Beginning with Breakfast…July Edition…Part 2…Traditional Breakfast Casseroles …

  • How many times have we heard that eaing a decent breakfast gives you the energy to tackle the day ahead.
  • But how many of us are putting up a good fight simply to make it out the door…granola bar in hand.
  • One strategy to make breakfast more of the actual meal that it should be, instead of merely a quick snack is to plan and prepare ahead of time.
  • In previous posts, I gave several options for breakfast, all made in the crockpot.
  • Today I am posting the second installment of breakfast casserole recipes-casseroles that  include the staples of a traditional breakfast – eggs, meat, and bread.
  •   

All in One Breakfast Casserole from The Chaos and the Clutter
  

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Breakfast Casserole from Cincy Shopper

  
Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole Cups from Wondermom Wannabe

 

    Sourdough Bread Breakfast Casserole from Coffee With Us 3

    Beginning with Breakfast… July Edition No. 1… Breakfast Casserole Recipes for Special Diets

    The following casseroles are ideal to serve your choosiest bed-and-breakfast guests…those dreaded guests who request gluten-free or paleo breakfasts, for example…

        
      21 Day Fix Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole from The Foodie and The Fix

        
      Broccoli Cheese Quiche (Gluten and Grain Free) from Delicious Obsessions
        
      Cheesy Chorizo Egg & Fauxtato Breakfast Muffins – Low Carb Keto from Cherry and Spice
        
      Fluffy Crustless Quiche (grain and gluten free, paleo/primal) from Delicious Obsessions
        
      Gluten-Free Skillet Mexican Hash Brown Casserole from A Girl Worth Saving

        

        Leek and Pepper Breakfast Casserole from Vegetarian Mamma
          
        Low Carb Breakfast Casserole With Sausage & Cheese (Gluten-Free) from Wholesome Yum

           

         

        Mexican Breakfast Casserole from Moneywise Moms 

        Getting Dressed…July Edition

          
        Clothes…One of my big goals this year has been to start getting my closet organized. so here is a short list of closet storage options that I am considering…

        • Big Bins…keep your sheets and blankets in order by dividing your closet into categories-his, hers, blankets, sheets, shoes, etc. Once you have everything in divided piles, pick up each pile and store it in a bin with a lid. Label each bin accordingly.
        • Closet Shelf...If you don’t already have one, get a closet shelf to go above your clothes rack for extra storage space.
        • Double Hanging Rod...Consider getting a double hanging rod that links to your current closet rod to add another row of hanging space below.
        • Foldable Storage Cubes…Foldable storage cubes are great for little things such as socks, panties, purses, and belts…and fit perfectly side by side on a shelf for easy use and storage. 
        • Organizer Hangers…Organizer hangers can hold eight items on one hanger and have specifically designed rods to hold your apparel without all the clutter.

        Outfit formulas provide a quick starting point for getting dressed in the mornings. Here are five “formulas” that have joined my wardrobe selection lately…

        • Checkered Dress + Straw Purse…This simple outfit is perfect for when you’re in a rush and still want to look trendy.
        • Detailed Top + White Jean Skirt + Wedges…A detailed top with a white jean skirt is the perfect chic outfit for any occasion. 
        • Long Floral Dress + Ankle Strap Heels…A fun floral dress is perfect for brunch or spending a day in the city.
        • Off-The-Shoulder-Top + White Pants…Your favorite pair of white pants with a light off-the-shoulder top and a pair of strappy heels signals that you’re ready to take on the day.
        • Tank Top Dress + Bold Clutch + Sneakers…Looking casual and trendy this summer is easy with a simple tank top dress, clean white sneakers, bold-colored clutch, and perhaps a denim jacket wrapped around your waist. 

        Hair…Hair Care Products I’m Loving

        Hair Oil…
        Try using the following hair oil to give your hair the nourishment it needs to tame frizz, smooth hair, hydrate dry summer hair,  nourish your scalp, and help achieve healthy hair follicles. 

        • 1Tbsp Argan Oil…(to help hair grow)
        • :1Tbsp Camelina Oil…(to help protect the hair follicles, act as an antioxidant against free radical damage, and help control dandruff.)
        • 2Tbsp Hazelnut Oil….(to help protect and prolong the life of your hair color, as well as help strengthen and repair)
        • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil…(to make the oil smell great)
        • 4 drops Rosemary Essential Oil…(to encourage blood flow to the scalp.)a
        • Use a small funnel to add all the ingredients to a 2 ounce glass pump bottle or dropper bottle. Shake well.
        • To use this oil as a frizz tamer…Apply dry hair ends to smoothe and soften the hair. 
        • To use this oil as a hot oil treatment…Apply to hair. Put on a shower cap. Leave the oil and shower cap on while taking a warm bath or shower.

        Shampoo and Conditioner…Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo and Conditioner

        Skin Care…Skin Products I’m Loving

        Gorgeous, healthy, luminous skin requires effort…efforts such as… exfoliating with a dry brush before taking a shower removes dry skin and stimulates the lymphatic system…and using a mask weekly helps deep clean and hydrate.

          BeautyCounter products…Nourishing Cream Cleanser?..Nourishing Cream Exfoliator 

          Blemish Roll-On…Fill a glass roll-on bottle with equal parts of frankincense, tea tree, purification oil, and jojoba oil.

            Nails Products I’m Loving…Shape and file your nails. Apply Julep Vanish Cuticle Softener and Remover. Push back cuticles using a cuticle pusher. Trim stubborn cuticles with a nipper. Buff your nail bed to remove any ridges or leftover cuticles. Apply OPI Bond Aid and then Essie 3-Way Glaze as a bottom coat. Use Essie Gel Souture nail polish to paint your nails the color of your choice. I used two coats of Essie Ballet Slippers. Finally apply Essie Gel Couture Top Coat.
            Clean Skin from Within by Dr. Trevor Cates is The Spa Doctor’s Two-Week Program to Glowing, Naturally Youthful Skin.

                          Editorial Calendar in Progress…July

                                 

                              
                          Some days I feel like I am writing about so many different topics that there seems to be no method at all to my madness…but my goal is to actually walk through each part of my day and share some things that I have learned that month.

                          So looking back on the first half of 2017 and ahead at the remaining months, here’s the “method to my madness.”

                                    
                          STARTING THE DAY OFF RIGHT… In July, I hope to finish my study of Sarah and then keep studying the book of Genesis, starting with The Patriarchs Bible study by Veth Moore.
                                 
                            
                          GETTING DRESSED…
                           In July I would like to finish pulling together a makeup regimen…and then move on to other topics…such as hair, body care, and skincare to finishputting together my “signature look” and completely pull together a Pinterest-worthy closet and bathroom.
                            

                          EATING BREAKFAST…In July, I will post a series on breakfast casseroles…and then continue gathering recipes and start putting together my cookbook.

                            

                          DROPPING THE KIDS OFF… In July I want to do a series on children’s books..and then finish putting together a homeschool curriculum, not to mention finish potty-training.

                            

                          HEADING OFF TO WORK…In July I hope to organize my desk area and start working on a business plan….and then finish pulling together a productive work area and work bag and writing out a business plan.
                              

                            
                          LASTING THROUGH LUNCH...In July I hope to contine the monthly series of three posts on packing lunches for work…The Bento Box, Fat Stanley, and Keeping Cool….and do a segment on refrigerators…and then finish totally organizing my kitchen and learning how to can homemade pepper jelly to give away at Christmas.    

                                
                            MAKING DINNER PLANS…In July, I plan on setting up a proper baking center…and then carrying through with my original goal of studying one different cooking technique per month.     
                                  
                            SATISFYING THE SWEET TOOTH...In July I hope to start a weekly post of menus for Sunday after-church family meals including desserts…creating a total of twenty-six special menus for family dinners.  

                                  

                            CREATING A HOME…
                            In July I hope to finish a series on De-Funking Your Junk, picking back up with using scents in the home…and continue creating basic systems to keep our home operating smoothly.
                               
                              

                            GETTING HEALTHY...In July, I hope to finish my section on protein…and then do segments on carbohydrates and fats.

                                

                            CALLING IT A DAY…
                            In July, I hope to finish my grandson’s dinosaur quilt and keep reading books from my book list…and finish the year by completing  one book from my book list and one seasonal quilt per month.

