Friday, April 30, 2010

Cleaning Supplies

I am very particular about my cleaning supplies.

  • I am weird about smells, so I need them to smell normal to me.
  • I also want them to work well (duh).

  • I prefer for them to be environmentally friendly.

  • I try not to be wasteful.

  • I don't want to spend a fortune.
    • I have tried a lot of different brands & types of cleaners and I finally feel like I have landed on my regulars. I've talked about cleaning supplies a little bit here and I've had several people email me asking me what I use, so I thought it would be easiest just to do a whole post about it. This could be boring if you don't geek out about stuff like this, I won't be offended if you stop reading now. :)
      Moving on, here's my list...

      I have both granite and limestone countertops in different areas of my house. For all my stone countertops I use Method-The Daily Granite cleaner. It smells amazing and works great. It makes my honed granite countertops in my kitchen a little smoother to the touch. I love that I can use it on both my granite and limestone. I also use it sometimes on the travertine on my floors and in my shower. Lowes sells it in larger bottles that you can use to refill the smaller spray bottles. I like that I can re-use my spray bottles, I feel a little less wasteful!

      Basic H2 Cleaner
      from Shaklee will change your life.
      I use it almost everywhere. I use it to clean all my glass, my showers, my bathrooms, my countertops, my bbq grill outside, basically everything. It's completely non-toxic, so when I'm using it and my dogs are being brats I just squirt them with it and know that it's fine. (We use the squirt bottle with water technique to discipline our dogs). So the best part about this stuff is that it comes SUPER concentrated. I only use 1/4 teaspoon per squirt bottle, which is 16 oz! I have had my bottle of concentrate for well over a year now and I use this stuff ALL THE TIME. I am a walking talking commercial for Shaklee! :) They should pay me! Just kidding. Seriously though, this stuff is amazing. If I could suggest one cleaning product to you it would be the Basic H2.

      For my toilets I use Method Bowl Control. It smells pretty lovely and it's non-toxic. It works just like it's supposed to.

      For dusting I use Method Wood Polish Spray. I LOVE how it smells! I also feel like it moisturizes the wood on some of my older pieces. I inherited my dining room table from my grandma. It's walnut and after I use the Method Wood Polish Spray it always looks so much better!

      I'm not completely loyal to my dish detergent. I actually go back and forth between a few brands. I generally buy whatever green brand my grocery store has on sale that week. I do keep coming back to Seventh Generation though.

      When washing dishes by hand I love Mrs Meyers Dish Soap in the Lemon Verbena scent. It smells amazing, produces a lot of suds, doesn't dry out my hands and is made from natural ingredients. Win, win, win, win!

      Speaking of Mrs Meyers Lemon Verbena scent....I also use the dryer sheets and fabric softener and scrub. Love how they work and love how they make my clothes smell!

      For laundry detergent I am totally sold on Shaklee Fresh Laundry Concentrate. I prefer powder detergents over liquid for some reason. This detergent seems expensive, but you use hardly anything so it lasts forever!

      Last, I need to fess up to some things. I have some naughty cleaning habits too. Like I can NOT break my habit of using Clorox wipes. They are so wasteful, but they are so freaking handy! I also can't find an environmentally friendly stain remover that I love. I do use Oxy Clean as my pre-wash though. Oh and my big naughty thing? I still use a Swiffer Wet Jet. I know....holy wasteful!

      Did I miss anything? I'd love to hear about what cleaning supplies you love! Also, feel free to comment or email me with any questions!

      Thursday, April 29, 2010

      This is one of my favorites...

      "Rather than love,
      than money,
      than fame,
      give me truth."
      -- Henry David Thoreau

      Photo by me.

      Wednesday, April 28, 2010

      Here's a joke for you...

      I read a joke similar to this one in Big Fish. Have you read that book by the way? I enjoyed it, it's a quick and fun read.
      Anyway, I was trying to retell it the other day and felt like I messed it up. I am horrible at repeating jokes. Seriously. I rarely tell jokes because I suck so bad at telling them. My dad is a master joke teller.
      I looked for the joke online and found this version that is pretty similar. I thought it was funny...

      Jesus made his usual rounds in heaven when he noticed a wizened, white-haired old man sitting in a corner looking very disconsolate. The next week he was disturbed to come across him again, looking equally miserable, and a week later he stopped to talk to him.
      "See here, old fellow," said Jesus kindly, "this is heaven. The sun is shining, you've got all you could want to eat, all the instruments you might want to play-- you're supposed to be blissfully happy! What's wrong?
      "Well," said the old man, "you see, I was a carpenter on earth, and lost my only, dearly beloved son at an early age. And here in heaven I was hoping more than anything to find him."
      "Tears sprang from Jesus' eyes. "FATHER!" he cried.
      The old man jumped to his feet, bursting into tears, and sobbed, "PINOCCHIO!"

      Tuesday, April 27, 2010

      Mother's Day Gift Guide

      I've been thinking and searching and thinking and searching for Mother's Day gifts for the two mothers in my life.
      Instead of being selfish I thought I'd share my finds, ideas and suggestions with you. :)

      Every mom loves pictures of their kids and grand kids. I adore the iPhoto books mainly because they are so stinking easy to make on a Mac. Starting at $9.99 from Apple.

      This Birk Bark Flower Vase is cute, useful, thoughtful and inexpensive! $14.00 from NHWoodcreations etsy shop.

      It's the time of year to spend all your free time out of doors. Help mom make her porch or patio a little prettier with a Paula Deen Outdoor Rug. Starting at $49.00 from Outdoor Rugs Only.

      Honestly, I don't know if ANYTHING smells better than Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne. I DIE for this stuff! Starting at $55.00.

      This Alexis Bittar Gunmetal Silver Dust Lucite Necklace is so beautiful! $175.00 from Sedoni Gallery.

      Is your Mom getting into photography? The one lens I suggest to everyone I know is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens. If you have a Nikon that is. :) Especially for the price, nothing beats it! $198.54 at Amazon.

      I don't like to get "things". I like to receive "things to do". So I often give things to do as well. If you live in Utah, tickets to Seinfeld or The Lion King would be amazing, and who knows? Maybe she'd invite you to go with her! Find tickets here.

      I'm sure I don't need to say it, but I will anyway. Material things are nice, but NOTHING beats a beautifully worded letter. Tell your mom how much you appreciate her and love her and that will be all she'd ever want.

      Monday, April 26, 2010

      It could not be more beautiful outside today...

      Therefore I am playing hookie. I'm going to stay outside all today and drink up the deliciousness of this day.
      See you tomorrow with my Mother's Day Gift Guide.
      Photo taken by me at the Tulip Festival just the other day.

      Friday, April 23, 2010

      Stone: Designing Kitchens, Baths and Interiors with Natural Stone

      The photos in this book were beautiful.
      The projects were gorgeous.
      I definitely recommend you pick up this book, just don't expect every stone to be named. This was my only complaint about the book. If it's a book featuring stone, NAME the stone!

      Thursday, April 22, 2010

      Water Clock

      Check out these cool alarm clocks from Bedol.
      They run on water....that's it! No battery, no electricity, no winding. Just fill it up with water and it will run for at least six weeks.

      Wednesday, April 21, 2010

      Keep Calm and Recycle On

      I LOVE these dryer sheets from zJayne's Etsy Shop. They are made from upcycled t-shirts and filled with organic lavender buds. I personally like the "Keep Calm and Recycle On" ones, but she has other designs as well.
      Supposedly they last for months! I think I'm going to give them a try, I'll let you know what I think.

      Tuesday, April 20, 2010


      One thing I can't stand is when one food picks up the flavor of another food.
      Like how sometimes chocolate will taste like bubblegum if they are in the same drawer. Or strawberries will taste like garlic if you leave your leftovers from the Italian restaurant in the fridge.
      Do you know what I'm talking about?
      Today I am eating Wheatables at work and they taste weird. I don't even know what to blame it on....maybe the banana that was in the lunch bag with it?

      Monday, April 19, 2010

      My kind of glass dish

      I received my Chiasso catalog a week or two ago, but just sat down last night to savor it. I kind of hurt inside when I look through their catalog because I want everything. If only money weren't an object.....
      I can afford this adorable glass bowl though! In fact, I may buy two!

      I think it's fun and I enjoy fun things.

      Sunday, April 18, 2010

      Karastan Studio-Artworks Collection

      Have I ever mentioned that I work part time in a rug store?
      Well, I do.
      Anyway, my personal favorite line of rugs is the Karastan Studio-Artworks Collection. I am so smitten by this line. When I have a customer come in and buy one of these rugs I get more excited than I should. I want to give them a big hug and congratulate them on having great taste. Don't worry...I hold back. :)

      Here are some photos of my two favorite rugs in this collection....
      My favorite rugs are the Plum Blossom. Above is Plum Blossom in Mocha, the photo below is just called Plum Blossom. This rug also comes in Maize.

      The Zen Garden rug below is my second favorite in the collection. The second photo shows it in a room setting.

      Check out Karastan's website to see all the beautiful rugs in this collection.

      Saturday, April 17, 2010

      I'd recommend it

      I just finished reading Showing Up For Life by Bill Gates Sr. It was inspiring and I really need inspiring these days.

      Friday, April 16, 2010

      Hello. My name is Grumpy Butt.

      I have been quite the grumpy pants lately.
      I had a long list of reasons as to why I have been so ornery and I felt that every one of those reasons justified my grumpiness. I've been wallowing in the grumpiness.
      My mood has completely changed now though.
      Here in stupid Utah it has been unseasonably cold and still snowy in April.
      Until this week. It hit 72 degrees baby!
      I miraculously don't care about any of the things on my grumpiness list. I feel soooo much better.
      This happens every year (and every year I forget).
      Can someone say Seasonal Depression?
      I'm glad to have turned the corner!
      Photo via Flickr.

