We live in a disposable world. Simple things that can have many uses (such as orange peels) are tossed without a second thought. In trying to be eco-friendly, we came up with a couple of uses for orange peels:
Orange Peel Candles This is a really cute idea for a casual party – plus, the orange peels give off a great scent!
1. Prepare the amount of oranges you want to use. Slice off the top of the orange and scoop out the orange (the same way you would eat a grapefruit).
2. Fill the entire orange with wax. If you don’t want it to burn for that long, you can fill it halfway with water and then wax. You can purchase wax HERE. Simply follow the directions that come with the wax to melt it down. Alternatively, you stick a candle in the orange but it won’t have the same look.
3. Stick a wick in the wax and light the candle – Voila! You’re all set! The orange peel will give off a sweet orange scent and the best thing is, you can reuse the candle holders. Just fill it up with wax again!
The flames of a fire, in a romantic, poetic setting such as a fireplace, campfire, etc., can be beautiful and relaxing. However, if the right precautions are not taken, fire can be dangerous, disastrous and a person’s worst nightmare. It can turn a person’s world up-side-down within seconds. Here are some safety measures that we can take so that this way we can enjoy the beauty of fire.
1. We all know that candles aren’t safe. The problem is that we don’t realize how unsafe jar candles can be. Jar candles seem to give people a sense of security since they are enclosed. What can happen to a mason-jar candle is that the flame super-heats the glass, which possibly will result in the glass exploding. In this case, melted wax oozes out, along with the metal tab that contains the wick, which can then ignite the surface. When this scenario takes place, and it does, homeowners are always shocked because they thought that the jar offered foolproof protection. In reality, any candle that is three quarters of the way melted poses a risk and should be doused and discarded.
2. It may not be on top of our minds, but fires can start in the laundry room- often because of problems with dryer vents. Lint can and does collect in unexpected places. Your best defense is to check, every now and then, where the dryer vent attaches to the back of the appliance and the wall to make sure that it is securely attached. In the event that you find it to be loose, clean away all the lint from around the surrounding area and tighten the clamp using a screwdriver.
We got an interesting email last week that we’d like to share with our readers. One of our customers ordered a Keurig B30 Mini Personal Single-Serve Brewing System and we shipped it with UPS. Our customer emailed us to let us know that when UPS came to deliver the package, instead of walking up to his front door and ringing the bell, as would be expected from any decent delivery guy, especially one that is delivering a package containing a delicate coffee maker, he tossed the package 15 feet in the air and it landed on the hard cement on the other side of his fence!
Now, to be perfectly honest, UPS is quite fair with their claims process. Had the package been damaged (our customer notified us later that thankfully, it was not) we would have gotten our money back in no time in order to provide him with a new coffee maker. As we have no idea who the driver was, we forwarded the complaint to our UPS account manager for further action. Are we confident that this won’t happen again? Definitely not. Was the driver reprimanded or penalized for the way he treats deliveries? We can’t imagine. So what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Absolutely nothing.
Unfortunately, UPS drivers are the among the most underpaid, overworked work bracket so we can’t actually blame them. Or can we? Can UPS take responsibility for each of their thousands of drivers across the United States? Who do we blame here?
When water freezes, the density of the water decreases, causing the water to expand. This is why, when water freezes in pipes, it could only mean one thing- trouble. The frozen water in the pipes can cause the pipes to burst, and allows the unfrozen water to get away which can then result in severe property damage. The most common places for pipes to freeze are in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls since there is little to no insulation making it very vulnerable especially if there are cracks. Some tips:
- Every member in your household should know where your main water shut-off valve is located in case of emergency. Do an annual check of the shut-off valves to make sure that it is working as it should be.
- Check to make sure that the water to your outdoor faucets is shut off inside your house via a turnoff valve, and that all the lines are drained before the temperature drops anywhere close to freezing point.
- In the event that a pipe does freezes or burst, shut the water off at once. Never attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Very often, the freezing of the pipes causes minor cracks in pipes or joins that can leak once thawed.
- To thaw the pipes apply heat using a blow-dryer, heater or hot water. Never use propane or kerosene heaters or blow torches because of fire hazards. Once the water has thawed, check the pipes for cracks and leaks.
- To prevent pipes from freezing, wrap them with insulation or layers of fabric or newspaper.
Both creamy and smooth, a slice (or two) of cheesecake is undoubtedly the most tasty and graceful way to end any meal. Cheesecake is a self-indulgent, mouth-watering dessert which leaves no room for question on why 99.9% of people have a very hard time refusing a piece of cheesecake- unless on a diet of course!
This cheesecake recipe is by far the tastiest I’ve ever gotten my hands on. You can absolutely trust me on that one since I’ve gotten my hands on quite a few! Try this quick and practically effortless new recipe.
1 package cinnamon, chocolate or honey Graham crackers
3 oz. butter
- Blend the Graham crackers into fine crumbs. Place them in a 9" round pan.
- Cut the butter into small pieces.
- Place in a pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes or until the butter is melted. Keep an eye on those crackers. If they are left in for even a minute too long, they will burn.
- Stir mixture to completely blend crackers with butter.
- Press the crackers down evenly onto the bottom of the 9” pan and a bit up the sides of the pan.
Potatoes make a perfect side dish and are just about a no-brainer. Garlic herb roasted potatoes? Now we’re talking. These garlic herb potatoes make an excellent side dish for any dinner, since it is a classic that goes with just about everything. The difference between good potatoes and great potatoes is the flavor, the crispiness on the outside, and the smoothness on the inside.
Wondering what causes your blood sugar levels to increase or decrease? The answer is pretty simple. The more sugar and carbohydrate found in the food consumed, the higher your blood sugar level will be. Some foods help in lowering the levels while others that enter the bloodstream faster, lend a hand at raising them to what may be dangerously high levels, which can result in health problems, including diabetes. Your body is in charge of regulating the sugar levels but it is a task that the body cannot accomplish without your help.
Vinegar: Choose a vinegar-based dressing for your salad, and the rise in your blood-sugar levels after eating will be 55% lower than usual. The acetic acid in vinegar seems to block the enzymes that break down carbohydrates, decreasing the amount of glucose that can enter your blood cells.
Avocado: Unlike most other fruits, avocados are full of mono-unsaturated fat- the same healthy fat that you find in olive oil. Mono-unsaturated fat leaves no impact on blood sugars making it an excellent choice in a sandwich or salad and it will leave you feeling full. The fat in the avocado will also slow down the digestion of the meal, which makes it easier on your blood sugar level. In addition, avocados contain a variety of nutrients and help your body absorb other nutrients more efficiently.
Biscottis are Italian cookies that are baked twice: the first time, it is baked in the shape of a log and then it is baked a second time as individual slices. Legend has it that they have been around since Christopher Columbus’ times, making the cookies more than 500 years old. Biscottis are dry and could be stored for longer periods of time than the regular cookie. Being that they are nonperishable, they were particularly useful in the olden days for journeys and during wartime.
½ cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chopped almonds (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips (half black, half white)
Most of us use peanut butter as a spread for a good, yet nutritious, sandwich to take along to work or school. Well, guess what! There is way more to peanut butter then you think. This delicious spread can be the solution to many ‘natural’ home disasters …
Scenario #1: You’re relaxing on the couch when you notice a piece of chewed-up gum in your child’s hair. Your instinctive reaction is panic! Then you remember that once upon a time ago you read something about peanut butter and chewing gum. You make a mad dash for the peanut butter, apply it to the mess and ‘massage’ the gum for a few minutes. Your child’s hair now smells like one big peanut butter sandwich, but you don’t mind since you didn’t have to cut the locks to get the gum out.
Scenario #2: Your dog is sick and has to take some medication. You’re at your wits’ end at trying to get the dog to take the pill. Here’s a little secret. Most dogs are very fond of peanut butter. Hide the pill in a spoonful of peanut butter and let the dog have a special treat. The peanut butter will also make the dogs teeth and bones stronger.
Scenario #3: You finished frying fish but now the house reeks from fish. All you have to do to eliminate the smell is fry some peanut butter in the frying pan for about a minute or two. The peanut butter absorbs the fish odor. True, your house now smells like peanut butter, but I don’t believe there is anybody who prefers the smell of fish over peanut butter.
Ever wondered how the rest of the world celebrates their New Year’s Eve? What are their New Year’s traditions and beliefs? Well, I was curious so I did some research and boy am I amazed. Thought I should share it with you. Here goes:
In Spain, the Spaniards celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating grapes. They invite several friends over for a late dinner. Late meaning 9:00 in the evening at the earliest! A few minutes before 12:00 a.m., they bring out the dessert which consists of bunches of grapes. With each ring of the midnight bells, everyone eats one grape. This tradition which has been passed on for many generations is meant to carry with it some good luck for the New Year.
In Colombia, it is the custom to construct a dummy representing the closing year. Each family member donates some clothing that is no longer worn to make the dummy. They then stuff it using straw and firecrackers. Every participating member then takes a piece of paper and writes down a bit of bad luck or some fault that they would want to free themselves of. At 12:00 am on the button, the dummy is lit and left to burn until all that is left of it are ashes. The old year’s faults and bad luck is thought to disappear together with the dummy.
In Greece, it is a tradition to serve New Year’s Bread at 12:00am on January 1. They place either a coin or a charm inside this special bread. At exactly midnight, the head of the family slices the bread and distributes it to each family member, in age order. The member who receives the piece of bread with the coin or charm is believed to be showered with good fortune throughout the New Year.