Saturday, April 28, 2012
My hubby teases me about this because I make him wear socks on his feet at all times because if I see his toes...well...I feel sick! The only time I don't feel sick when I see naked toes is when I see them on children. When my almost 3 year old grand daughter is here, her naked toes don't bother me at all. However, for the past few months, I have painted them for her a few times. (non-toxic natual nail polish for kids).
I wonder if I am the only woman in the world who can't stand to see non-painted toes? I am sure there has got to be other females out there who feel the exact same way as me. Do you feel the same way? Do you need to keep your toes freshly painted or can you leave your toes naked?
Friday, April 27, 2012
How many of you are planting a garden this year? I know for us, we plant one every year! This year we are going to double our garden size and go all organic. Last year we got hit hard by hurricane Irene which really damaged our garden so we need to give it an extra boost this year.
We were checking out a company called Whitney Farms® and looking at their organic soil and their organic plant food as we think it's the boost our garden needs this year. Their products are all organic with no synthetic fillers or chemicals.
The company has been in business for over 25+ years so they know their gardening products and I think this is exactly what we need. We learned that their products have no manure smell, low to no dust, is easy to apply, contains beneficial microbes, and is specially designed to provide your plants with both macro and micro nutrients that they need to thrive.
I think using both the organic soil and the organic plant food would give us a bigger crop and it would definitely help us to consume healthier fresh produce since it is indeed organic. We don't want any nasty chemicals in our home-grown food supply.
I am really looking forward to getting our garden started next weekend as we will be planting green peppers, chili peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cantaloupes, green beans, lima beans, squash, zucchini, onions, carrots, broccoli and some cauliflower. What will you be planting this year?
If you would like to try the Whitney Farms organic soil and organic plant food, right now they have a money-saving coupon on their web site that will save you $3.00 which I think is fantastic. I am definitely going to be using my coupon! You can head on over there today and get your coupon too!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Why? It may be because the big jobs seem too overwhelming to tackle, and you think it's not worth even trying if you don't have a whole week to dedicate to that one job. Another reason might be that some people just don't want to set aside the time to get the job done since the weather is now nice outside and they want to be outside enjoying it.
With that mentality, you're right - it will never get done! So let's change the way you look at big spring cleaning jobs. To make big cleaning jobs more doable, break them into doable chunks. Yes, it's worth it - don't be tempted to think that there's no use doing anything if you can't do it all at once. Here are some tips on how to break up those big jobs into smaller chunks to make them more manageable.
Motivate the Family to Help
Whether it's cleaning out the garage, attic, basement, bedrooms or cleaning up the back yard, big jobs are best done when every member of the household pitches in to help. It's almost never a case of one person's stuff - nearly everyone in the family has a mess somewhere, so delegating and asking each person to take care of his or her own mess is a start toward making it more doable.
Tips to Motivate the Family:
* Point out to each family member how much time and effort they will save for weeks and months to come when they can locate everything they need quickly and easily. Having everything cleaned up reduces stress and saves time.
* Note the unsanitary and even unsafe conditions that can come with accumulated clutter - vermin can infest it, mold can cover it, and clutter (especially paper) can be a fire hazard.
* Offer incentives like going out for dinner or having a fun take-out food and game/movie night party for everyone who pitches in to help. Incentives/Rewards are always a great motivating factor to get the family involved.
Host a Cleaning Party
For big jobs like cleaning out the basement or garage, it helps to elicit help from others. Make specific to-do lists and hand them out to your workers, breaking the big job down into smaller ones that can be done by individuals. And make sure you repay them: give out "coupons" for cleaning help at their house that you can come and do, and/or have everyone stay for dinner. .
List the Tasks That Need to be Completed
Sit down and make a list for each member of the family of what their responsibilities will be during the cleaning session. You will need to list each specific task and as it is completed ask that member of the family to cross it off the list. By providing a list to each family member they will know what they are responsible for doing and they will be able to see the "light" at the end of the tunnel as they get close to completing all of the tasks on their list.
If you are doing things in steps, it's going to take a bit of time. Give yourself and your family reasonable amount of time to get things cleaned up and organized. Once it has all been completed make sure you reward yourself and your family for a job well done.
Copyright 2012 by Shelly Hill, All Rights Reserved.
Today my hubby spent 3 hours mowing the front and back yards and using the weed whacker to get rid of the weeds. Oh my gosh, what a job that is since we have a big yard! After he was done with that he trimmed and pruned some of our bushes and finally got around to installing our brand new Rapid Reel Garden Hose Reel that we are reviewing for the Two Classy Chics review and giveaway blog. You will be able to see and read our full review on this product once we publish it on May 4th.
Next week we will be planting some new flowering bushes and some new flowers around the property and I am really looking forward to that. In 2 weeks will be starting our vegetable garden and as the season goes along, I will be blogging our garden progress.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thanksfully this past winter was a very mild one for Pennsylvania so I think that really helped my Azalea bushes. About 10 days ago my bushes started blooming again and right now they are in full bloom.I have always loved Azaleas so I am pretty stoked about having them blooming again and looking so pretty! yeah! Hopefully this year, we won't get hit by any tropical storms or hurricanes!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Black Raspberry ICE Cocktail Recipe
1 oz. Makers Mark Bourbon
½ oz. Dry Vermouth
2 Bourbon Cherries
Top off with Black Raspberry Sparkling ICE
Stir gently and garnish with blackberries. Enjoy!
Orange Mango ICE Cocktail Recipe
1 oz. Herradura Silver Tequila
1 oz. Triple Sec
Lime wedge muddled
Topped with Orange Mango Sparkling ICE
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: We were given some cocktail recipes to share with our blog readers from the PR firm that represents Sparkling ICE to share with our readers. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Today I would like to introduce you to the product called Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix by the great folks over at Miracle-Gro. This is a new product that you will surely enjoy using. With the Expand 'n Gro you get these great benefits when using it in your vegetable gardens, flower gardens or just for regular plants and bushes:
* Up to 3X the vegetables and flowers (as compared to your native soil)
* Helps to improve your soil for several years
* Concentrated planting mix that expands up to 3X when mixed with water so it will go a long way.
* Feeds your plants for up to 6 months!
* The natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than regular potting soil. (love that!).
The Expand 'n Gro by Miracle-Gro is available for purchase at lawn and garden stores in the Midwest, Northeast and Texas. I am going to go out and see if I can find it here in Pennsylvania as my backyard garden needs some serious help this year. You can also find this fabulous product at Amazon.com.
Every year we plant a nice sized garden in our backyard. Last summer our garden didn't do too well which really shocked us as it has always done well in the past. This year I am determined to have a nice backyard garden again and I think the Expand 'n Gro could really help improve our soil which would improve our plants and give us a nicer and bigger harvest.
Right now on their site they are offering a $3 off Coupon for you to try this great new product. Just head on over to their web site to learn more about it and click on the link. What really interests me about this product is that it can be used in the ground or if you have plants that are in containers, you can also use it for container gardening or in your house plant's soil. The product is a natural blend of the famous Miracle-Gro plant food that has been combined with Coir, an all-natural coconut fiber
I am really looking forward to getting this product into my hands and into my vegetable garden this year. Please feel free to leave me a few comments about your gardening habits and tips as well as your thoughts about this new product and/or any of the Miracle-Gro products. Take a look at this video to learn more about how this product will work for you. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
If you're planning a wedding -- whether three weeks or three months out -- here are some challenges you'll face, and how to address them in a budget-friendly way. It's still one of the biggest days of your life, no matter how much time that goes into planning, and you deserve to have the most memorable and beautiful event you can imagine.
Challenge #1 - Venue
One of your biggest challenges will be finding a venue that's not already booked. However, you may find that some of the most economical places to marry aren't traditional wedding venues. Think private homes, city parks and even city hall. Contact your local visitors' bureau for ideas.
Challenge #2 - Dress
You won't have much time for alterations, which are costly anyway, so pick a dress that fits off the rack. David's Bridal often has a clearance section where you can pick a dress for $99. A bride friend of mine purchased two dresses off eBay in different sizes and simply returned the one that didn't fit. The other fit perfectly. (Make sure to check return policies first.)
Challenge #3 - Photography
Since many wedding vendors, including photographers, often book up to a year in advance you might have trouble finding one available on your day. Ask for recommendations from friends, but don't overlook local college students, who are more likely to shoot your wedding on a dime, work really hard and try newer, more modern treatments on your photos (if you'd like).
Challenge #4 - Food
The reception is always the most expensive and hard-to-plan-for part of your big day, so take the sting out by getting married in between meal times (afternoon, perhaps) and giving your reception a theme: like a dessert buffet. Or stick with cake, punch and simple finger foods. Instead of using a catering service, order from a local grocery store or, like bride Becki Fowler, from a big box retailer like Costco. "Everyone was surprised to hear our wedding was catered by Costco!" she told the retailer.
