How to Make Your Own Swiffer Pads and Solution

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Thank you bloglovin for today’s tip….

I will admit I love my Swifter. It makes things quick and easy on the hardwood floors.  I even have a Swifter Jet to do the kitchen floor.  So you can imagine how excited I was to find this inexpensive solution.

This is so much cheaper, with a mild scent and reusable cleaning pads.  I’m not usually one for making my own solutions BUT this seems easy enough….  It’s so simple, you’ll seriously wonder why you didn’t start making your own refills sooner.

For the cleaner, all you really need is water and white vinegar. Add a dash of dish soap to de-grease the floors and some essential oils for scent and shine. Pour the solution over your reusable rags and go to town. When you’re done, just toss the rag in the washing machine and use it again later.

If you have the Swiffer Sweeper, it’s easy to just cut up a couple of old rags for the pads. But if you have the Wet Jet, some people use chenille socks instead of terry towels. Just slip one over the Swiffer’s base and cut two small holes where the solution sprays out. And speaking of solution, to refill the Wet Jet’s bottle, submerge the cap in an inch of boiling water until the plastic softens (it should take about a minute). Then use your hands or a screw driver to gently pry off the cap. Refill the bottle with homemade solution and screw the cap back on. Voila!

Ingredients

2-3 old dish towels
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
3 drops dish soap
5 drops orange essential oil

Instructions

  1. Trim dish towels to fit the base of your Swiffer. Fold towels and place in a plastic container.
  2. In a small bowl, combine water, vinegar, dish soap and essential oils.
  3. Pour solution over the towels.
  4. Wash the floors as usual.
  5. When you’re done, toss the cleaning pad into the washing machine and reuse.

Need a place to store your DIY kit?  Why not try Thirty One’s Double Duty Caddy

Whoever said you can’t take it with you didn’t know about the Double Duty Caddy. Picnic utensils, condiments, art supplies, cleaning supplies, baby needs, cosmetics and lots more are easily transported in this sturdy, structured carrier. With two separate interior compartments and 4 exterior mesh pockets, there’s plenty of room to take whatever you need with you when you’re on the go. Not going anywhere for a while? Keep it on the kitchen table, counter or in the cupboard to hold napkins, salt and pepper shakers, sugar and more, or put it in the bathroom to keep all your beauty products together and organized.

The best part is when you spend $35 in the month of JUNE (there is still time left!), you can get ANY product in the solid crosshatch print for 50% off.  What an amazing deal and a great way to stock up on some of your favorite organizing products.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Product of the Week: Catch All Bin

The holidays are quickly approaching, okay so maybe not as fast as everyone wants you to believe BUT Christmas is only 9 weeks away.  You would think it was next week with all of the holiday decorations showing up in the stores, right?  It would be nice to get through at least Halloween before they started with the Christmas trees but since it isn’t going to happen, I figured I might as well join in the frenzy.

Every Monday for the next 8 weeks, I am going to do a “product of the week” with tips on how you can use this AWESOME product or who it would make a great gift for.

First up is the Catch-All Bin from Thirty One.  Why will you or someone you know love it?  One product with many different uses.  The Catch-All-Bin can be your answer to household clutter and disorganization. It has a large, open space and a convenient handle for easy transport, which makes it the perfect storage solution for toys, and those shoes in the entrance way.

It goes great in the guestroom to hold grooming supplies, toilet tissue, rolled up towels or throw blankets.  Why not put it in your bathroom or under the sink so everyone can stop yelling for mom when things run out?  The truth is, they will probably still call for you to help them but at least you can direct them to just one spot.Organize your kitchen pantry by using it to hold your spices and seasonings, canned goods, napkins,and even your KitchenAid.  Yes, it will hold up to 25 pounds!!!!  Know someone who just moved into a new home?  Fill the Catch All Bin with a bottle of wine or two, some glasses and snacks.  How about giving the baker some new recipes and the ingredients to make some yummy new treats?

Have some crafters on your list or maybe a seamstress or two?  Not only will the Catch All Bin hold a sewing machine but think of all of the fun notions you could fill it with for the hobby person on your holiday list.Tired of the “gift bags”?  Hate to wrap presents?  Why not use the Catch All Bin as your wrapping?One product with a multitude of uses.  What are the key reasons YOU will love Thirty One’s Catch All Bin?

  • Structured shape stands on its own
  • Collapses for easy storage
  • Single handle for easy transport
  • Large, open space
  • Monogramming and personalization options available
  • Approx. 13.5”H x 17.75”L x 8.5”D

Who on your shopping list would LOVE one of these?  Need help with personalization?  Let me be your personal shopper.

There is still time to take advantage of my layaway plan too.  Fill out the form below and let me know.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday – Quinoa Salad with a Kick

Thank you to JEN @THE HAUTE MOMMY HANDBOOK for today’s recipe.

I love quinoa and it has now become a staple in our house.  Hubby even prefers it to rice.  There is always a bag or two in the pantry.   It has lots of protein and when I was strictly vegetarian, it helped give me a little protein boost.

This is a yummy dish packed with protein and the tasty crunch of fresh veggies. This salad is very easy to assemble.   I love the fact this Quinoa salad can be served as a side or as a main course.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Generally, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10-12 minutes on low heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, pepper flakes, and salt to create the dressing.
  3. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, onions, and celery. Pour dressing over this, and toss to coat. Add cilantro and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes approximately 4-6 servings.

NOTES:

Any fresh, crunchy veggie with sweet notes can be added or substituted in this recipe. I subbed in black beans  because we prefer them BUT beans can be omitted altogether.

What is your favorite recipe?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tips on Homemaking

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Do you know what today is?  Yes, it is HUMP Day… half way through the week and halfway to the weekend.

Over the last week, we have been doing some remolding and repairs in the bathroom.  We had a small electrical fire in the lights above the medicine chest which turned into a major project.  So for about a week, the medicine chest was sitting in my living room.  I know what does this all have to do with “homemaking”, right?8133762f897b470f847f2c663562ef7f

It brought back some memories and got me motivated to clean up some of the stuff in the house.  My idea of doing chores for many years – since I have lived on my own – has been keeping things neat, a feather dusting and a quick vacuum or sweep.  Nothing major except for when I had the urge to move the furniture, then watch out.

When did I go from Saturday morning (or my day off) cleaning to just having things passable.  When did I stop paying attention to the details of housework like my mom?  I learned about cleaning and homemaking while living with my parents but the lessons never translated when I moved in on my own.

I went on the hunt for some help with homemaking hints, so I could get a refresher course.  Here are the 5 best tips, I found….

1. Practice.

Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but things do get better over time. What area do you struggle with – cleaning the bathroom? Practice. Struggling with laundry? Practice.  I never thought of these things as skills but in order to get good at them, you need to do them every day (or often) until you get really good at it.

2. Work on one area.

Or at least one area at a time. As much as you would like to, you don’t have to be on top of everything all the time!  It would be nice but truth is, it’s a juggling act.  Get the bathrooms shipshape, and then the laundry room is overflowing. Then the kitchen gets scary. And so it goes.  So take it one step at a time, one area at a time. Then repeat.  I struggle because our kitchen, dining room and living room all flow together, keeping them separate seems like even more of a struggle.

3. Give yourself grace.

We all have challenging seasons – maybe a pregnancy, a new baby, illness, job loss, or maybe moving to a new house? These are HUGE so don’t beat yourself up while going through it.  It is during these times, you need to slip into survival mode and just concentrate on the bare basics.  Honestly, I think I gave myself grace for far too long (5 years of challenging seasons).  During these times I have had enough on my hands so I am done heaping more guilt on myself.  What about you?  Do the guilt gremlins invade your space too?

4. Remember Who you are serving.

Cleaning (homemaking) was always all about pride or for my family’s sake but mostly about people pleasing.  When I didn’t do it according to the rules or the script, it was discouraging.   I woke up this morning with an AHA!  What if I am doing this as service to God—and Him only?  It really changes my perspective, the same as my dieting is pleasing to him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (or family, friends, or neighbors). ~ Col. 3:23

So, with a song in my heart and strength in my hands, I am going to it!

5. Study the craft.

I may not be studying like I did in school BUT I am looking for articles on how to do things quickly, easily and toxic free.  I am not saying the dust bunnies won’t still creep in but they won’t linger as long.  Pinterest and Google have some great tips to help with the skill of homemaking.

Here are some more tidbits of information I picked up along the way:

  • Baking soda gets the smell out of stinky spots.
  • Clean the dirtiest areas of the bathroom first and then work your way up the mirrors last.
  • Run a lemon through the garbage disposal to freshen the sink.

By learning new tricks, homemaking is becoming more manageable and not a dreaded chore.  What are some of your best tips?1342735549209_2735191

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Organizing Tips

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Is this how you feel when you think about organizing your house?  It can be overwhelming. How many times have you bought products you thought would work only to find out, the didn’t.  So, they sit in a closet mocking you.  I know, I have been there.

Here are a few simple tips to help you out…

4153597A0000Keep one basket per person in your mudroom or at the front entrance, so everyone knows where to drop off/find their personal on-the-go essentials like keys, bags, homework etc.

3794598aDo a card run – birthdays, holidays, new baby etc. – once a year and store cards in a file tote.  Thirty One offers the Celebrate Card Set for $1 per card.  Always have a card at your fingertips for the holidays, birthdays and more!

5_ice-cube-tray-storageUse ice cube trays to hold jewelry.  They can also be used for clips, erasers and other desk-drawer essentials.  A great deal at the dollar store.

blog_2012_01_24_0396 Don’t know what to do with the bread clips…Use them to label what each cord in a power bar.

6c I LOVE dry erase boards.  I keep one on the refrigerator to track the items we need at the grocery store.  I also have one in my office to note supplies which need replenishing.  Another great dollar store find!

unknown So much easier than trying to fold fitted sheets and keep everything together.

4e05b1b28a9f6fc0c9de9b9a9359283f No matter how big or small your closet it, a well-lit wardrobe is easier to keep organized. Find one which will fit your needs and your space.

8553569A0000  Buy a framed cork board or picture board to hang it in the kitchen and pin up favourite recipes, clipped from magazines.  Thirty One’s Wall Together PinBoard is perfect for this and can be personalized.

What are some of YOUR best tips for organizing on a shoe string?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!