Category Archives: Tips, Tricks & Lifehacks

Increase Your Kitchen Storage With This Five Minute Project

Getting It Done

blog10I love to organize and re-organize my kitchen every chance I get. I am always thinking, “there has to be a better, more efficient way to store all this crap”. Every cabinet is overflowing with stuff and counter tops, well, don’t get me started on counter tops. I could use an entire post on counter tops alone. I am guessing you could to. Don’t get me wrong. My kitchen stays relatively clean, I just can’t find anything.

Counter Space Help

blog01This project isn’t brain surgery nor will it be your ah ha moment but it might just help you cook smarter and give you a tad more counter space to use in the kitchen.

Let The Games Begin

blog05The hardest part of this project was finding a heat proof organizational platter of sorts that could sit safely on the stove top and take the heat.  It also needed to be the correct size to sit over two of the burners on my stove top. Boy, did I get lucky. I was dropping off some donations at my neighborhood Goodwill and decided to go in.blog07 I shop resale stores all the time. I love resale stores over any other store. Let me tell you though about the sticker shock I got at my local Goodwill. Yes, sticker shock at Goodwill. I mean the items are donated for goodness sake. I know they have overhead but wow! They should be ashamed of themselves. I have to rethink shopping there again. Salvation Army, here I come.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

blog09I did however find a stainless steel pan that would fit over my burners perfectly. It was .99 cents but only because I talked the lady behind the counter to lower the price. It was the perfect piece though, so it came home with me.

Painting

The piece I decided to use was a metal baking pan. Yes, the pan could be used as is but it was beat up and didn’t match my kitchen. So. Spray paint time. I love to spray paint. In this case I used black, specially for high heat. You have to use a specialty paint for high heat because you are using the pan next to a very hot surface. WARNING! DO NOT USE THIS PAN TO COOK ON OR TO PUT ON A FLAME OR IN THE OVEN!

I took the pan outside and sprayed both sides and waited until it dried. After the sheet dried it was ready to be used.

The Final Product

blog11The pan can be used on the stove on top of the two burners on the stove top. I place ingredients I am going to need to cook with on the pan so they are all right there organized in arms reach when needed.

Aside from cooking ingredients, you can use it to hold utensils or anything really that needs storage. I am so pleased that I decided to take on this little project because the extra counter space really comes in handy!

An Easy Trick to Make Your Closet’s and Drawer’s Smell Divine

Gather Your Supplies

sache01This is literally a five minute project if you have all your supplies on the ready. A few of your supplies might need to be ordered and a few might need to be procured at your local store. The key is having everything on hand when you start this project to make it a quick project with awesome results. You will need:sache06sache05

  • An empty bottle to mix your ingredients
  • Unscented Epsom salts of any brand purchased at any store
  • Aromatherapy scented laundry crystals in your laundry aisle
  • Empty sachet organza bag or an empty burlap sack of 4X6 or smaller
Assembling Your Sachet

sache07Mix equal parts Epsom salts and scented laundry crystals. Then mix, mix and mix. Once the two ingredients are mixed take a second to smell how wonderful the mixture you just made is. It’s intoxicating, right? Pour 1/2 to 3/4 of the mixture into your burlap or sachet bag. Tie it off. TaDa! You just made the essence of what the closets in your house will smell like.sache11

Where can These be Used

sache13I use these wonderful smelling sachet’s in closet’s, drawer’s, under the bed and in the bathroom. My house always smells deliciously wonderful the minute you walk in. Trust me. These will change the way you look at smells. sache12

Keep Your Leather Handbags Looking New and How To Clean Them Correctly

pur27The following information is from Cosmopolitan magazine, but the how to clean your leather and keep it looking shiny new is purely my content and ideas.

When you’ve invested a lot of money in a handbag, making sure it’s a forever item is a must. But taking care of leather goods can be tricky – and when it’s an item you seriously care about, so much more is a stake.

The place to start, says Jordan Smith of the Handbag Clinic, is with prevention. “Always protect your bag with a reputable protection cream/treatment. This should be done from day one and applied at least once every two to three months.”

“Proper protection can prevent staining, grease penetration and can prevent all manner of issues later on.”pur01

“As well as protecting, regular cleaning, even if it is just a quick wipe-down, is a must. For a quick wipe-down, a damp cloth is enough, but typically bags will need a more thorough clean by a professional or using specialist cleaning products every 2-3 months to keep them in top condition.”

I suggest keeping your bag covered either with the dust cover that came with the bag or with an old pillow case. This will keep your bag dust free while not in use.

To maintain the shape of the bag, keep your handbag stuffed with butcher block paper or white rags. This will definitely help keep your bag’s shape while in closet storage.pur05

I personally own about 75 to 100 designer bags. Yes, I have a handbag fetish, but I also maintain three websites that I resell gently used designer bags on. I feel this is why I am an expert in keeping  bags looking their best,  because best is what I strive for. In the process of striving for the best cleaning process, I’ve tried them all. At least it seems like I have tried them all.

How To Clean Your Leather Handbag

Always go with the grain of the leather while cleaning or applying product.pur11

I like to use Castile soap with any mild scent and distilled water. I mix 1 to 2Tbs. soap with one bottle or 16.9 FL OZ of the distilled water. Mix until you have slight bubbles. I also have a couple of rags and an old toothbrush on hand as well. Dip the edge of one of the rags is the soapy water and wring out the rag so it’s basically damp. Start wiping down the handbag.pur12 If there is a stubborn stain or dirty area use your toothbrush to gently rub the spot. Gently rub spot with your rag or toothbrush until the spot comes clean.pur14

pur13Warning

While cleaning leather is not rocket science, common sense is necessary. If your stain is ink,  the above process will not work no matter how hard you scrub. You will just ruin your bag. I am strictly talking about dirt stains now in the above paragraph. Different stains aside from general dirt have different processes. Please use your common sense.

pur24I’ll tell you however my favorite leather cleaning product for any stain is Lincoln E-Z cleaner. It safely cleans suede, leather, buck, vinyl, nylon, linen, canvas, satin and nu-buck. This product is truly my go to stain remover for leather stains of all sorts. Follow bottle directions. It can be purchased at your local cobbler or on line. Aside from this cleaner, I wouldn’t use anything else to clean a stain until a professional has been consulted.

Back To Cleaning

After the handbag has had a good wipe down with the soap and water, it is time to let it dry. After the handbag has fully dried and is clean I like to add polish.pur16 I use Meltonian boot and shoe cream polish. It is a leather polish and safe to use on bags. I use a dabber to apply the polish to the handbag. I use the same color polish of the handbag. I will mix colors if I need to,to get a color I don’t have but can make.pur19 Otherwise I order the appropriate color before I start the cleaning process.

I wait until the polish has completely dried and then I will use a horsehair brush to polish the cream polish to a dull shine.pur22 At this point you can then use a clean rag after the horsehair brush and bring the leather to a brilliant shine with a little elbow grease. I prefer to use a leather shiner and conditioner. In this case I am using Kiwi shine sponge to easily bring it to a brilliant shine.pur26 After applying the Kiwi shine sponge your cleaning has been completed.

After Thoughts

pur18Just to be clear there are many ways to clean leather handbags. I also often use leather cleaning product made for this purpose.pur25 I like Force Field leather cleaner and conditioner and Armour All leather care gel. Leather cleaner’s tend to cost a lot of money so my post was about saving you money by cleaning your hand bags with products you might have around the house. Baby shampoo can be substituted for Castile soap.

Look at this hand bag shine!pur27

Don’t Forget The Cleaning of The Inside of Your Bag

Turn your bag upside down after you have emptied it and shake all the crumbs and whatnot’s into the garbage can.pur29 Make sure the inside is completely cleaned out. Pull the inside lining out of the bag. For this spot cleaning I used the Lincoln E-Z cleaner to show you how versatile this spot cleaner is. Apply a little cleaner onto a rag. A white rag would be best. Then gently rub the spots away and let the area dry.pur30

Ta Da. A great looking hand bag inside and out!

pur27

How To Organize A Dresser Drawer The Creative Way To Save Space

pj05This can take a long time if you try to clean out and reorganize every drawer you have in one sitting, however if you do a few drawers at a time like I have been doing, you can finish a drawer in 10 to 15 min max. The picture above is the wonderful organized,(you can see everything picture.)
As you can see from my before pictures, or maybe not,  I used to roll my clothing and put them in the drawer all rolled up. It seemed  though that this was not the most effective way to keep the clothes sorted or organized.pj01 I have to admit that I tried the whole roll the clothing thing in the first place because it was  what was suggested  you do if you are packing a suitcase. I thought, “if they get twice as much in a suitcase then I should get twice as much in my dresser drawer’s.” Well, boy was I wrong. The only thing that was happening was that I was forgetting what I owned because I couldn’t see the bottom layer of rolled clothing.
As you can see by what was pulled out of my drawer that it was so tight a fit that the bottom drawer opened when I opened the drawer above it.pj02 Whew, were those drawers stuffed beyond belief. I knew what I needed to do. Reorganize back to my old system.
My old system and now my new system,  consists of folding the clothing in a flat manner then stacking the piles of clothing. After you have a pile stacked about the depth of your drawer, carefully pick up the pile and lay it down in the drawer. The stacks should resemble Pringle’s in the container. You can easily see all the items you own and easily take out and even put back the items just as easily. You can see how nice and flat I was able to fold the shirt and pants together.pj07

pj04This is a picture of all the clothing ( Pajamas to be exact,) that came out of the drawer and the first and last picture’s are what the drawer’s look like now.pj05 Nice and neatly folded,  where I can find what I want, when I want it. Not only that I can actually open and close my drawer’s now with ease.

