As we move into spring, I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged by new growth. As I watch my tulips grow and begin to blossom, I see a beautiful miracle. To those of you who have caught the garden growing bug, like myself, it’s addicting to watch new life burst through the ground from those tiny seeds or bulbs you planted. It’s addicting to watch grass gain color and fullness. It’s sometimes a pain to cut said grass, but that’s not my point.
We love to watch nature grow, but how have YOU grown as a person? Have you ever taken the time to write out your dreams? Do you know how to make those dreams into small goals to accomplish everyday so you CAN reach those dreams you’ve got?
Here at Phillips Tile & Stone, we like to dream. We like to plan. We like to accomplish.
I’m here to challenge you to dream and to plan. Do you want to remodel a room in your home? Do you want to take a trip? Do you want to get healthy? Do you want to change careers? Do you want to finish that degree?
No matter your dream, big or small. We’d like to encourage you to take that next step, beyond the dream and move into the planning part to make that goal a reality.
We believe you’ve got what it takes to accomplish that dream! Let’s start this new spring season filled with HOPE and gusto. Happy spring, friends!
I love planning parties! You know what else I love doing? Doing what I can to make my life easier while planning said parties. Sometimes I make the cake, sometimes I order it from a bakery. Sometimes I decorate for the party myself and sometimes I want something different (or easier). This past weekend, I had Party Ambiance out to decorate for our kid’s birthday party/heart anniversary! I first met Lena as I was talking to my neighbor in my front lawn. My neighbor said, “Well, look at all those balloons!” and I turned around and was warmly welcomed by Lena, who was carrying two large and fabulous balloon decorations for our party. She made the planning part easy and all online. The day I met her, she worked quickly in our home and left us party ready! I still stare at the creations she made and it’s been two days since she installed the balloons. They are just so FUN and happy! If you love having unique decorations for your parties, she is your gal!
February. The month of love. You might be considering what to get that special person in your life. I recommend grilling a good steak at home and cuddling on the couch afterwards eating brownies and ice cream, but Valentine’s Day inspiration isn’t my intention for this blog post. I wanted to give February a different spin and offer some ways to show your house some love! Soon it will be spring and we will want to be outside as much as possible. Let’s take advantage of this indoor time period and show our homes some lovin’.
1. Clean the Fridge (and the Freezer, Too)
You’re about to have all sorts of fun produce to load up in your fridge, so take this time to clean out your frig and make it shine again. Think of the grapes, watermelons, lettuce that will soon take over your frig space! Plus ice cream and ice pops in the freezer. Make things easier for ‘Future You’ and make the space now. Pull out all of the drawers and racks and wash them. Clean the inside with a de-greaser or scouring pad to get rid of sticky residue. Replace that old box of baking soda with a fresh one and don’t forget to vacuum the condenser coils on the back! Your fresh veggies will thank you!
2. The Oven
If you can’t see thorough your oven window or if you’re getting used to that smell of food burning every time you preheat, then it’s time to clean your oven! If you have an oven with an auto-clean cycle, it’s important to wipe out any big spills first to prevent flare ups. For manual cleaning, try using a natural paste of baking soda, water and liquid dish soap instead of harsh chemicals. Be sure to wipe up grease and grime spills as soon as it happens instead of letting it sit inside your oven and get harder as time goes on. Clean that thing now and it’ll be pristine and sparkly when you are ready to fire it up again.
4. Carpet and Rugs
Carpets accumulate a lot of dust, dirt and even fungi over time, all of which are unsightly, unhygienic and can be potential health hazards. Up to 80% of carpet dirt is loose and on the surface, and can be removed with regular vacuuming. Kinda makes you want to vacuum right now, right? Let’s further extend the life and appearance of your carpets as well as banish those really stubborn bugs and stains with regular deep cleaning. It’s well worth renting steam-cleaning equipment or hiring a professional carpet cleaning company to do the job.
4.Windows Inside and Out
Clean, clear windows make any room feel lighter and cleaner simply by letting more light in, and the more natural light you get, the less electricity you use! How’s that for a fun fact? Not to mention, the lighter the room, the lighter your mood! When cleaning your windows, wipe the inside up and down, and the outside left to right. If you end up with streaks, you’ll know which side they’re on. Don’t forget to wash screens and sills/tracks. Are your window coverings drab? Just run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel (to attract the dust) for 15 minutes, and rehang immediately. For a quick, complete wipe-down of your window blinds, shut the blinds and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Then close the blinds in the opposite direction and wipe other side. Tada! A little cleaning makes a huge difference.
I’m all about a little bit of daily progress. Cleaning these areas will also help get rid of germs that might be lurking around from the January we just finished. I think it’s totally necessary to show our homes some love. What other areas will you be cleaning this month?
It seems my Christmas card list of those dear to us grows every year, I decided to try something a little different and write our Christmas letter here! We hope this ‘letter’ finds you in good spirits and continuing thankfulness all throughout the year.
Do any of you come up with a word to refer back to throughout the year? I knew this year would be a year of healing and slow progress, so the word I decided to use was ‘simplicity’. I do think you’ll find how simplicity was woven throughout our year, and I’m more than ok with that because I know, just as a seed germinates, more was happening than meets the eye.
