Sour Towels: A Review.

testing-DIY-natural-bleach

 

As promised, here’s an update on my lemon “bleached” dishtowels.  I added some before & after & along-the-way shots above in case you were interested in trying it at home.

Clockwise from top left:

1. The “Before” pic of my favorite Crate & Barrel bar mops.  Pretty dingy, and covered with small stains.

2. Next step, cut up 3-4 lemons.

3. Add lemon slices to big pot of cold water.

4. Bring the water & lemons to a boil, and add towels.

5. Lower the temp and let them sit for an hour.  Remove and wash as you normally would.

6. Ta-da!  The towels, post-bleaching.

So here are my honest thoughts:  I’m not necessarily swooning over the results.  The all around dinginess of the towels was replaced with whiteness, but the bleaching was no match for the real stains splotched over the towels.  But they still do look a lot better from afar so I’ll take it.  It was cheap and easy.  And the kitchen smelled nice and fresh after boiling those lemons all afternoon.   Until we cooked bacon for dinner.

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Sour Towels.

whitening-dishtowels-with-lemons

I am trying this natural bleach idea for my dish towels tonight and am so excited!  Why am I doing this?  Well, they are looking a little disgustingly dingy, I don’t have (or want to buy) any bleach, and I’m trying out some natural cleaning ideas in an effort to be more green around the home.  I know, I’m late to the game on freaking everything.  The towels are in the dryer right now – I’ll be back with some action shots and results soon.  Fingers crossed for successful bleaching!  #whenlifegivesyoulemons…

I’ll Drink To That.

klean_kanteen

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite Christmas presents from 2 weeks ago.  Side note, I cannot believe I just said that – Christmas has come and gone?  Whaaa?  When did that happen?!

Santa was very generous this year and brought our family many gifts, including a big priceless one – getting to spend a week up in Waterbury Center, Vermont with my family!  It’s our family tradition since my Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins all live up there, and it rocks.  Seriously there’s nowhere else I’d rather be come then end of December.  So that was really my most cherished gift this holiday season.  Next up though?  A pair of super cute Tory Burch flats that B surprised me with (seriously – complete surprise), a super new dust buster that really sucks (ha!), a winter coat from J.Crew that I’ve been coveting for years, and these really cool water bottles from my younger bro, aka “Uncle C”.

The best part of the gift was that they came in a bag with one for me, one for B, and a baby version for A!  It was so cute – she knew it was for her right away and tried to drink from it, only to get a mouthful of air.  So cute though.

So on to why I’m really digging my Klean Kanteen.  Not only is it really sleek looking, a good size and weight, made of eco-friendly materials, but it is an awesome drink container!  It keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 6 hours, and that is no lie.  Seriously, it really works!  And the outside of the bottle always stays room temperature, unlike some other stainless bottles I’ve had that get scalding hot when you use them for warmer liquids.  I love it.  Ours came with two tops, the one you see int he picture above (twist off) and a coffee cup top.  I believe you can also get a drink spout to make it more of a sports bottle.  It’s seriously an awesome water bottle!

And if you don’t believe me, check out the pic below that I took after putting ice and water in my Klean Kanteen THREE hours earlier.  No joke!

I did some googling and looks like they are available on Amazon and at REI, but they do not seem to be cheap.  Hey there big spenda Uncle C!  But if you’re in the market for an awesome new water bottle for work, working out, or just around the house (I actually do that – haven’t used a cup in about a year), I am totally digging this guy.

klean_kanteen_ice_water

An Explanation.

For why I was MIA last week.  I think that’s only the second time this year I’ve left you hanging without words of neat-dom.  Not too bad, but not what I set out to do when I created this little bloggo almost a year ago.  Yep, KIN is almost ONE!  Just add ‘plan a bday party for my blog’ to the list I guess.

So anyway, things here are busy.  Not more than anyone else, I’m sure, but pretty darn busy.  And the picture below represents just how busy.  I give you, “Failed Africa Cake”.

Holiday-Potluck-WorldTheme-Africa-Cake

Allow me to explain.  Work is busy.  Home is busy.  It’s the holidays.  We have parties on top of parties, and to-do’s on top of to-do’s.  Last Thursday was the holiday party at both A’s school (annual potluck), and at my office (literally it’s in the office).  A’s holiday party ‘theme’ was Around the World, and her classroom was assigned Africa.  Not knowing what to make, and her being too young to turn this into a geography and/or anthropology lesson, I copped out and decided to make a cake, and decorate it with the map of Africa.  Don’t judge me.

