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Efficiently Mowing 101: How to Efficiently Mow Your Lawn

How to Efficiently Mow Your Lawn...

  • Keep the blades on your mower sharp and dent free. Dull blades don't clean cut the grass, they rip the grass which is does not promote a healthy lawn.

  • I'm all for DIY!!! However, when it comes to sharpening blades, it really is best left to the professionals. The sharpening itself can easily be done. However, it's difficult for most DIYers to also keep the blades straight AND balanced. I bought a lawn mower blade sharpener attachment for my Dremel with the intentions of sharpening our mower blades and maybe other peoples'. That's easier said than done! It is extremely easy to take more off of one side and throw the blade out of balance. And if blades aren't balanced, the mower will not work efficiently. You will also notice a difference in the cut of your lawn. It will look extrememy uneven.

  • It is also said that mowing in a circle from the outside in is the most efficient way to mow. garupaleThey say that if the mower clogs, stop, rake the grass, and then begin again. The next best way, "they" say is to mow from inside out in a circular pattern. Mowing in a circular patterns eliminates the corners and turns. Or so they say. Me, personally, I disagree with them. I like my lawn to have the 'golf course' look. I like the pretty lines. And I don't feel that it's efficient to have to rake my yard. In this area, the pattern of mowing, I feel that efficiency is based on personal preferences. What may be efficient to me may not be to you. There is no right or wrong.

  • Using a mulching blades makes mowing extremely efficient...if you keep the grass mowed. Trying to mulch long blades of grass is not as efficient. It makes the mower work harder. Mulching blades virtually eliminate raking. To me, that's extremely efficient!!

  • In my area, PA, it is best to keep the blades of grass cut at about 2 1/2 inches. You don't want the grass to be too short. The blades need to make chlorophyll to keep the lawn healthy. Yet, you don't want the grass to be too long. Higher grass tends to harbor more pests, especially ticks. Check with your local extension office to find out the proper grass height in your area.

  • Do not mow the grass when wet. It makes the mower work harder to cut the grass. Some people even say that it will dull the blades.





Efficiently Mowing 101: How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficienly (part 3)

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 3)

Today I will give you some tips on what to do before you store your mower for the winter.

  • You will want to make sure that you have cleaned the entire mower. Including under the deck. Any grass clippings or dirt has the capability of causing scratches or rust during storage.

  • After cleaning the mower, allow it to sun dry. Don't put your mower away wet because that too could cause rust.

  • Add a gas additive to the tank to keep the environmental additives in the gasoline from breaking down and harming the engine parts. Then completely fill the tank. This will help to keep water from accumulating in your mower's gas tank.

  • I have read in our mower's manual that you should also spray some kind of oil into the carburetor to remove any gas in the lines. I'm not sure what this does. Maybe by removing the gas from the lines, it will keep from freezeing and bursting the lines? If anyone knows why this should be done or how it helps with efficiency, please let me know.






What's In A Name Review and Giveaway!!!

YouCanMakeThis.com is an innovative company. I used to be an avid sewer, but due to my lack of time, I hadn't sewn anything in quite awhile. My wedding dress to be exact! So when they contacted me about doing a review of What's In A Name, I was excited. I love to sew!

When I went to the website, I was really amazed with everything that they have offer. They have patterns for clothes, toys, hats, etc. And not only do they have sewing patterns, they also have woodworking patterns and polymer clay patterns and jewelry patterns... just to name a few. You name it and it's probably there!

The really cool thing about these patterns is that they're in a down loadable format. One click of the button and I had my pattern. Being an EcOnomical person, I appreciated the fact that I could choose what pattern pages I wanted/needed to print...unlike buying a pattern in the store which not only
has the paper package, but also a lot of printed pieces that I wouldn't use. I don't like waste.

The pattern itself is very simple with easy to follow directions. Even if this would be your first sewing project, you can do it! If you aren't comfortable with more complicated patterns, they have patterns specifically labeled for beginners.

Although the What's In A Name pattern isn't listed in the beginner page, it is easy and fun to make. I started my pillow with good intentions. However, it is still not finished. My son is making the pillow and I will applique his name. He is having soo much fun making this. Much to my husband's dismay and my delight, my son loves to sew!! This would also be a perfect pattern for a little girls sewing project.

I am delighted to tell you that they are offering one lucky reader the What's In A Name pillow pattern.

CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, June 25 at 12:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, July 9 at 12:00pm.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each item counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Visit YouCanMakeThis.com and tell me another pattern that you would like to make. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Follow my blog in Facebook followers.
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, an they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status
Good Luck!!!





Effieciently Mowing 101: How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 2)

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 2)


Today I will give you tips on how to keep your mower running efficiently during the mowing season.



  • Check the oil level after every other run or so. You don't want the oil to get too low. Oil keeps the engine parts lubricated and running efficiently.
  • Low oil=Low efficiency.

  • Don't forget to change your mower's oil... depending on the size of your yard you may have to do this a few times throughout the season. Like your car, you don't want the oil to turn to sludge and ruin the motor. This is one of the easiest, yet least done steps to keep your mower running efficiently.
  • Sludgy oil=Low efficiency

  • Again, like your car, you need to check/change the air filter throughout the season. A clogged air filter will skew the air/fuel balance, thus reducing your mower's efficiency.
  • Low airflow = Low efficiency.

  • Don't forget to clean off the grass that has accumulated on the blades and deck, especially the underside. Doing this not only allows moving parts to move freely, it also helps prevent rust.
  • Clean mower=Happy mower.




Efficiently Mowing 101 {TIPsy Tuesday edition 25.}

Today begins EcOnomical Mom's Efficiently Mowing 101. This is a three part mini-series consisting of 'How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently' and 'How to Mow Efficiently'. Today I will be discussing the former.

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 1)

In order to keep your mower running efficiently, there are certain steps that you need to take. Even though we're already into Summer, I'll begin at the beginning! Before you begin mowing in the Spring you should follow these important steps...


  • After winter storage you should change all filters {air, gas, and oil} and the spark plug. After sitting all winter they may have become dirty or horribly enough chewed by mice. This will help ensure that your mower is running at top efficiency.

  • You will also want to lube any ports or area that need lubed. I can't tell you where or what to lube. I don't know much about doing this, except my husband insists that it needs done to keep the mower running efficiently.

Step two will be continued tomorrow. But right now, I would love to read any tips, tricks, or ideas that you have! It doesn't have to be new, dig deep through your archives! Due to too much spam being sent {it was almost all spam}, I am only accepting links through Mr. Linky. Provided that he works today!kenyit I can't wait to hear from you!






Quick and Easy Sesame chicken kicks off this week's menu plan.

Kicking off this week's menu is one of our favorites...Sesame Chicken. YUM!!! I love it soo much that I've decided to share my recipe after I list my menu.

This week is an extremely easy week for me. XR and I are leaving to visit a friend on Wednesday and won't be back until Saturday! We have an exciting few days planned of hiking and/or kayaking...if the weather cooperates. {Keep checking back though, I have realized that it is okay to write and schedule my posts ahead of time.kenyit }

Monday
Dinner
: Seasame Chicken w/ w.rice and broccoli.
Tuesday

Dinner: Cheesy Hashbrown Skillet w/ peas.
Wednesday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Thursday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Friday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Saturday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Sunday
Dinner: Hamburger's, potato packets and carrots on the grill.


Now for the wonderful recipe...

Quick and Easy Sesame Chicken
Ingredients:
  • Package of Chicken Nuggets (I use 25.5 oz GV Chicken Breast Chunks.)
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chile paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 c rice (Directions for both parboiled and minute rice)
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 bag of frozen broccoli florets

Directions:

  1. {If using parboiled rice}Add 2 c water and 2 c rice to hot pot (turn on).
  2. Cook rice for 25 minutes. (You will need to keep checking to make sure the water hasn't all evaporated. Add more if needed.)
  3. Preheat oven according to package of chicken nuggets...usually 350.
  4. While oven is preheating gather all ingredients.
  5. Cook chicken according to package directions...usually for 15-18 minutes.
  6. {If using minute rice}Add 2 c water to hot pot and turn it on.
  7. Bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.
  8. {If using minute rice} Add 2 c rice to hot pot, turn it off, and let it sit.
  9. Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce.
  10. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes.
  11. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.
  12. With about 5 minutes left on the timer, heat frozen broccoli in microwave for about 4 minutes. (It may need more/less time. Depends on the microwave.)
  13. Serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!!






Happy Father's Day '09!!!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Father's Day. This post is dedicated to my dad...the best in the world. I know raising me was not always an easy task. I can be difficult and stubborn at least I get it honest! I didn't always take the road you wanted me to or even the right road sometimes, but I've always found my way back and been able to get find the right road...with your help. Thank you dad for all that you have taught me. I know I don't say it often, but you mean the world to me. I love you.

And to Bapa, you are sadly missed and lovingly remembered.

Here are some great Father's Day quotes I have found...

"When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, 'Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?' He answered, 'If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'" -- Jerry Lewis


"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." -- Unknown


"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad" -- Unknown


"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." -- Charles Wadsworth


"The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!" -- Unknown


"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- Unknown


"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -- Abraham Lincoln


You can find these and other quotes here at the Associated Content.





Freebie Friday... Orange Julius Free Light Smoothie!!!


Today, June 19th, is Orange Julius's Free Light Smoothie Day!!
They have three new light smoothies which all sound delicious. So, click here to download your coupon for a free light smoothie and try one today!!!














Wright Group/McGraw-Hill Summer Reading Giveaway!!!

So...has everyone been thinking about their best summer reading tip(s)???
Tonight begins the Wright Group/McGraw-Hill giveaway!!! They are offering one lucky reader a series of three readers! {The books will be grade/age appropriate.}



MY TWO BEST READING TIPS:
1.Read to your child as young as possible. Even in the womb!
2.Let your child see you reading for your own enjoyment! Even if it's only for a few minutes, it will have a huge impact. Monkey see, monkey do!sengihnampakgigi




CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, June 18 at 10:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, June 25 at 10:00pm.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each items counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Leave me a comment telling me your best summer reading tip and the age or grade of the child receiving these books. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, an they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status







Summer Reading Tips part 2.


* Even if you are not reading the same books as your children, talk to them about what they are reading. Ask them questions such as what happened in the story or what might happen next, who is their favorite character, or who is the villain. This builds summarization and recall skills, and your interest can help increase their interest.



* If your children’s school program provides materials for home activities, absolutely use them.



* Suggest your child read a popular series that has been turned into movies like the Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia books. When your child finishes reading the book, rent or go see the movie and discuss how each differed from the other and whether the book or movie was more enjoyable.



* Look for materials beyond fiction. Kids often prefer to read about facts, including books and articles about the environment, animals, current events, sports, and other factual topics. Talk to them about what they like and help them find reading materials that match those interests.



* Try to set aside at least one TV/video-game-free night per week for family reading. Make your family’s favorite snacks, get new books at the library and make it fun!


Be thinking of your best summer reading tips, tomorrow will be the giveaway!!!



TIPsy Tuesday edition 24 Summer Reading Tips

This TIPsy Tuesday is going to be a bit different. Maybe by the time this mini-series is finished, Mr. Linky will be working properly! This will begin a two part series of Summer Reading Tips provided by McGraw-Hill Education. They have kindly supplied me with these tips from Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s author Charlene Cobb, Ed.D. In the second part of this mini-series, they are offering to send one of my readers a series of 3 of their books.



These books will be grade-level specific. I will post details of this contest in the next post. Now for the wonderful reading tips...

* Create a summer escape in your home perfect for reading. Make sure there is good light and comfortable seating to entice your kids to spend time there.



* Even if your children can read by themselves, take turns reading to each other. This helps build their skills as they listen to your tone and inflection throughout the story or article. Before, during and after you read, talk about the material. Ask you child questions and encourage you child to ask you questions.



* Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading themselves, plan an event or activity that ties to the reading material. For instance, book reading can lead to picnics, museum and zoo visits, ballgames, or even family vacations.



* Look for opportunities for your child to read. If you have a manual for a new DVD player, ask your child to read you the directions. Grocery lists and “to do” lists are also good items to help kids practice reading in “real life.”



* Share the reading experience with your child by reading the same book or material they are reading so you can discuss it.







Homemade Bug Spray

Being outdoors in this beautiful weather has inspired me to share a homemade remedy for deterring bugs. This is not a cure all, permanent fix, but it will help keep the bugs away.




In an empty spray bottle, mix 1 part water to 3 parts Listerine. Then spray your plants!

It's great for outdoor picnics or parties. It has kept bugs away from the area and off of my plants for hours, even days on some plants. I also use it on some of my vegetable plants. The best part is that I don't have to worry about the spray hurting my son or my animals.

Much to my husband's dismay, I have even used it on us!
ihikhik He says it did nothing for him, but it kept the gnats off of me and my son.




A great gift idea for Father's Day.

Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to let you know about the wonderful Father's Day deals from EyeBuyDirect.com.

Starting June 10 and running until June 21 EyeBuyDirect has...

20% Off Gift vouchers -Buy day a $100 voucher, pay only $80

20% Selected Frames- Can’t wait until father’s day? Want to select dad’s new glasses yourself? Choose one of three bestsellers discounted 20% from now and until father’s Day.



Hundreds of frames- Fashionable frames, classic frames, designer frames, sport frames and protective goggles.



Each order comes with a protective case and a microfiber cleaning cloth.



Each order is 100% satisfaction guarantee, 14 day money back.



Check back in a few weeks for my review of EyeBuyDirect.com and my experience of buying glasses online!


The winner of the KidsFunCards is...


NUMBER 30. Congratulations goes out to 1stopmom.











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A Super Natural Home Book Review and Giveaway

I have been racking my brain for days now wondering how to present this book review. This is my first book review. I'm just going to jump in head first...

Super Natural Home in my opinion is excellent! It is a well written, simply explained, very concise book. It will help to open your eyes to all the toxins in your surroundings. Not only in your home, but your work, schools, restaurants, hotels, everywhere! Beth Greer tries to cover it all. And does a great job!

On average, I'm a Spring Green colored person and feel fairly comfortable with my knowledge. I am proud to say that I already knew a lot of what she wrote. However, there has been sooo much more that I have learned from this book! Sometimes it is very scary and overwhelming to stop, think, and realize all of the toxins in your environment. The fabulous thing is, she not only points out where the toxins are/can be, she also gives you easy to follow steps to rid them. She goes from room to room, step by step throughout your home. It's not just your environment she discusses, she also covers what you're putting in your body and on your body!{This book makes for a great reference book!}


After the normal forward and acknowledgements, Beth Greer begins the book by explaining a bit about herself and why she had to change her life. Then, before jumping into the heart of the book, she gives you a small quiz...don't worrygatai...nothing's graded...she even gives you the answers! First she asks the question, gives you a hint, tells you what the problem is, and then gives you the solutions (chapters). This was my kind of quiz!

In each chapter she gives a few paragraphs explaining the what and wheres. She gives you facts not just opinions and tells you where you can find them. She has many wonderful websites listed. She then gives you a succinct what you should know section. After which, she gives you normally three steps to on how to fix the problems. She even provides a where to shop section in almost every chapter! I know I keep repeating myself, but this really is a very concise book! I would in my opinion call this a How To Be Green (Concerning Toxins) bible.

About the author...
Beth Greer, Super Natural Mom, is an award-winning journalist and holistic health advocate. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including US magazine. She is founder of SuperNaturalHome.com, a website devoted to providing healthy, natural strategies and advice. As former president and co-owner of The Learning Annex, the largest private alternative adult education company in the US, Beth has helped thousands see new possiblities and feel empowered to make changes in their lives.
I also want you to know that Beth donates a portion of her proceeds to two charitable organizations: Search for the Cause and Healthy Child Healthy World.

You can purchase a copy here or enter for a chance to win a copy of Super Natural Home!

CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, June 11 at 12:00am and ENDS on Thursday, June 18 at 12:00am

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.

Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.
{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments.love

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each items counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Leave me a comment telling me how you make your environment less toxic.
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES

  • Name an article written by Beth Greer. You can find them on her website.(Unlimited entries)
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, an they won't count.)
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status
Good luck!






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