Cleaning Your Washing Machine with Vinegar

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

CLEANINGyourWASHERwithVINEGAR

This is a sponsored post on behalf of VinegarTips.com. All opinions are my own. 

If you know me at all, you would probably know that I hate to clean. It is just not my strong suit. Cooking, yes. I pretty much just clean to keep things hygienic and so I can have space to cook some more. I like a clean house as much as the next person, but it’s just not high on my priority list to keep everything spic-and-span.

Which is why my washing machine may have not ever really been cleaned since we bought it. I’m not going to disclose how many years ago that was. It’s a front-loader, but we’ve always been able to keep the door open most of the time, keeping it from many of the stinky front-loader problems people have.

Still, crud builds up on the door and especially in the rubber seals. Ick!

Washing machine inside

You can’t tell, but there is a lot of grime in there.

You may also know that I am an enthusiast for natural cleaners. I think vinegar, baking soda, a lemon, and some essential oils can clean pretty much anything. So I decided to put vinegar to the test and use it to give my washing machine a good deep clean.

Vinegar and baking soda for cleaning

Following a little tutorial from Popsugar, I filled my detergent space with 1/4 cup baking soda mixed with 1/4 cup water. Then I added 2 cups of plain distilled vinegar directly to the basin. I washed it on a normal cycle with hot water. When the cycle was done, I wiped down the inside and the door. The vinegar disinfects the basin, lifting icky scents and loosening any grime so it’s easily removed.

Getting inside the rubber parts was a little less simple. I started just wiping them out with a washcloth after this wash cycle, which did work. But for extra oomph, I used some straight vinegar on my cloth and managed to rub the insides of the pieces. I removed some build up, hair, dust, and other yuck that was living in there! I feel a lot better about the cleanliness of my washer now. I didn’t have any bad smells on mine; but if you do, I bet the vinegar will help neutralize them. Yes, the vinegar smell is strong at first – but the scent lifts quickly, taking with it some of the bad smells it has sucked away.

Since the inside of the washer was looking so great, I decided it was time to tackle the outside, too! I was using the top as a holding area for way too much junk, including tons of shells I’d fished out of my kids’ pockets, safety pins, buttons, and for some reason a curly plastic straw!

 

Getting rid of the trash, relocating the bucket that used to hold homemade detergent, and then wiping down the whole outside with vinegar made it sparkling, clean, disinfected, and much neater.

 

I am so happy with how well vinegar and baking soda gave my washing machine a great spring clean! It even made me want to tackle the dishwasher next. With as simple as the treatment was, I might even be able to keep it up once a month as recommended.

VinegarTips.com has a plethora of great tips for cooking, cleaning, gardening, even working on the car with vinegar! I learned a ton just from their Laundry tipboard. Here’s my amazing vinegar secret: I get some bad reflux when I am pregnant (usually only then, but occasionally otherwise). Drinking tea with 1/2 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar totally keeps it at bay. Nature’s medicine! How do you use vinegar around your home?

You can find VinegarTips around the web at these place.

VinegarTips logo-4color

facebook / twitter / pinterest / google+

As always, thanks for loving on sponsored posts and helping to support charities like these. 

Cookie Butter Puppy Chow {Secret Recipe Club}

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Cookie Butter Snack Mix

Puppy chow? Muddy buddies? You know what I’m talking about, right? We always called it puppy chow when I was a kid. But please don’t feed this to your dog. Too much chocolate!

My assigned blogger for this month’s Secret Recipe Club called it Muddy Buddies. But I felt like I needed to stick to my roots.

My blogger this month was Nicole, who blogs at I Am a Honey Bee. She is a lifestyle blogger who shares lots of recipes, for delicious things I want to make like Homemade Cheez-Its, Coca-Cola Carnitas, and Crockpot Cool Ranch Chicken. She is married and has a young daughter named Autumn, and they recently moved to Florida. I looooove all her Mexican-inspired recipes, and I will definitely be trying out some this summer (when I have to cook. About three weeks, people!).

For now, though, I decided to make this snack mix with half a jar of cookie butter I’ve had sitting around awhile. What’s up with that? I think I had hid it from myself because I kept eating apples with about half a cup of cookie butter for dipping … So I unearthed it from the cupboard and used the recipe to make this delicious snack! (Cookie butter is also called Biscoff, from the kind of cookies used to make it.)

Cookie butter puppy chow

Confession: I went to a discount store to shop, because it was near where I was the other day. And they didn’t have any kind of Chex, so I used plain Cheerios. I think the Chex shape soaks up the coating a little better, but any unsweetened cereal should work if you’re in a pinch!

Cookie Butter Puppy Chow

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 c. plain Cheerios or Chex cereal
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. cookie butter
  • 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Instructions

Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, cookie butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cereal and toss until all is coated.

Let cereal cool for 10 minutes, then add powdered sugar to the bowl and toss well.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/05/cookie-butter-snack-mix/

 Loading InLinkz ...

The Big List of Star Wars Songs for Kids

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Star Wars Playlist for Kids

My 5-year-old son, David, is obsessed with Star Wars. I mean, obsessed. Seen every movie, including number 7 on opening night (his birthday present). It’s basically all he talks about. He probably has more toys than is healthy and a Star Wars shirt for almost every day of the week. (When spring came, he was sad he didn’t have any short sleeve shirts. So we got this, this, this, and this from Amazon, because at the time they were all $3-5. Gotta love some Amazon.)

My greatest endeavor, however, was finding all the kid-appropriate Star Wars songs that I could. He and his 3-year-old brother ask to listen to this playlist constantly and have every song memorized. Since tomorrow is Star Wars Day (May 4th), I thought if you, too, were searching for this, I could help you out!

I think you can find these all under the “Star Wars Kids” list on Spotify under Jessica Weaver. But if you’re not a Spotify person, there are links to find the songs elsewhere, too.

  • “Yoda” – Weird Al – (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “The Saga Begins” – Weird Al (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Oh, Lando” – Recess Monkey (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Tatooine” – Phineas & Ferb Star Wars (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Sith-inator” – Phineas & Ferb Star Wars (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Star Wars Disco” – Little Apple Band (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Star Wars” – The One World Ensemble (Amazon) (Just the theme played by someone else)
  • “Star Wars: A Capella Strikes Back” – BYU Noteworthy (Amazon / iTunes)
  • “Why Is Dad So Mad?” – The Board of Education (Amazon / iTunes)
  • “When I Was a Boy” – Drew Worthley (Amazon / album on iTunes) – Not strictly a Star Wars song, but it has a verse about it and is generally just a sweet song.
  • “The Greatest Story Ever Told” – Good Clean Fun (Amazon) – This is a punk rock song, and I don’t think there is any foul language in this song … but I can’t find the lyrics anywhere. My kids think it’s hilarious, and the chorus is fun, but here is your warning.
  • “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” – Meco (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “The Empire Strikes Back (Medley)” – Meco (Amazon / album on iTunes)
  • “Lightspeed” – Joel Henriques (Amazon / iTunes) – This one isn’t available on Spotify, but we’ve heard it on Kids’ Place Live on SiriusXM.

Let me know if you’ve run across any kid-appropriate Star Wars songs that we’ve missed! Do you have a mini-Jedi at home?

What I Read: April 2016

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

wutheringheights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – This month’s installment in the “classic of the month” club I have with my best friend was the first one I’ve already read all the way through. I hadn’t read it since college, though, and my second read was just as if not more enjoyable. WH is sensationalist, very plot-driven, making it un-put-downable in the finest way. Catherine and Heathcliff are plain nuts, and their story has entranced generations.

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – Another book checked off my Spring Reading List, but trust me, this wasn’t a book I just checked off. I’ve heard such great things about it, and they were all true. It is laugh-out-loud funny, made me cry, has beautiful characters and a great portrait of marriage, and I was disappointed there wasn’t another 200 pages to read just because I didn’t want it to end!

Three Wishes by Bergren

Three Wishes by Lisa T. Bergren – God bless Lisa for making a new River of Time series. The first River of Time collection about Italy is totally fascinating, romantic, and fun to read; Three Wishes, beginning the new series taking place in Southern California when it’s still Mexico, has all these qualities as well. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my feeling about Gabi and Marcello, but Bergren came through, delivering totally different but just as wonderful characters. (I read this in just a couple hours.)

Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – I loved Matson’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, so when I ran across this at the library I grabbed it up. I read at least the last half in one sitting, and it definitely made me ugly cry. (Which if you read the premise, it’s easy to tell what will happen there.) I love Matson’s writing.

I'll Be Yours

I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones – Yes, I may have been on a little YA kick in April. (Blame “morning” sickness?) Jones’s latest release exhibits once again that she is an expert at family relations. Sure, this is a romance, but it deals even more with the main character Harper’s past, adoption, current family division, and healing. I am crazy about her books (although prefer the Katie Parker ones to the Charmed Life series), and if you like YA at all, you should grab them.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington – This coming-of-age novel is a first book for Tarkington, who grew up in Central Virginia (like yours truly!) and now teaches in a private school in Tennessee (hey, that sounds familiar). (And no, I didn’t realize those things before I read it. Strange.) The story is about Richard/Rocky and his relationship with his small town and his older brother, Paul. The characters are memorable and the story is interesting, but I felt like the climax came way too close to the end. It probably could have used another 50 pages. This isn’t my normal read, but I’m glad I read it. (I am guessing it appeals more to those who grew up in this time frame, the late 70s/early 80s.)

interrupted

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker – Amazon tells me I bought this for my Kindle in January 2015. I don’t know why I waited to read it until now except that God brought it to my attention exactly when I would need it. Hatmaker outlines what happened when God woke her up to the world’s needs and the legalism in her life, how she and her husband started a new church, and what the church’s basis is. It’s just as much a treatise about biblical Christianity and how it’s not always mirrored in our churches. Again, it was the right book at the right time for me. I finished it last night, which is technically May, but I read the bulk of it in April so I’m including it here.

So what did you read in April? Any plans for May? My classic this month is going to be Vanity Fair, so that may take me a good chunk of time. I’m also going to read The Raven King if my LIBRARY EVER GETS IT IN BECAUSE IT CAME OUT A WEEK AGO NOT THAT I AM ANXIOUS.

This will be added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy. 

Spring Fever

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

source: Tom Magliery via Flickr Creative Commons

source: Tom Magliery via Flickr Creative Commons

I love living on a campus during the Spring.

The energy lingers in the air. The seniors, ready to flee, eventually get to shed their school uniforms for their normal apparel. Sporting events and last-minute get-togethers abound. Everyone wants to be outside, basking in the 80-degree Southern Spring. Summer plans fly like bluebirds.

It’s just plain fun to watch the students, simmering to a boiling point, ready to sprint off come June.

The transition time seems especially appropriate this Spring, as my belly grows with this fourth child. We’re going through some other transitions to our normal routine, too. It’s a hard growth, a fighting-the-change-kicking-and-screaming issue. On top of that, I’m glancing into next school year, seeing my BABY David hop on a bus to kindergarten. My REALLY A BABY, Joshua, will go to preschool. Yes, I’ll have another baby come October. But that doesn’t make them not my babies. And my ALWAYS MY BABY Libbie will be in second grade, which just sounds insane.

Leaning into this season is really, really hard.

I’m hoping as the Spring turns to Summer, I can unclench my fists a little and taste the joy of change. And being surrounded by teens, infectious in their joy at growing older and heading out, helps heal my heart just a bit.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

What do you do when your strawberries are getting too ripe to eat? Throw them in a baked good, of course! My kids were thrilled to have something different to eat for breakfast, and I even threw it in their lunch boxes one day in lieu of a sandwich.

Lunchbox with Strawberry Bread

I am excited about the arrival of strawberry season – are you? I guess it depends where you live, but here in Tennessee the strawberries are starting to be ready to pick. In fact, I was going to take my kids to pick strawberries today at a farm in north Georgia, but the zealous pickers on Thursday and Friday apparently dried them out. Oh well! We’ll try again soon.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour (or use another cup all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, or milk soured with lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. diced strawberries
  • for topping
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at time with mixer running. Add vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Fold in strawberries by hand. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, then sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing in gently. You may not want to use all the mixture.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/04/strawberry-cream-cheese-bread/

What is your favorite strawberry recipe?

Here are some of mine: