Monday, August 29, 2011

Vinegar is For More Than Salad Dressing

I've always thought I was green, as in trying to implement all those environmentally friendly, good-for-you things to keep my family safe and healthy. But trying and doing are two different things. Take for example, cleaning projects. While I know most cleaning products are filled with a hodge-podge of chemicals that aren't good for anything, I still find myself buying them. I know there are alternatives, but I'm cheap and if a "green" product cost more than I'm already paying, well... it's ain't gonna happen.

Image: Sanja Gjenero @

I know there are lots of natural products that are not only better and safer to use then those chemical filled ones -- and cheaper, too. That point was brought home to me while reading a piece by Susan over at Finding a Healthier More Vibrant & Beautiful You. She's trying to rid toxins from her life, too, and one way is using vinegar as a cleaner!

Vinegar, of course! I do use it to clean by coffee pot and to removed minerals from a few things around here (hard water). But there's so much more you can do with it, so I thought I'd put together a list of ways vinegar can be used for cleaning as a reminder for myself (and you, too). Now when I'm taking vinegar, for cleaning that usually means white vinegar.

Use vinegar to clean, remove, deodorize, disinfect...
  1. Coffee pots
  2. Microwave
  3. Carpet
  4. Bathroom fixtures
  5. Floors
  6. Windows
  7. Laundry as a fabric softener
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Trashcans, too.
  10. Stove top
  11. Hard water spots for glasses
  12. Sticky lablel and decals
  13. Mineral deposits on faucets
  14. Grout
  15. Toys
  16. Concrete
  17. Pennies (really shines them up nice)
  18. Pet accidents the carpet
  19. Mini blinds
  20. Plastic food containers
There's probably hundreds of more ways to use vinegar to clean. What about you? Do you use vinegar in you home for cleaning?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes Breakfast

The hubby reminded me this morning I had a few tomatoes to be picked out in the garden. While I was out there picking the ripe ones, a green one caught my eye. Hmm... how about a friend green tomato for breakfast?

My great grandmother and grandmother -- both from Arkansas -- made fried green tomatoes every summer while I was growing up. The hubby and kids don't get it. Oh well, their loss! Just means more for me ;).

Now my two Southern grandmothers would be appalled that I don't fix 'em right, but I think all that flour and cornmeal just gets in the way. I just like mine fried up in a little olive oil and butter with salt and pepper.

Yes, just right. Now that's the way to start your day.

Oh yeah... just right. I love the tangy, meaty flavor of the tomatoes.

I'm thinking maybe a fried green tomato lunch. How about you? Want to join?

These are the mornings I love. No rush (at least not too much) and a chance to doing something I haven't done in long, long while. When I was working at the "job," I would have grabbed a can of protein drink to slug down while I was make that hour long commute. Maybe my muse isn't so far away after all (at least I'm hoping she close by today because I have lots of product descriptions to write).

Enjoy your day, everyone!

Linking to:

Monday, August 22, 2011

If Pigs Could Fly

You know that old figure of speech, "when pigs fly?" It's generally used to scoff at the improbability of something. I'm a rose-colored glasses kind of girl and to me it has a different meaning. "If pigs could fly..." well, then, anything is possible. Flying pigs, therefore, hold a very special place in my heart.

Flying pigs are not easily found... real or otherwise. I've been collecting them for years. I have a small collection for inside the house, mostly packed away awaiting to be found again. So it's outside where my flying pig fantasies have to reside. And at the moment, I only have three to show. 

I take my flying pigs anyway I can find them. This little guy came to me with a broken wing. Thank goodness for gorilla glue. He sits outside my front door.

This rusty fella is looking for a home. I'd think he'd like it better in some tall flowers. Maybe next year.

This little girl has the perfect spot, snuggled under a Virgina Creeper and next to a pot of inpatients.

I'm always on the look out for a new flying pig (I break for flying pigs!).  Hmmm....

Maybe that's my problem. I'm always looking eye level or below for a new pig to add to my collection. Maybe I should be looking up...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Elaine over at Sunny Simple Life is getting a yearning for Autumn. I don't know if I'm quite with her yet. I've been enjoying the mild summer we've had so far, so unlike many other folks around the country. Of course, here in Southern California the worst of summer doesn't happen until well into Autumn. Ugh!

However, Elaine will be happy to know.... the pumpkins are coming, the pumpkins are coming!

