Refresh your sheitel locks while on lockdown
You didn’t make it to the sheitelmacher before Yom Tov this year. You were in quarantine, your wig stylist was in quarantine, your whole country was in quarantine…. Or you were simply too busy making Pesach and working from home and providing entertainment for the kids at home to deal with anything else.
But your sheitel really needs some help so you don’t go into Yom Tov looking like you’re wearing a mop. Sheitelmacher Devorah Stefansky of Ramat Beit Shemesh offers sheitel revival tips:
-Some wigs look nice air-dried, especially if they’re wavy or curly. If your sheitel isn’t very straight, you can just wash your wig yourself, let it air-dry naturally, and wear it like that.
-If you usually wear your wig straight, put in some rollers and leave them in for a couple of days.
-If your bangs are a little greasy, just wash the bangs, let them air-dry, and then pin the bangs onto the wig head in the direction you usually wear them.
-Dry shampoo can give a fresh look to your sheitel without washing it. Spray it on the bangs and the roots of the wig.
-To give your wig a new look, you can add a braid, a headband, or a cute clip. Or simply pin the bangs back or pull the hair in front half-up.
Fresh and Fragrant
You’ve cleaned and cleaned. There’s definitely no chometz around. There’s considerably less dust. So why doesn’t your house smell fresh and fragrant? More importantly, what can you do about it?
-Open all the windows and let the house air out.
-Fill a pot with vanilla extract, brown sugar, and water and let it boil away.
-Open all clothing closets to air out the coats and jackets and dresses.
-Attack places with potential nasty smells. Generously spray behind the toilet, including the cracks and crevices and walls around it, with scented cleaning spray. Let it sit for about half an hour, then pour a bucket of water over the whole area to wash it all away. (Based on a suggestion in Yael Wiesner’s How Does SHE Manage? Feldheim Publishers.)
-Fill the toilet brush receptacles with scented cleaning product or laundry softener to give the bathroom a nice smell.
-Clean the washing machine: Run a very hot wash cycle with just a few rags in it to sterilize the machine, killing any bacteria creating an unpleasant smell. Make it a regular practice to leave the door open between loads.
-Clean out your drain pipes. There are many drain-cleaning products on the market that dissolve the gunk lining pipes. Keep these products away from kids; they’re abrasive and very dangerous.
-Wash all bath, dish, and hand towels hanging around. Their dampness may be giving a musty or mildew-like smell to your living space.
Survival Tips for Shavuah She’chal Bo
There’s one week left until Pesach. Here’s how other women manage that hectic time:
The week before Pesach, my biggest tools are my crockpot and sandwich maker. Two weeks before Pesach, I make a ton of cheese latkes, pancakes, mini pita pizzas and other such items, then freeze them. When the kids get hungry at lunchtime, I pop them into the sandwich maker and it’s fresh and yummy. For supper, same concept. I make stews, chicken and rice, all prepared in individual containers. I freeze them raw, then in the morning, pop in the contents of a frozen container into a crockpot and set it on low. By the evening, I have a hot fleishig meal.
When your house isn’t fully Pesachdig, but your kitchen isn’t really available anymore, you can make a great meal by plugging in a toaster oven in a chometzdig area and making lasagna. No cooking necessary; all you need are a bowl, some spoons, and a disposable cup or two for measuring.
I make new lists every night under the headings: to clean, to cook, to buy. I hang the lists up, and every child is encouraged to pick what they want to do and cross it off when they complete the job. The kids like it because they’re not being handed a job; they get to choose what they want to do.
To keep the kids entertained when I’m up to the kitchen-cleaning stage, I put some liquid dish soap on the counter with some water and let them rub their hands around to make soap suds. They draw and play in the suds; it can keep them busy for at least half an hour, especially if they’re working with a friend or a sibling. The biggest mess you get is a very clean counter along with water on the floor to start mopping!
My mother really tries to have everything cooked by the time Erev Yom Tov arrives. She kashers the kitchen a week before Pesach, and every day we do some cooking. The night of bedikas chometz, we finish up with some last-minute things. That way, Erev Yom Tov is really pretty calm.
My sandwich maker is a lifesaver before Pesach. I plug it into the outlet in my yard, and on an outdoor table put out a loaf of bread and plates with a variety of fillings. My kids make their own paninis. Fillings include: tuna, hard cheese, Bulgarian cheese, mushrooms (canned is fine), tomatoes, olives, and any leftover Shabbos dips (mushrooms and roasted veggies work particularly well).
I go dry goods shopping ten days before Pesach and store it all in a room. Then four days before Yom Tov, I turn over the kitchen and shop for produce. Three days before, I make all the salatim (dips and salads) and stock the freezer with dessert. Two days before, I make side dishes (and more desserts because, well, you know why). The day before, I make everything on my menu for the first days, as well as make a big pot of soup for the kids to eat before the Seder. On Erev Yom Tov, the only thing I do is Seder plate necessities!
As a mother of young children, baruch Hashem, I rely on lots of kitniyos snacks, chalk, bubbles, sponges, and anything else that will keep them entertained out in the backyard.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 687)
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