Quick Tip for Dry Hair

I am a minimalist.  Clutter drives me insane.  Now, you might not be able to derive that on your own if you walked into my less-than-perfectly-organized home right at this moment, but it is the truth.  Therefore, I really appreciate dual purpose products.  The fewer bottles, jars, and containers to crowd up my cabinets and shelves the better.  Face moisturizer with built-in sunscreen, laundry soap with added fabric softener, wood stain plus polyurethane, are just a few examples of products I appreciate for their time and space saving features.  Last week, my sister, Kat, added another dual purpose product to my list of favorites.

Quick Tip:  Apply Cetaphil lotion to wet hair to turn dry hair into normal hair without weighing it down.

I have used Cetaphil lotion for my kids’ sensitive skin for a long time now but this is a new use I wouldn’t have come up with on my own.  And it works like a charm!

Thanks, Kat!

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Old Holey Socks

I am fortunate enough to have two older sisters who have eight kids between them.  That equates to a lot of hand-me-down clothes for my kids.  When Natalie was a tiny baby and just outgrowing her 3-6 month sized clothing, my sisters delivered the toddler sized girl clothes.  As I packed away the outgrown newborn things and made room for the larger sizes, I was a little shocked at how, well, um, used they appeared in comparison.  The tiny clothes we had received as gifts were pristine as they had hardly been worn before Natalie’s rapidly growing little body had them busting at the seams.   I remember thinking that my sisters must be raising animals to have put such obvious wear and tear on the clothes I was adding to my daughters dresser.  I would always take much better care of my kids’ things.  Haughty and naïve?  Yes, without a doubt.

Fast forward five years and two more kids later.  Now I know that indeed it wasn’t my sisters’ kids who were animals.  It’s kids in general.  Now we have more socks in our house that look like this

than socks that wouldn’t embarrass their mother if my kids had to take their shoes off in public.

So what is a mother to do with all those holey socks?  Well the obvious answer is to make rags out of them.  They are perfect for washing windows, dusting furniture, polishing silver, saddle-soaping boots, and probably countless other things.  Problem solved right?  Nope because the little buggers kept ending up back in the sock drawer after I had evicted them to the rag basket.  So here’s my quick tip for you today.

Quick Tip:  Snip the top of old socks with pinking shears to differentiate rag socks from those that are still wearable.

I’m sure that you could use regular scissors of course but the pinking shears seem to help keep raveling at a minimum.

Now next time I don’t have to cringe (as much) when I see my kids kick their shoes off at the McDonald’s Play Place.  At least I know they’re not wearing rags on their cute little animal feet.

My fear in posting these quick tips is that someone is going to think, “Gosh what’s she going to teach us next week, how to turn on a light switch?”.  Remember, I would love to get quick tips from my readers!

Shine On

I have mentioned before how much I adore the FLYLady. (You can read about that here.)   As part of the evening routine I developed through the FLYLady’s program, I always start the dishwasher right before I turn out the lights to go to bed.  I love the thought of any chore being done while I’m sleeping!  Thank heavens for modern technology!

But you know what I do not love?  I do not love to wake up in the morning and open the dishwasher only to find dishes that are not sparkling clean despite a being run through a full cycle during the night.  This has been happening a lot lately.  We have very hard water and I don’t own a top of the line dishwasher but I still expect it to do its job.  I went through countless different types of detergent, added rinse aid of every variety, and even tried doing a more thorough job of pre-rinsing but the spots and leftover residue would not go away.  But never fear!  I have discovered the solution to the grubby dishwasher dilemma!

Quick Tip #4:  Run a dishwasher cycle with regular vinegar in place of dishwasher detergent to remove spots and residue buildup.

Simply fill your detergent dispenser with plain old white vinegar and run the cycle as usual.  Voila!  Sparkling clean dishes and a nice tidy dishwasher that will run spot free for many cycles depending on the hardness of your water.  I usually use the vinegar trick about once a week.

I’ve used this method with everything from glassware only to very soiled dinner plates with the same squeaky clean results so it is a good tip to keep in mind if you ever run out of regular dishwasher detergent.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

No Rolling Required

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My kitchen looks like a war zone at the moment.  I really should go clean it up before my Valentine gets home but I have to share a quick tip with you before Quick Tip Tuesday slips by me!  It came to me while cranking out many treats for all my “sweets” today for our family celebration tonight.

One of my husband’s all time favorite treats is Girl Scout cookies, “Samoas” in particular.  I searched the entire north eastern quadrant of New Mexico but was not able to locate a Girl Scout to sell me some of these beloved confections.  Okay.  Searched might be a little bit of a stretch but I did ask around at church and a few of my friends but apparently Girl Scouts are an endangered species around here.

So I did the next best thing and Googled (isn’t it funny that is a verb now?) “Homemade Girl Scout Cookies”.  My internet search lead me to Amanda’s Cookin’ and her take on Samoas.  I reviewed the recipe a few days ago and noted that the recipe called for rolling out the dough that makes up the bottom layer of the cookie.  That is all fine and dandy except I really don’t like the hassle of rolling out dough.  It makes a mess on the counter, takes a long time, and we all know about the dreaded Gluten Monster that might be release should you handle to dough too much.   What’s that you say?  You don’t know about the Gluten Monster?  Then you have obviously never met my mother.  She is a very talented baker.  Her bread is divine and her pie crust is to die for.  To this day, each time my sisters and I help her bake she reminds us to be gentle with the dough so as not to “release the gluten.”  Cue spooky music and lightening flashes.  I’m not exactly sure what happens when one releases the gluten but I do know it is not something I want to experience.  (I’m just teasing, Mom.)

So I came up with this quick tip in order to bypass the whole tough cookie issue.

Quick Tip #3:  Roll cookie dough into a log for future use.

First, I placed the blob of dough onto a piece of wax paper.

Then, I used the wax paper to shape the dough into the shape of a log.  I wrapped the wax paper around the log and put it in a food storage bag.

I had to feed cattle this morning so I put the bag in the fridge while I was gone.   When I got home I sliced the dough into 1/4″ slices.

Perfect little cookies and no rolling required!  And don’t quote me on this because I haven’t tried it yet, but I think this would work for any type of cookie dough.  I often keep cookie dough balls in my freezer for last minute company or a potluck at church that slipped my mind but the act of rolling the dough into balls is tedious and they mysteriously disappear at an alarming rate.  I blame the disappearing cookie dough on my kids’ thieving ways because I would never do such a thing.  Having a log of cookie dough at the ready might just be the ticket!

And here is the finished product of the Samoas I made for my husband.  They didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as the cookies I was trying to emulate but I made sure to sprinkle in lots of extra love so that wouldn’t matter.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all and to all a good night!

Find the recipe here.

Introducing Quick Tip Tuesday

Good morning!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the website www.quickanddirtytips.com .  I am officially hooked on The Get Fit Guy, The Nutrition Diva, and Grammar Girl.  Sounds crazy but these experts deliver their tips in concise eight minute or less podcasts.  Now that’s how I like to receive information!

In the spirit of Quick and Dirty Tips, I have decided to create a new section of my blog called Quick Tip Tuesday.  This will be a weekly, short and sweet post containing helpful (hopefully!) tips for all things to do with physical, financial, and spiritual fitness.  Email me (rkelling@plateautel.net) your own quick tips or leave them in the comment section if you’d like!  I would love to make this an interactive conversation!

Quick Tip Tuesday Tip #1:  Conquering the Incredible Inedible Eggshell

My family and I eat a lot of eggs.  Most mornings you can find me in my kitchen scrambling, frying, or poaching these  perfectly portioned orbs of protein, usually with a kid on my hip.  The kid on the hip obstacle is what often leads to the only problem I have with eggs, stray eggshells.  If you’ve ever tried to single-handedly fish bits of broken eggs shells out of a batch of pre-cooked scrambled eggs or a bowlful of cake batter, then you understand this frustration.  It seems like no matter the tool you choose to use, a spoon, paper towel or even your finger, to pursue the perpetrating shell the tool acts like an eggshell repellant.

Quick Tip:  Use an intact eggshell half to remove broken pieces of shell from places they shouldn’t be.

It really works!  I didn’t take the time to study about polarity or chemical composition to explain the magnetic attraction that occurs between the two pieces of eggshell but there definitely is one.  And just in case you are wondering about the cleanliness of commercially produced eggs, you can visit http://www.incredibleegg.org/ to see that the washing process and standards of sanitation are really quite extensive and remarkable.

There you have it.  A quick way to banish that icky feeling of crunching down on something foreign in your otherwise delicious egg dish.  You can even do this with one hand tied behind your back or around the middle of the baby on your hip!

Thanks for taking the time to participate in Quick Tip Tuesday!