Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to organize home with reused items

There are creative ways to save money by using items around the home intended for other uses and recycling them for a new purpose.
Shower hooks could be hung on the closet clothing hanging rod to hang purses, scarves or belts. 

 The empty cardboard toilet paper holders can be reused to hold and store unused electrical cords and label the outside of the cardboard. 

  The cardboard cylinder tubes used in wrapping paper rolls could be reused by cutting them into 4- 5 inch sizes to reuse as wrapping paper holders. By slipping the cardboard over the wrapping paper on both ends to keep paper from opening from storage.
   Reuse old ice cube trays to organize jewelry in drawers.
 Reuse old checks boxes to organize a desk drawer to store clips, rubber bands, odds and ends. I use it to organize my junk drawer and it works well. 
 Use a small magazine rack as a pot lid holder on the inside of a cabinet door. 
  Some of these ideas were from the Simple Dollar Blog. 
 I love that blog.

How to Spring Clean your porch

The best way to clean your porch is to use a solution of warm water and a safe cleaner named Simple green on the concrete patio, leave the mixture on for 15 minutes scrub with brush then rinse.
 To get rid of stains on concrete add 1 cup of bleach to a 10 x 10 foot patio.  Use a pressure washer to clean steps to remove dirt, mildew. 

If you have a teak wood patio deck it should be washed, then dried, then a teak sealer should be used for protection.  To clean wicker furniture use a soft brush and a mild dish detergent soap to wash the surface without damaging it.

Wipe down outdoor lighting fixtures with damp cloth; and clean out door cushions with a sponge water and mild soap and let dry in the sun.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Do you really need to be a renowned expert to write a blog?

Do you really need to be a renowned expert to write a blog?

Blogging is a free expression of the writer to share knowledge, ideas, photos and personal experiences that readers could relate to or are currently experiencing. When I read about these articles about bloggers being experts or more credible becuase they have degrees in a field or because they don't express personal experiences to be more professional; my opinion is that readers should be exposed to personal experiences of the writer without it being discounted as editorial.

There is a clear difference between the two; especially when writing about personal experiences vs editorializing about any subject. When the blog writer shares an event that has happened to them personally and how they found a solution, or didn't find an answer. The knowledge shared can help the readers in similar situations to really understand, find information on dealing with issue and relate to that writer as someone coming from their own prospectives on issue.

Experts will give the standard safe industry advice because it is a method of not being held liable for their advice that is not given from personal experience but rather from text book examples. Readers are searching for originality, true content that speaks to them personally and that they can attempt to do on their own with little cost or personal hardship to themselves and family. An example would be a parent seeking advice on dealing with child temper tantrums; as a babysitter I learned early children will always have cry in public if uncomfortable or unhappy. Always be prepared when going out with small children, have snacks, juice and safe small toys to distract them. As I shopped, I would create a sort of helper game with the child; I would go in the aisle and say where is the cereal, depending upon the age of child they would say there and point. The child was helping me find the groceries in the aisle sort of making it a game of finding stuff in the aisle. The babysitter should make sure they are not picking out specific food items they want; but it keep on the idea of finding treasure in the aisle. Kids love attention and they love fun as long as you keep these two in mind when going out on an errand, you will avoid them becoming bored and having a temper tantrum.

Again, this advice is from personal experience and not an answer for all children that may have medical or psychological issues that affect behavior.

The example is one of the many I learned from babysitting in NYC for two years; and just one creative idea that I developed and saw work. Over the many years of work history, I have learned many different new tasks as my jobs have changed; such as magazine promoter, clerical aid at publishing house, office worker, health benefits coordinator, retailer, library aide, independent mortgage broker, teller and current caregiver. With a resume like that I believe that I can share my experience of what I learned and how it all works from my vantage point. The reader can determine if the information is valuable, credible, and useful to their situation.

Readers should caution against sources that criticize alternative resources of blogging articles as not being credible or dismissed due to the credentials of the writer. The credentials of the writer should be considered only upon the type of information the reader is seeking in terms of research on subject; not from the personal viewpoint of the writer, which can be useful source too.


Politics that divide America help our enemies

When terrorists attack Americans, they don't ask whether we are Republicans, or Democrats.  They only ask if we are Americans.  We have to come together, compromise and remember that the politics that divide us; only make our enemies stronger and us weaker as a country. 

