Hacks You Should Know About

Here are some hacks that will help out in multiple areas of your daily life. You should know about these because they are really awesome.

I bet there are a lot of you that have empty CD spindles with lids. Use them to take bagels to work or on a picnic. They are perfect for it. Picture is from www.pinterest.com.

Bagle in CD Spindle

When you break anything glass and aren’t sure whether or not you got up all of the splinters when you swept up the glass, there are two alternatives that you can choose from to make sure.                                                                                                                         The first alternative is to take some damp paper towels and wipe over the area and make sure that nothing comes up on the paper towels. If anything comes up, then repeat the process until no glass shards come up on the paper towels.                                                 The second alternative is to take a strip of heavy duty packing tape and go over the area lightly. I say lightly, so that if there are any glass shards that cling to the tape you won’t cut your hand. If there are any shards, repeat the process until the tape comes up with no glass shards on it.

Heavy Duty Shipping Tape can be used in many ways. Some are listed below. The picture is from products3.3m.com.

Heavy Duty Shipping Tape

To keep from having to buy expensive lint remover roller refills, just tear off some heavy duty shipping tape. The glue is probably stronger on the shipping tape than on the lint roller anyway.

Use the heavy duty shipping tape to clean down in the crevices of your furniture. You can fold it up to make it go in the cracks easier. You will probably be surprised how much dirt the tape brings back up with it.

Use the heavy duty shipping tape to clean around your baseboards, window sills, and doorways. The strong glue can pick up dirt that dust rags can’t.

I used to take the end of a new roll of tape, where the piece of paper is so that you can find the starting edge, and fold some of the tape over and over it to make a holder so that you could always get the end very easily. After discovering the bread tags, I no longer have to go to all of that trouble. Now I can just use a bread tag, after I get my next bread with a tag and not a twist tie. I got the picture off of Google.

Bread Tab Tape Holder

In an earlier blog, I mentioned other uses for bread tag or clips. This one I just heard about today, and found the picture tonight  on Google. It’s says wikiHow on the bottom of it.

Bread Tag Repair For Flip-Flops                                                                                                                                                                                                                         If you have a pair of flip flops that are broken due to a split in the sole, use a bread tag to fix it. It fits around the toe piece perfectly. Glue the tag to the flip-flop right under the bottom of the toe piece. If you are afraid that just one won’t do the trick, then put a second one on it.

Whenever I am hammering a nail is somewhere, I always remember the time when I was trying to put boards down, in the attic where I lived, so that I could store stuff up in the attic. For a pretty good time, I was doing fine, next thing I knew I had whammed my finger with the hammer while my finger was on the top of the nail. The flat top of the nail cut into my finger really bad. My finger started bleeding and wouldn’t stop. I got up to get out of the attic and my foot slipped and my whole leg went through the ceiling right in the living room. Not a very good day. I started using a pair of pliers to hold the nail, whenever I was hammering one in after that. Then I started using a clothespin, because the clothespin would hold on to the nail by itself. There was not a chance that I would miss the nail and pliers holding the nail and hit my hand. I Googled to find a picture of a clothespin holding a nail and found the one below. The picture is from www.realsimple.com. There is also a device at hardware stores with different size slots in it to hold different size nails.

clothespin holding nail

Believe it or not, there are other things that ice trays can be used for besides ice.

Make freezer pops for the kids. Pour fruit juice of drink mixes that have been mixed up into the ice tray. If you catch them just before they freeze you can put plastic spoons in the individual cubes as handles. Put them into water as ice or the drink that the cubes were made out of, so when they melt, they won’t dilute the drink.

cool aid in ice trays

Put coffee into the ice trays for when you want ice coffee, the frozen coffee wont dilute the iced coffee like actual ice cubes will.The picture is from cookinfordummies.wordpress.com

coffee ice cubes

You can put individual eggs into each cube area and freeze them to use whenever a recipe calls for eggs. After the eggs have frozen, put them in a freezer bag and take out however many you need as you need them. It will save a lot of time by not having to crack the eggs at the time you need them. The picture is from www.littlethings.com

cracked eggs in ice tray

You can use the ice trays to hold little miscellaneous things in your junk drawer, or different jewelry items in your jewelry drawer.. Picture is from www.pinterest.com and from thekrazycouponlady.com

ice tray with misc junk  jewelry in ice tray

You can also use ice trays in your sewing box. Picture is from www.nationalquilterscircle.comwww.nationalquilterscircle.com

bobbin-ice-trays-resized

I hope some of these hacks will come in  handy for you.

