Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Day of School

With the advent of Pinterest there are more than enough ideas on how to capture a child's first day of school no matter the grade.  I think I had grand imaginations of doing something sweet and memorable...but it didn't quite happen.  You see we started school the day after we returned from a short family vacation to Colorado.  I hesitated in putting the start of school there but I did it just the same.  I'll probably not do that again.  While the day went off without a hitch I was kind of stressed the night before.  The stress was in vain but there was more I needed wanted to do but did not.  I made a super simple sign on our white board  that said "First day of 1st" grade and set out all of her books and supplies in front of it.

But what happened next erased all thoughts of "it's just not enough"...

I had mostly forgotten that I had the sign on the table as I proceeded with the morning responsibilities of breakfast when all of a sudden I found myself wrapped up tightly in Miss L's arms.  I asked her what that was for and she pulled me to the table and excitedly giggled that it was the first day of 1st grade!  She was just excited to start school again.  Apparently our six week break was more than enough for her.

While we took pictures for the sake of prosperity they were not fancy.  It's not what she'll remember.  She'll remember the adventure of learning with her mom.  I hope she's that excited every year for school.  But more than anything I hope that she's that excited about learning for the rest of her life.

Friday, July 4, 2014

DIY Oven Cleaner

My oven was...gross.

I forgot this last winter to run the self cleaning option (because in Phoenix there is no way I am running THAT cycle in the summer.)  Let's be honest it's not my favorite.  Basically it creates an environment so hot that hopefully it all turns to ash and you wipe what's left out.  Not a big deal unless your oven is REALLY bad.  Then you run the risk of setting the fire alarm off as smoke billows from your oven and the fire department shows up because they are pretty sure they deciphered the SOS in the plumes.  Oy. That's where I was.  Gosh, sometimes smoke would start coming just with the preheat of the oven at 400.  No bueno, amigos, no bueno.

I have been highly motivated as of late to get our house clean and myself on a schedule.  Especially since we will be starting school in...oh, look at that...17 days!  The girls like to help so we are working on those aspects.  They are seeing the effects of "many hands make for light work" and merry hearts make for merry work, too.  Although today, I'll admit, I was not so merry.  I know that I set the tone and I reaped what I sowed today.  More on that later.  Back to being motivated...

Yesterday, after most of the rest of the house had been worked on earlier in the week I tackled a couple of problem areas in my kitchen.  I was faced with the oven once again.  I finally said, "That's it.  It just needs to be done."  So, I went to my friend's blog where I saw her recipe for a DIY oven cleaner.  It was a little different than another one I had and I wanted to try it. (Note: the Melaleuca a. is tea tree oil)

It was pretty amazing!  You could barely see through my oven door and now you can TOTALLY see through it.  The door took some extra elbow grease but totally worth it.  But the inside pretty much just wiped out.

I will say, make sure that you oven is just warm.  Not hot.  Mine was too hot and I think it messed with the paste a little.  If you have an electronic temp that shows up on your oven maybe let it get to 100 or 120 and then turn it off.  The lowest mine would go was 170 and I didn't let it cool enough.  Which in turn made for a crazy mess to clean up this morning but still worth it in my opinion.  Next time I know.

It was hard to get to the top of my oven because the broiler elements and the angle.  But I think for what's left the self cleaning will do nicely.

Here are my before and after photos -
Before (top) and After (bottom)

After (top) and Before (bottom)