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Showing posts from April, 2020

Cocoa Shell Mulch In the Home Garden

After 20 years of gardening, I've tried it all! Square foot gardening, no till, double dig, organic methods, commercial fertilizers, and back to eden mulching.

Because I garden in raised beds, I have a big problem with moisture retention. Raised beds dry out so much faster than gardening in the ground. Back to Eden recommends mulching deep to provide an environment conducive to earth worms, to retain water, weed suppression, and to provide compost materials as the straw mulch breaks down. There are pros and cons to this. The biggest con - slugs on strawberries!

But it does help with watering - a lot. And for that, it's worth reworking. I think I found a solution that is the best of both worlds.

Cocoa Shell Mulch

Cocoa shell mulch is a lightweight mulch so it doesn't provide a deep bedding environment conducive to slugs. It also heats up in the sun (due to it's dark color) and that is less exciting for slugs, but great for heat loving plants like tomatoes.

It is easy an…

Yes! You can make lasagna without boiling noodles!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention! For the last few years, I had been buying no boil lasagna noodles. They were so much easier - no boiling, no extra pots, no waiting. But then it happened. I don't know why, but my pans never hold the exact number of noodles in a box. And when we had guests over for dinner, I was 4 noodles short of a whole lasagna pan.
So I did what any rational person would do.
I slipped 4 regular lasagna noodles into the dish without boiling them!The result? Nobody could tell the difference. Every noodle was cooked to perfection. Since then, I stopped buying the more expensive "no-boil" noodles and have only bought the regular noodles. I have found a few tips and tricks to make sure it turns out successfully.

How to make lasagna without boiling the noodles and have it turn out perfectly every time
You must add extra liquid. This means, either take your sauce jar and fill it with water - OR, the even better option is to take a can of whole tomatoes (the …

Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine 4452 Review

Every once in awhile, it's time to make a change. We decided it was time create a real craft room and to upgrade our old beginner brother sewing machine for a heavy duty singer 4452 sewing machine.

Sewing machines are an investment, and it's best to go with a quality machine that will still be functioning 30 years from now. This is why we chose the Singer 4452.

SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE BENEFITS32 build in stitches including 7 stretch, 6 basic, 18 decorative, and fully automatic 1-step buttonholesAutomatic needle threader! The directions are printed right on the side so you don't have to consult the manual.High speeds. The Singer 4453 can sew up to 1,100 stitches per minute and can handle thicker fabrics than an average machine.Adjustable stitch length and width with an easy dial turn.3 needle positions, for buttons, zippers, cords, and top-stitchingFree arm - so you can easily sew all those hard to reach spotsIt's ready to go within minutes of coming out of the …

Buying vs Renting a House

Trying to decide between buying or leasing a house? We're right there with you! Our son is off to college and renting for the first time, so we have thought long and hard about both options. We have over 40 years experience renting and buying homes, apartments, and land. We'll break down the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision


Buying Vs Renting a House Home ownership is the American dream. But nobody ever tells you the full cost of home ownership - the heartaches, the stress, the maintenance, the lack of liquidity, the real dollar cost. Or maybe they do and they forget the benefits. We aim to break that down so you can make an informed choice.


Major Issues BuyingProsCons
Financial - You take all the risk and will have to put up a large down payment. If property values rise, you get all the gain. If they fall, you lose. Either way, your money is locked into the house until you sell. Property taxes, insurance, rates and maintenance costs increase every year. When you …

She Shared her Coolsculpting results on Reddit

Annette had been talking about her "twin skin" for years. She would tell me all about it while we waited to pick up our kids from swim team. One day she had the answer. She was going to get coolsculpting.
We talked about it for months. She was going to get her tummy, her chin, calves, and her under arms. That was going to be expensive. She started saving for it. And researching.

Clinical studies showed that coolsculpting actually works! There were statistical inches and fat volume lost.

After a few months, she had saved some of the $8,000 bill (I don't remember the exact cost but it was about $8,000) and she went in to have the procedure, putting the rest on credit cards. She had it in chunks. She did the stomach and flanks on one trip. The chin and arms next. She talked herself out of the calves.

She was so excited and scared. She was sore and red for a day after the procedures. The clinic told her it would take a month to see results and she felt it was working. She sta…

The Cat Litter Box Supplies You Need

What do you need for your new cat? Just a few things actually. You should bring home your kitten at 8 weeks old or just a little after - so it had plenty of time to wean from it's mother. But whether you are starting with a little kitty or an older cat, the supplies are the same. We put together a list of the top essentials.

Cat Litter Box Supplies  Here we have a list of the top 5 litter box needs. The top 3 are essential. The last 2 are luxuries, but you will find they improve your experience tremendously. #1.Large Litter Box
You need a large litter box. Yes, cats vary in size, but the reason you need a larger box has more to do with how cats use the litter box than their heft. Little short hairs and big kitty Maine Coons can both use this box. The sides are nice and high - just as you need them, to prevent kitty from peeing over the edge and onto the wall. Males and females both spray when they urinate, so a high sided box is not optional. These are the best litter box for multi…

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide
It's time to shop for Mother's day! We have compiled 20 great ideas for the women in your life. Waited until the last minute? No worries - most of these gifts can't be shipped quickly by amazon.

Call your mothers and grandmothers, say thank you, take her out for the day, and find her the perfect gift.  We put together a list of unique gift ideas to make your mothers feel special. Enjoy!
Gardening Gifts#1.Best of the Best Composter
The granddaddy of all composters! This one is perfect for mom. It's mounted up high so she doesn't have to strain her back, can hold a whopping 37 gallons, and is easy to turn just by rolling. Highly rated and one of a kind.
#2.Oak Planter
Distressed wine barrel planter. These used to be so hard to find and how you can get it on Amazon! Still a timeless look and very farm chic.
#3.Gorgeous House Plant
Add something of value to her home. This gorgeous plant works great with all styles of home.
#4.Survival Garden Kit