Thanksgiving may have just passed, but that kitchen is just heating up! There are more holidays to come, and with holidays comes food and with food comes cooking and baking!
Have you checked your oven?
Stay tuned for some good ways to prepare your home (and your oven) for the holidays!
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9 Tiny Time Savers You Should Always Have On Hand At Home
Running out tothehardware store every time some little problem comes upsay,a wobbly tableor a scuffed wallis almost more annoying than the problem itself. Instead of turning every fix into its own massive chore, spend a little time prepping your home repair kit so its well-stocked to deal with small things as they come up. Here are the items you should always have on hand.
Spackling compound and a putty knife
Spackling compound is ideal for repairing small holes, cracks, and damaged surfaces. Use it for situations like accidentally ripping your drywall if you get too aggressive in peeling a Command strip off, or for filling in nail holes as you finalize your gallery wall.Get one with primer already in itto make touch ups even quickeranddont forget the putty knife.
Speaking of touch-ups, keep a small sample size of your wall paints to quickly coverspackle. Paint samples usually come in stackable containers with easy-open screw tops so you dont have to worry about lids rusting while in storage. Pro tip: Keep a digital list of your paint colors and finishes so when youre trying to get a sample match, youre not left deciphering an old paint label thats been caked over.
Painters tapecan be used in plenty of ways outside of painting. Use it to map out your gallery wall before creating holes, mark level drill holes without ever drawing on your walls, andlay out furnituredimensionsbefore committing to any new pieces or trying to rearrange your room.
Scuff that wood dresser dragging a nightstand into the guest room? Two words: Wood marker.Wood markers or wax sticksare specifically formulated to match different kinds of wood and seamlessly hide any bumps, scratches, dings, or marks.
Weve talked aboutour love for ratcheting screwdriversbefore and continue to sing its praises. What makes it different from the standard screwdriver is that its head only exerts force in one direction; i.e. it either only turns to the right to tighten or it turns to the left to loosen. That means youll never have to reposition your hand as youre screwing; instead, you can fasten a screw all the way in fluid back-and-forth motions.Get one with a bunch of different headsto suit all projects.
Ah, wrenches. This tool is one of those you dont need frequently, but when you do, its an emergency (think: leaky pipes). Be prepared and stock your repair kit withan adjustable wrenchthat will work for most home repair situations.
No one likes being caught in a sticky situation.Goo Goneis known for removing adhesives, but did you know it works on a ton of other messes? The official Goo Gone site actually has an entireWill this work on that? guideto break down everything it can tackle and the surfaces its safe to use on.
You already know to keep duct tape around, but do you havesuper glue? This adhesive is stronger than craft or school glue and can be used with more materials. Its great for fixing peeling cabinet laminate, securing a loose tile in a pinch, orpuzzle-piecingbroken lamps.
Get Your Ovens Ready For More Holiday Cooking!
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the turkey has been cooked,its time to give your ovens a good cleaning.
Ready to get cleaning this weekend? From how to clean oven racks to the right way to clean your oven door, heres what Im taking into consideration before rolling up my sleeves.
How Often Should I Clean My Oven?
While it depends on how frequently you use your oven, most of us should really clean our ovens every few months. That may sound a bit frequent for those of us used to seeing last yearsThanksgiving turkeydrippings hanging around through spring, but its important. Build up not only makes ovens less efficient at reaching the correct temperature, but it can also impact taste. Plus, if oven cleaning becomes a regular part of our routine, it shouldnt be quite so overwhelming each time.
Does the Self-Cleaning Function Work?
Sure, some friends might tell you that using an ovens self-cleaning function isnt worth the smell, but theres a reason this setting is built in. After you wipe down any loose bits of food and remove your racks, this cycle takes your oven to a high enough temperature to burn off food and grease. If you dont do it regularly, you can expect all of that burning build-up to give off a bit of a smell. If its been a while, consider giving the inside a good clean with baking soda and water first. Next time you can add self-cleaning into your regular routine without a years worth of gunk to burn.
Can I Clean My Oven With Baking Soda?
You can skip the chemicals and make your own oven cleaner by mixing baking soda and water. As Jessica Samson, the spokesperson for The Maids toldReal Simple, The baking soda acts as an abrasive and the water softens baked-on crud and loosens food particles. To do it yourself, coat the inside of your oven with a paste made from 3 parts baking soda and 1 part warm water. Let it sit overnight, scrub off the paste with a non-abrasive pad, and wipe down with a damp cloth.
