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The 20 Minute Get Off Your Booty and Clean Challenge!

When I started this blog, back in January, it was with the intention of getting some pretty damaged areas in my life repaired. Mostly, our finances were in distress  and quite frankly my house was a total disaster.  I started blogging again, and started some research.  WordPress was completely new to me, my old blog was on Xanga.  I was desperate for a community, to find someone who understood and to find new ways to improve my imperfections.

A severe back sprain in 2009 has caused havoc on me.  I still have issues with it on a near daily basis.  IT HURTS and no, I am not a pansy.  My dental office calls me Xena because I had a deep root cleaning and my first cavities filled without ANY pain management.  I can deal with some pain, I’m a tough chick.  Yet, this back issue has been the bane of my ability to suck it up and move on.  Unfortunately, the overall consistent cleanliness of my home has severely suffered.  If you knocked on my door today and asked to come in the house I wouldn’t let you in, simply due to embarrassment.

Well, the no spending challenge is complete, and while I am glad it’s over, I really enjoyed writing a series about it.  I am hoping that some of you will be interested in participating in a house cleaning challenge with me!  A few months ago, I made some house cleaning playlists to go along with a 20 minute a day cleaning schedule.  I followed through with parts of it here and there, but I wasn’t really focused on getting into the routine and making it work.  I’m hoping some of you want to help with that!

Is your home a little out of shape?  Do you need some encouragement to make it sparkle and shine?  If so, come and join this challenge!  In 20 minutes a day you will have your house shining!

The 20 Minute Get Off Your Booty and Clean Challenge!

I am looking for that community.  I want some other bloggers to come forward and offer to take this challenge with me.  In order to participate you would have to do the following:

1.  Clean your house for 20 minutes a day!

2.  Take a before and after photo for each area you clean!

3.  Give me permission to use your photo in my post (with a link to your blog of course)!

4.  Either write about it on your blog with a link here, OR email me your photos and a quick message about what you did for the week. (you do NOT have to post every day!!!)

5.  Make sure your submissions are to me no later than Thursday at 5:30pm CST.  The posts will go up the next day!

 

I am looking for 5 bloggers who are ready and willing to put the embarrassing mess out there and who are excited and PUMPED UP to get their houses clean!  If you would like to join this challenge, please comment below or email me at mendedwheels@gmail.com.  YOU MUST sign up no later than Sunday June 1, 2014 at 2:00pm CST.  I will make a post later that evening telling you what we should focus on for the week!

If you don’t want to participate full-time, but would like a pat on the back, follow me on Facebook!  I think it would be fun to post the best transformations of the week there for individual recognition.

Let’s do this ladies!


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The Ways I Cut My Shower Time

Ok, here’s the total truth about me.  The older I get, the more I struggle with being late.  It’s a cold hard fact in my life.  Sometimes I do great, sometimes not so much.  Sometimes it’s because I goof off in the mornings, and sometimes it’s simply because there are few things I love on this earth more than a nice hot shower, especially when I am just waking up!  More often than not, standing in the shower and enjoying my wake up time cause me to be late.  I made some changes to my shower routine and it has cut it from 20-25 minutes down to about 10.  If you want to talk about saving money, a shower uses 7-10 gallons of water PER MINUTE!  This is saving over 100 gallons of water per day!!!  That’s a lot of money going down the drain!  Literally!

Shower Secrets

 

Hit the snooze

First, if you have a smart phone, you need an AMAZING song for your alarm in the morning.   I use Don’t You Mourn the Sun from the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack.  I hate getting up in the morning, so I find it funny.  It also has a fast an amazing beat, so it’s a good one to get up to!  The second my alarm goes off in the morning, I hit snooze.  I am usually taking my husband to work when it happens, so I now have a consistent 9 minute timer going off to keep me on track. I allow myself a single 9 minute cycle in the shower!

Brush your teeth in the shower

Honestly, I started this habit long ago because I got sick of cleaning toothpaste globs out of the sink.  However, I have pretty long and thick hair, so it takes a bit to saturate my hair to wash it.  I use that time to brush my teeth.  I also don’t have to clean the sink out when I am finished brushing.  Time and money saved on cleaning!

Only wash your hair every other day

This one is a hard one for me.  When I get hot I sweat like crazy and it all starts coming out of my head before anywhere else.  I struggle with dry hair though because it’s curly, so it’s better for my hair to wash every 2 days.  On the days I don’t wash, I scrub my scalp with my fingertips and condition again.  I wash my body while my conditioner is working its magic!  Cash saved on shampoo!

Organize your shower

Get the junk out of your shower.  It’s easier to clean if you’re not having to move a lot of stuff around and you can find everything you need quick!  There is no reason to have 5 kinds of shampoo 3 types of soap and a bunch of clutter in your shower.  If you have to share a shower with someone try organizing it with baskets like this.  Cash saved by not wasting beauty products!

