Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Indoor Outdoor Garden

Indoor because it’s inside my screened porch. Outdoor because the porch is outside!

Hi everyone! I realized that I never showed you what I did with some of my herbs and veg.

All my lettuce bolted in my vegetable garden (even with the cute paper umbrella) because of the heat. I couldn't even get any new lettuce seeds to germinate  in my veggie garden due to excessive heat! So I planted seeds in a container. I left them outside until I got a few leaves and then I’d alternate bringing the container in during the heat of the day and putting it back out (when I remembered at night). So far it’s working quite well!
I’m going to start a pot of micro greens too since we like to mix them into our salads.
I  potted some swiss chard seedlings. Also a basil plant and a bit of parsley.
Lemon verbena and rosemary are also some herbs I have growing here.
There’s a skylight over this table so all the plants get some direct sun during the day,  but it doesn’t beat down on them like it would outside.
It’s continuing to be pretty hot (in the 90’s) so I think I’ll keep my little indoor/outdoor garden for a while longer! Besides, it gives me something to tend to since it's too hot to go outside in the main garden.


I am going to take a little break from blogging/the computer.  I'll be back in a week or so. I'm not going to re-run any old posts while I'm gone. You can have a look in the archives if you haven't already done so. You can search by category like gardening or seasonal decorating for example. 

For those people that asked: My couch is from IKEA, the slipcover is from IKEA

Monday, August 30, 2010

E-Mealz Winner

The lucky winner of the 3 Month Subscription to E-Mealz is........

Sherri @ Design To Shine !


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wash Day

Hi everyone! I had to wash my couch slipcover the other day because this cute guy
likes to not only  sleep up against it, but he likes to play a funny game he invented where he takes his dirty red ball and tries to get it under the couch thereby making the skirt filthy and making Mommy scream and act crazy. So fun!

I get lots of questions about my couch.  The most common one is where did I get it. It’s from IKEA and we’ve had it for a couple of years now. We’re very happy with it and the slipcover! My husband takes naps on it all the time so it’s a very comfy couch.

The care instructions say not to use bleach but I use Tide that has bleach in it. Then I put it in my dryer until it’s just damp and then put it back on.

It’s held up beautifully, it’s not a struggle to get the slip back on after washing , and it’s the most inexpensive sofa I’ve ever owned! I know people always say invest in a “good” sofa and that’s what I did with the first one we bought. Which I hated after two years but it was too expensive to get rid of! I lived with it for 6 years – hating it and finally was able to give it to a family member.


If I get tired of this one (which I doubt because you can buy all kinds of cute slips for it inexpensively)….but if I did get tired of it, I wouldn’t feel bad about changing it for different one. Just something to consider!


Next I need to tackle those bookcases. I like to take the books off once a year and give them a good dusting and see which ones I want to keep and which I want to sell/donate. I think I’m getting ready for some fall nesting!


Today is the last day to enter the E-Mealz give away. So if you’re interested in having a dinner menu planning service be sure to enter for a three month free subscription. Go to the post below to enter and the winner will be announced tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by today!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What’s For Dinner?–E-Mealz Subscription Give Away

Hi everyone! The folks at E-Mealz have offered to give away a free 3 month subscription to one lucky reader!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with E-Mealz, it’s a menu planning service that is endorsed by Dave Ramsey!

Each dinner menu is based on the current sales at major grocery stores and they have a variety of plans to choose from.
  • Point-System Meal Plans
  • Low-Carb Meal Plans
  • Vegetarian Meal Plans
  • Couples-Only Meal Plans
  • Kroger Meal Plans
  • Publix Meal Plans
  • Wal-Mart Meal Plans
  • ALDI Meal Plans
  • RALPHS Meal Plans
  • Any-Store Meal Plans
AND they now have a Gluten-Free Plan!!

It’s very easy to use and simple to follow. Each week you log in and print out your menu and shopping list and go from there.
I used to have a subscription and I still keep all my menus in my Home Notebook for reference.

I have a Menu Planning section where I keep my menu plans so that I’m not always starting from scratch. So I personally know that it's a very helpful service!

This service is great if you’re new to menu planning or just tired of trying to think of new things to have for dinner. Plus all the recipes are very quick and easy and help you to stay within your grocery budget. 

If you’d like to enter for a free three month subscription:

1. Leave a comment on this post for one entry.

2. For a second entry – Go to E-Mealz and check out the different plans. You can view a sample menu for each plan. Come back here and let me know which one you would sign up for. (So leave two comments and you get two entries).

If you don’t win but are interested in using E-Mealz, here’s a code for 10% off - savemoney.

F.Y.I – they did offer me a free subscription which I declined so this is not a compensated review or give away. I just think it’s a helpful service and wanted to give my readers the opportunity to try it free for three months! You have nothing to lose! 

The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Monday. So please be sure I have a way to get in touch with you or else be sure to check back on Monday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hi everyone! I so enjoyed reading the ways you guys motivate yourselves to clean! Diana mentioned that she rewards herself with a cup of chai. I totally forgot that I used to love chai! I can’t for the life of me remember why I stopped drinking it? Anyway, I think a hot cup of chai will be a reward that I'll use as soon as the weather gets cooler.

When I was cleaning my living room I had taken some things and placed them on my dining room table to get them out of the way. There were a couple of items that just happened to look good together (at least to me). So I moved them on top of my dresser and created a new display.
I had just put these moss balls from Michaels on top of the candlesticks just to get them out of the way but I thought they looked cute.  Sort of sculptural.
I had stacked these two platters one on top of the other and put two of those iron flowers on top so I could take them downstairs to put away and I also liked the way that looked.
Liked it better with just one flower. I love changing out the display on this dresser. We eat at least  two meals a day in this room so it's nice to have something different to look at!ovalmirror

Then since I like to layer things (less isn't more for me), I added another thrift store mirror on top of the one that’s hanging on the wall.

These are the same style mirror but different sizes and found at different times. They used to be gold and I spray painted them black.  The candlesticks used to be brass. I  love my spray paint!

This display - A result of serendipity (good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries)!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Putter, Putter, Fluff, Fluff

Hi everyone! I’m deep cleaning my living room this week so of course that means I have to change a few things around. That’s why it takes me so long to clean anything! I always have to reward myself by scheduling some play time too :)

I’m not ready to bring out any fall decorations just yet (still waaaay too hot and humid). But I’m making a few little changes here and there. I thought I’d show you what I’ve done with my faux fireplace mantel so far.

For the summer I had a white and apple green thing going on and I thought I’d add bit more color now that we’re heading into fall.

Aren’t these stripey candles cute? I got them at Ikea. 

I’m still using those old books I altered.

Those big red candlesticks are old brass ones from the thrift store that I spray painted a long time ago.

I also brought the fishing basket of flowers that I’ve been using in the foyer upstairs.

Of course now I have to think of something else to use in the foyer!

Look you can see the reflection of my china cabinet in the mirror!  If you sit on the floor....LOL

I don’t mind cleaning my living room since it mostly involves dusting and moving stuff around. It doesn’t really feel so much like cleaning.  More like fluffing. Now kitchens and bathrooms they always “feel” like cleaning jobs to me!

Do you give yourself "rewards" as motivation to get cleaning jobs done? I do. I tell myself one hour of so and so and then I can sit down for 15 minutes and look at such and such magazine, or check email etc. I use a timer otherwise I'll lose track of time. Or if I do this big job then I can "play" house for a while. Things like that. I also like to listen to books or music on my iPod if I'm cleaning something I don't like cleaning (like bathrooms). 

What do you do to motivate yourself to get the cleaning done or do you enjoy cleaning and don't need any extra motivation?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Your Blogging Questions Answered

Hi everyone! My friend Brenda @ Cozy Little House is doing a series on answering blogging questions for newbies (or oldies). So head on over to her blog (she likes red as much as I do) and check out her posts. She’s answering questions in the comments and she did a tutorial  on how to do the 3-column template which I know many are interested in. She’s a sweetheart and has helped me before and I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful info there!

I thought I’d answer two questions that I always get which are:

1) What camera do I use and how do I get such nice photos (thank you!).

I just use a digital point and shoot. Panasonic DMC-L27. It’s easy to use! I never take photos with the flash on. I’ll turn on every light in the room rather than do that! Sometimes I bring in an extra lamp if that's not enough. Using the flash washes out your color and things just don’t look quite right.

