"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Living and Dining

Well now that your Kitchen is Sparkling Clean, I am going to continue on with my Spring Cleaning Series. The next areas of your home that we are going to tackle are the Living Room and Dining Room. If you don't have a dining room, then you are in luck with one less room to clean. But I am sure that everyone has a living space where a lot of living occurs. So let's move on to some Tidbits on how to get these rooms in Tip-Top shape.

- Think High and Think Low because that's where all the Dust will go!

Living Room and Dining Room

Shiny Windows

Remove all curtains and wash them. Make sure to read any labels before putting them in your washing machine. Some may require hand washing. The gentle cycle with cold water is usually the safest bet for most fabrics. Some fabrics you can just shake out in your yard and they will be fine. If you have a tailored solid treatment above your window, then just dust it with a duster through out the year to control any dust build-up from forming.

Dust any plastic or wooden window shades with a damp cloth. Some shades may require a quick tub washing if too much dust has been collected. Any other materials may just need a dusting with a duster.

Wash your windows inside and out. If you don't have the fold out windows that can easily be washed, then send hubby outside with his ladder that he never gets to use, to clean them. If you live in an apartment or you don't have the means to wash them, then don't sweat it and forget it. The inside will do just fine. Make sure to look for any dirt that may have collected at the bottom of your windows when you open them. Vacuum the area and then clean it with a damp cloth.

Dusting away the Bunny's

The easiest way to dust in high places is to use your broom and sweep along the top edges of your walls. This will remove any dust webs that have collected. You can also sweep along the top of door and window moldings while your at it. Another technique to do this is to attach a damp cloth to the end of your broom stick and go over the same areas. Look at your walls and look for any dust, especially above any forced hot air units.

Wall Hangings,take them down off the wall and dust them with a damp cloth. Wash any glass with a glass cleaner.

Light Fixtures, dust and clean them. The ceiling fixtures should be wiped down. Any lamp shades can be vacuumed and the bases wiped.

Decorating Tidbit - Lamp Shades are an inexpensive way to freshen up the mood of a room. Look around and see if there are any that you would like to change.

Furniture should be pulled out and dusted/swept/vacuumed under. While the furniture is moved out, the floor moldings can be wiped down. If you have hard wood floors, they should be washed also.

Decorating Tidbit - While your furniture is all moved out, try that new furniture arrangement that you have been meaning to try. Change it up for Spring

Decorative Floor Rugs should be rolled up and swept/washed under.

Living Room


Vacuum under all couch and chair cushions. Keep a Fabric Softener Sheet under the cushions for a continuous fresh scent. Change the sheets each time you remember to vacuum the cushions.

Wood furniture should be dusted and polished to keep it long lasting.

Remove all pictures and decorative pieces from your furniture tops and dust them. Wipe down your furniture with a soft cloth. Don't forget to dust any shelves and books.

Decorating Tidbit - When your cleaning your decorative pieces and wall hangings, put them all together on a table and look at them. See if you can move them around to different places or even different rooms. This is a smart way to redecorate without spending a cent.

Dining Room

Dining Table and Chairs should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Look for any dust or food build-up along the tables edge and on chair arm and legs. If your set is good wood quality, it should be polished.

Hutch should be emptied and cleaned. Dust any shelves and polish. Clean any glass.

Pull out any drawers and run a bar of soap along the drawer runner. This will keep the drawer running smoothly in and out.

Any other furniture in your rooms not mentioned will obviously have to be cleaned also :)

All homes are different. Some of you may do some of these things more often while others may have never done some of these things. They are only some Tidbit's on where to start if you are planning to Spring Clean. Our homes are the cornerstone to our lives, it will do you well to Freshen It up every once and a while. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kitchen Ready

It is that time of year when you here the term "Spring Cleaning" being tossed around. I am not sure how many people actually follow this seasonal tradition, but I think that it is a wise thing to do. It goes along great with the Renewed Feeling that comes along with spring and gets you off to a Fresh Start. So I have decided to do a Spring Cleaning Tidbit Series. I am going to go through all of the typical rooms in your home and give you some Tidbits on where to begin your cleaning quest. I am going to start with the Heart of the Home, the Kitchen.

