Helpful Tidbits

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Organizing Your Digital Pictures

I have seen a lot of information on this subject and it sure does seem complicated. I am going to try my best to simplify the process. If I were to just explain it to you, your eyes would gloss over like my husband’s do when I start talking computers. However, if I break it down step-by-step, I think it will be easy to follow and could become extremely important! I say this because I have had to learn the hard way all that I am about to share with you.

Last summer my phone bit the dust. Just went dead. I went to Best Buy and they couldn’t help me. They sent me to TMobile, my cell service provider, and they couldn’t help me either. I had to buy a new phone. Ugh! Because my phone wouldn’t even turn on, I lost all of the pictures on it that I had not backed up. I got busy and, of course, some pictures were backed up and some were not. It was always my intention to get caught up but…  Sound familiar? I can help!

The first step is to sign up with the cloud. Any cloud. Think of the cloud as just a HUGEMOUS external hard drive that someone is willing to share with you, often for free. Google Photos is Google’s cloud for pictures, Amazon Prime Photos is Amazon’s cloud for pictures and I am sure there are many others out there but I have not used them so I can only speak to these two programs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Prime Photos is included in your membership and they offer 10 GB of cloud space to store your photos. Google Photos offers 15 GB of free cloud space just for signing up with them.

That is A LOT of space for pictures which are, typically, the biggest files. You can set your devices to AUTOMATICALLY upload any picture taken by or downloaded to your devices. You don’t have to think about it. Your phone, your husband’s phone, your tablet, etc. can all upload automatically to the cloud. Now you have them all in one place. You don’t have to download pictures from each device.

Both the Amazon and Google programs will walk you through the setup process and assist you in connecting your devices so it sounds complicated but they have made it pretty simple. Start with setting it up on your computer. During the setup process, you can the cloud will upload all of the pictures that exist on your computer. Once the setup for your computer is complete, you can move on to your devices.

Download the app for the program you have chosen onto each device. Open the app and follow the directions. The app will scan your device for pictures and add them to the cloud. All of your family photos are now in one place. From there, you can begin organizing them as you see fit or you can stop right here. Your pictures are safe and you can access them whenever you want.

However, if you want to organize your pictures further, you can create photo albums in either program. Your pictures will still show in your main photo stream but if you are looking for a particular picture and you don’t want to thumb through all of them, you can click on an album to find it quicker. You can also share these photo albums.

We have had some graduations in our family and I guess we are all photographers at these special events because I had pics, my dad had pics, and my brother had pics. Of course, we all wanted to see the other’s pictures just in case we missed something that they caught! Lol. With either of these programs, you can share your photo albums! They make it really simple so all you have to do is click on the photo album and find the share button. Now all of us can look at each other’s pictures and download the ones we want to keep.

If you would like to have these pictures on your PC and back them up, you can download them your computer from either cloud in bunches or you can download them by photo albums. I organized my Amazon Prime Photos into photo albums and then downloaded each album into a folder of the same name. For example, I have an Amazon folder called “Fur Babies” so I created a folder on my computer by the same name.

Your pictures will download to your computer’s “Download” folder and they will be in a zip folder. Click on the zip folder and then the “Extract All” tab. Give it a good location to extract all of your pictures. I tend to work in folders on the Desktop and then move them once I am finished working with them.

Your photos should all be in one location, i.e., all in a folder named “My Amazon Pictures” or in several folders, each with different labels. They should then be located in your computer “Pictures” folder. Not only can you now find them easily (because you know where they are) but you can also create a back-up of the pictures if you would like.

There are a couple of ways to create a back-up of these pictures. The important part about this step is that you invest in a decent external hard drive. This is imperative not only for backing up your pictures but for backing up data on your computer. I won’t go into that part here but look for a future article. Once you have the external hard drive, you can proceed to the next step.

Open your external hard drive (indicated by a letter, like mine is drive “F”) and also open your “Pictures” folder. Drag your “Pictures” folder over to your external hard drive window and it will ask you if you want to copy this folder to your external hard drive, answer “yes” and the copying will begin.

Now you have your pictures in the cloud, on your computer and on your external hard drive. You can delete pictures from the cloud if you so choose. I deleted my event photos and left behind pictures I might want to show people so they would be easy to find. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at pajamacasualcorner@yahoo.com. I will be happy to answer questions.

Multi-Occasion Wrapping Paper

I found this wrapping paper at Amazon. I love it because it has different paper for many different occasions. Warning though, all of the sheets come rolled into one so it looks like you are getting one big roll of wrapping paper.

