Stress Free Holiday Planning

Preparing for the holidays can be a fun, lighthearted time spent with family and friends, but it can also be a time where the stress levels rise to levels where a post-party-massage is required (I guess that isn't too bad...). But you get the picture. We've all been there where we are down to the last minute and there's just something that we forgot to do. Here are a few helpful hints you can find to help the holidays be a joyful experience.

Stain busters 

Stains and holidays seem to go together. From the festive drinks and turkey grease to your brand new white rug and table cloth; the two just go together like Bonnie and Clyde. It might even be handy to have a Tide ToGo stick on hand for clothing stains. If you are removing a stain on a fabric, always remember to try the solution on a more discreet area of the carpet or upholstery to ensure it will not ruin it. Although these solutions are not guaranteed, they should work or help. Using your best judgement, consult a professional if it is a tough stain and experimentation is not worth the risk of potentially ruining an object. Some of the top holiday stain culprits and their removal solution are listed below:

Red Wine:

Try dabbing with a white cloth and add club soda in small amounts to the spot. If it is a post-party spot, try 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2 cups of warm water to blot out the stain.

Candle Wax:

If any wax drips on the tablecloth, try freezing it and scraping it with a non abrasive object such as a blunt butter knife. 

Chocolate:

Mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups of cold water and blot the stain.

Coffee:

Blot up excess liquid. Take 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2 cups of cold water to blot the stain. 

Gravy:

Treat with a laundry stain remover and soak for 2 hours. Continue with a regular washing machine cycle.

Cranberry sauce:

Mix 1/2 tablespoon mild dish soap, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 4 cups of cold water. Soak the soiled specimen for 15 minutes then wash.

For more tips, check out this helpful article on Pop Sugar:

http://www.popsugar.com/home/How-Remove-Common-Food-Wine-Stains-39286234#photo-39286878

 

Last minute dessert ideas

There are plenty of desserts that can be made effortlessly. They can look elegant and beautiful, but have minimal ingredients and time involved for preparation. A melted chocolate drizzle can do wonders for a dessert that needs a little dazzle. Fresh fruit can be brushed with a simple sugar (water and sugar) glaze to give it a classy, delectable shine. Be creative! 

Buckeyes

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/261842165811012955/

Kabob Type Desserts (think strawberries, chocolate, and marshmallow heaven)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/270145677626163352/

 

Graham Cracker Christmas Crunch

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/255579347580520257/

 

Who's doing the dishes?! 

Holidays equal dishes....right? Well, if done strategically, dishes don't have to be a looming after party chore. Paper plates and plastic cutlery can be a life saver when it comes to party guests. If you absolutely love your favorite tableware, leave a bus bin of sorts next to the sink with a dirty dish label to give guests a place to put their used dish ware. When preparing treats for a party, finger foods are always a great option. There are countless possibilities such as fruits, veggies, popcorn, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, bars, candies, pretzels, crackers, spreads, and more.

 

Remember what's important

Whether your party turned out exactly how you wanted it or if it turned out a little different than planned, remember to show love and make your guests feel at home. They might not remember what color the tablecloth was, but they will remember what they felt. From our families to yours, we wish you a fantastic holiday season filled with memories to cherish and keep!

 

So much to be thankful for

What a year!

This has been hands-down the biggest year of change in the history of Chicago Loop Cleaners. While we have experienced all the growing pains that come with change and expansion, we look back and truly have so much to be thankful for. 

 

1. New Team Members

Arial joined us in April and Kareema came in June. They are both hard workers with absolutely great attitudes! As a team we are regularly reading books on personal development, and they are excited about learning and growing. Each are also taking on more responsibilities in the company and expanding in both cleaning and management abilities. Oh, and they make our team FUN!

karema.jpeg
 

We've Expanded Into 2 New Buildings

Look for us in 805 N. LaSalle, 1000 S. Clark, and 720 S. Franklin. We love our new buildings and are excited to clean more homes and give rest to more of downtown Chicago!

