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Home Hack


Now that you’re hopefully sleeping on the PERFECT mattress, if you still find yourself having restless nights, it could be due to a number of different things in your environment or on your mind. We’re here to share the things that help us sleep better in hopes that they help you to sleep better too!

WORRYING about <fill in the blank>:

Work, kids, chores, bills, schedules, even vacation can keep us up at night. The best thing that helps us get sleep when we are worried about a busy day(s) ahead is to get ready for bed, lay in bed and make a list of things we have to accomplish for the next day. This is especially helpful with deadlines or time-sensitive tasks. It even works with goals. We find when we make writing down the next-day’s tasks or goals a nightly habit, we go to bed calmer because everything is accounted for on the list.

This also works for sleeping the night before a trip. Simply make a list of everything you need to remember for the morning and see if you’re more successful catching some peaceful pre-vacation ZZZ’s.

Try keeping a pen and journal or task sheet near the bed for easy list/schedule making:

Example items for this article were all found on Amazon.


When feeling anxious, happy-natured books on Audible helps to take our minds off of the hamster wheel and into sleep mode. Funny celebrity autobiographies, self-help, business topics, hobbies, even whimsical stories from our youth take us away to a not-so-scary place in our imagination. (Audible is basically a modern day Books-on-Tape, and is an Amazon product.)

There’s even a series of meditations on Audible specifically for sleep. I was doubtful anything like that would be all that effective, but I fall asleep EVERY. TIME. In fact, I’ve never made it to the end of the meditation awake, so I have no idea what happens. 😂 The same is true for everyone I’ve suggested them to.

Bonus: the Audible app also has a sleep timer, so it won’t keep you up all night.

TV Shows We’ve Already Watched:

If The Office is on when I am going to bed, I’m probably going to watch it. Despite the fact that I have seen every episode of that series a million times. Whatever the show or movie, there’s something about being entertained but not having to concentrate on the story that gives a sense of calm before bedtime.

Timer Your TV:

Most modern TV’s have a sleep mode option in the menu. Set it for an hour or so so that it turns off after you fall alseep and doesn’t wake you up during the night.

Put Away Electronics:

No more jumping down the rabbit holes of everything on the internet and social media before bedtime. Give yourself a cut-off time for looking at electronics. The blue light keeps our brains awake, so an hour before your normal bedtime is a good time to put them away. Store those devices in a drawer or a mattress cubby like these:

Shower or Bath:

There’s something about being clean and fresh before bed. Especially if it’s been a long day, or a day out doors.

Even though it’s Johnson’s – a LOT of adults swear by the Bedtime lavender bath for its calming effects and help with stress headaches.

A Cold Gel Pack:

If I’m stressed out or otherwise not feeling 100%, I like to put a cool gel pack on my pillow behind my neck. I use a first aid refrigerator type gel compress that is in the cloth barrier, and then I cover that pack in a tea towel. It should just be cool, not very cold or freezing. Nothing cold or frozen should be in direct contact with your skin, so a good cloth barrier is an absolute must.

Adjustable Bed Frames:

An adjustable bed frame helps you achieve the perfect sleep position. Ones with the light massage feature, can further help lull individuals back to sleep on restless nights. We talked about these in our recent mattress article, but it’s helped us with sleep so much it’s worth re-mentioning here!

Dark and Cozy:

Black-out curtains, a traditional sleep mask, or an upgraded version with built-in headphones help block out slumber stealing light. The latter are especially helpful if you like hearing music, Audible, or tv while you fall asleep. Keep the volume low and sleep the night away.

Time the Caffeine:

If you are unknowingly sensitive to caffeine, things like coffee, tea, SODA, even chocolate could be keeping you awake when you partake late in the day. I will sleep better cutting these things off 3 hours before bed, while my husband has to avoid caffeine after 2pm. See if you notice a difference by monitoring your caffeine intake hours.

Skip the Late Night Snacks:

Late night digestion can be another sleep-stealing culprit, because the process can keep our body awake, or wake us up needing to use the bathroom. We found cutting meals, drinks, and snacks off at least two hours before bed did the trick.

Talk to Your Doctor:

A friend of ours had a horrible time sleeping, so they talked to their doctor and were prescribed a sleep study. This type of study involved sleeping in a hotel-like room over night while they were monitored through stick-on nodes. Turns out, they had sleep apnea and finally found restful sleep after getting a CPAP machine. We’ve heard sleep studies can be done at home too – talk to your doctor about options.

Do you have a tip for sleeping better? Share it on our Facebook or Instagram posts about this subject @DeAnnaAndCompany


Grilled Corn on the Cob

🌽 CORN is made even more delicious on the GRILL! Here’s how to make it!


  • 6+ Ears of Fresh Corn
  • Water
  • Salt (for brining and then to taste)
  • Butter (to taste)
  • Toppings – try Trader Joe’s seasonings like; “Everything but the Bagel,” “Everything but the Elote,” or “Chili Lime;” use the seasonings on their own or use butter or mayo with cojito cheese to make it like authentic street corn, “Elote.” (optional)

Directions :

  1. 6 to 24 hours in advance: shuck and wash corn.
  2. Place clean corn cobs in a pot or container big enough to submerge the corn in water – I use a XL Rubbermaid drink pitcher with a lid.
  3. Fill the container with water and salt with a moderate amount of freshly cracked salt. (About 15 turns.)
  4. Let corn sit in the salty water for several hours, ideally over night.
  5. Pre-heat grill for 10 minutes then reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Pat corn dry and place the raw corn on the grill. Grill for 15-20 minutes turning every 7 minutes. (Cook time will vary on grills, corn kernels will be bright yellow, and easily pierceable and juicy when fully cooked. Like the picture above.)
  7. Don’t let the burn marks fool you – they won’t taste burnt at all. It’s like some kind of CORN MAGIC!
  8. Butter, add toppings or salt, and enjoy!

👉 Don’t like eating corn on the cob? Turn your grilled corn into dish:

Carefully cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a large serving dish. Mix with a few pads of butter until melted. Add 1 can of Rotel to create a smokey-zippy corn side dish that goes great with barbecue.

Curb Appeal

It’s GRILL Season!

Grilling season is upon us, so we’re here to share all of the grill products, tips, and accessories we LOVE!

NOTE: ZERO of the items show in this article are sponsored or ads from us. We buy things with our own money and simply loved the results enough to share. Most of the examples below were found on Amazon.

The BEST Grill Sauces:


Hands down, the most crowd pleasing barbecue sauce? ANY style of Sweet Baby Rays. We prefer the original or honey flavors. It’s just dang tasty! If you’re a bbq mustard person, Sonny’s sells bottles of their sauces in the restaurant – and their Carolina style mustard is a great one (so is their sweet bbq sauce).


We find the Kikkoman brand has a nice tasting *thick* teriyaki sauce; however our FAVORITE version is a thinner “Island Soyaki” from Trader Joe’s. It even has the sesame seeds in it! It makes noodles, veggies, and fried rice taste just like your favorite Hibachi restaurant. Publix also has a thin teriyaki sauce (Publix brand) that we use in a pinch. Terry Ho’s Yum Yum Sauce (we buy it at Publix) is the closest we’ve found to restaurant-style white sauce.  If you’re a ginger sauce person, Makoto makes great restaurant matches too – find it in the Publix (and Walmart) produce section by the refrigerated dressings.

THE SECRET to the MOST DELICIOUS Grilled Chicken and Corn:

BRINE IT. That’s right, a long soak in salty water does wonders for chicken breast, and fresh corn on the cob. See our recipe of the month for cooking corn on the grill!

Safe to Eat:

The easiest way to tell when things are done cooking? A good thermometer! No more squishing all of the delicious juices out of your burgers or chicken. You’ll know when dinner’s ready by temperature alone.

Precision Grilling:

Use a temperature gun to find the exact temperature of your grill. These are especially useful for low and slow barbecuing or making pizzas on the grill.

Charcoal Chimneys:

If you are grilling with charcoal, a starter chimney is a MUST! It gets the coals to grilling temperatures quicker so you can have those hot dogs ready ASAP!

Grilling Baskets:

These little baskets are wonderful for cooking stick-to-the-grill things, like shish-kebabs, veggies, or fish; but also S’MORES, toasted sandwiches, or little pie turnovers. Yes please! 😋

Cast Iron Grill Forms:

Similar to baskets, use these little cast iron forms to enclose sandwiches; like ham and cheese or “grilled” cheese; make pie turnovers with crescent rolls and canned pie filling; omelets and more! Basically any ooey-gooey thing you want to cook on a grill or campfire works great in these. (We love these for the fire pit!)


Blackstone – is an AWESOME grill accessory or alternative that you can use to make all of the typical grill stuff, BUT ALSO hibachi style noodles or fried rice, hot cakes, fish, veg; it’s so versatile!

The best part is the 22″ (fits about 12 burgers) it’s small enough to be portable, so you can take it camping, on vacation, or even use after those post-storm power outages. WE LOVE OURS! You can buy direct or on Amazon, as shown below.

HIBACHI STYLE Pro Tip: Cold day-old noodles and rice make for the best hibachi-style noodles and fried rice on the griddle. Cook (boil) the plain rice and noodles you plan to use the night before and store it in air tight containers in the fridge until it’s hibachi time!

Easier Clean-Up:

Reynold’s Wrap NON-STICK Aluminum Foil is a DREAM! We use it in the oven and on the grill and the food just slides off! Look for this box that says “NONSTICK”:

Dawn’s Power Wash Spray makes tough scrubs SO EASY! Not just for inside dishes, but getting all the baked on goo off of grill baskets or pans too! You just spray it on and let it sit a few minutes, the little micro bubbles break down all the gunk and then it’s super easy to wash. Bonus, the “apple” scented one smells like a big ol’ basket of Granny Smith apples! 🍏

Make the Grill Last:

We noticed a marked difference in how long our grill lasts when it is covered, vs. the ones we thought would be okay because it’s stored under the shade and protection of a roof. Our 5-year-old grill still looks relatively new, and we think that is all thanks to using a weather proof cover that is vented. We usually cover it the morning after we’ve used the grill, to make sure everything is cooled down.

We find this type of brush/scraper cleans the gunk off the easiest.


Do you have a favorite grill accessory? Favorite type of grill? Share all of your product recommendations and grill tips with us on Instagram or Facebook @DeAnnaAndCompany


Home Hack

Let’s Shop for a Mattress!

If you are a restless sleeper or someone who wakes up in pain after a long rest, we believe it could be because of the mattress. It’s time to consider investing in a quality mattress over a quick fix. While this means you may spend a little more money, the higher quality mattress should last longer and provide a higher quality of comfort. Since sleep is a part of staying healthy, we take our sleeping seriously around here! 😁 These are our opinions and recommendations based on our own experiences with these mattress styles and brands.

Mattress shopping can be AWFUL! We have never been able to pick the right mattress by laying on it for 30 seconds in a store. However we did a lot of EXPENSIVE trial and error, then a bunch of research; asked our families and friends… and finally found mattresses we absolutely LOVE. Now we’re sharing that information with you in the hope you will find one you love too!



There are so many mattresses to choose from, but we stay stick with the three types below to assure you are getting a quality mattress. Before you start shopping, be sure to know how you (and your partner) like sleeping. Assess your sleep habits:

  • Do you like sleeping on super soft surfaces?
  • Do you find yourself over heating?
  • Do you snore?
  • Do you have neck or back pain in your awake life?
  • Do you have neck or back pain in your sleep life?
  • Do you prop yourself up with a lot of pillows?
  • Do you like laying as flat as a board?
  • Do you have restless legs?
  • Do your sleep habit answers differ from your partner’s?


Pillow Top: A thick billowy pad on top of the mattress makes it like sleeping on a cloud for some people, while others say this softness is the cause of waking up in pain. Make sure you are not the latter before you buy.

Who it’s best for:

  • People who sleep easily anywhere
  • If you find hammocks comfortable to sleep in for long periods of time
  • If you do not like sleeping on firm mattresses

Memory Foam: The original LUXURY mattress. They call it memory foam because it contours to your body, and then springs back to it’s regular mattress form, like it “remembers.”

Who it’s best for:

  • People with neck or back issues
  • People who don’t like traditional or pillow top mattresses
  • Restless sleepers

Gel: Similar to a memory foam in that it contours to your body, gel is the modern twist; it’s all the contour, with more support, and less stuffiness.