Washing Ball Caps

This has not been a problem for me for a very long time but recently, I was married and he loves his ball caps! Some of them are so sweaty though so I wanted to throw them in the washer. My sweet husband explained to me that they would lose their shape and he wouldn’t be able to wear them again. Hmm. Really? Okay, there has to be a solution because some of the caps are in serious need of a good wash.

As always, I turn to the internet for solutions and most often…Amazon.com. I found this Ballcap Buddy Cap Washer at Amazon.com. It is a skeleton of a ball cap that closes around the cap. We put the first one in the dishwasher and it came out great! I washed it by itself, of course. I didn’t want to put it in the washer because some of his caps are not easily replaceable, if at all. The dishwasher has worked so well though, I haven’t needed to try the washer.

Save Your Recipe Cards

I don’t know about you but I have recipe cards that are nearly as old as I am. Some I have collected, some were given to me, some were passed down and they were looking pretty worn. I hated the idea of them ruining to the point I would not be able to read them or share them with generations to come so I found an easy solution to save my recipe cards.

My first thought was laminating them but I didn’t want to have to buy a laminating machine and special sized plastic just to laminate my recipe cards. As with most things, I turned to Amazon.com and found laminating pages that stick together! No heat needed. How cool is that? You put your recipe card between two pieces, stick them together, rubbing out all of the air bubbles and voila…your recipe card is laminated! Anything that is spilled on them will wipe right off and the aging process has now been slowed a bit. They look really nice too.

Keurig vs Starbucks

Before I go too far into this topic, let me say that I love Starbucks! Carmel Macchiato Grande. I wish I could afford to go there more often though. I was introduced to Keurig because I like Starbucks so much. My dad bought my first Keurig. I loved it! Hooked right away. I was taken back a little bit by the cost of the coffee pods but when I stopped to think about how much I spent on Starbucks versus the cost of these pods, hands down, Keurig won.

(40 K-Cups for $24.99 at Amazon. That equates to 63 cents a cup!)

Many years have passed, I am on my 3rd Keurig and I still love it. Don’t get me wrong, from time-to-time, I like to splurge at Starbucks but Keurig is definitely a tasty and affordable replacement. You can buy different flavored pods and now you can even buy tea, hot cocoa and apple cider in pods! There is a broad range now in pricing for these pods as the competition has grown considerably.

If you are looking for a specialized flavor, check out Bed, Bath and Beyond. They carry a nice array of Keurig pods and they have the seasonal flavors. Walmart is my favorite place for everyday drinking coffee. I like to get the Great Value Vanilla pods and I can spice that up with flavored creamer if I want. During the holidays, I definitely like to get the special flavors and sometimes as creamer, I will use Egg Nog just to take it up a notch closer to a Starbucks coffee.

The other great thing about a Keurig is that you don’t end up wasting an entire pot of coffee if you are the only partaker in the home. That is my situation. I know another family who all like different flavors. With a Keurig, all needs are met and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Basically, Starbucks is great and you can find one on just about every corner but if you can’t afford to go as often as you like, fill in with Keurig. You can come pretty close to your favorite Starbucks drink until the next time you can splurge!

Prolonging the Life of Your Bananas

My husband actually gave me this tip. He heard it on the radio one day and shared it with me when he came home from work. Previously, I had read somewhere that the reason bananas ripen so fast is because of the gases that escape from their stems once one has been taken from the bunch. Then my husband tells me he heard you should take the produce bag your bananas came in, wrap it around the stem, and secure it with a rubber band. I haven’t tried it yet but makes sense to me given the previous information!

Organizing CD’s

When my husband and I merged households, we found that between us, we have hundreds of CD’s. I have my digital music but I still like my CD’s and so does he. Because we both had two complete households worth if “stuff”, we had to downsize and our space is limited. For our CD problem, I found these disc cases on Amazon.com that can hold up to 320 CD’s. They look nice and zip right up. I purchased two of them. My husband didn’t like the idea of giving up his album art so I took the booklet out of the plastic CD case and tucked it behind each CD in each sleeve of our new cases. They look nice, we still have the album art and I can tuck them away until we want to listen to them!

Easy and Inexpensive Cat Toy

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Does your kitty like catnip? Mine loves it! I have bought toys that have catnip in them but he doesn’t like them near as much as this cheap toy I made for him. You take and old sock or footie, fill the toe with catnip, tie it off and there you go. Easy and inexpensive cat toy. You can find catnip at Walmart and it is pretty cheap. Cut off any excess if the sock is really long but a little excess is good. That gives them something to grab hold of so they can toss it around.

This is the Pen for Arthritis Sufferers!

