Update Basic Magnets and Pushpins WIth These Fun Tutorials

Who says office supplies have to be boring? Here are a few crafty ways to transform your basic pushpins and magnets into something eye-catching, playful, and perhaps a bit chic.

Bottle Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks [marthastewart.com]
Start saving up those used bottle caps, because you’re certainly going to want to try this adorable DIY project from Martha Stewart. Simply glue a small photo inside of each bottlecap, then use contact cement to attach them to the magnets and pushpins and create a tiny photo gallery.

DIY Gold Magnetic Letters [inspiredbycharm.com]
If you loved making silly words and phrases from those colorful magnetic letters as a kid, you’ll enjoy this chic, updated version just as much. Just cover those childish magnets with luxe gold spray paint for a modern, updated look.

Washi Tape Clothespins [designertrapped.com]
By covering affordable wooden clothespins with different types of colorful washi tape, you can create this fun project in less than an hour. Add adhesive magnets to the backs of each clothespin to use them on the refrigerator, or line them up on a wire to hang photos from a wall.

Food Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Whether you’re cooking for your family or planning a potluck for a whole group, it’s always important to prepare and store food properly to avoid foodborne illness. Here are a few smart tips that will keep your food tasting great while also keeping you out of harm’s way.

  1. Be mindful of leftovers. As a general rule, leftovers should only be kept in the refrigerator for three or four days before they start to go bad. Keep yourself safe by storing all leftovers in airtight containers, and if you don’t eat them in within the recommended time frame, consider it a loss and toss them in the trash.
  2. Use a meat thermometer. When cooking meat, always use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked. Beef should be at least 145°F, while poultry should be at least 165°F.
  3. Know your eggs. If you frequently cook eggs, be aware that they have a fairly long lifespan in the refrigerator of three to five weeks. Dishes containing eggs, however, should be discarded after three or four days.
  4. Stay informed about outbreaks. Always watch the news to learn about recent foodborne illness contaminations, such as E. coli or salmonella. Throw away any foods that might be contaminated immediately.
  5. Always wash your hands. The most important thing that you can do when handling any type of food is to wash your hands.

How long can you safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator? [Mayo Clinic]
Learn the Basics to Keep Food Safe at Home [Food Safety News]
Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer [FoodSafety.gov]

How to Decorate With Serving Trays Around the Home

You likely make use of serving trays when you entertain, but have you ever considered a tray's use outside the kitchen? There are a number of creative, modern ways to use serving trays around the home, and these simple tutorials will show you how.

  1. In the bathroom. Corral your everyday beauty essentials instead of letting them take over the bathroom sink by using an attractive tray. Choose one with taller edges so that small bottles don’t slide off of the sides, and be sure to display your prettiest products inside.
  2. In the office. Add a serving tray to your desk to keep office supplies, pen holders, paperwork, and business cards from cluttering up your desk.
  3. On the coffee table. Make your coffee table vignette look even more catalog-worthy by adding a large, attractive serving tray to your design scheme. Fill it with coasters, candles, and a large flower vase.
  4. Make your own. If you can’t find a serving tray that you like (or that fits your budget), make your own using a plain white tray and scrapbook-style paper. Cut the paper to fit the inside of the tray and secure it using double-sided tape.

Styling Trays for Every Room In Your Home [The Art of Living Well]
Paper-Lined Desk Tray [Lulu The Baker]
De-Cluttering The Dresser With a Cake Stand! [Ruffles & Truffles]

Interior Design 101: Decorating Tips for Beginners

So you didn’t go to school for interior design? No big deal; you can still transform your home into a designer-worthy space using just a few simple tips. These handy tricks will show you how to inject a stylish, inspiring look into any room in your home.

  1. Use symmetry. If you’re unsure of how to arrange the furniture in a room or hang frames on a wall, simply keep the idea of symmetry in mind. Symmetrical rooms are more pleasing to the eye, so try adding two sofas facing one another to help balance your living room.
  2. Consider the scale. Be sure to choose furniture in a size that fits your specific room. Choose large, overstuffed items for more open rooms and compact, apartment-sized furniture in smaller spaces.
  3. Choose a focal point. If the majority of your furniture is fairly plain, invest in one statement piece as an accent. Try a colorful chair, a large, framed painting, or an ornate rug.
  4. Use color to your advantage. Choose the color scheme of a room based on what type of emotion you want the room to convey. For example, use soft, soothing tones to encourage relaxation in a bedroom.
  5. Mix new and vintage pieces. While a room full of thrift store furnishings may look mismatched, using all brand new furniture looks impersonal. Combine the two styles for a designer look.

Top Interior Design Tips for Beginners [Bliss at Home]
Interior Design 101 [Visual.ly]
What are Some Interior Design Tips for Beginners? [Wise Geek]

Follow These Tips for Bakery Quality Cookies Every Time

If you’ve ever wondered how to get that deliciously moist, chewy cookie consistency that you normally only find at your favorite bakery, all it takes is a bit of inside knowledge. Here are some expert tips that will help you to bake better cookies at home.

  1. Use a high-quality cookie sheet. Although stainless steel cookie sheets are a bit pricier, they make all the difference when it comes to your cookies. Dark colored sheets may cause your cookies to burn on the bottom, which results in an overcooked, dry texture.
  2. Be sure to use soft butter. Many at-home bakers skip this step and use cold butter to save time, but letting the butter melt a bit can work wonders when it comes to the texture of your cookies.
  3. Know which ingredients to use for your desired consistency. If you like cookies that are thinner and crispier, add more sugar. For cake-like cookies you can add an extra egg, and for a coarse, crumbly texture, simply add baking soda.
  4. Only bake one sheet at a time. Baking multiple cookie sheets at once can cause them to bake inconsistently, so try to use only one sheet at a time. If you’re short on time you can bake a few sheets at once, but be sure to rotate them frequently.

Cookie Tips – Secrets to Making Perfect Cookies [What’s Cooking America]
Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies [Macrina Bakery]
Tip: The Secret to Baking Perfectly Browned Cookies Every Time [The Kitchn]
Tips for Getting That Perfect Cookie Texture [Baking Bites]

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