21 January 2016

And the Kitchen Sink

As I was getting way too excited about admiring in a dignified fashion my freshly cleaned and shiny kitchen sink...

 ...it occurred to me that I'm probably not the only person out there who appreciates a clean sink. Kitchen sinks tend to get used a lot, and for way more than just washing dishes and rinsing vegetables. Mine is often a repository for plants in the process of being re-potted or trimmed. I also clean paint brushes and palettes in there, as well as empty cat food cans on the way to the recycling bin. And repeatedly rinse out cloths that are being used to clean other things. Anyway, the point is that all kinds of unpleasantness goes on in the kitchen sink and it tends to leave a residue. I've found that even washing the sink doesn't quite get it shiny, or even that clean. So in the spirit of mutual sink appreciation, I thought I'd share what does work:

Bar Keepers Friend Cookware Cleanser & Polish
It's meant for cleaning stainless steel cookware, which it does admirably and I recommend for that purpose. But it also does a great job on stainless steel sinks too. Just follow the directions on the package (basically get sink wet, sprinkle some powder on, use a cloth to scrub gently in a circular motion, rinse). I then wash the sink (with the same sudsy water mixture usually used for washing dishes) to get all the powder remains off and rinse well. Then dry if I want it looking extra nice (although that lasts all of five minutes). If you can't find Bar Keepers Friend, you can also use:

Lagostina Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner
Although in my experience, Lagostina Cleaner is actually harder to find in stores. It also costs a little more but, strangely enough, smells nicer than Bar Keepers Friend, which I actually think smells a little gross. Either way, both these cleaners do a great job and are well worth keeping on hand, even if you never use them on your cookware. Bonus: these are considered to be green/environmentally safe products, although they can cause irritation (I recommend using gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin).

A few minutes of effort for much dignified admiration. You can't go wrong.

(PS: I'm in no way affiliated with either of these companies, nor am I being paid or otherwise compensated for my opinion. I just like shiny things...)

08 January 2016

I just gotta be me...

When I first started Whimsy Bower (formerly Domicile), I envisioned it as a place to share all my domestic-type interests: decorating, crafts, gardening, cooking. Occasionally I posted about other things I liked that I thought readers might enjoy: cats, travel, books. But I have other interests, various and sundry, that don't necessary fit into the domestic-pet-sightseeing sort-of mold. Vampires, for example, and history, and general geekiness. So I decided to make more blogs: Geek Grrrl and Blood Lines, which you may have checked out at some point. But it turns out compartmentalizing your interests is less fun and more time consuming than letting them meld into one colossal bundle of goodness. Which is why I've decided to expand while streamlining. Yes, that's a thing.

Whimsy Bower will now encompass all my personal interests. One week you might find a post about my first attempt at making moussaka; the next it might be a rant about the ridiculously long periods of time between seasons of Sherlock (seriously--what the hell?) Blood Lines, my vampire blog, is now my work blog (did I mention I'm a writer? My novel will be coming to an e-reader near you...soon-ish...) with occasional general-interest stories about creatures of the night (sorry--no more reviews of shows and movies, although I do have to say that the series finale of True Blood was one of the worst I've ever seen). Geek Grrrl, unfortunately, is now officially retired (some of you may have noticed I haven't posted there since 2014). Not to fear--the blog is staying up and you can still look at past posts there. And I'll now be writing about geeky stuff here: rejoice!

So, to explain--no, wait, there's no time to explain--to sum up: Whimsy Bower = personal miscellany, Blood Lines = writing + vampires, and Geek Grrrl is no more. Now let's have fun storming the castle...