How To Put On a Duvet Cover

We recently had guests come in to town, and prior to their visit, I wanted to make sure that the hardly-used guest room was all fixed up and comfy for them.  Clean sheets were put on the bed, a pretty picture was hung, fresh flowers were placed in a vase.

Only one problem remained.  I hadn’t gotten around to putting our newly bought comforter inside the duvet cover.

I knew there was a trick to this type of linen execution, and after a quick YouTube instruction from the Belle of Bedding, Martha Stewart, I performed something short of a miracle and put our comforter into a duvet cover.

Since I’ve got this thing down now,  I thought I’d share my new-found knowledge with you.

How To Put On a Duvet Cover.jpg


1. Lay your duvet cover on the bed, then line up the comforter to the cover.

2.  Slide the corners of top end of the comforter in to the hole of the cover and meet up with top corners of cover.  Tie the strings of the comforter and the cover together, if applicable.

3. Holding the two corners of the cover/comforter, pull up on the top edge of the duvet to allow the cover to fall down around the remainder of the comforter.

4.  Make sure the side edges of the comforter are on the side edges of the duvet cover, and shimmy the cover down to the un-covered bottom edge of the comforter.

5.  Match up the corners of the other end of the duvet to the comforter, and tie if applicable.

6.  Shake the covered comforter out to make it nice and smooth.

7.  Button up the toggles (buttons, loops, whatever you’ve got to work with).

8.  Stand back and admire your work.

9.  Realize that you’ve screwed up and got the short end of the comforter on the long end of the cover and have to start over.

10.  Not wanting to begin the whole process again, crawl in to the cover to untie the ties and attempt to rotate the comforter while pinned inside the cover.

11.  Crawl back out and realize your laziness only gave you more work.

12.  Start back at step 1 with the right sides lined up.

13.  Begin to curse under your breath and wipe your face, because you’re sweating now, you idiot.

14.  Wish you had just ponied up the extra $10 and bought the Bed-In-a-Bag deal at Target instead of trying to repurpose this crappy old duvet cover that you don’t really care about any more.

15.  Get all the sides and corners lined up, then try to shake out the comforter to make the #(!@* ^% thing smooth again.

16.  Resist the urge to fling the whole project out of the second-story window when you realize that you bought a full/queen-sized comforter for what now looks like a king-sized duvet cover.

17.  Button those stupid toggles back up again, chalking up that missing button halfway in the center to karmic retribution.

18.  Figure that since this is the guest room, no one will give as much of a crap as you do.

19.  Shove the loose edge of the cover that doesn’t contain any comforter down into the footboard and hope no one ever notices.

20.  Place some ill-matched pillows on the bed.

21.  Walk out of the room and head for the chilled wine in your refrigerator.

22.  Put Martha Stewart on your shit list.


How about you?  Have you tackled this beast and survived?  I’d love to hear your tips!


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The Laundry Predicament

If you live in a house with other people and are the primary Home Science Specialist, then you’ve experienced this never-ending conundrum.


Our family needs clean clothes.  But somehow they don’t clean themselves.  Someone has to hunt and gather the dirty laundry, put it in the washer and dryer, fold it and put it away.

Every week. 

It is the bane of my existence

Like the dishes, laundry is one of those laborsome household chores that I dread and procrastinate doing until I’ve run out of underwear and start wondering if I can’t squeeze in to those hidden “reserve” pull-ups of my daughter’s.

It just feels like I can’t get caught up.   Once the clean clothes get put away, it’s already started to pile up again.  And my kids plow through clothes like Imelda Marcos did shoes.  Some days are a three- or four-outfit-changes kind of day as my kids’ wardrobe evolves with their imagination (or distracted dietary habits).

With no end in sight, I sometimes fantasize about all of us joining a nudist colony and shunning clothes all together.  But, you know how I feel about being naked.  It’s not on the top of my list.

This year, my daughter started attending private school with my son.  Which means two sets of clothes for both kids.

Uniforms are a godsend in a way.  There’s zero hassle or fighting in the morning about what everyone is wearing.  The school had decided it for them, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

The bad thing about uniforms is that they kinda need to look clean and pressed.  And I don’t pony up the cash for the nicely made stuff.  I hunker down at Old Navy and outfit their closets with cheaply made cotton blends, because inevitably, in two weeks my kids will start using their shirts as napkins.

But cheap clothes also mean more work.  They wrinkle so badly even after a spin in the dryer that it makes a Sharpei look smooth.

In an effort to avoid having my kids show up to school looking homeless, I feel an intense need to iron their uniform clothes. My own clothes?  Nope, don’t even bother to check if they’re 100% clean half the time.

