Teeny Tiny Tip: Saving Vinyl

A Silhouette Cameo Tip

Very often when I craft I just want to use my Silhouette Cameo to cut one or two small things from a sheet of self adhesive vinyl.

I always draw a box around the item to be cut. I weed that first, which gives me a safe area to then weed the actual artwork. No big pieces of vinyl get caught up in my actual work.

If you keep all the artwork on the same sheet you can tell where the free vinyl is located

I then save the file the same name as the color of the sheet of vinyl (so, in this case, I’ve called it “Silver” because that’s the color I was working with).

cut settings window in silhouette studio

I turn the previous artwork’s cut lines to “No Cut” in the cut settings window.

This gives me a guide for a good location of new art on the sheet each time.

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Teeny Tiny Tip: Lunch

Batch cook to fill the freezer with ready to go meals

Cook ahead and freeze lunch meals so have a healthy, tasty and economical choice available.

Quick, tasty lunches for work used to be a challenge.

I’d look for the best prices on frozen entrees, but they tended to either be good but expensive or cheap and disapppointing. And almost all of them seemed high in carbs and sodium.

Those cups of instant mac ‘n cheese seem tempting, but they also fall into the expensive and high sodium camp.

My solution is to do a batch cook on Sunday afternoon of one type of meal. Once it cools, part it out into 5 or 6 lunch-serving sized zip bags into the freezer. If you do this every other Sunday, and vary the meals you make, you end up with a variety of freezer entrees to choose from on days when dinner doesn’t yield nice leftovers. It’s also good in a pinch on a weeknight when you are starving and just don’t feel like cooking.

I don’t have a big deep-freeze. I just pack the bags flat to take up less room. And it isn’t really very time consuming – I have a couple of easy meals I make that don’t require much hands-on time, so I can craft while they cook.

And the math ends up as amazing – this box of maccaroni and cheese was 29 cents. To make it a more interesting meal I added lentils to the water as it was boiling before adding the noodles and then added a bit of a low-sodium taco season packet when I made the cheese sauce. With the addition of the lentils, this made six lunches.


Teeny Tiny Tip: Folded Plastic Bags

A quick trick for tidying up that pile of plastic bags

Just about everyone has a bag/box/drawer full of plastic bags from the grocery store. And there is no denying they have a seemingly endless list of uses (dog pick-up bags and trash bag liners for small trash cans are my top two).

But storing them in that tangled mess is not great.

Fortunately, if you ever went to fourth grade and played flick football, you already have a solution. Or we can call it origami and sound much more upscale! 🙂

Flatten out each trash bag and fold it in half so the loops line up.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

And fold that in half again.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

And then start folding in a triangle from the non loop side.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

Twist the loop over the finished football shape and you are done. A pile of these takes up much less space than a pile of squished up bags.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room


Teeny Tiny Tip: Taxes

On Super Bowl Sunday, are you ready for some ….Taxes?

For several years now I’ve used Super Bowl Sunday as my time for getting my taxes together.

It certainly is impossible to miss, with all the shouting on TV, and endless posts on social media. Even the crafting blogs get into it (guilty!)

The game doesn’t start until evening, but the TV coverage starts early. You have plenty of time to do this task and get it off your list way before it is time to start eating chip and dip.

Instead of waiting until the last second, using Super Bowl Sunday is an easy trick. Most, if not all, federal tax forms (W-2, 1099, etc.) are due to you by January 31st. And the IRS begins processing returns right around the first week of February as well.

If your taxes are easy and/or you are really a DIY-er, then this Sunday is a great day to get everything together and file online. If your taxes are more complicated, Sunday is a great time to find all the papers and get them into that envelope to send off to your tax preparer.

An extra bonus of filing earlier? If you going to receive a refund, it usually comes earlier, too!


Teeny Tiny Tip: Freeze White Rice

A quick trick that doesn’t require a full 500-word essay

At our house, those containers of white rice that you always get when you order Chinese food don’t always get eaten right away. They get shoved to the back of the fridge, and then discovered again on trash day.

Which is a shame, because a little white rice can turn leftovers into a great lunch. Or a plain broth into more of a meal. Rice isn’t exactly difficult to make, but it does require planning ahead.

Free take-out rice for future meals
Freeze take out rice in a thin layer for use in later meals

The easy way to make use of that rice is to freeze it. Plop that container of rice into a big freezer bag. Press it into a pretty thin layer that fills the bag, pushing the air out as you go. It can be frozen flat, so it doesn’t take up much room in the freezer. And that thin layer means even when frozen, you can snap off a little bit here and there to suit your needs.



Teeny Tiny Tip: The best bedside water glass

A quick trick that doesn’t require a full 500-word essay

Do you knock your water glass off your bedside table while rearranging your  blanket? Or miss the table when going to put the glass back down, spilling water near your precious bedside electronics?

Oh. Me neither 🙂

In case you have a friend that does, the best bedside water glass by far is not a glass at all. It’s a sport water bottle.

The best bedside water glass isn't a glass at all

Plastic, so it’s unbreakable. With a nozzle cap so if you knock it over, nothing spills. And if you hunt around, super inexpensive (not a paid endorsement. just my favorite brand of water bottle).

Added bonus – you can take it with you for walks, bike rides or in the car.

Teeny Tiny Tip: All Matching Socks

A quick trick that doesn’t require a full 500-word essay

To make it easier every morning, and even easier on laundry day, I’ve revamped my sock drawer.

all matching socksFirst, I got rid of all my socks. And replaced them with two weeks worth of identical pairs (not a paid endorsement. just my favorite socks).

And then I got rid of the drawer. Since they are all the same, they don’t need to be sorted. Pick two, any two, you have a winner!

Teeny Tiny Tip: Use a Tequila Cork as a Wine Bottle Stopper

A quick trick that doesn’t require a full 500-word essay

The best wine bottle stopper is actually the cork from a tequila bottle.

A cork from a tequila bottle makes a great wine bottle stoppera tequila bottle cork makes a great wine bottle stopper

Trying to stuff the original cork back into the bottle is frustrating. Buying those cute stoppers is fun, but they can get expensive. My way is a great bargin – each stopper comes with a full bottle of tequila!