Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our Edible Experimental Garden

Our experimental garden has been very promising and successful. We have learn that SUN can make a huge difference in gardening. We had to cut some branches off of the tree that was adjacent to the garden in order to get more sun. 

The raise garden is so much fun to work with and very easy to start. We have quiet a few crops that we have add. Our tomatoes are growing and they are taller than us keep in mind it is a raise garden. Staking is fun we learned that stakes needs to be tall in order to support the plants. 

Our beets keep growing I have harvested leaves once. Egg plants looks very promising. However, my cucumber did not take off as I expected. We might be able to add a kitchen garden next year right next to the kitchen. I am very excited about the future kitchen garden project. This is a area I get a lot of sun throughout the day. 

My basil is finally growing next to oregano and thyme. I used thyme to make mac and cheese I will post the recipe soon. It was delicious and many liked the dish adults and kids. 

I am happy to see these little tomatoes. I am thinking of canning and building a colorful pantry not this summer hopefully next summer though. I am in the process of gathering supplies. That  would be lovely to eat something that we grew during summer. 

Quote of the day “be bold in life” 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Setting rules and following through...

Little Nicolette’s room get messy often during the day. Let me rephrase it Nicolette like to play and make things with her hands just like her mom. Through this process she forgets to put things back where it belongs in her room.

When it gets really messy she is very GOOD at asking help from us to help her to put things back where they belong. We honestly thought she needs help. Now we know that is not the case most of the time. 

So we help her during the process but will not do work for her. She is beginning to understand that we are not cooperating to help her to clean her room. We did explain that she needs to clean up after her play, we are there only to direct her not to do her work. 

Throughout summer the garden has been non stop producing flowers. I have been helping little Nicolette to arrange flowers in a vase and bring them inside to her room lately. 

However, we do this only when she cleans her room. She like to hold the vase with water so I can place flowers in water. Typically flowers lasts for couple of weeks or days. We do tend to change water but she loves the fact that she can help me through this process. 

Quote of the day “walk barefoot on the grass” 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to make Cabochon Earring at Home

After making cabochons mum earring I wanted to try to make these beautiful rose earring at home. These reminds me of the coral earring i use to buy from Sri Lanka. Yes they were the real deal. I do not think I would want to buy them now knowing the impact that add on the coral life.

These are easy to make at home. Ideal for gift giving for holidays. Fun gift to your girl friends on their b’day. I am sure you can find excuses to give these cuties. 

You need your E6000 this dries up clear you can find this at your local craft shop. Posts and backing.

They are very cute... These rose buds looks so dainty and charming.
Quote of the day “carry something to read with you”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A special baby shower gift made at home...

I know this family who does an amazing job raising their little boy. They just had another little boy. I wanted to make them something special for the new arrival. We offered topponcino and covers from the shop but I made some extra gifts for the little one. 

I got this basket from a fundraiser couple of months ago and I used it to load up with goodies. My favorites are the tiny body suites which I decorated with the blanket I made for the little guy. 

I add some hats and grasping beads. So the little one’s noggin will stay warm. He was a real cute baby. Little Nicolette was so happy to deliver the gifts to the expected mom. 

I used the same fabric in a picture frame so it could be added to the nursery later on mom can add a little picture of the baby and reused the frame. 

Final step was to create a flower arrangement with fresh flowers. We took the kitchen shears and walked around the garden. We were able to load an empty jelly jar with fresh flowers from the garden. We did stick to our color scheme blue. Little Nicolette was happy to deliver all these. I hope new mom liked all our gifts...
Quote of the day “see what happens if you simply watch and listen”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our first Harvest...

Our beets are producing a lot of greens/leaves. I decided to cut some. I remember my mother would sauté` them with crushed red pepper, onions and tomatoes. They are simply delicious. That is exactly I did I had an egg white from previous baking and I add that as well. I noticed beet leaves were tender comparing to the market variety. We all loved it.

I also cut some sage I might cook some meat with fresh sage my hands smell sage and thyme the entire afternoon. 
Quote of the day “make your mark on the world"

Nicolette’s Room get Window Treatment...

Yippee! I do have to paint the frame hopefully I can finish before summer. I did sew her window treatment and I am very proud of this project. The lighting in this room is amazing. 
It filters the light and the dainty pattern makes it very cute for a little girl. I followed the same theme glass knobs with antique silver. I love how this room is coming together. I do want to make another for winter. 

I am thinking of a bunting for my little girl. She loves it...

Quote of the day " never stop adapting"


Monday, July 23, 2012

How to choose pillow covers for a teenager...

Teenagers are teenagers they forget to do stuff, they do not care about washing their hair, matter of fact cleanliness is not a priority, the video games, strange songs, running schedules, swimming, and reading gets prioritized. 

I have a teenager, my goal is to help him to be organized. This could be tough I mean really tough because I need order in my space to think. Now you might think how is this going to connect to choosing pillow cases.

Well I had to throw away the old pillows and get new pillows. They do not come with covers. I take it back they do come with covers and they are WHITE. If you ever had a teenager in your life you will laugh to the fact that I chose pillows with white covers. 

Well long story short his existing bed sheets were blue stripes and I chose this fabric to make cover after few hours working with the material I got from the fabric store. I made “teenage boy friendly” covers to protect those white pillow covers.
His room is finally coming together...

Quote of the day " help each other grow" 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Garden with a goal...

This tiny west side garden it an experimental garden. We have an apple tree. Evergreen and a low budget perennial garden. 

The reason to establish the perennial garden was to attract bees and butterfly for the future vegetable garden hopefully which will help us with pollination. 
Because we are busy planning another winter test garden (this is going to be our summer vegetable garden as well 2013)  with turnips, radishes, and arugula. I would love to do a cubits order but I am going to have to wait for this year perhaps next year. I would love to grow some kale seeds from them. So far this is how our empty box looks like. 

