Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome to my wild (and inexpensively decorated) bathroom!

So, I love all things animal print, mainly leopard and zebra! When we moved into our new house last year, I didn't really have any plans for our bathroom, until I started randomly finding great deals on leopard print bathroom decor!  I was browsing thru a Wal Mart flyer one day, and saw they had leopard print curtain panels on sale for $7.00! I didn't NEED a curtain panel, but I thought it would look really good in my bathroom because of the wooden floors and a dark wood wall.  Shortly after that, leopard print towels came on sale for $7.00 each, so I grabbed a few (not shown because they were in the wash at the time of the "photo shoot")

 When I went to the states for Black Friday, they had a cushy bath mat that matched my curtain and towels, it was only $5.00! I HAD to buy it! What's a bath mat without a shower curtain? low and behold my local Giant Tiger had a leopard shower curtain for just $10.00!
The art work is almost priceless! (no, really, it hardly cost anything!) I was in a panic and needed something to fill this wall because people were coming. I Googled "Animal print + bathrooms" and these prints appeared! I printed them off on the color printer at work (Shhh!!!!) and stuck them in some frames that were on clearance at Michael's for $0.50 each! I will eventually get bigger, thicker frames and mount these on the wall, but they did the trick at the time! The votive candle holders I bought at Pier One, the glass holders were $1.25 each while the candles were $1.00 each.
This faux plant was purchased at Home Sense for $7.00 (It's a good thing that was cheap because the cat feels the need to chew on it every time he's in there!) The leopard soap dish (and I do have the matching toothbrush holder, Kleenex holder, and waste basket (not shown) ) were gifts.

This goes to show you, you can do a lot with a little, and with prices like these, I really should have bought one of everything in zebra print too!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips

So now that Spring has officially "sprung", it is time to start thinking about all that comes with it, Easter, spring flowers, rain and mud, and.....yes, the dreaded SPRING CLEANING! In with the old, out with the new, a time to refresh and rejuvenate your home, if you are like me, you are probably looking for the easiest and most economical way to do this. You don't need a bunch of brand name, high end cleaners, they are expensive and contain harsh ingredients such as   Ethoxylated nonyl phenols, Naphthalene and Trisodium nitrilotriacetate (NTA) (no, I do not know what those are or how to pronounce them, but I know they are not good for you or the environment!)

Did you know that the Gypsy Sisters swear by using apple cider vinegar in the dishwasher to make the dishes sparkling clean? If you can get over the smell of the cider, this is actually a pretty clever tip! They also insist on using lots of bleach in the sink! I myself cannot stand the smell of bleach, and no matter how careful I am, seem to ALWAYS end up with it on my clothes!

Here is a list of the top 10 "Green" ways to clean your home this spring:

10. Glass:  Effectively clean windows with 4 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with a half gallon of water. Other effective cleaners for glass and mirrors are rubbing alcohol and witch hazel!

9. Vinyl: A cloth dipped  in straight lemon juice and rubbing it onto the stained area can remove stains on vinyl items such as recliners or tile flooring.

8. Furniture Polish:  Mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. The combination gives your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine.
When a hot serving dish or glass of water has marred the surface of a wood table, you can quickly get rid of the mark by making a thin paste of salad oil or lemon oil and salt. Wipe the paste on, then lightly buff the area as you wipe it off with a soft cloth. * I'm kind of leary on using salad oil on my furniture...what if the dogs like it and decide to eat it? (mind you my stupid dogs eat the furniture without food substances being rubbed on it)

 7. Metal:  Give loads of shine to tarnished copper or brass without doing any damage by bringing in salt and vinegar and adding one more ingredient from your kitchen cupboard: flour!   Using equal parts of the three ingredients make a paste; rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth. Cover entire surface and let the whole thing dry out ( about an hour).  With a clean, soft cloth, wipe off the dried paste.
Lemon can also be used for lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces. Slice one lemon and dip it in salt, then rub the item with the salted lemon. Afterward, rinse and dry thoroughly.
Another fix for lightly tarnished copper is to use a spray bottle filled with undiluted vinegar. Just spray the copper piece and sprinkle the tarnished area with salt. Wipe thoroughly with a sponge or cotton cloth; be sure to remove all the salt, or the item will turn green. Repeat if necessary.

 6. Fireplace: If your wood-burning fireplace has gathered soot and smoke smudges around its exterior, you can spruce it up by applying a paste of cream of tartar and water. Rub the paste into the stains, let it dry, then scrub it off.
If it's the inside of your fireplace and chimney you're worried about, you can help loosen soot buildup by tossing an occasional handful of salt into the fire the next time you're enjoying your fireplace. The burning salt will help loosen the soot a little, buying you some time between major cleanings.

