25 March 2009

Spring Cleaning

For the last few days i've had a real blitz through-out the house.  I've still got a long way to go; Things like cleaning the blinds and skirting boards and sorting out every nook and cranny of the kids rooms.  But here's some helpful tips and advice for those of you also starting with the Sping Cleaning.

Enjoy *smiles*

Great Cleaning tips

When you dust, start at the top and work down.
Take all your cleaning tools, avoid unnecessary trips back and forth.
Clean as you go! It takes a lot less time to remove new dirt than old.
Leave baking soda on carpeting over night will absorb musty odors
Make a checklist of chores to get organized first.
Wash walls from the bottom up, to avoid streaking.
Use old socks as mitts for cleaning difficult wood work.
Wash small knickknacks instead of dusting.
To removing heel marks , take pencil eraser and rub them off.
Don't mix cleaning products. Ammonia and bleach are toxic.
Remember common cleaners such as windex and comet meet this don't do rule.
Allowing cleaners to set for several minutes will ease the cleaning job.
Interior Walls

Wall cleaner, mix 1/2 c. ammonia, 1/4 c. white vinegar, and 1/4 c. baking soda to 1 gal. warm water.
For cleaning textured walls use nylon socks instead of a sponge or cloth to avoid leaving material chunks behind.
To dust wall paper, tie a dustcloth over your broom and work from the top down.
To remove pencil marks & other non-greasy spots from non-washable papers, use an art-gum eraser .
To remove greasy spots or crayon, apply a paste of cleaning fluid and fuller's earth and cornstarch. Let the wall dry and brush off residue. Repeat the treatment until the spot is gone.
Exterior Walls

Use a water hose to spray the outside of your house. This will remove siding cobwebsand dirt.
Textured siding ? Attach a car-washing brush to the hose to remove dirt.

Make your own spray cleaner. Fill a spray bottle with 3 tablesoopns ammonia, 1 tablespoon vinegar & the remainder with water.
Dust blinds by wrapping a cloth around a ruler. Spray cloth with a dusting spray and run the flat end across each blind.
Shine windows using old newspaper.
Clean windows on an average temperature, preferably overcast day to avoid streaks.
Dry windows outside in one direction then inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know which side is the ofender.
To clean window sills, pour diluted rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the entire surface.Then dust off the sill with a clean cloth.

Rubbing alcohol can remove the dull haze from mirrors.
Use rubbing alcohol to remove spots from bathroom fixtures.
Glass shower doors will sparkle if cleaned with white vinegar.
To clean the shower, use a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda added to one gallon of warm water.
Lemon furniture oil will remove water spots on metal frames.
Rusty tile marks can be removed with kerosene.
Running the shower on hot for five minutes will steam the dirt loose.
Grout need cleaning? Wash with 2 tablespoons chlorine bleach in one quart of water. Dry thoroughly, then apply several coats of lemon oil. Let dry one hour between coats.
Dull walls will shine when washed with vinegar and waterand plished with a dry cloth.
Lighter fluid will remove most stains from porcelain sinks and bathtubs.
Kitchen See Kitchen 101

Pour club soda on counter and clean with a soft cloth, rinse with water then wipe dry.
Baking soda or club soda will clean and shine stainless steel sinks easily.
Remove stubborn water spots from a stainless sink with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
Spots on stainless steel also can be removed with vinegar.
Rub stainless steel sinks with lighter fluid if rusty .
For a sparkling white porcelain sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Let sit for 8 hour & rinse. Never use bleach in colored sinks.

An open box of baking soda will absorb odors for a month or so.
A few drops vanilla extract on a piece of cotton placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
Wipe refrigerator with vinegar to prevent mildew.
Use your vacuum on the front of the coils and motor to remove dust and dirt

Stop yellowing of white appliances. Mix 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup baking soda and 4 cups of warm water. Apply with a sponge and let set for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Wax large appliances with car wax to make them shine and to remove small scratches.
Wood Floors

Floor cleaner is a solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Damp mop with a mop squeezed nearly dry. It is safer to mist the mop with the cleaner than to apply to floor. Do a section at a time and throw an old towel on the floor and scoot back and forth with foot to dry and prevent streaks. Standing liquid from mopping, spills, and pet accidents can damage floors.
The greatest damage done to wood floors is from grit. Mats at doors are necessary to collect grit and it's important to keep these clean. Frequent dust mopping in high traffic areas to collect grit is the best prevention. This should be done based on the amount of traffic, which may require dust mopping several times a day in an active household. The brush attachment of a vacuum can be used (no beater bars). Felt and furniture protectors should be installed on furniture. Never scoot furniture on wood.
Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.
Use a paper bag over spilled candle wax then lightly iron
Removin Stains
Water Stains
Rub the spot with No. 2 steel wood and rewax. For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax.
Cigarette Burns
If not severe, the burn can be removed by rubbing with steel wool moistened with soap and water.
Heel and Caster Marks
Rub vigorously with fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.
Ink Stains and Other Dark Spots
Use No. 2 steel wool and floor cleaner to clean the spot and surrounding area. Thoroughly wash the affected area. If the spot remains, sand with fine sandpaper, re-wax and polish. Stubborn stains may require that you replace the affected area.
Chewing Gum and Wax Deposits
Ice until the deposit is brittle and crumbles off. Pour floor cleaner around the stain so the fluid soaks under and loosens it.
Alcohol Spots
Rub the spot with liquid or paste wax
Vinyl Floors

Sweep then damp mop using a gallon of water and a dash of dishwashing detergent.
No-wax floors eventually need waxing, this will help to prevent further deterioration.
Cleaning Carpets

To clean dry spots, loosen soil and vacuum away prior to moistening it.
When taking out stains, always use a white cloth.
Wax dropped on carpet or upholstery? Set a clean, absorbent cloth over the wax stain and hold a hot iron on it. Then remove the cloth.
Coat mildly greasy stains with aerosol shaving cream, use a hair dryer to speed dry. Then vacuum.
Sprinkle a greasy stain with baking soda, cornstarch or talcum powder. Leave on at least 8 hours, then vacuum.
Did you know that Bounce, the stuff you use in the dryer has many cleaning uses?

Eliminates static electricity from your television screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
Dissolves soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a used sheet of Bounce.
Freshens the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang one in the closet.
Prevents thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce to eliminate the static cling on the thread before sewing.
Eliminates static cling from pantyhose. Rub a damp, used sheet of Bounce over the hose.
Prevents musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.
Freshens the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
Cleans baked-on food from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in the pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agents apparently weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.
Eliminates odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
Collects cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
Eliminates static electricity from venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resetting.
Deodorizes shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight so they'll smell great in the morning.

For heavier stains on marble, take three or four cakes of Ivory soap, cut them up and dissolve in hot water until you have a "slurry." Paint this on the marble and let it sit for five days or so. If the gunk starts to dry during that time, wet it down. At the end of the period, wash it all off.
To remove lighter stains, sprinkle salt on a fresh cut lemon. Rub very lightly over stain. Do not rub hard or you will ruin the polished surface. Wash off with soap and water. 
More Handy Hints
Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife
under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. 

Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat
and you can write on the roll to what appliance it belongs. 

For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn
dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't

Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in
baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is)! 

Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE)!
rubbing alcohol on paper towel. 

Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of
scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw
away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would
be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S pads last me
indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened
this way! 

Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen
peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works
every time! Now, where to put the body? 

Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for
inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. 
Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash
windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably

Spray a bit of perfume on the lightbulb in any room to create a lovely
light scent in each room when the light is turned on. 

Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will
smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels
and linen. 

Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3
hours prior to burning. 

To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the
flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt
and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm! 

To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or
two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a
boil on stovetop. 

Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in
tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains. 

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will
keep for weeks. 

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the
corn's natural sweetness. 

Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your
forehead. The throbbing will go away. 

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future
use in casseroles and sauces. 

To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area And
you will experience instant relief. 

Ants, ants, ants everywhere . . . Well, they are said to never cross a
chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or
wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself. 

Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still,
leaves a lovely smell to the shine. 
===================================== ===========

When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to
tweezers or a needle Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then
pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily. 

Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two
Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric
acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China. 

Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet,
fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets. 

Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and
immerse the jewelry for two minutes. 

Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka
Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary). 

Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer
Tablets down the drain followed by a cup of White Vinegar. Wait a few
minutes, then run the hot! water.

5 March 2009

What's that smell In the air?

Ok.. This is it... I can't hold back on my excitement any longer. 


Nobody can deny how refreshing the colourful buds of flowers are after a long and miserable winter.  Even in the rain, the smell of the air on a spring morning is one to cherish.  
So away with the dull colours and out with the light and bright!  Mix patterns of floral design with bright stripes and ginghams.  Never is there a season that welcomes the aged, worn look of chic-shabbiness better than Spring

I hope you enjoy this little collection of images i've found and uploaded for your inspirational needs.  It's been some time since i provided them, and i forgot how much i missed searching for them.

Happy Spring Bloggers!

7 February 2009

Something for you to read...

So as you know, i was lost in the virtual world of Second Life for quite some time... I became so absorbed, i lost my real life self and struggled to do pretty much anything else online..  And sadly i neglected All Things Shabby Chic.  
I uninstalled and deleted Second Life (for the saviour of my mind) and have decided to put that energy into writing a short novel based on the experiences and lessons learned there.  
This place, for those of you who never found it, was a surreal and enhanced way to live any life you could imagine.  At some points it was to be noted and reminded that there were real people with real feelings on the other side, but the roleplaying was sometimes so real that you only had concern for the character and not the controller.
I've decided to keep my story on Blogger, and would love it if you would all check it out.
It may just be a game, but to me, it gave me some sense of who i am and what directions in life i want to take.  So despite leaving me with insomnia and a lack of social life, i enjoyed the last 4/5 months more than i'd like to admit and met some of the most incredible people i'll ever know.

18 January 2009

Say What? AN UPDATE?

... *pokes her head around the corner* ...

Hi hi.. I'm here *waves* Sorry it's been such a long time since i updated.  I got sucked into Second Life and all other online activity came to a stop.. I feel terrible for being so neglectful.  I suddenly thought that some may start to worry why i hadn't made an appearance for such a time.  

It's been a real low few months for me.  I've been sucked into hibernation.  My last house project was back in the summer and my precious carpet now has ketchup stains.  I stepped into Laura Ashley just after Xmas to spend my new gift card.. And i stepped straight back out.  I lost the buzz and i blame this grotty weather.  However i'm awaking from this 'coma' and feel all ready to start planning for Spring.  YES.. I am eager for winter to end *sighs*

Let me know what you have all been up to, although i am on a major blog catch up right now.. I've missed you all so much.  I've missed the new ideas and the excitement and everything else that goes into the passion of making home the absolute expression of all of you wonderful people.

*Hugs all around*


10 October 2008

Blog Give-Away Winner... and update

Just a quick post, to let you know the winner of my blog giveaway has been drawn.  (Drawn by my lovely husband)

*Drum Roll*

And the dear blogger to win is, Claire, over at Serendipity Loves New York.

Thank you all for taking part,
Lea xx

{Insert ramblings.... } 
May i also just say a big thank you to Sian for my bag, and let her know i'll sort payment out this week... An updated blog of my bag and lavender bag to follow as soon as broadband is set up...

{Insert More Ramblings..}
We got our phone line at long last... BT decided that we didn't actually need to pay £150 deposit.  So phone line will be connected and live on Monday 13th October... Our 1st year marriage anniversary hehehe... 

4 October 2008

Short Good-Bye

Hello, just to let you know, i won't be updating until the end of the month.  Since moving here, we had to cancel our BT line, therefore losing broadband.  So i was delighted to discover mobile broadband.  But unfortunately i only get 3GB usage a month, and having downloaded multiplayer programme, 'Second Life', i used it all up lol.  

The draw for my layout giveaway is being done tomorrow, and i will work on that for the winner, but that is all until the new monthly usage starts.

I am trying to get a BT line again, however the £130 connection fee is terrible, but the fact they also want £150 deposit is even worse.  We simply can not afford it at this time, and im very upset with them.

Enjoy October, and catch up with you all as soon as possible xx

29 September 2008

French Chic

There is no denying that when it came to style, France got it right.  I would like to tell you more about it, but i've been researching now for 3 hours and it's coming up close to 1am.  So i cheated and copied and pasted a very brief description.

Along with Milan and New York, Paris is sometimes called the "fashion capital of the world". The association of France with fashion (Frenchla mode) dates largely to the reign of Louis XIV [26] when the luxury goods industries in France came increasingly under royal control and the French royal court became, arguably, the arbiter of taste and style in Europe.

The most beautiful movie i have ever seen is with no doubts, Marie Antionette.  The palace alone was fascinating to see on screen.  My husband has been there.  I'm incredibly jealous, but he has promised to take me for our anniversary next year.
Her gowns, shoes, fans, furniture, friends and lifestyle was so glamourous.  The colours so rich and full that i almost felt i could reach out and feel the texture of their clothes.

I have tried to capture a french feel in my home, but i have a long way to go.  I found a shop on eBay though this evening,  and i got incredibly excited over the cheap prices.

The above two imagesa are previews of what they sell.  Incredibly stunning.

French Furniture Inspiration

28 September 2008

Autumn Ideas

Autumn is my favourite season.  I love the warm colours, the sweet scent in the air and the cosy feel of the heating being put on after summer.  I was looking for some ideas for decorating the home, because why only decorate at Christmas?

Perfect for your outside areas... I could sit there and read all day.

Use pumpkins to decorate vases and ornaments.

This wreath is so beautiful, and hung on your front door, it will give visitors a warm welcome.

Perfect table decorations for dinner parties and romantic nights in.

A nice way to decorate your side units and hall tables.

Have fun with decorating champagne flutes and wine glasses.  Or why not your coffee and tea cups?

Great for mantle pieces.

Use vintage style tins and boxes to display rich coloured bouquets, indoors or outdoors.

Luxury Autumn Themed Interiors... 

By the way, thank you ladies for your input on what sort of style to go for with my Daughter's bedroom.  I think the second from last image was the winner, and we will be using that for inspiration :)

Lea xx