Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cleaning with Household Items

It's no secret that this has been one of the harshest winters on record, but it's also taking a toll inside my home as I am sure it is to yours as well.

Our windows sweat as a result of the cold weather outside and the warm temperatures inside our home.  We have a Venmar unit that was added to our heating system to help take some of the moisture out of our home, but this winter it seems it can't keep up to the moisture on our windows and our patio door.  As a result, mold and mildew have started to accumulate on the inside of our windows.

I needed something to keep that at bay, but it had to be something natural without any harsh fumes, especially since my immune system is not up to that of a regular adults since my stem cell transplant three years ago.

With that in mind I turned to some trusted household products, something that all of us most likely have in our homes already...

Baking Soda and vinegar

This is what my patio door track looked like this morning. (sorry for the gross-ness!)  Really, if you have a queasy stomach, don't even look!  I'm ashamed of this...

 In all fairness, I have to admit that I haven't cleaned this a quite a while...probably at least five years
 - BUT -
 before you judge, remember that I had some health issues that kept me from doing this type of deep cleaning for awhile.  And let's face it, McG is not one to notice areas like this.  I was just grateful for all that he did to get me and the kids through those tough years.  

This morning I decided to tackle this area!  I sprinkled baking soda over the entire area and then poured on some vinegar.  If you haven't used this before...get ready for the fun stuff - it's going to bubble up and get all fizzy!  I let it sit for a couple of minutes just doing its magic.

Then I took an old tooth brush to the mildew on the window edge and  to the track.  The baking soda and vinegar loosed up all the grease and gunk (is that a word?) that was in the track, so much so, that it wiped up clean with just a few paper towels.

It really looks like a new door frame!  Sloan was there with me until I poured out the vinegar and then he ran, I don't think he was too fond of the smell - but I can rest easy because this is really non-toxic and I don't have to worry that it will harm him.  He spends a lot of his day staring out this door watching the birds in the feeder.

Here he is now!

And here's a quick before and after to show you just how well it cleaned...

Baking soda and vinegar also works great on cleaning the glass inside your oven door.  Just leave the door open flat, sprinkle on the baking soda to cover the entire glass, then pour on the vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  I use a plastic spatula to loosen any tough stains and then just wipe it clean.

I hope you'll try this great non-toxic cleaner in your home!  


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Open Cabinets in the Kitchen...a Trial Run

I have been loving the look of open cabinets or shelving in the kitchen for sometime now...coveting all that I've been seeing on Pinterest.
  Like this one...

or this one...

Although I don't have white cabinetry in my kitchen (I really wish I did!), I decided to take off a couple of my cabinet doors this week just to see if I could live with the look in my own home.

First I had to take out a lot of the dishes and glassware that just wasn't pretty enough to be on display fulltime.

Then, since McG wasn't home, I had my son help me to take off the doors.  I took everything out, wiped down all the shelves and then put back in what we would need on a day to day basis.  The rest got sorted through and some was sent to the goodwill and some was relegated to another spot in the kitchen.

I added an EAT sign, that looks more like a FAT sign in this photo. 
 I really should have taken it from a better angle I guess!!  

I am living with it for now, tweaking it daily.  If I decide to keep it like this I will be papering the back for some added fun, but right now I'm just not sure it's for me.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the look when it is done with white cabinetry and this might be something I do in the next McG is still adamant that I am not painting these cabinets.  

I guess I will have to work on him some more!!

Do you have open shelving in your kitchen?  Is it something that you would consider doing?
I'd LOVE to hear from you!


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Ducks 'N a Row

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunlit Sunday

Like many across Canada and the United States, we have been experiencing a harsher than normal winter.
However, this week we were treated to a couple of days of sunshine.  I took that opportunity to snap a few pictures.  I hope you enjoy them!

I love the way the sun casts shadows on the snow.

...And in my home.

Here's my Sloan...he's looking grumpy in this picture!

I was so happy to see the sun this week.  However it was kind of short-lived. 
 Today the view outside my window looks much  like this...

Here's hoping the sun is shining in your neck of the woods!


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Monday, February 03, 2014

Winter Mantel

Most of you are probably decorating for Valentine's Day, but here I decided to change out the mantel to reflect all the winter scenery that can be seen outside our windows.

Our family room mantel is not something I normally change out often.  In fact, it never really gets changed out at all, except for the addition of some Christmas decorations during the holiday season.  I take more of an "if an ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of approach when it comes to the mantel.

Being cooped up because of all the snow has had me looking for cheap, easy ways to change things up.

Here's a "before" look - with the antique mirror, metal reindeer, clock and duck decoy on the mantel.

And here's a closer look during the holidays.


Here it is now - ready for winter.

I switched out the antique mirror for a winter scene.  The reindeer moved down to the hearth and an old metal bucket that belonged to my grandfather moved up onto the mantel.  I filled it with birch logs and some faux evergreen and some LED branches as well.

This smaller print allows a little more of the slate tiles to show on the fireplace.

This print is entitled "Waiting for Spring" and was painted by a friend of ours, Ed Roach.  You can check out some of his other work @ Ed Roach Watercolours.  We have several prints of Ed's in our home, and even one of his early originals.  

We are truly "Waiting for Spring" around here.  These small changes around our home are just the ticket to help us get through the rest of what Old Man Winter has to throw at us!
And it was FREE!!
Hope you are staying warm and making small changes in your home!