Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday quickie post

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win a Clarisonic skin care system at Mommy Mandy! Ends July 4th.
  • Win a pair of Feelgoodz Flip Flops (eco-friendly!) at Alternative Consumer. Ends June 26th.
  • Win a Burt's Bees Head-to-Toe Starter Kit at Mommy Tried It! Ends June 26th.
  • Win a Dreamsacks Bamboo Woven Throw in white at A Psych Mommy! Ends June 28th.
  • Win a Just Be t-shirt of your choice at Melinda Joy! Ends July 11th.
Hey, it's raining. How do you spend a rainy Saturday morning? And don't say cleaning, I'm procrastinating about that!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cutworm solutions

You may recall I had some horrible problems with cutworms wreaking havoc in my garden a few weeks back. I've been seeing a lot of hits on this particular post from people searching for cutworm solutions. They're gross and destructive and I had an absolute fit when I saw what they were doing to my garden.

So three weeks later here I am with some things that worked for me.
  1. I picked up a jar of diatomaceous earth at a local garden centre. It's a white powder that you sprinkle on the dirt, made up of tiny sharp crystals that are harmless to humans and birds but cut up slugs and cutworms when they crawl across them. Granted, this stuff can't be good for earthworms, but the worms will return. The cutworms die within 48 hours of crawing across it. Note: you do have to do this more than once throughout the cutworm season (here it's May through June) as the diatomaceous earth seems to dilute enough from rain that it's not enough to do any damage to them. The jar I bought was $9 (Canadian of course) and should last me maybe three years, if they're as bad every year as they have been this year.
  2. The garden centre guy had another great suggestion. He said to pick up some large plastic drinking straws, slit them up the side, cut them to about 2-4" lengths (depending on how tall your plants' stems are from soil to lowest leaves) and snap them over the stems at the soil level, pressing them down into the soil until you feel resistance at the root. We went to a bubble tea place which has nice fat plastic straws and grabbed a few with our drinks (love bubble tea!). A few minutes with scissors in the garden and the plants were all sheathed in colourful plastic straws. I must say this is an unusual look for the garden but has truly saved many of our surviving plants (and the replants to replace ones the cutworms killed).
What sort of worked:
  1. I put a shallow dish in the garden (a clay plant pot base), about 3/4" deep. I settled it into the soil so the lip was even with the soil. I did notice some cutworms each morning had wandered in it and died in there because they couldn't get out. I left it dry with this result, on nights that it rained (or we watered) and the dish was full of water, again more dead cutworms in it. So it doesn't matter if it's full of water or dry. However this will only get rid of a few at a time and in a plague situation like we had it's not really enough on its own.
What didn't work:
  1. Putting cardboard collars around plants to try to deter the cutworms. Apparently they just don't have the gumption to climb walls to get to food. Theoretically, you create a collar of cardboard (my mother uses cut up cereal boxes, I tried paper towel rolls) and shove it into the dirt an inch or so as the cutworms travel quite easily and happily just under the soil surface. For me this didn't work but perhaps my collars were too small or I did a lousy job. My mother swears by it.
So for us the cutworms are now not nearly as bad - they are still munching on our radishes below soil level but I think another application of diatomaceous earth will help to alleviate that.

I really hope this helps someone else out as I know I was completely enraged and frustrated myself when I woke up to discover the destruction that had befallen my new vegetable garden overnight. Swearing ensued! But $15 bucks later ($9 for the D.E. and $6 for the delicious bubble teas and extra straws) we have our garden back to normal. That's not counting the plants we had to replace but next year we will be using these tricks as soon as we plant, not waiting for the destruction.

Good luck and happy gardening!

Yay, Friday!

My neighbour starts her mat leave today! A month ahead of her due date. Which will be nice for me because I work at home, it can be pretty lonely. Hopefully we can get together for walks or snacks or something! I just can't wait to meet her little baby, I'm sure she and her husband feel the same way!

I am only going to list a few giveaways today since my hubby will be home from work this afternoon. I'm not sure what the plan is but I doubt I'll be blogging! So here goes:

For baby:
For anyone:
  • Win Breathe Natural bubble bath at {Natural} Mommie. Ends tonight, June 19th, so hurry up!
  • Win a Mystic Wonders Laundry System or a 1-year Laundry ball at Jessica (Mommy to a 3yr old drama queen)! Ends July 1st. I got my Mystic Wonders set yesterday (after I did all the laundry of course) and am looking forward to trying it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique - Review

I had the good fortune to win a giveaway at Jamie's Precious Peas a while back. What I won was some items from Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique, from their Baby Treat Shoppe, which you will find has the cutest selection of perfectly wrapped baby treats!

One of the items I received was the Cutie Cannoli. How adorable is this? It's a sweet soft yellow terry burp cloth wrapped around a white Gerber onesie, all tied up with ribbon to look like a pastry straight from the Italian bakery.

I also got a Petit Four Sweetie which is made up of three soft reuseable wipes! They're terry cloth and a good size at 9x9". If you can bear to unwrap the pretty packaging!

Next up is the Diaper Cupcakes. They are Pampers Swaddlers 'cakes', wrapped with a pretty ribbon 'cup', with a washcloth 'frosting' and a cherry on top that is a bath bead for mom! Beautifully pulled together in a tulle wrapping, these are almost too pretty to unwrap. And the bath beads smell just heavenly. I'm sure any mom would be grateful not only for the treat for baby but the treat for her as well!

Here's another for you to drool over! The Kid-O Candies are cute little baby washcloths all rolled up into a candy and tied with tulle!

I have to say that Jennifer Williams, Bullfrogs and Butterflies' owner, is super nice and some kind of super woman too! A mom of four and an entrepreneur, she has come up with all these unique designs for baby gifts that are sure to please for baby showers, newborn gifts or just that special you-deserve-it present for a new mom. How does she find the time!

Some of you may know I have seven (!!) friends who are expecting. Good grief. It's honestly a mini baby boom over here. Some of my lucky friends will be getting some of these sweet treats at their showers and I know they will be oohed and ahhed over! It's not just the way they're wrapped, it's the quality and the care in design and execution that makes these baby treats special.

Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique
isn't just about the sweet treats, though. Oh, no. They have a great assortment of other products. The Layette Bouquets are a favourite of mine, they're super pretty and would make a stunning shower gift. They also have pretty car seat covers, accessories for baby, gorgeous baby blankets, and, well, lots more great stuff (check out the gift sets!). Not only that but they have an organic option where you can request your diaper or layette gift be made with eco-friendly 'ingredients'!

One more thing - I got a sneak peek at some brand new products that aren't even in the store yet! They are two completely natural skin care products. The first is a Citrus Mint Soothing Lip Smoother that is made with a list of great-sounding all-natural ingredients. Everything in it is not only recognizable (no parabens, phthalates, weird fragrances, colours or chemicals I just don't recognize) but it sounds yummy too. The second is Lavender Vanilla Organic Shea Butter. I'm all about avoiding the nasties that you will find in most skin care products (watch that Disappearing Male doc for good reasons why) and these two products hit all the right notes with me from the natural scents to the ingredients.

Okay, this all sounds so gushy and lovey, I know. I just am really thrilled with Bullfrogs and Butterflies Boutique, and happy to have the opportunity to share this great shop with my readers. Once I received the treats from Jennifer I knew I wanted to do a review here on my blog - and just for the record it was all my idea to do this, I wasn't paid for it or anything like that. I'm just happy to show my support for a mom-based business with such a great line of products.


I hope everyone's having a good day. I'm a little grouchy today. First thing when I got up, I saw that my husband had dumped all the dirty laundry from our clothes hamper out on the floor. He has a softball game tonight so I'm guessing he was trying to find a pair of shorts to wear. But I wasn't too impressed to see a giant pile of dirty laundry on the floor left for me to pick up. There were a few choice words and grumpy thoughts as I picked it all up and put the loads in the wash (Thursday's the day I always do laundry).

I then went downstairs to see that my husband's fish tank is so low on water the filter is making all kinds of noises. This is entirely his project and honestly he does not maintain it. There is always an excuse, he needs a new part or he doesn't have time, whatever; meanwhile the fish tank is filled with algae, the fish don't get fed, there is a snail plague and the tank gets noisier and noisier as he doesn't top up the water. And it's right in our front room, the first thing people look at when they come over. Not cool. So I topped up the water (making sure it was the right temperature and adding the water conditioner) to keep myself from going crazy from the noise. I can't imagine the fish like that either, it must be so noisy for them. Grumpy, grumpy!

I'm trying to get over it and just smile instead!
Here's a giveaway list for today. Lots of good giveaways going on, especially for baby shoes! Yay!

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win a Mystic Wonders Complete Laundry System at Me and My Boys! Ends July 1st. I won one of these recently from Thrifty Minnesota Mama and I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival! I can't wait to try it out.
  • Win a dozen long-stem roses delivered anywhere in the US or Canada by Flowers Delivery Florists at Trying to Stay Calm! Ends June 22nd.
  • Win a Flip Ultra HC video camera at 5 minutes for giveaways! Ends June 26th.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More car issues...

I have yet another car repair appointment this morning. This time it's the alignment on our Civic. The last time they fixed it (less than two weeks ago) they somehow managed to throw the alignment out. So it will be a 'freebie' but it will cost me my morning. Ugh! I think the worst part of car appointments is sitting around waiting for the car to be ready. I'm not willing to sit in a room full of the fumes from new tires off-gassing, so I always head outside to go for a walk if they don't have a separate waiting area. Luckily our Canadian Tire is right beside the WalMart Supercenter so I can go there and pick up a few groceries, maybe read a magazine or something.

Anyway, that's my morning mission, here are some giveaways as well for today:

For baby:
For tots:
  • Win one of two sets of Brainy Baby DVDs at Swag Studio! These look like good learning tools for little ones. Ends June 25th.
For men:
  • Win a Lush prize pack for men at Barefoot Mommy! If you haven't tried Lush, you oughta! My hubby bought me some Lush bath bombs for my birthday and it is a rare luxury to soak in a gorgeously scented bath. Anyway! The man in your life would love this stuff! Ends June 21st.
  • Win a Nixxi men's tee at My Organized Chaos. Nixxi is a Canadian company :) Ends June 20th.
For anyone:
  • Win a Healthy Chef 4-in-1 food dehydrator, steamer, rice cooker and yogourt maker at Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls! I'd love one of these. Ends June 18th so hurry!
I hope you're enjoying these lists of giveaways! Please feel free to comment if you have something to say, sometimes I feel like I'm posting into the void :)

Also I'm thinking of having a TTC (Trying To Conceive) giveaway. I have a couple of products designed to help women conceive that I would like to give away. Would anyone be interested if I hosted such a giveaway?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

It really feels like it ought to be a Saturday. The weather is so perfect here right now. I love getting back into my summer skirts and dresses! Not that I'm a super girly-girl, but I do love wearing dresses in the summer. They're so comfy. I hope it's just a gorgeous day where you are!

Some giveaways from out there today:

For baby:
more to come...

I'm having trouble with my internet connection today (something to do with this Mac and the VMWare Fusion, I think :S ) so the list won't grow too much today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mystery of the flattening tire

(I just got a Nancy Drew flashback - I used to love those books as a kid!)

Okay, so I took the car in on Friday - two weeks after the last time I took it in - because the same tire was flat. Another $25 to 'fix' the tire. They took out two nails (and showed them to me), but I am convinced they simply didn't find them the last time.

I brought it home, it sat in the garage all weekend... this morning we noticed that it's flatter than ever. What the...?! I'll have to take it in tomorrow AGAIN. And this time they'd better not charge me or I'm going to throw a noisy fit.


Anyway, happy thoughts... here are some giveaways out there today...

For baby:
For the ladies: