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Organize Your Tea Bags In Preparation For Fall

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What is the autumnal version of spring cleaning? Whatever it is, it tends to happen right around Labor Day weekend each year. The summer is over; the kids are back in school; and if you are lucky the weather may even start to cool down. This is when you look around and reorganize your belongings in preparation for the colder seasons ahead.

This is obviously why tea bag organizers are suddenly selling like hotcakes. Dedicated tea and coffee bars have become popular in recent years, and if you missed the boat in 2020 now is your chance to catch up.

Most tea bag organizers that I’ve seen on Amazon are of the plastic variety, like this one:

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2 Pack Large Stackable Plastic Tea Bag Organizer – Storage Bin Box for Kitchen Cabinets, Countertops, Pantry – Holds Beverage Bags, Cups, Pods, Packets, Condiment Accessories Holder —$20.99

The appeal of plastic tea bag organizers (besides being, well, plastic, and therefore cheap) seems to be their transparency. Because they are see-through, you can intermingle a bunch of varieties and always know what your options are. By extension, these tea bag organizers do not take up very much space.

If you do have a little more room, however, I believe a wooden tea bag organizer has much more to offer in the way of aesthetics. Just imagine how nice this one would look in a small alcove adjoining your kitchen area:

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THEODORE Vertical Tea Bag Organizer. Bamboo Tea Bag Holder – Holds 180 Tea Bags. Elegant and Practical Wooden Tea Box for Tea Storage for Home, Office or Café. Can also Hold Sugar Packets and Creamers — $44.99

There is something warm and welcoming—almost “hygge”—about the bamboo version. To borrow a phrase, I do not think it is possible to take a look at the plastic one and feel that it “sparks joy.”

At the end of the day, no matter what popular Netflix hosts might say, how you organize your home is up to you. These are just two general styles of the many tea and coffee holders available for you to choose from.

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Start The Spooky Season Off Right With These Halloween Decorations

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Spooky season starts in September. That is the official rule. Maybe it’s just me, but Halloween is more fun as an adult. I mean sure, we can’t go trick-or-treating anymore, but personally I’d rather be sipping on a spooky spritzer than stuffing my face with candy anyways. Spooky season is one of the few times of the year that everyone (literally, everyone) can have fun for the sake of having fun. From the Halloween decorations, haunted houses and scary movies to the costumes, cocktails and parties, it’s almost impossible not to have fun. So, let’s get this party startled

First thing’s first, you have to decorate. Not only is this just fun, but it will undoubtedly get you into the spooky spirit in no time. Now, whether you want to keep it simple or you want to turn your entire front yard into a graveyard is entirely up to you, but if you need some inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out some of the best Halloween decorations on Amazon to help get you started (and they’re budget-friendly!). Creep it real and have a fang-tastic Halloween!

  1. 5 Piece Halloween Table Decoration Set, $17.99
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This spooky spidery set comes with a fireplace runner, a table runner, a table cloth, a lamp cover AND bat stickers for your wall. Talk about all-inclusive.

  1. Happy Halloween 18 x 18 Pillow Covers Set of 4, $16.99
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Four festive pillow case covers and four decorative coasters? This is a steal for sure. Take good care of them and these pillow cases might just last you a lifetime.

  1. Black Creepy Cloth 196 x 39 inches, $7.99
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It wouldn’t be spooky season without a creepy cloth. Throw it up in the corner somewhere and the room automatically looks spookier.

  1. Drink Up Witches Banner Gold Glittery- Halloween Party Decorations, $9.99 
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The banner every COVID-safe Halloween party needs. Cheers, witches!

  1. KAF Home Pantry Halloween Dish Towel Set of 4, $13.99
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These dish towels are adorable and they are the perfect addition if you prefer to keep your decor simple and minimal. 

  1. AISENO Halloween Decorations Scary Giant Spider Virtual Realistic Hairy Spider Outdoor Indoor Party Supplies Decor, $11.98 
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An iconic piece of Halloween decor. Put it inside or put it outside, you’re guaranteed to make a few people jump either way. Place it on top of a fake spider web, and you’re all set. 

  1. KAILEDI Halloween String Lights, LED Pumpkin Lights, Holiday Lights for Outdoor Decor, $14.98
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Keep it lit with these adorable pumpkin LED lights.

  1. Pretex 19″ Posable Halloween Skeleton, $14.99
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The perfect trick-or-treater greeter.

  1. 17.7″ Halloween Hanging Ghosts (5 Pack), $12.70
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Boo-yah! These hanging ghosts are perfect indoor or outdoor Halloween decorations that everyone will love. You can even bend the arms to pose them however you’d like. 

  1. TGOOD Halloween Decorations 3 Pcs- Hanging Grim Reapers and Hanging Flying Skeleton Ghost, $14.99
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These will put the “spooky” in spooky season.

  1. JOYIN 17″ Halloween Foam RIP Graveyard Tombstones, $25.95
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These foam tombstones are affordable, easy to set up and the kids will love them! They also come with metal stakes to keep them secure in the yard.

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Find The Perfect Caddy To Attach To The Wall Of Your Shower

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You know what is annoying? Cleaning your shower. No matter how diligently you try to keep grime from building up around your tub, you are simply no match for the twin forces of time and gravity. The hardest stains to get out are rust and those pesky pink spots caused by bacteria.

