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Meal Prep Planning Strategies

Meal preparation: the new dietary fad of the past few years. If you aren't sure what meal prep is, it's basically just when people plan out the entirety of their meals for a certain period of time, like one day or one week. Don't be fooled though. Even though it sounds simple and straightforward, meal prep isn't that easy. You have to systematically think about the week consisting of five days (excluding weekends), and at three meals a day, that's fifteen meals that need to be thoroughly planned out. Not an effort-free task. However, we're here to make that job a little less overwhelming by giving you our top 10 tips on how to effectively meal prep.

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Effective, All-Natural, and Homemade

We all know that beauty products are expensive. From your name brand lotions to your drugstore lipsticks, it's difficult to find cheap, quality products that you'll reach for everyday. There's also risk that comes with spending so little on makeup, as you don't know what kinds of chemicals are going into those products. Are you tired of not being able to read and understand the majority of the ingredients on the label of your face wash? Do you want to be able to spend less on skin care and makeup? Don't worry; we've covered all of the natural DIYs for your favorite products.

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Borax: The Ups and Downs Borax has been around for hundreds of years, and we're constantly developing new ways to use it for natural cleaning and even to make slime for children. Although Borax is a natural mineral, that doesn't mean it's completely safe to use. A bit of caution should always be taken when using Borax, but overall it is safe for household uses. 


What is Borax? Officially, it's sodium borate, which is a salt of boric acid. It's soft, white, and a soluble crystal. Common warnings with this compound are skin and eye irritation, redness, and pain. However, a lot of products in your house have these same warnings (i.e. vinegar), but since we know how to handle these correctly, there is no need to worry.

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The Organic Food Dilemma

Certain foods on your grocery list don't have to be labelled organic in order for you to want to buy them. There are plenty of produce items that make no difference whether purchased organically or not, simply due to the composition of the produce itself. Plus, organic and natural foods can be pretty expensive, and some of us just don't have the money to buy a $5 "organic" avocado. So why do we even buy organic food in the first place? The reasoning behind organically labelled products comes from the lack of preservatives and pesticides placed on the food item before hitting the shelves of your local Publix. The food you want to buy as non-organic has very little pesticides leftover, while certain foods should definitely be purchased as organic, since their non-organic counterparts have the potential to be full of chemical preservatives due to their thin protective skin. Below are compiled lists of the top ten organic and non-organic foods you need to buy on your next grocery store run.

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A Bleach Free Life, It Means No Worries

Completing a load of laundry makes you feel great. You know that your clothes are going to feel clean and fresh during your daily wear over a busy work week. However, have you ever opened up your dryer only to find the dismaying surprise of bleach speckled clothing? It happens to the best of us. One day you'll be bleaching your towels, bed linens, or even your clothing - and the next time you go to use your washing machine you've completely forgotten about the prior cycle. The leftover bleach does its dirty work and ruins your favorite articles of clothing.

In this article we are going to look into natural, color safe alternatives that you can use to replace the process of routinely bleaching your clothing. Traditional chlorine based bleach is a known a known irritant of your respiratory system and your skin. You deserve to be able to breathe safely when you're completing your laundry, and especially when you're cleaning your home. You've Got Maids makes it a priority not to use bleach on any of your household surfaces when our maids clean your house. We only use environmentally safe cleaning products on your surfaces, and especially your flooring. If you have a small child in your family, you obviously want them to be safe and healthy the entire time they are in your home. If they're crawling around on flooring cleaned with a chlorine based bleach, you never know what sort of sensitivity they may incur. Let's take a look at how bleach chemically interacts with your clothing. We'll follow that up with a list of natural bleach alternatives that are sure to make you feel safe and healthy.

Start making decisions that allow your home to be even healthier, and ultimately happier than it already is. These tips will make you feel great about completing your weekly laundry, The Ultimate Guide to an Efficient Laundry Room.

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Pillage your Fabric Pilling!

Fabric pilling happens to the best of us. One day, even your favorite sweater will fall prey to the distasteful look of pilling. This occurrence isn't isolated to wool by any means. Cotton, polyester, and other synthetic threads are common culprits. These clothing defects are derived from normal wear and tear, they happen when the fabric rubs against against itself. You'll find that the majority of your clothing items will develop pills in the same places, time after time. These areas should be your first target for maintenance. Check around the collar of the garment, under the arms, across the chest, and anywhere else that might experience normal abrasion from wear. Check out the following instructions for removing, and preventing fabric pilling from happening.

