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10 super easy tips to keep your home clean and healthy February 19 2018

Your home is special. It's where you start and end every day. Your home is what your family counts on to be a safe, happy, and healthy place for them to enjoy. That being said, here are ten super easy tips to keep your home clean and healthy:

  1. Take out the trash: Don't wait until your trashcans are overflowing to take them out! Your bathroom trash and kitchen trash should be removed from your home daily to prevent the spread of bacteria and eliminate unwanted odors. Clean the inside of your trash can with an all-purpose household cleaner. Doing so will cut down on the growth of germs that want to call your trashcan home. 
  2. Vacuum every room at least once a week: Have you been sneezing more often than you usually do due to dust and other small particles? You'll need to start vacuuming your home more often than you already do. Vacuuming your floors will help you manage different particles that can cause respiratory problems such as asthma. You'll improve your management of allergies that tend to prevalent indoors. 
  3. Sanitize your bathroom: Clean your bathroom at least once a week. It's important to sanitize everything in your bathroom from your toilet to your sink. Your bathroom can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria that will make you sick. One simple solution to sanitizing your bathroom is to use sanitizing wipes that will kill germs. You don't have to worry about using a spray and can easily wipe down any surface. Be thorough when cleaning your sink, shower, and toilet. You should also clean your bathroom floor.
  4. Do your dishes: After you're done cooking and eating, do your dishes like your parents taught you to. Use hot water when cleaning your dirty dishes. It'll help remove food and grime and cut down the amount on the amount of time and energy spent scrubbing. Hot water will also kill bacteria on your dirty dishes which will increase your family's chances of staying healthy. By staying on top of your dish load, you'll have a cleaner kitchen and be happier in the long run.
  5. Wipe down all flat surfaces like your kitchen table: Regularly clean all surfaces in your home. This includes your kitchen countertops, coffee table, desks, and bathroom countertops. Like your bathroom, be thorough and consistent. Sanitizing wipes will easily help you complete the task of killing bacteria. You can keep the amount of dust gathering on your desk and tables with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are effective in removing small particles on most surfaces.
  6. Throw out old leftovers: Getting food poisoning from old leftovers is no fun. The good news is that food poisoning from your aging food is completely preventable. Throw out foods such as raw ground meats and fresh fish if they've been sitting in your fridge longer than 2 days. Cooked foods such as pizza and meat casseroles can stay in your fridge for 3 to 4 days. A simple way to keep track of how long food has been in the fridge is to leave sticky notes on the containers with dates. Remember that when in doubt, you need to throw it out. Don't take the risk if you're not certain.
  7. Wash your bedsheets: Your bedding can easily become home to bed mites and gather untold amounts of dust. At least once a week, wash all of your bedding from pillowcases to blankets in hot water. After washing your bedsheets, properly dry them before putting them back on your bed. Sleeping in wet bedsheets is no fun. Having clean bedding will help you sleep better at night and smell better when you wake up in the morning. 
  8. Clean your air vents: Vacuuming isn't the only way to reduce your chances of respiratory problems at home. Another way to cut down on the presence of dust and other annoying particles is to clean your air vents. Dust buildup reduces the efficiency of your home's ventilation system and increases the number of airborne particles in your home. All you have to do is remove dust with a soft vacuum brush tool to get out the particle buildup. You can also use a Q-tip or something similar to clean the small crevices your vacuum couldn't get.
  9. Sanitize all electronic devices: Your smartphone and computer keyboard are some of the filthiest things you own. Most cross contaminations are transmitted by hands and touch. That being said, you constantly handle your smart devices including tablets everywhere you go from the workplace to the bathroom. Taking a few moments to sanitize your electronic devices will save you from using up your sick days and missing out on fun family events.
  10. Change your sponges regularly: How long are you using your kitchen sponge before throwing it away? Simple rinsing will not kill the germs that grow on your kitchen sponge. Parts of your kitchen sponge can have just as much bacteria calling your home as a toilet can have. It's disgusting. Replace your sponges every one to two weeks to keep the bacteria count down and reduce the spread of foodborne pathogens.

Put these ten super easy tips to work for you! Your family will be able to count on your home as a place that's clean and free from harmful bacteria. All of these tips will help you get more out of life and not miss out on what matters most.


Naturally Flavored Water Recipes - a great alternative to juice or soda March 04 2015

I recently left a person speechless when I told him that my family only drank water. Only water. As a family of 5, we only use about 1/2 gallon of milk a week - and that is only for our milk consuming toddler. The only time we drink anything other than water is for special occasions. We are trying to focus on healthy eating habits for our children while they are young. But, sometimes it is really hard to just drink water. And, with my oldest starting school and playing at friend's houses, she is starting to notice that water isn't the only thing that people usually drink.

So, in trying to shake up our boring water, I made some delicious naturally flavored water. It was so easy and my kids loved it. We will be doing it again soon!

To make your own naturally flavored water you will need:
Fruit - any variety other than bananas. Try to buy in season and use the fruit when it is ripe to maximize sweetness and flavor. You can substitute frozen fruit for fresh if the fruit you want is out of season.
Herbs - while you don't have to use herbs, they do add some fun variety to the fruit. We really love blueberries mixed with basil.
Jar - to mix the fruit.
Wooden spoon - to slightly bruise the fruit and herbs.
Water

First, place your fruit and herbs in the bottom of your jar. Use the wooden spoon to slightly bruise the fruit and herbs. Don't mash the fruit up too much, just enough so that it starts to barely loose it's juice. Next, add the water and ice and then you are ready to serve.

Some great combinations are - Citrus blend, blackberry with sage, blueberry with basil, pineapple with mint, watermelon with rosemary, and raspberry with lime.


Fresh Citrus and Spinach Salad Recipe February 25 2015

Fresh Citrus and Spinach Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
Spinach
Fresh mandarin orange
Apple
Walnuts
Lemon

Place a handful of spinach on a plate. Peel a mandarin orange. Chop 1/4 of the apple. Place both the orange segments and apple chunks on top of your spinach. Sprinkle a tablespoon of walnuts on top. Cut the lemon in half and discard the lemon seeds. Squeeze the lemon over your salad.