Monday, December 31, 2012

Tip of the Day # 140: Natural & Gluten-free Pancakes

THE EASIEST PANCAKE RECIPE--AND 100% NATURAL!
That's right, Gluten-free, flourless & low calorie!


Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
2 whole eggs

That's it! Mix in bowl, ensuring that banana is fully mashed. Spray your pan and pour a small amount in pan and flip after about 30 seconds. Serve & Enjoy!


hat’s it. Just mix in a bowl and make sure the banana is all mashed. Then spray your pan with some PAM, EVO), or coconut oil on low to medium heat, scoop some of the batter on there, give it about 20-30 sec, flip, and done! Serve and eat! - See more at: http://www.blogilates.com/recipe-index/100-natural-pancakes-recipe-gluten-free-flourless-low-calorie#sthash.jzJpcnE4.dpuf
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 whole eggs
Bam!!! That’s it. Just mix in a bowl and make sure the banana is all mashed. Then spray your pan with some PAM, EVO), or coconut oil on low to medium heat, scoop some of the batter on there, give it about 20-30 sec, flip, and done! Serve and eat!
- See more at: http://www.blogilates.com/recipe-index/100-natural-pancakes-recipe-gluten-free-flourless-low-calorie#sthash.jzJpcnE4.dpuf
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 whole eggs
Bam!!! That’s it. Just mix in a bowl and make sure the banana is all mashed. Then spray your pan with some PAM, EVO), or coconut oil on low to medium heat, scoop some of the batter on there, give it about 20-30 sec, flip, and done! Serve and eat!
- See more at: http://www.blogilates.com/recipe-index/100-natural-pancakes-recipe-gluten-free-flourless-low-calorie#sthash.jzJpcnE4.dpuf

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tip of the Day # 139: Fixing your Eye Glasses






BEND YOUR GLASSES BACK INTO SHAPE!

Custom fit your plastic frame glasses--simply heat up the ends and mold them to fit our head.
When you purchase a new pair of frames or need them adjusted, the specialist heats up the ends before forming  to your face anyway, so this is a great DIY trick!

Prevent Wasting Food

The amount of food we used to waste was embarrassing to say the least. That is, until I implemented a system that would stop the madness!
When arriving home after the grocery store, as I was placing items in the refridgerator, I would take a Sharpie marker and write the expiry dates on the lids of the products (you can also do this once an item is opened for the first time--ex: spaghetti sauce, etc). This gave a clear picture of what needs to be eaten and when, while meal planning.
To make the idea even more efficient, I have a basket in my fridge with items that are coming close to their expiration as 'food that must be eaten FIRST!' This can be snacks like yogurt to veggies to full meal ideas.
Try the system out for yourself and see how much food you can save! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How to Keep Trash at a Minimum

Limit the Amount of Trash Leaving your Home

Keep in the habit especially during birthday parties, dinner gatherings, or family camping trips!


  • Eliminate all but essential single-use items. Instead use real dishes, napkins, reusable containers and water bottles.
  • Buy food in bulk, making sure to select options that contain more food than packaging. Ex: One jug with a gallon of juice is way better than juice boxes that have 6 ounces of juice in each box OR buy a Family Pack of meat products, instead of a few pieces per package.
  • Before buying durable goods new, consider whether you can find it pre-owned. Shop second hand stores, search Craigslist and Kijiji, etc, or ask friends and neighbours for the item first.
  • Consider donations or swaps for items you might otherwise throw away. That old toaster, laptop or bin of kids’ clothes can have a second life with another family or host a Garage Sale!
  • Look for quality products that will last longer than cheaply made alternatives--you WILL save money in the long run.
  • Cook at home from fresh ingredients, cutting down on pre-packaged meals and take-out food in packed containers and bags---however, if you do order in every once in awhile, use the take out containers to store foods for lunches at work.
  • Bring reusable bags to every store, they’re not just for the supermarket anymore! Some stores will even give you a bag discount.
  • Set up an easy-to-use sorting system for recycling, compost and garbage, and keep it in place during parties and gatherings.
  • Skip the junk mail. Let unwanted magazine subscriptions run out, and opt out of catalogs and other junk mail so you don’t have to throw it away. Let's face it, once you read a magazine, it generally will just sit, collecting dust somewhere for quite awhile!

Tip of the Day # 138: Easy Cleaning Wipes

CLEANING BATHROOM COUNTER TOPS





For a quick wipe down of the bathroom counter, I use a box of baby wipes (any brand) and add some rubbing alcohol to the box. I store the box in the bathroom (under the sink) and when the area needs a quick wipe down, pull a baby wipe and wipe everything down--I generally do this on a daily basis!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tip of the Day # 137: Cleaning Makeup Brushes

How to Properly Remove Makeup from your Brushes
--1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of hot water
--Soak for 20 minutes
--Follow by rinsing with very hot water, then cold
--Pat dry

Disinfects, dissolves grease/makeup, leaves no film, and VERY inexpensive!


Tip of the Day # 136: No more Pet Accidents!

STOP YOUR PETS FROM HAVING ACCIDENTS IN YOUR HOME

When I realized my dog was marking in the same spot over and over… I researched the internet for reasons behind this behavior. Fact is, dogs have an incredible sense a smell, so even though I would clean the area thoroughly and could no longer smell his urine (he could). She would continue to go in the same spot over and over and I would continue to clean over and over… Until I made this spray!

Ingredients-
Eucalyptus or Cinnamon essential oil
Cayenne pepper
Water

Combine 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of essential oil and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper.

Clean the area that has been soiled. Avoid using ammonia based products to clean dog urine. Dog urine has ammonia in it and he/she may be encouraged to go in the same area.  Remember, your dog’s sense of smell is a hundred times better than yours.

Now spray this oil infused mixture onto the spot. The Eucalyptus/Cinnamon smell is too overwhelming to a dog and he/she will be deterred from using that spot as his/her bathroom. Make sure to respray the area every 24 hours until the dog completely loses interest in that area.

The Cayenne pepper is added as an additional precaution just in case your pet decides to lick the spray, not only will his/her nose be bothered but his/her tongue will be as well.

**WARNING--This spray is geared more towards DOG accidents as opposed to cats--that is because cats cannot tolerate essential oils (their livers do not have the enzymes that dogs & humans do to break down the components of essential oils so they can be harmlessly expelled!** 



Tip of the Day # 135: DIY Furniture Polish

DIY FURNITURE POLISH (PLEDGE)



Why pay full price for products if you can easily make them at home..AND they're 'natural' as opposed to being FULL of harsh chemicals!

Try this one:

2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Lemon Essential Oil (avail at health stores)
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 3/4 cups of water

Mix together in a spray bottle--it's that simple!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tip of the Day # 134: Sandal Organization

If you are like me, you have just about every style of flip flop on the market..in every single colour! Organize and save space by placing in letter carriers or magazine holders! :)

Tip of the Day # 133: Fight Flu Symptoms

The flu can bring on such sore and achy muscles--to combat this, combine 1 tbsp of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil, let sit for 30 minutes, then apply as a massage oil. Within a few minutes, you will feel relief!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tip of the Day # 132: Headache Relief





Did you know that drinking 2 glasses of Gatorade can almost immediately relieve headache pain without the nasty side effects caused by traditional pain relievers? From one headache sufferer to another, I can tell you it really does work!

MAKE YOUR OWN BROWN SUGAR AT HOME!

 Homemade Brown Sugar Recipe





 
The perks to making your own is you can control how much you make, which means added freshness and you won't have to worry about the sugar hardening!
 
