Archive for Seasonal Stuff

Beautiful Clematis – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Clematis June 2014

Beautiful Clematis

My photo does not do this Clematis justice but I still wanted to share it! This is a clematis at one of my paper customers. It makes me sad because when I transplanted mine last year from our townhouse to the house we are renting, it took a step backwards and is a puny little thing. :( Sniff. Sniff.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Natural Mosquito Repellent – Do You Use it?

Re-posted from July 2013.

I don’t know what it’s like where you live but here the mosquitoes are horrendous. We don’t like to use chemical laden insect repellents. We tend to rely on a natural mosquito repellent, like our essential oils. I’ve taken to putting the essential oil Purification on at the beginning of my paper route and while it does not work 100%, it does deter many of these pesky creatures. We have also used cedarwood, peppermint and lavender.

Rural Countryside

Mike the Gardener had a little article on what to plant in your garden to repel mosquitoes and I sure wish we had got our lemongrass and marigolds planted! Our daughter did plant a pot of catnip for the cats, which has sprouted. That was more to keep the cats down at the barn rather than at the house – they think they are house cats and try to get inside! But they have a job to do down at the barn – rodent patrol – so we want them to stay down there. Our children love those cats and started feeding them at the patio door and guess where they camped our and hung around? Yep, the patio door! Or any door for that matter. We nipped that in the butt by telling them to stop feeding the cats at the house or the mice would take over!

So do you have a natural remedy to combat the mosquitoes? Have you ever grown your own natural mosquito repellent?

P.S. If you happen to sign up for Mike the Gardener’s Seed of the month, please use our referral code: https://www.averagepersongardening.com/seedsclub/step_2.php?node=R28D4WDCHM so we can get credit for it.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Minnie Mouse Costume Review

FFR image for posts

It’s never too early to start thinking about Halloween costumes!  Wholesale Halloween Costumes has a huge line of costumes for every budget and person in your family.

Minnie 1

We received this adorable Minnie Mouse Costume for my daughter (About Minni Mouse). The package came with the dress and ears.  The costume is mostly polyester material. The headband does not have teeth on it, making it easy on your child’s head (I wore the headband myself for about a half hour and it didn’t hurt my head, either).

minnie 2

My daughter looks delightful and ready to have fun in this Queen of Disney costume.  She said it was comfortable and it fit her well.  The costume was easy to put on and has Velcro on the back by her neck.

You can order this costume or choose from many that Wholesale Halloween Costumes offers!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Mother’s Day Gift Idea: The Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen Cookbook

FFR image for posts

The Greek Yogurt Kitchen Book Cover

As I mentioned before, we love Greek yogurt so when the opportunity to review The Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen Cookbook I took it. I really like the looks of the Eggs Benedict recipe so I have shared it below.

This cookbook would be a great Mother’s Day gift for you or your own mother. It contains over 130 recipes with meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. It also explains the health benefits of Greek Yogurt. I am really looking forward to trying new recipes, which is a change for me because I usually dread it because my family doesn’t really adapt well to new things, at least certain ones.

You can find The Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen Cookbook at any major book retailer.

About the Author

Toby Amidor is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition, where she provides nutrition and food safety consulting services. She is a nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com, writing for their Healthy Eats Blog, a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report Eat + Run blog, and an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Toby trained as a clinical dietitian at New York University. Her expertise includes over 14 years of experience in various areas of food and nutrition. Through ongoing consulting and faculty positions, she has established herself as one of the top experts in culinary nutrition, food safety, and media.

