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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    goods that will last rather than disposable products With special thanks to my husband Doug for helping me write this post 12 Comments How to Organize Digital Photos the easy way I know if you re like me you probably have a gazillion digital photos on your computer Maybe they re in different folders Maybe you even took the time to name some of them or maybe they re all still named DSCN 9739503 For whatever place you re at I promise I won t tell you to print them out and arrange them into scrapbooks That would require too much effort and this is about organizing digital photos the easy way First of all choose software to help you There are a lot of nice choices Picasa is a good free option and I like to use iPhoto Both let you do basic editing and organizing all in one Decide how you want to sort your photos I prefer chronological order so I group the photos into months If there is a special event with a lot of photos I make a group for that too Give each photo a descriptive label and use the same format each time Both Picasa and iPhoto will let you rename several photos at the same time I use the date and then the name of the person or event followed by the sequence number When I type the date I use the format YYYYMMDD because even when the computer sorts the photos alphabetically they will stay in chronological order This is the 11th photo of Lane taken on May 10 2008 so it is named 20080510 Lane 11 Now this is a very important part The best tool for organizing your digital photos is the delete button Yes people I said it you need to delete some photos When I m taking pictures I usually take a few shots to make sure I get it right because whenever you take pictures of a running kid with a point and shoot camera you re really just hoping for the best So I take a few with the idea that some of them will be clear and some won t be and possibly a few will turn out to be pretty good Go through your photos really quickly and delete the obvious ones the ones that are too blurry to see or the practice shots or the ones that you just don t like If you have photos that look similar pick your favorites the ones that make you smile or stir your heart and feel free to delete the others It s not about conserving memory on your computer it s about creating a nice collection to look at later Even if all of them turned out pretty good it is more enjoyable to look at your favorite 25 photos of an event rather than 100 photos that look the same Just like when you declutter your stuff if you get rid of

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/184/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    do so she tried sniffing them instead Now she has a play kitchen but play is misleading When Lane cooks it is with the serious concentration of a top chef creating masterpieces like sauteed eggs with mushrooms chocolate bar sandwiches and salami with carrots 6 Comments The Beauty of Packing Light I m sitting at the airport right now waiting to catch a flight back home Some of the flights out of this little mountain town have been cancelled today including my own due to weather Fortunately we were able to book a flight with another airline before we make our connecting flight in Denver Flying over the pointy tops of the Rocky Mountains in a little prop plane doing corkscrew turns reminds me that I m glad get life insurance has been checked off my to do list this year But instead of thinking about that let s talk about packing for a trip If I had to check a big suitcase for the flight there is no way it would have made it home with me after all of these flight changes today I love traveling with less luggage It is so much easier I don t ever have to look out of the window from the plane to watch someone throw my bag onto a trailer or wait next to the baggage claim hoping my suitcase appears Whenever I go on a trip I pack all of my stuff in a tote bag and one weekend carry on bag These are the bags I take whether the trip is for two days or two weeks One Bag and Rick Steves both have really helpful packing guides My favorite packing tips that I use to pack light Don t pack more than one extra pair of shoes Have

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/183/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    twelve They will last for ages You can freeze soup or stock in glass jars but leave off the lid until it s completely frozen and don t fill it up all the way or the jar will crack I haven t been freezing food as much as I used to We try to eat up leftovers in the next day or two instead of freezing them If I really need an extra jar to hold a little something for a snack later my glass tumblers come with matching lids The tumblers are normally our drinking glasses and the lids go in the utensil drawer These are from Crate and Barrel but the lids are not microwave safe Another option is to place a plate on top of a bowl as a lid This way you don t need to transfer food to a plastic container or use saran wrap or foil but your food will stay covered in the fridge How do you contain your leftovers 104 Comments How to Remove a Mildew Smell from Towels There are a few possible reasons your towels might be getting that musty mildewed smell 1 Too much detergent Solution Check the directions on the detergent bottle and make sure you re using less than the recommended amount Too much detergent leaves a residue especially when you have a high efficiency washer that uses less water I never use fabric softener on towels it coats towels with a residue which makes them less absorbent 2 Clean towels aren t completely dry when they re folded and put away Solution make sure they re totally dry not just hot 3 It s coming from the washing machine Solution Leave the washer door open after every load to let it dry Once every few months run a cleaning cycle on your washer to remove mildew soap scum and hard water deposits To do this add either a cup of bleach or two cups of white vinegar to the washing machine and run a hot water wash cycle while it s empty 4 The towels aren t drying quickly enough after using them This was my problem a few weeks ago I had towels that every week smelled a little less fresh and I realized those towels are always hung on hooks Solution Hang wet towels on towel bars or spread across two hooks until they re dry So what do you do to remove the mildew smell from towels Wash the towels using a regular amount of detergent and add a booster such as non chlorine bleach borax or baking soda Use hot water Add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle Dry the towels in the sun if it s rainy or the middle of winter you can use the dryer How do you keep your towels smelling nice and clean 67 Comments It s Safe to Get Rid of Old Trophies Photo by Joelk75 I was wondering if you had any

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/20/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    display Mine is stored in the most humble of all containers the liquor store cardboard box It has been for years and it s just the right size for the bags tissue boxes and bows Inside the box a shopping bag acts as a divider so I can file gift boxes tissue paper and gift bags on their sides That helps me to see it all and find what I need When it gets too full I give some of them away to family members who will use them again The bows are in one of those plastic zippered bags you get when you buy new sheets I want to reuse gift wrap as many times as I can so I always save gift bags smooth out the tissue paper and save the bows Some of our gift bags have been around for years used dozens of times it s almost funny I usually keep just one roll of gift wrap and silver is a color that works for everyone at every event I also like to use brown kraft paper especially for Christmas but most of the gifts I wrap are for classmate birthday parties and I was informed that brown is not fancy enough for kindergarteners We usually give art supplies for classmate gifts art paper and markers or paints Having gift wrap ready at home saves a lot of money instead of having to buy something for a last minute gift If you have too much keep only a few gift bags in different sizes and get rid of wrapping paper that is too thin or hard to work with How do you keep gift wrap 85 Comments Eco Healthy Lawn Care Is a Reel Mower Right for You I have a love hate relationship with grass It s just so high maintenance You have to water it to grow and then when it grows you have to cut it Not to mention the peer pressure from the neighbors to keep your lawn nice I managed to avoid cutting the grass for thirty four years and then last summer I moved into my first house a house with an attractive yard to mow I found myself comparison shopping for a lawn mower I am a bit intimidated by the power mowers They re loud and dirty and I have a fear of cutting off my foot I decided to look at reel mowers I bought one and I ve had it for almost a year This is what I like about a reel mower 1 A reel mower does not have an engine so you don t have to buy gas or change the oil You don t have to breathe in the exhaust You push it so it gives you some exercise but you don t smell like a power mower when you re done 2 It s apparently better for the grass It has a cylinder with blades that rotate as you push cutting the

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/21/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    used as fillers and often don t look like milk at first glance A wallet card from FAAN can help identify common allergens while at the grocery store Gravy mixes are trouble in a packet Many dairy free products still contain hidden milks like how soy cheese has casein a milk protein so it can resemble cow s milk cheese Benecol is a butter like spread that doesn t contain milk use it as a spread but not for baking Sara Lee Honey Wheat is a sandwich bread that has no hidden milk Be sure to check the ingredient list every single time though since products can be reformulated Kosher labeling Do you see that little circled U by itself on the label That is a trademark for classifying kosher food and it means the product is certified to be dairy free If it has the words Parve or Pareve that is also dairy free If you see a D or DE next to the symbol however that indicates the food contains dairy or was made on equipment that processed dairy Thanks to my friend Amy Joy for the tips A final note for nutrition It s important to find other sources for the nutrients that milk provides Eggs seafood and cod liver oil are good sources of vitamin D which helps your body to absorb calcium Foods with calcium include collard greens almonds and even molasses among many more options Something that significantly helped Doug was adding probiotics to his dietary supplements Probiotics are the beneficial micro organisms your body needs for good digestion and eating yogurt is one way to add them Doug couldn t eat yogurt but he could add probiotics in supplement form and by drinking kombucha a fermented tea featured in the book Nourishing Traditions Any more tips Share your own stories or suggestions in the comments so we can all benefit from the experience 17 Comments Handmade Gifts Baby Edition I got so much satisfaction from sewing this weekend Once I finally started I got on a roll And linen Much easier to sew with because it doesn t stretch or slide around I made a linen dress for Lane No pattern just rectangles sewn together There s an inverted pleat on the front for shaping I enclosed the seams using a great tutorial from Sew Mama Sew There are buttons down the back 6 buttons on a toddler dress probably not good forethought I never knew how to make buttonholes before so I always avoided them This weekend I found out that my machine has an automatic buttonhole maker so I read the manual and it is so easy I will be putting buttons on everything now I even made a matching little purse I made gifts for some new babies coming soon I made a set of burp cloths that are soft flannel on one side and absorbent terry cloth towel on the other side Notes for burp clothes Cutting terry cloth

