Tag Archives: summer

Save the Citronella and Other Ways To Keep Bugs Away

Our summer here in the Northwest has been absolutely beautiful.  In July we had the lowest precipitation in 53 years, meaning almost none.  August is starting out just as nice.  One of our favorite things to do at night is sit in our backyard, playing a game of cribbage, sipping a drink, talking with the fire pit lit, eating dinner.  Anything!

That means bugs and bites which I’m not fond of.  Lets face it, I’m a magnet for the bug world.  We were going through lots of citronella candles.  We’d burned them so much there was still some wax to burn, but the wicks were gone.   My hubby was ready to throw them in the garbage but I said No!….


I gathered the candles and some wicks fro Michaels.

used candles  candle wicks

Using a knife, I cut out the good parts.  A few spots were not worth saving.  I grabbed a fry /wok  kinda pan from the garage .   I had picked it up at a yard sale for a $1.00. and used it as my double boiler.  I melted the wax until it was liquid.

dounle boiler 1

If I had some extra citronella oil I would of added it, but I didn’t so I went without.  I poured the liquid back I the empty candle dish from Home Goods, then immediately dropped four wicks in it.  The wax hardened within the hour, but I let it sit overnight before I lit it.   Make sure to have a piece of foil under the dish when pouring the liquid to catch the drips.

final product

My pretty new citronella is working fine and looking  good in the backyard.

outside 1

outside 2

outside 3


We purchased a couple of Tiki Torches at Home Depot, 2 for $40.00.  I love that they stand on their own, there easy to move around, the cans of citronella fuel is replaceable, and they come with a lid to protect them when not in use.

Tiki Torch

We also purchased a bug zapper.  I think it was from Fred Meyer, but cannot remember.  We bought it early in the season and I tossed the paperwork so I can’t tell you much more.  I do remember shelling out $30.00 for it.  The zappper has a cord to plug into for recharging and operates on an infrared light.  I think it’s been pretty effective.

bug zapper

Do you like to spend your evenings outdoors?  What do you do to keep the bugs away?

I’m joining the  linky party at House of Hepworths.  Check it out for some inspiration!



Raspberry Freezer Jam {Simple, Quick & Yummy}

Summer, sunshine and fresh berries.  Could you ask for much more?  When I was growing up my mom would make all kinds of jams and jellies for us, standing over the stove in the heat.  I took the lazy way out and made freezer jam earlier this week.


We have local farms that designate certain places to sell their fresh picked berries so we picked some up and brought them home.  It was simple and quick to make and the stove was not involved.

raspberry flat

clean and mash

mix and stir

The basic recipe is 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 package (1.59 oz) pectin and 4 cups of crushed raspberries.  I was just short of 4 cups of the raspberries on my second batch so I improvised with some blueberries.  We’ll wait to see how it turns out.  Ball has plastic jars made to put in the freezer, a bit pricey but reusable.  Once you fill the jars, leaving about 1 inch of space for expansion, let them sit on your counter for approximately 30 minutes.  Then pop them into the freezer.  The recipe says they’ll last in the freezer for a year, and in the refrigerator for a month.

Jar 1

side view

I already had the cute little labels and tied a couple of jars with bakers twine to give to our neighbors.

I got the recipe from Food.com.

Recipe Raspberry Jam

Have you made any jam this summer?  What kind?


DIY–Outdoor Solar Lights

I remember seeing this idea floating around on Pinterest and blogs, but when I made these it was on the spur of the moment and I didn’t take the time to do any checking for instructions.

solar light Collage

I was at the Dollar store and they have the outdoor solar light stakes for $1.00 each so I picked some up.  I already had multiple jars and gems on hand.

I took the lids off the jars and filled them with gems leaving approximately 2-3 inches of free space at the top.  Then I screwed the outside  lid back on the jar which left an open circle.  Remove the solar light from the stake. and place in the open circle of the jar.    It should fit pretty snug, but if it doesn’t you can wrap some silver electrical tape around the light.


Place in the sun to activate the lights.  At night you’ll get a nice glow.


Well, you get the idea hopefully.  I would recommend when its damp out or if the jars are in an area where the sprinklers go off, to bring them in your house.  You can place in a sunny window and the will still activate.

Next on my list is to melt all the used citrona candles we have together and create one giant one.  How are you getting your outside area ready for summer activities?


Summer Silverware & Paper Napkins {Little Loves}

Sharing just a few of my little loves today…

During my birthday shopping trip to Portland earlier this month we stopped in Home Goods.  Any time you buy retail anything in Oregon it’s a good thing because there are no taxes.  I’m in love with these silverware for summer.  I bought service for 12.

Summer Silverware 1

close up

I’m obsessed with paper napkins as witnessed by the pictures below.

Napkins 1

Napkins 2

Do you have little items you buy that are similar or am I crazy?


Adirondak On The Hill

Some folks go to Cape Cod in the summer.  Others head to the Jersey Shore.  Me?  Where do I go on a warm evening to escape the heat and find a cool breeze?

pic 6 title

This is the side hill next to our house.  When we first moved into our house 14 years ago the alder trees in the greenbelt were creeping  to our property line.  Slowly over the years hubby has cut the trees and brambles back and now we have a beautiful rolling side hill filled of green grass and a gulley filled with ferns, huckleberries, wild flowers and alders.  It’s peaceful and when the weather is unbearable in the house the side hill is the place to be for both humans and dogs.

I picked up these Adirondak chairs at Home Depot.  They had so many fun colors I finally narrowed it down to theses three.  The “hill” is catching on with the neighbors too.  Looks like it’s going to be a fun summer!

Pic 1

pic 2

pic 4

pic 5

Where’s your hangout in the summer?


Stripe an Outside Tray

Been a while.  The job that pays me money has been very busy lately.  Between that and spring chores I’ve been away from blogging.  But that didn’t stop me from grabbing a spray paint can and getting a few things done.

Stripe a Tray

My husband calls me a tray hoarder.  I love them; so versatile, colorful.  What can I say?  I am a bit obsessive.  This  tray was originally a moss green color inside and out when I first picked it up at the store last summer on a clearance price.  Then I sprayed it all white.  Now it’s back to green on the outside and white on the inside.  I was inspired by my bench pillows on my front porch so using frog tape several times I added some green and orange stripes.

Pillow match Full pic

It’s the perfect tray to hold a little afternoon snack, a pick-me-up after a long day.

Tray 2

Tray 1

Tray 3

Happy Friday!

Celebration of Summer

My hubby and I were out on a drive yesterday and he told me that Labor Day Weekend always makes him sad.  For us living in the Northwest it means the last holiday weekend before our youngsters return to school, that is, if you still have kids in grades K-12.  It also means in the next month or so, the trees will lose there leaves, the lawn furniture will need to be stored away and our mild sunny weather will change to a higher percentage of gray and rainy days.  BOO!

I love Spring and Summer.  In celebration, I cut a bunch of flowers in my yard and made a tablescape of flowers.  Hope you enjoy….


141-1   140-1

127-1  135  138-1   143



128  129


Happy Labor Day.  What ever you’re doing; hanging with family and friends, BBQing, boating, just make it a great day!

latte Lattenene