Friday, January 24, 2014

Favorite Lamp Sale Picks

Sale alert! Lamps at JCPenney are 30-50% off and after lamp shopping in the last few months I have come to realize that lamps can be a little pricey.

Here are six of my favorites at JCP right now:

JCP Lamp Sale

1. Classic blue and white lamp, always in style. $69.99
2. Traditional white. $34.99
3. Simple wall lamp. $54.99
4. Bold and bright blue. $49.99
5. Glassy. $64.99
6. Sleek with dual lights. $58.00

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Only Cleaning Supplies You Need

The cleaning aisle at the grocery store can be overwhelming. There are a million products, most of which do the same thing.

I was looking at my cleaning cabinet the other day and realized I have way to many products. Some were empty bottles, I had multiple brands of window cleaner, and multiple brands of several other products. After trial-and-error I figured out how to pair down my cleaning products and make some too.

Making your own cleaning products is more time consuming, but you eliminate the harsh chemical smell, plus DIYing is more cost-effective.

Here is what you need to make your own cleaning products:
Vinegar, dish soap (like Dawn, but any brand will work), water, baking soda, bleach, scented oil (if vinegar smell is disturbing), laundry fabric softener sheets, and a squeegee

And how to use these products to DIY your cleaning:
Countertops/General Purpose: 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, optional: add scented oil
General Purpose deep clean (sinks, showers, countertops): mix 1/3 dish soap (Dawn) + 1/3 white vinegar + 1/3 water
Shower cleaner: baking soda + water (enough water to make a paste), sponge on and sponge off
Stovetop cleaner: baking soda + vinegar, scrub (will bubble/frizz)
Drain un-clogger: baking soda + vinegar, plunge
Windows: water + soap, rinse with water, wipe with rag, squeegee off
Baseboards: laundry fabric softener sheets

Note: the bleach is for minimum use, I use it a couple times a year to re-whiten bathtubs.

I also still use store-bought toilet bowl cleaner, Murphy's wood cleaner, Spot-Shot (for pet stains), and occasionally will use Windex and store-bought drain un-clogger.

If you don't want to mix your own products you will need:
A countertop cleaner (Fantastik or Windex Vinegar All-purpose), Shower Cleaner (like Tilex), stovetop cleaner, drain un-clogger, Windex, fabric softener sheets, wood cleaner (like Murphy's).

No matter if you're making your own product or buying you'll need:
A duster (I like Swiffer)
Sponges with rough non-scratch side
Rubber gloves
A vacuum
Toilet Brush
Optional: a mop and/or broom with dustpan, bucket

Other cleaning-type products (in the same area of the grocery store): dishwasher detergent (I use the powder in a box, like Cascade), laundry detergent (I buy the cheapest liquid stuff, however I prefer Purex Free and Clear, its in a white bottle), laundry spray spot stain remover (like Shout), and bleach.

And remember here's a rough list of what you're cleaning (or a list of what-to-clean to give to your kids):

Bathroom: shower drain, countertops, shower, toilet, toilet bowl, baseboards, mirror, cabinets, light switch plate covers, walls

Kitchen: cabinets, hard floors, countertops, appliances, walls, window glass, window frame, sink and faucet, inside microwave, light switch plate covers

Bedrooms: ceiling fans, baseboards, window glass, window frame, light switch, wood furniture

Living Areas: baseboards, wood furniture, floor air vents, TV, window glass, window frames, light switch plate covers

Vacuum: all floors

Happy Cleaning!

image via: Good Housekeeping

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Things Every Home Needs: Bedroom

This post is part of a series titled "Things Every Home Needs"

Bedrooms. All you really need is a place to sleep and get dressed. So here are the basics. Keep in mind that I would recommend white linens because when laundry needs to be done it is easier to just throw in a load of whites with some bleach and not worry about colors. Plus, kids change their minds a lot, so buying white linens keeps things simple and saves money in the long run.

A comforter. I would highly recommend a down or down-alternative comforter.

Down keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Here is the one pictured above. This one is great. Or you could get a true down.

Pillows (2 per sleeping spot), pillow protectors, pillow cases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet.

For the last three items (pillowcase and sheets), you can buy each of these items individually. However, usually it is cheaper to buy these in a set. I recommend Fieldcrest sheets from Target. These Fieldcrest sheets that have a faint stripe pattern which makes it super easy to make the bed instead of trying to figure out what side of the sheet is the long side and which is the short side.

Clothes storage (closet, dresser, under bed)

I really like these storage containers because they fit under a bed without having to use bed risers.

A nightstand for each person with a lamp.

Alarm clock (if don't use cell phone).

I prefer an alarm that can charge my iPod, has a radio alarm (so you wake up to a radio instead of BEEP-ing), and obviously displays the time, digitally. And if I'm being picky I don't like the time to be in displayed in red, I prefer green or blue. So this one is perfect.

Fan (ceiling, floor, table)

Has anyone found a quiet fan, besides a ceiling fan?


Headboard. I would recommend a fabric headboard because isn't the point of a headboard to make a softer place for your head?

Radio. Your alarm clock can double as a radio.

"Junk" storage. This is important if you have kids as this is a great place for toys that end up in their room. You can use the under-the-bed plastic storage totes mentioned above.

Laundry hamper. If you don't take your clothes straight to the laundry room, get a hamper or a basket.

An extra blanket or blankets, depending on where you live. This is a good place to add some color and personality to your all white linens.
Are you looking to simplify and organize a different room? Check out other rooms here.