Thursday, September 29, 2011

Raising Nicolette without a Pet Dog…

I know this sounds funny… I grew up in Sri Lanka having a pet dog. Matter of fact in my childhood memory I remember having three pet dogs not at the same time. You know when one goes away after the morning period my mom would get another one. I loved dog as a pet not a cat, don’t ask me why?
Well let’s put it this way I am not a cat person.

I have serious allergies as well I know some of you might say you can get dog with hair. Seriously the amount of hair that I shed I don’t think I need to have company for that.

For 13 years I was quiet OK to say to my son we are not going to have a pet dog or a cat he was not that cool about that because this boy LOVED dogs. He would take care of my neighbor’s dog, walked him, pick up his poop, fed him when they were out of town or work.

The story was I was quiet confident to say no to him get him a huge fish tank and a hamster, and one time a bunny actually some of them were class pets from my classroom.

Little Nicolette here is another story, when she is up and walking on the first level no one can walk their dog because as soon as she lays her eyes on the dog she would follow the dog from inside the house peeking through the windows. If we go for a walk she would make dogs inside their houses crazy she has some powers I really mean it they go nuts and starts barking. So I had to ask all the strangers if it is OK, if my daughter pets their dog… Now we pet all the dogs in our neighborhood from Wendy, Brady, and many more I cannot keep up with their names. In return we decided to offer them treats little Nicolette loves it… so when I go grocery shopping we buy dog treats but we don’t own a dog yet… but I can see in future this will change… my son who understand the whole ball game taking care of a dog is a lot of responsibilities actually fine with the fish tank…

Quote of the Day “bu surprise books for kids"


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Harvest Wreath…

What do you do with your old silk flowers…? I am in the phase of retiring silk flowers that’s mean planning to bring in fresh flowers in more often. I always liked fresh flowers I take them to the temple, visit friends, family, and neighbors.

But I also owned some silk flowers that I have bought few years back and continuously blooms in my living room. I know they add color but after a while you get tired of the look. So I owned these still bright beautiful sunflowers. I am a sucker for sunflowers because I find them full of character. I do not own them in my garden yet… and the second reason I like them because my son was born in Midwest and you can see fields of sunflowers in the Midwest. I have not visited the sunflower fields during my stay in Midwest. However it brings back the memories of tiny Niegel… Since we are tired of these sunflowers I decided to make a harvest wreath using them…

What you need
Silk flowers sunflowers or any kind of flowers and leaves
Hay stack wreath
Glue gun
Wire cutters
and creativity…

It’s fun to see the second life of these big sunflower blooms… I got so many compliments from people passing our home.

Quote of the day “turn off TV and turn on life”


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Lately I have been feeling better… this reminds me of all the work I have that needs to be done. I enjoy spring bulbs and I bought close to 120 bulbs. I know what was I thinking… Well I cannot get enough of daffodils and paperwhites…
When I was growing up in my elementary school I took part in a drama yes, I did and I had to recite The Daffodils by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) below are the words I have memorized and recited it in front of all the parents… Not only that I have visited his house Cockermouth, Cambria, England. This is a beautiful country side… I can see why he was attracted the natural life…

"Daffodils" (1804)
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

Little Nicolette will be listening to this… There are things I would love to teach my kids which I enjoyed as a kid. I am sure you all have something special that pass to your kids… well I hope to see and wondered through the clouds of daffodils this spring… I can’t wait to enjoy them…

Quote of the Day “live your life on nature’s time schedule”


Monday, September 26, 2011

Allergy Season with Pillow Covers…

Yes, I have been attack by allergies past week and it has been really bad. I have been sipping herbal medicine, flushing my nose with neti pot, rinsing my throat with salt water, taking over the counter prescription strength allergy medicine and hitting the pillow every night.
So far no improvement I wake up every morning with a throbbing headache but I try to be very productive past week. The weather lately has not been any conducive to improve my health. I saw the sun peaking through the clouds around noon time for very few minutes but soon covered again with the clouds.
Today I finally made two pillow covers to our oversize European pillows. I was very proud with the results. It cost me less than $20.00. But I now have two beautiful pillow cases…

Quote of the day “treat yourself as you would a dear friend”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to get Minerals into your Little One’s Diet…

Since we live in the east coast I have been really good on offering seafood to our kids. I started this very early with my daughter just after she passed her first B’day I offered her little bit of white fish and other shell fish. When I took her to her second year checkup she was all good with her natural minerals and vitamin not lack of anything.

I am very big on providing minerals in natural form as much as I can.
I try to do this to myself too but unfortunately all of us are not the same way with food.

This is a very easy recipe to incorporate shell fish into your diet. Everyone loves pasta so why not incorporate fish into it. This is not only for adults but little one like them as much as we do in our house. Sometimes it’s hard to find left over from this dish. One hint on this if you can grow your own basil because I literally go through my basil so harsh it does not get time to re-cooperates.

You can find the recipe here I did not add crab meat but I have added lobster meat once most of the time we make it without crab and lobster meat but it taste great we all love it and great source of minerals you can get from the shell fish.

Quote of the day ‘eat before you go to super market’


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pillow Covers made at Home...

I was very much motivated to make some pillow cases after browsing through the bed and bath catalogue, fall 2011. It inspired me to make these beautiful European style pillow covers for a fraction of the cost. I now owned these beautiful pillow cases and not only that I got the practice to make my own pillow cases which I enjoy very much…

Luckily the Waverly fabric was on sale at the fabric store for half of the original price but its getter better with another coupon entire purchase 20% off. So I was able to find a fabric close to the fabric I was looking. I felt like I almost hit the jackpot. I know this sounds crazy but I was not willing to pay $49.00 for two slandered size pillow cases with shipping and handling…
Little Nicolette has been sleeping without pillow cases for a while she has no clue about the pillow cases. I wanted to complete her bedding as she is getting older and phasing out her crib sheets this means I also need to make some full size quilts…

I have no idea how she got so big partially we are to blame offering her a full size bed instead of a toddler bed. Well we cannot keep changing our furniture we do not have an official guest bedroom yet in out new old house.

After measuring her pillows I made these two cute pillow cases from a badge fabric. Funny thing is fabric has some texture I hope she will get use to it if not we turn the pillow other side because the texture is only on one side. I love it and little Nicolette LOVES it…

Quote of the day ‘ask what action you can take to get yourself to your goal’


Monday, September 19, 2011

Vine Post…

Next summer I wanted to add some vines to our garden. So I decided to go with morning glories. I know this is an annual. However to my purple and blue tone garden I think morning glory could add some fun. I get plenty of sun in the morning on sunny days where I am planning to have my post.
I found this book that discusses many interesting garden plans, plants and how to create beautiful gardens with plants. Yes, it a publication of Better Homes and Gardens step b step Ultimate yard and Garden.

I asked Panduka to help me with this project we did this together. I am now anxious to make few more since we have some left over materials from the initial project I am planning to add one or two into our garden may be different heights. I think this could be a great GIFT to an avid gardener. I have come to know few…

My vine post is going to be standing bare this fall and winter but I am hoping have morning glory climb on this post this coming summer I am very excited about this. I am waiting very patiently to see my young garden grow and mature.

Quote of the day ‘put a plant in the windowsill for peace’


Friday, September 16, 2011

Purple and Blue Garden…

Yes, I created a purple garden on the East side of our home. We get so much morning light so I decided to create a purple garden just enough to highlight the features of our old windows which I love very much. I have added three shades of butterfly bushes one is a hybrid version which means it will not grow tall so much. I have seen even yellow butterfly bushes at Lowes this summer amazing.

My neighbor has a white butter fly bush. I have also added purple cone flower, Russian sage, salvia, iris, lavender, sedum (purple) and ornamental grass. I can’t wait to see how they are going to grow and fill in the spaces.

Currently I am watering them twice a week for the new plants to establish the new root growth.
My goal was to plant a less watering flowering patch. I hope I have achieved this goal by selecting these plants. I do not want to add any plants that need regular watering because I am big on conserving water.

I inherited some beautiful pink Rhododendron with my new old house. This pretty pink plant was somehow incorporated to the east side garden. I wanted to mellow it down. I added a hydrangea with pink and white flowers. I planted two ornamental grasses with a low height/growing evergreen. I still want to add more purple and hues of blue into this corner. This is a work in progress but my purple and blue garden is coming together finally.

Quote of the day ‘stay fresh’


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Cake…

 Amma I want a happy cake from stop & shop… yes little Nicolette is obsessed with cake after having cake for her B’day, brother’s, and friends. Panduka bought two cakes from the store which was free. A nice welcoming gift to us from the local grocery store… She has been enjoying the cakes from winter, spring, summer, and driving us nuts asking cake.
We have been so tired working in the garden and the high temperature is not helping us to bake or even to get close to the oven.
But to keep our sanity and little Nicolette happy I decided to work on this recipe from this blog Yes, I finally got it with few attempts. Nicolette was happy to mix in the ingredients and help me out in the kitchen to bake the delights…
I have to admit this is a wonderful recipe and all of us liked it has a very rich chocolate flavor. Great for after dinner desserts or for gatherings…

Quote of the day ‘use what you have’


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cutting Down the maple tree…

I woke up second time to the noise of heavy machinery. Knowing the workers are working on the basement but not quiet friendly to their somewhat early schedule I peaked outside from the bedroom window to find out the maple tree in our yard is being eaten by the shredder. I quickly change and grab the camera and the shades because I couldn’t open my eyes from late night driving from NY after visiting family.

Kids are going to sleep through this I know because they are too tired to come outside and very sleepy. I did not expect them to come today to take down the tree. But I am glad they did because it’s done. All the neighbors woke up to this terrible sound I guess.

