How To Keep Real Christmas Trees Fresh and Beautiful All Season

How To Keep Real Christmas Trees Fresh and Beautiful All SeasonHow To Keep Real Christmas Trees Fresh and Beautiful All Season

1. When you bring your tree home, saw a few inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting it in water.  When trees are cut, pitch oozes out and seals the pores.  By sawing off the base, you will open up the pores and the tree will be able to absorb water.

2. Before watering your tree, boil the water first, let stand for 5 minutes and then water it!  This will keep the sap from getting hard and allow for the water to go up the bark!  Cold water clog the opening with sap.

3. A freshly cut tree can use a gallon of water in 24 hours so be sure to keep the tree stand filled and never let the water level go below the tree’s base.  A rough rule of thumb is that a typical tree might absorb a quart of water for each inch of its diameter.

4. Once indoors, keep the tree away from any heating sources and heating ducts, sunlight and fans, which will dry the tree out.  A humidifier will help keep the needles fresher longer and reduce the fire risk.

LED lights should be used on Christmas trees as they use 80% less energy than traditional bulbs and remain cool to the touch even after hours of use, which is a very important and even key point to keeping your tree from dehydration!

You can find excellent LED Christmas bulbs perfect for indoor/outdoor here: http://amzn.to/1TLYSL7
You can also find moldable/bendable LED lights here that are perfect for wrapping around objects of any shape you desire here: http://amzn.to/1R1FVp2

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How To Press And Preserve Leaves

How To Press and Preserve LeavesHow To Press And Preserve Leaves

1. Cover your ironing board with an old cloth so you do not damage your ironing board.

2. Place your leaves between 2 sheets of waxed paper and place on the protected ironing board.

3. Use another old cloth rag to cover the leaves/wax paper.

4. Place your iron on a high setting – do NOT use steam.

5. Gently and slowly pin everything (the cloths and wax papers holding the leaves) in place. Even using a form of clamp(s) on the edge of the ironing board would be a good idea. Do not contact them with the iron however. Either method will hold your wax paper, leaves and cloths in place so the leaves do not shift or fold.

6. Carefully run the iron slowly over the cloth in one direction away from your hand or the clamps holding everything in place. The heat will transfer through the cloth and to the wax paper slowly, sealing them together.

7. Once the wax papers are somewhat fused and will not shift about, press the iron down firmly over each leaf for approximately 4 or 5 seconds. You can lift the top cloth to check on your positioning or the condition of the leaves.

8. You will see the leaves more clearly as the wax fully melts and seals around the leaves.

9. When you are happy with the condition or look of things, you can then cut out the leaves for use or storing.

10. Always leave just a bit of extra space around the leaf so the wax paper seal will remain.

Tip: If you are not going to be pressing and preserving your leaves right away store them in a zip-lock bag and place them in the refrigerator – never freeze. Be sure to blow into the bag before sealing it – the carbon dioxide will help the leaves stay fresh.

For those who want an easy and fast way to press flowers and leaves, you can find a microwave flower and leaf press here that does the work for you: http://amzn.to/1W7krFj

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How To Preserve The Flavor and Potency Of Dried Herbs

How To Preserve The Flavor and Potency Of Dried Herbs
How To Preserve The Flavor and Potency Of Dried Herbs

Preserving the fresh flavor of herbs does not end with drying them or even purchasing freshly dried herbs. To ensure your dried herbs stay fresh and potent all winter follow these tips.

1. Store dried herbs in a glass or ceramic sealed container that has an airtight lid. Plastic containers are permeable and allow air to easily come in dulling the flavor and potency of dried herbs.

An excellent airtight container that works great for storing herbs in can be found here: http://amzn.to/1MgU4HK

2. Store dried herbs in dark, dry and cool areas such as a drawer or cupboard. Do not keep dry herbs under bright lights, on windowsills, on the kitchen table or near any humidity sources such as the stove or sink.

If you would like to store your dried herbs under light or out in the open for some reason like on the kitchen table, you can do so without losing any loss in flavor or potency by storing them in a heavy duty ultraviolet glass or cobalt glass container. These containers have UV filtering properties and will protect light sensitive materials so you can store them anywhere you want with no degradation. You can find heavy duty ultraviolet herb containers here: http://amzn.to/1G0vsGr

3. If self-drying your own herbs, be sure the herbs are completely dry before putting them into an airtight container for storage. You will know the herbs have been dried enough when they crumble easily between your thumb and finger. To be sure they have dried properly, check the herbs in the container after a week. If there is any moisture inside of the container they have not been dried long enough. Remove the herbs from the container and dry again until the herbs have completely dried.

4. One of the most important points to remember in keeping your dried herbs flavorful and potent throughout the winter and beyond is to be mindful when you are adding dried herbs to a recipe to always measure out the herbs away from the stove. Standing over an oven with an open herb jar will add humidity to the jar, dull the flavor of the herbs and shorten the storage life of dried herbs.

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All Natural Deodorant

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All Natural Deodorant

Make an all natural deodorant by just mixing
1/8 Cup Baking Soda
1/8 Cup Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch
2-3 Tbsp slightly warmed coconut oil (should be solid at room temperature – use high melt coconut oil for warmer climates – soften with mug warmer or other low temp heat as necessary).

Mix thoroughly and press or pour into deodorant container.

This mixture should fit nicely into brand new or used deodorant stick containers. Use like any standard deodorant.

You can find arrowroot powder here:
http://amzn.to/S8HwHy

You can find a good high temp or “92 degree” coconut oil here:
http://amzn.to/WwzKN9

This is a great natural recipe that can be used in place of any standard or store bought deodorant.

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DIY Homemade OxiClean Recipe!

DIY homemade oxiclean recipe!DIY Homemade OxiClean Recipe!

Materials needed

1 part sodium percarbonate
1 part sodium carbonate
1 part baking soda
1 part hydrogen peroxide (3-5% solution)
1 part any detergent or dish soap

Add to at least 10-20 or more parts warm or very warm water – minimum (at least double the above equal part ingredients listed, even for surface or spot cleaning!)
A small amount of the above ingredients goes a long way.  For example, adding only 1/4 cup of each of the above ingredients to your wash is typically far more than what is actually needed to clean your whites!

*Of course you can leave out the sodium percarbonate, however you will get much better results using it!  But without it, you will still get good results.  Just keep in mind however that the original OxiClean recipe uses sodium percarbonate as it’s primary ingredient!  Essentially you are making the real deal OxiClean at home, minus some surfactants and fragrances.

Directions

1. Ready a water solution in the sink or washer by filling with warm or very warm water.  You can choose to use hot water, but hot water can be damaging to some materials, fabrics, plastics, glass, etc.

2. Add your ingredients one at a time and stir, mix or agitate until dissolved in appropriately.

3. Remember, not much is needed!  If you are doing a full load of laundry, adding 1/4-1/2 cup of each of the listed ingredients is more than sufficient to clean your whites or other such.  Always be aware of the bleaching power of hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate and adjust your amounts accordingly.  Of course, extremely soiled materials or dirty materials, larger washing or soaking batches of water, etc may call for using a bit more of the cleaning materials.  Simply add more accordingly by volume.

And that’s it!  Simply use as you would regular Oxiclean and you should get amazing results!

If you’re having trouble sourcing the materials, you can find them here:

Sodium percarbonate – http://amzn.to/1Jeme7I
Sodium carbonate – http://amzn.to/1PtHCas
Baking soda – http://amzn.to/1boA0bJ (Should be able to easily source at any local store for very cheap!)
Hydrogen peroxide – http://amzn.to/1k1wZPE (Ultra pure and powerful cleaning solution.  *Dilute to 3-5% using water before use in this or many recipes!)

If you’re looking to simply purchase Oxiclean and want none of the hassle, you can find Oxiclean here:
http://amzn.to/1h6IAOO

*You can find more on diluting your hydrogen peroxide here:
http://bit.ly/1I5vpDr

For a fast and helpful method on how to use your homemade Oxiclean, look here:
http://bit.ly/1WNQOfu

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How To Remove Labels & Other Sticky Stuff The Easy Way!

How To Remove Labels and Other Sticky Stuff The Easy Way!How To Remove Labels & Other Sticky Stuff The Easy Way!

Having trouble with gunk or labels that just can’t be removed from new or used dishes or bottles?  Looking to spend less than hours worth of your time peeling and scraping by hand, even after soaking or using soap?  If you’re attempting to use or reuse containers or bottles but are having trouble removing the labels or sticky stuff attached to them, here is an extremely simple method to remove all of the annoying stuff from your chosen items with none of the work or hassle typically associated with the process:

Materials you’ll need:

Kitchen or utility sink
Oxiclean
30 minutes of time

Directions:

1. Fill your sink with warm or very warm water (the warmer the better, but do NOT use hot water as this can be bad for many bottles, plastics or some fragile items!).

