Archive for the ‘Cleaning’ Category

MomAdvice Simplified: Simplifying Our Time in the Kitchen

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I am very excited to have a very special guest on MomAdvice Simplifed this week. Food Network star, Robin Miller, from Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller is joining me today to share her tips for simplifying our time in the kitchen.

I am so incredibly excited about this interview because I am such a big fan of Robin Miller and her time-saving strategies for making healthy meals without cooking for hours and hours. Robin promotes healthy eating and I so admire what she has done with her background in nutrition. During this interview, Robin is going to share with us some ideas for stocking our freezer, some ideas for easy side dishes that aren’t boring, and ideas for ingredients that you can make ahead so you can spend more time with your children, and less time cooking.

Robin Miller has 18 years of experience as a food writer and nutritionist and is the author of the best-selling cookbook “Quick Fix Meals.” Her popular show, Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller, currently airs on Food Network, and her prime time show, Robin to the Rescue premiered on Food Network in March 2007.

Robin’s recipes and nutrition features can be seen regularly in a variety of magazines, including Clean Eating, Experience Life, Guideposts, Cooking Light, Health, Fit Pregnancy, and Toddler. Robin is also the author of eight books including her latest, Robin to the Rescue.

Robin has been a guest on hundreds of local and national television and radio programs and has hosted home videos (for Jane Fonda), cable television vignettes (for Food Network and a variety of food companies) and spoken at media events in various markets nationwide.

She regularly appears on local, network and cable television, with past appearances including The Early Show (CBS), Regis & Kelly, The View, The Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America(ABC), CNN, ABC Eyewitness News and CBS Evening News.

As a nutrition expert, chef and mother of two, Robin has teamed up with Tyson Foods to give busy families strategies and tips using Tyson® Fully Cooked Chicken and Steak Strips to create faster, lighter and budget-friendly versions of favorite meals.

Just as a reminder, you can listen to the show live every Thursday at 2PM EST or you can listen later right here on my the left sidebar!

I hope you will join me and feel free to chat with me in the chat room or you can even phone in your questions. I think this is going to be an invaluable episode for moms and I am really excited about the information that we are going to share in this half hour.

Cute Jewelry Holder & Jewelry Cleaner Recipes

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

I like to keep a little dish by my sink to put my jewelry in while I am doing the dishes. I also love to thrift shop so I put my love for thrift and my little dish together and came up with this cute little idea.

I use a thrifted candle holder to put my jewels in. They look so pretty and, if the edge has a nice lip on it, it is a safe way to keep your jewels out of harms way. It also makes your jewelry a pretty display while you are scrubbing your little heart out and cursing your family for not helping you… or praying- whatever you happen to do while washing the dishes.

And, if you so choose, you could also be cleaning your jewelry while scrubbing your heart (as you curse your family or pray).

Here are two handy little recipes to keep tucked away for that special day!

Homemade Silver Jewelry Cleaner:

In a bowl, place strips of aluminum foil in and place your silver jewelry on top of them. Cover the silver with boiling water and then add three tablespoons of baking soda and soak for ten minutes. Mix remaining hot water and a drop of liquid soap into another glass bowl. Place your silver in the soapy water and wash. Rinse with clean water and polish dry your pieces with a soft cotton cloth. Please take care, some solutions that are great for some metals and stones may damage others.

(Side Note- I use this solution for cleaning all my silver jewelry and have never had any problems. This works like a dream!)

Homemade Gold Jewelry Cleaner:

Fill a small bowl with warm water and a drop of liquid dish soap. Allow this to soak for approximately ten minutes. Proceed to brush the pieces with an eyebrow brush (or a similar substation such as a toothbrush) while they are being soaked. Then you should transfer the gold jewelry to a strainer and then proceed to rinsing it off with warm water. Finish by drying with a soft cotton cloth.

Spring Cleaning: Organizing The Bookshelves

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Yesterday we spent time organizing our entertainment units and our media. Today we are going to focus on another area common to many family rooms- the bookshelves.

We have two bookshelves in our home and then another bookshelf built-in that resides in our office. I am really good about using our local library though so unless I find a book that I just have to have, I usually limit our book purchases and take advantage of the free service instead.

I worship our library, I would build a shrine to it if I could! I am a big library dork and even subscribe to our libraries blog so I can get the latest information on any books that are coming out or library events. I feel self-confident enough to admit that I am obsessed with my library.

If your home is overrun with books though, there are lots of great sites where you can share and swap books with others. This might be a great way to not add to your collection, but share the collection you already have without buying more.