 

Our Clients

Many of you have been with us since our origin -- we are honored to continue to serve you. We love getting to take care of your personal space and get to know you more each passing week. We wouldn't be here without you!

 

Our New Staff Development Program

Chicago Loop Cleaners doesn't just clean homes; we develop and train our staff for personal and professional growth. Here's what Emily, the founder and owner, says about the new program:

"I am currently developing a staff development program for my current and future Team Members. The program is designed to be a year-long working internship. By the end of the year, each Team Member will be well equipped to take the next step in her career, be it growing within CLC or leaving the company to the next phase of her life. The training will start with cleaning and customer service skills, and will then move to life visioning, goal setting, health, nutrition, and financial skills. The last several months of the training will focus on developing specific skills in the Team Member, according to her interests and talents, so that she will finish her training prepared to be a highly desirable candidate in her chosen career path. The training program is still in its early development stages, but if you're interested in hearing more, please let me know! More details will be forthcoming, as the program begins to take shape and be implemented."

What are you thankful for?

Looking over this past year, are you able to recall areas of change, growth and opportunity? We encourage you to take time and reflect about what things in your life that are gifts and blessings. As Brene Brown says, "Joy comes from a place of gratitude."

Happy Thanksgiving!

2016 Splash Day Pawty And Raffle Winners

This is definitely my type of party! I understand how important it is for people and even pets to let go and have some fun, and boy was this the best way to do it. All brought to you by the collaborative sponsorship of Baroo and Chicago Loop Cleaners. Below are some of the best shots and highlights.

The outdoor pool area was pretty popular with folks. That's the magic of raffles and snacks, I guess. If you're curious about the raffle winners, you’ll find them and what they won, at the end of this blog post. On a side note, I came over to the deck area for snacks but then realized it's the perfect spot to stay dry from doggy cannon balls. It's a win win!

“Just your friendly neighborhood
Super dog.”

Which is exactly what this little guy did! Well..his owner held him up (human shield style) but judging from his pose afterwards, I’m pretty sure he knows he saved the day.

I’ve gotten so distracted by all the cuteness that day that, I can barely remember names. So you're definitely going to get tired of me saying little guy or cutie.But boy did she love the chase scene! You're looking at the ultimate tag championship holder right now.

“Go for a swim,” they said. “It will be fun!” they said.”
“Smiles are contagious..and you should be happy about that!”
“Yes, swimming was fun but a have a manicure appointment waiting for me.”

I saved the best for last! This fabulous grey hound is getting all dried off and carried away to her forever home. Such a beautiful swimmer and hilarious personality. I love how she makes the best out whatever situation she's in. A very go-with-the-flow dog is the best kind to have in my book.


Raffle Winners


I just want to first thank everyone for coming out and enjoying themselves and letting your furry friends in on the fun. The CLC and Baroo team greatly appreciate the support, pet entertainment, and conversation.


Congrats raffle winners! Your prizes are below:


Free Walk , compliments of Baroo: Debe DuBree

Free House Cleaning , compliments of CLC: Perri Wertheimer

Gift Basket , compliments of CLC and Baroo: Alex Stover

If you see your name listed above, then be ready to receive an email and phone call about setting up an appointment or sending a gift.


Word of advice


Owners, remember to wash your dog after pool play to keep them from having severe skin irritation. Thanks again and enjoy!

By: Arial Davis
Photos by: Emily Taylor

 

Holiday sweet tooth on your mind?

Preparing meals and desserts, and let's face it, just being around so many sweets during the holidays is hard! Having nutritious, energy packed snacks on hand is a great way to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Additionally, if you are craving sugar, it may be your body telling you that it is under stress, needs rest, exercise, or just a simple energy boost. Sometimes a nap or quick walk can help with all of those! At other times it is your body craving good nutrition.

Whether it is the holiday season or not, some great snacks to keep in mind are:

Pistachios

Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, minerals, protein, oleic acid, and vitamin B complex groups such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and folates, pistachios are a high energy snack that is great on the go. If you have more time on your hands, pistachio oil can be used for cooking your favorite meals.

Almonds

Take a handful! These delicious nuts may look pretty plain, but they contain protein, vitamins, and minerals which can be a great compliment to a more sugary snack such as fruit or yogurt.

Kale Chips

Kale is a low calorie food that is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, protein and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. If you're craving something a little crispy, instead of reaching for the potato chips, try something new! Adding olive oil and a pinch of salt give this snack option even more flavor.

Kale Chip Recipe: http://pin.it/C6R_Z81

Dairy (or non-Dairy)

Cheese, yogurt, and milk drinks are easy ways to help with the desire for sugar intake. Whether it is dairy based or a milk alternative, this creamy snack can help add calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients while curbing the cravings.

Which Came First, Chicken or Egg..?

High in protein, low in calories, and easy on the wallet, eggs can be an easy way to get the nutrition you need. Mixed with a piece of whole grain bread, folded in with spinach, or just a pinch of salt and pepper, these can make a tasty snack or meal.

Fruits and Veggies

Apples, oranges, bananas. High in water and fiber, fruits and vegetables are beneficial and essential for obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need! Try to go for leafy vegetables as much as possible and don't shy away from bright fruits and veggies. If you are needing more protein, try adding steak, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, or avocado! These foods can help you feel energetic and also keep you feeling full longer.

Tired of eating bananas every morning? Smoothies are a fantastic way to have a nutritious between meal boost.

Most of the time, if done right, you can add spinach or another green, leafy vegetable and never notice! Remember flax, chia, hemp, granola, or yogurt can be tossed in too!

Need ideas? Try some of these:

Banana Berry Smoothie https://www.pinterest.com/pin/520376931926094790/

Green Smoothie Chart http://pin.it/tGwjAoD 

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie http://pin.it/tDQS1zM

Raspberry Lime Smoothie http://pin.it/n-TxB2s

Water

Don't forget to stay hydrated! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and it is recommended that adults drink over 64oz of water a day. As obvious as this element sounds, sometimes it is the most challenging to get throughout the day. Sometimes we even mistake our need for water with the nagging craving for sweets. It is estimated that about 400 of the calories that adults and children consume a day come from beverages! Water can make a huge impact in dropping that calorie count and give your body the pure hydration it needs.

If water isn't naturally your favorite, try adding a slice or two of cucumber or a wedge of lemon or lime. Melons or berries can also be added for taste. Just remember to wash out your water bottle more frequently!

Don't Forget!

After working hard to keep those cravings at bay, don't forget to enjoy some of those delicious and delightful desserts! Adding some of these tips along with an active lifestyle will go far and your body will thank you for it too!

12 Pet Behaviors Owners Get Wrong

As a pet care provider, I'm always told that a pet is a reflection of the owner. So much so, that people believe they know their pet right down to their thought process. So I'm here to present a guide that may surprise you the next time you're giving Mr. Whiskers animal commentary.

 

When a dog yawns you figure it's sleepy but it just might be him shaking off stress

Yes, dogs do yawn when they're tired- and they've been observed to “catch” a yawn from their human companions- but usually a yawn means they’re tense. A yawn helps a dog to release anxiety and re-focus. Kinda like rolling your shoulders and head. 

A hissing cat is an angry cat right? Not exactly. It's trying to terrify you

A cat's hiss is intended to mimic a deadly snake attack, from the hissing sound to the slitted eyes and bared fangs. When your cat hisses, it's imitating something that can kill you.

 

When a cat doesn't cover its poop you think it's just being careless. Truth is, she's leaving a message

 Normally cats are quite tidy with their turds, leaving them in litter boxes and carefully covering them up. But when your cat drops a log in the box- or worse, outside the box- exposed and uncovered, she’s saying,  “Attention other cats: this is my territory.” So there's another cat somewhere making her feel threatened.

 

You think a dog eating its own feces is insane but it's actually instincts

Predatory animals in the wild find dog dens by the smell of their poop. (You might have noticed it's pretty pungent.) Mother dogs will often eat feces to protect their puppies. Another possibility your dog might eat it, is out of boredom. Fortunately, it's easy to cure with a walk.

 

“Purring means she loves me!” That's not always the case

Cats do purr when happy but they also purr to comfort themselves when they're frightened and to help heal themselves. Scientist have found that vibrations caused by purring can repair muscles and tendencies, breathing, and reduce pain and swelling. It's not just the cat that benefits, cat owners reap the healing properties of purring and there also less likely to have heart attacks.

 

A cat showing you its belly might seem like a trap but it's really a sign of trust

Most cat owners have experienced it- seeing their cats spread on its back,belly up, then reaching in to pet the cat and getting scratched. So they assume it's a form of play when it's rather the opposite. It's comparable to a human hug, where you press your body against another person. He's exposing his belly to say, “I trust you.”

 

You probably associate cat rubbing as affection. Nope. She's saying, “I own you.”

That cat lovingly caressing your leg is not only marking you as her property, she’s also letting other felines know whether she's interested in hooking up. So wherever you go, after being scent marked, you're a walking Tinder for your cat.

 

Dog usually pees when you come home? You think he's happy to see you but he's really saying you're the boss

 If your dog cowards and pees when he sees you, it's an act of submission not over excitement or lack of control. If you yell at your dog for doing it,  you'll make the dog even more submissive and prone to pee. Instead sit down with him and avoid eye contact.

 

A wagging tail doesn't always mean a dog’s happy. Pay attention to the position

 The position of the tail matters a lot more than the wagging itself. When the tail as held too low and curved and is wagging slowly everything is cool.  If the tail is higher or arched over the back the dog is feeling dominant or aggressive. If the tail wags to the dogs right, (your left as you face the dog) it's a sign of an interest. where wagging to its left signals anxiety.

 

We associate leash tugging with excitement. It's really confusion

Dogs need to be specifically trained to know what a leash is and to know where you want their bodies relative to yours, when you're out on walks. Otherwise they'll keep pulling harder and harder until they damage their tracheas. Training, by the way, does not mean simply yanking on the leash. It will only trigger your dog to pull harder.

 

Cats love keeping tidy but all the bathing is done to get rid of your scent

 Cats are incredibly scent oriented, so they're particular about how they smell. Although very eager to put their scent on you and your environment but not so keen on smelling like a human.

 

You might think your cat brings you prey to please you it's actually trying to teach you to hunt

Cats are natural hunters and yours have noticed that you're absolutely terrible at killing your own food. So like a mother raising its kitten, your cat brings you prey (often still alive) to help you learn to hunt.

 

Now that you have the inside scoop on these commonly misunderstood behaviors, knowing what your pet is really saying will generate a stronger bond between you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come home and rest in your Chicago Loop condo

Chicago Loop high-rise condos are the best.

We have met the best door staff, kindest people, friendliest staff, and several adorable dogs (we ride the service elevator together -- that's how friendships are made!). 

Right now we clean condos and apartments in 5 buildings downtown. We find that sticking with a few and keeping things neighborly works the best for everyone. Plus we love the staff, so the relationships all-around are great!

If you are in any of these buildings, you'll know why we love it.

33 W. Ontario: The Millennium Centre

The luxury abounds at 33 W. Ontario. Our clients' apartments are floored with granite and hardwood, and the fourteenth-floor pool and patio is truly lovely. Just steps away from excellent dining- Quartino, Osteria Via Stato, and M Burger among many others- and blocks away from Magnificent Mile, 33 W. Ontario is a prime location. 

If you're interested in a beautiful condo not far from the Loop or Navy Pier, check 33 W. Ontario out here: http://www.themillenniumcentre.com/

The Legacy at Millennium Park

Luxury? High-end? Spacious? Look no further. We love The Legacy!

If you want stunning views of the Loop, Lake Michigan, and Millennium Park, this is your place to be! They offer luxury, cosmopolitan living in downtown Chicago and we agree they live up to it and beyond. 

Whether you work from home or use this as a space to escape work, The Legacy is the space for living fully and luxuriously. Browse their website here:  http://www.thelegacyatmillenniumpark.com/

One Superior Place

Near Gold Coast, One Superior Place is what it claims to be: Superior. They have apartments with all the amenities you need to live a fun, full life. There's even a Whole Foods on the first floor! Everything is nearby and you are only steps away from the hub of downtown Chicago life. 

See if this building is the right home for you: http://www.onesuperiorplace.com/

Eight O' Five

At 805 LaSalle you'll find a brand new building that is causing a stir in the neighborhood as the luxury building to plant your home. Have a dog? They have a unique outdoor, secure dog run on the 4th floor. Not to mention the views of the River North city skyscrapers are stunning, especially at night. 

See if this is home you could like to end up in -- research them here: http://805lasalle.com/

21 W. Chestnut

Another apartment building in River North, this one is conveniently close to the Water Tower Place and all the wonderful shopping and restaurant that brings. If you're a coffee and book lover, look no more -- there's a Starbucks AND a resident library all in one place! With Magnificent Mile close by, you can be sure to find everything you need with a couple minutes walk. Check them out here: http://www.21wchestnut.com/

Need a high-end cleaning in your high-end home?

We would love to meet you! If you live in any of these buildings, shoot us an email or phone call and we'll set up an assessment with you to find out what clean means to you. When it's all said and done, we want you to come home and rest in your Chicago Loop home.

312-620-2105

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Save your dog this summer with these tips

Who let the dogs out?!

School is out, the weather is nice, and you're ready to take on new opportunities for you and your pet. Whenever we clean your house, we can just feel the yearning of your dogs to get outside and romp around in the warm sun. Believe me, we want to as well!

Don't let those sunglasses fool you though -- summer can bring plenty of dangers to your furry friend like…

Heatstroke

Yes, you read that right, heat stroke. What I find so interesting about animals, especially dogs, is that what we lack in physical similarities we gain in emotional ones. Unfortunately, we also suffer from the same dangers, in this case it's heat stroke. Dogs don't possess sweat glands, so in order to keep cool, they'll drool on themselves. As a responsible pet owner, it's your job to keep them as cool as possible. This means finding them a shady place to play, keeping the house air conditioned when eating or relaxing, and always having cold water available for them to stay hydrated. Keep in mind when it's too hot to touch the pavement with the back of your hand for 20 seconds, it's too hot for them to walk on. Try to keep them on the grass on those days. 

Allergens

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: constant scratching and chewing on the skin, rubbing their face on the floor and against vertical corners, constant head shakes, and heavy breathing. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red oral tissue, a red chin, and even red paws so keep an eye out for those symptoms. To help aid your pet, be sure to give them a warm bath and paw soaks every morning and night to help clean off any irritant residue on their skin. Vacuuming the house will definitely help, though I suggest you do it while they are in the bathroom away from the noise.

Sunburn
 

Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned too. Light-colored dogs and dogs with thin fur are at a high risk. If you prefer your pets to be outside, make sure that you give them a healthy application of sunscreen that doesn't contain Zinc Oxide. If you can’t find sunscreen that’s formulated for dogs, using one that is for babies is the best alternative. Apply it to the bridge of the nose, tips of ears, belly, and groin areas.

Pests

We often thing of the warmer months as being flea and tick season, but pests are actually a danger year-round. Flea and tick symptoms go hand and hand with seasonal pet allergies, minus the general redness. Throwing on sunscreen and flea repellent is the best thing to do, but the repellent has to be natural. If it's chemical based your pet won't like the smell and will take any chance they have to rub against something to get it off. Opt for a flea collar and rubbing them down with a lemon half. The juices and collar will repel the bugs and keep the coat clean and smelling great.

Chlorine

You may not know it, but all dogs are instinctual swimmers. If you're planning on hitting the pool this summer, introduce your dog to the water. Once you’re done though, a towel dry won't finish the job. You'll need to wash your dog completely clean of chlorine. It can cause severe chemical burns if left on too long. If you notice your dog is drinking more pool water than swimming, leave immediately and give them a lot of fresh water to drink. You may notice your dog vomiting but don't fret: his body is rejecting the chlorine water. If you dog doesn't vomit the chlorine, it may urinate more during its walk. So don't make them hold it too long when they have to go!

Be pet-safe this summer!

We all know that this beautiful Chicago weather will be great times for you to bond with your dogs outdoors. Use these tips to ensure that your pet is safe and happy this entire season!

 

 

 

April Topics: When your Dyson doesn't suck and How to tidy up

Your Dyson should suck

Sometimes your Dyson (or other vacuum) just isn't working like it used to. The sucking-power seems low and vacuuming seems to take longer than usual. Never to fear-- we found a step-by-step process for safely cleaning your Dyson so that you can get it back to tip-top shape! This is a little more in depth than simply changing the filter or dumping out the contents regularly. But it's worth the little extra time to take the pieces apart and give it a thorough clean. Here's the link. Good luck!
 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

We love tidy homes! It's always our pleasure to take notice of the little details of your home and how we can create space and peace by tidying up your home and life. Because of that, this book has become a handbook for us: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up- The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Check it out and see where we get some of our inspirations. We know that a little extra attention to these details will make a difference in the comfort of your home.
 

Spring Cleaning ideas

Happy Spring!

As the weather warms up, Spring Cleaning is probably on your mind. Have you thought about simply decluttering your home in addition to a total deep-clean?

Here's our favorite decluttering tip:

Don't keep it if you wouldn't buy it now!

Take a good, hard look at all your belongings -- we know they may have some special significance, but honestly assess the situation. Would you actually buy that item again right now? No? Then toss it, donate it, or give it away to a friend who needs it. Take back your home again!

Here's a few more golden rules of decluttering

 From levo.com

From levo.com

What do you normally neglect in Spring Cleaning?

If we only do deep cleaning once a year, there's most likely areas that you miss out on. We found a list of the top 10 neglected areas of spring cleaning on premeditatedleftovers.com and completely agree. 

  1. Trash cans
  2. Medicine cabinets
  3. Blinds
  4. Behind Appliances
  5. Under sink
  6. Oven
  7. Mattress
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Door jambs and trims
  10. AC vents

Want more Spring Cleaning tips and other cleaning hacks? Follow us on Pinterest!

We always focus on cleaning tips that are helpful, practical, and quite frankly, things that we see every day here at Chicago Loop Cleaners!


Do you live in a high-rise building in downtown Chicago? We're offering a Spring 50% offer right now! Claim your offer online today! We look forward to giving you a home where you can come home and rest.

Exciting changes at CLC!

FOR OUR CLIENTS:

First and foremost, we are hiring! We have offered a part time position to a new team member, Elvia. She will be training directly with me for a few weeks, and during that time I will be sending you a short biography about her. She will be taking over some of my clients for me once she is fully trained. Know that she is kind, detailed, and an amazing house cleaner! We only hire the best and our interview process is intense.

Elvia is a long-time Chicago resident, and along with her husband has raised her two sons here. She has commercial cleaning experience, and is excited for the challenge of learning residential cleaning. Outside of work, Elvia has a cosmetology degree, does clothes alterations, and mentors married couples with her husband, Fransisco. 

Since we're growing at a quick rate, we'll be training new cleaners over the next several months, but our owner Emily will be around to manage, train, and ensure that our cleanings meet your highest standards. Please let us know if you have any questions at all!

Recommended Product - ecloth

If streaky mirrors are making you crazy, we have the solution for you! The Window Cleaning Cloths from E-Cloth are lifesavers! We use them on all the mirrors we clean, as well as glass-top tables, and even on hi-shine counters. The pair of cloths (one for damp drying, and one for polishing) is available at ecloth.com

If you're using the Window Cleaning E-Cloths, be sure to run the light green one around all the edges of the mirror after cleaning it, to wipe up all the water that collects at the edges of the frame. Next, use the dark green cloth to polish out any smudges that are left over. Just another way you can enjoy professional clean while we're not there. 

Enjoy your sparkling mirror!