We have not ordered the garden soil yet but my compost pile is cooking up really good. I am planning to use some of that in my test garden. We do get plenty of sun since the apple tree is small. 

So far my budget perennial garden is looking good. The lambs ears are making the edge very soft with grayish white tones which compliments the russian sage and the lavender plants. 

The jewel of this garden is its original daylily plants. I rescued them add some plant fertilizer gave sunlight and water. They are in business I love them dearly. The uniqueness in these are they are double petals. Our neighbor got beautiful shades of daylily like deep red - orange. She is going to share some with me this Fall. I am looking forward to plant more daylily plants.

I am planning to have a bird house and may be a bug house... I am always thinking about this young garden and how I want to build it. I would love to grow a guacamole garden that would be lovely for hot summer days. 
Quote of the day "buy healthy food not diet food"


Friday, July 13, 2012

How to make Restaurant style Guacamole at home...

We were at a dinner party and I want to say one of the best dinner parties  I have been after a long time. If you ever read my blog I want to say Nicole you rocked it with Tacos. Too bad I did not had my camera with me. 

I had Guacamole at this dinner party and watched how it was made from scratch. It was delicious, fresh, and lovely experience to watch some one  takes time and energy to make something for guest with care. 

So this is my version

2 ripe Haas Avocados 
1/2 of a red onion
1/2 of a tomato
1 jalepeno pepper seeded and chopped finely
handful of cilantro leaves chopped
1 half of a lime
salt to taste
Any kind of chips that you like (I served with pita chips)
How you make it:

Cut and take the seed out of the avocado. Scoop the flesh out and mashed them in a bowl using a fork (this part depends on how you like your guacamole if you like your to have some texture do not mash it to be fine). Squeezed the lime juice and leave it a side.

Slice and chopped all your other ingredients and mix them well. Finally add salt to taste and enjoy with chips.
Quote of the day “ receive a guest warmly”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My love for Hydrangeas...

If some one asks me what is my favorite flower in Northeastern Gardening I have to agree on the endless Hydrangeas. I am addicted  for this plant and it comes in so many varieties just make me go nuts. 
So far this season I have met my budget I cannot spend money on any plants. How pathetic is that I have met my budget. I might get some wiggle room in Fall gardening and that is going to be tuff as I want to buy bulbs. This year going back to work might interfere with my planting schedules. 

However I have scored two variegated Oh... Yes! You heard me right variegated hydrangea plants. Whenever I go to Boston to do my museum papers I pass the Northeastern University and all I can see is this beautiful plant in bloom. Since then I have been looking into this variety. When I found it finally I did not wanted to loose it with limited quantities. 
I would love  to create a variegated corner in my garden. And I bought a deep red almost like Fall foliage hydrangea. They are not in bloom yet but working on spreading their roots deep. 

This is what I bought last year and it is blooming. Look at the blooms in deep blue. When I was a Virginian it was always pink if you do not treat them with alkaline. 

This one is from a friend. They are gorgeous love the shade when it is in the stage of a tight bud form it has a light green huge. It is breathtaking when the buds starts to open it change to bright white almost like a cotton ball. 

This is another variety of endless summer Hydrangea with loose pink blossoms. The sales from this plant goes to breast cancer research program. A good cause to add more hydrangea to our yard...
Except for few I have written about all the Hydrangeas in my yard. There is one bush which have not bloom this year. I will probably do it next year or later this year. I guess by now you know how much I adore this beautiful plant.
Quote of the day “ treasure time like gold”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Humming Birds and Squirrels...

This is an interesting story... I had a humming bird feeder when we were at the apartment. I wanted to make it clear it was when we use to reside at the westside of the town. This was a project I did with my daughter when she was a wee little baby... Yes, we fed humming birds it was interesting for her after her naps. We had one humming bird visiting us everyday.
Now that we are kind of settled in the East side of the town. I decided to hang the bird feeder back up. I wanted a location which I can watch the birds as well. Finally we decided to hang it in our backyard.

Well the feeder was full for two days then all at once in an alarming speed the liquid was vanishing. I did not see a single humming bird nor heard a chirp. I was at a lost. I asked my neighbor if she had seen any humming birds visiting our feeder the answer was no. Then all of a sudden two heads were thinking at the same speed said to each other do you think its the squirrels. Then she said Mmm... Naah can’t be squirrels...

I came in but I was always on the lookout... One evening I was having my tea and I caught the culprit... YES it was the squirrel... I am looking for another spot for humming bird feeder. I would love to see them this summer visiting our garden. I have seen them and I know they are out in the woods... 
Now about the squirrel, who was high on sugar decided to look right into my eye. Perhaps must be thinking that was the best feeder in the neighborhood! 
Quote of the day “know how to wait"

Sunday, July 1, 2012


My last project before school was to add the birdhouses to our yard. This was a very inexpensive project. I used the birdhouses I use to decorate my daughters room couple of years back. They were getting old and wanted to find the rightful purpose. 

Panduka helped me to attached them to railing dowels I got from the hardware store. Add some nails, paint, and dig a hole to set them on the ground. I was determined to have them outside before the big rain. 
Here there are finally standing in our yard I want a birdie to make this into a home. Well we will see how this is going to work I have done this back in VA house but did not had much luck. May be in MA. 
I love creating these lovely homes for bugs and birds. I have been always fascinated with nature.  I also got motivated to make bug hotels inspired by my little bit of earth.  
I hope as my young garden mature it will be a safe heaven for little friends from nature who come to visit us. 
Quote of the Day “fill your mind with healthy thoughts”