This is only my second year experiencing the freezing temperatures Illinois has to offer and I am still trying to adapt. A big thing for me last year was the slick icy sidewalks and the ice all over my car I was lucky enough to get to scrape off every morning! This year I wanted to try a few DIY tricks which should help to solve these issues for me this year.
DIY Sidewalk Salt
What you will need:
1 Teaspoon Dawn dish soap
1 Tablespoon Rubbing Alcohol
8 Cups of hot water
1 Large bucket
What to do:
- Grab your bucket and mix the Dawn dish soap and the Rubbing alcohol together really well, until completely combined.
- Add the hot water **caution** and continue to stir until everything is completely combined.
- You are now ready to use your Sidewalk salt! All you will need to do is pour the mixture over any areas that would typically freeze over with ice.
This mix will not freeze and best of all it will NOT eat away at your concrete like the salts can!
DIY Ice Melt
What you will need:
What to do:
Grab your bucket and ingredients
- Mix 1 part sugar and 1 part Epsom salt (You can use however much of the products needed to cover the trouble areas)
- Sprinkle over the area you wish to melt the snow/ice
** This mixture will not hurt plants, ground, birds, dogs, or cats!
DIY Frost Proofing Your Car
What you will need:
1 spray bottle
What to do:
- Fill the spray bottle with 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water.
- Spray down your car windows before you go to sleep or just after you get home to prevent the ice build-up on the windows!
** The vinegar contains acetic acid which will raise the melting point of water which prevents it from freezing! If you forget to do this before you go to sleep, no problem, spray the windows down in the morning and it will melt the ice away.
Enjoy your winter a little more hassle free with this quick and easy DIY tips!
One of my favorite things to grow during the fall and winter months is lettuce. Sure anyone can grab a bag of salad mix from the store for a couple of bucks, but if you’re a die-hard vegetable gardener like myself, you are going to need to get outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D or you’ll go nuts. Plus, we all know homegrown just tastes better!
Tips for Growing Salad Greens in Late Fall and Winter
Be patient. Lettuce germinates best in cooler temperatures, but if it gets too cold germination may slow down considerably. The ideal time to plant is two weeks before the first fall frost. Most lettuce varieties only take about 45 – 60 days to reach maturity.
Plant lettuce seeds and seedlings in containers. This way if a gust of cooler weather or a frost is headed your way, you can easily move the pots alongside your home or front porch and wrap them with a fabric cover or tuck the seedlings under a cloche.
Overseed. I consider it “insurance” for a great harvest. Be sure to sow seeds every two weeks for a good continuous crop of salad greens.
If you live in an area with harsh winters, no problem. You can still grow lettuce in the winter. Simply pick a sunny windowsill or pull out the grow lights because you can grow lettuce ANYWHERE! Indoors or out.
And last but not least, remember lettuce has shallow roots and needs good drainage or their delicate roots could freeze if left sitting in a container of soggy potting soil.
Growing salad greens in the late fall and winter months can be a little bit of a challenge, but a homegrown dinner salad in the middle of winter… now that’s priceless.
Items you may Need:
Let’s face it, winter is long. And with a winter like this year, it can feel really long. With the kids home from school all day and the snow keeps piling up, it can be very easy to get bored while snowed in. Instead of allowing yourself to get bored, why not try some of these winter classics to lighted the mood a bit.
1 Play in the snow: Remember to wear protective clothing (coat, hats, gloves, etc)
2. Shovel: You know you are going to have to do it anyway, why not try to make a game out of it, like start at the middle of the sidewalk and see who can finish their side first.
3. Listen to music: Listen to some of your favorite songs, and you are home by yourself, feel free to dance.
4. Make a documentary about the snow: Kids love to make movie, why not try an make one that is both fun and educational.
5. Make some hot chocolate: This is a timeless classic, and needs very little explaining.
Items you may need:
Carhartt Men’s Duck Traditional Coat C003
Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat A18 SKU:
Poly Snow Shovel Curved Handel SKU: 005072240
Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate 10 Pk SKU: 124425000
We have all been there. Coming out to warm up your car and either the door lock or the door is frozen solid. At least all of us in the Midwest have been there. Well did you know that certain household items can de-ice your car?
Hand sanitizer can keep your locks from freezing. Just put some on a paper towel and rub over your locks. This tip can certainly be quite the time saver, as frozen locks can really slow you down in the morning.
Gojo Purell Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Foam Refill 539202
Another tip is putting cooking spray on the seal of your door to keep it from freezing shut. This trick works perfectly. Spritz the cooking spray on a paper towel, rub it into the seal, and your door should be ice free when you wake up the next morning.
Crisco Cooking Spray 6 oz Regular
A lingering cough can make you feel absolutely miserable, and you probably want to get rid of it as fast as you can. Look for ways to soothe a dry cough into oblivion. For a wet cough, the quickest way to get rid of your cough in the long run actually involves bringing up more mucus faster. No matter what type of cough you have, however, there are a few common tactics you should use to put an end to your misery faster. Here are a few of the most beneficial.
Drink warm, clear fluids. Hydration is important for wet and dry coughs alike. Aim for the equivalent of eight 8 oz (250 ml) glasses of water per day, at least while you suffer from your cough.
- If you have difficulty drinking that water, clear or light juice, like apple juice, could be mixed in, as well.
- For wet coughs, hydration thins out the mucus causing your cough, thereby weakening it and helping you to get rid of it.
- For dry coughs, hydration allows you to keep your mucous membranes moist, thereby preventing the throat dryness that leads to most dry coughs.
- Note that this is the only treatment you should use for children between the ages of three months and one year. Only give the child 1 to 3 tsp (5 to 15 ml) of clear liquid up to four times per day.
Use honey. Honey is an effective way to suppress a cough and soothe a sore throat.
- Some studies suggest that honey is as effective as a cough suppressant as dextromethorphan, an ingredient commonly used in many over-the-counter cough suppressants.
- One option is to take the honey directly. Try 2 tsp (10 ml) every few hours while your cough persists.
- Another option is to add 2 tsp (10 ml) or more to a glass of warm tea with lemon.
- Do not give honey to children under the age of 1, though, since it could increase the risk of infant botulism.
Enjoy a piece of hard candy. If you do not have any cough drops on hand or would prefer to stay away from medicated lozenges, you can usually soothe and stop a cough by sucking on a piece of hard candy.
- A dry cough that produces no phlegm can be halted by nearly any piece of hard candy. Hard candy causes you to produce more saliva and to swallow more, thereby suppressing your cough.
- If you have a wet cough that does produce phlegm, lemon drops tend to work well.
- We recommend Claeys Horehound Hard Candy SKU: 046930105