Easy Plastic Plant Markers

Easy Plastic Plant Markers - thelinkssite.comI have enjoyed growing my own vegetables immensely over the last couple of years.  It is so much fun planning what you want to grow and then planting and tending to the seeds and plants. I have even contemplated planting vegetables that I don’t even like that much just so I can see if I can grow them! No matter what you are planting though, one thing that comes in handy in the vegetable garden is plant markers! If you are sowing lots of different seeds then you need to keep track of which ones are which!

I was planting some more carrot and beetroot seeds the other day and I decided to make my own plant markers. Often we use icy pole sticks as plant markers but I thought I’d have a go at making some plastic ones.

I saw this link recently that showed how to make your own plant markers from milk bottles and I thought that would be a great idea. I’m all for recycling used materials and we always have milk bottles that just get thrown in the recycle bin.

It is so easy I can’t believe that I haven’t seen it done before now. All you have to do is peel off the label from the milk bottle and then cut the bottle open so that you have a largish piece of plastic to work with.

I originally started cutting small plant markers using a store bought one as a template but that was a bit tedious. So I ended up cutting some freehand ones that were roughly triangular and I thought that they looked quite good. I think the best thing about these recycled milk bottle plant markers is that you can cut them into any shape that you like!

We just happen to have a couple of garden marker pens that were perfect for writing on the plant markers. If you don’t have a garden marker pen I’m sure a cd marker would work fine too.

Oh and if you peel off the label from you milk bottle and it leaves a sticky residue try this handy trick to get the sticky stuff off. It was originally intended for getting the sticky residue off glass but I have found that it works just as well on plastic!

Easily make Plastic Plant Markers in any shape you want from old milk bottles! - thelinkssite.com

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Links I Love from December 2014

My favourite links from December 2014Welcome to another Links I Love post, where I share some of the fabulous links that I have come across while searching online over the previous month. If you don’t already know I just love browsing other blogs and websites to find cool ideas. Whether it is recipes, craft, or gardening sites that I am looking at I am always amazed at the wonderful ideas that others come up with! This post will be looking back at some of the links that caught my eye during December 2014.

Even though December was a super busy month I still tried to find the time to browse the online world for cool stuff! As you would expect December offers up loads of Christmas craft and recipes, some of which I have highlighted here.

As usual I am presenting these great links in two ways. Firstly I will provide the direct link to the original source so that you can go directly to the link straight away if you wish. I will also provide a Pinterest pin as well. That way you can click on the ‘Pin It’ button and pin it for later if you haven’t got time to look at it now.

 

I usually start with recipes and this month will be no different. The first link is a recipe for Roasted Red Bell Pepper Dip that I found at Simply Recipes. I have got lots of capsicums coming on our plants at the moment and this dip looks like an excellent way to use some up!

 

This Peach, Asparagus and Feta Salad from Lucy at Bake Play Smile also looks like a summer dish that I could get my teeth into. It looks like a nice alternative to the usual green salad that you have at a summer BBQ.

 

Now that we have got the healthy looking stuff out the way we can turn our attention to cheesecake ;)

This No Bake Double Chocolate Cheesecake that I found at The Kawaii Kitchen looks delish and is easy to make – what more could you want!

 

When I saw these Chocolate Orange Pinwheels at Bake at 350 I knew I had to share them. Chocolate and orange flavours go so well together and these cookies look really cute.

 

I also saw this cute idea for DIY Garden Art at Nooks and Cranny.  This is a very interesting form of hanging planter. It would look really cute done as different herbs hanging near the kitchen door.

 

It wouldn’t be a post about December without including some Christmas links. I thought that these DIY Wooden Christmas Ornaments from Craft Hunter were a great idea. They look good in the wooden finish but you could also paint them different colours too!

 

I also thought that this wooden Christmas Tree I saw at Hello Yellow House looked really original. Sometimes it is fun to have a non-traditional Christmas tree!

 

Well they were just a small selection of the great links that I saw during December 2014! If you want to see more great links why not check out my Pinterest page!

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins - thelinkssite.comOh my goodness I am now a chocolate zucchini muffin convert! Until now I had heard about these deliciously moist chocolate muffins that have zucchini in them but I had never ever tried one. I love zucchini, but up till now I have generally used it in savoury dishes rather than sweet ones. Gee is that going to change!

These chocolate zucchini muffins that I found on a great blog called Chocolate, Chocolate and More are wonderfully moist and chocolaty. I could not resist having TWO for breakfast this morning! I normally try to limit my chocolate intake early in the morning but after having one of these muffins I just had to have another. They are THAT good!

I can see some small pieces of zucchini in my muffins because I grated them quite coarsely but honestly you cannot taste the zucchini. The zucchini just seems to make them super moist and chocolaty and the added chocolate chips turn them into chocolate lover’s heaven. The original recipe called for mini chocolate chips but I only had regular chocolate chips and they still turned out great.

I am so glad that I found this recipe because now that we are in the middle of summer our zucchini plants are going berserk, producing around three zucchini every two days.

