Thursday, January 25, 2018

How I Clean My Entire House with Three Safe Ingredients

A couple of years ago, I set out to simplify my cleaning. I was tired of buying multiple cleaners that cost a fortune. In addition to this, I was looking for cleaners that would be safe for my family to use on a daily basis. After some research, I decided to create my own cleaners because it would help our health and save us money in the long run. After two years of trying different combinations, I have finally settled on three ingredients that I use to clean my entire house.

*This post uses affiliate links. I make a small commission from these links but it doesn't affect your shopping experience at all!*

Today, I'm going to be sharing the three safe ingredients I use when cleaning my home and how you can use them in your own home. There are occasional times when we use something a bit stronger, but I would say that we use these methods 90% of the time. I love that my cleaning supplies are simple and safe now. There's no need to worry about the baby or the dogs being around when I'm cleaning.

Let's start with the three ingredients and then I'll tell you exactly how I use them. First, I want to say that there is a fourth ingredient - water - but I don't count it as a main ingredient. However, it is an important part of my cleaning. So, now for the three ingredients - white vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and essential oils (If you're interested in essential oils, let me know and I can put you in touch with someone. I don't sell them, but I'm happy to make a recommendation!). There's a good chance that you already have those items floating around your house.

Now, I could leave you with the three ingredients and send you on your way, but that wouldn't do you much good. That would simply leave you wasting time researching or experimenting with these ingredients. And since I'm all about saving you time in your busy life, I'm also including exactly how I use them around the house.

All Purpose Cleaner
white vinegar
lemon essential oil
(or actual lemon juice if you don't have any oils)

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of water and vinegar. Then, add a few drops of the lemon essential oil. Wet a rag, spray the surface, and wipe clean. The vinegar and lemon will help lift up dirt and disinfect at the same time.

I use this cleaner to wipe down the kitchen counters, stove, bathroom counters, bathroom floors, windows, and kitchen floors (most of our house is carpeted).

Bathroom Cleaner
Dawn dishsoap
white vinegar
lemon or orange essential oil
(or actual lemon juice if you don't have any oils)

Toilet: Squirt some Dawn in the bowl (I estimate on this one) and then add about a cup of vinegar. Use a toilet bowl brush to clean as you would with any other cleaner. Flush when finished and add a couple drops of essential oil to make the bathroom smell fresh.

Shower: Fill a soap dispensing dish sponge with half vinegar and half Dawn. Use the brush to wipe down your entire shower or tub, scrubbing a little extra in tough spots. Let sit for five minutes and then rinse clean. Keep the brush in the shower and use it once or twice a week after you shower to keep things clean and fresh.

These are the main ways that I use vinegar, Dawn, and essential oils to keep the house clean. When it comes to dusting, I use a simple cloth diaper to wipe things down and keep them dust free. (I used cloth diapers for this purpose even before having a baby.) I'm still looking into ways to use essential oils for air fresheners, homemade Lysol, and other tasks around the house.

What are you favorite tips for keeping the house clean? Do you use essential oils around the house?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 Reading List

I love books. In fact, I love books so much that I have way too many downloaded on my Kindle. This is why I'm making 2018 the year of reading and learning new things. There will definitely be some fiction reading in there, but a lot of the books on my list are nonfiction and related to blogging or running your own business.

*Affiliate links are used in this post to help you find the books mentioned. I make a small commission off of these links, but they don't affect your shopping experience at all.*

I'm big on accountability and authenticity with my readers. This is why I'm taking today to share my 2018 reading list and goals with you. I'm hoping it might give you some ideas for your own reading list. (If you have a list of your own, let me know in the comments below. I'd love to check it out!)

I'll also be returning to this post to update it with mini reviews of the books that I read. You can also catch those mini reviews in my weekly newsletter as I finish books from my list. Now, let's keep this simple and get right into my goals and the books I have on my fiction and nonfiction lists (books are listed in no particular order). Most of these books are on my Kindle, but there are a few in print and a couple that I have the audio version downloaded.

Reading Goals
1. Read at least one chapter before bed at night.
2. Set aside time for a reading hour each week.
3. Finish two or more books a month.
4. Write mini reviews for each book that I read and share them in my newsletter and on this post.
5. Create a solid morning and night routine that allows for reading time.
6. Give myself permission to move on from books I'm not enjoying.

My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
See Me by Nicholas Sparks
Don't Stop Me Now by Colleen Coleman
How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Launch by Jeff Walker
Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
Finding Clarity by Amanda Young
The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner (finish)
The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (finish)
The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
The Wisdom of Walt by Jeffrey A. Barnes
The Power of Why by C. Richard Weylman
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Confessions of a Boss Mom by Dana Malstaff
She Means Business by Carrie Green
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas (finish)
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (finish)
Make It Happen by Lara Casey
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley
A Simplified Life by Emily Ley
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

The Conquer Kit by Natalie MacNeil
Push by Chalene Johnson
Ditch the Fear and Just Write It! by Alexa Bigwarfe
Mindset Switch! by Tonya Rineer (releasing in March)

Currently Reading:

I can't wait to share my thoughts as I finish up these different books! Do you have a book suggestion for me? Leave it in the comments below! I'm always looking for new books to add to my list!
Psst...Make sure you're on my email list so that you get those mini reviews each time I finish a book!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ten Easy Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

How many times have you heard that eating at home is healthier than eating out? It's a nice concept but it can be a struggle to eat at home on a busy day. But what if you had a delicious meal waiting for you when you walked in the door? Would that change things? What if that meal took minimal prep work and cooked itself? That's where the slow cooker and easy to make meals comes in! I love our slow cooker for busy days and that's why I'm bringing you ten easy recipes you can use in your slow cooker on busy days.

*Affiliate links are used in this post. They don't harm you in any way, but they do allow us to bring in a bit of money to help support the blog!*

First, I want to start by saying that if you don't have a crockpot with a timer, then you're going to want one! I used to avoid slow cooker meals on my busy days because I was typically gone longer than the recipes needed. Once I bought a crockpot with a timer, it made all of the difference. All I have to do is put in the food, set the temperature and time, and return home to a delicious meal. My slow cooker automatically switches over to warm when the timer ends. It's absolutely perfect!

Enough about the love I have for our crockpot though - I know you're here for the recipes. Before we dive into them, I wanted to share what I look for in easy recipes. First, the ingredients should be thrown in without any precooking. Second, the prep work (cutting, dicing, etc) should be minimal to save time. And third, I aim for a minimal amount of ingredients. Essentially, I look for simple recipes with minimal prep work.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos from The Coastie Couple

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken and Baked Potatoes from The Coastie Couple

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas from Cooking Classy

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers from Humorous Homemaking (vegetarian)

Crockpot Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes from Recipes that Crock

Crockpot Beef Stew from Life in the Lofthouse

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Potatoes from The Recipe Critic

Slow Cooker Beef and Brocolli from Cake Whiz

Slow Cooker Shredded Italian Beef from The Chunky Chef

Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe from Cincy Shopper

If you try out any of the recipes, I'd love to hear your thoughts! They are all very simple and would make great dinners to come home to on a busy day.

If you're looking for more tips, tricks, and recipes for keeping dinner simple and stress free, then I recommend checking out Moments Around the Table - an affordable resource library that will help you get dinner on the table with less stress.

Do you have a favorite recipe that should be on this list? Share it in the comments below! I love finding new recipes.