Sally’s Helpful Hints
February 10, 2010

Here’s another new regular posting.  I’ve been planning to do these forever, because friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers always ask how I come up with such strange, but easy ways to handle stuff around the house and life!  I have no idea how I have learned all of these random tips, most of which are natural remedies, but they always come in handy.  Now I’m sharing them with you!

Ever burn yourself while cooking, or on an iron, or actual fire?  One of the best and safest ways to treat a minor burn is HONEY!  Yep, it acts as a natural antiseptic.  Do not put ice or freezing cold water on it.  Run cool water over the burn, then apply honey.  I do not like honey very much, but I am incredibly clumsy in the kitchen and around hot objects (except my fire hoop).  So, I keep honey around just for that purpose and it works much better than an aloe plant.  However, if the burn is severe enough, always seek emergency medical treatment.

I don’t mind bugs too much, but they do not belong in the house, and ants especially do not belong anywhere near a kitchen with food.   But with Diva Kitty in the house, I do not like to use a lot of chemicals and set out traps that her curiosity will lead her to discover.  (and believe me, she will find them!)  Find where the ants are entering the house (near a door, a window, etc.) and sprinkle a heavy line of CINNAMON.  Ants will not cross the cinnamon path.  I have no idea why this is, but it really works.   At my old house I always called summer “Ant Season,” because they would always cover my counters until I tried cinnamon.  Sure I have a window sill covered in brown cinnamon, but I don’t have any ants!

Tomato Plants
Do you like to plant tomatoes in the summer?  But hate the bugs that may infest the plant and don’t want to use chemicals on the summer fruits?  Do you love the smell of lavender?  Plant LAVENDER with the tomato plants.  They repel most bugs that bother a tomato plant, as well as many other plants.  Look up other companion planting tips for other do’s and don’ts for planting.

Need a way to spruce up a salad?  If you’re out of salad dressing or, oops it’s expired, use olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it.  I usually opt out of the olive oil to save a couple calories.  But if that’s not your cup of tea, you can always use the juice from a fruit that you put on the salad, like mandarin oranges or pineapples.  If you’re particular to a sweet or fruity salad, sprinkle a little cinnamon (again!) on top for wonderfully earthy, sweet addition!  Cinnamon is particularly good with apples (especially tart Granny Smiths) and almonds.  You don’t really need much more than a good lettuce mix, fruit, nuts, and cinnamon to have a healthy and unique salad.

Jellyfish Stings
Ouch!  I have something in my body chemistry that just attracts jellyfish when I’m at the beach.  Basically, what is stinging you is a type of protein, so you need to denature the protein (remember high school biology?).  MEAT TENDERIZER is something you should pack for the beach.  Just make a paste with water and the tenderizer and smear on the injury to take out the “sting.”  Also, I’m sure you’ve heard that in a pinch you can pee on it, well yes that works too for the same reason but I’d really rather smell like meat tenderizer.

Speaking of the beach, have you been out in the sun too long and fear you might burn a little bit?  Take a couple IBUPPROFEN.  It’s an anti-inflammatory and will take out some the redness and sting from the burn.

Ok, I have to admit I have NO cure for acne.  Believe me, I’m a thirtysomething woman who still has breakouts on a regular basis.  Argh!  But if you want to tone down some of the redness from a spot, put some EYE DROPS on it.  “It takes the red out.”  No seriously, it really does help.  I use it before I put on make up and moisturizer sometimes.  It usually won’t last all day, but long enough for an interview or a date or a photo op!

Sally’s Beach Adventure
May 25, 2009


I just returned from a lovely visit to the Gulf in Ft. Morgan, Alabama.  Barbie and I packed up the car and headed down mid-week.  Much love to Bama, whose family’s cabin we visited.  Bama was already gone, after spending the first part of the week there, but we visited with Bama’s mom and her friend.

beach 1

Note how far away the water is from the cabin...

Note how far away the water is from the cabin...

beach 3

beach 4

The first couple days were nice, but a bit windy.  The sand blasted you if you stayed on the beach too long.  Can you see the wind blowing around on the top of the sand dune?


beach 5

beach 7

Then, the wind started picking up more on the third day, so we (natch) hit the outlet mall.  Don’t worry, we didn’t do too much damage.  But we did have gelato for dinner at the best little spot.  Who says billboards don’t work?  Worked for us!

On the last day, I woke up to find that the Gulf of Mexico had moved in closer to the cabin…and under the cabin!  Apparently a tropical depression had been moving in.  Now notice how close the water is to the cabin now.

storm 1

storm 2

storm 3

Yes, that is water under the cabin and a wave slowly drifting towards the deck.

storm 4

So we packed up the car and headed home.  It rained the entire trip back, but it was fun adventure no doubt!

beach 6