Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Central Texas Photography Giveaway!

The Intentional Mama is having a giveaway for a photo session with Shelly Negrete Photography, who does photography around Central Texas.  Click here to enter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Waco Gardening - Wildflower or Weed?

We've had some nice sunny days recently, and I've been spending a lot of them in my garden weeding.  Since most of the grass is still brown this time of year (at least in my yard) it makes the weeds easy to spot.

But, if you're like me and want to encourage Texas wildflowers to grow in your yard, you may want to weed selectively.   The following wildflowers are beginning to sprout right now and if you leave them be can be a nice addition to your yard later.

Wild Primrose
Wild primrose looks similar to dandelion when it first sprouts.  The leaves are somewhat ruffly at the edges, as you can see in the picture below (though, admitedly, some of what you see there was caused by insect nibbles.  But the wrinkling at the edges is not caused by that, from what I can tell.

This is what they look like in the spring!

 Goldenrod doesn't bloom until the fall, but its a slow grower.  I'm noticing new plants sprouting in my garden now.  At this early stage it looks similar to common plaintain...but plantain will soon become hairy, while the leaves of goldenrod remain smooth.  The edges of goldenrod leaves are serrated.

In the fall Texas Goldenrod provides bunches of showy yellow blossoms.  According to Wikipedia, Goldenrod is unfairly blamed for causing hayfever, which is actually caused by ragweed which blooms at the same time.  Ragweed's pollen is airborn, while goldenrod pollen is too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers (and mainly transported by the bees it attracks).  They are invasive, however, and hard to remove once they're full grown, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to let them in your yard.

Common Plantain
(NOT a wildflower)

Here are some pictures of Texas Plantain (also known as White Man's Foot) to compare with the pictures of Goldenrod above.  While plantain can be useful (it has medicinal properties as a pain-killer) it can take over if you let it grow un-restrained.  Oh, yes...and here is my example A of that.  These tiny plantain plants are going crazy in a bare spot in my yard left by last years drought and a previous infestation of another weed.  These new buds aren't visibly hairy like the older plants.  The edges of the leaves start out smooth.

 Later the leaves devolop hairs and jagged edges.

And eventually it will grow large seed spikes.

The picture above is by Calindarabus, who not only has great photos of tons of plants on Flickr, but includes info about the plant with each picture!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spotted a Deal: Silly Bands for 10 Cents!

Looking for cheap party favors?  Saw these silly band for $0.10 at HEB on Hewitt Dr (in the back isle next the the party stuff).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mom, This is the Most Awesome Thing Ever!

Several years ago we got a front loading, energy efficient washer.  I highly reccomend them!  In addition to paying for itself in less than 3 years, it was a constant fascination to our then 1 year old.  He was mesmerized...sometimes stayed to watch the whole cycle.

Need something to occupy your baby while you get dinner fixed?  Forget popping in a video...just throw in a load and plunk them in front of the washer.

OK, it's not exactly wordless, and it wasn't posted on Wednessday, but I'm linking up anyways at the Wordless Wednessday Linkies at Domesticated Mama, 5 Minutes for Mom, and I Project Alicia.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

After Christmas Sales! Still Going!

Did you get over to any of the after Christmas sales?    I always shop for decorations for next year right after Christmas.   But you can also get stuff NOT for Christmas at these Christmas sales.  So of the "Christmas" stuff on sale is generic enough that it can be used for other things.
  • Red items for Valentines
  • Green items for St. Patricks Day
  • Bows and ribbon for birthday presents
  • Other party favors for birthdays
  • Gift bags and boxes to use for birthdays or storage
Here's the best deals I found so far!

  • Bags of bows for $0.20 (for the whole bag!)
  • Rolls of plain green cello wrap for $0.10 (think St. Patricks Day!)
  • Lots of cutesy candy dishes...didn't catch how much cause I had already bought one before Christmas.

Most Christmas items 75% Off!
  • LOTS of Christmas Cards Left
  • LOTS of Wrapping Paper
  • Star Wars Themed Candy that could be used for parties or Valentines.
  • Thanksgiving stuff too
  • Lots of toys on sale.  I saw Lego Ninjago skeleton sets with cards and spinner on sale for $4.50 (usually $9).

    I visited Jan 1st, so these may not be there any more...but most of their Christmas stuff was 75% off!
    • Tons of ornaments for as low as 4 for a quarter!
    • Window stickers for $0.50
    • Nice shirt boxes for under $3
      Here's one of the shirt boxes I found on sale.  It's generic enough that you could use it for birthdays or Valentines.  I'm going to store my kids art in it, since its large enough for construction paper.