Spring Cleaning: The basics, basically

If I had a signature fragrance, it would be christmas cookie candle with a spritz of Swiffer spray. 

Soft, sweet and welcoming but also just a touch too intense and known to cause a mild headache from time to time.  I do not have a further connection to draw, other than admittedly falling smack dab into the overly generalized gender role I have come to represent. I love to cook and I love to clean. Some twenty-two year olds like, concerts and I like, am really concerned with organizing my china cabinet, and spending an hour making my bed so it looks like the one I just saw in Anthro last week.

That said, I’ll be harnessing my inner domestic goddess and sharing some tips for spring cleaning today! Can you believe it’s nearly spring? Bust out the chocolate bunnies and pastel confetti! 

*quickly sweeps that up…

This intro has been a mess. Let’s get cleaning!

 Author’s Note: Surprising as it is, writing is a strong suit of mine. I am infinitely worse at this english language thing through my mouth. If you’ve come this far, you’re a champion reader

Desktop4161

1. Get Basic.  I fill a bucket with the stuff I need to tidy things up and tote it from room to room as I clean sweep the place. Then, I leave it in the room where I left off as a reminder to pick up cleaning there next. I stock it with all-purpose and glass-cleaning sprays, a sponge, a toothbrush, a squeegee, a scrub brush, and terry-cloth towels. I only use natural organic products since I have sensitive skin. I like Method and JR Walkins products best. 

31282817_040_b

2. Make Your Bed First. A well made bed immediately makes an impact. It’s important to get momentum rolling right away so you don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole organizing receipts for an hour and look up to realize the house is still a mess. While you’re at it, toss or donate old, or deflated pillows and pill-y sheets. Spring is also when I allow myself a bed linens update. For an easy and inexpensive duvet cover, use two flat sheets. Place sheets back to back, and sew around the perimeter, allowing for a 1/2-inch seam; leave an opening at the bottom. To close, sew twill-tape ties or velcro tape to the inside edges.* Extra Tip: Fold bedsheets and place them in corresponding pillowcase. 

a3e09ad950617f119f4a013d22c4e2d7

3. Starting from the bottom is a really dumb idea. Especially for a shirt. When you clean a room, start at the ceiling and move down. This took me forever to figure out, but it really makes cleaning easier and more efficient. If you think about it, you have to put things away before you can clean the surfaces and dusting essentially knocks dirt back onto the floor. I like to work in this order; (make the bed), dust, sort, de-clutter, store, clean surfaces, freshen linens (or fluff pillows and fold blankets on couches), and then get to sweeping, vacuuming and moping. 

5971a

4. Restock. This should happen every six months. I use the day we switch the clocks as a reminder. Restocking the basics includes laundry essentials like soaps, stain removers and detergent, cleaning supplies for under the sink, and pantry basics like flour, sugar and salt. Ok so there’s a lot more to pantry basics and that could be it’s own post, but you get the picture. It’s also a good idea to include batteries in this process for smoke detectors and alarms. 

lucite-egg-holders

5. Face it, you’re not sure how old that mustard is.Wait, when’s the last time we had hot dogs? Oh yea, I remember, that one time, in college…” Cleaning out the fridge is daunting. But, obviously it’s important to do on a regular basis and helps you make better use of what you have. Working systematically, top to bottom, is a good way to get it done quickly. Check things for expiration dates and toss stuff if you can’t remember what it is or when or where you had it. Put everything left on the counter and deep clean the shelves, drawers, and doors. Consider stopping at the container store to pick up some clear bins to help organize. (Remember to replace the water filter if you have one too). 

87534-45518-01464cropped.fpx

6. Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. I learned this from Martha Stewart. So, obviously it’s legit. Clockwise for cold weather, counter-clockwise in the warmer months. The direction of your ceiling fans can warm and cool your home more efficiently. Clockwise creates an upward draft, redistributing heat, and counter clockwise provides a pleasant breeze. 

Color-Coordinating-Your-Closet

7. Count to 50. When it comes to closets, I (try) to limit the hangers to 50.  If I go over that, I know it’s time to purge a few things I’m not wearing or store them for a different season. 

