Monday, May 31, 2010

How to Make Your Own Fragrant Carpet Freshener and Mattress Freshener

Hi Friends,
A couple of times a year I like to use a carpet freshener because the house just feels and smells stuffy.  I particularly like to use it in the spring after the house has been closed up all winter.
Here is a simple recipe you can make yourself and it costs only pennies.  It is also safe to have little ones crawling on the carpet or safe for pets after using this.

All you need is one cup of baking soda and a few drops of your favorite smelling essential oil.
Place baking soda in a zip-lock baggie and add a few drops of the oil. 
Shake the bag.
Let the bag set for a couple of days so the baking soda absorbs the fragrance well.
Sprinkle the mixture lightly over your carpet and let it set for about an hour.  The baking soda will pull out any odors from the carpet.
Vacuum it up.  Your carpet and home will smell wonderful.
You can also sprinkle this mixture on your mattress and then vacuum it off the mattress to create a sweet smell for your slumber.
Happy Homemaking!
Nancy - Your How To Homemaker
This Post Links To:
Mom's The Word

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How to do Multipe Make Ahead Meals Freezer Meals

If you are cooking a meal that you know will freeze well.  Go ahead and make two, three, or four times the amount of the dish at the same time.  Eat one now and freeze the rest.  It will save you time as you already have the ingredients out on your counter and available. 

Here is the best tip though.  Take the baking dish that you will be reheating or cooking the food in.  Line that dish with aluminium foil.  Make the recipe in the dish with the aluminium foil and freeze it in the dish.  Then when the food is frozen, lift it out of the dish with the aluminium foil (there will be no sticking to the bottom)and wrap securely to prevent freezer burn.  Be sure to label your dish and include any cooking or baking information.  By removing the dish from your freezer you will be saving space and you will be able to continue using that baking dish for other recipes.  Then when you are ready to reheat or bake your frozen meal, just unwrap it and place it back in the baking dish.  It will fit back in there perfectly.

To get this tip to work well you need to have several dishes of the same size.  9" x 13" baking dish is a very common size for many recipes.  Have 3 or 4 of the same size baking dish on hand so that you can make triple or quadruple the amount of your recipe.

I hope I have made sense here.  Just think of making lasagna as an example.  Line 4 baking dishes 9" x 13" with aluminium foil.  Assemble four lasagnas all at the same time.  Bake and eat one now.  Place the other three in the freezer.  When frozen, using the aluminium foil, lift the lasagnas out of the baking dishes and wrap for longer freezing along with baking instructions.  In the future, when you are hungry for lasagna, just remove from the freezer and replace back in the original baking dish for baking.

You may be thinking you do not have room for 3 or 4 of the same size pans.  Try to get pans that nest together to help save space in your cabinets.

Making multiple meals like this will save you hours.  I'm serious about this.  It is so nice to know that when I'm in a rush I have good food in the freezer ready made.  All I have to do now is cut up some lettuce for a salad and make a little garlic butter for bread and I'm good to go.

Give it a try!
Nancy - Your How To Homemaker
PS  Please let your friends know that How To Homemaker is here in the blog world.  Thank you sooooo much!

This post links to:
Mom's the Word - Makin Your Home Sing

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How To Remove Odors from a Front Load Washing Machine - Reader Question

Hi Friends,
I received a reader question about how to remove the mildew smell from a front loading washing machine.  I know that smell and I have a front loading washer as well.  I don't know if all front loaders work the same.  Mine is a Kenmore.  What I do is during the wash cycle, I open the drawer on the top where I put my detergent in.  In the same spot where the detergent goes, I add approximately 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, the cheep stuff you buy by the gallon.  I don't measure it, just approximately 1/2 cup.  That goes in and mixes with the final rinse.  It takes care of the mildew smell and also helps break down soap in the clothes so they can be rinsed cleaner.  Don't worry, your clothing WON'T come out smelling like vinegar.  They come out smelling fresh.

The second tip is when you are finished washing your clothes, don't close the door to the washing machine tightly.  Leave it open a crack to dry out and to prevent the mildew smell from returning.  Prevention is the best medicine.

For those of you with top loading washing machines, your lid doesn't seal tightly like the front loaders so most likely you don't have this problem with mildew odors.  You can add again about 1/2 cup vinegar to the final rinse.  You'll be surprised how fresh your clothes come out.

Hope that helps!
Nancy - your How To Homemaker

Friday, May 28, 2010

How To Remove Odors from a Microwave

Have you ever burned popcorn in your microwave?  The smell can linger ForEvAh!  One day I came home and opened the door to our house to be hit in the face with the smell of burned popcorn.  The kids, bless their hearts for being independent, had decided to have a movie night at home.  They didn't even notice the smell.  I'm not so sure they even noticed the burned taste too much either as the counter was filled with popcorn toppings.
The best remedy I've found to get the smell out is to:
  1. Dampen a clean dish rag. 
  2. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the rag and in the microwave.
  3. Clean microwave thoroughly with baking soda.
  4. Take a microwaveable glass cup or mug and fill half way with white vinegar.
  5. Boil the vinegar in the microwave for 5 minutes.  The smell of the vinegar will be quite strong, but it will disappear.
  6. Odors can get in the vent.  If you have a removable filter in your microwave vent, take it out and clean it with good soapy water and let air dry.
  7. Place a box (or a small dish) of baking soda in the microwave to absorb any remaining odors.
Give this a try the next time you have stubborn microwave odors.  If any of you have microwave odor removal tips I'd love to hear them.
Nancy - your How To Homemaker

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 27 May 2010


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

For Any questions relating to this blog, please contact Nancy at basketmaster_nancy@yahoo.com

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/

I'm Your "How To" Homemaker

Hi Friends,
Welcome to my brand new blog.  I'm Nancy Jacobs and I'm your "How To" Homemaker.  I've created this site to help teach the new homemaker "how to".  I plan to cover the basics when it comes to homemaking.  I know what is like to not know where to begin sometimes when it comes to different homemaking skills.  I've been in your shoes.  Now my oldest daughter has just turned 17.  She won't be around the house too many more years and there are many skills she needs to learn.  I've tried to teach her all along, as my mother tried to teach me, but as time passes I see there is still more for me to teach and more for her to learn.  Heck, there is still more for me to learn for that matter.  I hope I never stop learning.  My desire is to be a resource and a mentor for women who are new to homemaking or women who have been flying by the seat of their pants and would like to improve their homemaking skills or women like me who enjoy picking up a nugget of useful inspiration.

When I was in high school and college, I first wanted to be an extension agent and teach home economics to the public.  During college, my career path took a turn and I went in to nursing and became a registered nurse.  While working as a nurse I completed a Lamaze certification course and taught Lamaze for a number of years.  I've also taught religion to children for many years.  I've taught many basketweaving and crafts courses to adults and children.  What I'm getting at is teaching is in my blood and I've been feeling a calling to teach homemaking skills to anyone who would like to learn.  That is why I've formed this blog.

I've been producing a free podcast called Making Our Home a Haven.  In that podcast I cover creative ways to help us have peace, joy and comfort in our homes.  If you are in iTunes, you can search in the podcasts for Making Our Home a Haven to subscribe and download it from there.  You can also listen to it directly on the player on my sidebar here.  Podcasting is just another way for me to teach.

I've been blogging for two years over at Basketmaster's Weavings.  I feel though that it is time for that blog to stand on its own and for me to expand here.  I plan to have tutorials with step-by-step directions on topics such as cooking, sewing, organizing, saving money, gardening, crafts, parenting, entertaining, decorating and more.  I plan to share with you those great tidbits that I run across such as how to keep odors out of your refrigerator or how to save money on your utility bills.

I'd like to welcome you to follow me and I also am asking that you please help spread the word by letting others know about my blog over here.  I feel like a little fish in a big pond starting a new blog so I want you to know I appreciate all of you, my friends, who are reading this.

Here's to Homemaking,
Nancy

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