Simple advice for a better life.

Wine Corks – Interesting Backsplash

Container filled with hundreds of wine corksI would be very interested in knowing how many of you are into wine cork collecting?

Pinterest has  numerous  arts and crafts ideas from wine corks.  You should check it out!

You will find cork floor mats, coasters, place mats, wall decor, candle holders, Christmas Tree decorations, etc.

My daughter and her husband have been collecting their wine corks for few years now, with some help from other family members as well.

They were contemplating several ideas to use up those wine corks , but once their basement was finished, which  includes a fairly spacious kitchen, they knew exactly which cork project to pursue.

Yes, you guessed it….a very interesting backsplash for their new kitchen.

Today I will share some pictures I took of that project, which began with my daughter’s idea, and finalized by her husband, with a helping hand from his dad.

This actually turned out to be a nice family project.

Wine Cork backsplash - begining stages

It all started with a special backing board attached to the wall, to outline the backsplash area.

They also installed extended (protruding from the wall) electrical outlets, to allow for the thickness of the corks in the backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash - close up

As you can see here, the electrical outlets are nicely fit on the surface of the cork backsplash.  Nice job!

Wine Cork backsplash - close up 2

Here is a close up view of the corks, placed in a specific pattern, to create a very interesting backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash

At last, the finished project, with lots of corks still left over…ready for another project…?

Please note, there are some color corks placed strategically throughout the  backsplash,  to add a little more color and character.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this project.

What a great way to recycle wine corks, and be surrounded by many memories of the numerous occasions these wines were shared with family and friends.

Please share your comments, plus other ideas and experiences you may have with creating interesting projects from wine corks.


If you love veggie eggrolls, but are looking for a healthier way to prepare them, rather than deep frying, I have just the recipe for you.

Have you ever tasted baked eggrolls?

Well, I baked mine, and everyone just loved them.

They are very tasty.  Lots of flavor in the filling.  The wrappers are quite crispy, but not  “greasy” crispy,  thus much healthier for you, so you can enjoy them guilt free!

I read several different recipes, and created one to fit my taste.

I used regular green cabbage for the filling, and low sodium soy sauce for dipping.



  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2/3 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh onions, or chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (check out my nifty garlic-zoom)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 14 eggroll wrappers (or more, depending on the amount of filling you use)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced


  1. Heat up a medium saucepan on stove top with 2 Tbs. of olive oil.
  2. Add chopped onions, and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped garlic, and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add shredded cabbage and carrots, and cook until wilted.
  5. Season with soy sauce, sugar, ginger and pepper.
  6. Set aside to cool off slightly.
  7. Using cooking spray, grease the bottom of a baking dish, and set aside.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  9. Place eggroll wrapper on a work surface, in a diamond shape.
  10. Place 2-3 Tbs. of filling on an eggroll wrap, about 1/2 inch away from the lower corner.
  11. Fold the corner over the filling, then fold left and right sides towards the middle, as if making an envelope.
  12. Gently holding down all these corners with your fingers, roll the enclosed filling toward the top corner of the wrapper, until fully wrapped.
  13. Place the wrapped eggroll, seam down, on the prepared baking dish.
  14. Continue same process with the remaining wrappers, until all filling is used up.
  15. Lightly spray the tops of eggrolls with cooking spray, or brush gently with olive oil.
  16. Bake uncovered for 18 minutes, or until golden brown (I could have baked mine a little longer, for a crispier top).
  17. Enjoy with the soy dipping sauce, or create your own.
  18. To make the dipping sauce, place all ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well with a whisk ,or beat it with a fork.

Enjoy, and share your comments, please.











Summer is here.

Students are home.

Daily computer usage has increased, and not only your electric bill is climbing higher and higher, but the atmosphere pollution is also increasing.

Today I will share some tips from, to help you lower your electric bill, and go green.


Today’s Tip:  Don’t Snooze on Computer Efficiency


Save energy – and reduce global warming – with your computer’s sleep mode.


Be a responsible technophile.

Use sleep mode, and not screensavers, whenever you’re away.

The forgetful type?

Adjust your power settings to have hibernation kick in sooner.



Computers are energy hogs, and screensavers are worse.

In fact, screensavers use a lot more energy than your computer normally does – two times as much if they are graphically complex.


Did You Know?

A desktop computer left on for a full year would release 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


Okay, But How Hard Is It?
As easy as letting your computer nap during lunch. 


There you have it. Now go do the right thing, please.

Please share any other tips you might have to save energy with computers.



Creative Commons License photo credit: AlishaV

Electrical fires are not a rare thing, and can happen to anyone, at any time.

Actually, I experienced it a couple of times as well.

My first experience was with my oven, as all of a sudden, the heating element started to smolder, and my whole oven lit up with flames. I turned the oven off, but the fire did not stop.  Finally I ran to the main fuse box, and flipped off the oven fuse, at which point the smoldering slowly subsided, and my oven started to cool off.

If you do not know where your fuse box is located, or which fuse switch is for which part of the house, you should learn it right now, and hopefully will never need to use this knowledge.  I was lucky enough to be familiar with our fuse box.

Another time was just as scary, since while I was away from home, my toaster oven “miraculously” turned itself on.  I was not even using my toaster oven that day.  It must have been heating at full blast long enough for the handle to fall off, the electrical socket, walls and counter top to get  too hot to touch.  Fortunately it did not cause a more serious fire, and to this day I still do not know what caused it.

I learned my lesson, so now before leaving the house I always unplug the toaster oven, the coffee pot, my curling iron, and any other small appliances I have plugged in…just in case.  I encourage you to do the same, because not only it will save energy (anything plugged in, even if not in use, draws energy), it will give you a peace of mind, while you are away.

Here are additional tips on preventing electrical fires in your home:

  • Cover all unused wall sockets with plastic safety covers, if you have small children in your house (they love to stick their curious little fingers in there, or anything else they might be holding).
  • Avoid running extension cords across walkways, doorways, and under carpets.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for plugging appliances into electrical outlets.
  • Avoid overloading outlets, by not plugging more than one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle at one time.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor, and near all sleeping areas.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries regularly. As a rule of thumb, change every time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Replace, or repair any loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices (that includes your laptop).

If you have any other ideas on preventive measures for house fires, please share them with us.

Unsafe Toys for Kids

Go GreenToys, toys, toys, and more toys for kids.  We all love buying toys for our children and grandchildren.

There are so many to select from, to keep them fun, educational, and most of all SAFE.

Buying toys seems like an easy task, but it does require some research and common sense.

Today I will share another tip from, to put a bug in your ear, to keep in mind for your next toy shopping trip.

Today’s Tip: Avoid Unsafe Toys for Tots


Protect your baby’s health by forgoing plastic toys, which may contain PVC, lead, cadmium and other dangerous substances.


Only purchase toys made from upressed wood and organic fibers like cotton and hemp.


Children are at the highest risk of toxic poisoning, because their skin is so absorptive.

Plus, we all know how they love to chew.

Did you Know:

In the EU, soft plastic toys are banned from children under the age of THREE, because the phthalates (“softeners”) used, are highly toxic.

Please be a smart consumer and read the labels on the toys you are about to purchase.  Do additional research before making the final decision, to keep your babies safe and healthy.

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