From blended fruit to real yogurt, homemade Popsicles are delicious.
By Leah Batkin, Networx
Well friends, the time has come upon us once again. Grab a paper towel - nay, take a baby wipe or two, because it's about to get sticky. That's right - it's Popsicle season! But before you all run out to your local market and buy that high-fructose corn syrup treat, or even worse, spend $7 on a tiny box of frozen organic sugar, bear this in mind: you, yes YOU, can make your own Popsicles this summer in your very own kitchen (you're running the freezer anyway, so it won't cost you more on your electrical bill)!
Popsicle making is not just a soccer mom's pastime, it is actually an art. There are many different ways to make your own Popsicles using a variety of ingredients. Here I present to you a smattering, if you will, of the possibilities in Popsicle cuisine.
1. The Basic Popsicle
This is what I used to do as a kid. I would take a Dixie cup and fill it with my favorite juice. Then I would place a Popsicle stick in the middle and tape it to either side of
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From blended fruit to real yogurt, homemade Popsicles are delicious.Read More »from 4 Easy and Cheap Homemade Popsicle Ideas
Marine Grade Entertaining Set by Frontgate.com
By Linda Merrill, Networx
Relaxing with friends and family on a hot summer's day is a time-honored tradition. Whether you're relaxing poolside on that deck your trusted concrete contractor built, on your yacht or simply lounging with your feet in the kiddie-pool, you'll want to keep hydrated with your favorite summertime beverage. We all know that glass containers are pretty much a no-no and paper is wasteful. Stock up on some of these safe and reusable outdoor barware items and you'll be cooling off in style!
Clear Acrylic Wine Glasses from Crate&Barrel: Picnic in style with this set of four Acrylic Wine glasses. Just because you're lunching on the lawn at Tanglewood or poolside doesn't mean you can't enjoy your favorite vintage in a proper glass. These clear goblets have the look of glass, without the risks. $9.95
Acrylic Lemonade Pitcher from Crate&Barrel: Crate&Barrel's classic round glass pitcher has been re-created in a safe for outdoors and kids clear acrylic. PerfectRead More »from Designer Picks: Outdoor Barware
If you have these things in your home, you probably don't need this article.
By Noah Garfinkel, Networx
Sometimes you'll just be sitting in your house, completely unaware of your surroundings. You'll be vaguely aware that there are walls around you and a couch beneath you, but details beyond their mere existence are of no concern. You might be watching your lights flicker, but you're certainly not considering calling a NYC electrician. Then, out of nowhere, a friend will call and say he or she is dropping by. Suddenly the Triscuit crumbs on your coffee table come into focus. The month of un-swept floor dust becomes blaringly noticeable. You have to clean up. But, let's face it, you're not really going to clean up. You don't like your friend that much. What's going to happen is that you're going to halfway clean. You're going to clean without really cleaning.
First you'll start with the coffee table crumbs. You're not going to get out the Pledge though. You don't even have Pledge. If you were the kind of person who had Pledge regularly in stock, you'dRead More »from How to Clean Without Really Cleaning
The author's own fire escape garden.
By Mike Lieberman, Networx
You had the best of intentions to start your first vegetable garden for the summer, but you got sidetracked with remodeling projects and never got around to it. Now you are ready to get it started. I hate to be the bearer of bad news ... but it's too late to start your summer garden. Ideally everything should have been planted weeks ago.
Did you plant your summer garden and already kill most of your plants? Do you live in a dry climate like Phoenix and you never got around to having a Phoenix plumbing expert install an irrigation system in your garden, and your plants dried out? Now you feel like a failure and are no good at this? All is not lost. I promise you. The great thing about gardening is that there is always next season.
If you fall into either one of these categories, I have two options for you.
Let's go over the first: Being that you are absolutely determined to have your summer vegetable garden this year, it's stillRead More »from Getting a Late Start on a Summer Vegetable Garden
The season has come to restore backyard chairs!
By Laura Foster-Bobroff, Networx
Summer is the time for outdoor grill parties or sitting on a deck on a hot summer night sipping cold drinks. Whether you're a refurbishing beginner or a carpentry expert, it's time to drag those worn backyard chairs out of the shed or restore a yard sale treasure using these simple guidelines:
PLASTIC CHAIRS (Skill Level: Beginner): Chairs made of plastic composites need only to be cleaned with mild, soapy water and rinsed with a hose. Set the nozzle head on high to remove stubborn dirt or use a pressure sprayer on low setting. Let dry thoroughly. Once dry, lay them out on a large drop cloth. Spray paint them with paint made especially for plastic, following manufacturer's instructions for application and cure time between coats. Feeling adventurous? Atlanta painter Kass Wilson published some great ideas for faux finishing plastic and fiberglass, which you could try on your backyard chairs.
METAL or WROUGHT IRON (Skill Level: Beginner toRead More »from How to Fix Up and Renew Backyard Chairs
They're economical, but are they better than LED?
By Carl Seville, Networx
Unless there is some big action by conservatives to repeal Bush administration legislation that requires more efficient lighting, many old incandescent bulbs (or lamps) will become unavailable over the next few years. This will leave most of us having to look for alternative products to light our homes, the most common being Compact Fluorescent Lamps, AKA CFLs, and Light Emitting Diodes, AKA LEDs. Somebody seriously dislikes something about both of these newer lamps, often resorting to stocking up a lifetime supply of incandescent lamps to avoid using CFLs and LEDs. But those are some short-sighted people who are prejudiced against new technology because of bad experiences, rumor, fear, or a combination of all three.
CFLs had a reasonably deserved poor reputation early in their development. They flickered, the color of the light wasn't good, they took a while to get to full power, and they couldn't dim. On top of that, there is a tiny amount of mercury inRead More »from CFL Vs. LED Lightbulbs: The Great Debate
Would you use an online interior design service?
By Linda Merrill, Networx
These days, we look to the internet for nearly every question and need that comes up, including decorating ideas. There is no doubt that there are hundreds of thousands of websites that offer inspiration and design tips. There is a wealth of knowledge available, and yet, it can be tricky to apply these inspiring images to our own situations. It's not unlike when we bring a photo of a celebrity to our hair stylist and ask for the same style. Will that style work on your face and with your hair texture? And more importantly, will you have a comb-wielding stylist always at the ready out of camera range to fluff and buff you? Sometimes, we need a professional to step in and provide a more custom plan to meet our needs and desires. This is where "e-decorating", also known as "virtual decorating", comes into play.
What is "virtual interior design" and how does it work?
There are many professional interior designers who are now offering this service inRead More »from Interior Design, Online?
Could you live in a house like this?
By Kevin Stevens, Networx
Tiny is a relative term and generally refers to homes of 400 sq feet or less; many of these are much smaller at 98 to140 sq feet or so. One of the big drivers for people to downsize is the freedom that comes from living smaller. Most of these tiny homes are built on wheels and can be moved from place to place. This portability is handy, but is mostly done to get around pesky building codes that relate to home sizes, room minimums, etc. By being on "wheels" these tiny homes are considered RV's and those code constraints are avoided. Another level of freedom comes from the affordable nature of these homes. A big house normally requires a big mortgage and a 30-year "sentence" of work to pay for it all. In these cases less is more … more freedom and money to pursue other interests.
My Tiny House
When I started my tiny house project I decided to go with a fixed concrete foundation. After all I did have a place to build and this can allow for a widerRead More »from The Art of Tiny House Living
The author's own wooden toy.
By Sayward Rebhal, Networx
One of the greatest side effects of becoming a parent is the hope that it instills - the way that you can see the future stretching out in front of you, and how suddenly that future seems really, really important. Maybe that's why moms and dads are some of the most passionate environmental activists. They have a greater stake in the game.
The good news is that nowadays, it's easier than ever to make sure your purchase packs an activist punch. You can use your dollar for good, by choosing companies who make it their mission to preserve the planet. The ones below are just a few of my favorite larger operations, which are accessible to a wider audience. But remember, the "greenest" choice is something made locally, something handmade by an artist, or something secondhand. If you're interested in going that route, check out Etsy, check out your city's craft scene, and have fun poking around at thrift stores and garage sales. Otherwise, use this list as yourRead More »from Eco-Friendly Toys for Toddlers
Turn an ordinary tomato into a garden!
By Jordan Laio, Networx
If you've ever kept a compost pile, then most likely you've seen some volunteer squash or tomatoes growing out of it at some point and thought to yourself, "How did that grow there? I didn't plant it." Well, the nature of seeds is to grow, and of course many of the fruits and vegetables we buy from the store have viable seeds which are waiting to grow. The compost pile usually presents ideal conditions. As does your garden (hint hint).
So why not plant your favorite veggies from the grocery store? After all, there's no magical distinction between, for instance, the beans in the bulk bins at your local natural foods store and the beans sold in seed packs.
However, not all grocery store food is created equal and there are some seeds which will not bear fruit, but many that will. Like with all seed-saving, it's important to use non-hybridized varieties. Hybridized means the seeds were produced in such a way that their first generation will bear fruit, butRead More »from Growing a Garden from the Grocery Store