Showing posts from 2017

Avoiding Household Task Overwhelm

Overwhelmed with too many tedious tasks? You are not alone!

A recent Time Use survey found that American women spend on average, about 22 hours per week (about 2-3 hours daily) on housekeeping tasks.

That is almost one full day every week, of cleaning, organizing, laundry, food shopping, cooking, dishes, yard work, errands, and others. What's more is that those 20+ weekly hours could be used for more important things: family, educational pursuits, making more money, recreational activities, exercise, hobbies, vacation, etc.

While people cannot always entirely eliminate that sense of overwhelm, they can take action to minimize it. There is nothing more stressful than coming home to visual noise in the form of clutter. Hiring a personal assistant, professional organizer or a housekeeping professional can greatly reduce your stress by removing the clutter & grime, and reducing the number of hours you spend on these daily tasks. The benefit is that you only have to focus on your …

The Best Way to Clean Wood Floors

Last week, Some questions came in regarding the best way to clean hardwood floors, so today's post will hopefully give you some answers.
I will start first with what NOT to do: Do NOT mop wood floors! Do NOT use vinegar, bleach, products with de-greasers or harsh cleaners. Standing water and chemicals can seep into the bevels and cracks of the wood, causing it to swell and layers to peel. 
Mopping wood floors with vinegar, chemicals or water is the best way to shorten their life span. The same goes for bamboo and laminate floors. Water from a bucket left on the surface can leave stains and cause peeling and buckling. 
The absolute best way to keep your wood floors clean is to be sure to remove shoes before coming in the house, vacuum or dry mop daily, and avoid spills. But we need to be realistic, and we need to live in our homes.
So the trick is, to use as little water as possible, and to dry washed areas completely.  To accomplish this for our clients, we only use microfiber cloths …

Peacock Eyes

One of the ways our housekeepers take pride in their work is through their eye for detail. We represent that quality in our Peacock mascot & logo.

But did you know the mythology behind how the Peacock got eyes on its feathers? You can thank Hera-Greek Queen of the Gods and goddess of marriage.

You can read more about how it all happened here: Argus & the Peacock's Tail

In addition, scientists have studied these eye patterns from an evolutionary perspective. Here is what they found: Mystery Solved: Why Peacocks got Their Eyespots

Do you love Peacocks as much as we do? Here is a Sun catcher to enjoy all year round! Peacock Stained Glass Sun Catcher

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What About Window Cleaning

We have recently began eliminating our stock of glass cleaning fluids in favor of Microfiber Glass cleaning cloths. (See link below to order.)
We love the microfiber cloths for many reasons, but the top three reasons are:Cleaning caddies are lighter and easier to carry with less "stuff" in themWe hardly use any paper towels any moreChemical and Lint-Free clean on glass and mirrored surfaces We also have a window cleaning trick to share with you: whether you use paper towels and Windex, or glass cloths, wash your windows, storm doors and even shower doors wiping up/down on one side, and left/right on the other. That way in the event that you have a few streaks left, you will know which side of the glass they are on by which direction the streaks run.  
Tell us: what is your favorite glass-cleaning product or tool? 
You can order the lint-free professional glass-cleaning cloths through our affiliate link below.

Glass Cleaning Cloths

Th Art of The Cheese Board

I come from a long and proud line of cheese lovers. Never once did a holiday or major family gathering happen without the humongous "Cheese and Pepperoni Tray", a staple in the average Italian New Jerseyian's diet.

My brother and I would compete to see who could eat the most cheese, and still have normal digestive function the next day. (He won.) But it wasn't until I moved out on my own that I realized that there were other cheeses than Mozarella, swiss, cheddar, provolone and Velveeta. In fact, I had no idea that actual mozarella came in little delicious balls and not in plastic wrapped chunks, or that Velveeta, as useful as it is, is not actually "cheese". My eyes were open to a big (and tasty) new world.

