Category Archives: Friday’s Finds

New Uses for Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is great for cooking, but I use it more frequently for a myriad of other uses. I buy the 54 ounce jar at Costco and put smaller amounts in Tupperware containers for using outside of the kitchen. I keep some in my bathroom to use on my skin after showering (in lieu of costly natural lotions), and I had another container in my twins’ bedroom to use on Little Sister’s eczema during the colder months. The Carrington Farms brand is cold pressed, unrefined, organic, and has a great price at Costco. This blog has well-researched information about this brand of oil, and I’ve always been pleased with the quality and taste of the oil.

Recently, I read this blog post on how to refinish furniture with coconut oil, and decided to give it a try on our kitchen cabinets. We have only been in this house for twelve months, but our kitchen cabinets are made of knotty alder, which is a softer wood than oak. We loved the look of the wood when the cabinets were new, but it didn’t take long for them to get terribly scratched, nicked, and scuffed. 20140610-221924-80364979.jpg I figured if coconut oil worked on an old table, it could help my scratched cabinets too. I was amazed at the difference.

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After I saw how great this cabinet door looked, I started using coconut oil to clean and repair the rest of the cabinet doors. I don’t mind using this while the babies are running around because the oil won’t hurt them at all and could even moisturize their skin.

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These drawers have taken a beating. When the babies started crawling around the house, I put a small dowel rod vertically through all the handles to keep them out. Hubby didn’t like that, so I removed everything from the bottom two drawers, and the girls climbed in and out. They love to play in those drawers! One day I will get them back. I digress. Anyway, the reason he didn’t like the dowel rod in there was because the drawers were getting scratched as you can see in the photo above. He was so upset over how easily scratched our cabinets were that he wanted to replace them. It’s a good thing I learned how to fix them. Here is what the drawers look like now. Beautiful again.

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I read several months ago that you can use baby oil on your stainless steel appliances to remove finger prints, but I don’t ever buy baby oil, so I hadn’t tried it. I hadn’t ever thought about using coconut oil until I had it on my cloth right there under the microwave. It worked well on stainless steel too! Here are before and after photos of the oven door.

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This is not a terribly time-consuming project unless you are type A and have to finish the whole room at one time. I have been taking my time and working on the worst cabinets first. I have been using a clean spoon to get a scoop of oil out and just set it on my counter while I work below it. One spoonful of oil will do several doors. I take a clean paper towel and get a grape-sized amount and smear it over the scratches and then wipe to cover the whole door–inside and out. After everything has been covered, I use a clean cloth to remove any excess oil and buff the wood. I have found that the coconut oil not only moisturizes and repairs scratches, it also cleans the little milk splatters and water marks. I think my cabinets look better now than they have since we moved in. I can’t wait to try this on our antique dining room furniture, but I should really finish the kitchen first.

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Friday’s Finds #1 {organization}

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I would like to add some variety to this little blog, so on Fridays, I’m planning to share things that I have found useful, interesting, and/or helpful. These posts will contain cleaning tips, organizing advice, repurposing suggestions, decorating ideas, etc. My plan is to share things I have found through others, tried for myself, and found successful–not to just give you links to things other people have tried. Today I will share a few organization ideas with you.

Tension Rods in a Drawer

20140124-101636.jpgThis is a simple and cheap fix to chaotic drawers. It requires no carpentry skills or fancy organizing materials. Simply measure your drawer’s width and buy small curtain/tension rods (about $2 each) to fit your drawer. You can place the tension rods from front to back the way Passionate Penny Pincher demonstrates with before and after photos of her drawer. You can also insert tension rods from side to side in your drawer (pictured above) as I posted back in August.

Mason Jar Storage

20140124-150040.jpgI have seen so many cute ideas for using Mason jars for just about everything you can imagine. With four kids in our house, I’m reluctant to use glass jars for things the kids will have access to, but I have found them useful for things I keep in the kitchen. The Burlap Bag shows how to store strike anywhere matches in a jar with a sandpaper lid. Her lid even has a little hole cut out to dispense matches. I chose to simply cut a piece off the side of my match box and insert it between the disk and ring on my lid. I had about half a box of regular matches and needed to use them up. I may buy strike anywhere next time and fully incorporate her idea.

20140124-150027.jpgI found the idea for storing muffin/cupcake liners at Life is Crazy Beautiful. The glass jar makes it easy to see that I need to purchase more liners before making muffins or cupcakes again! Storing toothpicks in the Mason jar was my idea. I hate boxes that are partially opened or opened frequently because they tear and wear out quickly. It just made sense to put the toothpicks in a jar too.

Magazine Files

20140124-201622.jpgI use fabric-covered cardboard magazine files to hide things in my pantry that are odd shapes and sizes or things I rarely use. One has food coloring and sprinkles, another has a variety of leftover Christmas-themed paper plates and napkins, one holds balloons and curling ribbon, and another holds coffee filters and paper plates. The other two hold packages of solid-colored party plates and napkins because I tend to forget those details when having a party or dinner guests.

20140124-203017.jpgI cut the fabric to fit the files and folded it around using sticky tack to hold it in place. I put a strip of Duck Tape on the bottom to prevent the fabric from fraying or coming loose. I can’t remember where I originally saw this idea because I made these a few years ago. I would like to update them with ribbons and tags like I saw recently on BuzzFeed. As you can see, I acquired two of the magazine files after I had covered the original four, and I have yet to cover them with fabric. Maybe I’ll cover those two when I add the ribbons and tags to all of them.

Well, Friday is nearly over, so that’s all I will share this time. I hope you enjoyed this post and will check back next Friday.