Who hates cleaning the microwave? I'm with you girls. It used to be one of my least favorite things to do. In fact, I would clean the entire kitchen until it sparkled but leave the microwave untouched in hopes that no one would open the door and peek in. This was my madness until I discovered a secret tucked away in a magazine article a few years back. I don't know who discovered this concept, but its brilliant, easy, and it works. Here's what you'll need:.
1 incredibly dirty, food splattered microwave
1 coffee mug full of water
2 Tablespoons of baking soda
1 damp cleaning/dish rag
Make sure your coffee mug is microwave safe. Fill it with water leaving an inch at the top of the mug. Next, drop in your heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Don't stir. Place it in the microwave and turn it on for three minutes or however long it takes for water to boil in your appliance. When the water is boiling and the timer goes off, DON"T open the door. If you do, you will spoil the fantabulous event taking place inside your microwave. Something spectacular is happening inside your lightning speed heating machine. When 10 to 15 minutes have passed, open up the microwave and begin to wipe. This is going to blow your mind! It blew mine the first time I tried it. Every bit of food will wipe away. No muscle power or elbow grease required!
What's the dirty little secret? As the steam fills the inside of your microwave and the water molecules evaporate upwards, it carries with it particles of baking soda. The baking soda sticks to the food particles all over your microwave, causing the food to become unattached. "Abracadabra" the food wipes away.
As a side note, this also makes a great science experiment on the water cycle, water evaporation, and air pollution. If you want to teach this topic to a little one, just explain that as the sun heats up water on the earth, it evaporates up as water vapor into the atmosphere. As the water vapor rises, it carries with it any pollution we have created in the air. As the water reaches the sky and attaches to dust molecules it forms clouds. As the clouds become heavy, the clouds darken and precipitation begins to fall to the earth in the form of rain, sleet, snow, or hail. The pollution from the water then falls back down to the earth inside the precipitation, polluting our streams, rivers, and oceans. When we pollute the air with chemicals and trash particles the pollution spreads as it is carried up and then falls back down to the earth.
I'm a firm believer that we should take good care of the earth and our microwaves. If we care about the earth the Lord has given us, we should clean up pollution whenever we can. As far as your electromagnetic appliance goes, this little trick destroys pollution inside it's four walls and you don't have to dread cleaning it any longer!
Every year, many are faced with family drama at Christmas. If you are dreading the yearly "Bah Humbug," never fear, solutions are here! Is there bickering among your siblings? Do your parents seem to lose it? Is everyone a little worried about how to handle the one member of the family that is obnoxious or rude? Have no fear, the gift of advice is here.
If you want peace this Christmas, start by re-framing your perspective:
The Nasty Grinch?
It's perfectly normal for everyone to feel frustrated and somewhat envious and annoyed by a trouble maker or a braggart at family gatherings. The truth is many people who brag about themselves or cause trouble wherever they go is rooted in their woundedness. It's usually because no one is actually giving them what they so desperately desire which is usually love and approval to counter their own insecurities.
"Crazy" Angry Parents?
As parents start to reach the age where they recognize they have fewer days ahead than behind, the pressure and fear set in. The pressure to make sure your family is intact and can carry on without you when you're gone can be overwhelming. Parents want the security of knowing that the family will carry the torch forward with honor in their name. Those emotions always seem to surface around the holidays. As everyone gathers in one location, the flaws begin to shine. As arguments or issues come to the surface, the fear sets in. Fear is like fuel to an already smoky situation. Anger is a powerful emotion almost always fueled by the deeper, stronger emotion of fear. Remember too, your parents are coming from two different perspectives as man and woman, mother vs father, and husband vs wife. They are processing their fears in two different ways. Men often attack. Women tend to defend. All perfectly normal. Consider some of these thoughts your parents may be thinking.
What are your choices this Christmas to stop the crazy and the nasty?
This year, exchange the gift of peace in the palace for chaos by doing something different. Quit hoping for a new batch of wonderful in the holiday season while throwing in the same ingredients, the same people, and the same problems. Here's a plan for a whole new way of doing Christmas. You can kick the "bah humbug" right out of the party!. Keeping people busy is key to any party including family gatherings. If you want to avoid the "Grinchy" hubbub get creative and change it up. Here are my suggestions for creating Christmas peace on earth and good will toward men!!!
Most importantly, remember to Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas! After all, it only comes once a year!
