Home/Garden


L & Z Inc 100% Authentic Tencel Bed Sheets   Recently updated !


I love a soft, silky sheet!  I’ve heard a little about the fabric Tencel, but honestly, never paid attention to it until now.  Of course, when I read the claim that it is eco-friendly, I had to check more into it.

 

resize_1f42ed12a8d354552f730c6b6be3287fe2531da9f9617c8e8a24e2228f487cad47dc9dc6256256Tencel is the brand name…for the fabric made from lyocell fiber.  It has become known for being an eco-friendly fabric because it claims to be biodegradable and renewable.  It is made from wood pulp from sustainable tree farms.  It’s also certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council.  This fabric can be combined with other synthetic fabrics, though, so that’s something to watch for.  It’s a popular choice for sheets and clothing.

 

The sheets I received for review claim to be 100% Tencel, so I can definitely feel good about that.  I got them and my husband immediately put them on the bed.  We LOVE the silky, soft feel!  They are very breathable, if that makes sense.  I think they’ll be great for the warmer weather that is fast approaching, as they are not thick and heavy feeling.  And I know it’s not as important as the feel, but I love the color too. :)  So, I don’t know…regal!  They are pretty sheets and extremely comfortable.

He loves the feel as much as I do!

He loves the feel as much as I do!

*I received a complimentary bed sheet set through Tomoson in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.  


Summer is Coming! Let’s Celebrate With a Sizzling Summer Giveaway

Summer is coming to those of us in the northern hemisphere.  I can NOT wait!  Working at a school, I get at least as excited as my kids for the break.  The sunny weather, the gardening, the camping trips, the nature walks/hikes, and the relaxing at home just make me giddy!

 

What is your favorite part about summer?

 

Let me give you another reason to love the upcoming season:  How about $500 spending cash??

Better on a budget

 

I’ve teamed up with some other wonderful bloggers to offer you a BIG giveaway!!  TWO winners will receive $500 each for their summer activities via Paypal!  This awesome giveaway is open world wide.  So…what are you waiting for?  Enter below, and good luck!!

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms & Conditions:T&C for the giveaway: This giveaway is open WW the (2) winner must be 18 years or older to win. The giveaway will end on June 15th and the winner will be chosen by random.org no later than June 20th. All mandatory entries must be completed. The entries will be verified. Full Lives Reviews can void an entry if entrant did not add verification. The winner will be notified via email and will need to respond to that email within 24 hours to claim their prize. Once the prize is claimed a notification will be sent out to the co-hosts for announcement. Void where prohibited.


Frugal Health – Increase Your Water Intake

Do you want a simple and frugal way to improve your health?

 

Drink more water.

 

25605607f9d1c9c6fcd709f56b0c88c1It’s an incredibly frugal, simple thing to do, and yet it’s not always easy.

 

Last summer when I got really sick, the very first lifestyle change I was instructed by my doctor to make was to up the amount of water I was drinking.  When I “graduated” the 6-month program I was given, he reiterated to me that the number one thing I can do to prevent having similar issues in the future is to keep the water drinking going.  It has proven to be true.  I can tell EVERY DAY now when I’ve not had enough water.  It’s insane to me how much difference it makes!

 

 

So, how do you stay motivated to keep drinking?  There are a lot of free apps out there that will give you a reminder every so often.  There are also fruit-infused waters that you can make, to give yourself a little more variety.  Infusing your water with fruit also adds other benefits and nutrients to the water!  Honestly, I’ve known about this for awhile, but I didn’t start actually making my own water with fruit until recently, simply because it wasn’t convenient.  Lazy, I know… :)  Enter this Live Infinitely Infusion water bottle:

Live Infinitely Infusion

 

Simple to Use:
Simply toss your favorite fruits, veggies or tea into the infusion basket, fill up with water, give it a little shake and allow about 10 minutes for the infusion water bottle to work its magic!
Check Out All the Health Benefits that are possible:
✓ Green tea+Mint+Lime: Fat burning, digestion, relieves headaches, congestion and freshens breath.
✓ Strawberry+Kiwi: Immune system protection, blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular health and digestion
✓ Cucumber+Lime+Lemon: Water weight management, appetite control, relieves bloating, hydration, and digestion
✓ Lemon+Lime+Orange: Digestion, immune defense, vitamin C, relieves heartburn, (when consumed at room temperature)

 

I love this particular bottle because it’s BPA free and dishwasher safe.  The company also back all of their water bottles with a 100% money back guarantee.
PicMonkey Collage5

I am committed to continuing living my life in a healthy way, and in doing it on the budget that I live with.  Using this water bottle is a crazy easy way to do so.  My favorite flavor combination so far is mandarin oranges and blueberries.  I’m looking forward to trying a cucumber/mint combo, or something similar.  I’ve just gotta harvest my mint first! :)

 

Do you drink fruit-infused waters?  What is your favorite flavor combo?

 

 

*I received a free water bottle in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are mine alone.


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

  

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

I really, really want to maximize my garden space this year.  And I really, really want to convince my husband to get on board.

 

Whether you have a large space or hardly any room at all, there are gardening options available to you!  From container gardening to strategic companion planting to vertical planting – there are ways to maximize whatever space you do have.  You can create a “Postage Stamp” garden!  Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.

 

The Postage Stamp Vegetable GardenHow?  Well, you gotta read this book. :)  The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is a gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) that uses ecologically friendly, intensive biodynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.

I’ve been gardening for over 10 years, and holy cow, I know NOTHING next to Karen Newcomb, the author.  She writes in detail, including general ideas for improving your green thumb, as well as specific step-by-step instructions (which is what I need).  She includes soil “recipes” that, again, are very specific, but that allow plenty of room for adaptation.  There is a wealth of information in this book, and I will refer to it for many years to come.  I’m giving it 5 stars with a full recommendation….if you want to grow a garden, read this book!

 

 

*I received a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.  

 


Make Your Own Compost – And 45 Things You Can Add to Your Pile!

compost-419259_640Mother Nature will always find ways to help those who help her, and so it is with composting and organic gardening.  This really is the basic principal behind organic gardening, actually.

You may be new to organic gardening, or you may be an old pro.  I’ve been gardening for quite some time, but I really haven’t done a great job with making my own compost.  I’ve always just bought it.  (Shame, shame.)  While I have never added chemicals or sprays to my garden, I’d like to do a better job this year and in the years to come of improving my soil the “right” way – with the stuff that nature has already provided me.

 

Making your own compost is a simple concept, but it’s not one of those things that you can make and be done with.  It will take time and effort on your part (this is partially why I haven’t been more dedicated myself).  It is definitely worth the wait once completed, however!

 

How to make compost:

 

The first technique when attempting to start your own compost pile is to gather together your discarded vegetable peels, dried leaves, and cut grass.  You can place these in a compost bag.  You will need to check the pile regularly and periodically add liquid to keep it moist.

The second technique is to decide on a suitable place on the ground in your garden for the compost pile, and then to gather the materials and put them there.  You will literally just leave them there for nature to take it’s course and break them all down.  This technique obviously takes a lot more time, possibly even years.  But eventually nature will turn the pile into compostable material that can be used to fertilize your garden.

With either approach, you must check thoroughly and often.  With the second technique, your pile is left in the open.  You’ve got to make sure that no elements which are harmful to your garden and its plants are allowed onto the pile.  If you have a pet dog, make sure he/she is not doing its business on or near your pile, you know?

How To Compost - The Basics, and 45 Things You Can Add To Your Compost Pile!

Of course, there are a LOT of items that you can use in your compost pile.  You’re not limited to leaves and grass!  Here is a more extensive list of items you can add to your pile:

  1. Pine needles
  2. Chicken manure
  3. Rabbit manure
  4. Tea grounds (not the bags, just the grounds)
  5. Egg shells (crushed)
  6. Coffee grounds (not any bags, just the grounds)
  7. Wood ash
  8. Cooked rice
  9. Stale bread, tortillas, or pitas
  10. Nut shells (except for walnut shells, DON’T add those)
  11. Shredded newspaper
  12. Cow, horse, or goat manure
  13. Alfalfa
  14. Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  15. Grapefruit rinds
  16. Old spices and herbs
  17. Houseplant trimmings
  18. Toothpicks
  19. Garden soil
  20. Blood meal
  21. Hair from your hairbrush
  22. Spanish moss
  23. Nail clippings
  24. Limestone
  25. Fish meal
  26. Dryer lint
  27. Shredded paper (like junk mail – don’t shred and add any plastic)
  28. Kleenex tissues
  29. Tree bark
  30. Pencil shavings
  31. Natural potpourri
  32. Used matches
  33. Grass clippings
  34. Dead leaves
  35. Sawdust (from wood that has not been treated, painted or stained)
  36. Smashed Jack O’ Lanterns
  37. Fur from your cat or dog brush
  38. Old flower arrangements
  39. Stale potato chips
  40. Straw
  41. Brown paper bags (shredded or cut up)
  42. Veggie peelings (like potato peels, apple peels and cores, watermelon rinds, etc) – There is some debate about whether you should add onion peels and/or citrus peels, so if you feel unsure, don’t add them.
  43. Old or outdated seeds (you don’t want them sprouting though, ha ha!)
  44. Old beer
  45. Urine (yes, it’s true.  The nitrogen in urine is fantastic for compost)

 

How_Compost_HappensYou’ll want to rotate, or aerate, your pile regularly to keep it “airy”.  You can add worms (red worms specifically) to your pile to help speed up the composting process.  You also want to keep a good balance of “brown” vs. “green” material.  Green material is high in nitrogen.  I think of it as the “wet”, or fresh stuff (kitchen scraps, fresh grass clippings, etc).  Brown material is high in fiber.  I think of it as the “dry” stuff (sawdust, dead leaves, etc).  You also need to make sure that the pile does not dry out.  You can read about that in much more detail HERE.

 

There you have it – the basics of composting!

 

Do you compost?

Would you ever urinate in your compost pile?

 

 

 

 


Organic Gardening – Companion Planting 3 comments

It’s that time of year in my area…gardens are popping up!  I love it.  Growing your own food is addicting.  It feels SO good to go outside and do some “grocery shopping”.  I’m not anywhere close to being an expert, and which I were, but I enjoy it and am constantly trying to learn more.  I’m all about gardening organically. I’ve not used chemicals on my gardens for years, and I feel good about it.

Raised_bedOrganic vеgеtаblе gаrdеnіng mеаnѕ thаt уоu will nоt bе ѕрrауіng toxic сhеmісаlѕ оn уоur frеѕh food, and уоu wоn’t bе ѕрrеаdіng сhеmісаl fеrtіlіzеrѕ on the grоund. If уоu dоn’t do thаt, how do you keep уоur gаrdеn frоm bесоmіng a bug fеаѕt or prevent ѕраrѕе, lоw ԛuаlіtу сrорѕ?  This is what I want to get better at understanding.

 

Companion рlаntіng offers a ѕоlutіоn.

 

Cоmраnіоn planting саn bе dеѕсrіbеd as growing twо or mоrе dіffеrеnt kіndѕ оf plants сlоѕе together ѕо thаt ѕоmе benefit is derived, lіkе repelling pests, attracting beneficial іnѕесtѕ, adding needed nutrients tо thе ѕоіl, or providing ѕhеltеr.

 

Sоmе plants gіvе off ѕсеntѕ or сhеmісаlѕ thаt rереl іnѕесtѕ, іnѕесtѕ like wоrmѕ аnd bееtlеѕ that саn dеѕtrоу your garden. Othеr рlаntѕ hеlр рrеvеnt dіѕеаѕе оr attract іnѕесtѕ, whісh аrе bеnеfісіаl tо рlаntѕ. And ѕоmе plants аrе exceptional аt brеаkіng down the soil аnd hеlріng оthеr рlаntѕ аbѕоrb vіtаl nutrients. Eѕѕеntіаllу, companion planting іѕ used tо hеlр уоur соrе рlаntѕ thrіvе without сhеmісаlѕ.

 

An еxаmрlе wоuld be рlаntіng corn аnd bеаnѕ together. Corn rеmоvеѕ nіtrоgеn from thеn soil whіlе grоwіng. Beans fіx nіtrоgеn back into the ѕоіl whіlе grоwіng аnd help thе соrn. A wаrnіng  tо people whо wоuld рlаnt beans іn wіth thеіr соrn. Bеаn vаrіеtіеѕ іnсludе роlе bеаnѕ (climbing bеаnѕ) аnd bush bеаnѕ (non-climbing beans). Dо NOT рlаnt pole beans in wіth your соrn. The сlіmbіng bеаnѕ wіll сrеаtе a twіѕtеd аnd lеаfу junglе аrоund your corn plants, mаkіng іt dіffісult to hаrvеѕt thе соrn.

 

 

images (4)Companion Plаntіng Suggеѕtіоnѕ

Mаrіgоldѕ hаvе a vеrу ѕtrоng frаgrаnсе. Many іnѕесtѕ fіnd mаrіgоldѕ ԛuіtе dіѕtаѕtеful іnсludіng nematodes (rоundwоrmѕ), whiteflies, bееtlеѕ, аnd арhіdѕ. Tо uѕе marigolds аѕ a соmраnіоn plant, рlаnt thеm аt the реrіmеtеr оf уоur ѕԛuаrе fооt gаrdеn box. Tаkе care tо not рlаnt thеm tоо closely to уоur vegetables because they do аttrасt ѕріdеr mites and ѕlugѕ.  This is probably the only plant I’ve been good at using consistently in my garden.  I’d like to try some of these other ideas too:

Nasturtiums оr wormwood аrе good whеn рlаntеd сlоѕе tо thе саbbаgе fаmіlу as thеу аttrасt thе white cabbage moth аwау frоm thе рlаntѕ. Nаѕturtіumѕ аrе аlѕо very hеlрful when planting broccoli.

If уоu’rе grоwіng tomatoes, use gеrаnіumѕ to repel саbbаgе worms, Jараnеѕе beetles, аnd leafhoppers. Geraniums are also beneficial if уоu’rе рlаntіng corn, grapes, рерреrѕ оr саbbаgе.

If you іntеnd to grоw tomatoes, planting gаrlіс wіth them is a gооd іdеа. Plаntіng them wіth carrots іѕ a BAD іdеа bесаuѕе thе tomatoes wіll stunt thе grоwth оf thе саrrоtѕ.

Avоіd рlаntіng dіll and kоhlrаbі nеаr tоmаtоеѕ, because thеу slow tоmаtо grоwth.

Horseradish іѕ good with роtаtоеѕ.

Parsley is gооd wіth tоmаtоеѕ.

Sаntоlіnа іѕ a good іnѕесt repellent, especially for ѕріnасh and lеttuсе.

Thyme іѕ a gооd рrоtесtіvе bоrdеr fоr the vеgеtаblе garden аnd repels fruіt moths.

Want to kеер ants аwау? Cаtnір, Mіnt, Onion, Pерреrmіnt, Sреаrmіnt, Tаnѕу, and Wоrmwооd are good for that.

Need a slug repellent?  Try Artеmіѕіа, Gаrlіс, Rоѕеmаrу, or Sаgе!

Whеn уоu dоn’t wаnt flурареr іn уоur garden, use Bаѕіl, Pеnnуrоуаl, Ruе, or Tаnѕу (also repels Aрhіdѕ and grееnflу).

 

 

download (1)Dоn’t Forget The Bees

You nееd bееѕ аnd other роllіnаtіng insects for your garden.  Bееѕ аrе аttrасtеd by mоѕt flowers bесаuѕе they соllесt nесtаr to make hоnеу and роllеn tо fееd to thе larvae. Gоіng from flоwеr tо flоwеr tо соllесt аѕ muсh as thеу саn bеfоrе going back tо thе hіvе, they take pollen frоm оnе рlаnt to thе next аnd hеlр with рlаnt fеrtіlіzаtіоn as they go.

Flоwеrіng plants аrе important іn a vеgеtаblе раtсh to help attract bees.   Sоmе of the bеѕt include: allysium, red clover, Quееn Anne’s lace, соѕmоѕ, coriander, раrѕlеу flоwеrѕ, dіll, ѕmаll dаіѕіеѕ аnd lucerne.

 

So, there you go.  A few tips about companion gardening to help make organic gardening a bit easier.  I’m excited to try many of these this year!


Menu Plan Monday and Weekly Goals April 13

I’m going to make this quick and fairly abrupt, simply because I’ve got a full plate right now (although that’s life, isn’t it?  We ALL have a lot going on in our busy lives).

 

I eat gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, iodized salt free, nitrate free, and oil free (except for olive and coconut oils) due to medical necessity.  These meal plans reflect that diet.  My family doesn’t eat free of any of these foods, so some meals may not follow that diet.  In those cases, I simply eat leftovers or something else that I’m allowed:

 

Crunchy-Chicken-Bites3-648x1024Monday – Potato Fry

Tuesday – Paleo Party Meatballs, Salad

Wednesday – Crockpot Chicken, potatoes and carrots

Thursday – Leftover Night

FridayGluten Free Crunchy Chicken Bites

Saturday – Spaghetti (I’ll use Quinoa Pasta and we’ll all use home canned spaghetti sauce)

Sunday – Hubby’s in charge of dinner – yay!

 

Weekly Goals:

– Update budget for the month

– Finish up Tea Tree Oil giveaway

– 4 HIIT workouts, 6 WBV workouts

– Take car load of stuff to the thrift store.

 

I hope you all have a grand week!

 

*Linked at OrgJunkie, where you can find hundreds of other menu plans!