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7 surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles

7 surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles

(BPT) - There's a quiet movement going on in this country, and it doesn't involve apps, data or the latest fad. Following the lead of vinyl record albums, coloring books and traditional board games, jigsaw puzzles are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Perhaps, because it's an opportunity to unplug and give yourself and family an escape from the information overload that is buzzing through the very fabric of our lives 24/7.

Wrestling the kids (or yourself) away from screens, devices, even the television can be a nearly impossible task, but it's vital to our mental and even physical health. A jigsaw puzzle requires your full attention and therein lies the magic. Everyone from tweens and teens to millennials and over-worked parents to seniors are returning to this quiet pastime of childhood. Call it a retro revolution.

Ravensburger, a company that has been making high-quality, premium jigsaw puzzles for 134 years, recently p…

5 deep-cleaning jobs that are oddly satisfying

(BPT) - Whether it’s scrubbing through grime to reveal a sparkling surface, cleaning dust bunnies from under appliances or organizing your pantry, there’s something oddly satisfying about a deep clean.

According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Clorox, lots of people get the good vibes flowing when it’s cleaning day. Seventy-one percent say it makes them feel relaxed, while 57 percent say they feel accomplished.

Of the most oddly satisfying places to clean in the house, 34 percent say they find their bliss after cleaning the countertops, while a clean microwave lends that special feeling to another 30 percent.
To reach that spring cleaning joy, try some of these not-so-obvious cleaning jobs that will transform the look and feel of your space into a springtime sanctuary.

Grout: Over time, mold and mildew buildup can make your bathroom grout look dingy, but with the right approach, the grout stains will disappear. Start by wetting the tile with a cloth. Then, dip a sponge into a gallon bucket of water with 3/4 cup of bleach and wipe down the tile. Wait five minutes for disinfecting, rinse and viola! Your tiles will shine, offset by the clean lines of white grout.

Microwave: We don’t like to think about it, but a lot of hard-to-remove food residue accumulates in our microwaves and we rarely spend the time to give it a thorough clean. Microwave a cup of water and in five minutes the steam will help loosen the stains. A Clorox Disinfecting Wipe will take care of those extra stubborn messes.

Dust: In addition to moving aside the beds, appliances and other heavy pieces of furniture to get those dust bunnies, make sure you're tackling the not-so-obvious places. Use the vacuum’s brush attachment to clear your HVAC register vents and don’t forget to dust the tops of fan blades!

Windows: Those panes have taken quite a beating over the months. It’s time to get a soft sponge and a bucket of warm, soapy water to defeat the smudges and layers of dirt, and then wipe them clean with a squeegee. You’ll love how sparkling clean glass transforms the room.

Outdoor surfaces: Right outside your back door is a golden opportunity for a deep clean. Rent or borrow a pressure washer, and once it’s set up, you can enjoy watching the blast of water and degreaser effortlessly turn your concrete walkways and driveway into bright clean surfaces — like a magic wand. To easily remove the mold and mildew off your deck and patio furniture, add 3/4 cup of bleach to a gallon of water and swipe away the stains from seasons past.
Try these tips and enjoy basking in the satisfaction of a deep-cleaned house. To find the tools you need for the job, visit


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