Friday, February 27, 2015

Out of the blue Family Vacation

This week we will be taking our son to a Water park near us. He loves the water! Ever time we go he goes until he is nearly asleep. We have taken breaks through out the day, he's a bit older so I'm curious to see if he can make it all day.

By the time this post we will be back at home. I'm going to try and add to this post while I'm there. He gets so excited, we all do really. It's fun having some one else cook and clean and your only focus is having a great time. We usually end our evenings with movies and snacks from the bakery.

Another fun thing I'm doing is I'm not talking about it before we go. I'm going to wait until we are in the car or maybe even when we are pulling in. He has heard bits and pieces but he usually doesn't believe things unless I say that we are doing something. I guess I shouldn't say believe I mean he doesn't get it.

On our way to the water park he kept saying "I'm going to be so excited!" He was! We got there and they were so busy they put us on a list to call us when our room was ready. So we went up to the arcade and played for a bit. He kept wanting to go to the pool. I wanted to be in the room first. Luckily we didn't have to wait long. We actually ended up switching rooms. I really like being on the second floor where we can get to the pool easily and to the restaurants.

We got into our room and then got ready for the pool. He had such a good time. In the past he didn't like going through the openings that have water rushing down. This time he was doing figure eights through both openings. I was impressed. We got a little hungry so we left the pool to clean up and find some food.

After we ate we all snuggled up and got some rest. The next morning we realized the day before took a little more out of us than expected. We woke up a little late but that didn't stop us. We got back to the water park and played for a long time. We stopped for lunch and a nap. As soon as we got up we went back to the water park. They have a story time at night so we put on our pjs and listen to the story with hot chocolates. We ended the evening playing at the arcade. We racked up tickets in no time. I actually think he likes the arcade and pool about 50/50. He enjoys doing the rides and games with his daddy.

My husband and I enjoyed this token game where you feed coins onto a shelf full of coins, tokens and cards. Then if you do it just right it pushes stuff over the edge and hopefully that pushes more things over the final edge. We also hit a jackpot and got a thousand tickets on one game. We were discussing that the arcade is like training kids to go to Casino's when they are older.

The next morning we had a good breakfast then packed up of the day and also cash in our winnings at the arcade. The kiddo made out, the prizes seemed a bit better this time. We picked out a toy that looked like a light spinner. Come to find out it shoots our sparks. I over reacted and took it away. I should give it back to him. I sometimes want to protect him a little too much. I remember being able to walk over to my friends house when I was little. I didn't walk on the road or anything but I did go on a long path. I have been thinking more and more about how people today are raising children then when I was growing up. We do have to be a bit more careful these days. But I have a little boy who is excited to learn and I don't want him to grow up in fear. I want him to travel and enjoy things that are new and not second guess himself.

So while keeping this in mind. I stood back a bit at the water park this past week and let him explore a bit. Yeah he fell down but he learned to slow down with out me yelling at him. We also, I was so nervous, went around the corner when Xander was sitting down at game in the arcade to see if he would look for us. He did luckily! It still made my heart heavy. I do have to say I won't be letting him play outside by him self yet. But I also won't be holding him back as much. He really is growing up and he is paying attention to his surroundings.

Every time we come to this park it gets better and better. Meaning my son, he is becoming an independent little boy. Next fall he starts Kindergarten and I'm still nervous. I know he will do well but I don't think I like him growing up so fast.

Well that was our little adventure! It went by so fast, it was needed for our family though. We get busy in our lives so it's nice to step back and be together. Please share with us some of the small adventures your family takes.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Gates are Installed!

First I have to apologize for the blurry picture, messy carpet and funny lighting (and the weird paint job - we are planning to add floor molding eventually) - I had to take it as I was running out the door this least I'll have plenty of time to get better pictures starting next week!!

Now onto my actual post - the gates!  Our dog recently injured her back for the second time, and these gates came up as part of our brainstorming to figure out ways to prevent this from happening again.  Winda LOVES to jump - and one of her favorite things to do is to run full speed down the stairs and jump from the second or third step.  She does this when she is excited or just for fun, but also when she hears someone at the door.  That is actually how she injured herself the first time - so we definitely wanted to limit her ability to do this.  After living with regular gates for a few days I was determined to find a better solution - climbing over or moving them every time I needed to go upstairs was a pain!  (For the next 4 weeks Winda is not allowed to go up or down the stairs because of her injury - so we have a gate at the top of the stairs as well)  I did a little research and found these - North States Industries Supergate Easy Swing and Lock Metal Gate in Matte Bronze.  Knowing that we would eventually need gates for kiddo's - we decided something semi-permenant was the way to go.  They are pretty easy to open and close, and I think they look pretty good for a gate lol.  So now we have gates and hopefully we can stop any future injuries - for dogs and kids :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Organizing Our Mail

One of the most unorganized things in our house is the mail.  It comes in and usually ends up in a large pile somewhere downstairs, that moves to an even bigger pile somewhere upstairs, and eventually we get frustrated and then spend hours sorting it - and 80% could have been tossed as soon as it came inside!  So, now that I will be at home I have decided to get serious about tackling that problem.  After looking at a lot of different ideas, I decided I did not want to see the mail after it was sorted, and since I don't have a desk downstairs I needed a 'hidden' drawer.  I found this great box at Michaels on sale (and the white one inside it).  I spent around $12 for the whole set-up, but I could have easily used something from around the house and spent less - I just really wanted the box :)  I decided to make it a 'desk in a box' and I plan to put my cards and notepads in there as well - as soon as I find them!  I also printed a calendar for keeping track of due dates and other random things - I know it's very low tech but it is easy for me to sort the bills out and mark them down for both of us to see.  I plan to add a calendar app or organization app to share on our phones (or maybe just Google Calendar) - but I haven't really figured out which one yet so this will work for now.  I also have sections for shredding and things I want to look at or need attention later.  Hopefully, this will help eliminate the chaos of not being able to find a specific letter, notice or bill (or you know - the money from Christmas that I found in a card last night...).  When the box is shut you can't tell that it hides all our mail, and it makes me smile when I read it (which counteracts the whole paying the bills thing lol)
How do you organize your mail?  I am obsessed with getting organized right now!! Lol
Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Apple Dumplings

This was the craziest recipe I ever made! You pour 7 up between the dumplings before putting into the oven. It's so good. I just need to remember to peel the apples next time. The skin on the apples wasn't too hard or chewy. I just think it would taste even better with out the skin. The apples nearly dissolved, it was amazing.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out your 9 by 13 baking dish.


2 tubes of refrigerated crescent dough 8 count each
2 granny smith apples
2 sticks or 1 cup butter
1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 & 1/2 cups 7 up or your favorite lemon lime soda

In a small pot melt butter with sugar, add vanilla and cinnamon. When the mixture thickens remove from heat.

Peel and core apples, then slice into eights. I used a corer and slicer tool, that's why I spaced on the peeling. Mine actually slices 10 wedges so we just ate the left overs. I liked the smaller wedges.

I don't know about you but I freak out when I have to open the dough tubes, especailly the crescents. Seperate the rolls. One by one starting at the tip roll the apple wedge into the roll and seal any over hang. Put each one into the pan.

Pour butter mixture over the top. Then carefully pour the 7 up around the edges and in between the dumplings trying not to pour over them.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Enjoy with ice cream or whip cream or by itself is excellent.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Big Changes are Coming!

Change is such a hard thing for me - especially when I have a plan and it changes unexpectedly!!  I like to plan - it's my thing - but I also try to keep an open mind.  Life isn't really good at following my plans :)  One thing Eric and I have always done is to set short and long term goals together, and we constantly re-evaluate where we are and if they are still valid goals.  This has helped us meet a lot of our goals, both individually and as a couple, over the last 17 years. 

Sometimes, something happens and it changes all of our short term goals - which is what happened a little over a week ago!!  One of our goals was for me to 'retire' this year (which just sounds silly).  This was a goal for closer to the end of the year, but in 5 short days I will no longer be working outside of the house!!  After a week of jitters, anxiety and 'oh man's - I am to the 'so excited I just can't wait stage'!!  Originally, I was hoping for the "Stay at Home Mom" title, but for now it will just be "Housewife" (which Eric really dislikes, so I'm open to other title suggestions lol).

So, what does this mean for me?  Hopefully I will be able to do more sewing/craft projects, work on the blog more, do more to help our house projects along faster, organize my house and keep everything clean!!  I already have lots of plans and I can't wait to get started!!  Maybe my kitchen will stay clean for longer than 3 days?!  Here's hoping!

Have a great day!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Less really is more!

Less is more ...

I was planning on posting a delicious recipe on almond crusted chicken tenders but that didn't happen today. I thought my husband and his friend were leaving later in the day. So we changed our plans and we all are separately. I wish I had taking pictures of my pot roast! That was so yummy and my house smelled so good for so long. I will definitely make it again!

My son had a small mid-winter break, so I cleaned. We also didn't have therapy so that helped a lot. I didn't think I would get it all done. I had a lot to do! My floors are clear the table is finally completely cleared off. I have my crafts in my craft area and the food in the pantry. I, for some reason, had things stored in my pantry and the food through out my kitchen it was caotic. This also gave me a chance to figure out what I really need and don't need.

My attic got all mixed up so I needed to organize in there too! Now I can go in there and find things and get to my holiday boxes and gift wrapping boxes. I'm a lot happier now being able to create food or crafts with easy!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will have fun things to post about next week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Red Rice from a Rice Cooker

I think I have mentioned before how much Eric likes Spanish Rice (or Red Rice) - and now I have a fast, simple way to make it!  I was looking for lunch ideas when I ran across a recipe for Spanish Rice made in a rice cooker from here (via Pinterest of course).  I just bought a rice cooker, so I was excited to try it out...I would have to say it turned out pretty good!  It was slightly bland because I used regular diced tomatoes instead of Rotel tomatoes (and there's no butter), so I plan to add more seasonings in the future - but it is a great base recipe to start from.

1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
Season to taste (garlic, pepper, salt, cumin...whatever you like)

Optional:  I also added cooked chicken in larger chunks (they shred down when you stir it)

Just put everything in your rice cooker and mix it together.  I set mine to Quick Rice and it is ready in about 30 minutes.

It's so easy, and since it has chicken in it I use it as a quick dinner and lunches for Eric.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Smoked Salmon Dip

Here's a super quick and impressive dip to take to the next party you go to. Smoked salmon and cream cheese go together so well, which is not news! I had this dip many years ago and I have been making it ever since.


Cream cheese 8 oz block
Smoked salmon packaged about 0.25 lbs
1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
Chives, chopped for garnish not necessary but tasty

In a small bowl mix all ingredients except chives. I then scooped it and shaped with a spoon to keep a round on a plate. Sprinkled with chives and serve with buttery crackers.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Banana chocolate chunk muffin

This is the best muffin I've ever made. Not just the recipe but I finally didn't over mix. They came out tender. Today is successful!

I searched for a specific recipe. Didn't find it. I even ended up making mine own and doing something different all together. I wanted to find a banana chocolate coffee muffin. I'm glad I didn't I would probably have to eat them all myself.

You can use chocolate chips instead of chunks if you don't have them. The point is to get chocolate in there!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease the wells.


3 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of melted and cooled unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chunks

In a large bowl mash bananas with eggs. Add vanilla and slowly stir in butter. Next add the sugar and mix until it looks shiny. In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the banana mixture, mix by hand folding the dry in the wet. Just before it starts to come together add the chocolate chunks just a few times. Using a large scoop, fill your muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cook a little in the pan before moving them to the cooling rack. Go ahead and add a little butter before digging in.


Monday, February 16, 2015

A Quick Seedling Update

I'm so excited to see that so many of my seeds have already sprouted after only 8 days!  I am a little worried about how leggy they are, but hopefully I will be able to turn them often enough to keep them from being too unmanageable!

I have had a crazy week, but hopefully I will be able to spend a lot more time on my garden and house projects soon!! I'll tell you more about that later - so stay tuned :)

Have a great night!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love pies

I wanted to find something to make for my son's therapist for Valentine's Day. I love chocolate that's my go to but there's something about pies that says love in my opinion. I saw this recipe on Pinterest, the link is gone so I'm making up my own. You can put in any fruit you want I happen to have beautiful blueberries that I froze from last season.

What's great about this recipe is you can quickly make these. I happen to have ready made pie crust. There's also cream cheese in these so they become blueberries and cream hand pies. I can't wait to try them.

Recipe, makes six pies

1 box of ready made pie crust or 2 crust pie recipe
1 4 oz cream cheese room temperture
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cups of frozen blueberries not thawed or fresh
1 egg beaten

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil or rub with butter.

In a small bowl mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla, set aside. Roll out 1 pie crust.

I have a heart hand pie shaper. So I first cut out my hearts, you can do this also with a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or even a cup to make shapes. Brush the edge of one cut out shape with the beaten egg. Add a spoonful of cream cheese mixture, sprinkle blueberries on top. Make sure the filling is in the middle and not on the edge. Brush the edge of another cut out shape and place egg side down on top of the other. Seal with your fingers or a fork, I pressed my lid down and it marked it just like a fork. Place on baking sheet. With a knife make an X or what ever you feel like, this lets the steam out. Finish the rest by first rolling out the other crust and then brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Let cool for about 15 minutes before eating. I have learned the longer you let them rest the better they taste.

I hope you enjoy this as we did. Happy Valentine's Day from The Three Peas!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Granola...3 Ways

Breakfast is served!!  I really like the versatility of this recipe.  I can make granola bars, granola for cereal and even just granola to have as a snack - all at the same time!  It takes about 10 min of actual work, and can be changed every time you make it.  So go crazy - I'm sure it will taste good :)

The original recipe is here.  Her's look better than mine, but I think mine are still tasty!  To help cut down on the amount of fat in my bars I added a small amount and mixed it in, this causes the chocolate to melt but helps the oats stick together.  I also eliminated the oil.

3 cups old fashioned oat
2 Tbsps water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and roast for 15 min - they should be slightly brown and smell mmm good.  Once they are done, combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate and blueberries (or any other add-ins you would like).  Bring the syrup to a slight boil (it will almost foam as it comes to a boil) - make sure that all of the brown sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and pour over the oats in a bowl.  mix to coat all of the oats, then add any add-ins and mix again.  Place parchment paper in a casserole dish and press the granola mixture firmly with a second piece.  You want to try to get it as even as possible so your bars are uniform(ish).  Let the granola bars sit for at least an hour.  I use the parchment paper to remove them from the pan and then use a knife to cit them to size.  At this point some will crumble - now you have granola cereal :)  If you want you can crumble more or all of it.  It just depends on what you want!

These are just that easy!  You can make any combo, but this seems to be our favorite.  You can also make larger batches very easily.  I make the bars for Eric to take for a mid-morning snack.  I wrap them in parchment paper and put them in a sealed container in the fridge.  They stay fresh until they are gone, usually a week and a half or so. 

I am slowly starting to make all of our food from scratch, but I don't think everything will be replaced (How do you make Funyuns?!).  This is a great recipe to add to any collection.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Heart Crafts Penguins and Cats

When I was on the farm with my family, my nieces, nephew and I made these fun crafts. I thought with Valentine's Day right around the corner these would be good to share.

You will need:
Construction paper, in colors of your choice
A glue stick
Googley eyes

The kids and I had a great time making them together and they are so easy my (almost) 3 year old nephew could do them by himself.

As you can see they are mostly just cutting out hearts and putting them together.

Enjoy and Happy
Valentine's Day!



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Breaded Turkey Cutlets with Honey

This was so delicious. I'm so happy when I try something new and the family likes it. The flavors are savory then you get this caramelized finish and it's fantastic. I paired it with some veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. This will probably be at least a monthly recipe. I'm so happy to have them eat turkey too. We are a beef loving family so I get tired of having red meat all the time. Not to mention it's not good to eat all the time. So slowly I have been trying to find things we all like that is healthier for us that I can mix in.


4 Turkey cutlets
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
2 cups of Panko bread crumbs ( I think you can use less, I ended up throwing out about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed chili flakes or to your liking
Raw honey
oil for cooking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, You will need 3 shallow bowls, you will be dredging your cutlets in them. Line a baking sheet with foil.

First bowl mix flour, salt and pepper. Second bowl crack and whisk eggs. Third bowl mix panko, garlic, parsley and chili flakes. First dip one cutlet in flour, then egg and last panko mix place on plate and finish the remainder cutlets.

In a large pan heat oil, about 2-3 Tablespoons on medium high heat. Cook each side for 3 minutes. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with honey and bake for 15 minutes.

My husband went back for seconds. I was planning on taking pictures after we ate. So I had to borrow his veggies for the picture.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as we did.

My Seeds Are Started...

I have finally gotten my act together enough to get my seeds started and now I just have to wait...well for 2 weeks and then I have to do it again :)  I decided that since this is the first year I am doing starts, I wanted to try out a few different ways of doing it for comparison. 

The first way was how I would do it 'traditionally' - I used the small plastic containers my dog food comes in (I have about 100 of them since this was the way I originally planned for and I have been saving them for the last year).  We drilled four holes in each container (Another win for the Drill Press - we were able to do them six at a time in under a minute), and then I planted two seeds in two spots in each container.  This way I can thin them for the healthiest ones and each container will only have two plants.

The second way I tried is with toilet paper rolls.  I read about this in one of my gardening books and it sounds like a great idea - but I'm still not sure about the outcome.  The idea behind it is that instead of removing them from the containers, you can plant the rolls directly in the ground and they will disintegrate.  This will hopefully be a smoother transition for the plants (I always lose about have of my transplants from shock) and the starters will be able to grow longer roots.  Fingers-crossed that it will work!!  I also put two seeds in each of the rolls, for thining later - you never have a guarentee that every seed will sprout so I always plant at least two.  I was a little nervous that the rolls would just flop over after the first watering, but the next day they were dried and only a little deteriorated.  I'm also hoping I'll still be able to read the type of plant once I'm ready to put them in the ground lol... 

Yes, they're dirty and messy but let's be real - so is gardening!!
I also plan to try something called Winter Sowing.  My weekend got a little busy so I wasn't able to do it at the same time (Plus, I ran out of seed starting soil and wasn't able to get more until yesterday).  Basically, winter sowing is growing your starters outside.  Most people will use milk jugs to create mini greenhouses.  Since I don't have them to show today, I will do a follow up post about them later this week. 

By now, I would be wondering what was planted so here you go...

Imperial Star Artichokes
Sweetie Tomatoes (Cherry Tomato Type)
Stupice IPB Type Tomatoes (Early 2-3" Type)
Early Roma Tomatoes
Red Scallions
White Scallions
Early Jalapeno Peppers
Cal Wonder Red Pepper
King Richard Leeks
Nautic F-1 Brussel Sprouts
Early Snowball Cauliflower

I currently have at least 4 starters for each type of veggie two more once I do the winter sowing...which is way too many for this year.  I just find it impossible to only plant one or two of anything - what if it doesn't grow?!  I wont have enough room for all of them (if they all survive), but that's what friends are for right? :)  I will share them among a few friends, so they wont go to waste.

I should also mention those two larger containers - I planted lettuce in one and carrots in the other.  I wont be transplanting the carrots (they for sure would not survive), but I wanted to see how they would do grown in a smallish container.  The lettuce can be transplanted and it will give me a little jumpstart this year since I don't have the beds ready yet.

Anyone else get their starters done it time?  I barely made it at 7 weeks before the last frost date - yikes!  I was a little late on a few of the plants, but I'm hoping it wont make a huge difference...only time will tell :)

Happy Planting!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Soft Batch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wow that is a mouth full! Soft batch cream cheese chocolate chip cookies. I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies. My go to recipe is the good 'ol Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe on the package. I wanted to try something different and I found this recipe on Pinterest. I of course adapted it to my liking.

