Side story: One of the needles actually flew up and hit me right in the eye! Have you ever had that happen before? Crazy! I never would have thought that I needed protective eyewear for sewing. It hurt, but it just so happened that my daughter had her eye doctor appointment the next day, and he looked at my eye and said it would heal just fine.
Anyway, I decided to take my machine to my local Quality Sewing and Vacuum center, where I bought it. The ladies there are always very helpful. When you use a ruffler foot, you need to align it to your specific machine and needle. I assumed I was doing something wrong. Well, the nice lady who helped me took a look at it and said I had done everything right. It turns out I was just using a fabric that was too heavy for the ruffler. But, she said that we should probably take a look to see if there was any damage when the needle hit the machine in the wrong place. She took out the bobbin, took off the plates, and looked inside.
“Um, honey, do you ever clean out your machine?” she asked.
I think she knew the answer when she started pulling dust bunnies out of it. I’ve been sewing for years. YEARS. I’ve never cleaned out my machine. I didn’t even know that the little brush that came with the machine was used to brush lint out of the interior workings of the machine. I suppose I should have known, but I didn’t. I asked the nice lady how often I was supposed to clean out the inside. She said she cleans her machine every time she uses it.
I laughed out loud and I’m not even kidding!
Lesson learned. I’ll be cleaning my machine more frequently. I found several videos on You Tube, describing how to take your machine apart, clean it, and put it back together. Please tell me I’m not the only person out there who does not take their machine apart and clean it
every time they use it ever.
I absolutely hate dusting. It’s my least favorite household chore. The other day, I was watching QVC’s Dyson vacuum hour. (I swear, everyday I’m revealing some dorky new activity to you guys. I don’t actually buy things on QVC, but I like watching the channel because they have great tips, recipes, and ideas on how to use the products I already have in my home. I use it as a learning channel. See, I told you… totally dorky.) So, anyway, I was watching the QVC Dyson hour and one of the vacuums they had came with a dusting attachment. I perked up a bit because, as I mentioned, I hate dusting. I figured that the Dyson website probably sold the attachment to the vacuum I own, so I decided to check it out. I needed to purchase a replacement hose, which I knew would be available on the website, and sure enough, the dusting attachment was there too.
Yes, I know, that was kind of a long story just to tell you that I can dust my house. I warned you! This post isn’t for everyone.
(I’m going to act like the QVC hosts now.)
See how the Dyson dusting attachment picks up all of the yucky old dust and can even reach into those tight, hard to reach, spaces? Ooooh, I just love this, and that red strip acts just like a pet hair magnet! (You have to read this with an unusually perky tone of voice in order to get the full effect.)
(Resume perky voice) With the Dyson extension wand, you can even reach that cob web that has been driving you crazy when you sit down to watch tv and relax! You don’t have to worry about scratching the walls because the Dyson dusting attachment is incredibly soft.
The brush is great for hard to reach spaces like the vents in a fireplace insert. Look at those gross vents and then take a look at how the Dyson dusting attachments cleans them with ease.
Maybe I should go to work for QVC, because that perky tone seemed to come naturally to me as I was writing. I’m sure your vacuum has a similar attachment, and it’s worth checking in to. Honestly, I didn’t even know this was available for purchase. They also have a pet grooming attachment, which sounds pretty cool.
By the way, I’m not connected with QVC or Dyson in any way. I just thought this was a cool product and wanted to pass it along.
I whipped up some shortcakes using the following recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with Silpat baking mat.
Whisk together the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the butter and work into the flour, using your a pastry cutter.
Add cream and egg to the dry mixture and stir with a fork. Drop 6 mounds onto the baking sheet. You can roll and use a biscuit cutter, if you prefer. I like a more rustic looking shortcake. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Slice the shortcakes in half. Put some sliced berries inside and on top. Top with fresh whipped cream. (I used my new Cuisinart hand blender, with whisk attachment, to whip up the cream.)
As I was taking pictures of my beautiful shortcakes for this blog post, I realized that I was shoving all of my kitchen mess out of the way, so you’d just see all of the berry yumminess.
They looked so pretty, but then I looked around my kitchen. We had just finished dinner. I had made lemon garlic chicken and lemon garlic salmon, Rice A Roni (my daughter’s new favorite side dish), steamed broccoli, and homemade bread. Just so you all don’t think I have this perfect little tidy kitchen at all times, I thought I’d share these pictures.
Let me start by offering my sincere apology to the ladies at Williams Sonoma. They have suggested this product to me for YEARS, and every time, I politely decline their offer to add a bottle of Bar Keeper’s Friend to my purchase. It wasn’t until I saw a pin on Pinterest, that I had to think twice about this product.
My plates look horrible. I’ve had them for several years and my silverware leaves marks on my plates. I wash the plates. I scrub the plates. The dishes are clean, but the marks are still there.
That’s the same plate!
It takes more than one try to make a believer out of me. So, I took out one of my small plates. Here’s the before.
Hmmm. The Williams Sonoma ladies always want me to buy this to use on my All-Clad. Now, here is a tough stain.
Ummm, excuse me… why didn’t anyone tell me about this? Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma… did you know about this??? Ok, they probably did tell me about it, but I just didn’t listen.
I’m tellin’ ya, this stuff is amazing! I bought mine at ACE hardware, but I know they also sell it at Williams Sonoma. (And when the ladies at Williams Sonoma try to tell you about this stuff, you need to listen to them.)
Happy dish washing!
Here are a few linky parties I like to participate in.
Literally. This vacuum really sucks. A few months ago our old vacuum saw its last days. It had served us well. When looking for a replacement, my first thought was a Dyson. Oh, how I wanted the Dyson Animal. Then came reality. “I’m sorry, HOW MUCH is that vacuum cleaner?” As much as I wanted that Animal, $500 just isn’t in the budget for a vacuum.
We started researching other brands and read lots of reviews. Over and over, the LG kept popping up. I know the LG brand, but I had no idea they made vacuum cleaners. The decision was made. We said no to Dyson and yes to LG. We didn’t buy the top of the line. We are usually middle of the road buyers, and that held true for the vacuum as well.
I’m telling you, this vacuum sucks! I vacuum quite frequently because we have a dog and many children running around our house. I am always SHOCKED by the amount of gross, disgusting, dust, dirt, and dog hair this vacuum picks up. I empty the canister after each time I vacuum, simply because I can’t believe how much dirt accumulates in just a few days. Yep, that’s everything my vacuum picked up TODAY! (And I just vacuumed 2 days ago.) It’s official. My family is disgusting.
A while back I posted about my new Shaklee cleaning supplies. I ordered them from Becky, over at Clean Mama. I was looking for something with fewer chemicals, but still cleaned well. I’ve been using the new cleaning supplies for several months and I’m hooked. They are less expensive, better for my family, and better for the environment. I have to say I was really amazed at how well they actually cleaned. I was a skeptic, but not anymore!
The new cleaning supplies got me thinking about other things I could switch out. I started cleaning my floors with vinegar and water and my new favorite mop.
Then, I decided to make a change to our dishwasher detergent. I found a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent and I’ve been very pleased with the results.
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/4 cup salt
You only need to use 1Tbsp in each load. I also filled the rinse compartment with vinegar, instead of a commercial rinse-aid. I found that running the dishwasher on heavy duty instead of light, works best. This is SOOOOO much less expensive than regular dish washing detergent! I can’t believe I never did this before! By the way, I had a hard time finding the Washing Soda. I finally found it at ACE Hardware (of all places).
Here’s my original post on my Shaklee products:
I’m so excited! My new Shaklee cleaning supplies have arrived.
At the beginning of the summer my kids were doing their chores and my son told me that he couldn’t stand cleaning the bathroom because the smell burned his eyes and nose. He was right! Those bathroom chemicals are really strong and cleaning with chemicals is really not fun. (Cleaning really isn’t fun anyway, but the chemicals just make it worse.) Then there was my husband… I was shampooing the carpets and set the bottle of carpet cleaner on the counter while I was filling it by the sink. He came home from work and very nicely told me that having a bottle of chemicals on the kitchen counter, where we prepare food, freaked him out. He was right too! So, I was on a mission to reduce the chemicals I use in my house. I’m so excited to try the Shaklee cleaning products. I’ll let you know how they work!
That meant that I had to find a home for the cleaning products. Oh, I’ll just put them under the kitchen sin….. oh wait. There’s no room under the kitchen sink. (Don’t be fooled by my neat and tidy rooms that appear in my pictures. I have messes just like everyone else. I just usually don’t take pictures of them and post them on the internet.)
I pulled everything out, cleaned out the container I keep supplies in, and washed down the disgusting liner at the bottom of the cupboard.
Just the things I really needed went back in.
Cleaning out under the kitchen sink is right up there with scrubbing toilets on my list of jobs I really hate. Well, I checked that off the To Do list and now I don’t have to think about it for a while.
When I’m cleaning for company, I have to focus…focus…focus.
I always thought my ability to multi-task was a good thing. Now, I’m beginning to think my multi-tasking is becoming more ADHDish. Like last week, when I was cleaning the craft room and got distracted by the pretty ribbon. Then it turned into present wrapping time. On the plus side, my craft room was clean at the end of the day AND I had several gifts wrapped.
When I want my house clean and organized, I start at the top. I gather all of my supplies before I start. I usually start in my bedroom and bathroom because the kid clutter in my daughter’s room just scares me. (I’m not really sure we’re related by blood… just kidding, Sweet Pea!)
Here’s my trick. I DON’T LEAVE THE ROOM until it is completely finished. If I leave the room to take the garbage from the bathroom downstairs, I will notice the dryer has finished the cycle. If I notice the dryer has finished the cycle, I will decide to fold the laundry. If I decide to fold the laundry, I will think that Nate Berkus really wants to spend some quality time with me and I’ll turn on the TV. You get the picture. So, back to my trick. DON’T LEAVE THE ROOM until it’s perfect and then move on to the next room.
Once the upstairs is done, I move on to the lower level of the house. Again, I stay in the room I’m cleaning until it’s done. Once every room is done, I hurry and grab my camera. Time to take pictures for the blog. It’s the only way I’ll be able to see my clean house again until the next time I’m in the mood to clean and organize.
I don’t have the opportunity go on airplanes too often, so my trip to Chicago brought some much needed quiet time. I packed my carry-on-bag with my favorite reading materials. I know most people would grab a great fiction book, but that’s not my style.
I would much rather spend my time reading non-fiction books about raising happy children or writer’s workshop in early childhood. What can I say, it brings me joy.
There were several magazines to choose from in my bag too. I can get lost in Better Homes and Gardens for hours!
As I was browsing through BHG, I noticed a steamer they had featured. We had just been talking about hand held steamers at the focus group meeting I attended. My sister bought my steamer for me a few years ago and I love it! It is the perfect tool for cleaning the bathroom sink, window tracks, cup holders in the car, and the caulking in the shower. I recently cleaned the shelves of my refrigerator with my steamer. Sticky messes left behind by messy children were no match for my little steamer.
By the way, BHG found their steamer for $50 at Macy’s. Mine came from the local drug store and was much less than $50. Do you use a steamer? How do you like it? It’s quite addicting!
Mopping floors is one of my least favorite jobs. It’s not because it’s a really difficult job. I think I just don’t have a real sense of accomplishment when I’m done. You see, my floors are on the “to do” list for home improvement… just waiting for that money tree to start sprouting money in the backyard. The hardwoods need to be refinished and the builder grade bathroom floors just need to be replaced. So, when the floors are all clean, they don’t exactly sparkle.
Then I moved to the Clorox Ready Mop. It was great! I could change out the pad as much as I wanted. No more pushing dirty water around. I could wash the bathroom floors and then get a clean pad before moving to the hallway. Ahhhh. Happiness.
The Clorox Large Surface Mop is my new favorite find. I found it at Target and it was only about twelve dollars. I bought three of the microfiber cleaning refill pads. They are washable, so there is only a one time cost. I used it for the first time this weekend. When they say “large surface” they really mean it! The surface of the mop is about triple the size of my old Clorox Ready Mop. I switched out the refill pads several times and threw dirty pads in the laundry. I love that I can wash them with with bleach in between uses. I can’t say that about the old sponge mop.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this. I love my mop. I love to mop my floors. My mop brings joy to my life.