Monday, 31 March 2014

Play the Kitchen Game

I find that waiting in the kitchen for things like the kettle to boil, the microwave to ping or the washing machine to finish tends to be dead time when there is just a few minutes left.  There's no point in going elsewhere to do anything - by the time I get there, the time will be up and I just will have to go back to whatever it was I was doing in the kitchen.  So I just hang around, waiting.

But I spotted a good way to take advantage of this time - play the kitchen 'game'! Grab a cloth and see how much you can wipe down, put clean dishes, glasses and crockery away, empty the recycling, anything that yu can quickly do to tidy just a little. And stop whenever what you are waiting for has finished! You'll be amazed to see how much can be accomplished with little effort and in very little time.

Friday, 28 March 2014

DIY Bath Bombs

I must admit, this post is mainly selfish as I plan to make these and don't want to forget where I found them.  But they are genius! They are fragranced bath bombs that you can make yourself, quickly, easily and cheaply.  The full instructions can be found on a website called 'Something Turquoise'.

All you need is to measure out baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), citric acid, witch hazel and whatever fragrance and colourant you like. Mix it all up till clumpy and firm.  Choose a mould - the developer of the bath bombs used a mini muffin tray. Pack in the mixture, leave for 10 minutes or so and then turn out on to wax paper to dry. They can then be used as gifts, wedding favours, or just keep them yourself!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Funny Top Tip!

I would also hope my children would do this for me!  And again, I don't think it's something necessarily for the future - any institutional stopover requires a little alcohol IMHO...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Removing Stains from Mugs and Cups

Tea and coffee does stain one's mugs and teacups which is annoying and ugly.  A simple way to remove these is to wipe with a little baking soda - or, as we know it, bicarbonate of soda - then rinse with water for spotless drinking vessels!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Remembering to do things in the middle of the night...

Have you ever had this happen?

My top tip is to keep a notepad by the side of the bed.  That way, you can write down whatever it is you think of at, say 3am, and know that it will be recorded for the morning.  And it will help you sleep as you won't be worrying that it will be forgotten!

Funny Top Tip!

If you hear one of these comments, it seems you can be sure it is actually a lie... or perhaps an unintended half-truth!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Label your Cables

Okay, this one, if you think about it, seems obvious.  But I haven't yet done it and I should, and I will.

How many chargers and USB cords and cables do you have around the house? I have many. And I don't know what they all do until I test them.  So I am going to label them!  You can get special ones from Amazon and everything!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Friday, 21 March 2014

Storing Kitchen Food Bags & Foil

Boxes of food bags, cling film, foil, wax paper etc tend to get thrown under the sink in this house.  They then get pushed to the back of the cupboard and I can't find them, or they get squashed or everything starts falling out of them and there is a big mess of plastic and paper.

So a top tip is to use a magazine rack to store the boxes in - either in the cupboard or attached to the door.  And, even better, you could use a few of them to store other 'under the sink' items tidily and efficiently.  Brilliant!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Funny Top Tip!

Good housekeeping?

Separating Egg Whites & Yolk

It's quite a faff to separate egg whites from the yolk when cooking or baking.  I've always done it using what I suspect is a traditional method - by cracking the egg and alternating the yolk between the two halves of the shell, letting the whites fall into the bowl.  The trouble with this method is that much of the time, some - if not all - of the yolk escapes and I have to start again.

However, I have spotted a genius idea.  Yes, you can purchase a specialist egg separator.  But a cheaper, more savvy method is to use a simple plastic bottle - it does exactly the same! Just crack the whole egg into a bowl and use the bottle to scoop up the yolk.

Easy, quick and cheap! I wish I'd seen this a long time ago - it would have saved a lot of frustration on my part!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Inspirational Top Tip

A little something to brighten your day.

Cleaning out the closet

I imagine a lot of us have loads of clothing that we simply don't wear any more. I am loathe to get rid of anything but, with space being minimal, it's time to get a but more ruthless.

A simple trick is to hang up clothes with the hanger backwards.  If something gets worn, it can then be hung back up with the hanger the right way round.  After a period of time - six months, a year - you can then easily see which clothes have not been worn and therefore, are in scope to give or throw away.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Forgotten something?

How many times have I gone out and, half way to my destination, I start panicking about whether I have switched off the iron or my straighteners or something else that may set the house on fire?  A lot; certainly more often than I would hope!

I spotted these personalised mats on Ebay which I think are quite brilliant!  You can get any message you want, but I like this one...

A great way to remember to turn everything off before you leave the house!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Keeping the car clean & tidy

Travelling by car means there is always rubbish by the end of it, whether it be car park tickets, food packets, tissues etc etc and it's really annoying to not have anywhere to store it during the journey.  A nice idea is to use a spare cereal container, line with a plastic bag, and place in one of the footrests.  It can then be easily used but also sealed to stop spills and smells, and then items dispensed of quickly and effortlessly at the end of the trip.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Friday, 14 March 2014

Storing shoes

I have quite a few pairs of shoes* and I know I need to think of neater ways to store them than thrown to the bottom of the cupboard, plonked in the hall or just dropped wherever I decide to remove them. So I've found two ways that may work, but they both will take a little time and investment.

The first is to store them in cardboard shoe boxes, with a photo of the shoes on the front of the box.

The second is to invest in some clear plastic boxes, so you can see which shoes are in which box.

With both methods, the boxes can then be stacked neatly in a cupboard or a shelf for easy access!

* Slight understatement.....

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Did you know....?

Ever get confused about which side the petrol needs to go in the car?  I do!  Or if you're a bit more with it than me, you may wonder if you are driving an unfamiliar vehicle like a rental car.  Well, I've just discovered that there is usually a little arrow or triangle on the petrol gauge of the dashboard which points to the side where the tank is located! D'oh!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Storing and transporting gadget cords

I've found that, more and more often, I am having to bring with me cords and chargers and headphones (oh my!) for my various electrical gadgets. It's really annoying to have them all bundled at the bottom of my bag, getting tangled and confused and ultimately, the plastic coating getting torn and broken.

So I have a lot of cords.  But I also have quite a lot of spare glasses cases.  So a top tip is to use a glasses case to store the cords in! I can wrap the cords round tidily, place in the case and they are protected and easy to access.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Hanging clothes without slippage

It's really annoying when I am hanging clothes and they keep slipping off the hangers. No matter what I do or how I wrap them round, nothing seemed to work - until I found this simple top tip! Wrap a rubber band around each end of the hanger and this provides a simple ridge to stop the slippage.  Problem solved!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Funny Top Tip!

What a great idea - but not necessarily for when I'm older....

Alternative use for a Lazy Susan

A few days ago, I posted about an alternative use for cake stands.  Another item I own, but hardly use, is a Lazy Susan.  It just doesn't work on my largish, rectangular kitchen table so takes up space in the cupboard and never sees the light of day.

An idea I have spotted for the kitchen is to use one as a holder for bottles and jars such as vinegars, oils, sauces - or even alcohol!

You could use this either on the kitchen counter if you have pretty bottles to display or in a cupboard for storage, both providing easy access to all your culinary essentials.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Keeping track of matching sheet sets

Sick of searching through the airing cupboard, looking for matching sheet sets?  Why not store all the different sheets - the fitted sheet, flat sheet, duvet cover and pillowcases all in one pillowcase?  Then all you need to do is grab the 'bag' of sheets and you're ready to go!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Alternative use for a cake stand

I've got a couple of cake stands now which are brilliant when I am having friends over for cake and cupcakes.  They look lovely and make me seem like a real domestic goddess!  However, the frequency of such an event is... hmmm... rarely.  In reality, my cake stands are packed away in the cupboard and if I make cake, it gets eaten off the plate!

So why not find an alternative use for the humble cake stand?  A nice idea is to use it to hold bits and bobs on the dressing table.  So it could be used for perfume bottles, jewellery, make-up - anything really - but it will keep it all together and look pretty.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Protect your wine!

Travelling somewhere with wine and are worried about the bottle smashing in transit?  Why not use an inflated child's swimming armband to protect it?

Perfect for those cheeky weekend getaways!