Don’t you sometimes wish as a mom that you could just keep your car clean? What is it about carting around kids that gets the car so messy? And if you are like me, it’s hard to find the time (or motivation) to do a full wash and wax, getting out the bucket and hose and big vacuum for a deep clean of the car.
However, ever since we got our new car in December, I’ve been determined to keep it looking spiffy.
Isn’t it pretty? This, my friends, is the newest vehicle I have ever owned.
Derek always teases me about my inability to keep a car clean with the kids, but I am happy to report that I have been doing a pretty good job with our new van! I’ve come up with a few tips for keeping a car clean, on the inside and out, even as a busy mom with four (soon to be five) kids to drive around.
Don’t leave unnecessary items in the car.
This should be obvious, but if you are a mom of young kids you probably know that they tend to sneak toys, sippy cups, and books into the car without your noticing. I like to do a quick sweep of the car every time we get home. It’s much easier to bring in a few things each time than it is to let it go and have to haul out a trash bag to empty out the car later!
Minimize food eaten in the car (or be picky about the kinds of foods).
Some people don’t let their kids eat in the car, which is probably the only surefire way to avoid crumbs. We are not those people. We live in a rural area, so we spend a lot of time in our car, and my kids are hungry all the time (I don’t think my children are the only ones). So instead of restricting all food consumption when in the vehicle, I just try to be aware of what kinds of foods I let them eat. Small crackers (like goldfish) cause less mess than big crackers that you have to bite into to eat (graham). Sandwiches and chicken nuggets are pretty clean-car-friendly. Above all we avoid sticky substances and condiments in the car, because those will get ground into the carpet and take a lot more effort to clean.
Buy a handheld vacuum.
I used to drag our big floor vacuum out to the car each time I wanted to clean it - no wonder it happened so rarely! My grandma gave us a handheld vacuum last year, and it has changed my car-cleaning life. As I mentioned above, I don’t restrict all eating in the car, so there are often a fair amount of crumbs on the floor. The handheld vacuum lets me do a quick cleaning job when the crumbs just get to be too much, and it works really well.
Keep a trash bag handy on the go.
Somehow we end up having a pile of trash in our car every time we go somewhere. I’ve learned to keep a trash bag tucked into the back of the seats, so when we produce trash from food wrappers, etc, I can just gather them all up right there and through them away in the nearest trash can. It’s less for me to do when I come home, and makes it nicer to ride around in the car all afternoon when there is no visible trash.
Find easy and convenient cleaning supplies for the outside of your car.
One thing I’ve realized is that the inside of a car can look great, but if the outside of the car looks like you’ve been four-wheeling it doesn’t really matter what the inside looks like. I’m married to a man who really appreciates a well-washed car, and his appreciation has rubbed off on me. However…we just don’t usually have that much time for a full bucket-and-sponge wash. I was thrilled when I found out that the car can still look clean on the outside without all that effort.
I had used Armor All wipes previously for the interior of my car, and loved how convenient they were. I was excited when I saw that Armor All had created wipes and tire sponges that bring that same convenience to cleaning the exterior of our cars.
The Armor All Ultra Shine Wash Wipes are pre-moistened and treated so all you need to remove grime is the wipes! Then the Ultra Shine Wax Wipes can be used to add a protective layer once you get all the dirt off. The Ultra Shine Tire And Trim Shine Sponges are especially convenient and are really the icing on the cake to make your car look freshly washed, without having to go through all the hassle of a bucket and hose!
The bonus is that these wipes are perfect for handing to your kids as well - then they can be involved in keeping the car cleaned too! And yes, I cleaned the car in my dress! This was by car the easiest, least messy way that I've ever cleaned the outside of the car.
These wipes are so easy to use and the 3-step system covers every area of the exterior of your car. I found all three products at Walmart in the automotive section, and I really recommend trying all three! I even have a coupon for you - $2 off an one of the Armor All Ultra Shine Wipes line, while supplies last!
I am so happy to have these on hand so I can quickly give the car some extra shine when it needs it. Derek won’t be able to tease me anymore about how dirty the car gets, because these wipes will let me keep it cleaner with so much less effort!
How do you keep your car clean, especially with young kids? I’d love to hear your ideas!
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Armor All, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #LessTimeMoreShine http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
(In this whole process, I realized how many things I have that really would go with this color - so I may have bought myself a pair of mustard yellow leggings. They may have been from Forever21. Because I would like the $4 price tag.)
So I give you...eighteen ways to wear mustard yellow leggings! Yes, eighteen. I told you I got a little carried away.
Late Summer/ Early Fall Ideas
I think there are a couple formulas to making colored leggings fit into an interesting outfit:
1. Use a neutral-colored top (like white, grey or black) that covers your behind as a base, and then layer interesting pieces over that (like coordinating scarves, patterned kimonos/cardigans, jackets/vests, pretty jewelry).
2. Wear a multi-colored patterned top that coordinates with the leggings. Notice I said coordinates. The great thing about patterned tops is that it doesn't have to have mustard yellow in the pattern for you to pull it off. As long as the colors don't clash with yellow it still works.
I hope this post is helpful if you have been wanting to hop on board the colored legging-train!
Do you own any colored leggings? What tips do you have for how to wear them?
At the end of September we had Clarice's first birthday party! I have probably been planning and mulling over this party more than most of the other ones I've thrown, and I picked my theme months ago when I ordered our gorgeous invitations. Despite all my mental planning, I didn't actually buy anything else until a week before her party, but I am happy with the way it turned out!
Tissue paper flowers: I made them from a kit that I got on clearance at Joann's - they were so easy! You could easily make them without a kit, and maybe one of these days I'll do a post (or find one already written) to show you how.
String of balloons: The best idea I ever got from Pinterest.
Lemon drops and tea cups: The tea cups I have had for a while - whenever I find a pretty on in an antique shop I snag it, so they were perfect for my "tea party" vision.
Rose-shaped dessert mints: My mom made these for Clarice's party with an old family recipe! They fit in perfectly with all the decor. Thanks, Mom!
Tea pot: I've been wanting one anyway, so when I saw this Pioneer Woman tea pot at Walmart, I figured this was the perfect excuse to buy it!
Milk bottles with chalkboard tags: I bought some extra milk bottles, because these are my favorite cups for the kids - if they leave them around the house, they kind of look decorative! I added some chalkboard tags with these little cut-outs that I found at Hobby Lobby for $3.
Chalkboard: My attempt at hand-lettering! Don't laugh.
Water bottles: I got some scrapbook paper that looked like aspen tree bark to replace the water bottle labels, and I taped them on with pretty washi tape. The mint-colored tub I already had (Hobby Lobby).
Punch: Cranberry juice and Squirt. It's simple and very good.
White cabinet: Can you believe I won that in an Instagram giveaway? It was very exciting.
Small "dot" banner: Minted!
"Happy Birthday Clarice" banner: Minted!
"Sips" and "Treats" table signs: Minted!
Cupcake toppers: You guessed it - also part of the Minted party kit I received earlier this year!
Cupcakes: I made those, strawberry cake mix, store-bought strawberry frosting. Keeping it simple.
Jello Popcorn: See recipe here, minus the peanuts.
White chocolate leaves: I made those with Almond Bark chocolate and some leaf molds.
Flowers and Aspen tree candle holder: Hobby Lobby. I just loved the candle holders when I saw them, and it was very convenient since I could use them for Clarice's party too!
THE CAKE: All caps, because I am so proud of it! My sister made this cake - isn't she amazing? All I told her was that I wanted an "aspen tree stump", and the cake turned out better than I even imagined!
Glitter candle: I saw it on another Instagram account, and when I tried to find it again later to look at her DIY, I couldn't find it! So I just winged it and used Elmer's glue and glitter to cover a "1" candle. It worked out nicely.
Banner cake topper: I got the little triangle cutouts at Hobby Lobby and strung them between two paper straws that I already had.
Clarice's birthday dress: I found it on Taylor Joelle last year, and it just happened to work perfectly as her party dress!
Headband: I bought it from this shop.
So there you go! A year's worth of mental planning, and now it's over. It's a little sad really - where did the last year go? HOW IS MY BABY ONE?! It's cliche, but it really does go by too fast.