Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Clean a Basic Coffeemaker

In case you didn't know our family loves their coffee! We haven't officially jumped on the Keurig bandwagon just yet (since we're cheapos) but maybe one day.  In the mean time we definitely use and sometimes abuse our current coffeemaker.  Case in point, this is how our coffeemaker was looking...

Poor thing. It was starting to resemble me in the morning, functioning but not very pretty to look at! So it needed a good cleaning. 

This is actually a trick I've been doing for YEARS.  I read it in an old Reader's Digest book on thrifty tips and tricks.  All you'll need is some water and vinegar (so you can totally skip buying the coffeemaker cleaning solution they sell in some stores).

First, fill the decanter with 2 cups white vinegar and 1 cup water. Place a clean filter in the machine and pour the water and vinegar solution into the water chamber.  Run the coffeemaker through a brew cycle. Once it's done replace the filter with a fresh one and run clean water through the machine for two more cycles (don't want that coffee tasting like vinegar).  Be sure to replace the filter for the second brew.  

I also use the 1st brew of vinegar and water to clean the outside of the machine.  I just pour a little of the hot solution onto a wash cloth and wipe away.  Vinegar does a great job at cleaning stainless steel.  Want to see?

Not only does cleaning your coffeemaker make it look shiny and new but it also heps your coffee from tasting bitter.  If you have soft water it's recommended to clean it after 80 brews and you have hard water it should be done every 40 cycles. Personally, I try and clean ours every 2 months but sometimes it just depends on how it's looking or if I notice our coffee doesn't taste the same.

And of course this post wouldn't be complete without a side by side comparison.

So there you have it, a very simple (and safe) way to clean your basic coffeemaker.  What about you? How often do you clean yours?  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life Lately...

Well hello there! Just popping in to say I am still here. Summer Vacation has been going smoothly all things considered (Colorado Springs has been experiencing more wildfires which has definitely been scary but our family is safe and sound, thank goodness!).  However, with 2 kiddos on Summer Vacation our normal routine has gone right out the window.

No need to worry though, I have plenty of awesome posts in the works.  It's just a matter of finding the right time and balance.  Plus Summer only comes but once a year so this lady is totally going to take advantage of that. 

 What about you? Are you enjoying summer so far? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Light, Bright, and Airy

I love decorating.  Even as a little girl if I got bored I would completely rearrange my room.  Luckily, I had parents that didn't mind. They probably figured it kept me busy and out of trouble.  Of course, I can't say the same thing if I were to wake up one day to find my kiddos completely rearranged their rooms.  My OCD would kick in and I'd probably have a mini heart attack.  But gradual changes, that I'm completely ok with.

So a couple months ago when we took a trip to one of my favorite stores ever- Ikea, I fell in love with some pretty awesome curtains.  My husband's reply when he saw me falling hard? "We already have curtains".  Which looked like this...

 Silly, silly man.  Of course he said go ahead and grab the new curtains, probably not realizing what he was getting himself into.  The curtain choice we went with was Henry Rand and they were a tad bit too long (they were 98 inches and we needed something around 84 inches).  All was good though because the curtains came with instructions on how to alter them and they included fabric tape. 

The project took a little longer than I had anticipated.  We laundered them first (hoping they might shrink a couple inches) then ironed them, and finally measured, cut, and taped.  Oh yeah, and we had to do this with 4 panels.  But in the end I absolutely LOVE how open and airy the new curtains make our living room feel. 

So I would have to say it was well worth it.  My husband on the other hand said he can't tell the difference (silly I tell you).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sprucing up the Front Porch

We're starting Operation Curb Appeal over here at our casa and so far so good.  Still trying to work with what little grass we have but in the mean time I've been adding some much needed flower power!

Here are the little lovelies I picked up at Lowe's.

The green plants are Dusty Miller and the flowers are Dianthus.  Both require full sun (6+hours) so I decided to plant them together. Keeping my fingers crossed they both do ok, turns out our front porch doesn't get as much sun as I thought. Bummer!

I also picked up these pretty flowers.  They are Alyssum and only need partial sun.  Aren't they cute?

So those are the plants we decided to go with this year and here's how they're looking.

The flower pots are all ones we've had from previous years.  I kind of like that aren't matchy, matchy.  Oh, and the chair was on sale at Lowe's for around $20...SCORE!

So that's how our front porch is looking, now if I could just get our darn grass to cooperate!

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