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!

Perfect Poppers

Good Tuesday Morning!

With Superbowl XLVI fresh in my mind, I have a confession to make.  I am not a huge football fan.  Now don’t get me wrong, I do love the idea of being a football fan but sitting down and watching a game from start to finish is just something I haven’t gotten the hang of yet.

But I am a huge fan of game day snacks!  One of my all time favorite things to eat, football game or any other day of the year, is jalapeno poppers.  Oh, even thinking about the tasty little bites makes my mouth water!  Unfortunately for popper lovers everywhere, these dudes are a pain in the neck and time consuming to make.  Here’s a quick tip to help get you from a pile of whole jalapenos, blocks of cream cheese, and raw bacon to the pure bliss of a perfectly prepared popper in record time.

Quick Tip #2:  Use a grapefruit spoon to remove the seeds and ribs from jalapenos when preparing poppers.


Did you know that all the heat of a jalapeno resides solely in the seeds and ribs?  So remove all of these parts and, presto, you have a jalapeno that even kids and adults with touchy taste buds can enjoy in mass quantities.

Back away from the paring knife!  The grapefruit spoon is the perfect tool for scraping out as little or as much of the seeds and ribs in order to make jalapeno poppers of your desired heat level.

Jalapeno Poppers

24 jalapenos

2 8oz. blocks of cream cheese

24 slices bacon (halved crosswise)

Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise.  USE A GRAPEFRUIT SPOON to remove the seeds and ribs.  Stuff each jalapeno half with cream cheese.  Wrap halved slice of bacon around the jalapeno and secure with a toothpick.

Place on a broiler pan or rack inside a rimmed cookie sheet.  Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour or until bacon is crisp.


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!