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Showing posts from April, 2012

A new way to decorate your home - easy and fun!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Leviton for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. It seems as though we are always remodeling. Even though our big projects are complete, we are always redecorating. Moving things from one room or another, picking up odds and ends at decorating stores, and swapping out entire pieces. Want to update your room in a snap? You've probably seen Renu, the newest product from Leviton on the DIY Network. The collection includes switches, combination switches, wallplates, dimmers/remotes, tamper resistant outlets, tamper resistant GFCI outlets, and QuickPort Connectors. All of them come in 20 popular paint colors so you can blend or contrast with a room's wall color or trim. Who said your electical devices can't add a decorative touch? Plus they are easy to swap out if you change your mind or want to add a different feel to the room. They are so easy - you can do it yourself!! This is what most of the outlets in my home look li…

Homemade Upcycled Greenhouse for growing seedlings

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Listed in order of importance. Think about that. On that note, I have decided to reuse two items from my home to "upcycle" a homemade green house for planting seedlings.

We used a plastic box that held rolls, a cardboard egg carton, and potting soil (free sample - woo!)

 This is a fantastic project for kids to help with. My daughter rehydrated the potting mix with water from a syringe.





Because soil and plants "breathe" - water will be trapped inside the greenhouse to keep your seedlings moist. Open it every few days to let some of it out so you don't get moldy plants.
These are our leek seedlings - just a few days old. I am going to keep growing them in this greenhouse until they start to touch the top of the lid. Then I'll use a larger plastic box (spinach container) and let them grow until it's time to transfer them outdoors.

At planting time, the egg carton should break apart easily. Being wet all this time will make it come a…

New #CoronaRita at Chili's - get your summer on!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.Summer is just around the corner. To me, that means tank tops, sunscreen, and fresh food! But not always food thatI had to cook. Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and I couldn't think of a better plan to head to Chili's for a girls night out! I'd order the classic 6oz sirloin. Yummy. I'd order steak because it's something I don't make at home very often and I like to treat myself when I go out. I'd even order it if my husband and I went out to eat on a date (it's part of the 2 for $20 deal - cheap date, yeah!) I can already hear my girlfriends cackling about how I can eat steak and mashed potatoes but still look so thin! Gotta love it. Of course, my girlfriends would be all over the new CoronaRita Margarita. I love the fun glasses these drinks come in!  What is a CoronaRita? It's a Margarita and a beer -made with Jose Cuervo…

Figuring out What's Wrong with Your Berry Plants by Leaf Analysis

I've been growing berries all my life. First raspberries and over the last 9 years blueberries and strawberries. Over that time, I have encountered an endless stream of problems and have figured out how to fix many of them. So I thought I'd put that knowledge online so people can easily figure out what might be going on with their berry plants and have a place to start to search for information.

Most plants give signs of trouble with their leaves. In general, most plants (and especially berries) should have deep green leaves. Any other variation means trouble. Sometimes it's major. Sometimes it's an easy fix.

Raspberries

If your leaves have a purple tinge: It may mean the weather has been cold, they are just forming, or they are deficient in Potassium. To fix - apply light fertilizer (tomato fertilizer is a good choice, since it is higher in potassium which results in more flowers and more fruit - or buy Organic potassium source.)

If your leaves are yellowing: If they are…

201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids - Book Review

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure. Getting your kids to eat fruits and vegetables may not be easy, but getting them to drink their fruits and vegetables is a cinch. Well, if you have the right know-how for mixing up the right ingredients.

And that's the key. When I talk to friends about how much my kids love smoothies - even ones that contain spinach and carrots, they can't believe it. They don't even know where to start.

201 Healthy Smoothies & Juices for Kids is a great place to start (and stay.) Every recipe is made from whole - real food you have in your refrigerator. Most recipes are 3 or 4 ingredients (cinch!!) and none of them contain added sugar or sweeteners. Yay!!!

This book contains smoothie recipes and  juice recipes; using both fruits and vegetables. And I guarantee you have most of the ingredients in your own house. There's nothing out of the ordinary or strange in this book. Just easy recipes you can whip up …

Unjunk Your Junk Food - Book Review

Grocery shopping with me is both embarrassing and exhausting. No matter what I'm looking to buy, I read the labels on every option and more often than not, end up walking away and not purchasing anything. When my kids make requests, I read them the labels and explain why I won't be buying it. I clog the aisle as I read each option. I touch every box....

What am I searching for? MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors...  The list is extensive. When I first picked up Unjunk Your Junk Food, I expected it to be a cookbook with alternative recipes to your favorite "splurges."

But instead, it was a look into my grocery world - each product side-by-side, ingredients in plain sight. It was everything I do at the store, minus standing there with the freezer door open and people staring at you.

The book reviews why we should choose certain ingredients over others and even gives a list of the main "icky&q…

Taboos of Motherhood Exposed

Taboos of Motherhood Exposed Motherhood brings many challenges and some of those challenges are form societal taboos that sometimes force a mother to decide whether she wants to bend to societal pressure or stand up for her personal values. In most cases, these taboos are merely situations which the public is not often exposed to and are therefore wary of or they confront individual's insecurities and are not actually the result of meaningful concerns. The Home Birth One such concern is home birth. Statistically, home births have repeatedly been shown to be no less risky than hospital births. Home births are conducted with a birthing professional such as a doula or midwife and in low-risk pregnancies and are very positive experiences for the educated, prepared mothers. However, the public is accustomed to births being a type of medical emergency and reflect that by expressing concern over home births. Keeping Cord Blood Another example is cord blood banking. Someumbilical cord blood ba…

Want to win a FREE trip to Aruba??

Summer is almost here and if you're like me, then you are thinking of beaches, sand, and sun. Right now you can get a free entry into the Old Orchard Fan Club Fanatic sweepstakes for a chance to win free juice for a year (12 fans will win free juice) and a five-night trip for two to Aruba! Entry is free with no purchase necessary!

Old Orchard is offering this contest in response to the interest they have received in low-sugar and 100% natural juice products. In addition to your chance to win a trip to Aruba, one lucky Suburban Jungle reader will have the chance to win a beach prize pack filled with summer necessities and 10 free juice coupons!

To Enter to win: fill out the rafflecopter form below a Rafflecopter giveawayYou need javascript enabled to see this giveaway. *I received a complimentary beach prize pack for my participation in this giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own. The winner will be contacted by email.

Square Foot Gardening - Getting Started

This year, I'm going to use the Square Foot Gardening method in our raised beds. This winter, I read about the efficiency of Square foot gardening and came up with a plan. You can read about that here.

Now it's finally time to execute that plan...at least partially. It's time to plant Swiss chard, peas, and lettuces. The rest of the vegetables will have to wait until the danger of frost passes (4 more weeks!)

If you want to get started in square foot gardening, I recommend you grab a paper and pencil and sketch out what you want and where you'd like each plant. Then you can go online and use a bunch of free tools to help you design exactly what you want.

These are my plans:


I laminated them so I could take them outside without them getting ripped, dirty, or blowing away. Two of my beds contain permanent residents (blueberries, raspberries and asparagus,) so they never change. And one bed will always be all tomatoes. Yummy!

So I really only need a plan for the two rotat…

Choosing Natural plant foods and soils for your garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. I've been gardening for years. My parents always had a garden, and when I started my family, it just made sense to start a garden as well. Each year of gardening experience brings me closer and closer to true organic gardening. I'll admit, I started out using all the chemical fertilizers, ripping out plants when they didn't perform the way I wanted, or using pesticides to kill insects! Now I don't use any of those things or viciously neglect or damage my plants. Instead, I am very careful about what I put into the garden. I use only organic plant food, organic soil products, natural composts, and I even save my own seeds.  It's not as hard as you'd think. You can find quality natural plant foods and soils without additives or artificial ingredients from Whitney Farms® Whitney Farms® has 25+ years of gardening experience and has improved their products …

Avoiding Menopause Weight Gain

The sad truth about being a woman is that you will probably think about your weight at almost every stage in your life - for most of us beginning in the teens and for some as early as elementary school.

The biggest weight threat seems to be weight gain menopause and all the other changes surrounding "the change." I personally haven't gone through the change, but I know a ton of women that have.

I've seen their bodies morph from youthful to granny. I've seen them starve themselves and still struggle with not being able to keep their weight under control. It's a shame.

But I've also seen women that keep their figures looking great. More importantly, I've seen them keep their energy, their flexibility, their strength...their health.

From what I've seen and read, success is a four pronged approach.

Number one - you must increase your muscle mass. You'll need to lift weights. This isn't a cure all solution but a very important piece of the puz…

How to get your family to eat Vegetables

This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.













My kids like vegetables as much as any other kid. That means we often battle to get them to make healthy choices. So when I found out I'd be writing a post about serving vegetables to my family, I solicited my daughter's advice.
So many people say that if you involve them, they take ownership and want to eat their vegetables. If they help grow the produce in the garden, they are more apt to eat them. If they help put the toppings on the pizza or stir the pilaf - then they'll eat more of it.

Well, that was my intent when I asked her "how do moms get kids interested in vegetables?" She immediately answered, by making them into fun shapes and colors. My initial thought - No.

But you know, she's right. My son is my number one veggie avoider, but I got him to eat carrots by cutting them into …

Get a great lawn in a snap with Scotts Snap Spreader System

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. We are do-it-yourself people, but after years of fighting with our lawn, my husband is ready to call a yard service. I know! I'm gasping as well. But like all things, technology is constantly improving. Yard care has seen so many great advances this year and one of those is the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System. It's so simple to use that even I could manage it.  All you have to do is just Snap, Lock and Go! Plus, you can join the Snap PERKS program on Facebook. The Snap perks on Facebook begins on March 7, 2012. After you like the page, you'll have the opportunity to sign to earn Perks and win prizes. So how exactly does the Snap Spreader system work? It's easy. No cutting, no opening and no pouring (or spilling) heavy bags. The Snap Pac connects directly to the Spreader. The system automatically sets the flow rate. The Snap Pac seals itself so you can store it without…