11 September, 2006

"Good Things" for Monday: Tips to Make Life Easier

To me, a "good thing" isn't just about a great item to buy or project to create. Sometimes it's just about simple ideas (remember the beach chair in the baby pool? Brilliant, I say!) and things to make my life a little easier and prettier. So in my eager anticipation of the new season of Martha which starts tomorrow for those of you who've been living under a rock and don't know,(set those TIVO's people!), I thought I'd share a few of my own "good things" to share with you today.


Tip 1: I’ve never been one to collect wine bottles or save them for posterity sake, but after having some wine that came in a particularly fun and appealing bottle, I saved it and cleaned it out for my dish soap. After a quick stop in my local kitchen store, I picked up a liquor spout, popped it on top, and there you have it. Now, I think that looks much better than looking at a plastic bottle of Palmolive sitting on the countertop, don’t you?

Tip 2: Don’t you just hate it when you bake cookies that turn out a little on the hard side instead of the soft chewy consistency that we all love so much? Well if this happens to you, fear not! Put your cookies in a Tupperware container and peel some of the rind off of an orange or lemon. I use a potato peeler to just peel off a few thin pieces, then just place them in the Tupperware container with my cookies, close the top, and later in the day or the following day, open up the container, and Voila! Fresh, soft cookies again!

Tip 3: Everyone loves ice cream, especially when it’s in an ice cream cone. There’s just something about it that makes us feel like a kid again. However, once the ice cream starts dripping all down your face and shirt, well that just isn’t quite as much fun as when you were a kid. So to prevent the ice cream from melting it’s way through that little hole on the bottom, stick a small marshmallow in the bottom of the cone before scooping in your favorite flavor. And while we’re talking about ice cream, if you want to avoid the whole dripping problem all-together, then you might want to run over to Monogram Maket Place and pick up a monogrammed ice cream holder.

Tip 4: I just LOVE avocado's. I love them in sandwhiches, I love them in salads. I just flat out love them. But doesn't it get on your nerves when you make fresh guacamole and it turns brown a mere 30 minutes later? It's usually one of those things you can't prepare until your guests actually arrive. I mean, who wants to dine on brown guacamole. That's certainly not very pretty. So instead of throwing away the pit in the middle of the avocado, put it in the bowl in the center of your freshly made guacamole, and the pit will prevent the guac from browning. Now that is much more appetizing if you ask me!

Tip 5: Here’s a little trick I use to print up your own invitations without the card stock sliding and moving all around, causing you to waste valuable invitations and time. Painters Tape. So here’s what I do. I first measure my invitation, and the borders or design. Keep in mind, the design might favor more heavily on one side than the other so you will need to accommodate for that when you then go into File>Page Setup> and then Margins and Paper in Word. Once you’ve changed your measurements accordingly, Word will select your smaller invitation side and new borders. Chose your font and center your text, then type in your invitation wording. Next what I do is print up my invitation on plain white paper. It will print up on the top left corner of the paper, so then align the top left corner of your printed white sheet, ON TOP of your top left corner of your invitation, and hold it up. You should be able to see your actual invitation card stock behind the white sheet, and see where your wording will fall and it you need to make any adjustments. Once you’ve perfected the spacing and margins, it is then that I take the actual blank invitation, and perfectly line it up to the top left of a white sheet of paper. Use the painters tape to tape the invitation and paper together on pretty much every side. Flip it upside down (invitation down) and place it in the paper tray w/ the other paper. Click print, and wait for your perfectly centered and printed invitation to emerge, without ever having to worry about it getting stuck in the feeder of your printer. Still confused about why I’m using painters tape? Well my friends, painters tape does not rip or tear paper, so when you remove it from your invitation, you’re not likely to pull off part of the decorative border or paper itself. Now, I do these one at a time, only because sometimes my printer can be a little overzealous and grab more than one invitation, so I do it just to be on the safe side. So there you have it, another fine example of why I think painters tape is a “good thing” to keep on hand.

8 Comments:

Lucy said...

The last tip made me giggle, because I can't imagine myself being so exacting about an invitation. More power to you if you are.

Mel said...

That cookie tip is priceless! Thanks MM (and a hardy hello right back to your puppy)

Preppy Kiki said...

Thats funny we both use Palmolive, love the idea about the lemon peel for cookies. I used painters tape for a project this weekend, cant live without it. Thank you for the tips.

Dina said...

Great tips, especially the cookie one!

cape cod mermaid said...

Thanks for the Martha reminder! I thought it started next week and would have been bummed out if I missed it!! Loved the soap dispenser idea. I usually keep mine (lemon Joy) under the sink but if I find a cool bottle I will make use of it!

mandi said...

such fun tips! instead of wine bottles you can use glass oil and vinegar bottles and hand paint them- so pretty!

lgd said...

I have a dish soap bottle like that! Don't you think everyone should??? :) Except I use an olive oil bottle and top from Pier One. They are super cheap ($3 or so?), so when it gets grimey, just throw it out.

cape cod mermaid said...

Forgot to comment on the painter's tape - I use it to tape down my daughter's art paper on the kitchen counter when she fingerpaints. That way the the paper doesn't slide all over the place, so everything stays cleaner and the paper won't rip when you remove the tape!