Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book #16

Of all of my current reading options of course I would pick the YA dystopian novel to read first.

It was just okay. I think I expected more from Megan McCafferty.

A Lettuce Appreciation Post


I was reading a blog post this weekend that listed the most profitable plants to grow in your garden. I noticed that several of the plants were salad mixes, arugula and herbs. I couldn't agree more. I just started growing lettuce last year and found it quickly became one of my must-haves in the garden. The upkeep is low. And organic in the backyard vs. organic in the store makes a huge difference in price. It's easy to say one big dinner salad and the plants paid for themselves. The dozens of other salads since then have been money in the bank.

A lot of varieties bolt once the temperatures get too high but I'm already researching ways to keep my bed going well into summer with various warm weather varieties and shading methods. And in the fall my favorite varieties (buttercrunch, green leaf, black seeded simpson) will definitely return to my garden.



What I love about gardening (a bonus story): My brother, who has long had a serious aversion to iceberg lettuce, wanted lunch the other day. Fed up with his options inside the house he took a colander outside and picked a variety of lettuce and spinach. I watched him come inside, rinse, and then fix his favorite salad. Yesterday I caught him snacking on peas fresh out of the pod on the back patio. Having good, nutritious, organic produce right outside of your door is such an awesome thing. Watching a kid who is somewhat known for his serious addiction to chips and junk food take the initiative to enjoy it is even cooler.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

And then there were vegetable plants

Since the weather finally cooperated enough to allow me to garden I spent this weekend in dirt. I helped Jonathan make 2 more raised beds from reclaimed barn wood that our dad has had in a pile for-ev-er.

Then I planted:

12 tomatoes (4 Cherokee Purple, 2 Lemon Boy, 1 Beefsteak, 1 Pineapple, 1 Brandywine, 1 Black Krim, 1 Golden Jubilee, 1 Hillbilly Potato Leaf)

3 bell peppers (2 green, 1 yellow)

6 okra plants

6 burpless hybrid cucumbers

2 zucchini

2 straight-neck yellow squash

1 crookneck yellow squash

1 container of Kentucky Wonder pole beans

Still left to plant: 1 grape tomato, 1 cherry tomato, 3 tumbling tom yellow cherry tomatoes, another container of beans (at least), summer lettuce, and whatever other things I want to test. I have several spots in the various beds with which to play around.

As for chicken coop construction? Well, it is still slow going. Even though the weather is finally nice and the chickens need a home. Why? Because I come from a long line of indecisive procrastinators. The kind who butt heads with each other over things like flooring and design and then get nothing accomplished. (Movie title: April and her Father Build Things and Discover They Are Just Alike)

Let's just say we both have strong opinions. It's his yard and they're my chickens. We might end up on Judge Judy.

Very suspicious.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Pinterest (I've Been Pinning)


What is Pinterest? (taken from HERE)
~ Pinterest is a social media platform that comprises of making " Design Boards" or " Inspiration Boards." Inspiration Boards comprise of collections of favorite VISUAL inspiration in the form of photos and imagery. Photos and Imagery are encountered when surfing the web can can be added to Inspiration Boards. Pinterest Boards are for showcasing and curating Visual Things that you love.

I'm sure some of you crafty types might be interested in Pinterest, if you don't already know about it. I think this will be a good way to sort of group my own inspirations in one spot. Let me know via email/facebook/or comment if you'd like an invite. I just need your email address.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

loaded baked potato salad


Dinner tonight was such a classic summery affair. Hotdogs and brats on the grill, baked beans, and my latest creation: Loaded Baked Potato Salad. (Dessert was watermelon! Yum!)

Loaded Baked Potato Salad (modified from Rachael Ray's recipe)
1 stick of softened butter
8 oz of sour cream
1/2 cup at least (I like more) of crumbled bacon (I use hormel bacon bits)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
7 medium potatoes
1/2 tsp lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 thinly sliced green onions

Bake your potatoes until tender (or boil, whatever works for you). Peel and dice. In a bowl mix the sour cream and butter together. Add the cheese, onions, bacon, salt and pepper. Mix well then fold in the diced potatoes. Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


My first @birchbox has arrived!

I received my first birchbox in the mail today. For those not in the know, a birchbox is a sort of makeup of the month club. For $10 a month they send you a pretty box full of (carefully wrapped) high end makeup samples. Each box earns you points which then count toward the purchase of full size items. (Last month's looked fantastic! http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacenda/5623264186/ ) I'm in love!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book # Slacking Edition

The bad thing about setting a goal to read a certain number of books in one year and tracking said goal with goodreads is the overwhelming feeling of sudden doom and failure.

I'm only four behind! I can rally! Right?

Any recommendations? Preferably picture books. I can pad my stats with a few of those I think.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How 3 semesters of Italian bought me nothing but a smug attitude


Is not pronounced bruSHETTA.

In Italian “ch” is pronounced like “k."


Sunday, May 8, 2011

my boy arlo


I never anticipated bonding the most with a rooster. Although he's a terrible little peckerhead who orchestrates lots of mischief I adore him. And even though he'll crow I just can't bring myself to get rid of him. Thank god I'm not in a traditional subdivision.

Mother's Day


Me and Mama 21 years ago. Workin' it. Obviously.


Mia Mamma, part II

I think we've aged well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mi piacciono i miei capelli (I like my hair.) Finally.

I've been experimenting with my hair these days. After spending far too long not caring about it at all. As in, pull it up and out of my face and be done with it. And far too long wishing I had everyone's hair but my own.

I've straightened it. Bought hot curlers and rolled it. Went to bed with it damp and gone au natural the next morning. And what I've learned is that at 25 years of age I can say with authority that I finally love my hair.

I just had to go buy a new set of hot rollers.

P.S. This curvy girl rocked the skinny jean this week at work. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking skinny jeans are only for size twos. I love mine.

Blessed with the most wonderful and selfless mother. I hit the parent jackpot. Happy Mother's Day weekend, Mom!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Free Rangin'

Since yesterday was the first nice day we've had in a while and it was relatively warm I decided to bring all seven chickens out on the patio for some play time. They loved it. They were out most of the morning and while I expected them to venture off a bit they didn't seem interested in it. There were too many interesting things close to the house. Like bugs, worms that still lingered from the rain, and some pansies that never got planted. Chickens can eat pansies! And marigolds and various other flowers. I'm being mindful of that next weekend when I buy my mom her Mother's Day flowers.

As much fun as it is having little baby chicks I must say I'm super excited about them getting bigger. I've never had a full grown giant chicken before. I literally squeal every time I notice they seem bigger.




They are still as sweet as can be. If you sit down nearby Arlo immediately hops up in your lap. He's such a happy little roo.


Book #15

I can't really be proud of anything I've read this week. This was bad. Bad dialog. Bad premise. Bad, bad, bad. I liked Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books in high school so when I saw this on the new arrival shelf at the library I thought I'd give it ago.

Other things I liked in high school that are now proven to have been against my better judgment:
  • people
  • gay boys
  • working hard
  • listening to Delilah on the radio
  • jeans that were too long for my short legs
So what I'm saying is that my 17 year old self can't be trusted.

I ♥ Joe Biden