Olive Oil Solves Stainless Steel Woes


stainless steel olive oil

 

 

Don’t you hate when you just clean your stainless steel and, after you wash you hands, there are little smudges and fingerprints all over? Well, olive oil solves this cleaning woe. Just put a thin layer of olive oil on a cloth or paper towel and rub it on your stainless-steel. It adds a layer of protection from grubby fingers.

love, Sarah

Advertisements

My Favorite Cleaning Supplies


Favorite Cleaning Supplies

I hate cleaning. I hate it more than cooking [is that possible?] Yet, I have to do it because it is what being an adult is all about. In the dream world I would have a cleaning lady, but that isn’t the greatest DIY mentality, is it?

Since I have been home for a while now, I have found a few products that really work. This is your guide to cleaning the laziest and easiest way possible. As I discover more, I will share and update this page! All of these products can be found at Target.

 

viva

Viva Paper Towels

Viva Paper Towels: I can be a bit of a paper towel whore and waste a ton of paper towels around the house. I know, I am horrible! But when I found Viva, my world has changed! They feel like rags and you really can clean up way more than with those cheap paper towels. Totally worth the extra $1 [and much less wasteful].

 

Windex-Multi-Surface-Cleaner-Antibacterial

Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner

Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner: I use this for every surface in the house! Windows, tv, tables, sinks, counters, dressers, whatever! It is anti-bacterial and doesn’t bleach whatever you are wearing. I have ruined a few different pieces of clothes by spraying 409 with Bleach in close proximity. I really love this product and have it stashed in multiple rooms.

 

dawn platinum

Dawn Platinum Dish Soap

Dawn Platinum Dish Soap: I am one of those unfortunate souls who doesn’t own a dish washing machine. I know, #1stworldproblems. But I have gone back and forth between many dish soaps and this is by far the most amazing dish soap ever. It cleans quickly and it really does give you the quality of an overnight soak in 5 minutes. Plus, Dawn was the foremost product used to clean animals during the BP oil spill – I love supporting them.

 

Dish Gloves

Dish Gloves

Dish Gloves: I have yet to try these adorable Fred and Friends Tuff Dish Tattoo Kitchen Gloves (as pictured) but I hope to one day soon! I never do dishes without my dish gloves. Often the cheap ones rip easily, so I recommend buying a little better quality gloves. When they do rip, I will go on strike until new ones are purchased.  I can’t stand dishes anymore without gloves.

 

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber Cloths: I bought three microfiber cloths at Big Lots a few years ago and they are my best friend while dusting. I live in the desert so dust is a pretty annoying, and constant, issue. They pick up dust in one swipe and then can be thrown in the wash for a next round.

love, Sarah

My Thoughts on Staying at Home


Hey my friends! I am sorry I have been so MIA. I am taking a very needed, and unusual, month off work. I have had a ton of changes in the last few months with jobs and thought it was time for a little update.

I was going to start work as a prison librarian, but unfortunately [and fortunately] the initially salary they offered me was dropped significantly when I received the official offer. Bastards! I was a total mess, cried for about 3 days straight, and then bucked up and started applying for more jobs while I allowed them to think I was excited to start work for them. Since I already had one real job pending, I felt comfortable putting in my 2 weeks notice to my current job. My last day of work was September 11th and I was suppose to start at the prison on September 16th. In the meantime, I got a great job offer at a corporate office doing data management. I took it without even trying to negotiate. Yeah, I know that is pretty dumb, but the offer was exactly where I wanted to be out of graduate school while my previous offers were fit for someone just out of college — actually I made the same right out of my bachelor’s degree that I was being offered after a masters. Bastards!

So, I took the corporate job and can no longer say I am a real librarian. Do I need to change my blog name to The DIY Data Manager?

In the meantime, I can’t start the corporate job until October 14th because of paperwork and background checks. I have a month to be a housewife and homemaker! Since we won’t get a paycheck for me for a month, I am pretty much stuck at home taking care of our life on a strict budget.

Now, my thoughts of staying at home. It is hard and I give stay at home wives/moms/husbands/dads way more credit. I knew I wasn’t domestic, but this experience has taught me I am not a good homemaker! There are days when I don’t get dressed and days where I realize I have spent an hour just walking around my house and have accomplished nothing. There are other days when I kill it and redo a whole room. I am super grateful to have this small time to wear the domestic hat because it has changed my whole perception of how I see this role. It has allowed me to spend time with my family, take care of things around the house that were on the “to-do” list, and I have been able to take care of my fiancee and put him first. Yet, the drawbacks are huge. Others [like my parents] think I am doing nothing and can assist them in any moment. My fiancee and I have already had the “I have been working all day, what have you been doing” fight a few times and it sucks because I am doing stuff but it isn’t measurable like working is. Personally, I feel like being the one who stays at home is actually more of a sacrifice than working. I am too selfish and undomestic to do it properly. With that said, I have so enjoyed it because I know I will never do it again.  I have found dressing up like a 50s housewife makes it more fun!

housewife

To all you stay at home people, you have my respect. I thought it would be such an easy job and I am happy to have been proven wrong.

love, Sarah

Love Affair with Songza — My Top Play Lists


Songza

While I look so forward to Britney Spears Wednesday, I felt this post was still Britney related because she is a motivation for me on most of my music fortes. So, for today’s Wednesday I will share with you all my new favorite music app/web station SONGZA. Note: I think the app is easier to navigate than the web streaming.

What is Songza and why is it better than Pandora? Yes, I said it: better than Pandora. Songza is a free music streaming site with stations curated by music experts and designed for moods and activities. These stations really do feel curated and are really well selected and designed. Additionally, there are NO commercials and NO listening limits. It doesn’t stop after 30 minutes with the most fucking annoying message, “Are you still listening? We don’t like playing to an empty room.” Like, of course I am still listening! It has been 30 minutes, asshole!

Enough bitching from me… now it is your turn to explore Songza and bask in it’s glory. Especially for you, I have picked a few of my favorite play lists.

Working Out

Cardio Hip Hop: The raunchy rap really is motivating for some twisted reason. When A$$ came on, all I could think was, “I must keep running! I must get my ass like Big Sean wants!”

Massive Pop Hits: The Remixes: I can never get enough of Britney Spears [as you all know] and her songs remixed for work out motivation. There are also some amazing Katy Perry Remixes on this play list.

Relaxing at Home

Acoustic Versions of Pop Songs: Yep, I am a pop princess. I love all things pop and I like the acoustic twist.

Female Indie Pop Singers & Revolutionary Daughters of Kate Bush: Girl Power! I love female singers and songwriters.

Andy Warhol’s Record Collection: Pop culture of the 1960s-1970s, which translate to Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie.

Work – Clean Lyrics

The Rebirth of Alt Pop: I love upbeat alternative rock with catchy melodies and moody lyrics. A great motivator at work.

Code Your Face Off: The right beat and focus for work and no R rated lyrics to worry about.

Cleaning and/or Cooking

Girls Just Want to Have Fun: Enough said on this one. I hate cleaning and cooking so…. this adds a little fun to the activities with singing and dancing.

Soul Food Kitchen: Get your groove on with some soul in the kitchen. How fitting!

Ladies of Song: This is always on at our house. It is the perfect cooking music. It just makes me feel like I am in a different time period and makes me feel calm and serene almost immediately.

Just so you know, I have barely hit the tip of the iceberg that is Songza. Their stations are so amazing and diverse I fear I may never be able to fully explore their music! As I find new stations I will update this list and update you with a post. XOXO soon to be Songza lovers.

love, Sarah

Love Letter to Citranella Bark Collars


BARK

We have two dogs, Orlando and Roxy, and they love to protect us from all other dogs, people, cars, plastic bags, you name it! They are really great dogs except for their barking. We use to take Orlando everywhere with us – he would just lay under the tables and mind his own business. We then got Roxy and they formed this little pack with the sole goal of barking at anyone and everything. I was once at a Starbucks when I lived on Oahu and the dogs barked at EVERY person that walked by. And I mean ferocious barks. A woman even came up to me and said, “Your dogs are going to bite someone and your daddy will have to pay for it.” A few Hawaiians really don’t like us howlies [white, mainland folks]. I tried everything! Obedience school, leaving the moment they started barking, yelling, pinching, turning away, everything. It was seriously affecting our lives so much. We couldn’t do anything with the dogs and were fighting all the time about it. To better illustrate just how bad our dogs were, I was once at the dog park mid-week and my dogs had the park to themselves. A new dog was trying to join and my dogs were barking so aggressively, the owner refused to come in. I didn’t blame her; my dogs were being utter assholes. I left in embarrassment and cried in the car.

When we moved to the mainland we found an amazing groomer, and she recommended a bark collar for the dogs. Doesn’t that just sound so awful? Resorting to some shocking collar because I can’t control my dogs? Yet, this was not one of those evil shocking collars … this sprayed the lemon sent citronella when the dogs barked.  Harmless, yet annoying. So we spent the $40 [actually $80 for two dogs] and tried them out. I am not even exaggerating here, these little collars changed our lives.

spray

How do they work? You fill them with a spray [this comes with the collar], put it on them, turn it on. Done! To try it out, we first went for a little walk around the neighborhood. They love barking at all things in the neighborhood, so it seemed like a good place to start. We didn’t yell at them when they started barking … we just let the collar do its thing. The first barks received confusion, sniffing around, and abrupt halt. Roxy was terrified by the spray sound and she only needed one warning. Orlando, on the other hand, pushes the limits. He tried to bark multiple times and stopped the moment he was sprayed. From that day forward they figured out it was the collars and the barking that prompted the smelly spray.

Now when we go to the dog park or on walks we just put on the collars. We have been using them for almost a year and it stops the dogs’ aggression. They wont even try once the collar is on. Roxy’s collar has been broken for about 4 months but she has no fucking clue! She sees that collar and knows she can’t bark. They hate the collars, but the collar also singals we are going somewhere fun so … they don’t fight it too much.

Buy the Gentle Spray Citronella Bark Collar from Amazon for only $36. Seriously will be the best money we have spent on the dogs.

love, Sarah

Screw China’s one dog rule … two dogs are the way to go


China has implemented the new law that restricts households to owning one dog.  Well, as a two dog owner and a very happy dog mama, I had to share how we came to the decision to own two dogs and why it was the BEST DECISION EVER.

As you have probably learned by now, I am an avid researcher and must research everything before I can fully commit.  This is no exception when it came to the decision to add to our little family in February 2011.  First, let me introduce my fabulous little pups.

photo-2

A librarian’s dog. Meet Orlando!

This is Orlando.  He was born February 23, 2010 in New York. He is a cock-a-poo — a mix of Poodle and Cocker-Spanial, which mixes to be the best fucking name in the world — and we bought him from a crazy lady who bred her dog for what I assume was meth money.  While I am a big fan of adopting pets, I believe we saved him from an uncertain future! Orlando actually moved from New York to Hawaii with us and has probably seen more of the United States than many people! This is a whole other post on how to do a cross-county road trip and fly with your dog in cargo. Back to the story of why Orlando needed a puppy friend… when we were staying with my parents between the New York – Hawaii move, Orlando played with their dogs and was the happiest little puppy you have ever seen. When we arrived in Hawaii we could tell he missed having other dogs around and he would go hog wild at the dog park. Eventually we began discussing the possibility of getting Orlando a puppy sister.

I read online all about having two dogs. Nothing really seemed to share the true pros/cons of having two dogs and how to decide on the new addition to your family. Here I will share how we (Orlando specifically) decided on our little pup Roxy and the true pros/cons of owning two dogs over one.

Second Dog Selection

We knew Orlando had to like the dog we would pick because this was a make or break of how happy our two dog family would be. We decided against a puppy because we didn’t want to deal with potty training, so we looked for dogs 1 year or older. We began at the Human Society and brought Orlando with us.  I would go and look at the dogs while my boyfriend would stay with Orlando calming him down. How the Human Society is set up is wonderful: you bring your dog into the grassy area where the two can meet and “connect.” Unfortunately, every dog was either way to energetic for Orlando or was completely terrified of him. We were totally heart broken because no dog felt like the right dog for us.

I began searching on Craigslist for dogs in need of a home.  This is where we found Roxy.

photo-1

Roxy and her wrinkles.

Her family was in the military, had recently adopted her from the Humane Society, and were leaving Hawaii and getting rid of both their dogs.  Judgements aside, we drove 40 minutes to the base to meet Roxy.  Right away Roxy was interested in Orlando and was sniffing him and beginning to play. She is a nervous little dog, but her and Orlando clearly had the same playing style. We paid $60 for her and her harness and took her home the next day. They are the best of friends and play all the time.

photo

Roxy and Orlando relaxing post morning wrestle session.

Pros/Cons of Being A Two Dog Family

A lover of lists, here is a clear list of the pros/cons of owning two dogs.  We are pretty good examples of the issues you can have with dogs: moved both our dogs from Hawaii to Arizona, lived in apartments, bought a house, had many vet appointments, and we are on a tight budget.

Pros

  • They are the best of friends and their love provide endless company and companionship to each other.
  • With two dogs, you can pet one with each hand!
  • The financial responsibility of feeding two dogs is not a big difference for feeding one.
  • Twice the love and cuddles.
  • We feel more like a little family with two dogs and two people.
  • Walks are the same but you have both the dogs so grateful and happy afterwards.
  • We don’t feel as bad about leaving for work every day because they can have adventures together.
  • They have their own little personalities and we love treating them as different dogs. For example, Roxy is very needy and loves to sleep under the blankets while Orlando wants to play outside and chase lizards. They can play together or separate.
  • They really are little guard dogs and they are both in tune with when something is off in or around the house. I feel very safe.

Cons

  • You don’t know who peed in the house and have to punish both of them.
  • Pack mentality. We can no longer take Orlando to a coffee shop and sit outside like we use to.  With both the dogs they act as though everyone is going to attack us.
  • Twice the shit to pick up. This is a big CON.
  • The vet bills can be astronomically more with two dogs. Along with flea repellant and heart worm.
  • You can’t take one anywhere without the other. When we get Orlando groomed to have the nifty mohawk Roxy has to come with us or she will PANIC.

To sum up this long winded post: we love having two dogs.  It is not much more work and they are very happy together — which in the end makes it more enjoyable to have pets. My final advice is to not go into the dog selection process with too many preconceived notions or the type of dog you must get. My boyfriend didn’t want a dog that had a huge asshole or nipples and we got just that.  Roxy has an abnormal amount of nipples and her ass is always winking at us. Yet, Orlando loved her from the second he met her and so did we; she is the greatest little dog and she makes our home perfect. Yay to two dogs… if you have one you might as well have two.

photo-3

Our Perfect Family by Meg Zandi at Radical Possibility

love, Sarah

How to: Become a Morning Person


How to Become a Morning Person

I am going to become a morning person and you can too.

Mornings have always been an issues for me.  When I was a kid, my dad was burdened with the task of attempting to wake me up for an hour every day to get to school.  In college, I took courses after 1 pm and still somehow found myself running late, through campus, in my pajamas.  As an adult, my biggest foe is getting into work on time.  When I miraculously make it on time to work it’s because sacrifices were made — I put my make-up on in the car, skipped breakfast, sped, and fucking flipped out the entire morning. My boyfriend will tell you this is a problem that can not be changed and has no hope. He is the lucky poor man who has to deal with my hour snooze daily.

Because I am a librarian and must research the hell out everything and make lists, it is time to embark on the theoretic life style of a morning person. You always hear morning people are more productive — and successful — than regular human beings.  Just to name a few famous morning people:

  • Ernest Hemingway: “When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible.”
  • Benjamin Franklin: “[From 5am-8am] Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness! Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study and breakfast.”
  • Anna Wintour: By 6 am everyday, Wintour has already played a game of tennis.

The book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life goes into more detail about these fascinating creatures called “morning people.” Additionally, the fantastic blog (and new book) called Daily Routines: How Writers, Artists, and Other Interesting People Organize Their Days is a research nuts dream come true.

Now, it is time to display my compiled list, researched through blood and sweat, to change you and I into morning people.  This will be hard, grueling work and will test our willpower. I am choosing to embark on this strange little adventure and I hope you too will join me.

HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON IN 10 EASY STEPS

  1. Go to bed earlier. Yeah. Obvious. If you want to wake up earlier, go to be earlier. Yet, sometimes I find that when I get more sleep I feel as though could sleep for centuries. If you are ready to dedicate the next few weeks/months to becoming a morning person, this has to be the first step.
  2. Move your alarm so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. This might be the most annoying thing EVER, but it does work.  If you make yourself get out of bed to turn of the alarm, you have already done the hardest part! Pick a spot on the other side of the room and make it happen.
  3. Leave your curtains open and let sunlight in. Considering it is summer, the sun rises crazy early.  Leave your curtains open and greet the morning with some sunshine. You may be cursing the sun in the morning, but our bodies crave sunlight.  Did you know computer screens keep us awake because to our brains the screen light mimics the sun?
  4. Move your wake-up time 20 minutes earlier each day (or each week). The pros recommend you move your alarm 20 minutes earlier from one day to the next, but I think that is a little ambitious.  Why not try Week 1 for 7:00 am, Week 2 for 6:40 am, etc? Either option works, but this allows for a manageable progression from “Night Owl” to “Morning Person.”
  5. No more snoozing. Once your alarm goes off, you gotta get your ass out of bed! This is my biggest enemy… but with willpower and dedication I think it can be done.
  6. Drink warm water and lemon for a zesty wake-up drink. This can be prepped the night before, but drinking this little concoction will awaken your senses.
  7. Walk outside and let your body acclimate to the sun. Go for a little walk, take your pooch outside, sit on your porch and drink your lemon+warm water.
  8. Reward yourself with personal time. Think of all you can do before work! Work out. Read. Catch up on TV shows. Yoga. Clean. Do all kinds of hair and make-up tutorials. If you give yourself personal time you will start work feeling fresh and happy!
  9. Do this every day … even on weekends. I am so sorry for this, but you have to keep to a wake-up time until your body naturally adjusts.  This means if you go and get buck wild on a Friday night, you have to wake up Saturday at the correct time for the week. Don’t hate me, it will really fuck you up if you stray on the weekends.
  10. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself! If you are here, you are not a natural morning person. You can overcome this genetic mutation — yes, genetics are partly to blame for you being a “Night Owl.” It will take some time, you may give into the many temptations — i.e. your sleepy mind convinces you it only takes 15 minutes to get ready for work.  It’s alright. However, over time you will notice your body waking up earlier, your mornings becoming more productive, and a little skip in your step as get to the office.

Check out this printable Morning Person Checklist… sometimes you need a little list motivation?

Morning Person Routine

Good luck on this difficult venture! I will share my progress with y’all!

Love, Sarah