 

 

 

Some Easy Easter Hacks

Easter is fast approaching, so here are some easy hacks to help you along.

Kelly Bagnasco had a neat idea on her Facebook. It was on how to make an edible Easter Basket. You will need a piece of sturdy cardboard for the bottom of the basket, boxes of candy for the sides of the basket(the number of boxes necessary depends on how big you want the basket to be), wrapped candy, that is in wrappers so that the candy can be bent, to use for the handle. Hot glue the boxes to the cardboard and to each other, and then hot glue the ends of the bendable candy to the boxes and to each other. Fill the basket with whatever you want, and then watch the children have fun eating the candy out of the boxes and the bendable wrappers. Now you don’t have to worry about storing the Easter Baskets because all you have is empty boxes and wrappers. The picture shows only one box of candy for each side. You may glue as many boxes together as you wish to get the basket as big as what you want it to be.

Edible Easter Baskets

Use a plastic pasta fork when dying the Easter Eggs. The eggs won’t fall off and you won’t burn or dye your fingers. Picture from www.potsandpans.com

A Pasta Fork

Different ways to decorate hard boiled eggs:

1.  Use a crayon to put designs on the egg before actually dying it. The dye will not stick to the wax crayon and will result in whatever design you drew on the egg remaining uncolored after the dyeing is done. Only the places where there was no crayon will be dyed.

2. Use water color paints to draw on the designs. No clothes will be damaged with water colors. Anything that is spilled will easily be washed out in the washing machine.

3. Use small cups to dye one end at a time of the egg. The results will be a multi colored egg instead of an egg with just one color on it. Let them dry in the egg carton on their sides, or in a muffin tin.

4. Use small decals to make pictures on the eggs, or use temporary children’s tattoos for the pictures.

5. Now is the time to use whatever fingernail polish that is left in the bottom of the bottles that you just couldn’t make yourself throw away. Have fun polishing pictures on the eggs.

6. You can use cotton swabs to put the coloring on the eggs in a more controlled way than dunking them. If you don’t have cotton swabs you can make them by taking toothpicks and using cotton balls to wrap some cotton on the ends of them.

7. You can also use finger paints to decorate the eggs.

 

I have heard that finger nail polish remover will take scuff marks off of white shoes. I have never tried it myself, but some people have said it works fairly well.

When hard boiling the eggs, as soon as they are done, put them in cold water with some ice cubes in it for about 10 to 15 minutes. The eggs should be easier to peel when it is time to peel them. I know that it works when you peel them as soon as you cool them down this way, but I have not tried it after the eggs have been sitting for a day or two.

Some Smartphone Hacks and a DIY Tablet Holder

Here are some hacks you can use with your smartphone. Hope some of them come in handy for you. There is also a hack on how to make a tablet stand you can use to watch movies in bed.

Make use of plastic storage bags. Whenever I go out when it is raining, I try to remember to put my phone in a plastic storage bag. The bags are handy if you are going to a pool to keep water from getting into it. Use one if you are going to the beach to keep the sand out of your phone. Picture is from www.piddle.me

cell-phone-in-ziploc-bag-piddle

If you need a little more sound than what you are getting from your phone, just put it in a glass or a cup and the sound will be louder. Picture is from www.teengazette.com  You can also use a toilet paper roll. Picture is from www.youtube.com

Cell Phone In Glass  cell phone in toilet paper roll

Do you need a flashlight in a pinch and don’t have one, but you have your phone, use  the your camera light on your phone. Picture is from www.dreamstime.com

cell-phone-recto-verso-camera-flash-ba-11199397

For those that own cassette tapes, you know that the cases to them will stay open when you take the cassette out. After your tape has messed up, hang on to the plastic case. You can use it for a stand for your cell phone. Picture is from www.labnol.org

cell phone in cassette case

To make your own phone stand, take a toilet paper roll and cut out a space in the center of it, you have a stand for your phone. It can also be used for a speaker. Picture is from www.youtube.com

cell phone in toilet paper roll

People that have trouble remembering where they park their car have a solution now. All you have to do is take a picture or pictures so that you can see where you parked. If you are in a parking garage, take a picture of the level number and if possible, the space number. If you are in the parking lot of a shopping center or store, take a picture facing the store, and then take one looking out at your car. Between the two pictures, you should be able to tell where you parked.