I can see a lot of chocolate zucchini muffins in my very near future ;)

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
 
These chocolate zucchini muffins are so moist and chocolaty you won’t stop at just one. And they are healthy too because they include a serve of veggies!
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups of plain flour
  • ¼ cup of cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips (mini or regular)
  • 1½ cups of zucchini, grated and with excess water squeezed out
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F) and line medium sized muffin pans with paper cases.
  2. Combine dry ingredients; flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine and break up any lumps.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then add the eggs, oil and vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, do not over mix – only mix until no dry mix can be seen.
  5. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips and again stir until just combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into the muffin pan wells, filling them roughly ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow muffins to cool in tins for around 30 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, these are a chocolate lovers heaven! - thelinkssite.com

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Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Merry ChristmasI would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

 

It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost here now. The last few weeks seem to have just flown by. We have finally finished off our shopping and we just now have to wrap the presents. It is a bit of a tradition in our house to spend the afternoon of Christmas Eve wrapping presents! It really feels like Christmas is here when we start doing that.

We will also be enjoying some yummy Christmas cake later today. Again it is a bit of a tradition to have our first piece of Christmas cake on Christmas Eve!

Thank you to everyone who has visited The Links Site throughout the year. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

 

 

I am going to continue the tradition of sharing a cute Christmas video again this year. I recently came across this gorgeous video on YouTube and I knew that I had to include it in my Christmas post. If you are an animal lover like me, this should bring a smile to your face. I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

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Cool Christmas Wine Glasses

Cool Christmas Wine Glasses - They are very easy and cheap to make and they look cute on a Christmas table! - thelinkssite.comRather than buying specially decorated wine glasses just for Christmas I thought it would be fun to decorate our everyday wine glasses. Store bought Christmas wine glasses can be expensive considering that they are only used once a year. Also I think it is fun to add some homemade decorations to the Christmas table each year!

I actually got the idea for these DIY Christmas wine glasses a few weeks ago when I was looking at some DIY Halloween decorations. I saw this great link that used pipe cleaners and toy spiders to decorate wine glasses for Halloween and I thought that I could easily adapt this to make some cool Christmas wine glasses.

I loved the idea of winding a pipe cleaner around the stem of the glass and decorating the glasses with a small trinket. I wasn’t sure what type of Christmassy trinket to use at first; I didn’t want anything too big or too heavy. Then I thought about those cute little gift bows that you can buy for presents and decided that they would be perfect!

It was really cheap too. I bought a packet of 20 tinsel pipe cleaners for two or three dollars at a craft store and a packet of 40 small metallic gift bows for two dollars at a local cheap shop!

I’ll have some left over but even if you have a large family you would probably be able to buy everything you need for less than ten dollars! You can’t get better than that can you?

 

DIY Cool Christmas Wine Glasses

 

Cute Christmas Wine Glasses - These are so quick and easy to make and they look gorgeous on the table for Christmas - thelinkssite.comOrdinary wine glasses can be turned into cool Christmas wine glasses in a flash:

  • Starting at the bottom of the stem of the glass wind the pipe cleaner around the stem two or three times.
  • Decide how far up the side of the glass you want the bow to sit and trim the pipe cleaner as necessary.
  • Attach the top end of the pipe cleaner to the sticky pad of the gift bow and then press the gift bow onto the side of the glass.
  • That’s it – now do more glasses the same way!

 

When you are finished using them you will find that the sticky pads on the gift bows leave very little sticky residue.  So it is easy to remove the pipe cleaner and bow and then wash the glasses as normal!

 

If you want to add some more homemade decorations to your Christmas table this year check out my post on making your own Christmas Crackers.

 

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Christmas Nails: Easy Stripy design

Christmas Nails; Easy Stripy Design - thelinkssite.comThis month has just flown by so far and I haven’t been able to post here as often as I have wanted to. I have been sick, our beautiful fur baby Wally has been sick, and the weather has been so hot we have been flat out watering the garden! When you throw in planning for Christmas and attending end of year functions it has been a frantic last few weeks. One thing that I was determined to try (and share) was a cool idea for Christmas nails!

I have really wanted to have a cool red and white stripy set of Christmas nails for a while now. But I haven’t really known how to do it, until now that is! There are lots of links that suggest that you can use sticky tape on your nails to make the stripes, but that doesn’t work unless you have some vital tips.

A few weeks ago I came across this great link on a nail art blog that explained some tips and tricks for using sticky tape to get a two colour nail effect. This link is not for Christmas nails but it explains how to use sticky tape to get two colours – and that was enough for me!

 

 

From this link I learnt two very important tips for using sticky tape to get stripy nails:

  • Before you use the tape you must get some of the stickiness off it by sticking it to your skin first.
  • It is also very important that you remove the sticky tape from your nails while the second colour is still wet.

I have tried to get a stripy nail design without knowing about these two tips and have never been able to get them to work. Now that I do know these vital tips I have been able to achieve a cool funky Christmas nail design. My nails are not perfect but I don’t think that they look to bad for my first attempt at nail art – here is how I did it!

