Get Healthy: Alfresco Dining

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Dining alfresco is just one of the many pleasures of summertime!

Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Blueberry Vanilla Yogurt Popsicles - additional flavours included

Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler

Check out these tips for summer food safety from Health Canada.

It’s never too late to make healthier choices!

Get Checking for College!

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Checking...

Do you have a child heading off to college or university? Consult these checklists to ensure they don’t forget any important items.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Home Outfitters

Summer Reading for Kids

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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Have you heard about the Summer Slide? How about the Summer Brain Drain?

For the majority of students heading into the month of August, school is a distant memory and learning has taken a backseat to fun. Students deserve a break, of course, but two months (or more!) can be a long time to go without the academic stimulation that educational activities bring–even for the best of students.

Apart from planned group activities available and summer vacations geared to learning, most educators recommend that the best way to keep them academically engaged is to encourage our kids to read, read, READ!

Here’s an extensive Summer 2014 Reading List from www.bookcentre.ca that covers all age groups from toddlers to teens. Even you parents might find a few good reads on this list!

Happy summer and happy reading from the rewriter!

Deborah Plouffe is the founder and CEO of rewriter.ca, a business dedicated to helping YOU find the words YOU need to say!

The One Thing Successful People Never Fail to Do

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...In his LinkedIn post “The One Thing Successful People Never Fail To Do,” Bernard Marr talks about “some things that ridiculously successful people do differently.”

What can you do differently in 2014?

Get Motivated with OPRAH!

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

“I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.”

Oprah Winfrey

TAKE ACTION!

Yes, it’s the middle of summer. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on something that’s meaningful to you. Begin that meaningful personal project, or start something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do. Life is short. TODAY is the day to take action!

This motivational strategy was provided by our associate, Judith Tremblay of Paths to Change. To sign up for her weekly strategies, please click here.

August, Already???

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy_Mendler_new-150-x-115    It’s August!

Summer was a long time coming this year. With all of the rain and cooler temperatures, it hasn’t been a typical summer either. So enjoy it when you get the chance.

   

What does your summer list of projects look like?

Let’s get started and turn over another leaf!

ORGANIZING A DECORATING/RENOVATING PROJECT

In June 2013 I wrote an article “Organizing a Decorating/Renovating Project.” Here’s a link to that blog post.

Having just completed a major home renovation, I can offer the following additional thoughts:

  • Begin planning as far in advance as possible. Delays can be costly if you aren’t prepared.
  • Make sure you include contingency funds in your budget. Be prepared for the unexpected–especially if you are opening up walls or renovating an older home. Bringing your home up to today’s building code requirements may be an additional expense. Electrical upgrades, improving insulation, etc. might be required.
  • There will likely be items you wish to upgrade which you hadn’t considered. Think about your plans for the long term.
  • Could your home benefit from an energy audit? A high home energy score could help sell your home–if that is in your plans for the future. Click here for more information on your home’s energy efficiency.
  • Communicate frequently with your contractor.
  • Keep a supply of plastic drop sheets handy–they will become your best friend.
  • Prepare yourself for the frustrating moments, hours and even days. Despite all of your planning, they are bound to happen.

I’m happy to report that our renovations went smoothly. We were prepared as much as possible. Although we made several upgrades and spent more money than originally planned, it was worth the investment.

Good luck to two of my business colleagues. One is in the process of renovating an entire house–I can only imagine what she’s going through! The other one will be adding a commercial kitchen to her home–a big undertaking–in the very near future.

Remember, the end result will be worth it, as the drywall dust becomes a distant memory!

LOOKING AHEAD

Fall and back to school will be here before you know it!

Check out our Getting Organized for Back to School blog post from August 2012.

Helping Picky Kids to Get Their Fruits and Veggies

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Here are a couple of clever ways to help kids eat some fruit and veggies!

What’s New for Spring/Summer 2014?

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

What have you got planned for your children this summer? Check out the kids’ summer programs in Waterloo Region.

What’s Happening?  Click Here

Check Out These Cleaning Tips

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

 

Check out this article Spring clean your way to a more valuable home.”

Check out this video Quick & Simple Life Hacks Vinegar Edition.

 

The Best Clean is Naturally Clean

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

GET CLEANING

Today’s modern home is loaded with toxic and polluting substances designed to make domestic life easier. The cost of these commercial, chemical-based products can be high–causing long-term health concerns, poor inside air quality, and environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and disposal. As well, they can be very expensive. There are a growing number of safer commercial green products on the market. However, many of them still contain a number of toxic chemicals. Without knowing different types of chemicals and how the manufacturing process works, it is challenging to know what is safe and what is not. If you want to be completely “safe” in choosing products to clean your whole home, stick with the basics–vinegar, soap and water, and baking soda. Over time, these ingredients have proven to be completely safe and effective in cleaning your home.

Fresh Water

Nature’s purest cleaning product can work wonders in the home! In many cases, especially if the dirt or stain is fresh, flushing with lots of water will do the trick. Rinsing and/or soaking in water can lift off many types of dirt without the need for stronger chemicals.

Salt

Salt is a common household product that is not appreciated enough for its cleaning properties. Mixing salt with alcohol (one part salt to four parts rubbing alcohol) creates a great product for tackling grease.

Use salt when you have a redwine spill or find a bloodstain. “Salt is a fabulous stain remover, pour a generous amount over the stain and watch it absorb and lift the stain”.

Baking Soda

Baking soda (4 tbsp) and warm water (1 litre) is a good general cleaner. A damp sponge with baking soda will clean all kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Mixing baking soda with lemon juice, vinegar or even just some water and making it into a paste will create a great all-purpose cleaner and stain remover.

Baking soda is also an incredible deodoriser. It doesn’t just absorb odours, it also neutralises them as well–making it a great cleaner for the fridge. Sprinkling it onto carpets ten minutes before vacuuming will also help with any unpleasant lingering smells in the room–especially pet odours.

Vinegar

White vinegar is a great all-round stain remover, whether it is food stains in pots and pans, stains in toilet bowls, perspiration from clothes or scorch marks. Like baking soda, it is also a natural air freshener. If you have a room filled with smoke or paint fumes, place a small dish of vinegar in the room, or spray some into the air. This will help remove strong smells.

Lemon Juice

Like vinegar, lemon juice is mildly acidic and dissolves grease very effectively. It also has a bleaching and deodorising effect. Use lemon juice to remove smells and stains from cutting boards and clean many household items–from stainless steel cutlery to the kitchen sink! Combined with salt, it can shift a whole host of stains from fabrics. Rubbed directly into your hands will help you get rid of any stains from berry juices.

 

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Martina Schumann is the owner of Naturally Clean. At Naturally Clean, we believe that the way your home is cleaned can affect your well-being, as well as the health of our planet. Working with 90 clients a year over the past 6 years, we have perfected a unique 100% guaranteed green cleaning system that is more effective, healthier, and safer than traditional methods.