All posts by Jeff Fidler

low carb french cuisine

Make Great Low Carb French Cuisine

Tips for Making Great Low Carb French Cuisine

French cuisine is renowned around the world for some of the most delicious recipes and wonderful combinations of flavours unlike any other style of cooking. For low carb dieters, French cooking offers many advantages to create delicious, healthy meals with an added flair that definitely speaks to the origins of the recipes and the history behind the methods of preparation that have been perfected in France.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common ingredients in French cooking, as well as some of the methods and techniques that are essential to know before you begin exploring the wide world of French recipes. Fortunately for low carb dieters, French cooking relies heavily on many ingredients that are already low in carbs such as poultry and other meats, and plenty of vegetables. Even those recipes that do contain ingredients with carbs can be easily altered and substituted for low carb alternatives. Now, let’s begin with a look at some of the most common ingredients and techniques found in French cuisine.

Common French Ingredients

For starters, French recipes often contain a variety of vegetables common in many other European styles of cooking. Mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, leeks, carrots, and turnips are just a few that you will see frequently in French recipes.

French meals also utilize a varied palette of herbs and spices to add depth to their flavours. Some of the most popular herbs and seasonings used in French cooking include tarragon, sea salt, herbes de Provence, rosemary, thyme, sage, and fennel.

For entrees, French foods often utilize poultry such as chicken or game bird, like pheasant, duck, or squab. Other meats common in French cooking include beef, veal, lamb, pork and more. Seafood ingredients include fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines, as well as shrimp, mussels, and other shellfish.

Eggs are another very common and popular ingredient in French cooking, including hard boiled, scrambled, and their use in a wide variety of different omelettes. Of course, we would not be able to complete our look at French ingredients without mentioning their famous perfection of frog’s legs and escargot.

Popular French Cooking Techniques

Many recipes that originate from France will feature classic cooking techniques and methods that were developed in that region, many of which are totally unique to the world of French cuisine. Here are some of the most common French cooking techniques that you should be familiar with.

Sauté – This basic method for food preparation can also be described as simply frying foods in butter, oil, or some type of sauce. Usually done in a saucepan, sautéing is common for preparing both meat and vegetables using high heat.

Poaching – This method of cooking involves water that is hot, but not quite boiling, to produce a gentle environment for preparing delicate foods. Poaching is often used to cook eggs to a very specific point, as well as to prepare fish. For our guide to making the Perfect Poached Egg, click here.

Braising – Braising is a method for cooking meats that begins with a short period of high heat to seal in the moisture, and then covered to retain a hot and humid cooking environment. Braising is often done in slow cookers and crock pots.

Flambé – While this is probably not something that you’ll want to tackle during your first foray in to French cooking, flambéing is certainly a well-known and exciting cooking method. Using a type of alcohol added to the dish, and done at the end of the cooking process, the dish is set on fire by the chef and the flames quickly burn off, producing a visually impressive experience and leaving behind unique flavours.

Now that we’ve explored some of the common ingredients and methods that are used in the preparation of many French dishes, let’s take a look at a few fantastic recipes. These are all low carb versions of classic French meals that will definitely be great additions to any weekly meal plan and will certainly get rave reviews from your family and friends!

Low Carb Crepes

Crepes are so much more than just a thin pancake. They are light, fluffy, and only get better when you fill them with delicious ingredients such as cream cheese, jams, fruits, and even chocolate. Crepe chefs know that the secret to getting perfect results is having a great technique, and this recipe includes tips on how to properly cook and flip your crepes. For a faster method of making crepes, try this excellent French Crepe Mix from Dixie Diner.

Low Carb French Onion Soup

This dish could very well be the most famous French food of them all. French Onion Soup is served all around the world, and for good reason. It’s a hearty, comforting soup that tastes great and can be used as an appetizer, or even as the main course of a meal. This low carb version is loaded with cheese and uses protein buns for an interesting twist on this classic dish.

