Friday, March 29, 2013

Tip of the Day #276: Preventing a Ring in your Bathtub

Adding a few drops of baby oil to your bath water will stop a ring from forming inside your bathtub. Plus, it will keep your skin soft! ;)

Tip of the Day #275: Slow Ketchup Remedy

To speed the flow of ketchup, insert a straw into the bottle then remove it. So simple! :)

Tip of the Day #274: Take Photo When Sending out Invites

When sending invitations out to visitors for a party or event, attach a photo of your home or venue to make it easier for them to find!

Tip of the Day #273: Taking Care of Wounds

If an emergency occurs, before you can get to the hospital, here is what to do:

Hold pressure on the wound and crack open an egg. Remove the egg's membrane and place over the wound while still holding pressure. The membrane will dry and harden, acting as a 'seal' until you can get to the ER for proper treatment.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tip of the Day #272: More Garlic Tips

1) To easily break up the cloves, place one hand over the other on top of the garlic, and push down hard. So easy!

2) To remove all peelings off the cloves, pop in the microwave for about 15 seconds, remove, and lightly shake. Works every time!

3) If your recipe calls for minced garlic, use a cheese grater. You will be done in 1/4 of the time!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tip of the Day #271: Preserving Ink Cartridges

1) Whenever possible, print in 'Times New Roman' font. You'll get 100 more pages out of a cartridge than you will printing in heavier fonts like Arial or Verdana!

2) When your computer warns you that your ink is almost empty, take out the cartridge and shake it vigorously a few times--there is still plenty of ink left in there!

3) If your ink cartridge has a reset button/hole, use it when the low ink warning comes on and again, you will greatly extend the life of your cartridge.

Tip of the Day #270: Laundry Basket in Tub

Do you have toddlers? A laundry basket in the tub can act as a seat! Your children wont bump their heads on the tub, theyre secure and their toys stay confined!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tip of the Day #269: Get Rid of Rats & Mice

Rats will leave your home if you introduce a smell that drives them away. This gives you a natural rodent control method that doesn't introduce chemicals into your home and resolves your rat problem without killing them.

The answer is PEPPER-- but don't try black pepper for rat control. Go with cayenne pepper instead or a hot pepper sauce.


Sprinkle the dried spice in areas that have a proven rat presence. When the rats get a whiff of the pepper, they'll move out. Repeat as often as needed, if the rodents move elsewhere in your landscape or if new rats appear.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tip of the Day #268: Vinegar in Toilet Tank

I was reminded of this great tip on Pinterest today!

A small bottle of vinegar can make a huge impact with your toilets. If you poke a hole into the lid of a bottle of vinegar and then put the whole bottle into your toilet tank upside down, the vinegar will prevent a toilet ring from forming by releasing some everytime you flush and also use LESS WATER with every flush!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tip of the Day #267: Cleaning your Hood Vent Filter

Many people don't think to clean their hood vent very often, however, its extremely important as grease and debris build-up can become very dangerous! To clean, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and place filter(s) inside. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of baking soda in VERY slowly (a tsp at a time) as it will fizz and overflow. Watch the grease just slide right off!
If you do not have a pot big enough, pouring the boiling water into your sink and following the same process will work as well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tip of the Day #266: Newspaper while Gardening

Lay newspaper down in in your flower beds!
Newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months. By that time, any grass and weed seeds that were present in the soil on planting will be dead. It’s green, it’s cheaper than fabric, and when you decide to remove or redesign the bed later on, you will not have the headache you would with fabric!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tip of the Day #265: DIY Art Smock

Painting is fun for kids, but can cause such a mess! So why not take an old pillow case, turn so open side is at the bottom, then cut arm holes and a neck hole at the top. If it is way too big, you may choose to snip the area between the neck and arm holes (shoulder area) then tie in tighter knots!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tip of the Day #264: Never lose your Earrings again!

1) Travel is best done in pairs. To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.

2) Keep track of your earrings while you hit the gym (or the spa). Place the studs through the holes on the watch strap and then attach their backs. You can even do this when removing your earrings at night and storing for the night!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tip of the Day #263: Removing Hard Foods

Aluminum Foil as Glassware Scrubber

To get baked-on food off a glass pan or an oven rack, use dishwashing liquid and a ball of foil in place of a steel-wool soap pad. It's one way to recycle those used but perfectly good pieces of foil you hate to throw out!

Tip of the Day #262: Aluminum Foil as an Antenna

If your DVD player is stacked on top of the TV (or vice versa) and the picture is fuzzy, the two electromagnetic fields may be commingling, confusing the signals. (This usually happens with plastic casings; with metal it's less likely.) Slip a sheet of foil between the machines to separate the fields.

Tip if the Day #261: Painters Tape as Snack Sealant

Preserve family-size packages of snack foods. Painter's tape is best because it allows you to seal and reseal a cereal or chip bag without losing its tack.

Tip of the Day #260: Packing Tape as Nut and Bolt Holder

Gather loose bolts and nails in the garage by sticking them to a length of tape and layering another piece of tape on top.

Tip of the Day #259: Reusable Packing Materials

Zippered Plastic Bag as Packing Material

Cushion precious cargo in a box. Before closing it all the way, slide a straw into the top, and inflate. Then remove the straw and completely seal the protective bubble. Once done, just deflate and put bags back away! :)

Paper/Styrofoam Plates between Good Dinnerware

These plates act as great protection as they lay perfect and do not move. Your plates are guaranteed to arrive safely!

Coffee Filters as Plate Protectors

If you dont have any paper plates lying around, coffee filters also work great in protecting your plates--you can also use them later to dust!

Do you have any other useful packing tips? Feel free to share!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tip of the Day #258: Getting Rid of Odours

When my house develops a musty scent, I fill bowls with white vinegar and place them in all the affected rooms for a few hours. This works especially well to rid cigarette smoke or after cooking foods like fish. You can also use the same method to deodorize the refrigerator.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Through Mama's Eyes

Through Mama’s Eyes
By: Shelley Prince

As you began introducing the news of the birth of your child, you heard the constant tale of how a little one would change your life forever, but nothing prepared you for just how much such a small being would change every detail of your entire existence.

Having a child is all about the milestones—or the ‘firsts.’ These steps are with you for eternity. They are what kept you going every single day and they are what make life truly worth living.

You watched as your belly began to grow for the very first time. You watched in awe and without a single word to describe the image of your first unborn in black and white. Then you felt that very first flutter inside of you and questioned if it were real until you felt it another time. You will never forget the day as you lie there and hear the doctor shout “hear they come” and you hear the first sounds of your baby—yes, YOURS—the miracle YOU created. You count their tiny fingers and toes, and stare at their perfect, milky skin as your eyes are flooded with tears. You do this every day and it always feels like the first time. No one but a Mother knows this feeling and it is an honour to be able to do so. The weight gain, the stretch marks and scars, the pain of childbirth—this all means nothing anymore.

Times progresses and before you know it, you hear your little one say ‘Mama’ for their first time. It is not until now that being a Mother has felt like such a reality—someone calls you their MOM, you are responsible for another human being. This leaves you vulnerable, uncertain and emotional, but you know one thing for sure--you would do anything for this small person, without question.

No one can ever prepare you for the trials you face, the frustration you will feel, or the constant questions in your head. Some days you want to lie in bed all day from both the physical and emotional exhaustion, but you remind yourself that this is a GIFT. Not everyone is privileged enough to have these feelings and they would give up anything to be in your shoes, so you get up and carry on.

Before a child was born into this world, spontaneity was your best friend. Vacations, dates and pampering were the ‘norm,’ but now, you are lucky enough to have enough time to pee alone.

It is the days you are at whit’s end, your child senses your anger and comes up to hug you and say—“I Love You.” Words so powerful that they can turn the worst day into your best one. They reassure you that you are doing something right. She flashes you that little smile on her precious face that lights up your world, time and time again. Her laugh is incomparable. As a Mother, nothing ever gets old.

In track pants, your hubby’s over-sized hoodie and 3 day old hair, you go shopping. You see what society calls ‘the perfect Mom,’--that beautiful, patient woman, smiling from ear to ear with her ever so quiet son playing happily in the shopping cart. You see the Mother’s in movies, or the ones singing the loudest at the Mother Goose morning group. You second-guess your own capability as a Mother, what you are doing wrong and if you are ‘normal.’  Every Mother has their own way of parenting, but what should only matter is how your children see you—and to them, you are perfect.  It is called unconditional love.

Before becoming a Mother, you had dreams and goals for yourself, but they are nothing in comparison to what you hope for your child. Nothing can describe the feeling and sense of pride you possess when your daughter brings home her first school award or masters her first dance recital.

If I could tell my children what I want for them in life and for my daughter to carry on when she becomes a Mother is to LOVE. Love with everything you possibly have. Embrace each moment and capture it in your heart. Make memories and photograph them. Never forget how special moments are. Talk to your children, but most importantly, listen to them. They are wiser than you may ever know.  What may be a small issue to you, may be their entire world at that time. Acknowledge them, consider their words and act upon it.  Children will never remember the materials you bought them, but rather how you made them feel.

Tip of the Day #257: Dealing with Stained Items

How many times have you washed a shirt only to discover a stain on it after the fact? That phenomenon is the reason my mom required everyone in the house to tie a knot in their stained garments before they put them in the hamper. That way, when you sort the laundry, you instantly know when something needs extra attention. I implemented this rule within my home and it saves me headaches, time, and money!

For those pesky stains, here is a guide of what to use:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tip of the Day #256: Handling Sparklers

Stick a sparkler in Play-Doh, then light it up. The container protects hands from flying sparks, preventing burns!

Tip of the Day #255: Kitchen Time-Saver

Minimize Trips to the Garbage Can:

While preparing a meal, keep a big bowl on the counter. Put all your chopping, cutting, and peeling discards into it, then make one trip to the garbage instead of 10!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tip of the Day #254: Preventing Blisters

When you have a blister it can be a pain in the, well, foot, for sure, but there's an easy way to prevent friction blisters without buying special socks or shoes,  or whatever else you may have tried in the past. Studies have found that applying antiperspirant to your feet reduces your odds of developing foot blisters.
Here's why: Friction causes blisters, and when your skin is sweaty or moist, you increase that friction and the odds of developing blisters. Antiperspirant fixes this problem because it's made to reduce sweat -- in this case you're just using it on feet instead of underarms. To prevent a white mess, use a clear stick or a spray.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tip of the Day #253: Shower Tiles

I personally cannot stand the look of water spots and drips on my shower tiles--but that could just be my OCD peeking ;)

If you are like me, here's what to do:

To keep shower tiles cleaner for longer,  wax them with car polish after giving them a good clean. This will help stop the grime from sticking to them and the water will just bead off!

Tip of the Day #252: Maintaining a Clean Refrigerator

1. Stop fridge odours by lining the vegetable drawer with a sheet of newspaper.

2. Clean fridge seals by using a toothbrush and toothpaste or baking soda with water to form a paste.

3. Get in a habit of cleaning out your refrigerator every time you bring home groceries. Dispose of any food that is no longer edible or your family is not going to eat.

4. Wipe down shelves once a week or so with white vinegar to remove stains and eliminate funky smells.

5. Many of us are guilty of not doing this--ALWAYS wipe up spills or drips as soon as they happen! In the cold fridge, they become even more difficult to remove later!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tip of the Day #251: Natural Floor Cleaner

FLOOR CLEANER- 1/4 cup vinegar,1 tbsp dish soap, 1/4 cup washing soda (not baking soda) and 2 gallons water (use less if you want a smaller amount)

**This is safe enough for ALL types of floors!

To make your HARDWOOD really SHINE, boil 3 black tea bags in the kettle--the natural tannins will leave those floors sparkling! ;)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tip of the Day #250: Battery Storage

 Since recently moving, I promised myself I would do something with all the loose batteries lying around! So, once testing out if they worked or not, I took a trip to the dollar store to pick up a plastic tackle box (usually found in the 'craft section'). I then categorized all sizes of batteries and placed them in separate slots. SO MUCH BETTER! Now, if I can remind everyone in the house to keep it like this! ;)

Tip of the Day #249: Homemade Fabric Softener

FABRIC SOFTENER- 6 cups HOT water 3 cups white vinegar 2 cups Hair Conditioner (I used Suave, but you can use any that you like the smell of!)

Whisk the hot water and conditioner together. Make sure that the conditioner is completely mixed with the water and there are no clumps.Then mix your vinegar in--this is actually the softener, the conditioner is just for scent :) Use the same amount as normal fabric softener when doing a load!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Recipes for Homemade Dishwasher & Dish Soaps

DISHWASHER DETERGENT- 1 cup Borax 1 cup Baking Soda 1/4 cup Table Salt 2 packets Lemon Kool-Aid Mix all the ingredients in a tightly sealed container and use 1-2 tablespoons per load of dishes.

