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A family that just discovered their geocache

Try Geocaching This SummerAs soon as I hear, "Hey, Gigi, let's go geocaching," from one of my grandkids, I'm ready to go.

 

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Bubble and SqueakWe got this recipe from British friends who were camping with us one year. It is filling, healthy, and makes a great one-pot dinner for potlucks or camping. It is as easy as can be, fairly inexpensive, and uses only 4 ingredients.

 

Splitting Pills without Crumbling

Splitting Pills without CrumblingMy husband takes half of a pill, and I was having so much trouble with the cutter that I bought from the Pharmacy. It would cut the pill, but lots of times it crumbled into pieces instead of splitting it in half.

 

loave pans of baked banana bread

Cake Mix Banana BreadA great way to use up overripe bananas. It is very quick to make.

 

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Instant Potatoes As Non-Toxic Rat BaitMost rat baits are toxic to other animals if they happen to chew or chomp on a dead rat. This is a deadly but non-toxic method to kill rats by using Instant Potato flakes or powder.

 

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Avoid Aspartame for Bladder Control IssuesDo you drink sugar-free drinks or otherwise use aspartame? Do you have an issue with frequent urges to urinate, or incontinence? Did you know that aspartame many times is the cause of these issues?

 

Chocolate Cowboy Hats - edible cowboy hats

Chocolate Cowboy HatsThese chocolate cowboy hats are a wonderful edible craft. I am making them for my nephew's birthday/Halloween party where he will be dressing up as Woody, the cowboy from Toy Story (his absolute favourite). These only take a few food items and a bit of patience. They would also be awesome for a western movie lover or a baby shower!

 

Shrink wrap on a broken car window.

Temporarily Cover Car Windows with Shrink...I have driven briefly on highway at 55 mph and on local city streets at 35 mph all over about 2 weeks. The film stayed on perfectly, kept the heat in the car and the cold out .

 

How to Fix Damaged Surfaces of Wood Furniture

How to Fix Damaged Surfaces of Wood FurnitureWood is lovely, but at times it does not age well, or exposure makes the veneer or varnish suffer needlessly.

 

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Pinesol To Keep Pests AwayKeep a spray bottle of half Pinesol/half water under your sink spray outside garbage cans or anywhere you have a pest problem. Animals like rodents, opossums, raccoons, etc. don't like the smell.

 

Stuffed scarf owl.

Shelf Sitter from New or Recycled ScarvesSew cute scarf decor from old scarves or $1 store scarves. I had some felt laying around and an old scarf and decided to make a cute shelf sitter for my daughter's new baby room. Her theme is "owls". This took hardly any time and it looks great.

 

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Adopt A Pet Using CraigslistThere are so many people who can no longer keep their cherished pets, for one reason or another, but want to know they truly did find them a good home, rather than taking them to a shelter and always wondering if they even made it to a new home at all!

 

Tub in process of being cleaned.

Removing Bathtub Stains for Under $20I'm in the process of moving into an old historic home and boy, does it need work! The porcelain bathtub was disgusting, years worth of stains. For three days, I tried every "soap scum, mildew remover, etc." you could think of. Nothing worked (cue freak out) until I came across two lifesaving products.

 

Cheap White Washcloths for EverydayIf you have young children or teenagers who wear make-up, purchasing a bulk package of plain white washcloths can be very economical! I used to have nice, thick washcloths with pretty designs until I began to have kids.

 

Organic Fence for Vertical Gardening

Organic Fence for Vertical GardeningVertical gardening appeals to me for several reasons. My yard is small, the housing development is new and on the outskirts of town, thus overrun by rabbits, and badly infested with numerous noxious weeds (which will take several years to eradicate without chemicals).

 

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Sign Up for Local FreecycleI sign up for the freecycle yahoo posting in our area. I received some really nice furniture this way. Also in Florida, what people don't want they put on the curb, and you are free to take it. We look at the piece to see if it is good or worth redoing.

 

Blue and white spoon flowers, white fork flower in vase with artificial flowers.

