Monday, August 24, 2009

Small Town Triumphs

For those of you who don't know, I grew up in the pretty small community of Prescott, Arizona up in the northern part of the state. In short, for those non-Arizonans, that means we have seasons, even winters, with snow and everything. Not too harsh, but very different from the Phoenix weather and environment.

But, I digress. As with most small communities, evidence of history is important to us, including the amazing Victorian houses on Mt Vernon street (the hot spot for trick-or-treating on Halloween), Young's Farm just out of town in Dewey (which is being developed, a story for another post), the first Governor's mansion downtown (Prescott used to be Arizona's capitol city!) and signs around town, one of which was the Senator Highway Drive-In Sign.

Last October, my brother and I went on a photo safari and, on a whim, we went over to the old Senator Drive-In sign, which we had never shot before. The Drive-In does not exist anymore, but the sign has remained. In a crazy coincidence, less than a week later, this sign was torn down because some Prescott newbies complained about it being an eyesore.

Ironically, I was told that a group of volunteers were scheduled to come down that same week and re-paint and clean the sign. Needless to say, people were pretty upset about losing this piece of our history. It was truly a town landmark.

Over the weekend, however, I got an amazing email from a fellow Prescottonian who saw my photos. He told me he was part of the group of volunteers who were going to restore the sign the week it was torn down and had purchased it from the salvage yard. After a year of protest and lobbying, he is pleased to announce that the sign is being put back up!!!

This made my day and I'm sure that other Prescott people will enjoy reading about something in our hometown being preserved when so many other things are changing.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Modern Chairs @ Overstock

Cute chairs over at if you are like me and you like contemporary furniture but you don't like to pay a fortune for it. Plus $1 shipping today, can't beat that!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clean it Green (and CHEAP)

Green cleaning

Green cleaning by Jelitan on

Confession: I love cleaning products. Not so much the cleaning itself, but the products - those are great.

Lately, the Hus and I have been experimenting with homemade, green cleaners and I wanted to share the ones that we have tried so far.

I did a ton of web research and I chose the specific products that were the simplest (if you're like me, you don't have various essential oils on hand), most economical, most popular, and had the best reputation for effectiveness. I spent way too much time on this - enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Dusting - Shake up 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil (or completely fill up your spray bottle using this ratio). This works so well, it's shocking. All my wood furniture is gleaming, but there is no oily residue. Vinegar smell completely dissipates within minutes. Remember, your dusting will last longer if you use a dusting solution instead of just a dry rag.

Ovens - Coat the grimy parts with liberal amounts of baking soda and let it sit overnight. Wipe off with general disinfectant. I haven't tried this, but I have testimony from my friend Ben that this works. You can also try salt, I have heard that works too.

General Disinfectant - Straight vinegar, or add a little Castille soap. I have to admit that I haven't tried this yet. I have been using GreenWorks cleaner and want to use it up so I can steal the spray bottle.

Wrinkle Releaser/Clothing Freshener - the biggest money waster ever if you buy it, but the most convenient thing to have if you are not fond of ironing and have to dress up for work (like me!). Here's the hint for a cheap, at-home fix - use a little capful of your favorite fabric softener in a spray bottle and fill up with water (distilled or filtered, preferably). This works really well and makes your clothes smell freshly laundered.

Fabric Refresher - same as the wrinkle releaser, but you probably want to use a smaller ratio of fabric softener to water if you are using this on upholstery.

Copper polish - A paste of lemon juice and salt. This is the only place where I will tell you to go ahead and use lemon juice. Some suggest that you dust with it (combined with olive oil), but I don't like the fact that you can't have any spare dusting solution left over unless you refrigerate it - and even then, it can go rancid. When polishing copper, you can just mix together some lemon juice and salt in the quantities desired. Rub on copper pot with a clean cotton rag and a little elbow grease. This works incredibly well.

Jewelry cleaner - soak in baking soda and water, scrub with an old toothbrush. For an especially stubborn piece, use toothpaste. I use this on my wedding and e-rings all the time.

Dishwasher rinse aid - just use straight vinegar in the little spout meant for jet dry. This works really well.

Dryer sheets - soak cotton rags in fabric softener, let dry - can be used for several dryer loads, then throw it in the washing machine and start over.

Fridge - keep an open box of baking soda in there to absorb smells (I'm sure that you've seen that one before!). Don't use it for anything else (especially cooking, gross!!)


Vinegar is magic and a natural disinfectant - Don't be afraid of the smell, it dissipates really quickly. Also, you can buy it in big jugs. Trust me - you will use it!
Lemon juice - anything you put this in, you have to refrigerate. Check that it isn't rancid before use.
Spray Bottles - use the ones you already have after your current cleaning products have run out

Baking Soda - Buy the economy-sized box for green cleaning. Don't use your fridge box for anything else but fridge duty.
Fabric Softener - make sure you have one that you really like the smell of, because a little goes a long way so you will be stuck with that scent for a while.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Welcome Ella!

I am pleased to announce that our friends, Brad and Jen, who's wedding I blogged about last October, welcomed their first child, Ella Paige, to the world yesterday afternoon.

If you know her father, you will be amazed as I am at how much she resembles him! Ella is healthy and her mother is doing fine, well enough to tweet about the birth!

Congrats to Brad and Jen!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Funny People, Funny Movie... but don't get your hopes up too high

No spoilers. Just opinions.

I had been looking forward to this movie since I first saw the trailer and I liked it, given that I have a fondness for Judd Apatow flicks and an unhealthy obsession with Seth Rogen (yeah, I don't know why, I just REALLY like him. I'm into the geeky, goofy, pathetic types - no offense, honey). Without my fixation, you might not be as riveted by this movie as I was. It was definitely a bit slow in the middle and the story did not, shall we say, flow smoothly. But, most of it was really funny, which was the point, after all.

I was disappointed that it wasn't the "perfect for me" movie that I was hoping for (you have no idea how much!) but I think it is definitely still worth a watch - even just for the hilarious lines and the stand-up portions. Just don't look to closely at the trailers, a lot of the really funny moments are in there.

Guest bloggin'

Hey all! Today I am over at the wonderful Bakery blog, with some tips about income taxes for small business owners.

Check it out!

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