3 DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions for Your Spring Clean

eco-friendly cleaning solutions

Get your home sparkling this spring, with eco-friendly cleaners. Image: Marlowe Hues Color & Design

Spring cleaning is supposed to refresh your home. It’s a little counterintuitive, then, that traditional cleaning methods lean on harsh, often toxic chemicals to do the job. Your home may look better after using these products, but, in actuality, you’ve only swapped germs and grime for possible dangers to your family and the environment.

There’s a better way. These three eco-friendly cleaning solutions get your home sparkling while keeping it safe.

If you’re new to the do-it-yourself world, making your own cleaning solutions is a great place to start. All you need to do is throw ingredients together in a container, and you’re set. Plus, you probably already have the majority of what you’ll need on hand. Before you reach for the bleach, give these environmentally-conscious DIY cleaners a try.

all-purpose eco-friendly cleaning solutions

A DIY all-purpose cleaner can be used on virtually any surface. Image: Blue Ocean Design

The king of eco-friendly cleaning solutions: homemade all-purpose spray

Get your surfaces to sparkle with an easy solution you can use in nearly every room of the house. In a spray bottle, mix:

  • 1 part water (distilled is best)
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • Optional: 12-15 drops of essential oil (lavender and lemon are great options)

Spray this solution into a soft towel, and use on almost any surface. If you omit the essential oil, you’ll lose the refreshing scent, but can also use this solution as a glass cleaner.

Note: Vinegar isn’t safe for stone surfaces, such as marble or granite. As an alternative, a baking soda solution will get your counters shiny and spot-free.

eco-friendly cleaning solutions for the kitchen

Eco-friendly kitchen cleaners keep your surfaces safe for food preparation. Image: Showcase Kitchen & Bath

In the kitchen: natural grease remover

Getting rid of grease in your kitchen doesn’t have to be a headache. There’s a surprising solution to that pesky buildup on your stovetop: more grease!

Pour a small amount of vegetable oil onto a paper towel and rub it over grease-stained spots. The interaction of the new grease breaks down the old.

Once finished, go over the area with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. This removes any residual oil, leaving your kitchen surfaces spotless.

eco-friendly cleaning solutions for the bathroom

Ditch bleach in the bathroom for a gentler–but equally powerful–cleaning solution. Image: Amy Trowman Design

In the bathroom: powerful, simple tub cleaner

If you have stubborn spots in your shower or tub, you’ve probably tried to clean it with lots of different chemicals. A surprising solution could unlock the like-new tub you’ve been looking for. Natural cleaning experts swear by this simple, eco-friendly cleaning solution.

In a spray bottle, combine:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part blue Dawn dish soap

The specific soap formula of the blue Dawn makes the solution most effective. Plus, since it’s routinely used to remove oil from sensitive animals after oil spills, you can rest easy using it at home.

Coat your tub or shower with the spray and let it sit. 15 minutes is sufficient for mild buildup, but serious scum might require an overnight wait. After it sits, scrub the tub or shower and rinse thoroughly to reveala sparkling surface.

These eco-friendly cleaning solutions will help you tackle your spring clean without any toxic cleaners. Enjoy your beautifully cleaned home or apartment; take a deep breath of that fresh, chemical-free air!

Have any eco-friendly cleaning solutions, tips or tricks of your own? Let us know in the comments!

The post 3 DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions for Your Spring Clean appeared first on



The 4 Most Common Contingencies Every Home Buyer Needs To Know About


When you’re ready to buy a home, these are the contingencies you need to know about. Image: Thomas de Cruz Architects & Designers

If you’ve thought about buying a home, odds are you’ve seen the phrase “contingencies” pop up once or twice in your research. While the term can be a little intimidating at first glance, contingencies are there to protect you. These clauses indicate that certain events need to occur in order for the sale to move forward. If they don’t, you’ll be able to walk away from the sale unscathed—and with your escrow deposit securely in hand.

While the exact clauses you decide to include in your offer will be up to you, there are a few common contingencies that nearly every buyer uses. We’ve listed them below to help you get started. Read them over to learn how they can help you on your path to home ownership.


Inspection contingencies are the most common. Image: National Association of the Remodeling Industry

Inspection contingencies

Of all the available contingencies, the inspection contingency is the one that most people know about. It allows you to bring in professionals to inspect various parts of the property, and provide you with reports on their functionality and safety.

Once you have these reports in hand, you have the ability to negotiate with the seller on how to handle any necessary repairs or remediation. That said, if you can’t reach an agreement with them—or if you feel that there’s just too much work for you to handle—you can choose to terminate the sale instead. Many buyers assume that this contingency only applies to the property inspection, which covers a visual inspection of the home’s overall condition, plus its major systems, such as HV/AC, plumbing, and electric. However, there are several more inspections that can fall under this umbrella, including:

  • Wood destroying insects
  • Mold
  • Lead-based paint
  • Structural damage
  • Wells

Keep in mind: you likely won’t need to elect all of the options listed. Use your best judgment and ask the agent writing up your offer for guidance. When in doubt, though, it’s better to elect more inspections than less. You can always choose not to do one, but you can’t ask for more once your offer has been accepted.


If you need a mortgage, you’ll need a financing contingency. Image: Krueger Architecture & Design

Financing contingency

If you’re planning on paying for the bulk of your new house with a mortgage, we highly suggest that you elect to use the financing contingency. This clause states that since your ability to purchase the home hinges on getting a mortgage, you have the ability to back out of the sale if your loan falls through.

The truth is, even if you’ve done the hard work of getting a pre-approval letter before submitting an offer, the mortgage process can still be tricky. After you apply for your loan, the lender will conduct a thorough approval process called underwriting. During this process, underwriters will take an in-depth look at your finances, as well as the home you intend to purchase, and may issue a list of their own contingencies that you need to meet in order to receive the loan.

If you’re unable to meet their requirements, or if something unexpected crops up in your financials, the mortgage company reserves the right to deny you the loan. At that point, you have the choice of finding alternative financing. However, since scrambling to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in time for settlement is a huge risk, including a financing contingency gives you a safety net.


The appraisal contingency determines the fair market value of the home. Image: Creative Architects

Appraisal contingency

If you need a loan, be aware that most mortgages are subject to an appraisal. This means that once an appraiser determines the fair market value of your home, the mortgage company will agree to issue you a loan up to that amount. However, especially in hot markets, the appraised value of a home can end up being much lower than the sale price you negotiated with the seller. If this happens, you are responsible for covering the difference.

Luckily, the appraisal contingency exists to give you an out. It says that if the appraised value of the home is different than the negotiated sale price, you have the option not to buy. Typically, both parties will try to renegotiate the price before this happens, however, in the event that you can’t reach an agreement, it’s a nice option to have.

home sale

Unfortunately, home sale contingencies aren’t as common as they used to be. Image: Hart’s Design

Home sale contingency

The home sale contingency is exactly what it sounds like. As the buyer, you elect a home sale contingency if you have to sell your current home in order to buy a new one. It gives you a specified amount of time to find a buyer for your own home and move forward with the sale. If you’re unable to do so, you can choose to walk away from the property.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Unfortunately, for the most part it is. This contingency isn’t used nearly as often as it used to be, for one main reason: it left sellers hanging. Essentially, you’re asking them to take their home off the market with little to no guarantee of your ability to buy (which, as you can imagine doesn’t go over very well.).

While you still have the option to include this contingency, be aware that it weakens your bargaining power. If given the option, most sellers will pass over offers with this contingency for one without it, especially in busy markets.


Keep these contingencies in mind when buying. Image: M House Development

Electing contingencies is an important part of negotiating an offer on a home. While these clauses can be unique to your transaction, there are a few common contingencies that nearly every buyer will use. Knowing your options helps you negotiate in your best interest.

Are you house hunting? Do you think you’ll need to use any of these common contingencies, or do you have any contingencies you feel are absolutely key? Tell us in the comments!

The post The 4 Most Common Contingencies Every Home Buyer Needs To Know About appeared first on



6 Creative Ways to Decorate with Books

Despite living in the age of e-readers, books are still a large part of life for many of us, even though figuring out where and how to store a growing collection can get surprisingly complicated. The obvious solution is bookshelves, which raises more questions: should you go with set-in bookshelves, shelves that dominate a wall, or small accent shelves? Of course, bookshelves aren’t the end-all, be-all of book storage. There’s baskets, floating shelves—so many more options to choose from.

Why not have a little fun? Don’t just store your books—decorate with them! Here’s some of favorite ways to use books to add some style to your space.

Color code

Decorate with Books Rainbow Shelf

Arranging books by color adds visual interest to a room. Image: Rikki Snyder

Arranging books by color is one of the most popular ways to decorate with books. In the photo above, books are used to create a beautiful rainbow of design. Using this method adds pretty pops of color to the room, creating an interesting sense of visual contrast, as well as a touch of playfulness.

You can achieve this look using compartmentalized shelving, or, try arranging books by color across one long shelf, creating a linear rainbow of hues. It’s a fun, artsy addition to any room.

Add decorative accents

Decorate with Books and Art

Compartmentalized shelving creates plenty of options for combining art and books. Image: Reliance

For a more personalized touch, try mixing in photos, pieces of art, vases and anything else you’ve managed to collect over the years among your book collection. It’s a strategy that works wonderfully in traditional styles which tend to favor a lot of decorative and visual elements in a space.

The more creative you get with the interspersed placement of art and books, the more visual interest you add to your space. Don’t feel like you have to align your books on a shelf in the usual way. Place a photo between a row of books, put a crystal bowl on top of a stack of books, or arrange a stack of books between two substantial pieces.

Decorate with books by going casual, purposefully

Decorate with Books Stack of Books

An elaborately high stack of books works wonderfully with the eclectic boho chair. Image: Teri Lyn Fisher

Sky-high book stacks are a fun addition to more casually designed spaces, such as the artsy boho room above. Place a plant or photo on top of the book tower for even more of a funky, fun vibe. Notice the flat board at the base of the book tower:  it give the books a steady base and keeps the bottommost book off the floor.

The sideways stacks of books on the floating shelving above the curtains finishes the look with a casual, used-bookstore vibe.

Get creative with shelving

Decorate with Books Built In Shelving

Create an archway of books with built-in shelving. Image: MMM Architects

Set-in shelving is a great option for the bibliophile. Feel free to get creative: put set-in shelving over doorways, under stair spaces or anywhere else it would reasonably fit in. It’s a great way to store books without taking up floor space, so built-in shelving is a good option for small spaces, too.

The photo above shows how well built-in shelving works. The geometry adds a crisp, cultured look to the space, and the shelf above the door proves that you can fit a bookshelf in anywhere if you’re enterprising enough.

Use floating shelves

Decorate with Books Geometric Shelves

Floating shelves add creative geometry to the space. Image: Lucy Call

Differing in length, the asymmetrical floating shelves pictured above create geometric interest: a solid choice for modern spaces that favor creative geometric styles. The open spaces left by the shorter shelving leaves room for added knickknacks between the books.

Use your imagination: floating shelving works over doorways, under stair spaces—practically anywhere else you have some empty wall space.

Think outside the bookcase

Decorate with Books Wagon of Books

A red wagon is an imaginative (and fun!) way to store books. Image: Tess Fine

No one says you need to stick to shelving when decorating with books. The photo above proves you can store books in just about anything, such as a bright red wagon, which adds a pop of playfulness to this child’s room.

Try placing books in wicker baskets, or linen baskets in cubby holes. If your space is more rustic, put some small books in metal buckets. The options are virtually endless.

