Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleaning isn't just for Spring

As the seasons gear up to change I am always looking at and re-evaluating my cleaning methods on how I can be more efficient. I am always looking for ways to change it up and freshen it up. I came upon a website recently that I have fallen in love with. It is proving to be over and over again a fantastic resource.

If you haven't already checked out I Dream of Clean, then be sure to make it a must happen stop on your next internet browsing session.

Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Tips

A Hair Dryer in the Kitchen?

Yes, keeping a hair dryer in the kitchen is a good idea. It can help you dry just-washed salad greens...soften too-frozen ice cream...set icing on a cake...dry a big water splotch you got on your blouse right before your guests are due to arrive...and probably a dozen more useful things that you’ll think of when the dryer is within reach in the kitchen.

A Fresher Carpet in Minutes

Dry-clean your carpet by sprinkling it liberally with baking soda. Use a flour sifter to help distribute it evenly. If you can leave the baking soda on your carpet overnight, do it. If not, let it stay for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, sprinkle one tablespoon of your favorite fragrant herb (optional)—such as lavender—on the carpet. After waiting, vacuum up the baking soda and whichever herb you used. The unpleasant carpet odors—cigarette smoke, mustiness, wet dog, cat urine—should be gone, and the fragrant aroma of the herb should be in the air.

Make Your Summer Guests Feel Welcome

To make guests feel at home, hang a shoe bag over the bathroom door and fill the pockets with items they might need—for example, bars of soap, washcloths, body lotion, shampoo, a hair dryer, combs and brushes, gel, mousse, a toothbrush and toothpaste...even a rubber ducky!

For Juicier Chicken

If possible, when cooking chicken leave the skin on. There’s a membrane between the skin and meat of a chicken that keeps moisture in and fat out while it’s cooking. So, for juicier, more flavorful chicken, remove the skin after it has been cooked.

Pest-Free Picnic

When you’re having a picnic, barbecue or any other kind of outdoor gathering, put portable, battery-powered fans around the area (at least two). Place one facing the center of the party, and one aimed at the food table.
The fans will keep flying insects (such as mosquitoes, bees, wasps, flies and gnats) away while keeping your guests cool.

From Household Magic Daily Tips

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Garden Hose Care

Do not store a hose where the sun will shine down on it. The sun’s heat will dry it out. Also, keep a hose away from any kind of heating source, like a furnace or outdoor barbecue.

If the hose has sprung a little leak, instead of using glue or tape to repair it, try this fix—heat up the tip of an ice pick or Phillips-head screwdriver, and gently touch the rubber around the hole in the hose with the hot tip of the tool. It should seal the hole closed.

Fruit Facts

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), fruit should be ripened at room temperature. When it is ripe and refrigerated, you can plan on it staying edible for the following amounts of time...

Apples—1 month
Apricots, bananas, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums—3 to 5 days
Berries and cherries—2 to 3 days
Citrus fruit—2 weeks
Cranberries and melons (except watermelon)—1 week
Watermelon—3 to 5 days

A Natural Mosquito Repellent

A popular mosquito repellent is the mosquito coil. The coiled, clay-like material sits on a stand and is burned. It releases a pleasant odor that is very repellent to flying pests. Each coil burns for about two hours.

But many of these contain a potent lung carcinogen. Studies show that burning one coil could be the equivalent of smoking more than 100 cigarettes!

You may want to try the following suggestion to deal with those nasty little buggers...

Drink 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. The smell of vinegar, emitted in your normal perspiration, will repel mosquitoes, whose sense of smell is about 10,000 times better than ours.

For Fresher Cheese...

To prevent a chunk of cheese from getting moldy, place it in a resealable plastic bag along with one or two cubes of sugar (try to squeeze any excess air out of the bag). The cheese should stay fresh longer, and the sugar deters mold.

Fast Fix for Frizzy Hair

If you wake up with out-of-control frizz and have no gel to tame it, take an ice cube and run it over your hair. It’s a cool way to calm down frizz.

Or, buy great-smelling fabric-softener sheets to run over your hair from top to bottom. Softening ingredients in the sheets lubricate hair and counteract the static that causes flyaways and the frizzies.

From Household Magic Daily Tips

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Best Way to Freeze Strawberries

First, rinse the berries in a colander (do not soak in water), and let them dry thoroughly (it helps to pat them gently with paper towels). Then, cut off the green leaves on top. Spread the unwashed strawberries on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to a resealable plastic freezer bag, and put them back in the freezer. (Don’t forget to label with the date they were frozen.) Frozen strawberries will stay good up to three months.

Chop Onions Without Crying

To slow down the enzymes that cause tearing, put onions in the freezer for 15 minutes—or in the refrigerator for one hour—before you have to cut them. But if you don’t plan ahead, here are some other suggestions...

Work with the onion under cold running water, or fill a basin with cold water and submerge the onion while you cut it.