Well I went to make said cake at about 9:30 on Wednesday night and noticed we were out of butter.  Great.  A quick google search (on my new phone), taught me that you could sub in applesauce.  Eh.  Worth a try though.  Cake went happily into the oven, I went happily into the shower, but A was not so happy upstairs in her crib and decided to let us know.  So B went up, leaving Africa cake to get a little toasty in the oven…for fifteen minutes too long.  Screw up #2 of the night.  When the cake cooled and I tried to move it, it fell apart in a few area, requiring glue by icing in multiple spots.  But, it did turn out looking pretty good, and it didn’t taste too bad, considering it had no butter…

Let’s move on to Thursday.  All day meetings required me to be out in West Chester (an hour west of Philly on a good day) and leave earlier than daycare would take A.  So while I battled the long ride out there B walked her to daycare…and forgot her shoes.  Unbeknownst to me of course until later that day.  I left straight from WC, Africa cake in the backseat, and went straight to daycare.  Mind you it was had been freezing out so now the cake had been frozen, then thawed.  This was really the cake that wouldn’t die.  I arrived at daycare, cake in hand, ready to clean A up to take her over to my office.  Only I noticed she had no shoes.  It never ends.

Luckily they found some extra shoes in the lost & found, and although they were clearly little boy shoes, they actually looked pretty cute.  So then we headed over to my office to meet up with B, cram some food down our throats (no alcohol though since apparently you can’t have a drink if you bring your kid…), take a pic with Santa (while A cried the whole time), and show A my office.  Which was apparently the highlight of the night:

A at work

Just look at those pudgy little fingers on the keyboard.  Kills me.

So moral of the story is I’ve been busy and have NOT been keeping things neat around my abode, or life for that matter!  But at least I’m keeping it real here on the blog for ya.  Nothing to hide – failed Africa cake story told to the public? Check. “Child Labor” photo shared with the interwebs? Check.

We did do some decorating over the weekend so I can share those pics soon.  I do have some answers to Holiday Q’s that I’ve gotten recently.  And remember you can ask any Q’s that you have here!

Wrangling Recipes.

recipe-organization-beforeT minus 1 to Turkey day!  In honor of kicking off the season of never ending cooking and baking and eating, I’m going to do a little post about how I keep my recipes in order.  It’ll come in handy if you get any new ones after tomorrow’s day of gluttony.

So what you see above is a quasi-before shot.  As is usually the case, I started randomly working on a project while I had 5 or 10 minutes to spare and then realized halfway through – hey, I should probably post this on the blog.  Clearly I’m organized in all aspects of life other than blogging.  For a few years now I’ve been storing recipes a la Magi – in plastic sheet protectors in cute binders.  The binder I use is a few years old from Office Max (shown below), and the sheet protectors are available anywhere.  I use these by Avery – also more visible in a pic a few lines below.

recipe-organization-binder-closed

Recently I’d just been shoving recipes into the binder and not putting them in pages.  And even those in pages were way out of order – like this really yummy breakfast/brunch recipe below that I found in a Rachel Ray mag back in the day, which was right next to a baby back ribs recipe by Alton Brown.  Side note I used to love Rachel Ray.  Now she’s like an Oprah-fied caricature of her old self, and I find her cringingly (is that a word?) hard to watch on TV.  Needless to say I don’t subscribe to the mag anymore.  But anyway, we ordered a stromboli on Monday night from a menu in the packet I keep next to my recipe binder and I couldn’t take it any more.  I had about 15 minutes until said stromboli showed up at our door so I went at it.

recipe-organization-plastic-pages

First thing I did was to lie everything out on the counter and take inventory.  Then I made piles of like-kind recipes (does this organizing formula sound familiar or what?): Starters (salads, soups, snacks), Sides, Meat/Poutlry, Fish/Seafood, Pasta, Desserts.  I had to move some recipes around in their plastic so they lined up better, but that was the bulk of the work of this whole task and took only about 5 minutes.  I have a few special recipes that I keep on handwritten index cards, those are kept in the front pocket of the binder as you can see in the shot below.

recipe-organization-binder

Mmm.  I’m hungry from looking at some of these.

Once I put all the plastic sheets back in I had a nicely organized binder looking like this:

recipe-organization-binder-after

The recipe on the left is the best find ever by SH @ Eventfully Simple at the shore a few summers ago.  It was in my Women’s Health mag and I totally passed it by.  She suggested we try it and it’s been a summer staple ever since.  B and I make it once a week in summer months, and have given the recipe to about a dozen other people.  And I’m happy to say it’s now properly filed with the rest of our meat and poultry items, and not sitting in between sugar cookies and Shipley bars.

And for those wondering, shortly after finishing this little ditty our pepperoni stromboli arrived and it was delish.  We ate the whole thing.  Good thing PR was last weekend!