I do have to admit that I did thin out my pajamas a bit before I put them back in the drawer. I organized 2 drawer’s today. I have to pat myself on the back because I am now one step closer to organizing my house!

Sure Fire Way To Get Wax Out of Carpet

wax07Very recently my daughter picked up one of those round candles you burn in a container for fragrance and while it was still cooling  turned it on it’s side and wax spilled all over my new carpet.
She is 18 and very curious about everything and is constantly touching everything. I am sure you know the type of person I am talking about. Well, in this case her curiosity meant wax on my new carpet.wax00
I read somewhere that if you freeze wax, it will pop right off the carpet. Guess what not true. All that did was make the wax wet and a little hardened.wax04wax05
I was beside myself until I remembered that all I  needed was two household items to get the wax completely out of my carpet and return it to new. An iron and some paper towels. Could it really be this easy? I had nothing to loose as the wax already was ruining the carpet so I dove right in.wax06
I started by heating up the iron to the highest setting. I lay the paper toweling down over the wax and using circular motions ironed over the paper towel.wax09 Be very careful not to leave the iron in one place. Make sure the iron is constantly on the move and on the paper towel. At some points I just used the tip of the iron.wax06
It worked! Every piece of the wax on the carpet came up on the paper towel. I had brand new wax free carpet!

How To Clean With Vinegar: Part Two

Pots and Pans

For really greasy frying pans, simmer 1/4″ water and 1/2C. vinegar in the pan for 10 minutes then wash as usual. The smell will dissipate quickly after washing.

Remove stains that develop on aluminum pans by using  2 tablespoons vinegar and enough water to cover the stain. Bring to a boil and let the mixture boil for three to five minutes. Wash as normal after pan has cooled off.

Broiler pans can be a horrible mess. Especially the burned on mess. In order to clean the mess add 2 cups vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar to a warm pan. Soak for an hour, then clean as usual.

Sink Maintenance

Equal parts vinegar, salt and baking soda is a good way to help a slow moving sink. Pour all the ingredients into the drain. Let the solution sit for one hour then follow with boiling water down the drain.

To clear a clog, try 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain and let it sit for three hours. Pour boiling water down the drain to flush after the three hours.

Garbage disposal rubber seals can stink. Remove the seal and let it soak for one hour in vinegar. Rinse and replace. No more stink.

Let vinegar that you sprayed around your sink on mineral deposits sit for 15 minutes or more, then scrub the deposits away.

Everyday give your counter tops a quick wipe with straight vinegar to keep them sparkling clean and smelling fresh.

Use apple cider vinegar on tile and grout to keep it grease free and smelling fresh.

Vinegar part three is coming soon…

 

I would like to thank Heinz vinegar with some of the tips and tricks provided to you today by bitchesdoitbest.

How to Clean with Vinegar: Part One

Vinegar has power far beyond what we think it has. You can clean, preserve food, help with pain and tackle the dirtiest of tasks. Try any of these tips and tricks of vinegar and you will forever be a vinegar convert.

I personally think that next to my bathrooms  the kitchen is the dirtiest room in the house and the most difficult to keep clean because it is the most used. You feel like you are forever in your kitchen doing task after task of keeping it clean with all the spills, splatters, drips, pots, pans and cooking that goes on in there.

Let’s explore what the miracle of vinegar can do in your kitchen.

Kurig and Coffeemakers

Use 1/4 C. of vinegar and 3 C. cold water mixed and run 1 brewing cycle. Follow that cycle with a cold water cycle of clean water and repeat until you don’t smell the vinegar any longer. This will allow for the continued fresh flavor of your coffee you are used to by helping to keep build up at bay.

Dishwashers

In a completely empty dishwasher add 1/2 cup vinegar and run. By doing this you will help deodorize the dishwasher as well as help with the maintenance by helping clogged lines and muck buildup.

