May 4, 2015


Lowdown on Cosmetic Expiration Dates

Did you know that cosmetics expire? While you’re spring-cleaning your home, grab your makeup bag and give it a little revamp. Since cosmetics have a shelf life, it’s important to keep track of the date that you opened the cosmetic since the product likely sat on the shelf for a short period before you purchased it. Apply a small sticker with the date to the bottom of the product so you can keep track of this easily.

*If there is an expiration date on the item, make sure you discard the product once this date has been reached regardless of these suggestions. Once the item is open, you can use these guidelines to make sure you haven’t past their life expectancy.

General period after opening is:

  • Perfumes – up to 3 years
  • Powders (blush, powder eye shadow) – 1 to 3 years
  • Foundation in a jar or a cream powder – 1 to 3 years
  • Lipstick and lip gloss – 1 year
  • Pencil Liners (Eye and Lip) – about 1 year
  • Solid eyeliner and eyebrow pencil – from 6 to 8 months
  • Liquid eyeliner – from 3 to 4 months
  • Mascara – 3-6 months
  • Bronzer – 6 months

Note that natural and organic cosmetics do not include preservatives. These products can be stored up to 6 months after opening.

If you notice any changes in the product, such as consistency, color, or smell, discard the product immediately. Don’t try and “revive” old products as this can affect the safety of the item. While some changes in consistency just mean that the product will not perform at its best, some changes can result in skin irritations or infections. Once you have tossed out any expired products, turn your makeup bag inside out and toss it in the washing machine with your dark clothing. Allow it to air dry and then put everything back inside, wiping the outside of each item with a rag to remove any powder or dust.

Your makeup bag is now officially spring-cleaned… Now give us a call at (707) 759-3896, and let us tackle the rest of the house!


Four Unique Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

April 14, 2015


Treating mom on that special Sunday in May is a small way to say thanks for all the wonderful things she’s done for you all year. If you’re once again stumped for a gift that will make her feel loved and appreciated, we’ve got four unique ideas for making mom happy:

1.) Birthstone Bracelet-What mom could resist a beautiful bracelet adorned with her children’s birthstones? An affordable but thoughtful gift idea, this piece of jewelry will be something for mom to treasure for years to come.

2.) Chef Delivery-While these recipes still require prep, the folks at Blue Apron have taken the guesswork out of mealtime and provide fresh ingredients and ideas delivered to your door. Mom will appreciate a vacation from planning and shopping for meals.

3.) Maid Service-Nothing makes mom feel more relaxed than a break from the usual duties of cleaning and caring for the home. A maid service can provide deep or light cleaning services just in time for mom’s day. Contact us at: 707-759-3896 or learn more about our service offerings here.

4.) Scrapbook-Designing a scrapbook is a terrific way to personalize a gift to mom and make her feel warm and fuzzy. Add tons of family photos, stickers and finish with a poem or loving note.

Still not sure what to get mom? Check out these Pinterest boards for fresh ideas and inspiration!
Inspiring Mother’s Day Gifts, Mother’s Day Gift Ideas and Cards: Mother’s Day Cards & Gift Ideas

Merge your Cleaning Routine with your Workout Routine

April 6, 2015


Here in 2015, time is valuable. As a society, we are always looking for ways to kill 2 birds with one stone, and get things done faster and more efficiently.

Here’s how you can save a few minutes every day by getting your workout as you clean your house.

1. Turn up the jams. Recent studies have revealed that loud music that is at least 120 beats per minute can increase the speed at which you exercise. This works the same for cleaning, plus you can accomplish much more in less time when you’re mood has been boosted by awesome tunes.

2. No matter what you’re doing, flex. Whether you are sweeping, vacuuming, or dusting your house, concentrate on flexing muscle groups as you clean. Test yourself to see if you can keep them flexed the whole time you do each task.

3. Vacuum everything weekly. Your floors gather tons of dust just through regular use, but your couch cushions, drapes, and blinds could also use a quick swipe. The back and forth motion is great for your arms and your abs.

4. If you need to get to hard to reach spaces as you go through the house, flex your ab muscles and squat instead of bending to maximize your efforts.

5. As you clean your shower walls, use large, sweeping movements instead of wiping in small circles. Always keep your arms flexed to keep those muscles awake.