This is especially a problem if, like me, you tend to keep all sorts of rust-prone hygiene accessories in and around your shower. Specifically, I am thinking about my razor and nail clippers. The best time to clip your nails is right after you shower, when they are moist and easy to trim. Yet, keeping nail clippers in your shower is a surefire way to end up with rust. This is true even with the so-called “rust-resistant” stainless steel nail clippers.

The only solution, I’ve found, is to invest in a shower caddy and attach it somewhere on the tile that is not exposed to water. This is the one I bought:

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TAILI Shower Caddy Drill-Free with Vacuum Suction Cup Removable Shower Shelf Storage Basket for Shampoo & Toiletries, Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Organizer — $23.99

All of a sudden, keeping my shower clean is no longer a herculean effort. In addition to my metal grooming products, I keep all my shampoos, soaps, and body washes in the caddy, which I attached directly under the shower head. This keeps it from getting wet. It has the added benefit of putting everything I need to access while showering within easy reach.

This shower caddy is incredibly easy to attach to the tile: It has these nifty suction cups you simply stick on. Then, if you need to take it off for any reason, you just push the buttons, and it pops right off the wall. Despite being very lightweight, it is also very sturdy. I loaded it up with pretty much anything I could find lying around my bathroom just to test its durability, and it held up under any and all pressure.

Your shower may already have some sort of shelf designed to store the aforementioned items. Even so, in most such cases rust and buildup is inevitable, and it is incumbent upon you to be proactive in improving your shower’s cleanliness. In other words, it is incumbent upon you to install a shower caddy.

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How To Filter Cork Out Of Your Wine

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If you did not follow our advice and have yet to invest (just $20, people!) in an electric wine opener, chances are at some point you have ended up with tiny bits of cork in your wine. Open enough wine bottles manually, and it is going to happen. Sometimes it happens because you aren’t paying enough attention and open it at a weird angle. Other times the cork is faulty. When you find yourself in this situation, you are going to want to remove the cork pieces from your wine. Consuming cork is not harmful, but still, I think you’d rather drink your wine with its intended consistency.

From experience, I can tell you that the first thing you will do is grab a mesh strainer. Everyone has one in their kitchen. Unfortunately, a regular mesh strainer is not fine enough to strain out all the little cork particles. It might catch the biggest pieces, but you could have fished those out with a spoon. So, what are you to do? There are three other kitchen items, of varying prevalence, that can help you in this spot.

1. Cheesecloth

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5 Pack Circle Cheesecloth, 100% Unbleached Cotton Ultra Fine Cheese Cloths for Straining, Grade 90 Plus Cheese Cloth Weave Fabric Filter for Cooking, Baking (2 Pack 23.6″ & 3 Pack 15.7″) — $10.98

The first is a cheesecloth. As its name suggests, a cheesecloth is primarily used to make cheese. But even if you are not in the habit of making your own cheese, you still might have one lying around. Cheesecloths are useful in basting as well as in flavoring stews with herbs and spices. The cloth is extremely fine, so it will easily strain the wine will catching the cork bits. If you have one, you should use it.

2. Reusable Coffee Filter

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GoldTone Brand Reusable No.4 Cone Style Replacement Coffee Filter replaces your Cuisinart Permanent Coffee Filter for Machines and Brewers (1 Pack) — $6.99

Unless you are a chef, you are more likely to own a reusable coffee filter than a cheesecloth. In theory, coffee filters are exactly what you are looking for. They are designed to allow liquid (coffee) to pass through, while catching tiny solids (coffee grounds). In a pinch, a coffee filter will do the same for your wine; its nylon mesh is definitely fine enough to prevent the permeation of cork bits. There is just one problem: To keep its shape, coffee filters typically are lined with plastic on the bottom. Your wine can circumvent this obstacle, but it is not the perfect solution.

3. Cold Brew Infuser

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Ultra-Fine Mesh Cold Brew Coffee Filter to Use with 2-Quart Mason Jar — $15.95

Whether you own a cold brew coffee infuser will depend entirely on whether you make cold brew coffee. There are not really any other use cases. (Except, we shall see, for filtering the cork out of wine.) Like a regular coffee filter, a cold brew infuser has to be fine enough to keep out grounds. Therefore, it has no problem catching all the itty bitty pieces of cork debris. Made out of stainless steel instead of nylon, this will generally be easier to clean. If you use a regular coffee filter, you risk your next pot tasting like wine. The one thing to note with a cold brew infuser: They are designed to fit into mason jars, so they may not fit your standard wine glass.

Don’t have any of these in your house? Alas, then you will have to actually buy something to get the job done. There are surprisingly few products available produced explicitly for this task, perhaps because many people do make do with the perfectly cromulent substitutes listed above. Search Amazon for “wine filter” and “wine strainer,” and you will primarily find aerators and purifiers. We are not trying to change the flavor of our wine here, we are just trying to drink it. The accomplish that, a funnel-shaped mesh filter will be your best bet:

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HAUSPROFI Stainless Steel Funnel, 13cm 304 Stainless Steel Kitchen Funnel with 200 Mesh Food Filter Strainer for Transferring Liquids, Oil, Making Jam (5 Inch) — $13.98

It is possible you already own one of these if you are in the habit of making homemade jam. If not, it is exactly the tool you need to be able to drink your freshly poured wine unadulterated. Every oenophile should have one.

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