February 21, 2010

Cleaning Benefits of Vinegar

As part of my goal to get my family healthier this year I am trying not to use chemicals around the house. I used to use the Swiffer WetJet to clean my hardwood floors. But for over a year I was living with streaks and a sticky film under my bare feet (unless I rinsed th floor with water, but that was basically cleaning the floors twice). I finally decided to take my friend's advice and use plain old vinegar and water. The results are AMAZING!!! It evaporates quickly which means no streaks, no sticky film, and my husband can't smell the vinegar when he gets home.

Vinegar has LOTS of uses around the house. Here are some I have found and/or heard of from friends.

1. Add 1 tsp of vinegar to a bottle of shampoo and use once a week for extra shine in your hair and health for your scalp.
2. Use vinegar and a rag to polish and clean stainless steel and to remove hard water from sinks, bathtubs, showers, etc. You can soak shower heads and sink sprayers in vinegar overnight to unclog the hardwater buildup.
3. Add about 1/2 cup vinegar to the washer when doing laundry to get help with dish-rag smells, static, and wrinkles.
4. Use 1 cup of vinegar to deodorize your sink. Let sit for 45 minutes, rinse with cold water. If you have a garbage disposal make vinegar ice cubes, chop in disposal and rinse with cold water.
5. Use 2 1/2 to 3 cups vinegar in place of toilet bowl cleaner. Let sit for 45 minutes, brush and flush.
6. Put vinegar in a sray bottle (I like to add water to dilute the smell a little) and use as glass cleaner for mirrors, windows, glass tabletops, etc.
7. With the same bottle of vinegar you can use it as an all-purpose cleaner on counter tops, tables, refridgerators, and anywhere else you would use an all-purpose cleaner.
8. With again the same spray bottle you can mist the vinegar in the air around the house as an airfreshner.
Other things that make vinegar great:
It's shelf life is nearly infinite
Gentle on hands
All natural, non-toxic
No harsh smells being inhaled or lingering
No need to rinse, saves time
Environmentally friendly, no harsh chemicals down drains
Antibacterial properties
For more cleaning ideas and information visit www.vinegarworkswonders.com/

February 10, 2010


Sometimes people ask me what I "do". You know, as in a job. And I often find myself responding "oh, I'm just a stay-at-home-mom." As if its nothing. A few years ago, after I had my first child, I realized that I had to view my position as a job (kind of). Let me try to explain.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a S-A-H-M. Cleaning, cooking, teaching, playing, grocery shopping, paying bills, finances/budgeting, exercise (yourself and kids), grooming (yourself and kids), first aide, taking kids to various activities, giving husband needed attention, so on and so forth. On top of the things you need to get done, there are a MILLION things you have to remember. Diapers, sippy cups, snacks, wipes, change of clothes, wallet, keys, phone, grocery list, so on and so forth.

So, anyway, I started viewing my roll as a homemaker and S-A-H-M as a full time job, because really thats what it is (actually its a lot more than that). I decided that while dad is at work, so am I. When dad is off work, so am I (to an extent).

When you go to a job you have specific things you are supposed to be doing or supposed to get done. Sometimes they have time limits, sometimes they don't. I decided to give myself a job list every day, things that had to get done before dad got home.

Monday-clean the kitchen
Tuesday-clean the bedrooms
Wednesday-clean the bathrooms
Friday-clean living room and entry way

I decided I would work on each job throughout the day. In between feeding time and nap time and exercise time, cooking, and all the other things going on. This has really helped me to stay caught up on house work, to keep our home clutter free and a place where we all want to come home to, and have the evenings and weekends off with my husband.

It has also helped me to manage my time a little better so that I can get in some good quality time with each of my children and then have some me time as well. I get up at the same time every morning (no sleeping in on the job right?) and focus on getting my chores done (between child time) as soon as I can, so that when the kids are napping I can do what I want to do for myself. Sometimes I read a good book, sew, watch some tv, nap, shower a little longer than usual, or whatever. Its important to get that relax time so that when dad does get home you're not ready to pull your hair out.

A great book on the subject of being a Stay-at-home-mom is In Praise of Stay-at-Home-Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. A great lesson I learned from this book is that I am first and foremost a wife, then a mother, and then a homemaker. My relationship with my husband is crutial, my time with my children priceless, and everything else falls in behind them.

So I'm curious to know what all you ladies out there do to make things run smoothly around your house. I'm always looking for ways to improve. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

February 5, 2010

Deceptively Delicious Garlic Parmesean Mashed Potatoes

This cookbook is a great find! It is by Jerry Seinfeld's wife. It is full of recipes that get your family eating vegetables without them even knowing! Here is a mashed potato recipe I adapted from a recipe in her book.

1 lb baking potatoes-peeled, cubed
1/2 C cauliflower puree
2 Tbsp butter/margarine
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. Salt
3 oz. grated parmesean cheese
1 1/2 cloves minced garlic

Put potatoes into large pot and cover with water til there is about 3 inches on top.
Boil until tender enough to pierce with a fork.
While potatoes are boiling
Put milk and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes
Set aside
When potatoes are finished cooking
Drain and put in a mixing bowl
Add milk mixture, parmesean, butter, salt, and cauliflower.
Mash or beat until desired texture is reached.

My husband claimed that these are the best potatoes I've ever made, before he knew there was cauliflower in them :) Which was the only thing I did different!