A Handful of Tips and Tricks

The best flavoring a hostess can add to her entrees?

Hungry guests.

Tricks of the trade can give anyone an edge. Here are a few I’ve learned. For some of you, at least some of this information is old hat, but hopefully I can pass along some useful trivia to help make your life a little brighter.

Use triangles in photo composition.

background-2516984_1280They don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical, of course, but three points in a photo that create a triangle make for a pleasing image.

Use parsley to get rid of garlic breath.

Ever wonder what the sprig of parsley is doing on your plate? It’s not just decorative. It’s nature’s breath mint (well, a couple of mint leaves will help too).

Call TV news stations after lunch but before your afternoon siesta.

ReporterWant your local news to cover your event? Generally speaking — and on any given day, this can change — your local television news staff has the most time between 12:30 and 2:30. The morning news program is over, and they still have plenty of time to pull together the evening news. So they have time to listen to your pitch.

Rub a walnut on scratched wood furniture.

walnuts-1049558_640It’s basically the oil in the walnut that does it, of course, but you feel so ingenious doing this.

Baking soda does wonderful things.

Scour out your kitchen sink. Mix it with hydrogen peroxide and gob it on insect bites. Sprinkle it in your shoes. The list goes on and on…

And I’ll say it again, hungry guests are happy eaters.

Any helpful tips you’d like to add?


Image Credits: Triangles, Walnuts and Tip icon courtesy of Pixabay; Background on header © Dreamstime; Reporter © Bigstock.

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Sum Greater than the Parts

When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Explaining synergy gets a little convulated, but basically, it amounts to this: you take two parts and together, they create something that’s worth more than the combined value of the two parts. Two plus two equals five.

I learned of a practical example of this the other day. A co-worker was telling me about his son, an accomplished photographer. While he has the same raw skills with a camera many of his peers possess, he has another skill, one that by itself likely wouldn’t take him far professionally, but enhances his photography skills: he’s a trained hypnotist.

He can help people relax, not by actually hypnotizing them, but by  giving them tips and cues to bring out their natural selves. This talent has brought him high praise, including what has to be one of the top compliments a photographer can receive: “you captured their souls.”

A recent assignment for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation had him shooting pictures of a young woman with that horrible disease for the foundation’s newsletter. The stunning results brought tears to her parent’s eyes, who know they will likely lose their daughter in a few short years. They will have these treasured images to remind them of who she was, inside and out, while here on earth.

I loved hearing about that set of skills and how they combined to bring so much joy to people. It made me wonder how many people out there have two seemingly unrelated talents that together would explode into a rich and rare ability.

In college, we focus on a career path, and that’s a good thing. Goals are important, and seeing into the future helps keep us moving forward. What we don’t know at that age is everything we’re capable of, or even the ways our quirky pasttimes might bring us more glory.

Synergy can happen at any point in our life. Horrible experiences from the past may have resulted in a mindset that opens up a skill we’ve been building on for years, but have hit a roadblock in developing further. There are countless examples of how the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts in our lives.

Keep your heart and mind open to possibilities, and never forget your interests belong to you, you have a right to them, and they may just save you in the end.


Photo Credit: (Diamond and Coal) © cherylvb – stock.adobe.com