Sunday, November 30, 2008

Envelope Creations

Make envelopes out of your old maps. Not only will this create a colorful envelope, but you will be amazed at how long people will study it to try to figure out what the map displays! Here's how to make the envelope:

Open an envelope at the seams to use as a pattern.

Copy on the WRONG side lightly and draw the envelope.

Your card can dictate the size as you get more proficient.

Glue at the folds with school glue.

Beware Of The Repairs

When choosing a shop for a vehicle that is not under warranty, first talk to friends and family to see if they recommend a place to take your car.

Also see if the facility as been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The certification means that some or all of the mechanics at the shop have met basic standard of knowledge in specific technical areas. For example, some areas may be brake work, collision repair, engine repair, painting and alignment.

Even better, find out if the shop is in the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence program. The initiative recognizes shops that have 75% of their mechanics ASE certified and have a mechanic certified in each area of service that they offer.

Often shops display the Blue Seal plaque in the customer waiting area. If you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask if the facility is Blue Seal certified. You can also visit the ASE Web site.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Salad Greens For Dinner

Mixed salad greens and Mesclun mixes are attractive and fun to grow, and they make a great container garden, indoors in a sunny window or outdoors.

Here’s a fun idea: Have the kids plant their own salad garden. They will enjoy cutting their own salad for dinner (little ones will need supervision) and as they cut, the greens will regrow.

Storm Warnings

Since the air always seems fresher after a thunderstorm, ever wonder why some people with asthma find their condition gets worse, not better?
Grass pollen is a common allergen that can trigger hay fever and asthma attacks. But grass pollen granules themselves are usually too large to find their way deep into the lungs, which could cause an even more severe attack.

But when they are exposed to water, the pollen grains break up. And when this happens, each pollen granule releases as many as 700 starch particles. These particles contain the real allergen, and they're small enough to work their way deep into the lungs.

Night Vision Mirrors

Headlights -- particularly those coming from thoughtless folks who refuse to dim their brights -- can momentarily blind the on-coming driver, creating a safety hazard.

It's almost as bad when someone shows up behind you, those beams shining directly into your rearview mirror.

The day/night rearview mirror, which first appeared four decades ago on lists of standard or optional equipment for new cars, alleviated reflective glare to some extent. Yet in night mode any mirror objects save for the offending headlamps seem obscure and hard to see.

A more recent spin-off from the day/night mirror uses electrochromic technology to automatically dampen the effect of bright headlights.

Electrochromic technology is a process of darkening glass by applying an electrical current. Such a mirror contains a thin layer of electrochromic gel sandwiched between layers of glass. When sensors detect glaring light, they energize an electronic system that causes the gel to darken and absorb the light's brightness, thus paring the glare's intensity. Once the glare passes, the mirror reverts to normal mode of high reflectivity. Driver never has to lift a finger because the mirror changes automatically, much like photosensitive eyeglasses darken relative to light exposure.

A few pricey automobiles today provide an electrochromic mirror as standard equipment, but now you may add a deluxe electronic mirror to virtually any car -- thanks to a multi-functional design by Gentex. The Night Vision Safety Mirror, which dims automatically, also has a built-in digital electronic compass, a digital thermostat to display outside temperature, plus an ice indicator that pops on for one minute when the temperature dips below 37 degrees. The mirror's wiring package fits most vehicles.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bleach Spray

Bleach is the best and truest disinfectant of all time, not to mention inexpensive. Here are a few simple ideas on strecthing your bleach, and how to use it other than on laundry.

Place a small amount of bleach in a squirt bottle and fill it to the top with water. Use for spraying in bathtubs to get rid of mildew, cleaning counter-tops, spot-spraying shower curtains, washing off cutting boards, and wiping down the bathroom counter and toilet seats. Trust me, you will find so many uses for this spray- when it is cold and flu season ( the really bad part), you can spray down toys,light switches,steering wheels,remotes,keyboards,keys, handles too.If you have 1 or 2 sick loved ones, soaking their dishes(separately) with a couple of drops of bleach and some water in the sink will keep others in your household healthy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Service Centers

For the average person with little mechanical knowledge, leaving a car with someone for repairs is a big act of trust. You know your car has a problem, and you want it to be fixed without paying outrageous prices for repairs that weren’t needed, or unexpected charges for services you didn’t ask for. There are some ways you can assure yourself that you won’t be pushed over by zealous technicians that may try to talk you into doing things you don’t understand or need.

One place to start is to ask everyone you know where they take their cars, and what their experience has been. Word will travel fast if there is an unscrupulous repair center. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend who has mechanical knowledge, invite them to go with you to check out a place. If you know your car is having problems but you cannot define what that problem is, having a more knowledgeable friend come along for a test drive could be very enlightening. A noise or other problem that you might not be able to describe will be more obvious to someone with auto repair experience.

If you don’t have anyone you can ask for help, then walk into the repair center armed with all of the information you can come up with. Have your car's symptoms written down to the best of your ability. If you get nervous, you won’t have to try to remember exactly what you were going to say. Make sure you tell the shop to call you with an estimate of charges before any work is done. Ask them if they have any minimum charges. Let the technician know that you will only pay for work done that you actually authorized.

Another important thing to do is to ask for your old parts back. You will then be able to look at the condition of your old parts and perhaps gain a better understanding of your car’s systems. Not only that, but if you’re stuck somewhere, you’ll have your old parts to either put back on in a pinch or know what to order. If possible, you should pay your account with a credit card. This way, if there is a problem later, you can refuse to pay the bill and the incident will be looked into. Finally, a little courtesy goes a long way. Be firm, but not rude when talking with your technician.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Get Paid To Shop (Really)

I have always been leary of make money companies,concepts and ideas. Earlier this year I was low on cash and and came across this program that sounded too good to be true... Wondering if I was wrong or should check this one out, I decided since it was a free program I would indulge my curiosity a bit. I was surprised to see not only was it free, but easy and a lot of fun- THEY ACTUALLY PAY YOU!! I am talking about what I believe some of you have heard about: Shopper's Hotline. This program pays you to scan all of the purchases you make each and every week ( you do this at home with a provided scanner, yes it comes with a holder to set it in, or you can do this via the internet). Every week that you particpate you earn points that add up really fast which then get redeemed and cash is then added to a Visa debit card they send you- It's that EASY. You also have chances to earn points through recording you prescription purchases and doing quick easy surveys once a month. They have monthly and quartely drawings for realy great prizes- hey, I just won a dvd player,this week as a matter of fact! I really do like working for them and you will to- If you can get picked to be a member. And yes you can use the provided Visa debit card anywhere just like any other. The whole point of Shopper's Hotline is to tell companies that make all the products you can buy- what is being sold, why and to whom, how often, and for what cost and what suppliers are selling their products the most. If you want to see if you qualify to become a Shopper's Hotline member just call: 1-877-999-2949 Ask for Operator 10 and when prompted give them this special code: 048126136
Good Luck - make that $$$ :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Cookies Ever!

Storing holiday cookies?
Keep them soft by adding a slice of apple to the container (do change it frequently). And never store soft and crispy cookies together.

Damper Advice

Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter -- it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

Herbs in Window Boxes

If you don't have room for herbs in your garden, consider planting herbs in window boxes. Choose a sunny south window for your herb window box, and fill it with a good quality potting mix. Use four plants in a two foot window box, or six plants in a three foot box. Chives can be planted more densely. Many herbs lose flavor if they are fed too much fertilizer, so use half-strength liquid fertilizer or a half dose of slow released fertilizer. Any of these herbs will do well in a sunny window box, but some may require frequent pruning to keep them down to a reasonable size:


Friday, November 7, 2008

Green Is The Word

It's easy to be green with the following eco-friendly tips and facts:

1. Recycling ONE aluminum can saves enough energy to run a t.v. for 3 hours

2. 60,000 trees would be saved if EVERY household reused a paper bag for just 1 shopping trip

3. Reycyling plastic saves TWICE as much energy as burning it in a incinerator

4. Producing 1 lb of recycled rubber uses ONLY 29% of the energy it takes to produce new rubber

**These tips and facts save the enviroment and saves all of us money- TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW and preserve this beautiful earth

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chew on this One

The experts all advise that if you think you're having a heart attack, the first thing you should do is chew an aspirin tablet.
But because aspirin starts to break up as soon as it touches your tongue, why chew it instead of swallowing it?

Here's why, when measured the length of time it took for the aspirin to inhibit blood clotting, which is the reason to take it after a heart attack. Swallowing a whole aspirin takes 12 minutes to have any effect on your blood's clotting time; drinking a liquid remedy containing aspirin takes seven minutes to work, but chewing a regular aspirin tablet shows benefits in only five minutes.

Cutting Back Geraniums

If you're overwintering your geraniums indoors, they are probably getting tall and leggy because of the reduced light indoors. Now is a good time to cut them back to about a foot in height. Save a few 4 to 6- inch pieces to root. Dip the cut end of the stems in rooting hormone, then place them in a pot filled with a mixture of peat moss and sand. Keep the pot out of direct light while the cuttings take root, which should take a few weeks. Don't tug on the stems to test for roots -- you'll damage any tender rootlets that are forming. When new growth appears, you'll know that your cuttings have rooted.