Homegrown VS Store Bought Egg

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:30 am on Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thinking of getting chickens this spring? Here’s the main reason to do it: homegrown eggs taste amazing.

Here’s a visual representation of the difference.

On the left, an egg my chicken Rosie laid. On the right, an egg from the grocery store.

HOMEGROWN STORE BOUGHT
* Yolks orange * Yolks yellow
* Whites fluffy * Whites watery
* Cooks fast * Cooks slow
* Tastes 1000% better * Tastes fine

More Posts On Owning Chickens:

Does Having Chickens Save Money?
A Year Of Owning Chickens
Pease Of Mind At Breakfast
From Playhouse To Chicken Coop

Turn An Old Sweater Into Cozy Boots

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:21 am on Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There are lots of things you can do with an old sweater, and apparently one of them is to turn them into boots. By exploiting the ribbing and warmth of the sweater, you can turn it into cozy boots to get you through these cold winter months. Here are three how-tos to consider:

UPCYCLED SWEATER BOOTS. In this how-to, the instructions tell you to cover a cheap pair of flat with the sweater, like so:

I like this version of the project, because using the flats gives you a sturdy sole for the bottom of the boot. As a bonus, you can upcycle old flats this way too.

UPCYCLED SWEATER SLIPPER BOOTS. These boots don’t have much of a sole, but the photo looks good. With some tweaking, you could make some decent boots out of this how-to.

UPCYCLED SWEATER SLIPPERS. These are slippers, not boots, but the project clearly show how to make a sole out of felt.

Combine the last two how-tos, and you could end up with pretty cool boots made from one old sweater.

Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:03 am on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last year for Valentine’s Day, we’d just had Savvy Jr. and we knew we wouldn’t be going out for a fancy meal. I decided that Mr. Savvy’s gift would be a beer scavenger hunt. I bought some beer at the local craft brew store and hid them around the house with clues that led one to the other. Then I gave him the first clue and started him off.

This is a fun, creative gift if your husband or boyfriend loves beer, and is especially useful if he is hard to buy presents for, as many men are. When I told the beer shop owner what I was doing, he said “I wish my wife would do that for me.”

Some pictures:

As you can see, this beer was in the medicine cabinet. The clue said, “Do I look fat in this?” and led to the bedroom.

A beer wearing a diaper? In the baby’s crib? That’s just wrong.

Beers don’t belong in the shower.

A beer in a coat pocket. Classic.

How To Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

1. Buy The Beers. Pick a combination of beers you know he’d like, as well as some that he might want to try but hasn’t bought for himself. Pick something special for the end–I bought an expensive bourbon-barrel-aged beer to finish off the hunt.

2. Pick The Hiding Places. As you can tell from the above pictures, I put beers in the baby’s bed, the shower, the oven, and my husband’s coat, among other places. Be creative with this.

3. Write The Clues. Once you have the hiding places, write out clues that will lead him from one beer to the next. For example, the clue for the beer that was in the oven was “Even I can’t cool this place down.” Get it? Ovens are hot and beers are cold. Mr. Savvy knew where to go right away.

4. Hide The Beers. Tape the clues to the beers and hide them around the house.

5. Pick Something Special For The End. I put the fancy beer in the bar and attached a paper heart to it, as follows:

You can get as fancy or silly as you want with this. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Super Mario Bros. Aquarium

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:31 am on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Check it out, a Super Mario Bros. Aquarium.

It’s a scene from the Super Mario Bros. video game, complete with “the clouds, grass, mushrooms, ducks, pipes, level completion flag pole, resting castle and the stage indicators.”

The castle is made with Lego bricks that have been painted and covered with clear enamel. The pipes are made of PVC piping.

Here’s a video that lets you see the aquarium in action:

Mario Fish Tank from Cedrick Bearss on Vimeo.

Pretty awesome.

Roll The Dice Game For Picky Eaters

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:27 am on Monday, February 3, 2014

Here’s a good idea from Real Simple for a picky eater: make a game out of how many more bites/peas/etc. the child has to eat by rolling the dice. From the site:

Decide how many more bites of dinner your child has to eat before being excused. Let your child roll so he’s the one controlling his fate. You’ll end up with a more peas-ful family meal.