2. Toss in one heaping scoop of Oxiclean and stir with a spoon, bottle, etc until fully dissolved.

3. Place any item that needs a label or sticker material removed into the Oxiclean / water solution.

4. Wait 30 minutes.

5. When you return, the gunk will be floating at the edges of the water and the stickers will be floating about in the solution.  Simply wipe the bottles off if necessary or wash &/or rinse as usual and you’re ready to use your now fully degunked or delabeled items!

You can find OxiClean here:
http://amzn.to/1h6IAOO

For our homemade Oxiclean recipe, look here:
http://bit.ly/1MNaXzi

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30 Surprising Ways To Use A Bar of Soap

30 Surprising Ways To Use A Bar of Soap30 Surprising Ways To Use A Bar of Soap

Soap has so many more surprising uses than simply being used to wash your hands.  And the good news is that most of us always have some on hand ready to be used.  The alternative uses for soap around the home are abundant from telling you if you have a gas leak to being used as a homemade insect repellent.  Check out our list of 30 surprising ways to use a bar of soap that you have probably never thought of!

1. Gas Leak Finder

Soap is one of the best ways to determine whether or not you have a gas leak and where it is located.  To see if your gas pipes are leaking, rub wet soap all over the sides of pipes or cylinders.  If the soap bubbles anywhere, you have a leak.

2. Wood Lubricant

Rub a nail or screw with bar soap before hammering or screwing it in and it will keep the wood from splitting. Use a bar of soap to lubricate all screws, saw blades and nails before using them and it will make the metal go through the wood easily and much faster making the work get done more efficiently and saving you time.  Rubbing soap on handsaws will also result in straighter and more precise cuts.

3.  Gardening Glove Replacement

If you have work to do in the garden but cannot find your gardening gloves, soap will work to keep your nails clean.  Keep soil from getting under your fingernails by rubbing a dry bar of soap under the tips of your nails and on top of them.  The soap will keep the dirt out and your fingernails from staining and will often kill many forms of bacteria as well.

4. Leather Softener

New pairs of leather shoes often have stiff leather that can wear on the feet until the leather has been softened and broken in.  A bar of soap will naturally soften the leather quickly so the shoes are more comfortable to wear.  Just rub a slightly softened bar of soap onto the inside of the back of new leather shoes and the leather will soften up and be comfortable to wear after just a few applications.

5. Unsticking Zippers

If you have a zipper stuck you can easily fix it by rubbing a bar of soap along the zipper teeth so it will glide smoothly and will not get jammed.

6. Air Freshener

Soap is a natural air freshener.  You can pack it with you in your suitcase when you travel to keep your clothes smelling fresh and can store it in your car, drawers or even gym bags to keep clothes smelling great.

7. Unsticking Windows and Drawers

A bar of soap will work wonders on windows and drawers that get jammed partway between opening and closing.  Simple rub the soap on the sliding elements on windows and drawers and they will glide easily.

8.  Plumbing Leak Finder

Soap is a great ally in finding plumbing leaks.  If you know you have a leak, or even suspect that you do, instead of replacing the entire pipe to know you have the leak pinpointed, you can just rub a bar of damp soap along the pipe, fully covering it, and then turn on the water.  Bubbles and suds will form wherever a leak is present and water is being lost.  Then you can simply patch that spot and you will be good to go.

9. Itch Relief

Rub a damp bar of soap on any itchy area from insect bites and the itching will be relieved.

10. Check For A Tire Leak

Looking to repair the puncture on your tire, but are having trouble finding that slow leak? If no obvious screw, nail, etc. is visible, it’s possible that the object is either hiding or has been forced back out of the tire.  In this case, you can mix up a solution of water and soap and slosh the mixture about to get some sudsing and then pour this solution over the surface of your tire.  Where there is bubbling, you will know you’ve found the source of your leak!

11. Crafts

Soap is excellent for crafting.  Use a bar of soap as a sculpting medium to practice shaping and creating sculptures without spending money on clay.  As the soap is soft, it can be sculpted, imprinted and carved away.  A great idea for young kids!

12. Sled Track Lubricator

Rub a bar of soap on sled runners for a much slicker ride.  Just be sure to remember to steer away from oncoming objects!

13. Removing Floorboard Squeaks and Fixing Squeaky Doors

Rub soapy water in between the floorboards to get rid of floorboard squeaks. Place a piece of moist soap between the doorframe and hinges for squeaky doors, and move the door back and forth several times to work it in and rub soap directly onto the hinges.  The squeak will be gone!

