Annette Julia Dunlea is an Irish novelist and journalist.
Sample Newspaper Article
DIY SOS - Notes From A Wannabe Domestic Goddess by Annette J Dunlea
What's a domestic goddess, I hear you ask? She is a rear breed in these feminist times of high flying career women. A female who excels at baking, cooking, cleaning and housework of all sorts. She loves to please and enjoys hearing compliments about her awesomeness around the house, especially in the kitchen. She may sew, knit and excel at all her domestic hobbies. She holds an impressive library of cookery, household management and gardening books. She studies cooking, nutrition, home economics, family matters,food and cooking. She crafts making her own presents and recycles. She doesn't have to have children to be considered a domestic goddess. For those who are mums they are the yummy mummies at the school gates carrying home made lunches for their immaculate little darlings. Her make-up is always perfect even when mopping floors and she can run and work in her high heels all day. She is the standard benchmark that all women judge their cleaning and cooking skills by. She watches cookery programs especially Masterchef for pleasure and relaxes by weeding and growing her own vegetables and herbs in her back garden. She has immaculate flower beds and lawns. She refuses to watch Desperate Housewives on principal. Women fear her and men love her. Fear not ladies I have being busy researching and I am about to share my pearly bits of wisdom with you. Never again shall one of us feel under pressure from the domestic goddess. It is easy when you know how.
Have a diary and identify essential and important tasks. In this book keep all important notes e.g. stain removers, alternative health cures, recipes, suppliers, menu list, kids outings, school trips, holidays, shopping list, guarantees etc. In it will be all information to run her house like a military machine. Always keep a daily check list and mark all tasks off as you completes them. She is target driven so you must be too. She rises early, first in the house every morning to prepare the breakfast and school lunches. She goes to bed around 10.00 every-night so she is not too tired to perform her domestic goddess duties the next day. She gets all uniforms and sacks ready the night before and lays the breakfast table. Everything that can be prepared in advance is done to avoid rush and panic in the morning. Have a rota and give each family member their own jobs. Prepare your menu list for the week so only do one shop a week. Have a routine put on dishwasher straight away after clearing the breakfast table and one load of clothes washing. Dry an fold and put back in its appropriate place. Clean as you go around the house not allowing a big pile of laundry or ware to built up. Have a list on the fridge door and note any items you run out of. The best time to polish, mop and hoover is when the kids are out at school. Train everyone to return all items to their proper place e.g. sacks in kids' bedrooms, hang up coats in hall etc. Clean bathrooms every morning with a damp cloth. At night time put all toys away and clean household mess. Do not be a push over don't automatically say yes. When asked to do something new say I must check the family timetable and get back to you.
It is possible to achieve a sanitary and pleasant cleanliness in the home without owning an arsenal of chemically laced cleaning products. Even though stains can be tough to remove in general, check out these green cleaning fabric stain tips to learn an alternate way to remove them. You could spend a fortune on stain devils and cleaning products. Long ago every woman knew how to clean and restore all household items from everyday products from their press. Everyone knew these but the modern generation has forgotten these. Always keep club soda it is an emergency spot remover. Used straight from the bottle, club soda is a great emergency spot cleaner and stain remover. Apply it with a clean, damp cloth. At home you can create a simple but powerful stain remover by combining lemon juice with cream of tartar. Wash it like normal, and those marks you thought would be there forever will be long gone. Grass stains on clothes can be removed with an old toothbrush and plain white toothpaste; just make sure you use a paste variety and not a gel. Squeeze a small amount of the toothpaste onto the stain, then dip the toothbrush in clean water and use it to scrub away the stain. Repeat this process as needed to treat all of the stains. Rinse the area and launder the clothing as usual.
Removing blood from clothing is to wet the stained area of the fabric with water, sprinkle it with plain old table salt, rub one half of the stain against the other to work in the salt and loosen the stain, then immediately launder the garment the way you usually do. Staining around the collar can be easily vanquished with a touch of shampoo. Rub some shampoo onto collar and then wash as normal in the machine. To remove lipstick from dark fabrics, grab a piece of white bread and remove the crust. Take up the soft centre and rub it gently on the stain until it picks up all of the lipstick. Sweep away any leftover crumbs with a clean, soft-bristled brush. For grease spots try this trick: sprinkle the spot with cornstarch. Allow the cornstarch to soak up the grease for a few minutes, and then brush it away. The grease spot will lift right out.
Oily stains on pillowcases can be removed with plain shampoo. It's that easy. Just pour some on the stained areas, rub it in, rinse thoroughly and launder the pillowcases as usual.If you get ink on a piece of clothing, try soaking the ink mark with rubbing alcohol and wiping it away with a clean, white cloth. Another old-fashioned remedy for removing ink marks from clothes and other fabrics is to wet a sponge with milk and rub the ink stain until it disappears. If you spill wine on your clothes try soaking the stained area in water and then making a pouch in the cloth where the wine stain is. Next, pour cream of tartar into the pouched area. Tie the ends of the pouch and then let the garment soak. After soaking, dip it in and out of hot water and then launder as usual. If the red wine stain is fresh, soak up the spill by immediately sprinkling it with baking soda. Next, as soon as possible, stretch the stained fabric over a large bowl or kettle, secure the fabric and pour boiling water through the stain. Similarly, you can use salt for this purpose by sprinkling it on a spill immediately and letting it soak up the stain. Afterwards, soak the stained area in cold water and then launder the garment as usual.
If you have fabrics with tea stains, don't despair. Mix up a concoction of heavily sugared warm water by stirring the water as you add sugar to it. Keep adding sugar until it no longer dissolves. To remove tea stains from clothing or table linens, submerge the stained area for several minutes in a small container of the heavily sugared water, then launder as usual. The longer most stains set, the harder they are to remove without damage to the stained surface. If you haven't identified the stain correctly, or if you use an improper stain-removing agent or technique, you may make the stain permanent and cause additional damage to the stained object.
Generally, stains can be divided into three types. Each type dictates certain general treatment procedures. Greasy Stains. Lubricating and cooking oils, butter, machine grease, and similar substances produce greasy stains. Grease spots are sometimes removed from washable fabrics by hand or machine laundering. Pre-treating by rubbing a little detergent directly into the spot often helps, as does using a dry-cleaning solvent on the stain. If you are treating an old stain or one that has been ironed, a yellow stain may remain after treatment with a solvent. Bleach is often effective at eliminating this yellow residue. To remove grease spots from non-washable fabrics, sponge the stain from centre to edge with a stain-removal product. Removal may take several applications, and the spot should be allowed to dry completely before each sponging. Greasy stains may also be removed from non-washable fabrics by using an absorbent substance such as cornstarch, corn meal, French chalk, or fuller's earth. Absorbent s are dusted on greasy spots to pick up the grease. When the absorbent material begins to look caked, it should be shaken or brushed off. Repeat this procedure until most of the stain is gone.
Non-greasy stains are produced by materials such as tea, coffee, fruit juice, food colouring, and ink. If you have such a stain on a washable fabric, the best treatment is to sponge the stain with cool water as soon as possible. If this doesn't work, try soaking the fabric in cool water. The stain may soak out within half an hour, or you may need to leave the item in the water overnight. If some stain still remains, gently rub liquid detergent into it and rinse with cool water. The last resort is to use bleach, but read the fabric care label first. If the stain is old or has been ironed, it may be impossible to remove it completely. A non-greasy stain on a non-washable fabric can also be sponged with cool water. Or, you can place a disposable diaper or other absorbent pad beneath the stained area and slowly and carefully flush the stain by pouring water onto it using a mister or eyedropper. You must control the amount of water and the rate at which it is poured to avoid spreading the stain. This may be sufficient to remove some stains, especially if treatment is started promptly. If not, work liquid detergent into the stain as described above and rinse by flushing or sponging with cool water. Sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol after rinsing to remove detergent residue and to speed drying.
Other domestic goddess tips include getting rid of ants by placing cucumber peelings or spices where you have the little pests overnight. It is ozone-friendly, child and pet friendly and you dispose of them the next day. Salt and vinegar works well as rust removers on fabric. She never has smelly lous. She adds a cup of baking soda to the toilet & let it soak for an hour then flush. It will clean the toilet & absorb the odour. If on the rare occasion she gets mildew on her linens she has a cure. Make a thin paste of lemon juice and salt; spread the paste on mildew stains. Lay out the fabric in the sun to bleach it. Afterwards, rinse and dry. Mildew stains on fabric can also be tackled with a paste of salt, vinegar, and water. If the stain is extensive, you can use up to full-strength vinegar. Some garments may still retain a musty, mildewy smell even after washing. Get rid of the smell by soaking the garments in lemon juice and water and then letting them dry in the sun. Ink can be remove from fabrics with a combination of salt, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Other tips include storing sheets set in your pillow case. Did you know if you put a wooden spoon over boiling pot, it will not boil over?Baby Oil keeps our skin soft but it also polishes chrome. Apply a dab to a cotton cloth and use it to shine everything from sinks to hubcaps. WD-40 has many uses for the domestic goddess. 1. Protects silver from tarnishing. 2. Removes road tar and grime from cars. 3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings. 4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery. 5. Keeps flies off cows. 6. Restores and cleans chalkboards. 7. Removes lipstick stains. 8. Loosens stubborn zippers. 9. Untangles jewellery chains. 10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks. 11. Removes dirt and grime and extends the life of your glues by simply removing the cap and rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the lid. It keeps the lid from gluing the lid shut!To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire. Baby wipes are miracle-workers on carpet stains, from motor oil to blood, they remove almost anything! To remove rust from chrome, wipe it with aluminium foil dipped in Coke. Cloudy Drinking Glasses: Soak them for an hour or longer in slightly warm white vinegar. Then, use a nylon-net or plastic dish scrubber to remove film. Freshen Laundry Basket: Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket but remember to change it weekly. You can also simply sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the odours as well. Microwave Filth: Food splatters all over the inside of your microwave and cooks itself on after time. To easily remove this mess, place a sponge soaked in water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes, then allow it to sit without opening the microwave door, for 5 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off – no scrubbing – and your sponge is right there! For an odour-free car: the goddess places a few briquettes of charcoal under the seat of your car to absorb odours and keep it smelling fresh.
To avoid smashed down carpet she has a plan of action. To make the carpet stand back up after moving a piece of furniture she places an ice cube on the spot. As it melts, the piles will go back up. For smelly cooking hands she simply rubs her hands over a stainless steel utensil under running water. This works especially well for the odour of garlic, onions or fish. For smelly shoes she simply fills a tube sock with kitty litter, baking soda, or tea leaves; tie the end closed; and place the filled socks in the shoes when you're not wearing them. These sachets can be used over and over in any kind of shoe. To remove stickers from furniture, glass, plastic, etc. saturate with vegetable oil and rub off. For Stuck-On or burnt on food in pots and pans fill the pan with water and place a fabric softener sheet in the water. Allow the pan to soak overnight. The food will wipe right out! For stains in plastic storage containers use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar and wash normally. Another method is to place container outside on a nice sunny day and the sun actually bleaches the stain out. To avoid stains in the first place, spray container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain i.e. spaghetti sauce. Tarnished Silverware: Line a cake pan with aluminium foil. Fill with water and add 1 tablet of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Heat to 150 degrees. Lay silverware in pan, touching aluminium foil. Watch the stains disappear!
Her trash bag idea is to save money on trash bags by reusing plastic grocery bags. Use them in all your trash cans. To keep them from slipping down, affix a plastic, self-adhesive hook to both sides of the inside of the trash can. Hang the shopping bag from the hooks. White heat marks and water rings on wood furniture is not a problem she can solve this too.If the wood has a good finish mix equal parts of baking soda and regular white, non-gel toothpaste. Lightly dampen corner of a clean, soft white cloth with water and dip into the paste. With circular motion gently buff the marks for a few minutes. Wipe area clean, and buff to a shine. Follow with furniture polish. If that doesn't work, dip a cloth in vegetable oil, then in cigarette ashes, then rub it over the mark. Another method is to rub real mayonnaise onto the stain, allow to sit overnight, then wipe with a dry towel. These are tried and tested methods never known to fail the domestic goddess. One must practice to get the goddess's skills and it will take time to develop a routine but it is worth all the hard work. Your house will always be clean and unexpected guests will always be welcome. The mother- in -law will approve and all others will envy you.