Cat Teepee

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:32 am on Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ha! I like this Cat Teepee. It’s made out of corrugated cardboard. $35

How To Get Rid Of Cabbage Worms

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:34 am on Monday, September 1, 2014

[Planet Natural]

Fall is the time to plant brassicas. This is the mustard family of plants. It includes cabbage, turnips, kale, mustard, radish, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli (among others).

And with brassicas come the cabbage worm.

The cabbage worm is the caterpillar of the Cabbage Butterfly, those little white butterflies that look so cute floating around your garden. They lay eggs on the brassica plants, and the caterpillars hatch and eat your plants.

The first time I planted broccoli in the fall, the cabbage worms were soon all over my plants. By the time I discovered the infestation, they were well on their way to destroying the plants. I didn’t get a single head of broccoli that year.

After that, I tried to control the problem but getting rid of the butterflies, but I’ve relaxed about that. After all, butterflies are pollinators.

And besides, it feels wrong to hurt a butterfly.

So here’s a no-pesticide way to control cabbage worms on your fall garden.

Stagger Brassica Plants.

If you plant the brassicas in a row, you’re giving the butterflies a nice runway on which to lay their eggs. But if you stagger them in among other types of plants, you’re upping your odds that the butterflies won’t see all the brassicas and won’t lay on every one of them.

Cover Plants

Use row covers or individual covers like Milk Jugs to keep the butterflies off the plants. The butterfly can’t lay eggs on a plant it can’t get to.

Inspect For Eggs

In early fall (now) inspect the underside of the leaves for the eggs. You can see them. They’re yellow or white and look like this.

[Dals Wildlife]

Brush them off.

Pick Off Worms

The cabbage worm is hard to see! It starts off tiny and it’s the exact same color as the leaf. If you see a hole in the leaf, however, you probably have them. (Also you can see their brown poop.) A magnifying glass can help you focus. Pick them off and drown them or feed them to the chickens.

Attract Beneficial Insects.

According to UCDavis “important parasites include the pupal parasite Pteromalus puparum; the larval parasites Apanteles glomeratus, Microplitis plutella, and several tachinid flies; and egg parasites in the Trichogramma genus.”

Basically this boils down to several wasps that lay their eggs in the caterpillar and kills it in a gross way I’m not going to go into right now.

[Forestry Images]

According to Mother Earth News, you can attract these wasps by planting “sweet alyssum, chamomile, feverfew, catnip and buckwheat. When allowed to produce flowers, dill, fennel and other members of the carrot family also attract braconid wasps.”

How do you get rid of cabbage worms?

Comments Are Back!

Filed under: News — Savvy Housekeeper at 1:48 pm on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I missed hearing from you folks, so I’m putting comments back on, only with moderation. Let’s hope that keeps comment spam under control and still allows me to hear from you.

So please share your thoughts!

Cheerful Baby Play Space

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:23 am on Friday, August 29, 2014

I like this cheerful play space for a baby. It’s stimulating without being over the top (or ugly). The sideways mirror at baby level is a great idea.

Toddler Activities

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:07 am on Thursday, August 28, 2014

Teaching Mama has a great post on 20 Toddler Activities. They’re great because they mostly use things you already have around the house. Here are a couple I particularly liked.

Car Wash with Toy Cars

You set up a “car wash” so the child soaps, washes, and dries his cars. (Bonus: he’s cleaning his toys.)

Bathtub with Stuffed Animals

Simple and easy: stick the kid and the toys in the bathtub. Then somehow keep them from turning on the water.

Cardboard Tubes with Pom Poms

Drop the pom poms through the tube and watch them fall. Over and over again!

Next time Savvy Jr. is driving my crazy feeling energetic, I’ll have to keep these in mind.

Click here to read 17 more toddler activities.

Make Your Own Standard English Bitter Beer

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:40 am on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Last year, I Grew My Own Hops. You may be wondering what we did with those hops. Well, we made a Standard English Bitter with them.

The below recipe is from the book Brewing Classic Styles, except we changed it based on what malt we could get and the addition of homegrown hops. The resulting beer is great. First of all, it’s low-alcohol, only 3.6%. And it has a lot of flavor and depth for a lighter beer. It has a strong flavor with a hint of fruit and a subtle bitterness.

Plus, using fresh hops gave the beer a light, fresh, floral note that was surprising and awesome.

I can wait to see what Mr. Savvy Makes with this year’s hops!

Standard English Bitter


    abv (alcohol): 3.6 percent
    ibu (bitterness): 32
    og (original gravity): 1.038
    fg (final gravity): 1.011


    8 pounds British pale malt
    1/2 pound extra dark caramel malt (120 L)
    1/4 pound British crystal malt (50-60 L)
    3 ounces hops:
    (34 grams of cascade at 60 minutes
    14 grams at 30 minutes
    14 grams at 1 minute)
    1 vial white labs wlp002 English ale yeast

Fermented at 68 degrees Fahrenheit
Mash at 152 degrees Fahrenheit
60 minute boil

Want more? Check out Beer Making Part 1 and Beer Making Part 2.

10 Stunning Writing Studios

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:28 am on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here’s a fun read: 10 Stunning Writing Studios.

So jealous…

What To Do With Pickled Jalapeños

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:54 am on Monday, August 25, 2014

I’m getting a bumper crop of jalapeños in my garden, thanks for the pepper experiment I did last year.

I’ve decided to make pickled jalapeños for the first time. But then, I thought, what would I do with pickled jalapeños once I had them?

A lot, it turns out. Here are 9 ways to use up pickled jalapeños–or any pickled pepper, for that matter.

Use Pickled Jalapenos In Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (also quesadillas)

Stick Them In A Bloody Mary

Add Jalapeños To Deviled Eggs

Top A Hot Dog With Jalapeños (or a hamburger.)

Make Jalapeño Cornbread

[Pham Fatale]

Put Jalapeños In Fish Tacos (or other kinds of tacos)

Cook A Chicken Breast With Jalapeños And Cheese

Make Jalapeño Garlic Cheese Bread


Last but not least: Make Some Nachos

The Pretentious Beer Glass Company

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Friday, August 22, 2014

If you’ve got some money to burn on beer glasses, I’m quite taken with this set from The Pretentious Beer Glass Company. They are handmade blown glasses, each with a different purpose.

According to the site, the set includes a Hoppy Beer Glass, an Aromatic Beer Glass, a Malty Beer Glass, a Subtle Beer Glass, a “traditional” Ale Glass and a Dual Glass. Each glass holds approximately 12 oz of beer with a 2-3 oz. head. A great (but pricey) gift for the snobby beer aficionado in your life.


Dinosaur Fossil Sugar Cookies

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 6:58 am on Thursday, August 21, 2014

This is a cute idea. Make sugar cookies and then use the foot of a toy dinosaur to imprint the top. Hurrah, you’ve made Dinosaur Fossil Sugar Cookies.

Or use plastic insects to make regular fossil sugar cookies.

Lots of possibilities here!

The second recipe says to use “food safe plastic bugs,” but personally, I would just make sure the toys were clean before using. But then, I’m crazy like that.

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