If we want to be the Queen of our Palace, we all have to be a Cinderella some times! I grew up on a farm where we did everything based on a yearly calendar, I'm a creature of habit so every late Spring and Summer I get in the mood to do a Clean-athon. I had to get clever this year during my ultimate cleaning spree because I had some unusual dilemmas that required brain power to figure out a hack to resolve each one. They all worked, so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you on the blog. Hopefully they will stimulate your thinking if you find yourself in a bind like I did. God loves our ingenuity, after all we are made in the image of the almighty, powerful Creator. Because of that, we are creative! Listed below are my new cleaning discoveries and my newest appliance recommendation.
First, My New Number One Recommended Cleaning Appliance: Scunci Steam Cleaner
If you've never heard of it, let me tell you, it's amazing! It basically uses hot steam to clean almost anything. It also replaces a large amount of chemicals in your home that are harmful to the human body and the atmosphere. It simply uses hot steam to clean your surfaces and water safe fabrics. The Scunci cleans mirrors, stove top cooked on food, silk plants, lamp shades, hard to clean stains from floors and cabinets, sinks, and even toilet seats. The list goes on and on. Below, I share two things it resolved for me during my Clean-athon. I couldn't have made it without it!
Where do I get one?
You can find the Scunci on Amazon, but do a web search for the best price. I bought mine at Big Lots for a lot less. They cost around a hundred dollars at Amazon, but when you take into consideration all the things they clean and all the cleaning products you get rid of, they are worth the initial cost. Here's my first hack, they disinfect the door knobs and all things "touched" after someone in our family has had an illness. *As with any hot steam product, be careful when operating and keep out the reach of children. Don't touch the tip of the steamer either because it is very hot once the steam has been initiated.
My Favorite Cinderella Cleaning hacks from this years Clean-athon!
Black Skid Marks on your Doors or Walls
Solution: Take a slightly damp rag with texture to it and a tiny bit of "wall patch". (pick this up at your favorite DIY warehouse like Lowe's or Home Depot) Put a small amount on the rag, about the size of an English pea depending on the size of the mark. Using the rag, gently rub the black marks away. They typically come right off. Next, take a separate damp rag and wipe away the wall patch residue. It should leave the area almost as good as new saving you from having to touch up the paint!
Scuffs & Scratches on Furniture
Solution: You can pick up a "Furniture Marker" set at your local "At Home" store. They keep them up front near the cash registers. You might also find them on line. I paid around $10 for mine. They usually come in a pack of three colors of light, medium, and dark stain. Test the marker to see which color is best for your piece of furniture. Try it on a spot unseen before using it on areas that can be seen. I find it works to have a paper towel handy and as you color the scratch with the marker, wipe away the excess around the scratch and wallah, the scratches should be unnoticeable!
Canvas Art with a Stretched Area, Bulging or Sunken In
Solution: Lay the piece of art on a flat, clean surface so the canvas rests face down and flat on the surface. Take a hot, damp cloth or better yet use a clothes steamer if you have one. Slightly wet the stretched area with the hot rag or steam it with a clothes steamer. As it dries, it should return to its' original shape. (too bad it's not that easy with bulging places after 50!)
Dusty Silk Floral Arrangements
Solution: You have two choices. There's a product available at the "At Home" store called Silk Flower Cleaner you simply spray on and let dry and it dissolves the dust and debris away. I prefer their aerosol version versus the regular spray bottle. The second choice the Scunci Steamer Cleaner. Use it to steam off the dust right off silk floral arrangements. I take them outside to the patio, spray them with the Scunci. Next, I let them dry for a few minutes before returning them to their location. Make sure the bottom of the planter or pot is dry and clean before returning it back to your furniture.
Hard to Clean Staircase Railing or Spindles with Design Elements
Solution: I have what I refer to as swirly stair spindles. They're beautiful to look at, but I couldn't clean the dust out of the swirly decorative design in the middle of the spindle to save my life. It's too small for hands or a rag to reach. The Scunzi can blow and steam all the dust away. They look like new! Hand rails on stairs can also be hard to clean because ,as their name implies, they are meant for hands. That means they also get covered with skin oil causing a film to develop. The Scunci removes this film as well.
Remember, it's okay to be a Cinderella every now and then. Men long for peace in the kingdom. Keeping it tidy and clean is one way Cinderella's keep their fellas!
*If you have any cleaning hacks you want to share, please message me on instagram or via this blog site. I'd love to hear from you!
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
It's that time of year. Time to tidy it all up and get ready for summer fun. It's spring cleaning time. Time to enlist your army of family members, pick a date on the calendar, and do the Mad Dash cleaning everything in sight! Here are some basics to make your nest neater and your cleaning easier. First let's start with Four Basic Steps:
Step 1: Buy It!
Cleaning is a whole lot easier when you have the right tools to do the job. The basic necessities are an all purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, wood cleaner, toilet cleaner, granite and stainless steel cleaners if needed, separate scrub brushes, rags, or sponges for each surface depending on what is needed, and most importantly, a carrying caddy for each floor of your home with a place to store it all. Remember, when not in use it needs to be out of reach of children and easy to access. Before you start, buy the things you need you don't already have. There's lots of places to buy, but I personally have changed over to the essential oils all natural cleaners for health reasons and I purchase those at my favorite on=line store called The Grove. I love their products and they actually work! I haven't been disappointed yet and we stay a lot healthier without inhaling chemicals that can damage our body. You can find it at this link. https://www.grove.co/member/home
Step 2: Trash It or Donate It!
Your most important tool is the trash bag when it comes time for spring cleaning. It's a lot easier to clean when all the excess is removed. Many times the messiest rooms are the ones that always seem to need attention because they have way too much stuff floating around that you and your family are trying to manage. Before you start your overall cleaning, grab a trash bag, hand out a bag to each of your children, and have everyone do a trash run through the house. You may have to double check depending on age to make sure they get it all on their round. Have a box centrally located for anything that they don't want to keep that can be donated to someone less fortunate. You can even set a timer for this and call it the "Mad Dash". Set the timer for 20 minutes, yell "Go" and the clean machine is on high speed. When everyone has dashed, trashed, and donated, you're ready for the next step in the process.
Step 3: Organize It!
It's really hard to keep your nest neat if it's disorganized. When things are put away, the cleaning is easier. We like to organize about every two months even if it isn't Spring. So set goals ahead of time and pick one area in each room that needs extra attention with organization. If there's more than one area that needs attention, prioritize and do the most important space in the room. Assign those spaces to different people involved. If you feel your children need directions for those areas, write up directions on a post-it note the day before and stick it on the wall above the space. That way everyone knows what to do when they get to their extra assignment. The other areas can be cone next month. After the organization tasks are complete move onto the final step of deep cleaning.
Step 4: Clean It!
Next, send everyone to their own rooms to clean. Tell them to start at the top of the room and work their way down and around the room clockwise as they go. This gives a sense of accomplishment as they clean. Whatever's up high, do first, like hang clothes, clean mirrors and pictures, and dusting. Next, go down to the next level in the room and do what needs doing, Then finish it all off with cleaning the floors last. The entire room will be clean in no time. If you don't have enough family members you might have to give each person two spaces and you and your husband do the rest together. Whatever it takes, it's a team effort. Don't forget to turn on some music before you start. It will keep everyone motivated. Finish the spring cleaning off with a family outing to the movies or for frozen yogurt! You will all celebrate your accomplishment and there's nothing like a neat nest for nestling up close and watching a movie!
What's for dinner?
Hmmm? I'm not sure most of the time.
Because life is so busy, sometimes I barely have time to go to the grocery store. If I'm honest, I always put off the things I like least, and grocery shopping is one of those things. Don't get me wrong. I love to cook, it's just the planning, coupon hunting, label reading, and shopping I don't like.
This year, Dan and I decided to try something radical. First, we had already tried three companies who deliver boxed meals pre-cut and proportioned and all that's left is the cooking. This didn't work for us at all. Either we didn't like the meals or some of the food would go bad before I could use it all. Not to mention, most are way over priced for what you get in the box.
What was the best decision ever?
We went with a menu planning service. So far, the best decision I've made to manage my home in a long time! That's why I wanted to share it with you in this month's blog.
First, let me say that grocery shopping has come a long way. Many local stores have now created one-click shopping which is a great way to save time. Shop on-line, click it into the cart, set up a pick up time, and they bring your groceries to the car. My only problem with this concept is choosing the right products since I can't actually touch them, read them, and economically choose them in person. Clearly, the grocery-gathering team at your local store is probably not as interested in managing your budget or your health as you are.
Believe it or not, that one-click shopping could be more effective and save you more time and money if you went with a menu planning membership. After doing a lot of research, and trying a few free-trial short term on-line memberships, I found the one I love. It's called "Relish, Relish". You can find it here: https://www.relishrelish.com/relish-home/
This is what I love....
If you are in a "What's for Dinner" rut, I highly recommend a menu service membership. Don't forget to look for an online coupon for the membership before purchase. I actually got my membership for half-price with a coupon from retailmenot.com.
Happy Shopping! Happy Cooking!