Thursday, 28 March 2013

BROOKIES!





I think I've died and gone to Heaven!! I'm sallavating just looking at this pic!!!!

1 scoop of brownie batter + 1 scoop of cookie dough in a muffin pan = brookies!


Make brownie and cookie mixes according to box directions. (Or do what I'm going to do and make my own up from scratch) Bake as directed on box BUT start checking about half way through the directed time so your brownies stay moist (remember they are a smaller cook area when made as a muffin size and it will vary a little for each oven)




Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to Attract Butterflies and Lady Bugs

Borrowed some posts for this blog :-)

Put orange slices in a dish, or strung in a tree to attract butterflies - adds instant color to any garden.



 These attract ladybugs and other aphid/pest predators to my garden:
Sweet Alyssum....allow some to grow among the veggies. They will perform all year thru a few hard frosts if lightly sheared.
Dandelion....allow some to bloom (but not set seed) around the perimeter.
Wild Mustard....
Statice
Dill
Caledula
Feverfew
Cosmo
Marigold
Chives
In fact I have my veggies planted where the the borders have a variety of flowering plants. They attract lots of different beneficials: parasitic (braconid) wasps, tachinid flies, hover flies, minute pirate bugs, damsel bugs and mantids. Mantids however are not discriminate and will eat all and everything...a few will do ya!
Hover flies as adults are pollinators, they lay their eggs near aphid colonies where the larvae feed on them for up to 2 weeks. A single larva can consume over 400 aphids!
ALSO if you ever see what looks like a empty aphid shell...it will look white...LEAVE IT BE! Inside that shell are braconid wasp larvae or tachinid fly larvae! The adults lay eggs not only in aphids but also hornworms and other beetles, ect.
 

AT HOME SPA TREATMENTS

Sunday, 24 March 2013

VICTORIA DOESN'T HAVE ANY SECRETS









VICTORIA DOESN’T HAVE ANY SECRETS
This is a sad post.  If you’re a guy reading this, just skip down to the next paragraph please. Thanks. The other day when I was shopping for new “unmentionables”, I went into a store I said I’d never go into. I was desperate to find the right undergarment and had run out of options. So in I went to a whole new world of bra shopping. What struck me first was the smell. I thought for a second and then realized it smelled like cotton candy. Devious lure that is,eh? Especially to young girls.
After a clerk helped me make some choices, I went into the fitting room. There were woman of all ages as well as some very young girls who could have possibly been as young as Grade 6-7. Two of them were sitting on the floor (the sales clerk and I had to step over their legs….go figure…to get to my dressing room), and the other was standing in her dressing room with the door open. Her friends were very loudly critiquing her choice of bra with, “you want your “b” to look bigger, don’t you? That’s sexy so that one’s a good choice”,  said another.
My first thought was, “I’m glad that that’s not my daughter” and “how sad, that these girls are basing their self-worth on an under garment.”….. especially at such a young age.
Just read an article by Evan Dolive and he can finish my thoughts for me so here’s the link.  http://evandolive.com/2013/03/22/a-letter-to-victorias-secret-from-a-father/  .   Read it and weep if you have daughters or grand-daughters and let’s do something about it, OK? Go to your local VS store and let them know you’re not happy with the fact that they’re targeting young girls. Write and let anyone and everyone know. Our daughters and grand-daughters are precious to us.
Thank you so much.

WOOL CARDING 101



WOOL CARDING 101
Last year I started doing a bit of wool felting. My daughter actually started my interest when she made  some dryer balls of which I was the recipient of two for my dryer. They work great btw! My daughter, Deb (http://astimeflies.ca/ ) took 100% wool yarn and wound the wool into balls. Just ask Mr. Google about how to make dryer balls for the instructions if you’re interested.
So I started to look around to see what this felting was all about. I was very intrigued by all the different ideas that you could do by felting. Little animals, dolls, purse making, on clothe and many other mediums for wool felting. I searched to see where the closest store was that sold wool. There are a few in my city but the cost was really high for the rovings (as the fibres are called) so I searched sheep farms and came up with Gaspereau Valley Fibres. About a 45 minute drive from where we live. So off we went! (my husband is such a good sport btw!!)  ( http://pennofdenn.blogspot.ca/ )
I bought some beautiful wool from Gaspereau Valley Fibres just outside of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. http://www.gaspereauvalleyfibres.ca/ .
The wool I purchased was all washed and carded and probably combed (I’m still learning the lingo here!) so all I had to do was make a cute little sheep with it! The toy sheep turned out pretty good and I loved to stab the needle into the wool (we’re talking about a great therapy here…….just say’in….).
In my search for wool, I realized that one of my facebook friends lived had a farm and there just  happened to be sheep on that farm!! I asked Sally if they sold any of the wool. She said they didn’t but she had some raw wool if I wanted it. I was looking for black and she said they had some. We met for coffee at Tim’s ( THE great Canadian watering hole). We visited for almost two hours and it was so good to hear all about her family and especially the grand-babies! After our visit she brought her car over to where mine was parked and said that she actually had brought two bags of wool, one black and one white! I was ecstatic! AND two dozen eggs to boot!!! I thanked her profusely and off to home I went!
As I was driving home I got to thinking, “Now what? I have raw wool and have no idea what to do with it”. Mr. Google comes to the rescue yet again! I found all kinds of great advice on how to wash and prepare the wool, how to card and comb and even spin the wool! Now all I needed was a pair of carders and I was off to the races…..so to speak.
I had a ton of things to do in the next couple of weeks so I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of time to prepare the wool, but on one site it stated that the wool doesn’t even have to be washed if you wanted to just go right to the carding. So I started looking for carders. That’s when I realized that I really wasn’t ready to make that kind of commitment due to the cost of them. Now what? I had two huge bags of unprocessed wool and I’m too cheap to buy the carders. I kept looking around to see who had the best price. Then one of my Google hits caught my eye. It was one of those question/answer boards and it was about using something else to card with other than regular carders. The lady said that she lived in Africa and could not afford carders but she relied on processing wool for her business. She said that at her local market she found dog grooming brushes with wire prongs and they were really cheap! AHA!!! I knew where I was heading….to the Dollar Store!!!! AND yes, there they were for a buck and a quarter each!! I bought two, brought them home and started carding right away. I had already watched a few Youtubes to see how to do it properly and I was off to the races yet again!!  Here are some pics of the raw wool before and after and the “carders” I bought. Btw, I would NEVER use these “grooming” brushes on any animal.


Raw wool on the left, carded wool on the right which turned out beautifully.
Note the curve of the brushes, just like the newer carders! But be careful as the wire bristles really hurt when your hand slips.........I know this from experience :-S.....





HOW TO BRUSH A TODDLER'S TEETH IN 27 EASY STEPS!





OK, so it may not take 27 steps to brush a toddler's teeth but close enough! Every time my daughter and her family are here, I try to help with the kiddos. We have two very active grand-daughters who are 2.5 and 10 months so when it comes to baths, hair brushing, and teeth cleaning, I try and lend a helping hand.
When I first tried (not did, but tried) to brush Pri's teeth, it was like brushing the teeth of an orangutan! ....make that a toddler orangutan!
She squirmed, clamped her mouth shut and did the head turning thing. The only thing that was accomplished was getting toothpaste in her hair....sigh...what's a grand-mother to do?
Last week, I put her on the stepping stool at the sink, got my toothbrush ready and put a rice grain size bit of toothpaste on her brush (this size is recommended by the paediatric dental association), let her wet her brush, put more toothpaste on because toddlers must wash all of the first applied toothpaste off, and then we proceeded to both brush our teeth. When I finished mine and told Pri that Nanny was going to finish helping her brush her teeth, all I got was a “No, no, no!” and a clamped-mouth toddler and the “look” that said, “I’m two and I’m not going to let you brush my teeth!|
I had to think quickly so I told Pri that I was going to show her how I brushed Marcie’s teeth (Marcie is our little cat and no, I do not brush the cat’s teeth!!) Pri opened her mouth and I proceeded to brush while telling her that this was how Marcie had her teeth brushed and saying things like, “You and Marcie will have pretty teeth now, right?!” (Disclaimer: yes, I know I’m lying here but I was desperate and had to bring out the big ammo!)
Well, that tactic worked for a few seconds but we were on a roll! I wasn’t able to brush her teeth really well due to the angle she was at. (when you become a grand-parent that’s when you realize you’re not as flexible or agile as you used to be!!)
Tactic #2: I said that Nanny needed to finish her teeth while she lay on the bed and I was at a “dentist” angle with her mouth open. …..NOT!  Let’s see….how to get Pri to open her mouth again? So I said that we should sing like an opera singer and it worked!!! We both were belting out notes (Pri does this anyway) and I was able to finish her teeth like never before!!! Happy Dance!!!!
So there you have it folks! Use these simple step-by-step instructions and good luck….because you’ll still need that to brush a toddler’s teeth too!

 The one with teeth.

 Pay, the one without teeth (but as of today, she had her first one break through!!


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

UN-PAPER TOWELS?

I have been using my un-paper towels now for over a month, and I must say I REALLY LIKE them!!! Joyful Girl Designs makes all kinds of goodies as well as the towels and the workmanship is excellent!
The towel is two different materials so it's a very versatile cleaning cloth.
The print side (and she has many :-) ), is great for shinning windows or chrome on sinks and tubs. The towel side is a terry cloth and does a great job of wiping up messes (think of what  you clean up after your toddler is finished with their breakfast :-) ), cleaning all surfaces and is a quick picker-upper (is that a word?... well it is  now! )
Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/JoyfulGirlDesign. Jessica's products are eco-friendly and cute to boot! Her products range from baby all the way to grandma goodies!
So why not buy yourself some "happy" cleaning cloths (when you're cleaning it's nice to have some "happy" in the mix and the prints will make you happy!! ) and make cleaning at least semi-bearable?!
Jessica also is on facebook and she has deals on every  once in a while too :-)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

THANK YOUR BODY

SO glad I found this fb page and site!!!!  Ideas, recipes and all kinds of great advice on living toxic free! Check the site and fb page out!


 

 Here's the fb site! Have a great day everyone!!!

http://www.facebook.com/thankyourbody

Saturday, 2 March 2013

COCOA BEACH SPA IS SOOO......AAHHHH!!!!



COCOA BEACH SPA IS SOOO….AAHHHH!!!!!
Every year my hubby and I head South to Cocoa Beach, Florida.  A couple of years ago, I found this little gem via the Cocoa Beach home page and I believe I even found a coupon! Score! I had a facial and it was great!
This year, 2013, we were getting ready to head down and I became so sick I couldn’t go and have my hair done before we left. I was in dire need of a cut as my hair was way over-due and about 4 inches too long. After a few days I started feeling better and decided to ask around about a good stylist. I was directed to Coco Beach Spa as they now offer hair styling. I thought, “Oh why not?” I made my appointment and later that day I walked into one of the BEST haircuts I have EVER had!!!
 You see, I have a curly, wavy-ish, unruly mop that needs someone who knows how to tame it. And that’s where Rhesa Sutherland came into my life. She has a true artistic, gifted touch for hair and in particular my hair! 
Rhesa did her magic and out I walked with a cut that was fab!!! I love how she “sculpted” my hair into a manageable length with lots of definition.
This spa/salon will also not leave you with an empty wallet but the d├ęcor is as nice ( I think better) than some of the high-end spas. It is not a new or large building but well kept up outside and relaxing, stress-free inside!  Also, even though I’m not a “regular”, I was treated like a frequent customer. Will I go back? You bet’cha!!! Do I highly recommend Cocoa Beach Spa? You bet’cha!!
It’s off of North Atlantic Ave. at 117 Barlow Ave, Cocoa Beach. You can explore their services on their great web-site at:  http://cocoabeachspa.com/about-us/
So go ahead and get pampered  at the Cocoa Beach Spa and Salon and oh, btw…………they have CHOCOLATE!!!!!


 

CARNIVAL CRUISE STRAWBERRY BISQUE VEGAN STYLE!



CARNIVAL CRUISE STRAWBERRY BISQUE VEGAN STYLE

2 cups strawberries either fresh or frozen
One carton (250 mls) Belsoy Organic Cuisine Creamy soya preparation
One cup Silk True Almond Milk   I use the 30 calories per cup, unsweetened.( your choice of any non-dairy milk will work too)
One cup So Delicious Coconut yogurt (non-dairy product)
2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar (or your choice of sweetener)

Pop everything into a processor and blend until very smooth and creamy looking. Scrape sides as needed (with processor off btw ).
Put into tightly sealed glass container and chill for at least eight hours.
Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!