Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday Tune-Up: If These Walls Could Talk...

If your walls could talk to you, one thing they would scream is "Clean Me!" Yes, it is true, your walls need to be cleaned every now and then. Fall is a great time of year to get this done :) Take a look at what I cleaned off of my own walls (I know, kinda embarrassing!).

Dust does collect on your walls, and depending on the airflow in your home, dust will be heavier in some places opposed to others. 
My favorite way to conquer that wall dust? I use my handy-dandy Swiffer mop (the original) and simply run it up and down the wall, being sure to collect the cobwebs from the corners. Double check behind furniture and areas that seem unseen. In one bathroom, I found a significant build up behind the toilet. So make sure you cover the entire wall and your walls will thank you! 
Happy Cleaning!

(Sorry this week's post is a day late. I was busy with my son's first birthday party yesterday :) which you will hear more of later!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tune-Up: "Base"ic of Fall Cleaning

Fall. It ignites my inner cleaning woman...haha...yeah, it really does! One of the must-dos on my fall cleaning schedule (more to come on fall cleaning later) is cleaning the baseboards. Until this week, cleaning baseboards involved a bucket, a rag, and some hot soapy water. Needless to say, it was a very tedious process (one that I didn't exactly look forward to) that could get very messy. 

Thanks to my newest almost-addiction -- Pinterest, I found a new and much faster, less messy way to clean baseboards. Simply use a dryer sheet! Yes, it is that simple! This week I cleaned all of the baseboards in my house in about an hour (remember I'm watching a very mobile 11-month old)! As long as it hasn't been years since you've cleaned your baseboards, the dryer sheets should revolutionize your baseboard cleaning! The sheets pick up and hold onto the dust all while leaving a barrier that dust does not want to cling to! Yes! I know what you are thinking....This is AWESOME! 

Here's a look at the dirt that my sheets collected. 
Yuck! is correct...but think...that dirt is no longer camping out on my baseboards! 

Do your baseboards need a cleaning? Schedule about an hour, grab a few dryer sheets, and voila! 
Happy Cleaning!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fair Favorites

Mmmmm....the smell of meat on the grill, dough being fried, the sight of thousands of people coming and going, the bells and whistles of games, the twinkling of thousands of lights on the Ferris Wheel....Yep! You guessed it! It's fair time in Raleigh!

Our NC State Fair is here this week, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you! If you live in the area, don't miss out on the fun...and of course the FOOD! (Which happens to pop up in my favorites more than anything else!)

1. Yes, this is why I go to the fair...

This is the best spot to get your deep fried sweets! It's located across from the long building that hosts all of the church food booths - Visit this place! 
My personal favorite....the deep-fried cookie dough! AMAZING is all I have to say! 
It's a mouthful of ooey gooey yumminess!

Another favorite...Deep-fried oreos! These things are rich, but soooo good!

The deep-fried Snickers is pretty good too (my husband's fav). 

2. Hot Wisconsin Cheese

I apologize, I don't have a pic of this booth, but if you like cheese, this is a MUST! My favorite is the Jalapeno cheese sticks with the jalapeno ranch sauce! Yes, it is that good!
This stand is located near the entrance to the main midway. 

3. Roasted Corn

Roasted Corn-on-the-Cob is definitely something I am going to get every year! However, one year I tried it from a different vendor and was highly disappointed. Roasted corn is a must-have, just make sure you have it from the right place. 

I recommend this vendor. They are located across from the Hobbies and Crafts building as you enter Gate 8. They have received rave reviews from the local media, and I give them two thumbs up as well!

4. The Pig Races

A Free, Fun activity the whole family will certainly enjoy! Who doesn't like to watch those little piggies, ducks, and goats run around the track to win the coveted cheese puffs awaiting them? 
Haha! Seriously though, the man that runs the show does a great job of getting the crowd involved and even including them in the festivities. 

I do recommend that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to showtime to insure you get a seat. 
The races are located beside the petting zoo near Gate 9.

5. Butcher Boys

I cannot believe that I never tried these guys until last year! Their London Broil steak sandwich is delicious! It's sliced right in front of you and it definitely beats that nasty "chopped" steak that sits in a tub of grease all day. 

I add onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, and bbq sauce to mine (the sauce is on the side and you have to put on yourself - don't miss it or your sandwich may be a little dry). It is quite satisfying to the taste buds. 

Looks amazing right? You can also refill any cup for $1 here. We keep our cup from Butcher Boys and take it back every year. They have a few locations, but this one is on what I call the "food midway."

6. The Exhibits

You can bet our family is always going to go through the Exhibit Hall, the Exhibition Center, and the Kerr Scott Building. There are many neat things to see such as the largest pumpkin, watermelon, etc. You can milk a cow and view the best of show in livestock. See the artwork or check out some vendors in the Kerr Scott Building. 

7. The Best Fudge Ever...

This favorite of mine is located inside the Hobbies and Crafts building. They are always giving away free samples of their chocolate fudge, and I would be lying if I told you that I've never left with a box of it for myself! 

You'll find many fudge vendors at the fair, but this one takes the cake! (or should I say the fudge?)

8. Frozen-Dipped Cheesecake

A classic, the frozen dipped-cheesecake is sure to please the cheesecake lover's heart (that would be me). This location has the best that I have tried, and if you are feeling brave, try the deep-fried cheesecake from this vendor. No, I haven't tried it for myself, but I have heard wonderful things about it. 

You can also find the infamous Krispy Kreme Burger here :)

9. Pickles!

So, this is more of a tradition favorite than an eating favorite, although we do by a fifty-cent Kosher Dill while we are here. The Mount Olive booth located inside the Exhibit Hall has a jar full of pickles, and your job is to guess how many are inside. They pick a winner every day! 

After years of participating, my brother-in-law brought home the prize a few years ago - a gift basket full of Mt. Olive products and the pride of winning of course!

10. Candy Apples and Cotton Candy

I'm one of those "weird" people who does NOT like candy apples. I do love the caramel ones and the cotton candy though! This vendor sells plain red candy apples and plain caramel apples for only 1.50 each - The best price I could find. And here they are normally very fresh and just right. 

You can find these guys on your way in or out of Gate 8 past the Hobbies and Crafts building (actually they are very close to the roasted corn and the pony rides). 

The Fair - Such a fun tradition in October. There are a few  other things that didn't make the list because I didn't have a pic or I didn't try them: Deep Fried Mushrooms (my favorite food next to the cookie dough), Pumpkin funnel cake (sounds good), Jesse James footlongs (booth by the Exhibition Center), and of course, riding the Ferris Wheel!

I hope that you get the chance to go to the NC State Fair this year! Let me know what some of your favorites are!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Tune-Up: Shut the Front Door!

About a month ago, I was in a serious cleaning mode (something that fall weather just seems to do to me) and as I was coming in the side door to our house, I was suddenly taken back by the condition of the door and everything around it. No, it was not dilapidated or rotting away, but it did have a nice coat of dust, dirt, and grime on it. And Oh, the cobwebs around the light fixtures...YUCK!

Naturally, I had to do something about it...I took out my cleaning bucket and rag and went to town wiping off all of my exterior doors. Surprisingly, it didn't take long at all to give the doors a good wipe-down and knock down the cobwebs with my outdoor broom. To prevent the cobwebs from being back in place the next morning (those persistent little spiders), I sprayed some spider repellent where the cobwebs had been. My outside doors look fresh and ready to brave the rest of the fall season.

Now, the question is...what do your doors look like? Take time this week to give them a quick wipe down! That's this Tuesday's Tune-Up! Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tune-Up: Your Microwave

If you are anything like me, you have a cleaning routine that you stick to on a regular basis. Even if it is not on a detailed schedule, when you clean, you clean the same things. Unfortunately, I tend to miss the little things when I clean in my normal, systematic fashion. I have a list of things that have to be done monthly, bi-monthly, and semi-annually, but there are still all those little things that I seem to miss.

Those little things are going to be the focus of my new weekly update called "Tuesday Tune-Up." I want to try to help us all freshen up the little things that we seem to overlook in our cleaning on an everyday basis (At least I know I do). You know, it's those little details that you've grown so accustomed to that you don't realize it needs attention until company comes over and it seems to magically jump out at you - YIKES!

This week, take a look at your microwave. It can be the collector of some really NASTY grime and gunk. My microwave is built-in above my stove, and all of the steam that rises can cause dust and a strange sticky film to build up on the door and vents. And the inside - well, all of that cooking we do tends to leave quite a bit of greasy splatter all over the place. Really, go open yours up and tell me it's not gross if you haven't given it a good bath lately! So, this Tuesday, take about 5 minutes and clean it up on the inside and out! You'll be glad you did!

I like to use a Mr Clean Magic Eraser - It works marvelously against all that muck and greasy grime. (Of course hot water and soap works well too.)

Just a little of attention, and your microwave will be shiny and fresh! 
Happy Cleaning!