Virtually Paint Your Room/House

So my husband and I wanted to paint our house completely different colors than the current blue and gray-blue. We wanted more neutral colors and I was really unsure if the colors that I was thinking in my mind would look good in real life. So I went to the Benjamin Moore website and found their virtual paint your room app and it helped me out immensely. Making my decision was easier as I was trying to decipher between having white posts/trim vs brown posts on our porch. It was also nice to sit with the pictures for a couple of days before committing to the decision. Especially because I’m such a visual person and sometimes thinking out an idea is just not enough for me. The other nice thing was we were able to use these pictures for the submission to our homeowners’ association for approval to make sure that there was no misunderstanding of what colors are going where and then we also used to this picture in order to show our painter. Hopefully this helps you out is well with your next project.

Virtual Paint:

To decision time:


5 ways to cut down on your cleaning

I have struggled with this for a long time. I like my home to look nice and be organized but it’s inevitable that we all have to clean.

And it’s good to take care of your space; not only in a hygienic way but also it’s good for the mind to not see all those “have to’s” or “need to’s” when you come home. So after talking to some friends about their methods and see what would work best for me, this is what I have come up with:

  1. Make it convenient!! – Seriously, why make something that you don’t want to do be more of a hassle? You will talk yourself out of it yet still won’t be happy with the results.
    Here are my tips:

    • I bought empty spray bottles and filled them with my glass cleaner. Then, I purchased extra rolls of paper towels so I could have a roll under along with glass cleaner under every sink in my house. This way, if the counter top or window need cleaning, I can clean in less than a minute, instead of thinking, “I’ll get it later.”
    • Suggested by my dear friend, I also purchased disposal wipes that look like they are in a baby wipe tube. These things are great for cleaning my toilet, the chrome on my faucet and even spills on my floor. I also found a site on how to make cleaning wipes
  2. Consolidate the time your time – if cleaning something will take you 5 minutes and you had this process for your whole living situation, you would constantly be clean!
    • So instead of using a glass cleaner and then a furniture/wood polish and a granite surface polish, etc. Find a cleaning solution that works for you on ALL the surfaces.
      • Vinegar and water has been a great mixture for cleaning and if you want something more soap like, try Castile soap. It has 18 different uses. Also by using one solution for multiple surfaces, you save money, space in your place, and time searching for all the “right ones.”
  3. Multipurpose your routine – I know what you are thinking…..but hear me out…..what I mean by this is try to buy things that you can reuse or wash or your own instead of using the dry cleaners. This will save you from finding time that is works into your schedule for that trip to and from the cleaners.
    • I have a reusable coffee filter in my machine. I always have coffee and never have to worry about running out of filters = save money. It was less than $5 at Wal-mart.
    • Old face clothes become rags to wash my car.
    • Dish towels, I use for my work out towels.
      Be aware of you have certain items for certain activities.
      If you let this idea go and use items for a multitude of activities in your house,
      you will spend less, have less clutter, use it more and also clean it more.
  4. Be organized – once you are organized, it’s easy to stay clean but until everything has a home. You don’t know where to put it so it goes into the “pile” or closet, etc. Then you have a mess waiting for you for another day. (I do like the out of sight, out of mind method but if everything has a home, you probably will not do this again)
    “Don’t put it down, put it away.”
  5. Live in every space – this is just like multi-purposing your routine but more in regards to the space your live in: from displaying your chotchkies (what I call dust collectors) or having furniture or other pieces in your life that is for display or those special occasions.
    • When I lived in Vancouver, space was very valuable and apartments were tiny like San Francisco or New York. Everything you owned had serve more than one purpose.For instance, having an ottoman that you can put blankets or pillows in it (another cleaning quick tip).
    • If you have collectibles, put them in a shadow box for display or another arrangement so you are not dusting every porcelain figurines every week.
    • Also, when you use every space, dust is not able to collect since you are constantly moving them. (i.e. you have glasses in a china cabinet or bar).
      And lastly,
      USE the fine china in your cabinet/closet!!
      Make every sit down dinner memorable, not just one.

Hopefully you have found some things that will help simplify your cleaning regime so when you arrive home, you are home; instead of, facing all those “have-to-do’s.”

90-Day Spending Fast Challenge: Frugal Bathing…??

Frugal Bathing

So I know what you are thinking = Frugal Bathing?? For Real?

Yes & No…..
Yes – I thought I would post this as I know we are having massive drought and some counties in California are looking at losing their water in just 90 days. Also, I was shocked after learning of some family member’s water bill being $500/month in California. WOW!!

No – Truth is my hot water heater broke and it’s taking longer than anticipated to fix it 😦

Either way, I LOVE my hot showers and I also work in a profession that being clean is a necessity.

Frugal Bathing Recipe:

  1. Pot
  2. 14 cups of hot water — I boiled the water in my electric tea kettle (hence I know the amount)
  3. Face cloth
  4. Hot Plate
  5. Castile Soap

So, once you are done boiling your water and pouring it into you pot, put a hot plate on the side of your tub before setting down the pot. You can add cold water to the pot if the boiling water is TOO scalding. Now, get in your shower.

Wet you face cloth, ring it out, put some castile soap on it and lather yourself from bottom-up (feet moving towards your neck). Do both sides. Now, rinse out your  face cloth before dunking it back into your hot water and without ringing out it out, bring it up to your shoulders/neck and THEN RING OUT, so the water rinse your off.

Put something warm on like a track suit or a fleece jump suit.

