Category Archives: Home care hacks

Life hack: 3 Random Ways to Save Water (you never would have thought of)

In California, we are in a long term drought.  And even when we get out of our drought (which we do from time to time), it’s always a good idea to conserve water.  I’m not going to discuss shutting off water when brushing teeth, taking shorter showers and that kind of stuff.  You’ve heard it before.  These are just some random ideas to save you some extra money and save water too.

Reuse the remaining water in your glass

So you have a glass of water that you don’t finish.  Whatever causes you to have a little extra water in a glass that you will not drink, start a collection of “undrinkable” water.  Maybe your dog’s water is gross, add that in too.  When you have a glass-full or perhaps a tupperware-full, use it to water potted plants.  While this may sound so minor,considering I rarely need to water my plants with “new” water, it overall, saves me tons for money over the year and gallons of water. 

Reuse bath water

I reuse bath water to water my plants.

The first step here is to use as little water in the first place.  If the bath is for a baby, putting the kid in the sink or in a “baby tub” that fits inside your own bath tub will save lots of water and be much safer for your kid as the kid will fit in it better than an adult size tub. Also, depending on the baby tub, you may be able to simply pick it up and carry it outside to the plants.

Most of the time, little kids don’t get that dirty and I either don’t use soap on them or use biodegradable shampoo and soap.

If the bath is for an adult, such as myself, I again try to use all biodegradable soaps and try to monitor just how much water I really need in the tub.  For a full bath, I fill up large pots with the bath water and just take them outside to water the plants.

The task can be tedious, but when water bills skyrocket (which they do in Southern California), my plants appreciate the extra watering and I appreciate the ability to water them for free.  Just make sure you aren’t using toxic chemicals (found in most bath products) to water your garden!

Don’t scrub your dirty dishes

One way in which people waste a lot of water is in trying to scrub dirty dishes.  There is no need to scrub dirty dishes (and certainly no need to run water over them while cleaning them).  If you have a pile of dishes, some with caked on food, just put the hard to clean dishes in the sink.  Turn your faucet (while off) so that it is pointed over those dishes.  Take your other dishes (those that you need to simply rinse or those that you must hand wash-such as china), and clean those over the difficult to clean dishes.  As you use water for those hand-wash only dishes, the excess water will fall on to the dishes with the caked on food.  That food will soften as the water hits.  But you will not be using any water specifically for that purpose.  

Most of the time, by the time I have rinsed a few dishes, I can easily wipe off the previously difficult-to-remove food.  Then I put the next difficult dish under the next few dishes I’m rinsing and repeat.

An alternative to this, especially if you have many difficult to clean dishes, is to let a little water be poured on to each difficult dish and then put them aside.  If you come back in a few minutes (sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 10) you can usually wipe off the food without a fight.  Again, this avoids the need for pouring lots of water on the dishes while you scrub.  It also avoids the annoying task of scrubbing. 

The key is to not waste water specifically trying to scrub food off dishes.  You will just waste water, waste time scrubbing and waste money, when using one of the above ideas would save you all three.

If I get a chance to pile up some dishes, I’ll create a video to demonstrate.  




Life Hack: Learn how to do ANYTHING!


People are always trying to save money, save time, save energy but they don’t know how.  They hire professionals for every aspect of their lives.  So how can this be avoided?  The internet is one of the most obvious ways.  That will be the focus for today – a few websites that are the most helpful for learning how to do anything.

There are so many other helpful sites out there.  But if you don’t know where to find them or what they may be called, I find that a quick search on one of the following 3 sites usually will lead me to what I need, whether it’s a website for a life event, saving money or fixing things.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.34.16 PM.png

As most people know, You Tube is a site with videos.  But before you ever hire another professional, type in what you need into You Tube.  You may be able to handle it yourself.  The search can be a full sentence of just a few keywords.  Just a few random searches to help you get the idea:

How to harvest rainwater

How to live off the grid

How to add more hair to a wig

How to fix rattling sound in car (insert your car info)

How to knit

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.37.13 PM.png

So Pinterest is like reading a magazine.  Just type in your topic that you want to learn about/see.  For this search you just type in the keywords.  So for example:

Repair doll hair

Kid camp ideas (this will pull up ideas, places, games, etc)

Ab exercises

Cheap travel (for tips on where to go, what to do, how to do it, etc)

Car maintenance (for how to change every fluid, replace tires, anything!)

