10 Uses For Old Silverware

Do you have mismatched pieces of silverware sitting around that you don’t know what to do with? Well here are some useful and fun ways to use them:

1. Throw some spoons in with the sand buckets, they make great sand shovels for little hands.

2. Bend them into napkin rings. Use a large dowel to bend the fork or spoon around and use a hammer if needed. TIP: Make sure and always cover the silverware with a towel before hammering!

3. Make drawer pulls.

4. Make a wind chime! Check out the Wind Chime How To at eHow.com.

5. Stick an old fork in your gardening supply bucket. It makes a great weed-puller.

6. Make some stylish jewelry! Click here for instructions.

7. Turn old forks into place card holders or photo holders. Bend the outer tines forward and the center tines backward. Place a name card on the outer two tines. For photos click here.

8. Make coat hooks! Check out the instructions at Planet Green.

9. Make a key chain.

10. Make a money clip.

TIP : Christmas is coming and some of these are easy projects and great gift ideas.

25 Budget Christmas Gifts-#1 Recycled Lovelies

This past weekend I had my first experience at the Goodwill outlet in our local area. The Goodwill store, affectionately termed “crap by the pound” by my colleague, was something that I have always heard of but never personally experienced. But my wife and I have decided to try and save money and do a lot of budget Christmas gifts this Christmas. During the upcoming months, I will lay out 25 budget ideas to give as gifts for Christmas.

The first is an idea that Deanna, another author on this blog, had the idea of doing; buying clothes and fabric at Goodwill and reusing/recycling those clothes to create other types of clothes that can then be given as Christmas gifts. My wife caught on to this idea and is getting lessons from Deanna on making aprons, purses, and even sandals. You can read more about Deanna’s craft at Recycled Lovelies.

Our experience at Goodwill was a little traumatic at first, there were so many people and the bins were lined with clothes that had neither been washed or processed. But as we dove in (quite literally) with our arms and hands we began to find all kinds of jewels that my wife will be able to use for fabric in making her Christmas creations.

When it was all said and done, we walked away with 16 pounds of clothes for $20! She will be able to make tons of aprons, skirts, purses and other things to give as gifts for such a cheap price, and it will be a great hobby for her during the winter months!

“25 Budget Christmas Gifts” will be a tool you can use as you prepare for the joy of giving gifts of Christmas. If you have ideas or projects that others might benefit from, feel free to leave comments and post your ideas below!

5 Ways to Keep Your Jack-O-Lantern Fresh Until Halloween

You go through a lot of trouble to find that perfect pumpkin, searching for something that when carved will sit perfectly when displayed on your porch. So after you have carved it or painted, you don’t want to have it wither away and look sunken in after just one day on the porch. Here are some practical ways to keep your Jack-O-Lantern fresh looking until Halloween.

1. After you have carved your pumpkin, coat the carved edges and inside of the jack-o-lantern with vaseline(Petroleum Jelly), this will help seal in the moisture of the pumpkin and extend the life of your jack-o-lantern. Vegetable oil will work also, if vaseline isn’t available.

2. If the cut edges of your jack-o-lantern have begun to curl, soak the pumpkin in a tub of water

overnight to re-hydrate it. After removing the pumpkin from the tub of water, allow to drain for about half an hour and then pat dry.

3. To keep a painted or decorated jack-o-lantern hydrated, mist the pumpkin with water daily. Cover the jack-o-lantern with a damp towel when it’s not on display or place the jack-o-lantern inside a plastic trash bag and put it in your refrigerator.

4. Wrap your pumpkin in plastic wrap and store it in your refrigerator when not displaying it. This will help keep it fresher, longer.

5. Soak your pumpkin in bleach solution(1 tsp bleach to 1 gallon of water) for 8 hours. Then spray lightly with a bleach solution every day, the water hydrates while the bleach helps keep the mold away.

Do some experimenting and try some of these ideas on your Jack-o-lanterns and see which ones work. For carved pumpkins, it is best to use a battery operated light instead of a candle, it keeps the pumpkin fresh looking longer.

Pumpkin Painting…A Whole Lot Of Fun

Here’s some pictures from a party that my wife and friends threw where they painted pumpkins and made individual pizzas! They had a great time and enjoyed the less messy Halloween tradition of painting the pumpkins. The ladies at the party said how much they enjoyed painting and being able to add their own faces or designs to the pumpkins without having to carve out all of the gunk and make a mess.  Some painting one pumpkin and others painted three or four. It was a big success.