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Clear the Clutter, and Your Mind

Your laundry room receives a lot of traffic throughout the week. With all of the various loads of laundry that needs to run through both the washer, and then the dryer, it can become a chaotic environment. Those with a large family know how disorganized a laundry room can become in a very short time. If you have systems in place to organize the clean, dirty, whites, darks, and colors - you may find yourself feeling less stressed out about all the laundry that needs to be done. When an organizational system is implemented in a specific household room, order and regulation follow. Every other member of your household can easily participate in the system if this is done well. Let's take a look at a variety of different methods you can use to streamline your laundry process and free up some mental space. You don't need to spend your time stressing about the piles of laundry taking over your laundry room.

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Dryer balls will change your laundry life

Do you want to start drying your clothes, a static-free?  They'll smell great, they'll feel soft, and you'll no longer have to deal with mysterious chemicals in your laundry. On top of all those great perks, you will be producing less waste throughout your weekly routine. Follow this easy, informative guide that details the correct and effective usage of wool dryer balls to replace your old dryer sheets. You'll be removing part of your personal impact on the environment, which works towards our common goal of incorporating environmentally friendly practices into your daily routines.

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Let Your Dryer Be Hot Like It Wants to Be

You already know that it is important to clean your dryer's lint trap after every use. However, there is another commonly forgotten step that routinely needs to take place. Otherwise, you risk the potential of enabling a fire to catch while you're drying your clothes. Every year there are 2,900 home fires that are reported every year due to lint blockages read more about this, through FEMA.The vent that connects your dryer to the outside world regularly needs to be brushed out, and then vacuumed thoroughly. Even if that worst case scenario of losing all of your work pants to a dryer's inferno doesn't take place, the dryer will still run inefficiently if the vent is clogged with excess dryer lint. This clogged vent will lead to a significant a waste of electricity, as well as damp clothes that never seem to dry thoroughly.

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Fresh Laundry and a Healthy Home

Laundry detergents are the source of some of our favorite scents. The smell of freshly washed laundry can be an immediate source of comfort. You feel at home when you catch a whiff of your freshly laundered linens, and it's even better when that scent follows your throughout your day. Did you know that some of the perfumes used in major detergent brands are actually composed of harmful ingredients?

An easy way to avoid these intense chemicals is to switch them out entirely. You can use a natural laundry detergent that is free of any scent, and then create your own perfect blend by adding essential oils to it. Read this article out for definitive information on what you should be avoiding, New York Times on Perfume Chemicals. Here at You've Got Maids, we stay far away from dangerous chemicals. Even the air freshener that we use in your home is completely eco-friendly. You should choose a Natural Laundry Detergent from this list to take a healthy step towards living a life free of harsh chemicals. Once you have your detergent of choice, let's take a look at some of the essential oils that you can include in your wash cycle.

Essential Oils to Liven up Your Laundry

Choosing an essential oil to mix into your laundry can be a daunting task. There's so many great options to choose from, and you can mix your favorites to create your very own perfect blend. Choose one, two, or even three of these scents that you're fond of and personalize your clothes with this new freshly laundered scent.

  1. Orange, citrus is known for it its cleaning properties, as well as its mood lifting scent
  2. Lavender, a floral scent that is known for its calming properties. It is sure to help you relax.
  3. Lemon, is an energizing scent that naturally has antiseptic, and anti-fungal characteristics. It's also great at removing grease stains. Pair this with eucalyptus for a great grease removal boost.
  4. Eucalyptus, smells fresh and pure and is sure to remove any grease stain when paired with lemon
  5. Peppermint, fresh and energizing, it'll sooth nauseous feelings and brighten your day.
  6. Cedar wood, warm and soothing scent that does double duty by repelling moths and other pests.
  7. Oregano, warm and fragrant scent that naturally fights bacteria and prevents mildew.
  8. Spruce, a woodsy scent that does a great job at boosting up your detergent with grease removal.
  9. Sage, a warm herbal scent, which can help remove oils from your laundry.
  10. Thyme, similar to Sage, herbal scent that helps to remove oils from your clothes.
  11. Tea tree, smells bright and has antiseptic and astringent properties. 
  12. Grapefruit, citrusy and bright with the added benefit of sanitizing and brightening your white clothes.
  13. Geranium, is an oil that is calming and floral.
  14. Palmarosa, smells like floral and citrus and is derived from a herb-like grass.
  15. Bergamot, is bright and citrusy, it's commonly associated with Earl Grey tea. The scent actually comes form the lime family, rather than the tea leaves.
  16. Citronella, fresh and citrusy, and even helps to keep the bugs away.
  17. Red Mandarin, is sweet, fruity and citrusy. 
  18. Chamomile, calming and floral - not to mention reminiscent of everyone's favorite bedtime tea. 

You've Got Maids uses environmentally friendly products that will keep you, and your home feeling safe and healthy. If you haven't experienced the freedom that comes along with having someone else do your cleaning for you, request a free estimate so we can naturally freshen up every surface of your home.

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