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5 smart hacks at home that you should try on your next schedule for general cleaning!

5 smart hacks at home that you should try on your next schedule for general cleaning!
  1. Packing tape as a duster.
It’s easy to ignore lampshades, speakers, and the insides of drawers because it's tough to get them clean with regular dusting. With its strong adhesive, packing tape is the answer—it grabs dirt from fabric and crevices.
Press a foot-long stretch of tape onto the surface, then pull it back to pick up the grime. To get crumbs out of drawers, ball up the tape, leaving much of the sticky side facing out. Tap the ball onto the debris, applying extra pressure to catch stubborn pieces.
  1. Polymer-based car wax to prevent toilet-bowl stains.
Clean the toilet to remove existing stains, then back the water out. Shut off the water valve by turning it all the way to the right; flush the toilet, holding down the handle until most of the water flows from the tank; and pour a bucket of water into the bowl. Dry the interior with a cotton cloth, and use a separate cloth to apply the protectant. Make sure to open a window for ventilation. Let sit for 10 minutes, then replenish the water by turning the valve left to open. For upkeep, every three months pour ½ cup distilled white vinegar into the bowl to prevent water rings from forming.
  1. Clean marks on upholstery with shaving cream.
Shaving cream, is essentially a whipped soap, and an ideal substitute. Its lather can penetrate nearly any stain and lift it to the surface. (Test first in an inconspicuous place.)
Apply a small dollop to a damp cloth. (Use a standard white shaving cream as much as possible) Dab this onto the spot and let sit for 20-30 mins, blot with a clean, then damp cloth. If any stain remains, reapply and let sit overnight.
  1. Get rid of crayon marks on your walls with toothpaste.
Cleaning sprays can discolor walls. Yes? But a white, non-gel toothpaste that contains baking soda acts as a fine abrasive to rub away wax without leaving a tint.
Apply with a clean toothbrush, scrub gently, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
 
  1. Clean your mattress with a spritz of vodka.
Mattress upkeep is often overlooked, even though pros suggest quarterly cleanings we all don’t really follow that rule. Or is it just me? Lol.. Vodka is an odorless disinfectant that evaporates fast, so you’ll never have to do a deep cleaning.
Using a vodka-filled spray bottle, spritz the mattress and pillows when changing the sheets and wave goodbye to those that is not visible in our eyes who savagely bite our backs at their convenience.

Three ways to get the best out of Broccoli

Three ways to get the best out of Broccoli

If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list. But how sure are you that you’re cooking them right?

There are four ways of preparing broccoli (you could use asparagus, green beans, or even sliced zucchini if you prefer). Each method uses the exact same ingredients, so you can really see the differences among them.

Grab a pen and paper or might as well save this for future reference.

HANDS-ON TIME: 45 MINUTES     |    TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES     |    MAKES 6 SERVINGS

KITCHEN GEAR
Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Vegetable peeler
Mixing spoon
Measuring spoons
4 medium-sized bowls
Large spoon
Small rimmed baking sheet
Oven mitts
Medium-sized skillet
Medium-sized pot with lid
Colander

 

INGREDIENTS
1 large bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
8 teaspoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  lemon wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

Cut the stalks from the broccoli, and cut the florets into bite-size pieces.

Use the vegetable peeler to remove some of the tough outer peel from the stalks, then cut the skinny stalks into 2-inch pieces and cut the thick stalks into thin (1/4-inch) slices.

For raw:
Put 1/4 of the broccoli in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix well. Serve with lemon wedges.
For roasted:
Turn the oven on and the heat to 500 degrees.
Put 1/4 of the broccoli on the baking sheet. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix well.
Once the oven temperature has reached 500 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the broccoli is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
For pan-roasted:
 Put 1/4 of the broccoli, 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the pan and put the pan on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.
Cook, stirring every now and then, until the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
For steamed:
Fill the pot 1/2 inch full of water and put the pot on the stove. Cover the pot with the lid, turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil (you'll know it's boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface).
Put 1/4 of the broccoli in the pot, put the lid back on, and steam for 5 minutes.
Drain the broccoli in the colander, then put it back in the pot. Sprinkle on 2 teaspoons oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt, and serve with lemon wedges.
"Florets" are the branched clusters at the top of the broccoli.
Don't have a 1/8-teaspoon measure? Eyeball half of a 1/4 teaspoon measure!
Enjoy!! 

SMART AND PRACTICAL PARENTING

SMART AND PRACTICAL PARENTING

 

  1. Failure is okay.

To be self-sufficient, kids need to pick themselves up once in a while. Most parents would know what their kids are capable of, but parental instincts often make them intervene to make things easier for the children. Remember, this is beneficial in the long run – a teenager who knows how to do their laundry can overcome a momentary discomfort. Before rushing in to help with any task, ask yourself: “Is my child in grave danger?” Then think about whether your child has the essential abilities or sufficient sleep and is not at all hungry. Yes? Time to back off and see what happens.

 

  1. Implement homework rules.

Rule number one: Do the hardest thing first. Rule number two: No phones. However, some homework does require the help of technology such as computers for research, but no to unnecessary videos and chit chats over social media. Rule number three: As soon as they are done with homework, it’s time to prepare their bags for the next school day. This is a clear and straightforward three-step process that kids can easily follow, therefore, there’s less nagging from you.

 

  1. Remember H.A.L.T.

Child tantrums can be caused by Hunger, Agitation, Loneliness or Tiredness.

 

  1. Teach your child to do acts of kindness.

Kids need to learn that helping others is an everyday practice, and not just because they were told to do so. Challenge your child to accomplish small weekly tasks, such as helping a classmate open a bag of chips, or sharing their snack.

 

  1. Bedtime must be on strict schedule.

A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who follow irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than those with consistent bedtimes. And the longer the irregular bedtimes went on, the worse the problem became. If you work outside the home, it is naturally tempting to keep the kids up to be able to spend more time with them. But a sacrifice is necessary to make, even if it means that you sometimes miss lights out. Still, make sure to be involved in the routine like making a call to say goodnight.

 

  1. Let them read whatever book they like.

Kids who read for pleasure excel academically. Recent studies show that they do better not only in language arts, but also in math. Even if you’d rather him pick a great classic novel over a graphic one, don’t make him feel bad by choosing otherwise. Genre would not matter for as long as they get hooked in the habit of reading.

 

  1. Chores in exchange of money is a no-no.

Giving kids allowance to introduce them to money management is acceptable, but giving them as a reward for making their beds or helping you carry the groceries would make them ask “How much? Why would I do that for free when you are paying me to do it?”

 

  1. Be a brave role model.

If you want your kids to be confident, practice your own self confidence and they will follow. Similarly, if your child sees you laughing over a backwards shirt, they would likely giggle instead of feeling awkward and embarrassed when it happens to them.

 

  1. You are not their personal fast food cook.

It’s a child’s duty to eat what their parents eat. For picky eaters, parents tend to choose the all-or-nothing scenario, which is easily the best and most convenient choice. What parents can do instead is offer a variety of foods at mealtime. For example, the main course plus rice or pasta, a fruit or vegetable, and milk. This way, your child can eat just the pasta and the vegetable and get protein from milk.

 

  1. Hear them out at age 14.

This is the age when peer pressure and think-for-myself attitude sets in, rather than just simply following the leader. Ask about their friends – this way, there’s a high probability that they will open up to you about what’s happening behind the scenes and offer your support.