Author Archives: Meg

Mosquito Madness: Who Gets Targeted

Mosquito Madness:

Why Some of Us are Irresistible to Vampiric Nuisances

Lab studies indicate an estimated 20 percent of people, are simply irresistible to mosquitoes.  Driven by sight and smell, they find their way to their next meal… and it’s often the same person their buddy snacked on earlier.  Why are some people more bite-prone than others?  Some of the likely suspects, according to Smithsonian Magazine:

  • Blood Type – Studies have found that those with Type O are TWICE as likely to attract a mosquito as those with Type A.  Type B falls somewhere in the middle.
  • Carbon Dioxide – ‘Squitoes like it, and the bigger you are, the more you produce, which is probably why children don’t get nibbled as much as adults.
  • Exercise and MetabolismAs we said, they like smells.  If you are active and sweating, you give them a roadmap to your bloodstream.  They also like higher body temperatures.  Activity = use of insect repellent.
  • Skin Bacteria – The naturally-occurring bacteria on different areas of your body attract different mosquitoes.
  • Beer – This one is pretty mysterious.  None of the suggested reasons have proved successful in tests… so who knows?
  • Pregnancy – Mosquitoes are twice as likely to land on a pregnant woman, likely because she is both warmer and larger, thus emitting more CO2 and heat.
  • Clothing Color – Colors that stand out are easier to spot — even for mosquitoes.
  • Genetics – Genetic makeup is reported to account for 85% of the variability between mosquito attractors, and those who don’t attract them.
  • Lack of Natural Repellency – Some very lucky individuals rarely attract mosquitoes, but the reasons or genetic pinpoints for this have as yet to be determined.

The good news?  The more often a mosquito bites you, the less likely your body is to react in the future.  Unfortunately, there can be a considerable amount of discomfort in the meantime, and it could take a lifetime to experience all 3,000 species of mosquitoes out there.  The Liquid Net and Yard Net lines from The Liquid Fence Company protect your family, your pets, and your yard from vampiric assailants safely and effectively.

Prickly Pear Lemonade

Prickly Pear Lemonade

pear lemonade

As the dog days of summer wear on, try out one of these delicious cocktails to cool down.  Great by the pool or on the deck, and guaranteed to induce “Give me the recipe!” exclamations from friends, you will love this refreshing pear lemonade!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ oz. Pear Vodka
  • Chilled Lemonade (preferably freshly-squeezed)
  • Lemon slices for garnish
  • Ice

DIRECTIONS

Simply pour the vodka over ice in a glass and add chilled lemonade.  Add or subtract vodka, to taste.  And there you have prickly pear lemonade!

For a non-alcoholic and equally-delicious treat, substitute pear juice for vodka!

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Quick Bread Dough

10-Minute Quick Bread Dough

Something Swanky Quick Bread Recipe

Thank you to Something Swanky for this great recipe!  Pulled directly from that site.  Make sure to bookmark it!

I have two go-to bread dough recipes. And I love both of them equally, honestly. They’re both simple, pretty fool proof, rise beautifully creating a delicious bread.

So why do I need two perfect bread dough recipes? Because they each have completely different functions in my meal planning and baking. For example…

I use my Basically Perfect Bread Dough recipe for bread, always. I would never use this Quick Bread Dough to make an actual loaf of bread. For whatever reason, the Quick recipe doesn’t bake up quite as nicely in a big loaf as the other recipe does. And it definitely wouldn’t stay fresh as long as the Basically Perfect recipe does.

That being said, trust me that this is still a recipe YOU WANT! I make this dough at least 4 times a week.

Why?

Because it takes 10 minutes to prep, mix, roll, and get in the oven. And then about 15 more minutes to bake. So what do I use this dough that doesn’t bake into great bread for? Everything else.

Pizza Crust and Hot Pockets for dinner most often. Crescent rolls. Dinner rolls. Pigs in a blanket. Cinnamon rolls. Doughnuts. Burger buns. Hot Dog buns. Calzones. Sticky rolls.

You can use this recipe for anything that you are eating the same day you bake, and it will be soft and yummy. It’s an AMAZING recipe to have on hand for those nights (like every night if you’re me) you forgot to plan dinner.

Since you proof the yeast…

…the dough rises quickly, and makes for a soft bread once baked. But, be aware, the dough doesn’t rise as high as other bread recipes do. Which is ok– it still works. But if you’re not mentally prepared, you might think that you’ve made a mistake.

You can see by how well it rolls out and stretches that the dough still has a great elasticity:

This recipe is an absolute staple in our recipe repertoire, and I’d be in so much trouble on a daily basis without it!

Just remember these dough rules:

  • Use this recipe for bread loaves and for any meal you might not be serving same day.(60 minutes prep, 30 minutes bake time)
  • Use this recipe for recipes you’ll be making and eating on the same day when you’re short on time.

(10 minutes prep, 15 minutes bake time)

By the way, check out this post for a photographed step-by-step on how to “proof the yeast.”

Quick Bread Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (think warm bath water)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil (use vegetable for sweet bread recipes)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Proof the yeast using the oil and sugar.
  2. Mix the salt into the flour in a stand mixer bowl.
  3. After the yeast has proofed, add the yeast mixture to the flour. Knead until a dough forms, and then continue kneading for an additional 5-6 minutes until dough is elastic.
  4. Cover and let rise for about 10 minutes.
  5. From this point you can roll it out and use it for any recipe calling for dough!

*This is easily done by hand, not just in a stand mixer. Just be sure to use well floured hands and work on a floured surface, as the dough will be a little sticky (which is good! That means it won’t be dry once it’s baked– so don’t over-flour it during kneading!).

via Quick Bread Dough – Something Swanky.

DISCUSSION – Garden Success: When Do You Say “When”?

LFDiscussion

GARDEN SUCCESS:

When Do You Say “When”?

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In my tenure with The Liquid Fence Company, I have seen the desire, perseverance, passion and frustration that garden folks often experience in their mission for Eden.

For every person, that definition is different.  Whether it be a haphazard set of ocean waves churchillcontainers on a balcony or an intricately-planned rock and rose garden, many gardeners find it hard to know when they are “done”, if ever.

In meeting with various garden writers, I have discovered that many people have modified their gardens based on their situations, and all had very diverse views on what success would look like for them.

A truly inspiring garden can transcend us, and transform a mood or a space.  But to achieve it, hours and dollars are required… and can often be undone by one night of nibbling by a hungry deer or bunny.  Karen B.’s video of the deer leaving her yard alone thanks to Liquid Fence (below) triggered a thought and I wanted to hear your feedback.

When are you done gardening?   At what point have you achieved garden success?  At what point is it for enjoying?  Do you base it on: energy, dollars or motivation?  Weigh in and share with your friends!  One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a Liquid Fence tote filled with goodies!

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How Does Your Garden Grow: Share Your Photos and You Could Win an LF PrizePack!

How Does Your Garden Grow:

Share Your Photos and You Could Win an LF PrizePack!

You have a beautiful garden.  You take pride in it!  Well show it off and you COULD win a Liquid Fence PrizePack like Gina B. did in May!

Gina B. won and so can you!

Gina B. won and so can you!

Simply email your favorite picture of your property protected by Liquid Fence products, and if you see it in our newsletter and contact us, you win!  It’s as simple as that!  Show off your favorite container, amazing vegetables or striking flower beds that you enjoy thanks to any of our products (including Liquid Net; if you can’t sit outside and enjoy all the beauty, what’s the point?! ☺ ).  If you see it and contact us, you win.  Simple as that.

To share your photos, simply email us a picture and let us know what product(s) you use.  Make sure you have signed up for our newsletter (to the left) and keep your eyes peeled!

We can’t wait to see how we help you achieve success this season!  Share your photos today!

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Belgian Waffles with Coconut Syrup

Belgian Waffles with Coconut Syrup

Lazy summer mornings are best complimented with delectable breakfasts.  Try this feast for the senses for Sunday brunch, “breakfast for dinner” or piled high with your favorite ice cream or fruit for a hot summer treat.  The recipe for these Belgian waffles can even be used for the perfect pancake batter!  Give it a try!

waffles title

INGREDIENTS

For Belgian Waffles:
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 2 3/4 cups warm milk 
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
For Syrup:
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut, flaked
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions

For Belgian Waffles:

Simply mix ingredients fully.  Follow the directions included with your waffle iron (or simply use the same mixture for pancakes)!

For Syrup:

In a heavy saucepan, combine coconut milk, flaked coconut and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Chef Stef Says: Fresh fruits or piled high with ice cream, Belgian waffles are the perfect summer treat!

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IN THE NEWS: On The House Express – SUMMER LOVIN

Thanks to “On the House” for featuring our products in this month’s newsletter!

SUMMER LOVIN’:

MAKING THE MOST OF THE OUTDOORS

camper sign

We are officially enjoying the summer around the country. Lawn furniture is out, picnics are planned and kids and pets are enjoying the fresh air. To make that experience the best it can be in your backyard, or at the beach, The Liquid Fence Company provides a wide array of products to improve your summer.

RABBITS, AND SNAKES, AND MOLES, OH MY!

Keeping a comfortable relationship with Nature can sometimes be a challenge. As much as we enjoy seeing bunnies and deer, we may not necessarily want them nibbling in our garden.

Of course, there is our flagship product, Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent, to the rescue. Without it, nature’s nibblers would wreak havoc on your beautiful beds and plantings. In both liquid and granular forms, it deters deer and rabbits from destroying your hard work. But our line has grown over the years to deter a wide array of animals and insects.

Our line can help you repel:

Whether you have a problem with moles tunneling under your patio, or geese roaming your lawn, Liquid Fence products can remove the heartache from your backyard experience. Developed by chemical engineers in eco-safe formulas, all our products remain true to our two paramounts: that they work and that they’re safe for your family, your pets, and your soil.

Liquid Fence Animal Repellents will not harm the animals. They use the animals’ instincts against them, discouraging them from your protected yard. Targeting the most serious offenders, our line is consistently growing to keep your relationship with nature as Zen as possible.

By December of this year, our much-anticipated Liquid Fence Squirrel Repellent will be on the shelves of a store near you. The new product, like our others, isn’t harmful – just effective.

FEELING BUGGED?

Possibly the biggest complaint during the summer months (other than maybe the heat or humidity) is the bugs. Though we want to dine al fresco in the evening, the mosquitoes, gnats, fleas and ticks can be a real deterrent for outdoor activities.

The Liquid Fence product line offers a two-fold battle strategy: deter the insects from the yard, and from biting you personally. By protecting your property with our Yard Net line, you deter biting insects from your area. Having a barbecue? Spread or spray our Yard Net Insect Repellent and enjoy the festivities without the nuisance and discomfort of mosquitoes and gnats. The first of its kind on the market, Yard Net granular is a week-long time release formula – remaining just as potent on Day Seven as Day One.

To protect yourself, your family and your pets, trust our Liquid Net Personal and Liquid Net for Pets. Available in handy sprays or wipes, Liquid Net is pleasantly-scented, comprised of botanical oils and DEET-Free. Best of all, in independent lab testing, it out-performed competitor products with 25 percent DEET! Why risk your health and safety to deter insects when there is a healthy and safe alternative? Convenient and portable, keep a pack of wipes in your glove box or diaper bag to use at the beach, the playground or the golf course. Stay bug-free while remaining DEET-free; perfect!

GATHER ‘ROUND THE CAMPFIRE

It’s the time of year to pack up the marshmallows and tent. Whether you rest you head in an RV or a sleeping bag under the stars, insects and snakes can really hamper your fun. When loading up the car, make sure you’re stocked up on Yard Net, Liquid Net and Liquid Fence Snake Repellent.

By protecting yourself with Liquid Net Insect Repellent, you can enjoy fishing, hiking and singing around the campfire – bite free. And the pleasant scents of lemongrass, cedarwood and the like won’t discourage family time, but will deter biting insects from snacking on you.

Our granular Snake Repellent is eco-safe and contains diatomaceous earth, so you won’t be leaving a foul footprint on your campground, and snakes will remain at a safe distance from your camp site. This is a huge advancement and allows those with serious snake phobias to breathe easier in the great outdoors.