You don’t have to simply figure out ways to store your book collection among your existing room design. Why not make them part of the design?

Have any great ideas for cleverly working books into a room? Let us know in the comments!

The post 6 Creative Ways to Decorate with Books appeared first on



What Classifies A House Style: What Makes A Craftsman Home?

craftsman home

It’s time to take an in-depth look at what classifies a Craftsman home. Image: Creative Architects

If you’ve ever watched an episode of House Hunters, you know that Craftsman homes have an appeal that many people find irresistible. Whether you’re drawn in by the cute front porch, elegantly sloped roofline, or those oh-so-charming architectural details, one thing is certain: this style’s popularity isn’t going anywhere. However, have you ever stopped to wonder what makes a Craftsman home so unique?

Here’s an in-depth look at what makes a Craftsman home just that, including the history behind how and why this architectural movement came into being. Plus, an overview of the distinct features that set this style apart. Read them over with an open mind, and by the time you’re finished, you’ll be more in love with these homes than ever before.

arts & crafts movement

Craftsman homes are a result of the Arts & Crafts Movement of 19th-century Britain. Image: Coombs Design

History of the Craftsman home

Believe it or not, the credit for this beautiful style of architecture goes to a late nineteenth-century British social movement. At the time, Britain was experiencing an industrial revolution like no one had seen before. The contrarian Arts & Crafts Movement, however, was all about rejecting this new, mass-produced construction style in favor of handcrafted products made by artisans.

Eventually, around the turn of the century, this movement made its way to America, championed by Gustav Stickley, founder and editor of The Craftsman magazine. His publication sold blueprints for homes that were designed in the Arts & Crafts style, with the intention of making”serious architecture” accessible to the masses.

Originally, the term “Craftsman” was reserved for homes built from one of Stickley’s plans. However, it has since evolved to cover a specific architectural style. Today, what we consider to be Craftsman homes do include some common identifying features,  and yet, true to Stickley’s vision, each one also includes unique details, making the home more functional for its owners.


There are four distinct sub-types of Craftsman homes. Image: Carley Montgomery

Why are Craftsman homes so popular?

The Craftsman’s popularity can be attributed to Stickley himself. He is thought to have been inspired by travels to Bangala, India, where he was first exposed to bungalow designs. When he returned, he published an article about them in his magazine, and many American architects followed his lead.

To him, the beauty of these bungalows was in their simplicity. Craftsman homes were meant for the working man. While Victorian homes—another popular style of the time—led with aesthetics, Stickley sought to create a design that put function first. Craftsman bungalows are relatively modest. They’re small and easy to care for, which made their design particularly attractive to hardworking homeowners.

Today, their popularity continues because their functionality doubles as an added sense of charm. Remember, most original bungalows were built by their owners, meaning that no two are exactly alike. Most feature unique details that are impossible to commission these days. In doing so, these homes have become an irreplaceable part of history.


Craftsman homes are all about the charming details. Image: The Works

Defining features of Craftsman homes

Even though Craftsman homes are known for their individuality, there are a few structural and aesthetic details that bring them together. You can identify these homes by the following:

Exterior details:

  • Low-pitched rooflines, usually done in a hip or gable (triangular) style
  • Wide, overhanging eaves
  • Exposed rafters under the eves
  • A covered front porch
  • Pillars lining the entry
  • Double hanging windows, which have separate panes of glass on the top and bottom
  • Single, protruding dormers

Interior details:

  • Prominent fireplaces
  • Built-in storage
  • Plenty of natural materials, such as wood

What do you think of Craftsman homes? Do you hope to own one of your own someday? Tell us all about it in the comments!

The post What Classifies A House Style: What Makes A Craftsman Home? appeared first on



7 Reasons Why You Need to Enter to Win the HGTV Smart Home 2018

The latest HGTV Smart Home 2018 giveaway is here! This two-story, Southern-style home is located in a private resort community called Palmetto Bluff in the coastal low country of South Carolina. The home is 2,850 square feet, with three bedrooms and three and a half baths; and, as the name suggests, it uses smart technology everywhere.

hdtv smart home 2018

The Southern-style smart home features an open floor plan and a hybrid of coastal, farmhouse and industrial styles.

Here are 7 of the coolest tech features from the HGTV Smart Home 2018:

1. A paper-thin TV masquerades as a high-definition art display

hdtv smart home 2018

A flat screen TV above the fireplace displays high-resolution art or photos when not in TV mode. “Invisible Connection” technology eliminates wire and cables.

2. Customize smart beds for every sleeping style

All bedrooms contain programmable Sleep Number beds, including this master suite Flextop King, i10 Sleep Number 360 smart bed with air pressure monitoring. Customize firmness, adjust head positions and even warm your feet.

3. Smart skylights make your life sunnier

As well as adding brightness throughout the house, VELUX skylights automatically close when rainfall is detected. What’s more, they’re solar-powered and energy efficient.

4. A connected kitchen keeps you entertained

hgtv smart home 2018

Appliances feature wireless internet, and the CabiTV’s integrated cabinet door above the oven doubles as a sleek television without requiring counter space.

5. A smart toilet in the guest room will fascinate your guests

Kohler’s Numi toilet’s motion-activated cover and seat facilitates hands-free opening and closing. A seat warmer and foot warmer ensures you’ll be comfortable even on the coldest of days.

6. The kids will love the secret virtual reality playroom

HGTV smart home 2018

Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm’s modular, geometric lighting draws you in from behind the sitting room bookcase. The panels include endless color choices that can be customized from a home computer system.

The small VR gaming room of the HGTV Smart Home 2018 is high-tech and comes with the latest Play Station 4, which incorporates connected gaming, personalization and integrated social capabilities.

7. The master bath keeps you up to date with current events

The mirrors in the master bath do more than reflect. These Smart Touch Vanity Mirrors also project the latest news, stock updates and social media feeds. An Ocea waterproof bathroom television is mounted in the shower and blends into the design with a mirror glass finish. The TV also has Wi-Fi networking for streaming smartphone content.

A coffee station is also at your disposal, which self-stores when not in use, thanks to the Nexus21 hidden storage lift.

You can enter twice per day until Thursday, June 7 at for a chance to win the $1.6 million grand prize. Photography by HGTV.

The post 7 Reasons Why You Need to Enter to Win the HGTV Smart Home 2018 appeared first on



Wayfair Has Its First “Way Day” April 25 With Black Friday Low Prices

If you want to spruce up your place for spring and summer, there’s no better time than now. Wayfair has announced its very first Way Day :their version of Prime Day, or Black Friday.

Beginning midnight of Wednesday, April 25, promises 24 hours of “Black Friday-low prices” on 70,000 products.

The folks at Wayfair are remaining tight-lipped about the sale, but they did say that seasonal furniture, home accents, outdoor furniture and grills will carry the deepest discounts. “With the launch of Way Day, we’re offering the steepest savings possible at a time of year that makes the most sense,” Steve Oblak, chief merchandising officer, explained.

Be sure to check throughout the 25th, as Wayfair plans to announce “doorbuster deals” every six hours.

If you have a Wayfair credit card, you’ll also earn an unprecedented 9% back in rewards dollars on Way Day, compared to the normal 3%.

Below are some of our current favorite Wayfair picks, which may or may not be marked down even more on Way Day. We’ll have to wait and see, but we can hope, can’t we?

Davina Wingback Queen Headboard, Reg. $330, now $150

Collect this idea

Way Day deals

Available in 4 colors and 2 sizes. the stylish, tufted wing-back headboard adds the finishing touch to your bed.

Nora Bed-In-A-Box Memory Foam Mattress, Reg. $449 and up
(discount not announced yet)

Collect this idea

Way Day Wayfair Nora mattress sale

Wayfair’s bed-in-a-box, the Nora memory foam mattress is something worth watching for discounts on Way Day. Nora is one of Wayfair’s best sellers, and comes with a 100-night trial.

Kartwright 3-Piece Bar Set,
Reg. $570, now $238

Collect this idea

Perfect for a small space, indoors or outdoors, the 3-piece set is 58% off.

Great Bay Microfiber Sheet Set,
Reg. $60 and up, now $20

Collect this idea

3 color options of soft fabric with a seashell pattern.

Royal Gourmet Patio Gas Grill,
Reg. $366, now $180

Collect this idea

Styled in a fashion-forward red with a porcelain cast-iron firebox.

Goldhorn Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug, Reg. $219 and up, now $39 and up

Collect this idea

Durable and colorful, the Goldhorn area rug is now more than 80% off.

Jadon 4-Piece Sofa Set With Cushions,
Reg. $2400, now $730

Collect this idea

This modern outdoor set is a great deal at 70% off and features cushions in a durable, outdoor red fabric.



5 Woodworking Projects for Beginners (Blog Swap with Sawdust 2 Stitches)

Hi friends! Hope your Monday is going well. Today, I’m over at my friend Corey’s blog, Sawdust 2 Stitches, sharing some of my favorite projects. And below, she’s doing the same. Basically, it’s a good ol’ fashioned blog swap! If you’ve never seen this happen before, it’s something bloggers used to do a TON back in blogging’s earlier days when things like Pinterest and Instagram were but a twinkling in the internet’s eye. It sounded like fun to bring this back every now and then (it feels a lot like introducing friends at a party; “friends, meet Corey; Corey meet my awesome friends!”), so I hope you enjoy! She’s got some amazing projects to share. <3

Hey All! This is Corey from Sawdust 2 Stitches, and I am thrilled to be working with our gal Sarah. I have gotten to know Ms. Ugly Duckling in real life, and man is she just as awesome in person as she comes across online! She pretty much does it ALL, and I freaking love that! Me? I tend to stick to what I know, and what I know is building. So today I thought I would share with you 5 small builds that I love. These are easy enough for a beginner builder, but even a seasoned builder will love the look of these little beauties.

1.The Bracket Shelf

Let’s start with the simplest one I’ve got… this build includes literally 6 cuts ! Don’t own a saw? I bet if you ask someone at your local home improvement store they would be happy to help. (Or begrudgingly. You just never know. But most of the time they are happy to do it. Just be ready to explain what you are making, they always want to know. 🙂 Anyways if you have limited power tools, this Bracket Shelf is the build for you!

2.Target Cubbies

Here who likes Target?! I am assuming you all just mentally raised your hand. If so, this one might seem familiar. A few seasons ago Target had a very similar piece, but it ran a cool $50. Which isn’t awful but when you can make it for a little over $10, it seems like highway robbery. Am I right ? You can whip up this knock off in an afternoon using only saw and some wood glue! ( I used a nail gun, but it’s totally doable with just wood glue if you are the patient type… I am not.) Get the build plans here.

3.Farmhouse Tray

If you feel like you are getting the basics down, try to start including dowel rods, they take a basic build to the next level! I added a dowel rod in lieu of a straight edge board and it makes this a little less DIY and a little more Home Goods! I use this little Farmhouse Tray Caddy for every thing, and it makes a great gift!

4. Long Table Tray

If you liked the last project you are going to love this. It’s the mac daddy, big brother to the farmhouse tray. I whipped this one up to use as a Tray Table Runner for table scapes!

5. Wall Organizer

Alright, I feel that once you have conquered basic straight cuts, the next logical addition to your building knowledge arsenal is angles. This is a functional project that introduces you to angles in small baby steps! But look at that beauty. This thing makes my morning sane. I hang up my kids clothes the night before, toss their socks and shoes in their bins, in the morning they just grab their stuff and go! So, do you want to make your school mornings a little less chaotic?

There you have it folks, a few basic builds that will get you started, or if you already know your way around the shop, these builds are still mighty pretty to look at!

Thanks so much for having me. I loved stopping by and sharing a bit of what I do. If you are looking for more advanced builds, or even full room makeovers I’ve got those too. Feel free to stop by anytime!

Take Luck,

The post 5 Woodworking Projects for Beginners (Blog Swap with Sawdust 2 Stitches) appeared first on Ugly Duckling House.


5 Woodworking Projects for Beginners


Trying Cherimoya + How to Quickly Peel Kiwi Fruit

Today I tried something new on a whim… plus, how to quickly peel kiwi fruit (it’s easier than you might think!).

Do you ever try new foods just to say you’ve tried it?

I would say I’m kind of 50/50 when it comes to breakfast and trying to eat healthier. I will give it a shot for a month or two, then get a craving, and I’ll have a streak of shamefully bad pizza. Part of my problem is that I’m always trying to rush, or work outside on a project, or I get sucked into doing things online and don’t really think about the things I eat. I don’t eat breakfast (other than a crapton of coffee), so I’m trying to get a little better about both. And as I experiment with trying to make breakfast quick, easy, interesting — or at least two out of those three — I have started considering branching out beyond the breakfast I know.

Cherimoya, the “Custard Apple”

Not too long ago, I was at the grocery store and found the above fruit while I was shopping for kiwi (it’s a nice break in healthy dessert options when you’re wanting to switch out the ice cream). And just for fun, I picked up a cherimoya — otherwise known as a custard apple — and decided to try it.

I’ve never even glanced at any “exotic” fruits in my grocery store before, but considering the price tag (a little over $5 for one, if I recall), I guess that’s another reason for skipping it. I eat fruit pretty fast in this house, so liking it runs the risk of a habit I can’t afford. #millenialproblems?

According to what I found online though, cherimoyas are native to South America and the texture is somewhat like custard. All you need to cut it open is a sharp knife, and the fruit will often come out in chunks. Just be sure to avoid the seeds — like many other fruit seeds, they’re poisonous.

The kiwi-peeling spoon trick

Have you heard of the spoon trick for how to quickly peel kiwi fruit? I picked it up several years ago (from my pal Allison, I think?), and it totally changed how often I eat it. After all, when you love something, but it’s frustrating to peel, you might often skip the indulgence. Now, I don’t have to. 🙂

All you need to peel it is actually a spoon, not a peeler or knife. Just cut them in half, slip a tablespoon at the edge of the peel, and it glides right around the fruit and slips out of the tough skin. All without accidentally mashing the delicate fruit inside (in terms of my past experiences, Of Mice and Men comes to mind).

Put down the fruit, Lennie.

So, just because it seemed like a pretty similar scenario, I used the spoon to help scoop out the white flesh from the cherimoya. The way it tastes? The custard analogy is pretty on point. It’s sweet, kind of ice-creamy, and also has a subtle tartness that went well with the kiwi. I would guess that freezing it could actually make it a pretty amazing ice cream substitute if you have dietary restrictions (vegan/lactose intolerant maybe?).

I guess my point is, experimenting in DIY is not the only thing I seem to be in the mood for lately. And as for my favorite, the kiwi fruit? I found a way to make that more breakfast-y too: it adds an incredible flavor to orange juice if you’re ever looking to try it.

Weekend plans

Happy weekend, friends! What are you going to try this week? Be sure you also check in on my Instagram stories over the next couple of days; if you don’t know how IG stories works, just click on the little circle around my profile picture when it lights up. I’m expecting sunny weather, and that means progress will be underway for the new pub shed!

P.S. I know this wasn’t actually a recipe, so the category sorting is a little generous on this one. Want some actual recipes? You’ll find more of those here.

The post Trying Cherimoya + How to Quickly Peel Kiwi Fruit appeared first on Ugly Duckling House.


Trying Cherimoya + How to Quickly Peel Kiwi Fruit