Top 10 Tips For Your Thanksgiving Table

October 1, 2014 in Featured Articles

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dv520008It can be easy – but first thing you will need to remember is that setting your table is almost is important as preparing and displaying your food. Paying attention to how you do it and remembering little details will make your holiday meal even more special!

If you are wondering what tablecloth to use, or if you should use placemats instead, or where to put the cutlery , if you should consider setting a buffet-style table and what to do about kids… here are some tips for you that will help:

1. Table Covers: If you have a beautiful table, you may want to consider using placemats. If you feel more comfortable using tablecloth, then start there. The rule in using the tablecloth is that it should be big enough to hang about 6 inches over the edges of the table. White tablecloth are the easiest to start with and make for festive feel – patterned tablecloths have a tendency to make the table look more cluttered. Little tip: if you find that your chosen tablecloth is wrinkled and creased – throw it into a dryer on air setting with a damp towel – that should take care of it, without having to pull out your iron.

2. Cutlery: Forks go on the left, spoons and knives on the right and they need to be placed in the order they will be used – first utensil on the far end from the plate, second one closer to the plate, etc. And the knife blade should be turned towards the plate.

3. China: Side plates go to the left of the main plate setting. If you are serving a salad, you can place the salad bowl either on top of the dinner plate or the side plate.

4. Glasses: Wine glass goes above the tip of the main course knife. If you are using more than one glass, arrange them in the order they will be used. Liqueur glasses don’t belong into your main setting – bring them out separately after clearing your dinner dishes.

5. Napkins: If you know how to make a pretty fancy fold, use it to decorate the table by putting it on the top of the main plate. If you are using it flat, place it on the side plate or under knife and spoon.

6. Place Cards: These a great idea if you are having a large gathering – having them will avoid awkward moments when your guests are seating themselves. Place Cards are easy to make – you can make simple ones by just folding an unlined recipe card in half and writing names on in calligraphy.

7. Buffet Style: This is a good option for a larger gathering when you need to have your guests take up whatever seating is available. Let’s face it – not everyone has a table large enough to accommodate  more than 12 people. When setting up your buffet, place plates, cutlery and napkins close to each other at one side of the table. I like to put cutlery into a neat little package, wrapped in the napkin and decoratively tied with a ribbon or a piece of craft twine. If you can, use larger plates – I prefer 12 inch size, that allows guests to pile on the food and not have to keep returning to the serving table as often. You will need to “police” your buffet table, refill serving dishes and keep it nice and neat. There is another alternative – kind of half buffet and half seated arrangement. Set up your serving dishes in the kitchen, have your guests serve themselves and then seat at the table. That allows the dinner table for being cluttered with serving dishes.

8. The Kid’s Table: It is definitely a good idea to set up kid’s table – and you can make it fun for them as well! Use bright paper or plastic tablecloth and its is perfectly fine to use plastic plates. Another great idea is to put a plain white tablecloth you can purchase at a second hand store and provide kids with markers to draw on it. You may even want to save these works of art for years to come and reminisce with then the grown up “kids” . Alternative to this would be paper placemats and crayons or activity book for each child.

9.Dessert Table: If you have an alternative table – such as one in the kitchen dining area, set up desserts, coffee and tea there. You can serve it in the dining room, after dinner dishes are served, but I find that separate setting works well, especially if you are serving a choice of desserts.

10.After Dinner Liqueurs: You can pick several types of liqueurs to serve – I like to create a tray (round silver one with a paper doilie works well) separate it into four sections, place show glasses filled with different liqueurs on with a little place card with liqueur name next to the each group of glasses and place it on the dining room table or walk around the guest with the offer.

Here are some creative place setting ideas for you:

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Hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and appreciated!

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Back To School Tips for Parents

August 14, 2014 in Parenting

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It’s the time of the year to start thinking about school days again. Here are a few tips for parents to make those first days of school easier – especially for the little ones, who are just starting their educational journey!

