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Monday, August 1, 2011

part II: "house things" I can't live without...

I am so happy to have introduced so many of you to screw-in dimmers and plastic wedges!!  You will love them!   I thought of a few more favorites, so I decided to take it to a complete 20 House Things I can't live without! 

And at the end is a bonus-  my much older sister ;) Susan's tutorial on how to make the net dish washing balls that many of you requested!
(If you missed the first ten click here!)

More "House Things" I can't live without:

11.  Miele Vacuums
I have one upstairs and one downstairs, and am contemplating one for the barn room!  I have owned my first Miele for about 11 years.   I've always had hardwood floors, so I never use the rug attachment.  I purchase their natural bristle brush attachment for the floors.  I go into withdrawals when the vacuum has to go in for it's annual check up;) I love canister vacuums and these have HEPA filters and a telescopic/extension arm to adjust for your height.

12. Hi/Low/Off Lamp Switch
I use these on all of the small lamps around the house.  They can also be especially useful on "pairs" of lamps when you want both lamps to be dimmed exactly the same.  You can find these in on/off only (they look just alike so make sure you are getting the ones you want), but we always use the hi/low/off version.  They are easy to add to an existing lamp- you just have to get over the fear of cutting the wire (unplugged of course!)  As seen in this photo,  I even have these hi/low/off switches on a pair of lamps with three-way bulbs-  admittedly that can be a bit confusing!
Check you local lamp shop, or here.

13.  Cloth Napkins
I love napkins.  Have a wee-bit of an obsession with napkins!
I haven't purchased paper napkins in probably twenty years!  It is always so nice to sit down to cloth napkins no matter if it is a sandwich or for dinner!  I purchase some for everyday use and just take them out of the dryer and fold, others are for special dinners and I iron them. 
My favorite sources are Crate and Barrel Outlet and Home Goods.
These are just two of my napkin drawers;)  The drawer on the left are for Fall/Winter and the drawer on the right for Spring/Summer!

14.  Ikea Tealights
 I love lighting candles each night- in the kitchen I light candles every night; some nights I light candles in the living room and the bedrooms, so I buy 5-6 packages of these tea lights whenever we go to Ikea! (my closest Ikea is a hour and a half away)    And, while I love the convenience of tea lights in opaque candle holders, I was always told ;) that you should use real candles when you can actually "see" the candle (i.e. in clear/see-thru glass candle holders), especially at dinner parties-   you too?!

15. Naked White Sponges
I'm a sponge girl (to sanitize pop in the microwave for two minutes each/every other day), so when I found these white sponges by Twist I was sooo happy!  (yes, sponges can make me happy!)  Nothing worse than a hot neon pink sponge in my white sink!
I find these at organic grocery stores.

16.  Level
Use those levels people!!  I actually have a very "level eye"-  9.5 times out of ten I can level a painting without using a level.  This is not necessarily a good thing to have in the real world as I always notice when something is unlevel, and it can make me crazy (er;).  Dan learned a long time ago not to bet me when I said something wasn't level;)  The vintage red metal level on the bottom was a gift from my sweet nephew, Forest!

17.  Wax Paper Sheets
(These take me back to elementary school when my mother would put my sandwiches in wax bags, do you remember those?!   I have a box of those wax bags from the 1980's that I have used sparingly over the years, so was thrilled to find unbleached wax paper bags at the organic grocery store!)
  These are wax paper sheets that I wrap sandwiches, vegetables, cheese, cookies, well... anything!  They remind me of being in France where they beautifully wrap all your patisseries in paper, and everything feels so special!  I also use these instead of plastic wrap to cover dishes in the microwave, just tucking under whatever you are cooking. 
Purchased at Costco.

18.  Measuring Tape with Increment Markings
I hate having to count the little lines!!  This measuring tape has labeled increments marked (i.e.  3/8,  7/8, etc.)   I have one upstairs and one downstairs, and Dan knows 'don't mess with my tapes'!!  (he has his own army of tapes which somehow always go missing... ." 
I found this one at Lowes.

19.  Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
I discovered Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt from my friend Ina (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!!)  I use it in and on everything that requires salt.  I use it teaspoon for teaspoon in cooking and baking.  
Interesting facts regarding sodium per 1/4 teaspoon in the following brands:
 Diamond Crystal kosher salt = 280 mg
Morton kosher salt = 480 mg
La Baleine sea salt = 580 mg
Master Kalas sea salt = 420 mg
Celtic Fine Gray Sea Salt (unrefined) = 460 mg
Morton table salt = 590 mg

An explanation for the different sodium levels from Smitten Kitchen.

20.  Household Cleaners:

Vinegar and baking soda
We are on a septic system here, so I have to be very careful about what I put into the system.  Vinegar is really amazing- for some interesting information go here!

I love this Liquid Dish Soap from Costco.  Works great,  great citrus smell (and I don't do fragrances), and is biodegradable.  I put it in a smaller container for keeping under the sink.

For stainless I love Stainless Steel Magic.  I have tried many brands over the years and this is my favorite.  The technique I use is to wet a sponge, squeeze out excess water, and then apply SSM to the sponge and wipe on your stainless surfaces.  Let dry for a few minutes and then remove with a microfiber cloth (be sure the cloth does not have stitching on it which could scratch the stainless.)
For nickel silver I love Flitz Metal Polish.
For general cleaning of our hotel silver and sterling silver pieces I use Wright's Silver Polish (paste formula.)

Several of you mentioned Invisible Glass in the last list, and I love it too!  I find you really need to buff it to dry to get the best results, but it does a wonderful cleaning job.


much-older-sister Susan's tutorial on
How to make Dish Washing Nets :

"This is an old Heloise tip from years ago that I have modified because I HATE to get the sewing machine out. I use rubber bands instead of sewing and it works great! My way is easy and not as time consuming as the sewn version.

Use nylon netting that you use for making a ballerina tutu NOT bridal veil netting (way to soft). The stiffer the net the better! I use nylon net balls in the kitchen and bathrooms. I literally could not keep house without them!! Wal-Mart's fabric department (or any fabric store) has the net in different colors, by the yard and is very cheap. I usually get about ten yards to keep on hand. I like white because I am always using Clorox.

Get the person at the fabric store to wrap the netting around an empty cardboard board spine (the cardboard that the net is wrapped around originally at the store). Wrap just like it appears at the store. Wrap tightly and as flat as possible without wrinkles if you can.

When you get home-

1. Place net on flat surface.

2. Unwrap lengthwise about 32-34 inches and cut horizontally.

3. Cut again lengthwise into three equal pieces and lay on top of each other.  There will probably be twelve layers. Some layers are folded because that is the way the net was originally wrapped on the cardboard.

4. Starting at one end gather the center, and gather all the way to the other

5. Wrap a heavy duty rubber band around middle of gathered net so that it
looks like a bow tie. Wrap rubber band around three times so that it tightly holds the netting.

6. Cut edges over waste paper basket to make even (this also cuts some of
the folded netting to be single layers).

7. Peel each layer of net on one side toward rubber band center. Peel other
side.  End result should look like a puffy ball.

8. Cut around ball again to look better and VOILA!!

These are easy and super cheap! They're just time consuming if you are making a lot
like I do for friends and sisters that whine -  'would you make me some more net balls? I don't know howwww.' :) "

Thanks Susan! 

(And, for the record.... I only whine a little!)

p.s.  I have Dan and Ella working on their list :)


  1. Love all of these tips!! Thank you so much. Now I must make some net balls!!


    Art by Karena

  2. Tuesday Morning has great napkins too!

  3. Hi Joan,
    Love this series! What model Miele do you have? I was looking at the Neptune. I have seen some reviews that say the suction is great for Mieles, but the cord is extremely short and the bags are small and fill quickly. I have hardwood floors throughout my house except to for the kitchen and bathrooms with some area rugs. Do you find the cord short and the bags small?

    PS When do we get to see pics of all the plants from your post on the plant filled car?

  4. Love this list and use many of the same things. Did you know that you can polish silver flatware with toothpaste? That way when you are eating none of that metallic taste is ever there. I use Haverty's polish for everything else silver.
    xoxo Dianne

  5. You mentioning Miele makes me miss mine terribly. Had the black one with a Dale Ernhardt no 3 sticker on it. When the suction was getting weaker and I decided to go with a stronger Kirby they took my Miele away. Almost stopped the deal. It followed so well, nice weight and cleaned well for quite a few years. Enjoy your lists.

  6. I love IKEA tealights! Just the other day my husband was like, "hey, where are those tea candles? I need a couple of tea candles." Too cute. Your lists are perfection.

    ♥ sécia

  7. I agree with you about cloth napkins. We each have our own and use it several days unless we have some really messy. I even take one in my lunch kit to work. Gotta ribbed at about it but find it hard to eat without it. Love your lists! Thanks.

  8. endicottbee- My original Miele is a 'Red Star' and most recently the 'Polaris'. I don't find the bags to fill up quickly, but do agree that the cords could be longer;) Regarding the p.s..... soon- still working on that bed!

    Dianne- I have not heard that about the toothpaste (but have heard you can clean jewelry with toothpaste;) I always wash everything with dish soap after cleaning!

    Buttonchief- you added a No.3 to your Miele?!! Now, that's a DE fan! too funny!

  9. Napkins! Wright's cream! You would have so much fun going through my cloth napking drawer. I just bought 10 Christmas ones last week. Rose Tree, clearance store... .75 cents each! Yay me!

  10. Another great list Joan! I wrote down the stainless steal cleaner (I desperately need that!), wax paper (LOVE THAT), and the light switches. I can't wait to try them all! Also, had to laugh when I saw your cloth napkin drawer - I have one too! I so miss stopping into Home Goods - they always have some great ones.


  11. I love cloth napkins and even put them in my kids' lunch boxes. I also prefer dish towels and never buy paper towels. For the wax paper squares check out Nashville Wraps. I order glassine bags from them, as well as compostable real cellophane bags. They are a great company, very helpful, and many of their products are made in the US. Thanks for sharing! Jenn

  12. I love this second list of favorites too. Especially # 17 - the wax paper sheets. There is a Costco opening in the city this fall and I will definitly be looking for them. Thanks for sharing your faves!

  13. yay more favorites! i've been on an endless search for good stainless cleaner. i have a few but they aren't quite perfect. i'll have to try that one out.
    thanks joan! so much fun!


  14. Been a little distracted getting ready for a new grand babe so I missed out on items 1-10.

    I am smitten with my vacuum cleaner too but it is central vac. Had a rainbow at our first house but opted for central here. I like not having to tote the canister just not sure if a 20’ hose is any less weight.

    We use cloth napkins here. I have made everyday napkins from flour sack towels. If we can do things without using disposable we do. And no paper in the world compares to cloth. When our children were younger their friends ask if we were “rich” because we used cloth napkins and real dishes at meals. My husband over heard our son telling his buddies “no they are just too cheap to buy paper!” We chepos also use cloth placemats and white linen tablecloths, I'm just sayin.

    Ikea tea lights, Kosher salt and Vinegar/baking soda – could we be twins separated at birth?
    I wash our wood floors with vinegar and water only. Smells like we were pickling vats full of stuff for about an hour but then it’s gone. I use baking soda instead of cleanser. I have trouble with bleach and the soda is just gentler on my skin and our sinks. Use the Morton Kosher salt here – we receive tons of coupons for Diamond Kosher salt but I’ve yet to find it in our area but now that I see the difference in sodium YOWZA I need to find the Diamond brand.

    To my knowledge they are still selling the wax paper sandwich bags down here. I think Cute-rite makes them. We last purchased them when our kids had a sledding party about 10 years ago. The kids would put a wax bag over each glove and “wax” they sled runners for speed.

    Where might I find the Flitz nickel polish? Our son has a family passed down enamel and nickel cook stove and the Flitz might be great to clean the nickel skirting.

    The older I get the more my desire to move north grows stonger. While our friends are mostly talking about Florida, my heart yearns for the north. I still say the best kept secrets are in New England!

  15. Another great list!!!! We have a built in vacuum system so I just have an upright for the bedrooms, since only they ahve carpeting. The beater bar attachment stays downstairs because that is all carpeted. Love the waxed papers! Our lights are all on a system that my hubby installed: they come on and off at different times etc. He loves doing stuff like that:):) I ahve A.L.O.T of napkins!!!!!!!! TOns. I only use paper when it is just Joe and I at dinner. Thanks for all these tips! XO, Pinky

  16. Love your list!! We also can't live without our level...especially now that we're hanging all over the house! I looked for lamp dimmers at Lowes today and couldn't find them. :( Will try Home Depot. Have you tried Pledge to clean stainless? I've found it's not as greasy as stainless cleaners. Thanks for sharing! I hope to get back into blogging soon!

  17. I just found you, and WOW, you have a stunning amazing home! I was also totally entranced by your "things i can't live without" posts. Those were great tips and ideas, some i didn't even know existed! I have a Meile canister vacuum cleaner too, and i love it! It's gonna be fun following your posts now!


  18. I laughed at your comment about "hot neon pink sponges." I cringe every time I walk in the bathroom and see the toothbrushes sticking out like a sore thumb. If somebody would only make a tasteful toothbrush that also gets your teeth clean.....

  19. Great list, thanks! I have those self same brown and cream napkins on the far right in your left hand fall/winter drawer.

    My last trip to Costco I found beautiful natural chemical-free sponges! Only I like my sponges to have a scrubber side and these don't...looks like Twist has one with a loofa side...have to check those out.

    Thanks again.

  20. I'll post a comment as soon as I'm done searching for the scar where we were separated at birth. LOL

  21. I love your list! We have several favorites in common. I've never seen the brand of kosher salt you mentioned. Did you find that at Costco?

  22. I second the Miele Polaris. couldn't live a day without mine! i loved your list.

  23. I have really been enjoying your lists, and I agree with Anonymous above that finding a tasteful toothbrush is difficult. I used Preserve until they discontinued the color I needed. What do you use to clean your mirrors? I have tried every trick in the book, and still get streaks. Any suggestions?

  24. LOVE all these tips! Trying out new products and such is so much fun. Thanks for the post on these.

  25. Hi Joan, just catching up on some blog reading and love your two lists! The cup hooks are genius - I am always using blue painter's tape to adhere lamp cords to the back of furniture but it never stays put. I completely concur on the vinegar - my all-time favorite cleaning product, and enjoyed reading about other things that you find useful (the wedges - I need those!) I did a list on my blog a while back of 10 kitchen-can't-live-withouts and it's definitely time for a new one - lists are fun! Thanks for sharing yours!!

  26. I love ikea and the tea lights too...everything looks so beautiful by candle light. I could not agree more about cloth napkins, have several drawers myself. Love all the tips. Have a great week.

  27. Cath- Yes, I forgot to mention that I use the vinegar and water to wash the wood floors. It is the only thing recommended to clean the tung oil finish. Check your local hardware store (not Lowest/HD) for the Flitz, or check on Amazon.

    Erin- look at Walmart for the dimmers.. Lowes/HD do not carry them. I have not used Pledge in years, but the Stainless Steel Magic isn't greasy at all.

    Cindy- Welcome!!

    LL- in Dallas I found it at Whole Foods, here I can find it at most grocery stores.

    Kelly in Gerogia- yes! that would be the "Invisible Glass" mentioned under #20 Cleaners above;) I use with paper towels buffing to dry. You can find it at Walmart/Lowes/HD.

  28. Hello, thank you for the list, great ideas & some 'old friends' ;0

    We love our Miele Capricorn canister vac with the powerbrush, with a sheltie doggie, could not live without it!

    I too cannot look at a purple neon sponge in our gorgeous new SS sink... ha. our local groceries may all think I am crazy for asking for the old plain sponges they used to stock in white or pale yellow, cannot find them any more... so I was thrilled to see a white sponge on your list, thank you thank you.

    Cannot get a certain man of the house to use a cloth napkin, oh well, some things we can do without...

    Love the blog and the photos, me too, can't wait to see the car full of plants in their new spots!

  29. Please thank your sister for the tutorial. I thought the net balls would be hard to put together. I'll have to get some netting on my next trip to the fabric store :)

  30. Hi Joan. Thank you, thank you for another fabulous list AND a tutorial by your sister! I am intrigued by the low sodium Kosher salt. Also the waxed paper sheets and bags. (I am trying very hard to get rid of our plastics of all sorts.) Things I could not do without? Microfiber cloths. I go through about five a day and use in place of paper towels. Also pop-up sponges from Trader Joes or William Sonoma for dishes. They're made from natural cellulose and grab all kinds of things a normal sponge wouldn't get. I wonder if your white sponges are made of the same material?

  31. You are certainly the list maestro! With all the great tips, in these 2 lists, you're going to single-handedly jump-start the economy, as we all go out shopping for our new vac's and lamp dimmers!
    Good stuff!,

  32. I too love cloth napkins. :) I have several stacks of them and I'm only 26! I'm going to be in trouble when I'm in my mid-life cause I'm sure I'll need an entire closet just to store them! (okay, maybe I won't go that crazy..but I do love cloth napkins!)

    I love the tutorial on the net balls too! Thanks for sharing! I'd like to make some for gifts too (and some for myself of course). :) It'd be cute to gift them alongside some pretty dish soap for Christmas!


  33. Love both your lists! Some items I didn't know about and can hardly wait to try. I too have many cloth napkins. Most are white (they go with all table settings), vintage, and have wonderful monograms. I use them, but not enough because I wouldn't know how to remove stains. Do you know of a good product for this? Thanks.

  34. Love this post! I'm a wax paper gal myself!! Not too many of us out there, I'm thinking. :) Super tips, Joan, thanks for sharing!
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  35. We bought this amazing Miele vacuum cleaner in Portland Or, before we moved to Buenos Aires.
    I couldn't leave it behind, I thought all I had to do was get a special plug or something to use it here.
    We blew it up the first time we used it :(
    I hate the vacuums they sell here, none of them do the job any better than a swiffer might.

    Wedon't have a few of these products here but I find that the equivalents work as well, they just don't always smell as good as the products I used to buy in Williams Sonoma and Whole Foods.
    (I cannot tell you how I go on and on about missing the best smelling cleaning and laundry products from WF lol)

  36. So funny I visited you yesterday and then this morning found you featured at Artie's!! Gorgeous images on his site!

    Also forgot to mention how much I love your linen napkin collection! I too use linen all of the time!


    Art by Karena

  37. Loved this new list, and will be making some dishwashing balls today- thank you Susan!!!!

  38. Hi Joan! Love your list! I have already gone out and purchased the dimmers. Thanks for the great tips. I can't live without Krudkutter. It's a concentrated degreaser/stain remover and cuts grease, grime, oil, tar, wax and dried paint. I Use it for everything including cleaning my paint brushes! It is non-toxic and biodegradable. Couldn't live without it now that I've used it. You can find it at Lowe's and Home Depot.

    1. Totally agree with you Anonymous. Krudkutter took off wallpaper border adhesive when nothing else would. I use it on laundry, and grease spots on the walls. I love that it is non-toxic and gentle on skin too.

    2. I'm definitely will try this on my next trip to HD/Lowe's. Good to know, thank you!

  39. So funny, we share a lot of the same things as "must haves." I have to admit that I gave up my Miele for a Dyson though, but I still love a canister vac. You and my mother would have been good friends, she was a napkin-aholic. I could always count on her when I was entertaining to have the color or print I needed to set a perfect table. Sadly, when she died my sisters and I split the napkins up, and me in my infinite wisdom said I only needed a few of them. What was I thinking?! Now, when I entertain I think of all the beautiful napkins I "could" have taken, and if I hadn't been in the middle of a whole house reno at the time, I bet I would have brought home a lot more!

    Thanks for the great list, and I will be purchasing one of those numbered tape measures...omg who knew?!

    Kat :)

  40. ...well dear seems that i have come late to the my contributions may have already been listed...i cannot live without coffee filters to clean my mirrors and windows (your choice of cleaners..homemade or store bought)...they leave absolutley no lines or streaks...i cannot live without dryer sheets stored under my kitchen sink...they will clean away baked on food better than anything in the world...i cannot live without parchment paper for baking...i am a constant cookie baker...and parchment paper keeps cookies from browning too matter the matter the recipe...and finally...i cannot live without coffee...i simply need to know it is there waiting for me...i have a pot ready to go at all times...for me...for my husband...for my sweet friends who might come by...when i hear someone knock on the door...i plug in the coffee...friends and family and cookies are always happening in my i suppose those last three are really what i cannot live without...

  41. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: I recognize some of the napkins as they are used in our home. Vinegar: I use it to kill the weeds that grow in the paver patio & walkways. Love the lists! Cindy

  42. Praise the Lord! I am not the only one who keeps a level around to make sure paintings hang straight!! :)

  43. I had fun reading both of your top ten posts. I'm so glad someone else uses a tank vacuum--I have a really good one, don't remember the brand. I'm happy to see the net ball directions. I have quite a bit of that netting left over from a previous project and I know I'd love some of these balls. We have some of the same favorites ;).

  44. much older sister SusanAugust 2, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I can't live without my Miele Ariel. I have two big boxers and vacuum once a day.

    Also can't live without Clorox, Lysol, vinegar, baking soda and straight edge razor blades!

  45. This is a bookmark post!!! I have been planning on getting a Miele cannister...and you've just confirmed it for me. Love the product suggestions...just curious. Do you have a favorite for cleaning marble? I may have missed that, but my installer said to use Glass Plus. I know there has to be something better...right?

    xo Elizabeth

  46. For tasteful toothbrushes, try the Swissco, esp. in white horn or tortoiseshell. If you can't find them at better pharmacies, try Amazon : ) .


  47. love that tutorial on the dishwashing thingamajigs. I'll have to work on that. And keep an eye out for the white sponges.

    All the best!

  48. Such useful lists! Thank you:) I've found the Diamond Crystal at SuperTarget.

    Deborah from the DFW area

  49. I love your lists. I wanted you to know I get my tealights at Target and Walmart. No IKEA here. I use real candles in my glass holders, too. I believe it is Target where I find great, chunky little pillar candles in multiples. No scent and white. Bet you would like them, too.

  50. Thank you for posting this! It is so helpful and I am going to try to make some of those net balls. I love the sponge tip (white verses hot pink)- it the little things like that which I get "stuck" on. Those are the little details which make a house have that magical magazine appeal. (Always look at those homes and wonder where in the world all of their stuff is? Toys? Cable boxes?) Oh! That could be a blog post topic!
    I would LOVE to know how to get around/hide the ugly but necessary household items. You know, things like cable boxes, toasters, wires for computers/lighting, trash bins, recycle bin, hand/dish soap, blind cables, desk top/computer clutter, and so forth. :-) Jenn Hearn

  51. KarenT- I don't know of a good product for removing stains from vintage napkins; hopefully someone will chime in with an answer. I would love to know too!

    Pretty Pink/Elizabeth- for the marble I just use soap and water (dish soap with sponge) for general cleaning and Bar Keepers Friend if I see etching. I have tried Method's (Target) marble and granite cleaner, but honestly didn't notice much difference.

  52. Great tips! Bought the em....been using vinegar and baking soda as well with septic here too. Found the Twist sponges yesterday (with one scrubby side) at Marshall's of all places!! Like the Invisible Glass but something about the smell bothers me...Just started buying cloth napkins. Trying to cut down on buying paper products. I use handi wipes to clean up around the sinks and counters and try to limit using paper towels-which I buy the recycled Marcel brand. BTW-When is the Barn room reveal????

  53. Love your top 10 lists! I have my favs too and gives me ideas for new things to try. I recently bought a Scotch-Brite™ Greener Clean sponge... comes in a neutral beige color and is made from more earth-friendly substances. There are a couple different varieties offered. I am quite happy with the product so far and love the neutral color.

  54. Wax bags! They're selling them again (both in places like Whole Foods and even in the regular grocery store), and I was so happy when I first saw them a couple of years ago, because they did bring back my childhood! But I'm going to look for the sheets, too. I think wax paper is lovely, for some reason...

    Fun posts (both of them). Thanks!

  55. Excellent list and some very useful tips. I love those old-school waxed paper bags.

    But re the waxed paper sheets:

    Wouldn't it be more practical, and less wasteful, to simply use a roll of waxed paper, tearing off each piece as you need it, and the exact size as you need it?

  56. Please keep this list going... you are amazing!

  57. I am a new reader and love your blog.
    PS. I also have a thing for cloth napkins. Your collection looks wonderful.


  58. Ok, I'm going to have to get some of that netting and make some of those nets- they are amazing, what a great idea!!

  59. Hi Joan - Great tips and thanks for sharing. My favorites are the tape measures and the waxed paper. My mother used to put my school lunches in waxed paper bags too (I wanted her to use foil--I thought it looked better!). That brought make some memories!

    (P.S. I still have my Boxwood Terrace blog, but started a new one, hence the name above).

  60. Gosh more great tips. I'm looking for the white sponges. I hate the blue, yellow, and pine green ones in the stores. You'd think the companies would make more neutral colored ones to go with today's homes. We use the Kirkland dish soap too as well as vinegar and baking soda. I love the Magic Erasers too.
    Thanks again for great tips.

  61. Agree, agree, agree with all! Cannot eat anything without a cloth napkin here. best, teaorwine

  62. Read your list a long time ago and have mentioned it on my blog MAY DAYS post today as I listed my 10 things.

  63. Love the tutorial on making the pom pom balls for the dishes. I am with you about those wild colored sponges. Thanks for the tip to find neutral ones. I always clean my tile floors with vinegar and water. Much better than the sticky stuff and doesn't have a smell for allergies. I am going to get some wax paper sheets since I have heard that clear wraps are toxic. Love your tips. Yea for Wrights Silver creme, I actually like polishing silver. I love napkins, my favorite place to shop for them is Crate & Barrel Outlet. Love to use bright colored napkins to line my muffin and fruit baskets.

  64. Loved the pictures! Loved how simple you made the directions.
    I am teaching a class of senior citizens and they are going to love these!

    Oh yeah: Your sisters sound just like mine! And when you give to the sisters who live near you a day later the one who live in Arizona calls wondering where her's are! LOL

  65. I buy battery tea lights at the Dollar Tree. When enjoying the evening out of doors, the summer breeze doesn't blow them out.


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