Tag - clean

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean in Summer

“I’m sharing affresh® in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™ #affresh

 

Summertime means a lot of things in our home, it means the kids are home from school every day, it means hosting friends and family for celebrations and gatherings, and it means our kitchen is in FULL use. More kitchen use means more kitchen mess means more kitchen cleanup.

There are so many reasons to make sure you are keeping on top of kitchen cleaning other than to make it looks nice.

Here are a few reasons to keep a clean kitchen in the Summer:

  • Keep away ants and other bugs that LOVE dirty kitchens
  • Make it easier for entertaining {one less room to clean}
  • Not feel like you have chores hanging over you when fun activities pop up
  • Smelly kitchen can effect the way your entire house smells
  • Dishes are clean and easy to grab for a quick meal in between pool time
  • Enough counter space to pack a park lunch
  • Lessens the amount of germs for a healthier summer

 

Is the kitchen a hard place to keep clean?!? YES!! Especially when you aren’t the only one living in your home, but you can see it’s an important room to tidy up. Luckily there are some ways you can make cleaning the kitchen easier.

Enlist Help

With Miss A and Miss C tall enough to reach the counters and old enough to put things away on their own I can give them a good bit of kitchen cleaning chores. Even if you have a small child you can find these fun kitchen helper stools at almost any online retailer and they can easily help with wiping the counter or putting away unbreakable, non-sharp dishes.

 

Remember, help doesn’t just have to be your littles it can also be a spouse/significant other, or a friend {just be sure to return the favor}.

When you’re enlisting help be sure to make it fun, put on some music or make it a game to pass the time and encourage cheerful workers.

Keep it Simple

Use products that will clean without a lot of work. This is what I call “Return on Rub”. If you spend hours using a product that makes you scrub and sweat, and you’re not left with something sparkling clean, it’s so not worth it, am I right???

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Clean Smart. I clean smart using products I know that work, and products that are super easy to use.

Remember the smelly kitchen I mentioned above? One reason kitchens get so smelly is because the ever-so-helpful garbage disposal won’t clean itself. I know, maybe in the year 2030 that will be a thing, but in the meantime giving our garbage disposal a deep clean with minimal effort is humanly possible.

affresh® Disposal Cleaner is designed specifically to clean and remove odor causing residue using powerful foaming action.

 

Not only does it work, {trust me I tried it}, but it’s easy to use. Follow the instructions listed on the back of the box once a month or as needed.

 

 

 

1. Get ready for awesome affresh® cleaning to take place

2. Turn on hot water to a low flow

3. Place 1 fresh, citrus scented tablet in your disposal

4. Turn on the disposal for 15-30 seconds and watch the foaming action

After turning off your disposal and rinsing any foam residue, enjoy a fresh smelling disposal in practically less than a minute.

Wherever there is a specific cleaning job to do, you can count on affresh® cleaners to provide the right tool for the job. Purchase your affresh® cleaners HERE

 

Break it Up

When you’re thinking of steps you need to clean your kitchen think broad and make a list, when you break the work into chunks and spread it out it becomes easier to tackle. If you’re a visual person writing down your task might be a great help. We have a white board in our kitchen that has many uses including writing down and checking off chores.

Here is a list of some tasks that may be helpful to send you on your kitchen cleaning journey:

  • Counters
  • Appliances {you could even break these down more}
  • Sink & Disposal {see tip above}
  • Floors
  • Cabinets

Your tasks may vary depending on the size of your kitchen, your appliances and your personal preference, but hopefully this is a great start to a clean kitchen this Summer.

 

What tips do you have to keep your kitchen clean, and you’re not allowed to say, “don’t use it”, I’ve tried that but eating out every meal is too expensive. 

 

How to Quickly Clean Your House When Hosting Guests

“I’m sharing affresh® in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™ #affresh

I love a good night in with friends whether we are hosting in our home or headed to a friend’s house. It’s so nice to enjoy the laughs, the food, and the company, but before any of that happens I find myself stressed out with a long list of things to clean and do. In an effort to protect my sanity, I came up with a few tips to help clean your house when hosting guests.

Plan of Attack

I’m a planner by nature, and if you’re not this step will help you be able to focus on what you REALLY need to clean rather than scrambling around and not really getting to the tasks that are high priority.