LIQUID DISH SOAP -1 ½ cup of hot water -½ cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bonner's) -1 tablespoon of white vinegar -1 tablespoon of Arm&Hammer’s Super Washing Soda (used to thicken the soap) -1/8 teaspoon of tea tree oil (optional) MIX ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER, THEN ADD THE HOT WATER--WHISK TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE ALL WELL-BLENDED. THEN ALLOW TO COOL BEFORE USE.

Tip of the Day #248: Weed Killer Recipe

WEED KILLER- One gallon of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup table salt, 1 tsp dish soap. Mix and pour into spray bottle. If you dont need as much, just half the recipe. Spray directly on weeds.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Nothing makes me more excited than DIY projects--especially quick and INEXPENSIVE ones since all the ingredients you already have in your home!

Try this one out!

Homemade Bubble Bath:

1/2 cup shampoo
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix the shampoo and water until well combined.  Add salt and stir until it thickens slightly.  Use a funnel to pour it into a bottle.And that’s it!

This bubble bath costs pennies to make and makes a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer.  Add a personalized label to make the gift even more special

Tip of the Day #247:Protect your Cell Phone

When at the beach this summer, protect your phone from sand and water damage by placing in a Ziploc bag. You can still use it through the plastic! I personally have ruined phones in the past by sand getting in and under the screen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tip of the Day #246: Controlling Beach Sand with Baby Powder

Summer trips to the beach often result in a car, home and body covered in sand that seems to linger until winter--but this can be resolved with such a simple trick!
Place a small amount of baby powder in the palm of your hand and rub into onto your skin. The baby powder will quickly absorb moisture and the sand will fall away. Make sure to pour some on your beach towels and blankets then shake off!
Also, apply a sprinkle of baby powder to your shoes or sandals to remove sand.

If you need to, flip your head upside down and apply a bit of baby powder into the palm of your hand. Rub a little bit into your scalp and gently brush the sand from your hair. Baby powder is great for dry, oily hair and will ensure that all of the sand is removed quickly and easily.

Lastly, sand in the car can be a real nuisance! Sprinkle a light layer of baby powder on seats and carpets before vacuuming clean. Do not rub the baby powder into your car seats or flooring, as it may leave white powdery marks.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I am constantly baffled by how many frugal websites recommend a homemade cleaning agent with both bleach and vinegar in the recipe.NO.Never mix bleach and vinegar, bleach and ammonia, bleach and toilet bowl cleaners, or even different brands of toilet bowl cleaners (some are bleach based while others are acid based).

I often recommend cleaning your washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar, but DO NOT do so if you have recently used bleach or vise versa. Run a few loads before using one or the other again.

ALWAYS read your labels: Bleach can also be listed as sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorite.

When bleach and ammonia are mixed, depending on the ratios, Chlorine gas is created or Nitrogen Trichloride or Hydrazine.  Chlorine gas is deadly, Nitrogen Trichloride is very volatile (meaning it’s just dying to react) and the Hydrazine reaction creates a large amount of heat. Don’t even pour bleach into an unflushed toilet bowl.When bleach and vinegar are mixed it creates an acid base reaction with chlorine gas as a byproduct.Toilet bowl cleaners are often acidic and will also react with bleach.

Tip of the Day #245: Cleaning your Barbecue

Instead of pouring out your leftover coffee, save it to clean your barbecue grill. Old brewed coffee makes an effective cleaner when you pour it on your grill and wipe it off. Use it on your cold or hot grill.

Tip of the Day #244: Uses for Microfiber Cloths

I love microfiber cloths because they are so handy and do a great cleaning job--and you dont have to spend a lot of money! Try these hints for using them around the house:

Keep several microfiber cloths underneath the front seat of your vehicle. Use them to dust off the dashboard, radio and steering wheel that accumulate dust at a rapid rate.

Bathroom, Kitchen
Store a couple of microfiber cloths in these locations because they will clean and shine the chrome, shine mirrors & leave them streak-free and are great for wiping off the sink. When the cloths become dirty, toss them into the washing machine but DO NOT USE WITH FABRIC SOFTENER AS IT DIMINISHES THE CLOTHS EFFECTIVENESS.

Freshen up your dog by lightly dampening a microfiber cloth with water and wiping over its fur. If your cat or dog needs to get the gunk out of its eyes, a microfiber cloth will do the job nicely. And if your pet, gets a dirty -'beard' after eating, the cloth will remove that food mess.

To take dust off live or artificial leaves, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe over the leaves. This will also add a bit of moisture to the real plants too.

Pet hair, dust, ashes from smoking can migrate into your computer and clog the open holes. Use the hose attachment of your vacuum to remove pet hair and dust from the back of your computer. Clean the monitor case with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Be sure to also dust the power cords, floor and area around the computer, printer and fax machine too.

Cell Phone
Wipe the handset surface with a dampened microfiber cloth to eliminate fingerprints and dust--this is especially useful with the popular touchscreen phones that are on the market! But if it’s still sticky, mix one cup of water with one drop of mild detergent to wipe off and then rinse area (not the screen) with a clean dampened cloth. Don’t spray anything into the handset or keys.

Digital Camera
To remove dust, grime and fingerprints, wipe the outside with a microfiber cloth and then carefully swipe over the lens. For a thorough cleaning, take to a professional or use commercial wipes.

Music Players
Wipe the outside with a slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean, but don’t let moisture seep into openings. Do not use alcohol or solvents on this equipment.

Plasma TV Screens
First, unplug the power cord. Lift off fingerprints or dust by wiping screen with a microfiber cloth. Use it to clean the remote control too. NEVER apply any solvent on the screen. Lightly vacuum the vents on the rear panel occasionally.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tip of the Day #243: Dealing with Pet Hair

There are a few methods that I have found to be very effective in removing pet hair from furniture:

1. Put on a rubber glove. Rub the surface with it on. The pet hair should stick to your glove. Dampen the glove or rubber section of the glove for increased effectiveness.

2. You can use sellotape (packing tape) to peel off some fur. Just wrap some around your hand with the sticky, adhesive part sticking out and tap it on the fur-covered areas.

3. For areas that are not completely covered in fur, using a lint roller also works!

For your FLOORS, I highly recommend investing in a microfiber mop! A normal broom or vacuum tends to blow pet hair around, whereas the microfiber picks up every single piece--a true miracle worker! :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tip of the Day #242: Removing Marks & 'Gunk' from Kitchen Cabinets

This recipe is one of the most useful mixtures in my house--mainly because my kitchen cabinets are white. Although I LOVE the look of white, they are not very practical :( I feel like I am constantly cleaning them!

You probably also notice how greasy and dirty your cupboards can get from daily use, regardless of their colour--especially close to the handles, mainly from sauces or food that may be on our hands, or even just the oils from our skin!

Use the following recipe and you are guaranteed to remove all unnecessary debris within a single wipe--its like MAGIC!

2 parts baking soda
1 part oil (the best is vegetable oil)

Mix together and apply with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Hope this helps many of you! :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tip of the Day #241: Cleaning Ceramic Stovetops

Cleaning your stove does not have to be a difficult task. It can be as simple as baking soda and water!
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the surface, then take a damp (NOT WET) scrubber or cloth and rub the powder in circular motions. Once all has been worked in, wipe clean with a soft cloth or you may choose to shine with a bit of glass cleaner.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tip of the Day #240: Organizing Cleaning Essentials

I used to cringe at how unorganized and messy my mops and brooms would be when I either a)stuffed them in a closet out of the way or b)leaned them against the wall.
I researched ideas of how to take care of this dilemma and came up with the idea of using 'S Hooks' or even shower rings on a rod to hand each handle. Now my closet is so neat and organized--I'm in LOVE! ;)

Tip of the Day #239: Removing Scratches from Plates

The BEST product to use to remove plate scratches is 'Barkeeper's Friend' (can be found in your local hardware store.) Since it is somewhat abrasive, I suggest doing a test on the back of a plate first. To do the test patch, simply add a small amount of Barkeeper's Friend to a damp sponge and gently rub a small patch on the back of one plate. 

Once it has been determined that the cleaner and sponge will not scratch the plates, apply a small amount of cleaner to a damp sponge and gently rub the utensil marks off of the plates. One application might not be enough to remove dark marks, but be patient and try rubbing them off a few times.

IF the test resulted in your plate being scratched, (usually happens with delicate china) use another product called, 'Bon Ami' with the same instructions.