Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Tips for The HIp Girl's Guide Giveaway

1. When making vegetable (or meat and veg) broth, DON'T start with boiling water - start with a small splash of oil and throw your veg in the pot when it's HOT. Let 'em cook a little, and even get some caramelized edges. Dry heat (a small amount of oil is considered dry) does wonders to develop flavors and gives your final broth a much more complex taste.
2. Hate cleaning? I can't stand it, but I love a clean house. I go onto iTunes and download full - FREE - audiobooks. What's the catch? The *authors* are the ones reading the books, and they're generally names you've never heard of, but will become addicted to. I have found a dozen authors I love to listen to by doing this.
I find it so much easier to clean when my brain is occupied with the complexities of building a scene, and I can pop in my earbuds if I need to vacuum. It uses less electricity than running the tv in the background, and I don't find myself frustrated and distracted by what is showing on the screen.
Alternately, you can sift through "classes" on iTunes U - also free - to listen to.
3. I have three smallish, clear bins with locking-handle lids. In one, I keep my dressy flats and heels; the second holds my typical walking shoes, sneakers, etc. In the third, I keep my muckyboots and work boots. This not only keeps them from ending up all over the house, but keeps me from tracking mud.
If you don't wear your shoes often (like me) and live in an area where you're likely to bump into at least one spider or scorpion in the night (like me), the the locking bins will guarantee you stepping into your boots and shoes without a worrying wonder of what might be sharing the space with your toes, or having to swab your open-toed heels with tissue to clear out the webs when springtime comes and you're back to wearing them.
4. Hang on to your old seed catalogs that have recipes in them. Even if you transfer the recipes to your computer, your kids will love flipping through to look at the pictures, plan make-believe (or real) gardens, and use them for collages.


  1. I usually listen to music with my MP3 player, but I will have to check that out! After the incident where my father in law wasn't sure what I was doing when I was dancing with the vacuum, I might have to tone it down a bit. Hmm.


    But that still sounds interesting.


  2. ROFL @ Cat!!

    Yeah, I read about The Incident, and I couldn't stop laughing. I've had The Incident in many forms over the course of my headset-listening life.
    I have difficulty with certain concepts like.. "time" and "diligence" and "good work ethic", so if I'm listening to music, I tend to wander off, signing. When I listen to iTunes U's free classes, or listen to audiobooks, I find myself so wrapped up in it that I've cleaned the entire kitchen rather than just unload the dishwasher, swept the whole house instead of just the front room, etc.