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Showing posts from July, 2012

Grow Baby Grow - A July Garden Update

The garden is flourishing this year! The pictures never do it justice. I have already removed the summer bearing canes for all my raspberries and the fall bearers are about 6 feet tall. And loaded with berries. All the tops are hanging heavy with fruit - here are few shots to illustrate:






We have two cauliflower heads growing. Since I don't spray them and was too late with any nets, I am *hoping* they stay worm free. I know, it's gross. What can you do?

 And I am pulling out red tomatoes every day. Yay! You can see the tomatoes below. I have 4 other plants behind the garden and they have recovered and are full of tomatoes too. All the tomatoes in the photo are green - the reds were already in my basket when I shot the picture.

The tomato plants are over 5 feet tall and are supported by bamboo stakes. This is the first year I've supported them with what are essentially "sticks." We haven't had any major storms and the vines are just now loaded with heavy fruit…

How to get rid of Ground Digger Wasps

Step-by-step guide to the fastest, easiest (and FREE) way to get rid of digger wasps! We eradicated a nest of ground digger bees 8 years ago and they have never returned. Since then, I have used this method for 3 other people - all resulting in DEAD BEES!
Ground digger wasps are the horrible "bees" that build their nests underground and repeatedly sting anyone that disturbs their area. We recently found a ground digger nest and after a few attempts, I successfully eradicated it.

Since we figured out what works, I thought I'd put it out there in case anyone else has to fight with these insects and needs a method that will finish them off.

If you have ground digger wasps, you need to locate where the entrance to their nest is. This isn't that difficult, but it will require you to get down on the ground right where the bees are coming from.

I would recommend wearing jeans, a jacket, and some sort of face cover if you do this, though I did it wearing shorts and a tank to…

Six Weeks to OMG - Review

Do you want to be skinny? Then you need to read Six Weeks to OMG. It's different from every diet, health, or exercise book you've ever read. Well, it's different from any I've ever read - and I read a lot.

It's all about getting skinny. Period. The author does recommend going about it in the most healthy way possible, but that being said, he gives you the tips and tricks you need to get skinny and look skinny.

There are tips on weight loss, "firming up" and even getting rid of cellulite. This is definitely a "plan to look good" book. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, looking good is a person's MAIN motivation.

The book is easy to follow and reminds me a lot of talking with a girlfriend. Kind of valley-slang, kind of jocular, but also in-your-face. That's meant as a compliment - even though the author is male.

This book does not give you a specific exercise plan - it gives you an outline and let's you de…

The Battle for Middle Earth

My kids were outside playing. I was in the house, enjoying the silence, when I heard my daughter screaming. Bloody, danger screaming.

I immediately ran outside without my shoes and found her screaming near our front bushes. She was covered in bees. I grabbed her and put her on the porch. Then I removed every bee, squishing them with my bare hands.

She kept screaming. There were bees inside her shoes, so I took off her shoes, looked her over quickly, and put her in the house. Then I had my son go in the house through the garage.

Inside, she was still screaming. I carefully removed all the stingers. She kept screaming.

I told her I want her to scream like that if she's ever attacked by a stranger or wild animal (same difference?) then I went outside to battle the bees.

Actually, I went to find their nest. This time I wore shoes. I moved the bushes around and no bees came out. I looked all around the porch and other areas bees tend to hang out. Nothing. Then I kicked the middle bush…

Novica Review & $50 Giveaway

Congratulations to Liz #111 - you won the giveaway and will be contacted by email.
Accessories can make or break an outfit, but unique accessories are hard to find. If you are looking for something special (that also supports real artisans) then you'll want to check out some of the great finds at Novica.com

They have womens accessories from Mexicowomens shawls from Perumens silver cufflinks from Indonesialeather beltsmen's clothing from Perusilver floral bracelets; in addition to clothing, household decor, and lots of jewelry.

I've purchased many things from Novica.com and one of my favorite things is the letter from the artisan and the packaging. There is a lot of attention to detail.

This time around, I purchased a batik sarong from a designer in Bali. 

This is the type of item you'd get on a foreign vacation, but with Novica.com, you can buy it while you're still in your own living room! 

And you can use it at home or on any vacation. I was really satisfied …

Mission Possible - The secrets of the Success Academies Giveaway

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) says that one-third of all fourth graders in the United States can not read at a basic level. Seriously? This just amazes me. 
These are statistics we've heard over and over again, and everyone is ready to point blame at the teachers, the schools, the parents, the government, fast food companies, sports.... 
The red herring is always shifted, but teachers do get a lot of flack and their morale is pretty low. How would you feel if your job was constantly under attack? 
According to the authors of Mission Possible; stagnation, being unable to accomplish one's job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale. 
Why are teachers held to a different standard than other professionals? I think the main reason is the importance of their job. 
Teachers are fundamentally important to the success of our children and the success of our nation. They (along with parents) have THE pivotal role in helping develop …

Scary School 2 - Monsters on the March - Review

The plan was to read one chapter each night. That didn't happen. Just like the original Scary School, each chapter of Scary School 2  ends with a mystery, a cliffhanger, or some other juicy story that you just have to keep reading.

So we finished the whole book in less than 3 bedtimes. My kids absolutely loved it! And they remembered all of the characters from the first book. They remembered what happened when kids visit Nurse Hairymoles, why Dr. Dragonbreath ate most of his class, and how many kids Ms Fangs bit.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with elementary aged (and probably even junior high aged) children, especially boys. They will be drawn to the "scary" aspects of the book, but moms should know that it's not really any scarier than Scooby Doo.

Even still, if talking about monsters, mummies, and vampires engages your child in a book and even teaches them a thing or two, then I say go for it.

Teaches them a thing or two? Scary School and Scary Sch…

Develop Great ABs - 60 page Ebook

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tunnel Vision Fitness for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. Who doesn't want great abs? As a mom, toning my tummy area has been one of my biggest body challenges and I'm guessing I'm not alone! Everyday, people tell me about their weight loss issues and ask what they can "take" to lose the belly bulge. Of course, that's the wrong approach. Check out the EBook On Developing Jaw Dropping Abs from Tunnel Vision Fitness if you want to learn the right (and long lasting) way to develop tight abdominal muscles. The Ebook is 60 pages long and covers everything from supplements, to diet, to exercises. Most importantly, it tells you what you don't need. You don't need all those gimmicks and pills. You don't need all the infomercial gadgets. What you do need is sound diet advice, a set of powerful exercises you can do anywhere, and the motivation to get started! That's what you'll find in the…

Digest Diet Review

Liz Vaccariello is the author of the popular Flat Belly Diet and is an expert in diet and weight loss. If you haven't read the Flat Belly Diet, pick up a copy because I think you'll like it.

In keeping with that style, The Digest Diet is a very user friendly book that covers everything from nutrition to exercise.

The focus is on health but with a very clear and direct plan toward weight loss. What I really liked about the book (aside from the sound advice and recipes) was the large easy to read print and style of the book and the testimonials (with before and after photos!!) in every chapter.

I love before and after photos and love to read other people's stories, and this book is full of them.

If you need to lose weight or are looking for a book to motivate you on the right path toward better health, this might be the one for you!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and no compensation was received.

10 Tips to Help Your Child Succeed in School

We all want our children to do well in school (and in life!) and when it comes to training your child to read, you want to start early. From the moment your baby starts forming, you want to provide him/her with quality nutrition and start interacting with your baby.


You can sing, read, or just talk with your baby to familiarize them with your voice and start to build a relationship. But since your child can't really communicate with you at this time, it's the perfect time to start reading and learning from other moms.

Because when your baby is born, that's when the real adventure begins. Both of my children are fantastic readers and read 4 or 5 grade levels above their ages, but it wasn't a straight line to the top.

Here are my top ten tips for making sure your child does will in school and becomes a great reader.
Make sure they always have proper nutrition, sleep, and play time.Read to them often (daily or multiple times daily) and interact with them regularly (as babi…

Kalso Earth Shoes Review and Giveaway

The tagline for this blog as always been "one mom's journey toward a healthier existence" and that's still the goal today. Every day, I am working to make every aspect of my life healthy.

So why not make my shoes healthier? That may sound crazy to you, but the shoes you wear (and how you treat your feet!) make a huge difference in your overall health.

Kalso Earth shoes are known as "wellness shoes" because they employ a negative heel to simulate the yoga "mountain pose" position, shifting the weight of your body over your frame.

This position improves your posture, reduces stress on your joints, and mimics walking barefoot in sand. Apparently, it also causes you to burn more calories while walking, but that shouldn't be your main concern.

Any good doctor will tell you that shoes need to fit your feet, have adequate support, and allow your muscles/joints to move naturally.

That's why you'll find me in running shoes or barefoot most of th…

Expressing Your Individuality With Revlon

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Revlon for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. Independence Day just passed and I can't think of a better time to express your freedom of individuality. There's no other place on Earth where you can truly express your true self. So I experimented with the Revlon Expression Experiment kit and made some bold changes to my appearance. This is what my feet look like every single day of my life.  Not too exciting, huh? I'm a bit clutsy with polish so I tend to stick with clear. But as luck would have it, I was at the pool with a friend and noticed her glittery purple nails and when I got back home I decided it was time to take out the blue nail polish from my Revlon kit and go for it! This was a bold move for an "always clear" kind of girl. I was scared. But I went for it.  No sooner had I finished up my nails when my daughter came in and announced that the polish was the most beautiful color she had ever seen a…

How Dedicated Are You?

How dedicated are you to your health? One cold May morning, I headed to the pool when it was 58 degrees outside. I was thrilled to see that I would have the pool all to myself (I mentioned that it was 58 degrees, right?)

I jumped in to the frigid water and swam and swam for about 25 minutes. I was exhausted and cold and super out of breath. That's when I realized I was really dedicated to being healthy.

Sure, I talk about being healthy, I exercise regularly, and I eat healthy most of the time. But it's easy to "say you're healthy, but really eat chips in your room at night."

I really AM dedicated to being healthy. I'm swim in frigid water dedicated and "I don't eat nachos" dedicated. And because I'm dedicated, it's about time I kick the candy habit for good. Wish me luck! And good luck finding your dedication.

Atlantic Legoland Sweepstakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.When you think about vacations, what do you think of? I think of the planning, the logistics, the stress... One of those stressors is how to get all of our things into luggage I can carry through airports, hotels, and in taxi rides. One solution may be Atlantic Luggage. It's affordable and lightweight -  perfect for on-the-go families! And there are plenty of styles to pick from so you can find one that suits your taste and style. Right now, you can enter the Atlantic Luggage and Legoland Sweepstakes  for a chance to win a 2 day vacation for two adults and two children to Legoland in Florida! The prize includes a hotel for 2 nights (one four occupancy room,) a car voucher (no taxis woo!) and a meet and greet with a LEGOLAND master model builder, plus a free set of Atlantic Luggage. If you win that prize, all you really need to do is pack. Even the luggage is included. M…