14. Shaving Cream and Shampoo Substitute

Soap is excellent as a homemade shaving cream and shampoo.  To make your own hydrating shaving cream with soap mix together a solution of one part hot water to one part grated soap.  You can add essential oils or coconut oils to this mixture for an even smoother effect.

15. Keep Glasses From Fogging

Keep your glasses from fogging up in cold weather by rubbing soapy water over glasses and then wiping them off.  It will keep them fog-free.

16. Homemade Pincushion and Needle Lubricator For Easy Sewing

Make a homemade pincushion from a bar of soap by gluing a piece of fabric all around the bar of soap until it is entirely covered and then using it as a pincushion.  The soap will also lubricate the pins and needles and they will go through materials easily.

17. Hem Line Marker

Use a bar of soap to mark hemlines and other fabric parts before sewing.  It will wash away when you are done.

18. Loosen Tight Rings

Ring stuck on your finger or having trouble going on and off?  Just rub soap over the finger and the ring will slide on and off when the hand is washed.

19. Soot Preventer

If you are going to be cooking out over an open fire using a cast iron pan, rub a bar of soap along the bottom of the pan before putting it on the open flame.  The soap will make clean-up a breeze and prevent any soot from accumulating on the pan.

20. Wallpaper Remover

Getting ready to remove your wallpaper?  Rather than using expensive chemicals to strip the adhesive or using a professional steamer, grab a bar of soap instead.  Flake off the pieces of soap and mix them with clean hot water.  Add flakes until you have a thick and creamy mixture.  Apply this mixture to the area using a damp sponge and wait several minutes – you will be able to peel back the wallpaper with ease.

21. Jewelry Cleaner

Need to clean your jewelry?  Forget going to the jewelers and take out a bar of soap instead.  Make a solution of one cup water and a ½ cup of shredded bar soap. Place your jewelry in this mixture and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush.  Rinse and allow pieces to air dry and they will look like new!

22. Homemade Fruit Cleaner

Vegetables should always be washed before eating due to the pesticides and materials that may be on them during transit or while they were growing that have not been washed off.  You can make a homemade fruit and vegetable wash using ¼ cup of shredded bar soap with two cups of cool water and one tablespoon of vinegar. Allow fruits and vegetables to soak for 5 minutes, then rinse well and store,

23.  Prevent Dripping Watering Cans

When watering your plants you can prevent dripping from the spout by rubbing moistened soap under the lip or spout of the can.

24. Pre-treating Clothes

Instead of spending money on pre-treatments for clothes that often do not work that well, use a bar of soap on the stain instead.  Simply wet a bar of soap and rub it on the stain before washing.

25. Protecting Objects When Painting

Going to be painting a door or wall soon?  You can protect windowpanes, hardware, switchblades, knobs and glass doors by coating them with soapsuds.  If the paint splatters outside the area you want painted, the paint splatters will settle on the suds instead, and both can be washed away together with no residue left behind.

26. Pick Up Broken Glass

Had a glass break somewhere or a lightbulb break?  Call on soap to the rescue.  Simply rub a damp bar of soap over the area where glass has broken, then shave off the surface where the glass has latched on to the soap to use it for future use.  For a lightbulb that has broken, simply place a soap bar on top and turn it.

27. Loosen Stiff Locks

Have a lock that you are having trouble opening or getting the key into? Just lubricate the key with soap and it will relubricate the lock and make it work smoothly again.

28.  Preparing Homemade Newspaper Logs

To make your own newspaper logs for the fire, simply roll old newspapers tightly together and tie firmly, then soak them in soapy water and stand them on their ends to drain and dry out.

29. Windowsill Cleaner

Clean dirty windowsills by running the wet edge of a bar of soap along them.

30. Insect Repellent

Soap makes an excellent insect repellent, and one that is not loaded with pesticides as many commercial insect repellents can be.  Rub a bar of soap in a small bowl of water until the mixture becomes sudsy.  Then place this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it all over the undersides of your plants and it will deter insects from attacking or taking shelter on them.  To keep deer and rabbits out of your garden, use a strong-smelling soap and place these in sachets all around your garden which will keep them away all year long.

Making Soap From Scratch: How to Make Handmade Soap: http://amzn.to/1gJawrP

Smart Soapmaking: Making Traditional Handmade Soap Quickly, Safely, and Reliably: http://amzn.to/1LbCRS8

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