PaperBack Swap

BookMooch (this site also allows for charitable donations of books to prisoners)

bookins

SwapTree

2Swap

BookCrossing

Frugal Reader

You could also donate these to Goodwill, schools, hospitals, and churches. Call around and see if anyone is interested! If all else fails, check out Freecycle or Craigslist for passing those books on.

Today’s Printable:

Spring Cleaning Your Family Room Day Two

In Case You Missed It (Previous Printables):

Spring Cleaning Introductory Page

Spring Cleaning Recipes

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Six (newly updated with cabinet instructions)

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Six

Spring Cleaning Your Family Room Day One

Sound Off: Are you a book collector? Do you use any websites for sharing your books or keep a virtual bookshelf anywhere?

Spring Cleaning: Week Three, Day One

Monday, March 24th, 2008

I had hoped to get more printables done, but Easter festivities prevented me from spending a lot of time working (which is a good thing!)

I feel like I have an Easter hangover today- anyone else feel this way? I think my kids are feeling that way too because we had a difficult morning getting around today.

This week we are spending time tidying our family room. These agendas can be applied to whichever room you would like to concentrate on- the playroom, the family room, the living room, or the den. Whatever you call it, you can use these printables for those rooms and whip them back into shape.

Each task is intended to be one hour long only. That is the beauty of doing these agendas- they are meant to help you work more efficiently with your time instead of a marathon day of cleaning or spending your cleaning time researching how to clean your items.

This is what I have planned for us this week:

1. Organize your entertainment and media center
2. Organize your bookcases
3. Clean and organize children’s toys
4. Wash curtains, blinds, swipe baseboards, dust
5. Final tidy- deep clean carpets and vacuum couches & chairs

To save myself some time this week (and resume focus on some other activities on the blog) I will just share pictures at the end of our week and show you what was accomplished, instead of doing daily pictures.

Today’s Printable:

Spring Cleaning Your Family Room Day One

In Case You Missed It (Previous Printables):

Spring Cleaning Introductory Page

Spring Cleaning Recipes

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Six (newly updated with cabinet instructions)

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Six

Progress Report: Day Four in the Bathroom

Thursday, March 20th, 2008


Today I worked on the finishing touches in our upstairs bathroom. I washed and ironed our shower curtain (a new one because I accidentally got hair color on our old one) and replaced our shower liner with a new one.

I wiped down the bathroom and deep cleaned my floors. The magazines have been recycled and new magazines were added to a basket next to the toilet. I threw in a couple of rolls of toilet paper while I was over in that corner. The bathroom trash was emptied and swiped down. Baseboards were wiped as well as the outside of our cabinet.

Just a few weeks ago, I had put fresh caulk on the tub and that is why I had included it in our activities. It just made my tub looks so new and so fresh- what an economical solution for making something look nice again Right now my vinegar is doing some action on my fixtures- I will pull these off in the morning.

I put out a fresh bar of soap for our guests and I stuck the toothbrush holder in the dishwasher for a deep cleaning. I stuck the toothbrushes in my creamer dish and I actually think they look pretty cute in there. If I don’t get the toothbrush holder as clean as I would like, I might just keep them in that!

Of all the work I did in the bathroom though, the linen closet is my shining glory! I have to hold myself back from opening and standing in front of it for a good five minutes. It has brought me a lot of pleasure to see this area in my home all neat and organized.

I will share pictures from my other bathroom tomorrow! I am really pleased with my progress in our upstairs bathroom. This is my least favorite room in the house because I need to rip out the wallpaper and paint, but at least it can be clean until I can accomplish that home improvement project!

Spring Cleaning: Week Two, Days 4-6

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Here are the next three days of activities for spring cleaning our bathrooms. I have made a lot of progress towards organizing the bathroom and these last three days focus more on the cleaning aspect for this space (which my bathroom desperately needs). This will wrap up our time in the bathroom so we can work on other projects.

I was thinking we could focus on our living room/playroom space after this! Let me know what you think!

Today’s Printables:

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Six

In Case You Missed It (Previous Printables):

Spring Cleaning Introductory Page

Spring Cleaning Recipes

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Six (newly updated with cabinet instructions)

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Three

Progress Report: Day Three in the Bathroom

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008


I have no pictures from my weeding out day because all of the items already got dropped off to Goodwill! Whoohoo! We were able to unload a lot and downsized the amount of items in our bathroom.

I am behind on putting together our printables for these next three days, but I promise to put something up by this evening. I am running a little ragged from a head cold and a day of work for Kenmore yesterday.

They brought their whole team in to their headquarters (in Chicago) and we all had tables set up with things that represented our specialties on advice. I got to share about our spring cleaning challenge and making your own cleaners for your house. People seemed to really love it and I hope we will have lots of new visitors to our site since I handed out over a hundred business cards to the folks that stopped by my table. One hour spring cleaning challenges seemed to appeal to people so I hope we will have lots of new guests to join us in our mission to organize.

Progress Report: Day Two in the Bathroom

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Day two was much easier for me than day one in spring cleaning my bathroom. I am pretty good about keeping our medications up to date, but I did need to gather everything and get it back in one location.

My medications are grouped by types of illness. I started doing this after I had a couple of nights where I was trying to hunt for medicines and was having trouble finding what I needed. Our drawers are labeled for stomach medications, pain relief/prescription medication, and cold/flu medications. I use a three drawer container for these to make things easier to find. This is located in a dark & cool place in my linen closet on a super high shelf!

We also have a “sniffle kit” for when someone in our family comes down with a cold. In the kit is a little container of tissues, cough drops, Vicks vapor rub, nasal spray, and nose suckers (for little ones). The kit is put together in a smaller container for those occasions. I am, in fact, using it as we speak!

Sound Off: Do you have a system for organizing your medications?

Spring Cleaning: Week Two, Days 1-3

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

This week is a busy one for my family so I have been working all weekend on putting these printables together for our time cleaning in the bathroom. I thought I would post them three at a time (I am still working on the second half) and give you a chance to work ahead, or just give you a chance look ahead at our week.

Our next round of deep cleaning will occur in the bathroom. If you have more than one bathroom, you may need to spread these tasks out over two weeks time. Remember, you can do everything at your own pace- these are just suggestions to help make your life a little easier and to make manageable cleaning goals for your week.

We will be doing progress reports daily and I look forward to hearing how everyone is doing with their tasks. It has been so fun sharing with you my progress and has provided the motivation I need to make my home the organized space that I have always wanted.

Without further adieu, here are the first three printables for our bathroom cleaning agenda:

Today’s Printables

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom Day Three

In Case You Missed It (Previous Printables):

Spring Cleaning Introductory Page

Spring Cleaning Recipes

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day One

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Two

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Three

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Four

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Five

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day Six (newly updated with cabinet instructions)

Progress Report: Day Six in the Kitchen

Friday, March 14th, 2008


(Editor’s Note: I wanted to get this up for the weekend so you could see how awesome everything turned out. I am working feverishly on our next set of printables- happy weekend, everyone!!)

To say that I feel like I am about to burst when I look at my kitchen would be an understatement. I can’t believe how much I was able to accomplish this week and with only one hour for each day. This was as much of an experiment for me as it was for you. I don’t have a lot of time to devote during the week towards cleaning, but I was determined that I could make one hour each day (in addition to regular duties around the house) work for me.

The real challenge has been doing this AND putting together the printables for each assignment, while documenting my progress. I am planning to get a jump start this weekend because I want to continue supplying you detailed instructions and I want these to be reused and available to our readers all year long. We will be finding a spot for these, don’t you worry! The traffic on our site has boomed bigger than ever before so I know this is something that moms want!


I finished the day off by putting some pretty table linens on and bringing a little spring into our house. The flowers were already in our kitchen so I just added a white tablecloth, a sage green cloth napkin to center my cake stand, and then tied a green bow on the stand. This weekend I will bake something for our centerpiece.

If you have a computer in your kitchen, you could even put some super spring-y pictures up from Flickr and add even more freshness into your house. My husband finds the coolest stuff to put on there!

One of my proudest organizing moments, in my kitchen, was finally making space for my cookbooks. I love knowing that they have their own home now and that I won’t have to go to another room to get them. Getting rid of the clutter in my kitchen freed the space I needed to accomplish such a task. My clean fridge was also a highlight for me (as lame as it sounds) just because I don’t make the time to clean on top, the front, and inside of it the way I should. It is the little things in life.

My biggest challenge had to be getting started and tackling my pantry. I have so many other things that I was thinking that I could be doing if I wasn’t doing that. I am proud that I pushed myself, otherwise, I would have never appreciated my space half as much as I do now!


Finally, here is my reward for all of my hard work. A delicious and icy cold Diet Coke. Yum! I don’t drink a lot of soda and I rarely buy the brand-name stuff so this was a true delight. I zoned out and caught up on all of the blogs that I had been missing for an hour after I cleaned.

Life is good!

Sound Off: What was your greatest reward this week? What was your biggest cleaning challenge?