Monday, September 27, 2010

next to godliness.

I have long decided that instead of going back to school to get an MBA and/or some other graduate level degree, I will save myself a five-figure student loan and invest my time and money in a lifetime subscription to Real Simple Magazine. Who needs an MBA when I can get my MRS?

Anyway, I love Real Simple Magazine. It has all the helpful and useful tips that comes with Martha Stewart Living and all the good recipes of Southern Living. Only better because there is no Martha Stewart and far less butter. So, I for those of you who don’t frequently read this incredible monthly periodical, I figured I decided to share some tips I’ve read about and successfully implemented over the years.

Buckle up kids, your microwave isn’t just for putting marshmallows in to see them explode. (If you’ve never tried this, please drop whatever you’re doing and try it!) First of all, not like they’re expensive, but here’s a really good way to disinfect and keep your sponges smelling fresher: get one damp with a little vinegar or lemon juice and throw it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. It’s almost like magic! (This same technique also works wonders for disinfecting plastic cutting boards.)

Now, everyone has done it before. You’ve heated up leftover spaghetti or some other dish that might as well had an M-80 buried in it for what it did to your microwave. Well, to scrub out those particularly indelible stains and splatters, save your elbow grease for your oven and get a bowl of water, add some baking soda, and throw it in the microwave for 5-6 minutes. The steam produced helps loosen up all that junk and it will wipe clean in seconds. I did this and felt like I was on an infomercial actor I was so elated.

Everyone believes that club soda can get just about ANYTHING out, but here are some alternatives. Red wine stains are the worst. If you drink it like me, there are bound to be spills. If and when this happens to you, immediately pour a mound of table salt over the fresh (still wet) stain. This is a first-response remedy and will do very little for a dried Pinot plunder. Also, if you like to live on the edge and not use a pocket protector, ink stains are bound to occur. Any sort of ink stain will respond to alcohol. So, instead of wasting good vodka, spray a little hairspray over the stain before throwing it in the wash.

In terms of organization, instead of throwing out old Kleenex boxes, use them to store and dispense the hundreds of plastic bags you get from the grocery. Even if you use the ‘green’ canvas totes like I do, I like to get the grocery bags on occasion for later reuse (i.e. – lining trashcans and occasionally leaving flaming bags of “business” on people’s porches). Also, if you like to cheat cook and use crock pots, my sister-in-law now swears by the Reynolds Wrap liners. They are bit pricey for the amount you get, but the time and effort saved in scrubbing up after a daylong cooking of a pot roast makes these babies worth their weight in gold.

Finally, don’t over think it. Four words: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. IT. WILL. GET. OUT. ANYTHING.

Hopefully these tips are useful and if you have any to share, feel free! In the meantime, I’m going to continue my training to be a stay at home mom (minus the kids). I guess that would make me a trophy wife. In that case, I would probably need a subscription to Men’s Fitness and Buttz Magazine (that’s right… with a “Z”). Just kidding, I’m probably NOT going to get the Men’s Fitness one…

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