February Tips & Tricks
Who doesn't love a good shortcut, tip or trick?
Calling 911 on the sly
This can be useful if you need to call for help but you don't want to tip off someone who is putting you in a dangerous predicament. I learned the hard way when my phone called 911 the other day. Depending on your model of iPhone there are a few ways to engage this feature. There is an "Emergency SOS" set up on your phone if you choose to adjust these features.
On an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons for about two seconds until you see the Emergency SOS slider appear. Drag the slider to the right to call emergency services.
If you’re on an iPhone 7 or earlier, instead of holding the side and volume buttons, rapidly press the side button 5 times to make the Emergency SOS slider appear.
On iPhone 11 if you rapidly press the side button 5 times quickly it will also call 911. Did you know that if you keep your phone in your cup holder while driving, as I do, it can accidentally call 911 from the phone bouncing around? This is exactly what happened to me the other day.
Solution for Stuffed Closets
This is a sweater season for much of the country, and while we love our sweaters they sure can take up a lot of room in your closet. Try using a vertical shoe holder (in image) and roll up your sweaters and store them in each little cubby section. Depending on the cubby size you may be able to get more than one in each section.
Germ Proof Your Home
Doesn't it seem like everyone you know is either sick or just getting over something? To help stop the spread of this gunk going around here are a few easy ways to help stop the germs in their track.
1. The germ-filled kitchen sponge or cloth - these little cleaners just soak up germs in their path. Unfortunately, they usually stay wet therefore that allows the germs to multiply - ick! To sanitize pop the sponge (non metallic ones) or the cloth in the microwave for 2 minutes once a day to kill the bacteria. I also throw mine in my dishwasher every time I do a load of dishes.
2. Sanitize reusable grocery bags - Apparently, about 50% of these handy little bags are known to have E. coli and other harmful bacteria, that they probably pick up from items carried inside. Throw them in a hot wash cycle then dry on hot helping to eliminate this bad bacteria.
3. Clean your coffee maker - I didn't realize it but the water reservoir is a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria; I'll never look at my cup of coffee the same :) About once a month fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through the machine twice. The acid in the vinegar gets rid of unwanted microbes.
4. De-grime the TV remotes - According to my article nearly 70% of remotes show the presence of mold and 14% with staph bacteria - yikes! To remove spray a cloth with one part water and one part vodka then wipe down all of these areas. You may also want to wipe your phone and doorknobs. With the unused vodka make yourself a nice cocktail and forget about germs for awhile - cheers!
Ice-proof car mirrors & windshields - Everyone is usually in a hurry to get to work and the last thing you'll want to do is scrap your mirrors and windshield clean from ice. To prevent, the night before a snowstorm cover each mirror with a plastic bag and secure with a rubber band. In the morning just slip them off before driving.
In a previous edition of this newsletter, someone recommended putting a heavy weight rug or tarp over the windshield to keep that clean as well.
Perk Up Houseplants - Is our indoor greenery looking a bit sad these days? Try adding a little dry oatmeal (2 Tbs) to the soil. Oatmeal contains iron and phosphorus that nourish plants.
Cut your cold risk & improve sleep - According to scientists at Cardiff University, keeping your toes warm, either with socks or slippers, in the winter reduces sniffling and sneezing by as much as 65%. When your feet are warm it relaxes the blood vessels in your sinuses so they open up allowing immune cells to quickly reach and attack invading viruses. Having warm feet at night can help you drift off to sleep 30 minutes faster. I have heard this before and have tried it. I have to say it does seem to help.