Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vinegar and Baking soda... 2 simple products

that when used together can create a chemical reaction used to create science fair volcanos for decades.  But when used apart can make your household chores more cost efficient and your house a little bit cleaner for the effort.  I have only just began to utilize the benefits of these two ingredients and my interest began when I originally saw this post on Pintrest (where else!).

Top 10 Time-Saving, MacGyver-Style Cleaning Tricks
Who knew?? Use baking soda and vinegar to fix funky towels. Over time, and with many washes, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue, leaving them both unable to absorb as much water and smelling kinda funky when they do. Rather than give Target another lump sum, run them through the wash once with hot water and a cup of vinegar, then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda, as wikiHow suggests. That strips the residue from them, leaves them smelling fresh.

I decided that I would try it on my bath towels.  I knew that it couldn't hurt them and honestly they had become quite funky smelling.  I am not the best with my laundry habits and sometimes things get left in the washer wet for too long.  Also I have cleaned up a few doggie accidents from my carpet with whatever towel is closest.  The result is a towel that it is difficult to dry your face off with because both of these smells stay in the towel for several washes after.  Yeeck!  So, as I said, I knew that it couldn't hurt.  So I did it.  I ran the load of towels through with just the vinegar (although I did use about 1 and 1/2 cups instead of just the 1 cup on the pin) and hot water.  Then with the 1/2 cup of baking soda and hot water.  I don't know about removing the residue and improving the water absorbsion like it says in the pin, but I can say that the smell was completely gone!  Even my liquid laundry detergent couldn't do that!

Another vinegar cleaning miracle that I have already used is to remove potential stains from my fabric couch.  I have a 4 year old and the trail that children leave behind can certainly cause strain on a mother.  My daughter just happened to be coloring with markers... on my couch!  A no no to begin with and a shame on me for not noticing.  Sometimes when they are quiet, you just want to enjoy it while it lasts.  Needless to say I ended up with purple marker on the arm of my couch.  I started to freak out, as is to be expected.  After a few frantic minutes on the internet I found a homemade cleaning solution that I actually had the stuff for and promised to not ruin my sofa.  I have since used it a few times and can honestly say that it does remove both marker and blood... don't ask.  Since you (hopefully) won't need very much of this solution at a time here is the quick make version.  I use a regular coffee cup and put about 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and fill up the mug with cool water.  Stir.  Take a dishtowel or a washrag and dip a corner in the solution and blot the spot on the sofa.  DO NOT RUB!  You don't have to soak the spot just blot and then blot with the dry part.  Repeat until the color of the stain stops showing up on the wet part of the rag.  Allow to dry.  Everytime that I have used this the stain came up completely.  I do have a brown couch though so I don't know how well it would work on a lighter color.  BEWARE:  if you do have a darker color couch you will pull up some regular butt dirt (everyday soiling from just sitting on the couch) with the stain.  If you are a cleaning nut, germaphobe, or otherwise perfectionist this could be enough to send you into a cleaning frenzy in which case you will have to make a bigger batch of the couch cleaner.  Good luck.

There are so many more ways to use the vinegar and the baking soda in everyday cleaning.  My next attempt will be cleaning my hallway carpet where those doggie accidents have been.  It still has a bit of a smell in some places.  I have heard that the vinegar will remove the enzymes that cause the smell and deter the dog from using there again.  Surely if the vinegar and baking soda got the smell out of my towels, then they can work on my carpet too.  I will let you all know.

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Summer... Less TV

Today I decided something that seems like it should be obvious.  My daughter doesn't need to watch as much TV as she has been.  Obvious right?  I see her sitting watching cartoons and I wonder if she knows how to use her imagination.  I don't want her to miss out on developing the skills that foster creativity.  As a family we all watch too much.  Problem is, I always just get up in the morning and turn it on for background noise and get on the computer.  That isn't good either.

So I was on Pinterest... (no news there!)... and found a pin for screen free week:  100 kids activity ideas.  Now some of the ideas seem just a little silly to me and some are not doable for our family... but as there are 100 ideas we can surely find a few on the list that we can manage.

screen free week kids activities

Sunday, May 13, 2012

30 by 30: #12 -Lose 50 pounds- The Basics

My weight has been a struggle for a while now.  I am not ashamed to talk about it, because anyone who looks at me can obviously tell that I have a weight issue.  It isn't a big secret.  Way back in high school I was thin... like a little too thin if you look at photos of my arms.  Sometime after high school the weight slowly began to creep up.  I know that at first it was because I had moved out and was eating a lot of fast food.  I also stopped walking anywhere.  At first it wasn't that bad.  No big deal to see the scale at 140.  Then suddenly it was at 185.  Then slowly 190... 200... 220...235...246.  The climb from 185 to where I am now took about 7 years.

I am an emotional eater.  When I am bored... I eat.  When I am upset... I eat.  Unfortunately, I am upset more than it is really healthy... especially since I eat, but because of the stress and hormonal spikes too.

I am addicted to soda.  Dr. Pepper is my drug of choice.  The flavors mix beautifully with the carbonation.  I love it.  This is a very bad love affair.  High fructose corn syrup is what makes the soda so yummy... and addictive.  It was invented in 1957 but mass production was not viable at that time.  However, by 1975 soda companies began putting it into their drinks.  By 1985 high fructose corn syrup was in tons of products... not just soda... but of course in all the sodas.  It is no surprise that obesity rates have steadily climbed over the last 25 years.

So obviously, I have not made all the best nutrition and activity choices over the last ten or so years, but it is also not all my fault.  So many of us are in the same situation.  And the soda companies know that their products are addictive... but they don't care.  They are not going to stop producing these products because they sell and make them money.  It is a vicious circle really.

I however, have decided to take back my health.  Three weeks ago a group of women and myself decided to do a biggest looser competition.  We decided that we would all put in $50 and that the person who lost the most pounds and the person who lost the most inches after a full 6 weeks would each get $100.  There were four of us doing the competition.  We are supposed to walk three times a week together and of course we can do whatever we want on our own the rest of the time.  Our challenge is scheduled to end on June 1st.  I plan to keep up the plans throughout the summer months.  

This is not a quick journey.  I am not searching for a quick fix.  I don't want some fad diet where you drop the inches but in a week they come back with a vengeance.  I want a healthier lifestyle.  Exercise and nutritious foods.

This will be an ongoing post.  Join me on my journey.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This is the beginning...


Since this is the very first post on my latest blog, I feel that I should introduce what to expect, even though very soon this post will be at the very bottom of a long list... I hope!  This is what we are all about...


About myself:  I am a mother of one darling daughter named Kiera and yes, you will hear about her often here on the blog... and you will see her too because I love taking photos of her... even though she doesn't really let me anymore.  I have my own photography company... Laughter & Love Notes Photography.  It sounds glamorous but unfortunately I am barely getting started with it and I find it difficult to get new business.  I am in an over-saturated market here for photographers.  Everywhere you turn it seems like there is another photographer.  I am also a wife.  One year ago tomorrow (May 13th) I married my husband.  He is Kiera's father, not that it is really any concern, and he is my first husband.
About Kiera:  She is 4 years old and just about to finish her first year of Pre-K.  She has two years of Pre-K because of her birthday and the cutoff for Kindergarten.    It bugs me.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it.  
About Frankie:  He is my husband.  He is obsessed with computers and is considering going back to school for some computer based classes.  He has been rebuilding and installing since I met him.


I am not an instinctive homemaker.  My house is messy more often than it is clean.  I don't want it to be but it has always been very difficult for me to keep my house kept up.  I want a home that looks like it should be in Better Homes and Gardens.   


I have a confession... I am addicted to Pintrest.  As of today (May 12, 2012) I have 17 different boards.  I will be honest... my obsession with Pintrest is the real reason for me making this blog.  I have so many projects that I am planning to do around my house very soon and yes, some of the ideas did come from Pintrest.  Some didn't but either way I wanted a place to document my projects.
I also have a project called 30 by 30.  This is an ongoing project that will continue until my 31st birthday (cause I count the entire year that I am 30... not just until the birthday).  Some of the things on this list will have photo opportunities and some won't... but I will post photos whenever I can.