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13 Clever Uses for Cotton Balls

Who would have thought that cotton balls could be such a help around the house? From simple sachets to helpful cleaning tools, these little balls of cotton can do much more than remove nail polish and makeup.

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13 Creative Uses for Cotton Balls

  • Here’s a great tip for spring cleaning…saturate a cotton ball in your favorite scent and drop it into your vacuum cleaner bag. As you vacuum your house, it will slowly release the scent into the room.
  • Spring time also means flood season…and when it comes to fighting mildew, it can be a never ending battle of frustration to get to those hard to reach places. If you’re having trouble cleaning little corners and crevices, soak some cotton balls in bleach adn place them in those hard to reach spots. Let them sit for a few hours and rinse with warm water.
  • Nasty stink coming from the fridge? Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract to keep you fridge smelling nice and clean. Granted this won’t get rid of the smell, but after you wash your fridge and rid it of any unwanted food, the vanilla can help keep your fridge smelling clean.
  • Cotton balls also make great ear plugs. We all remember the days of ear infections and using cotton balls to keep the medicine contained in the ear, right? Well cotton balls are also great for blocking out loud sounds if you’re trying to sleep or concentrate.
  • Cotton makes a great fire starter. You can use them for lighting oil lamps and candles that are hard to reach with a match or a lighter.
  • I use cotton balls to stuff small toys and objects that I’m sewing. No need to buy all that filling if I’m making a small felt toy…I just pull apart some cotton balls and use them to bring my project to life.
  • Help your beautiful daffodils last longer by filling their hollow stems with water and plugging it with a cotton ball. This method works similarily to those plastic tubes that come with store bought or mail order flowers.
  • If Peter Cottontail is reaking havoc on your garden, soak some cotton balls in white distilled vinegar and place them in one of those old 35mm film containers (remember those?). Place these around your garden to keep bunnies from eating your crops.
  • Keep ants and other pesky critters away from your food by soaking cotton balls in peppermint extract adn placing them in the corners of your cabinets. This is great for those moving into a college dorm or an old apartment that’s in need of some work.
  • Don’t you hate when your pop goes flat? Help prolong the life of the fizz by placing a cotton ball in the bottle before you place the cap on (just don’t push it in too far…you don’t want it floating around in your drink!). The cotton will help plug any air leaks so your pop stays fresh. This also works for cans as well. Just place a cotton ball in the opening to help keep it fresher longer.
  • Cotton balls are also naturally great for removing nail polish and makeup, cleaning dust from a computer monitor and/or keyboard, cleaning jewelry, touching up shoe polish, and they can act as a temporary bandage if you accidently cut yourself and can’t get to a doctor in time.
  • Cotton balls are also great for crafty folks. Besides being used in thousands of craft projects, they can also work as paint brushes and a way to spread glue onto a surface.
  • Does your hair need a bit of a lift? Add a few cotton balls to beef up a chignon or French Twist hairstyle.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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12 Clever Uses for Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a common ingredient in the kitchen. Perfect for thickening up everything from soup to pudding, cornstarch is a wonderful go-to product that can do wonders for your favorite recipes. But don’t limit yourself to gravies and sauces…

Cornstarch can also be used to make face paint, untangle knots, clean oily hair, fight tough stains, and so much more. One box can last you for months, and you’ll love how easy your cleaning (and cooking) routine becomes with the help of this wonderful ingredient.

corn-starch

  • Use cornstarch to make face paint for Halloween, birthday parties, and more. Simply mix two parts cornstarch with one part white vegetable shortening to make a non-toxic grease paint. Add food coloring to change the color.
  • Make your old silverware sparkle like new with a simple combination of cornstarch and water. Use a soft cloth to apply it to your silver, let it dry, then buff each piece for a beautiful shine.
  • Late night poker game leave your cards gross to the touch? Dump those cards in a paper bag, along with a couple tablespoons of cornstarch. Shake the bag to coat the cards, then wipe them down to clean.
  • If your carpets are smelling a little musty, you can sprinkle cornstarch over the surface and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Vacuum as normal.
  • You can use cornstarch as a dry shampoo. Between regular shampoos, a sprinkling of cornstarch can help absorb excess oils. Brush thoroughly to remove excess cornstarch. This is also a great temporary method to help clean dogs as well.
  • Use cornstarch instead of flour to help thicken gravies, sauces, casseroles, soups, and stews. When your recipe calls for flour, use ½ as much cornstarch and your result will be much creamier (so for 2 TBS flour, use 1 TB cornstarch instead).
  • Untangle knots in strings and shoelaces by sprinkling the trouble spot with a little cornstarch.
  • Create your own streak free window cleaning solution by mixing 2 TBS cornstarch with ½ cup ammonia and ½ cup white vinegar. Combine everything in a large bucket containing 3-4 quarts of warm water. The solution should look milky when ready. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on car and home windows to clean. Rinse with warm water and wipe with a paper towel.
  • If you have a roach problem and want to take matters into your own hands, combine equal parts of cornstarch and Plaster of Paris and sprinkle into any crack and crevice in your home. The roaches will eat the fatal mixture and you should be roach free!
  • Need some spray starch for collars and shirts? Mix one tablespoon cornstarch and one pint of cold water. Stir to dissolve. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and use normally as you would any starch.
  • Sprinkle cornstarch on furniture, clothing, briefcases, and shoes to help eliminate stains. This method works especially well for oil stains. Let the cornstarch work its magic overnight and rub the stain out the next day.
  • You can use cornstarch to prevent and kill mildew in your old books that may have had water damage in the past. Just sprinkle the cornstarch all throughout the book to absorb the moisture and let it sit several hours before wiping the book clean.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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14 DIY Household Deodorizers

Nasty smells can linger in any room in the home. Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and basements can retain smells for months…sometimes years.

Everyday products like plastic storage containers, rugs, bedding, and garbage cans can also absorb odors that make them near unusable.

Luckily there are tons of household products that you can use to help you eliminate these pesky odors. Even items like onions and mustard can be used to remove the smell from plastic jars and musty basements.

Oftentimes, these products work better than their chemically treated counterparts and, best of all, they won’t leave your entire home smelling like bleach!

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Vodka: You can spritz your vintage garments with a small amount of vodka to rid them of that terrible musty smell (make sure you spot test first). Vodka will kill the bacteria on your clothes without leaving a scent. Hang in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Orange Peels: Stubborn odors plaguing your garbage disposal? Drop orange peels, lemon peels, lime or grapefruit peels down the drain and run your disposal with the hot water on.

Vanilla Extract: Refrigerators and freezers can absorb odors quickly and easily. Zap that pesky fridge odor by rubbing your freezer with a cotton pad dampened with pure vanilla extract.

Vinegar: Create a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water and wipe down the shelves of your refrigerator to eliminate any lingering smells.

Vinegar: To absorb cooking odors, place a small bowl of white vinegar on the stove while you cook.

Vinegar: To deodorize the toilet bowl, pour one cup of household vinegar into the toilet bowl, let it stand for at least five minutes, and then scrub and flush.

Wax Tart: If your car is holding on to smells from every road trip and run to the pizza place, you can hide those powerful odors by dropping a wax tart in your coffee cup holder or under the seats of your car. These small wax tarts are sold by candle makers and will release scents slowly.

Mustard: Saving leftovers is easy with plastic containers, but foods like fish, sauces, and meats can easily leave a nasty smell behind. Add a dollop of mustard to glass or plastic jars and fill with hot water. Let sit and wash with soap and water to leave your Tupperware smelling fresh and clean.

Baking Soda: Eliminate scents from living room and bathroom rugs by sprinkling problem areas with baking soda and vacuuming it up a few hours later.

Baking Soda: Fill ashtrays with 1/2 cup baking soda for a continual deodorizer in your car.

Onions: Who would have thought that onions would help you remove odors from your home? If you find yourself with a basement that smells dank and musty, cut an onion in half, place it on a plate, and leave it in the basement overnight. Once the initial salad-bar aroma dissipates, you’ll have fresh (non-oniony) air. Like magic!

Salt: Sprinkling salt on drips that have bubbled over and out of cookware will absorb any burned smell while a dish is still cooking.

Fabric Softener Sheets: Used fabric softener sheets left in the bottom of your kitchen trash will absorb odors from disposed food.

Essential Oils: Soak your favorite scents on cotton balls and store in small bowls around your home to keep every room smelling clean and fresh.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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9 Clever Uses for the Dishwasher

Baseball hats, sponges, toys, flip flops, and potatoes all have one thing in common…they can all be cleaned with a dishwasher!

This standard kitchen appliance isn’t just for dishes anymore. With a little creativity, you can use your dishwasher to clean everything from hats to food.

