Family * Travel * Food

Can a paper bag keeps wasps away?

For so many years now I have seen the paper bag trick that is supposed to keep wasps away. With the weather already well into the upper 80s, the wasps are very active, and they are always hovering near my front door entrance. It is believed that you can place a paper bag resembling a nest in areas where you want to keep them away. Wasps are territorial and tend to avoid areas where they think other colonies are established. The paper bag tricks them into thinking there's already a nest there, so they'll be less likely to build their own nearby.

I don't know what took my so long to test it out to see if it does actually work. I took a paper bag that I got from the liquor store and light stuffed it with plastic grocery bags to make it just poofy enough to resemble a wasps nest. I tied it with some twine and hung it on my deck rail that is closest to my front door. 

Did it work?

I have had it up for a little over a week and have not seen a single wasp on my front porch. I am so shocked because we all literally stay prepared when we get ready to open the front door since they are always out there waiting for us. It has been so nice to be able to feel a little safer to sit out front and not fear a wasp possibly attacking us. I am allergic to the sting, so I am extra worried when I am outside. 

So now my plan is to make another one for my back deck. Actually I might make two since it's more than triple the size of my front deck. Don't get me wrong, I will still have my handy bug zapper racket nearby just is case. One more thing I almost forgot to mention-- the fake wasp nest is also keeping the carpenter bees away as well! Although they are mostly harmless to people, they really can mess up anything that is made of wood by making deep holes in it. They are also a nuisance because of how they fly right up to you like they want to spar or something. Ha! No thanks!

So if you have been wondering if the paper bag trick works, I am here to tell you, YES! I am so happy I did it and will continue to do so forever. Have you tried it before? Thank you so much for stopping by today. 😊


Be Aware! Termite Season Is Here!

National Termite Awareness Week is March 12-18 

The arrival of spring brings more daylight and the rebirth of nature. Unfortunately, it also creates the ideal conditions for termites–a tiny but destructive insect that annually causes homeowners an average of $5 billion in repair costs. March 12-18 is National Termite Awareness Week, and Terminix Service, Inc. is arming homeowners with preventative measures to protect their properties from termites, including the more aggressive Formosan species spreading across the Carolinas

"The warmer, wet weather in the springtime creates the perfect environment for termite activity, making this the perfect time to remind homeowners about the increased risk to their properties," said Terminix Technical Director Kevin Hathorne. "With many new residents relocating to the South, it's important to understand the risks associated with termites. Our region is home to several species, including subterranean, drywood, and now formosans. We're here to help educate homeowners about how to make their property less attractive to these pests." 

Terminix encourages homeowners to follow these Top 10 preventative measures, including:

  1. Repair plumbing leaks.
  2. Make sure gutters and downspouts are not clogged or damaged and are directing water away from the foundation. Install gutters if you don't have them.
  3. Point sprinklers away from your foundation.
  4. Prevent pooling water next to your foundation by re-grading the soil so that water flows away from your house, or install a drainage system like a French drain.
  5. Keep your roof in good shape and free of leaks.
  6. Repair and replace damaged siding and flashing.
  7. Store firewood, scrap lumber, or any other wooden products as far from your house as possible.
  8. Do not use excessive mulch or pine straw around the foundation.
  9. Trim any adjacent bushes and trees.
  10. Ensure your crawl space has adequate ventilation and a moisture barrier or is encapsulated and conditioned like the Terminix Humidi-Seal system offers.

Locally-owned Terminix Service, Inc. provides a termite protection plan with the strongest guarantee in the business. For more information, visit or call 1-800-TERMINIX. 

About Terminix Service, Inc.

For 75 years, our customers have trusted Terminix Service, Inc., for the best termite and pest control protection for their homes and businesses. With annual revenue of over $150 million, the family-owned and operated Terminix Service, Inc. is the tenth-largest pest control company in North America. Terminix Service, Inc. operates in South Carolina, western North Carolina, and the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia. Visit or call 1-800-TERMINIX.


Action-Packed Schedule Announced for Everything Outdoor Fest

Whether you’re in the camp of the curious, the brave or the explorer, Everything Outdoor Fest has something to satisfy. Organizers have announced an action-packed lineup of experiences with competitions, hands-on clinics, and demos for the new festival to be held November 4-6 at Historic Hopkins Farm in Simpsonville. 

“Everything Outdoor Fest has something for everyone! We welcome explorers from all walks of life to come out for three days of outdoor recreation, including fun family activities for children and dogs,” said Jacqui McGuiness, President and Owner of event producer JBM & Associates. “This is a wonderful time of year to be outside, and Historic Hopkins Farm is the perfect setting to appreciate nature and connect with outdoor experts and enthusiasts.”

The current schedule includes more than 35 hands-on clinics, plus trail runs, demos, a playground for all ages, kids zone, the DockDogs® canine aquatics competition, and UltiMutt Race obstacles – all free with festival admission. A music stage and food trucks will run throughout the event. A complete schedule of activities with dates and times is available on the festival website, Check back often for updates.

Tickets are required with online purchase only. Admission cost for adults is $10 for a day pass and $25 for the entire weekend. Military and seniors 65+ are $8 per day. Children ages 4 to 12 are $5 per day and $12 for the weekend; kids 3 and under are admitted free.

Some of the world’s biggest brand names in outdoor recreation will offer professional guidance and the latest gear and equipment. Exhibitors interested in reaching thousands of outdoor enthusiasts can contact 

Everything Outdoor Fest sponsors are Academy Sports + Outdoors, Adventure Golf Carts, Angels Three Development, Boyd Cycling, Dicks Sporting Goods, Greenville Water, HOKA, The Nobel Dog Hotel, PS Group, REI, Rocket Revolution, Run In, South State, and Winnebago.

Everything Outdoor Fest is a production of JBM & Associates, producers of many of the Southeast region’s largest and most popular consumer boat shows, including The Charleston Boat Show, Savannah Boat Show, Charleston In-Water Boat Show and Wilmington Boat Show. For information, visit


Friday, Nov. 4

All-day Demos and Exhibits:

Mountain Biking, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding One-on-One Instruction by REI Co-op Experiences

UltiMutt Race Obstacles for Owners and their Dogs

Upstate Archery Range: Take Your Best Shot

Vdovichenko Bee Farm

Wall of Shame presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Heritage Trailer Nature Museum and Real Fur Exhibit presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Clinics and Competitions:

REI Co-Op Clinics – Stop by the REI tent for the schedule of the day.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – All Levels Flow Yoga Class

12 p.m. – Flat Tire Clinic

12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – DockDogs competitions

1-2p.m. – Introduction to Stand-up Paddleboard Yoga

1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Mountain Biking Skills Session and Trail Ride

1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Natural Habitat Pup Walk and Talk

1 p.m. – Nutrition Strategies for Health and Wellness

1 p.m.-2 p.m.  – Yoga, Shine Om Vinyasa

1:30 p.m. – Outdoor Eats: Elevate Your Dinner

2 p.m. – Introduction to Fly Casting

2:30 p.m. – Challenges of a Girl in the Outdoors

3 p.m. – Bike Wash Clinic

4 p.m. – The Importance of Sleep, Stress Management and Recovery for Optimal Health

Saturday, Nov. 5

All-day Demos and Exhibits:

Mountain Biking, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding One-on-One Instruction by REI Co-op Experiences

UltiMutt Race Obstacles for Owners and their Dogs

Upstate Archery Range: Take Your Best Shot

Vdovichenko Bee Farm

Wall of Shame presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Heritage Trailer Nature Museum and Real Fur Exhibit presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Clinics and Competitions:

REI Co-Op Clinics – Stop by the REI tent for the schedule of the day.

9 a.m. – HOKA Trail Experience

10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Leaf Rubbings & Compasses for Kids

10:30-11:30 a.m. – Mindful Vinyasa Class

11 a.m. – Nutrition Strategies for Health and Wellness

11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – DockDogs competitions

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Mountain Biking Skills Session and Trail Ride

11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Introduction to Fly Fishing

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Natural Habitat Pup Walk and Talk

12 p.m. – How to Prepare for a Gravel Race

12 p.m. and 2pm – Hook the Future Kids Fishing Clinic

12 p.m.- 2 p.m. – Trail Mix & Knot Tying for Kids

12:30 p.m. – Challenges of a Girl in the Outdoors

12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Outdoor Eats: Elevate Your Dinner

1 p.m. – Intro to SUP Yoga

1-2 p.m. – Cricket Challenges: Building Outdoor Skills and Connecting with Nature

1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – Discovering the Outdoors for Kids

2 p.m. – Nutrition Strategies for Women as We Age

2-4 p.m. – Packing a Backpack & Creating Hiking Boots for Kids

2:30 p.m. – How Do I Get There?

3 p.m. – How to Choose a Gravel Bike

3-4 p.m. – Cricket Challenges: Building Outdoor Skills and Connecting with Nature

4 p.m. – The Importance of Sleep, Stress Management and Recovery for Optimal Health

Sunday, Nov. 6

All-day Demos and Exhibits:

Mountain Biking, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding One-on-One Instruction by REI Co-op Experiences

UltiMutt Race Obstacles for Owners and their Dogs

Upstate Archery Range: Take Your Best Shot

Vdovichenko Bee Farm

Wall of Shame presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Heritage Trailer Nature Museum and Real Fur Exhibit presented by S.C. Department of Natural Resources

Clinics and Competitions:

REI Co-Op Clinics – Stop by the REI tent for the schedule of the day.

10:30 a.m. – Yoga, Mindful Vinyasa

11 a.m. – Nutrition Strategies for Health and Wellness

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Kayak Bass Fishing Demo

11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – DockDogs competitions

11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Mountain Biking Skills Session and Trail Ride

11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Introduction to Fly Fishing

11:30 p.m. – Clinic: Challenges of a Girl in the Outdoors

12 p.m. – Flat Tire Clinic

12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Outdoor Eats Clinic: Elevate Your Dinner

1 p.m. – Nutrition for Athletes

1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Natural Habitat Pup Walk and Talk

1pm and 3pm – Hook the Future Kids Fishing Clinics

1pm and 3pm – Discovering the Outdoors with Jo Hackl

1:30 p.m. –  How Do I Get There?