Turn the water to cold

This closes your pores, helps seal your hair shafts and cools you down.  It’s also a big incentive to get out!  I almost always sweat when I get out of the shower, so this helps cool me off so I can dry faster!  Needless to say it will also wake you right up if you’re still sleepy! Cash saved by not using more hot water!

 

Have any other tricks?  Tell me how you get out of the shower fast!

 

 


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Pinterest Tested! Listerine on the Feet!

You will have to forgive me in advance for the not so superb quality of the photographs in this post.  I also want to warn you that A) I have water retention issues so my feet were really swollen this particular day and B) I DO NOT have pretty girly feet.  Deal with it!  I am half of my Dad too!

Vinegar and Listerine

 

I, like most bloggers spend entirely too much time on Pinterest.  Many of the tips and tricks on Pinterest are fantastic.  However, I have seen lots of tips and tricks and wondered about the true ability of those particular combinations to produce results.  Enter the Listerine and Vinegar recipe.

I was spending time with my sister in law, Kara, and we were talking about blogging, how much I enjoy it and how it relates to Pinterest etc.  When I mentioned possibly trying out a “Does it really work?” section on my blog, she needed examples.  I used Listerine and Vinegar removing dead skin from your feet as an example.  Her eyes lit up and I knew immediately I was in trouble.  Of COURSE she had the products on hand.  OF COURSE she wanted to try it right then and there to see if it worked.  So, I reluctantly agreed and we tried it out.

Little bowls and big feet!

Big feet and little bowls do not go well together.  I also had to keep fighting away doggies who were super excited to try and drink the blue treat!

Flip Flop tan lines are awesome!

We transferred the liquid and my foot to another dish.  You know you’re jealous of that awesome flip flop tan line!

Listerine and Vinegar Foot Soak

I thought we should check on the progress while were waiting and sure enough, there was a line on my foot where the liquid covered it.

Side by side comparison

After the 15 minute soak time, I did a side by side comparison.  The left foot was treated the right foot was not.  As you can see, I fight dry skin on my feet A LOT, so there was an improvement on the left foot compared to the right.

BUT

Would I recommend this to anyone else?

NO

First, the amount of skin that came off, to me, was the equivalent of soaking your feet in a hot bath and rubbing then with a towel.  I don’t really see the point in spending any extra money on a product combination that gives the same affect as hot water.

Second, water doesn’t turn your toes blue.  Seriously. My nails and cuticles were blue!

Blue Toes!


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10 Reasons Being Married to a Scottish Man is Weird

1.  He sounds like a cross between a Scottish person and a Canadian, well sometimes.

My husband is from the Northern part of Scotland.  He loves to demonstrate his accent by saying the following phrase:

There’s a moose loose aboot the hoose. (Yes, say it like it’s written.) The translation:

There’s a mouse loose in the house.

2. You can’t understand him after he has been on the phone with one of his parents

In Scotland I plainly recall sitting in a room full of people chattering away about bairns, puddings, and being quizzed about my surname from his Dad.  Who, incidentally, roared out “SHE’S ENGLISH!!!” when I told him my last name was Archer.    However, more than anything I remember sitting in a room of Scots and trying to work my way through their slang and hearing the word AYE AYE AYE popping up like the seagulls yelled MINE MINE MINE in Finding Nemo.  In fact, I’m pretty sure AYE was just about the only word I understood my whole trip.  Ok, I’m exaggerating.  Mostly.  However, when he gets off of the phone with one of his parents, he instantly reverts to the fast talking Scottish slang dude.

3. People eavesdrop on our conversations in restaurants because of his accent

RUDE!  I know we live in small town Arkansas, but seriously, have you never seen Braveheart?  Can I please eat my dinner without you and your dining partner staring at me through our whole meal?  You’re more likely to understand me trying to wipe away whatever it is I dropped on my boobs than what he’s saying anyway, so STOP STARING!  Unless you’re staring at my boobs, then we’re cool.

4. You cannot grocery shop without someone stopping him and asking him about his accent

My primary goal when shopping is to get in and out as fast as humanly possible.  I hate grocery shopping.  I really hate it even more when the AWESOME Southern hospitality, nosiness, and Bless Your Heart time happens when I am in Kroger.  Please, for the love of what little sanity I have left, stop pretending like the dang grocery store is the set of the Dating Game.  You don’t get to ask him 10 questions, I just need some milk and bread!

5. You’re willing to pay INSANE prices for something in the International aisle of the grocery store, just so he can have a taste of home

Custard mixes, drinks, digestive biscuits, treacle pudding and candy.  I’m not even going to tell you what these cost, let’s just say they’re a treat when they happen and THANK GOD for his mother who sends him care packages pretty often!

6.  You never have to worry about your in-laws dropping in

Speaking of in-laws.  Do you have any idea how weird it is to have your in-laws living 3,000 miles away?  Seriously, it’s weird.  There is an OCEAN in between us.

7. Healthcare and gas prices

Scotland has universal healthcare and he paid next to nothing for medical care in Scotland.  Any time we get a medical bill the tirade begins!  I am also constantly reminded that the gas prices in Scotland are only raised once a year and “Why he can’t understand the way we change gas prices so much.”  I’m just going to say with the gas prices in Scotland currently at an estimated $9.42 a gallon, I am happy to dealing with a $.05-$.10 change in gas prices here.

8.  Chocolate and Sausage

Scottish chocolate is just better and apparently we Americans are “too daft” to know the difference.  Apparently, sausage is on the mandatory eating list in Scotland as well, our sausage is just full of nasty sage, and he can’t wait to go to Scotland and have a “proper” sausage.  Can I point out the obvious here?  Sau SAGE…who’s daft now?

9.  When you go to Scotland people stop and stare at you for your accent

Southern Scotland, near Edinburgh (pronounced Ed-in-Brrrrahhhh, not Ed-in BURG you silly Americans) has a completely different accent than my husbands.  I actually had a back and forth semi-silly argument with a cabbie about a train station called:

Grahamston Station

Translated to Scottish:  Greeeeeeeeeemston Station

Oddly enough, on my way back home, I was followed around by an English mother and son on the train back to Manchester, England who happened to ask me if I knew if our train was the correct one.  When I answered “I really hope so!” they FLIPPED out because I am American.  For the record, no one in Scotland knows where Arkansas is, but if you tell them it’s next to Texas they will have a general idea.  Ha!  They sat near me on the train, but not close enough to talk, but I kept catching them staring at me any time I talked  the whole way back to the airport.  It was WEIRD.  They also told me I sound nothing like people in the movies…lol!  I told them to watch Sweet Home Alabama and see if that sounded more like me.

10.  Kilts and Sporrans

A Sporran is not a “man purse”.  Apparently, this is not funny at all.

However, when someone asks “What’s worn under a kilt?” my husband thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Nothing, everything is in perfect working order.”

Rob in his gear

 

P.S. Most of this is just me teasing my husband.  It’s AWESOME being married to a Scottish man.


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I’m OK With Not Being a Mom…Most Days

Ok with MomThere have been times in my life when infertility has been a destructive force.  The longer it has been a part of my life, almost 15 years now, the more I have changed and adapted to accept the simple fact that I will likely never give birth to a child of my own.  As I get older, almost 36 now, the more I realize that I am getting to that age when the clock really starts ticking down and for some reason the grief over infertility is popping up here and there again.  I’ve noticed it more in the last 6 months than I have in a few years.

The first time I really noticed it again was Christmas 2013.  As a family we were celebrating later in the afternoon.  My husband works in the care industry and I took him to work that morning at 6 am.  When I returned home, I logged into Facebook to look at the early morning Christmas photos and to make the Merry Christmas post rounds.  I was generally in a good place when I logged in, and not so much when I logged out.

Maybe it was because I was sitting alone on Christmas morning for the first time in my life.  Maybe it was because I saw hundreds of photos of children.  Maybe it was the joy on the faces of children across the world and missing those days of my own childhood when nothing was more AMAZING than waking up to see what Santa left behind.  Maybe it was because my brother and sister-in-law had also recently decided to take a break from fertility treatments and I was forced to give up hope of children in my immediate family.

You see, I love history.  I love genealogy and learning about where we came from and who we are.  I love knowing that when you play a small part in the big picture of the universe, somehow and some way, even though you’re gone, a legacy is left behind.  Infertility breaks down that legacy.  It’s gone.  When I die, there is no more of me in the world.  If my brother and his wife permanently give up fertility treatments, both lines of our family, Mom and Dad will end.  There will be a branch of the family tree that just stops.  It’s a pretty sobering thought isn’t it?

Mother’s Day is another day that hurts a bit.  While most people consider it a wonderful celebration and time to honor the woman on the planet who deserves it the most, I consider it a yearly reminder that my body failed me.  I see all of the Facebook photos of cute gifts their children gave them , and read a few sad posts from people who struggle with the grief of losing their mothers on this day.  It doesn’t make me angry, but it stings a bit.

To be completely truthful, most days I am OK with not being a Mom.  I don’t have to worry about my house being spotless 24/7 because a toddler is going to find that one random thing in the floor that just might cause a trip to the emergency room.  I don’t have to baby proof.  I can go to a movie at midnight if I want to, and I don’t have to pay someone to come and watch the fur babies in the middle of the night.  When my “kids” annoy me while I am doing something else, a simple finger point and “go to YOUR BED” means I get the peace and quiet so many moms crave.  I don’t get the your kid is sick come and pick them up phone call and I don’t get all those crappy little bugs and viruses in my house that they pick up at school.  I can sleep in on the weekends and if I want a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal I can have it without sharing!  I can be selfish and imperfect at home without wondering if it is going to traumatize another human being.  I have more freedom than moms.  That glass of wine and a hot bath most moms crave, I can have it when I want it.

So, it’s rough a few days a year.  Moms have it rough every day of the year, so I guess I’ll suck it up and be OK with not having kids…most days.