Tips for Cooking in Natural Clay Cookware

I am pretty picky about the pots, pans and assorted cookware I bring into my home.  I try to avoid things like artificial non-stick coatings or other questionable types of cooking vessels.  Natural materials like cast iron, stainless steel, and natural clay cookware are my first choice when cooking.  Of course, you sometimes have to play around with recipes when you are trying out new types of cooking vessels in your kitchen.  I thought I would share a few tips on how to cook in natural clay cookware in case this is something you want to try in … [Read more...]

Need Dinner Place Setting Ideas? Make Cranberry Wreath DIY Place Cards!

Despite the stress and the added burden to my credit card, this is my all-time favorite part of the year.  I love the holiday season, from cookie baking to the smell of wet leaves in the air.  Thanksgiving and Christmas mean spending time with family, plenty of cookies to bake, and fires in the fireplace.  If you are having company over this month, you may be looking for simple dinner place setting ideas to decorate your holiday table. Well, you don't have to look farther than your grocery store and the very versatile cranberry! Making DIY … [Read more...]

Ideas for Decorating with Natural Elements to Bring the Outdoors Inside!

Decorating with natural elements is a great way to bring a bit of the outdoors into your home.  In my opinion,  it brings a bit of peace and harmony into the house that everyone could use a bit more of. There are many types of things that you can use to decorate that are easy to find and appeal to the senses. Some of these ideas can be found near your home and crafted into something beautiful.  Other natural home decor items can be purchased online if you want something a bit more sophisticated. Here are a few simple decorating tips to get you … [Read more...]

All Natural Crock Pot Air Freshener Recipe

Fall is my all time favorite season and this all natural crock pot air freshener will make your home smell festive as the days get shorter and colder.  While I have a weakness for candles, they definitely aren't cheap.  Particularly the really nice soy wax ones with essential oils.  I really love those!  Of course, burning a candle all day pretty much means the I  am spending about $15 a day in candles which really doesn't work for my budget.  I decided to put together a few of my favorite fall foods and let them simmer in my crock pot all day. … [Read more...]

How to Keep the Kitchen Cool This Summer

Summertime in Georgia is HOT and most days I have no desire to sweat over the stove to cook dinner for my family.  Since feeding them cereal every night of the week leaves me slightly guilt-ridden, I have had to learn how to keep the kitchen cool while still feeding them real food. Preferably something with a vegetable or two....  Finding ways to keep your kitchen cool in the summer will go a long ways towards reducing your air conditioning bill, not to mention help keep you sane.  Anyone who has had to deal with children, pets, and a ringing … [Read more...]

Frugal Landscaping Ideas: How to Upgrade Your Yard on a Budget!

This post about frugal landscaping ideas has been sponsored by Groupon.  All opinions expressed here are my own.My husband and I are passionate about our outdoor space.  From the patio and fish pond to the pots of jalapenos and pretty flowers by the mailbox.  It makes us happy to see an area that is both comfortable and attractive.  However, with two teens who have college aspirations, our budget is limited.  That means there is no hiring a gardener or spending a fortune on decorative lawn accessories.  We have found, over the years, that … [Read more...]

6 Porch Design Ideas for Simple Outdoor Enjoyment

With the onset of spring, you might be looking for a few porch design ideas this month. One of the things I love most about visiting my parents up north is their wraparound porch. I spend my morning enjoying coffee while the birds sing and the kids sit outside slurping on popsicles in the summer heat.  We use our back patio for the same types of things.  Relaxing, enjoying nature, and spending time with family.In some areas of the country, it's porch season year-round.  For many others, porch season seems far too short. Porches are one of … [Read more...]

Growing Annuals in Pots: Follow These Tips for Beautiful Flowers

After a late freeze and some very chilly rain, the sun is finally out again and I think spring has actually arrived. I have started buying some herbs and a few seed packets and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty.  Since I want to add a pop of color to my porch and patio, I am growing annuals in pots.  There are a wide variety of flower types to choose from at the nursery this year.  I chose a few edible pansies but am also planning on adding a few more as the weather warms up.  If you want to start growing annuals, here are a few tips … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!

Have you started getting the itch to dust, organize and declutter your home?  When the crocuses and tulips start peeking their heads out of the ground, I know it is close to spring!  Along with the nice weather comes the open windows, the gardening, and the spring cleaning.  Each room of the house has its own set of 'chores' that I try and do once a year.  Spring cleaning your office is is a great way to prepare for tax time.   If you want to join me on my spring cleaning journey, I will include a few affiliate links for things that might come … [Read more...]

How to Prepare for Company so Your Guests Feel at Home!

Fall is finally here and the holidays are fast approaching. Now is the season for visiting friends and family and you may be wondering how to prepare for company so they feel at home during their visit.  As much as I hate to think about it, the chaos of the holidays will be here very quickly!  Shopping, baking, wrapping and holiday parties are a lot of fun but add them to an already hectic schedule and you get one really stressed out mama.  One of the things I really enjoy about the holidays is having company to cook for but having house guests … [Read more...]

10 Uses for Wood Ash When Your Campfire is Finished!

Do you know what my all time favorite thing about fall is?  Outdoor fires in our fire pit.  Not only is it a great way to get rid of some of our yard trimmings, it's a wonderful excuse to pour a glass of wine and just enjoy the crisp, fall air.   After you roast marshmallows and toss acorns into the fire, eventually the wood burns up and the campfire dies off.  Ever wonder if there an any uses for wood ash instead of just throwing it away? There are a ton of useful ways to use wood ash once they are cooled off.  Here are just a few things to do … [Read more...]

The Leaf Blower: A lazy person’s lawn manicure

As you read this, are you listening to the sound of your neighbor's leaf blower? Does it sound like a hoard of angry mosquitoes descending on your home? I absolutely love this time of year.  Growing up in New England, Fall was always my favorite season.  The brilliant reds and oranges of the maple leaves, the crisp, cool mornings, and the earthy smell of the air as the leaves started to drop to the ground.  Then my dad would hand me a rake and tell me to go clean up the yard.  THAT part of Fall I could seriously have done without.  I can not … [Read more...]

Best Ways to Winterize Your Home to Save Money and Go Green

With the weather finally starting to cool off, are you looking for the best ways to winterize your home?  Sure, you may love the crisp days of autumn and the smell of fallen leaves but winter will be here soon.  While I live in the relatively mild south right now, I grew up in New England.  I know a thing or two about cold weather. I know what it feels like to walk outside and have the inside of your nose freeze because it is so darn cold out.  I know what it's like to get out of bed and put your feet down on a freezing cold floor when you … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Eucalyptus Leaves for Home and Health

I have a serious problem.  One that has me looking for uses for eucalyptus leaves and considering buying a koala bear.  What is this problem I speak of?  Well, I can't seem to go into a garden nursery without buying every weird plant that I come across!  Seriously.  One year I bought tarragon even though we had never used tarragon before. And apparently it is a perennial and now I have enough tarragon to outfit a small nation.  Well, last year I bought a eucalyptus plant and now I am wondering what to do with eucalyptus leaves.  Because … [Read more...]

Our Renovated Linen Chest Bedding Storage Project

When I was growing up, my mom had tons of my grandmother's old quilts.  She had a linen chest bedding storage system at the foot of her bed that was solid wood and absolutely gorgeous.  It was made out of cedar and I'm pretty sure it was an antique that cost a whole heck of a lot of money.  I have wanted my own linen chest bedding storage space for  years but the prices I have seen online are just way too expensive for my budget.  I came across an old pine chest at my neighbor's garage sale a few weeks ago and decided to try to renovate it and … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Lemon Balm When it Takes Over Your Garden!

Several years ago I decided I wanted to grow lemon balm.  Great idea, right?  Well, now I am constantly looking for new uses for lemon balm because the stuff is growing like a weed and taking over the back of my house.  Seriously.  Why can't I get my cucumbers and squash to grow like this?   Growing lemon balm might have been a great idea but it requires near-daily maintenance to make sure it stays where I put it.  If you have a ton of lemon balm in your own yard, here are a few things I have found so far to do with it. Creative Uses for Lemon … [Read more...]

Practical Money Saving Tips That Help You Go Green

My budget this year is pretty much shot.  Between the $20,000 we have done in home repairs and our recent vacation, we have pretty much depleted our bank account and I'm starting to think I need to start coupon clipping again.  I have gotten spoiled in the last few years and while we are careful with our money, I wouldn't say I have been thrifty or budget conscious.  We will soon be moving into the holidays and I am starting to look into some practical money saving tips to help get our bank account up where it needs to be in case of … [Read more...]

10 Cleaning Tips for Surviving Spring Allergies

Surviving spring allergies has become quite a chore in my house. I'm already stocking up on saline, tissues and eye drops.   The number of people suffering from spring allergies has increased significantly in the last 10 years.  Air quality is getting worse and our immune systems are getting overwhelmed.  Having grown up in the North, my system just can't seem to handle the mold, cockroaches and year round plant blooming that you find here in Georgia.  Some people have a harder time than others when it comes to surviving spring allergies. There … [Read more...]

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she is trying to clean out her house and get rid of some things. For my mom, learning how to eliminate clutter is quite a chore…she is a packrat and still has things like my old prom corsage and 50 years worth of cookbooks! It got me to thinking: why do we keep the things we do? To hold on to the memories? Because we feel guilty throwing them away?  You are not the only person who needs to learn how to eliminate clutter from their lives.  The average American house size has more than doubled … [Read more...]