Tips 'n Tricks I've Learned

Cleaning the Oven Door

Using a paste made of baking soda and water (seriously, that's all!) cleaned my oven door.  Then I tried it on the inside too.  Took off all of the gunk INSIDE my oven as well.  Loving this tip, as I was set to use Easy Off and that would've taken two hours and smelled up the house.  This is so much nicer!

Sprinkling Baking Soda on Mattress

I read this tip via Pinterest but they didn't have a source (one of the pitfalls of this otherwise wonderful site).  Here's what you do:  Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into a mason jar and drop in 4 drops of lavender essential oil. Put on the lid and shake up the jar. Using a kitchen strainer, sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit. I left of on for an hour and a half. Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress. The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness. It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean.                   

When I did it, I did not use the essential oil.  I had it, I just decided I didn't want a smell.  I can't tell you if there is truly any difference, but it was super easy as I already had the bed stripped for laundry day.  And if it is actually cleaning something, I am all for it!

Creating Collage in Picasa

I have used Picasa before but had forgotten about this feature until reading this article. Yeah! Loving it! I used it to put together what my brain was envisioning for a spot on the living room wall:

(You'll see how that turns out soon!)

I also used it when my extended family and I were thinking about how to coordinate for family photos.  Here's another little tip:  Did you know that if you Google "what to wear family photography" you get a ton of mood boards with outfits already put together for you?  Me neither!  Anyway, that's what I did, then put four mood boards into Picasa to create (again) what my brain was picturing:

I plan on using this same technique to put together a mood board of design / craft projects I want to finish in the girls' rooms.

Essential Oil on Cotton Ball in Vacuum Cleaner

I don't know where I picked this trick up at, probably a magazine.  I have a bagless vacuum cleaner so this works for me; I am not sure it works for the bag kind, though it probably does.  I put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball (I used lavender because that's what I had, but I am really craving a citrus smell for this trick) and drop it in your vacuum cleaner canister.  When you vacuum it will make your house smell faintly of that smell.  Nice and fresh.  Of course, when you dump out the gunk you will have to replace the cotton ball, but this will give you a chance to try some different smells.

Getting Eggshell Out of Your Batter
Again, I don't know where this tip came from (maybe my mother-in-law), but I wish I would've known about it sooner in life.  Did you know that the  little bits of eggshell - the kind that fall into your batter and you try desperately to fish out - are attracted to eggshells?  Seriously!  Just dip your larger eggshell back into the batter and, as if by magic, that missing bit of eggshell will float right over to it.  Genius!

Cleaning Stovetop Grates

My stove top grates did NOT look like this before, but after placing them in a closed bag (I put all of mine in a trash bag and sealed it up) and spraying them down with Easy Off, the gunk fell right off.  And what didn't came off with only the littlest of elbow grease.  Nannygoat (where I learned about this ages ago) says to use simple ammonia (which is also what I am seeing alot of around Pinterest) but I used Easy Off because I had it on hand.  If you try it with ammonia, let me know.

Scant 1/4" Quilting

Diary of a Quilter is one of my favorite blogs.  In fact, Emma's baby quilt came from a pattern Amy designed.  I wish I heard of this trick ages ago.  By moving my sewing needle one position from center, your seam will be a "scant" 1/4 inch.  It's much better than not having enough seam allowance at the end.  Brilliant!  I can't wait to try this trick.
I hope you find some of these tips 'n tricks handy! 

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