52c0533cdb932$!900x

8. Deep clean carpets and rugs. I’d be lying if I said I only do this twice a year. Carpets freak me the heck out. Fear factor: sleep on the un-vacuumed carpet. Nope, keep the million, I’m out. I watched a Discovery Channel series about germs as a kid and I still have the visual burned into my brain of dirty carpets just crawling. I won’t go into it, but things get way more exciting if you have pets. Yikes. Check that box. Anyways, you can toss most rugs into a high heat wash and buy a steamer to deep clean those carpets. (Or just hire a professional).  

28421196_004_b

9. Wash curtains and blinds. Most curtains can be washed at home, but you may want to check the fabric or tag to be sure. If not, just drop them at a local dry cleaner. Blinds are a big task. I recommend just breaking it down room by room. 

9d8a53e6f9f379b26d989492a16aca43

10. Devote an hour to cleaning up your technology. I’m terrible at this. However, since I’m the queen of this castle, I recommend you do it. Seems like a nice idea. I hear that cleaning up your hard drive, deleting pictures from your desktop and deleting annoying Facebook friends is a really “good thing” to do. Try it, let me know how it is. I ain’t got time for that. Switching the direction of my fans though? Yea, all over it. 

 

*Pandora stations you might need: Van Morrison, Parade of Lights, Hall & Oats Radio, The Eagles, Dance Cardio, Eric Hutchinson Radio. 

XO, Cinderell-y 

Trending: 10 Things You Need For Your Home Right Now

There are certain topics that I talk only to you about. This post, for instance, is one of them. I’m nearly certain that Leftbrian thanks the Good Lord daily for this outlet to which I pour hours of rambling on topics like flower arrangements and trending decor pieces. Imagine HIS life sans blogging for a moment. Luckily, by the time we talk at the end of the day, I’ve already had it out with my Diptyque candle obsession and my latest favorite under-eye cream. Kyle, if you’re reading this, you’re welcome & also now that I think about it, let’s just leave it at, “you owe me”. Yes, I believe that sounds perfectly fair and totally healthy. 

Hostesses, here are the 10 Things You Need For Your Home RN. <- (see how trendy I’m being??) XX

1. Peonies Every-Stinkin’-Where.  I swear, my Instagram feed of blogging pals has become an endless game of “I Spy” ft. Peonies, and I’m not complaining one bit. Keep ‘em comin’. 

bc82f57ae2956448341f53813b4f1950

2. Jewelry Storage That Shows Off your Gems. This trend towards minimalistic organization is just plain beautiful. I like how it forces me to only keep (or buy) things that I also want to have out on display. But really, how cute is this Eiffel Tower Ring holder?26095414_010_b

3. Copper, Copper, Copper.  Out with the gold, in with the copper! The great thing about copper is that it’s a neutral; I have yet to encounter a color palette that doesn’t benefit from a hint of copper. Incorporating a little copper decor is a really easy way to give your space a little update. Like it. Love it. Want more of it.

 596d45194b2f21b6d049b4a4ac6afbb3

 4. An Organized Bar Cart. Ya’ll know I don’t drink, that said, bars of the past have never really sparked my interest. Well, I’m here to proclaim, “NOT NO MO.” (*bar cart rolls in…) Having out pretty pitchers of lemonade, sweet tea, or basil water encourages me to hydrate more and allows me an excuse to put out straws, glasses, and decor items that don’t usually get much love. It’s totally functional in a small space and is PERFECT for entertaining especially on spontaneous occasions. 6eb6753ad56e4ae1220a2cc292aa1983

5. Something Leopard. “As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.” -Jenna Lyons. Need I say more? Wait, okay, I will say one thing, another benny: awesome background for Instagram pictures. 6eb66e5d38a31187bd4184ee5fa1dee4

6. A Marble Cutting Board. They’re fabulous and make food pictures look incredible. Use it for pastries, cutting, assembling, or cheese and appetizers at your next gathering.  6a5e4f1dec048c06eb02832e3d3a8ade

7. Stacked Coffee Table Books.  Since this is a safe space, I’ll admit to you, I have a problem. Coffee table books are totally a weakness of mine and now that they’re all trendy, It’s making it worse and better all at once. Essentially we have here the ultimate dichotomy of wonderful and terrible. I am that person that sits down at someones’ house and picks up stuff off the coffee table while we’re chatting. Nosy? Yea, maybe a little, but I really prefer “curious” if you’re asking.e6aa41baf8baa24b36957a7d44a91ab7

