Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tips & Tricks for a Cleaner House

OK, this does not apply to me at all! LOL Anyone who knows me well, or has been to my house, knows that I am an OCD house cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, floor scrubbing freak...and still have time to be a good mom and have a happy kid. See how happy he is? ...and cute I might add.

So how do I do it? My biggest advice is when you are done with something...put it away! This eliminates so much clutter and keeps you more organized, just by committing to this one simple step. When the mail comes, put the bills on your desk (or wherever you pay the bills) and any junk mail goes directly in recycling bin. Don't stack the junk mail on the counter and think you'll get to it never will...and before you know it, you'll have a heap of clutter on your counter.

2. Keep sanitizing wipes handy in each bathroom under the sink. This enables you to clean up spills and messes, wipe up water marks from faucets, and wipe down toilets in a jiffy. It's amazing how these little steps can make your bathroom feel so much cleaner without committing to a total deep cleaning.

3.Section your house into "zones". My basement is one, my first floor another and my second floor the last. Instead of trying to tackle the entire house in one day and making yourself crazy, pick a day for each zone. On Wednesdays I do the basement, Thursdays the second floor and Fridays the first floor. Or assign different tasks for each day...Mondays vacuuming, Tuesdays Laundry, Wednesdays dusting, etc.

My cleaning arsenal...

Soft Scrub Total- I love products that can be used multiple ways! I use this to clean the tub, shower and sink and because it sprays upside down, I can also use it to clean the toilets. Toilet wands gross me out...I keep one in each bathroom. The last thing I want to do is carry a dirty toilet wand bathroom to bathroom. I've tried the disposable ones and I just think they are too expensive and wasteful.

Lysol Wipes- A necessity with a husband and toddler.

Gain Dryer Sheets- One sheet swiped across a dusty baseboard works wonders and smells great doing it.

Windex- Need I say more?!

Swiffer Dust & Shine- Love this product to dust my wood furniture with. Smells great and you can also use it on leather too.

Swiffer Dusters- Love these for dusting the bookshelves and around the electronics and TVs. I've tried the off brands and they just don't hold up as well...or smell as good.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser- An absolute necessity for any household with kids. The one cleaning item I really don't think I can live without. I stockpile these. They easily clean off crayon, messy finger prints and scuffs from walls.

Not pictured is my gallon jug of vinegar and economy size box of baking soda. When none of the above can do it, these babies can!

Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Best of Beauty Top Picks

While getting dressed this morning, I was thinking about the Allure Reader's Choice Awards...don't ask me why, I have no idea...maybe it was my face wash stamped with "Allure Reader's Choice Award Winner" on it. Anyways, every year Allure magazine surveys readers for their favorite makeup, skin, hair, and body products. You'll be entered to win some nice prizes just for filling out the ballot, so every year I fill out the ballot. I never win anything. I dunno, I'm a sucker for sweepstakes.

Here are some of my top picks...

Here are some other beauty favorites of mine not included in the survey...

And my personal #1 beauty product (drum-roll, please)...

This stuff is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!! If you've never tried it, swing by the Borghese counter in Lord & Taylor and ask for a sample.
What's your #1 beauty pick?

To submit your votes for the Allure Reader's Choice Awards, click HERE. Deadline to enter is February 28, 2013.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Make Some Noise WNY: National Noise Night!

On Saturday, January 12th, our newly (really, really newly) formed Western New York Chapter of Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer held it's first National Noise Night gala at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

The National Angel Quilt

The evening was hosted by radio personalities Terry Clifford and Steve Hausmann of 92.5 WBEE’s Morning Coffee Club, with guest speakers Dr. Jeffery Andolina, Department of Pediatrics Hemotology & Onocology, University of Rochester Medical Center and Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, founder of Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer. A cocktail hour, children's entertainment from Flyin' Brian & Miss. Understood, silent auction, dinner buffet, a performance from Elite Studio of Dance, and dancing rounded off the evening.

Steve Hausmann & Terry Clifford
Dr. Jeffery Andolina
Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio
County Executive Maggie Brooks

The local chapter was formed by Kelly and Jay Kovaleski, of Albion, who serve as chapter co-presidents, and supported by Mike and Christine LaMonica, of Honeoye Falls, and Andy and myself. All three of our families have lost children to Leukemia, and the new chapter is dedicated to the memories of our children, Nicholas, Julianna and Lauren...


Jay & Kelly Kovaleski
Mike & Christine LaMonica
Andy & Eleanor Olander

Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer was founded by 14-year-old Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio shortly after he was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma at the age of 10. Malcolm was concerned at the lack of awareness after learning that only 3% of cancer research funds are directed to childhood cancers. Learn more about Malcolm and his journey by watching this video "1 in 320"...

The evening was a HUGE success. Our hope is through events like Noise Night and other chapter events throughout the year, our noise to spread childhood cancer awareness and raise funds for research grows louder in Western New York. Thank you to everyone who attended and donated their time, goods, or services.Without you all, we couldn't of done it!

  To volunteer for future events, make a donation, or join our mailing list, contact the Make Some Noise WNY Chapter at

Like us on Facebook HERE.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drums, Shakers and Stomping, Oh My!

This morning Logan and I attended a music class at Rhythm Connect in Fairport with new friends from the Plum Mom's Club. What a hidden gem! I had no idea this place existed.

We walked into a jungle themed room with wall to wall drums. They had drums to play with your hands, a steel drum, name it, it was probably there. Nothing was off limits, all the kids had a blast experimenting with everything.

Drummer Ed greeted us and we started off the class by creating different sequences of music with animal-shaped shakers. Next, we moved on to drumming and stomping. I think Logan was a little intimidated by this one, he choose to lay back and watch as the other kids stomped and drummed their way around the room in a parade. Last, we learned to make music sequences using our body...our feet to stomp, our hands to clap, and our mouth to, well, make more noise! It was a lot of fun and we'll definitely be going back. 

Rhythm Connect offers classes, lessons and events for all ages. I especially like the idea of the adult drumming and wine class : ) ...and they also do birthday parties! Click HERE to see all the different types of classes they offer. You can also schedule a private class with a small group like we did today!

Rhythm Connect is located at 84 High Street in the village of Fairport.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Believe Bands

Believe Bands, Christian Jewelery, donated some beautiful jewelery to our Silent Auction for Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer National Noise Night gala held last Saturday at the Riverside Convention Center.

Among the items was this beautiful angel wing charm on a sterling silver necklace. Just gorgeous! I love mine.

The collection includes crystal bands and rings with inspirational words, sterling silver bands with engraved scripture, all different styles of cross necklaces made with sterling silver, wood and Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearl and silk braided cross bracelets. Everything is very reasonably priced.

AND they are currently running a Valentine's Day promotion...receive a 14% discount on their already incredible prices!

Check them all out here...BELIEVE BANDS.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Love Your Laundry Room: Maintaining Your Front Loader Washing Machine

Your front loading washing machine needs love too! I know it sounds silly, but you need to wash your washing machine, front loader that is. Follow these simple steps, and it will love you back!

Water can pool in the rubber gasket that seals the door, causing a foul order and causing mold and mildew to grow. Throw in some lint, hair, and dirt from your laundry and you have a gross sludge that can clog up the drain holes. Here's what mine looked like precleaning...ew


To remedy the situation, once a month add a cup of distilled white vinegar and a cup of baking soda directly into the drum. Then, add about ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda into the detergent dispenser and select your washer's Cleaning Cycle. If your front loader doesn't have a Cleaning Cycle option, you can just select the regular wash cycle using hot water.

Now, I do a lot of laundry, so my machine never sits more than a day or two unused. If you are able to go longer between loads, first I am jealous... but really, it's a good idea to leave the door open when not in frequent use to allow the water and moisture to evaporate and keep your machine from smelling stagnant.

Next, clean the drain pump filter. If the drain pump filter gets clogged with debris, the water flow will slow down, and fill up with gross, dirty water over time. Old water that didn’t drain sits here, as does lint and dirt...or sand in the summer : ) The drain pump filter is usually located at the front bottom of the washer. Here's mine...

First, drain the access water from the washer. For this step, place a container under the area where you will be removing the filter. It's also a good idea to keep an old rag handy to wipe up any water that escapes. My washer is on a stand, so the filter is high enough off the ground that I can drain water into a bucket.  If your washer is not on a stand, use a shorter container to catch the water. On my machine, I have a capped hose that is used to drain the water. I just unclip the hose and turn it downward toward my bucket. Once your hose is pointed so water will pour into your bucket, remove the plastic cap on the hose and drain away! You'll be amazed at what comes out.

Next, unscrew the drain pump filter and pull the filter straight out toward you. Rinse off any lint or debris caught in it and replace.

Following these simple instructions on a regular basis will help your front loader run smoother and keep it loving you back : )

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