Low Carb Pistachio Macarons

Here’s a signature French food that is light and delicate, and makes a perfect accompaniment to a latte. Macarons are colourful little French cookies that are frequently found at fancy coffee shops and gourmet bakeries. This recipe lets you make delicious low carb pistachio macarons at home, and the results will be spectacular. Serve these with coffee or cocktails, and enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Fricassee & Broccoli Rice

This fricassee is a unique French twist on the one-skillet cooking method that combines fresh vegetables and succulent chicken in a rich, creamy sauce to produce a hearty meal that the whole family will devour. This particular version features broccoli rice, which adds an unusual texture to this dish and elevates it above other stews. The chef recommends a finish with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, and to serve on a warm plate. Sounds good to us!

Conclusion

We’re sure that you’ll agree that with recipes like that, low carb dieters everywhere should be enjoying all that French cuisine has to offer. France has a rich and diverse history of food, with many unique variants of the most classic recipes served at French restaurants around the world.

Cooking traditional French foods the low carb way often requires very little change to most recipes. Since so many French recipes focus on meats and vegetables, they are a natural fit for any low carb meal plan. We hope that this information has been helpful, and that you’re inspired to try some new recipes crafted in the spirit of expert French chefs. Bon Appetit!

low carb beef stew

Great Low Carb Beef Stew Recipes

The Best Low Carb Beef Stew Recipes Ever

Beef stew is definitely a hearty meal that the whole family will love. It’s a filling, comforting kind of meal that is not only easy to make, but it’s also very easy to customize to suit a particular taste or diet need. This fact makes beef stew a perfect fit for the low carb diet, and a great addition to any meal plan where you need a simple, easy meal that can be prepared quickly and thrown in to the slow cooker to be ready at the end of a long, busy day.

In this article, we’ll go over the essentials of how to make a great beef stew, as well as which ingredients you’ll need to substitute for low carb alternatives in order to help keep the carb count low. Also, we’ll give you a few fantastic low carb beef stew recipe options that you’ve just got to try. Now, let’s get right to the basics of what makes a great stew.

Essential Beef Stew Ingredients

For starters, the key to any great beef stew is going to be choosing a nice cut of beef to use. Fortunately for stew chefs, there are many suitable choices they could go with, and the biggest difference between the end results will be the method of cooking. For example, for stovetop stews that are simmered for a shorter period of time, you’ll want to go with a leaner beef that has little marbling and is free of large portions of fat and gristle. This is because the shorter cooking times with stovetop stews mean they don’t have enough time to properly soften the fat and remove the chewiness. These types of cuts typically include eye of round or sirloin.

For slow cooker stew recipes, you’ll want to go to the other end of the spectrum and choose a cut of beef that has plenty of marbling, since the long cooking times will cause these cuts of beef to simply fall apart and results in beef with a moist texture and lots of meaty flavour. A beef chuck is an example of one of these marbled cuts, or occasionally you may use short ribs.

In any event, if you end up using the opposite type of beef for either method of cooking, you’ll end up with either really chewy and tough beef, or a stew that has very dry and tight chunks of meat. Choosing the right beef for your cooking method makes a huge difference in the taste and texture of the stew, so be sure to choose wisely.

Typical Beef Stew Vegetable Choices

Aside from the beef, the other main ingredients of a stew are vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes. For low carb dieters, the onions and carrots aren’t much of an issue, but potatoes will need to be swapped out for a low carb alternative. Fortunately, there are many choices that can take the place of potatoes in a beef stew. Some options to consider as potato alternatives include rutabagas, turnips, cauliflower, and even zucchini. These are all readily available vegetables and can all work very well as part of a stew.

Some of these alternatives, such as zucchini or cauliflower, can get overcooked and mush if added to the stew pot too early in the process. If you opt to use one of those as an ingredient in your stew, you’ll want to add them to the simmering stew closer to the end of the cooking process to ensure they stay intact and don’t disintegrate.

How to Thicken a Stew that is Too Thin

It’s not a stew if the broth is thin and too runny. This means you’ve got to thicken it up, and to do it the low carb way you will need to find an alternative thickener to the typical wheat flour. There are a few different ingredients you can use as low carb thickeners, such as cornstarch or some form of vegetable gum. While cornstarch does still contain a small amount of carbs, it is still lower than wheat flower, and you also need to use less of it to achieve the same level of thickening power. Vegetable gums such as xantham gum, are completely carb free, but can be a bit trickier to work with. We recommend using very small amounts at a time in order to test their thickening ability and then add more if needed.

Great Low Carb Beef Stew Recipes

Now that you’ve got the basics of what makes a great stew, we figured you might want some additional inspiration to give a new kind of stew a try in your next meal plan. Here are three fantastic low carb beef stew recipes that are easy to make and taste amazing.

Paleo Beef Stew

This first recipe comes from Kyndra at PeaceLoveandLowCarb.com, and it’s definitely a winner. It takes the classic beef stew and adds in a ton of extra vegetables like celery, peppers, and mushrooms. It skips the potatoes, but you could easily add in something like a rutabaga or turnip to give it a more classic stew look and feel. This recipe is easily made to be paleo-friendly and is a great addition to any low carb menu.

Burgundy Beef Stew

This hearty stew from the chefs at Atkins combines delicious chunks of beef with plenty of vegetables, and the unmistakable flavours of bacon and red wine to produce a truly special meal that is perfect for low carb dieters. This recipe is fantastic just as it is, or it can easily be used as a basis for your own stew creations by adding in any vegetables of your choice. You can definitely get creative with this one!

Keto Instant Pot Beef Stew

If you’re a fan of the instant pot (and let’s face it; we all are), then you’ll totally fall in love with this fantastic stew recipe. This stew uses all the tips and tricks to make sure that the carb count stays low, but that it is also easy to make and has a great, rich flavour that the whole family will love at the end of a long, busy day. In addition, it’s keto-friendly so you can be sure that it is loaded with all the good stuff you want to see in a low carb stew.

Conclusion

Making a delicious and healthy beef stew is certainly easy and making it the low-carb way is very simple. Beef stew is a fantastic addition to a low carb meal plan since it requires very little improvisation or special ingredients. You can also add lots of variety to your stew by changing up the selection of vegetables from time to time and experimenting with different combinations. However you choose to do your stew, we’re sure that with these tips and recipes, you’ll get great reviews from anyone who tries it.

celebrate mothers day - ideas

Mother’s Day – Tips To Celebrate Your Mom

5 Great Mother’s Day Ideas to Make This Year Special

What would this world be like without our moms? They raise us, teach us, guide us, and most importantly, they love us unconditionally. When Mother’s Day approaches every year, it’s time to reflect and look back on how much our moms mean to us and celebrate all they do by making their day truly special.

Sometimes, however, it can be tough to come up with ideas on what to do for Mother’s Day that haven’t been done a million times before. Fortunately, we’ve gathered together a great list of ideas that you can use to craft a wonderful Mother’s Day experience and make warm memories that will last forever. These are simple but powerful ideas that anyone can use to show appreciation and love to their moms, and we hope that you find them helpful. Let’s start the list!

Get Outdoors and Explore

After a long, cold winter, Mother’s Day weekend is the perfect time to revel in warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and sunshine. So, why not plan on taking the whole family out on a nature walk to experience all that springtime has to offer? Mom will love the idea of getting away from all our electronic distractions and simply spending time enjoying the outdoors with her whole family, and it’s a great way to discover hidden adventures in your local area.

To get started, check with nearby outdoor gear stores and fitness shops for ideas on cool trails to explore or interesting sights to see, and plan an outdoor excursion. Be sure to pack some tasty and healthy snacks that mom would approve of, and be sure to take lots of pictures to remember the day.

Surprise Cleaning Blitz

This is an idea that all moms will definitely appreciate. On Mother’s Day, book an appointment for something that mom will enjoy that gets her out of the house for a bit, like a massage or a pedicure, and then get the rest of the family to help you blitz the house to do a really good deep cleaning. When mom comes home to a spotless house and everything smelling fresh, she’ll be all smiles and will certainly love that everyone pitched in on it.

When picking what parts of the house to work on, be sure to focus on the things that you know will make the biggest difference for her. If she despises cleaning bathrooms or scrubbing floors, then those are definitely the ones that you and the family team up to tackle. Remember, this is all about her, so choose wisely and make sure that you’ve really made a difference for her at the end of the day.

Mom & Friends Dinner

Sometimes moms just need a little time to reconnect with old friends and have some fun with a nice meal and some cocktails. Reach out to her best friends and coordinate a ladies-only dinner date at her favourite restaurant. Make sure you give her plenty of time to get ready throughout the day so she can get as fancy as she wants to be. Also, be sure to offer to drop her off and pick her up so she can indulge in a cocktail or two (or three) when the conversation with friends just keeps going long in to the evening. We’re sure that she’ll love the opportunity to have a delicious meal, lots of great discussions, and a few laughs with her closest friends.

