Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's Talk Clean...

I’ve been debating on what my first blog should be. Should I go with something profound, moving, funny or what?  It’s so funny that I would even stress about it. Is anyone even reading this thing anyway? :)

Ok here it is… my latest obsession… Baking Soda. Now don’t laugh.  I’ve been on this “homemade” kick for the last 4-5 months now. Homemade laundry soap, homemade lip gloss, homemade body scrubs. (Future blogs yet to come) Through this process I have come across baking soda. Baking soda has to be the most misunderstood household product out there! I have found so many uses for it that I’m not even going to tell you all of them at once. I’m going to drag it out a little, so if anyone is really reading this blog you are going to have to keep coming back if you want to get more info on this one product with so many magical qualities! 
Baking Soda Tip #1: Cookie sheet clean up Every woman has in her kitchen at least one cookie sheet that has that black burnt food all over it. You secretly have the “when guests can see” cookie sheet and then there is the one that you use every day that has been destroyed beyond recognition because you have used it as a drip tray under casseroles in the oven.  And you know there is no possible way to use it as a cookie sheet unless you line it with foil in order to separate your cookies from the blackened mess that it has turned into.  Don’t lie, you have one. If you don’t it’s because you only moved out of your parents home a month ago and you are living alone and thus you eat out every night.
Well I have a fix for that. BAKING SODA! Yes…it is true. Well you have to add another shocking ingredient to the mix, peroxide. I know it sounds nuts, but it’s true.  You mix baking soda and peroxide until it is a paste and then rub it all over that nasty caked on mess that was once called a cookie sheet. Then the hard part…let it sit. I totally have no patience and am personally an instant gratification sort of girl, but this is a must. So make yourself a cup of tea and read a few pages of that book you keep saying you are going to read. Give it a good 15-20 minutes. I will say that I had to use a scrub brush, one that was abrasive and did leave scratches on the cookie sheet. But it was ugly to start with so who cares if it is scratched at this point.  But it came off! All the black awful, burnt stuff is gone! My cookie sheet is not perfectly flat…it has sides on it and I forgot to put the baking soda/peroxide concoction on the sides of the pan so I have ugly sides and a beautiful clean base. (oops)  I did this some time ago so I don’t have before and after pictures for you, but I’m telling you it works.
Baking Soda Tip #2: Clean tub and showerMix baking soda with some table salt and sprinkle that all over a damp tub, then just scrub your tub.  This works really well on shower doors too.  No strong chemical smell and it is super cheep! One thing I really like about this is the lack of chemicals. I rinse the tub out well, but it always makes me worried putting our 4 year old in the bath before we have showered in it a few times after cleaning it. I just worry about her taking a bath in chemical residue.  The salt is optional but if you need some extra “scrubbing power” depending on how dirty the tub/shower is…you will want to add the salt.
Give these tips a try and tell me what you think. I would really love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Beginning...

The holidays are supposed to be about family, friends, spending time together and taking the time to remember the reason for the season.  But often it seems to be more about being busy, exhausted from the running around and just so ready for the season to be over so life can slow down a little. I could be the only one that feels that way about the holidays, but somehow I don’t think so.
Our family has gone though a lot over the last year and it has left me reflecting on what’s important to me as a person, a wife, and a mother. So I decided before thanksgiving even got here that I was going to enjoy this holiday season. I wasn’t going to worry about how much I did or didn’t do. I wasn’t going to stress about what the children were going to get for Christmas. I was going to enjoy myself. I was going to reflect on the reason for the season. It was time I didn’t focused on the unfortunate things that happened this year but on how God carried us though those trials and how we grew because of them.
I didn’t spend lots of time baking and cooking. I purchased our holiday meals precooked from the grocery store. Our kids didn’t get a ton of gifts and our tree was a 4 ft artificial fiber optic tree. Our little one is 4 years old and this was her first Christmas where she really started to understand the concept of Jesus’ birth being the “reason for the season” and Santa. I spent all month getting her excited about the holiday. We attended our church’s Christmas Candlelight Service. We made homemade cookies for Santa and on Pinterest I found a link on how to make “Elf Donuts” ( so we did that for Christmas Eve as well. She walked away from Christmas with some clothes and only 4 toys and an understanding of the true meaning of the holiday.
So I would like to proclaim the 2011 holiday a success for me and my family! This blog is born out of that feeling of success. I have thoughts, ideas, and experiences that I think others could benefit from. Here I will share some of my daily experiences and the lessons I learn from them as well as some of my passions and ideas. Please join me on this journey called life, life overflowing.