How to Clean a Microwave

Is there on thing that drives you crazy cleaning? I hate cleaning microwaves. The smell is gross everything is caked on. I swear I bust my elbow on something every time.

Over the years I have found a few easy tricks to make it simple. I will be sharing these tricks each day for the month of February. #cleanlove follow that tag for Charming frugal cleaning tips and tricks each day for the month of February. Spring cleaning is in the air. Ticks I use to use is water, vinegar and lemon juice. It works great and smells amazing. However I found an Angry Mama at Homegoods last week it was $6.99 just a dollar less than amazon. I am not an affiliated with either I buy all products with my own money and do a truly honest review.

The Angry Mama is as simple as it looks. Pop her head off. That just makes me giggle. Pour 1/2 oz of vinegar make sure not to over fill. There is a vinegar line. Then fill with water to the water line. Pop her head back on. Let’s check out this filthy microwave! Explosions of nasty cooked on food.

Being 5’1 makes it a pain to clean the microwave. I have to use a step stool to really get in there. The Angry Mama is a total game changer. This microwave is disgusting I wasn’t sure how she would do.

Set your microwave to medium-high and zap her for 5 minutes. Make sure she doesn’t run out of liquid.

Let her sit for 2 minutes. She looks like she has been doing a ton of work, she is covered in sweat. Now it is time to see the results! I normally use microfiber towels but microwave crud grossed me out so I used two paper towels.

Absolutely amazing everything wiped off with an issue! I used a little extra liquid from her head and wiped under the glass. It all came off perfectly. I am an absolute fan of this product. It even took off a lot of discoloration from previous burnt marks.

If you want to watch it step by step swing by my instagram page it’s on my highlights reel under clean microwave. I will be posting it to YouTube tonight.



Now it’s time for the wretched stainless steel (SS) drives me nuts so I am going to use chemical cleaner. I have tried a lot of home remedies but I still think it looks smudged. I used Weimar Stainless Steel cleaner and micro fiber cloth from target. They work perfect together and the smell is minimal I actually like it.



While I haven’t tested out all 10 recipes on slime I did get 3 tested! I have been hit with the flu bug and now in bed for the next week.

Are your kids as obsessed with slime as mine…. your answer is probably yes if you are already here reading this recipe.

Slime is a science experiment: with this being said chemicals are going to be used. Please use your best judgment over the years I have made a variety of slime but please use caution. Always wash hands after making slime and using slime. *adult supervision should be used when mixing any type of chemicals. Please do not substitute ingredients because slime is a chemical reaction! If you have super sensitive skin please use gloves.

What is slime? So a polymer glue is made up of tons of long repeating chains of flexible molecules. When you add borate ion it helps linking those silly molecules together! This solution we will be using borax.


Bowls and mixing spoon

Glitter glue 1/2 cup

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 tsp or borax

1/2 cup of hot water


1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue or glitter glue (we really like glitter in our house.) add 1/2 cup of warm water (temperatures do matter! Warm works best ) stir.

This part is important 1/2 tsp of borax add it to hot water! Stir it up good, there might be residue on the bottom that’s okay. Now here is the fun part add the borax (ACTIVATOR SOLUTION) to the glue and water stir it up. It will start clumping now pull it from the water (yes there is excess). Set the solution to the side (of your slime is to sticky re dip it in solution) Start your kneading your slime till it gets smooth. Discard solution.

Store it in air tight containers or zip lock bags.

A Clean House in 30 minutes

Is winter the hardest time of the year to keep the house clean for you? It sure is for me. This last week has been a complete blur.

Derrick caught the flu that Kaylie had for five days this week. Between fevers and a very angry teething boy. I couldn’t feel anymore overwhelmed, wrong Lilah is off track at school . Which means she isn’t in traditional school she goes year round and now is home for 3 weeks.

Yup you read that correct she is out of school for 3 weeks in January where there is nothing to keep her entertained. So juggling the boredom monster is becoming quite the task. With Derrick unconscious and quarantined things have been a little bit chaotic here. I have no shame because I am a real person and people get sick the dishes pile up. Life happens and it’s not always picture perfect. I mean I totally fell asleep last night sitting straight up watching scooby do with Lilah.

However with all that said I’m going to teach you a few ticks that I use on the daily.

  1. Use a 30 minute timer
  2. Turn on some upbeat music
  3. Have your kids help (my 6 and 4 year old are perfectly capable to unload the dishwasher and put everything away with a step stool and wiping down counters.)
  4. Work top to bottom, left to right
  5. Don’t get distracted by the little stuff. (In my case don’t let my ADHD take a hold and start random organizing projects.)
  6. Sweep and mop very last. (Guests will notice a dirty counter before they will notice you didn’t mop.)

This is what I completed in 39 minutes. Yes, the floor wasn’t swept till I got home from picking Kaylie up from pre-k. It isn’t perfect but it feels great to take part of my house back the brink of chaos.

I call that a win on the Mom Belt. Now go set a 30 minute timer and knock out a big section on your to do list. I use 10 minute times constantly through out the day. I just find myself more productive in those few minutes than if I just randomly clean up.

Now give yourself a super big high five or a pat on the back! You are doing an amazing job. Keep it up!


Kid Energy Bites

This recipe is kid friendly and healthy. All the ingredients I had on hand. Plus you can modify it to make it work better for your household. Lilah is allergic to peanuts so we make our recipe with almond butter.

Most recipes call for flax seed but my kids can spot something “grown up food” a mile away. I can occasionally hide it in cookies, but that being said if your kids are like mine I do it this way so that texture is similar.


  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips (milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup of Rolled old fashion oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/4 of plain Cheerios (use a rolling pin to crush to dust)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins

Put Cheerios in zip lock bag use rolling pin to crush up. Place all dry ingredients together. Add in nut butter and honey in medium size bowl. Mix together till well blended. Use parchment paper on cookie sheet. Scoop table spoon size amounts into a ball place on parchment paper. Place tray in freezer for 1 hour.

I bag them up in ziplocks keep in fridge or freezer. Lasts a week in fridge, freezer 2 months.

Fun part is you can add what you want instead of raisins. My kids love raisins but add shredded coconut, craisins, m&ms, or yogurt covered treats.

Shelf Eating

If you are like me you walk into a grocery store to pick up random ingredients and poof you have spent $50 easily. Yeah that was me for years I still struggle with it. Our family of 5 lives off of a pretty strict grocery budget. We budget $100 per person including Colton!

That includes formula, baby food, snacks, milk, and all the groceries. That motivates me to make sure we are using everything to its potential. If you been following my instagram stories I go more in depth on specific things like freezing food which I will post a blog on that.

Anyways shelf eating is how we get to the next paycheck or grocery shopping time. How ever we will buy milk or formula if we run out before our next grocery trip. So to help we shelf eat a lot. We check out cupboards, pantries, and fridge to see what will expire next. The I shop through all the freezers and pull the meat that will work for this recipe. I google recipes that match our ingredients list.

This way we avoid overspending and random purchases. The fact is we fall constantly in with eating what we “want” when really we bought all this food and it such a waste of money to throw away. This will also teach you to add certain items to your grocery list and stock up when prices are low.

We constantly buy meat on sale, cream of chicken, broth, rice, cream of mushroom and cheese. These are staples of cooking in our house.

Here is what shelf eating looks like today in our house.

Enchiladas casserole/

We had corn tortillas that need to be used before they go bad. I just freezer shopped pulled out some chicken breast’s and sour cream (yes I freeze sour cream! ) it’s great for cooking!

Found all these random ingredients in our cupboard and saved us a trip to the grocery store.

Yay!!! Winning!

Easy Breakfast hack

So breakfast here in the Christensen household is a crazy fast paced assembly line. If you didn’t know I have three kids under 6 years old. Oh boy some of them can eat their weight in pancakes. I absolutely hate making mini pancakes. I burn the first three! Then everyone wants more blueberries or chocolates. And after I am done making 15 mini pancakes I have batter left over and it dries to my countertops. Let just say after 6 years and hating to waste foods I finally found amazing life hack!

So a quick life hack to save you time and money in the kitchen on breakfast. I make gigantic pancakes! Huge! Bigger than my face!

Then I use a pizza cutter and slice the pancake like a pizza and then I give each kid two slices and I just cut the slices up with the pizza cutter. Boom mind blown right! I make about 6 gigantic pancakes and the left over ones I freeze in gallon size freezer bags for up to 3 months. I pull them out on weekdays and toss them in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Till thawed and warmed and poof easy breakfast on the go with no waste!

Just try this! Test it out and see if it makes your breakfast routine faster and easier! Your welcome!

These are the products I use you can use anyone’s that your family likes best but this is just what my family uses:

Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix ($6.99 from Costco)

Silicone spatula

Pizza cutter

Cutting board (mine is from Costco)

Simple Neighbor gifts!

So it is that time of year again! Christmas!! If you are like me you are trying to be super ambitious but then overwhelming sets in. I️ have learned my lesson year after year. This year I️ am keeping it simple so I️ can actually enjoy the holidays.

Super simple gift idea is of course Bath and Body Works. Soap or candles are way easy friends, teachers, and neighbor gifts. Soaps are normally 6 for $24 I️ hit an amazing sale tho and got them for $2 each!!! Yes I️ said it two dollars! So I️ bought 20 of these bad boys and used my $10 off $30 code so I️ got all 20 soaps for an awesome deal of $30.

The best part and while you are checking out is ask for the gift wrap, ribbons and tags. #lifesaver

You’re welcome!

7 Months

Wow! It has been a long time since I have blogged. In the last few months some major changes happened. First major change is my blog after some customization issues with previous website I decided I wanted more control of my webpage and officially switched domains and names. Charmingly Peony is making its final switch to Charmingly Frugal.

We just finished our move from Alaska back to Utah, we bought our dream home, and our little man is 7 months old! Colton Scott is growing like a weed. He is sitting up on his own, and rolling every where. He is such a busy body his naps are finally becoming a routine.

Colton has a great love of food! He loves everything but squash right now. His favorites are pickles though he just can’t get enough of that tangy taste!  The food is going right to his height, he is in the 95% he is over 30″ tall. He just out grew his carseat, which out of all three kids that has never happened before.

I just can’t get over how handsome Colton is in his little suspenders and bow tie. A very special thank you to Bow Tie and Baby Co.



DIY Baby Gate


I have a love hate relationship with our stair case. We have been searching for a baby gate to fit our very wide stair case for over a month,  with no luck. Our stair length varies on the bottom 48.5″ and the top is 52″ due to a railing. Our goal was to find or make a gate that was SAFE and Kid Friendly.

Lilah is 3 and needs to be able to go up and down the stairs freely while little Kaylie slightly uncoordinated and needs restriction. So Derrick & I have been discussing and pinning ideas on how to make the stairs safer, well we were a little too late. Yesterday morning Kaylie fell down the stairs. She has a black eye and bruised up nose. So I decided to follow my gut and create two gates one for the top and one for the bottom.


So in my panic after the fall we headed to lowes to pick up some wood! Lilah is proud for being a big Helper!

Total cost for this gate $33.16 

 What you will need~

Sanding block (sanding paper)

Heavy gate hinges (2)

Gate lock (1)

Wood stain ( Old Leather)

Paint brush

Screws ( 1 1/4 “) short You don’t want these to pop threw the other side


(1) 1x4x8

(1) 1x6x8

(2) 1x3x8

 1x6x8 was cut to (2) 47″ pieces, The stair width is 48.5″ so I chose to go an inch smaller for the hinge and latch spacing.

 ~ The height of the gate is 24 ” which is perfect height on our first step. Cut the 1x4x8 into (4) 24″  pieces. We used the two extra on the second gate.

Attach the 24″ 1×4 to the 1×6 to create a rectangle.

Cut the 1x3x8 into 24″ pieces, used only 6 of these boards. I attached them with screws at 3.5″ spacing  between each board.

 Next stain the gate and let it dry for atleast 2 hours, Our stain had a seal mixed in it. Then attach the hinges.

Attach hinges to the gate first, then attach them to the wall make sure they are in a stud you don’t want  the gate to rip a hole in your wall. Make sure the knuckle to the hinge is out, so that it does’t get caught up on the wall.

 Attach your gate latch, test your gate and you are done!

 Our latch is secured by a ribbon tied in the hole since the girls do not know how to un tie a bows, its perfect and beautiful.