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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Memories

A photo tour around the Carberry MB area

Each month we do a photo tour of scenery in our area. This month the photos were taken in the Carberry area, about 20 minutes away, where Brian grew up, and where I attended school. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Faux Painting Ceramic Tile Walls

 I'm always looking for easy and inexpensive ways to decorate our home. I love the look of tile in a bathroom, but it can be pricey. Keeping those grout lines clean can be a chore too....Boys and bathrooms...need I say more?!

 A few years ago, when we were finishing our basement, the money for tiles just wasn't available, so I came up with another solution. We had already painted our basement floor and liked the way it turned out, so why not the walls?

 Today, I'm going to show you how we did our bathroom walls with the same faux painting technique we used on our floor.

Faux painting with a sponge.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cheap and Easy?

 I want to preface this post by saying, if you are one of those people who actually do make all of your own cleaning products...I applaud you. Let me just admit something right now...I'm kinda lazy...Remember this post? I'm the Cheap and Easy Blogger!

Cleaning with natural cleaners

 Many years ago, my sister developed extreme sensitivities to many products; even to fragrances...whether it was perfume, cosmetics or household cleaners. Just being around some scents caused a reaction. While I didn't have the extreme sensitivities that my sister suffered from, I did get headaches from cleaners....even walking down the cleaning aisle at the store gave me a headache! My sister's and my own experience were enough to make me question what was in all of these products. I did some research and found that they were full chemicals, some I had never even heard of.

These are some of them: Phthalates, Perchloroethylene or “PERC", Triclosan, Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ammonia, Chlorine, Sodium Hydroxide.

This article provides information on each of these.

 That was 13 years ago. At that time I cleaned all of the toxic cleaners out of my house, and replaced them with natural products; baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice, along with some products that I was able to buy online. My daughter told me about a company where I could not only buy my cleaners, but also toiletries, lotions, supplements, even dog shampoo! I started buying from there, and I've used natural products ever since.

 But a while back I had the brilliant idea that I could find these products locally, or maybe even make some of my own cleaners. I had seen all kinds of recipes on pinterest....hahaha...ya, I hear you laughing.

Homemade natural cleaners
 So, I stocked up on all my old favorites (really stocked up!) and cancelled my membership with the online shopping club. These products are super concentrated, so I was able to make them last a very long time, but little by little I started to run out of things. Even though I squeezed every last drop from bottles, and then rinsed them out with water to get every last bit, eventually my cleaning spray bottles were empty. 

 I tried some of the natural products offered by another company, but wasn't really impressed with the quality or selection....and the price was way more than I wanted to spend! I continued to use huge boxes of baking soda, and gallons of vinegar, but make my own laundry soap...who was I kidding!? So the store bought detergent soon found it's way back in. Still, I refused to buy other cleaners from the store...and as much as I hated to admit it, my bathrooms and my kitchen sink were looking matter how much baking soda or vinegar I used. 

 Homemade may be cheap, but I also like convenience...I like to be able to spray a surface and wipe it off and I'm done! So this scrubbing with baking soda was getting old fast.

Cleaning with baking soda

 Then one day my last family size shampoo bottle was facial cleanser was last bar of soap was a tiny liquid soap was just water, and I had even used a knife to cut open my lotion bottle to get the lotion coating the inside! I had high hopes of buying homemade bars of soap, but never did....other than some that was so highly perfumed I couldn't use it. You can't imagine my excitement when I found a partially used bar of soap in the back of a cabinet! It was a little shriveled up, but nothing a little water wouldn't fix! I can't help but laugh at how silly this was.

An old bar of soap

 Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, supplements? Once they were gone, I had to buy them somewhere.....and soon they were all coming from the store. All of the products that I had removed from our home 13 years ago.....

 And once again, my daughter came to the rescue.....and once again, I have all of my favorite chemicals, no smells that give me a headache, inexpensive and EASY!....and my bathroom is sparkling clean! 

A sparkling clean bathroom

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Snapshot, After the Storm

snowbanks are almost to the top of our fences

The blizzard is over, but the snowbanks left behind are so huge that our dogs managed to jump the fence in one part of the yard!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Manitoba Blizzard of 2017

While so many of my blogging friends are posting pictures of plants coming up in their gardens, and making plans for the new garden season, I'm sitting here looking out my window at snow and ice! 

Blowing snow, white out

I have no idea how much snow fell, because the wind blew it all into huge snowbanks, leaving other parts of the yard bare. This storm lasted over 24 hours! 

Faux Painting A Concrete Floor

  If you're looking for an inexpensive way to finish your basement floor, why not paint it? This is a project that we did a few years ago, and it has held up quite well, with just a few scratches. We've done a lot of painting projects, but we'd never painted a concrete floor before. We have, however, spilled enough latex paint on concrete to know it doesn't come off easily, so we knew latex paint would work well for this job. It's also the easiest to work with.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pathways I Have Known

  Maybe you are looking for ideas for a pathway through your yard or garden...or maybe, like me, you just love pathways. Whatever brought you here, I hope you enjoy taking a stroll through the garden, a hike through the forest, or just a walk in the park. Brick, stone, sand, or grass, wooden or strewn with leaves....I love pathways!

A split log and rock pathway through the flower garden