Avoid and deal with some minor Summer-related annoyances and inconveniences with these 10 Summertime Hacks provided by our friends at SummerNanny.
1. Stop drippy ice cream cones with a marshmallow or chocolate. Ice cream is a delicious summertime favorite, but often ends up being a very messy treat when eating outdoors in the heat. To prevent your sugar cone from leaking, drop a couple of mini marshmallows into the bottom before you add your ice cream scoops, or dribble some melted chocolate down into the bottom of all of your cones. In addition to stopping leaks, there will be a yummy treat at the bottom, especially once it hardens, and both solutions will stop the drips from ending up on your kids.
2. Light up your next outside dinner party by using cupcake papers. Candlelight is a beautiful addition down the center of an outdoor table and works well because candles are generally low and won’t block the view of the person sitting across the table. The problematic part of using candles is that you have to invest in a bunch of candle holders and deal with the cleanup of all of the melted wax. Until now. Instead of using candle holders, use foil cupcake papers as your holders and tea lights for your candles. The foil will reflect the candlelight as well as capture the melted wax and make cleanup a breeze.
3. Protect your food from flying pests by using a pretty flower pot. Buy a few big clay pots. You can buy them already painted or paint them yourself. To make the pots easy to pick up you’ll need to add on a handle. You can do so by taking some pretty cording or rope and cutting off about 10 inches, then folding the cording in half and poking the folded end through the hole in the bottom of the pot. Turn the pot over and tie the ends on the inside into a knot to prevent the cord from pulling out. Now you are ready to cover your food for your next outside gathering.
4. Gnats and flies love to walk all over food. Place a fan at one end of the table and create a breeze across the table. Gnats and flies don’t have particularly strong wings and won’t be able to fly through the breeze, thereby forcing them to stay away from the food and your guests.
5. Keep your food cold outside by using a baby pool. Baby pools are inexpensive and if you buy the blow up kind they are easy to store as well. If you want to keep salads cool just set the baby pool up on top of the food table and fill it with a few inches of ice. As the food arrives your guests can place dishes right on ice. Another use for the baby pool is to keep your drinks cold and easily accessible. You can set this pool anywhere, but placing it in the shade will help your ice last a little longer.
6. Jazz up your sun tea. Use different flavors of tea in your jar to bring a new mix to your tea. Once your tea has brewed in the sun add some mint leaves and fruit juice and refrigerate it until it’s time to serve it.
7. Keep unwanted ants away during your next picnic. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and shake. Spray the solution on picnic tables, under the table, and anywhere that people might be standing.
8. Stop wasting ice cream. Once open, ice cream is exposed to the air in the freezer and starts to form ice crystals, and if you leave it in there for too long the ice cream won’t be any good. To avoid ice crystals just press a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on the surface of the ice cream and it will stay fresh all the way till the last scoop.
9. Set a trap to keep the bees away from your guests. Find a spot that is at the edge of the area you are entertaining in and place a few bowls of sweet soda for the bees to drink. The bees will be too interested in drinking the soda to bother you or your guests.
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10. Use corn starch to prevent chafing. Chafing happens to kids and adults alike in the summer due to their being more sweat forming between your skin and clothes. Corn starch is absorbent and it’s very soft to the touch. It works well to smooth it on legs or under bras to reduce the painful heat rash that occurs.