Agave in Vacation House Garden

Agave at Vacation HouseMay 19, 2010
There is a large cactus with a few baby cacti in the front garden of our vacation home.  It is an Agave that I think is Agave guiengola from the descriptions I found.  The leaves are thick, broad and triangular forming a rossette.  They have a bluish powder that gives the leaves a pale greenish grey colour.  The leaves have marginal spines that are quite small.

Vacation Gnomes

Vacation GnomesMay 22, 2010
As the happy keeper of Gnome Empire in Ontario, Canada I was anxious to have a few gnomes volunteer to help establish a Gnome Empire Outpost at the vacation home.  I looked high and low to no avail.  I was becoming quite discouraged ready to put out an SOS for any gnomes willing to join the Gnome Empire Outpost.  Just when I was giving up hope these 2 friendly gnomes

Vacation Home Gardens

I mentioned here a few times in the past couple of months about learning to garden in a different zone.  Our permanent Canadian residence is in Zone 6A that should remain the same if we move although we would have less of the direct warming effects of the water.  Our vacation home is located in US Hardiness Zone 9A so that will present quite a difference in what I can grow.

Pictured is the front

Homemade Apple Crisp

Last week, I celebrated my 26th birthday!!!!  I had a great day just hanging out with my kids.  That is my favorite thing to do in the whole world!   

  I wanted to share my favorite dessert with you- Apple Crisp!!! I love it and this recipe was my moms that her mom gave to her and it is EXCELLENT!  Yummy!  I am pretty sure that my mom made this for me on most of my birthdays because it is my fav!!!!


Apple Crisp


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup softened butter

Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees
Cut up 2 pounds of apples (about 6 medium)
Place in a buttered 8x8 dish
Sprinkle the topping on the apples
Bake for about 40 minutes

I LOVE to double to topping and eat my apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.  I know it is not as healthy that way but it is soooo good!

Do you have a special birthday recipe?


Have a great day,


New Gardens

We have been enjoying the new to us vacation home complete with gardens.  The gardens wrap around the house with a wider section to the front.  This is the first time we have ever dealt with an HOA but in this case I really don't mind.  Vacation homes are significantly different from your permanent home in that the vacation home may or may not be rented out or it may be empty for a good portion

Tips for a Safe and Happy Summer

Tips for a Safe and Happy Summer

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Summer's back—and so is fun in the sun! But before you hit the beach or stage a friendly water gun fight in your backyard, keep in mind that ultraviolet rays from the sun can do a number on your skin; in fact, they are the most common cause of premature aging. Here are some simple ways you can protect yourself—and your loved ones—and still have fun in the sun.


Reduce Sun Eposure During Peak Hours
2010 05 23_3813 UV rays are strongest and most dangerous between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so the less time you spend outdoors during these hours, the better. That doesn't mean you have to ditch out on all the fun. For instance, instead of heading out to the pool at 2 p.m., wait a few hours and go at 5 p.m. The sun will still be up and there'll be plenty of light out.  And don't be fooled on an overcast day—you can still get burned because up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can penetrate through the clouds. If you can, stay in the shade.  

Cover Up 2010 05 22_3928
Be fashionably smart. Wear protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible. Remember to cover your  hair and head with a wide-brimmed hat. You might even consider carrying an umbrella for shade.  The more protection you have the better off your skin will be.

2010 05 19_3971Protect Your Eyes Always wear sunglasses. Not only are they great for complementing your wardrobe, they also deflect harmful UV rays that reflect off of water, sand, and other surfaces. This helps reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions. And, you won't have to squint!



Apply Sunscreen Generously 2010 05 23_3878
  Don't be shy. Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen evenly on all areas of the skin—and don't forget your lips, nose, ears, neck, hands, feet, and head (if necessary). Do so at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and remember to re-apply every two hours, especially after swimming. 


And Arm Yourself with Antioxidants!
What's the big deal? Environmental assaults such as sunlight, pollution, stress, and even normal 2010 05 19_3973metabolism produce free radicals in our bodies, that can damage cells, alter DNA, and cause skin to age prematurely. Phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids—antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and plants—combat these free radicals and protect your body against cellular damage. So be sure to include lots of antioxidants in your diet. Your skin—and your overall health—will thank you.    

Shaklee Products Can Help You All Summer Long
In addition to providing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, clinically proven Enfuselle® sunscreens contain  triple-patented Vital Repair+ ® complex—a synergistic blend of seven targeted antioxidants that produces results much greater than the sum of each ingredient alone. In other words, it protects against premature older-looking skin. Plus, all Enfuselle products are paraben-free. Keep these at home and in your beach bag:

2010 05 23_3844

Time Repair A.M.® SPF 15
Feel good every morning with this five-in-one clinically proven formula that meets all your skin's daytime needs for renewal, recovery, moisture, nourishment, and protection.  Nonirritating and hypoallergenic, Time Repair A.M. SPF 15 also contains botanical photo-brighteners to improve skin color.   I use this everyday!




Enfuselle® SPF 30
This clinically proven sensitive-skin formula filters out the sun's harsh UVA and UVB rays to protect against sun damage. The triple-patented Vital Repair+ complex adds extra protection against prematurely older-looking skin by neutralizing harmful free radicals. Oil free and easy to apply.  This is the only sunscreen that I have ever used on my kids!



Lip Treatment SPF 15
Drenched with vitamins C and E, as well as calendula extract and moisturizing plant oil, this nourishing lip treatment softens vulnerable and dry lips, smoothes the appearance of vertical lines, and prevents peeling and chapping. The broad-spectrum SPF protects against UV-induced collagen breakdown.  I love this stuff!!!  I have tried some many different brands and this do not even compare!


Supplement Wisely—Be Sure to Get Your Daily Serving of Antioxidants

People usually consume only a fraction of the phytonutrients they should on a daily basis. Many potent phytonutrients are found in parts of the plants that we commonly discard, such as peels and seeds. Shaklee FlavoMax® and CarotoMax®;contain 12 of the most beneficial phytonutrients—six carotenoids and six flavonoids—to help promote optimal health.*



Learn More


    They help support*:
    • Long-term health of the eyes, heart, skin, lungs, prostate and cervix
    • A strong immune system
    • Proper circulatory and cardiovascular function.

CarotoMax and FlavoMax contain the phytonutrient power of more fruits and vegetables than you could possibly eat in one day – delivered in a convenient and potent supplement form. 100%guaranteed for purity, potency and efficacy

Learn More


I hope that you will have a great, happy and safe summer!!!

Bonnie :)

Please visit my online Shaklee site.

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Get Clean Testimonial from a Stay-at-home Mom and 10 WINNERS announced!

Happy Wednesday!!!

I can’t believe that it is already midweek!  Do you notice anything different today?  I changed my header! How do you like it?  I have been wanting to change it for a long time now.  I also want to add drop boxes.  I just need to make time to actually do it.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who linked up to my Twice Owned party yesterday.  If you haven’t checked out the links yet, go here

I thought that I would share a short testimonial from a stay-at-home mother, named Kristen, with you…..

Since becoming a Mom in October of 2005, I've become extremely aware of the items I
have in my home. We're told to protect our children from choking hazards, stairways
and so on, but are we ever told to protect them from the chemicals we bring into our
home through household cleaning and laundry products? I always thought if I bought
the fragrance free laundry items it would be fine and I also thought my child isn’t at risk
because it doesn’t matter what I’m cleaning with, just as long as he doesn’t get into it.
The fact of the matter is not only is he at risk, I’m also at risk.

As a stay-at-home Mom I learned an interesting fact that made me think about the
cleaners I have. This fact made me get rid of all the toxic cleaners I had in my
I found out about a study done at the Univ. of Oregon where women who work at
home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home.
This study from the U of Oregon, concluded that this was a direct result of the increased
exposure to toxic chemicals, many of which were found in common household products.
I work at home as a homemaker; I fit in that job description.

I have been a Shaklee user my entire life (started in the womb with my Mother) and it
has taken me to be a Mom to really step back and think about what I’m doing in my
world to make a difference for my family and the environment.
With the Get Clean
products, I can feel safe and happy knowing that my family and I are not at risk to be
exposed to toxic cleaners. They are non-toxic, free of harsh chemicals and fumes,
biodegradable, hypoallergenic, Earth friendly, not tested on animal and the containers
are recyclable as well as the dryer sheets

What makes me comfortable is that I can clean a bathtub and know that my son is safe
from any harsh chemicals left behind. I can do laundry with the confidence that it’s okay
for him to suck on his blanket or roll around on his crib sheets. Because I know he is
safe from invisible coatings or fumes left behind. I’m passionate about these products
because not only are they safe for my family, but they are making a difference in the

My girlfriend, whom was a skeptic, tried the sample bottle of Basic H2 and has since
then changed her mind and has given it her own name. She calls it "magic spray". She
uses it on everything, including the grime left on the back of her leather car seat from her
sons tennis shoes.
Everything else she tried didn't get it off, but her "magic spray" did!
"Get Clean" cleaner and laundry products are a solution for so many things, your family,
your wallet, and the environment.
Every household should be using the Get Clean
Every time someone purchases a Get Clean starter kit they do the equivalent
of planting 10 trees, among other great things. Oxygen is good!

Kristin G

Thank you so much Kristin for writing this :)


The 10 WINNERS my random to the BASIC H samples giveaway are………..

stephylou said...

I'm a follower and recently bought the scour off I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS PRODUCT!

Lynn said...

I am still oogling over the scour off paste and may just have to purchase that this week!

Marie said...

Hello sweet Bonnie - I would love to be entered in your giveaway! Would really like to try the basic H2. I am a busy Mama of 4 taking care of my home. This would be a great treat!
I'm a happy new follower!

Gleenda said...

I'm a follower and that list was pretty scary!

Raquel said...

I'm a blog follower on bloglines and I'm learning so much! Thank you!
scrappindaisy at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to try the Basic H2 cleaning wipes. Everything looks awesome though!

To The Moon and Back said...

I would love to try the laundry detergent!

Mom. Nonstop. said...

I don't know what my favorite product would be as I have never used them personally, but your before and afters look amazing! I'd saw wipes are always awesome though!

Melissa said...

I would really like to try the Scour Off.

Eurogirl said...

I just ordered some stuff from you the other day, but would love to have some more. :)
Love your blog! It's fun to find another Catholic mom to follow online!
Amy in AZ (formerly of Illinois!)

Thank you everyone who entered.

Please email me at before next week with your address.

Please put WINNER in the subject line.

To learn more about my products please go to my website.

site home


To buy the GET CLEAN KIT now click below.

Have a great day!!!

Bonnie :)

Vacation Home Gardening

My gosh, I was so excited when I got the news that the vacation home was finalized!  In terms of gardening it meant I would be learning how to garden in a totally different zone from our permanent home of Zone 6A.  When we arrived here to finally check out what we bought almost a month and a half after signing the final papers I was overwhelmed at the work involved.  It wasn't the work as in the

Stump Removal

A Couple of StumpsMay 10, 2010
A couple of weeks ago we did a massive ripout which is rather on par for this property.  We have definitely been doing more ripping out than planting since the property was so over planted and poor planted with inappropriate plants.  This time we got smart and hired out the work.  The guys came in with a small backhoe.  Within 2 hours the two gardens being ripped

My Decorating Niche

Everyone has a decorating “niche.” I think that mine is “plants/flowers”  because I just noticed that I have like a billion around the house.  I have at least one flower or greenery arrangement in almost every room of my house.   I find it very relaxing and fresh! And I am ALWAYS changing them out with the seasons!!!! I thought that I would go room to room and take pictures of all my plants/flowers to show you.

I will show you my front porch first.

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This is a corner in my kitchen.

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This is an end of the countertop. 

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This is on my kitchen table.

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These fresh flowers are in my kitchen island. 

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This plant is by my kitchen sink. 

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These ferns are in my family room.


  These are in my dining room.

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2010 05 14_3640

This is in my living room.

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This is on a baker’s rack in my laundry room.

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These flowers are in my downstairs powder room.

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   These flowers are in my master bathroom.

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These “pink” flowers are in my daughter’s “pink” room.

 2010 05 14_3645 2010 05 14_3646 2010 05 14_3647

2010 05 14_3650 2010 05 14_3648

And this plant is in my guestroom.


These are in my guest bathroom.

image image

I hoped you likes my little plant/flower tour of my house.

I just realized that I forgot to take pictures of all the plants above my cabinets. Oh, well!

What do you like to decorate with? 

Have a great weekend!

Bonnie :)

Please visit my online Shaklee site.

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