For any of these searches on Pinterest, if you find an article that you like, it usually comes from a blog and you can then dig through that blog.  Depending on the focus of that blog, you may want to follow that blog and really get more thorough information on your topic. 

or any search engine

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.36.24 PM.png

An internet search engine can assist with any search.  What can be helpful with a more general search like this is that it can lead you to several blogs or websites that discuss your topic.  You can then look further into each blog/website to see if one focuses on the type of information you really want.  For example, you may be looking for an article on how to make a vegan friendly meal.  But in general, you want a blog that posts all kinds of food, not just vegan.  If you type in vegan meals you will find the article you need.  But you will then find sites completely dedicated to vegan meals, and other sites related to health issues while others may be all food.  So a general search engine can give you a broader result.  And again, you can type in keywords or a full sentence.  For example:

Vegan meals

How to increase lung capacity

Pros and cons to homeschooling

How do I take a screenshot

How to fix a leaky faucet

If you can’t find what you need on one of these 3 sites, I’m not sure it’s out there!  If you have a preferred way to find/learn things on the internet, leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear it!




Insect repellent hack: 5 all natural options for your home and body

I can’t stand the chemical based lotions and the overly scented candles that are supposed to keep bugs away. So I’ve come up with a few ways around the traditional bug spray routine.

Decorating with      citronella plants

Insect repellent hack: 5 all natural options –

I own several Citronella plants.  I potted them a few years ago and use them as centerpieces whenever we BBQ.  This has made a noticeable difference in the number of bugs around the table.  And, as you can see, it is a flowering plant as well.  You can get them at your local nursery.  I got mine here:

Seasoning entryways

Mosquitoes, spiders and similar creatures cannot stand the taste of a variety of plants.  By sprinkling various locations, such as widow sills with certain herbs, like basil, you will deter some bugs from entering a room.

Seasoning body rubs

Insect repellent hack: 5 all natural options-

My daughter used to get huge welts all over her body from mosquitoes that would get past my seasoned entryways.  So in a moment of desperation, I rubbed fresh basil leaves all over her body.  Just a dab every few inches of exposed skin will deter them.  She never gets bitten anymore and has acquired a love of basil!

Vitamin B

Taking a vitamin B just before going outside works wonders.  I tried this once while visiting Sacramento, which has an insane amount of mosquitoes in Summer.  The mosquitoes seemed to hover just outside an invisible force field.

Essential oils

Insect repellent hack: 5 all natural options-

Depending on where you are and what you are doing, using an essential oil version of the body rub method may be easier.  Just be sure the oil you are buying is organic.  You don’t want chemicals being rubbed into your body!  The theory is the same as above.  You have a few choices of herbs.  Again, basil works.

The brand of oils I use is doTERRA.  They have created a blend for this purpose called TerraShield.  So that is an option as well.  Regardless of the oil you select, I recommend only using a few drops for your entire body, diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil.  You can mix them in your hand or pre-mix them in a roller bottle and have it ready to go for when you need it.  Roller bottles are available on Amazon or on various essential oil websites.

To purchase doTERRA oils visit


4 quick tips to preserve food longer

Most of us spend way too much of our income on food.  We again spend way too much on food we simply throw away because it rots before we even eat it.  The following are 4 easy ways you can help preserve some of your food just a tad longer.


  1. Placing a sugar cube with cheese keeps your cheese fresh longer.


2. Misting stale bread with water, wrapping it in aluminum foil and then warming it in the oven will rejuvenate it.

4 simple tips to preserve food – bread


3. Wrapping your greens in a damp towel (paper or cloth) and placing them in a plastic bag can lengthen the life of your greens.

4 simple tips to preserve food – lettuce


4. Freezing milk in freezer bags will preserve it past its due date.

4 simple tips to preserve food – milk

So there you go.  You practically have a meal from food you thought would spoil.  Some of these tips I have learned on my own and some I’d like to credit to Melinda Lee.  She has a website and radio show with all kinds of great cooking tips.  You can check out her website here: