Tag Archives: #diy

Fruit Flies Have you Outnumbered?

I don’t know about you guys, but for some reason, earlier this summer our house was swarming with fruit flies. It didn’t seem to matter HOW many we killed, they just seemed to keep coming.

So I remembered, reading a “Life Hack” in one of the MANY lists you get bombarded with here and there on the internet. (That and a little ingenuity of my own as well, with some method advice from a friend.)

The “life hack” I tried was pouring about 3 Tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar into a coffee cup, tightly sealing it with Saran Wrap, held on with a rubber band and then poking holes in the wrap with a toothpick.

The idea is the fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar (which TRUST ME are they EVER) they climb in the hole and they can’t get back out. The more that are trapped, the more that seem to be attracted to it. I have to admit, this works pretty good, if you don’t have too many full-grown adult fruit flies. (we had some that were too big to fit in the holes and that is how they got out of control ,I believe.) But, you don’t want to have the holes too big or the sneaky little..uh…flies will get back out. I ended up putting a couple of cups out like this to take the population down quicker. I discovered that they were more attracted to a white mug than a clear mug. (Actually they seem to land on anything light or white, so if you set-up one of these traps, use a white mug for best results. As you can see in the picture below.)

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After a couple of days you’ll need to dump out the vinegar and start again with some fresh, if you still have a fruit fly problem. (the fresher vinegar attracts them better)

Where my ingenuity came in was…the adult ones that weren’t getting trapped of course were multiplying causing the population of fruit flies not to diminish as much or as quickly as I had hoped. We have one of those battery operated, tennis racquet bug zappers. (I’m sure you see where I’m going with this) The larger fruit flies fly a bit slower, which helps…but they can also duck and maneuver pretty good, which can add to your frustration.

With some method tips from a friend…(I must advise, don’t do this with people around or for a long time… for one you will look like a crazy person trying to bat down bugs that only you can see and two you will get tennis elbow. Which of course the latter happened to me. lol) You pretty much have to swing that racket in every direction possible, and fairly quickly to get some of the flies. (Maybe you can convince your kids it’s like a video game and get them to swat down the flies? lol) I found it a bit easier if you can see where they land and slowly place the racquet over that spot so the only exit they have is to fly into the racket. (Doesn’t always work…but more times than not it seemed to.)

I hope I have THOROUGHLY entertained you with the hilarious image of me looking like a lunatic swatting invisible bugs. (see the pains and humiliation I suffer to test some of these tips for you guys?! lol) I’m sure in MOST circumstances you won’t need to add this method. Just use the traps for a couple of days and you should see the population of flies reduce. (This is how we NORMALLY get rid of them, they just seemed extra difficult this year)

Hope you find this useful, as well as humorous.

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Organization “Life Hack” Busted…Possibly

Busted

I’m sure you’ve all seen those lists “Life Hacks” for all kinds of cool stuff. I fall for those every time I see them, cause there might be something in there I haven’t seen/read yet. Most of the time they are a repeat and I’ve already seen them.

It’s one thing to read them,  it’s another thing to remember just ONE of them when you can use it.

Well…one actually DID pop into my brain, at a time that I could use it…but it turned out not to be one of the BETTER hacks I’ve read.

Let me set the scene for you…my husband and I had a bunch of presents to wrap recently, and that reminded me that we needed to organize our wrapping paper rolls better. (they were already in a neat container, but they kept unraveling and getting crunched when putting a roll back.) “Life hack to the rescue!!”

I had remembered reading that you can use empty toilet paper rolls as “cuffs” to keep your wrapping paper from unraveling. “GREAT!!! I will start saving toilet paper rolls.” After saving several, the day came when we needed to wrap the presents, so as my husband wrapped I organized. (Needless to say I didn’t save ENOUGH toilet paper rolls for the amount of wrapping paper rolls we had…mistake #1.) But, I decided I could cut them into thirds and I should have enough.

Here is where problems started:
1. Not all wrapping paper rolls are large enough for toilet paper rolls to work as a cuff. Some are quite a bit smaller in diameter so the toilet paper cuff just slides off. (But, you can always tighten the toilet paper roll and tape it together…my own ingenuity there. lol)

2. Some wrapping paper rolls are larger or too large for the cuff to work.

20150722_1310223. Cutting them into thirds did NOT seem to work well. I think you need the longer length for the cuffs to hold their position.

4. The container we use to keep our wrapping paper organized, holds them upright, many of the cuffs I made/used slid down to the bottom the wrapping paper roll as soon as I got it in the storage container.

Most of these have been fixed in this picture. But you can tell some of them have already slid.
Most of these have been fixed in this picture. But you can tell some of them have already slid.

This is why I used the term “Possibly” in the title. I am certainly NOT ruling out “User Error” on this one. The fact that I cut them into thirds was definitely MY bad. As for the different size in wrapping paper tubes…maybe those are OLD rolls and this isn’t a problem anymore? The fact that this hack didn’t work…COULD be just me.

As far as I am concerned this “Hack” is not one of the better ones. It did help a bit on some of the tubes of wrapping paper, as you can tell from the picture below. But, there are just too many variables for this to work great for the most part. I will try it again without cutting them into thirds, but I know that won’t work on the smaller/larger diameter rolls. But maybe my tightening and taping will work for some of those?

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Hope this saves you some wasted time and frustration.

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Newspapers for Weed Block

How would you like no major weeding of your flower bed for an entire season? Sound too good to be true?

I thought the same thing, but so far-so good. (of course it’s only been about a month…but my flower bed can grow some pretty nasty weeds in less than a week.)

Am I an expert gardener? NOT AT ALL!!
Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have beautiful flower beds, I just don’t like all the time and effort it takes. (Plus I think my thumb is more black than green. Most plants I buy end up dead by the end of the season.)

So, here is the little experiment I started in my one “established” flower bed. (by established I mean the plants that are in it have survived a couple of years with me not doing too much)

Already started before I thought to take a pic.
Before. (Already started before I thought to take a pic.)

From the “Before” picture, you can tell it was in pretty rough shape, FULL of weeds. (I think there were more weeds in it than there was plants.) This initially does take a lot of work and effort…but hopefully, there will be VERY little effort for the rest of the season.

So I dug and hoed all the weeds out of the flower bed. (Doesn’t look too bad huh?) lol

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Then it took me a while to work up the energy and to acquire the things I needed to finish this experiment. You will need LOTS of old newspapers that you aren’t planning on reading or needing every again. (I needed some more soil to level out my garden) And you’ll need some mulch. (I bought some “NO FLOAT” Cypress mulch. So far it has done EXACTLY what it claims. NONE of it has moved or tried to float out of our garden, and we’ve had A LOT of rain in the past month.)

On with the experiment…once you have all your flowers/plants planted where you want them in the flower bed, take 8 pages of newspaper, (8 pages is the thickness you want) and lay them down over the soil where you have NO plants growing and where you don’t want weeds to grow. (You may have to put bricks or rocks on them to keep them from blowing away as you do this) Keep laying 8 page thickness of newspaper down, until you’ve covered ALL exposed soil. (Try to fit it as close to your plants as possible, you want no soil exposed. Otherwise those pesky weeds will find that one little spot and poke up through.) You may need to do some cutting or folding of the newspapers to get them to fit perfectly. Make sure each one is butted-up or overlapping the last one.

Once they are all positioned, take your hose and water them all very well. (This will keep them from moving around in the wind and you can now take the brick or rocks off that were holding them in place)

After all the newspaper is nice and wet, start spreading out your mulch, right over the newspaper. About an inch deep, enough to hide the ugly newspapers that are underneath. Once it is all covered, you’re FINISHED!!!

ALL FINISHED!!
ALL FINISHED!!

This won’t be COMPLETELY weed free, whatever seeds blow into the mulch will sprout up, but they should be VERY simple to pull out because they won’t be able to root themselves into the soil. The mulch and newspaper should also help keep moisture in the ground for your plants. (If you have pain in the you-know-what moles, like I do, this unfortunately doesn’t keep them away. Hopefully they won’t dig up through the newspaper too much and it will be able to keep the weeds away all season)

Hope this works as well for you, as it has for me so far. (Anything to help stay out of the heat and away from the hoe!) 😉

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Fat Exchange

So along with this Clean Eating and trying to get healthier. I have come across many articles that talk about Coconut Oil.

I had never used it before, or heard much about it before. But now, you see stuff about it EVERYWHERE on the internet and it’s not just good for cooking, you can use it for MANY things around your house.

I bought some and dived right in on using it for many things. I’ve used it to season a new cast iron skillet I bought. I’ve used it to massage into my dried ends of my hair. I’ve used it to make a scalp cleaning solution to help my hair grow. I’ve used it to wash my face with. (I know, sounds kinda gross but you’d be surprised how good it does, how it has improved my breakouts…most of the time, and if you are careful it won’t leave your face too oily) I have used it as a substitute for butter in frying stuff and cooking, I have recently started experimenting with substituting it in baking.

Here’s a link that lists many uses for coconut oil. (Make sure it’s organic and virgin) http://www.diyncrafts.com/10302/home/200-brilliant-uses-coconut-oil-will-change-life-forever This website has a lot of great DIY stuff, have a look around.

The next post will give you information on how my FIRST baking experiment went with coconut oil. 😉 There will be more to come, don’t worry…and they seem to be getting better as I go.