Posts filed under ‘Works-For-Me-Wednesday’

What To Do When Wine Charms Won’t Fit Your Glasses

Why is it that the number of dirty cups in the sink far outweighs the number of occupants in the home? Marking your glasses for home or company use is a sure way to cut down on each person using more than one glass. There are many ways to do this.

  • Make a set of unique wine charms. Assign each person a different charm and hope they remember which is theirs.
  • Paint your glasses with blackboard paint and chalk on the names. Using a liquid chalk makes the writing easier.
  • Use a dry erase pen to write on the names of the cup’s temporary owner. This doesn’t work so well on dark mugs.

Here’s my newest way to keep one glass per person . . . Name Coasters!

Soooo easy too! 3 steps to this tutorial.

1. Grab a 4 pack of cork coasters and a marker from your local Dollar Store. If there are more than 4 people in your home get as many packs as needed.

2. Remove & throw away all the packaging.

3. Write one person’s name on each coaster.

DONE.

My brother-in-law came up with this idea which we field tested on New Year’s Eve. It worked brilliantly. Every one was committed to either putting their glass back on their coaster or keeping their coaster with their glass. Kept the furniture safe from water rings too.

This is an idea that works for me because there are fewer glasses, no plastic throw-away cups, and the counter is once again filled with snacks rather than excess cups.

To share your tip link up to the Works-For-Me-Wednesday crew at We Are That Family. Or go there to see what you can glean from the 141 posts already linked. I am # 142.

Your Turn . . . What’s your best tip on keeping the ratio of glasses per person to a reasonable number?

Related Organizing Posts . . . 

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How to Build a Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Kit (WFMW)

The aroma of Banana Chocolate Chip Bread as it bakes is one of the seven smell wonders of the world. Eating this tasty bread is a gastronomical treat.

I am always more than ready to smell and eat this gem. But I am not always ready to make it. That’s why I started making Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Kits. You know, gather all the dry ingredients together and put them into plastic bags to make your own “box” mix ready for some future use.

Read on for directions on how to make this Banana Chocolate Chip Bread box mix.

  1. Get recipe here. Read it through. Gather all your recipe ingredients, 1 baggy and 1 tie, 2 quart sized Ziploc bags, and 1 gallon sized Ziploc bag.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl until blended. Put one quart sized Ziploc bag inside a glass. Pour the flour mixture in. Press out air and then close it.
  3. Combine chocolate chips and walnuts in a small bowl; toss with 1 Tablespoon flour. Put one baggie inside a glass. Pour the chocolate chip mixture in. Press out air and then twist tie it closed.
  4. Put one quart sized Ziploc bag inside a glass. Put 1 cup sugar into the quart Ziploc bag. Press out air and then close it.
  5. Put all three bags into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
  6. I usually make 3 or 4 of these kits up at the same time. I do all one step for each recipe at one time. I.e. I’ll have 3 glasses with a quart sized baggie in each and put the flour mixture into them. Etc.
  7. I can get two kits into one gallon sized Ziploc bag. I rubber band the sugar and flour mixture bags (for each recipe bags) together.
  8. Print out a copy of the recipe and put it in the gallon Ziploc bag.

If something doesn’t make sense, leave a comment and I’ll sort it out. It sounds more complicated than it really is. Good eating!

This post is for Works-For-Me-Wednesday. Don’t know what that is? Go here for FAQ about Works-For me Wednesday. Go here to read other tips. Link up what works for you or leave a comment. FYI – I am #145 on this list.

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4 Baking Tips to Make Your Time in the Kitchen a Little Easier (WFMW)

Gillian is British and besides making a great cup of coffee, she knows food. Gillian runs her own personal chef business and has the education and practice to make it a tasty and successful one.

At Christmas we made three recipes. I came home with more than delicious sweets. I also came home with some tips. Maybe one of these will help you in the kitchen.

1. Chop sticks are more than an eating utensil. Put one chopstick into the flour bin. Fill up your measuring cup and use the chopstick to level the flour.

2. Whisks are good for dry ingredients too. Need to stir or sift together flour and baking soda (or other dry ingredients)? Then put the items into a bowl, grab a whisk, and start whisking!

3. Honey doesn’t have to be hard to clean off measuring utensils. Grab your vegetable or olive oil spray and mist a fine layer onto the measuring spoon or cup. Now fill it with the golden liquid. It will glide out and not leave any “stickies.”

4. Extra tinfoil eases cooked dessert out of the pan. Line your pan with tin foil, but make sure it extends to either side an extra 5 or 6 inches.  Once the dessert is cool simply grab both sides, lift, and put on top of a cutting board.  So much easier to cut. No scratches to your pan either.

In case you are interested we made pecan pie bars, cranberry orange bread and Nanaimo bars. The recipes will be posted soon.

This post is for Works-For-Me-Wednesday. Don’t know what that is? Go here for FAQ about Works-For-Me-Wednesday. To link up, go here. I am number 57. What number are you?

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Progress is Progress Even When the Steps Are Ridiculously Easy

Setbacks, roadblocks and detours are unavoidable; they are human. Make sure you have support people. They can positively influence you and your current lack of courage, enthusiasm or belief.

1136265_metro_lisbonThen get up and focus on your next step. Rewrite your goal plan to include some more ridiculously easy baby steps. A baby step, I drink two glasses of water a day, may not seem like much, but it is progress toward the big picture, I drink 8 glasses of water a day. It is progress. Be gentle, patient, take those baby steps on a regular basis, and you will attain your goal.

My action plan for today. I am on a decluttering mission. My ridiculously easy baby step is to get rid of 7 items in the bathroom. I’m choosing the bathroom because it is the neatest room in the house.

This works for me. For other Works-For-Me- Wednesday posts go here. There are currently 249 ideas.

What step will you rewrite so that it is ridiculously easy?  What will you accomplish today?

Read these other posts in the series about Goals.

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Creating Folders (Labels) in Gmail

This post is for Kay because she asked. This also makes a great Works-For-Me Wednesday post. Go here for other WFMW submissions. I’m #99.

See the grey Search the Web tab (top middle of Google inbox page)?

  • To the right of this grey button, in tiny print, it says Show research options (top line) And create filter (second line).
  • Click on create filter.
  • In the From box put either an email addy or name.
  • Click the grey Test Search button to make sure it grabs the emails you want. I.e. I typed your name, Kay, and 3 came up.
  • Click the grey button  Next Step.

There are 8 possible boxes to click.

I clicked (put a check mark in) 3 of them:

  • Skip the Inbox (archive it)
  • Apply the Label:  in the white box to the right it says Choose Label. Either write a name for the label (name for a folder) or click on one already there. I.e. I wrote in your name, Kay.
  • Click on OK.
  • Also apply filter to # conversation below. ( I had 3 from the search with your name.)
  • Then I clicked on the grey Create filter button.

This last action will take you to your Settings page and show you The following filters are applied to all incoming mail.

 

Ta-Da! Folders in Gmail. Although in gmail they are called labels.

 Go to this link for Google’s description of the above or go here for an audio tutorial.

 

My daughter showed me how to do this. I had already written up my instructions before I went to the Google link above.

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Kitchen Labeling Tip & Past Posts for WFMW

Today’s Works-For Me-Wednesday is topic day: kitchen organization. I am not all that organized, but my daughter is. In an attempt to help me to remember WHERE to out the various items on my pantry shelves. She came up with a simple, simple labeling tip. She wrote on the shelf contact paper the type of good that goes in that row. Broth and tomatoes are the ones you can see. Some cereal and veggies have sneaked into those columns.

Note: My dd used a blue sharpie to label the product types. When I took the first picture broth was all smudged and looked more like brothe with a hint of an “r.” I went over the word in black sharpie.

I wonder if I should be worried? She does have a pesty brother.

NOTE: I should let y’all know that the categories are broad. Like all my soups go into the Broth row. In the Tomatoes row goes sauce, paste, salsa. I also have rows for Fruits, Veggies, etc. Yes, it probably does seem anal, but it helps me to keep the cupboard tidy (usually) because the food boundaries are clearly marked.

Go here to see other helpful kitchen organization ideas at Rocks in my Dryer. So far there are 220 posts to check out.

I have finally organized my past WFMW posts according to topic. See below.

Backwards Edition

Beauty

Cleaning

Education

Food

Frugal

Health

Organize

Relationships

Shopping

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One Caution When Using Online Cookbooks (WFMW)

I have at least 2 dozen hardbound cookbooks. I know. Old fashioned.

These days it is so much easier and faster to Googlepancake recipe for one,” “vanilla pudding recipe,” “perfect gravy,” or “What can I do with sweetened condensed milk, coconut and chocolate chips?

It may be easier and faster, but the results are not always better. At least that’s been my experience with the pancake, gravy, and pudding recipes. I even went to the more well-known sites like allrecipes.com, recipezaar.com, and cooks.com.

My Works-For-Me-Wednesday tip is to read the comments for the recipe. Look for what the trouble spots were. What common problems are in the reader/cooker responses.

Had I done that . . .

  • I would have learned that it was 2 teaspoons and NOT 2 tablespoons of baking powder for one of the recipes.
  • I would have known to keep on stirring the ingredients until it just reached the boil so as to avoid lumping.
  • I would have simply avoided this recipe all together because it did not produce anything like its promised name.

Just because it’s on the computer, it doesn’t mean it is right, better, or even plausible. Even though the site may be well known, it pays to take a few moments to check what the comments say.

Or else, grab one of your hardback cookbooks and follow a recipe that has been tested and loved for over many, many decades.

Go to Works-For-Me-Wednesday for other tips to make your life a little easier. As of 10:09 pm (August 26) there are 78 entries.

Past Food Related WFMW Posts . . .

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6 Tips to Consistent Bible Reading

reading the BibleDo you find it easy to be consistent with a Bible reading plan?

I struggle with this at times. I’ve found 6 ways to help myself.

  1. Keep all my Bible reading “supplies” together and in the same place. This includes my Bible, pencil, commentary, notebook, and timer. When I sit down to read, I also bring my ice pack (from the freezer) for my lower back. I use my notebook for insights and questions from the text. I also jot down any worries or to-do’s that interrupt my mind.
  2. Find a quiet place to read. The less distractions I have, the better I am able to purposefully read; and the more I want to read.
  3. Beautify the space. Because this area is beautiful, it is a visual joy to sit here. I have a candle that I light and a pretty pillow that I use. In the winter I snuggle with a lap quilt that a dear friend made.
  4. Realize that life happens. Some seasons I have a lot of time to read. Sometimes not. For those “not” times, I choose a plan this is shorter or tweak one to make the readings shorter. Since I have a lifetime to read the Bible, I don’t have to read it everyday, every season, like a Ph.D scholar.
  5. Mix it up. Sometimes I follow a devotional and read/ponder the Scriptures listed. Sometimes I hop-scotch through the books. Sometimes I feel “led” to read certain portions. Mainly I use a reading plan.
  6. Pray. I ask God to help me to have a hunger for His Word and to help me carve out the time on a daily basis. I also ask Him to guide me and show me what He wants me to see.

Did you know that there is a WIDE VARIETY of reading plans available online? Into They Word Ministries lists 12 plans.

Below are some of my favorites.

This works for me. What tips do you have to share?

Go to Works-For-Me Wednesday (WFMW) to see what works for other folks in ALL kinds of areas. So far today there are 245 entries.

Below are some of my past WFMW posts that might be helpful.

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Cleaning Schedule + 5 Natural Degreaser Ideas

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the house cleaning. And sometimes I can’t figure out what to do first.

This is when I go to Flylady.Com.

  • Then I click on the Fly Zone which is on the left hand side bar.
  • The zones are the same for each week of each month.
  • For instance this is week 2 so the zone to clean this week is the kitchen.

Flylady encourages us to declutter 15 minutes a day in that zone. There is also a detailed cleaning list for each zone. Go here for the kitchen details.

Last night I decided to make this week’s project the kitchen cabinets – which are a greasy mess. I didn’t want to use chemical cleaners on them so I used dish detergent on a scrubby sponge. This did not work out too well. A little Google research this morning turned up some great ideas.

  1. Yahoo Answers suggested: Combine 1/2 Cup Borax, 2 Tablespoons laundry detergent soap flakes, 1 Tablespoon ammonia, with 1 Gallon water. Use full strength in a spray bottle. (submitted by fishineasy)
  2. Many places say straight vinegar is a great degreaser. It will be smelly for awhile.
  3. Baking soda is another common suggestion. Make of paste by mixing 3 Tablespoons of baking soda with up to 1 Cup of water. You’ll need to experiment to see which works best for your cabinets. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and then dry with a clean cloth.
  4. Tipnut.com has 2 ideas. Idea 1: Half fill an empty dish detergent bottle with ammonia. Fill the other half with hot water. Drop in several squirts of Dawn dish detergent. Replace the cap and shake.
  5. Idea 2: To one Gallon of water add the following: 1 Cup ammonia, 1/2 Cup vinegar, and 1/4 Cup baking soda. Mix well in a bucket making sure that the baking soda is well dissolved.

Since I have an empty dish detergent bottle, I’ll be trying #4. I’ll let you know how this works out. Do you have any degreaser tips?

For other ideas that work, check out Works-For-Me-Wednesday. So far there are 243 great ideas.

Past Works-For-Me Cleaning Ideas:

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BINGO Your Way to Knowing Each Other Better (WFMW)

bingo card*Spoiler Alert* If you are going to Women’s Retreat 2008 do NOT read any further. Otherwise you will read about Friday night’s Bingo icebreaker game.

Everyone else may continue reading . . .

(more…)

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Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan in 5 Easy Steps

ceiling fanThe weather is warm and the ceiling fan helps move the air around the house. Since the fan blades are dirty, it also moves dust around the house. So today, I’ll clean it in 3 easy steps.

  1. Gather supplies: drop cloth, ladder/stool, spray cleaner, feather duster, and the secret weapon – a sock. You might need two, if the fan is very dirty.
  2. Spread drop cloth under fan. Set stool/ladder on top of cloth, under the fan. Get on ladder.
  3. Dust fan blades. Put sock on dominant hand.
  4. Spray fan blades. (Sometimes I uses vinegar, if I don’t have any regular cleaning sprays.) Wipe off with socked hand. Repeat until done.
  5. Pick up drop cloth. Shake outside. Put away all your supplies.sock

This cleaning project is great for using up odd socks. And I always seem to have odd socks. Even though they go into the dryer as a pair, they come out as singles. Go here to read a poem about missing socks I wrote one distraught day.

Go here to read other Works-For-Me-Wednesday posts.

Related Posts Works-For-ME Wednesday:

Cleaning

Edited to Add These Tips from Commenters:

  • Crystal uses a vacuum attachment, “that weird little round brush,”  to clean her fan and return air ducts.
  • Melissa puts a pillow case over the entire blade so that all the yuckys fall inside the case and nothing on the ground.
  • Christine uses a microfiber cloth and spray she bought at the same time she bought the fan.

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6 Ways to Store Lemons (WFMW Tip)

Lemon Tree, the song by Peter, Paul and Mary says,

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

(Click here for the YouTube rendition of Lemon Tree.)

Not true! The fruit of the poor lemon can be eaten and used. Tomorrow I’ll share 13 ways to use a lemon.

But Today I’ll share 6 ways you can store the lemons for future use.

  1. Put lemons in a jar in the refrigerator. Make sure the jar has a tight-fitting lid to prevent loss of moisture. They’ll keep for many weeks this way. (I couldn’t find out how many weeks.)
  2. Put the lemons in a plastic bag and put into the refrigerator. Sources say they’ll keep up to six weeks this way.
  3. Keep the lemons on the counter. They’ll keep juicy at most two weeks. The humidity and temperature will determine its length of freshness.
  4. Squeeze the lemons. Put the juice in ice trays. Once frozen, put the lemon cubes in a freezer bag.
  5. Make candied lemon peel. Put this into a sealed jar in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 6 months.
  6. Make preserved lemons. The lemons are marinated at least 3 weeks in their juice and salt. Preserved lemons are used in many Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes.

Do you have another way that you store your lemons? Do tell!

For more Works-For-Me Wednesday Tips, click here. At last count there were 257 tips.

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