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Showing posts from March, 2012

Starting Your Day on a Fresh Note

Starting your day off right can make all the difference in whether your day is great or not so great. That's why we start every morning off with a hearty breakfast that always contains fresh fruit or vegetables. We like to incorporate fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, and oranges. For veggies - spinach, leftover broccoli or cauliflower, peppers, and mushrooms routinely make a debut. But breakfast is really special if we happen to have orange juice. My family loves juice, and orange juice is their absolute favorite. When we buy juice, it HAS to be 100% pure, real juice - the fresher the better. Tropicana Pure Premium 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice is 100% pure juice. In addition to being pure juice, it's from Florida and that's about as local as orange juice can be for us Northerners. Coming from the United States is a big deal for me. Take a second to check out the Tropicana Facebook page and learn about their orange growers. The next

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

Spring is in the air! But in our area it's still too early to plant.  That doesn't mean you can't grow in indoor pots or prepare your pots that will eventually go outside. I've seen a lot lately about Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix. You probably have too. But what is it?  It's a unique blend of plant food and coir. Coir is shredded coconut husk (a natural and renewable product) that expands up to 3X when water is added. It also holds 50% more water than regular potting soil. You've most likely seen coir in little discs that expand to become potting soil. It's lightweight and easy to use. But it's not known for being a nutritional powerhouse. That's where Miracle-Gro®  Expand ‘n Gro™  Concentrated Planting Mix is different.  It contains enough nutrients to feed plants for up to 6 months. The product says it will give you 3X the flowers and vegetables versus native soil.  If you have pure clay soil like I have, then

Now might be the time to fertilize your raspberry plants

When early spring hits, raspberries are some of the first plants to "leaf out." When this happens, they have come out of dormancy and have started actively growing (above and below ground). This is the perfect time to apply fertilizer. I fertilize my berries with a fish emulsion and they have flourished! If you are going to reach for a conventional fertilizer - choose one made for tomatoes or one with a higher percentage of K (the last number). This will allow your plant to make more flowers. And more flowers mean more berries! Nitrogen is great for keeping it green and Phosphorous helps it develop roots and spread new suckers. It doesn't take a lot for raspberries to do both of these. But you DO want a high percentage of flowers (aka berries.) After this initial feed, you shouldn't have to feed them again until next spring. I occasionally give them a little fish when I'm feeding other plants (usually toward the end of the first fruiting - to gear up for t

Easter Craft Ideas with Tulips

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark . All opinions are 100% mine. Tulips are absolutely beautiful. They mean spring and joy and beauty. They make excellent gifts and can even be used inside as part of your home decor.  But have you ever thought about creating crafts with Tulips? This Easter (and isn't Easter the perfect time to have Tulips around!) you may want to consider creating fun pieces using Tulips. How do you do that, you ask?  iBulb sent me a fantastic list of craft ideas that blew my socks off. They had created a wonderful array of tulip arrangements used in creative Easter inspired items.  One of the creations was a coffee can decorated like a bunny, with tulips coming out of the top (sort of like hair.) My absolute favorite ideas were a little less "childish" and were extremely unique. Instead of filling vases with water, they filled them with Easter items - Easter basket grass, peeps!! , and jelly beans.  I lov

Somebody Stop Me!!!!

The weather outside is gorgeous!!! I've already cleared away all of our dead plants, pruned the brambles, weeded the garden, cleaned out the porch, and....... Ran to the store to start loading up on seeds. OMG!!!! I want to run out there and plant right now - yes, while it is still technically winter. In zone 4. I just can't resist it!  I've had to call my sister to get "talked off the ledge."  But I still desperately want to plant. It's like a kid staring at candy. Or me staring at candy.  The winter always brings pent up gardening desire, but it's in the 70's!!! We're wearing shorts. It's so unreal.  I am going to try my best and hold out on planting, but I can't guarantee I can resist shopping. I still have a few more seeds to pick up and asparagus crowns. Yay asparagus!!!  Maybe I'll start building more raspberry beds and that will keep my mind off the planting for awhile. At least until I start to see buds popp

OREO turns 100! Share your OREO memories!

Almost every time I complete a crossword puzzle, one of the clues is: "America's Favorite Cookie." The answer of course, is OREO. But is it really America's Favorite ? Yep. Mine too. For as long as I can remember, OREO cookies have been a much sought after treat. And it makes sense, as of March 6, 2012 - OREO is 100 years old! So they have been around for my entire life and most likely yours. They are a part of our history. My earliest OREO cookie memories were when I was really young. My parents grew most of our food or bartered with local farmers so it was rare to go "grocery shopping" and come home with treats. But every once in a while my mom came home with OREO cookies. There was no waiting for dinner or even unpacking the grocery bags. We would grab the milk, pass the cookies out evenly, and then eat them. With big black toothed smiles, we'd polish off the cookies then drink our yummy OREO enhanced milk. Oh to be young and free and fu

Seven Savings Calculators Every Suburbanite Should Use

Seven Savings Calculators Every Suburbanite Should Use From retirement savings to our electric bills, we all have places to send the money we make as soon as the direct deposit comes through.    To reduce these costs is to execute an effective savings plan.    But how do you know if you’re doing everything you can?    Easy, you can use the following seven online calculators to see if your savings strategies are the best possible: Cost-of-Commute Calculator Are you driving more than you need to?    With gas prices skyrocketing, you probably can’t afford to take the scenic route to work.    Use this commute cost calculator to determine how much you could save if you chose a different way to your daily destinations. Fuel Consumption Calculator Maybe the problem isn’t your route but the vehicle you drive?    Use this calculator to compare the fuel economy of virtually every car in existence against your own to see if whether or not a trade-in is in your near future. IRS W

Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown Review

I reviewed  Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown DVD . Was it worth it? How many calories did it burn? Was it everything I hoped it would be.... A few year's ago, I reviewed Jillian's 30-Day shred and received tons of emails from readers about their experiences with the workout. At that time I was anxiously awaiting the release of Jillian's Yoga workout and thought it would be called "Yoga shred" or something like that. By the time it was released, I had forgotten all about it and had moved on to greater strength goals. But I came across the DVD at the library last week and decided I needed to check it out. Something about Jillian or the wording on the front cover made me afraid to try the workout. Crazy, right? Well...I'm in a totally different workout phase right now. Words like "lose 5 pounds in a week" and "burn mega calories" are not part of the agenda. I've put on 8 pounds since this summer. Not all of it muscle (OKAY!) but

Star Wars and Big G cereal Giveaway

Star Wars has now gone 3D and to help celebrate, Big G cereals will be featuring collectible Star Wars pens in packs of participated cereals.  You can collect all eight exclusive pens in participating Big G cereals including   Cinnamon Toast Crunch® (12.8 oz.), Lucky Charms®(11.5 oz.), Reese’s® Puffs (13 oz.), Cheerios® (14 oz.), and Cookie Crisp® (11.25 oz). The characters to collect are: Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Queen Amidala, Yoda, R2D2, C3PO, Jar Jar Binks and Darth Maul. Look for them in your favorite cereals. One Suburban Jungle reader will also have the chance to win them right here! One reader will win 2 Boxes of Big T cereal, 4 Star Wars character pens, a Star Wars sticker sheet, and Star Wars magnets. To Enter: Fill in the Rafflecopter form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway <a href="">You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>. Disclosure:

Wean Green Glass Reusable Baby Food Jar Review

When my kids were babies, I made all their food. I used ice trays and blenders, baggies, and tupperware. It was a full-on operation. Of course, I knew not to put plastic in the microwave back then, but we didn't know anything about BPA.  Older and wiser, right? In the past few years, I've been using more and more glass containers and I love it! I prefer glass to plastic for so many reasons. Obviously, there is no risk of BPA and other plastic generated toxins with glass. But glass also looks, feels, and cleans better. I just really like it. That being said, glass and children are a scary combination. So when I had the chance to review the new baby food storage jars from Wean Green , I looked at them with a very keen eye.  The first thing you should know: they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But they are all pretty small. This is perfect for baby sized portions, but also for that little slice of onion, last dab of oatmeal, ground flaxseed, nuts, and snack portions. The

Tribe Hummus Review

Looking for a great way to take veggies to the next level? I'd highly recommend hummus! If you've never tried it before, then you are in for a big surprise. As in, why have I never had this before? This is awesome! But when you're on the lookout for hummus at your local grocer, be sure to check the package for high quality ingredients. Making hummus is simple - chickpeas, oil, lemon, garlic, a few spices. All natural and healthy ingredients. But of course, not all products are created equal. For starters, you're going to want to look for your hummus in the refrigerated section of the produce or deli department - not on a shelf near the chips! And you're going to want to turn the package around and READ the ingredients! I recently had the opportunity to sample Tribe Hummus . Tribe Hummus comes in a variety of flavors that are free of artificial flavors, trans fats, preservatives, hydrogenates oils and high-fructose corn syrup. We tried the spicy red pepper