Serves: 1 cup
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Molasses
Instructions
  1. Mix the two ingredients together.
  2. Takes about 2 minutes.
  3. Use and store like normal brown sugar.
  4. Enjoy

Organizing Your Car

Cluttered car syndrome is a common plague affecting many different types of people. Commuters, soccer moms, students, even people who just drive to the post office and pharmacy can have a disorganized car interior. Overtime, the inside of your car can get filled with important things and junk alike – ranging from bank statements to leftover McDonald’s from the last time you hit the drive-thru. Setting aside an hour or so, (depending on the severity of the clutter) to tackle the cluttered car can make easily decrease stress while driving, and make for more passenger and cargo room.

Follow these steps:

1. Park your car in a well-lit spot-- make sure you have plenty of light to see into all the nooks and crannies of your car. If you have tinted privacy windows, roll them down to allow light in.

2. Gather 3 boxes in total--depending on how much clutter you have in the car, you may need small shoebox-size boxes, or boxes larger than a standard suitcase. Label one “Keep in Car”, another “Keep in House”, and finally one “Trash”. Optionally, you can line the trash box with a garbage bag to make tossing out easier. Bring out the recycle bin if you think you’ll have a lot of papers, bottles, or boxes to recycle.

3. Remove everything from the car. Start wherever you want, keeping in mind that the trunk is a very common hotspot for clutter, as well as pouches on the back of seats, the glove compartment, and center consoles and door slots. Clear everything out, sorting items into the appropriate boxes.

4. Take the opportunity of having a car free of items to clean the interior well. Vacuum the seats and floors, shake the floor mats, and wipe down surfaces such as the steering wheel and door handles. You can also spray air freshener, or add a hanging air freshener to your car to rid it of any unwanted odors that can accumulate over time. If your car has an ash tray, filling it with baking soda also helps to prevent further smells from lingering.

5. Place everything that belongs in the car, in the car. Make homes for things that should remain in the car--placing tools, etc in one bin in your trunk is a great start. Ensure that you have all important vehicle information, such as registration and insurance papers, in an easy-to-reach location. Put things where they will make the most sense to you, and arrange them neatly.

Always have a bag or container on hand for trash--a plastic cereal container is a great alternative as well!

If you have children, cutting a yoga mat (generally close to the colour of your upholstery) to size and laying over the backseat prevents any permament stains, and crumbs can be easily swept off!

6. Set rules for your family or anyone that may be riding on a regular basis and STICK TO THEM! If you say 'no eating in the car,' be persistent.
Stick to a regular car decluttering schedule to avoid buildup of clutter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tip of the Day # 131: Knife Safety

BASIC KNIFE SAFETY





Keep the finger tips of your non-knife hand tucked firmly back and firmly against the food. The knife should be guided by the flat part of your fingers between the second and third knuckles of the non-knife hand. Yes, that’s right – the safest way to use a knife actually involves letting it rest against your other hand. See how my thumb is sticking out in this picture? It’s that way because it’s squeezing the onion layers together, but that positioning is not ideal. A moment of inattention and that thumb could creep forward and could slice the tip of your thumb off!

Tip of the Day # 130: Dicing Onions Properly

 How to Properly Dice an Onion--and quickly!!!

Many people have a problem when it comes to properly dicing or cutting certain vegetables, and the following technique will assist you in cutting veggies, such as an onion, more efficiently!
This tutorial may seem lengthy, but when completely in reality, you will be able to cut like a pro!

1. Get your onion. Peel it, and trim the root end flush but don’t carve it out. The stem will help hold the onion layers together as you cut.

2. Cut your onion in half. We’ll dice one-half at a time. Note the stem, still holding together most of the onion layers.

3.  We’re going to cut radial slices around the onion half without cutting through the stem. Picture the spokes of a bicycle tire. Now picture it’s just half a tire, with all the spokes radiating outward from the center. If you can imagine cutting along imaginary spokes as you slice your onion, this technique will be a cinch.

The first cut will be at a very shallow angle.

4.  The next will be slightly less shallow as you slice your way towards the top of the onion.




5.   Remember not to to cut through the stem – stop your slices 1/2-inch or so shy of the root end.

6.  By the time you are slicing down through the center (apex) of the onion, your knife should be vertical.

7.  Slice your way down the other side of the onion, making increasingly shallow cuts as you approach the cutting board on the other side.

8.  Now, turn your onion 90-degrees so that you can hold the root end firmly in your left (or non-knife) hand while slicing down and perpendicular to the radial slices you just made.

9.  As you slice down, tidy little diced onion pieces will fall from your knife.
The onion will try to splay apart as you cut down. You have to use your non-knife hand to hold the onion together. My thumb and fingers spread out a bit down the sides of the onion to hold all the layers together.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Tip of the Day # 129: Hanging Bath Mats

Hang your bath mat on a pants hanger to prevent stinky mildew.

Tip of the Day # 126: Shining Glassware

To shine glassware, pour 1 cup of white vinegar into your dishwater. Let items sit for 20 minutes, scrub clean, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Tips of the Day # 128: The writings on the Mirror!

Don't our best ideas or reminders come to us while in the shower or getting ready for the day?? Keep a dry erase marker in the medicine cabinet so you can write reminder notes or your To-Do list on the mirror!


Tips of the Day # 127: Toilet Leaks

Did you know that a leaky toilet can waste 50 gallons of water a day? To check for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, and see if it seeps into the bowl. Use a bold color, because using yellow might make matters confusing...

Tips of the Day # 125: Cleaning Stuffed Animals

If you have children, you know how dirty and musty stuffed animals can become. To freshen, place in a sealable bag with 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch, shake for 30 seconds, remove animals and brush or beat stuffed animals until all cornstarch is removed!

GUEST POST: Organization at its Best



I’ve always been one to focus on organization within the household for 2 main reasons;

1—I hope that my obsessive efforts will one day allow me to drop the title of “professional finder of all things for everybody” that I hate so much and

2—it helps keep things from being cluttered. I hate clutter. This is a purely selfish reason that exists only for my neurotic alter ego.

Over the years, I have gone from maintaining just a single bedroom with my parents, to progressively upping the ante to the two-storey family home I am now responsible for maintaining with a husband, two young offspring and a cat who eats anything left out by the 4 year old or the baby (who also eats everything). Anyone in my situation – and I trust there are a LOT – will understand the chaos of this. Toys everywhere, diapers, wipes, bottles, school books and tools from my “oh so handy” husband. Insanity, anyone?

So here it is. My basic list of “rules” I have in my household that helps to make my job slightly easier. I will warn you that some of it may seem a bit neurotic to the average person. You WILL judge me, unless you are also type “A”, in which case you may condone my actions, but just trust the process. The time doing these will HIGHLY help your day to day life. You will find things with ease. Things will remain in mediocre condition (you DO have kids, after all) and we will one day *fingers crossed* drop that title. Here we go;

1)      Label things – Yes I know. I warned you I would sound neurotic, but again, trust me. Label containers in your pantry for “baking goods”, “medicine”, I even tape natural remedy recipes to the inside of my medicine container. This can be used as a great, easy reference. I also cut out the directions, precautions, or storage requirements from the medicine boxes and label the back of them. This helps still keep everything in place, but without the “bulk” of keeping all the boxes. This same rule applies for organizing work places, home offices, or other items such as batteries.


2)      Baskets, Baskets, Baskets – I am a HUGE fan of the almighty basket (see picture below). Even though inside the baskets may be a complete and utter chaotic mess, they help in my home for a few reasons;
§  They keep the clutter from being on top of the fridge, the kitchen table, the night stands – yuck!
§  I love the homey feeling they offer and go great with any d├ęcor
§  They offer you a quick getaway from the toys for those unexpected, or last minute visitors.
§  Out of sight, out of mind.

