Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Can I Do with Styrofoam Packing Noodles?

Those darn noodles, they're a pain from the get-go. They hide whatever items are in the box they came in, they stick to things with the slightest hint of static cling, and because they're made of styrofoam, they ought to be re-used somehow (preferably again and again) before heading to a landfill.

I'm not sure what you should do if you have collected bags and bags of these things. But the next time you give yourself a pedicure, here's a use for a handfull: Put one between each of your toes. The noodles will keep your toes from touching as the polish dries, giving you a perfect finish every time!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Household Chat with Marlo Schalesky

Hello. Today I'm interviewing Marlo Schalesky who is the award winning author of six books, including her latest novel BEYOND THE NIGHT, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist to create a new type of story. She has also had over 600 articles published in various magazines, had her work included in compilations such as Dr. Dobson’s Night Light Devotional for Couples, and is a regular columnist for Power for Living. Marlo recently earned her Masters degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently working on more “Love Stories with a Twist!” for Multnomah-Waterbrook Publishers, a division of Random House. She owns her own construction consulting firm and lives in Salinas, California with her husband and four young daughters. Find out more about Marlo at

Q - Marlo, why do you think people like household hints?
A - Because most people like a clean house, but they don’t do household chores for fun. So hints that make things go easier, quicker, more efficiently give people the time to both enjoy their house and do other fun things too.

Q - Do you have a favorite and/or interesting household hint you'd like to share?
A - My favorite is ironing off tough stains from the carpet, using a hot iron and a clean rag. You put the clean rag on the carpet, and iron it – the stain transfers to the rag. Voila! Not more carpet spot. A professional carpet cleaner showed me that little trick and I’ve been using it ever since.

Q - What's your biggest housekeeping challenge?
A - Twin two-year-olds. I get a room picked up, they dismantle it. I clean a mirror or a glass tabletop, turn around, and there are a million little fingerprints all over it. I put away toys, and put away toys, and put away toys, and . . . you get the picture. And don’t even get me started on what the kitchen floor looks like after a meal. Yuck!

Q - If you could pass along one bit of cleaning/organizational advice to someone just starting out with their first home, what would it be?
A - Leave extra room in your closets, drawers, bins, cupboards for things you’ll buy later. And make sure it’s really easy to put things back where they belong without having to move other items first.

Q - How does your housekeeping style compare to that of your parents when they were your age?
A - My parents were most interested in having a spotless house for company. I just want to keep things picked up and organized for my own sanity. With four little kids, I’ve got enough crazy going on around here without adding household disarray to the list. So, I notice that the more wild things seem, the more I want to pick up, clean up, and organize . . .just so that something in my life can seem under control.

Thanks Marlo!
Readers, stay tuned for the next interesting interview.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Household chat with Maureen Lang

Hi Readers, Today I am interviewing Maureen Lang. Her booklist includes Pieces of Silver (a Christy finalist), Remember Me, The Oak Leaves. Coming in the fall/winter is My Sister Dilly.

Q - Maureen, Do you have a favorite and/or interesting household hint you'd like to share?
A - I'm not sure this tip is all that interesting, but I love vinegar. When my dog was a puppy and we were still in that fun stage of house training, I'd mix a little vinegar with water and go after the accidents. I read somewhere the strength of the vinegar overpowers the odor left by the pet, so the pet won't think that spot is their territory. It isn't, after all - it's yours, and the vinegar says so. Sure beats any other alternatives I can think of to stake territory!

Q - What's your biggest housekeeping challenge?
A - Dog hair. If there could be a way to make wigs out of dog hair, I could supply Dolly Parton for the rest of her life. (My dog is a blonde, too.)

Thanks for the laugh Maureen! Stay tuned next week for another great interview.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Household chat with Karen Ball

Hi Readers,

Today I'm interviewing Karen Ball who is the award-winning author of the Family Honor suspense series. Her most recent novel, What Lies Within, has been nominated as the Best Inspirational Novel of 2007.

Q - Karen, do you have a favorite and/or interesting household hint you'd like to share?
A - Yes, use vinegar and baking soda in your garbage disposal to keep it fresh and sanitized. Plus, it's fun! It's like having a mini volcano in your sink.

Q - What's your biggest housekeeping challenge?
A - Dusting. Dust runs rampant in this part of the country, but dusting kicks off my asthma, as do many of the dust-catching sprays.

Q - Please fill in the blank: I am to cleaning as ___________.
A - I am to cleaning as dogs are to cats.

Thanks Karen!
Readers, come back at the end of the week for another exciting interview!