I have put together a list of 14 of my most helpful home hacks that I want to share with you. If you follow me on Instagram (@celebration_elevation), you may have seen the reels I made demonstrating these home hacks and tips. If you haven’t seen them yet, head over there after reading this post so you can see what they look like.
When you are having parties or get-togethers at your house, there are so many things to worry about. You want your house to look nice, your guests to feel welcome and your food to be easy and delicious. I’m giving you some ideas and tricks to make hosting, and life in general, a little bit easier.
I love learning new tricks to try or new ways of doing things. Since my boys were little, every time I would be doing something in the house that I thought would be of value to them in the future, I’d call them over and show them whatever my tips were, and say, “You’ll appreciate this little trick one day.”
HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE TIPS
- Check Your Baking Powder – If you are baking and your recipe calls for baking powder, you want to be sure that your baking powder hasn’t expired or your whole recipe could be ruined. Usually, the container will have an expiration date on it, but you can’t always trust that. To be sure the baking powder still works, add ½ teaspoon to ½ cup of very hot water. If it bubbles up quickly, it’s still good. If it doesn’t bubble or bubbles very slowly, it’s time to buy a new one.
- Buttermilk – If your recipe calls for buttermilk, but you don’t have any, don’t stress because you can make some yourself. For every 1 cup of buttermilk you need, add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then you can use it in place of the buttermilk.
- Plastic Wrap – Do you ever feel like you’re doing battle with your box of plastic wrap? Keep the box in your freezer (yes, the freezer!), and when you take it out, it will tear off easier, without sticking to itself. It will also cling to the bowl, or whatever item that you’re covering, much better.
- Cleaning Blenders – The easiest way to clean your blender after use is fill it with hot water, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, and replace the lid (keeping the blade in place). Then turn on your blender and blend for 30-60 seconds. Open it up and rinse with hot water. Completely clean!
- Serving Carbonated Drinks – If you like your soda served over ice, this tip is for you. When you just pour your carbonated drink over ice, it creates a lot of bubbles, making your drink less fizzy. To save the fizz, get the ice cubes wet, with water, pour out the water, tilt your glass, and then slowly pour in your soda. Your drink will stay fizzy.
- Chocolate Cake – The next time you are making a cake and the recipe calls for you to grease and flour the pans, don’t use flour. Sprinkle some cocoa powder into the cake pan and move it around so that it coats the pan, just as the flour would have done. This keeps your chocolate cake looking chocolaty instead of powdery white.
KEEPING WINE COLD IN YOUR GLASS
- Keeping Wine Cold in Your Glass – If you’re serving white wine at parties, you want the glass of wine to stay cold without watering it down with ice. Freeze some seedless grapes ahead of time, and put them in a pretty bowl with tongs, right next tot the wine and wine glasses. You might even want to make a little sign that says, “Frozen grapes – add a few to your wine to keep it chilled”. Remember to have more frozen grapes in the freezer to replenish throughout your party.
QUICKLY CHILLING DRINKS
- Quickly Chilling Drinks – Your guests arrive and suddenly you remember that you forgot to put drinks in the refrigerator. Take a wet paper towel and wrap it around the bottle. Put it in the freezer and SET YOUR TIMER for 15 minutes. If you leave it in longer, there’s a risk of it becoming frozen or exploding in your freezer. Then take the bottle out of the freezer and peel off the frozen paper towel. Your beverage is cool and ready for serving.
TOMATO PASTE WASTE
- Tomato Paste Waste – Have you ever noticed that most recipes that call for tomato paste don’t call for a whole can? Most of the recipes call for a couple of tablespoons. To create less waste, measure out 1 tablespoon scoops onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for at least one hour, or until no longer soft. Remove from waxed paper and place in a freezer bag. Label the bag with the contents (i.e. 1 tbls tomato paste, each) and include the date you are freezing them.Use them as needed – just drop them into soups or sauces or whenever you need some tomato paste. They are pre-measured for you and none of it goes to waste.
TAKING CORN OFF THE COB
- Corn on the Cob – Here is an easy way to take the corn off of the cob without making a huge mess. Take a Bundt pan and stand the corn cob on the end in the center of the Bundt pan. Use your knife to cut straight down, and the pan will catch all the corn.
HOW TO KEEP WATER FROM BOILING OVER
- How to Keep Water From Boiling Over – Put a wooden spoon in the water or across the top of the pot. The wooden spoon has more surface area to absorb the bubbles and prevent them from spilling on your stove.
Another option is to add about a tablespoon of olive oil, or whatever oil you are cooking with. The oil floats on top, changing the surface tension of the boiling water, preventing bubbles, and boiling over.
KEEP HONEY OR MOLASSES FROM STICKING
- Honey or Molasses – Have you ever measured out something sticky like honey or molasses and found that they don’t come out of your measuring utensil easily. Next time, spray a small amount of a cooking spray, like PAM, or even rub a bit of vegetable oil in the measuring spoon or cup. Then, when you add the honey to your bowl, it comes right out. It’s easier to clean and you have the full amount going into your recipe.
CURE FOR THE HICCUPS
- Hiccups – There are so many hiccup cures… holding your breath, drink a glass of water, plug your ears while drinking a glass of water, drink a glass of water while you are upside down. The hiccup cure that I have found to be effective is to take a spoonful of sugar, a few drops of Angostura Aromatic Bitters and a small squeeze of lemon juice.
KEEPING FLIES AWAY
- Shoo Flies – This last tip is going to sound crazy, and maybe it really is, but I believe it to be effective. When you are having a summer party, and guests are coming in and going out of the doors of your house, you are sure to get the occasional flies flying around. It makes me crazy, just ask my family. When the party is over, I spend however long it takes to hunt down the flies and get rid of them.
Take a gallon-size Ziploc bag and fill it half full of water. Then drop 4-5 pennies in the water and seal it well. Then tape it above your bank (or front) door.
It has something to do with the way flies see things that keeps them from flying near the door. Don’t quote me. I’m not a science teacher, just a person who is desperately trying to keep flies out of the house!
WERE THESE TIPS NEW TO YOU?
Maybe some (or most) of these tips were things that you’ve already heard about, but maybe some of you reading this didn’t know how to test baking powder or maybe someone else never thought to measure out the tomato paste ahead and freeze it.
When I give these kinds of tips, I think about my sons and daughter-in-law and try to teach them things that I would want them to know.
Thank you for stopping by my website and reading my words. I really hope that some of these hacks or tips will help make things run smoother when you’re trying to get ready for guests at your next celebration!