Sunday, January 31, 2010

closed bottles

Ever had the feeling that there was more in the bootle before you'd put it away?

Sometimes liquids evaporate when the tops are not closing well.

Plastic bottle, plastic top?
Take an elastic band and turn it around the neck of the bottle before turning on the top.

Glass bottle, metal cap or other closing top?
Take transparent kitchen foil and fold it over the top after closing the bottle.
Then turn an elastic band around it to seal it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Clean drawers

My gram did it, I do it, you should do it.

Put paper in drawers.

Especially in the drawers in the kitchen.

When breadcrumps and other stuff falls in, it collects at the bottom of the drawer and espcially in the summer it can be a source for mold and animals.

When you have paper at the bottom of the drawer, you can lift the items out, turn around the drawer and get rid of the paper and the dirt, clean the drawer without any problem with a cloth with vinegar, put new paper in and put the items in it again.

You'll have your drawers cleaned within a moment, without elbowgrease.

Friday, January 29, 2010

time to plan your vacation

When you want to go on vacation this year, it's time to make some plans now.

Many booking organisations offer a large discount for booking early and it's stupid to skip the discount.

Especially when you want to go with a group it's good to set a date and book (with a cancellation insurance), so those who work can set the date at their work too.

Look at internet, in brochures, but also in your local paper.
Check the travelling agency.
You'd better pay a bit more with an agency that guarantees your money back when they get in financial trouble, than standing on a foreign airport and discover the hotel doesn't excist.


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

stinking wastebin? No more!

Does your wastebin stink like someone soaked old bedwear in the swamp and saved it for over 10 years?

You need help!

First clean the bin and desinfect it.
Or simply buy a new one.

Then ask a catowner for a few handfulls of pellets for the litterbox of his/her cat. Or buy a bag yourself.

Put two or three handfulls in a panty or an old sock and put it at the bottom of the bin, before you place the bag in it.

You can also use it in the fridge and at other places that create smells, but I think it's better when you try to find out where the smell comes from.

You can keep your wastebin from smelling by throwing the organic material on a compostheap or in a compostbin.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

healthy meals

Getting ideas for healthy meals isn't a real problem when you use internet.

The recipes for diabetics are based on a healthy diet and they contain all the vitamins and all the other elements you need.

There's no need to feel hungry.

It's always better than the fat unfriendly snacks that seemed to fill your stomach.
Soon you can´t fill your stomach anymore, because it´s addicted to junkfood and will be burdened with your belly fat.

Eating whole grain bread and adding some brown rice to your soup will give you the boost you need, and it´s healthy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

leaking shoes during freezing weather

Leaking shoes are unpleasant when it rains, but they can be real killers when it's freezing and you have to walk a long stretch.

Ofcourse you can try waterrepellant spray and all sorts of other solutions on the outside, including putting chewing gum in a hole and taping it off.

At the inside you can use some materials restaurants will be able to supply when you can't buy them at the place where you are.

You need aluminium foil, scissors and a newpaper.

Cut the form of your foot in a few layers of newspaper and use the form to cut a couple of layers of foil.
Start to male a sole with a few layers of aluminium foil, then paper, then...etc.

Cut a large piece, put the sole in and wrap it all around your foot.
Cut some extra pieces for at the top of the foot, to cover the draft coming through the lip of the shoe.

When you think it all will tear when you go into your shoe, you can use another layer.

Go carefully in your shoe and enjoy the fact that you're protected for quite a while.

When the shoe closes too well it might prevent a good blood supply, so watch out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

your own fresh fruit and vegetables

Buying fruit and vegetables is always more expensive than growing them yourself.

"But I don't have place to grow something", I often hear.

Well, herbs and tomatoes are OK with a place on the windowsil.
When the sun burns too much you can place a screen with fabric in front of them, or even a newspaper will do.

When you have no room outside at all you can consider renting a council garden (volkstuintje).
When you rent a plot the people around you can give you advice and they;ll enjoy doing so.
There are plenty of books to use and some plots even have beginner's groups.
Now is the time to apply.

There are waitinglists at many places, but when you're allowed to hang a not in the canteen, offering your help in return for some fruit and vegs for a poor student, there's a good chance you'll be called for help.

