Tackle Tough Stains With These Expert Tips

It's common knowledge that the longer a stain remains, the more difficult it is to remove. Whether it’s spilled coffee, wine, or barbecue sauce, it's still possible to save your clothes or carpet. Follow these tips on how to tackle tough stains.

  • Time is of the essence. If you’re not near a washing machine, pre-treat the area using a portable stain pen or wipe. If you don’t have these on hand, trying using an ice cube to wet the spot.
  • Wait before drying. After washing your item, check that the stain is gone before putting it in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can make the stain permanent.
  • Blot your stain gently. Rubbing the stain will just make it worse.
  • Choose your tactic.
    • For ketchup or barbecue sauce stains, rinse with cold water first, then launder in cold water.
    • For fruit, juice, or wine stains, launder with detergent in warm water. Do not use bar soap, as soap-based products could make your stain permanent.
    • For stubborn stains like grass, soak the area in a solution of cool water and a laundry product such as Shout for at least 30 minutes. If the stains are still visible, soak for an additional 30 minutes and then wash again.

How To Get Stains Out Of Clothes Like A Boss [She Knows]
How to Remove Stains [Esquire]
Stain Removal Tricks and Shortcuts [Real Simple]
Stain Removal Chart [American Cleaning Institute]

Plan a Warm-Weather Dinner Party With These Delicious Desserts

Now that the weather is warmer and the days are longer, you're likely planning more social events to add to your calendar. This also means that you're on the hunt for warn-weather recipes for all of those cook-outs and dinner parties. Here are just a few fresh desserts that are perfect for the spring and summer seasons.

Ina's Lemon Yogurt Cake [foodnetwork.com]
With its bright, zesty flavor and moist texture, Ina Garten's recipe for lemon yogurt cake is perfect for your spring and summer brunches and other occasions. It also features a light drizzle of glaze on top to add even more sweetness.

Ducle de Leche Crepe Cake [foodnetwork.com]
With layers upon layers of homemade crepes, this is one of the most unique desserts that you'll try this spring. The recipe also features a creamy icing and a gooey caramel topping that creates that recognizable dulce de leche flavor.

Lemon Sherbet Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting [myrecipes.com]
While you likely already enjoy sherbet during the warm weather of springtime, you'll love it even more in this innovative cupcake recipe. These cupcakes feature the citrus flavor of sherbet in their base, while the buttercream frosting on top makes them taste rich and creamy.

Headed to a Summer Cookout? Try This Recipe for Watermelon Salad!

Because there's only so much potato salad and baked beans a person can eat in one summer, we're sharing this delicious (and simple!) recipe for watermelon salad. It's easy to memorize, hard to mess up, and requires only a few ingredients. Translation: This recipe is a go-to for potlucks, cookouts, parties, or anything other occasion that request you bring one dish to feed a crowd.


  • 2 pounds cubed seedless watermelon
  • 20 halved kalamata olives
  • 1 cup each mint and parsley
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno, julienned
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Read the rest of the recipe on Saveur!

How to Keep Your Fridge at Ladera Clean and Fresh

Looking for easy ways to help keep your refrigerator clean and fresh? These smart and simple household items will help you to get out even the toughest food smells and leave your fridge smelling like new again!

  • Baking soda. This one isn’t just an old wives’ tale; baking soda really does help to absorb unpleasant scents and remove them from the air. Start by sprinkling some baking soda around your refrigerator and scrubbing with a damp sponge. Once you’re done, place an opened box inside to absorb any additional smells that might happen in the future.
  • Lemons. Lemons are also all-natural deodorizers. Soak a cotton ball in a small bowl of lemon juice, and then leave it inside the refrigerator for several hours to permeate every inch of the interior.
  • Salt. Scrub the inside of your fridge with a simple salt and water solution, leaving the coarse granules for extra scrubbing power. This is a great way to do a heavy-duty clean without chemicals.
  • Liners. If you frequently find yourself scrubbing foul-smelling spills from condiments, leftovers, and other unsavory items, you might want to try lining the shelves of your fridge with paper towels. That way, you can simply remove them if (and when) a leak happens.

Clean and Deodorize Your Refrigerator [Reader’s Digest]
How To Clean & Organize a Refrigerator [Apartment Therapy]
Cleaning Your Fridge [Martha Stewart]

Clever Ways to Keep Your Cleaning Supplies Neat and Tidy

Make cleaning less of a hassle by organizing your supplies. A neat and clean supply area will save you time and make you more motivated to clean. Follow these simple, clever tips to make your chores a little easier to tackle!

  • Use a cart with wheels to store all of your supplies. You can move all of your products from room to room as you go.
  • Free up your shelves by using a hanging shoe organizer to store your spray bottles, wipes, and cleaners.
  • Buy a few plastic tubs for each room of your apartment and label them to make it easier to sort through what you need for each room.
  • Get more use out of the space under your sink by using a tension rod. The handles of spray bottles sit perfectly on top of the rod, freeing up more space for other supplies.
  • Use hooks to hang your brooms to keep them from falling out every time you open your closet door.
  • Make it easier to find your supplies by placing them on a Lazy Susan underneath your sink. The spinning turntable keeps all of your items easy to grab and within reach.

10 Ways to Organize All of Your Cleaning Supplies [Good Housekeeping]
Clever Solutions for Under-Kitchen-Sink Storage [House Logic]
Stylish Storage: 10 Ways To Organize Under Your Sink [Apartment Therapy]

Recipes to Make With Spring Vegetables

Spring always means a plethora of fresh, seasonal vegetables that you’ve been missing all winter. Because fresh produce tends to go bad quickly, it’s helpful to shop with a few recipes already in mind. Here are some favorite recipes made with vegetables that grow in the springtime.

Glazed Carrots in Tarragon [Fine Cooking]
Cooked carrots may bring back memories of being forced to eat your veggies as a child, but this unique recipe is a grown-up take on the common side. The tarragon adds a little kick to the carrots' sweet flavor to make a complex and delicious dish.

Quick-Braised Baby Artichokes [Fine Cooking]
Cooking artichokes in lemon juice is one of the simplest ways to prepare the tasty vegetable, but this recipe also braises them for a smoky flavor that’s perfect for warm weather.

Asparagus with Butter and Soy Sauce [Oprah]
It’s safe to say that asparagus is having a moment in the food world, and there are so many new recipes popping up that it may seem overwhelming. This easy recipe is quick to make but still adds a bit of sophistication to your meal.

Warm Three-Onion Dip [Oprah]
Adding fresh spring onions that only grow in warm weather makes this savory dip a bit more special than your usual restaurant onion dip. Serve it with crusty bread or crisp chips at your next gathering.

How to Speed Through Household Cleaning Tasks

Whether you’re pressed for time before dinner guests arrive or simply overwhelmed with the amount of items on your to-do list, just about everyone could use some help when it comes to cleaning. Here are a few smart ways to help you speed through household cleaning tasks.

  • Work in a circle. Instead of attacking things in each room at random, make a plan to work in a circle. In the kitchen, that might mean wiping down the refrigerator and tossing out expired foods, giving the stove a good scrub, wiping down counter and tabletops, then loading the dishwasher last.
  • Start with the worst first. If you dread cleaning the bathroom or tidying up the bedroom, start with that room first. By getting the hardest part out of the way when you have the most energy, you’ll speed through the rest of your chores.
  • Take inventory while cleaning. If you notice that something doesn’t need to be cleaned, such as the already-spotless windows, then eliminate it from the list to save time. Unless it’s something requiring sanitization, like the toilet, there’s no shame in leaving it be.
  • Do a final sweep. Once you’re done with the major cleaning tasks, give your home a final sweep, putting everything in its right place and creating an organized look.

Speed Cleaning [The Inspired Room]
30 Quick and Easy Cleaning Tips [Woman’s Day]
9 Tips For Speed Cleaning [About Home]
Clean Your Home in Less than 20 Minutes [SheKnows]

How to Design Your Own Floral Arrangement

Think that you have to visit a professional florist to find a magazine-worthy arrangement? Think again! With these simple tips for designing your own floral arrangements at home, you can fill your space at Ladera Apartment Homes with gorgeous flowers or even give them as affordable gifts to friends.

  1. Choose the perfect vase. Choose a vase that will fit the flowers that you have on hand, or if you don’t have a designated vase, use something like a mason jar, pitcher, or other household vessel.
  2. Using florist’s tape, create a grid across the top opening of the vase. Leave approximately one-inch squares in between the tape to keep the flowers separated and evenly spaced.
  3. Mix up textures by using a wide variety of different types of flowers. Contrast delicate baby’s breath with big, leafy blooms and eucalyptus branches.
  4. If you’re feeling a bit intimidated by the idea of mixing and matching, make a statement by using a large quantity of just one type of flower. Whether it’s classic red roses or purple hydrangeas, all flowers look beautiful when trimmed into layered lengths that eventually create a rounded arrangement in a short vase.

Flower Arranging 101 [Martha Stewart]
Elegant, Exquisite, Easy Flower Arrangements [Real Simple]
How to create perfect floral arrangements [Sunset]

Allergic to Eggs? These 3 Webpages Provide Info About Egg Substitutions

Vegans and those with egg allergies may think that certain foods are off limits, but thanks to egg substitutes, you can still enjoy things like cakes, breads, and other baked goods. These helpful websites are full of tips for using egg substitutes to help you create egg-free dishes that taste just as good as the originals.

Though this website is tailored toward vegans, its tips are helpful for anyone who wants to remove eggs from their diet. The Egg Replacements page features information about all of the different types of egg substitutes, including silken tofu, potato starch, ground flax seed, and canned pumpkin. There’s also a list full of tips about egg substitutions.

The Kitchn
The Kitchn’s Vegan Egg Substitutes page helps you to choose the perfect egg substitute for any dish. It offers full descriptions of everything from tofu to applesauce, and it also provides information about the best brands of commercial egg replacers.

The vegetarian section of About.com is a wonderful resource to learn more about egg substitutes. It answers readers’ most pressing questions about cooking without eggs, and it also describes which egg substitutes work best in different types of recipes.

5 Unexpected Household Uses for Mayonnaise

Even if mayonnaise isn’t your favorite sandwich topper, you can’t deny that these unique uses for the condiment are downright brilliant! Try one of these new uses for mayonnaise in your home, your car, or even the shower.

  1. Fix cracks in wood furniture by simply dabbing mayonnaise all over the top, and then using a clean rag to wipe the entire surface. The mayo will stay inside of the crack, and after a few days, its oils will swell the wood and help close the cracked part.
  2. Create a DIY deep hair conditioner by applying mayo all over your head. Concentrate on the drier parts at the ends and work your way up to the roots, and then leave it on for at least five minutes. When you rinse, you’ll be left with smooth, soft locks.
  3. Remove the frustrating residue left behind by stickers and other adhesives. Simply rub the spot with mayo and a smooth, dry towel.
  4. Clean up crayon marks from walls and wood floors by rubbing mayonnaise on the affected area and letting it soak in for a few minutes. Wipe it away with a damp towel and you’ll wipe away the crayon as well.
  5. Get gum out of your (or your kids’) hair by rubbing the gum with mayonnaise. Once it’s worked in, simply slide the gum down the strands.

10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise [Wise Bread]
9 Surprising Uses for Mayonnaise [Rachel Ray Everyday]
11 Home and Beauty Uses for Mayonnaise [Reader’s Digest]

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