We’ve all heard that one person’s trash is
another person’s treasure, and most of the time that’s true. “Upcycling” has
become downright trendy, with people turning their dumpster-diving finds into
one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture for their homes. Likewise, repurposed,
recycled and reclaimed items are a badge of honor among the younger crowd. The
“waste not, want not” mindset behind giving items a second life as something
new and unique is commendable and fantastic. Most of the time.
Then there are those things you should
absolutely toss in the garbage without delay- things that are so gnarly that
they can’t be repurposed by even the most optimistic dumpster-diver. Here are a
few household items it’s almost never a good idea to hang on to when you’re
organizing your home for spring.
If you are or ever have been female, or if you have lived with a female member
of society at any point in your life, chances are you are familiar with the
Mascara Conundrum. Though common wisdom dictates that a tube of mascara, an
eyeliner, or any other cosmetic that touches your eyes should be thrown out
once every three months to avoid contamination which leads to eye infections,
few women have the heart to actually go through with it. For one thing,
cosmetics can be quite pricey, with even the drugstore brands of mascara
costing upwards of $6 per tube. Secondly, when you are faced with the
possibility of conjunctivitis or the prospect of chucking your limited-edition
plum eyeliner sample you received as a free gift with purchase, a good number
of women will roll the dice and opt to keep the eyeliner. Hard as it may be,
you really need to purge your eye makeup at regular intervals to keep your eyes
healthy and infection-free.
There are probably no people on earth who need to be told to get rid of their
spoiled dairy, meat or produce- at least we hope not! However, dry goods and
spices are another story. Since you don’t have to refrigerate these items,
people can mistakenly think they never go bad, or that they should be able to
keep just fine for indeterminate periods of time in your cupboards or pantry.
This is not accurate- there’s a reason for the “use by” dates stamped on most
dry goods and non-perishable items. It may seem like a waste to toss out unused
food because of an arbitrary date on the box, but you’ll be glad you did.
Broken toys- As
your kids get older, it’s natural to want to keep some of their toys as
keepsakes or mementos, or even put them away in case they want to pass them
onto their own children someday. Additionally, any toys that are still in good
shape can be donated to charity so they can be enjoyed by other kids. But there
is absolutely no rhyme or reason to keeping toys that are broken. Dolls without
heads, trucks without wheels, or puzzles that are missing pieces all need to
find their way out of your attic and into a garbage truck ASAP.
If you have any spring cleaning tips, including
suggestions for where to toss unwanted items, let us know in the comments
Black-eyed peas have long been a traditional New
Year’s favorite. This hearty and delicious soup is a great way to warm up this
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage
1 large onion, diced
4 cups water
3 15-oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers (like RO*TEL), undrained
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. Salt
1 4-oz. Can chopped green chilies
4 tsp. Molasses
4 beef bouillon cubes
¼ tsp. Ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
In a large Dutch oven, cook and
stir the pork sausage and ground beef with the onion over medium heat until the
meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes; drain off excess fat. Pour in the
water, and stir in black-eyed peas, diced tomatoes, tomatoes with green chili,
Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, salt, canned green chilies, molasses, beef
bouillon cubes, black pepper, and cumin until thoroughly mixed.
the soup to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
These two types of cleaning options are the most popular methods
for cleaning ovens today.
According to most reports, less than half of the consumers who own
a self-cleaning oven actually utilize the self-cleaning feature.
This type of oven
utilized extreme heat to clean the oven; temperatures can reach up to 1000
degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme heat allows the residue in the oven to be
carbonized and literally turn to ash. The ovens smooth enamel coating makes it
very easy to wipe away the left over ash created from the self cleaning cycle. While
in the self-cleaning mode the range will become very hot to the touch and you
need to make sure to keep kids away. The amount of energy required for this
type of cleaning is extremely high and time consuming because the cleaning
cycle will last around 4 hours where the oven is unusable until the oven temperature
drops to a safe temperature. This cleaning method also gives off a very strong
smell that many consumers dislike.
This is a very effective cleaning process that
leaves the oven very clean.
ovens a steam cleaning oven also utilizes heat to clean but only requires
around 250 degrees Fahrenheit to do the job. This type of oven adds water to
create steam that helps release the residue from the oven surface. This oven
also uses a smooth enamel coating that makes removal of the leftover residue
easy to wipe away. The cleaning cycle for this type of oven is usually around 1
hour making it easy to clean with more frequency.
Very short time required for the cleaning
(usually less than 30 minutes)
No odor / smell
More energy efficient due to utilizing lower
temperature to clean
This is a very effective cleaning process that
leaves the oven very clean
Effectively cleans the bottom of the oven but
struggles with the walls and back of the oven.
My preference is the steam option but depending on your desires
both have their pros and cons because who really wants to get on their hands
and knees and scrub the inside of an oven with toxic chemicals?
It’s the start of a
brand new year, and if you’re like many people, one of your resolutions is to
finally lose those ten pounds. But after the initial motivation of the new year
has worn off, it can be tough to stick to your diet and fitness regimen and
avoid temptations that can set you back from reaching your goals. Here are a
few tips to keep you on track for the year so you can finally achieve the
healthy lifestyle you want.
Set Your Goals and Stick
Whether you seek to lose
weight, build muscle, or simply improve your health by ramping up the level of
fitness and good nutrition in your lifestyle, it is important to outline
measurable objectives and milestones. This will not only help move you along on
the road to wellness, but it can be very motivational to have mini-achievements
on the path to the attainment of your overall fitness goals.
Do What You Love
Studies show that people
are more likely to stick with a fitness routine if the activities that get them
moving are something they actually enjoy. Don’t feel as though you have to be
stuck on a treadmill in order to get in shape, unless of course that is
something you legitimately like to do. While some people prefer high-intensity
workouts such as boot camps and kickboxing, others may enjoy more low-impact
cardio or dance-based aerobics like Zumba, or quiet, meditative practices like
yoga. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, perhaps brisk walking or jogging in
your neighborhood or hiking mountain trails is where you will find your fitness
“happy place.” Whatever you do, if you make it something enjoyable that you
look forward to doing, you’re less likely to find excuses to avoid exercise on
a regular basis.
Make it a Habit
It has been said that in
order for someone to form a habit of something, they need to do it for 21 days
in a row. With this in mind, it is essential that you stick to your new fitness
and diet plan every day when you’re first starting out. The rush of endorphins
you feel from exercise combined with the feeling of accomplishment you receive
from meeting your daily goal will become addictive in the very best way, and
soon you’ll become one of those people who gets sad when they miss a daily
workout. Making something a part of your daily routine and lifestyle is the
easiest way to ensure that your healthy habits stick around for the new year
Happy New Year! Share
your resolutions with us in the comments section.