Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunscreens - Part 1

This is an article from Today.com and with summer hear we all need to take note of this information if we plan on being in the sun.

1,  Yes, SPF matters – Go for SPF 40 or above and apply liberally
 Let's start with the basics. While Consumer Reports recently discovered that some SPF 60+ sunscreens didn't meet the claim on their label, you should still pay attention to that little number on the bottle. Use SPF 40+ as a benchmark and apply liberally (more on that later) to help reduce your chances of reddening, sunburn, wrinkles, liver spots, skin sagging and, most of all, skin cancer.

SPF stands for 'sun protection factor' and is a rough measure of how well the sunscreen can keep your skin from getting damaged by the sun.  SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of the rays attacking your skin, and lower SPFs block less.

Equally as important? The amount of UVA and UVB protection listed.  It's not hype at all! UVA and UVB rays cause different types of damage; Generally speaking, UVB rays cause sunburn, and UVA cause deeper, longer-term damage like wrinkles. "Both UVA and UVB contribute to skin cancer, so it's important to have a sunscreen that can block both

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 4

Clean smelly hands

Rubs hands with a scoopful of spent grounds to eliminate odors from fish, garlic, and other strong-smelling foods. "There's no need to mix with soap," says Maker. "Your hands may have a coffee smell, but it will remove the more unpleasant odor, and you can wash with soap after rinsing the grounds off your hands."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 3

Attract earthworms to your garden

Just like sleep-starved teachers and long-haul truckers, earthworms L-O-V-E coffee. And you know what happy earthworms do to soil? Make it a whole lot richer! "They're attracted to organic material like coffee grounds, and they help distribute it through the soil," says Melinda Myers, a gardening expert, author, and host of the How to Grow Anything DVD set. A healthy worm population enhances the quality of garden soil by stimulating microbial activity, churning the soil, improve water-holding capacity and water filtration, providing channels for root growth, and burying plant residue, according to the USDA.

For optimal results, sprinkle your soil with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of coffee grounds, says Myers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 2

Scour pans, tools, etc

Eliminate stubborn, stuck-on grime by scrubbing with a couple spoonfuls of coffee grounds. The gentle abrasion provides extra scouring power to clean the dirtiest of dishes and pans. "You don't need to mix in soap, just use a thin cloth to get the abrasive action working," says Melissa Maker, host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube and founder of a Toronto-based cleaning service of the same name. Before scouring the whole pan, test a small area to make sure the grounds don't stain the surface—and never use on delicate ceramic or non-stick surfaces.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Many Uses of Coffee Grounds - Part 1

Deodorize your fridge

After your coffee is brewed, put the grounds to work again—this time as a powerful odor absorber inside your fridge. Leaving a bowlful of used grounds in the fridge overnight will rid your icebox of icky odors, according to Apartment Therapy. Repeat as often as you'd like. If you're battling particularly potent odors, feel free to leave the grounds in the fridge until the job is done.

Info from Grandparents.com

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

1 medium sweet potato
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
Pinch of cloves - to taste

Peel the sweet potato and grate as you would for hash browns.  Melt the butter.  Stir the sugar into the butter.  Toss melted butter into the grated potato.  Spray a non-stick frying pan with non-stick spray.  Over medium high heat 'fry' the potatoes until done, allowing some to actually brown.  Sprinkle with cloves.  Serves 2

Comment:  When I was a kid my Mom would make fried sweet potatoes.  She would cut them into strips and fry them in butter allowing some to brown.  When they were done she would sprinkle them with sugar instead of salt.  This was a delicious dessert for us.  I decided to try grating my potatoes and see if I could get the same taste without all the butter that was required when she fried hers.  This worked perfectly!  I could eat these every day!  If you don't like cloves you can sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon or nothing at all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #15 Areca Palm (End)

Areca Palm

Why you want it: This pretty indoor house palm is a great inspiration if you're dreaming of tropical climates—or just trying to conjure the look in your home decor. It can grow to about seven feet for a dramatic touch in a room, but a smaller pot will keep it contained if you'd like it to stay smaller.

How to care for it: The areca palm does well in indirect light. Keep the soil somewhat dry, only watering on alternate weeks or so. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #14 Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Why you want it: This lovely indoor tree (actually a species of ficus) has large, dark-green leaves that seem to form the vague outline of a fiddle or violin—that's how it gets its name.

How to care for it: This indoor plant likes room temperatures between about 65 and 75 degrees, and exposure to bright to medium light. The surface of the soil should dry out slightly between watering. If it starts to look a bit pale, try moving it to somewhere less bright. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #13 Shamrock Plant

Shamrock Plant

Why you want it: This jaunty indoor house plant has bright green leaves that look like shamrocks, plus sweet white flowers on tall stems.

How to care for it: This house plant loves bright but indirect or filtered light. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering thoroughly about once per week. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #12 Peperomia


Why you want it: A whole array of small indoor house plants with textured, shiny, often colorful leaves fit into this category. Some popular and attractive—and easy-to-manage—indoor varieties include watermelon, red-edge, and ripple peperomias.