My baskets help me keep things in place. Most of my baskets are for toys, some are strictly for accessible diapers and wipes, some hold our vast array of cell phone bits, chargers and batteries, and like I said, some are just a home for those odds and ends everyone has around. Either way, invest.

3)      Sing it Loud, Sing it Proud – Let your household know the “rules”. In my house, we follow basic principals;
§  If you use, you put it back
§  If you start something, you finish it
§  All garbage goes IN the garbage bin – it surprises me how many homes I have been into where this is obviously not the case…
§  If you turn a light on, you turn it off – not so much for organization, but saves us a few bucks come bill time
My oldest is 4 years old and he knows and follows these. I’m not strict about it but it is what it is…these are non-negotiable for my husband and I. You’re very welcome, future daughter-in-law.
4)      Don’t second Guess Yourself – If you are unsure that you put the lid back of the jar of pickles properly, just double check it. You don’t want anyone to go and grab it later creating a huge mess for someone else…but probably you

5)      Have Fun With It – None of this is to encourage a stuffy household where things cannot be out of place. After all, homes need to be lived in, not looked at. These are just some basic things I have implemented in our home, so that the “work” aspect of maintaining the home can be minimalized, allowing more time to enjoy life.

So now that I have given you some insight as to what MY home is about, here are my suggestions for getting started. Apply each principal to each project you tackle.
1) Start small – Select one area of the home, on a “free” day of the week for you to tackle. Let’s say, the front closet – check mine for example:
I used a basket I already had – surprise! – to store all of our gloves, hats and mittens in the winter months, and sunscreen, hats and umbrella’s in the summer months. I also purchased inexpensive shoe organizers, dollar store coat hangers and it all just really helps to keep things in their place. It may not be featured in House & Home Magazine anytime soon, but it spares me the embarrassment of a clustered closet when company visits.
2) Plan – Think about how you would like things to be, and how accessible you want them. Put a plan together for that particular area. If you are ever uncertain, I am a gigantic fan of Pinterest. You will never be shy of ideas and tips for areas of the home. Not sure how to organize all of your jewellery? Pots & pans? Shoes? It will help you.
4) Don’t Hoard – If it hasn’t been worn in 3 to 6 months, is ripped, broken, doesn’t fit or no longer serves its purpose, throw it away, donate it or sell it. Period, end of story.
5) Get Creative – There are SO many great, DIY projects available to us now that allows us to personalize everything and do it on a budget. My favourite!
6) Maintain – Take a few minutes out of one day each week and tackle those odd ball tasks around the house such as tossing the expired refrigerated items, or empty hairspray bottles from the bathroom vanity. Remember, don’t hoard.
Even if it is not embedded in your natural DNA, I truly do believe an organized home, is a happier home. It can help you lead a more relaxed, less stressful day to day life and feel accomplished. I just know you will enjoy your new found freedom when you release yourself of the physical clutter in your home. You will sleep better, and maybe, just maybe, you will find an extra hour at the end of your night for some you time!
Wishing you and your family the very best of the Holiday season and cheers to a fresh beginning in 2013!
Miss Victoria J

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Effective Meal Planning


My years of Motherhood thus far have beenfilled with many ‘trial & error’ periods, in attempts to figure out the most efficient and cost-effective ways of grocery shopping. Now, I believe I have nailed the method that works best for my family, and hopefully, yours too. In total, our grocery bills rarely exceed a total of $200.00 per month!

1.       I have stated this before, and I will do so again: Plan all meals and shop in TWO-week intervals. Some people have suggested planning one MONTH in advance, but this does not seem all that effective because for example, how can you purchase fresh vegetables a month in advance without having them spoil? Two weeks is do-able and is a lot less time-consuming and painful.

2.       What I have done is created andorganized a meal plan on my computer that I can edit and work from when planning my next grocery trip. Again, aftermuch playing around, I have settled on a method that works extremely well—Icall it the “Themed Planner.” Essentially, what it consists of is a“theme-night” for every day of the week. For example, ‘’Slow Cooker Sundays,Mexican Mondays, Pasta Tuesdays” and so on. This planning method makes brainstorming meal ideas so simple. Over time, I suggest researching recipes,bookmarking and even categorizing them because when you may be stuck on planning a meal one evening, you can go to your list and choose one quickly from your findings.

3.       Once you complete your first two-week interval, sit down with your receipt and plan your ongoing budget. If your first two weeks were successful in terms of amountof food versus cost, then you are on the right track. If however, you feel thatyour spending outweighed your stock, you must think of a better solution. This may be done through cutting back on “fun foods” that we all enjoy, brand nameproducts (no name items are normally just as good), and premade foods orsauces—start making your own from scratch! Not only does this cut costs, but it also is healthier for you with no added sugars or salts. Lastly, I cannot stress this step enough—check your weekly flyers! I know some people may find it time-consuming, and I admit, I used to feel the same, but after changing and MAKING it a part of my routine, it has become second-nature. The day the flyers arrive, I sit down that evening and begin browsing through them. I bring out my stack of coupons and begin to price-match to get the best deals in town.

These are three very simple steps that will lead you in the right direction to saving money time and time again; and what is more rewarding than more money in your pocket???

**Please take advantage of our family meal plan template posted if you would like to (it will also be posted shortly on A Mum ‘n the Oven’swebsite in printing format). Note that in this plan, certain nights change the alternating week to add variety and can be effective if you have children. Playaround with it and have fun!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tip of the Day #124: Repairing Scratched Wood

 HOW TO RESTORE SCRATCHED & WORN WOOD

For watermarks - Many of you may have heard how a blow dryer or smearing mayonnaise may work to remove these spots, however, I find the following recipe to be the most effective! Give it a try!

Mix a thick paste of olive oil and salt and rub onto the wood - leave it for about 30 minutes. The salt draws out the moisture and the oil feeds the wood. Used this many, many times!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tip of the Day # 123: Effective Bathroom Cleaning

Heating up the bathroom 10 degrees above the normal air temperature "doubles the effectiveness" of cleansers--run your shower with the hottest water possible (uses less water than running the tap). It's a trick hotel staffers use. Let disinfectants sit for at least 5-7 minutes, and always rinse off cleaners to prevent build-up.

Tip of the Day # 122: Keeping Pop 'Fizzy'

Once you're done with your soda for the day, shake it up before putting it back in the fridge. It'll stay fizzy for weeks.
Also, never lay pop on its side in the refridgerator as this leads to it becoming flat drastically quicker!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tip of the Day # 121: Stainless Steel Cleaning

CLEANING YOUR STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES IS AS EASY AS:

1 Tablespoon of Cream of Tartar with a couple drops of water. Rub and scrub. Then rinse.

DIY PROJECT--XMAS ORNAMENTS


DIY MOSAIC ORNAMENTS

Supplies:

CDs
Glue
Clear plastic or glass ornaments (available at the dollar store)
Glitter (optional)

1. Cut old or scratched cds into small pieces of different sizes & shapes
2. Adhere to your clear ornaments--glue pieces as close or wide together as you would like--continue to entire surface of bulb is covered
3. Remove top of bulb and pour in glitter of your choice

These ornaments really do look beautiful hung from your Christmas!

Tip of the Day # 120: Cleaning Dryers

Trapped lint in dryers is one of the leading causes of house fires! To prevent this from happening, it is very important to clean in and around your lint trap regularly--and the best way to do so to get in any tiny crevices is to use a small tool or pair of chopsticks to pick out all pieces that may be trapped.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SO MANY USES FOR COFFEE BEANS!

Not only do they taste good, but coffee beans have so many other useful purposes as well around your home!

  • Coffee beans can be used to get rid of food preparation smells from your hands. Just put them in your hand and rub the palms together, for a few seconds.
  • If your refrigerator smells too much of the food kept in there, place a bowl, filled with some coffee beans, inside it.
  • In absence of a mouth freshener, simply suck on a coffee bean. It will make your breath fresh and clean, in a matter of minutes.
  • Coffee beans can be used for dying paper. Put some coffee beans in a cup of hot water. After a few seconds, use the water to dye paper.
  • Coarsely grind coffee beans. Now, wet your face and use the grounds to scrub your face. Ground coffee is good for exfoliating purposes.
  • You can add ground coffee beans to the plant pots in your house. It will help keep flies and other mites at bay and also improve the quality of the soil. However, do not use in excess.
  • Coarsely ground coffee beans have been found to be very effective for cleaning greasy pans.
  • To keep your kitty away from your garden, sprinkle coffee grounds, mixed with orange peels, around the plants.
  • Tossing wet coffee grounds over the ashes in the fireplace can help keep the ash dust under control. Thereafter, you can proceed to clean the fireplace.
Have YOU come across any other uses?? FEEL FREE TO SHARE! :)

Tip of the Day # 118: Fireplace Cleanup

Fireplace dust is always a big obstacle for someone who cleans the fireplace. Large dust formations can sting your eyes and irritate your sinuses. They can also make the surrounding areas dirty. To properly regulate dust, you can toss a handful of wet coffee grounds in your fireplace after operation. The wet grounds will hold the dust in place, lessening the appearance of dust clouds when cleaning the fireplace.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tip of the Day # 117: How to clean your Iron

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR IRON:

1. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto your ironing board
2. Turn your iron to the highest setting, ensuring that the steam option is set to OFF
3. When heated, iron over the salt--what happens is that the dirt sticks to the salt, leaving nothing but a wonderfully, shiny iron!

It is good to do this every so often to prevent debris or dirt from your iron melting or sticking to your articles of clothing!

Tip of the Day # 116: Better Grilled Cheese!

Try slathering mayonnaise on the outer sides of the bread instead of butter when making grilled cheese sandwiches. Makes a nice and crispy sandwich as well as tastes delicious--and not to mention, it prevents your bread from burning!
Another favorite addition of mine is chopped green onions melted in the sandwich with the cheese. Sweet, at least the green onions are healthy! If you have a favorite twist to Grilled Cheese sandwiches, please share and add them below!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tip of the Day # 115: Mmmm Mashed Potatoes

Add one teaspoon baking powder to mashed potatoes to make them fluffy. Also, substituting sour cream for milk is another nice touch!

Is there ever enough stove top space when preparing large meals? TRY THIS DURING THE HOLIDAYS WHEN HOSTING LARGE PARTIES: Prepare your mashed potatoes an hour or two before serving the meal and store them in the slow cooker (on low heat). Serve with the rest of the meal and they’re still hot and tasty!!!

CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY DECOR TIPS

The following are a list of tips to follow when storing, decorating and organizing during the Holiday Season that won't break the bank from common items around your house!

1. Use plastic cups or egg cartons to store delicate ornaments or xmas bulbs

2. Hang a thick piece of ribbon on a wall or from a door frame and pin holiday cards to it with clothes pins!

3. Use a small shoe box (or an aluminum foil or saran wrap box for smaller rolls) and poke holes to thread ribbon through to keep them from unravelling or getting knotted.

4. Use toilet paper rolls or paper clips to prevent wrapping paper from unravelling--and this will ensure there are no indents left to ruin the paper!

5. Wrap Christmas lights around a hanger or large piece of cardboard to prevent tangling. This way you can also easily find the end of the string of lights!

6. A dry-cleaning garment bag will stop your wreath getting dusty and mangled. Hook the wreath over the neck of the coathanger, wrap it up and then hang it in a cupboard, on the back of a door or on a wall with a small, adhesive Dollar Store hook next season!