My favorites for this month is pretty light due to Spring cleaning being in full force.
I spent many hours cleaning out the garage and basement closet. Two areas that I was dreading to tackle since they had not been de-cluttered since we moved to our home about 4 years ago. The basement closet still had a tote labeled “do not unpack”. When we moved, I put labels on boxes to designate which room and if they needed to be unpacked right away or not. Easy example is the kitchen, there was a box for dishware and some pots/pans which we needed right away for cooking. But for anything with sentimental items or seasonal decorations, I marked those as “do not unpack”. The theory was to unpack them after we got settled into the house, maybe within 6 months of moving. However, this tote slipped into the back corner of the basement closet never to be touched again, just collected dust. It felt so fantastic to clean out those forgotten (or really avoided) spaces.
The other item this month was getting rid of an ant colony which set up camp in the utility room interior wall. It is difficult to say how long they were there. They were the tiny sized ones but they were numerous! We only go into the utility room once a month to swap out a new air filter. It is not really a room that we go into. I had it as part of my basement closet cleanup project since we stored an exercise bike and an old Christmas tree in there that I wanted to donate. I sprayed for spiders (which always tend to sneak into a basement no matter what) and this disturbed the ants living there too. I honestly am not able or willing to give an estimate since I think the number would keep me up at night for days. It took a little over 2 weeks to stop seeing any ants walking around. Many trips to check on where they were coming from with a flashlight. Definitely not the fun part of May. So technically I think my absolute favorite products in May were the ant baits that I used (Terro liquid ant baits and Combat source kill max) and the sticky pads I deployed. I know it could have been much worse. Researching online how to get rid of them (yes I am a certified ant killing ninja now) I read some real horror stories about pests inside the home. I am thankful that I was able to handle it and that it was only ants.
The final big part of this past month was actually planting flowers. I normally would just have a boston fern and maybe one pot of flowers in the front. I figured the more you plant, the more you have to maintain and water. Now that I have the time to tend to multiple flowers, I ended up planting 6 pots ranging from snapdragons to wave petunias.
With all of these time consuming activities, I did not blog post very often in May or review many products for this favorite list. I am learning very quickly that not everything can be a top priority. Some weeks you just need to put your full focus on something else to get it done.
Snacks = I have avoided popcorn for many years. I used to love microwave popcorn but wanted to avoid all of the chemicals in the bags and fake toppings used. I finally found a brand (purchased at Whole Foods) that seems to be the best way to have a microwave bag popcorn. The brand is Quinn and it had a product that met my criteria. Organic kernels, plastic free bag, after popping you apply the sunflower oil packet and then the dried butter and sea salt. I know there are ways to make it on the stove top in a pot or get an air popper machine. I just really like the idea of the actual microwave bag. There is something that makes it more of a treat than “cooking” on the stove top. It tastes amazing and for something that is really a weekend snack for catching up on Game of Thrones, it works out perfectly.
Essential Oils = Also this past month I researched and started using essential oils. Part of my favorites is a subscription box called Simply Earth that I am now getting once a month. It is nice because you can pause and skip months whenever you wish without being charged. It is $40 per month and you get 4 full sized 15 ml oils along with recipes to use them and any accessories needed. Example is a cleaning themed box with spray bottles and microfiber clothes to make your own cleaning products using the essential oils. Other sets were for making candles and also beauty products (body scrubs, under eye roller). I will be posting many more blogs about my usage and experience with essential oils within the next month. I like to test out and research before I share any info on my blog. So far I am very happy with them and have been seeing benefits.
Books = Clean My Space by Melissa Maker. I have really enjoyed her YouTube videos for cleaning tips and tricks. I found the book helpful but glad I borrowed from library instead of purchasing it. I found that all of the info could be found on her website and videos. This did inspire me to make my own cleaning solutions (added in essential oils) and I will be doing a blog post soon about those.
- The Circle staring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, it is a movie based on a book (which I will start to read soon) and you could tell while watching that there were many details that are probably in the book that were skipped in the movie. It is a concept that I enjoyed since I like anything that questions how technology is helping vs. hurting us. I doubt I would buy this movie when it is available. I did however purchase the book.
- The Great Wall staring Matt Damon, is a neat concept and the movie is visually stunning (so many colors and how the shots were framed). The concept is an army defending against creatures trying to go past the Great Wall of China. I really liked it and probably would have enjoyed it more if I did not deal with my ant colony basement project this past month. If you watch the movie, you might notice that the creatures have similar properties to ants like how they all served the queen and fed her. I would watch this movie again.
Hope everyone is enjoying the weather!