Chemical Free Pest Control

I am surrounded by large beautiful trees. They are so lovely and yet they harbour my arch enemy…

Squirrels.

squirrel

Sure they look all cute with their fluffy tails and little noses but they are evil!

They destroy my gardens every year by uprooting plants and eating all the veggies.

Luckily I have found a way to keep them at bay without causing them any harm.

The first and easiest solution is nothing more then a bar of Irish Spring soap.

soap

I cut it into 1/2 inch cubes and sprinkle through out my garden.

For some reason the smell keeps them away. I don’t know how it works and I really don’t care I’m just happy that the digging has stopped!

You have to replace the soap every few weeks depending on how much it rains or how often you water your garden.

I’ve noticed that this is best used when you have just planted seeds. It keep the squirrels from digging them up and eating them.

The second solution is a bit more time consuming but only because you need to spray it every few days to keep those nasty squirrels and bugs at bay.

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Here is what you need

1 tbsp. garlic finely minced

1 tbsp. Murphys oil soap

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups of water

Spray bottle

coffee filter or cheese cloth

Combine the soap, garlic and cayenne with the water and let it sit over night

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Strain with the coffee filter or cheese cloth and pour into the bottle

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It is very important to strain this mixture otherwise the nozzle on your bottle will become clogged

Spray on plants as needed

I spray them every few days and after it rains.

These two methods kept the squirrels away pretty well last summer.

I must admit that I do not dislike all squirrels, just 99% of them. We have an albino squirrel in our neighbourhood and he is fascinating to watch.

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DIY Tulip Wreath

tulips

Years ago I spotted this tulip wreath on Etsy.

tulip wreath

It’s super cute but it was also $90 dollars and there was no way on earth that I was going to pay that so I set about creating my own for a fraction of the cost.

I have had this wreath for 3 years now and it is still holding up quite well.

Many people have asked me how I made it so I am sharing it with you today.

You will need:

1 Foam wreath

1 roll of white 2 inch ribbon (get it in the sale bin because no one will see it)

Hot glue

Several bunches of fake tulips in what ever colours you like

Floral wire

I have recently seen other tutorials on making a wreath like this and a lot of people seem to get their tulips at the dollar store. I got mine at Michaels when they were 60% off. The tulips at the dollar store were not very attractive.

Here is how you make it:

Wrap the ribbon around the wreath slightly over lapping. Don’t make it too tight or you won’t be able to tuck your flowers into it.

Hot glue the end of your ribbon to the wreath

Cut the ends off your tulips. I left 4 inches of stem

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Begin tucking your flowers into the ribbon. Use one colour at a time and alternate their placement from left to right. Use the floral wire if needed to make sure that your tulips are tight to the wreath, or you can hot glue your flowers if you are happy with the placement.

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Place your other tulips into the ribbon using the same alternating pattern.

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Fill in any blank spots with the remaining tulips.

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Wrap a few inches of floral wire around the top of your wreath. Careful not to cover the tops of the tulips. Make a small loop so you will be able to hang it off a hook or nail on your door or wall.

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So pretty and so easy.

Total cost…$31.00. Much better than $90!

I have had many compliments on this wreath over the years. Most people can’t believe that it is home made.

You can use other flowers too. I think it would look amazing with hydrangeas, lavender or even roses.

 

 

Money Saving Tips

canadian-money

 I am a huge fan of saving money!!!

Every week I sit down with my flyers and plot out my weekly meal plan around the sales.

I also price match like it is going out of style.

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of it because they think it takes up too much time or  because they have been caught behind a person in line that is scattered and needs to explain everything to the cashier which wastes everyone’s time and causes tempers to flare,so they don’t want to be a part of it.

Yes it does take time to go through flyers, but only around 20 minutes.

As for the people who take FOREVER in line. Well, they just need to be more organized when they get to the cash.

I also like to take advantage of coupons while price matching. I seriously understand what the people on Extreme Couponing feel when I have priced matched shampoo down from $8.00 to $2.00 and I have a $1.50 off coupon.

Over the years I have saved countless dollars through price matching and couponing. The saved money allows our family to go on vacations, do renovations to the house and go out for weekly family dinners without ever having to tap into our savings.

Couponing in Canada is not like what you see on tv. There aren’t copious amounts of coupons showing up on our doorstep and our grocery stores don’t offer many coupons.

There are however plenty of websites where you can access printable coupons.

Here are some of my favourites

www.smartcanucks.ca

www.mrsjanuary.com

www.pgeveryday.ca

www.websaver.ca

www.save.ca

www.SmartSource.ca

For organic food and natural cleaning supplies I like these sites

www.thehealthyshopper.ca

www.simplyfrugal.ca

For the world of retail you can’t go wrong with www.retailmenot.ca. It is the best! It connects to thousands of stores websites and tells you the deals that they currently have and any online coupons that you can use.

Finally my number one favourite is my PC Plus Points card through The Real Canadian Superstore and Zehrs. Over the last year I have gotten over $600 in free groceries. All you need to do is load your offers (ie. 200 points for every dollar spent on apples) to your phone and then shop. Every 1000 points is equivalent to $1.00. It’s free to sign up and the app is free as well. Why wouldn’t you sign up?

If anyone has couponing sites that they use or any other strategies to save money please leave them in the comments section.

Happy shopping!

 

 

Bird Seed Wreath Tutorial

birdseed

The birds that usually frequent my bird feeders have gone hungry for the last month or so. The two feet of snow in my front yard and my inability to get into my garage where the bird seed is kept has meant empty feeders.

In December I made bird seed wreaths so I wouldn’t have to go out and feed them as often.

I think it might be time to hit the pet store to pick up some bird seed so I can make them again.

The wreaths lasted for about a week, even in wet weather.

What you need:

bundt pan

cooking spray

4 1/2 cups of bird seed

3/4 cup of flour

4 tbsp. corn syrup

1 package of gelatin

1/2 cup warm water

Start by sprinkling the gelatin on top of the water.. Let it stand for a few minutes while it blooms.

In a separate bowl mix the flour and corn syrup.

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Add in your bird seed and gelatin mixture.

Stir until combined.

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Spray the inside of your bundt pan.

Scoop your seed mix into the pan and press down so it compacts. Smooth out with the back of a spoon that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Let it harden for at least 30 minutes before you attempt to remove it from the pan.

I turned mine out on to wax paper.

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Let harden for 24 hours.

Add a pretty ribbon and you are all set to hang it outside.

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The birds loved them.

This recipe makes one wreath. I tried using it to make two but the wreaths were so thin they just crumbled.

Before Christmas I had the kids make some for their grandparents. We had quite the assembly line going.

The recipe is easily doubled and simple enough that my kids could make them on their own.


 

 

 

 

 

Master Bedroom Re do Part 2

master

 

You may remember that shortly before Christmas I had posted about wanting to finish off our master bedroom.

It was still blue and it felt very cold and unwelcoming.

I had hoped to have it finished before Christmas but as usual life got in the way and we didn’t end up finishing it until last week.

This is what our room looked like a few months ago

Here is what it looks like now

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do for a room. We use Benjamin Moore’s Collectors Item

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It is a soft cream that takes on a bit of a pinkish hue depending on the amount of sunlight in the room.

I find change terrifying so as soon as Chris started painting I had immediate regret.

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I do not feel that way anymore!

Our room feels so relaxing and bright. I really love it.

Chris took care of painting the room because I am no longer allowed to paint. I have no patience and end up splattering paint every where so aside from helping with the headboard my only contribution was to paint the light fixture.

This is what it originally looked like

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I initially decided to paint it Mother of Pearl but it was incredibly sheer. After the first coat I knew that I could either waste my time doing coat after coat or I could paint it an opaque colour and put the mother of pearl colour over top.

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For the opaque colour I used Martha Stewart multi surface craft paint in Putty.

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I used two coats of the putty colour on the  inside and outside of the shade and two coats of the mother of pearl just on the outside.

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All we need now is new closet doors which will come in the spring.

I am so happy that our room no longer feels like a dreary pit. So happy that it has made me want to tackle our upstairs bathroom. By me I mean Chris, and by tackle I mean painting and installing a new floor and vanity. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on our bathroom re do.