1:30 p.m. – Intro to Kayak Bass Fishing

2 p.m. – Wellness Coaching Q&A Session

2 p.m. – Yoga-Mindful Flow

3 p.m. – Performance Coaching Q&A Session


Ways To Unplug And Go Outdoors

The world is more connected than ever before, for better or worse. Although the Internet and improved telecommunications technology allow us to be in contact with almost anyone around the globe immediately, this can be useful and harmful. A recent study revealed that Americans spend up to 10 hours a day staring at screens watching television and surfing the Internet. While there are loads of benefits that come with our current dependence on technology, it also puts us in danger of missing some helpful experiences.

Even if we’re watching our DVRs from a park bench or scrolling through social media feeds poolside, we miss something when we make technology the primary focus of our lives. Too much screen usage means we’re most prone to sitting for too long, and probably indoors. There’s something to be said about the benefits of fresh air and sunlight, not to mention good old-fashioned exercise. That’s why it’s important to remember to unplug ourselves from technology often and get some face time with the real world.
Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash
The perks of unplugging are numerous, especially if you spend that time outdoors. Studies have found that frequent exposure to social media can intensify feelings of depression and anxiety, not to mention the health issues that arise when we waste too much time sitting and consuming electronic media. Spending all your time indoors gawking at your screens also opens you to a lot of recycled air and artificial lighting, neither of which benefits you in terms of health.

Going outside and staying active, even if it’s simply relaxing in a nature preserve drawing a landscape, can do you a lot of good. You don’t have to become a rough outdoorsy type to get the benefits of the outdoors, either. There are plenty of simple ways you can unplug from technology and benefit from the outdoors. For example, you can take a walk throughout your local park or around your neighborhood. You can take up landscape painting or nature photography to utilize your artistic side while taking in some fresh air. Fishing and bird watching also are great ways to take up a hobby that doesn’t demand being plugged into a wall outlet. Or, taking a boat out onto the water can be relaxing as well as exhilarating.

Putting some limitations on your technology use also can lead to meaningful perks. You could think about trading in your smartphone for a simpler cellphone that is unable to connect to email or the Internet. You might consider putting a limit on your screen time the same way you would restrict your calorie intake on a diet. Reading a book instead of staring at your phone during your commute also can work wonders for your mood as a way to unplug.

As pleasant as it is that we’re all connected these days, it’s also necessary to remember to unplug. If you’re looking for ways to de-stress, the checklist accompanying this post can provide you with some basic tips. Use the unplugging checklist, and you may see some benefits right away in terms of your mood and well-being.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

10 Tips for RVing With Kids

Going on an RV trip can be a fun experience with children. You can have a great time traveling together on an adventure and also help instill a love for the outdoors in them. However, to have the best experience, it will take some planning and organization. Here are 10 tips to take note of when RVing with kids.

1. Explain That Everyone Will Have a Job
If you have children that are old enough to accept responsibilities, then you need to let them know ahead of time what they will be responsible for doing. Setting up and taking down camp in an RV takes time, and older children can definitely help.

Other tasks will need to be done as well such as taking the trash to the dumpster, making beds and washing dishes. Make it easier on yourself while RVing by enlisting the children’s help.

2. Designate a Storage Space for Kids’ Items
Kids like to bring along all sorts of things on trips, such as toys, books, electronics and games. Designate a space for them to put their belongings where they will stay neat and organized when not in use. Otherwise, the RV will become cluttered in no time. Oh, and don't forget the Car Seats!

3. Designate a Living Space for Kids
Everyone needs his or her own personal space — including kids. In RVs beds often double as dining room or living area seating. At a certain time of the evening, the space might be assigned to a child or two.

4. Let Your Kids Work With a Paper Map
Even though GPS installed in your vehicle or on your phone is the way most people navigate nowadays, it might be interesting for you to hand your children a map and ask them to highlight your route to your destination. You might need to give them a little direction on reading a map first, however.

You can also show them how to determine how many miles are between each town on the map. As you’re traveling, your children can consult the map instead of saying “Are we there yet?”

5. Have a System for Dirty Shoes or Feet
If you’re not proactive and you don’t take the time to let children now that coming inside the RV with dirty shoes or feet is unacceptable, it won’t be long until you have dirt, mud, sand and water all over the floors.

Require everyone to remove their shoes before coming inside. Keep a doormat at the entrance. Make a rule that if a child’s bare feet or dirty or muddy, they need to wash them off and dry them before coming inside. Keep a jug of water and a towel right next to the steps for this purpose.

6. Make Sure Someone Is Always Watching the Youngest Children in the Group
Never assume that someone will keep on eye on a baby, toddler or young child that needs constant supervision. Other people traveling with you might also assume that someone else is watching the child or children and that’s when accidents can occur. If you’re not able to watch your children yourself, then you need to ask someone else and get a confirmation that the person will watch the children.

7. Bring Entertainment
Although you’ll likely spend tons of time outdoors while on an RV trip, there will be times that you will be hanging out at the campsite. Bring entertaining items for children like kid-friendly board games, bubbles, movies, coloring books or arts and crafts supplies.

8. Bring Bicycles
RV campgrounds offer a great opportunity for kids to ride their bikes, so pack them. Once you get to the campground, go over some bicycling safety rules and make sure the children know where they can and can’t ride. Also, don’t forget to pack helmets.

During busy arrival times, such as a Friday or Saturday evening, you might want to keep children off their bikes until the campground settles down.

9. Do Traditional Activities
Don’t discount traditional activities. Even though you might not like eating s’mores, your children will likely be delighted to participate in this decades-old camping tradition. Other traditional activities are sitting around the campfire telling scary stories.

Or you can come up with a new tradition of your own. For example, you could plan a scavenger hunt for your children by making a list of 10 to 50 things they have to find and cross off during your trip.

10. Have a Plan for Mechanical Emergencies
Anything can happen out on the road or at a campground with your vehicle or RV, so it makes sense to have a service plan in place. Check the Good Sam website for extended service plans for your vehicle and/or your RV, which you can purchase for an affordable price. Such a plan will give tremendous peace of mind and will keep you and the children from being stranded indefinitely.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Check Out The New WORX® MAX Lawnmower

Just in time to begin spring lawn care, the new WORX® 40V, MAX Lithium, 20 in. Lawnmower is the latest addition to the brand’s line of high efficiency, low maintenance, easy to operate and eco-friendly lawn mowers.  This largest mower in the WORX 20V Power Share platform features a wider deck than its predecessors to save time and labor, as well as higher voltage for added torque and cutting power. 

The cordless mower combines two, 20V MAX Power Share 5.0 Ah lithium batteries to deliver 40V of power. It has a cutting diameter of 19 in. and cuts medium-sized lawns up to 1/4 acre on a single charge.WG751 2x20 Mower 120618.jpg

Unlike gas models, the 40V mower has no cord to pull, choke to adjust, oil level to check, air and gas filters to replace or gasoline container that needs refilling. Not to mention the rising costs of gas and oil, as well as the expense of annual tune-ups.  The only maintenance requirements of the cordless mower are periodically sharpening or changing the mulching blade, cleaning the underside of the mower’s deck and charging or storing the removable batteries.

This hassle-free, cordless mower features two-step electric starting.  Just hold down the start button, then squeeze the bale handle and the walk-behind, push mower is up and running.       

The mower’s 3-in-1 deck allows users to mulch, bag, or side-discharge grass clippings.  The steel, 20 in. deck is equipped with 10 in. rear wheels that provide excellent traction, mobility and maneuverability around trees, shrubs, flower beds and other lawn features.

When mulching, the mower’s Nutricut™ multi-cut blade action cuts grass into fine particles, returning them to the soil for fertilization.  Besides its mulching capabilities, the mower’s rugged, steel deck is highly impact resistant and built to withstand years of hard use over various terrains.

Neighbors appreciate the 40V mower’s significant noise reduction, compared to gas models. The green machine also is independent of fossil fuels and adds no emissions to the environment.   

The cordless mower features single-lever deck height adjustment to raise or lower the mower deck from 1½ to 4¼ in.  Easy adjustability enables homeowners to quickly set the right mowing height for the season, type of grass and growing conditions.  Selecting the proper mowing height helps grow a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn, while discouraging weeds and undesirable grasses. 

The ergonomically designed mower includes a foam-padded comfort handle that’s fully collapsible for compact, stand-up storage.  Its 1.4 bushel-capacity, rear grass bag includes a carrying handle for easy emptying.

Batteries are removable from the mower deck for charging or storage. The mower’s 20V, MAX Lithium, 5.0 Ah batteries are part of the WORX 20V Power Share program and are compatible with other WORX lawn and garden tools.

Standard equipment includes two 20V, MAX Lithium, 5.0 Ah MAX batteries; dual-port, 2-1/2-hour charger with battery power-level indicators; mulch insert plug; and rear grass bag.

The WORX 40V, MAX Lithium, 20 in., Lawnmower (WG751, $474.99) is available at  It is covered by the WORX three-year limited warranty.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Ways To Get Your Home Refreshed For Spring Inside And Out

Today's conversation is sponsored by All opinions are my own as always.

It's that time of year where many of us take on the huge task of deep cleaning, and organizing our homes and living spaces. Spring cleaning is a big deal in our household, and we all map out what areas we will tackle. This usually includes the common areas, kitchen, closets, bathrooms, and our outdoor living areas and yard. I confess, one of my favorite parts of spring cleaning is getting new products to help make the job a little easier. We got pretty lucky when we ended up getting a spring cleaning themed package from BabbleBoxx to help us refresh our spaces for spring.
The first place we tend to start when it comes to spring cleaning is in our front and back yards. We do everything from pulling weeds, trimming hedges, planting new flowers, adding mulch around the trees and garden beds, cutting the grass, and doing the edges. There is nothing like a manicured yard to start the season of spending more time outdoors.

One of the things many of us don't think of until summer hits is what lurks in the back yard. Mosquitoes pop out of nowhere as soon as the temperatures hit 50 degrees. We are already at that point, and have seen little swarms of them in a few spots in our yard. Yikes! Mosquitoes carry the nasty Zika virus that is extremely harmful, even deadly to humans and pets. We got the opportunity to have technicians from Mosquito Joe come to to evaluate our property, and do a barrier spray. Jack and T.J. explained every step of the way how the spray works, what types of spray they use, and any recommendations to keep the mosquitoes away.
They told me it was necessary to concentrate the spray in areas with the most vegetation. Since we live on a pond, they added some mosquito dunks along the perimeter. I was told they cause absolutely no harm to any fish or wildlife. It was simply an aid in mosquito prevention. It was really nice to see the care they took when they got close to the neighbors' yards as well as their pets.
It has been two weeks since we had our yard sprayed and I'm pleased to report minimal mosquito sightings! They recommend a spray every 3 weeks to maximize the effects. Also, you don't have to worry about the rain washing it away. If you experience any problems with mosquitoes after getting your yard treated, they will come back and re-spray at no charge. They aim to please their customers. One nice thing about Mosquito Joe is you do not have to sign any contracts, so you can cancel or halt service at any time. You are able to make payments online with ease. They also offer a referral program which gives you $25 off towards future sprays. We look forward to continuing the service so we can enjoy the outdoors again.

Once we have the outdoors looking nice and neat, we make our way inside. This is where things get real! We tend to start with the smaller spaces like bathrooms, closets, and cabinets. First thing's first, clean out the clutter! If it isn't being used, it either gets donated or packed away for future use. A handy tool to keep track of what you are packing away for storage is the Duck Pack & Track app-based labeling system.

Now you can pack away items and label it with the location, but there's step that makes it even better. You scan the code on the label through the pack & track app (available for Apple & Android devices) so you can add details of the contents by voice or text. Now if you are looking months from now for something specific like computer cords, you can scan the code to see which box has them. We tend to have like a dozen or more boxes at a time with office items, so now this will make it easier to pinpoint the exact box to look in. The eliminates a lot of wasted time looking around, and is an excellent home storage tool. 

Check out this short video to see how it works:

While we're on the subject of decluttering and packing things away, don't forget to replace your scissors. You know, the dull ones that can't cut butter! We all have those. You probably don't even think of replacing them. It's always nice to have super sharp, heavy-duty scissors to cut through those annoying clam shell packaging that some gadgets come in.

We were happy to test out the world's favorite scissors by Westcott. They have different styles for different tasks. The blades are titanium bonded for extra strength, and can cut heavier materials more efficiently. I love the non-stick ones for gift wrapping and crafting. I can't stand for tape or adhesives to get stuck on scissors. All of the Westcott scissors have a comfortable grip, and fit well on hands of any size.

Now that we have battled the clutter, we move on to deep cleaning the places that don't get that everyday attention. You know, places like the baseboards, ceiling fans, kitchen cabinets, behind your appliances, and the list goes on. The key is to tackle one area at a time. This is where Krud Kutter cleaners come in handy. There is one for the kitchen that works miracles on greasy stove tops, cabinet doors, the sink, countertops, and just about every other surface. Krud Kutter kitchen degreaser is unscented and safe to use around your food prep surfaces. It really gets the job done!

Krud Kutter's heavy duty cleaner is ideal for your baseboards, utility sink, floors, shower walls, and even the hard surfaces on patio furniture. A little goes a long way, so you get a lot of value with either Krud Kutter Cleaner. I even like to spray it directly to my kitchen or bathroom floor for a quick mop job. I love that it kills 99.9% of bacteria and germs while being bleach-free.

Another easy way to refresh your home is by replacing the shower head in your bathroom. You don't have to go out and spend a fortune on one either. Waterpik shower heads are very affordable and is easy to install in minutes. If you know how to screw in a lightbulb, you can install this shower head.
This Waterpik Power Pulse has a sleek, modern look and has 6 spray settings: powerpulse massage, full body, power spray, full body & powerpulse massage, powerspray powerpulse massage, and water saving trickle. I'm hoping to save a little extra on water costs each month using this new shower head. My son says that he feels like he's in a hotel shower each time he uses it. I have tried it out for myself and love it. I will be buying one for my bathroom soon. It's amazing the difference something as simple as replacing a shower head can make. Find out more about Waterpik shower heads here.

So we have covered just about every part of the house except for one last place-- the kitchen sink to be exact. I am one of those crazy dinosaur people who still hand-washes dishes. It's actually quite relaxing most days, and it's where I do the most thinking. I am always down for trying out anything that will make dishwashing more exciting. I geeked out when I found out I was getting a Scrub Daisy Dishwand System. I've had my eye on it for some time. Look at how cute it is!

This adorable gadget comes with a vase and valet to hold your dishwand and scrubbing heads. The vase suctions down to stay secure at your kitchen sink. It comes with the Daisy, the Sunflower, and the Hyacinth. Each scrub head has special petals and surfaces for specific cleaning needs. The Daisy is perfectly 'bloomed' for multitasking. It's great for your everyday dishware, utensils, coffee mugs, and non-stick pans. The Sunflower is designed to have more scouring power and even has a scraper attached for stubborn food particles. The Hyacinth is so great for getting into those tall water bottles, baby bottles, or slim wine glasses. 
All you have to do is add your favorite dish soap into the dishwand. It is easy to switch scrub heads with a simple twist. I love the fact that you can rinse off your scrub heads and store them on the valet to drip dry. This makes for fresher scrubbers with no odor. The handle is very comfortable to work with, too. You've got to experience the Scrub Daisy for yourself. 
We want to thank BabbleBoxx for the wonderful items that have helped to refresh our home for spring. We hope you will give some of these things a try. Which of these products are you interested in trying? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today. 
 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Great Ideas for Your Child’s Next Birthday Party

Thinking of ideas for your child’s next birthday party isn’t always easy, especially if they aren’t sure what they want either. As your child grows up, they will move away from the usual fun games and cake to more interesting parties like a soft play area. However, when you have used all of those ideas, what else can you try? Here are some ideas that might be able to help you.
Photo by Jennie Brown on Unsplash

Listen to Your Child’s Interests
If you are stuck for ideas, sometimes the best solution is to try talking about their interests. Although you might think you know what they like, this might not be the case. You can then take those interests and use them as a theme for a party. You are also almost certain that their friends are interested in the same things. If you are planning a surprise birthday party, then it might be a good idea to speak to your child’s friends. They may have a greater idea if they will like it or not.

Glow in The Dark Party
A party like this is especially good around Halloween as it makes a great nighttime event. You can have everything glow in the dark from face paints to neon clothing. You can also hire or buy an ultraviolet light to make the neon and white stand out. There is also a great recipe for glow in the dark play dough that the kids will have great fun making.

Indoor Drive-In Movie Theater
For the younger children, this idea will be sure to keep them entertained, especially if you put on their favorite movie. All you need are some cardboard boxes and stick on a paper plate steering wheel and wheels You can then line them up in rows and let them watch their movie in comfort. You can even give them their snacks there as they are unlikely to want to get out.

Adventure Days
There are many adventure days set up around the country; they offer several activities including a high zip wire and climbing frames. If you are looking for something involving more puzzle solving, then there are also places like the Atlanta Escape Room. They offer the opportunity to get trapped in a room that you then have to work your way out of by solving clues. These adventure activities are great for older kids, especially those that love the outdoors.

Pool Party
Pool parties are a great way to have a summer birthday party, but the weather doesn’t have to stop you. If it’s raining outside, then you can still hire your local pool complex for an hour or so and invite all their friends. Some pool complexes have inflatables that they will let you use, as well as flumes or water slides. It is a good idea to ensure that all those attending can swim before you book.

These ideas are just a few of the many you can try if you think a little outside the box. The main part of any party, however, is to have fun.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png


Eleven-year-old Will Busby first heard of CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike seven years ago, when his father, Jeff, starting raising funds and training for a 28.3-mile trek to be completed in one day. The family was well aware of the need for funding for children’s cancer research, as four-year-old Will had been diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia on in 2011. 

“More funding for research is critical. One in eight children diagnosed with cancer won’t survive, and of those who do, 60% will develop lifelong side effects,” said Brecka Putnam, senior manager of campaign development.  “Only four treatments have been developed specifically for children in the past twenty years. We need more treatments for children to improve patient outcomes.”

The Busbys have been actively involved in research since his diagnosis. Will participated in a CureSearch funded clinical to help further research, and Jeff laced up his boots and raised funds through the Ultimate Hike program. Jeff continued hiking and coaching new hikers, and Will continued fighting cancer for years finally the family celebrated his “no more chemo day” on May 6, 2014.

Although Will is officially done fighting cancer, he’s chosen to spend his 12th birthday volunteering on the hike to show his support for all the kids who are in treatment now. “He now seems to be dealing with the experience in a way that makes it a positive part of his story,” said Jeff Busby.

Volunteering for an Ultimate Hike is no small feat. Jeff will spend the day on the trail, coaching other hikers and setting them up for success. Meanwhile, Will’s day will be spent loading and unloading vans, filling up hikers’ water packs, cleaning, and cheering on hikers. The first volunteers will report for duty before 2:00 a.m., and the last volunteers on the trail could load up as late as 9:00 p.m.

“We’re so excited to have Will spend the day with us. It can be exhausting, and many kids would prefer to spend their birthday hanging out with friends, rather than making sandwiches for 70 people in the middle of the woods. We’re so thankful,” said Putnam. “Having someone that young who beat cancer out there on the trail will give our hikers the motivation they need when the going gets tough.”

In addition to volunteering with CureSearch, Jeff is a chaplain and leader for Will’s trail life troop, he also backpacks with the group once a month, all year round. He is looking forward to introducing Will to a new group of hikers in a few weeks.

To learn more about CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike, visit To make a donation in honor of Will’s birthday, text CURE to 56512.

About CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch focuses on advancing the strongest research out the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can quickly help children.

For more information, visit or follow CureSearch on Twitter @curesearch or join the conversation on Facebook at

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Garden Chat- Let's Talk About Summer Plants

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about plants and share some of the things I have learned over the years. First of all, you can have a full and colorful garden for a very low cost. We have been getting what I like to call "second hand plants" for years now. We have family members who share clippings, small plants, bulbs, and seeds with us and we trade with some of what we have existing in our garden. 

If you are looking for vibrant pops of color that are low maintenance, a lantana is the way to go. They come in quite a few colors and can grow in even the hottest and driest of conditions. We have more than a half dozen of these in various parts of our yard and they get so big that we have to cut them back a few times each season. The best part is they come back year after year. Lantanas also attract butterflies. We have some right off of our back patio near one of our bird feeding stations, and it is so pretty to watch the butterflies flutter around. 

If you would like to attract hummingbirds, pentas are a great choice. Every evening we watch the hummers go to war so they can dominate this plant I got for Mother's Day. I keep it in a pot under a tree so it doesn't get too much sun although it claims it can take full sun. Nope. Not in the South Carolina sun! 

Something I learned about my delicate herbs and peppers is that the South Carolina heat will hinder growth. I actually brought some of my plants inside of my patio door in order to save them. When I noticed the leaves were yellowing, I figured the elements outside were just too harsh. Since doing that, all of my edibles have flourished. I take them outside periodically when we are having a rain shower. The plants tend to get an extra boost from the rain water. 

Hot pepper, broad leaf thyme, lavender, Rosemary, and spearmint
Another great trick I learned from my husband's uncle is to not throw away your potted flower plants at the end of their growing season. Instead, you can clip the old growth off and take it inside until the Winter frost is gone. Once you bring it back outside in the Spring, it will re-grow and you can enjoy your blooms again and again. Geraniums are one flower that fare very well indoors during the winter, and this geranium care guide by Gilmour will show you everything you need to know about planting, growing and caring for geraniums. The flower plant below cost us about $15 and it came back beautifully this year! I have it growing on the side of my home in a semi-shaded spot along a trellis, and it blooms all summer long. I get so many compliments about it and many ask of they can take it home.  

This year we decided to get some mosquito repelling plants since they are usually really bad every summer. We planted some marigolds in hanging baskets at the bottom of our back deck and have a few pots of citronella (mosquito plant) on the patio area. Let me tell you, those mosquito plants really work! We take a leaf or two and press it to release the oils and rub it on our exposed skin when we are hanging outside. The scent is very lemony and we really love it. I have yet to get a single mosquito bite when I do this. 

One of out larger plants broke from a storm we had a couple months ago and my husband took the broken part and put it into an old pot with dirt. I figured it would simply die, but it turns out that his experiment worked and the plant survived and grew in nicely. As a matter of fact, he has done this with a few other plants and trees and they are all growing. 

Citronella, also known as the mosquito plant
We will be bringing in all of our potted plants before the winter and keep them alive for next year. With all that we have done over the course of a few years, I anticipate we will not have to spend any money on plants or trees next year. 

What are you growing this year? 
 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

How Quickly Does A Tulip Poplar Grow Yearly?

Lately, we have been in a planting frenzy over at the Ismail home. We had all of our old, overgrown trees removed about two years ago. It was both a smart and dumb move at the same time. You see, we didn't think ahead about the fact that we would have zero shade in the hot summer months. Since having the trees removed, we have replanted new ones. We did a ton of research beforehand to ensure we got what would work for our zone and hopefully grow quickly enough to enjoy the shade before we become senior citizens.

One of the dozens of trees we decided on was the Tulip Poplar. We purchased two of them, one locally and the other from on online nursery located in our state. This tulip tree pictured below was planted late last summer and started off between 2-3 feet in height. So far since the spring completely sprung, it is now at 5 feet tall and climbing! There is still a lot of time left in the growing season so we are hoping for another few feet. This tree and the other one we bought seem to be growing overnight. I have read reviews where some people said they saw 8-10 feet of growth each year.

As you can see, the leaves are huge and they grow in dense clusters. When I was researching this tree, some people said the leaves get as large as full-size dinner plates. This is a good sign that in time, it will provide tremendous amounts of shade here in the 'Famously Hot' city of Columbia.

Something we learned along the way is to be super careful when watering your tulip poplar. You can't over-water, because it will completely drown out the roots and kill the tree. Ask me how I know this *ahem*. We only give it water once a week if it has not rained and the temperatures are over 90°. Also, we put down some fertilizer pre-spring and will probably do it again later on in the summer. The birds seem to be enjoying the trees and love to retreat from the heat among the dense foliage. Next up will be a couple bird baths to place next to each of our poplars. 

I'll be sharing more about our gardening adventures and some lawn care tips in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I'd love to know what you have planted this year. Do you have any wishlist plants or trees you would like to get in the future? Please share in the comments. Have a great weekend! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

How To Help Protect Your Family From Mosquitoes

Experts are predicting a fierce mosquito season this year. To help homeowners protect themselves against those pesky creatures, Arrow Exterminators recommends the following simple, proactive measures:

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water such as children's wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots;
  • Keep rain gutters cleaned out to prevent water from standing in drains;
  • Cut back or get rid of unnecessary vegetation around the home where mosquitoes can breed and/or rest;
  • Keep swimming pools covered in colder months to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs there, and drain any water that has collected on top of pool covers;
  • Remove water that has collected in tree holes and hollow stumps;
  • Screen windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside homes; and
  • Consider using yellow bug light bulbs in outdoor light fixtures – the bulbs reduce the number of flying insects around your home.

“As the temperatures continue to rise, mosquito populations boom and the recent rains have created the perfect breeding ground for another banner year,” said Charlie Jones, Arrow Pest Expert and SVP of Operations.  “Homeowners should take precautions because these pests do more than leave behind itchy red bites, they can also spread diseases like West Nile Virus, Zika Virus and Chikungunya Fever.”
Needing only small amounts of standing water to breed – a bottle cap full is enough – these blood-sucking pests can develop from egg to adult in just 10-14 days.  Additionally, these pests are always in search of their next meal and sense a potential target from up to 75 feet away.

Arrow protects homes from pests with the STEPS® Total Protection System™, an industry-leading approach that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM). STEPS includes a full property evaluation to pinpoint pest issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and to help prevent future recurrences. Consumers interested in scheduling a free whole home evaluation can contact Arrow at or call 888-462-7769.

Keep Mosquitoes Away With A Thermacell Patio Shield Protection Lantern

It's summertime! Many of you may be participating in a lot of outdoor activities like cookouts, gardening, hanging out poolside, and more. We went through the catastrophic floods here in SC last year. It left behind so much damage and some people are still trying to recover. One thing the floods caused is a serious mosquito problem. We already have enough of them in SC, but now we have triple the amount. We can't be outside for long before someone gets bit. I don't always want to wear repellent on my skin and am always looking for alternate ways to keep those pesky blood suckers away.

I've heard about Thermacell lanterns before and was so intrigued by the video demo on how it works. Haven't heard of it before? Look at the short video below...

I received the Patio Shield Mosquito Protection Lantern to test out for myself. It comes with 1 butane cartridge, 3 repellent mats, and of course 1 LED lantern. It requires 3 AAA batteries that are not included. Just as the video instructed, you simply insert batteries, the butane cartridge, and a repellent mat in the slot. Turn it on and get ready for your outdoor fun! It provides a 15'x15' zone of protection. My son loves to refer to it as his very own force field.

Does it actually work? Let me tell you, if there are 1,000 people and one single mosquito, it will find its way to eat me up. My Thermacell lantern keeps them away! I sat out in my back yard recently for one hour and I was able to go inside completely untouched by mosquitoes and biting flies. Now we can say goodbye to the candles that do not work and say hello to Thermacell. This makes me so happy that I don't have to hide inside anymore.

Buy it: You can find a store near you here. I'm pleased to see that my local Walmart and Home Depot carry them. I forgot to mention that you can purchase refills as well. There are personal sized units as well as a variety of lanterns and torches. I keep my lantern in my mud room for each time I want to go outside. I don't miss the sprays one bit! I will be taking it with me when I go to my neighbor's cookout next weekend. I'm sure everyone will want to sit by me :)

Thank you Thermacell for providing me with a review unit. All opinions are my own as always and I simply love this product! 

How I Learned To Go Out And Live Freely With Impressa #TriedImpressa

Today's post is sponsored by Poise, but all opinions are my own

I don't know what has happened to me since I turned 40. I'm not the same person I was a few years ago. I feel like a new woman crept into my body and oddly enough, I feel younger in many ways. I have a lot more confidence and spunk. I really do believe that 40 is the new 20 except.... well some things have indeed changed. I have talked about it before, but didn't fully accept it until this year. My body just isn't the same. I've had 3 children. I have endless stretch marks, cellulite, and all sorts of other physical imperfections. I have accepted that those things are a part of life and heredity.

I do have one very embarrassing issue though. I love to laugh, play and live life to fullest. I just don't appreciate the little side effect of *ahem* leaking a little pee. >>insert wide-eyed emoji here<< Yep, every time I'm hanging out with my college daughters, there is a 110% chance that a lot of laughter will be had. I ALWAYS have to cross my legs and beg them to stop their shenanigans before I pee myself. They always say, "You better make sure you have your Poise". Hmmph! Well, lucky for me, I have Poise Impressa Bladder Supports.

You may recall me talking about Impressa recently. I have had the chance to test out the different sizes to find the right fit for me. Impressa bladder supports are used like you would a tampon, except they aren't designed to absorb. Instead, they help stop leaks before they happen. Check out some of the stories in the short video:

It's the season now where many of us will be spending time outdoors and you certainly don't want your LBL (light bladder leakage) to get in your way. I love walking along the beach as often as I can all summer long and Impressa is a must have! I was in Walmart recently and I found it on rollback (excluding the sizing kit).

This was a great opportunity to stock up on my size. After trying all 3 from the sizing kit, I found that size 1 is what I needed.

I carry Impressa with me in my purse, beach/pool bag, and my travel bag. It has really helped me feel like I can laugh, play, and truly live freely. Be sure to stop by your local Walmart store and look for Poise Impressa Bladder Supports on the feminine product aisle. Start with the sizing kit so you can figure out which size works best for you.

Now you can laugh, jump, sneeze, cough, and play without fear of leaks. I encourage you to give Impressa a try to see if it works for you. Hey, it's cheaper and less embarrassing than going to the doctor. I'm glad it works for me. Have questions? Go to the FAQ's section and learn more.

Have you tried Impressa?
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved