Tomatoes The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it’s time to make tomato jam or roasted tomato sauce.

Melon Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Potatoes Cold temps will break down the starches in potatoes, making them unpleasantly sweet and gritty. Cool and dry darkness is a spud’s best bud.

Onions Uncut onions are happy out of the cold. The humidity of the refrigerator makes them moldy and mushy. Avoid direct sunlight and once cut open, place in a resealable bag in the vegetable drawer.

Garlic Preserve the powerful flavor of garlic by storing in a cool, dry and ventilated container. Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.

Apples Freshly picked apples will do well (and look pretty) on your counter. If they aren’t eaten after a week or two, make them last a little bit longer by then chilling them in the fridge.

Berries Fresh berries from your local farm taste amazing at room temperature so it’s the sooner the better for munching. For long-term storage keep them in the fridge. To avoid soggy or moldy berries, rinse just before eating.

Stone Fruit Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to ripen at room temperature. If you can’t gobble ‘em up right away, place in the fruit bin of the refrigerator for a few extra days.

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Never buy Jewelry cleaner again
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon dish detergent
1 cup water
1 piece aluminum foil
1. Heat water in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.
2. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl (like a cereal bowl).
3. Pour hot water into bowl. Place salt, soda, and dishwashing liquid into bowl. Place jewelry on top of foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse jewelry in cool water and dry jewelry completely with soft cloth. Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time.
4. According to, “this works well for gold-filled, brass, german (nickel) silver, and sterling silver. I have even cleaned jewelry with freshwater pearls, shell cameos and mother of pearl with no problem.”.
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Homemade Bug Spray Recipes That Work!

(Recipes coutesy of

With the warmer weather upon us, comes those pesky inects!  The insect repellents in the stores are mostly loadly with poisonous and very harmful chemicals, especial a chemical called DEET which can be very harmful, causing skin rashes and other serious issues…soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. 

Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects,  possibly even worse effects!!!

A healthier Alternative is to make your own bug sprays!  Here are some very effective bug spray recipes….As with practically every household item, natural bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home. 

Homemade Bug Spray


30 drops geranium essential oil

30 drops citronella essential oil

20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil

20 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil

1 Tablespoon vodka or rubbing alcohol

1/2 cup Natural Witch Hazel

1/2 cup water (or vinegar)

1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin (optional)

Homemade Bug Spray Instructions

Place essential oils in a glass spray bottle. Add vodka or alcohol and shake well to combine.

Pour in witch hazel and shake to combine. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using. This is not necessary but helps everything stay combined. Add water and shake again. Shake before each use as the oils and water will naturally separate some over time.

DIY Bug Spray Recipe Variations

Natural bug sprays can also be made without essential oil using dried herbs and witch hazel or vinegar. This recipe is typically considerably less expensive, though it is also not as potent as the recipe above.

Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray


Distilled water

Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol

Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, etc. I recommend using at least one herb from the mint family.

Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray Instructions

Boil 1 cup of water and add 3-4 TBSP of dried herbs total in any combination from the above. I use 1 TBSP each of peppermint, spearmint, catnip and lavender, and also throw in a couple of dried cloves.

 Mix well, cover and let cool (covering is important to keep the volatile oils in!) Strain herbs out and mix water with 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol.

Store in a spray bottle in a cool place (fridge is great because then its nice and cool). Use as needed.

Added bonus: it smells great and is very refreshing to the skin.

TIP: If you have the time and want to make a stronger version of this recipe, prepare the herbs in an alcohol mixture as a tincture instead and use this directly as a spray after straining out the herbs.

Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent


1 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint

At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid

Vinegar of the Four

Thieves Insect Repellent Instructions

Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar. Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks.

After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge.

To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed. Use whenever you need serious bug control!

Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a tincture for any illness. For adults, dose is 1 TBSP in water several times a day, for kids over 2, dose is 1 tsp in water several times a day.