When you need to charge your phone, but all that you have is the cable, try to find a TV that has a USB port on the side or the back of it.  Plug your cable into it and charge your phone. Notice the USB IN port towards the top center of the picture.

2016-02-23 00.56.48

There is a way to have a tablet holder so you can watch movies in bed. You need to get an adjustable computer stand and some kind of small storage container. I used the one where I had sewing supplies in it. Set the stand where you will be able to see the tablet easily, put the tablet on the computer stand and then put the storage container behind it and you have a tablet stand. I did this just this past weekend when I was trying to figure out how to watch movies from the tablet while in bed. See pictures below.

2016-02-22 01.59.47  2016-02-22 02.00.00

 

 

 

 

Easy Hacks For Your Hair

 

To get moisture out of your wet hair, just pat it with a towel.

Gently pat your hair with your towel to get out extra moisture,when you first get out of the shower. Rubbing your hair with the towel just leads to frizzy hair.

 

 Use a toothbrush and hairspray to tame frizz.

To keep your hair from being fizzy, you have to do a balancing act with your hairspray. If you don’t use enough it won’t do anything so far as holding your hair in place. If you use too much spray, you’ll end up with very stiff hair. To get just enough hair spray, use an old toothbrush. By doing this, you will get just the right amount of hair spray to tame frizz. After spraying the toothbrush just run it over the pesky strands that won’t behave. Your hair will be held in place without turning it into a helmet.

Curl your hair by starting in the middle of it .

When using a curling iron, you need to start at the middle of your section of hair. Don’t start at the ends, like most women and girls do. Your hair will stay wavy longer.

 

Apply hairspray using your hands.

Don’t just spray your hair with reckless abandon. Spray some hairspray on your hands first and then run them through your hair to fight unruly hair. This will eliminate getting an overly stiff look.

Before you go to bed, use dry shampoo to clean it.

When you know that you won’t have time to wash your hair in the morning, don’t worry. All you need to do is to apply dry shampoo to your hair right before you go to bed. While you are sleeping, the shampoo will be working itself into your hair. You will wake up with clean   hair in the morning.

 

Use the two ponytail trick to put more volume in your hair.

Want your hair to look longer and fuller?  Put the top half in a ponytail, gather the bottom half of your hair and put it into a lower ponytail. Afterwards you will have two ponytails, one on top of the other. The lower hair tie will be hidden by the top ponytail. The results will make it look like you have one long, high ponytail.

 

For curls in the morning, braid your hair wet .

By braiding your hair after your shower at night (either with a series of small braids or one French braid, depending on your hair type and desired style) you can avoid using a hair dryer or curlers. Leave the braids in while you sleep. After you wake up and get dressed, undo the braids. Use some hair spray to spritz the resulting waves. Then just scrunch with your hands to get bouncy waves.

 

Use hairspray to keep your bobby pins in place. 

For those of you that have straight hair and bobby pins won’t stay put, just spread out your bobby pins on a towel and spray them with either dry shampoo or hairspray . To evenly distribute the hairspray or dry shampoo on your bobby pins, carefully pick up the towel by the corners and shake it a bit. Rest easy knowing the bobby pins won’t slip out after you style your hair and place them in it.

 

You can get volume overnight.

When you want to get a voluminous look, wash your hair before you go to bed and add a little volumizing gel. Then twist it up into a bun on top of your head. If you’re worried about your hair being frizzy you can wear a beanie over your hair. When you wake up in the morning, blow dry your hair for a couple minutes, while it is still in the bun. You’re done, so now let your bouncy hair down.

 

To get curls, flat iron your braids .