But for the kids, I find myself sweating over an ironing board, smoothing out teeny tiny shorts and polo shirts and skorts, wondering how clothes so small can get so kinky.

Sometimes I wish I could just do away with laundry all together.

One time my family spent a long weekend in a condo in the mountains of Breckenridge.  As part of the rental agreement, we had to make sure the joint was clean and trash was taken out when we departed.  Leave No Trace!

The morning of our check-out, we packed up our things, dumping our stinky, dirty laundry in to a trash bag for easy deposit in to the laundry room when we got home.  We also ran through the condo emptying out all of the trash cans, flushing toilets and turning off the lights.

We schlepped all of our belongings down to the car, threw our trash in to the industrial dumpster and hit the road.

It was only once we got home and unloaded the car that we realized something.

Where was the bag of dirty clothes?


Yep, you guessed it.  We’d accidentally thrown away our dirty laundry in to the hotel dumpster.

Quickly my mind started assessing the damage.

Ugh, there goes my son’s favorite Superman t-shirt.  And my daughter’s favorite dress that makes her look so cute I want to vomit.  And my underwear!  My best underwear, the kind that don’t give me a wedgie!  What about my husband’s favorite shorts, were they in there, too?

A quick call to the hotel staff would leave us right back at square one.  No one was volunteering to dive in and fish it out for us. Imagine that!

So, sure, we were down a few beloved garments.  But guess what?

I didn’t have to do any laundry when we got home.

Guess that’s one way to solve the laundry problem.

Why I’m Never Cleaning My Car Seats Again…

car seat

Yesterday I conquered a task that, should I ever have to perform it again, you may want to have a straight jacket at the ready.  Because this feat brought me to the brink of losing my sanity, and I doubt I can face this challenge again without needing a heavy prescription and clinical surveillance.

Let me explain.  We came home on Saturday from a week-long car trip.  Our car afterwards looked like our kids have ripped open every bag of snacks your brought along and sprinkled their contents all over every surface as if it were fairy dust.

So, after laundry was washed and put away, my next assignment was tackling the car seats.

Besides the Microcosm of Crumbs that has set up shop in the fabric, I was also concerned that they might be covered in dog or cat hair from the kids’ frolics with my parents pets.  If I haven’t mentioned this already, my husband is allergic to most animals.  Hence his nickname, Bubble Boy.

But I digress.

Getting back to the car seats.  While my son’s seat was pretty easy to dismantle, I also had the pleasure of taking apart my daughter’s Britax Boulevard.

I thought it would be easy.  I thought I could wiggle the cover off in less than a minute and throw it in the wash.

I thought wrong.

You basically need a degree in engineering to disassemble this sucker.

First you have to remove the headrest cover, which hides a styrofoam foundation that’s nice and easy to rip in half.  Then there are tricks to getting the back cover off, and everything has to be aligned just so:  the head rest, the opening, Jupiter and Uranus.

Once you get the back cover over the headrest, you’re only halfway to success.  In order to remove it all the way, you have to release the harness straps from the back.  Sounds simple enough, no?  But when I turned the seat over to investigate, I was met with a black sheet of plastic that was blocking my access.

Mocking me.  Laughing in the face of my frustration and saying “You think you’re so smart?  Figure THIS shit out, woman!”

It doesn’t pry off easy.  And then I got smart and read the instructions.  YES, it took me this long to crack out the manual and read along.  I’ve put IKEA furniture together, dammit!  This should be child’s play.  And yet, there are 14 steps to removing the cover in the manual.  FOURTEEN FRIGGIN’ STEPS.

Once I was able unhook the harness straps, the rest came off as quickly as a college Senior’s bikini top at Spring Break.  I threw that sucker in the wash, laundry recommendations be damned.

I mean, c’mon.  The label says “hand wash only”.  Are you serious?  Hand wash, my ass.  This was just the fall-out from a cross country road trip and years of neglect.  What if one of my kids puked all over the thing?

car seat 2After the cover was washed and dry, I went to go put it back on and thought I should maybe wipe down inside.  You know, for a nice clean start.

Holy goldfish.  There was a thick layer of juice/crackers/raisins/cheese puffs that had coalesced and coagulated into a sticky bar of crap.  It was Dis. Gust. Ing.  I had to exhume it with a butter knife, falling out of the crack in one large, foul sheet.

I finally put the whole thing back on and took a step back to admire my work.  Then I realized why it didn’t look right.  I forgot to put the harness straps through headrest.

I contemplated skipping this step and seeing what happens.  But seeing as how the safety of my precious cargo was at stake, I made the responsible choice to take whole thing apart again and do it correctly.

