17 Ridiculously Useful Tips~

just for the heck of it.

Just like “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” these clever little tips can help save time and energy…and in some cases, maybe even your life.

A friend of mine posted this a while back–but I don’t know the original source. If you do, share it and I’ll be happy to link back to the author.  Some fun tips, no matter where they came from.  :}

1. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal bag and mash yolks till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing roughly; cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done – easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating Breads

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.


5. Newspaper Weeds Away

Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients into your soil. Wet newspapers and put layers around the plants overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

6. Picking Up Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

8. Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

9. Flexible Vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and — ta da! — static is gone.

11. Unsticky Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

12. Foggy Windshield?

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening Envelopes

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

14. Smoother Legs With Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair…

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2″with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it “home,” can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don’t have to worry about pets or small children being harmed!

17. Info About Clothes Dryers: May Save Your Life!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material – I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like.

WELL…the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free – that nice fragrance, too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box? Well, this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen.

This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire & potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!

So, there you go. Now don’t you just feel like the wise woman of the mountain?


Bathroom Redo

or UPdo or undo. You can decide.

Now then, it goes without saying, though I’ll say it anyway, that anyone who shows you their bathroom on a busy day is indeed calling you a friend…in the truest sense. Seriously, you should be so flattered.

Having had several weddings, a dozen or so hairdo tryouts, a million make-over parties, a bridal shower and too many friend sleepovers to count, in the last few months, I could pretty much pick any day of the week and call it a busy, noisy day…and mean it.

After seeing the place, you would be a believer too.

Then, one afternoon, I had a thought. “Hey,” said that inner voice, “you don’t actually have any kids living with you in this basement anymore. So, why on earth do you have guy’s shaving cream in your cabinet and strawberry body spray made in 1987, on the shelf?”

I don’t know, inner voice. I don’t know.

So the gutting began. I hope you’re picturing puffs of smoke and things flying out the door right now–cause that’s how it happened, I swear.

Hair spray, foot spray, tanning spray, baby oil, baby powder, light bulbs, lovely smelling lotion, nasty smelling lotion, travel cases, body scrub, wet wipes, pump soap, polish remover, hair brushes, mirrors, flashlights, peroxide.

Oh, and six different sized curling irons.

Is there no end in sight?

Apparently not. Soap I love, soap that makes me gag, hair gel, bath tissue, toothpaste, spare sink parts, hand sanitizer, pomade, scissors, dental floss, cleanser, essential oils and a magic eraser.

Sort, sort, sort. Pile, pile, pile. Toss, toss, toss.

Some things went in a stack to keep, some went in a box to give away, tons went directly into the trash…without passing Go and everything else went into a big bag for all those married girls of mine, to sort through, because, well–because it’s quite likely that half this stuff was theirs in the first place–a decade ago.

Next, I picked up 10 baskets from the dollar store and stood in front of the shelf for a while trying to decide how I wanted it all to be arranged. What exactly did I need, where?

In the last 35 years, I’ve never been completely in charge of a bathroom, that had no one else in it, so I was free to get rid of anything that wasn’t positively mine. What an odd sensation.

Yes, it was very odd…but kinda fun too.

And since I live in my daughter and son-in-law’s basement, and they aren’t all in love with my kitty friends, I even made a place for Beany and Jiff to eat that is more out-of-the-way than before.

I found some hookey suction cups and tacked a shower rack in the window for the my Dove soap and scrub brush. The Serenity bath bar I hang in crocheted mesh bags to keep them from getting mushy. Razors go in a suction cup toothbrush holder to keep them from sitting in water–they last twice as long that way.

Yeah, I’m feeling pretty darn clever right about now.

My pretty little plants…

a flowery calendar…

and some soft crocheted rugs look just perfect…

now that it’s only me…all alone. Perfect, except for one thing.

It’s a bit tooooo quiet around here.

Cooking With Lortab

Being the sturdy mountain woman that I am–I went with Daney-boy to the store–when I should probably have been resting. After all…Lortab makes one a bit sleepy sometimes but the guy did the driving so it was good. ANYway, we found this adorable little egg pan that seemed just perfect for making Bagel breakfast sandwiches. So, of course we bought it.

I brought it home and tore the label out of the inside of the pan and proceeded to cook my perfectly round fried eggs. It was just lovely. A wonder to behold.

But then Dane hollered in, “How’s your pan doing? It kinda smells funny.”

I hollered back, “It’s doing fine and no it doesn’t. It smells wonderful, like a beautiful fried egg.”

Just then, there was a puff of smoke and a tiny flame shot out from under my cute little egg pan. What the…?

How was I suppose to know that there was another label UNDER the pan? Huh?!

One label is certainly enough. Two is just silly…and I can’t possibly be the only person who thinks so…or who nearly set the kitchen on fire as a result. Sheesh.

Over-achieving label-maker-guy-anyway.

The egg–cooked under extreme duress, was still quite tasty despite it’s sordid beginnings.

Is the room is starting to spin?

I’m taking a nap. 😕


Ancient Comforts…

It all started when I decided to clean out the linen closet…

and found this old bottle of linen water. It made me remember the days when my babies were little, when I used to iron…every Tuesday. I can just see the long row of shirts and dresses lined up in the kitchen smelling of lavender and starch.

Yes, I know. People don’t actually do that anymore.

It’s a shame too, really.

There’s something comforting about taking a crumpled, wrinkly thing  and making it smooth and crisp and warm and lovely, even when–perhaps especially when–you don’t really have to.

My mama knew that.

Years ago, she used to pay us five cents for every pillow case that we kids pressed and folded and stacked in the hall cupboard.  Handkerchiefs were a penny. Of course, Laurie got the big money ironing daddy’s dress shirts—at twenty-five cents a piece. But I was the pillowcase girl.

We didn’t have Linen Water or anything fancy back then. Just a sprinkle jug and a big safety pin to keep the cord out of the way, and a note pad and pencil to add up all the nickles.

I earned a Twist & Turn Barbie just like that. She cost $3.69 and it took from May clear till fireworks before I had enough money to bring her home.

From that day on, I’ve loved the smell of ironing.

Mama told us a story once about a fancy lady she knew, when she was little, that loved ironing so much that she even ironed her sheets–just because she wanted to.

Sheets! Can you imagine?

That’s just silly.

But I discovered this very day, that even though you can, of course, get by without ironing anything–for a long, long time–there is a soothing rhythm to the motion and the warmth and the order…

that, for me, was worth finding again.

It smells curiously like a brand new Barbie…

and crisp, lavender sheets.

The Real Live Homemaker

The Homemaker

Today, we have a great guest post!  I’m honored to welcome Angie from American Homemaker. Some of this post made me laugh, some of it made me say, “YE-AH!” but all of it made me think–and for me, that’s a good thing. You may have a totally different opinion–and that the great part about our world–there is room and respect for everyone.

Thanks Angie…
“I originally posted this elsewhere, but I thought I’d share it here too… mostly because although I do think it’s a serious topic, it has inspired some awesome, funny comments and emails both from my “real life” friends and my online friends. This is the picture that started it all and the comment that it received here on this blog:

“Hi Angie. You seem to be a very talented charming lady. Your site is very nice. I think your dark eye makeup sends a little bit of a mixed message. I’m not saying that you aren’t pretty–you are so pretty! Nice blog! Cute post.”

At first I laughed, but then I was like, HEY! What exactly does that mean? Are people really so judgmental as to make judgments based on what kind of make-up someone wears? I have good ideas, easy recipes, I’m a nice religious gal… How much does the way you dress affect how people think about you, even in blogland? And what message is my make-up sending?

I think we all have stereotypes in our head of what someone is supposed to look like. I’m not trying to insult anyone here, so PLEASE don’t take offense. When I see someone that has longer hair, no makeup and wears dresses, skirts or simple clothes, I think “born-again” or “homeschooler.” Stay-at-home-moms usually are in “mom clothes” jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes, etc. Now what do you think when you see someone that wears dark make-up, a lot of black clothing and high-heels everyday?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE vintage and girly and pink, but you rarely see that in the way that I dress. I do wear a lot of vintage jewelry, but clothes-wise I wear what is flattering on me. I have big brown eyes, which look washed out without black eyeliner. I’m self-conscious about my tummy and hips, so I like to wear black a lot. I have a larger chest, which means quite often my tops are tight through the chest area. I rarely wear jeans. I’m always in heels; I own two pair of shoes with skulls on them (I call them my pirate shoes…lol) and I own two pair of camo shoes that I wear a lot, even with my dress pants and white shirt at work. I always dress modestly. I have a style that is very much my own.

Just because you are a mom and a wife and a homemaker doesn’t mean you can’t look hot… LOL I know I am not a Barbie doll, but I do get up every day and put on makeup. I dress nicely almost all the time. I take care of my hair and baby my skin. I like to have my nails painted and yes they are painted black right now. I am not “high maintenance”. I spoil myself on a few things, like buying quality hair products and make-up, but over all I’m an extremely frugal person. All my clothes were extremely low clearances, so I don’t feel bad about having a lot of them. It doesn’t cost a lot to look nice. And it doesn’t take any longer to put on a pair of dress pants than it does to put on a pair of jeans.

What is wrong with not wanting to conform to what a “homemaker” is supposed to look like in these modern times. When I think homemakers today I often think frazzled and stressed out and yes, I am those things, but I don’t want to look it! I know women that are still in their pajamas when their husband gets home from work on a regular basis or that don’t feel like they have time for makeup or even showers because they have little kids. Take the time. You will feel much better about yourself as a women and your husband will appreciate it! You are more than just a mom and a homemaker. You are a smokin’ hot chick, so show it!

I look at the vintage homemakers of days gone by and I think how sad it is that we lost that way of life. I cook wearing my vintage aprons and high-heels and jewelry… LOL I fix my makeup before I see my husband. I dress up when we go out, even just to the movies. The sadder and more depressed I am, the nicer I dress. If you look nice on the outside it helps a lot on the inside.

I don’t think it’s vanity and I don’t think it’s narcissism. It’s taking care of yourself and feeling good about yourself and showing your husband that he is still worth getting dressed up for and showing yourself that you are more than just “mom”. I’d like to end with a quote by Brigham Young. I love this quote! I’ve mentioned it before, but here it is again.”


jane-wyattJane Wyatt

I like to think that in another life–I was Jane Wyatt from Father Knows Best, or some farmer’s wife. I can’t exactly prove it at this point in my life–but I’ve always ached for a traditional homemaker’s world.

Given the right chance, with the right, decent fellow, I’d be good at it.

So there.

I felt the point of this post was that we are free to be and do and dress and feel however we want to–especially as homemakers. The convenient labels we use are so subjective that everyone should be able to interpret them in the way that works best–in their world–and not be judged badly for it. It doesn’t matter where our personal focus lies, it feels important to  respect each others opinions and be willing to clap as often as possible.