Car seats, fire extinguishers, and even potatoes can be dangerous past a certain date.

It’s pretty easy to know when things like milk and eggs go bad. And other things, especially foods, have clearly marked expiration dates on their packaging.

But here we’re talking about products that don’t always have a listed “expiration date,” but will lose their effectiveness over time.

Some things, like car seats and potatoes, can actually be dangerous once they pass their usefulness date. Other things, like sunscreen and bleach, will just stop working after a certain time. And others, like razors and mascara, can start to grow bacteria after being used a number of times.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t actually require manufacturers to list expiration dates in the U.S. And even listed expiration dates are just “rules of thumb” according to the FDA: any product’s effectiveness and safety depends on both the consumer’s knowledge of the actual date of manufacturing and the proper storage.

1. Potatoes: The common potato and other plants of the same nightshade family (like tomatoes and eggplants) contain traces of a toxic chemical called solanine that can be very dangerous and even deadly. The toxin is minimal in raw, unspoiled potatoes, but if sprouted, overexposed to the sun, or stored near other vegetables that increase spoilage (like onions) for a long period of time, the concentration of this chemical can become harmful. When stored correctly, ripe potatoes should stay good for two to three months. Solution: Don’t eat green (unripe) or sprouted (overripe) potatoes; store potatoes in a cool, dark place.

PotatoesJoerg Mikus / Getty Images

2. Bleach (and Other Disinfectants): Bleach loses some if its potency around three months. This shouldn’t be a problem for household laundry, but the disinfectant qualities fall below the EPA Standards around this time, which means it isn’t effective for cleaning. Solution: Toss your bleach every few months or so. Same goes for Lysol and other household disinfectants.

Bleach (and Other Disinfectants)Lana Langlois / Getty Images

3. Sunscreen: According to the Mayo Clinic, most sunscreen works at full strength for around three years. Solution: Throw out sunscreen past the listed expiration date. If it doesn’t have a date on the bottle, just note the day of purchase and toss after a few years.

SunscreenFarakos / Getty Images

4. Power Strips and Surge Protectors: Cheap power strips or ones that have been overworked can be a fire hazard, and use a lot of energy in your house. Even good-quality surge protectors are only designed to last for a certain amount of joules, which is the amount of excess electrical surges they absorb. Neither products typically come with an expiration date, but the product warranty is a good way to gauge how old they are. Solution: Only buy surge protectors and power strips with a UL or OSHA rating, and if they start to get discolored or hot to the touch, get a new one. It’s generally a good idea to replace them every couple of years just to keep you (and your electronics) safe.

Power Strips and Surge ProtectorsHelder Almeida / Getty Images

5. Spices: Dried spices often last for two to three years, but it depends on the kind, how they were dried, and how they are stored. Solution: Refer to this chart of how long different spices last.

SpicesSvetl / Getty Images

6. Fire Extinguishers: Most fire extinguishers don’t expire for five to fifteen years, depending on the type, but things like cracks in the hose and the pressure can affect how well they work. Solution: Check the pressure in the gauge often, and make sure to recharge (aka refill) after any use.

Fire ExtinguishersAntos777 / Getty Images

7. Car Seats: Because they are made from materials that expand and contract with age and temperature, and the car itself changes temperature so frequently, most car seats expire six to 10 years after their manufacture date, which should be stamped somewhere on the bottom or side. Previous damage or car crashes can also affect the safety of the seat, which is why it isn’t a great idea to buy a used model. Solution: Check for the expiration date on the individual model and don’t buy used versions unless you know the history. If you’re uncertain, there are car seat inspection stations that will check the seat for you.

Car SeatsRyan Mcvay / Getty Images

8. Mascara: Bacteria (like the kind that causes pinkeye and other infections) can start to grow in an open mascara tube within three months of use. Plus, with lots of pumping, the product will begin to dry out around the same time. Some products even have a hidden expiration date. Solution: Buy new mascara every couple of months, and don’t share with anyone else.

MascaraAdisa / Getty Images

9. Loofahs: Sponges and natural loofahs can start to breed bacteria in just a couple of weeks. Plastic mesh loofahs (like the one pictures here) are safe a little longer, up to eight weeks. Solution: Rinse and dry all your loofahs after each use. Replace natural loofahs every couple weeks, and mesh ones every other month.

LoofahsTrinaestipo / Getty Images

10. Batteries: Batteries start to expire as soon as they’re made, so the expiration date printed on them or the package is based on this and not when or how they’re used. The shelf life differs between types and sizes of battery, as well as where they are stored. Solution: Store batteries in a dry, room-temperature location, and check the date.

BatteriesGilles Paire / Getty Images

11. Smoke Detectors: Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can stop working after 10 years, even if the batteries are replaced. Solution: Most should have the expiration or manufacture date listed somewhere on them, but if you move into a new home and don’t know the age, it’s safer just to replace them.

Smoke DetectorsTab1962 / Getty Images

12. Liquor: Unlike wine, which continues to age even in the bottle, unopened liquors will stay good indefinitely. But an opened bottle of liquor will begin to lose its taste and potency after about a year. But unless you’re a connoisseur, you probably won’t notice a big difference until much later. Solution: Keep opened and unopened bottles in a cool place.

Liquor

13. Lotion: Lotions and moisturizers in a tube should be good for a couple of years when opened, and after that will start to dry out and lose their effectiveness. But lotion in a jar that you use your fingers to apply can become a breeding ground for bacteria even sooner. Solution: Use clean hands to apply lotion, and toss after a year or so.

LotionKasiam / Getty Images

14. Hydrogen Peroxide: When it’s opened, hydrogen peroxide only lasts a few months before it becomes ineffective (aka turns to water). Unopened, it should be tossed after a year. You’ll know when it’s bad when it stops fizzing. Solution: Toss everything and get a new first aid kit every couple of months, especially if it’s been used.

Hydrogen PeroxideJupiterimages / Getty Images

15. Lipstick: Lipstick that’s exposed to air starts to dry out and change consistency after around two years.You should be able to tell by a change in smell and texture. Some products also have a hidden expiration date. Solution: Past the expiration date or after two years, any lipstick that’s been opened should be tossed out. It’s also smart to give your lipsticks a good cleaning every once in a while.

LipstickTop Photo Group / Getty Images

16. Insect Repellent: Insect repellent loses effectiveness after around two years from the manufacture date, which should be marked on the bottle. Don’t let the bugs win. Solution: Check the date before you buy to make sure it isn’t already old, and get new spray every couple of years.

Insect RepellentRene Drouyer / Getty Images

17. Running Shoes: After around 250 miles of running, sneakers can start to lose their cushioning, which means more stress on your joints. Solution: For hard runners, get new shoes every 200 to 300 miles. For less strenuous users, replace your workout shoes every six months to a year.

Running ShoesTrinaestipo / Getty Images

18. Disposable Razors: Sure, you know that disposable razors are supposed to be disposable. But do you know how often? To prevent bacteria buildup and razor burn, you should toss your razors every week, or every three to four shaves. Solution: Get a new razor every week, and make sure to let it dry between uses.

Disposable RazorsTrinaestipo / Getty Images

19. Bike Helmets: Like car seats, bike helmets can lose their safety effectiveness over a couple of years and after any kind of crash or trauma. Solution: Replace helmets if they’ve been damaged in any way, and otherwise replace every three to five years or based on manufacturer recommendations.

Bike HelmetsHelder Almeida / Getty Images

Pro tip: Use permanent marker to write the day of purchase on anything you have that might expire.

Pro tip: Use permanent marker to write the day of purchase on anything you have that might expire.

Better Homes & Gardens

That way you’ll know at a glance just how long something’s been in your house. If it’s a food item with an expiration date, write it in bigger, easier-to-read print so you’ll know exactly when to toss it.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Having a beard from being too lazy to shave, helps cover my double chin from being too lazy to exercise.

HAPPY MAY 31 BIRTHDAY TO:  Brooke Shields 51, Colin Farrell 39, Joe Namath 72, Lea Thompson 54, Corey Hart 53, Eric Christian Olsen 38, Hugh Dillon 52, Tom Berenger 66, Gregory Harrison 65, Sharon Gless 72, Chris Elliot 55, Archie Panjabi 43, Clint Eastwood 84, and Walt Whitman (1819-1892).

Cast iron pans can be a great investment for your kitchen. Not only are they extremely durable, but they also allow you to create some unique dishes and flavors. Cast iron is great for when you want a crisp edge on pan-fried foods, and when you need to perfectly sear a slice of meat.
Despite all their benefits, you may have heard that cast iron pans are delicate and require special care. While there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to caring for these items, these pans are actualy about as far from delicate as you can get – and in fact, are extremely durable, and can even be restored.
Today, we are going to focus on the everyday cleaning and care of cast iron pans. Let’s get started with talking about the seasoning process.
Tip 1: Start with Seasoning
All cast iron pans need to be “seasoned.” This has nothing to do with actual seasoning herbs; rather, it’s the process of creating a non-stick layer of polymerized oil on the surface of the pan.
Even cast iron pans that come pre-seasoned should go through a couple rounds of seasoning to ensure that the surface is set. The process is very simple, and involves coating the pan with grease or oil, heating it to allow the oils to set on the surface, cooling, and repeating. Sounds easy, right?
To start, preheat your oven to about 300 degrees. Put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes to get it warmed up, then pull it out using a thick pot holder, and set it on your stove top. Pour a little oil or grease (bacon grease or lard) into the pan. Allow it to melt and become very thin, then rub it all over the inside surfaces, including the sides, of the pan.
Next, put the pan back in the oven for about an hour. When the time is up, pull the pan out again, allow it to cool, and wipe it out with a clean paper towel. Repeat the process another 3-4 times, until the surface of the pan is shiny and smooth.
During the seasoning process, and any time you are using your cast iron pans, it’s important to remember that the handles are also made of iron, so they get very hot. Be careful any time you are about to touch a cast iron pan handle – and always assume it is hot!
Tip 2: Clean With Warm Water
The best way to clean your cast iron pan is also the simplest. Allow your pan to cool slightly, then use a plastic scraper to loosen any chunks of cooked on food stuck on the pan. Once you have everything loosened, run some warm water over the surface of the pan to rinse it out, then wipe the surface clean with a scrubby sponge if you need to (not steel wool, which is too rough.) Finally, rinse it again.
Be sure to then wipe the surface with paper towel and allow it to set until it is completely dry. If you put away a pan that still has moisture on it, you risk the pan rusting, so always make sure the pans are completely dry. You can even put the pan on a hot stove or back in the oven to ensure that all the water has evaporated.
Tip 3: Clean Cast Iron After Every Use
I used to have a roommate that left her cast iron pan sitting on the stove for weeks. Her reasoning was that the pan didn’t really need to be cleaned, so it was easier to just leave it on the stovetop until the next time she wanted to use it.
While that may seem logical, if you don’t clean your pan after each use, you are leaving all the food remnants and grease out for dust, bugs, and other gross stuff to fall in. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to know that the only ingredients in my foods are ones that I put in! Make sure you aren’t getting any unwanted extras in your meals by always cleaning and storing your pans.
  • 9 tips for caring for cast iron pans, cleaning tips, how to
Tip 4: Avoid Soap
The seasoned surface of a cast iron pan is essentially a layer of oil, and if there’s one thing that oil doesn’t like, it’s soap. One of the main functions of dish soap is to break down food oils, so protect your seasoning and avoid dish soap as much as you can. The more seasoned your pan is, the more durable it is, but it’s a good idea to only use small amounts of soap to clean your pans – and to never let the soap sit in the pan.
Tip 5: Avoid Soaking Water
Remember high school chemistry class where you learned that water + iron = rust? This applies to cast iron as well. If you allow water to remain on the surface of your cast iron pans, you risk them rusting.
To avoid this, never put cast iron pans to soak in the sink, or pans of water to sit on the stove. It’s better to just let the dirty pan sit until you have the time to fully clean it, rather than letting water touch the surface for any amount of time. Just don’t let it sit for too long, because like I said above, that can be pretty gross!
Tip 6: Hot Pans Need Hot Water
If you need to immediately rinse your pan after cooking, make sure to use hot water. There are few things that can cause permanent damage to cast iron, but immersing a hot cast iron pan in cold water can cause it to warp, or even crack. Remember to use hot water with hot pans, or allow the pan to cool substantially before using cooler water to clean it.
  • 9 tips for caring for cast iron pans, cleaning tips, how to
Tip 7: Never Use the Dishwasher
Now that you’ve learned that both soap and extended exposure to water are bad for cast iron pans, you’ve probably figured out that sticking them in the dishwasher is a doubly bad idea. These pans need to be hand washed every single time. Besides, those little wire prongs that help organize the dishes in your dishwasher are no match for a big, heavy thing like a cast iron pan. Prevent them from becoming bent and rusty by hand washing your larger, heavier pans.
Tip 8: Season Cast Iron Pans on a Regular Basis
Once you have a clean, dry pan, take a look at the surface. If it’s starting to look dull or rougher than normal, it is likely time to season the pan again. This has to be done on a regular basis, but not necessarily after every cleaning. As you get more used to using your pans, you’ll start to be able to tell when they need another seasoning session.
Tip 9: Storing Cast Iron Pans
Once your cast iron pans are clean, dry, and seasoned, it’s time to store them. If you have multiple pans, place a paper towel in the bottom of each pan, then nest the pans inside each other. Keep them in a place where you can safely move the heavy pans when you need to use them again, and also where they don’t risk being exposed to moisture.
Proper care of your cast iron pans can provide you years, and even generations of use. Whether you have a new set of cast iron pans, or you have one that someone passed down to you, following these easy steps to keep them clean and dry will keep your pans useful for years to come.
This originally appeared at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/house-home/…
SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.
JOKE OF THE DAY: (this is for all those people starting holidays this week) I can’t wait to spend Monday doing nothing on a beach instead of doing nothing at work.
HAPPY MAY 30 BIRTHDAY TO: Michael J. Pollard 76, Ted McGinley 57, Colm Meaney 62, Minai Noji 42, Clint Walker 88, Ceelo Green 41, Winona Judd 51, and Benny Goodman (1909-1986).
29 May 2015
May 29, 2015

DIY Wood Doormat

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Wendi @ H2OBungalow

Wendi @ H2OBungalowBlogger Saint Petersburg, FL
My DIY wood doormat is and easy one day project. I made this one 18″ x 36 1/2″ to fit our front door.
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
This DIY wood doormat is super simple to make. This is what the 1″ x 1 ” wood looks like when you bring it home. I had Home Depot cut these down enough to fit in my car. I used a handsaw to cut my 24 wood slats at 18″ long each. Use a little sandpaper on the ends to smooth any rough spots. If you have a table saw, it;s easy to rip a 1″ x 6″ board into 1″ strips too.
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
Make a template from paper to mark where you’ll drill the holes. I marked 3 holes on each slat. One 3″ from each of the two ends and one in the center.
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
Paint and seal your wood slats and beads. String the wood slats with a bead in between. So simple! I kept the drill handy for a hole or two that needed a little widening to fit my cord through….just put the drill bit in the hole and wiggle it around to open up the hole.
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
I love the bright color at the front door.
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
It looks great with my faux painted copper door. I share this tutorial on Hometalk too!
  • diy wood doormat, doors, home decor, how to, outdoor living, tools
I love that it wont shed like the old doormat we had too!

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

HAPPY MAY 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Anthony Geary 68, LaToya Jackson 59, Mel B. 40, Danny Elfman 62, Annette Bening 57, Melissa Etheridge 54, Riley Keogh 26, Justin Chon 34, Lisa Welchel 52, David Burtka 40, Rupert Everett 56, Bob Hope (1903-2003), and John F. Kennedy (1917-1963),

No, that stockpile of hangers will never come in handy.

10 REAL-LIFE TRICKS FOR CREATING A CALM, PEACEFUL …

We get it: Getting rid of your stuff is hard. Not only does it take time and effort, but then there are so many emotional connections to contend with, too. But some things are so trivial, they’re not worth saving. So if you crave more space, but aren’t game for some soul-searching, ditch these easy-to-purge items first.

1. ALL THOSE UNUSED HANGERS Admit it. You’ve got way more than you need, and the sight of them makes your closet seem even messier. Let your clothes breath by ditching most of the hangers you don’t use (especially those wire dry-cleaning ones, which leave dents in your favorite blouse). If you need to restock, it’s not a pricey investment, and you can buy the sturdier, tidier kind.

2. THAT PILE OF UNOPENED BANK STATEMENTS These days, all important information can be accessed online, and it’s not great to leave sensitive documents lying around. Assuming you’ve found and opened the important stuff (like tax documents or your new credit card) shred the rest.

3. THE PLASTIC UTENSILS THAT CAME WITH LAST NIGHT’S TAKE-OUT You’re storing these ineffective knifes and forks for … what, exactly? In case you suddenly lose your everyday flatware? Or for that hodgepodge dinner party you’re planning? A box of matching plastic forks and knives won’t break the bank when you need them, and will get used up before they can clutter your cupboards if you buy them just before party time.

4. THOSE STACKS OF MAGAZINES AND CATALOGS We know, you’re totally going to make that tasty-looking asparagus dish you earmarked, and you’re sure you’ll get to the store before that coupon expires. But, really … you won’t. But there’s good news! More magazines and catalogs will fill your mailbox next month, with new deals, recipes, and articles abound. (And asparagus went out of season months ago, anyway.)

5. MISMATCHED PLASTIC CONTAINERS AND LIDS If they don’t have a mate, they won’t magically find one anytime soon. And stop saving loose pieces “just in case.” Plastic food containers are meant to last, but not forever, and they’re cheap to replenish when you’re ready.

6. ANY MAKEUP THAT’S COLLECTING DUST If there’s physical evidence that you haven’t picked up that eyeshadow in months, it’s time to toss. They’re eating up space for items you actually use, and what’s more, it’s not healthy to use too old makeup. 

 7. YOUR LEAST FAVORITE COFFEE MUGS Every house has a curious collection of mugs, thanks to souvenir shops, school events, and well-meaning gift-givers. And the least-loved ones steal real estate from that nice, matching set you purposefully picked out, once upon a time.

8. ANYTHING THAT WAS ORIGINALLY A “GIFT WITH PURCHASE” You wanted the perfume, not the leopard tote and travel hairbrush that hitched a ride with it. Sure, they were free, but that’s not a reason to hold onto what’s essentially garbage. Find a donation bin or yard sale table for your unused freebies. (We’d file cheesy wedding favors and school fundraiser raffle prizes in this category, too.)

9. YOUR KIDS’ ARTWORK OK, this one stings a little. But you don’t need every toddler original your kid churns out. Hang your favorites, take photos of stuff you just don’t want to store, and recycle the rest. There will definitely be new little masterpieces tomorrow.

REMNANTS OF HOBBIES AND CRAFTS: Remember when you were going to knit scarves for everyone for Christmas? Or when you vowed to write in a journal every evening? Give that barely-used skein of wool and nearly blank diary to someone who will actually use it. And if the mood strikes again, you’ll be more inclined to stick to it if you have to dip into your savings to restart.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: The most exercise I’ll get this month is yelling at professional athletes to do better.

HAPPY MAY 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Kylie Minogue 47, Jep Robertson 37, Michael Oher 29, our very own Rob Ford 46, Gladys Knight 71, John Fogerty 70, Elizabeth Hasselbeck 38, Joseph Cross 29, Justin Kirk 46, and Rudy Giuliani 71.

These aren’t your ordinary laundry problems. Not that you would get Crazy Glue on a shirt every day or week or month even but if you do,here is the answer for getting it out.

The experts tackle your baffling laundry scenarios.

Blog By: Nicole Sforza
Stacks of unfolded and folded white laundry
Dream Pictures/Ostrow/Getty Images

Q. Any way to get Krazy Glue off a shirt? We’ve tried just about everything. —T.C. Fuller

A: WD-40 to the rescue! This lubricant, normally used on creaky doors and rusty bike chains, dissolves all adhesives. Place the shirt, stain-side down, on a stack of paper towels. Spray with WD-40, and let sit for 5 minutes. Turn the shirt over, spray again, and remove the residue with a clean cloth. Rinse well, then machine wash.

Q. We get horrible static on our clothes. How can I make it go away? —Lindsey Plessinger

A: Liquid fabric softener is your best bet. It adds a static-resistant chemical to fabric fibers, coating them completely, unlike dryer sheets. If your clothes are sticking to you while you’re wearing them, just run the long side of a wire hanger between your clothing and your body and then over your clothes.

Q. How can I get rid of that funky smell that workout gear develops no matter how you wash it—or how quickly you wash it—after wearing? —Lisa Gentile

A: To curb the stench of synthetic gym clothes, rinse them immediately in the locker room, then wring out the excess water and place them in a plastic bag. As soon as you get home, machine wash with a detergent formulated for synthetics in the hottest water that the material can handle. (Check the label.) Still smelly? Consider switching to cotton blends, which release odors better than synthetics do.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: If I share my food with you, it’s either because I love you a lot or because it fell on the floor and I don’t want it.

HAPPY MAY 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Joseph Fiennes 45, Chris Colfer 25, Jan Arden 53, Peri Gilpin 54, Jamie Oliver 40, Todd Bridges 50, Don Williams 76, Lou Gossett Jr. 79, Henry Kissinger 92, Christopher Lee 93, Wild Bill Hickock (1837-1876), Vincent Price (1911-1993), and Sam Snead (1912-2002).

Lilacs are blooming everywhere in Saskatoon right now. I simply cannot get enough of them and pick big bunches to keep in the house. The only downside is, the season is way too short. Here are 12 interesting little bits of knowledge about lilacs. Enjoy them while you can.
1. Lilacs only flower for about three weeks in the spring.

2. … but some varieties, like the Josee or the Boomerang, will bloom several times during the year.

3. Thomas Jefferson loved lilacs — and wrote about them in his gardening book.

4. Some varieties of lilac bushes can survive temperatures down to -60°F.

5. Want a big lilac bush? Prune them less often. (But make sure to trim them at least once a year!)

6. There are more than 1,000 varieties of lilac bushes and trees.

7. Lilacs belong to the olive family, Oleaceae.

 8. The flowers are edible and great in cocktails.

9. In the language of flowers, purple lilacs are the symbol of first love.

10. The New Hampshire state flower is the lilac.
 11. The tree lilac, Syringa reticulata, can grow to 25 feet tall.
12. Want to stop and smell the flowers? Purple lilacs are most fragrant on a sunny, warm day.
SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.
SUMMER JOKE OF THE DAY: It isn’t a successful BBQ until some drunken idiot walks face first into a closed sliding glass door. I’m fine by the way.
HAPPY MAY 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Lenny Kravitz 51, Helena Bonham-Carter 49, Scott Disick 32, Stevie Nicks 67, Phillip Thomas 66, Masaharu Morimoto 60, Hank Williams Jr. 66, Genie Francis 53, Lisa Niemi 59, Levon Helm (1940-2012), John Wayne (1907-1979), Sally Ride (1951-2012), and Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011).

 

Today’s blog comes compliments of blogger: 

Though we certainly don’t live and breathe by what’s considered “in” or “out” in the decorating world, it’s always interesting to see what home design experts are predicting will be the next big trends. Real estate and rental marketplace Zillow just came out with their top three outdoor patio trends for this summer, as well as three fads that are on their way out. Here’s what they discovered:

TOP OUTDOOR PATIO TRENDS

1. Lime Green Accent Colors

Zillow predicts you’ll be seeing a lot of this bright green hue come summertime. Their experts suggest finding subtle ways to incorporate it into your decor, whether it be in throw pillows, chair cushions, or vases.

2. Vertical Gardens

We’ve been longtime fans of vertical gardening, so we couldn’t be more pleased to see that the trend is gaining momentum. “Low-maintenance, native plants will be highly popular this summer, especially given the water shortages on the west coast,” says Zillow Digs designer Christina Salway of Eleven Two Eleven Design. For more inspiration to start your own, check out these creative and space-savvy vertical gardening ideas.

3. Hurricane Candles

 The popular type of candle lighting gets its turn in the spotlight this summer. “When grouped together on tables or lined up along the patio floor, hurricane candles are romantic and create a wonderful ambiance that can be enjoyed on any budget,” the report states.

THREE FADS THAT ARE OVER

1. Tuscan Colors

 “Khakis or yellow-based neutrals are out, as well as anything muddy or Tuscan-inspired,” says Zillow Digs designer Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interiors. While we don’t necessarily agree with ditching these shades altogether, we do love the idea of adding pops of bright color to our porches and patios during the summer to create a warm and inviting environment.

2. Shabby Chic Furniture

Zillow experts claim that homeowners will begin to eschew shabby chic decor for more simplistic outdoor furniture. “Outdoor spaces are becoming an extension of indoor living,” the report states, “so people will invest in long-lasting furniture that can weather both the seasons and changing fads.”

3. Excessive Patterns

swinging daybed

Sometimes less is more, which is why Zillow is predicting that homeowners will start to favor simple designs over loud, busy patterns. This is one trend we’re happy to kick to the curb, since we envision our perfect porch as a calm and soothing spot, free of distraction.
SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I can never go swimming because it is always 30 minutes since I’ve last eaten.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1977 The first ever “Star Wars” movie is released.

HAPPY MAY 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Mike Meyers 52, Aly Raisman 21, Stacey London 46, Connie Sellecca 60, Anne Heche 46, Octavia Spencer 45, Ian McClellan 76, Frank Oz 71, Leslie Uggams 72, and Dixie Carter (1939-2010).

 

Ditch The Digging With This Brilliant Newspaper Garden

Want to make a new flower bed but hate the idea of having to dig up all that grass and dirt? Then you are going to love this sneaky trick using newspapers and water!

We found this gem in Canadian Gardening thanks to author Stephen Westcott-Gratton. Stephen suggests starting your garden in early spring so that your new flower bed will be ready to plant in just 60 days. Check out his step by step instructions below!

Step 1: Begin by determining the perimeter and shape of your new bed, then mow the grass within the area to a uniform height of roughly 2 inches. Next, spread newspapers over the mown grass (be sure to use newsprint-glossy paper doesn’t break down nearly as quickly). It’s essential to wet the newspapers thoroughly to speed up decomposition, so hose down each layer as it’s applied until it becomes a soggy mat, 1 inch thick.

new-flower-bed-1

Step 2: To further speed up decomposition, cover the soggy paper with materials high in nitrogen, such as blood meal and com­posted manure. Dust the wet newspapaer with blood meal, just enough to make it adhere, then add a layer of composted manure about 1 ½ inches deep. The manure helps retain moisture, weighs down the newspapers and supplies the beneficial micro-organisms vital for healthy, productive soil.

new-flower-bed-2

Step 3: To “seal” the concoction, finish off the area with five to seven centimetres of chunky hardwood mulch. This will hold the bottom layers in place and discourage weed seeds from germinating while the newspapers decompose. Once sealed, thoroughly re-water the entire area.

new-flower-bed-3

Step 4: For the next 45 to 60 days, keep the area moist by spraying the mulch with water; if it’s allowed to dry out completely, decomposition comes to a crashing halt. After about a month and a half, test the soil: Use a trowel to dig several small holes in different places in the bed. If the newspaper has disappeared and the grass below has been suffocated, then it’s time to plant.

Step 5: When planting the bed, try not to disturb the soil; it’s best to scoop out a plug of earth just large enough to slip in a plant, then gently replace the mulch around it. Within two to three years, the reclaimed newspaper bed will look as if it’s been there for decades—and without having removed a single blade of grass.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Exercising for just 10 minutes a day raises your risk of posting inspirational quotes by 60%.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 1980 – The New York Islanders win their first ever NHL Stanley Cup in team history.

SAD DAY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD: 85 year old Anne Meara passed away. Half of the comedy team Stiller and Meara, she was married to Jerry Stiller from 1954 until her death in 2015. Mother to Ben and Amy Stiller. Rest in peace funny lady.

HAPPY MAY 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Mark Ballas 29, Gary Burghoff 72, Roseanne Cash 60, Priscilla Presley 70, Tommy Chong 77, John C. Reilly 50, Bob Dylan 74, Eric Close 48, Patti LaBelle 71, and Bryan Greenberg 37.

 

Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.

Point a head lamp into a jug of water for an instant lantern.
Point a head lamp into a jug of water for an instant lantern.
Familiarize yourself with what the poisonous plants look like.
Familiarize yourself with what the poisonous plants look like.
Bring a tick deterrent.
Bring a tick deterrent.
Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder. Be sure to buy strike-anywhere matches.

Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

Repurpose a coffee can to hold and protect TP.

Repurpose a coffee can to hold and protect TP.
 
 Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices.
Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices.
Make single use soap flakes with a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler. You can also rub soap on mosquito bites to relieve the itchiness.
Make single-use soap leaves from a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler.

Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser as a hand-washing station.

 Just fill it up with water.

Use a belt and hooks to hang up pots and pans.

Use a belt and hooks to hang up pots and pans.
Make campfire cones!

Make campfire cones!

Pack a mini first-aid kit into an old prescription bottle or Altoids tin.

Pack a mini first-aid kit into an old prescription bottle or Altoids tin.

 Make a portable washing machine with a plunger and a bucket.

Make an easy-to-carry fire starter with a cardboard-only egg carton and match light charcoal. You just have to light the carton and the fire will catch on to the charcoal.

Make an easy-to-carry fire starter with a cardboard-only egg carton and match light charcoal.

Forgo the meat marinade and put Rosemary right on the coals. Once the coals are uniformly gray and ashy, cover them with fresh rosemary branches. Your meat and vegetables will be flavored with the taste of savory herbs.
Forgo the meat marinade and put the rosemary right on the coals.

 

 Add bundles of sage to a campfire to keep mosquitoes away.
Add bundles of sage to a campfire to keep mosquitoes away.

If you’re going to be hiking, use this biodegradable trail-marking tape.

If you're going to be hiking, use this biodegradable trail-marking tape.

 

Keep the kids busy with a scavenger hunt. Write the items down on a paper bag so they have a receptacle for the items.

 

 

Use a bucket and a milk crate as an emergency toilet.

Use a bucket and a milk crate as an emergency toilet.

Cotton pads dipped in wax are a crazy easy way to make portable fire starters.

Cotton pads dipped in wax are a crazy easy way to make portable fire starters.

 SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1934 American bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde, are ambushed by police and killed.

MAY 23 is World Turtle Day. It raises awareness and appreciation for the plight of turtles and tortoises on a global scale.

HAPPY MAY 23 BIRTHDAY TO: Drew Carey 57, Joan Collins 82, Jewel 41, H. Jon Benjamin 49, John Otriz 47, Adam Wylie 31, Betty Garrett (1919-2011), Scatman Crothers (1910-1986), and Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002).


Summer Food & Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad!! Yum:))
Ingredients:
1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped*
1 medium tomato, diced
1 hass avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 limes, juice of
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and fresh pepper to taste

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The only thing wrong with a perfect drive to work is that you end up at work.

HAPPY MAY 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Naomi Campbell 45, Apollo Ohno 33, Victoria Wyndham (Rachel Cory on Another World) 70, Ann Cusak 54, Richard Benjamin 77, Dustin Moskovitz 31, Anna Belknap 43, Sir Lawrence Olivier (1907-1989), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), and Harvey Milk (1930-1978).