Thursday3Some: 3 Tips for Productivity

Want to be more productive? Try these 3 tips.

1. Start the day with a protein breakfast designed to give you more energy.

For energy and brain power always go for protein like a couple of scrambled eggs and some stir-fried dark greens like spinach or  mustard greens. (Kale if you like it, which I don't. *g*)  For more protein power, add a few chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds of your choice.

2. Work under bright white light when you need to be your most productive, and when you need to be creative and a problem-solver, go for blue-tinted lights.

You probably can't change the overhead lighting, but you can buy a cheap desk lamp and a blue bulb.

3. Focus on one task at a time instead of trying to multi-task.

Studies have shown that people are actually less efficient when they're trying to multi-task. Instead, focus your attention on one task at a time. Set your cell phone alarm for 20 to 40 minutes, whatever block of time you have, and work only on one thing. Take a break and do other tasks for a small block of time then go back to the one task you needed to focus on. You'll be surprised how quickly you can get that one thing done, and you won't feel stressed out either!

Takeaway Truth

There are many tricks to getting the most out of your time and energy. These 3 work. Give them a try.

Review: Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks

If you're a martial arts movie fan—and I confess I'm one—you must watch Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks.

Directed by Serge Ou and co-written by the director and Grady Hendrix, this is a must see for anyone who wants to see the origins of today's action thrillers.

Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, currently on Netflix, is a history of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, but it's not just that.

In case you don't know, those movies had a worldwide influence on popular culture and on movie-making.

Make no mistake, the low-budget movies had a lasting effect on the public consciousness in just about every country.

You may not know the names of most of the Asian actors and actresses, but you and everyone else in the world knows the name Bruce Lee. You may not know how to do a knife-hand strike, but you know the names of the different kinds of martial arts, i.e., karate, hapkido, kung fu, judo, taekwondo, etc. 

Production Details

Production company: Wildbear Entertainment
Director: Serge Ou
Screenwriters: Serge Ou, Grady Hendrix
Producer: Veronica Fury
Cinematographer: Geoff Ellis
Editor: Chris Bamford
Music: Rajan Kamahl

The "Cast"

Seen in interviews and in film clips are current martial artists and virtually all of the men and women who made those early martial arts movies.

Yes, women martial artists were hugely popular long before any Hollywood actress was portrayed as strong and invincible.

Of course, the amazing Bruce Lee is seen as well as a young Jackie Chan and a hat is tipped to Keanu Reeves.

Featured are Scott Adkins, Jessica Henwick, JuJu Chan, Amy Johnston, Cecep Arif Rahman as Rafael, Andre Morgan, Grady Hendrix, Ross Boyask, Mike Leeder, Mickey Facchinello, James Young, Jade Leung, and so many others.

Why I'm a Fan

I learned to love martial arts films when I lived in Japan. That was in the heyday of martial arts movies.

I watched old ones on television even though I didn't have a clue as to what they were saying. The action spoke for itself.

The only thing like those films was the 1971 American movie, Billy Jack, starring Tom Laughlin.

Billy Jack, about a Vietnam war veteran, was the hottest topic anywhere. It was the first enormously popular and financially successful independent film.

It was also the first western movie I can remember that showed a westerner who knew martial arts—Billy Jack was supposed to be a master of hapkido.

The movie also featured a protest song from the 1960's that was a huge hit, "One Tin Soldier" by Coven, The song fit the film's message perfectly.

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
an entire album of different versions

In 1972, Carl Douglas released the song, "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting."

Loved, loved, loved it—and so did the rest of the world where I lived. The local "American" radio station played it, and so did the Japanese stations. (The link goes to an anniversary edition with 16 different versions of the song!)

Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks pays homage to those who made the kung fu movies. It was a cultural phenomenon that swept the world and inspired men and women to study martial arts, and inspired movie makers to try to make their own version of this genre. I loved this film.

Takeaway Truth

To gain a perspective on why martial arts films from Hong Kong influenced what comes from Hollywood—even today—watch Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks. If you're not a Netflix subscriber, you can stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

Inside Poets & Writers Email Newsletter

If you're into general fiction and nonfiction, poetry, "writer in residence" programs, and contests, you should subscribe to Poets & Writers Email Newsletter.

Their email newsletter gives you a taste of what their wonderful subscription magazine is like.

As I read the latest email newsletter, I realized what a resource they were for writers. This week's update included at list of more than 200 conferences and residence programs. A link is given so you can browse their data base.

In this week's newsletter, there were calls for contest entries, features on authors and reading groups, and ads for writing jobs. In the spotlight is mystery author Dana Stabenow's new Writer in Residence program in her home state of Alaska.

Takeaway Truth

Even though I write genre fiction, I always read Poets & Writers email newsletter. It makes me feel connected to the world of writers, much as The Authors Guild and Romance Writers of America do.

Graphic Design: What Quozio Can Do

Today I have a free online app that makes attractive "Quote" Signs.

A Quote Sign is what I call text on a colorful background that can be saved as a JPG image.

You can make a Quote Sign from a sentence in a book, a promotion tagline, a web address, a quotation, your book title, or any text you choose.

Quozio calls these graphics Bookmarklets.

Use these graphics on social media or in email. You can use it as a background with your book cover if you wish.

You can see the ones I created earlier to illustrate this post. They were super easy, and I think they're attractive too.

Promotion for Cinderella Blue

Instructions for Quozio, an app that turns your words into attractive JPG images, appear on the home page when you visit the website.

The home page is also the form to use to create your Bookmarklet or Quote Sign.

Just fill in the form and click GO. In seconds, your sign is created.

Then scroll through the background images to find the one you want to go with your text. Select it.

In seconds, the Bookmarklet is completed. Share them on any social media, in email, or any place you'd use a graphic.

How to Get Started

It's easy to get started, and it's free.

You can register an account if you want to, but you don't have to do so in order to use this app.

When you visit the app, you can just type in your quote and the author of the quote. If the words are yours, put your name down as author. In seconds, your Bookmarklet is created.

Next, scroll horizontally through the available background images to find the one you like. Select it, and in seconds your quote appears with the selected background.
Promotion for Cinderella Blue

After it's "made" once, you can click through all the background images and see how your text looks with the others.

Choices are limited, but free is free so I'm not complaining.

When it looks just the way you want, right click on the image, select View Image then select Save Image and select the place on your computer where you wish to save it. That's all there is to it!

Even though this is free, use good online manners and thank them by liking them on Facebook and on the other social media pages they list.

Let me know if you like this app.

Why Create an Account?

If you want to create an account, you can save the quotes you create on the user dashboard and upload quotes straight to your Facebook page, etc.

You can also drag a Quozio tool called Bookmarklet to your browser toolbar.

You can use the Bookmarklet tool to create Quote Signs from any text you highlight online.

Just be careful that you don't use any copyrighted material without permission.

Visit Quozio on Facebook. Visit Quozio on Pinterest.

Takeaway Truth

I scour the internet looking for apps for my blog readers—authors and "civilians"—to use.

This one was really easy, and best of all, free for business or personal use.

Alexa Skill: How Many Days

Last week, I blogged about the Alexa Skill, Get Me Up, which I'd added to my Alexa devices.

Review: Get Me Up

4 Stars posted on the skill's webpage.

I was surprised but this did get me up and get me moving.

My suggestion would be for her voice to get louder every time she tells me to get up. *LOL* I'll be using it every day for a while.

In fact, if I could tailor the skill to tell me: "Go to your office and write 1,000 words then report back to me!" it would be even better.

Yes, I've got so much Life crap going on that I give in to my tiredness which in great part is a lack of emotional energy as much as physical energy. So I need prompting.

If you tried Get Me Up, what did you think of it?

This Week's Alexa Skill: How Many Days

Category: Productivity.

This skill is a countdown to a specific date. Developed by Racyli, this is a new Alexa Skill so there are no reviews. I'll post a review here on SlingWords next Sunday and also on the skill's webpage.

Free to enable. Open the skill as usual, by saying: "Alexa, open how many days." or "Alexa, start how many days."

You'll set the target date, and Alexa will automatically tell you how many days remain until your upcoming event.

(This skill was created using a Skill Blueprint. Your requests to this skill are not shared with the skill developer.)

Takeaway Truth

Free is good if the free item is effective. Check back next week to see what I thought about How Many Days.

Saturday Share: Lemon Sauce Recipe

Last week, I blogged on Smart Girls Read Romance about my Best Lemon Harvest Ever.

Darling Hubby and I had harvested a few dozen lemons from our tree in the backyard.

In that post, I gave my recipe for Fake Lemon Souffle.

A Reader asked, in Comments, if I had a recipe for Lemon Sauce. I did. In fact, if we want anything sweet, I make it at home so I control the ingredients.

That way, everything in what I make is a natural ingredient and not a bunch of chemicals that I can't pronounce which is what you'll find in cake mixes and other convenience foods from the supermarket.

I told the Reader that I'd publish my recipe today on SlingWords.So, for her, and anyone else who likes lemony desserts, here's my recipe for...

Lemon Dessert Sauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • a pinch of salt (about an eighth teaspoon)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (not that bottled stuff!!)
Note: If you don't want a strong lemon taste, use only 3 tablespoons of juice.

  • In a large saucepan, use a large whisk to stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Slowly whisk in the cup of boiling water, taking care not to splash it onto you.
  • When totally combined, simmer the sauce over low heat until it thickens.
  • Stir frequently to keep it from scorching.
  • When thickened and glossy, remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Serve warm over my Fake Lemon Souffle, pound cake, crispy waffles, crepes, or anything else you can think of.
  • Refrigerate any leftover sauce. When you wish to serve again, heat the sauce either in a pan or in the microwave.
Takeaway Truth

Back in the day when my Mom and other women of her generation cooked everything from scratch, it was common to have such sauces stored in the refrigerator, ready to be reheated and served with pound cake when company dropped in for coffee.

Need Website? Meet Janz Nordman & BestCloudTools

My guest today is web developer and designer, Janz Nordman, the man behind BestCloudTools.

About Janz Nordman

Janz describes himself as the  passionate man behind Best Cloud Tools.

He's a web developer and designer with a university degree and over a decade of professional experience collaborating with different IT international corporations.

A couple of years ago, he decided to move over to the freelance world for the same reason most of us do: to have a more rational distribution of his work and his private life.

According to Janz

I'm passionate about traveling, and as my latest hobby, I am addicted to windsurfing.

Since my teenage years, I have loved to read and watch thrillers. My favorite author still is Lee Child, with his Jack Reacher series. I find his character quite impressive—a straightforward and robust attitude mixed with deeply hidden sorrow.

What Is BestCloudTools?

I have experienced thousands of situations where people barely familiar with the IT world managed to overcome fundamental and not-so-basic IT-related challenges.

Therefore, I have set up Best Cloud Tools, an expert site for website builders, e-commerce builders, and a bunch of other cloud tools.

Website builders save time, money, and energy. They simplify the creation process and make IT site management more effortless.

No Programming Skills? No Problem!

I've designed a couple of comprehensive guides to help you set up your website even if you have no technical or programming skills. As a result, building a website or an online store doesn’t have to be a scary task. With the right tool, you can set up your site and have it running quickly and smoothly.

With my reviews and manuals, you can pick the suitable web host, choose the domain name, set up a website or online store with the right builder, write a blog, check all the essential website features, speed and secure your site with Cloudflare for traffic increase and enhance your Wordpress site performance with the right plugins.

What Can Janz Do For You?

Today, as a freelance web developer, I can dedicate my time and use my knowledge to help people make choices that will ultimately mean the best solutions.

Working along with me, I enjoy the help of the experienced team to keep this site up to date and running.

Contact me if you have questions or comments or concerns. Any feedback on how to improve this website and make it more useful for people is more than welcome.

Email Janz Nordman: janz.nordman @ (remove spaces of course.) or contact him on Facebook.

Takeaway Truth

Building a website or installing plugins and other technical matters can be frustrating and time-consuming, with a steep learning curve. It just makes sense to get qualified help.

Review: The Boyfriend School, the Movie

I was delighted to see that this 1990 movie was added to Amazon Prime.

What pleased me even more was that they retitled the movie. Originally, the title had been Don't Tell Her It's Me.

Now, the movie bears the name of the book on which it was based, The Boyfriend School by Sarah Bird.

Ms. Bird, who wrote 5 books for Silhouette Special Edition under the name Tory Cates, adapted the book for the movie and wrote the screenplay.

I always thought the original title of this story was the better title.

The book is a little different from the movie of course. If you'd like to read The Boyfriend School, you'll find it on Amazon in several editions.

About the Movie

Painfully boring Gus isn't exactly ladies' man material—at least not until his meddling romance writer sister makes him the buff and bronzed main character in the romantic fantasies of his dream girl, Emily.

Okay, that's the blurb on the webpage. This is what it doesn't tell you.

Gus is a cancer survivor, but shows the effects of the battle. He's hairless, bloated, and painfully aware of how he must look to women. Time and the return of normalcy will fix that, but he's already met Emily, the woman he wants. She wasn't impressed.

Gus has a secret weapon—his sister who is a famous romance author. She knows how to make Emily fall in love with Gus who is sweet, sensitive, and ready for love.

What follows is a movie that pokes fun of the romance genre, but not cruelly. As a romance author, I laughed and loved it. My daughter did too. She names it as one of her favorite romantic comedies.

Does Gus get the girl? Well, does a romance novel end with happily ever after?

Starring Jami Gertz as Emily (name was Gretchen in the book), Steve Guttenberg as Gus, and Shelley Long as the world-renowned Romance Author.

Takeaway Truth

If you have Prime, watch this movie. If you don't have Prime, rent or buy it. It's a delight.

Romance Gems Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

I can hardly believe February marks the 1 Year Anniversary of Romance Gems which I started along with 22 author friends.

It's been fun but hard work and taken a lot of energy, but with all of us pulling together, we've made Romance Gems a success.

Just about every day we talk about books, reading, writing, family, friends, food, coffee, pets, love, and romance. I invite you to visit us and join the conversation. I also invite you to enter the giveaways.

We held a promotion every month and Nancy Fraser, who is in charge of the Monthly Giveaways, gave some statistics this month that I'd like to share.

"Over the course of the year, we’ve had 340 posts, over 5,000 comments, over 21,500 Rafflecopter entries and given away over one hundred books and more than $450 in Amazon Gifts and prizes, including a Kindle e-Reader."

Celebrating One Year of Romance

Visit Romance Gems in February as we celebrate our one-year anniversary.

Share your leisure time with a great group of authors and join the conversation.

Be sure to enter the Monthly Giveaway .

Shop the Valentine Book Fair, and tell your friends about Romance Gems—our Authors, our books, our blog posts, and our monthly giveaways.

February Giveaway Details

Ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 29th.

February Prizes

Grand Prize: $20.00 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize: $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

3rd Prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

4th Prize: $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Takeaway Truth

Best of luck to everyone!

13 Good Reasons to Read

I think the saddest words I hear is when someone says, "I don't like to read."

I'm polite. I hide my astonishment, and keep my mouth shut even though I want to ask, "Why on earth not?"

Mark Twain said, "A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read."

If you can read but don't, you need to start. Allow me to give you a baker's dozen of reasons to read.

13 Good Reasons to Read

1. Reading can help prevent Alzheimer's. It's true. Brain research shows reading helps keep your brain healthy.

2. Reading helps you learn new facts and increases your store of knowledge. I think of it this way: Learn something new every day and keep dementia away. 

3. Reading helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and relax you.

4. Reading increases your vocabulary. You'll sound smarter because you'll be smarter.

5. Reading enhances your analytical ability.

6. Reading enhances your conversation skills. When you read, you're more likely to have something to say to others.

7. Reading enhances your memory.

8. Reading fiction helps increase your emotional intelligence.

9. Reading nonfiction helps you learn about people, places, things, specific subject matter, and so much more.

10. Readers are more likely to get ahead in their careers and be successful.

11. Reading is the least expensive form of entertainment.

12. Studies show that women perceive men who read as sexier than other men. (Honest! I'm not making this up.)

13. Readers seem to be more on top of important issues and more likely to vote, to take care of their health, and to be seen by others as more cultured.

Takeaway Truth

I can't think of one good reason not to read.

Alexa Skill: Get Me Up

Last week I gave you 3 Free Alexa Skills to add to your Alexa device's Flash Briefing. All 3 are designed to get you going in the morning.

Here's my review of those three.

The Pros

I liked the information from the WHO on the Corona virus, the positive thought for the day, and the organization tip.

The Cons

I'd forgotten how annoying the overly-loud intro music intro is for the Flash Briefing which is why I stopped using that each day.

It comes on loud enough to wake anyone sleeping. Darling Hubby didn't appreciate it at all!

I intended to check settings and see if that intro music could be changed.

Moving On: Get Me Up

Today I enabled Get Me Up, a free Alexa skill that continues the theme of "Get going in the morning."

Yes, in case you're wondering, I've been having a bit of difficulty in rising early. I blame it on the winter weather.

Using Get Me Up

Go to the Get Me Up webpage and enable the skill before trying to say "Get Me Up" to your Alexa device.

This skill is what you need if you're a little lazy or you're procrastinating and need to be productive.

Tell Alexa, "Get me up." She will try to help you be productive.

If you say, "No" or "I don't feel like it," she will keep trying to help you get up.

If you say, "Okay" or one of the Alexa stop words, the skill will stop.

Takeaway Truth

I'll let you know if this skill successfully got me up earlier so I was at my desk by sunrise.

Online Valentine Gifts = Love

Valentine's Day. Time to score romance points with your sweetheart. Oops! You forgot to order flowers, pick up some chocolates, and a little bling gift? No worries, online Valentine Gifts to the rescue!

Here are a few gifts you can buy online right now that she or he will love. Best of all, you'll have them in time for the big day.

Does your sweetheart love to read?

Give a Gift of Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans and the reader in your life can read, read, read! You can buy a 6 month, 9 month, or 12 month plan right now.

Listen on a cell phone, iPad, Kindle Fire, or other device. Speaking of Kindle Fire, you can get one as low as $49.99.

Give an Audible Gift Membership, and you both can listen to audio editions of the best in mystery, thriller, romance, horror, and more.

However, if you're not certain he or she will like audio books, give an  Audible Free Trial.

Give something you'll both enjoy, like the Gift of Amazon Prime. That way you can both enjoy music and some of the best TV series and movies being made today. Plus, you'll get free shipping on anything labeled "Prime."

Takeaway Truth

Happy Valentine's Day! Oh, and don't forget the chocolates. Every gift goes better with chocolate.

Free Ebook, My Valentine Gift to You

A Romance Novel is a yummy treat with NO calories. For Valentine's I'm giving away Kindle copies of Scents and Sensuality.

(The embedded link in the title takes you to your country's Kindle shop. The ebook should be free, but your Kindle shop may not offer that so check to make sure it's free before you click to buy.)

Normally priced at $3.99, SCENTS AND SENSUALITY is free until midnight Saturday, February 15, Pacific Standard Time.

A science nerd desperate for a date to her snooty cousin's wedding. A man desperate to put an end to his matchmaking mom's schemes. Let the games begin!

Review: "...a charming romance!" —NetGalley

Review: "Loved the book! Two Geeks who had multiple ups and downs before they truly found each other. Lots of action and humor." —Karren Lucas

Want a Shorter Read?
How about a romantic short story to put a smile on your face?

BLAME IT ON CHOCOLATE is only 99 cents.

Chloe Elliot was the town's good girl. She’d always lived a life above reproach. Truthfully, it really hadn’t been that difficult.

Until Hunter Cole returned to his home town. There was just something about the man that addled her brain and created havoc in her body.

Hunter Cole reckoned he had the best of all possible worlds. Life was perfect.

Until he dropped by the library to say hello to his best friend's little sister who wasn't so little any more. Just looking at her made his common sense evaporate.

Review: "Joan Reeves never disappoints with her sharp wit and great writing." —Caroline Clemmons

Not Just for Christmas

Stuck on the Naughty List is a great story for any day, not just Christmas, and it's only 99 cents.

A year ago, Cassie left Ben, the man she loved, so he could have the life he’d been groomed for since birth.

When she returns to her small home town for Christmas, she’s arrested on a trumped-up charge and taken downtown to the police station where she meets the new Chief of Police who may be the perfect man to mend her broken heart.

Review: "Joan is a master at setting the stage (aka Texas) with wonderful characters and places. Capitola comes alive for the reader, as do Cassie & Ben." —Ebookluver

Takeaway Truth

Thank you for reading SlingWords as well as my books. I appreciate each of you, and the emails many of you send.

If you like a book—mine or one by another author—please leave a review. We authors depend on reviews so other readers can find our books.

Pretend Post

Well, this is actually a post, but it's so short that I'll call it a pretend post. It's been a wickedly nasty weather week with too many appointments.

It may have been Charlie Brown who said: "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." Or it may have been the brain behind Charlie Brown, Charles M. Schulz.

In any case, I have love, but I could sure use some chocolate after the day I've had! Now, Google won't cooperate and open my image files on Blogger.

I don't think I've made a post without images since 2005!

Takeaway Truth

Be back tomorrow with a real post—with images!

3 Fun Image Generators for Book Promotion

There are some wonderful graphic image design websites like BookBrush, which I highly recommend.

If you're on a really tight budget, there are some free graphic image generators you should check out.

You can create some fun graphic images for book promotion with these online image generators.

They're very easy to use, and you usually don't have to create an account. Since they're free—really free, not just a trial period—no credit card is needed.

You can create some quirky images that may have a place in your marketing. I've created an image to go along with each link.

Street Party Sign

Put your book's title and your author name on a movie marquee with a street party!

Easy to do with this image generator from Atom Smasher.

Just fill in the 4 lines and click the Make My Sign button.

Newspaper Clipping Generator

Make the front page news with this Newspaper Clipping Generator from

Just fill in the boxes with the information you want to appear.

Click the Generate button. In less than a minute, you have a cute graphic image like the one I made.

Make as many as you want with different headlines and news stories.


Make a sticky note design with SuperStickies by WigFlip.

Just type up your note, select the color of sticky note you want, select a font if you want something other than the default.

Click the Create button. In a few seconds you have a sticky note facsimile you can download.

Takeaway Truth

I have dozens of these image generator webpages saved so I'll share others with you in future posts.

3 Free Alexa Skills for Flash Briefing

This year, I made a resolution to get more from my Alexa devices.

Do you have an Alexa device?

If you do, here are 3 Alexa Skills to add to your Flash Briefing to get you going in the morning.

You can manage these skills in your Flash Briefing set up.

All three of these skills are free so just click the embedded link to go to the skill's webpage. Then click enable, and the skill will automatically be added to all of your registered Alexa devices.

If you decide you don't like a skill, you can either come back to the webpage link and Disable, or remove it from your Flash Briefing set up.

(1) WHO

Worried about the Corona Virus outbreak when you must travel? Get daily updates with the free s World Health Organization app.

(2) Everyday Positivity

Start the day with a positive thought with this app added to your Flash Briefing.

(3) Get Your Stuff Together

This app brings you a daily tip on how to be more organized and efficient.

I haven't tried this skill yet, but I'm trying to get more motivated earlier in the day so I thought this might help.

Takeaway Truth

As I try new Alexa skills, I'll tell you about them and give a short review.

Have a great Sunday!

5 Organic Air Fresheners

Would you like to use organic air fresheners in your household cleaning routine?

It's easy and inexpensive to make your own natural deodorizers and air fresheners.

(1) Herbal Air Freshener

Make a herbal infusion. Place about a cup of fresh herb leaves into a blender. Pulse to mash it up.

Place the pulp in a teapot and cover with 1-2 cups of boiling water. When it cools, pour it all into a glass jar with a lid. Place in the refrigerator and let it steep for 4-5 days. Strain the liquid into a clean jar and cover with a lid to store.

To use, pour into small bowls and place in different parts of the house to deodorize the air. You can also place the liquid in a spray bottle and spray, but be careful not to let the liquid fall on wood furniture.

(2) "What's Baking?" Air Freshener

This is wonderful and so easy to do. Place cloves, cinnamon sticks, and whole nutmeg in a pan. Cover with enough water that it will gently simmer for about an hour. The fragrance will make your house smell as if you're baking cookies and pies.

(3) Citrus Air Freshener

Place a few slices of any citrus fruit—lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.—in a pan with enough water to cover it. Simmer in the pan for about an hour.

This will make your house smell great plus if you place the citrus and water in an aluminum pot to simmer, it will clean the pot and make it shine.

(4) Baking Soda

Baking soda places in an open container—any small bowl, pretty or plain—will clean the air. Use it in your refrigerator or closed closets.

(5) Houseplants

This is a beautiful way to clean the air in your house. Many plants absorb and neutralize air pollution and works well in enclosed spaces. Use plants in every room.

Those most effective are: aloe vera (removes several toxins), English ivy (removes benzene), potted mums (removes several toxins), spider plants (removes formaldehyde), and many others.

I blogged about houseplants before. Read Use Your Green Thumb for a list of plants that clean the air and help you sleep better.

Takeaway Truth

Natural products clean as effectively as chemicals and without the hazards posed by chemicals.