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13 EASY WAYS TO GET RID OF BATHROOM SMELLS

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Have you noticed that your bathroom just doesn’t smell as fresh as it used to? I’ve struggled with that problem since my son was potty trained a few years ago! Parents, you know what I’m talking about. But you don’t have to scrub and scour only to make your home smell like a bunch of chemicals instead of those other icky smells. Here are 13 easy ways to get rid of bathroom smells, most of them using natural ingredients!

HOW TO GET RID OF BATHROOM SMELLS

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Add a couple drops of essential oil inside the toilet paper roll to release a fresh scent every time someone uses the TP. You’ll be surprised at how much fresher your bathroom is with this quick trick.

Speaking of essential oils, you can pair them with baking soda, water, and citric acid to make your own DIY toilet bombs. The baking soda helps absorb and eliminate odors, the citric acid is a great antimicrobial, and of course, the essential oils add a pleasant scent to the porcelain throne.

Have you heard of Poo-Pourri? It’s a spray that you use before you use the bathroom to help eliminate odors while you’re going #2. But you can make your own copycat poo-pourri at home to save some money.

It’s no surprise that your toilet brush may be harboring some germs and odors. Fill your toilet brush holder with Pine-sol (or your favorite cleaner), and let your brush soak in that between uses.

Smells can hide in those tiny crevices that you don’t clean that often, particularly if you have boys in your home. Sorry, fellas, but it’s true. Every now and then, remove the toilet seat to clean around those fittings. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!

I’ve never met a trash can that couldn’t use a little freshening up. Try some of these homemade trash can deodorizers in your bathroom trash can.

Who says air fresheners have to be ugly? Some scented air freshener beads, artificial flowers, and a pretty mason jar make for a decorative air freshener that will make your bathroom look and smell amazing!

If you like a subtle scent that gets rid of bad smells, try this DIY odor absorber jar. Simply add some baking soda and essential oils to a small mason jar, add holes in the top for air to circulate, and you’re all set.

We thought this idea for a gel air freshener was genius. It also uses essential oils, but they’re paired with unflavored gelatin and some decorative elements.

Have you tried vinegar in the water tank? Pour in one cup, flush it a few times, and your toilet will smell fresh again. Do not allow the vinegar to sit in your tank for long periods, though.

Pair witch hazel with essential oils and purified water for a smelly odor knockout combination that doesn’t overpower your senses.

Smelly towels may be part of the odor problem in your bathroom. If so, use vinegar and baking soda to clean not only your towels but to make your washer and dryer smell better, too.

HOW TO CLEAN A WASHING MACHINE NATURALLY

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You’ve been using your washing machine day in and day out for quite some time now to clean your clothes and linens, but when was the last time you took some time to clean your washing machine? Here is a comprehensive step by step guide that will help you learn how to clean a washing machine easily and naturally.

If you’re like me, the thought of cleaning your washing machine never crossed your mind. I always assumed that while the machine was washing my clothes, it was also cleaning itself.

Makes sense, right?

Little did I know that mold, mildew, and nasty odors were growing and building up over time, and I would soon be faced with the unpleasant reality that the very machine I relied on to clean my clothes was, in fact, getting moldy and starting to smell quite unpleasant.

HOW TO CLEAN A TOP LOADING WASHING MACHINE

Whether you have a front loading or top loading washing machine, the steps to take to clean them are generally the same, though there are a few differences in the process, so I want to dedicate two different posts to each subject. In this post, we will learn how to clean a top loading washing machine.

In this how to clean a washing machine series, you’re going to learn everything you need to know to deep clean your washing machine, whether top or front loading.

DO I NEED TO CLEAN MY WASHING MACHINE?

If you have never cleaned your washing machine, or haven’t done it in the last year, then the answer is a resounding YES!!

When you think about it, most of the clothes that we put into our washing machines are filled with dirty, hair, food, and other things – and all that stuff from our clothes gets washed off and goes… where?

Where does the dirt go in a washing machine?

Well, the dirt gets washed off your clothes and with the help of your laundry detergent, gets broken down into the water. Then, when the water is flushed out of the machine, the dirt is flushed out with it. Well, most of the dirt is flushed out.

But not all of it.

See, some of the dirt gets left behind in the crevices of our washing machines, and that’s when bacteria and mold start to grow in the machines, and bad odors come after that.

Taking the right steps to learn how to properly clean a washing machine, to ensure you’re getting everything that could cause bacteria and growth out of it, will help prolong the life of your machine AND ensure your clothes come out the way you want them to – clean.

If you’re still not convinced that you should be cleaning your washing machine, let’s go over some quick points.

WHY SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR WASHING MACHINE?

If you’re not sure whether you should clean your washing machine or not, here are some reasons why you should:

  • Washing machines hold a lot of moisture in them, even while not in use, and can quickly become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
  • When a washing machine isn’t cleaned regularly it can start to let off unpleasant odors.
  • These odors can then be transferred to your clothes (the clothes that are supposed to be getting cleaned).
  • Dirt from your clothes can get left behind in the machine.
  • Build up from your water and detergent can occur over time in the pipes, causing your machine to work harder and wear out faster.

Are you convinced yet that your washing machine is due for a good cleaning?

HOW TO CLEAN A WASHING MACHINE

When my husband and I moved into our current house I was taken aback by two things: the stovetop/oven and the washing machine.

The stovetop and oven had dirt, spills, cobwebs (yes – cobwebs), and other substances on and inside it – but that’s a story for another day.

The washing machine had dirt, dust bunnies, grime, slime, detergent, and some pocket change on, in, and around it, and that is when I realized the importance of regularly maintaining and cleaning a washing machine to keep it running as good as it should be.

Since the steps for cleaning a top load versus cleaning a front load washing machine differ slightly, this post will help you learn how to clean a top loading washing machine, while the next post in the series will teach you how to clean a front loading washing machine.

BLEACH AND YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM

How to clean a washing machine with bleach… or if you even should.

Many people will suggest using bleach to clean your washing machine, but it turns out that it is NOT the best way to clean your machine. In fact, bleach can set you on a fast-track to septic system problems.

Bleach’s main purpose is to kill bacteria, and while that is great for your washing machine, it’s not so great for your septic system. Your septic system relies on bacteria to break down the solids in the tank, and without the bacteria, you could experience septic failures and backups – which are both something you want to avoid.

Small amounts of bleach every once in a while shouldn’t be enough to kill all the bacteria and harm your septic tank, but just to play it safe, we’re going to look at how to clean your washing machine with baking soda and vinegar, in this example.

HOW TO CLEAN A WASHING MACHINE WITH VINEGAR

Step 1

Empty your washing machine of any laundry that may be in there.

Step 2

Set your washing machine to run the largest load with the hottest water, for the longest cycle. Do NOT add any clothes or detergents to this cycle.

Step 3

Add 3 to 4 cups of white vinegar straight into the washing barrel and press start. Allow the vinegar and water to mix in the machine for a minute while you prepare the next step.

Step 4

Open the lid to stop the machine and add 1/2 cup of baking soda into the vinegar and water mixture in the machine. Close the lid and allow the machine to work for another 1 to 2 minutes to mix the water, vinegar, and baking soda all together.

Step 5

Open the lid to stop the machine and let the cleaning solution sit in it for about an hour, without the machine running.

Step 6

While your cleaning solution is sitting in the washer for an hour, take a cleaning cloth and, dipping it in the cleaning solution in the washing machine, use it to wipe down the exterior of your machine.

