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Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert


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Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips

Kitchen appliances

The old saying goes, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” However, like a heart, a kitchen needs proper maintenance. Without care, the shelf life of appliances can severely decline, and the costs of new appliances can add up.

Below are several tips to keep your kitchen clean.


One of the most important appliances in the kitchen is the refrigerator. The environment in the fridge makes it easy for mold colonies to creep up. To prevent the spread of these biological pests and prevent wear and tear, here are several key cleaning tips.


  • Check the food for expiration dates that have passed, and toss old or spoiled food every week.
  • Remove all food from the refrigerator to clean tough-to-reach corners.
  • Temporarily remove the shelves and drawers and scrub the interior with a mixture of warm water and soap.
  • Use baking soda to remove any stains.
  • Dry any wet spots with a separate cloth or towel before you put your food back in.


  • Examine the condenser coils located on the back of the fridge for dust and use a broom or similar cleaning tool to remove any debris.
  • Check and maintain the seals of the fridge.


Picture this: after waiting a few minutes to heat up a bowl of soup, you open the microwave door and broth residue is splattered all around. A simple spill can cause food particles and stains to build up quickly. Here are some tips to get rid of stains quickly and efficiently.


  • Heat up a cup of water for roughly three minutes depending on the power of the microwave.
  • Let it sit and evaporate until steam appears on the glass window.
  • Use a paper towel, sponge or cloth to wipe the interior clean.
  • If your microwave has a glass plate, remove it and scrub the plate separately so that no spots are missed.
  • Finally, use soapy water to disinfect the inside.
  • Dry the interior well.


  • Use an all-purpose cleaner on a cloth or sponge to keep it clean, but be careful not to spray cleaner directly on the appliance because there’s a risk that the cleaner will enter the ventilation holes.
  • Periodically inspect the glass outside the door for fingerprints, dirt, splatter or grime.

Stove or Oven

Do you remember when dinner was left in the oven a little too long a few weeks ago? Maybe there was a cookie dough overflow. More than likely, the remnants of those dishes are burned to the bottom.

Although most ovens have self-cleaning cycles, the high temperatures often result in smoke  and old food burned to ash. To avoid this, use store-bought oven cleaner as an alternative. Make sure to wear a mask and gloves, as this type of cleaner is very strong. Non-scented ammonia is also a good substitute. For tough spots or hard-to-reach places, use a scraper.

For electric stove tops, use a basic cleaner to cover the surface area. Gas stove tops are a little trickier, often requiring you to take apart the components to clean them properly. 

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a little tricky to maintain and can be dangerous. Keep your hands and large objects out of the garbage disposal, as this can damage the machine and your appendages.

Your solution? A natural cleaner such as a citrus fruit, plus some dish soap:

  • Fill the sink with soap and water.
  • Let it flush and drain.
  • Cut the fruit in half and run the disposal until both halves are gone.


Choose a toaster with a crumb tray so that you can clean it out with ease. After unplugging the toaster, gently shake your appliance over the trash to remove any excess food particles. Avoid using water or other cleaners when cleaning the inside the toaster.

Coffee Maker

Because they’re used daily, coffee makers are especially prone to germs and can host mold and other microscopic pests if not cleaned properly. 

After sipping your morning cup of joe, pour out any leftovers and rinse out the pot. Leaving leftover coffee in the open invites bacteria to come in, especially over several days. A more thorough wash of removable parts is recommended, especially since loose coffee grounds can remain after a simple rinse.

 An alternative cleaning method is to mix vinegar and water while brewing: 

  • Mix one part white vinegar to two parts water, then pour the mixture into the water tank of the coffee maker
  • Place a filter in the basket and turn the coffee maker on.
  • Once complete, run at least 2-3 more pots of plain water to flush the vinegar out of the coffee maker.

Much like a human heart, you need to take care of the kitchen to ensure a safe and clean space for living. For more cleaning tips, check out the Zing Blog’s Room-by-Room Natural Cleaning Guide.

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Get The Look For Less: Hygge

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Get the Look for Less: Hygge

Trending bedroom

Every year, and oftentimes every season, expert designers and decorators determine what “the look” truly is. Whether it’s Pantone announcing their Color of the Year or interior design magazines stocking a bookshelf with the top home décor trends, “the look” can be hard, and oftentimes expensive, to keep up with.

This year, the look is Hygge (HOO-gah) a Danish concept of comfort and hominess. So far, so good, right? I’m all about being comfortable in my own home. We actually broke down the 10 elements of Hygge and how you can get the look in your home.

However, as every new trend enters the mainstream, you’ll start to notice home décor and furnishings embodying that trend tend to skyrocket. Today, we’ll go over the top five elements of Hygge and how you can achieve the look your home without having to take out a second mortgage.

Giant Throw Blankets

Excuse me while I decorate every room in my home with an over-sized, faux fur blanket.

