3/17/19

10 Spring Home Maintenance Tips

With Summer just around the corner, there are a few simple household tasks that will really help keep your home running efficiently in the coming heat, and save you money on your heating bills or on future repairs also.

Doing these simple tasks now, before summer kicks in, will only take a short time now, but will save you so much time and money later. Put these on your to do list for the coming weekends and start prepping now for a successful Summer.

 Inspect your roof. Winter has been hard on your home, and your roof hash taken the brunt of snow, ice, wind and more. Time to look for loose shingles, or problems now and catch them early. If you can fix them right away, you can avoid water damage to your home if the problem were to 
Clean your gutters. Time to make sure the winter leaves and other debris that have been blown into your gutters get cleaned out. Clogs in the gutters will keep the water from draining away from your home, and possibly cause water damage to your home.

Replace (or clean ) your HVAC filter. If you haven't done this in a while, it's time. This should be done regularly. If the filter is dirty the air conditioner will have to work a bit harder. In turn.. costing you money, and aging your system earlier.


Clean the dryer vent. Not the lint trap you pull out the top of your dyer, but the dryer vent to your house. Not all the lint goes up and collects on your lint trap. Cleaning the vent will reduce the time your dryer has to run, and save you money, but also reduce the risk for a fire.



Check your washing machine hose. While you're dealing with the dryer, go ahead and look at the washing machine hose and check for cracks in it. Cracks can occur, and cause alot of damage with water leaks. Just a quick glance at the hose, may save you alot of money in the long run!


Clean and repair your screens.In some parts of the country, you can keep your home cool at night by using your screen windows.  Check your window and screen doors for holes and rips. use a patch kit to make repairs. Lay flat and scrub with soapy water to clean.




Vacuum your refrigerator coils. When was the last time you did that? The coils, which are on the back of the fridge usually (sometimes the bottom), conduct the hot air from inside the motor. If they are coated with dust, they work alot less efficiently, thus your refrigerator is working harder. This leads to higher electric bills. Grab your vacuum cleaner hose or a brush to clean the coils.


Rotate your ceiling fans. In Summer, ceiling fans should rotate counter clockwise. This will push cool air down to the floor.  How do you tell if your ceiling fan direction is set for "summer"? or counter clockwise? Turn on the fan, stand directly underneath it. If you feel air movement, you have done it right, if you do not feel air movement, it is spinning clockwise (for winter).



Check seals around doors, windows and yes.. your electic outlets!
Winter can harden the caulking around window and door seals causing it to crack and crumble. Repair this to avoid leaking air. Install weather stripping around doors and windows, and yes, they have them to go behind wall outlets, under your covers, that are on your walls that are on your "outside" walls, to seal in airleaks.This is an easy fix in just a few minutes!



 Keep weeds & Vegetation  clear from your A/C Compressor: You need alot of airflow around your compressor, even though the heat of summer can make lawn maintenance hard. Keep the compressor clear from weeds. So it can work at it's most efficient.



3/10/19

Upcycled Mason Jar Herb Garden

This Mason jar herb garden is such a fun and easy project to do! I love having it hang right on my front porch where I can snip fresh herbs anytime I want!

I am refurbishing an old post from years ago. The post had originally been done as a paid/ sponsored post for a gardening product, and those old links they supplied no longer work and made the old post not work well. I've cleaned it up, but decided to also post it again fresh and new, just like Spring, all things old, become new again! And I am SOOO ready for SPRING!

Today I am  creating a fun, easy, yet beautiful herb garden for my sunny front porch. This can also be done on any railing or even attached to a window sill if you wanted to.



Let's get started on my herb garden:
Since I have a huge obsession (and a growing collection) of mason jars, I am using them today to make an herb garden.  You can also use some empty food jars such as pasta, salsa etc. they will work just as well.

Supplies:

  • Mason Jars, glass jars or any pot will work
  • Hose /pipe clamps (1 for each jar, found at home improvement stores)
  • small screws/ flat head and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Herbs
  • Potting soil
  • handful of small pebbles


Directions:
1. Paint jars if desired. This is not required, and the clear jars looks great! I am using old painted mason jars that  have a natural distressed look to them.
2. Decide on the location of your jars on your porch railing.   Secure the hose/pipe clamps into the desired locations by screwing the clamp to the railing as shown:
 
3) Tighten the clamp snugly around the jar by using the flat head screwdriver and turning the  screw attached to the clamp:

4. Place a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the jars (this helps with water drainage) then adding the potting soil.
     
5. Plant herbs into the pots and water well.

3/2/19

Pasta Recipe Ideas: Celebrate 365 Blog Party


March is national Pasta/ Noodle month, and what better way to celebrate such a versatile food, then to collect pasta recipes from the best bloggers around! From main dishes, to side dishes and soups, the sky's the limit on possibilities!

What is your favorite go to pasta shape to keep in the pantry? penne , elbow, shells? I usually have spaghetti, elbows, penne and bowtie hanging around. and lasagna is always sitting around back in the corner too. Can you have too many types of pasta?