  • Think about what rooms your guests will be in (encourage them to be in only a couple)
  • Decide which rooms are the messiest and cleanest
  • Figure out if you can multitask (i.e. wash the tablecloths while vacuuming)

Cook First

If you are making food for your guests you don’t want to clean and then cook because you’ll only end up cleaning the kitchen twice. Cook first if at all possible, check out great make ahead recipes on my Pinterest board.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have time to cook there are great options at local grocery stores and wholesale stores. Deli, fruit, veggie, and dessert platters are great and so easy to re-plate.

Clean Smart

So many times I’ve started to clean something and forgot leaving cleaning spray to dry or dishes soaking for far too long. Tackling one room at a time, one area at a time. For example, if I’m in the kitchen typically I’ll clean the stove top first then the counters, then move on to the dishes.

Quick tip: If you have a ceramic cooktop, and it has caked on residue, or if you have gas stovetop grates that are dirty and want a quick and easy cleaning solution, I recommend cleaning smart with affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes, designed specifically for your cooktop. These dual-sided wipes have built-in scrubbers to remove everyday residues and a smooth side to clean your cooktop with a streak-free finish.

The affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes not only smell fresh, but are easy to use and who doesn’t love simple?!?

  • Remove a wipe from the pouch
  • Reseal for freshness
  • Scrub with the textured side
  • Polish with the smooth side
  • Wipe with a soft, dry cloth for a streak-free finish
  • Throw away the wipe when finished

Save yourself some time, clean smart and pick up your own affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes or other affresh® cleaners to provide the right tool for the job at amazon.com/affresh

 

Tuck it Away

Have you ever seen the sitcoms where guests come over and open a closet only to experience an avalanche of objects? Let’s not go that far with putting things out of sight, but do scan the room looking for items that you may be able to put in a drawer. I have found in our home it’s great to have furniture that doubles as storage, like a storage ottoman, or decorative storage bins/baskets, especially when you are in a time crunch.

Enlist Help

More hands means faster cleaning! Ask people who you know won’t mind helping clean. You may want to consider asking them which cleaning chores they like best, happy workers are hard workers. Always offer some form of payment, whether it’s food, or a hug to a good friend, a thank-you note, or a gift card, let them know their help was appreciated. If possible try to co-host an event and divvy up the chores between you.

 

Of course these are just a few ways to make cleaning your home for guests and entertaining easier. I would love to hear your tips. Leave a comment on how you clean before you host guests.

 

10 Things I Heart in Spring

10-Things-I-Heart-Spring

I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.

Small Wins for a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle

Organize Fridge

I am a person who has always turned to food whenever I am sad, tired, or sometimes even, {dare I say it:} bored. Food is something I struggle with on a daily basis and will be for the rest of my life. I have learned however that using food as a reward for me personally is a bad, bad idea. My main problem is self-control. You know the commercials that encourage you to eat, the ones that say, “You can eat one,” and want you to eat the entire family sized portion? Yeah that’s my life. So instead of using food for rewards I focus more on doing things that will make me feel happy and in the long run want me to be healthier in all areas of my life including food choices that are not so spontaneous or overkill.

When I accomplish something, a task like folding the mountains of clean clothes, or working out for half an hour I like to have some, “me time”. Occasionally, it’ll be cracking open a book and enjoying some time to let my mind relax, or more often than not, I like to organize things, like my refridgerator. Strangely I am one of those people who really enjoys a neat and tidy closet. I know I’m sick, but honestly it calms my soul when I know other areas of my life are orderly.

Organize Fridge

I don’t always have the time in my schedule to be as organized as I want to, so using it as a reward works nicely because then it’s double-duty. Plus I usually find things I’ve spent months looking for. Score!!

Instant_Quaker_Oatmeal_100X100_LogoQuaker Oatmeal knows it is the small wins that really keep people motivated and they show that with their food. The benefits of a warm, filling bowl of oatmeal can keep you going all morning long. Energy. Fiber. Heart Health. Quaker Oatmeal. A super grain breakfast.

Join me in participating in the “Small Wins, Big Rewards” Sweepstakes sponsored by Glam discussion. All participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards up to a Grand Prize of a $1000 Amazon Gift Card!

Click here to join me: http://discuss.glam.com/forum/topics/quakerrewards and use #QuakerRewards or use the widget below.

I’ll be discussing the topic of, “Starting the day off right: What small wins can you accomplish as part of your morning routine to help start your day right?” on Thursday, February 9th at 4:PM PST. Also check out more discussions on Thursday, February 23rd at 4:PM PST and Thursday, March 8th at 4:PM PST

The more discussions you participate in, the better chance you have of winning! Remember you can chat about Quaker topics right now, but the official contest begin this Thursday at 4:PM PST.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Quaker via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Quaker.