How-to

How to sew a toddler’s jacket from an old sleeping bag

May 28, 2014 // 0 Comments

Okay, if you’ve been following me lately you’ll notice I was quiet from the Pinterest/Facebook/blogging scene in the past week.  Well, I’ve been a busy bee!  After our camping trip I had to take a few days to recover from the exhaustion of organizing it all and then I started working on another project.   In one of the lasts posts I talked about how we did go camping with our one year old and how I had to quickly sew a jacket for my son.  I had been looking for a light jacket for my toddler for ages but still couldn’t find any in the multiple stores I shopped at. With the camping trip coming up I found myself short of toddler sized cool weather clothes and I wanted to find a quick solution. 

Another look at household cleaners

April 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

  I stumbled on this article this morning.  I remembered reading it but with time totally forgot which were the “worst household cleaners”.   I prefer green stuff, but I will sometimes use chemical cleaners when I need a little extra boost.  So, what a surprise it was for me to see the brand “Simple Green” on top of that list! Another proof that I should really really start making my own cleaners! Another surprise to me was the Comet Powder.  I always thought that it was the same as famous brand “Bon Ami” since they are both cleansing powders and sit side-by-side on the grocery shelf. I used Comet because my mom used it when I was a child. I still have some under my kitchen sink that I use from time to time to give my kitchen sink a thorough cleaning. Oops. I guess I’ll have to get rid of it. Lucky for me I’ve always been wary of other types of cleaning, especially the “Febreze” kinds that pushes a bunch of chemicals in our breathing air.  But reading this article really made me think I should make my own cleaners. So, in order to give me a little push, here are a few links on how to make our own cleaners. Now I really have no excuses to use chemical cleaners! http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/03/diy-homemade-laundry-detergent-cheap-and-green-free-printable-2.html http://premeditatedleftovers.com/naturally-frugal-living/5-easy-diy-cleaning-products-you-can-make-yourself/ http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/2013/02/no-grate-no-cook-liquid-laundry.html http://www.survivingthestores.com/homemade-cleaners-floors-counters-tubs-non-toxic.html http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/make-your-own-housecleaning-products http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/cheap-and-natural-cleaning-alternatives http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/09/make-your-own-antibacterial-soft-scrub-cleanser.html   […]

How to grow and care for sage

April 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

 Last month I bought some organic kitchen herbs seedlings, including sage, at my regular home improving store. Days later I planted the seedling in my garden, along with Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano. It seemed to thrive for a few weeks, but lately, it kind of lost its pop. Desperate to find a cure before I kill the plant, I once again turned to the Internet for some answers.   Sage is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used in medicinal remedies for centuries to treat many illnesses.   It appears sage is full of antioxidants and also antibacterial (probably one of the reasons it is used in sausages). Sage needs full sun It is very drought tolerant and doesn’t need much water. It is best to water infrequently. It is most often killed by too much watering (my mistake) than by pests and insects. Sage does better in soil that is not too fertile. Most varieties grow up to 1-2 foot tall X 3 foot wide.  Leaves are considered at their best when picked right before or after a bloom.  Pruning after flowering will help the plant stay healthy. Replace plants every 4-5 years to ensure the upmost quality. Sage leaves are good for poultry and pork seasoning.   Here are a few recipes using sage:   Sage recipes: 12 ways to use an abundant crop of sage  Steamed vegetables […]

6 tips on how to grow leeks from seeds

April 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

  A few months ago, I started growing green onions from kitchen scrap. It was so successful that I decided to explore the world of leeks. I also replanted a leek from a kitchen scrap, but at about 5$ a piece I decided to plant leeks from seeds.  It turns out my seeded leeks aren’t doing so great, so once again I turned to the Internet for some insights on how to grow leeks. Here’s what I found out: Leeks do better in the cold, but can grow in about any climate. They prefer sunny spots and need fertile soil along with plenty of water to thrive. (I should fertilize more…) Seedlings must be “hardened off” before being planted outdoors (here’s my misstep). Leeks can be planted 6-inch apart and can be used to fill-in empty spots in the garden. They should be grown in trenches and filled with soil as they grow – called “blanching the stem” (or simply filled with soil, creating mounts around them for the lazy gardener). Harvest as soon as they’re ready to ensure great taste.   Ressources: http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Leeks http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=3325 http://www.hortmag.com/weekly-tips/propagation/growingleeksfromseed http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingleeks1.shtml http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-leeks-zw0z13112zsto.aspx#axzz2zLpu5l4u  

5 Truths about growing green onions from scraps

April 19, 2014 // 0 Comments

  In the frenzy of the “how-to grow food from scraps”movement, I tried to do the experiment. I was surprised at how easy it was to regrow scallions/green onions from the scrap.  I also tried with leek, and found out that while it takes longer than green onions, it’s also very easy. Here is what I learned while doing the experiment: Cut the scallions about 1 inch from the base.  Too short and it’ll be in too much contact with water.  Too long and you are losing some precious veggie flesh. There’s no need to leave them in the water until fully grown.  I began with leaving the scallions in the water, but unlike what some information said, at some point the scallion’s growth slowed down and wouldn’t grow to it’s full size.   It’s best to plant green onions in soil. By planting these in pots or in the garden, they get more sun and nutrients, thus growing faster.  What I do now is I’ll start a sprout in a baby jar with enough water to cover the roots and transfer these in the ground the next day (or within 2-3 days), making sure to water the soil after planting so it doesn’t dry up. It takes longer than a week (or 10 days as some website say) to regrow from scrap.  I’d say at least 2-3 weeks before having a […]

How to grow cucumbers

April 17, 2014 // 0 Comments

  I just love gardening.  It is so rewarding. As I heard so many times: Planting a garden is like printing your own money.  Two years ago I did plant a garden, but my cucumber plant only yielded a few cucumbers.  My fault, as I didn’t know it was best to stake them, and either watered them too much or too little (probably the latter). This year, I’m taking over growing these again, and since I don’t want to repeat my mistakes I’ve decided to dig up some information about growing cucumbers. I decided to plant these cucumbers.   Here’s a summary of the information I found helpful: You can grow them in container (although mine are in the garden) They do better in full sun It’s a good idea to grow a few plants to ensure cross pollination They do better with  stakes (at least the vining variety) The soil should be moist most of the time to ensure sweet cucumbers and a great yield The type I planted (Organic Double Yield Cucumber) is better picked around 4-5 inches long They should be picked when ready to ensure a bountiful yield   Here are great links if you want to learn more about cucumbers: How to grow cucumber: this link is full of relevant information, and really get through the whole process, from definition to types of cucumbers to […]

How to get rid of squirrels naturally in your garden

April 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

Like most urban gardener, I found myself with a squirrel invasion in my small garden. For the first time I decided to fight back.  Browsing the Internet, I found a few great tips on how to get rid of squirrels without harsh use of chemicals. Here are the links I dug out (ha ha!) to get rid of those nasty rodents gnawing your precious plants: How to repel squirrels out of your garden  7 ways to keep squirrels from eating your tomatoes Flowers that repel squirrels Recipe for a natural squirrel repellent  The tip that keeps coming back is to spray your garden with chili pepper powder, or any kind of hot pepper spice, as it seems to deter the squirrels. It also seems that shooting the poor beasts is not a long-term solution 😉