The Plan - to provide the answers

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"Hints and Things is my way of trying to share all those little pearls of wisdom
that used to be passed from generation to generation"
June Jackson

For all those pet matters and any animal related subjects, visit the Kennel Why not come out to the garden for tips and advice on many subjects relating to gardening and nature For all things musical this is your place If it is culinary information you need e.g. recipes, shortcuts, weights and measure etc. My Games room includes puzzles, brain teasers, game cheats and much much more For hints and things for everyday life try here Bathroom contains information, hints, tips and advice on things such as hair, make-up, beauty, weight and much much more For reference matters try the library For all those stain removal, cleaning and laundry tips everyone loves The workshop contains hints,tips, and information on DIY, hobbies and crafts Visit the garage for many hints and things relating to cars and motoring If it doesn't belong in any other room, try here! For information, hints, tips, advice and help relating to raising children including games, nursery rhymes etc., to keep them amused Another great reference room with many subjects covered from small business and home finance to reference resources In order to help you locate the information, hint or tip you are looking for, we have used a house plan format with information being placed in the most appropriate room. With so much information it is hard to give an indication of each rooms contents but hover over a room and a list of the hints and tips that you may find will appear. Of course you can always just search Hints and Things by using the search link below

Just click on the appropriate room in the in the above plan to be taken to a list of the articles available within that section. It is impossible to mention everything but that is the fun of it, go and explore you never know what you may find behind the door.

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If you are looking for something in particular it maybe quicker and easier to use the search facility below to search the whole site.   

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LATEST TIPS

*To remove bird droppings from vehicle body work put some undiluted shampoo onto the droppings;  leave for a few minutes then was the vehicle in the usual way.

*Car air conditioning needs regular use to keep it working properly so to avoid expensive repairs by running the air con regularly - it can still be put on when running temperature at normal.

*Unwind a metal coat hanger to use as a wire threader to assist drawing wires through walls etc.

*Use brown sauce to clean garden tools.  Spread on, leave 24 hours, clean off with newspaper/newsprint then rinse.

*Cut a 4 pint milk carton in half horizontally.  Bottom half can be used for mixing items or cleaning paint brushes.  Top half as a scoop for cleaning out gutters or as a paint kettle.  Top half can also be placed inside the bottom half to make a stand.


BATHROOM

Beauty tips, health, exercise, make-up and bathroom DIY, accessories etc.,

How to make the most of your make up

Bronzer

Bronzer is sort of a wonder product when it comes to different uses. First off, you can use bronzer to create the illusion of thin legs; all you have to do is apply a little bronzer on your calves and thighs, and you’ve got skinnier-looking legs.

Brunettes can really appreciate bronzer as a hair product because dusting a little over the head creates a beautiful shiny effect.

One more thing you can do with bronzer is mix it with matte nail polish to create sparkling finger nails. Just don’t go overboard when mixing in the bronzer!

read more.....

More beauty and health related articles as well as anything else related to the bathroom.


GARAGE

Cars, vehicles, motoring, fuel, driving, car maintenance.

What to look out for when buying used cars

This is always a mine field and nothing guarantees success but there are a few things to look out for before parting with your hard earned cash.

Obviously different countries have different rules but I am sure a lot of the following would apply wherever you are located.

Pre-Shopping advice, vehicle Inspection, bodywork, structural bodywork, collision damage, inside the car, engine, transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, tyres etc.

Read the whole article.......

To avoid MOT re-test charges for minor reasons check lights, windscreen wipers, tyre condition and pressure, seatbelts and that all doors open and close correctly BEFORE getting the MOT.

Motoring and car related articles, hints and tips.


KITCHEN

Cooking, food, recipes, oven temperatures, kitchen equipment, decor and refurbishment.

Ways to save money and energy

In these difficult times any information on ways to save money is welcome.  There are many articles within Hints and Things giving useful money saving information such as how to save money when buying groceries -

Bulk-buying makes a lot of sense for various items such as toilet rolls, bin bags and detergents, but when it comes to food, one must be careful of what to buy.

If you buy a bulk of fruit and vegetables, and most of them end up going bad, you’re not exactly saving money but some food may last a long time such as cereals, pasta, oil, and rice.

read more.....

Other features providing information on ways to save money and how to save money on life insurance.

Cookery, food and kitchen related information.


LIVING ROOM

Soft furnishing, furniture, decor, entertaining, lifestyle, cocktails, decluttering, storage, weddings.

Storage Ideas

Flat topped trunks, storage cases, boxes with lids, can double up as coffee tables and storage. 

If this is to be frequently used as a table it would be best used to store items that are not required too often otherwise it may be slightly inconvenient. 

