A Boy Mom’s Best Friend {HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Giveaway}

Today, we are going to talk about something that all boy moms across the universe understand – little boy’s bathrooms.  Even after you are finished with the potty training years, boy’s bathrooms need a certain kind of attention.

Warning: It’s about to get real around here.  So, if you don’t want to read real talk, you might want to just scroll down to the giveaway.

A Boy Mom's Best Friend - win a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus

You know that part of the toilet?  Yeah, I didn’t really even know it existed until I had a son.  Now, it’s one of the most cleaned parts of my bathroom.  Somehow, that’s where it all goes when boys “miss.”  Over the past few months, I’ve had three other boys at my house on a weekly basis, and I realized that it wasn’t just a Zack problem.  It’s gross, but there’s not much that we can do about it except clean it, right?

DIY Bookcase Dollhouse {That Might Look a Bit Familiar} #GiveAHome

Call of the search parties!  Lindsay has been found!

I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s been nearly two months since I wrote a post on good ‘ole Makely. I’ve had a lot of outside projects going on – taking over a big responsibility in my roller derby league, coaching two team of Destination Imagination kids (one of which won 1st place in our region and is going to the Texas state competition), and heading our elementary school’s talent show.

Since I haven’t been working on my house in the last few months, I decided to just disappear from the blog for a while.  I didn’t want to post stuff just to post stuff, so I chose to post nothing at all.  And then, I decided I needed a really awesome project to be my jump back into the Blogosphere.  I think I found it:

DIY dollhouse from a bookcase -  styled to look like my home #giveahome #Wayfair #Porch

It’s a DIY dollhouse from a bookcase that looks just like my house!

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam + SteamMachine Plus Giveaway

My kitchen counters are generally a disaster.  Except for on Sunday afternoon when I force ask my family to help me clean the house, they are covered in school work, backpacks, empty plastic cups, and half-eaten bags of Goldfish. I’ve never been mistaken for Martha Stewart, y’all.

But, our food prep area gets wiped down (most) every night. This is always the place I worry about being super germy, but I don’t want to use anything too harsh on my granite countertops.  And whatever I did use ended up leaving them cloudy and streaky.

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam

Since steam is so good for my floors, showers, oven, and windows, I figured it might help clean my food prep area, too. So, I took the handheld portion out of my Home Right Steam Machine and added the squeege attachment to it.

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam

Just like I would in the shower, I squeeged the counter while applying the steam.

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam

When I was finished, I dried the counter with a clean microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam

Y’all, I seriously can’t even believe the difference. When I run my hand over this section of countertop, it feels as smooth as glass. My countertops have never felt that clean, even when I use chemicals and sponges.

How to Clean Granite Countertops with Steam

So, score another one for the Steam Machine Plus! (Amazon affiliate link) I might have to take over the Sunday kitchen duties from my husband since it’s so easy now. He can deal with the bathrooms instead of me. :)

(This giveaway is now closed and a winner has been notified.) HomeRight has generously offered a Steam Machine to give away to one Makely reader! To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me what’s the first thing you would clean with your new Steam Machine. This giveaway will be open through February 1, 2015 and is open to US residents, 18 years and older.

Good luck!

As a happy HomeRight Ambassador, this is a sponsored post.

Free Printable DIY Funny Glasses Valentines

It’s that time of year again!  In the coming weeks, your child’s teacher will probably be sending home a list of their classmates for Valentine’s Day card exchanges.   And then you’ll sit at the kitchen table for hours watching your 4 year old wants to address them all herself.

Or, maybe that’s just at my house!  ♥︎

So, to get a head start on what will soon be coming home in my kids’ backpacks, I’ve put together a darling free printable valentine to share with you.  I made 50 of these for just $15.  They require very little work, so they couldn’t be easier to put together.  And most importantly, they are fun and unique!

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

Before we get started, I wanted to point out that I’m certainly not opposed to store bought valentines – not at all!  I just like to make stuff, and I know most of you do, too.


DIY Funny Glasses Valentine

Things You’ll Need

  • Funny Glasses (mine were $2.99 for 12 at Party City)
  • Silver metallic Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Clear tape
  • Access to a photo printing shop or service or a personal printer

1.  Download the free printable that I created for this valentine.  My son, Zack, came up with the saying, “I love seeing you at school!” to go with the funny glasses.  I thought it was great!  Click here to download.

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

If you need valentines for other things – church groups, girl scouts, dance class – just let me know. I’m happy to re-do the “at school” wording and post it so that it can be more personalized.  I’m not able to personalize colors/fonts/graphics due to time constraints.

2.  The valentine is sized for a 4×6 photo print.  I created an account at CVS.com and uploaded it to their site.  When you create an account and connect your ExtraCare card to it, you get 50 free 4×6 prints to use whenever you wish.  I used them all for this project – I have 2 kids, so I needed a lot of valentines. I picked them up at the CVS down the street from our house about an hour after I ordered them, and I literally paid ZERO dollars (no tax or anything) to have these printed.  Even with no free prints, it would have only cost me about $10.

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

They look so good!

There are several other places online where you can get free prints, so definitely explore that option if you already have a CVS.com account.

4.  Have your child sign each card.  We used a silver metallic Sharpie for ours, but any permanent marker will work.  If you need to write the classmate’s name on the cards, you can do so over the red and white diamond pattern.

5.  Slide one of your funny glasses over the upper right corner of the card and secure on the back with clear tape.  I made sure to tape both temples so that the glasses wouldn’t come off.

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

6.  Bask in your awesomeness.  Your valentines cards are finished for another year!

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

I love SEEING you at school - cheap and easy to assemble DIY valentines with funny glasses - free printable

Looking for other Valentine’s Day ideas?  Here are some other free printable cards that I have created in the past:

You Blow Me Away (two versions)

Your Friendship is a Lifesaver - DIY Printable Valentines

Your Friendship is a Lifesaver

You Blow Me Away - DIY Printable Valentines

How to Live with a 3rd Grade Hoarder

Over the past few years, my nearly 9 year old son has earned a new nickname:  Magpie.  Since he was small, Zack would pick up anything shiny he found on the ground.  I would find all sorts of trinkets in the dryer after I did laundry each week.

Recently, I took him to the skating rink and my toe stop fell off of my skate while I was working on some roller derby foot work.  I couldn’t find the lock washer that helped hold it in place once it flew off, so I thought I’d need to pick up another one at Home Depot.  Lo and behold, I found it in the dryer a few days later.  My Magpie had saved the day, although he had no idea that he had picked up something that I was looking for.

While Zack’s shiny object obsession occasionally benefits me, it really causes more problems with clutter than it actually helps.  And as he got older, he began including scraps of paper in his collections, too.  Anything on which he had colored or written – Post-It Notes, children’s menus from restaurants, bits of construction paper left over from other projects – was piled up on his dresser or shoved in his drawers.  Whenever I suggested that he didn’t have to keep every single piece of paper that crossed his path, he got really upset.  I don’t believe that Zack is an actual hoarder per the medical definition – I don’t want you to think that I do or that I’m belittling the disorder.  I do, however, think his collecting habit is just turned up higher than most other kids his age and he has a deeper sentimental attachment to things than he should.

About a year ago, I just couldn’t live with his room like this any longer, so we made a compromise.  I bought him a plastic storage tote and told him that he could keep whatever special things he wanted to keep in it, as long as he could close the lid.  We went through every drawer, his closet, and under the bed, and he chose what things were important enough for him to put in the box.  Everything else, he chose to throw away on his own.

How to Live with a 3rd Grade Hoarder - tips to keep kids' collections organized

He’s a cute little Magpie, though.

How to Fix Sticky Drawers in Seconds

A few months after I finished updating the Miss Matched yellow dresser for my bedroom, I noticed that the drawers didn’t slide as easily as they once had.  Old wooden drawers have the tendency to stick and drag, so I didn’t worry too much about it.  My “I’ll get to that one day” attitude about it didn’t help the problem, and four years later I was growing more annoyed by the day over having to twist and jerk the dresser drawers every time I wanted a pair of socks.

Earlier this week, I woke up and decided that today was the day to fix the sticky drawers.  I looked into retrofitting the drawers with slides from Home Depot.  I researched adding metal strips to the bottom of the drawers so that they would slide more freely.  I was irritated that I was going to have to spend money to fix the problem.  Then, I remember one of the oldest tricks in the DIY handbook – candle wax.

I took a cheap tea light out of its metal lining and rubbed it onto the bottom of the drawer were it comes into contact with the dresser frame.  If you don’t have any tea lights or old candles, paraffin wax (if you are a canner) or a bar of soap (if you bathe) will also serve the same purpose.  Hopefully, you participate in at least one of those two activities.

How to Unstick a Sticky Drawer in Seconds