      Thursday, April 15, 2010

      It's a battle in my head

      So my bedroom sucks.
      It's pretty small and my furniture is relatively large. We bought the furniture when we were living in a much larger master bedroom. I love the furniture though and dream of a larger bedroom, so I don't get rid of it.
      After much trial and error we have figured out there is only one way to arrange the furniture in the room. This arrangement leaves the bed very off center on the wall. I've never hung anything on the bed wall because it feels so off balance to me.
      There is this vinyl that I am considering. I think it may help the balance.
      I'm also open to suggestions if any of you have one.

      Wednesday, April 14, 2010

      They are cute to boot

      I try really hard to cut down on how much we throw away. One of my weakness's though is plastic sandwich bags when we take our lunch to work. I think I found the solution today with LunchSkins. They are reusable, dishwasher safe, inexpensive and cute! I can't think of what else I could ask for.

      Tuesday, April 13, 2010

      and they tasted delicious.

      The hubs and I celebrated our 9th(!!!) wedding anniversary on March 31st. Time flies when you are having fun. :)
      Our original plans were foiled, but we ended up spending a lovely weekend together at home. Due to our work schedules and his soccer schedule we really don't see each other often enough. While making dinner one night I turned to him and said "I really like you, you are fun to hang out with!"
      I made chocolate covered strawberries one night and they were so pretty I thought I'd share a few photos.

      Monday, April 12, 2010

      This is a completely true story...

      I had a nightmare last night.
      I woke up sweating and shaking.
      Sarah Palin was the villain in the nightmare.
      That lady scares the crapbunnies out of me.

      Photo from Funny Chill.

      Wednesday, April 7, 2010

      Everything you can imagine,
      Nature has already created.
      ~Albert Einstein

      Tuesday, April 6, 2010

      I'd like to adopt.

      An olive tree.
      You thought I was going to say a kid! Well, that too. But today we are talking about trees. :)

      Click here and go to Nudo's website. Nudo is an olive grove, you can adopt a tree for a year. Just pick the tree and your taste preference all for a mere $125.00. You will receive two liters of extra-virgin olive oil in the spring, plus a batch of three flavors of virgin oil in the fall.

      Monday, April 5, 2010


      I had a page torn out from my October '08 issue of Dwell. I had set it aside and found it today.
      It's called Supercenter Statistics. It was a very interesting article that I thought deserved repearting here.
      Here it is....
      Average square feet of an American Home: 2,495
      Average square feet of a Target Supercenter: 174,000

      Revenues for Ikea for fiscal year September 2006-August 2007: $27 billion
      2007 Revenues for Target: $63 billion
      2007 revenues for Walmart: $379 billion
      2007 GDP for Sweden: $384.1 billion

      Number of people in the U.S. who attend religious services every week: 55 million
      Number of people in the U.S. who shop at Walmart every week: 136 million

      Number of trees needed to offset annual CO2 emissions from a high-energy-using American: 150
      Number of trees Ikea plants each year to offset CO2 from customers & employees traveling to and from one store: 33,100

      Number of colleges and universities in the U.S.: 4,140
      Number of Walmart owned stores in the U.S.: 4,191

      Percentage of eligible Americans who voted in the last presidential election: 60%
      Percentage of Americans who will go to a Walmart this year: 90%

      Sunday, April 4, 2010

      My kind of General Store

      I love the concept of Priscilla Woolworth's new eco-friendly General Store.
      Visit the store at

      Saturday, April 3, 2010

      Eames House Bird

      Updated: Sorry that I forgot to resize the image in the original post. This should look better!

      Quoted from MCA Store:
      "Charles and Ray Eames augmented the interior “collage” of the Eames House with numerous objects brought back from their extensive travels. The figure of a black wooden bird — evidently one of their most prized objects of American folk art — has stood in the centre of their living room for over fifty years. Seen as an accessory in many of the Eameses’ photographs, the bird figure is from the Appalachian mountain region of the eastern United States. Based on the original artefact and in cooperation with the Eames Family. Solid alder, black lacquer finish, steel wire. 10.8 x 3.5 x 11 inches"

      I WILL own one someday. For $200, unfortunately it won't be today. The simplicity is so beautiful.

      Friday, April 2, 2010

      PopMat Placemats

      I thought these placemats from Publique Living would be easy enough to make myself.
      Then I really thought about it and realized there would be no way I could make it myself.
      So, for my next dinner party I will be purchasing some.
      Aren't they great?

      Thursday, April 1, 2010

      Urban Hardwoods

      I feel like I am supposed to go to the Northwest this month.
      I keep coming upon things that I need to do or see.

      First, I found out that the Street of Eames tour is April 17th and this is the last year they will be doing it. I really think I should be there!

      Second, I would like to go to Urban Hardwoods in Seattle.

      Now, how do I get out of work so I can head up there?