Beautiful Bluebells

May 27, 2015 by

As a child, I was fascinated by bluebells. It was always such a treat to run across a few in the wild and enjoy their special beauty. Thank you for joining me as you take some time to smell the flowers! Enjoy these lovely images!

bluebells closeup

Source -Pinterest

bluebells with ladybird beetle
Source -Pinterest

bluebells and daisies
Source -Tumblr

delicate bluebells
Source -Floral Clipart

Wow! Just look at these beautiful meadows!

bluebells meadow
Source -Floral Clipart

meadow of bluebells
Source -Pinterest

field of bluebe
Source -Reasons Four Loving Seasons

Aww! these are so cute!

solar lights bluebells
Source -Collections etc.

redoute harebell
Source -Fine Art Prints Store

Cicely Mary Barker
Source -Flower Fairies Pictures

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Tulips ~Beautiful Elegance

May 26, 2015 by

Tulips are such an elegant and self-confidant flower! I love tulips and enjoy seeing them come out early to enjoy until the other flowers wake up in the spring. I hope you enjoy these beautiful tulips!

red and yellow tulips

Source -All Things We Love and Do

Tulips come in so many styles. I really love the frilly tulips!

frilly tulips
Source -mamietitine

two tone tulips
Source -Van Meuwen

How about a bit of tulip origami!

origami tulips
Source -Try It Like It

I really need to try this sometime!

grow tulips in a vase
Source -Life Fad

Wow! How about living near these tulip fields in the Netherlands!

pretty tulip fields
Source -Plenty of Colour

And here’s the classic “Tiptoe Through the Tulips!”

And now for a bit of vintage!

redoute tulip
Source -Fine Art Prints Store

vintage tulips print
Source -Fine Art Prints Store

image of tulips
Source -The Graphics Fairy

the tulip fairy
Source -Pinterest

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Make a Bingo Bag for Little Trinkets

May 25, 2015 by

Whether you live on a farm or enjoy the comforts of a life in the city, you’ll find that it’s easy to lose track of how many things you have lying around the house. From memorabilia given away at an event you attended to little souvenirs you bought from a trip to a local festival, these things can easily begin to clutter your house if you’re not careful. Not to worry, however, as there’s an easy way to store them without breaking out the boxes from the attic: bingo bags.

small sewing project

As the name implies, these bags were often used by bingo players to hold everything from their chips to their cards and even their daubers. Unfortunately, this means that they haven’t seen much use in the past few years, as the popularity of bingo has been on the decline since its heyday in the 60s. Bingo halls also find it hard to compete with their online variants. In the UK alone, the online bingo market is said to generate upwards of $557 million in revenue every year, with sportsbooker Betfair launching their own bingo portal in 2013 and offering themed promotions like the popular “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” bingo game and even the Daily Mail launching their own bingo portal to help raise awareness for breast cancer, it’s easy to see why digital bingo has taken over land-based bingo halls. Of course, these bingo bags wouldn’t have much use for online bingo, but that just means that you can use them and their many pockets to hold a variety of other things.

diy bingo bag

There are a variety of bingo bag patterns to choose from, but the most common is the 10-dauber bag with a drawstring close. Tanaria Carey has made this great tutorial for how to create a drawstring bingo bag:

Full instructions for the pattern can be found here. Make sure you use a nice and fun fabric as well!

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Natural Carpet Cleaning Tips

May 24, 2015 by

carpet cleaning tips

You’re constantly on it with and without shoes. Your kids and young family members sit on it, roll around on it and play on it. Your pets sleep on it, they chase toys on it and beg for treats on it. You might be aware of all the activities that your carpet does handle. But you might be surprised at what hides in your carpet where you can’t see what’s going on.

You can see surface stains (and you get those up right away), but there are things in your carpet and living on the padding beneath it that you probably don’t want to know about – but you do know that you want your carpet to be clean.

To test how clean and safe your carpet is, vacuum it once with a regular vacuum cleaner and look at the amount of debris that gets vacuumed up. Then go over it again with a vacuum cleaner designed with eco friendly living in mind and see how much more debris is pulled up. That’s the stuff that you can’t see.

Now go over the floor again with an organic cleaner and see how dirty the water looks. That’s because no matter how many times you vacuum your carpet, no matter how powerful the vacuum, in order to stay truly clean, a carpet has to be cleaned with organic options in mind.

Using commercial cleaners to clean your carpet isn’t safe for you so you’re going to want to use natural methods. First, make sure you have a regularly scheduled vacuuming routine.

Always clean up any spills the moment they happen. You can use salt to absorb a spill, which is a natural way to keep a spill from becoming a stain. Use a damp (not wet) cloth to lighten stains like a wine spill, and then treat it with an organic stain remover.

Don’t use commercial cleaners to steam clean your carpet because the chemicals used are bad for the carpet and bad for your home. Plus, by using steam cleaners, you run the risk of leaving the carpet padding wet.

Pets, especially cats, tend to leave a home and carpet smelling like you have pets – so use baking soda on the carpet to absorb any odors. You can also buy an organic formula just for pet stains and odors that are safer for pets than using baking soda.

Choose a system to clean your carpets by getting a machine that has a low moisture option. By having a machine with a low moisture control, you won’t oversoak the padding beneath the carpet and cause mold or mildew.

