cleaning tips

How to Get Motivated and Actually Clean!

No one really likes cleaning, I know I for one hate it, but we all have to do it at some point to avoid living in a total pig stye. If you’re like me, the hardest part is just getting started. Finding the motivation to turn off the tv, get off your butt, and actually clean can be way harder than the actual task at hand. For me, the thought of having to clean the entire house is just so overwhelming and I end up putting it off for an embarrassing amount of time. However, I have developed a system to make it much less overwhelming and actually enjoyable.

The Process

First, I make a plan of attack. I decide on what order I want to clean everything. Do I want to totally clean one room and then move to the next? Or sweep, vacuum, and mop the entire house all together?

Personally, I like to do it all at once so that I feel like I am actually making progress and not just repeating myself. By that, I mean, I like to vacuum the house all at once, so that I’m not putting the vacuum cleaner away and taking it back out every time I start a new room. This way, I take it out once, vacuum the whole house, then put it away and check vacuuming off my list. Same goes for sweeping, dusting, and mopping.

However, if you’re like me, this still seems like an overwhelming process. What I do to combat the overwhelmed feeling is, I pick one room, then one section of that room, and I pick up all the big stuff. Any clothes or trash or toys that shouldn’t be swept or vacuumed, I pick up by hand. Then, I do the same thing on another section of the room, and another, until the whole room is free of trash, clothes, and toys. Then I move onto the next room and repeat the process on the remaining rooms in my house.

By the time I am done picking up by hand, the place already looks a lot better. Now, it’s just time to make it sparkly clean. I whip put my vacuum and go back to the room I started on, in the corner I started on, and vacuum. I do it the same way as before, breaking up the rooms into sections and moving on from one section to another and one room to another.

I then mop all  of my rooms with hard floors similarly to the way I vacuumed. I especially love mopping all the rooms at once because it keeps the  hot water in the bucket from getting cold, which in turn saves a lot of time. Lastly, I walk through the house and just tidy up where it’s needed. If a bookshelf is a little disarray or if there’s a sticky mess on the counters, I clean it up as I go along. Remember, if you are dusting, it is best to do it after picking up the trash, but before mopping or vacuuming. This way you don’t have to worry about getting dust all over your newly cleaned floors.

That’s it?

This is by no means an exhaustive cleaning regime. Of course, there are things I missed, and for a really good deep clean you’ll probably need a steamer. This is just my quick routine that let’s me get my entire house cleaned in just just a couple of hours instead of taking all day, or procrastinating because I’m overwhelmed. You may need to tweek and adjust it a little bit for you and your home. I also didn’t really give any tips on the actual cleaning. For instance, how to get vomit stains out of the carpet, or what type of steamer is best for your floors. That’s because, honestly, I don’t know all of that stuff. But I’ve found a site that does. MrCleaning.net is a wonderful site, with tons of cleaning tips and tricks to make cleaning a breeze. I have found the site incredibly useful, and with new content being added regularly, I can’t wait to see what Mr. Cleaning posts next.

best futon mattress

The Advantages of Using the Best Futon Mattress

Futon mattresses have been around for ages, but we aren’t talking about the style you see in college dorm rooms that are laid up on the captain’s beds. We’re talking about the traditional Japanese style that are comfortable, and wreak of health benefits for those that sleep on them. There are quite a few advantages to using the best futon mattress, some of which include the forth coming:

Inexpensive and versatile: While generally, western styles of futon mattresses aren’t exactly like Japanese styled ones, they are inexpensive and versatile. There are some that are inexpensive and uncomfortable like college dorm level ones, but there are also more luxurious ones that are convertible into a couch, inexpensive, and are much more comfortable as a mattress. There are materials like memory foam, wool, and traditional cotton and polyester blends for mattress materials. They are capable of being used as a diverse piece of furniture. For those that live in a studio, you’ll be able to clean up and offer seating to your guests without them seeing your living quarters as easily. You won’t have to live a lonely life in a studio when you have the best futon mattress!

Other materials may include latex of sorts, and other materials that are great for those that need springy, firm, medium-soft, super soft, and more. Just because you can use them in a college dorm, doesn’t mean you can’t splurge and have something catered to your sleeping style! As with any product, there are ones on the lower end of the budget that aren’t great, and if you splurge, you’ll find your dream futon mattress!