First day of school can be quite stressful – for the child and for parents. Especially if we are talking about a younger child changing schools. Here are a few simple tips that are easy to follow and will for sure help to avoid uncomfortable and stressful situations:

  1. If the school is new to your child, make arrangements to take a tour before the school starts
  2. Meet the child’s teacher – if you can’t do it in person, schedule at least a telephone conversation
  3. If your child has any medical conditions – and that includes allergies, finalize them with the school nurse
  4. The night before first day of school pack your child’s backpack with his help – then there are no questions locating important items
  5. Put your child to bed early the day before school – if he or she has a tendency to be anxious and stress, fatigue will aggravate the situation
  6. On the first day of school make sure your child wakes up early enough to allow plenty of time to get ready and have a good breakfast
  7. Pack a nutritious lunch and sneak in a little love note – especially for the younger child
  8. You may want to consider driving your child to school for the first day – even if plan is to use alternative transportation later
  9. Walk into the classroom with the younger child, gtreet the teacher and introduce your child and yourself
  10. Remind your child what time you will be back to pick him or her up
  11. If there are other parents present, introduce yourself to them
  12. And whatever you do – do not be late!
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Top 10 Good Insects for Your Garden

June 3, 2014 in Gardening

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insectsOne of the best ways to control pests in your garden is to encourage their natural enemies. Planting pollen and nectar plants, and providing protection for these beneficial insects, is a basic tenet of organic gardening, and a way to further increase the ecological diversity of your yard. I have listed the most common beneficial insects along with tips on attracting them to your yard.

Top 10 Good Insects in Your Garden:

Ladybugs

Ladybugs

Ladybugs. The familiar round, orange spotted ladybug is just one of more than 400 species of lady beetles found in North America. Most ladybug adults and larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Adults are attracted to flower nectar and pollen, which they must eat before they can reproduce.

Lacewings

Lacewings

Lacewings. Pale green or brown lacewing adults have distinctive large, veined wings and feed mainly on flower nectar. Lacewing larvae, however, are voracious predators that feed on aphids, thrips, scales, moth eggs, small caterpillars and mites.

Hover Flies

Hover Flies

Hover Flies, aka flower flies or syrphid flies. Adults look like small bees with striped abdomens; the grayish or greenish slug- like larvae have pointed heads. Flower flies are attracted to flowers to feed on nectar and pollen. The larvae feed on aphids in tight places where other good bugs can’t go, and are especially helpful in early spring, before other beneficial insects are active. Flower flies also pollinate strawberries and raspberries, producing larger fruits and higher yields.

predatory-bugs

Predatory Bugs

Predatory Bugs, including minute pirate bugs, ambush bugs and assassin bugs (soldier bugs, big-eyed bugs). These bugs prey on many insects, including tomato hornworms, thrips, spider mites, many insects’ eggs, leafhopper nymphs, corn earworms and other small caterpillars. Pirate bugs are attracted by willows, buckwheat, corn and nectar and pollen from many flowers. Predatory bugs are attracted to bunch grasses, shrubs and other permanent plantings that provide them shelter. A unique lure is available to attract emerging soldier bugs to gardens.

Ground beetles

Ground beetles

Ground beetles. Large, long-legged, shiny blue-black or brown beetles that hide under rocks and logs during the day, and are fast-moving when disturbed. They feed on slugs, snails, cutworms, root maggots, and Colorado potato beetle larvae. Attract them by providing perennial ground covers, stones, or logs. Rove beetles resemble earwigs without pincers, and feed on many insect pests and like similar conditions to ground beetles.

Parasitic Wasp

Parasitic Wasps

Hunting and parasitic wasps. There are hundreds of species of wasps, including many that are so tiny you can barely see them. These mini-wasps often attack the eggs of pests, and are one of the most important insect groups that provide control of garden pests. They can be attracted by growing by pollen and nectar plants.

Spiders

Spiders

Spiders. All spiders feed on insects and are very important in preventing pest outbreaks. The spiders normally found in gardens do not move indoors, nor are they poisonous. Permanent perennial plantings and straw mulches will provide shelter and dramatically increase spider populations in vegetable gardens.

Tachini Flies

Tachini Flies

Tachinid Flies. Although they look similar to house flies, tachinid flies are very important enemies of cutworms, armyworms, tent caterpillars, cabbage loopers, gypsy moths, sawflies, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and sowbugs. Grow pollen and nectar plants to attract them.

Dragonflies

Dragonflies

Dragonfly - There are more than 80 species of dragonflies. They can be identified by their long narrow body, their large compound eyes and the four transparent wings. There is variation in color. Sizes range from one to two inches. The larvae are found in water. They eat mosquitoes, aphids and other pest bugs. Dragonflies have decreased considerably in abundance as the wetland areas where they live have dramatically decreased. Want dragonflies? Don’t fill in that marshy area. Better yet, enlarge it, or dig your own pond.

Honeybees

Honeybees

Honeybees – Honeybees are important pollinators of many plants. Adults measure 2/3 inch long and are fuzzy, with gold-and-black striped bodies and transparent wings. Honey bees can often be identified by the balls of yellow pollen they carry on the backs of their legs. Grow flowering plants. Encourage wild honey bees. Because the spread of mites has seriously reduced honey bee populations, the wild honey bees that are left are even more important. Fun fact Pollinators are estimated to be worth $8 billion to our economy! Many other insects are pollinators as well.

These good guys will help your garden stay healthy – but there is also a good number of bad guys that can do a lot of damage! For the Top 10 Bad Insects for Your Garden, check out:

http://www.mama-knows.com/gardening-tips/top-10-bad-insects-for-your-garden.html

Hope you enjoyed reading this information and that it will help your gardening efforts! Your comments and suggestion will as always be very much appreciated

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Top 10 Bad Insects for Your Garden

June 3, 2014 in Gardening

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Aphibad-leavesWe all want our gardens to stay healthy and that is not always easy. Here is a list of Top 10 Bad guys and I do hope it will help your gardening efforts!

Top 10 Bad Insects for Your Garden:

Aphids

Aphids

Aphids - Small, soft bodied bugs, colours vary from pink and green to black. They feed on sap in shoots, leaves,buds and flowers, which causes distortion and cupping – watch for honeydew secretions.

Birch Leaf Miners

Birch Leaf Miner

Birch Leaf Miners – Flat looking larvae adult sawfly is small and black. Larvaes feed on the inside of foliage, which turns the leaves brown. The host of these are birch trees.

Colorado POtato Beetles

Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetle – Redish orange and black larvae, yellowish, orange and black striped beetles that feed on potato, tomato and eggplants. They stripped the foliage right down to the leaf veins.

Crucifer Flea Beetles

Crucifer Flea Beetle

Crucifer Flea Beetle – Adult beetle is metallic blue-black and will feed on leaves, leaving shot-hole appearance.  Likes cole crops and other crucifers, radishes and turnips.

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth – Black, brown and red larvae that feeds on roots – it will defoliate trees

Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetle – White, C-shaped larvae grubs, metallic green and copper beetle.Larvae feeds on roots, adults feed on foliage and flowers. Likes tuftgrass roots and many, many others.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites

Spider Mite – Microscopic – colour vary from yellow to tan to green. Feeds on leaf sap- watch for speckling or bronze leaf colour.

Red Lilly Leaf Beetle

Red Lilly Leaf Beetle

Red Lilly Leaf Beetle – Orange-brown to black larvae covered in excrement; adult beetle is bright red. Larvaes do the most damage by defoliating plants. Likes lilies, fritillaries, some nightshade species, tobacco plants and others.

Scale Insect

Scale Insect

Scale Insects – Soft bodied with waxy covering in white, brown or grey. Large colonies of microscopic crawler young feed on sap.

Spruce Budworm

Spruce Budworm

Spruce Budworm – Light to dark brown larvae cause defoliation and likes spruce and other conifers.

These were the bad guys that can cause you problem in your garden. There are a number of ways to get rid of them – one of the best is to make sure you also have the good guys visiting you.

For the Top 10 Good Insects for Your Garden check out:

http://www.mama-knows.com/gardening-tips/top-10-good-insects-for-your-garden.html scan000325

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All About Home Renovation Projects

March 6, 2014 in Household Hints

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home-renovation1This is the time of the year when you start thinking about spring, about cleaning and possibly renovating your home and start looking forward to the challenge. Where should you start? I found this information in a magazine and took out of it what I considered valuable advice – the one that will give you an idea where it is a good idea to start and where best to allocate your budget:

1. Kitchen:

Kitchen is the heart of your home and sometimes all it needs is a fresh coat of paint, change of lighting or just changing outdated cabinet handles. Those are not big costs that will make a difference, but if you are up to larger project, consider your flooring or repainting the cabinets – the more you do, the bigger the focus on the kitchen will be. That is from the centre of entertaining to family dinners and festive holidays.

2. Bath:

According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, kitchen and bathroom renovations remain at the top of the improvement list reflecting in the price of the home. Homeowners usually recoup 75 – 100% of the investment. Best visual appeal belongs to wood cabinets, large stand-up showers, stone floors and countertops – all adding value and appeal.

3. Paint:

When you look around your home, you might just find that room where paint has faded from sun exposure or has dirty hands marks all over. A fresh coat of paint will give you dramatic results with little investment!

4. Flooring:

Gleaming hardwood or tile floors add to both value and appeal to your home. If you decide to replace your flooring, remember to maintain consistency. If you make too many strange transitions and changes in materials, you will loose the impact.

5. Landscaping:

The front of your home is the first thing people see and it is hard not to judge book by its cover. Landscaping will do more than just make the space beautiful. It can extend living space by adding decks and patios, it can provide or increase privacy and reduce noise levels. And a few strategically planted trees could help save on heating and energy costs.

6. Windows:

Very important consideration when you are thinking about renovations. It maybe be a larger investment, but it will be one that will not only improve the look of your home – it will positively reflect in your pocketbook.

7. Plumbing Fixtures:

Brushed nickel, antique brass and oil-rubbed bronze are like jewels in your bathroom and your kitchen. Not only do they look great, they all boast water-saving flow aerators and quick on-off hands free technology.

8. Storage:

If you give it a thought, you will most probably find dead-end spaces under staircases, awkward wall niches and low head spaces in the basement. Converting them into usable space like built-in storage or extra closets will help maximize living space now and definitely appeal to potential buyer should you decide to sell your home in the future.

9. Eco-Friendly Additions:

Investing in eco-friendly elements can definitely yield some very strong returns. Water saving plumbing fixtures, tankless water heaters and eco-friendly products like bamboo, cork and low VOC paints will add value and environmental impact.

10. Consult a Professional:

It may be worth your while to invite a realtor or interior designed to check out your home or consider hiring an architect or contractor for larger renovations. They can provide advice, help you draw up a plan or manage construction. Suggestions on paint colours or furniture placement can go a long way in improving the aesthetic of your home. Remember that a little professional advice before the project begins can help you avoid costly errors later.

 

Hope you enjoyed this information – please send me your comments, your input is always welcomed and much appreciated.

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Prize Winning Tea Biscuits

February 25, 2014 in Recipes

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winning tea biscuits

These biscuits are great with breakfast, lunch or dinner or as a snack between meals! I have used numerous variations of this recipe and I have included some of them for you at the bottom of the instructions. But don’t let that limit you – you can add other items (like chopped ham or bacon for breakfast biscuits) to this recipe and create your very own and special treats!

Prize Winning Tea Biscuits:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 cup of milk

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with 2 knives or a pastry blender, until  mixture is the consistency of course cornmeal.
  3. Make a well in the centre of these ingredients; add liquid slowly.
  4. When all the liquid has been added, stir dough rather vigorously until it comes freely from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and kneed lightly for a few minutes.
  6. Roll or pat out to desired thickness – about 1/2 inch.
  7. Cut dough with a knife or biscuit cutter, place on greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake in a hot oven (450F) for 12 – 15 minutes.

Variations of Tea Biscuits:

Cheese - Decrease shortening to 3 tablespoons and salt to 3/4 teaspoon. Cut in 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese with shortening.

Buttermilk – Decrease baking powder to 2 teaspoons; add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Substitute 1 cup of buttermilk for milk

Fruit or Nuts - Add 1/4 cups of granulated sugar and decrease milk to 3/4 cup. Add 3/4 cup of raisins, currants or nuts with milk.

Whole Wheat – use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all purpose flour

Update: If you enjoyed this recipe, you may want to check out my Top Ten Biscuit Recipes by following this link:

Top Ten tea Biscuit Recipes

Enjoy!

