Even though we e-mail so many of our digital photos, we also print them out. With the holidays coming up, picture taking will be part of every event, so here are some Heloise Hints on how to save and protect the photos and memories captured in them:
1. If you print pictures using an ink-jet printer, get pigment-ink instead of dye-ink because your photos will last a lot longer. Check the cartridges to find those that indicate pigment on the packages.
2. Always store photo albums in a cool, dry place. Also, be sure to clean and take care of your CD discs.
3. Examine older photos every now-and-then to monitor on their condition, so you won’t find out too late that they have deteriorated.
4. Be aware that daylight and ultraviolet light causes photos to fade, yellow or get brittle. To help preserve favorite shots, switch the photos you have on display in frames on a regular basis.
If you have run out of silver cleaning polish, and you need to clean a sterling silver or silver-plated item, here are two Heloise Home Hints that will do the job in a pinch. Give them a try:
1. If the silver isn’t too badly tarnished, just wash it by squirting a good hand dishwashing liquid onto a sponge and then rubbing—never use any abrasive product. DON’T use the synthetic side of a scrubber sponge or cloth. Rinse completely under warm water and then shine with a soft microfiber cloth.
2. To quick clean or to clean large pieces, but NEVER on thin silver plate or antique pieces, lay a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the kitchen sink or in a glass baking dish. Place the silverware on top and cover with very hot water and mix in several teaspoons of baking soda. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes. Rinse under warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
If you don’t want to buy pricey Halloween candies or treats to give out, you can create tasty, fun and less expensive homemade treats. Here are two recipes:
QUICKIE RICE CEREAL TREATS
This child favorite, no-cook recipe requires only 2 ingredients: a box of rice cereal and a jar of marshmallow cream. Just grease a pan with butter; mix the cereal and cream and pat into the pan and then the refrigerator. Cut into squares. Put Halloween candies on top.
COOKIES FROM A CAKE MIX
Mix 1 box of your favorite cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. Preheat the oven at 350F. Use ONLY these 3 ingredients and nothing else. Mix the batter, according to package instructions, in a large bowl, then drop by small spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Monitor carefully, so they don’t burn. For a Halloween color, add several drops of food coloring. For orange, mix 3 drops of red and 5 drops of yellow. For black, use black food coloring or experiment with about 5 to 6 blue to 1 to 2 red.
You can easily mix your own household cleaners, which will be just as effective as expensive commercial cleaners. And you will use products you already have in your pantry or cleaning closet. Here are the Heloise Handy Homestyle Formulas.
To remove grease and grime:
Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia and enough water to make 1 gallon. Wear rubber gloves when mixing and using ammonia. This solution is great for tough cleaning jobs and a real go getter on oil and greasy areas. Think stove top of stove filter!
Banish mold or mildew:
Mix the juice of 1 good size lemon, 1 tablespoon of household bleach and 1 cup of water. Pour into a spray bottle. Squirt the mixture onto the mildewed area. Allow it to dry, reapply if needed. This is for regular old bathroom mildew, NOT a large spot or black mold.
To clean windows and mirrors:
Mix 1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar, 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid and enough water to make 1 gallon of cleaner. Pour into a labeled spray bottle. Then dry the windows with a handful of old newspaper. No lint from paper towels and no money wasted either.
Vinegar is environmentally safe and a versatile product you should always have on hand. For more Heloise money saving vinegar hints, click here to find them on my website: www.Heloise.com.
Don’t throw out empty metal coffee cans and lids because they are sturdy containers that can be used in a variety of ways around your home. After you have cleaned and dried them well, here are Heloise Hints to repurpose them as is or you can give them a quick coat of spray paint like I do:
1. Store dry pasta, no bugs!
2. Put in a garage or shed to hold nuts, bolts or nails.
3. Use a small can as a scoop for birdseed or dry dog food.
4. Place near the dryer to hold lint.
5. Contain small toys or crayons. Great for auto travel to keep these tiny objects together.
Yes, the air in your home can definitely become polluted from house dust, mites, molds, mildew, animal dander, bacteria and insects. Here are steps you can take to limit or eliminate indoor air pollution:
1. Control the humidity level in your home by keeping it between 30 and 50 percent. Dampness is a perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria and insects. Keep things dry but, there does need to be some moisture in your home, so don’t make it bone dry!
2. Dust and clean your home frequently to remove dust mites, animal dander and pollen. Vacuum carpets and drapes often, especially in the winter when many homes are “closed” up a lot and there is less chance for fresh air circulation.
3. Have a pro examine the heating and air conditioning systems annually to be sure they are in the best working condition and help save on your energy costs.
Home appliances, as we learn, do break down and require repairs, which can be costly, particularly if the appliance warranty has expired. Keep the booklets that come with new appliances (or check on line) because you can look at the troubleshooting sections to see what steps to take before calling for a costly repair service.
1. Check to be sure the appliance is properly plugged in. Unplug then plug back in to check the connection is secure.
2. Examine home fuses to make certain that one is not blown.
3. Look to see if the lid or doors are ajar, not closed tightly. This can happened especially if the door is just pushed or slammed shut.
Ice cream of any kind is a favorite family dessert—all year long! You can basically buy vanilla and chocolate and add a variety of toppings to give them an extra yummy kick while saving money also. Here are several tasty Heloise Hints:
Crunchy Toppings: Sprinkle ice cream with chopped nuts, crunchy cereal, peanut brittle, crush peppermint candies or bits of chocolate.
Fruit Toppings: For a healthier addition, put strawberries, blueberries, sliced peaches or any fruit that’s in season layered between scoops of ice cream.
Swirly Toppings: Instead of putting treats on top, swirl hot butterscotch, fudge or maple syrup through the ice cream with a knife or large fork.
When cooking certain foods, the kitchen can fill with big stinky smells. Here are Heloise Hints to help you abolish some of the most common stinks:
1. When you boil, sauté or fry foods like broccoli, fish or cabbage, put several small bowls of household vinegar on the counter adjacent to the stove to absorb the odor.
2. When food bubbles over in the oven, which it always seems to do, sprinkle salt on top of the burned mess, which will get rid of the smoky odor. Remove the debris when the oven cools.
3. When food splatters and smells in the microwave, fill a large microwave-safe bowel with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Turn the microwave on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes. Then wipe off the tray and the walls to remove the odors.
Baking Soda to the rescue again! For more Heloise money-saving baking soda hints, click here to find them on my website: www.Heloise.com.
If your children have lots of T-shirts that they have outgrown or don’t want to wear any more, don’t throw them out. They offer memories of fun times the family has had taking trips or going to sporting or musical events. So instead, here’s how you can repurpose them:
1. Have your children spread them out and separate out all the T-shirts they do not want. (Use them as cleaning rags.) Then, they can select the logos or designs on the ones that the like the most.
2. You cut them into squares or other shapes and then sew them together to make a fun T-shirt Memory Throw or Quilt.