7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home

7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home

This post has been sponsored by PINALEN. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m going to start off by reminding you guys that I am not an innately neat person. Keeping things tidy does not come naturally to me. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t like a clean house. In fact, there is little I enjoy more than a clean, bright, fresh smelling space. It just means that I don’t like doing the actual cleaning. And when summertime arrives and my kids are home from school, keeping things clean and fresh becomes even more challenging. Thankfully, I’ve discovered that when the house cleaning process is simplified, it’s actually kind of cathartic and I start to (gasp!) even enjoy it. If you’re like me, here are seven tips and tricks to help you get a clean, fresh scented summertime home the easy way!

7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home

7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home


1. Start with the kitchen.
I think if we were asked which room in our home is usually the dirtiest, most of us would say the kitchen. It’s where a lot of the action takes place, and well, preparing food is messy. My biggest way to simplify tackling the kitchen is to use just one cleaner for everything: PINALEN® Multipurpose Cleaner. I dilute 1⁄4 cup of it in a half gallon of water, and use it to clean and degrease my stove top, range hoods, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator doors. It’s non-abrasive, which means I can also use it everyday on my Formica® countertops to keep them fresh and clean by diluting1⁄2 cup in a half gallon of water, cleaning with a sponge, and rinsing. The whole kitchen is left sparkling clean and smelling summertime fresh. 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
2. Get the dishes over with.
Since we’re already in the kitchen, let’s get those dishes over with. I love PINALEN Dishwashing Liquid because it’s super tough on grease (even removes stuck on food), but it’s safe for my sensitive skin. It also cleans up to 1200 dishes per bottle! The light, clean scent of Cucumber Crush makes the whole dish washing experience more enjoyable and motivates me to get the dishes done. 
 
3. Tackle the odors.
Anyone else get excited to finish cleaning and then realize there are still lingering odors? This happens to me a lot, thanks to my kids constantly throwing gross things in the kitchen trash can, especially in the summer when they’re bringing all kinds of interesting finds in from outside. To deodorize my trash cans, I add 1⁄4 cup of PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner to a half gallon of water and wipe down the interior.
 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
4. Simplify the bathroom cleaning.
I discovered a few months ago that I had seven different cleaners for the bathroom. Seven. Pulling them all out and using a separate product for each part of the bathroom just intensified my disdain for cleaning it. Now I just use 1/4 cup PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner in a half gallon of water for the entire room. I use it to clean and deodorize the toilet, remove dirt, soap scum, and toothpaste from the tile and surfaces, and even to clean the floors (safe for linoleum, laminated hardwood, or tile floors). I love the summer fresh scent the Floral Delight leaves behind. 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
5. Don’t ignore the stains. 
We’re going to beat all the cleaning procrastination this summer, friends! Dealing with stains is the worst and honestly something I often ignored when cleaning. Now that I know I can use PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner on stains from those my little ones have made (so many permanent marker scribbles) to wine or coffee spills on my carpet, it seems a lot less daunting. For stains on carpet, I dilute 1⁄4 cup of PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner in one gallon of water, and use a cloth to blot it out. (Make sure to test for color fastness first.) For kids’ messed like marker or handprints, I dilute a cup of it in 1/4 gallon of water and wipe them away.  The bonus is the fresh, clean scent that fills the room afterward.
6. Easily wipe away summer dust.
Our windows are open on any summertime day below 80 degrees, which means lots of extra dust and dirt on surfaces. 1/4 cup of PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner in a half gallon of water makes the best solution for dusting. I soak a cloth in it, wring it out, and quickly wipe surfaces, leaving behind a fresh summertime scent. 
 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
7. Freshen summer laundry. 
I wish I felt like my house was clean when I ignore the laundry, but alas, it doesn’t work that way. Summertime laundry can be brutal too because there’s just so much of it – wet swim uits and towels, sweaty t-shirts, dirty-stained shorts, smelly socks. I tackle all of the summer laundry challenges at once by adding a cup of PINALEN Multipurpose Cleaner Fresh Pine with my regular detergent. Clothes and towels come out clean and smelling fresh. I also apply it full strength to remove stains. 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
Bonus tip: Keep a PINALEN Max Power To Go Pack in your car and one in your pool bag or summer purse. These wipes eliminate dirt and bad odors and remove grease, and their long lasting scent (I love Summer Fresh and Lavender Dreams) is summertime perfection. 
7 Summertime Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Home
I hope these summertime cleaning tips help you create a clean, bright, fresh smelling summer oasis in your home. (Or, if you’re a parent like me, at least until your kids get to it.) As you can probably tell, PINALEN cleaners are my summer cleaning BFFs. They simplify the entire cleaning experience by being truly multipurpose, cleaning well, and leaving behind a scent that makes everything summertime fresh. And I really appreciate that PINALEN is a family-owned company that cares about the earth – their pine oil extraction process doesn’t harm a single tree, and they work with non-profit organizations to promote tree planting. Learn more at https://PINALEN.com, and use their store locator to find PINALEN products near you!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Worried About Separation Anxiety When You Return to Work?

Are you worried about your dog suffering from separation anxiety when you return to work? After a year of so much togetherness, millions of dogs are anticipated to be affected by separation anxiety…



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DogTipper

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Refried Bean + Plant-Based ‘Beef’ Tacos

I think I was the only kid I know who ate bean tacos growing up. Our family wasn’t vegetarian (I didn’t become one until I was 15), but we always used refried beans instead of meat. As an adult with kids of my own, we make an embarrassingly massive variety of tacos in our house, but good old fashioned refried bean tacos with good old fashioned crunchy shells are a staple (and my kids’ favorite). We usually add plant-based “beef” crumbles too. Today I thought I’d share how we make ours. 

Refried Bean + Plant-Based ‘Beef’ Tacos
Serves 5-6

10 crunchy taco shells
1 can vegetarian refried beans (16 oz)
2 cups plant-based “beef” crumbles (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup large black olives, sliced
shredded romain lettuce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat refried beans over low heat. Add spices to beans and stir. (If using soy crumbles, heat in a skillet according to package instructions.) While beans are heating, heat taco shells in oven as directed on package, and prep toppings (tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and cheese). Once beans and shells are heated, divide beans (and soy crumbles, if using) evenly between shells, then tops each with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce. We like to serve with homemade guacamole or fresh sliced avocado topped with salt and pepper.  

These are especially delicious with a homemade margarita. Just saying. Enjoy!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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School’s Out For Summer

School's Out for Summer
School's Out For Summer

And just like that, I have a kindergartner and first grader after what was arguably, for all of us, the strangest school year ever. Honestly, my kids did great. They were mostly in person (there was a 6 week stint of e-learning over the winter), with masks, and they flourished. I feel like this year taught them a lot about how to embrace change and make the best out of circumstances beyond their control. There were so many lessons beyond the academic that I think will stay with them throughout their lives.

In honor of summer break beginning, I thought I’d share links to a few favorite past posts about summer and summer break.
If you have little ones, whether school is out now or soon, we hope you have a wonderful summer!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Memorial Day 2021

Remembering and honoring those we’ve lost…


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Earth Day Giveaway! $200 to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing

Eco Friendly Clothing
Long time no see, friends! I didn’t intend for the blog to go silent for two weeks, but I have been so busy with work projects over on our Instagram that I (so rudely) had to ignore the blog for a minute. I’m going to make it up to you guys today though, with a really incredible giveaway in honor of one of my favorite days of the year, Earth Day, which is tomorrow!

To celebrate Earth Day and the importance of making sustainable choices in our daily lives – including our wardrobes – we are teaming up again with our friends and long time Bubby and Bean partner Gaia Conceptions to give one lucky Bubby and Bean reader a $ 200 gift card to spend in Gaia’s online shop! (Scroll down to enter!)

Gaia Conceptions offers a huge variety of truly beautiful eco-friendly clothing and accessory items made by hand in the USA. Each of their pieces is custom created to your color choice, fabric selection, and size. They truly epitomize what it means to respect and honor the planet, and I am thrilled to offer this special Earth Day Giveaway with them.
Eco-Friendly Clothing
Gaia Conceptions $  200 Giveaway
Win a $  200 Gift Card to Gaia Conceptions Eco-Friendly Clothing


Use the form below, and/or do the easy entry on on Instagram right here. There are several options for extra entries as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through the end of Earth Week, Saturday April 24, 2021. It is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide. All entries from the Rafflecopter form above and Instagram will be combined. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced here early in the week of April 25, 2021.

Thank you to Andrea and friends over at Gaia Conceptions for giving the Bubby and Bean tribe another chance to own some of their beautiful sustainable apparel. Happy Earth Day!

UPDATE: Congrats to our randomly chosen winner, Hannah Forest!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Peanut Butter Trail Mix

I grew up with a huge extended family, and we had lots of parties. My favorite thing to eat at these parties (in addition to the plethora of homemade sweets) was my aunt’s Chex Mix. I love a good old fashioned traditional Chex Mix, but I also like to experiment. A couple of summers ago, I combined a trail mix recipe with some Peanut Butter Chex cereal I spotted at the store and you guys – it was heavenly. I sort of forgot about it though, until my daughter wanted some last weekend and I decided to whip up a batch. I was reminded of its deliciousness, and well, here we are. I hope you love it as much as we do. 

Peanut Butter Trail Chex Mix

4 cups Peanut Butter Chex  
3 cups pretzel twists

1 cup dry roasted or cocktail peanuts
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup sesame sticks
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, and store in an airtight container. That’s it!

This makes a great to go summer snack too. It’s full of protein but also has a hint of sweetness. So good!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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International Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Day

All animal lovers know that dogs rule, and for enthusiasts of one particular breed there is not a more regal Rover than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  These cuddly canines are so popular that…



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DogTipper

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6 Tips for Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready

6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
This post has been sponsored by PINALEN. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


You may remember three years ago when I shared our backyard patio before and after. What started off as a single cement stair became our summertime happy place with a brand new stamped concrete patio and a handmade privacy wall. It was the first DIY project we did after buying this house, and it remains one of my favorite spaces.
Every spring, as soon as the weather shows its first hint of warming up, I feel the thrill of getting the patio ready for summer. I am admittedly an impatient person who normally doesn’t relish in the act of getting something ready (because I just want it ready, like yesterday), but the act of preparing the patio for the summer is one of my favorite things to do. And while winter elements can really wreak havoc on outdoor spaces, with a few simple steps, your patio can be clean, comfy, and summertime ready.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
1. Deep clean the foundation.
Most patio spaces, ours included, look pretty rough after a long winter. The very first thing I do is sweep as much dirt as possible off of the patio itself. Next, I mix ¼ cup PINALEN® multipurpose cleaner with a gallon of water, and use a scrub brush to deep clean the patio. For tougher stains, I use a small amount of undiluted PINALEN. (Note: If you have colored concrete, which we do, be sure to do a small test spot first.)  
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
2. Wash fabrics.
We store our patio cushions and pillows in an outdoor storage box, and while that keeps them mostly protected through the winter, it’s nice to give them a good wash. I remove any covers and wash them in the washing machine. For the sofa cushions that can’t be washed, I give them a good wipe down with a damp cloth. I also love using PINALEN Fresh Pine to help deodorize in the washing machine. 
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
3. Wipe down furniture.
To clean the outdoor furniture itself, I mix ¼ cup PINALEN Floral Delight (smells so fresh!) multipurpose cleaner with a gallon of water, and wipe down surfaces with it using a cloth. The dirt comes right off and leaves them clean and smelling great!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
4. De-grime the grill.
One of my favorite parts of summertime is making food on the grill! I start with a grill brush and remove any food from the grates that I missed at the end of last season. (If your grates are bad, you can soak them in soapy water with baking soda first.) After that, I de-grease and de-grime the exterior of the grill with some help from PINALEN Fresh Pine. I wipe down the grill and allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe again and the yuckiness comes right off. What’s especially awesome is that PINALEN’s degreasing power comes from pine oil!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
5. Make it comfy.
Once the patio floor, furniture, and cushions are clean, I put everything together. I put down a rug, arrange the furniture, and add cushions. I love adding lots of pillows to create a cozy vibe. Pillows are also an easy way to add pops of color if you’re patio is mostly neutral, like ours.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6. Bring to life.
I mean this literally! Adding plants and flowers to a patio makes the space come alive and truly makes it feel like summertime. I usually add a few planters with flowers as well as some small trees in pots.
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
7. Light it up.
For the final touch, add some string lights or other fun lighting to create ambience at night. I admittedly tend to forget to take my lights down over the winter. I wipe them down with some PINALEN Fresh Pine and change bulbs and they’re good to go!
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
6 Tips For Getting Your Patio Summer-Ready
In addition to the fun touches like throw pillows and plants, my partner in crime for getting my patio truly summer-ready is PINALEN cleaners. They produce a powerful clean and have a fresh scent made from real ingredients, which makes all the difference. (I also love that the pine they used is sustainably sourced!) I highly recommend them for getting your patio ready for the season as well! You can learn more at right here, and can find PINALEN products by using their store locator
Happy patio season!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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8 Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly

8 Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly

I usually create similar posts to this around Earth Day, but this year I decided to wait until the usual Earth month excitement died down, as this is when people tend to forget about their resolutions to be more eco-friendly. My family and I do lead a fairly eco-conscious lifestyle, but we’re certainly guilty of forgetting as well. Here are some reminders of easy ways for all of us to make a difference, right at home.

1. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
Shutting off the water while brushing your teeth can save as many as 200 gallons of water a month. Imagine how much water would be conserved if everyone did the same! This is a great one to teach your little ones as soon as they as old enough to brush.

2. Adjust your thermostat.
Lowering the thermostat by a few degrees in winter and raising by a few degrees in summer can make a big difference. You’d be surprised how quickly this adds up in terms of saving energy (and money!).

3. Reuse paper.
Reusing paper saves time, money, and the earth. The amount of junk mail we receive daily can be overwhelming, but those blank envelopes make great grocery lists, note paper, and scrap paper for the kids to color or practice school work. (Also make sure to recycled any mail you can’t reuse, and choose to pay bills online.)

8 Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly
4. Opt for reusable water bottles.
Disposable plastic water bottles are genuinely awful for the planet. Opt for reusable bottles instead. Every in our house has one. It’s such an easy way to help eliminate the 2 million tons of discarded water bottles in landfills. (Ditch those single use plastic straws for reusable straws while you’re at it!)
5. Grow your own food.
When you grow your own food (we love our little veggie and herb container garden!), you reduce your carbon footprint, and when you choose to grow organic, you avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It’s also a great way to teach your kids responsibility, and about where food originates.

6. Compost.
Composting reduces waste because you’re reusing things that would normally be thrown away, and it helps your plants and gardens grow without the use of toxic fertilizers.

8 Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly

7. Wash clothes in cold water.
Hot water is not superior to cold water in terms of getting clothing clean, and 85% of the energy used when a washing machine washes clothing goes to heating the water.

8. Turn off your lights and use eco bulbs.
It takes a lot of energy to power lights, and there isn’t a easier way to be eco-friendly than simply switching off a light when you leave a room.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), and Halogen incandescent lightbulbs last 3 to 25 times longer than regular lightbulbs, so they’re money savers and time savers. They also use 25% to 80% less energy than regular incandescent light bulbs, which is better for the environment. No brainer!

I hope these little reminders help you as much as they’re helping us to make a difference!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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