Microwaves

Everyone I know has a microwave that is spattered with food at sometime or another. To rid your microwave of this yucky mess, place a glass measuring cup with one cup of water and 1/4 cup vinegar in the microwave. Set 3 minutes on high on your timer and let the mixture boil. Be very careful removing the very hot glass. Wipe the inside of the microwave down with a damp sponge and the food should clean right up.

Ovens

Finish cleaning your oven by wiping the surface with a mixture of vinegar and water. Use equal amounts of vinegar and water to wash down the oven to help prevent grease build up. Twice a year you should also clean the vent of your oven hood. Soak vent in 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water. Wipe down after 1/2 hour of soaking.

Refrigerators

Wipe inside the fridge on the rubber seals using a sponge soaked but not dripping with vinegar. This will help keep the seals clean, fresh and free from mildew.

How To Remove Pet Stains Naturally (What Really Works!)

I own an adorable Pomapoo puppy. She’s as cute as can be and if she is five pounds soaking wet, that would be heavy. My point being, although potty trained, she has the bladder the size of a peanut. She has to tinkle a lot! I sometimes think she never stops peeing, ever! However, keeping this peanut sized badder in mind, we have accidents. Not many but we do have accidents! Did I also mention that I just put in new carpet. Oops, forgot to mention that, didn’t I? Well… Small bladder+accidents+ new carpet= Spot Clean up. I didn’t want to use harsh chemicals on my new carpet. Who would? After a bunch of nosing around the internet, I came up with this…stain05 stain02 stain03 stain04

Pour about a cup or two of club soda on the top of your pee stain. The amount you use is dependent on how big the stain is. Small dog amounted to one cup of club soda being poured on top of this particular stain. Hint: Rub the club soda into the carpet where the stain is located. You can get an idea of how big the stain was, because I took a picture of it. Yuck!

Preferably use a white rag or cloth to clean up all the excess club soda you just poured. Try to get as much as possible up so the area is just damp.

Next, sprinkle the pee/club soda poured area with baking soda. Oh, you gotta love baking soda for it’s million uses. Let the baking soda dry over the club soda. Wait 15 min up to one hour.stain06

After the club soda has dried, it’s time to vacuum the baking soda up off the carpet.

Woot Woot! Clean carpet with no stain and no odor!stain01

Bitchin’ Homemade Cupcake Holder

This was a really quick fun project I threw together in about a half hour. We were going to my friends for a pot luck dinner and I needed a way to easily and safely transport about a half a dozen cupcakes. No, I don’t own fancy containers for this purpose, so what is a girl to do? Punt. That’s what.

I was looking around the kitchen to try to figure out what storage container would work for this assignment of carrying cupcakes to my friends house, when it dawned on me that my wax paper container was big enough to fit a cupcake in. It was just the right size to fit not only six, but seven cupcakes.cup01

What do I mean by a wax paper container you ask? You know the container that wax paper comes in when you purchase wax paper at the store. It was the perfect size and it was right there in front of me in my kitchen. It would keep them safe ,not to mention it was pretty ingenious as well if I do say so myself.

I didn’t want to walk in with a wax paper container to be honest, although now in retrospect I think it would have looked really cool on it’s own merits. I wanted to add a little fun to it. What do I mean by adding fun to it? I mean I wanted to add color and cover the original packaging.  This is where my time came in. Decorating the container took about a half an hour total.cup04

I decided to use a fun polka  dotted wrapping paper I had in the house to cover the wax paper box. I just wrapped the paper around the box and made creases where the paper needed to be cut, and presto change-o… decorated cupcake holder to go. I used Mod Podge to glue the paper down and then after it dried I painted a coating on top to give it extra holding power as well as a sheen. I laid wax paper down into the box to protect the cupcakes, but I bet tissue paper would have looked nicer and given the box even more color.cup02

This project got rave reviews from the party goers and not only that, the cupcakes made it to the party unscathed and in tact even when my daughter held them sideways. I highly recommend using any long box of this type like aluminum foil container, wax paper container or even parchment paper containers would work.cup03

Please remember that the size of the box needs to be the bigger size boxes if you are going to make decent size cupcakes. The smaller sized boxes will work if you are making minis or bite size.cup05

“Open When” Letters for a Long Distance Relationship

Many of us have a long distance love these days, and it gets very hard to keep the “spark” alive, so I have a suggested way to keep a spark going for little money. It’s a series of, “open when cards.” This is a set of note cards placed into envelopes for the person to open when they need a pick me up from you. These could also be tailored to be used for a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, son, daughter, or just about anybody.cards11

These are a few examples of the types of cards you can put in an envelope:

Open when…

  • you miss me
  • you need a laugh
  • you need a hug
  • you need a kiss
  • you need some lovin’
  • you had a bad day
  • you had a good day
  • you wish you were here
  • you wish I was there
  • you wish you were somewhere else (we recommend the beach)
  • you need motivation
  • you need support
  • you need to make a tough decision

To make it cost efficient to send, make a whole bunch of these cards at one time and send them in a dressed up “If it fits it ships” box from the post office. A small box costs $5.25 to send, and you can get up to 20 cards in one box. *I bought my cards at the clearance section of Hobby Lobby for $2.04 and it contained 20 cards.cards06

Then, I assembled craft supplies to make the cards. You can use crayons, markers, ribbon, fabric, paper scraps, stickers with cute sayings, buttons, colorful pens, and pretty much any craft supplies you can think of to assemble these cards. All the cards I made were kissed; in which case, you’ll need lipstick. I also printed a bunch of pictures off the internet for the cards. It’s also nice to include some pictures of yourself, or you two together, for the “when you miss me” card.

You should also go to the post office and pick up a few small “If it fits it ships boxes” (they’re free at your local post office). Unfortunately, you can’t decorate the outside of the box, but you can decorate the inside of the box. so, to make the inside of the box fun, I decided to cover it in polka-dot wrapping paper that matched the cards. To do this I traced the wrapping paper over the flat box (the box comes flat before you assemble it), cut it to size, glued it down, and then assembled the box with the wrapping paper glued onto it. And….Ta Da! Cute insides when opened! You can use whatever you have on hand to decorate the inside of the box. If you are very artsy and can draw or paint a great piece of art on the inside of the box, that would be also be very cool. If you have a bunch of ribbon , you could also make some fun stripes on the inside of the box. As you can tell, pretty much anything will work. The point is that the first thing the recipient sees as they open their package, is the creativity that went into this project, and put a smile on their face..which I can pretty much guarantee. On the front of each card I wrote affirmations and positive sayings. “You’re Great”, “Keep Up The Good Work”, “Someone  in Boston Loves You”, etc.  On the back of the note cards I wrote “You Are Loved!” in different colors on each of the cards.cards01

With each of the cards, I included letters in addition to the supplemental things to go with each occasion.

One of my favorite cards that I did was “Open When You Need a Laugh”, so I’ll share that one with you. This is should include all things funny and humorous. To start,  looked up a bunch of funny memes from the internet. Tip: Try to find ones that you know the recipient would find funny. Then i looked up a bunch of jokes on the internet, and took different colored paper, writing the joke on one side of the card, and the punchline on the other. I thought this was cute, because this way when the card is opened, the joke cards would come falling out like confetti.cards05

An Open When You Need A Hug is always a great card to include in one of these care packages. To do this, I traced my hands onto paper and cut them out. Then, I took ribbon and cut the length of both of my arms outstretched, so it was as close to a “me sized” hug as i could get. You could also create a “springy hug, using construction paper folded back and forth instead of ribbon, so that the hug “springs” open. The envelope would keep the arms in place. And make sure you scale your hug down so it fits in the envelope. Then, on a fun piece of paper behind the hug I wrote the words, “The real thing is waiting for you when I see you next”cards07

One of the envelopes that I had the most fun with was Open When You’re Having a Hard Time.. that came out a little more sadistic than I meant haha. But you’ll see in a minute why this one was so cute. In this envelope, I included an encouraging letter recalling some of their biggest accomplishments. Then I included a rubber band, a piece of string, and a marble, along with the description, “In here you will find: a rubber band, to help you stretch beyond your limits; a piece of string to help you hold it together; and a marble for when you think you’ve lost yours.” cards09

Another idea for an envelope is Open When You Want to Feel Appreciated. For this one, I took a bunch of index cards, lined them up, punched a hole in them, and then bound them together with a metal binder clip so that they would have a book of little things I appreciate about them. On each index card I wrote a couple of things I appreciate about them, and then decorated the front of the index card with stickers and colorful pens.

When You Need Something To Look Forward To card was a fun one and really easy to do. Guess what was put on the inside? Did you guess? That’s right a 4X6 picture of me. It’s always in every package I send. If you don’t have a recent picture of yourself you can take a picture on your phone and make a quick account online at Walgreens. Find the closest Walgreens to your location and send them the picture from your phone and in an hour and less then a $1.00 there will be a picture waiting for you to pick up at you local Walgreens. Voila! I also included a card with a bunch of fun activities for us to do when we were together, and said they could circle the ones they liked and send it back.cards12

I did this project for my boyfriend, so I included little kisses in each envelope, along with some X’s and O’s, date ideas, my perfume in the “When you Miss Me” envelope, and some couple-themed humor in the “When You Need a Laugh”