8. Fur. Faux or fo real, get yo-self some. I can’t think of anything else on the planet that combines luxurious coziness with glamor so perfectly. Well, except maybe chocolate silk pie. Yea, ok, pie wins again. 0814f205be209e2f937c8c5bc6fd6466

9. Fancy Pants Candles.  Hey, if you’re still looking for a Valentines gift for your fashionista friend, the hunt ends here. Pricey princess candles are all the rage right now and are definitely worth the investment as long as you recycle them Diptyque’s as flower vases or makeup brush holders later. See? I am environmentally conscious.  

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at 5.04.01 PM

 9. Something Acrylic. Whether it’s a makeup drawer set, coffee table tray, or ghost chair. Acrylic is that modern flare you didn’t know you needed. It fits into any room and just makes it look more effortlessly chic. 

bizchair1_2276_8982012542

 

Photo: Courtesy of Biz Chair

10. Gallery Wall. As sentimental as I am, I have to consciously stop myself from allowing my entire home to become one giant hall of fame featuring my favorite humans and animals. TBH, I’m not really a great example for that reason. I love how this blogger mixed different prints, frames, and decor pieces to show off their personalities while also keeping it really simple. 61accaa1e0704099b7bdf0b2bac0007b

Neutral Glam Wedding Inspiration

In planning my own wedding, I’ve sparked a dormant passion; event design. It’s funny actually, and I’m sure I’m not the first bride to find she quite enjoys planning a party for herself. Ok so, maybe embarrassing more than funny. Hey, I’m first to admit to whipping color boards from my purse out of nowhere and can’t deny knocking an antique candelabra to it’s unfortunate demise in an effort to recreate flowing chiffon fabric with my arms for the coordinator’s proper understanding. (Personal Note: Add that to the unexpected expenses in the budget after I finish this…)

All that said, I’ve been working closely with some dearly devoted vendors. And, in all the excitement I occasionally have been known to kick it into overdrive as I attempt to explain certain aspects of the “vision”. I know this only because so many of them have admitted it with blank, shocked expressions followed by “Do you do this professionally?”

You mean,  I’m the first bride to suggest that a chair stain will really over-saturate the space?  Hmm… 

Momma always said, passionate people can’t do moderation,  Naturally, I’ve decided to design a few more weddings as an attempt at maintaining sanity through my wedding planning process. Brilliant, I know. As always, enough talking by me, let’s just get to it! Enjoy this little Neutral/Glam Wedding Inspo! && don’t forget to check out Lindsey’s post too!

 

ygVs1x3nYStZi7IFwXjZDrPoskcNmkBbYywkgBF_ouQ

 

C4K-VOsIPQIxkMvE-m6EdXn0uqd7H-FJ0UszjcUN7TM

 

lF97ydQlLGaoAJre-7z_0_5S9xpor0cdf-pny7-mi_g

 

mxcDhPfzEYqvE8GLyqJzYsE6hhF66CoSIDH0tMLPiNw

 

LWckKCIKlztgXIcR9t9yBCg-vMNoYiWj48ReXnP9SAI

 

YmXDrByNcX4jwsxLGaIskPVGh690UrtI4OsgObCWKHY

 

gt68XDnMEyf-jZN--fnsfnGZJFFmQKdxpWuMYz6VOw0

 

HUJbZbZta9_dY6TUWpMB0ck8AYFg0DOjoIL52hL2CXM

 

oZvEAfnvAYyuvai5UyIDLG2dq8TP30nE0q6an0rUcjM

 

wlkj-BxZj9qgqjlC3O-d2jAZxII3RbQFK9-7mgP5KGE

 

9DT_ngAAvNJaFBWhe9qKt0ehfcaPBhsepNF9-shnYoQ

 

ePKMnBvq7SHDKhpS3uBUAYvBFKSIEi1lMYH5K9tTcyY

 

COOweiqPqUNY1X9my4zcCwCJs9Sn7eVNyx6poswquvs

 

d0I844PDaw2njuMij4YellpFKo1YR2xXox6kZJnR_Yc

 

 

Photography: Lindsey Marie Photography 

Furniture Rental: Siedl’s Party Rentals

Hair/Makeup: Tess Beaty

Cake: Cute Cakes 

Design: Madison Lanz

Dress: Nordstrom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Resolution: Care for My Skin!