Some neighborhood kids love watching the whole drama. Even with my sleepy eyes I said a sad good bye to old maple tree that has been in this land for many years and provided shade to the house and wonderful color during fall.

They grind the stump few inches below ground and provided us some maple wood chips. I asked them to leave one chopped part of the trunk for seating. I planned to incorporate into our garden sometime.

What was amazing was that took so many years to this little maple tree to grow, mature, old, and sick took less than 40 minutes to cut down to its roots. Yes sometimes I feel terrible about this but I couldn’t do anything else to save this massive sick old tree.

Quote of the day “pay much closer attention”


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Well, it took me some time to collect my thoughts to write about this topic. I usually don’t like to write about current events in my blog because this blog is about me. However when I think about this evil act I was in contact with people who were directly affected by this in the Greater Washington area. I was a Montessori teacher teaching in the greater Washington area. I had a kid in my classroom whose dad was working in the Pentagon. All the kids were being picked up from school due to the state of emergency. We had very few kids who were not being picked up. One of them was my student.

The school personnel’s were very concerned about the families. When mom came to pick up her son/my student she was obviously very upset. I did the best to console her she mention to me and the school authority her son would not be attending the school for some time.
My son was just three years old and he was in the same school that I was teaching I picked him up and drove home very disturbed and with mixed feelings. We came home and I was glued to the T.V. for a very long time until I could not take it anymore. I do remember taking couple of aspirins that day to ease myself from a not going away headache.
When I got back to school all my Kindergarteners was talking about this evil act. I remember one kid saying that “--- ----- has attacked us, they were terrorist who flew in to twin towers” they drew pictures, wrote in their journals, used the moveable alphabet to write stories about the twin towers, used the sensorial materials to built the twin towers, we offered moments of silence, I let them talk about events that has directly affected their families, we baked cookies for the fire fighters, we wrote letters for the soldiers who were deployed to the war….

And after ten years I watched my son crying… past week watching the History channel about 9/11. He is thirteen, he understands now. He can bring the memory back that he and I watched many times what happened 10 years ago. We talked about this what he felt about this now…

He participated in a flag ceremony at the Mansfield airport hosted by his troop, BSA.
Yes, we will remember 9/11. I was born and raised in Sri Lanka, but we call US our home our Kids are born here in US and this is our home. I will remember 9/11 forever…

Quote of the day 'initiate a program of social reform'

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rain and Plants…

 We have been working every single day for the past few weeks in our garden. We have been attending to the newly planted grass, stone edge, adding mulch to the beds, planting new plants, and most of all watering. I am glad to take a break from non-stop twice day a day watering schedule. Yes, it finally started to rain and it has been raining for a couple of days. I know some of you who love the sunshine do not like this weather so much but I love this weather because we wanted the rain for the newly planted shrubs and bushes.

I have somehow made some blunders in my color coded garden. I am not so great about digging and replanting the plants unless that they needed to be divided due to over growth. But I am about to embark on this adventure. I love the New England gardens and the hydrangeas I cannot have enough of that. I am proud owner of several beautiful hydrangeas. I love this plant so much. And there are many hybrids and varieties of this beautiful plant.

Everyone in our family has contributed to this garden including little Nicolette. Niegel has been a great help in watering and getting out the tools for gardening jobs. Which I need major help to organize my garden tools. That could be one major priority for this coming spring. If you have any ideas for organizing tools please share with me.

I wanted the rain to make the soil soft really soft so the new plant can spread their roots really deep so I can enjoy them in spring. I am so happy to be reunited with my old interest with plants.

Quote of the day ‘conserve water’


Friday, September 2, 2011


In our new old tiny kitchen we make huge menus. I sometimes wonder how we do that with small counter place and the patio table inside the kitchen well I guess if you want to do something you can achieve somehow. I have made this treat once for a treat to a family dinner, tasted it, and loved the almond flavor.
So I decided to make this at home you can find the recipe here the best part was Nicolette helping me throughout the recipe she did a wonderful job. I really appreciated her help and the enthusiasm in creating and cooking.

I love this simple almond tart the directions were really easy to make and the help I received was priceless.

Quote of the day “help someone work on a project”


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recycle or Re-use…

We hand one major project accomplished this summer was pouring cement in our dirt basement. We dug out a lot of dirt actually landscaping sand and stones. I wanted to reuse the stones so in the back yard I created a stone edge to plant a yellow garden. Why did I decide to go with a yellow garden? I wanted to save the existing forsythia bushes. They were out of control we did cut them back as much as we can. They seem to be doing well I want to cut them back more before fall.

So for this existing almost like a private fence I decided to add more yellow. So this fall we will be planting more daffodils mainly yellow with some white.

Last year I bought some bulbs to plant with my daughter at the apartment I did not had much success one reason was bulbs were not getting much sun. This year I am delighted to plant the bulbs with my whole family on my acclaimed stone edge garden.

What can be more beautiful than daffodils in this a century old stone edge garden?

Quote of the day “leave a surprise flower basket at some ones door”