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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crafty weekend


I found my inner craft geek and spent the weekend with her. Don't worry, I'm not crazy even though I carried on complete conversations with myself while I was crafting. I am excited because I've been finding ways to redecorate the twins' room--Note to parents of girls: Princesses are not cool after you turn 9. So Santa has been asked to take care of part of the project--love that he shops Target clearance sales and I've heard he got some killer deals--and I am doing the accessories.

I am putting on my thinking cap and getting out my glue gun and air compressor to fix a few things. The girls each have a bulletin board in their room. When I first decorated their Princess room, I bought inexpensive boards and had covered the cork in Princess material and then stapled the frame back together and added their names down the side with wooden letters. Now that Princesses are not cool, I was going to just get them new boards, until I saw how expensive the kind I wanted was. Using my skills from HGTV, I took off the letters from the boards they already had, let them pick out fabric from my trunk of inherited craft crap, and made them French Memo boards. See attached pic for awesome results. I also found a cute lamp at Target, but it wasn't the right colors so I covered up the non-matching color with ribbon I had, that will eventually coordinate with their new room.

My second awesome project are these "quiet gloves" for Danni. She has a hard time sitting in church, don't we all??? So I threw these together last night at 11 p.m. after the Utah vs. Air Force game--I needed a few minutes to recoup my roller coaster of emotions.


I was pretty thrilled that my crafts worked out.

Happy Halloween???!!!???

I am so grateful to live in an awesome place. Each year our church organizes a Trunk-or-Treat. Most of you know what this is, but if you don't we all get together have chili, scones/rolls, donuts, have a costume parade and then send the kids around the church parking lot to "trick or treat." This takes lots of work and volunteers, so to any of you who helped this year THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I love this because of course, it's family friendly, and I get to talk to adults which normally I don't get to do. Also it keeps everyone safe. I have ample photo ops. The kids get more than enough ghoulish goodies and we're done with usually very little crying or frostbite.

This year we did a new thing at our house. We decided that since the Trunk or Treat took care of our trick or treating needs, we had a family fun night instead of braving the cold again for more goodies on Halloween. I know that as the kids get older they may not want to stay home on Halloween--great I say. Take your friends and you can go freeze your backsides off. But for this year, we had a homemade pumpkin pizza (shaped pumpkin, not veggie pumpkin), candy carnival, spider making night all our own. This makes me so happy that I didn't have to bundle everyone up--why go to all that trouble when no one will see how cute their costumes are??? and brave the cold, wet weather with tiny people who will undoubtedly have to go to the bathroom at inopportune times, or get cold and cry to come home when we're on the opposite side of the neighborhood.

Don't get me wrong-I LOVE HALLOWEEN. It's my favorite holiday. But I wanted to have fun too. This year everyone got what they wanted.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Funny Stuff

We pulled out all the yummy stuff from our garden this weekend and winterized it. So happy the older girls were so willing to help. While we were out there my curious three year old asked her dad what he was doing...

3 year old: "Daddy whatcha doin'?"
Andy: "Pulling up potatoes."
3 y.o.: "What kind are those?"
Andy: "Red potatoes and Yukon gold."
3 y.o.:"Oh. Let me know if you find any mashed potatoes in there."

I wish I could just go pull up some yummy ready to eat mashed potatoes...my kids are too cute.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My girls

Being the mom of four girls is as rewarding for me as it is challenging, but I have to take a moment and give a shout out to my twins. Sydney and Abby sang a duet in our church's primary program today. They knocked it out of the park. They have been practicing for months and I hope they realize that their hard work paid off.

I HATE to cry, especially in public, but I couldn't contain my emotions today. I was so proud these girls are mine and of course it made me miss my mom who had a beautiful voice. They made the program a success and did such a beautiful job.

Today was one of the happiest moments I've had being their mom. I am so proud they braved the nerves of being in front of hundreds to sing, they kept their composure and remembered the words. They received so many compliments, as did I, and it was just a great day.

Love my girls!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Free Money

I ran across another cool website.

www.moneybagutah.com

This is a new couponing source. You sign up on their website and they will deliver to your home, local manufacturer coupons. This is a new offer that starts Nov. 1. There are only certain zip codes getting them, but try yours and if it doesn't work you can always send it to a relative's house in your name, provided they don't want to use the service themselves. Limit one per household. I love finding new ways to save money!

Also I met Andy for lunch yesterday and received another money saving offer. Visit www.patchproducts.com/wendys.asp for a buy one get one on family games. The games are between $20 to $25, but there are 2 codes to choose from that will make one game free. So you pay about $30 after shipping, but get 2 fun family friendly games. The games normally retail for $18-$27 each, depending on where you shop, so this is still a money saver.

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

26 Uses for Vaseline

Here's another tip on using ordinary things that you likely already have to do several jobs and save money.

For Personal Grooming
Moisturize your lips and more

If you don't want to pay a lot for expensive lip balm, makeup remover, or even facial moisturizer, then your answer is a tube of petroleum jelly. It can soothe lips, take off foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and more. It will even act as a moisturizer on your face.


Make emergency makeup

Add a bit of food coloring to petroleum jelly and apply as usual. This is a quick way to make stopgap blush, lipstick, or eye shadow.


Lengthen the life of perfume

You've picked out a great scent to wear on your night out, but it's got to last. Worry not. Dab a bit of petroleum jelly on your pulse points. Then spray on the perfume. Now you can dance the night away and not worry about your perfume turning in early.


Remove a stuck ring


Soften chapped hands

If you're constantly applying hand lotion to your tired, chapped hands, but then taking it off again so you can get more work done, try this tip. Apply a liberal amount of petroleum jelly to your hands just before you go to bed. By morning, they'll be soft and smooth.


No more messy manicures

During home manicures, it's hard to keep the nail polish from running over on your cuticles. Petroleum jelly can help your manicures look more professional. Dab some along the base of your nails and the sides. If polish seeps off the nail during the manicure, all you do is wipe off the petroleum jelly and the sloppy nail polish is gone.


Smooth wild eyebrow hairs

If you have runaway eyebrows -- the ones where the hairs won't lie flat but curl up instead, control the wildness with some petroleum jelly. Rub a dab into your brows. They'll calm down and behave.


Heal windburned skin

You've just had a glorious hike through the countryside in autumn. And as much as you enjoyed the changing colors of the season, the hike has left you with an unpleasant souvenir: windburn. Grab a jar of petroleum jelly and apply it liberally to your face or wherever you've been chapped. The jelly helps relieve the pain.


Help prevent diaper rash

It's so heartbreaking to hear a baby experiencing the pain of diaper rash. Help is just a few moments away. Petroleum jelly sets up a protective coat on the skin so the rash can heal. No more pain.


No more shampoo tears

Thinking of buying special no-tears shampoo for your child? Forget about it. If you have some petroleum jelly, you have the solution. Rub a fair amount into your baby's eyebrows. It acts as a protective shield against shampoo running down into his eyes.

Around the House
Smoother closing shower curtains

Stop the water from squirting out onto the bathroom floor. Get that shower curtain into place quickly. Lubricate the curtain rod with petroleum jelly and you'll whip that curtain across the shower in no time.


Take out lipstick stains

You set the table at that lovely dinner party with your favorite cloth napkins, but your girlfriends left their mark all over them. Now dotted with lipstick stains, those napkins may be headed for the trash. But try this first. Before you wash them, blot petroleum jelly on the stain. Launder as usual and hopefully you will kiss the stains good-bye.


Eject wax from candlesticks

The long red tapers you used at last night's candlelit dinner were a beautiful sight until you saw the candle wax drippings left in the candleholders. Next time apply petroleum jelly to the insides of the holders before you put the candles in. The wax will pop out for easy cleaning.


Remove chewing gum from wood

Did you discover bubble gum stuck under the dining room table or behind the headboard of Junior's bed? Trouble yourself about it no further. Squeeze some petroleum jelly on the offending wad, rub it in until the gum starts to disintegrate, then remove.


Shine patent-leather shoes

You've got a great pair of patent-leather shoes and a dynamite bag to match. The luster stays longer if you polish the items with petroleum jelly.


Restore leather jackets

You don't need fancy leather moisturizer to take care of your favorite leather jacket. Petroleum jelly does the job just as well. Apply, rub it in, wipe off the excess, and you're ready to go.


Keep ants away from pet food bowls

Poor Fido's food bowl has been invaded by ants. Since she prefers her food without them, help her out with this idea. Ring her food bowl with petroleum jelly. The ants will no longer be tempted by the kibble if they have to cross that mountain of petroleum jelly.


Grease a baseball mitt

Got a new baseball mitt, but it's as stiff as a dugout bench? Soften it up with petroleum jelly. Apply liberal amounts. Work it into the glove, then tie it up with a baseball inside. Do this in the winter, and by the spring you'll be ready to take the field.


Keep a bottle lid from sticking

If you're having a hard time unscrewing that bottle of glue or nail polish, remember this tip for when you finally do get it open. Rub a little petroleum jelly along the rim of the bottle. Next time, the top won't stick.
For the Do-It-Yourselfer
Mask doorknobs when painting

You're about to undertake painting the family room. But do you really want to fiddle with removing all the metal fixtures, including doorknobs? Petroleum jelly rubbed on the metal will prevent paint from sticking. When you're done painting, just wipe off the jelly and the unwanted paint is gone.


Stop battery terminal corrosion

It's no coincidence that your car battery always dies on the coldest winter day. Low temperatures increase electrical resistance and thicken engine oil, making the battery work harder. Corrosion on the battery terminals also increases resistance and might just be the last straw that makes the battery give up. Before winter starts, disconnect the terminals and clean them with a wire brush. Reconnect, then smear with petroleum jelly. The jelly will prevent corrosion and help keep the battery cranking all winter long.


Protect stored chrome

If you're getting ready to store the kids' bikes for the winter, or stow that stroller until your next baby comes along, stop a moment before you stash. Take some petroleum jelly and apply it to the chrome parts of the equipment. When it's time to take the items out of storage, they'll be rust-free. The same method works for machinery stored in your garage.


Keep an outdoor lightbulb from sticking

Have you ever unscrewed a lightbulb and found yourself holding the glass while the metal base remains in the socket? It won't happen again if you remember to apply petroleum jelly to the base of the bulb before screwing it into the fixture. This is an especially good idea for lightbulbs used outdoors.


Lubricate cabinets and windows

Can't stand to hear your medicine cabinet door creak along its runners? Or how about that window that you have to force open every time you want a breeze in the house? With a small paintbrush, apply petroleum jelly to the window sash channel and cabinet door runners. Let the sliding begin.


Stop squeaking door hinges

It's so annoying when a squeaky door makes an ill-timed noise when you're trying to keep quiet. Put petroleum jelly on the hinge pins of the door. No more squeaks.


Remove watermarks on wood

Your most recent party left lots of watermark rings on your wood furniture. To make them disappear, apply petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wipe the watermark away with the jelly.
From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, nachos, rice, etc.

Another awesome dinner last night. Even my picky eater ate it--not all of it, but getting him to try it was a major accomplishment.

BBQ Chicken

6 small boneless chicken breasts OR 4 Large chicken breasts
1 c. chopped onion--I like purple but you can use yellow or white
1 c. chopped green pepper
4 Tbsp. butter
2 c. BBQ sauce
2 c. water
salt and pepper to taste

When serving you'll need the following:
chopped cilantro, if desired
buns, chips OR rice

Place chicken in a freezer bag. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl and pour over chicken. Label and freeze.

When ready to cook thaw and put in crockpot on low 6-8 hours. I actually forgot to thaw, so I just threw it in the crockpot frozen and cooked it for 10 hours on low.

When finished pull the chicken out of the crock, shred and add 1/4 cup of juices plus 1/2 c. bbq sauce and mix together. We served this on top of fries or buns. I had leftovers and made nachos out of it. DELICIOUS!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Neighbor Gifts

I am an OCD personality. I accept it; I deal with it; I have tried to make it a friend. So as I have been checking out deals and coupons I've come up with a few gifts that won't break the bank, but will still tell my neighbors and friends Merry Christmas.

1. Pouch of Betty Crocker Muffin mix about $.44-.89 "You're getting 'muffin' for Christmas." OR Corn muffins Cornbread or Mix - "We're not trying to be "Corny" we just want you to have a Merry Christmas!"
2. Metal whisk filled with candy kisses; about $.50 at the $ store. "We 'whisk' you a Merry Kissmas. Hugs & Kisses"
3. Bottle of Glade or air freshening spray ($.94 and usually coupons are in the paper) "Merry Christmas, hope it doesn't stink."
4. Bag of Jolly Ranchers $1; "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas."
5. Star ornament $.25 at $ store; "May His light shine in your home this holiday season."
6. Wooden spoon, about $1 for 5 at the $ store- "Whether stirring up cakes, cookies, soups or souffl├ęs; You'll find this spoon useful in so many ways. But whatever it's use, it says, "Merry Christmas from us to you!"
7. Cinnamon Sprinkles - You can make your own Cinnamon sugar and get bottles at Ikea or buy the premade colored sprinkles for $.89 at most stores.(Cinnamon & Sugar, or cookie sprinkles); "May your Christmas be sprinkled with laughter and love!" Merry Christmas!
8. Any Sweet Treat (can buy in bulk for about $1 or less per gift)- "Wishing you a season filled with sweetness!"
9. Chocolate or regular Oranges - "Orange" you glad we're Friends!?" Merry Christmas!!
10. Bubble Gum or Bubble Bath - "May your holidays "Bubble" over with fun!! (.$20 per pack of Bubble Yum at $ store)
11. Pencil and Notepad - "Merry Christmas from our pad to yours!!" or Merry Christmas to a "noteworthy" friend!" (.35 per gift)
12. Cookie cutter with favorite recipe attached (These are about $.20-.50 per cutter. I've found them at Roberts and $ stores for cheap)
13. Banana Bread - "Banana Bread just for you, because you have so much to do... We also love you a whole "Bunch" too! Merry Christmas!"
14. Hot cocoa mix with mini marshmallows (.50 with coupons around the holidays) "Warm wishes during this sweet season."
15. Recipe - "Just like you, friend...it's tried and true, just for you! Happy Holiday Baking or Merry Christmas Cooking!" You can print these on cardstock for about .05 plus the cost of anything you want to add to it, like an item from your favorite recipe.
16. Seasoning .33 for a pouch of Western Family seasoning or .50 for a bottle of certain sesonings at Wal-mart. "Jesus is the reason for the season." or "Hoping your holidays are seasoned with joy."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thought for the Day

"Mom, remember when I was in the bathroom doing research?"--my three year old daughter said this to me yesterday and I haven't stopped laughing!

Then last night I was helping my son get ready for bed and he said, "Sometimes when I get out of the bath my underwear gets all skimpy."

I am so grateful for all my kids and their senses of humor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clean Freak!

A few of you have asked me for my organization tips. Here are a few.

Housework
1. Let everyone help. It won't always get done the way you want, but it will get done, and kids won't learn any younger. I have a chore chart where the kids rotate jobs each week. They don't get allowance for these basics (set table, clear table, clean bathroom, vacuum living room, stairs, clean family room, empty trash). They get to do these jobs cuz they live here rent free, and oh yeah, I want them to be responsible. Even my 3 year old can pick up her toys and put her laundry away. Older kids clean their rooms, and help younger kids with their rooms, if they want extra allowance.

2- There is a list of "deep cleaning" tasks if any kid wants to earn money or an extra privilege. These are generally things like wipe down walls or cabinets, organize and clean out closets, rotate food storage, etc.

3. Each family member has a basket with their name on it. I put all the things that never find their proper place in the buckets. Each night, or every other night, the kids empty their buckets before bed.

4. We have a check off list for Saturday chores to make sure they are learning how to be responsible.

5. When I'm not too frazzled I try to make it fun. Like setting the timer for 60 seconds and see who can get the most done; or listening to music while we clean--I remember Marilyn McCoo and Lionel Ritchie blaring from our stereo on Saturdays when I was a kid.

6. I also try to praise everyone for a job well done and offer incentives to those who go the extra mile. Often we offer the kids a mild bribe like if you get all your chores done we can go swimming, or have a campout, or make a treat.

Since the baby was born I feel like I live in a Fisher Price-Book bag-Coat-Shoe war zone. Things are not the way I'd love them to be, but that's okay. We have lots of places to shove things when visitors come. I have had some messy roommates in my lifetime and it was awful, for me, to live in place that was a constant disaster zone.

Other tips
I have a large calendar on the back of my door. Andy hates it there, but it's in the kitchen which is where I normally am. I have a different colored marker for each kid so I know who should be where on what day at a glance. You can use your cell phone, Blackberry, iPhone, Franklin, piece of paper, or other devices to accomplish the same thing.

Shopping List
I keep an on-going list of what I need on my fridge. I also keep a meal plan for the week there so I know what needs to thaw for the upcoming meal.

Remember that you aren't going to get everything done that you want to do in a day, whether you have kids or not. Life (or something else) Happens. On those days that just aren't going my way I try to look at accomplishing one thing. What absolutely has to get done today? If nothing is a priority then somedays nothing gets done. I remind myself I don't have to do it alone and I ask for help. My older kids are great helpers and if I give Andy a honey-do list he's right on task. But being organized is my thing. It keeps me from going in 1000 directions at once and taking things one at a time so priorities are met and life is less chaotic. Hope this helps those of you who asked.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Herb Chicken

6 chicken breasts (again if you don't need this much for one meal, freeze in 2 or 3 separate bags for other meals)

1/4 c. olive oil
4 tsp. (in total) of any combo of the following: rosemary, sage, time, parsley, basil, oregano
1 tsp. garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. flour

Place chicken in a large bowl. Mix the herbs with the oil and pour over chicken; sprinkle salt and pepper onto meat.

Coat the inside of a ziploc bag with the flour and THEN place the chicken into bag. Label and freeze.

When ready to eat, thaw chicken and bake in 13 x 9 dish at 350 deg. for 45-60 min., until juices run clear.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Clearance Day Deals

Andy is away--again for Scout Camp. I figure if he gets to have fun, so do I. Before he left I took 2 hours and went clearance shopping. I found some good deals at Target--love perimeter shopping. I have tried to keep a list in my purse of things I actually need, and not just buy stuff (read: crap) because it's cheap. If you can't really use it or don't know why you are buying it, it's wasting money, not saving it.

Anyway we had some rugs that needed replacing and I got new ones 75% off. I also bought the girls some clothes for next summer--retail $13 for shorts $8 for shirts, I paid $3 for shorts and $1.74 for shirts and I also got them pjs for Xmas for $5.74. If you have kids and don't already shop a year ahead you may want to consider buying some things on clearance. Yes, there are trends that come and go, and if storage is an issue it may not work, but some smart retail decisions can save money in the long run. Here is what works for me: 1- keep a list of current sizes and needs for each kid. 2- Only buy basics-jeans are jeans and t-shirts are t-shirts no matter what the decade. I don't buy a ton, but if there's a huge clearance sale, I will stock 2 or 3 items per kid. This mixed with whatever made it through the previous season usually makes a decent wardrobe. Also I stock up on socks, underwear and seasonal items in the next size up because, again, it's basic and you'll use it.

