If you're looking for a way to refresh your room and upgrade to a more healing experience, this Blue Spiritual Wisdom home decor collection can help you vibrate higher.
by Alicia Bodine, Contributing Writer
1. Salsa's and Dips for your next party. Most dips taste good when you mix them with sour cream and leave them in your refrigerator over night. The Twist n' Loc containers are perfect for this. Mix right in the container, lock the lid, refrigerate, and serve.
2. Cheerios. Mom's are always on the go. What do we take with us most often? Cheerios. They are healthy for our kids and easy to transport. The Twist n' Loc containers are great to keep the cheerios from spilling all over the car.
3. Lego's. Those Lego's are small. They could easily fit in to the Ziploc containers for quick clean up and storage.
4. As a measuring cup. Twist n' Loc containers come with measuring lines on both sides. Cooking has just become a little easier. This is also helpful for the person who is watching their weight and needs to keep an eye on their portions.
5. For freezing leftovers. Make sure you leave 1/4" to 1/2" of air space at the top for freezer expansion. Ziploc containers work just as well as the Ziploc freezer bags except your leftovers can go right from the freezer to the microwave.
6. A candy bowl. Fill your container with M & M's or Hershey's Kisses. Place in the center of your coffee table as a holiday treat for your guests.
7. Pen/Pencil holder. Keep your office organized by placing all your pens, pencils, markers, etc. in a Ziploc Twist n' Loc container. I personally keep all my paper clips in the containers. The containers can be used to keep any of your office supplies in order.
8. Gifts. Pack your favorite cookie recipe ingredients in the Ziploc containers and wrap as a holiday or birthday gift. These containers transport perfectly and are much safer than glass jars.
9. Craft Supplies. Need a container for all those cotton balls? How about your scrap booking stickers? Store your craft supplies neatly in your craft closet with the new Twist n' Loc containers.
10. Packing your lunch. Take soup to school or work. Ziploc containers are microwavable and safe from leaks.
Now you can see why I have become a big fan of the new Ziploc Twist n' Loc containers. You can buy these containers at just about any grocery store for about $3.14 (double pack). After time your containers will wear and you can replace them without spending an arm and a leg.
This article was previously published on the Yahoo Contributor Network.
Various essential oils are known for a variety of medicinal and aromatherapy properties. Lemon essential oil is no different. In fact, more uses are being discovered all the time. Here are ten of the most common household and medicinal uses for lemon essential oil, accompanied by instructions on how to use the oils for each. Orange oil and other citrus oils have some of the same uses as lemon oil. However, lemon oil seems to be more effective.
Lemon essential oil can be used in conjunction with a steam inhalation treatment for wheezing, colds, cough, and other upper respiratory problems. Note that this should not be used in those with asthma.
To take a steam inhalation treatment with lemon essential oil, fill a large bowl or pan with boiling hot water and a few drops of lemon essential oil. Place the afflicted person's head over the bowl and then place a towel over the head and bowl (in a tent-like fashion), so that no steam escapes.
The person should take a few deep breaths, breathing the vapors in deeply for a couple minutes. If at any time, the treatment causes you to feel uncomfortable, stop right away. Be careful to not get burned by the water from spills or beng too close to the bowl. As with any medical treatment, contact a licensed medical professional before starting any medical treatment.
Lemon is a disinfectant and can be used as a deodorizer, neutralizer, and air sterilizer. Simply add a few drops of the lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water. The same concoction can also be sprayed onto tables, counter tops and other surfaces. Test an inconspicuous area on the surface before use by adding a small amount and waiting 24 hours for the effect (if any). The oil can be good for many surfaces, but it also could damage some.
Lemon essential oil can be used as a mouthwash. Add a couple drops to a 4 oz glass of water and gargle. The disinfectant properties are great for germs in the mouth and for neutralizing bad breath odors, as well.
For a quick, refreshing energy boost, combine a couple drops each of lemon essential oil and peppermint essential oil in a glass of water and drink up.
Put a few drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water and spray onto the skin as an insect repellent. However, do not use this repellent method in the sun. Lemon oil can do damage to the skin if the treated skin is exposed to the sun. Avoid sun exposure for 12 hours after applying lemon essential oil to the skin. This method is best used at night or on cloudy and cool days.
Add a couple drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water. Drink the full glass. This is said to relieve heartburn symptoms by neutralizing the acid.
Cough, Sore Throat, and Fever
Adding a couple drops of lemon essential oil to your glass of water can help soothe a sore throat, calm a cough, and quell a fever. Lemon oil fights against bacteria, as well as viruses. There aren't many substances around that can do both. Many will do one or the other.
Hair, Skin, and Nails
Lemon oil can be used to fight against oily skin and hair. It also has cleansing properties and is often an ingredient in homemade hair products. One thing to keep in mind with using lemon in the hair is that if you go into the sun, the lemon oil might react in such a way that it lightens your hair up a bit. In my experience, this can make for some good highlights, if applied in the right manner. Lemon oil is also great nourishment for the nails and can help fight against nail fungus.
Lemon essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, specifically for anxiety and depression.
Memory & Thought Clarity
Lemon essential oil, when used in combination with rosemary may help increase memory, increase concentration, and provide more clarity of thought. To create this helpful blend, use 3 drops of rosemary, 3 drops of lemon oil, and diffuse it.
* The author is not a medical professional. Before using any treatments, natural or not, a licensed medical professional should be consulted.
When the fall season hits, it is time to start preparing your home for the winter and checking for simple repairs that you can do yourself. Doing this will help maintain your home for the coming months, making it a more comfortable and safe environment for you and your family. Here are 10 easy DIY repairs you should do on your home in the fall.
Leaking Kitchen Sinks
If the pipes under your sink are leaking, simply purchase a new PVC p trap and a roll of teflon tape. Removing the old one is as simple as unscrewing the fastened areas and just pulling it off. When installing the new one, place teflon tape at all the joints and screw together the joints. To get the tightest fit, use a plumbing wrench to finish off the screwing. Test your job by running the water for a few minutes. If any water leaks out, either you did not use enough teflon tape or you did not screw the parts together tight enough.
If your sink is leaking around the faucet area, rather than the pipes, you can solve this by replacing the faucet. Simply purchase a new faucet. The instructions for installing your faucet will come in the package. Each can be slightly different. You may also need caulking materials or teflon tape. Check the instructions that come with your faucet.
Much like in the kitchen, leaks need to also be addressed in the bathroom. Repairing a leak in a bathroom sin is fairly similar to replacing one in a kitchen. Toilets can also leak. Usually it is due to the ball valve kit located under the back cover. These are about 10 bucks each at a home improvement store. All you need is the kit. It is easy to install and comes with instructions.
To clean the dishwasher, first start by pulling out all the racks and attachments. Now check all the drains and soap containers for debris. Pull any of that out. Sometimes little pieces of food or glass can get stuck in those, so watch for the glass. Once that is done, check all the rubber sealing and be sure it is all secured properly. If not, adhesive rubber strips can be purchased at home improvement stores. Application is as simple as sticking the strips in the proper spot. The adhesive on these can be strong, so be sure you have it in the proper place before pressing it to the surface.
Part of maintenance also includes cleaning. For this, you'll need vinegar, concentrated lemon juice, baking soda, and a sponge or dishcloth. Sprinkle baking soda along the bottom of the dishwasher. Fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and the rest with water. Spray down the inside of the dishwasher, including the bottom, where the baking soda is. The baking soda will bubble. This is fine. That pulls up dirt and grease. Now starting at the bottom, scrub the entire inside of the dishwasher, including the door. Do not rinse away the solution. Replace the racks and fill all soap and other liquid dispensers with the lemon juice and vinegar mixture. Close them and run a normal cycle with a hot rinse and heated drying cycle.
Check the weather stripping on the interior, as well as the exterior of your home. Replace any worn or peeling areas. Damaged or improperly placed weather stripping can cause cool air to come inside the home, as well as let heat escape. Weather stripping can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores. There is stripping with adhesive or that which has to be nailed down. Apply according to which type you choose. Be sure the stripping is applied securely to the surface so that it does its job effectively.
Check interior and exterior doors and windows for cracks. Use caulking to seal any detected problem areas. To caulk a crack around a door or window, simply squeeze a line of caulking along the exposed area and swipe it with a caulking sponge to press the sealant in further, as well as to create a smooth finish. Don't forget to also purchase a caulking gun when you buy the caulk. Without one, the caulking is not as easy to apply. A caulking gun can be as low as a few dollars.
Exterior Basement Drains
Some homes can have exterior drains leading to the basement. Be sure to clear away any brush, leaves, dirt, or other debris from the drain openings. Vinegar is a great natural substance that cuts through tough-to-remove dirt and other substances. Simply spray it on from a water bottle, let it sit for a moments, clear away the debris, and wipe the surface clean with a cloth. As for the inside of the drain, run a plumbing snake or auger through the drain. If it is a short drain, a wire coat hanger can sometimes be substituted for the snake or auger if you don't have access to either. Just pull the coat hanger in and out of the drain.
Shut Off Outside Water
The fall season is a great time to shut off the access to any outside water. Doing so can prevent the freezing of the outdoor pipes around hoses and other outdoor water valves. Also, when you do this, unfasten any hoses or other devices attached to outside water valves. These should be stored away until spring.
Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
This is a good step for more than just the fall season, but be sure you check to see that all of your detection devices are working properly. Most some detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have a test button. Press that button on each to see if they work properly. With increased usage of space heaters, fireplaces, and other heating devices during the fall season, it is important that your family will have working alert devices, should a fire or natural gas problem occur.
During the fall, leaves, pine-cones, and other falling debris can get clogged in your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to poor drainage. To clean out your gutters, simply scoop out the debris that has collected. A garden trowel works well for this. Once that is done, spray the gutters out with a garden hose or pressure washer. If you are using a garden hose, attaching a high pressure spray nozzle will make this easier. If any of the tubular gutters are clogged, use a plumbing snake or auger to unclog them.
Thermostat & Heaters
It is important to be sure your thermostat and heaters are working before he weather starts to get cooler. First, test them by simply turning them on and being sure that the heat is coming out at the right temperature. If there is no heat coming from portable heaters, they should be replaced. If there is no heat coming from the furnace, you will need to test the thermostat.
To do this, first turn off your furnace. Then, return to your thermostat box and remove the cover. Remove the wires from the panel by unscrewing them from it. Take the red and white wire and wrap them together. Tape the wires you won't use to something, such as the wall, while you are working. You don't want to lose them inside the wall. Turn the the furnace back on. If the furnace blows and its burner ignites, then your thermostat is bad. If this doesn't happen, you may actually have a problem with the wires, not the thermostat. Check to make sure the wires run all the way to the furnace.
*Also found on Better Plumbing © Lyn Lomasi; Write W.A.V.E. Media
By Stacey Carroll, Write W.A.V.E. Media Contributor
When switching from renters to homeowners insurance or choosing a new homeowners policy, it’s important to understand the details of the policy as well as the cost. In general, homeowners insurance protects you against financial loss in the event of fire, theft, vandalism and covered natural disasters (rain, hail, lightening and wind). It doesn’t normally protect against floods. To be fully protected in the event of a flood, a separate flood insurance policy is generally required.
Homeowners Insurance Pitfalls and Mistakes
While homeowners insurance is designed to protect you against financial loss in the event that your home is damages by a covered event, it is important to read the details of the policy, including any specific exclusions, coverage amounts and the deductibles.
Along with floods, there are specific things that most home insurance policies do not cover, including mold and mildew damage, roofing replacements caused by the roof being past its useful life, sewerline backups, sinkholes on your property or under your home that damage its structure, insect damage, especially termites and carpenter ants and acts of war, including bombings, explosions and fire. If you expect to incur any of these damages, it may be best to purchase a home warranty along with your homeowners policy or explore other financial options that would provide you with extended coverage for the repair or replacement of your home in the event that your homeowners policy specifically excludes the cause of damage.
The amount of coverage you choose for your homeowners policy should be an amount that would cover rebuilding your home or purchasing a similar home. Choosing lesser coverage amounts can save you money on your monthly home insurance premiums, but if your home were destroyed, you may not be able to afford the repairs or the purchase of a new home. If you purchase an amount that is higher than your home’s value, you may not see that entire amount. This is because insurance companies typically only replace the current value of your home just prior to the unforeseen disaster that damaged your home.
Homeowners insurance policies come with deductibles, and it is extremely important that you choose a deductible that you can always afford. This is because insurance companies will pay you for the repairs or the replacement of your home minus your deductible.
For example, your home was burglarized and the criminals took $5,000 worth of valuables. If your deductible is $10,000, you would be responsible for replacing those items with your own financial resources. If your deductible were $1,000, your insurance company would pay you $4,000 for your loss, and you would pay $1,000 towards the replacement of your items.
When you choose a homeowners insurance policy, make sure you do more than scan the monthly premium amount. Before you make a purchase, you should ensure that the items you want covered are covered under the policy and that the policy covers the types of damage you may incur during the time you live in the home. If you can’t find an insurance policy to cover certain causes of damage or critical system failures, you will want to purchase additional insurance coverage, like flood and earthquake damage and consider purchasing a home warranty if you are buying a new home.
Looking to sell your home and maximize your profits? First, you need to raise the resale value, especially with cost-effective curb appeal. There are many ways to do so. Landscaping is said to have a 100 to 200 percent value of recovery at a sale. Other popular methods to raise resale value, such as kitchen and bath remodels, have smaller recovery rates. Some might argue that beautiful landscaping is costly, especially when going for curb appeal. Fortunately, there are cost-effective ways to get that desired curb appeal.
Patching up the Lawn
Maintaining a nice lawn for curb appeal is often thought to be expensive, but there are ways around that. For instance, when you've got dry patches, instead of spending a ton of time and money on products to re-grow that patch, consider purchasing a square of grass from your local garden center or home improvement warehouse. This way, the grass already looks nice and all you have to do at that point is insert it into your lawn and maintain it like the other areas. Grass squares are generally inexpensive. A nice, green lawn is great curb appeal.
Colorful flowers that go with the season add curb appeal by brightening up or drawing attention to the outside of a house. These flowers can be displayed in pots, a flower bed or a combination of both. Annuals often are very cost-effective, averaging under a couple dollars for six or more. These can be found at local garden centers, home improvement warehouses and big name retailers.
Falling in line with the cost-effective flower idea, window boxes add great curb appeal. They are fairly inexpensive to make or buy, and planting colorful annuals inside them can be beautiful. This makes for a very simple and cost-effective curb appeal project.
Potted plants are a great way to add cost-effective curb appeal to your landscaping or walkway. When dispersed around the landscaping and other areas, potted plants can make the outside of a home very appealing and inviting. Plain clay pots are generally the most cost-effective. To spruce them up, they can be painted with inexpensive outdoor spray paint or ceramic paint. Designs or plain colors can both work well, depending on your desired look.
A few strategically placed pedestals can also add cost-effective curb appeal to the landscaping of your home. These can be placed in the lawn, along the walkway or even at the front door. To add even more curb appeal, place a potted plant atop each pedestal.
Gutter systems can be made from a variety of materials including wood, steel, aluminum, copper and PVC. Aluminum gutters are among the highest-quality gutter systems for a variety of reasons. Rust is a common problem among gutters. However, when properly maintained and used under normal circumstances, aluminum gutters will not rust or corrode like other metal systems.
Versatility of Aluminum Gutters
Some would like their gutters to match their home. Aluminum gutters can be painted, which makes it easier to do this. Some other gutters cannot be painted, leaving less room for personalizing. Some might think that with such versatility, aluminum gutters must be costly. Quite the contrary. Because of the lightweight material, as well as other factors, aluminum gutters are very cost-effective compared with other systems.
More Customization Options
Another way to personalize aluminum gutters is to choose the shape that best matches your home. Aluminum gutters come in rounded shapes as well as those with more line definition. If you'd rather not paint your own gutters but still wish to choose a color, some vendors will offer pre-colored options, too.
Ease of Installation
Aluminum gutters are simple to install, which leaves you the option of installing them yourself or hiring someone else for the job. Since aluminum gutters are so simple to install, those looking to save money by doing the project themselves may want to choose aluminum gutters.
Saving Money & Time
The lightweight design also means that a support system is not required, which saves money and time. Aluminum gutters come in a variety of styles. One of those styles is seamless gutters. Seamless aluminum gutters can cut down on leaks since much of the gutter length is a single piece, therefore providing fewer cracks (or seams) for the water to leak through.
Vinegar is most commonly used in recipes, but were you aware that it has other benefits as well? Here are ten great uses for vinegar that you may not have thought about before. These are tailored toward regular distilled white vinegar.
Use Vinegar as a Bleach-Free Laundry Disinfectant
Do you dread using bleach to disinfect your clothes? Maybe you can't stand the smell or it makes you sick. Try using one half cup of vinegar and one fourth cup of baking soda along with your detergent in your load of laundry. It whitens, brightens, cleans, and disinfects your clothes.
Plus, it's much safer for the environment. Another bonus is that vinegar can be used on all colors. It's much less expensive than color-safe bleach, totaling about $1.50 per gallon versus 4 or 5 times that for color-safe bleach.
Use Vinegar to Clean the Fish Bowl or Tank
Do you have a fish tank or bowl with glass that is brown in some areas? When you clean the fish's residence, put a generous amount of vinegar on your cleaning cloth with a dab of liquid dish soap. The vinegar clears away the residue and disinfects the tank.
The combination of the vinegar and dish soap makes it easier to slide the cloth around. Your fish will finally be able to see you through his glass and you don't have to be embarrassed at a tank that looks as if its never been cleaned.
Vinegar Makes a Great Window Cleaner
Are you tired of spending money on expensive window cleaning sprays? Just get yourself a good water bottle. Then, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water. Next, put about 3 drops of liquid dish soap into the water. Finally, fill the remaining area with vinegar. Shake it a little bit. Let it sit for a few minutes and then voila!
Now you have a really good window-cleaning solution that costs less than a candy bar to refill and gives you a great streak-free clean for your windows and mirrors. I suggest keeping one in each bathroom, one in the kitchen, and one in each vehicle. With them in reach, you'll never have streaky, dirty windows and mirrors again.
Use Vinegar to Clean Moldy Tupperware
Does your husband tend to leave moldy storage containers and dishes in his work truck? Or maybe you leave it in the fridge too long. That's okay. Just empty them outside and bring them on in. Place them open in the sink. Put a dab of liquid dish soap in each one. Then, put about 2 tablespoons of vinegar in each. Fill the rest of the way with hot water and let them soak.
For the lids, fill the sink only high enough to cover them with a dab of dish soap and about one fourth cup of vinegar and the rest hot water. Once the lids and containers have soaked for at least 20 minutes, wash them as you normally would. I prefer to use the dishwasher as an extra disinfection/sterilization process.
Clean Your Countertops With Vinegar
Vinegar can replace your chemical-ridden kitchen counter cleaners. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Spray the counters and wipe clean. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for this. If you like to see your cleaners soap up, just add a couple drops of dish soap to the solution.
The vinegar disinfects the counters and takes away odors as well. If you have a really tough stain, put a dash of baking soda on top of it. Then, spray with your vinegar solution and wipe clean. If there is white residue, you need to spray and wipe the vinegar solution until it is gone.
Vinegar Kills Fish Odors in the Microwave
Do you like to steam your fish in the microwave, but hate the smell? Place a cup or bowl of vinegar inside the microwave with your fish. Don't cook the fish in it. It should be beside the container the fish is in. The vinegar absorbs the odor.
Use Vinegar as a Deodorizer While Cooking
This trick is good if you are cooking something that is particularly pungent in odor, such as chitterlings, fish, or fried foods. Boil a pan of vinegar diluted halfway with water. This will help to absorb the odors. Just remember to start it before you start the "stinky" foods. This also works if you are baking something and don't want the smell to go throughout the house.
Vinegar Can Be Used to ease Heartburn
If you suffer from gas or heartburn frequently, you'll want to try this one. Drink a tablespoon of vinegar right before each meal. It helps to dissolve the acids, so there won't be as much left for the heartburn to feed off of.
Clean Your Refrigerator With Vinegar
Cleaning your refrigerator with vinegar frequently helps to kill germs and keep it smelling fresh. Use the same solution used to clean the counters above.
Use Vinegar To Ward off Stinky Feet
This is the really odd one. Do you know anyone who has smelly feet? Most people know at least one person who suffers from this. The person can soak their feet in a tub that has half water and half vinegar. The vinegar takes away the smell, kills germs, and relaxes sore muscles.
So, if you know anyone like this, you may want to hint about it. Try using the muscle relaxer part, though. You don't want to lose a good friend by telling them their feet stink, unless you have the kind of relationship where this conversation would be acceptable.
Know of any other awesome uses for vinegar? Comment below!
Cottonballs are most often used for makeup removal, facial cleansing, and in removing nail polish, but did you ever think of all the other possible uses there may be? Here are ten excellent uses for cottonballs you may have never thought about.
Use cottonballs as stuffing -- Cottonballs make great stuffing for craft pillows and other stuffed crafts. They are all cotton, so they are washable. Just be sure to use plenty when stuffing and to dry the item well if you ever have to wash it.
Hard-to-reach sink cracks are no trouble for cottonballs -- Have you ever tried to get underneath, behind, and between your faucets when washing the sinks? Now you can. Use a cottonball. It flattens easily and can slide where your cloth or sponge cannot.
Quick bandages are a snap with cottonballs -- Have you ever needed a bandage when you were out of them or on the run? If you keep cottonballs and medical tape around the house, you can make a quick band-aid that works well on any sized cut. Try keeping a small baggie with cottonballs and medical tape in your purse. You never know when you may think of something else to use them for as well.
Need a quick can cover? Try a cottonball -- Have you ever opened a can of pop, only to realize you couldn't finish it? Just stick a cottonball in the hole at the top and put in the refridgerator. It won't go flat as quick it would without the cottonball. The cottonball absorbs the air. Just don't push too hard or you'll have a cottonball in your drink. Then, it won't be fresh at all.
Cottonballs keep the tears away -- Have you ever had to deal with a child who is afraid of the water getting in their eyes when shampooing their hair? Chances are you have. If your child is old enough, give the child a cottonball for each eye. Have the child close the eyes and hold a cottonball over each eye whenever you wash the hair. It helps keep the water out. Keep in mind that if you dump a large amount of water over the child's head, the cottonballs will not protect the eyes. You must also be cautious, as always.
Use a cottonball, not your fingers -- Are you not particularly fond of having diaper rash cream lingering on your hand or finger? Have no fear, cottonballs are here. Just use the cottonball to spread the cream onto the affected area.
Use a cottonball to swipe your data of fingerprints -- Do your DVDs and other CDs have your children's evidence stamped on them in the form of tiny fingerprints? Just dip a cottonball into some rubbing alcohol and wipe away the evidence.
Cottonballs make great pencil holder protectors -- Are you a perfectionist who can't stand the little pencil and pen marks at the bottom of the pencil holder? Just place some cottonballs in the bottom of the pencil holder and voila! This also takes away the annoying clinking noise the utensils make when you put them in the holder, also a must for perfectionists.
Make a Santa beard from cottonballs -- Does your child need a Santa beard and fast? Just glue some cottonballs together in a triangular shape with white glue (not school glue, just plain white all-purpose glue). You can attach it to your child's face using pipe cleaners. Just attach the pipe cleaners to the cottonball concoction by twisting them around the tips of each side and then bring the pipe cleaners around your child's ears like glasses.
Prevent scratches on your computer desk with cottonballs -- Does your computer keyboard, laptop, or monitor make scratches on your nice desk? Just glue cottonballs to the bottom corners or all along the entire bottom edge with E-6000 glue.
Hydrogen Peroxide is most commonly used to treat cuts and scrapes, but did you know there were many other uses as well? Even if you knew, aren't you curious to see how many you've tried and how many you haven't?
Helpful Hints Before Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Before using any of these, you should remember to always keep the peroxide in the dark container it comes in. Once it has been exposed to air and light, it loses some of its efficacy. It is best to use it straight from the bottle and right away after you take it from the bottle with a cloth or tissue.
It's also important to remember to be safe with peroxide. If swallowed, it can be harmful and should be kept out of reach of children. Should accidental poisoning occur, you should contact a poison control center and possibly 911 immediately. If a large amount is swallowed, 911 should be called rather than poison control. This goes for adults as well as children.
Ten Awesome Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide
Mouthwash - Hydrogen Peroxide can be used as an alternative to mouthwash. It disinfects the mouth, freshens the breath, and whitens the teeth all in one step. Of course, you'll still need toothpaste, but you won't need your mouthwash anymore. This costs less and is more effective. Just ask your dentist or doctor about it and they're likely to agree. Use it every day right after each brushing and flossing. All you need is about a capful. Swish it around for 30 seconds, just like mouthwash. Don't rinse your mouth out afterwards.
Countertop & Cutting Board Sanitizer - If you need to sanitize your countertops, hydrogen peroxide will do so, killing the germs and even salmonella. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half hydrogen peroxide, spray and wipe clean. Keep in mind that using this solution will discolor or damage some surfaces, so do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first and then wait 24 hours to see what happens. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as an effective means of sanitizing your cutting boards. It will kill salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Use the same solution as you would for sanitizing countertops.
Toothbrush Rinse - Rinse your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide before and after each use to keep it sanitary.
Bleach Alternative - If you need an alternative to bleach, you can add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to your load of laundry. It even gets out blood. Be careful, though because it really does bleach. Don't use it any dyed clothing, only whites.
Fight Mold - Peroxide is effective against some toxic molds, but be aware that it doesn't kill germs from all of them, so it's best to leave it up to the professionals. However, I do recommend applying it in areas of your bathroom that are prone to mold, such as the cracks in the caulking of the bathtub and shower.
Computer Keys & Screen - Peroxide is a great cleaner for your computer keys as well. It kills the bacteria and air dries quickly, so the equipment doesn't get damaged. While you're at it, it's also safe for the screen, outside of the computer, outside of speakers, and the outside of any other equipment.
Bathroom Mirrors - Peroxide cleans the bathroom mirrors without leaving behind any smears, plus since it kills bacteria, you have the added benefit of knowing it's okay for your kids to kiss the mirror. Oh, come on, you know they love to do it.
Treat Acne - You can use peroxide to treat acne as well. It's the main ingredient in most acne medicines and the other ingredients in them aren't necessary. Just apply it to the affected area once or twice a day and watch how quickly the acne disappears.
Kill Bathroom Bacteria - You can keep a spray bottle of peroxide in the bathroom. Use it to spray the shower/tub, sink, and toilet area to keep away bacteria and viruses. Spray regularly.
Clean Off Fruits & Veggies - You can use it to clean fruits and vegetables. Here's how: Fill your sink with cold water. Then, add 1/4 cup peroxide and some salt. Scrub the vegetables and rinse them. This kills any lingering viruses or bacteria. It also keeps the food fresher longer.
If you don't have hydrogen peroxide in your cabinet, get some today!
Your home is likely where you'll spend a great deal of your time, so you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Former customers at both the large craft store and the home improvement retailer I once worked for would ask me advice on their homes all the time. Comfort was a popular topic. These five ways will help make your home more comfortable.
Soothing and Warm Colors Help Create Comfort at Home
Colors can really enhance a person's mood if done correctly. Choosing soothing and warm colors for the walls and furniture can make a home feel more comfortable. Light and soft hues of blue and green can often be comforting. Some yellows can also have this effect. Avoid extra bright yellows when going for relaxation. Lean more toward goldenrod to give off a happy, yet comforting feel. Mixing the yellows and blues - and even adding some soft green - adds to the effect.
Use Feng Shui Techniques to Help Make Your Home More Comfortable
Many swear by Feng Shui techniques to enhance comfort and mood in a home. Check out a few books at the library to read up on Feng Shui techniques. A great number of my friends and family members say they've benefited from using these in their home's interior design. I've used this method as well with great results. Try applying some Feng Shui techniques to enhance comfort in your home.
A Variety of Seating Options Adds Comfort to the Home
One day you might feel like sitting in a chair. Another, you may feel like lounging in a recliner or on the couch with your feet propped up. Choosing a variety of seating options is a great way to make your home more comfortable. If you have a large family like I do, this is an excellent way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.
Choose Furniture Anyone Can Use for Added Comfort
If you have kids or you entertain guests often, choose furniture that everyone can use. Pick darker colors or materials that can be cleaned easily. You don't want to have seating furniture in your home that no one is even going to sit on. Couches with a wider seating area tend to accommodate everyone better and can be more comfortable.
Also, be sure to have some throw pillows handy. Throw pillows are a good idea if you're pregnant or have back problems and can help make furniture more comfortable. If you have pets, be sure to choose furniture that's comfortable for you, but that you won’t mind them messing up - or that is easy to clean.
Use Soft Lighting to Add a Comforting Feel to Your Home
Soft lighting can be very soothing and relaxing to many. Choose light bulbs with a low wattage or use dimmers to create a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Soft lighting should be used throughout the house. Try to avoid bright lights, such as fluorescent lighting fixtures. Whenever customers would ask me about comfort lighting, I would always recommend bulbs with the lowest wattage. Brighter lights can create the opposite effect.
As technology advances, some people are finding they no longer use their home phone. Many ditch them all together once everyone in the household has a cell phone. Is this the right direction for your household to go in? Do you really need that home phone? We've been cutting back our budget in various areas to save for a move across country. The home phone is one area we all agreed on.
Who actually dials your home phone?
How many of your friends and family rely on your land line to get in touch with you? In our household, the answer was little to none. Everyone calls our cell phones first. Our home phone number was only known to a handful of people and few of those people ever even used it.
The majority of rings to our home phone were telemarketers, prank callers, or people dialing the wrong number. We spent an awful lot of time fielding calls we didn't want or that weren't even designated for us.
How often do you dial out using your home phone?
Answer this honestly. If you have a cell phone sitting next to you, are you really going to get up and use that land line? Admittedly, we were old-fashioned with it and had a corded land line. Even if you have a cordless phone, it can be inconvenient, especially if you forgot to charge it. Reception also tends to be clearer on a corded phone than a cordless one.
For those reasons, we had the wired phone. But that had its drawbacks too, like not being able to move around as much. Also, long-distance calls (to the US and Canada) are free with unlimited usage on our cell phone plan, while we had to pay extra for those on the land line. So we usually ended up just not using it.
Is your home phone easy to use?
Between static on the line and having to remember to actually put the phone back on the receiver occasionally, it can be a pain. Cell phones have come a long way and in our experience, often have much clearer reception than the land line. On some of those rare occasions we did use the land line, I can recall conversations where one of us had to call the other party back on a cell phone in order to hear them properly.
What about emergencies?
A land line can definitely be a great backup in the case of an emergency. But it isn't the only backup method available. We have multiple cell phones in our home, so there should always be one available. But since they were all on the same plan, we figured there should be another method.
We also have one of those phones that minutes are purchased for, which uses a completely different phone company. Emergency calls are always free on this phone, even if there are no minutes. The reception is also clear, even in places where we cannot use our main cell phones or a land line.
Is your home phone worth the cost?
Consider how much you pay each month to keep your land line. Is your usage of it worth this cost? Some may say yes, even if there is only one person they communicate with on a land line. There might be that one family member who won't remember a new number. Yet others would ditch it in an instant to save a little money. We fell somewhere in between.
For us, even though we didn't use the home phone, we somehow felt we should have it. But we decided that since we hardly ever use it, it wasn't as valuable as it may have seemed. Eliminating a land line will save us $350 - $480 per year. That isn't a large amount but it's a considerable amount to spend on something you don't use. Therefore, since it was a service we rarely used, we decided we didn't need to be paying for it every month.
Are you using a home phone, cell phone, or both? How's it working for you?
LAST UPDATED 2/24/2022
Is your organization technique missing some steps? Do you even have a plan? If your household tasks are getting out of control, you need to get organized. Even if your to-do list is monumental, you can get it done by organizing your household tasks step by step. My natural multi-tasking tendencies have gotten me into trouble a few times. But with a little organization, it can all be put back together.
Step One: Make a list of every household task.
Before you can even get started, you need to have a clear breakdown of every single thing you do. From vacuuming the stairs, to dusting, to dishes, and so much more, don't leave anything off your list.
It's important to get everything on there so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. If you leave things off, it pretty much defeats the purpose of making a list for organizing household tasks to begin with.
Step Two: Organize the list by timeliness.
Make a column each for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Go through your tasks one by one and place them in the appropriate column, according to how often they need to be done. Not all aspects of cleaning and other household chores need to be done every day.
For instance, paying the bills can be cut to weekly or even monthly, depending. Vacuuming the basement room no one uses should not be taking up time every day. You know which tasks you should and should not do every day, even if you don't exactly follow that right now.
Step Three: Eliminate or slow down on unnecessary tasks.
You may find there are some things you are doing too often, which takes time away from other tasks. For instance, do you really need to dust the ceiling fan twice a day every day? Really? You could be doing something more productive, like tackling that huge pile of dishes that sat overnight.
Prioritizing is a big part of organizing household tasks. Look through your list and find things that you really don't need to be doing or things that can be minimized. Leave deep cleaning to the weekly and monthly task list, so that you can tackle more of your daily tasks efficiently.
Step Four: Designate some tasks to another person, if possible.
If you have kids and/or a partner or spouse, this will be easier to do. In that case, you should definitely not be the only one completing household tasks and chores. If you don't have anyone else to share tasks with or there are too many, consider hiring someone.
Not all families can afford to do this. But if you can, it can reduce some of the time you spend cleaning and organizing. Household tasks can take up a great deal of time, especially if there are more chores than your household members should be expected to do.
Step Five: Test it out and adjust as necessary.
Once you have completed the other four steps, it's time to try out your new plan in action. If you aren't seeing a difference, then it's time to readjust steps two through four. Keep testing and readjusting until you have a plan that works well. Organizing household tasks is a daunting job.
But it's certainly better than running around like crazy and accomplishing what seems like hardly anything. Once you get down a routine that works, stick to it and you'll see a major improvement in your household organization and most likely some extra time to enjoy yourself.
LAST UPDATED 2/24/2022
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