The Housewife Wannabe Chronicles, Ceiling Fan Edition Ft Jolie Kerr

When my husband suggested that I name my blog Literate Housewife it was not without a little irony. Homemaking is not a science to which I excel. Until recently I never even aspired to excel at it. Now that my kids are getting more independent I’ve been trying to do a better job embracing the domestic me. As I was thought giving recent changes to my blog, I wanted to create a fairly regular post about my life as a wannabe housewife. I wasn’t really sure where to start until I saw a message from TLC Book Tours about a cleaning book that I just knew who would accept me for the cleaner I am today while challenge me to bring out my housewife a little more.

Cover of My Boyfriend Barfed in my HandbagMy Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag…And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr
Plume ~ February 25, 2014 ~ 256 pages

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Jolie Kerr’s host on her TLC Book Tour for her book, My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag.  I would like to thank her publisher for sending me a review copy.  Please see the end of my review for a list of the blogs who are on this tour with me.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.

I loved the cover of this book since the first time I saw it. It makes a book about cleaning seem for fun and inviting. As I read the first chapter about cleaning the kitchens I laughed as a fruit fly flew in from of my book as I read about how to set up his execution. While I was impressed by how much Kerr could make me smile in that chapter, I also appreciated how she didn’t candy coat the time and effort required for what she calls a deep clean of the kitchen. She made me realize (or admit, really) that this was something I’ve needed to do for a long time without being all bossy and superior.

I knew I wanted to feature a cleaning job discussed in this book in my post today, but anything in the kitchen was too overwhelming for my first Housewife Wannabe post. I moved on to Chapter Two: Cleaning Floors, Ceilings, Walls, and Other Immovable Things. I have plenty of those in the house and I was pretty sure I’d find something to give a try. When I hit page 69 featuring Ceiling Fans, I felt that this was the page written just for Literate Housewife. I love my ceiling fans because they keep me that much cooler in the hot humid Virginia summers. I hate my ceiling fans because… (don’t judge!):

Fan Beforesm


I try to use one of the extended handle dusters to keep up appearances when friends and family come to stay, but I hate using them because all of the redistributed dust makes me sneeze and my eyes are watery and red by the time I’m done. This section gave me hope:

Oh, well, this is so stupidly easy you’re going to be made that I even had to tell you about the secret to cleaning a ceiling fan: get an old or cheap pillowcase that you’re willing to donate to your cleaning pile, spray the inside of it with all-purpose cleaner or a dusting product, put the open end aroudn the blade, and slide the case down its length, grip tightly, and pull back. Et voilà! All the dust will come off right into the pillow case, meaning it won’t get all over the area under the fan.

Don’t you just love it? It’s okay if you don’t; I love it enough for both of us.

Oh, Jolie, I loved it before I even tried it. That area under the fan? That has always been my head. If this trick worked, I could dust the dreaded ceiling fan without needing to drug up or wear a hazmat suit.

Luckily I had a cheap polyester pillow case I bought for tie dying only to learn that there’s a reason the instructions called for cotton pillowcases. I got it out of the linen closet, sprayed it full of Pledge (God do I love that smell!), and followed Kerr’s easy peasy directions. Et voilà indead!

Fan Aftersm

My ceiling fan blade came out of the pillowcase clean and shiny as can be. I couldn’t have been any more proud. Then I cleaned the other four blades just as easily. In less than 5 minutes the ceiling fan in my living room was completely clean. It really was as easy as that and without the tears. My pillow case was filthy inside by the time I finished the first ceiling fan and I tossed it in the washing machine. Once I get in a routine of cleaning them this way – and why not? I had fun working this little bit of magic – I can probably clean all five with one pillowcase.

The chapter about the kitchen and this nifty ceiling fan cleaning trick convinced me that this book was the one to help me uncover my inner domestic goddess. I’m hoping to highlight something new I’ve tackled and accomplished after reading this book each Thursday (except next week when I’ll be hung over from Vegas – let’s be realistic here). Ultimately I’m hoping to come up with my own doable cleaning schedule that will keep my house looking its best without interfering too much with the rest of my life.

My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag is a perfect motivator for people like me. I think it would also make an excellent gift for people moving into their own place for the first time or those getting married. How nice would it be to start living a tidier life when your space is already in move in condition?

If you’re domestically challenged like me, feel free to join me with your own version of The Housewife Wannabe Chronicle. Either leave contribute a post of your own (I’ll get around to making a badge soon) or let me know how you’re doing in the comments section. Maybe we can inspire each other. Who knows where little steps like this can bring us?

GIVEAWAY: To make it easier to join me on this challenge, I get to giveaway a copy to one lucky US reader. Let me know what type of household cleaning tip you’re looking for and you’ll be entered in my drawing. I’ll pick the winner when on April Fools Day. Good luck!

I’m not the only one giving Jolie Kerr’s latest book a try. Why not check out her other tour dates?

Monday, March 17th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, March 18th:  My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
Monday, March 24th:  Daily Mayo
Tuesday, March 25th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, March 27th:  Bookchickdi
Monday, March 31st:  2 Kids and Tired
Monday, March 31st: 5 Minutes for Mom
Wednesday, April 2nd:  A Novel Idea
Monday, April 7th:  A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, April 8th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, April 14th:  Cici’s Theories
Wednesday, April 16th:  The Book Wheel
Thursday, April 17th:  Books a la Mode
Monday, April 21st:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage


  • At 2014.03.20 07:44, Julie Merilatt said:

    I’m looking for a way to keep hair balls off my bathroom floor. Thanks!

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    • At 2014.03.20 10:29, Jennifer said:

      There is almost a whole chapter about female hair and bathrooms! In our house this wasn’t much of an issue with just one female and a bald man. Now with three females…

    • At 2014.03.20 08:18, Kathrin said:

      I’m looking for a way to keep my bookshelves dust-free without having to move all the books over and over again 🙂

      • At 2014.03.20 10:30, Jennifer said:

        You’re in luck, Kathrin! There’s a section on dusting bookshelves and making them more dust resistant.

      • At 2014.03.20 09:14, Jen - Devourerofbooks said:

        I need any cleaning tip that is as freaking GENIUS as the one for the fans. I don’t think we have any extra but I may have to buy a cheap one at Target today.

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        • At 2014.03.20 10:31, Jennifer said:

          I am telling you that testing that trick was a revelation, Jen. It’s so easy and even a little fun. Plus, instead of just reducing the dust leaving shabby looking blades, they sparkle now. I did this after the girls were in bed, but I bet if they saw me doing it that they’d want it for their chore.

        • At 2014.03.20 10:37, anne said:

          I am looking for help with my blinds which are dusty and hard to clean.

          • At 2014.03.20 10:49, Lisa Munley said:

            OMG why did I never think of that? It’s like a magic trick! I’m looking up and staring at a dirty ceiling fan right now and this will be the day it gets clean and sparkly without dirt and dust flying into my eyes! I’m excited to try it!

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            • At 2014.03.20 13:05, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

              I saw the pillow case trick on Pinterest and fell in love.

              I need grout help. I’m sick of scrubbing without good results and I heard that bleach can damage it.

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              • At 2014.03.20 14:20, Carl said:

                My wife has a bad hip so I do most of the cleaning at our house. One thing that really bugs me is trying to get all the dust bunnies out from under the bed. I sweep, I vacuum, and I still can’t get rid of all of them. Thanks.

                • At 2014.03.21 14:12, Leah @ Books Speak Volumes said:

                  That cover is so charming! I want to learn how to clean the splattered grease off the wall behind my stove.

                  • At 2014.03.21 19:35, Rhonda said:

                    I have very very high ceilings I hate dust in the corners&when dust strings hang from ceiling.

                    • At 2014.03.22 21:22, Grace said:

                      Ooooh, that is a great cleaning tip, and one that I’m going to try tomorrow.

                      The cleaning task that stumps me is how to clean the dust off the fireplace screen – it’s one of those “chain mail” types and I’ve never been able to figure out how to clean it.

                      • […] Thursday, March 20th:  Literate Housewife […]

                        • At 2014.03.23 18:08, Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said:

                          Wow, I need to buy this book and set up my own cleaning schedule. Like you, there are big jobs I’ve put off for WAY too long. You might just have inspired me …

                          Thanks for being on the tour!

                          Read more from Heather J @ TLC Book Tours

                          To find me …

                          I do admin for TLC Book Tours and review books at my own blog, Age 30+… A Lifetime of Books.  You can also find me on Twitter @Age30Books. Advertisements

                          • At 2014.03.27 12:45, Kailana said:

                            I should have done this tour! Instead I am going to go get this book…

                            (Required, will not be published)

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