Clean Living

As I’ve gotten older, creating and maintaining a clean and organized space around me has become one of my top priorities, both for my sanity and happiness.  I’m pretty sure my mother would have never suspected I could keep a home clean, judging solely by the state of my highschool bedroom and her sheer frustration at asking me to pick up my clothing day after day.  Well, it seems I’m the “Mom” now, as I explain to Josh things like how it’s necessary to wipe down the kitchen counters every night after cooking, and that just because the dog will inevitably shed more tomorrow, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sweep today!  I actually find that the little amount of time I spend on daily cleaning and tidying provides me with a bit of zen each day.

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While I have no problem tackling the day to day, every now and then I take to the internet to find some good at home remedies for the “tough” stains, spots, and grime.  Here are a few of my favorite tried and true cleaning tips:

  1. Cleaning Your Stove Burners: Take each burner and place it in a large (gallon size should do it) plastic bag.  Add about 1/4 cup of ammonia.  Seal and let sit overnight.  No scrubbing needed! It is the ammonia fumes, not the ammonia, that dissolve away all burned on grime and grease. (Source)
  2. Keeping your Shower Tiles Fresh: Fill a dish wand (the ones with the clear handles you can put soap in 😉 ) with half Dawn dish soap and half vinegar.  Wipe down walls of shower with it before showering, and rinse off during shower. (Source)
  3. For Sparkling Sink Fixtures: Mix Borax with enough lemon juice to create a stiff paste (can be stored in a small container when needed).  Rub it on, then rinse away thoroughly. (Source)
  4. To Remove Food Stains from a Microwave: Fill a microwaveable bowl with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add one toothpick to float on the top of the liquid. Microwave for 5 minutes, let the steam sit with the door closed for another 2 minutes. Remove turntable and wash down in the sink; wipe down sides of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel. (Source)
  5. Tile Floor Grout Cleaner: Add together 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia (or lemon juice) and 1/4 cup vinegar. Spray on grout, leave for about 1 hour, then scrub vigorously with a scrub brush. (Source)
  6. Carpet Stains: Mix equal parts ammonia and hot water.  Pour mixture over stain and cover with a clean white towel. Iron towel on top of the stain and the stain will lift right off the rug! (Source)
  7. Wrinkle Release Spray: Mix equal parts white vinegar, fabric softener, and water in a spray bottle.  Spray on fabric and pull slightly – wrinkles fall right out. (Source)
  8. Remove Rust Stains from Knives: Soak your knives in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes then scrub with rough side of the sponge. (Source)
  9. Clogged Drains: Pour about 1/2 cup of Baking Soda down the drain. Pour 2 cups Vinegar down the drain and let sit 10-15 minutes. Next, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.  If clog is still not completely broken up, run warm water and use a plunger over the drain a few times. (Source)
  10. Cleaning a Wooden Cutting Board: Combine 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 cup of water and wipe down cutting board using dishtowel dipped in solution.  Slice a lemon in half, dip pulp side in coarse sea salt, and use as a scrubber over board. Wipe down the board with water, pat dry, and finish with a little board or mineral oil. (Source)

Do you have any fantastic cleaning tips you use? I’d love to hear them!

Wishing you a fabulous hump-day.  xo

Weekly Recap: Welcome June!

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Hello folks! Haven’t done one of these posts in a while, but the web had me rather inspired this week.  Enjoy some of my favorites:

Josh and I are off to Ikea this morning to brave the masses in hopes they will still have the bookshelf we want in stock by the time make it through the 3 miles of store aisles first. Once we have some actual shelving/storage, we can finish unpacking and I can finally start sharing some photos of our new apartment!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend. xo!

Pinspiration: Holiday Crafting and Baking

Welcome, December! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The holiday season always brings out an excessive need in me to craft and bake, as evidenced by a few of last year’s posts: DIY holiday wreath, cookie-in-a-jar gift, christmas cupcakes with eggnog frosting,…

Here are a few fabulous decorating and baking ideas that I am dying to try out for this Christmas:

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I love this rustic Holiday Wreath by Two Junk Chix

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The earthy look of this organic fireplace and mantle decor from Midwest Living is so appealing

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These salted caramel pears from Inspired Design make the perfect edible centerpiece

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This hat pattern from Ravelry is an inspiration to step up my knitting game this season – handmade gifts are the best kind!

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This “gingerbread men turned reindeer” cookie recipe from Martha Stewart might be the perfect activity for when my nieces come to visit!

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I’m in love with the simplicity and clean look of this tablescape from Lemonade Makin’ Mama – just white candles and loose jingle bells!

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Another fantastic edible gift (or party) idea – Eggnog Fudge from Recipe Girl

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This would be a lovely idea for a crafting party – make your own ornaments with instructions from Downtime. Upcycle.

Are you as pin-spired as I am?  Of course, I’ll be lucky if I actually get to 2-3 of these fabulous ideas!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite craft ideas and recipes for the holiday season. Have a lovely weekend, xo!

Weekly Recap: In Like a Lion

Hummingbird in Central Park – Anna Marrow

Happy Saturday everyone!  You know that saying, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”?  Well, I’m really hoping we start to get more lamb than lion soon. Here in the northeast, we’ve endured 3 days of cold wind, rain, sleet and snow – weather more miserable than we’ve seen almost all “winter” long. These are a few of my favorite things that have been keeping me warm on the web this week:

Hoping you all have some fun weekend plans! I’m having brunch here today and here tomorrow, with some BYOB karaoke in Koreatown scheduled in between for this evening. God grant me the energy and stamina I had in college to make it through this marathon NYC weekend! Enjoy the day, xo.

Weekly Recap: The Travel Bug

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Happy Saturday every lovely body!  I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend thus far.  Welcome to the 4th (5th?) installment of my weekly web recap.  This past week, I’ve had my trip to Mexico on the brain and even with all the love and gushiness floating around the web for Valentine’s Day, it seems I’m not the only one with the travel bug.  Whether they’re exploring new destinations or just have warm weather on the brain, these bloggers really seem to be on my wavelength this week!

I’ll be spending the rest of the day packing and spending time with the hubby (he won’t be joining me, it’s a girls’ trip). I always pack so last minute – are you a packing procrastinator like me? Mexico, here I come! xo