Dec 1, 2010

Snowy Dates

by Kiku Reidhead

Snowy Dates
While living in Utah, you have got to take full advantage of the snow. It's true that snow can be a pain, but only if you're walking or driving in it; if you're playing in it, snow can be a lot of fun!

Dates in the snow can be expensive, if you take a date skiing or snowboarding, that is. If you improvise and take a date sledding however, you can have fun without impacting your wallet.

A popular place to sled if you have your own gear is Bicentennial Rotary Park in south Provo. Take a thermos of hot chocolate or apple cider to warm up in between runs.

If you want to sled on a sledding hill, travel up Provo Canyon to Midway snow tube at Wasatch Mountain State Park. The park is complete with 1,200-foot sliding lanes and a tow-rope lift service. Tubing on a professionally-made hill complete with a tow rope comes at the price of $20 per person.

If you'd rather do something low key, have a snowman building contest and provide the accessories (buttons, noses, eyes, hats, etc.). Or just drop in the snow and make snow angels.

Needles to say, with the white stuff on the ground, if you use your creativity, winter can be fun in Provo! So, don't be afraid to get out and play in it!

Large Measuring Cup

Large Measuring Cup

It can be annoying to use five different measuring cups to make one recipe. A good solution to take the place of your pile of dirty dishes is one large measuring cup. You can buy a sturdy, large measuring cup that holds as much as 2 quarts (or 8 cups).

Combining your forces into one large measuring cup has many advantages. You can make an entire marinade in the cup and pour it with no mess (it comes with a spout). In addition, the measuring cup has markings for both liquids and solids.

A large measuring cup comes in many different sizes and is usually made of glass or plastic. You can purchase one at any kitchen retail store.

Christmas Ball Wreath

Christmas Ball Wreath

This craft is so simple that you can make it and still have motivation to decorate the rest of your apartment or house. You can use any colors you'd like - golds, blues, whites, pinks or traditional Christmas colors like us.

  • Styrofoam or wire wreath frame
  • Glass or plastic Christmas ball ornaments
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon
  • While you heat your hot glue gun, prepare your ornaments.

  • If you are using a Styrofoam frame, you will probably need wire to attach the balls. You will hot glue the loop piece on the top of the ornament to the ball to make sure it is secure. Then, you can attach a piece of wire to the loop. Martha Stewart recommends forming bunches of balls using your wire and pushing them into the wreath form. Just continue adding ornaments and clusters until the wreath is the shape you like.

  • If you are using a metal frame, you can simply begin gluing the balls in the color, order and fashion you like best. We started with the inside and created a red-gold-red-gold pattern. Then we worked outward. We attached the balls to the frame and to other ornaments already attached to the frame. Continue until you are finished.

  • If there are any spaces or holes, you can fill them with extra ribbon pieces, tinsel, garland, silk flowers, or anything you'd like. Just glue these into place.

  • Creating the hook is also up to you, and you can make it decorative with some ribbon. Make the hook with ribbon, or cover a metal hook with a ribbon bow.

The Dishwasher

by Kiku Reidhead

The dishwasher is a powerful cleaning tool that's good for not only dishes and silverware but many household items as well! Make the most of your appliance by learning what it can be good for; learning to expand the possibilities for your dishwasher will save you time and extra cleaning.

1. Baseball caps: These don't do well in the washing machine because the bills get bent and battered. So, the dishwasher is a perfect solution. Place a cap on the top rack and give the sweat marks and dust a good washing without beating up your hat.

2. Toys: If you have kids, or even nieces and nephews, you know that toys can get germy and dirty. Once again, the dishwasher is a high-powered machine to get rid of bacteria and give old toys and new sparkle.

3. Sports equipment: Knee pads, shin guards, and other sports equipment are tough to give a good wash without misshaping them in the washing machine. The dishwasher will help with these items - just remember to empty all the dishes before you wash the sports equipment.

4. Washing fruits or veggies: If you have any dirty and tough-to-scrub veggies (like potatoes) you can actually just run them in the dishwasher. Just remember not to add any detergent.

5. Disinfecting sponges or rags: You can actually put dish sponges or rags in the dishwasher in between your dishes to disinfect and clean them. This is a quick and easy way to keep sponges ready for scrubbing.

Holiday Clean-up

by Kiku Reidhead

Holiday Clean-up
Whether you're the host, or just one of the family, there's no doubt you'll be involved in some kind of holiday clean up. We have gathered a few tips to help you get the place sparkling clean and clutter free!

In the kitchen:
After a big holiday feast, the last thing you want to do is clean - just as you find yourself happy and full (and ready for a snooze), you have to sit at the sink for hours and scrub. So, here are few things that will help you speed up the process.
  • Glassware: If you are washing dishes by hand, add a little vinegar to your rinsing water to get rid of soap streaks.

  • Greasy pans and dishes: If anything you are washing is too stinky to bear, again, vinegar will do the trick. Put a few tablespoons in the dishwasher to cut down the grease and get rid of the smell.

  • Silverware: For nice flatware, like ones made of real silver, clean and use silver polish. If you don't have any polish on hand, you can actually use a dab of white toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste on the silverware with your finger, rinse with hot water and polish with a clean cloth.

  • Wax drips on material: Wait for the wax to cool and scrape off the hardened wax. Press the spot between paper towels and sponge with a cleaning fluid before washing in hot water. Do not dry until you have gotten the stain completely out.
Around the house:
  • Cards: Christmas cards can clutter the fridge and the kitchen counters. Rather than throw them away, cut out the artwork on the card cover and use them as gift tags next Christmas. You can also use pretty cutouts as ornaments or an extra addition to your wreath.

  • Candy canes: Everyone is always left with extra candy canes. These can be used as toppings for a cake, a stirrer for hot chocolate, an ornament, or even as a gift topper.