Monday, March 25, 2013

Pinterest Testing: Blue Dawn + White Vinegar = cleaner

So all over Pinterest I see the pins for the blue dawn + white vinegar to make the best and easiest and non-scrubbing cleaner EVER!   Seems too good to be true....

So I tried it today.  We all know I hate to clean.  Unless of course I drink too much coffee or I am avoiding something like report cards or grading or other school work.   :)   Then I can't stop cleaning!

First - check your cabinets to see if you have BLUE dawn and white vinegar. Unfortunately I didn't have either!   And why does it have to be blue dawn?  No one knows, but everything says blue is the color to get.

I tried the dollar store luck for either so off to Giant (our grocery) I went.

$3.64 for a 24 oz bottle of blue Dawn and $1.19 for a 16 oz bottle of white vinegar.   Less than $5 and this is reported to clean my tub, toilet, sink, mirrors, floors and carpet stains.  I'll pay that!

Heat your 12 oz of vinegar in the microwave, not till hot, just warm.  Add it to your spray bottle.  Add 12 oz of blue Dawn and shake gently (more like swirl) to mix without too many suds.  I mixed these in the bigger measuring cup instead so I could get a pic of what they look like.
Spray all over your tub and sink - I did the mirrors too.  It was very blue.  (and many of you know I'm not a fan of blue at all.  Ick)

Leave it sit for a few minutes - 30 to 60 minutes was recommended.   I wiped the mirrors promptly.   The other things I did leave on for about 30 minutes.   I was able to wipe off most of my ick from the shower and tub.

A couple of the issues that came up:  It was hard to get all the suds away.  This kept foaming and foaming.  The sink was the worst....At least in the shower I was able to keep rinsing.  A few places the grout actually looked a little blue!  NOT good!   I scrubbed it with a microfiber cloth (and then rinsed that out) and the blue went away.

The good:  The mirrors sparkle and shine, the faucets sparkle and shine.  The porcelain looks great.

The mediocre:  I was really hoping the whole stain would come off the "textured" bottom of my shower/tub.   I hate that the texture looks grey in a white tub.  I'm sure it's just because it's old...but I wanted this to be sparkly too!   It lightened the staining but it remains light gray.. Maybe if I leave it on longer next time!  The bathroom smelled like vinegar - but that is much better than the smell of chemicals that usually give me headaches!

So good!

On to the carpet spots.  Unfortunately I didn't take any before or after pics.  The pinterest folks said to use a  2 to 1 mixture of vinegar to water (who says we never use ratios!) for the carpet.  I was afraid it would turn my neutral colored carpet blue!!   I used my Bissel SpotLifter (the old version of the SpotBot) to scrub and clean the floor.  It worked beautifully!   The only problem was a little more sudsing than I would have preferred.  The spots came out, the carpet looks great.  :)

All in all - I think this is a good alternative to buying the chemical cleaners for the bathroom! WIN!

Sweet Potato Fries and Chips

Lately I have really wanted some crunch - sweet potatoes are a good substitute for potatoes or other crunchy junk.  :)   But most of the packaged pre-made kinds are cooked in canola oil or sunflower oil.  The sunflower oil is probably ok, but not being sure of the process of it....or what other chemical additives are included is not something I enjoy eating anymore!  Or they are dusted in sugar!

Soo, I started out by peeling a small pile of sweet potatoes.  This is the first time I've made my own chips!  

Cut the sweet potatoes into small thin slices (I don't have a mandolin so I used my cheese slicer.  Talk about a hazard!  Be careful not to slice your knuckles!) or sticks for fries.

I heated about 1/3 of a jar of Coconut Oil in a large, deep, heavy steel pan.  I chose a deep pan because i didn't want any splattering or splashing out. The heavy duty steel pan heats evenly and slowly.  I heated my oil on medium-high, but after the first batch I turned it a little closer to medium then medium-high.  My coconut oil was solid when I scooped it out of the jar, but it liquefied really quickly.  It was such a clear, pure oil in the pan!
Add a small batch of slices.  They don't take very long to cook - between 30 seconds and a minute probably.   Scoop them out with a slotted spoon (or a mesh scoop if you have one!) and onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

I did the chips in small batches.  They need space to avoid touching each other.  Be sure to dry them off on paper towels so the oil doesn't make them soggy.

Next I added the fries.  These cooked for a couple of minutes.

Look how yummy these treats look!   Definitely not an everyday food, but much better to have control over the ingredients in these sweet potato fries and chips!   Add some coarsely ground sea salt and they are yummmmmmy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Baby Banner - Welcome Baby Boy!

A couple of weekends ago, I was so blessed to be able to show my friend some love as she welcomes her new baby boy.    We threw her a cute, bright and sunshiny baby-boy shower.

I made a banner with my scrapbook supplies.  It was fun to do some traditional (paper) scrapbooking instead of the digital pages I have been working on.   Unfortunately I was so excited while I was scrapping that I didn't take any step-by-step pictures!

First, I cut cardstock into triangles.  This cardstock will be covered by patterened paper so it doesn't matter what the color or pattern of the cardstock.  Just use what you have available!  I made the tops of the banners 5 inches.

Next, cut your paper to the same size triangles and adhere it to the cardstock.

Finally it is time for the best step!   Stamping and embellishing.  Add flower, fancy brads, embossing powder and be sure to ink the edges!

String it together with some sparkly ribbon and enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

2012 Photo A Day - DONE!

So last January I wrote about this new, highly ambitious plan I had to take a photo a day.  Crazy, right?  Well, fast forward a year and I have done it!  In any old, average year I think this would be a very cool project, but this year in particular, with the changes I have made in my health and my life (and consequently my weight loss) this project (which I started BEFORE I decided to change my life) has been so incredible at documenting the change.   I am thankful for these images and the Project Life scrapbook I have (a 2 page layout with the 7 pictures from each week) and I certainly will cherish them!