Daily Life · Family · Work

4 of The Best Housekeeping Products

I don’t know about the rest of the world but I barely have time for housekeeping. I work a job that demands the better part of 60 hours a week and I attend school for nursing. That being said, I am a busy woman. Besides having little time and energy for cleaning, I have little desire. I despise cleaning. Laundry, bathrooms, floors – I only clean when I’m irritated. That’s when my house is the cleanest.

Here are a few products that I have found that make it easier.

  1. Windex – Windex is a miracle cleaner. It’s something that will disinfect and make the house smell nice. It works on bathroom counter tops and is great for cleaning sink fixtures. This is a great way to make silver items, windows, mirrors, and the exterior of toilets shine. It also makes a great surface dusting agent but you have to be sure to spray it on a
  2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner – This is an obvious must have for a multitude of reasons. The first being because every toilet needs to be cleaned on the inside regularly. The second which is a trick I picked up for my mother, is that it cleans tubs fabulously! I severely dislike products like Scrubbing Bubbles – I find that they leave a ring around my tub. Toilet bowl cleaner however – Always removes stains and all sorts of rings. It also removes the grime and gritty feeling of the tub. I’ve never had to use anything more than a brush and the toilet cleaner.
  3. Lysol– Lysol really is the amazing. I use it to mop my floors and to white wash my cabinets. It always leaves my house smelling wonderful and removes all the stains. It also is great to use in the tub to leave it smelling fresh and clean.
  4. Dish Soap– This stuff is great. Not only is multipurpose but it’s also a great degreaser. I have used it for the traditional purpose of cleaning my dishes but I have also used it to clean my floors, degrease my stove top, and clean my fridge.

I have found that these products with a brush or cloth and some hot water have gone a long way. If used properly these products can increase the span that your house stays clean. Of course dusting is a regular issue due to weather but other than that – this will help you. If you have any product reviews – I would love to hear them, please fill out the form below.

*I have also found that there are some simple tips to using them. Tune in next time to hear those. *

Children

3 Websites to help you prepare for finals

College level courses are rough. It doesn’t matter if you are fresh out of highschool or if you are headed back to college as an adult. Personally for me, the hardest classes for pass are the ones that are science and math based. Over several years of studying I have found 3 separate websites that have really helped me prepare for exams and finals, which I want to share with my readers because everyone deserves to pass their classes.

  1. Quizlet.com – Quizlet has been great for a multitude of reasons. This website allows you to do a multitude of things. Firstly – it allows you to create any amount of flashcards needed for any chapter or class. Secondly – not only will it drill you on these flashcards but it will do it in a variety of ways. Thirdly – Not only are you able to make your own flash card set but the website also allows you to access other people’s flashcards sets regarding the same topic or any topic that you would like to learn about.
  2. Chegg.com – While it has similar aspects to quizlet in the way of flashcards, chegg also allows you to rent any textbook you may need and that they have available along with other books that might help you to learn about the topic of your choice.
  3. Kahnacademy.com –  This one is probably my favorite to be honest. This website has just about every subject at every level you might need. Not only do they have multiple videos that explain every problem you need to know but they also have multiple practice problems with videos on how to do them and hints. All of these are extremely helpful.

All of these websites have been helpful in passing classes that I have struggled with in the past. I would highly recommend these websites for college students and possibly for even for children who are having a hard time understanding concepts. Being homeschooled myself, I have found these to be incredibly helpful and useful in the learning of new concepts. Have any tips? Feel free to share them below.

Daily Life · School tips · Work

5 Things To Do Before The School Semester Starts

As this semester rises up to greet us it brings to my mind how much needs to be done before I begin school again. So, having sat down and come up with my own list of what needs to be done – I thought I would share it with my readers in a hope that it would help those around me.

