Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domestic Goddess. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sunday Evenings...vino and my own body weight...


The kids hair has all been washed.

The lunchboxes are all made up and school bags packed. Readers and library books have been retrieved.

My gym clothes are ready and all laid out for the morning. (I do a personal training session at 6am...)
The weeks calendar is printed out and I am all organised.

And whilst I would love love love to curl up on the couch with my iPad and a little bit of Twitter and some cheesy trash on the telly, my final chore still needs to be done.

The ironing...

Before you all start shouting "What's an iron" or "Who irons" or "I do not even own an iron", I'll refer you back here to this post, where I "came out" about my slightly obsessive ironing habits. I iron, and I am proud!

Sunday evenings are my ironing night.

We have around around 100 items a week that land in the ironing basket. (I am fully aware that it's extremely tragic that I count the items.)

And those 100 items used to take me around three hours. Or, when I had a "lady" who did the ironing for us, I would pay her for three hours worth of ironing.

Three hours a week. Nightmare.

So, when I was asked to trial the new Philips Perfect Care Pressurised steam generator ironing system, and I read that it delivered"ultra fast results" I jumped at the chance, with certain amount of disbelief that it would or could actually do the ironing faster.

It does. It is faster and easier and more effective than any other iron I have ever owned.

Pure and simple. It works by holding enough water to continually steam iron for over two hours. No need to refill. No leaking. No erratic splattering. No need to have an additional steam burst. No need for starching.

I do not iron underwear or sheets, but I do iron linen tea towels, jeans and silks and everything in between. Loads of the kids t-shirts have transfers on them. Some of my work clothes are synthetics and the lovely husbands cricket kit is made of some weird breathable man made fabric...

But with the the new Philips Perfect Care Pressurised steam generator ironing system, I do not need to ever adjust the temperature. Don't ask me how that works without melting fabrics or needing my own body weight to get the creases out of bone dry jeans. But it works. Really really well.

The ladies in the image above look like they are battling with the ironing and they are indeed resorting to copious amounts of vino in order to drive away the mundane nature of the chore.

Not me.

Tonight I did the whole lot, tea towels included, in an hour. I timed it for YOU, so that this review was accurate. It took me one hour and 2 minutes to iron 103 items. A great many of these items were the 100% cotton business shirts that the lovely husband wears. A great many other items were the fairy floss frocks that Lexie insists upon changing into after school.

I love the Philips Perfect Care. My old iron has been chucked in the bin.

The only downside is that it is a little nosier than my old iron - all that pressure and all that steam. But, as Olivia says, "Just turn the volume up on the telly Mum. All that ironing steam smells nice."  She is a wise one, that nearly 8 year old of mine...

So, if you're in the market for a new iron, go for the Philips Perfect Care. I am in ♥

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Disclosure - I was sent the Philips Perfect Care to trial. However, Philips have not nagged me to write this review. The above is entirely my own loved up opinion, and the truth. (If I hated the product, I would not write about it. Enough said.)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

So far, so good...


How is it that when I work from home, I get little done? When I have all three children at school, and those hours are mine, I laibour slowly. Dull chores are always put off until tomorrow and I procrastinate over everything?

And how is it when I am studying full time, we are all eating better and having more fun and things get done more efficiently?

I do not get it.

I am glad though.

I once worked for a wise gentleman - he owned a beautiful hotel that I worked in as a teen - he told me that the more we do, the busier we get, the more energy we get. The momentum gathers, and the more we do, the more we want to do.
I think he was right.

I was terrified that I would not cope with house, kids, husband and work as well as study. Scared and nervous for myself and for the kids. The state of the house and the laundry has a direct and usually detrimental impact upon my mood. I was nervous.

But instead it is all working. Working well. Time seems to expand to allow us to get it all done. We are all happy. I am happy.

So far, so good...


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Friday, 4 November 2011

Grateful for candles...


I have worked hard this week. I am studying to finish my Cert IV in  Property Services & Real Estate.

I am running round, as always, to make sure the kids are dressed, fed, and happy. They are all still so little. They are my number one priority. I am tethered to their needs and care.

The chores of a family of five do not magically disappear just because I am studying. The ironing basket still fills, and the last time I looked, there wasn't a little band of fairies waiting to empty the dishwasher nor scrub the toilet.

