Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stinky Problems!

Stinky sneakers, stale carpets, musty closets, I have some ideas to help with those smelly household odors.

1. When you're steaming vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli the odor sometimes just lingers. Well, eliminate the smell by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to the water!

2. Ever noticed that plastic containers take on the smell of whatever you store in them. Well, for a lingering onion or garlic odor in your plastic ware, clean and dry it well and then pop it in the freezer overnight. Odors out.

3. This same trick works with stinky sneakers, slip them in a plastic bag and then pop them in the freezer overnight. The cold will kill the bacteria that's causing the stink!

4. If your closets are musty, spritz some cotton balls with your favorite perfume and stash the balls in the corners of your closet, it will keep them smelling great!

5. Musty carpets are often caused by excess moisture. Here's a one two punch for those odors, Sprinkle carpets with some scented baby powder, let it sit for a while and vacuum it up. The powder will absorb some of the moisture and the scent will linger in the air!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

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Clutter on the Go

With everyone's hectic schedule these days, it's a wonder anybody can stay organized. Well, I have some hints to keep you on track. Load a sturdy plastic accordion file with paperwork that you need on the go. Envelopes, stamps, pen, paper, mail, your kids schedules and important phone numbers. You can easily bring the file in and out of the car to sort, unload and reload, it's sturdy so it will stand up to a lot of wear and tear and it will free your car and counters of paper clutter. Keep a plastic bin or laundry basket by the back door and let the family members know that this is the family travel tote! Everything that they need for the next day that doesn't go in their school bags gets put in the tote before bedtime. From dance clothes to soccer socks you won't have to run around in the morning looking for those things. Little ones? Stash some extra diapers and wipes as well as juice boxes and snacks. In the morning, you'll have to load one tote rather than ten bags! Make sure that you equip your car with a garbage can of some sort to control messes on the go, try an old vinyl lunch bag it's the perfect size and you can secure the strap to a back seat so the bag doesn't fly around!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautiful Stains

Beauty products are a part of life, but they can also cause spills and stains, I have some tips to get rid of these "beautiful" stains. If you think hair dye stains are permanent, think again. If you act quickly you can get rid of them. Spritz liberally with hairspray and allow it to dry for a couple of minutes. Then rub the area with some shampoo and wash it in cold water. For make-up stains from foundation to mascara grab a bar of soap. Put the stain face down on an absorbent white cloth, an old diaper works great for this. Dampen the soap and rub it into the back side of the stain. This will push the make-up out of the fabric rather than sending deeper into the fibers. Move the stain to different parts of the diaper so it doesn't re-absorb them. Wash it in cool water. For greasy stains like lotions and baby oil, blot as much as you can with a cloth and sprinkle with some cornstarch. Let it sit for ten minutes, shake it out and dab with white vinegar to break up the grease. Then launder. For hairspray build-up on walls, floors and mirrors dip an old washcloth into some rubbing alcohol and wipe it away. Remember the two primary rules of stain removal: Always test for colorfastness in a hidden area first, and never put your item in the dryer until you're sure the stain is gone.

Alternative Drapery Hardware

If you want something a little different in drapery hardware, I have what you're looking for. Get a pegged coat rack that is the same width as your window, and paint it out to match the decor. Then, screw the board into place across the top of the window. Then, you can hang tab top draperies over the pegs for a fun new look. For a more classic look, try attaching pretty, old doorknobs to the pegboard. You could also attach doorknobs at the sides of the window and use them as bases for tiebacks. If you would just like a draping effect, get some plant hanging brackets. Hang the brackets on either side of the window and simply drape some sheer fabrics across them. For a fancier look, tie loose knots around the bracket with the fabric. This will give a kind of rosebud effect. If the curtains will hide the rod all together, try an adjustable shower rod; it is less expensive than curtain rods and it will fit a variety of window sizes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Stove is Here!!!!

My new stove has finally arrived - I'm so excited - pix soon!

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Coffee, Coffee, Coffee - I need my coffee!

Coffee is more than an early morning caffeine fix; it can fix problems in your house and garden too! Used coffee grounds serve double duty in the garden as both a fertilizer and a pest repellent. Sprinkle grounds over your lawn and garden beds, they release nutrients into the soil and give you healthier plants. Some coffee grounds around the base of roses and azaleas once a month will add acid to the soil and your flowers will thrive. In addition to boosting plants coffee repels all sorts of garden pests like cats, moles, and ants! Speaking of ants, to keep them out of the house fill soda or water bottle caps with used coffee grounds and stash them under cabinets and behind appliances.To fix scratches on dark wood furniture, mix together a paste of instant coffee and water, rub it in to the spot and buff it to a shine! Finally, when all of the coffee is gone, save those cans! They're great for charcoal starters, spreading seeds and keeping things like matches and toilet paper dry when you're camping! Who knew that coffee was more than an early morning pick me up!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Illuminating Projects

Most every project calls for good lighting but sometimes that's hard to do. Well, I have some easy ideas to shed some much needed light on your projects. It is easy to direct light at your project with either a headlamp or a light that attaches to your ear. Both of these give off plenty of light for working and because they move where your head does, the light will always be aimed right where you need it. If you've ever tried to prop up a flashlight for some extra illumination you know that they can fall and roll away in the middle of a job. You can easily direct that light by making a stand. Put a pair of pliers around the handle of your flashlight and use some rubber bands to hold the handles of the pliers in place. If you need to get some light into a really tight spot, attach a night light to an extension cord and feed it to the spot you need. If you need a reliable flashlight for your toolbox or your car try the shake variety. You don't ever need batteries; simply shake the light back and forth when you're losing power. Illuminating ideas - don't you think!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Looking for ways to save a little time, or an easier way to do something? Well, I have some ideas to help. Say you need a tablespoon of lemon juice for a recipe; but you hate to cut a whole lemon. Well, the next time you need to do that, just squeeze the rest of the juice into a clean ice cube tray and freeze it. Once they're frozen put the cubes into a zip top bag and store it in the freezer, the next time you need a tablespoon of lemon juice, grab a cube! These quick cubes also work great with tomato sauce, pesto, gravy and fruit juice. Why use an extra bucket to clean the bathroom, empty the trashcan, and use it as a bucket. Fill it with your favorite cleanser and some hot water. Clean the bathroom and when you're done, rinse the bucket clean and you'll have gotten two jobs done at once! I always get nervous cleaning jewelry because I'm afraid it's going to drop down the drain. Well, use an old saltshaker filled with some jewelry cleaner, swish it around and drain the entire shaker. Carefully empty the jewelry out on to a cloth. There's no chance you'll lose it this way! Easy ways to save you some time at home!

Dish Soap to the Rescue!

I have some ideas on how a little squirt of dish soap can help you with all sorts of problems around your home. Most kitchen drain clogs are caused by greasy buildup, dump a quarter of a cup of dish liquid down the drain and let it sit for a minute or so, then dump a full kettle of boiling water down the drain. The dish soap will break up the grease and the water will flush the clog away. Dish Liquid is a gentle and inexpensive pre-treater for all sorts of stains on all sorts of fabrics - just squirt it on and work it in., the stain will launder out without a problem. If there's a chance you won't be doing laundry for a few days, use a clear dish soap so the colorant won't transfer to the fabric. Mirrors and windows in the bathroom fogging up? Use some clear dish soap to prevent it! Squirt a small amount onto a clean, dry cloth and work it around in a circular motion until you can no longer see the soap. No more fog! Dish soap cans also help with your car. If you have a lot of brake dust on your hub cabs, spread some full strength dish soap on the area, then clean with hot water. The soap will cut right through that grime! If you suspect a leak in your tire, spread some soapy water over the area, the soap will bubble up where the air is leaking!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cleaning Woodwork

Just about everybody has some type of molding or wood working in their home, and more often than not they get grimy and dusty and they're usually forgotten during those weekly chores. Well I can help. First step, a cleaner. I use a quarter cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Pour it into a spray bottle and you're good to go! This mixture is great for cleaning painted and stained wood. My favorite cleaning tool for cleaning woodworking is a fuzzy carwash mitt. It covers wide areas and you can use your fingers to push it into corners and crevices. You can also use a paint brush or a baby hair brush as a cleaning tool. The paint brush will work especially well when you're cleaning moldings above your head. If you're worried about getting your surrounding walls wet, use one of my painting tricks. Hold a squeegee in place at the edge of the woodwork to protect the wall. If you have some stubborn scuffs and stains, simply spread some white toothpaste onto an old soft toothbrush, scrub them out of the wall and then follow up with a good cleaning. You can also use some baking soda on a damp cloth.