I’m filing this idea away for the future. I have a feeling I’m going to need it.

5 Football-Shaped Super Bowl Snacks

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 2:27 pm on Saturday, February 1, 2014

Super Bowl 2014! Woo!

(I really think it should be “Superbowl,” one word, but I guess that’s incorrect.)

Here are 5 relatively easy Football-Shaped Super Bowl Snacks for your Super Bowl Party.

Football Deviled Eggs. What do you know? Deviled eggs are already football shaped! All you have to do is add some green onions for the laces.

savvyhousekeeping 5 football-shaped super bowl superbowl snacks party

Super Bowl Football Pepperoni Pizza. Pile the pepperoni in the center of the pizza like a football and add some cheese for the lacing.

Football Shaped Sandwiches. Cut rye bread into football shapes and make sandwiches.

Football Cheese Plate. Lay out some cheese, crackers, and salami in the form of a football.

Football Pizza Pockets. The most involved on this list, these are pizza dough cut into pockets, filled with pizza filling, and baked. Looks yummy.

Go team!

Blood Orange Old Fashioned

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:20 am on Friday, January 31, 2014

There were some nice blood oranges at the grocery store, so DIY Cocktails and I decided to make cocktails with them. The Blood Orange Old Fashioned uses four ingredients: bourbon, blood orange juice, bitters, and maple syrup.

Blood oranges, which can be found in grocery stores this time of year, give off a lovely ruby-pink juice that turns orange when you mix it with bourbon. The maple syrup bridges the distance between the tartness of the citrus and the heat of the bourbon, while the bitters and twist of orange peel balances the drink out.

This is a great cocktail to have at a Super Bowl party, or while sitting in front of a fire on a Friday night–and hey, look, it’s Friday.

Blood Orange Cocktail

Ingredients:

    2 ounces bourbon
    1/2 ounce blood orange juice
    1 teaspoon maple syrup
    2 dashes bitters
    Twist of orange to garnish

Directions:

In a glass, combine bourbon, juice, bitters, and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon or stirrer. Add ice. Garnish with orange twist. Enjoy!

Super Bowl Football Pepperoni Pizza

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:35 am on Thursday, January 30, 2014

Most football fans I know are happy with chips and beer, so I don’t know how worth it is to make bacon wrapped potato bites or hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries made to look like footballs for the Super Bowl, however tasty they may be.

But this Football Pepperoni Pizza looks like it would be a hit. The trick is to layer the pepperoni in the center of the pizza to look like a football, then add some cheese on top to make the lacing. Cute idea.

Happy Super Bowl!

17 Supermarket Tips

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:59 am on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Consumerist has an article on 17 Supermarket Tricks, Tips And Insider Secrets You’re Probably Clueless About. Here are some I liked:


1. Shopping carts are getting bigger so you’ll put more in them:
“We doubled their size as a test, and customers bought 19% more,” explained Martin Lindstrom, marketing consultant and author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy.

5. Because grocery stores can’t compete with Walmart on price, they’re classing things up to bring you in: To compete with the low prices elsewhere, many stores are bringing in butchers who are skilled with the knife and produce managers who are pros on fruits and vegetables, along with dietitians who give seminars on healthy eating habits, according to Jeff Weidauer, a former supermarket executive and vice president of marketing for Vestcom, a retail services company.

And probably raising prices to match these classy environments, too…

9. Ask and ye shall receive: “The butcher will tenderize meat for you, the baker will slice a loaf of bread, and the florist will usually give you free greenery to go with your loose flowers,” says Teri Gault, grocery savings expert and CEO of thegrocerygame.com. “At some stores owned by Kroger, the seafood department worker will even coat your fish in flour or Cajun seasoning and fry it up for free.”

11. We’re all fools for the ten-for$10 promotion: “We’ll take an 89-cent can of tuna and mark it ‘ten for $10,’ 
and instead of buying six cans for 89 cents, people will buy ten for $10,” explains Weidauer. Who else feels like a sucker?

