Grab Bag Household Tips:
Since I’m immersed in a number of fix-it projects (yes, I drive power tools) in my daughter and son-in-law’s new home, I will share some beneficial tips I’ve run across while researching DIY goodies:
• After painting a room a new color, write the name of the paint color on a piece of tape and place behind the light switch cover. You think, in the future, you’ll know from the color indicated on the leftover can you keep in the garage, but paint looks very different on the wall, and life is often shades of beige, right?
• Still painting… instead of dirtying a roller pan or buying and discarding the plastic pan liners, just take a medium-sized drawstring garbage bag, tie tightly around the roller pan, and pour in your paint. When you’re ready for cleanup, simply untie the bag, turn inside out and throw away.
• Here’s a fantastic solution for a shower drain clogged with hair: I read about a husband who could not clear the clog with a plastic “zip-it” (buy these inexpensive clog-pullers at a hardware store) or with a plumber’s snake. Wife to the rescue… she poured a bottle of Nair (lotion?) down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, ran the water for a few minutes to wash the residue away and voila, the drain worked better than it had in years. Brilliant.
• Alternatively, try this: pour ½ cup of baking soda down any clogged drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar… let foam up for ½ a minute or so then pour in a few cups of boiling water and plunge with a plunger. Repeat if necessary. Should get things moving 🙂
Just an image to help make these tips “unforgettable”:
Grab Bag Color Blind:
Here’s a no-brainer way to assess the overall health of your dietary intake:
What colors are you eating?
Here is a collection of image search results returned for the phrase, “fattening foods”:
And here is a collection of images returned for the phrase “healthy foods“:
Contrast the two sets. Compare colors. ’nuff said.
Grab Bag Plastic Prevention:
Just a reminder to keep watch over sources where harmful plastics may make their way into you and your home:
1) When possible, avoid polycarbonate, especially for children’s food and drinks. This plastic might be marked with the recycling code #7 or the letters “PC”. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are better choices because they do not contain BPA.
2) Avoid putting any plastic containers in microwave. Wash plastics on the top shelf of your dishwasher or by hand.
3) Some metal water bottles lined with an epoxy-based enamel coating could leach BPA. Look for stainless steel bottles that do not have a liner, or glass bottles with a rubber outer wrap. Avoid using old and scratched plastic bottles.
4) Avoid products with the ingredients like “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label. Also avoid products that say “Unscented,” as they may contain a masking scent that is also a fragrance. Look for fragrance-free on the label, or products that list only essential oils on their roster of ingredients.
5) Look for alternative packaging materials, glass bottles instead of plastic containers for example.
6) Check out watchdog guides to see how your household products rate in terms of safety. The Environmental Working Group is a very good source.
Grab Bag Better Fresh? Maybe Not.
A study from Belgium may debunk the theory that fresh produce loses nutrients with every passing day. Researchers tested the antioxidant levels of fresh fruits and vegetables, and then placed them at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Continually checking the antioxidant levels of the produce until they spoiled showed this:
Produce did not lose ANY phenols, flavanols or ascorbic acids – the king pins of antioxidants. In some cases, phenols actually INCREASED over time.
So when the veggies look a bit wilted and the fruit skins begin to pucker, use them in soups, stews, sauces or smoothies instead of chucking them down the drain, and get your antioxidents on!
Grab Bag Friendship Moment:
Apparently this deer entered a Harrisburg (PA, I believe) backyard, day after day, and formed a bond with the family cat. Too adorable.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Chinese Checkers is a tried and true standard game from my past, brought here into a digital format.
FYI, here is some Chinese Checker trivia for you…. according to Wikipedia…
The game was invented in Germany in 1892 under the name “Stern-Halma”, as a variation on the older American game of Halma. The “Stern” (German for star) refers to the star-shape of the board (in contrast with the square board of Halma). The name “Chinese checkers” originated in the United States, as a marketing scheme by Bill and Jack Pressman in 1928. The Pressman company’s game was originally called “Hop Ching Checkers“.
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
A woman of few words (?)…