Monday, 30 January 2012

Have a Plan

My apologies for not posting over the past week. I dislocated my shoulder and have been very limited with what I can do because of it. I was so not prepared for anything of this nature to happen to me! One just never knows though.

Although this post is short, I do have to say...have a plan! If you run any type of business or even the day to day tasks of being a homemaker, there should be a plan on paper of what to do in case anything should happen. I am humbled by this experience, as I have the attitude of "it won't happen to me". Well, I was very did happen to me and now I am scrambling for help with my housework and farm work. I have been fortunate as my daughter has taken on the majority of the chores, but she is at her Dad's this next weekend and I will have to figure out a way to toss forkfuls of hay with one arm. Any ideas?

I go back to the doctor in the morning and will find out what the game plan is from there. All I know is I had no idea a dislocated shoulder could hurt so much...Mel Gibson portrays a different scenario in his movie (the name of it escapes me at the moment...please comment if you know which one I am referring to).

I have been working on my new website over the past few days (my Kobo Vox has been a wonderful thing) and will have my Membership Section up and running by mid February. The aim of the membership is to help writers and bloggers put their ideas to work for them. Many homemakers have been able to subsidize the family income with blogging; it could just as easily be you.

Have a great day!


Saturday, 21 January 2012

5 Ways to End Entryway Clutter

When it is cold and snowy out, we have to wear heavier coats, boots and snow pants. This usually ends up in contributing to a very messy entryway. There are a few ways we can make our lives simpler and end some of the clutter.

  1. Have a mat close to the door. There are mats available on the market with raised edges which the melting snow from leaking onto your floor or your carpets.
  2. When children come in from outside, the first thing they tend to do when they take off their outerwear is to throw it on the floor. Put up hooks so they can hang up their coats and ski pants. A nice touch is to put their names above the hooks so there is no fighting over who gets which hook. And trust me, there will be fighting otherwise.
  3. Rubbermaid storage containers are great for organizing: designate one to each family member for mitts, scarves and toques. This keeps them from being tossed just anywhere as well as keeping some order to your entryway.
  4. Many of us have dogs in our homes. When it is snowy and cold out, they too come in with wet feet. Have a kennel or bed for them in the entryway and teach them to stay there for a little while. This also pertains to anytime of the year; it keeps wet and muddy tracks off of our kitchen floors.
  5. Keep the entryway clear of toys and other unnecessary items. In a busy household many things get brought in and dropped by the door; groceries, mail, and even towels and swimsuits after a day at the pool.
Do you already incorporate any of these methods in your home?

Have a great day!


p.s. Please visit my new website showcasing my published works and services. Thanks!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

7 Tips for a Clean Home with Pets

In my quest for blog material, and to help spread the word for others in the cleaning industry, I was fortunate enough to be sent the following article. Please take a moment to visit the site at the end.

Fur, accidents, litter boxes, oh my! Is it possible to have a clean house with pets? Yes, it is possible with a little extra cleaning time. Here are some tips you need to know:
  • The biggest cleanliness challenge for many pet owners is hair. All breeds shed, some more than others. Vacuum all open spaces where the animals roam daily. To reduce the roaming space of your animals, simply shut doors to rooms you don’t want them to go into. A quality vacuum cleaner is an essential tool in your campaign to lift pet hair from your home. 
  • You can minimize how much cleaning up you need to do if you start with proper grooming. Groom your cat and dog outdoors to minimize airborne skin particles that contribute to allergies. You should brush your pet a few times a week, just a quick brushing to get the coat out. If you collect hair on the brush, it’s not on the floor. 
  • Another thing to remember is that you will need to change the furnace filters more often, possibly every two to four weeks. If you keep them clean, the less work your heating and cooling system has to do, so you can save money as well. 
  • Most dogs, if properly trained, do their business outside. Even the best trained pet can have an accident. Cleaning accidents quickly is critical to prevent an odor problem in the home. Look for cleaners with enzymes at your pet-supply store.
  • Cats usually have their bathrooms indoors, in the form of a litter box. Scoop the box at minimum twice a day, and change it completely about every 10 days. That means after the litter is dumped, filling the box with water, a bleach solution, and a sudsy dishwashing detergent like Dawn, and giving it a good scrub before refilling. 
  • At the door your pet uses most often, keep old towels and teach them to wait to have their feet dried or remove rain and mud. It is handy to keep a small pail near to fill with water to remove debris from their feet.
  • To contain your dog or cat in one spot, invest in a quality bed that will be their designated space. This will prevent them from getting on your bed or couch. 

If keeping a house clean when you have pets is more than you have the time for, consider a reputable maid service  and allow the maids to lend a hand.

These are great tips which will help minimize the amount of pet hair and mess in your home. We do not have any cats in the house (sniff sniff) due to my partner's allergies, but we do keep a dog inside during the cold winter months. For a dog with such short hair he sure seems to shed a lot. The applicable above tips will be implemented in my home...what about yours?

