Tag Archives: Do-It-Myself Projects

Birthday Party on the Fly: The Little Man Turns 2

Last year for our first 1st Birthday, I was schooled on a lesson on expectations.
Well, I’m proud to say that I actually learned my lesson! 

When the Little Man’s 2nd birthday rolled around, I was humbled and reminded by his first, and decided to keep this party “for him.” Since we were celebrating my baby boy, I did the exact opposite of what I did last year, and planned the entire party around what I thought he would enjoy rather than what my guests would enjoy. 

To be honest, it helped that I had NO time to plan anything. Although I’d been pinning some ideas since last year, when March began to creep up, I realized I hadn’t done a thing to plan or prepare for him turning 2. 

With a newborn in the family, finding the time to be creative and crafty wasn’t easy, so I did the best I could to let others do as much possible and release all expectations. And it worked! 

The party was a huge success in my eyes because my son had a blast the entire time. Others might say the cupcakes weren’t moist enough or the decorations were too sparse, but in my opinion it was his best birthday yet! 

The Decorations

Decorations this year were kept simple and easy. If you haven’t already discovered this yet, Etsy is an excellent site to help you plan your party.  And if you find yourself like me – in need a party fast – look for shops that have “print your own” party packages. 

I found several really cute airplane theme ones, but decided on this one from Ven’s Paperie. For $35, I received custom PDF’s of everything I’d need for his party! From cupcake toppers and food signs to banners and thank you cards. There were over 25 pieces!  All I had to do was print off the items I thought I’d use, as many as I needed, and cut them out. 

I through in my own little flare like the blow-up airplanes and decorative pom-poms from Amazon and Hobby Lobby, and my decor was complete. 

The Food

I’m sure you’re thinking food was the hardest part. All that prepping and baking! Not when you’re going simple. 

I did have plans of making more items than I did, but again, I just couldn’t find the time. So instead of the lemon bars I wanted to make from scratch, I found these delicious lemon bites from Costco. And instead of airplane cookies, chocolate dipped shortbread cookies to match my theme; again from Costco. No baking involved! 

The only thing I did end up using my oven for were his cupcakes, and I did that with the help of Pillsbury’s Super Moist Vanilla cake mix and the new Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. I saved myself $1 per cupcake by baking them myself, and by piping the icing on, I made them look and taste store bought! Plus, having the added satisfaction of knowing I was still able to continue the tradition of baking my son’s birthday cake. 

The Entertainment


I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to entertain a large group of kids when I wasn’t even sure how many were going to show. But thankfully, Texas weather came through and we had a wonderfully cool, over cast morning that just beckoned for people to come outside. 

I didn’t have to spend money on party games or additional group toys. Our backyard did all the work for me and entertained everyone until lunch was ready! 

When in Doubt. . .
What I’m slowly learning is that whenever you’re worried about how well your party will turn out, the best way to win over everyone’s hearts is to cook for them! 

We planned the party during lunchtime and served up hamburgers and hot dogs, chips, water, tea, and juice (for the kids). A little something for everyone. What party can go wrong when you’ve been fed and your stomach is full? 

So, the next time you find yourself unable to spend a lot of time planning a party and feel the need to compare yourself to Pinterest, remember that it doesn’t take a lot of money or a lot of time to create Fun. 

Just keep it casual and keep it focused on your goal. 

In my case, I wanted my son to have an amazing and special day with his family and friends; a day that I could feel proud of for giving him. Success!

What is your favorite birthday party theme that you’ve done for your kids? 
What made it special? 

From Baby to Big Boy

The time has come . . .

I’m 31 weeks and reality is setting in that there’s about 8 weeks left in this pregnancy. And oddly, I spend more time worrying about the child I currently have than the one that’s on the way!

With 2 months until baby #2 arrives, we’ve decided we’d better get moving on transitioning the Little Man from the nursery into his “Big Boy Room.”

He just turned 20 months last week, and although I don’t think I’m ready for him to be in his own bed, I think it’s probably smart to go ahead and rip that band-aid off.

For months now, we’ve been working on his room, and watched as it transformed from a guest room to an empty play room to the room it is now. 


There are fun sports sheets on the bed. We’ve moved the TV out (and most of the toys) so he won’t get distracted. There’s nothing left to happen except put move him in.

But how?!

