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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Fourteen years ago today, Matt and I got married. We had a lovely outdoor wedding and reception with about 100 guests. There were so many things that made it special – a lovely dress, great weather, delicious food, and being surrounded by family and friends.

But like every wedding, there were a few hiccups. I know everyone has wedding planning advice but I thought I’d share my mishaps in hopes that you can at least avoid these on your special day.

• Be absolutely comfortable with your caterer. We used a family friend, and I felt uneasy about it the entire time. Seems my uneasy radar was right on – while the food was delicious, the meal was delayed because the caterer didn’t have everything ready, she over charged us, and she ran out of food. My parents ended up having dinner at Burger King around 10:00 that night.
• Use a professional photographer. We didn’t, and that was my biggest regret. We thought it was an easy way to save money. We again had someone we knew use our camera to take pictures and then also placed disposable a camera on each table so guests could snap pictures. Big mistake.
• Make sure your shoes match your dress. Try your dress and shoes on in the setting and exact lighting well before the ceremony – that way you have time to correct any problems. In my case, I got married outside. My shoes weren’t dyed dark enough so they appeared to be too light in comparison to my dress.
• Give yourself at least a month to have your gown altered. You should plan to have at least two fittings. Remember to bring all the items you plan to wear under the dress as well as the shoes to ensure a precise fit. I cut this one way too close.

But here’s the bottom line – do your best to plan but don’t go crazy. Things will go wrong – it is inevitable. Keep it in perspective and enjoy the day – however, it is only one day in the rest of your life. And that rest of your life part is way more important.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fire Safety Tips from The Simple Dollar

When we think of disasters, we picture the forces of nature: earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other weather-related calamities that threaten our homes. Home fires don't fall into this category because they seem preventable. And yet, home fires are one of the most common disasters in the country.

The best way to protect your home from a fire is to understand why and how home fires happen, and to insure your home against fire damage. It's important to educate yourself about fire prevention, including electrical, kitchen, smoking hazards, among others, as well as how to clean your home to reduce fire risk.

However, even the most cautious home owners can experience a house fire. In this case, you need an escape plan the entire family understands and good insurance. Not all home insurance policies come with fire coverage. To make sure your home is protected, carefully review your policy to make sure fire damage is included.

To learn more about fire safety, prevention, and insurance, The Simple Dollar’s fire insurance resource offers a quick, but thorough, read about how to protect your home from a fire, both before and after the fact.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Laundry While Traveling

I tend to be an over-packer. So when Matt and I prepared for our 17-day trek around Europe a few years ago, I had to do some major finagling. There were specific rules on luggage – only one bag per person, within a certain size and it had a weight limit (which I went right up to). Of course I did all those things like coordinate colors to get more outfits. But I knew there would be a time on that trip when I’d have to wash something in the bathroom sink.

First let me say that I packed enough underwear so that I’d have one clean pair per day. I just couldn’t stand the thought of washing those in the sink. Besides they didn’t take up much room. 

So as the ever prepared person that I am, I packed a small container of laundry detergent. Thankfully I only had to wash a couple of t-shirts. Here’s roughly how I went about it:

• Washed the sink out with soap and warm water
• Filled it up with warm soapy water
• Put the t’s in, let them soak for a minute or two then used the method my Grandmother used when washing her clothes in a ringer washer (something I vaguely remember from childhood) – I plunged and rubbed.
• After a few minutes, I let the water out and rinsed the t’s.
• Once all the soap was removed, I squeezed out as much water as I could.
• Then I hung them up in the bathroom using whatever method I could find.

When thinking back about this big adventure (the laundry part not the actual vacation), I was certain there were lots of things I didn’t think of. While writing this blog I found a great article on travelblog.com that gave lots of helpful suggestions. After reading it, I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I thought I was. And if we ever take a long trip like that again, I’m going to plan on doing that a bit more so I can actually manage my own bag during the trip.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ewwww -- That Smell

When Matt and I were shopping for our first house, we went into what seemed like thousands of homes. Two actually left an impression on me. Obviously the one we purchased. The other memorable home was the one that I refused to go in. It was a lovely place, at least on the outside. We opened the front door and this horrendous smell greeted us. What was it? According to the realtor, it was pet urine.

The humanesociety.org states that approximately 78.2 million homes in the U. S. owned dogs in 2011-12. That’s a whole lot of homes with potential accidents on carpet and rugs that require immediate attention. Clearly the homeowners mentioned above didn’t believe in immediate attention.

Here’s a picture of what can happen if pet urine is left untreated on a rug.
Here’s the same rug after Greg spent an afternoon cleaning it.

If your pet urinates on your carpet or rug, don’t let it go untreated. Dried, untreated pet urine leads to permanent stains and bacterial growth. If your pet urinates on your carpet or rug and you discover it while it is still wet, blot the area to remove the excess. Then dilute the area with water and blot (don’t rub) until no more color is visible on your clean, white towel. Ideally, next you’d have your carpeting or rug professionally cleaned. If you can’t immediately have the rug professionally cleaned, consider using an enzymatic cleaner to remove the stain and scent. And while we realize it isn’t feasible to have your rug professionally cleaned after every single accident, the standard 12 – 18 months may not apply in your home if you have pets.

If you have carpet or rug questions, contact us. Call Greg at 336-992-0700, leave a message on our Facebook page, or Tweet us, and we can help.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Tweet Up

Three years ago A Cleaner World joined the social media world. I’ll admit that I was a bit uncertain – after all, what in the world would a dry cleaner have to say? Well it turns out that there is much to share. Over these last three years we’ve offered lots of helpful advice. We’ve been able to help solve some problems. You’ve shared in my household mishaps and hopefully learned from those. And many of you have inspired me to try new things. I feel like we’ve become a part of each others lives.

That’s why I am so excited about our upcoming Tweet Up! It is a chance for us to connect in person. A chance to put a face with a Twitter handle.

So please join us on Wednesday, May 22 from 12:00 – 1:30 at the A Cleaner World located at 1949 Battleground Avenue in Greensboro. The folks from The Salvation Army will be there accepting donations for their family thrift stores. East Coast Wings will be providing lunch. There will be goodie bags. And most of all, there will be lots of other Triad folks like you to chat with. If you plan on joining us, tweet me @cleaner_world so I can make sure we have plenty of good food to enjoy. Hope to see you there.
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