It is also important to remember not to store any items that can harm children e.g. craft items, unless it can be locked.

Read the rest of the article to find out other useful storage ideas......

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The living room section also contains some more unusual pieces covering subjects such as ways to avoid accidents in the home, warnings and tips on seasonal crime and scams to avoid.

 


NURSERY

Babies, parenting, rhymes, education, training, head lice, development, children and child care.

DRAWING
Have a sheet of paper laminated (this can be done very cheaply), and then this can be used over and over again if used with dry wipe marker pens. This is especially useful when travelling or camping.

LACES
To help young children to change quickly from shoes to plimsolls (pumps, daps, gym shoes, trainers - whatever they are called in your part of the world); use elastic instead of laces.

FAIR SHARE
To get children to divide something fairly, let one child cut the item in question and then let the other child have the first choice as to which piece they want.

GENERAL

Some children these days seem to have a lot of toys, some of which never see the light of day.  To keep children interested and to get the best out of their toys divide them into two different toy boxes and rotate them every two or three weeks.

Hand painting is a great way to amuse children as they love to get messy.  The finished articles can be used as pictures, borders etc,.

To encourage finicky eaters put a variety of food in a dish to make it interesting for them.  For instance you could use an ice cube tray and put things such as nuts, raisins, currents, cheese etc. into each compartment.

Pieces of bread soaked in milk and baked in the oven until crisp, make ideal rusks especially for babies that are teething.  As well as being cheap they have the added bonus of no added sugar.

More of these tips can be found here.

Other useful articles and tips on all aspects of parenting, childcare and child related matters, including child safety and development and how to control headlice.


SPARE ROOM

Bedroom related information and all other sundries including travel, weddings, party tips, shopping and fashion.

TIPS

To check if an item is real amber drop it in a glass of cola.  If it floats it is amber but if it sinks it is plastic.

To make it easier to untangle a knotted necklace chain, dip it in a little cooking or baby oil.

Re-string a bead necklace or bracelet using fishing line, which is easy to thread, inconspicuous and very strong.

If you drop and can’t find a small earring or fastener, secure a piece cut from an old pair of tights/pantyhose over the end of your vacuum cleaner pipe with a rubber band. Vacuum over the area and the earring will stick to the tights/pantyhose.

More of the same.......

Other useful tips and information


MORE USEFUL TIPS

1:  Perk up popcorn with zest of two limes, chilli powder and garlic salt.  Mix all ingredients and shake with popcorn.

2:  Fizzy water cleans windscreens.

3:  Place a biscuit in with coffee to keep it dry.

4:  Cut a tennis ball in half to use as a sink plunger.

5:  Use moss from lawn to line hanging baskets.

6:  Keeps herbs fresh by rinsing, shake off excess water and wrap in kitchen paper and store in fridge.

7:  Umbrellas can be waterproofed by spraying with hair spray, however, test on a hidden area first as some spray and/or fabric can stain.

8:  Use vodka to ease jelly fish stings.

9:  Use bran to attract snails to a specific area.

10:  Place lemon or lime wedges in freezer to use in drinks.

11:  Place some kitchen paper in with lettuce or soft fruit to keep them fresh.

12:  When baking potatoes in an oven (NOT in a microwave), insert metal skewers into the potatoes to shorten cooking time.

13:  Parboil and freeze potatoes ready to roast at a later date.

14:  Beer dregs (if there are ever any available!) can be put in water and used as a lawn fertiliser.

15:  Boot/shoe polish (the wax variety) can be used to spruce up appropriate coloured car bumpers e.g. black or neutral polish for black bumpers.

MORE TIPS

*Freeze left over chillies.

*Cut chicken skin into small pieces, sprinkle with salt and spices and fry until crisp - this makes a tasty (and cheap) snack.

*Put some frozen fruit, drizzle of honey and 2 tablespoons of yoghurt into a processor to quickly make ice cream.

*To freeze fruit, skin bananas, wash berries and put lemon juice on apples and pears (prevents browning).

*To make your own sun dried tomatoes cut tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds.  Place in a single layer in a NON metallic dish (tomatoes react with metal).  Cover with cling film, pierce holes in the film and leave in direct sunlight. 


 

 

 

NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP 

 

  USEFUL TIP

TV screens seem to be getting larger by the minute with only wall size limiting the final choice. If, however, you would like to know the most suitable screen size for your particular room you can use the following....

Check the distance (in inches) from the position of the screen to the seating area and then divide by 3; the answer gives an approximate screen size e.g.

If the distance from the screen to your seat is 9ft, that is 108 inches. 

Divide 108 by 3 = 36. 

Therefore this indicates the optimum screen size would be approximately 36".