6. Make things harder for yourself. Instead of leaving things in a pile at the bottom of the stairs to be taken up all at once, take items up one at a time. Or, consider cleaning one room upstairs and then one room downstairs and running back and forth. As you go up and down the stairs, do so quickly so that your heart rate doesn’t lose momentum.

7. While you wash dishes at your sink, do calf raises. Go up on your toes, hold for 5-10 seconds, and slowly come back down. Do these continuously until the load of dishes is finished.

Do you workout while you clean? What’s your favorite cleaning workout?

Spring Cleaning Week is March 19 – March 24

March 19, 2015


Spring Cleaning Week is March 19 – March 24 Wahoo! Let’s begin your spring-cleaning adventure with these 6 steps.

Step 1: Inside Appliances
The inside of the refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher have really taken a hit during the past few dreary winter months. It’s time to give them a little pick-me-up! Baking soda is actually a fantastic cleaner for all of these. Not only will it scrub away any stuck-on food, but it will also work hard to deodorize. A double whammy!

Step 2: Inside Cabinets and Pantry
While it’s important to wipe down all of the shelves in your cabinets and pantry, this is also a great time to purge expired items, give away mismatched or unused dishes, and bring a box of non-perishables and canned goods to a local charity.

Step 3: Highs and Lows
When wiping down these areas, you are going to want to work from top to bottom. Start with the highest area, usually the top of doorframes or the top of cabinets. Once the high areas are taken care of, clean any windows, wipe down the doors, and give the baseboards a quick swipe.

Step 4: Outside Appliances and Fronts of Cabinets
While you most likely clean smudges from the front of your dishwasher on a regular basis, you probably don’t get to those unseen areas like the top and sides of your refrigerator. With a wet rag, wipe down all of these areas. You can make a mixture of vinegar, water, and a mild dish detergent if you need a little more “oomph.”

Step 5: Counter tops and Sink
This is a great time to move everything off of your countertops (including microwave and all small appliances) and give everything a good scrub. As you put each item back, wipe with a wet rag and dry thoroughly. Then, clean in and around your sink, and wipe down your faucet.

Step 6: Floors
Now that everything in your kitchen is spic and span, it’s time to finish up with those floors. I’m a huge fan of vacuuming with a hard floor attachment. If you normally wet-mop your floors, this is a great time to give your floors an old-fashioned mop and bucket scrub.

Need some help keeping things maintained throughout the year? Give Solano Maids a call today! (707) 759-3896

Homemade Beauty and Body Gifts for Girlfriends

March 14, 2015

Whether you’re hosting a party and are looking for some unique favor ideas or you just want to gift your girlfriends with a homemade and practical gift, these ideas for natural bath and body goodies will surely give them an excuse to indulge during bathtime. Don’t hesitate, try cooking up some of these DIY recipes for giving to your posse:


Homemade Bubble Bath

Source Julie Blanner

2/3rd cup liquid glycerin

1-cup clear unscented dish soap

10 drops of a favorite essential oil

Dried Lavender or Lavender essential oil

4 Tablespoons water

2 tsp. salt

Gently mix ingredients together. Find a pretty vintage bottle or glass container and pour all ingredients inside. Optional: add whole lavender stems to keep them solid during a soak.


Lavender Mint Sugar Scrub

Source Julie Blanner

¼ cup carrier oil (almond, grapeseed or olive)

½ cup of sugar

10 drops of spearmint essential oil

5 lavender heads

Mix all ingredients together. Find a cute clear jar with a screw top lid and add mix to the jar. Tie a ribbon or decorative tag around the jar lid for an accent.


Honey Sugar Lip Scrub

Source Hello Natural

2 teaspoons sugar (raw or regular will do)

1-teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon almond oil

Note: add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cayenne for a lip plumping effect

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Find a small jar with a twist off cap and place ingredients inside. Spread over lips and gently slough off dry and dead skin.

Coconut Body Butter

Source Hello Natural

½ cup shea butter

¼ cup coconut oil

Over a broiler or low heat, melt shea butter and coconut oil together. Refrigerate for one hour. Beat newly chilled mixture for five minutes and transfer body butter to a jar with a lid.

7 Ways to Streamline Your Laundry Routine

March 6, 2015

Whether your 5-year-old has a penchant for dressing up in multiple outfits a day or your beloved is a serial pajama rotator, there are ways to more efficiently and effectively manage all those clothing overflows. Here are our top seven tips for dealing with a serious load (pardon the pun) of laundry:

  1. Wash Day-Rather than wash clothing every single day, let it grow and reserve one day for washing all the socks, play clothes and towels that have piled up. On two other days, designate time for folding and hanging up clothes.
  2. Universal Detergent-Unless someone in your household has super sensitive skin, it’s fine to use the same detergent for adult and children clothing. Feel free to pre-treat spots with the same laundry stain remover as well.
  3. Kids vs. Adults-Separate clothing into kids and adult clothing for washing, it will be faster and easier to organize and sort. It also helps to have kid and adult laundry piles for putting away.
  4. Wet Shake-If you shake out wet clothing after a round in the washing machine to catch last minute stains and prevent wrinkles.
  5. Sorter Wonder-Splurge on a laundry sorter to manage darks, whites and colors. This sorter will restore your sanity.
  6. Forget the Hampers-Kids’ laundry tends to accumulate by leaps and bounds and by the time it’s dumped from the hamper into the laundry room, the pile is huge. Rather than let it collect, have laundry bins that kids can use directly situated in the laundry room, and then it will be easier to see the amount of laundry that is ready and waiting to be done.

Brighten It Up-There are many great resources and blogs for finding more tips on streamlining your laundry routine but remember to keep the laundry room inviting and the laundry war will be an easier fight. Try photographs or fun decals, decor or wall art.

5 Housekeeping Goals and Super Easy Ways to Achieve Them

February 28, 2015

If every year you start out January with good intentions of cleaning, sorting and donating all your old and unwanted items, but then find yourself losing momentum in March, you’re not alone! Many people adhere to resolutions only for a short time. It’s often a better strategy to set realistic and firm goals in order to keep your resolutions. Here are five common housekeeping goals and ways to keep them this year:


1.) Trimming Your Cleaning Budget-There are many ways to stretch your dollars and cents, the best thing to do is to find ways to not spend a lot on products and tools. There are countless recipes for creating homemade cleaning solutions available for free online. Another smart strategy? Look for giveaways, coupons and freebies online. Check here for information on current contests and promotions that are available for entering. Prizes include money, grocery cash and vacations.


2.) Speedier Cleaning-Crank up your favorite Beyoncé song or rock out to Maroon 5. Cleaning can be made more speedy and enjoyable if you add music to the mix. Other top tips? Clean your least favorite room first, keep cleaning supplies grouped together and don’t let messes pile up. Daily dishes are a lot easier to manage than a week’s worth of plates and utensils.


3.) Clutter Cutbacks-Hoarding is the enemy of a clean home. If you are a clutter bug and love your papers, collectibles and books, you’re more likely to live in a messy dwelling. If you can reduce your mountains of miscellaneous, you’ll have more cleaning energy and space for new things. Remember that stuff begets stuff.


4.) Managing Fledgling Motivation-If you can’t seem to get motivated to keep your house clean, have a standing dinner party-hosting gig. No one wants guests to see a messy and mismanaged home. If you’ve got a regular social date with friends at your house, you’ll be forced to keep things neat and tidy.

5.) Enlist Everyone

A clean house involves contributions from all members. Whether you have a weekly family meeting or chore charts, it’s important to make each member of the house feel valuable and accountable. Teaching everyone responsibility will ensure that a home stays clean. When all the family members are pitching in, a home will be effortless to keep clean.

Get the Dish: 8 Quick Tips on How to Load Your Dishwasher

February 24, 2015

If you’ve ever lived without a dishwasher, you know the praise and adoration you should have for this mighty home appliance. Not only does it save considerable time, it can even be used to sterilize makeup brushes and toothbrushes, clean baseball caps and wash the skin on dirty potatoes.


And if you’re not looking to scrub that Yankees cap clean or degunk your blush brush, here are some other tips for maximizing your dishwasher’s potential:


1.) Dishes and plates should face toward the center sprayer.


2.) Glasses should go between the dishwasher prongs and not over them.


3.) Always scrape plates thoroughly rather than soak or rinse.


4.) Load forks, spoons and knives with some handles facing up and others down so they don’t block one another.


5.) Place larger dishes and oversized pans towards the back of the washer so they don’t crowd the detergent chamber.


6.) Place fragile glassware on the top rack to keep them free from the intensity of the bottom sprayer.


7.) Try threading larger and longer utensils like baking spoons and spatulas through coffee mugs handles to keep them secure during the wash cycle.


8.) Stack bowls on a downward incline so they can be properly cleaned and keep items like Tupperware or plastics on the top rack (this will prevent warping).


Interested in creating your own dishwasher soap? Follow this quick and easy DIY Recipe


5 Reasons to Free Your Wife from Housework

February 20, 2015

Arguments about cleaning and the division of household chores can cause tension and strife in an otherwise happy relationship. Women are still the ones doing the majority of housework and are often relegated to a ‘second shift’ of cleaning and errands even after they’ve gotten off work. While there are many families with men and women both actively participating in running the household, studies have found that men have more leisure and ‘me time’ than their wife/mom counterparts. If you’d like the woman in your life to enjoy more time to herself, here are 5 concrete reasons to let her spend more time free of housework:


1.) Less Stress

When your wife is able to enjoy a glass of wine and a good book or a spa day or even have time for a special girls day out, she’ll feel more energized and excited about life. A wife that is less stressed and burdened will radiate more calm and her household will be more blissful. Don’t let overwhelming housework tasks cause strain and stress on your relationship.


2.) Happier Union

Marriages are stronger when a family has time to spend together. Whether it’s going to the zoo or having a dinner outside the home, marriages blossom and flourish when there is time for activities. If your wife is always busy and preoccupied with dishes, vacuuming, washing windows and dusting, there will be less time for family bonding.


3.) Healthier Partners

If your wife has more time to go to the rec center for her favorite fitness class or prepare healthier meals, she’ll have a fitter physical self and more longevity. With less cleaning to be accomplished, she’ll feel free to take a long walk outside or go to that new yoga studio down the street and her mind and body will benefit.


4.) Attitude Adjustment

When your wife is beleaguered and bogged down with household chores in addition to being the momager of the household, she feels constant stress and pressure and loses her optimism. No one wants to spend all their free time cleaning and organizing. When your wife or partner is free from household obligations, she’ll feel lighter and cheerier.


5.) Passion Party

When your wife is absolved from the myriad of cleaning responsibilities of every day life, she’ll have more time for rest, relaxation and be more inclined to being amorous. If your ladylove is liberated from daily chores, she’ll have more free time to spend in the bedroom. 😉

5 Reasons Why You Should Say “Yes” More Often

February 16, 2015

Saying, “No” is so easy because it keeps you in your comfort zone.  If you never take any risks, you will never experience the rewards.


Here are 5 reasons why you should nix the “Nos” and just say, “Yes”!


  1. It enhances your personal relationships. Whether that means meeting new and interesting people, or enhancing existing friendships, this one little word can have a huge impact on the way you live your life.  Saying, “Yes” can even enhance your romantic relationship.  Having your own hobbies is great, but you learn new things about each other when you try new things together.


  1.  It opens doors.  (Saying “Yes” gets you out of the house!)  Plus, every time you say “Yes” to something that you would normally say “No” to, you give yourself an opportunity to enrich your life.  You can gain a skill, find a new hobby, or just experience something new and different.


  1. 3. It boosts your confidence and self-worth.  Saying, “Yes” when someone asks you to try something new gives you an opportunity to find something new that you’re good at.  When you do something outside of your comfort zone, it lets you see another side of yourself.  The fun, adventurous side that you never even knew existed!


  1.  It provides momentum for your life to move forward.  “If we always do what we’ve always done, we will always get what we’ve always gotten.”  Let’s face it.  Life is moving and changing all the time.  If you’re standing still, the world is going to move on without you.  We all know you’ve changed at least a little over the years, unless you’re still rocking the blue eye shadow and crimped hair.  (Which is a case when it’s actually okay to say, “No.”)


  1. Saying, “Yes” pummels regret.  We’ve all heard the saying “When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.”  This is so true.  While saying, “Yes” isn’t always going to lead to a wonderful outcome; it does prevent you from wondering what might have happened.


Pay attention to the way your mouth naturally forms a smile when you say the word, “Yes.”  Coincidence?  I think not!