Do the dishes when I ask…and other great tips.

We had to have the dreaded “Don’t have a boy over while we are out and do the dishes when we ask” conversation with our teenager last night. It was dreadful. All that was running through my mind the entire time was “I know she is tuning me out, and I think I did the EXACT same thing to my dad when I was 15…ugh. The circle of life…”

During that episode, many other things that my parents told me popped into my head. Funny, how my head works sometimes.

This post is going to share with you a few handy tips and tricks  for the house, kitchen, life…that I learned from my parents many many years go, and a few new things I have picked up on my own along the way.

1. Did you know that if you place a wooden spoon over  pot of boiling pasta noodles, it will NOT overflow? It really works.

No boil over…

2. I am famous for having WAY too much granulated sugar and not enough powdered (which is odd because I am a baker…) Did you know that you can put your granulated sugar into your blender (or magic bullet like I have), and on the high setting or pulse, make your own powdered sugar in a pinch? It’s not perfect, but it will do!

Powdered Sugar in a pinch…

3. When I was younger and more athletic, I was prone to muscle strain (I wasn’t the greatest athlete). My dad told me once that in  cases where you don’t have any Ben-Gay, you can rub Aloe on your muscles and it helps relieve the pain. I thought he was crazy. Until I was in that situation and…it works! It’s not nearly as helpful as Icy Hot or Ben-Gay, but it does the trick when you need it.

Not just for sunburns…Its a hair gel too!

4. Being a baker, I love my flavors. Extracts are ridiculously expensive. Somewhere in the world of pastries, I had heard about using Torani syrup for your frosting AND cupcake flavors. Now, they are my favorite things to use. You get SO MUCH MORE for your dollar, and I like the subtle flavors. Great for smoothies and coffee drinks, lemonades and iced teas, too!

Baking flavor alternatives…

5. My mom was really creative in her craftiness. Years ago she stained our kitchen cupboards  and after the entire process was over, she thought they weren’t ‘aged’ enough. She brewed a strong pot of black coffee and brushed it over the doors. It was gorgeous. (I wish I knew to take photos back then) Who knew that coffee could be an art medium like that?

Tastes good AND looks good…on furniture.

Useful stuff, huh? What fun tricks and tips do you have?


2 responses to “Do the dishes when I ask…and other great tips.

  1. I’m trying that wooden spoon thing because I can’t control the stupid electric stove the way I could the gas stove.
    My suggestion is if you put lemongrass essential oil on cotton balls or a papertowel, it works as a bug repellant. I have a dryer vent that is basically a hole to the outside (I have no dryer). Before I put a box in front of it I stuffed it with doused papertowels to get rid of the bugs. Works like a charm.

  2. Going along with the coffee as a woodstain…I’m getting ready to use vinegar with a few pennies in it as a stain for a wood project I’m working on! Gives a light aqua-blue color!

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