The Cheese Board is as unique and mysterious as the person who creates it, but it is easy to get intimidated at the thousands of marvelous varieties of cheese from around the world. My advice is to start simple - ask your favorite deli or specialty grocer…

How Much Food Should I Buy?

"How much food should I buy? is a question we are asked often. The answer will vary depending on what type of occasion or event, (a cocktail party would require less food than an outdoor picnic.) whether or not it is a brunch, dinner, sit down or appetizer reception, how long your event will be held, and in many cases, the ratio of children to adults at your gathering.

In addition, men generally eat more than women, and the richness of the food will also come into play when determining the proper amount of food to purchase.

One general rule of thumb is to always round your final food estimate up rather than down. It is way better to have more food than needed, than to run out before your party has ended.

Another "trick" is to fill in with rolls, breads and other "bulk foods" which require little or no additional preparation.

Good menu planning would include consideration of food colors, temperatures, textures & tastes, as well as the range of foods offered (Yo…

Infused: Flavored Oils, Vinegars, Butters & Spreads Book

Our Newest book is available!

Flavor-infused oils, vinegars, butters and spreads are a unique and easy way to add flavor to salads, vegetables, appetizers and every day meals. 

This book will help get you started with 45 easy recipes, food safety guidelines, a note-taking section and more!  

Ready to create? Let's go! Order directly from our Amazon Store 
at the link below:

Infused Recipe Book 

Laundry Mathematics

In much of my advertising, I often say that the average American woman spends about 22+ hours a week doing household tasks. Some people have doubted this statistic, so today, we are going to take just one of those tasks - laundry -  and do some quick math to demonstrate where my numbers are coming from.

So according to a recent (and unscientific) poll, the average family of four (2 adults, 2 kids) generates between 60 and 65 pounds of clothing per week. (To give you an idea,  depending on the size, and whether or not they are kid's clothes or adult's , about 9 - 10 pairs of jeans weighs about 12 pounds.) The average size washing machine holds about 10 - 12 pounds of clothing, so 60 - 65 pounds of clothing would break down into about five to six loads of clothing. Not too bad you say. But wait. It gets better.
In addition, when you add in a load or two for all of the bedding for a week (that would be two sets of sheets per load), and another two loads for towels (so figure about …

Non-Toxic Housecleaning Ingredients: 9 of Our Favorites

Spring Cleaning has begun. Many of our clients are requesting "Green" Products this season due to personal illnesses, allergies and in response to information on how chemical compounds can affect us. But are "Green" products really what they claim to be?

"According to research from the American Chemical Society, the truth behind green-cleaning disinfectant products varies wildly, with some of these products found to be loaded with harmful petrochemical ingredients.

The researchers measured the source of ingredients in more than a dozen liquid laundry detergents, hand soaps and dish soaps that advertised claims such as "natural" and "ecofriendly." The plant-based ingredient content in the hand soaps ranged anywhere from 28 to 97 percent; laundry detergent ranged between 28 and 94 percent; and dish washing liquids from 43 to 95 percent. 

While there were a fair number of products whose "green" claims held true, many more still harbored…

Why We LOVE Appetizers

When entertaining guests its easy to get caught up in the details of the menu. 

An important life lesson I learned from Jenny, my very first customer, is that while the food/beverages are important, the gathering is more about the people and the experience than the amount or type of food you serve. No one will remember what they ate-but will remember feeling welcomed and at home at your gathering. 

Jenny, the wife of a professional athlete, unashamedly drank and served wine from a box as she declared "grapes are grapes-wine is wine"; used her index finger stuck in the center of casseroles to test for "done-ness" ; and shrugged off burnt garlic bread side dishes and with "that's life in the big city kid". I learned so much from working with her and watching her entertain, (which she did quite often), particularly her selection & presentation of appetizers. It was at Jenny's gatherings that I first saw a "Shrimp Tree" assembled by attach…

Power of the Peacock: Hiring a Housekeeper ( Video )

Scenario: You desperately need a housekeeper but don't know how to begin. Here is a short video with some help and advice on how to hire a housekeeper.