Get To Know The Crew: Bethany


The Cleaning Crew, LLC, is made up of a diverse group of individuals. While most of them are centrally located in Oregon, there are a few remote employees who work from all over the United States. Bethany is one of them.

Bethany is our blog writer and social media manager. Born and raised in Texas, Bethany grew up loving to travel and learn. Her favorite color is purple and she loves Tex-Mex. She is fluent in Spanish and can type over 100 words per minute with 99% accuracy. On her bucket list is to do something amazing in all 50 states and get her doctoral degree. One of her favorite things to do is perform in musical theater productions.

Bethany is married to Colby and they have three children. They live outside of town on a few acres with their dogs Abby and Sophie and cats Lilly and Felix.

By day, Bethany is a public school educator in Texas. On the side, she has been operating a freelance writing business for the past three years. She began working for The Cleaning Crew, LLC in 2016 when she was introduced to Karen by a mutual acquaintance and has been a part of The Crew ever since.

Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is approaching. You probably have one of two opinions on the holiday: You either think it is a great opportunity to show some love to your significant other, or you believe it is a commercial ploy to capitalize off of romance.

Either way, it’s probable that you will want to express your love in some way or another to those that are closest and most important to you. We’ve gathered some quick and easy ideas that don’t cost much, but are worth more than you will ever realize.

Cook Dinner

As simple as this may seem, your significant other will appreciate the thought. After all, the way to the heart is through the stomach. Even if you aren’t the best cook, you could pick up dinner or order take-out. Bonus points for a delicious dessert!

This is particularly meaningful if dinner is normally your significant other’s responsibility. Make sure not to leave a dirty kitchen behind–doing the dishes as a follow up is a must for this to be a success.

Write a Love Letter

If you start with a meaningful greeting card, make sure to finish up with some special words of your own. You could even skip the card and write your own love note on stationary. You could mail it to their work place, slip it in their lunch, or hand deliver it with a warm embrace. No matter how it arrives, it is sure to be a keepsake!

Let Them Choose

While many people think of a date night as a Valentine’s gift, your significant other may want to choose what to do with their time. Give them several choices on how to spend the day and let them decide. Give an option where you spend time together and an option where they get to spend some time alone. Maybe they would prefer a trip to the spa instead of a night out on the town. You’ll never know until you give them the option.

Another fun idea is to create a date idea box for more long-term use. Write down fun ideas of things you can do together or special treats for them on their own. Then, have your significant other draw from the box on special (or not-so-special) occasions.

Clean the House

Coming home to a freshly cleaned house is an incredibly pleasant surprise if someone is used to having to taking care of that chore themselves. You could spend the day and put in the hard work cleaning it yourself, but it will make just as much of an impact (and be a lot easier) if you let us do it for you. We can surprise your significant other, or you could wrap up a gift certificate and allow them to specialize their cleaning.

 

We’d love to help make your Valentine’s Day a meaningful one. Contact us today at 541-601-6236 to schedule your cleaning or purchase your gift certificate.

Holiday Hits: 5 Recipes to Impress


 

Hopefully you already have us scheduled to help you clean up before the holiday guests start arriving. So, you have plenty time to plan and prep as the holidays approach! Before you head to the grocery store, here are some of our favorite recipes that you might want to add into the mix this season. Plus, some bonus kitchen cleaning hacks we can’t wait to share with you.

Breakfast

Breakfast seems to be overlooked during the holidays. We have large lunches and delicious dinners, but it’s hard to think about a big breakfast when you’re planning an important meal for later on in the day. Here is a great recipe that’s sure to please your overnight guests without taking away from the main meal.

Breakfast Pie

In less than an hour you can have these cooked and served. The great thing is you can make substitutions for picky eaters or allergies. Everybody loves croissants. Use them as the crust for a surprising breakfast pie. Check out the detailed instructions here on Pillsbury’s website.

  • Roll out each croissant.
  • Top with your favorite toppings
  • Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 18-22 minutes at 375.

***Are your pots and pans gross? Use acidic cleaners like white vinegar or lemon juice as a gentle, natural method. Alkaline cleaners like baking soda can cause discoloration. Then, line them with foil or paper next time you cook to make clean up a breeze.***

Lunch

Holiday celebrations traditionally mean a lot of turkey.

Make your leftovers something to remember by trying this recipe. You and yours can get warm and cozy by the fire with a nice bowl of Crockpot Turkey Chili. Throw all the ingredients in the crockpot after lunch, and you’ll have a simple but tasty meal ready by dinner!

