Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Handy hints for living happily

I've resisted writing these tips down for a long time. I don't really want to let people know that I didn't know some of these things until recently, but then, if I didn't know them maybe other folks don't know them either.

And I am named after Martha Stewart. And if you believe that, you'll believe anything (and should send me some money, because it will make you better looking).

So here are Wanda's 4 tips for life:

Keep your cheese in a plastic container. It doesn't need to be a flash container, but it needs to be airtight, and bigger than your cheese. If you this you will never cut off a piece of hard, yellow cheese again. All your cheese can go in the container, and doesn't need to be wrapped. I discovered this trick about 4 months ago, and by jingo it is more marvellous than you could imagine by reading about it (I can hear Vicus snorting from here).

To keep a stainless steel bench shiny and nice looking, you just need to dry it with a teatowel. I spent 2 years massaging our bench with all sorts of lotions and potions, and it is the teatowel that works best.

To get your loo nice and shiny, pour in bleach. Leave it. Easy.

And, last but not least...

Actually, I think that is all.

Now your tips please.


red said...

throw all your black socks away and then by 15 pairs of the same one, no more odd black socks...

Clean the shower while taking a shower, its nicer being down there if you have a hot shower to keep you company

if you can go jamie olvier styles and buy your fruit and vege when you need it so it dosent sit and rot in your fridge.

put your bread in the fridge it will last longer

buy those yummy bread roll from the supermarket one by one dont be tempted by the 15 pack at the door, they go rock hard in 12 hours.

Martha said...

oh good, you've reminded me what Tip 4 was:

Squeegee the shower when you're finished, and you'll never have to clean the glass. Ever. Sounds like a pain, but it takes about 12 seconds, and is so worth it.

llew said...

"throw all your black socks away and then by 15 pairs of the same one, no more odd black socks..."

You know, I did just that last week, and it occurred to me that I am really stupid for it not to have occurred to me before. A life changing epiphany, without doubt.

I was going to blog a 3000 word piece on it, but got two words in & distracted by something else.

Keep up the good work! How about some good ideas for recycling old microwaves?

The Editter said...

Cut both ends off your bunch of celery and wrap the stalks in a plastic bag. Your celery will remain pleasingly firm for days on end.

Martha said...

Llew, cut both ends off your microwave and use it as a planter.

Editter, brilliant! Although we don't eat celery I'm sure it applies to rhubarb too.

And a related tip. Remove all the seeds from your cut pumpkin. It will last much longer in the fridge.

Cathi said...

Same goes for melon (well it would, wouldn't it)

the only tip I can come up with is for knitters, who probably all know what it took me 30 years to find out: draw the wool from the inside of the ball.

so much easier

noizy said...

when you need to take a late-night toilet stop, close one eye when turning on the light in the bathroom.

upon finishing your business, turn off the light, and reopen your eye.

your night vision will be preserved in the eye that has been closed, so when you walk back to bed through your dark hallways, you won't bump into every bit of furniture and discarded toy strewn in your way.

nelly bloggs said...

I agree about the cheese but why do all the experts say we must never put it in plastic but wrap it in greaseproof paper. Something about it sweating.
Bleach in the toilet does work very well but creates mutant fish and sterile men apparently. I discovered a couple of years ago while watching an interview with the Phillipine widow of some Australian magnate that the best way to get a shiny toilet is by pouring very hot water down it after cleaning it. And it is true it really works.
The teatowel is great on benches and basins. For stainless steel clean with jif followed by boiling water - it's miraculous.

Martha said...

Funny you should ask, because that is what got me onto the cheese in the container thing. We actually started with cheese in greaseproof paper in container - but I suspect the container is better than gladwrap or whatever because it isn't in contact with the cheese, and allows a certain amount of humidity. Our fridge is hellishly drying.

Oh, and I knew there would be an issue with the janola, but I'm allowed because I don't use any other cleaning products ever! I'll try the hot water though, good tip. And I do care about the environment really.

And James, hot tip. Although I manage without having to turn any lights on (advantage of teeny tiny Petone mansion)

Vicus Scurra said...

Never leave your testicles on the bus.
Avoid using the word 'polyp' while making love.
Remove raspberry yoghourt from pubic hair with goat's saliva.

I would also offer caution about the use of bleach. It isn't good for the environment. I have no mutant fish nor sterile men in my toilet.

hrxykrwc - organic toilet cleaner, marmoset friendly.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

1. Just don't buy a kazillion pairs of David Jones Home Brand socks (in both cotton and wool) which are then discontinued 10 years later leaving you freaked out and desperate...

