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Lessons I learned from Pam Sykes

It feels like Pam Sykes and I are sisters from another mister. Pam enjoys decorating and cooking the same as me, she has a traveling musician husband as well (google Greg Sykes), two cutie children (see below) and she is the only other woman I know personally who runs a food blog. I have referred to Clean Wife Happy Life many times for yummy and easy “clean” recipes. In fact, her Clean Mexican Salad is in regular rotation at The Macualay home. I will leave the recipe below for you! You also speak my language, girl! You literally took the words right out of my mouth (or, the keys off my keyboard) when you wrote “How to Clean Your House In 15 minutes”, as I was already jotting the same sentiments down for an entry entitled: “Confessions from a mom with a clean house”.

Gone are the days of living rooms we aren’t allowed to live in, and hand towels we aren’t allowed to dry our hands on. There’s been a pendulum swing from the prior generation’s pretend perfection. This generation wants real. As a result, I’ve noticed pics flashing across social media of women’s disastrous homes complete with messy children, dirty dishes and laundry piled high, as if it is a badge of honor. This must mean you are spending more quality time with your kids, and that you’re not just a facade. I get it, but both Pam and I believe there’s a happy medium here, ladies. Of course it’s realistic that there will be mess, but if not dealt with, it eventually adds up to unwanted chaos in the home. When my house is cluttered and chaotic, my kids and I seem more unhappy and out of control, but when my house is organized and decluttered (aka – less junk!), so is my mind. It is important to take care of the things, and the space God has blessed us with, and to model that for our children. Cleaning up teaches responsibility and gratitude, it helps your children have better focused play time, and helps you feel less crazy (anything to help me feel less crazy!). I get that some people have a personality that can tune out clutter and don’t mind mess. Famous song writer, Diane Warren apparently hasn’t cleaned her work and writing space in about 30 years. Somehow, it helps her creativity. But, for the most part, we all would feel much better if we could conquer the clutter. Below, Pam suggests many other reasons why it’s good and helpful to achieve cleanliness (not perfection) in a home, especially with children. She gives a really great tip to help us achieve that. Her food blog is also a great resource for finding clean recipes. Let me, on behalf of all women reading say THANK YOU, Pam!!!


How To Clean Your House In 15 Minutes


“Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens and happy kids”

Have you seen these little quotes posted all over Pinterest and Facebook?

It seems like the days of covering your couches with plastic and cooking dinner in an apron and pumps are long gone. Not only are clean houses no longer the social norm, they can seem impossible to achieve!
I would love to say that I spend my entire day playing in the yard with my kids and working on crafts together, not even thinking twice about the housework. I would love to say that we have so much fun that we don’t even see the mess and that the special memories made that day are all that really matter.
I would love for that to be our life- but that’s easier said than done. Real life balancing household responsibilities and family time is hard!
In fact, I actually find that my family; husband and children included, are the MOST stressed and UNhappy when our house is in disarray! My house is by no means clean all of the time! But, I wish it could be! When our house is organized and tidy and everything is in it’s proper place I find that the atmosphere in our home is much more peaceful and it is THEN that we actually have quality time together!
When my kid’s playroom is clean and organized my children will play for hours, yes I said HOURS without so much as a peep! It makes sense if you think about it! How fun is it to play with a tea set if you can only find one cup and no other pieces? How fun is it to play with a train set if most of the cars and track are missing? When all of the toys are in a box in it’s complete set- it is much more appealing to play with!
It’s not just the kids who enjoy a home that is mess free! Think about how it feels to walk into your home after an exhausting day only to trip on scattered shoes at the front door while trying to hopscotch your way around a mess of toys on the floor, only to plop down on your couch and get a transformer in the behind! Or, my personal pet peeve; waking up to a counter top and sink full of dirty dishes.
While I agree that it’s important to take time to enjoy your children and prioritize family together time, I think a little balance is in order! On most days, there really are enough hours in the day to do both! I know I just lost a few of you there! I’m not talking about having an immaculate house that is sparkling clean from top to bottom. But, I do think it’s possible to achieve a home that is tidy- MOST of the time! I also think that as important as it is to spend quality play time with your kids, it’s also important for your kids to see you taking care of the home! Even better, it’s important to include them in the household duties! After all, real adults have to take care of the things they have right?! And that’s an important lesson for kids too! 🙂
A few months ago I started a new system in our home and it has been a total game changer!
It’s the 15 minute blitz!
One way that I stay on top of keeping my house tidy is by practicing the 15 minute blitz EVERY night!
What is the 15 minute blitz you ask?
Every night after my kids are asleep, during the time I most want to sit down and relax with a book, or a show, or social media, instead I implement the 15 minute blitz!
I take 15 minutes and clean up/tidy my main floor as fast as I can! Once 15 minutes is up- I stop. Even if I didn’t do every single thing that there is to be done. I stop and call it a day. 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time but you will be SHOCKED at what you accomplish in that short time! It is so much easier to relax in a tidy room and it feels so good to wake up and start the day in a tidy house!
There are a few rules:
1. You must do this faithfully every night. If you don’t- you will get too far behind and your mess will become overwhelming.
2. You have to work straight for 15 minutes without stopping and without any distractions. This means no stopping to check phone messages or chat with your spouse.🙂 During this 15 minutes you are in the zone! You need to make every minute count!
3. You have to work FAST! You can take your time with everything else all day long, but during this 15 minutes you need to bust it like your mother in law is around the corner and will be at your doorstep in 15 minutes!😉
*TIP*- Start the blitz in your main living area- kitchen, living room dining room. Even if bedrooms or other parts of the house are a little messy, keeping the main living area tidy helps to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Why does this work? Sometimes you can look around at a mess and feel overwhelmed! You can feel like you don’t have time to get it all done which makes it tempting to push it off for another day! But we all know that this is the quickest way to build a mess mountain!
There will be so many nights when you don’t want to do it and you will try to convince yourself just to skip it! Don’t do it! Push through! You can do anything for 15 measly minutes!!
Try it for a week and see what you think!!
Do you have any tips for keeping your house clean? I would love to hear your tips!🙂
Happy Cleaning!
XO, Pam

Clean Wife Happy Life

Clean Mexican Salad


1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar
Juice from one lime
Rind of one lime
2 Minced garlic cloves
1/4 Tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp minced cilantro

1 Can corn
1 Head romain lettuce
1/2 Cup baby tomatoes
1 Can black beans
1 Diced avocado
1 Cup broken tortilla chips

Mix all dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad or serve it on the side of the salad.
Layer the ingredients for the salad starting with the romaine lettuce. Be sure to wash and throughly dry the black beans or else it will make your salad soggy!

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