All you need is:

  • 2 Cans Chili Beans
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Shredded Turkey
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Package of Chili Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

Combine in crockpot and let cook for 4-6 hours on high.

***After you’ve served this delicious chili, your crockpot can clean itself! Use this awesome trick from Life Should Cost Less with water and vinegar to make clean up a breeze.***

Dinner

Mashed potatoes are a holiday staple. Don’t let traditional become boring.

 

dontbebland

Put a twist on this classic! You can read the recipe at Little Spice Jar, but it’s pretty simple. You’ll need your traditional mashed potato ingredients along with sour cream, garlic, and cheddar cheese. Serving these loaded mashed potatoes will be sure to please.

Dessert

Peanut Butter, Ritz, and Chocolate Sandwiches

(In my house, we called them Yummies!) For those of you who would rather spend time socializing than over the stove, these are for you! These no-bake sandwich cookies are quick and easy to make.

Spread. Melt. Dip. Dry. That’s it.

All you need to do is spread your choice of peanut butter between two Ritz crackers, melt chocolate as directed, and cover the sandwiches completely with melted chocolate. Then, set out on wax paper to harden.

You can eat them as is, but if you prefer, you can get a little more creative by adding sprinkles or making edible characters like they did over at Something Swanky!

***Careful! Chocolate is yummy, but can make a mess. Chocolate is much easier to clean up while it is melted than after it hardens. Be sure to use hot water to keep the chocolate from hardening while you are trying to rinse the bowl. ***

Decorative Delights

Whether its for a class party, a pot luck meal, or the dessert table at the family gathering, you can impress and entertain with a decorative dessert. We couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are several ideas!

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Call us today!

We can’t help you with cooking, but we can help you with prepping your kitchen and cleaning up afterward.  Remember, there is less than 2 weeks until Christmas! Call us today at 541-601-6263 to schedule your appointment or grab a gift certificate for someone you love.

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5 Tools to Remove Stress from the Holidays


flowers-983897_1920The key to a successful holiday is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it’s going to take. Consider these 5 Tools to Remove Stress from the Holidays.  


1. Allergy-Free Treats For Kids (Or Adults!)

Allergy -free treatsVia Taste of Home

No matter the course, crowd or allergy concerns, these allergy-free recipe ideas will help keep your sanity and make your guests feel welcome.  —> CLICK HERE


2. 10 Chef-Approved Solutions to Common Holiday Fails

turkey-caraway-butterVia Real Simple

Real Simple addresses common problems for holiday meals: cold mashed potatoes, too sweet yams, dry turkey, and more in these 10 Chef approved solutions. —–> CLICK HERE


3. Delegate!

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Hosting the big holiday meal doesn’t have to mean you have to do everything! Consider throwing a potluck. Not only does this spread the work around, but it also allows other people to share in the culinary glory. Take them up on their offer: “What can I do to help?”  Ask your friends to bring something to share or help with set up or clean up. Best of all, other cooks can introduce you to their specialties, which might then become new traditions in your home.

4. Stress-Free Kitchen Cleaning

DSC_3279The kitchen is usually the hub of the home and with a few key quick cleaning fixes you can keep this room Stress-Free.

  • Clean range or stove top, surfaces, and grates.
  • Clean out the refrigerator before the big meal, making room for party foods.
  • Clean and shine kitchen sink.
  • Wipe down all large and small appliances.
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets.
  • Create space in the kitchen for holiday entertaining by filling a box with kitchen items you won’t be using and moving it elsewhere. Now you have room for the holiday serving dishes, punch bowl, silver, and other items you’ll be using during the holidays.

5. Freshen Up Naturally

lavender-field-1410156Freshen your home with herbs like lavender and chamomile. Fill a spray bottle with 20 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 teaspoon vodka and water to create a linen spray. Lavender is known to reduce stress, promote calm and aide in relaxation. Mist bed linens, lamp shades, shower curtains and drapes. Grind up lavender and chamomile with baking soda in a food processor to sprinkle on rugs and carpets to remove odor. Just leave overnight and vacuum the next day.

*** Bonus Holiday Cleaning Tip:  choose essential oils in holiday scents, like peppermint or pine, to spray sofas and drapes other living spaces.

Have A Great Stress-Free Holiday Tip? Share it in the comments below!

 

Want more holiday de-stressing tips?

9 More Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season

tea-party-1326815Via Pop Sugar

Make sure you enjoy the holidays. Follow these additional 9 tips for removing stress from your holiday experience. —> CLICK HERE

Roadmap to a Perfect Fall Party


thanksgiving
The Perfect Fall Party…

…is just around the corner. Being a great host can become overwhelming without a few tricks up your sleeve. Follow the steps on this roadmap, and your fall dinner party will be the one that everyone will be talking about.

Step 1. Cleaning Tips for a Party-Ready House


When you’re making your party to-do list, add “Clean the house” near the top, but don’t think of it as a chore. Organize the tasks into easily achievable components. With a little planning, cleaning the house for a party is so simple, you’ll be tempted to use these hints for your regular cleaning routine.

  • Use household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth to give bathroom surfaces a quick shine. Pay attention to water spots and residue on the faucet and liquid soap dispenser. Hide toiletries and countertop clutter in an out-of-the-way spot.
  • Clean bathroom mirrors. A sparkling mirror reflects the light and makes everything brighter.
  • Use a damp towel with water and vinegar to clean the kitchen and bathroom floor.
  • Apply toilet bowl cleaner, and give the toilets a quick brushing.
  • Hang fresh hand towels in the bathrooms. Put out fresh hand soap or fill the liquid soap dispensers.
  • Vacuum the carpets and use a dust mop on hard-surface floors in your living spaces.
  • Fluff sofa cushions and pillows. Straighten stacks of magazines or books. Fold or arrange throws. Make sure tabletops are clear of clutter and dust-free.
  • Polish kitchen counters, faucets, and sinks with household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth.
  • Empty the trash from the containers throughout the house. Wipe off the outsides of your trash receptacles. Insert clean liners. This simple detail makes the kitchen and all your guest spaces feel fresher.
  • Set up your party area. Arrange fresh flowers. Light candles. Turn on music. Set up your food and beverage stations. Finish food preparation.

Step 2. The Theme

Developing a Visual Theme is the fun part of event planning. Use it as your guide for all decisions from invitations to party favors. Need some inspiration?  Click Here for Fun Fall Party Themes.


Step 3. The Centerpiece

CC-fall-centerpiece

-beautiful-compositionYou don’t have to go over-the-top to create a stunning scene. You can  enhance standard grocery store bouquets of roses or mums with a few natural elements like feathers and dried wheat. Hurricane lanterns are another great option for outdoor dinners. They add light for function, glow for ambiance, and their shape and size make them practical in windy settings. For some centerpiece inspiration Check out –> Jentatertots 19 Gorgeous Fall Centerpieces!!


 

Step 4. The Drinks

 

Pair a fun, seasonal beverage with your meal or appetizer. There’s nothing like warm, spicy apple cider to break the ice when you’re entertaining on a chilly day. It’s a timely and tasty choice! Recipe –> Hot Spiced Cider

Pumpkin-Pie-Whipped-Cream-Martini-Recipe

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. You could try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree, and rosemary. Find out how to make –> 7 different pumpkin martinis!


 

Step 5. The Appetizer

Caramelized-Butternut-Squash-and-Gorgonzola-Crostini-5-682x1024

via wisconsin cheese talk

Welcome guests with a snack, like a rustic cheese board. Try these three for a start: blue cheese, apricot Stilton, and pepper-crusted Brie. “I serve them with a fresh sliced baguette, dried cranberries, apricots, and cashews. I also love including an organic honey to complement the blue cheese. Look to –> The Kitchn for some new ideas for cheese platters.

fall-foodAlso Check out >>Food Networks Appetizers for Fall Parties << and start your guests off with seasonal appetizers that complement crisp weather, like cheesy small bites, crisp rosemary chips and more.

Step 6. The Perfect DIY Party Favors!

apples-popcorn-038-md109198_vertVia Martha Stewart

If you plan on giving out a party favor, we advise choosing something cheap, but useful or consumable. Martha’s go-to gift for autumn? Caramel apples. –> Recipe: Caramel Apples


Step 7. DIY Photo Booth

via Simple Booth
Create the look and fun of an old school photo booth with an iPad, fun apps and a few props. Try mounting an iPad mounted  with a photo booth app fed images directly to a printer.

 

Some apps also allow you to instantly upload and share your photo strips on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Props, such as masks and mustaches, can be downloaded online and printed at home. Just attach them to dowels or other long items. You can buy packages of props that are ready to go from many online outlets including Amazon. Etsy is a nice source for printables.

Here are a few apps to choose from:

Remember to relax and have fun. Make sure you’re having a good time at your autumn fête, and your guests will, too! 

Here’s to a chill in the air, falling leaves, and Autumn parties that delight the senses!