Everyone seems to gather in the kitchen, and because of this, it is one of the rooms that we should pay close attention to when Spring Cleaning. It has so many components to it and has become such a multi-functional room in every ones home. So here are some Tidbits on how to begin this seasonal tradition and get your Kitchen Ready!

Cleaning Tidbit - Be Wise, Organize and Sanitize.

Counter top
- Clear all of your counters of appliances and such, and clean them using a sanitizing solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water. Put the non hazardous solution in an clear spray bottle (found at any hardware or dollar store) label and keep on hand for cleaning sinks, tiles and soap scum.

- Clean cabinets with a cleaning solution of 1 tsp of a mild dish soap combined with 1 quart of water. If you have wood cabinets, finish off with rubbing some olive oil on the wood to bring back the luster.

Cabinet Tops - Cabinet tops get very dusty. Be careful, get up on a chair and check out the dust factor on top of the cabinets. The best way to clean this area is with a hand held vacuum. If you don't have one, then just dust it the old fashioned way with a damp cloth.

Inside the Cabinets - Replenish your Spice Cabinet (Buy and Save at Christmas Tree Shop, CVS, Walmart Super Store or The Dollar Store) Take out your goods, wipe down the shelves, toss old stuff and reorganize when you are placing them back.

Drawers - Clean and Organize your Utensil drawers, Bread Drawer and Junk Drawer.

Use a Utensil Divider in your Junk Drawer to keep things organized.

If you have a large drawer in your kitchen, near your stove, use it for your cooking utensils. Place a small piece of rug pad (found at any Large Chain Store) in the drawer and line up your cooking tools. The rug pad will hold them in place and keep them organized so you don't have to go fishing for them every time you need them.

Floor - If you have Ceramic Tile, Clean your Grout!

Table and Chairs
- Wipe down chair legs and arms with a warm damp cloth. Look under the rim of your table for any food scum and clean it. If you have a wooden set, then replenish your set with some Wood Cream or Oil.

Clean Your Appliances

Refrigerator - While you have your chair out, check out the top of your fridge. If your fridge is not under a cabinet, then chances are it needs to be dusted. Clear off the stuff and clean it with a damp cloth.

Also, the inside of fridge should be cleared and cleaned. Remove all items and check the expiration on your dressings and condiments. Toss any that are out dated. Clean using the White Vinegar Spray. Take out any drawers and wash with warm water and soap.

Take a look at your Freezer Items also and toss any freezer burned items. Clean with a Hot damp cloth.

If you can move your fridge, clean under it and vacuum the coils behind it.

Be sure to add your dated Baking Soda to keep your fridge smelling Fresh and Clean.

Toaster - Open the bottom latch and empty out any crumbs over the sink. Take a small paint brush and brush of any crumbs from the inside. Take a damp cloth and clean the outside of the toaster.

Coffee Maker - Add 1 Cup White Vinegar to the water reservoir and then fill with water. Run your coffee maker, shut it off and let it cool, then Repeat. Finish off the process by running a carafe of clean water through.

Microwave - Clean the inside with Warm Lemon Water. Just squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of warm water and damp a cloth with it. Vacuum the back of the microwave and any vented areas. Unplug and wipe sides with a damp cloth.

Food Disposal - Throw that Lemon into the disposal to clean and sharpen blades.

Oven - Clean your oven, using the automatic cleaner, before it gets too Hot! Use Baking Soda paste (1 Tbsp Baking Soda and 2 Tbsp Water) to clean the oven's inside window, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Take a slim duster and clean under the oven. (When it's off of course)

Creative Tidbit - Turn the inside of your cabinets into Note Stations. Paint the inside of selected cabinets with two coats of Magnetic Paint and then paint one coat of Chalk Board Paint. Use this new secret station to hang and jot down notes to self.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it's only once a year, Right? Take a week and do it in stages. It will make you feel good, I Promise :) Let's Go Ladies (and Gents) get those Rubber Gloves on, Be Wise, Organize, Sanitize and get your Kitchen Ready!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Erin Go Braugh Party

Whether you are Irish or not, you can appreciate the Irish Pride that illuminates at this time of year. As we wait for spring to finally arrive, why not join into the festivities that surround Saint Patrick's Day and plan your very own Erin Go Braugh Party!

Party Tidbit - Invite some of your friends and their kids over to Kiss the Blarney Stone, Enjoy a Pot of Gold, Follow a Rainbow, Dance an Irish Jig and enjoy a taste of Ireland.

Kiss the Blarney Stone - Create your very own Blarney Stone out of a Large Dark Postar board with a Kiss Bulls Eye in the Middle and hang it up in an open area. Create Kiss Cut Outs from Red Construction Paper and add your party guests name to each one. To play the game blind fold your participator with a long scarf, place some tape on the back of their Kiss Cut Out, spin them and then off they go. Sound Familiar? You get the idea!
Materials - One Large Dark Poster Board, Red Construction Paper, Scissors, Blind Fold, Marker, Tape, Small Prizes

Follow the Rainbow Scavenger Hunt - For this game you want a package of colored construction paper or card stock. For each color of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple), you will want to cut out a shape (Square, Triangle etc.)of each color for each participant. This is done so that you can assign each guest a shape to find, of each color during the hunt. If you want to be creative, you can add clues where the next clue is for the participants that can read or you can just hide them around your home randomly. Make some doubles of some of the color shapes and put some Leprechaun Stickers on it as a road block. If your guest finds one then they have to give back the shapes they have found and start all over. The object is to follow the rainbow and collect all the colors of your assigned shape, to get your Pot of Gold. The pot of gold is a bag of Gold Coins in a Small Pot, found at any party store.
Materials - Colored Paper, Scissors, Leprechaun Stickers, Small Favor Pots, Bags of Gold Coins

Irish Musical Chairs - Pretty much the same game as the original, just done with some Irish Dance Music, found at your local library. The object of the game is to get into a chair when the music ends. Always have one chair less then the number of participants. Play until there is only one chair left. Surprise the winner with a small prize.

Shamrock your Beverage - Serve your guests Green Beverages by adding a small drop of Green Food Coloring to any Clear Beverage. Serve in Clear Cups.

Irish Dinner Ideas - Irish Stew, Soda Bread, Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner, Corn Beef Sandwiches served with Creamy Potato Soup. Look up some easy Irish recipes online.

Pot of Gold - This is a tasty treat to serve your guests. Find a plastic pot at a party store to use as the container for this dessert. Now we are going to make a Golden Trifle. Buy two boxes of Golden Cake Mix and two boxes of Vanilla Pudding and prepare them according to the box instructions. You will also need a two large containers of Cool Whip, a package of Heath Toffee Bites and a box of Nilla Wafers.

When the cake is cooled, cut it into large sections to be used to layer your trifle in the pot. Start with a layer of cake, spoon some pudding for the next layer, then a thin layer of cool whip and then top the whip with a sprinkle of Heath Toffee Bites. Repeat until you run out of your ingredients! When you reach the top, finish off with a layer of whip and then pour out the box of Nilla Wafers for the Gold Coin look!

Remember to decorate with some Shamrock cut outs. Hang them from the ceiling with some fishing wire or just tape them all around. Pick up some inexpensive Green Leprechaun Hats. Get your grown up guests to have some fun with the kids by buying some Saint Patrick's Day scratch tickets to hand out for their prize. Get Creative and party like the Irish! I hope that my Tidbits inspired you to throw your very own Erin Go Braugh Party! Ireland Forever!