                              
                                 
                              
                            The month and days of July has been designated, by some authority that exists, as…

                            • Group B Strep Awareness Month
                            • National Anti-Boredom Month
                            • National Blueberry Month
                            • National Cell Phone Courtesy Month
                            • National Hot Dog Month 
                            • National Ice Cream Month
                            • National Picnic Month
                            1. July 1…International Tartan Day…Creative Ice Cream Flavors D
                            2. July 2…World UFO Day
                            3. July 3…
                            4. July 4…Independence Day (United States)…National Country Music Day…Sidewalk Egg Frying Day
                            5. July 5…Emancipation Day (New York City, United States)…World Environment Day…National Bikini Day…Work-a-holics Day 
                            6. July 6…International Kissing Day…National Fried Chicken Day
                            7. July 7…World Chocolate Day…National Strawberry Sundae Day
                            8. July 8…National Blueberry Day
                            9. July 9…National Sugar Cookie Day
                            10. July 10…Statehood Day (Wyoming)…Teddy Bear Picnic Day
                            11. July 11…Cheer up the Lonely Day…Slurpee Day
                            12. July 12…Pecan Pie Day
                            13. July 13…Barbershop Music Appreciation Day…Embrace Your Geekness Day…National French Fries Day
                            14. July 14…Bastille Day…Pandemonium Day…National Nude Day
                            15. July 15…Tapioca Pudding Day…Cow Appreciation Day
                            16. July 16…Fresh Spinach Day…National Ice Cream Day 
                            17. July 17…Global Hug Your Kids Day…Peach Ice Cream Day
                            18. July 18…National Caviar Day
                            19. July 19…National Raspberry Cake Day
                            20. July 20…National Lollipop Day…Moon Day
                            21. July 21…Belgian National Day…National Junk Food Day
                            22. July 22…National Chili Dog Day…Hammock Day
                            23. July 23….Parents’ Day…National Hot Dog Day…Vanilla Ice Cream Day
                            24. July 24…Pioneer Day…Amelia Earhart Day…Cousins Day
                            25. July 25…Culinarians Day…Threading the Needle Day
                            26. July 26 All or Nothing Day…Aunt and Uncle Day
                            27. July 27…National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day…Take Your Pants for a Walk Day…Bagpipe Appreciation Day
                            28. July 28…National Milk Chocolate Day…System Administrator Appreciation Day
                            29. July 29…International Tiger Day…National Lasagna Day
                            30. July 30…International Day of Friendship…National Cheesecake Day…Father-in-Law Day
                            31. July 31…Ka Hae Hawaiʻi Day (Hawaii, United States)

                            Finally look at what blog topics usually trend in the month of July…

                            Method to My Madness … 2017 So Far

                                 
                              

                            Some days I feel like I am writing about so many different topics that there seems to be no method at all to my madness…but my goal is to actually walk through each part of my day and share some things that I have learned that month.

                            So looking back on the first half of 2017, here is my year in review.

                                    

                            STARTING THE DAY OFF RIGHT…

                            My goal for the year has been to “dig in deep” and study the Book of Genesis for the entire year. 

                            So far this year, I have finished the Be series of books about Genesis written by Warren Wiersbe and the book about Sarah from the series of three books about women in Genesis written by Orson Scott Card.

                            In July, I hope to finish this book.

                            For the rest of the year, I would like to keep studying the book of Genesis, starting with The Patriarchs Bible study by Veth Moore.

                                     

                              GETTING DRESSED…

                              My goal for the year has been to establish a 40-piece capsule wardrobe, convert to organic skincare and cosmetic products, and transform my laundry room and bedroom closet into places that I would proudly post on both my blog and Pinterest. 

                              So far this year I have made the switch to natural cosmetics.

                              In June I finished putting together my makeup bag and shared a “What’s In My Bag” post. I also did a segment on laundry.

                              In July I would like to finish pulling together a makeup regimen and move on to other topics…such as hair, body care, and skincare.

                              For the rest of the year I would like to finish putting together my “signature look” and completely pull together a Pinterest-worthy closet and bathroom.will share the forty piece wardrobe that I have finally finished creating, review the app ClosetSpace, do a segment on foundation, and hopefully start working on my laundry room.
                                   
                                  
                              EATING BREAKFAST…

                              My goal for the year has been to start putting together a cookbook of Southern breakfast recipes that I can sell at my bed and breakfast. 

                              So far this year I have been gathering recipes for this book.

