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Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Organizing tips

Hey everyone!

It’s Jennifer from Blissfully Ever After and today I want to share with you some simple, practical, and effective Spring Cleaning and Organizing tips!

Join my Facebook community for more Spring Cleaning tips!

Wow, I cannot believe it is already the end of March! Good thing we have been getting our Spring Cleaning done right? It is almost time to start playing outside …you know, yard work, gardening, bike rides, walks, playing with our kiddos/grand kids. I am really looking forward to the beautiful sunny days. My son is almost 6 months and so I cannot wait to show him all that nature has to offer and to take him swimming, boating, and just to be able to lay out on a blanket with him on the grass. Wahoo! I have a feeling he is going to love it. But, until the sun starts peaking its head out at us a little more, I am sticking inside to get the rest of my spring cleaning done. How are all of you doing? Are you staying focused and accomplishing your goals? I hope so!

If you are just joining us, here is what we’ve completed so far:

The following post is a re-post from last year but it is exactly what I do to get my bathroom sparkling clean!

Today, I am going to show you how I clean and disinfect my bathroom naturally. My go-to products I use are Basic GBasic HScour Off and the Microfiber WindowCleaning cloths and Sponge
{This is all I use to clean my entire house….but today we will be focusing on just the bathroom}.

Cleaning Products


Here is my bathroom mirror. When cleaning this I use only 2 drops of Basic H per 16 oz. spray bottle to make window cleaner and then I use this spray along with my trusted Microfiber Window Cloth and tada tada, sprakling clean! No streaks, film, or annoying particles from paper towels.


I use 1/4 tsp of Basic H mixed with 16 oz. of water to make an all-purpose cleaner and I use this along with my Microfiber Cleaning Cloth on my granite countertops, cabinets, light fixtures, mirror frame, tile backsplash, light switches, and faucets. {There are 1,000 different uses for Basic H…so really the cleaning opportunities are endless}. Basic H is the best cleaner to use on granite countertops. Our countertops are brand new and I wouldn’t trust any other product on them besides Basic H.


To clean my sink, I use Basic G and Scour Off together with my trusted Microfiber Sponge. Basic G is a disinfectant made from natural surfactants and kills 99.9% of germs on contact and the clean lasts up to three days {bleach only lasts for up to one day} and is registered with the EPA to be used as an effective formula to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses.  Scour off scrubs any hard water spots or caked on gunk and leaves my sink sparkling clean {plus it smells like cherry bubble gum}. All of the Get Clean line products are safe to use on surfaces, will not dull, stain, discolor or harm finishes.



I also use these two products to clean my toilets and showers. The combination is powerful yet safe for my family and I. I love that I can clean my entire house with the Get Clean line without having to use gloves, open windows {unless I want to} or turn on fans like I used to have to when using bleach, Comet, Windex, etc. And my house is the cleanest it’s ever been! Don’t you want a clean and safe house too?!!


I also use 1 oz. of Basic H and 1/2 oz. of Basic G mixed with 1 gallon of hot water to mop my bathroom floors. I am telling you, NOTHING cleans my floors better! They look brand new every time I use this stuff!!


So, there you have it, a look into how I clean and disinfect my bathroom. It feels so good to have a clean bathroom and the best part is, I love knowing that I’ve used products that are natural, powerful, and safe.

Here is a little more information about each product I used today:

Basic g Banner

The safest disinfectant on the market! Nonflammable, Biodegradable & Non-toxic. Cleans, Disinfects & Deodorizes in 1 Easy Step! (Once mixed, use in 30 days)

Mix 3/8 teaspoon to 16 oz spray bottle.
Mix 1 tablespoon to 1 gallon of water.

Because it is so concentrated, a little goes a long way and saves you $$$!
Basic-G has a 3 year shelf life. Its residual effectiveness lasts up to three days after application. Chlorine (bleach) used as a disinfectant is effective no more than one hour. Great wherever disinfectants are used! Kills up to 99% of bacteria.

Great to use for: Toilet, showers, sinks, countertops, door knobs, garbage cans, diaper pails, pet areas, cutting boards {but not around food}, and it can also be used as a weed killer which you can read in my post here.

Basic H

Basic H is not only the best selling cleaning product on the market, it is the CHEAPEST and the SAFEST!!

It is cheaper than using vinegar and it is organic! It is a concentrate so you add your own water.  This helps save you money and cut back on your cleaning bottle wastes and product packaging waste.

1 bottle of Basic H2equals the cleaning uses of 5,824 bottles of 26 oz. Windex!!
Basic H2 is all you need for thousands of household jobs
  • Ultra concentrated – 16 ounces makes up to 48 gallons of super powerful cleaner when mixed with water.
  • Versatile and powerful cleaner – removes dirt, grease, and grime from any washable surface, inside and out. Dilute according to directions.
  • No rinse, no residue, streak-free formula.
Use on any washable surface – indoors or out
  • Walls, Windows and Mirrors, Countertops, Floors, Appliances, Stoves, Sealed Woodwork, Pots and Pans, Furniture
Clean Credentials
  • Nontoxic
  • Natural
  • Doubly concentrated
  • Biodegradable Surfactants

Scour Off
  • Natural ingredients remove the toughest dried-on splatters and spills, burned-on grease, baked-on food, and sticky messes without hazardous chemicals or toxic fumes.
  • Scour Off is made from natural mineral abrasives and biodegradable cleaning agents. It does not contain chlorine, bleach, or dye.
  • Scour Off gently removes stains other cleansers can't and is great for cleaning tubs, ovens, sinks, and tiles.
  • It will even remove rust, and is great for cleaning these surfaces: copper, grout, cement, ceramic, and imitation marble.
  • Wide-mouth jar makes it easy to use.
Clean Credentials
  • Nontoxic
  • Natural abrasives
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Biodegradable surfactants
  • No phosphates

THIS IS THE BEST CLEANING PRODUCT FOR YOUR STOVES, SINKS, SHOWERS, TOILETS, ETC. It will remove hard water, baked on oven grease and food, soap scum, and it also cleans grout like no other product! You will be replacing a ton of your current toxic household cleaners by switching to Scour Off!!

Cleaning Cloths

Use these super absorbent, microfiber cloths and sponges for all purpose cleaning with Basic H2™. Leaves surfaces clean and lint free.
Cleans Virtually Everything:
  • Ridiculously absorbent
  • Lures dirt and dust and devours it
  • Safe on all your precious surfaces
  • Washable, Reusable, Remarkable
These are the BEST cleaning cloths and sponges I have EVER used! They can be washed nearly 400 times before they need to be replaced and make cleaning a breeze!

Happy Cleaning!

Check out my bathroom redo here

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The wonderful home of a Danish stylist

It's Friday! Yay! This weekend I'm taking the girls out to the forest to enjoy a little of the Southern Sweden countryside. It's almost customery to take 'korv med bröd' (hotdogs) and bbq them alfresco. Wish me luck with that last bit...! Since I'm cruising towards a very Swedish weekend I thought I'd go all Scandinavian today with this beautiful home of Danish stylist Rikke Graff Juel which I found via the wonderful Scandinavian design blog La Maison d'Anna G.

Photographer Tia Borgsmidt
I really love this home, there are so many beautiful Danish classics, and they make great style look so effortless.  What did you think?

The good news is, this Danish homeowner also has a blog called Ellens album, so there'll be plenty more inspiration to cruise around this weekend!

Have you got any nice plans for the weekend?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting Real About Discipleship & Anger

Last week, I read something (I think it was from John Piper) to the effect that- "Being someone different when you think no one else is looking is functional atheism.  God is always there."   Transparency.  Authenticity.  No room for duplicity.

And then this week, I read this- about discipleship, and doing the real, day-in, day-out practices of faith that lead to spiritual growth & maturity in Christ.  It's from Dallas Willard:
"But, someone will say, can I not be 'saved'-- that is, get into heaven when I die-- without any of this?  Perhaps you can.  God's goodness is so great, I am sure that He will let you in if He can find any basis at all to do so.  But you might wish to think about what your life amounts to before you did, about what kind of person you are becoming, and about whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of One whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of your earthly existence.  And He is, after all, One who says to you now, 'Follow me!' "

It is such a huge call, to follow Christ.  It is no small thing.  Not a decision made once, in response to an altar call at church camp... not a fire insurance policy.  No, following Christ is a daily thing.
Sometimes so painful, but in that pain, there is growth, and it is good.  Like those old growing pains... oh I remember when I was about 9 or 10 and my legs would have these shooting pains-- they were not pleasant, but they were for my good.  I needed to grow taller; God was stretching out my body so that I might grow into womanhood and have a frame that would support the weight and demands it would need to carry.

Recently, God allowed me to see the extent of my sin-- specifically, He has graciously placed pressures in my life that have revealed my anger.  For many years, this sin lay dormant in my life, and then it slowly crept out as pressures mounted... but in the last year in particular, it has become clear: I have allowed myself to be mastered, enslaved, by anger... and the realization of this has brought me lower than I think I have ever been.

But IT IS FOR MY GOOD that God has brought me low.  He allows these momentary pressures so that He can refine and shape my life.  Just like that orange, He is simply squeezing out of me what is already there.  He is revealing what exists in me.
I am trying to willingly put myself under His hand... to submit to this refining process.  To work with Him, instead of kicking against Him.  This whole week has been a process of looking to Him daily, even moment-by-moment, depending on Him and greatly desiring His guidance (through the Spirit and the Word).

"Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..." ~Hebrews 12:1-2

Re-reading this book online-- free!-- that I read in college, has proven instructive and fruitful for giving me a biblical foundation for seeking a breakthrough in the fight against the hold of this sin in my life.  Rightly calling it what it is & confessing it with true contrition to those who have been hurt by it has brought it into the light.  And the light is where I long to live.  I want to have my life and heart be on the inside what it is on the outside, and what it is on the outside on the inside.  I want anyone who looks at any thread in my life to see what is in every other thread... a true desire to be like Christ.  To be a person who loves as I am loved, who roots out and fights against the hold of sin, who continually submits myself to this process of being shaped and refined by my Maker, who fights for justice, and encourages everyone to be free in Christ.  To be -truly- free in Christ myself.
Getting real about discipleship means that I have to do the real work of it, daily.  I can not sit back and "let go and let God".  I will welcome this squeezing, and will be real about what pours out of my heart.  Prayerfully, I will refill those squeezed-out places with Christ... with His Word, with His ways, with His Spirit.  With His strength, I will not allow those places to be reclaimed by the stronghold of sin.  By His help, I will work with all my might to be more like Jesus.
I am writing this in a continued effort to be transparent here, and this blog would not be a full picture of my life if I did not deal with my ugly sin in a straightforward way.  This is who I am, but I want to be more like Jesus.  I'm so thankful that He doesn't let me stay ugly, but that He keeps squeezing that ugly right out of me.  And in the process, He makes beautiful things out of us.

Please pray for me.  And please feel free to share what God is doing to refine you.  The longer I live, the more I am convinced that He wants to make beautiful things of all of us, and I want to work with Him to that end.

Poppy- Simon Howden /
Squeeze- Ambro /

Boutique 'Glamping' in a vintage inspired caravan

Living here in Sweden I really wanted to show P and our little girls a little about where I come from so a real british seaside holiday is in order! So this summer we're going 'glamping' (glamorous camping) by England's beautiful SouthWest coast. I'm thinking whimsical days in wellies, chintzy tea sets, bunting, vintage caravans, 50's radios and buckets and spades. Can't wait!

Pictures: Love Lane Campsite
 For more info about hiring a 'boutique' caravan at the lovely Love Lane campsite in Cornwall click here. Do you have any exciting holiday plans this year?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A beautiful white Danish home

Now, there's nothing I love more than a white home. I live in Scandinavia after all. And this Danish home is the eptiome of white lovely-ness. I especially love the wooden floors. We have recently white washed our dark oak floors and our house has become so light and airy because of it. Next step - beautiful mid century furniture like in this home....

Pernille Kaalund for Femina via Seventeen Doors
There are so many things I love about this home I'm not sure where to start, perhaps you can help me?! What catches your eye?

Out and About

During our house renovation, we spent a great deal of time at Rejuvenation in Portland, which carries salvage and reproduction hardware, house parts, lighting, furniture and all sorts of specialty items. Back then they also carried plumbing, although this has recently been discontinued. 

They were a great resource for us, starting with our first clawfoot tub which we purchased just a few days after we got the keys to the house. That first tub - an enthusiastic and charismatic, but misguided first purchase! It spent nearly six months being shuffled around various locations of the house in order to be out of the way while we completed the main floor renovation around it. We followed that purchase with many more. Next up were the farmhouse sink, a second clawfoot tub, and the rest of the plumbing fixtures.  We also purchased all of our window, door and cabinet hardware from them, as well as our porch light fixtures and most of our indoor fixtures as well. 

We stopped by the store again recently - here are a few photos from the visit. 

Although we didn't get the brackets for our kitchen shelves from them, they do have a wonderful selection.  

Here's our family portrait! 

I love their selection of antique hardware. You can read a post my friend Steve did at An Urban Cottage to learn an easy way to remove paint from hardware.

Here is Foley helping us with some research. She helped us a tremendous amount during our renovation. 

I fell in love with this couch! 

I didn't dare get too close to this display while I was holding Margaret in my arms, but think that this may be a mixture of old and new. 

All of their reproduction shades are displayed on this open shelf. For our kitchen light, we were able to fit one of these to an antique schoolhouse base that I'd had been saving for many years. 

The babies' favorite part of our visit was getting down to run around in this big open space. It's extra cute to us because this was the first day that Graham and Margaret were wearing big kid shoes. They were laughing up a storm as they toddled back and forth. 

Graham is trying out the Simpson door that inspired our exterior front doors. This display was actually very helpful because, as we learned from our renovation experience, it's quite common to have to order items without seeing them firsthand. So having a display to view major items like windows and doors was very helpful and eased pre-order jitters significantly. 

Margaret is making sure to check prices...note, new shoes! 

Here is Margaret inspecting the Marvin windows, which are what we used throughout our house. 

Apparently, Rejuvenation was just acquired by Williams Sonoma and will be expanding beyond their Portland and Seattle stores. I think it's great because I admire their ethic of recycling original and classic house parts. But I also admire that they inspire people to restore their old homes through their great reproduction line. 

Soon I'll tell you what brought us to the store! We are indeed working on a little project this spring...details to follow. 

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