October 27, 2010

Clean Stainless Steel Appliances - Cheap and Easy

A few months ago we decided to replace our white kitchen appliances with stainless steel.  Within one hour I missed my white appliances.  Sure the stainless looks FAB, but OH MY GAH.......what a pain to keep clean with 4 kids running around. 

If you don’t believe me check out my dishwasher for yourself.


Yuck, gross, disgusting.  I don’t see any fingerprints, but look at all the streaks from water splashing while loading the dishwasher, UGH. 

I had no luck with the cleaners for stainless appliances so I “googled” my problem and found many tips on ways to clean stainless so after a few rounds of eeny, meeny, miny, moe I chose one and gave it a try.  Look at how beautiful my dishwasher is now!!!!  {This isn’t the best picture quality considering my shadow goes down the entire front, but you can get the idea.} 


I used two products to get this result:





Step One:  Using a microfiber cloth clean your appliances with the rubbing alcohol {rub in the direction of the grain}.  This will remove all fingerprints and grime.  Make sure the appliances are dry before moving on to the next step.

Step Two:  With a new microfiber cloth apply a thin coat of mineral oil to your appliances.  I applied the oil all over and wiped off any excess.

I folded the mineral oil cloth and put it in a Ziploc bag.  Now when my appliances need a little touch up I just reach in the bag and use the rag!

October 16, 2010

Projects In Progress - Sneak Peak

Around our house fall is our spring.  We seem to always start a kabillion projects, staying busy from October to January.

We are throwing our annual Halloween Party on the 30th so we decided to do  some of the things on our to do list, all in one month, like fools.

I finally chose a color and painted my living room.  The winner was Mega Greige by Sherwin Williams color matched by Valspar and I LURVE it!!  Here is a glimpse of what it looks like (left color is old and right color is Mega Greige).  I will post a final reveal once the entire room is complete.


I am working on a dresser I found for $25 to use as a media center in the living room.  It is currently black and I am going to paint it white and maybe add glaze.  I am still undecided but will post once complete!


Who me....a hoarder???

If my husband was not around I would definitely be a hoarder.  Who doesn’t need 200 magazines or 75 picture frames?  It is impossible to become a hoarder when your husband has a 30 cubic yard roll off container delivered to your backyard.  He wanted me to rid the house of all unwanted items.


Along with cleaning out the house he started sprucing up our pathetic excuse for a garage.  A new garage is not in the budget, so he threw out a ton of stuff into his beloved dumpster and is working with what we have by adding new siding, new garage doors, and a new roof.  Anything will look better then what is out there now, so I will be happy when that project is complete.


The last thing we started and need to finish before the Halloween party is cleaning our yard of big tree branches.  We live on 2.5 acres that is covered in massive oak trees.  Many branches were hanging over the garage or hanging low, so we got a great deal from a friend of a friend to cut some of the limbs.  Part of getting such a great deal consisted of him just dropping them where they landed and us chopping them smaller and moving them.  I can’t explain how excited I am about having to help with that job! 


Snapper season started this month and ends this month, so in addition to trying to complete all of these projects {we mindlessly started} we are trying to squeeze in some fishing on the weekends.  The last trip was unsuccessful in regards to red snapper, but I did catch my first shark!


Shhh.... don’t tell my husband.....

I have just as many projects I would love to complete next month!


October 15, 2010

Doctor Visit Reflection

Today my son Justin had a checkup at Children’s Rehabilitation Services.  Every 6 months we have to see an orthopedic doctor and a neurologist.  I dislike these appointments because they are usually very long.  As much as I loathe going, I always leave thankful and with a softer heart. 

Justin is severely disabled.  Born at 26 weeks gestation he suffered from an intraventricular hemorrhage which caused permanent brain damage.  He will never walk, talk, eat regular food or be potty trained.  He is diagnosed with CP, autism, sensory processing disorder, and hydrocephalus.  He has a shunt in his head and a g-tube button in his stomach for feedings/medicine. 


Although he has many disabilities most of our day to day problems arise from his ever changing sensory issues.  There are 3 types of sensory processing disorders, Justin has a combination of all 3 and within each type he is both hypersensitive (overly sensitive) and hyposensitive (under sensitive).  Sensory processing disorder can be described as a “traffic jam” of all the neurological signals from all of the senses.  Information comes into the brain from the sensory systems and due to the “traffic jam” the brain is unable to process and interpret the information correctly. 

He is under sensitive to pain.  When upset he bites the palm of his hand for comfort.  So much that a callous has formed and he has made himself bleed before.  We call him sock boy because we always have to put socks on his hands to help prevent injury. 

May 2007 (8)

He is over sensitive to sound.  He can hear things we can’t hear and sounds can upset or comfort him and they always change.  I used to not be able to wash clothes while he was awake because he would cry, hit and bite himself because he disliked the sound, but now he loves the sound and will crawl into the laundry room to listen to the washer.  The list goes on and on with sounds that bother him.  He is funny, instead of covering his ears he bends his ears forward, which makes it difficult to get a picture of him without his hands by his ears. 

2010_04 Birthday Boys 7th  (2)

He craves constant stimulation.  This is more annoying then anything.  He does many things for stimulation.  He loves to play with his toys in our hallway and then pull up on his knees and hit the walls with his hands.  He grinds his teeth for stimulation.  If we tell him to stop grinding his teeth he will click his teeth together.  He bounces up and down on the couch or his bed.  There is a constant banging, clicking or grinding noise in our house. 

He is over sensitive to movement.  You know the feeling you get in your stomach when an elevator stops suddenly, well that feeling is intensified 100 times more for Justin. 

He is over sensitive to things touching his skin.  He HATES, HATES, HATES, HATES water.  I am not sure what it feels like to him, but bath time is always HORRIBLE.  We try to desensitize him, but I don’t think he will ever like water. 

2009_07 Holiday 4th of July (22)

As bad as things sound, we live a normal life.  The way I can best describe Justin is he will always be like a 1 year old (with sensory issues).  He can scoot/crawl so he is not confined to a wheel chair.  He babbles but will probably never be able to talk.  He wears diapers.  He can now drink his Pediasure by mouth and he eats baby food. 

Of course there are days where we feel like things are hard, but then there are days like today when I take him to CRS and I realize how easy we have actually have it.  My heart breaks for all of the children there.  Many can’t move any limbs, are confined to a wheelchair and some that have to constantly have a nurse by their side to maintain their life.  There are kids that can’t smile.  I can’t imagine not being able to see my baby smile. 

2009 St. Pattys Day 001

Most kids there are born disabled.  Today there was a grown boy there with his father.  They were both  precious, inspiring and funny.  It was not until I heard one of the nurses talking to them about his weight that I realized he had once led a normal life and had been injured.  She said he used to weigh something but that was when he played football and worked out.  Tears immediately started flowing down my face when I realized who he was. 

Last year Timothy was a senior in high school.  He was a starting linebacker for his high school football team and he was an aspiring gospel rap artist getting ready to release his first cd.  His life changed October 9, 2009; with 39 seconds left in a football game he made a tackle that left him with a serious head injury.  He was paralyzed but after intense therapy has gained some movement on his right side.  You can read about him here

8945365-large Picture via 

Now from what I have read about this family, they would not want me to shed a tear for their situation.  They inspire people and did me, but I could not help it.  They were sitting across from me, I had to turn my head to wipe my tears and I had to keep swallowing to make the lump in my throat go away. 

Seeing him got me thinking.  Is it really better to have had and lost then to have never had at all????? 

Yea, yea, yea I know we all have a calling in life, we move on from unfortunate situations, the bad makes us better, etc.  I know all of those sayings and for the most part I believe them.  It even feels wrong to have that thought, but I can’t stop tearing up when I think about that sweet boy that loved to play football and no longer can.

Being born disabled, Justin does not know any different.  Is it bad that I am thankful he will never have to deal with the heartache of once having a “normal” life only for it to be lost?

It is not often that we feel sad for Justin.  Just like everyone else that faces adversity we live our lives as normal as possible and do everything possible to make sure he his happy and well, we don’t dwell on the bad.  Christmas is one time that always upsets Alex and I.  We both love the holiday and usually go overboard when shopping for the kids.  It never fails, every year I end up crying in the middle of a Wal-Mart baby toy aisle from sadness that Justin will never have the same experience as his brother and sisters.  I then remind myself that he is happy and I throw another toy that lights up and makes noise in the basket and then I let go of the sad feelings and focus on my feelings of happiness and thankfulness that I am mom to the two most precious boys in the world!!

 Picture 076

October 7, 2010

Planning a NYC Christmas Trip


I am convinced I was born into the wrong family.  I was born in Mobile, AL but for some odd reason I have always felt like I belonged in New York City {or any area within an hour to the city}. 

Growing up I took dance and was a member of a few dance companies that performed and competed.  My love for dance fueled my desire to live in NYC. 

Michelle Pointe

I had my life mapped out.  I planned on moving to NYC after high school.  I was going to audition for Broadway shows, fall in love with a man from NYC{with mafia connections}{yes I am a little twisted} and due to him being a mamma’s boy we would live in New York so he could be close to his family.

Years later, I met and married Alex.  He is from Long Island, NY {cute accent and all}, he has ties to the mafia {I am going to ask him if it is ok if I elaborate at a later time, it would make for an interesting blog post}, and he is a mamma’s boy!  The cruel twist of fate is that he REFUSES to move back to New York unless we have bunches and bunches and bunches of money sitting in the bank. 


After 5 years of failed attempts to make the 1254 mile journey to New York with 4 kids we are FINALLY {for real, officially, done deal} going to make the trip to NY for Christmas. 

The kids and I plan on spending about 2 weeks in NY with my mother in law.  My husband can’t miss that much work so he will arrive after us, in time for Christmas. 

Alex and I have two different ideas on the perfect trip. 

Colorless green ideas

I want to {this is just a sample of my plans}:

  • Spend a day or two in the Hamptons {Alex’s aunt and grandmother live there).
  • Attend The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
  • Go to Carlos Bakery {home of the Cake Boss on TLC} in Hoboken, NJ.
  • Freeze my buns off to see a taping of The Today Show.
  • Take the kids to ice skate in Rockefeller Plaza.
  • Shop.
  • Visit the World Trade Center Memorial.
  • Visit Central Park.
  • Leave the kids with their grandmother, so I can just walk around NYC and take photos with my new DSLR.
  • Go to Macy’s or somewhere crazy on Christmas Eve just to be in the midst of last minute NYC shoppers.
  • See the department store holiday window displays.
  • FAO Swartz.
  • Visit a friend from high school that lives in NY. 
  • Drive around with my husband so he can reminisce and tell me about his childhood in New York.

Alex wants to:

  • Stop by the pizzeria he used to co-own so he can eat some pizza.
  • Nap.
  • Go back out to another pizzeria around the corner.
  • Nap.
  • Go eat at his favorite diner.
  • Nap.
  • Go to another pizzeria.


You get the gist.  He has already mapped out the trip from the airport to his mother’s via multiple pizzerias.  I say he is crazy, he says I am crazy! 

I would love to hear your suggestions for things we must do while we are in New York, the great city that is on my bucket list as a place I MUST live before I die!


October 4, 2010

Gray Walls - Attempt #1


I have jumped on the gray bandwagon and want gray walls.  I love gray but hate how hard it is to find the PERFECT shade. 

My walls are currently painted with Valspar semi-gloss paint color matched to Sherwin Williams Bagel.  I have looked at colors for months (seriously) and decided to try Behr - Porpoise.

Since I am not convinced the previous color match was 100% correct I choose to buy the more expensive Behr brand to ensure the correct color.  I bought the combined paint and primer in an eggshell finish.  I am not impressed with the Behr paint.  The eggshell finish looks more like high gloss and of course the gray looks blue on my walls. 

So now it is back to the drawing boards.  I know I love Valspar paint and I have a Sherwin Williams paint swatch so I will go the color matching route.  While searching the internet I found a pdf file containing all of the formulas for Sherwin Williams paints so if Lowe’s does not have the color in their system there should be no problems matching.  My husband wants to pick 2 colors and I will pick 2 or 3 or 4 different colors to try on our living room walls. 

Of course I can’t find the link to the Sherwin Williams paint formulas, but I did save the pdf file.  If anyone wants the list, email me and I will gladly email the file to you. 

Stay tuned for more attempts at gray walls, we are going to Lowe’s tonight!

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