Summertime Tricks and Tips

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Summertime Tricks and Tips

Summer is here and the outdoor activities are in full swing!!

Activities ranging from gardening, BBQ’s, playing outside, trips to the beach/pool/park.  This is the season to enjoy being outside.

Around here, we spend as much time as possible outside whether it’s gardening, at the lake beach, puzzles on the deck, enjoying the sunshine/shade either visiting or doing activities.

Whatever you’re doing this summer, here are a few fun tricks and tips to help you along the way. Pesky bug helps, organizational ideas, making packing a picnic easier or ways of working in the yard streamlined and/or more fun.

Outdoor living/entertaining

  1. Keep beach toys in one place by opening an umbrella, plant the point into the sand/ground and use to collect balls, Frisbees and other toys.
  2. Prevent burned finger from sparklers by holding a sparkler in a can of Play-Doh.  This protects your hands as they burn down.
  3. Have a symphony of bubbles by dipping the end of a Kazoo into soapy water and blow.
  4. Use a bed sheet to make backyard shade by draping over a low-lying branch and staking corners with golf tees.
  5. Light up the night using plastic cups and holiday lights.  Cut X’s into the bottoms of the cups and insert holiday light bulbs into the cups.  Hang string of lights for a glowing ambience. 
  6. Keep fruit flies under control by putting some fruit or honey into a cup and covering it with plastic wrap with holes poked into it.  Fruit flies can get in but can’t get out.  Problem solved!!
  7. Use a toothbrush to remove silk from an ear of corn.
  8. If you’re traveling with a sandwich, wrap it in a paper towel before putting it into a plastic bag or container.  This will keep it from getting soggy!
  9. Add 2 handfuls of salt to a cooler of ice water to chill drinks much faster.
  10. Decode potluck dinners using golf tees.  Use a different colors to distinguish vegetarian dishes or meat (medium/medium-rare, etc)
  11. Keep wine cool by wrapping an ice gel pack around the bottle and securing it with string or rubber band.
  12. Cool drinks in a kiddie pool filled with ice.
  13. Fill a kiddie pool with sand and have a sandcastle building competition.
  14. Stir your cocktail with a lollipop for extra flavor.
  15. Use a small insulated cooler to keep a warm dish warm until serving time.
  16. Cool bottles of soda/pop, wine, bubbly, etc. in a rain boot filled with ice.
  17. If the champagne is losing its bubbles, drop a raisin (or a few) into it.  Any left carbon dioxide will stick to the raisin and be released back as tiny bubbles.
  18. Play waitress at a backyard gathering by filling a cart or wagon with ice and beverages and make the rounds regularly to keep your guests from getting parched.

Health/Wellness/First Aid

  1. Take Vitamin B Complex – Insects don’t like the way it makes you smell to them, so it wards off mosquitoes and biting flies.
  2. Feel the itch of a mosquito bite? Rub a glue stick on it (itch goes away in about 15 minutes and doesn’t come back); place a cold, brewed tea bag on a mosquito bite; dissolve 2 antacid tablets in a glass of water and dab the solution onto the bite.
  3. Sunburn relief – freeze aloe-Vera gel in ice cube trays for a single-serve relief.  Cubes cool the heat instantly, then the aloe soothes the burn.
  4. Chill a beanbag toy to use as an ice pack on a bump or bruise.
  5. Get a splinter out by applying a paste made of making soda and water.  Wait for splinter to pop out of the skin.


  1. Display fresh flowers in a toothbrush holder.  Place a stem in each hole for an evenly spaced arrangement.
  2. Instead of planting your flower beds in rows, try diamond pattern.  The bed will look fuller faster!
  3. Keep your hose where you want it by placing croquet wickets in the ground and run the hose through them.
  4. You can also use U-bolts the same way to keep your hose in place.
  5. Fake out the birds from eating your tomatoes by hanging red ornaments in the plant where fruit will eventually hang.  By the time the fruit shows up, the birds will leave it alone because they’ve already been fooled by “fake fruit”.
  6. A layer of decorative rocks in a potted plant helps keep it from drying out.
  7. To keep dirt from under your fingernails while gardening, scrape your nails along a bar of soap so that the soap gets underneath them and nothing else.
  8. Restore your rusty garden tools by brewing a few pots of strong black tea.  When it’s cool, soak your tools for a few hours and then wipe clean.
  9. Kill the weeds in the cracks of paving stones by spraying with vinegar several times.

Hope you found some things that you’re going to try and also enjoy!

Do you have things to add to this list? Tell me those ideas and I’ll add them to the list and do a followup post.

Blessings to you as you enjoy the summer season,


P.S.  Would you like to know what’s going on at Old Fashioned Homemaking?  Sign up for our email and always have the newest in your inbox.

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