 

I am not sure when I really started suffering from the arthritis in my hands but at some point, it got to the point that I started looking for things to make work a little less painful. Use it or lose it, right? One item I discovered is the Dr. Grip Pen. They aren’t just everywhere so you may have to order it but you won’t be sorry. It is a large, gel enveloped pen. Because it is bigger than most pens, it is easier to grip and the gel makes holding the pen so comfortable.

They are a little pricey compared to other pens but worth the price if you need to be able to write but it hurts to do so. I used to be able to buy these pens from Walmart but I haven’t been able to find them in the store for quite some time so I started buying them from Amazon.com. I am a Prime member so shipping is free and the cost of the pen is about what I was spending. The one and only drawback as far as I am concerned is trying to replace the cartridge. I have not had success with this because I forget how all of the pieces go back together. It is easier for me to buy a new pen but don’t let that dissuade you from trying to refill!

Organizing Mail and Important Papers

The number one rule in organizing papers:  touch a piece of paper only once.  While in some cases, this may not be realistic…you may need to touch it 2 or 3 times to get it where it needs to go…it is definitely something to remember as you sort through papers, mail, documents, etc.  Minimal touching!  Unlike cuddles and hugs.  Lol. 

When you get your mail, sort it over the trash can and throw the junk in there right away.  Open the important mail and put it in its rightful spot.  The number one rule in organizing…not just papers…but organizing overall is that EVERYTHING SHOULD HAVE A PLACE.  By everything having a home, it saves time when you need an item because you will know right where to find it.  When everything has a designated spot, you don’t end up with clutter in your home. 

So back to the mail…you should have a folder for bills to pay and folders for each account.  Once a bill has been paid, then you transfer it to that account’s folder for future reference.  I even have a folder for take-out menus, coupons for local businesses and a folder for things I just like and don’t want to throw away but don’t necessarily have a “category”.  As long as your system makes sense to you and is as simple as possible, it doesn’t matter how you set your folders up or what you name them. 

Don’t make your organization so complicated that it is a chore to stay organized.  Organization is meant to make your life easier…streamline processes in your home.  It is NOT meant to make you have to keep charts, or charts of those charts, etc.  Keep it simple so that you will use it, otherwise, it isn’t going to work and you will become frustrated and overwhelmed.  That being said, if you are already frustrated and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and just begin.  One piece of paper at a time.  A little each day and before you know it, you will have your papers organized and easy to find! 

Leftover Wine?

Is that even possible?  Lol.  You know that last little bit that is always left at the bottom of the bottle…not enough for a glass.  Most of us just throw it away but I read somewhere that you should pour it into an ice cube tray to use later for cooking.  What a great idea!  Some people are so clever.  Just an FYI:  you can buy an ice tray for $1 at Dollar Tree.  

Repurposing Old Jewelry

This Spring, as we are decluttering and cleaning, remember to hang onto your old jewelry and buttons.  We have seen them on Pinterest…all of the cool pictures that people create with jewelry and buttons.  These clever people have taken their old jewelry and buttons and turned them into works of art.  I would never have thought of that until Pinterest

When my mom passed away, I had a lot of her costume jewelry that I just didn’t know what to do with.  It was my intent to give it all to Goodwill but when I went to put it in the box…I just couldn’t do it so I put it all in a drawer.  Thanks to Pinterest, I know just what to do with her jewelry now.  I will make one of these cool pics I have seen so that I always have a part of her in my home.

Too Dang Hot at Work?

I am 55 years old and with that comes the wonderful world of menopause!  Yay me!  I am hot when everyone else is comfortable.  When you are at work, surrounded by other people who are not hot but you are, how do you fix the problem?  I have found 2 solutions.  A little fan that will plug right into a USB port on your PC or a handheld fan.  They actually still do make those!  You can find both at Amazon.com.

Once I got a fan at my desk, I was no longer miserable when those hot flashes came on.  The fan is very quiet so it didn’t bother anyone.  It is so quiet, I forget to turn it off sometimes!

The second solution isn’t as practical at work but it can be a life saver when you are out and about.  Stick the hand fan in your purse and instead of looking for something to fan yourself, you will have something readily available.  I laugh about this…a little…but it is better than sitting there and sweating to death!

Retro Gift Wrapping

This is a tip from grandma.  She was one of those people who collected her newspapers and to her credit, she often repurposed them.  She taught me that newspaper can make for the most interesting wrapping paper.  It is really sharp with a red or black bow and is not only inexpensive but it is a green idea.  Who knew?  Grandma was ahead of her time!  Lol.  I actually have done this before; in my younger days when I needed to be more frugal.  There was always newspaper around somewhere so I didn’t even have to go out and buy one.  It was a big hit at the party too!

