Shine like the top of the Chrysler Building

by Leila Dayne

The holidays are coming!! The holidays are coming!! (If anyone else pictured a little Paul Revere riding through town on a horse in their head, then you were on the same line of thinking that I was!!)

I absolutely can’t WAIT for the holidays to be here!! I LOVE spending time with my family and playing hostess!! I previously talked about some meal planning strategies I use to make things easier, so today I’ll touch on some cleaning tips as I am in FULL ON scrub mode. I do my best to keep up on the house by doing at least a little bit daily but when you know you’re going to have a lot of people through your house I always like to up the elbow grease!! So here are some little tips and tricks I have learned along the way. :]

Vases – If you are using vases to display flowers, decorative rocks, etc. (and they aren’t brand new, if so just wipe them out with a soft cloth) and they have been stored, fill them with warm water and drop a tablet of dentures cleaner in to help scrub those impossible to reach areas. That way you don’t have that icky film on your vases.

Mattresses – I mix one cup of baking soda and 4 drops of Lavender essential oil together in a mason jar and shake. Using a kitchen strainer I then shake it all over the mattress and let it sit for at least an hour. Then using your vacuum and an upholstery hose, thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Leaving you with a fresh and clean mattress!

Pets – Dawn Dishwashing Liquid kills fleas instantly. So if you don’t have the time (or the extra funds) to take your dogs to be groomed before the guests arrive. Just add a couple of drops to their bath and shampoo them thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritation.

Stove – if you do not have a flat top range and have the removable burners with stubborn stuck on grease, try removing them and placing them in a ziplock bag with 1/4 cup ammonia. Allow it to sit overnight, preferably outside just to be safe. The grease will wipe right off with minimal effort.

Faucets (any that may have built up residue. shower, sink, etc.) – Tie a baggy filled with vinegar around the faucet and let sit overnight. Quick and easy!!

Garbage Disposal – Mix 3/4 cups water with 3/4 vinegar. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Drop a few down the disposal when needed followed by a cold water rinse.

Ceiling Fan Blades – Clean fan blades by sliding an old pillow case over the blades, one by one, and wiping clean. This traps (MOST) of the dust in the pillow case instead of sending it floating all over the room. (Which is convenient if your like me and end up doing it AFTER dusting everything else because it slipped your mind until the last minute!!)

Strawberries – I meant to add this one in with the meal planning post, but forgot about it. I make what I call “Lazy Sangria” for all of our get togethers and always add strawberries. I like to keep them whole but don’t want the pesky middles and stems so by taking a simple plastic straw and inserting it from the middle of the base and continuing up to the stem. Quick, easy and best of all CHEAP!!

And since that is my last tip, I will leave you with my recipe for Lazy Sangria. Seriously, it’s so easy it should be a crime!!

Lazy Sangria

Cut up fruit (I use strawberries, peaches, and apples generally but what ever will work. If I’m in a hurry, I will just grab some pre cut fruit from the salad bar at the grocery store.)

1 bottle Moscato wine (any brand)

3 cans Fresca (or Sprite will do if you can’t find Fresca)

Throw the fruit in a pitcher and add the bottle of wine. Top with the Fresca.

Presto! You’re done!! Quick and Easy!! Can’t beat that!!

Happy Holiday!!