2 “Keys” to Improved Eyesight

keyboard

 

Ever notice how small the words are on websites?  Here’s a great trick to use when you don’t have reading/computer glasses on hand.  Simply press “Ctrl” and “+” and the font size increases.  Do it again, it increases more.  Again, the same thing!  It’s amazing.  If you want to go back to original size, press “Ctrl” and “0” and you’re back to normal!  One of my most used tips for researching on the web.

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Stopping the Stacks!

articles to keep

Do you have stacks of magazine or newspaper articles that you have cut out and placed neatly in a stack?  If so, you know as well as I do that you can NEVER locate the article you found so interesting when you need it.  Instead, try this trick.  When you find an article that you want to keep, look it up online, then archive it online.  Search google for the pertinent information – the article title, date, author and/or publication.  Once you find it, save it online to one of the multitude of storage sites available.  Pinterest or Google + are two of the most common.  Be sure to categorize it into a specific folder or board so that it is easy to locate when you want to refer to it.   Great for articles that span multiple pages and oversized articles from the newspaper.  Try it – it will truly simplify your life and eliminate a lot of clutter!  And voila – NO MORE STACKS!

Cheddar Cheese isn’t naturally orange – find out why that matters!

natural food colors

Recently I purchased some organic extra-sharp cheddar cheese and observed something unusual about it – IT WASN’T ORANGE!  It looked very similar in color to Mozzarella cheese. This piqued my curiosity, so the next time I went to the store, I read the ingredients on a package of non-organic cheddar cheese.  The ingredient list included “annatto”.  I looked this up and found it was a “natural” food coloring, and at first felt relieved.  However, I kept reading and found this “natural” food coloring has some “not-so-natural” side effects, including being linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Behavioral problems in children.  As you know, I am a proponent of eating naturally and organically, but this was a good reminder to all of us that EVEN NATURAL SUBSTANCES CAN HAVE ADVERSE REACTIONS.   So be observant, read labels, and don’t discount that a natural ingredient could be the culprit to some un-natural symptoms!

My latest BFF for Cleaning Appliances!

bar-keepers-friend-26-oz-all-purpose-soft-cleanser

 

First of all, I have to make the standard disclaimer – try this on an inconspicuous spot before smearing it all over your appliance!  Now, on to the tip!  How many of you have a love/hate relationship with your “stainless” appliances?  Me too! First of all, I put “stainless” in quotation marks because I have come to question how many of us have true stainless appliances. Why?  Because I recently discovered that a magnet adheres to my fridge – and magnets typically do not adhere to stainless steel!  So, perhaps it is an alloy, but it is obviously not 100% stainless steel.  But, I digress.  I recently had had my fill with yet again trying to clean my appliances with stainless steel cleaner and feeling like I was just smearing stuff around making more streaks than I had to begin with.  So, I took out my Bar Keepers Friend (SOFT CLEANSER VERSION) and tried a tad on my dishwasher – in an inconspicuous – well we already covered that.  Anyway, it worked like a charm!  So, I cleaned the entire dishwasher surface and it shone like the first day I got it!  Amazing!  So, I repeated the process on my other appliances and every one of them looked fantastic.  A few things to remember:

  • I have only tried this with the “SOFT CLEANSER” version pictured above – and recommend you do the same.  The powdered version would be too abrasive.
  • Shake well
  • Test it on your particular surface
  • Use a SMALL amount like the directions say to
  • Go with the “grain” of the appliance when applying, rinsing and drying
  • It says rinse within 60 seconds – make sure you do!
  • A flour sack towel is great for drying

I wouldn’t use this as your every-day cleaner, I don’t think it is meant to be that.  But, after application, it does make daily cleaning with your regular choice of cleanser much easier!

 

 

 

Trip Tip: Pack a Pop-Up Hamper

pop up hamperI don’t know about you, but when we are on vacation, our dirty clothes just end up in a heap on the floor.  Pack a pop-up hamper in your suitcase and you will instantly have a place to put all those dirty clothes during your vacation stay.  If traveling by plane, fold it back to flat when you are ready to return home.  If traveling by car, and you have the extra room, carry it home as is so that you don’t mix dirty clothes in with the clean clothes that are left in the suitcase!   Also, the pop-up hamper makes a great tote for the beach, pool, or water park.  It is waterproof, lightweight, mesh/breathable for wet items, and has handles.  I just love items that are multi-taskers!  Enjoy your trip!

Homeowner’s Insurance – Lower Your Premium

Homeowner's Insurance

Here on the gulf coast, as in many coastal areas, insuring your home can get EXTREMELY expensive because of the windstorm risk.  Here’s something to consider.  Raise your deductible.  You will be amazed at how much money this can save you. Raising my deductible from 2% to 5% saved me almost 50% in my premiums.  BUT – you MUST check with your mortgage company first to find out what the highest deductible is that they allow you to carry.  Not all mortgage holders allow 5% deductibles.  If they don’t allow 5%, price your insurance rates at 2% – you will still save money.  And that’s a good thing!

An Apple a Day really may Keep the Doctor Away!

Apples

Juicing has become all the rage for good health, and Apples are a major player in the majority of Juicing Recipes.  It is important to educate yourself on how to use fruits and vegetables in your juicing.  More is NOT always better.  I am doing a series on Fruits and Veggies and will include juicing information when applicable.

Fun Fact:

  • Only 30 varieties of apples were recorded in ancient Rome – but there are more than 1400 different types of apples today!

Benefits:

  • Available year round
  • Terrific source of pectin, which forms a gel to remove toxins from the intestines
  • The potassium and phosphorus in apples help flush the kidneys
  • The natural sugar produces acids that stimulate saliva flow and digestion

Tips:

  • Try to eat only organic apples – otherwise, peel before juicing.  Check out this article on the residue of chemicals on the skin on apples.  
  • If you must BUY  apple juice, never buy it if you can see through it.  This means it is pasteurized, or cooked, and then filtered so that all the helpful enzymes are removed.  Instead buy cloudy-looking juice with sediment on the bottom.  

Buying and storing:

  • Look for firm, crisp apples with smooth skins and without soft spots or bruises
  • Apples continue to ripen at room temperature.  
  • Store in a heavy paper bag – away from onions and potatoes – in the fridge for up to 2 months