Friday, January 15, 2016

15 Minute Refresh


Okay so things are about to get real up in here. Real vulnerable… so let’s promise each other we won’t be judgmental about what I’m about to share with you, mmmkay?

Let’s just say that I have a friend who has had days where she looks down at 4:30 and is still in her pajamas - er, workout clothes - and looks around and wonders “what have I done all day?” Does this ring a bell with anyone?? I mean, not myself, but any of y'all?!

Has your hubby ever called and said he’ll be home in 15 minutes and you think, “C R A P”, I guess I should turn Netflix off and make my bed. Hmmm…. and maybe now would be a good time to brush my teeth….and maybe get the kids out of their jammies….”

Being a stay at home mom (or work at home mom... or single mom... or any kind of wifey!) does NOT mean we sit at home and eat Bon Bons and watch Netflix all day - but there ARE days where it’s easy to not get anything crossed off your list. Either it’s because you’ve been drowning in a pile of laundry, or a sick - or just plain  needy - baby, or you’ve been running errands like a crazy person, or you just maybe took an hour for “yourself” to sit on the couch and watch netflix - er, read a book.

It’s easy for a day to feel completely wasteful and for your husband to walk in the door with wide eyes and ask the dreaded question, “what have you been doing all day?” (Let’s not get into the fact that he should N E V ER ask that question, am I right?)
But I have some quick and painless ways to hit restart - even at 4:30 in the afternoon - so that when your hubby, or other invited guests, walk in the door, it feels calm and refreshing.

1. TURN ON (LOUD) MUSIC.

The only exception to this step is if you have a baby napping. I have found that Taylor Swift does the trick every time, but for you it might be George Strait or Maroon 5. I am a worship music gal, but for this particular exercise, worship music doesn’t do it for me. I need something super upbeat and get-movingish to snap me out of whatever kind of funk I’m in that day. This step is essential to a successful Refresh.

2. ENLIST YOUR CHILDREN

If your children are old enough (like mine), enlist them to help. This is where the music helps too. For us, they’ve gotten use to this process so they know that when the music goes on loud at the end of the day, it’s pick up time. They are in charge of picking up upstairs, taking up their laundry and anything else from downstairs and a lot of days I make them pick up the back yard at this time too. Mainly, their job is to let me do MY job too.

3. SET YOUR TIMER FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES AND GO.

This helps you from getting distracted when an email dings on your computer or a text comes through on your phone. This is “get it done” time and you CAN do it, so focus!!

4. PICK UP THE MAIN SPACE

Our house is basically one giant room on the bottom that we live in, so this is where I start. It’s what Jeff - or anyone - would see when they walk in the door. I put away any dishes in the sink and anything that is on the counter in the kitchen. This is not reorganizing and throwing away time… this is putting it away as fast as we can time.

After I finish with the kitchen, I pick up the living room… whatever the kids haven’t already picked up. I generally have to fold blankets and put pillows back on the couch and clean up the tornado that Landry has left in his wake. **At this point, I generally put most of his toys away and leave out just a handful that aren’t messy. So he’ll have his play table and maybe a big car or two and a ball. But I put up his blocks and shape sorter, etc…. anything that can spread out into a big mess, I put away.

I double check our bedroom to make sure the bed is made and there isn’t dirty laundry on the floor and then I’m done with the pickup step. The goal is not to pickup the whole house… just where YOU or YOUR HUSBAND hang out. What he’ll most likely be walking through in the first 10 minutes he gets home.

5. DUST

You probably read this step and thought, I’m out… but hang with me. I hate dusting too. But I’ve found that the swifter duster is A M A Z I N G for this little process. And quick. I simply drag it along all of the surfaces in the living room, breakfast nook and bedroom. Easy peasy. It probably takes me 90 seconds. For real.

6. OPERATION SMELL CLEAN + SHINE ALL THE THINGS.

This is my favorite step and it combines tips from some favorite women in my life.

First, I pour a little lemon pine sol in my kitchen sink and then fill it up with hot water. Not all the way, but some. While it’s filling up, I run around to the bathrooms and pour a little in each toilet and then come back to the sink. Turn off the water, then grab some lemon clorox wipes and head back to the bathroom.

This is FlyLady’s infamous “swish and swipe”. Swish the pinesol water around in the toilet with the toilet brush and then wipe down the seat real quick with one of the clorox wipes. Done. If you’re feeling like you’re doing good on time, wipe the bathroom counter down too (PRIOR to wiping the toilet, of course!)

Wipe down all the kitchen counters either with the wipes or your favorite counter cleaner. I love Mrs. Meyer’s basil scented spray. This isn’t a move all of the things and wipe type of deal… I just do what I can see and move on.

Next - one of my favorite tips of all time - use one of the clorox wipes to wipe down the door frame (and door) that your beloved husband (or guests) will walk into. This will ensure that they will step into a smell-clean home. Smell is the most powerful scent…. so keep that in mind! I typically wipe down the door and then the trim in the hallway he walks through just to make sure it REALLY smells good!!

***Throw away your wipes and leave the pinesol in the sink for the time being***

7. FIX YO-SELF

This is the point in time that you get dressed - even if it’s just changing from sweatpants and a tee shirt to JEANS and a tee shirt. If your teeth are feeling a bit fuzzy… BRUSH THEM. Put on a little perfume. Wash your face if you need to… or put on a little blush, mascara and lip gloss - my favorite combo. You’ll feel better and if your hubby is on his way home you’ll look FRESH and ready to welcome him home.

8. CHANGE THE MUSIC.

After the mad rush of cleaning and picking up is over, I settle the music down to what my kids call “cooking music.” It’s a nice blend of Norah Jones, Harry Connick and Frank Sinatra. (You can follow me over on spotify.) It relaxes me and it also sets the tone for the household for the rest of the evening.

9. SET THE TABLE

If you’re having dinner together, go ahead and set the table. For me, this typically happens after the timer goes off… and that’s okay. I enlist one of the children to help. Our table happens to be located right where Jeff walks in so it’s a nice statement to be made… “we’re looking forward to having dinner together!” if it’s set all nice and ready. Honestly, my kids fight over who gets to set the table. It’s weird, I know. But I’ll just go with it at this point.

10. EMPTY THE SINK + FLUSH THE TOILETS   

You can’t have him knowing what your secrets are!

BONUS STEP :: GET SOMETHING COOKING

If you have dinner planned - or even if you don’t - this is a great way to scream “LOOK, I’VE DONE SOMETHING TODAY!” to whoever it is that walks in the door. A tip I received from a friend of my mom’s is to caramelize some onions so when you’re hubby walks in he gets that beautiful smell! Or throw some break + bake cookies in the oven.

***Caramelizing onions is super simple. Throw a bit of butter in a skillet and slice up some onions real thin and let it go to work on medium heat. They take about 30 minutes to caramelize all the way… so it’s a GREAT thing to have set on the stove when someone walks in. And you can throw them over most anything you’re cooking. Except maybe a casserole. But if you’re making a casserole in the oven, you don’t need the onions caramelizing anyway, right?

And there you have it.

My 15 Minute Refresh. A good combo of advice and tips I’ve received from wise women I’ve met and stuff I’ve found to be true for myself!! I hope it helps y’all to have a happy home too! If you have any tips I’d LOVE to hear them! Share them below so we can all benefit from them!!!!

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