helpful tips

5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast-From-Your-Past

5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast From Your Past!

I have the perfect combination for you! Doctors have been telling us for years how stress can cause all sorts of bad stuff – health issues, emotional issues, psychological issues. Finding ways to diffuse stress is a million-dollar business (squeezy ball anybody?). But worth it, right? Because less stress equals a happier, healthier us. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big relief from too much stress. Studies show that thinking about positive memories can have the stress-reducing effect that many of us are in need of. So here’s that perfect combo I  promised you: take a little a stress-reducing trip down memory lane with one of these nostalgic stress busters. Bonus: each one costs under five dollars!

  1. Bubbles. Blow your irritations away. The act of dipping a wand into soapy suds and waving it through the air, leaving a trail of delightful bubbles is sure to put a smile on your face. The 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastdrifting bubbles soothe as they glide around you. Try naming a few of the bigger ones: Guilt Trip, Rude Person (you get the idea) and watch them pop into oblivion! (Under $2)

2. Silly Putty. Yes – it’s still around! Remember how it works? We used to press it on to comics, then roll it off and the comic image would transfer to the putty – just waiting to be stretched and distorted. Newspaper ink doesn’t lift like it used to, but pencil lead still does. Grab a pencil and make a list of those stress-inducing aggravations. Roll your putty over them. Then stretch them until they are unrecognizable and do a final blot-out by squishing the mass into a ball. Now smooth out your not-so-silly-putty and return it to its egg until it’s time to take on the next stresser! (Under $2)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

3. Jacks. The perfect rhythm-building distraction. For a more authentic youthful experience, sit on the floor, legs crossed in the universal kid-sit way. For those of us who might never be able to get back up from such a position, a desk top works just fine for the bounce, scoop, bounce, scoop-more stress-busting activity! (Under $5 for the metal ones – even less for plastic)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

4. Paper airplane. Fly your worries away! Write down those irksome issues that are causing you anxiety on a nice cool piece of paper. Take a trip back in time and fold up your paper, creating a calming rhythm as you smooth your creases, creating your paper-problem-navigator. Once you have that nose nice and pointy, 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastsail your problems into the closest wall for a satisfying crunch. For the grand finale? Sail your plane into a bucket or sink full of water and watch the problems literally breakdown. Now, doesn’t that feel good? (Free!)

5. Play-Doh. Craft some shapes that represent your time-wasting worries. Got them all lined up and ready for destruction? Now aggressively flatten each one with a hand, rolling pin, or (remember Mr. Bill?) your car. When those Play-Doh stressers see you coming at them, full speed ahead, they’ll say:

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How to Make Your Peepers POP Behind Glasses

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

 

There are great eyeglass choices out there these days – studious, whimsical, retro – something for every personality. But no matter how much pizazz your frames have, your eyes should still be the stars of your face. Often the eyes end up with a facial supporting role, the sparkle dimmed by a layer of glass and lashes that disappear behind frames. It’s time to get those orbs back to center stage! Here are 5 tips to get those peepers to POP from behind glasses:

  1. Add a little line. Take a dark eyeliner pencil and line from the inner corner of your eye to the lash line. A little line with a lot of defining power. This is a regular part of Drew Barrymore’s bespectacled beauty routine!

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

2. Go nude. Don’t go off topic here – we’re still talking make-up, people. (Remember, we’re trying to keep the focus on the eyes.) Many of us adopted the tried-and-true Hollywood-habit of lining the inside of our lower lids with white pencil to brighten the appearance of our eyes. Unfortunately, donning glasses can turn soft emphasis into racing-stripes. To avoid the harsh effect, trade your white pencil for a nude shade like this waterproof pencil from Rimmel.

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

3. Modify mascara. All my make-up-wearing life I purchased only mascara that promised to add yards to my lash-length. If the lashes didn’t tickle my eyebrows, the mascara wasn’t doing its job! I hung onto that goal long after eyeglasses became part of my daily wardrobe and lash-tips were hidden behind frames. The only evidence of the impressive length was the less-than-impressive smears across the glass where my lashes bumped up against it as the day wore on. Then I saw a tip from a make-up pro who suggested focusing on lash thickness rather than length. What? That would require a whole-new mindset! Remembering my commitment to embrace change, I plunged right into a brand new way of doing things. Just take your mascara up to the half-way point of your lashes, then wiggle the wand left and right a few times. That action bulks up the middle of the lashes and creates a natural-looking frame for the eye that can be seen through the glass!

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

4. Tame the brows. To aovid the Groucho Marx effect, smooth scraggly brows. You don’t need to invest in brow wax or a specialized product – you’ve already got what you need for this lightweight job. Dot a little hair gel, dab a little petroleum jelly, or give a quick once-over with chapstick to smooth away anything that distracts from your smiling eyes!

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

5. Set the light. A shear touch of color on top of your cheek bones, directly under each eye, gives off a glow that sets of your popping peeps beautifully! I liked Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush – the name says it all!

How to Make Your Peepers Pop Behind Glasses

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10 Ideas to Care for the Caregiver

10 Ideas to Care for the Caregiver

Whether it’s for aging parents, special needs children, or relatives with health issues, providing substantial care for another can take a toll on the one providing the care. Some of you have walked – or are walking – this path and have experienced the physical, emotional, or financial challenges involved. Most of us know someone who is a caregiver and stand in awe of the commitment that goes into providing such care regardless of whether it is by choice or necessity. And many of us wonder if there is a way we can help ease the burden, even just a little, for someone we care about who is caring for another. Here are 10 ideas to give your favorite caretaker a break and put a smile on his or her face!

  1. Let them chunk the chore. Some things just have to get done whether we want to make time for them or not – like walking the dog or cleaning the house. And sometimes less-crucial chores get put off to the point where they become crucial – mowing the lawn, weeding a garden, repairing a broken step. Pick a chore, any chore, and get it done. You may have to coordinate something like cleaning their house, but weeding, mowing, bringing the trashcan up to the house after pick-up and the like can just magically happen. And you get to be the magician!
  2. Send flowers. A delivery of something lovely gives a momentary escape. Who thought of me? How beautiful! What a fresh scent! And thereafter provides a week or so of color that will be a reminder that someone appreciates their efforts. Now notice I said flowers. No plants, please. And no handfuls of flowers handed to them that they have to go find a vase for and take time to arrange. The whole point is to give them a mini break, not create another obligation to provide care.
  3. Provide respite. If it is possible for the caregiver to leave the house if their charge is supervised, volunteer your time to do the supervising so your friend can get out of the house for a few hours and take care of some needs or wants.
  4. Provide mini-respite. If the caregiver can’t leave their charge in the care of someone who is not specially trained, you can still provide respite right in their home. Have your pal pick a time when his charge is occupied by a favorite program or napping, and come hang out while your friend takes a luxurious bath, reads for an uninterrupted hour, or hangs out with his dog in the backyard. You will have provided him a miro-vacation!
  5. Dub yourself Sir Secret Pal. Send anonymous little gifts or uplifting notes randomly, signed Your Secret Pal. Sure it may drive them a little crazy, but in a good way – a way that will have them looking forward to the run to the mailbox! I’ve been on both sides of the Secret Pal relationship, and I can tell you first-hand that sending the loot will put a smile on your face, too. And to receive unexpected pick-me-ups such as a fun mug with a box of tea, a refrigerator magnet with an inspirational saying, or a good-for-nothing-but-a-chuckle bobblehead bird provided more than one well-needed smile!
  6. Be the entertainment. Caregiving can be a lonely job. While telephone and social media provide outlets for other human contact, verbal or written exchanges are no substitute for some face-to-face time with someone who’s willing to listen, distract, or provide opportunities for laughter – whatever is needed. Schedule a time when a visit would be appreciated and bring a little fun – a humorous DVD (with some movie-food, of course!) or new boardgame you can figure out together.
  7. Organize meals on wheels. Or meals on heels. However the group wants to get them there. Get a few volunteers – maybe friends, church members, book clubbers – to each drop off one meal a month. Have a designated day so that your care-giving friend can count on Mondays “off.”
  8. Create a Spa Day. If they can’t get out for a little pampering, how about sending a credentialed massage therapist to them? There are beauticians, manicurists and facialists who can be hired for housecalls, too.
  9. Give the gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re up for a splurge or have a group kicking in on it, a gift-of-the-month club can be a perfect answer to the question: what can we do to help? From fruit to bacon, coffee to beer, knitting to puzzling, there’s a gift-of-the-month-club match no matter what your friend’s favorite food, beverage, or hobby is.
  10. Provide special thanks. Help the recipient of care thank the caregiver themself. Guiding them through a simple craft, assisting them with writing a note, or taking dictation or cues from them to memorialize their thoughts can have multiple benefits. You may provide an outlet for the charge to express appreciation. And your favorite caregiver may receive a tangible  expression of appreciation that would not otherwise have been possible.

NOTE: AARP offers a free download of its e-manual The AARP Guide to Caregiving that can be very helpful.  The manual covers topics such as health, housing, legal matters, emotional transitions, and available resources. You can also do an on-line search of the title to find a pdf version that can be downloaded directly to your computer.

 

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5 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds – Instantly!

5 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds - Instantly!

It usually takes weeks – months for some of us – to drop 5 pounds. But why wait to actually lose weight when you can look 5 pounds slimmer today? I offer, finally, options for looking slimmer that exclude the crazy suggestion to  don ankle-breaking high heels and wear pants long enough to give the illusion  your legs are an unnatural  foot longer. I’m all about looking  lean – but not at the expense of comfort! Which is why I’m also not going  to talk about shapewear. And, just when you think it can’t possibly get better, as an added bonus you will not see the words exercise, pill, or broccoli uttered below. Here are 5 easy ways to get your slim on – instantly!

  1. Breakdown and bra-splurge. I know –  getting a bra fitting falls so low on your “want to do list” that the only two items under it are “pap smear” and “colonoscopy.” But if your girls leave off where your stomach starts, you need a hoist – and that doesn’t happen just by tightening up straps. As important, a  better-fitting bra can also leave you free of back-bulge and under-arm-overage –  resulting in instant visual slimming.
  2. Cardigans are your friends. There’s nothing like a straight-cut cardigan in a quality, non-clingy fabric to visually smooth out hips, thighs and tummy. Length choice depends on the length of your legs, but you want something past your tush and the fullest part of your thighs. Get a couple in basic, non-seasonal colors like navy, khaki, or taupe, and you have an instant body-smoother for every outfit without the need for spandex body-squeezers!
  3. Go boating. Many of us gravitate toward turtlenecks in an attempt to lessen the focus on loosening skin. But the strategy can backfire. Not only do they end right under the chin (potentially emphasizing a slack jawline), but they can actually contribute to a bulky, thicker appearance. A better alternative is a flattering boatneck. With a wider cut neckline, the neck often looks slimmer and elongated. A square-shaped or wide-V-neck have the same flattering effect.
  4. Soldier on. Head up, shoulders back. Something as simple as good posture takes visual pounds off. And, in addition to looking better, exercising (whoops, sorry about that word choice!) good posture actually makes you feel better – both physically (hunched shoulders and slumped form take a toll on your body) and emotionally (studies show a connection to confidence level and ability to focus).
  5. Get bigger. Really. This is the most effective tip I can offer: Go up a clothing size. Forget about the number. Our bodies change shapes as we mature and the fit is more important than the number. For me, the scale numbers were the same, but the fit was different. So I bit the bullet. I, with dragging feet, bought the next size up. I was amazed at how many people commented on my “weight-loss” and how good I looked! Who knew that going bigger could leave me smiling?!

If you have a “lose-5-pounds-instantly” tip, please share it with us in the comment section below!

Favor Your Mother’s Day Table

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

If you want to set a fun Mother’s Day Table and leave each guest with a special memory and a smile on her face, check out guest blogger Natine Abreu-Shaw’s fantastic favors for inspiration!

I love Mother’s Day!  Each year I treat a group of moms to a special meal and a bit of fussing over.

When I began this event 15 years ago, it was just for my mom, two aunts, and a dear friend, all of whom lived in the neighborhood. My cousins and my friend’s son lived out-of-state, so I filled in the gap. Then I began inviting other ladies whose children lived away, and now the annual number of guests is 8-10, ages 60+ to 90-something. I usually try out new recipes for the occasion, and I make sure there are options for everyone’s individual dietary needs. But my favorite thing to do is to provide some kind of inexpensive party favors, so they can take a bit of the fun home with them! Following are some of the fun finds that put a smile on my guests’ faces!

