Keeping Clean

Or:
Some sweet cleaning pins I discovered
and can’t imagine Life without them now

People are always saying to me, “Kat, how do you manage it all? Keeping such a spotless house and a cool head.”

That is a complete lie. No one has ever said that to me. In fact, one friend said, “this is the cleanest I’ve ever seen your house!” Once when he came to visit. And he was actually paying me a compliment.

I do not want a Martha Stewart house by any means. I love homes that are lived in by real people. However, there is a certain level of organization that I believe my home lacks.

I have discovered a few Pinterest links that have served me well. I wish to share these with my readers so you can have the same amount of control over one miniscule aspect of your life. These aren’t life hacks. Life isn’t easy and espcially when it comes to keeping a home.

1. Fan Blade Dusting

I can’t imagine returning to Plato’s Cave again. This one is amazing. It is stupid how easy this makes dusting fan blades. Take a pillowcase and pull it over a single fan blade. Add a bit of pressure to the top and bottom of the blade as you pull the pillowcase off.
You won’t get a face full of dust and you won’t sneeze a hundred times. If you missed a spot on the fan blade just recover it with the pillowcase and do it again. Once all the fan blades have been dusted, throw the pillowcase directly into the washer.
Thank you, Apartment Therapy! Source

2. (Sorta) Homemade Fabric Softener

Instead of tossing/recycling the old fabric softener bottle keep it around and refill it. Combine 6 cups water, 3 cups white vinegar and 2 cups hair conditioner. The original poster said to stir not shake to avoid suds. I shook and had no issues.
Thank you, Jillee @ One Good Thing! Source.

3. Liquid Concentrated Laundry Detergent

I tried making a powder laundry detergent but (I assume) because my washer is HE it doesn’t use as much water and the powder ended up clumping. So I took the powder that I had painstakingly put together, added it to water with a bit of dawn soap and boom. Perfection.
Part one includes grating a Fels Naptha bar (optional), Borax, OxyClean washing powder and baking soda. Part two, mix 1 1/2 cups of mixed powder, half cup of dawn dish liquid and warm/hot water shaking as you fill up the jug to ensure all the soap has dissolved.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source & Source.

4. Clean Front Load Washing Machine

This absolutely needs to be done. We clean our washer about once every two months or so. We should really do it more because after cleaning we can smell a significant difference in the quality of the clean clothes. Run first hot water cycle with empty washer and  2 cups vinegar in the detergent slot. Run second hot water cycle with 2 cups bleach. Run third water cycle with just plain water. Remove the soap dispensers and soak/wash them in the sink. Take a cloth damped with very diluted bleach water and wipe down the rubber gaskets around the door. The last steps sound tedious compared to the press-button cleaning process. I promise it is all worth it.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source.

5. Homemade Body Wash

There are tons of recipes out there for grate and heat body wash. gratedbarliquidsoapAny old Google search will reveal tons with slight differences. I honestly don’t have all the answers. I feel like each brand of soap will give slightly different results. However I will share my best tips for making it.
Combine 3 tablespoons of glycerine, 6 cups of water and 3 bars of soap (grated) in huge cook pot. Heat on medium to melt soap flakes. Avoid boiling! Burnt soap is a bad, bad thing. Once the soap bits are completely melted turn off the stove and allow the soapy water to sit overnight. Next day use a hand mixer to break things up. Add more water if you feel that the mixture is too thick. Bottle and go.

6. Bathtub Scrub

For some reason I haven’t been able to hunt down the the proper recipe original pinner I copied the idea from. Many apologies to the person I took this idea from. Grab a spray bottle and mix together equal parts of dawn dish liquid and white vinegar. Spray this all over your disgusting shower and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on your free time. As a warning to sensitive people, the combo of these two makes for a strong smell. If you are sensitive you may open a window when you go to wipe down and rinse off the walls of the shower.

7. Organized Cupcake Liners

This is much like the first tip above. Very simple and it makes life just that much easier. Take all the random half cellophane masonjarcraftsblogcupcakelinerorganizationwrappers full of your mismatched  cupcake liners and stack them in a mason or bell jar. My only complaint about this is I usually want the V-day/Xmas/Halloween liners that I have put at the bottom of the stack. It looks pretty in the cabinets I think and you know we all secretly want beautiful cabinets.
Thank you, Mason Jar Crafts Blog! Source.

8. Cheaters Car Wash

This is a great in-between washes way of making your car a bit more presentable. Use Pledge or a similar off brand furniture polish. This cuts the nasty road grease. After you wipe away all the nasty get a fakeitfrugalpledgecarwashclean microfiber cloth or paper towels and buff the residue until you can see your face. I bought the cheap store brand version and it worked just as promise.
Thank you Fake-It Frugal! Source.

