Friday, July 16, 2010

A Random Reuse & Some Lovely Links

Oh good. You're back. I was a little worried about how the last post would be received. Whew! Okay, moving on...


I don't know if I've said it enough, but I LOVE summer.  I love every season, really, but there's just something so carefree and joyful about summer.  We've been spending much of our days outside, working and playing in the yard, picking raspberries, and, of course, cooling off in the kiddie pool.

Which leads me to one of my many reuses for the plastic containers I can't recycle (our recycling program only accepts #1 and #2 plastic). To my surprise, our yogurt and sour cream containers have made for great pool entertainment! My little guy loves getting big and small containers full of water and then dumping them everywhere.   On one particular summer day, he and his cousin spent a good while pouring water through colanders and funnels. Who knew?  Forget buying a bunch of specific water toys - give the kids a few plastic containers and some other things from the kitchen and see what they come up with. I'm a big believer that the less toys (or makeshift toys, as seen here) do, the more kids have to use their imaginations.  Plus, these plastic containers are perfect for the inevitable water-fights that come with summer. Ahhhhh....don't you just love it?


Anyway, it's been a while since I posted some of the awesome links I've come across lately. Enjoy!

Your Garden May Need a Few Volunteers -  Make it Do
Who doesn't like free flowers?  Volunteers are a great to get them. Certain perennials will send off volunteer plants when they reseed. So, if you want to spread things around in your garden, you can easily transplant these little volunteers to different areas of your yard. Or, better yet, you can swap flower volunteers with neighbors and friends. A couple years ago, a woman in my neighborhood gave me some columbines; last year, I gave my mom some of my lambs' ear and sage. I'm happy to say that the columbines, lambs' ear, and sage are all doing well in their respective yards and flowerbeds. If you're not familiar with volunteers and transplanting them, this post on Make it Do is a great place to start. It's also a good reminder for seasoned gardeners.

Canning 101 -  Simple Bites
This is just the first post of a nine-post series on canning at Simple Bites.  I love canning -- I wrote about it for a couple weeks last year and plan on doing some more posts later this fall. I think canning is a great skill for anyone. I love it because I can control what (and what doesn't) go into my family's food. Plus, I think it's kind of fun. And even though I've been canning for about eight years, I'm learning lots of fun, new things from this series on Simple Bites. Definitely worth a look, whether you're a novice or canning pro.

Bow-Tie 'Lasagna' - Tasty Kitchen  
I don't know about you, but I just haven't been in the mood to spend much time in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook, but at the end of the day, I just don't want to be over a hot stove in a hot kitchen on a hot summer evening. Ick. As a result, I've been looking for quick and easy recipes that minimalize my dinner prep time. I just came across this recipe a couple days ago and it totally fits the bill. It looks delicious and it takes fifteen minutes to make. Bingo.

5 Simple, Natural Ant Control Remedies - Small Notebook
As much as I love summer, there is one aspect of the season I'm not totally thrilled with: bugs. And despite often your best efforts, they still make it into your house.  Never fear! You can deter and even kill them with things from your kitchen like black pepper, garlic cloves, and vinegar (*sigh* Oh, vinegar! Is there anything you can't do?). One note: don't use vinegar on plants outside -- it will kill them (great weed killer, though). I'm going to go sprinkle some pepper in one of my garden boxes right after I finish writing this post.

10 Ideas to Make Money Matter Less Simple Mom
A good reminder for everyone about prioritizing the things that are important in life. Reminds me of my favorite line from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
"There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket-- There are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?"
Hop in the pool. Eat a popsicle. Enjoy the sunshine.

Hoping your weekend is full of the simple summertime joys!

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