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  1. Sunburn Solution

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    Outdoors, sunburn can strike even the most diligently lotioned vacationer. An infusion of black tea and fresh mint makes a fragrant sunburn soother. The tannic acid in black tea draws heat from the burn and restores the skin's acid balance; the mint cools the skin.

    To make, pour four cups boiling water over two cups of fresh mint leaves and three or four tea bags. Cover, let stand 10 minutes, then strain. Let cool, and transfer to a glass jar. Apply to sunburned skin with a washcloth or cotton balls. The infusion keeps for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

     

    Source
    Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 4 2002
    More Bright Ideas
  2. Kitchen Tip: Cleaning with Baking Soda

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    Little, if any, scrubbing is needed to clean even the dirtiest pots when you use baking soda -- and it is nonabrasive and environmentally friendly.

    Fill pot with 1 to 2 inches of water, and add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda simmer 15 minutes, then scrape tough spots on bottom with a wooden spoon, as needed.

    Source
    Everyday Food, April 2004
  3. Wallpapered Shelves

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    Add a splash of personality to a lackluster work space by covering plain floating bookshelves with wallpaper. Measure the shelf, and cut the wallpaper slightly longer than shelf and wide enough to wrap around it with an overlap. Use wallpaper paste to affix the wallpaper to the shelf, pasting one side at a time. Cut slits into excess paper at ends, forming flaps; fold down, and affix with paste. Let dry completely, and hang shelves as usual.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, February 2008
  4. All-Natural Mists

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    A refreshing spritz of fragrant water is a great way to keep cool in summer. To create sprays, simply fill mist bottles with water and a few strips of julienned cucumber or sprigs of lavender and mint. Label bottles (labels from chroniclebooks.com), and set them on a tray at your next backyard barbecue. 

    Bonus: Cucumber is known for its hydrating properties, and lavender and mint are reputed insect repellents.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, August 2009
  5. Towel Tune-Up

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    Are your towels holding less water than they used to? It may be that your choice of washing detergent contains fabric softener, which has residues that cling to individual fibers, rendering towels less absorbent. The next time you clean a load, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle; it will remove the residue and restore towels' soaking power. In the future, avoid detergents with fabric softener when washing towels.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, July 2006
  6. Orchids: Out of the Vase, into the Strainer

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    Gutter strainers -- the wire cages that filter leaves and debris washed off the roof -- also make great orchid pots, providing the plants with excellent aeration and drainage. 

    Buy an inexpensive copper strainer at a hardware store. Using a pair of light pliers, bend the spindly legs of the strainer into decorative loops around the top (the loops also offer a way to hang the orchid if you like). Soak sphagnum moss (available at garden centers) in water, pack into the strainer, and then put in the orchid. Pack with more moss for a snug fit, and give it a hearty watering in the sink. Let the moss drain completely before placing the plant in a bowl.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, November 2008
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