Wipe the top and sides of the machine along with the lid, knobs, the ring on the inside, and any crevices on the machine.

Tip: Use an old toothbrush to scrub away dirt from the crevices of the washing machine.

Step 7

While you are wiping down the machine, remove 2 cups of vinegar/baking soda/water from the washer barrel and place into a cleaning bucket for later.

Step 8

Once an hour has passed, turn the machine back on and allow it to finish its wash cycle.

Step 9

Once the wash cycle is complete and all the water has drained from the barrel, take a cleaning cloth or sponge and, using the vinegar/baking soda/water cleaning solution you scooped out of the washing machine earlier, scrub the inside of the machine.

Be sure to scrub all the way to the top, as the water level in the machine doesn’t reach that high.

Step 10

Run a hot water short rinse cycle through your washer without any detergents or vinegar. This rinse cycle will remove any grime that got loosened off while you were scrubbing the barrel.

And just like that, you’re done!

Your top load washing machine is now ready to be used and ready to really clean your clothes without leaving any grime, bacteria, or odors on them.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR WASHING MACHINE SMELLING FRESH

Now that you’ve learned how to remove odor from your washing machine, and it’s all squeaky clean, you’re going to want to keep it that way so you don’t have to spend another day cleaning it in a few weeks. You can keep your washing machine smelling fresh for months to come by doing one simple thing:  keep the door open when not in use.

Try to never close your washing machine lid when it’s not in use, otherwise, moisture won’t be able to dry up and it will get trapped in the machine, which will cause bacteria, mold, and odors to start occurring again quicker than they need to.

Now that you know how to clean a washing machine – you can go ahead and get started on your own. It doesn’t take much time and the results will be well worth your efforts. Just knowing that your clothes are actually getting cleaned should be enough to motivate you to get up and clean your washing machine!

How To Clean With Borax

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Borax is being actively used as an ingredient for cleaning various stuff. It has a wide variety of uses around the house. So borax is something which is very useful for you and can make your cleaning chores very easy to accomplish. If you don’t know what is borax, first let me introduce it to you. The chemical or laboratory name for borax is sodium borate.

Though the name is of no use to you there is no harm in knowing it. It is quite cheap and you can easily get it in most grocery stores or just quickly buy one . A point to be noted is that borax and boric acid are two different things even though they are somewhat identical. Borax is sodium borate as mentioned earlier and boric acid is hydrogen borate. So, make sure you get borax and not boric acid.

Let’s have a look at the various amazing uses of borax and start implementing them from today itself!

1. UNCLOG THE DRAIN

A clogged drain is a big headache as it’s not that easy to unclog the clogged drains. But, here is a simple method I found to unclog it using borax and it works well.

Empty ½ cup of borax in the drain and then empty one tablespoon lemon juice over it. After 2 minutes, pour around 1 quartz of boiling water. Leave it that way for around 15 minutes and then run tap water to clean it up.

The borax reacts with the gunk and dirt which clogs up the drain and loosens it. Hot water further loosens it and carries it away. Lemon adds up to the disinfecting process of borax. Also, these two make the sink the sink smell much better after the cleaning process has finished.

So this is a very cheap and one of the easiest option to help you in dealing with a clogged drain.

2. CLEAN THE DIRTY MOLD OR MILDEW

A mold infestation can ruin the home so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible. And borax is perfect to get rid of that dirty mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor.

Firstly, brush off as much excess mold as possible with a soft bristled brush. Now, make a solution of ½ cup borax, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. Fill it in an empty spray bottle and spray it on the mold and mildew until the area gets sufficiently wet. Leave the surface to dry completely. 

3. SHINE YOUR OLD CHINA DISH SET

You can give your china dishes a new look using borax. Borax will remove the dullness and dirt and make the dishes shiny again. To do a renovation of your dishes, soak them in the sink or some vessel filled with warm water and ½ cup of borax. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. Remove it and then wash as usual. Your dishes will regain their former glory.

Note: Don’t scrub the dishes as it may cause scratches. Just leave and allow them to soak in water as borax knows its work very well.

4. GROUT CLEANER

You can easily clean grout using borax. All you need to do is make a paste of 1 part borax, to 2 part baking soda and then add enough vinegar to create a thick paste. Apply this to grout using a soft brush and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once done, just rinse it off and if possible, scrub lightly using a microfiber cloth for a better clean.

5. MAKE AN ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

Since borax has cleaning properties, it can work great as an all-purpose cleaner. All you need to do is to mix 3 Tbsp of borax and 1 cup of Vinegar with 3 cups of warm water to make an all-purpose cleaner.

Both borax and vinegar are amazing cleaners and the mixture will clean the kitchens, stove, countertops, tables, and many other surfaces of the house where you need better cleaning.

6. EFFECTIVE AGAINST RUST (ON PANS, APPLIANCES, TILES, OR ALMOST ANYTHING)

Rust and borax do not share a good bond. Borax is reactive against rust and removes it. So you can use borax to remove rust from your pans, metals, appliances, tiles or almost any other thing which has caught rust.

Mix 1 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 cup of borax. A thick paste will be formed. Apply it on the rusted area and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and then scrub away the rust with a dish sponge or in case of a stubborn rust use steel sponge. It will get off very easily.

7. CLEAN BRUSHES AND COMBS EASILY

Do you clean your brushes and combs the difficult way, scrubbing it away using some detergent? Why go the hard way when it is actually very easy to clean your brushes and combs filled with dirt, and massive tangles of hair.

Just fill a mug or some container with warm water and add 2 Tbsp of borax and some dish soap to it. Put in the brushes and combs to be cleaned and wet them properly by shaking them and stirring them. Leave it to soak for at least 30-45 minutes. Then rinse. Your combs and brushes are shiny clean without scrubbing.

8. CLEANING THE FRIDGE

Borax is a multi-purpose cleaner. It can be used for cleaning many things and one of them is the refrigerator.

Take 4-5 cups of warm water and add ½ Tbsp borax to it. Stir the solution so that borax gets dissolved in the water properly. Dip a clean cloth or sponge in this solution and wipe the shelves of the fridge. It removes any dried up food stain or any leftovers easily.

So whether you want to clean the spilled food in the refrigerator or just give it a good clean, this solution is worth trying. Another benefit of using borax is that it is a natural disinfectant. After cleaning the fridge, you would want to organize your fridge as well. 

9. REMOVE PENCIL AND CRAYON MARKS FROM WALL

So, your kid got creative on the wall again? Don’t worry, you can easily get back the old shine of your wall. All you need to do is to just mix 1 Tbsp borax with a cup of warm water and apply it on the wall to remove pencil and crayon marks.

Note: Before using it on the stain, make sure that the paint doesn’t come off by testing it on some region of the wall.

10. GIVE YOUR SINK A STAINLESS SHINE

After reading so many hacks, you must have got a good idea of the efficiency of borax in cleaning. So wouldn’t it be very efficient in cleaning sink as well? Try it out yourself.

Make a borax paste by mixing 2 Tbsp of lemon juice in  ½  a cup of borax. Scrub the stains on the sink using a cloth or sponge dipped in this paste. Rinse with warm water and get a clean shining stainless sink in no time.

11. USE BORAX TO CLEAN THE WINDOWS

Borax is so amazing. Along with other household stuff, it is also a successful window cleaner.

Mix 1 Tbsp borax in a cup full of warm water. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and spray on the windows. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth on a rag. You can also clean and wipe the windows with a rag or sponge dipped in this solution. Repeat the process with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water. Wipe it dry and you will have clean windows in no time. 

12. CLEANING THE TOILETS

Cleaning the toilet is a headache. Isn’t it? But you will be surprised to know that borax can easily clean the toilet and act as a medicine to this headache. All you need to do is to empty one cup of borax in the pot and add ½ cup of vinegar to it. Let the solution do its work overnight. Then, scrub the toilet and flush!

Borax acts on the grime and the dirt accumulated in the toilet. It deals with all of the dirt layers and yellowishness accumulated. Vinegar assists borax in the cleaning process and improves its efficiency. The act of borax of loosening the grime becomes more vigorous and better with the action of vinegar.

You would also love these 31 all-time best house-cleaning tips that work like magic. 

13. CLEAN SHOWERS AND TUBS

Take some borax in a damp cloth and scrub it on the tubs and showers. Rinse them with clean water.

To clean the interior of a shower, Make a solution by mixing 2-3 Tbsp borax in 4-5 cups of water. Fill it in a polythene bag and tie it around the shower such that it remains submerged in the solution. Leave it for around an hour and then switch on the shower to rinse it. If you need a clean bathroom, these bathroom cleaning hacks will make cleaning easy.

14. CARPET STAIN REMOVER

If your expensive carpet is attacked by stain, no need to worry. Use Borax- the stain remover.

Mix 4 Tbsp borax with 1 cup warm water. Dip a sponge or clean cloth in the solution and dab it on the stain. Leave the stain in that condition for 25-30 minutes. Then vacuum that area to clean the residue and allow it to dry.

15. MAKE A FLOOR CLEANER

Most floor cleaners are loaded with chemicals which are hazardous for health. Thankfully, there are so many natural alternative cleaners available. Borax is one of them and can make a great natural floor cleaner for your home.

All you need is to mix 2 Tbsp borax with 4-5 Tbsp vinegar in your mop bucket. Add a pinch of dish soap to it and fill the bucket with warm water. Your cleaner is ready! Use this to clean your house floor.

You can also make it in a good quantity and store in a container for everyday use. Just mix 2 cup borax with 4 cup vinegar and add around 1 Tbsp of dish soap to it. Store it in a container. Add some of this solution to your mop bucket water for everyday cleaning.

16. CLEAN YOUR OUTDOOR FURNITURE

Borax can also clean furniture easily. Just mix 2 teaspoons of borax and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap in 1 quart of water. You can fill it in a spray bottle which is more convenient to use. Spray it on the patio furniture and wipe it to clean all the dust, dirt or any grime. This cleaner is effective against all of them.

17. HOMEMADE DISH SOAP

You can make dish soap at home using these low-cost ingredients and save the money spent on readymade dish soap. Mix ½ cup borax, ½ cup finely grated soap and 10 cups of boiling water. Stir to mix it properly and allow it to cool before use. It is as efficient as the market bought dish soap, if not more.

18. CLEANING SOAP SCUM

Soap scum on shower doors, glass, faucets can be easily cleaned using borax. Make a paste by mixing 2-3 Tbsp borax in 1/2 a cup of water. Scrub this paste with a cloth on the area to be cleaned. Rinse with water and wipe with a clean dry cloth. You would also love these clever bathroom cleaning hacks.Trending:  How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

19. CLEAN STICKY RESIDUE

Borax makes it easy to get rid of sticky and gooey adhesive residue. Just mix borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio, and rub the mixture on the residue to clean it. Easy!

20. CLEAN AND DEODORIZE MATTRESSES

Deodorize your mattresses by rubbing borax over it using a damp cloth. But make sure to wet the mattress before rubbing borax on it. It will even eliminate any foul smell like that of urine from your small baby’s mattress. 

21. DEODORIZE THE SMELLY GARBAGE CAN

Borax can also deodorize smelly Garbage can easily. Sprinkle at least 4-5 Tbsp of borax in the garbage can and add water to it. The amount of borax to be added depends on the condition of the bin. If it has not been cleaned for a long time and is smelling really bad, then empty around a cup of borax in it.

Let the borax do its work by leaving it in for at least 15-20 minutes. Rinse and leave to dry. You can sprinkle some borax in the can before using it again, so as to minimize odor when in use.

22. KEEP YOUR HUMIDIFIER ODORLESS

Similar to a refrigerator, humidifier start smelling bad with time. They need to be deodorized from time to time. To keep the humidifier free of any odor, dissolve 5-6 tablespoon of borax in 3-4 quarts of water and add it to the tank. Run the humidifier for 10-15 minutes and then empty the tank. Don’t forget to rinse the tank with clean water.

Need to make your home smell good? These simple hacks will make your home smell good naturally.

23. DEALING WITH PESTS

Borax effectively deals with cockroaches, ants, bugs, mice and a few other household pests. The process is very simple. Mix equal parts of borax and sugar. Sprinkle this mixture in the corners, under the sink, behind the pieces of furniture or simply the areas where you find pests.

Are you wondering why should you mix sugar with borax? This is because sugar acts as a bait to attract the pests. When the pests are drawn towards the sugar cubes, borax deals with them. Make sure that this mixture does not reach the hands of small children or even your pet. So use it in areas which are away from the reach of children and pets.

To get rid of bed bugs, sprinkle a generous amount of borax on the mattress and in the storage hold of the bed (if any).

24. GIVES A BETTER LAUNDRY

Borax gives a better laundry. Add 4-5 Tbsp of Borax to your laundry to get cleaner and stain-free clothes along with making the clothes smell better. It gives a natural scent to the clothes. Borax can even be used to wash the delicate fabrics.

Borax is a successful stain remover too. Stubborn stains like that of coffee can be treated using borax. Pretreat the stain by soaking it in a borax solution made by dissolving 7-8 Tbsp of borax in warm water. Allow the cloth to soak for at least 30-40 minutes before laundering. Repeat if the stain does not vanish completely.

Even hard water stains on your clothes and washing machines can be removed successfully using borax. 

Quick Tip: Need an organized laundry, check out these laundry organization hacks.

25. PRESERVE YOUR FAVORITE FLOWERS

Do you hate the withering of your favorite flowers? Borax is the solution.

Borax helps in removing moisture from the flowers and leaves which in turn helps them to prevent wilting. To remove moisture from the flowers, mix one part of white sand and two parts of borax to make a mixture. Fill some of this mixture in a box and place the flower in it. Sprinkle some mixture on the flower as well so it is properly covered with the mixture. Leave the box for seven days after sealing it with a tape. The flower will lose all of its moisture and dry out.

I agree that you won’t get the exact same blooming flower, but it is way better than letting the flower just wilt and fall off. You will have dried beautiful flowers with you. You can reuse this mixture in the future by straining out all the moisture.

Note: This method may not work on flowers bought from florists as they use a special water solution to preserve them.

26. HELPING THE FRUIT TREES

Borax is not only useful for cleaning purpose but also beneficial for the fruit trees. Boron, a mineral contained in borax is required by the plants for healthy growth. Sprinkle ½ cup of borax every 2-3 years around the base of a mature fruit tree( such as an apple tree) or 2-3 Tbsp for a younger one.

Boron is a good fertilizer, so adding borax in the right quantities to the soil helps in the better development of cell walls and roots. But be careful to use it optimally. Excessive use of borax is harmful to the plants as it is toxic.

27. IMPROVE YOUR HOMEMADE CANDLES

If you make candles at home, treat the wicks by soaking them in a solution of borax and salt. To make this solution, mix equal parts of salt and borax in water. This solution reduces ash and smoke.

Related: How to easily remove candle wax off any surface?

28. MAKE YOUR CLOTHES SAFE

Clothes catch fire easily. To make them resistant to flames, mix 1 cup borax and ½ cup boric acid in a gallon of water and soak the rinsed clothes in it. Then, the dry cycle.

If the clothes are not washable, then spray that solution on the clothes instead of soaking the clothes in it. Repeat the process every time you wash or dry clean your clothes. It is an amazing laundry hack to make clothes safe. 

29. INSTRUMENTS’ STRING SAVER

The bow hairs of musical instruments get bad as they get gummed up with rosin. Clean it by rubbing the strings with a damp toothpaste dipped in borax. Then wipe the bow hairs and re-rosin them again.

30. MAKE SLIME AT HOME

Do you wish to make your own slime at home? Borax is one of the key ingredient used in making slime.

NOTE: Borax is HIGHLY ALKALINE and should NOT BE CONSUMED, USED ON SKIN AS A SCRUB, etc(which you might be knowing very well). However, it is SAFE AND VERY GOOD FOR CLEANING AND CAN BE VERY USEFUL IF USED PROPERLY.

20 MIND BLOWING CLEANING HACKS THAT WILL SAVE SO MUCH TIME!

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Cleaning hacks can save you SO much time and effort. I mean, do you ever feel like your life would be perfect if you could just wave a magic wand and instantly have a sparkly clean house? I know the feeling.  Which means more time for lying on the couch and reading your favourite books on the free Kindle app or binging on your favourite TV shows.

My very first job was at 14 (cash in hand obviously) and for years I worked as a cleaner; until I was about 18. Honestly, I loved it. Does that make me a weirdo? I’m an introvert so I loved being left to it and because my Aunty is a clean freak, I learned from the very best!

I’ve been using quite a few of these cleaning hacks for years so I can attest to their genius! They work!

1.USE BOUNCE DRYER SHEETS TO DUST EVERYTHING (ACCORDING TO ME)

I learned this tip a long time ago thanks to my Aunty who is a complete cleaning maniac. Her house is ALWAYS spotless. When I say above “dust everything (according to me)” I actually mean “dust everything with dryer sheets, not just your baseboards according to my aunty” but it definitely works.

There’s an anti-static coating on those tumble dryer sheets so when you dust surfaces it means you are transferring the anti-static coating onto your furniture, skirting boards (baseboards) or even your car!

2. VACUUM DOWNY UNSTOPPABLES FOR A FRESH SMELLING HOOVER BY THE KRAZY KOUPON LADY

If you have a stinky vacuum (I mean…. it happens), suck a few Unstoppables up your vacuum cleaner to solve the problem.

I have also wrapped a little bundle of these blue Unstoppables in a dried out baby wipe (dried on the radiator), tied it up with bakers twine and set a few of the bundles on most of the radiators in my house to make it smell super fresh!

3. CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER WITH WHITE VINEGAR AND BAKING SODA VIA EHOW

When I lived in a house with housemates, our dishwasher was always getting stinky. Distilled white vinegar became one of the products GUARANTEED to be in my cupboards plus about 5kg of baking soda at any given time!

ONE TOP TIP TO STOP YOUR DISHWASHER BECOMING STINKY AT ALL:

4. CLEAN THE DRAINS FROM ONEGOODTHINGBYJILLEE

Again, when I lived in a house with housemates… we had a bathroom upstairs and the overflow pipe was constantly getting clogged. When that happened there was an awful smell from the drains. A lot of googling had to happen and we learned the baking soda, vinegar and boiling water trick! It worked and had to be repeated every few months.

5. CLEAN BLINDS WITHOUT BREAKING THEM VIA MOM4REAL

Horizontal blinds can be delicate and can break quite easily so this trick from Mom4Real is great! Using tongs and a cut up microfibre cloth, a little ingenuity was definitely involved here.

6. HOW TO CLEAN WAX OUT OF CANDLE JARS BY PEEK&PONDER

I’ve been using this trick for years! Quickly, clean out your freezer and shove those candles inside. Being in the freezer hardens the wax and makes it much easier to fall out. I sometimes need to use a sharp implement (an old metal kebab skewer or knife we keep for opening parcels etc).

Cleaning them out means that they can be repurposed, given to a charity shop or recycled in your regular recycling bin!

HOW TO STOP BEING MESSY – 10 HABITS FOR A CLEANER ABODE!

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I am always interested in tips and tricks so I can keep my house as clean as I can (since I work from home blogging!). 

So today I am going to be sharing with you my top 10 tips on how to keep a clean abode and FINALLY stop being messy!

I wanted to share with you a couple of these habits that I have given to myself over the last year to try and maintain a clean space and clean abode while I am blogging full time.

I always kind of believed that eventually, I could be an organized person because by nature I’m pretty lazy and by doing these below I was able to make that happen and now I have become a much more clean, neat and happy person for it.

These are habits I do every single day to make my house look clean and organized and I know it’s very difficult to keep it clean while blogging or raising kids so here are my 10 little things that you can do to keep your home looking clean, minimal and organized!

IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A TIDY HOME!

Let’s get to it!

Make Your Bed

So my first tip is a really quick and easy one but it is so effective and it is to make your bed every morning. Just by taking a couple of minutes to make your bed can make your whole room look so much cleaner and that much more inviting a night.

Have a Home For Every Item

I live by this tip and it’s to have a home for every item, every time you bring something new into your house. Find a good spot for that item to live, by intentionally choosing a good spot for that item to live. Doing this can help your whole house stay tidier and when you do clean up your house it makes it a lot easier to know where to put everything away.

Do Small Loads Of Laundry

The method to this tip is to do smaller loads of laundry so that folding and putting away becomes that much easier. Most people wait till the hamper is overflowing, and that gets you backed up. So when the hamper is half full, that is a good indicator to do a load.

Fold Your Laundry Immediately

My next tip is to fold clothes immediately. So you basically fold your clothes ASAP and you line them up in your drawers for neat and tidy clothes or towels and it makes finding things so much easier and quicker.

Invest In Storage Solutions

My next tip is to invest in some clever storage solutions around your house if you have any problem areas with things building up like in my case with my variety of teas in my pantry. Investing in storage solutions such as containers and jars that are BPA free go a heck of a long way!

Minimalize Every Six Months

It’s also really important to minimalize your things every six months. I personally like to take out all of my clothes at the change of every season and just go through what I want to keep and what I want to throw or give to charity.

  Even though a lot of people have a hard time giving away items they have spent money on… it’s a great time to allow for more space for better quality items.

Follow The Clear Counter Rule

My next trip is to have clear counters and that may seem like a very obvious tip but I think it’s worth saying because it makes such a difference. The clear counter rule is to literality have all surfaces in the home clear. It’s a bit like making your bed, but it’s a habit that’ll change everything!

  Use 1 Part Vinegar to Two Parts Water to spray on ALL your surfaces. 

Pick Out Your Outfit The Night Before

I am the biggest culprit of trying on a million outfits and throwing them on the ground and leaving them but if you pick out your outfit the night before it makes a world a difference in how clean your house and bedroom look.

Fill Up Your Dishwasher After Dinner

This tip is easy if you have a dishwasher and it’ll be one of the last things that you do each night after dinner before you sit down and relax.

Fill up your dishwasher after dinner and put it on while you are relaxing OR doing your nightly routine. Keep in mind running the dishwasher right before bed can be a fire hazard, so try to put it on while you are relaxing before bedtime instead! 

It’s so nice in the morning when you come down to a clean house and all you have to do is unload your clean dishes.

Ask Yourself If You NEED it!

My next tip to having a clutter-free house is by asking yourself if you really need it before buying… If you do? Then make sure to get rid of all of the extra stuff that you don’t need and just make sure that everything looks very clean by having less.

Less stuff messing up your home is less stuff messing up your life. If you want to learn more, then check out The Beginner’s Guide To Minimalism HERE!

Wrapping It Up

Keeping your home minimal is easy if you start slow, really think about what you need and what you can let go of, and adjust some habits that you can stick to down the road. 

I really hope you enjoyed these tips! Please let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to Subscribe To My Newsletter, where I share all my blogging and abode tips/hacks with you there.

And if this is something you want to see more of then definitely let me know by re-sharing or pinning.

11 GENIUS IKEA BEDROOM HACKS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

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Is your bedroom in need of some TLC but you don’t want to spend a fortune on it?  

You might want to pop into your local IKEA and pick up some furniture bargains to hack up!

Or let’s be honest, you probably already own a ton of IKEA items but just don’t know how to make them look nice and cute.

You’ve come to the right place! Today I am sharing with you all my favorite IKEA bedroom hacks I’ve found from all over the internet to help you make your bedroom look stunning.

Let’s get started!

11 GENIUS IKEA BEDROOM HACKS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

1.IKEA MALM BED INTO A FOUR-POSTER

This blogger wanted a four-poster bed but didn’t want to spend all the money that would require.

So instead of buying a new one, they re-did their IKEA Malm bed by adding 4 posts to the bed, creating an elegant and sophisticated look.

They also added some drapes to soften up the look and have a canopy effect.

If you feel like your house is constantly disorganized and messy and goes back to chaos just hours after cleaning it, you need to try an online course called The Organised Home. It’s perfect for people who feel like:

  • You always get anxious whenever you have guests coming over and need hours of notice to clean up your home because you feel embarrassed by the state of it.
  • Always worried you misplaced an important document or item and won’t be able to find things when you need them.
  • You feel like you can’t enjoy a peaceful time on your couch, enjoying time with your family and always find yourself stressing about the state of your home.

2.DIY VINTAGE STYLE GOLD DRESSER

Who knew you could create a stunning dresser using only 2 items?

-The actual dresser &

-Gold Contact Paper

An IKEA Malm dresser has never looked this great!

3.DIY HEADBOARD WITH BRASS NAILS

Okay, this ain’t no quick DIY project you can whip up in an afternoon, but I promise the outcome is so worth it.

A headboard like this can easily cost you more than a $1000 but this blogger created it using an IKEA bed frame for a quarter of the cost!

I don’t think I will try to tackle this gorgeous DIY any time soon but if you are looking for a stunning headboard and have some time and creativity up your sleeve than this is the bed for you!

4.BAMBOO IKEA CUTTING BOARD FLOATING NIGHTSTAND

If you are in need of a minimalist nightstand than this might be the one for you.

Using a simple IKEA cutting board you can create a totally elegant nightstand for any tiny bedroom.

The video guide for this hack can be found here!

5.IKEA LACK SHELF UNIT

The lack shelf unit might just be the most functional IKEA item ever.

There are so many awesome ways to use this $50 unit but this bedroom hack might be my favorite.

Create extra storage space instantly with the shelf that also functions as a nightstand.

6.ROLLING UNDER BED STORAGE BOX

Do you only have a small amount of space under your bed but you want to make the most of it?

This IKEA hack will help you achieve that goal with ease.

Using 2 IKEA photo frames you can create this uber-cute and functional under-bed rolling storage in just a matter of hours and best of all, it’s totally customizable! Check out Curbly for the full guide!

7.WEST ELM INSPIRED IKEA DRESSER

What’s a girl to do when she sees a stunning dresser in West Elm but doesn’t want to fork up $999 for it?!

She DIYs it, obviously!

This lady managed to create an almost copycat version of a West Elm dresser out of an IKEA one.

To be honest, I think her version actually looks better than the original one, without the price tag!

8.WIRE BASKET SIDE TABLE

I’m sure you’ve come across wire basket tables before but this one looks extra chic with some ombre going on!

This DIY will take you less than an hour to do but will look great as a bedside table or a living room side table. Check out the guide at I Spy DIY!

9.MOROCCAN WEDDING BLANKET DIY

Ahhh! I’m in love with this gold and frilled blanket!

These blankets used to be made by the brides family in Moroccan culture, in anticipation of the wedding.

You may think this blanket might set you back hundreds of dollars but in reality, you can create it for less than $20 using an IKEA Gurli blanket and some lace, trim and gold sequins.

10.GOLD UPHOLSTERED BENCH

If you need a fancy looking end bench for your bedroom why not use an IKEA Vittsjo TV unit like this blogger did?!

You could use whichever fabric you like to turn the tv unit to a bench. The best thing about this is you get some extra storage space on the shelves for small items like books, magazines or even shoes! Check out the full guide over at Dwellings by Devore.

11.BRASS PULLS TO SPRUCE UP A BED

If you have one of those IKEA bed frames with a pull-out storage station underneath then this is a great hack to try to quickly and easily make the bed look more glam and much more functional.

It can get annoying always trying to wriggle those pull-out drawers out from underneath your bed so this hack makes it easy as pie!

I also like how the golden pulls add a beautiful touch to the otherwise boring white bed. Check out the tutorial at One-o!

20 Great Ways to Use Baking Soda in the Garden

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Baking soda has long been used in cooking to help make finished products light and fluffy and to leaven bread. It has also taken the spotlight in recent years as a natural, chemical-free cleaning product for the house. It has also long been used as a way to remove food odors from the fridge, but did you know that you can also use baking soda in the garden? Yep, that’s right.

The powerful all-natural cleaning agent can also be used in the garden. Expert gardeners have been using the versatile ingredient in a variety of green cleaning methods and to eliminate many harmful pests.

Baking soda is made entirely of sodium bicarbonate and is a highly alkaline substance that you can use in your garden as a natural cleaning agent, a soil amendment, to care for plants, to control weeds and pests, to treat fungal diseases, and so much more. Here are 20 fantastic ways that you can use baking soda in your garden.

BAKING SODA IN THE GARDEN

If you are one of the millions of households that have switched to green living, then baking soda has become an integral part of your life. Along with being a fantastic green cleaner, it has dozens of uses around the house and in your garden. If you are serious about tending an organic garden, then baking soda should be one of your top tools to use throughout the growing season.

BAKING SODA CLEANS PLANT LEAVES

Plants need photosynthesis to survive. To help all your plants make the most out of the sunshine, they do receive; you need to keep their leaves clean. You can do this by lightly wiping them with a sponge or cloth that is dampened with a diluted solution of water and baking soda. Add a half a teaspoon of baking soda to a liter of filtered water to make this gentle cleaning product.

GIVES YOUR PLANTS A BOOST IN YOUR GARDEN

If your plants are beginning to look a little listless, you can use baking soda to give them a little boost. The following recipe can be used to water your plants to perk them up again.

BAKING SODA IN THE GARDEN

  • One-gallon filtered water
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • One teaspoon Epsom salts
  • ½ teaspoon ammonia

Add all the ingredients to a large bucket. Stir to dissolve the baking soda and Epsom salt. Pour the mixture on your plants every month to perk up all your plants. Roses especially like this treatment.

BAKING SODA STIMULATES BLOOMING

Begonia, Geraniums, and Hydrangeas are all plants that like the soil to be more alkaline. Since baking soda is an alkaline ingredient, you can help stimulate their blooming by watering them monthly with a solution of one tablespoon baking soda and two quarts water. Feeding these plants every month with this special tonic will have them enthusiastically blooming all season long.

KEEP FRESH CUT FLOWERS LONGER

Mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with two quarts of water is a great way to keep your fresh cut flowers fresh for longer. For the best results, you want to change the solution every couple of days.

ADDING BAKING SODA WILL PRODUCE SWEETER TOMATOES

To make the dirt around your tomato plants less acidic, use baking soda. To get sweet tasting tomatoes, add a little Epsom salt as well.

Just sprinkle some baking soda over the soil that surrounds your tomato plant and then water. Having soil around your tomato plants that are less acidic means you’ll have less acidic tomatoes. For plants and where you need a more acidic soil, consider using coffee grounds in your garden.

SOIL TESTING AND AMENDMENT IN THE GARDEN

You can do a simple pH test on your soil with some baking soda. Your plant’s roots absorb the minerals found in the ground through their roots. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline it can hamper this process. You can conduct a simple home experiment using baking soda and vinegar to test your soil’s pH levels.

USE BAKING SODA TO TEST GARDEN SOIL

  • Half a cup of vinegar
  • Half a cup of water
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • Two soil samples from your garden

Place the two soil samples into a couple of small cups. In one of the cups, add the vinegar. If the soil bubbles, then your soil is alkaline.

This means your soil has a pH level of seven or more. If it doesn’t bubble, then you can use the other soil sample to test the acidity. Add the baking soda to the water and then pour the solution into the second cup. If the soil bubbles with the mixture, then you have acidic soil with a pH level of seven or below.

If the test reveals that your soil is acidic, you can amend the problem by sprinkling baking soda over your soil just before you water. This should help to reduce the acidity of your soil. Continue to test your soil weekly until it no longer bubbles when exposed to water and baking soda.

USE BAKING SODA TO PREVENT FUNGAL DISEASE

While baking soda won’t kill fungus on your plants, it will create a pH condition that is hostile to the growth of the fungus. To prevent fungus from growing, you’ll need to do the following.

FUNGAL DISEASE PREVENTION

  • One-liter warm water
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • A few drops liquid dish soap

Combine the water, baking soda, and liquid dish soap in a small bowl. Mix well to dissolve the baking soda. Add the solution to a spray bottle. Spray the top and bottoms of the leaves in the morning, when the weather is cold, so the leaves have ample time to dry.

TREAT POWDERY MILDEW WITH A BAKING SODA SOLUTION

If fungus and mildew have already set in on your plants, you can still treat it with a stronger solution that contains baking soda. Here’s a recipe for an all-natural mildew treatment for your plants.

BAKING SODA MILDEW SPRAY

  • One-gallon water
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • One tablespoon vegetable oil
  • One tablespoon liquid dish soap

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to mix well. Spray the affected plants every week on overcast days. Spraying this mixture on your plants during the heat of the day will cause them to burn. This mixture is especially useful for squash, zinnias, lilacs, and cucumbers.

NATURAL GARDENING: TREAT TOMATO DISEASE

To prevent and treat fungal infections in your tomato plants, make a solution of aspirin and baking soda. Spraying your plants with the following solution will help to stop leaf spot and early blight from taking hold.

NATURAL TOMATO TREATMENT

  • Two gallons water
  • Two aspirin
  • Two tablespoons baking soda

In a spray bottle, combine all the ingredients. Shake thoroughly to ensure the aspirin and baking soda have dissolved. Once the aspirin has dissolved, spray your tomato plants with the treatment.

CREATE AN ORGANIC GARDEN SPRAY FROM BAKING SODA

The following all-natural recipe is excellent for treating and maintaining a variety of plant pests and conditions. When used correctly, it serves as a homemade leaf miner sprayand repels spider mites, aphids, black spot fungus, and powdery mildew.

NATURAL ORGANIC PEST CONTROL SPRAY WITH BAKING SODA

  • One-gallon warm water
  • 3 to five drops Superthrive solution
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • One tablespoon fish oil
  • One tablespoon liquid dish soap
  • Two tablespoons ultra-fine horticultural oil

Mix all the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Spray your plants down with water first to knock off the beneficial insects first, as this solution will kill them. Every month, in the late evening, spray your plants with the solution.

COMBAT SPIDER MITES AND APHIDS AROUND YOUR PLANTS

Spider mites and aphids can be extremely detrimental to your plants. Spider mites suck the contents from the leaves of your plant, draining them of their nutrients. You can use baking soda as a mild deterrent to combat these pesky insects. The best part of the following solution is that it won’t harm the beneficial insects in your garden.

SPIDER MITES AND APHIDS SPRAY

  • Two cups of water
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • One teaspoon baking soda

Blend the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Carefully spray the solution onto the affected areas every couple of days until the spider mites and aphids are gone.

BAKING SODA WILL ELIMINATE HARMFUL INSECT INFESTATIONS

Don’t let harmful insects infest your garden and ruin your plants. With this simple combination of ingredients, you can rid your plants of pesky insect infestations quickly.

BAKING SODA GARDEN INSECT INFESTATION RECIPE

  • One-gallon warm water
  • One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • 12 drops liquid dish soap

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve the baking soda and mix the ingredients. Spray on your plants every three days until the insects disappear.

Follow up weekly, spraying your plants to prevent reinfestation. For a more long-term approach to fight insects around your plants consider using diatomaceous earth in your garden.

NATURAL ANT KILLER BAKING SODA

A natural ant killer, baking soda when combined with powdered sugar creates a fatal bait. Mix equal amounts of the ingredients together and sprinkle the mixture over the ant hill. When the ants eat the ingredients, they carry it back to their nests, killing the ants within.

The sugar is used to attract the ants, while the baking soda is what will kill them. Make sure you use powdered sugar and not granulated sugar as the ants will be able to pick out the granulated sugar, leaving the baking soda behind.

KILL GNATS IN YOUR GARDEN

If your yard has piles of leaves or you have a compost pile, then you probably have a problem with gnats. Just like hydrogen peroxide for plants, baking soda works perfectly to keep gnats away from your garden.

To get rid of gnats you can use four tablespoons of baking soda with a gallon of water and a teaspoon of biodegradable soap. Spray or pour the mix over your pile of leaves or compost to kill off the gnats.

THE PERFECT ORGANIC INSECT REPELLENT

This recipe makes an organic insect repellent concentrate. When you are ready to use, add two tablespoons of the concentrate into a cup of warm water.

INSECT REPELLENT SOLUTION

  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup mustard oil

Add the ingredients to a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir the ingredients to mix. Place the top on the jar and store at room temperature.

When ready to use mix two tablespoons of the dry mixture to one cup warm water in a plastic or glass spray bottle. Shake to mix. Spray the solution around any area where you want to get rid of unwanted bugs.

USE BAKING SODA TO ELIMINATE GROUND DWELLING PESTS

Gardens tend to attract ground dwelling pests like roaches and slugs.

To eliminate the silverfish, slugs, and roaches that like to hide out in your garden and feed on your plants, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda lightly around the soil in your garden. Alternatively, use neem oil for plants to get rid of slugs. Let it dry, reapplying after it rains.

SPRINKLE SOME BAKING SODA TO KILL SLUGS

Slugs tend to eat and destroy the plants in your garden. A little baking soda can kill off these unwanted garden wreckers quickly.

Sprinkle these slimy creatures with some baking soda to kill them off. Be careful not to get the baking soda on your plants as it will burn the leaves.

GET RID OF CABBAGE WORMS IN THE GARDEN

Cabbage worms are hungry little caterpillars that love to feast on your cabbage, broccoli, and kale. You can kill them off by mixing equal amounts of baking soda and white flour.

Dust your brassicas plants with the mixture to get rid of the destructive cabbage worms. Apply the mixture every three to four days to keep your garden free from cabbage worms.

NATURAL WAY TO KILL CRABGRASS

Start by wetting down the crabgrass and weeds that are in your yard. Next, apply a thick coat of baking soda to the base of the weeds and directly onto their leaves.

Avoid getting any of the baking soda on plants that you don’t want to kill as the baking soda will burn their leaves.

BAKING SODA WEED KILLER

You can sprinkle a baking soda weed killer along your patio and walkways and in cracks and crevices to efficiently get rid of weeds. If you have weeds around paved surfaces, heavily pour baking soda on and around the weeds to make a weed killer without resorting to harmful chemicals. To get in between the sidewalk cracks and spaces between pavers, use a whisk broom to sweep the powder into these hard to reach areas.

While baking soda can be an extremely useful tool for natural gardening, you don’t want to rely upon it entirely. Like with any other natural ingredient, if it is overused, it will lose its efficiency. This is why you need to establish a schedule for sound garden management.

Baking soda is an excellent alternative to the harsh chemical products that you may use to kill weeds, battle pests, and defeat diseases.

BUY Decor Essentials From IKEA

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I recently took a trip to IKEA (we are lucky to have two within a 45-minute drive!) to look at sofas and pick up a few decor items for the basement.  Despite what you may think about the quality of their products, IKEA has unbeatable prices on home decor and organizing supplies.   They also have awesome products perfect for hacking and updating to create custom and personalized home decor.  I’m always drawn to the same items when I visit and thought it might be helpful to share a few of my favorite and best IKEA items to buy. 
You can find even more must buy IKEA decor items HERE

THE BEST IKEA PRODUCTS TO BUY FOR A STYLISH HOME ON A BUDGET


1. FAUX PLANTS & FLORALSIKEA is hands down my go-to store for artificial plants.  Not only are they super affordable, but they are well made and the most lifelike I’ve seen.
Their faux potted plantseucalyptus and fiddle leaf trees are my top favorites.


2. RIBBA FRAMES IKEA has an incredible selection of frames, perfect for creating inexpensive gallery walls.  I’ve used both the RIBBA and VIRSERUM frames in gallery walls around my home.  I love that most of IKEA’s frames come matted making them look high end for a super affordable price. 

3. FJADRAR FEATHER PILLOW INSERTS

In my opinion, feather pillows are a must!  There’s just no comparison between a feather pillow insert and poly-filled insert.   Trust me, it’s worth the extra couple dollars to have the right pillows on your couch.  On my latest IKEA shopping trip, I was shocked to see that they had 20×20 down inserts for $5.99!!!  Can you believe that? 


4. PILLOW COVERSAlong with inserts, IKEA also has a large variety of affordable pillow covers, most costing less than $10.00  My favorite is the LAPPLJJUNG RUTA that I’ve used in both our living room and mudroom.  

IKEA also has a nice selection of neutral pillows that are perfect for adding texture to just about any space.

5. MERETE CURTAIN PANELS

IKEA is hands down the best place to go for affordable curtains!  Most home decor stores only carry curtains up to 84″ in length, which is too short for the beautiful floor to ceiling look.   IKEA curtains tend to be 96″ or longer making them the perfect affordable option.  My favorite is the Merete bleached white grommet curtains, which are super reasonable at $29.99 a pair. 


6. RASKOG STORAGE CART

Does the RASKOG CART even need an introduction?   The organizing and storage possibilities are endless when it comes to this little versatile cart.  I’ve been using mine for craft storage and it’s been a dream having everything mobile and in one spot.  

The Helmer stacked drawers is another great option for craft storage and almost came home with me on my last trip.

7. EKTORP SOFA

The IKEA Ektorp sofa is the perfect affordable sofa without comprising style or comfort.  We bought the chaise version with a dark gray slipcover and it’s been great for our family.  I just throw the slipcover in the wash whenever it gets dirty and it looks like new again. 

8. THROW BLANKETS

Along with a pillow addiction, I also have a thing for throw blankets.  Not only are they useful on chilly nights, but they are perfect for adding warmth, color, and texture to a space.  



IKEA has a large variety of affordable throw blankets, making them one of the best IKEA buys.  I have a few IKEA blankets in my own home, but my favorite is the black and white striped throw.  

          


9. MUSKOT WHITE POTS

I love the classic white flower pots that IKEA carries.   They fit with any style decor and are perfect for displaying IKEA’s faux greenery and florals.  I use them throughout my home and love giving them as gifts paired with pretty flowers. (Think teachers, neighbors, friends, etc.)

***TIP*** There is no hole in the bottom of the pot.  If you use them for real plants make sure to line the bottom with rocks for proper drainage.

10. STORAGE BOXES

Storage boxes can be expensive and add up quickly, especially if you need more than a few.  Thank goodness IKEA has the best storage boxes, baskets, and bins at super reasonable prices.
You can’t get any cheaper than the five pack of IKEA’s FLYT magazine file boxes.  I updated mine with simple metal label holders and added them to the top of my office lockers


11. RUGS

IKEA rugs are some of the best and most affordable I’ve found.  My favorite is the Stockholm, which is very similar to the rug I have in our laundry room.  The Torslev is also a great affordable option.


12. HENRIKSDAL DINING CHAIR


The Henricksdal dining chairs are not only great for around a dining table, but I like to use them as accent chairs.  I have one IKEA dining chair in our dining room and another in our bedroom.  The Henriksdal dining chair comes in a variety of colors and the removable slipover makes them super easy to keep clean.

Whether your opinion of IKEA is favorable or not, I’m sure you’ll agree that any of these IKEA items would make a great addition to your home.   I always look forward to my IKEA shopping trips and already have a list of more items to buy.   What are your favorite IKEA products?

Keto Diet Menu: 7-Day Keto Meal Plan for Beginners

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If you’re looking for a diet to help you lose weight, burn fat, improve your health, there is a perfect diet called keto. 

Keto short for ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb meal plan that drives the body into ketosis.

It’s a natural metabolic state where the body uses fat as its primary source of fuel instead of glucose. 

Ketosis is the main purpose of the ketogenic diet. 

In ketosis, your body becomes incredibly effective at burning fat. 
 
And the more stored fat is used as a fuel, more fat and weight you’ll lose.

It may sound unconventional to eat a high-fat diet to burn fat and lose weight. 

But the diet is in fact well studied and proven. 
 
Over 20 studies show that the keto diet can help you lose weight and improve your health and fitness.

But getting to this state of ketosis requires you to follow a keto diet meal.

A keto diet meal plan is what enables your body to enter ketosis

It focuses on limiting carbohydrates intakes and upping fat, and some protein.

More on this in a minute.

This is pretty much what qualifies a diet to be a ketogenic diet. 

But, let’s backtrack a bit in case you’re not familiar with the keto diet plan and menu before we get started. 

What is a Keto Diet?

A keto diet is a low-carb eating plan designed to drive your body into a state called ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that involves the body producing ketones out of fat. It then uses them for energy instead of carbohydrates. 

Your body only goes into ketosis when carbohydrates intake is low. This is the main purpose of a ketogenic diet.

This translates to:

  • 60-75% of your calories from fat.
  • 15-30% of your calories from protein.
  • 5-10% of your calories from carbs.

As extreme as this may seem, the keto diet is medically tested and proven beneficial for health.   

It has so far been linked to weight loss, reversing type 2 diabetes, and managing blood sugar levels.  

Since the keto diet menu follows a strict guideline, having a sample meal plan can make things easier.   

It takes the guesswork out of choosing what to eat and not to eat on a keto diet. 

It also removes the headache of calculating your macro portions to reach ketosis.   

That’s all built into this Keto Meal Plan.  

Just by following this, you can automatically put your body in the fat-burning zone a.k.a ketosis.   

Here is a 7-day sample keto diet menu to get started on the keto diet and ignite your fat burning.

In conjunction with the keto diet menu, here is your “keto diet food list”.

Keto Diet Food List

It’ll be a handy guide for food shopping for the meals. 

The following keto foods are part of this 7-day meal plan.

Protein: 

  • Grass-fed beef (organic preferred, eggs).
  • Fish and seafood (salmon, shrimps ) 
  • Dark meat chicken (organic preferred).
  • Bacon
  • Beef (organic preferred)
  • Tuna

Even though 75% of calories come from fat on the keto diet, you still need protein. Just make sure you consume them in moderation.

Oil and Fats:

  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee butter
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Cheese

Fruits and Veggies:

  • Avocado
  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, bell pepper broccoli, lettuce, and arugula)
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower 
  • Blackberries
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushroom 
  • Zucchini
  • Watercress

Nuts and Seeds:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Macadamias
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • pistachios
  • Pine nuts
  • cashews
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nut butter
  • Coconut chips

Dairy Products:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Other cheese of your choice

Beverages:

  • Water
  • Almond milk
  • Bone Broth
  • Plain tea
  • Black coffee

This is not a comprehensive keto diet food list. It just covers the foods in this 7-day meal plan.

7-Day Keto Diet Menu Sample

Here’s your 7-Day sample Keto Diet meal plan for weight loss. The key is to stay high-fat, low-carb, with a moderate amount of protein.

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg lettuce wrap with avocado and cilantro
  • Snack: Nuts  Lunch: kale salad with grilled chicken with olive oil dressing. 
  • Snack: bell pepper with guacamole   
  • Dinner: Steak with cauliflower rice

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Baked egg in an avocado cup
  • Snack: Macadamia nuts
  • Lunch: Tuna salad with a side of green salad
  • Snack: Sliced cheese or cold cut turkey roll-ups
  • Dinner: Chinese Beef and broccoli

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Full-fat Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds and crushed walnuts
  • Snack:  Turkey jerky (look for no added sugar type)
  • Lunch: Cauliflower fried rice
  • Snack: Sliced cheese 
  • Dinner: Roast beef with sautéed mushroom and zucchini

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Blackberry protein shake with kale and almond butter  
  • Snack: Zucchini parmesan chips
  • Lunch: Chicken tenders made with almond flour on a bed of greens with cucumbers and goat cheese
  • Snack: Bacon deviled eggs
  • Dinner: Grilled shrimp topped with a lemon butter sauce with a side of asparagus  

Day 5:

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and a side of greens.
  • Snack: 1/2 cup coconut chips 
  • Lunch: Grass-fed burger in a lettuce “bun” topped with avocado and a side salad.
  • Snack: Celery sticks dipped in almond butter.
  • Dinner: Meatloaf on a bed of watercress salad

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Feta cheese and spinach omelet.
  • Snack: Bacon wrapped asparagus.
  • Lunch: Chicken wings with celery sticks.
  • Snack: Cocoa Coconut milk smoothie  
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with bell peppers and tomatoes   

Day 7:

  • Breakfast: Full-fat Greek yogurt with coconut chips and pumpkin seeds
  • Snack: Cheese crisp
  • Lunch: Chicken salad wraps
  • Snack: Peanut butter fat bombs  
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with a side of cauliflower rice

The keto or ketogenic diet is great for people who are looking to lose weight and improve their health.

This sample 7-day keto diet plan is a great way to see if the diet is right for you.

But, as with any diet, you should always check with your doctor first before starting. 

If you’re looking to burn fat, it’s important that you incorporate some form of exercise with the diet.

Lose Weight with the 30 Day Plank Fat Burning Challenge

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This 30 day plank fat burning challenge will kickstart your weight loss efforts tenfold while only taking a couple of minutes a day. This quick, but so effective workout is a great addition to your 30-day weight loss challenge.

30 Day Plank Challenge for Beginners or Intermediate

If you are just starting your weight loss journey and you already know what a plank is congratulations, you are more knowledgeable than I was when I started!

As I have said before, until I began this journey a few years ago, I was not familiar with working out or the different exercises.

Planks were introduced to me through my first Beachbody workout, P90X. I quickly realized how many muscle groups a plank workout uses.

Planks are extremely versatile. By using a variety of plank exercises, planks can be utilized to fit the needs of strengthening beginners or challenging the fittest athletes. This plank challenge is great with my 30-day weight loss challenge specifically designed to help with losing weight after 40.

Using a 30-day plank fat burning challenge, you are able to strengthen core muscles, which includes some extremely important back muscles for our over 40 bodies.

As women over 40, quite often our core has weakened over time. We realize this from our stomachs getting larger as well as flabby. You can prevent everyday injuries by including this plank challenge for a couple of minutes every day.

Back injuries are common while working around the house if we don’t strengthen core muscles. I learned a few years ago how important having a strong core was for my back. Without boring you too much on the specifics of core muscles, just know there are a lot of important muscles around your spine that are strengthened with plank exercises like these.

That’s where the 30-day plank fat burning challenge comes in. A single exercise that literally will only take a couple of minutes a day, can improve your core muscles, reduce injury, increase metabolism and burn fat.

How to Do a Plank

In order for the 30-day plank challenge to be effective, it is important to make sure you have the proper plank position.

The picture below illustrates the basic plank with proper form. It is important to keep the form as shown to prevent injury and maximize effectiveness.

If you aren’t able to do a full plank yet, you may put your knees down and/or your elbows down, keeping the basic principles of elbows under shoulders, core tightened, hips level, head/neck neutral.

Day 1:  15 seconds

Day 2:  15 seconds

Day 3:  15 seconds

Day 4:  20 seconds

Day 5:  20 seconds

Day 6:  25 seconds

Day 7:  25 seconds

Day 8:  25 seconds

Day 9:  30 seconds

Day 10: 30 seconds

Day 11: 30 seconds

Day 12: 35 seconds

Day 13: 35 seconds

Day 14: 35 seconds

Day 15: 40 seconds

Day 16: 40 seconds

Day 17: 45 seconds

Day 18: 45 seconds

Day 19: 50 seconds

Day 20: 50 seconds

Day 21: 55 seconds

Day 22: 55 seconds

Day 23: 55 seconds

Day 24: 60 seconds

Day 25: 60 seconds

Day 26: 60 seconds

Day 27: 65 seconds

Day 28: 65 seconds

Day 29: 70 seconds

Day 30: As long as you can!

This 30-day plank challenge will jumpstart your fitness. You will be stronger with a higher metabolism after 30 days of plank exercises.

Your overall fitness level will improve greater with additional workouts.

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