Clean Your Whole House in Only 15 Minutes!

I can do this! Clean Your Whole House in Only 15 Minutes! (click through for more info)   If you live in a giant palace with a whole staff of housecleaners, this post is not for you. However, if you are a Regular Joe (or Regular Joan) that has to clean up their own messes (and probably the messes of others too), then you've come to the right place. Now, I do know a few people that genuinely enjoy cleaning their house. While I understand how it can be a therapeutic thing to watch something go from dirty to clean, I would always rather skip the actual cleaning part and just have it go right to the "it's-already-clean" stage without any help or interference from me. That being said, clean doesn't just happen by itself though, now does it? I tend to do the procrastination method of cleaning where it's a pretty big mess until the night before there is a party, event, or my husband comes home from a long trip. For some reason he prefers walking into the house vs. wading into the house. Weird, I know. So when a job that I don't really want to do anyway now involves cleaning the entire house all at once, well, it's no surprise that it takes forever. Emma said recently she knew someone who kept their house clean by only cleaning for 15 minutes a day, and I was certainly intrigued to try the mini cleaning solution. After I thought about it for a while, I came up with a process to make it work for my house too!

I can do this! Clean Your Whole House in Only 15 Minutes! (click through for more info)Estimate your efficiency: First, you'll need to gauge what you can actually clean in 15 minutes. It might be helpful for the first couple of days to spend time each night cleaning for 15 minutes and see what actually gets done. You might be surprised at how much you can get accomplished, and you'll want to adjust your list accordingly.

Decide if you want to do light maintenance or deep cleaning: It's kind of your call whether you want to spend the time doing "light" or "heavy" cleaning during your 15 minutes. Light cleaning would be things like dusting, putting away clutter, or easy vacuuming, while heavy cleaning would be chores that involve lots of scrubbing or need large pieces of furniture moved to get underneath. Some rooms like the bathroom or kitchen may have more of the heavy cleaning (scrubbing out the tub or drip pans), so you might want to have both a light and a heavy cleaning day for those rooms.

Make a cleaning supply basket: I think a lot of people are like me and have their cleaning supplies spread all throughout their house. Some supplies are in the garage, some are under the kitchen sink, some in the bathroom...so if you only have a 15 minute window to clean, you probably don't want to spend it running from cabinet to cabinet trying to find the mirror cleaner. Make a little basket of your most commonly used cleaning products, and then you'll have everything you need already bundled together when you start.

I can do this! Clean Your Whole House in Only 15 Minutes! (click through for more info) Keep a cleaning calendar or chart: There's something about having a "to-do" item written down in plain sight that makes the probability of it actually getting done go way up. Once you get an estimated cleaning schedule together, write each area on the appropriate cleaning days and keep it where you'll see it often. Like I said, it may take you a few weeks of adjusting before you get a schedule that works. It's kind of like when we first started a written financial budget and it took a few monthly rotations before we figured out the right amounts for certain categories. 

Sorry, but you can't count your must-do-everyday cleaning routines: Unfortunately, you shouldn't count the 20 minutes you just spent cleaning up after dinner towards this cleaning challenge. If you're like me and love taking advantage of the privilege of eating several times a day, you'll constantly have to keep up with those messes and you'll never get to anything else in your 15 minutes of cleaning. The same goes for other habitual cleaning categories like pet chores that have to happen everyday. I don't think the kitties (or us) would like it if we only got around to their litter box every 8th day. Gross. 

Share the list! Unless you live alone and your pets don't have opposable thumbs, there are probably other people (like significant others, roommates, or kids) that can help with the cleaning challenge too. Imagine how much more can get done if two people are doing this every day! In case math wasn't your strong subject in school, the answer is "double the cleaning." I know it can be tough to rope people into helping clean up, but if you set a timer for only 15 minutes, well, it doesn't sound like a very huge commitment and your chances of group participation goes way up.

Speed clean your house in only 15 minutes a day!Of course, depending on your house or apartment size, the number of days it takes for your rotation to start over again will vary, but I'm really excited to get my cleaning rotation established and going strong. I do love my house best right before guests come over for a party when everything feels so clean and neat, so I would love to get as much of that feeling everyday as possible. What are you waiting for? Get out your feather dusters and get cleaning! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman: Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Cheddar Chive Popovers

Cheddar Chive Popovers (via abeautifulmess.com)This picture is kind of deceiving because I bet you might think this is going to be about soup, huh? Well, it's not. Today we're focusing on a great side character for soup: bread! Specifically, cheddar chive popovers.

Cheddar Chive Popovers (via abeautifulmess.com)  There they are! Front and center. Popovers are a personal favorite of mine. There's an upscale restaurant in town that serves them as the bread that comes with everyone's meal, and I just love them. They also are my grandma Norma Jean's favorite. So I feel like I'm channeling her when I enjoy them. She's one of my heroes, so that's a good thing. I'm gonna have to make these for her sometime.

Norma JeanStarted talking about my grandma, so I thought I might as well share a photo I took of her recently. Last month I asked if I could take some portraits of her and my grandfather around their town (Buffalo, MO) because I don't think they've gotten pictures taken together in years and that's just criminal. So, anyway, here's my grandma. She's a real rad lady.

OK, I got a little derailed there. Let's get back to baking popovers. :)

Best popover recipeCheddar Chive Popovers, makes one dozen.

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

First whisk together the eggs and milk for a full minute. You want to incorporate a little air here, so really go for it. Then stir in the flour, chives and cheese until just combined. This will be a similar consistency to pancake batter.

How to make popoversPreheat your oven to 450°F. While it preheats, go ahead and pop the pan in there so it can warm up too. Once preheated, remove the pan and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each cup 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Top with just a little more cheddar cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven off but leave the popovers in the oven (with the door shut) for another 8-10 minutes until the edges look golden (like in the above photo).

Cheddar Chive Popovers (via abeautifulmess.com) Here's the inside of a popover in case you've never had them before. It almost looks like the inside is undercooked, but I promise it's not. It's just very egg-y. In a good way. 

*You can use a regular muffin pan to make popovers. The shape will be slightly different and this may change your bake time by a few minutes. But as long as you're willing to keep an eye on them as they bake, you really don't have to purchase a special pan for these.

Cheddar Chive Popovers (via abeautifulmess.com)   These are best served warm, right out of the oven. If you pair them with soup, then you are a lady (or dude) after my own heart. :) Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

DIY Epoxy Statement Necklace

How to turn photos into beads for jewelryAs you may have already noticed, we are fans of epoxy resin here at A Beautiful Mess. Last year I made an epoxy coffee table and Josh created a colorful epoxy desk for Elsie's office. It's just amazing how many different things you can make with this stuff once you're over the hump of I'm-too-intimidated-to-try-it. I used to not be over this hump. If you're there, maybe this project will inspire you. This is probably the least intimidating epoxy project I've ever seen.

DIY bib necklace with photo epoxy beads (abeautifulmess.com)Did you know that you can make beads filled with photos or small items to use in jewelry?! It's awesome! Working with our friends from Canon USA, I recently created a bib style necklace with beads filled with photos I took while on a trip to Charleston with Elsie. I LOVED all the houses on rainbow row. So pretty! So, I wanted to create something fun and wearable with a few of those photos. 

Although I used photos of houses/architecture for my beads, you could easily customize this project with any photo or found paper you like. Maybe a statement necklace filled with photos of your pug? (Yes, this might be my next planned project. Ha!)

Print your imagesSupplies:
-printed photos
-epoxy resin kit (I used Easy Cast because it makes small amounts, for jewelry projects)
-mixing cup
-disposable mixing spoon or popsicle stick
-casting tray
-leather or stiff material for the back of the necklace
-beads
-super glue (I used Loctite as it works well with mixed materials)
-ribbon
-Canon PIXMA MG7520 printer

First, print your photos. I printed mine with our PIXMA MG7520 printer and I LOVE how vibrant the colors turned out. To me this project is all about those colorful houses on rainbow row, so a quality print is clutch. :)

Using Easy Cast to make epoxy bead necklacesNext, cut out your photos to fit the molds. Mix the epoxy according to the package directions. Be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area because usually epoxy resin gives off a strong smell while it cures. Pour the epoxy into the molds so they are 2/3 full, add the photo, then fill to the brim. If your photos try to flip or turn on you, use a toothpick to push it back in place. 

Allow the epoxy to cure according to the package directions. Mine needed 24 hours before I could remove them from the molds.

How to make a bib necklace  Then I cut the leather according to a paper pattern I made. I wanted to make sure the bib necklace was a shape that I liked wearing, so I made a pattern from scrap paper and held it in place in front of a mirror to check. 

Glue the epoxy beads and other embellishment to your necklace.

Glue on the beadsFor the outside edge I simply added glue then poured white and clear beads over the glue to get the shape I wanted. I did this in a small casserole dish (as you can kind of see in the above photo) so the beads didn't go rolling everywhere. 

DIY bib necklace with epoxy beadsLast, add ribbon and a back panel to the bib portion of the necklace and allow to fully dry. You could choose to stitch all the beads on instead of glue... but, uh, I didn't. :)

How to make a bib necklaceBack of my necklaceHere's what the front and the back of my bib style necklace look like when it's on. I prefer wearing it with shirts with collars, and I love how easy it is to tie in the back. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Livestream Reschedule

RescheduleHi, friends! We wanted to let you know that we have rescheduled our first livestream that was planned for tonight. We've rescheduled it for Thursday, March 5th at 8pm CST. So that means that in March we'll have TWO livestream nights! 

Now, if you're thinking, "Huh?? What's a livestream?" I'm sorry. We never explained this, did we? 

Livestream nights will be pre-planned, online craft nights! There's a link at the top of our blog where you can see the schedule. During these chats, we'll share craft ideas and also take questions for a Q&A time. It'll be fun. So you can join us from anywhere in the world with your friends, your laptop, and a bottle of wine, and we can craft together!! 

We are planning to play with acrylic stamping for the first night. Do you have any other requests? We might do a cooking night sometime too! xx- Elsie 

Killer Sunnies under $20!

Killer Sunnies (all under $20!!) Click through for shopping linksSources (left to right, starting at the top) onetwothree, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten

Hey, friends! I missed you this past week. Okay, okay... I didn't miss you THAT much because I was in Palm Springs with my husband relaxing and chillaxing. Ahhhhhhh—it felt good! I did miss you a little bit, though, and I'm happy to be back! 

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite sources for inexpensive sunglasses today. I really love collecting a variety of fun sunnies. And while I definitely do see value in splurging on nice pieces once in a while, I also love a bargain! 

Sunnies under $20 guideMy favorite Etsy shop for retro style sunnies is See My Way. You can get some super fun sunnies there for just ten bucks. 

Now it's your turn! If you have an awesome source for inexpensive sunnies, share it here in the comments. We and other blog readers would love to check it out! 

Hope you had a wonderful week! Sending sunny vibes your way. xx! Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Jeremy Larson (a good ole iPhone snapshot!) 

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