works for me wed

Get the 411 for free from your cell phone

Google has been my search engine of choice for the last 7 years. I love the new gadgets they are always coming up with to make my computing life easier. Their newest gadget actually helps me in my everyday life as well.

Did you know that if you are away from home (and all phone books) that you can send a text message query to ‘466453’ (GOOGLE on most phones) and they will text back the results? You can use it for phone numbers, addresses, to find the final score of your favorite team’s game, language translations — and a million other things I’m not smart enough to think of.

Go here for a live demo. Then, save it in your phone – you never know when you’ll need it!

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great tips!

Don’t forget to enter to win this month’s giveaway! Go here for details!


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Me? Clip Coupons?

This is a question for all of you folks in the coupon clipping club out there, of which I am unfortunately not a member of. I have never had any success with clipping coupons – do you have any pointers for me? Websites I can go to ?

I do not like purchasing un-needed items just because I can get a deal. To me, that’s a waste of money…stocking up is one thing, but buying 4 cans of shaving cream so I can get two free is not saving money in my book. But mainly because I don’t use shaving cream. Catch my drift? I’m talking about seriously saving money on my grocery bill (ie – food, personal items, etc) I’d love to hear from you – I know there are some mighty thrifty women out there and I have it from reliable sources that some of you even get money back.

Tell me how this is possible. And how can I do it??? Shoot it into the comments, won’t you?

(Today’s edition of WFMW is totally backwards – we ask the questions and our readers give us the hints. Find out more here.)

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So you say it’s your birthday…na na na na na naaah

My oldest daughter will be eleven on March 4th and I’m having a really tough time deciding what to get her for her birthday. She loves music and art, so the world is my oyster (so to speak) when it comes to finding the right gift. Personally, I want one of these:retro record playerFrom Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles, an online store owned by Janice and Susan — (the two moms that run 5 Minutes for Mom), it’s one of the coolest things I have found. But I can’t get it for her, because honestly? My husband and I would get more use out of it than she would. (Yes, we still use cassette tapes and we even have a large record collection that we are working at getting digitized)

There’s always one of these:apple ipod playerBut I have issues with the whole ipod thing. What if she leaves it in the pocket of her jeans and it gets washed? (It happens, you know) What if she leaves it lying around somewhere (as she’s so prone to doing with everything) and one of the younger kids (or worse, the cat) destroys it? I know, I know…”the Lord hath not given us the spirit of fear”…but at eleven, is she old enough for a $200 gadget? I think not.

I digress…I may have issues deciding which gift to buy, but one thing I know that we will be doing for K’s birthday – it’s become a sort of family tradition – is we will be taking the day off of school and baking together. Baking is a time of great bonding for us and I love teaching her. Though we have thrown many a batch of cake, cookie, or brownie batter away because neither of us were paying attention to who was adding what, we have come up with a fairly simple solution to this problem. We tape a piece of transparency paper over the recipe and then with a marker, we mark off what we’ve already added. That way, no one adds the baking soda twice (not that it has ever happened to us, you understand). The other thing we do is when a recipe calls for, say, half a cup of shortening – we fill the cup up halfway with water and then add the shortening until the water line reaches the cup mark. (And of course we dump out the water before adding the shortening to the recipe!)

So what works for you when it comes to birthdays? And what am I going to get my daughter for hers? Any ideas? Shoot ’em to the comments for me. For more WFMW tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

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WFMW: Out, Spot!

Here is something I learned the hard way…never try to remove a stain with a paper product! You are likely to succeed only in creating a lightened bullseye, with the dark spot smack dab in the middle. Like a spotlight….”look here, I’m a spot!” The reason, I read somewhere, is that paper products have been bleached somewhere in the manufacturing process. So rubbing that napkin or paper towel on your garment is probably not a good idea.

From Laura at “The Secret Pocket”, a tip to remove spots:
Instead, use two clean washcloths or towels, a dry one under the spot, and a damp one to work the stain with. Also, rather than using a rubbing or circular motion, use a dabbing motion. Wrap the cloth on your index finger and repeatedly “poke” the stain.

For stubborn stains, incidentally, I like the Carbona series of removers. You can get these, in small yellow plastic bottles, at your fabric store, drug store, grocery or mega-mart. Note: Consult the back of the bottles, under the label, to see which specific stains can be removed with which number bottle. I have even used these, very cautiously, on dry cleanable garments. Test first (yada, yada, yada), then use a wooden toothpick to apply tiny amounts to the stain. Be sure to have an absorbent cloth under the stain to suck the liquid right through.

Head on over to Shannon’s for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!


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WFMW – A Compendium of Martha Stewart Tips

I’ve always like Martha, but I tend to be too lazy to implement too many of her ideas. And for me, that’s a good thing. I admit that over the years, I have read many of her hints, but a friend recently sent me an assortment that I thought I’d share with you today, in honor of Works for Me Wednesday:

~Martha says to stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips. (I just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone)

~To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes. (I just buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix , keep it in the pantry for up to a year)

~When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake. (Go to the bakery! They’ll even decorate it for you)

~If you accidentally over salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant “fix-me-up.” (If I over salt a dish while I am cooking, that’s too bad. Please recite with me the real woman’s motto: “I made it and you will eat it and I don’t care how bad it tastes!”)

~Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks. (Celery? What’s that? Never heard of it)

~Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish. (The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust so I don’t.)

~Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away. (Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink!)

~If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy. (Go ask that very cute neighbor guy if he can open it for you.)

~Don’t throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces. (Leftover wine?!)


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Works for Me – Shopping online because I LIKE to.

When Shannon announced that today’s edition of Works for Me Wednesday was going to be about our favorite places to shop, I cringed, because I really have an intense dislike for shopping. As someone who made it her profession for 7 years (I was a buyer for Nordstrom), I just don’t like going in the stores. But then I realized it was ONLINE shopping, so I perked right up.

Many people are going to point you to the obvious places — like Amazon, Overstock, Etsy, Ebay…which are all simply terrific places. I like to do my shopping a little more out of the way, so here’s a couple of my favorites to check for really good deals:

1. Deal of the Day Masterlist No more going to twenty five different websites checking their deals of the day – get ’em all here.

2. Swap@Home Technically, this is a swapping website, you don’t buy anything, but I love check it often to see if there’s anything I want.

3. 6PM For name brand clothing, shoes and bags that click. Deeply discounted and ca-yute!

4. Goodwill As you can probably tell, I love me a good deal…and I have found Goodwill has the highest quality thrifted items at the lowest prices. Seriously.

So that’s my short list. I think pretty much every thing else has been done – I’m now off to check out all the new places to shop online.

Thanks to Shannon for thinking of us moms who like to shop in the comfort of our pjs from our own homes! For more WFMW online shopping, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.


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