Category Archives: home

organizing a desk

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Today I wanted to share with you a project I did a few months ago that I just kept forgetting to write about: I decided to finally do something about my messy desk. It’s the only thing in my house I can’t seem to keep organized, and it drives me CRAZY!

 
Russell’s side of the desk was designed as a computer desk and has a built-in shelf above his monitor. My side of the desk was designed as a craft desk, with no built-in shelf, and a computer was added later. My desk was sorely in need of organization but with no real solutions – not really possible to add a built-in shelf and couldn’t find a good desk organizer for a good price.

 
desk organization  I  frozen pizza, again?

This is when we were building the desk (November 2011). Russell’s side is on the left, mine is on the right.

 
Well, back in March I discovered any easy solution that didn’t involve much work or spending any money: a small shelving unit that I had brought home from my parents’ place over Christmas break. I had intended to use it as an extra bookshelf in our home office, but it didn’t fit next to the bookshelf we already had.

I also added a few plastic organizers – drawers for pens, desk supplies, etc; desk tray for random papers; and a letter sorter. All of these I items I already owned or borrowed from Russell’s office at the church (he wasn’t using them, so I did).

 

Before

desk organization  I  frozen pizza, again?

desk organization  I  frozen pizza, again?

 

After

desk organization  I  frozen pizza, again?

desk organization  I  frozen pizza, again?

If you are curious why there are a bunch of tissue boxes lined up against the wall, it is because a certain little kitty named Malcolm used to chew on the ethernet cord.

 
This shelf has already been recycled many times. It started out as an end piece for my college apartment’s kitchen bar. When I moved out of that apartment my brother used it as a bookshelf next to his desk. Now it holds all the items that would otherwise be piled up on my desk.

I love finding easy solutions like this that don’t require spending any money!
 


-♥-
Katy

 

homemade toilet bowl cleaner

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I’ve been adventuring outside my kitchen comfort zone again! This time in the field of house cleaning, or more specifically bathroom cleaning.

 
I came across this homemade toilet bowl cleaner a while ago, but I was waiting until my store-bought bottle of bowl cleaner ran out to try it. Well, my cleaner ran out and I couldn’t wait any longer to clean the toilet (let’s face it, nobody likes cleaning the toilet), so I finally tried this homemade cleaner.

My conclusion: it’s not any more difficult to use than a store-bought cleaner, it’s way cheaper, and it uses supplies you probably already have around the house. And, for all you moms out there, it is non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about using harsh chemicals around your kids (or pets). Sounds like a keeper to me!

 
{Ingredients}
1 cup baking soda
[softens water, cleans, deodorizes, scours]
1 cup white distilled vinegar [cuts grease; removes mildew, odors, some stains, and wax build-up]
spray bottle (optional)*

*I recommend using a heavy-duty spray bottle because they provide a strong spray stream. It can be found in the cleaning supplies aisle of the grocery store.

 
homemade toilet bowl cleaner  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Similar homemade bowl cleaner recipes are all over the internet. Some just leave the water in the bowl and have you dump the cleaner into it. But to me that seems a bit counterproductive because the water dilutes the cleaner.

Others have you flush the water out of the bowl before cleaning by either: 1. turning off the water valve and flushing until there is no more water in the bowl, or 2. pouring a bucket of water into the bowl to flush the bowl water out. I’m not really a fan of either of those options because it seems like such a waste of water. So, I found another option that doesn’t waste any water: plunging the bowl water out. (I would link to the site where I discovered this idea, but I can’t find the link anymore.)

 
{Instructions}
Adapted from the Bathroom of: One Good Thing by Jillee

Use the plunger in the toilet as you normally would, but instead of dislodging a clog you will be pushing the water out. Try to get out as much water as you can; all of it may not plunge out but you can get most of it out.

Sprinkle baking soda all around the inside of the bowl (even up under the rim), then either spray or pour vinegar into toilet. There will be some bubbling, which is a harmless chemical reaction.

Note: I recommend setting the sprayer to heavy mist to spray the bowl, otherwise the vinegar will wash the baking soda into the water at the very bottom of the bowl. But use the stream setting to spray up under the rim.

When the bubbling has subsided, scrub the toilet with toilet brush. After scrubbing, spray another light mist of vinegar all around inside of bowl. Leave vinegar and baking soda in the toilet for a few hours or even overnight.

Scrub the toilet one more time, then flush to rinse away the cleaner.

 

Before & After
I apologize for the gross Before photos, but they are necessary for an effective Before & After comparison.
homemade toilet bowl cleaner  I  frozen pizza, again? homemade toilet bowl cleaner  I  frozen pizza, again?
homemade toilet bowl cleaner  I  frozen pizza, again? homemade toilet bowl cleaner  I  frozen pizza, again?
Check out the bottom left photo; Tiger made a cameo appearance!

{Notes}

  • You may see a little dirt in the hole at the bottom of the bowl after it had been cleaned. That came off the plunger, which had been outside, and it was easily flushed away.
  • It is possible to plunge more water out of the toilet than shown in these photos. I have used this cleaner again since the first attempt pictured above, and I was able to plunge the water completely out of the bowl with some only remaining in the hole at the bottom of the bowl.
  • It’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars to get a sturdy, long-handled plunger and toilet scrubber. Russell and I bought the cheapest ones available at Target when we first moved into our house; they get the job done but I have to work a lot harder.


-♥-
Katy

 

 
 
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armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again? burned dessert bottom  I frozen pizza, again? honey tip  I  frozen pizza, again?
Armpit Stain Remover // How Not to Ruin Dessert // How to Easily Measure Out Honey

no more yellow armpit stains!

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I did not intend for this blog to be just for food recipes, though you wouldn’t know that from my posts. My intention was/is to post about the new things I’ve tried as I am learning to be a housewife. Lately, the only new things have pretty much been recipes, but I finally tried something new in the field of laundry.

 
The underarms of Russell’s undershirts were yellow from years of doing sweaty, manly things. They didn’t bother me that much because 1. the stains didn’t seem to bother him and
2. no one sees his undershirts, but I was curious about a new cleaner I saw on Pinterest and I do get tired of his shirts looking dirty even though they are clean. So I gathered several of his most used undershirts (that just so happened to also be dirty) and set out to try this new stain remover.

 
armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Armpit Stain Remover
From the Laundry Room of: One Good Thing by Jillee

Ingredients
1 part Dawn dishwashing liquid (the original blue kind)
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
a little bit of baking soda
1 laundry scrub brush (I used an all-purpose scrub brush, and it worked just fine.)

Instructions
Mix up the ingredients in a small bowl. Take the scrub brush, dab a bit of the cleaner on the spot, and scrub away. Let the shirt sit for about an hour, and then launder as usual.

Notes
This stain remover should not be mixed in large quantities and saved for later use. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) breaks down when exposed to light and turns into regular H2O (which is why it is always sold in a brown bottle).

———-♥———-

 
I took before and after shots so you can see the difference. When Russell saw me taking pictures of his undershirts, he asked if I was going to share them with the internet and seemed quite amused when I said “yes.” So here now for all the internet to see are Russell’s undershirts, freshly washed and relieved of their yellowness (mostly*).

 

Before & After:
(Click photos to enlarge)
armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again?armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again?

armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again?armpit stain remover  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
*The lighter stained shirts came clean on the first try. The darker stained ones (including the one pictured above) did lighten up significantly but did not come completely clean. I was disappointed, but upon closer inspection I think I figured out why: I discovered that the inside of the shirt, which I had scrubbed, had indeed come clean and the yellowness that remains is only on the outside, which I had not scrubbed. The stain remover had, in fact, done its job, but I just had not realized that the shirts needed to be scrubbed on both sides.

 
So, in conclusion this stain remover is super awesome and actually makes me a little bit excited about doing laundry!

 

-♥-
 Katy