Bathroom · Cleaning

No Time To Clean? Try Tackling Just The Bathroom

Before we became parents, my husband and I were sure we would never be the type to overschedule our kids.

“Let them pick just one activity,” we said. “They’ll thank us in the long run.” And we patted ourselves on the back for being such superior imaginary parents and slept the sleep of self-satisfied childless adults.

Then we actually had children …

Who actually went to school …

And who actually brought home flyer after flyer for things like band, cheerleading workshops and knitting clubs. They even brought home flyers for things we had never heard of. (Can someone please tell me what capoeira is?)

Not a week went by that a stack of sign up sheets didn’t pile up on our counter – all clubs and leagues they just absolutely HAD TO join.

Once bedtime hit, I would stuff these flyers as far down into the recycling bin as they would go – the whole time looking anxiously over my shoulder in fear one of them would hear the rustle of papers and come into the kitchen, crying, “Mommy, why are you throwing away my dreams?”

But … out of sight, out of mind, right?

Wrong. They rarely forgot. And it got hard saying “no” to everything. The guilt and fear  they would one day end up in therapy because we denied them their life-long ambition of being a synchronized swimming star became too much.

So, we said “yes” to as much as we could handle, and now here we are, deep into May, with a schedule full of end-of-the-year recitals, concerts, 5ks, bead ceremonies, and showcases. The kids are happy and – surprisingly – don’t seem to mind the schedule. It’s my husband and I who are exhausted.

And our house is showing the strain, too. I dare you to stop by unannounced on a random Tuesday afternoon and not judge me.

In an act of self-preservation, I’ve given up on the idea that the whole house needs to be cleaned all at once every week. Instead I pick one or two chores to do each day and try to find 10 minutes to squeeze them in. Anyone remember Loonette the Clown from “Big Comfy Couch” and her “10-Second Tidy?” It’s kind of the grown up version of that.

But I’ve discovered a trick – something I do every day that makes my house feel a lot cleaner than it is. Clean the bathroom.

Why? Because bathrooms have a tendency to get grody pretty quickly. And if your bathroom is clean, your whole house feels a little cleaner by default.

Here’s what I do:

bathroom cleaningAfter I’m done showering, but before I get out, I grab my Norwex Bathroom Scrub Mitt and wipe down the shower walls while they are still wet. (I don’t even do this every day. Just every couple of days or so).

After I get out of the shower, I wipe the steam off my mirrors with my Window Cloth. Not only does it get the steam off, but it cleans my mirror at the same time. Bye, bye toothpaste spots.

Then I rinse my Bathroom Scrub Mitt (or wet it down if I didn’t wipe down the shower) and do a quick wipe of the vanity and sink.

At the end of the week, I put some toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl while I’m in the shower, then after I’ve wiped down the shower and vanity, I clean the bowl with the Ergonomic Toilet Brush and wipe down the toilet with the Bathroom Scrub Mitt.

Then I wash everything with my other microfiber.

My bathroom is clean before I even leave to take my daughter to school. And, if its a hectic day and nothing else gets done, I feel okay with it because, hey, at least my bathroom is clean.

What about you? What quick cleaning tips do you have to get you through those crazy, busy weeks?

Dining · Green Living · Kitchen · Sustainable

The Absolute Perfect Cloth Napkin

My foray into the world of cloth napkins started in an unusual way. It started with rinsing out my baby’s poopy diapers.

My husband and I weren’t particularly domestic people when we got married. I had taken home ec when I was in 8th grade, but most of that information leached out of my brain when I was in college to make room for all the names of MTVs “Real World San Francisco” cast and which bar served up the cheapest sex-on-the-beach shooters.

Neither of us knew how to fold a fitted sheet or iron a shirt collar, but we could do basic laundry. So when our first daughter was born, we decided to hop on the earth parent wave and use cloth diapers. And let me tell you, that act alone had me feeling like friggin’ Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I figured if I could rinse out poopy diapers on a daily basis, I could do just about anything. Even learn how to fold that damn fitted sheet. And when I realized how many diapers we WEREN’T throwing away, I started looking for other things we could stop putting in the trash. Cloth napkins suddenly seemed like a no-brainer.

So, I channeled my inner Laura, bought some fabric and asked my mom to show me how to sew. A week later I had a set of 14 cloth napkins and a newfound sense of empowerment. I could both sew and save the earth! Amazing!

Going zero-waste or paperless in the kitchen has been catching on in the last few years. It’s easy to see why. Each American uses an average of 2,200 standard 2-ply paper napkins annually.  Now multiply that by 300 million Americans and you have a whopping 600 BILLION paper napkins being thrown away every year! A family of 4 alone could save 8,800 paper napkins going into the trash.20180504_093731

Not only are cloth napkins better for the environment, but:

  • They are sturdier.  We still have a few of the original set of napkins I made 15 years ago!
  • They clean your hands better. How many cloth napkins do you go through when you eat pizza? Enough said.
  • They look super fancy. It’s like eating at a fine restaurant every night – one that also serves hot dogs.

 

Now I will be the first to admit cloth napkins are far from perfect. There is an initial upfront cost. A family of 4 needs anywhere from 28 to 56 napkins each week, depending on whether you use one napkin or two each day. It’s an understatement to say that’s a lot of napkins. Which leads me to the next problem.

Laundry. Each week we did at least one load that was entirely napkins. It’s better than a whole load of napkins going into the trash each week, but still. I didn’t even bother treating stains. We just had a special set of “spaghetti-only” napkins.

So when Norwex introduced their cloth napkins last fall, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Literally. And for a few awesome reasons:

  • Each set is made from 50 percent recycled materials, so I’m doing even more to protect the environment.
  • They are microfiber so they are more durable and absorbent than the cotton napkins we were using.
  • And best of all … they contain BacLock, which means they have the same self-cleansing properties as Norwex’s other microfiber.

 

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My stack of cloth napkins before Norwex (left) and after Norwex (right).

That means one set of 4 napkins can last us the entire week! We just rinse them out under warm water each night after dinner, hang them to dry and use them again the next day. I am eliminating an entire load of laundry each week! I just throw them in the same load as my other microfiber.

They come in two different colors – slate and peacock – so they look great on any table. And the darker colors mean stains aren’t really a problem. No more “spaghetti-only” napkins!

They truly are the perfect cloth napkin! So, if you’re looking for an ultra-convenient way to start reducing paper waste in your home, you really need to check these out.  Click here to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Welcome

domestically greenHey, there! I’m so glad you could stop by for the grand unveiling of my brand-spanking-new blog! I wish I could offer you some coffee or something, but this is a blog, so …

Those of you who know me well, know this isn’t my first blogging rodeo. A few years ago I started a blog called Mixtapes & Cupcakes. I wrote a lot about my life, my kids, my husband, the insane squirrels who rule our backyard, and I had a ton of fun writing it. But things like quitting my 15-year-career and starting my own business happened and that blog just sort of … unwound.

Flash forward a year, and here I am with a successful business and this sparkling new blog! Funny how life works.

This time around, my blog has a much clearer focus – trying to live a happier, healthier life. It’s not the type of blog I thought I would ever have. Goodness knows I’m not exactly the poster child for clean living (don’t get too close to me when I’m in the throes of a hangry, Whopper-craving tantrum). But I try. Every day. And it’s become my mission to help people try, too.

Because I know there’s a better way to take care of our homes and families. It is possible to get off the chemical-cleaning crazy train and find easier, healthier solutions to everyday cleaning problems.

Now – full disclosure here. I am a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant. A lot of what I talk about on this blog will relate to Norwex products. But I want to be clear. I didn’t start this blog because I’m a Norwex consultant. It’s not a job requirement. No one is making me – or paying me – to do this.

I started this blog, because I’ve been using these products in my home for the last couple of years (way before I became a consultant) and I’ve been blown away by what they can do. In fact, I can’t shut up about them. That’s part of the reason I became a consultant – I couldn’t stop talking about Norwex so I figured I might as well help people get their hands on it. And I still can’t shut up about it! I’m so passionate about this stuff, I need several social media platforms – including Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest – to talk about it!

Now, it’s been my experience that most people fit into one of these categories when it comes to Norwex:

1. You’re Never Heard Of The Stuff

If I say “Norwex,”  and you say, “Nor-what??” you’ll definitely want to click here. This page gives you the full rundown of what Norwex microfiber is and how it can make you a domestically green god or goddess.

2. You Have Norwex, You Just Don’t Know What To Do With It

One of my worst fears is that someone will buy these amazing products me, then once the package comes, they shove it under their sink and never look at it again.

I hope you aren’t one of those people. I would hate to think you wasted your money and the hour you spent sitting through my presentation.

Maybe you just went to the party for the free wine. But I’m guessing you bought the products because you were intrigued. Remember that butter demo? That could be your butter-less, streak-free window! So, let’s pull those babies out and see what they can do, huh?

I’ve got so many great tips to share with you. These products were meant to help you live more and clean less! In fact, once you start using them regularly, I just know you’re going to end up in the next category ….

3. You’re A Norwex Lover and Proud Of It
You’re the person who has nearly every product in the catalog. You know Norwex microfiber facts by heart (“There are nearly 10 million feet of microfiber in one Enivrocloth!”) and if someone even whispers the word “Norwex,” you’re like “Oh my god, I love, love, love the [fill in your top Norwex products here].”

If this describes you, you’re definitely going to want to subscribe to this blog. Heck, you might even want to consider becoming a consultant yourself!

So, no matter where you fit on the Norwex spectrum, I hope you will make it a point to stop back here! It really is possible to live more and clean less. I can’t wait to show you how!