DIY Solar Halloween Lights

Easy DIY Solar Halloween Lights - thelinkssite.comHalloween is not a huge event here in Australia although it is getting more and more popular each year. We haven’t made any Halloween decorations at our house in the past because we don’t get any trick or treaters where we live – the distance between houses is a bit big for the kids probably! But I got thinking about Halloween decorations recently when I was out at the hardware store and saw that they were selling solar Halloween lights.

I love using solar lights for decorations; I made my own solar Christmas lights design last year! The solar Halloween lights that I saw at the hardware store were selling for around $2 each and most of them seemed to be based on a carved pumpkin head style. So I got thinking about the solar lights that we already had at home and decided that I could make my own solar Halloween lights. We still might not get any trick or treaters this year but we will have some Halloween lights ready just in case!

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Removing Sticky Labels and Glue Residue from Jars

Removing Sticky Labels and Glue Residue from Glass Jars and Bottles - thelinkssite.comYou can do so much with empty glass jars and bottles; you don’t necessarily have to just put them out to the recycle. Glass jars are great for storing small items in the pantry or for storing jams, chutneys, and pickles. You can also use them for storing small craft pieces or even as a vase. The only problem with many of the jars is that the sticky labels and the label glue can be hard to remove.

If you are lucky then all you will need to do is soak the jar or bottle in some warm soapy water and the sticky label will just peel straight off. But more often than not the paper part of the label will come off but the sticky glue residue remains.

I have used tea tree oil before to take the glue residue off but I don’t like using it because it has a very strong smell. Once you get even a couple of drops of tea tree oil on anything it takes ages for the smelt to disappear. It gives … Continue reading

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Sour Cream and Chive Dip

Sour Cream and Chive Dip - thelinkssite.comThe weather has been so nice recently that I have been craving some warmer weather snacks. I have really enjoyed having a couple of crackers with some sweet chilli dip at the end of the day (sometimes with a glass of wine!). It got me thinking about making my own dip. I had some sour cream in the fridge and chives in the garden so I figured that it wouldn’t be too hard to make my own sour cream and chive dip.

Sour cream and chive would have to be a classic dip flavour. The best thing about classic dips like sour cream and chive is that they appeal to people of all ages. Often it is hard to get kids to try a dip that has ‘strange stuff’ in it! The kids in my family would run a mile rather than try a dip that had spinach or artichoke in it! But because they love sour cream and chive chips they also love the same flavour in a dip.

So this recipe is definitely going to be a hit at family parties and BBQ’s this summer!

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Tips for Growing Strawberry Plants

Useful tips for growing your own strawberry plants - thelinkssite.comWe had a couple of strawberry plants sitting on our veranda for a couple of years and in the autumn we planted them out in our vegetable garden. They have been fairly quite over the winter months but now that spring has arrived they have really taken off.

Strawberry plants like quite a bit of sun but because we get some really hot days during summer we have planted ours in a position where they get some shade in the afternoon. When I was young my parents had a big strawberry patch and it got quite a bit of afternoon shade so that seems to work in our climate. If you have a milder summer then you might need to make sure that your strawberries get full sun all day.

Our strawberry plants are covered in flowers at the moment and we are giving them a deep watering under the plants every few days. Strawberry plants like plenty of water but they don’t like to be watered overhead.

We have grown strawberries before but I wondered what else we should know to get … Continue reading

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Links I Love from September 2014

Links I Love from September 2014 - thelinkssite.comWell we are into October and there is no better time than now to have a look back at some of the cool stuff that I found online during September 2014. I love writing these Links I Love posts because it gives me a good excuse to have a good look around online each month to see what great stuff I can find to share!

Usually I end up spending quite a bit of time drooling over decadent snacks and dessert recipes that I wish I could make – but can’t because they have too many calories :( I might have to take up running or something!

When I am not looking at food blogs and websites I am checking out the many awesome craft projects that people share online each month. It always amazes me how people even come up with some of the projects! I’m not as crafty as I would like to be but it doesn’t matter because I find you can get so many tips, hints, and ideas online these days.

As usual I will provide the … Continue reading

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October Gardening Plus What’s Going on in My Garden

October gardening inspiration plus what has been happening in my garden lately! - October Gardening - thelinkssite.comNow that we are well and truly into spring there is a lot happening in the garden. Plants that were dormant over winter seem to be able to sense that the weather has changed and they are coming to life. Our apple trees are blossoming now and the other fruit trees have all got their new leaves. With everything coming back to life it is great being out in the garden and I am looking forward to getting stuck into my October gardening jobs!

We are hoping that most of the really cold weather is behind us now but we are still keeping an eye on overnight temperatures. We have had a frost during October in the past. A late frost will cause the almonds to fall off our almond trees, so we are hoping that doesn’t happen this year!

The warmer weather has bought out the local wildlife lately too. We regularly see a couple of stumpy tail lizards and also a blue tongue moving around the yard. We know that the magpies are … Continue reading

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Sour Cream Lemon Muffins

Sour Cream Lemon Muffins - these are very quick and easy to make! thelinkssite.comWe have only got a few of our lemons left on the tree and I was looking online recently for another lemon recipe that I could try. I came across this recipe for Sour Cream Lemon Muffins and I just had to try them. We have been using quite a bit of sour cream in our recipes lately but I had never tried adding it to muffins and I was intrigued as to how they would taste. The fact that the recipe looked really quick and easy also helped to grab my attention. I know that I have said it before but I am a complete sucker for an easy recipe!

This recipe really couldn’t be any easier; basically you just mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then bake – how much easier can it be? I found this muffin recipe on a blog called Not So Humble Pie. This blog doesn’t appear to be active now but it is still online and includes some great recipes.

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Easy Homemade Firelighters

Easy Homemade Firelighters. Use old teabags and used birthday candles to make your own firelighters! - thelinkssite.comWe have our wood heater going almost constantly over winter, it is so nice to be able to curl up on the couch on a cold winter’s day and watch the fire! It’s also great to come home to a warm house in the winter. Even when the fire has died right down it still puts out enough heat to keep the house reasonably warm. As the weather starts to warm up though we are able to let the fire go out during the day more and more often. This means that we start to use more firelighters to get the fire started in the evenings.

We have normally bought firelighters and find that they work quite well but they can be messy and expensive. A while back I saw a link on Pinterest showing a method for making your own firelighters and I have been keen to give it a try ever since. Now that we are using more I thought that it was the perfect time to give it a try myself.

I had … Continue reading

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