Who it’s best for:

  • People who get hot when they sleep
  • People who don’t like memory foam, pillow tops, or traditional mattresses
  • People with back or neck issues
  • Restless sleepers

Memory Foam with Gel (We’ve seen it advertised as “Aerated Latex” and “Polymer”): It combines both a gel and a memory foam for the best of both worlds!

Who it’s best for:

  • People who get hot when they sleep
  • People with neck or back issues
  • People who don’t like traditional or pillow top mattresses
  • Restless sleepers



Ghost Bed

ghost bed mattress

Why we love it:

“This mattress is a combination of gel and modern memory foam. It keeps me cooler than our Temperpedic bed did, without sacrificing the comfort of memory foam. This mattress is an absolute dream and I love it!”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also got the Ghost Bed pillows and they are like sleeping on a perfectly contoured pile of our wishes and dreams. (Meaning, WE LOVE THEM!)


tempur-pedic mattress

Why we love it:

“When my husband developed a pinched nerve in his shoulder/neck, this was the only mattress we could find that offered him comfort and the ability to finally sleep and get rest.”

“We bought a Tempur-Pedic mattress for our guest bedroom, and everyone always asks what kind of mattress it is because of how comfortably they slept. We love it!”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also bought a Tempur-Pedic pillow. It is much smaller in size than we expected but it is still a great pillow. It’s less dense than our gel pillow, and much thinner than a bamboo pillow, but it is still a very comforting accessory. It is especially helpful for neck issues, and is a lot lighter than a gel pillow, which makes it great for travel too.

Purple Bed

purple mattress

Why we love it:

“This GelFlex grid bed is like a slightly firmer version of our memory foam bed, without being too firm. It’s firmer in that the gel does not sink down as much as a memory foam does. It contours around the body instead of sinking into it. It still contours to my body, and reacts like memory foam, but it a firmer way. It also keeps me cooler, since I tend to sleep on the warm side.”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also got the Purple Pillow, and it is so good for my husband’s neck issues. Note: This pillow is so dense it’s HEAVY. Not one you will easily throw around, but that is exactly why he loves it, it never moves in the night. It stays put!

ADJUSTABLE BEDS take comfort to the next level!

We cannot emphasize enough, how much we and our house guests LOVE our adjustable beds! A “split King” makes adjusting the bed for an individual’s comfort possible. Adjustable beds enable you to raise and lower the head and foot independently. They often come with extra features like a soothing vibration massage, USB ports, night lights, etc. The combination of our own mattress choice with our individual adjustable beds make our sleep so restful, we hate having to sleep in any other bed while on vacation.

  • “Zero Gravity” positioning for what is widely credited as the most comfortable sleep position.
  • Ideal for couples when purchased as a “Split King” because you can adjust to your individual comfort; mattresses are purchased as two separate “twin XL” beds and adjustable bed frames. The beds still fit right next to each other as if it were a whole mattress but allows for individuals to sleep in the position that is unique to them.
  • Great for snorers; you can adjust the head of the mattress to be slightly inclined to alleviate snoring.
  • Awesome for reading in bed, watching tv, or resting in a more upright position.
  • No need for box springs anymore!
  • Does not require a special mattress to use an adjustable bed frame.
  • Available with bells and whistles like a massage feature, USB ports, and/or led lighting.
  • Many come with a remote AND an app you can download to your phone so you can adjust it whether you lost the remote or ran out of batteries.

Wishing you a restful night’s sleep!


Boston Eclair Icebox Cake


This pan-made dessert has flavor profiles similar to an eclair or Boston Creme Pie. It’s fluffy, and pudding filled, and just makes the perfect dessert for an Easter meal spread! Even better, it’s NO BAKE!


  • Graham Crackers – 1 box original OR honey would work (NOT cinnamon)
  • Instant Jello Pudding; Vanilla Flavor – 3.4 oz. – 1 box
  • Instant Jello Pudding; Cheesecake Flavor – 3.4 oz – 1 box
  • Milk – 2 cups Whole Milk OR 1 and 3/4 cups Fat-Free Milk
  • Dark Chocolate Frosting – 16oz. – 1 tub
  • Cool Whip – 8oz. – 1 tub THAWED; simply store it in your fridge (not freezer) and it should be ready to use.


  1. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan with a single layer of graham crackers. You may need to break some sheets into smaller rectangles to fill in the entire pan base. This will be the “crust” that makes the dessert easier to serve, so be sure to fill the area in.
  2. Prepare the puddling; NOTE: If using a fat-free milk, we leave out 1/4 c. of the (box instructed) milk to assure it will be a stiff pudding. 2% or whole milk does not require this step. Dump both flavors of pudding mix into a large bowl, whisk in the COLD-AS-POSSIBLE milk; we usually measure the milk out and put it back in the fridge until the second we need it. Use a spatula to scrape the walls of the bowl to make sure the mix is equally incorporated. Place pudding in fridge for 3 minutes.
  3. After the pudding has chilled a few minutes, use a spatula to fold the THAWED Cool Whip into the pudding. Try not to overmix, but make sure it is well blended. The color should be evenly creamy, not striped.
  4. Place half of the pudding mix on top of your graham crackers, spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Create another single layer of “crust” on top of the pudding with the graham crackers, breaking them into smaller rectangles to fill in all of the space.
  6. Spread the remainder of the pudding mix on top of the second “crust” layer.
  7. Place another single-layer of “crust” on top of the pudding later. Place the pan in fridge while you prepare the ganache topping.
  8. Scoop frosting into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 25 seconds. Mix the frosting to assure there are no lumps. Pour onto the graham cracker layer and spread evenly. You will have to work quickly to get it spread evenly before it cools.
  9. Cover and store the finished cake in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. This time frame is important for the graham crackers to reach the right consistency and texture.
Curb Appeal

What to Expect When You’re… Resurfacing the Pool

If you own an in-ground pool, you’ll likely face the dreaded “pool resurfacing” at some point. Don’t worry, when you hire a reputable company, it’s not as bad as one would think! This process is necessary to keep your pool healthy, and also provides an opportunity to sneak in a few design updates. With a new water tint and a few new pool tiles, your dated pool can feel like a brand new paradise, potentially with minimal increase to the budget. (We’ll explain.)

To start, we recommend asking your neighbors and friends with pools for a good local pool resurfacing company recommendation. Google reviews are another place to find current customer feedback. Make sure the company you hire is licensed, insured, and experienced. Visit local pool tile stores for inspiration and recommendations. We got our natural-stone-pool-artist recommendation by visiting our local pool tile store. (The pool tile store didn’t sell natural stones or do that service, but they knew who did.)

pool water

Q: What can I expect when I have my pool resurfaced?

Your pool will be drained. It’s gonna get weird.

The pool will look strange for a bit. It will be sanded down in stages and then built back up. You’ll likely be surprised at how DEEP and SCARY it looks when it’s empty. There’s a lot of dust and the work can get noisy at times. A good contractor will keep things as tidy, safe, and as efficient as possible.

pool resurfacing

The resurfacing process is an average of 5 to 7 days.

Our pool is small (12,000 gallons) and it took 7 days. HOWEVER, we had significant upgrades to change the pool from plain plaster and 4×4″ tiles to large natural stones, which required a special pool stone artist and a bit more time to fit them together like a giant mosaic. If we had stuck with plain tile and plaster, it probably would have been completed in about 4 days.

Filling the pool takes a while.

You’d think a full blast hose would fill it in no time, but pools are much larger than you think! This means don’t try and schedule your pool resurfacing and a pool party in the same week. Give it some breathing room.

filling a pool with garden hose


DYK? You can save money on the water used to refill the pool by contacting your water company.

Water companies typically have lower rates for filling a pool. You have to contact your provider before you pay the bill so your account can be adjusted; they basically charge you for the fresh water and take out the automatic sewage costs associated with the relevant gallon usage. The sewage waste cost is twice the price of the fresh water cost, so the savings is significant. Since this is a special rate, it can only be applied every so many months for special circumstances like this.

Pro-Tip: This special savings is usually applicable for the water usage caring for newly installed sod lawns too!

fill the pool with hose

Things can cost less if you plan ahead.

When you’re faced with a resurface, there’s a lot of opportunity to save money and time by getting things done now while the pool is stripped down instead of down the road. Save yourself the time and headache by getting pool problems addressed at the same time. Now is a great opportunity for:

  • Design updates like new tiles/ coloring

pool tile

Tired of the old, dated, or maybe clashing tile design? Now’s a great time to switch it out. Simple 4×4″ tile accent (edge) changes are usually the least expensive way to give the ol’ swimming hole a facelift above the water line.

  • Adding or changing railing, the tint of the pool water, etc.

Pro Tip: If you have an older pool, consider adding some design elements to the stairs, such as a tile accent edge, or even just a few 4×4″ tile diamonds to the step make stairs easier to see and judge for depth.

pool stairs

  • Fixes that need to be accomplished by emptying the pool; electrical, lighting issues, leaks, fixing pipes, etc.

Don’t wait to have a leak investigated or a light fixed. Seize the opportunity to get a specialist in there to fix things before it’s a beautifully renovated pool. At the very least, you’ll save the money it costs to refill the pool again should any of that work require a draining.

Pro Tip: Our resurfacing company offered a service to verify everything was in proper working condition. They checked for leaks, lighting issues, and mechanical function so that we could have any repairs done while the pool was stripped down.

pool fix

Don’t get stuck in the rutt of what-was.

We’ve seen many people treat a pool resurface like they treat house paint colors – they paint it whatever it originally was, never having considered if they could create something they like more. This is an opportunity to make an entirely new look! Just because the pool was plain and boring when you bought it, doesn’t mean you need to stick with that color palette. There are so many resurfacing color choices now days, you can really make any pool into a turquoise waters oasis. Create your own little paradise with new tile colors and colored aggregate plaster.

How do I get colored water, like the ocean?

ocean water colors

While this process costs a little more than a plain white plaster surface, it’s been worth the money in durability alone; it also achieved the exact ocean type color we wanted for our pool’s water. Tiny colored specks in the grit (“aggregate”) of the pool walls and floors, works just like the ocean floor; light passing through the water reflects the color of the pool (ocean) floor and walls. This grit is in the plaster that is the finishing coat of the resurfacing process. Our brand of aggregate plaster was called “Diamond Brite” and it gives the pool water its color, makes the pool less slick, and resists stains and deterioration from plant matter and pool chemicals.

Skilled technicians will know what specks of colors produce what color waters. Find an inspiration pool or water picture to communicate your desired color of water to the resurfacing company.

pool and deck

Be sure to check our social media posts about pool-resurfacing; we’re asking our community to share their best LOCAL recommendations for pool-related professionals including care and upkeep, resurfacing companies, maintenance specialists and more.

Share your LOCAL POOL SPECIALISTS recommendations in the comments on social too!

@DeAnnaAndCompany on Instagram and Facebook.


Home Hack

Spring Cleaning Checklist

We’ve got a 16-Days-to-Deep-Clean checklist to get your spring cleaning done with minimal pain. We’re also sharing our best tried-and-tested cleaning tools and supplies to make cleaning even easier. Do these tasks 16 days in a row, or spread them out over the month to keep you moving forward without getting burned out.

We’ve picked up a few cleaning tips that have helped us get through the dreaded deep clean.

  • Start at the top. Cleaning can sometimes get a little messy before it sparkles. Starting at the top of the room, ensures you’re not cleaning things twice.
  • Finish with floors. Mop, vacuum, or sweep your way out from one room to another.
  • Time the cleaners. Give cleaners enough time to do their job, but do not let things like toilet bowl and shower cleaners sit for longer than the bottle directs.
  • Throw away/ shred/ recycle papers you do not need. Of course, if it’s an important document file it. Shuffling random papers around just makes a bigger job to clean up down the road. Shred it and forget it. Old magazines that you have not cracked open in a year do not need to keep clogging up space in the home. Recycle them.


☑️ Day 1 – DUST! Dust ceiling fans, vents, lamps, blinds, and finishing with floor boards. If it’s been a while since your last deep dusting, you may need to run a vacuum.

☑️ Day 2 – Wash blinds, slatted doors, and floor boards. We find the easiest way is to fill up a bucket of soap and water, gather a few shop rags and oddly, a paint brush (see pro tip below). We like Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap for this task. See bottom of article for what other cleaners made our “favorites” list.

PRO TIP: They make special washer/dusting tools than can slip through vent type surfaces, but we’ve found a medium painters brush was the most helpful tool for dusting and washing blinds, intake vents, and closet slat type doors.

☑️ Day 3 – Vinegar all the faucets. Pour enough white vinegar into ziplock bags and submerge shower heads and faucets into the bag. Secure with a rubber band and let set for about an hour. Give a quick scrub and see your hardware shine again. Vinegar is also great on water spots on the hardware (like handles and face plates) around a faucet; simply soak a paper towel in the vinegar and stick to the surface. Check after 30 minutes. If the water stains and grime are especially tough, you may need to reapply the vinegar to the paper towel and let it sit a while longer.

☑️ Day 4 – Bedding! Wash curtains, sheets, comforters, bed skirts, throw pillows, area rugs. Dust bed feet/wheels, turn the mattress. Pull items out from under the bed to organize (and maybe toss or donate) and don’t forget to vacuum under there too.

☑️ Day 5 – Pantries. Pull EVERYTHING out of the pantry and throw away expired items. You’d be surprised how much gets pushed to the back and lost in the shuffle of daily life. Wipe down the storage shelves, walls, and floors. See our article about organizing for further tips.

☑️ Day 6 – Smallest bathrooms. The half baths and the guest baths. Cleaning top to bottom; fan vents, dusting, tiles, walls, floorboards, then floors.

☑️ Day 7 – Main bathrooms. The primary bath and regularly used bathrooms. Cleaning top to bottom. (Leave inside the cabinets for tomorrow.)

☑️ Day 8 – Bathroom cabinets and storage. Remove everything from under cabinets and in drawers. Toss old items. Dust and wipe down drawers and cabinet floors. Organizing what you are putting back helps to make early morning routines go faster.

☑️ Day 9 – Vacuum and dust the couch, chairs, tables. Remove cushions and if needed or able launder covers, pillows, seat cushions. Vacuum the frame of the couch. Use that trusty paint brush to dust cracks and crevices of dining chairs and details of furniture where dust gathers. Wipe these items down with a damp cloth and dry immediately, as wood and water are not friends.

☑️ Day 10 – Linen Closet. Remove EVERYTHING. Toss things like old hair products and makeup.

  • Folding towels with the exact same folding method makes things fit better. We like the half, half, thirds method: Fold towel long ways in half, then in half again. Then turn and fold into thirds by folding the left side in, and the right side over for storing. Makes kind of a “G” shape when you see it on the shelf. Organizing the towels by color is a visual trick that makes the linen closet LOOK even MORE organized.
  • Fold sheet sets by style; stacking the folded matching pillow cases, flat, and fitted sheets in a pile together. Use one of the pillow cases from each set to store the whole set in. This keeps them from getting separated from their matches, and also keeps them from falling all over the closet when you go to pull a new set. Makes them easy to identify and grab by design too!

☑️ Day 11 – THE REFRIGERATOR. Again, remove everything. Toss expired items. Clean shelving and drawers by removing them. Dawn dishsoap works great for this task. Organize for an easier time finding things. If you need more ideas on organizing the refrigerator, see our past article.

☑️ Day 12 – The “JUNK” Drawer. Toss the random soy sauces and add the pennies to your change jar. Pencil trays (ours are from the Dollar Tree) make great organizers for grouping like items together in catch-all drawers like this. For example, we have several trays in ours; one for batteries; one for scissors/ screw drivers/ Allen wrenches; another for rulers/ tape measures; one for rubber bands, nails, and thumb tacks, one that gathers all the other randomness that ends up in this drawer.

☑️ Day 13 – The primary closet. This one is always a doozy for us, so we wrote a whole article about it HERE.

☑️ Day 14 – Vacuum the fridge coils and change the water filter. Did you know: Dust build-up is one of the biggest reason refrigerators need repair? Vacuum the dust build-up from under and behind the fridge to keep this appliance COOL. They make tools for this task that look like super long bottle cleaners; found at any home improvement store.

☑️ Day 15 – STOVE/OVENS. Time to scrub the oven, and clean the floor underneath it. Chances are things have dripped down there over the last few months. (Thanksgiving, anyone?!) Check your owner’s manual for the proper way to perform this maintenance on your oven brand/model. This is a good time to clean and detail the microwave too. For microwaves that hang over stoves; the oil and steam from cooking builds up in the fan areas of the microwave. Be sure to really scrutinize it.

☑️ Day 16 – GROUT. Investing in a steam mop may be the easiest and most effective way we’ve found to clean tile grout. We give our recommendation of brand and model below. Our steam mop DRASTICALLY cut down the time or need to scrub the entirety of our floor grout with a toothbrush. THANK GOD!

Our MOST-LOVED cleaning supplies:

Dawn Power Shot – If you have not tried this stuff yet, YOU MUST! Simply spray those tough-to-clean, (or even dried-on dishes, or burnt-on pans once they are cooled) with this stuff and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will wash away with a little sponge scrubbing like nothing. It’s amazing. We’ve even used it on soap scum.

Pro Tip: If cleaning canvas (like on outdoor furniture); plain blue Dawn dish wash with a little water and scrubbing by hand got the mildew stains out like magic, without breaking down the fabric like bleach does. Simply spray off the surface with a hose, apply some Dawn, scrub and let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Mrs. Meyers Spray Cleaners – THESE SMELL AMAZING! Our favorite is the lavender and the verbena. Great for bathrooms and kitchens to make you feel like you might live in an actual spa.

Molly’s Marvelous Scrubbing Stones – Hard water build up on toilets or porcelain sinks be gone! Just make sure to use a very light hand, you want to scratch away the mineral build up, not the surface of the porcelain.

Murphy’s Wood Floor Cleaner – The smell of this stuff is amazing. I break it out to wipe down cabinets, floor boards, blinds, and doors; leaving the whole area smelling like a lemon pine dream!

Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami – Hard water stains are broken down so much easier with this powder. It’s also great on pan bottoms to keep them not only looking good, but conducting heat properly.

HandyClean – Rinse Free Sanitizing Wipes – This is our go-to cleaner-and-towel in one. It makes cleaning so quick!

Swiffer Dusters – I’ve tried the off brands and they never work as well as these lil beauties. The Swiffer duster model with the extending arm saves me from working harder than I need too.

Swiffer Wet Jet Mop – This little mop makes mopping the quickest part of cleaning. I will never go back to a regular giant mop and sloshing bucket full of water.

Bissell Pro Heat Carpet Cleaner – If you have pets or kids, or even just lighter colored carpets, a carpet cleaner like this can be very beneficial.

Bissell Steam Mop – If you have tile and grout, you need a steamer mop. This is the secret to keeping your grout as clean and as close to its original color as possible.

Shark Rocket Duo Clean Vacuum – PERFECT cord length. The BEST vacuum for hardwood floors and tiles because it has one roller that is fluffy for polishing. It’s the smallest vacuum I have ever owned, and yet it is also the most powerful one I have ever owned. Seriously, sometimes this thing is trying to run away from me. I love it!

Do you have a cleaning tip that saves time or a cleaning product that you love? Share it with us on our social media: @DeAnnaAndCompany on Instagram and Facebook.


Gone Viral: French Onion Pasta

This French Onion Pasta started on TikTok, and it has taken over our news feed. We decided to try it! The verdict: It was pretty good! It doesn’t beat an actual bowl of French Onion Soup, but it is more filling than soup alone. If you’ve ever had a “deconstructed” French Onion Soup, it gives a very similar vibe. Here’s how we made it.


  • 2 tablespoons – Butter
  • 1 large – Onion
  • 1/8 cup – Sherry
  • 1/4 cup – Dry White Wine like Pinot Grigio
  • 5 sprigs – Fresh Thyme
  • 8 oz. box – Rigatoni
  • 3 cups – Beef Stock or Broth (Stock will be a bolder flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon – Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup – Grated Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated will taste better than jar
  • 1/4 cup – Half-and-Half
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large stock-type pot on medium heat. Thinly (the thinner the better) slice the onion and add to the butter. Add a heavy pinch of salt to the onion, stir to incorporate the onion, butter, and salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, NO PEEKING.
  2. Remove lid and reduce heat to low. Let onions continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are caramelized.
  3. Deglaze the pot by adding the sherry and wine to the pan and using a spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add sprigs of thyme and a little salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add UNCOOKED rigatoni to the pot.
  6. Add beef stock and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook until pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and remove pot from burner. Carefully fish out the thyme sprigs and discard.
  8. Slowly add parmesan and the half-and-half to the mixture and stir until pasta is well coated.
  9. Serve immediately; garnish with a sprinkle of additional fresh parmesan.