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Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

With Easter coming up in just over a week, I thought I would share my tip on how to get the perfect hard-boiled eggs. I had tried various ways to get them “perfect” – no grayish rings; easy to peel; etc. But I could not find something that consistently worked. I tried adding salt, adding vinegar, adding whatever – it did not work for me. So in total frustration one day, I just boiled some water, plopped the eggs in it, boiled, ran in cold water – and to my shock and amazement….they turned out perfectly.

This almost feels like cheating because it is easy, but it works. The shells come off in large pieces instead of in tiny bits; there is no graying; they turn out just right.

Step 1: Boil Water

Step 2: Carefully plop eggs into the water. The only time I have had eggs crack on me is when they crash to the bottom when I first put them in. If I carefully lower them in, they have never broken for me. They may just be well-trained over at our house, though. :)

Step 3: Boil for 13 minutes. This time may vary depending on your altitude. For us, this gets the yolks cooked, but not dried out.

Step 4: Dump out the boiling water and run cold water over the eggs. Do this until the eggs are consistently cool to the touch. You can also just keep the eggs sitting in cold water.

Step 5: Peel your eggs. See the large chunks coming off? That has been my result every time. Easy peasy. No screaming at your eggs because you have to pick off little tiny pieces. Nope. Love it.

There you have it. Nice and straight-forward. Easy. Yummy. Awesome.

Fluffy (and Stink-Free) Towels

For any of you who have had towels or washcloths over time that have lost their fluff, or have gotten something of a mildewy smell – try this tip.

This is something that we do every time I do a load of towels. It works so well. I had a friend who had mentioned it, and thought I would give it a try. It is great, and is a cheap fix. Over time as you are using your towels, residue builds up on them causing them to lose fluffiness. Using dryer sheets can also add to the residue problem. And over time having something be wet consistently will cause it to be stinky. I think we’ve all been the unfortunate user of a stinky towel or washcloth, be it ours or someone else’s. This will take care of that problem.

Enter stage left: vinegar. That’s it.

Load your washer up with towels, and then instead of detergent pour in 1 cup of vinegar (or 2 cups, if your towels need some more help) and run it through a normal wash cycle. The vinegar will kill the yuckies and get your towels clean. When you stick them in the dryer, do not use a dryer sheet (or fabric softener in the wash) – this will start your film problem all over again. By nature of it being a towel, you don’t really have to worry much about static anyway since whatever is using it will be wet. Just sayin’.

When they are dry, you will have fluffy, fresh-smelling towels again. Hooray! Happy fluffing! :)

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I found this dishwasher detergent, and decided it would be worth a try.

Ingredients:

1 c. Washing Soda (NOT baking soda – this can be found in the laundry aisle)

1 c. Borax (again, found in the laundry aisle)

1/2 c. Kosher Salt (the original site had used iodized, but recommended Kosher)

4 packets lemon Kool-Aid

Directions:

Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix. Make sure to crush all of the lumps out. I found it was very easy to do with a fork.

Admire your handiwork. Pretty.

Find a suitable air-tight container to store it in. It only takes up 2 1/2 cups worth of space, so the container does not have to be large. I also had an extra 1/2 T. measuring spoon, so I stuck that in there as well.

You’re done! Congratulations – you just made your own dishwasher detergent. Put 1 T. (or 2 T. for heavily soiled loads) into your dishwasher and wash away.

I found this to work well – it seemed to clean everything well, and did not leave a residue. AND EVERYTHING WAS SHINY!! Woo hoo! I was kind of secretly hoping that it would magically take the hard water stains off of my glasses that have been accumulating for a couple of years, but alas. I’ll have to hunt down that tip another day. They looked shiny though….even with the water stains.

Also, if you are considering making this, but don’t currently have washing soda or Borax – there seem to be a TON of things you can do with them. Like make your own dishwashing detergent. :) It seems to be a good investment.

***Since this post, I have tried this detergent a few times. The first time it worked fantastically well. The second time, not so much. The third time I used half of this detergent, and half Lemi-shine, and that seemed to work well. This is a work in progress.

Freeze Your Veggies!

Earlier this week when we made our soup, I knew that I would be needing to make another pot of it later in the week to bring to a friend whose husband had surgery. One thing that is a little tough about that soup (or any meal where you need to prep, honestly), IS the prep work. Specifically chopping the veggies. Since I had all of the veggies out, I just chopped enough to put in the pot of soup for later in the week, put it in a plastic freezer baggie, labeled it, chucked it in the freezer and VOILA! Easy soup later in the week.

It was MUCH faster to throw together  with the bag of frozen veggies РI just dumped them in the pot and we were ready to go. So if you have to chop veggies for one meal, take a couple of minutes and chop a bit extra and freeze it so when you make that meal again, it is much faster.

 

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Easy-Peasy Sand Remover

We have a turtle sandbox in our backyard and I love it. Mostly.

I love that it is an easy place for kids to go and have fun digging without digging up our backyard. I love that it seems to be a little refuge for my two-year old to go when her brothers are on the trampoline and she can’t get on.

But I don’t love the mess that can get tracked in. My five-year old loves to make little puddles in the sandbox to make wet sand, which is fun, but wet sand gets very stuck on little hands and feet.

I saw a tip on Pinterest with how to get sand off of your kids easily, and thought I would give it a try. I looked around for the original source, and was able to find this on ehow.com.

Enter the magic cure: Baby Powder. (Cue Heavenly Chorus.) This is AWESOME! I was a little skeptical, but it works amazingly well. You just take a little baby powder in the palm of your hand, rub it on sandy feet or hands, and the sand comes right off. I seriously was cackling in my backyard when I tried it the first time because it exceeded my expectations.

My two-year old is a little independent, so she would rather that I sprinkle it on her hands and feet, and then she rubs it on herself. I usually try and “help” as much as I can sneak in.

See? All clean. This is with no water, no nothin’ but baby powder. Awesome. This one is a keeper.

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