Plastic Spoon FlowersHere are some photos of plastic spoon flowers that I have made.

 

Knee boots.

Stretching Tight Boots and ShoesI have really big muscular calves and wide feet (thanks, Mum!), making it very hard for me to fit into shoes I fancy. I bought these suede boots and pumps online because they were dirt cheap and super cute. When they arrived, not surprisingly, I could not fit into them.

 

A curtain made of strung bottle caps.

Bottle Cap Screen DoorPlastic bottle caps can be used to make fly and insect door curtains. Measure a piece of timber dowel the width of the door. Drill a small hole in the centre of each cap and string them together like beads, with knots along the string to keep them separate from each other.

 

Upcycled Bottle Top Bag Sealer

Upcycled Bottle Top Bag SealerI don't always have spare containers or chip-clips handy so I make my own airtight enclosures for my goodies using empty plastic drink bottles.

 

Potted plants in entryway.

Potted Plants Beautify Your Home EntryI don't have a lot of land in the front of my home and there is a bare area near the entry that needed some color and glamor.

 

Rolls of wrapping paper stored on dowels suspended by metal chains.

Wrapping Paper and Ribbon StorageI do a lot of crafts in a small space. My collection of wrapping paper seems to grow this time of the year. I make my small area more efficient and a space saver with cup hooks, wood dowels, and plastic or metal chains.

 

Cheesecake with strawberry star and blueberries.

Picnic/Patriotic CheesecakeA simple cheesecake recipe with a cute, country theme for the 4th or other parties!

 

We Went to Paris for $20

We Went to Paris for $20We flew to Paris and spent nine days for a mere $20. Wait. What? Yes, we really flew from Missouri to Paris, France and had a vacation of a life time on a $20 dollar bill. It took 5 years of me putting a $20 dollar bill into our Paris account each week to cover all of our expenses.

 

adding marbles to bottle of wine

Preserving Wine with MarblesA bottle of wine goes very slowly in my house as I generally only use it for cooking. In order to keep the wine fresh, I gently fill the opened bottle with sterilized marbles to keep the wine level as close to the cork as possible. The marbles take the space of the air that would be in the bottle, ensuring freshness.

 

Sharpen Your Vegetable Peeler

Sharpen Your Vegetable PeelerVegetable peelers go dull rather fast. I spent many, many years just tossing them out and buying new ones. I wish I learned this trick when I first moved out on my own:

 

Samantha witha braid.

How To Repair Frizzy American Girl Doll HairThis is an easy and inexpensive way to repair American Girl Dolls' hair using household items.

 

Remodeling your Older Motorhome

Remodeling Your Older MotorhomeWe have an older motorhome, and were thinking of upgrading. The bedroom is NOT a good layout for arthritic older folks with bad backs. The cost and effort of selling ours or trading for a new new one, then MOVING IN was just too much for me to do.

 

Seasonal Clothespin Wreaths - red, white, and blue wreath

Seasonal Clothespin WreathsThis craft was born out of a need to fill my time while not spending a ton of money on supplies! I think I speak for many who were and still are staying home during the pandemic.

 

The baked pan of French Onion Chicken.

French Onion ChickenThis recipe has only 5 actual ingredients (minus the spices), 6 if you like it a bit thicker by adding spuds. It is delish!

 

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watermelon cookies

Watermelon CookiesYou really have to allow yourself some space and time to make these. They are time consuming, but I won First Prize in 1998 at the Oregon State Fair for them, so for me, they were worth it.

 

Red and white button flowers in salt shaker.

Button Flowers in Salt Shaker VaseUse your button collection to make these funky flowers. Add a vintage salt shaker to hold your bouquet.

 

Sweet Pepper Relish

Sweet Pepper RelishWhen I serve this relish my guests agree that it is the best relish they have ever tasted. It is not your typical pickle relish, but is made from sweet peppers and onions. It can be made entirely from green peppers, but the sweet red pepper gives it a beautiful appearance. I use a mini food processor to chop the onions. It is so easy.

 

A chalkboard celebrating a wedding.

Using Chalkboard Paint For Your WeddingChalkboard paint is very popular thing right now; it comes in black and all facets of colors. The most popular is black. It is available in cans, containers, and, my personal favorite, spray. Here are a few cost saving ways that will save you money and make that special day unique for your guests.

 

patio table with umbrella down

Refurbishing A Faded Patio UmbrellaOur deck table needed an umbrella and someone threw one out. It was faded but otherwise in pretty good shape. I decided to spray paint it using an indoor/outdoor paint that is good for wood, metal, and more.

 

DIY Eyelash Adhesive

DIY Eyelash AdhesiveI started making my own eyelash glue when I realized the store brand ones I was using was making my lids a bit itchy. This adhesive is made of a few simple household products and keeps your lashes on all day.

 

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Vinegar For Scars And Age SpotsI had a really bad dark, ugly scar after a C-section. Over the counter remedies didn't work. Then an old past beauty queen told me about vinegar.

 

A plate of chicken gorgonzola stuffed apricot cups

Chicken Gorgonzola Stuffed Apricot CupsA sweet and savory appetizer featuring chicken, apricot halves and gorgonzola cheese. Perfect for entertaining guests for any type of party; easy to prepare and eat. The use of lighter versions of some ingredients make this a guilt-free party starter.

 

Net Frame Around a Tree

Fruit Tree Bird Net FrameHubby and I made this frame out of 2 inch plastic irrigation piping attached to metal 'star' pickets. This size pipe fits snuggly on to the ends of the pickets, sliding easily over.

 

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Uses For Hydrogen PeroxidePeroxide is cheaper than bleach, healthier for you, and kills bacteria. Check out these options: Take one capful (the little white cap that comes with the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out to cure canker sores.

 

Ants feeding on a solution of boric acid.

Boric Acid For Controlling Ants In Garden And KitchenI have a fairly large piece of property. It is mostly sandy loam. Ants seem to prefer this type of soil. At any given time, there may be several thousand ant hills on my land.

 

A vintage photo of a man before and after restoration.

Restoring Old PhotosI haven't seen any photo restoration on here yet, and since it is one of my favorite pastimes, I decided to post a before and after photo of my work.

 

Pallet Garden

Pallet GardenI used a pallet and painted and dry painted attached planters with hose clamps and screws to pallet. This a easy project.

 

Silverware for Butter Dish Handle

Silverware for Butter Dish HandleUpdate a simple glass butter dish by adding a bent piece of silverware. Glue to top using a good adhesive like E-6000.

 

Yellowed light fixtures atop a white fence post.

Don't Discard Weather Beaten and Discolored Outdoor FixturesOur dilemma was the case of the cream yellow fence caps with lights. When we purchased our fence (white), we also needed the caps to go on to the tops of the fence post. The caps were from a different provider and were great for the first 2 years. Then the caps began to turn more and more this creamy yellow color and the lights no longer worked.

 

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Prevent Mold on Cheese with VinegarIf you are like me and prefer to purchase a "chunk" of cheese instead of already shredded cheese, this tip is for you.

 

Crispy Eggplant "Bacon"

Crispy Eggplant "Bacon"I've tried to make fake bacon out of so many products and eggplant seems to mimic the texture of bacon the best. Here is how to make your own eggplant "bacon" at home!

 

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Top Pancakes With Applesauce Mixed With SyrupMy kids love to have pancakes or French toast for breakfast pretty often. My only concern is the amount of syrup that they eat along with the main course.

 

Faux bundt cake

Making a Faux CakeI recently discovered that newspaper can make a great pulp to make faux foods. I've been wanting a faux cake to display on a cake platter.

 

A stained glass window using cut wine bottle bottoms.

Use Wine Bottles In Stained GlassI work with stained glass a lot and often use the bottoms of wine bottles in my windows. The bottles with the pushed in bottoms look really cool with the sun shining through.