When you don’t have time to intricately curl your straight hair, separate your hair into six or so sections and braid it. Then heat the braids with a flat iron. When you undo the braids, you will have curly hair. Voilà, you’ve done it.

Binder Clips Hacks, Colors of Bread Ties and Tags, Fresh Produce Codes

Some people may not know it, but produce stickers tell what type of environment the produce was grown in. The colors of bread tags and ties tell what day the bread was made. The codes for the colors are given below. The middle two picture show the color codes for bread tags and ties as well as a way to recycle the bread tags in the office, the computer room or on the computer desk. The last part shows binder clips, and some of the hacks possible by using them.

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The picture below is from http://www.amazing-stories.net/found-out-what-the-small-stickers/2/

When you know what the codes stand for, even if there isn’t an explanation as to what type of produce it is, it won’t matter. There are three different types of codes that tell what environment the fresh produce was grown in. The types are Organic, Conventional, and GMO.

A 5 digit code that starts with the number 9 means that the produce is Organic and was grown naturally not using and chemicals. 9 Is Fine

A 4 digit code that starts with 4 means that the produce was grown using chemicals and pesticides. Whenever I know that produce was grown the conventional way, I always wash it before I eat it. I feel safer that way. After I wash it, I figure I can eat it without becoming ill from it.

A 5 digit code that starts with an 8 means that the produce is a product of GMO engineering. In other words, it is a Genetically Modified Organism. 8, I hate.

 

Produce Stickers Codes

3107_PLU_code_orange       mango-conventionally-grown-PLU-code-4959

The mango above is not organic.  It is conventionally grown.  I don’t like that word choice because it sounds so… normal.  It is a sad state of our farming practices when it is “normal” to spray food intended for human consumption with poison.  No wonder people continue to get sicker.   If you see on the label a number beginning with a 3 or 4, that food could contain poisons like pesticides and herbicides and could have been grown with synthetic fertilizer from petroleum.  I would much prefer a mango that had a PLU code starting with a “9″, which is “fine”.

If an apple is conventionally grown and starts with a 3 or 4, I wash the apple, then peel the skin off and discard.  There are probably poisons sprayed on the skin and I do not feel right about feeding that to my family or myself.

Apples

3 or 4

If we buy 3 or 4, we are sure to wash the food thoroughly before cooking or eating.  The orange peel above could be saturated with poisons, so I would not use the peel in any recipe.

I got some of this off of Google with the following  Reference:  http://energyfanatics.com/2009/04/24/fruit-label-organic-genetically-engineered/

I Googled what GMO means and this is the first result.

Genetically Modified Organisms
     GMO Tomato     This picture is from theodysseyonline.com
If you’ve shopped in a natural foods store in recent months, you’ve no doubt seen products bearing the label “GMO-free” or “contains only non-GMO ingredients.” The acronym GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, which refers to any food product that has been altered at the gene level.
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The picture below is from 710keel.com. You will notice that the colors of the twist ties are the same as the colors of the bread tags in the picture below this one. We all probably grew up believing that bread was baked everyday. The colors and days of these twist ties and tags tells us otherwise. This way we will know what are the best days to go buy bread. You just need to know what time the bread delivery comes that day, so you won’t get there before the bread has even been delivered. Since bread is not baked on Wednesday, if you buy bread on Wednesday, it is day old bread. The same goes for Sunday. But I would think that Sunday would be obvious though. Even growing up, I don’t think anybody ever thought that bread was baked on Sunday.

Bread Twist Tie Colors

The picture below is from theideaking.blogspot.com. These are bread tags.

Bread Color Codes

The picture below is from hubpages.com. This shows a really unique way to recycle the bread tags. You can use them to identify the numerous cords that are necessary to use any computer and all of its’ attached machines such as a printer, the speakers, a DVD burner and so on.

Bread Clips

 

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The first picture below is from www.buzzfeed.com. This is a really nifty way to make sure that whenever you have to disconnect your computer, or any of the machines that are attached to it, the cords will not fall behind the desk.                                                                       Here is a link to a video on the topic of hacks using binder clips  <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/prG3qWjp4Nk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

The second picture is from www.instructables.com. The binder clips make a good phone holder.