Other Simple Insect Repelling Ideas

 Use a non-toxic, plastic-free insect-repelling band (I love this one), which is easier to use on children and very effective.

Add vanilla extract to either of the above recipes, or just rub on the skin. You can also mix vanilla with witch hazel and water for a spray version.

Plant insect repelling herbs in your yard. I grow lavender, thyme, mint and citronella near our patio and we use these fresh plants as bug repellent in a pinch.

Rub lavender flowers or lavender oil on your skin, especially on hot parts of body (neck, underarms, behind ears, etc.) to repel insects.

Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc. or citronella, lemongrass, etc.)

Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and I’ve used fresh basil leaves in the garden with great success before.

Store Bought Natural Insect Repellent Options

There are now also some good natural insect repellent options available to purchase if you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand or want a simpler solution.

Some of the ones that I have personally tried and liked are:

Badger Essential Oil Insect Repellent

Babyganics natural insect repellent (listed as safe for use on children)

Herbal Armor (allergy tested)

 What are your tricks for keeping bugs at bay? Which do you think is worse… the insects or the chemicals in most repellents?


KJensifyme Healthy | Katharine



Cooking isn’t easy. It’s time consuming, and can sometimes be downright difficult. Tell me if you can relate… You are reading over a new recipe that you are excited to try. You have all the ingredients, already put on your favorite apron, and have picked the best spatula. As you’re scanning over the steps, you […]

via Egg-citing Kitchen Hacks! — In The Kitchen With Gianna Trzesniewski


Always looking for great cooking tips!

Keto One Day At a Time.


We all can learn something new everyday! Some of these tips I had no idea about!

Kitchen Tips Kitchen Tips

Kitchen Tips….

1 Measuring Tip:
Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.

2 Sugar In Fruit Pies:
When making pie, sprinkle the sugar under the fruit instead of on top. This prevents pie from boiling over.

3 Baking Fruit Pies:
Cut four small slits into top pie crust and stand one piece of tubed pasta into each slit (choose pasta at least 2 or 3 inches long–cannelloni and cut ziti work well). The juices will bubble up the pasta ‘pipe’ and back down into the pie–instead of running all over your oven. Once pie has finished baking, remove pasta.

4 Pie Dough Rolling:
Try rolling pie dough between two sheets of waxed paper, the dough is…

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DIY and Tips: So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin — Discover

“[D]on’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense.” Ideas for moving beyond symbolism to activism in the wake of the US presidential election.

via So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin — Discover

DIYs & Crafts: Spirited Snowflake Coasters

Spirited Snowflake Coasters

From the December 2015 issue
by Red Heart
1spirited-snowflake-coastersModern colors update the usual snowflake motif for a new take on an old favorite. Crochet a set to give as a hostess gift, to brighten up a dinner table or, of course, to use as protection for your furniture during the holidays. Designed by Nancy Anderson.
Skill Level: Easy
Size: Snowflake Motif = 3½” (9 cm) in diameter
Gauge: Gauge not important


 Red Heart Super Saver (100% acrylic; 364 yards [333 meters]/198 grams): #505 Aruba Sea (A, 1 skein), #316 Soft White (B, 1 skein), #319 Cherry Red (C, 1 skein)
Hook: US size G/6 (4.0 mm) hook
Notions: Tapestry needle, spray starch (optional)


Snowflake Motif
With desired color, make an adjustable ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, 6 sc in ring; join with a slip st in first sc. (6 sc)
Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around; join with a slip st in first sc. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, 2 sc in next st, ch 3, *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, ch 3; repeat from * around; join with a slip st in first sc. (6 ch-3 spaces)
Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in first st, sc in next st, skip next st, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch-3 space, *skip st, sc in each of next 2 sts, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch-3 space; repeat from * around; join with a slip st in first sc. (6 ch-3 spaces)
Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in first st, sc in each of next 2 sts, (slip st, [ch 4, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in each of next 2 ch, slip st in ch-3 space] twice in next ch-3 space, *skip next st, sc in each of next next 3 sts, (slip st, [ch 4, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in each of next 2 ch, slip st in ch-3 space] twice in next ch-3 space; repeat from * around; join with a slip st in first sc. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Repeat using colors A, B and C for desired number of Snowflake Motifs.
Snowflake Motif Finishing
Wet finished motif, flatten & straighten snowflake spokes, allow to dry.
For extra flattening, cover damp motif with waxed paper and place heavy book on top until motif is dry.
Optional: Spray with laundry starch to stiffen as desired.
Tags: Easy, Medium Weight, once upon a holiday
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Dawn, Not just for Dishes!

Dawn, Not just for Dishes!
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Wild Life
Ever wonder why Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.
According, Dawn dishwashing liquid makes great homemade bubbles. Here is the Giant Bubble Recipe used in bubble makers at many children’s museums: 1/2 cup Ultra Dawn 1/2 gallon warm water 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store) OR White Karo syrup works too! Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam breaks down the bubbles). Dip bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!
Kids get into the darnedest things! Like Vaseline and baby oil rubbed into their hair! Dawn is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.
Once a month use original Dawn as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.
Soak fingers in full-strength blue Dawn. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere very well.
A safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.
Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn in 1 gallon water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.
Use it to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dogshampoos.
After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. Dawn also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.
Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.
Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with blue Dawn. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls. Allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse away. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.
Spray counter-tops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Dawn and water. Wipe dry. The slight residue of Dawn that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn spray.
Add a squirt or two of original Dawn dish soap to your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. Dawn is a degreasing agent and helps stripping by removing oily residue. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until the water runs clear.
A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet allowed to sit for 15 minutes and then followed with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height will clear out the toilet.
Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn, especially on children who keep scratching the blister’s open, helps dry up the fluid, AND keep it from spreading.
If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil and then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.
Dawn makes a great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.
Dawn combined with corn oil makes for the perfect paint or grease remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.
Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.
Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn in water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:
• Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
• Woodwork, e.g., baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting. (Dry as you go–wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
• Tubs and toilet seats.
For oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dishwashing liquid directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.
Sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried. And Its non-toxic! It does a great job of cleaning the parts that its lubricating as well!
For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks
Squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up! AND it makes the pools sparkle.
Simply rub a small drop of Dawn on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.
Cover greasy footprints on shower floors with a coating of Dawn; let sit overnight. Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.
Mix two tablespoons Dawn to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get spray both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!
Here’s a brilliant idea! Need a hostess gift when visiting friends and family this summer? Print off this post and include it with a bottle of Blue Dawn! Talk about USEFUL !
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Dawn: Not Just for Dishes Anymore!

★★★ Dog Shampoo ★★★

★★★ Dog Shampoo ★★★

Why pay the expensive brand names for dog shampoos, when you can make your own for just pennies…. or in Canada…. nickels!

Dog Shampoo1/2 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 c. Dawn dish soap, original blue
2 c. warm water
juice from one lemon
Container with lid
a few of drops of lavender essential oil (optional) Lavender helps to relax your fur baby during the bath experience plus is very safe and gentle, antibacterial, anti-itch, nerve-calming.

Put the ACV and soap in container. Slightly mix and then add warm water and lemon juice. Either stir with whisk or put lid on and shake gently.

Ready to give your fur-baby a bath! Be sure to shake before each use. Be to keep away from eyes & nose!

NOTE: Remember Dawn has been used on animals for some time and has been found to be safe and not harsh on them. This being said, do not use any other dish soap as we do not know the safety of it.

If pet has fleas, keep a close eye on them running to the face and ears of your fur-baby. They may even jump onto you. So please pay close attention to the small critters there. Check their face and ears after bathing to make sure nothing gets in their eyes or ears.

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