Thursday, October 16, 2014

41/52- A Photo Challenge

For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain…
Our hiking stick-flautist, playing the loveliest imaginary music in the forest. 

THIS is my honey, and THAT'S a fact.

This dude, barking in his slumber, has been cranky when roused. Let sleeping beasts lie. 

That eastern soaking knocked tons of colorful leaves outta our trees yesterday. Boo! It's too early to declare Leaf Day, so bring on that autumn sunshine!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

40/52- A Photo Challenge

Everywhere I look, my eyes are happy. 
Autumn air is magical here. 
Don't know how city folk do it.

Kaira's Halloween ideas are always unexpected. The princess groove is gone, and she's experimenting with power these days. BIG power. Just wait. 

Layna discovers how important it is to see the world from a different angle sometimes. 
Dee Boopsie, Dee Boopsie—let down your hair!

Kaine's breath is... something short of pumpkin spice. 
Here's to an extra long weekend showing our favorite city girl what fall in Dutch Country is all about. 
We've got a mountain to climb, pumpkins to pick and marshmallows to roast. 
Counting the hours...

XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Eliminate Odor from Lunch Boxes

It only took a few days for our kiddo's new lunch box to get a dousing of spilled milk. 
If there's any smell that gives me the heaves, old milk—
:::retch!

HAD to be remedied, STAT. 

The ol' soap and rinse couldn't cut through that lingering stench, so I got to researching and compiled a three-step attack combo that finally did the job.

Step 1- After a thorough soap and water cleaning, I dumped baking soda inside the box and shook it around. To activate the baking soda, I sprayed a 50:50 white vinegar and water mixture on top and let it sit for about 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Step 2- I towel dried the inside of the box, filled it with crumpled newspaper to absorb residual odor and left it overnight. 
After this, the smell was almost gone, but a faint, gag-worthy trace remained.

Step 3- I soaked three cotton balls in vanilla extract and left them inside the lunch box for several hours.

Aaaaaand DONE-ZO!
No lingering stench!

I really thought I might have to toss this brand new lunch box if I couldn't solve this problem. Gagging while packing sandwiches is no good. Can't imagine how kids in the caf would react to chowing down next to a sour milk bag. Buh.

Tackle stink with these three simple steps and keep those appetites kickin'! Don't forget to leave a love letter along with the pack.

Any other tips for eliminating odors? Please add them to the comment list below.
Stink be gone!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

39/52- A Photo Challenge


Harvesting season is a welcome relief. Those corn stalks were so tall that driving felt crazy claustrophobic of late. We're psyched to resume seein' for miles...

Turned out Kai's window-well hiding spot harbored two trapped toads.
Saved 'em—
a lesson in serendipity.
But then one peed on her, so...

Boops asserts that she doesn't need naps anymore. 

This guy grows on me more each day. 
Never know where he's gonna pop up, and he blends into his surroundings so well.
Cryptic creepy cats. 


What a wonderfully bustling week this has been. 
Methinks it's time fo' PUMPKIN-ING!
Bring on the orange!

XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Preparing Houseplants for Fall & Winter

Winter is coming, but with warm autumn days upon us, it's the perfect time to ready houseplants for the big chill. 

Like everything else in our homes, houseplants get dusty over time. 

Pretty tedious to go over every leaf with a wet paper towel, and dusters just don't do the trick, so NOW is the time to give your greenery a good washing!

Choose a sunny afternoon and haul your pots outside for a seasonal cleaning. 
Remove any dead leaves or branches from the soil and, where appropriate, trim up your plants to promote healthy growth.

Once you've tidied up the scene, give your greenies a shower! Build up of dust and dirt on leaves can inhibit growth, so use a watering wand attachment on your hose to rinse off any accumulation.

If your plants tolerate direct light, let them bask in the sunlight to dry, but be sure to bring them back inside before any risk of frost.

Once your beauties are back indoors, find the perfect placements for fall and winter months. Some plants require more sunlight as seasons change, so consider the needs of each and rearrange to accommodate.
Avoid overwatering during the colder months and hold off on fertilization until the spring, when your plants are ready for new growth. Set 'em up in sunny spots away from any harsh drafts and enjoy your gorgeous greenery while we weather the wilds of winter.

For more tips on fall and winter houseplant care, check out this HGTV article and this resource from the National Gardening Association.

Go green ALL year long, friends!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

38/52- A Photo Challenge

September sky at Sunday sunset…
My college homies know this brings my heart back to you-know-where and you-know-when.
"Name the core color."


Kai found a nut and immediately transformed into, "Mr. Pig Nose". 
Kai is a nut.
And I love her kind. 

Layne's so fancy, you already know-owe! (and now THAT'S stuck in your head)
Group sing sesh breaks out every time Iggy's Fancy plays. 
Our lyrics are better. 
And Boops is fancier. 


Not one to sleep on the job, Beast made a deal with this wingman.

Here's to a revealing weekend of pleasant surprises!
Welcome AUTUMN! I've missed you.
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lunchbox Love Letters

I've always been a note-writer…
passing them in football-shaped fold-ups in school,
hiding them under pillows and in drawers to surprise loved ones, 

Now that our eldest has started school, we've been packing extra punch in her lunchbox—
a love letter a day.
We keep a pen and paper right next to our lunch packing station and take turns leaving messages for our kiddo to read during her afternoon chow sesh. 

I remember the childhood thrill of finding lunchbox messages from my own mama—like a great big hug from far away, and the love in that ink and paper goes a long way in brightening any day.

Kaira loves her notes, and she's sure to remind us to leave her a message every day. 
Writing the letters takes mere seconds, but the memories of the love within last a lifetime. 
Keep your paper and pen nearby, and remind your peanuts that you're thinking of them, even when they're away. It'll make them smile. 

A little bit of love goes a long way.
Make your mark on someone's heart.

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