4 Easy Spring Cleaning Ideas

Spring is flying by and it feels like Summer even though officially we still have a few more weeks of Spring. If you are looking for some quick and easy Spring cleaning ideas that can often be overlooked, then here are 4 ideas that I suggest.

1. Ceiling fans: Clean your ceiling fans. Dust often accumulates and the fans can be so busy circulating that dust is forgotten. I recommend a feather duster to clean all the blades and other areas of the ceiling fan.

Spring cleaning ceiling fan (photo by Julie A. Smith)

2. Medicine cabinet: If you have time (especially if it is really disorganized), then it is best to take everything out of the medicine cabinet. Do a quick check to see if anything has expired and if so, toss it out! Then organize your medicine cabinet by themes such as cold medicines and vapor rubs, pain medicine like Advil, etc.  Everything will be so much easier to find!!! Please note that the picture below is the BEFORE picture.

Easy Spring Cleaning- Medicine Cabinet Before Picture (Photo by Julie A. Smith)

3. Refrigerator: True confession- my refrigerator had so much on it that I was embarrassed to take a before picture. I don’t think I had cleaned the front of my refrigerator off for many years, and I kept adding more magnets and things on it indiscriminately.  So, I set a limit for how many items I wanted to display on my fridge which helped me get rid of clutter. I actually took everything off, cleaned the front of it, and then put selected items back on the refrigerator using the limit I set.  I thought about what I wanted to showcase for a cleaner look and feel. I also checked expiration dates on things inside my fridge like salad dressings and threw out what has expired or gone bad.

Spring Cleaning- Front of Refrigerator After Picture (Photo by Julie A. Smith)

4. Bathroom cabinet: This one took me longer than I anticipated, but it was definitely worth the time.  First, I took everything out of the bathroom cabinet.  I decided to organize by themes regarding what I put back in the cabinet. I had lots of bottles with approximately only 2% body spray in them (yes, I am a fan of Bath & BodyWorks); I decided they were taking up valuable room so I tossed them. I ended up with cabinet organizational themes such as bath soap, hand soap, shower gel, extra toothpaste, etc. This has been one of the best and most overlooked Spring cleaning tasks that I have ever done.

Spring cleaning- Bathroom Cabinet After Picture (Photo by Julie A. Smith)

I hope that these ideas have been helpful and inspiring! May your Spring Cleaning go well!!!

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Redbox Quiet Price Hike on DVD’s

Like many people I am price conscious and try my best to be a wise steward of my money.  I have not had cable in around 10 years, and I only started using Netflix a few years ago.  I have been a fan of Redbox over the years, and I especially enjoy Redbox for renting new movies once they come out on video.  Often I receive promo codes that enable me to rent a movie for free.  I received an e-mail promo code from Redbox recently,  and I rented two movies tonight which was sort of a splurge for me.  I was surprised when my DVD’s both came up as $1.75 each to rent.  I am not like many people that own a Blu-ray player so I was renting a regular priced DVD.  Also, I noticed that it did not seem like Blu-ray prices (nor video game prices) were recently raised, but for some reason the price of regular DVD’s was raised and they now cost $1.75.

I decided to do some “detective work” because I had not heard anything about the Redbox DVD price hike.  When you do a google search using “redbox price increase”, you find lots of old information about their previous price hike from 2014 (or a bit of information about their price hike in 2011). The price hike in 2014 by Redbox was anywhere from a 25%-50% raise depending on what you were renting (DVD, Blu-ray DVD, or game).

I found one website that talked about the recent Redbox price hike which was helpful, especially since some other websites still are mentioning outdated information about Redbox DVD’s costing only $1.50 to rent. Slick deals is on it! (https://slickdeals.net/f/11427139-psa-redbox-dvd-price-increased-to-1-75)

Also, I checked the Rebox official website and the Rebox Fast Facts below was copied from their website (http://about.redbox.com/about-redbox/):

“Redbox Fast Facts

  • $1.75 a day for DVDs, $2 a day Blu-ray™ Discs and $3 a day for video games”

While a price hike is not fun for consumers and while this price raise seems to be flying under the radar in terms of news press so far, I still maintain that Redbox is a very convenient and affordable way to rent movies.  Their kiosks seem to be everywhere so it is not hard to find one while you are out shopping or on your way home from work or school.  Redbox is something that I hope lasts for many more years to come, but hopefully they will lay off the price hikes for awhile.

Redbox photo by Julie A. Smith

Maybe That’s Why They Call it “Adulting”

It is a beautiful sunny Spring afternoon, and I want to get out and enjoy it more by taking a walk and breathing the fresh air.  Working an office job does not lend much to that type of thing, especially when you are short staffed and sometimes sacrifice your breaks for the good of the office and for the work-horse mentality that invades American society of which I am not a fan.

So on that note, my new small group Bible study group is doing a social activity this afternoon and that idea would seem to line up with my thoughts on the importance of free time to recharge and have fun.  But the chosen activity is going to a wine bar, and since I have never been a drinker, it is not really very fun for me to go to an activity where that is the goal.  Many other Christians I know drink, but my Grandpa was an alcoholic, and I grew up never being interested in drinking at all.  Starbucks is more my jam, as I think the kids say now.

So yeah, that makes me think of the term adulting, a term that makes me smile when I hear it these days.  You know, when you would rather take a nap than go out on the town.  That kind of thing.  I ran around a lot in my twenties and early thirties.  Nothing decadent, but I was constantly going to concerts around my state or in neighboring states which was one of my favorite things.  I also went on a couple of mission trips to Haiti and Scotland, went on short term fun trips to Canada and Nashville, saw a ton of movies, and did lots of church events and fun activities with friends.  Now sometimes I find myself wanting to read a good book or chill at home.

Today, on my Saturday off work, I wanted to get my laundry done, put up a new shower curtain liner, catch up on an Agents of Shield episode that I missed, and I ran a few fun errands (Starbucks and to Disc Replay, an amazing used movie and game store in my city; I purchased three great used movies for $3.33 to $4.99 each).  To be honest, the wine bar holds no interest to me.  Maybe that sounds “uncool”, but the older that I get the more I try to listen to myself and my heart.  What sounds fun to others is not always fun for me and that is ok.  You need to be true to yourself, not the popular things or what society dictates.  Maybe that is why they call it “Adulting.”

My new shower curtain liner

Welcome 2018!!! A Fresh New Year gives Freedom and Joy!!!

Original Photography by Julie A. Smith

Welcome 2018!!!  You have been here for almost a week already, and I still find myself writing 2017 constantly when I am writing the date.  So I love how a new year gives a fresh feel to everything and there always feels like so much freedom and joy in it.  Mistakes we have all made can be left in the old year, and a new year is upon us.  On that note, I encourage everyone who reads this to give themselves freedom and license to believe and hope for great things in 2018.  Vision is important, and sometimes I can look to the past and lament (especially with “what might have been” or with my regrets), rather than look to the future with joy and hope.  Let us all  have more hope, joy, peace, faith, and happiness in 2018!!!

I love Fall! (A pictorial story)

My pumpkin outside my door 2017 (photo by Julie A. Smith)

Starbucks salted caramel mocha (my favorite!) (photo by Julie A. Smith)

My pumpkin in my staff work pumpkin contest (photo by Julie A. Smith)

Fun with friends last year at Curtis Orchard

The pretty barn where my friend Amber got married in October 2016 in Niantic, IL (photo by Julie A. Smith)

Starbucks has a limited time new Zombie Frappuccino for Halloween!!!🎃

Starbucks Zombie Frappuccino for Halloween (Photo by Julie A. Smith)

Today my co-worker Kate told me about Starbucks new Zombie Frappuccino blended beverage. She found out that it has caramel and apple flavors and is for a limited time with Halloween. That is the first that I had heard of it and it sounded interesting. Kate ended up getting one for each of us to try. I can’t say that it was my favorite drink on the Starbucks menu, but I enjoyed trying it once, esspecially with fall and since it is a limited time drink. Check it out if you feel so inclined and if you like new things.

Inspiring Words from Lynn Cowell

“Sometimes, even when we do the scary thing, the brave thing, it still doesn’t work out.” That excerpt from Lynn Cowell’s Proverbs 31 ministries devotion today stood out to me and hit home. She was talking about courage and bravery and learning not to quit.

In moments in my life lately, I have really been tempted to quit and give up. I have gone through significant disappointments and hard times and people hurting me and letting me down. Lynn goes on to say in her devotion, “difficult times in our lives can be the exact opportunities we need to learn not to quit. Here, we learn to be brave and to do the hard things again and again and again. In the tough places, we can learn that our God is faithful to help us; He will never leave or forsake us.” I agree, and that was a much needed word of encouragement today.