I do use a photo editing program to tweak my photos if they need it. picnik is a common one. I use one that came with my computer. So if the photo is too dark I can adjust the lighting a bit. But honestly, if the light isn’t right I usually don’t take the photo! I’d rather wait. There's only so much you can do with most photo editing programs before a photo starts looking like it's not even real.

Also, for every photo you see I’ve probably taken about 50 and rejected 49!  So take lots of shots from different angles so you give yourself a good selection to choose from. It's time consuming but worth the effort.

2) How do I get followers?

Some of you that have been with me since the beginning know I have a love hate relationship with the whole followers thing! I was blogging for about six months before I even put the widget on my blog.

I love that it gives me way of knowing that there are people that enjoy my blog and don't want to miss a post because I do work hard on it and it does take a good chunk of my time. Validation is always nice. So that's a good thing.

On the other hand, I personally think the question should be how do I attract readers not how do I get the number on my followers widget to increase. People place too much importance on numbers be it followers or some other statistic.

I don’t want people signing up to follow that don’t really have an interest in what I do here. Therefore, I don’t do any “incentives” for following but, of course, that’s up to you. My feeling is whether or not you follow...well...that's your business.  You can increase your followers # if you do giveaways just for followers. But then after the giveaway, some of those people might not stick around. Just sayn' how it is!

The very best way to get the word out about your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. People that blog about the same things you blog about. It makes no sense to network with political blogs if you're a sewing blog. Unless you also discuss politics! Make it easy for people to find you. Set it up so that when someone clicks on your name  they are taken to your blog or add a link under your name when you leave your comment. Also, say this is your first time visiting if it is. I know I make an effort to go visit everyone at least once.

Just know that not everyone is going to take the time to come check out your blog so don’t get upset about it! To this day I know I can leave a comment on certain people's blogs and never hear from them but that doesn't stop me from commenting if I have something to say.

I use to tell people to join blog parties to increase their exposure but to tell you the truth, I just don’t feel they are as effective as they used to be. It used to be that if you signed up for a linky party everyone would visit everyone (pretty much). Now, I don’t think people make the effort. I think with the new picture link system, people look at the picture and then decide if they want to visit that blog. In the “old days” when we just had to put our blog name with no pic, you never knew what you’d get. Especially if it was a blog that wasn’t familiar. But you actually had to go and give that blog a chance!

Often I see someone that has linked to four or five blog parties, has a lovely post or good idea and gets 10 comments! I think everyone is waiting around for everyone else to come visit their blog these days. So I don’t know how effective these parties are anymore, but give them a try and see how it goes for you.

Also, try to post at least once a week. People need a reason to come back to your blog. They can't read the same old post over and over! Some people say post on a schedule but I post when I’ve got something to share or say (like today) and that works for me. Find what works for you. But have your priorities straight. Family always comes before blogging. I think some people get carried away and forget that.

My biggest tip is to just be yourself! Blog about things that interest you and like minded people will find you.  Really! Have patience. Not everyone can be a rock star overnight. It takes time to build relationships. Enjoy the process! Have fun blogging and don't get hung up on all the external things that in the scheme of life don't really matter anyway.

Dont' forget to go visit Brenda for more tips on all sorts of blogging questions.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by today. I wish you all a fun and happy weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

How My Garden Grows – August

It’s wild in some areas!
See the very crazy pumpkin patch below. This year I have more pumpkins than I’ve ever grown!
It’s so wild in there that I can hardly walk around!

Look a little pumpkin is growing inside a cinderblock!! Do you think it’ll be square? I hope I can get it out!

Some things did not do well this year – corn & the zucchini above – 3rd year in a row – I give up!

Tomatoes didn’t do well this year either. On the other hand the blueberries have been great! No grapes this year whereas last year I had tons.

There are a few flowers that are still blooming.

The Knockout Roses are so great!

We’ve had very little rain all summer and temperatures in the high 90’s with horrid humidity and they just keep going with no problems!

The  Morning Glories are bloomig.

A few other plants are trying! STILL haven’t found that bunnies ear! It must be buried under the mulch.

The weeds have been growing very well! It’s too hot to really spend a good chunk of time outside so I feel like I’m neglecting everything and I’ll have tons of work to do when it get’s cooler!

So that’s how my garden is growing in Hotlanta in August!