under the bed! Wink

Have a restful Sunday! I’ll be back soon.

Flying in the bathroom

Today’s post will be short and sweet. I’m ready to get to work! According to flylady’s schedule, this week we’re in the bathroom plus one other room. Flylady has picked the home office as the other room. Sometimes I join her on the room she picks and sometimes I’ll work on the room I think needs it the most. Our office could definitely use some work so I’ll stick with that this time.

We have two bathrooms. The main bathroom is downstairs and honestly, it doesn’t need much help. I’m pretty good with the swish and swipe in this one. The kids bathroom, on the other hand, could use a deep clean. It’s predominantly used by the kids including three boys. Enough said. 😉

Novella is the main one in charge of the upstairs bathroom. She took the pictures for me after she cleaned it for weekly chores.

Yes, that does appear to be a ninja costume hanging on the towel rack.

I snapped some pictures of the office last week when it was looking it’s worst. This room should be a haven for Kenny but somehow it becomes a catch all. I want to try to change that. Kenny spends a lot of his day in here. I want it to be relaxing and clean.


Today is also the weekly home blessing hour. You run through the house and do six or seven maintenance chores really quickly. I’ve been inconsistent about this one for a long time. I’m hoping to bite the bullet and just get it done today! I’ve also got to go birthday shopping and run the dog to the vet, so we’ll see what happens.

Happy cleaning and send me before and after pictures if you want to share!

Kitchen week is behind us!

How did you all do this week? Did you get much accomplished in your kitchens? I usually have trouble getting excited about kitchen week. I’m not sure why. Maybe the tasks seem daunting or boring? It was definitely helpful knowing some of you were working along with me. Thank you!

You all have seen my before shots. At the beginning of the week I invited you to submit photos of your spaces if you were game. One of my very dear friends sent me this “before” shot of her kitchen:


She started working on it Wednesday and worked about 30 minutes. Thursday and Friday she worked 15 minutes each day. Look what she accomplished:


It looks great! I love all the pretty baskets she has on her counter to contain things. Thanks so much for sharing with everyone!!

I have to admit that I’m still not really doing flylady like I should. I worked in fits and starts. A couple of days I did pretty much nothing and a couple of days I got on a roll and did a lot (i.e., more than the 15 minutes I was supposed to do.) I managed to go through all the drawers and cabinets but only because of the massive purge we did before we moved last summer. I really don’t have much in my kitchen any longer that I don’t really want there. I found a small pile of things to get rid of:


There is also a pile of out of place things from the drawers for which I have yet to find homes:


I forgot that I was trying to have a “no spend” month this month and spent about $6 at Walmart on drawer organizers. They helped a lot, though. Those two drawers I showed you are very long and slide out easily so there’s a lot of stuff in them and that stuff rolls around disorganized all the time.



I need a few more dividers but I’ll wait until kitchen week comes around again next month.

The most disappointing this really is that I can’t seem to keep the kitchen clean to save my life. This morning when I went to take final “after” pictures I had to totally clean the kitchen again. It didn’t look much different than it did when I took the “before” pictures on Monday. I think what I need is some good old fashioned habit training! (And I’m not talking about the kids although there is more that they could do.)

Kenny got out the Vitamix to make himself a smoothie right before I finished straightening up this morning. I asked him if he would mind waiting a couple of minutes so I could take pictures. He jumped in and helped me finish straightening up. In fact, he really got into it and cleaned all the louvers on the pantry doors!


They look great. Thanks, honey!

So here are the official shots.



After (with help from my Honey):


I did my best to shine the sink. This sink is never going to be “shiny” but it looks better than it did.


Not much that I know to do to make this look better. The enamel is just worn away.

Looks OK from this angle.

I may have tried a little too hard to get the sink clean!


I was feeling pretty good about the kitchen when we finished although I was feeling a little guilty about cleaning it again before taking pictures. I really felt guilty when I walked down the stairs and saw the messes in the foyer and the great room. I’m hoping a clean kitchen will rub off on the rest of the house!

Next week we have the bathroom and one other room. I have a kid bathroom that could definitely use a deep clean. I’m not sure which other room I’ll choose. I’m kind of in the mood to work in the office. I really want to go through some of the boxes that got stuck straight in the cellar when we moved, too. That stuff couldn’t be too important if I haven’t missed it in a year!