Friday, July 10, 2015

Week # 5: My List of Fabulous Finds

It's hard to believe it's been 5 weeks since I started this series.    

It is already July 10th, and summer is sliding right on by! 

Widespread hot and dry weather conditions have led to earlier-than-normal forest fires and smoke-filled skies in many places, including Montana. 

It is worrisome to think how the summer will progress, unless an unusual amount of rain begins to fall. 

We all need to use extra caution with regards to wildfire prevention.

forest fire
This area in Montana had begun the slow process of recovering from a forest fire, when this photo was taken a decade ago.

Just a reminder of the reason for this series:

There is a LOT of really helpful, captivating, and entertaining information available on the Internet!  It can take a lot of time however, to sift through and find the articles that interest you. In this series, I share the links to some of the “fabulous finds" I have discovered on the Internet throughout the week. 

If you read this blog, I suspect we have similar passions. If I find something to be fascinating or useful, I think you might as well. I hope you enjoy and benefit from these links!

Here is some of what I came across this week:

This Week's Fabulous Finds:

~ ~ Fire Danger

July 4th, fireworks
A little of what July 4th looked like at our house last year!

I was really happy that on July 4th all of our neighbors obeyed the ban on fireworks in our county. Our July 4th evening did seem unusually quiet and dark - but I far prefer that to flames and smoke! Click here for a link to a video made by firefighters in Montana to demonstrate just how quickly a flame can ignite.


No More Poison Ivy!

I certainly would still do everything I could to limit my exposure to poison ivy - but the advice in this video by Jim Brauker is harmless, costs nothing, and sounds like it could possibly be quite helpful!


It never hurts to ask.

Sometimes you just don't know what will happen unless you ask.  This article posted on Unworthy proves this. The ripple effect caused by this mother's request for her daughter is beautiful.


So many good ideas for DIY air fresheners! 

Maybe I am a little sensitive to odors right now - my son just brought home the clothes he wore for a month of backpacking, and I have never seen laundry (soccer gear included!)) quite so filthy! 

Following the directions for a fruit rind air freshener, I made an all-natural air freshener. This was #11 in a fantastic roundup of 19 DIY air fresheners that was published by Brit+Co. (I used clementine and basil.) My very pretty new air freshener is now in my laundry room and it should help freshen the air, until all the hiking gear is washed!

DIY, air freshener, all natural,

Here's a close=up photo: 

DIY air freshener, decorative


So that's how you do it!

I have a favorite recipe for iced sugar cookies that I absolutely love, but the idea I found on the blog Annie's Eats for making chocolate sugar cookies sounds delicious also. Even better, her tutorial in Chocolate Sugar Cookies (and how to marble Royal Icing) gives an excellent explanation of how to create an adorable pattern of hearts!


~ ~ Do you have a writing routine?

The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine by Maria Popova provides an interesting viewpoint on the craft of writing. Reading it helped me to identify a few things that I should doing to improve my productivity!


~ ~ Have you ever thought about becoming a "Weekday Vegetarian"? 

Click here for a powerful Ted talk video of Graham Hill presenting a solid argument for consuming less meat, and a good plan for how to do so. I might just have to make some changes to our weekly menu!  
To quote Graham Hill: 
“If all of us ate half as much meat, it would be like half of us were vegetarians.” 

(By the way, the video in the link only takes 4 minutes to watch!)

red meat, processed meats, vegetarian,


~ ~ A Vegetarian recipe I think might be good to try.

I added this recipe from the blog Skinny Taste for Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise to my Pinterest collection over a month ago, but I haven't tried it yet. This seems like a perfect recipe to help us follow Graham Hill's advice, and cut back on the amount of meat we eat. I really also like the idea of being able to make and freeze these burgers for later use!


Have you ever had a poison ivy rash? Do you eat meat every day?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. Very good finds Susan! I do not eat meat every day, and I try to fix the weekly menu with meat 4 times a week and the rest vegetarian! It's quite easy in the summer time to stay away from the meat as there are so many wonderful vegetables in season now. The only bad temptation is the smell of souvlaki in the streets (at least where I

  2. Good for you Mary K! I really hope I can begin to make the dietary changes - so much better for the planet and our health! If I lived where you do, I would eat a greek salad every day!

  3. I teared up reading Pearl's story. Positive, happy tears. Hooray for can-do attitudes.
    I am a vegetarian though my partner is a carnivore. Slowly I am inching my way to being a vegan. I think dairy will be the biggest hurdle there.

    1. I had the same reaction to Pearl's story. I must admit, I love dairy far too much to ever go vegan!

  4. Urushiol? Who know? Golly I truly had no idea that I could avoid poison ivy rash by washing (3 times!) something called urushiol off within 2 - 8 hours. Amazing. That tip alone was more than worthy of my popping by today. Thank you, Susan. As for meat - this could not be more timely. My daughter made portobello mushroom burgers last night. They were so delicious. We don't eat much meat here other than chicken (about 2 times a week) and it was such a treat to have another meatless option. I'll be getting her to make those a lot in the next few weeks, I'm thinking.

    1. Portobello mushroom burgers sound delicious! Good for you for eating so little meat ... we are trying to get in the habit of eating less also!

  5. Great links this week Susan. I had poison Ivy many times as a child, and I'm not sure my mom every tried to wash off the oil - she just covered us in calamine lotion! Loved the article about writing routines - I definitely need to work on that!

    1. We didn't have poison ivy where we lived in Canada when I was a kid, but I got into it numerous times, gardening when we lived in Ohio!

  6. We do eat meat everyday. I try to only eat redmeat once a week and usuall tha
    In my spaghetti sauce. If it were just hubby and I we could do it, but with mom it has to be meat, starch and vegetable.

    1. I am sure it would upset your mom's routine too much if you were to suddenly shake up the weekly menu! My understanding, though, is that cutting back on red meat can be very helpful too!

    2. You're right it is. I used to eat red meat almost every day we love steaks and hamburgers, but when I got sick we changed the way we eat even though I know we could do even better. I don't fry meat anymore I either bake it or grill it. I must have been on my tablet on the original comment. It doesn't pick up all the alphabet anymore the screen is starting to wear out (that's my story and I'm sticking to it anyway). I love Italian food so there has to be ground beef and sausage in the sauce. Can't live with out it!


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