Rise & shine ya’ll! Happy Friday! The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is drink a glass of water & love my face a little with a few products I swear by. Megan, from Sparkles & Sprinkles and I teamed up to share a skincare routine that will rock your world in 2015. Seriously, if you haven’t tried Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Serum, whip that Christmas money out and get it done honey. See ya’ dark circles! Its amazing that without planning it, we both use so many of the same products. I think that means they’re goodies. Enjoy her beautiful photos and scroll to the bottom to learn more about the lovely Megan! Click HERE to read her post. 

S+S-3-1

S+S-18

S+S-9

1. Prime and Prep I’m usually a wake up 25 minutes before you leave kind of girl, but after discovering how much better your foundation and blush look if you use a primer first I’m willing to wake up a few minutes earlier. Seriously this stuff will make the world of difference when you go to put on your foundation, powder, bronzer or blush. I use the Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer with a wedge sponge to cover my whole face. It evens my skin tones and allows for a smooth surface, so my powder lays nicely on my skin. If you feel like going all out, they make primers for your eyes and lips too! 
 
2. Moisturize During Sleep Like I said I know I’m only 23, but apparently you can never start too early. Using a moisturizer before bed that helps tighten the skin and reduce eye puffiness is key. During sleep is the best time to apply moisturizers because it allows time for your skin to really soak it in without being exposed to other chemicals or sunlight. My two favorite products to use are Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Treatment for overall moisturizing and Start Over Active Eye Cream for under my eyes. 
 
3. Use the Right Brushes Cheeks, eyes, lips, blush, foundation, there’s a brush for that. Yes, there is a brush for just about everything you could imagine and little did I know they actually make a difference in how the makeup looks on your skin and how much you use. I used to use a sponge for foundation and found that I was going through it so quickly because the sponge soaks up more of your makeup then it leaves to apply on your skin. I now use the Make Expert Foundation #4 and my foundation lasts twice as long and goes on flawlessly. 
 
4. Highlight Your Eyes Those little bags under your eyes may be from lack of sleep but with a little highlighting, you’ll look alert and awake again in no time. Use a concealer one or two shades lighter than your foundation, as it helps lighten the darkness that appears under the eye, and gently apply to the entire area under the eye. Do this before applying your foundation so the foundation will be blended into the lighter color when applied. I recommend the Make Soft Focus Corrective Duo – Conceal/Set.
 
5. Emphasize Natural Features We were all born with rosy cheeks, flawless skin and thick eyebrows, but unfortunately those things don’t last forever so we have to use a little makeup to bring them out again. My favorite one is thickening my eyebrows with the Make Brow Pen. I’ve always had thick eyebrows, but filling them in a little makes such a difference!  To get baby soft appearing skin again use a mattifying gel formula that will reduce the appearance of lines and pores and a moisturizing formula that leaves skin hydrated, supple and radiant such as the Custom Finish Effects – Matte Dew by Make. 
 
 
MORE MEGAN:
 
1. Describe your blog.
Sparkles & Sprinkles is a blog dedicated to helping people add a dash of sparkle to everyday life through recipes, DIY projects, fashion tips & trends, and everyday advice about growing up. 
 
 
2. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
My Absolute favorite thing is all the people I have met and the opportunities I have had. I have my blog to thank for my full time job that I work today and some of my best friends I hang out with in the city! 
 
 

To The New Owners of My Childhood Home

Yesterday, my parents listed their house and are planning to start the next chapter of their life “closer to things”. Which is completely reasonable since they’ve devoted so many years to making sure we grew up in a safe little town. No one has purchased the house yet, but I decided to write this now before I get sad and sappy. It’s a charming and beautiful home, I’m sure someone will make it theirs real soon. 

Dear New Home Owners, 

I know you must be eager to get settled in your new place. It’s a new beginning and that’s always exciting. Before you move in and make it yours, there are a few things I felt you should know. Like new friends, I figured I’d help you get to know each other better by telling you some stories. These walls were my childhood home, a dear member of our family. I think you deserve to hear about about the lives these walls have seen. 

You thought you got a good price on a nice, cozy place, but what you didn’t know is that this is much more than a house. It’s a home. A home is a place you live and share life with the ones you love. It’s a place where memories are created and kept, traditions are upheld and celebrated. It’s a safe place to be creative, happy, sad, angry, or scared. It’s the place where you share laughter and tears, argue and make up. It’s the safe place to land when you fall. This was our home. And, it is my hope that you make her your home too, with loud children, lots of in-laws and clumsy grandpa’s and messy pets.  

Growing up, this home was my favorite place to be. I remember the day we moved in. I was six and my brother was four. The little back bedrooms became sanctuaries to princesses, and airplanes respectively. The room to the left featured a lace canopy bed in her hay day with stuffed animals tucked in real cozy around the clock.  The one straight down the hall sported  wallpaper with clouds on it, really fun bunk beds and hundreds of hanging airplanes. But, it was never just the two of us here. Between sleepovers, neighbor kids, sports carpools, homeschool co-ops and nearby friends, this home was always packed with life. 

Nearly every memory of my childhood is in there; memories that make me who I am today. The kind that shape the woman I have become and the wife and mom I hope to be. I lived there. And I mean, really lived there. 

The big lawn is where Grason got his work ethic. The two tiny crosses on the side of the house are where we first learned about loss. That paint on the walls is new to cover our years worth of rough housing, weird phases, and pencil noted growth spurts. 

The fondest of my memories are the holidays. Every Christmas and Thanksgiving was spent crammed into the living room with extra card tables and chairs surrounded by Mom & Dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and family friends. The magic of that special time of year is forever bottled up into those walls. My Mom and that little kitchen poured out the smell of the holidays and every recipe passed down through the generations of our family. That’s the kitchen where I learned to cook. And the place I learned about life while spending time with all the incredible teachers in our family. There’s where I learned to play piano and that’s the little table where I found Jesus. It’s the place where we celebrated every birthday, and healed from every loss. It’s the last place I spent talking about life with Grandpa over morning coffee. Now that I think about it, I think it’s the last place my Grandpa really lived. It’s the last place he gave me a real hug. He loved being there. For all the same reasons I do. I got that from him. Oh the sweet times and conversations those walls have seen and heard.

Not to mention, the peace that house has given us when we just needed to “come home” and hurt for a while. Those big blue front doors. We spent 16 years bustling in and out of them day in and day out and taking pictures in front of them on special occasions. That’s something I’ll miss. 

Now? Now they’re your front doors. It’s your kitchen. And your family room with the little back bedrooms. It’s hard to put into words why you’re breaking my heart. I really do want to like you. I hesitate to say anything, or write this letter at all so that no feelings are hurt by being attached to a stupid “house”.But, that house was my home long after I had grown and thought I moved on. It was a place to go when I needed to remember who I was, where I was from, and where I was going. It was a place to come and be a kid, even if just for a little while. 

It’s the place where my soon to be husband, then 16, asked Dad if he could take me “out”. It’s the place where we came back to at nine as promised, and the driveway where we took 45 minutes to kiss goodnight. It’s the place I closed my eyes and blurted, “Mom, Kyle’s the one” seemingly out of no where one morning on a weekend back from school and caused her to drop an inherited piece of china on the kitchen floor. Side note: we proceeded to laugh and sweep and talk for several hours.

And, it’s the place we rushed home to the night Kyle and I got engaged to celebrate/cry with all our family and friends.  

It was our home. 

I know that the memories will stay with all of us no matter where life twists and turns. It’s not the house that makes a home, it’s the people in it that do. 

I thought about filling this post with pictures of our happy times and telling you which window is best if you get locked out, but it’s your turn to make her yours and figure out all the quirks along the way. I’m eager for the new memories to be kept and shared by your family in your home. You have cause for celebration, and I hope you enjoy it. Every in-between, big, small, sad, happy moment of it. 

All I ask is that you take good care of her. Love her, will ya? 

Really, the only reason I loved those walls at all is because I got to spend my childhood being loved in it.  Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me us such a wonderful home and community to grow up in. I hope I can give the same to my children someday. 

So, if you see a girl in a latte colored Volvo sitting outside your new house crying occasionally, I’m not crazy, I’m just remembering. 

Welcome Home. 

-Madi