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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Black and Decker Dual line Trimmer and Edger helps keep our garden neat

My husband and I enjoy gardening, as the outdoor gardening season in Toronto is short :) We encourage each other to keep our garden neat so we can admire it throughout the summer. We enjoy spending time watching birds, gardening different flowers, fruits and vegetables so it important for us to make sure our garden looks neat and maintained. To motivate us and not feel as though gardening is a chore, we think it is important to have the correct gardening tools.
The rock and wooden gardening edges in our garden makes it hard for us to cut the grass that grows in the edges using the lawnmower.  This 14" Black and Decker 6.0 AMP Dual line trimmer and edger has helped us overcome this problem. It has also made us perfectionists in the garden, as the trimmer helps us keep our garden neat and clean. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gardening With CUTCO Tools

cutco gardening tools
When gardening I think one of the most important things to have are reliable tools, which will not frustrate us. I find CUTCO gardening tools to have a good quality that is reliable and durable.
Since 1949 CUTCO guarantees the quality of their products, as they have a forever guarantee for the performance, sharpness and replacement of all their products. We don't need to hold onto the receipts to use their guarantee.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

O’Keeffe will help heal the cracks and dry skin on our hands and feet

Usually during this time of the year when we are out in the garden I sometimes like using my bare-hands to dig into the soil and plant, which has side effects of ruining my skin. Many people I know have issues with either their hand or feet drying or splitting when the weather is extremely cold or too hot, and look for a solution that works instantly. 
We came across this skin care cream that helps to heal extremely split cracks and dry skin in our hands and feet.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No space is too small for a garden

I like growing herbs in the summer in small spaces and pots, so it doesn't spread all over the garden. I find growing our own vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers is rewarding. It is rewarding to plant our own herbs and vegetables, as we can get local, organic food from our own garden that will makes us happy.
Last year I put lots of top soil, manure, compost from Pefferlaw that benefited our garden and helped produce a good crop of tomatoes, eggplant, okra, bitter melon, chillies, herbs and more. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Birds of North America that visited our garden

House Sparrow
Birds of North America is a complete photographic guide to every Bird species we will see in North America written by experts from Canada and US. We really enjoyed learning about birds from this jargon-free book.  This guide has close up, colourful photography that brings over 650 birds species to life. It is a wonderful reference book to people of all ages with all levels of experience. We liked learning about the social behaviours and nesting habits of the birds we encounter during different seasons. Learning and recognizing the different species of birds becomes easier with a colourful book like this.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mystery of Life: Our survival depends on flowers

Before watching the Disneynature Wings of Life I thought the movie was about butterflies.  However, while watching the movie I realized it is called “Wings of life” because it outlines the importance of pollinators such as beetles, insects, bees, hummingbirds and bats that carry the pollen grains to other plants, so the plants can reproduce. I recommend this heartwarming movie for the whole family, as it points out the importance of flowers. This DVD and Blu-ray combo will be available on April 16th.

I also read the book Rainforest by Thomas Marent, which is filled with beautiful close-up photographs of the rare beauties found in the exciting, but dangerous tropical rainforests.  The pictures are amazing, which shows us the uniqueness and the beautiful details found in nature if we just stop to look at it.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We are planning to take lots of Gardening Shortcuts this Summer

It is that time of the year when we start thinking of gardening projects and designing outdoors.  I totally look forward to spring, as I like to plan and think of all the possible projects we can do in the garden even before the ground thaws.  
gardening shortcuts book
Since we are planning on a trip this summer :) the time I have to garden this year is limited.  I want to make sure that we maximize the fun of gardening by spending as little time maintaining it.  This book Gardening Shortcuts has lots of ideas that will make this possible, and I am sure every gardener will appreciate the tips found in this book.  
garden shortcuts book
The suggested tips and ideas in this book lets us get the maximum benefit of enjoying our garden with less time maintaining it.

Last year, we gave a quick lift to a dull garden space by creating a flowerbed and adding rocks.  Seeing this idea in the book made me feel good that I had come up with this project last year.
To make this flower bed we mounted a lot of soil because we wanted some height.  Then we planted a Japanese maple tree that we bought from Sheridan.  We chose the blood good variety of Japanese maple tree that doesn't grow too tall, and has bright red leaves.  
Around the tree, we placed Pefferlaw deco stones and gravel river rocks that can be purchased in all these locations.  I like how rocks give a serene, natural atmosphere to the garden while helping control weeds in an eco-friendly way.  Usually adding rocks and hard elements to the garden brings the lush colours of plants and flowers to become more focused and attractive. 
We also put a solar spotlight in this area that makes the plants glow at night.  To give the area more colour we planted different coloured pansies and marigold.  To make sure the area does not get a crowded and cluttered we always prune and remove the plants that spread.
gardening shortcuts book
This book gives a lot of ideas on how we can create privacy and sheltered spaces in the garden by adding fences and patio.  It also has lovely decorative projects that we can do without incurring a big cost.
gardening shortcuts book
This book also shows us neat ideas on how we can grow fruits and vegetables in a decorative manner.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wear holiday cheer using Command

One of the things we like to do during winter holidays are making crafts and hanging them up on the windows. We usually have a hard time hanging these crafts because the tape and suction cups that we have used in the past fall off easily due to humidity on the windows. After we used command hooks to hang crafts, we found that it was easy for us to hang our crafts the way we like without damaging them.

Some craft ideas to place on the windows are stained glass sun catcher or this Paper towel roll flowers and stars.
command hook
To make these shiny hanging ornaments you will need...
Paper towel or toilet paper roll
different colour glitter
command hook
Cut the paper towel roll into 1/2 or 1/4" thickness. Then arrange it to make a flower or star shape. Glue the pieces to attach and secure it with clothespins for a few minutes until it holds together. 

Then remove the clothespins and cover the entire flower or star with modpodge and sprinkle coloured glitter all over it. It is better to protect the working surface with newspaper as this could be messy :)  
Let it dry completely before hanging.  
command hook
To hang these crafts on the wall and window we used the Command mini hooks that hold about 1/2 lb.  These handy hooks came in a pack of 18 hooks with 24 small strips, which helped us hang crafts and holiday lights on our window. We also used cord clips to keep the holiday lights organized. These cord clips come in a pack with 4 clips and 5 small strips.

I found it easy to remove and replace the position of the hooks, as I didn't want them on the initial spot I placed them.  Once we remove the hooks we have to put another small strip when placing it in a different location, this is why Command has extra strips in each packet :)  
command hook
There are a variety of hooks such as medium hook, medium and large brushed nickel hooks that are useful to hang a variety of things around our home such as bags, towels, brooms etc.  

Command also has general purpose large outdoor hooks that hold about 5 lbs., which comes with 2 water resistant strips so we can hang things indoor or outdoor.
command hook
Enter the contest at Command's Facebook page to get coupons for Command products, which will be useful around your home.
command hook
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting the house ready for the #holidays and a Giveaway

handheld 2-in-1 scrubber

I have been cleaning our home a bit more than usual because we are getting ready for winter and had a few celebrations.  Now with the December holidays approaching, we are anticipating more family and friends to come over and spend time.  My grandpa used to say that a clean kitchen and washroom judges a home :) So keeping a sparkling washroom and kitchen is a priority in our home. Soap scums, dirt caused by humidity are all reasons that make it hard to maintain the washroom, especially if we don't have the correct tools.  I am very happy that this year we got to try these fabulous scrubs and brushes from Rubbermaid.  
I found the extendable scrubber helps us with hard to reach corners more easily.  We have the option of detaching the head or scrubbing part easily to use without the handle.  The pole extends from 24" to 40" and works with switchable pads.      
I like the idea of putting the cleaning liquid into the spraying scrubber.  It allows us to easily spray and clean one spot before moving to another, which is very useful with little ones in the home, as I usually don't get to start and finish cleaning in one time.  The spray scrubber holds about 1/2 cup of liquid at one time.  We have the option of switching the pads for this scrubber depending on the surface we want to clean, which is very convenient.

