Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grout cleaning, Christmas organizing, and 72-hour kits

First of all, a big reminder that we'll be working on the next task for our 72-hour kits next week. Click the 72-hour kit tab above, and get caught up, and on the 15th, we'll move on.

Second of all, last night I achieved something great. All of the Christmas decor is gone from our main floor, and that same main floor is vacuumed and dusted. Ahhhhhh. I mentioned how it makes me feel like I can breathe deeply, and indeed I now can. That isn't to say that the basement makes me feel like I can breathe deeply. All of the decor that was on the main floor is sitting in piles, waiting to be gone through, and then awaiting it's new place in my cleaned-out spacious holiday closet. Since my holiday closet isn't spaciously cleaned out yet, I can't put everything back in it, so it sits and waits. This has been the weirdest year as far as getting things back into place. I'm VERY motivated to get it done the right way: to purge the old decor that I don't use, and donate it (either to my kids or to the thrift store). My "grandmother nesting" is in full swing, which helps the cause. BUT, more important things seem to keep coming up. Things like holding our new baby granddaugther, playing "McDonalds" with her sweet two-year-old brother, visiting our twin grandbabies in NICU as often as we possible can (because they are changing before our very eyes), catching up with a friend who has been serving with her husband in Florida but is home for her father's funeral (how do you say, "Darn. Don't have time to talk. I've got old Christmas decor to purge.") Christmas decor can wait. As luck would have it, we don't have a function that we need our basement for until Easter. ;)

And thirdly, I have made a miraculous, astounding, spring-in-my-step discovery. It began before Christmas as I was readying guest rooms and bathrooms for our kids to come and stay. In the bathroom that used to be our girls' bathroom as they were growing up, I was going for the vintage look and wanted white tiles with white grout.  Really? What in the world was I thinking? What happened to my rule of always using the grout that was already the color of dirt so that it would never look dingy? I think I thought that in this one little space, I'd be able to maintain control. But sadly that wasn't the case.

Sorry for the yellow-ish photos. That bathroom has no natural light, so photos are rough. But, yellow-ish or not, the ugly groutlines still show up loud and clear.


And recently I have tried every single grout bleaching and brightening technique known to the Pinterest world. And every single time, it ended up looking the very same. How can bleach be so selective as to ruin articles of clothing, but won't make a dent in tiny dirty grout lines. Go figure.

One day as I was wandering through Home Depot, I thought I'd check once again for some sort of product that I hadn't already tried. And voila. I happened upon the answer.

The Miracle Grout Pen. I figured it couldn't hurt. I bought two pens (so that I for sure wouldn't run out), and took them home and went to town.

Can I tell you how much I love this product? Even if I have to do it once a year, I will love it til the day I die. It transformed an embarrassing countertop into one where the grout is the last thing you notice. I love it, I tell ya.

I used about a pen and a half on a two-sink countertop and back splash. I love the results and I'll let you know if it starts fading with cleaning. So far, so good.

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