5. What to do with accumulated "clutter":  
Cleaning your home can also lead to a massive decluttering of your house. Often after a big cleaning binge, you may find that you've accumulated a small mountain of items that you don't need anymore. If any of it is reusable, you may want to consider joining an online community called Freecycle (, which has localized chapters of members who let each other know what stuff they have hanging around that they would like to give away -- anything from kitchen appliances, bicycles, and furniture to magazines, clothing, and diapers (unused, of course!).
The Freecycle community takes place entirely online, after you sign up to be a part of an e-mail group (also called a listserv). The groups are local even though Freecycle is a nation-wide program. It's a great way to declutter the house and provide somebody else with something they need -- all without the hassle of staging your own yard sale. Plus, moving around possessions already in existence is a way to prevent more goods from being manufactured or being dumped into a landfill.
Similarly, you might look into turning other outdated items over to charitable programs such as Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. There are also organizations that will take your old electronics (such as computers and cell phones), your printer cartridges, your eyeglasses, and even your sneakers and distribute them to others who need them. A simple Internet search will offer many options to help you get rid of some of these items in your home.

4.  Drains:  Prevent clogged drains with a strainer to keep hair, food and other gunk from building up in the drain. If you cook with a lot of oils, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain once a week to flush fats and oils away. When it's time to unclog, first use a plunger (PLEASE use a different plunger than the one you use for your toilet!!!!) -- this works better and faster than the most powerful chemicals. If that doesn't work, try a combination of 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar -- then cover the drain if you can, and let the foaming pressure do its stuff. Other recipes call for 1/2 cup of salt and an equal amount of baking soda, followed by 6 cups of boiling water -- wait a few hours, then flush with cold water. As a last resort, get a plumber's snake and "snake it out."

3. Air it out! :   Don't kill yourself  (or your kids) to get a fresg smelling house. The NRDC tested 14 different household air fresheners and found that 12 contained the hormone-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates. Keeping your house generally clean should eliminate any odors, or try natural odor-eaters like vinegar and baking soda. Best air freshener of all - crack a window!

2. Oven Lovin':   If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, there aren't many green cleaning options, and commercial oven cleaners tend to be caustic products with plenty of toxic compounds.  Some folks recommend sprinkling baking soda on the oven, then sprinkling water on it, and leaving it to soak overnight. (No mention of how this will clean the sides of the oven, however.) Then, the next morning, scrub and scour like the devil in heat. Or, get a commercial oven cleaner, use it carefully, and don't feel guilty about it. Placing a layer of foil at the bottom of your oven will make this task easier next time. I hate cleaning the oven! there are 9 tips....maybe you can come up with the 10th! What are some tips/tricks you have for easy, green, spring cleaning???

Spring Begins!

It's finally here! (although where I am, it doesn't look like it!) SPRING!!!! yayayayayayaya!!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

You got all that for how much???

It's been a while since I've gone on a major coupon shopping spree, so today I decided to see what I could do with the coupons I had on hand, no advance planning! Here is how I did:

2 boxes of Fudge covered Ritz crackers - on sale for $0.88 each

Bananas...I don't remember how much they were and threw out the receipt!!!

3 bottles of Gain detergent - On sale for $2.97 each. I had a coupon for $1.00 off any one and another coupon for $2.50 off any 2

Chapmans strawberry frozen yogurt - Regular price $4.97, I had a coupon for $5.00 off any Chapmans product

2 Arctic Gardens Mixes - On sale for $2.49 each, I had a coupon for $5.00 off with no restrictions (it didn't say off 1 product only)

5 Mars, Twix and  M&M's - I had 5 coupons for free product that were sent to me as part of a contest a while ago!

Also, my 2 year old got a Kinder Egg, but it didn't last long enough to take the picture!

So, you much for all of this??? I only paid $10.61 and that is taxes and bags included!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who is Lindsay Garric???

Last year I attended an Alice Cooper concert in my hometown, Kingston Ontario. After being blown away by the entire show, I went home and Googled the band members so I could enjoy more of their musical offerings.

As I discovered the members names, I began following them on Twitter. One band member, bassist Chuck Garric continually posted links to blog posts from wife Lindsay Garric. I started checking out the posts then immediately began following her too.  A few occasions I replied to Lindsay's tweets and was happily surprised with a couple of Tweets back, now we are friends on Facebook!

Who is Lindsay Garric? What does she do? The question should be "what doesn't she do"?  Lindsay  is a Milwaukee native, make up artist, esthetician, personal trainer and entrepreneur, as if that doesn't keep her busy, she's also the wife of Chuck Garric, current bassist for Alice Cooper and founder of new band "Beasto Blanco" 
From makeup to workouts, food to fashion, Lindsay has a polished finger on the pulse of beauty, fashion, fitness and nutrition trends to make you look damned good and shares it all on her blog


I am hooked on Lindsay's blogs, and after reading her "Makeup tips for the perfect smoky-eyed holiday look (Dec. 18, 2012) her words ring in my head each time I apply my eye shadow "The key to this makeup is layering products and blending, blending, blending!"  

I can go on and on about Lindsay's informative and humorous blog posts but you really must fall in love with them yourselves! You can read all of Lindsay's post on On HERE

Follow Lindsay on TWITTER to find out about new blog posts as well as other information including information on After Schools Out, a Charity Concert 3/22/13 featuring husband Chuck Garric, to benefit creation of after school music program at Lloyd Barbee Montessori School Milwaukee, WI.

For more info and a free song download from Beasto Blanco, check out 

Thought of the day...

What happens if your Momma DOES dance and your Daddy DOES Rock 'n Roll ???