Category Archives: DIY

OXO Pineapple Slicer – Quick and Pretty Pineapple Spirals

I love gadgets and tools but I’m especially wary of kitchen gadgets with a single function, such as apple corers, ginger peelers, even citrus reamers (though I use enough of the latter that I actually have one!). They usually take up more space than they’re worth. Enter this pineapple slicer. I was very skeptical. I thought it would waste a lot of the pineapple, or do an unsatisfactory job, but I was actually surprised.

How to instantly and effortlessly cut pineapple in a spiral.

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Cleaning Stovetop Grills and Grates With Ammonia

The only way to keep a kitchen good as new is to never use it. Even the most careful cook will spill stew from her ladle or have a pot boil over. Regardless of one’s cleaning prowess, these drips and smears accumulate over time and produce a hardened combination of food and grease residue that even the best scrubbing cannot remove.

Here is one of our stovetop grills. Notice the buildup of grease. We’ve tried cleansers, hot water, the dishwasher, but we could not get rid of this accumulation over four years of daily cooking.

Cruddy stovetop grates

Years of caked on residue that’s been impossible to remove.

Cleaned grill on left, and dirty grill on right – the clean one is like new!

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DIY Repurpose: Rolled-Up Magazine Boot Shapers

Aren’t you tired of the sad shape your boots take after removing the initial stuffing out of them when you bring them home from the store?
Especially with soft leathers, they tend to just collapse and take on a wrinkled shape, ruining the beauty of the boot and the leather.
Commercially available plastic boot shapers are available for $10 and up, but I like using rolled up magazines because they are free, they recycle paper, and they are heavy enough to keep my boots standing without effort.
Using two or more rolled up magazines secured with rubber bands or duct tape, you can create your own boot shapers according to the shape of your boot. You may also use longer magazines or big shopping bags if your boots are longer.
Now I can store my boots upright, and keep their shape in shoe bins when I store them in the spring. Plus I feel better putting my old magazines to use.


DIY: Athletic Memorabilia Collage

If you have an athlete at home who collects memorabilia from races and competitions such as race numbers, brochures, timing bands and medals, you know that these things accumulate quickly and take space in junk drawers. Pretty soon they become an unruly mess that is just begging to be thrown out. 
An easy way to put them to use in a stylish and colorful way is to create a collage of race numbers like this one below, using inexpensive Ikea frames and some creative taping. 
Your athlete might prefer to highlight particular events, which you may display in individual frames like  this assortment below. When placed in random and asymmetrical order, they give an appearance of an art installation and can brighten up a plain room. 
Put together in the room where we hang our bikes, this display is a colorful accent to this area and makes use of what would otherwise be junk. What a cheap, simple and creative way to showcase the achievements of your athlete with pride!
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