How to clean your microfiber furniture

Good morning all, just got back from wal-mart to pick up my daughters present for her 7th birthday! 7 years old already I can’t believe it!

So while I was picking up a $50 photo fashion Barbie (whatever happened to plain ol’ Barbie dolls like we had growing up?) I had also picked up a few cleaning supplies. I have a microfiber sofa and recliner and since the day my husband picked them out, I complained LOL. We got the usual sales pitch “very comfy, easy to clean”, easy to clean my backside! This furniture was awful, we had 2 toddlers with sticky fingers touching it and oh my gosh, it just wouldn’t come off!

Well, I found a cure! And, best of all, it is CHEAP! All you need is a spray bottle, rubbing alcohol and a scrub sponge (with a white scrubber area). Do not dilute the alcohol and just spray it right on the soiled area and scrub. Voila! It is done and it looks like new and I now love my furniture!

Don’t worry about it smelling like alcohol, I know I was but the smell goes away as soon as it dries, but while working you may want to open a window the fumes are strong.

As always, thanks for reading! Have a happy Monday!

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haven’t been on in a while

With the mad dash called the holidays and the kids being on winter vacation as well as Ryan, I haven’t had time or energy to post in a bit. Thankfully the house is back in order and the family is back to school and work, I now have time to veg with a cup of coffee and blog a bit.

I really wanted to post right after christmas some of my favorite recipes for the left overs that I am sure we have all had. Turkey could be made into soup or a delious homemade turkey pot pie, or even a stew with dumplings. Ham can me made into ham and potato soup with cheese or ham and dumplings. (I’m getting hungry LOL) And even stuffing can be used for either stuffed chops or chicken.

But it is January now, a new year and the left overs are gone and we are all heading back to our lives. I will have to think of other things to post. Mainly since many people have the resolution to become more organized, I will touch on that as organization is a hobby for me.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and hope you all have a great day ūüôā

Finally

Christmas is over! The mad house is closed and no more lunatics can get in. In other words, no more of my family or in-laws are coming to visit! Now I have the awful task of taking down the Christmas decorations and putting my home back in order. I wish I had a list or tips on how to do that lol. When it comes to cleaning, I can nail just about any problem you could throw at me, except the removal of any and all holiday decorations. It took me 3 days to take down the Halloween gear. Well, I shall take one last sip of coffee and start cramming things in various totes and boxes. My wonderful husband will have the task of dragging the tree outside later on today when he decides to get up lol.

Holiday Cookie Recipes

Here is a list of the cookies I am making for the upcoming holiday and the recipes. Hope you try them and enjoy them.

Dark chocolate & mint cookies:

2 1/4 c unsifted flour                          3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda                                1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt                                                2 eggs

1 cup butter, softened                        2 c dark chocolate & mint morsels

3/4 c sugar

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl combine sugar, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat with mixer until creamy and then beat in the eggs. Gradually add the flour mixture stirring with sturdy wooden spoon, mix well. add in the morsels and gently fold in. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

Holiday Snowballs

2 c. cake flour                                                1 tsp. vanilla

1 6 oz. package of semi-sweet morels      1 tbs. water

3/4 c butter                                                    1/3 c. sugar

Pre-heat oven to 300. Combine butter, vanilla, water and sugar in a bowl. Mix in the cake flour and stir in the morsels. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in colored sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Fudge:

2 c sugar                                      1/3 c peanut butter

1/2 c milk                                     7 oz container of marshmellow fluff

Grease a rectangular cake pan. In a medium sauce pan, mix together sugar and milk stirring constantly over low heat until it comes to a hard boil. Boil it for 3 minutes continuing to stir. Take it off of the burner and mix in fluff and peanut butter. Pour into baking dish and chill for 2 hours in the fridge.

Cream Puffs:

1 c water                                     4 large eggs

1/2 c butter                                cream filling (recipe below)

1 c flour                                       powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400. Heat water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously over low heat for about 1 minute or until mix forms a ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs all at once with a spoon. Continue beating until smooth. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart on an ungreased sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool away from a draft about 30 minutes. Cut off top third of each puff, pull out any stringy and soft dough. Fill puffs with cream filling, replace tops and dust with powdered sugar. cover and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Cream Filling (cream puffs):

1/3 c sugar                              2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tbs. corn starch                   2 tbs butter

1/8 tsp salt                               2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, corn starch and salt in a 2 quart sauce pan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl, gradually stir 1/2 milk mixture into the yolks and then stir back into pan. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla, pour into bowl and press plastic wrap onto filling. Place in fridge for 1 hour.

