Happy Friday!

>> Friday, April 29, 2011

Did you watch any of the Royal Wedding? A little too early for me but I hope to see some of it in reruns; I have seen many of the pictures, though. Kate’s dress is beeeyoooteeful! Perfect for her. And perfect for a royal wedding! Seeing her reminded me how I always wanted to be a princess. Well, a queen actually but then I thought it might be too much responsibility so I’d settle for princess. :)

~
It’s a good thing I wasn’t invited (believe me, I looked for that invite – must’ve gotten lost in the mail) because what sort of wedding gift do you give a royal couple??? I mean, seriously.

This weekend for us will be pretty busy as we’ve got some big garden happenings tomorrow (time to get everything ready for planting and weather is supposed to be great - yay!) and maybe, just maybe, a trip to the zoo for YS2’s birthday, which isn’t until Tuesday. If not, then soon! He will *love* it there! But I’ve got other things I need to pick up for his b-day. We already got his “big” gift and have gifts from the grandparents so now it’s the small things. I can’t wait to make his day – he certainly made mine when he was born two years ago. [sigh]

So something new and exciting for me: I had my first “interview.” I’m excited but nervous and shy about it too. Candace of The Raw Difference is starting a new weekly feature on her blog of individuals who are incorporating the raw lifestyle in some way and she asked me to contribute.

It was a great exercise for me as it reminded me of the changes I’ve made over the years but also the direction I ultimately want to go. If you want, check out my profile here and let me know what you think. Inflate my ego! Ha ha! But seriously, I am flattered and grateful to Candace for the opportunity to share a little bit more of me. Besides, if you’re not familiar with her blog now’s a good chance to check it out. She’s got a lot of good stuff going on over there.

Thanks as always for your comments and visits. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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A Stalker with Purpose

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011

I stalk many a blog. I’ve got my blog roll, but there are many others I visit that I don’t have listed or I’m subscribed to via email. Btw, to those who’ve added the email feature to their blogs, thanks! Love it! When there are recipes or ideas I want to keep, saving them in email is so much easier – plus I can keep up or catch up better this way than with google reader. IMO. Anyway…ramble ramble…

One of those blogs I stalk is Sarah’s of My New Roots. I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion drooling over her various creations.


Hmm…do I dare pass along a HiHoRosie Blog Fave badge to her even though she has no clue as to who I am or what the deal is about an HHR Blog Fave award anyway? Ah, sure, why not! It’s just a little token of appreciation or recognition to a blog I really enjoy. She, nor anyone else I’ve bestowed a badge to, is obligated to accept, display, or acknowledge this award in any way. I only share it right here with you. If she, or anyone else, happens to stumble upon my humble blog and see this token of honor (it is an honor of some sort, right?) then great but I won’t grovel or beg for the person to come take a look-see and then feel obligated to do who knows what with it.

Anyway, so many things I’ve spied I want to try. Have you seen the raw brownie?

Or the chocolate fudge?

I’ve made her chocolate shake.

Hmm, I see a theme here…

Besides chocolate though, there’s this chickpea salad with a chipotle mango dressing that looks amazing.

And a lentil salad (best ever? gotta try it).

And sweet potato hummus.

Her blog is mostly vegan and some raw foods. A mix of interesting recipes that would appeal to many, whether omni- or herbi-.

While stalking her blog one day, one recipe she shared of her friend’s jumped out at me that I just had to had to make (the double “had to’s” wasn’t a typo): Kickin’ Chickpeas.


Because I knew YS2 would want these (um, hello! this snack involves chickpeas AND pistachios – automatic love right there) I had to make them less “kickin’” so there’s barely a dash of cayenne in the ones I made, otherwise these were kickin’ in every sense of the word.


One cup equals a lot of shells! Worth it though.

I know she suggests letting them cool before inhaling snacking but really I couldn’t help myself. Be warned if eating them right from the oven the pistachios are still a little soft so you may want to practice patience and let them cool. When they’ve cooled a bit, they’re perfect. The inhaling begins.


