Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

How to Get Your Grout to Look Brand New

Grout can be troublesome. While ceramic tiles are designed to resist stains, deflect grime and last for years, grout tends to absorb dirt and become strained all too easily. You might have tried many different cleaning solutions and homemade remedies on your grout, but nothing seems to get that dark brown stain out from between those shiny ceramic tiles. What can you do?

Remember, when tackling dirty grout, always start out with a mild cleaning solution, and if that doesn’t clean it fully, gradually move on to more aggressive cleaners. Of all the commercial cleaning solutions out there, we’ve found OxyClean to be the simplest and most effective at tackling messy grout lines and dirty tiles. Not only is OxyClean tough on grout, its main component is hydrogen peroxide, a “green” cleaning product that is neither a carcinogen nor a neurotoxin. Simply combine the OxyClean with water, rub onto the grout, and let sit for the recommended time before rinsing it off and brushing away any residue.

You might be tempted to use a rough brush to push the solution into the grout lines. Don’t do that! Using an abrasive brush such as steel wool or Brillo pad will wear down the grout and do more harm than good. In some cases, it could break through the grout, forcing you to get it replaced. Of all the brushes, an old electric toothbrush is the most effective at brushing dirt out of grout. Much like it does to your teeth, the electric toothbrush rotates and scrubs the gunk out of the grout, while simultaneously reaching those hard-to-get or unseen spots.

If you’re having no luck with the various cleaning solutions, consider investing in a steam mop. A steam mop uses high pressure, hot water and steam to blast your flooring and clean your grout. The high pressure created by the machine lifts dirt from inside the porous grout lines, flushing it out and leaving a shiny, new-looking surface in its wake.  Using a steam mop is great on the environment since it uses hot water instead of harsh cleaning chemical solutions.

 

Cleaning with the steam mop is very easy. To use your steam mop, all you need to do is hold the nozzle and direct the steam through it and onto the grout line. Direct the nozzle up and down the grout lines to directly take on the dirt. You want to rent or buy a steam mop that has a strong pressure gauge and can reach ~350ºF, as this is the optimal temperature for cleaning grout. Cleaning mops are very effective when used alone, even more so when used following a more traditional cleaning attempt using a homemade or commercial cleaning solution which are used by the professionals such as Sir Clean Pro. Once you’re finished using the steam mop, use an attached brush, old toothbrush or nylon brush with soft bristles to wipe away any leftover dirt residue. Once you’re done, your tile floor or wall should look shiny and new.

Single Moms and Raising Teen-Aged Sons

Single Moms and Raising Teen-Aged Sons

By Diane Windsor (Publisher, MotinaBooks.com)
Diane@MotinaBooks.com

I remember so clearly when my son was little.  He was seven when his father and I divorced, and we moved out of state.  Sure, we struggled, but we had many good times, too.  I was a super-involved single mom.  When he was in elementary school, I knew all of his teachers.  I attended class parties, and I never missed a parent-teacher conference.

I made sure he was involved in fun extra-curricular activities with other boys his age.  We were very active in Cub Scouts.  The Pinewood Derby was always my favorite event!  Together, we built several cars that won the race!  I was a very proud Derby Mama; I knew how to polish those axels and make the cars go FAST!

He joined a basketball team for several years, and that really helped him grow.  I was there for every practice and game, and I was the mom who kept track of all the players’ statistics.  My son was good at defense, but he never wanted to shoot.  I’ll never forget the one time he was in the perfect spot to get a basket.  The parents were sitting on the bleachers wondering what he would do.  Then, he threw the ball and made the basket!  We all got on our feet and cheered.

But sports were not his passion.  And he decided not to continue with Boy Scouts.

My adorable little boy was becoming one of the most feared creatures on Earth; the teenager with an attitude.  He loved to argue with me.  Everything I said was wrong.  He was still doing pretty well in school, which was certainly a relief.  But home was a different story.  We got along fine as long as he was doing and getting what he wanted.  But when I needed him to do something for me or the household, it wasn’t happening and an argument erupted.

The Challenges of Raising Teen-Aged Sons

Being the mother of a teen boy can be so challenging!  I’m five-feet, three inches tall on a good day, and my son towered over me when he was only thirteen.  His father lived out of state, so I was on my own with this kid.  How in the world would life be bearable until he graduated from high school?

As a mom, I was tempted to just give in to his wishes to make peace in our home.  I certainly did not look forward to the days that, after being at work for nine hours, there would be a huge knock-down, drag-out waiting for me at home.

