Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Start of My Garden

Every since I first realized that we would be living in one place for three years I've been waiting impatiently to be able to start my garden. Back then, I didn't know if that garden would be located in Virginia or California, but luckily it's now located in San Diego, where I can grow almost everything year round. No frost to worry about killing my crops, and just enough space in the yard for a small herb and vegetable garden. I read a book on Square Foot Gardening almost a year ago now, where you plant in predefined 12 inch x 12 inch squares instead of the traditional rows to create a versatile and adaptable garden year round. But first, I needed to make my garden bed. Luckily between my parents, my aunt and uncle and the great County of San Diego, I was able to build my raised garden bed (as well as a few pots for herbs) for free!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dry Shampoo from Kitchen Ingredients

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. I don't wash my hair everyday. With thick, wavy/curly hair it takes hours for my hair to dry naturally and especially now that I'm waking up early to go to work everyday (not to mention showering at night) I don't have the patience to blow dry it. Besides, washing your hair everyday strips it of oils (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I needed a solution for second day hair. I looked into getting one of the aerosol dry shampoos that are on the market, but then I found this recipe for an all natural, easy to make dry shampoo that you probably already have all the ingredients for. I've already been using it for a few days, and I've got to say that it works really well.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ironing Board Nook Transformation!

Hey everyone. Sorry I've been MIA, but I feel like I've been on the go since before Christmas. We had our housewarming party, then Christmas and the craziness that comes with that, New Year's, my birthday and yesterday I had my first day at my new job for one of the San Diego shipyards. It's all very exciting and it's definitely keeping me busy. I'll try to get a couple of the projects I've been working on up on the blog until I get settled into my new schedule, but if I slip up, please don't give up on me!

In a house of less than 1000 square feet, you can imagine that closet space is limited and needs to be extremely functional. So when a tiny nook that used to house an ironing board just sits empty, it's a waste of space. I had an idea to transform it into a small space for my makeup and accessories. This does double duty of having them neatly stored AND keeping me from hogging the only bathroom while I'm getting ready. But it needed a little love first. I started by removing the tie rack that was inside and gave the whole interior a fresh coat of white paint. Initially, I was only going to paint it to match the room and then put my things in it, but I recognized an opportunity to add a little unexpected does of pattern and color. So I got some contact paper, which was meant for drawer and shelf liners, and went to work.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to Quickly Remove Rosemary Leaves

Removing the leaves from rosemary can be tedious. Each leaf is individually placed on the stem and picking them off one by one takes forever. Well do I have a handy trick for you! All you need to quickly process your rosemary is a slotted serving spoon (a fork might work as well).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yesterday while making a quick run to the grocery store, I happened to see a bag of quinoa. I've had quinoa before, but I haven't ever tried to make it, so I bought a bag. It cooks up just like rice and has an interesting texture. I decided to make it with one of the acorn squashes I've had on my counter for awhile. The recipe I used as a guide for the stuffed squash is from a blog called The Messy Baker and since I didn't have any apples or dried cranberries on hand, I figured I'd wing it and try it without them.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Handy How-To: Preparing a Mango

Mangoes are one of the few fruits that my husband likes, so I've recently learned how to prepare them. Initially, I thought they were really messy and difficult to prepare, then I learned a much better way to do it. Instead of using a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off and then cutting the slippery fruit with a knife all while being careful to avoid the hard pith, I learned a much easier way.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Making Your Own Worm Bin

Since we moved into our new house, I've been planning how I'm going to start my garden. Although the actual garden isn't in progress yet, I have started making some of the best organic fertilizer you can get. The reason I'm starting this now is because it takes a few months to make and involves worms. Yes, I said worms. I recently went to a free composting class at the City Farmer's Nursery and learned about traditional composting as well as vermicomposting, or worm composting. At first I was a little nervous about jumping straight into worm composting, but it turns out that composting with worms is the easier, more compact, and quicker process because the worms do the work that Mother Nature normally does. I'm still deciding how and where I want to make my compost pile so that it works for me and still looks nice since there's no space in our yard that is both convenient and hidden from view.

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