Win it! – “A Better December”

We live in a tiny town. Itty bitty. People generally only lock their doors if they go out of town, maybe at night. Because of that, one can find little surprises on their kitchen table when they arrive home.

A Better December - Steven Estes

A Better December – Steven Estes

This little gem awaited us recently. A friend had borrowed it from our pastor and was returning it via me. When I previewed the opening lines, it read something like,

“The older I get, the more I like short books.

This is one.”

Well… It took me about 45 minutes to finish it from there. Some of it is general how-to-survive-the-holidays, some of it is heart-warming advice along the been-there-done-that lines. And then the last quarter is surprisingly deep and personal and grabs you, eye-to-eye, the whole time being honest and funny and brazen and witty.

When I returned it to our pastor last night, I asked, “Do you have a way you recommend getting a copy of that?” (As he just wrote a book, he knows avenues outside Amazon, sometimes at a discount.) “As a matter of fact, I’m giving a copy away on my blog.” Score.

This is my entry form. (One of them.) So while I’m obligated to tell you about the contest, I don’t actually want you to enter. Just go borrow the book from your pastor and read it and then go buy a copy.


One Cleaner to Rule Them All

Alas, my computer crashed. I don’t have the proof. But if you’ve been to my house for dinner and gotten the comfy chairs at dinner, you would have noticed about two months ago that you were not sitting on white cushions. They were, at one point. Maybe two years ago. Well, come on over for a cuppo soup! We have white cushions again! Gee thanks, Branch Basics.

It honestly took less than ten minutes to clean two chair cushions. I sprayed on the diluted spray, let it sit about a minute, and used a damp rag to rub it clean. I did the same on Copper’s secondhand touch-and-feel book – the front of Kipper’s tummy fur was restored to white. It’s food grade, so I use it to clean produce, especially broccoli, which is notoriously difficult to clean. It’s especially useful in the kitchen, on cutting boards, faucet handles, and eating surfaces. It’s safe for toys. Upholstery. Carpets, Car seats. Laundry. Dishes. Windows. Grease-covered pans.. Name it – it cleans it.

The BB product line.

The BB product line.

And safely! It’s food grade, folks – you could eat it. Can you eat just any old cleaner? This is made with plant-based fatty acids. That also means it’s lethal to bugs’ exoskeletons – you can spray it on bugs and it kills them. But not us. Wonder-cleaner, or what?? I love that I don’t feel dirty after I clean. You know what I mean – you get out your rag and spray bottle, but… you’re just about to cook. If you clean now, you’ll have to wash your hands before you knead that dough. Or your little one is trying to reach up to the sink and help mama clean – No, don’t put your hands in your mouth! Ohmygosh, I think I sprayed the top of his head. Shoot.

Not anymore I clean all the freaking time now. It’s safe for me, it’s safe to eat off of, there’s never any rinsing, and it won’t make my kitchen smell funky. Did I mention it has absolutely no smell?

Here’s one of my favorite stories of its amazingness: This 100+ year old farmhouse rental didn’t come with a dishwasher. I’m a hand-washer from way back, so generally no problem. But we have these Potato Sundays where my husband fries up some potato cut into some wedge or hash or another. Sometimes, he gets too much oil and wants to save it. We generally put it in a mason jar till the following Potato Sunday, and wait until a visit to my parents’ house to put it in the dishwasher. Alas, the parents go to Florida for winter. So this week, after fruitlessly trying to swish warm water around the lower unreachable half, I sprayed some BB along the inner walls. Left it sit a few minutes. (Never sure if I need to do that step.)  Rinsed. It was done. All the used cooking oil sitting in it for a week was nuthin’ for a few sprays of BB.

If I wasn’t so stingy with it, I’d replace a-l-l-l-l my cleaners with it. (As it is, I kept my dish detergent, floor cleaner, and laundry detergent. But all are replaceable with Branch Basics.) Annnnnnd… it’s on sale. Just for you. Branch Basics sent our local moms’ group a sample pack with a coupon, and you can be in on it, too! Our group plans to go together on a 5 gallon bucket, but it’s great if you want to get clean all on your own, too.

Use TryBB15. Today. Or tomorrow, if you need another day to find friends to share it with.

(I’d recommend checking out Branch Basic’s website, especially the FAQ’s. I wanted to share my experience and utter joy with it, but they have a lot more to tell you about the science behind it.)