How to Clean Disney Mouse Ear Hats
Remember how I told you that we went to Disneyland back in December?  Did I mention that it was the wettest day ever?  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the wettest day on record.  But, there was steady rain throughout the day with the only breaks in the steady drizzle being heavy downpours.  So, we got wet. Really wet.
We ended up purchasing Disneyland ponchos for ourselves and also for our stroller so we could keep it and the contents in it dry, shortly after we entered the park.  Only, our master plan didn’t work out so well.  I swear the rain must have been coming down sideways and upside down because our stroller and everything in it were soaked through.   By noon, Littlebug wasn’t able to use the stroller any longer.  But, I guess it was for the best because I could keep her warmer and dryer by wearing her in our carrier.  
Anyway, when we got home, I realized that my beloved mouse ear hat had not only gotten soaked but  also really dirty in the rain.  I had tucked them into the stroller when I realized mouse ears and rain don’t mix.  But, they fell onto the ground at one point and, like everything else in our stroller, they were dripping wet by the end of the day.   So, I did some research online to figure out how to clean my mouse ears without ruining them.  But, I came up with nothing.  Literally not one tutorial for cleaning Disney mouse ears.  I couldn’t believe it!  
I had to do something so I decided to come up with my own method for cleaning them.  I knew that mild soap would probably work best, but what type?  Dish soap?  Laundry detergent?  And then it hit me…  The hat sits on my head and sometimes my hair is damp or wet when I put the ears on.   So, shampoo would be the most logical option.   So, I held my breath and gave it a whirl.
I’m happy to report it worked like a charm!  My ears look like brand new and they smell good too!  
Here’s how I did it:
Let me start by showing you what my ears looked like before I cleaned them.

Do you see all that dirt on the bottom left of the picture?  Not to mention the dust on the ears!  This hat has seen better days!

To clean my hat, I poured about a tablespoon of mild shampoo in a bowl and added about 1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water, mixing with my hand to make sure the shampoo dissolves.


Then, I dipped a washcloth into the mixture and squeezed most of the moisture out.  I started wiping my hat with the damp washcloth, using soft delicate strokes.  I continued dipping, squeezing and wiping and that took care of most of the dirt.  But some areas required more scrubbing.  So, I applied a little more pressure and was a little more aggressive and that seemed to take care of it.  The hat is made of felt and seemed pretty resilient so I would bet that a soft bristle toothbrush would also work on really stubborn stains.

I ended up cleaning both the outside and inside of my hat and wiped down the ears as well.  I kept the washcloth pretty dry so that my hat wouldn’t get soaked through again.  So, it wasn’t really wet, but I still set it outside for 30 minutes to dry, just to be sure.  After it dried, I noticed a couple spots that didn’t clean completely so I touched them up, using the same method, and let it dry again.

And that’s it!  My hat looks as good as new!   Here’s a side by side before and after so you can see the difference.


Mickey Ears Before & after

Time to book our next trip to Disney!  Hopefully it won’t rain this time!
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How to Clean an Iron
A while ago, I heard on the radio about a method for cleaning your iron using salt.  I was intrigued and decided to try it.  I followed the instructions and was seriously disappointed.  The results were so minimal that you’d have to use a magnifying glass to see the difference.  Boo. ๐Ÿ™
But, now I was on a mission.  So, I researched some other options for cleaning my iron and decided to try a salt and vinegar method I came across online.  I’m happy to report it was super simple to do and it worked like a charm!  My iron looks amazing now!  
Here are some pictures of my iron before I cleaned it.  

Not so pretty…O 1 After

So, here’s how I cleaned it:

O 2 S 1I placed equal parts (about 1/3 of a cup) of white vinegar and salt in a pot over low heat.  I heated the mixture until the salt started melting into the vinegar.  Then, once the vinegar started to boil, I turned off the heat and transferred the mixture to a bowl to cool slightly. 

O 2 S 2With the iron OFF, I dipped a clean towel into the mixture and rubbed the stains off the iron’s soleplate.  For tough marks, I had to use a little elbow grease.


O 2 S 3To clean the vents, I dipped a q-tip into the salt vinegar mixture then twisted the soaked q-tip into each vent.

Then, I cleaned the iron off with a clean damp towel.


O 2 S 6Lastly, I turned the iron on and set the steam setting to high to flush out anything that may have gotten trapped into the vents.

And that’s it!  My iron is super clean and I’m pretty sure it’s going to work more efficiently.
There are still a few marks, but this is far better!  Extra bonus: The pot I cooked the salt vinegar mixture in is a lot cleaner too! ๐Ÿ™‚
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When I was in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris.  My aunt and her family live there and they welcomed me in their home while I spent about 6 months in a french language immersion program.  It was an incredible experience and I did my best to take advantage of my time there.  I spent weekdays in class and on the weekends, if I wasn’t with my family, I could be found doing one of two things… (1) Taking the metro to a random stop then spending the day exploring while figuring out how to walk home or (2) visiting one of the many museums the city is rich with.
On one of my weekend expeditions, I went to the Musee Rodin and was met with the most beautiful tulip garden I had ever seen.  I was instantly in love and decided that one day I would have a stunning tulip garden just like the one I saw there.  So, when we were working on a design for our backyard a couple years ago, I insisted upon having a flower bed so that I could replicate the tulip garden I had seen so many years ago.  
Last year my tulip garden dream became a reality.  We ordered over 200 tulip bulbs and spent a weekend planting them.  We created a system where my hubby would measure and dig the holes, Lovebug would drop the bulbs in and I would cover the bulbs with soil.  My husband was meticulous in measuring out the rows and spacing of the bulbs which resulted in a gorgeous garden, but it required a lot of effort and, my gosh, was it time consuming!  But, I’m not complaining!  I got my stunning tulip garden! 
Because of the climate here in Arizona, we had to dig the bulbs out at the end of the season and keep them refrigerated until the winter when we could plant them again (gotta’ love Arizona summers!).  So, when it was time to plant them again, we came up with a more efficient and simple way to get the bulbs in the ground.  It took us less than half the time to plant the garden and the process was so much easier than digging a ton of small holes!   Here’s how we did it:
Easy method for planting bulbs

Start by removing the soil in the flower bed, going down to the depth your bulbs need to be planted.

We dug about 6 inches down for our tulips.

Then aerate the soil to give the roots room to grow.

Have your Lovebug help you lay the bulbs down on the soil, spacing them out the way you like (keeping in mind the spacing instructions provided by the manufacturer).

Like I said, last year we were extremely focused on the spacing of the bulbs, creating perfectly spaced rows and columns of tulips.  Of course, by “we” I mean my hubby.  ๐Ÿ™‚  But, this year we decided to go with a random approach without any specific rows or columns. 
Finally, gently top the bulbs with the soil you removed in the first step.  (Sorry I don’t have a better picture of the soil going on top.  My hubby had to top the bulbs while I was out.)  

Water and fertilize, as appropriate, and watch your gorgeous flowers bloom.

I can’t wait to see how our tulips turn out this year!  One thing is for certain, this method is WAY easier than the traditional method that we used last year!  We will certainly be using this approach every year going forward!

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My hubby and I made our own wedding invitations, which also meant that we had to seal and send them ourselves.  We both come from large families and the idea of licking hundreds of envelopes sounded like pure torture to us.  So, much so that we seriously talked about eloping.  Well, I seriously talked about it.  Not sure how convinced he was.  Anyway, as we walked the aisles of a store one day, it occurred to us…  We could just use glue sticks to seal the envelopes!  Perfect!  
The glue sticks created the perfect seal without damaging the invitations or ruining our tongues!  Since then, we have used glue sticks to seal all of our invitations, thank you cards and holiday cards.  They are the perfect size to get adhesive on the seal and not affect the cards.  They work like a charm and make the job of sealing envelopes quick and easy. 
I realize this isn’t rocket science, but it has really saved us time and energy so I thought I’d share, just in time for holiday card sealing! 
Good luck!
Glue stick uses; wedding invitations

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Let me begin this post by saying that I am not a hair dresser. I have not been trained in the fine art of doing hair nor am I am qualified to provide guidance on hair. However, I have a four year old daughter and I can’t seem to justify paying $25+ to my incredible hair dresser every 6-8 weeks to have Lovebug’s  hair trimmed and am guessing I’m not the only one in this position. So, I thought I’d share how we deal with this conundrum.

The first time we had Lovebug’s hair cut, we went to my lovely hair dresser who did a fantastic job.  It was a great experience.  However, I walked out of the salon thinking I don’t want to pay that amount every time she needs a trim.  So, I thought back to my younger days when I had bangs and remember that my hair dresser at the time showed me how I could give myself a quick trim to keep the bangs manageable without butchering my hair.  So, I decided to use the same technique to trim Lovebug’s hair and have been doing so for the last several years with great results. 

Please note that I simply trim 1/4-1/2 inch off of the bottom of Lovebug’s hair.  I never EVER attempt anything beyond that.  If we do anything significant to her hair, we take her in to a professional to save her the embarrassment of anything I might do. 

So, here’s how to do a quick trim…

1.  Wet the hair.  I usually cut Lovebug’s hair when she comes out of the shower.  It’s just easier that way.
2.  Comb all the tangles out and part the hair where you like. I part Lovebug’s hair down the middle when I cut it.

3.  Take a small section of hair, about an inch in width, and hold it between your index and middle finger. 
4.  With the scissors pointing vertically (NOT horizontally!), trim tiny pieces of the section of hair about 1/4 – 1/2 inch up.  Continue until all the hair in the section is trimmed.
4.  Continue grabbing small sections of hair and trimming tiny pieces with the scissors pointing vertically until you have trimmed all the hair.
5.  You’re done! 

Trimming the hair with the scissors pointing up creates a natural hair line at the bottom.  So, you don’t have to worry about cutting a perfectly straight line and you won’t end up with a blunt cut that has weird angles.  Natural hairline with healthy hair! 

DISCLAIMER: Again, I am not a professional!  Attempt this at your own risk!  I do not take responsibility for the results.  As long as you cut small pieces and keep the scissors vertical you should be fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

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