Pennies & sense

Thrifty how-to's & such by Corina Ross

Saving Bananas // freezing for keeps

I have been known to buy more than enough fruit for two people. (or 4-6, on occasion.) this past week, I couldn’t turn down .62 for a bundle of organic bananas! Luckily, I can save what’s left before they spoil.

I like to freeze ‘em and use them in bread, cookies, or smoothies.

(You could also dehydrate them, which I may post about in the future.)

Frozen bananas keep for months and if frozen correctly, will last up to 3 months without browning.

Here’s how:


- Peel banana.

- Cut banana into quarters.

-Spread on a cookie sheet and place in freezer for 1 hour.

- Remove from freezer. Place banana in a freezer bag. (Lay in one, flat layer and squeeze as much air out as possible.)

- Place in front of freezer shelf, away from air blower. ( Too much direct cold can ruin the bananas, and cause them to turn quickly.)
Rethink: Hot water and Coffee
When cooking a meal, or boiling water for coffee- it’s second natural to pour the left over water down the drain.
Instead, use the hot water to kill weeds in the yard, in the cracks of the driveway, or anywhere for that matter.
The hot water shocks the plant and kills it instantly. I haven’t had one grow back yet.
It’s the best all natural weed killer, and it does the trick. No harsh chemicals to worry about leeching into the soil, or whether it’s something your furr animal will lick up later.
Take care when you aim. I don’t recommend it for use in an established garden bed, or where you have desired plants growing. It would be ideal in that instance, for garden bed edges or borders.
So what about those coffee grounds left over in your French press ? Well, you can compost them- they add nitrogen to your compost bin encouraging the breakdown forming hummus (no chickpeas involved). You can also add it straight to the soil! By doing so, you add better aeration, drainage, water retention and organic material for the tiny microorganisms that help your plants to thrive. It’s doesn’t release nitrogen right away as if it were composted, but it does attract earth worms - which are nature’s handy automatic plant feeders.
I recommend it for use with vegetables, especially tomatoes. I would research which plants coffee grounds work best with before use.

Rethink: Hot water and Coffee

When cooking a meal, or boiling water for coffee- it’s second natural to pour the left over water down the drain.

Instead, use the hot water to kill weeds in the yard, in the cracks of the driveway, or anywhere for that matter.

The hot water shocks the plant and kills it instantly. I haven’t had one grow back yet.

It’s the best all natural weed killer, and it does the trick. No harsh chemicals to worry about leeching into the soil, or whether it’s something your furr animal will lick up later.

Take care when you aim. I don’t recommend it for use in an established garden bed, or where you have desired plants growing. It would be ideal in that instance, for garden bed edges or borders.

So what about those coffee grounds left over in your French press ? Well, you can compost them- they add nitrogen to your compost bin encouraging the breakdown forming hummus (no chickpeas involved). You can also add it straight to the soil! By doing so, you add better aeration, drainage, water retention and organic material for the tiny microorganisms that help your plants to thrive. It’s doesn’t release nitrogen right away as if it were composted, but it does attract earth worms - which are nature’s handy automatic plant feeders.

I recommend it for use with vegetables, especially tomatoes. I would research which plants coffee grounds work best with before use.

#livingart happened today. I made a parasitic plant’s paradise in this old pine trunk.

- Stag horn ferns are not parasitic, but they do cling on to
other plants for support as they grow.

- I care for mine the same way one would care for an orchid. Little water, filtered indirect sunlight, and well draining potting medium.

- I took some coco planter liner and stapled it to the inside of my tree trunk. I made sure it was loose around the edges so the stag horn could latch on where ever it felt like it. I then put the two plants in the coco pouch and filled it loosely with orchid bark and some succulent soil to water.

- I’ll probably just mist it every other week and once a month- add a banana peel for ph balance and drench in the bathtub for a good soak and rinse the salt that builds up over time.

- as it grows and clings to the tree trunk, I’ll remove the orchid bark and coco liner.

Micro garden delayed update:

Organic sunflowers, heirloom bell pepper, cucumber, cantaloupe, and tomatoes. Yum! I can’t wait until next year. I hope to have a plot mapped out and ready to go in the spring.

I turned this lonely wooden clog into an airplant ‘planter’. I love it!

corinaross:

Floral workshop + Chattanooga,TN

I had the pleasure of attending a floral workshop yesterday evening.  I now know how to effectively make a flower crown!

Rethink: IKEA ‘s stainless utensil basket


I love these things! (They’re cheap, functional, and super versatile.)

I picked up a few of these at IKEA and initially thought they would make great bathroom organizer bins. Then, my wheels started spinning. “This thing is handy!” I dropped my orchid in one, as then a maiden-hair fern. I did end up utilizing one for utensils like it was intended, but shortly after placed another orchid in it. They’re durable, rust-resistant, and offer excellent air circulation and drainage. It adds a little metallic-ness through-out the house, and I dig it. Rethink labels!

:Mini restoration to cast iron enamelware:


I scored this Le Creuset Dutch oven for $12 at a local thrift store. I was worried about the condition of the enamel at the bottom. It had been scorched brown, and was pretty gross. I tried soap and scrubbing with no avail. 

I asked my mother in-law if she knew any tricks on how to clean it.

Here is her secret:

1. Soak in scalding hot water
2. Add a dishwasher tab and let is dissolve and soak over night
3. Scrub with scotch bright the next day and rinse.

It did the trick!

I wish I had a before photo- just imagine you melted a chocolate bar and let it sit for a while.  (Yuck)

:Mini restoration to cast iron enamelware:


I scored this Le Creuset Dutch oven for $12 at a local thrift store. I was worried about the condition of the enamel at the bottom. It had been scorched brown, and was pretty gross. I tried soap and scrubbing with no avail.

I asked my mother in-law if she knew any tricks on how to clean it.

Here is her secret:

1. Soak in scalding hot water
2. Add a dishwasher tab and let is dissolve and soak over night
3. Scrub with scotch bright the next day and rinse.

It did the trick!

I wish I had a before photo- just imagine you melted a chocolate bar and let it sit for a while. (Yuck)

Think outside of the box (or planter for that matter)

Think outside of the box (or planter for that matter)

I enjoy free-hand typography (When I have a moment to spare).  I made this sign for my Facebook group Chattanooga Vintage goodness. My friend and I hosted a booth at St. Elmo’s Spring corner festival in April this year and needed signage!  We met some lovely enthusiast at the festival, and gained a few new group members. The group is a great place to gawk, sell, or trade vintage goods ( locally only ) . Let’s get the vintage train rolling in #CHA ! Join yourself, and tell your friends!

I enjoy free-hand typography (When I have a moment to spare).  I made this sign for my Facebook group Chattanooga Vintage goodness. My friend and I hosted a booth at St. Elmo’s Spring corner festival in April this year and needed signage!  We met some lovely enthusiast at the festival, and gained a few new group members. The group is a great place to gawk, sell, or trade vintage goods ( locally only ) . Let’s get the vintage train rolling in #CHA ! Join yourself, and tell your friends!