Friday 31 May 2013

How to make your own natural plant fertilizer

How to make your own plant fertilizer... Naturally, of course!

I was browsing the isles at our local store looking for plant food. I didn't find what I was looking for though. So when I got home, I went searching the web, on how to make my own. So in this blog post I will share those nifty tricks with you:

Use in Place of:
Houseplant food
Vegetable fertilizer
Rose plant food                                                   

What You Need:
  • 1 Tablespoon Epsom Salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • A watering can.  So simple so easy so perfectly perfect..yes the quote from the children's moose book again!
What You Do:
1. Combine the Epsom salt and water.
2. Use the solution to water your plants.
3. Repeat once a month.

Why This Works:
Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate – both vital plant nutrients. Some magnesium-loving plants to try it on: houseplants, roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

I am going to go and pull out my Epsom salts. Another great use for Epsom salts is to add it to the bath to soothe those aches away!    

Thursday 30 May 2013

Book Review: Speak Up- Morgan Love Series Book 2

Speak Up
ISBN: 978-0-8024-2264-4

Product Description:
The Morgan Love Series is a chapter book series written for girls, 7 - 9 years old.  The series provides moral lessons that will aid in character development.  It will also help young girls develop their vocabulary, english and math skills as they read through the stories and complete the entertaining and educational exercises provided at the end of each chapter and in the back of the book.

When Morgan discovers that Antoine and Alec, the new kids on her block are big bullies she doesn't know what to do.  She thinks about telling her parents when her cousin becomes their latest victim but he tells her not to because he doesn't want to look like a wimp.
When Morgan goes back to school, she finds out that Alec is the also the new kid in her class. She becomes worried about her friend Trey when he decides to stop hanging out with her and the others and start hanging with Alec instead. As Trey and Alec become good friends, Morgan sees nothing but trouble ahead.  She doesn't want to get hurt or have the other kids think she's a tattletale but she also does not want her friend Trey to get in trouble. Morgan is having a hard time knowing what she should do.  Should she continue to keep quiet or is it time to speak up?

My Reflections:
Speak up is written in an easy to read format that is engaging and thought provoking for pre-teens and younger children alike.   

The story flows very smoothly so that children can truly imagine what is happening in the story and maintain interest throughout the novel.

Moore has captured my girl’s imagination and attention with this book, she devoured it in one sitting, reading in her room well past her bead time…oh.. who does she take after!

The conversations that take place in the book by the main character are presented in a fun and seamless way. It was very believable really, I mean it must be very challenging to sound age appropriate, (like a second grader). 

My daughter really liked the diary type entries and the word searches, scattered thorough the book.
The thing I appreciated most about this book was that it opened the door to conversations between my daughter and I. We discussed things like, dealing with family changes, making friends, talking issues out with parents, prayer, and so much more.

I often find it challenging to find a good book with good values and decent content for this age category, this one measured up to all those expectations!
So if you are searching for an age appropriate book to entertain and teach your child to speak up for themselves, this just might be the book you are looking for.

I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for quality books Moody, you are a name we can trust!

Monday 27 May 2013

Book Review: When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

Cover Art

 ISBN#978 0 8007 2181 7

From the Back:
When romance calls, will she choose to answer?
Hannah Gregory is good at many things, but that list does not include following rules. So when she must apply for a job as a switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won't be easy. Hello Girls must conduct themselves according to strict-and often bewildering-rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training.

Hannah doubts it will be difficult to keep that rule-until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.

With historic details that bring to life the exciting first decade of the twentieth century, Lorna Seilstad weaves a charming tale of companionship that blossoms into sweet romance.

My Reflections:

This is the first book in the Gregory Sisters Series.

Hannah Gregory's life takes a dramatic turn when her parents die and she is left raising her two sisters.
Forced to abandon her dream of becoming a lawyer, Hannah takes a job as a Hello Girl. She is thankful for this job but does not know if all the rules that come with the job will be her undoing.

The strict nature of her new profession restricts not only her working time but also her personal life. This was not a problem until she meets a handsome, financially secure lawyer who seems to have an eye for her.

Lincoln the handsome lawyer is drawn to Hannah and tries to help the sisters any way he can, even though Hannah isn't very responsive, he will woo her going as far as involving the sisters.

Is Hannah able to take care of her sisters?, and what about the relationship between her and Lincoln?
You will have to pick up this copy to find out if she is just too stubborn to succumb to the will of God, and not lean on her own strength this time.

I so enjoyed Lorna Seilstad's ability to pick out areas of history that are not always written about in historical fiction. I completely fell in love with the era in a whole new way, and found it so intriguing to learn about the Hello Girls and all the strict rules that the job entailed.

I can't wait to read the next book in the Gregory Sisters series due out in 2014.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thank you so much!

About the author:

 Lorna Seilstad
Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves, A Great Catch, and The Ride of Her Life. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Lorna lives in Iowa with her husband. Find out more at

Thursday 23 May 2013

"Natural" weed killer with three ingredients you have right now in your home

 Another "Natural" Post on Weeds.

I find myself coveting the strangest things these days. Here is a few :

1) Friends gardens.

2) Peoples barns (big ones) that can hold all manner of agricultural goodies.

3) Quiet chairs, where one can rest undisturbed, for copious amounts of time.

4) Clean homes.

5) Goats..I know, I know..stop already!

Coveting is a sin, did you know that?
I am quite aware of this pesky habit I indulge in. So when I find my self thinking on the lines of... oh look at that pretty goat, I bet she would make some sweet milk.

I stop, shake my curly head and tell my self that goats stink, and well common people they are a whole lotta WORK!

No really what I honestly do is reevaluate why I am green, around the eyes.
I always come up with the same ol' answer: because I am not focusing my attention on the things of this world that really matter, the things that will not rot, be stolen or wither with age.

I must lift my eyes up towards the heavens, to the things of this world that truly matter.

Then I am content again. so simple so easy so perfectly perfect...o'kay I stole that form a moosletoe book...stealing is a sin too..but maybe not so much if you confess it....oh bother I have work to do :-)

OK not to discount what I just stated: The Weeds are Taking Over!

So here is a natural remedy to kill the weeds and not harm the environment.

All you need is three little ingredients you probably already have in your house right now:
~Dish soap
~Empty spray bottle

Here is what you do:

Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, Liquid dish soap (any brand), Empty spray bottle. Put salt in the empty spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap. This solution works best if you use it on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work.

Lickity split dead weeds...not so sure how it will do on a whole Lotta weeds, like in my berry patch, but for pathways and small areas this works like a charm!

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Book review: Revealing Jesus: A 365 Day Devotional

Cover Art

Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional
By :Darlene  Zschech
ISBN# 978 0 7642 1154 6

From the Back:

Powerful Encounters With the Heart of Our Savior For Every Day
Do you long for more of God's presence? Do you ache to see Him at work in your life? Do you desire His peace and rest? Renowned worship leader Darlene Zschech invites you to gather with her around the Word of God. Born out of her own yearnings that she poured onto the pages of journals, these meditations and Scriptures reveal Jesus and speak of His finished work--how He tenderly cares for you and wants you to know Him.

Honest, raw, and beautifully written, these devotions will inspire your journey and encourage you in every season. Come, sit at the feet of our Lord, be strengthened in your weakness, embrace His love for you, and breathe in His peace.

My reflections:

When I was looking at the choices of books to review I actually skipped over this book on the first go around, but after looking it over some more I was drawn to this book, simply because it was beautifully appointed and beckoned me to drench my thirsty soul.  

Upon opening this book the beauty does not cease, it has been such a joy to review this bible study. The devotional has a companion CD that can be purchased separately, which would be ideal to enjoy while having your tea and devotion times in the morning.
This resource would be a splendid  gift for any Christian woman desiring to be inspired and uplifted by the word of God!.

The 365 day Devotional is formatted in the ideal manner. Each reading starts with a bible verse, a short reflection and then a prayer that pertains to the scripture and subject matter. The devotions are filled with hope, inspiration, motivation and peace.

If you are familiar with the author Darlene Zschech  you will appreciate the singer/ songwriters beautifully poetic way of writing, and her desire to draw her audience closer to the heavenly father we long to serve. Her song “shout to the Lord” happens to be one of my favorites!

This book will be one of those books I will cherish for many years to come. I highly recommend this devotional to any Christian woman who wants to cultivate a deeper more intimate relationship with our creator.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". Thank you so much!

About the Author:
 Darlene Zschech

Darlene Zschech and her husband, Mark, are co-pastors of Hope Unlimited Church in Australia. Acclaimed worldwide as a singer, songwriter, worship leader, author, and speaker, Darlene continues to be involved in the music ministry at Hillsong Church, where she served as worship leader for many years. Darlene and her husband live outside Sydney, Australia. Learn more at

Monday 20 May 2013

Book Review: Undeniably Yours

Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978 0 7642 0975 8

 From the back: 
When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested in art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?

My Reflections: 

You may start this book wishing you were Meg, after all she has it all..... This book was a wonderful reminder that money does not buy happiness. 

After Meg inherits her father’s share of a multi-million-dollar company, her past marred with scars and mistakes have left her emotionally damaged. She is a woman living in fear of many things and often verging on panic attacks.

Her character was real, thought provoking and extremely encouraging. I found this book to be bitter sweet, and enjoyed watching as the character slowly began to make progress, it was extremely encouraging to watch as she healed and grew, gradually escaping from her shell of fear.

The hero and cowboy, Bo, is rugged with a protective streak. He is laden with integrity and tenderness. He was a fine example of a tender sweet man, and he provided Meg with the calm security her money had never been able to give her. At times I found myself wishing he was not quite so feminine, but perfection is hard to find in any man :-)

 Wade’s true-to-life way of bringing her characters to the page is definitely refreshing. One of my favorite things about her writing is that she doesn’t sugar-coat the real, human emotions and desires of her characters.
This is Wades second book you can find out more about Becky Wades  books including her first one, My stubborn Heart by visiting her website at:

This is the perfect end of day read, or a pack to the beach kind of book. Pick it up and be encouraged!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About the Author:

Becky's a California native who attended Baylor University, met a Texas boy, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the ABA, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves the kind of books she's writing now!  Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award.  Her new contemporary romance, Undeniably Yours, is available now.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Book review: Sweet Mercy

Sweet Mercy
ISBN#978 0 7642 1046 4

From the Back:

When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.
St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.
Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?

My Reflections:

This is a sweet coming of age historical fiction. The character Eve is picturesque of a young woman who is grasping at unraveling the mysteries of the real world and putting her childish views of life to bed. 

I found myself captured by Tatlock's ability to breath life into her character's and let them dance upon your minds eye. I carried this book around with me and read whenever I had even a minute to spare to find out what would happen to Eve and her family. 
I also was able to glean information I had not previously known through this book about prohibition, and the era of 1931.

My favourite character by far, however was Jones. What an interesting twist this brought to the story line! I was prompted to do a little research on Albino individuals, and share my reserch with my children. Tatlock has written three other books, this being my first novel by this author I am eager to pick up her other titles: Travelers Rest, Promises to Keep and The Returning.
This book is perfect for your summer reading lists.

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". Thank you Graf-Martin and Baker Publishing!

About the Author: 
 Ann Tatlock

I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I tapped out my first stories on my grandfather's old manual typewriter in the summer of 1973. I studied English and theology in college and later went on to earn my master's degree in journalism from Wheaton College Graduate School. I worked as a writer and editor for Decision magazine from 1987-1992, when I left to pursue fiction writing fulltime. I find great satisfaction in my work, and I especially enjoy hearing from my readers. In addition to writing, I also teach at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and online through the Christian Writers Guild.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Book Review: Simply Delicious Amish Cooking


From the back:

Unbeknownst to many folks outside the Amish Mennonite population in America, Pinecraft, Florida---a village tucked away in the heart of Sarasota---is the vacation paradise of the Plain People. Unlike any other Plain community in the world, this village is a virtual melting pot of Amish and Mennonites from around the world, intermingled with people, like author Sherry Gore's family, who live there year-round. Gore has put together a cookbook that represents the people who make Pinecraft unique.

With hundreds of easy-to-prepare recipes, 16 full-color photographs and black-and-white photographs throughout, this cookbook includes traditional favorites such as Sweet Potato Sweet Mash and Mrs. Byler's Glazed Donuts, as well as Florida favorites including Fried Alligator Nuggets, Grilled Lime Fish Fillets, and Strawberry Mango Smoothies. Interspersed with the recipes are true-life stories about births, engagements, weddings, deaths, funerals, celebrations, wildlife encounters, and accidents told through years of Sherry's Letters from Home column published in The Budget, the Amish newspaper. This delightful cookbook offers readers a faith-based, family-focused perspective of the simple way of life of the Plain People. It is truly a breath of fresh air from Sarasota, Florida!

My Reflections:
Oh my, Oh my! When I saw this book up for review I put a sticky note on my computer to remind me to request it on the release date. That is how bad I wanted this book!

I must tell you this book exceeded all my expectations. It is colorful, informative and not only on meal ideas but also on the Amish lifestyle, loved the diary type entries. I found myself reading these excerpts to the kids at meal times, just for the pure learning outcomes!
After much thought and recipe perusing I decided to test out the cheesy scalloped potatoes for a dinner party. I had a lot of complements and the overall presentation was pretty good too. Here is a picture of the result.

I thought I would surly have to get a cow to milk, or make my own ingredients, but to my delight the Amish use easy to acquire products like canned soup and tater tots in their recipes.

The pictures that accompany many of these recipes are stunning and urge you to try your hand at a new and tasty dish. I am looking at cooking these dishes in the next couple of days:
Caramel Corn, Cheesy chicken chowder, chocolate whoopie pies, and Amish Bean soup. Oh my watering mouth!

I would highly recommend this unique and informative cook book to anyone who wants to experience the comforts of a home spun meal, and the flavor of the traditional Amish of Sarasota Florida!
I received this book complements of Book Sneeze, free of charge in the exchange of my honest review.
 Thank you so much Book Sneeze!

Saturday 11 May 2013

Book review: The Christian Mom's Idea Book

The Christian Mom's Idea Book

From the back:

You can make the most of motherhood with this newly revised, resourceful book. It’s jam packed with 500 ideas gathered from more than 80 mothers just like you: Mothers of preschoolers, high schoolers, and every age in between. 

Mothers with one child. Mothers with a houseful of children. Mothers with adopted children. But most of all, mothers with a great desire to raise godly kids- and have fun doing it too|!

My Reflections:
This reprint of the 2008 edition is a resourceful little book filled with ideas on all kinds of topics including:

how to throw a great birthday party, successfully

surviving car trips, discipline, handling doctor's visits, less

stressful grocery shopping, friends and hospitality, alone time and

getaways, spiritual nurturing, music lessons, dealing with

toddlers, clothing, keeping your marriage alive . . . and so much
more in 40 categories.

This is a handy little book that will give you general information on so many relevant topics, in our busy lives today. 
I found it to be easy to read and well presented. I was however a little disappointed that the book did not provide a clear Christian worldview throughout the book. It seemed to lack the spiritual depth I was hoping for.

However it is a great resource book for busy moms who don’t necessarily have the time to delve deeply into lengthy narratives.

I also quite enjoyed the fact that this book has guidance from over 80 parents from all walks of life. This made the book well rounded and relevant for moms of all ages and stages. Families are diverse, so it was refreshing to read a book that covered so many topics and give practical, straight forward advice!

I would recommend this book to those of you who are looking for an, illuminating reference book that is packed with quick fast ideas, on all manner of parenting and life issues. This book may very well give you the insight into being a fun mom who is able to handle the bumps of parenthood just a little easier.

I was given this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Crossway’s homeschool book review program. You can visit them at:

Thank you Crossway!

About the Author:

Ellen graduated from The American Conservatory of Music and Moody Bible Institute.  She has written 26 books that have collectively sold over 500,000 copies.  Some of her books have been translated into German, Afrikaans, Chinese, and Dutch.  Ellen works in International Publishing at Tyndale House Publishers.
Ellen has lived in Wheaton, IL, USA with her husband, Jim, ever since they married in 1974.  They have three grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

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