Monday, February 23, 2009

Double Duty

Americans spend "zillions" of dollars a year on cleaning products... special products for every little thing because we are slaves to marketing. So many of the products have the same ingredients, often listed in different orders or with fancier labels. When it comes to jewelry, you can stop searching and just open up your cabinets because hopefully you already have these 2 multi-purpose products --- Windex and Toothpaste.
To clean your diamonds... pour Windex into a small bowl and drop your diamond jewelry right in and let them sit for a few hours (or overnight). Take an old toothbrush and brush the loosened dirt and grime (conditioner, moisterizer, soap, etc) off and rinse in hot water. They will sparkle like they are brand new and you never had to leave your house, or deal with harsh chemicals.
To clean your silver jewelry (not sure about silverware)... squirt some toothpaste onto your finger tips and massage your jewelry - chains, ball earings, bracelets, etc. until they are well covered in toothpaste... you will start to see the dirt/tarnish mixing with the toothpaste. After a few minutes, rinse in hot water until the toothpaste is gone and your jewelry will be back to it's orginial state (unfotunately, it does not remove the scratches).

It's like magic!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

COSTCO - more than meets the eye!

Everytime I go to Costco, I am surprised by what I can find... first I was blown away by their Tire Center and the prices (and warrantees) on their car tires... then it was their electronics and their jewelry. They sell everything under the sun from vacations to cases of soda and even caskets.

My latest find is the photo center - it's amazingly efficient and shockingly cheap! Everything can be done online from the comfort of your home (or office) and you can pick up at the warehouse about an hour later, or have the photos mailed to your home for a small fee.

For our first official family holiday card, I ordered a handful of very elegant, customized photo cards from an expensive printer, but for the masses (100+) I opted for Costco's new photo greeting cards. Again, order them online, pick up in about an hour and they come with envelopes.

For Valentine's Days, here is the card I had printed. Remember, it's the little things in life that people remember...

Prepare yourself - only $14.99 for a set of 50 cards with envelopes, and
only $5.99 for each additional set of 25. I promise that you will not find
a lower price for cards that look this great!

Oh, and if the thought of creating a custom card scares you, take baby steps!
I started with simple prints (4x6 are just $0.13 each) and then started adding borders, i.e. I took a photo of Lily and added an autumn leaf border and sent it out to family and friends for Thanksgiving - what's even better - this lovely touch is totally FREE - still just $0.13 each!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quick and Pretty

I had never used slice and bake cookies before, but once again, I had to whip something up last minute for a baby shower... I found out at the last minute that sugar cookies were required by the pregnant mama and didn't have time to make, chill and roll out dough so I went old school and bought a roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough.  

A very simple way to make boring round sugar cookies sparkle is to add simple toppings either right before they go in the oven, or right after they come out and are still soft to the touch (almost puffy). 

My two designs were "stained glass" and "flower power"... I used a multicolor sugar crystal and pink and white M&Ms... from start to finish, the whole batch took less than 30 minutes and they were yummy and very festive!