Tuesday, September 16, 2014

San Francisco Trip

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting San Francisco.  

Traveling with my brother was a memorable experience.  

I enjoyed touring the city; including some uphill walks and gorgeous views of the bay.

We took a day trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and hiked the trail along Muir Woods and saw the tallest redwoods.

Sunlight shining through the redwoods

Later we took a wine-tasting tour to Napa and Sonoma Valley.

The views were gorgeous.  I absolutely loved it!  And I'm not a big wine drinker.

The following day we took a ferry ride to infamous Alcatraz Island.

You can see "The Rock" off in the distance.

We listened to an audio tour as we explored the prison cells.

A bit creepy at times, but it was fun to learn the history.

After a chilly day by the water, I was eager to taste the clam chowder at Fisherman's Wharf.

The sourdough bread bowl at Boudin was the best!

After lunch we strolled over to Pier 39 to watch the sea lions.  It was fun to watch them sun bathing and barking at each other.

During my trip, I met up with a few blogging friends.

My beautiful friend Katrina and her family drove 2 hours to meet with me just so we could hangout and talk.  She's such an awesome friend.  Please pick up the latest issue of HGTV magazine to see her gorgeous home and family being featured.  You may recall her house fire.
Katie and I met for a morning coffee date.  After communicating online for the past few months, we arranged to meet in person. 

She lives nearby and was so sweet to pick me up at my hotel.  We had a great time!  I'm so chatty though, boy did I talk her ears off! 
Can you guess which beautiful-blogger's home this is?!

I was delighted to tour one of my favorite blogger's home in person!

Every room has a breathtaking view.

Goodness, Mary Ann is so bubbly and sweet!  Pictured with Chief- her adorable Boston terrier

I thoroughly enjoyed my impromptu lunch invitation.  She made the most delicious salad and we snacked on crostini.

Coffee and good conversation

I can't tell you how much I appreciate her hospitality and kindness.

But after a week away from my husband and children,

I was so happy to fly home to my family.

Thank you for a wonderful time San Francisco.

I am linking this post to:
Someday Crafts

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Helpful Cleaning Tips

I'm always on a quest to keep my house tidy.  My house isn't perfect.  I'm constantly cleaning up after my husband and my kids.  With the 3 dogs it's a full-time job.  I've come to realize it's a never ending cycle.  Something will always end up on the floor and dirty paw prints will always need to be wiped away.  

 Here are a few cleaning tips and products to make my job a little easier. 

Rubbing Alcohol
Murphy's Oil Soap
Lemon Juice

I highly recommend cleaning windows with rubbing alcohol and a squeegee.
Your windows and mirrors will be spotless and streak free.

*Safety tip- Be sure to ventilate the room when cleaning with rubbing alcohol and avoid open flames.

I keep my refrigerator and microwave smelling fresh by wiping it down with lemon juice.  Dilute the lemon juice with water; I prefer a 50/50 mixture.  The acid in lemon juice is also great for removing stains off of the cutting board.   

You can also shine copper with a lemon.  Then toss the rind and a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal to remove odors.

I like using Murphy's Oil Soap on wooden furniture.  It also keeps my floors and baseboards looking shiny and clean.

Apple cider vinegar is also great to use on our laminate floors.  I use 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part (hot)water solution.  It evaporates quickly leaving my floors streak free.

Bar Keepers Friend is a fantastic cleaner.  It's great for removing rust stains and scratches.  I use it to scour the tub and sink.
These blue microfiber towels are my favorite cleaning cloths.  The color doesn't bleed and they have many, great uses.  They are great for dusting, washing our car and scrubbing the bathroom.  They're also washable and reusable.

Magic Erasers are the best!  You can use them on just about anything; fingerprints, tough stains, bathroom tiles.  The list goes on and on.

We keep the soles our sneakers clean by using Magic Erasers to remove dirt and scuff marks.

Just beware, it may dull the area of whatever you're cleaning.  *It's recommended to test a small area with light pressure before use.

I've been using Tide To Go pens for many years now.  I highly recommend them.  I buy them in bulk.  They're great for removing splatters whenever I have a little spill.  I've even used them on small carpet stains.  I keep one in my purse as well as in the car.

Another great product is Shaklee Scour Off Paste.  It smells like cherries!  Can you tell how much my container's been used?!  I've had it for years.  A little goes a long way.  It's great for removing sticky price tag residue as well as a healthier way to clean your oven.  It will take a bit of elbow grease, but it works really well. *click on the highlighted link to purchase

We make cleaning tolerable by turning on some music.  Now that my kids are older they have a list of chores.  Keeping the house clean should be a family affair.  However, my house is never spotless.  Which is why I clean up like a crazy woman before friends and family come to visit!  

So what's your cleaning routine?  Any other cleaning products you'd recommend?

I am linking this post to:
Someday Crafts