Friday, March 26, 2010

Cleaning tips...

Off of
What is your favorite spring cleaning product, and why?

Share your tip in the comments below for your chance to enter to win a $100 gift card. Deadline is next week, Tuesday, March 30th at 11:59 pm CT. And don’t forget to check back next week for another chance to win.

Here are my favorite entries (so I don't forget these great tips!):

Robin Vaughn says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

I keep an empty laundry basket with me when I clean – anything in that doesn’t belong in the space that I am cleaning goes into the basket. When i’m done cleaning, I walk thru the house with the basket and put away the collected items. Quick and easy!

I also make my own laundry detergent. Freeze 4 bars of soap (Felsnaptha or Zote are good choices since they are stain fighters, but Dove or Ivory or whatever is cheap at the Dollar Store works just fine!), grate the soap into a large bowl with a box cheese grater or a food processor. Measure what you’ve grated and add half as much Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda) and half as much 20 Mule Team Borax If you get 6 cups of soap shreds, add 3C borax and 3C washing soda. Run batches thru the food process to chop of the soap shreds, stir it all up at the end and store in an airtight container. Use 1/8C per load.

It comes out to about $.08 per load of laundry (price varies based on actual cost of soap and powders). Super quick and easy to make and one 4 bar batch will last for months. I actually multiply the batch and make it in a 5 gallon bucket about once a year!

Kay says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:27 am

Vinegar!!!! Anything that can get 2 week old oil and grease stains (from my husband’s boots) out of white carpets is a miracle! Mix one part vinegar to one part hot water, add a teaspoon of dish detergent, and scrub away at any stubborn stain. It is also a natural way to get streak free windows, declogged drains, and disinfected air and sinks. (use straight)

Rosanna says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

I start my spring cleaning by taping a sheet of paper to the door of each room and make a running checklist of what needs to be done in that room. Then I can easily “put down” and “pick up” my cleaning/organizing project over the course of a few days or a week without forgetting what needed to be done and what already got done in each room. Plus, anyone (*ahem*, hubby) can see at a glance what needs to be done when they have spare time!

Jane says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:13 am

i use a plastic fork to clean all the gunk out of our velcro on our winter jackerts after i wash them and before they are stored away for the winter

Roxanne says:
March 26, 2010 at 9:04 am

Use hand lotion to remove dust and mud from shoes that have been through the winter months. The lotion also conditions the leather. The result is far superior to water, and it’s a good way to use up the lotion from gifts and so forth that tend to accumulate through the years.

Jessica Mann says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:56 am

Unclogging and Freshening Drains with Baking Soda:

Unclogging the Drain
Option #1
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar. Try heating the vinegar in the microwave before adding it to the drain. Wait 5 minutes before flushing the drain with 2 quarts of hot water. You can repeat this process a few times if it is necessary. If this is the first time you have cleaned your drain in a long time it may be necessary to repeat the baking soda flush a couple of times.

Option #2
Try pouring 1 Cup of baking soda and 1/2 Cup of salt down the drain. Let this mixture sit in the drain for several hours, overnight is best, before flushing the drain with 2 cups of boiling water.

Tips For Baking Soda and Drains

Use baking soda that has been used in the refrigerator or freezer to help clean the drains and you’ll extend the use of something you otherwise would have just thrown away.

Use the same ideas to clean and freshen your garbage disposal. You may be able to cut the required amounts of baking soda, water, vinegar, and salt in 1/2 for use in your disposal.

Try putting baking soda down the drain without rinsing when you are going on vacation or even just a weekend trip. It will help reduce odors that may develop while you are gone. Flush the baking soda out of the drain with hot water or hot vinegar followed by hot water when you return.

Benefits of Baking Soda and Drains

Using Baking Soda to clean your drains and garbage disposal eliminates harsh chemicals that may leave odors and residue in your sinks.

All of the listed combinations are environmentally friendly, which will help concerns about chemical contamination, or even the risk associated with having chemicals in a home with children.

Using baking soda for these jobs can be friendly to your wallet too, especially if you recycle the boxes you use in the freezer or fridge when they are no longer as fresh.

Pramila T says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:38 am

1) Prevents mildew from bathing suits.
2) Clean stainless sinks and cooktop for tough stains.
3) Clean crayon off a chalkboard.
4) Pour half cup in Drain with Vinegar followed by hot water in order to prevent clogs
5) Clean Jewellery
6) Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations
7) Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.
8) Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.
9) Clean the fridge with it.
and list goes on……

March 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

My family eats lots of oranges. When we peel them we throw the peels into a gallon zip lock bag and throw into the freezer. At the end of the week I throw all the peels into a crock pot and cook them all day. Makes the house smell great! When the crock cools, I then strain off the “orange juice” and put that into to a spray bottle. The peels go into the compost. I have de-greaser! Works just as well as vinegar and sometime better! Busts out soap scum! Lime go away! Mix it with coffee grounds(used, no need for coffee abuse) and you have a great hand scrub for hubby when he gets out from under the hood.

