15 Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks

15 Spring Cleaning Tips,Tricks, and DIY Cleaner Recipes

It's that time of year again. Time to open the windows and get rid of all the dust and built-up grime that you've accumulated over the winter. I don't know about you, but just the thought of Spring Cleaning is a bit overwhelming. There's so much to do!! So, to make life a little easier, I'm sharing 15 Spring Cleaning tips and tricks I've found to help you get your house cleaned like a professional, along with a bunch of homemade cleaner recipes to save you money on supplies!

15 Spring Cleaning Tips,Tricks, and DIY Cleaner Recipes

1. A Thorough Spring Cleaning Checklist by The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking
2. DIY Reusable Swiffer Wet Jet Pad & DIY Swiffer Solution
 by Do It Yourself Divas
3. DIY Outdoor Window Cleaner
 by Creativity, Musings & Such
4. DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaner
 by For the Love of Food
5. DIY Toilet Bomb Cleaner
 by How Does She?
6. DIY Cleaning Wipes
 by Mighty Crafty
7. 5 Homemade Cleaners & Printable Labels
 by Little Ms. Robinson
8. How to Clean a Microfiber Couch
 by 551 East
9. DIY Disposal Cleaner
 by Fun Home Things
10. DIY Carpet Cleaning by Clover House
11. Free Printable Spring Cleaning Checklist by A Place for Us
12. Natural Cleaning Tips for the Bathroom by Broccoli Cupcake
13. DIY Glass & Mirror Cleaner by Frugally Sustainable
14. DIY Shower Cleaner by Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home
15. DIY Dishwasher Detergent by Simply Designing


Easy Breakfast Casserole

Ever need a meal you can throw together at the end of a long day, or have company over and need something that will please everyone? Of course you do. I love that this recipe can be prepared ahead of time, or can easily be thrown together in less than an hour.

This recipe is one of my favorites for breakfast OR dinner {if you're a "breakfast for dinner" kind of person, that is}. Even more important: it's husband and kid-approved! It's also easy to add or substitute any ingredients to suit your tastes.

Easy Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:
biscuit dough: enough for about 8 biscuits
*I used Bisquick, and followed the recipe for 9 biscuits. You could also use a package of refrigerated biscuit dough.
1 pound ground breakfast sausage
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs, beaten
2 egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 package country gravy {or use your own recipe}: prepared according to package directions

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Cook sausage in skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain.
  3. Press biscuit dough evenly into the bottom of greased 8x8 inch pan.
  4. Sprinkle sausage evenly over the biscuit dough.
  5. Top sausage layer with cheeses.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper until blended. Pour evenly over cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until set.
    *You can also bake covered with foil. Just make sure to check that a knife comes out clean when it's done to make sure it is cooked completely.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into squares and top with country gravy to serve.
Adapted from At Home with Lady B

Artsy Corner Link Party

Welcome to the Artsy Corner link party! I hope you all are ready to link up what you've been working on!

artsy-fartsy mama

NOW ONTO THE PARTY!
Thanks to all those who linked up last week, there were so many fun posts to look through!!
You are all awesome and so inspiring. I'm excited to see what you have to share this week.

Finally, here are a few of my favorites from last week's party:

Marbled Flubber by Made From Pinterest

Onesie to Bubble Dress Refashion by Night Owl Corner

Honey Wheat Bread {Outback Steakhouse Copycat} by I Heart Eating

Springtime Dots Wreath by A Tossed Salad Life

Fish Stickers & Aquarium Rocks Coaster by Craft Klatch

Please grab a featured button!

artsy-fartsy mama

Link up your recipes, crafts, ideas, projects or fun posts to share!

A few rules:
  • Link to a specific post {not your home page, or link parties please}
  • Please share your own posts or projects, not someone else's.
  • Visit other links and leave some comment love {because we all love comments!}
  • Post the party button {the code is below} anywhere on your blog

artsy-fartsy mama

Come back to see if you've been featured next week!

DIY Playdough

DIY Playdough

Growing up, my mom used to make playdough/salt dough for us all the time. I always thought it would be so much work, but it's easier than you'd think and even the kids can help mix everything! My daughter loves playdough, but I don't want to put down the cash for something I could make myself for almost no money at all. So, with a few adjustments, I made my mom's playdough and we've been having so much fun!

