Toni Anderson, Author at The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management

Vanilla Body Butter

If you haven’t tried using body butter yet, I highly recommend it.  Body butter is a skin moisturizer that typically contains cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil or another vegetable-based oil. Body butter is thicker than lotions or creams and typically do not contain water.

DIY Vanilla Body Butter with essential oils

I like to use body butter in the evening before I go to bed, since it stays on longer. Remember to apply the body butter when your skin is damp, since it contains no water. Do not use body body on your face, since it can clog pores.

This easy to make vanilla body butter smells amazing and makes a great gift. Remember to store in the fridge if your home is warmer than 75 degrees.

Body Butter Ingredients

DIY Vanilla Body Butter using 4 ingredients

Directions

Measure and combine your cocoa butter and your coconut oil in a large glass measuring bowl.

Heat mixture in the microwave until melted. This should take about 90 seconds depending on the power level of your microwave.

vanilla body butter DIY 4 ingredients

If you do not have a microwave, you can melt in a small saucepan slowly over low heat.

Stir in your vitamin e oil and essential oil.

DIY vanilla body body with essential oils

Place liquid body butter mixture in the fridge until it forms into a solid.

DIY body butter with essential oils

Use a hand mixer to whip your body butter for several minutes and place in an airtight container.

DIY Vanilla Body butter with essential oils

Remember to store the mixture in the fridge in the summer or if your house is warmer than 75 degrees.
DIY vanilla body butter with essential oils

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How to Get Slime Out of Carpet

If you have children, you need to know how to get slime out of carpet. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, I can assure you, it will. Perhaps it won’t be carpet, but it will be your couch, drapes or favorite shirt.

SLIME. 

You are a horrible, evil, crafty concoction that my kids discovered on the internet. There is a large part of me that wishes slime had never, ever been invented. (I mean who really wants to drive around town looking for a gallon container of Elmer’s glue!)

There is another part of me that loves slime because it manages to keep Cora busy for hours with no requests for the Kindle, television or the computer.

However a few months ago I had to BAN SLIME FROM MY HOME. Yes, I realize I’m not winning mother of the year, but my girls had taken the slime into their bedroom and managed to get it all over their carpet.

how to get slime out of carpet

I’m not talking about a few small spots that could be ignored or chalked to up the nail polish spill of 2016 or sharpie-gate 2015. I’m talking about basketball sized globs of slime in my less than 3 year old carpet.

(note: there was significantly more slime on the carpet, however I didn’t think to take pictures until they were halfway through removing slime)

It was so bad that I ended up buying this pink rug to cover their carpet. (This is a catalogue picture- their room has never been this clean.)

Recently, my daughter told me she thought vinegar would get slime out of carpet. Since the carpet was ruined anyway I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let them try to get slime out of the carpet. If the slime stains disappeared that would be awesome.

If not, we still have the pink rug to cover the slime stains and who doesn’t love the smell of vinegar?? 🙂

how to get slime out of carpet

Now, there is a small catch to this method. We used a “Spot Bot” type carpet cleaning machine to clean the carpet. You can clean slime out of carpet without a carpet cleaner, but I wanted to make sure we were able to suck up all the excess water/vinegar from the carpet.

(because I was kidding about loving the smell of vinegar)

This is the carpet spot cleaner that we have, because two years ago I lost my mind and decided to get a puppy, but I digress.

But there are cheaper options like this Hoover Spot Scrubber.

In my opinion if you have children, pets, or messy friends – you need a spot remover machine. I cannot believe I waited so long to purchase one.

Random photo of girl (and carpet slime culprit) and puppy (pee all over my carpet culprit). Aren’t they cute? It’s hard to stay mad at them when they are this adorable…. 

how to get slime out of carpet

Okay back to the topic at hand, how to get slime out of carpet. This is what we did and it worked amazing! However the room did smell like vinegar for a few days.

How to get slime out of carpet

  • Pour white vinegar over the stained/slime covered area.
  • Let vinegar soak in the carpet for 3-5 minutes.
  • Scrub stained area with a scrub brush or a carpet scrubber.
  • The stain should start to disappear.
  • Once the stain has been scrubbed out, spray the area with a light mist of water.
  • Then sop up or vacuum up the excess liquid with the spot scrubber.

How to get slime out of carpet without a spot scrubber

  • Pour white vinegar over the stained/slime covered area.
  • Let vinegar soak in the carpet for 3-5 minutes.
  • Scrub stained area with a scrub brush, toothbrush, or clean rag.
  • The slime should start to disappear.
  • Once the stain has been scrubbed out, spray the area with a light mist of water.
  • Then sop up the excess liquid with clean rags or paper towels.

It is important to make sure that the carpet is nearly dry when you are finished removing the slime. After we got all the slime out of the carpet I did run a fan in the room for a few days to make sure everything was dry and to help get rid of the vinegar smell.