I did a classic move and didn't read the entire recipe. I should have known since it has cream cheese that it would need to refrigerate but I didn't. I have a batch in the refrigerator and I will bake later to see if there is a difference. The original said they would bake flat. Mine stayed up so I'm curious to see if the cold batch does better.

*Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

1 stick or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1/2 of block or 4 oz of cream cheese
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I used 1/2 cup of mini chips and 1 cup regular size chips)
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts

In a large bowl beat with a hand mixer butter and cream cheese until blended. Add sugars, egg and vanilla and beat until lighter and fluffy. In a small bowl mix flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Add to batter and mix until combined. Add chocolate and walnuts and mix in by hand. With a large scoop place about 8 mounds on your baking sheet. *At this point you can refrigerate them for at least 2 hours before baking them. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges have browned and the tops are set.

These are delicious, just what I needed coming off of a cold and it's raining outside. I sure hope you enjoy these as we did.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Garden Bed Covers

I am still working on the layout for my first garden bed, but I will definitely be posting it next week!!  In the meantime, I could use some advice from anyone with experience in using garden bed covers.  I am hoping to use covers to help extend the growing season, and I have seen so many different options - but not the exact one that I want.  I have a few below that I like, but don't quite meet what I would like to do.  I will also do my best to explain what I am thinking about - if you have an opinion I would love to hear it!!  I need all the help I can get :)
The first thing I was thinking about is something like this:
 I love the tidiness of the rollup covers and how the beds look in general.  My first reservation is that I want to have trellises on at least two of the boxes, which would make it hard to roll up the backside.  Also, my boxes are 10' long and I'm not sure I could roll the covers up over that length.
The next one I like is this one:
Find the page here.
This was another great option - and it even shows an irragation system - but it doesn't include the trellis in the cover like I was hoping. I also think it would be dificult to use once the trellis plants started growing - so no early starts for those veggies. However, this trellis looks like the one used in the Square Foot Gardening book and is very close to the one I plan to build. 
Finally, here is the third option:
Find the page here.
I like the look of these boxes as well, and it's getting a little closer to my idea.  The hoops are taller, but the trellises aren't the same as what I am planning to use.  I also worry that if we had a decent wind storm, the hoops would take the trellises out.
The trellis I plan to use is built using conduit and I thought it would maybe work if I used 4 way corners and fittings and have the flexible pvc pipes attach to the top of the trellis and connect to the boxes.  Since my trellis will be moved one foot into the box (like above), this will allow the cover to reach both sides.  Also, since my boxes are 10' long there will be 4 vertical supports.  I want to find a way to allow the cover to slide up and down the pipes without falling off  and to stop at any point along the way - I thought something like the plastic shower curtain rings might work if I can figure out how to hold them in place.  This will allow me to reach the plants inside without removing the whole thing - a huge plus for me! 
Does anyone have any experience making these?  Any advise on what to do (or not to do)?
Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super Bowl Party Food

Game Day Food

I stuffed my self silly on Sunday! I had great plans to make fun food for the Super bowl. My hisband somehow had too much Mexican food leading up the big game day. So I had to change up my meal plan.

I wanted turkey taquitos, guacamole and chips, chili, wings and brownies. I then changed it to dips and chips, guacamole and chips, sliders, pigs in a blanket and popcorn.

I of course did not take any pictures. Let's just say it went too fast to take pictures. Plus we were distracted cheering on our team.

I then got sick and wanted to recreate some of the things I made. I'm still sick so I pulled some photo's to give you an idea of what I made.

I first made pigs in a blanket. I have been switching over my grocery shopping to Trader Joe's not everything is exchangeable. I have found other alternatives. Their crescent dough is wonderful. I have found with either brand the dough comes out dry. I roll out the dough and then cut strips with my pizza cutter, then cut each strip in half then roll them up. I'm super bad and brush melted butter over the tops.  Then I bake them at 350 for 16 minutes. Keep an eye on them and brown them to your liking.

Then we had some guacamole and chips. I went to our local Mexican restaurant and ordered a big bag of chips, they make the best! For the guacamole, I add tomatoes, red onion, garlic paste and salt. I was reading through one of my many food magazines and someone said they do this. They had a mortal and pestle and the mash the garlic into paste. I cheated and used a tube. It was so good. My ratio for avocados to tomatoes is 2 to 1. It seems to work well. We couldn't finish it but it was so good! I made a lot!

Then I made the sliders. I pinned a great recipe. But of course I changed it and I shouldn't have this time. I will give their idea a try next time. I was supposed to form my patties, season then add a tablespoon of butter. Then put them on the bottom bun and then go under the broiler. I was uneasy about it. What I learned is that I needed the bun to soak up the butter to keep it from splattering. Also that I couldn't cook it as long, the smoke alarm went off before it was done. I found these awesome grill foil sheets. I grabbed some for my meatloaf. I works great for that. I think I will still put them on the bun but also the grill foil sheet so that most of the fat will run off and not make the bun soggy.

That was all we could eat. I never made the brownies and we did end up eating popcorn later in the day. I bought an air popper, love it. I'm slowly trying to eliminate my microwave. I love popcorn and now I don't have to make it in the microwave. Not to mention it makes so much! My best friend makes caramel  corn with hers now I can get her recipe and make some for me. That could be dangerous!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Square Foot Gardening

Yesterday, I mentioned that I am planning to use a Square Foot Garden Plan for my new garden.  This is one of about 5 million ways you can garden, but this is the one I find most interesting.  Basically, you lay a grid out and plant everything in it's own square - how much you plant depends on the spacing it needs.  I have done this in small ways in the past, but never as an entire garden.  I am excited to see if it works as well as the book claims :)  I will also need to keep myself from 'cheating' too badly - I am always tempted to put in some extra something (like adding carrots or garlic in the corners of some of the squares- which I am totally doing lol).  There are some things that I am not sure about, but all I can do is try and see how it goes!!     
Anyone else spend an unhealthy amount of time staring at seed catalogs??  I can't wait for Spring!
Have a great day!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Planning My Future Garden

Planning is one of my favorite things to do - although the execution is a little harder!  I really need to get on my seed starting, but I am still trying to figure out what I am planting this year.  I am making pretty good headway and hopefully I will be back later this week with an update.  Since I am building my first set of garden beds this year, I also need to have an idea of what I want to accomplish with my final garden plan.  I worked on a couple of different ideas, but I think the one above is the one I like the most.  I am hoping the shed will be able to be closer to the fence so there will be a little more room between the beds and the shed, but I am still working on figuring that out :)

It's definitely ambitious, but I really want to have enough space to grow most of what we will eat while not taking over the entire yard.  There is approximately 20' between the beds and the house, which I think will work well (at least there will be less mowing!).  I still need to go out and stake all of the corners, just to make sure it works as well in real life as it does on paper - fingers-crossed!!

I have decided to do a Mostly Square Foot garden with some good Companion Planting thrown in, which will maximize the amount of growing space I will have.  I will do a little more explaining when I get my first bed planned out.  For this year I wanted to keep it manageable - not only do I need to build all the beds but I still work full-time and will not have as much time as I hope to in the future.  So money and time are definitely a big factor in taking it slow - even if I do want to build and plant all of the beds RIGHT

So in the next few weeks I need to finalize my first veggie bed, plant my first set of starts, decide what I want the beds to look like (how high, what type of wood/box) and figure out what I want to put in-between the boxes (I hate walking on bark, but it is the easiest - but the tiny gnat bugs are the worst!// gravel is kind of a mess if it gets in the grass// grass will just become weeds because there isn't enough room to mow :/ ).  I better get it figured out - I have to have the garden beds built by the end of March!!

Anyone else getting ready to garden?  I am so excited, I hope I can make it all work!

Have a great day!

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