Once done with your body, you can move onto your hair. I found this easiest by wetting my ends with cold water and then ringing out a face cloth when I got closer to my roots. Yup, like I said, I like my hot showers and don’t like the cold. Shampoo, then rinse out with the cold water under the faucet = I found easier to get it all out. Also I just kept the cold water away from my scalp. Next, condition your ends and rinse out with hot water.

Wrap your hair up.

Lastly, I used the pot of hot water directly with the  face cloth to wash my face. When done, I poured the remaining water in my pot down the shower drain.

It was like camping; however, I still got my HOT shower in the middle of February 🙂

90-Day Spending Fast Challenge: Be Productive

So with this 90-Day Spending Fast Challenge, it’s not only about money, it’s also about how I spend my time. And one of things that when I lived in Vancouver that was so very important was everything having dual purpose. So in the morning I like to do my yoga, and I have laundry and dishes and making meals and getting the coffee ready, etc. just like everyone else so it occurred to me one day that if I wake up, put the laundry in the washer, and while it is washing (which is about 25mins on a short cycle) I can do my yoga and not worry about the clock and be in the moment. The buzzer will alert me like a stopwatch that I can put the laundry into the dryer, and jump into the shower. And once I’m out of the shower and freshening up for the day, then I can go back to the laundry and fold it.

Another thing that I like to do is to drink tea. So while my water boiling and/or the tea is brewing (aprox. 5mins each part),  I can wash the dishes so whether I get all the dishes done or just half done; it’s better than thinking that I can’t do anything in 5 minutes.

A cleaning method that I mention in another post is to use my castile soap (LOVE this soap because you can do so much with it) with a tub brush to clean the bathtub while you are still in the shower. This takes me a minute or so and if you do this 2-3 times a week, you always have a clean tub and it takes less time to clean as there is less build up of dirt/hard water deposits, etc.

Lastly, another thing that I do for cleaning my bathroom is before I leave for the day, I will pour vinegar and baking soda into my toilet and let it sit there for the day while I’m gone. This way I don’t have to smell the vinegar smell and by the time that I come back, the vinegar has helped loosed up the hard water deposits in my toilet and I may use a little more baking soda to get some scrubbing action when I scrub with a brush when I return.

So I hope these dual purpose time-saving tips help you be more productive beyond your money.


Simple organizational help – labeling cans

Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before?! I mainly have drawers in my kitchen instead of a pantry, so I’m mainly looking down and seeing the tops of my cans and then pulling each one up to see what the label is on the side.
So one day, I thought about writing with a sharpie what the can was on top so I could see what I had in my “cupboard” at a cupboard….don’t know why I didn’t think of his before…?

Ingenious Quick Shave

So by the title of his post, you can guess that I’m not as hippie-dippie as you might think. Normally I take a bath when shaving to take my time and not worry about “getting in and out” without hurting myself. Practice has not made this girl perfect so I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before…

In order to conserve water and not feel rushed, I got an of plastic cup and my shaving tools. Filled the cup up with water and turned off the shower. Then shaved. I used the cup water to rinse of my razor when needed by swirling/shaking it in he filled cup. And then emptied out/refilled the cup between legs.

It was so MUCH easier than a bath or shaving during a shower because the water never accidentally ran down my legs taking my shaving cream with it. And with not feeling “rushed,” I shaved faster than normal…..ingenious yet so simple. Wish this occurred to me before Haha.

Bathroom Cleaning in Seconds!!

I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in peppermint to start and awaken my day. I love this soap….the smell is awesome and you can use the soap to clean dishes, clothes, etc. It’s very versitile and comes in a number of scents. On my weeekends they are so many things I try to do “get ahead” for my busy school/work week and for some it reason it never occurred to me to do 2 things at once in the shower.  
After shampooing and while your conditioner is in your hair or face mask, turn off the shower and use the Castile soap to clean the tub with a scrub brush. I did this quickly = less than 3 mins to scrub my whole tub. Turn the shower back on and rinse out the conditioner and tub. 
Voila! Done! 
Also, I love the disposable antibacterial wipes that you are get from your grocery store to wipe down the toilet and/or counter tops. I also keep a bottom of glass cleaner with paper towels under my bathroom sink so at any time, I can clean my mirrors. With these last 2 steps. I’ve cleaned the majority of my bathroom in under 10 mins. 

Hope that helps with time.

By the way, if you are new to castile soap, here are some (of the many) different uses for it:
1. Shampoo – even for your dogs!

2. Laundry detergent – I have definitely used this soap when i go camping to be my all in one!!!
3. Dish Soap – did I mention this was my all in one for camping
4. Mopping solution – Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of castile soap in a bucket of water
5. Soap dispenser refill – You can refill your foaming hand soap dispenser with 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water.
6. Body wash – use this on a loofah everyday = LOVE
7. Carpet cleaner

Homemade scratch paper

Being in chemistry and biology classes, I have a lot of practice tests, power point presentations for lectures notes, and lab reports that I print off in order to study. I know people would say, print double side or pull up the problem on your screen and write down the answer yet I like the aspect of shutting down my electronics to make sure I have no other distractions while studying. I do double side print when I can but I like to use the back side of my sheets for notes.
Anyhow, I’ve been doing this for years and thought I would share it others for a scrap/scratch pad because there are times you need to write something down quick.
 So get all your scrap paper that is printed on one side, no matter the color 🙂 and cut the paper in half, in fourths or just keep it at 8.5×10. Place a binder clip to to the top of your bundle and Voilà! Scratch pad.
Also with the binder clip, you can hang it anywhere, keeping your work space clean and tidy.