Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tried and True

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There have been a few Magic Tricks that I’ve found on Pinterest that have worked so well that I have turned them into part of my cleaning. I want to share them with you, maybe they can help you too! I’m nothing if not a giver. ūüėČ

First is the Dryer Vent Cleaning Dohickee. I found one that included purchasing a dryer cleaning dohickee and thought it would be great… but then I saw this!! Over at crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com is a home-made dryer vent dohickee!! I made my own, and it worked great.

crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com

crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com

Next is the Magic Potion to get Oil Stains out of Clothes!!¬†And… it works. Even if you’ve washed and dried the clothes many many times with the stain. This is from http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com, and I swear it works.¬†

Stove Vent Cleaning. As soon as I saw this on Jillee’s blog, I did it.¬†Immediately. It worked, but it was gross.

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

And finally, A ‘Mum in the Oven showed me a great way to clean grout! For this, I am forever grateful! I pared down the recipe to 1/4 the original recipe, and I still have plenty. My only challenge is that the offending grout is on the shower wall, and the grout cleaner is liquid. Gravity is not it’s friend. That being said, I was able to spray and walk away, come back and rinse and 90% of the ick was gone.

Muffin-Tin Oven Meatballs

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I decided that I’d take a day to share a recipe that I’ve made, in the hopes that you will use my experience to make your meal time easier! In an upcoming One Little Thing, I will talk about the importance of having some Go-To meals that are quick and easy, not stressful, and delish. I’ll talk about meal planning, and how it makes your life easier, and bulk cooking which is awesome for when you don’t want to think about dinner.

Today my Mother In Law gave me 4 packages of ground beef that she got on a trip to the Commissary (at MacDill AFB). The Commissary does not believe in 1 lb packages of meat. I have NEVER seen a 1 lb package of meat there ever!! This morning, she gave me 2 pks out of the fridge, and 2 from the freezer. The frozen ones immediately went in my freezer, and I marked them on my Freezer Inventory (yet another future-post), the fridge ones wanted to be meatballs. I went to Pinterest (the new Google), and looked up Oven Meatballs.

I found some similarities in the recipes, and quite a few differences. SO I jotted down 2 of my faves, took what I liked, made up the rest, and viola! My recipe.

I love the idea of oven baking the meatballs, and I swear I thought I saw a pin somewhere that used muffin tins but I couldn’t find it. Sorry. That was my main goal – use my tin to make the meatballs. Also, I kinda wanted them to be good.

Meatball ingredients Pic

Here’s whatcha need:

mini-muffin tin

3 lbs Ground meat (I used 3.32 lbs of 10/90 ground beef Рyou can mix meats if you like)

1/4 cup diced onion

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 Tablespoon House Seasoning*

1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning

1 teaspoon Parsley

1/4 cup half & half

Cooking Spray

Whatcha do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ready to be mixed!

Ready to be mixed!

Mix up the ingredients except half & half until really well combined. Mix in half & half.

Scoop 'em up!

If you scoop all the meat, then roll at once, your hands don't get icky but one time.

If you scoop all the meat, then roll at once, your hands don’t get icky but one time.

Scoop small amount of mixture and roll around to create a ball. Drop it into the muffin tin.  Spray with cooking spray. (I used 1/2 scoop of my cupcake scoop, dropped them all on a foil lined sheet and the rolled them all at once. Less dirty hands!)

Pre-heating...

Pre-heating…

Meatballs done.

Meatballs served!

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove with tongs (twist & lift) to cooling rack over foil. Once cooled, they can be frozen in a single layer and stored in a gallon size zipper bag.

This made 67 meatballs. I tested one for ya, and it’s really good. I’m a giver like that!

* House Seasoning from Paula Deen: Mix up 1 cup salt with 1/4 cup pepper and 1/4 cup garlic powder and store in an airtight container. Store up to 6 months. I put mine in a repurposed spice shaker and keep it on my stove.

One little thing… Ceiling Fans

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This tip is from my Mom, and it’s a pretty good one! I did this after stripping the beds when I had a pile of dirty sheets… so no extra laundry was created in the making of this Blog Post!
Turn off every fan in the house.
Grab a pillowcase and step stool or folding chair.
Go back to the first one you turned off.
Hang your pillowcase from a blade, bunch it closed, swipe it down.
Repeat on each blade of each fan!
You can turn them back on as they are cleaned.

I also had my long-handled duster with me to dust the swirly bits that hold the blades on. They were quite yucky.

This is another great way to cut down on the dust in the house, especially helpful in homes with allergy-prone kids!

Hop to it… 5 minutes is all it takes!!

ceiling fan

One little thing… A/C Vents

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ac vent1

Most folks don’t include this in their weekly or monthly cleaning schedule, so they’re probably pretty gross. Mine were! (Also, taking a pic of my own hand with an iPod was… difficult!)

 

Get a long-handled duster (or a regular duster and a chair!), and dust all of the A/C vents in the house. It might help to turn off the A/C first!  If you add this quickie to your Monthly Cleaning Schedule, it will help with allergies, and dust floaties when the air is on.

I sat down last night with my pretty, purple blogging notebook and a matching purple pencil and went to work listing all of the Little Things I could think of. I made a pretty healthy list of about 50 things. I also stopped at the Library for some books on Weekend Organizing and Quick & Easy House Cleaning to help me with some more ideas. The research part is fun for me, even though I should probably be studying, or working on Crochet Booties.

One little thing… Junk Drawer

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I forgot to take a before pic, but it was kinda crazy! I was trying to use the rarely-used grater feature on the food processor, and couldn’t find the little connector thing, rendering the feature worthless! I used this frustration to clean out, move, and organize my junk and silver wear drawers.

Steps:

*Take everything out.
*Clean the drawer.
*Throw away anything broken, incomplete, or yucky.
*Set aside anything still good that you don’t use and put in your charity or yard sale box.
*Put like things together, and purge multiples if you can.
*Keep sets or unmanageables together, contained, and labeled. I used zipper bags for this.
*Put everything back, in an intuitive place, and keep it pretty!

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Using little flower pots was perfect to organize pens and a matchbook collection.

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Zipper bags are a great way to gather and store items that have multiple pieces or are ambiguous.

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I have 3 power plugs, and labeling the bags lets me know which I need to grab.

One little thing… Light Switches

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If you do one little thing every day, the big things seem not so big.

Take Spring Cleaning… Wow wee! I don’t have the time to do a full on Spring Clean of my whole house. Maybe if I stayed home instead of working and going to school?

Nah, I doubt it. My lazy would kick in, and nothing would get done. Well, maybe a few Pins would be pinned. Or Eleventy Seven Pins.

So I decided that short and simple was the way to go. One little thing a day. Easy peasy.

Today, that one thing is light switches. Grab a couple Lysol wipes and clean up every light switch in your house. It won’t take long, and you’ll feel better. One step closer!

Gross light switch in Jake's room.

Gross light switch in Jake’s room.

30 seconds to Much Better!

30 seconds to Much Better!