Monday, January 25, 2010

Give Me What You've Got!

I glanced through the magazine supplement that comes with the weekend paper, this morning.  I noticed that there were two pages of tips for managing your kitchen and giving your home a mini-makeover.  Excellent, I thought, I will read them when I get home from taking my daughter to school.  I might find a little gem of inspiration over my morning coffee.  I'm crazy about household tips.

After reading both pages, I was sorely dissappointed.  The kitchen article gave such insight as "throw away anything past it's expiration date".   Um, I think I already knew that handy hint.  It also encouraged readers to "shop at a time that's convenient for you".  Seriously?  These were the best the author could come up with?

On to the home mini-makeover, which was no better.  In a nutshell, it said to paint your front door, and buy new linens for your bedroom.  Those are obvious, although legitimate, suggestions, I suppose.  But the tip for choosing sheets left me scratching my head.  It said "solid colors or striped sheets work best".  What does that mean?  Best as in more comfortable, more esthetically pleasing, less expensive, more durable?   I guess if you prefer plaid or paisley, they won't work as well.

I think my favorite of all, though, was the number one tip for brightening a dark bathroom.  "Increase all light-bulb wattage".   Not only does that strike me as more a bit of common sense than a helpful tip, it's also a little irresponsible.  They didn't bother to mention that most light fixtures are labeled with a maximum bulb wattage that you shouldn't exceed.  If you're already at the maximum wattage, you need to add another source of light.

I didn't get any of the great tips I was hoping for.  No great ways to use left-overs, or recipes to make in 20 minutes.  There were no hints for getting perfect miter cuts on crown molding or inventive window treatments.  Cleaning tips, one of my favorite categories, were overlooked altogether.

So here's where you come in.  Since I didn't get my "tip fix", I want you to leave me one (or more) of your favorite tips in my comments.  Any category is fine; cooking, cleaning, decorating, budgeting, energy saving....I want to see them all!  Give me what you've got!


Willoughby

13 comments:

Chicago Mom said...

I hate that too! Usually when I read an article on 'saving money on grocery shopping' I find that I am already doing everything they are suggesting.
I can't think of any great new tips I have heard lately to share here, but these are a couple old ones maybe some of you haven't heard: Paste (not gel) toothpaste will polish silver, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers really are magic at cleaning just about anything including permanent marker.

Purple Flowers said...

I find those money saving tips are about as good as their gardening tips. I called the newspaper once when I was irate about about an "empty" article about gardening. They told me the woman just came back from Maternity leave, and pulled an old article from the archives. Made me sick.
I know I could have done better, and I'm not a writer or Master Gardener.
Anyway - we use unprinted newspaper to clean our windows (with vinegar of course). The unprinted paper doesn't leave any lints like paper towels do.
(You may know this one already). :)

Matty said...

I get the impression that the article was geared towards people who don't see the obvious. It was meant to be simple. It wouldn't appeal to someone like you who was looking for something deeper. Consider yourself a savvy homeowner.

As for tips, I don't have anything that will knock your socks off. But I do my laundry in cold water. Wash and rinse in cold. It saves energy and in my opinion, the clothes are just as clean.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Here's my tip-- If you ever need to call 911 (god forbid), when possible, call from a land line not a cell phone. Land lines will reach the very closest dispatch station in your area, cell phone lines do not.

Not terribly exciting, but true :-)

Have a great week Willoughby. Hope you're feeling 100% again.
xo

Holly said...

OK, I will have to think about that and come back...it is way too late. The only thing I can come up with is fresh flowers always make a room seem cheerier...I also love bowls of lemons and oranges everywhere...I have a very dark house, so always looking for happy colors. I also paint my walls crazy colors and only decorate with things I love. I bet you could give us some tips!

Nezzy said...

I'm sayin', this Ozarks farm chick watched the whole dang Dr.s show because they had advertised they were goin' to have some miracle tip to prevent hot flashes. I diligently watched the show with pen and paper nearby when it was just a cream call Cool Flash that you rubbed on after the hot flash started. At 14.00 it was made of menthol, heck ya could just grab a jar of Vicks or Ben Gay.

I am obsessed with cleaning. My DIL gave me an Ultimate Cloth for Christmas. I was very skeptical at first. You wet this thing and wring it out and it cleans windows and mirrors streak free without any cleaning product. I went on to TV and Computer screens,marble appliances, blinds, shower soap scum, grease, even tar off the car...all without a drop of cleaner. I'm sold on this thing.

When cooking, I always make big batches of entrees and freeze them in the desired quantities. That way I can always bake a potato and toss a salad (or something just as easy) and pull out an entree to serve up a good meal. What a lifesaver this has been!

From the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day!!!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

I like the fresh flower idea too...been making bouquets to cheer things up in here...even made some valentines to put in the kitchen window..and it did help....

they are cute...

upstairs in my bedroom i put a vase with some flowering branches..did that ever help....

hope you're feeling well, my friend

love,
kary
xxx

ChristineM said...

I'm not good at household tips, but I did learn something recently....

RoseArt brand "washable" markers are anything BUT washable! Especially when applied to skin. Or as lipstick. I had visions of all the other parents whispering to their kids to "stay away from that Goth chick!"

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

You are so right! So many times the magazines will publish anything just to fill the pages. Often articles like "5 tips to succesful diet" or "7 steps to complete happiness," although eye catching, are often such an oversimplification and they often do nothing more than stating the obvious. However, if and when you do find useful a useful article, please let us know the name of the magazine.

Life Laugh Latte said...

You know I'm crazy about scents. So take the time to go to a candle store and really smell. Think about what scents make you happy. Light them at all meal times, and even when it get's light early to lift your spirits and make each moment a little more special. Lotions do the same thing for me. Find people that make you happy and try to call one of those friends every day. I'm as bad as the article...aren't I?! Holly

Kimberly said...

Well, I hate plastic, and foil wrap. I use them when they don't have to touch the food. (Damn, I sound crazy) Anyway, I use wax paper in the microwave instead of any plastic. My daughter is very picky and has very few "wants" for breakfast. She wants me to whip up a gourmet breakfast on a school morning? I just take a couple of pancakes (made on Saturday), and toss them in the microwave (don't care for the microwave either). My microwave takes 12 seconds. They are just like I made them that day. Put some fresh strawberries on the side, and wham, she can't complain.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

cut dryer sheets in half

Tracie said...

Never go up or down the stairs empty handed. On your way take something with you that belongs down there and put it away.

Also, I never sit still when I'm on the phone. I take that time to dust, put things away, or empty the dishwasher. Seems silly but the time adds up.