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Kill Pesky Mosquitoes Before They Can Bite!

 

With concerns of the Zika virus spreading during the summer months, I wanted to address one way to prevent mosquitoes in our gardens and back yards. Specifically for those who love to have bird baths and fountains running in our gardens. My recommendations are not meant to replace, in any way, the constantly updating recommendations of the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). For complete and updated information, check out the CDC website (Click Here).

FYI – A running fountain is a deterrent to mosquitoes (they don’t want to land and lay eggs) –but if that motor stops and water becomes stagnant, even for a few days, it can become a breeding ground!

 

ssd Mosquitoes

Stop That Sweaty, Summertime Chafing!

 

This is your summertime PSA, and you are welcome!

Ok, I admit this is kind of an unusual post for me. (And it is NOT a sponsored post!) But I view it as a summertime public service announcement (PSA) for all of us who don’t have a thigh gap. What is a Thigh Gap? Barbie is here to illustrate:

thigh gap
Thigh Gap: When Thighs Don’t Touch When Standing with knees together – usually someone who is 95 pounds and 2% body fat! AKA: Something I haven’t experienced, I don’t know, since maybe I was 8 years old!

 

I was inspired to do this post while on a college tour with my youngest. It was extremely hot and humid, and my skort (skirt with built-in shorts) was not keeping my thighs from rubbing together! Talk about uncomfortable! So when I got home, I decided to find out how to prevent that chafing. My friends who are runners & bikers probably know this already, but it was all new to me!

So if you, like me, are not aware of how to stop the bane of summer, enjoy and learn! You are welcome!

 

SSD Chafing

Tips To Create A Photo Wall!

 

I LOVE photos of my family (If you doubt it, check out this #ClearTheClutter video I did with professional organizer Chris Stone of NeatlyDesigned.com on how to reduce the number of photos you have!)!  So it was a natural progression for me to create a photo wall in my home!

The Diva’s Simple Tips To Create A Photo Wall:

  1. Create A Photo Wall That Appeals To You!
  2. Choose A Unifying Theme (For My Wall, I Chose Black Frames)
  3. Give Yourself Time!
  4. Display More Than Photos – This Provides Visual Interest!
  5. Use Different Types Of Photo Formats
  6. Arrange Photos On Wall First – Keeps You From Making A Million Holes In Your Wall!
  7. Have Fun!!
Here is the photo wall in my home! What is yours going to look like?
Here is the photo wall in my home! What is yours going to look like?

 

Close-Up: Here is a close-up of my favorite frame, which has the photos “floating” between two difference panes of glass – giving depth to the photo collage!

photo wall 5

 

photo wall

Home Decor Trend: Succulents

Succulents add a touch of greenery and texture to any room, whether indoors or outside! While In California on a recent trip, I was inspired by these cute, textured pots that held little succulents, so I took a photo:

succulent 4

 

I used this photo to find inspiration to recreate the look, but more tailored to my home style.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon some adorable, textured mercury glass candleholders at West Elm. (If you aren’t familiar with the store, you can check them out here: West Elm Mercury Glass Candleholders) So, I used them as pots!

succulent 3

So these little guys are perfect indoors:

succulent 2

 

Or outdoors!

succulent 1

Home Decor Succulents

 

Worth Noting: West Elm deserves a little recognition for support of local, small businesses and entrepreneurs! They sponsor something called West Elm Local, where they invite selected, local creators of handmade items into their stores to sell their products! (For More Info – West Elm LOCAL).

IMG_0425

When I went into their Jacksonville, FL store, they had 6 different merchants there, selling handmade items like soaps, baked goods, essential oils and more. They also happened to have someone selling handmade cement planters that were formed by using recycled materials! Of course, I bought one! Check Out Green Crete’s most recent work on Instagram.

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Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

 

This simple recipe is perfect finger food for a party – you can make it ahead and serve it later! And who doesn’t like Buffalo Chicken? Best of all, there is no grease involved!

Buffalo Chicken 2

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
 
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All the spiciness and flavor of Buffalo Chicken Wings, without the greasiness! An EASY party appetizer!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 20-25 pieces
Ingredients
  • 4 Cups shredded, cooked chicken - I used one whole roasted chicken from the grocery store to make this easy!
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Cup colby jack cheese
  • ¼ Cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ Cup sliced green onions
  • ½ Cup hot sauce - I used my favorite, Texas Pete, but feel free to use your favorite!
  • 5 large flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, the colby jack, blue cheese, hot sauce, and green onions using a mixer on low.
  2. Add in the shredded chicken, mixing by hand until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Spread approximately ¾ cup of the mixture onto each tortilla, spreading to the edges of the tortilla.
  4. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2-4 hours. You CAN slice and eat them now, but they slice better if they have been chilled.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Buffalo Chicken Pin

California Club Flatbread

 

The yummy goodness of a California Club Sandwich – Fresh Roasted Chicken, Cool Avocado and Salty Bacon. I’ve captured that delicious flavor on a flatbread!

Use this as an appetizer or pair it with a salad to make a light and tasty lunch or dinner!

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Let’s get a closer look:

Club Flatbread4

California Club Flatbread
 
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All the goodness of a California Club Sandwich on a flatbread! Pair this with a salad for a light meal or slice to make appetizers!
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner or Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Individual Sized Stonefire Naan Breads
  • 1.5 Cups shredded cheese - I used a combo of Colby Jack and Mozzarella.
  • 1 Cup Cooked & Chopped Chicken Breast - I used a roast chicken from the grocery store!
  • ½ Cup chopped red pepper
  • Cooked Bacon, chopped (use as much or as little as you want)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ground chipotle chili pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay the naan breads on a clean work surface. Divide between the naan breads the cheese, chicken, bacon, and red peppers.
  3. Place in oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted. I place mine right on the oven rack, but you can also lay them on a cookie sheet and place in oven.
  4. While the flatbread are cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the ranch dressing and as much (or as little) of chipotle chili pepper.
  5. Remove from oven.
  6. Layer the remaining ingredients in this order - the cilantro, avocado and drizzle with chipotle ranch dressing.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Club Flatbread3

The Secret To Making Cut Flowers Last Longer!

I love fresh cut flowers, so when I checked on Pinterest how to make flower bouquets last longer, I couldn’t believe the variety of tips! So, I decided to Put Pinterest To The Test and test out the top three suggestions! And here are my results:

 

 

Plant 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So do you have a favorite tip? One that always works? Share it with the Diva at info@simplesolutionsdiva.com!

SSD Cut FLowers

 

 

 

 

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