Monday, 17 September 2012

Website Review – Alacraft

While searching online for craft sites I happened across Alarcraft, an online craft store in Australia. The site has simple navigation to pages with Braids & Trims, Bridal, Butterflies, Craft Flowers, Crochet Cotton & Accessories, Diamante Products, General Craft, Haberdashery (aka notions), Lace, Motifs, Quilting Fabrics, Ribbon, Scrapbooking, Stickers and Yarns & Knitting.

The selection of products available surpassed my initial expectations when I arrived at the Home Page. Don’t let the simplicity of the site fool you into thinking the range of products is not there. Although I am on a different continent than Alarcraft I am aware the prices are very competitive to what we have available in Canada, perhaps even slightly lower.

Being a craftperson myself, I would not hesitate to order any products from this particular site. (Unfortunately they are currently only shipping within Australian borders.) My personal favorites are the Haberdashery, Scrapbooking, Quilting Fabrics and Sticker pages. The selection of the latter is as good or better than any local craft outlet.

The Blog posts are very informative, providing instructions on a variety of crafts. The content is evergreen (will never go “stale”), which perhaps explains the absence of post dates. The "evergreen" approach is very important to keep visitors coming back to learn something new. I have personally bookmarked the site and will be returning to learn more about knitting.

I particularly enjoyed reading the Cardmaking post, as it explains what is needed to make your own cards. The materials are basic and they suggest using basic card stock if just starting out with making your own cards. Handmade cards are usually treasured more than store-bought, so if you have a special occasion coming up, why not try out this simple craft?

The knitting and crochet posts are also informative, and give the reader basic instructions on how to get started. Learning the basic stitches and utilizing them will lead to bigger and better projects as you increase your skill. A scarf is a simple project to start with; before long you may find yourself knitting sweaters for every member of your family.

The bottom line: if you are in Australia, you can order some wonderful products that will be shipped to you promptly. For those who are not in the shipping zone, visit the site for updates and posts on other crafts. If there is a particular craft you would like more information on, simply contact them via the form on the site and request a blog post.

Have a great day!

Note: this is a sponsored post.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Taking a Hiatus

I have been feeling rather stressed lately in terms of not getting "Cooking 101" out by this time, but have decided in order to make it better I really do need to have more time. Summer is always a busy time for me with the garden, helping my Dad and trying to keep on top of my own acreage work. We also sheared alpacas so I have fleece to process now, which will be a whole new experience for me.

In addition to the above, I am also in month number three of the HubPages Apprenticeship Program. It is a program in which I write articles, get paid for each one I submit and earn an additional ongoing revenue based on views. I am also learning more about choosing titles, using HP capsules and SEO. It is an intensive program which I am determined to complete; so in order to do so I have to put something on the back burner. Learning more about SEO will help with my books as well, so I feel the hiatus will be worth it.

My family and I are also taking a mini-vacation in less than a week to Jasper National Park. We have a cabin booked right up at Miette Hot Springs, which will be a nice treat for all of us. I am looking forward to some relaxation time; perhaps even do some writing just for me.

I will keep you all posted on the progress of the Homemaker Helper Series, but for the moment it is being put on hold. I will be working on it off and on; just not releasing any new books for a little while.

Stay tuned for posts on my Alpaca Fiber processing adventures; I will be trying my hand at carding, spinning and felting as soon as I get the proper equipment.

Have a great day!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Home Based Business

Do you currently operate a Home-Based Business? If so, do you sell products or services? Do you have an outlet for your products?

The reason I am asking these questions is because I recently stumbled upon (or should I say, was re-introduced to) a business I can run in addition to my writing/freelancing career. The best part is I can sell my work through the company and earn extra income that way as well.

The company I am referring to is SFI (Strong Future International). I joined several years ago, but let my membership slide. I was very impatient and was not as knowledgeable in terms of marketing and the internet in general. I do admit I was expecting the dollars to start rolling in almost immediately, and became a little disgruntled when they didn't. Being a brick-and-mortar business owner when my children were younger, I should have known it takes time to build a business. Needless to say, I am giving it another chance.

Once I realized I could incorporate what I am already doing in terms of writing and social networking, becoming an SFI Affiliate did not seem so difficult after all. The best part is, it is free to join. There is never any obligation to buy anything. However, each affiliate must earn a minimum number of points per month to be entitled to the perks of the company. These points are easily earned the first month, as they give you every opportunity to benefit from all of the training materials provided.

After the first month you should have started to build a downline of your own, which in turn translates into more points for you. This is a no-risk opportunity, and with the utilization of the internet anyone can be successful at it. It will require some effort on your part, but in time the rewards will be well worth it. I started again at the end of June, and earned Executive Affiliate Status by mid-July. If my calculations are correct, I have made Bronze Team Leader (I will know for sure by mid-August).

There are several ways to earn money with SFI, but the most popular and by far the easiest is to sell TripleClicks Credits. With TC Credits, you can bid on the various Pricebenders Auctions which run throughout the day. As an affiliate you have the option to sell these credits to others, thus turning a portion of the sale into commissions for you. For a better look and understanding of the Pricebenders Auctions, click here. As I write this, the current auction is for 50 CSAs (Co-Sponsored Affiliates) - a win of this auction will increase my commissions considerably. (I do have to say, I have been outbid this round - it looks like I will be needing to add to my TC Credits as well.) I put a cap on how many TC Credits I use per auction; if I didn't I would use them all on one item. I capped this particular auction at 4 credits; tomorrow is a new day.

In addition to earning with the Pricebenders Auction Credits, you can also earn by displaying the TripleClicks decal on your car. Participation is this is free as well, but there is a small shipping and handling fee (less than $2.00) for the decal and other information. I am anticipating a small deposit from my participation in the Wave3 program. For those of you who spent a lot of time on the road, this is an ideal option for you.

Regular sponsorships and listing your own products in the TripleClicks Store will increase earnings exponetially if utilized properly. Keep in mind I make no guarantees in terms of earnings, but if you put forth the effort the earnings will follow. If you have an idea of how much you wish to make, there is an earnings calculator on the membership page as well. Go ahead, give it a have nothing to lose and everything to gain. For the SFI main sign-up page, click here.

Good luck, and I look forward to you joining my team. Have a great day!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Work at Home Opportunity

I personally know how difficult it is to make ends meet sometimes. I recently found a site that is great for anyone wishing to earn a few extra dollars for that vacation, car repair or college fund. All you need is a good comprehension of the English language and basic writing skills. There is a simple screening test to weed out those who don't put in the time or effort to do a good job.

The site I am talking about is Postloop. It pays you to post your opinions, ideas and answers on forums. It is 100% legitimate and I personally have already had money deposited into my PayPal account. I have found several forums I like and that are tuned into my interests, including crafts, hobby farming, writing and health - just to name a few.

If you have a few extra minutes in your day, and like to spend time online - why not get paid for it? Click on the banner below for your chance at being able to take that much-deserved vacation a little sooner.

Have a great day!

Earn Money Posting in Forums

Friday, 11 May 2012

5 Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring is finally here! Have you begun your spring cleaning yet? I started with my garden shed early in the week, and had an interesting surprise. Read more about it here.

My next step is to go through closets and bookshelves. As my children get older they no longer need many clothing items or want to play the "little kid" games. The clothing I donate to Goodwill, and the games and toys become part of the "yard sale" pile. I have a toy box in my living room for my nephews when they come over, but aside from that it is time to liquidate the countless toys which have accumulated over the years. My son is 18 and my daughter almost 16 so it is definitely time to let go of many of the toys.

Books and movies usually are exempt from being tossed, no matter what age they are for. My goal is to one day have a home library (yes, a room full of books and comfy chairs to read in) and will keep books for all ages and interests. Movies will be a part of that library as well.

When it comes to deciding what to donate or sell, keep a few things in mind.

  1. When was the last time you used the item? The general rule is if it hasn't been used for six months, get rid of it. There are exceptions to the rule, such as seasonal items.
  2. Have your interests changed? For example - do you have a shelf full of fabric but don't sew anymore? Donate it to your local Quilt Guild and they will use it for quilts for local children's hospitals. A Guild in a neighboring town (Vermilion, AB) recently displayed quilts they made for the Stollery Children's Hospital at their Quilt show. I am a quilter, but will most definitely be donating part of my fabric stash to help support the cause.
  3. Have you lost/gained weight? Get rid of the clothes that no longer fit. If your weight changes in the future, go shopping. Do not keep your "skinny" or "fat" clothes as they just take up space in your closet in addition to frustrating you when you see them. As the years go on our bodies change; you may weigh the same as you did when you were in your early 20s but your body shape may be different. Work with your body, not against it.
  4. Do you have small appliances you never use? Perhaps an extra kettle or toaster? Donating such items to Women's Shelters helps those who may have to start a new life with nothing due to domestic issues. (Clothes, toys and other household items are always welcome donations for Women's Shelters.)
  5. Do you have room for all of your "stuff"? If you find you are needing to rent a storage bay or are considering buying a bigger shed, then it is time to go through your things and downsize. If you have children getting ready to set out on their own, perhaps boxing up some extra dishes, small appliances and quilts will help them adjust to their own place by having some of "home" go with them.
These are just a few thoughts on getting rid of the extra "stuff". As you go through your closets, shelves and totes you will undoubtedly find other ways as well. If they are items you would like a return on, post them on your local online garage sale page (if you don't have one, create one) or ebay. These are options if you do not want to have a yard sale, or don't have enough stuff for a yard sale.

