01 October 2020

Ultimate Fall Cleaning Routine ~ Family Room

After the kitchen I would say our Family a Room areas are the worst as far as needing detailed attention. 

We have a small living room/office area that we haven’t really done anything with yet. A large bonus room/school room that has already taken a beating the last 2 weeks and then our main family room. 

I haven’t decided if I will split each room up or do it by task yet. Getting a room completely done is appealing but also not having to get supplies out more than once is too. 

Starting at the top so all the dust falls 
Dust ceiling/walls
Change filters
Start washing the couch covers 
Then wash the throw blankets, or get them out if I haven’t yet. 
Replace pillow inserts/covers if needed
Polish furniture 
Windows and window tracks 
Clean walls(I just use these and they work like a charm) 
Fill in nail holes 
Update pictures 
Clean baseboards 
Go through magazines, candles
Make sure CDs and movies are in order 
Vacuum and mop  
Spot clean rugs that can’t be washed 
Touch up wall and baseboard paint

When it’s all done, I usually treat myself to a couple new candles or something ๐Ÿงก
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23 September 2020

Ultimate Fall Kitchen Deep Cleaning Guide

Its been a few years, and a few houses, since I've updated and shared this.  Between birthdays, Halloween and then Thanksgiving, it can get pretty busy here and doing a thorough deep clean before the madness really gets underway helps things run smoother and makes decorating easier also. You know that's one of my favorite parts!

Before you even look at the list below, remember this, it takes days or even a week! Don't get overwhelmed if you don't have a chunk of time to do it. I'd  guess most of us don't, I just add a few things to my regular cleaning each day until it's done. This is meant to reduce stress, not create it :) 

First things first.. diffuse, or light a candle, good music on (if you like slightly dark sad songs, I've got ya 90 minutes on Spotify HERE lol.  The list below is in the order I go, because some stuff needs to sit and work. But you can do what you have time for. 

Oven. Get something working on that. I use Bar Keepers Friend paste and get it on the crusty parts and let it sit while I do other stuff. 

Get ready to dump stuff. Trash expired items in your fridge, freezer, pantry, spices etc. Anything you aren't going to use can go to food pantry if it's not expired.  MAKE A LIST of the things you need to replace though so you don't end up without a key ingredient.   

After the trash is done, leave the bag out and clean the inside of the trash bins. I just use hot water and some dish soap, maybe a sponge if it's really bad, usually the hot water and soap soak takes care of everything though. While that is out, I clean under the sink. Take everything out, wipe it out and don't put crap back in that we aren't going to use. 

Do the dishes, get the dishwasher going and the sink empty.  While the dishwasher is going, polish your sink. I use bar keepers friend here also, along with a Scrub Daddy.  clean the inside of the microwave. I use water in a bowl with a drop of lemon oil, microwave for 1 minute, let sit to loosen junk up and then wipe out.  I use that warm water and my sponge to clean the small appliances like our Instant Pot, that get used and ABUSED all year, every day. 

Once the dishwasher is done, I put 1/2 C of Baking soda down the disposal, and then 1 C of vinegar, run the disposal and wrap that up with about 2 C of ice.  Take the disposal cuff off (gag, trust me, so gross) and I toss that in the dishwasher, clean the dishwasher filter, also super gag, then making sure no kids are helping with dishes, and run the dishwasher on a clean cycle to get them both done. 

  1. Throw Curtains in the washer 
  2. Dust/vacuum above your cabinets
  3. Clean Out Cabinets and pantry, purge, wipe, organize etc. 
  4. Clean Window Tracks.. this is super handy 
  5. Clean Windows.  E-Cloth Polishing Cloth is my jam! I just use water with it. 
  6. Wipe Out Fridge and Freezer
  7. Get the Oven and Stove cleaned up before you start the cabinet fronts
  8. Polish/Wipe Down Cabinet Fronts
  9. Really clean your chairs, barstools and table legs
  10. Clean Baseboards. I promise if you do this every couple weeks, it will be a breeze
  11. Counters and Backsplash, use whatever you love. I love my Scrub Daddy for this too. 
  12. Sweep/Vacuum I do both when I am being really thorough. 
  13. This is not a popular opinion, I am ok with that, hands and knees scrubbing on the floor. Not the whole floor, but you know that spots the mop hasn't managed, or where it doesn't reach. I just use the eraser side of the scrub daddy and water, it doesn't take too long.  
  14. Then mop, I use a microfiber mop similar to the Spin Mop 

After that I have a huge warm drink, tea, coffee, whatever. And I rest and let the floor dry, order microwave and fridge filters that need replaced and hang curtains back up.

Then when I have time and know little hands and feet won't be a problem, I touch up the paint/stain on cabinets and baseboards, caulking and wall paint. 

DONE! Then, weekly maintenance makes Spring Cleaning feel like a breeze.

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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21 September 2020

Fall 2020 * Trying to Get Back to Real Normal* Kitchen Faves

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no perfect time to share this. 2020 has just been ๐Ÿ˜’. Just when I thought we were making the turn to a teeny tiny bit of normalcy...forest fires, whole town fires, evacuation, postponing school, smoke for days, and then more postponing school... it’s just been rough and sad and not normal in any way. 

I am hoping that I can just will some normal bits into place by trying to get back to our normal as much as we can. Usually over the summer I have purged and made sure we have all the things we need in good condition. One area I’ve needed to replace stuff and do some shopping for, is the kitchen. We had a TINY kitchen before and sacrificed having utensils and convenient items that took up space. 

I'm also going to get started on our Fall Cleaning this week, starting in the kitchen. Now is a good time to address needs/wants, space and value before buying anything.  That will FEEL normal to me, even if nothing else does. The end of September is our normal deep cleaning. 

Now we have an abundance of room but I want to be mindful and stick to useful items. I’m sharing my top 9, most used, kitchen must haves for our busy family of 6.  There are a few things I still want to add, like an airfryer, I need to make sure we have room for it. 

  1. Instant Pot 
We have 2. And use at least 1 a day. It’s so versatile, yes it takes up a good chunk of space but it is SO worth it! 

  1. Butter Bell
There are so many to choose from and really do keep butter soft and fresh! 

  1. Immersion Blender
It’s been my favorite for sneaking in a TON of veggies to soups, it doesn’t take up much space. 

  1. E-Cloths 
Worth the money, they truly get our stainless sparkling with just water, and I don't love to have, or use a bunch of icky cleaning products. 

  1. Dutch Oven 
Especially for Fall. I feel like slow cooking is just so much better in a Dutch Oven. The versatility of stove top to oven makes it worth the space for me. 

Seriously, the best! They are so weird, I don't know how they work but I love em! No scratching, safe on the counters and easily scrubs off dirty dishes. 

They are just cute! And I like that they don't take up a lot of room when not in use, they stand up when in use so I can line them up in the fridge or pantry easily. 

These stack nicely, I don't worry about them changing temperature and breaking. And, no dishes. That's a win.

These are the perfect size for kid snacks, and they don't look babyish. There are all kinds of shapes but these hexagon ones are so cute!  

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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17 July 2020

Baked Oatmeal Oatmeal Bites

Baked Oatmeal 

I really love this, it was SO tasty and easy to throw together, there’s about a hundred different ways to make it different. Dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips. 

All you do is dump it all in a bowl and mix it up. Then pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Alternatively you can fill about 15 cupcake liners 1/2-3/4 full and bake for the same time. I prefer the cupcake liner method.  I love these silicone liners. The colors are ๐Ÿ˜. 

1 1/2 C Quick Oats 
3/4 C Milk (of your choice) 
1/2 C Brown Sugar 
1 Egg
1/4 C Butter Melted 
1/2 Cup Nut Butter melted ish. Enough that you can stir it in. 
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla 
1/2 tsp Salt 
1 tsp Baking Powder

That’s it! Let them cool a little bit and eat right away or completely cool and they are simple to cut, and easy to grab and go.  With the muffin version, I let cool then flash froze and tossed in a gallon bag for quick breakfast on the go. They thaw pretty quick! 

Once you make them you can see what consistency they start at and go from there with adding different stuff.
 I added chocolate chips to ours and made them muffin style the last time I made them. 
I want to use coconut and coconut milk on a batch too with some pecans maybe. 
Cranberry and dried apple is one of my favorite combos. 
Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla protein, dried peaches or strawberry, some jam (maybe reduce the sugar a bit)  so many possibilities! 

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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