2. Colour code your kids' stuff. For years all my sister's dolls and blonde hair and mine had brunette. We never noticed but Mum knew which belonged to who. Apparently works with having all red towels, toothbrush etc etc for one kid and blue for another.

3. Forget the fridge for your bread - freezer works much better.

4. Buy crumpets when they're two packs for the price of one, decant two at a time into ziplock bags and chuck into the freezer for crumpets on demand.

5. Wedges of blue brie make excellent pasta sauce if melted through cooked penne. Even better it impresses visiting friends!

susan said...

Avoid modelling the behaviour you are objecting to in children, e.g. Do not snatch a toy from someone who has just snatched it from her sister.

(This is much harder than it sounds).

Spot clean carpet with a white cloth and hot water. You can see that you're getting it off and you're quite likely to be making the stain no worse.

Martha said...

Vicus, thanks for your wisdom. I'll be mindful of my testes in the future.

Shopping Sherpa, I especially like the crumpets. Are crumpets the same everywhere?

Susan, indeedy. My youngest is just approaching 2, and I can see I'm going to need to establish some serious strategies. It has been pretty cruisey until now...

And my carpet tip? Don't have carpet. It is very stressful. Warm and comfortable, yes. However I couldn't handle the nerves.

The Douros said...

Sleep more. Eat more pies. Have 5 cups of coffee a day.

Make your own bread. Not with a breadmaker - bare knuckles work best.

Answer "or" questions with "yes".

Help old ladies cross the road. (But first DO check that they do indeed want to cross... As a young man I was called all sorts of names until I figured that one out)

Tread rude people with extreme politeness (it shocks, confuses and upsets them)

Never throw away an empty jar. You will always need it shortly after.

Always buy a whole chicken (it usually works out a lot cheaper). Cut it into portions yourself, freeze them and use as you need. It has the additional advantage that you get to use a cleaver every now and then. (My apologies if you are a vegetarian)

If you have a garden, grow a bamboo. Keep the sticks (canes) every time you prune the plant, they always come in handy.

Never buy cheap ("economy") clingfilm. It's false economy. It never seems to co-operate, and it always manages to wrap itself around your hands instead of whatever it is that you are trying to wrap.

Whevever you get the opportunity, make a photocopy of your own face. Staring at the result is extremely cathartic! (remember to keep your eyes shut tight when taking the copy, otherwise you'll burn your retinas)

- The Douros

Oy Vey said...

I agree with Sherpa: don't refrigerate your bread. The moisture makes it stale faster. Freezer is better.

Apparently white wine gets out red wine.

Date the tops of your condiments with a marker so you know how old they actually are.

Which reminds me of this article written by this genius pastry chef....


The Shopping Sherpa said...

Is this a good time to mention I write the date of purchase on the tags of my (all identical) knickers so I know which are oldest and thus can be chucked out when I do the twice-yearly restock in the sales?

Or does this go in the TMI basket?


Jo Hubris said...

Seperate meat BEFORE you freeze it.

Clean your house once a week so it only takes half an hour.

Live with boys instead of girls because it is much less emotionally stressful to be picking up wet bathmats than broken hearts.

Exercise is actually really good for you.

Violet said...

If you make sandwiches from bread straight out of the freezer in the morning and wrap them up in clingfilm, by lunchtime they'll be thawed and moist.

Kate said...

Put a small container of baking soda in your fridge to remove smelly odors.

Keep some baby wipes in the glove box of your car. Handy for takeaways and sticky situations.

Prevent water spots and soap scum on shower walls and doors. Coat the tile walls with furniture polish and wipe clean. You can also use car polish or baby oil.

Giving cats liquid medicine - put the medicine on the top side of one of his paws and he/she will lick it right off.

The Douros said...

Oh, I almost forgot the most important one:

Crack boiled eggs with your forehead. Don't improvise: There is a specific technique that ensure it is actually the egg that cracks, and not your forehead. (I can teach it - for a small fee, of course...)

- The Douros

Anonymous said...

Keep a basket by the front door. When you come in, empty keys, wallet, cellphone and change from pockets into the basket.

Frontier Editor said...

When it's winter and the Germans are approaching Moscow, substitute your regular, petroleum-based weapon oil with sunflower oil. Sunflower oil has a much lower gelling point than most machine oils and will keep that Moisin-Nagant rifle in tip-top firing condidtion . . . oh, wait, you said HOUSEHOLD tips, not MOTHERLAND tips.

Silly me.