A Few Quick Things!

posted by Andrea | 10/16/2019

drying herbs on wooden ladders

I regularly have all sorts of thoughts about quick tips and various randomness I’d like to share with you. 

Often, they are too short to warrant a full blog post… but potentially too wordy to share on social media… so the ideas just sit in my brain, taking up valuable real-estate until I get them out! 

Today, I’m sharing “A Few Quick Things” in an attempt to recover some of my brain real-estate! 🙂

This post contains affiliate links, read my disclosure policy and contact me with any questions you have. 

1. Are You Using Jet-Dry In Your Dishwasher?

Our plumber told us that MOST dishwashers these days require the use of Jet-Dry in order to stay “under warranty”. 

Not only does Jet-Dry help to prevent streaks on your glassware, but it also helps to keep your dishwasher running smoothly and prevents much of the gross build-up I referred to back in this post about how I clean our dishwasher

Previously, I have used vinegar in the Jet-Dry compartment, but that doesn’t help to break up the grease and grime as well — and I’ve also read that the acidity in vinegar can potentially cause the rubber gaskets to disintegrate — yikes! 

For only a few bucks every 3 months, Jet-Dry seems to be a quality “investment” for the longevity of our dishwasher! 

dishwasher full of dishes

2. “Later” is Clutter’s BFF…

Are you guilty of putting off home projects until “later” —  when it’s more convenient, when you have more time, when the kids are sleeping, when you have a day off from work, after the holidays, etc. etc.

I think we ALL are at some point in life!

Don’t fool yourself into thinking “later” will be any more convenient than RIGHT NOW, and just get started! 

3. A 16-Week Purge Update:

Speaking of decluttering our homes… are you participating in the 16-week full-house purge?

I don’t intend to do any formal updates on my 16-week purge this year, but I do want to bring your attention to it again — just in case you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon and get started purging and organizing your home BEFORE the holiday season and BEFORE the New Year. 

I’m 5 weeks in, and I’ve actually tackled more than 5 rooms because I had a little extra time and energy, so my hope is that I’m finished with time to spare. 

HOWEVER, there is no “right” or “best” or “perfect” time to start a purge… and it doesn’t need to be 16 weeks either. You could start TODAY with a 10-week purge and be finished by Christmas Day. You could start tomorrow with a 5-week purge and just do as much as you can. You could start this weekend with a 1-week purge and devote as much time as you can to move things OUT of your home in those 7 days. 

Do whatever you feel is doable for YOU, for your energy level, for your home, for your schedule, etc.  

My main goal is simply to encourage and motivate you to do something to improve the conditions of your home and your life…

Oh, and I have a FREE Printable for those of you who like to write things down!  

Free Printable Purgin Document

4. An American Girl Doll for Nora!

The other week, I posted a Facebook question about where to buy used American Girls Dolls and the response was AMAZING!

If you’re in the market for an American Girl doll (new, used, real, knock-off, etc. etc.) you must read through the comments on my FB post — there are so many fantastic ideas, coupon codes, discount websites, tips, tricks, etc. to find great deals on any and all American Girl dolls, books, accessories, and more!

I was originally assuming we would find a used doll and accessories to surprise Nora with ON her birthday (end of November). However, after reading your comments, thinking through things on my own, and talking with Dave, we feel it will be the most fun for her to be able to CHOOSE her doll — either directly from the website or from a used site. 

I honestly don’t know what type of doll she wants — if she wants it to look like her or if she’d prefer one of the “original book dolls” that we could hopefully find used (I’m selfishly voting for Kirsten or Felicity!)

Either way, I think she’ll be happier in the long run if SHE gets to decide… and since her birthday is just days before the big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, I feel confident we can find a good price on a new doll (if that’s what she wants). 

I’ll keep you posted once we make a purchase — and thanks again for sharing your HUGE wealth of knowledge on this topic! 

American Girl Magazine

5. My Instagram Account:

About 18 months ago, I finally became somewhat active on Instagram (I had an account for almost 7 years before that, but never posted anything!) Over the last 18 months, Laura from HowToGYST.com has been faithfully managing my Instagram and Pinterest accounts — and serving as an invaluable “sounding board” for all my social media questions. 

However, Laura has a lot going on in her own business, with her own family, and in her own life — making it nearly impossible for her to continue helping me out with social media. 

So, I’m “on my own”. I’m learning and researching, but my page will probably be quieter than before as I really don’t know what I’m doing… so this is your fair warning that nothing is “wrong”, I just don’t have someone helping me anymore!

That said, I’d love for you to follow me… I’m shooting for 10,000 followers as that number will allow me to utilize many more cool features (yes, I have a long way to go… but… baby steps!)

6. How I found SUPER Inexpensive Checks

I ran out of checks (after years and years of using the same batch of checks) so I had to order more. The free checks previously provided by our bank were now $20 for 80 checks plus shipping! 

I knew I could find them cheaper, and after asking around on social media, I ended up purchasing checks from Bradford Exchange. I got 150 checks for $4.89 with a roll of free address labels and free shipping!

Oh, and my checks are a really cute primitive farmhouse design! 

I honestly don’t know how I ended up with such a great deal — the website had an offer to buy 2 sets of checks, get 2 sets free (which would have been 600 checks). After I clicked on that deal, it brought me to a new page that offered buy 1 set get 1 set free (300 checks), and then at the checkout, it offered the option to buy 1 set for $4.89, get the free address labels. 

Since I hardly go through any checks, but we do go through lots of address labels, this was the best deal for me! 

new checks

7. A Bunch of Tips to Get Rid of Ants.

Do you have ants anywhere in your house? 

If so, read ALLLLLL the comments on my Facebook post

SO many clever and interesting ways to eliminate these pesky bugs — many of which I’ve never heard of before! 

8. A Fantastic Homemaking Resource!

Every year, the Ultimate Bundle Team offers a number of E-book and E-resource Bundles on a variety of topics.

The only one I’m usually interested in enough to purchase and promote on my blog is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle — I know I can always find at least a few resources that significantly benefit my life… so it’s ALWAYS worth the price for me.

The bundle usually goes on sale in April — but this year, they’re offering a 2-day FLASH SALE of the 2019 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle starting TODAY!

I purchased and skimmed through many of the resources in this bundle last April and I can confidently say it is worth every penny of the $29.97 price tag. Everything from cleaning and organizing to meal planning, motherhood, and marriage — there’s something for every “homemaker”, no matter what that term means to you!

Buy the bundle for yourself… or buy it as gifts for the upcoming holiday! Whatever the case, you’ll want to buy it SOON as this flash sale will be over tomorrow night (Oct. 17, 2019)!  

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

9. James’ Preschool Pictures…

James loves school — but he did NOT want to get his picture taken for school pictures.

I told his teacher not to press the issue as I wasn’t planning to order pictures anyway… and when I picked James up 2 hours later, his teacher mentioned it didn’t go well and they only got 1 sideways-glancing shot.

When the digital proofs came out a few days later, Dave and I scanned the sea of smiling preschool portraits until we came across James’ lone proof… I think we laughed together for a solid 5 minutes! 

silly school picture

Aaaaaand…. that wraps up the very first edition of “A Few Quick Things”! 

Have a good rest of the week! 

family selfie

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31 comments

  1. Debbie

    10/17/2019

    We’ve been using Jet Dry in our dishwasher since we moved into our house. The first comment we received from a guest was how shiny and clear the drinking glasses look. I had to agree and said it’s because of Jet Dry. I think it helps with the smell in the dishwasher too because it never has a smell and I’m not good at cleaning it regularly.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you know what, I have not noticed the smell that previously came from our dishwasher since we started using JetDry… interesting!

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  2. Rosie C

    10/17/2019

    After reading yesterday’s post, I decided this morning that I will start a full-house purge this Sunday! Thank you for the printout. I find that writing things down keeps me accountable. Thank you for the motivation!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh goodie — so glad to have you joining along this year!

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  3. Kelly K

    10/17/2019

    Love these “quick things” Ha ha on the portrait of James and I will follow you on Insta!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Kelly!

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  4. LAURI C EVERLOVE

    10/16/2019

    Love this post. Thanks for the great tip about jet dry. I sometimes wonder if it really does work but always notice that when I make sure I use it the dishes seem cleaner. Love the picture of James. It is priceless. I think when he gets much older he might get a chuckle out it too.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Lauri! Yes, our family has already been laughing about the picture!!!

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  5. Chris

    10/16/2019

    Oh, that picture!!!!!!!!! So funny. My question ~~ with all of the pictures kids have taken daily now and everyone snapping all of the time with iPhones, etc, why was he adamant about not having a picture taken??

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I have no idea — he was crying all morning about the school pictures though. I think he just built it up into something scary and didn’t want to do it. Kids!

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  6. Leah

    10/16/2019

    Andrea, would there be a way for you to summarize the ideas given for the American Girl dolls? I don’t have a Facebook account and can’t seem to read the comments. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — probably not. There are over 100 comments I think and many of them with contradictory information.
    most people felt it was worth it to pay for the “real deal” versus the fake dolls though.

    [Reply]

  7. Brandette W.

    10/16/2019

    I love this new post idea!

    I used to use Jet-Dry but stopped when we built our current house. I didn’t like how it made my dishes come out with a weird feeling, they didn’t feel squeaky clean like normal. I never used white vinegar in my DW, I do use it for all the other cleaning needs though…love that stuff….because I have also heard that over time it deteriorates the rubber gaskets.

    What I do use, which I have loved for a long time, is Lemi Shine. We live in the Midwest and have hard water. I don’t use it very often, maybe only a couple times a year. But, when I do…it helps to keep the stainless interior sparkling.

    I also found (which I mentioned in your original post asking) that using the solid pod type tabs didn’t wash my dishes well at all. I switched about 4 years ago to the liquid pods and it works amazingly for us.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    SO… I’ve also noticed somewhat of a film when we sue jet-dry… but the dishwasher itself is MUCH cleaner when I use Jet-Dry. Odd, I know!
    I actually just heard of the LemiShine so I might need to look into that! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  8. Alissa

    10/16/2019

    I like posts like this. Sometimes I see your questions on Facebook but it seems like a dangerous use of time to start reading all the comments. I like hearing what you decided to do.
    In your next few quick things, can you update us on the laundry room or maybe you have and I missed it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Alissa — no laundry room update yet because we still haven’t started it. We can’t get our tile guy and my dad (who helps us a lot) was too busy over the summer… so we wait!

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  9. Rhonda Miller

    10/16/2019

    And, now, you MUST purchase the photo. It’s the best ever.
    I so rarely use checks that I just go straight to the teller a few times a year and get 8 complimentary counter checks. Can’t beat free. And having had three daughter’s weddings means I have plenty of address labels . . . .

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I use them a few times every month, so I do like to keep them on hand — and for less than $5 for 150, I’m happy with that deal 🙂

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  10. Katie

    10/16/2019

    I hope for your sake Nora doesn’t want Kirsten – she was discontinued years ago and goes for big $$ on ebay! Hopefully you can find a deal if that is what she has her heart set on!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh bummer, I just looked them up and the Kirsten dolls ARE super expensive! She’s always been my favorite — the little pioneer girl 🙂

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    She is my favorite too. I was tempted years ago when they announced she was being retired to go ahead and buy one for myself 🙂 Alas, I did not!

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  11. Sandy

    10/16/2019

    I’ll admit it makes me feel good to hear a suggestion I offered (along with a few others) turned out to be such a good deal for you. 🙂 YAY for cheap checks from Bradford!

    I already shared my thoughts on James’ school picture and having a similar one of my own. It will forever bring a smile to your face for years to come making it priceless!

    Thanks for the reminder to put some Jet Dry on my grocery list! 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — thanks for the suggestion. The checks were a really great deal!

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  12. Summer

    10/16/2019

    Oh my word! That proof is fantastic! Truly a gem!

    I never ordered school photos, but at the younger ages I did print one I took in those little sizes for them to pass out to their friends. Very inexpensive and great photos of them! I also did all their senior photos. Just take tons of photos and you will find one to work! We printed the year and their names on them and again, a mere fraction of the cost.

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  13. Holly Sanford

    10/16/2019

    Ha ha, I never bought the school pictures because they were always horribly overpriced when my kids were little but I think I may have had to made an exception if they came home with a cute proof like James, lol.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, it’s a winner for sure 🙂

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  14. JJ

    10/16/2019

    That picture of James is priceless! My 4 year old boy is the SAME! He is also the third child. Haha! Love it!

    Okay, I seriously love all your posts but your Favorite Things and now A Few Quick Things are my favorites! You have so many great ideas, so I feel like it’s a BOGO when you have these posts. Thank YOU!!!

    [Reply]

  15. Stacie Kaltz

    10/16/2019

    I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few months now and love to see your posts!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Stacie!

    [Reply]

  16. Stel

    10/16/2019

    That photo is a keeper!!!

    (Checks? Do you use it a lot in the US? I can’t remember when last I wrote a check; most businesses don’t accept it anymore – RSA )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no, we rarely use checks (which is why I hadn’t ordered any in YEARS!) but we need them for various things every month, so I have to keep them around. I really only need 25 or 30 checks to last me a couple of years, but the smallest quantity I could get was 150 — so that’s what I got 🙂

    I’ll be set on checks for many years now!

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