Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall is in the Air and so are Germs!

Cold and Flu Season: Are you ready?
Spark Naturals is happy to release the
Cold and Flu Bomb Kit! 
Autumn marks both the start of the holidays and cold and flu season, which, much like Back-to-school time, can bring a host of things into the house ranging from stress to bacteria.
I know EO's my family's first line of defense for prevention but if our defenses get low, we take action right away with Sparks Cold and Flu Bomb Kit.  They have put together the ultimate collection of oils to prevent and fight off cold and flu symptoms.
This affordable kit includes:
Oregano - Nature's strongest Antibiotic

Melaleuca - Proven to fight, bacteria, virus and fungi
Oregano & Melaleuca EOs
Both Oregano and Melaleuca (and many other essential oils) are
potent anti-microbial agents and are fantastic to have on hand for
cleaning, diffusing, and other appropriate uses during this season!
Shield - Spark Naturals proprietary blend created to support healthy immune function.

Shield Protective Blend
Kills bacteria, mold and and virus.
This blend is full of heavy hitters for supporting a
healthy immune system, including
Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon,
Eucalyptus, and Rosemary.
It is perfect diffused, rolled onto the
bottom of your feet (diluted if necessary),
taken in a lemon tea, or
mixed with vodka or Witch Hazel
for a DIY hand sanitizer.
Directions for use:
A popular remedy for the onset of cold or flu is 3 drops of each oil in a gel capsule, a shot glass of water or,
applied to the bottoms of both feet.
Acute symptoms; take or apply every 3 hours.
For preventative measures, 3x daily.
For kids under the age of 8, dilute by half with a carrier oil.
We just add the drops to a glass of water and drink.
It gives the one two punch and we feel better quicker than with over the counter meds. Best of all it's a steal at $24.99 compared to the cost of similar kits from other companies!
You can even save 10% on your order from Spark Naturals by clicking here

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Many Uses for Flour

People have been using flour for eons!
The uses for flour that we think of include but aren't limited to: baking cakes, making corn bread, cup cakes, pie crust, desserts, casseroles, beans, etc! Flour is so useable even to thicken broth with. I don’t know if we could ever find all the uses of this kitchen and baking essential.
I ran a Home Daycare for 25 years, here are some fun recipes for crafting with the kiddos!
  Have fun, these are just in time for the upcoming Holiday Season. Making little ornaments, gifts and just plain keeping them busy during vacation time!

For the Kiddos

Recipe 1 for Modeling Clay

Mix together:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Food coloring, optional
Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe 2 for Modeling Flour

Mix and cook over low heat until mixture thickens:
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
Food coloring, optional
Cool before using.

Recipe 3 for Modeling Flour

Combine over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes stiff and comes away from sides of pot:
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 cups water
Food coloring
Cool before using.
Store in a plastic bag.

Recipe 4 for Modeling Clay

1 cup cornstarch
2 cups bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups cold water
Food coloring
Heat all over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is dough like. Cool, covered with a damp cloth. Coat finished products with a sealant to seal and preserve.

Make Play Dough with Flour

Play dough is a classic childhood toy everyone can have fun with, and it’s so easy to make at home you’ll never buy that stinky store variety again.
Basic ingredient ratios:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)
essential oils (optional)
Mix all together.

Make Cloud Dough with Flour

The consistency of this dough is captivating to feel and hold. It can be powdery like flour one moment, then moldable like damp sand the next. This brought HOURS of entertainment to my home, hopefully it will do the same for yours.
8 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
Essential oil such as lavender (optional, but remember lavender has calming properties ;) )
Scoop and pour the flour into the center of a large tub.
Create a crater in the middle of the flour.
Pour the oil into the crater.
Gently mix it all together.
Use your imagination. 
No-Cook Paper Mache Paste Recipe from Flour
Paper Mache ~ newspaper strips
To make this paste, simply mix together 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Pour the flour and water in a large bowl and stir it well. Keep mixing until there are very few lumps left. You want it to be runny like a white glue, not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary.
If you don’t like the smell of the glue mixture you can add a few sprinkles of cinnamon or your favorite ground spice to sweeten it up. You should be able to store this glue in a covered bowl or jar, in the refrigerator, for a few days.
When I was little anytime I needed paste Mom would just mix flour with water to make a paste. Worked great for gluing paper projects together. So if you ever run out of glue or paste, reach for the flour. And it's safe for toddlers who seem to put everything in their mouths ;)

Household Uses

Refresh a deck of cards

You can spruce up an old playing deck by dropping the entire thing (loose) into a paper bag with about a ¼ cup of flour. The thirsty flour will soak up all the oils and grime from years of dirty fingers, greasy snacks, etc.

Use Flour to Deter Ants:

Flour and Borax. Mix 1 cup flour and 2 cups borax in a jar. Punch holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle contents around the house foundation. Keep Borax out of reach of children and pets. 

Buffing Stainless steel with Flour

After cleaning your sink with a paste of baking soda and water, dry the sink out completely and shake in some flour.
Use approx. 1/4 cup. Simply buff your sink with a soft cloth rag and keep at it until your sink is glistening.
Wipe out leftover flour with your towel and shake into your compost bin or trashcan.

Polish Copper with Flour and Vinegar
¼ Cup Fine Sea Salt
¼ Cp All Purpose Flour
White Vinegar
Mixing Bowl
A Soft Rag
1. Combine the sea salt and flour.
2. Add the white vinegar a little bit a time while stirring until you’ve made a thick paste.
3. Rub the paste onto the pot or pan using a cloth until it shines.
4. Rinse, dry, and done.

Making Spray Glue from Flour

1. Boil 3 cups of water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Reduce heat to medium.
2. Whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into the water. Add the flour a bit at a time, whisking the liquid as you do so to break up the flour and distribute it evenly in the water. Continue whisking after all the flour is added and until the mixture thickens and becomes somewhat gelatinous in consistency.
3. Let the flour mixture cool to room temperature.
4. Check the consistency of the flour mixture; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s thicker than this, stir in some water until it reaches the appropriate thickness. Mix well, whisking if necessary.
5. Fill a spray bottle 1/4 full with rubbing alcohol.
6. Add flour mixture to fill the rest of the bottle. Leave about a half inch of space at the top of the bottle to allow air mixture.
7. Cap the bottle. Shake well before using. Apply to porous surfaces, especially paper products.

In the Garden 


Flour is effective on beetles, grasshoppers and wet, soft-bodied insects. Sprinkle flour on insects to kill them. Beetles’ and grasshoppers’ wings and legs get coated in the flour and it impairs their movement. They fall to the ground and die or are attacked by predatory insects. Soft-bodied insects such as aphids and slugs become coated in flour and are unable to stay moist, then gum up or dry out and die. Flour mixed with salt may be more effective against large infestations, but salt can burn plants so take care to sprinkle only on insects. Personally I like to use the flour by itself. It's a safe non-toxic way to help keep infestations down with out worry about children or pets getting into it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Old Factory Candle Gift Set Review and #Giveaway

I was so excited to be chosen to review an
Old Factory Candle Gift Set. 
It arrived well packed.
You can chose to get it neatly gift wrapped
 with a gift card attached like shown,
 These would make for a wonderful any occasion gift,
remember the Holiday Season is right around the corner too!  
That Amazon smile always makes me smile!

I adore the old fashioned graphics and packaging.
I detected a delicious scent right away,
 even through the packaging!

The scent set I chose was ''Winter Wonderland'' which included:
Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut and First Snow.
I don't know about you but I am ready for Winter!
Old Factory's Candles are hand poured with natural soy wax and premium fragrance oils, have self-trimming cotton candle wicks and are made right here in the good ol' USA.
Just love those labels! 
I lit the Roasted Chestnut right away.
We had a brisk breeze that day and
 thought it was appropriate
AND I wanted to smell it fully lit. 
As I sit here writing in an adjacent room,
the scent is enveloping me.
 It's a subtle warm Holiday scent,
not overwhelming as some candles can be.
Since they are made of soy wax they
burn clean for over 20 hours with no soot..a big plus!
This wonderful Gift Set is available through Amazon.
You can find the Winter Wonderland Set here.
But there are a total of 12 themed Gift Sets available.
You will find it hard to chose, I know I did.
Each Gift Set includes 3 - 2 ounce fragrance-themed candles,
each will compliment any room of the home.
They may look little, but they don't disappoint.
 their fabulous scent fills the room comfortably.
Pumpkin Spice
Autumn Leaves 
Christmas Tree
Candy Cane

Hot Cocoa
Roasted Chestnut
First Snow

Rose Petals
Dark Chocolate

Olive Blossom
Fresh Linen

Green Tea

Sea Breeze
Hawaiian Lei

Coffee Bean
Chai Tea

Straight Razor

Bag O' Cookies

Baby Powder
Baby Shampoo
First Blanket

Jasmine Bubbles
Now the FUN part!!
How would you like to win an
Old Factory Candle Gift Set of your own!!??
That's right!  
Old Factory Candles have been so kind
as to offer a Gift Set for the winner of my giveaway!
Once the winner is determined he/she will receive
an exclusive coupon code for 1 Old Factory Candle Gift Set.
Just enter the giveaway form below.
Entries will be verified.
Open to US residents only.
Promotions ends November 1, 2014    
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Pass The Butter ... Please.

This is interesting . .. .
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had... put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.
It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings....
DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end...gets very interesting!
Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .
And now, for Margarine..
Very High in Trans fatty acids.
Triples risk of coronary heart disease ...
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..
Lowers quality of breast milk
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.
And here's the most disturbing fact... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT.
These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).
Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.

Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?
Chinese Proverb:
When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.
There's still time to enter my

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Helper?

Bynx like to help out packaging sold items.

But sometimes there's a box she just must keep.

Ready the bubble wrap

Or rather POP the bubble wrap!

Just HAS to get every bubble from end

to end!
Yep, a real helper

Wordless Wednesdays with:
Crafty Spices 

Monday, October 13, 2014

9 Ways to Keep Your Food Fresh Longer

There’s nothing healthier than lush, fresh produce. And there’s nothing more discouraging than having it spoil before you can eat it. These tips can help you keep your produce fresh longer, save money and reduce waste.

1. Buy only what you need. When you run out of your favorite fruits and veggies, head to the store and restock. At home, keep an eye out for the fastest-spoiling foods, like artichokes, bananas, cherries, corn, green beans, mushrooms and strawberries. Be sure to eat them first.

Quick Tricks Wrap bananas with plastic wrap at their stems to slow the ripening process. Also, add an apple to potatoes bagged in mesh to keep them from sprouting.

2. Shop strategically. While most grocery store entrances lead right into the produce department, you should make it your last stop, not your first. By the time you trek around the entire store, foods like berries and broccoli can already start to deteriorate.

3. Don’t store fruits and vegetables together. Many fruits give off high levels of ethylene gas, and vegetables are sensitive to it. Putting the two together can make veggies spoil faster. Some gas-releasing fruits that should be refrigerated apart from veggies are apples, cantaloupe, honeydew and apricots.

4. Not everything should go in the fridge. Potatoes, onions, garlic and squash don’t need to be refrigerated. As long as you keep them in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or your basement, they should last for weeks.

5. Always store tomatoes at room temperature. Turn them stem-side down on your countertop and keep them out of the sun and away from the stove.

6. Wash fresh berries in a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water to inhibit mold. Be sure to dry berries before storing them in a sealed plastic or glass container.

7. Keep veggies at the bottom of the fridge where the temperature is coldest. Remove the tops of carrots, radishes and beets before refrigerating to help them retain moisture.

8. Don’t smother it. Fruits and vegetables need air to stay fresh, so storing them in closed containers or plastic bags will only make them spoil faster. If you’re storing produce in a plastic bag, be sure to perforate it first.

9. Leafy greens like lettuce, chard, kale and more should be washed, dried and wrapped loosely in paper towels and placed in a perforated plastic bag in a fridge drawer.
There's still time to enter my free giveaway for Purex Aromatherapy Crystals!
Enter here!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Purex® Crystals Aromatherapy Giveaway and Review

Purex is introducing their new line of scents with Purex Crystals Aromatherapy in-wash scent boosters to stimulate your life!
Yay! Another Purex quality product to add to my daily laundry line up, which includes Purex Detergent, Dryers Sheets and their Crystals.
This new line of Aromatherapy Scents are blended with essential oils and include:
Well Being ~ brightens any mood with the happy fragrance of fresh blossoms

Energy ~ helps you tackle any day with the stimulating power of citrus

Serenity ~ keeps you calm all day long with the gentle scent of water-lilies   

I had the pleasure of trying the Energy fragrance. When I received the package with the Purex Crystals Aromatherapy the first thing I did is smell it, right? Of course!
Our mail arrives between 3:30 pm and 5 pm, let me just say I'm pretty much dragging my tail by then!
I opened it up and took a big whiff...
My mind perked up to this delightful citrus scent and I just had to do a load of laundry right then and there, which is a never ending supply of in this home!
Purex Crystals come with a handy dandy cap on top to measure and pour into your washer at the start of the wash cycle along with your detergent.  Easy peasy! This allows the crystals to permeate your clothing with a personal expressiveness that lasts for weeks, not days and eliminates any laundry odors. My family loves the fresh laundry scent and we can't wait to try out the other two new Crystal Scents. 
 Be sure to check out Purex on Facebook so you can keep abreast on their new products, coupons and giveaways.

Now comes the fun part!
The giveaway!

One lucky person will receive 2 coupons,
each for a free bottle of 
Just enter the giveaway form below. Entries will be verified.
Open to US residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
Promotions ends November 11, 2014.

The NEW Purex Crystals Aromatherapy scent infusions, and stimulate your life with peaceful bliss and boundless spirit with these soothing aromas!
Disclosure: The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.
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