Weekly Tips for February 28, 2011

Posted on 28. Feb, 2011 by in Uncategorized

Where did February go? Can it be March already? Time to shake out the cobwebs, open up the house for some fresh clean air and get outside to walk, hike, run or enjoy some “me” time. This week’s tips are Nice, Green, Healthy, Food and Exercise. Check them all out and leave your comments and thoughts.  

NICE THINGS:

No one every wants to admit they need an extra hour or two, because as women and mothers we have to “do it all” and “make it all”. So here is your NICE for the week, show up at a friend’s house and say “I’m yours for one (two) hours, what have you got for me to do?”  Most likely she won’t suggest anything, so be specific for her: ironing, laundry, dishes, windows.  If she still won’t take your help, say, “OK, I am going to the market for some fresh vegetables and I am going to make a big pot of homemade soup.” While you cook, you both can chat, catch up and her family will have a great dinner.

GREEN:

Five Best Low-Tech Gardening Gadgets. Home improvement warehouse stores are full of gadgets and devices, yet many successful home gardens are cultivated with a handful of good hand tools. 

A gardener’s toolkit requires little more than a trowel, fork, manual weeder, rake, and shears. Each time-tested tool beats several high-tech alternatives.

1. Shears: A good pair of bypass pruning shears can keep many trees and shrubs neat and tidy, while also helping harvest vegetables and flowers, clear away dead leaves and cut weeds away from the plants you want to keep.

2. Rake: Garden vacuums — either gas- or electric-powered — are popular among people anxious to keep a perfect yard. They suck up leaves and dirt, but that is the problem — dirt belongs in the yard. Instead consider raking the leaves and other debris, or simply leaving many of them where they fall.

3. Weeder: A simple hand weeder is still the best way to get rid of unwanted plants. Even for pesky, deep-rooted dandelions, just push the little tines down to the bottom of the dandelion roots and pull up the weed.

4. Fork: Garden forks are great for loosening and turning soil, and they are the best way to turn and aerate compost. A garden fork and perhaps a rotating compost bin are all you need to turn your kitchen scraps and garden waste into compost.

5. Trowel: Finally, a basic trowel may be the handiest tool in the garden shed. It’s all you need for plenty of digging, planting, harvesting and weeding.

HEALTH:

Home Remedies.  Does anyone remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with the dad who insisted a spritz of Windex was all you needed to cure anything, from pimples to psoriasis?  Here are just a few of the really-do-work home remedies out there–some are natural and herb-based, where others are a bit more, uh, tool store (duct tape, anyone?):

Yogurt banishes bad breath: A daily serving of live-bacteria-containing yogurt helps wipe out the bad-breath-bacteria that have set up stinky camp in your mouth.

Flowers treat herpes: a recent study in Phytotherapy Research shows that tansy–a yellow-flowered plant–has properties and could be a potent weapon in the treatment of some kinds of herpes.

Sugar cures hiccups: And you thought you had to hold your breath until they disappeared! Swallowing one teaspoon of granulated sugar–dry, with no water to wash it down–helps stimulate the vagus nerve, “reset” the diaphragm, and stop hiccups.

Duct tape dissolves warts: A study found that placing a small piece of duct tape over a wart every three days (removing the tape and filing the wart with a pumice stone in between) worked 25% better than freezing them off.

Mouthwash blasts blisters: Mouthwash is an antiseptic; it dries out blisters when you dab it on three times a day.

Licorice root soothes sore throats: This sweet root contains a soothing, coating agent that helps ease the pain of sore throats (it’s been used in medicine for thousands of years!).

What home remedies do you swear by? Do you regularly turn to herbal treatments?

FOOD:

Green Velvet Soup. This is a great low calorie, high vitamin soup for snacks, lunch and dinner.  Give it a try. You could serve it with Green Eggs and Ham for the upcoming Dr. Seuss week in March.

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