Not me! I ignore deals like that, since they almost always end up being more expensive.

Read the rest of the tips here.

All About Raised Beds

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:12 am on Monday, January 27, 2014

savvyhousekeeping all about raised beds

I put in raised beds because I have a well-documented vole problem. When we installed them, I considered them a permanent addition to the yard, so I thought long and hard about what I wanted.

In the end, I put in 24-inch beds made of redwood and filled them with soil from the local landfill at $16 a cubit square foot. It cost quite a bit, but since I grew $1,300 worth of vegetables last year, I figure the raised beds have paid for themselves already. The rest, from now on, is gravy.

THE ADVANTAGES OF RAISED BEDS:


PEST CONTROL.
Raised beds keep voles, gophers, moles, and other pests out of your vegetables. To make sure this is the case, you need to lay gopher wire on the bottom of your raised bed and thoroughly staple it in. This will keep these destructive critters out and let your plants grow unmolested. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

As you can see, this bed is using gopher/galvanized wire, not chicken wire. Never use chicken wire to keep out pests–they go right through it.

FEWER SOIL PROBLEMS. If you have clay soils, sand soils, or concrete, it doesn’t matter as much because your raised bed has good soil. If your plants start in good soil, they will be healthier and produce more overall.

INCREASED SOIL AERATION. You don’t walk on raised beds, so the soil remains fluffy and it’s easier for roots to go through them. The plants waste less energy on trying to push out roots and are free to produce awesome fruits and vegetables for you.

MORE EFFICIENT SPACE USAGE. Since plants are packed together, you can harvest everything quicker. In addition, you waste less water since you won’t be watering any space that’s not directly affecting the plants.

DECORATIVE/EASY TO WORK WITH. You don’t have to bend over to plant, you can harvest easily, and raised beds look pretty and organized.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH RAISED BEDS:

THEY AREN’T DEEP ENOUGH

The raised beds above are not going to accomplish much other than to mark off where the plants are supposed to go. A 6″-12″ raised bed will work fine for lettuce, but if you want to grow tomatoes, zucchini, melons, cucumbers, or any other big vegetable plant, you’ll want to go deeper than that. A big plant needs a lot of space under ground as well as above ground. Think 18 or 24 inches to start.

THE BEDS ARE MADE OF TOXIC MATERIALS

Pressure-treated wood is wood that has been infused with a liquid preservative to keep it from breaking down in wet soil. They commonly include poisons like chromated copper arsenate or alkaline copper quat. You don’t want these chemicals in the soil where your vegetables are growing. Everything you put in that soil gets in your plants (and your body) one way or another.

Scoring is a sign of pressure treated wood.

Some pressure treated wood is marked as well.

THE BEDS WILL ROT

Which brings me to my next point: I see a lot of posts about building raised beds out of pallets or reclaimed wood. It’s true that this is a cheaper option. However, within a few years these raised beds will rot and you’ll have to build them all over again. In the end, this is wasted effort. If you’re going to go to the trouble of installing raised beds, pick something that will last.

RAISED BEDS THAT WILL LAST:

savvyhosuekeeping all about raised beds

NATURALLY RESISTANT WOOD: Redwood, cypress and cedar are more termite resistant and will rot at a slower rate than other wood. Unfortunately, these woods can be expensive, which is something to consider if building beds from scratch. Here’s a list of naturally resistant wood.

CEMENT BLOCKS. You can get these blocks for free if you look around, and they seem like they would make good raised beds. They can be as deep as you want and they won’t decompose.

As a bonus, you can grow strawberries or other small plants in the holes.

TUBS. I’ve seen raised beds out of everything from a wine barrel to a bathtub. Just make sure there is adequate drainage in the bottom so that the water doesn’t collect and destroy your plants.

OTHER MATERIAL.There are a host of other metal or plastic materials that might work for a raised bed. Check out this raised bed made of metal roofing material.

Looks great!

What are your raised beds made out of?

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