confessions and tips from "hurricane cindie's" daughter.

i wasn't raised in a super clean home.
my dad was a general contractor and was in continual "work mode" on our house.
my mother, although organized wasn't one of those "disinfecting people".
there were four kids and she chose her battles.

now clean is different than organized.
that she was.
we had to keep main living areas picked up, couldn't leave shoes and toys and books lying around (with out them being taken away and having to buy them back with our allowance), and we all had real chores(vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, and doing the dishes)  to help clean the house.
maybe us being part of the cleaning crew was part of why this weren't that well cleaned?

part of my young image of my mom was her organization and her teaching us how to take care of things, so it came to a intriguing surprise to me to hear the stories of my mom's teenage years where the family that she lived with named her "hurricane cindie".
"hurricane"because she left messes!?
the same woman who then taught us never to leave our shoes on the stairs and made us redo the scrubbing of the toilet until it was acceptable!?

then it was just plain hard to believe, but now i know better.
it's funny how our place in the world, relative to another, can modify their view of the reality of who we are.
my mom was...my mom.
she taught me stuff.
to me she was motherhood and domesticity (is that a word, Les?)
but that wasn't really her.
that was her job.
apparently she was really a bit messy.
but she knew she had to teach her daughters how to keep things clean and i'm sure as time charged on past her teenage years she became more grown up and embraced the blessing of a clean(ish) house.
a home.

well, my cleanliness story is similar.
i was a pretty messy teenager.
one main difference now though, is that i am not married to a do-it-yourself-er.
i am married to a very clean businessman.(remember this?)
a super cute one.
one that works very hard at his office everyday, and then comes home to me.
a "not super spick and span" little homemaker.
i'm sure he is disappointed at times, but he's gotten used to it by now....i think.
i'm artistic, ok?
it's not that bad.
if you came to my house you'd probably think it was pretty "picked up"...maybe not clean, but...
i've definitely gotten more clean over the years with him.
and we have a lot of pretty "stuff" everywhere!

my mom used to say, "i have many other fine qualities" when confronted with her shortcomings, so i'm gonna go with that too.

so, the point of this post is to confess.
even though you might think that i have a blog so i must be together enough to do all my home-maker chores beautifully and then show you lovely photographs of how perfect my house and home making abilities are.
um. yah.
that is just really far off.
most things i just plain don't do, i have gotten good at from trial and error or i blatantly copy a "gifted" friend.
cooking...trial and error
laundry....blatantly copying lena (costco lavender detergent, a scoop of oxi-clean, and fabric softener)
general cleaning...i have help with that every other week, and in between it is embarrassing how often i have scrubbed a toilet or mopped a floor
carpet...seriously disgusting because i so rarely vacuum
stains and baseboards....lena again with magic erasers
sweeping...i do know how to do that. that must be my specialty. sweeping.

and just for good measure i will confess that i should change sheets and make my kids floss way more that i actually do.

oh yah, and i call myself a size 8 but really i am a 10 in most stores and an XL at any store that dares to put the number 21 in their name...who am i kidding.

ah. there. i said it.
it feels pretty good.

and as for the tips.
the reason i thought of this post is because of the simple advise that my sweetie friend lena gave me the other day, about what products to use for my laundry.
you should try that stuff she recommended (up there.)
why didn't i ask that sooner?
when you ask, many times the answer is far more simple than you had expected.
you should suck it up and ask your friends that seem to be super good at something, how they do it instead of pretending like you already have it together.
(i still haven't figured out how my friend erin keeps her clothes so white....)
and then you should just not get fooled into thinking that other people have it perfectly together.
they might be on top of some things.
and that is great!
maybe you can learn something from them.
but i guarantee you they stink at something...
don't we all?

so, any home-making tips for me today, friends?
i could obviously use them.

and just so you know it's still me and this blog hasn't been hijacked by a wordy debbie downer, here are some photos of my children at the beach a few mornings ago....
shot with my phone
shot with my phone

oh yah.
and one of ella's delicious thumb.
shot with my phone

now do ya recognize me?

little moments between a million messes....



  1. cleaning tricks i use: vinegar soaked paper towels on hard water stains in kitchen and bathroom.......peroxide on tile counter tops......vinegar in dishwasher{a cup per load with detergeant}......but thats all i got! do you have any for me? I use my crock pot a lot...because i am super lazy! ha!!!

  2. I love how honest you were about your "faults". I agree we all are good at some things and we stink at other things. I like how you said,
    "you should suck it up and ask your friends that seem to be super good at something, how they do it instead of pretending like you already have it together." I agree. I love when people can be themselves and be real. Thanks!

  3. i'm not much of a cleaner, either. i don't like clutter, but filth apparently i can live with. my new goal is to keep all horizontal surfaces clear. that way i can actually put my drink or magazine down on the table instead of having to prop it precariously on the arm of the chair because there's too much stuff everywhere.
    i keep white vinegar mixed with water in an old febreze spray bottle and use it all over the kitchen. it cleans, it disinfects, it's cheap. that's the only "secret" i've got. oh, and i do all the laundry on saturdays. i had to buy the hubs and i a couple extra pairs of skivvies just to make sure we have enough to last through the week, because i hate that feeling of "the laundry never ends!!" and with 5 people in this house now, the laundry never ends! ;)
    love your honesty, love your thoughts, love your heart.

  4. I have exactly 1 hour a day in between all the millions of other things I must do in a day so for that one hour I put my head down and tornado through my house! Until the next chapter of life keeps me home more, that's about all I got for ya.


  5. I needed this today! I've been feeling so down about how "messy" my house is (I'm pregnant and therefore sick...a lot!) and it's great to hear that I'm not the only one and that it's OK! I feel like when it comes down to it, you're not going to remember what you cleaned that day, you'll remember the time you spent with your kids...and that's what really matters!

  6. Thanks for making me feel better. I thought I was the only one that didn't have it together in the cleaning department. I love a house that sparkles but can't make mine do it. When friends come over I tell them I keep it messy so they can feel better about themselves. Just trying to be a good friend. p.s I use bleach for everything. Just pour and walk away and hope I didn't change the color of anything.

  7. yes it's a word. a great word. :) great post, friend. my rule of thumb is that cute tools and good smelling products makes cleaning more exciting. shows how much i know. but i have many other fine qualities.

  8. Love your honesty, love your thoughts, love your heart.

  9. freaking love that first picture. can't believe it's off your phone.
    we sound alot of like with our "really a size 10" and having homes that are picked up but not all clean. i really wish i could have a cleaning lady come every so often. i'm waiting for the cleaning fairy to arrive but maybe she works like santa and i'm on the naughty list? thanks for this post. loved it.

  10. I'm giggling cuz my baseboards are super nasty and even good old Mr. Clean and his Magic Eraser are finally grossed out by the chalky builder paint on them. They need a fresh coat of glossy white, but I think that can wait - there are bikes to ride, books to read, and rice krispy treats to make!

    And you, my friend, are a whirling dervish of domesticity. whirling. dervish.

  11. I know I really never comment, but I do read faithfully. I just love this post so much. I read it twice. It's just so perfect, so exactly what I needed to read and hear today. I can't even put it into words really. It's a mix of what I'm struggling with, where I've been, what I've been trying so.dang.hard to accomplish around here, and the perfect amount of grace thrown in. Thank you.

  12. every one of these pics is gorgeous my friend ! love them !

  13. clutter and toys all over the place really bugs me but dirt? i c;an totally live with dirt and dust. i like things to appear clean even if they really aren't ; ) my eric is a bit cleaner than me too....oooops...but unfortunately most of the housework is my job.
    i do know that you can clean mirrors and glass with vinegar and newspaper. did you know this? you actually use the newspaper just like a paper towel, which is good because we don't buy paper towels and only use cloth napkins--anyway, i mix a little ( i never measure anything) vinegar and less water in a spray bottle.
    love your honesty!

  14. that thumb shot is beautiful!
    my girls American Girl Dolls have taken over my whole upstairs and my girls sleep on our floor so I have gotten used to clutter. and I am organized, but not a clean freak!!!


  15. One of the things that child psychologists often work at with their clients is helping the child be able to say who they are and who they are not - and be ok with the answer.
    like, being able to SEE ourselves kindly, and lovingly and honestly is really connected to mental health. to being happy. to taking care of ourselves.
    I'm fascinated by this.
    When did we ever get the idea that we needed to be everything - (even worse - everything to everyone)

    nice to see you friend.