Ahhh…. it’s the most wonderful time of the year…. right?
Christmas is a wonderful season for catching up with friends and family, eating good food, giving and receiving presents, and being generally happy and thankful. However, in the hustle-and-bustle to get your parties planned, gifts bought, and home cleaned and decorated, we can often get a little stressed.
Today, we’re going to give you a few pointers on making your holiday season a little less stressful, and a little more enjoyable.
Holiday party tips
One of the biggest issues is planning the party itself. Make sure you don’t procrastinate too long and leave yourself too much to do, and not enough time to do it. A great idea is to always carry around a little notepad in your pocket or purse, and every time you think of something that needs to be done, add it to your list. “A short pencil is better than a long memory”, and not having to worry about remembering everything will reduce a lot of stress. You should also think about ways your guests can help – maybe try having everyone bring one small item that will enable you to avoid the cost and hassle of having to pick up everything yourself. Most guests are happy to have something specific to bring so they don’t have to figure it out for themselves.
Keeping your kitchenware clean
How to clean glassware and remove hard water, lipstick, and coffee stains
For hard water and lip stick stains, wash your glasses in warm soapy water with a dishrag and add about a half cup of white vinegar to your water. If you soak them in the vinegar overnight that will help to loosen and remove the stains even more. Use a fine steel wool pad in the vinegar, and use it to scrub the loosened hard-water stains off your dishes and glasses. Rinse your dinnerware and glassware off with water and towel dry.
You can also use lemon juice and table salt to remove any remaining hard-water stains on your glasses or dishes. Mix equal parts of both together and allow the paste to stay on the surfaces for 10 minutes. Lemon is an effective hard-water stain remover and will help you clean off remaining stains.
How to remove burnt stains from pots & pans
One of the best things to use to remove “burnt stains” from pots and pans is Pepsi or Coke. Let is sit for a few hours (overnight is best) and the stains practically wipe off.
Lemons, salt and dishwashing soap are great for cleaning copper pans. Give them a good scrub with dishwashing soap, then take a half a lemon and pour salt on it, use it to scrub the copper, you will see the shine come through. Keep adding salt to the lemon as you clean.
Baking soda is another great remedy that most people have readily available. Baking soda on a damp sponge removes grease easily from stove, back splash, and more.
How to clean solid silver
Wash the silverware as soon as possible after use, quickly removing remnants of acidic foods such as salt, olives, vinegar, or egg yolks that can break down the silver. You may clean the flatware using warm soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and drying with a clean towel.
Line the bottom of a heat-proof glass or plastic dish with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Add 1 tbsp. baking soda, 1 tbsp. salt and 1 gallon boiling water and stir. Immediately put the silver pieces in the dish, making sure they’re completely submerged and touching the foil. When the tarnish is gone, rinse the silver in warm water, dry and buff with a soft cloth.
Another great silver cleaner is right in our own homes: toothpaste can remove tarnish from silver and costs a fraction of what traditional silver cleaners do. Rub the silver with toothpaste and run under warm water, working the paste into a foam and then rinse off.
We hope you found our party hints and cleaning tricks helpful! Happy Holidays!
Everybody knows the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday”, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. On November 25th, millions of shoppers will be lined up for hours trying their best to secure some of the great “doorbusters” Black Friday is so-well known for. It can be pretty stressful to deal with, but you may not know that you don’t even have to leave your home to get some of the best deals! In this month’s post, we’ve got you covered with the following list of Do’s and Don’ts to save you a lot of headache in planning out your shopping strategy this holiday season. (and if you happen to need some help getting everything cleaned up after that big family holiday feast, we can help you with that too)
DO expect that his year, some Black Friday specials will actually begin on Thursday. With a down economy, many retailers know people have a limited budget, and are launching their deals as early as possible. Keep an eye out in your local newspapers the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
DON’T assume the best deals are in-store. Online retailers like Amazon.com don’t have the overhead of a physical storefront and can typically offer bigger discounts than brick-and-mortar stores. Also, shopping online may enable you to avoid paying sales tax on your order (as well as saving you from braving the weather and letting you shop in your pajamas)!
DO check on the return policy for any item you buy. Many charge restocking fees, or disallow returns altogether if items were created specifically for a Black Friday promotion. Make sure you’re 100% clear on the return policy for the item you’re buying so you can return it if it ends up not meeting your expectations.
DON’T purchase an extended warranty on any big ticket item you purchase. Stores use these to recover a lot of the money they lose on offering big discounts. The salesperson will probably pull out every trick in the book to get you to go for it, but don’t do it. Most defective products will fail well within the typical one-year manufacturer’s warranty. After that, it’s usually clear sailing well past the 3 or 5 year extended mark most stores offer. Besides, if you make your purchase with certain debit or credit cards, that may offer you an automatic protection.
DO brave the crowds if you want to grab an extremely limited item. On the rarest deals, you typically won’t be able to find a match online, or secure what you really want. Make sure you get in line early – people will often camp out to secure the very best deals.
DON’T wait until the very last minute to do your holiday shopping. While you don’t necessarily need to finish EVERYTHING on Black Friday, have a plan to wrap up your shopping well before December 20th-24th. Retailer raise prices dramatically the week leading up to the big day. If you want to save yourself some cash and some stress, make sure you have everything taken care of by mid-December so you can relax and enjoy the season!