You will be happy to know that slime is no longer banned from my home, however it is required to never leave the kitchen. So far, so good.

How to get slime out of carpet

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Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

For years I’ve talked about the importance of age appropriate chores for kids on this site. It took me a while to realize that I couldn’t do it all and I needed my kids to pick up after themselves and help out a little.

After I realized that my kids were capable of doing chores at a very young age I implemented daily and weekly chores in our home. Vital to our success was assigning age appropriate chores to each child.

Reader Nikki asks….

Can you write posts about each age – what you have them do total? I am not naturally organized, so this would help me implement gradually.


I’ve always believed it has more to do with ability than age. Some of my children were ready to use the stove at eight or nine and others I’ve felt needed more time to mature. Only you know what your child is capable of doing when it comes to chores.

Remember to keep in mind your child’s age, ability, and maturity when assigning chores around the house. Most importantly, young children need supervision while doing age appropriate chores for two reasons. First, you want to make sure they are learning the correct way to do each chore and second you want to make sure they are not doing anything that could harm them or the house.

Finally, don’t mistake laziness for inability. I’ve found that the earlier you give your child age appropriate chores the more they can do at a younger age. Most children are very capable, you just need to motivate them.

I’m sharing with your our family’s chore list. Remember, because the two-year old can do the chores on the list doesn’t mean she does all the chores on the list. I use the list as a guide when it comes to assigning chores. Each child does one to two age appropriate chores each day depending on the size of the job.

Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Toddler (ages 2 and 3)

  • Pick up/ put away toys
  • Unload the dishwasher (silverware, plastic cups, tupperware)
  • Dust with a feather duster or microfiber rag
  • Swiffer the floor
  • Put clothes in the dirty clothes hamper
  • Collect dirty clothes
  • Help get clothes from washer to dryer
  • Put clothes away
  • Make bed
  • Wipe cabinets
  • Wipe baseboards (soapy water)

Preschooler (ages 4-5)

  • Any toddler chores
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Vacuum couch/ chairs/ cushions
  • Take out recycling
  • Set table
  • Clear table
  • Wash dishes (with supervision)
  • Clean windows
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks (baby wipes work great for this chore!)
  • Match socks
  • Fold dish towels
  • Weed

Early Elementary (ages 6-8)

  • Any toddler and preschool chores
  • Meal prep (wash produce, find ingredients, simple cutting with butter knife)
  • Wipe bathroom sinks, counters, toilets
  • Hang out laundry
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Collect garbage
  • Get mail
  • Fold/hang laundry
  • Clean microwave
  • Rake leaves

Elementary (9-11)

  • Any previous chores
  • Make meals
  • Take garbage/ recycling to the curb
  • Wash/ dry clothes
  • Clean toilets
  • Mop floors
  • Vacuum out cars

Middle School (12-14)

  • Clean tub/ shower
  • Make full meals/ meal plan
  • Clean out fridge/ freezer
  • Mow yard
  • Wash car
  • Supervise younger children’s chores

High School (15-18)

By the time my children reach high school age I expect them to have the ability to do any chore around the house. While they don’t do everything I know they are capable in all areas of home management.

When a child becomes proficient at a chore it is time to pass that chore to a younger child. I take the lowest common denominator approach to chores in our house. This means the youngest child who is able to do the chore gets the job. When the child is learning their chores they are supervised by a sibling or a parent.

While our family isn’t perfect when it comes to chores, my kids are encouraged to work together to keep the house clean and organized.

My only regret is that I wish I would have given my kids age appropriate chores when they were younger. When I only had two young children it was easier to just do it all myself. Not anymore. Having kids that can help around the house keeps the house cleaner and frees up more time for fun activities as a family.

Finally, remember to keep it fun! Most little children WANT to help out around the house. Assigning small chores like the ones listed above allow your kids to feel like a contributing member of the family. Put on some fun music, sing a favorite song (we use to sing the Clean Up song from Barney) and work together to make it enjoyable for everyone in the family.

Age Appropriate Chores for Kids: Printable

To download your free age appropriate chores for kids printable click on the button above. The chart will open in a new tab. Right click to save or print the chart. 

A few of my favorite chore/ reward charts for kids

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Responsibility Chart

Melissa and Doug Chore Responsbility Chart

Magnetic Dry Erase Rewards Chore Chart with Marker and Magnets

Reward Chart 

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Inexpensive Ways to Increase Home Value

Have you ever looked at a home and wondered how they make it look so good?! There are many ways to increase home value, that are inexpensive and simple. It always amazes me how fixing the smallest things can increase the value of your home.

Even if you don’t plan to sell your home, small home improvements will increase the value of your home and if one day you do decide to sell, you’ll have less work to do to get it ready.