                              In June, I did a segment on crockpot breakfasts.

                              In July, I will post a series on breakfast casseroles.

                              For the rest of the year I will continue gathering recipes and start putting together my cookbook.
                                 

                                
                                
                               

                              DROPPING THE KIDS OFF…

                              My goal for the year has been to make sure that the quantity time that I spend with our three year old is quality time also. 

                              So far this year has been crazy.

                              In June I created a bucket list for this summer.

                              In July I want to do a series on children’s books.

                              For the rest of the year I plan to put together a homeschool curriculum and finish potty-training.

                                  

                              HEADING OFF TO WORK…
                              My goal for the year has been to move closer to the opening of our bed and breakfast. 

                              So far this year I have started looking at office supplies and gathered resources about writing and freelancing.

                              In June, I researched pens.

                              In July I hope to organize my desk area and start working on a business plan.hope to create a command center that will eventually become my reception/reservations center for our bed and breakfast. 

                              For the rest of the year I hope to pull together a productive work area and work bag, and finish writing out a business plan.

                                  

                              LASTING THROUGH LUNCH…

                              My goal for the year has been to create a system of keeping healthy, portable snacks and lunches available to grab as we hurriedly run out the door each morning. 

                              In May I started blogging by finishing a series of posts on on packing the perfect basket.

                              In June, I started a monthly series of three posts on packing lunches for work…The Bento Box, Fat Stanley, and Keeping Cool.

                              In July I hope to contine this series of posts and do a segment on refrigerators.

                              For the rest of the year, I want to totally organize my kitchen and learn how to can so that I can have homemade pepper jelly to give away at Christmas.

                                  
                                

                              MAKING DINNER PLANS…

                              My goal for the year has been to study one different cooking technique per month. 

                                In June, I Started upgrading my small appliances by buying a new coffee maker and blender.
                                 
                                In July, I plan on setting up a proper baking center.

                                For the rest of the year, I plan to carry through with my original goal of studying one different cooking technique per month. 

                                      
                                      

                                  SATISFYING THE SWEET TOOTH…

                                  My goal for the year has been to to start a binder with seasonal desserts to use as a reference once our business is open. 

                                    In June I focused on red, white, and blue desserts during this patriotic season.

                                    In July I hope to start a weekly post of menus for Sunday after-church family meals including desserts.

                                    For the rest of the year I hope to create a total of twenty-six special menus for family dinners.

                                        

                                          
                                          

                                      CREATING A HOME…

                                      My goal for the year has been to create minimalistic systems and organization so that “everything can be done decently and in order.”

                                      In June I completed a series of posts on doing laundry and began talking about scents in the home.

                                      In July I hope to finish a series on De-Funking Your Junk, picking back up with using scents in the home.

                                      For the rest of the year, I hope to create basic systems to keep our home operating smoothly.

                                         

                                       GETTING HEALTHY…
                                      My goal for the year has been to start exercising again and to learn to prep foods that are more appropriate for my diabetic husband. 

                                      In June, I started studying the best foods to meet your daily protein recommendations.

                                      In July, I hope to finish my section on protein.

                                      For the rest of the year, I plan on doing segments on protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

                                        

                                      CALLING IT A DAY

                                      My goal this year has been to do some things honestly just for me…such as finish the umpteen thousand sewing projects sitting around here, start a historical biographies book club, among other things.

                                      In June, I started to get my sewing room back into working condition, read books from my book list.

                                      In July, I hope to finish my grandson’s dinosaur quilt and keep reading books from my book list.

                                      For the rest of the year, I hope to complete one book from my book list and one seasonal quilt per month.
                                        

                                        

                                        

                                      Finishing Up the Laundry

                                        
                                      Your dryer is the most expensive appliance to operate…so using it less will obviously save you money. 
                                      A wall-mounted, folding drying rack provides the perfect spot to air-dry clothes without hanging your undies in plain sight for everyone outside to see.

                                      Here are a few more ways to save money when drying your clothes.

                                      1.  Empty the lint trap and wipe the lint filter clean with a used dryer sheet after each load. Making sure the dryer lint filter is clean before starting each load will ensure peak performance of your dryer and prevent fire.

                                      2.  Make your own dryer sheets by simply applying a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a washcloth and tossing it into the dryer with the wet clothes.

                                      3.  Power companies often charge more per kilowatt-hour during peak usage times. This obviously means that the next load of clothes will cost more to dry during these times…so use your dryer during off peak times. 

                                      4.  Put an extra dry towel in the dryer with the wet clothes to help absorb the water so that your clothes dry faster.

                                      5.  Regularly use a small amount of detergent and a toothbrush to clean your lint trap. Also take this time to clean the dryer exhaust vent and clear out the air hose behind your machine.

                                      6.  Select sensor dry instead of timed dry, if you have the option.

                                      7.  Switch loads right away, instead of allowing your dryer to cool down orrest between loads. Your dryer is built to handle such back-to-back cycles…so do not wait.

                                      Enjoying Cleaning with the Common Scents God Gave Us

                                        
                                      Making the switch from the cleaning products, such as Mr. Clean, that I have used for the last thirty years, to something more ecofriendly and “politically correct” this year has been a definite learning curve.

                                      There are so many brands claiming to be “natural” or “organic,” but how can you be sure?!

                                      Surprisingly, There is no federal regulation, such as USDA certification,  for cleaning products. These companies are not even required to list their ingredients, meaning that they can sneak in chemicals without mentioning them anywhere on the bottle.

                                      So after spending hours in the grocery store reading product labels and on the Internet doing “productive web surfing,” here is the list of brands that I believe are making cleaning products–kitchen sprays, laundry detergents, and all-purpose baking-soda scrubs–that are actually healthier for our homes.
                                       
                                        Clorox Green Works

                                      Availability…sold through their distribution chain in more than 24,000 stores alongside their regular household cleaning products

                                      Blog…Shades of Green 

                                      Claim…Green Works sets their own very stringent standards to ensure that their cleaners are at least 99% natural…the remaining 1% is attributedto synthetic ingredients including a preservative and green coloring 

                                      Ingredients…Clorox has done their best to remain openly transparent about the ingredients in their Green Works line by publishing their ingredients on the product and responding to such questions online at their blog and through their Shades of Green Journal.

                                      Launched…January 2008

                                      Popularity…holds more than a 40% share of the natural home cleaning market

                                      Target Consumer...the mainstream consumer who is interested in natural products that clean, are affordable and easily accessible

                                           
                                        J.R. Watkins 

                                        Availability…The all-natural home cleaning line debuted at Target in 2008 and is now sold throughout the country at stores including CVS, Home Depot, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

                                        Claim…We promise our customer a feeling of timeless comfort with every product…

                                        Ingredients…high-quality natural ingredients

                                        Launched…In 1868 J. R. Watkins began selling liniment door-to-door in the southeastern part of Minnesota. In 1869 he began giving customers bottles with a molded “trial mark” as a risk-free way to try his products. Customers who used the natural products and stayed above the mark could get a full refund. By the 1940s, Watkins was the largest direct-sales company in the world.

                                        Mission Statement…To be the most trusted natural products company.

                                            
                                          Method Home

                                          Blog
                                          Method Home Soap Dish Blog

                                          Claim…gentler than a thousand puppy licks. able to detox tall homes in a single afternoon.happy homessafe for people, pets + the planet

                                          Ingredients

                                          Launched…by adam lowry and eric ryan, two former roommates, who were exposed to toxic ingredients in cleaning supplies, and felt a calling to produce consumer cleaning products that people didn’t have to hide under their sinks and would not contain any “dirty” ingredients. 

                                              
                                            Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
                                            Availability…Whole Foods…(at least closest place for me)

                                            Claim…”I wouldn’t put my name on something that didn’t work hard and smell great. No reason to ruin my reputation this late in the game.”

                                            Ingredients…plant-derived ingredients and essential oils…products do not contain chlorine bleach, ammonia, petroleum distillates, parabens, phosphates or phthalates…

                                            Launched…Our products were inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine. It all started when one of her daughters was walking down a cleaning aisle, eyeing all the products with their harsh, stinky chemicals. Right then and there, she had an idea: “Let’s make cleaners that smell nice, like my mom’s garden, but still work like the dickens on daily dirt and grime.”

                                                

                                              Seventh Generation

                                              Availability…Kroger, Albertson’s, Target, Tom Thumb, etc.

                                              Blog

                                              Claim… our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home–and for the community and environment outside of it. 

                                              Ingredients…as an example, the Natural 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent lists its ingredients as…water…laureth-6 and sodium lauryl sulfate (both plant-derived cleaning agents)…sodium citrate (plant-derived water softener)…glycerin (plant-derived enzyme stabilizer)…oleic acid (plant-derived anti-foaming agent), sodium hydroxide (mineral-based pH adjuster), calcium chloride (mineral-based enzyme stabilizer), sodium chloride (mineral-based viscosity modifier), protease, amylase, and mannanase (plant-derived enzyme blend soil removers), and benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (synthetic preservatives).

                                              Launched…established in 1988 in Vermont as Seventh Generation, Inc., an American company…acquired by Unilever in 2016.

                                                  
                                                The Honest Co. 

                                                AvailabilitySprouts, Target, Whole Foods

                                                BlogHonestly

                                                Ingredients…for example, the Honest Company Floor Cleaner contains…
                                                -Water
                                                -Ethyl Alcohol (Fermented From Corn Sugar)
                                                -Caprylyl/Myristyl Glucoside (Plant-Based Cleanser)
                                                -Potassium Sorbate (Plant-Based Preservative)
                                                -Acetic Acid (Natural Buffering Agent)
                                                -Gluconic Acid (Plant-Based Buffering Agent)
                                                -Citrus Grandis (N.O.P. Certified Organic Grapefruit) Oil
                                                -Limonene (Orange) Oil
                                                -Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Leaf) Oil…

                                                Mission…
                                                to relieve you of a few tasks by delivering the best family essentials to your doorstep…to simplify your life and bring more delight to every day…to re-define the “family brand” and create something  that’s better for all families, everywhere.

                                                  

                                                Williams-Sonoma

                                                  AvailabilityList of Stores
                                                  BlogWilliams Sonoma Taste

                                                    Claim…formulated for
 natural cleaning and rejuvenating…work without harsh ingredienand are extra-gentle on your skin

                                                    Ingredients…Countertop Spray contains, for example, bark extract, lemon oil, and mandarin oil….no parabens, ammonia, chlorine or lauramide DEA

                                                    • Availability…
                                                    • Blog…
                                                    • Claim…
                                                    • Ingredients…
                                                    • Launched…
                                                    • Popularity…
                                                    • Target Consumer…

                                                    Laundry Lessons… Another College Rite of Passage

                                                      
                                                    Laundry Lessons…Hard to believe that thirty years ago, my mom was trying to teach me how to do my own laundry as I headed out the door to college. Now I have three college daughters of my own who really need to start doing their own laundry…the right way.

                                                    (So don’t say that your mom never showed you how to do your own laundry…I am writing it here in plain English.)

                                                    How much detergent...Too much detergent is a waste of money and produces an excess of suds in the wash. Too little detergent can keep your clothes from getting clean at all.How many clothes per load…Cramming every single article of clothing you own into one wash load makes it harder for clothes to get cleaned effectively. Use your common sense.

                                                    How often should I wash my clothes…Socks, underwear, and workout clothes should be washed after every wearing. Everything else, at least for the most part, can simply be aired out and put away for another day…(no, girls, that does not give you a valid excuse to leave your entire wardrobe all over the bedroom floor)…

                                                    What settings should you use…Select the smallest load setting and shortest wash setting appropriate for each particular load…again, use some common sense…or call your mom…

                                                    What water temperature should I use to wash my clothes… According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 90 percent of the energy used while doing a load of laundry is used to heat the water….

                                                    We have been told differently since birth…or maybe since college days…because there was a time when hot water was needed to dissolve powdered detergent, but times have changed…and liquid laundry detergents have now advanced to the point of being able to get clothes just as clean in cold water as hot.

                                                    So stop…(stop using hot or warm water, that is…not sure that any of us can get by with not doing laundry, at least not for very long.)

                                                    Now that I have started doing smaller loads throughout the week, I am enjoying the freedom of “bachelor washing”…washing almost anything and everything in one load.

                                                    Cold water makes doing this “safer”…is gentler on fabrics than warmer water…and helps keep clothes from fading or shrinking. Even better, switching to cold water is the simplest way to save money. (There are detergents specifically made for cold water use, if throwing all your clothes into the same water scares you still)…

                                                    What water temperature should I use to rinse my clothes... rinsing in hot or warm water doesn’t get clothes any cleaner…it just increases your monthly utility bills.


                                                    Which detergent should I buy...(I am working on a future post about natural cleaners and detergents, so stay tuned)…Be smart enough to look beyond those super-expensive brands so that you can see the generic and store-brand options.

                                                    Read the label to see how best to use a particular product. For example, some detergents go into the soap dispenser, others go right into the drum. 

                                                    Many of my friends were on a laundry detergent-making sprint back when Pinterest first got big…(I personally never found time to try making my own…too busy on Facebook, I guess)…but here’s a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that was given to me back then…

                                                    3 cups washing soda, 3 bars of Castile soap, 3 cups of Borax, and ¼ -1/2tsp essential oil-such as grapefruit, lavender, lime or orange.

                                                    Wow…that stinks!!!...Add a few drops of essential oils-such as lemon or lavender-to the water in the washing machine. Soak very smelly clothes in a machine filled with the hottest water available and 1C vinegar for an hour before washing them as normally would.

                                                    Wow…that stain will never come out!!!…Simply pray hard and then work a few drops of detergent into the stained fabric and wash as usual.  If the stain doesn’t come out, you needed a good excuse to go shopping anyway, right?!

                                                    To Separate or Not to Separate…That Is the Question

                                                      

                                                    Most of us were taught to sort your laundry into four piles—lights, darks, whites, and towels.
                                                    But is taking time to sort clothes time actually a waste of time?! After all, if I can simply wash a small load every day, or every other day, instead of setting one day a week as Official Laundry Day.

                                                    Not even towels need to really be washed separately…simply throw them in with other cotton clothes.

                                                    Clothing labels are key to keeping your clothes in great condition longer.

                                                    Check the tags whenever you buy a “better” piece of clothing, such as a dress or nice pair of pants, These tags are on there for a reason. you have no one else to blame if you buy a perfect dress and then discover that it has to be dry cleaned…or wash or dry your favorite whatever-it-may-be onand ruin it because you failed to take time to read the tag.

                                                    You might want to take a few seconds to look over your stuff first for unzipped zippers that might snag other clothing, unbutton shirts to keep them from stretching out the buttonhole, and turn jeans inside out so that they last longer and keep their color.

                                                    Even though I no longer take the time to sort all of my laundry into the four legalistic piles-lights, whites, darks, and towels,-. there are still a few exceptions…

                                                    New clothes that have not been washed more than a a couple of times often transfer their color to other clothing. Wash these items by themselves until they are “broken in.”

                                                    There are certain fabrics, such as silk, that should always be washed alone or dry-cleaned….(more on this later)…

                                                    Stop and Smell the Coffee

                                                      
                                                    It has been found that coffee has health benefits, such as increased cardiovascular function, a decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma, and protection against liver disease…and many people like me simply cannot function without a freshly brewed pot of coffee close at hand.But recently my coffee machine stopped working and had to be replaced.

                                                    Buying a new coffee machine was a really big decision at our house, and here are the factors that I considered while comparing shopping options and trying to make sure that I would buy a coffee maker that I absolutely love.

                                                    Cleaning…Think about how easy it will be to clean, most likely meaning something that can go in the dishwasher.

                                                    Cost…Coffee makers involve long-term costs, not only a one-time initial expense. 

                                                    Single-serving machines-such as the Nespresso Inissia, Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System, and Keurig-require constantly buying coffee pods and capsules which can run anywhere from $5 to $7 a package. 

                                                    Drip machines require constantly buying new filters and grounds or beans.
                                                    Effectiveness…Make sure that you buy a machine that can brew at high heat. Most top-of-the-line machines will list their brewing temps on the box or online. 

                                                    Material…Decide what kind of carafe you want-glass or stainless steel. Glass pots let you see and smell the coffee as it is brewing. A glass pot keeps warm for about 20 minutes. A thermal, stainless pot will keep coffee warm for up to an hour, but will have to be cleaned by hand.

                                                    Size…Take stock of how much you coffee you actually drink. If you barely go through a cup a day, buy a single-serving machine. If you drink coffee to keep you functioning all day long, buy the biggest pot available. 

                                                    Special Features…Other special features to consider include an automatic-start machine that you can set the night before and automatic shut-off.