Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • How To Clean with Baking Soda and Vinegar

    A Center Piece Worthy DIY

    Baking soda and vinegar have been used for decades as home cleaning solutions in the battle against dirt and grime. But what if we could give the power of baking soda and vinegar just a tad more oomph? That’s the question that inspired us to create our Baking Soda Cream Cleaner and Vinegar Gel No-Rinse Cleaner. They're classic must-haves on your cleaning supply list. Just ask Thelma. We even improved them a bit by making them more convenient to use and better smelling with Lemon Verbena scent.

    Instructions

    Instructions

  • TOILETS Have a ring that just won’t get out? Put vinegar on it and let it sit for an hour. Then scrub it away with a toilet brush.
  • CERAMIC TILES The best time to clean shower tiles is right after you shower. Put a bit a vinegar on a damp cloth and wipe the walls down from top to bottom.
  • HANDLES & KNOBS Handles and knobs have been known to get quite greasy, especially if they happen to be located in the kitchen. Simply sponge them off with warm water and vinegar.
  • STAINLESS STEEL Dampen a rag with vinegar. Then, rub with the grain until it shines like new.

* Avoid wood surfaces, mirrors and small appliances.

** Avoid wood surfaces, marble and soapstone.

This entry was posted in Cleaning Tips & Tricks on September 27, 2017 by jowens.

  • How To Clean Ten Things You Seldom Wash

    How To Clean Ten Things You Seldom Wash

    From curtains to quilts, cleaning these often-overlooked items adds extra fluff and freshness to your home. It’s easier than you think!

    • BLANKETS Machine wash cotton blankets in warm water. Wash wool with Laundry Detergent on the gentle cycle in cold water. Spin blankets in the washer until all excess moisture is extracted. Gently stretch blankets back to their original size (measure first if you’re not sure what that is) before air drying.
    • SHEETS AND PILLOW CASES Since these are in close contact with your skin, wash them once a week—or more frequently if someone has been sick. Wash cotton, cotton blends, flannel, synthetics or bamboo in hot water to kill bacteria; dry them on low. Remember to fold sheets right away so wrinkles won’t set in.
    • COMFORTERS Place them in the dryer for just a few minutes to fluff up, and then hang heavy comforters, quilts and wool blankets on several clotheslines to balance out the weight so they won’t stretch. Clean your clotheslines with a damp rag before each use.
    • QUILTS Put these in the washer on the gentle cycle, but make sure to use cold water and Laundry Detergent. If you have a homemade quilt, don’t want to wash it too often, or it’ll show its wear. If your quilt is an heirloom, have it professionally cleaned.
    • MATTRESS PADS Wash these once a month (unless they’re soiled, then wash them right away!) in hot water and air dry. Doctors may advise allergy and asthma sufferers to wash them more frequently.
    • SHOWER CURTAINS Wash them in the machine in cold water with your towels. The towels will rub against them and help get that soap scum and slime off, especially with plastic and vinyl curtains. Shake them, then dry them for a few minutes, just to get the wrinkles out. Hang them on the line, and they’ll dry really nicely.
    • RUGS Wash small cotton or synthetic rugs and bath mats—even those with rubber or latex backings—in cold water on the gentle cycle. Air dry.
    • CURTAINS Cotton curtains can be washed in cold water. Air dry, then iron them when they’re slightly damp to get out those wrinkles before they set in.
    • TABLECLOTHS & NAPKINS To treat stains, soak any soiled textiles in ice water overnight. In the morning, throw them in the washer and use warm water. Bring them to a bright room to look for oily marks. If stains remain, repeat the washing process, then hang on the line to dry.
    • TOWELS Try to use towels at least three or four times before washing them in warm or hot water. Toss them in the dryer, and add a Dryer Sheet for a soft touch of fragrance.
  • Perk Up Your Powder Room

    Perk Up Your Powder Room

    Take your bathroom look to the next level with these quick tips.

    • ADD A LITTLE COLOR Add a fresh coat of a lemon verbena inspired paint color to get started. It’s a fun way to set the palette for your color scheme.
    • FIND FRAMES Choose new pieces of art. From magazines, to framing your child’s artwork, or old maps, the possibilities are endless.
    • LIGHT IT UP A Scented Soy Candle or flowers bring a fresh scent to match your powder room’s new look.
    • A COLORFUL CHOICE Donate your old trashcan for a new wastebasket. It’s an easy way to make things brighter.
    • NEW THREADS Picking up new towels is a simple solve to making you feel cozy.
    • A SIMPLE CHANGE A new shower curtain can change the room’s entire look in just a few moments.
    • SINK SKIRTS Add a sink skirt in a pattern of your choice to hide exposed pipes below your sink.
  • DIY Upcycled Candle Jar Planters

    Rosemary Parmesan Dusted Popcorn

    If you're a fan of candles, you know it's only a matter of time before empty jars start piling up. Save those jars from a one way trip to the recycling bin by transforming them into planters.

    Materials & Tools

    • Soil
    • Spoon or butter knife
    • Plant of your choice
    • Gardening spade
    • Cooking pot

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Be sure to water your plant each week, but never overwater—that’s the worst for plants.
    • To avoid fungus, water the base of your plant, rather than the leaves.
    • Extra points if you’re sprinkling with reused water from cooking, or flat club soda.
  • Relieve Floor Distress and Wall Woes

    Relieve Floor Distress and Wall Woes

    Carpets, hardwood and walls, oh my! Cleaning floor to ceiling is an intimidating but necessary chore. Don’t be frightened to look underfoot, these ten tips make the job a cakewalk.

    SEALED HARDWOOD FLOORS

    Sweep and vacuum these every week. They hardly need any care; you can just use a damp mop with a little All-Purpose Cleaner and water.


    WALLS
    Wet a cloth with Multi-Surface Concentrate and water and spot clean. It might be worth your while to do a big wall cleaning every two years or when they start to look dingy all around.


    METAL, VINYL OR WOOD BLINDS
    Once a month, close the blinds and dust them with a barely damp cloth (or use your vacuum’s attachment). Close them in the opposite direction and repeat.


    CEILINGS
    Occasionally vacuum the ceiling to clear away inevitable dust. Use the long brush attachment on your vacuum. Also, a quick vacuum of spider webs and obvious dust traps can be easily incorporated into your regular vacuuming routine.


    LIGHT FIXTURES
    Before you do anything, unplug lights or turn them off. For hanging lights, use an extendable duster to dust the hardware and cord. For wall sconces, remove the glass (if you can) about once a month and clean with Glass Cleaner.


    LAMP SHADES
    If you notice obvious dirt and grime, use a cloth dampened with hot, soapy water to clean the shade. Don’t use anything stronger than mild soap, as fabrics can discolor.


    UPHOLSTERED SOFAS, CHAIRS AND OTTOMANS
    Make a point to vacuum upholstery so that dirt and dust won’t set in. Also, to minimize fading, position furniture so that it’s out of direct sunlight. For leather upholstery, dust with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Pull leather furniture away from heating vents; hot air can dry leather out and cause it to crack.


    NON-UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE
    Use your fingernail to get off any grime. Dampen a cloth with furniture polish and wipe surfaces clean. Keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight so it won’t fade.


    GAS AND ELECTRIC FIREPLACES
    Wipe the glass or fiberglass door with a cloth dipped in Multi-Surface Concentrate, Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner or Glass Cleaner. Vacuum the interior with a brush attachment, then wipe it down with a damp rag afterward to catch anything the vacuum may have missed.


    WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACES
    After each use of a wood-burning fireplace, sweep out cool ashes and toss them into your compost pile, if you have one. Clean the walls of the opening with a stiff brush because gunk can build up and catch fire. Vacuum the screen with a brush attachment and wipe down glass doors with Glass Cleaner or white vinegar.

  • This entry was posted in Cleaning Tips & Tricks on September 27, 2017 by jowens.

  • Tackle the Bathroom

    Tackle the Bathroom

    This top ten list will make bathroom mirrors sparkle, sinks shine and tiles gleam. Keep the most essential room in the house garden fresh and bright!

    1. TREATING TILES TO A SCRUB Clean the tiles right after you take a shower. Spritz the walls with Tub and Tile, then wipe down the walls from top to bottom with a damp cloth. Wipe down fixtures with a sponge and some Baking Soda Cream Cleanser. Use Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner on glass doors. Don’t use soap – it can leave a film over time. If tile stains are pesky, use some Surface Scrub or Baking Soda Cream Cleanser.
    2. GETTING INTO THE GROUT Dip an old toothbrush into a mixture of equal parts oxygen bleach and water. Scrub until the lines get really bright. If company’s coming, and you need a quick spruce-up, light a scented candle and keep the overhead light off – it’ll be dim enough that guests won’t even notice the grout.
    3. MAKING THE MEDICINE CABINET LOOK LIKE NEW Every month or so, take out all contents and wipe down shelves with warm water and Dish Soap. Before you put all your toiletries back in, weed out things you haven’t used in the last decade.
    4. TACKLING THE TOILET To remove stubborn rings, pour in a half cup of distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a few hours—or even overnight—before giving the bowl a swipe with the toilet brush. If grime is particularly pesky, use Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, then scrub trouble spots with a toilet brush.
    5. UNCLOGGING THE DRAIN Once every two or three months, pour half a cup of baking soda, then half a cup of white vinegar, down the drain. After a few minutes, boil some water in your teakettle and pour it down the drain.
    6. SCRUBBING THE TUB Wipe it down after each bath and shower so that soap scum won’t build up. To scour, use our Baking Soda Cream Cleanser and a nylon bristle brush to scrub. Rinse clean.
    7. ATTACKING THE RING AROUND THE TUB Use a pair of old nylon stockings as your cloth to rub that ring of mineral deposits away. For stubborn stains, spread our Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner on the spots and let it sit for an hour or two before wiping it off with warm water.
    8. MOPPING THE FLOORS Sweep or vacuum your floor thoroughly. Fill your bucket with warm water and just a bit of Multi-Surface Concentrate. Wring out your mop. Make two passes on every part of the floor. Finally, go back over the room with clean, warm water and a damp mop.
    9. MAKING YOUR SINKS SPARKLE Rinse sink well after every use to prevent soap scum buildup. To prevent the formation of stains from lime and other mineral deposits wipe clean with Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner.
    10. KEEPING THE BATHROOM SMELLING FRESH Fill a spray bottle with water, three drops of lemon oil and two drops of eucalyptus oil. Shake vigorously before using. For a quick fix use Room Freshener.
  • Top 10 Tasks for a Sparkling Kitchen

    Top 10 Tasks for a Sparkling Kitchen

    From conquering cabinets to polishing the floors, no kitchen is complete without tackling these essential chores. Get on your way to a squeaky clean space where saucepans shine and counters gleam!

    1. FLUSH THE DRAIN Drain clogs with this homemade recipe: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then half a cup of distilled white vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet rag. After five minutes or so, pour some boiling water down. No more clogs.
    2. GIVE THE TOASTER SOME TLC Clean out your toaster regularly or those crumbs will cause a burnt odor—or, worse yet, catch on fire! Line the crumb tray with foil and replace the foil when necessary.
    3. GET GREASE STAINS OFF THE WALLS With grease, time is of the essence. Get at those stray grease spots immediately with a clean rag, hot water and a little Dish Soap.
    4. CLEAN THE VENT HOOD Take off the metal filter, soak it in the sink in hot, soapy water, then put it in the dishwasher. The grease will come right off—with minimal effort on your part. Wipe the exterior of the hood with Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner.
    5. MAKE SAUCEPANS SHINE AND GRIDDLES GLEAM Nice pots and pans make a real difference—get good ones and take good care of them. For stainless steel pans, wash in warm, soapy water using a soft sponge and dry immediately so you don’t get water stains.
    6. BE SHARP ABOUT KNIVES Food residue will damage blades, so clean knives immediately after each use. Don’t wash them in your dishwasher since the high temperatures are harmful. Mild soap and water will do the trick. Dry them off right away.
    7. ELIMINATE SINK STINK If there is a lingering smell, and you’re just not sure where it’s coming from, check the garbage disposal. Toss a few lemon or orange peels down there and grind them up to disinfect and add a nice, fresh scent.
    8. STEAM THE MICROWAVE Put a wet rag inside and turn the microwave on for a minute. The steam will melt those pesky grease spots so you can wipe them down quickly and easily.
    9. SCOUR THE OVEN Pour salt onto any fresh stains; it will absorb food and allow the mess to be easily wiped clean. For general cleaning, sprinkle the interior with baking soda, spritz it with water and let it sit overnight. Take out the racks and scrub them with steel wool to get off any grime. Then be sure to line the oven and broiler with foil—it will make cleanup even easier the next time.
    10. CLEAN THE FLOORS Sealed hardwood floors hardly need any care; you can just use a mop dampened with water and All Purpose Cleaner. For ceramic tile, you don’t even need a cleaner to make them sparkle; just use a mop damped with Multi-Surface Concentrate.
  • Outdoor All Purpose Clean Up

    Outdoor All Purpose Clean Up

    Give outdoor essentials a good scrub with this handy formula.

    HOW TO MAKE ALL PURPOSE CLEANING SOLUTION

    ¼ Multi-Surface Concentrate + 1 Gallon Warm Water = 1 Bucket All Purpose Cleaning Solution

    OUTDOOR FURNITURE

    • ALUMINUM Wash with Multi-Surface Concentrate and a rag.

    • IRON & STEEL Check for rust, and if you see any, gently buff it with steel wool. Store indoors or covered, since these materials tend to rust when exposed to the elements.

    • PLASTIC Wash with Multi-Surface Concentrate and a soft-bristle brush. Wipe with car wax to prevent stains.

    • GARDEN TOOLS Use a stiff brush to clean off any soil. Soak the metal ends of the tools in a bucket filled with All Purpose Cleaning Solution for 10 minutes. Wipe with a dry rag and store. Now is also a good time to lubricate screws and bolts and to sharpen any blades.

    • GRILL Gently scrub the outside of the grill with a soft-bristle brush and with All Purpose Cleaning Solution. Rub a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil against any stubborn build-up. Then rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth. If you store your grill outdoors, be sure to cover it while not in use. For cleaning inside of a grill, see our guide here.
  • Rosemary Parmesan Dusted Popcorn

    Rosemary Parmesan Dusted Popcorn

    The scent of rosemary is great in the kitchen – especially in delicious recipes like this one. The fragrant herb is combined with parmesan cheese to make a tasty topping for popcorn. Score some points with your guests when you serve up this flavorful combination during the big game.

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup Fresh rosemary leaves
    • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
    • 2 wedges Parmesan cheese
    • Baking sheet
    • Spatula
    • Cooling rack
    • Mortar and pestle

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Try with other combinations of herbs and cheeses to make your own unique creation!
  • Clean and Happy Entryways

    Clean and Happy Entryways

    Find out how to keep your home's entryways clean and happy in six simple steps.

    • Place a rough mat outside your entryway to catch the first layer of snow and mud.

    • To stop people from tracking muck throughout the house, place a boot tray inside your entrance. An old cookie sheet works, too!

    • For any muck that gets on your floor, fill a bucket with ¼ cup Lavender Multi-Surface Concentrate and 1 gallon warm water. Mop entire area and scrub visible salt residue. Mop area again with fresh, hot water and air dry.

    • A coat rack or wall hooks are effective ways to keep winter wear on the wall and off the floor.

    • A bench is a great piece of furniture for an entryway—perfect for sitting down and putting on or taking off shoes. One with a lift-up top is even better, because you can store towels or blankets inside.

    • A big basket to keep winter accessories like hats, coats and mittens makes getting out the door easier. If you have a large family, individual baskets help everyone find their gear quickly.
  • Freshen Up for Fall

    Freshen Up for Fall

    As the weather begins to cool, take time to prep and polish your home with these useful household tips.

      CHANGING COLORS
      Just like the leaves outside, fall is the perfect time to change up your color palette indoors. Paint your walls with warmer colors to make any room feel more welcoming this winter.

      GUT(TER) CHECK
      Remove leaves and debris from gutters to make sure water can easily drain out. Do the downspouts, for good measure.

      HERE COMES THE SUN
      As the days grow shorter, be sure to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Clean your windows—especially south-facing windows—to let sunlight stream inside.