LEARN MORE

Through continuous research and dedication to consumer safety, The Liquid Fence Company is expanding to even more areas of safe and effective home, lawn and landscape products. Our products come with a 100% Moneyback Guarantee; you can try them and see for yourself that we stand behind what we sell.

The best way to stay informed about our products is by visiting our web site, our blog or our pages on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To get started, visit www.liquidfence.com.

via On The House Express Email Newsletter.

American Pride: Memorial Day in Washington DC Gardens!

American Pride:

Memorial Day in Washington, DC Gardens!

DC Cover Collage

One of the greatest pleasures of working in the “garden” industry is that I can spend a lot of time talking about and looking at beauty.  Between the beautiful photos sent by our customers and the continuous tests running in our R&D Department, I enjoy the colors of summer year-round.

But even I am occasionally awestruck by the dramatic,  or delicate or dreamy landscape and garden concepts in our world.  This past weekend, I joined the Garden Writers Association for a gathering in our Nation’s Capitol for an insider’s peek at three of Washington DC’s offerings:

  • American University
  • The US Capitol Grounds
  • Dumbarton Oaks

Through the course of a very long day, the beauty of well-executed, timeless plans were showcased , as well as sustainable designs  that really work – and look spectacular.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

IMAG1810You know it’s a great school.  What you may not know is that it is a superlative example of sustainable landscape (and building)!  Starting in the mid-1990s, the school began a gradual transformation into a Mecca for sustainability.

With a limited budget, but a keen awareness of more sustainable options to beautify the University’s grounds, a core group developed with the intent of recreating the campus, one bed at a time.

Though it has taken almost 20 years, the concept has taken root with the students as well.  When they first began the initiative, 3 students came out to help.  This year, 350 volunteer students participated in beautifying the campus.

By limiting the grassy areas, and developing naturally-feeling irrigation and plantings, the grounds took on a life of their own.

After a truly informative talk-and-walk, we reconvened at the US Botanical Gardens for lunch and to begin our Olmstead Education at the US Capitol Grounds.

US CAPITOL GROUNDS

Frederick Law Olmstead was a forward thinker.  He planned his landscapes 6284253758_e82fc42ecf_bnot just for today, but for future development.  As we walked the grounds of the US Capitol, his hand was evident in everything from the retaining walls to the identification placards on the trees.

Olmstead’s vision, mostly, has remained intact for Washington DC.  And what was that vision?  Visitors were granted an experience, and not just some plants.  The concept was simply to make the building the centerpiece, and the plantings a frame for it.

This tree is decidedly NOT Olmstead approved as it blocks the view of the Capitol

This tree is decidedly NOT Olmstead approved as it blocks the view of the Capitol

At a distance, beds and walls were planned and planted denser and closer together, and then further apart – and thinned – as the visitor gets closer to the building itself.

In the hundred or so years post-Olmstead, the face of Washington, DC has changed.  Indeed, the very Cherry Blossoms that have become so dear to the city would have been frowned upon by the utilitarian Olmstead.

Olmstead also added the Capitol terrace in an effort to balance what he considered to be a very top-heavy building’s appearance.  The terrace also changed the general feel of the building, and gave it more balance and flow.

Retaining walls – just tall enough to discourage you from walking on the grass but low enough not to hinder the view – are a constant reminder of one man’s impact on our Capitol Building’s design.  In recent years, newer walls have been added to mimic Olmstead’s concept and remain in keeping with his theme.

Tours are available around the Capitol, but you can start on your mission to learn more here, with virtual tours online!

Dumbarton Oaks

IMAG1863Unabashedly my favorite part of the day, this amazing gem tucked into a quiet neighborhood of Georgetown is administered by Harvard University and an absolute pleasure to explore!

Farrand Sketches

Sketches provided by Farrand to Bliss, and approved design implementation. Click the picture to read more.

Chock-full of gardens, nooks and crannies and an absolutely breathtaking sea of roses, this exemplary example of Washington DC gardens is pure bliss.  But part of the splendor of Dumbarton Oaks is the story of its development and the family that lovingly created it over the course of decades.

Mildred and Robert Bliss bought the sprawling Dumbarton Oaks in 1920.  They loved the vistas and the beautiful trees on the property.  Mildred contracted Beatrix Farrand to develop the design of the gardens, thus procuring a lifelong friendship.  Every sconce, bed and fountain was a creation from the minds of Ferrand and Bliss, and later, Bliss’s staff member Ruth Havey.

One of the most unusual features of the Gardens is seen today completely differently than it was intended.  In 1959, Mildred decided to redesign the tennis courts to incorporate a Parterre area.  Using the focal point of 18th-century lead sculptures by Edmé Bouchardon, the Mexican pebble mosaic was created to form a shallow pool, which would heighten the colors of the stones.  However, due to cracking, leakage has left the pool dry with no clear solution.  The result?  The Pebble Garden is now a meandering space, where no person was actually meant to tread.

A really nice features of this space: the original arbor from the Pebble Garden’s earlier life as a tennis court.  Also, the family’s motto and crest are formed out of the stone, enticing a visitor from the above terrace to come down and wander.

Arbor at Pebble Garden

Wandering the grounds, visitors come across vegetable and herb gardens, a swimming pool, garden gates and hidden stairways.  The Rose Garden, which was in full bloom last weekend, was literally a sea of color and a favorite spot for the Bliss family.

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There were also several art installations throughout the grounds, including the Cloud Garden – a really beautiful feature.  The cloud garden – at a distance – appears to be some sort of mass of twinkle lights, but as you get closer, you realize it’s a “cloud” with thousands of prisms hanging from it, catching the light and reflecting in the pool below.  Here is a video:

The property also features a great Pre-Colombian and Byzantine art collection.  The museum, free to the public (unlike the gardens which do have a nominal fee) is located partially in the original house, and partially in connected pods designed by Robert Bliss.  Make time to peruse the wonderful pieces, and really take in the grounds.

All in all, the day was full of trips to the past, the future and the ongoing effort to retain the past while moving forward.  Make sure to add some of these special spaces to your next trip to Washington.  The Washington DC Gardens are extensive, and not to be missed!

NOTE -  Special thanks to:
Ari Novi, US Botanic Garden SITES
H. Paul Davis, LA of Record for American University
Kirk Brown, Garden Writers Association organizer for this meeting

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P.S. Have you seen our new web site!?  How fabulous is that?!

NEWS: Liquid Net is Put to the Test!

Liquid Net is Put to the Test!

Scranton, PA News Crew Takes Our Insect Repellent to a Park for Review

WBRE Liquid Net segment

Click Image to View Segment

Yesterday, WBRE-TV in Scranton took our Liquid Net product to a park in East Stroudsburg, PA, to see what parents had to say about it.

The response was fabulous!

Parents loved that it was handy (they tested the wipes), smelled good and most importantly, was DEET-free!

The segment also included interviews with Liquid Fence President and CEO Eddie Abraham, as well as LF’S VP of Sales and Marketing, Peter Pape.

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NEWS: New LF Packaging Merits NRHA Gold Award!

New LF Deer & Rabbit Repellent Packaging Merits NRHA Gold Award!

NRHA Gold Packaging Award

Speaking from my desk in the Marketing and Art Department at The Liquid Fence Company, I know firsthand how very hard the staff here works to produce new product labels and packaging.

It isn’t a simple process.  Between the extensive legalese involved and the nuances of creating attractive but informative labels, the Art Department works year-round at developing, updating and revamping wPMA_2013_Gold-BGhat you see on the shelf.

It is always a source of pride, then, when that work is rewarded by third parties.  This is especially true for our 2013 NRHA Gold Award, as it was given to our newly redesigned packaging.  That encompasses both the new label design, but also our actual bottles, which streamline the sprayer in an innovative new way.

As you will see in the coming year, our branding has become cleaner, more streamlined and (dare I say it?) more attractive.  Our web site relaunched after a three year redesign process (more on that in a future post) and we’ve really worked to take your input into account.

00109We’re proud to say that this new design – and this award – are recognition of all the effort put forth.  There is so much more to come – trust me!

Thank you for believing in us, supporting us and using our product.  And thank you to the NRHA for seeing that what we do is the literal gold standard.

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