Archive for March, 2010

31
Mar
10

Hacking Your Swiffer

I was using something a bit more eco-friendly like the Method oMop. I had one and liked it, but it cracked…note I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to cleaning my floors. I bought  a similar model from Mr. Clean and it served my needs perfectly until we moved into an old farmhouse with white, textured, vintagish laminate tiles in the kitchen. In order to keep these floors clean, I was mopping easily 3 times daily. Needless to say, I fell behind. Washing the absorbent pad became not so eco-friendly when i had to do it everyday. That’s a lot of extra water! So, short of it is, I bought a Swiffer Wet Jet. Its been fantastic! I can clean my floors in half the time. The starter kit was only $19.99 at Target and it came with a small bottle of cleaning solution and 2 absorbent, disposable pads. This set up got me through exactly 2 days of full house mopping (we have wood laminate in the rest of the house). I knew the starter kit wouldn’t last long and the prices of the refills can be a bit daunting.  The pads run just over a buck a piece, and the solution runs about $3.00 a bottle. So at a half bottle and one pad a day we are talking $2.50 per use (in my house anyways). I picked up a knock off pinesol. It is anti-bacterial which is fantastic for toddlers, and while it lacks the fresh open window scent of the name brand cleaner, it is not bad smelling or overwhelming in the strength i need it. It was $2.00 for a large bottle, of which I only need 2 tablespoons to refill the swiffer bottle*. Let’s just say, i won’t need to buy it again for 6 months or so, now we are talking pennies per use, much better. There is, of course, the trick to refilling the specially designed swiffer bottle. Have you every tried one of those snap and click toddler sippy cups? They are deathly difficult to get open, which is the appeal, I suppose. I fought with one of them for a full day before another mom tipped me off. Run hot water over closed lid a minute or two. It changes the sizes and snap, it opens. Same was true for the swiffer bottle. I did have to use rubber gloves to twist it open, but my arms are not my strong suit, so it could just be me. So there you have it, I just brought my daily usage cost roughly in half! I’m still thinking there’s got to be a way to make my own reusable swiffer pads cheaply. I’ll let you know if I make any progress.

*be wary of products that have to have a special cleaner. Especially with floor cleaners, the concentrate makes big difference in how well it works. If it is two strong, it will be ever so slightly sticky and make frequent re-usage necessary. It is not a bad idea to try diluting your own at home to find a good balance for your floor vs. traffic.

22
Mar
10

leapfrog

I have to plug this dvd set. My four year old loves it, and it seems to be working wonders. She got it for Christmas and now knows her letters along with all their sounds. I’m pretty sure that it’s not groundbreaking for a four year old to know her letters, but I’m pretty pleased with the fact that she learned them just from these DVDs. I’ll be honest and say that I am not patient when it comes to teaching my girls “school-type” stuff. I did not do well as a home-schooled child and I do not do well as a home-schooling mother, so I really appreciate things like this. B can write most of the letters now too, and has even managed to write “MOM” a time or two (Daddy helped with that, though).

The first DVD (Letter Factory) has all the capital letters and their sounds. The second DVD (Talking Words Factory) puts the letters together phonetically to spell and sound out words. The third DVD (Let’s Go To School) teaches about what school will be like and days of the week and seasons, etc. We’ve been very pleased with the results!

20
Mar
10

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice

I’ve made several failed attempts ending up with large amounts of mush rice until I found this post and turned out a perfect batch the first time!

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice @ Pinch My Salt

15
Mar
10

Fetal Gastronomy

No more food posts from me for a while. Yup, Carnahan Baby #3 is to make its debut this November, so you’ll have to forgive me if I ixnay oodfay for a while. So far I’ve only been nauseous, but we hit week 6 yesterday so I’m preparing for a bumpy but wildly rewarding year of eating only for survival. 🙂 In other news, Miss Mira (16 months) has learned to climb…everything. I found her on the bathroom sink the other day. What did you do to climber proof your homes or did you at all?

14
Mar
10

the paris brest at madeleine’s

We went to brunch this morning at a wonderful little cafe/patisserie called Madeleine’s here in Spokane. It was absolutely amazing. We started with a chocolate eclair, a pepto-pink macaron de Paris for the 4 year old, a brioche cinnamon roll (amazing in and of itself and voted the best in Spokane), and then the paris brest. It was a choux pastry topped with slivered almonds and filled with some amazing sort of cream. Some recipes simply call for whipped cream but the one we had this morning was more like a cross between whipped cream and ice cream. I suppose you could say that it was similar to a cream puff, but about ten times as big (do a google image search for ‘paris brest’ and you’ll see what I mean). The name comes from the 1200 km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. Apparently the pastry was created in honor of the race and shaped like a bicycle wheel. It became very popular with the athletes for two reasons – its amazing flavor and high caloric content! If you ever see one on the menu, you simply must try it.

And if you are ever in Spokane for breakfast, you simply must go to Madeleine’s. Actually, they serve lunch and dinner as well, so you could go then too. After all of the aforementioned pastries, we also got a corned beef hash with red peppers topped with two over easy eggs. We ordered it all at the same time, but got our pastries first. After we were halfway through our pastries we felt full and weren’t sure we’d be able to eat our corned beef hash, but when it arrived it was so delicious that we both cleaned our plates. The coffee was also quite good – my white chocolate mocha was very tasty and the white chocolate wasn’t all collected at the bottom (a common problem, especially at sbux). Suffice it to say, we will be going back and we would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Spokane!

10
Mar
10

“The Lord does not measure out our afflictions according to our faults,
but according to our strength,
and looks not to what we deserve,
but what we are able to bear.”
~George Downame (1560-1634)

05
Mar
10

spring!




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