If you haven't checked out Pinterest yet, give it a look see. It's a photo based social site that offers a visual peek into what other folks are reading and talking about. You can join for free and set up topic based boards that function like bulletin boards. The site is intuitive and easy to use. You add "pins," or photo links (with captions) to your boards, where they stay until you remove them. Others can take a look at your boards and pin your picks onto their boards if they like what they see. It's easy to develop a core group of people you're following -- or who follow you because you share interests or a point of view. If you want to keep up on the latest in beekeeping, nutritional supplements, gardening, wedding prep or the hijinks of your favorite celebrities, Pinterest.com is a great place to do it.
One of the nice things about the site is that you can click on your main page to see at a glance what's new. Whether you have five minutes or an hour to spare, there's almost always something fun on offer from other pinners. It's a passive (and relaxing) way to get the most active access to current information about what interests you.
Check the bottom of this page for links to a couple of my Pinterest boards. They'll give you a good idea of what I'm talking about.
Since the last Odds and Ends post:
Gum may help you think - A study released by the British Journal of Psychology suggests that chewing gum may help in memory retention, especially when remembering a series of things over time (like names or lists). In cognitive tests, participants who chewed gum were better at retaining information. The take away is that you may remember the directions to that new boutique or all the ingredients in a recipe if you chew gum while processing the info. The mechanism responsible for this boost in memory is still being researched. I plan on chewing gum the next time I put my glasses or keys down somewhere. If this works, it could save me an hour a week, at least.
Grab a tomato to avoid a stroke - Lycopene, an ingredient found in tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon, may help reduce stroke risk. Lycopene concentrations actually increase when ingredients are heated, so tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and ketchup are all high in lycopene, too. This is just another instance where eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables (and fruit or vegetable products) will keep you healthier.
The nice thing about adding lots of natural ingredients to your diet is that future research is bound to find more beneficial correlations between wholesome ingredients and good health, so you'll be way ahead of the game. Don't wait for the press release, start eating smart today. (BTW, you can grow a lot of very good-for-you foods right in your own backyard.)
Hide a house key in your garden - Here's another one you'll like. If you worry about that extra house key you've hidden under the back door mat (or over the door molding), here's a safer solution. Glue a small stone (about the size of a walnut), to a pill bottle. Put the key in the bottle, and then bury the bottle in the soil, leaving the stone in view. The key will be safely hidden in plain sight and virtually undetectable by anyone but you. (This is actually a borrowed Pinterest tip.) I like this recommendation better than buying one of those faux stones with the hidey-hole in the bottom you see in catalogs -- more unique and harder to spot.
Cleanup for spring with vinegar - I wrote a post recently about a safe, ecofriendly cleaning solution using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Cleaning with vinegar alone is also a good option for removing mold, mildew and that musty smell associated with both. If you dislike vinegar because it smells so sour, don't worry. The odor dissipates as the vinegar dries. It's an effective way to clean your patio furniture, especially cushions that may have a musty odor from overwintering in storage. When you prepare your deck for spring entertaining, don't forget to buy a gallon of white vinegar. Use it in a 50/50 solution with water. Apply it with a sponge and air dry. (For dyed fabrics, test a small area for colorfastness before treating.)
Have a great week.
Discovery News. "Gum Helps You Think." http://news.discovery.com/human/health/can-gum-help-you-think-130312.htm#mkcpgn=rssnws1
Prevention. " Eat This To Slash Your Stroke Risk." http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/lycopene-tomatoes-shown-lower-stroke-risk