Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rule #5 -- if it's finally clean...wait 5 minutes.

So I am a little discouraged this weekend. It seems like as soon as I clean something, someone dirties it!  And I don't even have kids yet!

I cleaned the kitchen. Rodney wants sweet potato fries for dinner. Not oven fries like usual though, fried fries. I've never fried ANYTHING. The kitchen was smoky and filthy. The fries were delish. I was just happy that my eyebrows were intact.

I vaccuumed the carpet. Bella barfs. Twice. It is yellow.

I mopped the floor. Bella trips me and I step in her food and water dish. Dog food flies everywhere.

I demand that you pity me.


Monday, April 18, 2011

NEW winner!

It's number 24! Yay Tiffany Houston!  Facebook me your address to claim your prize!!


Hey faithful followers!  Even though we didn't make our goal of 20 followers, I love you guys so much that decided to do the giveaway!

First, I made a list like this:

1.      Sydni

2.      Rebecca
3.      Jocelyn
4.      Mindy
5.      Michelle
6.      Tiffany Litchfield
7.      Tiffany Lloyd Houston
8.      Sharisse
9.      Jadestuff1013
10.  Sydni
11.  Rebecca
12.  Jocelyn
13.  Mindy
14.  Michelle
15.  Tiffany Litchfield
16.  Tiffany Lloyd Houston
17.  Sharisse
18.  Jadestuff1013
19.  Rebecca
20.  Jocelyn
21.  Mindy
22.  Michelle
23.  Tiffany Litchfield
24.  Tiffany Lloyd Houston
25.  Sharisse
26.  Jadestuff1013

Then I went to and it generated the number 5...which is my sister. I thought to myself: 'you can't pick your sister...they'll think it's rigged."

So I did another random number pick. It was 14.  Michelle again.  I guess the universe wants her to have clear sinuses!

So, Michelle, You are the WINNER!  Unless you already have a sinus rinse...let me know!

I'll keep doing giveaways and posting cleaning tips, so stay tuned.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not a cleaning tip....and a GIVEWAY?

This post isn't about cleaning...unless you consider irrigating the boogers out of your sinuses a type of cleaning...which I do.

Anyway. I am sick. Nigh unto death, as it were. For reals people, I feel like ___________ (fill in the blank--it's a Mad Lib!)

I am in Park City for the weekend with my Mumsie and Popsicle who are visiting and while I am blissfully happy to be in their company, I am so mad at myself for not packing my "nose bottle." This is my nose bottle:

It is NOT a neti pot. Neti pots are for pansies. The squeeze bottle allows you to really get all of the crap out of your sinuses. 

All you do is fill it with warm water, and then mix in a packet of the salt/baking soda stuff. Don't make your have to get the proportions just right. I say just fork over the few bucks for the packets so the water doesn't burn your nose.

Then you squirt the water into your nose hole. And watch the magic.  **DON'T WATCH the Youtube videos.** Sinus irrigation looks weird and scary. You will be freaked out and intimidated.  It is not scary. I swear.  It feels so good.

I don't rinse my nose everyday. But when I am having bad allergies or feel a cold coming on I will do it several times in a day.

I believe in the nose bottle. I haven't been to the doctor for a sinus infection in 3 years.  I used to have sinus infections every 4-5 months. I hated taking all of those antiboitics, so I am so glad to have found a natural remedy that works.

I feel like this cold might turn into an infection. And it makes me mad because it could have been prevented with my nose bottle. When I get home on Monday, the first thing I will do is wash out my nose!

I got a free Waterpik® SinuSense™ Neti Bottle in the mail a little while ago. I would love to give it away in my blog...BUT I have only two followers. (THANK YOU loyal 2 followers. I heart you).  

I will do a giveaway for this brand new sinus bottle if I get at least 20 followers by April 18th . All you have to do is follow and then post a comment. Get your friends to follow too! You know you want the nose bottle! I mean it is 15 bucks at Walgreens, and you can get one FREE!
Make it happen!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hoarders and Rule # 17

I LOVE watching the show "Hoarders." I have no clue why.  I find it simultaneously repulsive and intriguing.  I do realize it is a serious mental illness/compulsive addiction, but I find myself wondering: How does that happen?!

And then I walk into my husband's office and I realize the answer.

Husband isn't a real hoarder, but he doesn't follow Rule # 17:

Touch things once.

My mom and dad came up with this one.  It stipulates that you only touch something once.  Simple right?

Here are some examples:

When doing laundry, touch each piece of clean laundry once.  Take it out of the dryer, fold it, put it away.  It takes more time and effort to keep touching it to put in a pile over by the tv while you fold, and then to put the folded stacks on the bed, and then to move the stack at 11:00pm to sleep, and then to move the stack to find your clothes at 6 am, and on and on.

Dishes: take the dirty dish, rinse it and put in the dishwasher rather than touching it once to put it in the sink, then again to wash the crusty stuff off, and then into the dishwasher.

