Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Posts Tagged ‘home and garden’

Scotts Loves Your Lawn

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveYourLawn #CollectiveBias.

Are you dreaming of outdoor Spring and Summer activities? Are you planning a blooming flower garden and looking forward to lush, green grass?

Do you have a gardening idea you can’t wait to try? We are excited to offer you the chance to win some amazing prizes to help you get started!


Here is a brand new sweepstakes offered by Scotts® Lawn Care

This sweepstakes is open from March 1 – April 26, 2016 and is open to all US residents. You will have the opportunity to win Walmart Gift Cards and Scotts® WIZZ Spreaders. 

Love your lawn with Scott's

This is a great opportunity to help jump start your amazing, outdoor Spring/Summer plans and projects!

What will you do if you are the winner?

Scotts® #LoveYourLawn Sweepstakes

Michiyo’s Choice Vegetable Spiralizer

Disclosure:  I received this item in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are 100% my own. #michiyoschoicespiralizer #amazon #tomoson 

I love preparing fresh veggies, not only for dinner but also in a healthy salad for lunch.  The reason why I chose to review the Michiyo’s Choice Vegetable Spiralizer was because I knew it was a product that would get a lot of use in my kitchen.  As you can see from the following video, I had plans on using it to prepare dinner the same day that I had received it.  Product Review Michiyo’s Choice Vegetable Spiralizer is great for making healthy meals even if you are not on a diet. Actually, the next time we have spaghetti I will probably use a squash instead of pasta to save on calories. This Vegetable Spiralizer also saves you time in the kitchen because you won’t have to slice, dice or julienne using a knife.

Michiyo's Choice Vegetable Spiralizer

The Michiyo’s Choice Vegetable Spiralizer is packaged and shipped quickly from  It comes in a nylon drawstring bag, is packaged with four, extra sharp blades with various cutting edges, please be careful when removing and inserting these blades. 

The package also includes a small blade cleaning brush and a blade removal tool as well as an end cap to hold the veggies once they get too small to hold with your fingers.  It is made of BPA-free ABS plastic, is dishwasher safe, compact, easy to store and would make a perfect addition to your or in a family/friend’s kitchen.

the spiralizer


 Before using the Michiyo’s Choice Vegetable Spiralizer for the first time, wash in warm soapy water and pat dry, also make sure to thoroughly wash vegetables and cut both ends.  Use straight and firm veggies that are approximately 2.5” in diameter for better results.  You can use carrots, squash, zucchini, or potatoes to make some great dishes, you will also receive a free eBook with recipe ideas like the one below.

Michiyo's Choice Vegetable Spiralizer



Serving 4 jars



  • 1 medium zucchini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1 can (14 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup crunchy wonton strips



  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil



Make zucchini noodles: Using a spiralizer to spiralize zucchini into noodles (you can also thinly slice the zucchini into strips).

Lay zucchini noodles on clean kitchen towel. Lightly sprinkle with salt; let stand 15 minutes. Squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, prepare Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger and sriracha. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil, then sesame oil, until all oil is incorporated.

Divide Sesame-Ginger Dressing equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide zucchini noodles over dressing. Layer with bell pepper, snap peas and oranges. If not serving right away, top with lids and refrigerate up to 2 days (storing wonton strips separately).

When ready to serve, remove lid and pour off any excess moisture that may have come out of zucchini noodles (the dressing will remain in bottom of jar).

Pour onto plate or bowl, top with wonton strips, stir and enjoy.


Let’s chat > what is your favorite veggie dish?

10 Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Home’s Exterior This Summer

10 Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Home’s Exterior This Summer

Author: Alyssa Craig

With the warm weather and the extra daylight, summer is a great time of year to focus on your home’s exterior. Since you spend most of the year inside your home, you may not have noticed the spots that need extra attention outside. So take a walk around the outside of your home and take inventory of what needs to be done. The list below will help you evaluate your home’s exterior. Once you’ve determined what needs to be done, it’s time to prepare for your tasks.

In preparation for your outside cleaning extravaganza, be sure to select a warm day with little wind, as this could otherwise end up working against you. Cover small plants, shrubs, and other landscape with a plastic sheet. Move lawn furniture and decor out of the way. Cover all vents, electrical outlets, and outside light fixtures. Finally, be sure to wear protective clothing and eye protection.

Alright, you are now ready to get cleaning! Here are a few suggestions for where and how you should be cleaning the outside of your house.

1. Pressure Wash Siding: Make sure all windows and doors are tightly closed before you begin. Using the correct hose, spray at a downward angle, testing a small section for damage before continuing. Keep moving in a side-to-side sweeping motion as you continue to wash the side of the house. But be careful! You can cause serious damage (even shattered glass) with a pressure washer.

Thai man do a pressure washing on timber

Thai man do a pressure washing on timber

2. Hand Wash Brick, Stucco, or Delicate Wood Shingles: These materials will not hold up well against a pressure wash. Instead, hand wash with a regular garden hose. There are attachments you can get at home improvement stores to help you out. Pretreat soiled areas with cleanser before spraying with a hose.

3. Paint: A new coat of paint can do great things for making a house look like new. Before you get started wash down the area to be painted and remove any dirt or paint residue. Next, scrape and sand away old paint. Use this as an opportunity to patch and fill areas that are cracking or otherwise damaged. Finally, prime and paint!

4. Remove Mildew and Mold: Unfortunately, mildew and mold will not come off with a powerwash. To remove, scrub it off with a bleach solution (one part bleach, four parts water). Wear gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals.

Painter painting the windows of a house

Painter painting the windows of a house

5. Repair Driveway: If you have cracks in your driveway, now is a great time to repair it. Remove grass or weeds growing in the cracks. Next, pressure wash the whole driveway. Patch cracks and holes with concrete resurfacer. Finish with a fresh coat of latex asphalt sealer to make it look like new.

6. Clean Your Deck: Your deck is bound to be used a lot this summer for BBQs and enjoying summer evenings. Apply a special deck cleaner and follow the directions on the bottle and allow it to sit for its designated amount of time. Either pressure wash or clean with a long handle scrub brush. Rinse and allow to dry completely. Refinish and apply a sealer or stain if necessary.

7. Repair Roof: Now is a much easier time to fix roofing problems than in the winter when snow and ice might be your enemy. Look for torn or missing shingles to replace or repair. Seal any gaps in the roofing cement. Cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement. Clean up any debris or frisbees that have made their way to the roof.

8. Clean Windows: If possible, clean in the shade to keep the cleaner from drying too quickly and ruining your work. Consider using a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture and newspapers (rather than paper towels) for a more environmentally friendly project. You can also try washing it with a squeegee. It’s faster and more likely to produce a streak free surface.

9. Clean Window Screens: Window screens often get neglected, so as you clean your windows, give these some love too. Remove and soak in a kiddie pool filled with soapy water. Use a soft scrub brush to gently remove dirt. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry.

Leaves in a rain gutter during autumn

Leaves in a rain gutter during autumn

10. Clean Gutters: Use an extended ladder to put yourself at a good vantage point to the gutter. Use a gutter scoop to get out the debris that has built up. Put the debris into a bucket or dump on a tarp below, as this will make cleanup easier for you. After the large debris has been removed, hose down the gutter, starting opposite of the downspout to remove anything else that may still be there.

As mentioned here, having a clean, put together exterior to your home adds to your home’s curb appeal whether you plan to sell your home in the near future or not. These jobs can quickly add up, but with some elbow grease, a great day off, and determination, these projects can be completed and your home will shine for another year.

Guest Post Disclaimer

5 Areas to Organize Inside Your Home Before Summer Ends

5 Areas to Organize Inside Your Home Before Summer Ends

Author: Alyssa Craig

Though you may have already done some spring cleaning, there always seems to be a corner of the house that needs a little bit of attention. This summer, you may find yourself with good conditions or simply the time to do a little more organizing that will make your summer and the upcoming seasons easier.

Here are five key areas you can focus your attention on before summer closes out:

rack in the auto garage

rack in the auto garage


Summer is the ideal time to pull everything out on your driveway and start from scratch. This gives you a chance not only to sort through everything you have acquired in that dungeon, but also to give it a good scrubbing while you are in there. As you start to put items back in your garage, make one pile for items to throw away and another pile for items to donate. You can also choose to have a garage sale with the items that are still in good condition. As you go about organizing the items you are keeping, consider the following:

use storage containers for like items (ie. winter snow gear, costumes, sports equipment)

install shelving for more use of vertical storage space

use hooks to hang tools or bikes on the walls or ceiling

Kids’ Closets

Now that the kids are home for the summer, this is a great time to go through their closets together. Unless you have kept a close eye on their backpacks throughout the school year, it is possible there are papers, projects, and all sorts of surprises that have accumulated over the last nine months or so. Throw away old papers and if there are any special reports or projects they would like to keep, help them create a scrapbook or “special” box for them to keep these items.

Kids grow like weeds, so the summer is also a great time to re-evaluate their clothing. Go through their fall and winter clothing items and determine what no longer fits or what will likely no longer fit once those seasons come around again. This will help you put together a good list of what they will need for the new school year.

As you go through their clothes, do not forget to also address shoes, as feet grow quickly. This is also a great opportunity to spray them and clean them off, to prevent that stinky feet smell from getting out of control.

kid's closet


When was the last time you went through your pantry? It is likely there are many items inside you do not even remember purchasing because they have been tucked away in a corner for so long.

Start by taking everything out and wiping down the shelves and floor before returning the items you are going to keep. As you strive to make better use of the foods you buy (money saver!) and prepare healthy meals for your family, try some of these organization tips:

First and foremost, ditch anything expired and FINALLY get rid of any lingering holiday or Easter goodies.

Use Labels: This will help differentiate between similar looking products more easily (such as flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, etc). You can also use it to mark expiration dates in a more visible way.

Install pull out drawers to make everything more easily visible and accessible, such as those suggested here.

Use containers or baskets to group similar foods together such as baking items, goodies, breads, etc.

cane basket with blank label or tag


Your mudroom is probably a major drop zone in your house, full of shoes, jackets, bags and who knows what else has been left there over the last few months. Take some time to get everything put away in its rightful place in your home. The summer is a great time to get coats dry cleaned and boots and other winter shoes cleaned and winterized. You will be grateful when the cool weather hits that you thought to do this while those items were not in demand.

Take this time to do a deep cleaning of the cubbies and shelves in your mudroom. You may consider buying baskets that fit inside of the cubbies to keep the room looking more organized, as you won’t see individual items floating freely. If you have not already done so, assign each family member their own shelf or cubby space for them to be in charge of as the year goes on, giving them ownership and responsibility over keeping that space clean and organized from here on out.


The kitchen tends to be the typical family gathering place, so there needs to be a sense of order where there is likely often chaos instead. Make it a place where each person can find what they need without being overwhelmed by clutter that may build up. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:

Create an area for mail to be sorted and taken care of. Have a slot for bills, one for fun items such as wedding invitations, or perhaps even a mail slot for each member of the family.

Keep wipes and paper towels handy for sticky ice cream and popsicle messes throughout the summer. This will help you keep the kitchen clean.

Look for creative ways to store countertop appliances, such as keeping them hidden in cupboards or drawers when they are not in use. This will help create a more clutter free feeling.

As school starts again, your children will likely be spending more time in the kitchen doing homework. Take inventory of your drawer that contains pencils, pens, and other school supplies and determine what can be thrown away (the 20 pens that no longer work) and what needs replacing.

By taking care of these five areas of your home, you will slowly, but surely feel a little more organized and ready to take on the next whirlwind life throws your way.

Guest Post Disclaimer

Brown Bagging It Can Be Stylish

Hello friends and Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Yes, I will be going to El Charro Negro for lunch, and if you remember that post, you know that I normally “brown bag” my lunch to eat at my desk.  I actually gave up the “brown bag” years ago and carry my lunch in an insulated tote bag, and this one from Hydracentials has become my favorite.

Hydracentials lunch tote

This Hydracentials Stylish on The Go Lunch Tote Bag is large enough to carry both my salad and fruit platters with plenty or space available for a water bottle. It keeps everything cool and fresh during my long commutes to work so I don’t have to worry about immediate refrigeration.  The front pocket can be used to store utensils, napkins or any other items that don’t need to be kept cool.

Hydracentials lunch tote

It folds flat so I can put in back into my work tote or purse without having it take up too much room and the inside easily wipes clean.  I will probably take it on vacation since it is also stylish with it’s black and white classic color combination.

If you are ready to give up the brown bag and are looking for a cute lunch tote to carry to the office, school, soccer field or even to the beach, check out the Hydracentials at using my affiliate link below.  

I hope your day is as beautiful as you are!

DeDivahDeals Signature Floral

Homemade Applesauce made with a Bellemain Potato Ricer

Homemade AppleSauce with a Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer

Hello friends, I hope all is well in your world.  Today I am excited to bring to you a product review and also a short video recipe using the Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer.

Stainless Steel Potato Ricer Review 009

I remember growing up in New Rochelle, NY, and my grandmother had a potato ricer which I thought was the neatest gadget she had in the kitchen.  Whenever she boiled baby potatoes I knew it meant that we were going to have the creamiest mashed potatoes for dinner topped with butter and made without any lumps. 

I would stand next to her and watch then ask if I could try squeezing it myself; and I think she let me do it a few times, however, her mashed potatoes were always the best, with or without butter and gravy.

Now that I have an opportunity to own my own Potato Ricer I wanted to try making something different so I chose to  make fresh, homemade applesauce also one of her favorites. 

Stainless Steel Potato Ricer Review 017

After coring, peeling and slicing 3 medium size Granny Smith apples, I placed them in a non-stick pan with a little water to boil for approximately 7 minutes, just until tender and not mushy.  After allowing them to cool for about 10 minutes, I spooned them into the Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer.  Using the fine ricing disc it was a perfect consistency. 

I sprinkled mine with a little ground cinnamon and it made for a perfect mid-morning snack.  Hubby chose to add a brown sugar and my son added some cinnamon sugar to his serving.

The Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer was easy to clean and I liked that it has comfortable, cushioned handles and a bowl rest which makes it easier to operate especially as a left-handed person, here take a look at the video.

The Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer would also be perfect to use for Sweet Potatoes when making a pie, tomatoes for making sauces, beets for pickling and of course apples and pears for homemade desserts for the entire family including babies, toddlers, and the elderly.

  Stainless Steel Potato Ricer Review 002

Although it wasn’t creamy mashed potatoes, the memories of using a Potato Ricer were just as sweet.  If you want  more information or to perhaps order your own Bellemain Stainless Steel Potato Ricer, click on the Amazon link below to be taken their website for a quick ship delivery.

New Year ~  New You

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Winter to Summer Storage

Hello friends, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and were able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather yesterday.  I worked in the yard for a few hours and then was able to relax on the back deck to read before the sun went down. 

I pulled out a few of my patio cushions from the garage and wanted to share a tip and how to store them for the winter without spending a lot on bags that are sold specifically for them.  

After the holidays purchase a few artificial Christmas Tree bags which are large enough to hold several cushions and they keep the dust and bugs out when stored in the garage.

I hope your day is just as beautiful as you are!

New Year ~ New You

DeDivahDeals Signature Floral


Essence of Essential Oils Giveaway

Essence of Essential Oils

Hello friends, I hope all is well in your world. If you are a busy wife, mom, girlfriend or grandmother you know how important it is to take care of yourself and try to stay healthy. However, oftentimes we are running from pillar to post and before we know it both our minds and bodies are exhausted. At the end of each post, I close with “New Year ~ New You” which is a reminder to you and me to slow down and take better care of ourselves.

Essential Oil therapy has been a common form of alternative medicine used for thousands of years to effectively affect a person’s mood or health. Essential Oils are rubbed into the skin to penetrate and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues. The bottom line is they smell great, feel good and depending on the ingredients can be very soothing and calming and beneficial to our health.

mia mariu

I recently had an opportunity to try ‘Relax’, a Mia Mariu Organic Therapeutic Essential Oil that contained Lavender, Sandlewood, Cedar, Clary Sage, Coconut and Almond oil. My nighttime ritual has included adding a few drops after my shower as the last thing that I do before getting into bed. This relaxing essential oil relieves the stress of the day, promotes inner peace and supports a restful night’s sleep, and as a blogger I need something that helps to calm my mind.

A few drops of the Mia Mariu Therapeutic Oils can be placed on your pulse points or used as a massage oil to rub directly onto your body where needed. There’s another fragrance “I Feel Good’ which contains Eucalyptus, Lemon, Bay Laurel, Peppermint, Apricot and macadamia Oil which together promotes good digestion and supports overall respiratory health.

mia mariu

My friends over at Mia Mariu’s are offering to give away one FREE bottle of Relax Essential Oil to one of my readers, so enter today for a chance to win.   to which fragrance you would prefer then check out Mia Mariu’s website for wellness tips and other great products.  

Contest is open to US Residents only and will end at midnight on 4/11/15.

New Year ~ New You

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Brunch with Blake ~ Chicken Enchiladas

Brunch with Blake ~ Chicken Enchiladas

Hello Friends, I hope all is well in your world.  Most of you know that I have a channel on YouTube and on most Sunday’s I have a feature “Brunch with Blake”.  Last week’s recipe was Chicken Enchiladas which I made especially for my youngest son who is home for Spring Break.  This is a quick and easy recipe and I was able to use my new tongs and spatula from Bobbi Jean’s Kitchenware.

Bobbi Jean's Kitchenware

I have several stainless steel tongs in the kitchen drawer however, the sets from Bobbi Jean’s Kitchenware have thick silicon tips which prevents scratching and abrasions to pots and pans.  Bobbi Jean’s Tongs Set come with a FREE Bonus Spatula and the 9 inch tongs are great for shorter reach when preparing food. The 12 inch tongs are perfect for deep pots & serving food and were great for stirring the Chicken Enchiladas.

Chicken Enchiladas

The tongs are a dusk grey and the FREE BONUS Silicone Spatula with a stainless steel handle is Pea Green. The curve shaped spatula is perfect for blending dishes & scraping bowls which I will be using when I bake a cake next week.  Another great feature is their heat resistance which is up to 480°F, perfect for pan searing and deep frying.

Check my YouTube vlog to see the full Chicken Enchilada recipe and how I used each of the Bobbi Jean’s utensils.

Brunch with Blake - Enchilladas 042


What is your favorite Mexican food?

DeDivahDeals Signature

Glass French Coffee Press

Hello friends, I hope all is well in your world.  You guys know that I am not a ‘fru-fru” coffee connoisseur, as evidenced by this pic, however, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good cup of coffee!

coffee in the cold

I recently had an opportunity to review the Francois et Mimi French Coffee Press and if you watch my YouTube Video “Brunch with Blake” you’ll see that it made a really good cup of coffee.  To be honest with you I had to search online to first see how to use a Glass French Coffee Press and although I appear clumsy on my video it really wasn’t that hard to do.

French Coffee Press 1


Start by removing the lid, then add boiling water to the coffee press just up to the metal ring.  Place the lid back on so that the pot can warm up for about 10 minutes.  Remove the lid, empty the water then add more boiling water this time just enough for how many cups you want to make.  I was making just enough for myself, so I put 2 scoops of coffee grounds onto the metal tray, then put the lid back on and slowly pressed the plunger down to just above the water. 

French Press Coffee

French Coffee Press 5


I let it sit allowing the coffee to brew for approximately 5 minutes, then slowly pressed the plunger to the bottom for another 5 minutes.  After the allotted time, I pulled up and removed the lid and plunger and poured a cup.  I wasn’t going to taste the coffee on camera but it smelled delicious and so without adding any sweetener or cream I took a sip…it was awesome and my facial expression proves it.  Check out the video!

French Coffee Press 6 This is definitely a great product to have and it makes a really good cup of coffee. Due to my time constraints during the week (running late to work) I will probably use it only on the weekends, hey I might even splurge and get a fancier (more expensive) brand of coffee…nah

Check out, if you think you would be interested in ordering a Francois et Mimi Glass Coffee Press for yourself or to give as a gift.  

What is your favorite brand or style of coffee?

New Year ~ New You.