Good luck with your spring cleaning! Have a great day!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Catching Up

Oh my...has it been almost two months already?!

I have been busy with Cooking 101 (anticipated release is on or before May 31, 2012), the next book in the series, as well as working on articles for HubPages, Knoji and a few other sites. I have also spent some time working on the third book in the series as well, which I hope to have finished within six months. In addition to the above, I have also outlined almost 40 ebook ideas, some of which I have used for articles.

Today our newest addition to our alpaca herd is one week old! I was very blessed as I was able to see the birth of this one; the little boy born in February was on the ground and probably an hour or more old before I saw him. I can't wait for the next one to arrive, but it won't be until fall. I think we have done well considering the five females we bought were supposed to be open (unbred).

Pictured below is the new baby at less than 24 hours old with her mama.

It took her a couple of days to find her legs and not fall flat every time she tried to run. It is nice now that the male born in February has a playmate. I can't wait until we have more!

I love staying at home and taking care of our animals. They are often my inspiration to write, and are most entertaining at times. If only I had more pens...

For those of you who are interested in more of what I have available please visit my website. From there you can like my Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter and check out my Pinterest boards. I also have an open forum available for members and non-members to interact with one another and make the most out of the free resources available.

Have a great day!


p.s. My website is more than just writing; it is a source for patterns, ideas and interaction with like-minded people all over the world.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Pinterest and More

Wow! Where does the time go? It has been a quick three weeks!

As many of you know, I am an active member of HubPages. I read an article a few days ago by a fellow Hubber regarding working from home and not putting "all your eggs in one basket". I agree with this strategy completely, which is why I have my "eggs" scattered about. It is important in this day and age to have multiple streams of income, especially when depending on the internet for your daily bread.

Working from home does have its benefits. As I increase my exposure on the web and continue to write about homemaking and life in general, I see so many opportunities to increase my knowledge and my income. I have recently been introduced to the benefits of Pinterest, another social networking site. It is a bit different than Facebook and Twitter in the way it shares what members are talking about. It is very much like a huge bulletin board, with all the categories and pictures. I encourage you to join if you haven't yet as there are so many things related to cooking, crafts, home decorating - and the list goes on. I have gotten some neat ideas from what others have pinned.

One thing I was very interested in was the Baked Cinnamon Breakfast Bites. Instead of following the dough recipe I used my breadmaker to make the dough. I spread margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon on the bottom of the pan, then rolled the little balls in a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and placed them in a glass 9X13 pan. I then sprinkled a bit of the mixture over top and baked them for 25 minutes in a 350F oven. I was able to fit 35 balls in my pan; they were touching but not completely squished together. How many you put in your pan depends on whether you want them baking together. I had a nice pan of Cinnamon Pull Aparts when they were finished; the only bad thing was they were sooo good! I had a dozen eaten before they were even cool.

I am anxious to try (and most likely modify) more recipes I have pinned. One that will definitely be on my list is the Hedgehog cake. My daughter occasionally asks if she can get a hedgehog, and the answer is always "no". I am thinking for her 16th birthday it will be a "yes"; and I will only have to clean up after it once.

As I continue to heal from a dislocated shoulder I realize how I took so many things for granted. Losing most of the use of my right arm for several weeks has given me a different perspective on life in general. We often take for granted things we can easily do - until we cannot do them. Something as simple as brushing my hair with my right hand has been a challenge in itself. I had to adapt to using my left hand for almost everything the first week. One of the hardest things for me was to re-program my brain when it came to using the mouse on the computer. I can now completely sympathize with stroke victims; the only difference is my injury will take a lot less time to heal than many stroke victims. I am in week six now, and I still am having trouble with many tasks such eating and brushing my hair. Putting my hair in a ponytail is still a job I give to either my boyfriend or one of my kids. If they aren't home when I do my hair, I usually end up with an off-center ponytail or braid.

In my down time of doing a lot of the physical stuff that goes with looking after a household I was able to get my Author/Freelancer website up and running. I am very interested in pursuing my career as a writer in addition to my career as a homemaker. I believe I have found a way to combine the two and look forward to continuing to provide you, my reader with fun and informative articles. I have integrated a forum on my author/Freelancer site, and will be doing the same for my Homemaker Helper site which is currently under construction. It is now to the point where I am able to provide more services than a blog alone can accommodate. I will also be integrating a forum on that site as well, which I am hopeful you will take advantage of. I will post links as soon as I have it published.

The rest of my Sunday is going to be spent getting ready for our trip to the Brier in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It will be a fun and interesting event for me, as I have never gone to it before. We have been watching it on television so far, but it will be a lot of fun to actually be there.

I will most likely not be posting until after my return. Have a great week everyone!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Growing Herd

I am happy to announce an addition to our alpaca herd! On the 4th of this month we were blessed with a baby alpaca; he was a surprise! I went out to do my morning chores and there he was; cold, wet and shivering. I was able to get him dried off and made him a little blanket to keep him warm. I was surprised at how long their legs are when they are born. He is such a cutie!

It is events like these that make me thankful I have the ability and means to have a hobby farm. The new life that comes with raising animals is such an amazing thing. Watching a kitten's eyes open or an alpaca's first steps never gets old. I will get to watch it all over again, as we are positive one of the other alpacas will be having a baby soon too. I do hope she can hold on for a warmer day though.

It is interesting how the whole herd will protect the baby. My daughter went out to take the little guy's coat off (made him one to keep him warm for the first week of his life) and the whole herd ran toward her when she caught the cria (baby). They didn't hurt her, but she said it was still a little scary being charged by seven alpacas.

They are a fun animal to raise, and much easier than cows. For anyone wanting to get started in the alpaca business but not quite sure how to go about it, there is a lot on information available. I belong to a group on Facebook called Paca This and the members are very helpful when it comes to information regarding alpacas. When we had our surprise cria I had questions, they had answers. It was great, because I found out what I needed to know within minutes of asking.

I am glad our little herd is growing, and can hardly wait for the shearing in the spring. That is when the real fun will begin, and I will be able to make hats, socks, slippers and other items from the fleece. I will keep you posted on the progress. Once again, if you have any questions about alpacas, feel free to join the group on Facebook or comment below.

Have a great day!


Friday, 3 February 2012

That Time of the Month

As I was reading over some articles on HubPages, I found one that almost all women can benefit from. Some are fortunate enough to not be bothered with severe menstrual cramps, but most experience them monthly. Foods That Help Ease Menstrual Cramps is a must-read. I cannot vouch for any of the information given as of yet, but be rest assured I will be trying it out next time around. I do have to say I like the fact dark chocolate is on the good list. :D

Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, 30 January 2012

Have a Plan

My apologies for not posting over the past week. I dislocated my shoulder and have been very limited with what I can do because of it. I was so not prepared for anything of this nature to happen to me! One just never knows though.

Although this post is short, I do have to say...have a plan! If you run any type of business or even the day to day tasks of being a homemaker, there should be a plan on paper of what to do in case anything should happen. I am humbled by this experience, as I have the attitude of "it won't happen to me". Well, I was very did happen to me and now I am scrambling for help with my housework and farm work. I have been fortunate as my daughter has taken on the majority of the chores, but she is at her Dad's this next weekend and I will have to figure out a way to toss forkfuls of hay with one arm. Any ideas?

I go back to the doctor in the morning and will find out what the game plan is from there. All I know is I had no idea a dislocated shoulder could hurt so much...Mel Gibson portrays a different scenario in his movie (the name of it escapes me at the moment...please comment if you know which one I am referring to).

I have been working on my new website over the past few days (my Kobo Vox has been a wonderful thing) and will have my Membership Section up and running by mid February. The aim of the membership is to help writers and bloggers put their ideas to work for them. Many homemakers have been able to subsidize the family income with blogging; it could just as easily be you.

Have a great day!


Saturday, 21 January 2012

5 Ways to End Entryway Clutter

When it is cold and snowy out, we have to wear heavier coats, boots and snow pants. This usually ends up in contributing to a very messy entryway. There are a few ways we can make our lives simpler and end some of the clutter.

  1. Have a mat close to the door. There are mats available on the market with raised edges which the melting snow from leaking onto your floor or your carpets.
  2. When children come in from outside, the first thing they tend to do when they take off their outerwear is to throw it on the floor. Put up hooks so they can hang up their coats and ski pants. A nice touch is to put their names above the hooks so there is no fighting over who gets which hook. And trust me, there will be fighting otherwise.
  3. Rubbermaid storage containers are great for organizing: designate one to each family member for mitts, scarves and toques. This keeps them from being tossed just anywhere as well as keeping some order to your entryway.
  4. Many of us have dogs in our homes. When it is snowy and cold out, they too come in with wet feet. Have a kennel or bed for them in the entryway and teach them to stay there for a little while. This also pertains to anytime of the year; it keeps wet and muddy tracks off of our kitchen floors.
  5. Keep the entryway clear of toys and other unnecessary items. In a busy household many things get brought in and dropped by the door; groceries, mail, and even towels and swimsuits after a day at the pool.
Do you already incorporate any of these methods in your home?

Have a great day!


p.s. Please visit my new website showcasing my published works and services. Thanks!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

7 Tips for a Clean Home with Pets

In my quest for blog material, and to help spread the word for others in the cleaning industry, I was fortunate enough to be sent the following article. Please take a moment to visit the site at the end.

Fur, accidents, litter boxes, oh my! Is it possible to have a clean house with pets? Yes, it is possible with a little extra cleaning time. Here are some tips you need to know:
  • The biggest cleanliness challenge for many pet owners is hair. All breeds shed, some more than others. Vacuum all open spaces where the animals roam daily. To reduce the roaming space of your animals, simply shut doors to rooms you don’t want them to go into. A quality vacuum cleaner is an essential tool in your campaign to lift pet hair from your home. 
  • You can minimize how much cleaning up you need to do if you start with proper grooming. Groom your cat and dog outdoors to minimize airborne skin particles that contribute to allergies. You should brush your pet a few times a week, just a quick brushing to get the coat out. If you collect hair on the brush, it’s not on the floor. 
  • Another thing to remember is that you will need to change the furnace filters more often, possibly every two to four weeks. If you keep them clean, the less work your heating and cooling system has to do, so you can save money as well. 
  • Most dogs, if properly trained, do their business outside. Even the best trained pet can have an accident. Cleaning accidents quickly is critical to prevent an odor problem in the home. Look for cleaners with enzymes at your pet-supply store.
  • Cats usually have their bathrooms indoors, in the form of a litter box. Scoop the box at minimum twice a day, and change it completely about every 10 days. That means after the litter is dumped, filling the box with water, a bleach solution, and a sudsy dishwashing detergent like Dawn, and giving it a good scrub before refilling. 
  • At the door your pet uses most often, keep old towels and teach them to wait to have their feet dried or remove rain and mud. It is handy to keep a small pail near to fill with water to remove debris from their feet.
  • To contain your dog or cat in one spot, invest in a quality bed that will be their designated space. This will prevent them from getting on your bed or couch. 

If keeping a house clean when you have pets is more than you have the time for, consider a reputable maid service  and allow the maids to lend a hand.

These are great tips which will help minimize the amount of pet hair and mess in your home. We do not have any cats in the house (sniff sniff) due to my partner's allergies, but we do keep a dog inside during the cold winter months. For a dog with such short hair he sure seems to shed a lot. The applicable above tips will be implemented in my home...what about yours?

Thanks and have a great day!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Jump on Spring Cleaning!

I know Spring is several weeks away, but why not get a jump on your Spring Cleaning now? I have been fortunate enough to come across an article on Helium that was just what I was looking for in regards to content for my blog. I contacted the author (J.R. Lewis) and this is what she sent me. You will find an article on Helium that she has written which is very similar to this one.

Something about springtime makes one start new. It's a time to get rid of the dust and dreary days of winter and find the sweet renewal of spring. A wonderful place to start your own spring cleanup is the bathroom! There's not a more deserving, well used room in the house.
Have your handy ceiling fan duster in hand to hit the high areas of the room.
·      *Dust vents and fans. Hit the room corners, too.
·      *Next, dust your light fixtures. If there are removable light covers, wash them.
·      *Hand wipe the baseboards. Use a mild, pleasant smelling cleaner such as Pinesol and hot water.
·    * If your bath has any windows, wipe down the ledges and glass.
·      *Take down curtains and wash them. Also the shower curtain, bathmat, and carpets. 
·      *If there are shades, dry dust them. If metal, they can be taken down and soaked in hot bleach water.

With the high areas dusted and the baseboards cleaned, work from the deepest part of your bath. In many, it’s the bath that is the farthest.
·     * Clorox clean up and magic erasers are the best methods for both tubs and showers. Certain surfaces, such stone as marble or travertine, may require special cleaners as bleach may damage it. Use the cleaner that best suits the needs of your individual tub.
·     * Remember to scrub around the faucets as mold likes to collect.
·      *Pay special attention to the shower head. It is overlooked and builds up black mold. (Special attention should be given to a shower track if there’s a sliding glass door.)

Once the inside of your tub is cleaned, wipe the outside. Often grooves in standard bathtubs collect dust. Surfaces not considered make the biggest difference.
Now, it's time to face the toilet.  
·      *Bleach works well.
·      * If there are hard water stains in your ceramic toilet, use a pumice stone to remove them. Using it may be scary at first because there is a sandy grit created by scratching the bowl with it. Don't worry; it is the pumice itself. This is very effective on most stains, but not those that are very old or deep.
·      *Don't forget the base. More than the top of the tank, the outside should be wiped down with your mild cleaner.
·      *After wiping down the toilet, hand wipe the floor around it. It is hard to reach with a mop.
Now, with your shower/tub and toilet clean, it's time for the sink and vanity. The glass mirror is a huge consideration.
·   *  A mix of rubbing alcohol and water make for the perfect glass cleaner that will leave your mirror perfect.
·      *Wipe down the splash guard on the back of the unit before removing all the items on the vanity.
·      Now, clean the counter tops and sinks. Pay special attention to the areas where toothbrushes sit or make up is applied. Both cause a build up on the surface.
·      *With the area wiped shining, re-position all the items after wiping them down as well.
·      *Clean the soap dishes, toothbrush holders, and liquid soap holders.
*With the vanity top clean, concentrate on the unit. If it’s a pedestal sink, simply wipe down the base. If the unit has a closed area such as drawers or cabinets, it is time to clean them out.
·     * Get rid of outdated medications, old make-up, used razors, anything that hasn't been used since your last deep cleaning. Face it, you're never going to use that four year old hotel conditioner if you haven't used it by now.
·     * It's time to start new. Don't be afraid to throw things away!
·     * Medicine cabinets: Clean them out. Old medications can be dangerous as well as ineffective. Wipe the shelves and reorganize.
·      *It's now time to go through your towels, face cloths, and hand towels.
·      *Get rid of the worn ones. Recycle them to your cleaning rag pile or donate them to your local Goodwill.
·      *Wipe out the shelves before replacing items. Wipe out the cabinets as you go.
Once the sink and vanity are cleaned, clean out any closets in the same fashion. Remember, clear out the clutter! Now that the main areas are cleaned and organized, it is time to focus on the floors. 
·      *Sweep or vacuum the floors. Bathrooms tend to collect lots of hair. Glass tiles are an easy clean. Using the alcohol and water mix, the debris should come off easily. Avoid it until completely dry.
·      *If there are old tiles with lots of staining, a scrub brush and bleach will work wonders.
·      *If your floor is hard wood, cork, or linoleum using the mild cleaner by hand which will allow you control in collecting the surface dirt and will be most effective.
·      *Allow the floor to dry before replacing the freshly laundered carpets, shower curtains, rugs, drapes, and towels.
Congratulations! You've done it! Your bathroom has been spring cleaned and it looks great! Way to go!

I would once again like to thank J.R. Lewis for this wonderful information. Please visit her page on helium and read through some of her other works.

Thank you and have a great day!


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Winter Driving

We have had a very pleasant winter so far...up until yesterday that is. I have not traveled very far this year as I do not have use of my vehicle (see an earlier post) and am not all that broken-hearted. I did, however, have to travel an hour away yesterday as I took my uncle for an appointment. We had some snow in the morning and as I was driving his truck (rear-wheel drive) I hit a slippery section of road. I must say fish-tailing going up a hill is not my idea of a good time! All's well that ends well and I managed to keep control, but I did get quite a scare.

After his appointment I stopped at a gas bar and bought some sandbags for his's amazing what that little bit of extra weight does for traction. For more tips on winter safety, please visit HubPages; the author of the article brings up some very good points. You will see my note regarding the sandbags toward the end of the  comment section (username brsmom68).

In addition to the weather report, today is not a nice day. I am having a hard time adjusting from the above zero temperatures we have been having to the -23C this morning. I know I should be accustomed the cold temps since I have been an Albertan since day one, but unfortunately I'm just a big wuss. Days like today I wish we had a fireplace or a wood stove.

That is all for now...have a great day and stay warm!


Monday, 9 January 2012

Chocolate Confetti

One of my favorite types of square is Chocolate Confetti. I was going to make them for Christmas but wasn't feeling well, so today is the day to make a pan full. They probably won't make it until the weekend, as we all like them. I'm glad I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions in the way of dieting...or I'd be breaking it today.

You will need:

1/2 cup of margarine
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
8 - 10 cups miniature marshmallows (colored or white)


  1. Melt margarine, peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a large saucepan over low heat until thoroughly combined and chocolate chips are melted.
  2. Set aside to cool until you can hold your hand on the bottom of the saucepan.
  3. Mix in miniature marshmallows until evenly coated. 
  4. Turn into a 9"X13" pan and cool. Cut into squares.
  5. Enjoy!
I made mine with 12 cups of marshmallows, but I think perhaps it is too many. It is a personal preference, but 8 - 10 cups works well.

I will not be baking anything tomorrow as I will be away, but perhaps Wednesday will be a good day for Magic Squares. What is your favorite type of square?

Until then, have a great day!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Kobo Vox Review

I received a Kobo Vox as a Christmas Gift! I am so happy! I had originally requested the Kobo eReader Touch, but when I saw the Kobo Vox was being released, I changed my wish list.

I am happy with the size and weight of it (much lighter than Under the Dome by Stephen King) and it is a pretty powder blue. The Wi-Fi capability is nice as I can download books from the Kobo site anywhere I have a connection. There are many apps to choose from as well which include scheduling, office features, games and other fun stuff.

The Kobo Rewards is a neat feature as it gives you rewards for reading at different times of the day, starting a new book, downloading a certain number of books and much more. It is an incentive to read, even if it doesn't have any monetary value. I have several of the badges already and I have only had it for a week. There is also a Share button linked directly to Facebook when any badges or activity is completed. You always have the option of is not posted automatically.

Kobo also has many eBooks available for free or less than $5.00. It only takes a few seconds to download them into your library. To make purchases you will need to set up an account with them; I use my PayPal account to buy books, but I do believe using a Chapters Gift Card or credit card will also work.

The battery life isn't the greatest, especially when surfing the web or playing games. If the Kobo is being used for reading alone and no other apps are running in the background the battery will last several hours. Playing games quickly decreases that life. I haven't figured out exact times on it, but that will vary with each time I use it. Sometimes I read for awhile then play a game or go online. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much time I would get out of each activity.

I have yet to try the highlighting features available within the books. I have used the built-in dictionary a few times and it seems to work well. There are other features I know I haven't come across yet, but I also haven't taken a lot of time to try the different things. One thing I was a bit disappointed about was it doesn't read PDF files, but there is an app available for that feature. I was getting frustrated with it until I read through the manual again and found out why I couldn't read the PDF files I had installed. The manual is in the library and I suggest new users read through it first.

It does come with Scrabble installed, which is one of my favorite games. The only thing about the game that disappoints me is it requires an internet connection to play. I presume if I were to purchase the full version I should be able to play it anywhere, with or without a connection.

The Kobo Vox retails for $199.00 and in my opinion is worth it. It is an affordable eReader with a few extras.

How many of you have the Kobo Vox? What about other eReaders? Please feel free to share your opinions on any you have.

Thanks and have a great day!


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

We had a fun New Year's Eve playing Crokinole and watching movies with family. Fun was had by all and I was the designated driver so we made it home safe. I hope everyone has good memories of last night.

The holiday season was busy as it always seems to be. Now that it is almost over I can get back to a routine again. Kids are not back in school until the 9th, but that is okay with me - it means I still have a week of sleeping in past 6:15.

We also celebrate Ukrainian Christmas, so after our New Year's meal at my in-laws this evening we will have one more big meal - then the diet can start. I will be posting regularly again, and will see if I can figure out how to post from my Kobo Vox so I can share more tips and information regularly.

Have a great day and a very happy new year!