In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

How to Wash Your Pillows (and get all the nasties out!)

How to wash your pillows for a safer, healthier sleep

Most of us have read by now that our pillows are filled with dust mites and fungus and  and probably a whole host of other things we don't like to think about when we crawl into bed at night. Some researches even suggest that a third of your pillow's weight is from bugs, dust mites and skin cells. 

And while I don't think that this news is something most of us should spend our time worrying about, it is a good reminder to wash our pillows!  Here's how:

1.  Load two pillows at a time in a washing machine, ensuring that they are positioned so that the load stays balanced.

2. Do a hot wash using your regular detergent with a few drops of tea tree oil (to kill germs and bugs) and half a cup of baking soda (to remove smells and perspiration stains).

3. If you have a laundry line, wash the pillows on a sunny day and hang them to dry (use lots of clothes pins!).  If the pillows have some discoloration due to head sweat it'll almost completely disappear while drying in the sun!

Alternatively, you can dry them in a dryer on the hot setting (Maybe with a few drops of lavender on your dryer balls so that the pillows have a nice relaxing scent?).

Either way, make sure to get them really dry so that they don't get mildewy!

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Now go wash your pillows!

3 Super Easy Ways to Make Perfect Asparagus

3 simple recipes for perfect asparagus every time.

Start by trimming the woody ends off the asparagus spears.  Just bend the spear gently until the end snaps off.   Don't try to save time by cutting the ends off all at once with a knife,  this will leave you with woody ends on some of the spears and wasted yummy parts on others.
 Method 1:Sauteed Asparagus
Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add trimmed asparagus spears and cook, turning often, for about 8 minutes until bright green and tender crisp.

To make it extra awesome: use garlic butter and top with toasted sesame seeds. Yummmm.

Method 2: Oven Roasted Asparagus

Place trimmed asparagus spears on a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes or until fork tender but not too soft.  Turn once or twice during cooking.

Method 3: Grilled Asparagus (my favourite!)
Place the trimmed spears on a large piece of tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Fold the tinfoil closed tightly around the asparagus and place on barbecue over medium high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve with steak.  That last part is optional.

Easy, right?  Enjoy this decadent springtime vegetable and let me know how it turns out!

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  

Painting Smocks from Old T-shirts

A while back I made some super simple painting smocks out of old t-shirts for my three oldest kids, and today my twins wanted to paint so badly that I had to whip up a couple more, so i thought I'd snap some photos and share the idea with you!

All you need is an old (adult size) t-shirt you no longer want and a clothespin.  

Cut a straight line up the back of the shirt.

If you are using a long sleeved shirt you will want to cut the sleeves to an appropriate length for the child too.

Put the shirt on the child and pin the back closed with a clothespin.

Easy, right?

Since it is cut down the back you won't have to slip a paint covered shirt up over anyone's head when they are done making a mess, errr, um, I mean painting their masterpiece.

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  

Felt Tic-Tac-Toe


The weather around here has refused to cooperate lately.  It's cold and windy and rainy, not the warm spring days we would normally expect in May.  I whipped up this simple rainy day activity for the kids out of felt and embroidery thread and hot glue.

I cut the pieces free hand. I debated sewing the squares and letters onto the base piece of felt, but that seemed like too much work.  Hot glue is holding it together just fine.

I cut a piece of purple felt just a bit shorter than the yellow piece and sewed along three sides using a blanket stitch.  This makes a little pocket to keep the X's and O's in when the game isn't in use.  (if you don't know how to do a blanket stitch, here's a youtube video showing you how.  It's simple, you can do it.)

My two oldest daughters have been taking turns teaching their little brother tic-tac-toe strategy all afternoon. (I may have played a few times too...)

Cute, right?  Also, I love that my kids can play tic tac toe all afternoon without using up a single sheet of paper! 

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  

How to Remove Limescale Easily and Naturally

If you have hard water leaving limescale and soap scum on your sinks and faucets like I do, you already know how stubborn it can be.  Even after cleaning with your ordinary cleaner, the limescale remains.  Luckily a simple way to remove it is likely already in your kitchen: a  lemon!

Step one: Cut a lemon in half and rub limescale well with lemon.  Let sit 10 minutes.

Step two: After 10 minutes has passed, scrub at the limescale with a scrubby brush.  The limescale should loosen and flake off fairly easily.  You can also try scraping the limescale off with a finger nail instead of a scrubby brush or try a pot scraper if you have one.  What ever you use, make sure it won't scratch up your surface too much.

Step three: Rinse thoroughly.

If the lemon and scrubbing doesn't remove the limescale fairly easily, Rub with lemon again, wait ten more minutes, and scrub some more.  Easy, right?

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Weekend Graces #8: Yummy Grilled Pizza

How to make homemade grilled pizza.  It's easier than you think!

Weekend Graces is a (supposedly) weekly series around here where I share some simple ideas to make the weekend extra special and bless the ones you live with.   They are small acts of kindness to make the weekend shine.

One of our favourite ways to celebrate ordinary life is to fire up the barbecue.  Something about cooking on the porch while the kids run in the front yard reminds us of what a blessing our messy, loud, chaotic little life really is.

Honestly, grilled pizza isn't difficult, but it is a little bit finicky.  Putting raw dough on a hot grill is a skill that takes some practice to get the hang of.  Your first few attempts might turn out funny shaped and ugly, but delicious all the same! 

To start, make the dough:

1 tsp active dry yeast (I use quick rise yeast for everything because I am impatient!)
pinch of sugar
1 scant cup of warm water
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine yeast, sugar and warm water.  Let sit for a few minutes to get the yeast going.   Dump in the remaining ingredients and stir, then knead until you have a slightly sticky dough.  If dough is too sticky to handle, add a tiny bit more flour. I knead mine in my stand mixer with a dough hook, but I've done it by hand too and that works just as well.  Let dough rise for 20 minutes while you cut up the toppings.

 Roll your dough out into a large rectangle.

Spread one side with olive oil and place, oiled side down, on a hot grill.  Cook over medium to high heat until that side has nice grill marks and then oil the other side and flip.  Grill until bread is cooked through.

 Remove from heat and spread some more oil on one side and top with lots of chopped garlic and other toppings.  We used basil and red onion, tomatoes and bacon.  And cheese, of course.

Place back on grill over very low or indirect heat until the cheese melts.

Serve and enjoy!  I just know your family will love it!

Happy Weekend!

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