June 30, 2014

How to Clean Your Oven with No Harsh Chemicals + Weekly Update

So, you might have noticed that I have not been posting much lately.
To say I have been busy is an understatement. I love summer and I am fully taking advantage of all it has to offer this year. Taking inspiration from the women in my life, I decided to do some flower planting of my own this year, get into picking fruit fresh from the garden and orchard, and venturing out to some all day auctions to score some pieces I have been searching for. 

Last year we moved into a new apartment and now that we are comfortable in our new space and it is decorated to our liking, I am focusing more on the outdoors. The back of the house has a patio area I am working on fixing up and I added some flower beds. (We rent from my in-laws.) I have been spending most of my days lately doing some business planning, which has involved a lot of praying and God bringing just the right people I need to hear from into my life. It is funny how you can go almost a year or more without seeing someone and just when you pray for guidance they come into your life again for a brief moment and have the best words of advice. 

I have been spending more time outdoors enjoying the scenery and we have been eating a lot healthier lately so I am feeling supercharged! Our vacation to Washington was just what we needed to help get us started on living out this summer to the fullest.

Here is my life in pictures from these last two weeks:
 The nursery is my new favorite place to shop!
I filled my trunk up with some beautiful flowers to fill up my new flower beds. 
I picked the brightest flowers I could find for our soon to be cheery outdoor space.

 I love cooking with citrus!
It makes every dish look delicious and summery.
I made some salmon flavored with orange slices and rosemary. 

My dad helped me put in a flower bed along the back of the house and I planted all of my flowers.
We will soon be ready for a cook-out with family back there! 

We had our last show for the spring season. It was a fun adventure for us.
We celebrated our last show with hosting an open house/chocolate party!

 I went on a date with my mom to a coffee + tea shop where we shared this incredible fresh-baked slice of black raspberry pie. I am normally not a pie person, but this is really something!

 My parents are raising chickens. These three little ladies are Scarlet, Rosie, and Ruby.
They are about 4 weeks old and love to take adventures.

 My best friend and I ate at Cafe Chocolate in Lititz for the first time.
It was delicious. Of course I ordered a crepe! Which is probably a number 2 on my list of favorites. 
Donuts being number one. 

And after all those tasty treats, here is a my dirty oven.
I hate using harmful chemicals to clean anything in my house. Especially something I prepare food in.
I cleaned my oven using just baking soda and vinegar.
The left side is after the treatment, and the right side is during.
It certainly makes a difference!

Here is my quick tutorial:
Make a paste out of baking soda and water, slowly stirring while adding a little water at a time.

I used my hand to apply the paste, sponges absorb the water from the paster and make it hard to smear across the oven. You just want to take handfuls of the paste and work it into the nooks and dirty walls.
Close your oven door and let sit over night. In the morning use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar and spray down the oven. 

Let that work for a few minutes while you prepare a sink or bucket of hot water. 

Using a wet sponge wipe away the excess baking soda, rinsing your sponge between strokes. 

Spray the oven again with some vinegar and get out your handy dandy tool, a Pampered Chef pan scraper!
Scrape the walls and bottom of the oven with your tool and watch as all of those tough baked on food spots magically come right off!

Using your wet sponge again, wipe the oven clean.
Wipe it down a few times, refreshing your water if needed.
And ta-dah! Super clean oven with no harsh fumes!

After you use your oven once or twice, wipe down again with a wet sponge to remove any baking soda you might have missed originally. It will harden and fall to the bottom of the oven.

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