Thursday, March 28, 2013

TNO's Tips &Tricks - Reorganize and declutter your pantry for free!

So, this was my pantry.


While it didn't look terrible, it still was a bit rough for my liking.  There was stuff shoved everywhere and it was really tough to find anything.  If you look at some of the shelves, there were even empty boxes just sitting in the back of the pantry, taking up space.

After visiting one of my favorite organization stores in search of some storage hardware, I got a little shell shocked at the prices.  While I'd love to spend a ton of cash at the store on products to keep everything put together and easy to access, I don't have that kind of cash.  And- most likely- even if I did have that kind of cash it would be spent on my kids.  But I knew I could make the pantry look and function a whole lot better.

And, with just a few FREE, quick, & simple tricks, my pantry looks amazing- which brings me to my next Tip & Trick!
Here's what I did.

#1-  Check your expiration dates.

This tip cleared out a significant portion of stuff in my pantry.  I was finding things that were, um, a bit old.  I think there was one can that expired in 2010.  Yikes.  Checking the sell by or use by dates on your food helps you rid of all the extra stuff hiding in your pantry that you can't eat anyway!

#2-  Pitch your empties.

As I mentioned above, there were a ton of empty boxes in the back of the pantry.  Boxes from little man's pouches, popcorn, drink mixes, and other items were plentiful and taking up a ton of our space.  I don't think we consciously took the last of something and didn't remove the box, but sometimes with two small children you grab and go pretty quickly.

Extra tip?  Recycle your empties, don't just throw them out!

#3-  Consolidate your boxes.

While cleaning out the pantry, I noticed that we had a bunch of half-full cereal boxes and oatmeal boxes.  By taking the oatmeal packets from the three boxes and consolidating them into only one of the boxes, I saved a ton of space.

#4-  Organize by type.

Previously, when I would open the pantry to grab a canned good, such as some green beans, I was lost in a sea of cans.  After I pulled everything off of that shelf, I realized I had over 5 cans of organic refried beans.  Oops!  That's what happens when you don't know what's in your pantry.  When I re-thought our pantry organization, I lined our cans by type.  So, I have one line of veggies, one of DH's soups, one of my soups, aaaand one of beans.  This serves two functions.  The first is that I know exactly where to look for each item.  The second is I can visually gauge when we need more of each item by a quick peek in the pantry, stopping me from overbuying.

Extra tip?  If you have shelves like mine, you can hang a label under each row with the category name listed.

#5-  Use what you have.

I did already have two large bins from Ikea sitting in the bottom of the pantry, as well as one small plastic bin on the second to top shelf.   I used the large bins to store pet products and extra reusable grocery store bags.  I used the small bin to contain items such as packets of seasonings, chocolate chips, drink mixes for DH, and other small items that would otherwise fall through our shelves.  But, I could have just as easily used some of the empty boxes I removed up in #2.

Extra tip?  If you're feeling ultra-crafty, you can recover those empty boxes in pretty paper and save a ton of cash by making your own ridiculously cute storage boxes.

#6-  Repeat!!!

One of the key ways to ensure this works is to keep checking up on yourself.  I try to keep checking the pantry once a week to make sure it's clear of extra boxes and everything is organized and in order.  The only way you're going to maintain how nice your "new" pantry looks is if you make a conscious effort not to fall into your old habits of throwing stuff in and walking away!

Here is my final product!


By using these simple and quick tips and about an hour of my time, my pantry went from an unpleasant sight to an organized, clean place that is much more functional to use.

What are some ways you keep your pantry put together?

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Sponsor Love!

Here are my awesome sponsors for the month of March!  Head on over and check them out!!!

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The MB Diaries

My name is Tiffany, but around here I am the Momma Bear! I am many things, I am Mom, Wife, Blog Designer, etc... This is where I share it all. I may not blog as often as some, but when I do I like to blog about whatever is on my mind, or our most recent adventures!
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Magan's Crafty Corner

Hi, I'm Shauna! I own a little shop where I sell my handmade items called Magan's Crafty Corner. My blog is my way of showing you the behind the scenes portion of it all. I will share things from completed projects to some of my favorite new fabrics! Won't you join me in my journey of being a new business owner?

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GreatProofreading.com

GreatProofreading.com helps bloggers make money on their blogs by improving their pagerank and content and connecting them with sponsors.  We write SEO content to make your business stand out in a Google search and write email campaigns that get more clicks.  Reasonable rates, excellent relationships with clients, and a dedication to giving back to the global community set us apart from other web editing and marketing companies.  Email edit@greatproofreading.com to see how we can help you.
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Boubeads

My twin sister and I are both moms, she had a 6 month old at the time and was having a hard time nursing him because he would become so wiggly and squirmy.  One day she decided to string some cheap wood beads on some plastic cording so that he could play with something while he nursed.  I saw her later that day and thought, "Wow!  I wish I had something like that when my son was little!  Women would buy these for sure."

That was our first official day in business as Boubeads.  As we came up with prototypes we decided that we wanted them to be fashionable enough to wear outside of the house and wanted to make them something that would appeal to all women, not just nursing moms.

As time went on we decided that we would like to hand-dye our own natural beads so that we could control what colors we produced and how they were manufactured since you can't always control that with a supplier.  We really wanted to put our own touch on the product.  Bracelets and pacifier clips followed suit and they have all been wonderfully successful for us.  We find that a lot of women use the bracelets to remember which side they last nursed on by switching the bracelets from the left hand to the right hand and vice versa.

Our beads and suede are manufactured in the USA and the suede is certified to be free of lead, AZO's, PCP, mercury, formaldehyde, chromium VI, cadmium, and other carcinogenic/hazardous chemicals.  The company we buy the suede from is also Green Business Certified.

All of our beads are triple washed after the dyeing process to ensure that the residual color is removed.  All of our products can be washed, which is terrific considering the abuse they get put through.  We recommend washing them in cold water with a mild detergent if you would like and laying them flat to dry.  With careful washing the customer should only see minimal color fading over time.
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Daisy & June Accessory Boutique

Hi!  I am Modern June AKA Kathy but my peeps call me MJ.  I am a mom of 4 amazing kids who keep me on my toes.  I have a wonderfully supportive, crazy hilarious husband who is my rock.  And this, I have this job that started as a hobby in 2011.

I bought a sewing machine and swore to make pillows for our couch.  6 months later there were still no pillows and the sewing machine sat untouched.  I have no idea why - I had been hand sewing for years but a machine?  Hadn't touched one of those since 8th grade when I learned to make these sunflower shorts.

I finally sat down with some scrap fabric and started practicing stitches... a few hours later I made a camera strap.  A few days later another and another... not long after that Daisy & June was born.

Who is Daisy & June?

Daisy was my great great grandmother who taught me how to hand sew.  She was an inspiring woman and I named my daughter after her.  June is me.  Well, my inner self.  It took me a long time to figure out where my life was going and who I was.  Once I found my voice Modern June came out.  I have had this alter ego for almost 6 years and can't imagine my life without it.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spray Pal Giveaway Winner Announced!

Thank you everyone for your interest and entries in the Spray Pal giveaway!  I absolutely love this device and use it all the time in our cloth diapering home, so if you didn't win today, you still may find the Spray Pal to be a good investment for your family!

So then- let's get to the winner!  The winner of a Spray Pal is....

Allison E. !!!

Congratulations!!!  I'll be sending off an email shortly, please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

4 tips on how to choose the right Ob

If you've been around the blog long enough to follow my second pregnancy, you may have noticed a few things about my views on medical care during pregnancy.  Namely that I was not a huge fan of my first Ob experiences and looking for something different.

During my second pregnancy, I happened on a somewhat unusual but rather interesting scenario of being followed by both a midwife and an Ob separately.  Because of this, I was able to really get a good view on how the types of care differed as they did, vastly.  And the results were honestly not what I expected.

I will say this now, but looking back, I was 100% with the wrong care providers during my first pregnancy.  From the doctor to the nursing staff while birthing, it just wasn't a good fit for me.  I appreciate the care given to myself and my son, but it was not the ideal scenario for me.  During my pregnancy, the doctor was knowledgeable and polite, but not quite as natural-friendly as I'd hoped.  Whenever I ran ideas past him for my birthing, he seemed to be accepting but not incredibly supportive- the opposite of what a birthing mother needs.  The nursing staff was actually worse, asking me about interventions or doing things that I didn't want even after I'd explicitly stated my desire against them.

It really left me with a poor taste in my mouth of obstetrical care.

So, when I became pregnant with my second child, I wanted something different.  However, due to complications during my first trimester, I required much more medical care than I'd anticipated thus causing me to spend some time with an Ob.  We were unsure if we could have a home birth with a midwife like I'd wanted, so we continued to be followed by the Ob group.

The midwifery care we received while pregnant was excellent.  Appointments with the midwife were so much better than appointments with the Ob group.  We sat and chatted in my living room while my son played on the floor, spending time discussing the birth and my progress, but also talking about parenting and life at the same time.  The midwife was a knowledgeable, kind birth partner as opposed to the doctor in charge of my care.  It was such a warm experience.

Up until the end of the pregnancy, I still expected that we'd be able to have a home birth with the midwife.  We were medically cleared to do so, but other circumstances got in the way, in the form of a blizzard and the midwife's inability to make it to us.

When we entered the hospital for my second birthing, however, it was a completely different tale than my first.  The Ob we'd chosen for this pregnancy was far and beyond both more accommodating and more supportive than the last we'd had.  My husband and I were basically left alone to let my body progress on it's own time after my water had broken, instead of being given medication to progress my birthing as I'd had with my first child.  The nursing staff we had the second time around was also much more supportive as well, allowing me to do my own thing but were at the same time present when I needed support.

Because we had better care providers the second time around, the very similar birthing was much more enjoyable and much less stressful.  With that said, I've compiled the top four tips I wish I had known the first (and beginning of the second!) time around:

1. Really know who your provider is.

With our first pregnancy, we took the recommendation of several friends to use our first Ob.  I was a first time mom, so hearing, "Dr. ___ was excellent in my pregnancy, I'd definitely recommend him!" was good enough for me.  As a second time mom, I would have looked further.  If I didn't have any friends who had natural deliveries, I'd be checking local breastfeeding, babywearing, or cloth diapering support groups.  Typically, in those groups (either in person or online), you can find TONS of information on which Ob's are the most supportive of natural birthing, including specific experiences on what those mothers liked and didn't.  Most of the mothers I know are happy to share what they liked and didn't like about their birthing experiences, you just have to find them to ask!  I'd have also been checking the hospital's C-section rates and asking the aforementioned women about their nursing staff experiences as well.

2. Watch for red flags.

If your provider doesn't seem to be supportive of your birth plan, you may seriously consider switching.  Just because you start with one Ob doesn't mean you have to finish with them.  If you're not happy with how your provider is responding to your questions, then that's a good sign you may not be with the right person.  Definitely ask your Ob how they feel about different scenarios.  I asked all the normal natural friendly questions, regarding no forceps, no vacuum, etc, but don't think I ever asked the one question that mattered in both of my pregnancies: how long would I be able to progress on my own after my water had broken?  With my first Ob, the answer was 24 hours.  With my second Ob the answer was 48 hours.  Those extra hours on my own allowed me not to have to take pitocin the second time around, for which I was so thankful!

3. Bring your own support team.

As a first time parent, I'd expected the nurses and doctor to constantly be around to help me through my birthing, and that just wasn't the case.  They were there when I needed something, but were right out of the room as soon as that need had been met.  There was no support or helping me through contractions, and being who I am, I would have felt uncomfortable asking.  Having my own little "birth team" was immensely wonderful and helped me to get further in each birthing without interventions than I'd expected.  Whether it's a friend who had a natural birth, a husband who has read up on comfort techniques, or a doula you've hired, to be successful in your goals you need help getting there, from your OWN people.

4. Don't be afraid to jump ship.

Coming from someone who started with one Ob and then moved to another mid pregnancy, I'm a huge proponent of switching if things don't feel right.  As a mother, you may find that you develop a keener sense of knowing when something seems off in a situation, and this can start even while you're pregnant.  If you just don't feel right with your Ob or have any doubts whatsoever, no one is going to blame you for switching.  It's YOUR body and YOUR BABY'S care.  You are paying for these professionals to attend your birth, so why shouldn't you get the care that fits you better?  I will say that when we switched providers, we did have to pay a small fee to the previous Ob.  It was totally worth it to be able to move on for us.  You'll definitely have to look into your insurance first before you switch to find out what the financial ramifications would be for you personally.

What are some tips you'd add to this list?

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Toddler classes- There are too many!!!

We're at that point.

Yep, the point in the winter where your older child realizes they're over spending every day cooped up inside.

I know we've been cooped up in the house because of several reasons.  The first is that we obviously have a newborn, who I don't want to catch any colds or sicknesses in the first few months of life.  The second is that it's really, really cold here.  I hate going out in the cold by myself, and it's a huge process to get everyone covered and ready to brave 10 degree weather.  The third is that I still haven't quite figured out the logistics of errands and outings with two yet.  

The lack of outings seem to make him a little more stir-crazy and I'm wanting some one-on-one time with little man, so I thought a toddler class together might be a good idea.

In the past, we haven't done a whole lot of classes.  I worked 3-5 days a week, so my two days off (Mondays & Tuesdays) were always catching up on laundry, ironing, cleaning the house, etc.  During the time I didn't spend doing that, I wanted to just play and spend time with little man at our own home.  I wanted to make sure he got good naps and quiet time as needed.  Now, however, I won't be working as many hours, and would like to have some fun outside of the house with little man.

A few weeks ago, as some of you know from the Facebook page- little man and I started swim classes.  And oh.my.goodness does he love it!  At first he seemed a little scared, but after he stopped being a little spider monkey and realized it was fun to splash around and- yes, even go underwater- he was enamored with swim class.  Little man asks me to go every few days, even though the class is only once per week.  

Since our first class has gone so well, I'm now looking out for our second class.

Then comes the question of what to do?

Just by looking at what is available locally, I've already found options for us including: story time at the library, park pal classes (learning about animals and nature at a local park- indoors this time of year), music and movement classes, toddler time, music classes, gymnastics classes, mommy & me fitness classes... the list goes on and on!

There are so many options!  

Ideally, I'd love to enroll in one class we could attend while I wore little lady in a carrier so it wouldn't have to be at night.  I'd also love to find a class for DH and little man to do together as well.  This would give little man and DH more bonding daddy-son bonding time together, get little man out of the house and more active to use some of his never-ending toddler energy, and also give me a little time with little lady by ourselves as well.

So here's where I need your help:

What are the classes your toddler loves?  What are the classes that haven't worked so well for your child or your family?  Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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Thursday, March 21, 2013

TNO's Tips & Tricks - Natural Air Fresheners

Up until very recently I was a candle fanatic.  I love the look, smell, and decor of having candles in and around my home.  I'd have several lit at the same time, and had candles as decorations in most of the rooms in our home.  Then I did a little research and didn't quite like what I found.

Turns out, both candles and air fresheners contain tons of chemicals and toxins you probably don't want wafting around your home.  After reading up a bit, I found several articles and studies that showed air fresheners and candles often contained carcinogens, caused increased difficulties with asthma and reproductive development.  While I still have a few candles sitting around the house as decoration, we've slowly phased out most and will eventually phase out all of our candles and air fresheners for these reasons.

But I still want my house to smell pretty, though!  Which leads me to my next Tip & Tricks entry:


After deciding that candles and air fresheners were out, I scoured the internet in search of more natural ways to freshen our home, and found a few good techniques.  The two that I found to be the best use common items I often have laying around the kitchen: orange peels, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

The first natural air freshener I use is a combination of the orange peels and cinnamon.


Little man has been on an orange kick for a few weeks, so orange peels are left over almost every day.  After peeling an orange, I put the leftover peels into a pot of water with a bunch of cinnamon sprinkled into the pot.  Other ladies on the internet recommended cinnamon sticks, but I find the powdered cinnamon to work just as well.  I then bring the concoction up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  As long as you have enough water in the pot, you can simmer this for hours of citrusey-cinnamon goodness wafting through your home.  It smells so good!

I've heard you can also use lemons and other spices as a simmering air freshener, but I've never personally tried this.  Also, with two small babes in the house, I only keep this going when I am in the room and it is only on the back burner where little fingers and hands are unable to reach or touch it.

The second natural air freshener I use is vanilla extract.

I read a few tutorials that recommended putting a few capfuls of vanilla extract into a coffee mug and then heating in the oven at 300 degrees for a bit until it starts to smell lovely.  I tried this in our toaster oven, and the vanilla promptly burned into the cup.  I don't know if it would have had the same effect in the real oven, but I've found better success by adding a few capfuls of vanilla to a half full coffee mug of water and then heating at 300 degrees.

But again, almost instant amazing smelling house!

What are some other natural ways you bring lovely smells into your home?

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The inevitable loss of your former, non-mommy life

A few things happened to me all within a few days last week that made me remember a life I haven't seen in a long, long time.

The first was hearing an old song on the radio.  To be honest, even now just a week later, my second-time-but-still-new mommy brain already can't remember exactly what the song was.  But let's just pretend it was a terrible 90's anthem, like some N*Sync or Backstreet Boys song.  It was a song I hadn't heard for years and as it came on the radio, I was driving my two small children, who were nestled happily in their car seats, over to the grocery store.  It was a blazing contrast from my former memories of hearing the song.  Thoughts of driving around with my best friend on a summer night, windows down, music blaring, singing at the top of our lungs invaded my head.  Most nights we didn't even have a destination, we just went.  The song made me think of all of those memories, rushing into my head all at once.

The second was seeing a friend's twitter posts about a girl's weekend, including shopping, manicures/pedicures, movies, meals out on the town, etc.  She seemed to be so independently happy, planning and doing something just for her own needs.

The third was finding and reading this post on how the person you were before children dies when you have children, and you are also birthed into a brand new person at the same time.  Sitting at my computer one night reading that post, I broke down in tears.

The combination of those three things happening all at once really made me spend some time processing, healing, and thinking.  It shook me a little bit.  While I absolutely adore my children and would give a million pre-baby days away for just one with them, it is such a shocking adjustment to realize how far away I am from the person I used to be.

I'm not only talking about the free time, although that is a huge part of it- having the available time to spend all day in bed, take a long bath or shower, eat a meal in peace with two hands, or even be able to leave the house without a diaper bag, extra jackets, pacifiers, burp cloths, blankets, baby carriers, hats, snacks, drinks, and two babies strapped to my body.  I'm also talking about the person I was before.

Prior to having children, I was young, dumb, brash, and unapologetic.  I said what was on my mind and what I was feeling at all times and did what I wanted when I wanted, often to the result of dislike and frustration of others.  I was tough and strong and had a never-ending drive toward my personal and career goals.

But then it all changed.

The instant I saw those seemingly miniscule hands, heard that distinctly newborn cry, and held that warm little body, I was changed.

I was no longer brash or unapologetic.  I was soft, calm, relaxed.

I no longer was so open with my thoughts- I carefully planned what words left my mouth, knowing little ears would hear them.

I no longer was tirelessly driven toward personal accomplishment, because my biggest accomplishment had just happened, and it by far trumped anything I ever had done or could do in my life- I created life.

When I read those tweets, heard that song, and read that article above, it was only then that I realized my loss.  It's been over two years since my son's arrival into my arms and this world, and I'm only just now seeing the pieces that I lost in the overall massive picture that I gained.

That former person- she's gone.  Completely gone.  And she's never coming back to live in this same body again, where she once spent so many years.  The careless, irresponsible, free spirited woman with the shining eyes has been replaced by the responsible, overthinking, rational woman with wrinkles on her face and bags under her slightly more drooping and tired eyes.

It's not to say that I'd change one thing about who I am now- because I wouldn't.  But I'm just now beginning to process and mourn the loss of my former life.

It's hard to even remember just who I was before my children at this point, but I can't let myself forget.  That woman made choices and lived in such a way that she brought me to my children.  That woman forged the path for me to become who I am.  That woman was just as big of a part of me as my children now are.

Maybe, just maybe, sometime soon I'll visit that woman.  I'll grab my old friend from way back when, hop in the car, and blast old music.  Who knows where we'll go.

But I think I know who we'll find.


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Spray Pal Review & Giveaway!

There are several items that changed how we cloth diaper completely, making it so much easier.

The first was installing a diaper sprayer into our bathroom.  That way, instead of scraping the solids off of a soiled diaper, DH and I could simply spray off the diaper into the toilet.

So.much.better.

However, then you come across a little problem.  Or, a big problem.  To get all of the solid off of the diaper, you have to turn the force of the sprayer up pretty high.  But then you tread a very fine line between cleaning the diaper off and holy goodness I just created a poo water waterfall and it's now covering my bathroom.

Enter item number two that changed our cloth diapering lives, the Spray Pal.


The Spray Pal is a tri-fold plastic angel of protection for your bathroom.  By clipping the diaper into the Spray Pal, the water coming from your diaper sprayer is routed into the toilet instead of all over your room.  When the diaper is finished being sprayed in the Spray Pal, you can also squeeze out the excess water and pop the diaper into the wetbag without ever having to even touch it.  

It would help if you could actually see it in action, right?  Well, here you go!



As a clean freak, having a Spray Pal next to our diaper sprayer has been almost life-changing in our cloth diapering journey.  I no longer have to wipe down the toilet, the walls, or the floors with any cleaning products after each diaper is sprayed.  A quick rinse down of the Spray Pal after the diaper is out and I'm done.  Typically I either set it in an extra wetbag on the floor or on a specific towel on the floor next to the toilet and I'm on to the next thing.  Having the Spray Pal means no more being paranoid that I'm making my bathroom dirtier and no touching soiled diapers.

It makes cloth diapering much more tolerable for those who tend to be a bit squeamish.  And for those of us who aren't?  Well, it just makes it a whole lot less messy.  

I am so, so excited to share this amazing product with all of my fellow cloth diapering friends for many reasons.  I love how awesome the Spray Pal is, but I also love what it stands for as well.  Spray Pal isn't a big business, it's a family.  Dave and Jen are two school teachers, who began cloth diapering with their first child.  After becoming frustrated with how messy diaper spraying was, they developed their own product at home to fix that problem, and began producing the Spray Pal device at home, just the two of them.  Not some huge business with a bazillion employees.  On a personal note, Jen gave birth to their second child, Ryan, one year ago.  Ryan was born a micropreemie at 25 weeks along.  Ryan was actually the first preemie to wear cloth in their children's hospital NICU at only two pounds!  Their family has fought hard as well as Ryan has fought so hard to grow and develop so wonderfully.  If you feel so inclined, you can follow his progress at the Watching Ryan Grow blog.  Outside of being hardworking parents of a toddler and a child with medical needs, Dave & Jen are also just good people, raising money for the March of Dimes as well as offering military discounts on their products.  I'm so happy to share this excellent family-run business with you all!

And, because I love all my readers & the Spray Pal family is so amazing, we're giving one Spray Pal to a lucky reader of the TNO blog!  As usual, let me know if you have any problems with the Rafflecopter entries!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tiffany Kuehl Designs Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for entering the TKD Giveaway!  I loved working with Tiffany and I know you will too!!!  The winner of the giveaway is....

Megan R.!!!

I'll be sending you an email shortly with further details, please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!  Congratulations!

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

TNO's Tips & Tricks- The many uses of vinegar

Some of you may already know this, but I'm kind of obsessed with white distilled vinegar.  

TNO's Tips & Tricks - Vinegar Cleaning or Cleaner Uses


I use it for pretty much everything around the house and have been asked to share more specifically about what I use it to do and the ratios of vinegar to other cleaning products in my mixtures.  So here goes!!!

TNO's Tips & Tricks - Vinegar Cleaning or Cleaner Uses

- Prewashing my produce

- Cleaning my window blinds (equal parts vinegar to hot water and a wet rag)

- Cleaning my countertops (undiluted on a rag OR in a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar & water with a few drops of essential oil for fragrance)

- Cleaning my microwave (place a small cup of equal parts vinegar and water in the microwave and heat until boiling, then simply wipe down)

TNO's Tips and Tricks- Cleaning your microwave with vinegar
My shiny microwave after a vinegar wash!

Cleaning my Keurig coffeemaker

- Cleaning my garbage disposal (freeze ice cubes of vinegar and then put them down the disposal while running, then run cold water through for a little bit)

- To de-stink our kitchen (or bathroom shower!) drains, pour one cup vinegar down the drain, leave it for 15-30 minutes and then rinse it out with hot water.  You can also actually un-clog drains by putting baking soda and vinegar down the drain together, but I haven't personally tried this.

- As a floor cleaner in our floor steam mop (I personally mix 1/4 container vinegar and 3/4 container water)

- Cleaning out our refrigerator

- I used to use vinegar as a rinse aid until I read this post talking about damage to her dishwasher, so I recently switched to leaving a small cup of vinegar in the top rack.  It seems to be working well as a rinse aid so far!

- Getting rid of unwanted pests (spray undiluted vinegar where ants or other pests are getting in your house, or leave a small cup on your counter top to get rid of fruit flies)

- Clean & deodorize toilets (to deodorize put a few cups in the bowl and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before flushing)

- Cleaning my glass table, mirrors, and windows (equal parts water and vinegar, if you have streak problems you can add a bit of rubbing alcohol but I've never had to do that!)

- As a daily shower cleaner (I've yet to use this but I have friends who swear by it.  Equal parts vinegar and Dawn dish soap in a dishwand sponge, lightly clean walls before you clean yourself in the shower.  No need to rinse, use every day for clean tiles and grout)

- To clean baby toys (water and dish soap with a cup of vinegar per bucket of water used)

- Doorknob cleaner (spray or wipe with undiluted vinegar)

These are just a few of the ways I use vinegar around our home for cleaning, do you use vinegar in your home in any other ways?

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