Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning EVERY DAY

It's easy to stay on top of household chores if you keep your eyes open. I make it a point to walk through each room of my house at least once a day, and, as I do, I pay careful attention to anything that might need a little sprucing up. This might be as simple as fluffing a pillow, straightening a bedspread or returning miscellaneous objects to their rightful spot. Keeping up daily might also require some light dusting of furniture and hardwood floors or organizing the refrigerator. You could find yourself in the laundry room and notice that your hard working washer and dryer need a bit of a wipe down. DO NOT PUT OFF DOING THESE MINI-JOBS. If you take care of it as you see it, you will be amazed at how much less you have to do all at once.

By the way, while some might think the little tidbits mentioned above fall under the category of "Spring Cleaning", they absolutely do not. True "Spring Cleaning" is reserved for big jobs, like painting a room, cleaning drapes, polishing silver, etc.

If you would find a "keep your eyes open as you travel room-by-room checklist" helpful, leave a comment and I'll work on putting one together. Organization brings peace.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Out with the old and in with the mums

Chances are your summer flowers are dying back, making it a perfect time to freshen things up with some mums. These hardy plants will thrive in the ground until Thanksgiving. Just a few grouped together can really make an impact.

Tip: Avoid mixing colors unless you really have a lot of space to cover. One mistake many people make is to choose flower colors that match their house. Contrasting colors offer the most pop. The buttercream brick on my home works great with deep purple or brick red mums, whereas yellow would clash.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Skip the Windex. Use Vinegar.

2 parts water mixed with 1 part white vinegar will work better than Windex. You can of course use the old Windex spray bottle to house this chemical-free concoction to make interior window and mirror cleaning a breeze.

Hydreangas love coffee too!

Spring will be here before we know it and while I don't suggest actually saving coffee grounds until then, keep this tip in mind on the weekends come March. Every other Sunday morning, I empty used coffee grounds in my garden around the base of my hydrangeas. This tip came from my dad's cousin who every year has the most spectacular blooms.

Cleaning Tip – Dishwasher

Believe it or not this hard working appliance can benefit from a bit of baking soda. Sprinkle some Arm & Hammer (about 1/2 cup) inside your dishwasher and run on a short cycle. Prevent odors by doing this monthly. Click on the Baking Soda link for more creative cleaning uses.

Outshine, every time.

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people." – Lee Iacocca

Early in my career, I was fortunate to work with (not under) a creative director who gave everything 100%. Inspired by his display of commitment, I vowed to approach every day the same way. At the time I was responsible for the production room (back in the days of paste-up when my flats actually got stuck to the floor) and could have easily just gone to work each day knowing that I would cut and paste and piece together whatever work would come my way. It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't going to learn anything by working alone with a can of Super 77. In typical type A fashion, I went looking for more.

Within a week, I made everyone on the 14th floor aware of my skills (skills that far exceeded production and paste-up) and was included in concept and design meetings. Now of course I could not dump my production responsibilities on anyone else so I needed to do it all.

One night I was working late in the production room to get a jump on the next day and in walked my creative director. With a series of good jokes, he flipped his tie over his shoulder and began helping me cut and paste tiny Coca-Cola logos. I carry that moment with me today as it continues to serve as my management mantra; motivate others by working harder and smarter while sharing a few laughs.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Forget the front-loaders!

After one week without a washing machine and Sears' inability to fix it (the drum of my 4 year old, top-of-the-line, Kenmore Elite, King capacity, heavy duty unit rusted out and detached itself from the agitator bolt), I've decided to buy the top-loading Whirlpool Cabrio. (I would never buy another Kenmore product)

This is one decision where form took a back seat to function. Of course I wanted my laundry room to feature the "fresh front-loader look", but after numerous hous of research, I learned that the rubber gasket used to seal the front door traps water which leads to mold. Even worse, the gasket needs to be replaced often or water will leak through the door.

The love affair ended when I saw these machines in person. The shiny chrome rings on the door front are plastic and the pedastals make the units look massive.