GAMES ROOM

Indoor, outdoor and online games; sports and puzzles.

Tips on how to improve your golf

Here are a few tips which may help to improve your golf but I make no promises:-

To help get your balance right practice by standing on two bricks (one under each foot).

To improve the speed of your stroke practice with a bamboo cane instead of a golf club - the cane allows you to hear the speed of your swing.

If you place your golf bag close to your side this will help to correct exaggerated hip movement.

To help you keep your head down when striking the ball use mixed coloured tees and, as you strike the ball call out the colour of the tee.   This apparently helps concentration - but it could get you strange looks from other players!

More golf tips ......

The Games Room also has other useful information such as:

How to Set Up a Dartboard

9 Ball Pool Trick Shots

Skateboarding tricks - How to Do an Ollie!

Other sports and games related articles.


GARDEN

Garden, gardening, plants and planting, garden structures, hard landscaping, hot tubs.

Useful gardening tips such as .......

A piece of wood placed upright in a plastic water barrel will prevent the barrel splitting when it freezes.

An old plastic sweet jar (available from most sweetshops) makes an ideal propagator.  Lay sweet jar horizontally and place plant tray inside.  Replace lid.

To "age" new garden statues, smear with natural yoghurt.  Algae will quickly cover the item making it look older.

Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen so good as plant fertiliser.

Banana skins around roses gives them a boost.

Cola around plants also give them a boost.

More gardening tips.......

Plants and gardening hints and things.

General Information

Annual plants are those that germinate, flower and die each year/season.

Perennials are plants that last for several years and, once mature, will flower each year.

Herbaceous plants are plants that do not have woody stems.  They form new flowering stems each year before seeding then dying back to ground level in the Autumn.


KENNEL

Pet, animal and bird related information, hints, and tips as well as some more unusual articles such as lists of Collective Nouns and special pages for more inventive collective nouns many of which have been contributed by visitors.

Aadvarks to Butterflies
Car mechanics to Dung beetles
Editors to Gunzels
Hair stylists to Lumberjacks
Magicians to Ornithologists
Painters to Rock climbers
Sailors to System administrators
Talk show hosts to Urbanites
Vampires to Zombies

TIP:  You can make a dog basket out of an old suitcase by cutting off the lid.  Paint the base ensuring any paint used is safe for pets.  Make a pillow case from some pretty fabric e.g. old curtains or duvet covers. Put the pillow case on an old pillow or cushion and place this in the newly painted base.   Hey presto - a unique and economical dog bed.

Other animal and pet related articles.


LIBRARY

Books, reference, language, words, spelling, learning, countries, capital cities, currency, differences between American and British English and much, much more.


COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG

COCKNEY
WORD/PHRASE                   DEFINITION

Adam and Eve                        Believe
Alan Whickers                         Knickers
Almond Rocks
Tilbury Docks                          Socks
Apples and Pears                  Stairs
Aristotle                                   Bottle
Artful Dodger                          Lodger
Ascot Races                           Braces
Baked Bean                           Queen
Baker's Dozen                       Cousin
Ball and Chalk                       Walk

MORE EXAMPLES CAN BE FOUND HERE


Some libraries are now 'self service'. Unless you remember to press 'receipt wanted' you go off without any note of a return by date.

Reference library, language and words, job tips and books.


MUSIC HALL

Music, instruments, lyrics, musicals, musical terms, CDs.

A simplistic view on music notation.

There is a sign at the beginning of each stave, known as a clef, which fixes the pitch of notes written on one of the lines of the stave.  

The pitch of the other notes is worked out in relation to this fixed line.  

High notes are placed high and low notes are placed low.  

More at.......

Other music related articles


OFFICE

Jobs, interviews, business, paper sizes, property, finance etc.

Insurance

There are several articles on the complex subject of insurance within Hints and Things.  Home and general insurance can be found in the 'Office' or 'Library' section and those covering motor and vehicle insurance can be found in the Garage section.

Should the worst happen you may find our information on how to make an insurance claim useful especially as it contains an example of a draft letter to accompany your claim.You may have heard of Critical Illness Insurance but is it worth the outlay.


Paper Sizes - A lot of us are familiar with A4 size paper (some of us even remember Quarto and Foolscap), but  what about the less common sizes such as A1, B2, C5, executive, legal, letter, Government Legal etc.?

Office, business and property related advice.


UTILITY ROOM

Cleaning tips, laundry, home remedies, and stain removal.

Finding the right leather cleaner

Preserving the condition of leather requires careful attention and suitable treatment. Through using a highly recommended leather cleaner, you can achieve a fully restored appearance, topped with a first class finish.

Understanding which leather cleaner you require is of great importance.

Failing to use the appropriate cleaning methods and products can more often than not, do more damage than good.

There are a number of deep leather cleaning products available on the market, so to help you identify which leather cleaner best suits your needs, we have come up with some insightful pointers for your consideration.

Find out more here..............


Organisation is the key to the smooth running of a home, especially in today's hectic lifestyles where time is at a premium.  Here a few suggestions which, although simple and easy, can make a vast difference and make life just that little bit easier. 
 

Cleaning tips and laundry related hints.


WORKSHOP

DIY, decorating, tools, refurbishment, tradesmen, security, hobbies and crafts etc.

Money Saving Tips

We all know that one of the cheapest and yet most effective ways to save money and energy and yet keep your home warm, is to buy insulation such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. There are, however, many other things we can do to save on heating costs.

DIY and decorating tips - Hobbies and Crafts


QUICK DECORATING TIPS

An instant and inexpensive way to rejuvenate old pine floorboards, kitchen units, wooden furniture and wall claddings etc.

A fashionable "distressed" or "weathered" look can be achieved by using gloss paint which has been thinned down with white spirits.

Cream, white, pale green and blues are the most successful colours.

Wear rubber gloves and protect your clothing and surrounding area when applying the paint as this thinned down solution is inclined to drip everywhere.

Method mix 2 parts gloss paint to 1 part white spirit.

Prepare the woodwork by stripping off the old paint and sanding down any rough surfaces. Wipe clean and dry.

Work on a small area of approximately 3ft/1m area at a time

Apply the paint mix with a wide brush.

Allow this paint to sink into the wood (about 5 minutes)

Soak a rag in white spirit and wring out well.

Use this cloth to rub off excess paint from the newly painted area.

Allow to dry, then sand any uneven paint streaks and patches to give a uniform look.

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When choosing wall paint colours, instead of just painting small areas onto a wall, paint a whole test pot onto some lining paper.  This can then be moved to different areas of the room to see how the colour looks in all types of light.


KNITTING

1:  If you knit first and last stitches of knit row and purl first and last stitches of purl row it will produce a firm edge and ease the toils of sewing up.

2:  Yarn should never be knotted.  Always add yarn at the beginning of a row, ends can be sewn in later.

3:  When picking up dropped stitches use a fine crochet hook, taking care to follow pattern and not to twist stitches.

4:  Ribbing - always do ribbing with a needle at least two sizes finer than the main part of the garment.  The cast on should, of course, stretch well.

5:  Neck bands and 'V' necks - Always pick up the stitches with a finer needle even than that which is going to be used for the ribbing as this will avoid holes.

6:  Striped knitting - Always change the colour on a knit row.  This will avoid the two colours mixing on the right side.

7:  Colour knitting - the second yarn is woven in the back on this type of work.

Knit row - The yarn to be woven in on a knit row is held over the fingers of the left hand and placed above the knitting whilst the knitting yarn is knitted in the usual way.  The next stitch is knitted in the normal way.  This is repeated along the whole row.

Purl row - Hold the wool to be woven away from worker for the first stitch.  For second stitch bring wool towards worker.  Repeat along whole row.

Check out this page for more detailed knitting tips.

 



There are over 900 pages containing information, advice, hints, tips, interesting articles on a wide range of subjects arranged in 14 different 'rooms' including DIY (Workshop), stain removal (Utility room), car maintenance and motoring related tips (Garage), beauty tips (Bathroom), finance/jobs and interview material (Office/Library), sports/games (Gamesroom), hobbies/crafts (Workshop), gardening tips and plant information (Garden),  pets/animals (Kennel), children/parenting (Nursery), cleaning/laundry tips (Utility Room).

There is also information on what to look out for when buying a used car, a fuel conversion chart, and fuel saving tips.  On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight and need to know your weight in kilogrammes, pounds or even pounds and stones then check out our weight conversion chart.  Other interesting pages include explanation and instructions for knitting abbreviations, the name given to wedding anniversaries and what they represent.  In addition to all that there articles covering all aspects of cookery including how to make ingredients go furtheroven temperature conversion (gas/electric etc.,), weights, measurements and explanations for terminology, suggestions on using old and unwanted CDs/DVDs, musical terms, work related hints, tips and advice including job interviews, language differences, reference, homemaking, entertaining, weddings, travel, and much, much more. 



 

If you can't find the answer on Hints and Things try our sister site at Ask June which is a database of replies to people's queries.

Home page last updated on 30th November, 2014.

I am aware that "spam" emails are being sent out purporting to be from Hints and Things and/or AskJune - THIS IS NOT THE CASE Neither Hints and Things or AskJune send out any unsolicited emails.

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