Archive for April, 2013

Cleaning Microfiber with Alcohol

We were lucky enough to score a free microfiber reclining sofa this past weekend. This thing was filthy before.


Yuck. We’ve all seen microfiber look like this before and this particular sofa also had lots of pen marks all over it.

I did some poking around online and found a tutorial for cleaning with rubbing alcohol on Chris and Robin’s Nest. I changed it a little though. A few of the other instructions I saw suggested diluting the rubbing alcohol with water by 50%. So I used VODKA. I went to the shopette and bought the cheapest bottle of vodka I could find. I also bought natural colored sponges and a white scrub brush. The vodka went into a spray bottle and I started with the sponge. I just sprayed a little bit on a small section and started scrubbing. I couldn’t believe the ink just coming off the fabric! When I had the whole thing scrubbed I let it dry and then “fluffed” the fabric with the white scrub brush. White sponges and brushes are important because the color could rub off onto the furniture during scrubbing.

And when I was all done and it dried and we rearranged the living room and got the old furniture out … It looks like this!



I am pretty impressed! We planned to buy a new sofa when we move in a few months but now I think we may just keep this one. 🙂 it’s amazing what a little alcohol and elbow grease will do.


Flashy Friday, a little late, April 26

Last week was busy! Monday was Earth Day


Tuesday was Lego club and furniture shopping in Wiesbaden



Wednesday the weather was beautiful and Cady and I went for a sunny drive to the German grocery.


We spent the rest of the week lazing around and starting a unit on Ancient Rome. This week we are planning a trip to some Roman Bath Ruins in Baden Baden.

But most importantly, my beautiful little girl turned 4 this past Saturday! I can’t believe how fast the time has flown. She sure is gorgeous.


And she had a great time at her party with her friends.


Earth Day!

Earth Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It has usually warmed up by this time and outside projects and fun are on the schedule. Today, however it is still a little chilly outside her in Germany so we stayed inside. We read The Lorax
And made little mustaches out of Popsicle sticks and construction paper.


The kids had fun walking around and saying “I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees!” I promised Cady we would watch the movie later.


These watercolor globes with “helping hands” were a Pinterest project and turned out so fun. They are made with coffee filters and water color paints. We traced our hands on construction paper so we could hold the earth. I think they look great in our back window although Topper didn’t want hands on his.


I don’t think we will get in a bike ride today thanks to the weather, what are your plans for celebrating Earth Day?

Which is Greener: Books

This month my homeschool book club (via Facebook) is reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Each month I face the same dilemma, do I check the book out from the library, buy a copy from Amazon for my collection, or download the book to the <a href="http://Kindle?

Let’s debate this for a minute. I’m always searching for the “greenest” choice. After all, my family hasn’t used paper towels on a regular basis since 2009. I think the library wins right out of the gate but once we factor in the logistical issues of using the library, (i.e. item already checked out or 3 week check out time for a book I need for 4 weeks, title so new the library doesn’t have it yet) the library isn’t a clear winner.

Is it greener to buy a copy of the book you can resell or an ebook that uses less resources to produce, is downloaded and not shipped but cannot be lent (aside from a few titles) or resold or given away?

For book club I have been buying the ebooks. I do regret that I am not adding these titles to my book collection but since Amazon is so great about keeping track of what you have ordered, I know I will have these forever as long as the technology exists, but I’m still not sure if I won’t really regret it someday when my kids are old enough to start reading some of the same titles.

Anyway, if you would like to read along with me you can purchase your book like I did through Amazon 🙂

Flashy Friday April 19

We had a busy week this week.

We went for a nature walk to collect pine cones to make peanut butter bird feeders later this weekend.



We rode to Schwetzingen to see the blossoms at the palace. So far the cherry trees only were out.


Husband reenlisted on Wednesday in Heidelberg 🙂


We went for another bike ride yesterday through the woods and Justin found a cool “work stand” to use


And tonight we went to the school carnival. Cady had her face painted and made crafts.




And they both had cotton candy and jumped in the bouncy houses.



We did lots of Math and Ancient China history at home this week but oddly have nothing to show for it. I know there were some worksheets and coloring pages around, hmmm…

Spring Flowers

All systems go!


Yes, we still live in the GET-O, but hopefully not for too much longer.

We took a beautiful Spring ride to Schwetzingen today to see if any flowers were blooming yet at the palace gardens. There were a few cherry blossoms out but nothing else yet so we will wait another week and hopefully it will be a Spring wonderland. We snapped some pictures from across the creek before heading home to meet some friends at the playground.




I’m so glad Spring has finally arrived 🙂

Back into Riding

Spring has finally shown up. It is sunny and seventy degrees outside. Everyone was grumpy in the house this morning so we took off on our bikes.

I’m pretty sure there was a smile plastered on my face the entire time.

Cady and I talked about the flowers on the trees and how they smelled. She stuck her arms out to the sides and said she was flying like an airplane. Topper said the pedaling made him feel calm. It was a perfect bike day…