Kristin says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:40 am

Microfiber cloths have become a cleaning staple of mine! Just use a water dampened one to clean windows and mirrors and wipe with a dry one. Never a streak to be seen, even in bright sunlight….amazing!

Anita says:
March 26, 2010 at 8:39 am

Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or nails while you clean.

Those are the posts so far...
Added to that was mine, I love old toothbrushes for cleaning in crevices. :D

What are you cleaning tips?
Why not enter at to see if you can win too! (or leave them below for me...)

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I live this idea... (Giveaways)

What do you think when I say - convertible bike?

Well - Zigo is just that... you have to check out these giveaways for this bike!! I hope you enter all of them... the more the merrier, right?! And if you win more then one, can I have one too? ;)

Enter Here:
My Four Monkeys

and here:

And here too!
Go Graham Go

And here too...

This giveaway ends April 5th at 12:00am (EST). The winner will be chosen using and announced on this post. Open to all!

MORE entries?

Jolly Mom




Seeryus Mama button


and (lastly...)

Hope you win one!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Flowers...

I am amazed at 1 days worth of growth in flowers...
Here is what the Crocuses looked like Sabbath -

And Sunday -


I think Spring has sprung!

Now, can anyone tell me what to do with the rest of the garden?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Secret by Beverly Lewis

I was loaned two Beverly Lewis Books, these are not the 1st books of hers I have read... but they are the 1st I've read that were only the beginning of a series. (I tend to like to read a whole series at once - sequentially.)

'The Secret' it is Book one of "Seasons of Grace" Series by Beverly Lewis.
Like all of Beverly Lewis books this one had the slow paced reading to set the stage of the Amish world and had all the beauty and richness the setting gives in ones imagination. The Secret is about the Byler family and the unexplained behavior of the mother, Lettie. It gives glimpses in to relationships we can all relate to and sometimes face - people who do not communicate well, workaholics and 'lost souls' who wander around looking for meaning.
Added to the old charm of the Amish is the new fangled “Englishers” who visit the area in search of simplicity.

This book was riddled with questions and anguish that comes with secrets that impact families. This being the first book in the series… we the readers, are left with some frustration as many of the intriguing points are not resolved in this book. Hence we look forward to the next one in the series. The majority of the book focuses on Grace Byler – the oldest Daughter in the family. She seems to be most impacted by her mother’s decisions and has the most questions and life decisions to make without the normal aid of family that most Amish have. Interjected in the story is an Englisher who comes to stay the summer and has anguish of her own and whose future and happiness seems undetermined at this point.

There is a lot of heartache and pain in this book – and I found it to be uncomfortable, the Amish characters tried to embrace faith and hope, while the Englishers searched for solace and simplicity. Neither are fulfilling at this point.

I am not sure if I would recommend this book, it is a hard read… there is a lot of raw emotion covered by the simplicity of the Amish. Quite a lot of High drama, if you like that – then you will like this book.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I am amazed at how many people are running giveaways. How do they do that?? I'd love to do that too... so if you have any tips on getting started, please let me know. :D

Here are a few I like (esp for my boys):

Thomas the Train




Will try to let you know IF I win too!

Cutest Aprons...

I found a giveaway for the cutest aprons I've seen yet!
You must check these out!!

Here is the website for the aprons.

Adorable, no?

Don't forget to let me know if you win...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm getting a book to review!!
It's my 1st actual "official" review... and I'm excited!
So, watch this space - till it arrives I will review some other books I've read.
And comment on some authors I love.

Who are your favorite authors?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So - I think it may be (almost) premature to say spring has sprung... but it's trying!
The crocuses are coming up... I'll try to get a photo of them once they are more then a tiny purple bud half out the ground. :D

My boys are enjoying the warmer weather - at first they were crying because of the snow melting. Lol! They were sad 'cause they could not sled anymore. But they have been biking all week (so far) and loving it. There go their blues about the snow melting!

I am looking forward to reviewing a few books for you... I'm going to the Library soon and hope to go thru some new books. Watch this space!

Well... I'm off to do the dinner-thing. Will try check back later~

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Journey's begin with a step

So my journey is off to a rocky start... I'm sick, my boys are all sick too. This is not the best way to start anything. BUT I will not be deterred from my goal. I am reading and loving it! I think I've almost finished a trilogy from Tracie Peterson.... and I think I'll devote the next blog to that story. For now, however, I'm going back to bed. :D