Household Cleaning Tip of the Week – Micro Fiber Towels!

There are very few things in life which offer immediate satisfaction. And I am always in search of some sort of immediate satisfaction whether it be shiny hair, the perfect iPod playlist or exercise shoes that don’t require a break-in period. Rarely, I come across something that takes very little effort with HUGE payoff. However, I have found one!

Enter…the micro fiber towel.

Ladies and gents…these things rock! They are a jack-of-all-trades, a true multi-purpose tool, a must-have for your cleaning closet. I am so “over the moon” about these things it’s pathetic.

Here are the ones I use. They’re cheap, people. Seriously cheap. You get a total of 40 cloths,4 different colors of towels, which you can assign to different uses. And they come in pink! Cute, huh? And, yes. I know that they come from a home shopping channel but get past the glitzy fake diamante jewelry and you could be the owner of a true gem!

I use these little babies everywhere. For household helpers they work as dish rags, window cleaners, dust rags, spill-cleaner-uppers, polishing cloths, dirty hands and face wiper-offers. I clean my car with these rags and wipe down my outside furniture. All you have to do is get them damp with plain tap water and they clean just as well as with chemicals. Now, obviously if you have some serious “dirty” going on you might consider adding some bleach to that water but that is clearly between you and yours. I don’t judge.

Okay…so this next suggested use is where it gets a little crazy. I use the micro fiber towels to dry my face and hair after I shower! They feel so much better than the standard old damp towel. And quite honestly, I need the security of knowing that my pink micro fiber towels have been unsullied. Here’s why…in the interest of being eco-friendly, I reuse my bath towels a couple of times before I wash it. I hang it on my shower door where it air dries until my next use. At least, that is my goal. But get this. My husband uses it! He uses my towel instead of getting his own. Some people could be saying, “So? What’s the problem with that? You’re married.” Sorry, but it seriously grosses me out. Kind of like sharing a glass of milk. Just shouldn’t be done.

So, anyway, 9 times out of 10 I get out of the shower, reach blindly for MY towel and it’s damp. Super gross. The last thing I want to do with that sick ol’ damp and dirty towel is to wipe my face with it. So, writhing in disgust, I hurriedly grab for my pink micro fiber towel and gently blot the dampness off my face. And then take a giant sigh of relief at the purity and cleanliness of it all.

Run and get these dandy little babies. You can find them in lots of different places at several price points. I love mine. You will love yours. Get some.

Love to all, Mindy

I love moments like these…part deux.

My daughter, Avery, has borrowed her dad’s iPod while playing outside. I hear her come in and run to her room rifling through her things. I pay it no mind as she does this about forty-seven hundred times throughout any given day. I mean, she’s six. What else does she have to do?

But then she walks by me and the flash of sudden pink gets my attention.

There she stands, pink Mexican cowboy hat, flashy rhinestone-studded fuschia shirt and denim mini skirt. A seemingly different outfit than the one she entered her room wearing.

“Why did you change your clothes?” I ask.

“Because I’m listening to “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.”

Duh, mom.Doesn’t everyone theme their clothes to the song currently playing on the iPod?

She reinserts the earbuds and exits, boots clomping a rhythmical “tat-tat-tat” as she sashays her way back out the front door. I swear I smell Charlie cologne in her wake.

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God I love these moments.

Love to all, Mindy

Unexplained Phenomenon: Dads are Invisible?

Okay…I havea question. I’m almost certain I am NOT the first person to ask this question. In fact, I’m sure this question has come up in many different ways followingall kinds of different scenarios, in turn, brewing anger and resentment. Here it is…

Why…oh….why…are our children only able to see mothers? It’s like they have been biologically pre-programmed to only recognize a maternal figure and are not able to visibly ascertain the physicality of someone of the male persuasion. In turn, there is some defensive mechanism built into the male chemistry disabling themto pay any attention to a kid’s voice. Following me? This is a serious problem, people.

Just the other day my husband and I were in the kitchen; me, cooking; him, standing there. Avery rushes in and says, “Mom.” Now, mind you, I am standing over a food processor (which I have just recently started using and have designated “the coolest machine possible”). I have zucchini and onions and bell peppers flying all over the kitchen (hey, I said I just started using it, not that I’m an expert at it). Jeremy is still…standing there.

Me: “Just a second, honey.”

Avery: “Mom.” “Mom.” “MOM!”

Jeremy: standing there.

Me: “What do you need Avery? I’m kind of busy here.”

Avery: “I need my bike helmet. I can’t find it.”

Me: “You need to wait a minute. I have zucchini juice pooling all over the counter here.”

Jeremy: still standing there.

Avery: “But we are all going on a bike ride and I need it.”

Me: “Honey. Give me a second. I’m working on something here and I need to wash off my hands.

Jeremy: You got it…still standing there.

Suddenly it dawns on me that I am not the only one standing in the kitchen at this present time. I’ve got various vegetables strewn all over the kitchen, my hands are dripping with zucchini juice (and actually starting to sting…what the hell is in this zucchini?). So I say, “Jer.”

Nothing.

“Jer,” I repeat.

Nothing. Has he gone soft in the head?

“Jer!” I repeat, a little louder.

“What?” he answers. This dude has witnessed NONE of the conversation I held with his daughter. He has been standing in the kitchen next to me through the entire thing and missed it all. Jesus.

“Go find Avery’s bike helmet. She needs it.”

He looks at me for a second, like, “who’s Avery?” before he snaps to it and gets moving.

Now, for educational purposes I have done a little Googling of some possibilities for why this phenomenon occurs.

I found nothing.

There is no scientific explanation available for why kids can’t see their dads, and dads don’t hear their kids. This leaves me to conclude…IT’S ALL CRAP and we have no recourse. Momsmake it all happen (with the exception of a very rare breed of dad). Without us our kids would never be wearing socks with their shoes, wouldn’t have drinks with their dinners and would never find their bike helmets. And, somehow, maybe through an innate survival instinct, our kids know this.

Next time we are standing in the kitchen and Avery comes in asking me a question I’m going to pretend I don’ t hear her. I’m curious as to what Jer will do. Maybe he’ll jump to her immediate assistance and prove my theories wrong. My gut feeling…he’ll stand there looking like he’s away in La La Land, I’ll yell athim,he’ll wake up and Avery will look surprised to see him there. Lovely.

Love to all, Mindy

Recipe of the Week – Blackberry Dump Cake

Okay, everyone. Are you a fan of “the dump cake?” Do you know what one is? They are this God-send…this little gift from heaven …to the non-baker out there in Martha Stewart land. They are the answer to “what in the heck am I going to take to that potluck?” You can throw ANYTHING into a dump cake. Seriously. Apples, pears, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, what-have-you. I used blackberries because my husband got all “let’s spend some family time, get on our bikes and go pick blackberries” on me. My bike-seat butt muscles were sore for 2 days. Bleh.

And here’s the best part…there are like 6 ingredients involved. You dump everything into the bottom of a casserole dish, throw ”˜er in the oven and waa laa!! You have a heavenly dessert, a little lovin’ from the oven. Try it y’all. And, please, for all that is Holy, don’t play around with the idea of making your own cake mix or something stupid like that. It’s supposed to be simple. Any variation to the ease of this recipe makes it complicated and therefore represents a veritable spit in the face of those of us who are proud of our dump cakes. And that’s just rude. Try it.

(P.S. It smells awesome!!!)

(P.P.S. It has oatmeal in it (and fresh berries) so I’m pretty sure it would count as a health food.)

Blackberry Dump Cake

  • (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, melted (can also use cold butter shavings)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Mix your berries, sugar and cinnamon together and spread in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

3 Sprinkle dry cake mix and rolled oats over the top of berry mixture.

4 Pour melted butter over the cake/oats mix, make sure you cover evenly. (Melted butter will absorb into the dry cake mix. Do not stir! If you use cold butter shavings, scatter over the top of dry cake mix trying to cover evenly)

5 Bake 30 minutes or until top is golden and berries are bubbling. You can serve this with ice cream, whipped cream or cool whip.

Yummy, yummy.

Suggestions please…How to Keep a Little Boy Busy

So yesterday I posted about how utterly relieved I am that school is starting soon. I still feel that way. Definitely. But I have another problem that public education is not going to solve for me. I touched on it briefly yesterday but I actually pondered this dilemma in detail while lying in bed last night (after watching “The Nanny” reruns, of course).

I’m getting rid of one. Sure. But what in the heck am I supposed to do with the other one?

School bus shows up and whisks my first grader away…like magic. Poof. She’s gone, under someone else’s tutelage for almost 7 hours. But I’m still left with the other one. See? I have to actually italicize the word, it’s so powerful.

I’ve been asking everyone I come into contact with, what do I do with the little guy? How do I keep him busy for 7 hours? Now, granted…as long as the stars are aligned and Santa reads my Christmas list…Jack SHOULD be taking a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon so that kills almost a third of my time alone with him. But what about the rest of the day, say, between 7:30a.m. and 1:00p.m.?

I shared my concerns with my husband the other day. These are his suggestions. “Take him to the park. He loves to play at the park. You should maybe take him on some walks or riding his scooter. He loves that.” I sat there, listening to his suggestions, outwardly agreeing with him but inwardly saying “Oh, yeah. Right. I’ll get right on that.”

You see, the problem is…confession time here…I’m not one of those “fun” moms. You know the type. Let me try and define it for you.

Fun Moms: Task-oriented maternal figure with an ultimate goal to provide both an educational and enjoyable experience for her children despite any discomfort or inconvenience to her day.

Me: The exact opposite.

Fun moms are the ones sitting in the middle of the mall at the kiddie play center watching, with pure delight written all over their perky faces, as their children socially interact with other children. Or, they’re the ones who schedule weekly sessions at the make-your-own pottery place focusing on enhancing their child’s creative tendencies.

They are not typically the ones feigning a “vision-debilitating headache” to avoid playing Barbie or Transformers. Or the ones who take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese because they can spend a blissful 75 minutes gossiping with their friends while ignoring the screams of 200 miscellaneous children and relying too much on the Kid Check Program to keep their kids safely inside the building.

Disclaimer: Sometimes I get a wild hair and morph into a fun mom…play makeover with Avery or build towers with Jack. However, these rare and unique occurrences are too far and few between to rely on with any amount of certainty that they will take place recurrently.

So, what do I do with a highly energized little man who will be demanding my every spare second?

I haven’t figured it out yet but I’m quickly running out of time. I guess there’s always Chuck E. Cheese. Did you know they serve beer there?

Love to all, Mindy