Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Summer time brings so many opportunities for cook outs and picnics with family and friends, and one thing that makes these events even more special is that we can use fresh ingredients.  When you get ready to make a salad or a homemade fruit pie, do you ever think about where your ingredients come from? [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 382

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Every Beautiful Family Kitchen Needs These 4 Important Features

kitchen

Flickr

Developing the homes we love is both an effort in love and labor. Love, because developing the home space for our family to make memories together and commune over the day experienced doesn’t need its appealing nature explained. Labor, because the kitchen is the most difficult, and the most necessary place in your family home to get right.

Your kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the meals that sustain the family are made. It’s likely where you all enter to commune after coming in from your outside errands and duties. It’s important to make this place a beautiful place for you, your children and any extended family members who come to visit.

Remember, you’ll spend a lot of time here, so make sure that you stock it with the following four tips to complete the space.

A Sizeable Pantry

Every good familial cook, be that the father, mother or even child, requires a place to store all of their cooking equipment. Shoot for a pantry larger than that you’d originally think you might need. This will allow you to collect various items over the years, and also fill the pantry with non-perishable goods for months that can be used in a pinch when you really need them.

Storage spaces are necessary, and when your family increases in size, you can be sure to understand just how increasingly necessary they can be.

A Liquor Cabinet

A good family kitchen is never complete without a classy liquor cabinet. This can serve as an area where you can mix cocktails for your family friends as a go-to party trick. For the most refined liquor cabinet, order alcohol online that adheres to your tastes. If nothing else, the liquor cabinet will serve as a place to store bottles gifted to you as part of anniversaries or other celebratory milestones. You’ll never know when you desire a quick nightcap.

A Familial Reminder

A kitchen should be considered the most important place in the family home. This will only be exemplified if you make a habit out of decorating its display areas with pictures, drawings, and achievements your family have been involved with. As this grows and develops over time, you will have a clear mural dedicated to the family that you couldn’t do without.

A Place To Organize

A good kitchen also serves as the focal point for a family’s responsibilities. Placing a calendar with important dates laid out on a fridge or free wall space can help you and your family keep track of their duties in synchronicity. Also, consider crafting an area dedicated to the safe storage of important family documents, such as bills, gas readings, etc. A large wall divider can serve to keep the whole family on track with their goals, and you as the head of the family aware of all their ongoings.

These four features, when implemented well, can really round off a beautiful kitchen design. A family kitchen is only complete when it feels lived in, when the family members use it often, and the space develops as the family does.

With these tips, you’ll be off to a great start.

Choosing the Best Mattress Topper for your Bed – PROs and CONs of each topper type

The bed is the centerpiece of your room, the one place you make a beeline for at the end of a long day.

It only makes sense to make it as comfortable as possible. If you own and old thrifty mattress and the money it tight the best way to freshen it up is adding a good mattress topper.

girl-serene-sleep

Mattress toppers vs. pads and protectors

A mattress topper is an extra layer you roll onto your bed for added comfort. They provide additional support and help keep you nice and cozy in those cold winter months.

Just to be clear, a mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress protector – the latter being a thin cover meant to keep out moisture, mildew, allergens, dust, and pests.

It’s also not quite the same as a mattress pad. Pads are usually thinner and perform much the same function as the mattress protector while still providing some comfort.

This is the first decision you’ll have to make – which of these is the best option for you, a topper or a pad? We found the dilemma clarified in detail in this topper and pad guide on TheSleepStudies.com.

How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper for your money

At any bed store, you’ll find hundreds of mattress toppers to choose from. They come in all sizes and “flavors”, which can be quite confusing.

To save time, effort, and money on your part, let’s address the advantages and shortcoming of each type.

Latex Toppers A form of rubber, latex can either be synthetic or natural Talalay (made from Hevea Brasiliensis tree sap).

latex-mattress-topper

Pros

· Latex toppers can be very firm. This gives them high durability and can provide good support (especially useful for people who have joint or back problems).

· Despite its firmness, latex has low transfer motion. This simply means you won’t be disturbed by your bedmate moving around.

· Latex is also anti-microbial and for the most part, anti-allergenic.

Cons

· A latex surface can trap heat, so lying down on it for a long time might feel very warm.

· It may also feel too firm or too bouncy to some people’s tastes.

· It won’t work for people allergic to rubber or latex.

· For those concerned with green living, natural latex can be costly.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

This chemically-enhance polyurethane returns to its shape after use. Because it conforms to your body it provides ample support and comfort. It also comes in a variety of densities and, opposed to what most people think, it’s very different from latex.

memory-foam-mattress-topper

Pros

· Never wrinkles or gets bent out of shape.

· Soft surface for added comfort.

· Provides ample support for arthritic joints and similar problems.

· Memory foam reduces motion, so you won’t be bothered by your bedmate’s movement.

Cons

· Over time, it may start feeling hot.

· Memory foam is more expensive than other materials.

· You may have a hard time turning or moving around in bed.

Polyester Blends

Also known as fiberfill, this is a synthetic material but feels like feather or down.

Pros

· Very affordable.

· Unlike other materials, does not carry an odor.

· Feels like feathers but is non-allergenic.

Cons

· Does not provide much support or cushioning.

· Over time, it can feel hot.

· It may get lumpy through use.

· It may also flatten over time.

Feathers and down toppers These are much like feather duvets, and while they are incredibly soft and will have you sleep like a baby they do not offer much support.

down-mattress-topper

Pros

· Feathers feel very soft and comfortable

· Because of the air in between them they do not trap heat.

· Easy to move around in bed or turn over.

· Feather toppers do not cost as much as latex or memory foam.

Cons

· Feathers can cause allergic reactions

· You will need to occasionally fluff them up as they tend to flatten over time.

· Feather make noise when you move on them and can wake up a bedmate.

· Watch out for feather shafts sticking out of the cover.

Wool

Made from the fleece of sheep, wool toppers are rarer but provide an outstanding level of comfort.

Image wool-mattress-topper-underlay

Pros

· Wool toppers are soft and comfy.

· Provide the right amount of temperature regardless of weather. They feel cool in summer yet warm in winter.

· Easy to move around in bed.

· Wool is a highly durable material and wool toppers can last years.

· Wool is antimicrobial. It is also hypoallergenic except for those allergic to wool.

Cons

· Wool toppers are expensive and difficult to find.

· New toppers may smell like sheep, at least at first.

In conclusion

While purely optional, mattress toppers are a great way to bring additional comfort to your bed. Hopefully this list gave you an idea of what topper best suits your taste. It’s a relatively small expense for the essential need of a good night’s rest.

Tips to Make DIY Projects Safer

Tips to make diy projects safer

As you know, I always love a good DIY project. Any time my husband and I can fix or build something ourselves, we try to do it, and since we live in an older house, it seems like there is always something to do.  In the past few years, we’ve replaced light fixtures, painted and replaced porch rails, had plumbing repairs and installation, assembled furniture, upcycled old furniture, and started a bathroom remodel.

Anytime we start a new project, there are a number of things to consider: What does the project involve?  What are the materials needed?  How much will it cost?  How long will the project take?  What are the potential roadblocks to the project? Answering all of these questions can help us to better plan the project and ensure that the project is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

But beyond these questions, you should also consider the risks associated with the project.  Does the project involve any health risks?  What safety precautions should be taken to avoid injury or other bodily harm?  As an expectant parent and a pet owner, I have to take extra precautions to make sure everyone in our home is protected.  The following infographic gives us a a little insight into the views of fellow DIYers and it details some of the risks involved with home improvement and do-it-yourself projects.  Check it out! [Read more…]

Five Key Steps to Planning and Preparing Your Garden

Your garden’s success primarily rests on the quality of planning and preparation. Here are five vital steps to getting your garden right from the get go.

1. Starting Small

It’s best to err on the side of caution. So, do not bite more than you can comfortably chew. If you are fairly new to gardening, start with a small area and enlarge it later as you hone your skills. A smaller garden is also easier to work on if you have a hectic schedule and find it hard to lock down time for tending to it.

When planting vegetables that you intend to use for your home meals, plan the garden in accordance to the anticipated yield. Take your family size into consideration. Plan for successive planting to ensure you have a fresh crop maturing regularly.

 2. Selecting Plant Varieties

One of the most exciting parts of planning a garden is deciding what plant varieties you’d like to grow. As a general rule, it’s best to go with seed varieties that are best suited to your environment. The better matched they are to the existing natural conditions, the less work and money you’ll need to make sure they thrive.

Take time to identify the best location, spacing and feeds. Leave adequate space between your chosen flower, herb and/or vegetable seeds (see https://www.myseedneeds.com/collections/vegetables) to allow comfortable breathing and optimal nutrient uptake. Establish what plants will survive best. For instance, perennials hardly grow in certain areas and locations.

Vegetables

Source: Pixabay

3. Sowing

Soil mixes containing peat, vermiculite and perlite are ideal for bedding plants. Other than moisture and light, garden seeds also need warmth to germinate. A temperature of 70°F will usually work for most plant varieties.

Pay close attention to planting depth. Most varieties will grow well when the seed is just below the soil surface. A few, and especially flower varieties, require light for germination so should be left above the surface.

Some vegetables are best grown through direct seeding. These include cucumbers, peas, beans, parsnips, turnips, corn, pumpkins, radish and carrots. Those that do best when sowing begins indoors and the plants later transplanted outdoors include peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions and parsley.

4. Direct Seeding

Before embarking on direct seeding, the soil has to have the optimal moisture content and warmth. Make sure the soil is sufficiently dry before you start to work it. The ideal soil temperature for direct seeding depends on the plant variety.

Peas for instance can germinate at temperatures as low as 40°F. On the other hand, squash seeds may rot before sprouting if soil temperature is under 65°F. Ergo, a soil thermometer comes in handy.

5. Indoor Seeding and Transplanting

You can get a head start on the growing season when you start by sowing indoors. Indoor seeding allows you to provide the seedlings with the best environment for early growth. That means controlling fertility, moisture and temperature right.

Once the seeds have germinated, allow their leaf surface to dry. For optimal results, do not allow the seedlings to go through the night with wet leaves. After seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, transplant them to a 4-inch pot.

There is no one perfect growing medium when it comes to bedding plants. One part peat moss, one part sand with fertilizer and two parts soil is often recommended. During the first week after transplanting, mist the plants frequently. Once they are well established, water thoroughly but less frequently.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 381

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Our Nursery Furniture – Preview and Products

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As many of you know, I’m getting ready to welcome a new little one into the world.  HE is scheduled to arrive on November 17, and I’m currently in the process of getting the nursery decorated.  Today I’m sharing the nursery furniture that has been purchased.

Chest and Changing Table

First we have the South Shore Fundy Tide Changing Table and 4-Drawer Chest.  I purchased these on Amazon.  The set is available on other websites, but Amazon had the best pricing.

This is a great looking set. The color is espresso, but I think there are other colors available. It was very important to me to find a changing table with drawers, because I like to have things stored so that they are hidden.  The South Shore Fundy Tide Changing table has two drawers, plus a shelf for storing items.  And another great thing about this item is that we can still use it in the baby’s room long after a changing table is no longer needed.  I figure I could use for toys, extra clothes, art supplies, or anything else in his room, and then I just have to remove the changing pad, and there is a place to display items.   [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 380

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Stocking Up for Summer

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

stocking up for summer

Summer is generally associated with kicking back and slowing down.  The kids are out of school, a lot of extracurricular activities and sports are on hiatus, and we have a break before we have to stock up on school clothes and supplies.  But when the kids are home of school and even the adults are taking a little time off for vacation, that means the house can turn into a hustling and bustling place.  For that reason it is very important to stock up on a number of essentials that you do not want to run out of when you have a houseful at home. [Read more…]