Don’t worry about falling off: if you’re going with the traditional style of Japanese futon mattress, with no frame, and you’re not converting into a couch, you’ll reap the benefits of this next one: you won’t have to worry about falling off! Japanese styled futon mattresses lay on the floor and you don’t have any height to worry about! Those that have the falling off issue can toss away any rails or sorts, and you can sleep peacefully.

Moving or traveling a lot? – The best futon mattress is very versatile in transportability. All you have to do with your futon mattress (whether using a Japanese styled one, or a traditional western futon mattress), is roll it up and bring it with you. You may want a type of rope or fabric to keep it together as you move, but generally they’re easy to transport. You don’t have to worry about bed frames, but you will have to fold the couch version – regardless, this combination allows for less furniture to move as you travel!

Easier to use for guests – If you’re someone that hosts people often, and your futon mattress will be doubling as a couch/guest bed, you’ll want to use them as they are easier to pull out for your guests. Let’s face it: sleeping on a couch isn’t the most ideal, and it’s uncomfortable a lot of the times depending on the height or weight of the person. When you have a quick and inexpensive bed such as a futon mattress for your guests, they can sleep a little more comfortably without tossing and turning all night.

The Final Verdict

The best futon mattress, whether Japanese-styled or western styled, pose many benefits for those that buy. Beyond being affordable, easy to transport, and great for those that need to double up and utilize their space as much as possible, you’ll be able to take advantage of the above advantages and toss away your old and stinky mattress.

growing out hair

Growing Out Short Hair

Ok so just about every girl has had a bad haircut or had a short haircut for a long time and wants a change, right? We all want to know how we can make our hair grow faster. I’m sorry but there is no way to make hair grow faster. Well you can maximize the potential for it to grow. Meaning you try your best to stop anything from making your hairs grow slow!

So here is the real deal. Hair only grows at ½ inch a month max. However if you are lucky to have fast growing hair, you could easily maximise the growth to 1inch per month. I am currently growing out a pixie cut (since August 2008) and before you ask yes I looked like a boy for a while and unless you style your pixie you’re going to look like a boy! At the moment it is sitting at just below my ears at around 8 inches. So it has grown a fare bit since August seeing at it was sitting at a mere 1 and ½ inches.

Let me tell you from experience of many cuts (including two pixies) of how to maximise your hair growth! Firstly stop washing your hair every day! Wash it every other day if you have to. My hair only touches shampoo about once a week. If I do styling or it has been extreme weather (such as wind or heat) then I will wash it more. No more than 3 time a week. Your hair needs to get dirty! That’s right down right dirty and covered in filth! It needs the natural oils that your scalp produces and by washing it everyday you are stripping it of those natural oils. I used to wash my hair every day. Now that I have stop it is back to its normal hair type.

It will take a while for your hair to adjust but I would stick with it. Start by washing your hair every other day. Then start washing it every 3 days and it will eventually go back to normal. Of course if you style your hair with gels or use any kind of spray I recommended either stoping them or not using them as much. I would also recommend washing your hair after using them. Other wise you will have product build up which will block your growing potential!

Okay now let’s talk about your shampoo type. If you use commercial shampoo like Pantene and such, then I recommend getting the right one for your hair type. If you wish to maximize your full growing potential, I’m sorry but I recommend you go natural! All natural shampoo’s are the best and ones with out Sodium Lauryl Sulphate will do you hair a world of good. It is a chemical that is used in shampoo’s to foam up the liquid. You don’t need it, your body doesn’t need it and your hair doesn’t need it. So why use it? Also it has been tested that it may damage your body. It can affect your immune system and the skin can be highly damaged. The skin can be highly damaged because the skin layers may separate and become inflamed because of its protein denaturing properties. So WHY USE IT?

Your shampoo does not have to be organic, just ALL NATURAL! You can buy some shampoos at your local super market that are all natural in the health isle. Or you can choose to visit your nearest health food shop and they will and should have plenty of shampoos to choose from. To maximize things further use a natural conditioner that matches the shampoo you are buying.

Now let us talk about the wonders of OIL!

Oil Oil Oil! The wonder stuff could have its own post! So what oil is best? Well that depends on which ones you like. You can try Olive oil, Jojoba oil, almond oil, sesame seed oil and the favourite coco nut oil! They pretty much all do the same thing, make your hair shinny, can help the fight against split ends and make your hair look like silk! I personally use coco nut oil because it smells nice and makes my hair soft, shiny, more manageable and like silk! To use any of these oils you must rub it on your hands and then stroke it through you hair concentrating on the ends. Don’t put to much on top especially if you have fine thin hair because then it can become flat. Let it stay in your hair for at least an hour, then wash it out. It is best however to leave it in over night or all day and wash it out. If you are going to sleep with the oil in your hair wrap it in a scarf so it doesn’t go on your pillow or put the oil in your hair 2 hours before you go to sleep so it will already be set in and won’t go over your pillow, if it is cotton.