Trash: instead of putting the empty juice container back into the fridge, while it is still in your hand from pouring, just toss it in the can.

It sounds stupid, but if you touch things once, piles don't materialize, clean clothes don't get wrinkled and need to be washed again, and you don't find trash anywhere except the garbage can.

Believe me.  Rule #17 save time.  And lives.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Easter Bunnies Leave Behind...

I saw this recipe on the blog "Our Best Bites" and I knew I had to make it since I am ADDICTED to Cadbury mini eggs. I actually buy a dozen bags the day after Easter when they are 50% off, and make them last all year.  I almost made it this time. I got to December, but then luckily Cadbury made a similar Christmas themed candy and I stockpiled that until now.

I am actually too lazy and busy to make cookies from scratch, so here is my super simply recipe.  Husband  loves these cookies.  You can mix practically ANYTHING into them and it will taste good.

1 box Devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or shortening (shortening works better, I think. If you use butter, chill the dough for an hour before baking)
Optional: splash of Mexican vanilla (You can get Molina brand at Walmart now, and it is just as good as the fancy brands. When I was growing up we actually had to go to Nogales, Mexico to get Molina vanilla!)

...and that's it. Bake 350 for 8 minutes blah blah blah...

I tried making these cookies with Cadbury mini eggs, Reese's pieces eggs, and Whopper mini Robins' eggs.  They are all delicious options. Husband liked the Reese's eggs best.

To me, these look like Easter Bunny poops.  I told Husband they are called 'Bunny Turds.' He thought that was funny.  If you don't say 'poop' or 'turd' in your house you could call it "Bunny Scat.'

Anyway, here is the link to the original, more complicated recipe:

(Dani, this was for you as another mini egg addict!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rule #35 Use less=clean less

This rule applies to extra bedrooms and bathrooms. Basically, what I do is I never use my extra bathrooms or bedrooms so I don't have to clean them.  Maybe it sounds weird, but let me explain:

I grew up in a house with 3 bathrooms. One upstairs for the girls, one in the master suite and one powder room off of the laundry room. My mom discouraged us from using the powder room and reserved it only for visitors or guests.  I always thought that this was stupid. Until I had a house of my own.

Our house has 3 bathrooms too.  2 full upstairs and one 1/2 near the kitchen.  When we first moved in I gave Rodney a choice: he could use ALL the toilets if HE cleaned all the toilets. Or he could use ONE toilet and I would clean it.  This works great (when he follows the rule, anyway).  I just HATE cleaning "boy" toilets. So I will clean ONE.  And only ONE.

When we have guests or visitors, I can feel confident that the bathroom is just as clean and fresh as I left it last time I cleaned.  I generally sanitize and spot clean them once every two or three weeks.  Before and after a guest comes to stay, I deep clean the bathroom.

For guest rooms, I just keep the door closed and no one goes in there, so it's always neat and tidy.

My Husband hates this rule, but it falls under rule # 1 : clean smarter, not harder.

Following this advice will save you lots of time especially if you are using and cleaning all  bathrooms in your house on a weekly basis.

Random Pet Peeve: I hate in when we have male visitors or guests and they leave the toilet seats up.  Maybe it's okay with your wife, but you're in MY house, so leave it like you found it! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thanks :)

Just a little note just to say thank you for the support.

I am so glad that there are others out there who appreciate my little tips.  If you have any time or money saving things that you do around your home I would love to feature your ideas!

Doing Laundry

Quick tip:  Don't use expensive, perfumed fabric softeners anymore! Just use white vinegar.

My husband has very sensitive skin, so I have to use a free and clear detergent.  But these leaves the clothes looking a little less white, less soft, and less fresh.  To boost the cleaning power of the detergent, and leave clothes softer, cleaner and whiter I fill a Downy ball with white vinegar and toss it in.  Vinegar also is great for colors too because it fights color fade.

When you remove the clothing from the washer, it may smell faintly of vinegar.  DON'T WORRY!  After the clothes dry in the drier or by air drying the smell will completely evaporate.

If you can't part with the fragrance of fabric softener, use a dryer sheet.  That will be enough fragrance.  I even tear my dryer sheets in half or reuse them for more than one load to save a few more pennies!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When do you have time to...?

I hate cleaning the shower.  It takes too much time and I always get soaking wet trying to rinse the walls.  So I devised an easy, but strange solution: I clean the shower right before I shower.

After I clean the house, or whenever I decide that the mildew can no longer be ignored, I spray the shower down with whatever I am using to clean.  For touch-ups I'll use the eucalyptus cleaner, but for once-a-month scrub downs I'll use something more heavy duty like Lysol bathroom cleaner or CLR.  I spray it and  leave it for a while and turn on the bathroom fan thing so I won't die of fumes.  10-15 minutes later I grab a scrubby sponge and get ready to shower. I hop it and scrub for a few minutes and then turn on the hot water.  I rinse down the shower and then do my regular shower routine.  It saves time and while I still get soaking wet from cleaning the least it is on purpose!

And that's why I have time to clean the shower.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Makeup Stains

Somehow, once every six months or so, my dog manages to get into my cosmetic bag.  She LOVES to eat lipgloss and lipstick; which means it gets all over her, and all over our beige carpet.

"Your strawberry lipgloss? No, I didn't see it. I swear!"

But I don't worry too much because I am the!

To get rid of a lipstick, marker, pen, ink, pretty much anything stain:
  • If the stain is on a piece of fabric or clothing, place a clean, light-colored cloth behind the satin.
  • Saturate a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • BLOT (don't rub!) the stain.
  • Frequently change places on your cloths--the color will lift off of the fabric or carpet and onto the cloth, so you want to use a clean place on the cloth to make sure all the color comes off.
  • That's it. As the alcohol evaporates, the smell will go away.
To remove a lipgloss stain:
  • Because lipgloss is sticky and greasy, rubbing alcohol won't really work.
  • Using a credit card, spoon, or something similar, try to scrape off as much of the gloss as possible.
  • Using a clean cloth, generously apply toothpaste (yep, toothpaste) to the carpet. I used Arm and Hammer toothpaste since it was white.  I haven't tried a colored toothpaste, but I would use any white kind just because I wouldn't want the toothpaste to leave a stain!
  • Now use a damp cloth to work in the paste, and begin to wipe it away.
  • Your carpet or fabric will be spot-free and minty fresh!
To remove a chapstick stain:
  • Using a credit card, spoon, or something similar, try to scrape off as much of the lip balm as possible.
  • Chapstick is mostly wax, so I find it best to apply a wax remover like Goo Gone, Goof off or Un-Do.
  • Let it sit for a while
  • Wash in hottest water safe for fabric
  • Don't dry the clothing until the Chapstick stain is gone...that makes it set in

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Things First

Hi There! I am starting another blog because I want to share my tricks of the trade, but also to clear up some misconceptions that keep floating around.  Many people I know are under the impression that I do nothing but keep house all day which is why my home is always so clean and fresh.  That is CRAZY!  I have a life!  In my opinion, being busy is no excuse for having a messy and unhealthy home. We could play the "who's busier game?"  But trust me, you do not want to go there. I am a full time grad-student, college teacher, substitute teacher, LDS temple volunteer, and a 24 hour-on-call maid, cook, and caretaker.  

While it is true that my home is pretty darn clean at any hour of any day, many people believe it is only because I don't have any kids.  I would say that is only partly true. While I do not contend with the whirlwinds of messiness that some moms have, I do constantly clean up after a dog and a messy husband all by myself.  Yep. All by myself.  My husband is a wonderful hard working guy, but he probably couldn't even find the laundry room (sigh).  So it's all on me.

Because I love to live in a orderly and clean environment, but I have such a tight schedule, I have devised a lot of time and money saving tricks that allow me to clean less often than you would think. 

So here we go!


Just like an artist, a master cleaner must choose her tools carefully.  Okay, it's not thaaaat important...but I save tons of money each year by carefully choosing what products I use.  Even more important than saving money is using products that are safe for the environment and your kids and pets. A lot of people avoid cleaning because of the toxic chemicals that hurt their eyes and lungs. Well stop suffering! You want to know my best secret?  You really, really want to know?  You want to know why I LOVE cleaning?

I use aromatheraputic grade essential oils.

"That's it" You ask? Yep!  "Is it safe" You ask? Yep. "Is it cheaper" You ask? Yep!

There are only a few cleaners that I buy from the store: Lysol spray/wipes, toilet cleaner, and CLR.  Everything else can be replaced with natural cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.

Here is how I use oils to clean: 

  1. Select an essential oil that has antibacterial or disinfecting properties that is also a pleasing scent to you.  In the bathroom I use a mixture of eucalyptus and spearmint, and in the kitchen I like to use lemon oil. 
  2. Buy a cheap garden sprayer.
  3. Fill the sprayer with water
  4. Add about an ounce or two of the oil
  5. The oil will rest on top of the water, so as you clean you will need to shake the bottle so that the two mix together.  When you spray the solution it should look a little opaque or milky.
  6. That is it!  Enjoy the relaxing properties of the essential oils while you sanitize your home.
The oil/water mixture will clean just about anything.  It dries streak-free so it is a great substitute for Windex. It nourishes leather and wood so it takes the place of Pledge. It is the ultimate multi-surface cleaner.

I always use microfiber cloths that I get from the dollar store. These cloths will do a great job of tackling tough soap scum and other messes.   

Some oils that are especially suited for cleaning:

  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • pine
  • juniper
  • thyme
  • rosemary

Be on the look out for future posts on other cleaners and remedies that use essential oils!

*Note: Be careful with undiluted oils. Some of them can irritate skin slightly if you put them directly on your skin.  I have also read that pregnant women should limit their exposure to eucalyptus oil...but then in other places I have read that it is okay.  Just be careful when using a new product, and if your are concerned, consult a healthcare professional.