Not sure where to get started? Check out these tips!

Increase home value by ripping out old shrubbery.

Say goodbye to ugly landscaping and hello to increasing your home value. Ripping out old shrubbery helps your house look not-so-ugly. While you are ripping up the shrubs remember to lay down some new mulch in the beds. Mulch is very expensive (especially in the spring when Lowe’s and Home Depot run their yearly sale) and can really make the outside of a house pop!

I always lay down some weed blocker fabric in the beds to keep the weeds at bay. It’s inexpensive invisible when covered by a layer of mulch or stones.

Improve curb appeal by removing clutter from the outside of your home.

When you drive past a home that has a lot of clutter on the outside, it makes you wonder about the inside. Remove the clutter and increase the value of your home. We do a yard clean up several times a year and everyone works for a few hours getting rid of sticks, dead plants, and random things that have migrated into our yard. It’s amazing how much better it looks after only a few hours of work.

Increase home value by adding a fresh coat of paint.

It’s sad to see how quickly walls become dirty and gross at my house. However, a quick coat of paint can guarantee an increase in home value. Check out my $60 total room makeover from several years ago.

Painting is a home improvement you can do yourself in a day and is very inexpensive. If you want to really make your room pop, clean and/ or paint the trim. It’s amazing how incredible a room looks with fresh white trim.

If you don’t want to paint, try washing the walls with warm soapy water and a sponge. A little elbow grease can go a long way. The same goes for cleaning your baseboards. This is a job kids love to do (especially bored children on summer break!)

Improve first impressions by minimizing the clutter inside.

If you are trying to sell your home, having less on the inside always seems to do the trick. Start getting rid of items you no longer need and keep the inside looking tidier. This is a great way to start your journey to minimalism. Every time we’ve sold a home we’ve done a major declutter. I always wish we did it while we were living there rather than when we are moving, because I enjoy my home so much better with less stuff!

Not only will your house look better, you will be able to find the things you really do need!

Increase home value by updating the bathroom.

An old (and dingy) bathroom can decrease the value of your home, especially if other homes in your neighborhood have been renovated. A total bathroom remodel is expensive but you can make some inexpensive changes that have a big impact.  If the overall bathroom is ugly, you may have to spend some money updating the floors or painting. However, there are small things you can do to make your bathroom look awesome. Try adding a rug, scrubbing the walls, or even adding a few hand towels.

If you want to make a bigger impact, consider changes the vanity mirrors or lighting, or replacing the faucets with an updated style. We purchased a bathroom faucet on Amazon for around $50 and installed it ourselves. Just removing the fifty year-old faucets made a big difference.

Another home improvement we made in our bathroom was to install peel and stick vinyl plank tile over the existing fifty year-old floor. The results were amazing and it cost under $100.

If you want to invest a little more money into your bathroom consider having your tiles or tub painted or reglazed. If the tile is in good shape, painting or reglazing the tile is about 1/10 of the price of replacing it. We recently painted the tile in two of our bathrooms and have been pleased with the new look.

All these bathroom improvements will increase your home value and are significantly cheaper than a complete bathroom renovation. We renovated our bathroom for under $200 when we moved into our most recent home.

Improve rooms and closets by adding organization features.

One of my favorite ways to increase the value of a home is more organizational space. People love storage! Adding something like a closet to your home is cheap. You can also buy closet organizers or closet systems to help you get that space you’re looking for. When all else fails, adding shelves is a great idea to help you get those features.

One of my favorite organizing tools is the inexpensive over the door shoe organizer. We’ve used it for Barbies, toddler clothing, sewing supplies, underwear, socks, and my favorite use – winter/ summer gear.

The nice thing about this storage container is that you can fold it up and pack it away if you aren’t using it.

Increase home value by updating the flooring.

Hardwood flooring has always been popular. If you have an older home, you may have hardwood flooring underneath. If you don’t want hardwood flooring, you can still update the flooring in your home in an inexpensive manner.

If your carpet old, stained or outdated? Add a throw rug on top of it to take the attention off the carpet. If replacing the flooring is not in the budget, have the carpets cleaned at least once a year. This really makes a difference if you have pets. Most carpet cleaning companies run specials all the time, so it’s easy to find a good deal on having your carpets cleaned.

One flooring style that is very popular now is vinyl planks. It’s significantly cheaper than hardwood (although more expensive than carpet) and very durable. There are even peel and stick vinyl planks that you can grout to look just like porcelain tile or hardwood. If you really need to replace floors but have a small budget, vinyl planks might be a good option.

groutable vinyl tile

These vinyl planks were installed right over the existing tile flooring. 

Before you tackle a huge home renovation project, think about what small projects you can do around your house that will make a big difference. Most of these projects increase home value and can be completed in a day (or a weekend). The impact is big, however the cost and time commitment is small.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.