Why is it that one political group always wants to force their will on another even when voters have spoken twice that they want the country to follow another direction? Is it because they are afraid that their political agenda will succeed and that the country will note that popular political groups agenda will keep them in power for decades like FDR. 
The other political group could take advantage by keeping true to their ideals but creating new policies and new ideas that include all populations and all social classes to their political party.  The GOP has to create policies that address job creation, paying down the deficit  and IMMIGRATION REFORM. Along with the current immigration crisis that has to be addressed urgently for Americans and for these children coming over the border. 

Every GOP President has always had a high deficit, it is only under Clinton that the deficit has been reduced significantly and now under President Obama. The reasoning is common sense, if you advocate for tax cuts, there is not enough revenue collected to pay bills therefore you borrow more on credit.  It's true of all households and its true when it comes to government spending. The tax increase went towards paying down deficit; which is going down and the lowest in years. If Obama would have gotten his Jobs act passed; the economy would have been working better and more infrastructure jobs created.  The GOP obstruction since 2010 has kept President Obama's agenda from fully being implemented.
During the state of the union, the Republicans with their four addresses all said Mr. President where are the jobs?  After, they have purposedly obstructed every piece of legislation this President has placed on the floor of Congress, the Job Acts Bill, the Budget bill, the infrastructure bill, the immigration bill all turned down.  These people have the nerve to say, Mr. President. Where are the Jobs?  Despite all of the obstruction, the President managed during the two years that he had with a functional Congress when Pelosi was leader, the stimulus went to save car companies.  The loans were paid back, and the jobs were saved now this past June 2014, 288,000 new jobs were added. 

Meanwhile Congress, has done nothing but name post offices, and hold hearing on Benghazi and the IRS which have cost US taxpayers 14 million dollars to investigate supposed scandals.  Both hearings have uncovered nothing but mistakes and incompetence but no coverups or illegal activity; Darryl Issa the Republican Committee chair has become a celebrity on Fox getting his cues from Megan Kelly on what to ask next. Government has to become more efficient, less partisan because the world is looking at the U.S. and our politicians as immature and unable to get our act together. 
The world's despots and dictators laugh at our Democracy saying if this is what it means to be free that you can't even agree on running your own country, then whats the point.  It makes the U.S. look weak in front of the world, especially when politicians that hate the President go on the media to praise Putin and to say how weak Obama is.  As an American I was looking at those morons and thinking to myself, we don't need the Russians or the Chinese to throw bombs here, all we need are some Rudy Guiliani's or John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's. 

These guys don't know when the politics should end; other countries read and see our media, read our blogs, when they hear our own politicians disparage their own President, then what can you expect other dictators or rogue leaders to think.  These morans open their mouths; its really upsetting because President Obama is black he gets so little respect form these southern and Republican party politicians; which is created to encourage their base to engage more in politics. 

The politics of the day are ruling the common sense of these politicians who no longer do what is right for the country but what is right for their interest groups.  The Supreme Court decision allows private citizens to contribute unlimited amounts to political campaigns, it is a continuation of the citizens united case.  These cases allowing big money into political campaigns only allows for corruption of the system and the drowning out of the voices of the average voter; the average person gives a donation of 200 or less.

Supreme Court has decided that private corporations have religious identity like individuals and can not be forced to follow laws that violate their religious viewpoints.  This protects the Business owner but what of the religious or nonreligious views of its employees.  This decision will open a can of worms that will change society back to the pre civil rights days. Any private for PROFIT corporation can use religion as a method to circumvent US protective laws of minority groups, woman, gays and lesbians, children, and everyone else based on employers religious views.  So to the baker that refuses to make a wedding cake for gays and lesbians, the Supreme court gave them a green light to do so under religion.  In addition to Supreme Court claiming the narrowness of decision; the justices know that many new cases will arise from decision because this court has basically defined a corporation as a living identity with the rights of an individual such as that of religion and freedom of speech through the Citizens United case. 

The GOP conservative Supreme Court should be careful in creating corporations and organizations as people because there are many laws that could be changed against corporations as well.  An example Congress has created a law protecting the NRA from lawsuits by private citizens and victims of violence; since corporations are people too with religious protections and free speech protections, why should the law protecting the NRA by Congress be constitutional since it prohibits private citizens from suing them; if the corporation and organizations are to be treated under the law with individual rights, then why should the average citizen have their rights abridged to suing an entity that now has the same rights under the law as an individual.  This can work both ways so be careful for you wish for;  I hope that Moms for Gun Sense read this post.

 Democracy for sale that's a future blog post.  Meanwhile, my point is that politics have always been divisive but in this age of social media, the tone has been more vile, disagreeable, ugly, hateful. I can think of a lot of other adjectives to describe how politics has become so bad.  It is to the point, that one group thinks they have all of the answers and they don't want to compromise. The GOP has engaged in the politics of personal destruction of its opponents, it started under the Clinton administration and since Obama has become President has reached epoch proportions. Ted Cruz when he was welcomed back in Texas as a hero, after the government shutdown in Washington DC, he said he was glad to be back in Texas, in the united States of America so I guess Washington DC and other cities aren't.  I guess that was a dig at the rest of urban America, you know the part he doesn't consider part of the U.S.  Politicians like Ted Cruz want to divide for their political ambition have no interest in serving America; only themselves, if only their voters opened their eyes and became aware of the facts and read the issues instead of biased media coverage. I think the voters would  have a change of heart on some of the issues and will chose better candidates to represent them in Congress.

Tools used for effective thrift store shopping

In my bag I bring the tools of the trade when thrift shopping because I already know what items I am looking for such as furniture, architectural items, or mid size appliances.

I bring with me a tape measure, a digital camera, a pen, a  small notebook.  Bringing these tools are important because it helps measuring the items before purchasing to know how furniture will fit in size or scale in the space. the small notebook is great for creating lists and writing down measurements as taken to come back to an item if it is still available in the thrift store; items often sell fast. 
The digital camera is a good idea to bring especially when purchasing for another person or sharing home to get input on furniture piece.  

 This is good for larger furniture items being purchased; during the first week of July, local thrift shop announced 50% off all furniture.  These sales are often posted on sign in front of the shop. 
 As for searching the local thrift store for smaller items, take your time going through clothing and miscellaneous finds.  
Make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and are ready to look through the thrift store slowly and calmly to find your treasures.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Florida ranks 32nd in surviving a zombie apocalypse

Say it isn't so,according to Huffington Post, the states in the U.S. ranked in order as to being able to survive a zombie apocalypse by their geographical location  ranked from #1 to #50. Florida came in 32nd place. Alaska came in 1st place, and new Jersey came in 50 th place; at least, we didn't come in last.

Silhouette Pillow Project

Things needed for project;

one solid color toss pillow, silhoulette stencil, stencil tape, stencil brushes, and stencil fabric paint in different colors.

Place the stencil on the center of the pillow and attach with tape to hold in place. Place stencil brush into paint and gently dab it on to palette board.  Leave small amount of paint, add onto stencil area on pillow by carefully dabbing brush covering area until completing entire stencil.  Carefully, remove tape and stencil to make sure that paint hasn't bled through the covered parts of the stencil.  Let pillow dry for two days and place on sofa or bed.  It is a nice decorative piece, the fabric paint instructions should state how many washings the paint could withstand on the item before it states to fade or wash away.  It is a good idea to keep pillow from getting dirty or dusty.  It is a great way to make an ordinary thrift store pillow extraordinary!

Add stencil

secure stencil with stencil tape

Fabric paint, stencil brushes and small tray to add paint

Fabric paint can be found on eBay, craft stores

Dab paint on with stencil brush

small palette tray

Finished product

Beautiful silhouette pillow

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Have You visited Ocala Florida lately?

Ocala Florida is a central Florida city with history, charm, horse farms, Silver Springs National park, and the Appleton Museum.  There are some other attractions in the area and many events scheduled during the year in the town square area of Ocala.  Ocala, Florida is the seasonal home of John Travolta and his family.  This city is very scenic and is two hours away from Orlando and about an hour an a half from Tampa, Florida. 
The town square area known as Brick City is where the original building structures were rebuilt after all were burnt down with a fire. The new buildings were built with bricks and stones and the buildings still stand today.  A few years, Ocala commissioned artists to create these beautiful horse statues all over the city, many buildings have these statues around them such as Munroe Regional hospital.   I had taken this photo of this horse statue in the town square around the gazebo area where there were four statues on the four corners.  

These statues are just so pretty.

Horse Statue in Ocala Town Square

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Is current Capitalism in U.S. really laissez faire or is it really Socialist Capitalism?

The current laissez faire U.S. Capitalism system is not pure Capitalism; as Republicans would argue because regulations hurt free enterprise. I would argue that the current system of Capitalism, is not a true laissez faire system because of Corporate Welfare. Laissez Faire is the term known as a pure unregulated form of capitalism where government would not impose any regulations, tariffs or obstacles; and it was this free unregulated Capitalism of the 1920s that caused the Great Depression of 1929. The Great Depression of 1929 ruined the US economy, collapsed banks; from this event arose new legislation and regulations to protect the people from another future Great Depression. As history occurs; politicians forget and repeat the same mistakes of the past instead of learning from them. Democrats and President Obama enacted more banking regulations but some parts of the law are not being enforced; therefore a potential for another financial market bubble. Corporate Welfare are tax policies that aid corporations in the U.S. in the hopes that U.S economy will benefit; as evidenced during the Bush- Cheney years. Eight years of steady tax breaks for big oil, and pharmaceutical companies did little to improve U.S. economy. Instead, incentivized shipping jobs overseas, spent money on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provided no investment on infrastructure in the U.S. If you think of what socialist would mean in this example; which is the advocating of government tax programs that support corporations monetarily. This corporate welfare is not true capitalism and the argument could be made the GOP has waged a war of inequality in favor of the ultra rich corporations of America.

How Local Small Business in Ocala can thrive

Ocala in Central Florida has many restaurants and shops around the town area; and along the highway 200 corridor . There are many different shopping plazas around Ocala all competing with big box retailers like Walmart, and Target.   It is hard to get customers to shop at Downtown area stores and smaller malls when most shoppers tend to shop at superstores that offer many low priced products at one location like Walmart. Local area Ocala retailers have to provide a service that Walmart doesn't provide or sell an item that they do not sell to remain competitive. In addition, Ocala retailers have to create promotions or offer discounts to get local customers to their shops. Ocala is a community where many seniors reside and many businesses place ads in traditional senior publications, senior community centers, or leave business cards at local doctors offices. 
 Sometimes, businesses have to take more actions to survive by expanding their local area sales by creating a website that accepts payments for their store items. There are free web stores that have free carts that use pay pal as a payment source such as and or which has an option for opening a store. Businesses should start a blog about their small business that tells customers about their business, any news ,events planned, any promotions, sales events planned, anything the business owner wants to add that will make a statement about their business to their customers and bring great interest.  Social media is another trend to get people to spread the word about your business and its ideal to start a business page on face book or twitter to advertise promotions or contests.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Polly Palmer Park in Ocala Florida

Walking around the park named Polly Palmer Park around  Palm Gardens, and the Heritage Garden apartments area. There is a beautiful trail and lake area with a fountain, it is very peaceful and a good place to feed the geese that walk up to the people.   There is a nice little foot bridge over a brook, it is very pretty very tranquil. Here are some beautiful images taken of the grounds around the area, just beautiful:
Polly Palmer Park in Ocala Florida

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Steeplechase Plaza in Ocala, Florida

This plaza has had many of its store spaces vacant for a few years but since 2013 many businesses have began opening its doors here again. There is an antiques consignment store, a fitness center, a laundry mat, hobby store, Papa John's Beall's Outlet, Chinese restaurant, and many other businesses.
Parking lot of Steeple Chase Plaza
Fitness center at plaza
laundry mat at steeplechase plaza
New businesses at Steeple Chase

Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY disaster turned bold masterpiece

A few years ago, I had stained an old table with mini wax stain in a mahogany red stain. There were a few years where the stain remained in very good condition as I kept it indoors. As I left it in the screened porch area, I noticed that the stain started to form a chalky residue and rub off. I was disappointed that the stain started to look really bad; so I decided to sand it all off and start from scratch by painting the table in a bold loud scream out Yellow color. I purchased this durable exterior outdoor spray paint since I decided to keep it in the screen porch area. I wanted to create a Moroccan theme porch area since it is not really used; opted to create a sort of nursery for plants with colorful tables. I love my bold yellow table, now I plan to go thrift shopping for small plant stands in funky octagonal shapes and paint them in bold blue and orange colors. I plan to add a nice colorful rug. There goes the funky Moroccan nursery porch area.

Love my bold Yellow table

Big bold exterior yellow paint sealed that will last out doors for years