Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Study space for kids (link)

These ideas from HGTV are cheerful and practical.  I think they will encourage kids to sit  down and tackle their homework: 10 Ideas for a Kid-Friendly Homework Hub 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strike Three news update

Strike Three, my post-apocalyptic novel, recently received a 5 star review from Readers' Favorite and a 4 star review on GoodReads, which is actually an excerpt from David Lee Summer's blog post on science fiction, horror, and post-apocalyptic novels:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home and entertaining

The August issue of Southern Living has some inspiring home ideas from their 2014 Southern Living Idea House, among other things, including a few home makeovers, but the issue also includes five Southern burger recipes.  I thought the Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burger sounded especially exciting, plus there's a recipe for onion-spiked pickles that I'd love to try.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bathroom sinks (link)

Here's a Pinterest board full of bathroom sinks, mainly of that new trend: Vessel sinks, most of which are impractical.  I wouldn't want to clean them inside and out!  Link:

Speaking of bathrooms, I don't know how serious this advice from Pinterest is: Before ripping the tile off the walls and ordering an LED toilet seat that doubles as a nightlight, make a thorough plan for your bathroom renovation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bookcase display ideas (link)

Here are some interesting ideas for spicing up your bookcases: 10 Bookshelf Styling Tips

I'm pretty happy with my bookcases, though I've been moving a few things around lately, and I don't know what to do with that big green apple!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Joy's remodeling ebook is on sale now!

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure is now half price with this coupon code: FN83G

How one woman bought and remodeled a foreclosure; it didn’t even have a kitchen sink! 

Get it here:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Expediting the morning routine (link)

You can bag your breakfast, box your lunch supplies, make lists and schedules (love that big board by the little table), and even set your clock ten minutes ahead. For more ideas: Get Out the Door Faster: 8 Tips

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pretty pastels (link)

Are pastels the new trend?  Do you care?  Pastels are gentle, I think, and sometimes quiet is good: Pastel ideas from HGTV.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Delicious dishes

I recently read a few Martha Stewart Living magazines that a friend gave me, and they are full of interesting articles and tempting photos of food.  No wonder the magzine is so big; those photos are beautifully displayed.

The May issue tells you how to enhance a flank steak with a marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar...  That carmelized crust sounds good.  And then there's the Upside-Down Lemon Meringue pie.

The June issue shows a variety of olives; I didn't know there were that many!  And then there are the pies with herbs and roses.  And fancy picnic ideas, plus a home made out of barns...

The July/August issue has an interesting article on lavender with a lavender sugar scrub that's good enough to eat....  You can even add lavender to nut brittle.  And I loved that display of the different tomatoes all sliced up.  Lots to look at and enjoy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Decorating ideas

I enjoyed all the color choices and decorating ideas--stripes are in, btw--in the July/August issue of HGTV Magazine.  They have great sources also for getting an expensive look at a cheaper price--always apprecitated 'cause I hate waste.  And you're reminded not to use regular detergent in an HE washer and not to push bits of food down your drain.

I appreciate learning things like the differences between rattan and wicker and quartz and granite.  (I knew I should have gotten quartz.)  And learning decorating terms; I knew most of them except for some of the table legs--and Euro pillows.  I'm sure that's a new one.

I love paint color names, such as Blue Peacock (Sherwin-Williams), Citrus Zest (Behr), and Rosemary Green (Benjamin Moore).  Wait!!  That does not look like rosemary!  And I enjoyed the porch and home makeover ideas.  Always a fun learning experience.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Strike Three discount deadine: July 15

Strike Three is a post-apocalyptic novel:

Because of the "hot virus," the devastation of WWIII is more horrible than the worse case scenario, and missiles fired in retaliation gave new meaning to "scorched earth."

Strike Three is available in paperback or as an ebook.
For the print edition of Strike Three, go to Createspace:   With this discount code: TGERED9J  , you'll save 25% of the cover price of $12.95; the discount is good through July 15.

If you prefer eBooks, go to Smashwords:   The discount code: WB38B will save you 25% off the cover price of $4.95.  Again, this discount is only good through  July 15.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Top Ten Summer Colors (link)

Check out these color choices, including Flirty Pink, Seaworthy Coral, Water's Edge Blue, and Crisp White, from HGTV to see if they could work in your home: Top 10 Summer Colors.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Useful storage products (link)

There are some cool storage ideas collected here by HGTV; I'm not sure about the wine racks hanging on the wall; I'd prefer something sturdier, but there are some useful products for use in the garage too: 14 Nifty Storage + Organization Products

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pet safety tips for the Fourth

Dog Do's and Don'ts for the 4th of July

We all love to include our dogs in our celebrations with family and friends. But the 4th of July, in all its loud, blasting, fiery glory, is one party your dog would rather not be invited to. 

Do use sunscreen on any area of your dog that is thin-skinned and not covered by hair—the little tips of pale noses, for example. 

Don't apply anything that isn't labeled specifically for use on animals. 

If your dog accidentally eats or licks sunscreen products, he or she may suffer from drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Insect repellent with DEET, a common insecticide, can lead to neurological issues. 

Do give your dog his or her own special dinner or treats made just for pets, like doggie ice cream. 

Don't let your dog eat scraps from the grill or buffet. 

Changes in diet can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea, especially in older dogs. These foods are potentially toxic to animals: avocado, chocolate, coffee, grapes and raisins, onions, salt, and yeast dough. 

Do provide your dog with plenty of fresh water in a few locations at your backyard cookout. 

Don't leave alcoholic beverages unattended where dogs can get to them. 

Any alcoholic drink is potentially poisonous to dogs. They could become intoxicated and weak, depressed, or even comatose. In severe cases, death from respiratory failure is a possibility. 

Do invite your dog to your cookout if it's just a few people and you can supervise him or her closely.

Don't leave matches or lighter fluid where your dog could chew or eat them. 

Your dog could suffer damaged blood cells and even kidney disease from the chlorates in some matches. And if your dog ingests lighter fluid or licks an insect coil, he or she could suffer gastrointestinal irritation or central nervous system damage. A good sniff of lighter fluid or a citronella candle can cause aspiration pneumonia or other breathing problems. 

Do make your dog a part of your festivities with a red, white, and blue bandanna.

Don't let your him or her wear or play with glow jewelry. 

It's not highly toxic, but the luminescent stuff inside these tubes can still cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation. And if your dog swallows a large piece of the plastic, it could even cause a blocked intestine. 

Do keep your dog indoors in a quiet, sheltered, escape-proof area at home where firecracker sounds from outside can't be heard. 

Don't take your dog along to a loud, crowded venue where there will be fireworks.

Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances like potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals. Lit fireworks can result in burns or trauma to curious noses and paws. 

Be a best friend this summer and don't bring your dog to see the fireworks. Instead, find some togetherness time playing and relaxing. You'll both be happier for it. 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Living room design (link)

I enjoy looking at rooms styled and decorated in different ways. Here's the same living room with different color combinations: One Living Room, Three Ways

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stenciling primer (link)

This how-to article from HGTV--with photos--covers the basics, though it's focused on stencilling the ceiling--something I wouldn't attempt--if ever--unless I'd had some practice: Step by Step: Add Pattern with Stencils.

Tropical Storm Arthur

TS Arthur is sitting--it's stationary--off the east coast of Florida, but is expected to move north and then east, probably becoming a category 1 hurricane along the way.  So far all those rotating rain bands have missed us.

Update (7-2): TS Arthur is moving north now and still expected to turn east, though it may move closer to the coast.  And we got some rain today from a couple rain bands.

Update (7-3): While I wasn't looking, Arthur became a category 2 huricane and is moving up the east coast, while we're still getting rain from trailing rain bands moving in from the Gulf.