Interview with Team Leader Bertha

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s branch manager, checking in today with an interview of Bertha, one of our long-standing cleaners!

 

Interview with Team Leader Bertha | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Bertha has been with Carpe Diem for 7 years

Q. How did you start at Carpe Diem?
A. I was referred by a friend to Carpe Diem about 7 years ago.

 

Q. What do you like about Carpe Diem?
A. I love everything about Carpe Diem, especially the feeling of being able to clean for our clients and leaving their homes nice and clean!

 

Q. Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
A. Leave your home free of clutter. This makes it easier for our team to clean and for our clients to get a job well done!

 

As of this month, Bertha has been with us for 7 years.  Wow!  She’s one of our team leaders and is known for being steady, focused and responsible.  She also works with her daughter here at Carpe Diem!  Thanks for being a dedicated  and helpful leader, Bertha!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!  

Why We Want your Feedback–Good or Bad!

Why We Want your Feedback--Good or Bad! | Carpe Diem CleaningHey!  This is Madeline, Carpe Diem Cleaning’s General Manager, letting YOU know why we want your feedback.  If you call or email the office, you’ll talk to either me, Andi or Daly.  We will be jumping onto the blog more often to tell you who we are as a company and why we do some of the things that we do.

Many times people only want to know when they’re doing well. They dread getting bad feedback about how they or their team is doing.  Not so at Carpe Diem!

Today let me just tell you why we want your feedback.  We welcome hearing from our clients, whether what they have to say is good or bad!

Good feedback is helpful so that we know when we are doing a good job and that our clients are happy. Bad feedback is helpful so that we know what we need to address with our teams and fix to make our clients 100% happy.

Our teams’ are competent and are committed to helping you seize your clean day!  If a mistake is made on our end, we will fix it.  However, if we don’t know when something isn’t right, it is very hard for us to fix it.

Please be proactive in your communication with us, and we promise to be proactive in our communication with you.

Simple Tricks for a Fun St. Patrick’s Day

 

Simple Tricks for a Fun St. Patrick's Day | Carpe Diem Cleaning

St. Patrick’s Day is THIS Friday, and we can’t wait to celebrate!  Whether you want to make this St. Patrick’s Day fun for your kids or for you and your significant other (or both!), we’ve got you covered!

Here are the best foods, crafts and sweet treats for you to enjoy this Friday or all weekend long!

 

 

Start the Day Off Right

Lucky Charms Pancakes

Lucky Charms Pancakes from Betty Crocker

Surprise your kids with Lucky Charms pancakes and milk that’s been dyed green.  Print off these place mats (and laminate them to use them for years to come).

You can even make rainbow fruit skewers to go along with breakfast (and make it a little healthier ;-).  Simply pick 5 different colors of fruit, put them on skewers, and you’re done!

 

Craft Time

Leprechaun Mask

Leprechaun Paper Plate Mask from abccreativelearning.com

If your children enjoy making crafts, then they’ll love these St. Patrick’s craft ideas!  For younger kids, try this marshmallow stamping craft to work on fine motor skills.

If you’re looking for a fun after-school craft for your school-aged children, here are two crafts that they can wear.  Older kids can make this Leprechaun Paper Plate Mask or Lucky Charms bracelet!

 

 

 

Luck of the Irish Dinner

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew from tasteslovely.com

For an easy meal that the whole family will love, throw this Slow Cooker Irish Guinness Beef Stew in the Crock Pot in the morning and let the slow cooker work its magic all day.  Or, make the classic Dublin Coddle instead.

Either way, be sure to bake this simple Irish Soda Bread with Orange Cream Cheese to go along with dinner.  Don’t skimp on the cream cheese if you’re saving some of the bread for breakfast.  With only 3 ingredients, you can be whip it up in just a few minutes!  Trust us, you won’t regret it.

 

Sweet Tooth

Boozy Shamrock Shake

Boozy Shamrock Shake from cookingwithcurls.com

 

End your night on a sweet note with any one (or more!) of these desserts.  The whole family will love these mint-flavored St. Patrick’s Day muddy buddies.  Here’s a kid-friendly Shamrock Shake recipe, and here’s an adult-friendly Shamrock Shake recipe. ;-)

If you really want to celebrate this holiday to its fullest, make these Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.  Even though they’re made with Guinness in the batter, whiskey in the ganache and Bailey’s in the frosting, these are surprisingly kid-friendly (though you might want to keep them all for your self).

 

 

Want more recipes, decoration tips and more?  Check out our St. Patrick’s Day Fun Pinterest page!  How will you make St. Patrick’s Day fun this year?

Why You Should Change Your Fans & Filters with the Time Change

Looking for ways to save on heating and cooling costs while keeping your air at home healthy?  These two tips will improve your air quality, the life of your HVAC system (one of the most expensive appliances to replace) and keep your home at just the right temperature for YOU.

One of the best ways to build habits is to set triggers around those habits.   This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time, and though we’re losing an hour, it’s the perfect time to change your filters and fans.  Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).

HVAC

HVAC

Call your HVAC guy to come and check out your system and give it a tune up. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.

Haven’t changed your air filters in a while?  Make sure that you’re changing them monthly during winter and summer when your HVAC system is working the hardest.  During spring and fall, you can change them every three months if you have a pet-free home and good quality air filters.

If you suffer from allergies or notice your air quality going down, changing your filters will improve your air quality and preserve the life of your HVAC system since it keeps out dust and other particles that clog up the system.  Let’s take a second to breathe that in.

Why You Should Change Your Fans and Filters with the Time Change  | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans

When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise to force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards.  In spring, we want to prepare our house for the summer heat and use our fans efficiently.

This downward flow of air creates a windchill effect, which will make your home feel cooler than it is! Then you can raise your temperature and save your hard-earned money for something more fun–like spring break!

 

PollenBonus Tip

Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!

By forming the habit of changing your fans and filters with the time change, you’ll be able to breathe easy as the seasons change.  Now go out there and make your home fresher and cooler!

The Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder

Are you ready to get the musty winter smells out of your house and get a jump start on spring cleaning?  The Sh-mop and Carpe Diem’s steam cleaning service will give you back your fresh, clean floors just in time for spring!

The Amazing Sh-Mop

Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder | Carpe Diem CleaningIf you love your Swiffer but are looking for something more eco-friendly, you’ve got to check out the Sh-mop!

The Sh-mop is easy to use and reuse — simply toss the reuseable mop cover into the washing machine and you’ve got a fresh mop.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the amazing Sh-mop!

At Carpe Diem we love the Sh-mop! It helps us clean your hard-surfaced floors easily and effectively, and since the mop cover is removable we’re able to use fresh covers in every house.

 

Carpet Cleaning Reminder 

It’s almost spring cleaning time!  Get a jump start on your spring cleaning by scheduling your carpet cleaning with Carpe Diem.  We even clean upholstery!  Once your floors are clean and fresh, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your home.  Go ahead and download our Carpet Cleaning Checklist to get things started.

You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your carpet cleaning today!

Decluttering your House the Marie Kondo Way

Decluttering Your House the Marie Kondo Way | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Do you want to live more simply this year?  Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love?  This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order!  Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.

We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo

Who is Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes.  Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her.  Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.

Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy.  Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt.  While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house.  She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months.  This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.

Decluttering in Action

Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:

Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately.  These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love.  This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.

pillows, bed, decluttered

Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it.  This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away.  For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three.  Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.

Stay Organized!

Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process.  Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere.  Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten.  Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things.  Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.

Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers.  Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!

Want to try it for yourself?  Check out the book from the library for details or just start tidying today!

Throw an Oscar Party Fit for the Stars


Are you as excited about the Academy Awards as we are?!  If you’re looking forward to seeing the gowns, laughing with Jimmy Kimmel, and seeing La La Land win Best Picture (we can hope, right?), don’t do it alone!  Here are tons of ideas on how you can throw an Oscar party fit for the stars!

 

Film candle votive

DIY Film Votive from Babble.com

Start off with a Bang

Use this free online official Oscars invitation to invite your friends to party in style.  Add some Oscar-themed flair to your house by spray-painting Mason jars or wine bottles gold.  Or wrap old film around battery-operated candles or votives to keep the movie theme involved.  Keep the wine theme going, and hand out sparkling wine in champagne flutes as your guests arrive.

Show Time!

Oscar Party Bingo Printable

Oscar Party Bingo Printable

Have these Rate the Red Carpet printables from Hey Let’s Make Stuff ready and have fun seeing who’s dresses are the favorites of the night.

Let’s be honest, as much as we love the Academy Awards, waiting to see who wins Best Picture can get a little boring somewhere around Best Sound Editing.  Oscar Party Bingo can be played throughout the night, and Name that Best Picture can be made once and then recycled year after year and be kept fresh with just a few changes here and there.

Want to keep track of who’s winning which award?  Print out this Free Oscar Ballot from bidvine!

 

Oscar Party Hawaiian Roll, beef, blue cheese, bacon sandwiches

Beef & Blue BLT’s

What to Eat?

Wondering what to snack on all night?  Bring out these hummus and crudites shots and guacamole with star-shaped tortilla chips during the red carpet show.

Keep these cranberry meatballs warm in the Crock Pot all night so that your guests can go back for seconds…and thirds!

Once the awards start, bring out bacon-wrapped scallops and  beef and blue BLTs, which are sure to hit the spot.

 

Sweet Tooth

marshmallow-topped cupcakes

Popcorn Cupcakes

For dessert, serve chocolate-covered tuxedo strawberries!  Or, easily make these adorable popcorn cupcakes with marshmallows on top.

Really want to go all out?  Make these Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cakes in a muffin pan and wow your guests with the chocolate truffle drizzle presentation.

Enjoy your Oscar night, and check out our Pinterest Board for even more Oscar Party ideas!

The Best Date Night Restaurants in the Triangle

date night light

Looking for a new restaurant to take your sweetheart to on that special date night?  Here are our favorite restaurants in Durham and the Triangle with delicious food and that killer atmosphere that you and your date will love!  Don’t forget to get reservations if you plan on visiting on a holiday or a busy night of the week.

Durham

Durham North Carolina

JuJu 737 Ninth St. #210
$$ – Contemporary Asian tapas
Order several small plates to share with your date!  The Braised Beef Short Tip Won Tons are to die for, and try sitting on the patio if the weather allows.

Mothers & Sons Trattoria 107 W. Chapel Hill St.
$$ – Seasonal Italian cuisine specializing in homemade pasta
Come prepared to try the Primi and Secondi courses.  The Bombolotti cacio e pepe is simple pasta at its finest, and the swordfish will make your night!

Nana’s 2514 University Dr.
$$$ – Southern Regional Cuisine with European influences
You won’t go wrong if you order the risotto with three types of mushrooms and truffle butter.  Nana’s Truffled Chicken Liver pate is another staple in this classic Durham restaurant.

Sushi Love 2812 Erwin Rd. #204
$$ – Sushi rolls and Japanese steak and seafood
You can buy one get one free sushi rolls every day at Sushi Love!  The Durham Cares roll and the Sunrise Lava Roll are delicious, and order their Asian Pear martini to go with your meal.

Vin Rouge 2010 Hillsborough Rd.
$$$ – Authentic French cuisine
There’s no place better in the Triangle to eat raw oysters or the hangar steak with blue cheese.  The bacon and gruyere macaroni and cheese is impeccable as well!

The Little Dipper 905 West Main St. #21A
$$$ – Local Full-Service Fondue
Try the Surf ‘n’ Turf entrée for two, which includes steak, lobster and ravioli.  Finish your night with the Mocha Amaretto fondue with marshmallows, strawberries and more!

Dos Perros 200 North Magnum St.
$$ – Upscale Mexican serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine
Start with the Plantain Fritters, and for dinner go with the Carnitas or Carne Asada!  Try the classic Top Shelf Margarita or mix things up with the spicy Hot Guava Margarita.

Raleighvalentines-dinner

18 Seaboard 18 Seaboard
$$$ – Contemporary Southern, Locally-Sourced Grill
The menu changes often, but try the Big Rock Yellowfish Tuna or the Black Angus filet mignon if they’re on the menu!  You can’t go wrong with the Crème Brûlée of the Day for dessert.

 

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse 8551 Brier Creek Pkwy
$$ – Authentic Brazilian Steakhouse and Salad Bar
At this all-you-can-eat steakhouse, put your rock on green if you want more meat, and put it on red if you want to take a break.  Try the pork, lamb or steak, and the coconut flan for dessert!

The Pit 328 W. Davie St.
$ NC Whole-Hog, Pit-Cooked Barbeque
Order the pulled pork or ribs, if you know what’s good for you, and enjoy the complimentary hush puppies!  Try a local beer on tap to go with your meal.

Chapel Hill

Mint 504 W. Franklin St.
$$ – Contemporary Indian Cuisine
The portions at this restaurant are sizeable, and the garlic naan, tikki masala, or the chicken pasanda are to die for.  For dessert, try the delicious gulab jamun!

Lantern 423 W. Franklin St.
$$$ – Award-winning Locally-sourced Asian cuisine
While the menu changes frequently, the Poulet Rouge chicken and crispy whole black bass are worth ordering for dinner.  Try the warm chocolate cake for dessert or any of their amazing cocktails!

Carrboro & Pittsboro
valentines-day-2

Glass Half Full 106 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro
$$ – Contemporary American Kitchen & Wine bar
Start your meal with the charcuterie plate, and then order the duck confit or the crab mac and cheese.  Ask your server for recommendations for wine, or bring a bottle home with you from their shop!

Oakleaf 480 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro
$$$ – Sophisticated Farm to Table American Dining
The menu changes constantly, but order the steak or gnocchi if you can!  Ask the bartender for drink suggestions to go with your meal or try whichever crème brûlée is on the menu for dessert.

Cary & Apex

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen 7307 Tryon Rd., Cary
$$ – Local Southern and American Cuisine
Start with the Voodoo Pig Bread, and order the catfish for dinner.  Make sure that you order a drink from their extensive wine and local beer list!

Little Hen 5160 Sunset Lake Rd., Apex
$$ – Modern Farm to table American dining
While the menu changes seasonally, the local cheese and meat plate appetizer is always a hit!  Try the locally-sourced pork for the main course and add one of their unique cocktails to your meal.

Sushi IWA 2026 Creekside Crossings Dr., Apex
$$ – Sushi Bar and Asian Restaurant
You can buy one get and one free sushi roll every day here, so check out the My Girl roll or any of the salmon rolls.  If you’re not interested in sushi, try the bacon fried rice or the Imperial Chicken dish!

So, which one of these fabulous local restaurants will you go to next?

How to Celebrate the Super Bowl Like a Champ

Super Bowl Party Like a ChampAre you ready to party?! This Sunday is Super Bowl 51, where the Atlanta Falcons will face off against the New England Patriots.

The last time the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl was way back in 1999, so it’s been a long (and often hard) wait. After a rocky start to the season, the Patriots have fought their way back to the big game. Whether you’re cheering for the underdog Falcons or the comeback Patriots, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to get our party on!!

You know Super Bowl parties are all about the food, so check out these mouthwatering menu ideas and get ready to party like a champ!

Patriots Jell-O shots

Patriots Jell-O Shots from Delish

First Things First

Enjoy the pregame and kickoff with some adult beverages, like these simple Red, White and Blue Layered Shots for Patriots’ fans. Or Falcons’ fans can try this Dirty Shirley cocktail.  Into Jell-O shots?  These can be made to support the Falcons or the Patriots! You can also create the perfect drink for your party with Gatorade Jell-O shots!

 

 

Easy Potato Bites

Easy Loaded Potato Bites from I Heart Naptime

The Main Event

Munch your way through the first quarter with tasty apps like Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites, Loaded Nachos, and Panko Mozzarella Sticks.

Got bacon lovers in the house? Serve up some Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Meatballs or Beer Candied Bacon (yes, beer-candied bacon is for real, and you must try it!).

Then enjoy the Super Bowl halftime show with these show-stopping Honey Mustard Fried Chicken Sliders and Easy Loaded Potato Bites.

 

Falcons Rice Krispie Treats

Falcons Rice Krispie Treats from Two Sisters Crafting

And for Dessert?

Finish things off with some sweet-as-victory Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots Rice Krispie Treats. Or make some fresh and festive Chocolate Covered Strawberry Footballs.

Be sure to check out our Super Bowl Party Pinterest board for more mouthwatering inspiration, and enjoy the game!