Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Avoid Basement Water Damage {Guest Post: Global Restoration}

It starts. The phase of life where most everyone I know is either already in a home, just purchased a home, or looking into buying a home.
Me and my husband included.
Typically, you might view the basement as the 'man's domain' or an area that is generally off limits. However, this guest blog post is a call to all wives, moms, or female house owners with basements. These tips given by Global Restoration are great when trying to limit basement water damage, and it was perfect timing they reached out to me with these. I just had to share with y'all!

Tips for Avoiding Basement Water Damage

The underground nature of basements makes them a prime spot for leaks, floods, and a general accumulation of water and dampness, even if it’s not raining. Over time, water damage to a basement can not only ruin your belongings, but can also cause structural damage and provide a place for mold to grow and cause chronic health issues that can affect your family.

Depending on your exact basement, there are countless ways for you to ensure that everything stays nice and dry like it should, allowing you to avoid water damage. Here are just a few options and tips for keeping your basement waterproof.

     Apply a waterproof paint or sealant to your basement walls: While this won’t solve all of your problems, since it doesn’t eliminate the source of your leaks, it can help protect your walls from minor leaks and dampness.

     Check your foundation: Look for any visible cracks in the foundation itself, as well as the slope of the dirt right at the edge of your home or business. If it slopes toward your basement, regarding it to slope away might help you avoid floods.

     Plan your garden: Keep plant matter at least a foot away from your foundation to avoid roots growing into it and causing cracks.

     Point gutter spouts away: Spouts from your gutters should open up at least a full five feet away from the edge of your foundation and should point down a slope going away from your home or business.

     Repair cracks and holes around piping: Any cracks in the walls of your basement, or gaps around pipes and walls, present an opportunity for water to get in and damage your basement.

     Check and seal gaps: Cracks and gaps in corners and where the floor, walls, and ceiling meet can be easily missed.

     If your basement floods often, install a sump pump: This is a damage-control measure rather than true waterproofing, but in areas that flood frequently, this type of automatic pump can help to minimize damage in the event of storms and floods.

     Permanently seal your basement: A professional contractor can use a special type of clay to seal up the exterior of your basement, filling in the gaps that allow water to soak through and cause damage.

     Ensure good seals around windows: Basement windows tend to be low to the ground and can easily become a source of flooding if rain begins to rise a few inches.

In the event of water damage to your home or business, Global Restoration can help. Restore your peace of mind with Georgia Water Damage Restoration, Indiana Water Damage Restoration, and Ohio Water Damage Restoration

To learn more, please contact the water damage experts at Global Restoration.

I hope you all learned a bit from this guest blog post. Thank you to Global Restoration for guest blogging on Young NASA Housewife!
Happy Home Owning! 
***Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Global Restoration in any way and did not receive compensation for their guest blog post. These are great tips that I found deserving to be posted on Young NASA Housewife blog.***

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Card Storage}

One of my favorite organizing bins is my card box. I am a HUGE card sender; something that I think I picked up from my mother because she is the same way.
I normally make cards because I really like to craft! Making cards is something I find joy in and I think it says something to those who receive them. I am always finding neat ways to craft cards on Pinterest!

That being said, I often have occasions in which I can't get around to making cards or I found some beautiful, amazing card that I want to use.
Hence the card box.
This card box I order online from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It is still available as the Card Storage Box with Dividers. I went ahead and labeled the box with my Martha Stewart Home Office Classic labels which I picked up from Staples. This card storage box is beyond convenient!
The card box has six removable dividers which make organizing your cards for specific events very easy. I wish that the dividers would snap in some way, but unfortunately they do not. Sometimes they can dislodge, but not often.
You will notice as well that it has a top that hinges down and snaps tight. This is helpful to keep moisture/humidity out. I went ahead and labeled my dividers with labeler focusing on my most used card categories.
Another nice feature in this card storage box is that it's not too large. It measures approximately 7 4/5" H x 9 1/3" L x 10 3/5" W. I like this size because it is large enough to house a good stock pile of cards, but not too large where I buy more cards than I will ever use.
I have them labeled; Birthdays, Engagement/Weddings, Additional Holidays, Thank Yous, Christmas, and then in the back I have Extra Envelopes.
The Additional Holiday label is for those holidays where I don't send out many cards, but may have occasion for an extra Valentine's Day card, Easter, and so on.

Thought I would share this great organizing storage box that helps keep avid card senders (like myself) organized. For me is beats the traditional cardboard storage boxes.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Household Product Faves! {My Everyday Household Cleaners}

 Ahhhhh, cleaning! The duty that typically precedes or even follows organizing. As a professional organizer, this is not a service I provide my clients. However, as the organizer and homemaker of my own household, this is something I cannot avoid in my daily activity.
To be honest, I actually rather enjoy my cleaning chores, and of course, the feeling of having everything not only organized in place, but also cleaner than clean.