Truths About Raising a Teen-Aged Son

I needed to remind myself of several important truths:

  • I’m the adult, not him. This was my home, and he was allowed to share it with me.  I paid the bills, and I made the rules.  Even though he is absolutely sure that he knows more than I do, I know that I’m right.  I need to stand my ground and be the adult.
  • Giving in to his demands will not help him. As a parent, it’s my job to raise a child into an adult.  This boy needs to become a strong man, and I need to help him.  This means that he needs to understand that the choices he makes will have consequences, whether they are good or bad.  If he chooses to not complete his school work, he will suffer the consequences of that choice.  It’s not my job to bail him out.  The same rules apply at home.  If he decides not to do a household chore that is his responsibility, I will provide the consequences.
  • Enabling him and bailing him out will not help him. It would have been so easy for me to clean up after him, cook all his meals, and just give in, in order to keep peace in my house.  But is that teaching him how to be a strong, independent man?  No!
  • Parents have more power than we think we do. It seems that many parents today are almost afraid to discipline their children.  It is okay if we don’t give our children every single thing they want.  “No,” is a complete sentence.  We do not need to give them an explanation for the decisions we make.

This difficult time with my son is only a season.  It won’t last forever.  I know that it’s my job to help him grow into a successful young man, and he won’t always enjoy the process!  I’m looking forward to the day, maybe five or ten years down the road, when I hear the words, “Mom, you were right!”

3 Secrets to Having the Best New Year Ever (Even if Last Year Sucked)!

3 Secrets to Having the Best New Year Ever (Even if Last Year Sucked)!

Happy New Year and welcome to a fresh start! Last year sucked for so many people. I had some challenges too so I’m glad 2016 is behind me. Now we have the chance to start again with a fresh new sheet of paper.

Last year sucked for so many people. I had some challenges too so I’m glad 2016 is behind me. Now we have the chance to start again with a fresh new sheet of paper.

We get to write a new story for a new chapter of our lives. There are a lot of opinions about how to make it a great year, how to keep your resolutions, and how to be successful. There are even these lists of 17 things floating around for how to make 2017 great.

Personally, I get overwhelmed with a list that’s over five items so to keep it simple for everyone I only have three things to do to make 2017 the best ever.

Here are my top three tips for how to have the best new year ever

1. Stop caring about what other people think

Listen to your heart stop caring with others think

As I get older I care less and less about what other people think, but this year I cared way too much. Big mistake. I was miserable trying to keep up with the opinions of others. That was a total failure.

This year I’m pulling the rug out from under the opinions of others who are not where I want to be or have not experienced what I have experienced. I’m taking the attitude of Trust, but verify. I have to do a gut check to see if what others are saying, the advice they are handing out like lollipops, is worth the time and energy to follow.

Take a page out of my book and just stop caring about what other people think. Start following your heart instead. You know the answers and if you don’t pray for wisdom and trust that God will give you the right answers and send the right people your way.

2. Do you (improve along the way)

Be an Original and Do You

We live in such a copycat world right now that it’s hard to know what is genuinely you and what is someone else’s influence. Social media plays a huge part in this phenomenon. However, you have to decide to do what you do best and forget about the rest.

Embrace your personality, your quirks, even your dark side. In the process, you will learn to trust and love yourself more so you have more to give your children and the world when it’s time. The hidden benefit of doing you is your level of self-acceptance increases.

When you accept yourself it is easier to make small improvements along the way. It is fun and you don’t feel the pressure of having to change because someone else said you should.

3. Plan for success and focus only on what you want

Focus only on what you want - RichSingleMomma.com

Finally, make a plan for success. How?

Simply decide what you want for the year (I suggest the top 3 things), write it down and post where you will see it each day.

The next thing is to focus only on what you want and ignore the rest. You almost have to have tunnel vision so you can’t see the distractions or the B.S. that is constantly coming up. This is the key and what they mean about living your life on purpose.

If you want to go to school put it on the list. Start with getting information about the school, programs, and enrollment dates. Talk to an adviser about your goals. Then register for a class to test out whether it is right for you.

Just stay focused on the activities that will get you toward your goals. Let the rest fall our of your view.

If you do these three things for the first three months of the year, the rest of the year will be on fire! Amazing! Unstoppable!

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Grab my course, How to Unleash Your Unstoppable Power, for only $.99 (plus you get unlimited access to 1,000s of other courses for 3 months)! In my course you will discover the 16 steps to living fearlessly and authentically for the rest of your life, one day at a time.

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

With two teens, my daughter who is in college, works, and drives all over the city, and my son who is beginning to launch out I’m always concerned about their safety. I try not to be paranoid when they go out but I’m that kind of mother with the wild imagination.

I’m thinking about what to get them for Christmas. My daughter says she just wants clothes and makeup and my son wants Star Wars footed pajamas. If only life were that simple and if only those things could keep them safe. Well this year, in addition to getting them what they want, I’m giving them the gift of safety.

There are a few options. I can get my daughter a can of mace and a whistle. That really could work but she may need something more if she is stranded on the side of the road in her car or walking across campus.

Self-defense classes is a great gift. I took classes when I was in college and I always remember what I learned all those years ago. I need something more immediate, portable, and great for any sticky situation though.E/T Safety Lights Give Gift of Safety

I heard about and ordered the E/T muti-use safety light to see how it works. According to the website Special Operations
military uses it on missions. There are four colored lights that mean different things in a rescue situation. I don’t want to think about that kind of scenario but it’s better to be safe than sorry for example during hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc…

When I got the light, I took it out of the packaging and started pressing the button, I cycled through the four colors, red, yellow, blue and green. The final cycle was a strobe of all the colors. The E/T Light was originally designed for US Spec Ops medics. E/T Lights last from 4 to 9 days on a constant on selection, they can be used for backup lights for those with no power, signaling lights for rescue, and still be used for a Christmas party or Mardi Gras!

If you want to add another layer of safety to your kids, college-aged daughter, elderly parent, or yourself it might be a good idea to give the gift of safety with the E/T light and free Visual 911+ app.

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Maia Haag

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Maia Haag

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet woman entrepreneur Maia Haag, Co-Founder and President of I See Me!

What kind of business do you have?

I See Me! (www.iseeme.com) is the largest publisher of personalized children’s books and gifts in the US. We sell beautifully illustrated and designed personalized books that are made one-by-one especially for each child. The books make perfect holiday gifts, new baby gifts, birthday and baptism gifts for children ages 0-8.

i-see-me-fairytalebundle
What keeps you going? What’s your Why?

The mission of I See Me! is to make each child feel special. Our books help to build self-esteem in children because the child is the star of the story. Our books are deeply personalized. For example, many of our books allow the gift-giver to select the skin tone and hair color of the child. Other of our books incorporate a photo of the child’s face into the illustrations. As a result, children love reading their very own books over and over, and they cherish them forever.


What kind of help did you have to start and build your company?

My husband and I built our company together. We received a personalized book for our own child and we thought it could have been done better. My husband is a graphic designer, I am a marketer, and we combined our business minds to create a much higher quality personalized book than what was in the marketplace. Now we have a fantastic team of leaders helping to shape the company.

i-see-me-123blastbundle
What makes you feel successful in life and business?

I have re-defined success to mean not only building a successful business, but also having time for my children, husband and myself. I especially enjoy the one-on-one time that I plan with each of our kids and with my husband. For many years I was focused on the business at the expense of my personal life, and I have made some major shifts such as no longer working in the evenings. It required me to redefine my definition of success in order to do that.

maia-haag-womens-entrepreneur-week.jpgBIO: Maia Haag is an entrepreneur and general manager who has gone from managing multi-million dollar businesses at General Mills to writing and self-publishing personalized children’s books that have generated multi-millions in sales. Maia is the Co-Founder and President of I See Me! , the largest publisher of personalized children’s books in the world.

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Sharon Blumberg

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Sharon Blumberg

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet Dallas mom, Sharon Blumberg in the interview I had with her.

What kind of business do you have? 

I am the owner of a children’s lifestyle brand called CHOOZE. We create footwear, apparel, and accessories that are different, literally. We are best known for our signature creatively-coordinated footwear – the left shoe is always different from the right – and we have extended our colorful design aesthetic onto our apparel and accessories.

chooze-spook-baby-booties      chooze-candy-pants

Thanksgiving special – 50% off all purchases over $100 on mychoooze.com with the code GIVETHANKS.

What keeps you going? What’s your Why?chooze-candy-dress

The entire goal for our business has always been about empowering kids to reach their potential and inspiring parents to
give their kids the freedom to do so. CHOOZE is about self-expression, creativity, and confidence. When we foster these qualities we can do anything. The name of the brand represents our power to choose to be who we are truly meant to be. From the design concept to our socially responsible business model, our “why” is about the power of choice.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Being a business owner brings on new challenges every single day. Every day I am tested on how I will react and handle a new issue. I would say that my biggest challenge is trying to stay calm and positive through the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship.

What do you do for regular self-care?

I try to take time every day to do something for me, whether it’s going for a walk or practicing yoga. The practice of yoga has been fully transformative for me because it has taught me to calm my otherwise chaotic mind, to be strong & flexible on and off the mat, and to live consciously.

sharon-blumberg-choozeBIO: Sharon Blumberg is a Dallas mom on a mission to empower and elevate kids through creativity and confidence. Blumberg’s career began as an artist and designer focused on creating custom murals and furniture for children’s rooms. Since becoming a mom to three creative kids, she realized one of her greatest passions – using art to motivate kids to dream big. Blumberg turned this passion into a business and created CHOOZE, a lifestyle brand that started with a line of creatively-coordinated footwear.