Granite countertops are a beautiful addition to any home. If cared for properly, they will last a lifetime, which makes the hefty pricetag completely worth it if you can do it.
-Keep Your Countertops Sealed
Have you ever noticed that not long after cleaning the counters again, they feel a little grimy again? That is due to the sealant wearing down. Making sure your counters are properly sealed will keep that to a minimum. Check with your manufacturer, but most granite needs to be resealed at least every 6 months to a year. In most cases, if it’s just routine maintenance, you can buy products from your local home improvement store to keep it in good condition. If your counters are in bad shape, consult a professional and look into getting them buffed and resealed.
-Use Only pH Neutral Products
pH neutral products are very close to water in composition. If you can, always try to use something specifically made for it, such as Method Granite Cleaner, or you could use a little bit of mild dish detergent with plenty of water (just be sure and get all the soap off, or it will be left streaky!)
-DO NOT Use Acidic Or Otherwise “Heavy Duty” Products To Clean It.
Vinegar and lemmon juice are fantastic cleaners. However, granite, marble, and other natural stone surfaces cannot tolerate them and should never be used to clean them. It will eat away at the sealant and do a great deal of damage. Do not use anything formulated for soap scum, heavy disinfectants, undiluted ammonia, etc.
-Wipe Up Spills Immediately
It is always important to wipe up any spills immediately. Anything that’s not water can damage the surface. And even if it is water, if there are any cracks on your counters it can seep into those. Staining is also an issue, as they are not easily removed. The sooner you clean up the spill, the less of a chance of any damage being done.
I am way too picky about my chicken salad sandwich. I can name only a handful of places that serve it up in a way that I find satisfying. Call me a simpleton, but I prefer mine without all the bells and whistles, in such a way that my flavor palatte is not overwhelmed by trying to decipher every one of the 30 ingredients added to make it “special.” I consider mine unique in it’s own way, with the right amount of texture and flavor that the whole family will enjoy. The recipe below will yield about 8-10 servings.
-2 lbs. chicken, either baked with salt, pepper, and garlic for 45 minutes at 375 degrees and chopped. Or if you are looking for a quick meal, try a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, pulled apart.
-6 eggs, boiled and chopped
-2 stalks of celery, chopped
-2 green onions, chopped
-6 strips (1/4 lb.) bacon, chopped and fried on a pan. For a quicker alternative, crumble pre-cooked bacon.
-1/2 cup real mayonnaise
-2 tbsp. dill relish
-the juice of 1/2 a lemon
-1 tbsp. pepper (fresh ground is best if you have it.)
-1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
-salt to taste
Simply mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, add salt at the end to taste (the chicken and bacon add salt to the recipe, so use sparingly.) Serve it up on toasted wheat bread, and ta da! See how fast it disappears!
A good, balanced breakfast is easily the most important meal of the day. It jump starts the metabolism, it sets the tone for your food choices for the day, and it gets your mind going. It can be hard to make time for it, especially if you are a repeat offender of hitting the snooze button like me, but if you can just convince yourself that it is really that important, you can make it a habit that just becomes another part of life.
I personally am a big fan of having warm lemon water while I get ready (it is SO good for you, and Here’s Why,) and having a sliced apple and a fruit and grain cereal bar on the way to work, but do whatever works for you, whether it’s a bagel with cream cheese or a full spread of bacon, eggs, and waffles. Yum!
For more ideas on easy, fast, and nutritious breakfast meals, check out Real Simple’s Suggestions Here!
Jennifer found this article the other day and I just loved it! I had heard of many of these cleaning tips but had never heard of using ketchup and white bread to clean anything.
Ten Unexpected Natural Cleaners
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The second most common cause of poisoning in small children is from chemical cleaning products. While there are plenty of great natural cleaning solutions you can buy, you can get a safe and cost effective result from making a few of your own products from what you probably already have lying around in your house.
Make your own all purpose cleaner with either equal parts lemon juice to distilled water, or 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle filled to the top with distilled water. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, try adding a couple drops of peppermint or tea tree oil. You can it to clean the highchair, stroller, car seat, changing table, crib, and baby bathtub. Be sure and refrigerate unused product and label properly. In a hurry? Sprinkle some baking soda on a wet cloth to wipe down surfaces. It is also an effective sanitizer and deodorizer.
Instead of bleach, use hydrogen peroxide to sanitize toys. Soak plastic toys in a solution of ¼ cup of peroxide per gallon of water for about 10 minutes, then rinse clean. For stuffed toys, either spray down with the all purpose, or for a deep clean, put in the washer on the delicate cycle with ½ cup of peroxide, then air dry.
Check out http://www.quickandsimple.com/how-to/organize-clean/best-green-cleaners for a great listing of products you can buy that are safe when cleaning for your baby.