How to care for it: Peperomias favor indoor temps from about 60 to 75 degrees and medium or low lighting conditions. The surface of the soil should dry out between watering. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #11 Heart-Leaf Philodendron

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

Why you want it: This is a trailing indoor house plant that loves to make its way down from mantles or bookshelves. Its perky, dark green leaves come to a heart shape where they meet the stems.

How to care for it: This may be the quintessential easy indoor plant. It thrives in a range of lighting conditions from low to sunny, preferring indirect light. It does well anywhere close to standard room temperature. Let the surface of the soil dry between watering; it should not be constantly wet. 

Comment:  I have a pot of this growing on a shelf above my computer.  It started running across to a picture to its left.  It then climbed up the wall and has started running across the wall above the window.  Really beautiful.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #10 Ficus


Why you want it: This indoor tree has shiny leaves to add cheer to any indoor space. Its stems can be braided for a tidy topiary effect we love.

How to care for it: This tree likes full sun, or at least bright filtered light. Most varieties (there are about 800!) prefer several days of dry soil in between thorough watering. Room temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees work best. 

Comment:  The one thing I've learned about this plant is that it doesn't like being moved.  Once it gets use to a spot - light, etc. - mine always started losing its leaves if I moved it until it gets use to the new spot.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Indoor House Plants That won't Die On You - #9 Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Why you want it: It doesn't get much easier than this indoor house plant—also sometimes known as mother-in-law's tongue! It has variegated leaves that grow upright, and some varieties' leaves have yellow or white edges. It has small white flowers that bloom only rarely.

How to care for it: This indoor plant grows well in a whole range of lighting conditions. The air should be somewhat dry, as should the soil. Any normal room temperature should suit it just fine. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #8 Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Why you want it: Surely you've seen this indoor house plant in many homes, since it has such pretty, curving white blooms and dark leaves—and it's super easy to grow.

How to care for it: This house plant favors low humidity and also low light, making it great for rooms with few windows. It prefers moist soil throughout the pot and tolerates standard temperatures ranging to about 85 degrees. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #7 Dieffenbachia


Why you want it: The leaves of this pretty indoor plant can grow to a foot long, and provide a tropical-looking accent to home decor. The whole plant can grow six feet high for a cheery room focal point.

How to care for it: Diffenbachia thrives in normal room temperature not colder than the mid-60s. Keep the soil evenly moist, and provide medium or low lighting conditions for the best result. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #6 Rubber Tree

Rubber Tree

Why you want it: This easy-to-grow indoor house plant will grow into an eight-foot-tall tree for a major pop of greenery in a room. If you prefer a smaller plant, just make your rubber tree into a shrub shape by pruning any long stems. The dark green leaves have an attractive shine to them.

How to care for it: Allow the surface of the rubber tree's soil to dry out in between watering. It thrives in lighting conditions from medium to bright, and a range of room temperatures between about 60 and 80. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #5 Jade Plant

Jade Plant

Why you want it: For those who love the look of a succulent—not to mention the ease of care—a jade plant offers thick, lush leaves and visually interesting branches. It grows slowly and has the potential to live from your kids' birth until their high school graduations— at least! It also looks great in a pretty pot when paired with other succulent varieties.

How to care for it: Jade plant does not require a lot of water, so keep soil somewhat dry. It prefers bright light and ordinary room temperatures. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die on You - #4 English Ivy

English Ivy

Why you want it: There's a real timeless elegance to ivy, and it trails down furniture for a pretty effect. Plus, it's super easy to start a new plant for yourself or a friend by cutting a section of the stem. Instant hostess gift! (OK, not really instant, but give it just two weeks or so.)

How to care for it: English Ivy likes moist soil and cooler room temperature conditions, ranging from the mid-50s to about 70. 

Comment:  I have this growing outside but never thought of bringing it inside.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #3 Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Why you want it: These unusual-looking indoor plants add visual interest to a room, and they haven't fallen out of fashion after years of popularity in the home. Spider plants come in a number of varieties, and work well as hanging plants.

How to care for it: Spider plants do well with evenly moist soil and bright or medium lighting conditions. Room temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees keep them thriving

Comment:  I love this plant.  Once it gets started it just keeps on giving with additional 'baby' plants.  If you know someone who has this plant, get them to give you one of the babies and start from there.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #2 Aloe


Why you want it: This succulent with long pointed leaves has medicinal properties you probably well know from product labels. It can grow three feet high for big impact indoors. Smaller varieties like the popular aloe vera, work great in small, sunny indoor spaces.

How to care for it: Aloe likes room temperatures around 70 degrees and a lot of sunlight. As you might expect for a succulent, this indoor house plant prefers dry soil, so avoid frequent watering for the best result

Comment:  When I was younger (much younger) I decided I wanted to learn to ride a motor cycle so I got a Honda and started trying to ride around the neighborhood.  I finally got the hang of it until I stopped in front of my yard, went to 'park' the bike and turned it on its side.  That hot exhaust pipe hit my leg and burned it bad.  I went inside, broke off a piece of my Aloe plant and applied it to the burn.  The burn never blistered like most do.  It seemed to skip that part and went straight to the next step of healing - the crusting/scab.  It also healed in about half the time normal burns do.  So I believe in having this wonderful plant around.