My only thing is if you don’t manage to finish these off right away I find they don’t keep very well. Not sure how to handle storage on these – maybe reheating them up again in the oven or maybe using a foodsaver??? Or maybe I did something wrong for them to not stay somewhat crunchy longer? (that could’ve happened for sure.) Anyway, still tasty but the chickpeas dry out and the pistachios are soft by the next day; fortunately, I didn’t have many left over so I didn’t think it was a big deal. Next time though, I might half the recipe. They’re easy to make and so good with thyme just not as good with time. Har har! Oh man, I crack myself up.

Really, this post was supposed to be short and sweet featuring the kickin’ chickpeas I made but turned into an "Ode to My New Roots" instead. Oh well, thanks for reading about one of my obsessions.

Do you have a favorite blog that you stalk often (well, besides mine of course!)?

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Easter Weekend Recap

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello guys! Hopefully, you all had a great Easter weekend. I know one person did (congrats!)!

Can you believe it’s the last week of April?? Wow. You know what this means…it’s almost YS2’s second birthday! Next Tuesday. Sniff. My lil guy is becoming a BOY!

Just prior to this past weekend, I started to get a cold. A slow-moving cold. It finally gained steam and presented itself on Sunday. Poo. I will say if you have to get a cold, this is the one to get (like we have a choice). It’s slow to take hold and the worst symptoms are lack of energy and nasal congestion/cough. No headaches, no grumpiness (not counting being annoyed), no sore throat, no feeling really bad. The end.

I was still able to fix dinner (not raw, far from it except for salad). I really wanted what I had planned: vegan shepherd’s pie, salad with balsamic vinaigrette sprinkled with pistachios, and apple crisp for dessert. Um, hello!

No pics. Nope, notta one! Lame huh? By the time it was all ready it was time to eat so forget the camera! Besides, Angela’s picture is much better than I could’ve ever done or had the patience for. If only I could plate my shepherd’s pie that fabulous naturally. Practice is all I need.

I pretty much followed Angela’s/Oh She Glows adaption of Gena’s/Choosing Raw version of vegan shepherd’s pie. Gena’s version calls for mushrooms but seeing I’m still new to “I think I like mushrooms again” I didn’t want to push my luck with this dish.

Did I mention I’ve never made nor eaten shepherd’s pie before? Traditional shepherd’s pie calls for ground lamb. Even in my carnivore days I didn’t eat lamb nor did my family so this was never made for that reason alone. However, even the adapted version with ground beef I never tried it. I’m sure for my family (okay, mom) it was a bit too involved and perhaps even too casserole-y to give it a go. Growing up, casseroles had their place from time to time but I don’t recall having a ton of them and definitely not shepherd's pie of any kind.

Anyway, I’d always been curious about shepherd’s pie but have no desire to fill mine with a meat base. With Easter around the corner and trying to come up with something to make I recalled Angela’s shepherd’s pie.

Since I’ve never had this or made this, was it risky? Maybe but I knew, just knew, it would be perfect.

So I followed her recipe pretty much. I got daring and used Yukon Gold potatoes instead of red (good call I say! I should point out that she didn’t say I had to use red so it’s any potato of choice) and in the filling, I rebelled and used 3 parsnips instead of 2. Oh and I added in a ½ cup of frozen peas and some dried sage. No wine but used more broth as suggested.

I did want a “meat” component so I really went out on a limb and added in cooked lentils. Oh my. Another good call if you want a heartier version. Heartier without it being heavy-laden. So good! I used green lentils (cooked up one cup of the lentils to 1.5 cups of water) and added those to the veggie mixture last just to heat through and to maintain their shape. I did need to add more broth to the mix so in the end I think I used 2-ish cups of veggie broth.

Of course, adding in the lentils made this dish grow so a 2.5 quart dish was not going to do. I needed the big guy, the 9x13 dish. Ah yeahhhh! That means leftovers. That’s always good as long as it’s tasty to begin with. Will this pass the test? I have two subjects who would soon let me know.

Oh and wait, I still have gravy to make. Ack! I tried following Angela’s recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I improvised. Sometimes this works aaand sometimes this doesn’t. I don't really know what I did in the end. On its own, it tasted kinda weird. Not bad but kinda sweetish. I figured it would be a waste.

Now, the true test:

Yardsnacker took one bite and was singing my sweet praises (he wasn't pulling my leg either). Yardsnacker Junior managed to gobble up half of his. He’s iffy on potatoes sometimes but seemed to like these but the parsnips didn’t go over as well. He rebelled against that extra one I put in there apparently.
Remember that gravy? Well, the boys followed my lead of putting it on their plates (well, in the case of YS2, allowed me to put it in his bowl) because it was the perfect combination. Yay! So it wasn’t a waste after all.

Phew! Dinner turned out awesome and something I’d make again. Not often but definitely this fall/winter I’ll make it again.

I was going to make apple crisp but Sam offered (I wasn’t going to argue – I was tired now). He’s a much more daring cook than me. He added his own twist with subtle hints of chai tea spices. So very good! His recipe is loosely based on this one.

It was a tasty Easter. The Easter Bunny left some goodies behind for YS2 – new books/toys and clothes. No candy, thank goodness. Good Easter Bunny. :)

*
As far as my cold goes, well, it’s going away. Probably helps that I chased a lot of it away eating almost a full tub of !muy caliente! salsa last night. A few chips were cosumed in the process but they were just for seeing how much salsa I could fit on one chip. I definitely need to start making my own raw corn chips again. Lisa’s got the right idea.

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Happy Easter!

>> Sunday, April 24, 2011

I saw this video today and it just seemed so fitting for Easter. Even if you don't recognize Easter, this video is beautiful and spiritual in its own right. We truly live in a beautiful world.

Enjoy!


The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

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Winners: Dirt Bags

>> Saturday, April 23, 2011


I didn't forget about the dirt bags I was giving away...I just forgot to post the winners on my blog. Whoops. Thanks to everyone who entered.

All the entries were placed in a bowl and hubby picked the two winners. They were:

    1. simplydab
    2. nanjhall

Congrats!

I already emailed them (on time - phew!) of their prize.

Hope to do something like this again in the near future.

Thanks again everyone!

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Happy Earth Day!

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011

Every day is Earth Day.
~Author Unknown

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
~Native American Proverb

I love those quotes - two of my favorites fitting for Earth Day, which is tomorrow, April 22nd. I posted those and a bunch of others last Earth Day.

This year I’d like to share a few links, a sampling of sorts, that might be helpful and even fun, in finding ways to be green all year long. I haven't tried all of these yet but I'm posting them merely as suggestions meant to inspire and motivate. I figure any way to reduce our carbon footprint is a good thing, right?

Natural cleaning supplies you can make at home:
   Hanna Kroeger blog
   Care2

Make some eco-friendly kid toys:
   Growing a Green Family

Or buy some:

Make some non-toxic bubbles for yourself the kiddies! Here’s a quick recipe:

Homemade deodorant and face scrub:
   Animal-Friendly Eating

Perfume you can customize and make yourself:
   Planet Green

Nothing worse than store-bought mouthwash! Here’s how to make your own:
   My Beauty Recipes

“Try this, Not That” facial cleansers:
   Planet Green

Homemade air freshener spray:
   Best Green Home Tips

Other ideas for fresher air:
   Squidoo

Maybe some of you do something similar such as these or have other suggestions. If so, feel free to share.

There are the other obvious ways to be greener which I purposely didn’t get into but reusing bags when shopping, reducing plastic (glass straws anyone?), carpooling, turning off lights, unplugging appliances, composting, gardening, and etc. are all great ways to celebrate Earth Day every day.

Do you make any toys, beauty products or cleaning supplies for your home? I plan to and now have some great ideas to get started.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your planet.

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The Human Experience

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I was checking email last night when I looked over hubby's shoulder to see what movie he had just loaded up on Netflix. I soon forgot all about those emails...

The movie we watched was an incredible and touching documentary called The Human Experience. It's about two brothers (and friends) who travel the world and experience (three experiences featured) first-hand some of the challenges others face - they gain a new perspective and answers to questions on being human and their purpose in life. I couldn't help but be drawn in by the stories and people and of course, the cinematography and musical score were absolutely beautiful.

I will say it was hard to watch at times. I felt (and still feel) incredibly grateful for what I have. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I know we all have our challenges and rough patches and I certainly don't want to undermine any of those experiences and lessons, however, when I complain about trivial things or wish for this or that I'm reminded that I have a lot to be grateful for in my life. I found myself wishing I had a magic wand or something though. I have a really hard time seeing anyone suffer, especially children, so like I said, it was difficult to watch knowing there are so many suffering around us.

I hesitate to say more because I don't want scew your views before you've had a chance to watch it if you want. I definitely recommend this movie - it's a must-see.

This movie came out in 2008 and won all sorts of awards but this is the first time I had heard of it.

If you watch this, have tissue handy or your partner's sleeve works too. :) I had hubby's shoulder to literally cry on.



If you watch or have watched this, I'd be curious to know what you think.

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Finally, I felt it!

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring that is. My belly-achin' (as my mom would say) paid off. We had a gor-jus spring day today. YS2 and I took an extra long walk it was so nice. Keep 'em coming Mother Nature!

A couple of beauty shots from our walk:



I took more pics of different flowers but they're all blurry. It's hard taking pictures when holding a toddler! Where we were I couldn't put him down without fear of him running off. So two snapshots are all you get. I think they're pretty even if they're from the same type of plant (a holly-type bush).

image source
So the other day I received a case of POM Wonderful. Prior to now, I had never tried it; one of those I always passed by. I actually meant to make something that involved POM juice but never did as we just kept grabbing a new bottle to drink. Tasty! Its tartness reminds me of cranberry or lingonberry juice but it's sweet too. I like sweet-tart juices. I'd buy it again but it's not something I have to stock my fridge with at all times. Just an enjoyable drink to have from time to time. Maybe one of these days I'll make something with it instead of just drinking it.

It's funny, the day I received the box of POM I saw an article about a town in PA that renamed itself (for a price) to POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Errr....it's for a new documentary by Morgan Spurlock. You might know him from Super Size Me.

You can see the POM/Morgan Spurlock movie trailer here.

Crazy kids.

But it is true about the product placements and advertising...

By the way, POM did send me out the case of juice to sample however I was not asked or paid to write a favorable review. Just sayin'.

Any movies you recommend seeing? We haven't watched many so we're catching up. Right now we're adding some to our Netflix.

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>> Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey! How was your weekend? As usual, mine was TOO SHORT! Weekends will always be too short.

I’m wondering if my complaining of the cold, gross weather on Saturday was enough to turn things around on Sunday. Okay, it wasn’t exactly warm but it was warmer. I even saw the sun! Such a welcome sight.

Because it was actually turning into a nice day we went for a family walk. Spotted some daffodils along the way which seem to epitomize spring dontchya think? YS2 got to kiss a friendly pug a few times too. Sorry no pic but it was super cute. If he could, he’d kiss every dog and cat he saw. I know I've said that before but I like to repeat myself sometimes. :)



I finally worked on my herb garden. Got the planter box filled up and ready to go but haven't quite decided what to plant in it. Since I have planter bags I used those for some of my herbs and some of the starts I had picked up I think would be better at the garden so that leaves the cedar box. I might still do herbs but I'm leaning more towards something pretty like sweet peas or ivy geraniums. I've got other pots I can use for more herbs.

Speaking of planter bags, have you entered my giveaway for Dirt Bags by Hydrofarm? They’re reusable plant bags made of fabric meant to breathe and aerate so your plant’s roots get the best of the best. Perfect for Earth Month/Earth Day, which is Friday the 22nd.

Here are mine hard at work:

I’ve got chocolate-mint, garlic and chives, which I'm growing from seed (soon to follow: parsley, shallots, basil, cilantro [not for me] and possibly oregano and thyme).


They’re great for small spaces such as your patio or for container gardening. But they’re ideal for just about anywhere no matter the space. They come in different sizes (from 400 gallons to one gallon). For this giveaway, I picked up the one gallon bags. Two winners will receive three 1-gallon bags from me. I’m sponsoring this from the prize to the shipping, so I’m limiting this to the US only. Sorry international folks (you read that a lot don't you? If you didn't live so far away...)

Anyway, they work awesome and I think they’re cute. If you think they’re cute too and would find them useful, please enter here. Everything you need to know about entering is there.

That was the rest of my weekend in a nutshell. I ran out of olive oil so I didn’t get some things done in the kitchen as planned so off to get more.

Here's a parting shot of me and YS2 - the lastest self-portrait.


Later taters!

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Saturday

>> Saturday, April 16, 2011

flickr - Fortnight@F8

Once again the weather here is frightful. I swear we’re having winter in the spring. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining but it was downright fuh-reezing! We stopped at the garden to drop off spent coffee grounds and believe it or not, there were quite a few [hard core] gardeners out there. I was impressed. YS2 didn’t seem to mind the chill but this mama did! I’m a wimp though - I don't like being cold.

I did start out the day enjoying this smoothie. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea on such a cold day but in my defense, I didn’t realize it was so cold until we left the house. Sorry no pic. Imagine a brown (chocolate) shake or see Sarah’s pics. They look better than I could’ve captured.

So check this out. YS2 loves wakame! Is that amazing or what? Papa-YS picked up some dried wakame and little YS2, who’s always up for trying new things, loved it. Wow! I said he’s got a more advanced palate than me.

Awhile ago, over the Holidays to be more precise, I won a jar of Nacho Mom’s vegan queso cheese sauce from Lindsay at Cook. Vegan. Lover. I entered the contest because I was so curious! How could a vegan cheese that’s only 160 calories per ENTIRE JAR be close to edible?! Well, it was darn tasty I tell you. When I ran out (which didn’t take long) I was sad. Imagine my surprise the other day when I spotted it at my local market! Now to remember which variety I tried. Hmm…I picked up the fire-roasted one. I quickly realized it was the Ultimate Vegan Queso I had tried and loved so much. The fire-roasted one is just okay. We’re eating it but I don’t plan on buying that one again; next time I’ll pick up the ultimate. That’s the one for me. Yum!

Enjoy the last bit of the weekend – it’s going by fast!

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It's (Not) Tax Day

>> Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy (?) Tax Day! ha ha! Even if you're getting a refund, I think we'd all agree we pay too much in taxes but it is what is, right? Hopefully, you are getting a refund anyway. I am - very little but still it's somethin'. Refunds are always nice.

But did you know that taxes aren't technically due until Monday, April 18th? Thanks Rawkin Mom for mentioning that. Here's an article about it if curious.

Here's a little diddy in honor of those darn taxes!



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A Plea and a Winner

>> Thursday, April 14, 2011

Here it is April 14th, day before Tax Day (did you get yours in? I am today!) and it's cloudy, a little damp and a wee bit too cold. It's supposed to be a high of 49 degrees today. ?!?!?!?! When is spring going to show up? Seriously, this is annoying. I feel a little better when I hear some of you are still getting snow off and on but gee whiz Spring! We've been waiting ever-so patiently for your arrival here in the Pacific Northwest. We're ready. We will welcome you and cherish you. Promise. Please consider showing up to the party ASAP! Thanks.

Now, onto announcing the winner of the Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate. This winner proved you can win with only one entry (randomly selected, of course).


17.  shannonmarie
Mmmm ... I still have peanut butter on the brain. I want to dip one of those dark chocolate bars in it. Yum! Or maybe since I just ate, I'd like to try a non-food-related item, such as those coconut lip balms. Something tells me they might be tasty, too.


Congrats Shannon Marie! Come on down and claim your prize! Okay, just email me your shipping info and I'll forward to Tropical Traditions. They ship fast too. You'll have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Thank you all who entered and to Tropical Traditions for sponsoring this giveaway.

Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed spring will show up soon.

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We have a winner!

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm sure many are curious as to who won the Shabby Apple giveaway so let's get to it shall we?

...drum roll...


12. Ruri
I'm following you via GFC!

Ruri, I have sent you an email already. Please respond within 48 hours!

Many thanks to everyone who entered and supported my giveaway. If still interested in a Shabby Apple dress (who wouldn't be?!) the 10% discount still stands for HiHoRosie readers.

And if you're still in a wanting-to-win-a-giveaway mode, I have two going on still and have posted them under my giveaway tab. Both have low entries so your chances are good.

Speaking of winners though, remember when I mentioned that Food Network was hosting their first donut championship and two Seattle donut shops were competing (along with two other donut shops from elsewhere in the country) annnnd that I was rootin' for my favorite, Mighty-O, an organic vegan shop? Well, take a guess at who won. :) Congrats to Sara Beth for kickin' ass over the competition and bringing home the honor, the bragging rights and the big prize!

Right now I'm contemplating a product review (non-sponsored, however I'm an affiliate with one of them which currently isn't posted on my blog. And actually, I'm an affiliate with the other but never posted about it) but unsure if I truly should. Thinking out loud here...I might just forget the whole thing but we'll see. Anyway...random thought...

Any got a good vinaigrette appropriate for a Greek-type salad? I'm in the mood for one but need a good dressing for it. Got any ideas let me know.

Well, not much today. I always have thoughts swirling in my head just need to get them organized and written out so more later.

Ciao!

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Stuff and a Giveaway

>> Sunday, April 10, 2011

Howdy folks!

Yesterday I had my first homemade chai tea. Yum! It was made with homemade rice milk too. So good! Thanks hubby! Do you like chai? To me, it’s such a cozy drink and obviously, one I enjoy. Some versions I’ve had weren’t that great and some, like yesterday’s, are great. After my cozy drink, I then took a delicious nap. Oh yeah, life is good.

Now, forgive me in advance. This post might have a lot of YS2 in it so turn away now if too much cuteness is not on your agenda today. Also, some pics just aren't very flattering of me - a supermodel I am not. Call me vain but you know, it's the weekend and I don't really make much of an effort. Sorry. But the subject (YS2) is just too cute so I put vanity aside.

YS2’s morning did start off a little rough. He had a Trader Joe’s balloon from a couple days ago (they weren’t giving them away but they’re part of their displays so we helped ourselves to one – have you ever been to store with a tot where they weren’t giving out balloons? Hubs pointed out that it’s torture and just plain cruel - I agree.) but yesterday morning it POPPED! He had a sad. But I did think it was interesting it popped in the shape of a heart.

After YS2’s nap (and mine), we took off to run some errands and stop at a garden nursery. But first, I needed lunch. We stopped at Chaco Canyon and got a lentil burger to share. I love their lentil burger. I have had it once or twice there when it was not the best but yesterday it was THEE best! Oh man, did it hit the spot. I shared with YS2 and hubby. YS2 loves lentils but for some reason, he’s not too keen on CC’s version. He had some of the bun (he calls toast) and sprouts. I forgot he loves sprouts so it’s time to grow some at home. Instead he snacked on gluten free dry cereal, raisins and gojis (please ignore the fact his snacks are in a plastic baggie). Yes folks, he loves gojis (pronounced “go-wees” around here).