Challenge #5 - Registry
If you're marrying in a hurry, you probably don't have time to think about setting up a traditional registry. Spread the word among family and friends that you'd really appreciate cash (perhaps toward a large purchase you're hoping to make), or sign up for a gift card wedding registry at CardAvenue, where you can select gift cards to hundreds of national chains, like Home Depot or Crate&Barrel.
Challenge #6 - Officiant
If your state laws allow it, have a mutual friend get certified online. Other states let you marry yourselves but you can still have a friend (not certified) conduct the ceremony. Just check the appropriate box and the marriage license and voila! Husband and wife.
Challenge #7 - Flowers
Pick up stems from the grocery store or florist (which are cheaper than a formal bouquet) and arrange in mason jars (look at stores like Big Lots or Walmart for discount jars). Hand-tie bouquets to save on costly arranging.
There's no shame in your game if you use e-vites or Facebook to get the word out about your last-minute wedding and ditch mailed invitations. Evite.com has some great designs to elegantly convey your message without the cost. Keep in mind some folks might not use email or social media (like Grandma), so delegate a family member to make the necessary phone calls to relay the details.
Challenge #9 - Guest List
After the wedding you can send out formal wedding announcements (with a pretty photo from the big day) to everyone you know, but keep the big day itself small. The smaller your guest list, the cheaper your wedding will be, the less stress it will be to plan and the more intimately it will be remembered. If you want to include a large crowd in your celebration, organize a reception party when you have more time.
Challenge #10 - Travel
Don't feel pressured to jet off to your dream honeymoon when you barely have time (and money) to plan your wedding day. Just wait. Take your time to plan your dream vacation when funds are replenished and you've got the space to relax, plan and enjoy.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
After she goes home later today, hubby and I have planned a romantic date night with dinner and a few movies. I love date nights & take advantage of them whenever I can! I hope everyone enjoys their Easter and remember what today is really all about. Have a good one!
Friday, April 6, 2012
We love gourmet jelly beans but wow...they sure are getting expensive! We don't care for off-brand cheapo jelly beans at all, nope...we like the expensive gourmet jelly beans in wonderful flavors like toasted marshmallow, pina colada, buttered popcorn, chocolate covered strawberries, etc.
I ended up buying 2 lbs. of gourmet flavored jelly beans and each pound was $7.99 OH MY GOSH. I swear they are even more expensive this year than chocolate candy. Wowza!
Anyway, I hope you all have a nice Easter Holiday! Enjoy some time off with your family and friends.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I love capturing innocent moments like this when she wasn't paying attention to Nanny with the camera. I love those type of shots!
All of these cocktail recipes contain alcohol and are for adults age 21 years of age or older.
Sparkling Berry Cocktail Punch Recipe (shown above)
2 Bottles of Black Raspberry Sparkling ICE
1 bottle of dry red wine
¼ cup Triple Sec
¼ cup of Apple flavored vodka
2 sliced peaches
2 sliced Granny Smith apple
1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 cup of fresh raspberries
1 cup of seedless red grapes
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
1 liter club soda
Prepare all fruit and transfer to a large punch bowl. Add wine and Sparkling ICE, stir to combine flavors. For best results prepare and keep refrigerated overnight. Add the club soda right before serving to guests. Enjoy!Pink Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail Recipe
1 oz Pineapple flavored rum
1 oz Orange flavored vodka
3 oz Pink Grapefruit ICE
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass with ice.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I am NO fan of winter, actually...I hate winter because I am not a fan of snow, ice and cold temperature. I am really happy that spring has sprung early for us this year and that Groundhog Phil was WRONG with his prediction of 6 more weeks of winter. What a stupid groundhog, he totally got this year's prediction wrong! LOL
Earlier today I went out for a walk with my mommy walking group and we did 2 miles. We like to go out about 3 times a week and take walks together, which I always enjoy. Today we took in the beauty of all of the blooming flowers that we saw along our walk path.
Usually our springtime flowers don't start blooming until early April but this year they all started blooming the middle of March. When I say blooming, they are all in FULL BLOOM already this year! yeah!!!!
I am looking forward to Tuesday when we all go out for our next mommy walk and hopefully this time around we will see even more flowers in bloom. I just love them!