There’s a part of homemaking that is not all about creating and crafting beautiful things.

It’s the down-to-earth part that makes you sweaty and dirty.

But if you don’t do it, your home won’t be beautiful – no matter how much time & $ you put into it.

A few months ago, I got on this big kick of wanting everything to look beautiful in our home. Only problem: I still had big fat piles of junk everywhere. One day my hubby said, “You know – the first step to having a nice home is just keeping it clean.”

ahem. {blush}

I knew that.


So with that in mind, I recently decided to tackle the front porch of our new-to-us house. Here’s a before pic with my little helper out in front:

And here’s a close-up so you can see how nasty it really is:

and a little closer…

ah yes…now you see it like it is. 🙂

and check out this massive construction:

Not cool.

Spiders love my house…inside and outside. I have discarded lots of these masterpieces over the last 2 weeks.

So, I set to work and gathered my supplies:

and then I scrub-a-dub-dubbed away, making sure to wear clothes I was okay with getting bleach stains on.

And what was my little girl doing during the time I was scrubbing?

Having the time of her life playing in my flowers dirt!

Can you see her face? Here…

She loves being outside. 🙂 Between her dirty face & my lack of makeup, we made a good team.

I probably scrubbed out there for a good 25-30 minutes. Here’s my bucket after cleaning:

GROSS, right? If you look closely, you can see some cobwebs clinging to my scrub brush. yuk. (on a different note, I’m glad my toes were able to make another appearance.)

and here are the results of my hard work:

I know – the door still looks cruddy around the outside, right? There are some things that only a fresh coat of paint will fix. A fresh coat of paint and the removal of several nails. (see below…)

wow – much better!!! I don’t know what that nail is doing there. There are random nails all around the front entrance actually. Since it’s a rental, I’m always a little more hesitant to just yank something out. You never know…maybe each of the nails are numbered and we’ll have to pay for each one we remove.
(To-do list: find out if nails are numbered.)

wait, what’s this????

a small handprint.
left by my little helper, no doubt.
my hands aren’t that small.

No worries – a bit more scrubbing with my dirty bleach water and everything looked white again. 🙂

In my dreams, I see a rocking bench out on the front porch with some beautiful flowers on either side.
In reality, I see a dying lettuce plant, a beautiful pot with nothing but dirt in it, and a 3rd pot containing some sad-looking flowers.

But it’s okay. It will be like that for a while.
Unless I go to a yard sale and find a nice bench for $2 and they throw in some plants for free.
But now I’m back to dreaming again.

It’s okay.
It’s allowed.
I’m pregnant. Pregnant ladies are allowed to do anything and excuse it away as pregnancy, right?
That’s what I tell myself.

So, what have you been cleaning lately?


  1. Chelo @ Home & Bahay says:

    You did a great job, Christa! I love that your pink toenails made several appearances 😉

  2. Christina says:

    ughh, you so got me on “the first step to having a nice house is keeping it clean!” I soooo want to be crafting and creating today but the junk piles have to go first!!! 🙂

    And just a tip on your empty pots – check HD, Lowe’s and Wal-mart. I have been finding clearance plants in certain sections in each store all summer. Walmart and Lowe’s had a bunch last week – I got hanging ferns (green and gorgeous!) for $2 at Lowes, and some other small flowering plants at Walmart for $1.00. 🙂

  3. Danae says:

    your most made me laugh when you put “Note to self: find out if nails are numbered”! It feels great to clean even if everything isn’t “perfect” it does give you that great sense of accomplishment.

  4. Hi there! I found your blog through redo101 and it looks super cute. You made me chuckle with pink toenails on the list of cleaning supplies 🙂 . You did a great job, and this is good encouragement for me to get my front entryway spiffed up when we get back from vacation. Blessings, and nice to have found your blog!

  5. Pam Shultz says:

    Since you are frugal and now definitely with a new baby in tow since you mentioned impending pregnancy above. I have a great idea for you to have some flowers in your front yard! And bonus, they are easy to take care of! Certainly someone in your neighborhood has Marigolds. Offer to “dead head” them a couple of times. That is removing the dead flowers. Take those flower heads that are wilted, and perhaps even the petals have fallen off, you are now left with the seeds. Yes, really, those are seeds. Sprinkle them in the dirt, water daily, and you will have beautiful color in a month or so! And then you can continually dead your flowers, save the dried out seeds for next year. But chances seeds will fall in your dirt and come back next year! Another bonus… Marigolds help keep ants out of your house! If you want more “seed” ideas, let me know! Have a fabulous day! Your blog is great!

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