Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Didn't I Think of That?

At least once a day, I think "why didn't I think of that?" to myself. This morning I was looking for a tip on pulling weeds (more on that later), and I thought I'd make a list of my favorite clever DIY tips and tricks, from our friends in blogland, or Pinterest, with a few tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

If you think of any cool tips or tricks you use in your home, feel  free to jump in and leave me a comment! That said, here's my list I made while sulking and procrastinating getting psyched-up about weeding:
Foam Soap Refill. Photo by gailanng

Make your own foaming hand soap and save $. Just mix 3 tbsp. liquid hand soap with 2/3 cup warm water and stir (don't shake) to mix. Obviously, you do have to use the foaming hand dispenser and not the regular kind.

(photo/recipe here)

Speaking of soap - who hasn't heard of the Dawn/Vinegar miracle? Probably you all have, but it bears repeating! Heat 1 cup of vinegar for 1 minute in the micro, and mix with 1 cup of Dawn. Particularly amazing at cleaning showers and tubs.  PLUS, spritz some on laundry stains - let sit for a few minutes, and the stain will wash right out.

And similarly, did you know baby wipes are awesome for cleaning leather shoes? Dingy white leather sneakers get a new lease on life with baby wipes.

Dryer sheets have about a billion different uses, but my favorite is to give the dog a rub down when she's been out in the rain - no more stinky doggie. Plus, the dryer sheet gets rid of the static electricity and can help the pup with anxiety during thunderstorms. (We have a big dog, don't know if I'd do this on a little guy, but you could check it out.)

Using tools? Here's a tip - flat thumbs are not sexy. Use a comb to hold a nail and save your digits.

OR, use pliers to hold fabric tacks or nails. Again, save your fingers, they aren't pretty when they're black either. Check out more DIY tips on the website here.

However, a French Manicure IS sexy. This is a cute idea for perfect nail tips every time. (Not sure I'd go with yellow, but...)

DIY French Manicure
Photo here
Random fact, but, I love eggs. Not as much as ice cream, but they're up there!

Here's a cool idea. To separate eggs, I usually crack the egg into my hand and let the whites separate through my fingers, keeping the yolk in tact. Easy, but kinda yucky. This is not only cleaner, but a way cooler way to separate egg yolks! (Visit the website where I saw this here.)

How cool is that? Don't you want to just run to the fridge and grab an egg?

Speaking of eggs. My lil guy loves to help cooking. His motor skills aren't quite up to egg-cracking yet, so we remove a lot of egg shell pieces. Just use a piece of the shell to fish out the tiny pieces from your cracked eggs - for some reason, the shell pieces are attracted to each other. (Awww).

One more egg tip: fresh eggs are way harder to peel than the older eggs. So if you're making hard-boiled eggs, try to use the "older eggs". (Not too old, "green eggs and ham" makes a cute story, but I'm pretty sure would make you sick.)

And now for something completely different:

Martha Stewart strikes again - make an extra fold in your wrapping paper to create a pocket for the card. Love it.

(Note: I don't buy expensive wrapping paper. I use a roll of brown paper used for shipping. You can decorate it with stamps, twine, burlap, etc...)

Now on to one of my favorite tips, because with very little effort, this cooking tip makes you seem like a Chef to your guests. So here it is:  Everything tastes better with bacon, and that's the truth! (You can use vegetarian bacon, too!). Make veggie bundles with green beans or asparagus. Nice presentation and delicious.

paleo friendly side dish

Do I need to tell you that chicken, pork, shrimp and fish are awesome wrapped in bacon too? Visit for tons of cool recipes.

Do you make your own wreaths? There are tons of ideas out there, so I bet you do!

Here's a super clever idea for wreath making: go to the plumbing department at Home Depot and grab a six foot long piece of foam tubing for $.97! Snip the length you want and duct tape the ends together.  Wreath tutorial here.

Speaking of wreaths: Here's an easy way to hang a wreath with no damage to the door - hang a command hook on the opposite side of the door, like so.

So that's a pretty good list to start with.  I now have to stop playing and go out and pull weeds - Boo! I know, I'm a baby because I hate pulling weeds - so as I mentioned, I tried to look up "tips on pulling weeds", and didn't find any useful ideas. I'm not too happy about that, but I think I have a plan:

So what have you got for me? What are your favorite tips or tricks for around the home?

Parties I'm at Saturday:


Parties I'm at Thursday:

 Great Idea Thursdays at A Handful of Everything



Unknown said...

Thank you for all these cool tips, I can use everyone of them!! :) Michelle

Susan at said...

Nice finds! The comb, genius. Would have never occurred to me. :)

Unknown said...

Susan, the comb is genius! So are safety goggles, but I/we like to live on the edge, no? LOL

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Yes, I want to go grab an egg! Great info and especially love the trick with the comb...who would have thunk it?!
Visiting from Charm of Home!

Kim said...

Julia, I love the Martha wrapping paper tip! I love pretty packages! Going to a wedding this weekend and I am going to use it! :)
Enjoy the long weekend...and, ps, I am going to be studying google+ right along with you! I am SO confused...and just when I thought I was getting this blogging stuff down!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Thanks for all the great ideas. I hadn't heard of all of them. I still tend to do most things whatever way is the hardest and takes the longest. Ha! It's true.

Wilted Acres said...

Baby wipes are also AMAZING stain removers when you are on the go.

Michelle said...

I just stumbled onto this site and love it and your ideas. I have a few more to add to your list if you're interested.
-- If a snap isn't holding together (like on the bottom of a onsie), gently tap on the pointed (male) end with a hammer until it spreads a tiny bit to fit better.
-- Hairspray will remove ballpoint ink from many surfaces (furniture, vinyl purses, some fabrics).
-- Hydrogen peroxide will remove blood stains from most fabric. (My husband worked in a blood bank.) Be sure to test the fabric first.

Kadee Willow said...

I love all your handy tips.... definitely going to bookmark this post! Miss Martha has fabulous ideas on so many things (or I should say her employees AND herself!). Never thought of folding gift wrap so it will hold a card or note! Going to try this next time!

Unknown said...

Thanks all for stopping by! I heart all of your comments and you're making me laugh!

Kim M - if you find any tips on G+ feel free to share! :-)

Michelle - thank you! Hairspray for ink? Perfect timing - my 14 y/o daughter just came home with ink on her new dress - will try that!

Kadee - only Martha! LOL

Linda @ A La Carte said...

These are some great household tips! Thanks for sharing with Diann and I at TTF!


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Really great tips. Some of them I have tried but others were new to me. Never thought of using a comb to hold a nail. Have used needle nose pliers though. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

Krista said...

Very cool finds! I love these tips. Pinterest is the bomb! Thanks so much for sharing these @ Great Idea Thursday's! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

lynda wiggins said...

I love your ideas ! I make my own foaming soap all the time I love it :)