Comfort isn’t a new concept. Let’s be honest, most of us were piling on giant blankets before it was considered fashion-forward. But with the emergence of Hygge, big blankets are finally getting the love they deserve in the style world.

With this year’s look, blankets have taken the form of faux fur, a simultaneously luxurious, yet stylish addition. However, since this style is on-trend, it can also be pretty pricy.

However, if you’re willing to go off name brand merchandise, you can still have this stylish find at a reasonable price.

Get the Look for Less: Hygge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Fireside Faux Fur Throw Blanket $98 vs. Faux Fur Throw $24.49

Agate Details

Agate is a semiprecious, decorative stone, characterized by its fine grain and variety of color. It’s on-point with Hygge’s emphasis on nature.

While they come in various shapes, designs and colors, agate is a show-stopping piece of décor, also acting as an artistic statement piece with your other home décor pieces. As is it a semiprecious gemstone, it often comes at a particularity high price.

However, you can find some pretty convincing look-alike pieces that still make a home décor statement, without making a dent in your bank account.

Get the Look for Less: Hygge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Silvered Geode Coaster (4) $56 vs Agate Coaster (4) $27.99

Serving Tray

Even if you don’t consider yourself the host with the most, having serveware around the house can be a nice addition to your table or counter top, adding an amenity of luxury and convenience.

Hygge, however, uses hosting pieces as an expression of togetherness and hospitality. Therefore, by having items in your home that allow for hosting, like a serving tray, bar cart or cake display, you’re embodying the idea of togetherness.

Drawing inspiration once more from Hygge’s idea of nature, try incorporating a wooden serving tray in your kitchen or dining room area. You can find serving trays at an economical price, if you know where to look.

Get the Look for Less: Hygge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Acklin Nature Wood Serving Tray $63.99 vs. Acacia Serving Tray $19.99

Natural Warmth

Like giant, warm blankets, candles aren’t a new concept to home décor, but they’re receiving more recognition with Hygge on the rise. They’re not only a source of light and warmth in your home, they’re also one of the more inexpensive decorative items to add to a room.

Unlike some of the other sources of light in your home, the soft lighting and sweet scent of candles provides a soothing and comfortable atmosphere that can pull together the other decorative elements in your home.

Depending on where you frequent, candles can sometimes be on the expensive side. So opt for a simple-looking candle with a soothing scent, so as to not overpower your space.

Get the Look for Less: Hygge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Capri Blue Burnished Candle $30 vs. Island Moonlight Candle $15.49

Coffee Cravings

If you’re not already in love with coffee, read on to become obsessed.

With the home décor shift from midcentury modern to Hygge, we saw a change from form and function to sweet and indulgent regarding furnishings and accessories. Hygge strongly advocates for guilty pleasures.

Since hosting is another concept of Hygge, share your indulgences with others by searching for items that aren’t always necessary, but will add to overall enjoyment.

For example, a fresh coffee grinder may add a level of enjoyment to your cup of joe, while also being a conversation starter when visitors stop by.

Get the Look for Less: Hygge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Ceramic Coffee Mill $49.99 vs. Bialetti Manual Coffee Grinder $19.99

With elements of warmth and hominess as the foundation of Hygge, it’s not surprising why everyone seems to be obsessed with this emerging trend.

And while trends come and go every season, there are some concepts of home décor that remain the same. If you’re looking to simply make your house look more inviting, check out our list of affordable ways to decorate your home.

Affordable Items That Make Your House Look Chic

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Affordable Items that Make Your House Look Chic

Chic living room

Last fall, we discussed inexpensive ways to make your house look expensive. It’s a hot topic among style-savvy homeowners and seasoned interior designers. After all, who doesn’t seize every opportunity to look good for less? Especially since styles tend to shift every season. We just recently witnessed a transition from midcentury to hygge (HOO-gah) home décor trends.

With the ever-changing tide of interior design, accompanied by a seasonal decoration switch, it can be challenging to stay on-trend – not to mention on budget, when you’re striving to make your house look chic and in style.

However, you don’t have to blow your budget to make your home look like an HGTV magazine. The answer lies in a few low-key elements that have the potential to make a high-impact in your home. And the best part? They’re affordable.

Comfort Over Style

Comfort is a 2018 trend that we can get behind! With the emergence of hygge a Danish concept of togetherness, home décor has shifted from prioritizing form and function to indulgence and coziness.

You will see these concepts take the form of oversized throw pillows and blankets and more scented candles.

“Adding throws and pillows is a great way to introduce bold colors and rich textures to any space,” explained Annie Santulli, of Annie Santulli Designs. “They also tend to be tactile and will keep your guests’ idle hands busy and off their phone – for a minute!”

Santulli revealed that jewel tones are making a comeback in 2018. Pantone announced their bold ultra violet 2018 Color of the Year; bright, bold colors have caught the designer eye ever since.

However, if you’re looking to be economical and would rather select a versatile color that compliments any style, try incorporating neutral throws. You’ll get more bang for your buck, should you decide to shake it up next season.

Faux fur throw blanket


Gray Long Faux Fur Throw $13.99 (Picture)

Candles are a perfect cost-effective, high-impact addition to any room in your home. They’re more than just source of soft lighting; they cater to your senses of sight and smell in perfect harmony, creating a calm and relaxing vibe in your home.

No really. Smell is psychological, able to affect your mood, sleep and overall physical and mental health. For example, it’s speculated that the scent of peppermint stimulate the mind and body, while scents like jasmine and lavender are supposed to entice sleep and relaxation.

Incorporating candles into a few rooms in your home will not only create a warm, relaxing environment for your guests; it has the potential to affect their very state of mind. Strive to place warm, homey scents, like coffee or fresh baked bread, throughout the home.

The Burlap Bag Soy Candle $20 (Picture)

All of the Lights

Lamps and other lighting fixtures are inexpensive items that can easily change the look of a room. The right – or wrong – lighting has the potential to transform your space, acting as the spotlight to your furnishings and home décor.

“Interesting light fixtures are one of my favorite ways to add glamour to a room and lighting always creates a specific mood for each space,” said Stantulli.

Heather Hess, the lead designer behind interior decorating site, SwatchPop!, suggested to upgrade overhead lighting with a larger-sized chandelier or pendant.

“This one simple upgrade can instantly make a room look more expensive because it will look custom and create a new focal point in the room,” she said. Additionally, overhead lighting can eliminate unflattering shadows in a room that may be distorting the perspective of your décor.

Ceiling light


Glass Globe Ceiling Light $69.99 (Picture)

Prints and Petals

Adding interesting artwork is a great way to increase the appeal of an area in your home, creating a polished look with the other furnishings and décor.

“You can change the feel of an entire space by adding an oversized piece of art, and then adding a few accessories that pull the colors into the room,” added Santulli.

You don’t need to spend big bucks to enhance your space with artwork and prints. There are many affordable places to get quality artwork for a reasonable price, like Esty.

“As a print shop, we know the value of art and the joy it can bring to a room,” said Melissa Golz, digital marketing manager from Parabo Press, a photo-printing add for design-minded printers. “The best part about decorating with artwork is that once you tire of it, you can always switch it out for something new!”

Forest prints


Forest Prints $11.37 (Picture)

Flowers bring more than just a pretty pop of color to a room. Like candles, they appeal to your senses of sight and smell. And if you know where to go, they can also be a low-cost addition to your home décor.

Grocery store flowers are relatively inexpensive, depending on where you shop. Instead of paying upwards of $100 for an arrangement, you can try your hand at assembling your own bouquet for a fraction of the price.

Add a simple, decorative vase from your local second-hand or dollar store and you’ve added a level of hospitality and comfort to your home.

However, if you don’t have the time to assemble a fresh arrangement every week or so, there are still affordable monthly flower subscriptions at reasonable prices.


Pomponi Daisies with Eucalyptus $55 (Picture)

Details, Details

Home décor details are the sprinkles on the cupcake. They add a level of simplistic sophistication to a room, usually at a more reasonable price compared to home furnishings and furniture. Upgraded kitchen hardware or a backsplash above an appliance may be just a few of the details that can spruce up your kitchen.

However, when you’re looking for inexpensive details that will make a statement, focus on the surfaces of the home that are usually neglected – your walls and floor.

Mirrors are a great statement piece to your wall, having a higher-impact compared to picture frames and wall decals.

By strategically placing a few mirrors near a lighting source to create a reflection, you create dimension and the illusion that your space is far larger than is actually is.

Round glass wall mirror


Round Decorative Wall Mirror $47.49 (Picture)

Let’s face it. Finding a fashionable, affordable rug can be like finding a magic carpet: impossible and probably somewhere in a Disney movie.

However, it’s not impossible to find a reasonably priced rug to transform your space. All you have to do is find the right rug for a room in your home, in both style and proportion.

If you have wood floors, try finding a rug that’s plush and soft. Not only will this add a new texture to the space, but it also creates a welcoming addition to a room. On the other hand, if you already have carpet and you’re just looking to add another layer to your floor, try opting for a thinner rug.

If you’re looking for a rug to go underneath your furniture, like a dining room table and chairs, make sure the rug extends the correct amount of space beyond the furniture above it, as too short of a rug will have the reverse effect of making your space look less expensive and smaller than it actually is.

Lazro Printed Rug $119.00 (Picture)

Whether you’re seeking a style that’s on-trend or a home that’s more accommodating and comfortable, using these affordable, but high-impact home décor items will transform your space in overall quality.

“Quality over quantity is key to working with a budget,” said Hess. “Quality does not always mean expensive, think of it as high-impact and statement pieces that will add to your room.”


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 540




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Photo of Judi Monday Real Estate
Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221