New Year, Clean Home

Photo Via Unsplash

I love to start off the new year with a clean house, clean inbox, clean closet… just a nice fresh start. The freshness of the new year gives me permission to delete things, toss clothes, items, clutter and do a deep clean.

We’ve had a few gorgeous snow days here in New York and I took full advantage of being stuck inside and … cleaned!

I have a few simple tips to get your house in tip-top shape for the what the new year brings… these tips are especially great if you have a giant dog that sheds everywhere!

  1. Bedroom – Clean sheets on all the beds and as a bonus, I like to buy new pillows for all the beds… your pillows have been on the bed for 12 months. Time to change them.
  2. Wash your shower curtain, bath mats, and all towels – bath, kitchen, bar and guest towels. Throw out your shower liner and bathmats. Just throw them away. Don’t bother washing them.
  3. Clean your baseboards – it really makes a difference. I use a dryer sheet to get rid of the static dog hair and them wipe down with a wash cloth and warm water.
  4. Clean out your car. Do it… start anew!! You can do this yourself or treat your car to a yearly full-detail at your local car wash.
  5. Vacuum. Dedicate a half day to moving furniture, taking cushions off couches, getting behind and under things and vacuum the entire house. Good luck!
  6. Wipe down your light switch plates and doors. Have you noticed how dirty they get. Our doors are all white and so are out light switch plates… filthy little dirty finger marks all over these surfaces. A simple dishcloth and warm water does the trick… or you can use a disinfectant spray.
  7. Drop a few drops of a lavender, lemon or jasmine oil on your heater coils to let the scent drift throughout the house.
  8. Clean out the fridge. I found a nasty tub of rice pudding from last summer deep in there. Clean that out, start the new year with a shiny fridge!
  9. Deep clean your kitchen… the heart of the house. Spend an entire day scrubbing this room down. All appliances, floor, stack of clutter papers in the corner…get this done!
  10. Plant some flowers or succulents. Fill the bird feeders. Start the new year with new life and nature.

Happy 2017 everyone!

Continue Reading

Moms Night Out with Parents Magazine, Momtrends and More

 

There is always an article floating around about how – Moms can have it all. Apparently we can have a full-time job, be an entrepreneur, have kids, husband, house, dog, travel, vacations, date nights, birthday parties and make pinterestable party favors for the entire preschool class. All without falling apart! Well, I call B.S.

29902114192_1ce518d7ea_k

I never believed that song and dance for one second and seems like I was in great company.

img_7198

I met the editor of Meredith Publications’ – Dana Points – last week. Dana heads up Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Family Fun, and Parents Latina. You know all the parenting mags and Dana calls B.S. too. Parents Mag says – there is no magical “having it all”. You can’t have it all…and that’s OK.

img_7197

This Moms Night Out event was hosted by Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends and Meredith Publications. Tucked into an event space in Soho with stunning views of downtown, the evening included endless chatter, meeting NYC bloggers, connecting with friends and of course hearing about some great brands that help around the house.

29721696110_18c05bdc59_k

Clorox had a crafting station that had us customizing our own Clorox wipes containers. I always have Clorox on hand around the house. A quick wipe down of kitchen countertops, bathrooms and even take them to go when I travel with the kids.

The New York Mom Moms-Night-out

Quaker Oats asked us what we would do if we had an extra hour in the morning… while most answers ranged from yoga, meditate, drink coffee alone… i went for the truth… SLEEP. I would sleep for that extra hour!

29981743936_99a6c15c9c_k

Quaker Overnight Oats gave us tips for a quick, easy and delish morning breakfast for busy mornings. Lily’s bus picks her up at 6:45AM… She is up at 6am… we are eating breakfast as we run out the door. Quaker Oats has lots of great ways to get a fast breakfast in for those hectic mornings.

29902165582_1e0ebce344_k

29902111462_b2be059e45_k

I love having scented oil diffusers throughout the house and when cleaning, I love lighting a candle to give the house a calming smell. Scents are healing and we use lavender a lot. Lavender helps calm the restless mind and also helps soothe anxiety. Glad kitchen bags with odor shield and Febreeze had us mix up our own scented lotions. I made a soothing lavender for Lily.

29721735840_8101f5ec04_k

The New York Mom

Philips Avent encouraged us to make little gift bags for new moms in our lives. Pacifiers and bottles were neatly tied up in boxed with bows for perfect gifting.

img_7211

29902111282_029526a32d_k

Earths Best has lots of first foods for baby and now they are making snackable take-alongs for big kids as well. More on this later… but I loved seeing all the new offerings from one of our favorite kids snack brands.

29902216652_047ac14fa1_o 29932483691_511d10fa30_k   

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are mine*

photo credit: MOMTRENDS

Continue Reading

Bullet Journal Essentials

Bullet-Journal-Essentials- The-New-York-Mom
Be still my stationary loving heart!
Bullet journals are the big thing in pop culture right now and me and my Moleskine, gel pens and oodles of doodles are only too happy to shed some light about this journaling and organizing trend.
What is a Bullet Journal? It’s basically a notebook that you create that helps you track and organize your entire life. Pages of the journals include notes, dates, schedules, lists, to-do, goals, health all of it. It’s a sketch book, diary, address book, calendar and anything that need pen and paper. You can decorate your journal, you can embellish it with stickers or you can just bullet your thoughts down.
I’m working on a great new post about how to start your bullet journal. I can’t wait to share! But before you start your bullet journal… you need your supplies. Best part of any project… supplies. Crafting a bullet journal is really any stationary lovers dream!
  • First you will need a Notebook – I love the Moleskin Dotted Notebook.  You can choose the size of your notebook to fit your everyday lifestyle. I get the medium Moleskin Dotted Notebook – the small is too small for my entries and the large is too big for my bag!
  • The Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen is my absolute favorite for everyday writing. It has a gorgeous black india ink with a pointy tip and the ink dries so fast that it will not bleed through your thin moleskin pages. Get this pen!
  • Gel Yeah! – Grab some gel pens to decorate your bullet journals. Ok fine, this is where you can take creative liberty and skip the gel pen thing all together but then you won’t have neon gel pen details! I like the gel pens because it helps me categorize things – family lists, health lists, work…etc. So get the gel pens.
  • A metal ruler. – metal – not plastic. So much of bullet journaling is just a routine and ritual and you want good stuff to make it feel like a ritual and routine. So get a 6-inch stainless steel ruler.
  • Washi Tape – Maybe kinda like the neon gel pens… not REALLY necessary but oh so fun and colorful. Your journal will look like candy! I like the washi tape for headers and side notes or to ear mark important pages. Get the washi tape. You can grab any color you choose not just the crazy ones I like.
  • Finally – Stickers and Stencils! Ok fine… you don’t need the stickers but I usually have ‘event stickers’ that help me remember birthdays, grocery stuff, invoice days… etc. Stencils help me create headers with ease.
That’s it… you are ready to start your bullet journal. Go out and get your supplies and meet me back here later this week to start your journal. I’ll give you step by step notes on how to get yours set up. Don’t forget neon gel pens and stickers!
Yaay!
Continue Reading

HGTV Blogger Block Party! YOU are invited!

 

I’m thrilled to partner up with HGTV Magazine to invite YOU to the HGTV Blogger Block Party! I’m SUCH a fan of everything HGTV – all their home reno’s, DIY tips and tricks and house hunting shows. You know we just moved to our new house in the NYC suburbs and HGTV Magazine has been our go to resources for everything house!

So all you Makers, Design Lovers, DIYers… get ready! On August 22nd HGTV Magazine is having their 3rd annual Blogger Block Party and they want YOU to attend and be part of the fun. This all- day event is for you Makers and DIYers to meet your favorite HGTV celebs. There are tons of live demonstrations during the day and interactive participation opps!

The lineup is pretty exciting with appearances  by HGTV Magazine editor in chief Sara Peterson, Emily Henderson, John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love, Genevieve Gorder, and Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte!   Event Address: 404 10th Avenue, New York City Event Date & Time: August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm – 8 pm Make sure to RSVP!!!

Here is YOUR personal invite… from me to you! Hope to can make it on August 22!!

http://www.hgtvmagonline.com/events

Thank you to HGTV Magazine for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. #ad

Continue Reading

Improving Your Home with Angie’s List

#AngieHeartsHome

As any new homeowner will tell you… the list of “projects’ around the house is never ending. Since moving to our new house, 6 months ago, up here in the suburbs of New York City, Matt and I have a running list of things we need to work on around the property. Everything from our kitchen remodel, basement wall paint, sprucing up of the laundry area, a veggie garden and even a new façade for the front of the house sits on this list patiently awaiting to get done.

Moving to a new community and not knowing anyone, we have been depending on recommendations from local parenting groups and neighbors. Our lawn person was a recommendation and has worked out really nicely, our oil company was a recommendation, babysitter, preschools, doctors and even the all-important drycleaner was recommended by a neighbor.

While these are everyday needs and things have worked out well for us, something like the kitchen remodel requires some background info and much more insight.

#AngieHeartsHome

This is where Angie’s List comes in. I recently attended an event hosted by Angie’s List in NYC and sat down with Angie… yes THE Angie of Angie’s List and in between chatting about food and tweens… I got the scoop on what Angie’s List is up to these days.

First of all – Angie’s List is now FREE to join!

Angie’s List is a list of recommendations for pretty much everything! For example – our kitchen remodel.  I can choose a contractor off Angie’s List – I get reviews and details on the type of the work this person does, how efficient, helpful and quality of their work. I choose the contractor that fits my needs. But wait… there’s more, with the new Silver and Gold Angie’s List membership tiers, I will be GUARANTEED a job well done. So if something goes wrong… Angie’s List will fix it for me. Can you believe that!  It’s pretty amazing when you think about the intensity of a kitchen remodel – floors, cabinets, electric, plumbing… and the work is guaranteed.

#AngieHeartsHome

Angie’s List has lots of new changes and these have all come about from customer feedback. The most exciting new addition is the membership tiers. Angie’s List has three tiers of memberships –

  • GREEN: free-of-charge access to companies in more than 700 service categories; nationwide access to more than 10 million verified consumer reviews; and monthly digital form of the company’s magazine. Benefits planned to be added to the Green membership tier this year include a project pricing guide, project scheduling and project financing.
  • SILVER: includes all green features plus fair price guarantee and service quality guarantee, exclusive discounts, chat and email customer support, a bimonthly print version of the magazine for $24.99 a year.
  • GOLD: includes all green and silver features plus complaint resolution process, customer support via phone and access to exclusive eCommerce savings for $99.99 a year. Benefits planned to be added to the Gold tier in the future include handy chat, a home emergency service line and instant hiring.

Be sure Visit angieslist.com for more information. #AngieHeartsHome

*This post is sponsored by Angie’s List. All opinions are my own* 

Continue Reading

Cleaning Tips for NYC Apartment Dwellers

Summer is a time to hit a great big REFRESH button. The kids are out of school, we have summer Friday half days at work, people are on vacation and relaxed and things are just chill. When September hits… it’s game time. Fall season brings the activities in full overdrive – back to school, holiday parties, deadlines, end of the year recaps, new years… and you know how the rest goes… until summer again. So take time off this summer to do a full clean and purge of your stuff. Get rid of it, clean, and hit the REFRESH button. If you are like us… kids, work, life, adventure, giant beast… you need some help! And hiring someone to help you clean and stay on top of things is a great option for many busy families like ours. I’ve got some great cleaning tips for New York City apartment dwellers to fit your lifestyle!

The New York Mom

I’ve partnered with Busy Bee Cleaning Service to bring you some expert tips. Busy Bee offers commercial cleaning as well as residential cleaning services. All their employees have had extensive background checks and are trained to fit your exact needs. This service is specific to NYC residents and businesses.

This post is sponsored by Busy Bee Cleaning Service.

busy-bee

Sure we all clean our bathroom, but how often do you de-calcify your shower head? I didn’t even know that was a thing!  You clean your kitchen, but how often do you scrub those cabinets?Your small apartment can get overwhelmed with stuff easily… Busy Bee Cleaning Service can help.

You may not think anyone cares as long as the place is tidy, but those little details can make the difference between looking like you live in a small, cramped space and presenting your guests with a hip urban hideaway. Here are a few tips to help you tackle cleaning like a boss.

First, the checklist:

Summer time cleaning is the perfect time to take on tasks you just forget about when you’re just trying to tidy up and get your dishes done. Here are some of the tasks you should be thinking about with apartment cleaning:

• Remove stains on all faucets and shower heads.
• Clean cabinets, inside and out.
• Clean your hairbrushes and combs.
• Scrub down your bathroom tile and grout.
• Clean out your microwave.
• Clean your blinds or your curtains.
• Wipe down your walls and ceilings.
• Rent a carpet cleaner, or hire a carpet cleaning company.
• Clean your window screens.
• Dust your art and/or photographs.
• Take your books off your bookshelves. Dust them.
• Clean your oven, fridge, and dishwasher. 
• Clean your small appliances, like your toaster.
• Clean your baseboards.
• Give your furniture a good, thorough dusting or upholstery cleaning.
• Get all the dust out of your computer, and clean your keyboard.

Invest in great cleaning products.

While you’re doing your day to day cleaning you can get by with that knock-off, ubiquitous lemon cleaner. But right now you’re cleaning, so go all-out. Go ahead and replace those old sponges, rags, and scrubbers. Get a new broom and dustpan. Pick up some tools you might have fun using.

 Then, get really good, high-quality, powerful cleaning solutions that smell nice. This will mean your entire apartment gains a pleasant scent that you’ll really enjoy. You can also make these yourself, if you’re so inclined: baking soda, lemon, and vinegar are all extremely powerful cleaning solutions in their own right.  

In fact, it’s a good idea to do a really deep clean once per season. “Spring cleaning” brings images of opening all the windows and airing out your home while you break out the rug beater, but that’s not the reality for most NYC apartment dwellers.

You don’t have to do it all at once.

Tempted to just give up and watch some Netflix after reading the checklist above?  Getting overwhelmed is normal, but you don’t have to give in.

Instead, there’s nothing wrong with spreading out your  cleaning tasks over the course of a week or two. Assign yourself one or two tasks each day. Monday could be the day you go around scrubbing all your faucets and cleaning all your cabinets. Tuesday you could take on your microwave, stove, and dishwasher. By chunking it down into smaller tasks you’re a lot more likely to get the job done. 

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

This is a wonderful time to get rid of stuff you just don’t need. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away, but don’t keep it. The more you have the harder it is to organize a smaller space. Even Martha Stewart would struggle to keep four closet’s worth of items organized within a single closet.

Mindfully choose the things that you will live with every single day. As a bonus, this task makes it a lot easier to keep your home clean during the year, too.

Freshen up the décor. 

This is part motivation and part cleaning task. If your décor is boring and bland then this is the perfect time to step up your game. Get a new couch cover. Pick up some bright new throw pillows. Get rid of those mismatched old lamps and update your apartment’s look by buying a new set of decorative lamps that really speak to your personality.

You don’t have to go overboard here. Few people have the budget to simply give themselves a full, show-room ready apartment overhaul in a single month. However, even a few small changes can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your living space.

Get help if you have to! 

We’re all busy, and most people aren’t trained cleaning professionals. If you know you’d rather have a root canal than engage in any kind of spring cleaning activity, then you have an alternative. Get a quote for a quarterly cleaning service and find a company who will come in and take care of those deep cleans for you. Save up for them if you have to. Getting help is a great way to treat yourself.

Swing by BUSY BEE to learn more and get your apartment clean and shiny!

This post is sponsored by Busy Bee. All opinions are mine. Thanks so much for swinging by and checking out my sponsors. Happy Summer! 

Continue Reading

on weekends…

The New York MomThe New York MomThe New York Mom

The weather in New York has been amazing these past couple days and this makes me so very happiiee! Watermelons have been overflowing at the grocery stores and Thomas and Lily can pretty much eat an entire melon in one setting. These babies can’t get enough of this summer fruit. I kinda miss the seeds in watermelons don’t you. Remember back in the day when watermelons had those giant black seeds? and you would have contests to see who could spit the seeds out the farthest? These kids are robbed of their summer spitting contests.

Our back yard is filled with birds every color of the rainbow and the bird feeders have been needing to be refilled every other day. Matt and Lily even saw a humming bird at our feeder last week and Jonah sits under one of the trees and teases all the squirrels and birds.

It’s our first spring season in the new house and we’ve really loved seeing the flowers and trees and wild life wake up from their long hibernation.

I love summer weekends!

Happy Friday everyone.

 

Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning in 4 weeks – Week 4

Spring Cleaning

Last week for spring cleaning kids! I am so glad to get this over with aren’t you. I’m not one for cleaning like this. We do Saturday cleans and then when the mood strikes we might do deep cleans of garages, attics and basements. How about you? How is this challenge coming along?

But here we are the last week. yay!

Day 22: change the sheets on all the beds, flip all the mattresses.  I might even buy new pillows.

Day 23: Beat your rugs… yes that’s a thing. You take the rugs out back and give them a good beating. Best way to do it is to hang it off a railing and take a broom and start hitting the rug. All the dust and yucky things just fall off.

Day24: Wash curtains and drapes throughout the house.

Day 25: Clean out the ceiling fans, dust them or wipe the blades down.

Day 26: Clean under the beds. All the beds in the house even the kids. Clean out all that clutter that hangs out under the bed.

Day 27: Clean out your garage. You might need to make this a weekend project depending on the size of your garage and how much stuff you have.

Day 28: deep clean your trusty vacuum that has been through it all!!!

Bonus Day: Buy fresh flowers for all the rooms!!

Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning in 4 Weeks – Week 2

Hey kiddies. So how was week one? I have to admit my kitchen blew right back up after the clean. I mean… these kids are cramping my spring cleaning style!

But we keep moving forward… week 2. It’s easier this week I promise.

Ok so this is a general, dusting, moping, switching out of things or the season. So let’s go!

Spring Cleaning in  4 weeks

Day 8 – Wipe all the light-switch plates. All over the house. Some warm water and vinegar should do the trick.

Day 9 – Wash the doors. Vinegar is not too good on wood doors so I would go with a wood cleaner for this one. Sometimes just warm water in a bucket and a dishcloth work.

Day 10 – Wash your windows and mirrors.

Day 11 – Clean the Bathroom. Sink, toilet, bathtub, floor… all of it. Clean all your bathrooms. I do this when the kids are out of the house so I can use all my heavy-duty chemical sprays. Sometimes you need the big guns ya know!

Day 12 – Dust the whole house. Yep… the entire house. On top of the piano, the cabinets, ceiling fans, dresser tables… all of it.

Day 13– Move the furniture and vacuum the house. Under couches, beds, dressers. get it done.

Day 14 – Plant some flowers! Yay. This is part of spring cleaning too… I guess. but take a day off to plant flowers!

 

Continue Reading

How to clean with Vinegar and Water

It’s day 4 of our Spring Cleaning plan and as promised here is the vinegar and water cleaning solution I mentioned in my post about cleaning your kitchen.I don’t by any means want to give you the impression that I clean with vinegar and water exclusively… but it is my everyday go to. For bathroom cleanup… a little lysol and bleach never hurt anyone!

Vinegar and Water solutions are amazing for cleaning pretty much anything. It’s also safe and eco-friendly.  There are a few things you cannot clean with vinegar and I’ll mention those later. My go-to is equal parts warm water and vinegar, I have this in a spray bottle or in a bowl and use a little dish rag to wipe things down.

unsplash

But let’s get specific shall we, this week we are working on the kitchen so lets focus on vinegar + water solution for kitchens.

  • Drains: Simply pour vinegar down your drains… about 2 – 3 cups…let it sit for a bit… like 30 minutes and then run your tap on cold to flush it out.
  • Dishwasher: Lets disinfect and clean the interior of the machine. I usually place a small bowl filled with vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run it on empty cycle. But i have heard that you can pour about  ½ cup vinegar into the reservoir and run an empty cycle. Your call.
  • Coffeemaker: We have a Keurig and this works really well to clean out all those parts that you never see. I like to pour equal parts vinegar and water into the water chamber and hit the ‘brew’ button.This makes a bubbling noise and all kinds of funny things seem to be happening in the Keurig.  Don’t drain it but let it sit for about 30 mins.  After it sits, turn the brew back on to heat up the water and run the cycles until all the liquid is drained. Then fill the water chamber with ONLY water, brew and run again to cleanse out the solution.
  • Floors: Kitchen floors get so gross and we have wood floors, so we don’t use vinegar – because it strips the wood. But if you don’t have wood floors, then add 1/4 cup vinegar to a small bucket of warm water. use a rag to clean the floors.
  • Glassware: Cleaning your wine glasses to be shiny and spotless can be such a challenge but your trusty friend vinegar comes to the rescue. Add 1 cup of vinegar to your sink that’s filled with warm water. Shiny glasses!

Things you should NOT clean with vinegar!

  • Marble and Granite countertops
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Stone Floors
  •  Iron

Have fun with your spring cleaning! Get some tunes cranked up and go for it! Follow along on our Spring Cleaning plan! 

Continue Reading