You can also try to ask people in your neighbourhood who are of age.
In return for keeping their frontgarden a joy and for some fruit and vegs they might allow you to grow what you want in the back garden.

Remember that you can also grow many vitamins in pots and compostbags.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a second life for your socks

Don't throw away your (clean) socks.

You can use them for many purposes.

Like covering a paintbrush when you have to take a break.
After putting a wet sock over the brush and some plastic over it all, you can put the brush in a cool place for a while.

Just unwrap when you resume your painting and you can go on without spending time to clean it and having to start with a wet brush.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

bulbs for a present

There are all osrts of wonderful presents in the whole wide de world, many of them made by the visitors of this blog.

But when you don't have much money you either have to make something yourself or roam the shops.

An easy way out for a gardener or flowerlover is buying bulbs, put them in a pot and wrap them in some nice paper or a nice piece of fabric.

There's nothing more fun for someone who loves spring and it's presents to see the bulbs appear and flower.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I've won a give-away!

courtesy of Audrey

It was last month when I had the unexpected joy of winning one of the prizes in a huge give-away at Audrey's Country Crafts.

Soon after it was on it's way, but as always either the mail amazes you and a package even from Canada or USA arrives in a few days, or it takes a couple of weeks, or it takes 3 to 4 months.

This time it was the middle option, caused by the delay at customs because of the christmasmail.
In a way I'm happy it went through customs, because we're not the only people who enjoyed what we saw when the package was opened.

Out came a wonderful handpainted plate, which can either stand on the table or hang on the wall in a platehanger. The swirly way it was painted inspired one of the girls and I'm now finding her trial versions all over the place. She can't yet catch the movement Audry was able to bring into the painting. It's like the ribbon moves in the wind.

The picture Audrey has on het blog and which is displayed here (I hope with her approval) doesn't do justice to the paintings.
The stockings are so much more detailed and coloured.
The warm colours of the year will make them the prominent items of christmas this year, the plate won't reach the boxes in the attic, as we all like it too much to put it away.

So it's in the dustfree cabinet now, on display, beside the silvery snowman.

Audrey frequently hosts giveaways at Audrey's give away blog.

But when you're looking for a present of something beautiful for yourself you don't need to wait to win because she runs a very active etsy shop where you can find all sorts of items, including her hand painted tags and ornaments.

Her blog can't be skipped and is updated almost daily with interesting and inspiring posts.

Thank you Audrey for the lovely surprise.
It arrived just a few days for my birthday so it couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

request medication in time

Those who need to have a refill of their medication will never be late again when they use this tip.

Take the label of one of the pots or boxes and glue it in your agenda one and a halt to one week before the date of refill.
When this date fall in a vacation or at a date your doctor might not be available, check this and adjust the date.

All you have to do is to check your agenda every day and at sundays for the week to come.
You'll never miss a refill.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

yoghurt in a different way

Ofcourse you can eat youghurt just as it is, with fruitsirup, with sugar, but you can also use it in a different way.

Take a very clean, ironed, teatowel.
Take a bowl and a place to hang the teatowel.

Put the teatowel over the bowl and pour the yoghurt in the teatowel.
Bind the 4 corners together and hang the teatowel over the bowl.

You'll see liquid dripping down.

Leave it a night and in the morning you'll find a firm yoghurt.

Put it in a clean bowl and taste it.
Isn't it nice?

You can add fresh fruit, or use it with lemonice, for instance.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

mushroom wine sauce

There are many ways of making wine sauces.

My grandmother used to take the meat, preferable steak, out of the pan and put it in a preheated over of about 180 degrees.
Then she would use the juices as the base of the sauce.

In the meantime she asked me to heat the plates and put them ready.

The we would slice the meat and pour the sauce over it.

I always wanted mashed potatoes with a bit of cloves-powder. It accentuated the taste of the sauce even more.
But my uncle wanted potatoes and loved a bit of cream to the dish.

The traditional recipe goes like this:

1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 cup fresh mushrooms

Peal and chop garlic as fine as you like.
Chop the parsley
Slice the mushrooms.

Put ready:

1 cup dry red wine
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves,

Freshly ground pepper

Put olive oil in a pan and melt the butter in it.
Stir the garlic and bake it until it's slightly brown.
Add the wine and the mushrooms.
Cook the mixture for 5 minutes while stirring.
Now the mushrooms are soft.
Put the parsley in and add pepper.
Stir a few times and then pour it over the meat.