As someone who has tried several of these ideas, I don’t recommend mixing any of these things in with a load of dishes, since food particles can get on the fabric of a baseball hat. If you’re going to wash shoes, toys, or other kitchen equipment in the dishwasher, gather up as much as you can to give yourself a good sized load. Do the dishes separately to ensure that nothing gets damaged in the process.

Also I recommend letting anything you wash in the dishwasher (that isn’t dishes) air dry. The heat setting on the machine can melt plastic and warp certain materials, so simply wash your products and let them air dry in the racks with the door open to allow for air flow.

Dishwasher

Clean Baseball Hats: Perhaps the most well-known odd use for a dishwasher is to use it to clean dirty baseball hats. Rather than putting them through the vigorous washing machine, place dirty hats on the top rack of the dishwasher and they’ll come out stink free. This trick also works well for shin guards and knee pads.

Properly Clean Kitchen Sponges: Sponges are notorious for absorbing odors, so if you find yourself with a smelly sponge, simply throw them into your dishwasher to extend their use.

Clean Kids and Dog Toys: From LEGOS to tug of war toys, the dishwasher can handle all the germs that kids and pets seem to attract. Doing this around flu season can help limit your chances of having to deal with runny noses and upset tummies.

Get New Life from Flip Flops, Jellies, and Crocs: Rubber shoes aren’t made to last forever, but you can get good use out of them if you wash them occasionally. Rubber also absorbs foot odor, so these summer staples tend to smell…so remember to wash them once in a while to keep your toes (and your home) smelling fresh. You could also run the dishwasher with a little baking soda to help clean the shoes and your dishwasher at the same time.

Give Your Car a New Set of Wheels: Stubborn road grime can be hard to remove from metal hubcaps and wheel covers, but a run through the dishwasher on the pots and pans cycle ought to give your hub caps a sparkly shine.

Garden and Construction Tools: Rusty outdoor tools can do with a good cleaning every so often. Freshen up garden tools, hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches by tossing them into the dishwasher.

Get a Fresh Look with Clean Hair Accessories and Makeup Brushes: Hairspray, products, and oily tresses can gunk up your favorite hair pieces…so run your combs, brushes, ties, barrettes, and hairpins through the dishwasher to help extend their use. You can also use the dishwasher to clean the oils and residue from your makeup brushes. This will not only extend the life of your brushes, but will help prevent acne from forming, since plenty of bacteria reside on your brushes (Hairbrushes and combs made of plastic can take a spin, but not wood or natural boar-bristle brushes. Be sure to remove all the hair first to protect the drain).

Stubborn Kitchen Shelves, Grates, and Stovetops: Spills and burns can make refrigerator shelves, oven shelves, and stovetop grates near impossible to clean by hand, but the mighty dishwasher can help clean those tough spots in no time.

Soapy Suds: Okay, don’t add soap, but the dishwasher can help you clean off a whole bunch of potatoes if you’re cooking for a crowd.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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8 Clever Uses for Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract has been used by chefs and bakers alike for hundreds of years. Whether you’re more prone to the imitation vanilla or the real deal, this well-loved extract is a powerful “flavor potentiator”, meaning it enhances our ability to taste other foods, including chocolate, coffee, fruit, and nuts. It also boosts our perception of sweetness.

But vanilla extract has several other uses, both for personal use and use around your home. As in baking, a little goes a long way, so better to use less than too much (remember, you can always add more if needed).

Here are a few cool and clever ways to use vanilla extract!

For most of these, imitation vanilla will work just fine…so save the good stuff for baking and use up the imitation vanilla extract on these ideas.

vanilla

  • Add a fresh scent to your fridge by soaking a cotton ball or a piece of sponge with vanilla extract and leaving it in the refrigerator. You can also wipe down the fridge with vanilla, but I think that might be a little overpowering, not to mention a waste of good extract!
  • You can also use vanilla to get that nasty smell out of your microwave. Pour a little vanilla extract into a bowl and microwave on high for one minute to help get rid of the smell.
  • Trying to sell your home? Dab a little vanilla extract on a light bulb, turn on the light, and your house will be filled with the smell of baked goods!
  • Spending some time outdoors? Ward off pesky mosquitoes by applying a mixture of 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of water on your skin.
  • Vanilla extract is great to have on hand for those horrible kitchen burns. The evaporation of the alcohol in the extract will help cool the burn, giving you quick relief.
  • Rub some vanilla extract on your wrists for an instant perfume!
  • Add vanilla to a basket of pine cones for an instant potpourri display. The scent of vanilla can help calm your nerves and keep you relaxed.
  • Most bakers use vanilla extract on a pretty constant basis, but you can use it in several other recipes as well. Try it on ice cream, fruit, cereal, oatmeal, and even seafood.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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23 Clever Uses for Tennis Balls

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  1. Cut an X in the top of each ball and put them on the bottoms of chair legs to cut down on noise and floor scuffs. You can even paint them the color of your chair so they don’t stand out as much.
  2. Donate them to a local nursing home for use on residents’ walkers.
  3. Hang one on string from the garage roof to help you park without running into things. When it touches the windshield or rear window (depending on which way the car is pointing), you know it’s time to stop.
  4. Keep certain types of gnats or flies away from you when you are outdoors.
  5. Just cover a tennis ball in Vaseline and hang it from a tree or bush.
  6. When packing something for shipping in a box that’s too large, use tennis balls as shock-absorbing cushions that will hold the item steady in the box.
  7. Use them to remove scuffs on floors. Many janitors use this trick by placing a tennis ball on the end of a broom so it’s always handy.
  8. Throw a few tennis balls into the dryer when you are drying comforters, fluffy coats, pillows, or anything else that could use a good fluffing.
  9. Tennis balls can also help any laundry load dry faster – just throw two or three in the dryer and your clothes will be done quicker.
  10. Hide stuff in them. Make a slit in a tennis ball, then squeeze either side of the slit to open it up. Place money or other objects inside, and release to close the opening.
  11. Cut a portion of the ball off so that it will fit over the sharp corner of your coffee table. Repeat for the other corners to baby-proof a room.
  12. Use this for all furniture with sharp or protruding bits to protect little foreheads.
  13. When you are seated, put a tennis ball (or two or three) under each foot and roll your feet around on them. They make wonderful massagers.
  14. Use tennis balls to anchor clusters of helium balloons at parties. Knot together a group of ribbons attached to balloons. Cut a small X in the top of a ball and insert the knot. Fill the ball with sand if you want extra security.
  15. Prevent your bike’s kick stand from sinking into soft dirt by cutting a small slit in a tennis ball and sliding it over the kick stand.
  16. Keep the yuckiness out of your pool by floating some tennis balls in the water. Supposedly, the balls will absorb body oils from people who swim in the water – but you need to replace them every few weeks to keep them fresh.
  17. Cut a tennis ball in half and use it to get a better grip when opening jars. Just place the ball half over the lid, and the rubber on the inside grips the lid to help you rotate it easier.
  18. To keep a door knob from smashing into and damaging an interior wall, cut a large slit in a tennis ball and slide it over the knob. This trick also works great to keep curious toddlers out of off-limits rooms…until they figure out how to squeeze as they turn.
  19. Protect a padlock. Cut a slit in a tennis ball with a utility knife and slip it over an outdoor padlock to prevent water from getting into it and freezing.
  20. Remove a broken lightbulb. The bulb broke off in the socket? No problem.
  21. Carefully clear away any shards of broken glass, then gently push a tennis ball against the light socket and twist it to remove the bulb’s embedded stem.
  22. Cushion the blow. Cut an X in a tennis ball and slip it over the head of a hammer so you don’t ding up walls, wood, or other fragile materials while you’re pounding away.
  23. Collect change for tolls. Cut a slit in a tennis ball and stash spare change inside. Keep the ball in your car so you don’t have to grope for your wallet when you’re at the tollbooth.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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9 Clever Uses for Tuna Cans

It just seems wasteful to me to throw away tuna cans.  These cute little aluminium canisters can be used for all sorts of things (after a hot bath, of course!  You don’t want your crafts smelling fishy)!

From gift giving to organizing, tuna cans can be put to use in several ways.  You can use them to store small items in a drawer (I’m thinking office supplies, jewelry, small craft materials, and even nuts and bolts).  You could convert them into adorable tea light holders that are perfect for setting the mood for an outdoor party or wedding.  You could also use them in the summer to help build sand castles!  The possibilities are nearly endless for what you can do with these little tin cans.

On a quest to find some clever uses for these little tin treasures, I came upon all these amazing ideas for how to put old tuna cans to use.  I love the idea of turning it into a pin cushion…and I think those tea light holders are precious!

A few tips for you as you begin crafting with tuna cans…or any tin can for that matter:

  • As most of us know, aluminum can be very sharp…and aluminum cuts are no fun at all.  To prevent nicks and cuts, be sure to sand the edges of your can before you begin crafting.  If you’re lucky enough to find a can that has a pull top lid, you might have better luck with smoother edges.  For tuna cans, you often have to use a can opener.  Cut all the way around the lid to prevent little pieces of metal from sticking out of the side of the can.  I also recommend tossing the lid, as it is very sharp as well.  If you do use the lid, be sure to sand or cover the edges carefully so you don’t hurt yourself!
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  • If you’re having trouble removing the smell from the can (especially if you’re using canned dog food or cat food tins instead of tuna cans), here’s a helpful trick:  Wash your tins thoroughly with hot soapy water to get as much of the smell off as you can.  Dry and add a dollop of yellow mustard…just the general stuff that you put on burgers.  Wipe it around the can and add a splash of very hot water to the tin.  Cover it with your hand or a plate and slosh it around for a bit.  Let sit for at least 10-30 minutes and rinse and wash again.  It sounds strange, but I’m telling you…it works!

Here are a few of my favorite ideas for reusing tuna cans!  What else can you do with them?

Tuna Can Crafts

1.  Tuna Can Clock from Recyclart

2.  Recycled Candy Containers from Skip to My Lou

3.  Tuna Can Pin Cushion from Madigan Made

4.  Tuna Can Ornaments from Mel Designs

5.  Color My World Thank You Gift from Kim’s Kandy Kreations

6.  Tuna Can Fire Starters from Happy Go Puppetry

7.  Tuna Can Candle Holders from Crescent and Old Lace

8.  Tuna Can Baskets from Don’t Eat the Paste

9.  Tuna Can Organizers from Messy Mimi

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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11 Clever Uses for Cream of Tartar

Bakers should be familiar with cream of tartar…especially those who love making meringue cookies, whipped cream, or egg white desserts. But did you know you could use it for lots of other things? Thankfully, cream of tartar is often used in tiny amounts, so a little goes a long way. That means you either have it on hand for years, or you can use it to help clean your home, your pots and pans, and even make playdough for your kids!

Cream of tartar is a natural product, and is formed from the sediment left over in barrels after the winemaking process.

In terms of usage, cream of tartar has multiple uses in food preparation–including stabilizing egg whites by increasing their heat tolerance and volume, and preventing sugary syrups, chocolates and candies from crystallizing. Here are a few other ways to use cream of tartar:

Cream of Tartar

–Add cream of tartar to whipped cream after it has been whipped to help stabilize it. This is especially helpful if you’re using whipped cream to frost a cake.

–In the same respect, you can add cream of tartar to egg whites when whipping them to increase their volume and help them maintain peaks at higher temperatures, like when making a pie or meringue cookies.

–If you’re cooking vegetables in boiling water, you can add cream of tartar to the water to reduce discoloration.

–Make a paste of cream of tartar and vinegar (or any other acid, such as lemon juice) and use it to buff and clean metals, like your cookware. Make a scrub by combining 2 1/2 cups baking soda, 1 1/2 cups salt, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Store it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use it, pour a couple tablespoons of the powder onto the cookware and scrub with a moist nylon scrubber.

–You could also boil a solution of 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice, and 1 quart water in a metal pot for ten minutes to help clean any buildup on the bottom or sides of the pot.

–Use cream of tartar in your homemade playdough to help prevent the formation of crystals.

–Mix in a small amount of cream of tartar to create smooth icings, syrups, and caramels.

–If in a pinch, make your own baking powder by combining two parts cream of tartar with one part each baking soda and cornstarch.

–Repel ants by sprinkling cream of tartar around the hole the ants came from. You can also sprinkle it on cracks and crevices near your doorway to prevent them from coming in the house.

–Combine a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with cream of tartar until it has the consistency of paste. Spread the paste around the area to be cleaned in the bathtub or sink. Scrub the tub with a brush and the paste. Rinse to clean.

–Remove sweat stains from the collar area of a button down shirt by rubbing in some cream of tartar. Launder as usual to remove the stain.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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How to Upgrade Your Bathroom Cabinet in Two Seconds

The thing that sucks about renting or not owning your living space is that you have to think of creative ways to upgrade, update, decorate and polish up your home. For apartment dwellers like myself, decorating and upgrading my kitchen and bathroom prove difficult when I really can’t do much of anything without the landlord’s permission.

But there are ways around it. Can’t paint a wall? Try this no paint wall color technique to add a pop of color that’s easy to take down when it’s time to move.

Can’t hang pictures on the wall? Shop around for some cool wall stickers. They are easy to apply and come off with no problem whatsoever. These are great for areas with lots of empty wall space and can also be used to help you divide up one large room into two smaller ones.

That’s all well and good, but what do you do about a nasty bathroom medicine cabinet? I mean those cabinets that they’d have in dorm rooms and old apartments that were built in 1969. Those take a little more creativity to upgrade…but you can do it for less than $5.00!

Here’s a pic of what our bathroom medicine cabinet looked like when we moved in. This is after 3 cleanings with bleach, mind you. That stuff just wasn’t coming off. I hated looking at it every time I had to open the cabinet, so if it wasn’t going to come off, I was just going to have to cover it up.

I took 2 sheets of scrapbook paper and simply taped it to the back of the cabinet…that way it’s easy to come off and I don’t have to look at that nasty background every time I open the cabinet.

This easy technique can also work for covering messy drawers, the backs of bookshelves, and even hiding ugly markings on the wall.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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10 Clever Uses for an Exercise Ball

I bought an exercise ball a few years ago so I had something more comfortable to sit on at work. Those crappy Office Max chairs are comfy for about a week, but when you’re sitting on them all day for 8 hours, you begin to slouch, your posture falls apart, and they seem to lose all back support. However I love sitting on exercise balls. They’re great for stability and they’re an awesome addition to your home gym.

Since I have about zero creativity when it comes to working out (I like a routine), I spent a good few months looking around and trying out exercises using the exercise ball. Most of them are super simple and can be done with just the ball alone.

I found my exercise ball at Target for about $15. They come in a variety of sizes, each suited for people of different heights. Most boxes contain a chart to tell you what size exercise ball you need, or you can look online for helpful tips in shopping for an exercise ball.

The exercise ball is great for working all parts of your body…plus they’re a blast to work with!

  • Place the exercise ball between your lower back and a wall. Use it as support when you do your wall sits.
  • Lay flat on the floor and place the exercise ball between your feet. Keeping your stomach and lower back on the ground (it’ll feel like you’re sucking in your belly button), lift the ball up into the air while keeping your legs as straight as you can. Then lower back down. Do 3 sets of 8 reps for a killer ab workout.
  • If you want to work more of your core, do the above exercise but instead of lowering your legs, bring the ball up into the air and grab hold of it with your arms. Lower the ball back behind your head while lowering your legs at the same time. Bring the ball up with your arms and grab hold of it with your ankles, then lower your arms and legs at the same time. So basically you’re moving the ball back and forth between your hands and feet. This is a great ab workout, but be sure to keep your lower back on the ground because you could hurt yourself if you’re not careful.
  • You could also use the exercise ball as a bench for doing your arm weight training. Lay on the ball and roll forward until the ball is directly under your shoulders. Try to keep yourself flat like a table while doing a weight press or butterfly curl.
  • Work your triceps by sitting on the floor and lifting and lowering the ball behind your head.
  • Squats are some of the best butt exercises you can do, but we all know how strenuous and annoying they can be…but the exercise ball can help! If you need a little support, place the ball behind you as you do your squats. If you’re a beginner, try sitting on the ball lightly and then standing up. Do 8-10 reps and you’ll feel the burn in the morning!
  • To help with your balance and stability, you can also simply sit on the ball when you work or watch TV. Some offices allow you to have ball chairs, which are great for improving your posture. Any exercise ball will work for these chairs, all you need is the base that allows you to keep the ball steady as you sit. The base also has wheels, so you can easily move around your desk.
  • Here’s another killer ab workout. Lay on your stomach on the ball. Roll out until your feet are on the ball. Keeping your arms as steady as you can, bring your knees up towards your chest, then roll back out. Slow and steady wins the race on this workout.
  • To take your pushups to the next level, lay on your stomach on the ball and roll out until only your feet rest on the ball. Do as many pushups as you can handle.

Bonus!

Here’s a great way to use an exercise ball that has nothing to do with exercise!

With a ball, some string, some Mod Podge (or spray adhesive), and plastic wrap, you can create a beautiful hanging light fixture for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one.

I found this photo tutorial on Pinterest, although the link does not go to the original blog.  If you are the creator of this project, please send me your original link and I’ll be sure to credit you for this fantastic idea!

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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