 

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Freezing Produce In Paper BagsI learned this freezing method from a friend who puts up produce from a very large garden every year. She freezes Okra, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, Purple hull peas, and more this way. Use brown paper lunch bags.

 

Summer Shark Fruit Bowl

Summer Shark Fruit BowlFruit bowl for summer fun with the kids and adults alike.

 

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Emergency Hemming With StaplesI bought a last minute pair of thrift shop jeans when I found I went off for a weekend without them. New $5 - good deal. But they were too long and I didn't have needle and thread with me.

 

dried sliced onion

Homemade Dried and Caramelized OnionsWhen I find a great deal on onions, I buy a large amount and make these dried and caramelized onions. It ends up being a whole lot cheaper and more tasty than buying dried onions in bottles. You can make these in the oven, in a dehydrator, or even in the sun! To make onion powder, run the finished product in a processor.

 

Easily Remove Grease from Ground Beef

Easily Remove Grease from Ground BeefWhenever I browned hamburger meat for tacos, spaghetti, or whatever, I used to take the meat out of the pan, transfer it to a strainer to drain the grease and then return it to the pan to finish cooking. I have found a better way.

 

Altered T-Shirt for Shoulder Surgery  - view of Velcro strips in place

Altered T-Shirt for Shoulder SurgeryRecently, I searched online for medical clothing needed after a rotator cuff surgery and noticed the cost of such alterations was in my opinion over priced. After gleaning a few items, I decided to give it my best DIY version that was less costly and worked just as well.

 

Adult pads as puppy pads

Adult Pads as Alternative to "Puppy Pads"Most everyone I know owns a pet. They can be expensive but I try to cut corners and save where I can. There is nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. I rescued my dog on what was, to be her last day.

 

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Reuse Disposable Vacuum BagsI have an expensive vacuum cleaner that takes expensive bags. To save on buying new bags for my vacuum, I simply cut the bottom off the bag, empty it, and duct tape the bottom shut.

 

African Milk Jug Masks

African MasksI had my 5th grade students create African masks from milk jugs. It was a great way to show them how to recycle materials and help our planet. I do a lot of recycle projects with all my students.

 

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Reviving Dried Pencil ErasersI wasn't able to get good photos so I'll go ahead and tell you what I did. First of all, I really can afford new pencils or a pack of erasers. I have this lifelong fascination with words and crosswords are part of that.

 

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Polynesian BBQ SauceThis is a recipe that I first made with an old gentleman who'd lived most of his life in Hawaii. Growing up during the Second World War left me with a very romantic idea of anything to do with the islands.

 

gardener's hand holding tomato seeds

Heirloom vs Hybrid SeedsGardening is not an exact science and can be very complicated. Misinformation passed along from generation to generation only adds to the complication. Most people are content to plant a packet of straight neck yellow squash, follow packet instructions, and hope for the best. This is good.

 

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Make Frozen Lasagna Taste HomemadeThis is a tip I thought I would share since I did this over the week-end and my dinner guests loved the lasagna dinner. They all thought it was homemade! Little did they know, I purchased the Stoffers large frozen lasagna when it was on sale at my favorite store.

 

Popsicle Stick Geometric Sculpture - lit with fairy lights

Popsicle Stick Geometric SculptureThis intriguing sculpture is made out of a bunch of equilateral triangles made from popsicle sticks and hot glue. If you add LED lights or votives inside, it makes a fantastic lamp. The inspiration for this came from a set of polyhedral gamer's dice, which I think are so cool. Give this craft a try!

 

laundry drying on curtain tension rods

Tension Rods for Drying LaundryMy mom taught me this awesome tip. I bought two tension rods and put them in the shower. I wash my clothes and just hang them in the shower. It's easy and if you're hand washing it's time saving. You could skip pulling out the hanging rack. You don't even need to iron when they dry.

 

Bag Holder for Picking Up Litter - adding a McDonald's cup to the bag

Bag Holder for Picking Up LitterThere is a great need for volunteers to help clean up our roads these days. I have found that the winter months are the best time for me as the grass is short and the litter is so accessible and there are no biting insects to bother me.

 

Double Delight Chocolate Cake

Double Delight Chocolate CakeTurn a gluten free muffin mix into a nice treat for a Sunday afternoon, or make it when you entertain your friends. This chocolate cake has a subtle hint of coffee and whiskey, which adds to the rich flavor. Served with an extra dollop of dairy free dessert topping, this cake will make your guests think that you bought it at the local coffee shop.

 

A completed lemon-jello pound cake.

Lemon Jell-O Pound CakeI pulled out some old recipes and stared cooking more foods that are not gluten free. I don't get to enjoy them myself, but my family does.

 

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Linoleum Instead Of Shelf PaperUse linoleum leftovers to line your sink base cabinet and oven drawer for easier cleanup. You can even use linoleum pieces in cabinets instead of shelf paper so spills can be cleaned up easily.

 

Carry Stun Gun On Dog Walks - a dog who was killed in a dog attack.

Carry Stun Gun On Dog WalksLast May, while I was walking my three Dachshunds, I was attacked by a Pit Bull. It knocked me down and then ripped up one of my dogs on top of me. My dog was unable to survive the attack and the Pit Bull had to be put down. I went into therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

eyebrow closeup

Homemade Coffee Eyebrow TintI have patchy eyebrows from years of over plucking back in the day. Loving a very full looking pair of brows, I have gone through quite a bit of eyebrow pencils and tints. I now make my own with my used coffee grounds in the morning.

 

A wedding cake decorated with hydrangea blooms.

Making A Wedding Out Of Very LittleMy neighbor, who has been divorced for years, is finally getting married. She said she didn't want a big fuss about it, not to mention not having the funds. With her family in Canada, there would only be just us neighbors and a few friends. So, as a small gesture to let them know how happy I am for them, I went shopping in and outdoors of my house.

 

Use a Plastic Plate Instead of Flower Pot Saucers - potted plant sitting on a blue plastic plate

Use a Plastic Plate Instead of Flower Pot SaucersAre your looking for a budget friendly alternative to pot saucers? Think plastic kid's plate! I recently was gifted this Castanospermum australe "Lucky Bean Plant". The cheapest saucers from Home Depot were 80 cents (very thin plastic) to $2.68 (still somewhat thin plastic) so I held off on purchasing a saucer.

 

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Use Steel Cans In The GardenOne of the ways I recycle is by burying my steel cans in my garden, I leave the bottoms on and I bury them about 12 in. deep open side up. I fill the canned with compost and then plant above it.

 

An old fashioned black and white photo of a family.

How To Appreciate Cobbler CrustThis was to be a prelude on the importance and appreciation of good, crusty Southern style biscuits, and more tips on how to make them. This 'prelude' became so lengthy, it turned into a 'story' in its own right. Read on.

 

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Using Vinegar to Get Rid of AntsI live in what used to be an orchard, so as the weather warms, I get ants coming in. My solution, the natural way, is to keep white vinegar in a spray bottle in the kitchen and in the bathroom.

 

A chicken in a vegetable garden

Chicken Amongst the VegetablesEvery now and again, a naughty chicken will escape into the vegetable patch. Also every now and again I let them in there on purpose. They do scratch about a bit and nibble at the leaves, but they don't do as much damage as the little bugs that they pick off and eat. It's free nutrition for the birds and better eggs and less damage from caterpillars and the like, plus a little extra fertilizer in the process!

 

Grey cat showing her belly.

Trudy (Maine Coon)Trudy is a 4 year old Maine Coon cat. She arrived at our door one nasty cold fall day. She was very sick and starving. Her fur was so thin you could see her skin.

 

Baked Spaghetti Pizza Pie: Fresh out of the oven.

Baked Spaghetti Pizza PieThis recipe for Baked Spaghetti Pizza Pie is an adaptation I made from other baked spaghetti recipes. Most recipes I found called for mixing the noodles and leftover spaghetti together.

 

Sock Snowman - trio of snow people on a shelf

Sock SnowmanThis has to be the most fun craft I have made yet! It is so very easy, a great craft to do with the kids! It is funny when I show people and tell them it is only a single tube sock filled with rice. Everything here is from The Dollar Store. I just love that place!

 

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Use A Sponge Mop To Clean RugsWhen my vacuum broke, I remembered how my former housekeeper would clean the upholstery with a damp cloth. So, I used my sponge mop on all carpets and rugs.

 

Making a Bamboo Rain Stick - braid some string and decorate the instrument. Be sure to glue the string in place.

Making a Bamboo RainstickHere on the island music is an important part of our lives. There are many ways that we use bamboo to make musical instruments. One of the instruments I love to make is a rainstick.

 

DIY Counter Cleaner - spray bottle and supplies

DIY Counter CleanerAt one point I started making my own kitchen/all purpose cleaner becuase I wanted to save money and use simpler ingredients.

 

Remove Suede Stains with Clean Pencil Eraser

Remove Suede Stains with Clean Pencil EraserTo remove stains from things like your Ugg boots, coat, jacket, gloves, and anything made from real suede, use an eraser. Even a eraser on a pencil will work, but it must be absolutely clean. Just rub over the stain and it will disappear completely. After I do this, I use a small brush to get new looking results.

 

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Onion for Mosquito BitesRub the juice from a piece of cut onion on your mosquito bite. It will stop itching immediately and if you apply the onion juice two or three times a day the bite will disappear within a few days. Who can't find a piece of onion at a picnic, barbeque or camping!

 

Hot Dog Crescent Roll Appetizers

Hot Dog Crescent Roll AppetizersEasy to make and so much cheaper than buying them already made. I never have any left!

 

Removing Nail Polish from Clothes

Removing Nail Polish from ClothesI applied glitter polish on my toenails right before I started my yoga class and stained the back of my new workout leggings! I came here to try and find a solution, but we don't have any oven cleaner or acetone-free nail polish remover in the house. My husband made a mixture of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar.

 

Meringues in bowl

One Minute Microwave MeringuesSuper simple and incredibly fast way to make a bowl full of scrumptious meringues that you can munch or mix with fruit and other toppings for a very fast dessert!

 

Homemade Cherry Pitter

Homemade Cherry PitterYou don't have to buy a cherry pitter. You can make your own if you have a soda or water bottle and a straw. Put the cherry on top of the bottle opening, and push the straw through.

 

finished basket

Crochet Chain Woven BasketI embellished a simple thrift store basket with just yarn and a hook. It's the only one of its kind and yours can be too.

 

A person using an ATM at a bank.

Finish Your ATM TransactionWhen you are at your bank's ATM, make sure you finish your transaction. I have pulled up to my bank's ATM, twice in the last month, and found that each person did not finish his/her transaction.

 

Two old socks and a Swiffer floor cleaner.

Sock As Swiffer PadWorn out socks? Don't toss them. Place them over your Swiffer. It saves purchasing cloths and is great for dusting high places and washing floors.

 

Toilet brush holder made with a milk jug.

Recycled Container As Toilet Brush HolderThis is a good idea for recycling your laundry detergent containers, Clorox or gallon milk containers. These work really well for holding your toilet bowel brush.

 

Homemade Seed Sprouter - jar lid and hole punch

Homemade Seed SprouterI made a seed sprouter to sprout my own seeds for my salads, plus I always sprout my seeds before I plant them in my garden. This reduces the need to wait to see if my seeds will start growing, then weeding out others.

 

Finished trivet.

Tongue Depressor TrivetThis trivet is made from wooden beads and tongue depressors. The result is a very eye catching trivet that is inexpensive to make.

 

A clean freezer with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Clean Fridge And Freezer Interior With PeroxideFor years I've used baking soda to clean inside my refrigerator and freezer. I've found something I think I like better. Peroxide.

 

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