tell it to me tuesdays – favorite household goods

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Responses to last week’s Tell it to Me Tuesday were awesome, especially if you read through some of the comments. It’s somehow really gratifying to see how many people, given the option, would choose precisely the life they lead. That’s awesome. And empowering. And inspiring.

This week’s topic is a little more mundane, but I thought it would be fun to compare notes of what people use to turn their houses into homes.

I hate cleaning, but I love a freshly cleaned home. And the one thing I hate to clean more than anything else (besides floors, but floors are my husband’s duty) is bathtubs. Especially when mold and mildew is involved. So when I discovered this baby, I was all over it:

Mold problem? Ix-nayed. Mildew? What’s that? Arm & Hammer, you are a godsend. (Notice it’s almost empty.)

But cleaning is not really my schtick. I do it because I have to. The part of domesticity that has my heart is cooking and baking. And these are some of my favorite lovely little helpers.

My mortar and pestle: essential for a multitude of sauces and basically anything involving garlic.
housegoods_mortarandfrogOk, truth? I totally took a picture that had the mortar and pestle in focus, but then there was a shot with this little guy. I had to go with the frog.

My springform pan: for cheesecake. Caramel pecan gingersnap cheesecake. Need I say more?

My mixing bowls: awesome for not only mixing but also separating out and preparing ingredients.

My bamboo steamer: for steaming vegetables or sticky rice.

And my plate set. These were a wedding gift.
housegoods_platesActually, pretty much everything house related that we got for our wedding has a special place in my heart. But I couldn’t photograph all of it, or this would turn into a catalog of my house and you’d all get bored real quick.

And when everything is put away and cookies are freshly baked, these sweethearts add the final touch:
youcapture_decorcandlesand these:

What household items turn your house into a home?

The Rules
I think there is real power in the human voice, as flawed as it may be. And when the voices speak together, when you have a multitude of voices speaking, patterns begin to emerge and there you can begin to understand truth. So in the spirit of the personal narrative, I am hosting a weekly challenge every Tuesday morning, where I will post a topic (ranging from the banal to the intimate) and ask readers to respond. I would love to see everyone’s answers and how similar and different they all are.

You can respond in any way you choose. You can give a fictional response or a true one. You can use words, sentences, and/or photographs. If you have a blog, you can link it with Mr. Linky below. Please be sure to include “Tell It To Me Tuesdays” in the title, and link back to this post. Feel free to use the “Tell It To Me Tuesday” button available to the right. If you don’t have a blog, but want to join in, you can just leave a comment. Please follow the rules. I don’t want to have to delete links. I like links! Don’t make me delete them.

Next week’s challenge: An invincible moment
Has there ever been a time you felt powerful? Like you ruled the world for a day, or even just a moment? Tell us about the time when you felt invincible, or at least empowered.

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8 thoughts on “tell it to me tuesdays – favorite household goods

  1. I recently made that same cheesecake (have I mentioned I LOVE PW?). It was amazing. Restaurant quality. Yum.

  2. Oh, your plate settings are amazing! WHERE did you get them?!

    And I hate cleaning too…especially the bathtub….but I ADORE using the Magic Eraser! BEST INVENTION EVER!

  3. Thank you!! The plates are from Crate & Barrel. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. It was one of the only designs my husband and I agreed on, but we both love them, so it totally worked out.

    I hadn't heard of the Magic Eraser! I might have to try that. I had been fond of using Comet, but it's not exactly the greenest, healthiest product around. And I discovered a homemade solution of hydrogen peroxide and water worked just fine (with the help of Mr. Arm & Hammer baking soda!).

  4. I just realized that in my comments I failed to actually answer the question. Without a doubt, my favorite household good is my Kitchen Aid. I use it several times a week. I have a few really fun attachments for it (like the chopper/shredder), but it's just as amazing with its plain old paddle mixer.

  5. I don't think the specific products we prefer to use have much to do with making the spaces where we live into "home". They may make a particular process easier and that process may result in an effect that adds hominess. But there is almost always an alternative method or product that can be fallen back upon in a pinch.

    However…since you now have my old floor cleaner – I'm so pleased that he is still getting the job done by the way – I've searched for a long while to try to match his efficiency, ease of use, and handsome appearance. For cleaning floors, that is.

    I got myself one of those excessively advertised Shark steam floor cleaners and I love it. No more weird smelling chemical cleaners that I used to buy by the gallon and feared would asphyxiate the parrot. No more carrying the dirty water off into the woods to dump for fear of septic tank destruction. No more illogically trying to clean a floor with a really nasty mop. No more residue left behind on the floor. Ahhhh…

    I do agree that a clean house is much more "home" to me but I actually enjoy housework and only wish I had more time to do it more thoroughly and frequently. However, I think the things that make my house into HOME for me are all the things that remind me of other people or other times – my mother's blue mixing bowl, my father's collection of stoneware bottles, my grandfather's wind-up clock. Well, there are too many of such things to list because almost every single thing in my house carries some sort of meaning to me. The value is certainly not in the things themselves. I'm well aware that most of what I have would not sell at a garage sale. But if my house were to burn I would probably have to burn with it because I'd never be able to decide on just one load of memories to carry out.

  6. No of course these products don't make a house into a HOME home, with all the memories and such. But after cleaning or using them, I usually feel more at home in my own home. If that makes any sense. It's kind of difficult to articulate. And I have actually felt a rush of extreme fondness for a cleaning product that magically worked on something that I thought would never get clean. Or maybe it's just relief.

    That steam cleaner sounds lovely. I hate cleaning our floors because I can't ever seem to get up all the stupid Santa Barbara dust (Somehow it's especially bad in this apartment). I'll sweep it up, only to see it migrate elsewhere. Or more just materializes out of nowhere. I sweep and mop and scrub until I'm on my hands and knees, just pushing dust around. But your old floor cleaner does a wonderful job, so I'm quite happy in that department.

    However, there is one time that I actually do enjoy cleaning, and that is when I'm about to start writing a paper or preparing for an exam. Part of it might be procrastination, but I think the major bit of it is that I'm clearing away the mental clutter along with the physical clutter so that my mind is more clear when I start working.