Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell From a House

Last week, my mom bought a new home. The former owners were heavy smokers, so the home had been on the market for eight months with few offers. The former owner's family didn't want to clean it, so the price kept dropping. My mom offered half of what they were asking, and they accepted. She got a great deal, but we had a lot of work to do!  Here's what we did to get rid of the smoke smell in her home.


The first thing we did was paint the ceilings with Kilz paint. Regular paint won't always cover the smell, but Kilz works great. She didn't want to paint the walls, so we moved on to the next step.


To wash the walls, you'll need a lot of rags, several buckets, and a cleaner. First, we scrubbed every surface, nook, and cranny with diluted Purple Power. It's a concentrated degreaser found in the automotive department at Walmart for about $5 a gallon.  We used about a cup per gallon of water.

We would scrub a 2-3 foot section of wall and rinse the rag in the sink before dipping it in the water again. When it got really yellow, we soaked it in bleach water.

Even with rinsing the rags out before putting them in the water, we still went through a lot of buckets!  If we did this again--and I hope we do not!--I would fill a spray bottle with diluted cleaner and spray it on the walls.

This got a lot off and the smell was gone, but the bedroom and living room were still yellow. We washed them again with Mean Green. We bought it at Dollar General for $5 a gallon or $1 for a small bottle if you want to try it. We sprayed the Mean Green on the walls and watched the yellow streaks roll down. We used a new rag for each 4 foot section. Like I said, this takes a lot of rags!

A note of caution: Mean Green is potent stuff. Open all of the windows, use fans, and take breaks for fresh air. Always test it on the surface to make sure it won't ruin the surface. We did not use it on wood. Be careful not to mix it with bleach either. We rinsed the rags very, very well and put them in a weak bleach solution. Then we moved them to plain water to soak and rinsed them again. We reused them when they were dry.


Once the walls were clean, I vacuumed the carpets and scrubbed them. I used my trusty Hoover scrubber with Purple Power in the tank. I diluted it 1:1 to put in the solution tank. If you have an older model that you put the solution with the water, use one cup of Purple Power per tank.  Hoover, of course, does not recommend that you use anything other than their solution.  I've used Purple Power and other cleaners in my scrubbers for years without any problems.  I will caution you to do this at your own risk because it will probably void your warranty.

Each night, we opened all of the cabinet doors and closet doors. We bought a new furnace filter, ran an air cleaner, and kept the windows open as much as we could.  It took two days, but the smell is gone save a small closet.  We wadded up newspaper and closed it overnight. The next night, we set a cup of baking soda in it. The smell is very, very faint now.

I can't guarantee that this will work for you, but it worked for us. Just keep cleaning until there's no more yellow and always test cleaning products before using them. Good luck!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Stay Comfortable While Camping

My husband and kids love to go camping.  Me?  Not so much.  I prefer having electricity, running water, and a real roof over my head.  There are times that I must compromise, and this is one of them.  If I have to go, I might as well be comfortable, right?  Here's how I stay comfortable while camping.

1.  Cute and comfortable clothes.

Just because I'm living in the woods for a few days does not mean that I need to be frumpy.  I wear comfortable clothes, but I make sure that I'm still cute.  No huge baggy shirts except for sleeping in!

2.  Toiletries

I've got to watch scented items because of the bugs, but I do take my favorite products with me.  I use my regular face wash and moisturizer because it has an SPF in it.  I don't wear makeup, but some lip gloss can help me feel a little better.

3.  Liners

We have to plan our camping weekend around my cycle, but things come up.  That's why I love U by Kotex® liners.  They are comfortable and flex with my body, so I barely remember that they are there!

4.  Sleep Cycle

If I stay up too late or get up too early, I get grumpy.  I have to try to stay on my regular sleep schedule when camping so I don't get cranky.

5.  Music

Most electronics are a no-no on camping weekends, but I do like taking a radio and using my iPhone to play my favorite music.  It really helps me feel more comfortable!

If you want to get that comfy feeling any time, you can request a free sample pack with 2 U by Kotex Curves® Liners and 2 U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners.

You can also enter to win one of several prizes by sharing your best uncomfy face.  

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Beat the Afternoon Slump

You know that 2:00 slump?  When you're not sure that you can make it through the afternoon?  I used to grab a Diet Dew or another cup of coffee, but that's just a temporary fix.  Once the caffeine wears off, I have a 4:00 slump, which is even worse than the 2:00 slump!  Keep reading for ways to beat the afternoon slump.

How to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Get Moving

It's best to get outside in the sunshine, but if that's not possible get moving in your house.  You don't need to break a sweat, but get your heart pumping for at least 10 minutes.


Instead of grabbing a sugary snack or a caffeinated drink, a much better choice is to eat a snack that is full of protein for a longer energy boost.  That's why I love Plenti yogurt.

They started with Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and a healthy snack choice in itself.  Then they added flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, whole grain oats, and fruit to make it even more filling.  It's high in protein, so it gives me an energy boost for hours instead of a temporary boost from sugar or caffeine.  It has a 1:1 ratio of sugar to protein with 12 grams of each.

Take a Break

Take a 10-15 minute break and call a friend or chat with someone at work.  Just getting your mind off of your work will help you refocus the rest of the afternoon.

Change Your Scenery

If possible, move to another location.  I like to take my laptop and move rooms or even go to the library to work.

Switch Tasks

If you've been working on the same project all day, switch to something else for a while.  When you get back to the first project, you just might have a breakthrough thanks to the break.


Close your eyes and rest for 10-20 minutes but no longer than that.  You'll be groggy if you sleep longer.

Healthy eating never looked so good!  Visit Plenti Greek Yogurt on Instagram!

Photo from David Castillo Dominici via
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