Wednesday 9 December 2015

Don’t Try This At Home!

This is the time of the year when people seem to be rushing to share their ‘top tips’. Some of them I have not heard before – others seem to come round every year. Here’s a few I have picked up recently – but I doubt I shall be using many of them.


This appears regularly – if you have  large piece of salmon to cook, wrap it carefully in tinfoil, and bake it in the dishwasher. Why? the oven is quicker, and you can check the fish as it cooks. This one seems definitely dodgy to me

popcorn maker

If you have green coffee beans, you can roast them in your popcorn maker.

I have no idea where to source unroasted beans, and they are probably more expensive than the ones I get in Sainsburys [and possibly not Fairtrade either] However, Bob thinks one is worth trying out sometime!

prep h

Deal with under-eye wrinkles before the Christmas Party by applying haemorrhoid ointment. [to the eye area, that is] Eeww!

milk of magMilk of Magnesia is a much cheaper alternative to ‘primer’ before you apply make-up. Apparently “This can smooth your skin and make it ready for the application of makeup. This has oil-blotting properties that can reduce oil production.It will cure oily skin issues. Milk of Magnesia is also applied to the bride’s skin to keep the makeup looking fresh all day, looking flawless in photos without the need for touch-ups.”  It also makes you look deathly white, as if coated in calamine lotion.


Slightly more useful – if you are shaving [presumably this is for ladies’ legs, not mens’ beards] then you can use up hair conditioner or out-of-date sunscreen as a preshave moisturiser. I never seem to use up the whole bottle of sunscreen, this one makes sense.


Still finding things in the bathroom cabinet – how about repurposing dental floss, as an excellent way of stringing popcorn garlands to festoon the Christmas tree. Do remember to take the coffee beans out of the popcorn maker first though! Dental floss is also useful for restringing necklaces.

ironing board

This was on Chris Evans’ programme on Monday – use your ironing board as a workstation when wrapping presents. Adjust the height and it helps prevent backache. I have done this for years – this is definitely a good one!

What is the best tip you have picked up this season?

And what is the silliest?


  1. Best use for an ironing board that I've heard!

  2. Oh I have just found your blog Angela. I have one. If you spill candle wax on your clothes, which can happen over the holidays I have found that if you use a paper towel over the top then use your hair straighteners over the area and towel the wax will melt out, and not get on your straighteners.


    1. Hi Julie- welcome aboard! This IS a good tip - many people will have their straighteners in an accessible place in the bedroom [whereas the iron has been hidden away whilst the ironing board is being used for wrapping purposes] AND you can probably use the straighteners without having to take off the garment

    2. Brown paper and a hot iron has always been the traditional method.

    3. Brown paper isn't around as much as it used to be, is it?

  3. I use the ironing board for cutting small pieces of fabric on a cutting mat, as well as for wrapping presents.
    My late parents used to have regular visits from the District Nurse and one of them told her that nurses use haemorrhoid cream under their eyes. I don't think mum ever tried it though!

  4. Re coffee roasting in a popcorn popper - it works! Mr. M did it for years. (See this post:
    mrsmicawber DOT blogspot DOT com/2013/03/mr-coffee.html
    Now he uses a heat gun, as he burned out too many popcorn poppers. The price for green beans is less than that of comparable roasted beans, but probably not significantly enough to justify the effort; it's more a labour of love than a measure of economy. Whether or not the beans are Fair Trade is hard to say; Mr. M buys direct from a coffee trader who in turn buys direct from the growers.

    I like the ironing board tip! Dental floss is perfect for slicing a cake layer horizonally.

  5. I have been using hair conditioner for years and it saves tons of money!

    1. esp if you use cheaper ones from Lidl or Aldi

  6. I use cheap hair conditioner as a shaving gel on my legs and I then don't need to moisturise my skin afterwards. My DH uses it for shaving too; he says it softens the bristles well and moisturises his skin.

  7. I fund a tip about cleaning silver with foil and hot water.....but I can't remember where it was!

    1. Put some scrunched up aluminium foil in a saucepan, put the tarnished silverware on top, cover with boiling water from the kettle. Stir in 1 tsbp bicarbonate of soda [baking soda] and let the pan simmer on the stove for 10 minutes. The tarnish should come away easily.

  8. Here's another useful tip via my good friend Angela S back in Leicester - "My phone won't perform on the actual blog so here's my tip. If you have part-used rolls of wrapping paper, cut a loo roll inner tube along its length, then pop it over the wrapping paper to stop it unravelling. X"


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