Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How to Keep Your Cubicle Clean: 5 Tips for a Tidy Desk

Let's be real: The 9 to 5 grind is tough! Having a dirty desk makes it even tougher. That's why it's crucial to make your cubicle, desk, register area, or whatever work space you use as joyful, comfortable, and calming as possible. This means keeping it cute, clean, and organized. Here are my top five tips for a tidy desk and cubicle.

Always use a coaster under your mug. Coffee rings are gross and can be hard to remove.

Stop eating at your desk. Okay, I realize this is impossible. Honestly, I probably eat something at my desk every day but I try to keep it at a minimum and at least get up for meals. Less desk dining means less cleaning up. It also means you'll be healthier due to less mindless snacking and getting more steps in to walk to a break room or cafeteria to eat lunch.

Pick a color story to make things look more cohesive and tidy.

Keep only the most useful and joy-sparking items in your work space. Everything in and around your desk should be serving your productivity. What's useful and joy-sparking depends on your job, your unique values, and your personal style. Think about what makes you most productive when deciding what to keep, replace, or toss.
  • Keep important memos, manuals, and notes in a binder and/or in store in a incline vertical file sorter with decorative file folders.
  • Keep your favorite photos of your family and pets. Use magnets and frames to display them vertically.
  • Replace your boring stapler and tape dispenser with a stylish set, like this rose gold one
  • Toss things that are literally trash like used disposable coffee cups and pens that don't work.
  • Toss things that are obsolete like printed office memos from last week and manuals for programs you are no longer using.
  • Keep items that you need but don't use repetitively throughout the day in desk drawers and on the shelves under your desk. Use small bins, hanging files, and (my favorite) up-cycled copy paper boxes and salad greens containers to keep storage organized.

Friday, December 6, 2019

How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Mugs [Video]

Wanna refresh your coffee and tea stained mugs quickly and naturally?

It took me less than a minute to take this mug from "Yuck" to "Yes" using baking soda and water.

First, I sprinkled some baking soda inside the mug and added a few drops of water to make a paste. The baking soda to ratio water I used was probably 1:1, so about 1/2 Tbs baking soda and the same amount of water. It's best to start off with less water then add more as needed.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Best Way to Get Fuzz Off a Sweater [Gleener Review]

Seven years ago, I showed you guys how to remove balls of fuzz and lint from a sweater using a pumice stone. It's gets the job done but I notice it takes off a lot of yarn and leaves a wispy halo of upset fabric on the garment. For this reason, I have been hesitant to use this method frequently.

I was excited to discover Gleener de-piller at Vogue Knitting Live. It's (self-) described as the "The Ultimate Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover". Ok, "excited" might be an exaggeration, as I was a little put off by the $20 price tag. Gleener is a plastic hand-held tool that has a fabric shaver on one end and a lint brush on the other. Should a hunk of plastic cost $20?

Months later I looked (like really, looked) at a beloved cable knit sweater. It was truly natty and unwearable but thought of dragging a crude pumice stone across this precious object made me anxious. A few days after that, deep in the bowels of my accessory drawer, I found an expensive hand-knit scarf covered in huge, disgusting fuzz balls. I hadn't worn it in years, probably because it was so gross. The Universe was telling me to invest in Gleener so that I could enjoy the nice things I already had, which is basically like saving money. I ordered a deluxe set that came with replacement "edges" (shavers) and a cute travel case.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Is It Worth Buying a Roomba or Ecovacs Deebot? [Review]

I love my Miele Compact Canister Vacuum. It's easy to move around. It sucks up practically every manner of debris and species of dust bunny thanks to its wonderful suction and various attachments. I can break it down into three parts for easy storage in my crowded closet. I've had my Miele for almost ten years and view it as one of the wisest purchases I've made. Whenever I go to someone's home and see they also have a Miele, I know we belong to the same tribe to savvy clean enthusiasts.

Yes, the Miele vacuum is amazing but there is one thing it can't do: It can't turn itself on and vacuum. This is why even if you have a fancypants vacuum that you love, you probably want a Roomba. But should you buy one?

Sadly, I don't have a Roomba so I can't advise if you should buy one. However, I was gifted an Ecovacs Deebot a few years ago. Ecovacs Deebot is an alternative brand of robotic vacuum that cost half the price of a Roomba. Deebots have a 4-star rating on Amazon just like Roombas too.

Should you buy a Deebot? Eh, depends.

If it's important for you to have your floor vacuumed and you can't/won't do it but a housecleaner isn't in your budget, then you should absolutely get yourself a Deebot. If that's not your only concern, here are a few things you should know before investing in a robot vacuum.

You have to do a lot of prep work to make it safe for the Deebot to vacuum. You have to pick up any cords that the Deebot could get tangled in. You may have to move furniture like chairs that Deebot could get stuck between the legs of. You must make sure there's nothing on the floor that is valuable and can be knocked over or sucked up. You've got to pick up the pet dishes so Deebot doesn't crash into them and make a mess. You absolutely need to make sure that one of your pets hasn't pooped, peed, or vomited, otherwise the robot could spread the mess all over the floor.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

10 Things You Need After a Hysterectomy

I had an abdominal hysterectomy on Valentine's Day. The recovery time for the surgery is six weeks consisting of a few nights in the hospital and then resting at home. I wasn't in much pain by the time I left the hospital, but I couldn't just go back to life as usual. Here are a few things that helped me feel more comfortable during recovery from surgery.

Maternity Panties: Your tummy is going to swell a lot. Plus, I found that the elastic waistband of my normal bikini briefs hit exactly at the incision spot, making them impossible to wear. Ask your nurse to hook you up with extra pairs of the mesh maternity panties before you are discharged. (You can also buy more mesh panties on Amazon.) They expand to accommodate the swelling and are incredibly comfortable.

Modeling mesh maternity panties during my second night at the hospital.

Pill box: At times, you may not feel very clear headed so you or a family member will need to prep your pain meds so that you avoid overdose. I used four sandwich baggies and labelled each with the time I was supposed to take the dosage it contained. If you need something child and pet proof, this 7 day, 4 times a day pill box seems perfect. You could also cram the baggies of meds in one child-proof pill bottle which you can probably get for free from your friendly pharmacist.

Pantyliners: These come in handy when experiencing light spotting and when confronted with the reality that you are moving slowly and can't make it to the restroom as quickly you could before surgery. Seventh Generation Pantiliners are a good choice since they're made without fragrances, deodorants, or chlorine processing.

Laxative: Anesthetics, pain relief meds, and not being able to walk much will constipate you. I've been drinking a cup of Traditional Medicinals Organic Smooth Move Tea each night before bed to get back on track. Small smoothies with greens and flax seeds (or a half scoop of fiber-rich vegan protein powder) thrown in are also really helpful, as are prunes.

Water bottle: It's important to stay hydrated when healing. Once I woke up from a nap and saw my cat Lucy drinking out of my water glass, I realized it was also important to use something with a lid. I love using this tumbler because the straw makes it easy to drink while reclining.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Is hard work bad for your health?

I recently watched the first episode of 30 Days, a program by Morgan Spurlock (the guy who made Super Size Me). In that episode Morgan and his fiancĂ©e Alex lived the life of folks who earn minimum wage for a month. Between the two of them, they had three full time jobs as unskilled laborers, yet they barely earned enough to both buy groceries and pay rent for an unfurnished, ant infested apartment in a former crack den. Not only were they needy for material goods, their physical health and relationship suffered.

Morgan Spurlock clocks in (via 30 Days: Minimum Wage)
This got me wondering: Is hard work bad for you? In this case, it was certainly not benefiting Morgan and Alex's lives. They were indisputably working hard but had a standard of life that begs one to question if a stay in prison might be better. At least there they'd be assured three meals and health care.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

How to Fix a Ceramic Kettle or Teapot with Nontoxic Glue

My husband gifted me the loveliest electric ceramic tea kettle for my birthday. Less than a month later, the spout-- along with my heart-- broke when I swung it into our countertop in a moment of absentmindedness.

The thought of tossing this fancy new kettle into a dumpster made me sad, while the thought of drinking tea made with hot water that passed through a spout covered in potentially toxic glue gave me the heebee geebees. Determined to repair it safely, I did some research to find a glue that:

  • wouldn't poison me when it leached into water as it passed through the spout 
  • would create a bond that could handle the heat of boiling water
  • would create a waterproof seal

In short, I needed strong, durable, nontoxic and food-safe glue.

I found DAP 00688 Household Waterproof Adhesive Sealant. It's a 100% silicone glue that is food grade and costs less than $5.

I followed these simple instructions.


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