Our kids are growing and shaping into people with their own interests and it’s so fun to watch. Collectively they enjoy art, music, sports and family vacations. We are pushing through the school year with home education and finding a rhythm for accomplishing all that needs to get done and when to rest. A few highlights for school this year are: music lessons, math (they all seem to get the love for math from their daddy) and they also won a trophy (for most original business idea, two years in a row now) at the business fair they participate in. It’s been fun to let them explore their entreprenueral interests.
Phillips Tile & Stone LLC continues to grow and spread. We are thankful to have such amazing clients that help by sharing this company name through word of mouth. Our love for our city of Omaha grows every year, too. This really is the land of opportunity. We’ve come across some great mentors this year that have encouraged us in different areas and we’ve hired a few phenomenally skilled workers. Business owning is an adventure, we thank God for this opportunity.
We continue to enjoy spending our time serving at our local church. I think I’ve heard all of our kids say at different times how they enjoy going to church. We hope their desire to learn and love God grows with them!
Our family vacations this year were mainly camping at Nebraska State Parks. We did make it up to Minnesota to visit my (Michelle’s) brother and his family, our time spent on the beautiful lakes in Minnesota are always a highlight of our summers. In our 10 years of marriage, trips that include just the two of us are very few and far between. So when a sweet friend gifted us a hotel stay we gladly set off on a long weekend together…sans kids and had a great time! We also celebrated our 10 year anniversary! Every milestone deserves to be celebrated, and we did celebrate but rather with our word ‘simplicity’ in mind. Guess what- it was memorable and enjoyable thus proving that a little creativity in planning for activities is the way to go!
Our most exciting news of 2019 was announcing my pregnancy. This came as a bit of a surprise and we are so excited at the thought of having our very own rainbow baby. Our miscarriage last November was hard. Loss is hard. But even in the middle of grief and saddness, we saw God working and His finger print was all throughout that journey. Lord willing this babe will join our family in March of 2020.
This year we’ve walked with friends and family that have experienced grief of the greatest levels. We’ve learned, on a deeper level, what it means to be content. We’ve seen prayer requests come answered and all these circumstances have strengthened our faith. Life is not always smooth sailing but we known we can rely on an unchanging God. We are so thankful for His faithfulness! We are grateful for the HOPE our great God brings even when life isn’t as you had pictured.
We hope, this Christmas, that you’ll find JOY in an unwavering God. Thank you for being our client and our friend. Serving your home or business with design and construction services truly brings us great satisfaction! Have a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year! We look forward to serving you and yours in 2020.
We all love a clean home! The same day I posted this, I had a friend request a blog post on the best way to clean countertops! I think it’s safe to say, we all want what is best for our families and pets. The green cleaning movement is well underway, and I have been on board for a good long while. Actually, it’s not a new movement if you think about it. Your grandparents cleaned green!
It’s incredibly easy to make your own cleaner! Like, so easy. One thing you do need to be mindful of while making your own cleaning agents is that most surfaces cannot stand up to harsh abrasives or acidic cleaners. So use lemon juice and vinegar with discretion! The recipe I’m sharing for this blog post doesn’t use those ingredients, so don’t worry. It is interesting to note that you could get rid of all your chemical filled cleaners and stock up on vinegar, baking soda, lemons and soap and call it a day. But I want you to have this recipe, so keep reading.
For most days, warm water and a microfiber cloth should be fine to clean those countertops. However, if you cut chicken on the countertops the evening before for dinner, just consider alllll the germs that need disinfected. Eww. Here is your all natural recipe to conquer dirt and grime. Germs be gone!
All- Surface Spray Recipe
2 teaspoons washing soda
1/4 teaspoons liquid castile soap
Once you’ve got your mixture together, put it in a spray bottle and fill the bottle with hot water. Shake the spray bottle until your washing soda is dissolved, and then add the soap. Go ahead and spray your countertops. Let it sit for a minute or two and then wipe off. There you go. No more expensive cleaners that are full of toxins. Nope. You’re now a green cleaning machine! Not to mention it only took pennies to make. Your next step is to take a picture of your clean area, because it might last longer. 😉
Remodeling your business or home is an investment! To keep that area clean is a simple way to preserve the materials installed. I mean, have you ever seen corroded tiles? Gross! There are so many cleaning products out on the market today and some might become overwhelmed with how to clean your new space. I’d like to break down the simplicity of what you really need. 🙂
Simple Tile Cleaning Tips.
Clean it often. That simply means, wipe your backsplash or floor tiles weekly with a water and neutral pH cleaner (think mild dish soap or Simple Green) other options will break down the sealer and cause damage. Then repeat with just water and finally wipe with a dry towel.
To clean the grout. Take an old toothbrush, (it’s recommended to replace a toothbrush every 3-4 months) and mix some water with baking soda, then scrub. It’ll take some elbow grease and it’s a smart idea to test a small area first, but your grout will be squeaky clean and look brand new!
There you have it. No fancy or expensive cleaning agents. Your tile will last longer and stay looking amazing. Easy peasy.