My usual work both at home and in the office still needs to be completed. I am writing to deadlines for work that I am really grateful for.

I still have a husband who wants to talk to me and who wants me to hold his head in my lap whilst we watch repeats of Mad Men with a glass of wine.

And I am enjoying a period of particular dedication to my health. So often, when I am burning my candle at both ends, I fall back into old habits of late night snacking and crappy food choices. An exercise session here or there may get missed. But not this week. I am mindful all the time that my healthy lifestyle cannot get ditched, just because life got busy.

I am grateful for the energy I seem to have managed to generate by eating supportively and exercising well that I know will keep me going over the next month or so.

So, this week I am grateful for candles that burn at both ends.

"My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!"    

Edna St. Vincent Millay

What are YOU grateful for this week?

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Linking up, as I do, to Maxabella.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Clutter Hotspots...

We have spent a few days at home, the kids and I, feeling sorry for ourselves - with a tummy bug from hell and much vomiting from Lexie.

But the bonus is that I have had time, at home, sans school runs, to potter around gently and get stuff done.

Micro-spring cleaning even!

This has made me realise that I've got several clutter hot spots in our house. Don't we all? Have these little zones in our homes which act like a magnet to crap? (Please tell me it's not just me?!)

I am fairly organised, and pride myself on my fadmin* abilities, but since the end of term I realise that I my number one clutter hotspot of 'the bit of bench under the microwave' ( which is where I tell the kids to put all their notes/forms/artwork/stuff/certificates...) is just about ready to explode.



Same too, with the ongoing issues I have with my plastic pot cupboard. At the moment, despite not being a slave to the grind of lunchbox preparation, the plastic pot cupboard is so disorganised and overspilling that the door won't even close.



Arrrrrghhhh!

These are my two worst clutter hotspots. It makes me realise I am never going to win the battle of the clutter unless I work with the crap.

So here is my method to take back control, of the clutter hotspots - 

  1. If I don't love it or need it, it is going into the bin.
  2. If it is sentimental then it needs to go into a crate (I have a crate each for the kids in the garage where all their sentimental stuff goes...)
  3. If I don't love it or need it, it is going into the bin.
  4. Is there enough? Or too much? Can I give some away?
  5. If I don't love it or need it, it is going into the bin.
  6. Why does all the stuff gravitate toward the hotspot? Do I need a better system?
  7. If I don't love it or need it, it is going into the bin.
  8. How can I make it easy for other people to stay organised? (The plastic pot cupboard - I can keep it tidy - why can no one else?!)
  9. If I don't love it or need it, it is going into the bin...

Tell me it's not just me? Tell me I am not alone in the collection of crap in clutter hotspots? How do YOU manage your clutter?


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* Fadmin is a word I have used for a few years - and I love the fact that across the country, one of my blogging friends does too...it's a nice little word used to describe the never ending admin and paperwork that seems to be created by a family...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Gadget girl...


My blogging friend Allison of Pink Fibro fame asked the other day about kitchen gadgets. I admitted to being a gadget lover.

Between the snow cone maker, the bread machine, my Kenwood (which is older than me and still going strong) and my slow cooker, I am a gadget girl.

No dust collectors with cords for me. I use them all! (Well, nearly all. A fairy floss maker that Olivia won at a disco dancing competition has only been used once. Unsurprisingly.)

My lovely Granny was a lover of new innovation. She was given a revolutionary electric mixer for a wedding gift in 1932. She was still using it some seventy years later.



My mother was a gadget girl too - we were the first family for miles around to own a microwave oven in the late 1960's. Trendsetters, no less!


And me? I inherited a lot of vintage gadgetry from my Granny and I love and use it all. Her 1950's electric fry pan still gets a workout in our house.

And as luck would have it, I was recently sent The Philips Air Fryer to trial.





Oh my. I am in heaven!

Deep frying is not a technique that I indulge in at all at home - too unhealthy and too smelly and too dangerous.

It has been tempting at times, when I think of home made hot chips in a chip pan. Or scotch eggs. But never tempting enough to purchase a deep fat fryer.

But the Philips Air Fryer replicates the taste and texture of deep fried food. It just uses hot air instead of oil.
If I am totally honest, I do not actually understand how this works.