I keep procrastinating because I keep thinking we’ll do it later, but I know if I wait too long he’s going to get kicked out so the baby can move in. I’ve been told this is the last thing I want him to feel or realize… (because it’s true!).

I’ve also heard that once the baby arrives, he’ll regress in his behavior and sleep habits, so I feel that moving him now and getting him adjusted will only help if there is regression. 

But at the same time. . .

He LOVES his crib!

As you can see, his new bed is kind of like a crib. 

He’s got walls on 3 sides and a railing on the 4th. We’ve put pillows and blankets in. But, he already knows how to climb in, out, and over the railing. What stops him from just getting out of bed whenever he wants?

Do I let him just get out of bed? Do I just put him in there one night and leave him? Do I start with nap time?

I’d love any advice you have because I clearly have no idea what I’m doing and we’re starting TONIGHT!!  

A Meaningful Christmas Ornament Exchange

Now that my husband and I have a growing family of our own, I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few months how I want “Christmas” to look in our home. 

My son still probably has 1 more year before he really understands what Christmas represents; which I’m thankful for because it will give me more time to think the whole thing through, but at the same time, I want to begin to develop traditions now so when he does begin to comprehend the meaning of Christmas it won’t be a total surprise! 

We do plan on having Santa in our home, but as Christians, we also want to teach him the importance of Christmas and how it relates to the birth of our Savior. I haven’t quite figured out how to blend the two together yet (if it’s possible!), but now, thanks to A Meaningful Christmas, I feel a little ahead of the game! 

A group of girls from our church decided to get together this year and participate in A Meaningful Christmas ornament exchange. If you’re not familiar with this, that’s okay! 

It’s only 2 years old, and is just now really getting around on the web! Although orders have closed for this year, I highly suggest “Pinning” as a way to remember to jump on it for 2013. 

Designed by the Poe Family, A Meaningful Christmas is a child-centered devotional that helps count down the days until Christmas using the Christmas story, passages, and ornaments; 1 for each day leading up to December 25. 

As suggested by A Meaningful Christmas, I helped organize an advent ornament exchange with 23 other moms from our church. Our planning began in October, and once we had the number we needed, we divided up the ornament responsibilities. 

I was given one of the harder ornament projects – Day 8: Mary is Chosen.

The verse that goes along with this day is from Luke 1:26-28. . . God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth . . .to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph . . .The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 

What the verse tells us is that God selected Mary to be a part of His family and be the mother of Jesus; similar to how we were given our children by God; therefore, my ornament assignment was to collect pictures from each one of the women participating and use the family photo on my ornament. 

I am not a very crafty person, but I managed to find some Christmas themed scrapbook paper I had laying around the house and left over ribbon from the Little Man’s first birthday party. 

After a brief lesson on how to Modge Podge on Youtube, I was all set to make my 24 ornaments. Thankfully, I didn’t feel any pressure to make them perfect since emails had been going around about other people’s lack of craftiness as well! 

We selected a date for our ornament exchange, and it didn’t take long to figure out our host went above and beyond what I was expecting! Each of us had brought a cute gift bag thinking that’s what we’d be bringing our ornaments home in, but to our surprise, we had plastic storage boxes waiting with our names on them; each with A Meaningful Christmas devotional book inside. 
All we had to do was walk around and place 1 ornament in each box, and at the end of the night, we all walked away with a box ready to go on December 1st. 

To make the exchange a little more social, we all brought appetizers and desserts to share, and then took a few minutes to explain which ornament ours was and how we came up with our design idea (and any flaws we happened to discover.)
The exchange was a lot of work, and did take a few hours of my time to create all 24 ornaments. I originally thought I had the hardest job of collecting all of the pictures, but looking at how much time and effort everyone else put in, I think I actually walked away with one of the easier tasks! 

In the end, I walked away with these 24 thoughtfully handmade ornaments:  

Although there’s not a reason for me to do another A Meaningful Christmas exchange, if you plan on doing one next year, I have a few pieces of advice to make yours successful! 

  • Order supplies in advance! Almost 3,000 families participated in 2012, and supplies were running short in most craft stores. Expect to find empty hooks and competition in the aisles for the wooden craft squares needed to make your ornaments. Start looking for the tiles just after Christmas or plan on ordering them online (like we did!)
  • Be Original – Because you have to be! Since the concept is still so new, photos and ideas online are limited. I tried every Google and Pinterest combo I could think of and found the same 2 or 3 images. Another good reason to start early, you have time to plan your design! 
  • Number your ornaments. You might notice it doesn’t say in the instructions to number your the back of your ornaments or label them somehow. Have all the women in your exchange mark their day in some way on their ornaments to save you the trouble of trying to match them all up later. 
  • Make it fun for your kids! Plan some fun and creative ways of making your devotional special to your kids. My advice: wrap the ornaments and let them open one each day like a gift. Then have a separate tree to place the ornaments on so they can easily go back to previous days and discuss the verses. 
  • Modify when needed! I have an almost 2 year old, so some of the “apply” suggestions won’t work for us. For example, my son can’t draw a picture of his family, but it doesn’t mean I can’t use the ornament with our family photo to have him name his mommy and daddy! I’ll try and post the modifications I make to give you some more ideas! 
For more information on how to participate in A Meaningful Christmas, make sure to check out their link on Facebook

Nesting in the Laundry Room

There is absolutely no doubt that I’m fully into this pregnancy. Today as I was walking around my home, I came up with project after project that I’d like to accomplish before Baby Zach arrives into the world. I actually had to stop myself when our much neglected laundry room ended up spotlessly clean and I started making a Home Depot list. We had so much to do today, and of all the rooms that I feel like I should remodel, the laundry room seems like it should be last on the list. 
But the more I started thinking about it, the more convinced I was that maybe the laundry room DID need a make-over. After all, laundry was only going to get more difficult, and anything I could possibly do to make my life easier (even if it involved a little laundry room renovation) seems smart to me! 
Oh the joys of nesting. . . 
So, now I’ve got a new home improvement project on my mind and I can’t wait to get started! 

Of course, in order to get to this little agenda, I need to accomplish the other items on my “nesting” list first; including finishing up The Little Man’s big boy room . . . and cleaning the house. . .and making letters for their rooms. . .

Did you find yourself more productive during pregnancy? 
Or was nesting not an issue for you? 
*Images courtesy of: alittlechippy.blogspot.com, little-inspirations.blogspot.com, savingwithaplan.com, sweetpickinsfurniture.com, and inspirationfordecoration.com

Show Us Your Life: Dining Rooms

For awhile, I’ve been blog stalking Kelly’s Korner Show Us Your Life series. It’s been so fun to see how other people decorate their homes; even though some of them are MUCH better than mine. The series is a great way to get inspiration for what I would love for my home to look like when I get the courage to make a move.

As you’re about to see, I’m a terrible decorator. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of style, I just don’t know how to make it happen. So instead of trying, I just don’t do anything! This is one of the reasons I haven’t participated in the series, but I thought I’d just go ahead and give it a try this week! After all, my dining room isn’t THAT bad, right? 

Our dining room has already undergone 2 color changes. Originally I had the focus wall painted brown, but instead of the warm chocolaty brown that appeared in my head, it was a more red-rusty brown. Thanks to a kind family member who showed me the way, we went with green tones that match the couches in the adjoining sitting room.  

You may have noticed that the chairs are a little dated with the 70’s wood backing and red twill cushions. All the furniture you seen has been handed down, and I’m convinced that we’ll get a new dining room set soon. So instead of doing what would probably be a simple fix and recovering the chairs, I continue to stare at them and complain that I need new furniture. (They match at Christmas time!)

We are fortunate to have some china. It’s not from our wedding, but from a garage sale. 
Ironically, the china we registered for looked almost identically, so I’m not complaining!
This poor china cabinet has been through the ringer. It’s missing almost all of the handles, and the drawers have to be pried open. But it serves its purpose!! 

I think the curtains are my favorite part of the room. I don’t know why. I just love the green paisley and the way it gives the room a more updated feel. 

I’m slowly hanging objects on our walls. We’ve only lived here for 6 years, so it’s about time! I had these pictures put up for my son’s first birthday party, and decided to leave them. One day when I have an extra few hundred dollars laying around, I’ll get them appropriately framed, but cheap ones will do for now!

This is another one of my favorite dining room pieces. My dad is a handy wood worker, and he made this high chair for the Little Man. It’s the perfect height for our table, and is easily moved when needed. When it’s not being used as a chair, you can flip it horizontal and it becomes a rocking horse. Or flip it another way and it becomes a work bench. It’s pretty cool if I do say so. 

So, that’s our “dining room.” The room often goes untouched. As a matter of fact, I really hadn’t been back in since Mother’s Day; a fact that makes me sad. I often wonder why we have a room that hardly gets used, but I have to remind myself as our family expands, we’ll use it more in the future. 

For now, this is our every day dining room. . .

Dogs placed appropriately under the table searching the floors for food. 

Do you have any advice to help me decorate? 

Link up your room here. . .

A New Garden

Over the last month we started getting estimates to have our backyard patio renovated. The drought last summer created some serious cracks in the concrete patio and it made our backyard just that much uglier. As much as we love to hang out outside (especially now that we have a little one), our backyard just wasn’t a place we really enjoyed. 

What we have is this. . .

And what we wanted was this . . .

I know. A little ambitious? I mentioned that about me right? 

Well, now we know what it’s going to cost, and we’re ready to start saving, but we’re not ready to spend another summer ignoring our backyard like it’s the ugly duckling (that it is). Instead, we did a little cosmetic work on our own, and already I’m enjoying it so much more!! 

The Before
The After

Since we’re spending more time outside, I found this adorable frog shaped bird feeder (in honor of our little friend) at Home Goods. I expected the Little Man to be entertained by the different birds flying in and out. What I didn’t expect was for him to be more entertained by the creature that decided to join us. 


He’s too cute to shoo away! 

I’ll Do It Myself, Thank You: Scripture Wall Hanging

This week I was overly ambitious and decided to start 3 projects. No, I haven’t given up on my calligraphy or book club reads. Apparently, I’m just a glutten for tasks. Idle hands . . . 

Slowly but surely we’ve been progressing on the Little Man’s new playroom, which will one day be his big boy room. A few months ago, I found some awesome vintage sports-themed wall hangings from Hobby Lobby on clearance and snatched them up. Since then I’ve been slightly designing the room around this theme and when the time comes for him to move in, it’ll all be ready! That’s the hope anyway…and we’ve got plenty of time, right?? 

While browsing Etsy the other day for some inspirational ideas, I came across this cute sports-themed wall hanging. I love it! It’s childish, but also something I could see being in his room for years to come, and the rustic colors are perfect for the vintage theme.
Image by The Crazy Polka Dot
Then I saw the price. 

$40.00 plus $10.00 in shipping! 

Really?? I could paint that!

Wait, I could paint that! 

If you’re discovering anything about my personality, you’ll probably soon realize I oversimplify everything. Bathroom needs to be remodeled? Sure! It’s just replacing tile and new fixtures. It couldn’t be any easier! 2 years later…bathroom complete. Redo our patio? No problem! It’s just pouring some concrete. A $12,000 estimate later. Nevermind. . . . Have I learned from this personality flaw? Of course not! So, off to Hobby Lobby I went. 

This project actually turned out remarkably well! I thought I’d show you how I recreated this wall hanging, and maybe you could save yourself some money, and do it yourself too! 

Acrylic Paint Set: $11.99
Brush Set: $4.99
Multiset Canvases: $5.49
Ruler & Pencil: Free

Warning: I’m not an artist and don’t know anything about choosing the right brushes or paints. This is what I purchased because it was the cheapest I could find and the best I could discover since no one at the store would help me. (Sorry Hobby Lobby, but it’s true!) You might be able to find it even cheaper if you know what you’re looking for! 

1) Using the ruler and pencil, plan your drawing in advance. Unless you’re going to use the white background, all of your markings will be covered over by the paint, so draw away! I even labeled what colors I wanted to use so I wouldn’t forget. 

2 ) Begin painting. 
A few tips: I goofed and began painting the dark first, but I’d recommend painting light colors first. It’s much easier to paint over lighter colors to perfect your lines. Also, when you’re mixing colors, mix more than what you think you’ll need. It’s almost impossible to mix the exact same color again, and your touch-ups will be very noticeable. 

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect the first time, you can always go back later to straighten your lines or fill in missing areas. I retouched several times! 

Once I painted the middle area a cream color, I went back with my pencil and sketched where my words were going to be. In the end, I didn’t follow this exactly since my brush strokes were often wider or narrower than I expected, so it was more a guide than an exact placement. 

And here’s my finished product: 

In the end, I spent about $23 plus tax, but I now have a collection of acrylic paints, brushes, and an extra canvas to use for later. My son also has a wall hanging made just for him by his mom! 

It took me 2 days from beginning to end, but I was working within the boundaries of nap times. I easily could have finished this in 1 day since the paint dried pretty quickly between colors. 

Next up, I’m tackling a Pottery Barn growth chart.
More DIY to come!

It’s All In the Details

I have a problem with expectations. 
(My husband will laugh hysterically at this understatement.) 

The Little Man’s first birthday was a huge learning experience for me and a lesson in dealing with expectations. Now that the wrapping paper has been cleaned up and the dishes have been loaded into the dishwasher, I can look back and shake my head at all the silly things I’ve been stressing over the last week. 

From the beginning, I knew that he wouldn’t remember ANYTHING from this party, but in my head I wanted to make it special for me, Tim, and all of our family that has been through this last year with us. I envisioned Martha Stewart worthy decorations, appetizers that would be pinned for years to come, a picture-perfect homemade smash cake, and a home filled with family and friends. 

What I got was this  . . . 

This is my homemade smash cake. 
Uneven fondant circles, rough butter cream icing, and leaning like the Tower of Pisa.

I don’t think anyone will be pinning this anytime soon. 

But that’s okay. Because what I learned today is that it doesn’t matter what the cake looks like. It’ll get eaten. And it doesn’t matter if the cookies I baked weren’t perfectly round because they still tasted amazing. And even though only 12 of 30 family members are able to come, the house was still filled with laughter and love for my son.  

Just like pregnancy and having a newborn, I wish I’d listened to the advice I’d been given about throwing a birthday party for my child. And just like our next child, the next birthday party I’ll do things differently.

My Advice for Your Child’s 1st Birthday 
From Someone Who’s Been There

1) When it comes to decorating, Dollar Tree is your friend. 
They have a whole aisle dedicated to party supplies. You might pay $2.99 for a brown plastic tablecloth at Party City, but you’ll pay $1 at the Dollar Tree. And just like Party City, they’ll have plates, napkins, silverware, and cups to match your table cloth. 

2) Stick with recipes you know, or at least test them in advance. 
Pinterest is awesome for discovering new recipes, but don’t expect them to always work. When trying out new recipes, go with a trusted source like Allrecipes.com or TasteofHome.com. When nap times are all the time you have to work and bake, don’t waste your time with recipes where the only comments are “Those look so delicious!” Look for ratings and comments from users who have tried the recipe before you. It will save you a lot of precious time! Then you can pin the recipes and let others learn from you!

3) Stick to a budget.
Party planning and decorating can get expensive and fast. Basic supplies like balloons, ingredients, invitations, food and party favors can easily add up to $100. Then when you add decorations, bakery cupcakes and/or cakes, drinks, etc. . .it adds up! Come up with a plan, draw out what you want your party to look like, and stay with it! 

4) Stop and smell the roses. 
Remember, when it’s all said and done, you want your memories to be of your child’s happiness on their special day; not slaving away in the kitchen throwing cookie dough at your husband when something doesn’t go right. (Did that happen?)  If it doesn’t all get done, don’t worry about! Your child will be just as thrilled that they’re being celebrated and won’t noticed the little touches you didn’t have time for.

I’ve walked away a better person for having experienced all the trials and tribulations that go into a first birthday, and now that I can take a deep breath and brush all the drama away, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. 
Salted Caramel Turtle Cookies / Gift tags by Whimsical Occassions / Turtle fonts & images by Little Prints Parties
Cake Mix Cookies / Caesar Salad Bits
Banner by Whimsical Occasions / Photo Frames – Dollar Tree

I’ll Do It Myself, Thank You: Invitations

As the Little Man’s birthday begins to creep up on me, I’ve been head’s down on all things party. In an effort to save money, I decided I was going to make everything. From the smash cake and cupcakes to the invitations and envelopes. That’s right. . . even the envelopes. 

I may not have many talents, but the one thing I am good at is stationery. My job pre-mommy was managing a stationery and invitation studio. I handled materials, assembly, and quality control so I know the in’s and out’s of fine paper. Which is why when it came to my son’s first birthday, I wanted the best! 

Slight problem. 

I’m no longer working, so I can’t afford the best. BUT that doesn’t stop me from making it look like I can!

For weeks I’ve been working on the Little Man’s party invitations. First, if you’ve never used Photoshop Elements, I highly suggest you head over to Costco, purchase a relatively cheap copy, and learn some of the basics. When you’re familiar with Photoshop, the world is at your finger tips! 

As I was playing with the invites, I discovered there are shops on Etsy that sell graphics for your personal use. I wanted to do a turtle theme and found some great icons and alphabets from Little Prints Parties

Details of the invitation have been modified for privacy.
Using Shutterfly, I ordered some prints and had my own personalized 5×7 party invitations! 

A Little Extra: If you want to get really creative, you can purchase some card stock and glue it to the back of the invitation to add some thickness and hide the fact that it’s a photo.

But I couldn’t stop there. An invitation doesn’t really impress unless the envelope stands out too. One of my favorite ways to add a little extra “umph” to my envelopes is by adding a liner. 
Now there’s several ways to do this.

The Please Do It For Me Option:  If you really want your envelopes to sparkle, head over to Nest on McKinney Ave. or online to bell’Invito and purchase your envelopes and liners from The Paper Store. They have beautiful European envelopes and Japanese silk-screened liners packaged up and ready to assemble. (Envelopes average $8.50 for a pack of 20 & liners are $6 for a pack of 10.)

The I’ll Do It All Myself Option: Now this takes a little more time, but with a few supplies from Paper Source, you can make select your color of envelopes and make your own liners from your choice of paper. (Envelopes range between $3.25-$8 for a pack of 10; based on sizing.)
. . .This is the route I went. 

If you choose to purchase your envelopes and liners ready to go, then you can skip down a few steps. If you’ve decided to do it on your own, here’s what you’re going to need:

Scissors, Pencil, Envelope Liner Template, Paper for liners

Side Note: Silly me! I made the mistake of purchasing a roll of paper to make my liners. Don’t do that! The paper is very curled and makes cutting difficult; especially if you want to try and cut more than 1 at a time. Also, don’t purchase paper that’s over text weight; meaning it shouldn’t be any thicker than a piece of computer paper. 

Step 1
Cut your paper into squares leaving just enough for your template size. 
Draw around template, and cut out the shape. 
If your paper is perfectly flat, you can cut out several at a time using a paper cutter. 

Step 2
Glue about 1/4″ of the tip of the backside of liner. 
DO NOT glue the whole backside of liner. 
It’s unnecessary. It just wastes your time and your glue. 

Step 3
Slide liner (glue side down) into envelope. 
Press firmly along the edge where you glued starting from center and working your way down. 

Step 4
Let your envelope dry before folding. 

The easiest way to make any invitation or piece of stationery beautiful. 

The creativity doesn’t stop here!

If you really want to be unique, 
use a photo from a magazine or pages from an old book for your liner. 

The possibilities are endless!

Going Green: Cleaning

When we came back from North Carolina, I felt like I was just covered in sickness. . . no, I WAS covered in sickness. Everywhere I turned there were Kleenex and Boogie Wipes! (Which if you’ve never tried, I highly recommend them! They might seem excessive, but after rubbing his nose raw from generic tissue, the Boogie Wipes proved themselves worth the expense!) So, once we got him down for his nap this morning, Tim and I began Project Disinfect. 

One of the biggest problems I have with cleaning is the chemical smell that fills the house. Although some products claim to be lemony fresh, all I smell is an overpowering lemon smell that stings my nose. It’s also always bothered me that I use chemicals to clean off the very counters I sometimes put food down on. It then becomes a cycle of having to clean the counter tops, then wash down the counter tops. Why am I doing twice the work?? 

And don’t get me started on the bathrooms. I’ve used ever product out there to try and clean our shower. 409, Scrubbing Bubbles, Mr. Clean, etc. Unfortunately, nothing does the job better than simply getting down on my hands and knees with a sponge. And that’s when it finally dawned on me. . . why am I using these EXPENSIVE products when I know there are non-toxic products in my cabinet that can do basically the same thing.

So, I’ve searched the internet, and I’ve found several homemade cleaners that I think you might also like to try. All you need is White Vinegar, water, and Baking Soda. 

You can find out more homemade recipes and other ways to “Green” clean by checking out a few of these websites: 
What homemade cleaning solutions have you tried? 
Have you made any amazing discoveries?