When my husband was younger, his family used brown paper bags as gift wrapping.  When we were talking about this, we laughed about how we also used brown paper bags to cover our schoolbooks.  Lol.  Now our ages are really showing.  I can imagine the brown wrapping with a gold bow is probably pretty sharp and, of course, very inexpensive!

Both newspapers and brown paper grocery bags were items that were always laying around or piling up somewhere in our houses.  These days, I am not sure how readily available the brown bags are since grocery stores don’t use them as much as they do the plastic bags.  But as of this moment, newspapers are still readily available.  One Sunday paper and you would be set for a while!

Take the Sting Out

To reduce swelling and take the sting away from a bee sting, put a meat tenderizer or tabaco paste on the area.  In minutes, it will feel better and the swelling will go down.  I have actually tried this tip.  When I was in high school, I was stung by a bee and borrowed a cigarette from someone, went to the bathroom, tore it open, wet it a little and put it on the sting.  It worked so fast, I was amazed but so very happy because I needed to get to class!  Lol. 

Here is another story about the meat tenderizer but I am making a recommendation…simply telling a story.  When I was younger, my dad was in the Navy, and during that time, we did a tour in Key West.  We were at a cookout near the beachfront with a lot of other people and my brother was stung by a Manowar jellyfish while he was in the water.  He came screaming back to my mom and dad because these stings are extremely painful and deadly.  Mom and dad started to put him in the car to rush him to the E.R. but a gentleman at the cookout took meat tenderizer, wet it a little to make a paste, and put it all over the sting.  It was the craziest thing but it worked!  Pretty quickly too!  Thank goodness. 

For the life of me, I cannot remember if we went to the E.R. after that or if the meat tenderizer paste was the cure.  I just remember that my brother was going to be okay.  My guess is that once we were sure he was out of danger, we did NOT go to the E.R.  Back then, it just wasn’t what you did unless you truly were dying!

Quiet and Easy Fitness

Okay, I am not gonna preach about how you need to work out more or even…some.  I decided I wanted to work out more well…some (lol) but I wanted to do it in the privacy of my home.  I tried Zumba and I like it but it requires a fair amount of room and I don’t have a space that works well.  Someone I know told me about a recumbent she bought for exercising.  I had never heard of such a thing.  You can tell I am not a big work out buff.  I had to look it up.  Lol. Once I saw it, I knew what it was but still I wasn’t all that familiar.  I thought this might be just what I was looking for and sure enough, it was. 

I found this recumbent at…say it with me now…Amazon.com!  Lol.  I know…that is where I get everything.  There was some assembly required but it wasn’t too bad.  I did it myself.  What I like about it the most is that it is quiet.  I can sit and REALLY watch and hear TV if I want and I don’t disturb anyone else!  I once had an exercise bike that I liked but it was so dang noisy, I couldn’t hear music, the TV or even myself think!  This recumbent is very different and it is easy.  Even this old lady can do it without too much fuss.  It folds up too.  Not compact enough to slide under the bed but it folds up enough so that you can stick it in a corner easily.  

Free Shipping

Don’t pay for shipping and don’t let shipping costs keep you from shopping online.  My world is very much about purchasing online.  I order pretty much everything I need for our home.  Not because I don’t like going out, because I do…very much, but because it can be frustrating and time consuming.  I would much rather be going out to a movie with my husband or going for a walk with my little puppy.  So, I have learned a few things about shopping online and one of them is don’t pay for shipping unless you have ABSOLUTELY no other choice. 

Many companies offer free shipping on amounts above a certain point such as free shipping on orders over $35.00 at Walmart.com.  You can start an online cart pretty much anywhere and walk away.  Come back and keep adding to it as you think of things you need.  Don’t fill the cart up with items that are just “fluff” simply to get to that $35 threshold.  That defeats the purpose.  When you get to the point where you purchase a lot of your staples online, you will eventually think of something you need to order and add it to your cart.  Before you know it, you have reached the $35 threshold and now you do not have to pay for shipping. 

With Amazon.com, if you are a Prime member, the annual membership fee more than pays for itself with free shipping if you order your staples online. Most of your daily needs can be purchased online.  (And even things you don’t need!)  Amazon strives for the best customer service.  They try to make returning or replacing items as easy as possible.

I even order my pet needs online at Chewy.com.  This is another company that offers free shipping when you spend $50.00.  I don’t have to fill my cart up with things I don’t need because I can buy my pets’ food, litter, treats, etc. all right here.  Also, their customer service is excellent.  I have only had to call them twice but when I did, they were quick to resolve my problem and extremely friendly while doing so.  

Well, I think you get the point.  Take advantage of that free shipping whenever possible.  Now, I am well aware that sometimes the “free shipping” costs are built into the prices which is why you have to comparison shop.  I like to bounce between Amazon.com and Walmart.com for comparing.  I can do that right on my tablet, in my pajamas, while watching wrestling with my hubby!  Lol. 

Amazon.com:  Warehouse and Prime

I am a huge fan of Amazon! (If you couldn’t tell.) They offer so much all bundled into one site.  Now…I didn’t suddenly become a fan…I have been one for years.  I used to joke about going to work for Amazon but I’d be poor because I would spend all of my earnings at Amazon!  You can find everything imaginable at Amazon.com and even things you can’t imagine.  I can’t tell you how many times I have searched their website looking for a solution to a problem at home and low and behold, Amazon had it.  Consequently, I became a Prime member and I have not been sorry.

Before I get too far into all of the benefits of Amazon Prime, let me talk about their online Warehouse for a minute.  When I have needed to replace appliances in my home, like my toaster, I shopped the Amazon Warehouse first.  It is located online at Amazon.com; in their menu.  Many people don’t realize that it exists but sometimes you can find some really good deals on things.  Not always but it is worth checking before you shop the rest of Amazon.com. 

I have seen many posts about organizing and backing up photos.  Great idea!  And I have more to say on that in another book but for now, let me say that if you are a Prime member, they offer free photo storage.  You can program it so that all of your devices upload photos to Amazon.com Prime Photos.  They even have an app you can get for quick access to your photos.  Your pictures are safe there but, of course, you will want your own personal back up as well.  More to come on this subject.

Amazon Prime offers free movies and shows as well.  You can even get the app from Xfinity so that you can access Prime just like you access Netflix.  Xfinity has begun working on integrating Netflix and Prime into your account so that when you are searching for movies, it will all be in one place…movies from Xfinity, Netflix and Prime (provided you are members of each). 

Last, but certainly not least, my favorite feature of Amazon Prime, free shipping!  It really is free and it is delivered to your front door.  I just love that!  I think of something I need, just click on my Amazon app, and I can order it on the spot.  I don’t have to keep a list and I can comparison shop without running all over town. 

Before I end my praises of Amazon Prime and all that Amazon has to offer, let me say that I have just touched the tip of the iceberg here.  There is sooo much more that Amazon has to offer.  Explore their site sometime, you might be surprised what you find!

Want to Stop Sweating?

A friend told me about this product:  Certain Dri.  It is a roll-on deodorant that after using for a while makes you stop sweating from wherever you have applied it.  I did some research on this because I wanted to know if it was healthy or not.  What most of the research said is that it does NOT cause any health problems, you will just simply sweat more elsewhere. 

For people who have terrible armpit sweat on a continual basis, this might very well be their answer.  I used it for a few weeks and it did make me stop sweating under my arms but then I noticed more sweat in other places.  When I stopped using it, the sweat returned.  

Pay Your Credit Card Debt Off Faster

I promise this is not an advertisement even if the title sounds like it.  Lol.  It is sound advice I would like to share.  So many credit cards today are offering balance transfers at 0% interest for a year or more.  What that means to us is that we can transfer the balances from the credit cards charging us interest to a card that will NOT charge interest for at least a year.  That gives you a year or more, as some cards offer this deal for 15 to 18 months, to get those balances down, if not paid off with no interest.  Worst case scenario, if there is still a balance on those cards at the end of the offer, at least the interest will be calculated on a smaller balance. 

The only drawback is that there is usually a fee associated with this transfer.  In the long run, it is worth it though.  I paid a fee of something like $77 for one card but the interest I would have paid in just one month would have been more with the card that was charging interest.  This way, your money is being applied directly to the balance and you actually make headway pretty quickly. 

How do you find these cards?  Well, one of the services I utilize is Credit Karma.  It truly is free.  You can keep an eye on your credit rating and they have recommendations for improving your credit which are specific to your needs.  They also recommend credit cards that will approve you based on your rating.  You can compare the cards side-by-side and find which one(s) will work best for your needs.  There are other vendors that offer the same services but I can only speak to Credit Karma as this is the service I use.

Vanity Lights Too Hot?

In my bathroom, I have a long counter with a mirror over it and over the mirror is a row of vanity light bulbs.  Very simple and bright which is what I like.  However, I am 55 years old and menopausal so all of those hot lights were just killing me as I was trying to get ready in the morning.  I would be sweating so dang much, I couldn’t get my hair to dry. 