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All About New Year’s Resolutions

December 27, 2013 in Featured Articles

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I don’t really understand why people do it, but for a lack of better words, I will tack it to tradition. Yes – New Year’s resolutions are definitely a tradition – and maybe it just makes us feel better that we are actually doing something about things we would like to change.

I am reading and hearing a lot about Top 10 New Year’s resolutions and I do have to wonder just how many people actually make – and keep! Hope not 10! Then I thought – let’s take a look and first see what the most popular New Year’s resolutions are and give it a thought to see just how many a person really should make.

I know you are probably wondering if I made some resolutions for 2010 – but I have to admit that I didn’t. As traditional as it is, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I will tell you the reason – but I think that after you finish reading this, you will probably know anyway.

First – let’s take a look at the 10 Most Popular New Year’s resolutions – and I am adding my comments to each one:

1. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Kind of too bad that this needs to be a New Year’s resolution – you should always spend all the time you can – especially with your family. Personally, I don’t need this one and let me give you a tip: Keep imagining  that you wouldn’t have your family, that they would be gone forever and think what it would feel like and what you would be missing if you couldn’t spend time with them. But – In a way I understand that some people need to make a conscious effort to allocate their time to being with their family and friends – I hope it works for them and I hope it will change into something they don’t have to make a resolution for.

2. Get into Better Physical Shape

Again – nice resolution and it is known fact that you need to be truly motivated and in the right emotional state to really mean it. I didn’t need to make this resolution either – I am motivated and have been for a while now. As you get older, it really, really becomes harder to lose weight and get into better shape and you have to understand that you have a long trek ahead of you. A really long trek – let’s just call it a permanent trek, because it has to be. Once you get this through your head – making it a resolution is useless. My motivation? I am facing a major surgery and my desire to get into better shape comes from understanding that I will heel faster and get back into normal life a whole lot faster if I lose weight and get more fit.

3. Lose Weight

Apparently the most popular New Year’s resolution.  And a good one without an argument! But also one with a comment: It should really read – change the way you eat, drink and live to make healthy eating a permanent way of your life. I don’t have to tell you that going on no-eating, depriving yourself, etc. trips is no way to do it. Personally – I have “discovered” the one that works for me – I have joined Jenny Craig program last year and it really helped me! I have gone off the program couple of time – but guess what? In the process of being on the program, I have learned to control my portions and automatically stay off foods that are definitely no good for me. So the program changed the way I look at food and all I can say is: Thank You Jenny!

4. Quit Smoking

Another pressure filled one! There is a person on the face of this Earth that doesn’t know that smoking is no good for you. But – so are a tons of other things and I say: Try to quit but do it if you want to! Adding this resolution to your list for the New Year is just one more pressure and stress point that you probably don’t need. So think about it and do it WHEN YOU ARE READY!

5. Enjoy Life More

This one has me totally flabbergasted! Can you imagine wanting to enjoy life less? Do we really need to put this one on the list? The way I see it is that it cannot possibly be defined in a more nondescript way. If that mean that you would be walking with a permanent smile on our lips looking happy than I ask “WHY?”Of course you and all of us need to enjoy life more and that means pretty much taking all the New year’s resolutions listed here and living them every day as a matter of standard! So take a quick look back, write down things that made you unhappy and then – don’t do them! (yes I know I am pretty much quoting Dr.Phil again – but it is worth it: If it doesn’t work for you – stop doing it!)

6. Quit Drinking

Definitely, definitely, definitely a good move! If you have a situation in your past where you have – and not just once – been in a state that you don’t recall what you said or did, please think carefully about how excessive drinking can ruin your life. And get some help – don’t do it because it is a new year’s resolution – do it because it will save you!

7. Get Out of Debt

Oh yes – and that will work if you have a job, if you make enough to cover more than your necessary monthly expences, if you are healthy, etc. etc. Definitely a good possible New Year’s resolution – depending on your situation. If you are stretched beyond limits already, perhaps it should read: Don’t get deeper into debt or Do your best to manage debts – with the focus of seeing the light at the end of that financial dark tunnel. Baby steps here are recommended so it doesn’t get worse!

8. Learn Something New

Personally, I really don’t need this one – but maybe you do. Understand one thing – learning something new and then using it is one of the best ever experiences you may have. I greatly admire those 80-90 year old who graduate from universities! And it is for just because they want to keep learning, keep living. Amazing! I think if you make this a New Year’s resolution and then go and learn something new and say: OK, now I have kept my resolution – you are way off the track! Know what I mean?

9. Help Others

Please don’t sit there thinking only about what charity you should contribute to or what group you should join! This thing again should be a way of life! Help you neighbour clear snow of  their driveway, help an senior lady unload her grocery cart into her car, volunteer in your local hospital…..start with small things and understand just good you feel each and every time you help someone. And please – make this a way of life for you – if you at all can, spread the message of helping each other around – that is the right thing to do!

10. Get Organized

If you are not organized then get to it! But understand that you first need to determine what is “organized” for you. What it means. Some people feel organized with piles and piles of files on their desks (I had a lawyer like that once and I was amazed just quickly he could locate information from them!) Others have a spotless desk as a norm – it really is up to your standards so work on those first. Same with your house – some people have surroundings fit to be photographed and featured in a magazine – personally, I like the “Live In”feeling – clean mess I call it. I kind of like things at my fingertips – if you know what I mean. Definitely a choice of preference on this one.

OK – so these are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions with my comments. Do you know why I don’t make my own? I am at the age where I really focus on loving every day. I do have bad days – some with physical, some with emotional pain – just like everyone else. But focusing on the good things and feeding off those work well for sure.

One advice for the New Year:

Enjoy Life with all its ups and downs and if you don’t already know it -

Make it Your Everyday Resolution!

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My Top 10 Smart Solutions

November 5, 2013 in Household Hints

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smartsolutions

 

I am always on the lookout for better ways or money saving ways to do things. And then I share them with everyone. Hope you enjoy these and please feel free to send me yours!

1. Fix candle drips

candles_s

Taper candles add a festive touch to your table, but the waxy drips that they can leave on your tablecloth are something you can do without. To prevent them, fill a basin with about a gallon of warm water and 1 cup of salt – stir it to combine. Then submerge your candles in the solution for 24 hours before putting them into their holders. The salt water will create a hard, but transparent outer shell on candle’s surface that melts more slowly than the candle itself, so the waxy drips will become trapped inside. One dip in the solution will last for the candles’ lifetime.

2. Get your blender squeaky clean:

670px-DishwashingSoap-Step-3

To make cleaning your blender easy and quick, fill its container halfway with warm water, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and run it on low for 30 seconds. The blending action will do all the dirty work, so the only thing you will need to do is pour out the dirty liquid, rinse and dry your blender container.

3. Defog your windshield real fast:

foggy_window

Most mornings you don’t have time to wait for your defroster to kick in. Instead, keep a clean blackboard eraser in your glove compartment. The extra absorbent felt will quickly remove the vision-imparing condensation. Simply wipe he windshield and any fogged up windows and you are on your way!

4. Wash your cat without using water:

baby wipes

If you have a cat who will struggle and scratch when you try to give it a bath , try this: Wipe her down with an all-natural disposable baby wipes. The moist towelettes will help remove dirt, oil, loose hair and odors from the surface of her coat. Plus – the wipes contain proteins and conditioners that will keep your cat’s hair healthy, warding off excess shedding.

5. Fix for doggy diarrhea:

puppy diarhea

Oh yes – there is something very good for this problem! Try feeding your furry friend scrambled eggs instead of his regular food until he feels better. Eggs are easy to digest and deliver a boost of satiating protein. The twice daily dose vetenarians recommend: one large egg (prepare ti without milk or butter) for a 10 lb. dog, 2 eggs for a 20 lb. dog and 3 eggs for a dog that is 50 lbs. or heavier.

6. Help stop leash biting:

Puppy Chewing Leash

Puppies will often bite and tug on their leashes. Sometimes it is because they are feeling playfull – but you do want them to stop doing it, especially when it’s freezing outside. To tame this habit, combine 2 cups of lemon juice and 1 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle, shake well and spray on the leash and all other other items your dog likes to chew. The bitter lemon taste will deter him form chomping.

7. Fast and easy way to iron delicates:

ironing-silk.s300x300

You are about to get dressed when you notice that your silk top is wrinkled. Since you know that the iron’s steam setting might be too hot for the delicate fabric, try this: Wrap am ice cube in a soft cloth and run it all over the garment – then use your iron on warm setting. The slight dampness and warmth will create steam and wrinkles will smooth out in seconds.

8. Best way to store your sewing needles:

needles in bar of soap

Instead of using a pincushion, stick pins and needles into a wrapped bar of soap and store it in your sewing box. The soap’s fatty acids will lubricate the tips, so the needles will easily glide through fabric.

9. Unseal and envelope without ripping it:

unseal envelope

You just sealed an envelope and forgot to add something – your solution: stick the sealed envelope into your freezer for 2 hours, then gently slide letter opened or butter knife under the envelope’s flap to open, The cold temperature will cause the envelope’s glue to become brittle and crack, so you can open it without a problem. To reseal, simply tape shut, then send your letter on its way!

10. How to remove stubborn cork:

remove cork

When you are trying to open a bottle of wine but the cork just won’t budge,m try this: Run the neck of the bottle under hot water for 30 seconds at an angle so the cork stays dry. The heat will cause the glass to expend slightly – just enough to loosen the cork. All you will have to do is give the cork one final pull, pour and enjoy!

 

 

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Top Ten Halloween Safety Tips

October 30, 2013 in Parenting

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Safety is very important all the time – but on the Halloween it is even more so – please read the following tips and refresh your memory – everyone wants to have a safe and happy experience!

Ten Halloween Safety Tips

  1. Children should always be accompanied by an adult
  2. Children should wear clothing that is easily visible in the dark – reflective materials are the best.
  3. Trick or treat in areas that are well known to children and do not wonder into unknown neighbourhoods
  4. All candies need to be carefully inspected by adults to make sure they have not been tampered with. If you find a suspicious candy, you need to contact the police.
  5. Children need to be told to stay away from stray animals
  6. Children should wear masks that do not interfere with their vision. It is much better to create a face mask using make up.
  7. Children need to watch for any vehicles on the road very carefully and not run across the streets.
  8. Costumes need to be short enough to make sure the child doesn’t trip.
  9. All trick or treaters should carry a flashlight and be dressed appropriately for the weather
  10. If you have a smallest doubt about letting children go house to house, organize a party for children in the neighbourhood!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween and send your comment, suggestions and experiences in – your input is always welcomed!

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Halloween Pet Safety

October 29, 2013 in Featured Articles

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Halloween can be full of temptations and danger for pets – and not in the candy and the opened front door. Your pet need to be looked after with extra care during Halloween and here are some tips that will help you avoid a potentially hearth-breaking situation.

  • One thing you want to make sure about is that your dog or cat are wearing ID tags and that the best and safest place for them is indoors.
  • Don’t leave your dog or cat out in the yard – there are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have harmed pets on Halloween – especially black cats.
  • Candies are definitely not good for your pets – both cats and dogs. Chocolate is poisonous and tin foil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.
  • If you are putting a costume on your dog, make sure that it isn’t constricting or unsafe. Be careful not to obstruct the pet’s vision. Even the friendliest and sweetest dog can get snappy when he doesn’t see what is going on around him.
  • It is not a good idea to let the family dog accompany your children on their trick-or-treat mission without the company of an adult. Children may a have difficult time handling the pet with so many others around.
  • Keep decoration that your pet could chew on – like streamers, spider webs, wires and cords – out of reach.
  • Place live flame decoration like candles and jack- o’-lanterns out of your pet’s reach. Curious critters risk being burned by the flame – and they could easily knock over a candle or pumpkin and cause a fire.
  • It is a good idea to keep your pet in a quiet place, away form trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and could easily become frightened or agitated by the strange sights and sounds of costumed visitors.
  • And once more – make sure your pets is wearing ID tags – all it takes is an opened door and attention to elsewhere to find yourself searching for your pet.
  • And if you cat or dog will be outside, make sure that they are visible to others – reflective or flashing collar or a tag will fo the trick.


Have a happy and safe Halloween and remember that your comments are always welcomed here!

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