Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

Winter is finally, finally over, and it’s spring, which means it’s time to refresh your home. Spring cleaning lets us shake off the last traces of winter, opening our windows and letting the sunshine into every corner. A thorough spring cleaning means doing all of the things we let build up in the previous months, including tackling all the mess of our appliances. It’s not enough to just scrape away the gunk or wipe away any build-up of spills, grease, and other deposits. Have you ever looked at the inside of your refrigerator or oven? It’s probably a big yucky place, right? It doesn’t have to be!

The infographic below will show you quick and easy ways to banish all that yuck and grime from all of your most-used appliances. Do you have a greasy film on the inside of your microwave, and it just won’t go away, no matter how hard you scrub? No problem! We’ve got two quick ways on how to get rid of the grime so you have a gleaming microwave inside and out once more. All of the tips below use common household ingredients for an inexpensive yet effective fix. If you don’t have some of the items, you can easily pick them up at the grocery a few bucks. Say bye-bye to to foul smells, stubborn stains, dingy stovetops and more with these tips.

Source: Consolidated Foodservice






Living Room Makeover Ideas

Every once in awhile, you look around your home and find that you are bored with it. The same curtains have been hanging in the windows for years, your walls are old and maybe dirty, and you have been staring at the same artwork for what feels like forever. When you haven’t redecorated in awhile, it can get easy to grow accustomed to this kind of boredom. But it is easy to overcome. Making over your living room is fun, can be done well on a budget, and let’s you play with your creative side. There are a number of ways that you can give your living room a makeover, below are just a few to get you started.


eco friendly paint #1 – Paint the walls a new color. There is no quicker, easier way to redo your living room – or any room for that matter – than by painting the walls. Although it seems like a lot of work, and it will take you several tiring hours to do it, painting is surprisingly easy and has a huge impact on the feeling of a room. So pick out a new shade, and preferably pick one that is made by an environmentally friendly manufacturer, and roll up your sleeves and get started.



dish collection

#2 – Display a collection. Want to turn your old collection into fetching eye candy in your living room? It can easily be done, depending on what you have collected. Dishes and masks, for example, can be hung right onto the walls. Tea kettles or vintage salt and pepper shakers, meanwhile, need shelves to be displayed.


empty room #3 – Keep it simple. Sometimes the best way to redo your living room is to get rid of almost everything in it. This is a great option for a room that has its own elements of beauty like architectural detail. Lynn Morgan told House Beautiful about her own beautifully sparse living room, “I wanted it simple, clean-lined, and inviting, with a little bit of glamour and a lot of comfort.” Whites and other neutral tones can enhance this effect.


#4 – Accent with lush textures. Using accents to highlight different parts of your room is a great way to get bang for your buck. Invest in a few new accent pieces with rich, luxurious textures. For example, some velvet throw pillows can play off of a thickly textured area rug and a gilded picture frame.


zebra print pillows #5 – Get a little wild. Want to increase the drama factor in your living room? Try going on safari in your living room. According to Better Homes and Gardens, “A touch of animal print goes a long way in this vintage-inspired living room. Fun zebra-pattern pillows and an upholstered ottoman accent soft blue walls. Other furniture and accessories remain neutral, allowing the pattern to shine.”



#6 – Change the artwork. Many people hang up a picture in their home and then never move it again. But one easy, free way to really change up the look of your entire house is to totally rearrange the artwork. Move a collection of art hanging in your bedroom to the living room and take the living room wall hangings and put them in the hall. Just be sure that your new arrangements all match.


fireplace #7 – Upgrade your fireplace. If you have a fireplace in your living room, make sure you are maximizing its decorative effect. You can do this by clearing away all the tchotchkes on the mantle, using the fireplace to store your firewood artfully during the hot summer months, or by simply dusting it off and cleaning it. Don’t forget that your fireplace is more than just functional; it’s fashionable too. Spruce up your fireplace with fireplace décor and accessories.




indoor plants #8 – Add lots of plants and greenery to your living room. Nothing lights up a room like a plant. It also breathes oxygen into your home and removes carbon dioxide from it. Flowers are another great way to perk things up. Simply put some vibrant flowers in your favorite vase and display them on the fireplace mantle or a coffee table.


book stacks #9 – Build an end table out of your books. Got more books that you know what to do with? Put them to work by stacking them up into an end table. Hard covers work best for this, but soft covers can be added to the pile as well. And feel free to change the order and the books in the stack.







window curtains #10 – Rethink your windows. Windows have a huge effect on a room, so how you frame yours really matters. If you’ve had the same curtains for a long time, consider getting some new ones.









5 Mistakes to Avoid when Selling Your Home

Note from Cathy: Our next guest post while I’m out on vacation is by Andrew, who gives some great advice if you are thinking of selling your home.

home It may not be easy to sell your home especially when the property market is getting unpredictable. Before putting up your home up for sale, it is imperative that you first understand and learn from the common mistakes local home sellers commit. Knowing about them could help you avoid committing the same.
It is not easy to sell a home. But it may not be too difficult as well. You could possibly sell your house at an ideal price and sooner if you would avoid committing the common blunders according to expert property sellers. Here are five of those blunders you should avoid.
Mistaking previous appraisals for the current market value

It is a big mistake not to get the most updated estimate of the property prior to its sale. The real estate market is moving constantly. The actual and current valuation of your property may not be accurate today especially if the appraisal was conducted more than 6 months to 12 months ago. Your property-for-sale could be priced lower or higher today compared to the recent valuation.

Not getting a sworn valuation

A sworn market valuation could provide you with the best and most accurate pricing structure for your property. You surely would not want to spend thousands of dollars on advertising your home at a very expensive and unreasonable price (which would not attract any buyer). Prospective buyers surely would also run their own valuation of your property. Make sure you get a valuation from independent valuers to make sure the price obtained is fair and accurate. Most agents are also knowledgeable in valuing properties, but they may have hidden agendas for setting prices.

Selling at auction

Putting your home at an auction would only put pressure to yourself. Many experts assert that auctions only condition sellers’ minds to accept low prices for their properties. Do not easily give in if your agent is convincing you to join an auction. Even the ‘dummy bidding trick’ (a practice that is aimed at setting higher prices for properties for sale) is not recommended.

Setting selling price too high

Many home sellers end up not finding good buyers for their properties because they set sale prices too high. You surely are tempted to set a high price range for your home because you intend to negotiate it a little down from there. The result: good buyers who really want to buy the property could be instantly turned off by the very expensive tag price.

Setting selling price too low

On the other hand, do not set a price that is too low for your property. If you succeed in selling your home without proper valuation, you might forever be wondering if you could have possibly sold it at a much higher price. Actual valuation of the home might reveal you surely could have done so.

Lastly, intend to sell your home to a buyer who you think would take care of the property. It is ideal if you sell at a good price. But it could be better if you sell to the right buyer. Good luck.

Andrew has contributed to numerous real estate blogs. He specializes in refinancing solutions for both consumers and businesses.

Meal Plan for January 28-February 3

Well hi there! How has your week been? My week has been, well different. I had minor surgery on Wednesday so had a few down days afterwards where I didn’t get much done.

Then we got a major snowstorm and got an inch of snow. Yes, that’s a major snowstorm for this area. Fortunately it’s supposed to be in the 60’s and low 70’s this week so that should melt all that white stuff.

Not much else to report, so on to this week’s dinner menu. I have linked to the recipes I have got from other sites or from other pages on my site. You will notice “garden salad” multiple times on the menu. I don’t know why but I have been craving salads lately. I guess there are worse foods to crave, huh?

Garden Salad
Dijon Beef and Mushrooms
Green Beans
Chicken and Dumplings
Peas and Carrots
Broccoli Potato Soup
Fast Food Friday
Grilled Steak
Baked Potato
Garden Salad
Garden Salad

Have a great week!

I’m also linking to ON THE MENU MONDAY.