Posted by Andie on April 30, 2010
My husband and I got our tax return in the mail this week. Glory Hallelujah. One of the benefits of being poor young married folks is that we don't have to actually pay up come April 15th. Large Tax Returns are one of a kind. They rank right up there in awesomeness with snow days, diner food, and spontaneous road trips. Here are some of my "Tax Return Spending" thoughts.....
This Raleigh bicycle....
This Nikon Camera....
A San Francisco Getaway.....
This Lovely Dining Table.....
So many choices..... How will I ever decide?
What are YOU thinking about doing with your Tax Return?!
Posted by Andie on April 27, 2010
The Pantone Institute has been the world-renowned authority on color for the past 45 years. Among other things, they specialize in tracking and identifying the most popular colors for home decor and fashion industries each year.
Last December, Pantone officially named turquoise the "It" color for 2010.
Turquoise happens to be my favorite color. Not only is it perfect for handbags, scarves, and jewelry, but it's also a great color to incorporate into your home. With its warm and cool tones, it compliments an endless array of colors, including black, white, grays and browns. It can also be combined with many different finishes as well, such as dark woods and stainless steels. It's a sophisticated color that exudes calm and serenity while livening up a room that otherwise seems boring or lifeless.
How to incorporate turquoise into your home decor....
1. Turquoise is an excellent accent shade. Get your hands on turquoise accessories like lamp shades, cushions, rugs, wall hangings, and curtains. A little splash of turquoise can freshen up any living space.
2. Experiment with paint. You can paint a whole accent wall, or go for something a little more subtle, like painting an old wooden chair or table.
3. Fabrics are one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to introduce turquoise to your color scheme. If you are into sewing, try making a turquoise quilt, pillow, chair cover or other soft furnishing item.
Posted by Andie on April 23, 2010
Posted by Andie on April 21, 2010
Do you ever feel like your bathroom needs a good, deep cleaning? I decided to be a little more thorough than normal the other night and started attempting to attack the soap scum in my shower, only to get frustrated when it stayed put. I did a little research and found that the secret to a clean bathroom is often home-made cleaning solutions! Here are some of the tips I found........
Showers and Tubs
via The Design Files
Avoid getting soap scum build up in your shower by getting into the habit of squeegeeing or wiping down the shower after each use. You might also try applying a car wax to the doors and the shower walls a couple times a year (avoid the floors, as it makes them too slippery). Since glass and fiberglass are so porous, car wax works to seal up the pores, which simplifies the cleaning process and keeps water spots away. Who would have ever thought?
If you are reading this thinking, great, my tub/shower is past the point of prevention, and in need of a serious intervention, don't worry. There is still hope, even if every cleaning product in your house has failed you. Try these homemade solutions:
1. Vinegar Method
Warm up two cups of vinegar in your microwave, and spray it onto the soap scum on your shower door and walls. Let it stand for a couple of minutes so that the vinegar can begin breaking down the soap scum. Wipe with a clean rag or dryer sheet (good for wiping off deposits in showers) and repeat the process until clean.
2. Ammonia Method
Make an ammonia solution, mixing one part liquid ammonia (for household use) and two parts water. (Make sure you wear gloves because ammonia can really irritate your skin). Spray a generous amount onto the problem areas in your shower. The ammonia will begin to dissolve the fat that makes up the bulk of the soap scum. Once it starts breaking apart, wipe the area with a clean rag, and rinse thoroughly with water.
3. Machine Wash your plastic shower curtains
Stop scrubbing away at your bacteria laden shower curtain! Instead, throw it into the washing machine with a couple of towels. Add a cup of vinegar and allow it to agitate for about five minutes. Turn off the washing machine and leave the curtain to soak in the water for an hour before turning it back on to finish the cycle. Then, hang your new, clean shower curtain to dry!
Alkaline Deposits commonly form hard-water rings on the inside of toilets. In order to remove a hard-water ring and to keep others from forming, pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into the toilet once every month or two. Let it sit for about an hour, and then flush.
Chlorine bleach is also an effective alternative to commercial toilet-bowl cleaners. Add 1/4 cup to the toilet bowl, let it stand a few minutes, then brush with a toilet brush. Talk about a cheap and easy cleaner!
via Home Bunch
If you've ever had to fish around in the pipes because your sink is clogged, only to find a wad of hair the size of a golf ball, you understand the importance of preventative pipe cleaning. Your pipes deserve a good thorough cleaning every month or two to keep the grease, oil, and hair clogs under control. Once a month, pour 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain. The combination will fizzle away most of the buildup, and dissolve fatty acids. Let it sit for an hour, then pour boiling water down the drain to wash out any clogs.
Soap Scum on your faucet? Place a vinegar soaked paper towel over the affected faucet, and let it sit for a while as the vinegar eats away the alkaline deposits. Scrub with a toothbrush.
Vinegar is once again the key. Combine 1 cup of vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. First, wipe down the mirror with a clean rag to get rid of heavy dirt and marks. Next, dip a piece of newspaper or a small towel into the vinegar solution and rub small circles onto the mirror. Wipe down the water marks with a dry towel.
Posted by Andie on April 16, 2010
I struggle keeping things alive. When I was about 8, my friend and I both won goldfish at the local 4th of July Carnival. Her fish was still kicking strong when we were in high school, mine died less than a week after I got it. Coincidence? I thought so at first. I used to catch frogs in the pond by my house, and have attempted several more times over the years to be a fish owner, but every time they die days after coming into my care. I guess it's a good thing my parents never got me a puppy. It wouldn't have had much of a chance.
It's not just animals that keel over around me, plants like to jump ship too. I once dated a guy whose parents were SUPER into gardening- their yard was immaculate and they had potted plants all over their house. They knew I was better at picking weeds than growing flowers, and so they gave me a potted bamboo plant because supposedly it's one of the easiest plants to keep alive. The poor thing lasted longer than I expected, but soon it was dead as a doornail. Luckily, the boy and I broke up a few weeks later, so I never had to admit my bamboo growing failure to his folks. They would have been pretty disappointed.
The thing is, I really do love plants. I don't mean to kill them, and I get really frustrated when they die on me. There is something purely magical about planting a seed in soil, and watching it grow into something so beautiful.
My mother gave me a gorgeous white Orchid for Easter a few weeks ago. I'm not sure she's much better than I am with indoor plants, but we're both trying. The great thing is that I only have to water it every 7-10 days. So far so good, it's still thriving on my kitchen counter. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to keep this one alive!
If you have any 'keeping your flower alive' tips, I'd appreciate them!
Congratulations to Jan Winborg, of Farmington Utah! She is the winner of "Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics" Cookbook this week!
Become a follower if you aren't already, and you'll have a chance to win our blog giveaways!
Posted by Andie on April 13, 2010
Did you know that April is officially "Earth Month"? Have you gone green yet? RC Willey has. We're trying to incorporate new ideas all the time to become a little friendlier to our mother earth. Here's what we're doing so far........
1. We Recycle Your Old Appliances
When you purchase a new appliance from RC Willey, our delivery truck drivers will haul out your old appliance free of charge. Instead of taking it to the dump, we take your used appliances to our Inter-Mountain Distribution Center. There, the freon (gas in fridges), copper, and scrap metal are all recycled. We pick up about 117 old appliances to recycle a day! That's about 700 a week, and 2,800 a month!
2. We Use Energy-Friendly Light Bulbs
In our warehouses and corporate offices, we've switched out all of our florescent lights and replaced them with more efficient alternative bulbs.
3. We Recycle
With the 5,500 pieces of new inventory that are delivered to our main warehouse every day, we end up getting a lot of garbage (boxes, packaging materials, etc). RC Willey has big balers that recycle plastic, styrofoam, and cardboard. If trash doesn't fit into one of these three recycle bins, it's taken to the dump. A few years ago before we started using the recycling bins, we had to make 4 trips to the dump per day. Now, thanks to the fact that we've gone green, only 2 trips are made to the dump per week!
4. We Have Motion Sensor Lights in our Warehouses
We have motion sensor lights in all of the aisles at our IDC Warehouse. Each aisle consists of three sections. If there is 10 minutes of inactivity in a section, the lights switch off. This cuts down on energy usage a whole lot.
5. We Select our Papers Carefully
RC Willey ads are printed on lighter basis weight papers produced using less fiber, fewer chemicals and less energy in the manufacturing process. We also have a recycling paper program at our corporate offices. 17 trees are saved with every ton of paper shredded or recycled! That adds up!
6. We are The Energy-Star Appliances Expert
RC Willey will help you "go green" when buying your home appliances. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, designed to help us all save money and to protect the environment by using energy efficient products. RC Willey provides the largest selection of Energy Star Products around. Check out our Energy Star washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and gas water heaters!
What are you doing to go green??
Posted by Andie on April 5, 2010
I grew up in a divided family as far as sports go. My father, and three brothers love sports. They play them, watch them on TV, and go on vacations around the world to see sporting events. My 80 year old grandmother literally plans her life around college football and basketball games. My mother, sister, and I? It's just not really our thing. I think I've turned out to be a disappointment as far as sports go to dear grandma.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy going to a sporting event and watching it in person. I love going to an occasional professional game of any sort, and watching my little brothers tennis matches, baseball, basketball, football and soccer games are extremely entertaining. When it comes to televised sports though, I've just never been a fan. I've always been the person that walks out of the room and finds something better to do with my time. Until a couple weeks ago.....
