Monday, February 25, 2013

Did any of the plants start to grow? Well come see

     About 2 weeks ago I started my seeds in cups.  Some seeds IMMEDIATELY started to sprout.  The peas and green beans were the first two.  Others didn't do so well: the parsely.  After a few days in what I'd like to call the "Plant ICU" the parsely started to grow!!  But the mini bell peppers, canteloupe and spinach are still there under the plant light.  I am so grateful that my wonderful hubby had that plant light too. :) I hate when seeds "don't grow."  It feels like a failure or that maybe they were "duds."  Sometimes, they are duds... but I think they just need some extra help.  So they are going to stay under the light and get a little extra love for a few days.  Then, they will be moved to the window with the other plants.

The Plant ICU
Zucchini, Grean beans, peas and pumpkins are getting huge!!
     The garden is all set up and ready for the plants to be moved in, too. Yay!! My husband put up some chicken wire in the back for the beans and peas to grow up.  THen he put up some pretty posts that he cut for me up and roped off the garden.  So far, it HAS deterred the digger (AKA the giant labrador mix we have) from jumping in and having fun in the dirt. :) 
The Garden

Close up of the wire bean support

     On Thursday, I will be moving the bigger plants outside. That's when it will stop being below 40F at night.   I hope they do well outside.  The herbs, however, will be staying inside regardless and staying in the mason jars.

     Here are a few more pictures:
Tiny Oregano

Woot!! Cilantro and Basil
Jasper again scopin it all out

I keep forgetting to take photos of the strawberries

The strawberries are doing well

The giant dog

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Family Hike

     On our President's Day holiday we decided to go on a hike.  We have the great blessing and wonderful opportunity to live by Big Sur National Park (here in California).  We decided to see the waterfalls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  
     It was a little chilly at first, but we warmed up as we hiked. We saw giant grey squirrels, the water falls, wild strawberries, a banana slug and more. Dall and Tyler climbed a ton of trees. In fact, the boy decided to RUN the entire 3 miles up and back down the trail. (He was not tired all the way until bedtime.)  He completely biffed it a couple of times. He would just stop and say that meant he needed some water. After he drank, he'd get back up and go on running.  He would continue with a "why is Momma so slow?"  I'm not slow... it wasn't a race. :) I was just enjoying being outside and with my sweet little family. He even scraped his knee to where it started to bleed a little. The conversation went a little like this.

D:"I'm bleeding." Hiking up his pants to show us his knee.
T:"Do you want me to carry you?"
D: "No, I will just run." And sure enough, he ran off.

     At the top of the peak at the falls, we played on a large hollowed out tree. (hollowed on one side) Then we took the trail the opposite way and saw a great view of the valley. We sat there and ate our little cutties (oranges). :)  Then we RAN back down.  Overall, it took us about 2 hours to do the hike.  We had great fun. Here are some of the photos.
Playing on a tree

Inside the hollow tree

The banana slug

This is how you know he's mine (that's the face I make)
We were all smiles

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What banana muffins?

     Oh man! As you know, I'm a Pinterest addict. I have been finding some wonderful breakfast food recipes lately.  I decided to make these great banana and oatmeal muffins.  You can find it Here.
     When I make these in the future I will change the temperature.  The bottoms were all a tad too dark.  They overall were and ARE fantastic.  So much so that there are only about 4 left.  I made them on Friday and the recipe made almost 2 dozen.  I guess you can do the math and figure out that they MUST be good. :) You should try them.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Over- Achiever

     I LOVE cute things... even more so when I can make them or recreate them some how.  I had the greatest idea to make Dall and his classmates some mailboxes for their Valentines.  Great idea right? I found a pattern on The Simply Modern Mom blog. 
     It all started out great... until I realized there are 27 kids in my son's class. 27!!! Holy cow!!! That is a lot of paper.  It took a two days to draw out the pattern and cut the pieces out.  Another night to hot glue them all together.  One mistake tho, I should have let the glue dot dry a little first THEN put the mailbox closed. The glue dot kinda... well it glued the box shut. It had to be broken a little to open.
Did I mention... 27?!?!?!?!
They came out pretty cute
     I also put together these cute little hearts.  The candy I chose for him were heart shaped marshmellows dipped in chocolate. They are sooooo good.
     I also made brownies.  The hubby used the heart cookie cutter and cut heart shaped brownies.  They are for the bake sale.  Also made funfetti cupcakes and stayed up late to frost them pink... later to find out they were put in the bake sale instead of for the kids like I wanted... yeah that sucked. :(  I'll know for next time tho to label them better.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Raised Garden

