Two Eco Friendly Ways to Clean a Microwave

In this short post I’m just going to give two ways to clean a microwave:

The first is by using a solution of one part vinegar and one part water, 1-2 cups of the mixed solution should be adequate. After putting this solution into a microwave safe container (I almost always use a pyrex or a glass baking dish), the solution needs to be heated for a few minutes in the microwave. I see many sources on the internet suggesting 3 minutes, but I usually do at least 5 and will sometimes repeat heating the solution as I wish.

The second method is nearly identical to the first, but rather than vinegar it calls for water and one lemon. Whereby in this method the lemon juice is squeezed into the water and the lemon is left in the water/lemon juice mixture and heated in the exact same manner as mentioned above for the water and vinegar mixture.

The whole point of either of these two methods is to cause the steam from the given solution to soften any debris within the microwave to make it easier to clean and wipe down. The only thing left to do it the wiping and scrubbing in the microwave itself.

Of course also remember to be careful with the hot liquid while you clean.

A Farewell to Fairy Lights

I took down some white Christmas lights that I’d used to adorn my wardrobe for many years today, for so long I felt that the wardrobe didn’t quite feel right without it and I’d almost taken it down on one other occasion a couple of years back, but today it felt like it was finally time. I’ve enjoyed how it looked all this time, but I think it’s time for it to go and this is my farewell to my cozy fairy lights, I’m just ready for some change.

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Ways to Keep Our Brain Healthy as We Age (the Physical)

This is going to be a post on some notes I’ve taken from the book “60 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp” by Bonne Beth Sparrman, BSN. The book is divided into 4 sections of: physical activity and related preventative measures, nutrition, intellectual stimulation, and social and spiritual stimulation. This bog post will only be covering select parts from the first section of “Physical Activity and Related Preventative Measures”. In this post I’ll be emphasizing my favorite sections and tips and make short little notes on the remaining bits:

  1. Go Hiking. I love this one, because I too love hiking, I’ve only done it a couple of times, but I’ve loved going every single time. In Sparrman’s book she starts of writing about a Swedish man named Stig (pronounced Steeg and means “pathway or wanderer”). I loved Sparrman’s description of Stig’s childhood surroundings of “Rolling hills, plenty of water, and pine forests surrounded his home, beckoning him to wander wooded paths foraging for mushrooms and wild berries” (p. 16). Clearly hiking has physical benefits, but it does so much for mental health as well including boosting creativity and reducing depression.
  2. Go Swimming (or even better swim in a lake). According to Sparrman the benefits of swimming include: increased blood flow to the brain, decreases depression, improves memory, and is a physical activity that is safe for joints (p. 21-22).
  3. Garden. I’m an on-off gardener, at times I’m out toiling around in the dirt, while at other times I just spend the greater sum of my hours indoors. In spite of my fickleness regarding this activity, I really do enjoy it when I do it. As for what Sparrman writes about gardening, she says that working with the soil gives a boost of serotonin to our brains that improves mood (apparently through the aid of a good microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae). People who garden also have a lower risk of developing dementia than those who don’t and being out in the sunshine increases the production of vitamin D, which is yet another mood booster and even helps to improve our immune systems (p. 33-34).
  4.  Try Pilates. Apparently pilates works not only the body, but the mind as well and has an emphasis on deep breathing. Some of its benefits including healing sore muscles, helps prevent injuries (how I’m not sure), decreases stress, and calms the mind. I’ve never personally tried pilates, but I may try it now and after reading this section of the book I went on Youtube and checked to see if I could find any video that I might want to try and came across this one that I might try to give a go at some time soon (p. 36-37).
  5. Get a Massage. According to Sparrman massage decreases cortisol (our stress homone) while increasing the “feel good” hormones of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. I’ve only gone one time to a massage parlor and wasn’t too thrilled with my experience there. The lady that massaged me was too rough and didn’t understand English so I couldn’t make any of my preferences known to her. It was a rather uncomfortable experience for me. So far my good massage experiences have only been from family and friends, but perhaps I’ll try a “real” massage again sometime soon and will hopefully have a different experience (p. 55).
  6. Additional Tips: maintain a healthy BMI, stay active, partner dancing, get enough sleep, quit smoking if you’re a smoker, breath more deeply, and always wear a helmet for activities that call for one to be worn.

 

Source:

Sparrman, B. B. (2018). 60 ways to keep your brain sharp. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

Revisiting the KonMari Method and the Art of Discarding

I’ve read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up 3 times already and followed most of its advice in the past, but I never really completed my journey and would like to, so I’m returning to my discarding and organization journey once again.

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These are three of the dresses I’ll be getting rid of. The middle one is much harder to let go of than the other two. One of my great aunts’ who has Alzheimer’s now had helped me choose it years ago and so that dress holds a soft spot in my heart, but I don’t necessarily want to wear it anymore.

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For now I’m getting rid of six tops. I don’t imagine I’ll ever wear the shirt on the far left, I dislike the cut of the arms of the other two tops, and the pink floral one is a top I got a number of compliments on in the past, but I just don’t like it very much.

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For these three, it’s just two t-shirts and a floral top. The floral top is another shirt I got a good number of compliments on, but I dislike the fabric and find the straps to be too narrow when it comes to bras.

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The last two items for now is a trench coat and this book that I’d intended to give to someone as a gift, but the time has passed at this time for that, so I’ll just get rid of it.

 

4 Essentials of Housework

This is the list of the essential four things I feel I need to get done whenever I endeavour to clean the house, as a sort of foundational base clean or starting point from which I can later move on to more specific areas. These are my four:

  1. Laundry
  2. Dishes
  3. Floor
  4. Trash

The order matters as well for there is a reason for this order. Laundry is first so that it runs while I work on my other chores, dishes are next because getting them washed clears up more kitchen space and often I can wipe up the counter as I do so and since the next step on the list is the floor I can wipe the crumbs right onto the floor seeing as it would need cleaning next. If the floor space in the house is neat and clean most of the house will already look nice and tidy. Last is the trash seeing as this will have likely filled up as I cleaned and as the day has gone on. This isn’t any sort of deep clean list, this is just a starting point for cleaning generally speaking, at least in my mind these would be the logical first four steps to house cleaning endeavors.

Rule #4: Complain Only Every Other Day

So yesterday when I had breakfast with some of my coworkers I noticed myself complain more than I’d like to see myself complaining, we were all collectively complaining (ex. about people who were rude) and most of our discussions involved good and valid points…but still, I didn’t like seeing myself complain as much as I did. I thought it was unattractive of me to do so. The reason is in part because I reminded myself of one of my least favorite people and didn’t like having that person reflected in myself. I think complaining has its place in this world and can even connect people. Change happens when people think things can be better than they are, that’s why I’m only being allowed to express complaints every other day. On some days one has to allow the world to be as it is and seek out peace, whereas other days one can see the world for what it is and unapologetically seek to change it. This rule is to help me seek out more peace and more self-contentment while not changing who I am or the things I stand for. I’m not sure yet when I’ll first enact my rule for myself, I’m afraid of failing to follow my own rule, but hopefully very soon.