The pumpkins are turning orange... yeah!!
Our little pumpkins are turning orange. I didn't expect it yet, so maybe Autumn is closer than we know. At least pumpkin pies... pumpkin cookies... pumpkin bread... pumpkin muffins... pumpkin seeds... pumpkin cheesecake... baked pumpkin.... ahh, all delish!

In the meantime, Elaine is busy over at Sunny Simple Life with an end of summer giveaway. Stop over and take a look. The trays she found at Goodwill are sooooo cool.

Enjoy the rest of summer while you can!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Whiteboard Flea Market Makeover

When I was working at the day job, a whiteboard was a mandatory piece of office equipment. In my company, every cubicle and corner office had one. And they were well used for keeping track of the 101 projects that were due or for brainstorming. Well, now that I have my own at-home corner office (in the corner of my bedroom, BTW), I need a whiteboard. But whiteboards are... no other way to put it than UGLY! Especially in a bedroom.

So what to do?

I was inspired by an article in "Where Women Create" (great magazine if you haven't seen it). One artist used French doors to cover an ugly wall in her basement studio. It was right up my alley and the inspiration for today's blog...

First, a couple of things about why I think this is such a great idea. First, whiteboard markers work better on glass than whiteboard. Really. The marker wipes right off the glass and doesn't leave those streaking, ugly marks that need a nasty smelling chemical cleaner. Then, they're just... pretty. I love old things and repurposing them. And besides, my hubby and I have hauled home a number of old windows and it doesn't look like we're going to be using them anytime soon for a studio/greenhouse/shed/??

Converting an old window into a whiteboard is a super easy Flea Market-to-treasure idea. It didn't take hubby and me more than a hour to complete and half that time was cleaning the old window.

Grubby, huh. This is the window we decided to use. Mostly because it fit in to the tight space I have in the bedroom. First thing was cleaning and that took a lot of Windex and paper towels. Next, I checked to make sure the windows were still tight in their frame. If not, I would have had to fix that with glass putty. Since you'll writing directly on the glass, you want to make sure it will stay in place.

I didn't do anything to the window, but clean it. If the paint were more chippy, I might have varnished to encase the paint (an especially good idea with lead paints). I don't have the kidlets up here that often, so I'm not worried about that.

Then it was just a matter of stapling fabric to the back of the window. I opted to go "white" with a hint of print. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the fabric is a paisley tone-on-tone. It's a little more than just plain white fabric, but it's doesn't distract from its purpose. I was afraid the writing wouldn't show up against dark or big prints fabric. You could use other colors, of course, or even paint the windows with whiteboard paint. There's many different options here.

I called in some support when it came time to hanging up my new whiteboard. Not only is a second pair of hands necessary, but I wanted to make sure it stays on the wall. Hubby searched for the stud locations, made all the appropriate calculations on the window and pre-drilled holes.

Then it was a matter of hanging it up. Sorry, I don't have photos of the actually hanging, because it took both of us to handle the window. It's hung with two screws at the top and two at the bottom into the wall studs. It's not going anywhere. The only thing I haven't done yet is cover of the screw heads. I just need to dab those with paint (or maybe whiteout, it is an office, after all).

I also hung up an old tin basket next to my new whiteboard to hold whiteboard markers and an eraser. Works well.

A whiteboard comes in handy for so many things when you work from home. It of course, helps me keep track of projects and tasks that are due.

Add affirmations I leave to myself (I try to change out the quotes and words often).

Or just doodle when I feel creative.

Overall, I'm happy with the way my whiteboard flea market makeover went. I repurposed an old window that was collecting dust in the bar and got a useful piece of office equipment (with a lot of style).

Let me know how you like it and what flea market makeovers you attempted.

Linking to Cindy's Show and Tell at

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Deadlines! I don't worry about no stinking deadlines!
It's good news and bad news...

On one hand I have this great writing gig. It's just right for me and I'm hoping it will turn into an permanent egg in my writing basket...

One the other... I'm already running behind (my fault) and I really want to be out playing!

Wednesday! It'll all be better on Wednesday when I turn this thing in. (that is until the next Wednesday... if I'm lucky).

Okay, take a deep breath... relax... life goes on, one word after another.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My To Do List

Thanks Aaron Beall @
For the past eight years I've been a good corporate citizen. Up every morning. Drive an hour to work. Spend nine or 10 hours at my desk. Then another hour's drive home. That's if I didn't hit traffic morning or night (L.A. you know). Most days I left at 7 a.m. to returned by 7 p.m.

Ugg... not a way to live.

All the time I was working, I knew someday I would be able to come back home again and resume my writing life.

So I plotted... planned... and created a gazillion "To Do" lists. There were just so many wonderful projects I was going to get done... finally!
  1. Paint the the kitchen, including the cabinets
  2. Add crown molding and new hardware to the cabinets
  3. Rehab the old 50s stove and hook it up
  4. Switch the panty refrigerator with the kitchen one
  5. Replace the floor with black & white vinyl tiles
  6. Paint the kitchen chairs turquoise... or or maybe ivory
  7. Finally lay the living room floor
  8. Paint the fireplace screen black
  9. Find a new cabinet for the laundry/sewing room
  10. Finish the molding around the doors
  11. Paint the the laundry room door to the outside... red on the inside, green on the out
  12. Get a magnetic curtain rod and make curtain for said door
  13. Make a skirt for the folding table (that has to serve as my sewing table/laundry counter)
  14. Secure bookcase to the wall (and maybe paint) before it falls on table
  15. Add door to furnace niche
  16.  Finish molding on in downstairs bathroom
  17. Paint dresser in bathroom... definitely red
  18. Thinking a new curtains for the window and shower
  19. Paint the mirror frame (or maybe find a new one... yeah)
  20. Repaint the room... change it to blue with puffy white clouds
  21. Reorganize hubby's office/guest room/exercise room/kids playroom
  22. Sew up the new window valances
  23. Cover the desk top with the nifty blue leather-looking fabric I found... last year!
  24. Son's room.... don't even think of it
  25. Install new carpeting in the master bedroom/my office
  26. Sew the new valances for the windows (all eight of them) with the beautiful age ivory, green and red fabric I found... yeah, last year.
  27. Install the corner shelves I got a the Goodwill store
  28. Organize my files & bookcase
  29. Find more storage for books and magazines
  30. Reorganized/declutter bedroom closets!
And I haven't even gotten to the front porch, yard, garden, writing, Esty shop, websites...

So, what have I gotten done on my To Do list so far?

Nada! Zilch!! Nothing!!!

But I have hope (I just hope it doesn't take eight years!)

How about you? What's on your To Do list? And are you getting it done?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I'm Seeing Red... Decor That Is!

I was passing though my living room the other day and noticed... I have a lot of red going on. I don't ever remember making a conscience decision to add red, but there it is.

In a lamp shade I made years ago and the pitcher and candle that stands next to it.

I couple months ago I spray painted some picture frames (don't you just love spray paint). It made the gaudy gold 3-D roses of two of the frames look soooo much better. (of course, my three granddaughters look great in any frame!)

I painted this mirror, too. (I know, take the paint can away from the girl!)

Then there was this really cute rusty ranch tools collage I won at a silent auction. The red background was an added plus (oops, the photographer was a little crooked there).

Then I found a great rustic looking birdhouse... in red, of course.

And I already had a few things... like my red dressed cowgirl.

This great old lantern.

Oh, and we can't forget my laptop.

Like I said, I never started out to decorate with red. Of course, my decorating style is more "as it happens" and generally is never planned too far in advance. That gets me into a lot of trouble sometimes.

It's not just red that I love, but bright colors in general. I love looking at photos and all white and soft romantic interiors, shabby chic or otherwise. One of my favorite places to blogvisit is with Cindy at My Romantic Home. As beautiful as her home is, it's color that gets me going. So, you'll find me at blogs where color is reigns supreme -- Cozy Little House and Cherry Hill Cottage are two of my favorite blog du jours at the moment.

And as you'll notice... they're seeing a lot of red over at those two blogs, too!

Oh my, I don't even feel like I'm properly dressed 
(barely any posts here)
but I'm linking to 
It's all that Redilishousness!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back Home Again

It's been over a month since I left "the job." I thought for sure I'd have this blog started. So much for best laid plans.

So what is this little blog about? Anything! Everything! Like most blogs. Mostly though, it will be about being home, finding my creative self again and sometimes about the writing that's supposed to substain this new be-at-home-again adventure.

I don't even have photos up or a header! LOL! It's a start!