Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Five Things That Make My Life Easier

It would be easy to call this "My Favorite Things!!!" with some cute little reference to raindrops on roses and schnitzel with noodles.  But I like to give context  to why I like or don't like something.  And I'm not Oprah (yet...).  So I've made the following list based upon how much easier my life is and how much better I look because of everything on it.

I'm not a big believer in gadgets.  I'm not an early adopter of new technology.  I exist within the same time and space that you do, which means that I only have 24 hours every day and a limited amount of places to put my worldly goods.  Stuff that enters my time and space needs to earn its keep, and these five things work overtime for me.  
  1. White Vinegar:  This is amazing stuff.  A.MAZ.ING.  I cook with it.  I clean with it.  I do laundry with it. If I could marry it, I would. 
    • Substitute half a cup for fabric softener.  SERIOUSLY.  Do it.  White Vinegar plus Oxi-Clean equals perfect laundry.
    • Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and plain old Dawn dishsoap.  You'll never buy Windex again.
    • Need a surface cleaner?  I got this great idea at Little Brick Ranch Get a jar, put orange rinds in it (clean them off very well), fill with white vinegar, and seal.  For 2 weeks or so, shake the jar every day. Then, strain it through some cheesecloth (or whatever you have, really) into a new, clean jar.  That's your starter; leave it in the cupboard.  Get a spray bottle, fill with 3 parts water to 1 part orangey vinegar.  Boom.
    • Did you cook something three days ago, and your kitchen still stinks?  Get a cereal bowl, fill with white vinegar, put it on the counter.  The vinegar will absorb the odor.  FOR REAL. 
  2. Steam Mop: We have a 3 year old daughter and a Labrador retriever.  The kitchen, playroom, and bathrooms are tile.  They get so gross, so very gross.  The steam mop fixes that.  I like the B&D steam mop, but I've heard good things about the Shark as well.  They go on special on Amazon and and Target.  Worth every dime.
  3. The Wrinkle Guard setting on my dryer:  Because sometimes, you just don't get to the laundry the minute the dryer stops.  You know how hair dryers have a "cool blast" setting, and you push that when your hair's all dry but you want it to maintain some body?  The wrinkle guard setting does that for your clothes.  This means you can put a load in the washer before you go to bed, put it in the dryer in the morning, and put it away that night.  WOOHOO.
  4. The Roku Box:  This thing makes me feel like Jane Jetson.  It's a little tiny hard-drive that turns a wi-fi network into a cache of ten million movies.  Netflix streaming? check.  Amazon Prime? check.  Pandora? check.  Hulu?  CHECK.  We cancelled cable six months ago, and the only thing we really miss is Food Network.  We feel very smug about no longer subsidizing Snooki or whatever hot mess they're showing on TLC these days (I don't even know what hot mess is on TLC = AWESOME).  
  5. Super programmable universal remotes:  We have one remote upstairs, one downstairs.  Takes a little bit to program, but it's really not bad.  One remote to rule them all!
I've justthisminute decided to start a new series called "Five Things".  Every now and then, I'm going to rock your world with five things that I love that I think you might love too.  This is Installment #1 :)


  1. We love our universal remote! And what about boiling your coffee pot with vinegar to remove the stains? Learned that from my Dad - house is a bit smelly for awhile, but I love the smell of vinegar. Or hardwood floors, awesome. I buy the GIANT bottle of it at Costco!

    And after a day at your house watching an awesome movie on the antenna! Who needs cable! Love you!

  2. I am so making my own Windex. I've heard of using the vinegar for windows before but I just know adding the Dawn will make all the difference!!