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Friday, March 07 , 2014

Homemade Furniture Polish

Some people love the lemony smell of store-bought furniture polish...and some people hate it. Here's a homemade furniture cleaner that's kind to your wood and doesn't smell like a chemical factory.

Mix one-third cup of white vinegar with one cup of olive oil. Rub a bit of this homemade polish on your furniture with a soft, lint-free cloth (such as an old bit of bedsheet or T-shirt) until your wood has a smooth, even shine. Refrigerate any unused portions...or use some on your salad at suppertime!

More help for around the house…


Thursday, March 06 , 2014

Ankle Trick Relieves Stress

We all go through periods of feeling stressed and blue. Work pressures, financial pressures, relationship pressures…it's enough to make a person explode! Here's an ancient way to relieve the stress...

You can “acupressure away” the pressure of the day by getting a firm grip on your ankle. Using your thumb and third finger, place your thumb just below the inside of your right anklebone, and the other finger on the indentation directly below your outer anklebone. Keep steady pressure on the spot as you count down from 60 to one slowly, breathing slowly as you count. You can switch to your left ankle and repeat the process, but you may not have to. You should feel yourself calming down in a matter of minutes.

More ways to get calm...


Wednesday, March 05 , 2014

New Use for Sour Milk

You wanted to have a fancy dinner party, but your best flatware is nothing but a fancy box full of tarnished forks and knives. Got sour milk? Probably not. No fear! Here's what to do...

Take one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, and add enough milk to equal one cup of liquid. You've just made sour milk! Pour the sour milk in a glass pan, and soak the tarnished silver pieces in it for 30 minutes. Then wash the silver with dish detergent, rinse and buff dry with a soft cloth. (And please throw out the rest of the sour milk so no one drinks it!)

More cleaning tricks...


Tuesday, March 04 , 2014

Procrastinator's Guide to Painting

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to lift your spirits and make it look like you live in a new home. But it's hard to find time to paint a whole room in one shot. Paint one wall at a time! Here's how to make it easy...

If you don't finish painting in a day, instead of cleaning the brush or the roller, just wrap it in aluminum foil, put it in a plastic bag that can be loosely closed with a twist tie, and put it in the freezer. The next day, thaw out the brush or the roller for at least one hour before you're ready to start painting again.

The best news: A wrapped paintbrush or roller can be stored in the freezer for days, weeks or even months, until the next time the painting bug hits you.

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Monday, March 03 , 2014

Hot Fix for Cold Coughs

The chills, body aches and profuse nose-blowing of your cold all are gone, but you still have an annoying cough! You may have to cough out the cold a little longer, but it would be nice if you could curb the noise slightly until your body naturally heals. Here's what to do...

Combine one-half cup of apple cider vinegar with one-half cup of water. Add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and sweeten to taste with honey.

Dose: Take one tablespoon whenever you cough (which may be quite frequently). The cayenne-vinegar combination is a strong flavor, but not as bad as you might think. Right away, it should halt your cough temporarily...and reduce the frequency of your hacking. Swallow one tablespoon at bedtime so you can sleep at night. Rest is the best medicine for a minor cough!

Caution: A persistent cough that lasts longer than seven days or is accompanied by fever or shortness of breath can be a sign of something serious. See your doctor.

More natural healers...


Friday, February 28 , 2014

Road Rage Defuser

Why is it that the nicest people often turn into Mad Maxes when they get behind the wheel of an automobile? If you hate when this happens to you, here's a remedy to keep you calm when that jerk cuts you off on the highway.

Did you know that certain scents reduce road rage? According to recent research,* drivers exposed to the smell of cinnamon and peppermint reported feeling less frustrated.

What to do: Add two drops of peppermint and cinnamon oil to each of two cotton balls. Wrap the cotton balls in a piece of cheesecloth, and put them under your car seat. The scent will last a week or two.

*Bryan Raudenbush, PhD, LPharm, associate professor of psychology, director of undergraduate research, psychology department, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia.

More ways to feel calm...


Thursday, February 27 , 2014

Clean That Grease Splat Off Your Wall

Did that batch of fried chicken attack your kitchen or dining room wall? Grease stains can be a problem, since they're not easily removed with all-purpose cleaner and you don't want to risk damaging any paint. Here's what to do...

Pour a few squirts of baby powder on a soft, clean cloth—no water necessary. Wait a few minutes, then rub the cloth on the grease spots until they fade away. (To protect your wall, don't rub very hard.) This works best on acrylic paint. If you have another kind of paint, try a small area of the grease spot to make sure that it doesn't discolor the wall (although that's highly unlikely, even on a dark-colored wall).

If the fresh grease mark is on wallpaper, blot off as much as possible with a paper towel. If the stain remains, cover it with two layers of plain brown paper bag and go over it briefly with a warm (not hot) iron. When the grease is transferred to the paper, use a new piece of brown paper. Continue doing this until the stain is gone.

More ways to make housecleaning easy...


Wednesday, February 26 , 2014

Sweet Fix for a Burnt Tongue

The tongue is such a vulnerable part of the body. It gets bit and burned...just the thought of a burnt tongue causes pain! Here’s what to do if you burn your tongue at home or at the coffee shop...

Rinse your mouth with ice-cold water. Put a few drops of pure vanilla extract on your tongue's burned spot. If you’re at a coffee shop or restaurant, sprinkle white sugar on the burn. Let the sugar sit until you feel relief. Rinse your mouth again with cold water.

More help for everyday annoyances...


Tuesday, February 25 , 2014

Help for Dry, Cracked Heels

Do you have heels that look like they've been through a severe drought? You scrape and you moisturize, but they remain dry and cracked. It's time to try some overnight care. Here's what you do...

Before bedtime, wash your feet with warm water and dry them. Liberally apply petroleum jelly on your feet, massaging it into the rough and cracked areas. Wrap each foot with plastic wrap. Put on socks, and go to sleep. Repeat the process nightly until your feet feel smoother. It shouldn't take much more than a week...possibly less.

More help for your feet...


Monday, February 24 , 2014

Perk Up Your Wilted Celery (It’s Not What You Think)

Celery can keep its crunch for a good two weeks if it is tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. But what if you forgot that tight wrap? And you often need only a stalk or two for the occasional tuna salad or soup recipe, so the rest of the bunch can get limp pretty quick. Here's what to do to get the crunch back...

To revive wilted celery, place the rubbery stalks in a bowl or pickle dish with a few slices of raw potato and enough water to cover. Place in the refrigerator. In about an hour, so the stalks should be nice and crisp and ready to serve.

More kitchen help...