I’m on vacation this week so I don’t have a review for you but I did want to share what I’m reading for the TBR Challenge.

I chose Into the Night by Suzanne Brockmann for my “scary” read this month. I actually read the previous book in this series, Out of Control, for last year’s October challenge. Here’s the blurb:

It was supposed to be a “dog and pony show”—an elaborate demonstration of SEAL rescue techniques—to celebrate a presidential visit to a California naval base. Professional, no-nonsense White House staffer Joan DaCosta arrives early to scope out the area. Assigned to be her SEAL liaison is Lt. (jg) Mike Muldoon, a born leader—strong, decisive, tough, and fearless.

Against her better judgment, Joan finds herself drawn to the handsome young officer. Skilled at being “one of the guys” in the mostly male world of politics, she is dismayed when Muldoon breaks through her defenses. While tension mounts between them, fueling their growing attraction, a far more sinister danger is lurking, as terrorists plot a daring attack against the president. To protect their commander in chief, Joan and Muldoon must not only risk their hearts—but their very lives. . . .

I really like the Troubleshooters series, at least up to a certain point. There are only a couple of series (J.D. Robb’s In Death series and J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood come to mind) that I can stick with through all the books. Most of the time long series start grating on me; I lose track of all the characters and often times the story becomes repetitive. We’ll see how far I get with this series. I’ve jumped around a lot, reading books 3 and 6 first, before going back and reading the first and second one. I read the fourth one last year, and now I’m reading the 5th. They mostly stand alone, although it is helpful to dive into a story knowing a little about the characters first.

I don’t know if I will continue with the series after this book. It’s obviously not that enthralling to me since I’m just now getting around to reading the fifth book, a year after reading the fourth. Romantic suspense is not my favorite subgenre (unless it’s Nora Roberts) mostly because I don’t like scaring myself. Some of the Troubleshooters’ books hit a little close to home because they’re about terrorism and problems in the Middle East, so more than likely, this will be it for me with this series. Unless of course, you outrageously disagree with me and give me excellent reasons to keep reading!

If you’re doing the TBR Challenge, what did you read this month?

*affiliate links ahoy!*

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A Simple and Effective Cleaning Schedule | Adventures in Life, Love, and LibrarianshipIf you are anything like me, you’re tired of spending your entire weekend cleaning. You’ve probably read multiple books and tried many different cleaning plans from blogs, magazines, and Pinterest with next to no success. It’s not that you don’t want a clean house or that you can’t clean your house, it’s just it becomes too exhausting to come home after a long day at work and clean house for an hour (not to mention cook dinner and maybe have some personal time!).

I feel your pain. I have gone through dozens of cleaning schedules/plans/routines, read books on the subject, printed out cute printables, et cetera, et cetera. I’ve never been able to stick with any one plan because it just seemed like too much, and frankly, I’m a little lazy. I like having a clean and tidy house all the time. I really like not having to do the crazy lady clean (you all know what I mean!) whenever guests are coming. I needed a plan that was easy, that wouldn’t take too much time, and wouldn’t require me to donate most of weekend to cleaning my house.

I decided I needed a simple and effective cleaning schedule that fit MY needs. The problem with most of the cleaning schedules that are out there is that they are designed for families. I live alone; I’m not worried about tidying up toys or decluttering children’s closets. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but a cleaning schedule designed for families isn’t suitable for a single woman and one litter-tracking cat. Since I can’t seem to find a cleaning schedule designed for someone like me, I created my own.

Thinking It Through

Once the proverbial light bulb went off in my head, I sat down and thought about what I really needed to get done. What tasks needed to be done every day? For me, it’s making the bed, clearing the counters (bathroom and kitchen) of clutter, sweeping the kitchen floors, and scooping out the cat box. Those would become my daily tasks.

Next, I thought about all the things that I usually end up doing on the weekends, wasting time that I could spend constructively like marathoning a show on Netflix. Dusting, vacuuming the carpet, dry mopping/sweeping the hard floors, laundry, and cleaning bathrooms are my weekly tasks.

Then I thought about all those little things that really need to get done, but never seem to because I’m so busy trying to dust, vacuum, do laundry, and wipe down the bathroom in a single afternoon. I thought of things like dusting the blinds, vacuuming my car, changing the cat litter, ironing, changing air filters and smoke detector batteries, mopping, changing the sheets on the bed, clearing cobwebs, and wiping down baseboards. I also thought about the various decluttering projects I always either start and abandon, or plan on doing and then not actually ever getting around to it.  These tasks/projects are what I call extra cleaning tasks.

I wrote all of these things down and then began to slowly go through and assign things, trying to make things as easy as possible and trying to not overwhelm myself.

My Plan

Mondays: Dust upstairs
Tuesdays: Clean bathrooms
Wednesdays: Dust downstairs
Thursdays: Dry mop (aka sweep REALLY good) all hard floors
Fridays: Extra cleaning task
Saturdays: Laundry + extra cleaning task
Sundays: Vacuum + 1-2 extra cleaning tasks

Make the bed, clear the counters, sweep the kitchen, and scoop out the cat box happens every day.

I began working in specific extra cleaning tasks making sure that I had a decluttering project once a month and that things like changing my sheets and dusting the blinds happened twice a month. Here is an example of what a typical month looked like once I put everything in the schedule like I wanted it:

Week 1
Week 2
Monday: Dust UpstairsMonday: Dust Upstairs
Tuesday: Clean BathroomsTuesday: Clean Bathrooms
Wednesday: Dust DownstairsWednesday: Dust Downstairs
Thursday: Dry Mop FloorsThursday: Dry Mop Floors
Friday: BreakFriday: Declutter Master Bedroom
Saturday: Laundry & Clear CobwebsSaturday: Laundry & Vacuum Car
Sunday: Vacuum, Change Sheets, & MopSunday: Vacuum, Iron & Dust Blinds
Week 3Week 4
Monday: Dust UpstairsMonday: Dust Upstairs
Tuesday: Clean BathroomsTuesday: Clean Bathrooms
Wednesday: Dust DownstairsWednesday: Dust Downstairs
Thursday: Dry Mop FloorsThursday: Dry Mop Floors
Friday: Change Cat LitterFriday: Change Smoke Alarm Batteries
Saturday: Laundry & Clear CobwebsSaturday: Laundry & Vacuum Car
Sunday: Vacuum & Change SheetsSunday: Vacuum & Iron

Once I was finished and had typed it all up neatly and with a fun font, I printed out a few months on brightly colored paper. I laminated them to make it easy to mark a day off with a dry erase marker and then wipe off once the month was over.

Simple and Effective Cleaning ScheduleThe Verdict

So far I have done a really good job sticking to this simple and effective cleaning schedule. I credit that to the fact that it’s not time consuming. It’s not hard to dust the downstairs while making dinner or clean my bathroom right before I shower. Having only one task to do per day (except on the weekends) makes it so much more attainable. It’s a lot easier to get a house ready for company when most of the heavy cleaning is already done.

Want A Copy?

Everyone’s needs are different (that’s why I undertook this project in the first place!) so I don’t know how much help my schedule will be for you. I have created a nice PDF file for you to use if you so desire. I know that most people don’t have cats so in the places where it would say “scoop cat box” or “change cat litter”, I left a blank for you to add your own tasks. I also added an extra line to the daily tasks in case you have something else you like to add. I’ve created them in both PDF and Google Docs formats. The Google Docs format may be easier to copy/paste/edit to suit your own cleaning schedule needs.Simple and Effective Cleaning Schedule PDFSimple and Effective Cleaning Schedule GoogleDocs

What do you think? Is this something that you could stick to?

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Weekend and Vacation Reads

October 10, 2014

I’m on vacation! I’ll have lots (and lots!) of details for you when I get back, and I have a few things scheduled for next week so you won’t have time to miss me! lol I’ve been saving up ebooks for this trip and I’m super excited that I finally have time to really dive […]

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October is National Medical Librarians Month!

October 7, 2014

October, best known as breast cancer awareness month, is also national medical librarians month. In the spirit of that, I thought I would put together a roundup of all my posts about being a medical librarian. Happy National Medical Librarians Month! On my blog: What Is a Clinical Librarian? A Day In the Life of […]

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Ellora’s Cave v Dear Author & Massive Blogging Implications

October 5, 2014

I briefly mentioned this story on Friday in the Weekly Wanderings post and now I want to elaborate on it a little because this lawsuit has huge implications for journalists, bloggers, and anyone who likes to leave anonymous comments. First off, a little background: Dear Author is a romance review site run by Jane Litte […]

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Weekly Wanderings

October 3, 2014

Interesting reads… Where To Find All Harry Potter Destinations Around the World – we’ve talked about my love for Harry Potter before, right? So obviously this post was right up my alley. Who wants to go to Scotland? At Home Facial Series: Mud Mask Amp Up! – I love at home/DIY beauty projects! I’ve got […]

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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

October 1, 2014

I don’t make a lot of stuff with pumpkin. It’s not that I don’t like it – I like pumpkin a lot actually – it’s just not something that I choose to cook or bake with that often. The only two recipes I have here that use pumpkin are these Thanksgiving muffins and this AMAZING […]

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Internal Server Errors

September 30, 2014

I’m sure by now many of you have gotten an “internal server error” message while navigating through my site. It looks like this: I just want you all to know that I am aware of the problem and am working on a solution. It looks like it’s a combination of things including security problems and […]

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Weekend Review & Menu Plan Monday

September 29, 2014

Hello hello! It’s the start of another week; are you excited? I’m only excited because that means I’m another day closer to the big trip I have coming up (more on that soon!). I’m just not a fan of Mondays, especially Monday mornings. Monday mornings make me want to curl up and sleep like Caty […]

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Weekend Reads

September 27, 2014

Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free Lord of Scoundrels (rereading for fun) The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England What are you reading this weekend?

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