Top Drawer Joyce Clark Hicks finds the best for your home and garden

Top Drawer

CorrespondentMay 30, 2014 


Are you wondering what to do with the abundance of kale in supermarkets and farmers markets?


Best homemade air freshener

We like this idea from The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking for making your own air freshener with two simple ingredients and a mason jar.

You will need:

Baking soda

Essential oil such as lavender

Mason jar with lid



1 Use a hammer and and a nail to poke holes in the lid of a small canning jar.

2 Fill the jar about one-quarter full with baking soda.

3 Add 6 to 8 drops of lavender essential oil.

Put lid on and place in any spot that could use some freshening (bathroom, kitchen, closet). Every once in a while, give the jar a gentle shake to boost its air-freshening power.

This powder can also be used to remove odors from carpets and upholstery. Just sprinkle on your sofa or a spot on your carpet that needs to be deodorized, let sit for a little while and then vacuum it up. As always, keep out of reach of children and pets. You can learn these and other home tips by visiting

Best for baseboards

The next time you clean your baseboards (yes, you are actually supposed to clean them), protect them from future dust by wiping a new dryer sheet over them.

The anti-static cling property of the dryer sheet will cut the amount of dust that sticks to baseboards,” according to the Style Me Pretty blog. “In fact, each time you sweep and vacuum, go over the baseboards quickly with a dryer sheet. If you have shedding pets, you’ll want to do this regularly. This preventative maintenance will go a long way.”

Find out how to clean the baseboards at

Best for recipes

Turn those handwritten recipes from Mom, Grandma or others into keepsake wall art. The Tattered Style blog lays out the steps for taking handwritten note cards and paper and matching them to appropriately fitting matted picture frames.

You will need:

3 treasured recipes

3 11-by-14-inch frames

Sawtooth picture hangers (included with frame)

3 11-by-14-inch mat boards ( not ones with the centers cut out)

Archival, double-sided, removable tape

6 yards ribbon

Hot glue gun and glue sticks


Measuring tape



Small nails

Step by step

1. Disassemble and clean the frame.

2. Position a recipe on the mat board. Put a 2-inch strip of tape on back of the recipe (at top only) and gently affix when you are satisfied with the placement.

3. Reassemble frame and attach sawtooth picture hanger.

4. Cut two 36-inch strips of ribbon for each frame (or other length, as you desire). Hot glue one end of each ribbon to top back corners of the frame, then tie the two ribbons together to form a bow.

5. Hang the frame by the sawtooth hanger, then pull the ribbon taught and hang it over a nail appropriately placed on the wall. The picture will appear to hang from the ribbon, but the frame will actually be securely suspended from the sawtooth hanger.

Check out the finished product at

Best for kale

Are you wondering what to do with the abundance of kale in supermarkets and farmers markets? Laura Ford of Raleigh wrote in to shared a recipe for Sauteed Kale.

Toast 1/4 cup pine nuts in a heavy skillet over medium heat until lightly brown and aromatic. Set aside.

Sauté one clove of minced garlic and 1/2 cup chopped red onion in one tablespoon of olive oil.

Add several handfuls of fresh kale – washed and chopped – and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with pine nuts to serve.

Seeking your best tips

We would love to share your simple recipes and useful tips for cleaning, organizing and gardening. If we use your tip, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a gift card. Send your tips to Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best tips” or “best recipe” in the subject line. Please include precise measurements.

Best of the tube


Unfinished flip: Tarek and Christina are contacted by a cash-strapped flipper who needs to unload a project house. With no bathrooms, no kitchen and nothing but plywood floors, exposed framing and piles of rubble to work with, Tarek starts adding up the dollars required just to rehab the place. Will they be able to turn things around without breaking their budget? “Flip or Flop” airs at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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