Forgotten cookies:

2 egg whites                                              1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract                                  1 pinch of salt

a few drops green food dye                    1 c. chocolate chips

preheat oven to 325. beat egg whites with salt until foamy. add food dye and then slowly add sugar in 1 tablespoon at a time beating until meringue stands stiff. stir in vanilla and fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a sheet lined with parchment paper. put in oven for 2 minutes (yes only 2) shut off oven and leave the sheet with the cookies in there over night. It slowly bakes them the rest of the way and then gradually cools them.

 

I’ll post the rest of the recipes in a little while.

2 c milk

 

Giving multi-purpose a new definition

When it comes to keeping up on our homes, we will try just about anything to make it easier and perfect. I have found a few tips and tricks using items not exactly designed for cleaning useful. Here is a list of many items in your home that can function as amazing cleaning agents.

Fabric softener sheets:

I keep a box downstairs and upstairs. Obviously they are great in the laundry but sticking one at the bottom of you kitchen trash bin keeps it smelling fresh, just change it out every time you take out the garbage. For really stuck on, burnt on food on stainless steel or glass cookware, boil some water, place a fabric softener sheet in the pan and pour the water over it. let it soak over night and the mess wipes out easily. In the bathroom, keep a sheet in the trash bin. Linen closets stay fresh when a sheet it placed in there as well. Bedroom closets and dressers also stay fresh with a sheet in the drawers and on the shelves. Swipe a sheet over lamp shades to collect dust and freshen the material.

*It doesn’t have to be name brand sheets, just something that smells great.*

Toothpaste:

Crayon and pencil marks on the walls come up fast with a bit of white toothpaste (not gel) and a little bit of scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Polish the handles on the tap with some toothpaste and an old brush, rinse well and they are sparkling. Also serves as an excellent jewelry cleaner.

Powdered laundry soap:

This works really well when cleaning a bathtub, a small cheap box goes a long way and can get rid of soap scum amazingly well. Also brightens up stainless steel kitchen sinks.

 

There you have it. Toothpaste, fabric softener and powdered laundry soap has more uses around the house than a lot of people think. Thanks for allowing me to share!

 

Christmas cookies…my nightmare!!!!

As much as I love to bake I always fear the Christmas baking. There is always just too much. This year (and all the others since I’ve lived on my own) I have just waited way too long. It is 6 days until Christmas and not one cookie has been made. I ran to our local grocery store this morning and the baking aisle was a maze of stressed out women fighting over powdered sugar…ok well, maybe they weren’t actually fighting for it but in my mind I saw grandma 1 bop grandma 2 in the head with her cane while wrestling that last bag free from her grasp. Horrible, I know, but I get bored shopping.

So after getting my baking paraphernalia home, I looked at the loot and wanted to cringe. What was I thinking? I could have stuck with cut-out cookies that all I had to do was bake and the kids could go crazy with the icing and sprinkles. Nope, not Mary lol! I have to do it the hard way.

With 6 days to go, my baking list looks like this: Cut outs, peanut butter blossoms, mint chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, peanut butter balls, oreo balls, chocolate covered cherries and almond bark.

I end this entry while tying on an apron, wish me luck for today, the oven will surely conquer me.

deep cleaning your kitchen

 

Taken from the same book as my bathroom list, Darlene provides an excellent kitchen deep clean that you can break up over a few days or take a few hours and get it done in one day like i tend to do. I also use many of these same steps in my weekly/daily cleaning routine. the kitchen and the bathroom are the 2 rooms in any house that should be kept up on religiously. so here we go straight from Darlene: deep clean your kitchen

Cupboards:

1. Empty cupboards and place items on table or counter tops. and give each cupboard a good cleaning out with soapy water and a rag and then wipe dry. also grab a stool and wash the tops of the cupboards if there is space between them and the ceiling.

2. take a look at everything you have and decide what can be tossed, what expired (seasonings tend to be kept longer than anything else) and any dishes that can be donated. Other big items like punch bowls or seasonal dishes should be boxed up and moved into a storage closet, basement or garage. they take up space and are not used that often.

3. organize and move all the items back to the cupboards

Drawers:

1. again, empty the contents onto the table or counter. use the hose of your vacuum to clean out any dust, crumbs or debris (i do this once to twice a week) wipe out each drawer with a damp soapy cloth then wipe dry. again look at everything and see what can be tossed. wash out the organizer that you keep your silverware in

2. put everything back in

Fridge and pantry:

Again, i do this once to twice a week too, but go with whatever works for you.

1. fill a clean bucket with warm soapy water and set aside

2. empty the fridge completely and wipe down all shelves, remove any that can be taken out and give it a good wash in the sink, especially the crisper drawers.

3. toss out any expired food and wipe down the jugs and jars and place them back in the fridge. (any dishes that came from the fridge can be tossed in the dishwasher or put in a hot soapy sink to be washed)

4. clear any clutter off the top of the fridge and give it a good wiping down.

5. remove everything from the pantry and wipe down the shelves with a soapy rag and dry. toss out anything you do not need and re-package anything that needs to be. ( i love my tupperware food savers, i use them for rice, noodles, cereal, chips ect.) place items back neatly. sweep and mop the pantry floor when done.

Stove and small appliances:

1. remove any removable parts including the door to make reaching in easier. put knobs and grease catchers (the little metal bowl things that are under the burner) in a sink of warm soapy water.

2. boil a bit of water in the microwave and pour a small puddle on the top of the stove, cover with a rag in places that have tough stains. and let sit until the rag is cool, the stains wipe right up. after that, i usually open the top of my stove and wipe that out really really good.

3. *if you dont have a self cleaning oven* take out oven racks and spray oven with whatever cleaner you use for that and let it soak in for an hour (CM break works well in this time lol) when time is up, wipe it out but get a bucket of water and a few unused rags and rinse the oven with that really good.

4. wash the knobs and stove wells and put the stove back together. clean the oven door since it has been removed really good. if you have a glass window for it, spray window cleaner on it, let it sit for a while and wipe and rinse it well.

5. remove the drawer from under the stove and empty it. vacuum and wash it out, replace items and put it back. then wipe down the range fan

6. fill a glass bowl with water add 1/4 c of vinegar to it and stick it in the micro for 3 minutes, enough to steam the inside. wipe it down  really good. take the microwave plate and put it in the dishwasher if yours is removable. wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.

7. dump toaster crumbs in trash and wipe it down with warm water, vacuum loose crumbs from counter and floor. wipe down all other small appliances with soapy water and run a pot of vinegar thru coffee pot (one pot vinegar 4 pots water)

floors, counter tops, exterior surfaces:

1. pull out your fridge and sweep behind it. vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge as well and wipe down the walls behind the fridge. Mop that area well with hot water and a bit of vinegar. while the fridge is out i normally wipe the sides of it down that i cant normally reach. Repeat for the stove. move back into place

2. look at your counters and see what you don’t need and toss. wash counter tops with hot water and vinegar. use a bit of powdered dish washing soap in a damp cloth for tough stains.

3. *i use Murphy’s wood oil soap but dish soap can be fine too.* wash down the outside of your cupboards and drawers really well. then using hot soapy water, wipe down the walls of the kitchen. dust any wall hangings with a damp cloth too. and give your table and chairs a really good wipe down. wipe down light switches and door knobs too

4. wash your kitchen curtains and rugs and clean your windows, window tracks and the window sill.

5. using window cleaner or vinegar and water wash the exterior of the fridge, stove & dishwasher

6. sweep up the floor and mop with hot water and vinegar or a bit of pinesol.

*for those with a self clean oven- vacuum any debri you see in your oven and set it. when it is done and COOL vacuum again and then wipe out with water.*

Darlene added this in her book

A kitchen prayer

thank god for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell; while others may go hungry we’re eating very well. with home, health and happiness, I shouldn’t want to fuss, by the stack of evidence, god’s been very good to us. (or whatever higher power or lack there of you believe in lol)