Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday's Go Green tip...

Tonight I was thinking about more ways I can go green and I decided that I really want to share those tips with you, so I've decided to change Your Home Connection to be a "Green" tips blog...and for a new green tip, I wanted to talk about Water Conservation...or maybe I should say Dual Flush Water Conservation.

Have you heard of this neat little gadget? You attach it to your standard toilet and you save water and money. You are basically turning your toilet into a dual flush toilet...can it really be that simple? It sure can...All you need are a few measurements from your standard toilet and if you can change a flush valve, you can install a dual flush conversion kit...and trust me, installing a flush valve is no big deal, so you got it made.

I think this little kit can also help save our landfills. I know changing toilets to dual flush toilets is better for the Earth, but what happens to the old toilets? With this little kit, I we aren't throwing away near the amount of 'trash'.

So what do you think? Would you try the Dual Flush Water Conservation Kit?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

On A Break

I know I just started this blog and all ready I'm taking a break. Things have come up and life has happened, so I decided to take a break from most of my blogs...

The only blog I will be concentrating on is Hazel's Crock Pot Kitchen and would love for you to join me over at that blog...


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cooking 101

The weather has been so hot around here the last few days that it has made me not want to cook...okay, for those of you who know me, you know I don't like to cook even in perfect weather...but it was a good lead in to my topic...Cooking 101 - Salads...

I remember when a salad use to be just a bowl of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, and dressing...boy have they come a long way baby!

In honor of the heat, I thought I would share some simple salad recipes:

Strawberry-Spinach Salad with Champagne Dressing

3 TBL brut champagne, champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
1 TBL Strawberry spreadable fruit
1 tsp vegetable oil
5 cups rinsed baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, halved and hulled
1/4 sliced unsalted, dry-roasted almonds


Mix first 3 ingredients in a jar (or other container that has a lid so you can shake the dressing up). After you shake the dressing, put it in the fridge for later when you serve the salad.


Place baby spinach in bowls (tear the spinach if you want smaller pieces). Top the spinach with strawberries and pour dressing over salad. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with almonds. Enjoy!

Layered Orange Treat Salad

2 (3 oz) pkg orange or orange-pineapple Jell-O
2 Cups boiling water
1 pint orange sherbet
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained and juice reserved

Dissolve 1 package Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water. Blend in sherbet. Pour into 1 1/2 quart mold. Freeze until firm. Dissolve remaining Jell-O in remaining boiling water. Combine reserved juice and enough cold water to make 1 cup. Add to Jell-O. Stir. Mix in mandarin oranges. Pour over frozen layer. Chill until firm or for at least 30 minutes. Unmold. Serves 8-10...


Monday, April 27, 2009

Gardening 101

I've recently started getting my gardens ready and am learning new things as I go. I not only wanted to have a vegetable garden and a flower garden, but I also wanted to plant some floral bushes...I love Lilacs so I have planted a couple of those, but I also wanted some 'theme' off to do my research...

I love Butterflies, so I found information on what plants attract butterflies and just in case you want to attract some butterflies, I wanted to share my list of plants with you...

Here are the top 10 plants that will attract butterflies to your garden:
  1. Butterfly Bush (this is the best butterfly attracting plant you can get)
  2. Butterfly Weed
  3. Coreopsis
  4. Hollyhock
  5. Loosestrife
  6. New England Asters
  7. Phlox
  8. Purple Coneflower
  9. Verbena
  10. Yarrow
Something else you can do to attract butterflies is to put a butterfly house in your garden. Mount it on a nearby tree or post.

Take a terra cotta dish and fill it with brown gravel and place it near your flowers. Male butterflies love to primp on rocks and gravel...

Click here to learn a little more about how to get butterflies to your garden

Friday, April 24, 2009

Living Green 101

Do you ever think about making the choice to Live Green? Or did you just start doing it without thinking twice?

For me, I had to think about. I was 'trained' to do things a certain way and they weren't always green ways of doing things.

So I thought I would take a few of the different areas that you might be easy to 'think' about or even do without much thinking at all.

Harness that Energy Power:

Do you ever think about how much energy it takes to get through a day? Lights, computers, t.v., radios, DVD's, fans, air conditioners, heaters, electric garage doors, pole lights, stop lights, microwave clocks, cordless phone chargers, cell phone chargers, printers, faxes, copiers, and there are so many other things that uses electricity just in a day.

So what can you? Be smart about the energy you use:

So what can your choices really do?

  • If you choose CFLs then you are helping to save about 300 lbs of carbon dioxide a year because CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb.
  • If every home in the United States used just one CFL bulb, we could prevent greenhouse gases equal to the emissions of almost 800,000 cars.
  • By turning your thermostat down by just a couple degrees in the winter and/or up a couple of degrees in the summer you can save over 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  • Purchasing a programmable thermostat and programing it to turn off when you are aren't at home can save you about $100 a year in electricity.
So look at what this one choice can save you...Think about it and share it...Make your choices count...Hugs...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crafting 101

I thought I would post some easy crafts that would also make nice Mother's Day gifts. So for each week until Mother's Day, I will be posting a new craft just for Moms...

Today I wanted to start with Bath Cookies...(why do the same old bath salts and bath fizzies when you can make cookies)

What you need:

2 cups of Sea salt or rock salt
1/2 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup Cornstarch
2 tbs of Almond oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
1-2 eggs
6 drops Essential oil

Cookie cutters

What you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350'. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using a rolling pin, smooth out the cookie mix and use cookie cutters to make cookie shapes. You can also roll small balls in your hand and make plain old round cookies.

Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Makes 10-12 cookies depending on size.

How to use:

Drop 1 to 2 in a warm bath (it works great if you put them in while the water is running into the tub.)

Store them in an airtight container for up several months.

Stay tune for more fun gifts you can make for your mother...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cooking 101

Yesterday's post made me hungry for strawberries and blueberries, so today I thought I would include some recipes that had them as ingredients...I know eating them right off the plant is delicious, but just in case you want a change, here are some recipes...some simple salad recipes...Enjoy!

Strawberry Pineapple Salad


- 1 large box strawberry Jell-O
- 10 oz fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 small can crushed pineapple (you can also use a fresh one)
- 1 pkg. Dream whip
- 3 oz. Cream cheese
- Nuts (optional)


Mix the dream whip and cream cheese together. Then add the strawberries and pineapple. Mix well. Spoon into individual serving bowls. Mix Jell-O and 1 cup boiling water. Pour Jell-O on top of the mixture in the bowls. Chill until firm.

Serve with one strawberry on top of each serving and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Blueberry Breakfast Salad


Mixed salad greens

4 cups fresh blueberries

4 cups mandarin oranges, drained

2 cups Granola

Blueberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)


Gently toss the salad greens with 1-1/2 cups of the Blueberry Vinaigrette. Divide greens among eight plates. Place 1/2 cup each of the mandarin oranges and the blueberries on top of each salad greens. Divide the granola into 1/4 cup portions and sprinkle each salad. Drizzle remaining Vinaigrette over each plate. Serve immediately.

YIELD: 8 portions

Blueberry Vinaigrette: 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup frozen blueberries (thawed), 1 TBL Dijon mustard, 2 TBLS brown sugar, 2 tsp minced shallot, 3/4 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika

Mix everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes before mixing with salad greens.