 

Easy Stripy Design Christmas Nails - thelinkssite.comHow to Get Stripy Christmas Nails

 

  1. Paint your nails with two coats of the base colour that you want – I used white as the base colour.
  2. Allow your base colour to dry really well.
  3. Tear off pieces of sticky tape that are about one inch long.
  4. Cut the sticky tape into thin (about 1mm wide) strips and stick them to the back of your hand – I used three thin strips per nail so I needed 15 per hand.
  5. Doing one nail at a time arrange three of the tape strips over a nail and press them down onto the nail – make sure they stick down at the edges.
  6. Paint the nail with the second colour of choice – I used Red Dazzle.
  7. Carefully peel off the strips of sticky tape while the second colour is still wet.
  8. Repeat steps 5 – 7 until you have done all of your nails.
  9. That’s it you’re done – you now have stripy nails!

 

 

 

 

Cool Stripy Christmas Nails - thelinkssite.com

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Links I Love from November 2014

My favourite links from November 2014It’s only two weeks till Christmas – eek! I haven’t even started buying presents yet. I had planned to get in early this year and get my gifts sorted at the end of November but that didn’t happen! Oh well I had good intentions, maybe next year! While I continue to ponder what to buy I thought that I would share my favourite links from last month. So here are the Links I Love from November 2014!

As usual I am sharing the direct link so that you can go straight to the blog/website and have a look for yourself. However if you like the look of a link but haven’t got time to check it out now then I have also included a Pinterest pin so that you can repin for later. I love including the Pinterest pins in these posts because it makes it easier for you to visualise the link that I am sharing!

This month’s post has got a few Christmas links but I will start with the non-Christmas themed links first! And as usual I will start with food links! Maybe I should have a food themed links I love post because there are so many great recipes shared each month!

 

We have lots of home-grown potatoes that are ready to eat and we are always on the lookout for new ways to cook them. I saw these Crispy Smashed Potatoes at Bake Play Smile and I can’t wait to give them a try!

 

I like most donut flavours but cinnamon sugar ones would have to be a favourite.  These Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts from Maureen at Orgasmic Chef made me want to get my donut pan out and get baking!

 

I think I have found a great Christmas morning recipe for this Christmas. I am going to make these Fruit Mince Muffins that I found at My Kitchen Stories! What could be yummier on Christmas morning than a muffin that has a fruit mince filling and a crunchy sugar crust!

 

If you are like me and not very good at artistic drawing then this Easy Image Transfer Method from Thrifty Decor Chick will really come in handy. This tip will come in handy for more than just Christmas decorations!

 

I love the idea of DIY Christmas decorations (although I rarely get around to making any!) and these Mini Wreath Christmas Ornaments from U Create looked so pretty. It includes tutorials for 3 mini wreaths that are small enough to hang on a Christmas tree.

 

I mentioned earlier that I still have to buy presents for Christmas so this list of Top Books for Christmas 2014 might come in handy! Books are a great as Christmas gifts so it was great to get some recommendations from Nikki at Styling You.

 

Finally I wanted to share this cute Christmas idea for the kids. I don’t have kids but if I did I would love to be able to surprise them with this Printable Letter from Santa. I thought it was such a wonderful idea from Lia at Lia Griffith.

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the great links that I found from November 2014! If you want to see more great links feel free to check out my Pinterest page!

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Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins

Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins - thelinkssite.comIf you are looking for an easy double chocolate muffin treat then these Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins are just the ticket! They can be mixed up and into the oven in a matter of minutes and the resulting muffins are nothing short of chocolate heaven!

I came up with this recipe by simply changing a couple of the ingredients in the recipe for these Sour Cream Lemon Muffins. I really liked the rich creaminess of the lemon ones but I wanted to try making a chocolate version. So I decided to substitute some of the flour with cocoa powder and swapped the lemon juice for milk.  And just to make them a little more decadent I added some choc chips!

I have to say that these are probably the best chocolate muffins that I have ever made because not only are they delicious, they also freeze really well. It’s perfect – when you need a chocolate fix you whip up a batch, eat a couple of muffins, and then freeze the left overs!

I haven’t had mine in the freezer for more than a few weeks but if you lift them out a couple of hours before you need them it is impossible to tell that they have ever been frozen. Wouldn’t it be great to have a batch of these in the freezer ready for when you have to take a plate to a BBQ or party!

At around 250 calories per muffin they are not necessarily a low calorie snack but everyone needs a chocolate indulgence every now and again – right? Chocoholics will really love this recipe so I will be pinning this to my Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate Pinterest board!

Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins
 
These Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins can be mixed up and in the oven in minutes, and the resulting muffins are nothing short of chocolate heaven!
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (210g) of plain flour
  • ½ cup (45g) of cocoa
  • ½ cup (110g) of sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (180g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1¼ cup (250g) of sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75g of melted butter
  • ⅓ cup of milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F) and line medium sized muffin pans with paper cases.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine and break up any lumps.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then add the sour cream, eggs, butter and milk.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, do not over mix – only mix until no dry mix can be seen.
  5. Divide batter evenly into the muffin pan wells, filling them roughly ⅔ full.
  6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow muffins to cool in tins for a few minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
I found that 14 muffins was the right number for this recipe because when I tried using the mixture with only 12 muffin cases they overflowed a bit.

 

Yummy Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins - thelinkssite.com

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