Lock Lube - Quick Tip Friday

Do you have a stubborn lock?

Do you have a lock that refuses to give and turn?

We do.  Our front door's lock has gotten so stubborn that we need to use pliers to get it turned and locked.

No good.

Enter today's Quick Tip Friday!

Although the oil lubricants work very well, they also create a mess and attract dirt and dust.  Dry lubricants can keep your door, drawers, windows and locks running smoothly without any residual mess.

Just spray the graphite (spray or powder) into your lock and turn the lock a few times to get the lubricant worked in.  Dries super fast!   No dust or dirt clings, which can cause the lock to clog.

You can find the graphite (spray or powder) in most hardware stores, big building stores, and online.

Works like a champ.

Enjoy today's Quick Tip Friday! 



Be Fed Phone Home

A couple weeks ago, Sean and I went to a home show.  We always like to attend these shows because we brainstorm, and of course, try to find a roofing vendor, etc. that would give us the best bang for our buck.  And of course we're always amused at the vendors that try to convince us that a massive waterfall "feature" is exactly what we need to complete our back yard.

One vendor that did stop us was a home energy solutions company, Next Step Living.  They wanted to come to our house and show us how efficient our house is running, and show us our areas of improvements. And, it was free.

We had a nice laugh - since our house is 195 years old, we have a lot of gaps and air-leakage.  They don't build them like they used to, but at least the homes these days have insulation.

Within a couple days, an advisor came with lots of important looking gear.  She was testing our furnace, and windows.  She was crawling around in our attic.  Tiptoeing around in the basement.  She tested our carbon monoxide levels which should be under 100, and we're at 44.   Totally great.

And the next thing I knew, she was zipping up a red tarp-looking thing around our front door and all I could think of was E.T. phone home.

She had on white booty things over her shoes.  

Mac rounded the corner and was like "Gahhhh!"

And I asked her, "Is Be Fed phoning home?"  

That fan test-thing lasted about 5 minutes.  

And now we have another confirmation that we need insulation, starting up in the attic, and we need more efficient storm windows on our windows.

Just the same, the test was interesting, and we're glad we had it done.  Here's to making our old farmhouse more efficient.

Clever. Easy. Green.

Back when I worked for Tommy Hilfiger, all of the design walls were covered with a type material that withstood a lot of painting and pinning.  At first I thought it was cork board, but when I touched it and looked closely, it wasn't that.  So when I asked, I found out it was homasote.  

Homasote is this really cool stuff that is made out of recycled paper.  All the paper is compressed under high pressure and held together with glue.  Pretty similar to papier-mâché.  Totally good for the environment.

And totally great for a message board! 

You can buy homasote at Home Depot.  It comes in 4'x8' sheets and is inexpensive - around $20 a sheet.  Best part, you can have it cut there, saving you on time and space in your car.  It can also be cut with a circular saw or by scoring it a zillion times with a utility knife.

Turning a piece of homasote into a message board is easy.  

Cut it to your desired size.  With a staple gun, attach a thinner cut of batting, then attach your fabric.

You can add ribbon in which ever pattern you want.  Or no ribbon at all.  

And just like that, you have your message board.  Well really, you'll have several once you cut that big sheet of homasote down.  

Clever.  Easy.  Green.  And I'm going to add colorful to that as well.

Hamming It Up For Ham

As you all know, every holiday I get so much joy out of designing our menu.  Being the true southerner that I am, it really is always about the food.  

This past Easter was no different.  Every year, I always cook a spiral ham, and I thought that this year I would change it up.  Maybe make a leg of lamb or a jazzed up pork loin.  I looked through my recipes, but I just kept thinking about ham.  Easter ham is our tradition.  As much as I felt I needed to change up our menu, deep down I knew that change isn't always necessary.  

So I decided that the "change" would be in the glaze.  And I came up with the most delicious, and very easy Fig Glaze to baste over the ham.  

Turned out incredible.  The fig really complimented the ham, and my very opinionated family taste-testers loved it.

Click here for the recipe.

We had plenty of leftovers.  Sean took some to work.  The kids had ham sandwiches for a few days. And I still had more ham to finish up.  I wanted to turn the rest of the ham into an appetizer of some sort.  

And one night while I was wide awake and couldn't sleep, I was thinking about this leftover ham, and Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers came to mind.  

So at 2:30 in the morning, I was in the kitchen, turning my thoughts into a delicious recipe.   Randomly, I had all the ingredients necessary to make it.  

And while Sean and the kids were nestled all snug in their beds, I made delicious Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers.

This is not only a great appetizer, but can be served as a main course as well.  

The following night, I slept well.  

Click here for the recipe.