Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

August 20, 2012

Win tickets to Toronto Fall Home Show

Toronto’s largest Fall Home Show presented by Scotiabank runs from September 20-23 at the Better Living Centre Exhibition Place, 195 Princess Boulevard Toronto M6K 3C3.

The show will features more than 300 renovation and home décor specialists offering advice, solutions and inspiration for a wide array of home renovation and décor projects for our home.
  • The Main Stage is presented by HGTV, where local experts and celebrities will offer insight, inspiration and advice.  
  • Design Equations by Casalife and Benjamin Moore bring solutions for today's design and décor challenges.
  • Discover innovative new trending products and design solutions with Tina's favourite fall finds.  
  • Habitat for Humanity will have an ultimate upcycle challenge where we can see household items being repurposed.  
  • Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) and Reno & Decor Magazine will give people opportunity to ask renovators one-on-one free advice.
  • And lots of other programs...
Show dates and hours:
Thursday, September 20, 2012   11am to 9pm
Friday, September 21, 2012        11am to 9pm
Saturday, September 22, 2012    10am to 9pm
Sunday, September 23, 2012      10am to 6pm


Admission:                              
Adults:                            $15.00 at the door / $12.00 online
Senior (65+):                   $13.00 at the door / $10.00 online
Children 13-17:               $13.00 at the door / $10.00 online
Children 12 years & Under:   FREE

Giveaway:
2 people can win 2 tickets each to the show (it is free for children).  Giveaway ends on September 5th.  Open to people in Canada.  Please leave a comment on this post with an email or social media name so I can contact you back.
Update: The winners are Colleen and Victoria
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July 23, 2012

Sharpie brush tip marker


With this new brush tip Sharpie markers we can create fine or bold lines and use it for shading.    
Children and Adults will enjoy using these permanent markers in a variety of surfaces such as posters, notebooks, helmets, skateboards, bicycles and signs etc. to express their artistic flare.

My children and I enjoyed designing these tea light candles.  It was easy to use, so we had lots of fun creating these unique designs within a few minutes.

We painted this ceramic pot easily without leaving a mess to clean :) so I am looking forward to do more projects with these markers.

To paint this pot, we need
Sharpie brush tip markers*
clay or ceramic pot
and your imagination :)


Use the markers to paint on the pot, the tip changes to the pressure we put in our hands.  Although it dries really fast, try not to touch the painted surface right away as you paint to avoid smudges.
*The markers are available at Staples, Walmart, Real Canadian superstore, DeSerres in packages of 4 and 8.

Giveaway:
If you would like to win these Sharpie products and express yourself please leave a comment on this post before August 5th.  Open to Canadian readers.
Follow me on twitter and Facebook so I can contact you if you are the winner.
Update: The winner is did you know canada. 

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June 27, 2012

Green Dolphin review and giveaway


Green Dolphin products are eco safe solutions for our home. I tested three of their products, the green bin deodorizer, calcium lime rust buster and stainless steel cleaner and polish.
I like the feeling of using eco-friendly products that doesn't have abrasives, solvents and VOCs. All the products are made in Canada and can be bought online.
Although the solutions are safe to use around children, please keep it away from children and be careful not to come in contact with eyes and skin.
Green Dolphin Large Banner
I used the green bin deodorizer on our green bins, which instantly eliminated odour. I usually wash the bin every time I change the bags but I liked spraying this solution then washing it to remove "unseen bacteria" :) Useful to have especially during the hot months when the outdoor green bins start to smell so easily. This solution is known to remove bacteria found in green bins, garbage cans, compost, diaper pail that is caused by spoiled food, animal waste, vomit and pet stains. Just spray and it will neutralize the odour. It does have a strong apple scent.

The stainless cleaner and polish is a high performing, solvent-free polish that is good to be used on any type of metal surface such as stainless steel, aluminum and chrome. The solution removes grime, fingerprints and watermarks. I used it on few of our kitchen appliances such as the fridge, sink, outside of the kettle and it worked well. It leaves a protective coating and prevents the surface from deteriorating. I like that the surface was smooth and it had no oily film afterwards. It is easy to use this cleaner and polish by shaking it well, then applying onto a lint free cloth and wipe the area. Afterwards, buff with another lint free cloth. The solvent is made using water, organic polymer and surfactants from botanical sources.

The calcium lime rust buster is an eco-safe kitchen and bath multi surface cleaner that is safe and biodegradable. It removes rust stains, hard water and mineral spots around the sink, drains and toilets. Spray the solution, let it stand for a few minutes, scrub with a brush and rinse. Do not leave this product for a long time on metal surfaces. It removes minerals from our washrooms and sinks without the harsh toxic chemicals. This safe product is made with coconut based non-ionic surfactant and salts.

Giveaway
Use this code: CREATE to get 20% off until August 8th.

Green Dolphin would like to offer a Canadian reader of Createwithmom and Torviewtoronto a chance to win a package of Eco Auto Dishwasher detergent and a bottle of coffee pot and kettle cleaner.
To enter this giveaway please leave a comment on this post before July 15th.
Please follow me on twitter and Facebook so I can let you know the winner (this is for ease of contacting not mandatory).
Follow Green Dolphin on twitter to know about their new products and other information.
Update: The giveaway winner is Diana
I am joining the Great Canadian Blog Bash 2012 to celebrate Canada day on July 1st :) There is no place like home.
Follow #TGCBB on twitter to find out about different giveaways hosted by Canadian bloggers.

This post is also posted on Torviewtoronto. All rights reserved on photographs and written content Createwithmom © 2012. Please Ask First

June 18, 2012

Painting and projects

repurposing window shutters
Mag Ruffman and Lowe's have created videos of cool fun family constructible projects that teach parents and children how to build things that they could use. This is a lovely way to create lasting memories.  Some project ideas from Lowe's Family Fun Projects are building a step stool, table with a writing space, a hockey/soccer net and more.  
repurposing window shutters
I think it is important for us to take advantage of this type of knowledge that is available for us to learn new skills. As a family we have done projects like building benches, painting etc and are always trying to learn something new :) so having experts like Mag show different projects help us.
repurposing window shutters
Here is a project we started in the backyard this spring, we needed...
repurposing window shutters
recycled old shutter window without the hinges
paint
nails
painter's tape 

Repainted the shutter windows. After it dried we nailed it on both sides of the plain looking window to give a decorative feel.
repurposing window shutters
Many of us usually try to do some type of painting this season and will be using painters tape for something or another. The New Edge-Lock 3M painters tape will come very handy.  This tape avoids seepage and creates clean crisp painted lines. The removal of the tape is clean and there is no surface damage. There is no chemical residue, it doesn't have to be reapplied between coats, doesn't irritate the skin, no ridges when the tape is removed and there is no need to leave it in a special storage container.  
3M painters tape
Products like 3M tape make our painting jobs easy and keep our frustration down because it is reliable.  We liked the ease of removing the tape without a hassle.  Using tapes keep the painting job neat, professional and inside the lines :)  

It is very useful when painting edges, ceilings and other surfaces. 3M tape can also be incorporated into fun painting projects such as creating strips or patterns on the walls and other art projects.  
repurposing window shutters
The 3M tapes are UV resistant and comes in a variety of width.  The multi-surface scotch blue painter's tape can be used on painted walls, trims, woodwork, glass and metal.  It has to be removed within 14 days.

The delicate surface tape can be left on for up to 60 days. It is good for use on interior freshly painted surfaces (24 hours old), accent walls, stripes, hardwood floors and other delicate places.  

Test in a small spot before using.  It should not be used on paper, foil, wall covering, unprimed wallboard or rough surfaces.  
3M painters tape
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June 1, 2012

Eye Dig it™ and DeBug

We should all wear sunglasses while we are spending time outdoors. This eyewear from Dig it is a safety glass that protects our eyes from everyday UV rays.  

Eye dig it™ has high impact resistance lenses which meet the highest standard in the market. It doesn't slip and fits well while we play and work outdoors. The large lenses allow us to see without a problem. Eye dig it™ comes in two colours tortoise shell and black shades, which will go well with any attire :)  

The lenses are made with strong scratch resistant durable polycarbonate, which is an important feature especially when we use these as working glasses. These fashionable safety eye glasses can be worn anywhere i.e. gardening, driving, sports, wood working, constructions and DIY projects in the home.  It is not intended to replace safety glasses at hazardous construction sites.

It is easy to clean with mild soap and lukewarm water.  Like any other glasses it is breakable and if it has too many scratches that reduce vision we should replace it.

The  Eye dig it™ comes with an Oakley style soft microfiber storage bag, so we can clean our sunglasses when it is inside the pouch. Eye dig it™ can be purchased online and at these retailers.
DeBug is a deet free insect patch from Dig it, which will keep the mosquitos away from bugging us for 48 hours. DeBug insect repellent is all natural made with vitamin B thiamin. This is a solution for outdoors activities during the summer months and when travelling around the world :)

The carbon dioxide emitted from our bodies attracts mosquitos.  This DeBug patch neutralizes the odour and keeps the mosquitos away. DeBug is not greasy, water heat resistant, odourless, chemical free, quick and easy patch that circulates and is absorbed by our skin within 2 hours of using by transdermal processes.

The packs are sold in 2, 4 or 15 patches which are 2.25" x 2.25".  It cannot be cut and used because it will imbalance the effects. The patch can be used on children and adults. People with heavy body weight may need 2; it doesn't overdose because our bodies dispose excess vitamin B1.

The patch is effective on hairless skin and each time needs to be placed in a new area. The patch only works if it is exposed to air or skin. If you are allergic to adhesive tape or starch consult a doctor before using.  Although it doesn't interact (or not known to interact) with other medications or pregnancy please consult a doctor before using. 

I haven't used any type of insect repellent before, and have read about the dangers of Deet in other products that are not good for us.  DeBug is a deet free option to those who use insect repellents.     

Dig it products can be purchased online and in all these retailers.  I am enjoying Dig it products especially the dig it handwear and high five gloves.

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May 30, 2012

Bamboo charcoal natural deodorizer


Bamboo charcoal is a natural deodorizer from Ever Bamboo.  This eco-friendly deodorizer is made with rapidly growing moso bamboo.  The countless tiny holes in the bamboo charcoal make it a good deodorizer.  It works as a dehumidifier because the high density and porous structure of the moso bamboo absorbs excessive moisture, and during low humidity it releases moisture back into the atmosphere.


I think it has a similar concept like mothballs where we don't see the effect, but over time we know it makes a difference.  As a result of keeping this pouch of bamboo charcoal in the car, I don't smell or feel the stuffiness and odour in the car during hot summer days, so I believe it is working.  The toxic chemical substances and polluted air particles such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene are absorbed by it.  There is no smell from these bamboo charcoal like mothballs, which is good :)


Ever Bamboo has deodorizers for many areas in the home i.e. room, drawer, fridge & freezer, closet, shoes, hockey bags, car.  The bamboo charcoal comes in granules, different size pouches and sachets.  I have also placed it in rooms and closets.  
These antibacterial deodorizers keep linens and other belongings in the closets, cabinets and drawers fresh by deterring moths and preventing mold.  We can place it in shoes and bags to remove odour and moisture. 
   
They also have a fridge & freezer deodorizer, which is supposed to absorb food orders, ethylene gas so the fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer.

The face and body bar can be used for any type of skin.  It purifies, exfoliates, moisturizes, detoxifies and absorbs impurities.


According to the Ever bamboo site, when the bamboo charcoals are submersed in water it softens the water, absorbs harmful minerals i.e. chlorine and releases natural minerals i.e. calcium, sodium and magnesium into the water.  So it can be placed in the aquarium, use as filter for bath water and other uses except drinking water.  
The bamboo charcoal granules will look pretty with floral designs and home decors.  The granules absorb excessive moisture and releases moisture back into the soil when it is dry providing better aeration for plants and vegetables.

To maintain care for these deodorizers, simply place in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 hours per side monthly or weekly for optimal performance.  After about a year when you are done using it just remove the bamboo charcoal granules from the pouch and mix it with gardening soil to mineralize and regulate moisture.  
Bamboo charcoal is available online and in many retail stores.


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April 26, 2012

Gardening book and gloves

gardening gloves
With the gardening season starting, it would be a good time to get ready with the right tools.  Having a guidebook is a good start before starting to garden and plan. 

The Canadian Gardener's Guide is a useful book for beginners and experts.  It has all the detailed information that we need to know about gardening. It covers topics such as maintenance, diseases, weeds, pests, pruning and caring during off-season. The 435 page handbook edited by Lorraine Johnson has all the details with colourful pictures. It is easy to follow and understand.   

Some of the topics that the book covers:
  • Gardening basics for beginners i.e. tools, jargon.
  • Shows how to select and garden plants, trees, vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers in appropriate zones.
  • Expert guidance to plant care.
  • Large areas and small areas i.e. information on styles, layouts, designs.  
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to build fence, pathway, patio and other landscaping ideas.
  • Detailed information about specific flowers such as roses, dahlias, clematis, sunflowers, tropical, perennials, fruit and trees.  
  • About specific herbs, fruit trees and plants.

This book has been very useful for us.  It has kept us excited about planning the garden and getting things ready.  I have learned lot of tips from this book about gardening and DIY projects for the backyard. 
gardening book
An important tool that we all need to have during gardening is a pair of good quality gloves.  This gauntlet style Dig it high five is an extended version of the original Dig it handwear glove.  It protects the fingers, palm and hand almost up to the elbow.  The cuffs that is extended by 5" is useful for robust work like landscaping, pruning, tending roses, berry picking etc.
gardening gloves
I have used this pair of Dig it high five to prepare the garden and clean out the garage.  It felt very comfortable and flexible so I had it on for long periods of time.  The lightweight, breathable, pliable fabric was helpful with all the tasks that I needed to do, so there was no need to remove it each time.  It is easy to wash by hand and air-dry the gloves.  

The protective cushions inside the glove cared for my fingernails and tips.  The cuffs protected my hand from scrapes and bruises.  

Dig it high five is made from environmentally friendly recycled material.  Dig it high five comes in four different sizes S, M, L and XL.  This fabulous Dig it handwear and high five gloves are sold online and in stores in UK, USA and Canada i.e. home depot. 

Gardening has lots of benefits, so we should all try to learn about doing gardening correctly and benefit from these types of books.  After doing all the hard work I also want to feel good.  In the past years, as much as I love doing gardening I didn't like looking at the fingertips getting damaged even after wearing gloves.  I had to take extra care with all types of creams and lotions.  Ever since I have used the Dig it gloves I felt good and didn't have to worry about the fingernails.

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April 15, 2012

Green Living show 2012 experience

We learned about eco-friendly products and ways we can to be part of sustainable living at the Green Living Show, which will be held at the Direct Energy Centre CNE from April 13th till April 15th.
At the show, we got to know about free services such as getting rid of our garbage in an environmentally friendly way. For example, using TerraCycle. Once, we sign up and tell which type of the waste we like to get rid of, we can start collecting and then send it to TerraCycle using their free shipping UPS slip. The materials that are collected will be used to create new products. TerraCycle operates all over the world. Recycle your electronics is a service that helps us get rid of office and home electronic products. Orange drop can be used to safely dispose our hazardous waste free of charge. Household hazardous wastes should not be thrown in the garbage or down the drain. We can take it to municipal HHW depot collection event or take the paint and batteries to a retail drop-off location. Put your postal code on the side bar and search for the collection depots. 
There were other companies that offer eco-friendly options and ways we can make our home greener, for example using rain barrels, solar powered panels, roofing, green windows, water systems, and more. They had a variety of gardening products and tips. There were many products related to fashion, beauty and clothing which were made using natural organic material such as pure cotton and bamboo. The show had companies and business that taught about healthy living by adding yoga and exercise to our daily routine. The electronic cars on display looked really cool.
There were lots of things related to bio-diversity such as plants, seeds, flowers, planting with Rona and Rouge park and magazines that has tips on how we can be part of cultivating a green city.
We spent a lot of time at the Eco-zone which had lots of hand-on children friendly things to do. They had reptiles to touch. There were lots of playhouses and toys built with cardboard. Children mixed clay, soil and wildflower seeds and made seed balls to plant. I found out that there was corn-based glue from Elmer's. The ROM had organized a booth where we learned about some creatures found in the oceans in Canada.
We made cool fish using paper plates. The paper plate fish were made using...

paper plates
googly eyes
glue
markers
yarn to hang

Cut a triangle shape on one sides of the paper plate for the mouth. Staple this triangle piece on the opposite side, horizontally from where the cut was made for the tail.
Glue the googly eyes and decorate the fish. Punch a hole to hang the fish using yarn.
There were lots of organic and healthy food to taste. They had mushroom growing kits at the Organic Garage so we can try our hand at growing our own oyster mushrooms at home.

I was happy to see familiar products such as Green toysKicking horse coffeeOrganic MeadowThree Farmers Camelina oilTIFFRough park, ROM, WWF, and RONA. 

Organic and eco-friendly products have so many benefits to all of us, however they aren't very accessible. My hope is that it would become wide spread so people would be able to purchase these regularly for a reasonable price. Although, paying the extra cash makes us reluctant to take a step towards eco-friendly options, at the Green Living Show we felt that the long term cost would be less and the impact on the environment would also be less when we use eco-friendly products.

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April 12, 2012

Planting with Pefferlaw Peat Products

pefferlaw peat products
Pefferlaw Peat product Inc. is a Canadian owned and operated company since 1954. Since 1999 the Prust family has acquired it. Pefferlaw products have OCPP logo because they are 100% organic certified.

The research done by University of Guelph growth trials for 14 weeks have proven Pefferlaw products such as organic hanging basket, planter mix, organic 3-way mix to have equal or surpassed the performance of the best-known national brands.

All Pefferlaw brand organic soils are safe, natural, and free of additives, clay and by products. The hanging basket planter mix is lighter than traditional soil mixes; it doesn't strain the hanging containers and retains moisture longer. They have used peat humus and spaghnum peat fibre. Their 3-way organic mix contains peat humus, peat fibre and composted barnyard manure, which has nutrients that improve aeration and increases water-holding capacity.

Here are some interesting statistics...

24% Canadians grow produce in their garden because of the economy
44% online survey respondents were health conscious, as they are concerned about eating produce from their garden grown in non-organic soil
32% Canadians (1 in 3) believe organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods
67% survey respondents said they would use certified organic soils in their garden

I also tried a small experiment planting these coriander seeds indoor using Pefferlaw soil. I found the rate of the plant growing was healthier and faster compared to the time I put seeds using regular garden soil.

Due to my experiment and proven data from University of Guelph's growth trials, I second the opinion of Peter Prust, the president of the company when he said that the exercise done by the University "... proves that it is possible to grow healthy, sustainable, bountiful plants without artificial additives..."
plant
I think it is simple and affordable to plant safely at home and even those without any garden space can grow a small plant i.e. like this herb plant grown indoors by a windowsill.
Container gardening is totally for everyone even those without the 'green-thumb' and all those who are busy for gardening.

As a parent, I believe it teaches children a lot when we do a little bit of gardening i.e. just putting a few seeds into a pot and seeing it grow teaches these curious minds to question and learn many skills. So having soil that you know will work gives all of us confidence that we can do it.
plant
Pefferlaw Peat Products Inc. has participated in successfully restoring a local bog that involved draining and replanting which has now become a habitat for migratory birds. This habitat is protected and has banned hunting on this bog site. Pefferlaw has also supported youth growing projects by hosting Brock 4H Junior achievement day for the past 2 years.
bog
pictures of the bog
Pefferlaw currently has 10 products in their organic line such as top soil, black earth, 3-way mix, compost, cattle/sheep manure, hanging basket planter mix, premium potting mix, potting soil, and planting seeding mix.
If you are into landscape and gardening check out all the other fabulous products they have. These affordable products are sold at these retailers and garden centres in Ontario.

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March 13, 2012

Dig it handwear and planting parsley

dig it garden gloves
Dig it handwear is a proper fit comfortable quality glove that can be worn throughout the year for many uses i.e. gardening, DIY projects, sweeping, cleaning, yard work, moving furniture, shovelling snow, washing the car etc...

Dig it handwear provides dexterity and comfort, as it fits perfectly allowing the hand and fingers to move flexibly to do the job. There won't be any reason to remove the gloves to do something because of discomfort. 
dig it garden gloves
The gloves are durable because it has a double protective layer. The palms of these gloves are made with synthetic leather, dots are silicon, the back fabric and fingertips inside are 100% polyester. The gloves are made with breathable fabric, which will not sweat the hands. The nails don't have direct contact with the gloves because of the pillow top built inside the gloves, which protect nails from dirt and debris. It also has a snug wrist synch, which keeps the water and debris from entering the hand. To clean the gloves rinse or hand wash with mild soap and cold water then lay it flat to air dry.

The Dig it handwear is a handy useful glove to have and will also be appreciated as a gift for anyone, female or male. The gloves come in S, M, L and XL; here is a link to the size chart. The package is also eco-consciously made with recycled material.

Dig it products are sold in USA and Canada stores and online.
dig it garden gloves
I planted some parsley seeds in the pots painted last summer...
You will need
soil
water
seeds
pots

Soak the seeds for 24 hours then plant the seeds 1/4" deep. Sprinkle some water and leave it in full sun by a warm windowsill or outside if the weather is warm (55 to 65 F). It will germinate in 18 to 24 days.
dig it garden gloves
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January 5, 2012

Fondant caterpillar



My children had a fabulous time creating different things with fondant. This activity kept them pretty busy :) My daughter made this caterpillar.

She used a little bit of green fondant to decorate and orange fondant rolled into ball to create this little garden friend :)


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November 9, 2011

Dahlia flowers to decorate



Dahlias last the longest and can be picked till autumn, these flowers are beautiful for decoration.

Dahlia 2011

Dahlias are annually planted. These plants need lots of care and pruning which is worth the effort.
There are so many varieties of colours and shapes of these tuberous plant. Dahlia's attract earwigs which a problem, so tap the flowers carefully before bringing it indoors.


Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

Ball dahlia red 2010

Pink dahlia 2010

Red pompom like dahlias known as Aurora's kiss.
Dahlias are worth the hard work of tending as they give blooms throughout Summer and Autumn.

Sunset pink dahlias 2009

Variety of dahlias 2009

Dinner plate dahlia bigger than an adults hand 2008

Thomas Edison dahlia bigger than an adults hand 2008

Dahlia tubers

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