I'm sure your guest will love this!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vegetables for you or the rabbit?

Someone mailed me to tell she wanted to share a tip.

Her grandmother couldn't keep up with all the expenses of daily life and got the idea to ask at the market, during the last minutes, for vegetables for her rabbit. For free if possible.
Often she got quite some good stuff and she decided to take some more imaginative rabbits to have enough vegetables and sometimes even some fruit for herself.

Her granddaughter took over the habit when she was at university and couldn't make ends meet but wanted to eat healthy.

And now she shares the tip with you.

Thank you Marion!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

handkerchiefs, paper or cotton?

The discussion about the choice between cotton or paper handkerchiefs should be about cost, hygiene and environmental issues.

Some people say that paper is more hygienic because you throw the handkerchief away when you've blown your nose.
But what about the pile of used papers in your bin?

You can use a cotton handkerchief hygienic too, but blowing your noce in a corner, folding it inside and turn it inside. Blow in the clean part...etc.
You can put the used handkerchief in your laundrymachine or in water with desinfactant in a bucket with a lid.

Making handkerchiefs requires energy and transport.
Transporting cotton is less expensive than transporting trees.
After plucking the cotton there'll be a harvest again next year, trees take a long time to grow.
You can make environmetal friendly handkerchiefs yourself by buying unbleached fabric and sowing them yourself.
Paper handkerchiefs always need bleaching and other chemical procedures.
That cotton ones are washed and need detergent is less polluting than making and throwing away the paper ones.

And the cost?
Cotton ones are cheaper in the long run.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

drying shoes

Some people think that drying wet shoes can best be done by putting them on the heating.

Never ever do that!

The glue will melt, leather will become hard and inflexible, and the inside will probably curl up.

Put your shoes on the floor about a meter from the heating and put a bowl of yesterday's newspaper in it when the shoes have plenty of time to dry, and otherwise leave the newspaper out.

It might take a bit longer than putting them on the heating, but your shoes will last longer.

Spray them with anti-rain when they're dry.

new avatar

I've made a new graphic for your sidebar.

Feel welcome........

Friday, January 15, 2010

to be able to find things again

Many people on the autism spectrum experience difficulties with planning and tidying.
Even when they have a system to find things, when they are stressed everything seems to be lost.

Put a larhe plastic box on a strategic place.
If possible a box with a lid.

When you're ready with something and it needs to be put away you either store it where it belong or put it in the box.

The last day of the month invite the person who supports/helps you and put all things that are in the box away at the best place.
Write important things down in your agenda, so you can look it up, or make an alphabetical list at your computer and print it.
Hang the list behind your calendar.

That way things can be found without losing too much time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

cleaning windows without water

During the winter the windows get filthy.
Inside the fine dust clings to the glass.

You can attack the problem with a bucket with water and stuff, but when you're not good with that you can try the old fashioned way.

Use an old paper.
Preferably without coloured ink.

Push it into a ball and wipe the window as long until it's shining.

You can use a paper too after cleaning a window with water and soap when you want to get rid of the stripes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

papers and magazines

Do you know that it's not necessary to take a subscription on a paper or magazine?

Many libraries offer free reading for papers and magazines and some enable you to take a free cup of coffee while sitting warm and dry.

In case you can't find your favorite magazine you can ask the library to take a subscription. Many libraries have special money to do so, so why not ask?

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

does alcohol keep you warm?

Some people think that alcohol is the best way to beat the cold.
A pocketbottle with whisky belongs as much to their winteroutfit as gloves.

Alcohol provides a burning sensation when you pour it inside you.
Because it opens the veins your blood runs faster through your body and that gives you a warm feeling.

But all that blood that's running jubilant through your veins is exposed to the cold and because of that it soon acts as a cooling liquid and your core temperature lowers a lot faster than when your body keeps your veins as much away from the cold as possible.

So be careful when you drink alcohol.

The mechanism that protects your body against the cold doesn't work properly when used.

Monday, January 11, 2010

against a stuffed nose

It's the season for colds, and especially now the heating is making the air dry, a stuffed nose can be a real burden, especially at night.

Apart from hanging some laundry to dry, you can help yourself by putting a slice of union beside your bed.

It's an easy remedy and works well.

You can use the union the next day in a recipe.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

red wine and meat

Using red wine when cooking often done during the wintermonths.

The taste of meat becomes fuller, tastier.

Before you add wine to baking meat warm it first, so the meat stays soft and easy to chew.

Don't use aluminium when dealing with wine, because you can add a metaltaste to the food.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

chicken and red wine

Prepare a chicken or chicken pieces the way you like, but stop when it's not completely ready.

Take an oven bowl or sledge and put the chicken in or on it.

Sprinkle some paprika powder over it. Not more than a tablespoon.
And do the same with brown sugar, not more than a cup.

Then take the red wine and pour it around the chicken. Not more than a cup will do.

Put the lid on the bowl or put some baking paper over the chicken and wine.
Let it simmer for about 20 minutes and while it does, skoop some wine over the chicken now and then.

When the chicken is ready, take it all out the over and taste the juice.
You can either add salt and pepper, or you can put the juices in a pot and let it simmer with a few clovers. (The last will give a sharp taste and wonderful smell.)


Friday, January 8, 2010

eyes and winter

Winter is hitting hard.

It's fun for young people who can enjoy themselves with all the wintersports and -plays.
I hope they also want to help older people with cleaning their pavement and do some shopping for them.

Now the combination of storm and very low temperatures is expected it's important to protect your eyes. The moisture makes them very vulnerable for damage.

Those who wear glasses know how much protection they provide.

But with storm regular glasses might not be enough.

Buy safetly glasses at the local DIY shop. They protect the eyes in a perfect way.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

left over wine - storing

Especially red wine is a great addition to cooking.
Used not too abundantly, it can enhance the taste of the dish.

When wine is left over, don't put it aside and wait forever to use it.

You can store it for up to a month when you pour it over in a small bottle and cork it without leaving any air above it. Store it in the refrigerator.

When you want to put it away in the original bottle, seal it as good as possible and put it in the fridge. Use it within a week to two weeks.

There's a difference between a wine you don't like because you have a different taste and a bad wine.

Don't bother to save a bad wine, but bother to save a good one.
Not to turn it into vinegar, but to use the wine in dishes with meat, or maybe even in the soup.

I'll give a few recipes the next days.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

topdroppers december 2009

I want to thank each and everybody who visited my site, but especially all those who have become a regular visitor.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Do you know you don't need milk to make pancakes?

I've had the most wonderful light pancakes with beer.

The yeast does it work, the alcohol evaporates during baking, and the liquid is perfect.

Have a try!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wise buy

When the roads are slippery and you're not living near the shops you need to make a plan to buy groceries that can be kept for a longer time.

We all need milk, for instance.

You can buy the kind that needs to be put in the fridge straightaway, but do you know that nowadays milk that can be kept longer, and outside the fridge, has a far better taste than it used to have?
You can even buy a kind in which nutrients are added.

That means you'll buy much more than just a liter of liquid.
And it leaves a lot fo room to store other things in your fridge.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

zipper of coat not closing

When the zipper of your coat is not closing you can try to make it work by running a candle over the zipper. It should make opening and closing a smoother activity.

When you can't make it work, and you've got no bottons to make it work, put an old cardigan over the coat.

Wear on your body an opened paper that covers the front of your upper body.
The paper is a good and very old fashioned isolation.

The cardigan should keep your coat closed. You can also try tape to close your coat. Especially sparadrap/hechtpleister/leukoplast works great, but be careful, the adhesive leaves spots which are not easy to remove.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No hot water? Make some.

I'm amazed how people can feel panicky when there's no hot water from the tap.

Ofcourse you have to find out why there's no hot water.
  • When there's an open flame, it might need to be ignited again.
  • When it's a closed system, you might be able to push a button and restart the system.
  • (closed system of heating and hot water) When that fails it might help to put the required temperature down at your thermostat, have the temperature drop and then put the required temperature up. That restarts the heating system and might start the hot water too.
  • When that doesn't help, it's probably the pump that's not working well.
To get hot water, simply boil water.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Don't you love all those beautiful cards from friends who send their greetings from vacation, for christmas and your birthday?

Use them to make a calendar, personalized just for you.

Copy calendarpages from a normal calendar,
put the cards on top.

Make eyes and pull a nice ribbon through the eyes.

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