One of the things I was taught when I was little was to keep all the best things to myself.  Haha!  You might have thought that since I am an only.  But, it really is more fun to share.  

So with that, I have for you…

Three Extraordinary Tips for Today ::

And because I said it waaaaay before Martha ever did.  It’s a Good Thing!


1. Coconut Extract is made for Banana Bread.

You may remember when I shared my Best Banana Bread Recipe during my blogiversary celebration.  The other day I was in the midst of making more banana bread, when I realized I was out of vanilla extract.  I surveyed the options in my cupboard.  My choices were peppermint extract.  No thank you!  Almond extract.  And coconut extract.  After talking about it with my husband, the choice was made.  Coconut extract.  I used one teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.


A Slice of the best Banana Bread ever ::


So how did it taste?  I really didn’t notice a coco-nutty flavor.  But, my husband declared it, “The best Banana Bread, yet.”  I decided that it made it richer, smoother, and delicious-er.  [wink]  This is the brand I used.   If you try it…let me know if you think it’s extraordinary too.


2. Baking Soda is now my new favorite toothpaste.

Sometime ago, I read that Julia Roberts uses baking soda exclusively for cleaning her teeth.  So, when I ran out of my usual toothpaste, I decided I would give it a try.

At first, I really didn’t care for it.  Dumping powder into the palm of my hand, wetting the toothbrush, and trying to collect the baking soda was, well, different.  But, I decided to give it a try for a week.

Now, I like how slippery and clean my teeth feel.  And when I rinse out my mouth, I’m amazed at how sweet the water tastes, and how fresh my mouth feels, without some strong minty flavor.  And, I also discovered that I no longer go to bed and start coughing.  Evidently, when I lay down, regular toothpaste does something to my throat and it’s not a good thing.   Glad that is now a thing of the past.


Arm & Hammer Baking Soda :: Great Toothpaste ::


I’m no expert on this…I’m simply sharing a discovery.  But it seems that baking soda neutralizes the acids in our mouths and when the soda saliva mixture comes in contact with the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gingivitis, it kills those offenders, too.  Be sure to brush your tongue and gums with the soda saliva mixture as well, for at least 2 minutes.  Swish with water so your whole mouth gets cleansed.  Ahhh…refreshing!

Some people are under the false assumption that baking soda is abrasive.  It seems that it’s far less abrasive than regular toothpaste and still kicks plaque and whitens teeth.  All for just 49 cents a box, if you use a store brand.

I think maybe Julia is on to something.  After all, she does have a bright beautiful extraordinary smile.


3.  Clear Party Dishes on Amazon

Several people mentioned how much they liked my Polka-Dotted Black and White Tablescape and hoped they could find some clear glass plates as well.   The first time I wrote about using clear glass plates for entertaining I could not find any online.


Polka-dotted Tablescape ::


Recently I decided to check Amazon again, and found that the very plates that I use.  They are more expensive than my amazing, just-in-time-for-the party sale at Wal-Mart 12 years ago.  But, they are the same, and have served us (and friends who have borrowed them) well the last dozen years.   If you wish, you may order your very own extraordinary clear glass plates here.  And yes…just like every item I link to Amazon, I will receive a teeny tiny commission, for which I am very grateful. [wink]


So there you have it…

Three Extraordinary Tips for Today!


What are your plans for the weekend?  Me?  I’m almost finished spring cleaning the master bedroom.  It feels so good to get it done.  One thing has me wondering….why is it the dustiest room in the house?  All we do is change clothes and sleep in there.  Hmmm.

Whatever your weekend plans….

Go…and be your extraordinary self!!


To receive more inspiration like this in your inbox or reader, subscribe now.  It’s FREE!
Let’s connect!  Facebook  ::  Pinterest  ::  Google +  ::  Shop-Longaberger Lifestyle

Note: I will receive a small commission if you choose to place an order at Amazon using the link above.  Thank you.


  1. My mom just gave me her old set of clear plates. I remembered your polka-dot post and had to laugh. I know for a fact I’ll be stealing your trick with the dots on the table! It was so fun and festive! Also, on my sister-in-law’s recommendation from her tooth enamel research, I started brushing with soap. Yep! Glycerin-free, which is a little hard to find, but someone local here makes soap with none, and it tastes like food! My teeth are always so squeaky-clean, and my enamel thanks me. I just went to the dentist 2 weeks ago, and (I didn’t tell him my secret) he said I had very little tartar build-up and was doing an excellent job of cleaning my teeth. Yay! That’s the tell-all, right? I’m sure baking soda is good, too, since it’s a natural cleanser. And very cheap, too, like soap! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips. Hope you have a blessed weekend!

    • Diane says

      Yay for you!! That will be a very fun gift to play with. I’ll look forward to your polka dot tablescape! [wink]
      I have never heard that about soap. Glad to know and glad to hear it tastes food. Otherwise you’re taking washing your mouth out with soap to a whole new level. 🙂
      Thanks you for you thoughtful remarks, Kim!!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  2. Gwen says

    Aha! I have Barrett’s Esophogas and mint is on the no list. I cough when I lie done (yucky but mint makes phlegm) so I may switch back to the baking soda! And I hope cough less at night too!! Thanks for the tip! I did love the tablescape. How fun!!

    • Diane says

      Wouldn’t that be fabulous if this little tip was just the thing for you, too, Gwen! That would be just like God to give me that little prompt to share.
      Hope your weekend is pure loveliness! 🙂

  3. I’ve tried brushing my teeth with Baking Soda before and didn’t care for it. But it did make my teethe feel good! Oh I love the clear party dishes too! Have a blessed week Diane!

    • Diane says

      Haha! I didn’t at first either and then I realized the health benefits and decided to keep it up. Glad I did. Looking forward to seeing what fun you have with your kids on Monday on Tuesday. 🙂

  4. Mel says

    12 is about six too many for me! But maybe I’ll search amazon for the six. (see–NOT an entertainer!) I’m not so sure about the baking soda deal–though the daughter swears by it. (she has the prettiest smile on the planet–though I might be a tad biased. I DO wanna give that bread a try, but it’s about making adjustments for gluten free baking and I’m notsogood at getting the results my taste buds want. *sigh* I get discouraged and quit trying. Yep, after years of trying, I just surrendered and decided I’d ‘give things up’ rather than compromise for ucky tasting stuff that ‘looks pretty’.
    Pretty silly, given the huge changes made in gluten free living in the past few years.
    LOL Yes, I’m whining! 😉

    • Diane says

      Haha!! Well…I guess this post was a bust for you!!! LOL!!!!!
      But…here’s a tip for the gluten and grain free living….pop over to see Carrie’s gig is to make really good tasting things for YOU. Her family has gone grain free and she has recipes and menus. And with a catering background she’s into what we like. Do check it out.

  5. Thanks for the fun tips! I will definitely try the coconut extract. I laughed when you reviewed what was in your pantry because one night while making pancakes for the kids I mixed up 2 identical looking bottles and added peppermint extract instead of vanilla extract! The kids actually loved it and sometimes request mint pancakes again. Yuck!

    • Diane says

      My friend mentioned that she had used almond…and since I had some, the other night I tried that. Um…not so good. But…the coconut was a winner. My husband loves to make chocolate chip cookies and every now and then he adds some peppermint extract instead of vanilla. They aren’t too bad. Especially since he makes them chocolate with the choc chips. But, pancakes. Hmmmm….I’m not too sure about that. 😉
      How’s VBS??

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.