Monday, April 9, 2012

April Monthly Newsletter

April Monthly Newsletter • (484)903-9808

Don’t you love this time of year? Can spring cleaning and flowers blooming be any better!? Now is a great time to think about what your home needs, before all the kids come home for summer break and it is difficult to work around them. How is your attic looking? Need organization help? We can help on an hourly basis for a minimum of 4 hours, which can get A LOT done! Or are your windows in need of a cleaning? Our prices depend upon type and location of your windows and the range is between $7-$15 a window. So count them up and let us know what kind of windows you have and we would love to give you a quick estimate! Now is the time!

Charity of the Month

In the month of April we will be donating 5% of our sales to Nature Conservancy. They work to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 countries, all 50 United States and in your own backyard. They help habitats from the coral reefs to the deserts and they work to protect the lands and waters that plants and animals need to survive—for us and for future generations. They also face tough conservation issues such as climate change, rainforest preservation, and energy development in a growing world. To learn more about them please visit

Organization Idea of the Month

How is your desk holding up? Is it piled high with papers yet this year? An option that may work for you and your family could be “Go To” binders. These are binders that keep your daily, monthly and yearly things in order. Filing cabinets are great, if you can keep them in order, and some of us can’t crouch down or see very well inside a dark cabinet. So you can take this idea and use it for your daily needs, or go so far as to file with binders! First take binders and fill them with empty paper protectors and label each binder with the items that are inside. Daily binders might be: bills, receipts, food plan (budgets, menu plans, etc.), to file, etc. You may then want to label some files:

Wife Personal (birth cert., transcripts, passport, licenses, personal letters/keepsakes, etc.)
Husband Personal (see Wife Personal)
Auto (filed by car: maintenance/repair logs, insurance, titles, bills of sale, etc.)
Medical/Health (medical bills, insurance packets, past records, etc.)
Finance/Money (anything bank related, student loans, credit cards, etc.)
Employment (resumes, W-2's, acceptance letters, freelance invoices/forms, etc.)
Warranties & Manuals
House (loan/refinance docs, rental paperwork, maintenance/repair bills, tax/insurance form, deeds, etc.)

This method can also be used for kids’ paperwork, small crafts, memorabilia, and so much more!

Cleaning Idea of the Month

                This time of year you might hear “Spring Cleaning” 100 times in a day. One has to stop and wonder, what is a “real” spring clean? For some it’s actually vacuuming, for others it’s windows, and for most it’s getting where you normally can’t reach. For example behind your refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, hot water heater, your bed, the list can go on and on. How can you make this easier you ask? Well, we have the solutions. If you need to move a piece of furniture far enough that you have to use the brush part of your vacuum, save yourself the trouble, and use EZ-Slide. You can purchase them as one time use or reusable. We recommend the reusable. You don’t want all the furniture in your home being able to slide easily. To use the reusable ones you just lift a corner, place these discs underneath and slide around the room. You may even want to rearrange once you see how easy it is! You can purchase them for $17 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and they will last you for years to come. It is worth the price. Also when you want to get behind your water heater or your oven, just get an old panty hose and rubber band it around the attachment of your vacuum. Then you can reach behind every place you want and not suck up that lid you had been looking for or that earring you thought was lost. So get to it and enjoy!

Craft of the Month

                Come spring, who doesn’t like a lot of flowers in their home?! However to purchase all matching pots or to have some that all look the same is difficult and sometimes very expensive. Here is a great way to make your home look beautiful with little effort, using any pots, plastic or ceramic. Before you transfer your plants into new pots, take some desirable cloth, cut it to fit around the pot and run a line of hot glue around the inside lip of the pot. Fold the cloth over and run another line of glue around the base of the rim, then again at the very bottom. Tightly squeeze the cloth around the pot. At the bottom cut the cloth for size and glue, but not too much – you don’t want the cloth to get wet and mold. You will have some extra cloth, so as you run your hands down, just gather on one side and fold over.

Healthy Idea of the Month

                Now that spring has sprung so many people are cleaning, baking, getting cheap produce and homes are just buzzing. However, being so full of activity there can be the potential of waste. Here are some tips on freezing food when you have that baking frenzy feeling, or find that great cheap produce!

I’ve been known for baking huge batches of sweets in one day and then freezing them for our enjoyment over the next few months. This saves me tons of time, we love our sweets!

Brownies & Cookies: Yup, I do it all the time. Just put them in resealable bags or storage containers with tight-fitting lids and they’ll last as long as you can resist them!

Breads, Buns, Muffins, and Rolls: Just double-bag them to prevent freezer burn and they should be fine for several months.

Cupcakes & Cake: Yes, I’ve frozen cupcakes and even whole cakes! You can frost cakes before or after freezing them, but if you use store-bought frosting, you’ll want to wait to frost them until after they defrost…trust me!

Granola: Yup, you can freeze it in mason jars or zip-top bags!

Pies: Just make sure to freeze them before you bake them.

Baking Supplies: I freeze many of my baking supplies in shoe boxes in our freezer! {Shoe boxes stack well and allow for ventilation.}

Chocolate: You can store all your baking chocolates in the freezer because they keep for much longer this way and taste “fresher”. Plus it frees up more space in your cabinets.

Nuts: I store all our nuts in the freezer to keep their oils from going rancid. I first heard this tip from Rachel Ray and it seems to work — so it must be true!

Flour and Sugar: While it’s not necessary, you can freeze flour and sugar — especially in the summer when houses tend to be more humid.


Before freezing fruit, make sure it’s washed, dried, and divided into smaller portions. This will make it easy to quickly grab what you need without defrosting the entire batch. Fruits should keep for up to a year if properly sealed.

All Fruits: You can pretty much freeze any fruit you plan to use in smoothies because it will get mashed up anyway; however, don’t plan on freezing fruit simply for eating — it will be really soggy.

Berries: I freeze all kinds of berries for pancakes and smoothies. I also keep 2-cup containers of crushed berries to use for making jam, ice-cream toppings, or for berry shortcake.

Bananas: I peel any rotten bananas and put 4 bananas in a bag or freezer container. Then whenever a recipe calls for bananas, I just grab a container to defrost


I’m always making double batches of our favorite foods to store in the freezer. Then on busy days, I just defrost one in the morning, and it’s usually ready by dinner time.

Soups, Stews, and Broths: I divide these up into 1 or 2 cup portions so they defrost quicker.

Casseroles: I’ve frozen everything from lasagna and fajitas, to enchiladas, chicken dishes, and more! Just make sure all the ingredients are fully cooked before you freeze it. When you’re ready to eat it, just defrost and bake as normal.

Meat: You can freeze cooked meat, raw meat, ground meat, shredded meat, “whole” meat, etc. Just make sure it’s properly sealed to prevent freezer burn.

March Monthly Newsletter

March Monthly Newsletter • (484)903-9808

Somehow we skipped winter, which normally would upset me. However now spring comes early! That means more flowers, open windows, and truly being able to get the house completely clean! This year we will be running a Spring Clean Special. Which will include cleaning:

ü  Behind refrigerator

ü  Under all area rugs (up to 3 area rugs)

ü  Move and clean under couches and sofas

All this for an add onto your current package for only $50. Also, don’t forget to add on our Wowing Windows package or our Steam it up, Clean it up package! And if you want attic organization, its better to do it in the spring and not the summer!

Charity of the Month

The month of February we donated 5% of sales to; To Write Love on Her Arms. The month of March we will be donating another 5% of sales to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, they are one of the most important non-profit organizations in Pennsylvania to us “tree huggers”. They deal with a wide range of issues but their expertise is focused on three broad sets of issues that are central to Pennsylvania's environmental well-being and quality of life: Water Resources, Sustainable Communities, and Energy & Climate. To find out more about Pennsylvania Environmental Council, go to

Organization Idea of the Month

Is there that one place in your house every time you go into it you think in your head, “That’s still here!?” or “This is never going to get cleaned out.” For most people this is the feeling about their attic or crawl space. It’s where things go to die, to never be used again. However, it doesn’t have to be used like that, it can be a place where you hide the Christmas gifts in winter, or store your new summer clothes until the heat hits. With open space and uses above our imagination this small area can be where dreams come true if we utilize it well.

First things first, get up there before the heat comes! Once the summer comes, all bets are off. Then take a look at your stuff and Analyze. Strategize. Attack. This will be a process and will take time and many comb thru. As always if you feel overwhelmed in any of this, you can call in the professionals, us. 

Analyze what the items are: memories, seasonal storage, not needed old décor, things you never used, things you used to use, or just straight garbage. You need to emotionally disconnect yourself from the “stuff” in your attic. Look at it as old emotions, old memories. Not “I think there was a good reason I kept this.”

Strategize your steps, your physical and emotional steps. Work left to right, or clock-wise. Don’t skip an inch. Categorize it first: Garbage, donation or keep. Bag all the garbage in black bags, and then bag all the donation items in white bags, so you can tell the difference. As you make your donation bags don’t forget to write down what you are putting in. This is for a few different reasons, one, so you can write out an email to your family and say “This Friday I will be dropping off all these items to the thrift store if you want any of them, come by Friday, they will be in the trunk of my car.” And the second reason is to keep this list for a tax deduction on your taxes.

Attack your belongings! As you go thru these items a second time, keep in mind you still have not made that trip to the thrift store, so you can still add to it. Categorize everything. And if it doesn’t have a category, you may not need it. Put these items in piles according to the category. Then tote these items and label it. Memories 1 box to every 5 years is the rule of thumb. Seasonal items should be only as much as you are willing to put out every year. Papers are only up to every 7 years. Old child clothes should not be kept unless you plan on having a baby in the next few years. The stale heat and cold ruin clothes, and that style won’t be “in” a few years later. And other people’s storage….they need to get their own storage unit, because if you have had it, they don’t need it, let it be their problem. Now, if these items don’t fit..DONATE!

Cleaning Idea of the Month

                Lets talk kitchen. Few tips of the trade:

v  Use a fresh lemon to wash and sanitize a chopping block or a wooden cutting board

v  Wipe the refrigerator handle every time you wipe your counter tops

v  Every time your sink is empty, just spray in your cleaner and walk away, it sanitizes without you doing anything. (FYI, your sink is the dirtiest place in your home)

v  When wiping out your microwave, put a cup of water with dish detergent in it, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then it has evaporated and you’re stuck on gunk comes up like a breeze

v  Last one, use baking soda everywhere! Clean your oven with it; clean your microwave with it, your garbage can, your stove top and everything in between. Just sprinkle it on and use a wet towel with water and start to scrub! It is its own abrasive cleaning adjent!

Craft of the Month

The Easter basket is always oriented around candy, what if we oriented it around spring?! How ingenious would that be! So let’s talk flowers. Children love to work with their hands, especially when they can accomplish something on their own. This craft is easy, and can make beauty! You need:

v  Tissue paper

v  Pipe cleaners

v  Floral tape or Scotch tape

v  Pinking shears

1. Cut out five 4-inch squares of tissue paper; stack, and fold into quarters. Draw petal shapes along the two folded edges. Cut out shapes, and unfold.

2. Bend one end of a pipe cleaner to form a round nub. Use the other end to pierce a hole in the center of the stack of petals; pull it through to form a stem.

3. At the flower base, scrunch the petals closed so they resemble a loose pom-pom. Wrap floral tape around the bottom inch of the flower's base and down the stem. Pull the layers of petals apart.

4. To make another kind of flower cut out five 4-inch squares of tissue paper; stack, and fold into quarters. Draw a quarter circle along the two un-folded edges. Cut out shapes with pinking shears; unfold.

5. Bend one end of a pipe cleaner to form a round nub. Use the other end to pierce a hole in the center of the stack of petals; pull it through to form a stem.

6. At the flower base, scrunch the petals closed so they resemble a loose pom-pom. Wrap tape around the bottom inch of the flower's base and down the stem. Pull the layers of petals apart.

7. To make another kind of flower, using two different colors and the pinking shears, cut two pieces of tissue (or crepe paper) into rectangles whose lengths are 6 inches and whose widths vary (ours were 2 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches). Center the smaller rectangle on top of the larger one, and fold, accordion-style.

8. Pinch the folds in the middle; hook the end of a pipe cleaner over them, and twist it. Fan out the paper until the ends meet. Lift up the small layer to form the daffodil center; trim with pinking shears. Wrap tape tightly around the bottom inch of the flower's base and down the stem.

Now let’s stuff your basket, we can insert you flowers however also instead of buying “grass” for your basket, you can make it! It’s a great way to recycle wrapping, construction, or craft paper: Feed leftover sheets or scraps through an electric shredder for colorful strips to use as basket grass. Desktop paper shredders are available at office-supply stores. To transform flat strips into spirals, crumple them in your hands, or curl with scissors. Feed the short side of rolled papers through shredder to retain the curl.


Healthy Idea of the Month

Here comes the time of year that you are going to have an over abundance of eggs around your home, and a great way to use them is this! Dyed deviled eggs! I know you are thinking that is gross. But it’s not, you don’t taste the food coloring and it’s festive and you can use it all year round with different colors. You dye the peeled hardboiled egg themselves before you cut them in half to make deviled eggs.

  1. Hard boil the eggs and refrigerate until ready to peel. Peel under running cold water and make your Deviled Eggs. Hint: if you add salt into the boiling water (about 1/8 of a cup) the shells come completely off with no effort.
  2. One tsp white vinegar and 5 to 20 drops of food coloring per one cup of hot water. Make as many colors are desired.
  3. Peel the eggs, and dip them into the different colors. Let them sit until you've achieved a color that you like (about 7 mins). Blot dry.
  4. Cut in half using one of those carrot cutters that make them crinkle shaped and make your favorite deviled egg recipe!
  5. Then pipe the yolk back into the colored eggs! Have fun watching everyone flip over the cool eggs