DIY Playdough

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
gel food coloring
*I used Wilton brand in Rose, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, Sky Blue, and Violet

Directions:
  1. Pour the water and vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add in the flour, salt, cream of tarter and a teaspoon or two of gel food coloring. Lightly stir together to combine.
    *The dough will end up being about the same color that it is now, so add more food coloring now if you want the color to be richer/brighter.
  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. It should be done in about 4-5 minutes. Because you might panic and think you've ruined it, here is a breakdown of what it looks like throughout the cooking process:
    Minute 1: The mixture will combine, and look smooth and beautiful!
    Minute 2: You'll start to get chunks. Make sure to keep scraping the bottom and edges of the pan to prevent any pieces from burning.
    Minute 3: This is where you might begin to worry that you've messed it up. Looks like a clumpy mess. Don't panic! Just keep stirring!!
    Minute 4: The dough will start to form into a ball. You'll know when it's ready when it's not sticky and pulls away from the pan. You can test by pressing the dough with your fingers. It will be hot!
  3. Remove the dough from the pan and place on a plate to cool.
  4. Once cool, knead the dough. This can be done by you or little helpers!
  5. To store, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in a sealed container.
    *I purchased a couple of 5-pack Rubbermaid TakeAlongs® containers (17 oz) at WalMart and the dough fits perfectly!
A few notes:
  • Each batch makes about 2 cups of dough. You need to make a new batch for each color. It took me less than an hour to make all 6 batches.
  • Surprisingly, the food coloring doesn't come off on your hands at all.
  • The dough is safe to eat, but it is disgusting!
  • Buy more cream of tartar than you think you'll need. I got 2 1/2 batches from one 1.5 oz container.
  • Regular liquid food coloring will also work, but I think the gel makes the color a little more vibrant. Liquid food coloring may also come off on your hands.

Use cookie cutters, child scissors, and dull knives with your DIY Playdough!

It was fun to teach my preschooler shapes, colors, and practice fine-motor skills like cutting, rolling, and pinching the dough. We cut out one shape multiple times, then she counted them out. We also played with alphabet cookie cutters to spell words out and practice the alphabet. She loved it because she was playing and creating, but it made me happy to know she was learning at the same time!

Giraffe Bib

I have a ton of friends who are pregnant right now, so I wanted to get a head start on the baby gifts! While gifts from the store make great presents, homemade just adds a little something special. I found an adorable bib pattern from Pine Needles, one of my favorite shops here in Utah {located inside Gardner Village to be exact}, with almost everything you need for any sewing project.

Giraffe Bib

While the finished bib looks a little complicated, I promise it's not!! The pattern is made by Precious Patterns, and is so easy to follow and had pictures to show you every step of the way. I was so happy that for once, I didn't have to unpick anything! If you are a beginner sewer, I would highly recommend this pattern. With just a few changes in fabrics, every bib will be unique!

Giraffe Bib Supplies

Supplies:
Pattern, fabrics, and all accessories for this project can be found at the Pine Needles store!
Giraffe & Gator Bibs pattern by Precious Patterns
3 fabrics - one yellow, and 2 coordinating oranges
White flannel {or fusible fleece}
2 yellow 3/4 - 1" buttons
2 white 3/4" buttons
2 black 7/16 - 1/2" buttons
Velcro {or snaps}

Giraffe Bib

It took me about an hour to make this bib, but I'm kind of slow when I'm working with a new project. Now that I've made it once, I know I could make it again in less than 30 minutes. My daughter has been wearing it herself, and having a lot of fun using this bib for her dolls. So, I can positively say that this pattern is kid-approved! The fleece/flannel inside of the bib makes it absorbent to any spills, and it's constructed in a way that I'm sure will hold up nicely in the wash.

To see more from Pine Needles, make sure to visit their blog, online shop, and on Facebook! If you're local, be sure to check out their new shop location at Gardner Village!

I was given the Giraffe & Gator Bib pattern and fabrics from Pine Needles as part of this review. All opinions and images are my own.

30 Easter Projects

30 Easter Projects

I love Easter time. Celebrating a beautiful holiday with family and friends, seeing all the bright and pastel colors everywhere, and of course an over-abundance of the best candy of the year {in my opinion, anyway}. What's not to love? Easter will be here before we know it, so today I'm sharing 30 Easter projects and simple treats to give you plenty of inspiration and ideas.

30 Easter Projects

1. Personalized Easter Buckets by The Happy Scraps
2. Goldfish Carrots
 by Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home
3. DIY Easter Crafts with Tissue Paper
 by Woman's Day
4. Marshmallow Bunny Plushie Pattern & Tutorial
 by Dandelions & Lace
5. DIY Easter Gift
 by The Idea Room
6. DIY Faux Pallet Easter Art
 by Saved by Love Creations
7. Bunny Blocks
 by Mine for the Making
8. Easter Glitter Chevron Vase
 by Becoming Martha
9. DIY Sock Bunnies Tutorial
 by Lil Blue Boo
10. Bunny Hershey Kiss Board by Infarrantly Creative
11. Peeps Fruit Kabobs by The Frugal Girls
12. Paint Chip Easter Garland by Sweet Designs
13. Pottery Barn Inspired Easter Chair Backer by The Kriegers
14. Easter Egg Specimen Art by Every Creative Endeavor
15. Paper Plate Baby Chick by Simple as That

30 Easter Projects

16. Peep S'mores by Cupcake Diaries
17. Secret Easter Bunny & Free Printable by Free Time Frolics
18. Papier-Mache Easter Eggs by Not Martha
19. Decorated Egg Carton by Pink Cake Plate
20. DIY Chick and Bunny Treat Holders by Hostess with the Mostess
21. Marshmallow Peeps Wreath by Mommy Savers
22. Peep Bunting by V & Co./MADE
23. Bunny Hooded Towel Tutorial by Crazy Little Projects
24. Simple Easter Hair Tie by Happy Hour Projects
25. Felt Easter Egg Kid's Craft by A Bushel 'n' a Peck
26. Jelly Bean Topiary by Crafty Sisters
27. Spring Chick, Lamb & Bunny 2x4s by Giggles Galore
28. Button Egg & Stuffed Bunnies by Auntie Lolo
29. Felt Easter Egg Wreath by Tales of the Scotts
30. Easter Bunny Houses by Gluesticks


Cake Mix Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love recipes that I can throw together at the last minute and not have to worry if about it being too much work. These cookies have been a lifesaver for a last-minute party treat, a thank you gift for a neighbor, and to make my husband's coworkers day a little bit brighter.

What's even better about these cookies is that they are made with only 5 ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your house. You can vary the flavors if you want, but I love this one just the way it is. You {or your guests} can't even tell they were made with a cake mix! I love that in less than 10 minutes, you can have a batch of cookies in the oven!

Cake Mix Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 {18.25 or 18.5 oz} yellow cake mix
*just the mix, not any of the other ingredients on the packaging!
1 cup quick cook oats, uncooked
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cake Mix Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Directions:
  1. Combine cake mix, oats, butter and eggs in a large bowl or mixer and mix well.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by rounded spoonfuls {or I use an ice cream scoop} onto ungreased cookie sheet
  4. Bake 350º for 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

DIY Inspiration Board with Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic

Let's be honest - life can be hard. Some days, you just need to be surrounded by things that inspire and uplift you to get through the day. Creating a space for yourself with quotes, images, and color can make you feel better, and ignite that creative spark. Using products from the new Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic line at JoAnn's, I put together an inspiration board to look at every day. Kind of like a real-life Pinterest board!

DIY Inspiration Board

The Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic line, designed by Liz Kartchner, features crisp blues, pinks, greens, yellows, and airy neutrals with hints of gold. The patterns on all the papers are modern and different, and I especially love the splashes of sparkle. Every single accessory in the collection is unique and fun to look at and use! By adding a lot of the pieces from the collection to my inspiration board, it makes me happy to be able to look at them every day.

DIY Inspiration Board with Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic products

Supplies:
Large Framed Magnetic Board {originally used for my Makeup Magnet Board}
American Crafts Gold Glitter Tape
American Crafts Pow! Rouge Glitter Paper
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Fabric Bows
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Fabric & Epoxy Brads
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic 12x12 Double-Sided Cardstock
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Glitter Foam Stickers
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Large Decorative Tags
Large Wooden Clothespins
Small Frames
E6000 Glue
Magnets

DIY Inspiration Board

To start, I trimmed the rouge glitter paper and taped it to the back of the cardstock. Then, I lined the edges up with the frame and taped the papers to the metal sheet. Next, I got out the E6000 and stuck the magnets on the back of the clothespins, frames, fabric bows, and brads. For the brads, I clipped off the little metal pieces off the back with clippers so I would have a flat area to stick the magnet to. The glue needs to dry for at least an hour - but the longer you wait to mess with it, the better.

DIY Inspiration Board

While the glue was drying, I was playing with all the decorative tags. I love the ones with cutouts!! The other tags in the package have super cute patterns and colors, and I hope to use those as gift tags for birthday presents and other projects.

On the "Hello" tag, I added a piece of the rouge glitter paper behind it, then wrote "beautiful" underneath in Sharpie. I stuck a cute little fox brad in the hole of the tag. The heart on the "O" is a fabric-covered brad made into a magnet.

I trimmed the "Today" tag, added the words "Make" and "Awesome" with Sharpie, then attached a paper covered in the gold glitter tape behind the cutout to have it really stand out.

I left the "Life" tag as-is, but attached a photo of me holding my newborn daughter with some cute washi tape. The "Create" tag is the glitter foam letter stickers placed on a yellow-striped tag.

DIY Inspiration Board

I love that there are lines for a list or a cute note on the typewriter tag. I wanted to make a way to write down a reminder or a positive thought every day, so I covered the tag in packaging tape. Now I can easily write on the tag with a dry erase marker!

DIY Inspiration Board

Other than that, I just printed off a few of quotes on cardstock, as well as my blog logo for one of the frames, and the photo of me and my daughter. I also cut out a sparkly mustache {glitter + mustaches = awesome!} with the glitter paper and put in the other frame.

Because everything is stuck to the board with magnets and clips, I can always change things out if I find something new, and I have plenty of magnets made to add more ideas and inspiration.

You can see more products in the Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic collection online, or visit your local JoAnn's store. You can also find more inspiration from American Crafts on FacebookTwitterPinterest, & Instagram and JoAnn's on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest.

I received product from American Crafts for this review. All opinions and images in this post are my own.

Artsy Corner Link Party

Welcome to the Artsy Corner link party! I hope you all are ready to link up what you've been working on!

artsy-fartsy mama

NOW ONTO THE PARTY!
Thanks to all those who linked up last week, there were so many fun posts to look through!!
You are all awesome and so inspiring. I'm excited to see what you have to share this week.

Finally, here are a few of my favorites from last week's party:

Bracelet Styling & Restyling by Made in a Day

Spring Wood Blocks & Flower Pinwheels by Summer Scraps

Levi's Shared Nursery Reveal by Cinsarah

Lemon-Raspberry Ice Box Pie with Oreo Crust by Crumbs and Chaos

DIY Hanging Dishtowels by It's Always Ruetten

Please grab a featured button!

artsy-fartsy mama

Link up your recipes, crafts, ideas, projects or fun posts to share!

A few rules:
  • Link to a specific post {not your home page, or link parties please}
  • Please share your own posts or projects, not someone else's.
  • Visit other links and leave some comment love {because we all love comments!}
  • Post the party button {the code is below} anywhere on your blog

artsy-fartsy mama

Come back to see if you've been featured next week!

Free Printable Alphabet Match Game

My daughter has been singing the Alphabet Song for months now and recognizes most of the letters, but we need more practice with uppercase/lowercase letter recognition. A good way to practice that is with a game! I put together this match game to help make learning fun and easier for her to see the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters. As we find the matches, it has also been helpful to go over each of the letter's sounds.

Free Printable Alphabet Match Game

In case you are new to match/memory games, here are some instructions:
  1. Lay out the cards, face-down on a table or floor.
  2. Turn one card over, then turn another card over to try and make a match.
  3. If no match is made, turn both cards over and take another turn. If multiple children are playing, it is the next person's turn.
  4. If a match is made, the player gets to go again.
  5. Repeat until all the matches are found.
If your little one {or... you} have too much fun playing this Alphabet Match game like we do, I highly recommend having the cards laminated to have them last longer! I printed the cards on high quality cardstock. To get a pattern* on the back of the cards, print a design on one side of the paper {or use one-sided scrapbook paper}, and print the cards on the opposite side. When you cut, the cards will have the letters on one side, and the pattern on the back.

*The polka-dot pattern shown in the photos is not included in the download.

Free Printable Alphabet Match Game

Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
*You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the credits and copyright.
*If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama and linked back to my blog.

Download the Alphabet Match Game
On the top left under "File", click the "Download Original" option. A pop-up window should appear.
Make sure the "Save File" option is selected, then click OK to download.

Smile Brilliant Review & Giveaway

With a few big blog conferences coming up, I'm wanting to look my best! New clothes, a fresh haircut, and some great nail polish are all obvious things on the checklist. Another thing you'll be showing off is your smile. Why not make it look the best you can?

Smile Brilliant Review & Giveaway

I've tried a bunch of teeth whitening products, and the Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening System worked better than I ever expected. I absolutely love how white my teeth look, and how clean they feel. It's also fantastic how something like this can make you feel so much better about yourself!

I used my kit for a little over a week for 30-40 minutes at a time and saw results after the first treatment. The mouth guard fit comfortably in my mouth, and I was so glad that the gel was tasteless. I did have some sensitivity after using the system for a few days {which is normal with any whitening system}, but it wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be and is now gone.

Another thing about the Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening System I especially like is how easy it is to use. The whitening gel is easy to paint on your teeth, and the trays keep the gel off your lips. The blue LED light intensifies the gel so it works faster and better than other home systems.

Smile Brilliant Review & Giveaway

I'm so excited that one very lucky reader is also going to win a Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening System of their own! However, if you don't want to wait to see if you win your own Smile Brilliant system, you can use the discount code SMILE20 at checkout for 20% off.

This giveaway ends on Monday March 25th and is open to US and Canada residents
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening System as part of this review. All opinions are my own.

Spring Word Set

Spring Word Set

Hooray for spring!! So excited that it's finally here. The St. Patrick's Day decorations are coming down, and it's time to make the house look colorful, clean, and ready for the new season. I found this cute Spring Word Set at Wood Creations and knew it had to come home with me. I love how the letters turned out! The colors are bright and fun, and of course I added glitter to make them extra special!

Wood Spring Word Set

Supplies needed to make this Spring Word Set:
Scrapbook Paper
Mod Podge
Acrylic Paint
I used Delta Ceramcoat: White • Tahiti Blue • GP Purple • Fuchsia • Apple Green
Glitter
I used Doodlebug Designs Sugar Coating Glitter: Cupcake • Swimming Pool • Limeade
Stick-On Jewels
I used Doodlebug Designs Mini Jewels - Limeade Assortment
About 4-6 inches Sheer Green Ribbon

Wood Spring Word Set Supplies

Step 1: The Spring Word Set comes unfinished, sanded, and ready to go. You will probably need to brush off some sawdust, and lightly sand any rough areas.

Step 2: Paint all the letters and pieces. I recommend painting all the same colors first, then rinse your sponge or brush and move to the next color. By the time you're done, the first pieces you painted will probably be ready for a second coat. I painted 2-3 coats on each letter.

For pieces that will be covered with paper, just paint around the front on the edges {like the "N" in the image above}. Pieces that will be covered with glitter need to be fully painted on the front. You can paint the bottoms of the letters if you want, but no one will see them. Let the paint dry completely before moving to the next step.

Spring Word Set Supplies

Step 3: Get out the Mod Podge! Time to get those letters {and flower} covered! Just in case you get easily confused {like me}... I like to mark the papers with what letter I am going to cut out, and keep the glitter nearby the letters/pieces they will go on.

For the scrapbook paper, trace the letter face-down on the back of the paper with a pencil. Carefully cut out the paper. Paint a light coat of Mod Podge over the letter and lay your paper over. Press the paper and lightly run a credit card or scraper over the paper to get any air bubbles out. Repeat for all the letters and flower pieces. Let the paper dry, then paint another light coat over the paper. Once dry, you can lightly sand around the edges.

For the glitter, lay your letter and leaf face-up on a piece of paper or cardstock {one paper for each piece}. Paint a nice coat of Mod Podge on the letter and wipe any drips on the sides. Open up the glitter and evenly pour the glitter over the letter. Let it sit for a few minutes, then carefully stand the letter up and tap it to remove any excess glitter. Use a small funnel or carefully fold your paper in the center to pour the extra glitter back into the jar. You can paint another layer of Mod Podge over the glitter to seal, or clear spray paint sealer works great, too.

Spring Word Set

Step 4: Glue the front leaf piece to the flower bottom, the circle piece to the front of the flower, and glue the dowel into the flower and the flower base. Wood glue, hot glue, or E6000 works great! Let everything dry completely before standing on a mantel or shelf.

Flower in Spring Word Set

Step 5: Tie the ribbon to the dowel/flower stem in a bow, and add jewels to the front of the flower. Add any other accents you want to make it your own.

And that's it! Arrange on a mantel, table, or shelf and enjoy the new decor! You can purchase this Spring Wood Set and all the accessories at Wood Creations {visit their store or shop online!}

I received this Spring Word Set and accessories for this review. All opinions and images in this post are my own.

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