Use organic carpet cleaners that specifically state they’re for high traffic areas if that’s the carpet area you need cleaned, and make sure it states that it’s safe around pets. Some people prefer to save the expense of a carpet cleaning machine and use elbow grease instead!

Homemade carpet cleaning recipes can be as simple as a vinegar and water solution, so look for one that appeases you and start a routine that allows you to maintain the cleanest carpets you can have at all times.

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Show Off Friday 150

May 21, 2015 by

DIY Paper Flowers
Can something be pretty and cute at the same time! Blooming Homestead

flower crafts

The Drama in Our Backyard
This is a very fun read! Home on the Corner

backyard drama

Sundried Tomato Spinach Turkey Meatball Recipe
And here is the yummy feature of the week! Pancake Warriors

turkey meatballs and spaghetti

Show Off Friday

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Eco Friendly Floor Cleaning

May 18, 2015 by

eco friendly floor cleaning

Your floors can be tough to keep clean. They handle lots of traffic and abuse every day -both human and pets.

Besides foot traffic, there’s human hair, pet hair, dust and anything tracked in from the outside that can build up. Plus, you also have to take care of any accidental spills and make sure you get up liquids that stain the floor. Some stains get ground in and can be tougher to get out if you didn’t know they had occurred.

It’s easy to buy into the belief that using a steam cleaner is the only way to truly clean carpets. And you might also think that chemical cleaners are the best product to use on wood or tile flooring, but you would be wrong.

Cleaners have too many dangerous chemicals to use in your home and the water used after a chemical steam cleaning ends up in the sewer system, while the non-biodegradable containers end up in the landfill. Not only are these chemicals bad for you and the earth, but they don’t do the best job at cleaning.

You want floors that are safe and clean enough to walk barefoot on and you also want floors clean enough for your children to be able to sit on or crawl on if you have little infants learning how to navigate the world.

Starting with carpets, you’ll first want to use an organic stain remover. You’ll find organic stain removers that don’t have any fumes, so there’s no odour for you and they don’t have any toxins so they’re great for the environment, too.

Once you’ve gone over any stains on the carpet, you can apply the carpet cleaner. Most organic cleaners are concentrated so a little can keep your carpets looking new all year long.

Even if you use a carpet cleaning machine that doesn’t use heat, organic carpet cleaners will still work for you. Some of the carpet cleaners can be specially mixed in a small dish and used as a stain remover, so you can even skip the pretreatment of stains depending on the brand you get. Look for cleaners that have soap bark and great smelling scents like sage.

For tile floors, get a cleaner that’s multi-purpose and contains linseed oil. This is safe to use on marble flooring as well. If you have hardwood flooring, make sure the organic cleaner you buy specifically lists hardwood flooring, because not all organic ingredients are suitable for hardwood.

Some organic cleaners will contain vinegar and an essence, which are good for cleaning and shining wood floors. For any floor polishes that you use, make sure they’re vegetable based.

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Easy and Quick Low-Fat Cooking Tips for the Whole Family

May 12, 2015 by

chicken dish

When you want to go low-fat in your diet, you may not think you can include the whole family; you may picture yourself eating cardboard-like food by yourself while the rest of the family eats fatty foods. But think again – you can implement a few strategies to produce low-fat food for the whole family. Here are some tips.

Don’t Cut Out All Fat

This is a mistake that some low-fat diet enthusiasts make – they simply decide to eat no fat whatsoever. There’s a problem with that approach – it fails to take into account your body’s need for fat. Some vitamins, such as the very important Vitamin D, are fat soluble, which means you won’t absorb them without the presence of fat. So make sure you include some healthy fats, such as olive oil, in your recipes.

Replace High-Fat with Low-Fat

Look in your fridge and see what high-fat foods you can replace. That way, you’ll have low-fat versions on hand for cooking. Dairy products are especially easy to find in low to no-fat versions. Health experts recommend low-fat rather than fat-free for dairy products, because your body will have a hard time absorbing the Vitamin D in dairy products without some fat.

Chicken, beef, and vegetable stock also come in fat-free versions, which are convenient to have on hand for all sorts of dishes. You can also use the broth to sauté instead of oil.

the more you eat

Keep Lean Meat on Hand

Keep your kitchen stocked with lean beef, poultry, and fish. In addition, fatty fish is a good source of healthy fats, so you can always keep some salmon or Arctic char on hand, too.

Cook without Fat

Learn how to bake, broil, steam, and poach foods instead of frying them. For sautéing, you can use broth instead of oil, or use the sauté as a chance to get some healthy oil into your diet.

Non-Stick Cookware

Let’s face it – cast iron cookware may be durable, but it does require more “grease” than non-stick cookware. In fact, you need to keep cast iron oiled for it to perform well. Using non-stick cookware enables you to cook foods without a lot of added fat to prevent sticking.

Low-Fat Baking – Substitutes

Did you know that fruit purees – particularly prune and apple – can replace some of the fat in many baked goods? The same can be said for plain yogurt, too – try replacing half to three-fourths of the fat in a recipe with low-fat, plain yogurt. And speaking of plain yogurt…

Keep Low-Fat, Plain Yogurt on Hand

This is a “workhorse” in the low-fat kitchen. You can strain it to make a cream cheese-like texture, or use it as a sour cream substitute in many dishes. Plain yogurt thickens sauces in place of heavy cream. Greek versions are naturally thicker and can be used similarly.

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