      STAY TOASTY
      Create a warm, glowing ambiance in your home by lighting a fire, or even by simply placing cream-colored candles inside your fireplace. Be sure to clean the flue beforehand to avoid dirt buildup.

      GO GREEN Take advantage of the warm soil to plant your spring garden. And while you’re flexing your green thumb, fertilize the lawn to give your grass the nutrients it needs to survive the winter. You won’t regret it come spring.

      SPOTLESS SURFACES
      Give indoor surfaces a thorough scrub with our Lemon Verbena Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. This hard-working cleaner will keep surfaces spotless and sparkling all winter long.

  • Meet Honeysuckle

    MEET HONEYSUCKLE

    Sweetly scented Honeysuckle provides an air of calm as you clean. Often used as a cleaning aide, this fruity floral is said to be soothing & cooling.

    LOVE IN THE AIR
    Thanks to the Greek legend of Daphnis and Chloe, honeysuckle is famous as the symbol for devoted love. Today, in some countries, it is believed that if you bring sweet-smelling blooms of honeysuckle into the house, a marriage will be stronger.


    HANDY HEALER
    The ancient Chinese used honeysuckle to cure snakebites and soothe irritated skin. Today, natural healers popularly use this sweet-but-mighty herb as it’s thought to treat symptoms of the flu, headaches and even relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.


    TANTALIZING TREATS
    The nectar of these flowers produces a sweet honey flavor that can be used for garnishes or ice cream flavoring. You can even add it to vinegar and oil to create a dressing for fresh spring salads.


    LUSCIOUS LOCKS
    Change up your hair routine by adding a few drops of honeysuckle oil (found online or at your local apothecary) to your shampoo and conditioner to help eliminate dry, brittle locks.

  • Meet Lavender

    MEET LAVENDER

    For over 2,500 years, lavender oil has been used around the world as a fragrance in bath products and perfumes. Not only does lavender smell refreshing, it’s believed to promote relaxation and restfulness. This multi-faceted herb is also thought to soothe headaches and relieve joint and muscle pain.

    HEAVENLY HEALER
    Lavender essential oil is a favorite among natural healers and aroma therapists. Some find it helpful in treating irritating acne, and reducing pesky wrinkles. Others believe it helps with calming minor sunburns and skin conditions like eczema.

    LOVE POTION
    It is believed that Cleopatra’s secret to love was lavender. From ancient Egypt through today, lavender has been associated with romance and calming “tremblings of the heart.” Its crisp, woody scent is believed to excite thoughts of love in those who smell it. According to myth, if you give a sprig of lavender to a loved one, they will reciprocate your feelings of romance upon smelling this delightful herb.

    UNEXPECTED HERB
    Lavender is a unique and unexpected herb for the kitchen. Its buds contribute a floral and slightly sweet taste to roasted or baked goods. This versatile herb can also be used interchangeably with mint or sage and yields equally-delicious results.

  • Meet Lemon Verbena

    Meet Lemon Verbena

    The herb lemon verbena is valued for its light, wonderful citrus scent that’s refreshing and invigorating. It's considered to be a pick-me-up. What more could you want from an herb?

    SWEET DREAMS
    In ancient Greece it was believed that crisp bunches of dried lemon verbena placed under your pillow would bring sweet dreams to you that night. Not only is it believed that lemon verbena helps you sleep easy, some argue it enhances the mythical qualities of other herbs like rosemary, the herb of love and devotion.


    CITRUS STAND-IN
    For those of you meeting lemon verbena in the kitchen for the first time, add a dash of this robust herb to fish or poultry for a pleasant surprise. Commonly used in place of lemon juice, dishes infused with its citrusy zing are sure to impress the palette.


    AROMA
    Lemon verbena is an age old remedy used by herbalists and aroma therapists, thought to relax the body and calm the mind. The refreshing aroma of lemon verbena is also thought to liven the spirit, banish fatigue and heighten positive thinking.


    FACE FRESHENER
    Looking less than perky? Lemon verbena is believed to reduce puffiness and annoying dark circles around your eyes. Also, for a healthy and bright complexion, some mix this dynamic herb with vinegar to create an all-natural skin toner.

  • Grill Cleaning How To

    Grill Cleaning How To

    Get ready for company with our guide to cleaning your grill in 4 steps.

    1. Place the grate from your grill on the lawn or driveway. Remove any large pieces of cooked-on food with a grill brush.
    2. Make a paste from Surface Scrub and Multi-Surface Concentrate. Use about 3:1 Scrub to Concentrate.
    3. Reuse an old, but clean, paintbrush to coat the paste on the grate. Let it set for 15 minutes.
    4. Use a strong stream of water to remove the mixture. For tough areas, use a scrubbing sponge or brush.
    5. Your grill will look like new in no time!

  • Keep Exercise Clothes in Great Shape

    Keep Exercise Clothes in Great Shape

    Check out these tips to keep your exercise clothes in great shape.

    1. Allow your workout gear to air out after each use by hanging on hooks or laying out flat. Crumpling clothing in a hamper makes odors worse.
    2. For extra soiled items, try soaking them in three parts water to one part white vinegar for 30 minutes before machine washing.
    3. For spandex garments, wash inside out in cold water with Mrs. Meyers 64 Load Laundry Detergent and avoid using fabric softener. Let clothes air dry, or dry on low heat.
    4. Weather permitting, dry your clothes on an outdoor clothes line as sunshine is a natural odor eliminator.
  • Thelma's Weekly Cleaning Plan

    Thelma's Weekly Cleaning Plan

    If you’re not careful, messes can pile up and ruin a perfectly good Saturday. Especially when you have nine kids running around like Thelma did. That’s why she created a weekly plan to keep things tidy. With a different task for each day, the work gets done and there’s still time for fun.

    LAUNDRY DAY
    After taking a break from cleaning on Sunday, laundry is a good way to ease into the week. Do a few loads and feel good about having nice, clean clothes for the week.


    IRONING AND MENDING DAY
    Now’s the time to wipe away the wrinkles from yesterday’s laundry. Look for anything that needs mending. If anything is beyond repair, cut it into rags to use for cleaning.


    BEDROOMS AND HOME OFFICE DAY
    Tackle your vacuuming and dusting today. Be sure to clean the windows, too. Then change out the bedding and look forward to sleeping on crisp, fresh sheets.


    SHOPPING DAY
    Never brave the grocery store on the weekend if you can help it. Instead, grab your list and head out on a Thursday evening to enjoy a chaos-free store.


    LIVING ROOM DAY
    Wash the windows and floors, then vacuum the sofa and carpet. Don’t forget to dust off the electronics and clean the glass on the TV. For a finishing touch, polish up your decorative bowls and frames.


    BATHROOM AND KITCHEN DAY
    These rooms get oh-so-grimy! Thelma’s advice? Get up early and get them done. Throw a little elbow grease into the counters, sinks and floors, and call it your weekend workout.

  • Gardening Tips From Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer

    GARDENING TIPS FROM MRS. THELMA A. MEYER

    Thelma’s garden always had a bumper crop of vegetables. She says she started growing her own veggies for two reasons: to know they were free of pesticides, and because the kids would be more likely to eat them if they helped grow them. Follow her tips to help your harvest and to get more veggies on the plates in your home.

      RADISHES
      When it comes to radishes, Thelma swears by the Farmer’s Almanac, which says to plant them by the dark of the moon or they’ll go to tops. When she doesn’t follow it, she doesn’t have radishes!

      RHUBARB
      While the stalks are delicious, rhubarb leaves are poisonous if eaten. Thelma has found a great use for them nonetheless – keeping aphids away. Put a pound of chopped rhubarb leaves in a pot, and add a quart of boiling water. Let the mixture sit overnight, strain it and add a tablespoon of detergent. Then, place the liquid in a spray bottle and spritz your plants with it every now and then.

      PARSLEY
      Never count out the seeds you’ve planted. Thelma once waited years for parsley plants to grow from seed. When they finally sprouted, she was tickled.

      ONIONS
      Thelma grows onions every year. Since they’re hardy perennials, they keep going without any maintenance. She likes to put them in her garden next to her beets and carrots to help keep the bugs away.

      CUCUMBERS
      To prevent weeds and rotting, Thelma keeps her cucumbers mulched with rhubarb leaves or grass clippings. There’s no need buy mulch when your garden provides it for free!

      TOMATOES AND PEPPERS
      Thelma’s advice for tomatoes and peppers is to water them about an inch a week. With the right amount of sun, they’ll grow like the dickens!

  • Stain Removal Tips

    Multitasking Vinegar

    Mishaps happen. But there’s no need to let stains rain on your picnic. Just follow these stain removal tips, and you’ll be spotless in no time.

      RED FRUIT JUICE
      Lay the stained garment over a large bowl so that the stain is centered on the bowl. Then, pour boiling water over the affected area and into the bowl. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone. Wash as usual.


      GRILL GREASE
      Rub a little cornmeal into the stain to absorb the grease. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then brush the powder away. Wash as usual.


      KETCHUP
      Remove as much of the ketchup as you can with a clean spoon. Run cold water through the back of the fabric. Work liquid Laundry Detergent gently into the fabric in a circular motion. If the piece of stained clothing is white, you may need to apply mild bleaching agent such as white vinegar or lemon juice. Repeat this process as needed until the stain has disappeared. Wash as usual.


      Grass
      Apply liquid Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak in for minute or two. Then, lightly scrub the soiled area with an old toothbrush. Wash as usual.


      Dirt & Mud
      If stain is still wet, let dry. Remove hardened dirt with an old toothbrush or plastic knife. Rinse in cold water. Apply Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak for a minute or two. Wash as usual.


      Pollen
      Shake clothing to remove as much pollen as possible. Gently dot the remaining pollen with the sticky side of adhesive tape. Apply Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak in for a minute or two. Wash as usual.

  • Multi-tasking Vinegar

    Multitasking Vinegar

    Clean your hardest working appliances with a natural kitchen staple—white vinegar.

    With spring cleaning on the horizon, it's time to get your hardest working appliances in tip-top shape. White vinegar (also labeled as distilled vinegar) is a kitchen staple that works wonders as a natural cleaner. To thoroughly clean your laundry machine and dishwasher, follow the steps below.

    LAUNDRY MACHINE

    1. Mix ¼ cup white vinegar in one quart water to make the solution. Saturate a cloth or sponge with the solution and wipe down the interior of the washer.
    2. Run the empty machine with hot water and about two cups white vinegar.
    3. Run the washer a second time on the shortest cycle possible to rinse away any trace of vinegar, using only water.

    DISHWASHER

    1. Fill the kitchen sink with two cups white vinegar and one gallon warm water. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution.
    2. Open your dishwasher and take out any removable parts, such as utensil holders and racks. Wipe them down with the dampened cloth. Set aside.
    3. While removable parts are out of the dishwasher, check for debris in the bottom of the machine. Use the wet rag to fish out any unwanted bits.
    4. Place all pieces back inside the dishwasher.
    5. Add two cups white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run through a regular wash cycle on the hottest setting.
    6. Stop the machine mid-wash, so the vinegar can sit on the bottom and work. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, then turn on to finish the cycle.
  • Five Ingredient Barbecue

    Five Ingredient Barbecue

    Adding a homemade touch to your backyard barbecue is easier than ever with this recipe. This five-ingredient masterpiece uses what already have in your pantry! So, take a peek and see if an impromptu BBQ is in your future.

    ingredients

    • 1 small can of tomato sauce
    • 1-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • pinch of chili
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 large organic chicken, cut into 4 pieces

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Place tomato sauce, sugar and chili in a small saucepan and let it simmer until it starts to get really thick, about 20 minutes. (I would start with 1 tablespoon sugar and let it simmer for a while and then add more if needed).
    2. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Rub all the chicken parts with salt and pepper and brush the sauce on.
    4. Place on a medium grill or roast in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes, brushing with more sauce after 20 minutes.
    5. Serve with a smile and more sauce on the side!
  • Create A Guest Ready Home

    Create A Guest Ready Home

    Life, like our home, can get messy. If friends call to say they’re heading over for an impromptu visit, breathe easy and follow these simple steps.

    FOCUS ON WHAT THEY’LL SEE FIRST
    Shake out the welcome mat. Dust the entryway console. Sweep the floors, paying special attention to sofa and chair legs, where dust tends to gather.

    ADD SHIMMER AND SHINE
    Polish a silver vase, bowl, or candlestick, and place it in full view on the coffee table or mantle. It’ll make guests think everything looks shiny and new.

    BEAUTIFY THE BATHROOM
    Wipe down the sink and counter, put out some colorful guest towels, straighten the bath mat, close the shower curtain, and place a flower from the garden in a vase on the vanity.

  • DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub

    DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub

    At Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, we love lavender. Its calming scent makes everything a little nicer – whether you’re doing the dishes or taking a bath. So, if you love lavender half as much as we do, you’ll want to have this scrub on hand next time you get in the tub. Its natural ingredients are great at exfoliating and moisturizing your skin. Plus, it’s easy to make, and you probably have most ingredients on hand.

    Material & Tools

    • ½ cup White sugar
    • ½ cup Raw sugar
    • ½ cup Coconut oil
    • 5-10 drops Lavender essential oil
    • Dried lavender (optional)

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Feel free to try different mixes of sugars, or substitute olive oil for coconut oil.
    • If you’re trying to find lavender essential oil or dried lavender, check your local health food store.
  • Spring Cleaning Bucket List

    Spring Cleaning Bucket List

    Here’s a handy list of ten big ticket chores, each one essential for spring cleaning to be truly complete. Checking off each one as its finished feels great, so get started today!

    SEE CLEARLY
    Clean your windows inside and out. Use clean cloth to dry them. Replace storm windows with screens. Polish window and door hardware.

    LOOK WHAT’S UNDERFOOT
    Vacuum the entire house, including baseboards, moldings and corners. Launder your area rugs and shampoo your carpets. You can rent a carpet cleaner from a local hardware or grocery store.

    SHINE IT UP
    Clean floors with vinegar and water or Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. If you are feeling ambitious, wax floors.

    BE SAFE, NOT SORRY
    Make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they work too.

    BE FRIENDLY TO YOUR FURNITURE
    Wipe down upholstery. Steam clean anything that’s deeply soiled.

    TAKE A CURTAIN CALL
    Hang your drapes and blankets outside to air them out.

    GIVE APPLIANCES SOME TLC
    Clean the inside of the fridge and freezer with baking soda and water. Vacuum grates, vents and coils on your fridge, stove, air conditioner and furnace.

    SLEEP ON IT
    Vacuum mattresses and box springs. Leave the windows open while the beds are bare to air them out. Wash pillows and down comforters.

    JUST LET IT GO
    Toss expired food, medications and makeup. Go through your closets; toss anything that’s stained or tattered and give away anything you haven’t worn all season. Store winter clothing to make room for spring and summer goods.

    CONQUER THE GREAT OUTDOORS
    Scrub outdoor furniture and hose down lighting fixtures, walkways, porch and deck floors and the driveway. Clean the gutters.

  • DIY Decoupage Recipe Box

    DIY Decoupage Recipe Box

    There’s something magical about a handwritten recipe card. Perhaps it’s because the same love that goes into cooking goes into writing each and every word. With this DIY you can put that love into a gorgeous découpage recipe box. All you need is a plain wooden box and just a few other materials and tools.

    Material & Tools

    • Wooden box
    • Paint
    • Large and small paintbrushes
    • Botanical images
    • Precision knife
    • Decoupage gloss adhesive varnish
    • Sandpaper

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Most of these materials can be found at your local craft store.
    • For the botanical images, you can use any paper imagery you love!
    • Try magazine images, stamps, paper packaging or labels.
  • A Centerpiece Worthy DIY

    A Center Piece Worthy DIY

    Show off your Home Making skills this fall with a creative DIY leaf bowl. Your guests will never guess how easy it was to make! Turn it into a centerpiece by filling it with small gourds, pinecones and some more fall leaves. Feeling extra festive? Coat your leaves with gold spray paint (and let dry) before you start.

    Materials & Tools

    • Dried leaves
    • Glue
    • Paintbrush
    • Balloon
    • Wet rag
    • Gold spray paint (optional)

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Use real leaves.
    • Fabric leaves absorb the glue and don’t hold together as well. Plus, real leaves add a nice natural touch.
    • Make sure the kids are out of the way for this DIY. Balloons (especially popped balloons) can be dangerous.
  • DIY Autumn Door Hanger

    DIY Autumn Door Hanger

    Fall brings longer sleeves, crunchier leaves and a whole lot of time outdoors sprucing things up before the first frost. While you’re outside doing your fair share of raking, make sure to stop and grab a few pinecones while you’re at it. With a few of them and a little ribbon, you can give your wreath a rest and get your door looking nice and festive for autumn.

    Materials & Tools

    • Pinecones
    • Acrylic Paint
    • Eyebolt Screws
    • Ribbon
    • Scissors
    • Staples or a needle and threa

    Instructions

  • Appliqué Table Runner

    Clay Coaster

    I’ve always been a big fan of Scandinavian inspired art. I especially love its minimal design and patterns inspired by nature. My dining room wallpaper has a very distinct Scandinavian feel, so I was inspired to bring that same kind of design to my table with a homemade table runner.

    Materials & Tools

    • Canvas table runner
    • Felt
    • Stencil
    • Craft knife and mat
    • Fabric glue
    • Scissors
    • Pins
    • Felt tip pen for tracing

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We used a more traditional color palette here, but you could always add some brighter colors into the mix.
    • Use the stencil to trace directly onto the runner and then go over the shape with embroidery.
    • You could even use the stencil to paint onto the runner, or use patterned fabric instead of felt. No matter what you do, get creative and make it yours!
  • Floral Napkin Ring

    Clay Coaster

    I’ve always been a big fan of Scandinavian inspired art. I especially love its minimal design and patterns inspired by nature. My dining room wallpaper has a very distinct Scandinavian feel, so I was inspired to bring that same kind of design to my table with a homemade table runner.

    Materials & Tools

    • Steel ring
    • Scissors
    • Floral tape
    • Fresh flowers
    • Sprigs
    • Napkins

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We used a more traditional color palette here, but you could always add some brighter colors into the mix.
    • Use the stencil to trace directly onto the runner and then go over the shape with embroidery.
    • You could even use the stencil to paint onto the runner, or use patterned fabric instead of felt.
    • No matter what you do, get creative and make it yours!
  • DIY Hanging Flower Garland

    DIY Hanging Flower Garland

    Who doesn’t love flowers, especially during springtime? But some are just too pretty to stay in the garden. Put some blooms in your home and on display with this eye-catching floral décor.

    Materials & Tools

    • Flowers
    • Greenery
    • Twine
    • Branch
    • Scissors

    Instructions



    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Keep your flower garland fresh for even longer by choosing flowers and greens that dry well.
  • Spooky Salted Caramel Apple Pie

    spooky-salted-caramel-apple-pie

    Spruce up apple pie by adding a salted caramel twist! It's a big crowd pleaser and a ton of fun to make. Your family will love it. Enjoy!

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    • 6 cups Flour
    • 3 cups Shortening
    • 2 Eggs, beaten with a fork
    • 2 teaspoons Salt
    • 10 tablespoons Cold Water

    For the pie

    • 7-8 Green apples, peeled and sliced
    • 1 cup Butter
    • 1 cup White sugar
    • ½ cup Flour
    • ½ cup Brown sugar
    • 1 cup Water
    • 10-15 Soft caramels
    • 2 teaspoons Salt
    • Cookie cutters

    Instructions



    Store bought piecrust will work just fine, but if you want to try making a homemade one, follow these instructions

    1. Combine flour and vegetable shortening in a large bowl. Blend the mixture together with a pastry cutter until it looks like crumbs.


    2. Beat two eggs with a fork and add them to the flour mixture. Mix until combined.


    3. Add in 10 tablespoons of very cold water and 2 teaspoons salt. Work the mixture until it becomes doughy. You may need to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty here!


    4. Roll out your crust into a thick disc. Then, cover and chill until you’re ready to bake with it. You can also freeze it for a later date.


    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • When it comes to decorating your pie, let your creative juices flow! Use cookie cutters to create words or shapes on the top of your piecrust. You can even use stencils and cinnamon sugar or food coloring to create patterns!
    • Before you dig into desert, remember to show us how your pie turned out with #MakeandTell.
  • Seasoned Chickpea Snackers

    Seasoned Chickpea Snackers

    The new year always inspires me to strive to be the best and healthiest I can be! And in my home, eating right does NOT mean eating bland and boring. I'm a real snacker, and when I'm eating clean I sometimes get bored with kale chips and almonds. When this happens I like to switch things up a little bit with a recipe like these Seasoned Chickpea Snackers.

    They're super simple to make, and I love to keep a container of Chickpea Snackers around the house to pick at whenever the urge strikes me. They are bursting with flavor and help to tide me over until dinnertime.

    Ingredients

    • 2 (15-ounce) cans Chickpeas
    • 1 teaspoon Flaky sea salt
    • 2 teaspoons Paprika
    • 2 teaspoons Fresh thyme leaves
    • Red chili flakes to taste
    • Olive oil

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Flavor combinations are endless for these chickpea snackers! I've made them using every combination of herbs and spices imaginable.
    • Why not try lemon zest, rosemary, and sea salt? Or experiment with cumin and curry powders. Garlic and chive?
    • I've even gone into sweet territories with cinnamon and sugar!
  • Sun-Dyed Leaf Tote

    DIY Sun Dyed Leaf Tote

    Remember making things with leaves when you were young? This Sun Dyed Leaf Tote DIY is a great way to get back into making.

    Materials & Tools

    • Tote Bag
    • Tape
    • Water
    • Inkodye
    • Leaves
    • Paintbrush
    • A little bit of sunshine

    Instructions

    This entry was posted in DIY Projects on September 25, 2017 by kbeaudry.

