Hi! I'm Shana and I want to Share with you a part of my life with this site in the hope that it holds something of value to you - A Solution Shared! May it be a blessing to you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

FREE Entry to National Parks 4/21 - 4/29

Its a great time to head to the National Parks this week April 21st to April 29th. Its National Park Week and its Free Entry! You can see more details HERE at 

One of our favorite Parks in the Pacific Northwest at Deception Pass (above).

For more about Free Park Week you can go HERE to for some parks, deals and videos to see.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Love Sharing Solutions! Easy, at Home Remedies

When I run across some helpful living tips that work for me or my family I just love to share! From recycling to additional uses for everyday household items mentioned below, you can save time and money.  This will be a regular topic (DIY/ Solutions Shared) on my blog so if you have any great ideas in this area please feel free comment or add to it. 

Solutions Around the Home:

1. If you are all out of toothpicks and you need to check your cake baking to see if it done you can also use a long piece of uncooked Spaghetti. (I actually prefer this because they are longer).

2. To easily keep your household scissors sharp: Cut a few snips of sandpaper with your scissors and it will help maintain their edge.

3. To neatly open a cereal box lid (so it can be re-closed properly), use a letter opener. 

4. To de-crystallize honey (in a jar) uncover and warm on medium power in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If a plastic honey container you can set in a hot cup of water until crystals are gone. Honey lasts a long time so no need to throw out when crystals form, its an easy fix!

5. Extra shower curtain rings can be useful for storing scarves and purses. Place some rings on a closet rod and thread your scarves through them and hook your handbags straps to them. It keeps them visible and off the floor.

6. Candy Lifesavers work great to hold birthday candles on a cake and they also "catch" the wax drips from landing so much on the cake. It looks pretty too!

7. Your dishwasher can be used for more than just cleaning dishes!  

Use your top rack to clean these items:
  • Wash your kids action figures in a mesh laundry bag.
  • Wash baseball caps 
  • Wash Flip flops 
  • Wash knee pads, shin guards or mouth guards
  • Light fixture covers (only if they are not painted, enameled or antiqued) 
8. To lift stains from a cutting board, rub them with juice from a lemon and let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse. You can also whiten fingernails by rubbing them with a lemon wedge.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Economical Indoor Germinating - Let's Get Growing!

It doesn't need to take a lot of time and money to get your seedlings started growing indoors and germinating. Seed starts are easy, fun and educational for children too! I like to re-use my see-through plastic containers for this purpose, such as plastic cupcake or fruit containers with lids attached or large apple (bubble type) containers from costco to make a greenhouse type set up instead of purchasing and recycle/ use small clean plastic drinking or yogurt cups. I purchased a quality seedling starter soil and seeds from my local garden center and fill the "bubbles" or cups. You can also just get the small round peat disks that contain similar ingredients as a seed starter soil and follow directions for them to expand by adding water. (and then no bag of seed starter soil is necessary). But make sure they are kept moist.

I put a small hole in the bottom of the cups and plastic trays for drainage and put a container or pan underneath so watering is easy by filling bottom and it soaks it up through the holes made. Fred Meyer usually has a great deal on seeds (as pictured previously.) Just follow planting instructions per packet for indoor starts. If the seed packet doesn't specify you can start indoors first, I typically will plant those directly into the garden when it stops frosting at night (later in the Spring). This is just from my personal experience for my climate the last few years. Your area may be more accommodating earlier in the season. 
After you have filled the containers with seedling mix soil and put your seeds in (or watered your peat disks so they have expanded and filled the cup), I keep them in a warm area, such as up on top of my refrigerator or near a light. When they start to germinate and pop up a nice sunny spot works great to re-position them to. You can raise the lid as they grow (I usually find a popcicle stick or a chopstick to prop the lid open with and cover the gap with some plastic wrap.)
These squash seedlings popped up quickly in about 6 days. Remember to not let them get too dry but keep moderately moist but too much will cause rot. You may need to re-pot to a larger pot if roots start getting too cramped I have found. I like to acclimate the plants eventually for a short time on my covered deck during the day and bring them in at night for a week or two also before putting them in the vegetable or herb garden.

Get more growing tips here at Garden Guides.