ditching the deep clean

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog

When I first became a stay-at home mom, I took great pride in keeping my house absolutely pristine. Not just tidy, you understand, but ORGANIZED. Each toy had its proper place; paperwork got filed neatly away; coats and pants were stored according to season; and shirts were lined up by color, sleeve length, and collar type. There wasn’t a single thing where it wasn’t supposed to be.

I also deep-cleaned. Constantly. I scrubbed down the bathrooms each and every day. I swept, mopped, and vacuumed EVERYTHING. I dusted and polished every surface, from the blades of the bedroom ceiling fan to the fake butt indentations on the dining room chairs.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
Judging by the size of these fake butt indentations, my dining room chairs were made for 9-year-old girls and THAT’S IT.

No speck of dirt was safe—not the curly hairs behind the toilets, not the mushy residue in the soap dishes, not the Goldfish crumbs between the couch cushions. My house was immaculate.

Then I decided to go back to work.

I refused to return to a starchy office smelling of burned popcorn and sexual harassment. No thanks! I was going to jump on that new-fangled “work-from-home” bandwagon that everyone was talking about, and no one was going to stop me. Best of both worlds, right? I’d be able to bring home the bacon while still keeping my house spic-and-span. After all, I was my own boss! I could take a break any time I wanted and scrub out the tub ring. I could rinse off the dishes after lunch and load them into the dishwasher. At the very least, I could keep the laundry going at a slow but steady pace.

BAHAHAHAHahahahaha.

These delusions lasted no more than a week. I quickly realized that working moms of ANY variety have to drastically change their housekeeping expectations PDQ—or use some of their precious income to hire a cleaning service. Here are just a few examples of how I personally have devolved from”Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” to “Final Order of Condemnation”:

Making the beds. I used to change the linens weekly, and when I did, I would launder everything from the mattress pad to the actual duvet. Now I throw myself a parade for just changing the sheets—which maybe happens once a month, or whenever my husband gets in bed, starts scratching like a feral cat, and launches into theatrics about how  “EVERYTHING! ITCHES!” You know. Whichever comes first.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
This is how you make the bed, right? I mean, the blanket goes on top of the pillows like that, right? And the sheets and pillowcases should all be different colors and patterns, right?

Dusting. I once dusted every imaginable surface. Wainscoting, crown moldings, shelves full of knick-knacks, entire bookcases—nothing was spared. But not anymore! Now I only dust what’s visible. If it can’t easily be seen, it can stay hidden under a six-inch layer of dust for all eternity. I could not give less of a care.

Vacuuming. I used to vacuum 3 times a week. Now I vacuum once a month and tell myself I’m not doing it more often because it “scares the cat.”

Cleaning the bathrooms. Okay, bathrooms do need to be cleaned regularly, and they need to be cleaned well, because otherwise that’s just gross. But since I’ve gone back to work, I am cutting myself a *little* slack in the bathroom department. Now, instead of washing my towels every few days or so, I let them age like a fine wine. A fine wine that smells like a moldy hobo.

Trash. Changing the trash, which used to happen daily, has now become a fun game that I like to call “Mexican Standoff.” My husband and I spend days watching the garbage crawl out of the trash can and up the kitchen wall. Whoever gives in and takes out the bag is the L-O-S-E-R.

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
WHO WILL CAVE FIRST? NOT I!

Laundry. I used to keep on top of our laundry. Not anymore. Nowadays I don’t do laundry until we’re all wearing bottom-of-the-barrel underwear and irregular “Simpsons” socks from Family Dollar. Even then I just wash whatever shit is laying on the floor next to the machine, which is usually some completely useless combination of a leg warmer, 59 pairs of tightie-whities, and one of my husband’s dress shirts. And what’s that, you say? Let the damp load rot in the machine for a week? Don’t mind if I do.

Mopping. My previous regimen was what I would describe as “mop early and often.” You could run your finger across my kitchen floor and not pick up a speck of dirt. Now? “Eh, no one’s going to notice that dried blob of pumpkin guts from Halloween two years ago. And even if they do, so what? Are the Housekeeping Police on their way? Am I going to have to pay a fine? No? Then who gives an ever-loving shit.”

Surface cleaning. I mentioned that I used to be a stickler for surface cleaning. Now I subscribe to the philosophy that since my tables and counter tops are always covered with crap anyway, what’s the point? No one ever sees them. (With regards to the TV screen, the important thing is that I can still *almost* tell what’s happening underneath all of the snot smears and Nutella fingerprints.)

est. 1975 reexamines the importance of housekeeping after returning to work. #SAHM #WAHM #cleaning #housekeeping #funny #humor #est1975 #est1975blog @est1975blog
The usual state of my counter tops. Also, feel free to straight up ignore the bottles of absinthe in the background. We aren’t that kind of family. *cough*

Organizing. It didn’t take long for my opinion about the organization of closets and drawers to go from “a place for everything and everything in its place” to “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Pajamas are now shoved in with underpants. Shoes are piled in a jumble on the closet floor. Toys lie wherever they were when last used. Why put that shit away when it’s just going to come right back out again?

Cleaning up cat barf. What cat barf? I don’t see any cat barf.

Essentially what I’m saying here is that if you’re a stay-at-home mom, and you’re entertaining thoughts of going back to work while at the same time maintaining an impeccable household, think again. Even if you end up working at home like I do, your threshold for what constitutes good housekeeping is still going to plummet. You just won’t have enough time to juggle everything.

And I’m here to recommend that you just OWN IT. RELISH IT. MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

Yes, your standards of cleanliness may not be what they once were. But you know what? A certain degree of freedom comes along with that. The freedom to slack a bit. The freedom to say “fuck it, the laundry can wait” when you’re feeling tired and meh. The freedom to tell your kids to do the chores, even though you know their idea of cleaning the bathroom is “wiping the toilet seat with a piece of Charmin.”

The next time you find yourself clenching your butthole about the state of your house, relax that ass and release that stress into the universe. Even better, take a turn at contributing to the problem yourself. Clog a toilet and leave it for someone else to deal with. Scrape some jam-covered toast crumbs into the sink, hide the mess with a soggy paper towel, and walk away. Fling your kids’ Legos and Hot Wheels all around the room, then wait for someone else to step on them. It’s an adrenaline rush the likes of which you’ve never experienced.

I have to say, I’m glad I decided to go back to work. Who knew being a slob could be so deliciously liberating? *wipes peanut butter on wall*

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An earlier version of this piece was published on BLUNTmoms.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credit:
“Washerwoman”: Gabriël Metsu; PD Art – US; Source: “Catalogue of paintings removed from Poland by the German occupation authorities during the years 1939-1945. 1, Foreign paintings” / comp. Władysław Tomkiewicz ; Ministry of Culture and Art. Warsaw 1950 Editor: Ministry of Culture and Art – Modified

dem nails 101

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor

Happy 2016, my loyal so-and-sos! The new year has begun, which means that it is time for me to:

  • Say goodbye to the hot garbage that was 2015, but not before getting right up in its face, screaming “DON’T LET THE DOOR HITCHA,” and launching it out of my life forever via a firm boot to the butthole;
  • Resolve to be be a better, kinder, healthier person for the first seventeen days of January, or until I rage-eat an entire tube of Pillsbury Grands! in one sitting, whichever comes first; and
  • Finally nut up and post the DIY nail tutorial I’ve been promising you guys for many, many moons. A ridiculous amount of moons. An unfathomable amount of moons.

So here we go! I’m gonna show you how to do DEM NAILS!

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Okay. When doing a manicure, you always want to start out with clean, dry nails. Which means that if you’re already wearing nail polish, you’ll need to remove it. Any nail polish remover will do, but I prefer the felt pads that are already pre-soaked and individually wrapped. Otherwise, my nail polish removal experience quickly turns into a nightmarish landscape of stringy, sticky cotton balls and puddles of acetone everywhere.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
I use the Kroger-brand felt nail polish remover pads, because I’m what they like to call a “big spender.”
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
My nails! *gasp* They’re naked! Quick! Somebody get me 5 very small bathrobes!

Now that your nails are Rated R For Graphic Nudity, you’re ready to shape them. If you’re new to DIY manicures, I recommend first reading a short article courtesy of Divine Caroline called “How to Shape Your Nails.” It’s simple and instructive, and best of all, I didn’t have to write it. Click on the image below to take you there.

Image courtesy of Divine Caroline: "How to Shape Your Nails."
Image credit: Divine Caroline – “How to Shape Your Nails.”

I personally shape my nails in the “squoval” fashion because even though I prefer square nails, I’ve found that the sharp edges can gouge out a bitch’s eyeballs. It’s also been my experience that the corners have a tendency to snap off whenever you:

  • eat
  • sleep
  • breathe
  • do anything at all

So I round those fuckers down.

Now. I don’t necessarily want to take a sticky, unsatisfying crap on metal nail files, or even the old-school Emery boards, but I’m going to anyway. Because they suck. They’re either too gritty or not gritty enough, and they last about as long as a sailor on shore leave. The bottom line is that GLASS FILES ARE WHERE IT’S AT. I use an inexpensive one called the Diamond Deb, and a single file can hang in there for YEARS.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
The pointy end comes in very handy for scraping that disgusting gray amalgam of dust, face grease, boogers, nostril hairs, and skin flakes out from underneath your fingernails.

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est. 1975 PRO TIP: NEVER saw back and forth when filing. Sawing at your nails will weaken them, causing icky-poo flaking, peeling, and breakage. Instead, file in one direction on one side of the nail, then in the opposite direction on the other side. Finish by rounding or squaring off the top.

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After you’ve shaped your nails, the next step is to gently push back your cuticles. This keeps them healthy, and also gives your nails the illusion of length. You can use a cuticle removal cream or gel if you like—a variety of brands make them—but I myself don’t bother. I throw caution to the wind and just bareback it with this YCC Clear Plastic Cuticle Pusher.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
PUSH IT.
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
PUSH IT REAL GOOD.

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est. 1975 PRO TIP: NEVER CUT your cuticles, and don’t let a nail tech or manicurist do it either. It’s a fabulous way to contract a Gross ‘N Nasty bacterial or fungal infection. Check out this short article courtesy of Cosmopolitan called “Why You Should Never, Ever Cut Your Cuticles” and walk away schooled.

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Now it’s time to paint!

If you have oily nails like I do, I recommend wiping your nails down with rubbing alcohol before you start. This will remove dirt and oil, but it will also help polish adhere to the nail, helping you avoid the super fun phenomenon I like to call “The Manicure That Chips Off in Gigantic Pieces 20 Minutes After It Dries.”

You can also use a nail primer like Orly Primetime Primer Basecoat to achieve the same result.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Useful, but it’s basically just rubbing alcohol with an applicator. If you’re in a pinch, save yourself the dollars.

Now apply a rubberized basecoat like Orly Nail Bonder Treatment to your nails. It has a “gripping” effect and does a kick-ass job of keeping nail polish in place, even on oily nails like mine.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Like, comment, and subscribe if you think I’m a humongous product whore who deserves a free case of Orly Nail Bonder Treatment in exchange for this post.
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
A wet coat of Orly Nail Bonder Treatment. Or maybe I just wiped my nails across my sweaty forehead. *I’ll* never tell.

Got your color ready? Because you’re going to need to apply your first coat while YOUR BASECOAT IS STILL WET so that the rubber can bond to the lacquer. I chose China Glaze’s “Out Like a Light” for this tutorial because China Glaze makes excellent, inexpensive cremes that are very easy to apply.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
Sorry that this picture sucks. Unlike *actual* nail bloggers, I do not have all of the awesome lighting and camera equipment it takes to take sweet close-up photos of dem nerls.
est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
If you can’t find this exact shade, a nice almost-dupe for this nail polish is China Glaze’s “Concrete Catwalk.” Yes, I have both. Yes, I have a problem. Yes, shut up.

Now, if you’re not used to painting your own nails, applying the lacquer quickly and neatly is going to take you some practice, particularly when using your non-dominant hand (that lazy son-of-a-bitch.) However, in the meantime, here are a few simple tips that can help:

  • GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU START. Nothing fucks up a manicure more easily than an urgent pee, or a deuce that can’t wait.
  • Never shake your polish. This will cause air bubbles to form. Instead, roll the bottle gently on a soft, flat surface.
  • Don’t polish your nails in the same room as a moving fan. This will also cause air bubbles.
  • If you accidentally get polish on your skin, don’t lose your shit. Just let the paint dry and it will wash right off with soap and water.
  • LET EVERY LAYER OF NAIL POLISH DRY COMPLETELY BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT. And by dry, I mean DRY. Not tacky. Not squishy. Not “eh, it’s basically dry.” DRY. 
  • You should only need to use 2-3 layers of most lacquers to get full coverage.
  • If you struggle with streaks, air bubbles, or flooded cuticles, chances are pretty good that you’re just not painting your nails the correct way. This incredibly helpful article (see image below) from Lacquerized.com taught me everything I know.
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Image credit: Lacquerized – “How To: How I Paint My Nails.”

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est. 1975 PRO TIP: If you have gorgeous long talons and struggle with tip wear, try wrapping your tips. It’s a technique that involves putting a little bit of lacquer on the free edge of your nail to prevent wear and tear. For step-by-step instructions, check out this article by The Polished Perfectionist called “How to Wrap Your Tips.”

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After you have applied your color, you’re going to need to finish with a quick-drying top coat. One of my favorites is Seche Vite Dry Fast Nail Top Coat. It smells like a toxic chemical spill and it doesn’t play well with non-drugstore polishes, but its high gloss, durability, and time-to-dry are second to none. You must apply it while your final layer of color is STILL WET.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
This is a miracle product. I’m not even kidding. I think Jesus Himself was involved in the creation of this top coat.

After application, in about 30 to 60 seconds your manicure will be drier than my vaju-vaju after watching my husband get out of the shower and air dry his junk using the “helicopter” method. (If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, consider yourself hashtag blessed.)

So this is what DEM NAILS can look like with a little practice and some pretty reasonably-priced manicure products:

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
WHERE MY OTHER HAND MODELS AT?!

Oh! One more thing. Make sure to keep your nails and cuticles moisturized after a manicure, because the chemicals can dry out your skin. I like the Mary Kay Satin Hands lotion, and indie polish manufacturer Emerald & Ash has an entire line of cool-smelling cuticle oils.

est. 1975 shows the loyal so-and-sos how to do a relatively easy and inexpensive manicure. #nails #nerls #manicure #est1975 #est1975blog #funny #humor
I’m currently using the E&A cuticle oil “Gourmet Dark Chocolate.” On a totally unrelated note, I’m also currently trying not to nibble my fingers off.

And there you have it! Beautiful nails you can do at home. If you have any questions about techniques, materials, or why my cat insists on standing on my boob while I’m trying to write a blog post, put ’em in the comments!

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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