Archives for the month of: August, 2012

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After living four years in our travel trailer, I came to understand that storage was very important. If it didn’t comfortably fit in the cabinet, it had to go. One item that was not allowed was a full size toaster. For such infrequent use, it was given away.

Growing up my mom and dad always had this sort of flip up toaster with us during camping trips. It stores flat and works on electric and propane ranges.
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The toaster worked great for me while living in the trailer (260 sq. ft.) as well as living in our new house (which is 980 sq. ft.). It doesn’t take up counter space and handy enough to use a couple times a week. The toaster costs appx. $6, not bad, and takes about 5 minutes to toast 4 halves of bagels.
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I was on the site: Organizing Home Life the other day and Ginny, the author, made a post about labeling your leftovers in the fridge using dry erase crayons. *Go to her site here*
Dry erase crayons?! I didn’t even know these existed! After all these years (ok, only about 2) I’ve had to suffer the effect of letting my oldest daughter learn to yield a dry erase marker, getting it all over her hands and things. Crayons are great, dry erase crayons? Even better.

So anyways, I bought a pack of dry erase crayons and found that in addition to being able to write on Pyrex lids, I could write on other things too. Think of some of the benefits. Remember seeing those trendy drinking glasses in the store with the bit of chalkboard paint on them so you can use chalk to label your glass? Well now you can use the glasses and cups you already own. When you’re ready to label things you can mark drinking glasses, wine glasses, plastic cups, glass bowls, heck, I even wrote on my kitchen counter, windows, mirrors and coffee cup. Non-porous surfaces are the key. The crayon writing doesn’t rub off easily but with a little bit of water and a rag it wipes clean.

Trying to rub off with a dry rag

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Rubbing it off with a damp rag

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20120806-201956.jpgI was pondering one day of how I could speed up and improve the shower stall cleaning process when I came up with an idea to use an orbital sander with a magic eraser attached to the unit. It didn’t work out so well, the magic eraser fell apart almost instantly and then there was that lingering question floating around my head “will I get electrocuted?” The orbital sander was plugged into the electric socket. I decided to try something else.

A battery powered drill was safe as far as no electric currents flowing through it and a quick search of drill attachments led me to the idea of a bristled carpet brush. So I ordered it and tried it out and the results were interesting. I feel like you do save time by having the bristles work their magic to get the shower build up off. However, if you think you won’t get a work out, you’re wrong! That drill is a heavy sucker!

Cleaners should majorly help in speeding up the cleaning process, right? Well, in this cleaning experiment I tried Ajax, bleach, and an all purpose cleaner. My take on it all is that the cleaners didn’t seem to pull their weight. The bleach was the best (but also the most dangerous) but even STRAIGHT bleach would not remove the toughest build up. In desperation, I grabbed a pumice stone that was in the shower as my last attempt. Low and behold it worked. It chiseled it right off. So I’d say my quest for a cleaning detergent is not over but I’m glad to say I have found a few unlikely tools to make my time cleaning in the shower more rewarding.

Before
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After
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Difficulty: Easy peasy. Materials needed: Sta-Flo liquid starch, Elmers Glue-All liquid Glue, food coloring, measuring cup (optional), spoon, bowl, scrap newspaper or paper towel, and a airtight jar of some sort for storing it.

This was a rewarding project to do outside with my 5 year old. It turned out just like store bought silly putty but even better because we got to make it.
Arrange your arsenal of supplies:

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Measure out the glue, we used a whole bottle.
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Add the food coloring… Pretty!
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Pour into bowl, then measure the exact same amount of Sta-Flo as you used Elmers Glue. We used a measuring cup because reading about other peoples silly putty adventures, getting equal amounts is key.
Pour Sta-Flo into the bowl now and stir.
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Whoa! Looks crazy! Let it soak for about five minutes, stir again.
Take the gunk out and let sit on newspaper or paper towel for a couple minutes to drain off extra liquid.
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Then squeeze and press the stuff till it resembles silliness.
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And then play.
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This putty is such a cool texture, it stretches and melts but doesn’t leave visible residue on hands or table. Note that if for whatever reason water or liquid gets on it, it will make a horrible mess! Keep it dry for sure.
Store in an airtight container and enjoy day after day.
For a birthday present idea, put the putty in a cool container, and throw in a couple of google-y eyes. For a batch that made about a cup of putty, it cost around $2.37, add $1 for a latch top airtight glass from the dollar store and you’ve got a unique fun gift to give for under $5.

You know how it goes, you spend forever scouring your glass shower door yet those stubborn water stains don’t come off. Not even a little bit.
Well it seems as though a tip passed through a mom to her daughter to her friend to her friends daughter in law to you has saved the day!!
[Cue dryer sheet and applause]

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That’s right, try using a dryer sheet and watch the stains go away. I purchased this box of dryer sheets for .97 and you get 40 sheets. That’s two pennies a sheet, not bad.

For those non believers out there I took a before and after picture of a jar that had held my soap bars in my shower for about 2 months. All the dish soap and scrubbing would not get the stains off.
Before
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After
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Thank you Lila for the tip!

Note: I recommend wearing gloves of course, as with any other cleaner.