Mother’s Day Movie Marathon

This is the perfect idea for moms who just love to get in to comfy clothes, lounge on the couch with some snacks, and binge on some good movies. Here’s a great article we published that lists a bunch of tasty low carb snacks that are perfect for a home movie night. Then, turn it in to a totally cuddly family experience by pulling out all the blankets and pillows you need to turn the living room in to a soft and cozy nest, and throw on a series of moms favourite movies. Keep things light by working in a comedy or two, and maybe even hit on some nostalgia with a classic flick from her childhood that she hasn’t seen in years.

Trip Down Memory Lane

This idea is all about reconnecting with the important moments of mom’s life. Plan on serving all her favourite foods throughout the day, and break out the old photos and home movies and reminisce about all the great times you’ve had together while you think about all the wonderful experiences that are still to come. This is a great way to share lots of warm memories about what it means to be a mom, as well as a few laughs that are inevitable when you start to recall the craziest moments that only a mom will remember. This one is so much fun, it may even end up being an annual tradition!

Conclusion

As you can see, these ideas for Mother’s Day are a lot less focused on expensive gifts and more about experiences and creating great new memories all around the love we have for our moms.

We certainly hope that you’ve found these suggestions helpful, and that you’re inspired to use them to craft a truly special and unique celebration for Mother’s Day this year. We wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere, and hope that you enjoy your special day. Cheers!

mothers day gift ideas

Celebrate Mom 2018 – Unique Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Celebrate Mom – Unique Ideas for Mother’s Day 2018

Think about your mom for a second. Consider everything she’s done for you and all that she’s sacrificed. It’s a pretty impressive list, isn’t it? As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s your time to return the favour and remind your mom of how much she means to you. Trust us when we say, she’s had enough flowers and bottles of perfume to last a lifetime. It’s time to get creative and find a gift that you know your mom will love.

In this article, we’re going to offer some clever and unique gifts that your mom will love. Some of them might feel a bit out there, but the idea is to find the perfect gift that will excite and surprise her. There are a lot of options and you can spend as much as or little as you want. It’s all about the thought.

Your mom is one of the most important people in your life. With these ideas, you’re guaranteed to give her a Mother’s Day to remember!

A Library Just for Mom

If your mom is a bookworm, then what better gift is there than a beautiful little library shelf with books curated by you based on her tastes. Courtesy of Wayfair.ca, the this Little Library Shelf, hangs on the wall and holds 20-40 books. Made from metal and Fir wood, this shelf is as stunning as it is functional. Sneak a pile of her books and even offer to install the shelf for Mom.

Happiness Planner

The message with this gift is clear: your mom focuses so much on the happiness of others, so why not a tool that can help her focus a little on herself. A happiness planner is like giving the gift of mindfulness. It’s a notebook that lets its owner set goals, track exercises, give thanks, and attempts to put a positive spin on life. It can help make happiness part of her daily practice.

Available at The Grommet, and other online retailers, this hardbound planner is exquisite looking and doesn’t sacrifice elegance for practicality. It comes inside a foil slipcase and includes a rose gold pen and bookmarks. You could even combine it with the Little Library Shelf to create a truly exceptional gift.

Wine Bottle Chiller

 If your mom is a wine lover, than check out this gorgeous wine bottle chiller and ice mould from Crate & Barrel, it’s as much a functional accessory as it is a show-stopping centerpiece. This mould can freeze a cylinder of ice that can fit a wine bottle. You can even add lemons, herbs or berries to the mould before freezing for added visual appeal and flavour.

The double-walled coaster is washable and made from stainless steel. Its unique design keeps ice frozen for up to six hours, and can contain any melted water as it runs off.  The coaster can double as a candle holder. Pair it with a wine-saving carafe so she can save that leftover pinot grigio in the fridge. This is the ultimate gift for any wine-loving mom.

