Five Tips Friday #6: Holiday Lifehacks and Useful Tips
Happy First Friday of December my friends! We are now entering the hustle bustle, hurly burly, delightful chaos that is December.
Welcome back for another installment of Five Tips Friday… more easy life hacks and great ideas with the hopes that a few of them might make your world a little simpler, but this month we’re focusing on Holiday Lifehacks or Useful Tips for a little calmer entertaining and holiday season.
And since I’m a a huge believer in crowd sourcing, if you have noodled a way to do something easier or cheaper…please consider passing it on. I’d love to incorporate tips from our readers into the Five Tips Friday list. Email your tips to [email protected]
So, if you have a hack that makes life easier, is a less expensive way to do something or saves you money…bring it!
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Holiday Lifehacks and Tips:
- I wish I had discovered this hack last month so that I could’ve shared it with you because this little hack was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table last week. I used a teapot that belonged to my paternal Grandma as a gravy ‘boat’. We have some serious gravy lovers in this house and so often are getting up to refill our gravy boat. But…the teapot held more and kept it warm…and…was less messy. There were no gravy drips on the tablecloth this year! This is now our go to method of serving gravy.
If you are like me, your linens will get quite a work out between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a trick I learned from my mom. We all know that ironing linens is much easier if the material is just still slightly damp. But who has time to coordinate their ironing with their dryer cycles. So, after you’ve washed your linens, partially dry them. While they are still damp, put them in a zip lock bag and toss them in the freezer until you have time to iron them! They stay damp and keeping them in the freezer prevents any musty smell or mildew you would otherwise have from storing damp linens. Then when you have a few minutes, you can iron them much easier than if they were dry!
For your tablecloths, get some of these Big Ziplocks.
3. I imagine that many of us will be baking more than usual over the next several weeks. Several years, I ago I purchased a silicone pastry mat to make my pies. But since then, I use this mat whenever I am rolling anything on my counter. I still lightly flour the mat, but I find I need much less flour which helps prevent whatever you are making from getting tough through the addition of excess flour. In addition, I use one of my silpats or silicone mats on top of the dough, running my rolling pin over the mat. Once again I very lightly flour the top of the dough but use much less flour than I would without the mats.
PLUS, I find that it’s easier to get the cut out off of the mat and you could roll right onto the Silpat you are baking and just pull off the dough that you don’t want to bake, leaving the cutouts on the mat. Then, just pop your Silpat or silicon mat right on to your baking sheet.
I also love that using my Silpat is more eco-friendly than using parchment paper once and then throwing it away. I have used my one Silpat HUNDREDS of times. My daughter loves and uses hers religiously as well. If you are interested in learning about how to be greener in this kitchen, check out these other eco-friendly products and ways to have a sustainable kitchen.
Note to the wise: Don’t cut with a sharp knife on your pastry mat…just telling you from a friend.?
4. Remember my spiffy wrapping cart I shared with you earlier this week? I do have to admit that it’s pretty much the bee’s knees…my arm is getting sore from patting myself on the back. But…I just found another way to make this organization coup just that much more organized, as if that’s even possible! And it’s….toilet paper rolls! Who knew?
Cut one side of your toilet paper roll and ‘cuff’ your open rolls of wrapping paper to keep them neat and orderly…and more importantly…not ripped or mangled.
I know that this year I’m feeling a little all over the place and so will definitely use some of her printables to help me corral all the moving parts. I already have my address book online, so don’t see printing off that portion and may actually keep the downloads as online versions so that I can put recipe links in instead of printing off the recipes, but it’s definitely a place to get started.
I do hope you can put some of these Holiday Lifehacks and Tips in practice over the next month, it’s all about making any chore that can be easier just a little easier. Book mark this page or pin this image for your future reference.
Oh, and don’t forget to send me your lifehack ideas! Send them to [email protected]
Have a fantastic weekend my friends.
I love the paper towel hack. It works great. All your tips are super, Lynn. Thanks for sharing them!!
I love your ideas! Have a Merry Christmas Lynn.
Aw, thanks Leslie! I hope you have a Merry Christmas too, my friend.
Thanks for these helpful hints, Lynn. What a beautiful “new gravy boat” from your grandparents! I’m sentimental about lovely family heirlooms.
You are so welcome Rosey! Isn’t that ‘gravy boat’ lovely…it’s been sitting in my china cabinet for years…so glad it now has a use.
Holiday Baking Hacks: So many recipes call for a cup of this or that to be added to the recipe. I pre-roast, chop and measure almonds, walnuts, pecans and put them in little zip bags and label them for the recipe they are used in. The same with choc chips…measure ahead of time, bag and label them. When I’m on a roll, I can just grab the right baggie for the right recipe and not stop to chop and measure. Also, I have three sets of measuring spoons and measuring cups (actually I have about six sets of each!) but use one set of cups and spoons for dry measures and one set of each for wet measures and one set for anything buttery…..so I don’t have to keep washing out the same set of measuring items.
Wow…absolutely fantastic ideas Nancy! Thanks so much. I am definitely going to borrow the baggie idea. I already have multiple sets of measuring spoons, but do need multiple sets of dry measuring cups. Think I need to put another set on my Christmas list.
Thanks for sharing your tips my friend.
I love idea about having multiple sets of measuring utensils to keep things rolling,not stopping to clean out before reusing and toasting nuts and storing in individual packets. And another great use for toilet paper rolls to keep things neat. Thanks for all the simple and great tips.
Hey Barbara, like you I love having several sets of measuring spoons…but I don’t have multiple sets of measuring cups. You are right that having multiple sets does make baking move along much quicker. And I love the idea of toasting nuts ahead of time and keeping them in bags…I’m definitely going to use that tip. Thanks my friend.
Great tips Lynn! I use the toilet paper hack, and it works perfectly for keeping your wrapping paper neatly wrapped. I love the idea of the teapot for gravy. I will have to remember that. Except now I need a prettier teapot. ?