My Easy Three: Keeping it Clean and Fresh

Summer is here and so are the sweaty odors that come with it.  It isn’t a glamorous topic, just keeping it real.  Here are My Easy Three tips for June!

Swim Wear — It is an investment every year to add a new swim suit to your poolside frolics.  You can extend the life of your suit by taking just a few minutes to wash it out after each use.  If you don’t have time to soak it in a gentle detergent like this set from Everything But Water, at least rinse it out with cool tap water before hanging it to dry.

I keep a set of these detergents (Woolite is good, too) in my swimwear drawer.  It only takes a capful of the cleaner to your pail of water, add your suit, let it soak for 3 minutes, rinse, then soak in the protector, skip the rinse, wring, and hang to dry. Chlorine, salt and sun deteriorate the delicate fabrics of your swimwear and by washing your suits after every use, you can keep them just as fresh as the day you bought it.

Smelly Sneakers — working out, hiking, yard work, and so on makes for odorous sneaks.  When we traveled to Turkey a few summers ago, one of the best tips shared by a Container Store employee, were these Mini Moso Charcoal Deoderizers.  They are naturally safe, help to absorb odors and moisture, are renewable by recharging them in the sun and after two years of use, they are biodegradable.  Just plant them in your flower beds when you are done!  They come in sets of two for $9.99.  I have several sets and stuff them in all my active footwear when not in use.

Baking soda is my friend. Remember that hot sauce commercial where the Grandmotherly voice says, “I use that SH*& on everything!”  Well, I do use baking soda for a variety of uses and not just in my biscuits.  I buy a bag just like this at Costco and fill a bin in my laundry room.  I add a scoop of soda in the laundry powder dispenser.  It mixes in with the detergent pod and keeps the inside of the washer clean (if you have a front loading machine you are familiar with that odor), and it deodorizes my towels, sheets and active wear.  I also add a scoop every time I clean the litterbox. In addition to being a multi-tasker, baking soda is inexpensive and safe to use.

If you want more of My Easy Three tips — visit my other ideas for Organization and Homekeeping.

Have a fabulous Friday!

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Party

As a professional event planner, I get to be apart of some very fun parties. Today, I had the chance to work with Karen Wade from the Velvet Crumb Bakery.  She baked all the cookies, using her special recipe, assembled bags of icing and shared her techniques for decorating beautiful cookies just in time for Valentine’s Day – which next to Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Our supply closet at work is full of handy props to use for many occasions.  I pulled out the 5-section acrylic tote from The Container Store.
 We put the undecorated cookies on the larger side and bags of royal icing in the smaller compartments.  We weren’t using sprinkles, but you could easily fit small jars of sprinkles in the smaller spaces as well.
When I stopped into The Container Store for inspiration for Miss Bee’s upcoming grown-up birthday lunch, I saw these adorable chalkboard placemats and knew they would be a perfect touch for the cookie party.
We used them as the base for each person’s place with their own tote and supplies.  I used a chalkboard pen, but because it’s not really chalkboard media and more like paper, I think a white paint pen would be better suited for the lettering.  It’s also permanent, and not erasable, so be sure to practice what you want to write first.
We served simple refreshments including this recipe for a Breakfast Cookie from my Pinterest cookies board.  They are perfect for a simple coffee with friends, hold up well for transport to parties, and make a great cookie to take to someone who needs funeral food.  Any good Southern gal always has an arsenal of “bereavement” recipes on hand and this is a good one. I may have to write another story on this subject…
You use 10 pieces of yummy, crispy bacon.

Chopped up like this…

They also have cornflakes, for a nice crunch, and raisins for added sweetness.  This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of raisins and I am not a raisin fan, so I substitute with either cranberries or cherries.  The contrast of salty and sweet is just right.  It has the other usual suspects in a cookie, butter, flour, sugar, etc…

One batch makes two dozen so I made two batches of these for the ladies today and there were none left, letting you know the recipe was a hit.

 Here are some fun photos of the finished cookies.  It was like looking at little jewels…no two were alike and the ladies were so proud of their work!
 The smiles and laughter today were the best Valentine’s Day gift!  I hope you share something you love to do this week.

How to Set up a Metamucil Bar

Sounds pin-worthy doesn’t it? You know you’re old when you have a “Metamucil Bar” in your kitchen. I found this cute galvanized plant stand at Target and thought it would be perfect to corral our vitamins, cat medicines and “fiber” supplements.

Nothing is quite as attractive when you have company over and while they’re sipping their champagne cocktail they take a gander at your “BM” meds.  Thinking to themselves “is this her house or a nursing home?”

So this doesn’t sound that ridiculous, let me share a nightly cocktail that Mr. Bee and I have been concocting before bed.  We mix a heaping tablespoon of Metamucil or Miralax with a package of Emergen-C.  The fiber helps reduce cholesterol and improve your digestion (and the Gastro said this makes your colon nice and healthy) and the Emergen-C is packed with all kinds of good-for-you vitamins and minerals.  I am curious to see when I go for blood work soon if it indeed lowers my cholesterol.  And, the vitamin C helps to prevent colds.

I found these cute Le Parfait French Terrines at the Container Store to put all my supplies…

Metamucil, Miralax and Emergen-C

I took a wooden floral container and stuck on a chalkboard label to house all our vitamins.  The little glass dish has kitty cat’s medicines, and a cute notepad.

Our supplies are neatly stored and displayed in the kitchen next to the sink without screaming “We are freaks about our colon health!”

Herban Essentials Wipes — Is it Buzzworthy?

I like to keep fun things in my gym bag especially if I don’t have time to change or shower after a workout.  I found a bag of these Herban Essentials Towlettes at the Container Store

Each bag contains 20 individually wrapped antibacterial wipes in three difference scents — lemon, mint and lavender.  They are very fragrant but not in a overpowering, medicinal way.  They smell very fresh and clean, especially the lavender.  They are not full of moisture and I think should probably just be used as a last touch of clean.  The packages are compact so they are perfect to put into a cosmetic bag.  This would make a great teacher gift since they are surrounded by germs all day long.  Just tuck a few wipes in a cellophane bag with vitamin C lozenges and a bag of herbal tea, tie with a ribbon with a note that says, “Get Rid of the Ick, so you Won’t be Sick!”