May Snippets

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Happy National Strawberry Month!

Strawberries are one of the sweetest aspects of spring and the first fruit of the season. The strawberry is actually a member of the rose family. It is packed with Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. This healthy treat was believed to bring peace and prosperity during the medieval era. So, grab your sunbonnet and a basket then find a strawberry field!

Magic Soda

Put that box of baking soda to work with these five surprising uses.

1. Clean dirt and the wax coating from fruits and vegetables by washing with a mix of baking soda and water.
2. Sprinkle onto countertops, sinks, microwaves, cookware, tubs, and outdoor grills. Wipe clean for a sparkling surface.
3. You probably know that placing a box in your refrigerator will remove food odors, but you can also deodorize your sofa and carpets by sprinkling the surface with baking soda, letting it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuuming it up. For fresh smelling sneakers, sprinkle a little in, then tap out before wearing.
4. Add a cup of baking soda to your washing load for brighter colors and whiter whites. When combined with liquid detergent, clothes will be cleaner and smell fresher.
5. To remove tarnish from sterling silver, simply make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Apply with soft, lint-free cloth and rinse.

It’s A Girl! It’s A Boy!

Are you looking for an unusual gift for a new mom? I went to and found several great solutions. I love the idea of making a stuffed animal from the babies first blanket. This cute toy will be treasured for many years. Key rings, shaped like a onesie, with the baby’s name, birthdate, and size engraved on it is something mom can carry with her everywhere she goes.

Wildflower Wonders

The landscape of Western North Carolina makes for one of the longest wildflower seasons in the country. As spring and summer progress, a variety of wildflowers bloom in the various elevations. Take a hike in May to discover Dogwood, Violets, Wild Cherry, Flame Azalea, Mountain Laurel, and Pinkshell Azalea among many other varieties.

Pretty Paper

McCalls was once a leading women’s monthly American magazine. In 1873, it began as a four-page fashion journal named, The Queen. In 1897, it was renamed McCall’s Magazine – Queen of Fashion. It enjoyed great popularity which peaked in the 1960s with a readership of 8.4 million. In May of 1951, and lasting until 1995, Betsy McCall paper dolls were printed in most issues. Children could cut out the dolls along with three or four cute outfits. I remember keeping my collection in an old shoebox. Betsy shared her adventures to various places such as Radio City, the ballet, the zoo, the White House, and even West Point. The simplicity of the paper doll required imagination and sparked creativity in children. Betsy McCall became so popular vinyl dolls were produced by Ideal and American Character Dolls.

JeanAnn Taylor is a style expert, home organizer and Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. She can be reached at

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker