Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stuck on Wood

If you've ever found yourself with a sticky mess on your wood furniture, I can help.

1. Have you ever had someone use a piece of paper for a hot pad? The heat will adhere the paper to your furniture every time! Peel away as much as you can. Then use a paper towel to spread some olive oil over the area. Let it sit for about a half hour and then you should be able to wipe the paper away.

2. If your child has decorated your wood with stickers, peel away what you can and then spread petroleum jelly over the area. Let it sit for a few hours and scrape the rest away with a credit card. Polish to a shine.

3. If there is a lollipop on your table, carefully pull the candy away. Mix together 1/2 cup of water with one teaspoon of white vinegar and dab the mixture onto the wood. Rub gently until all of the stickiness is gone!

4. If there is a dish or glass stuck to your tabletop, don't try to pull it off or you'll damage the finish. Squirt some baby oil around the base of the dish and let it sit for a few minutes. The dish should pull off easily.

Getting Kids to Help at Home

If you're wondering why you can't get your kids to pick up, you need to think like them and put yourself at their level and it'll be a lot easier.

1. If you're kids are always leaving their coats and bags on the floor when they come in, look where you want them to hang them. Many closet rods and hooks are too high for kids to reach, put some lower hooks within their reach, so they can do it themselves. The same goes for their bedrooms and their bathroom. If you want things hung up, hang hooks at their level!

2. Kids rooms get messy, but when you say, clean up your room it can seem daunting. The solution: break it into smaller jobs for them. Ask them to pick up trucks, then stuffed animals then something else until the room is done.

3. Want kids to help with the garden or help with the sweeping, get tools their size. A small rake or broom will allow your kids to work along side without trying to maneuver bigger tools.

4. Think your kids are too small to help with chores, think again, even those as young as three can help around the house. They can collect laundry, fold small towels and washcloths, set the table, and help unload groceries.

Closet Organization

Closet organization, it's one of those projects that no one really wants to think about but everybody should tackle. I have some tips.

1. First things first, ditch the plastic and wire hangers. They aren't good for your clothes and they don't line up and slide well so it's hard to navigate your clothes, opt for wooden hangers, which last forever and are relatively inexpensive, this box of twenty was about ten dollars.

2. Don't hang your clothes in dry cleaning bags; you need to let fabrics breathe if you want them to last.

3. When organizing hanging clothes hang them in an order that makes sense to you, whether by color, by item or by use like office, dress and weekend wear.

4. When hanging ties, don't drape them over the closet rod or a hanger, they will slide all over and are hard to see! Buy an inexpensive tie and belt rack to easily separate and organize those items.

5. Use clear plastic boxes to store shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry. They stack easily and they keep items clean, organized and in easy reach.

6. If you have items that aren't worn very often, use a breathable garment bag or an old cotton pillowcase to protect them from dust.


Looking for ways to save a little time, or an easier way to do something? Well, I have some ideas to help.

1. 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.

2. 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!

3. 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!

Grab Bag

Get ready - I have a grab bag of cool tips that can help you all over your house with all sorts of tasks!

1. Run out of dish soap? No problem you can get through that load of dishes easily so that it doesn't sit there until you get back from the store, by just mixing three parts water together with one part lemon juice. Spray the mixture onto your dishes. The lemon juice will cut through grease and grime with no hassles, then simply rinse with hot water!

2. Do you have trouble rinsing the shower after you've cleaned it, well grab your watering can; it will be easy to direct water right where you need it.

3. Do you have to dig through your linen closet to find matching linens? Here is an easy way to solve that problem. Fold the top and bottom sheet and one pillowcase then slip the three into a second pillowcase. This way the sets will always be together. If you have an extra set of pillowcases, lay them on top of each other and fold them as one.

4. If you have sticky drawers, try aiming your hairdryer at them for a few minutes. The sticking is most likely caused by excess moisture and the hairdryer will eliminate the problem. Once the drawer is sliding easily coat the runners with some paste wax to keep it sliding.