But it does. It works like a charm.

My first try was oven chips and chicken nuggets to dish up to the kids. And would you believe, they noticed the difference! Olivia told me that the chips were "nicer and they taste like hot chips from the hot chicken shop."



I cooked scotch eggs for a drive in movie picnic treat - and my lovely husband didn't believe they were cooked in the Philips Air Fryer.

It is a sensational gadget and I love it. Quick, simple to use, idiot proof, and it produces really lovely food fast.

The Philips Air Fryer sits on the bench quite happily and I realised how much I needed this gadget when the kids were all smaller, when I avoided using the oven much at all for fear that a crawling baby or roaming toddler would somehow burn themselves - but there is no risk of this with the Philips Air Fryer.

It comes with easy instructions, and a really innovative recipe book which means I am not just stuck cooking chicken nuggets and chips. I've done drumsticks which came out perfectly cooked and also salmon croquettes which were divine.

I cooked marinaded chicken breasts in it this evening - and in less than twenty minutes I had perfectly cooked and browned chicken.



It roasts potatoes with just a tiny amount of oil.





You can even cook brownies in it!

Best of all? No oil to get rid of, no gungy pan to wash up - the pan and the chamber just go in the dishwasher and come out like new.

In the interests in full disclosure, Philips sent me the Air Fryer for free for me to trial. They retail at around $300. I'd buy one. They are that good.

For healthy eating, for convenience and speed, for taste, this gadget ticks all the boxes.

It is currently taking pride of place on my bench. I love it. I'm a gadget girl, for sure, and the Philips Air Fryer is a really good one.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ruthless Bitch

Who?

Me, that's who.

And loving it.

Today I should have ironed my customary two baskets of clothes, helped at kindy for a few hours, and gone to the dentist. I should have done a few hours worth of work from home, and made a whole heap of 'phone calls.

Instead, I turned my phone onto silent, and cancelled everything. I logged off everything, and put some tunes on the stereo.

And I got ruthless.

Black bin bag in hand, I sought to get busy and get ruthless with some serious declutter activity.

As is so often the way when a visit from parents in law is imminent, I see crap and clutter everywhere through this whole house, and it makes me shitty.

For the past week or so I have found myself getting cranky in my kitchen with the amount of crap that seems to just be in my way.

(It will come as no surprise to anyone that yes, cleaning is a form of control. Cleaning and decluttering become my method of exerting a semblance of power?)

So, I became a ruthless bitch and dealt with -
  • Every kitchen cupboard
  • The pantry
  • The cupboard under the sink. (How many green scourers does one family not need? How may half empty bottles of spray and wipe that we don't ever use?!)
  • The kitchen drawers. Even the third one down. (Which is actually neatly stacked with clean ironed tea towels and aprons...)
  • The school note folder that sits under the microwave that is spilling out all over the bench with notes and canteen price lists from 2009.
  • The craft basket that is spewing full of....crap. No other word for it - just crap.
I did not take photos of all of my kitchen cupboards. I was too focused on the job in hand. But the very worse example was the "plastic pot cupboard of doom". Which also contains a shelf of baking stuff. And another shelf high up for medicines and sunglasses. And another shelf for my toolbox. A cupboard that NEEDS to be organised but is generally a magnet for more crap.



In the end, I chucked out two big bin bags of stuff. If I don't love it, it's GONE.


I was chatting to the lovely Maxabella about this decluttering issue yesterday - we have a theory that the DE-cluttering of stuff is vital.


"There is nothing like a good declutter to restore the domestic mind. I secretly suspect that my mantra 'don't buy clutter in the first place' is doomed because if I didn't buy the clutter I wouldn't have anything to DE-clutter. It's good for the soul."


I feel better. I actually enjoyed preparing dinner in my kitchen again. I enjoyed coming home from the school run and surveying my ruthless work. I was, most definitely, calmer and less cranky this evening with the kids, in my zen space. One room down, eight to go.

How about you? Do you hoard? Love some artistic clutter? Or do you love to get ruthless and get rid?



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Total calories inhaled - 1461 ~ Exercise calories burned - 386 ~ Glasses of water sculled - not enough 
Dental appointments skipped - 1 ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 8

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Viva! (Win a Years Supply of Viva Shower Fast Wipes)

You may have noticed that I have an ad over there to your right: For Viva Shower Fast? Go, have a click, seriously. You will not regret it.




I also recently received a pack of these Viva Shower Fast wipes from the Aussie Bloggers Conference, which I hadn't got around to trying.

Can I be really honest here? The bathrooms in our house are rank. Totally vile.

1970's brown, with a mish mash of fittings and a miss mash of poorly matched tiles. So when the scum builds up, quite frankly, I do not really care. Scum on ugly. Clean ugly. Same same. The only time I really get deep and meaningful in any of our bathrooms to really scour the scum off the shower screens and tiles is when my parents in law are coming to stay...

The kid’s bathroom is in eye view a fair bit though - so it tends to get a little more attention than most.

And my children treat bath times like a water/soap/bubble fight most nights, so you can imagine how scungy their bathroom gets...it is truly foul.

I get cranky about constantly keeping on top of the soap scum build up - the products all claim to work. But let’s face it, unless the product comes with toxic fumes and burns my nose and my arm off, it probably won’t actually work. And even if it does work, it will require so much elbow grease that I won't bother attempting it again for another six months...)

So, call me a cynic, but I honestly didn’t expect that the Viva Shower Fast wipes would actually really work.

But.

Oh. My. Goodness.

They worked. Really. Worked.

No elbow grease required, at all. Wipe on. Rinse off. ALL of the past 10 months* of grime and soap scum and scale....disappeared. For real.

Look! I even took before and after snaps to show you - I am seriously not kidding - these wipe things work. No toxic smell. No gloves required. Just wipe on rinse off - it seriously could not be easier.



I was so impressed that I emailed the lovely folk at Viva to see if they wanted me to review the Shower Fast Wipes.

And in turn, they have organised a prize of a year’s supply of Viva Shower Fast wipes for me to give away to one of my lovely readers.

All you need to do is follow my blog and then leave me a comment. Perhaps tell me your worst domestic ungoddessness story? Give me your filthiest admission? And you could win a years supply of Viva Shower Fast.

(Tweet and Facebook mentions are always gratefully accepted too...)

Open to Australian residents only. Entries close midnight Weds 11th May. I will pick a winner next Thursday 12th May and will announce the winner via my blog and via email if I can find you...so watch this space next week...

* I know it is 10 months since I cleaned the shower as it is 10 months since my parents in law came to stay last. I know that makes me a a slovenly housewife. What can I say? I am a domestic goddess in training only.


** I have not been compensated in any financial way for this review. All opinions are truly my own based on my personal experience.

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Total calories inhaled - 1274~ Exercise calories burned - 450 ~ Glasses of water sculled - 6
Showers cleaned - 3  ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 7

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Domestic Grateful

I am grateful for so many simple lovely domestic things this week.

The laundry. It comes up trumps. A load a day, at least. My washing machine - it just keeps on going. And going...


Image from Family Circle Magazine June 1955



And my deep freeze. I stash meals and soups and bread and produce of the gluts...it is a bottomless pit of goodness.


Image from Retro-Space

And my Kenwood Chef mixer. It is older than I am. And still going strong.


Image from Flickr


My lovely husband and I had a big Autunmal clean last weekend - so I am grateful for that too.

 It has made this week a little easier all round.






Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday Chores

A dull day planned for Tuesday.

This house is filthy.

I need to just get on and do some Tuesday chores.

I am planning on enticing my children into helping me....



Illustration images from the sketchbook of DoodleMum's Sketchbook Blog


Go and have a look. Her illustrations are sensational. I love them.


Monday, 17 January 2011

Pegged

Call me a homebody, but sometimes all there is left to do is take some huge deep breaths and tackle some simple and therapeutic tasks.

Laundry and bed making are mine.

The stripping of sheets off the beds. (And the subsequent resorting of books and soft toys that comes with that, from my children’s realm of slumber.)

And then the methodical piles and sorting and turnover of washing machine to basket to washing line. (I thank whichever domestic goddess before me who invented the automatic washing machine. An old copper and a mangle is not my idea of therapeutic.)

It feels gloriously suburban and safe, for me, to see pillowcases and sheets, flapping in a gully breeze, strung out in rows. It tells me that this is a house where its occupants are loved and cared for. That there is a little order in the world, here, for a moment at least.


Towels and sheets, quilt covers and tea towels, pegged, so neat and regimental, squared neatly. The smell of sun on clean damp, mixed with rosemary as the cottons brush against the herbs...

Like many children, I was strolled into the garden as a toddler and watched happily as my mother and my grandmother pegged out.

I, too, have always carted my babies out with me, often in a wicker basket, and smiled down at them as they gazed at the laundry, in the breeze, enjoying the damp dappled shade that linens gave.

And now to rest, to sleep, in sheets that smell of sunshine, to surrender to some peace. There is no greater luxury, for me, than clean sheets upon the beds.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Just call me Anthea Turner........

I took it into my head yesterday, like you do (occasionally, not very often, certainly not every spring....) to spring clean my kitchen.

So I cleaned, whilst the kids ran round in their jammies and did errrrrm.......stuff. (What were they doing? I have no idea, to be honest: I was a woman whose focus was evidently on the job, not on the kids.)

Between lovely husband and I, we:
  • Sorted and cleaned the column of drawers in the kitchen. Even the third one down.
  • Cleaned out the appliance cupboard - the one that holds all the icky greasy plug in gadgets like popcorn makers and jaffle makers. And my collection of preserving jars. They are breeding.
  • Cleaned out the under the sink cupboard. Seriously, how many packets of green scourers does one family really need? I also binned my collection of mouldy sink plugs. Shudder.
  • Cleaned out the fridge. Totally. Every single shelf & drawer came out and got scrubbed. Icky
  • Cleaned the windows, inside and out. Squashed fly corpse...be gone.
  • Pulled the fridge out and cleaned behind it and under it. A job that I normally never ever bother doing as I have been usually guaranteed to move house soon enough anyway. I suspect that old ruse is no longer valid, now we are "settled". (This will not, however, ever impact my steadfast refusal to clean the oven.)

Does it make me very pathetic to admit that getting all of these very overdue jobs done made me really happy?

That we spent the rest of the day in loved up bliss, me and the fab five, for the sake of a clean kitchen?

It probably IS tragic of me, and likely a sign of some unearthed physiological issue. But I do not care.

I have a clean kitchen, and that rocks.

Tell me, is it just me? Or does finally getting awful jobs done make you feel happy? (Reassure me?)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

To iron or not to iron.........



My ironing habits have borne the brunt of a lot of some criticism. People tell me not to bother. I hear you, I really do. But I can't not iron. I love the way everything looks all ironed and smooth. I love the way it smells, all hot and clean.
But, for me, if in doubt, iron.

That is so so tragic, I know, I know.

I can hear the comments all over the place: "But Lucy, why iron?"

"What is this iron you speak of?"

"Who irons?!"

"Ironing is bad for your mental health!"

Me. I do. Iron. I iron, and I am proud.

Every single week, I attack two big full baskets of this families clothes with the iron. Nearly 100 items a week get ironing.

Most weeks I hate the idea of the chore that looms, but I still do it. Every week. And it gives me a lot of satisfaction.
I just can't not iron.

What can I say? I like the clothes, on all of us, to look and feel nice when we put them on. I like the way all the pressed and folded and hanging clothes look in our wardrobes. I love the way it makes getting dressed so much quicker and easier.



If I am up to date with the ironing, I feel in control. (Does that make me sound like a nutter? Probably.)

Did you know that in some areas, women all gather in a lounge room with all their irons and all their ironing boards and all stand round in a circle and iron and iron and iron and gossip together? Flat out, ironing all day. Whilst other folk drop their baskets of ironing off to them? How cool.

Here's some ironing tips. Laugh if you want.

•Do your ironing in the bedroom. You'll be able to use the bed to sort your laundry, and you'll have hangers close at hand in the closet. Especially good if you have a TV in your bedroom......

•Cut your ironing time by putting a piece of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The foil will reflect heat so you're actually ironing from both sides at once.

•Progress from articles or garments needing the lowest temperature to those requiring the highest.

•To prevent collars, cuffs, and hems from puckering, iron them on the wrong side first.

•Iron thick fabrics (like jeans and King Gee's!) on the inside first, then on the outside.

•When pressing badly wrinkled corduroy, hold the iron just above the garment and steam the fabric thoroughly.

•If you don't have a sleeve board, insert a rolled-up towel in sleeves so they can be pressed without leaving creases.

­•Quick spray starch can be made at home by slowly adding 1 tablespoon cornflour to 2 cups water. Stir until the starch is dissolved, and pour the blend into a clean spray bottle. Spray fabrics lightly when ironing.


Maybe it is my form of OCD?

But I feel better for having ironed. Simple.



Saturday, 1 May 2010

Apron love...........

"Simply apply a pretty apron to body and a) a range of body flaws disappear and b) one instantly appears to be ‘domestic goddess’ (even if, in actual fact, domestic skills are completely lacking)."

(I have stolen this quote from Emma over at The Wannabe Work At Home Mum )



I have mentioned my love of all things apron a bit on this here blog of mine. (This green one above is a fitted cut that I am particularly lusting after.........)
Cobbler, canteen, hostess, peg, fitted or plain old butcher, I love aprons.

I went a Google-ing, as you do, for cuts and styles, and realised I am not setting any new trends at all with my little love affair with aprons: there are literally hundreds of apron sites and apron blogs popping up: an apron resurgence, no less!

I am not that obsessed. Yet.

I cannot sew, so I am not tempted into crafting one of my own. But I do have a yearning for the one that we were forced to make at school aged 11, for Home Economics. It was a very individual cut. (So if anyone has the pattern for the Home Economics apron from Bishop Luffa School, pre dating1980, please let me know......)

All that said, here are some particular favourites..........




See.........they are lovely........don't you agree?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Domestic Goddess?

At the risk of sounding like a domestic goddess, which I suspect I am not, I was reminded yesterday of a gem of a handy household hint that continually blows me away in its usefullnes........



(I scored this handy hint from a lovely friend: Cai, if you are reading this, I thank you about twice a week for this trick!)

Y'know how we all get revolting greasy marks on clothes? (Please tell me you do? And that it is not just me and my grotty family?)

Grease spots that will not come out?

From spilled food, cooking splatters, kids grubby fingers. Vomits. Milk possets. Chocolate.  Y'know the ones I mean?

There is nothing that pisses me off more than to get to the ironing stage of the laundry game only to find the grease stains still apparent........despite soaking, Sard, Preen etc etc.

(Please do not question the ironing habit. I know I should let it go. It is like crack to me. Sorry.)

Even line drying in the full sun doesn't get rid of grease spots.

Soaking in Sard (or similar) sometimes works.....but it also fades the fabric badly, so sends my black tops a murky weird green colour? (What is that?!)

So, here is the trick:


  • Get the offending article
  • Spray it with MORE grease. WD40 works, but is stinky. The cheapest and least smelly option is plain old cooking spray.
  • Spray a wider area than the original grease spot. Let the grease soak in.


(I know you are cringing by now. Trust me. It works. I promise.)


  • Then get some washing up liquid.....and squeeze a big blob of washing up liquid all over the greasy spot. And work it in really well with your fingers. Then leave it for while. (With fingers crossed!)
  • Then wash as normal, in the machine. I use a warm water wash myself.
  • Dry (preferably on the line, but the drier will do.......) 

And..........hey presto. Betcha that grease spot is all gone away like magic!

I keep a can of spray oil, and a bottle of washing up liquid in my laundry caddy all the time. So when I come across one of those tops that has grease spots on it at the ironing stage, I get into the laundry and deal with it straight away...........




(Fark. Maybe I am really am domestic goddess? In training perhaps?)

EDITED LATER......I am definitely in training,....and it's unlikely that I will ever graduate or get a diploma in domestic godessness. I just went tackle a grease splatter on one of lovely husbands polo shirts. And whilst screeching at one of the many children I am neglecting this afternoon, I was trying to get the lid back on the spray oil. So I pressed the whole can on its end against my thigh to ram the lid on.........and I now have a perfect "end of the can" shaped grease ring on the thigh of my new jeans. For farks sake. Does it ever end?!

Tell me your best handy household hint? Tried and true?
And where it came from?