All posts by Mandy

HELPFUL HOUSEHOLD HINTS

HOUSEHOLD HINTS FOR EASIER LIVING

woman wearing apron cleaning metal pan in sink
use helpful household hints

Household hints are a great help in getting things done more quickly and efficiently.  The more hints we adopt, the easier our lives become. This provides us with the benefit of extra time that we can spend on doing the things we love.

Mandy’s Favorite Household Hints:
  • ‘GARLICKY’ ODOR ON FINGERS…Garlic cloves and whole head of garlic

After chopping garlic, run your fingers along the DULL length of your knife several times under COLD water. This will instantly remove the pungent odor of garlic from your fingers and knife. This really works!

  • dirty cup saucer and spoonSTAINS IN COFFEE CUPS…

Pour about l/4” of liquid bleach into stained cup and top with plain, warm water, then let stand for a few minutes until stains disappear. Then wash with soap and water and rinse well. Note: Do this in your sink to prevent bleach damage to your counter.

  • blue ink splatterBALLPOINT PEN INK STAINS ON CLOTHING…

This treatment has been around for ages, yet some folks have never heard of it.  Simply spray some HAIRSPRAY onto the affected area, then gently wipe with a slightly damp cloth until the ink disappears…then launder normally. Keep the stain from transferring to the reverse side of the garment by placing a cloth or paper towel behind the stain. Not recommended for leather, satin, silk or other delicate fabrics.

  • scattered American coinsPOCKET CHANGE…

Don’t think of pocket change as a nuisance…instead toss all of your loose change into a jar or container at the end of each day. If you manage to save only 50 cents a day, at the end of the year, you’ll have amassed $182.50!

  • smiling toothRAN OUT OF TOOTHPASTE?…

Simply brush your teeth with plain water, floss, then rinse with baking soda mixed with water to destroy most of the bacteria in your mouth…then rinse your mouth several times with plain water. This will freshen your mouth at the same time.

  • penguin ready for showerMINIMIZE WATER DRIPS AFTER SHOWERING…

While standing in your tub or on your bathmat, first wipe the entire length of your arms before proceeding to dry your hair because the vigorous action of your elbows sends water droplets flying onto walls and floor.  This will cut down on clean-up time.

  • grocery cartBATHROOM AND FACIAL TISSUES, PAPER TOWELS, FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS, SHAMPOOS, DISH AND LAUNDRY DETERGENTS, CLEANING PRODUCTS, LIQUID BLEACHES, ETC….

These products can be bulky and/or heavy, so stock up on them whenever they go on sale, especially before winter weather sets in. They are so much easier to unload from the trunk of a car and carry up the stairs when the weather is nice.

  • laundry room with clothes and ironing board, washing machineLOW-WRINKLE LAUNDRY…

At the end of a dryer cycle (when clothes are still warm), remove one item at a time, place on top of dryer and smooth out all wrinkles with your hand. Repeat with each item, stacking them one on top of the other. When smoothed, bedding, towels, PJ’s, and T-shirts will remain wrinkle-free until you are ready to fold them and put them away. Note: Some articles of clothing may need some ironing, depending on the material.

  • scissors with blue handlesCOUPONS…

Clip savings coupons as soon as you have them in hand, then put them into a see-through plastic baggie in order of expiry date and tuck them into your purse.

  • cartoon woman applying lipstickBEAUTY PRODUCTS…

Write down the brand names and all pertinent information of your favorite beauty products on a plain piece of paper or clip a portion of original box or wrapper and include in your see-through baggie with your coupons… and on shopping day, you will have the information you need at your fingertips.

  • notepad and brown ballpoint penGROCERY LIST…

Keep a running list of groceries you will need to buy on a small notepad and pen that you keep handy and as soon as an item springs to mind, jot it down immediately before you forget it.

