Zesty Mango Salsa

salsaSuper Simple Mango Salsa

Ingredients
2 mangos – peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 lime juiced

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Stir all of the ingredients (minus the salt & pepper) together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate one hour before serving to allow all of the delicious juices to meld together.

Lemon Fresh Home – 5 Ways

Lemon Fresh HomeAs I was sipping my lemon infused water this morning it occurred to me that lemons are kind of a citrus rock star.  We cook with them, juice them, zest them and even (I know, this sounds terrible) but watch as our little ones try them for the first time and make that cute little “scrunchy” face. They really are handy in many different ways.  The next time you are at the store, grab a bag of lemons and continue reading on for 5 great ways to utilize theses little yellow beauties.

  • Freshen and clean those pesky microwaves – I’m not sure what happens to the inside of the microwave at my house but once a week I find that it needs a little freshening up. Directions:  Put a microwavable bowl with a ½ cup of water along with a lemon that’s been cut in half in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes and then let the steamy, citrusy bowl sit for another 5 minutes longer. Fight the urge to peek inside! Once the 5 minutes is up you will be able to wipe out all of the stuck on, nasty food bits and splatters that have accumulated over the last week, quickly and easily.  It smells amazing and the microwave looks brand new!
  • Create your own multi-purpose citrus cleaner – If you have kids and pets like I do, then you probably are concerned about what cleaning items are people and pooch friendly.  I LOVE this homemade cleaner.  It works great, smells good and I don’t have to worry about little hands coming into contact with it.  Directions: Put a few lemon peels in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.  You will want to fill it about half way up.  Then fill the jar the rest of the way with white vinegar.  Let the lemon/vinegar concoction sit for a few weeks.  After the third week, drain the mixture into a bowl with a mesh sieve.  What you are left with is a lovely, citrusy liquid that you can fill an old spray bottle up with and use like you would with any other all-purpose cleaner!
  • Get rid of that stinky garbage disposal smell – This seriously takes no more than 2 minutes and you are left with a fresh clean disposal.  Directions: Take a couple lemon peels, 3-4 ice cubes and a handful of kosher salt and add them to the inside of your disposal.  Turn on the disposal and voila!  No more smell!
  • Remove not-so-pretty underarm stains – The next time you go to throw out those t-shirts or blouses with tough to clean underarm stains, STOP!!!  I have a super easy and fast way instead!  Directions:  Take equal parts of lemon juice and water and scrub the stained area vigorously.  The lemon juice will lift the stain and you can avoid costly dry cleaning bills and marvel at your “pretty pits”!
  • Remove seafood smells from counters or fingertips – If you have ever been to a crab feed or crawfish boil, you know that smell often likes to stick around.  Directions: Simply bring along a bag of lemons and rub the cut up lemons on the countertops, hands or whatever else you are looking to substitute the seafood scent for a citrus one.

This list is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the different uses for lemons.  Get creative and come up with your own ways to “citrify” your home!
Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

Bed-Sheet-Ology How to Choose the Best Linens

Did you know that we spend an average of 26 years in our lifetime in bed?!  It would stand to reason then, that a good quality set of bed sheets is a must!  But how do you know what really is the best and does it make a difference?  The answer is YES and here are some tips to finally “put to bed” the argument on what is best for the bed.

  1. Thread count or not to thread count- Thread count is the number that’s used to indicate the number of threads contained in 1 square inch.  The answer is that thread count matters to a degree.  A 600 thread count is definitely better than a 200 thread count but once you reach anything over 800, there really isn’t much difference after that.  The next 3 qualities below should weigh heavier in the decision making process
  2. Material – There are about 4 kinds of materials to choose from when it comes to bedroom linens:
    • Egyptian cotton- This can be the most expensive but you really get what you pay for here.  It has great durability and extra-long fibers that create a luxurious feel.
    • Pima or Supima- Less expensive than Egyptian cotton, this material uses medium to long fibers and produces a soft, comfortable fabric.
    • Linen- These sheets are known for their longevity thus explaining why they are so expensive.  These sheets are great for warmer climates and they actually improve with age like a nice bottle of wine.
    • Polyblend- These sheets ae about ½ the cost of the other sheet materials and do not wrinkle very easily.  They are also pretty durable, especially the cotton-Polyester blend.
  3. The Weave- The weave of a sheet is really where people should pay the most attention when picking out bed linens.  It plays a significant role in the quality of the linen. The weave really represents the feel of a sheet.  There are 3 kinds to choose from:
    • Flannel- Twil weave, medium weight
    • Percale- Closely woven, light weight, one of the highest quality
    • Sateen-  This technique creates fabric with more yarn surface on the face, super soft, resembles satin
  4. Let’s finish with “The Finish”- Sheets are usually finished with chemical processing to keep from shrinking and prevent wrinkling.  It is recommended to try and buy “organic” cotton when at all possible because the material will be free from chemicals.

And there you have it! You are now “Linen extraordinaire”! The next time you are looking for bed linens you can feel armed and prepared to get the most for your buck or your back!

 

Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

Cleaning Up After Fido

10 Tips For Keeping a Clean and Organized Home with a Dog

We are all familiar with the old saying “Dogs are a man’s best friend”. But they definitely are NOT my homes best friend at times. I swear I could knit a sweater with all the pet hair my miniature Australian Shepard distributes around my house and I almost need a separate room for all the poodles’ toys. I have compiled a list of 10 tips to help with the home/hound dilemma.

  1. 1. Use a shoe storage door organizer for all of your puppy’s toys and grooming materials. This handy organizer is out of sight and perfect for keeping items off the floor.
  2. Don’t buy expensive plastic poo bags. Hold onto those plastic veggie bags that you bring your produce home in. This tip not only saves money but uses the plastic twice.
  3. If you have hardwoods like I do, think about buying a robot vacuum. This handy time saver works on a schedule and picks up dirt and dog hair for you in between full house cleanings. It can be a bit spendy on the front end but it is a huge life saver.
  4. Put together an “uh, oh” kit. I like to keep all the cleaning materials together in one spot so when an accident of some sort happens (and they always do) I am not running around the house trying to find all the cleaning materials that I need.
  5. I don’t know about you, but when we first got our dogs, the kids were all onboard with cleaning up after the pets. Once the newness wore off however it seemed ALL pet care became my responsibility. Needless to say that didn’t last long! Create a rotating chore list so everyone in the house takes turns in taking care of the pets. This eliminates the feeling of pet burn out!
  6. This may seem like a no brainer but putting mats at all of the places the doggies exit and enter the house cuts down on dirt and grime that comes into the house. I make sure all of mine are washing machine safe. I also like to keep an old towel near the entry ways to wipe off little muddy paws.
  7. Invest in a cushy bed for Rover. I like to put my dogs bedding in the area of the house that he likes to be in the most. I purchased one that has a zip off outer shell that can be thrown in the wash when need be. I actually wash all pet bedding and mats together so I don’t happen to mix our clothing in with the pet items.
  8. Create a DIY dog food station. There are plenty of ideas to look at on Pinterest. My favorite are the units that hold the food bowls and food all in one unit. This cuts down on mess on your floors and it keeps everything in one useful place. This is really handy when you have a pet sitter.
  9. Create a first aid kit for your pet. You might ask your vet for recommendations as to what he would have in the kit for your particular pooch but I put tweezers, gauze, wound cleaner, a small towel, emergency numbers and a bottle of water in mine. I put all these items in a zippered pouch so I have them on hand or I can simply grab the pouch of items when we are on the go. This is great for puppy friendly trips.
  10. We all need boundaries. Everyone from time to time needs to keep the dogs out of a particular room. What I like to use are tension rods like the kind you find in your bathroom for the shower curtain to hang on or a curtain rod in your bedroom. These are super handy because it only takes about 3 or 4 depending on your dogs size and they go up without drilling or making marks on the wall.
    Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
    we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

How to Clean Your Freezer 

How to Clean Your FreezerClear Your Calendar – Set aside 1 hour, a new sponge or clean microfiber rag, mild detergent, baking soda and a sink of warm sudsy water to complete this job.

Empty – Grab a cooler and empty the freezer contents into the cooler for safe keeping while you clean. You can take this opportunity to toss out expired or freezer burned food.

Defrost – Most modern freezers are self-defrosting and no longer get a buildup of ice on the sides and shelves, but reducing the temperature to defrost is still very useful in warming up the surface enough that you can clean without your sponge freezing.

Wipe – Once the freezer is no longer at freezing temperatures, dip your cleaning cloth/sponge into your sudsy water start in the upper back of the freezer and work your way to the front wiping and rinsing walls and shelving.

Deodorize – Using a mixture of baking soda and water run a quick wipe over surfaces to deodorize the freezer.

Replace – Reload your freezer and return the temperature to freezing, and you are all set with a sparkling clean freezer.

Want us to handle this for you? Just call Houston Maid in the Shade and we will let you know how easy the process can be.

Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

Relax! 6 Tips to Organize Your Kitchen – Quickly!

Consolidate – Ever wondered how your kitchen has accumulated 3 waffle irons, none of which you have used in the last 2 years? The purge is a good place to start when organizing your kitchen.

Get Lazy – Lazy Suzanne’s are a great way to make use of those hard to reach places in the backs of cupboards, pantries, etc.

Expire the Expired – Nobody likes to throw out perfectly good food because it is like throwing out money. But…if there is a bag of chips that has lingered in the back of your cabinet for 3 weeks it is just taking up space at this point.

A Container Plan – The same way socks disappear in the dryer, food storage container lids and bases seem to scatter. Three tips: (1) Keep all in one central location, (2) Every three months match up lids and bases and throw out mismatches, (3) decide on one common shape so they can stack. Rectangular is my favorite over circular because they stack and store in more compact way.

Shelf Organizers – You may not need a full kitchen remodel to take advantage of some great space organizers. Check out the latest in rolling, collapsing, dividing and expanding cabinet solutions at your kitchen store.

Go Monochromatic – Good lighting and open cabinets are all the rage these days, but do you really want to see all that is behind the curtain? Try replacing some of your items with a single color theme, such as everything being red or white, and the clutter will fall into the background.

 

Want us to handle this for you? Just call Houston Maid in the Shade and we will let you know how easy the process can be.

Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

Not You Mama’s Soap

With skin being the largest organ on your body, it’s no wonder there are a gazillion products to choose from these days. Going “all natural” seems to be the trend when it comes to what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies. One of these products on the rise is hand crafted body and face soap.

Whether you make your own or buy from Etsy or in a local shop, hand crafted soap seems to be all the rage. Homemade soap has proven to be at the top of its class for many reasons. It doesn’t strip your skin of natural oils but instead, gently cleanses excess oil and bacteria. When selecting hand crafted soap, it’s important to really know what it is you’re looking for.

Three Types of Soap – There are basically three base ingredients in soap. Lye, animal or vegetable fat and water or some kind of liquid. Often times you will see milk or goat’s milk used as the other liquid. Glycerin (the naturally occurring byproduct of vegetable or animal fat oil mixed with lye) is what most people love about handcrafted soap. With glycerin being all natural, glycerin soap is fantastic for people who suffer from eczema or other skin conditions. It is absolutely the best when it comes to moisturizing your skin.

Watch out for synthetics – Commercial soaps will often times replace glycerin with a synthetic product, then sell the glycerin to other companies for the profit. These companies will also claim that their products are all natural or contain natural ingredients but will often just put the bare minimum of these natural ingredients in the soap to be able to put the information on the labels and upsell their products. Pretty sneaky! Hand crafted soaps should have only a few ingredients and never have any additives.

Good Oils and Not-so-Good Oils – When purchasing your hand crafted soap, do your research. While all ingredients are natural and safe, not all oils give the purchaser the desired affect they are looking for. Soaps containing coconut oil for instance has a much higher lather rate then other oils used but can be a bit drying. Olive Oil based soaps have very few bubbles but these bars of soap are superb for sensitive skin. It all depends on what you are looking for and it is important to read up on the different oil properties. Soap makers will also add essential oils to their bars. Essential oils add different fragrances to the bar but again, not everyone is the same and it is important to make sure you are not allergic or can tolerate a certain fragrances or smell.
Getting Down to Brass Tax – The cost of handcrafted soap tends to be a bit higher then store bought soap so something to think about when making the transition. People with very sensitive skin often find out that it is worth it to pay more in exchange for happy heathy skin.

Now that you are armed with the soapy facts, it’s time for you to test, explore and discover your own signature suds. Whether it be an oatmeal facial scrub, or a lavender essential oil bar that is your thing your friends and family will appreciate you doing your research and buying quality products.

 

Learn more about Houston Maid in the Shade, and schedule your cleaning service today! Visit our website at www.maidhouston.com or call 713-665-6243.
we will provide you the best Maid Service in Houston.

7 Days to the Perfect Dinner Party

The decision has been made, the guests have been invited, and ready or not you are scheduled to have a dinner party for 10 in just 7 days…Don’t panic, this 7 day plan will have you dazzling your guests with ease.

Day 1 – Plan Your Theme. Italian, Paella Night, Asian, Comfort Food?? As soon as you select a theme the menu, the shopping and décor will all fall into place.

Day 2 – Plan Your Menu. Be time conscious and plan a menu that is both delectable and simple to prepare in segments ahead of time. There are some things you must make just moments before serving like sautéed spinach, but try to select plenty of other items that can be made ahead. And don’t forget some things may tasty and need no preparation at all, for example gelato and premier cookie.

Day 3 – Shop. Head to the market and grab all of the items that you will need to make your meal. Remember fresh, quality ingredients may be your biggest contribution to impressing the best of foodies.

Day 4 – the Freezer is Your Friend. Sometimes we forget that your freezer is not just for stock up on stables for the long term. Instead you can make items like pastas, rolls, crusts, soup bases, meatballs, marinated meats and more a few days ahead, freeze, and your guests will be none the wiser.

Day 5 – Set the Table. The best way to deliver that vision of loveliness you have in your head is to set aside plenty of time to build your beautiful table. If your family can keep their hands off you can set the table as much as two days ahead to get everything just so. Boost your look with flowers the day of the party and you are good to go!

Day 6 – Chop, Dice and Prep. The night before your big event you can prep like a food-rock-star by thawing, chopping and prepping all of your ingredients so all that remains on the day of the event is flash cooking and assembly.

Day 7 – Finishing Touches and being the Hostess with the Mostess. On your dinner party night just whip up the final pieces, throw on your best frock or party pants and you are ready for a night to remember.