Category Archives: Uncategorized

Easily Remove Scuff Marks Off a Wall (Without Repainting)

I had a large scuff mark on a wall where my husband’s chair was rubbing against it any time he sat in his chair. I finally moved the chair forward and tackled the scuff mark. To my delight, it was easily removed without harsh chemicals or repainting!

Here’s what I did…I took a damp sponge and rubbed a little baking soda into the sponge side (NOT the scratchy side). Then I GENTLY rubbed the scuff mark with the dampened baking soda side of the sponge. The baking soda was enough abrasion to remove the mark without damaging the paint. As the mark was loosened, I wiped the area with a clean damp cloth. That’s IT! Below is a video showing how this was done…

I hope this helps you out!
Judi

NEW Tip for Saving Fresh Vegetable Juice

It didn’t take me long after getting into drinking fresh vegetable juice every day that I realized I can’t devote that much time to the endeavor on a daily basis. Yes, I realize that’s the best way to drink it, but few people can do that every day. So, I did a little experimenting and found a new way to help keep that juice fresh a little longer. Here’s my video where I talk about it.

No time to watch the video? So what’s the tip?? Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pure ascorbic acid powder to your freshly made juice before it’s poured into individual jars. That amount of ascorbic acid powder has a LOT of vitamin C power, which is a proven antioxidant and works wonders as a preservative. I have found that my fresh juice is keeping far better now even though I’m also following all the other usual tips for preserving juice.

Happy juicing! I hope this helps 🙂
Judi

Save Money on Hair Conditioner

Hair conditioner is something most of us use on a regular basis. Without giving much thought to it we usually follow the simple directions…apply to hair, rinse out, dry and style hair as usual.

Have you ever given thought to how much you’re actually rinsing down the drain and how much is actually clinging to your hair? Well I have, and decided to try applying only as much as I could imagine actually stuck to my hair after being rinsed out. It’s a LOT less!

So, with that in mind, I gave it a try. I applied very little conditioner to my freshly washed hair…only as much as I imagined that stayed on my hair after it was rinsed…and then didn’t rinse anything out. Guess what??? It was wonderful. It was just as good, if not better, than having applied a lot more then rinsed it out of my hair.

So, what am I doing and how much am I using? My hair is about shoulder length. I apply a very small amount of conditioner to the palm of my hand, about 1/4 teaspoon at the most. Yes, that’s all. Then I rub my hands together, focusing on getting the conditioner onto my fingers. Then I rub my hands in my hair, disbursing the conditioner throughout my hair the best I can. Combing the hair helps to spread the conditioner around. That’s it! Then I dry my hair as usual. No rinsing; no waste. My one bottle of hair conditioner will go a LONG way with this method, saving some money along the way.

Yes, I know the question comes up…”Won’t my hair be greasy?” Well, yes it will IF you apply too much. The key to success here is being VERY stingy on how much you use. I literally use NO MORE than 1/4 teaspoon of it in one application. That’s FAR less than I would have used if I applied it to rinse it out. So, it’s a matter of experimenting to learn how much is right for you. If you do this and your hair turns out to be greasy, then you’ve used too much. Cut way back next time. If your hair turns out fuzzy, then you didn’t use enough.

Give this a try. It really does work as long as you don’t overdo it with the amount of conditioner you use. AND you’ll save some money along the way because one bottle will last a VERY long time!

At the top of this post is my video showing how I do this. I hope this helps!

Judi

DIY Air Freshener and Humidifier

Here’s a simple tip for anyone who lives in a colder climate where the humidity level drops way down as soon as the cooler weather arrives. You know the signs…your hair starts to fly around, your clothes stick to you with static cling, and you get zapped with a static shock when you touch a light switch. Ouch! When these things happen, it’s time to do something to get more moisture in the air!

Well, you don’t have to invest in an expensive humidifier. Of course you can if you want, buy why do it if you don’t need to? Here’s something anyone can do with what you already have on hand.

(1) Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Then lower it to medium-low temperature and allow the steam to slowly release from the hot water. This will bring the humidity level up in your home. Just watch the pot so it doesn’t go dry.

(2) If that’s not a good option for you, try using your crock pot. Fill it with water, turn it onto high, and leave the lid OFF. Allow the water to heat up (using hot water to start with will speed up this process) and monitor the steam being released. If it’s a lot, try turning the pot down to medium or low. Experiment with this, since different brands of crock pots may maintain different temperature levels.

(3) Kick it up with aromatics! Add your favorite essential oils, herbs or spices to make the house smell wonderful. For example, I added some clove essential oil with ground cinnamon powder to a pan of hot water on the stove. In no time, our house smelled very “pumpkin pie-ish.” It was wonderful…and no baking needed! You could use any essential oils you want. If you don’t have those on hand, use your favorite herbs that you already have, such as mint leaves, fresh or dried basil, rosemary, cilantro…whatever you want!

(4) When you’re away from home, simply keep the water in the pot or crock pot with your aromatics, but leave it turned off for safety reasons. The water will still evaporate in your dry home and the great aromas will still be released, but at a slower pace. In fact, you could place bowls of water with your favorite herbs, spices or oils in them in different rooms around the house. The water will slowly evaporate, humidifying the air and releasing wonderful fragrances along the way.

Give this a try! No special equipment is needed and it’s well worth trying in the colder months. I hope this helps 🙂

Judi

Heal Gums Naturally with Probiotics

I recently developed a bout of gingivitis in one area of my mouth where my teeth are crooked. I had been rinsing my mouth once a day with diluted hydrogen peroxide for a while, and I suspect that created an imbalance of microbes in my mouth that led to the inflamed gum problem. The issue flared up so that I couldn’t brush my teeth nor floss without extreme pain.

I tried using more diluted hydrogen peroxide rinses and that only seemed to aggravate the situation, making the problem worse. THEN, I realized that our bodies house a finely tuned balance of microbes…both good and not so friendly microorganisms. I realized that the balance was off, probably due to the hydrogen peroxide I had been using.

So, I experimented on myself and it worked! I stopped the peroxide rinses and turned to a little “germ warfare” of my own design. I took what probiotic capsules I had on hand (a 10 billion strength mixture of different strains of Lactobacillus bacteria), and started breaking open the capsules directly onto my tongue. My saliva moistened the powder and I did what I could to move it toward the inflamed gum area. I did this two or three times a day. By the morning of day 3, I was able to brush and floss my teeth without any pain. The redness had subsided. By the end of day 4, the redness had disappeared and my gums were returning to normal.

When doing natural therapies, it is important to monitor body signals as to when a therapy is enough and it’s time to stop. I found that four days of using probiotic capsules in my mouth was enough for my situation. On day 5, I noticed that my gum problem was pretty much gone, but my mouth and especially teeth started to feel exceptionally “clean”. Abnormally clean. I practice good oral hygiene and my mouth usually feels clean, but this was not a usual feeling…like it was “too” clean. So, I took that as my signal to discontinue the capsules. It was my sign that my body had enough of the probiotics in the mouth for the time being.

With that signal, I decided to allow the microbe population in my mouth to balance itself out and not interfere with the process. I continued brushing and flossing as usual, but did not do any oil pulling (as I usually do…once a day) until my mouth returned to normal.

Below are two videos where I discussed how I tackled this problem. If you’re suffering from gum issues, please do consider this approach. I believe this method addresses the problem at the core of the issue…an imbalance of microbes in our mouth. I hope this helps!

Judi

Regrow Celery From the Stump

Want more celery for free? Don’t throw the end away after cutting off the stalks! Regrowing celery is very simple and a fun project for all, especially for children.

Simply remove the bottom end of a bunch of celery, cutting about one inch up from the bottom. Place the cut off piece, bottom side down, in a shallow tray with about 1/2 inch of water in it. Place the tray in a sunny location or under bright lights. It will begin to regrow from the center in very little time, usually ranging from overnight to up to two days.

After some time, your celery should sprout roots. With that, it will be very thirsty, so monitor the water level daily to be sure it doesn’t run dry. Also, wash the container now and then to prevent algae from growing, which would not be healthy for the plant.

After roots are established, many people will plant their new celery plant in their garden, allowing it to grow much larger. If you choose to keep it indoors and in water, it would be best to feed it with some plant food to support its growth. The celery can be harvested whenever you want.

It’s fun and rewarding to see food grow from a scrap item that would have been thrown away. This is a wonderful activity for children to help teach them where food comes from and hopefully inspire them to do a little gardening of their own sometime.

The following is a video demonstration of how to regrow celery

Enjoy!
Judi

Easy, Effective Fruit Fly Trap

This is literally THE most effective fruit fly trap that I’ve tried. It’s simple to make and most people would have all the ingredients already on hand…water, sugar, vinegar, and liquid dish detergent. No need to cover it with plastic wrap. Just mix it up and place it near whatever is drawing the fruit flies and they will be attracted to this mixture.

After placing a few of these traps in my kitchen, dining room, and even bathroom (yep…we had them just about everywhere!), almost all the fruit flies were caught within a day or two. It was amazing! Give it a try.

In a small cup, simply combine…
4-5 oz warm water
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 drop of your favorite liquid dish detergent

Stir it all together and place the cup near whatever is attracting the fruit flies. Do not cover the cup with plastic wrap. Leave it open so the flies can easily make their way to the liquid. That’s it!

Here’s my quick video showing how to make it…

I hope this helps!
Judi

Review of Nesco Food Dehydrator (FD-75A/FD-75PR)

I recently purchased a Nesco food dehydrator and wanted to offer an unbiased review of it in hopes of helping others who are shopping for a dehydrator. In case you’re wondering…I purchased the dehydrator with my own money, I have no ties with the Nesco company, nor has anyone paid me to do this review.

FEATURES…
* Model FD-75A or FD-75PR (These two models are actually the same machine. The only difference is the packaging.)
* Top mounted fan and a bottom tray
* 600 watts of power
* Thermostat range is 95-160F
* 13-1/2″ footprint (round)
* Comes with 5 BPA-free plastic drying trays
* Comes with 2 fruit roll sheets and 2 small screen sheets (all BPA-free)
* Includes a recipe/instruction booklet
* This model also comes with jerky spice and cure packets (3 of each). This gives you an opportunity to try their spice packets before buying additional ones.
* The unit can expand up to 12 trays being used at once.
* Extra trays, fruit roll sheets and small screen sheets can be purchased in multiples of two.

PROs…
* The top-mounted fan prevents any spills or fallen food from entering the fan or motor.
* The bottom tray enables very easy clean-up of spills or fallen food.
* This unit is VERY easy to operate. There is literally NO learning curve. Simply turn the dial to the desired temperature setting and plug it in. That’s it!
* Suggested temperatures for specific foods are printed on the top of the unit, allowing for easy, fast operation.
* This dehydrator has a smaller footprint than many others on the market. This is an advantage if you don’t have a lot of counter space for such an appliance.
* The unit is very lightweight and easy to move around if needed.
* This unit has few features (which might be a “con” for some people), meaning less things to break down.
* It is very inexpensive when compared to some other dehydrators. This makes it a good entry-level dehydrator for those new to dehydrating or for those who are not sure just how much dehydrating they will need to do.
* The unit is not overly loud. One can easily talk over the machine. Some units on the market have a louder noise level, which may be a problem for some people.

CONs…
* This dehydrator has very few features. This can be a “pro” or “con” depending on personal perspective. Most people expect an electrical appliance to have an on/off switch. This unit does not. It is turned on/off by plugging/unplugging it from an electrical outlet. It does not have a timer, which many people expect to see on a dehydrator. It literally has no bells and whistles.
* One year warranty. The lifespan of this unit is apparently not as long as some other dehydrators on the market. However, for the price point, it is what one would expect.

FAQs…

Why did I choose this dehydrator?
(1) Noise level. I have read reviews of other dehydrators where people complained about the noise level. I needed one that was not overly noisy so it does not interfere with my husband’s musical endeavors.

(2) Size. I did not have enough counter space available to devote to a larger dehydrator. This one fit very well where I needed to put it.

Do I miss the bells and whistles?
No, not at all! Personally, I prefer to keep things simple. I will admit that plugging it in/out of the wall to turn it on/off was weird at first. Now I’m used to it and don’t give it a second thought.

I also don’t miss a timer. I check the time when I start it up and figure about when the food should be dried. I check it at that time. If it’s not finished, I simply let the machine run longer. IF I expect the food to be dried while I’m away or sleeping, I turn the temperature down some to prolong the drying time (this is not suggested if you are drying meat, fish, poultry or any animal products).

What have I dried with it so far (as of the time of this post)?
Tomatoes, apples, green beans, basil, juice pulp crackers, kale chips, soaked almonds, and carrots.

How well did they come out?
Everything came out very well, except the basil took a lot longer than I expected. After 24 hours, the basil was moderately dry, but not completely. I removed the herb leaves from the dehydrator and placed them in a paper bag, folded the top over a time or two, and placed it on the dining room table. Each day, I shook the bag a bit to stir up the leaves. The basil was perfectly dry after a few days.

Do I like my dehydrator?
Yes! I LOVE this machine!

Would I recommend it?
Absolutely…IF the buyer can be happy without the bells and whistles, even the features you might expect (like on/off switch and timer).

If a person expects to be drying a large volume of food at one time, a larger unit may be more appropriate. BUT, this machine can use up to 12 trays at one time. So, it’s a matter of personal preference, budget allowance for such an appliance, and space available to house it.

Final thoughts…
This is a great entry-level dehydrator for those new to dehydrating and not sure just how much they will use it. The investment is small (as dehydrators go), the footprint is small, it is lightweight and can be easily moved, and it does the job VERY well! What more could you ask for? If you’re just not sure that you need a big dehydrator, yet you want to give it a try, DO consider this model! It’s worth the small investment to “test the waters” of this form of food preservation.

Below is my video review of this machine.

I hope this helps!
Judi

Overcharged on Produce at Walmart in Carroll, Iowa

I don’t normally write such a post, but this one is warranted. We shopped at the Walmart store in Carroll, Iowa yesterday (October 29, 2016). We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, so of course, I purchased a number of items that needed to be weighed at the register.

When checking out, I didn’t watch the prices as the cashier rang up our items (my mistake). It wasn’t until this morning that I actually looked at our receipt. What really caught my eye was the fact that I saw the price for the ONE honey crisp apple that I bought. I’ve never tried one and since they’re expensive, I just bought one to try. I noticed that the ONE apple cost $3.60. “What??” I yelped! I looked at the weight and according to the receipt that one apple weighed 1.35 lbs. I have an accurate digital kitchen scale. I weighed the apple and it weighed less than 8 ounces. Hence, I was charged more than double what I should have been for that one apple. (Note that at the store, I put the apple was in one of those produce lightweight plastic bags that you can grab from a dispenser, which I had removed after bringing the food home. So the “tare” weight was not added in, but there’s NO way that little plastic bag weighed over 8 ounces. I’m sure it weighed way less than an ounce.)

Then I got out the eggplant that I purchased and have not yet cut in any way. It too rang up for a lot more weight and cost than it should have. Then I checked other items that we had not used, and they ALL weighed more on the receipt than they actually did…way more…sometimes double the weight or more.

I called the store and spoke with someone in customer service. She said they check their register scales every other day. She got the register number from my receipt and said she would go check the scale right away.

This may be an innocent problem, but I’ve heard of such schemes in the past (where stores alter their scales to show items weighing more than they actually do) and I know from reading online that the law has cracked down on such things. I don’t know if this was deliberate or not, but knowing how Walmart does their best to make as much money as they can, any way they can, I suspect that they might deliberately calibrate their scales so they overcharge customers on items that must be weighed.

So…it’s time for all of us to check this out and make it known to any store that overcharges that you caught them in the act. We could go back to that store and easily prove our point by carrying the items back to have them reweighed. However, we live in a different town and that store is about 30 minutes drive from here (country driving, so we’re talking about 30 miles one way). If I lived closer, I’d carry the produce back and have customer service weigh them again and prove my point. I’m estimating I was overcharged $10 to $15 or more (total) on the assortment of produce I purchased that had to be weighed. Because of the cost in gasoline and time factor in going back to the store, I’m opting to make this event known to the public this way, and absorbing the loss rather than driving back to the store. I doubt I’ll ever purchase anything that must be weighed at that store again. AND I’ll watch prices on items as they’re rung up at any store I shop in from now on.

I hope this helps you as a reader in some way, if nothing more than making you aware that such things can and do happen and that we should ALL watch the monitor as items are being rung up at any cash register. As I’ve learned, it pays to watch.

Setting Health, Wellness and Fitness Goals

Well, it’s that time of year again, when people are setting resolutions and goals to (hopefully) achieve in the new year. In reality, many people do not realize those goals. They keep them for a little while, then they silently slip away often without notice.

I too played that game in my earlier years, especially when it came to exercise. I was not a “habitual” exerciser yet I knew how important it was. I knew I would feel better and be healthier if I exercised on a regular basis. Yet, I’d start a program and it wouldn’t last long. If I got interrupted only once from my newly established “routine”, it went down the drain. Such is the case with way too many people.

Then one day I had a horrible health-related episode (not going there right now). THAT episode sparked me into realizing I wasn’t doing myself any good with my off and on exercise regimen. So, I decided once and for all I would tackle it. Here’s what I did…

(1) I truthfully examined my daily schedule to see if I could find a time of day when I would be the LEAST interrupted. After all, it was those “interruptions” that would literally wipe out my regimen. I found it… EARLY in the day. I started setting my alarm clock one hour earlier than I was used to. (Sure it wasn’t easy, but so what!) I would then get up before anyone else in the house, before the phone started ringing, before I had to get the kids going off to school, even before my husband got out of bed! It WORKED! I put in 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise regularly, without interruption and that started what became a lifelong habit (from there on out).

(2) I developed a “motto” that has literally kept me going for decades. Really. I was 38 years old at the time and wanted to be in shape by age 40. Not a bad or unrealistic goal. So…here’s the motto or goal list I established:

I wanted to be…
Firm at 40
Fit at 50
Sexy at 60
Sophisticated at 70
Elegant at 80

Well, at the time I couldn’t think of anything for 90, so I pondered that literally for decades. Recently I ran all this by our younger son and he came up with the next line…

Naughty at 90 (LOVE it!!)
With that I was able to finish it out with…
With God’s help, still standing at 100! Done

The above goal list or motto has kept me moving for decades (I won’t share where I’m at in the scheme of decades). It worked.

Initially I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. Now it’s well ingrained in my memory banks so no written reminder is needed.

I suggest YOU set such a goal list, especially if you’re having trouble keeping those ever-renewed new year resolutions. Making changes for our health’s sake should be a lifelong endeavor. Not for 6 weeks, 2 months, 6 months or 2 weeks. The best way to realize change is to be consistent and to do it over time. If you get off the band wagon, forgive yourself. Life happens. Then get back on it as soon as possible and carry onward. That’s the only way you’ll really benefit and gain the health and wellness you’re wanting.

These simple tricks have worked for me. Starting out, I was no different than the average person, knowing I needed to exercise, but having an almost impossible time doing it. I truly hope my story helps spark something in you that will get you moving and living a healthier lifestyle. One you know you need, but have had a hard time establishing. Let me know if this works for you.

Best wishes and happy new year to all!
Judi