Flea Removal


Everybody meet Beast Boy. The newest addition to our family. He’s an adorable little boy, a beautiful sandstone colored cat. We’ve been debating for a few weeks now if we were ready for another kitten. We had to put a kitten down a few months ago due to internal problems that were too intense to fix. I was going to discuss with Tony, the possibility of getting one from the next street over. They had a sign for free kittens, which is usually how we get them.

He instead brought home this little monster with him. We apparently had the same idea. He just skipped the discussion.

The little guy needed a bath, I get so annoyed with people who let kittens get so dirty and gross! I gave him the standard cat bath and while drying him, I found fleas all over him. Ugh!

We’ve lived here for eight years and never had fleas, we were not going to ruin the record now! I pulled up one of the pictures on my life hacks board, sadly no link to credit, and read that you combine:

•1 cup Dawn dish soap
•1 cup white vinegar
•4 cups warm water

It makes kind of a soupy mess, which I forgot to take a picture of. Then you scrub it into the fur and rub it in for about five minutes. The kitten did not deal well with this as his second bath in 15 minutes.

For cats I would recommend cutting it down to
•1/4 cup Dawn
•1/4 cup vinegar
•1 cup warm water
Although it was nice to have enough in the bowl to dip the kitten in.


At first, after rinsing and starting to dry him, I thought this was a failure. So sad! However, in a little under an hour, the fleas began working their way away from his skin, eventually falling off dead.
We did pick up flea collars for all of our little zoo, but now that it’s almost 24 hours later, I can’t find a single flea.

I will call this a big success, and it’s much cheaper than over the counter flea treatments. When trying this, don’t be discouraged if the fleas don’t fall off instantly, it does take a little time to kick in. It will also leave your pet fluffy and soft.

Enjoy the tip for your furry friends, I hope it helps!

Get Rid of the Cat Smell


I imagine this would work with all bad smells in your carpet, but I know for sure that it will get cat urine smell out of a carpet.
I was recently in NC visiting my mom and dad, and they are the owners of three cats. One of them was my own sweet Neo, one is a demonic animal named Kenua they picked up in Hawaii and the other is Morpheus, who we adopted from a friend while I was still in school.
Morpheus has some issues. He hates change, he hates Kenua and I’m pretty sure he hates everyone except my parents. When faced with situations he is unhappy with, he pees. There was a patch of carpet near my parents fireplace that he routinely used. While there, I decided to try out a Pinterest tip that links back to http://www.getridofthings.com/pets/get-rid-of-cat-urine/
I adjusted a little bit, skipping a step as I didn’t feel it was necessary and I was correct. You start by blotting up any excess cat urine and ensuring the area is dry. I didn’t have to do this, as this was a lingering smell in the carpet.
Second step is to whip up a vinegar / water solution. 3 parts water – 1 part vinegar. Soak the area of carpet that smells. I didn’t have a spray bottle available to I poured my vinegar mixture over the area and scrubbed it into the carpet with a brush. I let it sit in the carpet until it was dry to the touch.
After its dry you sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. I ended up letting it go for 30 minutes, but it doesn’t really matter if you go over!
Once it has sat long enough, you just vacuum it up. After I was finished vacuuming I was down on the floor like I was in a Febreeze commercial. It was amazing! Not a whiff of cat urine!
If you have a smell sticking around your house from a frisky feline, try this! Get rid of that nasty smell and go back to loving everything about your cat!
Happy sniffing *finally*

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon
This was a fun, snowy day activity for our family. Kids get to be a little crazy when they’re cooped up in the house during a snow storm! Mom and dad can quickly follow suit if you can’t shake things up. This was a simple thing to do, and I had all of the requirements on hand. If I did, I’m sure you will too.
All you need for this fun little activity is a plastic bottle, like a soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar and balloons. You start by filling the bottle about 1/3 of the way up with vinegar. The next step was a little interesting to figure out, but Tony and I made it work. You need to put baking soda in the balloon, we filled it about half way (half of an empty balloon is a few tablespoons). I held the balloon open with both hands while Tony put in the baking soda. Next step is to stretch the balloon opening around the bottle opening without spilling any of the baking soda. A little tricky, but possible!
Before Inflation
The next part goes fast so be sure everyone is paying attention, even though I’m sure you’ll do this multiple times. Once everyone is watching, flip the balloon up so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar. The reaction is fast and intense. I’ve always loved the way these two elements interact. If you want to get science-y you can tell your kids this is called a double replacement reaction. It’s the same chemical combination you would use to make “lava” for the science experiment volcanos.
Sadly this doesn’t make helium, which would’ve been the coolest ever, but it will inflate fast! My kids were giggling like mental patients every time we did this. We went through almost a half a bag of balloons before I decided that was enough vinegar for the day. Since Pinterest has taken over my life I’ve started buying vinegar by the gallon! We did play a bit of a guessing game to find the right vinegar-to-baking soda ratio. Some of the combinations barely inflated the balloon and others bubbled the solution into the balloon. It doesn’t really matter if it bubbles up, it will all settle back down.
Enjoy your own experiments with your family! Remember it’s just a good time for everyone!
Original idea came from http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2012/01/blow-it-up-exploring-gas-with-balloons.html

Vinegar Socks

It sounds ridiculous, right? I’ve heard for years that vinegar will bring down a fever if you soak your feet in it. I’ve never had much call for this one though because if I get sick, it’s generally just the sniffles.
Being practical about it, it’s hard to get a three year old to leave her feet in a bowl of vinegar, so I’ve never tried it on the kids either. Chiara had a low grade fever yesterday and ended up passing out a little before bedtime. No big deal, I just laid her down early. Well, it became a big deal when she woke up at 11pm and her fever had spiked to 101.3.


Poor baby wasn’t feeling well at all!
As she was snuggled up, I went cruising Pinterest for some different options. I stumbled upon this site, http://phonereviewsblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/when-you-have-baby-or-small-child-who.html?m=1
And she was saying that you soak some of your kids socks in vinegar, put them on their feet, wrap a towel around them and let them dry.


If the fever doesn’t dissipate completely the first time, do it a second time.
It worked! It was amazing, albeit stinky, but it brought her temp down to a reasonable level by the time her socks had dried off.
After we took her socks off, we wiped her feet down with a baby wipe to get rid of the smell.
Aside from home remedies, remember to push fluids with a feverish child. In our case, we gave her a popsicle to assist with bringing her fever down. If you have any doubts, call your pediatrician. Never go against your parental instinct when it comes to your babies!

Keurig Cleaning


I got Tony a Keurig for Christmas in 2010 and he loves it. I also got the my K-Cup so he would have the option of K-Cups or his own coffee.
I saw this post about cleaning your Keurig and was like, huh? As I was reading the post, it was talking about how the machine started to give smaller servings. The reason behind it was the water started dripping back into the reservoir instead of into your cup. I mentioned this to Tony and he said, he noticed it, but just thought he was going crazy.
The blogger goes on to tell you how to clean your machine. You start by filling your reservoir with white vinegar and running it through its cycle until it says add water. Then you run a full reservoir of water through until its gone. I was a little worried about not having a replacement filter, after Tony started worrying about vinegar flavored coffee. However, the hot cocoa I made to test it came out great! As you can tell by the photo, full cups again!
The blogger also said to use a paper clip to make sure your *really sharp* needle is clear of coffee grounds.
Funny story for this too: the manual that comes with your Keurig actually talks you through this process also…..
Original pin can be found at http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/01/when-your-keurig-doest-make-a-full-cup-how-to-clean-your-keurig/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AFewShortCuts+%28A+Few+Short+Cuts%29

Clean your dishwasher

Clean your dishwasher

This was eye opening, more than a little disgusting, and not as huge a success as I had hoped. I still would recommend everyone do this, because thinking about what is in your dishwasher will disgust you anyway!
Step one is to take out the bottom shelf of your dishwasher. This is easy, just role it out and lift it up. However, don’t let your kids realize it rolls, that just leads to a whole other issue! They never want to give it back. Then, there is the matter of taking out the twirl-y thing on the bottom. There should be a lever type thing at the bottom and you pop it, and it’ll come out.
Now is the disgusting part: pull up the grate at the bottom and get all the crap out of there. There were bone fragments
Original pin is http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/cleaning-tips/how-to-clean-a-dishwasher.html

Supposed Miracle Mop Solution

Supposed Miracle Mop Solution

I would call this experiment partially successful. They made this out to be a miracle mopping solution, which I am all about something simple that I can’t run out of. Cheaper and, while it has several ingredients, it’s at least stuff that I have on hand at all times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone to mop once or twice and I don’t have my Mr. Clean. Yes, dish soap works, but not as well.
So you take the following ingredients and mix them all up, easy peasy!
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
1/4 cup washing soda
2 gallons tap water, very warm
Then proceed to mop your floor.
I did all of this and discovered 2 things. First, this is the soapiest solution you will ever use on your floors. I actually had to go over again with clean water to get all the suds up. Second, this will leave streaks on your floor.
The only good thing I found from this solution is that it powers through spots on the floor. No scrubbing required, I just pushed the mop across the scummy stuff and it went away.
Of course afterwards I had to re-mop with clean water, then run a steam mop to get rid of the streaks. The original pin said it smelled good, and it did, however Mr. Clean smells good too and I only have to mop once!
We’ll label this try at your own discretion, and if you have time to do the job 3 times!
Original pin found here
Follow me on Pinterest, just look up Stephanie DeSantis

Refresh your towels

Refresh your towels

This was something I had to try twice. The first time made me sad. This is a simple process. You wash the towels once in hot water with a cup of vinegar, and then you wash them a second time in hot water with a half a cup of baking soda.
The first time, no noticeable difference. I was hoping for fluffy and I had normal out of the laundry towels. I was ready to mark this one down as a waste of time.
I started thinking after a few days that I may have overloaded the load. I tend to do large loads of towels, honestly I do large loads of everything, but towels especially. So I decided I would give this one more try.
I’m so glad I did! This time around, the towels were soft and fluffy. I don’t have high end towels, but they were really soft and, as you can tell from the picture, cuddly! Even Tony was impressed by how well they came out, and Tony tends to think my Pinterest is a weird quirk of mine. I love when I pull something out that he loves!
Tips for this that are not mentioned on the pin: make sure you only do a medium size load and make sure you switch your water temperature back to cold. I always wash my clothes in cold, it’s just energy conscious.
Original pin can be seen here

Microwave cleaning

Microwave cleaning

This, I am sad to say was a total bust! I tried 2 different methods, both of which I was unable to track down the original pin. I do however have both pictures and directions pinned to my organizing, space-saving & cleaning board. Feel free to follow me for other tips: Stephanie DeSantis on Pinterest
The first method was to put 1-2 cups of water and 1-2 tbsps. in your microwave for 5 minutes, then everything is supposed to magically wipe away, a la steam cleaned. After the 5 minutes, I was still having to scrub like any other time I clean my microwave, so I moved on to the second trial.
Second method is 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar in the microwave for 10 minutes. The only difference from this method and the first one, was my kitchen now reeked of vinegar. I still ended up having to scrub my microwave with good old fashioned elbow-grease, so the hunt for a good microwave cleaning tip continues…….