Cleaning Cookware

A lot of people find cooking a great way to relax, but does anybody enjoy the clean-up? I have a few tips to make the job a lot easier for you.

1. Grease and food get baked on glass cookware, which can make it really hard to clean. Ammonia and a plastic scrubber will clean most messes up. Open a window for extra air because ammonia fumes are pretty strong.

2. Burn your dinner? Rinse as much food off the cookware as you can, and then cover the burned area with a paste of baking soda and water. Leave the paste on overnight, and then it will clean easily in the morning!

3. For really stubborn stains, try oven cleaner. Go outside and lay down several layers of newspaper and spray down the dish. Let that sit for about a half hour and then wash it really well with hot water.

4. Don't throw away those fabric softener sheets when they come through the dryer, keep them under the sink. A grimy pan will come clean if you put a couple of those sheets in it with some hot water and let it soak for a couple of hours!

Celebration Stains

I love celebrations, but when the parties are over, sometimes there are stains left behind on my carpets. I have some stain removers to help if you find yourself in the same situation.

1. Always use white cloths when you're cleaning stains. A colored cloth could transfer dye onto the carpet, creating a bigger stain.

2. Chocolate can be removed from your carpets and upholstery with a little white shaving cream (not the gel!) . Spray some of the foam onto the spot and work it in with a cloth. When you see the chocolate coming up, switch to cool water to lift the shaving cream.

3. For alcohol stains such as wine, sponge the area with some cool water. Then mix a half of a teaspoon of dish detergent and a tablespoon of white vinegar into a quart of warm water. Use a cloth to blot the stain with the mixture. This will remove the stain and smell in one step. Then layer the area with some white towels and heavy books to absorb moisture. (You can also blot wine stains with club soda.)

4. For a beer stain, mix equal parts of white vinegar and detergent. Sponge it onto the stain and then blot it out.

Deceptive Decor

If you think high end accents like tassels and finials aren't in your budget, think again. I can show you how to get the look at a fraction of the cost.

1. Those great finials that top everything from lamps to clocks can be made from wooden elements that you can find in a craft store. An egg cup glued to a round knob and then painted gives you the look for pennies.

2. Those little knobs also make great feet for home accents. Add them to boxes, lamps or frames for an instant upgrade.

3. Want a bigger impact? Choose bigger accents, large feet and finials can be fashioned from wooden porch post tops! Love the look of tassels? Try making them yourself for a fraction of the cost. Buy fringe by the yard. At a fabric store, make a loop from the cording and then wrap the trim around the hang cord until you're happy with the thickness. Catch the end of the trim with a couple of stitches and you're done. For a more whimsical tassel, paint a wooden finial from the craft store and choose a multicolored double thick trim. Wrap it around a wooden finial and secure it with hot glue. A little hole drilled in the top of the finial is a perfect spot for a ribbon hanger.

Packing for the Next Holiday!

If you're smart about packing up for the holidays, you can make this year's unpacking a whole lot easier for yourself next year.

1. If there is an area in your home like a mantel or a staircase that you decorate with special items each year, pack all of those pieces in their own bin and label it accordingly. You won't have to dig around through tons of boxes next year!

2. Use plastic food storage bags to separate strings of lights, baubles and bangles! This step will keep everything untangled and neat in the bin.

3. If you use ribbon to decorate with, you know how it can get crushed. Coil it carefully and slip it in a coffee can or a deli container to keep it safe in storage.

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Wood Floor Care

Wood floors are beautiful in any home and a selling point. With a little t-l-c and it will stay just as beautiful for years to come.

1. Sand and mud tracked in on your shoes can scuff and mar the surface of your floors, just think about what sandpaper against wood. To prevent this, sweep often. Just a quick once over with a broom, a dust mop or a static duster will remove surface dirt.

2. If you do end up with scratches on your floors, grab a little shoe polish in a matching shade and buff it into the surface. You'll never know the scratch was there!

3. For a more heavy duty cleaning, add a quarter of a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water and use the mixture and a well rung out mop to clean the floors, taking care not to over-wet the wood. It is better to use a vinegar mixture than oil soap because over time the soap will leave a build-up on your wood.

4. To protect your floors from excess wear, use area rugs in high traffic spots. These rugs allow the beautiful wood to shine around the perimeter.

5. Direct sunlight will discolor wood so make sure that you filter light with curtains and draperies.

6. Put protective felt pads on the feet of your furniture to prevent gouges and dents.

Taking Down the Tree

It was a beautiful holiday, but now it all needs to be packed up and put away. Luckily, taking the tree down doesn't have to make a huge mess!

1. Use a turkey baster to get any water out of the tree stand.

2. When the stand is off, wrap the sheet around the tree, and you'll have a handy sling to carry the tree in. It's easier, and you'll be protecting the walls and floors as you go. This method works best if you have two people.

3. If you're by yourself, cut the branches off of the tree before you take it out of the house. Spread a big sheet under the tree to catch needles as you work. Pull on a pair of work gloves and use your pruning shears to cut the branches. As you clip, just throw them in a big garbage can lined with a sturdy bag! Then you can easily carry the trunk out of the door.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Packing up Decorations

Somehow it never seems like as much fun taking down the holiday decorations as it does putting them up, but it has to be done. I have some pointers for you!

1. What do you do with all of your fragile ornaments? I suggest you stop by the grocery store and buy several sizes of plastic food storage containers and a few boxes of tissues. The containers don't cost a lot, and they're nice and sturdy so they protect your family's treasures, and the tissue is a perfect inexpensive buffer! The containers are also great for extra bulbs and fuses, hangers and tinsel!

2. If you're never sure how to store your lights so that you don't end up with a tangled mess, plug the strands together and wind them around an extension cord spool! Think how easy it will be when you pull them out next year!

3. It is so hard to find a safe place to store holiday wreaths, my suggestion, look down. Under a bed is an ideal place, they won't be in the way and yet they won't get crushed either. Slip it in a clear plastic garbage bag and slip it under the bed. Out of sight and safe until next year!

4. When you take the tree down, make sure that you clean the stand well with hot water and a little bleach. This will kill the bacteria and you'll be all set for next year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Holiday Wrapping Center

Okay the holidays have passed and you're left with a big pile of gift bags, wrapping paper and tissue paper and ribbons. How are you supposed to get all of it organized? I have a couple of creative ideas that will corral these items and have them ready the next time you need them!

1. For this organizational center, you simply need an accordion style drying rack. With a little doctoring this will per the perfect spot to store your wrapping supplies.

2. Uses the crossbars of your rack to drape tissue paper, this will keep it neat, unwrinkled and at the ready when you need it.

3. Slip rolls of wrapping paper through the crossbars at the ends of the rack.

4. Use "S" hooks and an additional dowel to hang a ribbon bar across the front. Simply slide all of your rolls onto the dowel and hook it over a bar, this will store and dispense ribbon when you need it.

5. For supplies like scissors, tape, tags and pens; adapt an idea from my website and hang a shoe bag from the back of the rack. It will easily organize all of those items.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Gifts

Isn't it awful when somebody shows up with a gift for you and you have nothing for them? Here are some easy ideas for last minute gifts this holiday.

1. Gift bags are your saving grace for last minute gifts; make sure you always have some on hand, and don't forget the tissue paper. Candy boxes and cellophane bags are also good to keep around for emergencies

2. When you're out shopping, if you see an ornament or decoration that you like, buy three or four to keep on hand. This way if someone shows up, you can have a present all set.

3. Make extra cookies. Christmas cookies are a great gift, and when stacked in a cellophane bag or nestled in a candy box it makes a great presentation too!

4. Keep some picture frames on hand. Everybody has pictures they want to display and if you watch for them all year you can get some great sales. If you save your double prints all year, you may even be able to personalize the frame in a hurry.

5. Another easy thing to keep on hand is wine. A few extra bottles and some pretty bags and your ready. Plus, if you don't give them away you can use them throughout the year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wrap it up!

Have you lost the festive holiday spirit because you don't like the thought of wrapping all of the gifts? I have some tips to help!

1. First, you need the right tools. Buy a tape dispenser. You can get them at any office supply store, and it will free up a hand while you're wrapping. You'll also need an envelope opener that has a little razor blade in the opening. This is great for cutting paper, and you probably have one in a drawer somewhere.

2. Write out your gift tags ahead of time. This way you can wrap and stick your tag on, eliminating the need to stop and write and wrap. Think of it as an assembly line.

3. Speaking of assembly lines, set up a wrapping station. This is where you'll keep all of your supplies, so you can keep up on the job and you don't have to pull everything out every time you get a gift. You'll need a good sized table, bins for ribbon, bows and tags, a pair of scissors, extra rolls of tape, a ball of twine for measuring and plenty of wrapping paper.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Mailing

We're getting down to the wire...

Holiday wishes from friends and family warm the heart, but getting your own holiday mail on its way may be another story. I have some tips to help you out.

1. If you're using some Christmas cards that you bought last year and the summer humidity has the envelopes already sealed, you can put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will loosen the glue so that you can open the envelopes easily. You could also try putting the envelopes in the microwave for thirty seconds. This will have the same effect.

2. If you have a problem getting those envelopes to seal back up again, try a little clear nail polish on the flap.

3. When you mail your packages, you won't smear your labels if you roll them into place with a pencil rather than pressing them on with your fingers.

4. When your labels are in place, you can seal the ink by spraying some hair spray over the label. Or, when the ink has dried, you can rub it with a white candle stub to seal it against wet weather.

Table Round for the Holidays

You have more guests coming than you have places at your dinner table; I have an easy project that will increase seating at your card table from four to six!

1. The table topper sits on your card table and is made of MDF board. To make the topper foldable and easy to store you'll need two - two by four foot pieces of quarter inch MDF board.

2. Attach one end of a string to the center of the length of the board. Make a loop in the other end and slip a pencil in to trace a perfect arc. This will be half of your topper.

3. Use a jig saw to cut both halves. Cutting curves is tricky so make sure that you work slowly and don't forget your safety glasses.

4. Once both sides are cut sand the edges smooth and brush away any dust.

5. Lay the two pieces next to each other and run a length of duct tape along the joint to give it some stability when it is folded.

6. Then to finish the topper off stretch some flannel backed vinyl over the board on the same side as the tape. Secure it all the way around with a staple gun and then trim away any excess.

Chalkboard Paint

A chalkboard is great for jotting down notes and a great place for kids to draw, but they can be expensive. An easy and inexpensive way to make your own is with chalkboard paint! It looks like any other spray paint, but it dries to a chalkboard finish

1. Pick out a piece of wood that is nice and smooth and thin enough to fit into a frame.

2. Make sure that you have plenty of ventilation and wear a safety mask when using spray paints. Paint the board with a primer, and let it dry thoroughly.

3. Spray the chalkboard paint back and forth evenly until you have a nice finish. Make sure that you don't spray too much, or you'll end up with drips! Then allow it to dry.

4. Once it's dry, put the board into your frame and hang it up.

Cooking and Baking Tips

Cooking and baking can cause frustration when you run into problems in the kitchen. These tips will help you get cooking and out of the kitchen faster.

1. Use a turkey baster when forming pancakes, you end up with equal sized pancakes and a lot less mess, every time!

2. If you need to chill dough for a recipe, make a ball, press it into a circle and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then put it in the freezer. This does two things; starting from a circle will make rolling out the dough easier and using the freezer instead of the refrigerator cuts chilling time by three quarters.

3. Use a new powder puff for a nice even dusting of flour when you're rolling out cookie dough.

4. To test whether or not your baking powder is fresh, put a half a teaspoon in a bowl and pour a quarter cup of hot water over it. It should bubble; if it doesn't you need a new can.

5. Soak your measuring spoons or cups in hot water if the recipe calls for a sticky liquid like honey or corn syrup. The ingredient will slide right out!

6. If you're making a cake, use some dry mix to coat the pan. You won't end up with a white coating on the outside of the cake when it's done.

Illuminating Ideas

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Beautiful Tools

Looking for beautiful tools, check the make-up bag. Many make-up tools can be used for simple home repairs!

1. Sponge brushes are great for small paint jobs, but what about tiny touch ups? Sponge tipped eye shadow applicators are perfect. They're just the right size and they're cheap too! These also work for spreading glue in a small space like a chair joint!

2. Nail polish is handy for touch ups too. Scratches on appliances can be painted with a little nail polish. The enamel finish is a great match, just be sure you pick up the right color polish! As with any paint job, you'll probably have to apply a few coats.

3. Clear polish is perfect for building up dings in wood furniture. Just apply several coats until it's even with the rest of the finish. Scratches can be filled in with an eyeliner pencil. Just rub it into the mark and then buff with a soft cloth to blend the repair in with the rest of the finish!

4. Then there is my favorite beauty tool, the emery board. Sandpaper on a stick. It's perfect for small jobs and tight spaces, and if you get one of these black buffing boards and wet it you can even smooth out small chips on a drinking glass.

5. Beautiful tools to get you through some simple projects!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts from Garbage

I'm not suggesting that you go out and pick through your trash to find gifts to give to everyone this holiday season. But there are some great items you might have around your home that can be transformed into some great gifts.

1. A pretty old makeup compact can be turned into an oversized "locket". Cut a picture to fit in the opening where the powder used to be, and secure it with some double stick tape.

2. Old clothes can be made into lots of neat things from bears, to blankets, to pillows. If you're not handy with a sewing machine, do a quick on-line search there are a lot of talented people out there who do this kind of thing. These items can be especially thoughtful if the clothes belonged to a loved one who is passed away or for your parents from your old baby items.

3. An old jug or bottle can be easily transformed into a lamp. They sell special light kits at the hardware store with bottle stops.

4. An old picture frame can be made into a mirror. Just have a piece of mirror cut or buy an inexpensive one and then secure the mirror in the frame with glazier's points, staples or brads.

5. Teacups make the perfect holder for a custom candle. You can get wicks and wax at your local craft store. Follow the directions for melting the wax and pouring it into your container. Beautiful!

Holiday Timesavers

If you could use some help getting everything ready done so you can enjoy the holidays, I have some tips to help you out.

1. To get ready for that big holiday meal, make your grocery shopping list and then take a few extra minutes to categorize it into the different sections of the grocery store. These few minutes will pay off big when you're trying to maneuver through a crowded store.

2. To keep track of your holiday gift shopping get a small notebook, write everyone's name on a separate page along with some gift ideas or the persons sizes and color preferences. Slip a pen in the coil and carry the notebook with you when you're shopping. It is an easy reference to organize a tedious task. It can also be a handy thing to look back on from year to year.

3. If you have to buy gifts for several groups of people, like the in-laws, kids, friends and family buy a different roll of wrapping paper for each group. This way when you're scrambling to get out the door you can easily identify the group of presents that needs to go to with you.

4. Final time saver, wrap your gifts as you buy them, this way you won't have an all day task a few days before the holiday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cardboard Tubes

Paper towel and toilet paper tubes aren't a throw away item - I can show you so many uses for them around your home.

1. If your tongs are always getting caught inside your drawer because they pop open, slip them inside a paper towel tube, it'll keep them closed and right where you want them.

2. Cut a slit along the length of a paper towel tube and slip it over the hanger to prevent creases in your pants. You can also slip them over the tops of a hanger to fill out the shoulders in a suit or jacket.

3. Stuff plastic bags inside a toilet paper tube and slip it in your purse or glove compartment, that way you'll have bags on the go for garbage, pet messes or kid clutter.

4. Cleaning your Chandelier? Slip cardboard tubes over the bulbs and sockets to protect them while you work.

5. If you have a little girl, a paper towel tube is a great way to organize all of those pretty little hair accessories.

6. How about a gift box for small items. Slip the gift inside and wrap the roll like the old fashioned Christmas crackers!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wrapping Center

The key to any task is organization. Well I have easy ways to keep your wrapping supplies organized so you can get through the chore of wrapping those holiday gifts in no time!

1. If you're always combing the house to find scissors and pens and tape and tags, buy two sets, one for the house and one for wrapping. Keep the wrapping set corralled in a see through make-up bag for easy, portable access.

2. If your wrapping paper rolls are always unrolling and falling to the floor, try this: cut a paper towel or toilet paper tube along its length. Then slip it around the paper, it will keep it rolled up and it won't rip the paper like tape can!

3. Now for storage, a clear hanging garment bag is the perfect spot to store all of your wrapping paper. Slip the rolls upright in the bag. Put your ribbon spools in the bottom along with your tape and scissors kit, and then stash the whole kit in a closet, always together and right where you need it!

Picture Perfect Holiday

Sure, a picture in a frame is a lovely gift, but I have some ways to personalize those gifts that won't break the bank!

1. Use old pictures and scrap booking paper to personalize a plain gift bag. The plain bags are less expensive, you can use them beyond the holidays and the recipient will love the personal touch.

2. This is also a great way to personalize Christmas cards, buy a pack of blank cards and personalize them for each person!

3. Use your computer to create a calendar for a loved one. You can buy calendar kits at your local office supply store, or simply buy a ream of heavy paper and print them yourself. You can have them bound at a local office supply store for a couple of dollars.

4. Speaking of the computer, use it to blow up pictures to a full sheet, print them out and use them to wrap small gifts. They're really festive!

Christmas Tree Tips

Christmas is a special time of year with homes so wonderfully decorated and featuring beautiful Christmas trees. How do you make sure your tree will last through the holidays? I have some easy and inexpensive solutions for you.

1. The tree should have a strong pine smell and a nice deep color. Shake the tree to make sure that the needles don't drop off, or run your hand down a branch to see if needles come off in your hand. You can also reach into the trunk area and scratch the bark; if you see green on the backside of the bark, the tree is nice and fresh.

2. When you're ready to bring your tree inside, make a fresh cut straight across the trunk, then drill a hole as far as you can into the trunk. Stuff the hole with some absorbent cotton balls. The cotton will act as a wick and help pull water up into the tree.

3. Christmas trees are easy to knock over. To prevent that, secure your tree stand to a large piece of plywood. This will give you a wider and sturdier base than the stand alone, and your tree skirt will cover it up so it doesn't look bad.

4. To preserve your tree, mix together a gallon of warm water, four tablespoons of iron powder, (which you can pick up at most garden shops), four tablespoons of bleach and two cups of corn syrup. Use the mixture to water the tree every day. An alternative would be to add a cup of sugar or a few aspirin to your water to help preserve that tree.

5. An easy way to water your tree is to attach a piece of hose with a funnel at the top from your tree stand to the middle of the back of the tree. Then simply pour the water into the funnel.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Trees

Christmas is a great time of year with homes so wonderfully decorated and featuring beautiful Christmas trees. How do you make sure your tree will last through the holidays? When you pick your tree there are some things you should know to make sure it stays fresh for the season.

1. Shake the tree to make sure that the needles don't drop off. You can also run your hand down a branch, or reach into the trunk area and scratch the bark. If you can see green on the back side of the bark, this means it's fresh.

2. Before you put your tree up, cut a good two inches from the end of the trunk. This will ensure that the tree will be able to absorb the water in the stand and not dry out.

3. To preserve your tree, here is a great recipe. Mix together a gallon of warm water with 4 tablespoons of iron powder, (which you can pick up at most garden shops), 4 tablespoons of bleach and 2 cups of corn syrup. Once you have your tree in a stand, water with the mixture and use it until it is gone.