Friday, June 19, 2015

Houseplant Pests

Houseplant fungus gnats are a problem. I have dealt with them because before I knew what I was doing, I watered my plants like crazy. Fungus gnats love that stuff. Soon they were everywhere and I had no clue what to do. There are still a few left, but thank God, they're not a huge problem anymore. Even though there are so many resources online, I wanted to share with you what I did and the things I continue to do to get rid of those disgusting gnats.

Don't overwater.
In fact, I let my plants completely dry out. The plants I have can handle it but if yours can't, let them dry out for as long as they can.

Water with this.
I actually use glass watering bulbs to water my plants. Some people are against it, but they work for me. So when it was time to water my plants I watered with this:

4 drops of liquid dish soap
4 cups of water
I water with this every other time 

1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide
4 cups water
This works as well. If I do this, I water with it every other time.

Both of these mixtures will kill gnats living in the soil over time. 

Also spider mites can be a problem with some plants. I have a jade plant that had them and this is what I did.

Spider mites unlike fungus gnats don't like when the soil is dry. I make sure my plants soil isn't dry, but I make sure to never over water.
I also spray with water every other day because humidity is not a spider mites friend. Also spraying with water dislodges them from a plants stem.
If I see and webs I take either a cotton swab or cotton pad with alcohol and rub the plants leaves. I make sure to do this only once a week until there are no more mites.
I also spray my jade plant with a mixture of soap and water. I leave it on for two to three hours then rinse it off with a spray of plain water.

Remember, getting rid of any houseplant pest takes time. Be persistent and also be patient.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

JaToya Reviews: Tracey Garvis Graves, On the Island

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments -- instead of his friends. 
Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.
Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

My Review:
I didn't 100% enjoy this book. That's not saying it's not a good book, I just didn't thoroughly enjoy it. There were some good parts but it was just meh for me. It was okay. The part I did enjoy was the survival stuck on an island part of it. I loved the book Hatchet so that part was interesting to me. The romantic part, not so much. I just can't get with the fact that Anna fell in love with TJ when he was 16 or maybe it was 17. I could understand how it could maybe happen, but nevertheless it just creeped me out. It threw the whole book off for me. I does however put a different perspective on how these things happen, but still. I just didn't like it. So do I recommend this book, yes and no. There may be some people who would enjoy it, but my honest opinion is this book was a waste of money.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

JaToya Reviews: Laura Spinella, Beautiful Disaster

Mia Wells's eco-friendly career goals are about to become a reality-but her life-altering moment is interrupted when an unexpected call ushers in her tremulous past. A man who's never left Mia's memory: Flynn, the enigmatic, passionate man whose disappearance broke her heart, has mysteriously resurfaced. 

Now back in her life and in the hospital, Flynn is gravely injured. Mia keeps a bedside vigil-terrified that he will die, awestruck at the prospect of his survival. In a story filled with sweetness and suspense, Mia's what-ifs are endless. And Flynn's return ignites an achingly powerful tale about the most enduring love, one that is greater than honor, or friendship, or the passing of time.

My Review:
I'm just going to go ahead and say it, this is by far my favorite book I've ever read. Its tied with another book I haven't reviewed yet so it's a secret for now. I've read it so many times I've lost count. When I can read a book over and still love it as much as I did the first time, that's how I know it's a good one. This is a romance novel at it's core, but to me it's so much more than that. It's a story of love, but it's also a story of strength. It's a story of faith and just how far faith in someone can go. It makes you think and you start to put yourself in the shoes of the main characters Mia and Flynn. It makes you wonder how it feels to be that in love with someone and to know it from the moment you meet. The love they have for each other is beautiful. There's no other way to describe it. It's beautiful and it's real and it stood the test of time. My mind is all over the place, but just read it, that's all I can say. But we have to talk about Flynn; the main male character. He is probably my favorite character out of all the books I've read. I loved him and because I did, I understood why Mia did as well. I even named one of my plants after him (that's another story). I loved him even though he was flawed, they both were. A book like this (excuse the dramatics) makes you believe in love and how strong it can be when it's right. I have to mention Mia's best friend Roxanne. Hate is a strong word and one I don't like to use, but I hated her. I will say that even though my feelings towards her were strong and not in a good way, I understood her. I understood what drove her to do the things that she did. So if you couldn't already tell by now, I highly recommend this book. I think if you love romance mixed with a little drama and maybe some mystery then this book is right up your alley.
P.S. My review is not doing this book justice. Just read it!

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