Because I’m giving like that. I will remind my daughter of this turning point every time I buckle her in her seat from here on out.

Now that the seat is clean and reassembled, karma or Murphy’s law would dictate that as soon as I publish this, my daughter will puke her guts out in this car seat.

Better start looking for Toys R Us coupons, because there’s no way hell I’m cleaning this again.

2012 favorites…

Only two more days left in 2012.  I feel like an old fogey when I hear myself utter phrases like “Where did the year go?”

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

And where the heck DID this year go?  2012 was a very full year for me, for our family.  Our kids got bigger and bolder. We moved across country and explored new terrain.  I kissed my dance career goodbye.  My thighs have achieved maximum density.

As I look to 2013, I am slowly contemplating some resolutions. Or lifestyle changes.  I haven’t solidified them yet, but the gist at the moment is less junk, more spunk.

In the spirit of reflection, I took a look back at my favorite blog posts from the past year.  Here’s a list of some of the posts I enjoyed writing the most.  The ones that stuck with me.  Perhaps they will with you too!

Top Posts From 2012…

Don’t mess with Mama bear…:  An article made me reevaluate gender roles as parents and made me realize I want my kids to see I’m just as strong and capable as Daddy.

Time out…:  Our first night away from the kids in almost two years didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up…:  An attempt to de-clutter our cramped home to put on the market.  With small children around.

Bunny hills…:  My ankles and hips still cringe at the though of my first ski experience.  May I never see a ski slope again.

Letting go…:  I don’t want my kids to grow up yet. That includes forcing them to use baby products so I can get off on the smell of Dreft.

Ode to humidity…:  My first foray into Shakespearean ranting.

Adventures in babysitters…:  Do NOT hire this chick to watch your kids.

Pounding the pavement…:  One foot in front of the other.  Moving forward.

Getting a leg up…:  Attempting to navigate my dancing hiatus, one pound at a time.

Quick get away…:  Have you had episodes of G.A.G?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


And to close, I say this:

Move over, 2012.  There’s something more 2013′ier.

What’s been your favorite post on Full of it this year?  What’s been the post you’ve liked writing on your own blog?  Feel free to post your link in the comments. 



Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up…

The countdown to putting our house on the market is shrinking, and with it, my ability to maintain control over the clutter in our house.  I believe the plan is to stake a For Sale sign in our front yard at the beginning of April.  Which means we have approximately 31 days to get our act together.

We did a pretty massive toy and clothes purge after the holidays and our newly-acquired Stuff.  But it seems as if there still isn’t enough room in our tiny bungalow.  Mr. B’s closet is one gigantic, overflowing shelving unit of bins of stuffed animals, space stations, vehicles and games.  And while everything in his room is pretty contained to containers under his bed or in his closet, he hasn’t quite mastered the visual ability to see all the little LEGOs, books, and knick knacks that adorn his dresser, end table, and the far corners of his room.  The playroom has become one giant catch-all for all of those “projects” Mr. B brings home, party favors, and spare socks.  Every now and then I tackle both of these spaces with a garbage bag, but little hands are quick, and those spaces get unorganized once I turn my back.

Not our actual cabinet…but pretty darn close!

But what really scares me the most?  Our front hall closet and our kitchen cabinets.  There seems to be a code of conduct in our house that anything with a door on it is just one giant hole to throw crap in.  It’s not as bad as a sitcom closet, but when you’re looking for a certain pot or pair of shoes or box of Cheez-Its, it can certainly feel like it.   I have been trying to prep everyone that once that sign goes out in the yard, things need to stay neat and tidy.   And here is where I differ from everyone else.  I think we should just get started practicing to keep things show-ready NOW.  But since the sign isn’t out yet, the general consensus is that it’s not a priority.

Here’s what I really worry about, what gets my stomach in a knot and my panties in a bunch.  How do I get everyone on board with this whole “leave the house every morning show read” thing?  Or is this ultimately going to become my responsibility that blossoms my on-the-verge-OCD into a full-fledged obsession?  Am I going to have to start getting up at the crack of dawn to wipe down counters and toilets because I don’t happen to suffer from crumb- and scum-blindness?  I already feel like I spend my free time picking up that random Lincoln Log that Mr B failed to notice, or the food crumbs that remained on the table after breakfast or lunch.

Anyone out there ever sell a house with small beings?  What were your tricks?  How did you get your kids (and husband) to pick up COMPLETELY after themselves, like a Leave No Trace hiking excursion?   Or is this your chance to give me a good slap, tell me to loosen up, and reassure me that our house will present really well, even if a potential buyer steps on a My Little Petshop dog as they’re walking through the house?