Getting Help When I Need It

Are you ready for this? I know I am.

I’m determined to write this post quickly before I head to the doctor for the second time with a kid who has the strangest, won’t-go-away rash.

But I also want to clarify and justify and explain and all that, because what I’m about to tell you could be a little controversial for this particular site.

I scheduled something. Something awesome. Something that makes my heart swell with excitement and makes me smile every time I think about it.

Something that also took a huge burden of stress off of my shoulders the minute I made the appointment.

Want to know what I’m talking about? Well, before I share, let me do a little more concrete justifying.

If you’ve been around a while, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you’re new, please check out those links in the list directly above to fully understand that this isn’t a lightly made decision.

And most of all, you know I’m going to blog all about this and give you a reality-based perspective.

Ready? I hired someone to clean my house. She comes Thursday.

Did you hear a choir singing hallelujah, or is that just in my head??

So what’s the reality based perspective I have to give at this point?

Well, reality is that time and energy are finite. And I’m having a group of people over Friday night. And this week, I’m recording my audiobook two days (in a studio more than an hour away), promotion videos (with a real crew and everything) one day, and I start back to Bible Study on another day. Today was the only day I’d be home, and now with the surprise doctor appointment, even that day is gone.

Not that I feel like I need all that craziness to justify hiring someone, but it prompted me to get busy and get it done.

And reality is that my Crazy Eyes softened to Slightly Overwhelmed Eyes the minute I received confirmation the cleaner was coming.

The details so far:

I stressed over finding someone. How to find someone? I live in a mostly-offline area and googling isn’t really an option. I felt funny asking local friends on facebook because of the whole normal stigma plus the stigma of me being a Slob Blogger, and the worry that someone would offer to do it whom I knew. I wanted a little anonymity. I racked my brain, trying to imagine which friends had cleaners, but feeling funny asking people randomly “Do you have someone clean your house?”

I texted a friend who had raved about her cleaner, but who had said she thought hers wasn’t taking new clients. I thought maybe her cleaner could recommend someone if she couldn’t do it. Thankfully, she had a spot open for me.

I’ve been cleaning ever since I set up the appointment. Post-summer clutter and book-releasing craziness is still a problem around here. I am determined to get the house to a point where she can just come in and deep clean, so that means surfaces must be cleared, floors cleared, clutter piles removed, etc.

I didn’t tell the kids. I just told them to clean their rooms.

I could share more of my thoughts behind this, and I will, but now I need to get ready to head to the doctor.




The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda

The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda at

Baking Soda is awesome, y’all.

I use it all the time to clean stains off my counter tops. My somewhat-old-fashioned, non-granite counter tops.

Y’all convinced me here, and then I became a believer here.

But even though baking soda is perfect for cleaning a lot of things and is safe enough to use in cookies (which means you actually EAT it!) or for brushing teeth (Hubby tried this recently when we were out of toothpaste, yuck!), there’s a downside.

I’m not knocking cleaning with baking soda, but I think it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into before you start sprinkling everything in sight with the stuff.

I’d hate for someone to think they’re doing a quick kitchen clean up before a guest shows up and not leave time for the endless wiping required to remove the film left  behind before the doorbell is due to ring.

Oh. I just gave the downside away. Oops.

There’s a film. A film that doesn’t go away in one wipe, y’all. Or two wipes. Or sometimes even three.

I can deal with it on my baking-soda-colored countertops, but my shiny (other than the burnt on stuff that looks significantly worse in the picture than I ever noticed while doing this and which is therefore a project and post for another day) black stove, not so much.

baking soda stovetop film 2 at

I thought I was being all Cleaning Blogger Awesome when I cleaned that stove.

And then it dried.

baking soda stovetop film 1 at

And I wiped it off again.

And then it dried again.

And I had to wipe it off again.

And then it dried yet again.

baking soda stovetop film 3 at

And my daughter exclaimed how terrible it looked and wiped it down again. And then again. She experienced that strange satisfaction that comes over you when you wipe away visible mess. And then she experienced the frustration of seeing the mess reappear when it dried.

Yes, crusty stuff had come off, but the magically re-appearing white film was getting ridiculous.

Finally, it looked ok.

But I’ve decided to stick to cleaning with baking soda on baking soda colored surfaces.

baking soda cleaning water dispenser on fridge at ASlobComesClean

Especially after I used baking soda to easily clean this severely-water-spotted-and-long-neglected water dispenser tray on my fridge. It worked, and the mineral deposits (aka ickiness) were mostly gone. But then, when I stepped back to admire my work, I saw the the area around the area I’d just cleaned. Ugh. Did you read the post about cleaning that stainless steel? I’d just cleaned it about an hour before this!

baking soda cleaning fridge front at

Yay for natural cleaners that really do scrub out stains and get rid of tough built-up messes. Boo for the mess baking soda leaves behind.

Do y’all have any tricks for me? Do you know the absolute best way to get rid of the film in one or two (or even three) wipes?

Obligatory Amazon affiliate links:

Baking Soda. Really. You can get all sorts of household goods on Amazon. Go here to see how I use it to save my sanity!

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths.

The Good and Bad of Cleaning with Baking Soda where did that white film come from at


Dealing with Rust Stains on My Stainless Steel Appliances

Dealing with Rust Stains on Stainless Steel Appliances at

About four years ago, I got stainless steel appliances.

I love them, but they are definitely hard to clean. To clarify, though, I’m not one to notice little smudges here and there so all appliances of any finish or color or type are “hard to clean” for me. I generally don’t see any issues until I know a guest is on her way.

For the first time.

Second and third time guests get a much more realistic view of our home.

I did the deep clean recently, though. On most deep cleans, I do a general wiping down and shinyfying, but I decided to get a little crazy on this one and try to deal with the small rust spots which didn’t go away with normal cleaning.

I scratched at one with my fingernail, and it rubbed off.

Yay! But I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my fingernails, so I grabbed my handy dandy go to cleaning scraper, an old credit card that I keep by the kitchen sink.

Seriously, I use this thing all the time, y’all. It’s plastic and doesn’t scratch, and is perfect for scraping burnt on food off of almost anything.

I tried all sorts of different ways, but here is what I found to work best.

Removing Rust Stains on My Stainless Steel Appliances at

Spray generously with stainless steel cleaner (this is my affiliate link to the kind I use on Amazon) and wipe off according to the cleaner’s directions, letting it sit longer according to how dirty your appliance is.

Once it’s clean other than the rust spots, spray the stainless steel cleaner generously onto the spot and then, going with the “grain” of the stainless steel, use the side of the plastic scraper or credit card (one you don’t need to ever use again) to scrape off the rust.

And that’s it.

Here are some before and after shots.

Rust Stains on Appliances before after 1 at


Rust Stains on Appliances before after 2 at

P.S. Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of teeny-tiny rust spots on stainless steel? It’s hard. Really hard.


If the thought of dealing with nitpicky stuff like this stresses you completely out because you’re overwhelmed with your house as a whole, listen to this podcast from a few weeks ago.

How to clean rust spots off your stainless steel appliances at



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