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/182/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    for general care after surgery and to help relieve impacted bowels Doesn t it make sense now why so many people are complaining that McDonald s Iced Coffee gives them diarrhea People are getting sick left and right but they tell themselves it s due to extra caffeine and continue drinking it since they like the taste It is not the caffeine Don t let this happen to you sodium polyphosphate adds texture and used as an emulsifier to prevent ingredients from clumping together DATEM an acronym for Diacetyl tartaric acid ester of monoglyceride and it is used for emulsification and foaming sodium stearoyl lactylate a solid powder irritating to eyes and skin and hazardous in case of inhalation tetra sodium pyrophosphate when ingested it can cause nausea vomiting and diarrhea sodium hexametaphosphate the Material Safety Data Sheet warns do not ingest Synonym of Sodium Polyphosphate above sodium citrate includes diarrhea as an adverse reaction It should also be used with caution in patients with cardiac failure hypertension impaired renal function peripheral and pulmonary edema and toxemia of pregnancy Look I ve only gone through about half the list but I just cannot bear this anymore The reason these chemicals are in the Light Cream is because they cost less than real cream and people instinctively think that real cream is bad for them because of the fat and calories The truth is McDonald s Iced Coffee is not a drink with simply coffee milk and sugar Let s stay out of the drive through all right 72 Comments How to Find the Cost of Electricity When I dry my clothes on the line instead of the dryer it saves electricity but how much exactly I asked Doug and he told me all about currents and voltage but really when it comes down to it I just want to know how much money I m saving Here s how to find out exactly how much the electricity costs to run your appliances The key is to look at the label on your appliance or power cord Find the number for the Amps It might be a number with the letter A next to it If there is one for Input and another one for Output use the number for Input On the label for my laptop the number I want is 1 5 because it is the one next to the A You ll also need a recent electric bill Look in the fine print on the bill and find the average price per kWh On my bill it says The average price you paid for electric service this month was 15 cents per kWh Now to find the cost of electricity for my laptop 1 Start with the number next to the letter A or Amps on the label 1 5 2 In the US multiply by 120 for appliances that you plug into the wall except use 240 for dryers Outside of the US find your voltage here

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/181/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    for every house that we considered so I could keep track of them all and I even saved maps and info about the local schools That was such a crazy time and it helped me make the most of the time we spent with the realtor since I had all my research in a searchable format I use Evernote to collect ideas and drafts for blog posts I like to jot down notes without having to save files Even when I get too many notes it s easy to find things with searches It s invaluable since I have so many projects going on at once My computer would be a mess otherwise and I d be walking around with post it notes stuck to me If you haven t tried it yet I highly recommend it You can download it here If you ve got notes and references everywhere Evernote can help you simplify Have you tried it What do you like to use it for 72 Comments Cleaning Up the Backyard In the backyard we have a beautiful crape myrtle tree with a cluster of small trees growing behind it We couldn t see the trees because they were being overtaken by vines so we ve been working to clear them out This is how it looked when we started During the winter it was kind of a mess The trees would have died if we let the vines continue to grow over them It s been satisfying to work in the yard and improve it noticeably in such a short time In the other corner of the yard I wasn t sure what kind of crazy bush we had growing there It was a completely dead bush smothered in vines So we cleared that out too and

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/22/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    shears until I had a pile of branches behind me It was a million degrees hot outside and my arms were covered in itchy scratches so I stopped trimming after I worked on just one side Now as the trees are sending out new leaves and the grass is growing greener I see a major difference in the two hedges The hedge that I didn t prune looks very much the same as it always did That s it in the photo above The hedge where I cut off the old growth is now covered in blossoms Pruning precedes growing I usually post something practical on Mondays a way to clear out the clutter but I m going to set it aside this week because truthfully it s not about the pruning projects it s about the growth 27 Comments Home Improvement Weekend Project Clean the Garage Door For the next few weekends while the weather is beautiful I m going to share some of our outdoor home improvement projects First up on the list is something that has bothered me ever since we moved into our house Every time I pulled up into the driveway I noticed it and now it s time to do something about it The garage door was dirty and it made our house look dingy As I was trying to figure out where to start on my long list of house improvements I decided to start with the door I pulled out the hose and filled a bucket with soapy water I got out the step stool and a scrub bush and I planned to spend thirty minutes scrubbing off the dirt and grime Then my husband came outside with the mop and five minutes later the garage door was all clean It only

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/23/ (2016-02-10)
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