I might be a changed woman. I don't know what's happened, but I've become obsessed with the NCAA Championships. Maybe it's because I filled out my first bracket ever, and I feel more involved. Empowered. In control. Of course my bracket had nothing to do with ranking or seeds. My picks depended on whether I've been to the city, know someone that attended the college, like the sound of the name, etc.
My brothers have been making fun of my bracket picking methods and total ignorance when it comes to the workings of the tournament. I'm just saying, I'm the only one in the family whose top pick is playing in the final game tonight. And I've already beat my dad and two brothers. Look who's sorry now.
I'm pretty proud. I think I'll call my grandma to score some points. She'll be so happy.
Enjoy the game tonight...... is it bad that I kind of want Butler to win now, even though I picked Duke to win it on my bracket?
P.S. Next year I'm going to beat my husband.... he killed everyone.
Posted by Andie on April 1, 2010
I have always loved April Fools Day, and practical jokes for that matter. As a kid, I was the one who wrapped an elastic around the sprayer on the kitchen sink, put cling wrap on the toilet, set everyone's alarm clocks forward an hour, and convinced my little brother and sister that our parents were lying to them because they were really adopted. In junior high my friends and I participated in a three year practical joke war with a group of boys which included writing fake love letters, prank calling, water balloon egg fights, and toilet papering each others lawns with well over 100 rolls of TP. In high school and college, the jokes just got better (or worse). I don't think I'll be sharing any of those stories.
I've been in on some pretty good practical jokes, but my very favorite one I've played on anyone happened a few years ago. I was staying at my parents house one night, and got home before my 18 year old little sister. That never used to happen, and so I decided I'd take advantage of getting home early. I turned off my bedroom light and shut the door so that she'd think I was already asleep, then started camping out in her closet. I don't know what comes over me, but when I'm in the mood to play a prank, I'll basically do anything to get a good laugh, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it might be....
So, my sister finally gets home and I'm sitting there suffocating in her little closet in the fetal position for a good 45 minutes while she washes her face, brushes her teeth, and chats with my parents about her date. Finally, she comes into her bedroom. I'm relieved because I want to get this show on the road, but just my luck, she opens up a book and reads for another twenty minutes. Just as I've surrendered to the fact that I'm going to be breathing in Downy and laying on an uncomfortable bed of shoes all night, she flips off the light switch and crawls into her covers. Game On.
After she's been laying there for a couple minutes, I start lightly scratching on her closet door with my finger nails. She gets out of bed, mumbling about the noise and walks over to her blinds. She opens them up, looks out the window, closes them again, then gets back into bed. I watch all of this through a crack in her closet door, helplessly holding in my laughter.
A few minutes later, I start with the light scratching again, this time a little louder than the first. She starts grumbling again, clearly annoyed, and gets out of her bed once again to adjust her blinds at the window. She seems confused, but sleepiness tempts her back into bed.
I wait a little bit so that she'll start getting comfortable, and then start scratching for the third time. She sits up in her bed, looks around, stares at the closet for a minute, then lays back down.
Minutes later I'm scratching again, very loudly. It's obvious now that not only are the noises she's been hearing real, but they are coming from the inside of her closet. She bolts up in her bed, starts screaming bloody murder and literally flies through the air, bumping into the wall as she tries to get away. As she runs down the hall towards my parent's room I can hear her terrified shriek, "Heellllppppp!! Somebody's... in.... my.... closet!"
Ten seconds later, my father, totally frazzled from being awoken so fast, and worried that some creepo is in his house stalking his daughter, rushes into the room. He rips open the closet door to find me laughing hysterically on the ground, underneath a rack of hanging clothes.
Nobody thought it was very funny that night. I have to admit, if someone had been stalking me out in my closet in the dark, family member or not, I probably wouldn't have either. A few days later, my sister finally admitted that I had gotten her, and I'd gotten her good. You can bet that she checked underneath her bed and in her closet every night before she went to sleep for the next year. Naturally. And so did I.
To all of you practical joke lovers out there, make this day count.
I'm still trying to figure out a good prank to play on my husband. Any ideas?
In other news.....
The lucky random winner of the Weber Genesis Grill is........
Heidi Oneal, from Clinton, Utah
She's going to be hosting some sweet barbeques this summer!
She said, "We are planning on building a patio later this spring, so this grill will help us to throw some great barbecues! My daughter has informed me that the first thing we cook on it is going to be kabobs. I am very excited about being chosen as the winner of the grill! Thank you!"
For everyone who didn't win this grill, stay tuned for more great promotions!