TAPE 3

Scotch Tape Jar Leveler

I honestly have no idea what to call this, except to describe it. Sorry. :) This is a pretty simple tip, but it has made me very happy. I usually like to credit the people that I get ideas from, but I cannot find this one. Originally, they used a note card and tape on cocoa powder. If/when I find the source, I will link it here. I tweaked it a bit, but either way could work great.

I do not do well with things that are inefficient. For example, a ROUND cornstarch container with NO LEVELING DEVICE. Who designed that? Even Arm & Hammer managed to design a little cardboard leveler into the part that you pop open with their baking soda. With my cocoa containers, I can keep things close-ish to level because there are flat parts to the container, but not so with my ROUND corn starch container.

Usually my husband is the cornstarch user – and he only uses it when he makes gravies (he makes THE BEST), and the corn starch doesn’t seem to bother him. As I was using the corn starch for the watercolors, and also for a meatballs recipe that I will post later, it drove me crazy not to have something to level my tablespoons off with. So I remembered the tip I had seen and made my own little leveler out of scotch tape.

Take two pieces of Scotch tape – one slightly longer than the width of the lid (or opening) of the container you are adding your “leveler” to, and one that is an extra 3″ or so LONGER than the first piece. Lay them sticky side UP on your counter or table.

Take the center of your shorter piece and line it up with the center of your longer piece. Then FLIP the smaller piece over on your larger piece. This will give you a non-sticky center (the part you will put over your opening), and extra length on the sides you can then use to attach your new “leveler” to your container.

Voila! A cheap precision measurement instrument!

Happy LEVEL baking….or watercolor making. :)

MyFitnessPal

My sister tipped me off to this website, and it is awesome.

It allows you to enter your weight, height, age, and weight goal. It then will give you the number of calories you should eat in each day to help you meet your goal.

I am pretty happy with my current weight, but I love the idea of knowing how much I am eating to know where I am at. It is also nice to have the accountability too. I have noticed myself consciously not eating something because I don’t want to enter it. Or not feeling guilty for eating one extra mini Hershey bar at the end of the day because I still had calories left to eat.

My sister started this in the middle of January, and has lost 11 pounds. She actually had to start eating more to lose weight (she is a nursing mother). Both of my parents are doing it as well, and have both lost weight. The recommended is a pound per week.

I started logging my food yesterday and was amazed at how many things could be found in the search function. Here is my log:

They even have off-brand foods listed, which is great. Also, notice the line with the red dot. Here’s a close-up:

The Lasagna Toss from last night – already programed in! I entered it in the search bar on a whim, and there it was. This seems to be VERY painless, compared to other sites I have seen.

Give it a try! Let me know if you try it, and how it works for you.

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! :)

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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Scavenger Hunt

Today my son asked if we could go to a local museum. It is an outdoor museum, and the weather has been perfect here, so I agreed that it would be just the thing. Until I realized that we had a repair person coming during the time we would be gone. !! Oh dear. Five-year olds love when their world gets shattered. So, thinking quickly I pulled together a list of things to find to try and pitch the idea to him.

I decided to try and find things that were easy to be found around here at this time of year, and tried to keep it relatively quick enough that we could get back in time for the repair person to come.

I told my five-year old that he could bring some of his “spy gear” that he had bought with his birthday money – this, thankfully, sealed the deal. We were off!

I would highly recommend this – it is an easy idea, totally free, and keeps everyone entertained and in the fresh air. It’s always fun to check things off too. See? I knew that we had an abundance of acorns down the street – it was the quick find to get us excited.

When we had found everything, he decided to make a list of his own for the way back to our house: a stick, a bird, a helicopter (one happened to be flying overhead) and an airplane.

My two-year old was happy to be collecting things too. (Pardon the hair – it was a bit windy….)

This was one of the first things my five-year old told my husband about when he came home on his lunch break, and was the first thing he told his older brother about when we picked him up from school. This is definitely something we will be doing again over the summer.

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