Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Favorite Baby and Toddler Books that are Hidden Gems

I need to confess right now.

I. Am. A. Huge. Fan. Of. Children's. Books!!!  Ever since I took a Children's Literature class way back in my college days, I have been hooked.  Plus, I'm a mom of five and am constantly reminded to read to my kids.  Over the years, I have loved these well-know toddler/children's books like:
  • Sandra Boyton's many boardbooks
  • Mercer Mayer's Little Critter books that ALL my kids love
  • David Shannon's hilarious works, including No David and The Bunyans
  • Any MANY others that any librarian would be able to steer you to in a heartbeat!
But today I want to let you know about a few hidden gems that I have stumbled across. They are ones that we just keep pulling out again and again.

Favorite Toddler Books that Are Hidden Gems

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ollas Part 2: Best place to buy ollas on the cheap is GrowOya

If you read Ollas Part 1, then you already know about ollas and that I made my own.  While it was definitely a cheap option (about $5 per olla), I didn't enjoy the process and wasn't getting fabulous results in my garden with my homemade ollas.  For the last year, I have been keeping up with the olla online market.  I somehow stumbled upon the company GrowOya and ending up finding a good deal on Jet and bought two to try out in my garden this year.  I am beyond excited!
Here is a snippet from GrowOya's website.
So this review is not complete in that I haven't tested these ollas for a whole garden season and cannot make any statement as to how well they will do in the garden.  However, I really feel like I need to get this review public now because:

  1. I do not know how long these ollas will be on sale and wanted to give my readers a chance to buy a somewhat affordable olla if they do not want take the DIY gamble.
  2. I have high hopes that they will perform well in my garden this year based on the reasons below.
I will definitely come back to this post at the end of the growing season to give you all the details on this particular olla.

Okay, now here is the story of how I got the large GrowOya ollas for $23 each shipped

Ollas Part 1: Gardening with Ollas and Where to Buy Ollas

I love experimental gardening!  One of my latest obsessions is gardening with ollas.  If you haven't heard of ollas, then just do a basic "olla irrigation" search and you will be promptly educated.

"What is an olla?"  Here is a link to my favorite article on ollas.
An olla is basically a porous earthen pot that is mostly buried under ground and then water is poured into the olla and it slowly seeps out water to the roots of nearby plants, according to their needs.  It is supposed to cut down gardening water up to 70%.  How cool is that!?!

Last summer I conducted my very own Homemade Olla Experiment and am here to post the results.
Testing my homemade ollas, my tomato plants surrounding olla, olla with roots, and olla root hole.
Last summer I made my own ollas by caulking together two unglazed terra-cotta pots (after sanding the top edges and plugging up the bottom hole of one of the pots).  It was a 2-3 day project to make 6 ollas that would hold 2.5 liters each and cost about $5 per olla.  Then I buried them and put about three tomato plants around each of them and almost exclusively watered with just ollas, which I filled up two times a week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Birthday Freebies that are Worth the Trouble

Ah, the never-ending birthday freebie list.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  If not, you need to do a "birthday freebies" google search and get with the program.  ;)  I've signed up for so many of these birthday clubs that every year round this time my inbox is full of "freebies".  Which I LOVE!

But, to be honest, some of those freebies are just not worth the trouble.  I mean, a "free dessert" is just not that appealing to me.  So I am kind of stingy with how I use all those freebies.  So I thought I would you clue you into my:

No Messing Around
Birthday Freebie List

Completely Free Meals:  These places offer completely free birthday meals and most of them give a range of dates that the offer is valid, so spread that birthday cheer around.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Replacement Guarantees; Ginsu Knives and Norwex Microfiber Cloths

I want to talk about warranties and replacement guarantees.  It is not uncommon when making a purchase to come across warranties and replacement guarantees.  Often times, this is a selling point for me.  If I can buy with confidence, then I am more likely to dish out the cash.  But I haven't utilized many warranty or replacement guarantees.  I usually think, "Why bother?" because the company will just find a loophole and not honor it.  But this year I ended up putting some companies to the test: Ginsu and Norwex.  Find out how it went below!