Pasta just seems to be that comfort food everyone loves. from macaroni and cheese, to baked ziti , lasagna's and comforting pasta salads, we just turn to pasta for a universal comfort food over and over. What is your go to comfort food pasta recipe?

come on and join the party, any pasta recipe is welcome! Main dish, side dish, soups and more!
Anything that celebrates National Pasta Month by using pasta in the recipe is fair game!




Your hosts today are:
and Me!

 We will all share this link up on our social media pages!
We will also share your posts on our Pinterest Board !
(please hit the follow button below!)
Tip GardenCelebrate 365Follow On

We will be visiting you and commenting,  as well as, at least one of us will create a collection post from this link up and share it on social media as well to get you some more exposure!
we love our bloggers and hope you'll come back and party with us again!
Now.. onto this party:



2/17/19

Ragu Simply Sauces

Favorite Features is where I share products that I love and make my life easier! Today I am sharing my love for Ragu Brand Simply Sauces!  I am not getting paid or sponsored in any way to tell you about my Favorite Features I just happen to love them.

Sugar Free Pasta Sauce


Favorite Features, is where I share things that I use and love. I am not receiving any products or incentives. In fact they don't even know I'm writing this! But I sure love them, let me tell you why!

Health is my priority: My husband is a type 1 diabetic. It is extemely difficult to find any kind of tomato based sauce even bbq sauces, ketchups, etc that don't have sugar or high fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients. So any brand of sauces that are free from added sugars are going to be something I am going to try. 

Homemade Lasagna using Ragu Simply  Chunky Marinara Sauce

I try and grow my own tomatoes and make and can my own sauces, but this past year, we had so much rain here in Virginia, that my garden was a total bust. So I've run out of my home canned sauces. 

My homemade sauce.... which I'm now out of.

Ingredients I feel good about: I had to go back to store bought. I found the Ragu Simply line, Started with the marinara sauce and then tried the garden vegetable too. They all start  with No added sugars, and 100 % Olive Oil. That 's good for his / my heart. the ingredient lists are basically all the exact same things in my own canned versions!!!   

Here is their ingredient list right from the jar: 
Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Diced Tomatoes In Puree (Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Sweet Potato, Onions, Olive Oil, Carrots, Salt, Garlic Powder, Dehydrated Onions, Spices.
I LOVE that I can pronounce all of them. The calcium chloride and Citric Acid are food preservatives, of which I am already familiar, and  common in food preserving, and production. and guess what?? everything else is garden fresh in my own gardens (in a good year at least!)

The REAL ENDORSEMENT:  When I served dinner with the Simply Ragu sauce, my husband asked where I found a stash of my own home canned sauce. He loves my homemade sauce, and is sad that we are out. He totally thought it was my own!! I served another dish with the same sauce a week later, and again, he raved on the sauce, and I had to convince him, it wasn't mine! No kidding, this really happened! Like I'd hide a stash of marinara sauce.. (ok I would actually do this, along side a stash of chocolate, but nope.. it's all gone,and it really was the Ragu Simply brand, yummo!)


 Italian Sausage Grinders using Ragu's Simply ChunkyGarden Vegetable


Find The Sauces: They have a variety of sauces and you can find them in your local grocers!

Want to learn more or check out some great recipes using their sauces? Click a link: Recipes  Sauces



2/10/19

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

This Rich and Creamy Sauce is Big on flavor, but short on it's list of ingredients. It is easy to make, and simply luscious with any pasta or chicken dish you  wish to serve it with.

I love making my own garlic cream sauce that is versatile and you can use it to make all sorts of dishes, from a simple mix it into spaghetti noodles, to serving over baked or grilled chicken, or like today's dish, served over tortellini, with rotisseri chicken, and chopped spinach. It 's simpy so rich, so creamy, so flavorful, that you'll find yourself using this recipe as your go to again and again.

I prefer this to a traditional alfredo sauce even, so this sauce replaces that for me. It onlyk has a few ingredients, but they are rich, simple uncomplicated ones, that just make this perfect in my book.

Today I had one of those days at work, where I needed to figure out what to make for dinner, based on what I had on hand at home. I was having a bit of a stomach ulcer issue, so knowing that, it ruled out a tomato based sauce. I  knew I had on hand a rotisserie chicken,  some fresh spinach, and  some cheese tortellini. I realized my Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce would be perfect and I could whip up some thing yummy with all those ingredients, in no time at all.

It's easily made into a skillet meal served with a seasoned cooked chicken breasts, or served with angel hair pasta as a side dish next to grilled chicken or a pork roast. the possiblitiies are endless.

Let's get cooking!




Yield: 2 cups of sauce

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

This Rich and Creamy Sauce is Big on flavor, but short on it's list of ingredients. It is easy to make, and simply luscious with any pasta or chicken dish you wish to serve it with.

ingredients:

1 head roasted garlic
6 Tblsp butter
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. garlic & herb cream cheese
1 1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp. flour + 1 Tblsp. heavy cream mixed together

instructions:

Remove cloves of garlic from head of garlc and mash with a fork.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, and add in the garlic.
Pour in the cream and heat to simmering.
whisk in Parmesan cheese.
Add flour and cream mixture and whisk till smooth.
Continue stirring til sauce is thickened,for a 1-2 minutes.
Fold in any pasta or ingredients you wish to serve it with, it is ready to serve.

Created using The Recipes Generator
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