Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taking time for familiy

Someday I will get back to my blog, but right now I have 2 boys who need me... i would love to be able to both, but I struggled to do both well. Thank you for understanding.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ah blog, how I've missed you...

My husband has been gone for the last 2 months for business, so most of my time was just spent surviving his absence. You would think it would be that bad because of the already long hours he works, but not having another person around can really weigh you down. I rarely saw other adults, and when I did I clung to every second of conversation like a drowning man to a life line. I woke each morning exhausted from the day before, and crashed each night into dreamless slumber. I didn't craft, I didn't have the mental capacity or energy. So please excuse my absence, I thought of you, and fondly dreamed of working and posting here again. As soon as the crazy wears it's self out, I will be back with exciting projects and ideas!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Invitation only" internet stores

So far I have only reviewed one product, the mini shop vac, but I intend to change that... I thought that today I'd cover those tempting invitation only stores. I love shopping online, especially when it means I can get a really great deal on really nice products. Having a computer savvy hubby made me wary of the plethora of Internet shops out there, but after searching everywhere for affordable/ nice Christmas gifts a few years ago, I thought I'd take the risk. I joined a few and found some great deals. I joined others and met some problems, some of the companies went out of business and left their customers waiting for orders that would never arrive! (Thank goodness that didn't happen to me, I'd never purchased anything from them)

A few suggestions when looking at which ones to join; Talk to people you know who have PURCHASED from the companies, not just people who get the emails. Research the companies (bbb, customer reviews, etc). Look for a company with a great return policy.Go through Paypal whenever possible for purchases. Never let them store your card numbers, if they get hacked you get hacked.

Suggestions for buying from them: again, Paypal, it keeps you safer. You have to be a "quick buyer" not someone who wants to sit and think about it before you hit the purchase button, things go quick when there is a great price (this was hard for me, I always think about a purchase forever before I buy, with these I learned to look at who was in the next week's line up of sellers and researched whether they sold the items I was looking for, what the original price was, what they went for on ebay, reviews etc. so that I was completely ready to hit that "buy" button if it was a sale price I was willing to pay). Be flexible with color/pattern. Don't be heartbroken if it gets away, sometimes that is just how things go. Be prepared to wait 2-3 weeks + to get your items.

Example: I really wanted some nice, cute, comfortable rain boots. I looked at Target. I looked at Walmart. I looked at tons of shoe stores online. I really wanted something of quality, but I didn't want to pay much. Insert one of the invitation only websites. A few months ago they had been selling designer rain boots for really amazing prices, Walmart prices. I was bummed that now that I realized I could really use a pair of rain boots (all the rain we get here and working in the garden) they weren't selling them. I did notice that they tend to sell in cycles, and I waited to see if the seller would come up again since it had been super popular. In the mean time I checked reviews of the maker, the boots, their prices everywhere and even picked out styles I would be interested in. Then that lucky day came, I got the email from said company advertising the sales of the day and saw my boot brand. I jumped in. 2 of the patterns I liked were sold out of my size within minutes, but a third was still available. I jumped on that "buy" button, and purchased a beautiful pair of designer boots for $5 less (even with shipping) than a pair of plain, boring, uncomfortable rain boots from Target that I'd tried on. And for the first time ever I am looking forward to a rainy day. It did take 2 weeks for my item to ship, but because I knew that ahead of time it wasn't a problem (an annoyance maybe, but not a problem).

Now, these places can be very dangerous for many reasons (hackers, bad business practices, etc), but one that I do need to warn about is obsesive online shopping. Be careful of debt. Dont overspend, and dont buy JUST because it is on sale. But, if you do your research these companies can be a great place to get those really nice things you have been dreaming of for a really great price.

I hope this has been helpful to someone!

Recycling, composting and gardening

I promise that this blog isn't always going to be about gardens, but those are the only big projects I am working on/finishing currently, so that is what you get! *sticks tounge out*;)

Last year, in anticipation of starting a garden, I started a compost bin from an old covered trash can (the kind that is $7.00 at W). This week I added little workers to it in the form of Red Worms. Let me tell you, they were not easy to track down, none of the bait shops had any sort of worms at all, so I turned to the world wide web. There are quite a few places that sell them, but I wanted something close geographically and cheap (I only wanted 100 to start out). I finally purchased mine off of ebay from a seller in New Orleans, can't get much closer than that! They were here 2 days later. I tossed them in and they got to work, I havn't seen them unless I've gone looking, so they must be digging deep. In my search for worms, I learned that you can't use night crawlers or other forms of worms because they dont hold up to the heat in my style of compost bin. I am still holding out hope for a nice vermicomposter that will house several hundred of the squirmy critters and produce tons of fresh rich soil and worm tea for my garden.

Next up is my little project for the garden: a recycled watering can. I dont use a watering can often, so I couldn't see the point in spending $5-$15 on one. I started wondering if I could make one out of things I have sitting around. In our family, we go through gallons of apple juice, so I always have some of the bottles sitting around and waiting for recycling day. I grabbed one and got to work. It was easy and took me less than 5 minutes, and most of that was gathering tools and taking pictures!

First I pulled out my drill and a really small bit.

Then I drew a circle on the bottle with a marker where I wanted my spout to be.

Next I drilled holes in a random fashion inside the circle.

Finally I drilled one air hole on the back side of the bottle (If you dont do this then you have to squeeze the water out and wait for it to "glug, glug" before moving on ;) )

Fill it with water, put the cap on and get to watering! easy right?

Here are a few pictures of the plants in my garden, they look great right? :)

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pallet Herb Garden

I'm on a bit of a gardening kick lately. With gas prices and food prices forever increasing, I am more convinced than ever that it is in my family's best interests financially to have a home garden. Fewer trips to the grocery store equals more money in the bank account. Plus it will be easier to eat healthier. Win/win.

I was directed to a great idea for gardening in a confined space today. Pallet gardens! more specifically, I plan on turning a pallet into an herb garden. Here is the link if you are interested in the "how to". I think it is great for appartment dwellers, or people like me that just dont have the backyard space for a "serious" garden.

I'm looking forward to showing you how well my little container garden is doing, the squash sprouts broke through today and I can just see a couple of carrot sprouts. It isn't much, but it is a start and covers the family favorites for veggies. Still waiting on the bell pepers and the pumpkins. Pictures will be posted soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Any guess?

Any guess as to what I have cooking up outside? here is a hint:

This is my attempt at container gardens... right now we are in the "greenhouse" phase... I tend to over water seeds, and I've found I'm less likely to do that if I have a greenhouse system going on.

So here is what I have done:


2 big plastic tubs,

several bags of potting soil, garden soil and manure fertilizer mixed well together with peat moss,

seeds, plastic sheeting, string, PVC pipe, and a cup of water.

I've filled the tubs with the soil mixture, planted the seeds as directed (we have carrots, zucchini, yellow squash in one, and in the other a pumpkin grouping in the center ). Then I took a cup of water and placed it in a corner without seeds and a PVC pipe placed almost center (depending on the placement of plants) and covered it with plastic sheeting. The sheeting was tied down with a string under the lip of the tub. I plan on checking the water levels daily so that I don't bake the plants or over water them.

When it looks like I have a lot of good plants, I'll transfer some to other tubs, but right now I'm just hoping that things will grow and that this wont all be for naught. Each of the squash plants will have thier own 18 gallon tub. When we are out of the greenhouse part I will drill a few small holes in the base edge of the tubs for water drainage.

I do need to paint the tubs white so that they don't get too hot and hurt the roots, but that needs to wait until I can get to the hardware store and pick up plastic compatible spray paint

Let me know what you think! I'm still learning about the gardening thing, so hopefully all my research was right and this works out! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Extend the life of your Dark wash jeans!!!

I just tried this today, and if you guys are interested I'll write a tutorial on how I did it...

So, I love dark jeans, especially on my little boys, but I've found that after several washes they fade... a lot. It drives me crazy. Well, I've wondered for a while if I could dye them dark again, or if that would ruin them. I finally broke down and tried it on the only pair of jeans Bug has... and it turned out great! They look almost new again! I still need to find that perfect shade of dark denim dye, but for now the Rit Dye in navy is doing the trick.

So if you'd like me to show you how I did it, let me know... it is super simple, but I know I was scared going in blind. :)

Have a good one!!!