  1. Deep Clean Your House – This sounds a bit intensive, and it is, but deep cleaning the house is a great way to start the semester. Not only will it be easier to maintain after you have deep cleaned it but it will also make you feel better and less stressed as you start the semester.
  2. Compile A List Of Items Needed For Classes – It seems easier to wait until you have to get things but honestly – pre-order your books. If you don’t know what they are – email your professors. This is a simple step in getting everything ready for that first day so that you don’t need to think the morning of.
  3. Pre-make Meals – Now I’m the kind of person that will eat based on mood but when it comes to the school year – getting meals pre-done makes things so much easier. Pre-make your breakfast oatmeal or dinner – stick them in the freezer – You might spend a whole day doing this but it will make it easier for you when it’s the school year.
  4. Build That Habit – Go ahead and start building that habit you want to have during the school year. It might be working-out or waking up early, either way if you start now it will make the first few days of school easier to keep up with and maintain the habit.
  5. Set Your Goals – Set your goals for the semester. It might be good grades or maintaining work and school, whatever it is that makes your list – write it down. Keep them short and obtainable. Don’t reach for the stars yet but start simple. You want to be able to succeed.

These are just some simple tips and tricks that I have picked up and found makes my school year easier to adjust to. These things are items that I do before every semester. It makes success easier and also helps prioritize and organize my life.

Have any tips and tricks? Comment below!

Daily Life · Family · Reviews

7 of the Best Clean Shows (UK)

You know what I love about UK (BBC) television? It’s always clean. Think about it – it might have adventure, it might be scary but it’s always clean. It’s refreshing to be able to watch a show that I love and not have to worry about nudity or adult graphics when kids are around. Even kids can watch them. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of the TV shows that I enjoy watching the most from BBC/PBS and that are available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

  1. Downton Abbey
    • We have all seen it. It’s a great show. This one encompasses life during the early 1900’s in England. It shows us what it would have been like to live during that era. It really does a great job showing us the triumphs and pitfalls of what would have been available to each social class and being able to watch them navigate it is always interesting. This particular show is dramatic, family friendly, and intriguing.
  2. Land Girls
    • Placed in a slightly later timeframe than Downton Abbey – Land Girls does a great job showing how women contributed to the English economy during WWII. It follows 4 girls and their triumphs and failures throughout a year. While some go on to find love, others are faced with moral dilemmas, and some are filled it with anguish. I would classify this show as family friendly, historical, and dramatic.
  3. Call The Midwife – 
    • This show is easily one of my favorites. While the main character disappears after the first season or two – the show continues and it really gives a great insight into what nursing was like in the 1950’s. Surprisingly my grandmother was actually a nurse during that time frame in the US and when I ask her – she tells me the show is very accurate. This show upholds the ideals of the 1950’s house wife, morals, and conscience of England. Therefore, this show is classified as historically accurate, clean, and while pieces might be not child friendly, it is over all family friendly.
  4. Sherlock – 
    • I think we can all agree that Benedict Cumberbatch is an excellent actor. He and Martin Freeman have paired off in this riveting show to give us a great duo known as “Sherlock” and “Watson”. This show is not only interesting and excellent at holding a short attention span but is exciting and a family friendly detective show. Over all, the show does a great spin on a well-known classic book.
  5. Dr.Who- 
    • Firstly if you haven’t seen this show, put down your computer or phone and go watch it. This show happens to be one of my favorites. The beauty is that the main character is always changing (every season or two) and so does his companion. It’s a bit like James Bond – the constant change brings something new to the show and everyone has their own favorite. This is a great Sci-fi show that is clean, adventurous, and has a occassional twist in history. At times it’s just thrilling enough and each ending is different. It is a must watch.
  6. Great British Baking Show –
    • Who doesn’t love food? I’m a bit of a foodie, but baking is really my outlet. I enjoy watching this show because I always get new flavor ideas, learn more about baking, and it’s a comforting show for me. Unlike American competitions where each person is very mindful of their own interests, the contestants on The GBBS are very aware that everyone needs to finish. They show great sportsmanship and each person is helped to finish before presenting. It is an educational, clean, family friendly show that highlights what competition could be.
  7. Planet Earth- 
    • I love David Attenborough. The day he stops doing nature documentaries will be the saddest day of my life. His voice is soothing and he does a great job showing emotion when necessary. Not only are these shows clean and wholesome but they are educational and also informative. It is something every child could watch and every adult enjoy.

Over all – UK television has been producing clean and wholesome shows for a long time. I’ve been hard pressed to find anything coarse or inappropriate within their shows. I’m always looking for more so if you have a recommendation please leave a comment.

Work

9 Tips to Increase Your Performance as a Server

Previously I have discussed a few tips to increase server performance. While these still hold true – I’m going to expound on them. I work as a manager in the restaurant industry, these are based on things that I see my own staff doing or things I have discussed with them. Not only will these tips impress your manager but they are sure to impress your guests as well.

  1. Pay attention to the details –
    • Details are everything when you are serving a guest. They make the difference between having someone send something back to the kitchen or them loving the dish.
    • Attention to details encompasses knowing:
    • what ingredients the kitchen uses
    • checking your section for wobbling tables
    • making sure your station is filled and ready to go
    • doing your side-work properly so you set the next shift up for success
    • clearing the table when ready (this is not just the busser’s job)
  2. A great server Introduces themselves –
    • I had one of my servers recently tell me that they didn’t want to introduce themselves because it felt a bit much like working at Chili’s. I told them – You should introduce yourself because it gives a warm and welcoming feeling to your guests. This is the basis of starting a connection to up-selling.
    • When someone is standing overtop of you – you are already feeling a bit prickled ( you are uncomfortable because you are placed in a vulnerable position), the introduction makes you feel a bit more at ease.
  3. Smile –
    • Smiling does a lot. I’m not talking about looking like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland but you do need to smile when you take care of people. It makes them feel important and that you are there to help them.
  4. Preferences, Sensitivities, and Allergies –
    • It seems like everyone has an allergy of some sort. I tell my servers when they introduce themselves always start with “Welcome to ____________, my name is Hannah. I’ll be taking care of you tonight. Are there any preferences, sensitivities, or allergies I need to be aware of?” This immediately sets the tone for guests. They know you, they can trust you, and you have attention to detail. I have seen an increase in my servers tips when they use this on tables vs when they don’t. To be clear – a preference is like a diet – the customer is adhering to it but will not have an allergic reaction, a sensitivity – they may have a minor reaction but it won’t be bad – they can handle cross-contaimination, an allergy – they cannot have any cross-contaimination – it will result in a severe allergic reaction. This needs to be stated on the ticket to the kitchen as well and the manager should be made aware.
  5. Know your menu –
    • Make sure that you as the server know the menu. You know what is going into the dishes, what the kitchen can change. Be aware of the time frame – if it’s a rush – the kitchen may not want to change it. Make sure you know the bar menu. If you are still learning that’s fine, always say “I’m not sure but let me check for you.” It tells them that you don’t know but you are willing to go the extra mile to find out.
  6. Mis en place –
    • I know I have mentioned it before but it bears mentioning again. ALWAYS make sure your table is prepped. This means dropping dessert spoons as soon as they order, dropping a bowl for those seafood shells, or getting a chiller set up for white wine. The bussers/runners don’t have time for it and it is your job as a server. These little things are again – attention to details that make the difference between you and other servers.
  7. Good Wine Service –
    • This is more important to me because I live and work in California. This means that almost everyone out here knows about wine and how it should be served. That being said – good wine service starts from the beginning. You should always show the label and the bottle (cupping the bottom with your hand) to the person who ordered. When they say it’s alright hold the bottom and cut below the lip. Place the trash in your apron (never on the table) – do not twist the bottle when you cut it and never hold it by the neck (even when you are removing the cork). Pour a taste for the person who ordered. When they give the nod – you can pour clockwise, ending with that same person. Place the bottle and the cork on the table (or in the chiller if it’s a white). If you are nervous about the whole process and they are quite – ask them questions that force long answers “Where are you from?” “How do you like the area?” etc. It forces them to talk and takes the pressure off you.
  8. Know How to Up-sell –
    • You don’t need to pressure anyone to buy anything, but you should know how to up-sell. If they buy two glasses of the same wine, say “I noticed you want two glasses of the same wine, would you be interested in a bottle?” When it comes to dessert – always drop the menu with a recommendation. “The Churros are my favorite – they are like eating a baby angel.” I know it sounds weird but it sticks with people. When you describe the food – describe it in such a way that it makes their mouth water. Use words like:
      • decadent
      • moist
      • full of spice
      • hints of _______
    • basically you need to act like you are a Food Network star describing the food. That’s how you sell it. People want to know what’s the best. The items that I eat all the time I say are “_______________ soul food” (Insert whatever cultural restaurant you work for – example “Mexican Soul Food”) People know terms like that and they love hearing it.
    • You eat first with your ears, then your eyes, finally you eat with your mouth.
  9. Check the Food-
    • Make sure when the food comes out it is up to their liking. As soon as it’s dropped “Everything looks ok?” and after two bites “How is it tasting?” These prevent a guest from sitting there waiting like an idiot for the server to come back, just to say it was bad.
    • If they order a steak always – ALWAYS – ask them to cut into it to make sure the temperature is correct. Wait until they have done so and it is good before you walk away.

The reality is small things like these, which might seem large at the moment, make all the difference to your guests. They are bread and butter of a servers life. These will make your guests happier – they are more likely to return to you and that restaurant, they will increase your tips, and they will increase your standing with your manager.

Remember Good service isn’t an accident – Good service is on purpose.

Have tips or tricks? Please Share! 

 

Children · Daily Life

Childhood Consequences

I don’t have children. Don’t let that stop you from reading thought.

I’ve heard many people say that those who don’t have children shouldn’t have an opinion about parenting and the techniques utilized. They say that those who have no children know nothing. Let me be clear why I’m qualified for this post. I have 7 nieces and nephews, I have nannied for several years, I have grown up watching other peoples children and their parenting styles and I choose not to have children at this point in my life. I also believe that I’m qualified to speak on this topic because I choose not to have children.

I choose not to have children not because I dislike children but it’s a huge investment of time and money. It’s an investment that I’m not ready to make. People always say that someone who didn’t do what they did or the way the did it shouldn’t speak on an issue but there are many ways to do one thing. And just because someone failed at something the first time shouldn’t disqualify them. No one is perfect.

Many parents no longer teach their child to behave. There is no discipline. The issue with this is that then the child becomes an unreasonable little monster. You know what’s super funny to me, everytime I am around a child who won’t listen to their parents (provided I know the child) I will set a boundary for them. They never cross it with me. I have looked at children and told them “You will not get Ice Cream whine one more time.” It’s incredible – they clam right up and pause before they say anything more. I’m not saying that parents need to use force or they need to start spanking. What I’m talking about is basic discipline – there are consequences and rewards for every action.

Here are some ideas to get them started:

  • Every action needs a CONSISTENT consequence.
  • Every consequence must be reachable no matter where you are located.
  • Every good deed needs to be noticed and praised or rewarded.
  • Every reward must be tangible no matter where you are located.

It’s really very simple when you think about it. It’s similar to when you have to work, you show up late – there is a consequence. You work hard and do your job properly – you have a reward (maybe not right away but you still have a job and that is a reward).

The consequences can be something as simple as standing in the corner, or be as much as taking away something. But you have to do it every time. Without consistency, you cannot have respect, from either your child or other people.

Here’s the basic memo – the lack of parenting in the world has lead to an increase in entitled little monsters. Don’t add to the burdens of the world, take time to be a parent and actually invest in something that will stay with your children forever. Teach them to have manners and discipline.

Daily Life · Family · Relationships · Uncategorized

Things You Should Never Say To a Person With Depression

After some intense weeks of experience – I want to share a few things that should never ever be uttered to a person with depression.

  1. It’s Not real – I want you to realize that while their depression might not seem real to you, to them it’s unbelievably real. They wake up and it stares them in the face. It’s so real it makes basic tasks like showering, making coffee, and eating almost impossible.
  2. Why are you unhappy, you have everything. Oh – this one is one of my favorites (JK). Depression doesn’t care if you live in a mansion or in a freaking cardboard box. It’s not about material items. It’s about being so overwhelmed by emotions or lack of that you can’t breathe – you can’t get past it.
  3. You didn’t let the love in. Yeah I’ve gotten this one. “Let the universe Love you.” Sorry to offend – I don’t believe in the universe. I believe in God. And secondly – depression has zip to do with “Letting the love in”. Think of being so numb that even if you wanted to you couldn’t feel a thing.

For the Christians –

  1. You aren’t walking with Christ. Firstly – how dare you assume what my relationship with Christ is like. Secondly – How dare you assume that because I’m not like you – I’m wrong, Can the foot mimic the hand?! Everyone has their cross to bear. I will give on the fact that occasionally it’s because someone isn’t walking with Christ but you better be dead on your feet certain that it isn’t medical before you open you mouth. Nothing is worse than someone elses ignorance making you feel totally crazy.

Sorry this post is so short. I hope it helps someone who has a friend that has depression. Best advice – when you have a friend with depression and they are having an episode – Just hold them tight. You don’t need to say anything – just hold them – it does more than you think.

Daily Life · Uncategorized

Depression

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog. I’m going to take just a few moments and try to get outside of my own home to share some things about depression with you. This is something I struggle with. Daily. This post is based on what my experience has been.

Depression…. While there is a clinical definition: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life… it’s more than that. Depression is like having someone in your head all the time – a darker version of your self. The one that speaks loudest – no matter how wrong or stupid it sounds – it’s all you hear. It constantly reminds you of your failings and just wears you down until you have no more room in your head for anything else. It pulls you from reality into a new realm, one where you can replay everything you’ve ever done, might have done, should have done in front of your own eyes as if it’s happening over and over- on constant replay. The voice whispers lies into your ears about how much people don’t like or care about you. They say “I love you.” and you sit waiting for the other shoe to drop. The phrase “Only when you….” is constantly nagging in your head when people say that. They say “You are gorgeous.” and you hear the word “Bullshit.” in your mind as clear as if they have said it to your face.

This is depression.

There are a few ways that I’ve learned to deal with this. I keep my hands busy. My friends laugh because I can’t sit still or at home for long. Truth is – when I sit still for too long – I get overwhelmed and lose my self in this voice – It takes too long to rebound. The song that has a phrase “If you’re going through hell, just keep walking; don’t slow down, if your scared don’t show it; you might get out before the devil even knows your there.” I live by it.

Music – I blare my music loud and sing. I drowned out the sound of the voice within me.

Baking or Art – Doing something that involves making something I can be proud of helps me.

Cleaning – It feels like cleaning the cobwebs out of my mind. This is why I do it when i’m having a rough time.

Eating healthy – sugar and caffine affect me alot. When I eat too much or enough of them – I hit a depressive slump. Alcohol too. These are things I’ve learned to start avoiding.

 

 

I know this post is short – I’m sorry it’s not longer. I would like to hear feedback on what helps others and I’ll be updating this later! Hope it helps you.

Uncategorized · Work

How To Succeed At Your Job As A Server

I’ve been working in the restaurant again. Having left and now being back, I can honestly say that I have noticed differences between the servers who make good tips and those who make average. I’m cross training as a bartender and it’s really given me the opportunity to watch the servers and notice what they do right and wrong.

3 things to do to make you a better server:

  1. Really study the Menu – both food and drink. When a customer asks you a question about the menu – make sure you know the answer. There is nothing more frustrating as a customer to have to repeat the question about 2 -3 times to another person or have someone say “uhhh I don’t know”.
  2. 3 words: “Mise en place”. This means “everything in its place”. When you work in the restaurant – make sure you actually put things into their place or prep the table prior to running their food. I sat two days ago in a restaurant for 10 minutes before I received utensils for eating (after my food arrived). It’s embarrassing to work in a restaurant and run food to a table that isn’t ready and it’s embarrassing to have to ask for utensils for food.
  3. Stop asking other servers to talk to your table. I honestly get asked at least 2 times a shift to talk to a table to clarify requests for food or drinks. I also get asked to help with the computer. Please make sure you know what you are doing.

These are three simple tips that will help you manage your time and perform at your utmost. Simple steps and phrases like “proper prior planning prevents a piss poor performance” will help you in the long run.