  • Baked Eggs In Bread Baskets

    Baked Eggs In Bread Baskets

    Brunch is my favorite meal, always has been, always will be! I'll make any excuse to make a brunch myself, go to a refined brunch at a fancy restaurant or even visit a massive brunch buffet!

    When I'm cooking brunch for friends, I always like to create things that are pre-portioned. I love muffins, fruit cups, granola bowls and mini quiche. This baked eggs in bread nests recipe is another perfect example. The portion is perfect for each guest to eat one or two, and you can even eat them with your hands. They're also easy to make, so even the kids can make them!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 12 Slides of soft bread with the crusts cut off
    • 4 tablespoons Butter
    • 1 dozen best quality organic Eggs
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    • Fresh thyme to serve

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • You can top baked eggs with just about anything! Try different types of herbs and spices.
    • Save the crusts you cut from the slices of bread and use them to make homemade croutons.
    • To make this gluten free, place a canned stewed tomato in the bottom of each muffin compartment and top with an egg and bake.
  • Clay Coaster

    Clay Coaster

    Keep all eyes on your table with these fun and festive DIY clay coasters. Great for both kids and adults to try, these crafty creations are easy-to-make, endlessly customizable and make for great eye-catching décor or homemade gifts.

    Materials & Tools

    • Air dry clay
    • Cookie cutter
    • Rolling pin
    • Acrylic paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Clear drying adhesive sealer

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We used festive holiday colors here, but you can experiment with all sorts of different colors, patterns and stamps.
    • Don’t just stop at having your coasters be circular, explore other shapes, too!
  • Felt Flower Wreath

    felt-flower-wreaths

    We love fresh flowers, but their short life spans often make them hard to use in decorating. Felt flowers are a great way to keep the colors of spring on your doorstep and in your home all season long!


    Materials & Tools

    • 13 inch Wicker wreath
    • Felt (25-30 sheets)
    • Floral wire
    • Scissors
    • Hot glue

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • You can make any color or style of flower you like, making this wreath completely unique.
    • Don't just stop at a wreath — make table arrangements, bouquets or small ones as quick gifts.

    This entry was posted in DIY Projects on September 25, 2017 by kbeaudry.

  • Quilled Paper Heart Jewelry

    Quilled Paper Heart Jewelry

    A quilled paper necklace is an easy way to add a little handmade flair to anyone’s jewelry collection. Grab a few sheets of paper in a color that catches your eye and coil your way to great personalized homemade gifts perfect for moms, friends or special someones.

    Materials & Tools

    • Scissors
    • Clear dying glue
    • Scissors
    • Quilling paper
    • Quilling tool or toothpick
    • Clear dying all-purpose sealer
    • Jewelry ring
    • Jewelry chain

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Don’t just stop at jewelry; quilled paper is great for adding a little something extra to cards and wall décor.
    • Add pops of color to your crafty creation by incorporating different colored and patterned papers.
  • Stenciled Wrapping Paper

    DIY Stenciled Wrapping Papper

    Presents are always great, but presents with a little extra homemade touch are even better. Stand out from the crowd for holidays and birthdays with this easy to make stenciled wrapping paper.

    Materials & Tools

    • Plain wrapping paper
    • Paint
    • Craft roller brush
    • Hole punch
    • Glue or Spray adhesive
    • Craft Knife
    • Rotary Mat
    • Stencil

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Dress up your homemade wrapping paper even more with bows, ribbon and festive, woodsy accents.
    • We used brown butcher paper here, but the possibilities for paper colors are endless.
  • Upcycled Holiday Place Setting

    Picture Frame Tray

    My mom has always been a fabulous gift wrapper — I still don’t know how she gets her corners so crisp and beautiful! In fact, the way she wrapped our presents is still one of my favorite holiday memories! She always added something unique to every gift that made it even more special! I used her famous gift tags as inspiration to create these cute, upcycled wreath place settings.

    Materials & Tools

    • Old magazines
    • Floral wire
    • Floral tap
    • Ribbon
    • Hot glue
    • Scissors
    • Heavy stock paper
    • Pen

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • Don’t limit yourself to one color of magazine pages.
    • I used green here, but yellows, browns, reds or whatever color you want to try would work well, too!
    • Wrap your floral wire around a glass to make forming a circle easier.
    • Don’t just stop at place settings — these wreaths are perfect for holiday gift tags, too!
  • Paper Flower Bouquet

    DIY Paper Flower Bouquet

    A floral arrangement can really do wonders when it comes to cheering up just about any room. We’re big fans of the fresh kinds, but not so much when it comes to their short lifespans. Lengthen the stay of these floral pick-me-ups and keep them lasting season after season with a cut paper flower bouquet.

    Materials & Tools

    • Craft paper
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Pencil
    • Floral wire

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • With so many different types of flowers out there, the possibilities are endless!
    • Add variety to each bouquet with different shapes and colors.
    • Don’t forget about greenery — a succulent tucked in here and there never hurt anyone.
  • Folded Paper Clock

    DIY Paper Flower Bouquet

    It’s hard to be on time if you never know what time it is. Always know where the hour and minute hands are pointing, at least when you’re inside your home, with a folded paper clock.

    Materials & Tools

    • Scissors
    • Paper
    • Glue
    • Tape
    • Clock Movement

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We used pretty simple origami folds here, but you can always try other folding techniques and paper arrangements to create different clock shapes.
    • Don’t forget about color: experiment with all kinds of colored and patterned paper to create different visual effects.
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