May 25, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Organic Tomatoes

I have to confess that my green thumb does not extend to vegetables or indoor plants. Herbs, shrubs, and flowers are my specialty. One year I tried to grow tomatoes and was not very successful. The following year the bugs killed it and now I go to the farmers market and call it a day. There are many people that have that patience and green thumb for vegetables. I am so not in this group and that's okay but if you do then this guest post by Jackie Edwards is perfect for you. 
Happy Growing! 

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Organic Tomatoes
What garden is complete without a vine of fresh, juicy tomatoes just waiting to be plucked and eaten? As a delicious and nutritious addition to almost any cuisine, it’s no surprise that tomatoes are the world’s most popular fruit. Tomato plants are hardy and relatively easy to cultivate, making them an ideal addition to any organic vegetable garden.
Types of Tomatoes
When deciding what type of tomato you want to grow, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the different varieties you can find. You should take into consideration not only personal taste preferences, but also how a species grows, when it matures, its full size, and whether or not the strain is disease resistant. You can find both determinate breeds, which ripen all at once, and indeterminate tomato plants, which continue producing new fruit on the vine until the first frosts start to arrive in early winter. There are almost endless varieties of tomato, from tiny Sungolds to hefty Brandywine pinks, but there are a few main categories that plants fall under:
     Cherry and Grape Tomatoes: These plants produce cute little fruits that are crispy, sweet, and go great in salads. Their size makes them ideal for potting and small spaces, while their hardy nature makes them easy to grow in cooler climates.
     Salad Tomatoes: Larger than cherry tomatoes, this plant produces fruit that is tart, acidic, and perfect for slicing. Despite the name, they’re great in much more than just salads. Use them to make a loose tomato sauce, slice them for sandwiches, or make a delicious tomato soup.
     Beefsteak Tomatoes: A popular tomato variety, this plant's name really does the plant justice. It produces fruits that are large and meaty, but they require a long summer growing season and may not thrive in gardens further north.
     Roma Tomatoes: Also known as paste tomatoes, these fruits are sweet and firm, with more meat than juice. They’re perfect for Italian sauces and as a roasted topping.
Planting and Transplanting
No matter what variety of tomato you choose, you should plant seeds two to three weeks after the last frost, around mid-spring to early summer. It should be long enough after the last frost of the summer that the soil is warm enough for germination to happen. Plant seeds 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch deep in starter compost, preferably in a seed tray. Once you see the first leaves sprouting, transplant the seedling into a small pot. You should keep moving your plant into larger pots as it grows so that a healthy root system has room to develop. As the plant grows older, you may have to stake it for extra support.
If you’re planting your tomatoes from seed, start your plant in some specially crafted soil designed for germinating plants. You can switch to regular potting soil when the plant begins to mature. Use quarter strength fertilizer when you move your plant to your garden, and then again every one to two weeks once it starts producing fruit. If your plant’s leaves start turning a purple color, it means they aren't getting enough nutrients from the soil, and you should reapply fertilizer regardless of whether the plant is fruiting or not.
Tomato plants need plenty of sunlight in order to produce fruit. Without enough light, plants can become leggy and unhealthy. Tomato plants should get at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day, whether they’re kept indoors or outdoors.
Seedlings need plenty of water as they grow, preferably from the bottom of the container so that no leaves are damaged. After the plant has sprouted, soil should remain moist to the touch, but not soggy. Too much water in the soil can lead to root rot. With proper care and a little bit of TLC, you can grow delicious organic tomatoes in your garden to enjoy in salads, sandwiches, and other meals.

May 07, 2017

Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy product review

It has been raining for about a week with snow forecasted for today and all of my garden beds have been converted into large puddles, streams or ponds.
This wet weather even has the garden decorations looking sad.
Pretty sure the only ones loving all this rain are the flowers. As they say:''April showers brings May flowers".
We'll just tweak that to May downpour makes flowers more.
Not as catchy a saying but accurate. 
Then there is: ''Every cloud has a silver lining" and for me, it was discovering the Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser.

The rain has us trapped indoors breathing in Winter's recycled air and the moisture has the previous owner's smoking habit weeping through the walls. I despise the smell of cigarettes and have tried everything to eliminate it. From washing the walls and ceilings with bleach to wiping them down with strongly scented cleaners. Burning incense, wax tarts, scented candles, oils, plug-ins, and sprays.  When I use the cleaners or try to burn something within 15 minutes my husband extinguishes it and opens the windows because his eyes and throat start burning.
His reaction prompted me to do some research to find out why and what could be the cause. I was really shocked to find out that my beloved sprays, plug-ins, candles, tarts and oil burners were nothing more than dangerous chemical cocktails. Filled with phthalates, formaldehyde, dichlorobenzene, silica, toluene and benzene. Even more shocking was finding out that the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fumes.  Along with the learning disabilities, hormone disruption, behavioral and numerous health problems that have been linked to the exposure of high quantities of lead. So instead of making my home smell good, I have been poisoning my family without knowing. Add to that the dangers of open flames, soot stains, and spilled wax.
Makes me wonder why they are even allowed to sell these products at all let alone without properly labeling them. 
To read more about the hazardous effects check out these articles;
Now for the silver lining in this chemical cloud.Knowing that this will not be changing anytime soon, I began researching non-toxic ways of perfuming my home. 
The one product that caught my eye was the Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy. 
Not only does it have great reviews, but the diffusers are gorgeous.
It was literally love at first sight.
Isn't it beautiful!
The diffuser arrived very well packaged, was super easy to assemble and came with a free sample of their signature blend. 
What makes the Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser so great is that it doesn't use water to dilute the essential oils. It doesn't alter them with heat, fire, electricity, or corrode them with unhealthy plastics or release any toxic chemicals. 
It purifies the air by helping to kill any fungus or bacteria, especially when combined with powerful antibiotic essential oils like oregano, cinnamon, and clove bud.
As well as helps to reduce the dust particles floating around because of the ionizing effects. The negative ions attach themselves to the positive ions, causing the dust particles to fall to the ground. So they are no longer airborne polluting the air.

Using Bernoulli's principle, the nebulizer works by breaking down the essential oils into less than 5 microns (micro-particles) then projecting them into the air making them easier to inhale.
With so many benefits to essential oils, I would need a couple more blog posts to be able to list them all. Lucky for us a few people already have.
As though the health benefits were not enough, the Organic Aromas Radiance Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser has this incredible rainbow led light.
A touch sensor light switch so you can turn it on or off at with the touch of the finger.
Covers up to 800 sq ft, is entirely safe, extremely quiet, makes no mess and requires no heat.
Did mention its beautifully handcrafted?
 Each diffuser comes a with FREE one-year complete parts and service warranty.
I honestly can not gush anymore over this amazing diffuser.
It has exceeded all of my expectations and would make the perfect Mother's day gift.

For more information on the different nebulizing diffusers, essential oils, and products go to;
Just gotta love when the silver lining turns golden!

Disclaimer: I received the Organic Aromas Radiance Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser with a bottle of Organic Aromas Signature Blend Oil for the purpose of this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions and love are my own.

April 20, 2017

Springtime Sprucing - 6 Tips to Arrange Your Sofa like a Pro

 This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.

Happy Springtime!

These April showers have turned the outside into one big puddle and have me expecting alot of May flowers. Bunches equivalent to the inches of rain would be greatly appreciated
because I am stuck indoors until it all dries up.
In the meantime, I have begun my annual Springtime sprucing.
De-cluttering, wiping down walls and placing bay leaves all over to help deter ants.
Packing away Winter items and finding the odd Christmas ornament in the process because there is always one that escapes being packed away.  Every year like clockwork it seems.
Next is the washing of the windows and drapes to let all the sunlight in.
I want the house to feel new and light like Spring. 
A great way to freshen up a room is to simply rearrange your furniture and 
SofaSumo has 6 amazing tips to help you do it like a pro!

6 Tips to Arrange your Sofa like a Pro

There are several reasons why you'd want to change the position of your sofa: You just bought it; you want to give the living room a makeover, or you moved into a new place. But no matter the reason, there's one thing in common for most people: How should I arrange everything? How did I even do it in the first place?

It's understandable; most people would stare at the space and wonder where to start.

It turns out the starting point is the easiest part. In every room, you should begin with the biggest furniture item, which -in most living rooms- means the sofa.

The sofa also happens to be either the focal point or the most important piece pointing towards it. That's why it seems so important to know the right place to arrange it in a living room.

You don't need to be an interior designer to know a few tips and tricks to get it right. This guide will give you an idea on how to arrange the sofa the best way possible in your living room.

1. Measure

You'll want to know the dimensions of your living room so you can choose the right sofa for it. Not because you enjoy knowing random things, but because it will help you picture where you can and can't put it.

The sofa should not steal space from other areas, or block aisles, doors or large windows.

That's why the most usual arrangement means putting the sofa against the largest wall. And while that works, it's not the only way to place a sofa.

And always take into account the traffic. It's important to create pathways and leave clear areas where people can walk, or stretch their legs.

2. Determine the Focal Point

The sofa is usually the focal point, but that's not always the case. The focal point might be a fireplace, a large window, the TV, an art piece, etc.

It helps to know the purpose of the living room. You may think the answer is obvious, but actually, living rooms mean different things for different people. Do you want it to be a conversational space, or just to watch TV? For both? Knowing the purpose should help you decide if the sofa should face the TV, the window, the fireplace, or bookshelf.

-     If the sofa is the focal point, then arrange chairs, center table and smaller furniture around it. Make the sofa to stand out.

-     If the sofa isn't the focal point, then place it in such a way that it highlights the focal point. In this scenario, the idea is to make that other item to stand out from the rest of the furniture.

3. Separate it From the Wall

It seems counter intuitive -especially for small places- but it's actually a great way to make the space look larger.

A floating sofa will create the illusion of more space, and make the area more conversational by bringing people closer.

Ideally, the minimum separation between the sofa and the wall should be around one foot, but it depends on other factors. For example, if the sofa is facing the TV and you want to be closer to it, then move it forward.
The opposite is also valid. If the place is small, separate it just a little bit. A few inches can make a whole lot of difference, but if your living room is just too small, then just place it against the wall and don't worry about it.

4. Choose Between Symmetry and Asymmetry

In the past, the decoration was mostly symmetrical as people thought it created a calm mood. However, the asymmetrical trend is gaining popularity, since it allows combining furniture in different angles and sizes.

Once you've decided what type of arrangement makes you feel more comfortable, you'll have an easier time knowing where to put the sofa and everything else.

-     For the symmetrical look: First, place your sofa facing or towards the focal point. Then, arrange the scaled furniture around it, preferably in pairs.

-     For the asymmetrical look: In a similar way, first, you need to place the sofa facing or towards the focal point. And then combine furniture in different sizes and heights around the sofa for an imbalanced and casual feel.

5. Use the Sofa to Divide Spaces

The sofa is a great tool to define two ambiances with different purposes within one room. For example, a sofa facing away from the dining area helps to divide the space: one for the meals, and one for conversations.

This helps create more intimacy in an otherwise open space, making people feel more comfortable doing their own things.

You can be creative about it. Try to split the living room into two independent conversations areas, TV area vs dining room, or entertainment vs. reading place. This technique is especially helpful in large living rooms, or in those dreaded 'bowling-alley' spaces.

6. What Do You Mean, Two Sofas?

You might think that most living rooms have only one sofa and that some people just want to watch the world burn.

Jokes aside, it's actually quite possible to have two sofas without making the living room look overstuffed. That thing you bought that looks like a sofa, but smaller? It's probably a settee, which IS a type of sofa!

On the other hand, it's also possible that you bought two sofas because you couldn't decide which one you liked best. Or maybe you liked it so much that you ended up buying two…the thing is now you don't know what to do.

You can emulate a sort of sectional sofa with your two pieces by placing them in an 'L' shape. This arrangement works best in corners, to create a clearly defined space.

Another option is to put them in front each other, with the center table in between.

Two different sofas work better in an asymmetrical style. But you can also make them look symmetrical if you balance them with the rest of the furniture and the right colors.

So, next time you want to re-arrange it, don't stare at the space wondering where to start. Remember these few tips to make it easier!

Now that you got the best tips on how to make your room look like a professional did it.
Go ahead and SPRUCE IT UP!

Here are a few Free Spring printables to brighten your day.

Happy Springtime Sprucing y'all!

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