What Extra Tools Can Help?
Dont want to scrub? Cant blame you. Grab a power tool instead. With theright cleaning attachmentsyou can turn your drill into a cleaning lifesaver. Dont want to mix your own cleaning paste at home? Thats what they invented oven cleaner for in the first place. Theres a reason Amazon shoppers cant giveEasy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner, a $5 bottle, enough 5-star reviews.
How Do You Clean Oven Racks?
Your oven racks need special treatment. Always take them out of the oven (especially if youre using the self-cleaning function) and leave them to soak in dishwashing liquid for several hours to loosen up grease. Scrub with apad, rinse, and dry.
How Do You Clean an Oven Door?
That greasy glass window youve been struggling to see through for the past month might be the ultimate cleaning finale. You can use the same baking soda and waterpasteas the rest of the inside of your oven but be gentle. Glass is more susceptible to scratches from scrubbing. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.
What About the Knobs?
Just because theyre on the outside of your oven doesnt mean their immune to grease. To clean, remove your knobs and soak them in white vinegar for 5 minutes. Clean the stove where the knobs normally sit with a water and vinegar mix. Rinse the knobs under water and dry before putting them back on. Pro tip: If youre one to wonder if your oven is off while vacationing, be sure to take apicture of your knobsbefore leaving. Its sure to set your mind at ease.
Holiday Light Dangers You Need to Know
This holiday season dont forget about the potential hazards your Christmas tree lights can present in your home. U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires each year from 2013-17 with an average of three deaths, 15 injuries and $10 million in property damage, according to theNational Fire Protection Association.Lighting equipment and electrical distribution accounted for 44 percent of Christmas tree fires.
Here are the holiday light dangers you need to know.
Dont Use Electric Lights on a Metal Tree
Electrical shock and fire are risks with this combination.
Dont Leave Lights on Overnight or While Gone From Home
Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.If you have these holiday decorations.
Be Aware of Fire Hazards
Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.
Verify Proper Rating
Be skeptical of discount Christmas lights and make sure they have an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) logo on them or anIntertek(ETLSemko) logo.
Check for Fraying
A lot of things can happen in a year when you store your Christmas lights. Depending upon where you store your Christmas decorations, you could encounter some damage to your lights.
Use Indoor Lights Indoors and Outdoor Lights Outside
It seems pretty obvious but people sometimes think theyre interchangeable. Theyre not. Lights designed for outdoor use are made to withstand cold and wet conditions. Indoor lights are safety tested so theyre not a fire hazard for trees.
Never Use Staples, Tacks or Nails to Hang Lights
Staples, tacks and nails can pierce Christmas light strands and create a potential electrical shock. Its best to use insulated holders designed to hang Christmas lights.
Make sure theyre in good shape and dont overload them. Place them in a place where they wont be a tripping hazard and they wont topple your Christmas tree and decorations.Dont try to emulate Clark Griswold this winter.
Its dangerous to plug in a strand of Christmas lights with an empty socket, so its important to test your Christmas lights with a bulb tester.
Know How Many Strands You Can Connect
The rule of thumb is that you can only string three strands of lights together safely. Any more than that and weve created a potentially dangerous electrical situation.
Keep Your Tree Hydrated
Dry trees burn quickly so you need to keep it watered. Usethese Christmas tree safety tipstomake sure your tree stays hydrated.
Use GFCI Outlets for Outdoor Lights
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)reducethe danger of deadly shock from faulty plug-in cords and devices. It will detect dangerous ground faults and immediately turn off power..
Dont Run Lights Through Windows or Doors
It should go without saying but you shouldnt run lights through doors and windows because the cord can become damaged, creating a dangerous electrical situation.
Put Fall Leaves To Work In Your Garden
Improve your soil and yard the organic way with a valuable garden booster that grows on trees
Why Are Leaves Valuable to the Gardener?
Its simple. When incorporated into soil, fall leaves:
- Add nutrients, including phosphorous and potassium
- Increase the soils microbial life
- Boost its water-holding capacity
- Improve its structure, known astilth
Leaves are free! It takes little effort on your part to get them working for you, so instead of sweeping them to the curb, here area fewways to use leaves in your garden.
Mow Them Into the Lawn
Together, shredded leaves and grass clippings add carbon (leaves) and nitrogen (grass) to the soil, reducing your need to add store-bought fertilizers later.
Add Them to Vegetable Beds
You can incorporate whole or chopped leaves into any cleared-out vegetable beds. They will mostly decompose over the winter, then in spring you can mix in whatever is left. If you dont want to see leftover leaves in your beds, shred them first.
Make Leaf Mold
Leaf mold is simply wet leaves that have decomposed into a rich, black, soil-like substance that makesa perfectmulch for plants. Pile the leaves in a spot where theyre out of the way and wont blow away. Or make large (3- or 4-foot) circles of chicken wire, 3 feet high, and pile the leaves in them. Wet the leaves as you go so theyll rot. Turning the pile a few times during the winter will accelerate the process.
Protect Outdoor Potted Plants
When the weather turns cold and potted plants (the hardy ones, not houseplants or tropicals, which must be brought indoors) go dormant, pick a sheltered place on the north, west or east side of your house. Cluster the pots together against the house, ideally beneath an overhang. Pile dried leaves over, under and between the entiregroupingof pots.
How Eco is Your Christmas Tree?
We have the answer!
We interviewedMonica Hudson, the owner of Rent a ChristmasTree!
Learn more at her websiterentxmastree.com
Rent a living Christmas tree
- They are eco-friendly and convenient.With nothing going to waste, a living tree is an environmentally friendly way to bring the spirit of Christmas to your office or home.
- Not only they keep growing after the Holidays, but they also return to their natural habitat in our forest nursery, where they continue to produce oxygen and serve as an ecosystem for the wildlife habitat.
- They look and smell nicer.
- Our trees are potted early in their lives and their roots are undisturbed. The result is healthier,better lookingand happier trees, expertly hand-trimmed for that beautiful Christmas tree shape.
- They also lose fewer needles and allow better decoration thanks to more flexible branches.
- They require minimal maintenance.
There is one single step to keep your Christmas tree beautiful through the Holidays: Water every day. Thats it. Our trees are already potted and fertilized, leaving nothing to dispose at you office or home after the Holidays.
Preserving the natural resources of this part of our country was the inspiration for creating ourtree rentingprogram. Trees are a crucial element in creating clean air and supporting the ecosystem around us.
This is why our renting program focuses on zero waste and employs a minimal footprint operation through efficiency and conservation.
Family owned and operated
Monica started the renting program in 2009. Since then, it has grown to become a Holidays success with thousands of trees in the Monterey Peninsula nursery, which is cared for by Roland, our tree man, an expert in keeping our trees healthy, happy and ready for rent.
During off-season, Monica, a renowned local tour guide, returns to her passion: sharing her vast knowledge of this beautiful area with visitors from near and far. You can learn more about her atcalegacytours.com
The Fairmonts 25-Foot Tall Gingerbread House Party
Gingerbread Open House
Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 10:30 am to 3 pm
The Fairmont, 950 Mason St., SF
For more than a century, Fairmont San Francisco has enchanted guests with holiday festivities and exuberant ambiance. This season, Fairmonts elves are once again working overtimeto create a dazzling, unparalleled winter display.
Starting on Saturday, November 30, 2019, the hoteltransforms into one of the worlds most beloved holiday destinations,where moments are turned into cherished memories. Fairmont San Franciscostwo-story, life-sized Gingerbread Housein the hotels grand lobby has become a must-see attraction for guests from near and far.
Fairmont San Franciscos talented culinary and engineering teams have joined forces to meticulously plan construction of this years enormous Gingerbread House, which will be even larger than last years stunning,two-story-high Victorian.Once complete, the impressive, edible abode will stand more than25 feet high, 35 feet wide and 10.5 feet deepand will feature more than6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks (largest bricks to date), 1,650 poundsof candy and3,300 poundsof royal icing. The gingerbread houses railroad track also delights guests of all ages, who happily gaze upon this favorite feature.
- Tiny Time Savers: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/home-repair-kit-36671476
- Clean Ovens: https://www.southernliving.com/home/how-to-clean-oven?
- Holiday Light Dangers: https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/holiday-light-dangers-you-need-to-know/
- Leaves: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/5-ways-to-put-fall-leaves-to-work-in-your-garden-stsetivw-vs~18433959
- Rent a Christmas Tree: https://rentxmastree.com
- Fairmount Gingerbread House: https://www.fairmont.com/san-francisco/promotions/gingerbread-house/
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer Chief Engineer
- Carol Remodeling Babe Carey Executive Producer
- Sam Reed Associate Producer
- RicoFigliolini Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in to this hot kitchen! And check in next week for more cool tips!
Heating Up the Kitchen Show Notes for OnTheHouse with the Carey Brothers aired November 30,2019.