9. Denture Clean Water Bottle

This is another easy one to help avoid the soapy taste and nasty bacterial smell after filling up your reusable bottle. Grab two of the denture cleanser tablets and toss them into your bottle with warm water. Allow to soak before dumping and rinsing the bottle.
Thank you, Jenny @ Popsugar! Source.

10. Homemade Windex

Easy to mix up and works better than the store brand. You’ll a spray bottle, 1/8 cup white ammonia, 1/4 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol and 1 drop of laundry detergent and warm water to fill the bottle up. This is great in the bathroom for good cleaning and doesn’t leave streaks on mirrors/windows.
Thank you, Fake-It Frugal! Source.

Cold: Workouts, Car Troubles, and Dogs

I have been trying to work out daily or every other day. This week has been a trial, however, because my car has been going super gimp mode. Trouble starting mostly and I am getting to the point where jumping is part of my normal routine.

Thankfully we found out the issue. The Cold Cranking Amps or CCA on a battery really matters when your temps get down into freezing or single digits. The CCA was 500 for my bug and my mechanic informed me it simply isn’t enough power to start my diesel in this cold weather. I was so thankful to find out it wasn’t the alternator or something else worse and unimaginable.

My husband and I went on the hunt last night and bought a battery we were told would fit my car. Once we got it home, Kit found it was too tall. The fusebox lid and also the hood would not close.
So the saga continues. I fully plan to pick up my regular workout routine once my car stops being silly.

Because of the cold weather, we have had a house full of dogs most nights. In addition to my beagle we have two big dogs that dominate the couch.
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They are the most thankful dogs in the world. They have behaved beautifully and adored their warm indoor time. The first night was rough because they aren’t used to crates—lots of whining–but since then they have understood and go right to sleep.

The rest of my winter has been insulated bibs, hot tea, blankets, socks and snuggling up.
Come on Spring……

Day 139: New Car

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Bought this new-to-us car a month ago from my brother and sister-in-law.
I am making small paymenta to them for a little while.

I am loving this bug because it is much bigger on the inside than it looks. The trunk holds at least 1.5 bodies. Chopped up because it isn’t a long trunk. The skilled packer could fit more.

My bug or The Cave Beetle as it has been named is diesel with a standard transmission. I have been learning to drive it. I am pretty confident driving now but cities make me nervous because people drive like morons.
Everyday is a lesson in driving, grasshopper.

Day Fifty-Eight: Pimpin’ Ride

new wheels

This is my new ride that came home with my fiance last Sunday. He and the car traveled from California to get home. Yesterday I took it and got it registered in my county under my name.

I got to replace the license plate, put on a turtle seat cover, shoulder strap pad, visor CD holder and bumper stickers.
It is slowly becoming more and more my own car. My starting bumper stickers are my caver sticker (black bats with a yellow background) and a bright orange sticker that says I <3 Caffeine. I’m hoping that this sticker will encourage strangers to offer to buy me coffee.

My 4Runner drives very very differently than my low riding Oldsmobile, but I’m getting used to it and love it.

Kit also purchased a roof rack for my car so as soon as I get that put on I will be able to throw on a canoe or kayak and hit the river! Just gotta wait on more warm weather and this blasted rain to stop.

Back from a Walk in the Woods

Sorry I forgot to warn my droves of readers that I would be gone during this week on a class camping trip. I have returned, a day early, and will surely share silly stories soon.

I cannot wait to show everyone my new vehicle that traveled cross country to be with me. He’s still got California plates and he needs a name. At first I was wary of driving him, but I am slowly falling more in love with him and claiming him as part of my belongings. I have a couple of bumper stickers, a seat cover and some rear view mirror hangings I want to apply.

I also have exciting news to share about internship possibilities for the summer.

I hope your week was beautiful.

Day Fifty: RIP Truffle

Pimp mobile from 2007-2011

Yesterday, on my way to meet my way to meet up for a class trip my car just stopped running. Thankfully, it was before I hit the Interstate. Since this car is as old as me, I figured that perhaps the gas gauge was wrong and it was merely out of gas.

Walked to the gas station, bought a can and some gas and walked back. Still no luck after that. I called a tow truck and arranged for my professor to pick me up on the way to our camping area.

In addition to my professor picking me up along the way, he used his AAA card to save me about $50 from the towing cost. It still cost me around $40, but that is much better than paying a hundred bucks. I’m going to have to buy him lunch sometime to pay him back. As sweet as his gesture was, I feel awful that I needed that help.

My mechanic announced my car DOA. No compression of pistons means the engine won’t move. This ’89 is not worth the money to get it fixed.
If my car had lasted another week and a half then my new-to-me car would be in my driveway.

Instead, I had to bum a ride home from a classmate and borrow my parents car for the week. If anybody needs help, please let me know. I gotta throw a balance back into my karma.