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Breathe Easier

When working on home safety repair projects, safety is a big concern. Well I have some tips to help you protect your lungs.

1. Always work in a well-ventilated area.

2. Anytime you're working on a project that will stir up dust, wear a dust mask to protect your lungs. You can buy simple paper masks in inexpensive multi-packs at hardware stores that will get the job done.

3. I recommend that you choose a thick mask that has a replaceable filter in the center near your nose and has a metal strip across the top so that you can adjust the mask to fit your face.

4. For big jobs where you may be exposed to toxins like asbestos, fumes or chemicals choose a respirator. These masks come in single and dual cartridge varieties, and are clearly marked on the package as to what type of cartridge offers what type of protection.

5. No matter what type of mask you use, make sure you clean it when you're finished. Dust masks can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner; respirators can be wiped down with some rubbing alcohol. Make sure that you replace filters and cartridges often!

It's just that simple!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vacation Tips!

You want your vacation to be the best it can be so plan ahead and pack smart to save yourself time and hassles down the road. Pack a first aid kit, you may think this is silly but if you've ever spent a fortune for a couple of aspirin on the road you know that it is cheaper to pack from home! Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, antacids and prescriptions! Rather than packing extra items that you don't need, think about things you can use as double duty. Shampoo doubles as a great laundry pre-treater, hair conditioner is good substitute for shaving cream and petroleum jelly can be used as a lotion, a lip balm and in a pinch it will shine your shoes! Another idea is to think about things that can cost a lot of money or hassle on the go. Buy a book of stamps so you don't need to seek out a post office, have betteries for handheld devices, it is better to have too much than too little, and don't forget a pre-paid calling card to save on those outrageous phone bills. Think of tiny toteables that can help you on the go, a pocket sized lint brush, a miniature sewing kit, a small safety lock that can be programmed so you don't need to worry about keys.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Do you need a rug pad??

Why do you need a special pad underneath your rugs? Well Among other things it will make your rug look better and it will make it last longer. A quality rug pad will keep your rug from sliding around and the rug will grip the pad, which keep it flat. A slipping, sliding, wrinkling rug is a big safety hazard in your home. A rug laid on a bare floor can damage the floor; the backing of the rug itself as well as the dirt that filters down through the rug can scratch floors and leave them quite damaged. The rug pad will also cut down on the everyday wear and tear the rug receives. It's a cushion so it helps absorb the shock of the feet and furniture to make the rug more resilient. Plus, it makes it more comfortable for you as well. A good rug pad will also protect your floors from damage if there is something spilled on the carpet, as a liquid seeps through the carpet fibers it will be repelled by the padding and stay off of your floors! The pad will also help make your vacuum more effective because the lift off the floor provides more circulation for the vacuum.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Baking Soda to the Rescue!

Baking soda is a must have in any household. It can be used in every room in the house. No exaggeration! Kitchens - sure baking soda will keep the fridge smelling fresh and the cooking on course, but did you know that baking soda will clean dirt and residue off fresh fruits and vegetables? Just sprinkle some on a damp cloth and rub away. It will also give your dish soap a kick. Add a couple of tablespoons to your dishwater to help cut through grease and grime. Dining room - if your little Picasso used an indelible marker on your wood furniture, dip a damp cloth in baking soda and wipe the stain away! It will also remove coffee and tea stains from your good china. Living room - sprinkle it on upholstered furniture or in the fireplace to absorb pet and smoke odors. Bathrooms - mix together a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide make your grout nice and white. Run out of toothpaste? Baking soda is an effective substitute. Dip a damp toothbrush in baking soda and brush away. Bedrooms - freshen carpets, laundry hampers, and bedding. Clean walls and woodwork, and pre-treat laundry stains.