Hanging Tillansia Grow Kit

 Does your mom have a green thumb? If so, the Hanging Tillansia Grow Kit could be the perfect gift. This kit helps bring the garden indoors in a manageable, fun and relaxing way. It includes a hanging terrarium, decorative rocks, dormant mood and reindeer moss, dried lichen, live air plant and instructions. It’s easy-to-use and rewarding.

Large Lacquer Box Filled with Hidden Treasures

Make your gift twice as thoughtful and twice as surprising. Buy your mom a beautiful lacquer box that she can display in her home. Make it even more wonderful by filling it with photos of her family throughout the years, starting with when you were a baby. Or you can fill it with a nice piece of jewelry, or if there are any grandchildren, you can ask them to fill the box with cute drawings and arts and crafts.

Check out one type of lacquer box that your mom might love!

Chalkboard Vase

If you are going to go the traditional flowers route, you can accentuate your gift with a beautiful and funky chalkboard vase. This MoMA-inspired vase, made of plywood laminate and glass, has a chalkboard facing where you can write a message or draw a picture, and a top slot to slide some fragrant and bright flowers into. Easy to clean and you can also buy a wall mount to showcase it.

Quality Time

Forgoing a gift in exchange for some quality time will always be a crowd-pleaser. You could plan a fun evening out where you treat your mom to a night at the theatre or symphony. If the weather is nice and you can’t afford Hamilton tickets, you could plan a fun outdoor activity.

Amazon Echo or Google Home

This one might cause you a bit of frustration but could be a very useful gift for your mom, turning her home into a modern smart home. Alexa—a cloud-based, voice recognition virtual assistant—can play music, control the thermostat, manage a to-do list, provide news and weather, and can perform hundreds of other commands. This state-of-the-art technology can make mom’s life easier even if it takes a little getting used to.

Grandchildren

Just kidding! You shouldn’t feel any pressure about this one even though it’s the only gift that is guaranteed to be an absolute winner.

 

 Conclusion

Mother’s Day is a special time and it’s a day where you can treat your mom right and repay her for everything she’s done for you. Put some thought into your gift and don’t be shy about getting creative and thinking outside the box. Your mom will love anything you get her but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go all out.

Don’t get stressed out the day before because you don’t have a gift. Start early, shop around and find the perfect gift that will make your mom smile. We’re sure that if you try one of our suggestions, the day will be a big hit.

Change to healthy living

Healthy Living Changes You Can Make Today!

10 Easy Healthy Living Changes You Can Make Today

Most people want to be healthy but are slow to make the big changes they think are necessary. Gym memberships bought on January 1st usually go to waste a few weeks later, and most people cheat their diets by day three. Don’t stress the big stuff when you can focus on easy healthy living changes that can really improve your general wellbeing.

In this article, we will present 10 easy changes that everyone can make to their lives that will help them achieve healthy living. We will cover different aspects of life from sleep to eating to light activity, making sure there is an option for everyone.

Let’s look at 10 easy healthy living changes you can make today!

Read Nutrition Labels

Even a quick glance a food or drink product’s nutrition label can tell you how healthy it is and how you might feel after consuming it. Make sure that the first thing you check is the serving size, then the calories per serving, and finally, review the amount of saturated fats, carbs and sodium. Looking for products that are low in carbs and sugar and high in protein, fiber and vitamins can make a big difference to your health.

Walking

Replacing sitting on a bus or in a car by walking even twice a day is a fun change that can help your health. Especially in warm weather, walking can be pure joy and a great way to cross errands off your to-do list. If walking either to or from work isn’t an option, then a 20-minute evening stroll is all you need to add some activity to your day.

Daily Stretches

Take a break from your computer, sit up straight and perform a few simple stretches  that will make your muscles limber and do your body a world of good. A series of stretches can be done in under five minutes, and is perfect to combat the effects of sitting at a computer all day. Don’t be shy about doing it at your desk. You might be surprised to find your colleagues wanting to join in.

Black Coffee and Whole Wheat Toast

Coffee has several health benefits so try to keep it as part of your diet. By eliminating fats like milk or cream and not adding any sugar, you can remove the calories while still enjoying the caffeine and flavour. Another easy change is to switch from white bread to whole wheat. Whole wheat bread is higher in fiber and aids in digestion.