As Halloween or a fall festival nears and you’re looking for fun and safe activities for your kids. Check out Family Fun for some great craft ideas and activities that can help your children and your family enjoy this holiday while staying safe.

5 Things You always Wanted to Know About Chocolate

Chocolate, what bad can be said about something so wonderfully tasty? Nothing! Absolutely Nothing! But I can tell you some interesting things you most likely don’t know about Chocolate.

1. Chocolate and Cocaine – Most people think they come from the same plant but I am here to tell you they do not. They come from two very different species of plant. “Chocolate is made from cocoa, which is the pulverized powder of the seeds of the CACAO tree (Theobroma cacao). Cocaine is derived from the COCA plant (Ethroxylon coca).” As stated at WikiAnswers.com.

2. Chocolate and Brain Power – In a study at the University of Nottingham they found that eating dark chocolate could help to sharpen up the mind and give a short-term boost to cognitive skills. ScienceDaily.com

3. Chocolate An Aphrodesiac? Eating chocolate releases Phenylethylamine and Seratonin into the system producing euphoric effects, plus it can give a substantial energy boost thus increasing stamina, so it’s probably these effects which gave rise to chocolates reputation as an aphrodisiac.

4. Biggest Chocolate Bar in the WorldThe biggest chocolate bar in the world weighs more than 4410 pounds. It was the main attraction at the 15th International Milka Chocolate Festival on July 11, 1998 in the Alpine town of Bludenz, Vienna.

5. Coca Butter Melting Point – Did you know the melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature – Which is why it literally melts in your mouth.

For all the chocolate information you could ever want and more, check out info-galaxy.com‘s Chocolate page. And if you get the hankering for a hot chocolate, run to your nearest Starbucks for one of their Signature Hot Chocolates. The Salted Carmel is my favorite!

Best Photo Print Sites

Summer is over and you probably have a ton of vacation photos downloaded to your computer waiting for a chance to put them on a disk or memory stick to take to the nearest print center to have them printed, only to take them home and get them into a photo album. Why not save time and usually money and try out some of these photo sites. It so much fun to put albums together and its so simple too. Many of them have great deals for new members, so you end up getting FREE prints or special prices on photo items.

Shutterfly – 4X6: 15 cents, 8X10: $3.99, Photo Book: 8X8 size $29.99 for the first 20 pages, then 70 cents for each additional page. *Right now they have 30% off each additional book when you purchase the first one at regular price. They also have Christmas cards and calendars. Shipping: 30 prints for $2.49.

Snapfish – 4X6: 9 cents, 8X10: $2.99, Photo Book: 8X8 size $24.99 for 20 pages double-sided color pages. They have mini flip books starting at $4.99. If you’re new to Snapfish you receive 20 FREE prints the first time you upload. * Save 25% off the second item when the first item is purchased at regular price.

Artscow – 4X6: 6 cents, 8X10: 49 cents, Photo Book: For new members only 8X8 size with 20 pages only $4.99, regular price $9.99. Get 400 FREE prints when you register. Shipping: 40 prints for $3.99.

Winkflash – 4X6: 8 cents, 8X10: $1.49, Photo Book: Classic 8X8 size $12.95, Custom cover 10X8 size $30.95 up to 20 pages. 50 FREE prints for all new members. Shipping: 20 prints for $1.49.

Dotphoto – 3X5: 9 cents, 4X6: 9 cents, 8X10: $2.89, Photo Book: 8X10 size $26.95. 50 FREE 4X6 prints for new members. Shipping: 26 prints for $2.49, Free on orders of 39.99.

SmugMug – 4X6: 19 cents, 8X10: $1.99, Photo Book: 8X10 size $19.95. Shipping: 50 prints for $2.95.

Some of these sites even offer you the chance to make some money off your photos, by selling them online.

Please share your experiences or great deals you have gotten with printing your photos online.

Halloween Help ~ How To… Make A Glow Stick

Halloween is just around the corner and as the little ghosts and goblins get ready to go out trick-or-treating, glow sticks really come in handy. But don’t let your little ones be the master scientist and put these together, the adult is always the best person to do jobs like this.

I found this article in WIRED magazine: How to….Make A GlowStick.

What you need to get started:

  • 2 liter distilled water
  • 50 milliliters hydrogen peroxide(3% concentration)
  • 0.2 gram luminol
  • 4 grams sodium carbonate
  • 0.4 gram copper sulfate pentahydrate
  • 0.5 gram ammonium cargonate

You can order the chemicals online at Science Stuff.In a medium-size mixing bowl add the hydrogen peroxide to 1 liter of water. In another bowl, dissolve the luminol, sodium carbonate, copper sulfate, and ammonium carbonate in the second liter of water.

Lay out a few sealable, clear containers – test tubes with stoppers or Nalgene bottles are good.

Pour in equal measures of each solution and watch with glee as it lights up. The hydrogen peroxide solution oxidizes the luminol, producing 3-aminophthalic acid. As its electrons settle to a more sedate quantum state, they emit photons at wavelengths between 430 and 470 nanometers – purplish blue.

Avast It’s National Talk Like A Pirate Day ~ Ayyyy Matey!!

In June of 1995, while playing raquetball, the now “Pirate Guys” started giving encouragement to each other in pirate slang.

Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases.

For seven years they celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day pretty much on their own, with our friend Brian Rhodes. One day in early 2002, John chanced upon Dave Barry’s e-mail address. The first e-mail introduced them, and told him about their great idea — Talk Like a Pirate Day. They knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. Then They offered him the only thing they had, the chance to be official national spokesman for the event. The nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of “distinguished commentary” became convinced of the great potential of such a holiday. Or maybe he had run out of fresh column ideas and didn’t want to do another one on toilet training his infant daughter. Either way, he had written the column. Here is the complete story of How It All Started.

On the Pirate Guys website they have How To Talk Like a Pirate, Pirate Personality Test, Pirate Advice and so much more. Check out there site to find out anything and everything you could ever want to know about pirates.

All over the country you will find Pirate Festivals running this weekend, with great music, dancing, and Pirate costumes galore. Get your pirate booty out there to the nearest Festival, and take the kids, they will love it.

10 Different Ways to Make People Happy

Often we go through life just living, making ourselves happy and not thinking about what would make other people happy. Now I know that if you have a spouse, most likely your not thinking of yourself only but your thinking of them too. And if you add children to that mixture, then you probably don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands. But any way you look at it, thinking of others and making someone else happy is a good thing! You will be surprised at the Joy you will receive from your outward actions and amazed at how little time it actually takes to make someone happy.

1. Smile – You would be amazed at how far a smile goes.

2. Write a letter to a long lost friend.

3. Give someone a compliment.

4. Call up someone who’s lonely and invite them to do something with you.

5. When engaging someone in a conversation, ask them questions about themselves, let them feel free to talk about themselves and really listen.

6. Talk to someone you don’t know when passing them by on the street or in the store. Make sure and smile.

7. When baking, make extras and take them to the neighbors.

8. Anonymously take care of a need for a friend.

9. Babysit for a friend who’s not able to get out much.

10. Bring home flowers to your wife, even if you picked them out of the neighbors yard!

Happy National Video Games Day

For all you avid video gamers out there, today is your day! Today, September 12th is National Video Games Day. How will you celebrate?

Why not take the day off work or school(yes, play hookey) and make this a marathon day for video games.

Invite some friends over and have an all-night video game party. Make sure and have everyone bring all their favorite games. Oh and dont forget to make sure you have enough controllers to go around. You can even set up a few tvs and have tournaments. Don’t forget to have awards for the tourny winners.

Remember the games that got it all started. Bring out the ancient(or so it seems) Atari system, or the Commodore 64 and if they still work, play and let it bring back memories of old. InfoPlease.com has a time line of all the video games and when they came out.

The best idea yet, sit down with your grandparents or your aunt and uncle and teach them how to play a video game. Most of them haven’t a clue how to play video games so take it easy on them and start with something simple. This is a great way to get the family together and it’s sure to bring some laughter into the room.

Send your friends an E-Card. For some great National Video Games Day E-Cards check out cards.123greetings.com.

Enjoy today to the fullest and don’t forget to tell your friends and loved ones, “HAPPY NATIONAL VIDEO GAMES DAY!”.