February 2012 - Rachel Teodoro

What my solution was for the housecleaning dilemma

Last week I came to you, my readers, looking for a solution to my very important dilemma.
What to have the housekeepers clean while they were here for an hour and a half.

Well, the ladies just left and boy did they get some work done!

I took the advice of one of my friends and cleaned alongside them.
I wrote a list of things I wanted them to do
mostly deep cleaning
and while they were busy I set to work cleaning bathrooms,
vacuuming, wiping down doors and baseboards upstairs.

They worked so fast and with the two of them cleaning for an hour and a half, and me cleaning for two hours, we got the house in tip top shape.

So what did we get done?
Here's a list:

wipe down all cabinets (even in the laundry room)
wash windows
clean patio door inside and out
wipe down blinds downstairs
clean kitchen counters
clean appliances (outside)
mop floors (even upstairs in the laundry room and bathrooms)
strip and remake beds
dust whole house
wipe down baseboards
wipe down doors
clean all three bathrooms
vacuum whole house
spot clean couch
wipe down couch (it's leather)
wipe down all chairs/table in kitchen
wash front door and windows in front door

Phew...that seems like a lot to do in just a few hours!
Thanks for all of your advice. 
It was nice to have someone cleaning beside me.  
It kept me motivated.

I even put dinner in the crockpot this morning so I don't have to mess up my kitchen tonight.

So do you have a cleaning lady?
Do you clean your home on your own?
If so, what are some tips that you have?


Having a blog...it's not rocket science! A few things I've learned and still need to work on...

I started a family blog nearly 7 years ago when my youngest baby was just a few weeks old.

In my first post, I shared these pregnancy pictures that my husband's
cousin Chad took when I was 32 weeks pregnant.


I started that blog to update out of state family and friends 
on the life and happenings of our growing family of five.

It didn't take long for me to *think* I knew what I was doing.

Several years later, one of my sorority sisters introduced me to a blog called
The Long Thread.

I had no idea there were so many great free tutorials and ideas just floating around.
To me a blog was just pictures of my family and little updates about our life.

Now that same sorority sister has an amazing blog called Our Wonderfilled Life.
Michelle is an amazing mom of five boys!
Four of them share the same birthday.

Once I found craft blogs, I literally became addicted.
I started getting my craft on after a very long hiatus.
Being a stay at home mom with three little kids didn't allow much extra time to do my own thing.
I was getting inspiration that got me excited about crafting and creating again. 

It wasn't long after that my family blog started getting taken over with crafts and projects that I was making.
I decided in January 2010 that I would start my own craft blog and name it Holy Craft.
A name that is explained here.

I don't think I realized how much work would be involved in blogging.  
I guess I didn't think it would be that hard.

Boy, I had a lot to learn!
I had no idea what a link up party was.
I didn't know how to link back
I didn't know how to embed code
I haven't the first clue how to do blog design
For the first year, I had no idea you could schedule a post

My pictures were a disaster (still something I struggle with)
Sometimes I would work so hard on a project and be so excited about that project that I would just throw it up on the blog without realizing how important presentation is.

If there is one thing I have learned from blogging it's that
presentation is everything

I still struggle with this very much.
I don't know how to design my blog
Right now, the design on my blog doesn't reflect my personality
I was fortunate to win a blog redesign in a giveaway a few years ago but currently it doesn't reflect my style
I'm super excited about a blog makeover next month.

I think I joined the blogging world just as a boom was happening.
Some blogs that I was reading took off like a shot and left me disappointed that I wasn't receiving that type of following.

For some reason I never really felt like I was a real blogger until I hit 1000 followers.
Maybe I read that somewhere.
Or maybe it was just a personal goal to attain

I've been blogging for two years now and I still have a lot to learn

I feel like I am just now figuring out Picnik and making blog buttons, just when Picnik is going away
I was contacted by several people who wanted to follow my blog through e-mail and had no idea how to set that up.
I went to install an RSS feed on my blog last week only to find that I already had one...with quite the following!

I haven't felt like my blog is at a point where I can accept sponsors yet
I invest a lot of time into my blog and would love to be getting something more out of it
but first I want it to be a product I am pleased with.
It's not there yet.

There are a few things that I do think I do right.

I respond to every.single.comment I receive
(that is if you are not a noreply blogger-check out this tutorial on how to change it)

There are some other great BIG bloggers that are amazing at this and I want to give them a shout out.
Most of these bloggers, I have followed since they started and it's been fun to see them grow their blogs over time.

Cheri at I am Momma-Hear me Roar
Cheri started blogging at about the same time as I did and I have followed her from the beginning.  I feel like I knew her from way back when.  Cheri is the real deal.  She will respond to your comments and is the sweetest thing.  Cheri is one of the most creative resourceful bloggers out there and should definitely be one that you follow.  I wish that I was half as creative as Cheri is.

Katy at No Big Dill
Katy is a gem.  She's a mom of five girls and one sweet little newborn son.
Katy is an amazing seamstress.  We actually chatted by e-mail last year for quite some time about her sewing and pattern making.  She is such a great talent and pays such close attention to detail.  Katy also has some amazing photography on her blog.  She's got some adorable subjects to photograph and it provides such amazing eye candy.  I wish that I was half as good of a seamstress as Katy, and I wish I had just a little bit of her talent in photography.

Allison at House of Hepworths
Allison is hilarious.  I find that when you blog about crafts and home decorating it's hard to be funny, but Allison seems to maintain her personality (and humor) throughout her blog.  Allison is one of those bloggers that is worth following on pinterest or facebook.  She's got some of the funniest pins out there.

Shelly at House of Smiths
Shelly is another one of those bloggers who is just plain funny.  You can feel her personality come through in her posts and she's been very honest the past few months about her weight struggles and how she's losing it. Such an inspiration.  I love her decorating style and want to move in with her and her cute little girls.  I don't think she would notice.  But if she did, she would probably hand me a hammer and a nail gun and we would have our best time.

All four of these bloggers have a HUGE following.  They have sponsors, lots of kids, tons of new projects, but yet they are still able to remember why they blog and are loyal to their followers.  

There are several big bloggers out there who don't respond to comments, don't follow up, and don't seem to care about their readers.  I can see that their motivation is only growing their blog and making money.  It's a sad truth to blogging these days.

I think the most genuine bloggers are the ones that are able to take the time to respond to their readers.

Blogging is a learning process for me.  Something that doesn't come easy.
But I am thankful for the people who believe in me enough to read along
to comment, and to share with me in this journey.

Please vote for me to be one of the top 25 creative mom blogs out there.


Pinterest, oh how I love thee

So by now, I'm pretty sure everyone has at least heard of Pinterest.
If you haven't, let me know what rock you have been hiding under, mama could 
use a break from the real world!
There are so many fantabulous ideas out there 
(yep, just made up an awesome word...gonna pin it too...probably going to be the next "cool")

Sometimes I get so excited about an idea (or maybe I just keep seeing the same idea and loving it)
that I pin the item twice.
Trash to Couture
Sometimes there are crazy funny things that just make me laugh like 
But the thing I love most about Pinterest is all of the inspiration I get from so many great ideas.
I saw this
and made this
I saw this
and made this
I saw this
and made this
I saw this
and made this
Of course, that's not all.  That's just a sampling of what I have made thanks to pinterest.
One of my friends had a genius idea of making a "pins I have conquered" board on pinterest.  
Isn't that a great idea?!
And you know what else I loved about it...
She reviewed each of those things she pinned and wrote her thoughts.
This was especially helpful for recipes.
The final thing I love about pinterest is that it has directed so many people to my blog.
I love love love it when people find inspiration from things I do, so it makes my heart happy when they 
find my blog and are able to be inspired to be crafty.
So, what do you love about pinterest?
If you aren't on pinterest yet and want an invite, just leave me a comment and I will send you an invite.
You can follow me on pinterest here.
ps-please vote for me today to be one of the top 25 creative mom blogs out there!

Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs-Vote for Me!

I entered Circle of Moms
Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs
and would love for you to take a second and vote for me.

And while you are there, take a second to get to know some other bloggers.

You can vote once a day for the next 20 days.
There is a tab on my sidebar you can click on too.

My readers are the best!
You guys rock!


Good Reads for February

Welcome to what has become a monthly feature here at Holy Craft.

You can read some of the past selections here.

This month I read
The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
It's the story of Ernest Hemingway's first wife Hadley as they fall in love, get married and move to Paris in the twenties.  A very interesting glimpse into their life.  Definitely worth reading.

I also read

A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
Since we don't have cable, I catch up on old episodes of 19 Kids and Counting at the gym.
It's really the only reason I do 45 minutes of cardio 4-5 days a week.
I love the Duggar family.
It's a very insightful look into their family and amidst all of the criticism their family receives
this book is a good explanation of their very purposeful parenting.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Such a sweet book written from the perspective of the family dog.  If you are an animal lover, it's totally worth picking up.

It's been a slow reading month so I thought I would also review a few books that I have read in the past but hadn't talked about yet.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
I read this book last year on a recommendation from a friend.  It was a bit of a slow read, but it was a good story that I still remember quite well, so obviously it stuck with me.  I think this summary  from google puts it the best:

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.  Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.

Sarah's Key
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
This book has recently been turned into a movie.  I didn't think it was the best book I have ever read, but it was an interesting story line.
Here's what amazon says about it:

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. 

Spring break is quickly approaching so I thought I would mention a few other books that I enjoyed.

The Book Thief
I would love to hear some of your picks.  Stump me, I read a lot!


Linen and book page canvas

If you have been reading along for awhile, you know that I love cheap art.
But not cheap looking art!
I also love book pages .
Remember this utensil art I did last year?

I took the same idea and made this linen and book page art.

I started with three clearance canvases that cost $3 each.

I made my own mod podge by mixing tacky glue and water (about a 2-1 ratio)
and applied the book pages to the canvas

After I got the book pages on the canvas, this is where the project turned into Science Fair mode.
Remember my printer post?
Well, my brother and sister in law got me an ink jet printer for Christmas and I have been loving it.
I pretty much broke out any tutorial for transferring images I could find.
This one was the best by far!

the graphics fairy

I searched high and low for Citra Solv

With no luck

So I tried making my own wax paper transfer using an image from The Graphics Fairy

It started out o.k. but once I transferred the image it looked like this
Not sure if it was the water I squirted first (like the directions said) or if it didn't like the paper I used, 
but it was a fail

I remembered I had some linen that I bought at Ikea 
So I tried the printing on fabric method and had success!
I literally stared at the printer as it took fabric and printed an image on it.
It was amazing!  

Some spray adhesive later and here is my linen and book page art

I used images I loved so they are a bit random
but I'm a bit random so that's o.k.

This fan is my favorite!
I sort of have a thing for old fans.

So now I need to find a place to hang them.
I'm pretty sure I will call my handy husband in to help!


I wish I had a mud room

When we bought our second home just over a year ago, one of the things on my list of wants was a mud room.
I wanted a space for the kids to be able to drop their backpacks, take off their shoes and hang their coats.

Well as The Rolling Stones say, "You Can't Always Get What You Want".

But a girl can still dream can't she?
So here are some of my favorite mud rooms.

fantastic mud room!
Shelter Interior Design
I love those barn doors and that amazing ceiling

mud room
The Zhush
check out the compass on the floor and the barrel ceilings

Mud room
The Houzz
probably my favorite!
I love all of the closed storage and the mix of dark wood and white
The light fixtures are amazing and the rolling ladder is to die for!

 A Charming Nest
A must see transformation of Ikea storage benches
Plus I'm a sucker for custom millwork

Mud room
House of Turquoise
I'm a sucker for a dutch door

mud room
Restoration Hardware
Check out those lights and the drawers that look like lockers but aren't lockers...killer!

mud room
Pottery Barn Kids
It's family central in this mud room

Beneath my Heart 
  This just shows that you don't need a huge space to make an exceptional looking mud room

Do you have a mud room?
Do you want one?

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The house cleaning dilema

For Christmas my in-laws gave me the gift of 3 hours of house cleaning.
I clean my own house but am no stranger to having a house cleaning service.

For 6 weeks after my third child was born, my mom gave me the gift of a house keeper to help me out with the transition.
I hated it.

Not that I hated someone cleaning for me, but the house keeper I hired was less than reliable.
There was a bit of a language barrier so communicating was difficult.
Also, the amount of cleaning I had to do before having the cleaning lady come was a huge burden with three small kids that it almost didn't seem worth it.

That said, after moving into a house that is double the size of our old house, sometimes cleaning can be overwhelming.
Our neighborhood has 12 houses in it, and 9 of them have a housekeeper(s) that come on a weekly basis.

When I called to schedule the appointment last week, the very nice receptionist asked me what my priorities were.

The first thing I thought of was having the bathrooms and the kitchen cleaned.

But when my husband came home he said why don't you have them do something you don't want to do.  Something you hate.  
I hadn't thought of that.

I don't love to clean the cabinets.
You know, wipe down the faces of them and clean the handles.

I hate doing the windows.

Cleaning the baseboards is a huge job.


So is cleaning all the doors

dusty blinds

I hate cleaning the blinds.

And I probably don't clean out my fridge as much as I should.

So what do you think.  
I only have the 2 housekeepers for 1 1/2 hours.
Should I have them clean the bathrooms/kitchen
or do one or more of the chores that I hate to do?
What would you suggest?

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