Friday, September 30, 2011

Turn Off the Heat!

Hot flashes. 
Yep, I'm of the age. 
It may be a blessing with the cooler months coming ahead.
Maybe I won't need layers and layers of warm clothes,
who knows?
But until that cooler weather shows up,
I've got a quick-n-easy fix for those rascals.

We're in for a "cold" front this weekend.
The highs should only be in the low 80's.
(Oh, brother.)

Enjoy your weekend, y'all!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

That Makes Good Scents

Since joining the co-op, I've had better access
and information about natural living.
One thing I've done this year is add essential oils
to our homekeeping.

A collection of scents are available.
If you don't belong to a co-op,
consider starting one or
patronize your local health food store.
I think of it as a way of pampering my family
by adding a sense of restoration.

I add a few drops of a scent to cotton balls
(which are recycled from supplement bottles),
and then use the vacuum hose to suck 'em up.

You can smell the fragrance
each time you spruce up your floors.

It is even used in our weekly kitchen cleaning.
Fill a container with water and a splash of soap
and a few drops of your favorite oil.
Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes.

It will add a wonderful aroma to one of your favorite rooms,
while doing a great job of cleaning the inside of the oven.
Spearmint is stimulating and oh-so fresh smelling!

This bin can get downright stinky!
Add a little cucumber or melon  oil
to your clothes hamper.

Drawers are closed up most of the time
and can use a bit of refreshing.

I also keep a little right with my workout clothes
to keep the "PU's" at bay.

In the bathroom,
we sprinkle a few drops inside the toilet paper roll.
With each use, it dispenses a bit of

This little clay diffuser hangs by the bedside.
Lavender is an excellent scent for encouraging sound sleep.

Lil' Guy has one in his room,
as he has a history of asthma.
Eucalyptus is the preferred essential oil
for respiratory issues.
Breathe easy!

Why not add a comforting bouquet
to your cleaning routine?

For more ideas about using essential oils,
read this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snicker Snacks

This recipe was found in the book,
Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone!
Most new concoctions must be adapted
to our needs due to allergies.
The beauty of this one is that
it is already free of the 8 most common allergies.
Gotta love that!

Substitutions were made in the form of
flour mix, olive oil and sucanat,
 just because that's what we prefer to use.
They turned out scrumptious!
Lil' Guy even asked me to use less sugar next time.
Go figure...

Sensational Snickerdoodle Cookies
(Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone)

2/3 C superfine sugar (or sucanat)
1/3 C vegetable oil (or light olive oil)
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 C tapioca flour
1 C white rice flour
1/2 t cream of tartar
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1-2 T rice milk
1/2 C white or brown sugar (opt)
1 T ground cinnamon (opt)

In food processor, add sugar, oil and vanilla. Pulse to combine. 
Add in flour, cream of tartar, powder and salt.
Pulse dough while adding rice milk.
(I added an extra tablespoon).
Process until smooth (40 seconds).
Pinch off 1-2 t of dough and roll into a ball.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
Roll cookie balls in mixture.
Place dough balls on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Flatten with fork if desired.
Sprinkle a bit more of the sugar-cinnamon mixture on top.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fern Frenzy

A couple of years ago, a neighbor had given me one fern. 
It was placed in the far right corner of the front east bed.
I think it was pretty happy there because...

it grew.
Not only grew, but pretty much took over.

The entire wall next to the house was covered.
They are beautiful plants, I'll give you that.
This just didn't fit in with the idea I had
to simplify the front beds.
So, I went to work to pare it down. 
A lot.

I like the separation of each plant a bit better.
Of course, now we have the unsightly mess
on the wall where the foliage was.
Try as I may, I always seem to create more work for Big K.
Ah, well.
Keeps him out of trouble.

I had TONS of plants left over.
I posted them on our local seedswap, but no takers.
Guess everyone else has their fill of ferns.
So, I replanted some in the backyard under the saltbush.
It adds a forest feeling to that area.
I like it.

There's enough shade here that I think they'll be very happy.
The neighbor behind us gave me a nice compliment
the other morning on this area.
I think she'll like it even better now.

Whenever I look out the window at this bed,
I feel so relaxed.
Nothing soothes like nature.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Feed Store Heaven

Feed stores just do it for me.
There's something about the sights, smells
and vintage feel that grabs my senses
and makes me feel right at home.
The cream of the crop is Doty's
right here in my own town.

While many businesses are suffering with the economy,
this place always seems to be hoppin'.
It's mostly 'cause they know their stuff.
Folks around here know it's THE place to go
for supplies, information and interesting conversation.

They always make you feel welcome.

Back-to-basics is the theme here.
Works for me!

This is where we get our pine straw for mulching our beds.

Love the old-time atmosphere.
No fancy displays.

Interesting decor, no?

You can find an array of ornamental plants for purchase.

As well as edible seedlings...

and things to help keep them growing.

A good selection of seeds can be found,
including organic and heirloom varieties.

Things here are sold in bulk.
Whenever I venture in,
I take a step back in time.
This place has been open for over 50 years.
I hope it's around for at least another fifty.

We always take time to say hello
to these cuties.
Some day we'll be picking ours up too!
Visit your local feed store
and see what they've got!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Okay, so I didn't make the tortillas. 
I had some leftover tortillas from one of our suppers
last week, so I decided to make chips.

These were the small corn tortillas.
I just cut them into fourths.
Hey, great lesson on fractions too!

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle the tortillas with olive oil,
salt and cumin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes,
turn pan and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Crispy goodness!

Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recycle Those Bulbs!

These amaryllis bulbs were purchased from a local gardener.
Her front yard is covered in blooms in March.
I had added them to this new bed just last year.
Here's how they looked a few months back.

These are SO easy! 
Like most bulbs, they ask for very little
and resurface each year
like princesses awakening from a long nap.

I love the pop of color they add to the surrounding greenery.

However, I am working on subduing
and simplifying the front yard
and have decided to put in a blue garden.
So, these have to be relocated.

I think I originally bought 5 or 6 bulbs.
As you can see, these babies regenerate over and over.
They are easily divided by pulling the bulbs
away from each other.  As long as there are roots,
they will regrow.  I trim the roots a bit
before replanting in their new location.

They are being used in the backyard for a splash of color
in the back of the bed.

They follow the curve we have created
and will be a sprinkling of contrast behind the saltbush.
The neighbor behind me will have a nice show.

You can learn more about amaryllis here.
Get yourself some bulbs
and enjoy the carefree rewards!

Autumn is here!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Files, Organized

A great deal was found on these file folders.
What a wonderful opportunity
to add a little order to our office.
We are paring down some of our furniture
so there will be less to move when we sell our home.

These folders kept hitting the top of the file cabinet.
That got old real fast.
As we'll be keeping one of the desks
in the office, I wanted to make it as efficient as possible.
While organizing our files,
I took the time to purge what was no longer needed,
shredding any private information.
These files will get repurposed for tutoring games.

I color-coded items according to category.
For some folks, colors work.
For others, it's numbers, letters or pictures.

Whatever works for you is all that matters.
It sure makes finding needed papers easier!

Organize It Linky party at

IHeart Organizing