Binder Clips Hacks Binder Clip for Phone

The picture of the cord organizer idea is from www.unorganizedmommy.com.

The toothpaste tube holder is from www.survivalkit.com. The idea can be used on any type of squeeze tube.

Binder Clips - Organized Cords   Binder Clip - Tube Holder

The above pictures

Just Some Personal Hacks

Here are just a few hacks that I use now, or have used in the past.

  1. If you don’t have time to wash your hair, but your hair is oily, use baby powder in it. Sprinkle some baby powder in the top of your hair and wipe your hands over it to get it to cover the oiliest part of your hair. If your hair is white, then you either used too much baby powder, or you didn’t wipe it into your hair well enough.
  2. For those of you that have babies still in diapers, there is a fairly easy and inexpensive way to help with the discomfort of diaper rash. Purchase a bottle of liquid antacid like Mylanta or Mayo-lox and dab it on the diaper rash with cotton balls. This works for the occasional yeast infection in the leg folds, under the breasts, and under the arms as well.
  3. For those of you who crochet, here is something that you may be able to use. I am crocheting scarves for friends and others, and when they start to get long it is hard to keep the scarf on my lap while I am crocheting. I took a storage bag and rolled up most of the part that I had already crocheted and put it in the bag. As I finish each row and go to turn the scarf around to head back in the other direction, the scarf stays rolled up in the storage bag instead of falling on the floor.                                                                                                                                            2016-02-11 22.13.26   2016-02-11 22.14.58                         Lately I have found it really hard to locate any stitch place holders in the stores and so have resorted to safety pins. They work really well. You may see what I am talking about in the picture below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2016-02-11 22.15.19
  4. In the pictures below, you will see how I stabilized my collapsible yarn drum with pieces of Mylar being taped together and then being inserted into the drum. The instructions are in another post of my hacks, “Stabilizing A Collapsible Yarn Drum”. The main thing that I wanted to show here was the newest addition to my yarn drum, the trimmed piece of Mylar that separates the piece that I am crocheting from my other skein(s) of yarn and other crocheting supplies. The last three pictures show it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2015-12-26 21.02.20  2015-12-26 21.04.492015-12-26 21.04.06  2015-12-26 21.06.45                                           2015-12-26 21.05.55  2016-02-11 22.16.45                                          2016-02-11 22.17.28  2016-02-11 23.05.15

Notice To All Of My Readers

Notice To All Of My Readers

After having to go through the loss of my friend’s parents dog last month, I never thought that something like that would happen any too soon again. I was oh so wrong.

My guinea pig, Alisha is now resting in peace. Here is a picture of me holding Alisha, my furry baby, and of her getting ready to give me kisses. I loved her so dearly. My friend had listened with a stethoscope and had heard at least three if not four baby’s heartbeats. I was so excited that we were going to have babies again. This was to be the last time. We never let any of our guinea pigs have more than three litters and this was her third litter.

2015-08-22 20.12.272015-08-22 20.00.44

Wednesday, February 3rd, she seemed to be going into labor to have her babies. When I woke up Wednesday morning, there was every indication that she was in labor and had already had one still born baby. There was a lot of blood covered bedding in the cage. I was a little sad not to see a live baby, but not too concerned because I didn’t know how long it had been since she had had the still born baby.

2016-02-05 15.35.17

She was just staying in the corner being very quiet. I tried to pet her, but all she would do was shiver all over. I left her alone to see if she would finish having the babies. After about three or four hours I went to check on her and see how many babies she had had. To my dismay, she had not had any more babies, but was still bleeding. I thought that she was still having babies, but apparently they were all being still born. It was a very sad time not to see any live babies.

On Thursday, February 4th, when I first looked in on her, she was just the same as I had left her the night before. I also noticed that she had not eaten anything and had not had any water either. I had put a piece of tape on the line where the water was to check on her water intake.

2016-02-05 15.35.17

Throughout the day I continued to check on her and to pet her. Being scared that she was not going to make it, I had my friend to take some pictures of me holding her, for what could possibly be the last time. They are below.

IMG_0303(2)IMG_0302

IMG_0303

A few hours later I went back to check on her, but still no more babies. Not knowing anything else to do, I covered her cage up and left her alone for the night hoping to see babies in the morning.

But, that was not to happen. Much to my dismay, in the morning, Friday, February 5th, there still were no live babies to be seen. But Alisha was still very big, so I knew that there were still babies to be born.  But she was sitting in the corner differently from what she had been the day before. Now she was pressing her head up against the side of the cage and breathing very quickly. The carrot that I had given her the night before was dried up and still beside her. Obviously she still was not eating or drinking

2016-02-05 15.35.30

My friends and I started trying to force water into her by using a small syringe and giving her a few drops at the time. We were hoping that after doing that, she would have the babies. So once again, we left her alone for three or four hours at the time, in between trying to give her water. At around 7:00 PM I went to check on her, and to hold her and hug her just for a little while. I had my friend to listen to her and to see if he could hear the babies’ heart beats. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear any and could barely hear her heart beat. He thought that she had a collapsed lung. When I picked her up, she had an accident on me.

2016-02-05 19.43.22

I was a little alarmed, but thought that maybe she was getting ready to have her now dead babies. That, she had been in labor too long and the babies had all died. So once again, I went out and left her alone for an hour. My thoughts were that if she had the dead babies, just maybe, then she could rebound and be OK. At least that was what I was hoping.

At 8:00 PM I went back to check on her and her babies. There were no babies, and she was not breathing either. I had my friend to listen again, and he confirmed my worst fears. Alisha had died. She had died from the exhaustion of trying to have her babies. She had apparently been pushing so hard to have them that her lung collapsed and she just could not rebound from that stress. At least she is no longer suffering from her ordeal. I will miss her dearly.

All day Saturday (yesterday), February 6, I was just sort of in shock. I had been counting on watching the last babies grow up and go to loving homes. That was not to happen. Instead, I had to say “Good-Bye” forever to Alisha, my furry baby.

I am sorry that I have been unable to do my blogs during this time, but to me, my furry baby was more important. I loved her so much. I watched her grow up from the day she was born, and I bought her from my friends, when she was old enough to be taken away from her mother. It had been a wonderful time with her, and I certainly was not ready to let her go. I know that at least she will not suffer anymore.

I hope that this is the end of anybody that I know losing a pet to an untimely death. They are having a really bad effect on me lately, and I am sort of befuddled to understand as to why.

Hacks For The Microwave

These are hacks that you use in your microwave.

  1. To clean your microwave very easily:

Take one lemon and cut it in half.                                                                                             In a small bowl put 1/2 cup of water.                                                                                         Squeeze both halves of the lemon in the water and put the squeezed lemon halves in too.   Put in microwave for 3 minutes.                                                                                               Take out of microwave and swish the mixture around.                                                       Put it back into the microwave and let it sit for five minutes.                                                    Remove from microwave and wipe it out.

2. Second version – put a small bowl of water in microwave for two minutes and wipe out.

If you need to heat two things in the microwave at the same time, but they won’t both fit. Put a glass upside down in the microwave and put the second thing on it and heat it up.

3. A third way to easily clean the microwave is to put a handful of wet paper towels in the microwave for about 4 or 5 minutes. When the towels cool down, just use them to wipe off the softened up food.

4. I have heard that if you cut both ends off of an onion and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds then when you cut it there won’t be any tears.

5. It is possible to steam a postage stamp off of a letter in the microwave. All you have to do to steam it off is to put a couple of drops of water on it and put it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. The stamp will come off very easily.

6. If you have crystallized honey in a glass jar, take the lid off,  put it in the microwave for about two minutes and the honey will be back to normal.

7. To make lemons or limes super juicy, put them in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. They will come out easy to squeeze and very juicy.

8. To make peaches or tomatoes easy to peel, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds and them let them sit for about two minutes. The peelings will easily come off.

9. When your brown sugar gets all clumped up like a rock, you can make it become soft again. Dampen a paper towel and close it up tightly in the box. Put the whole thing in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. The sugar will soften up.

10. For easy heat compresses, take a wash cloth or a hand towel and wet it. Put it in the microwave for about one minute. It will come out nice and hot to be able to use it as a hot compress.