We found the flexible scrub brush useful as we cleaned the washroom floors and areas where some surfaces are flat and some have curved contour surfaces i.e. bathtub and sink.  The rubberized inset helps to grip it firmly.  When the red button on the top part of the scrubber is pushed, it releases the 3" red part of the bristle to move into any position we like and then locks it into place.  This bendable firm part of the bristle helps us scrub curved areas in the bathroom.
The handheld 2-in-1 scrubber is extra large and is useful for full surface scrubbing for large areas.  I like the detail brush that is on top, which is similar to a giant toothbrush.  This detail brush is handy to scrub around the faucets, grout and small spaces.

We can switch the pads to either disposable, scouring, bristle or sponge.  The pads are available to buy separately.  Scouring pads are good for all surfaces.  Sponge pad is good to clean and wipe.  The bristle brush is handy for heavy duty scrubbing.  The disposable pad come in packs of six to "clean and toss" for messy jobs.  
A lot of thought has gone into designing and making this selection of Rubbermaid products for the bathroom, which makes our job easy.  All these products can be found at Home Depot, and some of these can be found at Walmart and Home Hardware stores. 
To help one Canadian reader this holiday season, I am happy to bring this giveaway that ends on November 20th.  Please enter through the rafflecopter below. 
Update: The winner is Sam 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Command 3M hooks

3M command hook
I like using Command Traditional 3M hooks because there are easy to use and handy to organize many things around our home.  

Having proper reliable tools help us to stay organized. With Command 3M hooks we can organize and decorate without damaging the walls. There are so many possibilities on how we can use these hooks. The hooks work on all types of surfaces i.e. painted surfaces, wood, tiles and more. I placed the Command Traditional hook behind the washroom door to hang towels, and like how strong the hooks are, as it can hold up to 5 pounds.  

It is easy to use the Command Traditional medium hook to hang seasonal and holiday decorations i.e. novelty lights, streamers, balloons.  We can remove the hooks when we no longer need it, and save it for next time.  This medium hooks can hold up to 3 pounds.   
3M command hook
The hooks can be easily removed without damaging the walls. The hooks don't leave holes or tacky oily residue that affects the paint. 3M's patented stretch release adhesive technology is strong, secure and damage free.  

To remove, slide the hook up and pull the tab about 12" straight down and then release the base from the wall. The hooks come with two strips. When we no longer need the hook in the initial place we put, remove, clean the back with rubbing alcohol (don't use any other type of cleaners), dry the hook and attach the strip with the red adhesive liner to the hook and the black adhesive liner to the wall. Ones we put the hook on the surface, we have to press firmly for 30 seconds and then let it stay for an hour before hanging anything.
3M command hook
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Carrots from our garden and sweet carrot dessert

Carrots from our garden this summer.  I put some seeds in directly in the soil a few weeks before the last frost.  We enjoyed these delicious carrots in the beginning of summer. 
Children love pulling and digging out the carrots themselves.  Carrot plants are beautiful foliage and are wonderful border plants.  It is healthy to eat carrots just on its own.  We like making this delicious dessert with carrots and milk, it is known as carrot halwa or carrot pudding.    
4 to 5 big carrots (if grated it will be about 2 cups)
2 cups milk
3 cardamom pods ground
2 to 3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ghee 
1 tbsp nuts 
1 tbsp raisins

Mince the cleaned carrots with the milk in a blender.  Cook the milk carrot mince with the cardamom and sugar until it is well cooked.  

When the milk evaporates and the carrots are well cooked it will become vibrant in colour.  Add ghee, nuts and raisins and sauté for a few minutes.  
Add more sugar if needed depending on your taste.  Serve warm or cold.
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Friday, September 7, 2012


Allium has clusters of flowers that come from one point or umbels in the beginning of Summer.  These perennial flowers add lots of drama and beauty to the garden.  

It is easy to grow Alliums as it grows from self propitiating seeds.  We have to be careful when weeding as the small shoots and leaves look like grass.  In the first year, the plant will not have any flowers.  These Allium "Globemaster" grows about 32" tall.  It has a strong stem and low growing leaves.  

Animals don't target these deep violet clusters of flowers as these flowers belong to the lily and onion family.  

If you want to decorate with these flowers cut the flowers and let it stand in a bucket of lukewarm water for 6 to 8 hours before using it for decoration.

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Monday, 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

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

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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Monday, 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.

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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Wednesday, 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.

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

Monday, 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
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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