So, as always, I turned to Google for answers.  I searched “cooler burning lights” and Google informed me that LED was the way to go.  Now, I have no clue what LED means but I now know they DEFINITELY burn cooler.  I found the perfect LED vanity lights for my bathroom on Amazon.com and I have been very happy with them ever since!  Also, it is my understanding from my Google research that they last longer.  I ordered mine in February 2017, they are still going strong and I haven’t changed one out yet!

Best Way to Remove Sticky

 

When you are trying to remove a sticker from an item that leaves behind sticky, use rubbing alcohol or WD-40 to remove it.  Works like a charm every time.  When my scissors get all sticky from having used them to open tape on delivered boxes, I put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and rub off the sticky.  This works great when you are repurposing the glassware that candles come in. 

For bigger jobs, you will want to use WD-40 because it works faster but it also has a stronger smell.  Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.  When you are done with the cloth or paper towel you are using, tie it up in a plastic grocery bag and throw it in the trash.  That will help to keep the odor somewhat contained so that your whole home doesn’t smell. 

Best Face Exfoliant Ever!

I read a post on Pinterest a couple of years ago and I thought I kept it but I did not.  So, unfortunately, I cannot credit the Pinner.  This is the best discovery for an exfoliant!  Baking Soda.  I was skeptical too but I tried it and it really does work!

I wash my face with my Dove soap, rinse and then I put some baking soda on my washcloth and scrub.  You don’t have to scrub very hard.  It is very gentle on your skin so you can use it every day.  Remember to use face lotion any time you use an exfoliant.  I saw results pretty quickly.  I have adult acne and this really helps to unclog my pores and to make my skin clearer.

Repurpose Those Plastic Grocery Bags

First, let me say that if you don’t have your grocery bags organized and they are driving you crazy, laying on the floor of the pantry, here is a great holder that is easy to hang just about anywhere.

If you have a cat box, use the plastic grocery bags to scoop the poop into.  You can tie it up to contain the odor. 

When cooking with onions, throw the cut off pieces and skins in a plastic grocery bag and tie it up so that it won’t stink up your house.

Certain things should not go down the garbage disposal like potato peels.  I like peeling my potatoes over the sink so I use the side without the garbage disposal with the basket in place.  When I am done, it is really easy to scoop up the peels and throw them into a plastic grocery bag, tie it up and throw it away.

They also are good to have in the car.  You can hang one on a knob for a trash can or grab one out of the glovebox to use when you are ready to wrangle up the mess.  

Plastic grocery bags also make a good liner for small trash cans like a bathroom trashcan.  They keep them clean and when they are full, you can just tie up the handles and throw them in your bigger trash can.  

Keeping Plastics Safe in the Dishwasher

This has been an ongoing problem since the beginning of the dishwasher!  I can actually remember the beginning of dishwashers…lol.  Some clever people, though, figured out how to solve this problem.  A dishwasher net!  I have never heard of such a thing but I found this on good ol’ Amazon.com who has EVERYTHING!  I was searching for the solution; I just didn’t know what to call it because I wasn’t sure of what the solution would be.  Amazon has some pretty good search tools so eventually I came across this product:

It keeps all the plastics I put in the top dishwasher rack from falling onto the heat element.  I love it.  No more melted plastic!

Best Ever Hack to a Clean Microwave

I have seen a lot of tips on this subject but I have actually used this one and it REALLY DOES work.  Take your glass measuring cup (or a microwavable glass bowl), fill it with water and vinegar.  Place it in your microwave and start the microwave for about 5 minutes.  It should be boiling when the microwave goes off.  Let sit for about 15 minutes, remove glass and wipe down.  I have never cleaned a microwave with such ease! 

A Few Car Organizing Hacks

If you have read any of my other helpful tips, you may realize by now that I am fairly OCD.  Organizing is my thing.  I have never thought about it in a monetary sense before; it is just who I am.  I have shared some of the things I do with friends just because and go figure, they liked my hacks.  So, I thought I would share a few with you about the car.

Just like your home, everything should have a place in your car.  ESPECIALLY YOUR REGISTRATION AND PROOF OF INSURANCE.  These should always be readily available.  Put them in an envelope and mark it with “Registration and Proof of Insurance” so there is no doubt about what it is.  You can also purchase plastic envelopes that are made for this purpose.  

Always keep a pair of jumper cables in your trunk.  You never know when you or a friend may be in need and there is nothing worse than be stranded anywhere other than home.  They even make these tidy little emergency car kits.  My dad always made sure my brother and I had one.  They usually contain a pair of jumper cables, flairs and other helpful odds-n-ends that may be needed in an emergency.

The same is true of a can of “Fix a Flat”.  Keep a can in your car.  You just never know when you might need a quick repair to get you to the nearest gas station.  Ladies, this is a must!  You NEVER want to be out alone at night and have to rely on a passerby for assistance.  Take charge and get to safety. 

Keep a Swiffer in your car for quick cleanups.  Living in Colorado, everything gets so dusty so fast.  I think it is because there is very little humidity here.  Swiffers help to keep the dust under control in between deeper cleanings.  I like to take my car to Waterway Car Wash from time-to-time to get her vacuumed, Armor All’d and scrubbed down.  But in-between, Swiffer helps a lot.  I even Swiffer while I am sitting in the car, in line at a fast food joint. 

Keep some paper towels or napkins in the car.  There will ALWAYS be a time where you are going to need them.  If you have kids or pets, keep baby wipes in the car too.  These can be a doggie (or human) mommy’s best friend in the car!

Those plastic grocery bags we all try to repurpose come in pretty handy for a trash bag in the car.  You can hang it on a knob or even clip it somewhere convenient for you.  I stash some in my console to use when I am ready to clean the trash out of my car.  It is especially good to have some extra bags on hand when we travel. 

Keep an extra phone charger in the car.  If you live in Colorado, this is just a given.  You really never know when you may need your phone for emergency purposes.  I have seen it happen sooo many times where a snow blizzard strands people on the highway. You don’t have to be climbing a mountain to get stranded.  (I don’t climb mountains…I admire them.  Lol.)

If you live in states where it snows, keep that ice scraper in your car!  Never remove it for any reason.  In the winter, keep it inside of the car and in the summer, put it in the trunk.  It doesn’t take up much room.  In Colorado, you just never know when it might snow.  I have actually seen it snow in July!  Getting caught without your scraper sucks.

We are approaching Spring so now is a good time to get your car cleaned up and organized.  That in itself can be a big job so why not have any items you are missing, delivered to your front door with Amazon.com or Walmart.com.  Both offer free shipping. 

I love having things delivered to me.  It frees me up to do the things I would rather be doing. I have been doing this ever since I discovered Amazon.com and Walmart.com.  I find good deals on these two sites and with free shipping, it pays for itself in the long run and the hassle it saves me…priceless!

Make a Little Money by Just Clicking

This is not going to make you rich or anything like that but it will make you a little extra money and it is as simple as clicking on an advertisement.  It isn’t a bunch of spam either.  MyPoints is a legitimate company who has partnered with legitimate vendors.  I have been a member of MyPoints for years and have enjoyed receiving a little extra money for simply clicking on ads.

Recently, I installed Paribus as a Chrome extension and it has helped me to get even more out of the MyPoints program.  Every time you click on an advertisement they have emailed you, they reward you with points.  For every purchase you make through MyPoints from one of their partnered vendors, you earn points.  Eventually, these points add up and you can exchange them for gift cards.  Over the years, I have exchanged my points for gift cards to Walmart, Amazon, and I-Tunes.

Great Time Saver…Order Groceries Online

If you have not checked into grocery delivery in your area, you are missing out!  It is a huge time saver and takes the headache out of grocery shopping.  So many stores are offering delivery-to-home type services nowadays.  I order our groceries from our local Walmart.  Currently, they have Door Dashers delivering the groceries and they bring them right to your front door.  There is a delivery fee but there are usually time slots where the fee is less than the premium times.  However, getting my groceries this way, pays for itself. 

There is a delivery fee but there are usually time slots where the fee is less than the premium times.  However, getting my groceries this way, pays for itself. What I mean by that is I tend to stick to my grocery list better when I order online.  It isn’t like when I have gone to the grocery store while hungry but needed to get groceries.  I know that hunger had an effect on what I put into my grocery cart! 

Also, I like being able to do my grocery shopping at whatever time I want while relaxing at home…in my pajamas!  Lol.  The other thing that helps so much is that I don’t have to worry about having a current grocery list with me or trying to rely on my memory!  I can just get up and check the cupboards or refrigerator.  No more are the times you come home from the grocery store only to find that you forgot to pick something up.  There is a window of time between when you order and when your groceries are delivered where you can add items to your order.

Silicone Wedding Rings

Does your husband balk at wearing a wedding ring?  Some men just don’t like the way they feel.  I cannot relate!  Lol.  I have one of those husbands who doesn’t like wearing rings and, to be fair, he was concerned about it getting caught on something at work.  I had read about these silicone rings but didn’t know much about them.

After we got married, I went to the bank to change my name and the gentleman who assisted me was wearing one of those silicone rings so I asked him about it.  He loves his ring and, apparently, he had tried several different brands.  He told me that hands down “Groove Life” silicone rings are the best.  They let your finger breathe so it doesn’t get all sweaty.  I guess he had that experience and his skin even peeled where the ring had been but that does NOT happen with Groove Life rings.  I went home and told my husband about it and he was definitely interested. 

He picked out some he liked and I ordered 2 from that list.  He loves his rings.  His favorite at the moment is the thicker banded ring.  He says it is like there isn’t anything on his finger and I like to see it on his finger.  I have a beautiful wedding ring and I wanted him to have one too! Groove Life also has many other products but I have only had this one experience.

 

Hack to Help Organize Your Pantry

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for organizational tips.  Anything to help keep life organized so that I can find things especially at my age.  Lol.  I walk into a room and think…huh, why did I come in here?  The only reason I know I’m not losing it is because I know other people who do the same thing!

So I was getting sick of having bags of this and that thrown on top of all of the other things in the pantry never to be seen again until one day, you are rearranging the cans and boxes in your pantry and find things you had completely forgotten about.  There just had to be a better way! So here is my hack to help organize your pantry.

I got some small Command Hooks (do no harm) and picked up some mesh bags from the Dollar Tree and hung them on the inside of the pantry door.  Voila!  Chips and assorted bags organized and viewable!  

How to Keep Your Grocery List Current

You wouldn’t think this would be very difficult but getting everyone in your home to tell you when something runs low isn’t always very practical or successful.  I have found that keeping a notepad stuck to the refrigerator is a winner in my home.  This is such an easy little trick to help keep your grocery list as current as you would like it to be when you go shopping. Sometimes you can find these pads with a magnet already on it but they don’t seem to be just anywhere so I made my own:

Two Amazing Tough Stain Removal Tips That Really Do Work!

Have a blood stain?  Pour some hydrogen peroxide on it.  Yup.  I promise you.  I have used hydrogen peroxide to remove blood stains for as many years as I have been in the medical field.  The sooner you get the peroxide on the stain, the better but I have used it on old blood stains and amazingly, it worked!  What have you got to loose anyway, if the article of clothing has blood on it, then you probably think it is ruined.  Try this and you will be as amazed as I have been over the years.  

My second stain removal tip is for ink stains.  Hairspray is the answer.  Don’t use your expensive “Big Sexy Hair” spray.  Buy some inexpensive hairspray (such as Suave) to have on hand for just this purpose.  Spray the hairspray directly on the ink stain and you will be surprised at how it removes  it. You will have to repeat the process for older stains but who cares when you can save a piece of clothing that you thought was ruined. 

When my husband and I were dating, I noticed some ink stains on a pair of his jeans.  I told him about this tip.  Of course, he was skeptical but he tried it and sure enough, it worked just as I said it would.  The ink stain was old so he had to spray it a couple of times but it faded to a point where we could barely see it. 

This doesn’t work as well on ink pen blowouts or if an ink pen has soaked into a shirt because it has been left to lay against the material all day.  You can definitely lighten the spot but it may not come out completely.  Particularly on whites.

Have Thin Hair?  Check out this product that really does help!

I mentioned “Big Sexy Hair” hairspray in the previous tip post.  That is the hairspray I use to get some fullness with my thin, flat hair.  If you have thin hair, you know my pain.  I finally decided on a short haircut which helps tremendously but when I found this hairspray, I was elated.  It really does help give you some body and it can help you in styling your hair as well.  It is a bit pricey but so worth the money.  Amazon.com has some really good offers on this hairspray so that helps with the cost. 

Need Help Keeping Those Clever Cats Out of Your Closets?

I have the solution!  My cat, Picasso, is too dang clever for his own good.  He figured out how to open our closet doors! Then he showed my other cat, Balki, how to open them! Our closet doors just pull open so I couldn’t install locks. For a while I would jam something between the door and the frame so that it would be too difficult for them to open but eventually they figured out how to open the door anyway!  

I found these latches on Amazon.com and they have been a life saver!  Or I should say a clothes saver.  One of the closets my cats infiltrated was my clothes closet.  Once in there, they would climb the clothes to get to the top shelves.  What fun!  Lol.  Anyway, these latches were the solution and no more ruined clothes!  They are easy to install…I did it by myself…and they are supposed to come off without damaging anything.  

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