So my oldest girls have 4 pairs of shorts each and 3 t-shirts for next spring/summer and the shorts were between $10 and $15 per pair, I paid $2-3 per pair. The shirts were between $8-10 each and I paid $1.74 - $3 each. I also try to pay for these things in cash so it doesn't sit on a credit card. The shorts are long enough that unless they grow a literal 10 inches by next summer, they will work. And everything has adjustable waists to fit them where needed. I can't believe how expensive tween's clothing is. Total sticker shock since my little girls have lots of hand me downs from the older girls and boy's clothing is basically a church suit, jeans, polos and t's.

My advice for clearance shopping: 1-be organized-keep a list of needs so you're pennies stretch. That's not to say an occassional want can't be purchased. 2- be familiar with current prices. Sometimes a "deal" at one store can be found as a regular price at another. 3- Shop the perimeter--outside aisles and endcaps for great clearance at stores like Wal-mart and Target. 4. If you use coupons, bring them with you when you shop because you can use many maufacturers coupons on items that are on clearance.

After my spree today I can home exhausted. Andy was on his way out the door and I had 5 hungry mouths to feed. I had a dinner planned, but I figured let's forget "the plan" and go out. I had a gift certificate to a local pizza place that I'd purchased online at an extreme discount and a redbox code so we had a nice dinner out and a fun movie at home. Maybe the kids won't be so sad that their dad is gone....maybe they'll have so much fun they won't notice...here's hoping the tears aren't many.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Awesome Recipe

When we bought our house a few years ago one of the things we liked most was a fairly large garden patch in the backyard. "Won't this be a great place to teach the kids about self-sufficiency?," I said. Ok, so they don't help as much as I'd like, but they are young and they do help a little--mostly harvesting cuz that's the fun part. Three years later we are growing things besides weeds. This weekend I bottled 2 batches of salsa (so about 14- 16 oz. bottles). Anyone who knew me before I got married can stop laughing now! The "domestic goddess" has visited our house several times over the past 11 1/2 years and I am fairly capable of cooking a meal that doesn't kill anyone... now.

The salsa turned out great--a little mild, but if I add my bottled jalapenos from last year's garden, it's perfect. I have some children who don't like to breathe fire like I do, so we kick the heat down a notch for them. It was a little work, and I discovered why experts tell you to wear gloves when seeding peppers--lost a good pair of contacts this morning because I chose not to follow their advice. Anyhow I figured if we are growing peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, carrots, squashes and onions, I ought to know what to do with them. I use this great recipe below about twice a month to use our garden veggies fresh. Even if you don't have a garden, the produce in the markets will make for a delightful meal.

Hamburger Stew
1 lb hamburger, cooked and drained
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery
1/2 c. chopped green beans
1 tomato, chopped
2 med. potatoes, diced and peeled
1/2 sm. zucchini, chopped (optional)
1 c. onion chopped (or 1 Tbsp. onion flake)
1 lg. 32 oz. can tomato sauce
4 beef bullion cubes, crushed
4 cups of water
1/2 c. barley
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp. chili powder

You can either layer the veggies, with carrots and potatoes on bottom, then the rest of the ingredients on top and cook it on low 8-10 hours in the crockpot; or cook it for 45 min - 1 hr. on the stove. You can use regular barley and add it at the beginning of the cooking process or quick barley and add it 10 min. before stew is done. This dish is great for leftovers, which I normally hate, or you can freeze it and thaw it for later. Cook once, eat twice. AWESOME!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

101 Uses for vinegar

I picked up a 64 oz. bottle of this stuff for $1.56 (yes, I had coupons) at Wal-mart. I've used it for cleaning, cooking and of course egg dyeing, but had no idea how awesome this is. I've compiled a list of uses for this amazing product which can be found in "Haley's Hints" and www.versatilevinger.org

Kitchen
Garbage disposal cleaner:
Garbage disposals may be kept clean and odor free with vinegar cubes. Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.

Clean the microwave:
Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

Deodorize the kitchen drain:
Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.

Clean the refrigerator:
Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.

Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards:
Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.

Brass polish:
Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following mixture. Dissolve 1teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.

Ant deterrent:
Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies/Gnats in Your Kitchen:
Place a bowl filled with ½ quart water, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap to attract the fruit flies. Always eliminate the source of attraction, i.e., ripened produce.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances:
Apply vinegar with a soft cloth to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances. Try in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaner Dishes and Glasses:
Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle.

Remove Refrigerator Smells:
Place 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a glass and set in refrigerator. Within 2 days, any smell is gone!

Bathroom
Bathtub film:
Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.

Shower doors:
Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.

Toilet bowl cleaner:
Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spraying them with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.

Unclog the showerhead:
Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.

Lawn/Garden
Kill grass/weed:
To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white distilled vinegar on it. For weeds, spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved.

Keep Flowers Longer
Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change water every five days.

Pets
Pest fighter:
A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.

Pet accident:
Test the color fastness of the carpet with white distilled vinegar in an inconspicuous place. Then sprinkle distilled vinegar over the fresh pet accident. Wait a few minutes and sponge from the center outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. This procedure may need to be repeated for stubborn stains.

Get Rid of Odor on a Smelly Dog:
Wet the dog down with fresh water. Use a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 gallons water. Saturate the dog’s coat with this solution. Dry the dog off without rinsing the solution. The smell will be gone!

Other
Bumper stickers:
Remove bumper stickers by repeatedly wiping the sticker with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked. In a few minutes, it should peel off easily. Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the paint.

Paintbrush softener:
Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.

Frosted windows:
For those winter mornings when there is frost on the car, wipe the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts white distilled vinegar. They won’t frost over.

Furniture:
Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaning Leather Shoes:
Make a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar, and use it sparingly on the shoes. Dip a cloth into the solution, and dab it over the salt-streaked parts of your shoes. May have to repeat the cleaning a few times before all the salt is removed. Salt actually can damage leather, so it's best to clean shoes as quickly as possible. Don't let the salt stains build up.

Cleaner for Gold Jewelry:
Use one cup apple cider vinegar. Submerge solid gold jewelry item in vinegar for 15 minutes. Remove and dry with cloth.

Worn DVDs:
If you have a worn DVD that has begun to stick or suffers from the occasional freeze-frame, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Ensure the DVD is completely dry before re-inserting in the DVD player. (Note: This only works on DVDs that are scratched of dirty through normal wear.)

Laundry Hints
Clothes washing magic:
Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the last rinse water. The acid in vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, but strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents.

Blanket renewal:
Cotton and wool blankets become soft, fluffy and free of soap odor if 2 cups of white distilled vinegar are added to the rinse cycle of the wash.

Deodorant stains:
Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.

Hole removal:
After a hem or seam is removed, there are often unsightly holes left in the fabric. These holes can be removed by placing a cloth, moistened with white distilled vinegar, under the fabric and ironing.

Keeping colors fast:
To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.

Leather cleaning:
Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then polish with a soft cloth.

Setting colors:
When you are color dyeing, add about a cupful of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.

Shower curtains:
Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse water when you launder your shower curtain. Do not spin dry or wash out. Just hang immediately to dry.

Unclog steam iron:
Pour equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water into the iron's water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.

Cleaning Vintage Lace
Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Next, hand-wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite. If rust spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.

Food Preparation
Getting the last drops:
When you can’t get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it, put the cap on tightly and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been wasting.

Cooking fish:
Try soaking fish in vinegar and water before cooking it. It will be sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better. When boiling or poaching fish, a tablespoon of vinegar added to the water will keep it from crumbling so easily.

Cake icing:
Cake icing can be prevented from becoming sugary if a little vinegar is added to the ingredients before cooking. The same is true when making homemade candy.

Boiling eggs:
When boiling an egg and it’s cracked, a little vinegar in the water will keep the white from running out.

Keeping potatoes white:
A teaspoon of white distilled or cider vinegar added to the water in which you boil potatoes will keep them nice and white. You can keep peeled potatoes from turning dark by covering them with water and adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar.

Freshen vegetables:
Freshen up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Fruit and vegetable wash:
Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.

Flavor booster:
Perk up a can of soup, gravy or sauce with a teaspoon of your favorite specialty vinegar. It adds flavor and taster fresher.

Meat tenderizer:
As a tenderizer for tough meat or game, make a marinade in the proportion of half a cup of your favorite vinegar to a cup of heated liquid, such as bouillon; or for steak, you may prefer to a mix of vinegar and oil, rubbed in well and allowed to stand for two hours.

Fruit stains:
Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with vinegar.

Fresh lunch box:
It is easy to take out the heavy stale smell often found in lunch boxes. Dampen a piece of fresh bread with white distilled vinegar and leave it in the lunch box overnight.

Get rid of cooking smells:
Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.

Fluffy Egg Whites:
Soak a paper towel with 1-2 Tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Wipe mixing bowl and beaters or whisk with the vinegar-soaked paper towel, then dry with a cloth or paper towel prior to whipping egg whites.

Fluffier Rice:
For fluffier and great tasting rice, add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to the boiling water before adding rice. Rice will be easier to spoon and less sticky.

Health
Relief from Heartburn:
For relief of heartburn or acid indigestion, take one or two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine for Sleep Apnea:
To clean the calcium deposit of the humidifier reservoir, heat 450 ml (1 ¾ cups) of vinegar in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour vinegar into reservoir and replace cap. Let sit for 1 hour. Remove vinegar. Reservoir should be clean and calcium free. Contact manufacturer before cleaning with this method or review manufacturer’s directions.

Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting:
Douse with vinegar. It will soothe irritation and relieve itching.

Relieve sunburn:
Lightly rub white distilled or cider vinegar on skin. Reapply as needed.

Relieve dry and itchy skin:
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your bath water. OR Apply a paste made from vinegar and cornstarch. Keep on until itch disappears.

Fight dandruff:
After shampooing, rinse with a solution of ½ cup vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.

Soothe a sore throat:
Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow. For another great gargle: 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vinegar, gargle then drink.

Treat sinus infections and chest colds:
Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer. (Be sure to check vaporizer instructions for additional water measurement.)

Skin burns:
Apply ice-cold vinegar right away for fast relief. Will prevent burn blisters.

Chest congestion:
To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.

Toenail fungus:
Soak toes in a solution of vinegar and water, using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, 15 minutes per day.

Arthritis Relief:
Mix a teaspoon of half apple cider vinegar, half honey in a glass of water with a teaspoon of orange flavored Knox gelatin.

Lessen Morning Sickness:
Drink some apple cider vinegar in water, with honey added. This concoction can help calm a queasy stomach.

Cleaning Heavily Soiled Hands
Moisten cornmeal with apple cider vinegar. Scrub hands, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

Soft Feet
Combine 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons warm water. Soak feet for 45 minutes then use a pumice stone or file to remove dead skin from heels and callused areas of feet.

Wart Remover
Mix lukewarm/warm water with a cup of white distilled vinegar. Immerse area with wart and soak 20 minutes everyday until wart disappears.

Bug Spray
Combine equal amounts of water, white distilled vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Use on skin, as needed.

Kids Stuff
Coloring Easter eggs:
Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with each ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. (Check egg-coloring booklets or food dye box for specific directions.) Vinegar keeps the food dyes bright and prevents streaky, uneven colors.

How to build a volcano:
First, make the “cone” of the volcano. Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil and 2 cups of water. The resulting mixture should be smooth and firm (more water may be added if needed). Stand a soda bottle in a baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Do not cover the hole or drop dough into it. Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food color (can be done before sculpting if you do not take so long that the water gets cold). Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle contents. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the liquid. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. Watch out – eruption time!