Burn a candle in the area where you are cutting. The tear-causing vapor from the onion is drawn to the heat source from the flame, and it will burn off some of the noxious fumes.

Bite on a slice of bread and have the rest sticking out of your mouth to absorb the tear-making fumes.

Jeans Too Long?

Try This...
If your jeans are too long and you don’t like the style of shredded hems, consider an easy way out. Rather than dealing with the difficult chore of denim hemming (say that three times fast!), turn your pants inside out, turn up each hem and iron the folded edges. Finally, tape the turned-up edges with duct tape, and turn your jeans right-side out.

Duct tape now comes in many colors, so you can match the tape to your jeans or other clothing…not that anyone will see it. The duct tape should stay stuck on your clothes through many washings.

Quick Tomato Ripening Trick

To ripen tomatoes quickly, place them in a brown paper bag with a banana or a couple of apples. The ethylene gas emitted by the banana or apples will help the tomato ripen.

Easy Waffle Iron Fix

Nobody wants to clean the mess made by a waffle iron that won’t let go of the waffles. To bring your waffle iron back to its nonstick condition, place a piece of waxed paper where the batter goes, close the iron and let it heat up. Keep an eye on it, and as soon as the waxed paper turns brown, remove it. Your waffle iron should be good as new.

From Household Magic Daily Tips

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Food Safety

Preventing Foodborne Illness

Every year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick because of foodborne illness, and about 3,000 people die from it. But those numbers could be lowered if people heeded the “two-hour food rule.”

Basically, food that is exposed to the open air for longer than two hours will grow bacteria to harmful levels. So, at a party or picnic—or wherever you serve food—keep track of the amount of time the food has been out of the refrigerator or oven. And after two hours, wrap the food properly, and put it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Also, when a platter is empty (or almost empty) and you want to refill it, DO NOT just dump new food on top of the old food—in fact, don’t even put new food on the empty-but-used platter. Each time you want to set out new food, wash the platter before you refill it, or serve the new food on another clean platter.

How Long Does Food Last in a Power Outage?

During a power outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors shut. If you can determine when the power outage began (check a clock that runs on electricity), you can figure out how long the food will be good. As a general rule...

Food kept cold in an unopened refrigerator will last about 4 hours.
Food in a full, unopened freezer will stay frozen for about 48 hours.
Food in a semi-full, unopened freezer will stay frozen for up to 24 hours.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Martha Stewart's LIVING

Just passing this on not sure about how long it will last or what you have to is a free year subscription to Martha Stewart's magazine LIVING. I already have a subscription so that is why I haven't checked it out but I love that magazine so that is why I had to pass this offer on when I saw it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Favorites

10 Dressed Up Jello Shots - these don't even look like jello shots they look like desserts

DIY Wire Baskets - Ballards and Pottery Barn inspired wire baskets. I see so many places these baskets could be used to organize.

Dealing with Conflict: Knowing when the Battle is Internal - a post that although doesn't pertain Domestic Servitude directly - I feel this is still a good one to share

Canning Homemade - a blog devoted to canning that I feel has lots of interesting and useful advice

Free Printable Storage Labels - all sorts of printable labels

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Polishing Shoes

Everyone has a favorite domestic chore to do. Mine is polishing shoes. When I was a child I'd watch my Father, who had been in the Army, polish his. When I was in high school, my brother was the one who taught me the essentials of polishing shoes. You don't need a lot of things to get started but here are my absolute essentials:

Saddle soap
soft, lint-free cloths
Kiwi shoe polishes
Shoe brushes (I have one for light, one for dark and one for brushing dust off)
Suede brush
Suede cleaner
Doc Marten's Wonder Balsam

For most leather shoes and boots, here's what I recommend. If the boots are oil tanned leather (heavy duty work boots) this process will not work! They do not polish to a shine and you shouldn't try. Just remove the dirt and condition them with a leather conditioner.

First thing, take out the shoe laces. Next, brush off the big pieces of dust and dirt. Dampen a cloth and apply the saddle soap, wipe off excess. Let air dry for a few minutes.

Take another cloth, and rub into the shoe polish and apply to the boots in a circular motion. Make sure you get the entire leather surface of the shoe, including the tongue. Some people use sponge applicators instead of cloths, but I find I get much better coverage from the cloth.

Let the polish dry and then using a soft brush, buff the shoes to a high shine.

If the boots are Doc Martens, instead of regular polish, use Doc Martens Wonder Balsam to bring out the high gloss. For oil tan boots, I recommend Aussie Leather Conditioner.

For Suede shoes, use the suede brush and brush the shoes, then apply a thin layer of suede cleaner and rebrush. My hiking boots are olive green suede and I did them the same time I did Sir's but they don't photograph as well! They looked the same in both the before and after photos so, I scrapped the pictures.

After you are done, relace the boots. If the laces need replacing, you can do so at this time.

If you have any questions or if something was unclear please ask!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin