Category Archives: home

the bookshelves!

You saw ’em being cleaned, here they are in action! (Can a bookshelf be ‘in action’?!)

There are notes all over the picture at flickr (click the picture to go there) explaining various items on the shelves.

The kids’ bookshelves are a little lacking, which matches that part of our family… but someday that’ll change 🙂 Once again, you can go to flickr for tagged explanations.

Other than that: 1) I added a My Bookshelf page for the virtual version of all this, and 2) I turn 24 tomorrow!

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natural furniture polish

We just got our new, free, furniture: bookshelves! We’ve been using a shoe cabinet for over a year and a half now, so it’s nice to have a real place for books… somewhere they can actually stand up so we can see all the titles!

The shelves are old wooden crates, stacked with pegs. (The stools are old-new too, but they were bought v. free… mostly included cuz they’re neat, hand-made, second-hand, and they fold up!) The wood looked dusty, but after dusting and cleaning them all, they looked the same! That’s when I did research online and combined advice from several different sites to figure out a furniture polish recipe. It didn’t work, so I experimented until it did! Here’s the resulting recipe, which worked GREAT:

natural furniture polish recipe

2 parts vinegar + 1 part oil + 1 part water

I started with 2 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 Tbsp water. I first cleaned the shelves with my regular vinegar & water spray, and let them dry. Then I stirred this furniture polish with a chopstick in a small bowl, dipped a clean cloth into it, and began polishing! You can’t really tell the difference until it’s dry, but then you can tell.

note: Test this out in a small area. If it doesn’t seem to ever dry, but always feels greasy to the touch, you may need to add more vinegar or try less oil next time. This formula was perfect for me. I’ve heard of people using apple vinegar instead of white and vegetable oil instead of olive. Let me know if you try it!

Before/after shots:

On the left side, I’ve cleaned and polished. The right side was cleaned but not polished.

1) before polish

2) after polish

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Simply Delicious

I know this has been floating around online for quite awhile, but I just got around to making one myself. The ingredient list isn’t particularly appealing, but this is a delicious take on ‘cup’ cake that you can make in minutes using your microwave! (And doesn’t it look great in our Chinese tea-steeping mug?!)

I originally found the recipe at Dizzy Dee: Chocolate Cake in 5 Minutes!

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Oatmeal PBB Drink

Hang out with me very long… especially on spring & summer afternoons when I’m home alone… and you’ll discover my obsession for what I call PBB. A PBB is any drink that involves peanut butter and a banana. I’ve made kazillions of varieties (smoothies, shakes, etc.) in the past, but keep trying new recipes every time they turn up.

Enter the Oatmeal PBB. I found it in some magazine (sorry to not credit which one) awhile back and typed it into my springpad cookbook under “Healthy Snacks.” ‘Cuz it sounds healthy, right?

Here’s the recipe, as written:

Oatmeal PBB Drink

1.5 c. milk
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1.5 Tbsp peanut butter
1 pack instant oatmeal

Blend til smooth.

The verdict?

Tastes like peanut butter milk, with the occasional piece of oat to poke you in the side of the mouth. I’m not a fan. I drank a bit and will stick the rest in the freezer to see if it helps. Next time, I’ll reduce the milk to 1 cup (or use yogurt, if I have it), and try the frozen banana suggestion.

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a clean home

Today, I…

1. washed a load of laundry
2. swept and mopped the office floor
3. dusted the bedroom, swept & mopped its floors
4. cleaned our toilet
5. worked on the embroidery for the baby blanket I’m working on
6. made & ate lunch
7. did the dishes
8. cleaned our bathroom counters, tub, and floors
9. sold our recycling
10. took the trash out of all the cans
11. washed another load of laundry
12. cleaned the dining room table
13. dusted the guestroom, swept & mopped the floors
14. put up the laundry (one good thing about hot weather: quick air-drying!)
15. beat and hung out the rugs
16. dusted the living room, swept & mopped the floors
17. warmed up dinner, ate
18. embroidered some more
19. swept & mopped the dining room

And all that between 9:30am and 6:30pm! Can you tell we have guests coming? 🙂 Actually, I was catching up on everything that’s been abandoned the past month.

I don’t usually have the strength to get so much done in a day, but here’s what I did (it worked!): I set my cell phone timer to 1 hour, turned up music from my ipod, and set to a list of to-do’s. Every time the alarm went off, I drank water, stretched, did something enjoyable (like embroidered a small area), and reset the alarm.

It was a good day!

The lack of photos is due to my camera’s sad state… a lens, broken in half for no reason I know of, is stuck on the camera body. Repairs are hopefully coming soon.

Oh, and the reason I started this post: after cleaning and organizing, I got on the computer around 9pm and saw this: Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning and Calm the Chaos. When I saw it’s from DK, my favorite publisher, I knew I’d be adding it to my wishlist! You can get a peek at the kind of stuff the author does over at OrganizedHome.

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