Who would have thought that you could put stale bread to so many good uses? The folks over at The Old Farmers Almanac sure did and they have quite an interesting list by author Margaret Boyles!
Did you know that stale bread dipped in milk was and still could be used as a poultice? This “renowned folk remedy” claims to help heal boils and pimples as well a remedy for splinters can be used with bread and cool milk.
How about cleaning up those small chards of glass you find even though you have cleaned up what you thought was all the broken glass? Yes, bread will help you with that.
Other uses on their list is for taking fingerprints of photos, cleaning out the coffee grinder, buttering corn on the cob and many more ideas!
Head on over the The Old Farmers Almanac article and see if you can put that stale bread to use with any of their suggestions.
Share Valentine’s Day by volunteering in your community with co workers, family and friends. Take a little time for this day, to bake up some Valentine cookies and cakes or you could purchase store bought treats and give them out with a special tag.
Take the family or a few friends and visit a nursing home in your area. Hand out flowers (a Carnation for each person) and Valentine cards. This does not have to be expensive and it will bring so much joy. (Call ahead to find out how many flowers and cards you will need and make an appointment.)
Visit someone who is under the weather with Valentines Day treats and offer to run errands for them.
Get your family and/or friends together and celebrate with a mini tea party. Serve hot tea and cookies. Have pretty paper, glue, scissors, paper dollies available to make old fashioned valentines day cards.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen for a few hours, washing dishes or serving up a meal will be appreciated.
Don’t forget our furry friends. Lend a hand at a community animal shelter or donate pet food or both.
Have a little brother or sister? Take them for the afternoon to a Children’s Museum or a favorite spot they like.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Baby Showers have been a tradition for many years throughout the world. Some countries celebrate after the babies arrival and others before the arrival. In earlier days, the baby shower before the babies arrival, was to educate the new mother to be on how to take care of the baby and to bring gifts she would need for the babies care. A blanket, booties, cap, etc. In the Victorian era, new mothers were not allowed to be seen in public soon after the baby arrived, therefore their baby shower was a tea party with gifts and the tradition of the parasol or umbrella was created and filled with the gifts.
Today we have all sorts of ways to celebrate a baby shower and many themes to choose from. The one key to a great baby shower is organization ahead of time. If you are going to have a baby shower for a new mom or mom having another baby, here are some steps you can take to make it a success.
Set The Date
Give your guests and Mom to be time to prepare for the party and mark their calendars. Try to set a date that is at least 6 weeks before mom to be’s due date. This way in case she goes into labor early, you run less risk of her missing her own party. This also gives her a chance to pick up anything she did not get at the party before the baby arrives. Also when letting her know about the shower, ask if there is anything special she wants for the baby or if she is registered at any store.
For the guests, this will give them time to plan for that day and purchase or make her a gift.
Invite the Guest
Put together a list of new mom’s friends and family. Place a note in the invitation of where the mom to be is registered or of certain things she really wants like, special diapers, bottles, clothes, etc and if they are choosing for a boy or girl. Include an RSVP so you can know not only how many will be showing up but this also helps with an idea of how much food to serve.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Team up with another friend or a couple of friends and split up the responsibilities. Get together and make a list for Decorations, Food/Drinks, Games/Gifts and if it is a surprise party, who will be in charge of getting the new mom to be to the shower. Split up the list between your team or just you and a co host. One can be in charge of decorations and decorating the day of the shower, another the food, and another in charge of finding games and gifts for the winners. When considering the food, have favorites included that you know the mom to be will like.
There are plenty of online sites that have baby shower games to get idea’s from. When choosing the prizes for the winners of the games if you are on a budget, choose something that is not to expensive but useful. Scented candles, a gift card, a lotion and soap for the bath small gift basket, kitchen ware, pretty photo frames. etc.
Visit my board on Pinterest for a variety of ideas including Baby Shower Games.
Take plenty of pictures at the baby shower and put them in a photo album for the mommy to be to have as a keepsake.
Have you noticed a difference in the performance in your dryer? Are your clothes taking longer to dry or come out hot but still damp when the timer goes off that they are done? You may have a clogged dryer vent and that can lead to shutting down your dryer, or worse a fire..
A friend of mine noticed that her clothes were taking longer to dry over the past month and when doing laundry the other day, the dryer just shut down. The dryer is only 2 years old and this could have been prevented. She contacted an appliance repair company who came out and told her the motor had burned up. The cause, blocked dryer vent that goes up through the attic to the outside top of the roof.
This happened because when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct, it causes excessive heat to build up and in this instance the dryer motor shut down. What could have been worse, if the motor had not shut down it could have resulted in a fire that could get out of control very quickly.
Instead of replacing the dryer, or having the motor replaced, the cost of repair still exceeded the price of having a dryer vent maintenance check. Having this done at least once a year will give you peace of mind for the safety of your home and family, maintaining the care of your dryer and less out of pocket expense.
If you have a laundry room that has the dryer vent go up through the attic and out through the roof, or you notice the same problems as the warning signs below check your dryer vent and consider a maintenance check on that vent. The repair comapany informed her to have it cleaned out every six months (depending on how often you use your dryer), to at least once a year.
Here are some warning signs you should look out for.
Clothes taking longer to dry
Dryer is very hot on top
Very little or no lint in the lint trap
Dryer stopping anytime during a drying cycle
Lint left on clothing
Moldy odor from clothes
Higher Light Bill from running the dryer more
Here is a list of things you can do to help cut down on the lint build up.
(This does not assure build up will not occur and a 6 Months to a Yearly maintenance check is still advisable).
Check your lint screen before and after each load of clothes to dry and clean thoroughly
Keep dryer area free of clutter and piles of clothes on top of dryer
Clean behind and underneath the dryer for lint build up
Replace flexible tubes with ridged metal ducts to get less build up, clean up easier and will stand up to a lint fire much better
Wash clothes that have been soiled with gasoline, cooking oil or other flammable liquid at least 2 times. Hang dry. Your dryer could start and auto ignition reaction that could cause a fire.
When putting your home up for sale one of the first things you should consider is to contact a real estate agent. Set up interviews and see who you think will work the best for you, personality wise and their experience. Ask them to bring you a list of the homes they have sold in the past 6 months to a year, and then do a comparison to your home. What style homes did they sell, the location and the price. Do not be in a hurry, check out their Facebook, website and background. You are not committed to a Realtor until you have signed the contract to hire them. Once you do that, you can be committed for up to 6 months on some contracts and they can get up to 6% commission of the selling price of your home.
Compare Your Home For the Right Price
Do your homework. Go online and look up homes that have sold in your area and that are comparable to your home. Try to stay as close as possible to the square footage, bedroom and bathroom count, one story or two, pools etc. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with comparables that have recently sold in your neighborhood.. Once you have a price average for your area, you may want to bring your price down just a bit to attract buyers. Or you can offer to pay part of the closing cost as another incentive. Your Realtor can help you with this.
Showing It Off
Home Staging is great for presentation and bringing out the best of your home. Walk around your home and make notes of things that attracted you to the home. Is it the beautiful deck you added on to the pool area? New Air Conditioner, added on a room or simply the style itself that makes living there so cozy. Ask some friends over and to give their thoughts on your home. This will come in handy later for pointing out the attributes to the potential buyer, the listing and a virtual tour.
Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing worse than someone coming in to look your house over and having to stumble over clutter or want to hold their nose from a bad odor. Do a through cleaning from top to bottom. Add fresh flowers, candles that are mild in perfume to various rooms. Hide the kitty litter box, pets water and food bowls and have pets outside if possible. Someone allergic to animals will not want to stay.
Windows – Give them a good cleaning inside and out. Open the blinds, curtains and shutters and let in natural light all over the house. Having a showing at night? Replace your light bulbs with a higher watt bulb.
Bedrooms – make sure they are clutter free and the beds are made. Clear off the night stands and bureau’s of any papers, books, make-up etc. Put kids toys in the closet and give the room a neat appearance. Think of a hotel room when you walk in. Only the necessities should be showing. Open the curtains and let in the natural light.
Bathrooms – clear off any make-up, medicine, tooth brushes, toothpaste, mouthwash etc and make the sink and bathtub clutter free and shine. Add fresh towels and clean shower door or curtain. Don’t forget to shine up the faucets and mirror too.
Kitchen – Open up the counter space by removing appliances like toasters, blenders, food processors etc and putting them in a cupboard. Wipe down the cupboard, counters, sink, etc and make what needs to shine, shine. Take down any magnets, pictures or kids art work off the refrigerator and give it a clean look. Give the inside of the oven and stove top a good cleaning as well as the microwave. Yes, the buyers may want to peek inside these.
Living Area – Fluff up those pillows on the sofa, clean any rugs and carpet. Dust the furniture and check to see if the drapes, shutters or blinds need a good cleaning or maybe fresh paint added on those shutters. If you have glass doors, make them clean and its a nice day open them up.
From the moment your potential buyer steps out of their vehicle, they are accessing your home, by the curb appeal. Make that first impression count and be welcoming. Have your landscape well manicured and kept up for the duration of your home on the market. Bushes trimmed, grass mowed and walkways edged and any flower or veggie planter boxes are full and pretty. When they walk up to your front door, have an attractive knocker or door bell and be sure that front door is appealing. A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference. Something we may not think is important, may be to the buyer. Even upgrading the numbers on your house can make a small difference.
Tell the World
The notes you have made about your home and the staging all done, its time to take pictures and video. Your real estate agent should be able to help you with these two very important details. Pictures and video should be clear and show off your home inside and out to its best. Add as many pictures as you can to your listing and other places online. With the Internet at our fingertips, buyers are going online to search for homes and you do not want to miss out on this opportunity to show off yours. Your real estate agent will include you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and there are more places online like Realtor.com, Trulia, Homes.com, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate to name a few. Don’t forget Craigslist and Facebook, Twitter and where you share on Social Media sites. Have your Realtor meet with potential buyers and be sure they can afford to purchase the house before showing your home so you are not wasting you and your Realtors time.