May 032018
 

The 5 best vegetables to grow at home

Fruit and veg is expensive to buy from the shops these days, not to mention that some produce will have been covered with pesticides, chemicals and goodness knows what else.

Thankfully, there is a relatively cheap way to ensure that you and your family are getting good, organic, fresh fruit and veg in their diet – growing your own.

A small vegetable patch can fit in the corner of the smallest backyard and there is no better feeling than knowing the meal you are about to eat has been crafted with your own sweat. It will taste all the better simply from the fact that you know you’ve put your life and soul into it.

Not sure where to start? Here are five of the best vegetables to grow at home.

Tomatoes

Fresh, home grown tomatoes are the reason that many vegetable gardeners got into gardening in the first place. Very little in the vegetable world compares to picking a ripe tomato off the plant and biting into it on a warm, summers day. They grow in pots with one plant per pot and depending on what type you are growing will determine how deep the pot needs to be.

Peas

The tender sweetness of a snap pea plucked straight from the vine is unlike anything else you can buy in a store. They are relatively easy to grow, requiring only a pot that is at least 10 inches deep and some support to climb up. You’ll want to sow the peas about two inches apart with early spring and summer being the best times to grow them – they don’t deal well with heat.

Potatoes

Civilizations have risen and fallen because of the humble potato. There is so much you can do with them as well –roast them, boil them, turn them into jackets, mash them. They keep as well – you probably never knew the answer to Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes is yes, did you? It’s best to start planting them at the start of Spring and you can grow several batches over the course of the spring and summer, harvesting them anywhere between 10-20 weeks after planting.

Beets

Beets are great for growing because they effectively give you two different produces to harvest at the end – the roots of course give us beetroot, but you can also harvest and eat the greens as well. What can you do with beet greens? Loads of stuff, although they are best served in a salad. Just remember that beets are at their best when harvested small, between one and two inches across. At that size, they are both sweet and tender.

Carrots

Carrots are at their best when they are harvested straight from the garden, so they are a must-have for any backyard vegetable patch. Just like beets, you’ll want to harvest them small while leaving them in the ground for too long can lead to hard, woody carrots. Once they are ready, just pick them out the ground, wash them off and eat away.

 

 

 

May 022018
 

Gardening is great hobby to pick to keep yourself occupied during your leisure time. You get to learn and develop new skills, spend some time outdoors and gardening is an activity everyone can take part in and therefore a great way to spend some quality family time together. Picking up gardening as a hobby can be as confusing as it is exciting, what with the many gardening books and websites filled with technical jargons that require some level of expertise to understand. Gardening doesn’t have to be that complex. Here are the Gardening Tips to get started and have an enjoyable experience in your new hobby.

Get started

Don’t spend a lot time fretting over a suitable location for your garden. If there is insufficient space in your backyard, you can still start a container garden which can be set up in any available space including the balcony. Each set up has its own pros and cons. For instance, a container garden is easy to manage since you control the soil type and fertility and they are not as vulnerable to weeds and pests like an outdoor garden but it’s time-consuming since you have to water the plants and put them in the direction of the sun. An outdoor garden, on the other hand, benefits from the direct sunlight which many plants need in order to grow and stay healthy. Plus it gives you the liberty to plant a variety of flowers and vegetables which may not be possible in a container.

Small beginnings

Too much enthusiasm may lead you to start a big garden which may overwhelm you in maintaining. In gardening tips for beginners, you are advised to start small and gradually grow your garden as yolu get the hang of it. Plant one or two species as you start out. You can increase the number of species and the size of your garden as you learn more about gardening and the requirements of each individual plant species. More importantly, know the right timings to do your planting. Different plants thrive under different conditions and it is important get the timing right if you don’t want your plants to wilt and die.

Soil treatment

Plants need suitable soil conditions to grow. The type of soil in your area determines the kind of plants you can have in your garden although you can always import the suitable type of soil for your container gardens. Generally, most plants need good drainage and this is why you will seldom find plants growing in sandy or clay soil because they leak too much water and are waterlogged respectively. Improve the fertility of your garden soil by adding compost and organic fertilizer, and mulching to regulate soil temperatures.

Water your plants right

A common mistake among gardening newbies is wetting the plants’ leaves while watering them. This is wrong and usually leads to rotting of the leaves and spread of diseases. The proper way to water plants is direct the nozzle at the roots which makes it easier for the plants to absorb the water.

Apr 262018
 

Have you just recently splurged and gone ahead and bought yourself a brand-new computer? Turning it on for the first time is always a satisfying feeling as everything is fresh, new, and works like a dream. New computers are always fast to load, feel sleek and modern, and are just enjoyable to use. Now just like with any investment, it’s always a good idea to take a look at how you can protect it. Sure, you may have gone ahead and purchased an extended warranty, but even with that you aren’t protected from everything.

In order to extend the lifespan of your brand-new computer and ensure it works great for as long as possible, here are some tips you can use.

Keep Food and Drinks Away from the Computer

It can be really tempting to place a snack or drink next to your keyboard, but let’s face it, accidents happen. Spilling liquid on any part of your computer can lead to some very expensive repairs, and a build-up of crumbs and food is no better. It’s best to play it safe and keep these at a distance.

Allow for Proper Airflow

Here’s something people don’t always think about but is extremely important to your computer’s well-being. The longer your computer is turned on, the hotter it gets, which is why it has a fan to help cool it down. In order for this fan to work properly, it needs airflow on all sides of it. This means you want to pull it out from the wall a bit, and allow airflow on either side of the computer as well.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Files and Programs

You will also want to stay on top of the files/programs that you have and delete any you don’t use. These just use up resources and may even be running in the background, so if they aren’t needed, why put the computer through that added stress?

Perform Software Updates When Offered

Also, you will want to go ahead with software updates whenever they are offered. These help to ensure your computer is operating at its optimum level and that it is well protected.

What If You Suspect You Have a Virus?

Even with all your best efforts to keep your computer safe and secure, things can still happen, and you may end up with a virus. Viruses are not only frustrating, but they can end up destroying your entire hard drive and leaving your computer as nothing more than an expensive paper weight. Virus protection software is an excellent way to help prevent this from happening, but unfortunately with new viruses being created on a daily basis, there is still no guarantee.

If you suspect you may have a virus, such as the common Trojan virus, then you may want to look online for instructions on how to get rid of these viruses and other malware.

Prolonging Its Lifespan

Prolonging the lifespan of your computer is all about protecting your investment and taking a few steps to help ensure it stays in good working condition.

Apr 172018
 

Lately one of my favorite things to do is journal.  It is a way I can relax and express my creative side.  The good thing is that there are many different types of journals and Fox Chapel Publishing has a lot to choose from.  One of my favorites is this one – My Faith Journey. My Faith Journey offers a full year of spiritual activities, designed to help the reader grow with God week by week. Ready-to-color line drawings, based on Scripture verses and uplifting messages, are accompanied by insightful prompts on the meaning of faith, with plenty of room to write and reflect.

Description: Keep moving forward on your personal faith journey with this inspiring new devotional journal. Inside My Faith Journey you’ll discover a full year of spiritual activities, designed to help you to grow with God week by week. Gifted artist Robin Pickens provides 52 beautiful line drawings, based on Scripture verses and uplifting messages, ready to color with markers, gel pens, colored pencils, or watercolors. Each illustration is accompanied by insightful prompts that will guide you to reflect on what faith means to you, and the role that God plays in your life. You’ll find plenty of lined space to write, and opportunities to pray, in this finely crafted journal.

Another one of the Journal I have that I really like is My Prayer Journal.  This faith-based guided journal will encourage readers to seek God’s plan through prayer every day, with thoughtful prompts, beautiful color illustrations, and plenty of space for reflective writing.

Description: Seek the presence of God every day with this inspiring new guided journal. My Prayer Journal is designed to help you develop a more intimate relationship with our loving heavenly Father, through prayers of comfort, courage, and hope. Each page presents thoughtful questions to stimulate reflective thinking and writing about your spiritual communion with God. Bestselling author and award-winning designer Joanne Fink provides beautiful color illustrations throughout the book, based on uplifting thoughts and Scripture passages. Attractively designed and made of the highest quality materials, this finely crafted journal offers plenty of lined space to write, as you focus your mind on living God’s plan today.

Fox Chapel Publishing has a wide variety of journals so that you can find one that you like. Some fun ones are from a line called TangleEasy.  One that I have is the TangleEasy Lined Journal Parrot.  It is filled with exquisite animal illustrations by visionary artist Ben Kwok, a.k.a. BioWorkZ, this finely crafted journal offers plenty of lined writing space to document your ideas, inspirations, hopes, and dreams.

Description: Inspire your journal writing with magnificent animal art from visionary artist Ben Kwok, a.k.a. BioWorkZ. Packed with Ben’s hyper-detailed and exquisitely rendered animal illustrations, TangleEasy Lined Journal Parrot offers plenty of writing space to document your world. Attractively designed and made of the highest quality materials, this finely crafted journal is your stress-relieving vehicle for personal exploration.

If you are looking for a journal for yourself or someone else I am sure you will find one or two you like from Fox Chapel Publishing.  Along with journals they offer a large range of books for crafting, cooking, children’s book and much more.  You can start shopping HERE.

 

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Apr 122018
 

I love to try new products and recently I tried these Sano Silk Mask.  One of my favorite things is that they are individually wrapped, they are the perfect size for one use and because they are separate it helps keep bacteria or germs from growing in them.  They are also easy to travel with.

The award-winning Korean beauty mask is all natural and takes years off your skin’s look and feel. Made for women and men of all ages to ensure your skin is functioning at peak performance, this spa-like beauty mask is the only one you will ever need. It competes with Keihls and Aveda but does so much more.

They are so easy to use – you just brush on to your face and let dry.  Then with warm water you wash it away.  Afterwards I noticed that my face felt softer and reduced the size of pores.  My skin felt tighter and looked radiant.  This is a product I would use again and again. With continued they will help fight the sign of ageing and make my skin look younger and brighter! If you would like to try them you can go HERE to purchase them.

 

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Apr 102018
 

Organic Nearly Naked popcorn by Popcornopolis is now available at Costco stores all across the country, and sells for $5.39 a bag. That is a great deal considering how big the bag is. They have even a better deal  from April 19 to May 13, you’ll be able to pick up the same bag for only $3.49. Next time you are at Costco you will have to pick some up.

Last weekend it was rainy and windy here in Portland so Rex and I decided to stay home and binge watch some of our favorite shows. Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn saved the day, we were able to have a good for you snack with out feeling guilty.  Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn is delicious and a great gluten-free snack with only 38 calories per cup.  It is also non-GMO and USDA certified. The popcorn is delicious and has just the right amount of salt on it. It reminded me of the popcorn my mom would make on the stove when I was little.  It was always such a treat.

Popcornopolis was founded by Wally and Kathy Arnold. In 2003, the Arnolds opened their first Popcornopolis retail store at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles, California. As brand loyalty and product offerings grew, new Popcornopolis stores opened in California, the Midwest, and New England. Today, the family-owned company’s iconic cone-shaped popcorn packages can be found in grocery and club stores, professional sports stadiums, movie theatres and at www.popcornopolis.com . Committed to giving back to the community, Popcornopolis has raised more than $15 million for non-profit groups by partnering with organizations that support youth and education across America. It is great that they give back to the community.

Don’t forget to pick up a bag or two of Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn by Popcornopolis the next time you are at Costco so you are all set for your next night of binge watching or just hanging out with family. You can follow Popcornopolis social media below.

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/popcornopolis/

Instagram @popcornopolis

Twitter @popcornopolis

Mar 122018
 

Getting an invite to an event is always exciting. Be it a wedding, or a party, we all love an excuse to dress up. But, if your first thought is to hit the shops and buy a new frock, you might need to step back and consider your actions. We get it. Nothing beats the feeling of hitting each event with a new outfit. How better to boost your confidence and stand out on the night?

But, new dresses are rarely cheap. So much so that only getting one wear out of each option is criminal. Yet, this is a habit that a shocking amount of us get into. The trouble is, this thinking leads to undue stress and wasted money. To overcome the problem, ask yourself why you feel the need to act this way. To help you along, let’s look at some of the answers which may crop up.

You can’t get your old dress clean

If you’re going to spill something, you can be sure you’ll do it while wearing a beautiful dress. Worse, these dresses are rarely easy to clean. It’s certainly never a case of sticking them in the washing machine. As a result, many of us leave those dresses in the closet, swearing we’ll clean them one day. In the meantime, we buy more new pieces, some of which are sure to end on the dirty pile as well. In truth, though, cleaning like this isn’t as complicated as you think. All you need to do is search for ‘great dry cleaning services near me’, and see what you find. Once you locate a cleaning company which serves you well, dirty dresses need never be an issue again.

Pixabay Image

People have seen you wearing that dress already

A lot of this behavior comes down to pressure. It’s common to worry other people have already seen a dress. You might feel you have no choice but to get something new each time. In truth, though, this isn’t realistic. Okay, you might want to hold off wearing the same dress to two events in a row. But, can you remember what your friends wore at the last few parties you went to? It’s unlikely, and they would probably say the same about you. The chances are that no one would bat an eyelid if you wore the same dress countless times.

You want to feel good

Let’s not forget that, a lot of the time, we buy new outfits because we want to feel good. If you’ve put on a little weight or aren’t feeling confident, your existing wardrobe can leave you lacking. So, you hit the shops in the hope you’ll find something which makes you feel good again. In truth, though, covering feelings like these with new clothes is no way to go. That new piece certainly won’t make you feel confident for long. Instead, you should address these issues. Practice self-love, or focus on losing weight naturally. These are affordable goals with lasting power.

Mar 082018
 

Everything you eat has the potential to impact your body positively or negatively. By working with a virtual nutritionist, you can learn how to eat in a healthy way. There are various ways that a nutritionist can assist you. The questions you have about your nutrition can finally be answered.

Overcome Health Problems
If you have been experiencing health problems, such as chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, or even managing your blood sugar, a nutritionist can work with you. It’s possible to learn more about the foods that will provide you with the necessary nutrients. You may find that it’s easier to overcome various problems simply by making different choices about what you eat.

Lose Weight
Losing weight is not always easy, especially for certain individuals. Depending on your metabolism and your level of activity, what works for one person may not work for you. Nutrition counseling can help you to answer some of the more fundamental health questions so that you can lose weight more effectively. If you feel like you have tried everything, it might be time to talk to a professional.

Deal with Food Sensitivities
Now more than ever, people of all ages seem to be dealing with food sensitivities. This doesn’t necessarily mean a food allergy. However, there may be foods that you are simply sensitive to. This can include dairy products, gluten, and other foods. If you have a sensitivity to them, you can learn about various substitutions as well as supplements that will help you to eat healthier and avoid the foods that are bothering you.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with a nutritionist virtually is that you can seek the help of a professional who will focus on your needs. You won’t have to depend on websites and the advice will be customized for you.

Mar 082018
 

If you run your own hair salon, then you know how important it is to keep your salon stocked with hair care products. Here are five brands you should use in your salon.

1. 4 Naturals

Every customer is different, and this brand offers products for all hair types. The products contain healthy ingredients such as nutrients, vitamins and organic moisturizers. Stock up on shampoo, conditioner and daily treatment products for your salon.

2. Ampro

You cannot run a salon without stocking up on different styling products. Styling products keep the hair in place throughout the day, and some products protect their scalp and hair during the relaxing process. The styling products include pre-creme, pressing oil and styling gel.

3. Crown Quality Products

Brushes are essential to running a beauty salon, and you can find a variety of brushes with this brand. The brushes come with soft and medium bristles to fit each hair type. You can purchase a compact or full-size brush to fit your needs. The brand also offers a wooden master comb that is designed for combing through beards.

4. Krest Product

What is a salon without styling combs? It is best to add a variety of combs to your inventory, such as space teeth, medium-coarse teeth and all-purpose combs. The styles also include rat tail, steel pin and rake handles. It is easier to find the right comb for a specific hair style when you stock up on different products.

5. Sta-Rite

You are going to be creating a variety of hairstyles in your salon, so it is important to stock up on products designed for sectioning, holding and styling hair. Bobby pins, rubber bands and rollers may seem like simple products, but they go a long way when creating a specific style. This brand also offers hair and sleep nets to make managing a style easier for your customers.

The key to running a successful salon is stocking up on products that meet the needs of each customer. When you offer professional service with quality products, your casual visitors are sure to turn into loyal customers of your salon.

Mar 082018
 

Successful people tend to share similar traits. If you want to improve yourself, bolster your career or even prepare yourself to start a business, then here are the most useful traits and habits that you should develop.

Know yourself

If you don’t understand yourself then how do you plan to improve yourself? Learn what motivates you, what makes you procrastinate and what helps you work harder.

Strong body, strong mind

It’s important to keep your body strong if you plan to keep your mind strong. Don’t neglect your health and body and use a daily workout regime to keep yourself focused.

Have no fear

Fear prevents you from reaching the success you deserve. Whether it’s a fear of the unknown or a fear of losing your investment, you need to fight back those problems that are holding you back from growing yourself.

Remove your pride

Good business leaders all know that they’re not the best in their fields and that their position can be compromised at any time. Complacency and pride have no place among successful people so get rid of it.

Always be willing to learn

It doesn’t matter how smart or knowledgeable you think you are–it’s important to learn. Study from books, attend online courses and listen to life quotes from others to bolster your knowledge.


Infographic from Sunny.co.uk