I often get a few questions when I post organizing blogs on what products I use to clean with. I am fairly loyal to the products I use and thought I would share what I use to keep my household in shipshape.

Now, as a forewarning, these are my everyday cleaning products. I have more products not published here that I use for stains, leather treatments, extra tough cleaning, etc. I wanted to ONLY stick with what I use on a regular basis.

Everyday Kitchen Cleaners

The first is probably not new to anyone reading this blog. O you clean my sink so well! I use this Comet with Bleach Cleanser Lemon Fresh for my kitchen sink and I love how it cleans. I have tried several other cleansing powders in my sink and I just keep coming back to this one.
I am a bit pickier when it comes to my counter-top spray, because this is where much of my food preparation happens. I only use the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter-top spray on my counters in the kitchen. Not only is it a more natural product, but the scents are very natural in their own right. I have used several different scents in this spray, the lavender, lemon verbena, and the one I'm currently using the basil scent.

Everyday Bathroom Cleaners
This really goes without saying much. Everyone needs to clean their toilet. I prefer the Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner to any other brand. I think that Lysol works the best. I also really like the Cling Gel formula pictured here and typically always buy this type. I don't want to get too deep in writing about toilet bowl cleaner, but this cling gel formula is thicker than the original and I think it actually does what it says it will. Sticks to the bowl for better cleaning. I also use the Lysol Toilet Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner which helps keep everything fresh for up to four weeks. 
Fun, huh?!
I use Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner for my showers, tubs, toilet base, and even bathroom counter-top. I like the fast acting foaming action for hard to reach places. Also, I like it because it does so well on multiple surfaces like I mentioned; I use it on showers, tubs, and counter-tops.
I have mentioned this glass cleaner in another blog post before. I just love it that much! Sprayway Inc. has some awesome products. The Sprayway Glass Cleaner is by far the best product out there for cleaning mirrors, windows, windshields, and other glass surfaces. It is Ammonia free and does the job perfectly leaving zero streaks!

Everyday Furniture, Floor, and Fragrance
To dust I really have started liking this Dust and Shine Furniture Spray by Swiffer. I use this on my dusting cloth and it works on all colors of wood. I really like it because it wipes away fingerprints and adds a nice shine to all our furniture.
For my floors I have two Swiffers that I like to use after I vacuum. For simple spot mopping in a specific room, I typically gravitate toward the Swiffer Sweeper. If I am going to Swiffer the entire house ( I do every Monday) then I use my Swiffer Wet Jet Mop. I like both of these for my floors and they both work extremely well; however, sometimes nothing can beat using a bucket and rag on your hands and knees.
Finally, the last product that I use for my everyday clean is Febreze. I like to use the Febreze Fabric Refresher on my couches and rugs after I clean. I don't have that pictured here. To freshen all the rooms in my home after I have finished cleaning, I use the Febreze Air Effects. Most recently I picked up the Brilliant Spring Blossoms scent and I really enjoy it.

So there you have it! Maybe boring to some and interesting to a few, these are my everyday household cleaners that I use and really like. Don't get me wrong, I am always searching for newer, better products but these have weathered the storm of search thus far.
Let me know if you have any favorite household products in the comments below and why you love them! I love to hear from you all!

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***Disclaimer: All opinions and thoughts are my own. None of these products were sent to me for a review, nor did I receive compensation to discuss them. All products were purchased by me***

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tea Habits {Current Tea Favorites & Tea Brewing Science}

As most of you may know, I love my tea! And while occasionally I will have myself a nice cup of coffee, it is a rarity on most days if I don't have a cup of tea.
I wanted to share with you my two currently favorite teas, along with my tea brewing device that I get many questions on.
My first favorite tea is a black tea from The Republic of Tea brand, called Mango Ceylon. I tend to gravitate toward black tea more so than White, Green or Oolong since black tea is oxidized longer it produces a stronger flavor. Most of the time I really enjoy a stronger flavor for my morning tea because it really wakes me up. Makes me want to take on the day, much like a cup of coffee would.
Just for some additional information, unlike green tea which turns bitter when brewed at a higher temperatures, black tea should be steeped in freshly brewed boiling water. I like steeping my black teas for about 3-4 minutes, unless it is a more delicate black tea.

My second favorite tea at the moment is from World Market, and it is an Organic Pomegranate White Tea. White Tea, unlike Black Tea, is oxidized very lightly and is brewed at a lower temperature just above where Green Tea is brewed. I really enjoy White Teas! They are calming and relaxing; a great tea to have in the afternoon or evening. It doesn't have as strong of a flavor, so I often add the smallest amount of honey and steep for a bit longer then normal.

So how do I brew?
I brew my tea in my Cuisinart PerfectTemp Electric Kettle which I LOVE! I think this is perfect for avid tea drinkers like myself. I do have to say that I am looking into another one that is programmable and actually steeps the tea for you; but for now, this little guy does the trick and allows me to brew the perfect cup of tea!
As you can see here, I have six different temperature options to brew my different teas with. The options include Delicate, Green, White, Oolong, FrenchPress, and Black. It also have a 'Keep Warm' feature that wills keep your water at temperature for 30 minutes.
It has an easy to open top and also sits on the power base while brewing but will remain on while you remove to pour water.
This electric kettle holds 1.7 L of water and it is actually in this area where the blue LED lights come one to show activity.
I love this! Always easy to brew and steep a cup of tea in the morning.

I finally just wanted to show you my tea/coffee cabinet where I store my tea and three coffee K-Cups at a time.
Here I have a long bamboo holder in back (you can't really see) that has your average Lipton Lemon Black Tea and then I have my favorite teas of the moment in front with my Stevia sweetener.
To the right, I have a smaller bamboo organizer with some single tea packets. Mostly by the brand Bigelow.
And finally, like I mentioned I keep three K-Cups at a time in my cabinet. I don't drink coffee all that often so I just keep three at a time here and the rest packed away to replace when needed.

I hope you enjoyed my favorite teas (which I recommend you trying) and seeing how I make my tea! Like always, I will keep you updated on new teas that I try and if I venture out to get the additional tea steeper.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Freshen Up your Home! {3 Ways to Add Life and Color}

Ever feel like you need a pick-me-up? No...I'm not talking coffee and caffeine, but more of the interior decor boost.

Whenever I feel like my home feels a bit drab or just not very lively, there are three ways I add some life and color to my surroundings.

One: Fresh Flowers- It is so easy to add some color and life to your home with some fresh flowers or greenery! I personally love this! I think it is one of the cheaper ways to freshen up your home. It can also set the tone for different areas in your home. I love colorful sunflowers, lilies, or peonies flowers in my kitchen to lighten the mood. However, some deep red roses in your bedrooms can create a romantic ambiance. Fresh flowers can really bring joy and life.

Two: Colorful Throw Pillows- Switching out your older throw pillows that may not contain as much color is a great way to add some vibrant color to your home. I had some darker throw pillows on my living room couches that just felt melancholy. All I did was some shopping around for throw pillows and found some that brought color to the room. The living room feels peaceful and inviting. All because I used color in my throw pillows!

Three: Scented Candles/Plugins- Not all life and color comes completely from your sense of sight. We have to also focus on our other senses. Your sense of smell can help open the door to a fresh home. I love lighting candles...doesn't even matter what season of the year it is. Having some scents waft around my home makes it feel more alive; and pending on the scent can also very literally freshen up your home.

How do you add life to your home? Would love to hear your tips and tricks!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Kitchen Office}

If you are like me, you probably spend the most of your time in the kitchen. 
Okay...maybe YOU don't but I certainly do. I feel like I live in the kitchen some days. From cleaning, doing dishes, cooking, baking, putting away groceries, creating our menus, etc. I find that I am in the kitchen space more often than not.

It is because I'm in the kitchen so much (on top of it being centrally located in our home) that I have found creating a kitchen office to be a lifesaver!

I have a kitchen drawer that I have set aside from the norm of kitchen utensils, silverware, and towels, to be my dedicated kitchen office drawer.
 Inside my drawer I have all the necessary office supplies for easy access when I'm working in the kitchen. I often need rubber bands, pens to write menus/shopping lists, or even Post-its for those dinner reminders. But I'll get deeper into that in a minute.

The drawer has an expandable bamboo drawer organizer in it with several removable pieces to create the organization space that works with you. So you will notice I have the right hand side of the organizer expanded, however the left hand side is not.
I have pens, pencils, and a few colored Sharpies/markers in the back space. These I use for notes, menu planning, and even the occasional 'I love you' note in my husband's lunch.
In the very front section, (both of these sections are larger than the four center sections) I have several pairs of scissors. These are in here to open packages mostly. I have kitchen scissors for food packages located elsewhere in my kitchen. Also, in this section I have a small screwdriver.
In the waaaayyy back there is extra space in the drawer because the organizer does not go back that far. I house a few of my favorite Martha Stewart Home Office labels back there that I use in my Filofax (the little labels) and for my food containers in my pantry (the bigger labels).
In the four small center compartments of the organizer I just keep a few office supplies that I use occasionally. Rubber bands I use if I run out of bag clips or twisty ties. I have white out with a few binder clips in another section. The white out is for mistakes while addressing envelopes (bills, cards, etc.); and the binder clips I use mostly in my project binder, which is in another How I Stay Organized post.
I then have some colored paper clips, which to be honest I don't use all that often. Along with those, I have the Post-it pull up sticky flags which I use for everything; marking recipes in a cookbook, my Filofax organization, searching through magazines, and much more!
Finally, in the last smaller section I have some different sized Post-its and my staple remover.
On the right hand side I have used the expandable feature on the organizer to house my tape dispenser, stapler, a few envelopes, some scrap paper (for shopping lists), and finally stamps for mailing.

I think a kitchen office is a great way to keep from always running to your craft room or office for basic office needs. Obviously I'm not going to move my entire office supply in my kitchen, but for convenience and productivity having a drawer dedicated as my kitchen office helps me stay on top of things while in the kitchen.

Do you have a junk drawer in your kitchen? That is the perfect place to clean and organize into your kitchen office.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Product Failures {Beauty}

This was a requested blog post that I have actually been meaning to do before the suggestion was made on my 100th Blog Post Giveaway.

I didn't really know what to call this blog post. The reason being I don't really consider these products outright failures, as they may have worked for some other people. However, they have failed me. I even like some of these brands too! That is why I struggled putting them on here. Unfortunately, their one product was enough of a failure; but that doesn't mean the brand doesn't have other products that are great!

1. Burt's Bees Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion

I like Burt's Bees! I really do! I was so sure that I would really love this Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion. To my disappointment it didn't really help with acne and instead of moisturizing my face, I found that it dried my skin out. I also think that on my skin the salicylic acid doesn't do the trick for acne. It may work for some people's skin, but I found I have to have acne medicine as one product, and a more intense facial lotion as another. I did a blog post on my current favorite daily facial moisturizer that you should check out for reference.

2. ZENO Hot Spot Blemish Clearing Device

I think I purchased this at Walmart when I was in college. It was the "NEW THING" to help with acne. Unfortunately, this little ZENO device has sat idle in my medicine cabinet for some time now. I probably used this a grand total of 5 times in the years I have owned it. It doesn't work! The idea is to have the gray button heat up to kill any bacteria you may have on the blemish. It is supposed to get rid of it in 24 hours or something like that. Never worked.

3. Victoria's Secret Face Primer and Setting Spray

So this really isn't a total failure! But I guess it's a failure compared to other products. I saw this VS Setting Spray while randomly shopping in Victoria's Secret and I decided to pick it up. It was roughly $10 for a pretty big bottle! I thought, 'well if it works then this would be a HUGE score'. Going into it I have been spoiled by my Urban Decay All Nighter spray so when I tried this I just didn't like how it compared. Although, I have read several reviews that rave about this product, so for the price it just may be worth a try.

4. Olay Firming Cream (Night of Olay)

This is another shame because there are definitely good Olay products out there. However, this Olay Firming Cream (Night of Olay) just doesn't do it for me. I bought this as a night cream and right off the bat I noticed that I didn't care for the smell. I did a Google search on the smell to see if other people have noticed it. I didn't find too much in that department. I also found that if I got the product too close to my under-eye area I felt some stinging. Because I have sensitive skin on my face, I automatically decided to ditch this product from my night time regime.

5. Physicians Formula Mineral Correcting Bronzer

I have never been the biggest fan of Physicians Formula personally. So I guess it was a surprise to even me when I picked up the Physicians Formula Mineral Correcting Bronzer. I think it might have been one of my free gifts from Ulta. I'm not 100% sure. Nevertheless, I tried it. It claims to be a brightener, corrector, and bronzer 3-In-1 product ; but I have to tell you, all it did for me was pick up too much product on my makeup brush and then create a light stream of glitter on my face. I guess in all fairness it is "mineralized", but since when does that mean 'loose makeup that makes an absolute mess'. Then on top of the mess, it really wasn't a bronzer and was too shimmery to boot! I like to stick to more mat bronzers that offer a natural color.

There you have it! A few beauty products that I have purchased and used that simply don't cut it. What have you purchased that was a complete fail?


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit: Kennedy Space Center {NASA}

Ever since the Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit opened on June 29th, 2013 I have wanted to go see it. Not only because it is an amazing piece of American space history, but also because my husband had the privilege of working on the last shuttle mission.

We took the trip to the visitor's center with Joey's parents while they were here for the 4th of July. They made a few changes to the entrance since I had been there last, but once again seeing everything that goes into space travel amazes me.
Please enjoy these photos!

I hear about space and the work that NASA is doing daily. To be honest, sometimes I find myself rolling my eyes and wishing I could hear about something else. But at the end of the day, when you are able to see the masterpieces that have allowed Americans to explore the heavens above us, you can't help but feel pride and awe.

We have barely touched the distances we can go. The work that NASA does in tandem with other space agencies is going to allow us to go further than we ever thought we could.
If you ever get the opportunity to head down to Florida, make sure the Kennedy Space Center is in your plans.