Speaking of pillows, did you know that a cotton pillow can make your hair dry and brittle? It can also suck out the natural oils in your hair which makes it dry. Try switching to a silk pillow. Or if you can not afford a silk pillow opt for a silk scarf and tie your hair up in it before you go to sleep. It will help frizzy hair also. I usually oil my hair once a week. You could do it more or less by once or twice a week or monthly.

Have you ever herd of head massages? Well they can help your hair grow and can be relaxing! You can also use oil to do two processes at once! Massage your scalp once a day by placing your finger tips under your hair and on to your scalp. Please be careful if you have long nails not to scratch your scalp. Move the bottom tips of your fingers around in circles from the top of your scalp down to the sides and to the bottom. Don’t do this to roughly it is suppose to be very relaxing. It should be similar to how your hair dresser washing your hair. This promotes hair growth by relaxing the scalp and body. It also improves blood circulation to the scalp and it activates the nerves and can help with stress! So why not give your self a head massage right now! Or get a loved one to do it for you.

Now how can we stop hair breakage? Well first of all you could stop using any type of heated hair appliance! No hair dryers, straighteners, curlers or hot water! They damage your hair! If you can’t stop using them, then don’t use them so often and use protection sprays or serums. They cause split ends which do not stop your hair from growing but makes your hair look unhealthy. Also stop using ties that have metal on them. Best ones to use are made of soft material like mini scrunches or scrunches. The best things you can tie your hair up with is hair sticks. There like chop sticks except there made petty for hair. Do not use hair clips that take out a bunch of your hair every time you unclip it. That is just asking for breakage! If you have extreme weather like wind or heat, then I suggest wrapping your hair in a bun or using a hair stick to put it up. So the weather will not damage your hair.

The other question that is ask more than often is how often should you cut your hair? Well if your growing your hair out then do not cut it at all! I avoid the hair dresser as much as I can. I do my own trims if I see splint ends. If you are going to cut your own split ends off then DO NOT USE ORDINARY SCISSORS! Normal house scissors can damage your hair further. I highly recommend that you go to your chemist and buy a pair of hair dressing scissors. You are only cutting off your split ends so your hair looks healthier. Only get a hair cut (at the salon) if you need to re-shape and simply can not handle looking daggy anymore. Once you are able to tie your hair up and style it in an up style you can avoid less and less cuts because you can hide it more.

What do to on bad hair days? Pin it up or hide it! Get some cute hats they will be your best friends like mine are. Or get some pretty scarfs they make any outfit more fashionable. Pin it up with bobby pins and twist it around to create different styles each day. Use wax or moose or hair spray and style your hair a thousand different ways! Each new length can bring more and more style potential!

So we have talk about the outside now how about the more important inside? Got a bad diet? Then I suggest now is the great time to get HEALTHY! Eat more veggies, fruit, protein, Vitamin B, C, A, E and drink more water! What a better motivator than hair growth! Sure you can take vitamin tablets but there not going to do all the work by them selfs! Eat pork it is the wonder meat and it helps everything and anything in your body! Vitamin B, C, A and E all help with healthy faster hair growth. Eat carrots, celery, apples, oranges, banana’s, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, corn and basically what ever veggie or fruit you can eat! Eat more fish as omega is great for hair growth and health. Drink less soft drink because it is bad for everything inside of you! Drink more water! If your vegetarian/vegan then you are in the luck because you are probably eating lots of veggies, fruit and protein already.

Hair is made of protein so eat more protein! Eat less junk food as it not only make you fat but usually what effects your skin can effect your hair. So it is best not to eat it anyway! The objective here is to eat better and healthier so don’t stop everything all at once. Eat more veggies/fruit, eat less junk and drink more water and you should notice a difference. Oh and another thing EXCERSISE! Your hair needs to be stimulated like the rest of your body so if you exercise your hair will surely grow.

The number one golden rule I can give to you is…….. TREAT YOUR HAIR LIKE SILK! Keep that in mind while growing out your hair!