How To Make Coffee in a French Press

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medium 3281405049 550 x 413 How To Make Coffee in a French Press

I love coffee.   But I’m really picky.  I can’t just open a can of any old grocery store coffee and make a pot.  Oh no.  It needs to be something really delightful and exotic.  And, really, it should go without saying that fresh roasted coffee is just about mandatory.   While I often prefer an elaborate frou frou coffee drink, if I’m going to have brewed coffee, I like mine from a French Press. 

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5 Tips for Swimming Pool Maintenance Safety

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poolmaintenance 5 Tips for Swimming Pool Maintenance Safety

My husband Ed laughs when someone asks him if I’m detail oriented. I tend to be a spreadsheet type person – I like to do things in a regular order. It just makes life easier. Ed is the other way – he picks up after himself if he happens to think of it. So we work better if we set up a schedule for swimming pool maintenance. Here are 5 tips we have found helpful:

1) When the kids aren’t home. During swimming pool maintenance, Ed is handling chemicals that can be harmful before they’re diluted for use in the pool. They might contain up from twelve to ninety five percent chlorine. If the fumes from that are inhaled, or if some flies into the air, it could be a real danger. So we plan our maintenance schedule for a time when the kids are at soccer practice or some other activity. That way we do not have to watch out for the children while we’re trying to safely handle pool chemicals.

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I Have a New Addiction – Toddlers and Tiaras

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I am a huge fan of trash TV.  I’m not ashamed to admit it, either.  I love me some of the Real Housewives, the Real World/Road Rules Challenges, and those kind of reality tv shows and docudramas.  And I can’t forget Maury Povich.  YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER!

But I now have a new love.  Oh yes.  I have just started watching Toddlers and Tiaras.  I know you’re asking me “Geez, that shows only been on for like 4 years.  What took you so long?”   Well, a few things.  One, I don’t have cable, and haven’t for a long time.  They don’t carry Center Ice, so I don’t feel the need to pay for it.  Simple, really. Two, I got all sucked in to being judgmental and thinking “oh, those poor little kids and the bad parents.”

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9 Tips to Combat Seasonal Allergies

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seasonalallergies 9 Tips to Combat Seasonal Allergies

I don’t know about you, but in my area, we’ve had a fairly mild winter.  Due to this, our trees are starting to bud out, and you know what that means – allergy season is right around the corner.  I am so not ready for the itchy, watery eyes, the sneezing, or the turning into a snot factory. 

There are some things you can do to help combat seasonal allergies. 

Combat mold in your home.  The main way to do this is to keep everything dry, as mold needs a damp habitat to grow. 

Wash your shower curtain with bleach every few months.  It needs to be cleaned anyway, and those spots on the bottom?  They’re usually mold.  Gross, right?

Run your heat and air conditioning.  In the winter, when you keep your heat above 65 degrees, it helps to dry out the air in your home, which helps to inhibit the growth of mold.  In the summer, the air conditioning helps to filter the outside air of contaminants.   You can even get a filter for your forced air system that helps cut down on the contaminants even more. 

redconverse 400 x 600 9 Tips to Combat Seasonal Allergies
 

Keep control of the dust. 

Take your shoes off when you come into the house.  Your shoes track all kinds of dirt and debris from the outdoors. 

Vacuum regularly.  It’s amazing what’s hiding in your carpet when you think it’s super-clean.  Remember to change your vacuum bag or filter regularly.   Don’t forget to vacuum your closets, under the bed and tables, and those other hidden spots.

If you have a pet, keep them brushed and bathed.  Many people are allergic to pet hair and dander, and they can create lots of extra dust. 

Get your carpets and furniture steam-cleaned.  It can help to kill whatever might be hiding.  There are lots of services that can do this for you.  Click for more info.
 

oranges 525 x 477 9 Tips to Combat Seasonal Allergies

Watch what you eat. 

Many foods can cause allergy-like symptoms.  Monosodium benzoate, an additive found in many canned foods, and trans oleic acid, which is found in beef, have both been shown to trigger allergies and allergy-like symptoms. 

Conversely, kiwi, oranges, and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help the body’s natural antibodies kick into gear. 
 

Medications

While I prefer to combat allergies before they begin, sometimes you need some additional help.  Personally, I can generally manage on OTC medications.  If you want something more natural, fish oil supplements, vitamins A & E, and many herbs are all believed to aid in the relief of allergies. 

Hopefully, this helps us all to combat seasonal allergies this year!  What’s your best allergen-fighting tip?
 

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How To Make a Lacy Glitter Picture Frame

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lacyglitterframe How To Make a Lacy Glitter Picture Frame

 

I’m always looking for DIY or craft projects that pack a lot of bang for their buck.  I do this for a few reasons.  While I like pretty things and cute projects, if I’m going to put my time, money, and effort into a project, I want it to be useful and memorable.  I want someone to say “you MADE that?!?!”  rather than “oh, yeah, she made that. *rolls eyes*”

I think that this lacy frame fits the bill.  This is a great gift for the engaged couple, goes fabulously in a shabby chic environment, and, depending upon the colors and pattern you used, could really fit into any décor.

Materials Needed

Frame – I used an unfinished wood frame from Joann’s. 
Glitter – I used Azurite from Martha Stewart Crafts
Lace fabric – I bought ¼ yard and used just a small piece of it.
Paint – I used spray paint.  You can easily use acrylic paint.
Spray Adhesive
Spray Sealer

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6 Ways To Stay Warm in Winter

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This post brought to you by QuadraFire. All opinions are 100% mine.

staywarm 6 Ways To Stay Warm in Winter

As I sit to write this, the Midwest is under siege by our biggest winter storm this year.  In my area, we’re having thunder snow and thunder sleet, which is kind of insane.  It’s also turned our weather upside down, with highs in the teens and 20’s.  Brrr…

What are the ways to stay warm in winter?  And more importantly, how do you do it without breaking the bank?  I’ve got some tips for you!  

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St Patrick’s Day Vintage Postcards | Wordless Wednesday

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Oh yes!  Another holiday means I get to delve into my collection of Vintage Images once again.  This time around, it's St Patrick's Day vintage postcards.  Enjoy!

stpat01 St Patricks Day Vintage Postcards | Wordless Wednesday

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An Ode to Avocados

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocados from Mexico. All opinions are 100% mine.

AFM Logo stack NoTag zps2eae3188 1 zpsaf020678 1 zps928fee63 1 zps3460fd7a An Ode to Avocados

Oh, avocados, how do I love thee?  I love you in salads like a Cobb.  I adore you in sandwiches like turkey and avocado on a croissant.  You are the main ingredient in my favorite dip – guacamole.  Furthermore, you were the basis of one of my favorite grade school science experiments.  You know the one, where we try to sprout your pit and plant it?

I’m not sure when our love affair began, but I do know it was love at first bite.  Growing up in California, we had Avocados from Mexico quite often, and with just about everything.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has this love/love relationship with avocados.  If you have a friend that feel similarly to how I do, share the avocado love!  With the Share the Avocado Love Facebook app, you can send your avocado lovin friends all kinds of things, like screensavers, ringtones, and badges that proclaim their love for avocados.  

If you feel the need to share your love of avocados with the world, you are in luck.  There’s an Avocados from Mexico Cafe Press store that has all kinds of avocado branded merchandise.  Yes, you heard, errr…read that right!  There’s the normal things like tote bags, and I love Avocados tee shirts, even aprons.  You can also pick up a serving tray or a coffee mug.  

However, I saw this avocado Calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls) tee shirt, and I knew it had to be mine.  

avoskull tee An Ode to Avocados

I mean, seriously – how great is that?  I especially love the avocados as eyes!  I think that you could share your avocado love without it screaming “YO!  I LIKE TO EAT AVOCADOS.”   Of course,  they also have a shirt that has an avocado dressed up as Santa Claus, and both a stocking and a trick or treat bucket filled up with avocados.   Sounds like a good holiday to me!

What’s your favorite way to have avocados?
 

 An Ode to Avocados

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