Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Tech Worry Free + $25 American Express gift card giveaway

This is a sponsored post by the GardenTech Sevin Brand. See full disclosure statement below.

Before I left for vacation a few weeks ago, I gave my garden a good spray of Garden Tech Worry Free. And then guess what? I didn't worry about it :) I was away for just over two weeks. The rainy forecast provided ample water for my garden. And the Worry Free kept the bugs at bay. I was excited to come home and see what kind of progress my plants had made. I was so surprised by how much it had grown! I've used my cucumbers and herbs a lot already, and I'm anxiously awaiting my tomatoes and peppers.


This is when I sprayed the garden for bugs a couple of weeks ago, BEFORE I left on vacation:

I really liked using this product. There were no nozzles to hook to a sprinkler, no mixing chemical solutions, no pesky powders. Just a straight-up spray bottle. It was so easy to use that I even let my daughter help spray our plants.

Here's a little more helpful information about the product.

GardenTech Worry Free http://www.gardentech.com/downloads.asp
·        With a special formulation that contains pyrethrins, a botanical insecticide naturally-derived from Chrysanthemum flowers, GardenTech® Worry Free® Brand Insecticides are ideally suited to protect fruits, vegetables and ornamentals.
·        The line of specialized insecticides provide fast-acting, effective control of more than 250 crawling and flying insects, including ants, caterpillars, mites and Japanese beetles.  
·        As an insecticide and miticide, the GardenTech® Worry Free® line works on contact, quickly penetrating and disrupting the nervous system of targeted insects and mites. A few minutes after application, the insects are unable to move or fly away.
·        Worry Free® Insecticides can be applied throughout the growing season, including right up until the day before harvest to kill “last minute” vegetable garden pests. Initial application should occur at the first sign of insect infestation, preferably before extensive damage and feeding has taken place. The GardenTech® Worry Free® line even kills insect eggs during the dormant stage.
·        The line is suitable for use in home vegetable and flower gardens, nurseries, home greenhouses and orchards. This includes a wide range of plants: vegetables, fruit trees, garden fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers, shrubs, evergreen and shade trees, and other outdoor plants.
·        To address a broad spectrum of needs, GardenTech® Worry Free® Insecticides are available in concentrate, dust, hose-accessible (ready-to-spray) and ready-to-use formulations.  



Giveaway!! 
As part of this garden series, I'm excited that I get to give a $25 American Express gift card to one lucky reader.
To enter, allow a few seconds for the Entry form. Giveaway ends July 13. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure Statement: 
Central Garden & Pet partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to say about the use of the products. Central Garden & Pet believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Central Garden & Pet’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creating a Home Your Children Will Love

Creating a Home Your Children Will Love

"Hi. I am Eva Stephen, today's proud guest at Family Ever After :). Today I am going to share a couple of ideas on how you can get your children involved in creating an atmosphere that your kids will love and be comfortable in. You don't need to learn any special skills to do these projects. All you need is a little creative sense and possibly a small budget. I'd love your comments below." 

Whoever has children knows that the kind of love they feel for their precious ones is impossible to describe; it's certainly the most loving feeling imaginable. Caring parents want to do what is best for their little ones, starting from proper education and upbringing, to providing them with happiness as much as that is in their power.

As much as it may sound unimportant to some people, one of the ways to make children feel protected and loved is to create a warm, lovely home for them. It makes a world of difference where they sleep, where they eat, where they fight and make up with their siblings and how the appearance of their surroundings affects their mood each day.

Children like cozy rather than minimalistic and empty looking. So, if you are into trendy minimalistic decor, you might want to wait until your children are older to fulfill your home decoration dream.

Warm, happy colors, thick rugs and lots of interesting items around the place will give your home that crowded look that will make your children feel comfortable and safe.
Its not unusual to consult your children when you're ready to repaint your home. They like helping out and having an opinion. If their ideas about your wall's look are too radical, you can patiently teach them about matching colors and explain why black walls might not be such a good idea for a dining room.

Still, they should at least be able to have full control over their bedroom walls. If they make a bad choice, that's one way to learn about how (not) to go about wall colors. But don't let them live with the consequence of their choice for too long.

When buying new furniture, again make sure to take your children into consideration. They will probably be interested in unusually shaped chairs and cozy armchairs and sofas that you can fall into (and very easily fall asleep in). You can shop for furniture online together with your children via shop 4 furniture. That way they can also give an opinion about what they'd enjoy using.
Make sure each room has some sort of educational items in them that will prod your children to ask questions. For example, place a desk world globe in your study, fruit shaped accessories on walls in the bathroom, glow-in-the-dark letters and numbers in your bedroom. That way your kids can learn something new in each room.
Reserve at least one wall somewhere in your house where your children will be able to express their artistic skills. Let them do whatever they want on that wall: paint, draw, write, stick stickers, dip their hands and feet in paint and place them on the wall, etc.

You should also support and encourage your children's creativity by showing off their work on other walls, refrigerator, or anywhere else around the house. Try to think of a stylish new way to present their art, like placing it in vintage frames, pinning it to a board together with some vintage looking photos, pressed leaves and flowers, etc. Plum Print and Kizoa are some solutions available online to preserve your children's art and share it with your friends and family.

Fill your home with pretty DIY projects you made with your children: reupholstered chairs, handmade lamps, wall art created from branches and leaves. Visit and try this easy floating leaf wall art DIY at all parenting.

Also make sure you have many windows and lots of light coming into your house. Light really works magically on our mood. Let your children feel free, playful and happy in your home and they'll grow into happy people.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three of the Hardest Stains to Remove from Fabric Sofas


I'd like to welcome a guest post today, from the editors at Hello Sofas. They are here to share tips on how to remove stains from sofas.


Though today, thanks to the revolution that is the internet, you can find fairly cheap, yet high quality sofas from online companies such as hellosofas.com, looking after your household furniture is still a must!
With that in mind, there are dotted around the house, devilish forms of liquid that simply can’t wait to stain your brand new sofa.
Here are three of the worst.

Ribena Mediterranean 
Though blackcurrant juice is the favoured drink of nearly all children, it has to be said that it is simply a pain in the cushions to remove from upholstery.
So how do you get the red stuff out?
Quite simply, dab at the stain with cold water and a clean cloth. Once that you have got the main focus of the stain out of the upholstery, blot dry the remaining moisture with a cloth or kitchen paper.
If the stain is particularly large or persistent (as you often get with children and Ribena), you can dab at it with a hydrogen peroxide solution; testing on a small part of the sofa however, is advised.
Anything with Tomato in it
If you thought that blackcurrants were the official work of the devil, then you are mistaken, as the real villain of sofas is in fact the tomato.
Whether found sliding off of a pizza, falling from a bottle or whipped across the cushions by an erratic strand of spaghetti; tomato, in any shape or form, is one of the hardest to remove.
To start, create a mix of two table spoons of white vinegar and a table spoon of dishwashing liquid. Lightly dab the stain, remaining careful throughout so that you do not deepen the liquid into the fabric.
Once that the sofa is fairly wet, let the mixture soak for at least half an hour before dabbing away at any further discolouration; if you find that the stain is merely lighter, do not be disheartened!
Simply try the process over again and if this fails, apply a commercial stain remover.

Curry
Though now one of the most popular dishes in the UK, curry can wreak a particular havoc on both clothes and upholstery when it happens to come into contact with them.
Other than buying yourself a curry coloured sofa, there’s very little that can be done to get rid of curry stains, aside that is from the following (which, depending on the stain, aren’t guaranteed to work).
Solution 1: As soon as the curry spills, apply liquid detergent immediately and dab away at the stain. If you find that this still does not work, as before, apply a solution of hydrogen peroxide to an inconspicuous area of the stain.
Solution 2: Seek professional help.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Revamp your Kitchen with Home Depot

Do you remember my kitchen self portraits from way back when? I love spending time in the kitchen. It's the main place that we all hang out it our home.

Here is the kitchen in 2010 when we first moved into our house. It's far from perfect, but I still love it.

Honestly, not much in our kitchen has changed since we moved in... except the refrigerator! Upon moving in, we had a white fridge that didn't really match the rest of our black and stainless steel appliances. But it was something we would live with, and upgrade before selling. Well, last month our white fridge completely broke, so we ended up purchasing a new one. I'm kind of excited that we get to enjoy it for a while before we sell our house. After purchasing a new refrigerator, I now have a huge urge to get to work on the kitchen update projects that I've been putting off.

So here are my ideas.
They are all very easy and cheap. We are not in the phase of life where we have the time or funds for a big overhaul, although that would be fun. At this point, I intend to keep my changes very small, but hopefully effective.

-I'd really like to paint the sponged beige accent wall with the color of the year, Emerald, (or some sort of apple green). Not because its the color of the year, but because I love earthy tones, like green, red, yellow, and blue in a kitchen.
-I'd love to update our chairs by painting them (or replacing them).
-I would like to incorporate more textiles- perhaps a curtain and matching tablecloth and hand towels.
-Our accent wall is the future home of the kid's schedules, chores, and menu lists. I need to get this done quick!
-I want to paint the door leading out to the garage with chalk paint. It's always bothered me that these two doors right next to eachother are different colors. One blends in with the wall paint, and the other is white. I think chalk paint would give just the right pop of color, and would also be functional, as we could write notes and reminders on the door, to see as we leave and enter our house!
-I would love to paint the cabinets or add some beadboard to our kitchen island.


I'm going to take a trip to Home Depot to buy my paint for the accent wall and my chalkboard door. Check out the video below and see why Home Depot is my go-to place for home improvement!




This post is sponsored by BlogHer and Home Depot.

GardenTech Sevin + $25 Amex Gift Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored post by the GardenTech Sevin Brand. See full disclosure statement below. 

I'm so happy that I decided to plant a garden this year. For a split second, I considered not planting one since I would be in South Dakota for a couple of weeks over the summer, and I was worried about my garden not getting watered. Lucky for me, it has rained almost a ton since I've been gone.  One thing that I am not excited about is the bugs! Right before I left on my trip I noticed that my basil was starting to get eaten by not me, but bugs! Grrr! Time to combat those nasty buggers.

Garden Tech Sevin to the rescue! I sprinkled Sevin around all my plants before I left town. I am hoping this will keep the bugs away and things will look awesome when I get home. I used it in my garden last year and it worked really well... (my garden was so huge and lush)! :)

It is designed to keep away many insects, including ants, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, white grubs, ticks, and earwigs! We have so many earwigs, its so gross. The bottle even says you can sprikle Sevin around the foundation of your home to prevent earwigs from entering. So I did, and I hope that it will help keep them at bay. I'll let you know :)

So take that bugs! Thank you Sevin for helping me save my garden!

GardenTech Sevin
·        GardenTech® Sevin® Brand Insecticides have been trusted by homeowners and professionals to control a wide variety of outdoor insects, including ants, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, white grubs, Lyme disease-transmitting ticks, and other listed insects.
·        With a dual mode-of-action, Sevin® Insecticides break down easily in the environment and can be applied throughout the growing season right up until the day before harvest.
·        While Sevin® Insecticides are designed for outdoor usage, they can be applied on household plants so as long as the plants are taken outside for treatment; once dried, the plants can be brought back inside
·        The Ready–to-Use formulation is ideal for container gardens and potted plants, Sevin® effectively prevents more than 100 listed nuisance insects.  



Giveaway!! 
As part of this garden series, I'm excited that I get to give a $25 American Express gift card to one lucky reader.
To enter, allow a few seconds for the Entry form. Giveaway ends July 13. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure Statement: 
Central Garden & Pet partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to say about the use of the products. Central Garden & Pet believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Central Garden & Pet’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Friday, July 2, 2010

CD Giveaway: Sweet is the Work from Opus 2

My baby sister is about to head off on a special adventure. She will be serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Paraguay. I am so excited for her. As she prepares herself to go, I am trying to think of things that I can give her to help prepare, and also trying to think of things to send while she is there.

One of the things I am excited to give to her is a brand new CD, called "Sweet is the Work," by Opus 2. It is available at Deseret Book and Amazon. This is their third CD, and it is my third time doing a giveaway with them. As you can see, I love their music! It is all instrumental, featuring the flute and harp, and is so peaceful. I was listening to it on Sunday, and it made my whole house seem peaceful and relaxed. This particular album was created especially for missionaries, but can be enjoyed by all.


Here are a few more details:
Award-winning composer and arranger Kurt Bestor and photographer Mark Mabry have once again teamed up with the flute-and-harp duo Opus 2 in the production of Sweet is the Work. This missionary-themed compilation focuses on the peaceful subset of beloved missionary hymns, and emphasizes the gentle and thoughtful side of missionary service. Songs such as A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy, Joseph Smith's First Prayer, Army of Helaman, and many others add a gentle glow to the existing canon of missionary music. An ideal gift for missionary study or reflection time, and the perfect gift for the missionary in all of us.

You can listen to a few snippets of the songs here:



The Giveaway:
One "Sweet is the Work" CD

To Enter:
1. Visit Opus2music on Facebook and “Like” their page.

2.  Check out their 2 minute YouTube video of their songs on their page.  “Like” if you enjoy what you hear.  

3. Leave ONE comment and tell me how you entered. Please include your email address.


This next video is totally off-topic, but I thought it would be fun to share. There is an orchestra in Paraguay, and each instrument is made out of recycled garbage. I was totally fascinated and felt very humbled after watching this video.


One winner will be selected using random.org. Your chance of winning depends on the number of entries. Must be 18 years or older to enter. US residents only. Giveaway ends and winner will be notified via email, on Thursday May 10, 2013.

I was provided a CD to review in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.