Simple Spring Cleaning Tip

Can you tell that I have Spring on the brain? I think the cold/chilly weather is getting to me! LOL! I have started my spring cleaning and have a tip (actually two) that have worked well for me over the years that I’d like to re-share:

Simple Spring Cleaning Tip

Image by jarmoluk (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

1. Do what you like LEAST, first. For me, it’s the windows, blinds and window curtains. Hate may be a strong word, but it expresses how I feel about doing windows! So, when I begin my spring cleaning, I start with the windows and get that chore done. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and then I can move on to do the more enjoyable spring cleaning chores. And, in spite of the drudgery, I do love freshly clean windows. 🙂

I follow this principle with my regular weekly cleaning and in other areas of my life as well. I start with the most unpleasant task – whether it be cleaning, work related or whatever it is that I am dreading – and get it over with.

2. Use a timer. This is a tip you may have heard before, or even use already yourself. When I begin a task I set a timer for how long I think a particular task should take, then when the timer goes off, I stop what I am doing and move on to the next task. I’m not rigid about this, though. If I am almost done with a task, I will either reset the timer to finish the task at hand or just continue until I’m finished without restarting the timer. Then I set the timer for the next task, etc.

Using the timer helps me stay focused, motivated and on task. I also sometimes use it to make cleaning-up a game for my son. We “race” to see how much we can get done before the timer goes off. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 20 minutes or less!

What’s your favorite spring cleaning tip?

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Tweetable: Spring Cleaning Tip

Organizing Your Kitchen Utensils

This week’s theme for Works for me Wednesday is “your best bathroom or kitchen tip (organization, cleaning, etc.)”.  I have a  tip that will free up some drawer space (and save you a little time, as well):

If you have a lot of kitchen utensils (whisks, spatulas, kitchen hammer, etc) mixed up in a kitchen drawer, use a pretty vase or container to hold them instead. Rather than fishing through a drawer of utensils, you’ll be able to see and quickly grab what you need!

utensils

I personally use a wine bucket that I received as a complimentary gift from the hotel we stayed at during our honeymoon. I keep it on the counter between the stove and my knife set. It’s handy and makes getting what you need a breeze. 🙂

WFMW: Recipe Edition (Corn Pone!)

What is corn pone, you ask? It is a delicious hybrid of corn bread and corn pudding! I was given this recipe several years ago in Ohio by my friend Rita, who was staying with us while going to graduate school.

This tastes just as good at room temperature as it does straight out of the oven, so it is perfect for taking to picnics or barbecues. The corn pone is usually a big hit when I serve it, so I think you’ll really like it!  🙂

Here’s a picture of this tasty dish:

corn pone

Recipe: Corn Pone

Ingredients

  • 1 Can whole kernel corn (with juice)
  • 1 Can creamed corn
  • 2 Eggs
  • 8oz Sour cream
  • 1 Stick melted butter
  • 1 Box corn muffin mix (Jiffy brand size)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
  3. In medium bowl, combine together first 5 ingredients.
  4. Mix in the corn muffin mix.
  5. Pour mixture into pan and bake about 30 minutes or until center stops shaking.

Quick Notes

You don’t want the corn pone to be too “done” like corn bread or too “wet” like corn pudding; so, check after 25 minutes or so. The center should be gently solid and the top golden.

Variations

According to Rita, you can use fresh corn for this recipe if you want. Just cut the corn off four large ears of corn and omit the creamed corn. Follow the rest of the recipe as is. (I’ve actually never tried it with the fresh corn myself, though.)

Enjoy!

(BTW: Did you can get a free recipe book from Jiffy here. You can get the corn muffin mix – and many of their other mixes – for under a dollar and the recipes I’ve tried so far have been easy to make and rather tasty.)

This post is linked at WFMW, Recipe Swap and Recipe Roundtable.

Other Recipes you might like:

Peas and Macaroni

Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes

Peanut butter play-dough

Homemade Window Cleaner

works for me wednesday at we are that family

A long time ago, I found the following homemade Windex® recipe on a blog that is now defunct. It works very well and  more frugal than paying full price for the original! Not only that, it also makes the house smell so good with the essential oil added. 🙂

Homemade Window Cleaner

1 Spray Bottle
Rubbing Alcohol
Water
Essential oil, such as Eucalyptus or Rosemary oil

Fill the spray bottle half full with water and half full of the rubbing alcohol. Add 10-12 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Mix gently.  Now you can clean your mirrors and windows per usual!

And that’s it for this week’s Works for me Wednesday. 😉

WFMW – Mom, I’m bored! Edition

works for me Wednesday

This week on Works For Me Wednesday, we are encouraged to offer tips and ideas for keeping our kids occupied and happy during the summer. I can’t wait to read what others have to say; but, in the meantime, here’s a few of the things I am going to do:

In my situation, I  home-school and also work from home; so, for me, except for the heat, there won’t be a huge difference in what I do – with some exceptions, of course! In my experience, a balance between structured time and free time works best; as does a lot of flexibility!

1. Modified Homeschooling. Andrew is learning to read and loves doing “math.” I don’t want to lose that momentum, so I plan to continue homeschooling at least three days a week. What I will probably do is alternate reading one day and math the next. I’ve also been tapping America: The Story of Us and a few shows on the Discovery Channel for him to watch once in a while.

If you don’t home-school, it might be a good idea to set apart some time each day for the children to read or practice their math skills. If I’m not mistaken, some schools now send kids home with work to do over the summer. If so, schedule time each day for them to work on it so they aren’t trying to do it all right before school starts.

2. Day trips. Obviously, the summer is the time to get outside! You can do something as simple as a day or afternoon at the park or something as extravagant as a trip to an amusement park or zoo. Day trips don’t have to be expensive either. You can often find coupons or deals online and even free ideas, like here.

3. Crafts: I plan to spend time several times a week on crafts/activities. You can find lots of craft ideas online, but I love the book “365 Ways to a Smarter Preschooler.” Andrew has a lot of fun doing the activities in this book and can stay engaged for a long while, once he’s set up. This is were I got the peanut butter play dough recipe from, that Andrew just loves!

4. Quiet Time. I am a big proponent of quiet time. Even if your child doesn’t nap, it’s a good idea to implement a rest period. Heat and humidity can wear on everyone’s nerves, and when the kids get cranky, it can wear down the best of moms!

The best time for naps would be in the early afternoon when the sun is at its most strong. It would be a good idea to do the outdoor activities earlier in the morning or later in the day. Of course, do what works best for you!

5. Don’t forget free time! Part of the fun of summer is the freedom to NOT be scheduled, so don’t forget to plan time just to “be”! Summer is the time to lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by, get an ice cream cone and catch some fireflies. In a word, take time to just enjoy your family, let kids be kids and HAVE FUN!