  • calendar number 10 circled and hairdresser written in redDATES TO REMEMBER…

Write down all birth dates, anniversaries, medical appointments, and other special occasions in calendar squares under pertinent dates, then check your calendar each morning and guide yourself accordingly.  Note: You can color-code dates of special importance with highlighters.

  • birthday card and envelopeGREETING CARDS…

In January, look over your calendar (JAN.-DEC.) and make note of how many greeting cards you will need to buy, then go out and buy them, plus a few extras for emergencies (Get Well Soon, Congratulations, etc.). This will save you rushing out at the last minute for that all-important card.

  • 4 keys on keychainKEYS…

Drop your keys into the heel portion of a shoe as soon as you come home.  Your keys will be in plain sight and immediately accessible when you need them . When shopping…remember to keep your keys either in your pocket, purse, or the palm of your hand…never place keys on store counter because you risk forgetting them there and will have to return to the store to retrieve them.

  • steaming hot soup in beige pot with ladleSOMETHING IS COOKING ON THE STOVE…

NEVER leave a stove unattended because just a few moments of inattention could result in an overflow of liquids, a burnt pot or pan or, worse yet, a kitchen fire. When you are cooking and your phone or doorbell rings, respond first to your stove to turn it off. You can always resume cooking when there are no further distractions.

  • yellow battery with words long lasting batteryBATTERIES…

Always have an ample supply of batteries on hand in sizes that are appropriate for your radios, smoke detectors, remote controls, flashlights. etc.

  • one grey flashlightLIGHT UP YOUR ROOMS DURING A POWER OUTAGE…

Light up the rooms you are occupying during a power outage with flashlights standing upright with lit portions facing the ceiling. If flashlights wobble, place in tall glasses or vases to keep them from falling over. This is a safer alternative to candles and provides a wider and longer scope of visibility. Remove batteries from flashlights after power has been restored.

  • remote control drawing, black and blue buttonsREMOTE CONTROLS…

Do not wander around the house with your remote controls in hand because you might misplace them due to distractions. You will save time and effort by keeping each pertinent remote control in the room where you always use it.

  • 3 bananas and 6 banana slices FRUIT FLIES

Get rid of pesky fruit flies by cutting up a banana on a plate and wrapping it securely with plastic wrap. Using a fork, pierce the plastic wrap several times to make tiny holes. The fruit flies will gravitate towards the sweet fruit and will be unable to escape. Dispose of trapped flies by setting them free outdoors.

 

FAILURE CAN DRIVE YOU TO SUCCEED!

Let’s turn “failure” into a positive force. Here’s how you can make it work for you and still succeed:

  1. Backview of man every accomplishment starts with the decision to try
    Just keep on trying – you’ll get there!

    Let it serve as a reminder as to how courageous you were to have tried something new in the first place.

  2. Consider it as a “motivator” to encourage you to try harder, until you achieve what you set out to do.
  3. Use it as a “deterrent” – a reason to question your choices, so you don’t repeat mistakes you’ve made!

LIFE LESSON:  WHEN YOU’RE FEELING LIKE A FAILURE,  REMEMBER THAT INVENTORS, PAINTERS,  EXPLORERS, ETC., ALL BEGAN THEIR  JOURNEY TOWARDS SUCCESS WITH A FIRST STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN.  JUST KEEP ON TRYING AND YOU’LL EVENTUALLY  SUCCEED.

WHAT WE SAY CAN COME BACK TO ‘BITE’ US!

Watch what you say because,

in conversing with others, we sometimes unwittingly divulge too much personal information about ourselves that can be viewed by others in ways we never intended.

cartoon people in different colors- three of them with empty thought balloons
People thinking about what                  you’ve said
       WHAT YOU MIGHT SAY…         MIGHT BE VIEWED AS…
“My husband spends too much time at work…he’s hardly ever home.” HE’S HAVING AN AFFAIR!
“I love my gin and tonic and can’t wait to make myself a good stiff drink  when I get home!”   YOU’RE PROBABLY A DRINKER.
“When I was young, I was with friends and we stole some gum from the corner store!”   YOU HAVE IT IN YOU TO TAKE WHAT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU.
“Sometimes I re-gift the presents given to me because I can’t really use them!”    THE PERSON WHO HEARD YOU SAY THAT WILL ALWAYS  WONDER IF YOUR GIFT TO HIM/HER IS A RE-GIFT FROM YOU!
“What you might say: Summer is so short…thank goodness I have a camper to go to on weekends!”   EVEN IF YOU LEGITIMATELY CALL IN SICK TO WORK ON  A FRIDAY MORNING, YOUR CO-WORKERS WILL  WONDER  IF YOU’RE SIMPLY TREATING YOURSELF TO A  NICE, LONG WEEKEND!

LIFE LESSON:  REFRAIN FROM TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF SO MUCH.  ASK QUESTIONS INSTEAD, OTHERWISE PEOPLE WILL GO HOME ENLIGHTENED WITH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU AND YOU WILL GO HOME ‘IN THE DARK’ ABOUT THEM!

LIFE HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR!

Look Back and Laugh!

Cup of coffee with a laughing decor in the foam
         Humor in life

One Christmas Eve, I rushed out to the mall for some last-minute shopping. At the far end of the parking lot, I encountered a vehicle turning into the same spot I was turning into, but from the opposite side. The driver of the other car honked his horn several times, flickered his headlights and waved me away, leaving me no choice but to retreat because I was not about to argue with a stranger in a dimly-lit parking lot. I then backed out and drove around the lot to look for another spot. To my delight, I came across a parking space directly in front of the mall entrance. I smiled to myself thinking that, in a small way, life smiled on me that day because the day ended in a WIN/WIN situation…the man got the spot he wanted, but I got PRIME PARKING…thanks to him!

 LIFE LESSON:  LIFE DOES, AT TIMES, HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR!

SAY “YES” TO YOURSELF

When saying NO really means saying YES

3 speech balloons on yellow background No, Yes, Maybe
Say “YES” to yourself

“NO” is a tiny word, yet so hard for some of us to say. Why is that? It’s because we don’t want to alienate folks by appearing uncaring at a time when they need us. So what do we do? We agree to their request and accommodate them when we really don’t want to, then resent those very same folks for putting us in a position of ‘doing’ for them simply because we do not know how to say NO! It’s not their fault…they just asked…and we answered and if we were not honest in our response, we have only ourselves to blame.

My advice to you, for the time being, is to follow your heart when asked to do something for someone while keeping in mind that when you say NO to someone, you’re saying YES to yourself.

LIFE LESSON:  IT’S NICE TO BE KIND TO OTHERS BUT DON’T FORGET TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF ON OCCASION.

“LOOSE LIPS”

Reacting to Gossip About YOU

Man walking and talking into megaphone
Some people love to gossip

What should you do when you find out that tongues are ‘wagging’ about you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…because when you confront gossipers, most likely they will deny spreading rumors about you and you might add fuel to the fire with your own denials. Bear in mind that ‘loose lips’ have either nothing better to do with their time, feel righteous, are envious of you in some way, or simply want to appear more interesting when conversing with others. Besides, almost everyone knows who the gossipers are on the street where you live. They also know you for who you are and will only regard the idle gossip as short-term entertainment. If you make a big deal about it, you’ll end up putting questions into people’s minds (is it true what they’re saying?) and then you’ll have more folks on board speading the gossip and that’s what you want to avoid!

It could also happen that someone you’ve known for years believes the gossip going around about you and turns on you without saying why. If that ever happens, don’t fret about it. Simply forget about it and move on. There’s nothing you can do about it and, if you ever renew your friendship with that individual, your relationship will never be the same because he/she has lost your trust!

LIFE LESSON: WHEN FOLKS GOSSIP, IGNORE WHAT IS BEING SAID ABOUT YOU. IF THERE IS NO REACTION FROM YOU, THEY WILL FOCUS ON SOMEBODY ELSE.

STUCK IN THE PAST!

glass half full with brown liquidAre you living in the present or stuck in the past?

Our past makes us who we are today. Be grateful for all the good that comes your way, and view hurtful experiences as EXCITING occasions to LEARN and to GROW!  When misunderstandings occur, take a few moments to reflect on any part you may have played in the scenario because like it or not, someone might have misconstrued what you said or did even though you had the best of intentions…then formulate a plan to prevent  it from happening again.

The one thing you must NEVER DO is to dwell on  past hurts, because when you think or talk about what someone said or did to you 30 or 40  years ago, it keeps you stuck in the past and causes you to RELIVE the unhappiness over and over, which really solves nothing and makes you sad.  You can only learn from the past but one thing’s for sure…YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT! Focus, instead, on the good times and the many meaningful moments you share with loved ones. The following is a wonderful adage which reminds me to live in TODAY:

LIFE LESSON:  “YESTERDAY’S BREAD IS STALE… TOMORROW’S BREAD IS NOT YET BAKED… SO LET’S EAT TODAY’S BREAD! (author unknown)”

CHANGING THE ONE YOU LOVE

Is that special someone not ‘perfect’ enough?

small red heart

Changing the one you love is no solution and here’s why: At some point in life, you fall in love with a ‘special someone’.  Everything is new and exciting at the beginning then, ever so slowly,  you determine that your love interest needs some fine tuning so you begin chipping away at the uniqueness that first attracted  you to him/her.  Your sweetheart then tries to live up to your expectations until he/she is not  quite the ‘original’ you fell in love with, leaving you disenchanted.  You had a good thing  going…then you changed it!

Are you now prepared to be in a relationship with a duplicate of yourself, or would you prefer the diversity of someone who feels free to be himself/herself around you?

LIFE LESSON:   INSISTING THAT SOMEONE MEET OUR EXPECTATIONS DOES NOT  HONOR THAT PERSON!

ZODIAC PERSONALITY TRAITS

What is your personality?

CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 – JAN.19)

Capricorn sign on blue backgroundThose born under the CAPRICORN sign are ambitious, responsible and hard-working individuals who often rise to the top of their profession or field of work. They are perfectionists by nature and often appear serious and stern but underneath that tough exterior they are warm, kind-hearted people who need to let their hair down occasionally to unwind from the stresses they impose on themselves and others.

CAPRICORNS have a short list of friends because they are often preoccupied with their careers and have little time to develop lasting connections with others. They often appear to be ‘loners’ which they’re really not…what they are is loving, charming and generous with a surprising sense of humor making them delightful company when they allow themselves to relax.

When CAPRICORNS are happy in a relationship, they are loyal, protective and affectionate with their partners and will gladly share what they have with them.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 – FEB. 18)

Aquarius sign on blue backgroundAQUARIANS, though popular and friendly, enjoy their privacy and independence and tend to do things their way. They thrive on constant change and are always trying new things. They are also intriguing and engaging conversationalists because they are quite well versed on issues and topics that truly interest them.

Those born under this sign are highly intuitive, insightful and optimistic even when things don’t seem to be working for them. They genuinely love people and want to do for them but find it difficult to conform to expectations imposed on them by others which can make them prone to rebellious behaviour.

AQUARIANS possess a magnetic charm which draws others to them and their cheerful disposition makes it easy for them to get along with just about anybody.  Although they are surrounded by many acquaintances, they have only a few good friends and will do anything to help and support those close to them.

AQUARIANS need partners who can keep up with their adventurous spirit and zest for life!

PISCES (FEB.19 – MAR.20)

Pisces sign on blue backgroundPISCEANS are multi-talented, highly intuitive, extremely sensitive and delightfully spontaneous. At times, they can be moody and over-emotional and because they can easily be hurt, they must guard against slipping into modes of self-pity.

PISCEANS genuinely care about people and the world in general and strongly empathize with others, sometimes giving too much of themselves and this trait can cause others to take advantage of them.

Elusive and secretive, PISCEANS are reluctant to share their private thoughts or deep emotions with anyone, even with those closest to them.

PISCEANS have difficulty making decisions because they tend to focus more on the ‘big picture’ and become overwhelmed by too many options and details, so they wind up doing nothing instead of taking steps forward.

Once PISCEANS commit to a relationship, it is likely to be for life!

ARIES (MAR. 21 – APR.19)

Aries sign on blue backgroundARIANS know what they want…and they want it NOW! Folks born under this sign are natural leaders and extremely independent and are impossible to ignore because they make things happen as they work through life’s ups and downs with daring and initiative.

ARIANS are impatient, impulsive and, at times, hot-headed and their tempers can flare without warning. They really need to curb their bursts of anger if they want to avoid problems at work, at home, or at play.

ARIANS are sometimes inattentive to the feelings of others, but once they become aware that their behavior has hurt someone, they do their best to make amends. Routine jobs are not for ARIANS because they are highly competitive and need to work at what challenges them and allows them freedom of expression.

ARIANS are passionate by nature and have a tremendous need for challenge and adventure. They can become bored and restless if their romantic relationship becomes too comfortable or the same, day in and day out!

TAURUS (APR. 20 – MAY 20)

Taurus sign on blue backgroundTAUREANS are dependable, hard-working, stubborn and possess an abundance of common sense. They are soft-hearted and naturally charming and easily get along with just about anyone. Kind and trustworthy, TAUREANS can be relied upon to do what’s right no matter what obstacles they encounter.

TAUREANS are prone to moodiness and become easily stressed when they do more for others than for themselves. They need time to wind down when life becomes overwhelming for them and they look forward to some ‘alone’ time to re-energize.

The ideal job for TAUREANS is one where there’s routine, where it’s calm and low-key because they can’t be rushed to make on-the-spot decisions which can make their heads spin and ultimately frustrates them…they need time to think!

Emotional security is of utmost importance to TAUREANS and when they commit to their chosen partner, there is no doubt as to their loyalty and devotion!

GEMINI (MAY 2l – JUNE 20)

Gemini sign on blue backgroundGEMINIS are charming, creative and highly intelligent with a witty sense of humor. They love to talk, dazzling folks with their knowledge about a variety of topics and blend in rather nicely in crowds because of their knack for knowing just what to say.

GEMINIS have a tendency for divulging what’s been told to them in confidence but it’s not done on purpose…they simply talk too much at the wrong times! They are impatient, exacting and sometimes controlling and react negatively when things don’t go their way. As wonderful as they are, they confuse and frustrate others because they can be adamant about something one day and change their minds about it the next day.

GEMINIS have a long ‘to do’ list of chores and have every intention of crossing every item off that list as it gets done but, because they procrastinate, the list keeps getting longer and longer as time goes on.

Being in relationships with GEMINIS is never boring but they do need a partner with both feet on the ground, a loving and loyal companion who will challenge them with lively conversations.

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22)

Cancer sign on blue backgroundCANCERIANS are emotional, highly intuitive, extremely sensitive and compassionate and live their lives in the pursuit of happiness.   They may appear tough on the exterior but are much softer on the interior. They sometimes come across as aloof because they are afraid of being hurt but this only causes others to distance themselves from them, leaving them feeling alone and isolated, which is the exact opposite of what they want                                                      and need.

Home is extremely important to CANCERIANS who are prone to bouts of nostalgia and you’ll often find their environment filled with photographs and mementos from the past.

CANCERIANS can switch rather quickly from being soft and gentle one moment to being short-tempered and snappy the next. They are moody and argumentative and will pout when they don’t get their way. This sign of the Zodiac can hold grudges for the longest time.

When CANCERIANS fall in love, they do so with their entire being but, if they should ever feel rejected, they will retreat into their shells or wander off on their own to where they will feel loved and appreciated. 

LEO (JUL. 23 – AUG. 22)

Leo sign on blue backgroundLEOS are humorous, outgoing and charismatic and are quite content to find themselves at the center of attention surrounded by admirers who simply adore them and who don`t mind lavishing them with generous amounts of flattery. They have delightful, sunny dispositions and love to live life to the fullest, propelled by their desire for adventure. While they thrive on being admired, they do not take well to criticism of any kind which can send their egos plummeting.

LEOS are spontaneous, energetic and resourceful and can overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of their dreams and goals. LEOS earnestly believe that they are always right but would do well to acknowledge and respect the opinions of others.

In matters of the heart, LEOS need partners who think independently, who have their own friends and outside interests and once they find the right partner, they remain committed to that relationship.

VIRGO (AUG. 23 – SEPT. 22)

Virgo sign on blue backgroundVIRGOS are perfectionists, detail-oriented, sensible and meticulous with razor-sharp perception (very little escapes their keen eye). They often appear as critical and fussy and believe no one else can get the job done as well as they can. This can be irritating to others and for this reason VIRGOS need to make a conscious effort to be more understanding and accepting of situations over which they have no control.

VIRGOS are responsible and, at times, generous to a fault and are strongly inclined to serve and help others, doing what is needed to ensure everything is as it should be.

They are multi-talented, artistic and need stimulating, intelligent conversations and you can trust in their ability to be discreet with your innermost secrets.

In the workplace, VIRGOS make ideal employees…because they are hard-working, analytical and very organized and you can count on them to do their best for their employer.

In matters of the heart, VIRGOS are very affectionate and need partners who appreciate their efforts and are devoted to them.

LIBRA (SEPT. 23 – OCT. 22)

Libra sign on blue backgroundLIBRANS are charming, sociable, diplomatic and easygoing. They strive to create peace and harmony around them, avoiding confrontations because they dislike hurting other people and prefer the softer approach to keeping the peace through tact and compromise.

LIBRANS have difficulty in making decisions because their minds weave between this and that and may be perceived as wishy-washy but nothing could be further from the truth. They are, in fact, strong characters but lean more towards harmonious ways of dealing with people and situations.

Regarding careers, LIBRANS are ambitious and hate being ordered about and will strive towards being in charge or running their own business.

Folks born under the sign of LIBRA do not make decisions without first weighing all the pros and cons and finding out about all the options available to them…only then can they make an informed decision.

In matters of the heart, once a LIBRAN finds the perfect mate, the relationship will be lively and steady. 

SCORPIO (OCT. 23 – NOV. 21)

Scorpio sign on blue backgroundSCORPIOS are energetic, insightful and magnetically charming. They thrive on challenges and if there is ever a mystery to unravel, you can be sure SCORPIOS will get the job done because their suspicious nature will not let them do otherwise.

Although SCORPIOS are powerful, they do go through bouts of insecurity and tend to mask those feelings with arrogant and dismissive behaviour. They also have a tendency to harbor past hurts and are somewhat incapable of forgiveness towards those who have wronged them.

SCORPIOS are intelligent, ambitious and dynamic achievers and are driven to succeed in all of their endeavors.

When mysterious SCORPIOS fall in love, they can be deeply affectionate and fascinating partners.

SAGGITARIUS ( NOV. 22 – DEC. 21)

Sagittarius sign on blue backgroundSAGGITARIANS are charming, enthusiastic, warm and optimistic. They have a zest for life and, because they have a lot of living to do,  shy away from conformity and routine which could stifle the feeling of freedom they long for.

Cheerful, friendly and adventurous, SAGGITARIANS are genuinely liked by others. Subtlety is not one of their strong points so if you do not want to hear an honest answer, do not ask a SAGGITARIAN for an opinion.

SAGGITARIANS do best in careers that challenge them, where there are places to go, people to meet and things to learn.

In matters of the heart, SAGGITARIANS are generous and helpful partners and will work harder than most to make their relationships last, even if they seem to be headed on downward spirals.