Recipe from The Greek Yogurt in the Kitchen Cookbook

Eggs Benedict-6593

Eggs Benedict with Lighter Hollandaise
Serves 4

Hollandaise sauce is typically made with a stick or two of butter to serve four people. The fat and calories can easily be slashed by substituting nonfat Greek yogurt for much of the butter, while still using a touch of butter to maintain the traditional flavor.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
4 large eggs
2 whole wheat English muffins
Cooking spray
4 slices turkey bacon (about 1/4 pound)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 medium asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat.
Add the vinegar and lower the heat until it is no longer at a rolling boil.
Crack an egg into a small cup, dish, or wineglass.
Holding it near the surface of the water, gently slide the egg into the hot water.
Repeat with the remaining eggs.
Cover the saucepan and allow the eggs to cook for exactly 6 minutes.
Remove each egg carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Toast the English muffins.
Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat.
Cook the bacon until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Place a slice of bacon on each toasted English muffin half.
In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the asparagus, cover the pan, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the yogurt, egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne, and salt.
Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler, set it over simmering water, and heat it, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Immediately remove from the heat.
To assemble the dish, place 3 asparagus spears over the bacon on each muffin half, and top with 1 poached egg and 2 tablespoons of the hollandaise sauce.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (PER SERVING): Calories: 241; Total Fat: 13 grams; Saturated Fat: 6 grams; Protein: 15 grams; Total Carbohydrates: 16 grams; Sugars: 3 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 295 milligrams; Sodium: 301 milligrams

Enjoy!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

10 Things I Love About Spring

Inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompts.

FFR Spring Tulips Long Grove 2013

10 things I love about Spring:

1. The sunshine.

2. The green grass.

3. The appearance of flowers and colors after a seeing dull brown after the snow melts.

4. The ability to work outside with ease. No winter weather to hinder us.

5. The chirping of the birds.

6. The beauty of new life everywhere.

7. Having our own eggs again after going all winter without.

8. The change in flavor of our homemade butter now that Miss Moo is out on pasture again.

9. Spring fever in the animals. Watching Blaze (our horse) canter across the pasture is a sight to behold, as is the cows, goats and sheep frolicking.

10. Planting our garden and the ability to grow our own food.

What do you love about spring?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Zarbee’s Naturals

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.”

My husband is affected by seasonal congestion and sinus issues. In the spring, in the fall and especially if the mold counts are high. We all have issues with mold and sadly discovered it in the home we rent. Thankfully the mold guy was here today to take care of the house so maybe our suffering will be alleviated.


3 Natural Remedies that Help Hubby’s Seasonal Congestion and Sinus Issues

1. Peppermint essential oil. Hubby simply just inhales the peppermint right from the bottle.

2. Breathe Again. This we apply to our chests or throat, depending on the symptoms we are experiencing.

3. R.C. Is another one we apply to our chests.

And now Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief.


About Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief

Zarabee's Naturals packaging@2x

We like that Zarbee’s Naturals is plant based made from the plant Butterbur, and well, natural. Here are some facts to consider about Zarbee’s (taken from their website):

- Readily available in Europe, clinical studies have shown Butterbur to effectively combat congestion.

- It’s safe to use routinely; you won’t develop an intolerance.

- It won’t make you jittery or tired.

- Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief is intended for children 12 years of age and above.

What on earth is Butterbur?

It’s both a humble weed and a powerful plant. Butterbur grows wild along rivers, ditches and marshes worldwide, though ours comes from farms in Germany. Its sparse, red flowers shoot up in early spring, followed by huge, heart-shaped leaves.

Europeans have benefitted for centuries from its effective properties, but it’s less well known in the U.S. So Zarbee’s is working hard to get the word out about this great, natural solution featuring the power of natural Butterbur.

Every time anyone visits the Seasonal Relief Project website to share how Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief with Butterbur worked for them, the brand is donating to four causes that support exposure to and the protection of fresh air, including Fresh Air Fund, Children & Nature Network, and Moms Clean Air Force, and Healthy Child Healthy World. You can visit and sign up for a free sample, try it and share your experience and Zarbee’s will donate to one of the above charities! Zarbee’s is also available at CVS and Target. Remember, it is intended for children 12 and over.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.”

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Snow in April – Wordless Wednesday

Cannot believe after two days in the 70s we got snow. I know, I know, we’ve had snow in April before but it is still truly undesirable, you know? This photo is from two days ago.

Snow in April 041414

We have men here working on the soffits so that is the equipment you see in the fore ground.

What the weather like where you are?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Summer Will Come

Garlic 2

Summer Will Come!

     Here in northern Illinois, six days into spring, it’s just 11 degrees as I write this post at 7:00 AM.  Maine and Massachusetts have it much worse.  They are windblown and buried under more snow. I encourage my shivering, blue lipped husband and friends, so discouraged and “snow whipped,” to hang in there.  Summer will come!

The sun did come out for a few days and it warmed up nicely to 55 degrees. Time to take off the socks! I turned off the thermostat and opened all the windows to air the place out.  My dogs napped on the deck serenaded by singing birds. Creatures were stirring in the house too. Creepy crawlies emerged from the cracks and crevices and the bright sunshine reminded me to do a better job of dusting and sweeping away cobwebs. Half dead flies roused from their winter comas, too weak to fly, barely crawled on the window sills. They made their annoying presence know, amazingly, by halfheartedly buzzing. I smushed several silver fish in my bathroom not wanting to think about the new life hatching down in the drains getting ready to invade.

All this buzz of activity made me think of garlic. This powerful and potent little bulb works miracles on wasp stings and those angry little guys will be out in full force very soon.  The first summer of our marriage, Rosario and I were visiting my mother in Wisconsin. We were lounging on the grass when I got stung by a wasp. It got me under my arm, that soft tender spot where the sun never shines. Rosario jumped up and ran into the house. The pain was burning and so intense my eyes watered. He came outside with a clove of garlic cut in half. He put the cut side on the site of the sting. I thought he was crazy, but, it stopped throbbing and the pain relief was almost instant. Thankfully, I am not allergic to wasp venom and there was not stinger to pull out.

I learned that bumblebees rarely sting because if they do they will die. Wasps, on the hand, live to sting another day! So, keep the garlic cloves handy at home and on the go because even though you might still need the shovel, snowplow, ear muffs and mittens, SUMMER WILL COME and so will unwelcome stinging guests.

For more information and other ways to treat wasp stings check out: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/wasp-sting-home-remedy.html

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Kohl’s Spring Fashion #SpringAtKohls

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I received a gift card as a thank you for participating.

It’s finally spring and we are all excited for the warmer weather and the lighter clothing, right? I desperately need to update my wardrobe! Kohl’s Spring Fashion Hangout provides great tips on what trends to be in the “know” about right now. From the color pink to dresses and roll-cuffed denim they share it all! I’m a huge fan of pink and find myself wearing pink nail polish and lipstick so I am completely ready for this year’s spring fashion! This season it will be easy to take Kohl’s’ advice and wear pink since I am already a fan of the color! It has been a while since I bought clothing so I am excited to go shopping at Kohl’s for some new spring fashion wear, particularly a fit and flare dress or skirt!

Printed Maxi Dress #SpringAtKohl's

Watch the Kohl’s Spring Fashion Hangout and tell me what trends will you be wearing this season?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

RUUM Kids Spring Fashion

FFR image for posts

Spring is here and with that means a change of wardrobe…that is if the temperatures start increasing, which is slowly happening here in the Chicago area! I love being able to dress our kids in nice clothes for when we go out to church, to Grandma’s or some place special. RUUM Kids spring fashion is here and our almost eight year old daughter is wearing a sweet little heart dress (would have been great for Valentine’s Day too!) in the collage below:

FFR RUUM Kids Dress Collage

It needs a little sweater for the cold start to spring we are experiencing. It is very lightweight and sheer, but does not need a slip as it has a built in lining.

RUUM Kid's Dressy Sweater

I think my daughter would also have liked this jeweled skater dress:

RUUM Kid's Jeweled Skater Dress

This embroidered flower dress is definitely a spring choice, perhaps for Easter:

RUUM Kid's Embroidered Flower Dress

For the boys there are also some snazzy looking spring fashion outfits, like this vintage stripe polo shirt coupled with a pair of khakis or chino pants:

RUUM Kid's Vintage Stripe Polo

RUUM Kid's Chino Pant

One of our son’s loves a dress jacket so I had to include this dressy blazer:

RUUM Kid's Dressy Blazer

Then there’s always the nice dress shirt, which is my oldest son’s preference:

RUUM Kid's Bright Stripe Shirt

What does your child’s spring fashion look like?

Right now RUUM Kid’s has a 30% off sale on all their spring fashion items! Check it out!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS