Is it Really Possible to Have an Organically Clean Home?

The Organically Clean Home by the clean mama's Becky Rapinchuk

Ugh. Cleaning. The least favorite task I have, but probably one of the most important. I never really cared what I used to clean my house until my first pregnancy when the smell of the faux lemon dishwasher detergent we used made me gag every time I smelled it. My heightened sense of smell caused me to detect the sharply chemical scent and my body had a very negative reaction to it. I puked…. a lot. Until finally I chucked the yucky stuff and switched to various eco-friendly alternatives in my quest to make an organically clean home.

The problem was, I never really found anything that I loved and all the “healthy” versions of cleaning products cost an arm and a leg. That’s why, when we decided that our January goal for the Beyond the Bookends Reading Challenge was a book that would change your daily life, I knew I wanted to tackle a book based on make-at-home organic cleaning. I decided to test out a recipe or two for you and report back on my findings. Is it possible to have an organically clean home without taking out a second mortgage? Let’s find out! Continue reading “Is it Really Possible to Have an Organically Clean Home?”


Announcing the Beyond the Bookends 2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge Header

Happy new year and welcome to 2018! We are so excited for this amazing year ahead and an amazing year of reading too.  As a way to expand our reading horizons, we put together a 12-month reading challenge.

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January to March 2018 New Releases We Can’t Wait to Read

The hottest new releases from January to March 2018

We have scoured all of our resources to bring you more than 50 of  the best new releases from January to March.  we have every genre you can imagine and it looks like 2018 is looking to be an great year for reading.  So sit back, and relax- this fabulous list will take some time.  I know that my TBR list is already piling up and I haven’t even looked past March!!!

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Toys

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up with Toys!

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The method is extreme but effective. You basically have to get messy to get clean. Her method calls for collecting every item of a specific category and putting it in the middle of the room. You then touch every item and decided if it makes you happy and/or serves a purpose. You discard what doesn’t make you happy and keep what does. Its intense and time consuming and it really does work. I donated 12 bags of clothing earlier this year using her method.

That being said, however, Kondo does not mention children or there…..well…crap…in her book. For most of the kids’ stuff, you can just apply the adult method (when cleaning their closets, I went category by category – socks, tops, PJs etc.) but there is NO mention of tackling the biggest clutter in my house – TOYS. Which is why I wanted to share my method of madness with all of you. You’ll see HUGE results if you do it correctly! Continue reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Toys”


The 20 Best Books of 2017

Looking for the best read of 2017? These releases didn't disappoint!! Check out the best books of 2017.

This was an amazing year for books.  As we come up on the first anniversary of the blog, we looked back on the fabulous books we have been privileged to read.  From Historical Fiction and Middle Grade to magical realism and mysteries, this year was amazing for books.  Kirsten and I have read almost 200 books between us. Without further adieu, we present our list of the best books of 2017.

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