Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homemaking Q & A .... and A Giveaway!!

There were a couple questions after my last post on Homemaking, and I wanted to go ahead and answer them.

Sally asked about baking and cooking - when do I do it? So far I just fly by the seat of my pants as far as a baking schedule. If it's something that I really, really, MUST bake or cook, I'll put it on my to-do list. Otherwise, I just do it as needed.

Edensgarden asked about the "Empty Slop" item on my list :) That's where I empty the slop! I have a lidded container that I keep under the sink (it's about the size of a shortening can - it's actually a bucket leftover from a church social) that all of our food scraps go in. Bones, drippings, veggie peels, egg shells, etc. When I clean out the frige and have something to "go" it also goes in the slop bucket. On the days that I have it on the list, I haul it out to the garden and dump it on the "slop pile" - which is just the place in the garden that I dump the slop. I change it up from time to time to spread the joy. It also doubles as Rascal Entertainment and Barker Exerciser. Especially when there are very many egg shells, the turkey buzzards all think that my garden is "the" happenin' place! And it drives Rascal bonkers. He'll spend the whole day barking and barking at them... unless I shush him - more than once. It gets the slop out of the house, it keeps it from stinking up the trash can until the trash gets emptied, and it is my way of composting.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to host My Country Cupboard's first ever ...


A couple years ago I bought an extra something with the intent of giving it away as a gift, but it ended up not happening. At least right then.

In light of it being spring, the weather turning nice and springy, the overwhelming - yet intriguing - idea of "spring cleaning" rolling around in our heads, and the simple fact that y'all make blogging fun for me, I'm going to give away this:

One copy of More Hours In My Day by home management expert Emilie Barnes can be yours!! I haven't read and highlighted the copy I'm giving away, so you'll be able to do that yourself :P

You will all have (3) opportunities to get your name in the hat, you can do any or all of the 3. They are:

(1) Leave a comment! Tell me what method you currently use for maintaining your house. It could be "clean it all in one day once a year", "spend 30 minutes each evening", "hire maid service", "move each time it gets too deep", "when I can't find the dog", "none", or whatever floats your boat.

(2) Let more people know! Share this giveaway on your blog or facebook page, and come back here and let me know about it. If you blog about it, leave me a link so I can come visit your blog :) (Um, as an afterthought, if you don't have a blog or facebook page.... leave a comment letting me know. Just trying to keep it all fair and stuff.)

(3) Tell me this: What kind of laundry soap do you use and why? Not really relevant to anything in particular, but I had to come up with something for #3! :D

The giveaway will run until Tuesday, April 21st at 12:00 noon EDT. One (1) winner will be randomly drawn and announced sometime Tuesday evening.

And I think I've covered all the bases. Now I'm gonna go clean my kitchen - in my bathrobe. Because it's Saturday and I don't have a "to do" list for Saturdays, which means there's nothing making me get dressed today. And I just kinda like bummin' in my bathrobe once in a while. I promise I'll get dressed before I go outside.

I have to come back and add this... I'm gonna have to get dressed. Cleaning in my bathrobe just ain't cutting it. I don't feel like cleaning when I still have my bathrobe on. It feels like I should be sitting here being lazy instead. While I certainly enjoy doing nothing, I know that I NEED to get the dishes cleaned up. I don't touch the kitchen on Sunday's unless I really have to, so I need to get it done TODAY. Guess it's been awhile since I really spent the whole day working in my bathrobe - it just doesn't feel right anymore.

~~Giveaway is closed. Winner will be announced at 8pm EDT~~


Missy said... [Reply to comment]

I want to enter your give away. I posted about it on my blog.
I have a cleaning schedule I go by. I use what ever laundry detergent is on sale. Right now I am using up my stockpile because I want to start making my own detergent.The same with my dishwasher detergent.I am looking for more ways to simplify and get more organized.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I wanted to enter your give away. I do not have a blog but I so much enjoy reading yours and my daughters also read it. I use what ever laundry soap is on sale but once in a while I may break down and buy better. My cleaning schedule is not a real schedule although I have tried. It's more like do what needs to be done first and go from there. Again I love to read your blog and might start one myself sometime.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I want to enter your give away and let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I have 3 married daughters that also read your blog.I usually buy whatever laundry soap that is on sale. ometimes I break down and buy better.My cleaning schedule really is more like what ever needs cleaning gets cleaned first although I have tried I don't seem to be able to stick to one very well. Really love your blog and may start one of my own sometime.

Cate said... [Reply to comment]

I would love to win this!

For the first question, I used to do a thorough cleaning of the entire apartment once a week (usually Mondays), which is also when I would do laundry. Throughout the week, I would wipe down surfaces (like the stovetop) as needed. Since I've been pregnant, though, it's been much harder for me to get everything done by myself, so my husband and I have started splitting up the cleaning and we spend a couple hours or so every weekend (usually Sunday) cleaning and doing laundry.

As for laundry detergent, I buy mine from a woman on etsy whose shop is called Crunchy Clean. It's all-natural and lasts so much longer than regular detergent! For fabric softener, we've started using white vinegar.

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said... [Reply to comment]

Oooh, Oooh, pick me, pick me! ;)

Still working on perfecting "my plan". Right now, I clean areas, and I'm trying to assign them days and what not.

I use homemade detergent because it is super easy, super cheap, and well--it rocks! :)

Leighann said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Miriam!

I use whatever luandry detergent is on sale AND I have a coupon for. I am not picky about this at all. Cleaning... Since I work full time and sometimes work on Saturdays too I try and keep the house picked up and ALWAYS clean the kitchen before going to bed (wipe counters, dishes in dishwasher and sink clean). I do real cleaning when I have a Saturday off or if I have a free morning (I work 11-8 one day a week). I don't clean like I should, but the house is usually fairly presentable. Maybe your book would help get a better plan.


mint said... [Reply to comment]

Love your blog & especially recipes. I'd like to enter the contest..can't find this book anywhere! ha.....I do my laundry on Monday & Friday's and usually in my robe too!!! LOL Make the bed every morning!! Mop everyday and sometimes twice a day!! Sorry no blog or facebook! I use cold water Tide to save on electric bill!! Husband is H & C guy and electrican!! :)

Janelle said... [Reply to comment]

I have to say that I maintain my house on an as-needed basis. I dust once a week, vacuum twice a week (or more if needed), and pick up pretty much every day. DH cleans the bathrooms once a week, and I do touch-ups. I don't have a specific schedule...I do cleaning every day, but do what I feel like doing, for as long as I feel like doing it! lol

Janelle said... [Reply to comment]

As for laundry, I use the Sam's brand of liquid detergent. I really want to make my own, but it scares me with my front-loader. Once I've heard from a couple people with the front-loaders that have been using homemade detergent for awhile, I'll feel much better about it!

Valerie said... [Reply to comment]

I would love to enter your give away! I will post on my blog. Let's see what else was I suppose to do? Oh yes, I use Flylady sometimes but I seem to resort back to sidetracked executives sometimes to clean my house. I also don't use a particular detergent, just the cheapest. I actually want to make my own one day. I loveyour blog and will add it to my blog lists. Thanks for sharing.

Jenn said... [Reply to comment]

I was intrigued by this book when you first posted about it. I do not have a cleaning plan per se unless you count my DD doing her chores. I just clean as I go. I sweep and vaccum daily, laundry every couple of days, wipe counters as I use them, that kind of thing.

As for laundry detergent, honestly, I buy whatever is on sale. I used to swear by Tide, but the price of it has gotten way out of hand.

I love all your recipes that you post and am terribly envious of the great grocery shopping deals you get. I am not so lucky in my neck of the woods.

rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

I want to enter your give away too! I've been enjoying following you to the store...and I love the "coupon-savvy" recipes. I definitely need to cram more hours into my day right now... My current cleaning method teeters between chasing dust bunnies and being a cleaning tornado. You never know which one you'll get. And for the record, I use Tide. Unscented. It's one of those things I picked up from my mom. Have fun with the contest!

Mrs. Paradis said... [Reply to comment]

I want to enter your give away :)

I clean 30 minutes a day and that does not include laundry or dishes and I can keep up with the house that way.

debbie said... [Reply to comment]

I'd like to enter your contest. I use whatever laundry detergent is on sale or one that I have coupons for.
I have a schedule for cleaning: Monday - bedrooms, Tuesday - bathrooms, Wednesday - kitchen, Thursday - living/dining, Friday - Sunday - OFF!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I make my own luandry detergent. I clean indepthly whenever I am having a party or company. I try to keep things pickes up & put away normally and I think the book might be interesting, although I'd have to read it at work!! I don't have time to at home!!!

Keith and Abbi McDaniel's Family said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Miriam,

I'd love to enter the give away. I'll try to do all three. Does that give me more points? Right now, I clean it whenever I feel like it although I am very familiar with fly lady. Having two kids makes it difficult to clean for long stretches of time. And my blog is And lastly, we use any "FREE" detergent. Meaning anything that doesn't have artificial dyes and scents. My 6 month old doesn't tolerate them well. Have a great week.


Meghan said... [Reply to comment]

My cleaning schedule is non-existent. I try and keep the house picked up and usually sweep the floors once a day. Nothing gets too out of hand, yet it still seems overwhelming if I let cleaning slide for awhile.

I have lots of cheap laundry detergent from CVS deals from last year that I need to use up (8 bottles, I think) and then I am going to make my own detergent. I also use Palmolive dish soap with Oxy (not oxy clean) to get barn clothes or winter jackets clean, as a stain remover, or as my detergent (you do not need more than a TBS).

I posted this over on my blog. Thanks for such a helpful giveaway!

Tammy KOretoff said... [Reply to comment]

I would love to win that!

I do the heavy cleaning (kitchen, bathrooms and floors) on Mondays as it usually needs it after all six of my kids were home over the weekend. On Tuesdays I dust and vacumn the downstairs. Wednesday the upstairs. I also wash the sheets on Tuesdays.

I make my own laundry detergent and love it!

Tammy K.

Cyndi said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Miriam,
Just wanted to enter your little giveaway! Cleaning Schedule, ha! Used to try, but now I'm just a "fly by the seat of my pants lady". The detergent we use is usually arm and hammer or purex (whichever is on sale). I am intrigued by the make you own soap though, if you have any information on that. Haven't posted on my blog yet, but gonna try tonight. check it out at Good luck with the house. :) Exciting times!

Michaela Dunn Leeper said... [Reply to comment]

I just found your blog a couple days ago & printed out your homekeeping series. I've been in a rut & loved your postings on it! I'll be posting about your giveaway on my blog, and was excited to see this opportunity as our library doesn't have this book *sniff*

I typically straighten & swipe every day, and one day a week I do things like dust, scrub loos & kitchen, bake, etc. (Not all in the same day, just do those tasks 1X a week)

As for laundry detergent, I've been using the A&H green stuff. We've recently begun the transition to earth friendly products, so this & HM det. have been my 2 as of late.

THNX for a wonderful opportunity to bless someone else with this book & God bless you!

PS- I like to bum around in jammers & a robe on Saturday as well ;)

Leah S said... [Reply to comment]

Rats, my library doesn't have this book. I better win, huh? ;)

My method of cleaning is when my husband makes a comment or I can't plan a meal around the clean dishes I have left. It's not always that bad... but today, it is. I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking without cleaning. My husband can't really complain because most of my kitchen time is either meeting his cravings or needs. Like he needed a side dish for a potluck at work tomorrow and I pretty much had 3 hours to come up with something. :)

Laundry soap... I'm still playing around in that area. I'd love to try out some Charlie's Soap someday. Methinks that I need to establish a blow fund in the budget. ;) But in the meantime, I'm trying out some Gain Apple Scented stuff - just because my mom really likes it. Me? Not so much, as it's turning out.

My faithful washing companions are a scoop of oxyclean and vinegar in the rinse cycle. I've also started dabbling with a squirt of Dawn in the washer, but I'm thinking Dawn will do better directly onto any stains.

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

I know I missed the entry deadline. I am so sorry! I just should have made myself do it last night. I was planning to do it this morning, but then we got all on the roll and moved our DR table because we are getting the Vogan's DR table and it is coming today.

My cleaning schedule is to clean the kitchen every evening--all dishes washed, all surfaces wiped. Also, help the kids pick up toys every possible evening so the floors are clear. (Not possible evenings are evenings we go to church.) If there aren't too many toys out, sometimes we will skip an evening too. Also, I vacuum some nearly every day, and I do a whole-house vacuuming once a week, but it's not always the same day each week. And the bathroom, it gets cleaned whenever I get to it. Sounds like I need that book, huh?

Laundry detergent, unlike most contestants, I use Tide because I want my clothes to look clean and nice.

And that about does it for the info from me. Thanks for loaning me your high-lighted and seasoned copy of the book!

Angie said... [Reply to comment]

Well, I missed the deadline too but that's ok. I want to chime in anyway!

As always I love reading your blog Miriam. :0)

Good luck with the sale of your house. It's a lot better if you can sell it yourself versus a realtor because they typically add a lot more to it to get their cost into it. This costing the buyer thousands more! We bought from a FSBO and bought our house so much cheaper than what we would have. The owner actually didn't even know the exact amount they owed and had to write the bank a check to finish paying it off. That was sad! They were moving away and just wanted to sell. That was 9 years ago.

Anyhow, back to the reason I'm leaving my post. :0) Hugs!!

We use Tide liquid detergent.

We clean every day! Somewhere, something! With 5 kids you have to stay on top of things!!! Laundry is always going. (need to swap it out right now actually.)