Thursday, February 9, 2012

Go Away, Spot!

Whether you’re the parent of a toddler or clumsy on your own (that would be me), you’ve probably had to deal with hard-to-remove spots and stains. Over the years, I’ve put together a list of spot removers that I go to before tossing something into the recycle bin.

Things to remember:
• The sooner you remove the stain the easier it should be.
• Avoid putting a stained garment into the dryer because heat might set the stain, making it almost impossible to remove.
• Keep a pre-wash stain remover on hand – in your laundry area, your desk, and your handbag.

Most Common Stains and How to Remove Them

Ink – Dab the area with rubbing alcohol. After about a minute, apply full-strength laundry detergent and set the item aside for about 15 minutes. Wash in the hottest water recommended on the label of the garment. You may have to repeat this several times to get most of the stain out. Some felt-tip pen stains are impossible to get rid of.

Makeup – Use a commercial stain remover and apply it directly to the stain. Rub it with a soft toothbrush and set it aside for several minutes. Wash the item in the hottest water recommended by the manufacturer.

Grease, oil, butter, margarine, or salad dressing – Apply a commercial stain remover or full-strength Dawn dish detergent directly to the stain. Gently rub the cleaning product into the fabric and set it aside for about 5 minutes. Wash in the hottest water recommended by the manufacturer. Repeat if necessary until the stain is gone.

Blood or other protein stain – Pretreat with a commercial stain remover. If you don’t have a stain remover, moisten a bar of soap and gently rub on the bloodstain. Work the cleaning product into the fabric by rubbing it with a soft toothbrush. Set the item aside for approximately 5 minutes. Wash in cold water. Before you put the item in the dryer, check to make sure the stain is gone because heat will set a bloodstain.

Grass – Pretreat a grass stain with an oxygen-based cleaner, such as OxiClean. Set the item aside for approximately 15 minutes before washing it in the hottest water recommended by the manufacturer.

You’ve worked hard all day, so find a comfy place to relax and enjoy Valeria’s Cross, a wonderful book by authors Kathi Macias and Susan Wales.

Here’s a blurb:
In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius' wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.

Photo by Raymortim on

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Delicious Complexion

You don't have to spend a fortune at department store cosmetic counters to have a smooth, youthful complexion. Treat yourself to a facial from items in your refrigerator or pantry. Here are some suggestions - some I've tried and others I've only heard about.

Does your dry skin need a quick pop of moisture? Mix three tablespoons of plain yogurt with one tablespoon of honey. Apply to a clean face. Relax for approximately 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel smooth and satiny.

Exfoliate the dead skin cells to reveal your gorgeousness. Mix equal parts sugar with olive oil. Gently rub the mixture over your face and rinse.

Looking tired and worn out? Mash a ripe banana and spread it over your face, leaving the eye area. Slice a chilled cucumber or potato and place over your eyes. Relax for a half hour. After you remove the veggie slices and rinse your face, you'll look like you've had plenty of sleep.

Wrinkles getting you down? Separate the egg white from the yolk. Slather the egg white on your face, but don't get too close to your eyes. Lie down and relax until the egg white dries. Leave on an additional 10 minutes and rinse. Your friends will wonder if you've had "work done."

One of the most relaxing things you can do is curl up and escape with a good book. Try one of my older books, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida, for a mental and emotional getaway to one of Florida's warm, sandy beaches.

Here's a brief blurb:
Amanda Burns owns a bicycle shop in Treasure Island, Florida, but she almost never has time to enjoy the charming town or its beautiful beaches. When she's not caring for her emotionally demanding sister, she's busy waiting on customers. But there's one customer she never minds seeing. Each year, the handsome Jerry Simpson returns to the shop to rent a bicycle for two. When Amanda discovers that Jerry takes his aging parents to the island for their anniversary each year, she finds herself drawn to the man who selflessly gives of his time for the people he loves. Jerry's sense of responsibility to his parents has prevented him from even thinking about love. Will he and Amanda find the treasure they both deserve even if neither of them is looking for it?

Photo from Kahanaboy on
Photo from Ronnieb on