Sunday, June 26, 2011

Staining concrete floors, Concrete stain sealer, Etching concrete

Staining concrete floors, Concrete stain sealer, Etching concrete

Menu Plan Monday

  1. Grilled chicken, tossed salad and rice
  2. Fish fillet, broccoli, fried potatoes and fruit
  3. Beef and Cheese Enchiladas with shredded lettuce/broccoli slaw
  4. Meatball subs, corn and fruit
  5. Leftovers
Link up with 

Front Porch and More

Traci's Stained Concrete Floor

staining concrete floors
Isn't her patio floor gorgeous?

Staining Concrete Floors - Step-by-Step

Staining concrete floors is basically a three-step process in most cases.
  • Prepare the concrete
  • Stain the concrete
  • Seal the concrete

My iPad Prayer Book -

My iPad Prayer Book -

10 Things to Sew

  1. Slipcover sofa
  2. Add colorful fabric to black curtains for kitchen transformation
  3. teal top to skirt for a dress redo
  4. black top to the other skirt for dress redo
  5. make ds a quilt for his new room using fabric from lasagna quilt - focus on the reds
  6. make dh the filled canvas back form
  7. not a sewing but a fabric project - frame ds old shirts for art in his apartment
  8. not a sewing but a ribbon project - add ribbon to shades in master bedroom
  9. make pillow cases for ds and master bedroom
  10. add fabric to curtains for ds new room

Wall Art

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wines To Try and Why

the base  Okay, this vineyard has a Red Velvet Cake Wine, how can I not try it?!


The Big House Winery in Soledad, Monterey County, is a mere ankle iron’s toss from the Soledad State Correctional Facility, a.k.a. “The Big House,” “The Clink,” “The Slammer,” which explains the recurring prison theme depicted on the labels. Our wines are created from hand-selected, individual lots to deliver a fruit-forward style (bomba de fruta) with a restrained use of oak to assure that they pair well with food. Big House wines are “so good, they’re almost criminal.”    

Big House Winery, um yeah, gonna have to try some based on the name alone.

flipflop wines

Okay, really, Flip Flop Wine, I gotta try it for the name alone, right?  


Ideas For Kitchen

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Making Money Ideas.

Boulevard Drive In Swap Shop. 1051 Merriam Lane. Boulevard Drive In Theatre. Market opens at 7 am and runs until dark. Admission charge. Ample parking. Average attendance 1,200. Approximately 150 dealers. New merchandise, electronics, tools, housewares, sports merchandise, toys, sportswear. Also used flea market finds, garage sale type items, crafts, collectibles, produce. Space from $5. per day. Snack bar, restrooms. Space from $3. c/p Wes Neal. 1051 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS 66103. (913) 262-2414.

Amazon:: Anything sells on Amazon, too. I primarily sell books. Enter the ISBN # in the search, find the average fetching price for the condition of the book, enter a few descriptive words, and viola! I’m done! Amazon is by far the easiest place to sell, as they have a database for every item’s product code that instantly describes every item that you have ever thought about listing.

eBay:: Go through your clothing, toys, linens, electronics, home decor. Anything sells on eBay if it’s priced right! Now it’s easier than ever to list, get paid, and ship! When I first started selling a decade ago, I had to: know html code, take pictures, have the roll developed, scan the pictures, do back flips. Now, the time I spend per average handling each item, from closet to shipping counter, is about 10 minutes.

Cereal Bags

StaceyMakesCents has an awesome post about ways to reuse cereal bags. With photos!   Awesome I tell you!

  • to crush cereal
  • to cover items you microwave
  • to cover your counter if you are a messy cook
  • to cover the plate when you are preparing meat to grill 

Friday, June 17, 2011

10 More Things in 10 Days

  1. Organize bookshelf in studio
  2. RSVP to next Stampin Up event
  3. Put all sewing stuff in one area
  4. Put all memorabilia in one area
  5. Move second chair to Man Cave
  6. Box up fabric
  7. Put DH stuff in old fabric drawer
  8. DS work on religious ed
  9. DS work on study island math
  10. Paint furniture

10 Things In 10 Days

Ten Tasks

At Sit, Relax and Read there is a task completion party going on and it is right up my alley.  I find that if I have lists, things get done.  If I don't have lists, I forget what needs to be done.  The ten days start today and here is my list.  I also have an additional list of ten to do as well.  That is written in a separate post.  Most of what I am doing are not things that require a lot of time, they are just things that I really need to do.

  1. Clean and fill pots for new seedlings.
  2. Finish covering garden plot with cardboard.
  3. Start DS room redo.
  4. Take old magazines to recycling center
  5. Pay bills
  6. Talk to DH about what I can do to speed along the 58 gallon tank change out.
  7. Make menu plan
  8. Put files in filing cabinet
  9. Put string dividers between plants in garden
  10. Stake pepper and squash plants

DS Room To Do

  1. Strip wallpaper  We used a mixture of warm water, dish soap and vinegar and the paper peeled off very easily.  
  2. Choose wall color   He is leaning towards a red-brown color, final decision not made yet.
  3. Choose carpet tiles - We chose rugs instead ($90 on clearance)
  4. Buy roll of paper
  5. Buy Glue
  6. Buy Paint brushes
  7. Buy floor poly
  8. Buy wood fill
  9. Fill in seams with wood fill
  10. Pull off trim pieces
  11. Paint walls
  12. Paint trim
  13. Apply floor treatment
  14. Reattach trim pieces
  15. Hang curtains
  16. Move in bed and other furniture
  17. Decorate walls.
  18. Make rug out of purchased carpet tiles
  19. Ta Da!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Things I Will Do via Notes from a Master Gardener

  1. Practice eating what’s in season locally. This will get your family used to eating seasonal produce, and, therefore, what you can grow in your own garden.
  2.  Keep a bucket filled with sand and a bit of motor oil mixed in to clean off dirty gardening tools.
  3. Solarize your garden area to get rid of weeds a few weeks before planting season. Clear out weeds or scalp mow your garden beds. Moisten the ground well, and cover with a large sheet of clear plastic. Weight the plastic down around the edges with rocks or bricks. Weed seeds will germinate, but the heat will kill them. Leave the plastic sheet on for 6-8 weeks. This will reduce the rate of weed seed germination by 60-80%.
  4. A wire mesh trash can is good for sifting compost.
  5. Mail order companies are best when it comes to buying seeds because they store their seeds in optimal conditions.
  6. Never work the soil when it is wet or very dry and have your soil tested so you will know what additives it needs.
  7. Transplant when it’s either a cloudy day or at dusk.
  8. Plan your garden so you’re planting for a staggered harvest. Otherwise, you may be harvesting tons of zucchini, for example, during a single week and then have to wait several more weeks for another zucchini harvest.
  9. Don’t water at night, and be sure to water the soil, not the leaves..
  10.  Use soapy water to get rid of many types of pests. (Don’t use a soap that contains citrus oils/ingredients.) Planting marigolds in the vegetable garden is another way to deter pests.

Groupon: $20 Old Navy Voucher Only $10 (It’s Back!)

Old NavyOh my goodness, it’s back!!! Groupon is offering a $20 Old Navy voucher for only $10! This voucher can be used at any in-store Old Navy location nationwide. Plus you can use it on sale items too!

Here’s how to order:

Fine Print: Limit 1 per person • Purchase of Groupon may take up to 48 hours to process • Expires July 30, 2011 • Valid on purchase of $20 or more through 7/30/2011 at Old Navy Stores only.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables in olive oil and garlic gives them a delicious depth of flavor. And this recipe is amazingly easy to prepare. Use broccoli, cauliflower, and red pepper, but you could add onion, beans, peas, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, squash, or tomatoes. Anything that is growing in your garden is a great candidate for roasting.

Oven roasting does involve heating the oven.

Roasted vegetables are delicious cold or at room temperature. They make a great side dish, but are also delicious stirred into pasta salads or topping simply dressed greens.

Roasted Vegetables

chopped vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and bell pepper
enough olive oil to coat, about 1 to 2 Tablespoons
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a 9×13 inch baking sheet, combine the vegetables, olive oil, and garlic. Toss to coat. Season generously with the salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown around the edges.

Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.


  • 3 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced


  1. Place broccoli and a small amount of water in a microwave-and broiler-safe 1-1/2-qt. dish. Cover and microwave on high until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes; drain. Combine remaining ingredients; sprinkle over broccoli. Broil for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tips to Finding and Using a Tailor

For the entire article click here

1) Find tailors with high review ratings in your city. Search local review websites like yelp andcitysearch for "tailor" and "alterations". Extra points if there are positive reviews from other petite women. This is how I found my last favorite tailor in Los Angeles.

2) Ask other women. Know any perfectly tailored and well dressed women? Chances are these chic ladies have a fabulous tailor helping them out. This also works for impeccably dressed men. There's also a thread in the Alterations Needed Forum dedicated to tailor recommendations!

3) Look for tailors that advertise as specializing in custom menswear. Tailors knowledgeable in menswear tailoring should be able to handle your most difficult of alterations, no sweat. (tip courtesy of The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr)

4) Ask high end boutiques and clothing stores where they send their clients for tailoring.Most of these stores have a reputation to keep, so will work with the best of the best.

5) Skip the dry cleaner tailor. Unless all you need done is a simple pant hem, these tailors aren't as skilled as one who has their own shop.

6) Skip the department store tailors. They are often in a hurry, inundated with items, and disinterested. They won't take the special care with your garment a privately owned tailor shop will take. (Of course, there are exceptions. I've heard of ladies requesting specific tailors at department stores likeNordstrom that they know for a fact do a good job. I've never had such luck).

7) Ask to see a piece of their work. This is a good idea if you have lots of complicated alterations or expensive garments. Make sure the stitches look good, garment looks symmetrical, and that it doesn't look obviously altered. If a tailor shows you a hacked, misshaped piece of work, run away quickly!

8) Bring an easy, starter piece to be altered before you bring out the really expensive or complicated ones. Things like a pair of jeans that needs hemming or the waist taken in is good. That way, you can get a feel for the tailor's work, before handing over anything of value to get altered.

9) Talk with the tailor, not at them. Tell them what bothers you about the garment and ask them what alterations they think it needs. This way you can get a feel for just how knowledgeable they really are. The mistake I made at first was telling the tailor what I thought the garment needed, and never asking them for advice. They made my alterations, but I was never satisfied. Why you ask? I'm not a tailor! I don't know what a garment needs!

10) Make sure your garments are worth the cost of alterations. Don't spend extra money to get an item altered if it's going to have a short closet life. Avoid altering cheap fabrics or cheaply manufactured items. I've made this mistake, and ended up tossing tops I'd had shortened after only a few washes because they were cheaply made and ended up piling/fading like crazy. Never again! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Composting, A New Spin

We have been composting for about a year, essentially what we have done is throw scraps into the dormant garden spot during the off season and during the season we toss them in a large spare pot and let it bake in the sun.  We periodically bury the contents in the garden.  My collection point is a old Quik Trip cup sitting on the counter--not terribly attractive.

Today I was preparing squash, asparagus and cantaloupe for dinner.  I ended up with a bunch of waste to compost.  I had the little food processor out because I had shredded some carrots for a salad and I thought to myself, if I shredded up all this waste, mixed it with some soil that would give it a start on the composting process.  I also thought since I am covering the weedy part of the garden plot with cardboard, wetting it down each day then letting it bake in the sun that I could toss the soil mixture on top of the cardboard which would help weigh it down, cover the cardboard and speed the process.

So sitting on my counter is a blue covered bowl with dirt and shredded cantaloupe rind, asparagus woody ends, a bit of squash, some egg shells, some coffee grounds and some orange peels waiting for my morning trip to the garden where I will pile it on one corner of the cardboard.  I will keep you posted on how this little experiement turns out.  Since I use the processor several times a week and have a large bag of soil leftover in the garage, I should be able to cover most of the weedy area by mid July.

I am hoping that I will be able to say that this little experiment panned out to be a success.  Wish me luck!

Ten Primal Steps

The Primal Blueprint Cookbook Preview plus part of a plan

Man this makes me happy, love the music and am trying out the method of eating and exercising.   Hoping that I will feel better.  My life has gotten so small due to inflammatory illness, hypothroidism and obesity.  Gonna give this a shot.  Am reading the Primal Blueprint to start with and am going primal as I understand it in the moment.

  1. Keep reading the Primal Blueprint
  2. Go the gym four days per week
  3. Keep doctor's appointments/blood tests
  4. Sleep as needed
  5. Take supplements daily
  6. Clean out veggie drawer and stock it with lettuce only
  7. Put rest of veggies in the fruit drawer
  8. Do initial GROK exercises with DS
  9. Pre-prepare some meat based meals for easy/quick dinners
  10. Shop outside grocery aisles, farmers markets and online sources

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Blogspot Blogs I Like The Look Of

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Many Muffin Mix   Follow the link to a recipe for a master muffin mix and then options to add to it.

Many Muffins Mix

10 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground, but that is not necessary.)
5 cups oat flour (I chop the whole oats fine in my blender instead.)
5 cups all-purpose flour (I usually use more whole wheat flour here instead unless I've purchased my wheat flour rather then grinding it.  For some reason the store bought wheat flour flour will make a crumbly and drier muffin making the white flour necessary.)
4 cups sugar (For a less sweet muffin -- Use 2 1/2 cups instead.)
2 1/2 cups dry milk 
3/4 cup baking powder
1 1/2 T. salt
2 T. cinnamon (optional) 
1 t. nutmeg (optional)

Measure all ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix ingredients well.  The mix may be stored in an air tight container or you may divide it into 2 1/2 cup portions in freezer bags or small containers to freeze until ready to use.  Our large family uses the mix quickly enough that I just store it on my counter.  A batch of mix will last us about a month.  However, freshly ground wheat flour can spoil quickly in warm humid weather, so make sure to refrigerate or freeze it if it will not be used rapidly.

To prepare the muffins measure out 2 1/2 cups of mix into mixing bowl.  Add ingredients for Basic Muffins unless they are adjusted in the variation you choose. Then add ingredients to make whichever variation of muffin you desire.  Pour batter into greased muffin tins.  Use approximately 1/3 cup of batter for each muffin.    Bake at 325 for 17-22 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen muffins.  

The rest of the information is at the above link.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Read Later

10 Things I Learned From My Garden This Year

I started a garden late last year after hearing my oldest son talk about his garden and how much fun he was having, how much better his produce tasted and how much cheaper it was especially when the money ran out before the week did.

I picked up a pepper plant, a tomato plant and a squash plant and put them in the old sandbox that DH had been using for our grass clippings and fall leaves.  Lo and behold, the plants grew and thrived despite me ignoring them except for the times I threw out kitchen fruit and veggie waste and when I watered.  We actually grew squash and one red pepper and a lot of tomatoes but some bug always ate them the day before I planned on picking them.  As a result of tossing fruit and veggie waste, we were surprised with cantaloupe from which we got a couple of good melons from.  Not much to brag about, but still we grew some stuff and was able to eat some of it.

This year I purchased some seed packets and planted seeds, watched them germinate, transferred them to pots and then waited for DH to till up the garden area.  He was so excited he built another box and filled it with fill dirt.  We finally planted the seedlings after all the rain ceased and now we wait for our bounty.

Without further adieu, the ten things I learned from my garden this year are
  1. When you see the seed potatoes at Nuts and Bolts, buy the seed potatoes because when you want them, they will be gone.
  2. Plant more squash as DS LOVES squash.
  3. When DH rebuilds the sand box plot, remind him that I want the box built narrower.  I am doing the square foot method and the center of the box is too hard to reach and (I don't want to get too dirty.)   Not really, but it is pretty inconvenient.
  4. Make a compost bin, stop using the large green pot.
  5. Use the large green pot for the seed potatoes (see #1).
  6. Read the seed packet and sow the seeds accordingly.  Some seeds grow quickly and others do not.  Work on timing.  Timing is everthing.
  7. Browse through seed catalogs to see what all is available because I want to incorporate more veggies into our daily meals.
  8. Build a couple of trellises from old stakes or small branches so that I can do some vertical planting.
  9. Buy a strawberry bush.
  10. At the end of the season, put cardboard down on the new garden plot and wet it.  Then shred some newspaper and put it on top of the cardboard.  Wet this too.  Add clippings from garden waste, contents of compost bin and leaves.  Then cover all with a tarp to encourage disintegration throughout the fall.  The fill dirt DH purchased is AWFUL.  This process should help greatly.

Celebrations: father’s day fire starter kit

Such a great idea - need to get on this right now for a frugal gift for dear hubby.
Now that we’ve gone from indoor fireplace to outdoor fire pit weather, what better gift for dad than a mini fire starter kit.

Father’s Day is coming up and this fire starter kit is easy to make and very easy on the wallet. Gather a few twigs and shredded newspaper and bundle them with some twine.

Add a few match boxes and put them in a masculine container for DH to use when it is time for the indoor fires in the fireplace.

The 5 Biggest Exercise Myths

The 5 Biggest Exercise Myths

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh My. . .Candy Bars

Check out this link, I can make my own reeses and mounds and peppermint patties!!!

Natural Kitchen Cleaners: What’s Under my Sink?

To help you get the bleach out of your kitchen, Katie from Kitchen Stewardship recommends two bottles and a box.   

I list here the tips that I feel will work best in our home.  Click on the title to go to the complete article.


Use white vinegar, 3% (regular pharmacy) hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda for pretty much every cleaning need in the kitchen.

  1. Bottle one: a mixture of white vinegar and water, about ¼ cup vinegar to 32 oz. water
  2. Bottle two: 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water

    *This bottle needs to be opaque, or as close as you can get. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down with exposure to light.

  3. bakingsodaThe box: baking soda. I actually keep my baking soda for cleaning in a repurposed Parmesan cheese container (one of my many repurposing opportunities in the kitchen).

added bonusAdded Bonus: All three are totally frugal, (some might even say cheap) homemade kitchen cleaners, especially if you buy a big jug of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in bulk or somewhere like Save-a-Lot.

What to do with My Cleaners?

1. Sanitizing Countertops, Cutting Boards, and Utensils
Research shows that vinegar and hydrogen peroxide sprayed separately is “more effective at killing …Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.” I’ve seen this study quoted many, many places, but here’s the trick: the two solutions MUST be in separate containers and sprayed one after the other
If you really want to knock the little guys out (without choking on the fumes), use full strength. I always try to let stuff like this dry on the surface, because I believe that’s where most of the sanitizing action happens. It takes time to wage war on bacteria. When you’re talking stuff like fish and raw chicken, it’s worth the wait.
3. Cleaning the Outside Table
4. Washing Produce
The combo of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is also a simple produce wash to make sure you’re not getting any field bacteria on your table with your 5-a-days. Just spray them separately and scrub away with your brush. And even if you don’t rinse it all off, you can eat without worry.
6. Scouring the Counters
Forget Comet. I’ll take plain old baking soda over a commercial scrubber every day. Use an old toothbrush and a sprinkle of baking soda, maybe a squirt of water (or one of the other bottles), and your countertops are GORgeous. You do need to rinse the baking soda well, or it will leave a gritty feel.
7. Scrubbing Grout
There’s a post in my draft folder for a day when everyone deserves a laugh entitled, “10 Reasons I Hate Tiled Countertops”, and grout is included in most of them. My grout is always stained, but hydrogen peroxide and baking soda does a decent job of getting rid of the coloring.