Survival Kit

November Survival Kit From Don't Look Under The Rug

November is here and so is another survival kit! Between running a cleaning business and creating cleaning tip videos on my YouTube, sometimes I wish I had multiples of me to handle the details of life. And that is what my survival kit is about this month - those items that are multi-use and can double up on many daily needs. Enjoy!

#happycleaning, Amy Bates

1. Goe Oil - Goes on Everything!

I am always on the lookout for new multipurpose products for a couple of reasons.  I live in a home with minimal storage and tend to have an overstuffed purse that swallows things I need. I have to let you in on a couple of things here...Secret: I am an obsessive hand washer which results in really dry hands. 2nd Secret: I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of dry hands. 

Along comes the fabulous find called Goe Oil.  What makes it unique? It is made of 28 different floral, vegetable and fruit oils so it smells amazing. I stumbled upon Goe Oil while looking for a natural hand sanitizer! The only catch: The price. It is a little over $40, but when I started digging a bit deeper, I realized it was many products all rolled into one. It is a whole body moisturizing balm. It smoothes flyaway hairs (see my upcoming video starring my Mom, the "Mother Bear"). It has done the best job ever of refreshing my curls on Day 2.  It effortlessly soothes a chapped nose with a cold, and works as a cuticle cream and makeup remover! I cant wait to use it to smooth ends and add a bit of shine in the winter.  It is portable, so I keep it in my purse.  

How do you use it?  Just take a small (and I mean SMALL) amount and rub it between your hands.  Apply anywhere! The best part is the tube lasts forever because you can use such a tiny amount (i.e. half the size of a pea for hands… then quickly scrunch curls… multi-use and multi-task!) The other products made by the same company are quickly becoming favorites as well, so they may make an upcoming list! : )

2.  Evernote - Keeps My Thoughts Organized

While I am always on the lookout for ways to organize and keep my busy life on track, truth is I typically have far too many commitments and tend to run and quickly let my thoughts and ideas scatter.  Serving on various committees plus starting just added an extra layer of craziness.  I love google calendar and “notes’ but it just didn’t allow me to organize thoughts, lists, reminders, links, and collaborate with others.  I absolutely LOVE working within Evernote.  The web clipper add-on has sealed my fate as a sure to be longterm user.  I can keep “notebooks” by topic, committee, or project and add in new “notes’.  If I am working with an employee or committee member on one of the topics I can share the note or notebook and we can both add or “chat” on the topic at hand.  It is amazing!  Lists, worksheets, photos, etc. can all be kept within the notebook and you can add tags for easy reference.  My only issue?  As my usage has grown, I wish I could “organize” some of my notebooks a bit better, but I sure figuring that out is only a youtube search away.  If you give it a try, be sure to get the web clipper.  It is fantastic for recipes, articles, etc.  The clipper even becomes intuitive and can guess which notebook you want to ‘clip’ it to!

3.  Tea tree oil - Use For Cleaning, Skin Care and More 

This list seems to have a common theme.  Multi use and multi purpose products!  Tea tree oil definitely fits this list to a tee.  I use it for cleaning, wound care, skin care, etc.  For the skin care it is a fantastic part of any skin care regimen.  If one of the boys (or let’s face it- me) is suffering from a little breakout, it is a great natural and nondrying way to stop that zit in it’s tracks.  Yes, for the cystic variety, I still reach for my salicylic acid pimple product, but for most of the other kinds, it does the trick.  I love that it is gentle on my boys skin.  I also love it for little scrapes and cuts as it truly kills germs.  So next time your kids (or you!) have a paper cut or skinned knee, grab the natural choice.  For deeper and really dirty cuts, while it may be fine to use tea tree, I still grab for the big guns.  But for most issues, I prefer the less is more approach and we have been successful so far!  I also love it for showers and other surface care.  You can use it straight or diluted on mildew, mold, mixed with a splash of lavender and water as a surface cleaner, and countless other applications.  So grab a good quality bottle and let me know how you love to use it! I promise, there are far more uses than I am listing here.  

4.  Roasted Winter Vegetables - Thanksgiving Fav

As much as I love the traditional sweet potatoes my Mom served with the marshmallow on top, I also love to try different recipes with other root veggies as well.  Here is a great one from Barefoot Contessa that you can either serve on Thanksgiving or any day:


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded (about 2 pounds)

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.
  3. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

October Survival Kit From Don't Look Under The Rug

I hope your start to October is going well! This month's survival kit includes items I use constantly, when on the road, and in my home cleaning regiment. I would love to hear what your favorite items are this fall - Comment below!

September Survival Kit From Don't Look Under The Rug

Welcome to my "Survival Kit" - a short list of my favorite items on my radar this month. I lovingly call it a "survival kit" because to be honest, life can try to push you around, but sometimes it's the little things that can help keep you positive and kick ass everyday!

#happycleaning, Amy Bates


1.My Car Cache - no more melted lipsticK

I am always in a hurry and often rushing around in my car. After having my purse dump onto the floor of my car for the 5,475th time, I decided to begin a quest to find a solution.  You know how it goes, your purse is either setting off the airbag sensor (not that mine is that heavy…) or it's being stepped on by those you are transporting. While I have a handbag cleaner that is phenomenal (stay tuned!), I still loathe having my precious lipstick lost under a seat and melting in the Oklahoma sun. Along comes the Car Cache. The sling that keeps your handbag accessible and off the floor! It comes in two shades (black and beige) and works like a dream. What do you need to make it work?  A headrest post and a center console, five minutes to attach it, and you are in business! It doesn’t cramp the kids in the back seat and won’t set off your airbag sensor as it isn’t resting in the passenger chair. Perfection.  

2. GreenScreen by Better Life

There are many things about me that gross out the children. One of the worst offenders is… my phone. I must have lotion on my hands at all times, but the consequence is a greasy phone. While I often have a favorite small-sized microfiber in tow, sometimes I need something with a bit more gusto! Enter Better Life’s Green Screen electronics cleaner.  While I would never directly spray it on my devices, it is amazing. I clean flat screens, phone screens, laptop screens (really ANY electronic screens) and know that they will look better, and most importantly, keep working when I am done. So I can go about my day sporting lotion covered hands and nobody will be the wiser (unless they shake my soft hands)!


So my hair is wickedly straight.  Growing up, my Mom would take her curling iron with the white handle and orange barrel and have me sit on the stool while she curled it.  The magic number was 10 and for each curl I counted to ten in a different language to style my hair in a perfect bob. German, Spanish, and so on until we made it all around my head. Had I known then how many times my Mom has burned her own neck, I would have counted in terror!

So when I was old enough to choose my own style, I wore it straight.  Perfectly straight.  But eventually, I just felt the calling of the curl coming back to me.  So I curl my perfectly straight hair each day, but instead of counting each quick curl, I get help from Living Proof amp instant texture volumizer. It keeps my hair set for hours, adds texture and separation, and keeps it from getting frizzy and flat.  According to my friends, it also works on perfectly straight hair Who knows, maybe I will try it soon! 

4. Laksa SOUP Recipe

I am always anxious for the first time I can make soup, and Fall is my absolute favorite season to get the soup pot out and start simmering! Laksa has some citrus making it a fabulous transitional soup.


To Serve:


  1. Soak the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Put chillies, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, fresh coriander and oil into food processor and process to a coarse paste.
  4. Slice the chicken breasts diagonally.
  5. In a large saucepan over medium heat add the paste and fry for 1 minute, stir well.
  6. Add coconut milk and stock.
  7. Bring to boil, simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  8. Add fish sauce and chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Add lime juice.
  10. Divide noodles between bowls and ladle soup over them.
  11. Sprinkle with mint leaves, green onions,bean shoots and lime wedges.

See the recipe on