Thanks and have a great day!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Jump on Spring Cleaning!

I know Spring is several weeks away, but why not get a jump on your Spring Cleaning now? I have been fortunate enough to come across an article on Helium that was just what I was looking for in regards to content for my blog. I contacted the author (J.R. Lewis) and this is what she sent me. You will find an article on Helium that she has written which is very similar to this one.

Something about springtime makes one start new. It's a time to get rid of the dust and dreary days of winter and find the sweet renewal of spring. A wonderful place to start your own spring cleanup is the bathroom! There's not a more deserving, well used room in the house.
Have your handy ceiling fan duster in hand to hit the high areas of the room.
·      *Dust vents and fans. Hit the room corners, too.
·      *Next, dust your light fixtures. If there are removable light covers, wash them.
·      *Hand wipe the baseboards. Use a mild, pleasant smelling cleaner such as Pinesol and hot water.
·    * If your bath has any windows, wipe down the ledges and glass.
·      *Take down curtains and wash them. Also the shower curtain, bathmat, and carpets. 
·      *If there are shades, dry dust them. If metal, they can be taken down and soaked in hot bleach water.

With the high areas dusted and the baseboards cleaned, work from the deepest part of your bath. In many, it’s the bath that is the farthest.
·     * Clorox clean up and magic erasers are the best methods for both tubs and showers. Certain surfaces, such stone as marble or travertine, may require special cleaners as bleach may damage it. Use the cleaner that best suits the needs of your individual tub.
·     * Remember to scrub around the faucets as mold likes to collect.
·      *Pay special attention to the shower head. It is overlooked and builds up black mold. (Special attention should be given to a shower track if there’s a sliding glass door.)

Once the inside of your tub is cleaned, wipe the outside. Often grooves in standard bathtubs collect dust. Surfaces not considered make the biggest difference.
Now, it's time to face the toilet.  
·      *Bleach works well.
·      * If there are hard water stains in your ceramic toilet, use a pumice stone to remove them. Using it may be scary at first because there is a sandy grit created by scratching the bowl with it. Don't worry; it is the pumice itself. This is very effective on most stains, but not those that are very old or deep.
·      *Don't forget the base. More than the top of the tank, the outside should be wiped down with your mild cleaner.
·      *After wiping down the toilet, hand wipe the floor around it. It is hard to reach with a mop.
Now, with your shower/tub and toilet clean, it's time for the sink and vanity. The glass mirror is a huge consideration.
·   *  A mix of rubbing alcohol and water make for the perfect glass cleaner that will leave your mirror perfect.
·      *Wipe down the splash guard on the back of the unit before removing all the items on the vanity.
·      Now, clean the counter tops and sinks. Pay special attention to the areas where toothbrushes sit or make up is applied. Both cause a build up on the surface.
·      *With the area wiped shining, re-position all the items after wiping them down as well.
·      *Clean the soap dishes, toothbrush holders, and liquid soap holders.
*With the vanity top clean, concentrate on the unit. If it’s a pedestal sink, simply wipe down the base. If the unit has a closed area such as drawers or cabinets, it is time to clean them out.
·     * Get rid of outdated medications, old make-up, used razors, anything that hasn't been used since your last deep cleaning. Face it, you're never going to use that four year old hotel conditioner if you haven't used it by now.
·     * It's time to start new. Don't be afraid to throw things away!
·     * Medicine cabinets: Clean them out. Old medications can be dangerous as well as ineffective. Wipe the shelves and reorganize.
·      *It's now time to go through your towels, face cloths, and hand towels.
·      *Get rid of the worn ones. Recycle them to your cleaning rag pile or donate them to your local Goodwill.
·      *Wipe out the shelves before replacing items. Wipe out the cabinets as you go.
Once the sink and vanity are cleaned, clean out any closets in the same fashion. Remember, clear out the clutter! Now that the main areas are cleaned and organized, it is time to focus on the floors. 
·      *Sweep or vacuum the floors. Bathrooms tend to collect lots of hair. Glass tiles are an easy clean. Using the alcohol and water mix, the debris should come off easily. Avoid it until completely dry.
·      *If there are old tiles with lots of staining, a scrub brush and bleach will work wonders.
·      *If your floor is hard wood, cork, or linoleum using the mild cleaner by hand which will allow you control in collecting the surface dirt and will be most effective.
·      *Allow the floor to dry before replacing the freshly laundered carpets, shower curtains, rugs, drapes, and towels.
Congratulations! You've done it! Your bathroom has been spring cleaned and it looks great! Way to go!

I would once again like to thank J.R. Lewis for this wonderful information. Please visit her page on helium and read through some of her other works.

Thank you and have a great day!


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Winter Driving

We have had a very pleasant winter so far...up until yesterday that is. I have not traveled very far this year as I do not have use of my vehicle (see an earlier post) and am not all that broken-hearted. I did, however, have to travel an hour away yesterday as I took my uncle for an appointment. We had some snow in the morning and as I was driving his truck (rear-wheel drive) I hit a slippery section of road. I must say fish-tailing going up a hill is not my idea of a good time! All's well that ends well and I managed to keep control, but I did get quite a scare.

After his appointment I stopped at a gas bar and bought some sandbags for his's amazing what that little bit of extra weight does for traction. For more tips on winter safety, please visit HubPages; the author of the article brings up some very good points. You will see my note regarding the sandbags toward the end of the  comment section (username brsmom68).

In addition to the weather report, today is not a nice day. I am having a hard time adjusting from the above zero temperatures we have been having to the -23C this morning. I know I should be accustomed the cold temps since I have been an Albertan since day one, but unfortunately I'm just a big wuss. Days like today I wish we had a fireplace or a wood stove.

That is all for now...have a great day and stay warm!


Monday, 9 January 2012

Chocolate Confetti

One of my favorite types of square is Chocolate Confetti. I was going to make them for Christmas but wasn't feeling well, so today is the day to make a pan full. They probably won't make it until the weekend, as we all like them. I'm glad I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions in the way of dieting...or I'd be breaking it today.

You will need:

1/2 cup of margarine
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
8 - 10 cups miniature marshmallows (colored or white)


  1. Melt margarine, peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a large saucepan over low heat until thoroughly combined and chocolate chips are melted.
  2. Set aside to cool until you can hold your hand on the bottom of the saucepan.
  3. Mix in miniature marshmallows until evenly coated. 
  4. Turn into a 9"X13" pan and cool. Cut into squares.
  5. Enjoy!
I made mine with 12 cups of marshmallows, but I think perhaps it is too many. It is a personal preference, but 8 - 10 cups works well.

I will not be baking anything tomorrow as I will be away, but perhaps Wednesday will be a good day for Magic Squares. What is your favorite type of square?

Until then, have a great day!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Kobo Vox Review

I received a Kobo Vox as a Christmas Gift! I am so happy! I had originally requested the Kobo eReader Touch, but when I saw the Kobo Vox was being released, I changed my wish list.

I am happy with the size and weight of it (much lighter than Under the Dome by Stephen King) and it is a pretty powder blue. The Wi-Fi capability is nice as I can download books from the Kobo site anywhere I have a connection. There are many apps to choose from as well which include scheduling, office features, games and other fun stuff.

The Kobo Rewards is a neat feature as it gives you rewards for reading at different times of the day, starting a new book, downloading a certain number of books and much more. It is an incentive to read, even if it doesn't have any monetary value. I have several of the badges already and I have only had it for a week. There is also a Share button linked directly to Facebook when any badges or activity is completed. You always have the option of is not posted automatically.

Kobo also has many eBooks available for free or less than $5.00. It only takes a few seconds to download them into your library. To make purchases you will need to set up an account with them; I use my PayPal account to buy books, but I do believe using a Chapters Gift Card or credit card will also work.

The battery life isn't the greatest, especially when surfing the web or playing games. If the Kobo is being used for reading alone and no other apps are running in the background the battery will last several hours. Playing games quickly decreases that life. I haven't figured out exact times on it, but that will vary with each time I use it. Sometimes I read for awhile then play a game or go online. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much time I would get out of each activity.

I have yet to try the highlighting features available within the books. I have used the built-in dictionary a few times and it seems to work well. There are other features I know I haven't come across yet, but I also haven't taken a lot of time to try the different things. One thing I was a bit disappointed about was it doesn't read PDF files, but there is an app available for that feature. I was getting frustrated with it until I read through the manual again and found out why I couldn't read the PDF files I had installed. The manual is in the library and I suggest new users read through it first.

It does come with Scrabble installed, which is one of my favorite games. The only thing about the game that disappoints me is it requires an internet connection to play. I presume if I were to purchase the full version I should be able to play it anywhere, with or without a connection.

The Kobo Vox retails for $199.00 and in my opinion is worth it. It is an affordable eReader with a few extras.

How many of you have the Kobo Vox? What about other eReaders? Please feel free to share your opinions on any you have.

Thanks and have a great day!


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

We had a fun New Year's Eve playing Crokinole and watching movies with family. Fun was had by all and I was the designated driver so we made it home safe. I hope everyone has good memories of last night.

The holiday season was busy as it always seems to be. Now that it is almost over I can get back to a routine again. Kids are not back in school until the 9th, but that is okay with me - it means I still have a week of sleeping in past 6:15.

We also celebrate Ukrainian Christmas, so after our New Year's meal at my in-laws this evening we will have one more big meal - then the diet can start. I will be posting regularly again, and will see if I can figure out how to post from my Kobo Vox so I can share more tips and information regularly.

Have a great day and a very happy new year!