Early on, when the number of guests began growing, I bought shelf-sitters from a home décor catalog. A set of six was about $15, or $2.50 per guest. One year they were all fruit-related; another year they were different flowers.

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

Then shelf-sitters disappeared from the catalog,* so I began haunting dollar stores. One year I bought little glass vases for $1 each, and put a bloom in each one.  There was the year of miniscule tea pots, the year of faux ceramic baskets of flowers, the year of faux tulip and daffodil planters.

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

One year I filled little gift bags with travel sized hand creams, tissues, and lip balms. Another time I gave each lady a small jar of artisan jam.

Favor Your Mother's Day TableTwo years ago, I made homemade linen spray, which I put into colorful dollar store spray bottles that also served as place markers. (Mom still requests refills when hers runs out!) And last year each guest got a flat plastic vase filled with tiny marbles and water. The marbles inflated to help keep the vases stable when flowers are added; they made the table look quite festive!

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

It’s an enjoyable challenge to come up with a new idea every year! Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s…

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

Wishing all moms a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

*A variety of shelf-sitters can still be found on-line from different distributors.

Favor Your Mother's Day TableGuest blogger Natine Abreu-Shaw  is a recalibrated woman of the Sandwich Generation, who enjoys writing and occasionally  mines her mind, flexes her fingers, and publishes her pith at Write-MindedWoman.com – when she is able to take a break from  some of her other pet (pun intended!) projects – such as writing as the persona of her fur-kids at their Facebook home Corgi Characters!

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!

 HERE’S WISHING YOU YOUR BEST YEAR EVER! HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

blog2 edible christmas trees

Looking for a festive addition to your holiday buffet that offers a tasty alternative to sugar-laden treats? Here are 5 colorful options that are fast, festive and easy on the calories. Presenting: EDIBLE CHRISTMAS TREES!

The kiwi tree comes complete with ornaments – with very little assembly required!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Christmas Foods

If you want a little more drama, start with a styrofoam cone and some toothpicks to have your tree go vertical. Berries, melons, kiwis – plenty of fruit options to make your own masterpiece!

Fat Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

For those impromptu gatherings, you probably have the ingredients for a vegetable tree in your fridge already. Sliced pepper stems, cauliflower tree lights, broccoli floret greens all make great substitutions for the cucumber/carrot/tomato version shown. While a click on the picture gets you to the site it originated from, I couldn’t find the specific link for this  tree. I suspect you’ll be okay on this one without specific instructions!

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Tree

Does it get easier than a one-fruit tree that’s naturally decorated in Christmas colors?? Click on the picture for Eating Vibrantly’s suggestion on attaching the “tree trunk.”

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

These pita trees are a great choice for an appetizer to contribute to the office party or family potluck. You will arrive knowing that no matter what is on the buffet, you have a great choice to snack on. They look artful and the recipe is an easy mix of seasoning, fat-free sour cream and guacamole. This substantive finger-food is a calorie bargain at only 30 per tree!

Fast Fit Festive Edible Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees never tasted so good!

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Seeing this simple watermelon “cake” in Good Housekeeping magazine last year piqued my interest. Guilt-free cake? Could it be? OK, so it’s not really cake – but it meets all the requirements for a special occasion. Visually pleasing? Check! Delicious? Check! Festive? Absolutely! And – bonus! – it’s GOOD for you! So if you’re looking for something to do with the last of the season’s watermelon crop, throw a party – and let the guests eat cake!

You can keep it simple by coring a cylindrical piece of watermelon, “frosting” with a frozen whipped topping and decorating with fruit.  Voila! Your 10-minute cake is complete – and lovely!

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

 

If you want to take things up a notch, you can gussy up your cake by patting on sliced almonds or crushed walnuts along the sides of the “frosting” and creating a pattern on top with fresh fruit.

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

 

Or skip the “frosting” and go right for the heart for a fat-free delight!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

Watermelon cake is a healthy “sweet” for any age!

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Get creative – your cake decor options are as limitless as your own imagination!

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

 

But  just so you know, while I’ve been sold on watermelon “cake,” I am taking a pass on watermelon bread!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

If you want to see a speedy version of one way to cut up a watermelon for a nicely-shaped cake, check out this brief YouTube video:

10 Things You Should Have in Your Bathroom if You’re Over 50

10 Things You Should Have in Your Bathroom if You're Over 50

1. Magnifying mirror. Because objects seen in regular mirrors are really larger than they appear. The little hair chin – that is actually two inches long, the stray brow – which is actually creating a bridge across your nose, that cute freckle – that is actually a smear of lunch’s BBQ sauce. Caveat: you should have a double sided mirror where the other side is not magnified. Make sure you leave it on the normal side until you’re ready to get serious about the face search – I have scared the heck out of myself more than once by turning on the bathroom light and having that jumbo magnified face staring back at me!

2. Truthful lighting. You’re not doing yourself any favors by having soft lighting that makes you appear to be bathed in the glow of a candle. You are setting yourself up for a heartbreaking double-take when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the rearview mirror as you head off to face the world with a make-up job that wasn’t intended to see the harsh light of day.

10 Things You Should Have in Your Bathroom if You're Over 503. Fierce toenail clippers. The kind that don’t take “no” for an answer. Have you seen the kind with scissor-like handles? Better aim with less slippage.

4. Serious tweezers. “Cute” doesn’t cut it here. You want tweezers with a sturdy grip and a slanted edge – tweezers that can take on the tough tasks and get the job done. Keep them somewhere close to that magnifying mirror.

5. Soothing body powder. You will want to use this anywhere that skin touches skin that it didn’t touch previously. Please don’t make me be specific here.

6. Paper and pen. For when that “must do later today” flashes through your mind – because you will NOT remember it by the time you get to the kitchen.

7. Aquanotes. It’s a pad and “pencil” that sticks to the wall of the shower. Because the chances of you remembering that great idea long enough to rinse off and get to your paper and pen by the sink keep getting slimmer. 10 Things You Should Have in Your Bathroom if You're Over 50

8. Extra eye or reading glasses. So on a groggy middle-of-the-night visit you can grab them quickly to determine what that large object on the floor actually is – and whether your sudden shaking is making it seem to be moving . . . or worse.

9. Counter-top pump body lotion. If you can fit your body lotion in a drawer, you’re probably not using the volume of moisturizer on your arms, hands, elbows, feet, knees – among other areas – that you should.

10. An object that makes you laugh, smile, or feel inspired. A whimsical shower curtain, a silly toilet paper dispenser, a framed motivational saying. Other than your bed, chances are the bathroom is the first place you go* in the morning and the last place you go* at night. Might as well begin and end each day with a smile on your face!

*No pun intended

What’s YOUR now-that-I’m-over-50 bathroom staple?

Straws with a Cause

Straws with a Cause

Many of us have straws on hand. They’re so colorful and inexpensive, that they are used for everything from craft projects to larger items such as chairs and lampshades (I’m not kidding – check out Pinterest on this!). But there are some practical uses for straws that can make life a little easier or a little more colorful for each of us!

1. Fruit prep. Sliding a straw through the middle of the fruit is a quick way to core strawberries. It works for pitting cherries, too!

Straws With a Cause

2. Detangling jewelry. Slide fine-chained necklaces through the opening of the straw and clasp on the outside (cut straw to length needed). This is a great way to ensure knot-free necklaces while travelling.

3. Entertain the kids. Make this fun bubble wand for spur-of-the-moment magic. An easy bubble solution can be found with directions for the wand at We Have Ears website (click the picture).

Uses For Straws

4. Keep food fresher. When you put food in plastic freezer or storage bags to preserve, create a vacuum-packed-like seal by leaving an opening big enough for the straw to slide in before pressing or zip-locking and suck the air out. Quickly remove straw and seal.

5. Serve food. Colorful straws make a great alternative for decorative toothpicks (although I would have cut them in half for the marshmallows) or used as a fruit skewer.

Cool Uses for Straws

 

Cookout With Clinton Kelly courtesy of womansday.com

Cookout With Clinton Kelly courtesy of womansday.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Make it to-go. Tape closed one end of a straw and funnel in a portion of powdered drink mix, salt, pepper, or other dry seasoning. Cut to size and tape off the other end. This also works with condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, mustard or that bit of special sauce you like drizzled over your sandwich.

7. Creep someone out. Make incredibly believable worms. I won’t ruin all the pretty fruit pictures with a visual, but if you want to see them you can check them out HERE.

8. Bonus use. They are great for sipping beverages through. I KNOW – what will they think of next?!

Straws With a Cause