Clean Drains and Sparkling Showers

Least favored household chore: the bathroom. Least favored bathroom chore: the shower.

Why do I hate it so? 1. It’s just gross. 2. Our shower drain is constantly getting clogged, mostly thanks to my long hair. 3. Hard water causes really gross build up on the shower walls.

The good news is this: there is a natural and affordable solution to the latter two issues!

You’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water

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To clean a clogged drain:

1. Pour a pot of boiling water down your drain.

2. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water. Pour it down the drain.

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2. Mix 1 cup hot water with 1 cup vinegar.

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3. Pour down the drain. You will immediately see fizz–that’s the vinegar reacting to the baking soda hanging out in your drain. It’s that fizzing that will break through all the gunk down there and clear the drain. Keep as much of the reaction inside the drain as possible–pour slowly!

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4. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. It’s working its magic.

5. Flush with another pot of boiling water.

Depending on how bad your drain was clogged, you might have to do this 1-2 more times. Our shower drain usually requires at least 2.

To get rid of mineral build up and make your shower sparkle:

1. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup water to make a paste.

2. Use this paste and a sponge to clean your shower walls.

3. After you’ve scrubbed, wipe the walls down with a wet rag or spray them with your shower head to rinse the baking soda off.

The texture of the baking soda acts as an abrasive, and it’s completely natural. Not to mention cheap! If you have hard water and the sponge isn’t cutting it, use a Brillo pad or steel wool instead, and the hard water build up will come right off!

Happy bathroom cleaning!

Book Review: Scary Close

Donald Miller’s newest memoir, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, shares his journey toward becoming more genuine, honest, and invested in his relationships. Using the story of his courtship with his wife, Don shares his journey of growth from emotional dysfunction to health.

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When I first read a description of Scary Close, my first thought was, “This won’t apply to me.”  I don’t consider myself a person who struggles with relationships. I have deep friendships, I’m grateful for my marriage, and I’m close with my family.  I’ve read Boundaries, and spent some hard, challenging years putting on my big-girl-pants and fighting for healthy relationships. I was pretty sure I had emotional intimacy all wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow. Done and done. Good job, me!

Reading Scary Close showed me I’m not quite there yet. And that’s OK. Don says, “I suppose that’s the point of this book. There’s truth in the idea we’re never going to be perfect in love, but we can get close. And the closer we get, the healthier we will be.” I don’t want to waste my life impressing a bunch of people, at the expense of sacrificing connection with the ones that matter. When it’s all said and done, I want to live a grateful life, be genuine, and love my people well.

Whether or not you struggle with relationships, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Don’s writing style is easy to read and his stories are engaging. You’ll walk away from this book with a new-found appreciation for the healthy relationships in your life, and a challenge to show up and do the hard work of becoming a mature, emotionally whole person–not just for you, but for your family, your spouse, your friends, and your children. Everyone benefits from being surrounded by healthy relationships.

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday Small Talk

It’s Saturday. The coffee is doing its thing in the french press. Bob is making breakfast. We only have a couple of little (fun) things to do today, and the rest is just…freedom. Last night, we watched The Theory of Everything. It was so good. If you’re looking for an affordable night in, you won’t regret it.

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Here are some links for your morning internet wanderings:

Do you journal? Science has some interesting things to say about the practice.

10 things in your basement (or storage) you should sort, throw out, or donate. I’m guilty as charged on several counts.

The Washington Post says Americans should drink more coffee. Because science. Challenge accepted.

All of the diagrams you’ll ever need to decorate your house. Most helpful: gallery wall setups and the indoor plant guide.

Some names are more common, depending on your profession. I couldn’t find my name (boo). What were you meant to be?

Not everyone is naturally gifted to be an entrepreneur.

This blogger lost 15 American habits when she moved to Australia. Number 11 would be the hardest. Ew.

Optical illusions that are much more interesting to look at than a black and blue (white and gold?) dress.

Enjoy your weekend!