Establish a Sleep Routine

While essential, sleep is an often overlooked part of healthy living. Easy changes can help get your sleep routine in order, and get you on the road to starting each day feeling refreshed and strong. A proper sleep routine means trying to go to bed at the same time, given yourself enough hours of sleep, minimal distractions as you sleep, and adding elements like soft music or a sleep mask if you need that extra bit of help. Just as important to establishing a sleep schedule is to make sure you stick to it.

 Drink More Water

The easiest healthy living change you can make is to drink more water. Now, you might not have to drink the eight glasses that some recommend, but you can never have enough. Water is an essential nutrient that your body needs, and you can avoid dehydration by drinking more than your body outputs. Water helps maintain the proper balance of your bodily fluids. Drinking water is even a weight loss strategy as it helps control calories. You’ll enjoy how much more energy you have just from drinking more water.

Just think what that extra glass or two of water can do for your overall health.

Portion Control

Eating smaller portions of your favourite food can be beneficial to your health. Portion control allows for better digestion and you’re less likely to feel bloated and experience cramps and stomach pains. By making this a habit, you will train your stomach to fill faster and you’ll have no problem passing on seconds.

No one said you can’t eat delicious food. Portion control is about eating the proper amount of food. Doing so will help you maintain your weight, or you can even lose weight by consuming less calories.

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

Who doesn’t like to indulge in an afternoon sugar rush. Instead of scarfing down a cookie, try some dark chocolate or a small fruit salad. This will help you avoid those dreaded sugar crashes and some raspberries instead of a slice of cake is just as satisfying without any of the guilt.

Start your day off right by replacing sugary cereals in the morning with yogurt topped with honey and granola. It’s delicious, healthy, filling, and will satisfy your craving while helping you avoid feel sleepy before lunch time.

Stay Home and Cook

Home cooking is directly linked to a healthy lifestyle and can save you a ton of money. Buy fresh produce and try out fun recipes until you find your signature dish. This will allow you to control the calories and make healthy adjustments.

Here are some tasty ingredients to help you make some delicious traditional Italian dishes that you’ll love.

Gardening as an Activity

Not everyone is a gym person but you need to find a way to fit a workout into your weekly routine. Instead of hitting the elliptical machine, try taking up gardening. The digging and tearing out weeds is a great workout while you get some fresh air. Best of all, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If gardening isn’t your thing, examine your hobbies and interests to find one that is active and that you can do more often.

Conclusion

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to be healthier and feel better! Make easy healthy living changes and you’ll see some big improvements. We hope these tips are useful and that you give a few of them a try. You’ll be surprised by how rewarding they are and the ease in which you can make them part of your everyday life.

spring cleaning tips for the home

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks – Make your Home Sparkle

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks to Make your Home Sparkle

It’ that time of the year again! As spring approaches, you’ll want to start thinking about your yearly spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a time-honoured tradition meant to signal the end of winter and give the house, garage and any other outbuildings you have a thorough top to bottom scrubbing, as well as getting things organized for summer. There’s no better time of the year to spend a weekend cleaning, and you won’t regret it once the sunshine arrives.

In this article, we help you tackle the dreaded but rewarding spring cleaning. We will cover the main components of cleaning your home so that it feels more organized and sparkles. With these tips and tricks, you will be able to get your home in order in no time at all.

Defeat Soap Scum

Cleaning your bathroom is never fun. There’s a lot of icky buildup and tight spaces that require a lot of attention. Soap residue builds on your shower door every time you take a shower. You can proactively beat soap scum build-up before it’s a nuisance by coating glass shower doors with a product design for car windshields. Apply a rain-repellent product to create an invisible barrier that causes water and soap suds to run off towards the drain, preventing any substance from building over time.

Oven Cleaning

Cleaning an oven is so cumbersome that most people only do it once a year. Food, grease and oil find their way onto the racks, the walls and bottom of your oven every time you cook. There are a ton of oven cleaning products, all of which promise the same ease and cleaning efficiency but might require you to apply harmful chemicals that take hours to work.

Instead of relying on harsh oven cleaners, try a wet pumice stone (yes, that’s right, a pumice stone!). It will remove the caked-on dirt and grease, and works quicker than most oven cleaner brands without the toxic chemicals.

To clean your stovetop, there are all sorts of methods, including using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, salt and baking soda, vegetable or olive oil, ammonia, boiling water and more. Check out 11 ways to clean your stove and cook top for all the methods.

Wash Walls, Cabinets and Baseboards

Spring cleaning tends to put the focus on floors, bathrooms and carpets. To thoroughly clean your home, you’ll want to go that extra mile and focus on walls, cabinets and baseboards. To clean your walls, you want to be mindful of the paint or wallpaper. Start by cleaning a small test area to make sure you aren’t doing any harm. For best results, get a bucket of warm to hot water with a healthy amount of regular dish soap. Using a microfibre cloth and a used green scrub pad start by giving the area a vigorous wipe down with the cloth, and for marks that don’t come off with the cloth, use the scrub pad with very light pressure. Then hit the area with the cloth again to remove any particles the scrub pad removed. While this works well, you need to be careful that you’re not using too much pressure, as you don’t want to remove paint, you just want to remove the marks.

For cabinets, you may need to use a cleaner designed for the material of the cabinets. For instance, if you have unpainted wood cabinets, then use a product specifically made for wood. If it’s painted and clear coated, then you can use normal dish soap in hot water. Make sure you don’t scratch the surface by using scrub pads.

For baseboards you can use the same method as the walls – but you’ll obviously have to get down on the floor. By thoroughly wiping away dust, dirt and scuff marks, the room will not only look better, but it will also be more hygienic.

What ever cleaning method you decide to use, just remember to do a small test area so you’re confident that you won’t wind up destroying the surface area by cleaning too aggressively.

Floors

Floors can be made from a variety of materials, and each has its own cleaning practice and standard. For ceramic-tile floors, vacuum first, then use hot water with a touch of dish soap or all purpose cleaner. Use your favorite mop, the spin mop works really well. If you want to clean by hand, with a cloth, then wipe in a circular motion so that you don’t leave streaks. Use a small brush to clean the grout where required.

If you have hardwood floors, use super-hot water with a bit of cleaner like murphy’s hardwood floor cleaner, this cleans and helps protect your hardwood floors, and leaves them with a nice shine. One thing to be careful of when mopping your hardwood floors, is to watch how wet you get them. Too much water can cause warping and other issues, depending on what type of hardwood they are made of, and if they are laminate vs solid hardwood.

Organize with Storage

Cleaning doesn’t just mean scrubbing and mopping. It’s a time to organize different rooms and remove any lingering clutter. Those old 8-tracks…your children’s arts and crafts projects…tax documents from 1992…it’s time to get organized and throw away all items without purpose.

To quickly organize your home, make sure you add waste baskets to rooms where trash accumulates like your family room. Your family room probably needs the most work since it’s your home’s version of Union Station. Adding a cabinet that matches the style of the room is an ideal way to make sure magazines, books, toys and papers aren’t scattered around. Make sure your family knows to put everything in the cabinet once they’re done.

Turn closet space into storage centres by adding shelves or storage units with multiple drawers. Adding additional cabinets or drawers to a home office can also help combat the issue of paper clutter.

No home has ever been worse off by adding more storage and emphasizing organization.

Replace Old Light Bulbs

Spring cleaning is a good time to give your home some nice touches or small upgrades. To brighten up your home, you should install new light bulbs that will make your home look new. A small touch like this can work wonders.

Replace old light bulbs with low-wattage, energy efficient LED bulbs. These bulbs can deliver a more natural light, which has been known to lift moods. When you shop for bulbs, make sure that have the “daylight” label and contain a range between 5,000 to 6,500 kelvins.

Gamify

This idea isn’t for everyone but if you want to get your kids involved you could try turning it into a game. If it worked for auctioning abandoned storage units on Storage Wars, it could work for spring cleaning. Offer small rewards for completed tasks, set a timer, create a leaderboard or a point system to motivate the kids to roll up their sleeves and get to work. At the very least, it’ll turn a full-day job into an afternoon of fun.

Conclusion

Spring cleaning can be a great way to get your home in tip top shape and get rid of dirt & dust and re-organize your space. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to give your home a facelift. Best of all, it can set the tone for the summer and make you feel like hosting again!

Give some of these tips a try and we’re confident that you’ll get the spotless results you’re after. Cleaning doesn’t have to be torture, if you have a plan, know what you’re doing and enlist a bit of help.  Happy cleaning!