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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

10 Expert Spring Cleaning Tips from A Former Merry Maid

You might be surprised to learn that I used to be a Merry Maid. I've also had privately contracted cleaning jobs throughout the years. I'm the odd kind of freak who actually likes to clean and organize, thanks to my OCD. If you invite me over to your house, and a painting is crooked, I will straighten it. Though as tidy as I am, I really learned quite a few new cleaning tricks during my training at Merry Maids many years ago. What kind of fellow woman would I be if I didn't share those tips with you?

1. To drastically shorten the amount of cleaning time and to make sure you don't miss a spot (literally), clean each room starting from the doorway right-to-left and top-to-bottom. 

2. Keep all of your cleansers, small tools, and extra trash bags at your fingertips with a cleaning caddy.

3. Your cleaning kit should contain the following: toilet scrubber, antibacterial spray, all-purpose glass and surface spray, any specific polishes you need like wood or stainless steel, a large scrubber brush, a toothbrush or small scrubber brush, a rubber scraper, pumice stone, extra trash bags, a scrubber sponge for the kitchen, and another scrubber sponge inside a cup to be used in bathroom (the cup for rinsing shower walls).

4. You may be wondering why a pumice stone is on the list of cleaning supplies. It's a little trick we used to scrub hard water stains out of toilets.

5. A tool not everyone has but should really have is an extendable long-handle microfiber dusting wand. If you quickly run it over door frames, vents, ceiling fixtures, and molding, you'll never get a build-up of dust.

6. When deep cleaning a room, use your edging tool on your vacuum and use it along walls and furniture. It makes a big difference on how clean a room looks.

7. For caked on dust and dirt, give up the sprays and dry rags. Fill up a mop bucket with your cleaning solution and warm water and scrub surfaces before wiping dry.

8. Along with your cleaning caddy, carry three big trash bags from room to room - one for trash, one to carry lots of cleaning rags and a roll of paper towels, and one to put the dirty rags in.

9. For small bathrooms, don't even bother dragging your mop around. Simply soak a cleaning rag in water and your floor cleanser and get down on your hands and knees like Cinderella. In a small space, it's actually a lot quicker, and it gets the floor a lot cleaner than a traditional mop, especially in a bathroom where there is likely to be a lot of hair on the floor.

10. Every time you clean, pick one room to deep clean and rotate between different rooms each time (cleaning under furniture, using a brush attachment to vacuum curtains and sofas, wiping marks off walls and molding, wiping down blind, washing windows, etc) so that your home will always be caught up on those deep-cleaning chores.

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  1. Thank you... oh thank you for the pumice stone tip!!! Now I have to go out and buy a pumice stone. Unfortunately that has to wait until the current "blizzard" has ended. Yup, spring isn't exactly right around the corner in these parts.

    Thanks again for the tips!

    1. You're welcome! I know, it's so freezing in Maryland this week despite the first day of Spring.

  2. It doesn't quite feel like spring when we're still buried in snow, and getting more on top of that....

    1. We were supposed to be done for the season but now we might get more this week...again. It's always just a light amount so I'd rather it just go ahead and warm up.

  3. Great tips. I especially like the start from the doorway, right to left, top to bottom. So often I come back into a room I've already cleaned and see missed spots. That ends now!

  4. Great tips! I have problems with dust and--yish--lots of bugs that come in and die, plus spiderwebs. My ceilings are 9 ft high--I need a ladder to get to everything!!!! I also used to get on my hands and knees, but the old knees aren't what they used to be. However, I may just have to do a few spots in my bathroom this spring.

  5. I LOVE your tips! I, also, am a cleaning geek. Not really about cleaning- more about how to make a home- but my mom used to unwrap all the bar soaps, put them in a bowl, and place them on a shelf in the linen closet. It perfumed the towels and linens! I thought that was clever- but I guess that's a different post- House Wifery!

  6. Great tips! These make so much sense. Now, I need to get organized to actually start...

  7. Brilliant! Why haven't I thought of this before? Thanks for the great tip, Kriztina!

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  8. These are really helpful! Thank you so much for sharing. I use Maid Complete to clean my home. They are a fabulous company, and I would highly recommend them! :)

  9. Great article! Like a health physical, routine maintenance is important for every home’s upkeep and well-being. Continuing to check up on your exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security, and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money, and keep your home looking its best.

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