Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Cleaning - Clean Your House, Green Your Life

The first official day of Spring was March 20th and for a good chunk of the south it was cold and SNOWING! So the first day of Spring has come and gone in a very cold, white blur but it's not too late to start the infamous (and ever dreaded) Spring Cleaning. Spring cleaning is all about starting fresh; out with the old and in with the new. Why not try helping the environment too? Cleaning doesn't have to be about harsh chemicals and spending lots of money of new and improved cleaning products. I've scoured the web and asked around for some of the best tips on how to "Go Green" during your annual rituals.

First things first. Here's a few ideas on some great, eco-friendly DIY cleaning products.
No Streak Glass Cleaner
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

dissolved into 1 quart warm water
Powerful but Friendly Mildew Remover
dissolve 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup Borax into water
Scuff Remover
As simple as using a pencil eraser
DIY Furniture Polish
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar or lemon juice
Few drops of jojoba oil or olive oil
Essential oil for scent (optional)
Good for Anything and Everything
Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Make pastes and distilled sprays for grout cleaning and any other scrubbing and spraying needed.

During my search I found hundreds of websites for environmentally friendly stain removers, cleaners, detergents and anything else you could possibly need to clean your house with little to no impact on the outside world.

I also found quite a few interesting tid-bits on a few small steps you can make inside your home to help better the planet. Here's just a few I found interesting.

  • As few as 15 houseplants in an average size home can offer significant reduction in the number of indoor contaminants in your home.

  • If a quarter of the households in the US replaced one incandescent with one CFL, it would save as much CO2 as planting 257,215 acres of forest.

  • 50% of the average households energy consumption goes to heating and cooling your home. Make sure to seal all edges and cracks with caulk and weatherstripping when possible. You can also hang curtains and drapes to limit heat gains in the summer and losses in the winter.

Spring is a great time to get a fresh start by cleaning and organizing but harsh chemical cleaners and waste can reek havoc on our already fragile environment. So for this years Spring cleaning festivities take a moment to better the environment while restoring your home to its sparkly clean potential. And as always check out for eco-friendly fabrics, wallpapers, rugs, curtain rods and accessories and more.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Are You Bagged Out?

Does this look like the top of your pantry? This is actual documentation of the top of my pantry. I love having these sacks to grab for a quick lunch sack or picnic basket. They work great when we go to the lake to hold wet bathing suits and clothes too. I don't love, however, having the top of my pantry looking like the Marshmallow Man off Ghostbusters threw up!

We're always looking for great, creative ways to clean up and clean out and since this one hit so close to home I thought I should share with all of you loyal blog readers. Martha Stewart had an article out recently about how to make an adorable bag holder in just a few simple steps.

Tools and Materials:
15-inch-wide dish towel (ours has a 1/2-inch hem)
Pins and scissors10-inch strip of 3/4-inch twill tape
7 1/2-inch strip of 1/4-inch elastic;1 1/2-inch safety pin
Plastic Bag Organizer How-To:
Fold dish towel in half lengthwise, wrong side out; pin along the edge that's opposite the fold. Pin twill-tape ends to one open end to form hanger.

Sew a seam 7 inches from the folded edge to make a tube. Stitch twill tape in place.
1. Twill tape hanger
2. Folded edge
3. New seam

Thread elastic through the towel's existing hem: Snip one small slit in the towel's hem (shown, right). Flip tube over and repeat, making a second slit. Tie a large knot at one end of elastic; attach safety pin to other end. Slide safety pin through 1 slit, and ease through hem and out other slit. Tie elastic ends to gather. Turn bag right side out.
4. Snip line

To see the whole article
And for more great ideas that we love from Martha Stewart visit

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Mother of all Months!

This month is full of holidays, time changes, season changes and most famous of all, my birthday!
Here's some notable notes for this month.
March 8th: Today is Commonwealth Day if you're reading this in Canada
March 14th: Daylight Savings Time Begins - Don't Forget to "Spring Forward"
March 17th: Show off your Irish side today on St. Patrick's Day
March 20th: First Day of Spring! - Start planting those gardens now
March 29th: Full Moon
March 30th: First Day of Passover
And all month long is a little thing we like to call MARCH MADNESS!! All Basketball all the time!
(Side note - March 12th: My Birthday, I accept cold hard cash and shoes!)

One of the lesser known holidays this month is National Quilting Day. Started in 1991 by the National Quilting Association, March 20th is the date for this years National Quilting Day. Grab your old scraps of fabric or start fresh with some of our craft fabrics. Either way, its high time to start quilting!

You don't have to be a pro to make a great looking quilt. We even have fabrics that are already quilted for you! Our Build-A-Quilt fabrics are pre-made quilted fabric panels which give you a custom look without the custom effort (just like the one shown here). For downloadable patterns for every skill type follow this link: The National Quilting Association can get you started with lots of great ideas and how-tos.

And don't forget, always has you covered no matter what holiday you are celebrating. Our Holiday page offers gift ideas, fabrics, table settings and more. We also have all your favorite college basketball fabrics no matter who you root for. Check us out for new products, added daily!