Easy Home Maintenance: Cleaning Your Box Fans!

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 7.35.48 PM.pngRecently, we noticed that our box fans weren’t providing much cool air. Before dropping over $150 to replace them all, I decided to see if cleaning them would improve their airflow capabilities. After all, they were still functioning mechanically, they weren’t putting out the air flow they used to.

With temperatures in excess of 80 degrees almost all year round here, box fans are a needed appliance in our home. We can’t go without them, as running the AC is cost-prohibitive.

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Oh dear.

These fans are all about a year old, and while I have vacuumed the front and back of them previously (I do it once a week), they had never been taken apart and cleaned.

Gather all the tools needed before you start. For this job you will need:

  • A sheet to cover your work area.
  • A screwdriver (our fans all have Philips head screws)
  • A dish to hold the screws while the fan is disassembled
  • All-purpose cleaner. I used Comet Lilac Bliss- it’s what we had in the house, and it worked really well.
  • A stiff-bristled brush. I used the brush I use to scrub the soap scum/hard water deposits out of the bathtubs (like this)
  • Rags or really scratchy paper towels. You need something that will trap the dirt.
  • Vacuum Cleaner with a brush attachment.
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Before: This stuff was tough to scrub off!
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Once again, my Dyson Vacuum saves the day!
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After: So fresh and so clean!

Here are my tips for deep cleaning your fans-

    1. UNPLUG THEM! It seems like a no-brainer, but I’m going to remind you to not clean appliances that are still plugged in.
    2. Remove the front and back plastic pieces of the fan. Ours were held together with 6 screws.
    3. To remove the dirt/fuzz/cat/hair/whatever grossness that was on the fan front and back, I placed them in the bathtub and sprayed them down with all-purpose cleaner. I allowed them to sit for about 20 minutes while I cleaned the fan blade and fan case.
    4. Using all-purpose cleaner and a rag, carefully spray and wipe the fan blades, both front and back sides.
    5. Using the vacuum hand tool with the brush attachment, clean the interior of the fan case, as well as the backside of the fan motor. I was amazed at the amount of fuzz, dirt, and hair was around the intakes for the fans.
    6. Once the fan blades and fan case are clean, return to the bathroom and scrub the fan front and back. Rinse and dry completely.
    7. Reattach the front and back to the fan case, plug in and test out. All 6 fans worked 100% better after being cleaned. This is now a chore that has been added to the end of season home cleaning list.
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Re-assembled and working like new!

Cleaning all of the fans took about 2 hours, and that included time to make snacks for two very starving kids, let the cat in and out a few times and help with math homework. Without distractions, I could have gotten done in about an hour.

In the future, I may invest in some of these Box Fan Filters, which until today I had no idea existed.

Taking care of appliances, like these box fans is just another way that we are able to extend the useful life of often-used items in our homes, and that saves us money in the long run.

Talk Back: What types of small things do you do to extend the life of your small appliances?

5 DIY Spa Treatments for Your Hair

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links.

I love DIY beauty treatments. Most spa-grade products start with natural ingredients or extracts of natural ingredients. Why not skip the pricy treatments and mix up some fun hair treatments in your kitchen!

Sneaking in a spa getaway before the holidays is easier than you think. Madison Reed wants you to know about these 5 swanky spa treatments for your hair. The best part? These deliciously healthy hair solutions can be found in your own kitchen!

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1. Beer is the Silver Bullet for Fine, Limp Hair

Believe it or not, beer is full of protein, which enhances shine, strength, and moisture.

HOW: Just open up a can or bottle and let it sit open for a couple hours to release the carbonation. After you shampoo, gently massage the beer into your hair, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse. You can also put the beer in a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. The protein residue from the brew will help strengthen your hair.

2. Honey is The Bee’s Knees for Split Ends

Don’t worry, we’re not leading you into a sticky situation, you can safely put honey on your hair! In fact, it can be a miracle worker for damaged hair. Honey is antibacterial, contains vitamins and minerals, and is a humectant, which means that it attracts moisture to improve dry hair.

HOW: Using half a cup of honey, saturate your hair. Put on a shower cap to capture natural heat and put your feet up for half an hour (you deserve it). Rinse out the honey to reveal glowing soft, silky hair. This treatment will help reduce split ends and fly aways.

3. Baking Soda Gets a Rise Out of Your Hair

Time to apply our science class know-how to hair care! Baking soda is an alkaline base (the other end of the spectrum from acids). This is important for hair because excess oils and styling products get trapped in the cuticle of your hair, making it feel greasy and flat. Use baking soda to lift out those unwanted oils and product build up.

HOW: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with small amounts of water until it forms a thick paste. Work this paste into your hair and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing. Your hair will gain volume and feel bouncy and clean!

4. Avocado to Bring Down the Frizz

The oils in avocados are very similar to the natural oils in our skin. Combined with its proteins and nutrients, this is one hair-enriching fruit! Use as a smoothing balm to tame frizz and fly aways. In winter months, it can also reduce that annoying seasonal static.

HOW: Mash half an avocado until smooth. Massage into damp hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing. Your hair will be deeply conditioned. Bonus: if you have curls, this treatment will make them soft and defined.

5. Let the Light in with Yogurt

Yogurt does wonders for dull, lifeless hair. It contains lactic acid, which gently cleans off the environmental film that can build up on our hair, and milk fat, which adds incredible shine.

HOW: Massage a half cup of plain yogurt into damp hair. Put on a shower cap to capture natural heat. After 20 minutes, rinse your hair. Your hair will look like it’s glowing!

Treat yourself to one of these kitchen spa treatments once a week on rotation to relax and get healthy, gorgeous hair. Follow up with Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit that is healthier for your hair for a full beauty routine that leaves you feeling great, inside and out!

Home Decor Survey- Earn $30 in Rewards!

Reward Bee is hooking you up!

Take part in a quick survey about home decor and home remodeling and you’ll score $30 in reward points to spend on some really awesome magazine subscriptions.

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Choose from such titles as:

  • Bon appetit
  • Cosmo
  • Country Living
  • Elle
  • Family Circle
  • House Beautiful
  • People
  • Rachel Ray
  • Real Simple
  • And so many more!

And once you complete the survey, you’ll have the chance to do more, and earn additional rewards!

To get started, click here.

 

 

3/27/17 Meal Plan Monday!

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Bringing it back! To help get us back on track and use up what we’ve got in the pantry. I just did a pantry and freezer inventory, and I’ll need to do a quick trip to pick up some frozen veggies and fresh fruit tomorrow, but other than that (and a gallon of milk), we should be good for the week!

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos have started eating a small toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast along with fruit.  Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes with frozen bananas and PB2.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D:Crockpot pulled BBQ chicken, steamed veggies, garlic bread

Tuesday:

  • D:  Bean, Rice, and cheese bowls (they also have caramelized onions and peppers)

Weds:

  • D: Fritatta (with veggies, bacon, and cheese) and fruit salad

Thursday:

  • D:  Veggie Enchiladas (it’s a complete meal, no sides needed!)

Friday:

  • D: Date Night! (we go out)

Saturday:

  • D: Crockpot Chili (I’ve got a batch in the freezer- I’ll de-frost and toss it into the crockpot!), fruit salad

Sunday:

  • D:Chicken and Veggie teriyaki stir fry, rice

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first. I need to replenish our snack bag that lives in the car, and make sure to take our water bottles when we leave the house!

 

Nickel Creek Townhomes in Ramona!

NickelCreek-logoColorA few weeks ago, I wrote about the Grand Opening of the Nickel Creek Townhomes in Ramona. Well, Birdie and I went on Saturday to take a sneak peak.

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Birdie had the best time evah!!

WOWZA! There are three amazing three floor plans: Cypress, Sycamore, and Birch. Each floor plan has some amazing features like a private balcony or private backyard, which I love- I think everyone should have their own outdoor space to relax!

 

 

 

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Cute private back patio!

There are so many features on these homes that will help you save money and the environment!

  • Duel glazed windows
  • Radiant Barrier tech shielding on roof
  • Weather stripping on exterior doors
  • Low flow toilets and shower heads

One thing that impresses me about the KirE homes is all of the attention to fire safety that all of the homes have:

  • Fire-Resistant tile roofing
  • Fire-rated overhangs
  • Interior fire sprinklers with alarm
  • Multi-Power Source smoke detectors in the hallways
  • Pre-Fabricated roofing for easy solar panel installation (for those want to do that!)

OIMG_3575k, and one random thing that I like is that all of the homes we toured in the master bathroom the toilet is in it’s own little closet, and the shower/bath and sinks are in. That way one person can’t tie up the entire bathroom.  Perfect for busy mornings!

NickelCreek Townhomes is right in the heart of Ramona. It’s tucked off Main Street in a quiet neighborhood, but it’s still within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants (including Dunkin’ Donuts- I’m just saying!), and other shopping.

If you are interested in checking them out for yourself, visit NCRamona.com.

 

Giveaway: Renuzit Sensitive Scents!

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Recently, I was given the opportunity to experience the new Renuzit Sensitive Scents line. It consists of three distinct light scents:

  • Pure White Pear & Lavender: The fresh scent of White Pear compliments the gentle scent of Lavender and creates a balanced fragrance that freshens your home without overpowering.
  • Pure Ocean Breeze: Pure Ocean Breeze is a delightfully fresh, light, and airy scent perfect for your home.
  • Pure Water Blossom & Cucumber: Notes of dewey flower petals and refreshing cucumber complement each other to create this gentle but powerful fragrance, sure to revitalize the freshness in your home.

IMG_3462My favorite is the Pure Water Blossom and Cucumber. The cone is on out hall bathroom- that’s the one that all of our guests and my 4 year old use, so you know it needs freshening! It’s a light scent that doesn’t mask the bed smells- Nothing is worse than an air freshener that just makes the room smell like the bad smell plus something sweet and overpowering!

I like that there are different method of scent “delivery” if you will. Not a Adjustable Cone person? Renuzit also offers Universal Scented oils (they fit in pretty much any oil warming unit). If you need to freshen fabrics or your rug, try the trigger spray. I used the Pure White Pear and Lavender spray on our couch yesterday. It was smelling funky- so a quick vacuum and spritz and it was fresh again!

I want to share the freshness with you! I am giving away coupons for any 1 free Renuzit Sensitive Scents product to three lucky readers. Entering is Easy Peasy! Just leave a comment below with the stinkiest thing in your house- Don’t worry, I won’t judge! I’ll pick a winner at random on March 7th!

Thanks to Renuzit and Social Insiders for the opportunity to sample these products and share them with you. I received no financial compensation and all opinions are my own!

Organizing your home on the cheap….

We have a lot of craft supplies. Henry and I do a craft 3-4 times a week. Plus we also paint, color, and draw.

Our Craft supplies were getting out of control.. I mean, check this out:

IMG_1907 IMG_1908Yeah, It was sorta contained by two crates that weren’t the same size. They didn’t stack up and that bugged me. Plus we had a mish mash of family binder plus small craft totes on the desk. It was just cluttered and insane.

I’ve been wanted to get it a little more organized for a while, but organizational stuff can be expensive. Have you ever been to the Container Store? OY VEY!

I had organizing in the back of my mind when I got an email from Shop Your Way Rewards letting me know I had $5 in points for K-Mart. When I logged on to Shop Your Way Rewards, there was a pop up for a new sweepstakes where you can win up to $50,000 in points. I decided to play and I won $10 in points (usable at Sears and K-Mart).

Armed with my $15 in points, I started shopping. I found this great storage chest from Bintopia, and coordinating baskets. I checked my Shop Your Way Coupons and found 15% off anything in the home coupon!

I picked up three of the bins and two of the chests, and my mess became corralled:

IMG_1909 IMG_1911The best part is that one of the chests is only half full, so if we come in to more craft supplies, we can stash them safely. Right now  I have Christmas gifts for family stowed away in there.

I saved money by picking up at the store. After coupons and point redemption, I only paid $8.00. And I shopped through TopCashBack, so I earned 4% cashback!

The original mismatched crates have been relegated to Henry’s room, where they will hold misc. toys.