So off we went to Sky Nursery in Seattle. At this nursery, I swear we could spend hundreds of dollars there if we could. There are so many things we’d love to get!

We thought it would be fun if YS2 was pulled around the nursery in his little garden wagon. It was perfect – he loved it! Along the way he found a watering can. He loves watering cans…speaking of which, here’s a funny story involving one. At home, YS2 gets to “help” papa water the seedlings. He *loves* to help with anything but especially watering plants using the watering can. Well, one day he wanted to water so he helped himself to the watering can that was full and watered everything but the plants. Ha ha! He kept pouring water everywhere while were telling him to stop and moved in slo-mo to catch him - kids are fast, parents are slow. It was funny. So at nurseries, I have to chase him around to keep his hands off the stores’ own watering jugs. I ♥ this age (he’s almost two)!

Taking a rest on my throne…


This boy loves animals of any kind. Seriously, he wants to give a kiss to every animal he sees, including ones that aren’t real. Inside the nursery he was giving kisses to birds and frogs and here he’s giving one to this kitty statute:


We picked up some starts too. I found this strawberry (blond) start…definitely bringing this one home. I hear this kind grows like weeds (okay, this was hubs joke). Ha ha!


We also picked up a few of these bags. These are so cool. It’s a breathable fabric pot for your plants and it’s reusable – so I can plant all kinds of things in these. This is ideal for some of the more “aggressive” herbs such as my chocolate mint, where I want to keep them under control. [Edited to add link to pics of dirt bags in use.]


***
Want some of your own? I'm going to give away a set of three 1-gallon reusable planting pots (aka dirt bags) by Hydrofarm.com to TWO people. These bags promote vigorous plant growth, manage plant temps by keeping plants cooler in summer and warmer in winter, no root circling, and also with the breathable fabric it provides superior drainage and aeration. Great for small spaces - container gardening, patio gardening, etc.

Since I'm sponsoring this giveaway myself I have to limit this to the US only. If interested in, let me know below in the comments. If you want extra entries, leave a separate comment for mentioning this on your blog, tweet, or facebook.

Giveaway will end Thursday, April 21st at 9:00 PM west coast time. Again, US only; two winners. [Giveaway has ended]
***
So today is the day I put together my herb garden. Yay! I think I’ve got everything I need to put it all together. I’m so excited to get this going and see my little garden come to life.

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Weekend Recap

>> Monday, April 4, 2011

Howdy kids! Hopefully, you had a good weekend. As usual, it wasn’t long enough but my weekend was good. Not too busy which was nice.

Saturday we had wacko typical spring weather where we had rain squalls throughout the day so in between we had some sun breaks and even hail. Sunday’s weather was better. Sorta. It didn’t rain, if that counts. It was cloudy, a little breezy at times, and cold. We spent a few hours at the community garden. I didn’t do much there other than get my ego stroked from people telling me how smart YS2 is and chase after him everywhere! He’s a quick one that little guy. We met hubby’s brother, Matt, there. Caleb is enamored with Matt. In fact, the day before all during dinner, he kept saying “Ma’h!” (said like Matt but without the T – a hard short H sound instead). We took this as a hint to call Matt and invite him out to the garden. I’m sure you wanted to know all that…

Did you know that Sam is on the community garden board again? He took last year off (aka not opting to run which surprised/disappointed many people – time was/is precious with a wee one you know) and just simply gardened. Er, tried to. Ha! He still had people coming up to him asking him this or that like he was still on the board (he was VP last time). About a month or so ago, a board member resigned so they were short a member. Sam was “encouraged” to toss his name into the ring for consideration (I’m telling ya: he was missed!) and after the other board members met to vote, he was welcomed back. No surprise, of course. Now, he’s being “encouraged” again to consider running for President when elections happen in a couple of months. He’s a shoe-in if he decides to take that responsibility on, IMO. We’ll have to see what happens.

my soon-to-be herb garden
Since the weather wasn’t ideal on Saturday but we didn’t want to stay cooped up inside we ran garden errands. I want an herb garden for at home so we picked up a nice size cedar box to get started. We also picked up some lettuce starts to include. We’ll be growing plenty at the garden but I like to have some within easy reach at home too. I’ve got a chocolate mint ready to go and from seed I’d like to plant some parsley, thyme, basil, and whatever else yet to be decided. Hmm, might have to get a second planter.

Farmer YS2 ready to go!
So Sunday, as mentioned, was spent at the garden. YS2 had his boots on (I need to find mine) so he was free to splash in the puddles and walk in mud, which out here can’t be helped most of the time anyway. I just didn’t have to keep telling him no or distracting him. Hee hee! Unfortunately, his boots are still a little big so they’d fall off when I picked him up. One time, we were way down the path before it registered that he was telling me, “boo! Boo!” (aka boot). His boot had fallen off and I wasn’t paying attention. Whoopsie.

Sam and Matt didn’t really get to do much at our garden space; it was mainly spent helping others and re-measuring a few plots. It’s amazing how some garden plots seem to encroach on neighboring plots and paths…

YS2 was getting hungry so we made a pit-stop at Whole Foods. How convenient it’s less than a mile away. So is Chipotle but opted for WF instead. Anyway, we walked in and I saw this girl hosting a sample table for my favorite donut: Mighty-O. Believe me, they are a tasty treat and honestly no one would know they were vegan if you didn’t tell them. Some people get weird when you do (I know from experience). Anyway, I had to do a double-take because she looked familiar. Embarrassed to say it’s been a couple years or more since I’ve seen her. I’m sure I looked just lovely, too, coming from the garden, dried banana on my coat, hair all wild and no makeup. She’d probably say big deal but it’s funny how one can suddenly feel insecure. Sometimes it’s all so silly.

Mighty-O yummy sprinkles - source

Anyway (love all the tangents?), it was Sara Beth. She works for Mighty-O and get this, is a TV star. :)She is representing Mighty-O on Food Network’s Food Network Challenge: Donut Champions. It airs this Sunday, Apr 10, 2011, 8:00 PM ET/PT. I tried getting the early scoop from her as to who wins but she was good and didn’t reveal anything. You bet I’ll be tuning in to watch! She’s battling another Seattle donut shop, Top Pot, plus a couple others. Of course, I’m rootin’ for Sara Beth and Mighty-O. And no matter the outcome, Mighty-O’s are still my favorite pastry treat. They’re not just for breakfast you know. :)

To finish out the weekend, I managed to get a couple of things into the dehydrator: cheesy kale chips (those seem to be made quite a lot these days) and Lisa’s (Raw on $10 a Day) onion bread. YS2 was a bit crabby when he saw all those trays going in and he couldn’t have anything just yet. Patience little one. Patience. Like I’m one to talk.

The onion bread is tasty – thanks Lisa! And don’t worry Raw Loulou, I’ll still be making yours too. I just now have two kinds I can make. Both are easy and both are tasty so depending on your mood or ingredients on hand they’re great to have in your recipe box.

Thanks to Kelli for inspiring me to finally make the onion bread. I hope to make the mock tuna recipe soon that she posted recently. Her presentation of it is simply mouth-watering and I have a feeling lil YS2 will love it. If not, I’ll have lunch!

Hopefully, you’ve seen my two giveaways going on. Soon you could look extra pretty in a dress from Shabby Apple while whipping up some goodies using Tropical Traditions’ Coconut Cream Concentrate. Er, maybe instead just enjoying a tasty treat so you don’t get your dress dirty.

♦Enter here for the pretty dress from Shabby Apple.
♦Enter here for the coconut cream concentrate from Tropical Traditions.

Thanks for tuning in.

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