December 19, 2011

the 12 deals of christmas

"christmas time means laughter, toboggans in the snow, caroling together with faces aglow." kevin mcallister, "home alone 2: lost in new york"

"first we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of tollhouse cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle." buddy the elf, "elf"

christmas truly is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons. i love the time with my family and the countless opportunities to watch every incredible christmas movie in our pajamas. i love making snack mix with my mom and drinking egg nog like it's going out of style. i love caroling with my family at different people's houses and wearing tacky christmas sweaters and jingle bell earrings. i love dressing as a charissamas tree, wrapping my entire body in lights, and plugging into random outlets, with my trusted extension cord on hand.

and while christmas time means all of these wonderful things to me, it also means having a time to refresh and reorganize in order to get motivated for the new year. i love having time to get little things accomplished in order to live simpler and easier after the holiday is over. i love having time to get on pinterest and find fun inventions and ideas for everyday improvements, and with that being said, i have discovered 12 ideas through my perusing that i am implementing during this holiday season in order to live a little easier and cheaper in the upcoming year.

so in honor of the holiday season and for the sweet love of pinterest, i give you the 12 deals of christmas:

1) clean scratched CDs and DVDs with toothpaste. i did this this afternoon, and it worked like a charm! take non-gel toothpaste, put a dot of it on the back of a CD or DVD, rub it horizontally with a washcloth, and rinse with cold water. it removes the scratches and prevents the CD/DVD from skipping.

2) combine used candles into one, large candle. take old, burnt candles and melt them completely with a candle warmer or in a pot of boiling water. get candle wicks from the craft store of your choice and glass jars. place the wick in the jar and pour the melted candles, creating layers of your favorite scents. one trick to make sure that the wick doesn't fall in is to wrap it around a popsicle stick and place the stick across the top of the jar. cut the wick and burn, baby, burn!

3) ice-proof windshields with vinegar. make a concoction of 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water, spray on car windshields and windows the night before a frost, and watch the ice melt away.

4) clean the iron with dryer sheets. set the iron on low, rub it over a dryer sheet, and watch the residue and gunk disappear into the sheet.

5) clean coffee stains with an orange peel. take mugs or cups with coffee or tea stains, lightly salt an orange peel, and gently rub the peel on the area to remove the stains.

6) remove soap scum with a dryer sheet. take a dryer sheet, sprinkle a few drops of water on it, and remove stubborn soap scum on shower glass by scrubbing.

7) remove stickers with a hair dryer. the next time you find a stubborn price tag on the bottom of your purchase, blow it with hot hair from a hair dryer, and watch it come off with ease.

8) brighten laundry loads with lemon juice. as an alternative to bleach, use either 1/4 or 1/2 cup of lemon juice and add it to the laundry load in order to brighten whites.

9) remove permanent marker with rubbing alcohol. eliminate permanent marker stains by putting rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and rubbing the area. it works especially well on walls and counter tops.

10) freshen the freezer with vanilla.
take a cotton pad, soak it with vanilla extract, and wipe the inside of the freezer for a fresh scent and frostbite elimination.

11) clean the coffeemaker with vinegar. i do this regularly! simply run a cycle with vinegar instead of water, stop midway through the cycle and allow to sit, and then let the cycle finish completely. run two cycles with water afterwards to remove any excess vinegar.

12) clean the dishwasher with lemonade kool-aid. make sure the dishwasher is empty, pour a complete packet of lemonade kool-aid into the detergent cup, and run it normally. watch stains like iron and lime deposits disappear!

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