     The hubs made me a raised garden.  Today, I started the seeds in some cups.  A lady from Church gave me some seedlings for Romas, onions and jalapenos.  Last year, I put two green onions from the store  into my pot of tulips.  I didn't know that they would spread around the outside of the pot.  There were about 10 of them in there now.  So I removed the onions and I planted them and some seeds of lettuce directly into the raised garden.
     In cups I planted green beans, zucchini, spinach, mini bell peppers, peas, pumpkin and cantaloupe.  I harvested the seeds from the mini bell peppers that I bought at the store last year.  They are so good with cream cheese inside and wrapped in bacon... mmm put in the oven and they are perfect for snacking.  In the mason jars I planted parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, and California poppies.  Here they are in the window.

The mason jars
The cups of seeds
Even Jasper showed up to see.
     After they sprout and the weather improves a little, I will move them outside. :) I'm excited about that.  It's going to be fun to ean and can a ton of fruits and veggies.  One can hope. 
     On another note, the birdhouse is still up on the window.  Unfortunately, no bird family has moved in yet.  That makes me sad, but spring is still upon us.  I really hope one moves in.  I think I want it to happen more than Dall, but he'll be excited when he can see it.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Money Saving Goals

      While the hubs is away for some GOAT (Good Ole Army Training), I plan on taking the opportunity to SAVE MONEY!!  Here are the main ways I will do it:

  1. I will be washing the laundry in my handy little, energy free, clothes washer. (I might just put them in the spin cycle to get that water out... I HATE wringing clothes. oh the blisters)  Then I will be hanging them to dry on our indoor rack (where we live it takes less time to dry indoors than out... in Texas it was definitely OUTSIDE :/ Miss Texas for that). 
  2. Lower the water heater.  My husband loves burn-your-skin-off hot water.  I, on the other hand, do not.  This will save money on our gas bill since the gas will not be constantly heating this water.  Our energy company gives us a check every month if we are below their "estimated" average usage.  I would get a good $33 a month until he moved out here... now it's more like $23 every 2 months. haha
  3. The weather is warming up here and no need for the heater to be as high at night time.  This will lower our energy consumption as well.
  4. OMG I'm so excited! My dear sweet Husband made me a raised flower bed.  A woman at Church is giving me some seedlings for onions and romas.  I already have some strawberry plants.  I'm really excited to grow our own food.  Then this fall I will make salsa and can food. :) It's going to be a lot of fun.
      I hope this helps.  Saving money for our trip is my motivation for this. And the fact that sometimes, I feel more useful washing clothes by hand or drying them on the rack. Maybe I'm just silly... but I'm ok with that.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Birdhouse Fun

     Anyone that knows me knows I love a good project.  So I saw this project on Pinterest on a birdhouse that you could see into.  So I clicked on it and decided to replicate it.  Then I found a birdhouse on our local for sale site for $5.  I also bought suction cups from Home Depot for $1.94 for three.  Here is how I did it.  First, I got the birdhouse and painted it. Then, my wonderful husband used his tools to get the back panel off.  It took more effort than I thought it would.  He even sanded the opening so bigger birds could get it.

 I sprayed the entire thing with sealer. It took a while to dry.  I did two coats.  Then I hot glued the laminate sheet on the back and the suction cups. The first time I put suction cups on, the house fell OFF the cups once it was outside.  We had a good laugh.  Then I went and bought bigger cups and tried it again. So far, so good.

     I hope a bird family moves into the house. How cool would that be?? Dallyn keeps asking where the birds are. It's really cute.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fabric Softener

     I saw this "recipe" on Pinterest, way back, in how to make fabric softener.  I  changed it a little to fit the orange juice bottle I was reusing.  Here is how I did it.

4 Cups hot water
2 Cups white vinegar
1 Cup Suave Conditioner (I picked Strawberry this time.  Last time I picked Apple)

The measured conditioner

     First, I whisked the water and conditioner together.  Then added the vinegar.  And lastly, I put it in my bottle.  It got all foamy, but that goes away in a few days. I use mine in a Downy ball that I got a sale for $2. 

     To break down the cost for this recipe:

$1.82 a half gallon of vinegar.
With 8 cups in a half gallon, this came out to $0.23 per cup. I used 2 cups= $0.46.

$1.50 a big bottle of conditioner.
I used one cup, which was a little less than half = about $.75.

$0.46+ $0.75= $1.21 for the whole bottle of fabric softener.  This lasts us about 3 months.  Now that is a deal. :) 

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