HAPPY HAUSFRAU: Boys Are Disgusting

Two of my most very favorite people in the whole, wide world.

Yeah, I said it.

Boys are disgusting.

Listen, I love my boys more than you can imagine.  They are sweet, kind, caring, absolutely hilarious, intelligent, handsome little devils.

But, like many boys (or so I hear), they lack a certain thing called aim.  And that lack of aim leaves a certain, je ne sai quoi, reek, about our toilets.

So, Happy Hausfrau that I am, I had to find a solution.  One that I didn’t have to buy in the store, and one that is reasonably easy on the environment (because, come on, I have to do something to make up for the terrifying amount of plastic bags I recently put in the trash).

Enter Ask Anna (found via Pinterest, of course).  Anna’s promise is that by using this simple recipe, the boy-pee smell will go away.

This was just the start of the foaming…I narrowly escaped having it foam over before I got it into a bigger bowl!

So, off I went with my lemon-juice/baking soda mixture (which, by the way, foams and grows, so use a bigger bowl than you think you need!) to spread wherever I think the boys might hit with a little overspray when they get distracted by any of the following:

*A spider crawling on the wall.

*A genius idea for a new lego creation.

*Being clotheslined by his brother.

I used three lemons, which made enough juice to use the bulk of a large box of baking soda…and that was plenty to clean three bathroom toilet areas, with some left over, which I used as a scrub for my bathtub.

One lemon is already juiced and in the bowl; it’s just hard to see. 🙂

It worked fabulously.  Not only is the pee-smell gone, but the kids had fun helping me with it because it felt like a science experiment.  The foaming baking soda/lemon juice was cool; the fact that it foamed up even more when sprayed with vinegar water was even cooler.  The only way it could have pegged the cool-o-meter is if we could have managed to blow something up in the process.

(Because, let’s face it, to a pair of 8 and 10 year old boys, nothing’s as awesome as making something go ka-boom!)

At any rate, anything that can get two pre-teen boys excited about cleaning the bathroom, I’m totally on board with.

Hey, and FYI, for reasons I’ve not been able to put my finger on yet, my bathtub seems to accumulate soap scum faster than the others in our house.  This scrub worked beautifully on it – my bathtub is squeaky-clean, like-new, sparkly-awesome.

All in all, the Happy Hausfrau gives this remedy two thumbs up.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes!  And head over to my Pinterest boards Squeaky Clean, CraftyGirl, and Homemade Pretty for more DIY ideas for cleaning, home, and beauty.

Squeaky-clean hugs-n-kisses,

The Happy Hausfrau

MAKING IT HAPPEN: Change’s a’comin’, and Aydan’s underwear drawer

Heading into a new week, for me, always starts on Saturday.  Saturday feels like my Monday – the Hubster is home, which allows me to work.  During the week that doesn’t happen much – at least not writing, anyway.  Between homeschooling the boys (which has claimed my laptop most of the time), playing with SweetZ, and loving on my new little Took, I’m able to do little more than read a few blogs, respond to comments here, and throw out a Tweet here and there.

So, I’m writing this post on Saturday morning.  Sitting in a comfy chair in the *gasp* library, because, whaddya know, I’m growing up and am – little by little – losing my fear of it.

The Hubster is laughing at me.  To Hubster:  Stop it.

Now that SHRILUGH is in the process of being wrapped up, I find myself, for the first time, seriously looking at a release date for my book.  I haven’t settled on an exact day, but I will, of course, let you know waaaaay ahead of time.  To be honest, I’m (more than) a little freaked out.  I feel like I’m holding my big-girl panties out in front of me, trying to decide whether or not I really want to put them on.  Just the thought of doing it has me nearly doubled over in panic…

Also coming ’round the mountain, as they say, (and far less intimidating than releasing my first book) is a new home for me, blog-ishly speaking.  I don’t have an exact date for when that change will happen, but, as with the book’s release, I’ll let you know waaaaay ahead of time.

Awhile back, I posted about digging through my characters’ underwear drawers.  It was such fun to snoop and know I’d never, ever get caught.  *mwah-ha-ha!*  I thought I’d share, one by one, what I found in my main characters’ drawers – something for you to chew on this summer as we near the release of SHRILUGH.

My main protag is Aydan, a nearly 19-year old girl who’s life is about to be turned upside down (duh, right?  Who wants to read – or write, for that matter – a book about a girl who’s life stays pretty much the same?).

Her underwear drawer is the very bottom drawer of an old wardrobe.  The wardrobe is a heavy beast of a thing, and it’s seen better days.  Its stain is worn off in places, and it’s missing both doorknobs.  Aydan’s careful never to close its doors completely, otherwise she’s stuck bruising the tips of her fingers trying to pry them open.

The bottom drawer has a personality all its own – something similar to that of a mule.  You really have to tug at it to get it to open – it sticks; but if you pull wrong, it sticks even harder.

Go ahead and give it a tug.

Didja get it?  No?  Try again.

Got it open?  Good.  Now peek inside.

Amidst socks and undergarments there should be an old pair of red soccer socks from grade school.  The first time she wore them her mom told her they must have been magical because they made her run so fast.  Next to them, wrapped inside a scrap of her old baby blanket, is the nose from her favorite teddy bear.  It fell off ages ago, but she couldn’t stand to throw it away.  Near that is a worn copy of Justin Morgan had a Horse – a birthday gift from Bristol (her best friend) years ago.  Inside the pages is a single daisy, pressed and fragile.  Bristol had tucked it behind her ear in a lighthearted moment.  She also has a small stash of perfect skipping rocks, kept inside a small burlap sack.  She keeps them there for emergencies – nothing soothes her mind quite like skipping stones.  Except, maybe, a good run.

Didja get a good look?  When you’re done, go ahead and tuck all those things back under her clothes how you found them.  And be careful pushing the drawer back in – if you push unevenly, it’ll get stuck, and you’ll have to really fight it to get it back in place.

Thanks for popping by today!  Hopefully next week I’ll have a little more information regarding the timeframe of rolling out my new website!

Big grins,

Myn

Happy Hausfrau: Make the Hair Go AWAY!

I had to have a dog.

Over four years ago, at 34 weeks pregnant with my third bundle of  joy, there was still something missing from my life.

A cold wet nose.  A wagging tail.  Heavy breathing.

Okay, well maybe a little too much heavy breathing had something to do with the fact that I was 34 weeks pregnant for the third time, but I’m a lady (sometimes) and would never talk about such things (*cough* liar *cough*).

After a surge of hormones that left me weeping in fear that my man-children would never know the joy of a loyal dog (though they had known the frustrations of disloyal ones), I went in search of the perfect dog.  For free.  On Craigslist.

Some higher power must have been looking out for me, because, really.  Do I need to repeat that?  FREE DOG.  ON CRAIGSLIST.  What could possibly go wrong?

But somehow we scored canine gold.

Ginger Suzanne, aka GinnySue

The day I met Ginger (aka, GinnySue), it was love at first sight – for me.

The day GinnySue met the Hubster, it was love at first sight – for her.

The day the Hubster met GinnySue he knew his days of living in a dog-hair-free home were over.

The Hubster and I. Awwww, aren’t we cute?

(By the way, this is a real testament to how much the Hubster loves me.  He’s not an animal person – not by any stretch.  He’d be completely content to never have a pet in the house, ever.  But I love animals – especially doggies and horses – and grew up with at least one dog in the house my whole childhood.  He puts up with my furry addiction purely out of love for me, which is so, so sweet.)

The first few years of GinnySue living with us were…rough.  And sometimes icky.  Her health was poor.  She’d not been seriously neglected by her previous family, but they hadn’t been great to her, either.  When she joined our family she had some problems that left much of her poor body furless, her ears would have eebed out even those with strong constitutions, and she enjoyed a steady diet of her own poo.  A really, really disgusting habit that has been hell to break.  Thankfully, she’s figured out that we’re more than happy to feed her on a regular basis and now only enjoys this rancid indulgence semi-regularly – like holidays (she celebrates Festivus), and the occasional casual Friday.

Now that she’s a normal healthy senior citizen, she’s got a gorgeous full body of hair (as opposed to previous years when her rump was so bare and pink she looked as if she were part baboon).  And now that we’re on the cusp of summer, that gorgeous full body of hair has found its way to our floor, and floorboards, and crevices in our stairs.

It’s EVERYWHERE.

It’s GROSS.

It’s got to go.

So, I’m trying a couple new things.

DUSTING WITH A DRYER SHEET.  The website I got this idea from promised that dryer sheets are a hair magnet – and guess what…

They totally are.

I especially loved using them in the creases of our carpeted stairs, and where the floorboards meet the wall.  We live in a quad and have SO MANY stairs.  Ginny’s hair really loves to accumulate in those places, where the vacuum has a hard time reaching.  This little trick pulled the hair out of the crevices easily, without just spreading the hair elsewhere.  Not to mention how fresh and happy it smells.  Love it!

The second thing I tried was BRUSHING THE CARPET BEFORE VACUUMING.  The same website suggested using a few drops of fabric softener to a spray bottle of water, spraying the carpet, and then brushing it with a stiff-bristled brush or broom (I used a clean shop brush attached to a broom handle).  We don’t use liquid fabric softener, so I made a little of my own using a variation of this recipe (link) – which, by the way, smelled so great (and was so flipping affordable) I’m going to seriously consider making my own in the future.

Once the softener was made, I put it in a spray bottle (two turkey baster’s worth), and filled the rest with water.  Then, spray, brush, brush, spray, brush, brush…

So here’s the deal about brushing the carpet this way:

IT.  IS.  AMAZING.

We vacuum around here about every other day…and it’s almost enough to keep up with GinnySue’s shedding.  But even with our frequent, thorough vacuuming, I was astounded by the amount of hair this concoction pulled up, even in places Ginny doesn’t frequent.  After a good brushing, followed by the vacuum, our carpets looked like new.  And I don’t mean that they looked pretty good.

I mean they looked like new.

I’m in love.  LOVE, I tell you.

And BONUS:

I’m pretty convinced that the concoction of homemade fabric softer and water is basically what Febreeze is.  Our house smells delicious, and in a moment of Happy Hausfrau bravery, I went ahead and misted our furniture and curtains with the stuff.  NO discoloration, NO sticky residue, FABULOUS smelling furnishings.

Screw love.  This is downright idolatry.  *glances upward, fearing lightning bolt*

So, my dear readers, this is one Happy Hausfrau experiment that went absolutely, beautifully, without-a-hitch PERFECTLY.  I really hope y’all give these tricks a try!

Happy cleaning,

Me 🙂