Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tips and Tricks

Like most people, every once in a while I come across a shortcut, tip, or helpful bit of information. These are a few that I have used lately.

The first idea occurred to me as I was draining the pineapple rings to make pineapple upside down cake.  Why not use the juice in place of the water in the cake mix?!?!?!  It seems so simple but I've never heard of anyone doing it before.  Hubby claimed it was the best version he had ever eaten.  Let's agree to ignore the fact that I just wrote (gasp) "cake mix" and gaze upon the sticky sweetness of the brown sugar crust of the cake below.  Definitely use brown sugar -- I promise you will not be disappointed.       

The second one is something I have wanted to do for some time now.  I finally set up my Outlook calendar with all those important tasks that I somehow seem to forget.  Here are a few things I included reminders for:  
  • change furnace filters on the 15th of each month
  • yearly appointment for HVAC cleaning and check-up
  • yearly appointment for fireplace cleaning
  • yearly appointment for physical exams
  • schedule 6 month dental cleanings
  • yearly appointment for vision screenings
  • yearly appointment for Jackson's veterinary appointment and rabies booster
  • family & friends birthdays and anniversaries
  • reminder in October to make plans for holiday activities (when to go caroling at the zoo, visit the Christmas Around the World exhibit, etc)
  • enter all work related days off into the calendar 
  • monthly reminders for paydays
  • monthly reminders for bill due dates
The final tip for this post involves cleaning.  As a preschool teacher I often had to remove crayon from tables.  The best "non-toxic" cleaner for handling this task is plain old white toothpaste (not the gel kind).  It is abrasive enough to do the job but not so hard on the surfaces.  

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